There was fire, and there were nightmares and fearlings flying just outside her bedroom when she felt the sudden panic that usually accompanied with seeing these beasts. "Mother!?" She questioned desperately as she got up from bed, still in her day clothes that consisted of a dark blue dress with sleeves that gripped her elbows, but were baggy and loose in the middle, and the dress barely touched the ground, brushing against her bare feet as she ran quietly across the floor, allowing her medium length ebony hair to flow behind her. "Mother!?" She tried again as she made her way through her home.
"Elaina?" He Mother's voice called out from the middle room where all the magic was held. "Come here, sweetie!"
Elaina ran towards the middle room, and noticed that her Mother was preparing something. "Mother? What are you doing? There are fearlings and nightmares outside!"
"Yes, I know! Do you remember the discussion we had about and with your Father? Your REAL Father?"
"Yes, I am aware. It was one of the lapses of humanity he had that he was able to tell me that what you told me was true. The Nightmare King is my biological Father."
"Correct, and do you know what he's tasked me with?"
"No." She answered, suddenly not liking where the conversation was going. "Where's Emily? Wasn't she visiting?"
"Your half sister wanted me to tell you that she loves you very much, and that she hopes to see you some day, but that she couldn't stay any longer. Now, Kozmotis has tasked me with sending you forward, far in time, and to send you to wherever the Lunanoff child has decided to make his home, because there, you will be safe."
"You're a seer Mother, couldn't you just tell me how the battle ends?" She questioned as she crossed her arms.
"No, my dear. I cannot, for there are many battles Kozmotis will fight. Now, the place that I have seen where the Lunanoff child as made his home is a moon, but I cannot send you there because of its atmosphere, so I will send you to the planet just beneath it where the Lunanoff child will be able to watch over you. The planet is called Earth, and I will send you to the year 1712 on their planet."
"1712! That seems more like I'm going way far back in time!"
"It isn't for them. Now, will you be calm enough for me to do this? I can only send you...and you will still have all your powers and immortality, but I cannot go with you. You will be alone. Do you understand?"
"I-I understand. P-Perhaps I will make a friend."
"I can only hope."
"Wait, so I will be able to use all of my powers? I'll still be able to turn into the wind? I'll be able to do Winter magic? I'll be able to be invisible?"
"Yes, you will be able to do all of that, and because their atmosphere is different than ours, you'll be stronger as well. Just don't lose yourself."
"Good." Her Mother sighed out and looked to the magical platform she had enchanted. "Stand there, Elaina. It will only take a second, and you'll appear where you're needed."
"Where I'm needed?"
"Yes, there will apparently be someone who needs you as well, so that's why I've chosen 1712. It's when they need you. For what? I have no clue, but perhaps that will be your friend."
"Very well...I love you, Mother. So very much."
"I love you too, Elaina." Her Mother whispered out as Elaina stepped onto the platform, and she allowed the tears to fall down her face. "Be safe, my dear. Your Father will also be on Earth at this time, and he will be the Nightmare King. He will not know humanity, and if he ever does...I do not know how or when...or even if it's possible. Your half sister is there too...you will meet her when you meet the one who needs you."
"I understand, Mother. I'm ready."
"Good luck, my dear...and be yourself no matter what!" Her Mother placed her hand on one of the controls, causing the room to erupt into a brilliant white and golden light.
As the light dimmed, she found herself in a forest, and it was daylight. She then heard a voice near her. "It's as easy as one...WHOA! Two...Three!" She turned around and saw a boy dressed in clothing not unlike the clothing the commoners wore just outside of the palace her Mother was Queen of, and she watched as his maple brown eyes looked worried and frightened. She took it upon herself to turn invisible and inspect the scene closer. She watched him pick up a shepherd's staff, and he crouched low. "Alright now it's your turn. One..." As the girl that was obviously younger than him shifted her feet his panic seemed to grow a bit, but his voice stayed calm. "...That's it, that's it...Two...Three!" He yanked her body a good distance a way from the crack she was on, but his body ended up switching places with her. He got up and let out a light chuckle, but then he suddenly sank into the pond, the ice cracking violently beneath him."
"JACK!" The little girl cried, and at his name, Elaina felt it in her heart that this was who she was supposed to help, but how was she to help him now? He just sunk into the pond, and at that freezing temperature, he will drown very soon.
She watched as the family came running out of the house, not giving the young girl a second to mourn. "What happened!?"
"H-He...there was ice! The ice cracked...and Jack...he...we played hopscotch...he did it so that I wouldn't be afraid...and it worked...but I...he pulled me...and switched places with me...and I...he fell in! He fell in! He drowned! He...I..."
"It's alright, Sarah..." The woman who had to be their Mother hugged her tightly as tears fell down her face. "Let's go inside."
Night fell soon enough, and Elaina still didn't know how she was supposed to help Jack, but then she saw a moon beam shine down in the exact place that Jack had fallen in. The only family she knew of that could send moon beams or control them was the Royal Lunanoff family. She crept closer and watched as Jack was pulled out of the ice by the moon beam, but his eyes were an icy blue rather than maple while his hair was a gorgeous snow white color rather than the oak brown it had been. Jack had been pulled up to face the moon, and she heard the Prince's voice. "Your name is Jack Frost." Then, the moon beam gently set him down.
She watched as he looked at his clothes and then at the moon. 'My name's Jack Frost? Alright then, I guess that's a good name.'
Her eyes widened a great deal as she realized she could hear his thoughts, but then they widened even further as she felt her powers and magic thrum through her entire body, giving her a pleasant feeling, and she realized her Mother was right. She is far more powerful than she used to be. She continued to watch on as Jack walked along the ice, but then his foot tapped the staff, and something strange happened to it. It frosted. She then stepped out onto the pond to get a closer look at him, feeling the cool ice beneath her feet, but she didn't care at the moment, because she quickly noticed how his face lit up with pure delight at being able to magically frost two trees. Then, she watched as he practically danced on the pond, unwittingly giving it an eternal frost that will never melt, and in that moment, she felt her power thrum even more powerfully.
She started running with him, and decided that she would morph into the wind, and lift him up into the air so that they could dance in the air. 'My name is Elaina, but if you want, you can call me Wind or Wendy as those are my nicknames.' She told him, and they were the truth. Those were the nicknames her sister gave her a long time ago.
'Your name is Elaina? Nice to meet you. I'm Jack Frost...I was just born today...I think. The moon gave me my name.' At his words, she lost her grip on him in disbelief, and she couldn't believe that he didn't remember just sacrificing his life for a little girl that had to be his little sister with how similar they looked. She wonders for a moment if the Lunanoff Prince knew what he did, but then she painfully realizes that he didn't cause the amnesia. It was because he died completely and then was brought back to life.
She then winced as he hit a tree branch, but apparently didn't mind, because he started laughing despite himself. 'Are you alright?'
'Yeah, I'm alright. Hey, what's that over there? Those lights?'
'That's a village. Would you like for me to take you?' She asked carefully, not knowing what to expect with this world.
'Alright, hold on tight, and see if you can't fly with me. I can sense you have it in you. You just have to learn to move with me.' She lifted him into the air and was pleased to feel him genuinely try to fly with her, but then he stumbled and almost crash landed into the dirt at the village. She watched him laugh it off, and she found that she liked him best when he was smiling or laughing.
"Hello!" He greeted happily, but no one seemed to see him. Then he tried many times and even tried to get a woman's attention, but to no avail.
'It's like they don't see him...' She thought only to herself with a furrowed brow as she morphed back into her invisible form while walking alongside him.
"Oh! Excuse me! Can you tell me where I..." Suddenly, the boy he tried to speak to walked right through him.
'I...they don't see me...WHY!? I'm right here!' He thought loudly, and Elaina winced at the pain that was voiced in his thoughts. She then decided to walk back with him to the pond rather than flying, and what she found there surprised her to no end, causing her to appear in her visible form.
"Emily!?" She asked, causing Jack to jump in surprise.
"Who are you!? Either of you!?" He asked desperately just before sighing out. "What's the use, neither of you see me."
"I see you, Jack Frost." Emily answered politely as her long ebony hair danced in the nature wind as her soft silver eyes looked at Jack with sympathy. Her green dress that was almost eerily similar to Elaina's but was green in color flowed beautifully behind her as she walked towards them.
"I see you as well." Elaina tried to console him.
Then, his eyes widened at her. "You! You're the voice I was speaking to! Wendy! But you also said your name was Elaina."
"Let's stick with Wind or Wendy for right now." Emily chuckled low. "It's good to see you, sister."
"It's good to see you too, but why are you here? Not like Earth here...but the pond here."
"I'm here for Jack. He is an Elemental AND a seasonal. There are only three other beings like him. Hello, Jack. My name is Emily, and I am known as Mother Nature. I am also known as the Queen of Nature. This is my sister Elaina. It seems you will be seeing a lot of us from now on."
"Why?" He asked with a slight tilt of his head.
"Because, as it stands, you have no home. No place to rest, and no place to eat."
"I need to rest? I need to eat?"
"Oh..." Her eyes widened and then softened quickly in sympathy and understanding. She looked to Elaina who gave her a sad nod. "...alright then, yes, you do. All beings must eat, sleep, exercise, and play. You must also learn how to control and hone your skills. If you come with me, you will have the constant opportunity to do all of that."
"Why was I walked through?"
"Because...you're like me and so many other spirits. You have to be believed in to be seen. I am believed in, so they see me. You and Elaina however, will not be seen. That being said, she enjoys being invisible anyway, so there's that."
"It's true." Elaina shrugged, glad that her big sister was offering Jack a home. "May I come too, Emily?"
"Of course! You're a part of him now."
"A part of him?" She asked carefully.
"Oh yes! The two of you have a link unlike any other. The two of you can communicate telepathically, and if you direct it at ONLY one another, no one else, not even myself will be able to hear you. I suspect Jack will be able to do that with one other person, but that is yet to be seen. Now, Jack, will you accept my offer?"
"I...well...I do want to learn more about my powers."
"Good!" She grinned brightly and waved her hand, conjuring a portal. "Step through, and I will be right behind both of you. It leads to my own domain. It's on a separate plane of existence, but my spirits all know how to get there. I'll give you the ability tomorrow, I promise."
"A-Alright..." He stuttered out as he walked through with Elaina by his side. Once they walked through they were both taken back for separate reasons. Jack's reason was that he was looking at a grand castle that was as black as Elaina's and Emily's hair, but was bright on the inside. There were different types of gardens with food and flowers everywhere, and there were many different types of trees, but it seemed like a dense forest that went on forever, and probably did. "Wow." He breathed out.
"Emily...you made a duplicate of my castle?"
"You used to live in a castle?" Jack asked as he whipped his head around to look at them.
"We both did." Emily chuckled. "Now, Jack, since you are BOTH a seasonal and an Elemental, you will be my General of Winter. You will...in a sense...be the King of Winter. We have someone who is nicknames the Snow Queen, but she has constantly refused to be my General. She says she's waiting for a worthy General, and I believe that to be you. You will meet her tomorrow, I promise. I will gather the rest of the Generals, and her as well. First, let me show you to your room."
"O-Okay..." They followed her all the way to the top of the castle, where they both noticed five doors. "Five doors?" Jack questioned with a slight chuckle.
"Yes, the one in the middle at the end of the hallway is mine. The other four belong to my Generals. Your room will be closest to mine, Jack. Come." She commanded gently and waved a hand over the door knob, which then changed the ordinary oak door into a brilliant white door with an icy design that held frost patterns and snowflakes. She opened the door, and motioned for Jack and Elaina to walk through. When they did they noticed two more doors on the inside, but they were more focused on how grand the room was. It was extremely large, and the bed that was off to the far left in the middle of the left wall was as big as two king size beds put together. It had blue satin fitted and layered sheets while the blanket was a large white comforter with blue snowflakes embroidered into the pattern. The pillows mimicked the blanket. Then, on either side of the bed there was a nightstand that could be a miniature dresser.
Both of them then noticed the entire ceiling was a sky light, and they could see almost every star in the sky. The floor beneath them seemed to be made of white marble, and the walls were painted silver, but seemed to be also made of marble. Elaina looked over to the dressers, and the third door she hadn't noticed. "Jack, look! You have a closest and dresser!" She shouted excitedly as she pointed to the large dresser that was obviously made of pine that was painted many times over and coated with a shining coat of paint. It had twelve drawers and the outer lining of each drawer was painted silver. The door next to it matched.
"Wow!" Jack breathed out as he walked further into the room. "What are the other two doors?"
"Oh, that door right there..." Emily started as she pointed to the door directly in front of Jack's bedroom door on the other side of the room. "...leads to Elaina's room. I created it when I conjured the inside of the room. The door next to that is your bathroom. She'll have one of her own in her own room, so neither of you have to worry about sharing a bathroom."
"Thank you, Emily."
"No problem." She hummed. "There's just one thing. Names are important to the spirit world on Earth. So, both of you have to call me Mother Nature outside of the Domain. While we're here, it's okay. However, most of my spirits just call me Mother."
"How many 'children' do you have, sister?" Elaina snorted out as she grinned wickedly.
"More than you think, Wendy." She sighed out. "They would all technically be your nieces and nephews in a way, but I'll tell them that when I see them. That way they don't wonder why you and Jack don't call me Mother. Oh, and Elaina, your room is the same as your old room. Your bathroom as well."
"Again, you're welcome. You'll also find that the dressers and closets are enchanted. It will conjure whatever clothes that would suit you and that you would like. The dirty clothes hampers will instantly clean them and teleport them back into their proper places at the bottom of the clothing piles in the dressers or in the closet. Now, I will allow you two to rest."
"Thank you, Emily." They chorused together just before she shut the door.
"You're welcome." She smiled at them as she clicked the door shut.
"So..." Elaina breathed out. "...some first day, huh?"
"Yeah." He chuckled low. "So, you and Emily are sisters? How?" He asked curiously as he went to sit on his bed.
Elaina followed, and sat next to him while he crossed his legs with childlike fascination. "Well..." She breathed in. "...since we'll pretty much be together all the time now...you might as well know. We have different Mothers, but our Father is the same. My real Father was also her Father. However, she had Father when he was at his best. He was sane, and wonderful, and pure, and good at that time. I had Father after he was corrupted by darkness, fearlings, and nightmares. He was supposed to guard a large black gate, but the darkness tricked him into opening it, and it consumed him. He then turned into the Nightmare King. He goes by Pitch Black or the Boogeyman as well. When he was able to fight off the darkness for a little over a year, he fell in love with my Mother, and she fell in love with him. She then got pregnant with me, and for a while, I grew up with Emily, Mother, and him in our palace that we shared, but it only lasted so long. It's the story that's not told in the books, because it's not meant to be told. It wasn't common knowledge, and only the palace and those in it knew, and they didn't dare tell anyone where the Nightmare King was while he was sane. Anyway, we lived like that for a while, but when I turned thirteen, the darkness consumed him again, and he left. He then apparently charged her with the task of sending me forward in time and to a different planet. So, now I'm here. This is my first day on Earth, and I was sent to you, because apparently you need me."
"Wow, that's one hell of a backstory." He laughed out.
"And wow, who knew you would cuss."
"Yeah, I didn't know I would do that either." He furrowed his brow at himself. "I guess...I'm gonna figure out a lot about myself, huh?"
"I'd say. So, tell me what you know about yourself. Think about stuff you're sure you would like or dislike. We're going to be by each other's side for a long time, might as well be friends right?"
"RIGHT!" He shouted happily. "Hmm...well let's see...I think...no...I know that I like to climb trees, I like to play, I like to play pranks on others, I enjoy shadow puppet plays, but I think I like being the one to do them more. What else...Oh! I like looking up at the stars, and I like to dance. I DON'T like beets, and I don't like seeing other's unhappy or scared." Jack once again furrowed his brow at himself before looking up at Elaina. "But how do I know this stuff? I was born today."
"You're very different Jack Frost, believe me. Perhaps...it's an instinct. Take it when you can, and don't question it. If you know something about yourself, cling to it and never lose yourself."
"I'll try." He nodded his head, but then smirked at her. "So, tell me about you?"
"Yeah, that's what I said."
"Alright, well, I can do different types of magic and I have different types of powers because I was born out of both light and dark forces. My Mother being the light, my Father being the dark. My favorite magic to use is Winter Magic, but I can also use light and dark magic. For light magic, I can distort light and make things visible that usually aren't visible, or that aren't supposed to be visible. I can also cause bursts of light. There's also the fact that I can heal others with my magic. As for Dark Magic, I can keep myself hidden, I can turn invisible, I can also use the darkness that my Father controls, but he doesn't know that. I can see in the dark, and I can help someone else to see just as well as I do in the dark. OH! I almost forgot! My Mother, she was part of the League of Star Captains even though she was a Queen, and she was known as the Queen star captain! The League of Star Captains unlocked wishing stars and granted sweet dreams with dream sand! I can do that too. See?" She opened her palm and golden sand came out of it.
"I-Is that dream sand?"
"Yeah! Just don't let it get in your eyes, otherwise you'll fall straight to sleep."
"That's so cool!" He bounced up and down. "So...I have to ask though..." He tilted his head as she made the golden sand disappear. "You said your real Father...so...who was your other Father? And...well...you don't have to answer if you don't want to...but...which did you see more as a Father than the other?"
"It's fine, I'll answer it. My other Father was who my Mother Married after Father left. I was about fifteen almost sixteen at the time. His name was Sanderson, but most everyone called him Sandy. He was short, like...four and a half feet tall short, but my Mother loved him. I think she may have loved him more than she loved my real Father, and if I'm going to be completely honest...I saw him as more of a Father than Pitch. He treated me like his own daughter. Emily didn't mind, and she said she was happy that I found a Father figure other than our real Father. He was kind, wonderful, fierce, funny, mischievous...in fact...Mother blamed him for my mischievous nature."
"Wait...but you said...you said almost sixteen...you look seventeen or eighteen though."
"Age is different for us, and I can tell it'll be different for you. Let me see." She hovered her hand over Jack's head and heart, and she felt it in her chest. She felt his mental and physical age and where they would stop. "Well..." She said as she opened her eyes. "Your mentally and physically fourteen, but your mental age will stop near where mine has stopped. Yours will stop at eighteen. Mine stopped at nineteen. However, you'll always look like this. This is where your physical age is stuck, just like mine is stuck at seventeen."
"That's interesting." He blinked at her. "So, tell me more about your Father."
"No! If you don't consider him your Father, then he wasn't your Father. He was just someone you shared blood with. The other one...Sandy!"
"Oh well, let's see...he was also a bit of a prankster, he was patient, caring, understanding, and...he was Mute."
"Mute. It means that he couldn't speak. So, he used dream sand to be able to communicate. Here, this is what he looked like." Elaina held out her hand again, and conjured a dream sand version of Sandy in his robes with his hands held out and a smile on his face as his spiky hair stood tall.
"Wow, so that's Sandy?"
"Yup. He was one of the Generals of the League of Star Captains. That's how he met my Mother. They met on a mission together, and fell in love the moment they spoke to each other."
"Well, he sounds like he was a good man."
"He was, and who knows...probably still is if he survived the battle." She let out a soft chuckle as she made the dream sand version of Sandy disappear. "You know...I even remember the day he asked my Mother if he could adopt me as his own. She was overjoyed and so was I. It was supposed to be a private conversation, but I turned myself invisible so I could hear it, because for once...in the whole time I knew him, he seemed incredibly nervous. Once he asked my Mother that though...I immediately made myself visible and leapt at him, wrapping him in the tightest hug I could. I told him I would love to be his daughter and to have his last name. I had little to no love for my real Father, because even though I could tell he loved my Mother and my Mother loved him AT THE TIME, I knew that it wouldn't last...and he was a bit frightening anyway. Anyway, I'm a hundred percent certain I loved Sandy more, and that's why I'll always consider him my Father. So...I know that Emily said that names are important, but I think I'll decide to trust you with mine. My name is Elaina Aurora Mansnoozie."
"Your last name is Mansnoozie?" He snorted lightly.
"Yup, funny sounding I know, but I'm proud of it."
"So, I know this may sound rude, but how old are you actually? You told me that you were mentally nineteen and physically seventeen, but how old are you actually?"
"I'm a little over a thousand years old. I'm technically immortal, so actual age doesn't matter much. Now, that being said...I'm immortal by age and any type of aging, but I can still die if I'm injured or wounded."
"Got it. I'll keep you safe then."
A slight warmth graced her cheeks, and she didn't know why, but she smiled at him anyway. "Thank you. Now, I think we both need rest. We both have a big day tomorrow." She got up from the bed, and walked over to her bedroom door. "Goodnight, Jack."
"Goodnight, Elaina." He smiled at her as he made his way to his dresser for a night shirt.
When Elaina got up and got dressed she put on a golden sundress that had short sleeves and orange flowers at the bottom, she then slipped on her black sandals that she found, and was glad that everything was truly like in her old room. She put her hair up in a pony tail, and walked out of her bedroom door into Jack's room, and noticed he had changed his clothes as well. She saw that he was wearing a shirt similar to the one he was wearing, but he wasn't wearing the vest or cape from before. The shirt was an ice blue like his eyes, but a slight shade darker, and his pants were the same, but these were black instead. "Good morning, Jack. Not gonna wear shoes?"
"No, I don't like shoes. I figured that out the second I tried a pair on. So, no. No shoes." He chuckled low as he looked up at her. "You look beautiful, by the way."
"O-Oh?" She asked, once again not knowing why she felt a warmth in her cheeks, so she shook it off.
"Yes, now, come on, I think Emily's waiting on us." They both walked out the door and noticed that Emily was leaning up against the wall next to their door with a patient look on her face.
"Done? Good. Let's go. The other Generals are meeting in the dining hall where breakfast also awaits you, and like I promised, Jack...the Snow Queen is with them."
"Alright. Lead the way, Emily." They followed her all the way to the first floor of the castle and into the dining hall where four other spirits waited for them.
"Everyone, this is Jack, and this is Elaina, but she'll be known as Wind or Wendy. She is Jack's spirit."
"I-I'm WHAT!?" Elaina shrieked as her face flushed in embarrassment.
"Don't think anything of it." A man with hair that resembled an orange Autumn leaf in the middle of changing stepped for with amber eyes. He was dressed in orange, yellow, and red robes that wrapped around him tightly and had short sleeves. His pants were actually similar to Jacks, but they didn't have the leather straps around them. "My name is Falldeen. I'm the General of Fall...or Autumn depending on how you want to say it. Anyway, don't think much of it. We each have our own spirit. It just means an elemental that is linked to us, and we can tell that you're linked to him. It's almost like a sixth sense. We can tell which spirit is linked to which General. He needs you just as much as you need him."
'...where you're needed...' He Mother's words echoed in her head, and she slowly nodded her head. "Okay then. I think I understand."
"Good." A man came forward with Azure eyes and a gentle smile on his tanned face. His hair was a ruby red color with orange tips at the end, and he was dressed in a nice yellow dress shirt, an orange vest, and black dress pants. However, he didn't wear any shoes. She then noticed that the General of Fall didn't either. "My name is Silas, and I'm the General of Summer."
"Good to meet you both." Jack stated with a polite smile, and all Elaina could do was nod her head in agreement as she shifted a bit closer to him.
"Hello, I'm the General of Spring." A woman came forward with a polite grin. She had ivory skin, and was wearing a long green dress that had many different types of flowers on it embroidered into the pattern. The long sleeves just barely covered her whole hands while the top of the dress hung from her shoulders that were littered with freckles. Her eyes were a deep forest green, and although her hair was short and gently brushed against the tops of her shoulders, it held vibrant colors of green and pink. "My name is Senna."
"Pleasure to meet you." Jack bowed with a hand over his heart.
"My, such a gentleman!" Another voice called, and a woman wearing a silver grown atop long snow white hair stepped forward. Her eyes were a shade lighter than Jack's but her skin was also a shade darker. Her dress was similar to Elaina's, but it was light blue with snowflake patterns instead. "My name is Kala, and I am the Snow Queen. It's good to meet you, my General."
"Wait...I'm YOUR General? You're a Queen though!"
"Yes, and you are welcome in my domain anytime, but as it is, you are the General of Winter, and therefore the King and Embodiment of Winter. You see...I am merely a seasonal. You are BOTH a season and Elemental. That makes you far more powerful than I, and therefore, you are my General and King."
"Wow...I'll...um...try to be a good General then."
"I know you'll be great. However, there is something you must know..." The Snow Queen trailed off as she heard the General of Summer clear his throat.
"Although we have control and rule over our other spirits, a lot of them don't get along with Winter spirits...so the three of us will apologize in advance."
"Okay...so you said that you all had other spirits...is that like what Elaina is to me? And do I have other spirits I don't know about?"
"Any and all Seasonal or Elemental spirits with the power of Winter are at your command." Emily answered. "There are many, and you will no doubt meet them, but they will sense your power, and immediately know who you are. They won't challenge you, because they will know if they do, they have me to deal with."
"Got it." He chuckled out. "Alright, so My name is Jack Frost, and I am the General of Winter. A pleasure to meet all of you."
"Good, now let's eat. Afterwards, we can work on your training." Emily smiled and urged everyone to sit and grab whatever they wanted to eat.
"Alright, Jack..." Emily started as she stood ready for a sparring match against her newest General. "...look within you, and give me what you got. First to land a blow three times wins. First to get the other on their back wins too."
"Alright." He nodded as he clutched his staff tightly. "Am I allowed to have Wind help me?"
"Yes, she is a part of you."
"Wind!" Jack voiced joyfully, and instantly Elaina was by his side.
"Yes, Jack?" She questioned happily, eager to join in on the sparring match against her sister.
'Can you still hear my thoughts?'
'Yes!' She smiled with excitement, and as she looked over to Emily, she noticed that it seemed that only they could be heard with one another, because she wasn't reacting in any way.
'Good, lift me up into the air and turn invisible!'
"As you command, my General!" She laughed out and did as he asked, but also morphed into the wind itself. She lifted him up into the air, and watched proudly as he closed his eyes for a brief moment, likely looking inside himself, and he found it. Once he found it, he immediately started moving along the wind with the grace and fluidity of a snowflake, which was a stark contrast to his fumbling from earlier, and as he flew about, he started attacking Emily with energy bolts of ice, but it missed, so he flew lower, and was met with a vine erupting out of the ground. 'Watch out, Jack!'
'Got it!' He mentally told her with a slight chuckle as he evaded the large whipping vine. He then flew faster in the Wind that Elaina had become and he quickly got behind Emily, and froze the ground beneath her with the bottom of his staff. Then, he stepped back and shot more ice energy towards her. However, when she made to move, she slipped and landed on her back, quickly ending the match.
"Well then!" The Silas laughed out. "Looks like Mother has her work cut out for her!"
"It seems so!" Senna giggled. "And that's match!"
Emily laughed joyously as if she had just got done with a good game, and she nodded her head as she melted the ice before getting up to stand. Once she was steady on her feet she looked at Jack and gave another nod with a slight chuckle. "Oh, you are going to be interesting to train."
"I'll try my best to never be boring." He smirked.
"Somehow, I don't doubt that. You remind me a lot of Elaina." She smiled back at him. "So, now with that quick match ended, how about we head back inside and you get to know your fellow Generals some more."
"I would love that, but what about spreading winter. It's January 2nd...doesn't Winter still need to be spread?"
"Well, would you look at that?" Falldeen gasped in awe. "He already has the strong sense to spread his season. It took each of us at least a week to get the sense. You MUST be powerful."
"Thank you?" He tilted his head at his fellow General, but still couldn't shake the question. "Seriously though...what about it?"
"What do you think you should do about it?" Emily challenged with a knowing grin.
"I..." He trailed off, and felt a strong yet warm urge to look to the Snow Queen, and he knew what to say, but somehow, he also knew where to send her, which was strange, because he hasn't known anything aside from the pond, the Domain, and what he's been told by the people he's met. "Kala, can you spread Winter in North America?"
"It would be my honor, General." She breathed out as she gracefully bowed for a moment before vanishing in a quick blue light.
"Well, that's going to take some getting used to."
"If it makes you feel better..." Senna started. "...I'm still not used to it, and I've been a General for a little over two hundred years."
"It does actually...Thank you." With that being said, he continued his night getting to know his fellow Generals, and he enjoyed hearing their stories and advice.
"Jack, can you come here a moment?" Emily asked as he was looking for a book to read in the library. "Elaina, you too."
They both walked over to her with curious and concerned glances to one another. "Is everything alright, Emily?" Jack asked carefully as they finally made it to where Emily was sitting.
"Yes." She answered with a small smile. "It has been exactly a hundred years since you joined me, and you have trained, you have struggled, you have endured, you have learned, and you have grown. You have become an excellent General to your spirits that have sworn allegiance to you. You've even helped around the castle with cleaning, cooking, and organizing...I think it's time the two of you left the Domain, and started seeing the world for yourself."
"Really!?" Jack and Elaina chorused together.
"Yes, really, but there is one condition for you, Elaina, and I must apologize."
"What is it?"
"Sandy...the one you saw as your Father...he lived, and he is known as the Guardian of Dreams for the children of the world. You must stay invisible or part of the air. You will understand why should the three of you meet, but with that being said, you will also know when the appropriate time to reveal yourself will be. Do you understand?"
"Yes, but do you understand what I said?"
"I-I do. It'll hurt, but I'll stay invisible and part of the air while outside of the Domain. Thank you for telling me, Emily."
"You are very welcome. Now, before you go..." Emily got up from her chair and gently tapped the top of Jack's staff, causing it to glow briefly. "There, now you will always have a way back. Just tap it against anything with ice or snow, and you'll be able to teleport right next to the castle in the Domain."
"Thank you, Emily. Does it work on getting us out as well?"
"Just tap it once against any surface beneath your feet and you will instantly be teleported to your pond. Mine you, it only works from getting in and out of the Domain. You'll have to fly to see everything else."
Jack nodded his head and tapped the crook of his staff against the floor of the library, and within the blink of an eye he was back at the pond he came out of. "Wow, she wasn't kidding."
"A hundred years of getting to know my sister and cooking with her, and you thought she was kidding?" Elaina asked as she crossed her arms.
"No, you're right, but you have to become a part of the air now."
She rolled her eyes and did as she was asked. 'Fly with me, Jack!'
'Anytime, Wind.' He chuckled out in his mind as they both lifted into the air. 'Wow! There's so much more up here! The village looks so different!'
'Of course it looks different, Jack. It's been a hundred years. Now, come on, let's go see what we can learn together.'
'I can hardly see with how dark it is.'
'Let me help you.' She whispered and Jack could feel her hand being gently placed over his eyes, giving him a feeling of warmth and safety. When her hand was removed, his vision didn't exactly become brighter, but where it was dark, he could see it as clearly as if the moon were shining down on it. 'Better?'
'Yes! Thank you!' He laughed out with pure mirth as he flew into the nighttime sky. They flew for about two hours when they both suddenly noticed golden strands of sand flying around. 'Is that...'
'That's...that's dream sand! My Father is here! Let's go find him, Jack! I'll stay quiet and invisible, I promise! I just want to see him!'
'You got it, Elaina.' Jack followed the dream sand further and further and then higher and higher. Then, he found him. He flew up to him and gently tapped him on the shoulder, seemingly startling him. "H-Hi." Jack said as Sandy turned around to face him.
'H-He looks the same as I last saw him.'
"Who are you?" Sandy said with his symbols. "Never mind, there's no way you can understand my symbols after just meeting me..." Sandy rolled his eyes and turned around.
"Well, that wasn't very nice. I do in fact understand you. I can hear your inner voice as clearly as I can hear my own voice speaking to you."
'YOU CAN HEAR HIS INNER VOICE!? Not even Mother or I could do that!'
Sandy whipped around with widened eyes as he stared at Jack in complete shock. "You can hear my inner voice!?"
"YES!" Jack laughed out. "I can hear you as you show your symbols."
"Hmm..." Sandy hummed with a mischievous smirk, and he could see that Elaina was right, because they shared the same smirk. 'What about now?' He heard Sandy think WITHOUT symbols, causing him to smile.
"Yes, even then." Jack nodded his head.
"Wow! Very very few people are able to do that with me. Well..." Sandy held out his hand with a stunned smile as he floated on his dream sand cloud. "...my name is Sandman, but most everyone calls me Sandy."
"Jack Frost." Jack answered as he shook Sandy's hand. "Pleasure to meet you."
"Likewise. So, what is it you do, Jack Frost?"
"You can just call me Jack. The other spirits do."
"Others?" Sandy asked as he continued to deliver dreams with a risen brow. "I haven't seen you before. I'd remember that hair for certain." He snorted in his mind.
"Ah, well, after the moon told me my name, Mother Nature took me in as one of her spirits. I'm a Winter spirit."
"A Winter spirit?" Sandy hummed. "What kind? Seasonal or Elemental?"
"Both, actually." Jack admitted, but apparently that was the wrong answer, because Sandy was so stunned his dream sand cloud faltered, and he had to conjure another one. "Sandy?" He asked once Sandy was eye level with him, staring at him with wide eyes.
"Yeah. I'm both a Seasonal and an Elemental."
"B-But that would make you the...I mean...she had three already, but she was missing one, and I know that the Snow Queen refused, but if you're both she would've HAD to..." Sandy frantically ran a hand through his spiky hair before he let out a silent attempt at a calming breath. "Let me ask you this, and I want you to know that you are allowed to answer yes or no. I know this because I have been told so by Mother Nature herself...Are you the General of Winter?"
"Yes." Jack smiled as he furrowed his brow. "Why is that so shocking?"
"Well for one, you're obviously young, for two..."
"No, I'm really not." Jack chuckled out as he decided to use Elaina's gentle hold to sit on the middle of his staff like it was a bench. 'You alright, Elaina?' He asked carefully.
'Jack, I'm a thousand times stronger than any normal spirit. Emily has told you this. I can hold you as easily as you can hold a snowflake.'
'Just checking.' He hummed lightly.
"Then how old are you? Fly with me, and tell me." Sandy requested as he flew off to the west with Jack and Elaina following. Although, he still didn't know about Elaina being there.
"I'm a hundred years old. Well, Mother Nature says I'm SPIRITUALLY one Hundred years old. Today's my birthday actually. This was her birthday present to me I guess. This is the first time I've ever been out of the Domain. I know next to nothing about the world other than what I've read in books in her library, and believe me, there's a lot!"
"Wow...I'm not even gonna ask about your other ages, but um...the other reasons I was so shocked...well...have you been made aware of what being the General of Winter basically means?"
"Yes, I've been told in detail by the Snow Queen. I'm basically the King of Winter. I've been told I'm the embodiment of it."
"Right, well, that's not all." Sandy grinned as he came to a stop and started delivering more dreams with his many tendrils of Sand. "Think of Mother Nature as Queen of the world, okay? She hates this analogy, but it's fun to tease her every now and then with it...anyway, think of her as Queen of the world...and her Generals are the Kings and Queen that rule just under her. You are the second highest in command for Winter. You are the King of Winter, that much is certain, but being that means that your level of power is on par with Mother Nature's in the Winter aspect of things. You see, the Kings and Queen that rule just beneath her are more than Generals or Nature Nobility, they are EXTENSIONS of Mother Nature's power. To be the General, means that you are her most trusted spirit. So, with all of that...you are the General of Winter, the King of Winter, the Embodiment of Winter, Mother Nature's first in command for Winter, the Second in command for all of Winter and its' spirits, and you are her most trusted Winter spirit. So, try to understand my shock when I see a young looking spirit like you claiming to be both a seasonal and an Elemental. There are only three others like that."
"Ah, I see now...but I became the General of Winter the day the moon gave me my name."
"Yeah..." Sandy furrowed his brow as he slightly adjusted the direction his dream strands. "...that's another thing. Are you sure the Man in the Moon gave you your name?"
"Absolutely. It was a kind and gentle voice, but it almost seemed apologetic when he told me my name was Jack Frost. I haven't heard from him since though."
"Strange...well..." Sandy shrugged with a slight tilt of his head while the Sand returned to the dream cloud. "...then I have to ask, what caused you to come all the way up here and visit me?" He asked as he turned to face Jack, who was again sitting on his staff like it was a bench, swinging his legs back and forth.
"I saw the dream sand, and wanted to see where it led. I'm glad it led to you."
"Are you now?" Sandy blinked at him a couple times. "Why is that?"
"Well, I think I made a new friend. Unless...of course...you don't want to be friends. That's fine..."
"NO! It's fine! Believe me! It's more than fine! I would be a fool not to accept the friendship of someone who can hear my inner voice!"
Jack did a back flip with his staff in hand as he let out an overjoyed laugh. "YES! I've made a new friend!" He shouted with pure delight lighting up his features. 'And it just so happens to be the man you consider to be a Father to you, Elaina. Do you know what this means? You'll be able to see him more often now!'
'THANK YOU, JACK!' He heard her sob out with pure gratefulness in her tone.
"So did I." Sandy smiled. "Here, let's see what you conjure." Sandy grinned as he allowed a dream sand tendril to float in front of Jack.
"Y-You mean it? I can touch it? I thought if it gets in my eyes I'll fall asleep."
"It won't get in your eyes, don't worry." Sandy chuckled as he glanced down at the dream sand before looking back up at Jack. "Go ahead. It won't bite."
Jack held his staff tightly, allowing Elaina to gently hold him while he let out a hesitant hand. Once he touched the dream sand, it erupted into a dolphin that seemed to swim and out of the dream sand, causing him to bust out a hearty laugh as it swam around him and eventually started to swim backwards on it's tail. "That's amazing!" Jack said as the dream sand faded back into the dream cloud.
"No, what's amazing is that you were able to conjure that large of a dream." Sandy mentioned as he looked at his hands in awe. "I've done that for the other Generals, but their dreams stayed the normal or average size I usually see. They don't usually take a size that big unless I purposefully do it, but I didn't."
'Elaina, did you have something to do with that?' Jack asked quickly as he looked at the baffled expression on Sandy's face.
'Actually, no. That was all you. You must have some light magic too!'
'I have light magic?'
'It's the only way.'
Jack shook his head and scratched the back of his head. "Well, I'm not gonna complain about it. It was fun!"
"I'm glad you think so. You know, conjuring a dolphin means that you're able to experience trust in an emotional way. Not just in an instinctive or logical way. You see a person and feel you can trust them so you do. It also represents playfulness, a positive outlook on things or a strive to be positive. All in all, a good dream."
"Your the Sandman, is there such thing as a bad dream with you?"
"No, but the other Winter spirits I have allowed to touch my dream sand...they didn't have AS nice representations. Still nice and good, just not as positive."
"Ah, okay, gotcha. So...I told you how old I am Sandy, how old are you?" Jack asked carefully while mentally communicating with Elaina. 'Perhaps this way, you can get a range of just how far in the future you were really sent.'
"I am just a little over six billion years old."
"YIKES! You're ancient!"
Sandy snorted out a laugh as he shook his head, flying away from the village he just finished with. "Tell me something I don't know, Jack. I've seen more than most, and have lived through it all."
"I can't even begin to understand that. How did you stay sane?"
'WOW! I WAS SENT FAR INTO THE FUTURE!' Elaina breathed out in shock while Sandy and Jack continued their conversation.
"Well, it was never easy." Sandy admitted as they flew closer to another village. "For the longest time I was on my own, and I tried my best to have fun with everything, to dream big, to care, and continue to grant the wishes I could and deliver dreams, taking joy in what I did. Then, when I came to Earth...it was even more difficult. However, I had friends then, and it started to feel like a family. So, that helped a great deal. Considering I lost my own family."
'Elaina, is now the time to reveal yourself?'
'N-No...as much as I want to believe it is...it isn't. However, I want you to keep going. Keep talking. I'm enjoying this more than words can say.'
"You had your own family?"
"Yes." He answered with a reminiscently joyful smile. "I had a wife who I loved, and a daughter that I adored. Although, she wasn't originally my daughter...we weren't blood, but I loved her as my own, and those were some of the happiest years of my long life."
"Do your other friends no this?"
"No, actually, but I feel it in my heart that you're meant to know, and this may sound foolish...but I feel it in my heart like you're meant to be my best friend."
"I'm okay with that!" Jack laughed out with widened eyes. 'Is that alright with you, Elaina?'
'I'm perfectly fine with it!' She shouted with an overjoyed tone.
"Good..." Sandy let out a sigh of relief. "...didn't know how that was going to go saying that after just meeting you."
"Fine by me...say...what was she like?"
"Well, yes her too, I guess, but what was your daughter like?"
"Hmm...well, my wife was beautiful. She had the most beautiful sapphire colored eyes you'd ever seen, and she had long golden hair that hung in ringlets at her shoulders." At Sandy's words, Jack remembered how strikingly beautiful Elaina's eyes were, and they were just as blue as Sandy described. "She was caring, patient, witty, and stubborn as a mule. Once she set her mind to something, she was going to do it."
"She sounds like a wonderful woman."
"Oh, she was. Now, my daughter...she was as beautiful as her Mother. She had her eyes, and she had hair black as ebony. The way the moonlight would hit it made her look every bit the princess everyone knew she was. She was remarkable with her magic. She could control dream sand like I can, and did so with startling ease. She could also control forces of darkness and either use them for good, mischief, or she held them back from hurting anyone. Oh, and you would've liked her. She LOVED to do Winter magic and Light magic. She was a force of both Light and Dark, which was unheard of, but she was always good. However..." Sandy let out a soft chuckle as he finished with another village, and made his way to another with Jack and Elaina following close behind. "...she was quite the mischievous child. She would help me prank her Mother, she would use her winter magic for pranks and sometimes even her dark magic. She was kind, mischievous, gracious, troublesome at times, patient, understanding, intelligent, and just as stubborn as her Mother."
'I am NOT stubborn.'
'It's not very lady like to lie, Elaina.' Jack chuckled lightly. "Was she now?"
"Oh, you have no idea." Sandy smiled as he shook his head.
'Except I do, don't I Elaina.'
'Shut it, Jack.'
'Tsk tsk...is that any way to speak to your General.' Jack could hear the eye roll from her. "So, you said that you lost them...what happened?"
"Well..." Sandy scratched the back of his head as his sand retreated back into his cloud. "...there was a big battle a long time ago...and you may find this hard to believe, but it was out there, among the stars."
"I don't find that hard to believe at all." Jack stated calmly as he lightly shook his head.
"Truly?" Sandy questioned with a surprised expression. Jack nodded, and his eyes grew a bit wider. "Well then...well, there was a big battle among the stars...it was with my daughter's biological Father, and as I was fighting, I noticed that the Darkness, Fearlings, and Nightmares were attacking where I lived with my wife and daughter. I flew down to check on them, perhaps get them to safety. When I got there, I saw my wife in a room she was often found in..."
'The magic room!' Elaina gasped, but Jack was going to ignore it for now.
"...and when I got there, she was almost completely gone. She was holding on with what she had, and when she saw me, she reached out for me and told me that our daughter was gone. Then, she passed away. I flew throughout our home. I searched for any sign of her, any trace that could lead me to either what may have taken her, or where she may have...where she may have...died. However, I found nothing. So, all I had to assume with what I found of my home...was that she was turned into a fearling."
'A fearling is an awful creature. It's when an innocent gets corrupted by fear and darkness, and it...it changes them.'
"So, why was your wife where she was?"
"I have no idea. Probably to try and find a way to fight off the darkness. Anyway, enough about me, tell me a little about you? You're an interesting spirit, and certainly a patient and polite one."
'Polite is NOT a word I would use.' Elaina snickered to only Jack.
Jack smirked lightly and nodded his head. "Well, I thank you for your words, but I know some that would disagree. Now, let's see...what have I been told...Oh! I've been told I'm stubborn, carefree, patient, funny, childish...very childish, a bit brash, fierce, snarky...I've also been told I'm kind, a good listener, and when I feel something...I feel it A LOT."
"Like...friendship." Jack offered, which caused Sandy to smile brightly as he made his way to the next village.
"Is that so?"
"Yes, it is. I'm sorry about what happened to your family, by the way."
"It's not your fault, Jack. Now, come on, tell me more about you. I told you things about me that not even the other Guardians know. Do me the same favor, huh?"
"Sure, let's see...Mother Nature taught me how to cook early on with me being there, but it was mostly because she needed to find something for me to do other than create snowball fights in her Domain, and it kept me from pranking for up to two hours so there was that. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually."
"How is that comparative to what I told you?" Sandy remarked as he continued to fly with a slight smirk on his face.
"Because, as far as Mother Nature is concerned, I hate cooking. However, I actually have fun with it. There are so many different ways to cook things. Although...I can't stay near the heat for too long, so I often had to take a quick break, cool off, and then return to cooking. There's also the fact that I don't see Mother Nature the way her other spirits do."
"Oh? You don't?"
"Nope, can't. I can't call her 'Mother.' I can only bring myself to call her Mother Nature, and she's fine with it, but she's a good friend and excellent sparring partner. We're tied at the moment with a score of two hundred and forty, but no, can't see her like a Mother. I can PROBABLY see her as a sister, but even that's a stretch."
"Wait, back up! You're TIED with MOTHER NATURE in sparring matches!?"
"Yeah, you can ask any of my Winter spirits for confirmation. Why is that so strange? The other Generals were shocked too."
"Because, Jack, she's extremely powerful. She's the Queen of Nature. She holds all the powers of the elements and seasons on her own, and she's a fierce combatant. The fact that you're able to keep up is incredibly...astoundingly impressive."
"Thank you. Now, I could never say anything that compares even close to the family you had, but is that something like what you were hoping to hear?"
"Thank you for your words, and yes it was. I wasn't expecting that. Now, as much as I would like to get to know you more, and for you to know me more...seeing as we're friends now...you should probably go see the world, and besides, it's not much of a friendship if we figure everything out in one night."
"Alright, see ya later then, Sandy."
"Farewell, Jack. Stay out of trouble."
"Nah!" Jack waved a dramatic hand at him. "That's no fun!" He laughed out before allowing Elaina to pull him away to the south. 'Elaina, are you alright?'
'I am. It just hurts that he thinks I was turned into a Fearling.'
'Someday he'll know. Emily said that someday you'll know when the time is right.'
'I hope the both of you are right. I'm just thankful you befriended him. That way I can see him when you do.'
'It wasn't just for you, you know. I wanted him to be my friend.'
'I know. I could tell. Now, let's go see with the South of North America has to offer.'
"Jack, c'mon! Wake up!"
"Oh..." Jack groaned as he tossed in his bed, feeling the sunlight on his eyes. "...no! I don't wanna get up."
"Sure you do! Do you know what today is!?" Elaina asked as she stood next to his bed with her hand on his covers. She never usually woke him up, but she knew what the others had planned for him today so she couldn't help but be excited.
"No...should I?" He smirked beneath the covers.
"Of course you should! It's your birthday! It's been a hundred and thirty-eight years since Manny gave you your name!"
"Alright, alright. I'm up." He laughed out lightly as he sat up in his bed. He then heard a very audible gasp from Elaina. He looked over to her, and noticed her cheeks were red. "Elaina? Are you alright? Your cheeks are red. Do you have a fever or something?"
"N-No. I'm fine. I um...just didn't think you would get up so quickly is all." She told him, but on the inside she was practically screaming at herself for sounding so ridiculous. 'What's wrong with me!?' She asked herself in a way that Jack wouldn't hear. 'You think I would stop acting like this after all this time!'
Jack tilted his head, but then looked down at himself. "Oh...I apologize...I hadn't realized I had gone to bed shirtless."
'YEAH! YA THINK! I've never seen you shirtless before! Usually you're in nightclothes!' She shook her head, and tried to put on her best smirk. "Why ARE you shirtless anyway?"
"Well, like I said, I hadn't realized I had gone to bed this way. I would usually put on nightclothes, but Falldeen challenged the rest of the Generals to a drinking competition and that included me."
"Did you win?" She asked carefully as she let out a sigh. 'That makes sense now, but still!'
"No, I came in second. Senna came in first. However, Falldeen came in last and that was hilarious! He crashed before we did. Then he was followed by Silas. Senna had me beat by one. I'm not sure of one what...but she beat me by one, I know that much." Jack looked back at her and tilted his head, starting to genuinely feel worried about her. "Are you sure you're alright?"
'No!' She mentally screamed, because she realized she was still blushing, but she nodded her head instead. "Yes, I'm fine. Now, c'mon and get dressed. I know what's planned for you today!"
"Oh, now that's not fair!" Jack laughed as she walked out the door.
"I'll be waiting outside your room." Elaina made her way out of his room, and quietly shut the door behind her before letting out a breath of relief that she was away from that sight. 'SERIOUSLY WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME!' She screamed.
"What do you mean?" She heard Emily's voice just next to her and realized that they left the rooms at the same time.
"I well...I went to wake Jack up and..." She briefly looked at the door, and allowed the rest of the thought to form in her mind as she tried to calm herself. 'I went to wake him up and he was shirtless...I became speechless and I was BLUSHING! I don't know why, but I was!'
Emily's eyes go wide for a brief second before she starts doubling over with laughter. "Oh, how can you be as old as you are and be so innocent!?"
"What!? What are you talking about!?"
"Okay, since I can tell he's going to take a shower, how about you and I have a chat."
"Okay?" She asked as she crossed her arms.
"Good, now, I'm going to ask you some questions, and I want you to answer them as honestly as you can...even if it's embarrassing, alright?"
"Will it help me figure out what's wrong with me?"
"Hopefully. If you don't know by the end of this conversation, I don't know what to do with you." She smirked and earned a quick nod from Elaina. "Good, now, first question. Do you blush around the others?"
"No." She answered with a look of concern.
"Okay, so you only blush around Jack?"
"Y-Yeah, and usually when it involves him or when he compliments my dress or how I look."
"Alright, third question. When you're with him...does your heart start to beat really fast sometimes?"
"Yes. When we're sparring or when we're playing, but I figure that's just due to the amount of activity we're doing at the time."
"Right..." Emily nodded her head with an amused smirk. "...next question. What do you feel when you're around him? Remember, you said you would be honest."
"Well...when I'm around him...I feel warm, happy, content, giddy almost...and when he smiles or laugh I can't help but follow. I don't like it when he's sad or angry. I want him to always be happy, and when I'm the reason that he smiles again, I feel...really warm and proud. When ever he's down, I want to lift him back up. When we're sparring, we're having fun, and it's like we're dancing when we spar. He's ahead by five points, but that's okay. I love seeing him use his Winter powers. He has so much fun with it, and it...it makes me really happy when he does that, and the way he trusts me in the air...I can't describe it, but I'm grateful...but sometimes, when he hugs me and thanks me for something, I feel my cheeks get warm like they do when he compliments me or like when I just saw him shirtless."
"Okay, and final question. Have you ever heard of the phrase 'Love at First Sight'?"
"I...o-of course, but I..."
"Extra bonus question to go along with that question...have you felt like this since the beginning? Since you met him?"
"I..." As the questions, answers, and Emily's curious gaze finally sunk in, Elaina's eyes widened and she placed a hand to her now pounding heart.
"Ah, I think you've got it, but just so we're on the same page...what did you just realize?"
"I...I'm in love with Jack...and it was love at first sight...but...how is that even possible? Wouldn't I have known? I thought it only existed in fairy tales and fiction! All this time, and I haven't noticed..."
"I have no idea how you didn't know. I thought you've known since the second day of being in the Domain and were just being quiet about it. Watching the two of you...it's a cute sight, but watching you react to him is adorable. You're so smitten with him it's ridiculous, and I thought you knew this entire time!"
"I-I didn't! I...Emily what am I going to do?"
"I guess...keep on like you have been until you get the courage to tell him. Although, since you know now, it most certainly won't be an easy ride for you. You know what I have planned for him today."
"Yeah, it was your's and Senna's idea after Jack mentioned he would love to attend a ball like in the books he's read."
"Good luck, Elaina." Emily sighed out with a slight smile.
"You're enjoying this aren't you?"
"A little. I didn't expect you to be so oblivious."
Once Emily was gone from sight after heading down the stairs, Elaina heard the door open behind her and out came Jack wearing a white dress shirt, a sapphire blue vest that had white frost patterns on it, and his pants were the same leather wrapped pants as usual, but theses were also sapphire blue. "So, how do I look for my birthday?" Jack asked and he quickly spun around.
"Good. You look good." She stated as she felt her cheeks warm again at his smile, and his appearance. 'And now that I know...it makes everything ten times that more obvious and difficult! THANKS EMILY!'
She heard a soft giggle enter her mind followed by, 'You're welcome, dear sister.'
"So, we should get downstairs, huh?" Jack asked as he made his way to the stairs.
"Yeah, we should. Oh! You're gonna love it!" She exclaimed as she found herself falling back into habit as he walks away. She falls back quicker than she thought. 'Perhaps...it really has been this way the whole time.'
"If you had anything to do with it, I'm sure I'll love it."
'Then again...' She thought to herself as her heart skipped a beat. "Oh you will."
After they had gone stairs, Jack hadn't noticed anything different. The Generals were there, and so was the Snow Queen which was rare these days, but nothing that screamed birthday, so he simply shrugged and ate his breakfast with the rest of the spirits. Then, when everyone was done and after everyone got up from their seats, he watched as the tables disappeared one by one along with the food. "Um...what's going on?" He asked as he looked at a smirking Elaina and Emily.
"Your birthday present, Jack." Elaina grinned, and watched as instruments off to the corner became enchanted to play themselves.
"Wait...a ball? Like in the books? You can't be serious?" He beamed brightly, causing a loud thump in Elaina's chest that she had to force herself to ignore for now. "I was only joking."
"Yes, well, forgive us if we took you seriously." Elaina hummed with a slight smirk.
"Well, it IS my birthday..." Jack trailed off with a wide smile as he stepped forward towards Elaina. He then bowed with one hand over his heart and the other extending out to her. "...would you like to dance, my lady?"
"I-I would." She stuttered out as she took his hand, and instantly felt warm from the always surprising warmth that accompanied his hands. She allowed herself to be led in a waltz by Jack, and marveled at how well of a dancer he was. "When did you learn how to dance?"
"I didn't. Just a talent I suppose." He hummed as he looked down at her. "When did you?"
"When I was five."
"Ah, so a long time ago." He concluded as he spun her around.
"Very." She confirmed once she was back in his arms.
"So, you don't think my joking request for a ball was too girly then?" He asked as he spun them around together to the beat of the drum that kept a steady and gentle beat.
"No. Who's ever heard of a King that didn't want a ball every now and then."
"Did you have balls from where you came from?"
"Yes, way too many to count."
"Huh..." Jack smiled down at her as they continued to dance. 'How's my dancing then?'
'It's wonderful if I'm going to be honest.'
'Can Emily read my mind if I speak to you like this?'
'She hasn't before. I've asked her. She says as long as we're directing it at each other, she can't hear it.'
'Alright, well, may I ask why you were so flushed this morning?'
'I...but you already asked.'
'No, you see, I asked if you were okay because you looked like you had a fever. Then, just as I go to reach for my door knob, I hear the most interesting thing on the other side of the door.'
'Wh-What did you hear!?'
'Nothing much...just you saying that you were in love with me. How long do you think I take my showers?' He snickered lightly as he spun a shocked and embarrassed Elaina. Once her hand was back in his he sent another gentle smile her way.
'Yes, and although you may be embarrassed, I think you'll feel a bit at ease if I tell you it's not unrequited.'
'No, we can discuss it after my party if you'd like. I'll tell you everything. I'll even give you exact dates that I started to realize it...I just have to ask...um...if we do...um...get together...what are we going to do about Sandy?'
'I...that's a good question. It's still not the right time for him to know. I know that much.'
'Well, we COULD have a relationship now, and when he does find out you're alive...then I can beg for forgiveness for not only knowing your alive and not telling him, but for being with you without his permission...and then I could ask for his official permission.'
Elaina looked directly up at Jack with widened eyes and a bright smile. 'Um...are you sure? I mean...a relationship? It...it sounds like you're trying to court me...'
'And if that WERE the case?' Jack smirked as he noticed the others started to join in the dance. Senna danced with Falldeen and Kala danced with Silas while Mother Nature watched on with joy and pride in her eyes.
'Now you see why I was a bit worried, but like I said, we could be in a relationship if you want, and I can beg him for forgiveness for eternity after he discovers both what I knew since the beginning and the fact that I would've been in a relationship with his daughter for who knows how long.'
Elaina started to actually giggle as they continued to dance. 'You know, it's funny...' she hummed in her mind. '...around the same thing happened with my Mother and Sandy, my Father. Mother and Father were together in secret for nearly a full year before Father gathered the courage to speak to her Father. He was a forgiving man and found it incredibly amusing. He told Father that he didn't have to worry about courting her. He could see how in love they were and gave his blessing for Father to marry Mother.'
'Wow, that's impressive.'
'Yes well...to answer you...I would like to do that. I would like to be in a relationship with you...if you um...really want that...that is...'
'I do.' Jack smiled at her. 'It'll certainly be interesting from now on, but yes, that's what I want.' He answered as he held his hand on her hip, pulling her closer to him, their breathing noticeable to one another, and they were both breathing fast. 'Is it what you want?' He asked as he noticed her blush increase.
'I...yes. I...already said that...' Her mind was slowing down as she stared into his ice blue eyes that were looking at her with a softness she's never seen or noticed in his eyes before.
'Good. That's good. Then...I'll tell you everything after the celebrations.'
'Yes, and you should know, there's going to be lunch, then more dancing and even games, and it'll be the same for Dinner.'
'Thanks for the heads up.'
'You're welcome.' She hummed with a smile as the song came to an end.
Jack slowly let go of her, but held onto her hand and gave it a gentle kiss on the back of it. 'We'll speak later then.'
'Y-Yeah...' She blushed once again, but this time she didn't mind. However, when she turned around to see Emily's reaction she saw a very satisfied and proud smirk while she drank whatever was in her cup.
"So!" Jack breathed as he walked into his room. It was nearing one in the morning after his celebration finally ended. He had danced with everyone more often than he cared to count. "Now, we talk."
"Yes, you have a lot to explain."
"Oh, I do? Well, I'm sorry, Elaina, but so do you."
"Yes, because for about ninety-five years, I thought that my feelings were unrequited, and then I hear you tell Emily that you're in love with me. Do you have any idea the amount of self control it took not to open the door right then? I nearly collapsed from it. So, how about we do this..." Jack trailed off with a sigh as he went to sit on his bed criss cross. "...come and sit, and you can ask a question, I'll answer, then I'll ask, and we'll go back and forth like that."
She nodded her head as she sat on his bed in front of him. "Alright. My first question is...when did you realize you were in love with me?"
"It was a sparring match. Something had upset you that day, and I offered to let you take your anger out on me, and that you did. It was October 11th, 1755. It was a sparring match you won, by the way. We were practically dancing, you and I, and I felt my heart pounding faster and harder the closer you got, and the fierceness you attacked me with was amazing and astounding. I then took a moment to look back on how we've been around each other in the years before, and if possible, my heart pounded even faster, because I realized that not only had I loved you all this time...since the beginning, but that I was very much so IN LOVE with you. Then, you got your ultimate point in, by using your winter and dark magic together, pinning me to the ground. You sat on my stomach and held an ice dagger to my throat, and your eyes, they were like starlight they were so beautiful. I surrendered the match, but I also surrendered much more than that...I surrendered my heart, because the second I saw your eyes looking at me with the pure pride, mirth, joy, and victory that they held, I couldn't do anything BUT surrender. However, every day and every year after that, I never thought you would return my feelings."
"I'm glad you think so. So, my turn. How long have you loved me?"
"Since I met you." She answered without hesitation and a proud loving grin on her face. "However, I didn't realize it until Emily and I spoke. it seems I've been oblivious for the past one hundred and thirty-eight years, but yes, I've apparently been in love with you since I met you."
"Wow..." Jack blinked a few times before his eyes softened a bit. "We're both a couple of fools aren't we?"
"Well, the adventures after today will certainly be interesting and fun."
"I'd have to agree. Now, my turn to ask a question. If you've been in love with me for ninety-five years...that means you were in love with me when we met with my Father for the first time. How nervous were you?"
"Extremely, but I meant it. He's my friend, and we've had great fun with him, haven't we."
"We have, but he still thinks I'm basically dead. Although, the time you beat him a sparring match was hilarious."
"It's not my fault he tried to challenge me in the middle of a blizzard."
"Oh!" Elaina laughed out joyously with pure amusement in her eyes. "And all of that snow piled on him! His face! It was price-" She was quickly cut off as she suddenly felt a hand on the side of her face and warm lips against her's. As surprised as she was, she found herself quickly melting into the kiss as she wrapped her arms around him. She then threaded his white hair through her fingers, gripping it gently and deepening the kiss. When it ended, they were both breathing heavily, and their foreheads met one another. "That was um..."
"I...I'm sorry...I couldn't help it...you...after knowing that you know, and you feel the same, and then hearing your beautiful laugh...I couldn't...I'm sorry."
"Do. Not. Be. Sorry." She told him in between kisses on his cheek.
He looked up at her, his breath still trying to come back to him, only for it to hitch in his throat. "Elaina, I...I love you."
"I love you too, Jack." She replied with a gentle and chaste kiss on his lips, causing him to lose his breath again.
"Oh, I'm not gonna be able to get used to that."
"You might...someday. At least now I know how to beat you in sparring matches."
"We'll see about that." He chuckled low and mischievously. "Now, we both need some sleep. We're going to Antarctica tomorrow...today...whatever."
Elaina hummed in agreement as she got off his bed. "Goodnight, Jack." She told him as she made it to her door.
"Goodnight, Elaina." He sighed out with a content grin on his face.
"Hey! Sandy!" Jack called out with Elaina invisibly by his side. He felt her quickly turn into the wind as they both lifted into the air together. After about fifty years of their confession, Elaina had taught Jack how to actually fly without her, but she still helps him, and flies with him.
"Hello, Jack! I haven't seen you in three months!" Sandy briefly looked down with a wide smile as he focused on his dream sand.
"I know, I know." He chuckled as he quickly made it to eye level with Sandy, and he proceeded to sit on his staff like a bench again. "So, how have you been? How are the other Guardians?" He asked as he started to swing his legs back and forth, watching the dream sand in the air.
"You mean you haven't met them yet?" Sandy sent a curious glance his way, and his eyes shone with a bit of concern.
"Nope, been avoiding them like the plague. Bunny I've met though, and he already doesn't like me."
"What year is it...let's see...it's the year 1900...how long ago was it that you ran into him?"
"It was ten years ago. I hadn't even done anything yet. He saw my hair, asked me if I was a Winter spirit, I told him yes, and he told me to stay out of his way."
"Yes, well, he IS a spring spirit, although, he doesn't work under Mother Nature at all."
"Yeah, you told me. He works under the moon, or specifically, Manny."
"Yes, but that doesn't mean he likes winter." Sandy sighed as he called back his tendrils of sand. "Now, to your question. I've been great. The dreams are getting more advanced and creative every decade, and as far as I know, North is doing well, Tooth has asked a lot about you after I finally told her that your teeth sparkle like freshly fallen snow."
"Oh, now why did you have to go and tell her a thing like that?" Jack pouted as he crossed his arms.
"Because, I think it's funny how you have a crush on her."
"I don't-" Suddenly Jack was pushed by a very knowable, and very invisible force, but he was pushed...OFF of his staff. "WIND! WENDY! GIVE ME MY STAFF! I CAN STILL DIE, YOU KNOW!"
'I'm sorry!' She shouted as she directed the wind she was controlling to give Jack his staff.
Once he grabbed it, he floated back up to Sandy's cloud with heavy breaths. "Sorry..."
'I guess I got a bit jealous.'
'You GUESS!?' Jack rolled his eyes.
"Wh-What did you say?" It was then that Jack noticed the complete look of shock as Sandy's eyes widened and his face paled.
"What...Sorry?" He asked as he felt a chill of panic rush through him.
"N-No...before that...you...you called out to...who did you call out to?"
"Oh, well...um...it uh...ever since Manny gave me my name I've been accompanied by a spirit of Mother Nature's the spirit of the Wind. I can communicate with her vocally and telepathically."
"And...her name is Wendy?"
"It's a um...a nickname is all. She's the Wind and everything. She helps me fly and makes it to where I'm able to sit in the air. Why?" Jack asked carefully. 'Elaina, are you alright? Is now the time?'
'No, it's not...' She sighed out with a saddened tone.
"It's...nothing. It's nothing. Never mind."
"No, Sandy, come on, you can tell me anything. We're best friends after all."
Sandy had a hopeful, but depressed look in his eyes, and Jack flinched back a bit at seeing such a look on the usually joyous and calm spirit. "You say it's one of Mother Nature's spirits?"
"Did you give her the nickname Wendy or did she?"
"The wind told me." He answered honestly. "However, I've had it explained to me that she's a part of me. A part of my magic and powers. Why?"
"Because...it was a nickname my daughter had. Both were her nicknames in fact. Mother Nature gave them to her. It was...the first time in a very very long time I heard anyone call another by those names."
"I'm sorry." Jack told him with a guilty expression. 'I'm sorry I can't tell you your daughter is alive and well and with me...not yet, and I am sorry I'm having to keep it a secret...'
"It's not your fault, Jack." Sandy sighed out as he flew away. "Fly with me, and tell me why you were knocked off your staff, and why you can't fly without it?"
"Ah, well, she's a jealous spirit, the Wind. You said that I had a crush on Tooth, which I don't, but she heard it and pushed me off in a small fit of jealousy. When I shouted at her that I can still die, I believe she instantly regretted what she had done."
'It's not my fault I love you so much.'
'Except it kinda is.' Jack smiled. "Yeah, she's an interesting one."
"I can tell." Sandy chuckled lightly. "So, you DON'T have a crush on Tooth?"
"No, I already have someone that I love."
"Oh!? Love is it?"
"Yes, very much so, and she loves me. However, for certainly reasons...painful reasons...it has to be kept a secret for now, so please don't ask more about her. Just know that I have someone that I love and that loves me."
"Very well. However, I would very much like to meet her someday."
"Believe me, Sandy, when the time is right YOU will be the first to meet her if I can help it."
"Good to know! So, why can't you fly without your staff?"
"I don't know..." He shrugged as he decided to sit on Sandy's dream cloud, and he felt Elaina wrap herself around him gently, still morphed as one with the wind. "...it's been like that since I can remember. It's a part of me somehow. I can still do Winter magic without it...extremely powerful Winter magic in fact...almost to an alarming degree, but I can't fly without it, and Wind knew that. That's why she pushed me off."
"Doesn't sound like much of a friend." Sandy mentioned as his eyes narrowed.
"She is, she just gets jealous sometimes."
"Wait a minute...she get's jealous, she tells you her name, she holds you up, she's ALWAYS with you...you...and the way you talk about her...you and the wind are in love, aren't you?"
"Well, damn..." Jack chuckled low as he rubbed the back of his neck, and could hear Elaina mentally gasping in shock. "...you figured it out, but you still can't meet her yet."
"What!? Why not!?"
"It has to be the right time. She can't show her physical form until the time is right."
"Wait...she has a physical form? What does um...what does she look like?"
"I'm sorry, but I can't tell you that. I promised. She's not ready to be seen yet, Sandy."
"Does Mother Nature know of your relationship?"
"Know of it!? She practically PUSHED it! I heard the two of them talking outside my door on morning and I find out she's in love with me and has been for a long time. I had loved her for a long time before that day, but she's apparently loved me since we first met, but yes, Mother Nature knows, and she's all smug and proud that she knew it before either of our oblivious selves continued on any further."
"It was that bad, huh?" Sandy smirked as he stopped to deliver dreams.
"I wouldn't even be able to describe how bad it was. It was over a century for her...and almost a century for me...we had been pining after each other in the dark thinking that our love was unrequited. I can understand why Mother Nature was frustrated."
"Wow, the two of you were truly oblivious weren't you?"
"Yeah, we were. Then, we danced together for the first time on my one hundred and thirty-eighth birthday, and we confessed to each other telepathically as we danced. It was the first time I had ever danced, and as first dances go, I won't ever be able to forget it."
"Oh wow, you're to the moon in love aren't you?" Sandy bellowed out a laugh as he jumped about his cloud, delivering many more tendrils of dream sand.
"Very much so."
"Hmm...and you promise I'll meet her someday?"
"That's what I hope, but she has to feel that the time is right, so it's up to her, really. Otherwise, she can't show herself anywhere but the Domain, and even if you came to the Domain, she has a bad habit of turning into the wind regardless."
"I see, well, I will wait then. You're a good man, Jack. She's lucky to have you."
'Oh...Father...if you only knew.' Jack heard Elaina mentally sob tears of happiness.
"Man? You know I'm a boy right?" He tried to continue and not focus on the heart breaking sound of tears coming from Elaina. Happy or not, it still hurt.
"No, you're really not. You're physically fourteen, sure, but mentally your eighteen or nineteen. Perhaps eighteen and a half, but no, you're no boy. You only look like one. However...at MY AGE? You're an infant."
"Yes, yes...you've told me how ancient you are."
"And don't you forget it! It means I'm wise, and more powerful than you."
"Ah, didn't we have a lesson in arrogance? We had a sparring match, didn't we? And speaking of which...I'm still ahead by two."
"Details." Sandy joked as he switched the direction of his dream sand.
"Details!? Details he says!" Jack laughed out, holding his stomach. "Oh, Sandy, don't tell me you're getting TOO up there in age."
"Watch it, boy." Sandy gently smirked with a tint of mischief in his eyes.
"I thought you just said I wasn't a boy."
"I also said that comparatively you're an infant. The actuality has nothing on a comparison."
"Alright, alright. I get it." Jack chuckled out. "So, can I ask you something? It may seem a bit personal, but I...I want to be a good man for Wind...so I...I was just wondering...what type of man would you have trusted your daughter with?"
'JACK, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ASKING!?'
'I can't help it! It's been on my mind for decades!'
Sandy whipped his head around as the Sandy tendrils returned. "What?"
"Well, I...I just...I don't have anyone else to ask. Outside of the Domain, you're the only one I talk to, and you had a daughter, so I...I thought I would ask..."
"You really want to know, don't you?" Sandy whispered out in an almost saddened tone while his brow furrowed at Jack.
"Yes, I really do. I want to do right by her. She...she makes not being believed in bearable. You know that I've tried to get believed in...but nothing works so far. You say it'll happen someday, but someday isn't here yet, but Wind...she's always there."
"Hmm...well..." Sandy stepped closer to Jack on his dream cloud and sat next to him. "...someone like you actually." He breathed out.
"What!?" Jack shouted in pure shock and astonishment.
'WHAT!?' Elaina shouted with pure delight and confusion at the same time.
"Well, it's the truth. Just...when I tell you this, can you ask the wind spirit not to blow you off of the dream cloud? Or me for that matter."
"Trust me, I think she's learned her lesson."
"Alright, well, after getting to know you...if I were able...I would've tried to set you up with my daughter. You two are so alike, and the two of you would've complimented each other well. Where she would've been weak, I know that you are strong and vice versa. However, I wouldn't have forced either of you to be together, I would've just introduced the two of you. Both of you are kind, patient, stubborn, good listeners when you want to be, reliable, fierce, and so carefree. You yourself, as a man that I would've trusted with my daughter...you're all the things I listed as well as loyal, understanding, faithful, and you're strong in mind, heart, and body. The way you speak of the one you already love...I know that if you had loved my daughter, I would know she would want for nothing, she would be more than happy, and I know that you would protect her with everything you had. That's the kind of man I would've entrusted my daughter to. A man like you, Jack."
"I-I...that...that...I mean...you really would've trusted someone like me with her?"
"Yes, I really would've. Did I answer your question?"
"A-And then some, I think. Thank you, Sandy." Jack breathed out in immense disbelief. 'Elaina, did I...did I just get your Father's blessing?'
'I...I believe you did! Oh, Jack! This is wonderful! And HA! I told you that you were amazing!'
Elaina swirled around Jack happily, lifting him slightly off of the dream cloud. "You alright, Jack?"
"Yeah." He nodded as he was set back down. "The Wind appreciated your words, and she gave me an 'I told you so.' I had told her that I didn't think I was all that great, and apparently you proved her right and me so very wrong."
"Huh, glad for that then. Tell me, what does she think of me?"
"Oh, she thinks the world of you." Jack told him honestly as the amount of overwhelming joy that filled him just wouldn't stop filling his heart.
"She does?" Sandy blinked at him as he stood up again, and made his way to another area.
"Yes, she does. She admires you even."
"I wouldn't know why." Sandy sighed out with a shrug of his shoulders. "She's one with nature, and I'm the Guardian of dreams. We're different."
"You don't have to be alike to admire someone. She admires your heart and personality."
"Well, thank you for that. Now, Jack, we've chatted for quite some time, and the world is continuously growing. Go see it, and have fun."
"I will! Thanks for the talk, Sandy!" Jack wrapped his arms around Sandy, giving him the biggest and tightest bear hug he could without hurting the man, but then he realized something. "Oh, wait! You never told me how Bunny was doing!"
"He's still his same ol' grumpy self." Sandy chuckled out as he quickly returned the hug before letting go.
"You think he'll ever change?" Jack questioned with genuine curiosity. He didn't really want to be hated by the Easter Bunny for forever.
"The day I see Bunny less grumpy, not as much of a workaholic, and genuinely smile...that's the day I'll see a new Guardian."
"You don't think they'll be another Guardian?" He tilted his head, and felt Elaina wrap around him, silently asking the same question.
"Not unless something catastrophic happens...and that doesn't seem likely anytime soon. So, no, not really. Go have fun, Jack."
"Okay! Thanks again!" Jack flew off of the cloud with his heart as giddy as can be. 'Elaina! Even though he doesn't know it...!'
'I know! He gave BOTH of us his blessing! Oh, Jack! This is amazing! Should we tell Emily?'
'No, not yet. Let her know whenever Sandy knows you finally.'
'I can't wait! I can't tell exactly when, but Jack...it'll happen sometime next century and in the beginning of it too!'
"Jack! Elaina!" Elaina heard Emily shout as she rushed back into the castle.
"What is it?" They both asked as they gave her equally worried expressions. They haven't seen her rush in the castle like that since the Summer and Spring spirits got into a fight in Georgia which then ended up causing a few Tornadoes somehow.
"One of the fire spirits...they're attacking the Snow Queen."
"Where is she?" Jack asked quickly as he immediately gripped his staff with pure fury dancing in his eyes. "Where are they?"
"They're in Texas in North America. They've been at it back and forth, and the Snow Queen is on the defensive. I tried to get involved, but the Snow Queen told me not to, and although she doesn't order me around, she seemed desperate to do it on her own, but I know that she'll listen to you. They need to stop!"
"And you couldn't stop them?"
"If I did, it would've caused a natural disaster. You have to try and talk her down."
"Alright, let's go Elaina!"
"Right!" Elaina nodded her head and morphed into the wind, wrapping herself around Jack as tightly and as comfortingly as she could. 'We can do this, together.'
'Yeah, let's just hope we don't see the Easter Bunny...it's Easter Sunday.'
'Oh, no!' Elaina gasped as they went through the portal, and they immediately made their way for Texas.
Once they got there, they didn't notice anything at first so they traveled to East Texas, and that's when they saw it. A huge blizzard that was burying an entire town in at least three feet of snow at the moment. "I won't let you set the forest on fire!" Kala's voice could be heard crying out.
"I am a FIRE SPIRIT! It's what I do, and you have no authority over me!"
"The one who has ultimate authority over you just tried to stop our fight, because she knew how disastrous it would be, and I sent her away so I could try and make you see reason!"
"See REASON! It's not even your SEASON! It's not Winter here! It's spring! It was supposed to be in the high eighties for heat in Texas, and you dropped it down to FIFTEEN degrees JUST so that you could prevent me from causing a fire! I have a job to do!"
"Then do it tomorrow...not today! Today is Easter Sunday!"
"Yes, and the children will not have an Easter here regardless! You've buried the town in three feet of SNOW! The Easter Bunny can't hide eggs in snow. He has to remain hidden, and the eggs that walk around can't climb over the snow! We would've both ruined Easter for this section, but at least I would've done it by doing MY JOB!"
Having seen enough of the argument, Jack flew closer with Elaina fuming behind him. "Now, that's enough."
"Oh! Good! The Winter General! Take the Snow Queen and leave me to do my job in PEACE!"
"You will not do your job here." Jack warned in a deep and low voice that always gave Elaina a slight shiver, but at the moment she could only agree with his controlled rage.
"THE HELL I WON'T!" The fire spirit shouted as she tossed a fireball at Jack.
Jack rushed up to meet it and allowed all of his ice magic to focus on the fire ball, and as Elaina rapidly flew around it, the fireball eventually cooled and disappeared before it could even touch him. "No, you won't. Don't make me fight you. I really don't want to. Kala, go back to the Domain. You've worried Mother Nature enough for one day."
"Y-Yes, Jack. I apologize."
"Don't apologize to me. Apologize to her."
Once the Snow Queen was gone, Jack focused his efforts on the Fire spirit. "And what exactly are you going to do?"
"I'm going to fight you, beat you, and tell the General of Summer that you not only tried to fight one of mine, but that you are interfering with Spring! Wildfires aren't supposed to happen in Texas for Spring this year, and you would know that if you paid attention when we were all gathered for a council meeting."
"No need to deal with her." The General of Summer appeared with pure rage in his eyes. "Julie! Get down here, NOW! If you don't you can kiss your powers goodbye!"
"R-Right away, General!" The General of summer sent an appreciative nod towards Jack before both of them disappeared.
'Elaina, do you think we can rid of all of this snow?'
'I think you should stop the blizzard first.'
'Right.' Jack lifted into the air, and allowed his power to unfurl in it's silent waves, slowly stopping the blizzard.
He was about ten minutes away from successfully stopping it when he heard an unfortunately very familiar voice. "Wha-! No!"
'That would be Bunny.' Elaina winced.
'Yes, unfortunately that would...' Jack slowly flew down, trying to continue to focus on stopping the blizzard. "Hello, Bunny. Funny seeing you here on this fine day!"
"A fine day he says!" Bunny growled as he took out his boomerangs. "Ya damn Gala! Ya endangered hundreds of kids with your stunt!"
Jack immediately had to dodge a boomerang, and with the help of Elaina, flew quite a ways away. "So, I don't suppose you'll believe me when I say I wasn't the one to do this?"
"Not bloody likely, mate!" He growled out as he threw another boomerang while catching the other. "Stand still so I can hit ya! Ya ruined my holiday here, ya damn monster!"
'HE IS NOT A MONSTER!' Elaina growled before carefully setting Jack on the ground, and moving to swiftly cause a small snow cyclone beneath Bunny's feet, sending him up into the air and then dropping him when she moved back to Jack's side.
'Thanks, but that doesn't really help, Elaina. He'll think that was me.'
'So? He deserved it!'
"Oh, ya wanna play it that way, do ya!?" Bunny shouted, and he he started chasing after Jack. "Do ya have any idea what ya could've done!?"
"Nothing! Because it's still Easter everywhere else too!"
"Only because ya couldn't push your damn winter wonderland everywhere else! Doesn't Mother Nature have a guy to control you lot!?"
'Wait a minute...does he really not know?' Elaina asked as she continued to keep Jack in the air.
'Um...apparently not.' Jack thought to her before sending a small ice blast towards him. Not enough to actually hurt him, but enough to get him to move or be caught off guard. "There is, but..."
"THEN WHERE THE HELL IS HE!? He needs to pull you back and either train you some more, or get rid of you!"
"BUNNY!" Jack could hear Sandy above them, which was strange considering it was day time. Sandy floated just above them and conjured a sand whip that wrapped around Bunny's ankles and pulled him upside down.
"S-Sandy!? What the hell are ya doin' here, mate!?"
"Stopping you from making a very terrible mistake, and your words are cruel and unkind to ANYONE! What if a child saw you and heard you say such things!?"
"What do ya mean stoppin' ME from makin' a terrible mistake! Ya didn't see what the damn winter sprite did!"
"He isn't a sprite." Sandy tried to tell him calmly while still holding him upside down. He then turned to face Jack. "Are you alright, Jack?"
"Yeah, I'm fine Sandy. He didn't hurt me. However, I think Wind got him riled up though."
"Wind!? What the bloody - He's crazy Sandy, and you!? Ya know him!?"
"Yes I do, and trust me when I tell you this, if you harmed him, you would have Mother Nature to deal with."
"This monster!? BAH!" Bunny laughed out as he hung upside down.
"He is not a MONSTER!" Sandy shouted as he flung Bunny into the snow. "How can you be so unkind when you don't even know him!?"
"What's there to know!?" Bunny questioned loudly as he quickly got up and brushed the snow off. "Look at what he did to my holiday!? Oh, and YOU'RE sayin' that if I mess with him, I'll have Mother Nature to deal with!? That's rich, Sandy! He's a Winter sprite! The only reason why he's around is to do whatever his precious general says."
'Jack, are you going to let him talk about you like that?'
'Yes, because now it's a Guardian fight. It may be about me, but now THEY are fighting it out.'
"You really have no clue, do you?" Sandy asked as he tilted his head in confusion and concern. Then, he turned to face Jack. "You didn't tell him?"
"You're the only one that knows that isn't a part of Mother Nature's Domain. You're the only one that's nice to me." Jack shrugged with mild annoyance as he crossed his arms with his staff in the crook of his elbow.
Sandy's eyes widened immensely as he turned back to face Bunny. "Can I tell him?"
"Sure, why not? He's still going to blame me anyway."
"Of course I'm gonna blame ya! I saw ya in the middle of the damn blizzard!" Bunny made to reach for his Boomerangs, but Sandy's whips yanked both of them out of his hands. "Sandy!? What the Hell!?"
"JACK IS THE GENERAL OF WINTER, YOU OVER SIZED RABBIT!" Sandy screamed with his symbols, leaving both Jack and Bunny in a state of completely stunned shock. Sandy used his whips to give Bunny back his boomerangs, and Bunny barely caught them. "He's the General of Winter." He repeated in a more calmer manner. "I was sent here by Mother Nature herself, because HE was sent here to deal with one of his spirits that was fighting with a Fire spirit."
'I have never seen Father that mad...He must really like you, Jack.'
'Thanks, but as much as that may be flattering on any other day, today is Easter, and they are supposed to be friends.' Jack let out a sigh and shook his head. "Sandy, it's alright. I accept the blame."
"HA! He admits it! Ya see!" Bunny hopped slightly as he jumped and pointed at Jack with a victorious smirk.
"Jack..." Sandy sagged with pure confusion mixed in with remorse. "Why are you accepting the blame?"
"Because it was one of MY spirits that caused the blizzard. Mother Nature got to me in time in order to get to her, but I should've..."
"Wait...the two of ya are bloody serious! HE'S THE GENERAL OF WINTER!?"
"Yes, I am. Have been since 1712."
"17...1712!? But when I met ya it was..."
"Yeah, been around a bit longer than you think, Cottontail."
"Well, if ya'd been the General of Winter for that damn long, why didn't ya take control of your damn winter spirit?"
"I didn't know she had gotten into a fight. I'm sorry."
"Sorry or not, you should've taken control of your spirit before THE BOTH of ya ruined my holiday! Now, Sandy, how do ya know him!?"
"We visit, we spar, we talk, and I tell him how all of you are." Sandy answered honestly with a slight smile.
"Why do ya tell him 'bout us?" Bunny's ears twitched for a moment, and Jack tried not to laugh at it, so he simply smiled instead.
"He asks how you all are, because you're my friends. So, I tell him."
"Oh, and ya don't think that's gonna backfire on ya!? For all you know he could be trying to get information to try and get to one of us! It's not like one of Mother Nature's spirits haven't tried to do it before."
"I would never do that to him." Jack snarled low, trying to keep his temper in from Bunny's words, but it was slowly slipping.
'Careful, love.' Elaina whispered to him mentally, and just like that, he was calm.
'Thank you, Elaina.'
"And why should I believe ya!? I'm standin' on three feet of snow!"
"Fine, don't believe me, that's fine, but isn't Sandy supposed to be your friend? Perhaps you should take him at his word. If you really consider him your friend you'll trust him and what he says. He can obviously hold his own, so it's not like I'm forcing him to do anything, and considering you were upside down moments ago..."
"Sandy..." Bunny's ears went flat against his head. "...ya tellin' the truth, mate? Ya think of him as a friend?"
Sandy gave a proud look towards Jack who gave him a soft smile in return. "Yes. He's my best friend, in fact."
"What? Not even I was able to become your best friend and we've known each other for millions of years...LITERALLY!"
"I know...it was strange, but yeah, I think of him as my best friend."
"Does he know things about ya that the other's don't? Does he know things about ya that I don't?"
"Yes. I trust him that much."
Bunny's ears showed many different types of emotions as they lifted up, down, twitched, and at times they would go completely flat against his skull. Eventually he settled on the ear movement that seemed to signify determination and anger all at once. "This ain't over, Frostbite! I won't ever forgive ya for ruinin' my holiday. Even if ya didn't do it yourself, it was your own spirit, and you should've had a better handle on them if you've been a General for that long!" Bunny tapped his foot twice against the snow, and a large hole appeared under his feet.
Once he was gone, and the hole was closed with a dandelion flower as the only evidence there was something there, Sandy floated down to Jack and gave him an apologetic smile. "Sorry about that..."
"It's not your fault, Sandy."
"But the things he said to you...ABOUT you...as if you weren't there..."
"You may not like it, but I'm used to it. More often than you would think."
Sandy shook his head and placed a hand on Jack's shoulder. "It's still no way to treat someone."
"I know that, and you know that...Hell, I'm pretty sure even Bunny knew that, but Sandy, look behind you." Sandy did as Jack asked and saw all of the snow on the ground. "This is what he saw, and he saw me in the air in the middle of the blizzard. He's also right, I should've had a better handle on my spirit. She meant well, I'm sure, but she didn't come to me with her plans, and I should've checked on her. She's not used to Texas and its' heat. She's used to the Northern states and Canada."
"He's probably going to be mad for a while..." Sandy sighed as he shook his head, sending the conversation was a losing battle, and Bunny had already done the damage. "I just wish the others knew you like I know you."
"Thanks, Sandy." Jack chuckled lightly, feeling slightly calmer with his presence, and he felt that Elaina was calmer as well. "That means a lot, it does, but I've been around since 1712 and I'm still trying to get believers...just one would be enough! Just one mortal child to see me."
"Child!? I thought it wouldn't matter who." Sandy tilted his head at Jack as a look of bewilderment crossed his features.
"Well, it does. I can't explain it, but it does."
"And...you said the Man in the Moon gave you your name?" Sandy inquired with a risen brow.
"Yeah, why? Do you know something?"
"No, it's just...strange."
'That's the look Father gives when he does in fact know something, but if you ask him again or push the subject...he probably won't want to talk for a while.'
'Thanks for the heads up.' He let out a frustrated sigh. "Fine, but why did Mother Nature send you?"
"She apparently caught onto our friendship and used one of her animal bird spirits to track me down. She then told me where you were, and that you were likely caught by Bunny since you didn't go back WITH the Snow Queen or the other General. She was worried, and apparently knew EXACTLY who to send."
"Apparently so." Jack nodded and smirked.
"So, how's your girlfriend?"
"It's what you would call the one you love that you're with."
"Ah, okay, well, she's fine. She created a small snow cyclone that lifted Bunny into the air. Both of you actually said the same thing about Bunny calling me a monster, but she said it telepathically. She calmed me down when I was about to lose my temper. She's good at that."
"I'm sorry this happened."
"Again, not your fault. Don't worry. I already knew he didn't like me, so it's fine."
"You know, he has a habit for naming things...he's probably gonna call this the Blizzard of '68." Sandy joked with a half smile. The other half was still apologetic.
"Really? Well, that's not too bad of a name. At least we'll know what he means when he says it."
"Yes, at least there's that. Would you like to fly with me while I go deliver dreams?"
"I would love to, but I have to tell Mother Nature I'm fine."
"Actually she told me once the fight ended, I was allowed to go ahead and take you."
Jack's face lit up with delight, and he almost forgot about the fight. Almost. "Well, alright then. We can use this time to catch up."
Once they edged into the dark of night, they both relaxed a great deal, and Elaina eased Jack onto the dream sand cloud where Sandy was used to him sitting and accompanying him. "So, how exactly did your's and Mother Nature's conversation go?" Jack asked as Sandy started delivering dreams.
"Honestly, it didn't go." He chuckled light as he jumped here and there on his sand cloud sending out hundreds of tendrils that would break off into thousands later.
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is...I didn't let her finish asking me to come help you. All she was able to get out was, 'Jack is in Texas, he didn't come back with the Snow Queen or the other General, so I think Bunny may have caught him and suspected the worse, and you're his best friend, can you...' And then I took off without needing another word."
"Wow, thank you, Sandy."
"Anytime, Jack. I'll always be there for you if I can."
"Okay, but just...don't trouble yourself over me. I can handle just fine on my own."
"Ah, but you see, I know you're not on your own, because you have your girlfriend by you at all times. So, let me ask you something...how far have the two of you gone?"
"Like...around the world?" Jack squeaked as a lump of nervousness crammed itself in his windpipe, keeping him from not only breathing properly, but speaking properly.
"No, you innocent boy! You know very well what I meant."
"I...we haven't had sex yet if that's what you're asking."
"WHAT WHY NOT!? It's certainly been long enough!"
'OH IF YOU ONLY KNEW WHO YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT!' Jack and Elaina mentally chorused together in immense embarrassment. "We just decided to take it slow."
"Jack, there's slow, and then there's not moving at all." Sandy chuckled lightly as he turned to send out another set of dream sand to the left of his dream cloud, causing Jack to shift where he was sitting.
"Have the two of you at least held hands?"
"Yes, and we've danced. We've also kissed...a lot. It's a daily thing really...sometimes hourly if neither of us can help it. She helps me cook, she spars with me, she lights up my days when I'm feeling down, and sometimes we just enjoy each other's company, not needing to say a word to one another."
"Can you tell me a bit more about her?"
"Like what? You know I can't tell you what she looks or sounds like."
"I know, but you're my best friend, and this woman makes you extremely happy. I want to know more about her."
Jack nodded his head as he allowed his legs to swing back and forth on the dream cloud with his hands in his lap. He let out a sigh and a slight chuckle afterwards. "She's...she's stunning. She HATES wearing shoes just as much as I do, but she'll wear them sometimes anyway, and when she runs in the forest in the Domain her hair flows behind her like a river, and her dress moves with the wind as if it was always a part of nature. Sometimes, we'll just spend hours playing games, racing, and chasing each other as we run through the forest, and when she wins, she always jumps into the air with the most beautiful smile on her face and her eyes light up brighter than any star."
'Jack...you're making me blush...a lot.'
Jack then let out a slight snicker. "What is it?" Sandy asked as he felt warm and joyful just from hearing how much Jack obviously loves this woman, and then he's suddenly snickering.
"Nothing. She says I'm making her blush, but it's all true. She's remarkable, and intelligent, but believe me, she's as hot headed as they come, and as headstrong as...well...nope, nothing compares to how headstrong she is. Once she has her mind on something, she's either going to do it then and there, or plot to do it in a spectacular and unforgettable fashion. I've learned the hard way not to challenge her in a drinking contest...EVER!"
"You drink?" Sandy asked as he took in his dream sand from the houses they visited.
"Yeah, every now and then. Not to cure anything, it's just for fun, or I just want to drink. However, I learned my lesson. Mother Nature found it incredibly amusing. Silas had to help me to my room, and Senna had to help her in there too."
For a brief moment the dream sand cloud faltered, but quickly steadied. "Wait, the two of you share a room...yet you haven't had sex? How!?"
"One, lots of restraint. Two, we don't share a room, her bedroom door is inside my room. It was Mother Nature's idea to do that since Wind is a part of me. So, we have separate rooms, but she has to go into my room first before she gets to her room, and apparently at the end of our most recent drinking contest, I thought it was a good idea to take everything off but my underwear, which caused her to go redder than a tomato. It was beautiful and made her freckles stand out more."
"She has freckles?" Sandy hummed in amusement as he moved his dream sand cloud over to another town.
"Yeah. They're all over her face and on her shoulders. I only know the shoulder part, because of one of the dresses she wore to one of my birthdays. Apparently her and Mother Nature unwittingly started a tradition. When it's a General's birthday, there will be an all day and night celebration filled with dancing, music, food, and games. Wind is always my dance partner."
"Is she a good dancer?"
"Oh, it's like waltzing on air." At that, they both doubled over laughing.
'Hardy har har!' Elaina slowly commented, and if she could put her hands on her hips to add to the sarcasm, Jack had no doubt she would've.
"Oh! That was good! I haven't laughed like that in ages!" Sandy laughed out until he was chuckling fondly as he came to stop once again.
"Same! Oh, it's good to laugh, oh! That's another thing, when she laughs...oh, it's the most beautiful sound you'd ever heard, Sandy. It's like chimes, thunder, and the wind through the trees all at once in one beautiful melodic fit of laughter. She also helped Mother Nature prank ME!"
"THEY pranked YOU!? Oh, this I HAVE to hear!"
"Well, first off, it was while I was cooking dinner for EIGHT spirits! Mother Nature told me what to cook, and we were going to have a mixture of things, but all I needed to focus on was the fruits, cheeses, and vegetables. No biggie, right?"
"Right?" Sandy drawled out in a highly amused tone while his smirk widened.
"Okay, well, when I get to the kitchen, not only are there no fruits, cheeses, or vegetables...Wind used her OWN winter magic, and Mother Nature enchanted the bowls to make the food look invisible! I was freaking out, and I was slipping everywhere! I tried to melt it, but Mother Nature enhanced it. Once I fell on my ass, I hear the two of them laughing their asses off."
"Wind has winter magic too?"
"Well, yeah. She's one of my spirits. She can only use it in the Domain though. Outside the Domain...she's the wind."
"Ah, I see. Alright then. That's a pretty good prank though." Sandy snickered.
"Yeah, I have to admit...it was pretty good. So, what kind of pranks have you pulled, and on who?"
"Oh, I once went to Bunny's Warren and mind you...we pulled this prank together, but it was my idea. North was trying to say that my job wasn't that hard, and he ALWAYS says that Christmas is better than Easter, so it didn't take much to get Bunny in on the prank...but anyway, Bunny and I worked together to create not just invisible ink, but invisible paint, and we made one whole bucket of that, and I grabbed one whole bucket of some paint from the dye river he has. It has rainbow colors. So, we took the paint to North's workshop while he was delivering presents, and we bribed the elves with cookies and milk if they stayed still long enough. They did, and half of the elves were painted with invisible paint and the other half was dye colored."
"Oh my God! How did North react?"
"Oh, he was quite angry, but he couldn't stop laughing either. Bunny and I were banished from the North Pole for a whole decade, but it was well worth it!"
"It sounds like it! I can only imagine!" Jack was now on his back, clutching at his sides, laughing so hard he could barely breathe. "To think, ol' Cottontail can pull a prank!"
"Oh, can he ever. He got me one time with my own dream sand, but that's a story for another time. You should get back to Mother Nature soon."
"Right. Thanks for the chat, Sandy!"
"You're very welcome, Jack."
"If there's something I'm doing wrong...can you just tell me what it is? Because, I've tried EVERYTHING!" Jack pleaded to the moon, but again he gained nothing, but silence. He had just given Jamie an awesome snowball fight, AND sled ride that would NORMALLY be impossible for everyone, and he was more focused on his tooth than anything. With a heavy sigh, he jumped onto a power line and tapped his staff against it freezing it along the way.
'Jack, look! It's Sandy!'
Jack turned around at Elaina's words and couldn't help the smile as he pulled down his hood. "Right on time, Sandman." He then ran along the power line, and jumped up to meet the sand tendril that was coming directly for him. 'Sandy must've known I was upset.'
'He always seems to know, doesn't he?'
'Yeah!' Jack shouted mentally as he jumped up and touched it, causing the same dolphin to appear. He let the dream sand dolphin slip away along with the rest of the sand not long after touching it, and he noticed a shadow.
'SHADOWS? HERE?' Elaina cried out.
Hearing Elaina's worried voice, he chased after it, ready to attack. He jumped from roofs, off of cars, and eventually he made it into a back alley. "G'day, mate." Jack swiftly turned to face the source of the voice and saw a silhouette leaning against the wall. "Been a long time. Blizzard of '68 I believe. Easter Sunday wasn't it?"
'Well at least it's just him.' He thought quickly. "Bunny! You're not still mad about that...are ya?" He asked as he leaned against his staff.
"Yes!" He answered with determined and rage filled eyes, but they quickly calmed as he looked at his boomerang. "But this is about somethin' else...Fellas?"
Suddenly, Jack is lifted up into the air by two yetis. "Hey...what the put me down! What the..." Jack then notices the giant red sack and his eyes widened briefly before all he sees is darkness, and the darkness smells of candy canes and way too much hot cocoa.
He heard one of them say something in their own language before hearing Bunny. "Me?" Bunny laughed out. "Not on your nelly. See you back at the pole."
He felt himself spin almost out of control while still inside the bag when he heard a jingling noise. "He's here! Quiet."
Jack moved the bag off him so he could get a better look at where he was at, and he honestly couldn't believe his eyes, and apparently neither could Elaina. 'Are you serious? We're at the North Pole!?'
"Hey! There he is...Jack Frost!" North opened his arms wide, and Jack's jaw dropped.
"Wow...you gotta be kidding me..." The yetis lifted him up once more. "Hey Hey...put me down." Jack told them, feeling way more than a bit uncomfortable at being at the North Pole after years of trying to bust in to see the place, and then suddenly they're trying to be nice to him as if they didn't reject him for three hundred years. Well, all except Sandy, of course.
"I hope the yetis treated you well." North stated with a smile that was starting to get on Jack's nerves.
"Oh yeah...I love being shoved in a sack and tossed through a magic portal." He snapped. Then, he felt Elaina wrap her wind around his neck in a loving hug that she could give in the form she was in now.
'Easy, try and hear what they have to say. You're here for a reason. They wouldn't have brought you here if there wasn't one.'
"Oh, good...that was my idea. You know Bunny...obviously."
"Obviously..." He snapped only slightly that time. 'Otherwise you wouldn't have sent him, but that also means the others don't know about mine and Sandy's friendship.'
"And the Tooth Fairy."
"Hello, Jack. I've heard a lot about you...and your teeth!"
"My...My what?" Jack backed away not liking where this was suddenly going. She was way too close for his AND Elaina's comfort.
"Open up! Are they really as white as they say? Yes! Oh they really do sparkle like freshly fallen snow!"
'Dammit, Sandy!' Jack growled mentally, but was instantly calmed by the sounds of Elaina's laughter.
'Oh! That's hilarious!'
She watched as her fairies were fluttering around Jack squealing in their own little language. "Girls, pull yourselves together! Let's not disgrace the uniform."
"And Sandman. Sandy...Sandy? Wake up!" North tapped him and raised his voice slightly. Then, finally Sandy woke up from his short nap.
"Hey Ho! Anyone wanna tell me why I'm here?" Jack looked directly at Sandy for the answer.
"I can Jack!" Jack walked towards Sandy with a small smile. "Okay so apparently there was black sand...north called us here and then the moon...and then we had to get you here because of guardian stuff and then the globe was funny and..."
"Uh, that's not really helping, but thanks, little man."
"Well, I tried..." Sandy shrugged lightly.
"I must've done something really bad to get you four together." He tapped his staff on a small elf and froze it. "Am I on the naughty list?" He half joked, because he also genuinely wondered if he was even on their list at all, but if he was, he could already guess where he was at due to rumors and speculation.
"HA! On naughty list!? You hold record, but no matter...we over look. Now we are wiping clean the slate."
"How come?" Jack asked as he turned to mainly Sandy for the answer, but none came.
"Ah...good question." Came Bunny's snide remark instead.
"How come? I tell you how come! Because you are now guardian!" Immediately loud and boisterous music was heard from left to right, and suddenly it was surrounding him.
'WHAT!?' Elaina and Jack mentally shouted together in disbelief as they were surrounded by yeti and elves. Music, fire, crowd...and a WINTER SPIRIT!
Jack looked to Sandy for an answer but only saw him holding a strange looking cup up to him with a simple, "Congratulations."
Eventually Jack had enough of the music and fire and he slammed the bottom of his staff down, creating a floor of ice, stopping the music, and amusingly enough, sliding an elf across the floor. "What makes you think I wanna be a guardian?"
"Ha..." North bellowed out in laughter. "Of course you do! Music!"
"No music!" An elf slammed down it's trumpet and walked off. "No offense but uh...you don't want me. You're all hard work and deadlines. I'm snowballs and fun times." He sat down on one of the desks and let out a very slight sigh. "I'm not a guardian."
"Yeah! That's exactly what I said!" Bunny remarked with pure amusement and victory in his eyes.
'Let me at him, Jack!'
'No, Elaina. Not yet. You're right. We need to listen. No matter how ridiculous and arrogant they're acting right now.'
"Jack..." Tooth flew over with a determined look on her face. "I don't think you understand what it is we do." Jack practically glared at her as she flew up towards the large globe. 'I understand perfectly well! Sandy has told me a lot!' Not knowing his inner thoughts, Tooth continued. "Each of those lights, is a child."
"A child who believes, and good or bad, naughty or nice, we protect them."
Suddenly Tooth was in Jack's mouth again. "Ah! Ah!"
"Tooth...fingers out of mouth!"
"Oh sorry..." She blushed slightly, which caused a low, dangerous, and envious growl to come out of Elaina's thoughts. "They're beautiful!"
'Calm, Elaina. I don't like her that way, and you have nothing to worry about. I love you and only you.'
"Okay okay...no more wishy washy. Pitch is out there doing who knows what!"
'PITCH!? MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER!?' Elaina shouted. 'What is he doing that would cause them to summon you, Jack!?'
"You mean...You mean The Boogeyman?" He chuckled out slightly. 'And hey, don't look at me Elaina, I have no idea either.'
"Yes! When Pitch threatens us he threatens them!"
Jack walked away not wanting to continue the rest of the conversation, because really, they've had those children forever. He hasn't even had ONE believer in three centuries. "All the more reason to pick someone more qualified!"
"Pick!? You think we pick? No, you were chosen like we were all chosen...by man in moon!"
"What?" Jack's angered immediately doused itself as he turned around to face all of them with a confused and curious expression.
"Last night Jack...he chose you." Tooth told him in a voice that pleaded him to believe her.
"Maybe..." Bunny added.
"The man in the moon..." Jack looked up at the moon with narrowed eyes in disbelief. "He talks to you?" He looked to Sandy for more answers, but only received a brief guilty expression.
"You see...you cannot say no. It is destiny."
"But why wouldn't he tell me that himself?" He quickly ran a hand through his snow white hair and groaned. "After three hundred years, this is his answer!? To spend eternity like you guys cooped up in some hide out, thinking of new ways to bribe kids? No, no...that's not for me!" He shouted at the moon just before looking at Bunny sarcastically. "No offense."
"How...How was that not offensive? You know what I think? I think we just dodged a bullet. I mean what's this clown know about bringing joy to children anyway?"
"More than you know, Bunny." Sandy said quietly towards Jack as he tried to peer around Bunny who was scratching his ear.
Jack rolled his eyes, and tried to hide the confident laugh that wanted to burst through. "Um have you ever heard of a snow day? I know it's no hard boiled egg, but kids like what I do."
"But none of them believe in you, do they?" Bunny stood taller as he walked towards him, and it was far different from the Blizzard of '68. Not because they were surrounded by the other Guardians, but because he started to get right up in Jack's face. "You see, you're invisible, mate. It's like you don't even exist."
"Bunny enough!" Tooth scolded, but everyone knew Bunny would ignore it.
"No, the kangaroos right."
Elaina snorted a laugh in her mind as she held close to Jack's hoodie. 'Kangaroo...Pfft!'
"T-The what? What did you call me? I am not a kangaroo mate!"
"Oh and this whole time I thought you were. Tell me, if you're not a kangaroo, what are you!?"
"I'm a bunny. The Easter Bunny! People believe in me!"
Jack kept his glare at Bunny with tears threatening to fall, when suddenly he heard Sandy's voice. "North, please talk to Jack alone."
"Jack, walk with me." North whispered loudly.
"It's nothing personal, North. It's just what you all do...it's not my thing."
"Man in Moon says it is your thing!" He shouted in confidence and then whispered, "We will see..."
"Hey, slow down will ya?" Jack ran after North in complete awe at the workshop. "I've been trying to bust in here for years! I want a good look!"
"What do you mean bust in?"
"Oh don't worry. I never made it past the yetis." He looked to his right at a familiar one. "Oh, hey, Phil."
'Phil! The one that would always give you hot chocolate for TRYING at least!' Elaina cheered, but continued to hold tight to Jack, nearly becoming one with him, but she was merely wrapping herself around his entire body, giving herself flushed cheeks, but she didn't want to accidentally hurt anything in the workshop.
"Keep up, Jack. Keep up!"
Jack looked around the work shop in awe when he quickly noticed that the yetis were the ones creating and testing the toys. "I always thought the elves made the toys."
"We just let them believe that." North stopped at a group of elves that were 'testing' lights when one of them seemingly got electrocuted. "Very nice! Keep up good work!" North put an arm around Jack to urge him to move forward. There was a yeti who was painting robots blue when he said, "I don't like it. Paint it red!" Once they made it into his office he saw an elf carrying a fruit cake. North took it and held it in front of him. "Fruitcake?"
"Um...no thanks." He answered as he tried to get a good look at North's office.
North tossed the cake behind him and started cracking his knuckles. "Now we get down to tacks of brass."
Jack looked at him with confusion written in his eyes. "Tacks of..."
Suddenly, he got closer to Jack with a determined expression, backing Jack up against a wall without even touching him. "Who are you, Jack Frost?" He pointed a finger in the middle of his chest. "What is your center?"
"My center?" He narrowed his eyes at the man in front of him, unsure of where exactly he was going with this.
"If Man in Moon chose you to be guardian you must have something very special inside you." His eyes shifted to one of the shelves in his office. "Hmm..." He went to grab the doll off the shelf and he started smiling. "Here, this is how you see me no? Very big, intimidating, but if you get to know me a little..." He handed it to Jack who just gave him a small questioning look. "Well, go on."
'A...A doll!?' Elaina questioned curiously with mild amusement.
'Apparently...' Jack opened the first layer of the doll and found himself grinning despite everything. "You are downright Jolly?"
"Ha! But not just Jolly!" Jack opened the next layer. "I am also mysterious..." Then, the next. "...and fearless..." Then, the one after that. "...and caring! And at my center..."
Jack opened the last one and dumped the final doll in North's large hand, and found himself slightly confused as he brought a hand to his head rubbing at his brow. "There's a tiny wooden baby." Jack had to ignore Elaina's mental laughter, and he was fairly certain if she were in her physical form she would be rolling on the floor.
'IT'S A BABY!?' She laughed out for only Jack to hear.
"Look closer, what do you see?"
"You have big eyes..." He shrugged.
"YES! Big eyes! Very big! Because they are full of wonder!"
Jack couldn't help the joyful look on his face and the thought in his head. 'Wow, he really does represent wonder, and he's actually pretty nice.'
North continued on with wondrous eyes, "...That is my center. It is what I was born with. Eyes that have seen the wonder in everything." Toys made of ice began flying as well as normal toys.
'Wow, this is amazing!'
'Yeah, no kidding! It's beautiful!' Elaina stated in awe while North continued.
"...Eyes that see the lights in the trees and magic in the air. This wonder is what I put into the world! And what I protect in children." Jack looked up to all of the toys flying above him and moving around, and found himself awestruck at the pure wonder of it all. North continued once more with a gentler and kinder voice, "It is what makes me a Guardian. It is my center. What is yours?"
"I...I don't know..."
Suddenly, Bunny hopped in and they both looked at him with concerned expressions, which only deepened when they saw Tooth fly by the window. "We have a problem, mate. Trouble at the tooth palace."
The sleigh ride had started off amazingly for both Elaina and Jack, but then they went through a portal into Tooth's area, and they noticed strange black things flying about the air. "What?" North whispered out in confusion and concern at the same time.
'Jack! Those are Nightmares!' Elaina shouted to him desperately as the black figures raced past them.
'THOSE are Nightmares!? Wait...there's something in their bellies...and they're chasing...' Jack's eyes widened considerably as he noticed what they were after and what they were 'eating.' "THEY'RE TAKING THE TOOTH FAIRIES!" Jack looked around to see if you could save any of them. He saw one who was flying faster than the horse, so he flew out of the sleigh, caught her, and settled back in while trying to look the baby tooth over. "Hey little baby tooth. You okay?" She squeaked something he couldn't understand, but she nodded her head which was good enough for him at the moment.
North drove the sleigh moving in and out between the towers that seemed to be everywhere while he chased down another black horse that was trying to escape. Suddenly, North handed Jack the reigns. "Here take over!" He took out his swords and was ready for battle.
"Huh?" He asked as he happily took the reigns. 'Are you serious! Awesome!'
'Oh...by the stars, North! Why did you hand HIM the reigns!'
'Not now, Elaina! I'm driving!' He thought to her with a smile of pure delight on his face. "Yah! Yah!" He shouted as he slammed the reigns.
Once North struck down the black horse three canisters fell into the sleigh. "They're stealing the teeth!" Bunny exclaimed.
Sandy noticed the peculiar black substance that came off of the teeth and onto his arm. "Is this...black sand?"
"Jack look out!" North shouted, and tried to help Jack land, but he saw a landing place for the sleigh and immediately took it.
"Ah!" Jack pulled back on the reigns and landed the sleigh ungracefully, but at least they landed.
"Tooth are you alright!?"
"They...they took my fairies...and the teeth...all of them. Everything is gone...Everything..." She flew down to her knees with pure sorrow in her eyes. When Baby Tooth flew out of his hoodie, he couldn't help but smile gently at her as she flew to her 'mama'.
"Oh, thank goodness one of you is alright!"
"I have to say..." An eerie deep voice called out. "...This is very exciting. The big four, all in one place. I'm a little starstruck." Pitch peered over one of the towers and glared with a dark smile at them all. "Did you like my show at the globe, North? Got you all together, didn't I?"
'P-Pitch!?' Elaina stuttered in shock at the shadowy voice and figure.
"Pitch! You have got 30 seconds to return my fairies!" Tooth flew towards Pitch with anger in her eyes.
"Or what? You'll stick a quarter under my pillow?"
"Why are you doing this?" North asked as he pointed one of his swords up at him.
"Maybe I want what you have. To be believed in. Maybe I'm tired of hiding under beds!"
"Maybe that's where you belong!" Bunny spat back.
"Go suck an egg, rabbit. Hang on. Is that Jack Frost? Since when are you all so chummy?"
"We're not." Jack said as he turned around putting his guard up as he looked around.
"Oh, good. A neutral party. Then I'm going to ignore you. But you must be used to that by now."
"Pitch, you shadow-sneaking ratbag, come here!" Bunny shouted as he raced towards him.
Before Bunny could reach him he disappeared but Tooth saw where he was going to go and flew towards Bunny to grab his boomerang, prepared to strike Pitch with it, when suddenly one of the black horses appeared out of nowhere, ready to attack her. "Whoa! Hey! Easy, girl, easy. Look familiar, Sandman? Took me a while to perfect this little trick..."
"It IS black sand!" Sandy thought quietly in anger as he looked at his own sand in his hand.
"...Turning dreams into Nightmares. Oh, don't be nervous. It only riles them up more. They smell fear, you know."
"What fear? Of you?" Bunny shouted as he took his boomerang from Tooth. "No one's been afraid of you, since the dark ages!"
"Oh! The dark ages! Everyone frightened. Miserable. Such happy times for me. Oh, the power I wielded! But then the man in the moon chose you to replace my fear with your wonder and light. Lifting their hearts and giving them hope! Meanwhile everyone wrote me off as a bad dream. 'Oh, there's nothing to be afraid of. There's no such thing as The Boogeyman!' Well that's all about to change." Tooth's palace started crumbling and the once beautiful golden and pink paint started chipping and disintegrating away. "Oh, look, it's happening already."
"What is?" Jack questioned, growing concerned for the Tooth fairy, who now looked completely distraught.
'Her palace, Jack...it's linked to her!' Elaina gasped as she realized what was happening.
"Children are waking up and realizing the tooth fairy never came." Pitch answered darkly. "I mean, such a small thing, but to a child..."
"What's going on?" Jack asked both Tooth and Elaina, because they both knew what was going on, but at the moment, he was at a loss.
"They...they don't believe in me anymore." Jack turned his concerned yet furious gaze back at Pitch who was incredibly amused. 'What? Why?'
"Didn't they tell you, Jack? It's great to be a guardian, but there's a catch. If enough kids stop believing, everything your friends protect, wonder, hopes, and dreams, it all goes away...and little by little, so do they. No Christmas, or Easter, or little fairies that come in the night..."
"No! Stop talking to him!" Sandy spat with pure fury laced in his mind's voice. "Leave him ALONE!" Jack could hear Sandy practically growling in his mind.
"...There will be nothing but fear and darkness...and me. It's your turn not to be believed in!"
Bunny was the first to attack with his boomerang, and seeing that he couldn't evade it, Pitch got on his nightmare horse and flew down. He was then followed by North, Bunny, Tooth, and then Sandy who internally shouted to Jack, "Come on, Jack! Let's get him before he gets away!" Jack leapt from the edge and followed them. Bunny through egg-paint bombs but Pitch easily dodged those.
They chased him down to the ground of the tooth palace when he disappeared once more. "He's gone..." North stated with disappointed eyes.
"Okay, alright, I admit it, you were right about Pitch." Bunny said, agitated that Pitch got away.
Jack crouched down next to Tooth who was holding a canister of teeth with sorrowful eyes. "I'm sorry about the fairies."
"You should've seen them. They put up such a fight"
"Why would Pitch take the teeth?"
"It's not the teeth he wanted. It's the memories inside them."
"What do you mean?"
"That's why we collect the teeth, Jack. They hold the most important memories of childhood." Tooth flew towards the mural on the wall and Jack followed, walking on the water and freezing it beneath his feet. "My fairies and I watch over them, and when someone needs to remember something important, we help them. We had everyone's here. Yours too."
"M-My memories?" Jack looked at her in complete bewilderment. 'I haven't lost any teeth.'
"From when you were young...before you became Jack Frost."
Jack looked down and slightly shook his head before looking back up at Tooth. "But I wasn't anyone before I was Jack Frost." He told her as he slowly backed away, becoming concerned and confused at what she was telling him.
'Jack?' Elaina questioned, growing concerned in her own ways for him, because she knew. She saw him at the pond before he became a spirit.
"Of course you were. We were all someone before we were chosen."
"What?" Jack could hear North tease Bunny behind him, but he wasn't entirely focused nor did he want to know what they were talking about due to the startling possibilities that just presented themselves at Tooth's words. "The night at the pond...I just...I assumed I..." He felt himself becoming breathless at the mere thought of it. "Are you saying...are you saying that I had a life before that, with a home...and a family!?" He raised his voice in excitement at the actual possibility.
Tooth looked at Jack with concerned eyes. "You really don't remember?"
"All these years, the answers were right here! If I find my memories, I'll know why I'm here!" Excitement and joy rushed through him faster than Elaina had every carried him as he jumped and flew away from the mural. "You have to show me!"
"I can't, Jack...Pitch has them..."
Jack stopped flying immediately and crouched down on the rock below him, filled with a brand new type of determination he couldn't quite name yet as he pointed his staff at her. "Then we have to get them back!"
She was about to say something when she suddenly felt her feathers fall off, causing Jack to grow even more worried for her. "Oh no! The children! We're to late..."
"No!" North forced his swords down. "No! No such thing as too late! Hmm...wait wait wait wait...IDEA!" He shouted with delight as he pointed his sword at Bunny who luckily leaned back quite a ways otherwise he may have lost a nose. Jack leaned against his staff smiling softly at how North reacted. "We..." He started pointing his sword at Sandy and then waved it between Sandy and Bunny as he continued, "...Will collect the teeth!"
"What!?" Tooth squeaked out.
"We get teeth and children keep believing in you." North explained with pride.
"We're talking seven continents and millions of kids!"
"Bah! Give me break. You know how many toys I deliver in one night?" North asked with a wide grin.
"And eggs I hide in one day?" Bunny questioned as he held an equally wide and proud grin.
"And Jack...if you help us, we will get you your memories."
Tooth smiled with complete Joy, Bunny groaned in agitation, and Sandy floated slightly higher holding two thumbs up with a wide smile. However, it was Elaina's voice that was the deciding factor as she gently sighed and told only him, 'This may be the path to your answers. You would be a fool not to take it, Jack. Even if it is dangerous.'
"I'm in!" He answered with a wide smile and hopeful eyes. 'We'll look out for each other, Elaina. Don't worry.'
'Why does that make me worry even more, Jack?'
'Oh hush, you love me!'
'You're not helping me NOT worry, love.'
North was immediately seen jumping roof tops and going in and out of chimneys shouting, "Quickly, quickly!"
Then, they could all see Jack flying as he felt Joy, amusement, wonder, and excitement all bubble beneath his chest. "Hop to it rabbit! I'm five teeth ahead!"
"Oh, yeah...right! Look, I'd tell you to stay out of my way, but what's the point, because you wouldn't be able to keep up anyway!"
Jack flew alongside Bunny as he was jumping and running across the rooftops and pointed his staff at him accusingly with a wide smile and the feeling of excitement rose even higher in his chest. "Is that a challenge, cottontail?"
"Oh, you don't wanna race a rabbit mate." Bunny smirked at Jack with joy and excitement of his own rising to the surface as he ran faster, zipping across the roof tops.
"Whoa!" Jack shouted in surprise at Bunny's speed, and couldn't help the laughter that escaped his lips as he chased down the furry guardian.
"A race?" North asked with amusement lighting up his eyes followed by anticipation. "Is it a race? This is gonna be...epic!"
They raced in and out of homes, beating each other to other teeth and eventually after already getting many teeth Bunny found another one and looked at it while he was standing on a roof when suddenly he slipped on ice that undoubtedly was caused by Jack. "Crikey!"
Jack picked the tooth from Bunny's hands and laughed at it. "Yes!" Then, Sandy came along and took it out of his hands. "No!"
"Nice try! Maybe next time, Jack." Sandy told Jack with his thoughts and waved goodbye to him with a slight silent chuckle as he flew away to find another tooth.
The race went on and on like that, but then they had to go back and leave gifts, and that was a whole other race. Jack was also super grateful that Sandy left his own gifts from Jack in a way. Dreams about snow days. Then, he, Elaina, and Tooth eventually wound up in Jamie's room. As he looked around the room, he took quick note of the crayon drawing on the wall of Jamie on his sled. "Left central incisor, knocked out in a freak sledding accident. I wonder how that could've happened, Jack." She shot Jack an amused and knowing look.
Jack was looking at the drawing that Jamie had done of him flying through the air on the sled, and he found himself laughing lightly at Tooth's words. "Kids, huh?"
Tooth twirled the coin down her fingers and carefully slid it underneath's Jamie's pillow while still holding the knowing look. "Hmm..." She flew up to look at Jamie still asleep in his bed. "This was always the part I like the most. Seeing the kids. Why did I ever stop doing this?"
"Hmm..." He hummed with a slight smile before looking back up at her. "It's a little different up close, huh?"
Tooth looked at Jack with an appreciative smile. "Thanks for being here, Jack. I wish I had known about your memory. I could've helped you."
"Yeah well...look, let's just get you taken care of, then it's Pitch's turn."
"Here you are!" North said as he pushed his way through Jamie's window, catching their attention.
"SHHHHH!" Tooth warned as she pointed to Jamie sleeping.
"Oh...what gives slow pokes? How you feeling Toothie?"
"Believed in!" She whispered as she flew up to North.
"Ha! That's what I want to hear."
"Oh, I see how it is..." Bunny started as he appeared from a magical tunnel. "All working together to make sure the rabbit gets last place."
"You think I need help beating a bunny?" Jack challenged with a smirk as he held out his bag. "Check it out Peter Cottontail"
"you call that a bag of chompers?" Bunny pulled out his bag, which was indeed bigger than Jack's. "Now that's a bag of chompers."
"Gentlemen, gentlemen..." North started as he pushed through the other guardians. "This is about Tooth. Is not competition, but if it was...I win!" He slammed down his large bag. "YEE HAWW" Then, suddenly a flashlight was shined at them. North immediately regretted his decision to be loud and backed up slightly. "Oh no..."
"Santa Clause..." Jamie whispered out. "The Easter Bunny? Sandman! The Tooth Fairy! I knew you'd come!"
"Surprise..." Tooth gave a nervous laugh. "We came!"
"He can see us!?" Jack asked with hope filling up his chest.
"Most of us..." Bunny stated sadly, sensing the sudden rush of hope and knowing exactly who it was coming from.
The light shined on all of them, but then everyone, including Jack, became painfully aware that it was going straight through him as if it wasn't there. 'Oh Jack...' Elaina started.
"Shh...You guys, he's still awake."
"Sandy, knock him out."
"Yeah sure I'll just do that." Sandy thought sarcastically, but of course, Jack heard the pure sarcasm in his 'voice'.
"With the dream sand ya Gumbies!"
At Bunny's voice, they all heard a low and threatening growl. When they turned to face the source, they all found a muscular greyhound ready to defend her small human. "No! Stop it! That's the Easter Bunny. What are you doing Abbey!? Down!"
"Alright, no body panic." Bunny suggested as he set down his bag.
"But that's a um...That's a greyhound. Do you know what greyhounds DO to rabbits?" Jack asked with a slight chuckle at the end.
"I think it's a pretty safe bet he hasn't met a rabbit like me. Six-foot-one, nerves of steal..."
"You hearing this, Jack?" Sandy thought to him as he got a ball of dream sand ready.
'Yeah, I'm hearing it, Sandy.' Jack thought to himself as he rolled his eyes and looked to the nearby clock.
"...master of Tai-chi and..." He tapped the clock which was Abbey's breaking point and she immediately went after Bunny. "Crikey! Ah!"
Somewhere in the attack, Sandy lost the ball of sand he made and it began attacking the other guardians. First it hit tooth and baby tooth who both had teeth dancing above their heads. Then, it hit Bunny who had carrots above his head. After that was Abbey the greyhound who ended up with bones above her head. Next to go down was North who tapped one of the candy canes that started to appear. "Candy canes..." Then finally, Sandy caught Jamie and nodded his head, and the boy fell asleep.
"Whoops!" Jack said with amusement bubbling in his chest. Then, much to Jack's delight, one of the carrots interacted with one of the candy canes and began dancing with it like it was on a Broadway show. "Oh, I really wish I had a camera right now!"
"Jack, I hardly think that they would..." Sandy's eyes widened at the nightmare at the window.
Curious at what could get Sandy's attention like that, Jack's eyes followed where his were and just barely caught a glimpse of it before it left the window in a hurry. He immediately flew after it. "Sandy, c'mon! We can find Pitch!"
Sandy caught up to Jack who had started flying and jumping off of rooftops. "Hey, Jack! Shall we make a race of it!?" He shouted the thought at him with excitement in his eyes.
Jack laughed out loud with pure joy and excitement in his eyes. "YES!" He chased after one nightmare as Sandy chased after the other. He jumped down from a building shouting, "Wahoo!" and continued his chase of the nightmare as he flew down the street and then down an alleyway, where he used the crook of his staff to make himself do a back spin while holding on to the staff, and he propelled himself forward chasing the black horse up the wall and onto a roof where he let out a beam electrical ice. "I got it!" He shouted, once he felt his powers connect with the black horse. He laughed as he jumped further up to the second part of the roof to get a closer look at what he'd done. Once he found what he was looking for he smiled widely. "Sandy! Sandy, did you see that!?" He shouted, feeling proud that he took one of them down. He inched closer to it and touched his staff with it, which caused icy lightning to follow his staff along the black horse. "Look at this thing..."
"Frost?" Pitch questioned with a skeptical expression, making Jack immediately turn around with his heart suddenly pounding in his chest. He tried to shoot ice at him, but it missed as Pitch disappeared into the shadows. "You know, for a neutral party, you spend an awful lot of time with those weirdos. This isn't your fight, Jack."
"You made it my fight when you stole those teeth!"
"Teeth? Why should you care about the teeth?" Silently, Sandy appeared next to Pitch causing Pitch to let out a yelp and jump a couple feet away.
Pitch then chuckled darkly as he said, "Now, this is who I'm looking for."
Without warning, Sandy pulled out dream sand whips and immediately went after Pitch. "You have been hurting children! You have been hurting my friends! And you have no business talking to Jack!" Sandy used one of the whips to wrap around Pitch's wrists while Pitch was trying to swing his nightmare scythe, and began slamming him against the walls. "You. Will not. Swing that. Around Jack!" Sandy tossed him into the air and then slammed him onto the ground. "I won't let you hurt him!"
Once Pitch landed on the ground Jack chuckled lightly. "Remind me not get on your bad side."
Sandy gave Jack a sideways glance with a smile. "You can't get on my bad side, Jack."
'Right...what about when he finally knows about you, Elaina?'
'I don't think you'll have to worry about him being angry at you, but it's still a little less than a decade off before I can reveal myself.'
"Okay...easy..." Pitch started as he backed away on the street while still on his back. "You can't blame me for trying, Sandy! You don't know what it's like to be weak and hated! It was stupid of me to mess with your dreams..." Pitch stood up and held up a hand. "So I tell you what...you can have them back!"
Nightmare horses started to appear one by one then ten by ten, then Jack and Sandy found themselves surrounded. "You take the ones on the left I take the ones one the right?" Jack asked nervously.
"I guess?" Sandy shrugged as he looked around.
They both heard Pitch approaching, so they turned around to face him, and Sandy got his whips out, ready to fight once more. "Boo!" Pitch said as he commanded the nightmares to attack.
As Sandy was attacking, the sled started flying overhead, which caught Pitch's attention, and made room for Sandy to attack a few more nightmare horses before grabbing Jack and flying into the air. Once they were high enough, and enough of the horses had followed them, Sandy tossed Jack into the air, mind shouting at him, "Go Jack!"
Jack started fighting off nightmares immediately after Sandy threw him into the air, allowing Elaina to guide, carry, and assist him in defeating the Nightmares. For a short time none of them were attacking him, when suddenly he saw that two were coming after him from both sides, so he simply allowed himself to drop out of the air slightly, so that the two horses could crash into each other. However, in his decent, he hit a horse and lost his staff. 'JACK!' Elaina shouted desperately, trying to push his staff to him, seeing the obvious pain he was in.
His insides ached, and his chest as well as his lungs started to feel like they would explode. He grabbed frantically for the staff in the air as his breathing grew heavier. Once he finally grabbed it, he landed on the side of the sleigh where Bunny grinned at him saying, "You might wanna duck." So, he did, and noticed the incredibly smug grin on Bunny's face that he had just barely avoided the boomerang.
Out of the corner of his eyes, and far above them, Jack noticed that Sandy was fighting by himself on a large golden cloud as he was surrounded by what seemed to be thousands of nightmares, and above that, Pitch was glaring down at him. "We gotta help Sandy!" Jack shouted, and North immediately made his way to their golden friend when suddenly, Jack saw Pitch hit Sandy with some kind of nightmare arrow and it seemed to actually hurt Sandy. "No!" Jack shouted and immediately started flying towards Sandy as fast as he could.
"Jack!" He heard Bunny shout, but he chose to ignore it.
"Don't fight the fear little man!" Pitch laughed out .
Tooth tried to go after Jack but nightmares swarmed her. "Hurry, Hurry, Jack!" North shouted as he pulled back on the reigns.
"I'd say sweet dreams...but there aren't any left."
As Sandy was consumed by the nightmare sand he stoop proudly and only had one thought as he died. "I'm sorry, Jack." At his last thoughts his golden light had fizzled out.
"No!" Jack stopped for only a moment as he realized what just happened. "NO!" He shouted as he flew directly towards Pitch. Pitch flung his nightmares at Jack, making Jack hesitate, but only for a moment. He felt an overwhelming anger. Pure rage, hopelessness, and heart break. He then felt Elaina wrap her invisible hands around his staff and over his hands. As soon as her hands touched his, he felt warmth, love, heartache, rage, and power. Soon, a sonic boom was heard and there was a glowing blue light coming from off of him, and he knew that it was thanks to Elaina, because she had told him once that she can only amplify his powers. She can't add to it, which meant what he was about to do, was something he was always able to do, just with twice the power. He jolted back from the nightmares, his body giving off pure electrical and icy energy. He then felt Elaina's hands leave his, but the power was still there. So, he slammed his hands together focusing all of the negative emotions and the power he felt rushing through him into the attack along with what little hope and wonder he had left.
However, the shock wave of the attack affected Jack, knocking him out of Elaina's grip, and he was unconscious, which meant he couldn't fly by himself. 'Jack!' She shouted mentally, but let out a sigh of relief as Tooth rushed forward to catch him.
"Jack...how did you do that?" She asked once she saw him begin to move.
"I-I didn't know I could." He answered honestly. 'Elaina?'
'It...it was a sonic blast. It was a combination of magic. Winter magic...and Light magic. You have both and always have.'
'Oh my...your Father...Elaina...'
'Jack...I can still feel it. He'll still know in less than a decade.'
'Which means...' He trailed off as the realization of what she was saying suddenly dawned on him.
'Somehow he survives this...but you can't let the others know.'
'Don't need to worry about that...all I can feel right now is a sore stomach and back...and pure guilt.'
At the funeral for Sandy, neither Jack or Elaina could stand to be that close to everyone and their sadness when they were suffering in their own ways. Elaina more so, and Jack allowed her to wrap around him as tightly as she wanted while he sat on the window sill. He looked at the window pane and pressed his pinky against it, frosting an image of Sandy. "Are you alright?" North asked, his voice riddled with genuine concern.
"I just...I wish I could've done something!" Jack scolded himself. 'Something for Elaina, something for Sandy.'
'Jack...' Elaina whimpered out. She knows that somehow someway her Father survives this, but it still hurts with the atmosphere and watching her biological Father murder the man who was TRULY like a Father to her.
"Done something?" North questioned with disbelief. "Jack, you stood up to Pitch. You saved us!"
"Would be proud of what you did." Jack looked up at him and pulled back the hood of his jacket with a heavy heart. "I don't who you were in your past life, but in this life, you are guardian."
"But...how can I know who I am...until I find out who I was?"
"You will." North reassured him. "I feel it. In my belly."
'Right and that's never wrong?' Jack thought to himself as he found himself a bit amused at the idea of North listening to his belly.
The sound of the lights going out got everyone's attention, and Tooth gasped. "Look how fast they're going out!"
"It's fear." Jack stated as he flew up towards the globe. "He's tipped the balance."
"Hey, buck up you sad sacks!" Bunny started with a voice that seemed hopeful. "We can still turn this around! Easter is tomorrow, and I need your help!" Jack's face lit up with delight and excitement. "I say we pull out all the stops and we get those lights flickering again!"
"Welcome to the Warren!" Bunny greeted with a slight chuckle, but then something caught his attention. Jack narrowed his eyes at the strange running eggs, and they seemed to be running AWAY from something. "Something's up."
As the screaming got closer, they all began to charge after the noise, thinking it was Pitch, only to find it was a little girl with blonde hair. "Sophie?" Jack asked, and they all quickly put away their weapons.
"What is SHE doing HERE!?" Bunny questioned desperately as he tried to see the little girl who was chasing one of North's elves.
"Uh oh...Snow globe..."
"Crikey, somebody do something!" Bunny exclaimed, not used to children in his warren.
"Hey, don't look at me. I'm invisible, remember?"
'No, Jack, I'M invisible. You just can't be seen by Mortals.'
'Same difference, Elaina.'
"Don't worry Bunny." Tooth started as she flew a little higher towards Sophie. "I bet she's a fairy fan. It's okay little one."
Sophie smiled and her eyes lit up with wonder. "Pretty!"
"Awe...you know what? I have something for you! Here it is..." She held out her hand towards the small child, holding teeth in her palm. "...Look at all the pretty teeth with little blood and gum on them."
Sophie ran away screaming and began to chase the eggs again. "Blood and gums? When was the last time you guys actually hung out with kids?"
Sophie chased the eggs into a stone head, laughing with pure joy in her heart. "Peek-a-boo!" She shouted and the eggs began running away again.
"We are very busy bringing joy to children! We don't have time...for children..." Even Bunny straightened up at the mere thought of it.
"Well..." Jack made a singular snowflake appear as joy, hope, wonder, and fun bubbled through his powers, and he released the snowflake towards Bunny. "...if one little kid can ruin Easter, than we're in more trouble than I thought."
The snowflake fell against Bunny's nose and his eyes lit up with a fond look, and he started paying more attention to Sophie as he commanded the eggs to paint themselves throughout his Warren. Then, Jack and Elaina both started to notice the strangest thing. He actually started to have fun, and the stress of Easter melted off him as he now had fun with the eggs getting painted and carrying Sophie on his back as he ran through the painting paths. As the rest of the eggs were making their ways to the different continents Bunny pointed at a stray egg for Sophie to find. "Oh, what's that over there?" Sophie ran over to get it and danced it back to Bunny as she giggled freely. "Oh, that's a beauty!" Bunny exclaimed as he carefully grabbed Sophie's hand and led her to where the other eggs were running towards their tunnels. "Now, all we got to do is get him and his little mates through the tunnels to the top, and we'll have ourselves Easter." Bunny sighed as Sophie began to quickly get tired. He picked her up carefully in his arms and she was asleep almost instantly in his arms.
Jack walked over and crouched next to Bunny with pure wonder, hope, and joy as he watched the little eggs run towards the tunnels. "Not bad." He told Bunny with a wide smile.
"Not bad yourself."
"Look, I'm sorry about the whole...kangaroo thing."
"It's the accent isn't it?" They both gave a soft chuckle. "Oh, poor little ankle biter. Look at her, all tuckered out."
"I love her." Tooth said as she lightly flew over her. She landed next to Bunny and held out her hands to take the child from Bunny. "I think it's time to get her home."
"How about I take her home?" Jack asked.
'Right and how are you gonna do that!?'
'She's asleep. You can believe in anything when you sleep.'
'You're guessing aren't you?'
'Yeah, I'm guessing.'
"Jack, no. Pitch is..." Tooth started.
"...No match for this." He finished as he held out his staff.
"Which is why we need you here with us." Bunny stated.
"Trust me. I'll be quick as a bunny."
Jack had just put Sophie to bed, slightly unsuccessfully if Elaina's laughter was anything to go by. He then looked to Baby Tooth as he carefully closed the window. "We...should get back."
"Jack!" A young girls voice called out and Current Jack heard Tooth audibly gasp from behind him, but decided to ignore it for now.
"That voice..." He narrowed his eyes trying to remember where he's heard it from. "I know that voice."
"Jack!" It called out once more, and almost as if he was in some sort of trance, he flew off towards the sound of the voice, his eyes searching for where it could've come from. "Jack!" It called out again and he landed on someone's roof, again searching the area for the familiar voice. "Jack!" It said again. 'It's coming from the forest!' He flew off towards the forest, intent on finding the source of the voice. Once he made it to the middle of the woods and landed he walked closer to where he assumed the voice was coming from and found an old wooden bed frame that seemed to be broken in some places. "Jack?"
Baby tooth tried to pull on his hoodie, but Jack waved at her with almost a hypnotized trance look in his eyes as he continued forward. There was a wooden bed, and as he continued to walk towards it, Baby Tooth attempted to get his attention at the same time as Elaina. However, Jack could barely hear her. 'Jack...we...go! JACK! Can...hear...!?'
"Don't worry...there's still time." Once he dove down the whole he saw, he felt Baby Tooth at his hoodie again. "Baby Tooth! Baby T...C'mon! I have to find out what that is!" He looked up and saw all of the fairies that were captured earlier, in cages. All of the fairies started crying for Jack's help. He flew up to a cage and saw so many fairies inside. "Shhhh keep it down! I'm gonna get you out as soon as I..."
"Jack?" The voice called again and the trance like stare appeared on his face once again. "Jack!"
"...I can..." He practically threw himself into the pile of teeth canisters and frantically looked for a face that resembled his but found none.
"Looking for something?" Pitch called out from the shadows. 'Pitch!' Jack turned around and shot ice towards the shadow, and as it disappeared he began to chase it. "Don't be afraid, Jack. I'm not gonna hurt YOU."
Jack jumped around the darkened corridor until he found Pitch walking across a bridge. He flew towards him and started following him with his staff ready to strike. "Afraid? I'm not afraid of you."
"Maybe not, but you are afraid of something."
"You think so, huh?"
"I know so! It's the one thing I always know. People's greatest fears. Yours is that no one will ever believe in you." Fear began to settle into Jack's heart as Pitch's shadow grew more at his own words. Then suddenly, he was pulled down a dark tunnel and pushed out somewhere else in the cavern as he chuckled darkly. "And worst of all..." Pitch continued. "You're afraid you'll never know why! Why you? Why were you chosen?" Jack ran away from the voice all while trying to find where it came from. His heart was pounding and he was getting more frightened the more Pitch talked, because to an extent, he was right. He backed up against the wall as he noticed Pitch's shadow coming towards him, becoming more solid. "...To be like this. Well, fear not. For the answer to that is right here." Pitch held out the canister to Jack and looked at them both with a soft yet twisted reminiscent smile on his face as he asked, "Do you want them, Jack? Your memories?" Jack reached out to them, but drew his hand back as he scoffed out a breath of disbelief at himself. 'I have to get back to the others...' Jack thought to himself as Pitch disappeared again, and he soon found himself chasing him again through the dark cavern of cages. "Everything you wanted to know..." Pitch's shadow spoke. "...in this little box." His shadow disappeared and Jack rushed after it with determination in his eyes. "Why did you end up like this?" Pitch's voice seemed to come from everywhere at this point, and Jack could feel his heart hammering in his chest as fear quickly started to run rampant through his entire body. He started to find himself breathing hard, in fear of what else Pitch might say. "...unseen..." He continued. "...unable to reach out to anyone. You want the answers so badly. You want to grab them and fly off with them, but you're afraid of what the guardians will think. You're afraid...of disappointing them. Well let me ease your mind about one thing. They'll never accept you...not really."
Pitch's voice echoed around him and in his head. 'They'll never...accept me...No! Stop...!' Jack started to grab his ear as he attempted to push out the fear from his heart and make his ears not listen to Pitch's cruelty. "Ngh! Stop it! Stop it!" He shouted. 'Get out of my head!'
"After all..." Pitch appeared in front of Jack who was now standing next Pitch's version of the globe. "You'll never be one of them." He smiled darkly as he approached closer.
Jack held his staff once again, ready to attack Pitch at any moment as he tried to will the fear out of his body. "You don't know what I am!" He growled out.
"Of course I do! You're Jack Frost! You make a mess where ever you go. Why...you're doing it right now." He tossed the teeth canister towards Jack, and Jack caught it, and looked at it skeptically.
"What did you do?"
"More to the point, Jack? What did you do?" Pitch chuckled out darkly as he and his glowing eyes started fading away into darkness.
Jack immediately went after him, his staff glowing with power, when he realized that Pitch wasn't there. He made to turn around but found himself facing a wall instead. "Baby Tooth!" He exclaimed as worry filled his heart.
"Happy Easter, Jack."
Jack turned around to see crushed eggs and his heart sank, and his soul ached. "No..." He said sadly as he made his way down the tunnel.
Jack arrived at the egg hunt and immediately witnessed a child walking through Bunny. 'No...not Bunny...' He though guiltily. "They don't see me..." Bunny started. "They don't see me..." He said once more as he began to crouch in on himself with tears threatening his eyes.
"Jack! Where were you?" North asked, and Jack immediately turned around with guilt practically crushing his heart. "The nightmares...attacked the tunnels. They smashed every egg...crushed every basket. Nothing made it to the surface!"
"Jack!" Tooth immediately flew over towards them, then noticed the canister in his hand. She gasped aloud and looked at Jack. "Where did you get that?"
"Where's Baby Tooth?" She asked frantically. Then, she noticed the little fairy was no longer in sight and began assuming the worst. "Oh, Jack...what have you done!?" She questioned as she backed away from him with a look of pure heartbreak and disbelief.
"That is why you weren't here? You were with PITCH!?"
'WHAT!? Oh no! They think that I...!' Jack's thoughts started to run rampant with the fear from earlier as he realized he needed to say something. He needed to explain. "No! Listen listen..." He let out a heavy breath. "I'm sorry!" He stated desperately. "I didn't mean for this to happen!"
"He has to go." Bunny said from behind him.
"What?" Jack asked as worry filled his heart. 'Please, no...let me explain!'
"WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE TRUSTED YOU!" Bunny rose a paw at Jack in the form of a fist, seemingly ready to hit him, but then Bunny lowered his fist and let out a heavy sigh. "Easter is...New beginnings...new life. Easter is about Hope! And now it's gone." Bunny sighed once more as he walked away from Jack with a disappointed look. He turned around to North and Tooth silently begging, 'You have to believe me! I didn't have control! I didn't mean to...' But North and Tooth looked away. Jack then took out the small wooden doll that North had given him, and looked at it's eyes. 'Huh...Guardian of Wonder? He wouldn't even listen...' He tossed the doll to the ground and flew away.
Jack was about to throw away his tooth canister, but then he heard Elaina's voice. 'Don't do that, Jack. You know you don't want to, and even though a lot of things...went badly...you still have your tooth canister.'
Jack groaned out as he slammed his arm down. 'Yeah, and now they hate me, and the only one that liked me is...'
"I thought this might happen..." He heard from behind him, and instantly, his rage was seething at just the sound of it. "They never really believed in you. I was just trying to show you that." Jack grew livid the more and more Pitch continued to talk. "But I understand."
A growl left Jack's throat as he immediately and relentlessly attacked Pitch with an ice blast. "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!" He shouted as he jumped over Pitch, landed on the far other side of him, and shot another ice blast.
Pitch then used his nightmare sand as a shield from Jack's blast that would've likely sent him off the edge of the cliff. "No!?" He challenged. "I don't know what it's like to be cast out!?" He shot out nightmare sand at Jack who avoided it and immediately flew high into the air with a vengeful yell as he shot out a large and powerful icy blast, that Pitch had to use quite a bit of nightmare sand to defend with. "To not be believed in?" He continued. "To long for...a family!?"
'What!?' Jack questioned immediately in his mind as he lowered his staff. 'Does he remember his humanity that much?'
'No, Jack! It's a trick!' Elaina pleaded. 'Don't listen to him!'
"We don't have to be alone Jack. I believe in you, and I know children will too!"
'Really?' Jack thought. "In me?"
"Yes!" Pitch laughed out in a giddy manner. "Look at what we can do?" Pitch asked as he gestured to the large nightmare-ice sculpture. "What goes together better than cold and dark!? We can make them BELIEVE! We'll give them a world where everything...EVERYTHING IS..."
"Pitch Black?" Jack inquired using his staff to point at him. 'I don't think so...'
'Oh thank goodness!' Elaina sighed out.
"And Jack Frost too..." Pitch quickly caught himself. "...They'll believe in both of us."
"No, they'll FEAR both of us, and that's not what I want. Now, for the LAST time, leave me alone!"
Pitch's excited look from earlier quickly turned into one of anger and frustration. "Very well. You want to be left alone. Done! But first..."
Jack heard a familiar squeak from behind him and his eyes went wide. "Baby Tooth!"
"THE STAFF, JACK! You have a bad habit of interfering. Now, hand it over, and I'll let her go."
Jack clutched his staff, ready to attack, and he heard the power practically sing from it with an icy voice, but he lowered it and flipped it around, handing it to Pitch. Pitch immediately took it and it lost all it's icy appearance it held when in Jack's hands. "Alright, now let her go."
"No." He said simply. "You wanted to be alone? Then BE alone!"
"Hey!" Baby tooth squeaked out and she slammed her beak into Pitch's thumb.
Pitch, caught by surprise and only further angered, threw her against the ice wall in front of him. "No!" Jack shouted as he watched Baby Tooth hit the wall. He turned around to face Pitch when suddenly he watched his staff snap in two. As the staff snapped, so did his ability to breath, and it felt like his heart and soul and everything he was, was split in two...painfully. He thought for a brief moment that his ribs were broken, but he didn't have time to think about it as Pitch hurled nightmare sand at him and tossed him against the very same wall, causing him to lose consciousness until he woke up not long after landing down the icy cavern. Then, Pitch tossed Jack's broken staff into the same area.
Once Jack regained consciousness, he looked over next to him and noticed that Baby Tooth was hurt. He shuffled over on his stomach, unable to move his legs quite yet and quickly grabbed her. "Baby Tooth! You alright?" He whispered out. He tried to close his hands around her to keep her warm when suddenly she squeaked, causing him to open up his hands, and she sneezed, then shook her head. He let out a disappointed sigh as he still held her. "Sorry, all I can do is keep you cold..." He stood up on his knees only to crouch back down on them with another heavy sigh. "Pitch was right..." Jack stated with pure hopelessness. "I make a mess of everything." Baby tooth crawled from his hand and into his pocket causing Jack to let out a short, "Hey!" before leaning up against the wall.
He looked down at his hoodie pocket and it was glowing. "Whoa!" He shouted as he jumped back in surprise until his back hit the ice wall. He took out the golden canister and looked at it, and Baby Tooth who held her own tiny hand against it, nodding her head. He carefully placed his hand in the middle of the canister and was immediately brought forward to his memories. He saw how he played with the other children, went on Easter egg hunts, put on shadow puppet plays for them, played in trees, and most importantly, he witnessed himself saving his little sisters life and how MiM changed him from a dead mortal to Jack Frost. Then finally, as if all breath had left him, he sucked in a large gasp of air as he came flooding back to himself. He looked at the canister, then at Baby Tooth, then to the canister again in disbelief. "Did you...Did you see that!?" Baby Tooth shook her head for her answer, but that didn't stop every amount of happiness that came rushing into Jack's heart. "It was...It was me!" He said frantically as he moved to grab Baby Tooth to tell her of what he saw. "I had A FAMILY! I had a SISTER! I SAVED her!" Then realization dawned on him as he looked up to the full moon above him. "That's why you chose me..." He whispered out. "I'm...I'm a guardian!" The smile on his face was nothing compared to the pure feeling of Hope, Wonder, and the feeling of his dreams coming true as he finally found his memories and why he was put into the world as Jack Frost. His heart and soul swelled with joy, but he soon realized, he still needed to get out and get to the others. No matter if they hated him or not, he needed to get to them, but before them, he had to get the fairies. "We have to get out of here!" He said as he started looking for a way to climb out. Then, he noticed his staff. He quickly grabbed it and tried to put it back together, focusing on everything he felt inside. Everything the guardians represented, but it didn't work. He tried once more as he looked deep inside himself for everything the guardians represented AND how he felt when he used his powers. To his surprise, the staff began mending itself in his hands. Once it was mended he shot up into the air and danced with the wind laughing joyously. "Come on Baby Tooth! I owe you one!"
'Oh Jack! I'm so happy for you! Oh! I love you!'
'I love you too, Elaina! I am so glad I have my memories back! Oh, and I saw you there...don't worry, I'm not mad. I'm actually happy you've kept it a secret this whole time. I've made friends and I've figured out who I am! This is amazing, but I can't celebrate right now! I have to get to the fairies! Take me there as fast as you can!'
'Hold on tight, love!'
'To you? Always!'
After getting to the cages, realizing they couldn't fly, and then when he noticed that there was one light left, and he knew that light well, Jack knew exactly where he needed to go. "Okay, look. You and I are obviously at what they call...a crossroads. So, here's what's gonna happen...If it wasn't a dream and if you ARE real, then you have to prove it...like right now." Jack lowered himself at the window as he thought, 'Oh, Jamie...I'm so sorry...' He thought to himself as his frown deepened, but he decided to let Jamie continue. "I've believed in you for a long time, okay? Like...my whole life in fact. So you kind of owe me now. You don't have to do much, just a little sign so I know. Anything...anything at all." Jamie begged his stuffed animal with a small glimmer of hope still left in his eyes, but when nothing he happened he tossed the stuffed rabbit onto the floor and sighed. "I knew it." Jack carefully opened the window and walked into Jamie's room. He tapped the glass with his staff, causing it to frost over. 'Even if he won't believe in me...he should at least believe in Bunny.' He thought to himself again as he started to draw an Easter egg on the frosted glass. He then noticed that Jamie's eyes shot up, watching diligently as he drew the egg. Then, Jack started to draw a bunny and he heard Jamie whisper, "He's real!" He couldn't help the small smile that appeared on his face after he finished drawing the bunny. 'That's right, Jamie!' Jack held out his hands to the frosted drawn bunny, unsure of what exactly was going to happen but he felt in his heart that if he focused on everything that Bunny represents and everything that Sandy had shown him, then perhaps he could make the bunny in the window pane real. He breathed in deeply thinking, 'Come on...I got my memories...all I need is North's wonder, Bunny's hope, and Sandy's dream sand like qualities. I BELIEVE I can do this!' He told himself as he finally let out the breath of air, and felt his magic pull wonderfully from his fingers, onto the window pane, and then into his hand. He opened his eyes to see a frosted bunny blinking at him before hopping around Jamie just like Sandy's dream sand would've. Both Jack and Jamie laughed joyfully at the bunny that hopped around in the air before it exploded into a snow flurry falling from what seemed to be Jamie's ceiling. "Snow?" He asked curiously, until a snow flake touched his nose. "Jack Frost." Jamie said aloud with a small smile as he remembered his mothers words not too long ago.
"Did he just say..."
'I...I think he did!' Elaina stuttered out in pure giddy wonder.
"Jack Frost?" Jamie asked the air, thinking he heard someone in his room.
Jack let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding as his heart pounded with hope and disbelief at the same time. "He said it again..." He looked down towards the floor as the hope and wonder continued to rise up into his chest. "He said...YOU said..."
Jamie turned around and his jaw dropped in shock. "Jack Frost!"
"That's right! But...but that's me! Jack Frost! That's my name!" Jack looked at Jamie, and he felt that he might burst with how much Hope was bubbling in his chest. "You said my name!" He then noticed that Jamie was staring right where he was standing and the hope only continued to rise, and his heart started beating faster. "Wait...Can..Can you hear me?" Jamie nodded and Jack felt his breathing become ragged with how much his hope was risen. "Can...Can...Can you...Can you see me?" Jack didn't want to dare to hope, but his hope was already at such a high peak it was impossible to bring it down, and he thought it was impossible to lift it any higher until Jamie nodded at his most recent question. Immediately he felt his eyes begin to well up with overjoyed tears. Jack laughed out breathlessly as his greatest hope was just confirmed. "He sees me. He...He sees me!" He laughed and cried out as all of the hope and wonder practically exploded in his chest as he did a back flip of joy onto Jamie's desk. 'Elaina! He sees me!'
'I know! This is amazing! I'm so happy for you, my love!'
"You just made it snow!" Jamie shouted with glee.
"I know!" Jack replied with so much joy in his heart he almost couldn't take it.
"In my room!"
"Yeah man! Who do you think brings you all the blizzards and...and the snow days!? And you remember when you went flying on the sled the other day?"
"That was you?"
"That was me!"
"I know right!?"
"But what about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? I mean, what about..."
"Real! Real! REAL! Every one of us is real!"
"I knew it!"
"Jamie! Who are you talking to?" Jamie's mother called out.
Jack gave Jamie a 'go ahead and tell her' look so he did. "Jack Frost?"
"Okay." She laughed out and Jamie looked at Jack in complete shock. Then they both heard thunder coming from outside.
The thunder was Pitch's Nightmare tidal wave coming closer, and Jack felt overjoyed when North confirmed that Jamie could see him, however, when he gained more believers through Jamie's friends, that somehow overpowered the joy that was already in his heart. Then, they stepped forward to fight Pitch, and protect THEM. "Still think there's no such thing as The Boogeyman?" Pitch challenged.
"I do believe in you." Jamie admitted. "I'm just not afraid of you!" He held up his hand against the nightmare storm bravely, and everyone was instantly and pleasantly taken back by how the black sand erupted into many mystical golden tendrils of sand almost instantly.
The battle was on, and they were on a level field now! Elaina carried Jack wherever he needed to go while the others fought below for a while, but they then apparently noticed him fighting above, and decided to join him while the 'helpers' fought alongside the children below. The amount of Joy Jack felt in his heart was almost overwhelming, but he couldn't help it. The golden sand meant Sandy, and he was fighting alongside the other Guardians, and they didn't seem to hate him anymore...AND he has believers! Once they cornered him, he allowed a small amount of rage to come through as he glared Pitch down. "It's over, Pitch. There's no where to hide!" Suddenly, Pitch's face turned into a wicked grin as he slunk back into the shadows, causing Jack to immediately turn around.
"Jack! Look out!"
Jack turned around and saw a giant scythe that was aimed for him. 'NO!' Jack screamed in his mind. 'Not like this! Not without...' In mid thought, he saw a familiar golden whip wrap tightly around the scythe, yanking Pitch back. 'S-Sandy!'
'Father!' Elaina shouted in excitement and Jack could hear her tears of joy.
After the wonderful and amazing display of Sandy's powers, and after Pitch was dragged back into his hole, the other Guardians, the children, and even the 'helpers' came together on top of the icy pond, and Jack couldn't stop the wide grin on his face. North stepped forward with a proud smile as he looked down at Jack. "Are you ready, Jack? To make it official?" Jack simply smiled and walked closer, watching him take his smile as the answer, and he flipped open the large book. "Will you, Jack Frost, vow to watch over the children of the world? To guard them with your life...their hopes, their wishes, and their dreams, for they are all that we have, all that we are, and all that we will ever be."
Jack looked back at Jamie with a small smile. 'Should I, kid?' When Jamie nodded with a proud grin, he knew his answer. "I will."
"Then, congratulations, Jack Frost, for you are now and FOREVER MORE a Guardian."
Once they all made it back to the North Pole to celebrate their victory, Jack still couldn't help the large grin on his face. Then, Sandy came up next to him with a joyful smile, and apologetic eyes. "So..." Sandy started. "...North and the others tell me you have believers now."
"I do!" Jack answered with a giddy laugh at the end.
"How does it feel?"
"Oh...better than anything I could ever imagine!" Jack sighed as he sipped his hot cocoa.
"I'm proud of you, Jack."
"Thanks...that means a lot coming from you, Sandy, and hey...I never thought that I would be able to stand by Bunny's side, and see him smile. Speaking of which, we said something about that a long time ago, didn't we? The day you see Bunny genuinely smile is the day that..."
Sandy's eyes widened as he finished the sentence. "...is the day that there's a new Guardian. Well, I didn't think MANNY would take that to heart!"
"Actually...Sandy...there's something you should know..."
"What is it?"
Jack quickly peered around the corner and noticed that the others were too caught up with each other and their 'helpers' to notice them, so he let out a small sigh before telling him. "Well, Manny chose me from the very beginning. I...when I looked into my Tooth box...I saw that I had a good life. I had friends, a family, a sister that I adored, and we went skating one day...on my actual birthday which just so happens to be my spiritual birthday as well...and she went out onto the ice before I could check it. The ice started cracking beneath her feet. My shepherd's staff...this staff...which actually belonged to my Father for a very long time...I had dropped it when I rushed out onto the ice to try and help her, but then the ice cracked beneath me too. I was fourteen when this all happened. My sister was eight. I distracted her with a game of hopscotch so that I could get my staff...and then I had her do the same with her skates. The third step...she wasn't going to make it...so I used the crook of my staff to yank on her and trade places. I thought I was okay, but then the ice cracked completely. I drowned, but it was worth it. She lived. Then, the moon changed my hair and eye color, and pulled me out."
"J-Jack..." Jack's eyes widened as he looked over to see Bunny crouched low on his haunches, and his ears were flat against his head, and he watched as Tooth and North came forward with concerned looks of their own, but Bunny didn't seem to notice. "...you...did ya really...?"
"Yes, Bunny. I really died at the age of fourteen with my belief in all of you in tact. Manny brought me back to life because I was willing to sacrifice my life for my sister's without a second thought, and I used joy and fun as a distraction to help save her. That doesn't change anything...it just makes my origin story that much more interesting."
"Ya sure you're alright?" Bunny asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine, Cottontail."
That caught Jack's attention with a slight smirk. "Jacky? Since when do I get nice nicknames from you?" If possible, Bunny crouched lower and his ears were flatter against his head. "Bunny?"
"S-Sandy was right. I should've...I shouldn't have...the Blizzard of '68 I...the things I said..."
"Wait...does this mean you forgive me for what happened?"
To Jack's immense surprise, tears started to form and fall down Bunny's face. "C-Crikey Jacky...I...that's not...no. I mean yes, I really do forgive ya, but I...no, that's...that w-wasn't what I...that was not what I wanted to say. I...was wonderin'...hopin'...can you...I mean...you have every right not to...but I..." Bunny swallowed a lump in his throat, telling Jack that whatever he had to say was completely serious, difficult, and he was afraid of how he would react. "...I was wrong...and I...I was hopin' that maybe you could...f-forgive me."
Jack blinked several times, because this was out of character for Bunny, but recent events, he acknowledges that perhaps Bunny did actually get an opportunity to see what Sandy was talking about without any of them knowing it, but there was something neither Bunny nor Sandy knew. "Bunny, I forgave you a week after it happened."
"Y-You what!? But I...I called ya a..."
"And I forgave you for it." Jack quickly interrupted.
"Forgave him for what?" Tooth asked carefully, noticing the uneasiness in the area at the moment.
"I...I called him a monster." Bunny answered. "We um...got into a bit of a fight, and...Sandy had to break it up, but Jack was being a good sport about it the whole time...I see that now. I...was horrible, and Sandy had told me I was being horrible and cruel without even knowin' him, and...it was true, but there was just so much snow on Easter Sunday of '68...I was so angry."
"And I forgave you. Do you really forgive me?"
"I...there's nothin' to forgive, Jacky. It wasn't your fault after all. Even Sandy vouched for you for that one."
"Wait, Jack, how long have you known Sandy?" North asked with a quizzical expression as he crossed his arms.
"Two centuries this year." Jack beamed, and that threw Tooth and North for a loop.
"YOU'VE BEEN A SPIRIT FOR TWO HUNDRED YEARS!?" Tooth squeaked out.
"No, longer than that. I've been a spirit for three hundred years. It was just two hundred years when I was allowed out."
"Out!? Out of where!? Were you trapped, sweet tooth!? Who did that to you!?"
"Whoa!" Jack chuckled out as he got up from where he was sitting. "Chill! I most certainly wasn't trapped anywhere! I was..." Before he could finish, a portal was conjured next to him. "Well then..." He whispered out as he waited for her to come through. "...pleasure to see you as always." He nodded his head at her when she walked through, but no one else except for Sandy and Elaina was calm about seeing her.
"M-Mother Nature? What brings you here?" North asked cautiously.
"Huh, they seem afraid of you." Jack stated with genuine curiosity. He then walked over to Emily and looked down at her, mainly due to the fact he was three inches taller than her, and he gave her a slight smirk. "I don't see why. The only thing they need to be afraid of is your cooking." He joked which earned him a playful jab from Mother Nature.
"J-Jack! If you know who she is, why on EARTH are you talking to her that way!?" Tooth squeaked out.
"Because I do, in fact, know her. She's stubborn, headstrong, fierce, annoying at times, REALLY cranky, and more mischievous than me."
"A-Are you crazy!?" North whispered loudly. "Why would you speak of her that way!?"
"Why not, it's all true, isn't it?" He asked as he looked at her, and noticed the highly amused look on her face.
"You're doing this to them on purpose." She stated fondly. "And hey! What's wrong with my cooking?"
"Nothing!" He held up a hand as he pursed his lips in denial. "...if you don't mind charcoal that is."
"Keep in mind who TAUGHT you how to cook." She argued back with a defiant yet amused expression.
"Yeah, and as the saying goes...the student surpasses the master."
"Oh! You are so infuriating sometimes!"
"Wait...how...how do you two know each other?" North questioned with widened eyes.
"He's one of my spirits." Emily answered with a slight tilt of her head. "Wait...you mean you really don't know? I mean...Bunny knows a little, and Sandy knows A LOT, but really...neither of them told you? Not even Jack?"
"How can't he be one of your spirits! He has been chosen by Man in Moon." North's eyes were growing more and more confused by the second.
"Wow, Jack. This is rich." She started to chuckle low. "Well..." Emily waved her hand and another portal appeared to reveal the Snow Queen, Kala. "...this one was worried about you."
"Jack!" Kala moved forward and quickly wrapped her arms around him. "I saw you in Antarctica! I saw what Pitch did to you! Are you alright!? How is your staff back together!?"
"Kala, I'm alright, I promise. I'm fine. I put my staff back together on my own using my magic and focusing on...important things. Wait, hold on...what were you doing in Antarctica?"
"Well, I saw you flying away...towards Antarctica, and you were crying...so I followed you, but then I saw Pitch, so I hid. I thought he killed you, Jack!"
"Yeah, well, I guess I'm too stubborn to..." Jack looked over to North and Tooth who were still very much in shock. "...die." He smirked at the last word.
"Jack?" Kala questioned as she too looked at the others.
"Well, you know how I told Sandy about who I am and how I know all of you?"
"Well, they don't know. Bunny has a rough idea, but Tooth and North...don't know."
"J-Jack...are you romantically involved with one of them?"
"Oh heaven's no!" Emily laughed out. "Jack already has someone he loves and I can assure you personally, it's not the Snow Queen or myself!"
"I could never! They're like sisters! Well, not so much Mother Nature for certain reasons, but..."
"S-Sisters? How? Jack, you are Winter spirit, no? Is that how you know them?"
"Oh wow...they're really lost aren't they?" Kala giggled out.
"Not lost. Just...unaware." Jack told her with a slight smile.
"Jack, if you don't tell them, I will." Emily groaned out as she pinched the bridge of her nose.
"You can go ahead and tell them."
"Very well. North, Tooth?"
"Yes?" They both asked at the same time, still bewildered by everything, but more so by the fact that Mother Nature was accepting Jack's behavior.
"Jack is my General of Winter. He is the King of Winter and the Embodiment of Winter. The Snow Queen is one of his most loyal spirits, and she worries easily."
"J-Jack is...he is General of Winter!?" North whispered out in awe and wonder.
"Jack is the KING of Winter!?" Tooth squeaked out as she suddenly stopped flying.
"Wait, back up to the part where ya said Jacky has someone he loves! Jacky's got a girl?"
"I have a woman, first off, Bunny. Not a girl. Secondly, yes...I am the General of Winter. I have been since the day Manny brought me back to life and pulled me out of the pond three centuries ago."
"Yes, and you worried me a great deal! I thought you had died! When he tossed you against the ice wall...and you lost consciousness..."
"Wait...is that what happened when you were with Pitch?" North questioned with guilt settling in his eyes.
"No...it was after Easter. After Bunny got walked through."
"Strewth..." Bunny breathed out as they all gained guilty looks while Sandy remained as confused as ever. "...we've NEVER done right by ya, have we, Jacky?"
"Sandy has...but the rest of you have plenty of time to make up for it. Besides, I'm not angry anymore anyway."
"You're not?" Tooth questioned in an unsure manner.
"No. I've got what I need. I've got my girlfriend, my best friend, and new friends." Jack stood a bit straighter as he walked closer to Bunny who tried his best to stand taller, but the guilt was still weighing him down a bit. "You said Easter is about New Beginnings, right?"
Suddenly, all of the joy returned to Bunny's features, and his eyes shined brighter than anything Jack had ever seen. "Too right!" Jack nodded his head and rushed forward to give Bunny a hug, which apparently he wasn't used to, but returned it anyway with warm furry arms. "Thank ya, Jacky."
"You're welcome, Cottontail."
"Aster." Bunny said, and everyone in the room, even Mother Nature gasped in shock as Bunny left the hug. "Jack, I entrust my true name to you. My true name is Elliston Aster Bunnymund, but if ya look in the books, it'll say E. Aster Bunnymund. However, I would rather ya just call me Aster."
"Y-You...you're true name? Bun-erm...Aster...are you sure?"
"Considering you were able to say it just now? Yeah."
'Maybe you should return the favor. You know your true name now, love.'
'You're right.' Jack smiled softly and nodded his head. "I entrust my true name to you. My true name is...Jackson Overland Frost." Jack grinned at the reaction Aster gave.
Aster staggered back quite a bit, holding a paw to his furry chest. "Y-You sure?"
"Yes. Actually..." Jack then turned to face Sandy who was showing a bit of jealousy. "Sandy, I entrust my true name to you too. My true name is Jackson Overland Frost."
Sandy's eyes softened, and he held up Jack's name above him using the alphabet. "Jackson Overland Frost. That's a nice name, Jack."
"Thank you. Aster? Do you wanna try and say it?"
"I...you're serious? But I...I called you a monster, and I...the things I've said, Jack..."
"The things that I forgave you for." He sighed out in frustration while still holding a smile on his face.
"R-Right...Jackson Overland Frost. I...I said it."
"Yes, and I'll entrust my name to North and Tooth as well. Since two people have already been able to say it, I don't think there should be an issue. Now, Kala...I'm so sorry for worrying you. It wasn't my intention."
"No, but how does your girlfriend feel about it though!? She was probably panicking like crazy! She had to watch it all too! And she was there to fight along side you against Pitch too!"
"Wait...Jack didn't have anyone else with him."
"Right, sometimes I forget others don't know about her." Emily sighed with amusement. "You would know her as the Wind, but sometimes she goes by Wendy."
"Jack's girlfriend...is the wind?" North asked with a risen brow.
"Yes." Jack answered seriously and proudly.
"No offence Jack...but how exactly does that work?" Tooth questioned as her brow furrowed in confusion and concerned.
"It works in Mother Nature's Domain when she has a physical form. Right now, not only she invisible, but she is the wind that surrounds me tightly. I can communicate with her vocally and telepathically. Now, before all of you get dirty minds, no, we haven't had sex. We've just kissed a lot...and danced."
"Seriously!? How long have the two of ya been in a relationship?" Aster asked with widened eyes.
"A hundred and sixty-two years this year."
"YIKES!" Aster bellowed out with pure laughter. "That's a hell of a commitment! You have the heart of a Pooka!"
"The heart of a what'a?" Jack questioned with a tilt of his head.
"A Pooka. It's what I am. I'm from an entirely different planet, mate."
"Huh...that makes sense actually."
"You accept things rather fast." North commented with a twinge of wonder.
"Yeah, well...anyway, what did you mean by the heart of a Pooka?"
"When Pooka fall in love or mate...we only ever have one mate for a millennia at a time. A thousand years at a time, and if we still love them by the end of it...a thousand years more."
"Wow...not half bad. Well, I've never once stopped loving her, so I guess so."
'And I'll never stop loving you either! Oh, the Pooka were a proud race! They were scholars, sorcerers, warriors, and oh the things they could do with Magic, Jack! You should ask him sometime...AFTER I reveal myself though.'
'Got it.' Jack told her, and then smiled at Emily. "So, is there any other reason why you're here?"
"Well, that's not very nice." She chuckled out.
"I'M not nice!? You turned my blankets PINK for a week!"
"Only after you and Wind decided that it would be funny if my shower was suddenly ice cold! Hail, Jack! You turned my shower into HAIL!"
Jack started doubling over laughing. "Oh! THAT was great though! Besides, if you hadn't tried to force beets down my throat! You knew I hated them!"
"Yes, I knew very well, but at the time I was mad at you for PURPOSEFULLY rearranging ALL of the books in my library!"
"And I did that, because you cheated in a sparring match! You even admitted to it!"
"Fine...perhaps the library was fair, but..."
"HOLD A MO'!" Aster shouted with ears at attention, and widened eyes in complete disbelief. "Jacky, did ya seriously prank Mother Nature?"
"Many, many times." Emily rolled her eyes. "But I always got him back."
"Yes, and it's been that way for the past three centuries. Now, seriously...why else are you here? If it was just to allow the Snow Queen to see me, you would've left by now."
"I...may have been concerned for you as well. You know who Pitch was to me..."
"H-He knew!?" Tooth, Aster, Sandy, and North collectively shouted. Well, as much as Sandy COULD shout.
"Yes, I know about it. A great deal of it, in fact. Don't I...Emily?" Jack challenged with a confident smirk, and a collection of Gasps were heard throughout the entire workshop.
"H-He...he knows...and he's trusted..." Tooth couldn't form a straight sentence as she gawked back and forth between a smug Jack and an amused Mother Nature.
"Yes, he knows, and he's trusted with my name. The reactions from you all is well worth him saying my name outside of the Domain."
"I'm so not sorry." Jack chuckled low. "However, you're avoiding again..."
"Right...well...I was worried. You know how I am with all my spirits, and you face off against my Father...you knew what he meant to me..."
"I know, but...Emily...he wasn't the same as you remember him."
"Trust me, I know that for a fact, but it couldn't have been easy for you."
"It was easier than you think."
"Think Emily..." Jack sighed out while mentally telling her. 'Who was Pitch to Elaina? Not only that, but he was hurting children!'
"Ah...I see." A look of realization appeared across her features. "That does make sense."
"Hmm?" Mother Nature looked towards Aster. "Oh! His concern for children. Pitch was hurting children, and Jack loved them all. In fact...I have a globe of belief in my Domain, and Jack can tell you which light belongs to which child."
Jack groaned and face palmed himself. "Now why did you have to tell them that?"
"Because it makes you suffer." She answered happily. "So, how's life as a Guardian?"
"It's great so far." He answered honestly. "I have believers now."
"YOU DO!? Oh, Jack! That's great!"
"Oh, we should hold a celebration for you! The other Generals are going to smother you! It's going to be hilarious!"
"Oh yes!" She shouted before conjuring a portal and leaving with a mischievous looking Snow Queen, which meant she was going to tell all of the winter spirits.
"Well, now that THAT cat is out of the bag...all I ask is that none of you treat me differently."
"But Jack...you're the..."
"I know what I am, Tooth." He smiled softly at her. "I'm the General of Winter, the Embodiment of it, but honestly? More importantly, I'm a Guardian...and I'm your friend. Please?"
"You too, North." Jack sighed out as he looked up at him.
"Of course, Jack." He smiled. "Now come on! More celebrations! Food! Dancing! MUSIC!"
"Jack! Good to see you, boy!" North bellowed out as he walked towards the Guardian symbol in the floor. "Look at them, Jack! You have believers!"
"I know, it's crazy!" Jack sighed out with a slight chuckle. "I can't believe it's been seven years since that day."
"It was remarkable day! So, what brings you here?"
"Oh, Wind wanted to come and see the workshop some more. She loves this place."
"Yes. She finds it wonderful, and magical. Which, duh, it's YOUR workshop, but I figure I owe her for my last prank on her."
'You're damn right you do, Jack Frost.'
"What did you do?"
"Oh, well...when she was about to take a bite of her food...I froze her spoon to her tongue. Emily found it so funny that she actually fell out of her chair laughing which was well worth it, but the conversation after wasn't. So, now I'm here, and she's calmed down some."
'Some. Tread lightly, my love.'
'What? Like walking on air?' Suddenly Jack was lifted into the air and slammed back down against the floor. "Ah, and that's what I get for being a smart mouth." He chuckle out. 'I love you, you know that.'
'Yes, I know. I love you too.' She sighed out with only mild frustration. 'My tongue still hurts though.'
'Hmm...perhaps I could fix it with a kiss?'
'Okay one, lame, two...s-stop making me blush!'
'Never.' He grinned. "And now, I think she's forgiven me. So, what have you been up to?"
"Oh! Christmas preparations as always! Christmas is only twenty-five days away! So, you know that I..." Before North could finish that thought, a shadow passed by them. "That couldn't have been..."
"Let's go after it!" Jack shouted, and immediately Elaina lifted him and rushed him towards the shadow. Once he caught up to it, he shot it with electrical ice, and it froze it solid. "Wh-What is that?" Jack asked as he looked at the strangely deformed black shadowy creature.
Elaina gasped and felt a chill rush up her spine. 'That's a Fearling!'
"A Fearling! That could only mean one thing! Pitch is coming back! Come, Jack! To Northern Lights!"
"Um...what do we do with this thing?"
"Yeti! Get rid of Fearling! You know what to do! Come, Jack!" Without needing to be told twice, Jack followed North to the console, and watched as he quickly activated the Northern lights.
Then, after about ten minutes, Tooth, Aster, and Sandy arrived at around the same time. "North!? What's wrong!?" Tooth quickly asked as she had three mini fairies flying behind her, trying to keep up with her.
"There was a Fearling! Here, at the Pole!" North told them with pure seriousness and a sense of dread.
"A-A Fearling? But...Pitch...I thought we..." Tooth trailed off as she noticed a look of horror on Aster and Sandy.
"He's more powerful..." Aster breathed out. "Do we know what he's planning?"
"No, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough." Sandy stated with his dream sand.
"Oh, that you will." The sickeningly dark voice called out from the darkness. "My, my...it surely doesn't take much to summon all of you, and this time we have Jack! Oh, it seems you're believed in, but I wonder how long that'll last..."
"What are ya gonna do this time!?" Aster spat out as hundreds of Pitch's shadows started coming towards them.
"Oh, well, you see...I'm going to do a few things. I'm going to take your belief again, but at the same time by doing it how I did it at the first time...there will be some others that will just have to be turned into beautiful Fearlings for my plans. Can you stop me if I do both at the same time?"
"Where did you get the power to do all of this?" North asked as he looked around frantically.
"Oh, You see...that dear boy, Jamie...he remembers and still believes...he told the story to others, but some of the children who passed it on, and then further, and further...some of those children gained a belief and fear in the Boogeyman! Oh, and it IS delicious! So, I have belief to steal, and Fearlings to create. Bye bye now!" The shadows faded and the room got many times brighter as it went back to it's usual joyful hue.
"Now what do we do?" Jack asked, ready to defend the children.
"We fight, that's what!" Aster growled out. "We find out where he is, and we beat him!"
"We have to lessen his numbers and his strength to do that first, and he said he was going to take the belief again. You have to admit, he did a great job of that last time." Jack mentioned with a calculative expression. "They believe in him, and they're afraid of him...but the thing that's different this time...are the Fearlings. If he can turn others into Fearlings...we need to get to the children and fast, but we also need to fight them off."
"Jack is right!" North stated with pride. "We will do as we did last time and focus on the children! Now...with my holiday being closest...he may try and attack Christmas, and this...I cannot allow!"
"I'll help you, North!" Jack smirked with a sense of pride as he tapped his staff a few times. "Kala, Chrissy, and Tanya?" Suddenly three separate portals were created and three beautiful women stepped through.
"Jack!" The one that seemed to be ten years old with sky blue eyes and short pixie cut hair shouted.
"You called us to the North Pole?" The other one to Kala's right asked with concern. Her eyes were the same as the first one's but her hair was white with blue highlights, and she seemed to be in her mid-twenties.
"North, and everyone else. I would like for you to meet Chrissy..." He trailed off as he pointed to the ten year old. "...and Tanya." He finished as he pointed to the other. "Now...Pitch is back, and he's likely out to destroy Christmas...we need some winter wonderlands. We need snow days! We need joy! We need the snow so bright, it glows like the moon! Do you think the three of you are up for it?"
"I can make the snow brighter! I can use the moons and the stars and the street lights to make the snow glow!" Chrissy stated excitedly.
"I'll make sure that the children have fun by casting the fun flakes you taught me." Tanya stated with determination.
"And I will make sure it snows lightly on children more so than adults."
"Good, now go! And keep in mind, we don't know how long this battle will last. Ask your other brothers and sisters for help if need be. If they have a problem with it, they can deal with me."
"Yes, Jack!" They shouted, and immediately teleported out of the room.
"There, they should create a winter wonderland in the appropriate places. That'll keep the children's spirits up."
"Excellent thinking, Jack!" North boomed out with a hearty laugh. "You DO sound like General!"
"You are welcome. It was compliment. Now, considering he is after us...and more than likely Jack as well as Christmas...we should go to Burgess for our first search."
"I agree!" Sandy shouted with his symbols. "Race you there, Jack?"
"Oh! You're on, Sandy!"
Once they all arrived, Jack winning the race, Sandy coming behind, Tooth following him, North in his sleigh, and Aster with his tunnels, they all looked around and noticed how much darker it seemed. "Well, I think we're in the right place." Aster remarked as he started walking away from the pond. "Look! There's a child!" He pointed out, but then all of them noticed a disfigured dark figure holding its hand out to the small child that had to be no older than four. "NO!" He shouted, and tried to make it to the child, but just as he was about to get to her, she grabbed for the Fearling's hand, and turned into one herself almost instantly.
"Well, Pitch certainly isn't wasting any time." Jack growled out, and shot the Fearling with an ice beam, freezing both of them solid.
"JACK! That was a..." Tooth trailed off, but was quickly interrupted by Jack's saddened yet rage filled expression.
"Key word...WAS! It's no longer a child...and it was probably so terrified on the inside. We have to save the others before this happens."
"Jack is right unfortunately." Sandy mentioned with his symbols. "The children suffer on the inside as Fearlings. We have to get to them before that happens."
"Ah, how wonderful! All of you have found out my plan! But you see...will you be able to stop it in time? Or will YOU be consumed by Nightmares? Even if you get out, it'll still give me plenty of time to work on Christmas! Sweet Nightmares!" Pitch's voice echoed in the darkness, and suddenly they were all surrounded by a similar tidal wave of the same menacing Nightmares from seven years ago.
They immediately felt Pitch's presence leave, but his nightmare wave remained surrounded around them. So, they all immediately attacked them all from all angles. North with his swords, Tooth with her punches, wings, and daggers, Aster with his feet and boomerangs, Sandy with his whips, and Jack with his ice, but the Nightmares didn't seem to lessen.
'Jack, I think now's a good time for some light magic. Now's the time for Father to know I'm here.'
'Yes!' She laughed out triumphantly.
"You pick awful timing, Elaina!" Jack laughed out.
Meanwhile, at the sound of his daughter's name, Sandy faltered as his heart skipped a frantic beat, but then he heard her voice, and he could've sworn his heart stopped. "It's not my fault! You know that!" His head whipped around to the source and saw her appear out of thin air, and she was fighting the Nightmares with dream sand, which caught everyone else's attention.
"Who is she!?" Aster questioned as he threw another boomerang.
"Why is she here!?" Tooth asked as she flew through two more Nightmares.
"How do you know her, Jack?" North asked as he cut through another three Nightmares.
"Give us a moment!" Jack and Elaina shouted together with mild amusement on their faces.
"Jack! Do you remember what we did seven years ago?"
"Yeah, but remember? I was almost unconscious!"
"Don't worry, love. I'll catch you."
All Sandy could do was watch, and although the other Guardians didn't know why, they assumed there was a reason, and surrounded him to protect him, but still allowed him to see Jack and Elaina. He watched Elaina place her hands over Jack's and he noticed how the light magic glowed on her hands, and then the staff. Then, a sonic boom was heard. Right at the sound, Elaina removed her hands, and Jack slammed his staff on the ground as he glowed brighter than any star. Sandy's eyes widened in completely shock as the light magic and the Winter magic fused together perfectly, and eradicated all of the Nightmares that surrounded them. "Well, now that that is taken care of..." North trailed off in shock. "...who are you?"
"Ah, no offense, North, but the only questions I care about...are his." Elaina politely told him as she pointed at Sandy.
"Sandy?" Jack cautiously asked as he stood by Elaina's side. Sandy looked at him, but couldn't say anything. Not even telepathically.
"Do you know her, Sandy?" Aster asked with a curious brow.
All he could do was nod his head. "Sandy, a-are you m-mad at me?"
Sandy looked at Jack and noticed how guilty he looked. He also seemed frightened of whatever he might say, but the problem was that he was completely speechless. After another minute or so, he finally started holding up symbols. Even if they were unsteady and difficult to make out. However, Jack could hear him, and how much his voice was shaking. "I-Is...is she...J-Jack...is she Wind?"
"I think we should get back to Pole! We cannot stand out here so openly, and things need to be explained apparently." North climbed into his sleigh, Tooth made her way there, and Aster already conjured a hole. Sandy, however, stood motionless. "Sandy? We need to go."
Sandy nodded his head and created a dream sand cloud beneath him and made his way for the North Pole followed by Elaina who became one with the wind again, and Jack who suddenly felt his heart pound with anxiety the longer they flew in silence.
Once they all made it back at the pole they gathered around the Guardian symbol, and Sandy was so stunned that he nearly fell from his dream cloud. Aster quickly caught Sandy and steadied him. "You alright, mate?"
"Y-Yeah..." Sandy answered with shaky symbols. He then turned to face a worried Jack and Elaina, and although he had plenty of time to think of what to say, he was still in shock.
"Sandy?" Jack asked again as he once again stood at Elaina's side.
"H-Has...has she...been Wind...the whole...time?" He carefully and slowly asked if only to calm his own pounding heart.
"Yes, and I'm so so SO sorry. It's just...she COULDN'T reveal herself. It wasn't that she didn't want to...it was that she COULDN'T. Emily told her she would know when the time was right and it was then, and she was finally able to physically appear in front of you."
"S-So..." He stuttered with a shaky breath as he looked at Elaina. "...this...this isn't some...I'm not in...a Nightmare o-or anything?"
"No, I'm really here." Elaina answered, and the interactions between the three were only further serving to confuse the other three Guardians. Elaina stepped forward towards Sandy with a sympathetic smile. She then wrapped her arms around him. "I'm really really here, and I can FINALLY hug you!"
Sandy's heart was pounding so fast he could feel it everywhere, and as he returned Elaina's hug, he let out hard sobs that only Jack could hear, but the others could definitely see. Once Sandy was a bit more calm, he stepped back from the hug to show unsteady symbols above his head as tears continued to fall from his eyes. "Y-You're here! Y-You're a-alive! I-I thought..."
"I know what you thought. I've been by Jack's side CONSTANTLY ever since he came out of the pond. I have never left him. I know what you thought."
"Y-You've...you've been there th-the e-entire t-time?"
"Yes, and do you remember when Jack asked you what kind of person you would've trusted..."
"Jack?" Sandy breathed out as he looked up to Jack who was still looking rather guilty. "Were...were you asking me for..."
"In a way...yes...but I...I couldn't tell you about her. I couldn't tell you anything, because honestly, not even Emily knew what might've happened, so Elaina had to wait for the right time, and she has...but when I asked you...I was also genuinely curious."
"Wh-why do you look like you're feeling guilty?" Sandy questioned carefully, fully aware of the increasingly confused and concerned looks from his fellow Guardians.
"I thought...I thought that you would be angry with me. I knew, yet I said nothing."
"Oh, but you've said many things. You've said a great deal of things about 'Wind'." Sandy let out a soft laugh as he smile brightly at Jack. "My words from then? They still stand."
"Wait..." Elaina started as a bright smile appeared on her face. "...do you mean that you'll let...are you serious!?"
"Yes, I'm very serious, and my words very much stay the same, and Jack, I'm not mad. I could never be angry for this. I j-just...we were surrounded by Nightmares, and when Pitch killed me...he didn't really kill me, but he trapped me in the dark side of the dream world. I was surrounded by trickery and Nightmares. I was worried it happened again, but the Nightmares never hugged me. That's how I knew it was real."
"So...you're okay with this? With us?"
"Do you not remember what I said?" Sandy smile through his still falling tears. "I would've tried to get the two of you together, and with everything...well, I don't have to, because you already did!"
"Okay, just what the HELL is goin' on!?" Aster shouted, his confusion finally reaching its limit.
"Right, only Jack knows!" Sandy stated with widened eyes as he realized the reason for their confusion. "Well, Elaina, you've revealed yourself, go ahead and introduce yourself."
"You sure? They may think differently of you and Jack."
"Oh, I'm counting on it." He laughed out.
"Alright." Elaina chuckled out, as she grabbed Jack's hand, lacing her fingers through his. "My name is Elaina Aurora Mansnoozie. I am the biological daughter of Pitch Black the Nightmare King, but when he left our home, my mother found love again a few years later, and Married a man named Sanderson Mansnoozie. He asked my mother if he could adopt me as his own, and if it was alright if I took his last name so that I could really be his daughter...and I accepted gladly. Sandy is my Father."
Tooth, North, and Aster stared at them with bewildered and shocked expressions. "Um...I think we broke them." Jack stated with a slight chuckle. "Well, to further add to it then...Sandy just gave me his blessing to be in a relationship with his daughter...who I HAVE been in a relationship with, knowing full well who she was."
Their eyes got wider, and Elaina couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, yeah. We broke them. Guys? Say something please?"
"Y-You're...Sandy has a..." Tooth stuttered out, trying to find a way to speak.
"Daughter?" Elaina questioned slowly. "Yes, I'm his daughter. I am also the result of what happens when Light Magic and Dark Magic come together and make a baby. It was when Pitch was still the Nightmare King, but when he was sane as he fought them off. He had tasked my Mother with something long before Sandy became my Father. He tasked her with sending me away. So, she sent me ahead in the future...well...Earth's future. She sent me to where I would be immediately needed, and that was with Jack."
"T-Time tr-travel!?" Aster squeaked out as his eyes got impossibly wider. "I've never heard of ANYONE staying in the future for this long!"
"That's because somehow...I became a part of Jack. I became a part of his powers...and according to Emily...my half sister...we're linked, so technically, Jack being from this time...is what's keeping me here. At least that's what Emily said, because I wasn't too entirely sure about it either after about a decade. So, she sat me and Jack down and looked us over with her magic, and saw that we HAD become a part of one another in a way. Although I was able to do Winter magic before...I started being able to do JACK'S Winter magic, and he started being able to move through the darkness with greater ease. However, the thing that really linked us together was that we both possess Light and Winter Magic together. I, however, also possess Dark Magic, and that linked itself to Jack like Jack's Winter Magic linked to me. So, he's keeping me grounded here, and I couldn't be happier...well...that was until I was finally able to show my Father that I'm alive."
"That...that makes sense..." Aster nodded his head as he started to calm down. "Wait..." He started again as his eyes suddenly went wide. "...Sandy...the Pooka...we saw you had gotten close to..."
"Yes, I got close to her, fell in love, and married her."
"Who?" North asked.
"S-Sandy married the Queen of the League of Star Captains. She was also Queen of an entire planet. That would make Elaina a..."
"A pure blood princess of the Golden Age." Sandy stated with slight pride.
"A-And Sandy was one of the head Generals...making him similar to a King already..."
"Yup, and Jack is a technically the King of Winter, so...a princess marrying a King..."
"WAIT WHAT!?" Jack and Elaina both shot up with excited and joyful faces.
"What did you think my blessing was for?"
"F-For us just being together."
"Oh, no, I meant it for more than that. I meant that the two of you have my blessing to get married. The two of you have certainly been together long enough. Now, as much as I would love to continue about my past...we have to deal with Pitch, and then I can answer everything and anything you all want to ask, however, Jack knows most of it."
"R-Right...the children! Um...Pitch is much more powerful now...how are we going to..."
"Oh, that'll be easy." Elaina grinned wickedly. "I can also control dream sand as I'm sure you saw, but Nightmare sand is a part of Dark Magic, and I'm an expert at it. Won't he be surprised to not only see me, but to see what power I have. The battle should be over quickly."
"You're sure?" North asked carefully.
"Trust me...my daughter is very stubborn. Once she sets her mind to something..."
"...she'll do it no matter what." Jack finished, causing Sandy to laugh as he wiped away his tears. "Th-Thank you, Sandy. I...I gladly accept your blessing to marry your daughter...that is..." Jack quickly got down on one knee in front of Elaina and held her hand as gently as he could. "...if she'll have me. Elaina, as poetic as I'm sure you wanted a proposal to be, I don't have the time to say sweet words, besides, you've nearly heard them all...will you marry me?"
"YES!" Jack shot up and gave her a warm and passionate kiss, but it ended all too soon for either of their tastes. "W-Well..." Elaina grinned as she looked at Jack. "...with that...we really should go find Pitch. Let's not worry about the fearlings and Nightmares...we need to go straight for Pitch himself."
A portal sounded behind them, and Emily stepped through. "I sensed a battle with Pitch."
"Yes..." Elaina started, but was quickly interrupted by Emily.
"Oh my..." Emily breathed out as she looked at Elaina in her physical form. "...so everyone knows now?"
"Yes, and they all got a brief history lesson." Elaina answered proudly. "Jack also got Father's blessing to marry me. Jack proposed just a few moments ago, and I said yes."
"Tr-Truly!?" She stuttered out in shock.
"Yes." Sandy answered as he looked at Jack. "For centuries I've heard of how much he loves her, how he treats her, how they treat one another, how they love each other...I think they're WELL past courting at this point. Now, yes, they know everything, and we need to fight Pitch directly. Would you like to help us, Emily?"
Elaina had morphed into the wind and took Jack where the Snow Queen said she last saw Pitch, which was interestingly enough the exact place that the blizzard of '68 happened. "Pitch!" Jack shouted once they all arrived.
"Ah, Jack! I was wondering when you and the Guardians would..." Almost immediately, Pitch's words died, and he appeared in front of them. "...Daughter?"
"I have a name, Jack Ass." Emily spat as she rolled her eyes.
"What are you doing here?"
"Here to help the Guardians defeat you. You've hurt enough people, Father."
At her words, Pitch's face morphed from stunned to pure rage. "Have it your way...Emily." He lifted his hands and darkness enveloped the are in the already dark forest in the middle of the night, and Nightmares were conjured in the form of a wave, heading straight for them. "The first I'll go after will be the newest Guardian!"
"Oh! I don't think so!" Elaina shouted, and morphed into her physical form.
"Hello, Pitch!" She shouted as she flew up, touched the Nightmare sand, and much to his Pitch's horror, but her delight, the Nightmare Sand easily went to her side.
"H-How!? I mean...! You...! How did you take control of...!"
"You know...interesting stuff happens when Light and Dark come together and have a baby. Isn't that right, Father?" She asked as she looked to Sandy.
"That's exactly right." He confirmed with pure pride.
"S-Sandman!? Wait...I heard that she had taken another husband...IT WAS YOU!?"
"Technically I was her FIRST husband." Sandy shrugged, still holding a look of pride. "The two of you told everyone you were married, but I found out the truth from her and some of the others in the palace. You weren't married to her...you only hung around, because you heard she had a kid and it was yours. However, that's not the case anymore. You see, she's MY daughter, and she has MY last name, and SHE accepted me as her Father."
Elaina smirked wickedly at Pitch and she summoned the Nightmare sand towards her. "What are you going to do with that!? You can't throw it back to me. It'll just be a game of catch! I'll take control again...on second thought...THROW IT AT ME!"
"No..." Elaina breathed out calmly, allowing the light magic to flow freely through her as she also allowed it to take over the Dark Magic. She gently touched the Nightmare sand, and it erupted into a mystical and beautiful gold that surrounded them. She touched it again, and conjured a dragon that stood twelve feet tall. "...I don't much like using Dark Magic. So, this'll do."
"Y-You can use dream sand!?"
"I can do a lot more than that!" She growled out with a large grin as she conjured her own scythe out of the dragon she just made, and she morphed the sand to become both dream sand and Nightmare sand. "You've had your hand at the Guardians. How about try a Princess from the Golden Age?"
"How about you try two!" Emily chuckled low as she had vines come from the ground to give her a golden hunter's bow.
"You two would fight your own Father?"
"You're only my Father by blood...but you are not the one I call Father!" Elaina growled as she pointed her st
"Yes, I would." Emily answered, proud of Elaina's answer.
"So be it!" His smile grew wicked and sickening as he raised his hands once more, and wailing could be heard from everywhere. "I guess I should summon all of my forces just for you two!"
"Better here than with children!" Elaina shouted as she brought the scythe towards him, but he blocked it with his own scythe.
Then, Emily started conjuring arrows to shoot from her bow within her hand, and started firing them off while they heard the Guardians fighting the oncoming shadows, Fearlings and Nightmares. "If I can help it..." Emily shot three arrows at once, piercing his arm at one point. "...this will be the LAST battle with you, Pitch!"
Pitch didn't say anything as he lifted his hands to toss more Nightmare sand, but Elaina raised her own hand while still holding onto her scythe, and turned it into dream sand. "You will not hurt her!"
"Why do you care?" Pitch growled out. "She's just your half sister! She's the first born! Oh, and what's this I sense...oh, what a delicious fear, daughter..."
"YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER!" Elaina screamed. Then, Pitch used his shadows to lift her up off the ground, and he conjured two Fearlings to come towards her.
"Oh, but we share blood you and I. I am your biological Father, and your fear is so wonderfully delicious. You're afraid of so many things, but they all come back to Sandy and I. You're afraid that with your dark magic you'll become just like me. Corrupt, wicked, and powerful. You're afraid that the darkness will consume you. You're afraid of losing the man YOU CALL your Father. You're afraid that you'll hurt him, that you'll kill him like I killed him! Oh! And the most marvelous fear of all...you're afraid that you'll enjoy being a Fearling Princess!"
Before she could spit back another comment she saw a large arrow made of dream sand fly past her vision and it obliterated the Nightmare sand behind Pitch. With widened eyes, both Elaina and Emily looked over at Sandy who was glaring daggers into Pitch's being. "You know, archery isn't really my strong suit, but if you even think of torturing MY daughter with your fear talk again, they won't EVER find your body!"
"Why don't you fight like that now!?" North and Aster questioned in immense shock.
"Because, unfortunately he's needed, but my words are not a threat. They're a promise if he keeps up the fear talk! The only thing he's needed for is fear and darkness, and I'm almost certain MY daughter could do a better job than HIM and still hold onto the light inside her!"
"Light..." Elaina whispered out as a sudden burst of realization rushed through her. 'THAT'S IT!' She quickly went to Jack and yanked him away from the others that were fighting off Fearlings. 'Jack! Do you remember when we helped Cupid out that one time and she decided that as a favor, she would tell us what type of love we had?'
'Yeah...?' He asked as he continued to fight as she talked, but he did so at her side.
'She said that we had True Love and that it was the most powerful love, right?'
'Yeah, I remember that.'
'Okay, but she also said that True Love...as far as Love goes in the realms of dark and light...she said that it's the brightest light. She said it's even brighter than the lights of believers, because True Love never dies! We need Light! That's why our Light Magic works together so well! I have an idea, and I need you to just trust me, okay? No matter what...no matter what may happen to me...trust that I know what I'm doing, and that I'll be okay, and if it looks like Father will get involved...stop him, okay?'
'E-Elaina...you're worrying me.'
'Please, Jack! I need your trust and love now more than ever!'
'A-Alright...I...I trust you!'
'Remember...no matter WHAT...I know what I'm doing, okay?'
Elaina nodded her head at him and started calmly walking towards Pitch. "Pitch Black!" She shouted, and Emily stopped firing as she noticed that Elaina was walking closer.
"Elaina! What are you doing!?" Emily questioned desperately.
"What is it, Elaina?" Pitch asked as he slowed his attack to speak with her.
Elaina held tight to her scythe and looked at it briefly before looking at Pitch. "If I agree to become your Fearling Princess...will you agree to leave Jack and Sandy alone?"
"Just them?" Pitch inquired with an intrigued brow.
"They mean a lot to me...and you're right...Emily IS just my half sister."
"E-Elaina!" Emily whimpered out as tears were threatening to fall from her eyes.
"NO!" Sandy shouted with his Sand and he immediately started rushing towards her, but was stopped by Jack wrapping his arms around him. "JACK LET ME GO!" He cried out, tears frantically spilling from his eyes. "PLEASE, JACK! LET ME GO! SHE CAN'T!"
"Sandy! You can't go over there! He'll kill you...again...and we need you!"
"I DON'T CARE! SHE'S MY DAUGHTER, JACK!" Sandy shouted desperately at Jack as he struggled against the vice like grip Jack had him in.
With an aching heart that no one could notice or know about, Elaina turned to face Sandy as calmly as she could and let out a slightly shaky breath, and she allowed some of the darkness from her scythe to make it look like a Fearling briefly touched her just before speaking. "You're Sandy. You're the Sandman. You're no Father of mine."
"N-No..." Sandy stopped fighting, because at that moment, his will to fight vanished instantly while his heart shattered to a million pieces. "...My Elaina..." He whispered out as he sagged in Jack's arms, tears falling uncontrollably.
Elaina then turned to face an all too pleased Pitch and held her hand out. "Do we have a deal...Father?"
"We do!" He shouted with pure delight as he took her hand, but then she clutched his in a vice grip. "Daughter?"
'Jack! Come kiss me! Kiss me with all the passion you can no matter how awkward it may seem!'
Jack dropped Sandy and rushed towards Elaina and did as she asked, and just like when she placed her hands on his, as soon as his lips met hers, and his hands held her face gently and lovingly, there was a brilliant light, but it was much brighter, and actually caused several houses and buildings to lose power, because the light cut through an electrical box and power line. As it grew, the others had to shield their eyes, but she held her grip, and even summoned golden sand to wrap around their hands. "Wh-What!?" She heard Pitch shout, but she had to focus.
She focused on her scythe and on the darkness she felt inside Pitch. 'C'mon...try and pull out the scythe!' She thought, and almost as if on cue, he uses his other hand to try and swing his black scythe at her, but she blocks it with her now completely golden one after focusing for so long, and she hooks the two together, and begins to focus even further as she hears the Fearlings scream as they die in the light. 'C'mon!' She shouted in her mind, and she finds what she's looking for. She felt her Light and Dark Magic touch his Magic, and kissed Jack deeper, causing her Light Magic to increase. She then, pushed as much Light Magic as she could into Pitch while still leaving her enough to be able to regenerate more Light Magic over time.
Then, just barely in her vision, she could see Pitch's clothes change, and his skin color was returning. 'I love you, Elaina!' She heard Jack whisper out through his thoughts as he continued to kiss her, and it was enough to send a power surge through her entire body and therefore, Pitch's. The light increased, turning night into day, and with the sound and force of a sonic boom, Pitch and Elaina were pushed apart and flung across the forest. Jack backed away just in time, but the light that started to dim was almost blinding. 'Elaina!?'
'I'm alright, Jack!' She shouted with her mind as she rushed towards Sandy and quickly wrapped her arms around him. "I'm so sorry, Father! I didn't mean any of it! I love you! You're my Father! I swear!"
"E-Elaina...m-my s-sweet Elaina!" Sandy sobbed as he returned the hug, and much to everyone's surprise, he actually SAID it, which caused both of them to quickly end the hug.
"I...I spoke..." Sandy said with his mouth. "I-I'm speaking! What in the w-world did...wh-what d-did you do!?"
"It must've been the Light Magic..." She whispered out in awe before wrapping him up in a hug again. "I'm so sorry, Father!"
"Oh..." He breathed out as he continued to sob. "...As glad and overjoyed as I am with suddenly being able to talk...I thought I almost lost you! I thought I DID lose you. I would've rather been trapped inside the Nightmare world again than watch you...than watch you get turned into a...a Fearling Princess...or a Fearling regardless! It hurt so much...and I had just gotten you back!"
"Oh..." They all heard a groan to where Pitch had been flung.
"Father, please understand..." She told Sandy as she quickly pushed out of the hug. "...I have to go see him, but I promise I'll be okay!"
"I'll be right with you. Let's go. I'm interested to see what you did to him. I don't see any signs of Nightmares, Shadows, or Fearlings." With a quick nod, Elaina made her way towards Pitch with Sandy, Emily, and Jack following close behind her. The others stayed back just in case.
Once they got there, they almost couldn't believe their eyes. Up against a tree, sloped half way down it sat Pitch, holding his head, groaning in pain, but that wasn't the strangest part of the sight. No, the strangest part was that his clothes had most certainly changed. He no longer wore a black robe, but instead he was wearing regal golden and green armor that a King would wear into battle, and his long green and golden cape laid beneath him. His hair was no longer up in spikes, but neatly combed back, and still black as ebony like Emily and Elaina's hair, and his skin color returned to a normal Ivory color. "Oh...Oh my..." He groaned out, and there wasn't a sickening tone to his voice, much to everyone's surprise. He opened his eyes, and they were no longer an eerie gold, but a pleasant stardust silver. He looked around and his eyes widened considerably.
"Pitch?" Elaina questioned carefully.
"F-Father?" Emily asked as her own heart started pounding at seeing her Father dressed this way.
Pitch immediately looked at Emily, and his eyes widened further in confusion. "Um...would anyone like to explain to me...what just happened?"
"What do you mean?" Jack asked as he tilted his head in confusion.
Pitch slowly started to stand up, and as he did, he had to keep himself propped on the tree for a bit, but once he was able to stand, he adjusted his armor and let out a sigh. "What I mean is..." He began to trail off as he felt his knees go weak once again and he slowly started to fall backwards, but Sandy rushed forward and caught him with dream sand, which caught everyone's attention, especially Pitch's. Once he adjusted onto of the dream sand chair that was made for him he looked at a bewildered Sandy. "Okay. Now, what I mean is...I've been trapped inside...my own mind...for billions of years...and not only am I free, but my clothes have changed and I can feel my Light Magic rushing through my veins again, but now it's rushing WITH Dark Magic...it's combined itself...I can still control shadows...but...I'm...well...me again."
"What do you mean trapped inside your own mind?" Jack questioned carefully as he noticed that Pitch seemed to have a slight migraine.
"I could see, hear, smell, feel, and taste everything I did as the Boogeyman...but no matter how much I screamed, it didn't do anything and I watched my own hands kill innocents, and hurt good people. Now...I'm free, but still in control of the darkness...so...what happened?"
"It was me." Elaina answered with widened eyes. "I thought...well...Jack and I helped Cupid get a stubborn couple together one time, and because we did that, she offered to tell us what type of love we had...and she said that it was True Love. She said that True Love shines a brighter and more powerful light than the lights of believers, because True Love never dies...with that in mind...and the fact that Jack and I BOTH possess Light Magic...I worked to trick you into holding my hand. Then, when I got you to clash your DARK scythe with my LIGHT scythe...and with Jack saying that he loved me...Mine and Jack's Light Magic pushed the darkness away from you, purifying every shred of darkness. There are no Fearlings, Nightmares, or unnatural shadows. I was worried it wouldn't work, but I didn't expect THIS. I had only expected to make you like me...both Light AND Dark. I didn't expect to return you to normal."
Pitch gave her a gentle and appreciative smile as he tapped the sand he sat on, and stood, taking the sand with him. He looked at it, and allowed it to swirl around his arms with it's comforting warmth. "Clever daughter you have there, Sanderson." Pitch chuckled as he sent the Sand to Sandy.
"R-Really?" Elaina asked, blinking several times in case she was not only seeing things, but hearing things.
"You chose him as your Father, and you're happy. Not much more to say about it. You even have his last name."
"Alright, what the hell is goin'...on." Aster stepped through and his ears instantly fell flat against his head as his heart and breath nearly stopped completely. "Y-You...Ya c-can't be...I mean...th-this has to be some t-trick!"
Pitch chuckled warmly as he walked towards Aster. "I've never been good at tricks. You know that, Aster. Tricks and pranks were more of your thing rather than mine."
"K-K-Kozmotis!?" Aster questioned as he firmly fell on his backside.
"Well, I am now, and you have Elaina to thank for that. Well, specifically Elaina and Jack."
"She used the Light Magic that was hidden in True Love, and she combined it with the Light Magic her and Jack already shared." Kozmotis answered with wide grin. "It's good to be me again. You can't imagine how...terrifying...it is to be trapped in your own mind like I was. I...I screamed for them to stop hurting the Pooka...but..."
"Y-You're really you!" Aster shouted in astonishment as he stood back up.
"Yes...he is." Sandy stated as he guided his dream sand towards Kozmotis. "Watch. Koz, could you turn the dream sand into a replica of Bunny's home planet."
"Sure." He chuckled and lifted his hand gently, morphing the sand to turn into a large circle with a ring like what you would see on Saturn, but the ring had spikes on it, and the planet had two moons.
"Th-That's...you're really you!"
"Yes!" Kozmotis laughed out. "Trust me! I can hardly believe it either, and..." He didn't get to finish as he was firmly tackled to the ground by Emily. "Em-Emily!?"
"You're back! Father! You're back!" She sobbed out as she lifted herself up off of him.
"Oh...my sweet Emily Jane..." He whispered out as he held a hand to her cheek. "My sweet daughter. You've suffered greatly..."
"It doesn't matter anymore! You're back!"
They hugged like that for a while, but then they eventually stood back up to face the others. "Well, it's good to be back, I must say." He chuckled out.
"It's good to have you back, General." Sandy stated with a bright smile.
"Ah! And it's good to see the King of the stars! I almost forgot your grand title!"
"KING of the STARS!?" Jack gaped with a slight laugh.
"Well...I was LIKE a king. I was one of the head Generals of the League of Star Captains..."
"You mean you were THE head General. You were my second in command, and you were IN FACT a KING. You had a palace and everything if you recall."
"I-I...yeah...I remember, but you know I don't like flaunting my title."
"Oh, I know. It was infuriating at times."
"Is everyone alright?" Tooth asked as her and North finally headed towards them, but they both immediately stopped when they saw who they were talking to . "P-Pitch!?"
"Ah...the Tooth Fairy with a mean right hook." Kozmotis bellowed out a laugh.
"He's not Pitch anymore..." Sandy stated with a wide smile. "He's Kozmotis. Jack and Elaina's Light of True Love and their Light Magic cured him of darkness."
"Is this true?" North asked, and received a polite and apologetic nod from Kozmotis. "Well, then we shall celebrate! You shall come to pole! We have many things to discuss! If my friends say you are to be trusted and that you are who you say you are...then celebrations! Oh...but what will you do now? What will your purpose be?"
"Oh...I don't know. The world still needs fear and darkness...and thanks to Elaina and Jack I have both Light AND Dark Magic...so perhaps I will go around and deliver appropriate fears while still being called the Boogeyman."
"Sound like plan!" North grinned as he let out a hearty laugh.
"This is certainly one big weird family...Blood or not...we're family...aren't we? Well...except I love Elaina a little differently...but..." Jack chuckled out as he gave Elaina a gentle kiss on the lips.
"I'd have to agree with Jack." Kozmotis and Sandy commented at the same time.
"Yes, there will be many adventures ahead!" North bellowed out joyfully.
"Maybe, but at least the adventures will never be boring." She told them before she kissed Jack back, and they all knew that there was going to be an adjustment period in their future adventures or just in the future in general. However, they can and will do that together as a family. Related by blood or not.