Jack was caught completely off-guard the first time Jamie hugged him
It was such a foreign feeling to him. After all, he had gone three hundred years without anyone being able to see him, much less touch or embrace him. And he could only just remember his human life before he died. So, as far as he was concerned, this was the very first time he’d ever been hugged.
After Jack’s initial confusion, his first thought was that being hugged felt amazing.
It wasn’t just the hug, though. It was also the fact that this boy was the first person to believe in him, the first person to see him, the first person in the world to ever even give a damn about Jack Frost.
And that was worth a million hugs.
Naturally, Jack couldn’t stay away from Jamie Bennett.
He tried, of course. He had Guardian duties to attend to.
But Jamie plagued his thoughts. When he saw children playing in the snow, Jack thought of Jamie’s smile as he pelted his friends with snowballs. When he saw them sledding, he thought of the day he met Jamie, and the look of wonder on the boy’s face as he sped across the ice. But most of all, he constantly thought of the warmth of Jamie’s embrace.
He only lasted until the next winter.
Jamie gasped as he felt a cold breeze wash over him from behind. He whirled around and broke into a grin.
Jack smiled back at the boy from where he leaned against a tree, “Hey Jamie. Long time no- oof!” Jack was cut off as Jamie ran toward him and tackled him in a bear hug, “Missed you too, bud,” he mumbled as he returned the hug with slightly less force.
“What are you doing here? I thought you had important Guardian stuff you had to do!”
Jack grinned, “Hey, you make it sound like I’m not doing my job. Look at all this snow. I’m working overtime.”
Jamie laughed, “But you have time to play, right?” The hope in the boy’s voice struck Jack straight through the heart.
“I dunno Jamie, I’m really busy…,” Jack said melodramatically as he reluctantly pulled out of Jamie’s arms and turned around.
Jamie’s face fell, “Oh, okay… I guess I understand…” He looked down at the snow.
Jack suddenly turned around and pelted Jamie in the face with a snowball, earning a stunned look from the boy, “On the other hand, kicking your butt in a snowball fight does sound like a lot of fun.”
Jamie’s grin was so wide that Jack was almost surprised it didn’t break his face in two, “You’re on!” he cried as he leaned down to gather snow in his hands.
A slight shiver ran through Jamie’s body as he sipped hot cocoa from a steaming mug clutched between his hands.
Jack smiled at the boy from his spot on the windowsill, “Have fun today, kiddo?” he asked.
Jamie nodded eagerly. He motioned for Jack to come and join him on the bed, which Jack happily obliged to. The boy set his hot chocolate aside and pulled Jack into another hug.
“I really did miss you…” Jamie’s voice was a whisper, only just audible to Jack.
“Me too, kiddo. But now you’ve got me for the rest of the winter, right?” Jamie smiled into Jack’s sweatshirt and nodded.
So Jack spent most of the winter with Jamie. He would occasionally leave to take care of his wintry duties elsewhere, but for the most part he spent his time in Burgess.
Jamie clung to Jack constantly. He would always greet him with a hug, and he was continually trying to impress Jack. Jack didn’t remember much of his relationship with his sister, but he felt like his relationship with Jamie was similar to what theirs must have been.
And it was perfect. Jack loved being looked up to. He loved having someone he knew always believed in him, both in a literal sense and a metaphorical one.
The boys would play in the snow all day, then at night before Jamie went to sleep they would sit on Jamie’s bed and just talk and tell stories, sometimes for hours on end if Jamie didn’t have school the next morning.
It was exactly what Jack had always wanted, whether he realized it or not.
Winter could not last forever, though, and soon Jack was saying goodbye to Jamie. Jamie was sad, but mature enough to understand that Jack had a job to do. So he hugged Jack tightly and said his goodbyes. Jack smiled at the boy and promised he’d be back next year, which brightened Jamie’s expression a little. Then Jack let the wind carry him away into the blue late-winter sky.
Jack decided to pay Jamie one more visit before he left, while the boy was asleep. The night was particularly warm that night, so Jack was able to slip easily into his room through the open window.
Jamie was sleeping soundly, huddled beneath his blankets. Jack sat lightly on the edge of the bed, being careful not to wake him. He reached over and lightly stroked Jamie’s soft brown hair. When the boy didn’t stir, Jack allowed himself to gently run his fingers through his hair.
As he sat there, Jack’s mind began to wander. He imagined being able to stay with Jamie all year. Being human again, and able to walk with Jamie down the street and hold a conversation without having strange looks shot at the boy. To never have to leave him.
They were silly, impossible thoughts of course. Besides, Jack loved being a Guardian, and would trade it for little else. Though, to be honest, Jamie was quickly becoming an important enough part of his life to be one of those few things.
Jack let out a small sigh and looked back down at Jamie. It was getting late, and he needed to be going. He paused to press a small kiss to Jamie’s forehead before slipping back out through the window.
He didn’t notice the small smile that graced Jamie’s lips as he slept.
It felt like years before the next winter came. But sure enough it did, and Jack found himself right back in Burgess.
When he arrived, Jamie was in his bedroom playing video games. He tapped on the window, shooting the boy inside a grin when he looked up. Jamie immediately jumped up and rushed over to open the window.
“Jack! You’re early this year!” he cried as he flung his arms around the winter spirit.
“Am I?” Jack asked innocently as he hugged back, nuzzling slightly against Jamie’s hair. Jamie nodded. “Guess the weather just happened to get cold earlier,” Jack suggested. It wasn’t a total lie; it had gotten colder this year. Though to be honest, Jack had come a bit earlier than was strictly necessary. But Jamie didn’t need to know that.
“I guess that makes sense,” Jamie said.
“So what do you want to do today?” Jack asked as he pulled back to look at Jamie.
Jamie shrugged, “I don’t really feel like playing in the snow today. If that’s okay?”
Jack hid his disappointment, “Sure, yeah, that’s fine,” he said with an easy smile, “Then what would you prefer?”
“Wanna go for a walk in the woods? Mom says I’m finally allowed to go alone if I’m careful, but I wanted to wait for you before I did.”
“Sure, why not?”
Jamie babbled on and on as he and Jack wandered through the snowy woods. He told Jack about school, and silly things his sister had done, and everything in between. Jack listened attentively, completely interested by what happened in Jamie’s life while he was away.
“Oh, Jack, look at that!” Jamie exclaimed suddenly. He grabbed Jack’s hand and dragged the Guardian over to a tree with wispy tendrils of ice on the side, “It looks like hair!”
Jack grinned, “Yeah, those are pretty rare. Don’t touch it or it’ll break.”
Jamie stared in wonder at the ice formation, looking at it from every angle. He seemed to have forgotten that he hadn’t let go of Jack’s hand.
Jack didn’t mind, of course. In fact, he was actually quite enjoying the feeling of Jamie’s warm hand in his.
Jack and Jamie, as usual, found themselves back in Jamie’s room after spending the day outside. This time, though, they were huddled under a blanket together. Jack told Jamie some stories about what he did while he was away, which Jamie listened to with as much rapt attention as Jack had given to him earlier.
It was late before they knew it, and Jamie had to get to bed. Jack gave Jamie one last hug goodbye, and kissed the boy’s cheek without thinking. He worried for a moment that Jamie might be bothered by the gesture, but the boy just smiled and gave Jack a wave as he tucked himself into bed.
Jack soon got used to greeting and saying goodbye to Jamie with small kisses on the forehead or cheek. Sometimes Jamie would return the kisses, which always put a small smile on Jack’s face.
When Jamie was thirteen, things started to change.
Jack and Jamie were still as close as ever. In fact, they were closer than they ever had been. It was unusual to see them without their fingers woven together. When they sat together on Jamie’s bed, they were usually leaning heavily against each other. It felt natural to both of them, and they enjoyed it.
After school one afternoon, Jamie was too tired to go outside and play, so he and Jack settled in to watch a movie. Without a second thought, Jamie climbed into Jack’s lap. Jack was thrown off only for a moment before shifting to better accommodate the boy. The end result was Jack resting his chin on Jamie’s shoulder with his arms looped loosely around his waist, and Jamie’s head resting back on Jack’s shoulder.
Every so often Jack would innocently nuzzle against Jamie’s neck, which would earn a giggle and returned nuzzle.
“Hey Jack, do you think I’ll ever stop being able to see you?” Jamie asked suddenly one night. He and Jack were laying together in Jamie’s bed, cuddled close to one another.
Jack frowned, “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never had anyone believe in me as long as you have. But I think as long as you believe in me, you’ll be able to, no matter how old you are.”
Jamie giggled, “It’s kind of hard not to believe when you’re around so often.”
Jack smiled at him, “Guess you’re right.”
They lay there in silence for a while, just enjoying each other’s presence. Then, without warning, Jamie leaned forward and pressed a small, chaste kiss to Jack’s lips. His own lips were chapped, and Jack’s breath was cold, but both boys thought it was the most wonderful thing they’d ever felt. They both smiled nervously before Jack leaned in and kissed Jamie again, a bit more firmly, but with no less innocence.
It wasn’t the last time they shared innocent kisses. Sometimes when Jack and Jamie would play outside (less common now that Jamie was getting older), one would tackle the other down into the soft snow, and one would peck the other on the lips playfully. Or when they were cuddling, they would exchange soft brushes of the lips.
Jack wasn’t sure what he would consider their relationship. They certainly weren’t boyfriends— Jamie was too young for that, especially since Jack was physically and mentally around eighteen. But their relationship wasn’t exactly platonic either, nor was it really brotherly. Brothers usually didn’t kiss each other, particularly not on the lips like he and Jamie did.
But Jack and Jamie were both happy, and Jack figured that was what was important.
“Will you read me a story before you go?”
Jack turned to Jamie with a chuckle, “Aren’t you getting a little old to be read to, kiddo?”
Jamie blushed and looked down, “Yeah, I know, but…”
Jack smiled and joined Jamie on his bed, taking the book that the boy offered him. Jamie settled in Jack’s lap and rested his head on the Guardian’s shoulder as Jack began to read.
Jamie’s eyelids became heavy as Jack read, and he was on the verge of dozing off as Jack closed the book.
Jack lifted Jamie out of his lap and set him down on the bed. He wrapped the boy in a tight embrace, “Bye kiddo. I’ll miss you,” He pulled back to look at Jamie’s face, “You be good for me until next year, okay?” Jamie nodded sleepily, and Jack smiled, “Good,” Jack pressed a gentle kiss to Jamie’s lips, then went to the window, “See you next winter, Jamie,” he said, then disappeared out the window into the cool spring night.
There really wasn’t a label for his relationship with Jamie, Jack later decided, but that was fine with him. What they had worked, and that was all that mattered.