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Hues of Love

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Jack Frost has always been able to see. He can see the wind and the frost he makes. He can see a child's laugh and the shapes they leave behind in the snow. He can see the texture of Tooth's feathers, each individual hair of Bunny's fur. He can see the wiry curls of North's beard, and every grain of sand that makes up Sandy.

It isn't until he regains his memories and actually sees for the first time in over three hundred years that Jack understands what colours are.

He remembers the greens of summer and the warm colours of autumn. He remembers the blue skies of spring, and the greys and whites of winter.

He remembers the colour of his mother's skin, and the brown of his sister's eyes. The freckle on his sister's cheek. The colour of her blush when she was angry. The brightness in her eyes when she was sad.

There wasn't any time to dwell at first - not with children to save and a Boogeyman to defeat. So he keeps his memories close to his heart, but shoves the images and colours to the back of his mind. He would think about it another day.

The day doesn't come for a long, long time.

-

Usually when asked his opinion on one of North's toys, Jack never comments on the colour. Colour is also never an issue when it comes to Sandy's creations, or Tooth's work. The only time it would matter would be if Bunny ever asked him about his eggs, which isn't something Jack believed would ever happen.

Except, of course, when it does. Thankfully Jack can use shock as an excuse for his delayed reply, and no one is the wiser.

"Well?"

The other Guardian is tapping his foot irritably, and he's sure that Bunny would be asking anyone but him if they'd been around.

"Why are you asking me? Sandy or Tooth would be better at this kind of thing."

"It's not obvious enough for ya?"

Suddenly, Jack is reminded of colour. And the fact that sometimes colour isn't used for basic shapes and patterns, but images. He laughs quickly, hoping his nervousness isn't obvious, and begins reaching for the wind.

"Go ask someone more qualified, Kangaroo!"

He flies out of the Warren and off to Burgess, hearing the yell of 'I'm a bunny!' echo up from behind him.

-

The incident with Bunny opens a floodgate of awareness that Jack can't help but be overwhelmed by. There is an entire world in his memories that he's forgotten. An entire world of hues more vibrant than the frost he sees with could ever be.

It's a week later when Bunny finds him and unceremoniously drags him to the North Pole, yelling something about the 'Northern Lights' along with how he's not a babysitter, and next time someone else needs to go grab the irresponsible frostbite.

"I didn't notice them." Is all Jack can say to the questions, and he gets a hearty laugh and a clap on his back from North in reply.

"Too busy bringing snow to the children?"

"Something like that."

With his tardiness ignored for the moment, Jack learns that North wanted to check up on everyone. It had been a year since the incident with Pitch, and the five of them had been all together maybe a handful of times since then. It makes sense, he thinks, that they should all gather together like this. If he's being honest with himself, he wishes they would all meet up more often.

He must have voiced his thought, because suddenly everyone is staring at him. He offers a sheepish smile.

"Wonderful idea!" North's booming response is a relief, and Jack's smile turns less sheepish as everyone else agrees (reluctantly, in Bunny's case.) Tooth is the first to notice his smile, and he isn't particularly surprised to find delicate hands prying around in his mouth.

"Still as white as freshly fallen snow!" She chimes, pulling her hands away and patting his head delicately. "With hair to match!"

'Hair to match..?'

"Whoa, wait." Jack feels his whole body stiffen with shock. "My hair is white? Not brown?"

Once again, he finds himself the center of attention. This time he wilts under the heat of their gazes. Could he explain away having never looked into a mirror over the past three hundred years? Even ice would have been reflective enough to show the colour of his hair.

"You didn't know?"

It's Bunny who speaks this time, and Jack turns to look at him; shakes his head in reply. "I had brown hair. And brown eyes, like my sister."

"Well mate, sorry to say, but Tooth was right - your hair's as white as the snow you bring with ya."

"And your eyes are blue! With snowflakes in them."

"Blue..." He's dizzy with the sudden knowledge that he looks nothing like he remembers, and that he'll never see just how different he looks from the boy of his memories. Sandy is by his side, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder, and suddenly Jack is aware that the Sandman knows. Has probably always known.

"Jack... Have you really never seen yourself since...?"

Tooth doesn't need to finish her sentence for Jack to know what she means. He shakes his head. "I..."

They should know.

They'll find out eventually.

It's better that he tell them. They'll be less upset that way.

They'll be mad if he keeps it a secret from them.

"I'm blind. I can see, but-" He hesitates; wrings his hands around his staff nervously. "I see with the wind, and the frost. I can see everything except colours."

There's another hand reaching out for him. He can tell it's Tooth's, and he's glad for it since it means she isn't angry. "Why didn't you tell us sooner?"

"I didn't know! I didn't... Not until I saw my memories. I didn't understand what colour was, and then I saw it. I saw so many colours! And I didn't want to tell you because..."

Because he was scared of losing the new family he found.

"Because..."

Because the arms that are around him were too wonderful to risk. Because the warmth of the people around him, comforting him, was something he couldn't live again without.

"Ha! You thought it was a problem?" North's grip on his shoulder is so strong is almost hurts, and Jack relishes every second of it. Sandy's sand tickles along his cheek. Tooth's feathers are soft against his wrist. Bunny's fur ruffles his hair.

"It'll take more than that to get rid of us, Frostbite."

Jack smiles.

"We're a family."