I'm just putting up the first chapter for now, so if you decide you don't like it as much, I will just repost the original chapter and leave it alone. Let the reboot begin!
(And I upped the rating for a reason; I'm hoping to add in some darker stuff just for a change of pace. Don't worry, it isn't much.)
If Bunny had a carrot for every stupid thing Jack did, well, he would have a lot of carrots. He currently sat in a large leather arm chair-one far too cold for his liking and way too slick for his comfort, he might add-watching Jack try to balance himself on top of his staff. Even though Bunny wouldn't be foolish enough to admit it out loud, he still thought the immortalized teenager had talent. It was becoming increasingly difficult to pretend he wasn't at all interested in the boy's many various tricks and resisted the urge to clap with the others when he landed. Instead, he tried to think about how on earth it was possible for the wooden staff to somehow be exempt from the laws of gravity, managing to stay-for the most part-still while Jack clutched it carefully with the arcs of his feet.
Honestly, Bunny didn't know what the point of the meetings was. It wasn't like there were any impending threats; threats he could do, joking around with a show pony was not. Regardless, he didn't have the heart to get up and leave. After all, North would no doubt be disappointed and bring it up any chance he got. So Bunny changed positions in the chair and slid back into it further, hoping he could somehow block out all the racket beating against his ear drums. The whole thing started off important-North went over some new plans he was excited about for this year's Christmas and Tooth and Sandy were happy to give their opinions on the matter, letting North bounce more of his ideas off the pair-but it soon digressed into the usual banter and good-natured conversation that Bunny didn't care to be a part of.
Just then, Jack leapt from the top of his staff, flipping as he did so, and landed gracefully back in his starting position. Applause erupted from the distracted guardians, making Bunny cringe at the sudden noise. The white-haired boy bowed low to the ground, reveling in the enthusiastic response he received.
Jack stood up straight again and twisted his hips a few times until he heard a loud crack. But not just one, Bunny counted around five different sounds coming from that boy's spine. Did he sleep in a bloody tree? Bunny thought to himself. A few times, Bunny did catch him resting serenely with his back against the rough bark of dying oak tree, his hood pulled over his eyes and soft snores coming from his mouth. That was only a few times around Easter when Bunny absolutely had to leave his Warren. At first glance, it seemed completely normal-hell, that wouldn't even be the weirdest place he had seen the frost spirit sleep. On more than one occasion, Bunny caught him in a deep sleep curled up in a pile of boxes inside North's storage room. And anyone who knew anything knew better than to try and get into one of North's abandoned storage rooms. It was hard to tell exactly what you might find.
The rabbit shrugged his fur-covered shoulders. Jack would sleep wherever he wanted.
Laughter in North's den died down to soft distant chuckles. Bunny let a sigh of relief escape his lips; it was about time they called it a day. There was an unfinished painting sitting in the corner of his own den and it had been driving him crazy for hours knowing he had loose end to tie up elsewhere. With the thought of returning to his quiet and peaceful Warren in his head, Bunny stood from his chair, taking extra care to grunt like he had actually been comfortable in the thing. "Whelp, it looks like it's time for us to all head out."
"Nonsense! Everyone stay for dinner! It is late," North spoke suddenly, waving everyone who had previously intended to leave-including Bunny-back towards the dining room where the Yetis had already began setting extra places.
Okay, it wasn't like Bunny didn't enjoy North's spontaneous 'get-togethers,' it's that Bunny didn't have the time or energy for them. Of course, knowing the Russian drunk for as long as he did certainly made it easier for Bunny to adapt to them.
"Oh that would be great!" Tooth exclaimed while following behind North and guiding Sandy along with her. Together, the three of them vanished into the dining room where an assortment of food had just been sat down.
Peering inside, Bunny saw how the many candelabras along North's mantelpiece were lit and held bright flames, flickering periodically. He had to give the man credit, he did have good taste.
Before he followed the others, he noticed Jack still lingering behind. "You coming, mate?"
Jack looked at him and shrugged, "I think I'm going to go walk around for a bit. I need some fresh air before North breaks into his wine cellar."
Bunny let out a small chuckle, "He's got more than wine down there, mate. You're sure?"
Again, Jack shrugged him off, "Yeah, don't worry about me, Cottontail. Catch up with you later."
Bunny's eyebrow twitched at the nickname. How that boy managed to find a new one every day never ceased to amaze him. He wanted to tell the kid off, but as he was already gone. Instead, he let out an exasperated sigh and disappeared into the room where the other guardians had already began filling their plates.
Jack watched the Arctic Ocean transform into Greenland, and then into Canada, and then into the United States. Rows of houses passed below him, their roofs all made up of the same rocky material and the same red brickwork. Every other house Jack passed over had a chimney smoking lightly and fixing the sky with a gray haze. On purpose, he flew through it, smelling all the different types of wood burning-oak, pine, maple, and around twenty others. Most of the smells, Jack couldn't even place.
The second he caught sight of the familiar landscape and winding neighborhoods, he descended into the nearest rooftop, taking his time getting into the street. Rather than flying, Jack decided to walk his way over to his pond. On his way past the overwhelmingly bright street lamps, he glanced over at Jamie's house. Every window appeared dark, not even the slightest sound could be heard. Jack forgot what time it was, but it had to be late; Jamie was undoubtedly asleep.
It didn't off put his mood though. Jack kept eyeing the moon up in the sky-a full moon-and watching how the clouds drifted lazily alongside it. It brought a peaceful feeling, watching how everything moved in slow motion. That was actually his reason for skipping out on North's spontaneous dinner party. Today was a full moon, and from his spot in his tree, he could watch the moon's full reflection in the water of his pond. And if he looked hard enough at the bottom of the lake, the bright moonlight cleared away the water's murk enough for him to make out the decayed bones sitting at the bottom-partially caught on a protruding rock and bobbing with the pond's small ripples.
The winter spirit kept on walking through the neighborhood, occasionally shifting his attention to a different direction to see more of the town. You would think with the amount of time he spent around the area, he would be left with no surprises or new sights whatsoever. But every time he saw something new.
Jack's footsteps stopped when he heard muffled shouting coming from somewhere on the other side of the neighborhood. Sometimes he really hated the wind; it had a bad habit of carrying to him sounds he didn't want to hear.
He flew towards the sound, his natural curiosity getting the best of him. There was a part of him that already knew what was happening and told him he shouldn't bother, but the part of him that kept pushing him to try to help urged him on. Jack landed in the street, facing one of the many alleyways in downtown Burgess. It was dark, only a small portion visible because of its distance from the street lights. But Jack didn't have to see, to know.
He could make out a small boy huddled close to the ground, and a much larger figure looming over him. The man's hand was pressed firmly over the boy's mouth, preventing his whimpering and crying from being overheard.
"S-stop!" Jack rasped out before his brain could stop him. Tears pricked the corners of his blue eyes, his hand flew up over his mouth to keep himself from screaming out. He took it away though, realizing he wanted to scream. "Stop it!" The man backed away like he actually heard Jack-but he knew that wasn't true. "Leave him alone!" Soon after screaming at the man at the top of his lungs, Jack suddenly became aware how futile it was.
The boy on the ground was pushed to the side. He stilled whimpered there on the concrete, but he curled closer in on himself and tried to put distance between himself and the large figure behind him. The figure stood up, whispering a threat to the boy as he did so, and then walked away.
Jack felt hot tears running down the sides of his face. He should've been used to it by now-not being able to help people. It wasn't the first time he wanted to intervene, but remembered he couldn't be seen or heard. When the man appeared out of the dark shadows Jack threw himself at him, beating him with his fists. But the man didn't feel him at all. Eventually, Jack settled for something he could do-he tapped his staff on the man's foot, watching how he shivered and saw how he moved his toes around in his shoe. Confusion flashed across his face, it was only fall, wasn't it? Cold spread throughout his foot and when he reached his home and kicked off his shoes, he would find a blackness webbed throughout his toes and traveling up his ankle.
For now, the man shrugged it off and kept walking away.
Jack watched the boy in the dark alley. He couldn't make out a face, but he could still hear his soft crying. Then, the boy slowly pulled himself up using the wall and limped further back, going out the other side.
The winter spirit watched the boy as long as he could, as if that would somehow show the kid how much he wanted to help. But he wasn't really expecting that to work. Jack turned around when the child was out of sight and continued walking towards his pond.
It was only hours later when the candles had melted down to the wick floating in a pool of wax. The melted liquid dripped onto the floor creating a small puddle on the hardwood floor. Yes, there was alcohol; North made sure of that. He left saying he had a surprise and came back with the biggest bottle of Russian vodka Bunny had ever seen in his entire existence. Just the thought of the old man kicked back in a chair, guzzling that thing straight from the bottle was enough to make his stomach churn. To be a sport, Bunny drank it anyway. He himself was more partial to Irish whiskey, but anything for an old friend. Besides, he could never miss an opportunity to see North drunk off his ass singing along to old 70's rock songs.
As it goes, Bunny drank too much vodka than he was prepared for and entered in a friendly debate with North over the importance of Easter and Christmas. He should have been expecting one of those to come up-it was tradition.
"Wonderful! A hard-boiled egg! The kids must be so happy!" North yelled.
"Hooray! Christmas tree leaves all over the carpet! Yay Christmas!" Bunny yelled.
"That's why they make fake trees Bunny!"
Tooth sat back in her chair, staying away from the alcohol on account of how it would make her breath smell. If Bunny could think properly, he would have accused her of just wanting to be sober enough to watch the holiday entities go at each other's throats.
"Fake trees, fake mistletoe, fake wreaths! Your entire holiday is fake!"
"FAKE? What do you have to say about your flimsy plastic eggs that crack and break and don't last more than a year?"
"Those are great, I fill them with candy."
Tooth and Sandy were both doubled over the table, shoulders shaking with laughter and tears streaming down their faces. At any other time, the fairy would have found the recurring argument annoying, but the fact both parties were intoxicated made it that much better. Every time North pointed a harsh finger at Bunny, he had to lean against the table for support. Each time Bunny raised his voice to a certain degree, he staggered a bit and just barely caught himself before he crashed back into his chair.
Laughing as hard as she was, it was only then Tooth realized Jack still hadn't shown up like Bunny said he would. It was strange that he didn't show; after all, Jack did like to have fun, didn't he? Sandy seemed to be wondering the same thing as her because they both shared a knowing look. They didn't worry too much-Jack didn't show up to a lot of things. It was possible he was just tired or wanted to visit Jamie before it got too late. Both guardians, satisfied with their reasoning, turned back to the show in front of them.
The thick musk of alcohol filled the moderately-sized room. Bunny and North were still yelling at each other-both of their voices rising in volume to try and make themselves be heard over the other. Tooth and Sandy howled with laughter as they clutched their sides in mild pain. Fists beat on the table and there were good-natured screams of surprise when North threw a wine glass at Bunny's head. He missed and it shattered on the far wall.
Just then, a dark frost started coating the floor near the spot where the glass broke. A man who looked to be in his late thirties stood at the end of the North's elongated table. It took a few bouts of furious tapping on North's arm by Tooth for the man to notice the stranger in the room. When he did Bunny stopped hollering at him and looked too.
The man wore white everything. White pants, white long-sleeved shirt, white shoes, and a regal white cape draped over his shoulders. There was a white holster around his waist that blended in so well, if Tooth didn't have her sharp observation skills, she would have missed it entirely. A sharp, crystal ice dagger sat snuggly in it, resting against the man's side. Another detail she noticed right away, was the small silver snowflake on the blade, and the light blue frost patterns on the back of the man's cape. His hair was white like the rest of his attire, taking on a windblown look the fairy would have thought only achievable by being trapped in a room with a high-power factory wind tunnel inside. Nobody said a word while the man scanned them with his piercing, electric blue eyes. They squinted when he fixed them with a scrutinizing glare, giving the full force of his authoritative aura.
"What the hell is all the yelling for? I am trying to-" the man began to take a step towards them, but his foot crunch something on the floor. He stopped suddenly, his eyes widening in surprise. Without missing a beat, he lifted his foot to the side and looked to see what he had stepped on. "What the...Is this...glass?"
Before anyone could reply, there was suddenly a woman standing next to the man. She must have just arrived, because none of the guardians could remember seeing her before-they all exchanged glances just to make sure.
The woman moved to stand next to the man, coming up to around his shoulders in height. Her black, wispy hair that flowed around her like the man's cape seemed to flow around him. She also wore a long green dress that stopped just above her ankles, and was covered in floral patterns. In her eyes, Tooth saw the faintest bit of copper amidst her gold irises. It reminded the colorful woman of someone else she knew.
She tried to take a step forward to stand closer to the man, but a muffled crunch stopped her.
The difference was-
-she wasn't wearing any shoes.
Tooth immediately threw herself out of her chair and sped over to where the woman stood on one leg, trying to pull out the shard of glass stuck in her foot. Few splotches of blood dripped onto North's floor. After a few moments of wiggling the obstruction lodged in the arc of her foot, the woman ripped it out and tossed it to another corner of the room.
"Honey, maybe right now would be a good time for you to put on those shoes-" the man started to speak.
"Shoes are for the weak," the woman cut him off and gave Tooth an appreciative look.
North and Bunny looked between the pair and then at each other, looking for some indication that they were just too drunk. Eventually, the two came to terms with the fact that it was, indeed, real life, and strode over to greet the strangers.
"Who are you?" Bunny asked first, reaching covertly for his boomerangs.
The woman answered for the both of them, "I'm Mother Nature. This is my husband, Father Winter."
"Oh yes! I have heard of you two!" North said in his drunken state. "It is a pleasure to have you here at the Pole! Though I do have to ask, what's the occasion?"
"No occasion. We just wanted to tell you to quiet down," Father Winter said, trying desperately to not let the irritation in his voice show through.
"We don't have to if we don't want-" Bunny started to say.
"Bunny. That is enough," Tooth scolded him. "We are very sorry to bother you." The new arrivals smiled in forgiveness, but Bunny couldn't keep his dirty looks to himself so Tooth should go check on Jack. It had been awhile since they saw him and it couldn't hurt to make sure he was okay. Bunny gave Tooth a glare and turned away, grumbling under his breath about how the winter brat could check on himself.
"Wait. Jack? Jack who?" Mother Nature asked.
"Oh, Jack Frost? I'm sure you've heard of him?" North supplied to jog their memories. What spirits hadn't heard of Jack Frost?
"Jack Frost," Father Winter breathed in disbelief.
"You know him?" Sandy signed out. Of course, the nature entities didn't understand, so North had to translate for them.
Bunny decided to let the other guardians do all of the explaining, and he turned to start looking for Jack. Anywhere was better than being holed alcoholic-rank room with two strangers. But a hand clapped his shoulder before he could leave.
"How is he doing?" Father Winter asked with an urgent tone.
"What do you mean 'how is he doing?' He's fine. Annoying as hell, but fine," Bunny told the couple looking expectantly at him. "Why the hell do you care?"
Mother Nature shared a look with Father Winter, neither of them speaking. Tooth didn't waste anytime in apologizing for Bunny's attitude.
"It's alright," Mother Nature assured her. "And please, call me Emily."
Tooth stopped when she heard the name, but she didn't say anything. That was now two things that seemed frighteningly familiar. When the deities left, it was important she brought up her concerns with the others. Maybe when they weren't drunk.
"We know Jack. We haven't met him in person, but we know him. I'm glad he's doing well," Father Winter said. He also told them they could call him Alec.
"So why do you care so much about him? If you have never met him in person, why are you concerned for his well-being?" North spoke up. He raised a bushy eyebrow at them in suspicion.
"You can't tell Jack," Emily whispered. "But he's our son."
THE REST OF THE STORY IS STILL IN THE PROCESS OF REVISION Thank you for your patience!
Well, the rest of the chapters on here right now are going to look like complete crap. I'm going to try and finish rewriting the rest so any new readers don't get confused. I hope that one dark scene wasn't too bad, I'm working on putting more emotional things into my stories. You may have noticed, I changed Mother Nature's name from Gaia to Emily. Emily is her name in the book series the movie is based off of. So I wanted to use it just to make her less like an OC.
Thanks for reading! (And let me know what you think of the reboot and if you are interested reading the rest because I'm kind of insecure about it for the moment)