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Fear Is The Greatest Guardian
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Disclaimer: I do not own Rise of the Guardians
Chapter 1 – The Prologue
It was dark and it was cold. He couldn't do anything, his body denied to make any move. He didn't want to give up, he was fighting for a breath, he wanted to feel the air in his lungs again. The coldness of the water was freezing every drop of blood in his veins. He could no longer see, no longer hear the screams from above, no longer feel… He just fell into the unpenetrated midwater. There was nothing that could stop it from taking over. His mind just fell into the blackness, switched off and with that it all ended, his pain, the cold. It was gone. He was lost.
It might have been minutes, hours, days… It didn't matter. The light from above broke through the ice cover and caught the drowning figure wrapping around it. With its touch his hair turned white, his skin remained pale. It was like a new hope that came to a new-born creature. It made him open his eyes, as blue as the moonlight. He was afraid and soon he realized it. He was afraid and he could feel it, which meant his senses were brought back. The sense of sight, as he saw the brightness above him. Suddenly a shadow penetrated through the light and disappeared again making him remember how scared he was. What was that shadow?
He finally broke through the ice surface and felt the cold air against his skin. It was a relief that freed him from fear. He raised himself from the ground and looked around. He was standing on a frozen lake, in the forest and the trees were surrounding him. The moonbeams showed him something lying nearby. He found it to be a staff. He raised it and immediately felt some kind of connection, something that made him feel like it was created only for him. He felt like a wave of energy went through his body, it made an unbreakable bond. The sense of touch, he could feel it with his whole mind. As he lowered the staff and its end met the ice beneath, to the white-haired boy's surprise, on the ice appeared some frozen patterns. He laughed and took a better look at the staff. He touched the ice once again and ran to test his freezing powers. He forgot about everything else, the pond and his staff was all that mattered. He slipped on the ice and expected himself to fall but he never did. Something completely different happened, as the sudden wind raised him high above the lake so he could see the patters on in which he had made. Then he landed on a tree's branch and looked up at the moon.
The moon spoke. It was his name. The only thing he knew at the moment. He waited, waited for the moon to say something else, where he was or what he was supposed to do. He never got the answers, though. The lighting blue orb has left him there, confused. He was scared again, he had no idea how he got there nor who he was. The truth hit him. He was alone. There was no one who could comfort him or answer his questions. He looked ahead and realized that there was a village nearby. There were people, he could finally talk to someone. With the new enthusiasm he jumped waiting for the wind to carry him to his destination.
Just after he left, shadows came from behind the trees. A man emerged from them and his golden eyes followed the boy who flew towards the village. It was definitely a sprite, a new one chosen by the Man in the Moon. So MiM saved the boy and then just left him alone. An anger rose within him. Not that he cared. He couldn't stand the thought how pathetic the MiM was. After all those years he has learnt that the moon didn't really care about the sprites he claimed to watch over. He had let him become what he was now.
"Poor, boy. There's always a price, you can't be saved without something in exchange. You're soon to find out" The Boogeyman said and went back into his shadows. The price in spirits' world was something that everyone wanted and needed… to be believed in…
Jack managed to land on the ground, rolling and then falling into a barrel. Quite good as for his first try. He dusted himself off and looked around the place. There were so many people, they looked as if they didn't notice him landing. Good, he thought. He made his way toward the crowd, maybe there was someone who could help him.
"Excuse me…" he said but yet nobody paid attention to him. He wondered, it was weird. He tried again and again, but it didn't end differently. Why did everyone ignored him? Then a child ran through him, literally. He was shocked and wrapped his arms around his chest, he looked around with terror in his eyes. No one could see him, nor touch him. He fell onto his knees and sobbed. He was invisible, like a ghost… Was he dead?
He pulled his knees to his chest and hugged them. He raised his head and looked at the stars. He had no clue what to do next, he didn't want to be there, he just wanted to get out of this world, it hurt so much. Then he saw a shadow flying through the sky. He blinked few times, was that the same shadow he had seen at the pond? He watched as the shadow made its way to someone's bedroom through the opened window. The wonder rose within him, after all he was a child, in was in his nature to be curious. He raised himself from the ground and called for wind to carry him to the window. He tried to make no sound, not that anyone could actually hear him, and sat on the windowsill and . He saw a man standing next to a bed and twirling black sand between his fingers over a sleeping child's head. Soon the sand turned into black creatures dancing above the bed. The man turned to the window satisfied, and then he noticed Jack's presence.
"What are you doing here, child?" he asked. Jack's eyes widened and filled with joy.
"You can see me!" He rather sated than asked.
"Of course I can, now get out of my way" The shadow said and flew through the window and landed on the ground walking ahead.
"Wait!" Jack called in panic and followed the mystery man "Please, don't leave me. No one can see me, I don't know what to do. How can you see me?"
"Because I'm like you" The man said sighing, not stopping or looking at the boy.
"You mean dead?"
"Well, it depends on the way you say it. You're a sprite now, chosen by MiM, who, of course, left you to your own. If you want those mere humans to see you, you have to be believed in"
"Believed in? How can I make them believe in me, they don't even hear me" Jack said confused.
"Every sprite does something else, I am Pith Black, the Nightmare King, and it is my job to spread nightmares and fear. If you do your job well then you will be believed in" He answered not knowing why he hasn't left yet. Something told him not to leave the boy alone. Why?
"Then why don't they see you?" Jack asked looking around. The people didn't seem to notice the Nightmare King's presence.
"Because of the Sandman. He always destroys my work, replacing it by his sweet dreams" Pith said narrowing his eyes. "What's your name, boy?"
"Jack Frost, at least that's what the moon told me…"
"So you don't know who you are?" Pith asked thinking. So MiM left the boy with no memories? Poor boy. He felt anger again "Don't try to talk with the moon, ever. He is a liar and he left you alone, remember" Pith told him and ruffled his snow-white hair. When he was about to leave the boy grabbed his robe.
"Wait, where are you going?" Jack panicked again.
"Back to my palace" The shade said simply. Suddenly the child did the last thing he expected. He hugged him tightly. Pith stared at the boy in shock. He was the Nightmare King, kids were supposed to be afraid of him.
"No you can't leave me. I'm scared and I don't want to be alone again!" Jack pleaded, his eyes filled with tears. Yes, Pith could sense his fear. There was no more powerful thing for him then a child's fear. He sighed and wrapped an arm around the young sprite in comforting way.
"Don't worry, Jack, I won't"
He knew how it felt to be alone, was he able to leave this child to his own? He looked up at the moon. That's what you want? To abandon this child? He asked although he knew he will never get the answer. The moon hasn't talked with him ever since he became the Nightmare King. He decided to push away his nightmare-side for a while and cheer the boy up. The reason was something he would never know. Fine, let's cheer him up.
"Show me your talent" Pitch said and the boy's eyes lit up. The boy took his staff and touched the ground. Immediately the ice patterns covered the surface and Jack walked with the staff as if he was drawing with a big pencil on a big paper. Pitch could see the happiness in Jack's eyes. He watched him carefully, MiM gave the young sprite a big talent. He gestured the boy to come to him.
"One day they will believe in both of us" He said putting a hand on Jack's shoulder.
Pith would have never thought that one day he would take a child under his wing. But he just couldn't leave the boy. Maybe because they were the same… not believed in, alone, forgotten by MiM. Deep inside, he might have cared for the boy. And after seeing his antics with the staff he knew that the child had a potential, he would be able to teach him how to develop it.
With that they walked into the shadows, the gate to the underground Nightmare realm. Although it was scary, Jack finally felt save and more relaxed as he clung to Pith. He was no longer alone, that was all that mattered to him. He was happy and he knew that everything would be alright.
Neither of them noticed that they were watched. Something darker than a shadow was lurking deep within the darkness. It was darker than Pitch's nightmares. The sprite watched them leaving and smiled. Finally, something that could be useful for him. That boy had so much potential, he may become a part of his plan. Of course, he might appear to be a danger to him, it's something that will have to be dealt with. Sooner or later I will be able to accomplish the first step of my plan, after all that time.. The creature whispered. Then he stepped back and faded away, satisfied with his discovery.
Okay, so, this is my first RotG fanfic! I watched the movie a while ago although it was released in 2012, I know what a shame. But I immediately fell in love with this movie, and I spend much time reading fanfics for it. I must say, I couldn't stop myself from writing one.
I am truly sorry for grammar mistakes, English's not my first language. And since it's my first story for RotG, sorry if the characters may be a little OOC, feel free to give me some advices! (or title ideas, the title is still in-work) :)
What about the mystery sprite who was watching them? Well, he won't appear in the story anytime soon, it's a little plot twist for later chapters.
Anyway, please review, I would love to know what you think.