It was two weeks before Halloween when the conversation of Christmas day finally came around with the Guardians, along with what they did to celebrate it. It was during their October meeting when North was talking about his Christmas progress that the party was brought up.
"Party? What party?" Jack asked, suddenly interested in the meeting. He had blanked out slightly after Bunny was going on about mixing chocolates, followed by Tooth's protestation that it was terrible for the children's teeth and he should stop it. They all stared at Jack before North let out a booming laugh.
"Of course. Slipped my head."
"The saying is slipped my mind, North." Jack corrected the older man, amused at how often he got phrases mixed up.
"Whatever. Every Christmas day, we hold private party. Just us, to exchange gifts and hang out. It was one time that we were all together without having to worry about trouble. Of course, it is during evening so I can sleep after trip but yes, small party." North explained. Jack's eyes widened.
"Oh wow, I haven't celebrated Christmas in a while, no offense. So, I need to get gifts for all of you?" Jack asked, his mind reeling with gift ideas. He wanted to give them all something that they would enjoy and like. While he was deep in thought, the others were a little shocked that Jack hadn't celebrated Christmas every year.
"What do you mean by 'a while'?" North asked cautiously. Jack looked up and shrugged.
"About 250 years, give or take a decade. I would try and celebrate it when I first became a spirit and saw how much fun the kids had doing it, but I didn't have anyone to celebrate it with and often times, I was too busy trying to give everyone a white Christmas to celebrate it myself." Jack said off handedly, still trying to figure out what to give each of them.
North he had in the bag. He would have to pay a visit to Japan so that the Snow Smiths could make him new tools, with the unbreakable steel that he had seen them use before. Bunny was saying how he was looking for some new spices and flavors for this coming Easter, so Jack could always visit Gracie and see how her herbs were doing this year and if she could give him some, since Gracie's plants were some of the rarest in the world and you had to be on good terms with her to get them, one thing Bunny was not.
Tooth and Sandy were harder to find a gift for. Since they didn't have a specific holiday to help them with, this was going to be more of a challenge for Jack. Sandy enjoyed the dreams and shapes that his sand created, along with the imagination from the children. Jack would have to find something to help Sandy capture those golden moments of perfect creativity that the children had when they were sleeping. Jack smiled to himself as he realized the perfect gift. He would have to find a camera that shot pictures with great quality and fast enough shutters to capture the little moments. He could probably visit Kallike or Karma for the latest technology, since both of their jobs involved keeping records and evidence of human interaction. What better way than a camera? Tooth was the final person to figure out a gift for. She was all about family and the children. She would want something cute and dainty, but also had a use.
Jack grinned as he thought of the perfect gift. A music box with the ability to track each of the Guardians, so she wouldn't worry about them. He could even put an ice figurine that danced to the music. He would have to go to several people to get it done, but it would be worth it. "So are we done here? I have some things to do." Jack asked. Bunny raised his eyebrows.
"What got ya so excited that ya got ta rush off on us, Frostbite?" he asked intrigued. Jack just winked.
"Surprise, Cottontail. So we good?" North nodded hesitantly. Jack shot out of his seat and flew towards the window. "See you guys later!"
The other Guardians sat there for a while before Sandy made a picture of a present and Christmas tree. Tooth squealed while North smiled.
"Do you really think that he is going to get us Christmas presents now, Sandy? It still seems a little early." Tooth asked excitedly. She always loved the Christmas get together since they were together, even if it was for an hour or two. Sandy shrugged and waved goodbye, needing to spread dreams to the rest of the world.
"Nah, the kid's probably just wantin' ta mess with that Fall kid and throw some early snow." Bunny dismissed. Tooth looked a Bunny pointedly.
"Bunny, Treddian has been around for a long time. Almost as long as me. I highly doubt you can call him a child. And Jack says that he isn't going to mess with the seasons anymore." Tooth reason. North just chuckled and patted Bunny on the back.
"Don't be sad, Bunny. Everybody loves Christmas."
. . . . . . . .
Jack was always apprehensive of visiting Karma. She wasn't the nicest spirits to drop by unannounced, but she enjoyed Jack's company and his help with her job. He just hoped that he was on good terms with her still and she didn't take her frustration out on him. Their relationship wasn't the best after '68. That is something Jack did not want repeated. Flying over Greenland, Jack looked for the very vague 'K' that marked her home from the sky. It was very hidden and Jack would probably pass it a few times before actually finding it. Today though, luck seemed to be on his side. Before he could turn around and do a second search of the mountain range, Karma appeared in front of him, quite literally. Jack had learned a long time ago that Karma was one of the only spirits that physics didn't apply to. Most still had to listen to gravity and Newton's laws to an extent, but they didn't touch Karma. She didn't fly as much as appear. She could move from one place to another by will. There was no way to explain it. She didn't even know it herself, and didn't want to it seemed.
"Jack, it has been a while since you have seeked me out. Before the fall of '68. I hope you still don't have hard feelings about that. A job is a job after all." Karma stated, looking bored. Or at least as bored as she could get seeing that she didn't have any pupils to show emotion. Jack smiled slightly at her.
"Yeah, I guess it has been a while. You know how time passes for us spirits Karma. I wanted to visit some old friends before winter picks up again. May I come into your lovely home?" Jack asked. Karma was silent for a few seconds, just looking at Jack in a fascinated way, like she was surprised that he wanted to just visit her for the heck of it. Then she smiled softly and shook her head.
"You are always welcome in my home, Jack Frost. You made my job easier for almost a century and that is a debt I most likely can't repay. And I'm sure you will tell me the real reason you are visiting me soon, seeing that I live in one of the only places on earth that is constantly cold. Come along, I am eager to return home, even if it is just for a moment." Karma responded, sauntering downwards to the heart of the mountain range, where Jack could now see the vague 'K' shape. He flew behind her at a slow pace, respecting her space. As they got closer to the ground, Karma disappeared, signaling that Jack could find his way now. He had been here before, more times than most spirits would be comfortable with, but when someone saves you from dying, you stick with them. And Karma was all about paying debts, seeing that her job was basically that.
Jack landed at her front door and strolled in, heading for the main sitting room. Karma's home was bigger than necessary but she found a way to use all the space by putting her scales everywhere. Well, more like the scales of everyone that still had karma. Turning to his left, he took a seat at one of the windows facing the snowing mountains. A slight movement signaled that Karma had appeared in the room. Looking at the room, he saw that she was lounging on the main couch, looking rather innocent at the moment with her eyes closed. Now that she was still, Jack could see that she had changed her outfit again to fit the culture, unlike most spirits. Her hair was still split straight down the middle with one side black and the other white, but now her bangs were contrasting the sides, making her bangs white and the rest black and vice versa. She wore a one shoulder white shirt that stopped at her mid riff with large cuts that looked like it was attacked by a bear, showing the black tank top that was only two inches longer. White short shorts were worn over black stockings and she now had white knee high converse. The finishing touch was a flower crown of white and black roses.
"I see that your look change again. The last time was a lot less…risqué than now." Jack remarked, amused to no end. Karma always one for modesty and that outfit didn't seem modest. Karma winkled her nose.
"Camille tells me what the culture is today and gives me the clothes. My hair changes with the time but she gives me supposedly today's fashion. I think she is still mad at me for balancing her karma on the Stock Market Crash in 1929. So, what do you need Jack?" Karma asked, sitting up and staring at him. When he first met her, he could never look into her eyes for fear of what he might see. Now, he knew that she controlled her power well enough for him not to see anything. Jack sighed and smiled slightly.
"You know me too well, Karma. I need a camera, one with great picture quality and fast enough to catch quick motions correctly. For Sandy as a Christmas gift. I know that you use cameras for your duties so…" Jack trailed off, afraid that he would start rambling. Karma nodded.
"And so you thought that you could clear some of the debt I accumulated against you for it. I'm surprised that you didn't go to Kallike first. She is very adamant with new technology. One of the mythologies gave her this 'iPhone' and she is on it non-stop. I can barely get her attention without taking off my shirt now." Karma finished, getting up and going to one of the many cabinets. Jack however, was gaping at her for the last piece of information.
"Y-you and Kallike ar-are… w-when did that happen?" Jack stumbled through his question. Out of all the spirits that Karma could have gotten with, he never saw her with Kallike. Karma walked back over with a fancy looking camera and a cardboard box to put it in. She raised her eyebrows and smirked.
"Only a decade ago Jack. Surprising isn't it? I didn't see it either. I was going over to her home to yell at her for messing up one of my punishments. Halfway through my rant, she pulled me by my jacket and kissed me. Said that I was her true love and that we were meant to be together. I find her quite attractive and I am a lesbian, as you know. Does it really surprise you that much?" Karma asked as she handed him the camera and box. Jack carefully put the camera in the box and closed it.
"That you're in a relationship with a girl? No, since you weren't one to hide your preferences and you are a good person on the inside, despite your job. That you ended up with Kallike Arrow, Spirit of Valentine's Day and True Love? Biggest blindside of the century. I'm sorry but she seemed a little…" Jack searched for the right word.
"Intimating?" Karma suggested.
Karma shook her head and began to walk towards the door. "Goodbye Jack Frost. I am sure that you have others to visit for these so called Christmas gifts. It was lovely seeing you." She then disappeared in snap. Jack chuckled and opened the window.
"Bye Karma! See you later!" Jack called, jumping out the window. One down, 3 more to go.
. . . . . . . .
Tooth's gift was going to be a little harder. Jack was in several people's good books, despite his pranks and reputation, but most of them didn't have time to hang out with him so he would just brush it off. He was going to have to visit a few and hope he caught them when they were in a good mood. The first stop was for the actual box. And the one person he knew would give him a box for a gift would be Kallike. She was a very sadistic spirit, but whenever gifts or representations of any type of love, she suddenly became very helpful and would do anything you needed.
The flight from Greenland to Paris was a rather short one, since Jack was thinking of how he was going to ask for the gift. He knew the design he had in his mind, but often times, Kallike would make 'executive decisions' about things. Most of the time, it worked out for the better, but Jack had seen when it backfired tremendously. Kallike was a very fickle person and had one of the shortest tempers he had ever seen, which was why he didn't visit her often. Landing in the Tuileries Gardens at the South Gate. This was one of the many entrances to Kallike's hideout, but Jack would rather go through here than wait under the Ponte-Marie Bridge. The water still scared him, even more now that he knew his past. Slowly walking to one of the nearby rose bushes, he quickly plucked a red rose in an unnatural full bloom, seeing that it was late fall, and placed it at the base of the South Gate.
"I come to seek an audience with the Spirit of Love and Patron of Saint Valentine's Day, Kallike Arrow. Please allow me to enter." He stated in a formal tone. The air around the rose shimmered with magic, creating a door the same shade of red with a black outline of a heart at the very center. The door soon solidified and the rose disappeared, most likely returning to the bush for the next caller. Jack sighed and opened the door reluctantly. This was how Kallike knew you were a spirit that she was acquainted with, but more often than not, she was waiting on the other side of the door to ambush you with questions about every aspect of your life, another reason he didn't visit her often. As expected, all he saw was a blur of pink and yellow before he was pulled in and thrown on a nearby white couch. The door disappeared but Jack couldn't focus on that fact because there was a certain spirit leaning on his arm and bating her eyes at him. Surprisingly, Kallike was still wearing her traditional Grecian dress and scarf, both which were pink, along with the traditional sandals. Kallike was a spirit gifted with the ability to change her appearance on command and make rather unnatural combinations work. Most days, she was a 20 year old African girl with light blue eyes and straight blonde hair, though once Jack saw her with white hair and pink eyes. Today was a normal day as Jack looked at her.
"Jack Frost! It is so nice too se you! It has been ages, hasn't it? Oh don't answer that, I know the last time you visited me. It was July 2nd, 1945. Something about two mortals that I had matched together. They ended well, didn't they? I remember them clearly. Or am I thinking of the couple in Germany that was torn apart by the war? Oh I don't know! I have the record somewhere in the vault, but it's been a while since I've sorted through there. So much work you know. So, what have you been up to? How's life? Have you met that special someone yet? Wait, don't answer that because I already know the answer! Of course you have! Believe me Jack, when I say that your love life will be-" Kallike rambled on in on.
"Kallike, I'm here because I need your help; not because I want to hear a vague description on how my love life is going to be." Jack interrupted her before she could go on. Nothing good ever came from Kallike's 'helpful' talk about your love life. It made you miserable and desperate, which is what she wanted. Kallike sat up and leaned on the arm of the couch.
"A request from you? Now that is a rare thing to get, Jack Frost. You are known to not be one to ask for favors, after what happened in 1827 with Eve and all that. What do you need my help with?" She asked, interested now. Jack fiddled with the carvings on his staff. He had made them himself, back when he was a mortal.
"It's a gift. For Tooth. A Christmas gift to be exact. I need a music box, the San Francisco style so it is more of a cylinder than a box. I'll paint it myself, so that I can get the design that I want, but I know that you have music boxes lying around. Do you have one in a royal blue? It doesn't even have to have a figurine in it since I am going to make a special one. Just a plain, royal blue music box?" Jack stumbled out, nervous all of a sudden. He didn't want Kallike to take it in the wrong way, so his whole practiced speech went out the window. Kallike looked at him for a while, tilting her head like a confused puppy.
"What is dear Toothiana to you?"
Jack's head snapped up and he looked at the love spirit. She was honestly intrigued, no sense of anger or anything. Jack scratched the back of his neck. "Well, she is like an older sister. No, like a mother figure I guess. Like, she gets worried about me all the time and when I get back, she treats me like a 5 year old that wandered off. So I guess she is like a mom to me. And I want to get her something that she will like, so I thought of a music box that I customize. But I don't work well with wood since my ice gets in the cracks of the wood and it breaks apart, so I decided to go see some people that I know would help me to get it together." He answered honestly, trying to find the correct words. He wasn't much of a poet or anything like that when it came to feelings. He could be a comedian or a smart ass any time of the day, but to find the right thing to say to someone for emotions? Forget it. Kallike let out a small laugh and walked over to one of the white cabinets on the other side of the room.
"I thought so, but I wanted to make sure that you weren't confused or anything with your feelings. After all, Toothiana is meant for someone else, though they are both incredibly stubborn and won't get together already. You think I would have pushed them enough. Oh well, I already have a plan set in motion for everything to fall in place. Oh! Here it is." Kallike stated, turning around with a small blue shape in her hand. Jack flew over to where she was and took a closer look.
There wasn't anything on the outside other than the light gold edging and a dash of silver dust on the top. Kallike opened the top to show the empty figurine spot, as well as the blank top on the inside. Music filled the air. It was gentle and light, moving gracefully and fast through the notes as Jack listened. Sounded a lot like the mini fairies flying through the night sky. Jack grinned at the perfection of the gift. It had enough room on the top for him to paint a map of the world so that Chaim could put some magic to track the Guardians so that Tooth wouldn't worry anymore about them and the rest of the space would be filled with images of her fairies, the Guardians, and teeth of course. Jack could carve an ice sculpture of Tooth in mid-flight to be put on the stand so that it could compliment the music well. It would be a long process, but not that bad.
"Thanks Kallike. I appreciate this a lot. If you ever need my help with anything, just ask." Jack assured her, putting the music box next to the camera in his hoodie pocket. He would have to make a pit stop at the pole to drop off these things before he visited Gracie for Bunny's gift. Kallike gave him a sweet smile.
"Oh sweetie, all favors I collect just give me more opportunities to mess with your love life. Don't worry, I have the perfect thing in mind for you because of this favor. You will have a wondrous love story! Now run along, I believe that you still have some things to get for the other Guardians." Kallike smile turned manic at the last second but before Jack could comment, the room lit up with a flash and he was back at the South Gate. His audience was over. Jack sighed and checked to make sure his first two gifts were there. He would paint it and get Chaim to enchant it later, when he collected the proper paints and tracked down the always moving Spirit of Life. For now, he had to go back to the pole and then head out to the Japanese Mountains to talk to the Snow Smiths about that new set of tools.
. . . . . . . .
After a quick drop off at Santoff Cluasen, along with carefully hiding the gifts so the elves didn't snoop around and bring it to North, ruining the surprise, Jack headed off to the snowy mountains of Japan. It wouldn't take a lot to convince the Snow Smiths to make the new set of tools for North. It wasn't winter just yet, so they weren't busy with making the individual snowflakes for flurries and gentle snowfall or the hail rocks for the particularly nasty storms, but they were just warming up and would be eager to get practice in for sculpting, even if it was tools.
Jack landed in front of the cave to the Snow Smiths lair. The door to the actual shop matched the surrounding mountain to the dot, but after coming to this place every winter to collect snowflakes and hail and distribute them to the other winter spirits, he could pick out the doorway from a mile away. Tapping a section of the mountain with his staff three time, Jack backed up and waited for the door to open. Slowly, a piece of the mountain started to fade away and reveal a cavern with a strange white light coming from inside.
Walking in rather carelessly, Jack whistled and searched for the main Smith, Polaris, to give him the task. After a minute or two of searching the shop, Jack grinned at the familiar shape of the brawny man he was looking for.
"Polaris!" Jack shouted, get the giant's attention. Polaris turned towards Jack, his silver eyes gleaming.
"Lord Frost! What a pleasant surprise to see you before winter. You are in need of a new set of tools for Saint Nicholas, am I correct?" Polaris asked. Jack chuckled internally. Snow Smiths were known for being able to guess what you needed from them.
"Yes, as a gift for his holiday. I know he would enjoy having some tools made from your unbreakable steel, since his chip and dull so often. Do you think you can make them before you get busy on your own duties?" Jack asked, leaning on his staff. He was sure that they could since he was asking, but it was better to formally ask rather than assume.
"Anything for our lord of winter! They shall be the best tools anyone has laid eyes on! Do not worry, my lord." Polaris exclaimed, followed by many of the other Snow Smiths agreements. Jack nodded and grinned again.
"Thank you Polaris. Well, I assume you are all busy. I will pick them up before the beginning of winter. See you then. I hope to see some wonderful snowflakes this coming winter." Jack called as he left the Snow Smiths, hearing their own tools set to work on the precious metal that was usually reserved for only winter spirits. North would be the first to ever use such a metal that wasn't a seasonal, not that Jack would tell him that fun fact. Now it was time for the final stop, which would be for Bunny's gift. It was time to head over to Philadelphia and meet Gracie, the Groundhog and Spirit of Decisions.
. . . . . . . .
Philadelphia in the fall was always something to be appreciated by everyone, including Jack. He knew that he was going to be the one that would take away all of the beautiful colors and warm atmosphere, but that didn't mean that Jack didn't like to see the hard work of the autumn spirits. Treddian didn't work on America, but Jack would have to tell him good work none the less. Now, most people would ask why he was in Philadelphia if he was looking for the groundhog, which is obviously in Punxsutawney. The actual groundhog that was famous for popping out a hole and standing around to see a shadow wasn't the Spirit of Decisions. Phil was just one of Gracie's subordinates that did as she told him. Technically, there were groundhogs all over the United States that reported to Gracie and did as she was told. They traveled, via giant tunnels like Bunny, and would go to Philadelphia and get their orders before they went into hibernation. Gracie would then, on Groundhog's Day, control all of the clouds to cover or move away and tell the seasonal what the deal was. Jack was familiar with Gracie because of it, even if he didn't listen most times.
Of course, it helped when Bunny had done something to get on Gracie's bad side and make her have winter last longer almost every year. Jack had become great friends with her in the common interest of making Bunny mad. After finding the secret entrance near the Liberty Bell that he always went through, Jack flew through the tunnels. Gracie would be in the fall section right now, making sure that all of her plants were following according to the season. Of course, there were out of season plants growing all through her gardens, but they were all labeled according to the season that they bloomed in and she didn't pay attention to them as much as the others. The thing that was different about Gracie's Burrow from Bunny's Warren was that it had every season going simultaneous and all of these plants were in bloom. All day, any day, every day, they were always fresh. It was what made Gracie the right person to go to for spices. She had anything and everything, including plants and spices that Jack was sure came from another planet.
"Gracie! Gracie! Come out, come out wherever you are!" Jack called, floating through the winter section of the Burrow.
"Jack Frost! Stop calling my name and if you know what is good for you, you will stay in the winter section or so help me, I will get the chloroform again!" A familiar screech echoed through the air, making Jack smile and stop. She had always threatened to chloroformed him and drop him in the Sahara to melt away, but the one time she did the deed, he just ended up in the spring section under a tree with a bunch flower crowns on him. She just rolled her eyes and made the excuse of not wanting to face the wrath of the seasonals for killing the Spirit of Winter.
Not even a second later, the Spirit of Decisions appeared in front of him, paws on her hips and a scowl on her face. After accepting Groundhog's Day as her holiday, the rather normal sprite turned into a groundhog hybrid because of the things associated with the holiday. She now had the hands and feet of a groundhog, along with it ears. What she didn't get was the groundhog's meal habits, seeing that she ate very little and was always awake.
"It's nice to see you too, Gracie. I have a favor to ask. Can I come out of the winter section or are you going to maul me to death?" Jack asked, keeping the mood light. Gracie narrowed her eyes.
"You can come out, but the mauling isn't off the table so behave. What do you need Frost? You know when to start winter and I'll inform you on when to stop it. So, I don't think this has anything to do with the Seasons." Gracie decided, walking back to the Autumn section. Jack floated behind her, looking around the Burrow.
"Well, it has to do with the holiday season. Specifically Christmas. More specifically, Christmas presents." Jack explained. Gracie shot him a curious look but didn't stop walking until they were in the pumpkin patch.
"I don't like where this is going. Spit it out Frost, I have things to do and I'm sure you do too." She stated, fixing her fur vest and went on her knees to inspect the pumpkins.
"Some spices. Your special spices that only you could get me. I don't know much but that's why I came to you. You know best." Jack answered, rubbing the back of his neck. Flattery got him places, but Gracie wasn't always the easiest to convince. She snorted.
"Oh really? Why don't you go to that stupid rabbit of Easter? I mean, since you're a Guardian and he is such a plant expert." Gracie replied bitterly, sticking her paw in the dirt and shifting around as if it was going to tell her the answer. A second later she bolted up and whipped around. "I am not helping you get that overgrown rabbit a gift for Christmas! If that is what you think, then I suggest that you leave before I really do maul you." She screeched.
"So you figured it out…."
"Do you think I'm an idiot? I do not have an herbs that a wizard like North would want, Sandy doesn't like plants in general, and Toothiana would rather have die than have a spice that could erode tooth enamel. That leaves that stupid bunny and I refuse to give him anything from my garden after what he said to me." She insisted. Jack sighed. Time for Plan B.
"Ok, yes it is for Bunny-"
"I knew it! Jack, I refuse-"
"-BUT, just listen to me for a second." Jack interrupted. Gracie glared at him for a moment before shutting her mouth and crossing her arms, signaling for him to go on. "I do want spices for Bunny for his chocolate. He was saying that he wanted to try some new spices to give it a kick and have the kids be blown away. To me, that means that he doesn't have it in the Warren. I know that you are the only spirit on this Earth that would have the rare and amazing spices for me to give as a gift. Do you know what that means?" Jack continued, laying on as much charm as possible. Gracie was silent for a moment before a huge grin found its way on her face.
"I have a better garden that Bunnymund. My spices are better than that idiotic rabbit."
"Exactly! Don't you want that over Kangaroo? And what better way than his associate to go to you to get things that he actually grows in his gardens? Believe me, he would never be able to say anything about you or your garden again." Jack finished. Gracie scoffed but held out her paw for a handshake.
"He doesn't have anything of mine in his gardens, but you got yourself a deal Frost. I'm up for anything if it means showing up that pompous rabbit. Now let's go over to my spice section. We should probably start with some green cardamom and then go from there…" She said as Jack shook her paw. Jack smiled. He was probably going to regret going through all this trouble and getting all of this debt from people, but if it meant giving the Guardians an amazing gift that fit each of them, it was worth it. At least, that is what he is hoping for.
O, this is way overdue but the final chapter of Names and Titles! Now, if you guys have read Snowstorm of Secrets, then you know I actually got my laptop a month ago, but then summer homework came up and I ran out of inspiration and this thing is 9 pages long so it took a while and then I had to research this and bleh. These are excuses, but I wanted to get this done before school started. I am sad that this series of one shots is done but I am happy this is the end chapter. I hope you enjoyed everything. If you want to see the rest of Jack's adventure, read A Snowstorm of Secrets, which I will be updating soon, after I update My Guardian Angel. Ciao my snowflakes, I hope I see you sometime soon.