"Damnit!" The curse snapped the other Guardians out of their grief-struck haze, and their attention swung from the still water to Bunny. The Easter Guardian's eyes were red, and his hands were trembling. "Damnit, damnit, damn-" His voice cracked.
North put a hand on Bunny's shoulder, but he shrugged it off. North sighed, but agreed to the Pooka's silent request for space.
His eyes snapped open, taking in his surroundings. He was underwater, it was dark, and it was cold, so cold, but he could barely feel it. He started to panic, but before he could fully comprehend what was happening, he saw the moon.
It was so bright. He stared at it, mesmerized, until his body began to float upwards through the inky water. His face broke through the ice covering the surface of what he now realized was a lake. How did he get here?
Your name is Jack Frost, and you are the Spirit of Winter.
The newly-named Jack looked around, gasping for breath. He was in a forest, evergreen boughs weighted with snow. Somehow he was floating through the air. Who had spoken to him?
He stared up at the moon as his feet touched down on the icy surface of the lake. Jack knew it was supposed to be cold, but he couldn't feel it. What was going on? What was he doing there?
Jack examined his hands as if they held an answer to the strange situation, but they held no clues. He looked back up at the moon again, then tried to take a step.
His foot slipped. Throwing his arms out for balance, Jack wobbled for a few moments before steadying. A tattered brown cloak swung from his shoulders. He took a few steps, mindful of the slippery ice underneath his bare feet. Jack looked around at the serene forest surrounding him.
His toe touched something. Startled, Jack jerked back before glancing down. A long, wooden shepherd's staff lay on the ice. The wood seemed aged and withered, deep grooves showing where it has shriveled. Jack tentatively touched a toe to the staff again, gasping when frost spread from where he had touched.
Bending down, he picked up the staff cautiously. An icy blue light spiraled down the length of wood, and Jack almost dropped it, hand rising to cover his face. Frost bloomed across the surface of the ice where the end of the staff touched it.
Jack stared in amazement. Picking up the staff once again, he stared it with wonder and excitement. He had to try this out. Stumbling slightly, the boy made his way over to a nearby tree. Jack cautiously poked the trunk with the hooked end of the staff.
Frost bloomed on the bark. Jack examined it carefully, tentatively brushing his hand over the frost. It felt like real ice. Touching the staff again to another tree, he gasped slightly when ice spread across the surface of the tree. Jack brought it up nearer to his face so he could look at the staff properly before grinning in exhilaration. He bounced up and down from excitement, already thinking of all the things he could do with something like this. Emma would be so excited…
Emma? Who was Emma? Jack furrowed his brow slightly before brushing it off. It didn't matter right now. What mattered was figuring out everything his new staff could do. Starting to run across the surface of the lake, he dragged the end of the staff across the ice. Icy blue light turned into frost as he whooped, laughing. He slid into a turn, grinning madly. This was the best thing ever. He turned, covering the lake with curves and squiggles of fern-like ice.
Suddenly he slipped. Sure he was about to fall, he flung out his arms in an attempt to recover his balance, but before he could, he was swept upwards by a huge gust of wind. "Woah!" Jack yelped, as if it would prevent this strange wind from carrying him away. Tumbling head over heels, he rose a good few hundred feet in the air before stopping. The wind was blowing in Jack's face, and he spread his arms, still clutching the staff. Jack felt like he was buffeted by it, an invisible current pushing at him from below so he wouldn't fall.
He stared at the view below him, distracted by the glittering scene. The moment his attention was diverted from keeping himself up, he fell, shouting as he crashed through frozen branches and trees. Jack came to an abrupt and rather painful stop when he collided with a thicker tree trunk.
"Oh, that must have hurt," Tooth winced in sympathy, trying to distract herself from the tragedy that had occurred just minutes before. North laughed a little, mood lightening. "Flying did not come naturally to him first, apparently."
Bunny huffed and crossed his arms. "That's because flying isn't natural, mate," he retorted, joking to take his mind off of the previous memory. "Nothing without feathers should ever be able to or be willing to get up in the air."
"Oh, but what about bats?" Tooth questioned innocently, earning a slight smile from Sandy. North laughed again, louder this time, trying to ignore the horror and grief curling in his gut. Teasing Bunny was always a good distraction; why wasn't it working this time? "They fly."
"Besides, you just think that because you don't like the sleigh," North put in, grinning. "I would take offensive at the slight to my flying skills-"
The Easter Bunny's chest puffed up in outrage. "That's because your flying is dangerous, and, frankly, I'm surprised you haven't crashed it into some unfortunate man's house instead of landing on the rooftop." He crossed his arms. "Plus, it's offense, not offensive. I'd think you'd know that, what with all the commercialization of your holiday that goes on in the US nowadays-"
Sandy made a ball of sand explode between them, forcing them apart. When the two Guardians looked at him, outraged, he rolled his eyes and formed a golden arrow above his head, pointing towards Jack. Sheepishly, the other Guardians settled down to watch as the memory played out.
Jack pushed himself off of the thick tree branch that had broken his fall, slightly stunned. He laughed a little before looking up to notice a small village a little ways away. Gingerly, Jack pushed himself up to crouch on top of the limb. He tilted his head slightly, thinking. If his staff could make him fly, surely he could control where he flew. Maybe it was just a matter of concentrating really hard. Or thinking… birdy… thoughts. Or something.
Jack took a deep breath, and deliberately thought, Up.
Nothing happened. He furrowed his brow. Maybe he needed to focus on where he wanted to go, instead of how he was going to do it. Jack looked at the distant glow of the village fires, and thought about how much he'd like to go there. He imagined himself being borne up by the wind and carried over to the village, where there were sure to be so many interesting people he'd like to meet, and new things he could see. And then suddenly Jack was shooting straight up, straight through the crowns of the trees. It was as if the winds were large, invisible hands tossing him back and forth towards his destination. Jack fell flat on his face right outside the village before stumbling to his feet and tipping over again.
Finally he managed to regain his balance. Brushing snow off of his front, he laughed in excitement as he walked through the village, greeting random townsfolk. A large grey dog raced past, a smaller child in hot pursuit, and Jack smiled. He crouched down as the child ran towards him. "Hey, excuse me- could you tell me where I a-"
The boy ran right through him. Jack stumbled back slightly with a gasp, eyes widening in shock and horror. It felt as though someone had dunked his heart in cold water. Breathing heavily, he turned to look after the running figure. Jack felt a thrill of fear and confusion run up his spine. What was going on?
Two more people walked through him. He gasped, trying to make sense of what was happening. "Hello?" He looked about wildly, hoping someone would notice him. "Hello, please, I don't know what's going on-"
Jack stopped. He curled his fingers against his chest, but they didn't go through. Hurt briefly overwhelmed him before he backed away from the village and turned to walk back into the forest, head hanging low.
A/N: Sorry this took so long! In my defense, I spent the last few months going over the story and editing it, so…
Thank you so much for reading! I hope to get back with you all soon!