I do not own Rise of the Guardians.

Chapter 12: Since we're showing off

"Surrender now, boy, and I'll spare your life," Adam said watching the blood drip unto the ground, the severed hand a few feet away.

"That hurt." Jack winced from pain but raised himself back up. Blood dripped onto the ground freezing upon impact. His icy blue eyes were piercing holes into Adam's. "I know that my dashing youthful looks are deceiving but I'm older than I look. I stopped being a 'boy' centuries ago." He spat that last part out trying to stay strong through the pain and straightened up composing his face. The look of anguish changed back into a confident smirk. "Since we're showing off…"

Adam was still trying to process the 'centuries' part of the sentence when he saw that the young warlock touched his staff to the still bleeding stump. There was a swirl of snow around it and Jack closed his eyes. Before Adam could wonder at what was happening, the youth opened his eyes and looked at him grinning. The swirl of snow dissipated blowing away in all directions. In its place, there was a hand. Jack closed and opened his fist a few times to test it out while Adam gaped.

"What the…" He was shocked seeing the completely healthy hand. He looked at where the severed hand was and saw it turn white, flatten, and turn into a thin patch of frost on the floor. "I've never heard of any warlock having the power to reattach lost limbs!"

Jack was amused, "War… warlock?" He exploded with laughter leaning on his staff for support. "What made you… what made…" He couldn't say his sentence among the fit of giggles. He rubbed tears of joy out of his eyes and tried to calm himself down. "Oh, this is great." He put his brand new fist to his mouth trying to hold back more giggles. "Your face! I wish I had a camera right now."

Adam was beyond frustrated. This youngster was beyond reason.

Finally, Jack controlled his giggles and let out his breath. "Who said I'm a warlock, magic man?" He looked amused at Adam who narrowed his eyes.

"What are you then?" he spat out getting impatient with the youth for making fun of him.

"What? That's rather rude. I'm not a what." Jack chuckled but seeing that Adam was losing his patience he continued speaking while an extravagant hat made of ice with a large ice feather grew in his hand. "Jack Frost, the one and only, all-powerful immortal Spirit of Winter and the Guardian of Fun, at your service." He finished with a deep theatrical bow, straightened up, put on the ice hat and easily jumped up to sit cross-legged on the tip of his staff maintaining a perfect balance.

Adam's face fell as he just realized how much he miscalculated the situation. "Well… shit."

After a short moment, Jack threw the ice hat at the warlock saying, "Catch." Adam caught the hat and didn't notice the sudden appearance of an ice patch under his feet making him slip, run in place for a moment trying to catch balance and fall on his butt spectacularly. Jack exploded with laughter.

Adam's face grew hot as he realized that he got childishly pranked. The Spirit of Winter walked around him, his expression mischievous but obviously ready to strike again. Adam observed him while still seated on the floor and a sudden realization hit him that he didn't want to fight the spirit, in fact, he was in awe. He'd heard tales of nature spirits and how they are and always have been an essential part of the world gluing elemental magic together. He was fascinated with their folklore but never had a chance to encounter any of them. This was that chance. The circumstances were unfortunate, he wished the spirit didn't think of him as his enemy, but he hoped that he could still recover from it.

"I won't fight you, Jack Frost," he finally said. "Please forgive me for choosing the wrong side."

Jack looked at him surprised at first, and then suspicious, as he continued circling the warlock adjusting his hands on the staff.

"Do you want me to remove myself from here?" Adam asked hoping the spirit would believe his intentions. "Or I could aid you in defeating them," he said pointing at the many vampires and warlocks that had just come through the door.

Jack looked at the newcomers, then back at Adam and narrowed his eyes at him. "I don't trust you to let you leave and definitely not to aid me. Besides, who said I need help?" He thought for a moment and said, "Stay." and threw a gust of freezing wind at Adam which pushed the warlock into the furthest wall. The warlock didn't struggle as ice grew around his ankles and wrists trapping him to the floor.

Adam was content with the situation. The spirit had obviously considered that his intentions were true and the ice trap was just a precaution.

15 vampires and 4 warlocks surrounded the young spirit and he looked at them in a calculating manner, probably planning how to take them all out at the same time. Finally, he slammed his staff into the ground and it was as if a freezing bomb went off, the impact of which knocked most of them down. Adam was far enough from it to not feel the full brunt of that attack but from what he felt he knew that the wave was frigid. The warlocks fell to the ground wrapping their arms around themselves shivering from the cold. The vampires weren't bothered by the cold but just looked agitated, and ran straight at the young spirit.

Adam was concerned at first but instead found himself stunned as he saw Jack suddenly disappear in a dusty cloud of snow. Thick frost generated in the place where he previously stood and started to travel in multiple directions towards the vampires. They looked around confused wondering where he'd gone and then suddenly he was right behind one of them, sending a blast of frost from his staff which hit the vampire straight in the chest and sent him into the wall knocking him out cold. The spirit then disappeared in the same manner as before and instantly reappeared on the opposite side of the room doing the same to a couple of vampires standing close to each other. Jack continued this method to take each one of them out. The vampires were enraged never knowing which side he would come from. They were fast creatures but still, they struggled to catch him as it seemed that he was everywhere.

By the time the last vampire fell, the warlocks recovered and advanced the spirit coming at him together. They fired hexes but before those could reach him, he disappeared in a cloud of snow again. The warlocks looked behind themselves thinking he was going to pull the same trick he did with the vampires to catch them from behind but didn't find him there. Instead, he reappeared right in the same spot where they had fired the hexes at and yelled while pointing the staff at them which sent the largest blast of frost Adam had seen from the spirit so far. lt hit them like a lightning and they collapsed against the wall unconscious.

Jack looked around checking if there were any other threats left, and upon seeing none, he made one unnaturally giant leap towards the cage. He put his hand on the lock, which froze and shattered when he pulled it. Adam couldn't help a, "Wow," from escaping his mouth. Jack looked at him with a smirk and winked, then, looked back at Claire who was coming out of the cage.

Claire looked at Jack with tears in her eyes. "Jack," she said with trembling lips.

"Come here," he encouraged her motioning with his hand. She threw herself at him giving him a tight hug and then separated just as fast and Adam saw the flash of thirst in her eyes he'd seen many times around the bloodsuckers. Yup. She had just almost bit the guy who rescued her. Adam sighed. Vampires were hopeless creatures. How did he ever get mixed up with them?

"Hey, you, Adam, right?" Jack called to him and Adam nodded. "You still want to help?"

"Yes, I do," Adam said excited that the spirit considered it.

Jack looked at the people in the cage and then at Adam. "Get them to safety, far away from this place," he said and then waved his hand towards Adam. The warlock was confused wondering what the gesture meant but then the ice trapping him had dissipated into a blur of tiny snowflakes which spread all around and disappeared into the air. He massaged his wrists which were all red from the cold, got up and slowly approached them. He walked inside the cage to get the cowering humans and felt a moment of panic wondering if the spirit was going to lock him in there. He looked back apprehensively but only found a warm smile on Jack's lips. Claire was standing nearby but keeping her distance, staring at the floor obviously attempting to control her thirst.

The six of them, Jack holding Claire's hand, Adam and the three humans made their way out of the compound. They came across a few more guards on the way and Jack fought them together side by side with Adam. The warlock was amazed at the spirit. He had full control over the frozen elements and he could sense an aura of pure elemental magic surrounding him. But what was most surprising was that he was also a person, a bright young man full of warmth (how ironic) and kindness. One whose smile could enliven any sour mood. Adam felt privileged to have met the Spirit of Winter.

They were sitting at the edge of Jack's pond on top of a blanket spread over freshly fallen snow. Jack outdid himself in his attempt to show her what a winter spirit does. A beautiful wintery scenery surrounded them, one similar to the ones from her best childhood memories. Jack laid down and the top of his head reached the end of the blanket and Claire's heart made a leap when she noticed how well his hair blended with the snow, both shimmering in the moonlight. He was truly an amazing sight.

"For the record, you did give me a brain freeze," Claire said thankful to have her friend back.

Jack chuckled, "Like a slushie? A bloody slushie?"

They looked at each other amused and exploded with laughter together.

Wind blew a gust at Jack trying to get his attention. He smiled up at the feeling and continued his conversation with Claire.

"You know what? I think you're making Wind jealous."

Claire looked doubtfully. "What does she expect? You deserve to have real friends. She doesn't expect you to have just her for company, does she?"

"I have no idea," Jack chuckled. "It sure would be nice to be able to talk to her normally though."

Claire just smiled. Maybe it was selfish of her but she was glad that she was the only one in Jack's life. She'd hate to have a competition and fight for his attention. And, who knew? Maybe one day he would feel for her what she felt for him. She had an eternity to find out.

The end.

Author's note: How's it going, my beautiful readers? I hope you enjoyed reading Bloody Brain Freeze as much as I enjoyed writing it. This was my very first fanfic. I'd love to hear comments on your likes and dislikes on the story or my writing. I've never written anything this long before. It has definitely been an experience. Believe it or not, it took me only 11 days! Don't ever underestimate the power of fun. It can make the impossible possible.

Did you like the little teaser at the end?

I wrote a sequel with Wind as a major player (The House of J). The story is less vampire and more spirit oriented AND there is romance. Are you excited for it? I am.

Read on.

Kami out.