Too Early

Summary: Jack Skellington needs a vacation. JackXSally. Very fluffy, set some time after the movie.

Disclaimer: The Nightmare Before Christmas and its characters belong to Tim Burton and their other respective owners.

"When the whole world fits inside of your arms do we really need to pay attention to the alarm?" – 'Banana Pancakes', Jack Johnson

The sun had just barely risen, and already Jack Skellington had a problem on his hands. He could either stay in bed, right where he was, and let the mayor continue to bang on the Pumpkin King's front door; or he could get up to face said mayor, which would most likely wake the pretty girl sleeping in his arms.

It really wasn't that hard of a decision to make.

The curtains were still drawn tight, and Jack burrowed back under the covers, careful not to disturb Sally. With her, in the darkened bedroom, he could pretend that Halloween wasn't in only less than two weeks.

He'd been working a great amount as of late; sometimes he left when the sun rose and didn't come home until it rose again. And he was tired now. Since Jack and the others of Halloweentown weren't really alive, they could go at least a couple days without rest. There was a sort of life force that they drew their energy from, though, and that had to be replenished sometimes.

What with Jack's long hours, he and Sally hadn't seen much of each other lately. Last night he'd come home so late and found her asleep at her sewing table; she'd been trying to wait up for him. Jack had gently pulled her to her feet and led her to the bed; he hadn't even bothered to change out of his usual pinstripe suit.

And it was like this because (although Jack wished there was some way he could include her in the Halloween festivities) she was uncomfortable with going out often during the day. And who could blame her? It was no secret that just about everyone in the town had been positively scandalized when she moved in with Jack. They all seemed to think she was some kind of heartbreaker, craving a spot in the limelight above all else.

'People are awfully ignorant these days,' Jack thought sourly, reaching out and brushing a lock of Sally's hair out of her face. She was so sweet and pretty and in that moment, she was his whole world; and Jack simply couldn't understand how anyone could think ill of her. He'd even tried to explain that he was the one who originally invited her to come stay with him, and at first she'd even been a little averse to the offer.

It frustrated him to no end; she was the thing about this world he loved the most, and he wanted to protect her, to make her happy. He could save her from the buzz saws and death traps of Oogie's lair, but he couldn't do anything about the stares and badly concealed whispers of the whole of Halloweentown.

The knocking continued and Jack was getting rather irked. Why should he do another thing for this dumb town, anyway? What was wrong with him taking a little break once in a while?

As if the mayor had heard Jack's thoughts, the banging and yelling suddenly ceased. Jack allowed himself a smug grin, settling in for a few more hours of glorious sleep.

However, the peace was shattered as suddenly as it had come – "JACK!"

Jack sat up with a start, bringing a hand to his forehead and growling lowly. The mayor had his megaphone. The mayor hadn't given up; he'd gone to get a better arsenal.

A movement at his side and Jack looked down to find Sally awake. She looked up at him with sleepy eyes, and asked drowsily what was the matter. Jack's anger dissipated immediately. "Nothing, my dear, just go back to sleep," he told her, slumping back onto the pillows.

"Oh, it's the mayor," Sally noted as the shouts continued, sitting up as well. Suddenly she smiled slightly. "How long has he been here, Jack?"

"Mm...not long," Jack said nonchalantly, focusing his attention on the ceiling. She was his voice of reason, and sometimes he really wished she wasn't...

She smiled and leaned over, taking his hand. "He'll wake up the whole town if you let him."

"So, let him," he frowned, folding his arms across his chest. "I'm not getting up and going out today. I'm taking a break and no one's stopping me." He knew how much he sounded like a petulant child and he didn't care.

"You're here," he said abruptly, voicing his thoughts and taking her small hands in his own. "You're here, and that's all I need."

He smiled at the blush that spread across her face and thought for a moment, then stood suddenly and crossed the room to his writing desk of ebony. "Hmm," he mumbled, taking out a piece of paper and a pen, scrawling out a quick sort of note. Sally watched him curiously, as he crouched down and coaxed Zero awake. "Will you take this to the mayor downstairs, boy?" he asked, folding the parchment into thirds and offering it to the ghost dog. Zero barked once and took the letter from him – Sally, for one, would never understand how Zero could carry things in his mouth, being a ghost and all – and flew out the window.

Jack waited and listened, and the mayor's frustrated yell of his name told Jack his plan had worked. He grinned at the blessed silence, getting back into the bed with Sally as Zero flew back in through the window, beaming (if ghost-dogs could really beam) with pride at his accomplished mission.

"Goodness," Sally blinked. "What on earth have you done this time?"

"I wrote the mayor a note," Jack said simply, "informing him the Pumpkin King is taking a vacation today."

"A vacation? Without leaving the house?" Sally smiled, and he smiled back and drew her into his arms.

"Exactly," he said. "I'm staying right here with you, my dear, and that's precisely why it's a vacation." The matter was closed, and this he demonstrated with a kiss.