a/n: My face HURTS!!!! (Just so you know) This is for the August castaway kingdom promp. I choose Ice for this tell me what you think.

Disclaimer: Do I even need to say it? A rubber ducky is more like to own Castaway's then I am.

God's Own Cathedral

Snow and ice stretched as far as the eye could see, the bright midwinter's sun sparkled on miniscule ice crystals. Soaring pine tree, boughs bent under the weight of the powder, pierced the azure sky. An occasional gust of wind blew the loose snow and ice into fantastic, swirling shapes far above the frozen ground. A crow landed high in the bony branches of a barren aspen, its course call piercing the silence. The pink nose of a small, white rabbit twitched as it emerged into the chill air. The mammal fled back into it's den as a large, black dog bounded across a serene meadow towards it.

I almost got that one! He barked happily bounding back towards his friend.

Aye that you did. Ben laughed his breath a fog of white in the frigid air.

The dog was more then content to explore the meadow , while the boy blew on his icy fingers, trying to warm them.

Ned, We've got to find someplace out of this wind to build a fire. He stomped his feet, keeping the blood flowing down to his toes.

We dogs are rarely in need of a fire. All this nice, thick fur we have normally does the job.

I'd gladly take of that nice, warm fur right now. Ben shivered as the trees around him swayed and groaned in the wind, causing large loads of snow to fall to the ground.

I guess then we'll have to go see what we can find. The dog loped off, stopping once to bark at the crow, before continuing on his quest.

The blond boy sighed, pulled a ragged, woolen hat farther down over his ears, and then trudged after the dog. He wrinkled his nose as he looked at the thick clouds that were quickly consuming the sky. Ned, it gonna start storming soon. Ben watched the dog bounding around in snow up to his stomach. And you'd better start helping me look someplace out of the storm.

I am looking! Ned huffed, looking mournfully at the boy.

Sure you are. The boy muttered, unceremoniously dropping a handful of packed snow on the dog's head.

Is that really such a smart thing to do, to the great and awesome Ned? The Labrador barked jumping up to his front paw's on the boy's shoulders before pushing him backwards into the thick snow.

Loud laughter invaded every crevice of the still forest as the pair wrestled in the snow, flinging the powdery substance in all directions. Finally Ben flung his arms in front of his face to prevent the dog from licking it anymore. "Mercy, mercy." He chuckled breathless from laughter. "I shouldn't have dumped snow on you, oh great and mighty Ned."

That will teach you to mess with me, you insolent boy. The dog said licking the boy's face one last time to prove his point.

All right! The teen said shoving the dog off his chest. Uh-oh. He murmured as he looked at the dark sky, watching as the first few snowflakes lazily floated to the ground. Seriously, we'd better get out of this before it turns bad. With this he pulled an old, slightly rusted knife from his knapsack, strode over to a tree, and began hacking at the smallest branched he could find.

Ned inquisitively walked over to him Ben, what are you doing?

We'll need wood for a fire, unfortunately if I try cutting any bigger branches off it'll never cut, or break the knife which would makes things even worse. He shoved several small branches into the sack, before moving onto a small bush. As the snow began to fall with more force and the wind began to pick up he cut off several more branched slightly thicker then the ones he had before turning to the dog. We'd better go.

The pair continued on their trek, as the storm mounted in force. The screaming wind blew the snow first on way and then another blinding the boy as he stopped to pull his jacket tighter. The thick snowflakes fell thickly, turning the world into a confusing picture of swirling white shapes. Ben dug his fingers into the dog's thick fur and raised the other arm to protect his face from the sharp fragments of flying ice.

Ben, I think I might have found something. The dog abruptly turned to the left, making the cold fingers release their hold.

The teen stumbled forward a step or two before realizing he had let go of the dog. Ned, where are you? He called before feeling the dog's warm body nudge his legs.

This way mate. The dog said leading the boy several feet to the left of the direction they were walking. Here it is. The dog slowly walked down a slow incline leading the blue-eyed boy behind him. Duck your head or else you're going to hit it hard. The boy obediently listened, raising his hand to feel the area above him when he skimmed the top of it on a hard surface. After a minute more of walking the snow abruptly stopper falling around them and the wind faded to a slight howling over head.

The boy looked around in wonder, What is this place? He ran a hand down the smooth ice wall. Ned, we have no idea how long this blizzard is going to last, we'll need more wood. He turned back into the narrow tunnel they had entered through.

Mate, you're insane. You can't go out in weather.

But what if it gets worse and we don't have anything for a fire? We'll get as much as we can in five minutes. The boy hurried back up the passage way. See, the wind slowed down a little, we'll be all right for now. He walked over to a dead tree and started breaking dead branches off it.

The dog watched in silence for several minutes. All right that's plenty, now come in.

You're not my mother. The boy said sticking his tongue out at the lab.

I only act like it because you'd do something dumb an constantly need saving. I'm just trying to keep you safe.

The two hiked back into the shelter as the wind once again picked up. In the center of the large cavern the boy built a small fire, and quietly sat contemplating it for several minutes. He was surprised when he felt a sticky, warm substance trickling down his check. He wiped if off and looked at the crimson blood on his pale fingers. "I was so cold; I didn't even feel the ice cutting me." He said in surprise, rubbing blood off the other side of his face.

The fire crackled merrily and the boy yawned, hypnotized by the dancing flames. He forgot the cuts on his face as his eyes started to sink shut before he jerked himself back awake.

Get some sleep. Ned lay down behind the boy who silently nodded and shot him a thankful smile, before curling up at the dog's side.

The last traces of a smile from a pleasant dream faded as the boy awoke, still curled up next to the warm body of the dog. His ocean blue eyes opened slowly, as he yawned and sat up, giving a slight groan from sleep on the cold, hard ground. Ben threw a stick on the dying fire and glanced around the cave.

He let out a small gasp of wonder at the sight that befell his eyes. The storm had passed leaving in its wake a brightly glowing sun. The glow of the sun passed through the layers of the ice cave. Cool blues, deep greens, and light blues sparkled in the cave, changing the cavern into a glowing wonder.

"Ned, look at this!" He shouted, startling the dog awake. He hesitantly walked over to a glowing patch of color, as if it would vanish when he drew to near.

"It must be God's own cathedral." He whispered slowly turning in a circle to take in the sight. Laughing he stuck his hand into the light, watching in joy as the skin appeared to turn the blue of the ice. Caught up in the spectacle he ran to a rosy spot and turned his face to gaze at the intricate designs that had naturally been formed in the ice.

And for a while he wasn't cursed to walk the earth for eternity, he didn't have to worry about what he would and where he would sleep, not a single thought of the flying Dutchman crossed his mind, for a moment he wasn't hundreds of years old. No, for several minutes he was simply a teenager basking in the wonders of a beautiful world.

a/n: I can't decide what I think of this, there are some parts I love and some parts I hate. This story went through about three versions each one totally different, but I decided I liked this one the best. That's my very favorite kind of storm; just standing in such a massive blizzard feels awesome. You feel so miniscule it's almost like the wind and snow will devour you and all that will be left is people's memories. But those storms can't get hard enough that the ice crystals make you bleed and you're so cold you don't feel it. (just wanted to add that it wasn't some complete stretch of the truth when I said that) Anyways please review.