"That…that is your plan?" North says, appearing from a hole in the ground. The other Guardians clamber out with some difficulty.
"You were all still strong, because Jamie believed in you. In spite of everything, that kid believed in you. So," I say, unclasping the chain around my neck. Jamie's memories pulse wildly, excited now that they're so close to home, "I took them."
"You can do that?" Jack asks.
"I have before." I don't know how it works, but I don't want to get into that now. "I didn't think that I had another choice. If you were still fighting, Jack was still in danger. I took his memories of seeing you, his belief, and I kept it with me." North and Bunny look at me like they don't know who I am. "I thought I was doing the right thing." I say, hating how defensive I sound.
"Yeah and look where that got all of us."
"I made a choice, rabbit," I snap at him. "I made a choice based on what I thought was right."
"And you were wrong, weren't you?" Bunnymund shoots, clearly not liking being called a rabbit, especially now that he looks like nothing more than one. "Look what you did to us?"
"Look what I'm doing now to fix it," I hiss.
"Please don't fight," Tooth says quietly. I straighten. I didn't realize that I had been bending over to get closer to Bunny.
"I'm sorry," I say quietly. "For all of this. But I'm going to fix it." I turn to Jamie, who's been lounging on his bed this entire time, completely oblivious. I hold his memories in my hand, not entirely sure how to proceed. I stiffen as I feel fingers wind in mine and Jack squeezes my hand. I'm here, he says without saying. I'm with you.
"Jamie, I'm sorry," I whisper, too quietly for anyone but Jack to hear. "I'm sorry for what I did to you. But I'm trying to make it better." So close to Jaime, the diamond in my hand pulses so fast that it seems to hum. It begins to melt into stardust in my hand, and, acting on a sudden impulse, I blow the dust away. It flies towards Jamie, flying home. Jamie blinks, the stardust glowing for a moment as it lands on his face before melting into his skin.
"Oh my God," Jamie breathes, and suddenly the surly, sullen teenager is gone. His dark eyes go wide and he rips the headphones off of his ears. "You…" I know that he doesn't mean me. He's never been able to see me. But the others… "Santa. The Easter Bunny. Tooth Fairy." He blinks. "You're all real I knew that, before. I…I believed in you." I don't have to look behind me to see that the Guardians are changing back to their former glory. Not their full strength, but to their Guardian forms again. Jamie joins the cheers of exaltation as the Guardians are restored.
"They're back," Jack says softly, looking back, but keeping his hand in mine. "Sparks, you fixed it." I turn to look at him, my heart seeming to whither when I see that he hasn't changed. Jack is still sick, he's still broken.
"It didn't work," I say, my voice close to breaking.
"It did." He means for them. I don't give a damn about them. I want Jack back, I want my brother, and it didn't work. "Jamie never believed in me," he explains gently. "So I can't be cured by his belief." His hand squeezes mine again. "It's okay."
"No," I say in a trembling voice. "No it's not!"
"You saved the world," Jack says. "The Guardians will make everything better again."
"I don't care about the world. I care about you."
"Well isn't that sweet." No one else responds to the oily voice, so I know that I'm the only one who can hear him. "You'd give up the world to save him. But it looks like darling Jack's still looking a bit peaky."
"Pitch," I snarl audibly. The Guardians all turn to look at me. Jack flinches.
"Come on, Sparks, let's not fight," Pitch says in my mind, mocking me. "Lovers quarrels are so overdone these days."
"I'm going to kill you." I growl.
"Do you hear him?" North demands. "Pitch?" I don't answer. I'm too busy burning.
"What is that?" Jamie asks urgently, sounding panicked.
"That," I answer him even though he can't hear me, "is the murderous bastard who broke the world."
"I love it when you get all tough," Pitch laughs in my head. "But don't forget that you helped, love." I hiss, burning hotter.
"Ignore him." Jack urges me. "He's trying to bait you."
"Yes, listen to brother dear." Pitch says. "While he's still around. Looks like he doesn't have much time left." I try to breathe. I do. I try to calm down and keep it together. Really. But I can't. Impulse control has never been my strong suit.
"I'm going to kill him."
"Killing him won't make me better," Jack says, catching my hand before I can streak out the window.
"No. But it'll make me feel better." I snarl. "Stay here. This won't take long."
"No, I don't suppose it will," Pitch says with malicious glee. My hands clench into fists.
"Sparks, don't." Jack pleads. "He's stronger than you."
"Your lack of faith hurts me deeply," I say, but my voice is too dark to seem joking. Pitch will come after us, all of us, eventually, and Jack's in no shape to fight. Neither am I, but I'm to enraged to care about that. I need to end this. I started this, I have to finish it. "Take care of him." I say to the Guardians without turning to look at them.
"We will," Tooth says quietly. I nod, and fly out of the house before I burn it down.
"Come find me," Pitch whispers in the back of my mind. "Come find the monster under the bed." I growl, remembering how Pitch used those exact words to lure me out of hiding last time. I know where to find him. The caverns under the ground, our first hiding place, before we took up residence in the volcano.
"Look who remembers," Pitch says, his voice echoing from the shadows the minute I crash through the moldy bedframe into the tunnels. "I was beginning to think that our time together meant nothing to you."
"Don't flatter yourself." I snap, flooding the caverns with light to flush him out. Pitch materialized in front of me, arms extended, the picture of chivalry.
"Oh, but I do."
"You shouldn't." I growl, lighting striking down at Pitch's feet. The Nightmare King vanishes and reappears in the blink of an eyes.
"I am disappointed in you, Sparks." Pitch says, shaking his head. "That was pathetic."
"That was just the warm up." I throw attack after attack at him, but Pitch dodges every one. He never attacks me himself, but his smile begins to fade as my blows become more and more vicious.
"Sparks, I don't want to fight," Pitch says, still avoiding my attacks.
"You almost killed Jack!" I scream at him finally. "You almost killed the one thing I care bout in this goddam universe! I never wanted you, I never wanted to be with you, you absolute idiot! It was all for him, all of it! I let you kill the Guardians, I helped you turn the world to shit, I did it all for him." I laugh coldly, without humor. A trick I learned from him. "You thought that I liked you? I couldn't stand you! You're a monster, Pitch Black, and you'll never be anything but a monster!" Pitch yells in anger, flooding the caves with shadows, but I'm ready for him. Every bit of me explodes with light and fire, blasting the shadows back. Like with ice, light beats darkness every time.
I vanish into the fire, unable to withstand the power behind Pitch's attack. Jack was right: I'm not strong enough. Not when I was dying only a few hours ago. I don't know where I am when I drop out of the sky, but I know that if I face Pitch again, he won't be trying to reconcile. Next time, he'll try to kill me. I realize that the taunting from before was just to lure me out. He didn't want to fight; he was taking it easy on me, and I was hitting him with everything I had. I'm no match for him.
"What am I going to do?" I murmur aloud, cradling my head in my hands.
I think I can help with that. My head snaps up at the almost-forgotten voice and my eyes find the moon, swollen overhead. I can feel his eyes looking down at me. I blink and shake my head, unsure if the voice is real. You can fix it. You can fix everything, the moon promises.
"I'm all ears, big guy," I whisper, my head tilted skyward. "Nice to hear from you again." It's only been a couple hundred years.
So what can Sparks do? What do you think the moon's big plan is? Please leave me a message, the longer the better. I do appreciate them!