Jack frowned as he flew over North America, lost in thought. What could North want with him up at Santoff Clausen, especially around this time of year? It was late December, nearly Christmas, so the older Guardian should have been far too busy preparing for his holiday to think about anything else. Jack himself had his own job to do; he was supposed to be active in all areas of the world during winter, being the one and only winter spirit, after all.
Well, whatever. It's not like I'm gonna just blow him off if he needs me, Jack thought to himself. He noticed he was nearing Burgess and briefly thought about dropping down for a quick visit, but decided against it. If North had something Jack needed to help with that was urgent enough for him to take time out of his Christmas preparations to summon him up, Jack figured he shouldn't keep him waiting. With that thought in mind, he picked up his speed and went soaring north faster than ever.
"You sure this is going to work?"
"Yes," Jamie said, a touch testily. The Guardians had been asking him variations of that question for the past three days. He loved them, he did, but it was starting to get on his nerves. "I haven't got the date wrong or anything."
Assuming what the Jack's headstone in the cemetery said was correct. That hadn't been a fun trip, but Jamie deemed it necessary for the cause.
"But what about Frosty himself?" Bunny pressed. "Last thing we want is for him to freak and take right off out that window again the minute he arrives."
"It's a birthday party, how badly can he take it?"
"You said he didn't want one."
"I also said I thought he was scared to have one." Jame might have been only twelve, but he did have a perceptive vision about him, and he knew Jack Frost. Even if his friend said nothing, Jamie could tell when something was bothering him. Just once he wanted to try and do something for Jack, and this was his chance.
"Well, regardless, it's too late to turn back now," Tooth coined in, pointing out the window. "I see him coming."
The inhabitants of the room (Jamie, Sophie, and the Guardians) shut up and scurried out of sight. The only illumination came from the weak winter light streaming in through the window, and it soon became blocked by the winter spirit's familiar, spindly silhouette.
Jamie held his breath. Looking confused, Jack glanced around the darkened room and, apparently not seeing anything or anyone of note, turned to leave.
The group shouted and jumped out of their hiding places in unison, the room lighting up suddenly. Jack started violently, whirled around, and slipped out a string of words that would have made his colonial mother faint. Nobody seemed overly bothered by it, however, too caught up in the surprise to fault a teenager for being startled. The pale color in Jack's face had drained completely and he now stood before them gaping like a deer in the headlights.
"What the hell is going on," he managed to breath out. Glancing swiftly at the children in the room he added, "Sorry."
"Surprise!" Sophie repeated, jumping up and down with an elated grin.
"Yeah, I thought I was being attacked, but I got that part now. Um, why the surprise, exactly?"
Everyone turned to Jamie, who suddenly felt very small.
"Uh," he began eloquently. "W-Well, remember on my birthday when you said you didn't really celebrate yours? I didn't think that sounded right, so I thought..."
Jack was looking bewildered, like he could hardly believe his ears. "So you thought what?"
The winter spirit blinked. "...It is?"
"Yeah. I checked."
"And all this..." Jack turned his gaze to the decorations he was only just noticing, and the Guardians waiting expectantly. "This is all for me?"
"I'm sorry!" Jamie blurted. "I know you said you didn't want one, this was a dumb idea, I-"
"What? No, that's not what I meant! It's..." his friend let out a heavy breath, "This is...amazing. I didn't even think..."
He was looking perilously close to tears. Thankfully, Bunny stepped in before anybody could get too emotional.
"Whatever you thought, I'm starvin'," he snapped. "Are we gonna eat the food here or not?"
The apprehensive atmosphere broke, and with an almost palpable air of relief, everyone adjourned to the tables laden with various sweets and dishes that Jack liked.
He caught Jamie's elbow when the boy tried to scurry past him, red-faced.
"This is really great," he said thickly. "Really, Jamie. Thanks."
Jamie grinned shakily. "How old are you today?"
There was a long pause.
"Don't push your luck, kid. Get the cake before North eats it all."
"Happy birthday, Jack."
"Yeah yeah. Whatever."
As Jamie passed, he saw the small smile on his friend's face, and felt like he'd accomplished something.
Sweet Brighid, this sucks. But literally everything I've written lately has made me want to gouge my eyes out, so... Just don't mention it. I already know.
Fire ideas my way! Am in need of more at this point.