The first time he saw her was about month after he had risen from the ice. He figured he had died somehow. He was a ghost. That was why no one could see him. Why he was always so cold, but never uncomfortable. It explained why ice reached from his fingers without him ever having to really think about it. He was a ghost, so he would haunt.
She came to his lake sometime in the midmorning. She was small, just a little girl, no older than eight. She had brown hair that flutter just past her shoulders, wearing some kind of animal hide.
Jack was perched on his staff in the center of the lake, just over the spot he had come up. He always waited there as the sun rose over the trees, resting after spreading ice and cold in the town at night.
But this girl came right up to the lake, stopping at the edge as if afraid that the ice would swallow her if she so much as touched it. She sat down at the edge, little hands digging into the frozen ground, pulling snow and dirt.
He flinched and moved, uncurling his legs and landing on the ice in one motion. "What did you say?" He asked, disbelief warring with such a painful hope that his heart hammered against his chest.
She did not repeat herself, even as fresh tears streaked down her face. He moved closer to her, afraid at first, but gaining confidence. "Hey, don't cry," he called.
"Papa and Mama miss you lots." She said finally. "I miss you lots too. I wish we could play again. Even if only for a moment." She sobbed for a long time, then.
Jack inched closer, finally crouching down in front of her. "Don't cry," he said again.
Her head shot up, looking right at him. Jack stumbled back, landing on his behind and slipping across the ice.
"What if it happens again?"
"What if I step onto this lake and it cracks and tries to eat me like it did you?" She was still crying, but her eyes were angry. The face a child wronged by fate. Jack wanted to hold her and stop her crying, but he was afraid that if he touched her, that broken illusion that she could see him would simply shatter.
"Hey kid, it's okay. I won't let the lake eat you." He smiled, but she did not hear him. The smile fluttered and faded on his own face.
She stood defiantly, marching onto the ice, right through him. He gasped, pain welling in his chest. He was tired of crying, so he screwed his eyes shut and refused to let the tears escape. After a moment he turned to look at her.
She had stopped where his staff was still wedged into the ice. He knew she could not see that either. She went to her knees, palms flat on the ice. Fat tears rolled from her eyes again and her sobs echoed in the silence.
He half crawled, half slid on the ice toward her. "Don't cry," he said a third time. It was more for his benefit then hers really. "I'll protect you." He sat behind her, even as she pounded on the ice.
"Jack!" she cried. "Jack Jack Jack!" Over and over again until they became sobs too. "Please come back. Nothing is fun without you. Nothing is happy."
He was afraid to touch her but wanted nothing but to hold her. "I'm right here. I'll never leave. I promise."
She fell asleep on the ice, her arm cushioning her head. He was careful to grow his ice around her without touching her. There were wolves in these forests, and he did not want such an innocent child killed. He waited beside her until she awoke.
She crawled out of her circle, a smile on her face growing the more she looked at it.
"See," he said after she escaped from it stood back to admire it. "There's no reason to cry. I'm right here. And I'll never go anywhere."
He knew she still could not see him, but her words warmed something he thought was frozen forever. He followed her all the way back to town, to make sure that she made it safely.
She visited him everyday, the same time. He watched her grow old as he stayed young. Even though the thought pained him, he still looked forward to her visits.
Afterword: Fucking Jack Frost and his amazing beauty. This is my contribution. You may expect a few more.