Chapter 1: The Problem
It wasn't every day Mother Nature felt stressed beyond belief.
Of course, what she did was stressful. She was the matriarch of all of nature, after all. That in itself was a lot more complex than it sounded. Keeping the balance of all of nature wasn't the easiest thing to do; thankfully, she didn't have to do it all by herself.
Her lovely (adoptive) daughters, the Season Sisters, helped her greatly. The four girls were, in fact, the literal personification of the seasons. Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter took care of the biggest part of her job—the seasons themselves. This left the more intricate parts of nature for herself to deal with, though the four women did help her with the big things every so often, inter-seasonal squabbles aside.
This also left her more time to take care of the many issues that arose throughout the world, and more importantly in their homeland. It is a little-known fact, but just west of the North Pole and out into the Arctic Sea lies a vast continent known as Crystal Springs, named for the healing springs at the centre of the continent. It is here that a good majority of your average magical folk choose to make their home; they live peacefully, hidden from mortals and looked over by Mother Nature herself.
Mother Nature had a system. She had balance. Nothing was ever out of place—she and the Season Sisters made sure of it. What Mother Nature and the youngest of the Season Sisters hadn't expected, however, was the mischief one Jack Frost tended to cause a lot more frequently than anyone would expect.
Nothing was ever out of place, most of the time. But every so often, something—or in this case, some things—did end up out of place. And, more often than not, it was all thanks to Jack.
Mother Nature shook her head as she left the warmth of the North Pole's large kitchen. She wondered if the Council as a whole had done the right thing after Jack's latest shenanigans. Jack staying at the North Pole for community service was definitely concerning her. He was…incredibly jealous of Santa; everyone knew that—and that was putting it nicely. But it was rightly Santa's final decision, since it was him that Jack had tried to upstage two-hundred and seventy (three) times.
Now, not only did she have to put her duties aside to gather the rest of the cardboard cut outs, she also had a frozen volcano to deal with, geese to send back to Mexico (which she would have to warm up a bit first), and a tropical snowstorm! A snowstorm in the Amazon!
She could definitely imagine how Santa felt this year.
"It would appear you have your work cut out for you," Father Time said, silently making his way to her side.
She tried to smile, but found it very hard to when the weight of the entire mess she had to clean up hit her. "It would seem so. Perhaps it's best I get some help." She could ask Summer to give her a hand warming things up. Spring could talk to the geese, and Winter could move the snowstorm…of course, considering whose fault this entire mess was, perhaps it was better if she left the two warmer seasons out of this mess. She sighed as she realized her only other option. "I'll have to go visit the Frosts."
Father Time smiled. "I assume Winter is in a talkative mood. Your visit will be about two hours and forty-four minutes. Would you like the seconds?"
Mother Nature inhaled deeply. "No thank you, Father Time. I trust your judgement."
"All the luck," he said, eyes twinkling as he faded into the folds of time, vanishing on the spot.
"I'm going to need it," she said under her breath.
As soon as she reached the outside of the Workshop, Mother Nature disappeared in a flash of bright light. She reappeared outside of a swirling lilac portal, shrouded by trees. The entrance to the large garden she called a home in Crystal Springs.
She rubbed her temples as she stepped through the portal. The visit looming ahead of her and the work she would have to do was giving her a headache. A walk around her garden felt like a good idea. It was a good way for her to organize her thoughts before she did something she really did not want to do and brought Jack's Mother, and perhaps the rest of the family, into this mess.
Mother Nature was not a procrastinator.
It wasn't in her nature. And it wasn't that she didn't enjoy seeing Winter and her family; quite the contrary. Visiting Frost Manor was always a delight. It wasn't the Frosts themselves that caused Mother Nature to go for a stroll in her numerous gardens. Or nearly follow the stroll with a thoughtful soak in the river that ran through her garden. That wasn't the reason she was putting off her visit.
No. The reason she was putting off her visit had to do with the messy history that surrounded the youngest Season's family and her estranged son. She knew this, of course; it happened almost every time she had to go see Winter. Sighing, she turned away from the sparkling river and headed to her greenhouse kitchen, deep in thought.
The greenhouse was large and spacious. Sunlight streamed through the windows, plants growing amongst her counters and cabinets. Spanish moss hung from the cold box, the warmth hugging her as she put on a cup of tea. She wandered outside with her cup, sitting down at her favourite bistro table on the patio alongside the greenhouse.
She loved visiting Winter. She did not love reminding her daughter of everything that had happened with Jack. Unfortunately for her, the reason for this visit would do just that.
Where had everything gone wrong? Mother Nature wondered, lost in thought. Perhaps when Winter decided to settle down and start a family—which Mother Nature had never expected any of her daughters to do, really. Fate loved to intervene, of course. It was one of his favourite pastimes. Perhaps this was all his fault, Mother Nature often thought.
Long before Mother Nature had found the Season Sisters and raised them herself, there had been another Mother Nature, the first one, known as Mother Gaia. Back then, Crystal Springs had been ruled by the royal family: Canicus and Serafina Frost, a powerful heat sprite and a brilliant warlock. They had discovered the healing springs and led the magical folk to the continent, and thus Crystal Springs was founded, the people looking to Canicus and Serafina as their rulers.
Mother Gaia was like a councillor to them. She had led them to the springs herself—or so it was said. Back then, Mother Nature was just Tara, Gaia's protégé. And it was way back then when everything began.
Queen Frost and none other than Fate had had a convoluted past; Fate had been angered by a young Serafina, and in an act of petty revenge (such a typical Fate thing, honestly) when Queen Frost found herself with child, Fate had caused the unborn child to become two—twins. Two boys were born amidst much confusion, also thanks to Fate, and as a result, it was not known which was born first and would inherit the crown.
This really was where everything had started, Mother Nature was convinced.
Upon their birth, King Frost had called for Gaia and Tara to help them figure out what to do. Gaia had found a slight difference in their hair colour; the one with lighter hair was named Blaise, the one with darker hair Pyros. The King and Queen wondered what to do with the boys; asking Mother Gaia for advice, she had discussed it in depth with Tara, leaving the final decision with her.
So, she had decided. They would be raised alongside each other; after all, one would want to rule, and one would not—it would be their nature; she would know. Thus Blaise and Pyros were not separated, and were raised together. And as Tara became Mother Nature and found the Season Sisters, the boys did in fact grow true to the nature she had predicted. Blaise was every sense of the word good, if a little troublesome at times. Pyros was…quite the opposite; he was quite mean spirited and a little cruel. It was obvious which would make the better ruler. However, it didn't quite work out that way.
Blaise wanted nothing to do with the crown; Pyros wanted it all. He felt he was meant to rule. When both brothers were well into their twenty hundreds, Pyros took it to the next level. He began a conquest to take over the land by force; Blaise was forced to fight the brother he was so fond of.
Soon that conquest went from continent wide to world wide—Pyros wanted the world. The war lasted a thousand years and came to be known as the Millennium War; Pyros going so far as to reveal them to the mortals and take prisoners, including Mother Nature's very own children.
She had been enraged. Enlisting the help of the Witches of the Dark and Light Magics, they managed to get into the prison and take one of the Seasons back at a time. When they came the fourth time, Pyros was ready. With magic unlike any of them had seen before, he defeated the Witches and Mother Nature, leaving Winter trapped.
Spring, Summer and Autumn had explained how each time, Winter had made them go first. They were all very distraught when they were told that it would take days before they could overcome Pyros' magic to get the last sister back. It seemed hopeless.
And that's when Blaise had arrived in the garden, Mother Nature recalled, sipping her tea. Maybe that was when it had all started. Blaise was a wonderful sprite though and Mother Nature couldn't find it in herself to blame him for anything that happened; especially not when Fate had meddled so much in the first place!
Blaise had told them of how he had infiltrated his brother's fortress, and had been planting his own men inside of the stronghold for the longest time now. He would be able to bring Winter back easily, no magic necessary. Sure enough, he had; and the two of them had come up with a plan to defeat Pyros and let everyone free.
With a little help from an unexpected source, their plan had worked. With Blaise's forces on the inside and outside of Pyros' base, he was easily defeated, Winter herself freezing him in his tracks (quite literally). Finally, the war had ended; Crystal Springs was cloaked once again and the two Witches had sealed Pyros away, ending the battle Pyros had started oh so long ago.
Naturally everyone agreed that Blaise would take the crown; King and Queen Frost had stepped down the day after the victory and decided it was time to retire to Rosehaven. Blaise, however, did not want to rule. He decided that his first and only act as King would be to abolish the monarchy and create a balanced system that he would co-run with Mother Nature.
After the battle, Winter had not been herself. It took Mother Nature a few days before it clicked; the experience of the War and becoming a prisoner had done a number to the sprite; she had frozen her heart. She was still pleasant as always, kind and caring…but in an aloof, cold way. She would not open her heart to anyone.
Except for Blaise.
He had made Winter happy; their courtship had slowly warmed her heart and the night Blaise proposed, she had thawed for the second time in her life. Mother Nature hadn't counted on any of the girls falling in love. There was always so much to do, she hadn't even considered they would! But, Blaise made Winter happy and the two were so in love, that Mother Nature accepted it easily and was (even still to this day) very happy for them. They married, settled down, and soon after had their first child: Jack Frost.
Maybe this is where everything really went wrong, Mother Nature thought.
When he was a young boy Jack had been very quick to learn, and eager to expand his horizons. When Winter could teach him no more, it was said that he went so far as to break into the afterlife plane of existence, Rosehaven, and learn from the long-retired winter sprites residing there. It didn't take Mother Nature long to realize that much like his Mother before him, Jack was totally frozen, and too a far greater extent.
It was as if there was some kind of unbeknownst evil driving him. He established himself throughout the continent, then throughout the world, earned a mythic status and a seat on the Council of Legendary Figures. It wasn't until his early twentieth centuries, when his parents welcomed a new baby girl, that Jack's misbehaviour came to a rolling stop. They named her Jacqueline (Winter was fond of matching sets of names) and much like her older brother, she too favoured her Mother's powers. Jacqueline was a bouncy child, and was never very far from her brother. It only made sense that when the Legate Law was passed, Jack picked his then four-hundred-year-old sister to take his title should something happen to him.
And then, everything really went wrong.
Mother Nature felt her heart drop as she sipped her tea, lost in the past. Jack had been the ideal big brother to his sister. Though she curbed his evil tendencies, they never really went away. Finally, one night, Blaise confronted his son.
It didn't matter that Jack had a season to himself, or that he was one of the three most powerful Legendaries on the Council. It wasn't enough. That Santa Claus had chosen Jack's season, Jack's time to shine, for his holiday and had all but erased the reputation Jack had once known. Now when it snowed, it was Santa who everyone thought of first, Christmas over winter…and Jack never liked that.
When Blaise confronted him that night, Jack let it all out. A terrible ice storm started, freezing the continent days after Jack left for good. He hurt his father, and his mother…and nearly killed his little sister.
The messy history that had really started it all, Mother Nature thought.
Jacqueline had survived; her parents had healed, though Winter's heart was once again frozen. Perhaps it was one of the ways she managed to function in those first few decades. It wasn't until quite a few centuries later when the Twins were born, favouring Blaise's powers, that things seemed to get better with the Frosts.
Though the Twins helped the family heal, Blaise and Winter never forgot the messy history with their estranged son. And Jacqueline never really understood it—at least, Mother Nature assumed that was the case. As for the Twins…they didn't even know they had an older brother; the parents had kept that from them, not wanting the past to upset them as they grew.
Mother Nature sighed, finishing her tea. Now with the reason for today's visit, she would be bringing it all up again.
She could never pinpoint a start for when everything had begun to go wrong. But it gave her a little bit of glee to trace the long history all the way to Fate himself and blame him. "What a terrible sense of humour, that Fate," Mother Nature voiced.
Humourless laughter began to float on the breeze, the winds changing and getting colder. The laughter got louder, a cloaked figure appearing on the seat across from her, the smoke surrounding him making it seem as though he flickered in and out of existence. "It would be if it was my idea of a joke. Funny it is, a joke it is not."
Mother Nature frowned, carelessly waving her hand. A stronger than necessary wind blew, the hood falling back to reveal milky grey eyes and tied back dark hair. "What are you doing here? I have a lot to do."
"Really now?" Fate said, leaning forward, a sly grin plastered on his face, eyes narrowed. "I never would have guessed. I assumed it was tea time," he finished, conjuring up a cup for himself.
"Humph." Mother Nature flushed, turning away from Fate. He was one of the only immortals who really got on Mother Nature's nerves. He was so hard to be around.
The smoky being snickered. "Joking aside, I am here for a reason, you know. You go through this every time Frost does something, did you know that? The same train of thought each. And. Every. Time."
"I thought you were deeper than that, Fate." He quirked an eyebrow. "Stating the obvious? That's really beneath you."
"Someone is snippy today. Pre-El Nino?" Fate asked. Mother Nature made a low sound in her throat. "Alright, bad joke, I getchya. It's not stating the obvious, Earth Lady. It's fate. Every time Frost does something that causes you to visit the family, you are fated to have the same train of thought and redirect it all to me. And unfortunately, you are right, Tara."
Mother Nature smiled. "Hmm. Good to know."
"We all make mistakes in our youth, and I am humble enough to admit that I did as well. Things will be changing this year though, Earth Lady, and that's why I'm here." He leant forward across the table, almost touching noses with Mother Nature. "In order to rectify everything, you need to go visit the Frosts. Yet you sit here dallying. Tit, tit, Mother Gaia would not approve," he sniffed, leaning back and sipping the tea.
Mother Nature stood up angrily. "Don't you dare-!" she couldn't quite form the words she wanted to say, she was briefly angered so. The worst was, Fate was right; Gaia never liked when things weren't done right away.
She took a deep breath, glaring at Fate. "Well then, I'll be more than happy to take my leave now. I'm afraid tea time has been significantly ruined for me."
"That wasn't a complement."
"I take them as I go."
Don't let him get to you Tara, she thought, breathing deeply once more. She turned away from the table, adjusting her skirts and glaring at Fate one last time. "Don't be here when I get back, you cruel man," she said, disappearing in a bright flash of light.
"Don't I know it," Fate said to the fading light, sipping his tea. A slight smile was on his face. "Don't I know it."
A/N: Hello readers old and new! I've begun to rewrite Meet the Frosts alongside Crystal Springs and figured I should probably update MTF with the first two chapters, since I have them done! Meet the Frosts was the fic I had always wanted to read, so I wrote it, and, well, here we are! My little canon for how Jack's shenanigans were fixed, how Jack became that evil, and where he came from! He's my favourite character, can you tell?
Please do review! Tell me how you liked it, literally any aspect of the story. I live for feedback! And I don't bite! I love to chat!
[Updated October 10th, 2017]
I do not own The Santa Clause movies, nor do I own this portrayal of Mother Nature, Father Time, Santa, and any other canon characters mentioned or used in this story. I am making no profit off of this; these stories are purely for my own enjoyment and that of the readers. I do own the Frosts (Blaise, Winter, Fino, Fiera and Jacqueline), as well as the Season Sisters (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn), and the Royal Family (Pyros, Canicus, Blaise, and Serafina), as well as Mother Gaia, and the Grand Witches. Any resemblance they bare to any person/place/or thing is purely coincidental and not intentional. I would say I own Fate but he scares me so, uh, he can own himself.