Fandom: Rise of the Guardians
Summary: Jamie runs away to escape the distress at home, but finds himself holding his last breath. Trigger Warning for near-death experience.
A/N: Another Jack/Jamie fic for you all! :D
They were arguing.
The voices were rushed and whispered as they ricocheted across the living room walls. Jamie sat hunched at the top of the staircase, eyes wide and mouth agape as his fingers deftly gripped the banister for support. His parents had never argued this much. They usually only muttered under their breaths as they passed each other in the halls or sent straight-faced glares across the table at dinner. This time it sounded like they were at war with each other, each side bombarding the other with a never ending onslaught of verbal jabs.
"We shouldn't tell them yet," his mother whispered tersely. He could hear his father's heavy hand slam against the coffee table.
"The sooner the better!" he fired back, grunting. Jamie heard his mother let out a groan, obviously exasperated.
"You make it sound so fucking easy!" his mother practically cried, her words catching in her throat. "How can you expect to tell Jamie we're getting divorced? Just like that? With no warning?" She sounded hoarse and choked-up, something he rarely ever heard from his mother.
"If you won't, I will," his father replied back, tight-lipped and grave.
"Bastard!" His mother hissed. Jamie heard her abruptly get up from her seat, her light footsteps tapping across the wooden floorboards in a hurry. Jamie gasped and sprang up, nearly tripping on his way towards his room. He passed by Sophie's bedroom, hearing her light and airy snores fill up her room. When he finally got to his door, he threw himself inside and jumped into his bed, pulling the blankets over him.
He heard his mother walk past his room, grumbling under her breath as she slammed her own bedroom door shut. All was silent in the house, until he heard the downstairs door slam close and his father's car start in the driveway. Jamie watched as the headlights from outside danced across his bedroom walls, disappearing into the corner of his room as the car finally sped off. He lay in his bed and stared up at the ceiling, fingers clutching the bedspread beneath him.
Jamie didn't bother keeping track of the time after that. He could have been lying there on his bed for an hour for all he knew. When the house finally settled and the resulting stillness washed over him, Jamie knew he had to get out of there. He cautiously peeled the blankets away from his body and threw his legs over the edge of the bed, bare feet planting against the cold wooden floor. He then went about collecting some warm clothing. When he was all zippered up and ready to go, he carefully opened his door and tiptoed down the hallway.
The lights in his mother's room were off and not a sound slipped from underneath the doorway. It was likely that his mother was already asleep, making it that much easier for him to quickly fly down the staircase and slip out the front door.
The chilly air outside hit him like a snowball to the face. Snowflakes gently fell from the night sky, entwining with the wayward strands of hair that poked out from his hat. His cheeks turned rosy and his nose began aching, but he shook off the frigid temperature and stuffed his hands in his coat pockets. He trudged through the snow and began to think.
When he was feeling troubled or down, he loved having Jack near him. Jack had been quite busy since getting anointed with Guardianship, leaving the spirit with a whole new list of responsibilities, but he always made time for Jamie—the human had been his first believer after all. Jack had taken permanent residence in the quite town of Burgess, zapping quickly to other countries when the season called, but he always returned. Sometimes Jack would leave for weeks and other times he'd be gone for only a day, but before leaving anywhere, he always made sure to warn Jamie ahead of time.
Whenever Jamie felt sad or lonely or out of it, Jack would always think up of ways to make Jamie smile again, whether it was starting a snowball fight or heading over to the pond to partake in a little midnight ice skating. Even though Jack always made him feel better, Jamie was so very glad that Jack wasn't here on this particular night. He silently thanked North for the impromptu meeting that had required the entire ensemble of Guardians to close shop for the day.
He didn't want Jack to see him like this, to see his family like this. His parents were getting a divorce and there was nothing he could do about it. He didn't want Jack seeing his parents fighting, the way they constantly argued over money and him and Sophie and practically everything else. He was glad no one was there to see the small trickle of tears ghosting down his face or the way Jamie's eyes watered, the way his nose sniffled and his lower lip trembled as he tried to quell the turbulent emotions within him. Stuff like this wasn't supposed to happen during the holidays, especially to someone like him. He was a happy kid, a smart one. He had a loving mother and father and a cute little sister and…he had his very own winter spirit as a friend. He was supposed to live happily ever after forever and always.
Jamie wandered his way through the frozen woods, once or twice bumping into a frostbitten tree as he stumbled for support. The ground beneath him was slippery with patches of ice and mud, and his balance was being jeopardized because of it.
When he finally got to his destination, he allowed himself to halt in his tracks and stare at his surroundings. The moon above him was round and silver, opaque white light illuminating his face and the surface of the frozen pond. He suddenly knew how to get his mind of his parents and their looming divorce.
He trudged towards the edge of the pond where slippery grass and twigs met frozen ice, creating a slushy bank of mud. Taking his hands out of his pockets and spreading his arms on either side of him for balance, Jamie carefully took a step onto the ice. He had done this numerous times for many years—walking over the pond while it was frozen was something that came naturally to him. He ignored the voice in his head that told him that the only reason why was because Jack had been by his side each and every time. The Guardian had a fear of Jamie being near the pond alone.
He gently slid across the surface, fumbling a little as he made his way towards the center. The ice beneath him was extremely slippery, but that added to his enjoyment and soon enough he was gliding across the entire expanse of the pond, his mind completely focused on having fun.
He didn't notice the tiny cracks in the ice that formed beneath him like splinters in glass, or the way the ice creaked and groaned under his weight when he spun himself around. No, he didn't notice any of that until he found the ice giving way to his body, feeling a multitude of icy needles stabbing harshly into his flesh.
Boring, boring, boring. All of this stuff was completely boring.
Jack sank back in the huge plush throne that was embellished with North's name in slanting cursive. His arms were crossed over his chest and his bare feet propped on North's desk, displacing the stacks of parchment and quills that lay strewn across the oak surface.
"'ey, out of my chair, boy! Is' mine!" North bellowed, shaking a meaty finger at the winter spirit. Jack merely grinned and closed his eyes, letting a sigh escape his chapped lips as he sank further into the seat. His wooden staff lay across his lap, a silent threat for anyone who dared come near him.
"Nah, this chair is mighty fine big guy," Jack sighed, tapping his stomach for added effect. "My belly told me so."
North lowered his hand and shot Jack a deadpan look, before rolling his eyes and waving his hands in defeat. "Fine, stay in chair."
Jack merely chuckled and closed his eyes once more, tilting his head towards the ceiling of North's abode. North had gathered them all up to discuss plans for the New Year that was about to ring in, and to gloat about his own upcoming holiday. Jack pursed his lips and grunted. He would do anything to be back in Burgess with Jamie, just messing around and goofing off. Being a Guardian seriously messed with his free time.
Jack finally opened his eyes and planted the side of his cheek in his open palm, silently watching the proceedings go on around him. Bunny was having a conversation with Tooth, the fairy's iridescent wings fluttering behind her, and Sandy was going over an old document with North, which left Jack alone to sit around and stare at them all. He felt so uninvolved.
He was just about to open his mouth and shout out a protest when his eyes glossed over and his vision darkened. He slumped against his seat, his staff falling to the ground with a clatter. He hadn't felt like this since...
And suddenly he was drowning. There was water filling his lungs and ice sticking to his face, ice and snow and slush seeping into his clothes and weighing him down. He could see his fingers, so stark white and numb, as they reached and stretched for purchase, the ends of his nails scraping harshly at a ceiling of solid ice. His lungs were hurting, stretching with water as it flowed into his mouth, and he hurt. His whole body hurt and he was panicking and trying to shout and-.
"Jack, oh gosh, Jack!"
It was Tooth. She was screaming, her tiny little hands pulling at his sweater and shaking him as he stirred awake. Her babies were fluttering wildly around him, expressing their fear with frantic little chirps and squeaks. As he came to, he gasped for breath. His chest was heaving and his eyes were ringed red. They were all gathered around him; worry clear on their faces, even Bunny's.
"You scared us!" Tooth cried, her voice tense and squeaky. "You were choking and twitching and we didn't know what to do-!"
"—I need to go," Jack shot out, immediately springing from his seat. His staff was tight at his hands as he flew over to North, Jack's blue eyes hard and narrowed. "Take me home."
"Ve haven't finished yet!"
"I need to go home."
"Take me home right now or- ."
"No, ve haven't even-!"
"Jamie!" Jack gasped, surprising himself at the harshness in his voice. North's eyes hardened and he let out a brief nod, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a crystal globe. He threw it towards the opposite side of the room, a mash of spiraling colors opening into a spinning vortex.
"Go," North commanded. Jack didn't need to be told twice.
Jamie's vision was getting cloudier.
He scrabbled and scratched at the ice above him, his fingernails raking across the frozen barrier as he desperately tried to find an opening. He pounded his fists against the ice, but the water only slowed down his movements and made his motions sluggish. There wasn't enough time left; he would be forced to inhale the water. His lungs hurt and his chest felt so tight. He felt as if his entire chest cavity was going to collapse. Was this how he was going to die? Was he going to drown to death? He always imagined dying of old age, warm in his bed, not drowning in a frozen lake as he thrashed and kicked in the water.
Soon enough his movements slowed, the bubbles and disturbed water around him ceasing their rabid flow. He was tired. As his body floated, he looked up at the ice barrier once again, brown eyes locked on a pinpoint of bright light that shown overhead. He wondered if the Man in the Moon would inform the Guardians of his death.
He said goodbye to Sophie, he said goodbye to his mom and dad and Cupcake and Tooth and anyone else he could think of. He paid his final goodbye to Jack, but only briefly, because thinking of Jack any longer would make his death more tragic. He stared down at his hands that floated lifelessly on either said of him, his fingers white and stiff. His eyelids eventually grew heavier and numbed to a point where he couldn't feel anything. He flexed his fingers to wave a final goodbye, but only managed to produce a twitch of his pinky.
Jamie Bennett released the breath he'd been holding.
Jack had never flown so fast in his life. The portal twisted and warped his body, forcing him to use his staff as a makeshift propeller. He brought his hands to his sides as flat as he could get them and bulleted through the rest of the tunnel, colors and flashes of light blurring around him. He fixed blue eyes on the opening of the portal up ahead, a starry night sky greeting him outside. He was getting closer and closer to Burgess. He had to get to Jamie. That was all that he could think of. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie.
If his heart hadn't already been dead and frozen over, it would have been beating a mile a minute against his chest- he was frantic. He had to get to Jamie at all costs.
The portal finally spat him out, leaving him tumbling and twirling through the air, a whirlwind of frost dissolving around him like dust. The portal had warped him in front of Jamie's house, but he had a feeling that the boy wasn't in his own home. Regaining his equilibrium, Jack righted himself and immediately dashed away, speeding towards the frozen pond in the forest. The wind was leading the way, guiding him towards Jamie. It had never steered him wrong.
He zipped over snow covered trees, the peeks tickling his stomach as he flew low enough to see clearly beneath him. Soon enough, the trees thinned out and the forest gave way to a large clearing that housed the pond. Jack hurtled over, eyes widening in sheer panic as he scanned the pond's frozen and cracked surface. The cracks ranged from deep gouges and gashes to tiny splinters, and the most frightening thing of all was the jagged gaping hole in the center where chunks of ice sat floating in the black water.
"Jamie!" he yelled, plummeting to the earth. He hovered about an inch above the ice, willing his eyes to see through the water, but it was too dark. He didn't waste any time in his decision. Jack gripped his staff to his chest and plunged through the opening. The water greeted him like an old friend. It encased him, bathed him with a wonderful chill that made his nerve ends alight. It was dark under the ice, too dark. He widened his eyes, blue irises glowing as he frantically began to search. Not too far from him lay a dark mass, a figure, and it was very still.
'Shit,' he hissed, panic pounding away at his insides. The floating mass was indeed Jamie. The teen's hazel hair was billowing in the water, the hem of his coat wading around him. His skin, usually a peachy color, was pale and almost translucent. Jack quickly paddled towards the teen, wrapping his arms around the lifeless figure and cradling Jamie to his chest. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening. Not again, not again, no, no, no, no-.
"No!" he shouted, water flooding his mouth. Jack clenched his fingers tight around his staff, his hands igniting sparks of ice and frost that danced around his hands like electricity. Still clutching Jamie's motionless body against him, Jack closed his eyes and concentrated all of his power into his staff—his staff suddenly flared-up, and before Jack knew it, both he and Jamie were being propelled towards the surface. He wrapped his arms around Jamie's head and shielded the human when they finally crashed through the ice. When they broke free, Jack swiftly glided to a frosty patch of grass and gently laid Jamie's limp body upon the ground, cradling the boy's head between his hands.
"Jamie," Jack hissed, wiping the teen's limp hair away from his face. Clumps of ice clung to the strands of hair; Jamie's face candidly pale and streaked with purplish veins. His lips were chapped and dark, water dribbling from his mouth and trickling down his chin. His closed eyes were ringed with dark circles that made him look older than he really was. Jamie looked so small and cold and vulnerable, lying there with his stiff, stiff limbs. Jack found himself shaking from the fear that lapped at his heels like hell hounds.
"Hey, kid, come on Jamie, wake up," Jack forced out, placing the human's head in his lap. 'Argh, crap, what do I do, what do I do?!' Jack was at a loss. When Jamie didn't respond, Jack grew desperate. "Shit!" He was destitute. He wasn't familiar with modern medical procedures because he never had the need to use them. When Jamie's skin started turning blue, a thought streaked through Jack's mind, clear and pronounced. Maybe he wasn't as helpless as he thought. The cold was his element, the ice and snow his friend; he could manipulate it with a flick of his eyes and a twist of his wrist. Winter was his to control. Jamie's body was cold; his lungs were filled with ice water. If he had the power to deliver winter and all things cold, he could very well take it away.
With hope welling inside him, Jack gently propped Jamie's head on the ground and loomed over him, hovering his face just inches away from his charge. "Hang on Jamie," he whispered, and pressed his lips to the human's.
Jack stood motionless over the teen, snapping his eyes shut as he concentrated on his task. He dared not move his lips, but he never disconnected them from Jamie's. Jack took one final shaky breath and began to suck. Almost instantaneously, he could feel a cold stream of water and air and icy slush rush from Jamie's mouth into his. Bits of ice fused with his tongue and stuck to his teeth, the Guardian extracting all the frost that had taken refuge in the human's body. To Jack, it was like heaving in air. It was crisp, it was clean and it was cold. Jack pressed the pads of his fingers against Jamie's cheek, mindlessly caressing the skin in slow circling motions. He could already feel the warmth returning to the boy's cheeks, hearing the rush of Jamie's blood as it began to recirculate through his veins. Jamie was getting warmer, and where warmth was, life thrived.
When Jack could feel the cold no more, just warmth and wetness and more warmth, he pulled away. He waited and waited and waited, and waited some more, and when Jamie still didn't move, he felt the life drain out of him. He sagged his shoulders in defeat, a strange numbness taking over him as he fought to keep from screaming, but then, Jamie stirred.
Jack watched as the boy's eyes fluttered open, a great heaving gasp tearing from his throat as he lapped greedily at the oxygen that was rushing through him. His face was no longer discolored and streaked with purple, nor his lips bruised and chapped. Brown eyes flitted left and right and up and down, taking in the looming tree peaks as they stretched into the night sky like looming spires. They looked as if they could stretch forever.
Jamie widened his eyes and stilled, taking deep breaths as his heartbeat, though slow, thumped against his chest. "Jack," he hissed, sending him into a brief coughing fit. His insides hurt so bad, particularly his lungs; it felt as if someone had stabbed him in the chest. He suddenly found himself gathered into Jack's arms, his body pressed tightly against the Guardian.
"Ow," Jamie gasped softly, his nose burying into Jack's sweater.
"Holy crap Jamie," he heard Jack mutter, the spirit's spindly fingers running through Jamie's wet hair. Jack withdrew from him and held Jamie at bay by the shoulders, locking his eyes with the human's. "What the- what in the hell were you doing?"
"I-," Jamie started.
"Why? Why were you out there?" Jack cut him off, his fingers tightening around the curve of the boy's shoulders.
Jamie was speechless. His lips parted to speak, but words failed him. He didn't know how to respond. What in the world could he say? It was stupid, he was stupid. He shouldn't have gone out alone, he shouldn't have walked over that damn pond, no matter how frozen and solid it had appeared to be.
"I…" Jamie tried once more, his voice soft and a bit throaty. He could feel his breath shorten and his throat started to hurt, warning him of the impending water works that were sure to overcome him. He couldn't stop the swell of tears that pooled at the corner of his eyes. He let them spill over, warm tears trickling down his cheeks. "I almost d-died. I was so sure I was going to die Jack, I almost freaking died." The tears wouldn't stop, but he didn't dare let out a sob. "It hurt so m-much. I thought…I thought that stupid piece of ice was going to be the last thing I saw."
Jamie felt Jack's fingers loosen their hold on his shoulders, and once again, he found himself being pulled closer, cold arms winding around his body. He gripped at Jack's sweater, his fingers turning cold as he touched the elder. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, but he didn't mind.
"Thank you," Jamie whispered, shutting his eyes. He repeated it over and over again until he chanted it like a mantra. Fingers combed through his hair once more, the pads of Jack's fingers making Jamie shiver as they traveled down the side of his face.
"Let's get you home," he heard Jack say softly, and Jamie let himself succumb to sleep.
IMPORTANT: Okay, so, there's a second part to this that I'm debating whether to put on this site or a different site only. I mean, it's not explicit, it's just that it has kissing and sexual-tension and touchy-feely things in it that I'm not sure about yet. I still need to get a feel of what's appropriate with the RoTG fandom on this site in particular. On elsewhere, like Tumblr or Ao3, I don't care because damn those sites are pretty much a fucking free-for-all. So, should I post the next part? I have it typed out and everything, and if I get a good number of people saying yes, I'll post it during class later on today.
Please review! :D and hope you enjoyed.
Another note. I'm sorry if I accidentally typed "Jake" instead of "Jack", if at all. I was reading a Dirk/Jake fic before writing this. :B