Don't own the Guardians. In no way connected with The Present.

It wasn't every day that other spirits besides the other Guardians came to visit. Of course, Bunny, and Tooth on visited about once a week or so when there wasn't any emergencies. They were both very busy people. But as the other spirits who weren't Guardians, they rarely visited the homes of any of the Guardians, much less made the trek up to the North Pole.

But that was what several spirits did, soon after Pitch had been defeated and the news that Jack Frost was the newest Guardian spread throughout the spirit world. The Thanksgiving spirit, Ida; Spring, and Cupid appeared all at once, knocking on the door to the North Pole.

North let them in, grinning and ordering hot chocolate for them.

"What brings you here?" North asked.

"North, could you please call the other Guardians?" Ida asked, all prim and proper like the former pilgrim she'd been. "But not Jack Frost."

"Why not Jack Frost?" North questioned, narrowing his eyes.

"It concerns him," Ida replied. North sighed, thinking that Jack must have caused some sort of havoc that he was unaware of. He moved to the control panel in front of the globe and sent out the borealis. He moved away.

"Stay here," he said. "I'll go and make sure Jack is occupied." He left the room, closing the door a little more forcefully than he normally did. He walked to the bedroom he'd prepared for the winter spirit. The boy didn't have a home, and North felt bad of letting him roam about without a home, how that North realized how special Jack was. He knocked gently and didn't hear anything. He opened the door and peaked in. Jack lay on the bed, covered with a blanket of snow, sleeping. North smiled and closed the door behind him.

Back in the control room, Sandy, Bunny, and Tooth had arrived. Baby Tooth fluttered around Tooth's head.

"Jack's in his room," North said to the little fairy. "He's sleeping so be quiet." Baby Tooth nodded and fluttered off.

"Shouldn't we wake Jack?" Tooth asked.

"Why are we here?" Bunny demanded.

"Ida, Spring, and Cupid wished to speak to all the Guardians except Jack," North explained. He sat and crossed his arms, clearly showing his Naughty and Nice tattoos. The three visiting spirits straightened and tried to look very important.

"We don't believe that Jack Frost will make a suitable Guardian," Ida said. She looked like a teenager, and while she had died around the same age as Jack, she was almost two hundred years older than him, and she carried herself like an adult, never a child.

"Neither did we," Bunny replied, polishing a boomerang. "But he proved himself when he battled Pitch. We thought MiM was out of his mind. I can see that MiM always had a plan for Jack."

"But surely MiM didn't mean for him to be a Guardian full time," Ida replied. "Surely he meant for Jack to help in this past situation because of what was going on. Surely MiM didn't—,"

"Surely you should speak with MiM if you have a problem with the newest Guardian," Tooth said. Sandy made a frowning face above his head.

"We thought that if you interceded for us," Cupid replied. "MiM likes you lot better."

"There's nothing wrong with Jack Frost," North said. "Yes he is a bit rough around the edges, but that's who Jack is. And he cares for the children, even if only a few believe in him."

"What good is a Guardian who isn't believed in?" Spring demanded. "He won't be of any use. The children must believe in the Guardians in order to be protected by them."

"Do not pretend you know what being a Guardian is all about," North told Spring. "Like I said, Jack is a bit rough around the edges, a bit of a rebel without a cause, but he has proven himself and I believe he will be one of the best Guardians ever to grace this world!"

"Why him?" Ida demanded, scowling. "What does Jack Frost have that we respectable spirits don't? We respect each other's holidays and try to help whenever and wherever we can. He just makes a mess of Easter, of Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving. His purpose is to make messes and that's exactly what he'll make of the Guardians. A mess. A big mess that you'll all have to clean up when he leaves you in the dust just like the irresponsible little brat he is!"

"I think you better leave," Bunny snapped, standing to his full height. "Your opinions against Jack are not wanted."

"Of come on, Bunnymund," Cupid cried. "We all know you hate the kid's guts."

"I do not hate his guts," Bunny replied. "Jack Frost is one of the most annoying spirits I know. But he's a good kid, and he's a Guardian and deserves a chance to prove himself—though I think he's already proved himself. Now leave."

Ida, Spring, and Cupid moved to the door and swung it open, revealing Jack behind it. Everyone froze. Baby Tooth fluttered behind Jack.

Slowly Jack backed away and turned, disappearing down the hallway. Bunny shoved through Ida, Spring, and Cupid, followed by Tooth and Sandman. North glared at the remaining three and escorted them from the North Pole.

"He flew off, North!" Tooth cried, moments later as the three other Guardians returned. "We need to find him!" Baby Tooth nodded from her spot on Tooth's shoulder.

"Let's not panic," North said. "And think of the places he would go."

"But we don't know him that well, North," Bunny said. "We don't know his favorite haunts."

"Then we'll just keep looking," North said. "I'll try and locate him on the globe."

Jack came to a stop on the pond outside Burgess. He sank to his knees and stared at his reflection off the ice. He could see the tears rolling down his cheeks and he hurried to scrub them away. What had he expected? That all the spirits would welcome him as a Guardian with open arms? That everyone would be accepting of his action against Pitch?

What an idiot he was.

Jack clutched his staff to his chest and pulled his knees to his chest. What if the other spirits somehow convinced the other Guardians that he wasn't worthy of being a Guardian and fired him . . . no matter what the Man in the Moon said.

It wasn't like he had a huge following. Just Jamie and his friends, and even though they had started spreading the story of Jack Frost around, it would be a very long time before he got worldwide recognition like the other spirits. He fell back against the ice, cradling his staff close. Whatever happened, when he returned to the North Pole, he'd take it like a man. No tears, no tantrums, no freezing people.

Whatever happened.

The Guardians finally found Jack because somewhere he fell asleep and started dreaming. Sandy led them to the spot and found him on the pond.

"He must love this place," Tooth murmured as Bunny gently picked Jack up and carried him to the sleigh. She grabbed Jack's staff and held it carefully.

Jack started to shift, feeling the warmth of the pooka. He opened his eyes and frowned.

"Y-you came?" Jack whispered.

"Of course we came, Frostbite," Bunny murmured. "You're one of us now."

"But . . . but the other spirits . . . ."

"The other spirits are idiots," Bunny said as North started the sleigh and got it up into the air. "You're a Guardian, and you've proven yourself. You don't have to do anything else."

Jack felt tears spring at his eyes, and even though he'd promised himself he wouldn't cry, he started to. Huge sobs escaped his throat and he clung to Bunnymund, burying his face in the pooka's fur. The Easter bunny gently held Jack and rocked him a little, even as Baby Tooth landed on Jack's shoulder and made cooing chirping noises.

Back at the North Pole they all gathered in front of the huge fireplace in North's personal parlor, a jug of hot chocolate going around liberally and Jack Frost fell back into the arms of his friends, his family, his people.