you people invigorated me with all your reviews, so i'm trying a chapter story for the third time in my writing experience. the first two, only one of them turned out well so we'll see how this goes.

beware: i am KIND OF slow at updating stories. i try to do it once every couple of days, but you never know when i'll fall asleep lol.

Tooth flew across the lightly frosted ground, searching for the wily spirit of winter. Though she was going slowly, not in a rush it seemed, she was actually very worried because they had gotten out of a fight with Pitch nearly a month ago. The nightmare king had hit them all with something, but it depended on what and to who it was done. She herself had gotten a pretty bad case of mites, resulting in her looking a little bald. North had a few weeks worth of lactose intolerance as well as an allergy to chocolate, Sandy developed nearsightedness briefly, and Bunny had went colorblind a week before Easter. Since everyone else had had their turn, and they hadn't seen Jack in a couple of days, she and the other guardians figured he must've been hit with his problem and either thought he could handle it, was too embarrassed, or was debilitated from it.

Toothiana hoped it wasn't the last one.

After flying through most of Egypt (and why had she looked there? Really? A desert? Smart move...), the fairy made a u-turn and curved across the globe toward Jack's hometown of Burgess. North had already searched it, as had all the others, but she had yet to look. She had that feeling everyone gets when you send somebody else to do a job and you feel like they didn't do it right.

Needless to say, in minutes, thanks to the wind, she was hovering over the town of Burgess and fluttering towards Jack's pond. The white-haired boy was nowhere in sight, sadly. The pond was frozen solid, though, which meant that Jack had been around at some point in the last few days. Tooth sighed and rested her teal bottom feathers on a large boulder. Huffing, she buried her face in her arms and muttered about stupid young boys not knowing what's good for them.

"You're really pretty."

Toothiana's head snapped up, staring at a bundled up little boy. His entire upper body and the majority of his head, save his face, were covered by a blue pull over and hood while his lower half seemed to be lacking a bit of coverage in the knees... and he wasn't wearing shoes. The guardian nervously looked over the pale little boy in front of her.

"Whatsa matter? Cat got your tongue?" The toddler, because that's all he could be, really, pressed his hands against his mouth to stifle familiar sounding giggles.

"Why're you cryin', anyway? Was somebody mean about your feathers, cause I like them but you shouldn't care what mean people say about you because you're really really pretty," The little boy continued on, his speech a little stuttering and slow going like a lot of little kids', oblivious to his conversation partner's lack of participation. Tooth pressed her hand to her mouth and watched the boy skate away on the frozen pond.

"Hey, what's your name, sweetheart?" Little boys were all the same, a pet name could freeze them in their tracks if you said it the right way. The boy, who she was pretty certain she already knew his name, bashfully ducked his head and giggled, turning a light purple. Really she would have laughed if she could breathe right now.

"Jackie," he twisted his foot on an errant, frozen rock with the toe of his shoe.

Not surprised, Tooth extended her hand and watched him take it and pull himself closer, "My name is Toothiana. Do you know who I am?"

'Jackie' adorably shook his head, a slight breeze tickling her feathers, "I'm the tooth fairy."

If possible, the small child's eyes got larger than they already were and he was bouncing up and down eagerly on his tip-toes, "Oh-oh-oh! That's why you can fl... fl..." a great big yawn opened his mouth, stretching the little string holding the pull over's hood up and it fell back to his shoulders to reveal spiked, short, snow-white hair.

"Fly." Jackie yawned again and plopped himself down on the ice-right in the middle of the pond, not even hesitating about it, as if it were completely natural to sleep in ten below zero degree weather. To him, it probably was. The toddler laid his head on his folded hands, closing his eyes sleepily and blinking owlishly at her towering form.

"I'm gonna go ta sleep now, but since its my house you should probaly go home." Ah, the bluntness of childhood. Toothiana laughed to herself and hovered slightly over the pond. Of course Jack would call this little clearing his home even as a child.

"Hmmm... would you like to come see my house? Or my friend's house? My friend is Santa Claus..." like all children, Jackie's eyes lit up like fireworks, his energy renewed.

"Oh I would like that a lot, Miss Fairy!" suddenly he was up and ready to go, grabbing onto her leg feathers eagerly.

"Ok, you can come with me, Jackie, but you have to be good on the long ride there, ok?" He nodded simply and they were off.

Jack, or little Jackie, showed signs of staying up the whole ride for a while but eventually sleep overtook him. Dreamsand hovered over him in indistinguishable patterns while she flew them through Nova Scotia. Toothiana could admit, if this adorable a picture came with every human child standard issue, she understood completely how there were so many children in the world. He curled his fist into her feathers and held on, pressing his face to her shoulder while she cradled him gently in her arms.

So cute. The effect was only made more adorable by his white hair and imperviousness to cold weather-the wind was making him a very becoming shade of light blue, normal sleepy flush on a normal human baby.

The Tooth Fairy touched down on the landing strip of the North Pole official runway, trying not to rouse the sleeping toddler. When asked on the way through Alberta, Jackie had said he was all of 'two and three-quarters years old.' The little bit more of talking they did before he fell into slumberland consisted of him telling her how lonely he was with nobody to play with. The wind would only pick him up about six inches from the ground before placing him back down and he didn't know where the town was, so that was out.

She changed her grip, balancing the baby on her hip, one arm, and his face pressed to the other shoulder. Knocking on the door to the workshop, she could hear all the flurry of activity simply cease beyond the wooden door. Finally it opened and revealed Phil, who took one look at her and the baby and let her in, wiping a hand down his face.

North's office was kind of warm for this time of year, even for her, so she put out a few coals with her wings fluttering quickly to cool the room for Jackie before sitting on an armchair while Phil went to get the Guardian of Wonder.

Switching the grip again, she cradled Little Jack like she'd seen some mother's do with their little ones when she delivered the very first few teeth seeds in their mouth. His head was on her arm that wrapped around his little body to his knees, then her other arm was underneath said knees and holding him to her chest.

Oh... Babies had always been her weakness. Tooth had been turned into a guardian after her husband-to-be had tossed himself off a cliff-leaving her with no family at all. She had always dreamt of having children of her own, but immortals couldn't get pregnant. She mourned her loss of a future family for centuries before deciding to make the children of the world her surrogate children. Now, though... She couldn't say how long this problem with Jack would last, but at least for a little while maybe she could... Play Mommy like she had wanted to naturally all those years ago.

Jackie turned a little more towards her, making a light baby noise; a squeak almost. Tooth cooed in appreciation, brushing hair back from his face to look at the gentle curve of his not-so-defined face. It was smooth, skinny, and pale-a lot like normal Jack's face-but with that telling air of childhood that signaled a young one was near, kind of like a small glow. Maybe only guardians could see it, she supposed, but for sure she knew that this little boy had a permanent protector on her end.

The foreboding footsteps of North came up through the hall and seeped into the room through the heavy oak door, accompanied by the tell-tale Australian accent of Bunnymund and the softly swishing sound of Sandy's sand robe flaking over the floor. The welcoming committee had arrived.

thank you for reading. drop me a review so i know whether or not to delete this story :)