Shh, shh, don't be afraid… The boogeyman isn't real, after all…

Pitch Black lay in the comforting blackness of his lair. The Nightmares had long since left him be, alone to wallow in his own greatest fear- loneliness and obscurity.


Why did everyone reject him? So what if fear wasn't the most pleasant emotion to experience? Not everyone could be the personification of hope, wonder, or fun. He couldn't help his nature any more than the Guardians could.

It wasn't fair.

Of course, that was nothing new to him. Most people had the nagging fear that life wasn't fair, and that the deck was stacked against them. For some of them, it probably was.

No one seemed to be able to see that fear could protect children, more than toys or eggs or snow could. That child, Jamie… What if he had tried that sledding stunt through traffic without his precious Jack Frost there to safeguard him? There was nothing wrong with being afraid of things that could seriously hurt you.

But always with the platitudes. No, no, there's nothing wrong. Nothing to fear. Hush now… All those pretty little lies.

Maybe he wasn't being fair. Many parents knew how to use fear to guide children. Now, now, eat your vegetables, or the boogeyman will get you. Or maybe that was how he came about in the first place. He couldn't remember any more. Funny, the Fairy didn't have any of his memories stashed away. He existed before she did, he supposed. In any case, it's not like he owed who or whatever created him any favours. Always the bad guy, always to be hated, never believed.

"Pitch?" A familiar voice echoed through the blackness.

"Jack Frost. To what do I owe the honor? Come here to gloat?" Pitch asked, not bothering to move.

"You're a sore loser, you know that?"

"You're a Guardian now. Don't you have children to go frolic with, instead of pestering me?"

"And here I was, coming to do you a favour... The great and terrible boogeyman, sulking by himself in a corner." Jack nudged him with his staff. "Come on, get up."

"Don't test me, Jack," Pitch growled.

"Just come with me this once, okay? It's not like you have any other pressing business to attend to. "

Pitch muttered under his breath and got to his feet. "What is just so important for me to see?"

"I've found a niche for you. Follow me." With that, Jack grabbed Pitch by the sleeve and a blast of icy wind hurled them out of the lair and into the night sky. It took mere minutes before they drifted to the ground in front of an unremarkable-looking house. "Here, take a look." Jack gestured at the window.

Pitch gave him a withering look, then glanced through the window.

A group of kids, around age 14 or so, huddled together on a couch. They were intent on a movie playing on the TV in front of them. Suddenly, a creature leaped into the foreground of the screen with a howl. Some of the kids jumped and shrieked, hugging their friends. Then the group exploded into a burst of laughter and playful teasing before subsiding to watch the screen again.

"It's fun, you see? They're getting scared, and it's fun!"

"This is what you bothered me for?"

"Come off it, you grump. I know my fun, and you know your fear. Just because something's scary, doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed."

"…Why are you doing this?"

"Because I know how much it hurts to be alone all the time, and no one should have to deal with that. See, you just need to aim for the right audience. If you play your cards right, you could end up being a bigger name than Tooth, you know. I'm sure you've heard of a little holiday called Halloween..."