Author's Note- Oops, I'm sorry about the delay on this chapter. Final exams and the holiday season have not left me much time to write. Apologies.
"Hey, Pitch, what are you doing Wednesday night?" Jack asked, hanging upside down and peering into the darkened lair.
"The same thing I do every night, Jack. Spread dread, terror and misery wherever I go," Pitch replied with a sharp-toothed grin.
Jack rolled his eyes. "Well, you think you could leave that to your Nightmares for an evening? I have something planned that I'd like you to be there for."
"Oh? What sort of a plan?"
Jack smiled. "Telling you that would ruin the surprise, Pitch."
"I don't like surprises," the boogeyman replied flatly.
"Liar, liar, pants on fire," Jack chanted, as he swung down and landed on his feet next to Pitch. "You love surprises. You do 'em all the time. Jumping out of dark corners, making freaky noises happen in the middle of the night, grabbing at people's ankles..."
"Fine. I don't like being on the receiving end of surprises," Pitch corrected himself.
"Hmmm, well, would you rather be surprised or spend the rest of your existence always wondering what might have happened?"
Pitch snorted. "Please, Jack. As entertaining as some of your stunts can be, I assure you that, even if I did need to sleep, I wouldn't be losing any over not being privy to this particular one. They're all really very similar."
"Hey, I make awesome plans!" Jack protested.
"Yes, of course you do," Pitch said with an indulgent smile, as he patted the Guardian on the head. "Run along, now."
Jack glared at the boogeyman. "You're going to show up on Wednesday."
"Oh, will I?"
"Yep. Because I'm gonna paint flowers on all of your Nightmares if you don't."
Pitch stiffened. "You wouldn't."
Jack grinned. "You wanna try me, Pitch?"
Pitch gave the beaming brat a withering glare, which seemed to be completely ineffective. Finally he gritted his teeth and hissed, "Fine. But I'll remember this, Frost."
"Yes, yes, and your revenge will be ruthless and terrible to behold, I've heard the spiel before," Jack replied dismissively. He gave a mocking salute. "Alright, see you Wednesday!"
A rumbling growl was the only response as Jack headed back out into the winter night.
Pitch, grumbling, pulled himself out of the shadows of an empty parking lot. A flat, featureless wall of the nearby building faced the area, and several blankets were scattered over the frost-tinged asphalt. A medium-sized electronic device of some sort was also placed on the ground. Pitch stepped a little closer to examine it. A projector of some sort? It also had stickers all over it, Christmas trees and reindeer and candy canes. Jack must have gotten it from North.
"You made it!" A cheery voice and a gust of frigid air washed over Pitch.
He straightened up and glanced sidelong at Jack. "I said I would," he replied coldly. "What idiocy am I to be subjected to this time, Frost?"
"Yes, well, about that…"
Glittering ropes of dreamsand suddenly and Pitch found himself bound from shoulder to toe. "What?!" he exclaimed, twisting his head around to see the sandman and all the other Guardians approaching from around the corner of the building. He snapped his gaze back to Jack. "Treachery," he hissed, eyes narrowing.
"Relax, Pitch. It's just to stop you from running off. We're having a movie night!"
Pitch blinked at Jack. "You cannot be serious."
"Ah, quit your whining. Doing a couple normal things isn't going to kill you."
"Wanna bet?" Pitch growled.
Jack just rolled his eyes, grabbed the back of Pitch's robe, and tugged on it, forcing the boogeyman to sit down on one of the blankets. The other Guardians started settling in as well while Pitch proceeded to glare venomously at them all. Jack ignored him and took a tub of popcorn from Sandy. "Now, you're just going to escape, or kill me, if we untie your arms, but I can feed you some popcorn."
"Not if you want to keep all of your fingers you won't," Pitch growled, baring his teeth.
Jack shrugged. "Fine, more for me. So, what're we watching tonight, North?"
"I brought Christmas movies!" North said, shuffling through the stack of cases in his grip. "How about The Grinch… no, maybe it will give Pitch ideas, hey?" he said with a wink.
The boogeyman snarled wordlessly. A Nightmare lunged out of the shadows and snapped the disks right out of North's hands, before vanishing again. "Oh no. If I'm going to have to endure this ordeal, we are going to be watching a decent film."
An unmarked DVD dropped out of the night sky and into North's still-spread hands. He blinked and looked it over. "Horror movie?" he asked.
Pitch grinned. "What else would it be, North? You can relax though, unfortunately I still haven't managed to find a genuine movie that makes the watchers die after seven days."
"I didn't come here to be subjected to whatever twisted things he likes…" Bunnymund muttered.
"Ah, will be fine!" North replied, popping the disk into the projector. He flipped the machine on and the starting credits of the movie were projected onto the blank wall of the building. "We beat fear, remember?"
One hour into the movie, the Guardians all sat silently and motionless on their blankets, popcorn untouched, watching with a kind of horrified fascination. Sandy was watching through the cracks of his fingers, and everyone else wore various expressions of shock and disgust.
Meanwhile, Pitch was watching with unrestrained glee while Jack was practically bouncing up and down. "Whoa! How'd they get the blood to splatter like that, Pitch?" Jack asked, before he stuffed more popcorn in his mouth.
"Ah, it's a fairly simple mechanism, really. I could rig up the same thing with an air pump and some corn syrup."
"Y'think we could use something like that for Halloween?"
"That's a brilliant idea!" Pitch exclaimed. "Oh, that is definitely going on next year's agenda!"
The Guardians turned away from the film momentarily to watch this exchange, wondering if they should be more disturbed by what was on the screen or what was playing out in real life.