DISCLAIMER: Rise of the Guardians is NOT owned by me, but as I am OBSESSED WITH IT to the point of needing rehab, here we are.
What Lead to the Frost
The Battle with Pitch had been long and hard, and saying goodbye to his first believers was even harder, but as Jack boarded North's sleigh a feeling of contentment filled his icy being and made him smile as he waved a goodbye to the handful of children from Burgess.
Once the children were out of sight Jack settled into his seat smiling as he noticed how hard Bunnymund was trying to not look down.
As the flight continued Jack noticed that whizzing by the sleigh were legions of Tooth's mini fairies who were rushing to get the canisters of teeth back to the tooth palace where they belonged.
It was then that Jack remembered that he was still in possession of the canister that held both his baby teeth and the memories he had worked so hard to regain.
Reaching into the pocket on his hoodie he took hold of the canister and drew it out to look at it.
Tooth noticed this action and exchanged a brief glance with Babytooth "You know Jack" she began, catching Jack's attention "You are going to have to give that back."
Jack nodded before muttering a quiet "I know." He looked from Tooth to the canister "It's just so strange finally knowing who I was and how I came to be." He chuckled "Centuries of wondering finally put to rest has really freed up my schedule."
Tooth looked at Jack confused for a moment "You mean you already looked inside?"
This caught the attention of North, Sandman and Bunnymund. During that moment where they thought Jack had betrayed them for his memories they had lost track of him for a while, unaware of where he went or what he had done.
Jack nodded "Yeah" he began "When I left you guys I tried throwing it away. I was just too ashamed to look. But then Pitch appeared. He wanted me to join him. When I told him to take a hike he threatened Babytooth. He said if I gave him my staff he'd let her go. After the exchange though not only did he totally break his promise but he threw Babytooth into a canyon, snapped my staff in two and then tossed me down into the same canyon as Babytooth."
Jack noticed the concerned look on the faces of his fellow guardians.
"Hey, we're both OK. Don't look so worried." The winter sprite chuckled.
"You really took a beating there though Frostbite." Bunnymund stated.
"I wish I'd knocked the REST of his teeth out." Tooth seethed.
Jack smiled "Well anyway, I was sitting at the bottom of the canyon feeling sorry for myself when Babytooth told me that now was the time to look at my memories. After seeing them I realized that I AM in fact a guardian and I needed to get off my butt and stop Pitch."
North let out a hearty laugh "That's my boy!" the other guardians laughed with the Russian before turning back to Jack.
Sandman morphed his sand into the images of the tooth canister and a question mark indicating that he would like to know what exactly it was Jack saw.
Jack looked at them confused "You mean you don't know?"
"Well Jack, there are billions of children in the world. It's hard to keep track of what happens to them all." Tooth answered.
"But I thought as protectors of children you'd know everything about all of them."
"That's not true mate" Bunnymund answered "We know who believes and who we need to protect. We know who needs Easter eggs and good dreams…"
"Or teeth collected!" Tooth chimed in.
"And who has been naughty or nice!" North bellowed.
"Yes all of that too." Bunnymund continued "But when children stop believing and don't need us anymore it's hard to keep track. Because you became a guardian about 300 years ago we aren't really sure about who you were before or how you came to be. It's just been too long."
Jack nodded processing this information. It made sense to not remember children from 300 hundred years ago. Even if it was him they didn't remember, he could understand.
"So…" Tooth began, breaking the silence "What did you see?"
Jack smiled "Well I saved my little sister."
"YOU HAD A SISTER!?" Tooth gushed "THAT'S SO SWEET!"
"And you saved her! Good on ya mate." Bunnymund patted the winter spirit's back enthusiastically.
"I did." Jack said. "We were skating and the ice under her started to break. She was so frightened. I told her that instead of being scared, we were going to have some fun instead."
"Just like you told Jamie!" North laughed warmly.
"Exactly like I told Jamie." Jack smiled.
"So how did you save her?" Tooth asked.
"Well I told her we were going to play hopscotch." Jack continued "I took three hops, which made her laugh, and then told her it was her turn. That's when I found this." Jack held up his staff "I picked it up and counted her shaking steps forward. On the third I hooked it around her waist and managed to launch her to a part of the lake where the ice was thicker."
Sandman conjured the image of a superhero with his sand.
"That's a very noble thing you did Jack." Tooth smiled.
"And that's how you knew you were a guardian; by saving your little sister's life." Bunnymund stated.
"Pretty much." Jack laughed.
"That doesn't quite add up though." North began "Because the man in the moon wouldn't have taken someone who would clearly be missed by his family, turn him invisible and then erase his memories."
All the guardians turned to stare at Jack, who simply tried to avoid their gaze by staring at his bare feet.
"What happened Jack?" Tooth asked.
"Well" Jack took a deep breath "When I launched her to safety I sorta went sliding backwards, and…" Jack trailed off.
"And?" All the guardians asked in unison.
"I…fell through the ice." Jack finished.
There was silence.
"What?" Bunnymund asked not quite believing what he was hearing.
"I fell through the ice." Jack repeated "That's why I didn't remember anything about my past before I became who I am now. It was because I…" he trailed off again not able to actually say it.
"You died." Tooth whispered in shock and sadness.
"Yeah." Jack confirmed "I did."
Tooth pulled the winter spirit into a tight hug as a tear slipped down her cheek.
Bunnymund just stared at the boy who had annoyed him so much; unable to find the right words to say in this situation.
Sandman leaned over and joined the fairy in hugging Jack.
North continued driving the sleigh with a look of sorrow shining through his blue eyes.
Tooth finally pulled away from Jack and looked him right in the eyes "That must have been so scary." She said running a delicate hand through his white hair.
"Hey" Jack began "It was a long time ago. And besides, not only did I rescue my sister but now I get to protect children worldwide. I had a greater purpose."
"But you died…" Bunnymund stated
"Yeah" Said Jack "But I did it, doing what was right. And because of that, my sister got to grow up and maybe even have a family of her own. I'm sure she and my family grieved for a while, but if they knew what I would eventually become I think they'd be proud of me. That's all I can really ask."
Jack smiled at his fellow guardians who still appeared to be unsure of how Jack was taking this new information so well. But then North let out a loud and heartwarming laugh.
"And I thought I was the one with eyes that saw wonder in everything!"
Jack laughed with North and slowly but surely the other guardians joined in.
Bunnymund placed a large paw on Jack's shoulder "You truly are a guardian Frostbite." He said "The man in the moon made an excellent choice."
And with that, Jack smiled; now knowing that he had a new family that would always be there for him. It just took them all a while to realize it.