"Friendship is not capable of ending. For if it ends, it is only because it never existed." -Unknown
Jack Frost sat on the sturdy branch of a tree by his lake, taking a break from bringing winter to the small town of Burgess. He could often be found here, as the lake was the closest thing to a home he had.
Slowly, Jack became aware of the sound of shuffling, careful footsteps in his crisp new snow. Peering down from the high tree limb, he was surprised to see an old man hobble into the clearing. He leaned heavily on a cane, and seemed to be having a hard time getting through the deep snow. The old man stopped suddenly.
Jack froze in surprise, momentarily thrown off guard by the use of his name. He relaxed after a second, feeling stupid. The guy was probably just looking for his grandkid or something. It wasn't like Jack was an uncommon name or anything.
The old man shuffled a little farther into the clearing, and stopped again.
"Jack Frost? Are you here?"
Jack's eyes widened. Well that blew that whole grandkid theory out of the water. He leapt down from the tree, grasping his shepherd's crook tightly in his hand. The old man turned toward him and smiled brightly.
Upon seeing the old man's face, Jack realized with a jolt who he was. "J-Jamie?"
Jamie had believed in the Guardians for many years. He believed straight through his teenage years and right up until he went to college. But the first time Jamie came home from college... Well, things hadn't gone very well when Jack tried to visit him.
The days after that saw the worst blizzard that Burgess would ever have.
Jack didn't try to visit Jamie again.
Seeing Jamie again, and Jamie seeing him too, was something that Jack had never thought would happen again. When a young child stops believing in Guardians, there is still a chance to make them believe again. But when an adult stops believing in Guardians, it's near impossible to get them to believe again. Jack learned this the hard way, through locked windows and cursing at the heavy snow and the angry scraping of beautifully iced up windshields on cars. But yet, here Jamie was.
"It's been a long time," said Jamie, smiling sadly. He peered at Jack through thick glasses, and his eyes, once so full of life and innocence, were old and knowing.
Jack wanted to say lots of things. He wanted to say that he hated him, that he had missed him, that he forgave him, that he could never forgive him. But in the end, he asked a question that had been bothering him.
"How can you see me? You stopped being able to a long time ago. What made you believe again?"
Jamie's eyes brightened a bit.
"My granddaughter found an old toy of mine in the attic."
"A toy?" Jack questioned, confused.
"A little stuffed rabbit." Suddenly, Jamie appeared to be blinking back tears. He leaned heavily on his cane.
"Can you ever forgive me, Jack? I never meant to stop believing. College took me too far into the real world. I stopped seeing the wonder and started seeing student loan payments and a part time job. I-"
Jack wanted badly to be angry, but he couldn't find it in himself.
"Hey." Jack interrupted, smiling lightly. "Of course I forgive you. You were the first kid to ever see me. I haven't stopped being your friend just because you stopped being around for awhile."
Jamie let out a quiet sob and wrapped the arm that wasn't gripping the cane around Jack tightly. After a moment, Jack returned the hug. They broke off when they heard the sound of light footsteps running down the snowy path to the lake. A young girl no older than eight came into sight.
"Grandpa, mommy says to hurry up cause we have to go to-" The little girl paused as she got closer. She met eyes with a surprised Jack, and began talking again.
"Hi, my name's Susie, what's yours? Oh, you aren't wearing shoes! Aren't your feet cold? Mommy says I have to wear shoes during winter because my toes will turn black and fall off if I don't! But I-"
"Susie." Jamie interrupted firmly, "This is Jack Frost."
Susie's eyes got as big as saucers. "Oh wow! Can you really fly and make it snow and make ice and stuff?"
Jack looked at Jamie, surprised. "You told her about me?"
Jamie smiled softly. "Not me. Sophie. She made sure everyone knew about you and the other Guardians while I had forgotten. Susie, my own son, my older grandson, and her own children and grandchildren."
Jack's grin brightened as he crouched down to Susie's level. "Hi Susie. Yeah, I can. Want to see?"
Susie nodded eagerly, and Jack scooped up a loose fistful of snow and clenched his fist hard. He drew back his fingers, revealing a tiny ice butterfly. Susie squealed in delight as he blew his frosty breath onto it, making it fly into the air and flap its wings like a real butterfly.
A voice floated towards them from the distance, calling for Jamie and Susie to hurry up. Jamie sighed, and it was as if a spell was broken.
"I guess we should head back to the car, Suze. Preferably before your mom throws a fit," Jamie said, making Susie giggle.
"Ok grandpa. Bye Jack!" Susie dragged her attention away from the ice butterfly and ran back up the path to her mother.
"I can't drive anymore." Jamie explained, watching Susie run off. "Had to get my daughter-in-law to drive us out here. I'll see you again soon, then? Susie would love for you to come and visit. And so would I."
"Sure," Jack said, grinning easily. "And I might bring some friends along too."
Jamie's ear-splitting grin lit up his eyes with child-like wonder, showing a Jamie that Jack was much more familiar with. Jamie nodded once, and began his long hobble up the path.
A/N: Thanks for reading! This was intended to be a oneshot, but if you want me to write more of this, let me know. Please review.
Disclaimer: I do not own Rise of the Guardians.