Summary of Chapter Thirty Four: Cupid confirmed with Bunny that Jack was actually in love with the Easter Bunny. Then Jack showed up :O So basically, nothing really happened.
Now, this first part of the chapter sort of back tracks a little, as in it isn't very linear with the rest of the story, but I think it is needed.
Chapter Thirty Five
As Cupid fluttered down the hall from North's study toward the guestrooms where Bunny and Alkira had been last anyone knew, the old Guardian of Wonder couldn't help but fixate on what he had previously put off to the side of his mind as something 'normal'. Where was Manny? Of course the Man in the Moon often vanished for long periods of time and none of the Guardians questioned it much, but where could he be at such a pivotal moment in the world. Saros was missing, the New Year was just around the corner and the Guardians were struggling with frustrating issues within their ranks up and down. They needed Manny now more than ever and yet the eldest of all the immortals was nowhere to be found.
The old Russian stroked his beard thoughtfully and then rose from his seat in his study. Walking down the long hall toward the central command type area of Santoff Claussen where his own massive globe was housed, he wondered to himself what Manny could possibly have gotten so sidetracked with as to leave the search for Saros unmanaged… He could think of no reason.
Upon reaching the globe at the center of the large open room, he began to set his systems and programs to start a search for the Moon.
After quite some time the large and mysterious instruments belonging to the wise, old Guardian began to beep, hum and chime. His search results had been returned to him.
North's eyes grew wide as he examined the data. "No…" He whispered to himself then rushed toward the large globe and plugged in the data that his machines had supplied him with. "No, no, no, this cannot be." He mumbled as he worked.
Moments later the rusty and worn steel globe lit up the coordinates of the Moon's current location. It was just as the Guardian of Wonder had feared; the Moon had been in the exact same position for the last four days, the last four nights and days, that is. It had been just above and just outside Pitch's dark forest… North could only begin to imagine what sort of wretched sorcery was behind this, but knew that Pitch had to be involved.
"Sandy!" Tooth said anxiously tapping her foot in midair. "We are going to miss the plane if you don't hurry!"
The short man made of sand was lugging a collection of luggage that was also made out of sand at his sides and trailing magically behind him.
"What in heaven's name do you even have as luggage?" She asked, still maintaining her rapid foot tapping.
The little man opened up one of the suitcases and allowed the Tooth Fairy to peer inside. She frowned. "Sand? Are you kidding me Sandy? We're going to be late because you are lugging around twelve tons of sand?"
The stout man waggled a finger and the fairy floating above him and proceeded to form a silhouette of the Australian continent out of sand above his head.
"Fine." She snapped, "Australian sand, but it's still sand!?"
Sandy frowned up at his companion and then formed a bottle of wine and then a wheel of cheese above his head, both made of sand as well.
"No Sandy, I would have to disagree with you there." She said, cracking half a smile in the process, "sand is nothing like a fine wine or fine cheese."
Her friend made a face at her as he continued to lug the cases upon cases of domestic sand down to their terminal.
"Terminal 25 is now boarding." The announcer said, "All trips to the North Pole are now boarding."
As they neared their terminal, Sandy, unable to float in the air with the wait of all his Aussie sand, tugged at Tooth's foot.
"Yes?" She asked.
The man formed a plane and then a question mark above his head then some birds flying.
"Why are we flying?"
He nodded eagerly.
"I've always wanted to see what Mythic Airlines was like, North used them when they first started," She added, "he was curious if they were better than his sleigh. They're not of course." She said the last bit in hushed tone so that the flight attendants couldn't hear.
"All sorts of mythical creatures and magical persons use 'MyAir' to get around our secret world every day and for crying out loud, we're Guardians and have never used the dang thing." She said sounding a bit disappointed. "So we're going to now."
Sandy only nodded; whether or not he actually understood what she was saying was another story entirely.
Once the two had boarded the magical airplane and found their seats, Sandy formed what appeared to be a camera.
"Yes, I remembered the pictures." Tooth beamed, "they're all pretty good! I especially like the one with us and the kangaroos!" She said as she located the picture she was speaking of and handed it to her friend.
"And can you just believe the nerve of that one?!" She said finding another picture and pointing at the culprit, "Eating our pictures of Bunnymund," She frowned, "and all we wanted to see is if they knew him."
Sandy frowned and then shook a fist at the picture of the mischievous kangaroo before making laughing gestures.
As their plane trip up to the North Pole continued, Tooth took out her little notepad and began to check it over. Quietly she whispered to herself, "Tour the Opera House, check. Find Nemo, not check." She frowned slightly at that, "Find Kylie Minogue, check." Her face lit back up at that one, "Meet some of Bunny's Brothers and Sisters, check!"
She turned to face the Sandman who appeared to be slipping into a deep trance like sleep, "Sandy, I think all in all this was a pretty successful trip." She smiled as she began to fold her list back up, but then she realized a backside to the list. This side only had one thing written on it, though it caused her to furrow her brow in agitation.
"Oh fiddlesticks!" She exclaimed, "Find Saros," she read off the list, "definitely not check…" She folded her arms across her chest in frustration.
Okay, so now we're more or less back to where he left off from in the last Chapter.
"It's true, they kissed." Alkira said smugly to Cupid, referring to Bunnymund and Jack's secret smooch.
Cupid turned toward Alkira, shooting the little rabbit a wicked wink before turning back to Bunnymund with a grim expression. "Are all of you this stupid?" He said, tapping his foot in midair. "If someone kisses you and you kiss them back, it seals any sort of attraction they have to you!"
"What?!" Bunny shouted. "Are you serious?!"
"No." Cupid said with a smirk.
Alkira burst out into laughter, "I like this guy!"
"Bugger off!" Bunnymund shouted, "This is serious! I'm freaking out!"
"Freaking out about what?" A voice called from behind the Easter Bunny.
Cupid and Alkira's laughter died and their eyes grew wide.
Bunnymund twisted around to see behind him.
It was Jack Frost standing in the window.
The pale teen timidly took a step into the guestroom, unsure of whether or not he was welcome after how he had acted and what he had said last he and Bunny had seen one another.
"Oh, uh…" Bunnymund started as Cupid turned to examine the fireplace's brick and mortar and Alkira began to whistle nonchalantly. "It's nothin', frostbite, don't worry about it." He smiled at his fellow Guardian.
The boy blinked, "Okay." He shifted nervously on the balls of his feet. "Bunny, do you think we could take a walk for a bit? There's something I want to talk to you about…"
The was a moment of uneasy silence, with only Alkira's whistling 'Oh My Darling, Clementine' and Cupid's incoherent mumbling regarding the ornate carvings on the fireplace – both of which seemed so distant at the time – to break the awkward quiet between Bunny and Jack.
"It's alright if you don't," Jack said, a slight nervousness in his voice, "I was just wondering. I understand." He began to back out from where he had entered, from the window.
As the teen raised his staff for the winds to take him away from Bunny's guestroom the Pooka extended a hand as if to catch the boy a full room away from him. "Wait!" He said, seeming as if he had forgotten the boy could fly and was about to jump from the fourth story window of Santoff Claussen. "I, uh, I mean," He fumbled over his words, "What I mean ta say is, if ya wanna talk, we can talk."
Jack, with his back facing the Pooka and his front side against the brisk northern air blowing past his face, smiled. Turning back to face the Easter Bunny he brushed the hair out of his face, revealing his icy blue eyes, piercing Bunny's very being, "Okay." He said.
Jack gingerly took a few steps forward and Bunny gestured for him to lead the way, so he did.
They exited into the hallway, with the door closing softly behind them.
A few moments passed before either of them spoke.
"Lord have mercy, those two are hopeless!" Alkira exclaimed.
Cupid turned to examine the little rabbit, "Yeah, I honestly don't even know why I bothered responded to North's summons."
"I thought you all had to respond to a Guardian when they summoned you?"
"That's beside the point." The floating man-baby snapped but then chuckled. "What are you even?"
"I could ask the same of you, diaper boy."
"Touché." Cupid snapped his fingers, "But no, I'm Cupid, the God of Love – I'm a cherub."
"Ah, well that's a mouthful." Alkira joked, "I'm Alkira, the amnesia ridden rabbit."
"Talk about a mouthful." The cherub sneered playfully and stuck out his tongue at the little rabbit.
"You don't really know Jack very much, do you?" Alkira asked, changing the subject.
"Other than the fact that he's a punk kid, not much." Cupid confessed, "Though he seems somewhat conceited…"
"Lordy, when it comes being self-absorbed Bunny takes the cake. I could be on fire and that Pooka wouldn't notice, I think." Alkira laughed.
Cupid smirked, "They're both fools."
"Pretty much, they either need to just bump uglies and get it over with or go off and become hermits and never see each other again." Alkira bemoaned, "This is getting really old."
"I just found out about it earlier today and I'm already nauseous over it… And I'm the God of Love, for crying out loud." He rolled his eyes.
"Hey!" Alkira said, "If they go off there'll be two open Guardian spots!"
The little man floating beside the crackling fireplace laughed, "We could fill those spots and do a better job than either of them."
"That's what I'm saying!" The two of them laughed and continued to joke over what they would do with the perks of being a Guardian.
Exiting into the hallway, with the door closing softly behind them the older of the two Guardians turned to the other, "Where should we walk ta?"
"Wherever you want to, I'm alright with whatever." Jack confessed. 'Just being with you is enough for me.' He thought to himself and almost smiled, though he wanted to try and play it cool out of fear that he would scare Bunny away from him and his inability to keep his own wild emotions in check.
The Pooka shrugged signifying that he didn't mind either so they simply picked a direction and went with it. Exploring the vast innards of Santoff Claussen could potentially keep the two busy and apart from the others for quite a bit of time.
After walking for a bit Bunny finally broke the silence that had seemed to try and make its home between the two of them throughout their lifetimes. "So what did ya wanna talk 'bout, Jack?"
The boy felt his face flush at the sound of his name coming from that Pooka's Australian-esque accent. "I'm Alkira has told you already," Jack said, "and that's probably why Cupid was there…" He felt his heart sink into his stomach at that realization.
"What? I'm lost, frostbite." Bunnymund said, "North called Cupid to Santoff Claussen, not me."
"Oh, my mistake." Jack said, feeling his face flush once more, this time he just knew he was probably even redder.
"No worries, mate. And if you were referrin' to Alkira telling me you like me, he did…"
"Yeah, can't trust anyone these days." Jack said trying to sound cool about it, even though on the inside he was being torn to shreds by his own self-doubt and fear of rejection.
"Don't be too mad at him, that's why North called Cupid here…" Bunny confessed, "He thought you might be in, you might like someone and wanted a second opinion."
Despite the Easter Bunny's attempt to catch himself, Jack knew what he was going to say: '…you might be in love with someone…'
"Yeah." The boy was bright red now, putting his head down in an attempt to hide his embarrassment behind his white-blonde, platinum hair.
A few more moments passed, "Jack," Bunny started, "Why do you like me…?"
Jack bit his lip, trying to think of something he could say that was romantic but not overly so. Wracking brain for something witty or clever or just anything to say was harder than he thought, at first, put on the spot the boy couldn't think of anything to say. Of course he knew the answer to that question, it was simple enough and the many answers he had come up with for it kept him awake most nights.
"Bunny, I can't even think when I'm around you…"
"Oh… I'm sorry…" Bunnymund said sounding somewhat hurt by the confession.
"Everything about you distracts me, your voice, your attitude, your personality," He said, listing off the things that confused the boy so much, 'your body…' He added the last bit in his mind and curled his lips into half a smile.
"Is that good…? That I distract you so much?" Bunny asked sounding very confused.
"You distract me from my uncertainty and my fears… So yes, I think it is good."
"Uncertainty? Fears? I thought Jack Frost was all knowing and fearless?" Bunny joked.
"Not really." Jack's voice was quivering now. Thinking about all this was clearly beginning to upset him.
"I'm sorry, frostbite. What are you worried about that you need distracting from?
"I'm worried about everything!" Jack said throwing his hands above his head. "I'm worried about being a terrible Guardian, I'm worried about Pitch returning, I'm worried about protecting children, I'm worried about helping Alkira, I'm worried about finding Saros. I'm worried about everything! Literally everything."
He paused for a moment, "I'm worried that you won't like me, that you will hate me and push me away and never speak to me every again. I'm worried that you'll laugh at me and think I'm foolish for letting such a stupid, childish infatuation grow so much. I'm worried that I'll have to go off and be by myself again, I'm worried that I'll live the rest of my immortal life alone." Jack looked directly at the Pooka, his face was bright red and his eyes were damp and puffy, he was crying.
"I don't want to be alone, Bunny, I want to be with you." Jack's shimmering ice-blue eyes welling at the brims with tears gazed deeply into Bunny's own wide, emerald eyes.
"Jack, I-" Bunny started, though unsure of what to say or even if he could say anything.
Then the Pooka grabbed the boy's wrists and pulled him into his embrace, holding Jack's body close to his. He kissed the winter spirit right on the lips and had to tighten his grip, by placing his hands on the boys waist, as he felt him slipping away from shock and weak knees.
Bunnymund continued to kiss Jack as he felt him turning into putty. He released the boy's lips and placed another kiss on his forehead.
"Jack, you have nothing to be uncertain of and you have nothing to fear. You will never be alone." He whispered into the boy's ear as he held him.