Hello everyone! I am so very very sorry that it has taken me so long to get my act together and start writing again. I am hating myself for it.
But I have my reasons! (It's the truth!)
1. I was banned from my laptop for two months. Totally unfair.
2. I'm moving house, everything is chaos! Not a lot of time to write.
I'm sticking to my reasons! But somehow I managed to get through this and actually update! One point for me! (not counting the -50 points I got for not updating)
I will bore you no longer with my troubles, not that many of you will actually take the time to read this but what can I do. I could write anything here and most people wouldn't even notice it.
Now! On with the story!
I was a pretty normal day at the Pole. It was nearly evening and Tooth and Bunnymund had decided to visit, again. If there was one thing that changed once Jack decided to make the North Pole his home it was that the other Guardians came over more than they ever had. Not that North or Jack minded their company; on the contrary, Jack always gave any Guardian that visited an attack hug. Even Bunnymund couldn't escape them.
At the moment Jack was amusing himself, much to North's dismay, by sitting on the floor and creating snowballs and repeatedly throwing them at the wall of the dining hall. Tooth flew around him on her way to see North, but stopped to do a double take at Jack. She zoomed forwards and began running her fingers through Jack's hair, closely examining it.
"Hey! Tooth, stop that!" Jack cried trying to push the fairy away but Tooth was stubborn. North and Bunnymund, who had been the middle of heated debate about the most important holiday, were now taking in the current situation with mixed expressions of surprise and amusement.
"Why is your hair grey Jack? Isn't it usually white?" Jack pulled his hair out of her grasp.
"My hair is none of your business. Let go!" Jack got up off the floor and attempted to make a break for it. But Tooth was faster.
"It that dirt? Why is there dirt in your hair?" Jack scowled and refused to answer.
"When was the last time you took a bath?" Jack's cheeks flushed pink.
"T-Tooth! That's none of your business either!" Tooth grabbed the back of Jack's hoodie and refused to let go. Bunnymund came up behind the blushing teen and examined his hair.
"It is pretty dirty, so is the rest of you now that I'm close enough. I'd also like to know how long it's been since you washed. For hygiene's sake at least." Jack scowled and his blush darkened.
"Jack, answer me. How long?" Tooth was going into what Jack now called 'bossy-mother-mode'. Jack mumbled something under his breath that not even Bunnymund could catch.
"What was that mate, couldn't quite hear ya?"
"And a half..."
"Jackson Frost! You are having a bath this instant; I don't know how you could stand going around for so long collecting dirt. It's just like brushing your teeth; you need to do it regularly or else it starts to show." Tooth gasped, "You have been brushing haven't you?" Jack nodded, Tooth sighed before going back into bossy-mode. "North, I need access to a bathroom close to Jack's room, towels and anything else that would be useful." Jack gave North his best pleading-puppy eyes as he tried desperately to flee, but that particular look didn't work quite so well when one was in desperate need of a wash and the person you were pleading with knew it.
"Use what you need Tooth. And don't give me that look Jack; I won't have you go about amongst the children and let them think that they can get away with not having baths. I want you back here clean." Tooth began to drag Jack away, but Jack wasn't giving in so easily. He suddenly lifted off the ground and attempted to fly away but Tooth, proving to be stronger than she looked, forced him to the ground.
"Mate, I can tell you that it'll be a lot easier if you just go with it. It's can't be as bad as you think." Jack glared at them both as he was dragged around the corner and out into the hall and disappeared from sight, struggling the whole way.
"I knew there had to be a reason why he didn't like being close to us for very long when we arrived. He didn't want us to know. North, how come you didn't notice?" Bunnymund turned to North with a raised eyebrow. North shrugged.
"He didn't let me close enough to notice, and was too busy."
A few moments of silence filled the room before Bunnymund looked at the door. "Tooth's handing me blackmail on a plate mate, I can't let that slip. I have to see this." And with that he hopped out of the room after them, leaving a chuckling North in his wake.
"You're not serious Tooth! There is no way I'm letting you do this! Let me out NOW!"
"Oh I'm very serious Jack. Now will you stop trying to destroy the door?"
Tooth was crouching next to a huge bathtub, running her fingers through that water making sure it was only lukewarm and not hot. Lukewarm was about as hot as Jack could take without getting dizzy and nauseous. Jack stood pressed against the door scowling at the world, his jumper, shirt and staff having been confiscated by Tooth. They too were in dire need of a wash.
"But you can't stay! It's not right! I'll never live this down!"
"Why can't I stay? I hate not trusting you, but I really don't think you will do it properly. You need a mother's concentration and eye for detail and dirt!" Jack glared as hard as he could at the back of Tooth's head.
"But I'm too old for you to do this, maybe if I was, like, seven. But I'm sixteen! Mothers aren't supposed to do this sort of thing once their kids are older! It's not right. I don't want you in here! I can do it myself! Get out! Get out!"
"Sweetie, I know this is uncomfortable for you, but it is necessary for me to be here in order for you to come out of this room completely clean."
"But... but... It's not fair! Let me out!" Jack banged hard on the firmly locked door, but there was no escape. Tooth sighed, this was nothing compared to ten minutes ago when Jack was throwing a tantrum so bad he threatened to break everything in the whole bathroom. There had been much attempting to explain, but Jack would have none of it. Tooth finally turned to face the scowling teen.
"You are getting in this bath." Tooth's calm yet firm tone gave nothing away but for a second Jack looked genuinely scared. "Why is it such a big deal?"
Jack scowled and looked at his bare and dirty feet muttered something. Tooth noticed a bright flush of pink across his cheeks and smirked.
"What was that Sweetie?"
Jack turned even more red, "I won't have anything on."
Tooth chuckled, so that was it. Jack was embarrassed. 'I should have known, he is a teenage boy after all, he has dignity and pride to uphold,' she thought. The tub had now been filled and the water was just right. Now all it needed was the finishing touch.
"Jack, didn't you think I would know that. That's why I found these," she said as she reached for a large bottle sitting next to her. She opened the cap and tipped a large amount of the clear fluid into the water. Recapping the bottle Tooth ran her hand through the water fast until bubbles formed. She continued, while Jack looked curiously over her shoulder, until the whole surface was covered in a layer of bubbles that you couldn't see through.
"There," Tooth smiled triumphantly, "Problem solved."
Jack didn't seem too happy about the solution, or the whole situation for that matter, but he didn't really have a choice. Tooth had used her magic to lock the door so he couldn't escape, he knew that no amount of begging, shouting or kicking was going to get her to open that door or leave until he got in, and he figured that if he didn't get in willingly then Tooth would make him get in, with or without his clothes. Jack humphed in annoyance. Why did she have to be so hard?
A staring contest ensued between Tooth's calm, composed smile and Jack's strong, stubborn scowl. This continued for many minutes until…
"Fine, but you can't look!"
Tooth chuckled again. Jack could be such a little child some times, acting just like a ten year old who wouldn't get changed with anyone else in the room. She got up and went to the corner and turning to face the wall, closing her eyes just to be safe.
The rustle of clothes was heard, along with a lot of grumbling, and was followed by a soft splash as Jack got into the bath.
"Can I turn around now?"
More splashing was heard before Jack gave Tooth his approval to turn around. Tooth smiled. Jack was sitting tensely in the tub with a bright blush on his face accompanied by that constant scowl, with the majority of the bubbles having been pulled around his waist. He clearly wasn't comfortable with the situation, nor was he happy about the water.
Tooth understood and respected Jack's fear of liquid water. He had every right to be afraid, especially after what had happened to him. He had drowned in a frozen lake after the ice had cracked and he had fallen through, his body had gone into shock and he had been unable to swim to the surface. But the water he was in now was barely 11 inches deep so there was no threat of drowning, not while Tooth was there with him. That was one reason for her staying that Tooth had not shared with Jack, while she was with around he wouldn't feel as threatened by the water (at least that was what she hoped for). But a fear could only be taken so far, it was getting in the way of personal hygiene now. So Tooth had taken it upon herself to make things right.
Tooth banished the plie of Jack's dirty clothes to the Pole's laundry for the Yeti's and Elves to take care of. She then knelt next to the bath and grabbed the large bowl that she had collected and dipped it into the water at the end closer to Jack's feet, then proceeded to tip its contents over Jack's head. Jack yelped and shut his eyes tight, clearly not expecting it. He pushed away from Tooth, panicking as the feel of water on his head brought back painful memories of drowning.
"Tooth! Don't do that!" Jack opened his eyes and glared from beneath his wet mop, which had flattened across his head and flopped over his eyes.
"I'm sorry Jack; I needed to get your head wet. I promise to tell you when I'll do that from now on, okay?"
Jack grumbled and reluctantly sat still, pulling more bubbles around his waist. Jack couldn't remember anyone being motherly to him before Tooth, which was probably the reason why he had given in instead of holding his ground for the next couple of hours like he would in any other situation. Tooth was like the mother he couldn't remember, and right now she was holding a bottle that Jack was becoming rather suspicious of. A sudden knock on the door made both of them jump. Tooth sent a confused look at the door.
"Who is it?"
"It's me Tooth. I got what ya wanted so let me in."
Jack blanched at the sound of Bunnymund's voice and stared in horror as Tooth got up from the floor and moved to unlock the door.
"Tooth! Don't you dare let him..." Jack's indignant cry stopped when the door opened and Bunnymund waltzed in carrying and armful of plush, white towels. He took one look at Jack, surrounded by bubbles and soaked, and burst into laughter.
"A right good fix you've got yourself into this time, ain't it mate?" He was still grinning when he dumped the towels in a corner. Tooth had resumed he position at the edge of the bath and thanked him for delivering the towels. Bunnymund glanced at the door and then at Jack before making a quick decision. He walked to the door, locked it and then proceeded to lean against a wall that was out of reach of any spray Jack might throw at him and settled down to watch. Jack was not impressed.
"Why are you still here? Get out! Tooth! Make him get out!" Tooth turned and seemed genuinely surprised to find that Bunnymund was still here.
"And miss out on blackmail material this good? I'd have to be nuts! Also, consider this payback for what you did in '68." He tacked that last part on when Tooth gave him a look. Jack was still not impressed. Tooth didn't seem to notice Jack's open, and rather loud, objections to the Easter Bunny's presence, or she chose to ignore it. Jack ranted about how it was unfair that Bunnymund was allowed to be and how he didn't agree to it. While this happened Tooth grabbed a bottle of shampoo and squirted a handful onto Jack's head. Jack's rant stopped as soon as this happened.
"Tooth? What are you... Tooth!" Tooth was now scrubbing her hands through his hair, frothing the shampoo until Jack's head was a ball of foam. Removing her hands, she grabbed the bowl and tipped more water over Jack's head to get rid of the suds. Unfortunately she had forgotten to give Jack any warning. Jack lashed out in an attempt to get away from the water flowing over his head, Tooth ended up almost completely drenched (something she did not appreciate) when Jack accidentally splashed water at her. Bunnymund was barely containing his laughter.
"Tooth! I told you to warn me before you do that!" Tooth's eyes widened as she realised her mistake.
"Oh! I'm sorry Jack, I forgot. Here's another one." This time Jack didn't react so violently. Tooth scrubbed Jack's hair until all the suds were removed. Jack tried to help, only to have his hands slapped away by Tooth. Apparently this was a one-woman job.
The procedure was repeated with the conditioner, minus the washing out.
"Okay Jack, while we wait for that to loosen the tangles in your hair I'm going to get the rest of you clean." To emphasise her point Tooth held up a sponge and a bar of soap.
"Ah, Tooth? I see a problem..."
"Nonsense Jack, it's just a wash."
"Toothy? I can also see flaws in your thinking. Maybe you shouldn't..."
"Enough Bunny! I will get him clean!" Both males shut up instantaneously, Tooth was not to be messed with when she was in 'motherly mode'. Content with the silence, Tooth then lifted one of Jack's arms and began to scrub.
Everything was fine until Tooth tried to clean Jack's submerged lower stomach. Jack forced Tooth's hands from under the water and refused to let them back, a blush forming on his cheeks.
"No!" Tooth blushed as well when she realised yet another mistake on her part. Bunnymund was shaking his head, a grin firmly plastered on his face.
They soon found out that Jack had no intention of letting Tooth hear any part of his body that was under the water, which included his legs. Tooth was stumped. She couldn't do it, but she didn't trust Jack to do a good enough job. But how could she do it otherwise?
"Looks like you're lost now Toothy." Tooths eyes lit up. She rounded on Bunnymund, smiling.
"Bunnymund! You're perfect!"
"Why thank ya Tooth, but what does that have to do with..." Tooth shook her head.
"Not like that. You're a guy too, you could help clean Jack!"
This took a second to sink in before...
"NO!" Jack and Bunnymund's cries were simultaneous; they were equally shocked by the proposal.
"But Bunny, I need to get him clean and you could help. It wouldn't be so awkward if you did it."
"Yes it would! I'd rather him stay filthy." Bunnymund huffed.
"Do I get a say in this?" Jack asked, "Because I defiantly don't agree either." Tooth ignored Jack.
"Please Bunny, for me? Think of it as making up for that time I helped you when you still had two thousand eggs to paint the evening of Easter Sunday." Bunnymund sent her a scowl, which she seemed to be immune to, refusing to give in.
"I can clean myself! I'm not five!"
"No! It's bad enough that YOU are here, but I'm not letting him anywhere near me! And that's final!"
"For once, I agree with Frostbite. Why can't you leave him in peace?" Jack was shocked that Bunnymund was actually standing up for him. He sent Bunnymund a grateful smile behind Tooth's back.
Tooth tried to protest, but each attempt was promptly forced down by either Bunnymund or Jack. This was one time that he was NOT backing down. A heated argument broke out between Bunnymund and Tooth; both sides were so wrapped up in fighting that they completely ignored Jack. The winter spirit took his chance while it was there.
10 Minutes Later
Both sides had come to an agreement, Tooth would leave all regions below the water line to Jack while she would wash everything else. Bunnymund would be left out of the equation. Happy with their agreement they both turned their attention back to Jack. They were both stunned.
Jack stood before them, one of the fluffy towels Bunnymund had brought in was wrapped around his waist. He was practically glowing; his skin was sparkling and his hair was thoroughly washed and now shone in the light. He was simply standing there, looking up at them. He was damp, but he looked perfectly fine with that.
"It seems our problem is solved for us Toothy, Jack is now officially cleaner than I have ever seen him. That's quite an accomplishment for you mate." Bunnymund smirked at the damp boy.
"Shut it Kangaroo." The smirk dropped.
Tooth snapped out of the daze she seemed to be in and began flying around Jack inspecting his skin for any signs of dirt. Too her amazement, she found none.
"How did you…"
"I told you from the beginning Tooth! I can clean myself, now where are my clothes?" Tooth looked at the winter spirit and gave him a look that was somewhere between guilty and embarrassed.
"Um, I sent them to be cleaned by the Yeti's. I didn't expect this to be done so quickly so they won't be done yet." Tooth ruffled her feathers and looked at the floor.
"So you're telling me that I have to stand around wearing nothing until my clothes are ready?" Jack was clearly not impressed.
"You're not wearing nothin' mate; you got that towel don't ya?" Bunnymund laughed, he was clearly thrilled by the constant turn of unfortunate events for Jack.
"I said shut it Kangaroo, or I'll shut it for you. Now, I don't care who gets them for me, but I want some clothes and I want them now!" Jack's voice slowly got louder until he was almost shouting.
"Alright mate, alright. No need to get ya knickers in a knot now. Sheesh, I really wish ya had a mute button sometimes." And with that Bunnymund unlocked the door and disappeared from sight.
"Now, isn't that so much better sweetie? You're all clean now."
"Yeah mate, ya actually look like a winter sprite and not a dirt sprite." Bunnymund said with a chuckle. Jack simply glared. He wouldn't dare admit it aloud but he did feel a whole lot better after the bath. It was unusual for him to actually be in a bath; usually he just cleaned off dirt in a secluded snowdrift somewhere so there was no need for any liquid water. He hadn't been happy about the arrangements and hoped that it wouldn't happen again, but he was happy with the outcome.
"Okay. Now that that horror is over with, I believe it's about time some countries got their snow!" With that Jack zoomed out of the room, leaving only a scattering of snowflakes in his wake.
The Guardians went back to their work, North to the production lines, Bunny to the Warren, Sandy to his dream-sand cloud. But Tooth took a rare moment to reflect; the Guardians worked hard to bring joy to children around the globe, but keeping children they didn't know happy was very easy compared to the mammoth task of looking after your own child. Jack might not be theirs by blood, but he was part of their family now. Sure, he was a handful; all children were. But even when he wasn't around, it was her job, as a mother, to keep an eye on him and keep basic standards (like hygiene). And at the end of the day it was worth the struggle, because he was her boy.
Whether he liked it or not.
Now before anyone asks, I have no idea where this idea came from. Some whacked up part of my mind created this while I was bored most likely. But I like it and it brings out the motherly Tooth and the rebelious teenage Jack (with some Bunnymund thrown in there), so I'm happy!
Til next time!