A/N: I... got enough people yelling at me to continue on from my oneshot Work, Not Play... I...honestly didn't expect that much positive feedback XD But uh... yeah... Someone made a point saying that my oneshot laid the ground out for a story, so hey... Let's just think of that oneshot as the roots, not seen unless someone wants to dig it up, but above it is a fully fledged tree (this story XD) Basically, you don't have to go read my oneshot (you can if you want...I won't stop you XD) but this story in a way picks up from there, yet at the same time it's as if it never happened.
OKAY! Well, that's that then... Hope you enjoy the story :)
P.S. I know I told some people that I'd start posting this story on Saturday... Luckily for you, I arrived at Chapter 10 today, and well... I saw no reason to wait until Saturday, so you get the first chapter now, and then an update when Saturday comes!
Enjoy the story! :D
Summer of Frost
Summary: Summer is a dull time for Jack Frost. He really can't do much other than wait for it to be over. However, this year, he plans to spend it helping his fellow Guardians with their jobs, primarily Tooth's job. FairyFrost. (Continuation of Work, Not Play, but it's a standalone)
Chapter 1: As Summer Takes Shape
Jack Frost and plants just didn't seem to mix. Maybe in his past life he was a decent gardener. Who knows, maybe he was a farmer and that was why he, for some strange reason, knew so much about plants. He liked flowers and grass and trees, but it seemed that whenever he made contact with them, they wilted and died.
Not Bunnymund's flowers though. Most of them at least. Jack knew they were enchanted. After all, Bunny's eggs came out of them like giant seeds. Jack didn't know how he knew so much about plants, but he was certain that no flower produced eggs instead of seeds. Not even just plain old eggs. No, they were eggs with feet and they hid themselves most of the time. No Easter Bunny required.
"Jack! Prop up that bell flower!" Bunny called. "It's drooping!"
Jack slid his gloves onto his hand. They weren't to protect him from the flowers, they were to protect the flowers from him. Just in case. After all, if he so much as sneezed, bye bye flower.
Jack held his breath while he propped the flower up on a stick, allowing it to spread its petals in the underground sunlight. How about that. The Warren really was an interesting place.
Jack stood up and turned around, yelping in surprise at the sight of Bunnymund hovering over his shoulder. Bunny's ears twitched and he didn't say anything as he held up a watering can.
"Thanks..." Jack said, taking the can in his gloved hands.
It wasn't the first time Jack had been helping Bunnymund with his gardens. In fact, he'd been helping for the last week. Bunny didn't mind the help most of the time, and it kept Jack out of mischief. As the white haired boy watered the plants, making sure to keep his stocking covered feet far away from the falling liquid, Jack couldn't help but flash back to the days before he became a Guardian. Summer's had been nothing but torture for him. He usually stayed in Antarctica, alone and without any company other than the penguins. He usually went sledding with them, sliding down embankments and flying over the water. The creatures didn't care. Jack didn't think they could even see him. Either way, they'd been good company for about three hundred years. Now that Jack had real friends, he could never go back to living with penguins for the summer.
As Jack went to refill the watering can, his elbow brushed up against a large calla lily, a pretty white flower that looked almost trumpet-like. Jack could only watch in horror as frost crept across the dazzling plant and froze it solid. It was as if Bunnymund was somehow connected to all of his flowers. He burst from a hole beside Jack almost immediately, startling the boy so much, he fell over into a rose bush. As the thorns scratched him up, the plant froze and wilted, dropping dark red petals across Jack's struggling form.
Bunnymund's nose twitched in irritation as Jack stood up, picking a broken branch out of his white hair.
"S-Sorry... I didn't mean to..." Jack stated.
Bunnymund didn't say a word, stamping his foot and creating a hole in the ground. He pointed at it, telling Jack to go.
"Can I get my staff?"
Bunnymund was already carrying it. He handed it over and Jack took it back.
"Sorry again, Bunny." Jack said honestly.
"They'll grow back, mate." Bunnymund merely said. "But I can't lose anymore."
Jack nodded and jumped into the hole. The ride wasn't as fun as it normally was. That was probably due to the knowledge that he'd just been kicked out of another job.
Jack was tossed into a pile of snow as he left the hole. Back in Antarctica. He sighed heavily, closing his eyes. Bunnymund was the second one to kick him out of a job. He'd worked with North in his shop for a few days, but Jack had a really bad habit of making toys that were quite fun, but extremely dangerous. North decided he couldn't be trusted when it came to making toys.
Jack stayed at the North Pole for a few days, eventually realizing there wasn't anything there for him anymore, so he decided to visit Bunnymund instead. He'd allowed Jack to help him look after the egg producing flowers as long as he didn't kill any of the other flowers. Jack had avoided doing so for a week, but now... Yeah, he was banished from the Warren now too.
Jack considered Sandy, but he knew that no matter how hard he tried, he could never help the Sandman. He didn't have power over dreams. No, the most he could do was breathe cold air down people's necks and make it impossible for them to sleep. So that option was out of the question.
But...what about Tooth? Jack sat up slowly, running a hand through his hair. Would she let Jack help her? Or would he just mess that up too? Jack ran his fingers over the rough wood of his staff. He knew that for some reason he always found a way to distract her mini fairies. Not to mention he wasn't too keen on having Tooth's fingers in his mouth as she checked out his teeth again.
Jack buzzed his lips and stood up, swatting at the snow with his staff.
"What the heck." He murmured to himself. He leapt into the air and flew into the sky. He really had nothing to lose other than his boredom. And Jack would much rather have Tooth ogling his teeth than having to sit in Antarctica with a bunch of penguins again.
"Ryan, check... Mason, check... Sarah, check..." Tooth's bright eyes found every mini fairy that came back with a tooth. The tiny voices reached into her mind, telling her which child the tooth was from. She checked off the names as they came back. Many years with a clipboard had made her quite good at finding names as fairies rushed in and out of the palace.
Then, one began twittering in excitement.
Tooth frowned in curiosity, seeing the jovial mini fairy causing three or four others to start doing flips. And suddenly, the entire palace was filled with excited twittering.
"Fairies! Back to work!" Tooth called, tapping her pen on the clipboard. "We still have lots of teeth to collect before-"
"Is this a bad time?"
Tooth's stern exterior dissolved at the sound of the voice. She should've known...
The fairy turned around, her shiny teeth grinning towards a boy with windswept white hair. His bright blue eyes met hers, making her heart stutter for a moment.
"I can just come back later..." Jack stated, running a hand through his hair. Tooth heard the collective sigh of all of her mini fairies in the room as Jack's fluffy hair bounced back into place.
"Back to work!" Tooth called out sternly to her fairies.
Jack's blue eyes followed clouds of fairies around the room. Tooth wasn't sure what he was thinking as his expression was distant and very un-Jack Frost-like.
"What do you need, Jack?" Tooth asked, handing her clipboard off to a group of mini fairies.
Jack shrugged, sticking one of his hands in his hoodie pocket.
Tooth raised an eyebrow.
"Never mind." Jack said quickly, brushing it off. "Stupid idea. You're too busy anyway..." He turned to leave.
Tooth whizzed towards Jack, swooping around to hover in front of him. His blue eyes widened slightly, startled by her sudden movement.
"Jack?" She said expectantly.
Jack sighed, glancing away. "Well, I have nothing to do."
Tooth's mouth fell open. The Spirit of Winter? Bored? The mere thought was blasphemy! Jack Frost, Guardian of Fun, was bored.
"It's summer." Jack stated, running a hand through his hair. "So I can't really do anything."
"What have you been doing until now?" Tooth asked, knowing summer had only been in full swing for a few weeks now. And that didn't even cover the many countless years he'd been walking the earth.
"Helping Bunny with his garden." Jack stated, leaning against the wall. "I tried to help North with his toys, but apparently my idea of fun is 'too dangerous for children'." He altered his voice to make it sound deeper and sarcastic. It was a half assed attempt at impersonating North, and for some reason, Tooth found it endearing.
"And now you're here why?" Tooth asked.
"I'll understand if you say no, but I was going to ask if I could help you collect teeth or something." Jack said.
Mini fairies around the room began chortling at those words. Tooth could hear them arguing about who would be teaming up with Jack on the next run. He'd need training after all... Tooth shook her head quickly, ridding her fairies thoughts from her head.
Jack took notice.
"Yeah, I expected as much." He sighed, sounding disappointed.
"No, no! I didn't mean..." Tooth planted a grin on her face. "Sure you can help!" She said.
Jack looked up hopefully. "Really?"
Tooth nodded. "We could use an extra pair of hands around here... So yes, yes you can help!"
Jack looked around at all of the mini fairies, a mischievous glint in his eyes; the same one that appeared mere seconds before Jack Frost would make a witty comment.
"I don't know about extra hands, but it seems like you have more than enough already." He said, watching several of them start bickering. "Almost seems like you have too many actually."
Tooth shook her head. "We could always use more..." She stated.
"I'm sure it would be easier to just create more mini fairies."
"Jack Frost, how can I turn down a friend when he actually wants to take something seriously for once?"
Jack's eyes sparkled brightly as a grin stretched across his features. The mini fairies sighed, around thirty or forty of them converging into a giant heart. Jack saw it and quickly glanced away, his cheeks turning blue. Tooth giggled.
"So..." Jack said sheepishly, scratching the top of his head. He stopped the second he saw the heart collapse as half of the fairies fainted. Tooth nearly laughed as Jack's face turned even bluer. She wasn't quite sure whether that was his way of blushing, or he felt kind of sick. Either way, it was cute.
Then she remembered that the fairies weren't working.
"Back to work!" Tooth called out again.
The mini fairies that had fainted gained new life and flew into the air, squeaking happily as they flew out of the palace again.
Tooth smiled at Jack as his face slowly began to regain its natural pale colour. "I'm not sure what you can do yet, it's kind of sudden, you know."
Jack nodded. "I understand."
"But I think maybe you could refill the coin dispensers...no wait, can you make coins? Oh this is so hard..."
Jack smiled. "Whatever you need me to do, I'll do it."
Tooth smiled. "In that case, come with me!"
Jack followed Tooth through the palace, his staff propped up on his shoulder. He tried to ignore the mini fairies who were occasionally cooing in his direction. They were one of the reasons Jack had been hesitant to come to Tooth's palace. He wasn't sure what it was, but somehow they always found a way to make him feel... awkward.
"So you were helping Bunny with his garden?" Tooth asked.
"Yeah. I accidently froze a few of the flowers." Jack said sheepishly. "So he kicked me out."
Tooth sighed. "Well he does work hard on his flowers..."
"I guess if I froze half of your fairies, I suppose that would be the same thing."
Except for one thing, Jack thought. The fairies would probably like it.
"Maybe if you froze most of the teeth, yes. But even then, they'll thaw."
"So basically this is the sort of thing I probably wouldn't be able to mess up." He fought the urge to run his fingers across the ornately painted walls. That would just create a lot of frost which would later melt into water creating a slip hazard... Not that it mattered to the always flying fairies.
"I wouldn't say you couldn't mess it up." Tooth said. "It just means that your power won't be able to mess it up."
"Well that's a confidence booster." Jack muttered to himself.
"What was that?"
Tooth went silent, buzzing ahead as she contemplated what Jack's first job should be.
"Okay!" She said, clapping her hands. "I'm going to start you on coin duty, okay?"
Tooth nodded and grabbed onto his baggy sleeve, dragging him through the palace. The sight of this drove most of the mini fairies into a frenzy, and they suddenly wanted in on the drag-Jack-Frost-across-the-floor game. He ended up hovering several inches off the ground, struggling to breathe as the stitches of his hoodie protested against his weight.
Jack grabbed the front of his hoodie, pulling it away from his throat. "Tooth, get them to put me down! I can't-" he choked as several more mini fairies started pulling him into the air.
Tooth's eyes widened, as if she'd just realized what her fairies were doing. Instantly, they dropped him without warning. Jack hit the ground hard, the wind rushing out of his chest as he smacked his face off the floor. His cheek throbbed as he groaned in displeasure.
"Are you okay, Jack?" Tooth asked. "Are you hurt?"
"Feels like I just got dropped onto a marble floor, but other than that, I'm fine..." Jack muttered.
Tooth helped him stand up, her jaw dropping at the sight of the small bruise forming on Jack's pale cheekbone.
"I'm so sorry..." She whispered, gently touching it.
Jack winced, flinching away from her hand as pain flared through his cheek. "It's fine. It'll go away."
Tooth looked up at the mini fairies, all of which were emitting high pitched keening sounds that sounded strangely like crying.
"Back to work, fairies!" Tooth called out.
The mini fairies went back into action immediately, but their heads were low and they were still squeaking with unhappiness.
"Sorry, I..." Jack sighed. "Maybe I should go."
The mini fairies nearby froze with a sharp squeak, their tiny eyes wide with horror. Jack ignored them as Tooth looked at him with curiosity.
"Why?" She asked.
"I'm always distracting the fairies." He said, reaching up to touch his cheek. He winced again, Tooth watching him with concern.
"They like you, Jack." Tooth stated casually, as if it wasn't a big deal at all.
"No, I couldn't tell." Jack said sarcastically.
Tooth's feathers ruffled in irritation. Then she sighed flew towards Jack to softly touch his shoulder. He sighed heavily.
"Jack, please smile."
Jack looked up at Tooth. "Why?" He asked.
Tooth's face turned slightly pink. "Well...you look good when you smile." She simply said. "It makes me feel sad when you look so glum. So...smile!" She pushed the corners of his mouth upwards, making Jack snort and pull his head away. He flashed her a cheeky grin, and Tooth smiled back brightly.
"There's Jack!" She said. "Now come on, I'll show you the coin dispenser."