When Nightmares are Present

By: Wolflover77

Enjoy

My precious readers, I am sorry this took a while. Bleh… I've been having life-crisis overload recently- too many things to explain on this story. So please, bear with the spontaneous updates, and tone of this story. It might get lighter or darker depending on what I'm feeling. This chapter is pretty long, so grab some pocky and green tea, and get settled!

I would also like some feedback ^_^ I'm glad to know people are enjoying this, and I would love to know what you would like to see in future chapters. You guys keep me writing, and trust me, that's a good thing. Writing takes away the pain of reality for me. It's helped me through a lot, actually. And when I see my writing making other people happy, gosh darn does It make Wolfie feel great!

I'm still battling bulimia and anxiety, but I'd do anything for you guys. I love you, so keep being you. Don't let anyone else change that, because I, Wolfie, love you to death. *internet huggles*

Now read on, faithful readers! Language warning. I has a potty mouth.

Pitch ran his slender fingers along the rough stone table, smearing the frostling's blood on the surface. The boy had escaped. More specifically, the Guardians had saved him. They had infiltrated his domain.

"The most certainly will pay for this," the demonic man said, bringing his fingers up to his lips. He ran his tongue along the tips of his fingers, relishing in the taste of Jack Frost's blood. "Mmmmm, truly delicious…"Pitch said, licking his lips. "I must have more." He continued, beginning to laugh hysterically. His plan to use the boy's nightmares for his plan had awoken something in the man. Bloodlust. He almost didn't care if his plan got fulfilled. He just wanted to hear the boy scream, see him writhe under his arms!

He fingered the leather straps sadly, as if he missed the skinny, delicate arms that had been restrained in them only hours ago. He needed the screams, the fear, the blood. He needed Jack to fear him, to be broken. He needed Jack to be his, to listen to him so he could fulfill his plan.

Clink clink

Pitch looked down to notice the rusty dagger he had used several times to torment the boy clatter to the corner of the room. As he picked it up, the urge to make the boy scream and writhe underneath him grew immense; it was almost painful. Anger and bloodlust welled up in the pit of his stomach, causing the Nightmare King to momentarily lose control.

"They have him… I can't let them have him. I need him. Those fucking idiots! They will pay, all of them!" Pitch slammed his fist against the stone wall, his sharp nails digging into his palms. Blood dripped down his wrist, his yellow eyes wide and darting around the room. The hand holding the dagger opened, and the object clanked to the ground. All was silent for several moments except for Pitch's heavy breathing.

"I cannot let those buffoons spoil my plan," Pitch muttered, dropping his hands to his sides. "I will show them my true power… they will never take advantage of me again." He smirked a smile that almost seemed too big for his face.

"Let's get this fucking party started." His smile only widened as he walked, not paying attention to the puddles of blood he stepped in on his way to the door, the thick red substance sloshing under his footsteps.

He turned a corner leading down a long, narrow hallway. At the end was a faint blue glow, almost as if a train were at the end of the hallway. But what was truly at the end of the hallway was something much stronger, much more powerful than any train. Pitch walked up to the object emitting the blue aura and slowly wrapped his clawed fingers around it.

He felt completely and utterly powerful; for in his hand was the weapon he would use to finally break the winter spirit.

In his hand was Jack Frost's one and only staff; his key to controlling the weather, his source of strength and power was in the palms of Pitch Black.

xxxxxx

"So, you're not dead?" Jack asked for the tenth time in a rasping voice, trying to regain his sense of reality. Twenty minutes had passed since his rescue from Pitch's tower, and thirty minutes since he awoke convinced his friends had been killed. He had not been given much time to differ nightmare from reality; his mind was overheated and his thoughts were running rampant. Fear and adrenaline were his only sources of fuel.

"No mate, we told ya', t'was all a big ole nightmare. From that bastard, Pitc-"

"Shhhht!" Tooth hissed, her pointed finger over her lips. Her eyes seemed to scream at Bunny to shut up.

Don't say Pitch's name in front of him, you idiot!

The last thing they needed to do was send Jack into a panic induced heart attack. He seemed okay now; actually, he seemed almost better than they had thought he'd be. He was talking in coherent sentences, and didn't seem to be in too much pain despite his obvious injuries.

"Oh," Jack said, as if hearing Bunny's reply for the first time. "So it was just a nightmare? You never lost your eyes?" he looked at Bunny, who shook his head. "and you never got skinned alive?" he looked at Tooth and North, who also shook their heads. "good," Jack huffed out, giggling to himself.

The winter spirit winced at the sudden jerk his laughter caused to his stab wound. It reopened slightly, sending ruby rivulets down Jack's side. "Gahh," Jack moaned in annoyance, moving his arm to cover the wound. Immediately he yelped, his broken collarbone shouting its protest.

Sandy walked over to the boy with a sullen face, dreamsand in hand. He looked into the boy's eyes before sprinkling him with golden dust with a sorrowful glare; he wished he could help relieve the boy's misery forever.

After this… Jack might not ever be the same again. The Sandman thought sadly as he grabbed the boy's hand, allowing golden tendrils of sand to twist and turn up Jack's arm, to his neck, and eventually to his face. Jack's eyes fluttered shut as he drifted into the land of dreams, yawning slightly. Sandy did not take his eyes off the boy, and placed a hand on the boy's bleeding side. Golden dust surrounded the wound and covered it, acting as a bandage to stop the bleeding. It wouldn't heal the wound, but it would stop it from getting any worse for the time being.

Silence. No one talked. No one moved (as they were already squished on top of each other in the sleigh, trying to provide the most room possible for the frostling.) Though no one spoke, there were thoughts inside each guardian's head. The four of them had yet to figure out Pitch's motive behind his capture and torture of Jack… he certainly wouldn't have just done all of this for fun… right?

North pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. He sat with his elbows on his knees and an angry scowl on his face. He looked anything but "Jolly Ole' Saint Nick" with his numerous scrapes and bruises from the night's battle, in fact he looked somewhat intimidating. This in mind, when he stood up to walk over to Sandy, who was still holding Jack's hand, the dream man looked frightened. Had he done something wrong? Should he not have put Jack to sleep?

"Sandy," North said, placing a meaty hand on the smaller male's shoulder. "you have done great job. Thank you for putting Jack to sleep, he needs rest. But I take it from here,"

Sandy, along with Bunny and Tooth, had not realized the sleighs sudden stop in motion. They had arrived at the North Pole.

Sandy regretfully let go of the Boy's hand and side, the golden dust crumbling away and leaving the wound on Jack's side open and oozing blood. Jacks eyes fluttered open, as if he too had noticed the lack of movement.

"Bunny, go alert the Yetis of our arrival. We need the infirmary," Tooth said, rushing to North's side to help carry Jack into the building.

"Jack, we are going to move you now, do not be scared," North said, slipping both his hands under the boy's back. Jack did not respond; he just stared at North with a blank expression.

"Jack, can you hear me?" Tooth waved a hand in front of his face, trying to get him to snap out of his trance. Jack suddenly jerked, his pupils becoming nothing more than small black dots. "Jack…?"

Jack coughed, turning his head to vomit. His mood from earlier had vanished; his injuries seemed to be taking their effect on hid body.

"We were so happy we rescued him… that we forgot how bad his injuries were, and how bad he needs medical attention," Tooth said worriedly. As if on cue, Jack coughed again, this time spitting up something more grotesque than vomit. Crimson blood spurted in ruby droplets on Tooth's bright feathers, causing her to gasp in surprise and disgust. "Jack are you okay?"

Goddammit Tooth, does he look okay!? She thought to herself immediately after she spoke. It was only then that she realized the horrified look on North's face. His eyes were glued to her bloodstained feathers, his pupils almost as dilated as Jack's. "What is it…?" she asked, watching the man stick his arm out to swipe his fingers across the bloodstained feathers.

Bunny hopped over, completely oblivious. "Aye, mates. He said the infirmary's…" Bunny stopped mid-sentence and looked quickly from Tooth to North. "Everything alright?"

Tooth stared at the blood on North's outstretched fingers, her mouth forming a perfect "O", ignoring Bunny completely.

"Does this look alright?" North said under his breath. He glanced back at Jack, who was panting, his eyes darting from guardian to guardian. Bunny was still clueless.

North shoved his bloodied hand in Bunnymund's face so he could witness what he and Tooth had just seen. Bunny gasped.

On North's fingers was obviously blood, but something else was present as well. In Jack's crimson blood was a black substance that none of the guardians had ever seen before. All four of them stood in utter silence, trying to think of some scientific explanation. The only word that came to each of their minds, was Pitch.

Jack coughed again, earning worried glared from the guardians.

"He needs to be in the infirmary, now," Bunny said, not taking his eyes off Jack.

The boy coughed once more, droplets of black and red spurting from his lips. Upon Jack's face was a devious grin, revealing his pearly whites, which were stained with black and red. He looked with crazy eyes upon his friends, smirking for some unknown reason. After several seconds his eyes fluttered shut and his head hit the floor, the creepy smile erased from his face. He was out cold again.

Tooth slowly put a hand over her mouth, chocking out a sob.

"Get a stretcher. Now." North demanded, looking at Jack's unconscious body. The boy was shivering, and gasping for breath, even in his unconscious state. North was no longer putting up with Pitch's shit… things had gone too far; he could deal with Pitch's arrogant mouth and challenging fights, but now Pitch had crossed the line, and he would certainly have to pay.

Xxxx

Two hours had passed, and Yetis were still rummaging around the infirmary. Blood stained all of their hands, and sad eyes were filled with tears upon their faces. Poor little Jack's eyes were squinted , his fists balled in pain.

North stood panting, looking out the window into the dawn. Beads of glistening sweat adorned his forehead, along with dark circles under his once joyful eyes. One of his palms rested on his forehead, the other shoved in his pants pocket. He huffed, letting out a breath he had not known he'd been holding in.

"We should have gotten him here sooner…" North muttered, turning his head to look at the bloodied Jack lying in a hospital bed. The once crisp white sheets on which he laid were stained an ugly red. His side was wrapped in gauze, little spots of red peeking through the white cotton in some areas. Tubes stuck out of his arms and wires running to all different kinds of machines were hooked to his body. Swelling purple bruises sneaked out from under the bandages on his collarbone and ribcage, contrasting against his pale skin. Tubes ran from his nose, giving him oxygen which he desperately needed; he was gasping for breath that wouldn't seem to fill his lungs.

Bunny stood among the jungle of tangled wires and odd machines, occasionally glancing up from his clipboard that had been given to him by one of me medical team members. They had assigned him to check Jack's vitals every twenty minutes to keep them updated, and the Easter spirit did it happily.

The medical team consisted of Yetis and humans alike, hustling to grab antibiotics and bandages. Worried muttering could be heard amongst the clicking of shoes on the linoleum floor and shuffling of papers. One of the doctors held up a vial filled to the rim with a blue-tinted liquid to the light, eyeing it closely. He turned it in the light, examining every aspect of it. These doctors were specially trained to deal with the health of the Guardians; North chose them out individually to work in the Pole's infirmary. They always managed to get the job done, and North had no doubt they would get Jack fixed up.

The liquid contained in the tube was a modified antibiotic- one that would heal when all else failed. They were not to use the medicine unless they had tried all other methods of healing; this was a last resort. Not much of it was in existence, and it had dangerous side effects. Curable, but dangerous side effects. The scientist sat the tube down on the counter, and continued his work looking at blood samples from the boy.

Slosh.

The sudden sound of something splashing on the tiled floor, along with Tooth's yelp of horror sent a hoard of doctors to Jack's side. The boy was bent over the side of his bed, hacking up blood onto the white floor. His eyes were wide with fear and pain, and his hands gripped the sheets for dear life.

North flagged Sandy to come help calm the boy as the doctors fought to get him into a sitting position so he wouldn't choke to death on his own blood. Jack began thrashing around, blood still dripping from his lips.

Sands grabbed Jack's hand and sprinkled dreamsand over his head, but his efforts were in vain.

Why won't it work? Pitch must be getting stronger…

Sandy's face was contorted in fear at the realization that Pitch's nightmares might be getting stronger than his dreams. He could not let Pitch Black win.

Jack slowly stopped his thrashing, wide eyes staring at the ceiling. He was practically hyperventilating, and the red stain on his side was growing, along with the Guardian's fear that they were going to lose Jack.

Pitch you damn bastard. None of this would be happening if it weren't for you…

Suddenly Jack stopped his panting. Seconds later the machine that was hooked to Jack's chest to monitor his heart rate went berserk, lines bleeping all over the screen, and beeping noises filling the ears of the people in the room. Jack was shaking involuntarily, and Tooth just about lost it.

"He's having a heart attack!" She yelled, grasping one of the doctor's arms. She let her emotions get the better of her once again, letting tears slip down her face.

Doctors were shuffling around, some trying to find an AED* and others pressing buttons on random machines to try and find some sort of solution. Five deadly minutes passed with the rapid beeping ringing in the doctor's ears. A minute later, a flat tone replaced the beeping.

Tooth screamed.

"He's gone into cardiac arrest! If we don't revive him, he will die in minutes. Something has stopped his heart from beating!" One of the doctors yelled, running over to jack's side. After failed attempts at shocking the boy's heart back to life, North shoved the doctors aside, and began to press his meaty hands down on the boy's chest. He could not lose Jack.

One, two, three… one, two, three… c'mon Jack…

A lone tear formed in North's eye, and he let it slip down his cheek. Nothing mattered at the moment except for keeping Jack alive. North kept pumping relentlessly, refusing to let the boy die. Jack's eyes continued to stare blankly at the ceiling.

"North…" Tooth whispered through a sob, placing one of her tiny feathered hands on one of North's big ones. North was panting from trying to get Jack's heart to beat again, a look of pure frustration plastered on his face; he was ashamed. "here." Tooth said, extending her other hand towards him. She opened her fingers to reveal a syringe filled with blue liquid. North knew what it was the second he saw it, his eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree.

"What a bloody mess we have here, hmmm?"

Everyone stopped breathing. The clock stopped ticking. It couldn't be…

Everyone in the room turned to see a figure walk from the shadows. Pitch stood, a large grin plastered on his face. In his hand was Jack's staff.

"Put it down, you asshole!" Bunymund automatically went into attack mode upon seeing Pitch, which might not have been the best idea on his part. Bunny ran at full speed towards the man, only to get a gut punch to the stomach, sending him flying into the back wall where he sat, dazed and unmoving.

"No can do, kangaroo," Pitch said, twirling Jack's staff in his hands. "You see, something of mine has been taken," He eyed Jack hungrily. North and Tooth moved defensively in front of his bed, blocking him from Pitch's view. "And if I'm not mistaken, that something happens to be in cardiac arrest at the moment. Tsk Tsk Guardians…I thought you could fix anything…" Pitch eyed Jack's staff in his hands, funning his hands down its wooden surface.

SNAP.

Bunny's ears perked up at the sudden noise, and North shouted in protest. Pitch stood in front of the shadows holding Jack's staff that was now in two pieces. Jack's body jerked in the bed, but he still showed no signs of breathing. The heart monitor was still a flat line.

"Oh, my poor little Jack!" Pitch threw the pieces of staff onto the ground, stepping on them as he made his way over to Jack's bed. With a wave of his hand, Tooth, North and Sandy were restrained with nightmare ropes of sand against the wall; Pitch made sure they were at a decent angle to witness his next show- he wanted to make sure they could see it.

"You stop right now, Pitch." Bunny said through clenched teeth. Pitch walked over to Bunny and looked down at him.

"I would shut your goddamned mouth if I were you, vermin. Jack will die in a matter of minutes if he does not receive this antidote," Pitch hissed, ripping the syringe out of Tooth's hand. "and seeing as none of you are in the position to give it to him, I guess I'll have to do the honors. I know he can't wait to see my face again," Pitch said, throwing his head back in laughter.

The man walked over to the side of Jack's bed, placing his slender fingers under the boy's chin. "Aww, sweetheart, you look terrible," he said, fingering the syringe in his other hand. He ran his hand from Jack's chin down the boy's chest , admiring the damage he had done, and that the guardians had yet to fix. Realizing that the boy was probably seconds from death by now, he raised his hand up, syringe in his grasp, and jammed it into Jack's chest. When he pushed the plunger down, Jack jerked up and sucked in a large gasp of air. The first thing his eyes fell upon was Pitch's face.

Jack tried to sit up, but Pitch shoved him back onto the pillows of his bed. Grasping the tubes that connected to Jack's body, giving him vital nutrients and fluid, he ripped them out, along with the wires connected to the boy's chest. Jack screeched, both in pain and in fear.

I…I-I thought Pitch was gone… they saved me…

Pitch grasped the bandages around the boy's stomach, and rips those off as well. The newly forming skin and dried blood that was stuck to the bandages cause Jack immense pain when the man ripped the gauze off, eliciting yet another scream from Jack's lips.

"You need to learn your manners, brat. Screaming is impolite." Pitch said, shoving Jack off the bed and onto the floor. Tooth gasped and closed her eyes. Jack's injuries were severe… he was in a fragile state at the moment; his health couldn't afford the shoving and pushing that Pitch was administering to it.

Jack tried to get up, but only managed to rise onto his elbows. Pitch slammed a foot into his ribcage, sending him smashing into the nearest wall. Pitch walked over to him and grabbed the boy by the arm. A black gag of nightmare sand was placed around his mouth. "That should help." Pitch walked to the exit carrying a kicking and screaming Jack.

"As for you four," Pitch turned to the other guardians. "You better have learned from your mistake."

Sorry if that was gory, or too dark. I think that's where this story is headed. Ideas for future chapters are welcomed!

And I hate to be one of those authors that asks for reviews… but I would like to hear more feedback! You guys make me smile, and the more reviews I get, who knows! Wolfie might just update faster! ^_^

Wolfie~