Wow, it's been a while. I'm so sorry for keeping you guys waiting, I never thought I'd have to take a hiatus without warning, and yet here we are. Enjoy this chapter, with lots of Jack! R&R if you can :)

Jack doubled over in the doorway, something of a desperate gasp escaping his throat. All of the Guardians in the room were instantly at Jack's side; Tooth caught him just in time.

"Jack," She gasped. She slung his arm over her shoulder in support, keeping him upright. His body felt so cold, in an empty, hollow way. Her heart lurched in worry. He was breathing was short an sporadic, an overwhelmingly helpless sense of pain radiating from him. "Jack, what's wrong?" Tooth looked up at North. "What's happening?"

North shook his head in confusion; he couldn't make sense of what was happening. Bunny took Jack's other arm to help Tooth and gestured to the open couch near the window. "Take him over there. Jack, mate, stay awake."

"I–" Jack tried to speak, but was cut off by a sharp stab of something worse than pain, something darker. His knees buckled.

Half carrying and half dragging him, Tooth and Bunnymund set Jack on the couch. North rolled up the map he had and held it tightly in his fist, talking in hushed tones to Sandy, who nodded in understanding. Tooth looked from Bunnymund to Jack, a rising sense of panic overcoming her.

"Bunny, I think he's dying," She told the rabbit, her voice anxious. He looked down at Jack, who was leaning against the arm rest of the couch, his eyes closed and breathing slowed. It seemed as though the peak of his pain had subsided as he lay there, too exhausted to speak.

"Don't–" Bunny's voice was thick and just as desperate as Tooth's. He saw the fear in her eyes in her haste for answers, and softened his voice. "Tooth, listen. The kid's not dying. As long as we keep him here, away from Pitch, he'll be safe."

Tooth nodded. She blinked away the tears that were welling in her eyes and looked down at Jack's helpless form. A sense of comfort and tentative concern was apparent in the way she moved, the way she glanced at him, and it dawned on Bunnymund that there was something more than just worry in her eyes. He turned away and looked to North, who watched Jack with a weary concern.

"North," Bunny made his way towards him. His voice was hushed as to not disturb Tooth or Jack as he said, "We leave now."