It had been years since children started believing in Jack Frost. Twenty-two, to be exact. It was getting harder to stay out of sight as it were. North would reprimand Jack when he was seen, even more when he would actually play with the children. They were not meant to be seen. Seeing wasn't believing; it was their spirit that was supposed to keep the children believing; yada yada whatever. But there was this twinkle in his eye that contradicted everything. It told Jack that North was proud of him.
What could Jack do? That was his center. Fun. He enjoyed playing with the children, interacting with them more-so. It was always a hoot when they begged and pleaded for him to give them a snow day. He would laugh, ask if they haven't had enough already. In the end, he always gave it to them. Always.
He would return to the town he called home often. He watched as the children he had so much fun with grow up and have children of their own. He never knew how… sad it was. To see the kids he had played with forget him. They stopped believing in him. He had never really lost a friend before…
Monty was the first to stop believing. He eventually stopped going outside, opting to stay indoors on his computer when he was twelve. He grew up to invent some sort of powerful computer engine, became wealthy, and retired at twenty-four in Seattle.
Pippa was the next. She simply… grew out of believing in fairy tales at the age of thirteen. She became more interested in acting. She didn't have that much time to play in the snow. She would come out once or twice a winter with the others. But that was the extent. She moved to New York to work on Broadway.
Cupcake came after. She became a dancer. As a kid, she was tall and broad, but once she started dancing, the really grew into herself. Her recitals took her to different towns and cities. The people she had met out there helped mature her faster. One year, she was playing outside with Jamie, Sophie, Caleb and Claude. She believed. A month later, after an out of town recital, she returned without belief.
The twins were next: Caleb and Claude. It was one year… one year Jack Frost never came to their hometown for the winter. The whole year, there was one snowfall. There wasn't even enough snow to form a proper snowball. Jack couldn't help it. North had called him for an emergency. He barely made it to his regular stops. The places that got a regular snowfall. The ones that depended on it for their agriculture. There wasn't much fun that year.
Jamie, though… Jack hadn't seen him in ten years. Jamie had grown up. He was certain the boy—no, man had lost belief, just as his friends did. He had stopped trying to play with them when Sophie turned thirteen and stopped believing.
The adults may have lost faith. But their children didn't. They saw him.
He would build snow men and have snowball fights with them, go sledding.
One day, Jack saw a man playing outside with his young children—a boy and a girl. They couldn't be more than five and seven years old. He chased them around the yard and tackled them into a large pile of snow. The children laughed and started to bury him.
It was Jamie.
Jack couldn't help it. It dropped down, landing on the fence, grinning. The boy had grown so much older. Had to be in his early thirties.
When the chase continued, Jack leapt over to the tree, hiding behind it so that the children would not see him. He scooped up a handful of snow and threw it at Jamie and his eyes sparkled with a spirit of fun.
"Hey! Who threw that? Which one of you was it?" he whirled around at his kids. They pointed to each other and Jamie put his hands on his hips. "Are you saying it was Jack Frost?"
"Oops, you caught me." Jack shrugged as he came out from behind the tree. He knew Jamie wouldn't be able to see or hear him. But his kids did. They jumped, excited.
"Yeah! He did!" the older child, the boy, exclaimed.
Jamie smirked, bending down to scoop up another snowball and the children ran towards Jack.
Jack laughed. "If you guys think I can protect you then—oof!" Jack blinked. A snowball hit him square in the face. The spirit looked to Jamie who stood there with a crooked smirk.
"Guys, seriously, using Jack Frost as a shield?"
They giggled from behind the spirit. Jack stood, stunned. "You can… You can see me?" Jamie nodded. But… how? Jack had so many questions, but his lack of movement caused the kids to push him into the large pile of snow they built.
"What—?! Hey! You get back here!" He flew over and lifted them into the air, knocking them into Jamie's arms, who fell back into the snow, laughing.
The four of them played in the snow all afternoon. When the sun started setting, Jamie's wife called them in. Jamie hung back with his hands in his pockets and turned to Jack.
"You never came back to play." Jamie said, looking a bit sad.
"I thought… I thought you stopped believing in me." Jack admitted. "I was so sure. When your friends and sister stopped, I was sure you did, too."
"They all… they all grew up. That night, with the Boogeyman. They all started to tell themselves it was a game we played. Cupcake was the Boogeyman. Pippa was the Tooth Fairy. Caleb was Sandman. Claude was the Easter Bunny. And I was Jack Frost. As kids, we did relive that night through pretend so… eventually that's what it became to them. A children's game. They all stopped believing." Jamie shrugged. "But I never did."
Jack snorted. "You were me?"
"Well, I was the first to believe in you, right?" Jamie chuckled.
"And you never stopped… Even now that you're grown up." Jack ruffled his hair and looks up at the man. "How?"
"I guess… even though the body can grow, if you will it enough, the heart never changes." Jamie looked to the window as his wife tapped on it, beckoning him to come inside. He held up a finger to to signal he would be inside in a moment. Looking back to Jack he beamed. "I guess I'm a child at heart."
Jack watched as Jamie started walking backwards towards his back door. He was reluctant to go inside. "Then, should I pass on my regards to the other Guardians?"
"Yeah, tell them they're welcome to dinner any time." Jamie chortled. "And Jack. Come back again next week. Okay?"
Jack grinned brightly. "See you then."
A/N: Guys, I keep getting reviews about Jack's sister being Pippa. I would like to say no it's not. Jack's sister was never named. Pippa is the girl that threw the snowball at Cupcake. There is some confusion because the VA for Pippa and Jack's sister are the same. Thank you for trying to correct me, but I think I'm good. If you want a name for Jack's sister, the fandom seems to have chosen "Emma" as a good name. Or even "Jill".
Anyway, for those that have/will read this and review thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and feedback.