Jack's first instinct was to fly down to the kids and usher them away. Jamie ran past them towards his sister. Jack felt numb. He wanted so badly to make sure Sophie was okay and safe, but he already knew. He knew she…
"She's gonna be okay, right?"
"SHE'S GONNA DIE!"
"No!" Jack called over them. "J-Jamie's calling for help. She's going to be just fine. She's… she's gonna be okay. Why don't you guys… why don't you guys go home? We'll play again soon, alright? I promise."
"Just… just go home, okay?" Jack insisted. "We're gonna play again, soon, alright? Jamie and Sophie, too. Why don't you race, hm? See who gets home fastest? Ready… set… go!"
The kids looked between each other, terrified, but complied. They ran off towards their homes and Jack ran over towards the accident.
Jamie held Sophie in his arms, desperately talking to help on his cell phone. The owner of the car was an older gentleman who was horrified at what happened, calling as well. Jack looked down at the broken girl. There was so much blood, it stained everything. Her bright pants and white shoes, her blonde hair and paling face. The snow beneath the siblings.
Jack couldn't hear anything. Only bits and pieces of what went on around him. The gentleman said something about black ice and losing control of the car. There were sirens. Paramedics.
She was pronounced dead right there.
Jamie screamed out in anguish and refused to release his little sister. He begged the paramedics to do something. They could fix her, right? They could use those shock things and bring her back, right? They were remorseful and respectable as they explained the impact had snapped her neck and she had lost far too much blood. Jamie could only cry out as they coaxed him into releasing the girl to take her.
Jack slowly moved next to Jamie and took his hand. Jamie squeezed it with both of his, brought it to his forehead, choking on sobs. Jack had never seen Jamie like this and it only further numbed him to the situation. He felt a warm substance coating his hand and realized Jamie was drenched in his own sister's blood.
Then he realized it. This was the last time he would feel her warmth. He had seen her final smiled, tasted her final kiss, heard her final words. She would never come back to hug him and she would never be able to assure him she was okay. No, "It's just a scratch!"
Jack began to shake and he dropped his staff and covered his face. The horror and shock had just hit him and sent him into a spiral of unfamiliar emotions. He didn't know how to deal with them. This wasn't like the nightmares Pitch had induced him to. He could have actually done something to prevent this.
And it was his winter that caused it.
Jack had seen and caused more accidents than he could count because of the ice on the roads. Of course, he had never seen anyone seriously injured. And this time… this time his winter destroyed the most precious life he knew.
The man with the car stepped over to Jamie. Jamie looked up at him, still hanging on to Jack's hand. He was clearly mortified and felt so much guilt for what he had done. He began to apologize profusely. He begged Jamie, if there was anything, anything he could do, the boy should say the word.
Jamie stood up. Jack shakily stood with him.
"It's not his fault, Jamie." Jack whispered.
"I know." Jamie said softly. He shook his head, remembering the man couldn't see or hear Jack. "It's okay." Jamie looked the man in the eye. "It's okay. It's not your fault. It was an accident."
The man took some comfort, but he still felt responsible. But he shouldn't and Jack knew that.
Jack picked up his staff. It started to snow. The paramedics offered Jamie a ride to the hospital where they would hold Sophie. They would call his parents and they could make arrangements.
Jack rode with Jamie and Jamie never once released him. Didn't Jamie realize it was Jack's fault? Jack had to go. He had to get out of there. He could feel the turmoil itching for release and here was not the place to do it. Not Burgess. Not in any place of civilization.
"Jamie," Jack said quietly. "I need to go."
"Please, don't." Jamie choked. "Don't go. I need you." The paramedics gave Jamie a pitiful look. Perhaps thinking he was begging for his sister to wake up.
Jamie's anguish was the only thing that kept Jack where he was. He felt frost spreading thicker on his staff. But he wasn't going to leave his friend, not when he so desperately needed him.
Jack didn't leave Jamie. Not through the arrangements, not through the sleepless nights. The next few days were torture. Heavy snow waged outside and Jack couldn't stop it.
Laura had arrived. It took two days for her to make arrangements to get to the Bennett home, but she made it. She embraced her boyfriend and Jack watched as he sobbed into her shoulder. The woman looked to Jack, tears in her eyes, and opened her arms for him as well. He almost didn't take the offer. But she didn't accept that. She pulled him over and held them both.
Jack hadn't cried. Not yet. He couldn't bring himself to or figure out how or why. The constant rush of emotions had seemed to have messed with his tear ducts or kept him just at that point where he felt like he was going to collapse and break down but could not.
There had to be a breaking point.
"Jamie, I have to go." Jack said again. He could not bring himself to be firm.
"You're going to be back, right?"
Jack nodded. "See you tomorrow, Jamie."
The winter spirit flew out the window, leaving Jamie in the care of Laura. He was in good hands. Jack needed to go and calm down. Or break down. Either one. But here would not be the place.
Jack Frost landed in the snow and looked up at a frozen wave of ice and black sand. He had told Sophie about it when he told her of the time Pitch tried to get him on his side. She wanted to see it. Something about contrast and shape and how it sounded like art.
Jack swung his staff and the ice cracked. He slammed it against the structure and the crack deepened. One more. The whole this shattered and collapsed. Jack screamed out into the open canyon of ice and snow and a bitter icy snow swirled around him. Visibility was zero.
Jack flew into the air and glided along the edges, dragging his staff along the ice and rocks. Sharp shards of ice formed wherever the staff touched. He released ice into the abyss and screamed in agony. He had never felt so much pain before. Everything hurt. His head, his chest, his lungs, his eyes.
He had not been prepared for this. He was sure he had time. He was sure they had time. And when it was her time, he would be ready. He wouldn't feel this. He wasn't sure what he would feel, but he wasn't supposed to feel this.
She was too young. Eighteen. Barely starting life.
He was supposed to watch her grow old, mother children, get married, have a big family, spread her love and art.
Jack Frost tumbled out of the sky and curled in on himself, sobbing. He was supposed to protect her. That was his job. Jamie gave him one job. The Man in the Moon gave him one job. And he failed. He failed everyone. He failed himself.
He failed Sophie.
It took a while, but the snow had slowed. It calmed into a light flurry. Jack pulled himself out of the snow and landed lightly on top of it. The light of Antarctica made if difficult to tell how long had really passed. He supposed he should head home now that he had worn himself out.
In Burgess, he landed lightly on the ice of the pond he had died in and was reborn from. He looked up to the Bennett home. Lights were on. It was dark outside.
He couldn't bring himself to go to Jamie.
Dawn broke. The sun rose. The family was dressed in dark as they left. Jack followed them to the church, but could not enter. He sat on the steeple and watched the congregation gather.
It was an hour later that everyone had left to head for the cemetery. Jack followed once again and made himself comfortable in a tree. Umbrellas were passed around as a soft and gentle snow began to fall. There were final words. Final goodbyes. Everyone left.
Except for Jamie and Laura.
"Dream a little dream of me." Jack sang, looking up to the sky. He felt boiling tears pour down his face. "Yes, dream a little dream of me."
— — —
Jamie was quick to dispel Jack's insistance that what happened to Sophie was his fault. He was the bringer of the ice that caused the crash. He had failed to protect her. Jamie slapped him. He told Jack it wasn't anyone's fault. It was an accident. A freak accident that no one could have predicted and nobody was to blame. Especially Jack.
"You made her happy. That is all I could have ever asked for."
It was a year later when Jamie's first book was published. Jack was there for the release. Jamie insisted all the ones that were invited bring their children. After all, it was a children's book. Jamie and Laura had gathered them to tell the children about the hero of this book, Jack Frost.
And much to their surprise, he had shown up that night. What they had expected to be a dull night, stuck at an adult party soon turned into a night of games and fun.
At the end of the night, Jamie handed Jack a book. This was his first time looking at it. Jack smiled at the cover art. Jamie had used Sophie's art throughout the book, much to his excitement. It made him happy to see it. He missed it.
Jack turned the pages and stopped at the dedication page.
To the honorary Guardian of Childhood
Whose Center is Creativity and Love
My little sister
May the Man in the Moon smile upon you
Jack looked up at Jamie who wore a sad smile. "I guess you haven't seen her around, huh?" Jamie asked. Jack shook his head. No. The Man in the Moon had not chosen to bring her back. He had not chosen her as an Immortal.
Jack had looked.
"Hey, it was worth a shot, huh?" Jamie pushed Jack a bit. "You should go do your job now. And don't forget about next week, okay?"
"I won't." Jack nodded. "See you then."
The next week, Jack sat on top of his staff in the back of a congregation of another sort. A much happier one. One he wanted to actually attend.
Jamie and Laura's wedding.
Jamie was right. This woman was his one an only. And as the minister pronounced the two of them man and wife, it begun to snow in the hall. Jack smiled as he realized something. He must have loved Jamie as well. Of course, his love for Jamie was different than the way he loved Sophie. But it was still love.
He knew so because he saw the man so happy, so overjoyed and he could not help but share the feelings.
Jamie and Laura brought home a child a year later. And another one ten months after that. And another one eighteen months later. Two boys and a girl. Tyler, Elliot, and Sophie.
Each year, Jamie released a new book. It wasn't long after the Jack Frost book had been released that Jack's believer count had matched the other Guardians'.
Jack had watched the children grow up. Jack watched Jamie and Laura grow old. And neither of them had ever stopped believing. Or their children. Or their children's children.
And Jack had watched over every single one of them.
Laura died before Jamie. She was seventy-two. It was cancer that had gotten her. Jack mourned with Jamie and their children. It was ten years later that Jamie followed her.
Jack was prepared this time. Yes, he was sad. Yes, he took a long time to mourn the death of his best friend. But Jamie would have wanted him to pick up and move on. Jack promised he would. So he did.
But not without hoping that, perhaps, the Man in the Moon smiled down upon him and granted him his wish to join the Immortals.
A hundred years had passed since the passing of Jamie Bennett. Jack Frost still could not forget him, not his sister Sophie. The pain of Sophie's death still brought a twinge to his heart that he could not shake. Some days, when it got bad, he'd take to Toothiana's Tooth Palace and ask her to show him Sophie's memories.
He sat in the Tooth Palace with Avalyn the Baby Tooth. She would show him Sophie's most precious memories. He would sit there, smiling, tears streaming down his face. Her smile made him so happy, but it hurt so much. He missed it more than anything.
When the vision died, he looked to Avalyn again. "More? Please?"
The Baby Tooth looked upon him sadly. Then, she straightened at attention, looking away from him. Jack looked up. What had her so spooked?
Jack saw it.
It was a man covered with red, orange, and yellow feathers. He wore a cloak with a fiery hem—seriously, it was on fire—and brown pants. Feathers adorned the headdress he wore and made up the collar of the cloak. He ruffled a large pair of wings on his back and put his hands on his hips.
"There you are, Jack Frost." he said. Jack slowly stood to his feet. "You really are an illusive one, aren't you?"
"Phoenix. I mean, you can call me Jamie if you want, but I've been called Phoenix for the past one hundred years."
Jack stood, stunned. The man looked no older than twenty. He wore that too familiar grin. Jack couldn't help himself as he dropped Sophie's container of baby teeth and ran to him.
Jamie and Jack embraced tightly. Two comrades that had been apart for far too long and had missed each other. "Looks like all that begging wasn't for nothing, huh?"
"Wait, so, what about Laura?" Jack backed up to look at him. "Tyler? Elliot? Sophie?" Jamie frowned and shook his head. Jack's grin fell. "Jamie, I'm so sorry…"
"It's alright." Jamie smiled fondly. "They had good and happy lives. They all lived long."
Jack couldn't help but hug the man once more. He was just to glad to see him. So amazed. The Man in the Moon. Manny. MiM. He actually granted his wish. Even if he hadn't seen it for one hundred years, he had his best friend back.
"It's good to see you, too, Jack." Jamie clapped him on the shoulder. "But, we need to go now that I've found you."
Jack looked up at the man carefully. Jamie only smirked.
"There's someone waiting for you."
A/N: Thank you all so much for sticking through this and supporting me! I appreciate every single one of you who took the time to look at my writing and even more if you've left feedback. It's because of your feedback that this story is how it is. There's a lot that didn't make it and even more that changed and that's because of you guys. This was how I wanted it to end from the beginning, but so much has changed from how Sophie dies to even her belief returning.
I decided to make Jamie a phoenix because his center is faith. And faith always rises from the ashes, hence a phoenix. Or something like that.
I might show Sophie's Immortal form in the series of one-shots I plan to write. Look for the story Frosted Scissors. Because this is what I call this ship and that's what the title is gonna be. There's going to be one that's also for Jamie, but I have yet to think of a title for it. So just keep an eye out.
Again, I cannot express enough gratitude for you guys. You are amazing. I didn't expect this story to get any reviews or any views because of the strange and unpopular pairing choice. So, thank you so much for your support.