Disclaimer: I don't own Rise of the Guardians.
Tony had borrowed one of North's snow globes in order to watch over Jack while he was still in the 1700's. And when he saw Jack do what he did, he dropped the globe, and it shattered when it hit the wooden floor.
North looked at his broken belonging wearily. "You know you will have to replace that, right, Tony?"
Ignoring him, Tony was wide-eyed, staring at nothing. "That... That little..."
A portal suddenly appeared, and out came Jack, who was holding a very stunned human Jack's arm in a tight grasp.
Bunnymund, Tooth, and Sandy had eventually decided to stay in North's workshop after all, and every member of the Big Four was shocked to see two Jacks – one immortal, and one not – standing side by side.
"Are you insane?!" Tony exploded at the young spirit. "Do you realize what you did?! You just changed things for the worse!"
"Winter was coming right at us and I wasn't thinking straight, okay!" Jack yelled. "Look, I know what I did was wrong, but it was the first thing I thought of doing!"
"You just messed up history! We were all depending on you to keep the chronology the same, not create a whole new one!"
"But I couldn't just let Winter win! This was the only other option!"
Both Jack and Tony turned at the sound of the third voice, which happened to belong to none other than Jack's human self. The mortal was rubbing his temples as if he had a severe migraine, with teeth gritted and eyes squeezed shut. This just had to be some crazy dream, right? He opened his eyes, and much to his dismay, that freaky weirdo in a bathrobe and that even freakier weirdo who looked exactly like him were still there, along with this overgrown rabbit, a girl who looked like she was half-hummingbird, an old geezer who looked like Santa with tattoos, and this little chubby guy whose body was entirely golden.
"What the heck is going on here?! One moment, I'm doing my job as a shepherd, and another moment, this old guy comes along and tries to kill me. And then this guy–" he pointed at the white-haired version of him. "–suddenly appears and drags me here! And I don't even know where I am right now! All I know is that I'm surrounded by a bunch of freaks who talk about me as if I'm not in the room!"
After that long spiel, there was silence.
"Okay," the guy who looked like him finally said. "Here's the short version: You die, I'm born, Winter gains this weird problem with me, and goes back in time to kill you to prevent everything I listed above from happening."
"What?!" Jack asked, perplexed.
"I've said enough. Sandy, knock him out!"
The little golden man, or Sandy, formed a ball made entirely out of sand about the size of a baseball. Not knowing what was going on, mortal Jack took a few steps back. "I still don't know what's going on here...but I'm not staying to find out."
He ran out of the workshop and into the factory, and he almost stopped at the unbelievable sight of multiple yetis and elves. Oh, great, he mentally groaned. More freaks of nature.
Suddenly remembering his apparent kidnappers, he continued fleeing. He ran down the corridors and into a random room. He paused briefly when he noticed the various boxes of presents stacked on top of each other by the walls. Quickly deciding that it was at least safer than that freak show of six back there, he quickly hid behind one particular stack of gifts.
Back at the workshop, Bunnymund remarked flatly, "That went well. First, you dragged your poor past self here, and now, he's scared of us and has run off somewhere. What do we do now?"
Glaring at Bunnymund, Jack asked Tony, "What's the big deal if I bring him here anyway? I know it'll make things more complicated, but I'm still here, aren't I? That means things will get back to normal, right?"
"Yes, but we're on the borderline of changing history now. We can't alter it any more than it has been. One wrong move, and everything will change."
"Then we need to find him. Jack, if you were him–" North was interrupted.
"I am him."
"Not my point. Where would you hide if you were in his position?"
"I would just run into whatever room seems secure and safe," was Jack's dull, not-so-helpful reply.
Bunnymund rolled his eyes. "Well, that's helpful."
Jack gave him a look for a moment, before saying, "Whatever. I really don't think he would be hiding out in the factory since there are a bunch of freakish yetis and elves out there, so he has to be in a smaller room. I'll just check each one and try to find him. By myself, 'cause he would probably listen more if not all of us were there to make him jump out of his pants."
Tooth seemed skeptical. "Are you sure, Jack?"
"I think I'm capable of handling myself," Jack replied wryly. "Be right back."
He walked briskly out of the room, and immediately headed straight for the room right next door. He checked the entire square capacity thoroughly, but there was no sign of another living, breathing presence in there. He did this for the next room, and the next, and the next, but the searchings all produced the same results of blankness. Jack sighed. He had underestimated his own hiding skills; how sad was that? He needed to find his human self soon, or Winter was undoubtedly going to break in and find him first and, as Father Time put it, "create a whole new chronology."
His distressed thoughts were interrupted when he heard a familiar questioning garble. He turned his head to the side to see one of North's yeti workers. "Oh, hey Phil," he greeted absentmindedly.
Phil seemed to have a good idea on the reason of Jack's poorly hidden distracted attitude, 'cause he grumbled something in gibberish and pointed to a room four doors away. Although Jack normally couldn't understand that wretched yeti language at all, he caught on to what Phil was saying this time, as the body language gave it all away. He grinned gratefully at him. "Thanks, pal. I owe you one." Phil nodded, as if saying, "Don't mention it."
He hurried to the door the yeti had acknowledged, and he noticed that the door wasn't completely closed, as if someone had been in a rush and wasn't careful enough to shut it all the way. To Jack, that was evidence that who he was looking for was in there, because if there was one thing he noticed about North's factory, it was that the doors were always either wide open or shut tightly, so others would know whether a yeti was in there working on a toy and needed not to be disturbed. Jack dearly hoped that it wasn't just one of the elves being forgetful enough to leave the door halfway open like it currently was, because he was on the brink of desperation. He took a deep breath and opened the door, and immediately saw how boxes of presents were all neatly stacked on top of each other in a corner of the room. He inspected them suspiciously, and he had to hold back a sigh of relief when he noticed an almost inconspicuous piece of brown leather cloth sticking out from behind that he would not have noticed if he hadn't been paying his closest attention. He quietly tiptoed over to the stacks, cautious to not let his human self know that he had found him and was about to nab him. Once he was close enough, he snatched the edge of the cloth at lightning speed. In short, human Jack panicked and started freaking out.
"Let go of me!" he shouted, starting to flail.
"Hey!" Immortal Jack yelled back, noticing that his human self's thrashing had resulted in the toppling of several gift boxes. "Calm down or you're gonna wreck something!" Those words provided little comfort, so he added, "I'm not here to hurt you! I swear!"
That seemed to calm human Jack down significantly, though he seemed reluctant to stop writhing. Immortal Jack, still not satisfied, jerked sharply on human Jack's cloak. Human Jack became still.
"Thank you," Jack sighed. "Look, you're gonna have to go back there."
Human Jack's eyes widened, and his momentary coolness dissipated once again into agitation. However, he didn't start tossing and turning again; he simply freed himself from the winter spirit's grip, as it had loosened after his behavior had become mild. "I'd rather have one of those freakish monster things carrying toys stomp on me than go back!"
"Oh my god, what's so bad about them?! They're not bad people!" Immortal Jack threw his arms up into the air frustratedly.
"Yeah, well why don't you try standing in my place for a second?! You dragged me here without any of my consent, and I still don't know what's going on here! Would you mind explaining to me what is going on?! And I don't wanna hear anything vague like what you told me back there!"
Immortal Jack fell silent, and human Jack was almost afraid that the way he had worded his outburst had lost all his chances to get real answers from anyone. That fear dissolved after the white-haired boy said quietly, "Okay. I'll tell you. I don't think Tony will be happy about it, but I guess I don't really have a choice."
Human Jack kept mute, which the immortal took as encouragement to continue. "First things first. All those other guys back there... They're Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. Oh, and the guy who was yelling at me was Father Time."
Human Jack crossed his arms and maintained an expressionless face, leaving no indication whether or not he believed his future self.
"And I'm Jack Frost, the Spirit of Winter. And all of us, excluding Father Time, are the Guardians of Childhood. What I told you back there was true. You..." Jack struggled, not knowing how to deliver the right words without giving away too much risky information. "You...died." Smooth, Jack.
"Yeah, you told me I died back there," human Jack deadpanned. "What I want to know is how I died."
"Sorry, that snippet of info has to be kept strictly confidential," Jack replied, internally praying that his human self would understand. "You'll know once it happens. And it has to happen, or else I wouldn't exist."
Human Jack nodded slightly, and beckoned for continuation.
"Okay, long story short, after you died, I was born as a reincarnation of you." Jack decided it best that his past self didn't know about his 300-year-long amnesia. "We're in the year of 2012, and it's currently December, just so you know. And..." He gulped. "That old guy who tried to murder you back there was Old Man Winter. He's another winter spirit like me. He has this grudge against me, and even I don't know what that's all about, but no matter what his reasons are, he hates me enough to steal Father Time's time traveling dust and go back to 1712 and kill you so I never would've existed."
"Wait, wait," human Jack cut him off. "You said that you're my second life after I died. If this Old Man Winter guy kills me, won't I be reincarnated anyway?"
Jack avoided his gaze. "The reason why I was born again had something to do with how I died. I wasn't chosen out of everyone else in the world for no reason, you know."
Human Jack frowned. "Are you sure you can't tell me what happened?"
"Positive. Anyway, I went after him after Father Time told us what happened. I'm not sure on why the others didn't come with me, but whatever. Anyway, we both found you, he attacked you, and I saved you. You're welcome," he couldn't help but add that last part in.
Human Jack finally let his arms fall to his sides with a small sigh. "I normally would think first before believing a crazy story like that, but after experiencing what just happened in the past twenty minutes, I'm starting to think that literally anything's possible. I'll take your word for it."
"Good, 'cause I don't know what I could've done to convince you that I'm not lying if you didn't believe me. You wanna head back now?"
His human self let him lead the way, this time with no further objections.
I know at least one of you is disappointed at how I didn't make present Jack disappear because of the time loop. You guys just have to trust me when I say that things will get more exciting. I promise that. Really, I'm not just saying that so you guys will keep following this story. XD
Okay, so one reviewer questioned that Winter wasn't thinking straight and that Jack would be resurrected anyway even if he does get killed by that crazy spirit. In case it wasn't clear when human Jack asked about it in the chapter, Jack was brought back to life because he saved his sister, therefore committing a heroic sacrifice. If Winter kills him, that wouldn't be too heroic nor sacrificial, would it?
Also, 110 FOLLOWERS?! HOLY CRAP WHAT NOW BRAIN IS MALFUNCTIONING HOW DID THIS GET SO MANY FOLLOWERS WITH SO FEW CHAPTERS
Okay, I'm done freaking out. Review!