Summary: "Close that door, don't let Jack Frost in."
RoTG isn't mine~
"We must have great feast- Great feast!"
These are the words of Nicholas St. North as he bursts through the doors of his workshop, kicking them open with a grand bang. The yeti turn to him in greeting, while the elves clamor around, a symphony of rather irritating jingles, in Jack's opinion. North continues on, however, sauntering into his home, his thoughts rolling off his tongue without filter. "Phil makes great cake, and other yeti are very good at cooking. I am sure we can rustle up something grand to eat. It is celebration! We must!"
Tooth giggles good-naturedly at the Guardian of Wonder's chattering. When North has an idea, he sticks to it. If he wants a party, there will be a party.
"Tch, the coot." Bunnymund rolls his eyes as the rest of the guardians watch Santa order around his helpers. They're still standing in the cold, and Jack wonders why, though he figures it has something to do with stubbornness. "Doesn't even invite his guests in."
"Ah!" North whirls on them, as if finally remembering. "Yes, yes, come in! My home is your home, yes?"
Bunny sighs in exasperation as he finally steps through the threshold, immediately brushing some stray snowflakes off his fur. Toothiana sweeps in right after, albeit a bit distracted by her little friends. She's shooting off orders left and right, sending her Mini Fairies across the globe to collect the teeth of children. It's been a week since Pitch has been defeated, and the others can tell that Tooth is very glad to be in control of things again- she's thrown herself into her work, even making sure to go out and collect some teeth personally, as well.
In fact, it's Tooth's busybody-ness that prolonged this 'celebration' of sorts. North had dropped by Jack's pond and practically kidnapped him again, babbling on about some banquet to honor him as a guardian, and to celebrate the defeat of Pitch.
And, of course, since he had found Sandy, Bunny, and Tooth already in the sleigh, he figured, why not?
Speaking of Sandy, the calm guy floats in smoothly after Tooth, his lips spread out in a mellow smile. He absently begins to put a few of the elves to sleep, only stopping when North tells him he needs his workers able-bodied.
Everyone is inside now, but Jack.
"Jack Frost!" North's voice is loud and jovial. "What are you doing, just standing in snow? Come in!"
And he moves to, he really does. But, something makes him hesitate.
Now everyone is simply confused.
"Hurry, Frostbite." The Easter Bunny quips impatiently. "I think the food's almost done, and I swear on my scruffy tail I ain't waiting for you."
"Jack, honey, come on in." Tooth waves sweetly at him, and the sand over Sandy's head twists into the shape of an arrow that points to the dining hall. Everyone is beckoning to him, yet Jack still finds it hard to step forward.
He's been in North's house before- that's not the problem. It's just, the only way he came in was through a sack, and then hurriedly through some back entrance. This time, though, he's at a real, proper front door, and he's being invited. And he doesn't know why, but it's the best and worst feeling in the world.
There are words lingering in the back of his mind. A legend, a tradition.
In a flurry of stubborn emotion, he makes himself step in, listening as Bunny exhales in annoyance.
"Really, mate, were the theatrics necessary?" But, one look at Jack's face has him shutting up. The boy is looking at them, expression alight, as if he has just gotten the greatest present ever. Tooth gasps quietly at the absolute adoration in Jack's eyes, but she and the others can easily see a past hurt, too.
"Jack…" The Guardian of Memories says slowly, her words calculated. "Are you… okay?"
Jack finally blinks, as if awoken from a trance. He finally has the sense to look at his feet, bashfully picking at the carpet with his toes.
"Oh, uh…" He fiddles with his staff, now embarrassed. "It's… stupid… Just… I've never been let into anywhere before…"
The Guardians exchange a look, reminded of the boy's three hundred years of loneliness. They have promised to give Jack a family, but to think that even just being let into a room would be such a novelty to him….
In front of them, he laughs nervously, shutting the door with his foot.
"I told you it's dumb. It's just that you always hear, 'Close that door, don't let Jack Frost into the house!'." Jack manipulates his voice into a high-pitched falsetto, no doubt a mirror of countless mothers he's heard, but it's half hearted. He scratches the back of his neck, but his mouth upturns in a show of gratefulness. "It feels nice to be invited, for once. Hope I don't make your house too cold."
Even the little joke doesn't have its usual spark. The others can tell he is actually ashamed of his reaction. To think- Ashamed of it! The poor boy's been spending years and years alone. He has the right to be a little excited.
And, that breaks their hearts just a bit, too.
"Come on, Frost." Bunny breaks the silence casually, though there's an undertone of solemnity there. "Let's go eat."
Just like that, the winter spirit's face splits into that wide, mischievous grin, and he sprints ahead of them, no doubt going to attack the table- or, at least, attack some poor thing- before them.
Sharing another glance, the Guardians nod. There will definitely always be a warm welcome for Jack Frost at their homes.
A thing I wrote up at 2am last night.
I just like hurting my own heart don't I.