Chapter Eight

When Tooth awoke several hours later, she found herself in a very soft bed, covered with a warm blanket. She slowly sat up, and winced as her cramped wings stretched out behind her. Where was she?

"Hey," somebody said. Looking towards where the voice came from, Tooth saw Jack himself standing there, fully grown again, and staff in hand.

Tooth swallowed hard, unsure of what to say. What could she say? There was a troubled look in Jack's eyes, and his mouth curved down in a concerned frown.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"A little sore," Tooth answered, her voice quiet with shame.

"I'll bet," Jack responded. "You flew over 2,000 miles last night. You're lucky to still be alive."

Tooth couldn't meet his eye, and stared down at the bed below her. Jack sighed.

"You know, I wasn't able to understand everything that was going on over the past week and a half," he said, "but I remember all of it."

"I'm sorry," Tooth whispered, fresh tears leaking out of her eyes.

"I saw a side of you that I never knew existed," Jack went on.

"I'm sorry, Jack," Tooth said again. "I don't know what came over me last night."

"I mean, nobody has ever treated me that kindly," Jack continued, ignoring the stunned fairy's words. He leaned his staff against the wall and began pacing back and forth across Tooth's room. "Even my own mother never treated me that way." He stopped and looked at Tooth now, "I guess what I'm trying to say is, why? Why did you do all that for me when you could have just as easily left me here for North to take care of? I mean, he caused the accident in the first place, why not make him take care of me?"

"Because…" Tooth mumbled, "because I love you, Jack."

Jack froze at these words, eyes wide with shock.

"I've loved you ever since you helped me win back my teeth and helpers three years ago," she went on. "You're the most compassionate, caring person I've ever met. You know how to make people laugh, even in their darkest moments. But I never knew how to tell you. I guess when I saw you lying there like that, so tiny and helpless, I thought that maybe I could return the favor. I could finally be close to you, even if you weren't old enough to realize what I was feeling for you."

She slammed her fists into the soft mattress in disgust, "But I let it go to my head! I wanted you all to myself, even if you had no say in it. I was so terrified that if I let them turn you back, I wouldn't be able to be close to you anymore. And I ruined everything." Her head sagged, lacking the conviction to look at Jack anymore. "I guess they want me to turn over my title to Baby Tooth now, don't they?"

"You… you love me?"

This wasn't at all what Tooth had expected to hear, and she looked back up at her frosty sweetheart. He was staring at her, blue eyes wide with amazement. Slowly, she nodded.

"And here I thought…" he paused, "I thought you only ever wanted to be friends."

"I thought the same thing about you," Tooth replied, her eyes growing wide as well.

"But you… you actually love me?" Jack sat down on the side of her bed, stunned. Slowly, a smile spread across his face. "I guess there's something I need to tell you too, then."

"What's that?" Tooth asked, her hummingbird heart beating even faster than normal.

Jack reached out and took the Tooth Fairy's hand in his own, and squeezed it with excitement, "Toothiana," he said, "I love you too!"

Suddenly filled with new energy, Tooth's face broke out into the biggest smile of her life, and she lunged forward to wrap Jack in a big lover's hug. She didn't know how long the two of them stayed like that, and she didn't care. All that mattered was that the two of them were now together, forever.

From outside the door, the other three Guardians stood and watched, peering through the crack in the door like peeping toms. Signaling for the other to be very quiet, North tiptoed away from the door, his friends close behind him.

"Well, all's well that ends well, right?" Bunnymund said once they were out of earshot of the door. "But you weren't seriously thinking about firing her, were you?"

"Of course not!" North waved his hand dismissively. Is not even my choice!"

Bunnymund nodded in agreement, and then asked, "But what about your machine? You don't still plan on using it do you?"

"Oh, of course I do!" North laughed.

"But you saw what it does to people," Bunnymund retorted. "How can you still think it has any use?"

"Because you would make very cute baby bunny rabbit!" North roared with laughter, taking off into a jog to get away from the angry Easter Bunny running after him with a boomerang.

The End

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