Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters! The theory I mention at the end of the story does belong to me though and so does this story. All rights belong to their respective owners. Enjoy!

Slowing Down

I'm exhausted. That's really the only word I can use to describe my situation. After the whole 'Pitch Black' fiasco, I've been incredibly busy with collecting teeth and stretching my wings again. The other Guardians and I, because of Jack's influence, have decided to be more involved with our jobs and the children. I for one have been doing my part. Granted, it's all very tiring, it's also exciting and more enjoyable nowadays. I've left behind a few good soldiers to keep everything in order for me at the Palace and I have no doubt they'll continue to do as well as they have been. It's for that very reason that I've decided to retire for the night. I haven't slept for such a long time and I'm quite certain that my body will thank me for it in the morning.

"All right ladies, keep up the good work!" I give my last orders for the night and flit lazily up to my room, which hasn't been slept in for years. It sits alone at the top of my palace, gracefully adorned with all the decorations of the people who came before me. The tapestries illustrate the Sisters of Flight and I still keep the namesake both of my parents gave to me before their untimely demise. It sits right beside my perfectly made bed, which I have been longingly staring at for the past twenty minutes.

A great yawn escapes me and I stretch to meet its limits. Time to change.

Now, this trick in particular has taken me a particularly vast amount of time to perfect. My body is naturally birdlike and I burn so much energy to keep up with the daily riff-raff, not that I don't entirely love my job because I do, that this 'change' is convenient for sleeping.

As I stand in front of my floor length, gold mirror, I see that tonight is the perfect night to rejuvenate. So, I close my eyes and like the seconds on a clock, I focus on slowing down to pace the hour. This is hard, especially when I can only do this to a mental image and not the real thing. Still, I focus on those hands in my mind. I can feel the adrenaline easing up and I'm no longer floating above the ground. Beneath my feet, I feel the marble floor and relish in it. My entire body feels heavy and there's a draft blowing in through the open windows that I can feel whisper across my body.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

When I feel slow and so incredibly heavy with years of work loaded on my shoulders, I open my eyes again. This part has always struck me as incredible. Except for my forearms, calves, and parts of my face, I'm completely naked in a woman's body. I have long, dark coffee-colored tresses, adorned with flecks of my shimmering feathers. My skin is velvety smooth and close in complexion to the women in India, yet lighter. I rarely see myself this way, so I stand there to admire this form for a moment or two, shifting this-way-and-that-way to get a look at my shrunken wings that have become intricate tattoos on my back. Save for the feathers, I could almost pass for human.

"Tooth! Hey, are you here?!" That voice is familiar. Really, really familiar. It's Jack, it has to be. No one else would show up here and bring an entire blizzard with them. That's why it was suddenly colder in my room.

"Oh, marbles…I can't change back now." I say to myself, rushing behind the blinds beside my mirror. Hastily thrown over the top is a green nightdress and I reach for it, quickly throwing it over my head.

"Hey, Tooth! You up here? Baby Tooth says your off duty and I was gonna ask if you wanted to fly around for a bit." I peer around the side of my blind, quiet and cautious, hoping he doesn't see me. As ever, he's wearing the same blue sweatshirt and brown trousers. He's spinning his staff around in his hands and observing the decorations I have set up, nodding in approval. Well, I'm glad he's enjoying himself, if nothing else.

Just then, when I think I've made it past this unfortunate life marker, my stomach lets out the most inhuman noise I have ever heard. Hunger. When was the last time I had actually been hungry? Food is a side thought but I forgot that when I'm like this, I'm more hungry than I normally am. I grasp the folds of my nightdress, a terrible anxiety sweeping through me, and I see that Jack has noticed something is amiss. He looks…well, battle ready. I giggle loudly.

"Hello Jack." I step out, shyly staring at my little feet. They're cold, but then again, so is every other part of my body that isn't covered in feathers anymore. My body temperature is just above normal but without my feathers, I'm more aware of it.

"Tooth?" He steps back, his tone that of incredulity and disbelief. I wonder what he thinks? I must be some freak of nature to him.

"That's my name."

"I-wow-um, y-you look…uh, you look not like you." I can see the barest shadow of a blush on his cheeks and I giggle again. The way his lips have slightly curved up and match the lazy look in his blue eyes, I see a sparkle there that gives me the most pleasant shivers.

"Well, you have caught me at a rather disagreeable time. I apologize. Normally, I don't have an audience when I change." I sweep past him to my bed and dip my feet into slippers. I can feel Jack's eyes on me, observant and yet, admiring.

"D-does anyone else know about this?"

"Not exactly. It's something I do when I need to take it slow and rest." I take a seat on my soft bed, which conforms to my weight and shifts down. Beside me, I pat the blanket and smile. "Come then, sit."

"I can go, I didn't even know you slept." He raises his hands and points towards the window, obviously flustered. I feel a little disappointed

"There's no rush, Jack. Talk to me for a bit, you look as though you've seen a ghost." That has the anticipated effect I was hoping it would have. His whole face turns pink and he drops his eyes to the ground, walking nimbly to the bed and taking a seat. He smells like fresh air and cold winds.

"That caught me off guard, I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry for!" I laugh, touching his shoulder. It feels nice against my skin, almost like dipping my hands into a cool spring of water. "I apologize that you had to see this. It's very unusual for me to molt my feathers and appear human to you. Not once has it ceased to take my breath away."

"You can say that again." He mumbled.

"It's easier to sleep this way. I'm always constantly moving around and since it's slowed down a bit, I figured I could take a moment to myself and relax a little. That's all this is." He doesn't say a word. In fact, he's so tense that I can't even get him look at me. I frown. "Have I made you uncomfortable?"

"No!" He jumps so fast that it knocks me back a little. "I think you're beautiful, either way! I just-I'm sorry-I came at a wrong time and everything. I was just a little lonely, ya know? Sandy is out doing his thing, Nick is busy with his toys, and Bunny's place doesn't have the exact kind of climate I like."

I try to keep up with his story but I can't seem to get my mind off of the word 'beautiful'. No one has ever told me that, not since my mother and father. Something in me lights up and I can't help but smile so fully that I think I'm about to burst. I must look like a complete fool.

"You all right there, Tooth? Kinda spaced out for a second." Jack is waving his free hand in front of my face and I snap back to it.

"Do you really think I'm beautiful?"

"Out of everything I said, that's what you heard?"

"I'm sorry, it's just, I haven't heard that in a long time. Coming from you, it sounds different." By now I'm fiddling with the hem of my nightgown and I feel even more foolish.

"Different how?" The tone in his voice has changed, almost smug-like. Sure enough, when I glance up, he's smirking. I believe a young man whom I once came across during my time called this particular look a 'smolder'.

"Just, different…like, reassuring."

"Uh-huh." He stands up and stretches his arms above his head. "I think I'm gonna head out. I don't want to keep you up any longer."

I watch his retreating figure, tongue-tied, and I suddenly realize that I don't want him to go. He sought me out because he was lonely. I know what that's like and it's a terrible feeling. So, I think of the only thing that's on my mind. "Jack, have you slept since you were changed?"

He stops mid-step, "Nope. I feel like I've been pulling one big all-nighter for the past 300 years."

"Would you like to? Sleep, I mean." I clear my throat, hoping that I don't sound like a beggar.

"Can I?"

"Sure! I know Nick does, and Bunny, and I'm sure Sandy does, too." Now I really sound ridiculous. "You can even stay with me, if you'd like!"

Talk about being forward. Here I am, asking Jack Frost to stay the night with me. His expression voices my own shock. "I-In your bed?"

"It's really warm up here! You would be doing me a favor by keeping it cool all night." He blushes and I mean Rudolph-has-nothing-on-him kind of blush. It's really quite adorable.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm 100% positive." I smile again but with extra vigor and encouragement.

"All right." Slowly but surely, Jack walks back towards me with timid little steps. He sets his staff down and warily comes to rest beside me. Since my body works so fast, the perks of this form also include raised body temperature, so sleeping beside him isn't hard. In fact, it's the nicest feeling.

"Just relax and close your eyes." I say, feeling myself drift off before I can even finish. The last thing I see before blacking out completely are his eyes, watching me with the softest gaze. In them, I lose myself.

It's sometime during the night that I wake up, but only for a second or two. You can't imagine the sense of satisfaction I have bubbling inside me as I realize that Jack and I are tangled up in each other. He's on his back with me rested against his chest, arms encasing my lithe frame and his legs caught up in mine. The slow, up and down movement of his chest tells me that he's asleep. I glance up at his face and I see peace there. Some color has flooded back to his whiter than snow complexion and I note that if not for the white hair, I could very well mistake him for human in this moment. I reach up and brush away a strand of silver hair, my fingers lingering by his temple and that's when it hits me.

I see his lips and I want to kiss them. He won't know, will he? It's worth a try, just a little something for the earlier paid compliment. Yes, that's my resolution. He deserves it and it won't be anything too extreme, just a little peck and I can fall back to sleep beside him. With my mind made up, I move forward carefully and press my own lips against his. Sweet and cool, like mint leaves in sugar tea. My heart flutters and so does my stomach.

As I lay my head back down against his chest, nuzzled against his chin, Jack shifts his body and presses closer to mine.

"That's my job." He murmurs sleepily. I grin and find myself falling back under the sleepiest, yet happiest, spell I've had in years.


First off, thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully you enjoyed it enough to leave a review. Second, I decided to write this mainly because of some ambiguity concerning some theories on the whole Jack-Tooth thing. So, I thought to myself, what if she could shed her feathers for a more suitable form when she wanted? More human-like? It seemed like a plausible idea and I like the way it sort of made sense. Plus, it's not like she does it all of the time, just times when she feels like she needs a second to slow down. Now, I may be feeding the perverbial fire for most hardcore Frostbite/Rainbow-Snowcone shippers, but I really did enjoy this idea enough to make a small story out of it. Again, I hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!

PS. Regarding Jack's last line, it has to do with the reference to his song. Nipping at your nose, a cold kiss of winter, yada, yada, yada! Anyways, I thought it would be a cute, quirky thing for him to say. I like corny endings, ya dig?