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They were stuck as teenagers together, and maybe that was one of the things that had brought them together.
She was eternally stuck at nineteen. There had been no catalyst, she had just stopped aging a few years after the loss of her last baby tooth had stripped her of her dark, soft skin and her long brown hair, turning her into a hybrid like her mother before her. She had still matured after that, not by much. She retained the tiny body of a girl, though she had the hips of a woman ready to bear a child. Small feet that would fit into a child's shoe, dainty hands meant to do woman's work.
Tooth had always been so confused by her own body, the wings that had cut her off from the world, the feathers and plumage that had killed her parents. Being caught between being a woman and a child just made it worse.
Being caught between being a woman and a child for the rest of eternity? Just the thought of it was enough to make her mad.
She existed like that for hundreds of years, constantly stuck in the throes of puberty. She could see the end of the tunnel, but she couldn't move her feet.
Toothiana was stuck.
Jack wasn't any better. He had died just after he turned 18, caught in the hormonal whirlwind of puberty. It hadn't been hard at first, when all he could focus on was the feeling of winter in his blood and the crushing loneliness of living as a ghost.
Skip forward 300 hundred years, and not only was he seen again by the children of the world, more every day, but he had friends.
He had Tooth.
Tooth. ToothToothToothTooth. Where could he even start with Tooth? She was the heat that melted his frost, the vibrant colors to his pale skin. She completely and utterly confused him.
And it really turned him on, which confused him even more.
Nearly 300 years, and the first pretty girl he lays eyes on has him caught in a hormonal mess. It wouldn't have been so bad if he wasn't also falling deeper and deeper in love with Tooth herself every day. He was a Guardian! The protector of children, barely more than a child himself and yet all of these emotions coursing through his body were very much the emotions of a man.
He wanted to be a man for her, his fairy; but like her, he was stuck. All long limbs that were too big for his body, like a puppy. His voice had finished cracking before he had died - thank God, Bunny would have teased him about that for the rest of their very long lives if he couldn't speak without his voice cracking - and he no longer had to deal with the acne from his younger teens, but that was it.
He was technically a child. He would be a child for the rest of his life. Tooth deserved better than that.
So he resisted her at first, resisted what she did to him, what she made him feel. Love, desire, joy, all of the human emotions he had almost forgotten. Tooth deserved more than a winter spirit that had problems controlling his own anatomy. She deserved a man who could care for her for the rest of eternity. Not a child who couldn't stay in one place for more than a week, a boy who cringed at the thought of deadlines and responsibility.
She was of a different opinion, but it wasn't the kind of stuff you brought up at a table with three other male immortals who didn't love him all too much, so he never asked.
Tooth wanted him, wanted the Jack that she'd admired from afar for at least a hundred years, wanted the Jack that could make her relax, take a break. The Jack that made her laugh.
She wanted that Jack.
Tooth could feel him pulling away from her, though she didn't know why. He wouldn't come to the Tooth Palace nearly as often, he avoided her when they all met in North's Workshop. He even avoided her at the annual Mythological Beings meeting.
She had looked for him while she had been held back by a forest druid, a big hulking man that thought entirely too much of himself. Tooth thought she had caught a glimpse of a navy blue jacket and pale skin, but then he was gone. She wanted to go after him, but the dumb druid wouldn't leave her alone.
Jack knew she needed a man. But damn it, a forest druid? They were so stuck up, so overrated. She needed a man, but picked the wrong one. "Damn it Tooth," Jack grumbled, sitting on top of a tower, hidden towards the mountain where North's shop was located. The tower he sat on was covered in a thin layer of frost, but his rage and annoyance had the frost melting right back off.
There was a small jingle to his left, and he looked over to see Sandy, looking at him with an unreadable expression. "Hey Sandy," Jack said, huffing and looking out into the sky. "You get bored too? Or did someone send you out looking for me?"
The familiar figure of the Tooth Fairy was sculpted out of golden sand, and Jack let out a single, bitter laugh. "Yeah, I thought so. You can tell her I'm fine, just needed some space to myself." Sandy didn't leave though, instead making himself comfortable on a golden cloud of sand. A frowny face and question mark appeared over the Sandman's head, and Jack sighed.
"It's nothing," he reassured Sandy, but the older spirit didn't seem convinced at all. After a few moments, Jack sighed again. "You... Can keep a secret, right?" he asked softly, and Sandy nodded eagerly. "I'm trying to avoid Tooth," he said looking back out at the sky so he didn't have to see Sandy's reaction. "I really like her, a lot, but she deserves better than a kid with commitment issues. So I'm trying to distance myself." A few years ago he wouldn't be able to talk about his thoughts like this, but his fellow Guardians were typically very frank with their own thoughts, and it had rubbed off on him.
Three dots appeared over Sandy's head, and it only took Jack a second to realize he was trying to say "And?" He was quiet for a few moments before sighing once more.
"I'm also... A little freaked out about what she can do to me," he admitted, a little ashamed. Sandy looked confused and Jack groaned, rubbing his face. "I've been stuck at 18 for over 300 years," he said flatly. "That's about 300 years of puberty and hormones, all bottled up. Who do you think all those hormones have focused on now?"
The picture of a tooth appeared over Sandy's head, and Jack nodded. "It's confusing. Part of me is a childhood spirit, all innocence and rainbows 'n shit, and the other part kinda wants to bang her into a wall." Thankfully Sandy didn't need that explained to him, though he did give Jack a dirty look. "I'm not gonna do it!" Jack snapped. "It feels wrong just thinking about it, touching her like that. But at the same time, it doesn't?" Jack groaned, flopping onto his back with his arms over his eyes. "See what I mean? Confusing."
Sandy patted the younger spirit's arm comfortingly. This was all so new to Jack, and Sandy could appreciate that. Tugging on his sleeve to get his attention, Sandy asked if Jack would like to be alone, and Jack nodded. "Just... Tell Tooth that I left early. Too many people too soon or something."
When Sandy floated in to tell Tooth exactly that, and her face had fallen heartbreakingly. He patted her arm silently, and after a few moments caught in her own thoughts, she puffed up.
"I am so sick of him avoiding me!" she told Sandy. "I'm gonna go find him, and give him a piece of my mind!" With that, she flitted out the window, ignoring the forest druid who had gone to get her punch that she hadn't asked for.
She found him on Jamie Bennett's roof, staring up at the stars. He looked like he was deep in thought, which was probably why she was able to sneak up on him.
Jack had been staring at the stars, then suddenly there was an angry tooth fairy blocking his view.
"Why have you been avoiding me?" Tooth asked angrily, crossing her arms over her chest. "And don't say that you haven't because I know you are."
Jack stared up at her with wide eyes, wishing he could dissolve into the snow bank he was resting in. This was not a conversation he wanted to be having.
"I haven't been avoiding you, I was just busy-"
"I just said don't lie to me."
"Did I fucking stutter?"
Ah, so his coarse language had been rubbing off on her. That had been a problem with Pippa too, back when he was alive. His parents hadn't been thrilled when his sister screamed "Goddamn it!" when she had stubbed her toe one morning.
Tooth's eyes widened when she realized what she said, but only for a moment. Then she was glaring at him again.
Fuck that was hot.
No! No it wasn't! At least it wasn't supposed to be! Aaaaaaaaagh!
"Look, I'm sorry," Jack said honestly. "I've just needed some time to myself recently. I needed to think some stuff through."
"Then let me help you," Tooth said in an infinitely kinder tone, resting her small hand on his shoulder. "I miss you Jack."
God he wanted to kiss her. She was so close, big amethyst eyes and impossibly long lashes, cute little heart shaped face, her soft, full lips. She was driving Jack mad.
Jack quickly sat up, gently pushing Tooth away. He immediately regretted that when her face fell. "I miss you too," he said quickly. "But this is something I have to deal with on my own."
"You've been on your own for 300 years," Tooth said, flitting closer so that she could cup Jack's jaw in her little palms. "Let me help you. Please Jack."
His hands covered hers without his permission, and he could feel his self control cracking like the thin ice that covered his lake. "Tooth," he said, his voice strained. "Please just go." He could feel her breath brushing across his cheeks and shuddered.
Tooth moved closer, not looking away from his eyes as her forehead rested on his. "Never," she said fiercely.
"Oh for god's sake, fuckit."
Tooth had to take a moment to register that his lips were pressed needily against hers, one of his large hands clutching at her waist. Jack was kissing her. He was kissing her.
And she was kissing him back!
She let herself melt into his embrace, her eyelashes brushing his eyelids as her eyes fluttered closed. For a winter spirit, Jack had a weird way of sending fire through her veins, and she pulled him closer so that the coolness of his skin would put out the flames.
What started out of the passionate kiss of two teenagers cooled down after a few minutes, becoming the soft kiss of two immortals with all the time in the world. Jack's possessive hold on her tiny waist loosened, Tooth's arms unwrapped from desperately clutching his shoulders so that she could cup his jaw again. They pulled away slowly, their eyes still closed as their foreheads rested against each others.
"You drive me crazy," Jack whispered softly, and Tooth hummed in agreement. "That's why I've been avoiding you," he admitted. "I can't control how I react to you Tooth. It's weird."
"It's new and scary," Tooth said softly, "and you're worried that you might not be enough."
Jack pulled back an inch, looking at her with wide eyes. "How'd you know that? Did Sandy tell you? Gah, that little blabbermouth!"
Tooth giggled softly, and Jack immediately softened. "No, you silly," she said. "That's how I'm feeling too."
"Oh I highly doubt you and I are feeling the same things," Jack muttered a little shamefully, and Tooth quirked her head to the side.
"What makes you say that?"
"Ugh, just... A lot of teenage stuff and hormones, all at once. It's kinda the main reason I was avoiding you." Tooth quirked an eyebrow at him.
"We're both still teenagers, you know," she said. "I do know what hormones are like. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's perfectly natural."
"It doesn't feel natural," was all Jack said, his cheeks a interesting shade of blue.
"We're the Guardians of childhood," the fairy said with a shrug. "We're supposed to be innocent and not overrun with thoughts of shoving our tongues down someone's throat."
"I never said that," Jack said with a playful smirk, and Tooth blushed, smacking his chest.
"Oh shush you. Now come on, that can't be all that's bothering you."
"There's nothing else."
"Ugh, fine," he consented, his head falling back into the snow. "You're 19, physically at least. Technically you're a woman. You deserve someone who's, you know, mature and shit."
Tooth sighed, rolling her eyes. "I want you Jack," she said firmly. "And I always will. Don't make this harder on both of is by being stubborn."
"But stubborn is such a good look on me."
Tooth laughed, and Jack chuckled with her. "That's my Jack," Tooth said happily, and Jack just grinned crookedly at her. He pulled her closer, and her tiny body immediately curled into his, the two Guardians fitting perfectly together.
"So... Where does this leave us?" Jack asked after a few minutes of watching the stars while running his hand over the soft feathers that covered her waist.
"I don't know," Tooth said. "Boyfriend and girlfriend feels too..."
"Temporary," she amended. "And lovers doesn't seem to fit." Jack hummed in agreement.
"But we are a thing," he said hopefully, and Tooth smiled.
"Yeah, we are."
After a few more minutes of silence, Jack made a sound in the back of his throat. "Partners," he said, looking down at the immortal curled up on his torso. "Does that fit?"
Tooth hummed thoughtfully, and after a moment looked up with a dazzling smile that had Jack's dead heart galloping in his chest. "I like it," she said, and pulled him down for a soft kiss. "Partners."
They went back to watching the stars, and when Sandy's dream sand began to paint the sky in fields of gold, they gave in to sleep together, their dreams the ones of two people in love, with the rest of eternity to love their partner.
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