A/N: Alright, you all asked for it, so here it is! Sorry it took so long to post, things have been stressful with graduation and job interviews. But I was feeling rather down today after an interview gone bad for the job I desperately want, so I decided to write some things.
So, for those of you who have read this before, I've just added in Walter Turkey, since he is in Broken. I can't believe I forgot him! Thank you, SkyHighFan for pointing that out to me! Extra frosted cookies to you :)
Disclaimer: I still don't own Rise Of The Guardians
Hennalie had just finished collecting the last tooth on her list for the night and was heading home. She clutched the precious memory carrier to her as she flew over the hot sands of Pakistan, and as she flew, she heard a commotion.
Now, Hennalie was a good tooth fairy; she had always prided herself on getting her tasks done quickly and efficiently, no fuss involved. But then Jack Frost had entered the picture at Tooth Palace.
The winter spirit had become a frequent visitor to the grand halls of the tooth fairies, and Hennalie inevitably felt herself sucked into his orbit, and found that she enjoyed life more because of it.
Jack Frost taught the tooth fairies how to have fun, how to play, how to laugh. Not to mention, he had very white teeth.
But the one thing Jack Frost had instilled in Hennalie above all else was curiosity.
He was curious about everything to do with Tooth Palace, what the fairies did, how they knew who lost teeth, everything, and he was constantly asking questions and exploring new things.
Which made Hennalie start asking questions and start exploring more while on her duties.
It made her take longer than she used to, but she found she learned more than she ever thought possible, and she learned she enjoyed it as well.
So, when Hennalie noticed the commotion, out in the deserts of Pakistan, she grew curious. Flitting over, she noticed a group of legends surrounding something curled up on the sand.
And she felt her eyes widen in surprise when she realized just what held the legends' attention, and what they were doing.
She felt fury build up within her and found she wanted nothing more than to go over there and give those legends a piece of her mind!
But she knew she could do no real good on her own, she was only a little fairy, and there were at least five legends surrounding the winter Guardian, who was the focus of their brutal attacks.
So Hennalie forced herself to turn her back, though it broke her heart, and she flew as fast as she could back to Tooth Palace. Queen Toothiana would know what to do, would be able to help Jack Frost much more than Hennalie could by herself.
"Oh, there you are," Toothiana squealed as Hennalie flew in. "And look at that beautiful tooth, it's perfect, look how-"
Hennalie stopped her queen before Toothiana could say another word. She squeaked in distress and quickly explained what she had seen.
"You are sure?" Toothiana asked, already flying out of Tooth Palace. Hennalie nodded in confirmation as three other fairies surrounded her, all asking her questions about what she had seen.
She noticed that Jenalie, or as she had been nicknamed by Jack himself, Baby Tooth, looked the most distressed. Which was understandable. Jenalie had become very close friends with Jack Frost over the months they had known each other, and was always interested in what was happening with her friend. They flew as fast as they could through the icy winds and into Santoff Claussen, where they found North working in his office.
Not bothering with hellos, Toothiana quickly launched into an explanation of why they had come.
"What!" North bellowed as soon as he heard Toothiana's report, causing Hennalie to flinch. "You are sure?"
Hennalie nodded, cowering slightly as North narrowed his eyes in anger. The Guardian of Wonder could be a frightful man when he was angry, and although Hennalie knew that anger was not directed towards her, it was still a frightful thing to behold.
"Phil, get sleigh ready," North ordered to the yeti beside him before he turned and activated the aurora borealis.
Hennalie watched as the colored lights lit up the darkening sky, and prayed that the others would hurry. She wasn't sure how injured Jack was, and knew he needed help soon.
"Jenalie, Sharilie, Houslie," Toothiana called and the other three fairies fell to attention, still looked rather worried. "I need you three to get back to Tooth Palace."
Jenalie immediately protested, fluttering from side to side in agitation. She didn't want to go back, she wanted to help them find her friend, make sure that he was well.
"I know, I KNOW," Toothiana shouted, cutting Jenalie off. "Jack is precious to all of us and we all hope he is well. But we cannot let the children down, no matter how dire the situation. Jenalie please, I'm putting you in charge of the other fairies while I take care of this. I promise to let you know what is happening as soon as I can."
Jenalie fluttered nervously for a minute longer, still reluctant, before she left, Sharilie and Houslie following behind.
Hennalie chirped at Toothiana, asking is she, too, was to report back to Tooth Palace.
"No," Toothiana said. "We need you here to help us find where Jack is."
Hennalie nodded, turning as the doors flew open and a very upset looking Bunnymund marched through.
"This had better be good mate," Bunny said, tapping his foot and looking impatient at being call away from his warm warren and into the cold reaches of the north.
Sandman appeared shortly after, flying in on his golden sand plane. A question mark formed above his head as he landed, clearly asking what the summons was about.
"Jack's in trouble," North said as way of explanation, already on his way to the sleigh. Hennalie followed her queen, who was close on the heels of North, and after a minute of silence, the others followed as well.
"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" Bunny asked, watching in apprehension as the sleigh was brought out, stomping reindeer and all.
It was always a great source of amusement to Hennalie and the other fairies to witness the great Easter Bunny, afraid of flying, but now Hennalie could only fret that they weren't moving fast enough.
"Is other legends attacking him," North said. He hopped into the sleigh, Tooth settling behind him as Hennalie perched on her queen's shoulder. The others jumped in after a moment, all looking stunned at the news that had just befallen their ears, and with a quick flick of North's wrists, the reindeer took off running.
"WHAT?" Bunny finally managed to ask. He knew the kid could be annoying; after all, he himself wanted to strangle the winter spirit on occasion, but for the other legends to actually attack him. That was simply unheard of.
"That's what Hennalie saw," Tooth said, gesturing to the little fairy who had witnessed what was happening to Jack.
"And she was sure?" Bunny asked.
"Positive," Tooth replied as Hennalie ruffled her feathers and chirped in affirmation.
"Aye, yie yie," Bunny said, glancing over at Sandy. Sandy looked livid, with small sandstorms whirling around him in his anger.
The sleigh flew through a portal that North created and after another minute, they arrived in Pakistan.
"Alright, Hennalie," Tooth said, looking at the little fairy. "Where do we go from here?"
Hennalie flew up, looking around for a minute, afraid she wouldn't be able to find the spot, but then she saw them, the group gathered around the silver haired boy.
Hennalie pointed, and within seconds the others spotted what Hennalie had. North's hands clenched furiously on the reigns and he carefully landed the sleigh not far from the group surrounding the figure in the blue hoodie.
"STOP!" North boomed, jumping out of the sleigh and drawing his swords. "What is it you think you are doing?"
Bunny followed with his boomerangs drawn while Tooth fluttered nearby and Sandy wielded his golden whips, which glittered in the brilliant desert sun.
Hennalie flitted beside her queen, anger and anxiety warring within her as she glanced at the figure curled on the sandy ground.
"Teaching him a lesson," Groundhog said, and Bunny's ears lowered in anger and hatred as the rodent kicked Jack in the side, eliciting a groan from the teenager.
"Stop, now," North said, slowly and calmly, although everyone could hear the barely veiled anger in his voice.
"Why are you doing this?" Tooth asked, voice dangerous, although Hennalie could hear the tears underlying the hardness there.
"Because," Walter Turkey said with a snarl. "If there is to be a new Guardian, it should be one of us. Not some child who only creates more trouble than he's worth."
Tooth growled, preparing to throw herself at the others and knock some sense into them.
"He doesn't deserve to be a Guardian," April spat. Sandy's eyes narrowed as he noticed the woman was holding Jack's staff in her hands.
"Is not up to you," North said. "Man in Moon say Jack's a Guardian, so he is Guardian."
"And he's bloody proven he's a Guardian, too," Bunny said.
"Proven he's a Guardian?" May laughed. "He's no Guardian. He can't even protect himself." With that, she added a vicious kick to the teen's head, causing the boy to groan and blink blearily.
Sandy shot sand from his ears. He hadn't failed to notice how hot it was, or how humid, and he could feel the wind's weak attempts at trying to get to Jack through the humid air. Of course Jack couldn't protect himself in this weather, it had to be at least a hundred degrees out and Jack was a winter spirit. He wasn't meant for this type of weather.
North's eyes narrowed, dangerously. "I would expect something like this from Pitch's allies and like-minded, such as Bloody Bones and the Hag. Not from those with common goals. You should be ashamed. Jack never asked to be Guardian, he had position thrust upon him in troubled times, but he exceeded even that of which we could do.
"He was there to help stop Pitch, to protect the children. None of you were available; none of you came to our aid. Never did you once ask if we needed help. And even when Jack refused to be Guardian, he still helped. That's right. He refused position, rejected the company of others. But when time came, he was there. He protected the children, gave the children hope back. He saved us all from the world Pitch would have created. And this is how you repay him?"
May opened her mouth to say something, but North waved his hand.
"No, don't want to hear excuses. Just leave, now."
May closed her mouth and hung her head, suddenly ashamed of what she had just done, of what she had participated in. After all, she had no quarrel with the winter spirit. She had never met the boy until now. All she knew was what her sister had told her, complained to her about the awful winter spirit that was constantly behind schedule and attempting to frost May over if April didn't chase him away.
But still, the winter spirit had never bothered her before, and yet, here she was, attacking him. May knew it was wrong, knew she shouldn't have gotten so worked up over the upset stories of her sister, who could be volatile and moody, emotions roiling through her like the storms she heralded.
May sighed, wishing that in some way, she could take back what she had done. But she knew that was impossible. Like so many things, the past could not be undone. So slowly, she turned around and walked away. A gust of flower petals swirled around her, and she was gone.
Summer Heat glared at the Christmas spirit for a minute longer, but memories came back to her, unbidden, unwanted, of a time, perhaps 200 years ago. She had brought a particularly hot summer that year, because that was what Mother Nature dictated, but it had been hard on the people she brought it to.
Crops failed and livestock died. Children suffered in the heat she spread and all around her, the world dried, becoming nothing more than tinder.
Tinder that lit during a lightning storm. Tinder that threatened to burn a nearby village, threatened to kill the children of the village.
And Summer could do nothing, for she could only bring the heat.
And then Jack Frost was there, riding the cooler storm winds as he flew up into the lightning clouds that were heavy with rain. But Summer knew, even if the rain fell, it would evaporate in the heat, for the was much too hot.
However, minutes later Jack Frost emerged and dove towards the earth, the wind bearing him down like an avenging angel.
And with him came the rain, frozen at first but quickly melting and falling on the raging fire below, damping the earth and snuffing the flames from existence. And Summer realized, Jack had frozen the rain so it wouldn't evaporate in the heat, so that it would make it down to the fire.
Summer had watched on, too stunned to move, as Jack Frost worked, putting out the fire. No one had asked him, no one would. After all, Jack Frost was nothing but trouble, a spirit made and forgotten.
And once the fires were put out, and the rain was falling gently, Summer turned to watch as the children rushed out of their houses to dance in the chilly rain, cheering as the melted snow washed the rest of the smoke from the air. And Jack Frost danced among them, laughing in childlike happiness before being born up again by the winds.
And then he was gone and Summer, not knowing what else to do, had carried on with her work. But she had promised herself she would never forget how Jack had saved those children. Never, because he had done what she could not.
Summer Heat blinked back the tears, because she had forgotten that day, until North's raging had brought it back. She had forgotten what Jack had done for her, how he had spared her from having to live with the knowledge that she had destroyed that village, however inadvertently.
And this was how she had repaid him? Summer let the tears fall as she turned away, knowing she could not mend the damage done. The sand swirled around her, and she was carried off, away from the sight of her horrible misdeed.
Walter Turkey paused and looked down at the teenager curled at his feet. He felt his heart constrict as his beady black eyes took in the damage they had caused the winter spirit.
What am I doing? Walter asked himself, stumbling backwards. Never had he had a disagreement with the boy he had just attacked, never had he had a problem with him. In fact, he had gotten along famously with Jack Frost, because his holiday celebrated prosperity in times of harshness. His holiday was about thankfulness and being with others as the snow came and turned autumn into winter.
In fact, his holiday probably wouldn't exist without winter and Jack Frost.
What have I done? Walter wondered, taking another step back. While he wasn't sure he considered the boy a friend, after all, he was rather immature, he did consider Jack an acquaintance, one he had spent several Thanksgivings with in fact. And now, now he may never have the chance to call the boy friend. All because he became blinded by jealousy. Jealous because he was not chosen as the next Guardian.
And now Walter knew why. He didn't deserve to be a Guardian, after all, Guardians protected. They didn't attack.
Walter sighed and turned his back on the boy. He didn't deserve to be around the boy anymore, didn't deserve to even try to apologize at this time.
Leprechaun backed away, green eyes suddenly horrified at what he had done. He had allowed his jealousy to go unchecked, had acted without thinking, and now, now. Leprechaun swallowed hard as his stomach churned.
He remembered the first time he had met Jack Frost, some 150 years ago when the winter spirit had found the end of his rainbow and the pot of gold. Leprechaun had been furious at being caught, but knew that he could do nothing but grant the kid all his gold, if he asked. And though it pained Leprechaun to part with his gold, he knew he must if asked.
But Jack had just laughed, said he had had an amazing time tracking it down and could Leprechaun please donate a couple of coins to a certain family that was suffering poverty because their little boy was sick and in need of a doctor. A doctor that only money could call.
And then the winter spirit had flown off, not asking for a single coin for himself.
And Leprechaun had been stunned. Of all the things the boy could have asked for, he wanted Leprechaun to give a couple of coins to a suffering family?
So, stunned, Leprechaun had delivered his coins, two of them (after all, the winter spirit had said just a couple) by slipping them under the door of the family's house. He then sat back and watched as the door was flung wide, a teary eyed mother looking up and down the street.
"Gods bless you!" The mother called, before the door closed once more.
Later, when Leprechaun was in the area once more, he checked in on that family. It was the beginnings of winter then, but Leprechaun was still shocked to see Jack Frost watching the same house Leprechaun had come to check on, was still shocked to see the smile that lit the winter spirit's face as a young boy exited the house.
And was shocked when he heard the faintest of whispers echo from the winter spirit.
"Thank you, Leprechaun. I don't think he would have survived without your gold."
Leprechaun didn't know if Jack had known he was there or not, for the winter spirit had been whisked away by the wind after that, but Leprechaun had never forgotten that warm feeling that ignited in his chest as he watched that little boy skip merrily down the street, mother in tow.
And Leprechaun knew it was all thanks to Jack Frost, really, that the child was alive. Because he never would have parted with those two tiny pieces of gold otherwise.
And now, Leprechaun could not believe he had done this to the boy who had helped him realize how good it felt to help people, to give service. Ashamed, Leprechaun backed away slowly from the glares of the Guardians, those protectors of childhood. He blinked once, twice, and vanished, knowing he would never be forgiven for what he had done. After all, who could forgive him? He would never forgive himself.
Groundhog met the eyes of his rival, that pesky Pooka whose tunnels were always getting in his way, and felt a savage bit of triumph at seeing the despair on the bunny's face.
After all, Bunnymund deserved what he got, he was always getting the way of Groundhog's travels, and always flaunting that he was more important than Groundhog, despite the fact that Easter wouldn't be possible if Groundhog didn't chase winter away.
But then he looked at the white haired teen who lay at his feet. The spirit who caused him so much trouble, and yet helped him to have fun. Groundhog still remembered that first year he had met Jack Frost, nearly three hundred years ago. He had just popped his head out of his hole, ready to declare winter over, when a snowball caught him full in the face.
The frozen water had very nearly frightened him to death, and he had retreated back into his hole for safety. He learned that was the first year winter was allowed to reign for six more weeks.
The next year, Groundhog was ready. He appeared slowly, carefully, and ducked the snowball thrown his way. Laughter filled the air and he caught his first glimpse of the winter spirit.
"Not getting away with it this year, boy," Groundhog had declared, hopping from his hole and dodging another snowball. He then proceeded to chase the winter spirit away, watching as the wind caught the boy up and whisked him off to colder climates.
After that, it became a game. Year after year Jack Frost would attempt to hit Groundhog with a snowball, and year after year, Groundhog would attempt to dodge the flying snow and chase the boy off to bring spring to the area.
And as the years flew by, Groundhog found he enjoyed their game, found himself waiting year after year, excitement coiling through him as he anticipated his next meeting with the winter spirit and who would win.
And he remembered the year that Jack had shown up, looking exhausted and beat up, but elated. No snowballs came that year and instead Groundhog found himself catching the winter spirit as he collapsed, muttering about cupboards and bloody bones.
Jack Frost didn't stay long though, as Groundhog listened to his incoherent mumblings in shock, and he was soon whisked away from the area, making Groundhog the winner that year.
It wasn't until later that Groundhog heard the story of the fight between Jack Frost and Bloody Bones, who had gone on a rampage upon escaping his cupboard under the stairs and killed eleven kids before Jack stepped in and stopped him.
But Jack showed up the next year just the same as all the others, lobbing a snowball at Groundhog and beginning their game, and Groundhog never had the chance to say anything to the kid about the matter.
But now, looking at the beaten form of that same kid he had spent so many years playing with, Groundhog felt guilt curl in his stomach. He was ashamed to admit, even to himself, that the main reason he had done this was to get back at Bunnymund, to prove to that oversized rabbit that Guardians weren't all that special.
But now Groundhog realized that Guardians were that special, as he realized that never once had Jack raised a hand against them, even in defense. Realized that Jack hadn't fought because he viewed them as friends, which made their betrayal all the worse.
And he realized that he had taken his frustrations out on the one Guardian he might have called friend. Horrified, Groundhog stumbled away, and with a touch of his left front paw, opened a tunnel for himself and disappeared.
He may never again have a snowball fight at the beginning of spring, and it was all his fault. Groundhog felt sick.
April fumed as she glared at the Guardians, twisting the winter spirit's staff in her hands. For years she had had to deal with this bratty teenager, chasing him off so her sister, May, could bring about Spring.
For years she had worked hard, done her job well, and yet this bratty teenager, who only ever acted like the world were his playground, was the one chosen as a Guardian, and it just wasn't fair.
The winter spirit was nothing special, a nuisance, really, and they should all be glad to get rid of him. Right?
But then, why were the others leaving?
April turned to watch as the others fled, one by one, leaving her to face the Guardians alone, the cowards.
"Jack's staff," North said, looking at April. "Hand it over."
April tightened her grip on the staff, such a fragile thing to hold so much power. She could solve all her problems right now; never have to deal with that annoying boy or his powers again. All she had to do was…
She twisted it in her hands as Bunnymund hopped closer. "Give it here, mate," Bunny said, reaching forward, but still keeping his distance.
Tooth flew over to Jack as another groan escaped the teen's lips, Sandy close behind, and settled by the teen's head, ruffling his hair. She blinked back tears at the dirt and blood that met her fingers.
Sandy settled by Jack as well, and Tooth felt her anger boil up as she noticed the rose vines twined around the teen's wrists and ankles, thorns dug into the pale flesh. Sandy noticed this too, and with lips pressed into a thin line, he cut the vines, gently removing them from the torn up wrists and ankles.
"You want it?" April asked, and all four Guardians' focus snapped to her. April smirked in satisfaction. At least she could end her troubles here, now. Then she would go to have a talk with the others that deserted her. After all, she needed to know why they were all suddenly cowards. "Fine, take it!"
She slammed the wood, mid-shaft, over her knee, feeling satisfied as it splintered, before throwing the broken pieces to the stunned Pooka. A scream, filled with such anguish and pain like April had never heard before, rent the air and April turned startled eyes on the winter spirit as his whole body tensed, and then went lax.
"What did you do?!" Bunny shouted, grabbing the two pieces and advancing in anger.
"How dare you!" North shouted, gripping his swords tighter.
"Jack, Jack," Tooth was whispering frantically. "Hang on, just hang on."
April backed away from the enraged Guardians but a golden whip lashed out and suddenly she was pulled towards the Sandman. For the first time since the Guardians showed up, April felt real fear. She had never seen Sandman look so angry, and it was all directed at her.
The look said everything crystal clear, even if Sandman never said a word. It told April, in no uncertain terms, that if she ever came near Jack again, she would not be leaving the confrontation alive.
With that, the golden whip flung her away, and she slammed into the ground. She got up slowly and staggered away as the Guardians all surrounded their fallen comrade.
"Oh Jack," Tooth fluttered over the now unconscious boy, fingers still running through the dirty silver hair. Tooth was scared. She wasn't sure what breaking his staff would mean. Wasn't sure he was still alive. But she was too afraid to check.
"Ah mate," Bunny said, settling beside Tooth. He too, seemed scared to touch the boy, for fear of finding out he no longer breathed. What happened to a spirit once their conduit of power was broken anyway? Bunny didn't know.
Finally, Tooth laid a trembling hand against Jack's cheek, but pulled it away in shock. Jack's skin was hot, which was not good for the winter spirit whose skin was normally ice cold.
"He's burning up," Tooth said, fear lacing her words. Hennalie fluttered beside her to settle on the winter spirits chest. There, she felt the faintest flutter of his heart and she prayed he would be okay.
"We need to get him back to North Pole," North said, before scooping up the teen and carrying him to the sleigh. North was surprised at how light Jack was while holding him in his arms. The boy really was just that, a boy. He was also not oblivious to the blood that covered the boy, or the bruises that were forming on the exposed skin, and it worried him.
Because even though it was rare, immortals, even Guardians, could die if they were injured too badly. And North did not know if the breaking of his staff would have pushed Jack to the point he could not heal.
But for now he took comfort in the fact that at least the boy was still breathing, and as long as he was still breathing, North held to the belief he would be okay. Eventually.
Because, what else could he believe?
The others clambered into the sleigh around Jack's prone form with grim expressions and North took off, flying through a portal back to Santoff Claussen.
Bunny hunkered down in the sleigh and clutched the broken staff in his hands, watching the shallow breathing of the boy who was quickly becoming like an annoying younger brother to him.
Tooth brushed Jack's hair away from his face, tears tracking down her cheeks. Jack had become more than a friend to her and Tooth found that seeing him like this broke her heart. She watched as Hennalie nuzzled Jack's cheek, chirping softly, and sobbed as this gained no response from the boy.
Sandy watched the boy closely as he felt the wind curl around the sleigh, wrapping the boy in an embrace and bringing chill air around them all in an attempt to cool the boy off. Jack had become the little brother Sandy never had, but had always wanted. The one always getting into trouble, the one who always came to Sandy for advice, or to show off. The youngest in the family.
And now, that brother was hurting, attacked by people like him for what he had been chosen to do. It made Sandy angry, and sad. Sad because even now that Jack was a Guardian, it looked as though the others still couldn't accept the boy. Sandy still remembered all those nights he had spent with Jack before he was chosen as a Guardian, sitting on his golden cloud and playing together. He hoped he would still have nights like that with Jack.
North tightened his grip on the reigns as the reindeer landed at Santoff Claussen. He wanted to say it gave him better control of the landing, but he knew that wasn't the case. He tightened them to stop his hands from shaking.
"Phil!" North called as he jumped from the sleigh. "Bring all the medical supplies you can carry to Jack's room." He turned to the others, helping Bunny lift Jack gently from the sleigh. "We'll treat him there, it'll be more to his comfort."
The others nodded as they clambered from the sleigh, but Sandy paused, looking at the spot Jack had lain on in worry. There was a large amount of blood there, which meant the winter spirit was bleeding profusely from somewhere.
Realizing this, Sandy raced off after the others. The sooner they got to Jack's room, which North had prepared for the boy even after he had turned down the invite to live there, the sooner they could treat his wounds.
Well, that's it for now. I must say, writing this has helped me feel much better as I was feeling so down earlier today. Nothing like writing out the woes of others for comfort, right?
Hope you enjoyed reading this! I really didn't mean for it to be a two parter, but it seems like it will be. Hopefully I can update soon, but we shall see!