Okay, who is A FAN? Stop posting anonymously, sunflower. I can't respond to you if you do that! To answer you question, when I finally get around to lemons, they will be available in a separate story on my profile. Each chapter will be a different lemon from the story. I'll let you know at the beginning of a chapter if there's going to be a lemon and find a way to mark it so you know where to switch pages if you want to read it. Please PM me though, A FAN. I can't always write to you from the author notes!
Sorry for the delay. Christmas and family crap always tends to slow me down. I'm so off schedule right now. Also, stop trying to guess how this is going to end! One of you got really close and it scared me. I won't say who to avoid spoiling anything, but you will know who you are. You guessed many of my planned points very accurately and it's kinda freaky. Don't guess anymore. And due to the fact that I skipped a scene that I deemed pointless and boring, I had to mix in some frowns. Bennefrost is in the near future, though. I promise. I know that I promised not to put anything sad in this so my credibility is kind of crappy right now, but you'll just have to read on and take my word for it! xD
CHAPTER 4: OUT ALIVE
My eyes slowly pried open the next morning. I found myself with icy spikes coming off of my chin. I reached up to take hold of frozen beard in an attempt to remove it. It stuck at first, but eventually pulled off. I rubbed my chilled skin before searching around the room from the most probable cause.
"You awake yet?" I heard from the hallway. I listened and heard a shuffling noise.
"Mhm," I grumbled, really not wanting to get up yet. I swung my legs over the side of the bed, rubbing my eyes before standing up. "What are you getting into?"
"I was going to make you breakfast, but your mom is really bad about going grocery shopping."
"She always waits until we're out, orders pizza and Chinese for a couple of days, and then goes out," I commented, making my way out of my room and down the hall. "Thanks anyways."
"No problem, bro."
"Bro?" I questioned, reaching the kitchen to find him rummaging through the cabinets.
"Isn't that a thing right now?" He asked with a cocked eyebrow, looking away from the cabinet that was half filled with spices.
"I guess?" I laughed. "How about I make us some waffles?"
"Sounds good to me," he confirmed letting the cabinets close. "Need any help?"
This was all wrong. None of it made any sense. Maybe it was the sudden change of having my best friend back, but I was just confused. I couldn't quite word my reply, instead letting out a strangled mumble.
"Are you alright?" asked the winter spirit, even though he knew that Jamie was anything but okay.
"I just don't get it." Jamie dropped four waffles into the toaster, pulling both levers down. "This time yesterday, I thought that I'd never see you again. And now, I'm making you waffles like you never left."
Jack knew that his friend was trying hard to be joyful for him, but he had left so many loose ends that perhaps such emotions were unavoidable.
"Forget it." Jamie rolled his eyes, standing on his toes to get the syrup from the top shelf of a cabinet. "I haven't seen you in a while, so let's just make the most of however long you're staying."
"Jamie," smirked Jack, struggling to keep up his confident demeanor. "I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I promise."
"Well, don't hold it against me if I don't exactly believe your promises right now," parried the young human bitterly. "You don't really have a great track record."
The winter Guardian pursed his pale lips slightly, failing to hide how much that comment has stung. "I'll set the table."
"Jack, I'm sorry," apologized Jamie, setting down the glasses that were in his hands at the time.
"But I deserved it. I'm supposed to be there for you, and I let you down."
Jamie didn't know what to say. As much as he wanted to tell his immortal friend that it was okay and that he was wrong, he couldn't. Jack was tight. He had left him down for four years. No amount of sugarcoating would ever truly be able to hide the fact. He was simply at a loss for words, but perhaps his silence said enough.
"This can wait," Jamie mumbled. "Let's just have a fun day, alright?"
"Sure, sure. You know what we haven't done in a while?" asked Jack rhetorically. "Have a snowball fight!"
"Really, Jack? A snowball fight?"
"No?" question the winter spirit with a somewhat confuse gaze.
"Who's going to play with us?"
"Why don't we get that old gang back together for a good old-fashioned day in the snow?"
"Jack..." Jamie sighed. "There is no 'old gang' anymore."
"I'm sure they'd still want to come out and play if you asked. We can go try after breakfast, okay?"
"We can't. Claude and Caleb live in Arizona, Cupcake went off to college in Washington, and Monty..." He drew in a breath, not quite sure how to phrase such new to Guardian of Fun. "Monty wen't into a diabetic coma two years ago. He's been dead for a little bit over a year now."
Jack was silent. The idea of death didn't really fit into his idea of fun. He always thought that Monty was a bit rude, but to die at fourteen? "It's always a shame when children die."
"He wasn't a child anymore. He was fourteen, and twelve is apparently the cap." Jamie caught his sarcasm, quickly apologizing. "I'm doing it again. Dammit."
"It's fine," he cut off. "What about Pippa?"
"I... really don't talk to her much anymore."
"Why not try again now?"
Jamie let out a soft chuckle. He wasn't exactly thrilled with the awkwardness that would likely ensue, but arguing with the winter spirit was pointless. "If you say so."
I made my way up the icy sidewalk to Pippa's home. Once I reached the top of the steps leading up to her porch, I paused to look back at Jack He only waved me onward before I managed to bring myself to knock on the door. I heard a recliner slam close as well as some plastic clattering before the door swung open.
"Jamie?" Pippa greeted, smoothing her hair. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be hanging out with the Easter Bunny or something?"
"Nah, I bet he's-"
I was interrupted by Jack, who cleared his throat dramatically. "She's being sarcastic," he whispered.
I tried to play it off with a chuckle. "I, uh... no. No, I am not hanging out with the Easter Bunny." Awkward.
She rolled her eyes, obviously irritated. "Can I help you with anything? Doctor Who is on."
"Right," I took in a breath of cold air before moving on, "I was wondering if you would maybe want to go see a movie with us sometime?"
"Us?" she asked right a raised eyebrow. "Who else is going?"
Shit. I could tell by her suspicious gaze that she knew exactly what I meant.
"Well, I don't mean us as in..." I began trying to think up something to make a smooth recovery, but was stumbling.
I was choking. I had screwed up. This would probably be my last chance to smooth things over with my last remaining human friend, and I was blowing it.
And just when I though that all hope of lost, I heard a thump on the roof followed by a scraping sound. Before I had time to register what was happening, I found myself being buried in the thick snow that had accumulated on Pippa's roof. I felt a pair of capable hands catch me as the force sent me toppling back over the steps, gently setting me down.
"Jamie!" she called out, trying hard to suppress her laughter. "Are you alright?"
"I'll live," I sighed, shooting a glare at Jack who shot me a wink from his spot up on the roof.
"Maybe you should come inside," she offered, helping me up out of the snow. "You'll catch a cold if you try to go anywhere like this."
Watching Jamie go inside, I figured that now would be a good time to check up on another one of my favorite believers.
Now I know that I'm not supposed to play favorites, but sometimes it just can't be helped. Right now, I had an urge to visit a cute little blonde who had caused much trouble for Jamie throughout her life.
I leapt out on a rush of wind, taking myself to Jamie's old window. Jamie had long ago broken the window lock so that even if someone else were to lock it, I would still be able to get in. As far as I knew, nobody had ever noticed. It had been my way inside many night, just as it was now. I quickly went to Sophie's room, finding it empty. I searched the entire house, finding no sign of anyone.
It wasn't until I searched the kitchen that I found a note.
Driving Sophie to her dance class. Just ordering subs for dinner.
"Sophie dances?" I thought out loud.
"She's pretty good at it too."
I jumped at first, thinking that I was alone. Even in a room full of people, I was usually able to think out loud without fear of anybody hearing. It had become something of a habit over time. One that I needed to break before it got me into trouble.
"She lost a tooth a couple of months ago after slipping in her dancing shoes," stated the all too familiar voice of the Tooth Fairy. "It's a miracle that that poor girl hasn't broken her nose yet with how much she face-plants."
I let out a short chuckle, turning around to face the unexpected visitor. "What are you doing here?"
"I just wanted to check up on how things were going with you is all," she said with a shrug. "You didn't stop by last night to let us know how things went and I got a little worried."
"I'm fine. Thanks for worrying about me though."
"Oh, anytime. If I ever stop checking in on your from time to time, my little fairies would grow restless," she explained, a dreamy look in her eye as she zoned into the distance. After a moment, she regained focus. "So are you going to tell him?"
"Tell him what?"
"Jack," she said sternly, resting her hand on her hips. "Don't play games with me. I've spent long enough viewing memories to know how this kind of thing works."
"What kind of thing?" I asked, think that just maybe she was one the wrong track.
She simply gave me a look that scream 'Really?'
"You want some waffles?" I asked, opening the freezer. "Jamie showed me how to use a toaster this morning."
"Jack, stop," she commander, forcing the freezer shut. "I get if you don't want to tell him, but you have to at least acknowledge how you feel."
"There's nothing to feel, Tooth," I said, wishing that she'd drop it. But I knew better than that. She wouldn't stop until she got what she wanted. "He's a friend that I missed and I feel guilty for leaving him alone when he still needed me."
"And now I'm here to watch over him for as long as he'll let me."
"And he's your..."
I hated this game. She did this whenever she wanted to draw information from any of us. She would start an incriminating sentence and pester us until we finished it.
"Cr..." she interrupted, her cheeks puffing up as her smile grew. "Cru..."
But she never listened to anyone else when she was onto something.
"Well, I know how you feel about him, Jack, and I won't let you just torture yourself. You'll thank me for pushing you someday."
"Fat chance." I adored her most of the time, but she could get rather hard to handle. She loved gossiping.
"You don't have to tell him, you know." He said, letting herself get a little bit more serious. "But if you bottle it up until it's too late, it'll tear you apart later. Trust me, Jack."
"I..." I sighed, giving in. As stubborn as she was, she was almost always right. "I do love him, Tooth. I just... I don't think I could handle being rejected by him, you know?"
She nodded. "Love is a hard emotion to handle. It'll be even harder to tell him."
"You said that I didn't-" I began, before being interrupted.
"I know, Jack, but you'll regret it if you don't," she sighed sadly, an emotion that rarely crossed the fairy's face. "Did I ever tell you about Daniel?"
I shook my head.
She took a seat on the couch, patting the cushion next to her. Sensing that I was in for a story, I joined her. She took in a deep breath before she spoke.
"You see, back in the early twentieth century, there was a believer by the name of Daniel. His family was successful, putting him in one of the nicer homes in New York City at the time. He may not have been my first believer, but we did share a special bond. He was special, and I promised myself that I'd never let him come to harm. His belief in my was strong and I often visited him, even if he hadn't lost any teeth. He stuck to a strict routine of brushing and flossing, never straying no matter what was going on.
"Even after I had collected his last baby tooth, I felt a pull to keep visiting him. With his wealthy status, he was a constant target at school. Somedays, he'd come home in tears with dirt on his clothes and scrapes on his skin. It broke my heart to see, but all I could do was continue to visit him and tell him that it would be alright. Eventually, we grew stronger and began to fight back. By the time he entered high school, he was a proud athlete.
"But still, he was an outcast for his firm belief in the Tooth Fairy. I told him just to lie, that as long as his belief didn't waver what he said didn't matter, but he refused. He stood firm in his belief all the way through graduation. He was the first one to show me that kind of respect. He would never allow himself to say that I was a lie when he knew I was real. His sense of justice and truth was something that I loved about him. Even with his luxurious upbringing, he became a kind-hearted man who loved helping people.
"Tot his day, I don't know when things changed. I just know that at some point, I fell for him. I believed him when he said that his faith would live forever. I never told him though. I never wanted to take away what potential his life had. He could have a human wife that she could take places and actually have others see her. He could have children and do all sorts of wonderful things with his life as long as we remained just friend. It was hard sometimes, but I kept strong by telling myself that it was for his sake.'
"Then one night after a long night of collecting teeth, I came to make sure that he was sleeping well. I came in through his bedroom window and found his bed empty, his room a complete mess. He was always good about keeping clean, so I started to worry. I found that rest up his home ransacked. Glass was broken and many items weren't where they were supposed to be. It wasn't until I checked his office that I found him."
As her eyes began to mist up, she closed them in an attempt to avoid letting her tears loose. I took her hand before telling her, "It's alright, Tooth. You don't have to finish the story if it's too painful."
"But I do, Jack," she sobbed. "You need to know my story so that you don't repeat my mistake."
My only response was to squeeze her hand a little tighter. I could already see where this was going, but finishing this story was important to her.
"When I found him, he was barely alive. He had been shot six times. He told me that it was a robbery and not to feel guilt about any of it, but I couldn't help it. Even in his last moment, he was looking out for me. He knew me well enough to know that I was tearing myself apart with the fact that I hadn't been there sooner. I may not have been able to fend off his attackers, but I could have tried to help bandage him up or something. I was his guardian, and I had failed.
"And just like that, he was gone." She stared at the floor blankly as she finished her story. "You see, Jack, I never told him that I loved him. I have to live with that fact every single day of my life. We could have been great together, but I kept my love a secret for too long. Jamie might only be sixteen, but we aren't promised a lifetime."
I pulled her into a hug, not knowing what I could possibly say at this point. She let out a ragged sigh as she weakly hugged back.
"I can't force you to do anything, but it'll be better for you if you just tell him how you feel," she stated. "Wondering 'what it?' is something that I'm half sure will never go away."
I nodded, knowing that she was right. She always was, wasn't she? "I'm really not sure how, but I'll tell him."
She smiled, wiping away the last of her tears. "I've gone and ruined your happy day. Today was supposed to be fun, and I came by and dragged you down with my sad story."
"But you helped me," I stated, resting a hand on her shoulder. "Thank you."
She let a grin spread across her face, happy that she was successful.
I wasn't sure how, but I knew that I couldn't hide things from Jamie for much longer. Tooth was right. I had to tell him that I loved him.
It had been confusing at first. I always assumed that we were just meant to be best friends. It wasn't until the growth spurts started that I began to realize what was happening. I was falling for someone that I didn't have a chance of growing old with. It terrified me, so I did what any coward would do.
"Hey, Jack?" chimed Toothiana, pulling me back into focus.
"Hm?" I shook my head, clearing my thoughts.
"Just remember that all you can do is choose how to spend the time you have. You can take your time, but remember that humans never make it out alive.
It was a depressing thought, but I wasn't worried about it right now. Jamie was young. We had decades ahead of us. There was still so much time that we could spend together. Even if I had wasted four year, we still had most of a lifetime to make up for it.
"Enough of this sad stuff though," she coughed, flitting back into the kitchen. "How about we try making some of those waffles?"
I wanted this to be much more carefree, but I cut an entire scene after I realized how boring it really was. I basically had Jack walking around the town while Jamie and Pippa watched television. He didn't really accomplish anything aside form a couple of small pranks. It was nothing worth forcing you to read, so I just made a little change and moved on. On the bright side, the faster the story move, the faster we can get to the fluff!
I'm not sure you guys know just how much I like it when people write to me. I love it so much. I've never really had anybody want to talk to me throughout my life, so now that a few people are starting to PM me I'm super stoked. If you aren't messaging me, please do! As far as I know, I'm pretty likable. If you want to know more about me, ask away and I might just post it on my profile. Be sure to review though! The extra time you take to write a quick note will keep updates coming fast as I'll stay inspired. Sometimes I'm just screwing around on Tumblr and my phone vibrates with a new review and I decide that I should probably be writing instead. And I respond to all SIGNED reviews!