Word Count: 758
A/N: Day eighteen of a writing challenge.
Summary: It's during the off season that things finally boil over. Bunny makes a discovery and Jack has had enough.
Jack was alone for three hundred years; it's a fact that is burned into his mind, his very core. It's also something that the other Guardians seem to forget, oh sure, somewhere in the back of their minds they know. But they tend to flinch away from that thought, the memory that they had failed Jack so. That they had left him alone for those three centuries. It was easy, too easy at times. Jack made it easier, his natural personality shined through more often then not; cheer and mischief covering up the echo of loneliness and hurt.
So they all tended to forget that crucial fact; not seeming to realize just how much Jack's life must have changed after he became a Guardian. He suddenly had Believers, he was a Guardian, he had friends. Friends that invaded his personal space a lot. Or what Jack labeled as his personal space, because Jack had been alone for three hundred years, and his sense of personal was a bit skewed.
To him, the tight hugs that North bestowed upon him was a invasion of his person, and one of the reasons that he avoided the Pole at times. The light pats that Sandy would occasionally drop onto a icy shoulder would cause Jack to slightly cringe away from the bright man, not that Sandy noticed, by the time that Jack moved he was already asleep. Tooth's invading hands weren't appreciated either, Jack didn't mind that she was a fan; but when her hands reached into his mouth he got a little wary.
Jack could of handled all of these small things, he could of, but the final straw came from Bunny.
They were arguing again -when weren't they?- and the rabbit had snapped; leaping towards Jack and knocking into the teen with a loud thump. Bunnymund had taken advantage of the situation, making haste to dole out some deserved revenge. He had grappled with the Jack, never noticing how Jack struggled and tried to escape again and again. At least, he didn't notice until Jack stopped merely struggling and began to flail; panic taking over and causing him to frantically strike out.
Bunnymund released him then and as soon as the furry paws loosened Jack was up and across the room. He crouched down in a corner, staff held tightly in a white knuckled grip as he panted, panic still painted across his face. He stayed in the corner for well over a hour, slowly gaining control over himself again. While this happened Bunnymund stared at him, wondering what had set Jack off. He waited, willing to be patient if it got him some answers.
When Jack finally calmed down and crept out of the corner Bunnymund was ready; he instantly bombarded the teen with his questions. Demanding to know just what had happened. And Jack, Jack fell apart. He let his loneliness and hurt peek through and revealed everything. He told Bunnymund about how being touched hurt, not physically of course, but it hurt something else. Something that he couldn't pinpoint, all he knew was that it hurt and caused his mind to race and his heart to pound and he didnotlikeit. He explained how he had forced himself to accept Jamie's hug, how he had been so close to freezing the boy and fleeing. He didn't know why he felt like he did, he just did.
Bunnymund listened in horror, releasing with a sinking feeling what the teen was saying. What he and the other Guardians had done to him. Because while Jack didn't realize it, Bunny did. He knew what was wrong, and it pained him. Jack had gone untouched for three hundred years; never being seen, known, acknowledged. His senses had died off in those years, and now that he was being touched his body, his very mind, didn't know how to process it. Jack was damaged, and it was their fault.
With that realization Bunnymund stared at Jack, guilt burning in his mind as the teen shifted from foot to foot. Uneasily looking anywhere but at the other Guardian. "So, what do you think?"
Bunnymund swallowed back his sadness, mentally reminding himself that he and the other Guardians needed to have a Talk, and soon. "I think, Frostbite, that your response is natural." And it was, because Jack had gone years on end without anyone else there. With that in mind Bunnymund reached out a furry paw, only to halt it in midair when he saw Jack flinch back,"I'm sorry Frostbite, I'm so sorry."