The potion is a rich green color like poisonous plants deep in the Amazon or venomous reptiles that hiss and slither. It makes Jack's skin crawl and his lip draws over his teeth as his stomach tightens.
North chuckles, "It is natural reaction."
North hands the potion to Bunny who carefully cups it in his paws, the rabbit whispers words in a Pooka dialect. The potion glows like green grass and fresh leaves.
Tooth's wings flutter as she dips her slim fingers in. North holds a book out for her, circling scrambles of an ancient, powerful, language seem to burn from the pages.
Jack's muscles tense and freeze, his joints lock, and his blood stiffens in his veins.
I'm dieing, he thinks.
It doesn't hurt really, a quick sharp ache spreads before a numbness as he stops breathing and moving and hurting.
He feels the air shift around his ears but that might be his head falling back. Flashes of color, bright emeralds and zealant yellows, raincloud grey and snow whites, glittering golds decorating the spaces in between.
The world starts trembling but maybe that's just his body quivering.
Sudden bursts of feeling snap down his nerves and his jaw opens to scream.
His bones are breaking down and deteriorating, reforming themselves. The worst part is in the jaw and pelvis, collapsing inward and rebuilding out.
It stops and his chest arches, head tilting back. Fat drains while he's frozen, falling from his hips and chest. Muscle stitches over his arms and chest.
His crotch hurts.
Finally his back hits the hard flat surface and his head snaps up, a curling gas cloud escapes from his lips and he collapses, body limp and new.
When he wakes his skin is sore. It feels like the fell from the sky, to a dumpster, to the cold, hard concrete, kind of sore. His muscles ache like he used every single one, like he made a storm out of fear and grief and rage. His crotch hurts like - well it's something he's never really felt before.
Sitting up he's sees he's alone in a room with an old full length mirror, rising from the bed he lets the wind from the open window drift him over.
His shoulders are broader, something barely noticeable. He's lean and flat and right.
His whole body buzzes with the correctness of his posture and the lack of femininity in his stance.
(He still has the grace of a wildcat and the tiny nesting birds but that's just his.)
He feels soft snowflakes and the wind rattles the windows lightly in his jubilation.
It's not something he can help, really, but the adrenaline and joy of it has him bursting out to his children. To Burgess.
He starts the softest, gentlest snow that he's ever been capable of creating. Children teem out of houses, adults stop for a moment, the creatures don't even bother to hide from its magic as it spreads and touches all with its joy.
His children laugh the laugh of fairies and sirens, making it easy to find the group.
He is Jack Frost, crowned with lilies to be Guardian of Fun, Shepherd of Winter.
"Jack!" They cry.
And he feels complete.
"Wow!" Is the first thing the shocked Tooth Fairy can say when Jack finally returns to the Santoff Clausen.
He doesn't know if the surprise is just because of how absolutely overjoyed he is or if maybe he just looks better when his physical form fits his mental one, happier, more comfortable.
Bunny is watching him with a smile while Sandy floats lazily around him. North looks entirely too self-satisfied.
"You look much happier!" North bellows out in his rough accent.
Bunny nods, "Everythin' in the right 'rder, mate?"
Jack giggles and nods, cradling his staff in his hands, the big grin never leaving his face.
"I feel right," he says, "a lot lighter. Freer."
Tooth can't take it anymore and crushes him in a hug, "We're so happy for you Jack!"
Jack's heart soars and he feels so bubbly like he's going to explode with light. His entire being is buzzing with energy and the Wind is howling with his jubilation.
Emotions well up along with this blinding joy, gratitude, at not being alone, at letting this happen, relief, at everything being right and the way they're supposed to be. It's like the years of lonely solitude can roll off his shoulders, like nothing could hurt anymore. He has choices now. He could go play all day with kids who adore him or hang out with the other guardians.
He feels happier than he ever has in his long, long life time.
(A/N) Baichan: wow, it's been so long since I finished a story like this, and wow, just wow. Thanks so much for all those who read this and the reviews who encouraged me.