Alaia Skyhawk: After succumbing to temptation, despite the workload of my Merlin fics, I'm starting on this after toying with ideas in my mind about how I could twist things (and yet keep major events the same) by having Jack retain his memories after being reborn as Jack Frost. The result is this story, which will follow a series of 'what ifs' as I create my own version of Jack's 300 year past, up to and beyond the events of the film. I'll likely get around to reading the books at some point as well, so I can work bits of info from them in, but I'll be going with ROTG's version of Bunny. I can't remember exactly where, but a fic I've been reading has the Bunny from the books as being his future and far less cranky self. The idea gives a logical reason for Bunny being different, so I'll be going with it. Kudos to whoever's fic it was I picked that up from :)
But anyway, enough of my chit chat. On with the story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Rise of the Guardians, the Guardians of Childhood, or any related characters etc. This story is written purely for entertainment purposes.
Secret of Frost and Moon
Summary: When death turns out not to be the end, you can't help but ask for what purpose you were brought back. Reborn from ice, Jack can only wonder why... and wait for the day the Moon tells him what he plans.
Chapter 1: From Ice, He Rose
The voices echoed around him in the darkness, the cold... Who they belonged to, he wasn't sure. All he could recall was the gloom of the water around him, here beneath the ice. Who was he? Why were the voices so familiar?
It's ok. It's ok. Don't look down, just look at me.
The sound of cracking ice shuddered through him as the boy spoke, and a girl replied with fear.
Jack. I'm scared.
I know, I know, but you're going to be alright. You're not going to fall in. Um, we're going to have a little fun instead.
No we're not!
Would I trick you?
Yes! You always play tricks!
She sounded scared, so scared, but the boy's voice persisted. Calm, persuasive, reassuring.
Well, all right, but not this time. I promise, you're... You're going to be fine. You have to believe in me... You want to play a game? Let's play hopscotch! Like we do every day. It's as easy as one... whoa! Two... Three!
The girl laughed, as the boy's voice reflected a matter of life and death instead turned into a game.
...All right, now it's your turn...
A gasp of fear, the gradual crackle of the ice's threat, he could hear her begin moving.
One. That's it, that's it... Two... Three!
Both of them began laughing in relief, after the sound of the girl being thrown clear of the cracked ice. The boy sounded happy, so happy, until his laugher was broken off by a cry of surprise when the ice beneath him shattered. That sound followed by the noise of the boy falling into the water as the girl screamed.
He shuddered again, not knowing why the voices made him frown. Here where he floated in the darkness... But then a light intruded, pale and beckoning, and he opened his eyes to squint up through the water at it.
The ice above him glowed with that light, cast upon it by the white sphere he could see through its cloudy surface. He was rising towards it, towards the ice, pulled inexorably upwards by some force he couldn't explain. His face touched the ice, but instead of halting him it parted before his presense and he was pulled up into cold air.
He gasped in surprise, and the force that had pulled him upwards now lowered him back to the ice which mended itself as soon as his bare feet touched it. Above him the full moon still watched, patient, and then he heard a whisper in his heart and mind.
"You are Jack Frost, the Spirit of Winter."
Jack Frost, for now he knew his name, stared at the moon with wide eyes. Wanting to know more, to ask what that meant, when his single step forward caused him to kick something that rattled upon the ice with the sound of wood.
Distracted by that, he looked down to see it was a long and slender branch, gnarled of surface and yet straight and true from its base, up until its tip where it curled into the shape similar to a shepherd's crook.
He knelt down to pick it up, at the same time puzzled as to why he knew what it resembled when he did not recall what a shepherd was. The grain of the wood's surface frosted over where he touched it, and he began to smile in wonder, until his grip upon it slipped and the base of it dropped to touch the ice.
Jack Frost stared in surprise at the swirling pattern of frost that the wood created when it hit the ice, and with an expression of dawning wonder, he carried it to the shore of the frozen pond. There he touched the crook of the staff to a tree-trunk, marvelling at the patterns of ice that formed like spirals of white fern, and after repeating that with a second tree he began to laugh and dashed back to the pond.
It was a game! One of wonder and beauty as he danced across the pond, spinning and drawing the staff across the surface as much as he could. Laughing and grinning at the spreading frost that he scribed and spread upon the smooth surface like a coating of intricate lace. But that dance was interupted when he reached where the pond stopped beside a risen wall of rock, where the winds that blew across the pond were forced upwards and he was seized by their grasp to follow them into the sky.
Jack Frost yelped in surprise as he was carried up into the air, but that gave way to yet more wonder as he saw his pond from above and saw his frost still spreading across it like icy flowers. But then the updraft suddenly stopped, and bereft of its support he yelped in surprise yet again as he plummeted.
He bounced off several branches, yelping with every impact, until he landed face-down upon one final branch and managed to grab onto it. His fall now ceased, his surprise fading, he began to laugh... That had been fun.
He began to sit up, until a distant glimpse of wooden cabins and firelight distracted him from his laughter. He stared at the village, even as he pulled his feet up to crouch on the branch, and then curiousity send him leaping into the air and calling upon the wind without consciously deciding to.
The wind answered, carrying him towards the village as he awkwardly tried to balance himself upon the flow of air. His descent when he reached the settlement was far from graceful, and when he landed his thick, yet short woollen cloak flipped up at the back to flop forward over his head and his face.
He fell over in a tangled heap before righting himself, laughing when he got up and brushed the clumps of snow from his cloak. But he did not notice the cold he was seemingly meant to be wrapped up against. The cloak that covered his thin shirt and waistcoat, was coated with frost at its edges much like the tattered leggings that were bound to his calves above bare feet. The cloak actually seemed almost an afterthought, something he'd been given but he didn't actually need.
Still chuckling to himself, Jack Frost turned to head towards the people who walked around the small settlement, their paths lit by lanterns and a central camp-fire. He greeted several of them, but they ignored him as he danced out of their path. And then he heard the sound of a child laughing as they chased a dog, and he chanced that maybe the youth wouldn't be too busy to answer him.
"Excuse me, but can you tell me where I am?"
He crouched so as to be at the boy's eye-level, but the child didn't slow his run straight towards and through him. Jack Frost lurched to his feet, gasping in shock and at the eerie feeling of something that seemingly questioned if he even existed. A feeling that was repeated as in his stumble backwards, several adults also walked through him as if he weren't even there.
Was he some sort of ghost?
Jack Frost scrambled to the edge of the village, where he clung to the corner of a cabin, wide-eyed in bewilderment. It was there that he then noticed the sound of someone weeping inside it, and his eyes at last noticed how many of the adults nearby glanced towards that home with expressions of grim pity.
Jack Frost backed up a step, and turned to look at where shutters covered a window at the side of the cabin. He approached it, something in him demanding he look through the gap which let out a thin sliver of golden light.
Inside, a bearded man of middle years stood braced against one of the walls, his hands clenched in fists of denial. By the hearth a woman sat in a chair, slumped over and sobbing into her hands... and in the far corner upon a bed he somehow knew had been shared by two siblings of this poor frontier family, a young girl lay curled up on her side. Her tear-filled brown eyes peering out from behind a veil of brown hair as she whimpered.
Outside, at the window, Jackson Overland stumbled backwards as if punched in the gut. While with a sickening wrench everything that had happened, everything he remembered he'd used to be, came rushing back... The voices, the boy and the girl, that had been him and his sister!
"Emily..." He rushed back to the shutters, intending to grab them and fling them open, and yet something prevented him from gaining any purchase on their surface. "Mother! Father! Emily! I'm right here! I'm here!"
He scrabbled at the shutters, then the front door, his hands slipping over both as if they were coated with the very ice he now somehow commanded. After several moments, in desperation, he then grabbed the staff he had dropped and pointed it at the door as if to order aside whatever it was that stopped him from reaching his family. But just as soon as he had it in his hands, an errand and yet purposeful wind snatched him into the air and carried him screaming in protest back to the pond.
He was dumped unceremoniously upon the frozen surface, at the heart of the pattern of frost he had drawn upon it, but that beauty held only dread realisation for him now as he remembered the Moon's words... You are Jack Frost, the Spirit of Winter.
"...What? What happened to me?" He looked up at the Moon, full of confusion and anger. "WHY?!"
Alaia Skyhawk: As you might have gathered, I've gone along with the part of the fandom who like to says Jack's sister's name is Emily. I didn't choose it out of any real preference (although my niece has that name lol), but rather since Pippa is the name of one of Jamie's friends, and when I get that far it could get confusing if she and Jack's sister have the same name. So, Emily it is :)