I recently saw Rise of the Guardians and absolutely loved it! I couldn't let this idea go, so here it is, just in time for Christmas.
This little oneshot was inspired by the cover photo, which is NOT mine. i found it on Google images.
Merry Christmas! Please Review!
A Christmas Rose
The Spirit of Love soured on the gentle air currents, spiralling slowly down towards the white world below. She was a tall young woman, with alabaster skin and finely carved, yet refined features. Her body was slim and delicate, and her hair was a bright fiery red. Wings expanded from her shoulder blades, huge snow white wings of the softest feathers. Her eyes were the brightest blue, large and deep and full of love. Despite her appearance, she was one of the oldest spirits, aside from Time and Death and Mother Nature, worshipped by countless religions and civilisations. She had been given many names as each religion tried to make a claim to her, but her name was Freya. The Moon had given her life, and she has stuck with the name he gave her.
Unlike many spirits, the Spirit of Love did not need to ensure that love worked properly. There was no reason for her to travel the globe, adding touches of passion and adoration to people as she passed them. Love simply was. It was in the air and in the earth, it wasn't something she needed to cultivate or grow. She was believed in, perhaps more strongly than the Guardians of Childhood, because people, and not just children, believed in love. You would have to wipe out the whole of humanity to extinguish their belief in love. It was the thing she loved about humans; even in the darkest of times, they never gave up.
It wasn't just love in the romantic sense either. Love came in many shapes and forms. Friendship, family, the feelings one has for their country or something they believe in. Love was literally everywhere.
But though she didn't have to travel the world ensuring love existed, she was drawn to the places where love was the strongest. True love was something that fascinated her, and she spent most of her time watching those humans who were blessed enough to have it. Of course because she was believed in she could be seen, so her visits were strictly brief and far off.
Valentine's Day was always difficult for her, because it was one of the only days that the entire human race felt it was free to express its feelings without holding back. She was tugged in every direction by love that was pure and passionate and so real that it actually hurt sometimes.
Considering that, it was surprising that she had been drawn to this place from the other side of the world on Christmas Day.
Freya landed at the edge of the lake, her bare feet sinking into the snow. She stood for a moment, wriggling her toes, smiling at the feel of the soft downy snow. The feel was familiar, a little like the feathers on her wings, and she'd taken comfort in it on more than one occasion. After all, she had been born in winter.
She looked around at the landscape, wrapped in a blanket of thick, fresh snow, wondering why she had been drawn to here of all places. There didn't seem to be anyone around. The deep green of the tall trees was just visibly under the snow, and the blue sky was so pale it was nearly white. The lake was dusted with fine snow, the ice clear and thick. There was a ledge above the lake, a rocky formation made softer by the snow. It was a plain picture, yet it was beautiful. There was a pureness to the snow, a childlike innocence that she loved. White was the colour of purity, and it represented the pureness of love.
It occurred to her that she was probably very visible against the white landscape with her bright red hair, the colour of passion. She reached behind her and pulled the hood of her hoody up and tucked her long curly hair behind it. Two slits had been cut at the back of the hoody to allow room for her wings. Freya had adapted to the times. Once she had worn a long white toga, bound at the waist by a belt of gold thread. Now she wore a white hoody and long white pants. Silver patterns curled up the fabric of her pants, and the rim of her hoody was embodied with gold. It was left over from the time when she had been worshiped by the Greeks, when they had built her temples made of the finest minerals and showered her statues with sparkling jewels. She had changed as humanity had developed, and she had to admit that her new attire was far more comfortable, not mention practical for when she was flying, than what she used to wear.
A whoop of delight caught her attention and she looked up. A teenage boy was circling the sky above her, performing aerobatics with the wind under him. He was wearing a deep blue hoody, dusted with frost, and brown pants. His hair was white and his feet were bare. He held a long staff in his is hand. A smile curved her lips. 'Jack Frost'. She had a soft spot for the Spirit of Winter, much like she had a soft spot for winter itself.
He hadn't noticed her yet, of which she was glad. She didn't want to disturb his fun. With her back facing the lake, she stretched her wings wide and flung herself backwards over the lake. She settled down in a snow drift against the ledge, between two snow dusted boulders and slightly behind a tall pine. She drew her wings tightly around her, shielding her from outside view, and proceeded to make herself unnoticed. Love was sometimes hidden and secretive, a trait which came in handy when she wanted to walk among the humans.
Jack landed on the surface of the lake. She watched with a smile as he skated across the ice, curling patterns of frost unfurling from the tip of his staff. The landscape came alive as the sunlight sparkled in the frost, until every surface was twinkling with it. Jack finally stopped, his face alight with joy as he looked around at the scene he had created. His breath made a plume of white mist in the cool air.
There was a low, melodic hum and Jack was suddenly flying through the air, as a brightly coloured figure tackled him around the waist. The Guardian of Fun landed on his back in the snow on the edge of the lake, the breath knocked out of him as his staff went skidding across the lake. Panting, Jack sat up, his lips quirked in amusement and mock outrage. 'Hey! That's not fair!'
The Tooth Fairy hovered a few metres away from him above the lake, tapping his staff on her thigh. She was grinning. 'Didn't you just ask the wind to blow me off course?'
Freya leaned forwards so that she could peer through her feathers. Tooth's bright plumage was a stark contrast to the rest of the landscape. Her feathers were a blend of greens, blues and yellows, and her delicate wings were a pale pink. The cold lent her pale cheeks a pink hue, and her smile revealed a row of perfectly straight teeth. It would be impossible to not notice her, and yet Freya doubted that that was the reason for Jack's staring.
Staring wasn't quite the word. The Winter Spirit was gazing at Tooth as if she was the only thing that mattered in the world, his eyes round and gleaming. Freya could feel the sharp clarity of Jack's focus as he pulled himself from the snow drift, his grin menacing. Tooth's smile vanished as she saw it and she began to back away slowly, her hands held up in front of her. 'Now Jack, be reasonable!'
Jack hurled the snow ball with all his might at Tooth. The tightly packed ball of snow hit Tooth directly in the face, scattering down her neck and over her shoulders. Jack darted forwards as Tooth coughed the snow out of her mouth and grabbed the staff. Tooth's grip tightened stubbornly as Jack tried to yank it away. They struggled for a moment in the air, their faces close as they fought for dominance of the staff. Jack's grin was wickedly sharp. Frost suddenly burst from his palms, running over the staff and over Tooth's fingers. Tooth yelped and let go, flying backwards. Jack laughed excitedly as she glared at him and sent a wave of snow over the Tooth Fairy.
Freya watched as they played, her eyes shining in the light reflected from the snow. She was smiling so hard that her cheeks were beginning to hurt. So this was what had brought her here.
Eventually, the two Guardians stopped and collapsed. Freya could hear their laughter over the lake, Jack's low chuckle and Tooth's high musical giggle. They sat up. They were sitting under the shade of a pine tree, on the small rim of untouched ground below its branches. Tooth leaned against the tree, shivering slightly as the adrenaline of the fight began to dissolve. Jack noticed and immediately frowned. 'Sorry'.
Tooth's smile was just as bright as her plumage. 'Don't be. That was more fun than I've had in years'. Her arms were wrapped tightly around her. It wasn't that she didn't like the cold; more that she'd been hit so many times that her feathers were soaked with the soft snow.
Jack bit his lip, clearly concerned. He'd forgotten again that the other Guardians weren't immune to cold. He shifted closer to her and placed an arm around her shoulders. He immediately wished that he hadn't, as he could feel her shivering against him. He moved as if to release her, but Tooth stopped him by resting her head against his soft hoody and snaking an arm around his back. Jack smiled, relaxing into the embrace. Her body was warm against his, yet he had no aversion to it. It was the most welcoming warmth he had ever felt before. It was right somehow. He ran his long fingers through the small feathers on her shoulder, trailing them up her neck to the long feathers on her head. She closed her eyes at his touch, a smile curving her lips as he caressed her sensitive feathers. An entirely different sort of shiver rippled her plumage. His touch was pleasantly cool, something that had originally surprised her. She'd never been overly fond of the cold, but this was different, and it was definitely something she liked. His hoody smelled of crisp snow and pine needles, soft against her cheek. A warm feeling blossomed in her stomach, chasing the cold away. Jack felt her shift slightly closer to him and sighed, his breath curling in the air. He turned his head slightly, hoping that she wouldn't notice, until her feathers were tickling his nose. Her scent, a pleasant mix of rain and flowers, suffused his senses, sending a cold rush through his body.
Freya shifted, suddenly feeling intrusive. This was very clearly a private moment. The Guardians were so wrapped up in each other that if she left, they probably wouldn't even notice. Yet her body refused to move. She'd never had the pleasure of watching two Guardians in love before. And that was clearly how they felt, though she doubted that they had expressed it yet.
Jack gazed out over the lake, his fingers tracing lazy patterns on Tooth's back, lost in thought. This was the first Christmas he had spent with people. For the first time in his life, he had spent the day celebrating Christmas. It was the first of a lot of things for him. It was the first Christmas that he could be seen, the first he had spent with other spirits and the first he had spent with people he could call a family.
Then again, the celebrations had been held yesterday, on Christmas Eve. Today was an extremely busy day for North, and after hours of joy and fun (Jack had enjoyed that part) he had shooed them out of his palace so that he could make the final preparations. Today had been spent…well, with Tooth. It was the one day of the year where she didn't have to work as hard as usual, as if the children of the world had made the joint decision to not lose any teeth.
He enjoyed her company more than he would ever be able to explain. At first, the years spent in isolation had kept him a little withdrawn, something that Bunny, North and Sandy had respected, though they constantly made an effort. Tooth was different. She'd spent all her spare time, and then some, making an effort to be there for him, even if he didn't think he needed her. Over time, she had slowly but surely chipped away at his amour. There was something extremely compelling about her. She was energetic and funny and was always there to listen to what he had to say. And then there was that strange feeling that churned in his stomach whenever they touched. There had been a hint of it after the fight with Pitch, when he had been full of confidence and relief, and hadn't really been expecting the sudden embrace from the bubbly fairy. But he'd liked it. He'd liked it a lot.
And yet, he really had no idea how to express his feelings. 300 years of isolation and minimal to no contact with his fellow spirits had done that, and he was still having trouble breaking habits. He had hoped that today, on the day of giving and receiving, he could find some way of showing her. But so far, he had come up with nothing.
He became aware that Tooth's breathing had evened out and that her body was resting heavily against his. He smiled, not surprised that she was dozing off. They had all been exhausted after the battle against Pitch, and their strength had returned slowly over the months. But it had been an extremely busy year, especially for Tooth, as she had been out in the field a great deal (something that she still wasn't used to). And what with the long celebration the day before and the rather energetic day they'd spent together…
Jack wasn't tired at all, not really. He was in his element. He shifted slightly so that he could look down into Tooth's face, taking the moment to really look at her. Her face was calm and relaxed in sleep, her lips curled in a faint smile. Her hand was resting against his chest, her fingers clutching faintly at his hoody. He'd never seen her like this, still and peaceful, and he was both surprised and slightly overwhelmed. She was beautiful.
From across the lake, Freya watched Jack gaze at Tooth. She could feel his feelings almost like a physical force. She could feel his desire to tell Tooth how he felt, and his confusion over how to do so. She hesitated briefly. Well, just because she didn't need to add touches of love here and there didn't mean that she couldn't. Perhaps she could give him a helping hand.
Freya reached up under her hood and plucked a single strand of hair from her head. The fiery curl lay on her palm, bright against her pale skin. She rubbed it between her finger and thumb, rolling it into a tight ball. She raised her hand up to her mouth and blew on the hair. The strand of hair flew up into the air, drifting across the lake on a gentle current of air. She smiled; that should do the trick.
Jack suddenly caught sight of something floating through the air on the wind towards him. He narrowed his eyes, trying to understand what he was seeing. The thing was bright and red, visible only because of the difference of it to the landscape. It was small, and as it grew closer Jack realised that it looked a little like a knot of hair.
It drifted through the air, until it finally came to a stop on the ground beside him. He stared at it, feeling as if something was supposed to happen. And then, without warning, there was a small flash of white light, and the ground swallowed it up. He frowned. 'What the…'
From the place the hair had landed, a small green shoot sprouted. It grew at a rapid rate, working against gravity as it shot up into the air. Two green leaves sprang from the stem, and he could see that it was dotted with small thorns. Finally, a closed bud grew at the end, already unfurling before his eyes. He blinked rapidly. Sprouting from the ground beside his foot was a beautiful pale pink rose in full bloom. It was against all reason that that could have happened. The pale pink reminded him of Tooth's wings. And suddenly, he had an idea.
Freya smiled at her handy work. Roses were a symbol of love. She just hoped that Jack would catch onto that.
Jack stretched out a hand and curled his fingers under the rose head. Immediately, a small dusting of frost shot from his fingers to cover the rose. It was still beautiful, perhaps more than before, twinkling in the sunlight. He smiled, pleased. There was something about the frost on the petals that reminded him of Tooth and himself. They were opposites in a way, warmth and cold, summer and winter. Yet there was much about them that was common. They were both energetic and loved to play, something that Jack had only recently discovered about Tooth. Just like the rose. A rose could not exist without water, the same way that frost was made from moisture.
Gently, he pulled the rose out of the ground and laid it on the soil beside him. Then he turned to Tooth. She was dozing on his shoulder still, not quite awake and not quite asleep. 'Tooth'. He nudged her gently.
She made a soft sound and nuzzled her face into his hoody. He laughed softly, undeniably pleased. He gripped her shoulder and gave her a small shake. 'Tooth, come on, wake up!'
Tooth opened her eyes and stretched against him, sitting up slowly. She blinked rapidly, blushing when she realised what had happened. She covered her mouth with a delicate hand. 'Oh! Sorry Jack, that was very rude of me. I didn't mean to fall asleep'.
He grinned lopsidedly. 'Don't be. I…' He trailed off, suddenly shy. A faint bluish ting suffused his cheeks. A shy smiled curled Tooth's lips as she stood, her wings immediately taking her feet off the ground.
Jack stood, the rose clutched in the hand behind his back. He scuffed his foot in the dirt, avoiding eye contact with her. Tooth cocked her head, a quick bird-like movement, her hands clasped in front of her. She could sense that there was something on Jack's mind, so she stayed surprisingly quiet. The silence between them grew thicker like a winter chill, yet it was not awkward. Finally, Jack took a deep breath and thrust the rose towards her. 'Here', he mumbled faintly, unusually bashful. 'I wanted to give you something for…Christmas'.
Tooth stared at the rose, her breath taken away both by the beauty of the rose and the kindness in Jack's gesture. Her hand curled around the stem, her delicate fingers brushing his. She kept her hand there, asking for his attention. Jack looked up and she smiled brilliantly. 'Thank you Jack'. The sincerity in her musical voice startled him as he looked deep into her violet eyes.
He smiled, the bluish ting to his cheeks glowing. 'You're welcome'.
The look in her eyes turned playful. 'I don't have anything to give you for Christmas'.
Jack laughed and waved this away. 'That's okay I…' He voice caught and died in his throat as he realised just how close Tooth had moved. Their faces were mere centimetres apart, so close that he could count the eyelashes framing her violet irises. His impossibly blue eyes seemed to swallow her and she barely had any time to think about what she was doing.
Her lips met his. His lips were soft and cold, his kiss like the touch of a snowflake. Hers were warm and tender, caressing his like a gentle summer breeze. His hand tightened instinctively around his staff and he draped his arm over her shoulder, the wood pressed against her back. Her wings stopped their rapid movement and she floated to the ground, her height diminishing so that Jack had to bend his neck slightly. Her hand trailed up to play with the snow white hair at the nape of his neck. Her eyes drifted close and a pleasant hum ran through her body as he leaned into her. His cheek was cold against her hand, but she didn't mind. Their hands remained linked over the rose, resting gently between their rapidly beating hearts.
From across the lake, Freya was jerked to her feet by a sudden pull in her chest. She gasped, a hand flying up to her chest as the feeling in her heart swelled to bursting point. It had been over a century since she had felt love this strong. She stared at them, speechless, as her wings unfurled instinctively behind her, sending a current of warm air over the lake. Her hood had come down, and her curly hair blew about her. Her control had slipped, and she was suddenly completely visible.
The tide of air hit the entwined pair, ruffling Tooth's feathers and sending ripples through Jack's snowy locks. They broke apart, suddenly sensing that they were not alone. They started, Tooth's wings fluttering anxiously as she caught sight of the angel watching them from across the lake. It was the young woman's expression that hit her the most, a mix of complete shock and joy. Even from this distance, Tooth could see that the woman's deep blue eyes were full of tears.
Jack shifted his position, turning so that he was in front of Tooth, his staff raised to ward off any attack. He had never seen this woman before, and he was wary after the incident with Pitch. For a moment, no one moved, as the two Guardians waited for the red haired angel to do something. Then the angel smiled and curved her body in a deep bow, her wings curling over her back in a shape reminiscent of a love heart. Then she straightened and laughed, the musical sound high and full of joy. Then she leapt into the air, her wings carrying her high up into the sky, leaving the two Guardians far below her.
Jack and Tooth were left alone once again, the air still ringing with the sound of the angel's delighted laughter. Jack turned to Tooth, his brow creased in a puzzled frown. 'Who was that?'
Tooth continued to look upwards, unsure whether they really were alone. 'The Spirit of Love'.
Jack started, surprised. He'd heard of the Spirit of course, but he hadn't ever encountered her before. 'What was she doing here?'
Tooth looked down at the rose in her hand, a blush colouring her cheeks. She fingered the slender stem, avoiding Jack's eyes. 'She umm… she's drawn to the places where love is at its strongest'.
Jack stared at her. Was that what he felt for Tooth? Love? He'd been alone for 300 years, and he was so unused to the emotions she inflicted within him that he hadn't been able to place a name to them. But if the Spirit of Love had been drawn to them (and they were the only people in sight) then that meant that he did love her. And she loved him.
'I love you'. The words escaped Jack's mouth without his notice; because he was too busy staring at Tooth in shock.
The fairy's head jerked up, her mouth open in surprise. 'What?'
Jack threw his head back and laughed delightedly, his heart souring as the realisation hit home. 'I love you!' He lunged forwards and wrapped her in a tight up, much like the one she had given him after Pitch.
Tooth's arms went around him and she tucked her face into his shoulder, smiling happily. 'I love you too, Jack'. The rose hung loosely from her fingers as his staff slipped to the ground. He pulled back and grinned at her before pressing his lips against hers again. The kiss was sweet yet short. They had eternity to find the right ways to express their love, to fully explore their feelings for each other. They had all the time in the world, and there was no point rushing anything.
From high above them, hidden in the fluffy clouds, the Spirit of Love watched them with a smile. It was a rarity for her to be able to watch from so close by, and this was the first time she had ever seen two Guardians express their love before. She didn't doubt that she would be drawn to them again in the future. She was definitely going to remember this moment.
So what do you think? Please leave a review!