Okay guys! Last chapter.
Oh my gosh it's been a lot of fun writing this (It's taken us over a full year now) For those who have gone through this entire journey with me from the beginning of FIRE AND ICE, Thank you. I love you all so much. for those of you who have begun to follow this story along the way, it's been so much fun meeting you guys and reading your lovely reviews.
Please leave a review at the end of the story to let me know what you think, I think the ending turned out well and I hope to write another ROTG fic soon after I finish my other stories.
"Ha! I win." Shouted Jamie, thrusting his fists in the air in triumph as he moved his last Sorry piece into the 'home' space before sitting back, arms folded and a smug grin lining the child's face.
"I win I win!" Sophie began, hopping up and down gleefully, tossing about her own green pieces in celebration.
Eden shook her head and smiled at the two children before reaching for the scattered game pieces.
"What!" Jack cried, staring incredulously at the child's game pieces, all four neatly gathered in his home space. "No way, you cheated." He accused, gesturing at his blue pieces, three of which were still at the start having never made it out in the first place. He glared at the boy playfully, grabbing his iced staff and pointing it at his small chest as if to freeze him. "I call a rematch."
"Oh please, you're just jealous because you don't have skills like me!" Jamie retorted, pointing towards himself, pushing the staff away teasingly.
"Yeah right! That was pure luck." Jack teased back, poking the kid in the stomach, causing him to collapse on himself in a sudden jolt of laughter, toppling out of his prideful stance. "You don't have to have skills to pick any cards."
"Oh yeah? Then why did I just win three times in a row?" Jamie stated gloatingly, making Eden roll her eyes at the two bickering boys. For the past few months, Jack had been accompanying Eden to babysitting the Bennet kids, with Easter coming up again, not a lot of places needed his assistance in snowmaking and he had taken it upon himself to stay away from the rather stressed out and high strung rabbit around his holliday, leaving the kids of Burgess, including Daniel and Eden, who had returned back home after a week of recuperation at the Pole, to keep him occupied while on his off season.
The winter spirit looked up at the redhead in question, laughing at her unamused expression as she gathered up the now scattered cards that the rambunctious three year-old Sophie had tossed about whilst he and Jamie argued.
"Hey Jack?" Jamie asked, catching the boy's attention once again. Jack toward the kid and ruffled his dark hair causing his to giggle as he pushed his friend's pale hand away. "Is Bunny going to visit us for Easter?this year?"
Sophie's head snapped up upon hearing her favorite guardian's name. "What! You think that grumpy old rabbit would miss out on spending time with his two favorite believers?" Jack replied happily. "In fact, I'm sure that he's probably making some special eggs just for you guys." He added, winking at Jamie before moving to help Eden pick up the scattered game pieces.
"Yay! Bunny Hop hop!" Sophie cried joyfully.
"You really think Bunny will have enough time to visit the kids on Sunday?" Eden asked Jack. Jamie and Sophie's mother had come back from work, relieving the girl from babysitting. They were both making their way back to Eden's house.
He wasn't sure exactly what had compelled him to do so, but ever since the fiasco a few months ago with pitch and the black dragon, Jack and the other guardians had been paying the redhead in particular a lot of extra attention. Making sure she had elaborate dreams and the assurance of protection in order to make up for the years they had been absent for. Seeing as though he was able to take time out of shepherding winter storms about the globe, Jack had taken it upon himself to make sure that the girl received her daily dose of fun as well as making sure that there was no certain Black dragon about to attack.
What had happened to the woman remained a mystery to the guardians. The last anyone had seen of her was screaming and shouting on the brink of insanity whilst chained up in Pitch's lair.
By any other means, Jack would have presumed her dead, but Eden's mortality proved that she was still not the last survivor. She could still be in the dark caverns of the Bogeyman's palace, but nothing could be told for certain.
"Yup." Jack managed, answering Eden's question. "Those two are no doubt that kangaroo's favorite believers, he's sure to make time in for them between his extra loads of eggs and baskets. He's got a lot to make up for after what happened last year." He continued, scuffing his bare feet on the ground a bit guiltily. He knew that the other guardians no longer blamed him for what happened almost exactly a year ago, but the bo had yet to forgive himself. After all, he was the one to fall into Pitch's trap.
"In fact, I think he's planning on having an Easter celebration at the Warren afterwards, kinda like what North does for Christmas. I'm sure you and your family are invited, if you want to come." Jack pressed. "Tooth and North would love to see you again." It was true, the two guardians hadn't seen the girl since she had left the pole seeing as though North had too much to prepare for next year and the fairy queen was too busy appointing her fairies about the globe to collect the teeth.
Although they had gained back the majority of their believers, the guardians still had a long way to go if they wanted to fully repair last year's damage, meaning more work and less visitation. Bunny especially had wrapped himself up in his busy work, making sure that every child got their fair share of chocolate and hard-boiled eggs in their Easter baskets this year.
"Yeah, it's been a while." The dragon-girl responded plainly. Jack looked to her confused. She had been acting rather distant lately to the winter spirit's confusion, making him wonder what exactly was bothering her.
"Is everything okay?" He asked, trying to engage her attention, but her eyes remained blankly trailing the sidewalk as they walked. The light snow on the ground melted instantly underneath her step, even through the thick boots she wore.
"I asked if you were alright? You're acting kind of out of it lately." Jack clarified.
Eden's head snapped up, a wide and forced smile plastered on her face. "I'm fine, just cold." She replied. When the guardian of fun didn't respond, she pressed more on the subject. "Really, it's nothing to worry about, I'm just thinking." She said, shoving her chilled hands into her coat pockets.
"About what?" Jack asked, trying to make the conversation as casual as possible, he knew how stressful answering personal questions could be under pressure. Hanging about four rather socially excitable guardians after three-hundred years of silence gave him the benefit of understanding in that field.
Eden bit her lip in thought, her green eyes darting across the frosted ground as she weighed her options. Jack was about to drop the subject, seeing as though his friend was uncomfortable, when she spoke.
"What's it like to be immortal?" She asked.
Jack's step faltered, the question catching him off guard. "What do you mean?"
The dragon-girl raised her gaze so that their eyes met and Jack could see a swell of tears building up. How long exactly had she been thinking about this? He knew that she and Bunny had discussed the whole 'last one' thing, but the busy kangaroo must have forgotten to include this part.
"What's it like to live forever, knowing that everyone else will grow older, knowing that they'll die?"
Jack held his breath out of pure nervousness. He didn't know how to answer that. He had never really put much thought into the subject himself, he was just glad that these kids believed in him, never had he considered that he might lose them. The thought was heart breaking, thinking of how both Jamie and Sophie, both young children, would die before him, no wonder Eden had kept the thought to herself for so long.
"I don't know." He finally managed. "I've never really thought about it before. Jamie was my first believer, so I've never really been through it myself being along for three-hundred years… until now." He finished solemnly.
"I try not to think of it. I know Daniel probably knows I do anyway, but I don't want to worry him. I used to think about it a lot, but it was before…" She trailed off, looking away again when her voice began to crack.
"Before you realised it would be you." Jack finished softly. Eden nodded in confirmation.
"I thought it would just happen, you know? Like one of us would die of natural causes or get hit by a car or something like that. But now… it's just all surreal, like I'm in shock or something, I just still can't believe it. I'm going to outlive everybody I've ever cared about, and there's nothing I can do about it."
The winter spirit placed a comforting hand on the girl's shoulder in understandment, waiting for her to look up again before continuing. "You've always got us. This is my first time too, losing someone like that, but we'll get through it together. Okay?" He asked reassuringly.
He moved to take his cold hand off of the girl's shoulder, when she grabbed it and, to Jack's surprise, pulled the boy into a hug.
As a winter spirit, Jack was not a fan of warmth and he knew that the cold of his naturally frosty skin was most uncomfortable against the dragon hybrid, and yet, when he moved his arms to hug the girl back, there was an odd sense of comfort.
"Thank you." She managed through a choked breath.
Jack pulled back, keeping his hand firmly on her shoulder. Tears had began to run freely from the girl's green eyes. "What are friends for?"
The cold of the dark room was seeping slowly into her bones, causing chills to run up her spine and bumps to form upon her paled skin which was littered with bruises, all caused by her own feeble attempts of escape. Despite the cold, her black hair clung to her face and neck with sweat, her heavy breathing the only sound in the room when she wasn't shouting and screaming for vengeance.
Her wrists were bruised badly, leaving green and purple splotches of skin where the black cuffs encircled them. The skin had broken in more places than one where the cuffs had dug into her as she yanked against them, leaving scabs and open wounds in their wake.
She had dislocated so many joints in attempt to escape the binds over time that she had lost count how many times the nightmare king himself had to come and repair the damage she had caused herself. The look on his face always made her seethe with anger. His golden eyes always glistened with the look of pity.
Pity. She didn't need his pity. He wasn't supposed to pity her. She was a ravenous and beautiful beast, capable of swallowing a man whole. He should fear her, glorify her, worship her strength and power. Not look down upon her with pity whilst she tore fruitlessly at the chains that bound her.
She no longer knew time. with the sun and moon gone, tiem had all but disappeared. She could have been locked up for only weeks, months, years… although she doubted she would have lived nearly that long with her one goal in life torn away from her grasp. She had been so close. So close to tasting the sweet taste of life forevermore.
The Bogeyman came to fed her as well, making sure his prisoner was kept alive. She had always refused the food, but her hunger had always made her give in, cleaning off every crumb and gulping down the last drop of water.
"Why don't you just kill me already?" She would always ask. But the man never answered. The coward. The coward that had turned his back and locked her up. Sentenced her to a slow and painful death in his very lair.
It was all her fault. The other one. Eden, the rabbit had called her. She was the cause of all of this. The reason that she was now bound in chains of nightmare sand to the cold stone walls of her eternal prison. With a man too cowardly to kill.
If it wasn't for her, she would be alive, living a normal life, forever. No pain. No suffering. Eternal bliss without the fear of death always hanging over her head like a dark storm cloud that refused to let up on the bone-chilling rain to even let her breathe.
She had wasted her whole life away searching for that brat. The only one capable of destroying her chances of immortality. Practically an attempt on her life on its own. But it couldn't stop there. No, she had to lead her on, taunting the woman, testing her strength every time she had evaded her grasp, only to lead her here.
She had given up everything. Dropped out of school, left her family, her friends, her entire life behind her to find this girl. She was supposed to die. The plan had been perfect, everything was in place, every outcome had been so perfectly detailed. And yet she failed.
She would die here, whether of insanity, or of the tumor still liquidizing her brain still to this moment, she didn't know. But she knew. She knew that it was over.
The Doctors back home had no experience treating one with such a strange anatomy. The cells that were killed during chemo, only grew back stronger. The medications they had given her to relieve her of her 'fever' had only killed her more. He only chance of survival was to kill the other dragon. To obtain immortality. A thing that would keep her from falling into insanity as the headaches melted away her memories.
She no longer remembered what her parents looked like. her friends names. In fact, some part of her wondered if they had ever really existed, or if it was all in her scrambled mind. The only memories she could really hold on to were those of chasing after that girl. The healthy one. The one afraid of living forever. The thought alone made her want to laugh in pure agony at the irony of the whole situation.
And at times, she did. Laughter turning to screams of anger and insanity as spine shattering headaches racked her brain, melting away everything she had ever had to hold on to… until there was nothing but fear and darkness.
There it is.
Please leave a review telling me what you think, I was really nervous writing this chapter seeing as though it's a lot darker than the others.
Also, If you happen to like my OC, Eden, I have another story containing her for the How To Train Your Dragon fandom called MORE SECRETS. Be warned, It was my first real fic, so the first few chapters have some minor mistakes that I had missed. But I'd love it if you guys would read and review for me.
Goodbye my lovelies, and to those following my other stories, see you soon!