OH MY GOD! I SERIOUSLY DON'T BLAME YOU IF YOU DON'T, BUT PLEASE FORGIVE ME! I SWEAR I HAD NO INTENTION OF JUST LEAVING THIS STORY HANGING I PROMISE! I'M SOOOOOOOOOOO SORRY!
In other news, I got really busy with junior year of high school and everything got a little bit crazy. But hey, finals are over next week. I realized that I had forgotten about this story when I re watched ROTG recently. It was obviously amazing. I wanted to get back to writing as soon as it ended, but I had a concussion…. BUT I'M OK NOW AND I SHALL FINISH THE STORY!
"That sheila's caught Frostbite's heart, she has." said Bunny with a smirk.
"Ahh love…What a wonderful thing it is to be young" sighed North, grinning sarcastically.
"Oh come on! Jack is 15 years old, leave him alone!" said Tooth, punching North mockingly in the arm. He rubbed his abused arm, glaring at her.
"That really hurt Tooth" whimpered the double sword wielding warrior. Swirls of golden sand appeared over Sandy's head in a vain attempt to get the attention of his fellow guardians. Finally giving up, he flew up and pulled at North's fur hat, pointing to where the fog was beginning to clear. "Oh! The fog! Thanks Sandy!"
When the fog cleared the Guardians found themselves inside the Frost cabin. Looking through the window, the four could tell that winter was dying in Burgess. Patches of grass could be seen through the watery piles of slush in Jack's yard. The day was getting late, bright colors painting the sky. Pippa, now 10 years old, sat moodily at the kitchen table, fiddling with a wooden spoon. She stood abruptly, causing the chair to scrape the floor. Pippa took no notice as she walked to the door, pilling on her boots and grabbing her coat and scarf, still holding the spoon. The Guardians followed the little girl outside and around the corner of the house.
15 year old Jack stood in trousers and a sweaty tunic in front of a flat stump on which sat a log, his heavy vest and hat left forgotten on the ground near him. The teen held a heavy axe swung it upward letting the momentum carry it down, splitting the log in half. The boy picked up the two halves and set them on a wood pile some 10 feet away that was already at a staggering height.
"Hey Jack!" said the girl, leaning casually on the house. "When is mother coming home?"
The teen wiped the sweat of his brow with the hem of his shirt, standing straight, stretching his back. "Mother is vising her sister in Virginia. Mother wrote saying that she'd be coming home in the next week or so." He said tiredly, bending down to pick up another log and splitting it with the axe.
"Oh…. Ok…." said Pippa gloomily. "Hey Jack, I bored, can we do something fun! How about tag!" she darted in to tap her brother on the arm as the axe swung down. The axe froze, stopping precious inches from Pippa's arm.
"PIPPA!" said Jack angrily. He dropped the axe on the ground and grabbed his sister's shoulders, shaking her lightly. "For Pete's sake Pippa, I could have taken your arm off! Do you know how dangerous that was? Huh? Do you?"
The little girl froze, tears welling up in her eyes "I'm sorry Jack, I really am…. I didn't mean to…" she said gazing down miserably.
Jack's eyes softened slightly at the sight of the tears running down the 10 year olds face. He pulled his sister into a hug and patted her hair soothingly. He released her and tilted her head up to look at him. "Hey there little girl, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell I just have to finish chopping this wood. Why don't you go play in the meadow? I'll finish this and meet you there in a couple of minutes, how's that?" Pippa sniffed and wiped her eyes, nodding quietly. "15 minutes and I'll show you the game I made up, ok? We can play until it's too dark to see!"
Finally the girl's face split into a bright smile so much like her brother's "a new game? Really Jack!" she asked, hopping in excitement.
"That's right! And I made it just for you. Now go, I'll meet you in a bit." said the now smiling teen turning his sister around and softly tapping her back towards the meadow. The girl skipped out of Jack's line of vision. The four Guardians followed the cheerful girl as she sat in the middle of the meadow, pulling up pieces of grass and weeds and ripping them apart. Suddenly, a large butterfly flew around Pippa's head. The little girl gazed up in wonder at the large insect.
The monarch butterfly flew around Pippa's head a couple more times before settling on a nearby flower. The girl flung herself in front of the flower, head resting on her hands, eyes level with the petals. She watched as the butterfly inserted it's proboscis into the flower, collecting nectar. When it was finished, the butterfly flew off. The girl jumped up, her eyes never leaving the butterfly as both girl and bug entered the surrounding woods.
The four guardians shared uncertain glances. At that moment Jack came crashing through the meadow. "OK PIPPA! ARE YOU READY? PIPPA? Pippa?" No answer. The teen ran the full perimeter of the field screaming his sister's name but with no avail, the girl was nowhere to be found. Surprisingly a smile crept on to his face that was full to the brim with mischief. "Ok Pippa, I get it, come out come out where ever you are!" he took a leaping step towards a big oak and took a good look around the tree. Nothing.
Jack's face looked extremely troubled as he took off at a run towards the center of town. "GWYN! GWYN! H- Have you… seen… P-Pippa?" gasped Jack after he crashed through the blacksmith's front door, scaring the bejeezus out of the girl who was hammering shape into a copper pot.
"No, I haven't… is she ok?" asked the girl, a deep frown settling over her features.
"Yeah… no… maybe, gosh Gwyn, we were going to play a game, but when I got to the meadow she was just…. Gone…" a wave of panic passed over the boy when the dying sunlight lit the workplace before disappearing behind a hill. "Oh no! I have to check the house again, and then the woods… Gwyn will you check around town?" he said frantically, yanking open the door and sprinting towards the Frost cabin.
"SURE THING JACK!" shouted Gwyn, but the boy was already too far gone to thank her, disappearing into the night.
Hours passed. The guardians followed Jack every bit of the way on his frantic quest to find his little sister. They did what they could to keep his spirits up; although he couldn't hear them they still voiced words of encouragement. It was dark and spooky in the woods. Jack had lit a torch, but even that couldn't keep the coldness of the night from seeping in. Branches grabbed at Jack's cloak, and scratched at his exposed face and hands. A cool breeze swept through his hair, but the boy just gritted his teeth and kept going, deeper and deeper into the woods.
An owl hooted sometime later when Jack finally collapsed on a boulder. Shaking from exhaustion, he balanced on the huge rock and shouted at the top of his lungs "PIIIIPPPAAAAAAAAA!" he listened expectedly, but he got no answer. The four watched as the boy's face crumbled, he sat down on the rock and gazed at the ground. They could just make out the tear that dripped onto the dead leaves below. He wiped his eyes, dropped to the ground and made his way into the darkness.
"Do you hear that?" asked Bunny, his sensitive ears twitching. North and Tooth both shook their heads, Sandy shrugged. "I think, I think I hear something!" and sure enough, soon they could hear it too, a small voice that they could just make out over the wind.
"Jack! Jack? Hello!?" that was unmistakably Pippa's voice. Jack's face brightened up, he took off at a run, furiously crashing through trees to get to the voice, no matter the cost.
"Jack? JACK! Oh Jack! It is yo-"Jack caught her in mid-sentence, picking her up in a tight hug and swinging her around gleefully. He knelt to the ground, hugging her tightly. The girl, shaking from fear, exhaustion, and relief buried deeper into her brother's embrace.
"Oh Pippa, what happened?" asked Jack, pulling away to wipe away the tears on his sister's cheeks.
"I was waiting for you, and this great big butterfly came out of nowhere, but it wasn't a butterfly, it was a fairy Jack! A real fairy!" said the girl, nervous laughter bubbling out. Jack helped her to her feet and they started walking towards the boulder.
"A fairy huh?"
"Yeah, it was reall- *YAWN* -beautiful…" finished Pippa sleepily. Jack smiled softly when his baby sister stumbled on a tree root before swooping her up onto his shoulders and taking off at a light jog. Pippa held the torch lighting the way. Along his journey through the woods, Jack had slashed trees to find his way. He just followed the slashes until he made it back to the meadow before slowing down to a walk. The warm glow from the Frost Cabin welcomed the two sleepy children home.
Once inside, Jack tended to his sister's cuts before piggy backing her up the ladder into her room.
"Jack… will you sleep in here tonight?" came the soft inquiry just before the boy closed the door.
"Of course Pipes…" said Jack sleepily "shove over would you?" Pippa snugged up to the edge of the bed allowing for Jack's long body lay down next to hers. The two looked peaceful and happy.
"Hey Jack? I'm sorry… I didn't mean to get lost…" said Pippa softly. Jack propped himself onto his forearm, looking down and his sister. He ruffled her hair playfully.
"I know Pipsqueak… I know." He smiled gently as the girl closed he eyes. He brushed the hair away from her face and closed his eyes. The four guardians watched as the siblings' breathing patterns grew slow and steady, both of them far away in the land of dreams.