Jack smiled at that, his bright blue eyes brightening. Aster leaned forward and cupped Jack's cheek in his paw, rubbing his thumb up and down the pale cheek. Jack brought his hand up and placed in on top of Aster's weakly. He smiled at Jack, not even trying to make sense of the emptions warring inside him, Jack needed him at that moment and that was all that mattered. They held that position for several minutes, then Jack whispered "I'm sorry."

"What for Frostbi-" Aster's voice died in his throat as Jack's hand fell from his. Aster felt himself being shoved aside at that moment, North and Sandy pushing past him to Jack. North cut Jack's hoodie open with one swift swipe of his sword and then stepped back, giving Sandy room. The small golden guardian placed a hand just over the wound on Jack's chest and a stream of golden particles started to flow from his hand into the evil looking gash. Jack jerked in pain, his limbs flailing "Bunny" North said urgently, motioning to one of Jack's arms while he moved to hold the other. Aster hopped forward, holding Jack's right side down as the winter spirit thrashed violently, the look of agony on his face hitting Aster like a physical blow. Jack thrashed harder, screaming out until his voice cracked as thin black lines started to rise out of the wound, carried by Sandy's golden sand.

The process took nearly fifteen minutes, and by the end of it Aster was exhausted, a combination of holding down the surprisingly strong winter spirit and listening to Jack's pain had drained him. Jack laid there, breathing hard, sweat covering his body as the last trace of black left his body, carried away by Sandy's dream sand. He blinked his eyes open slowly, smiling weakly as they fell upon Aster. Aster didn't know what made him do it, but at that moment he reached forward and scooped up Jack, crushing the winter spirit to himself as relief, joy and happiness surged through him. He didn't know exactly what his feelings for Jack were, though he was starting to get an inkling, but that didn't matter. Jack was ok, safe in his arms, and that was all that mattered.

I intended on ending it here, but, and I kid you not, I saw this in a dream last night and just had to add it.

"So how are you feeling Jack?" North asked, the large guardian standing at the foot of Jacks bed.

"Better, let like crap anyway." Jack said with his characteristic smirk.

"Good, good. Gave us quite the scare you did. Don't worry though, you will feel better in no time." He said, shuffling around Bunny to gently pat Jack's shoulder. North had suspecting something brewing between his old friend and the newest guardian, but he had still been surprised by Bunny's reaction to Jack's injuries. He'd been even more surprised when, after Sandy had removed Pitch's corruption from Jack, Bunny had carried the boy to North's castle, deposited him in the medical wing and taken a seat in the chair next to Jack's bed. That had been three days ago. As far as North knew Bunny hadn't moved from his stop in those three days, even though Jack had just regained consciousness in the last half hour or so. "I will let you rest now, feel better Jack." North said, nodding to Bunny as he left the room, closing the door behind him.

He had just reached the end of the hall when he remembered that Sandy asked him to pass a message along to Jack. He turned back to the room, stopping just outside the door, the sound of Jack's voice making him freeze.

"Bunny?" Jack asked, his voice sounding timmid.

"Aster" Bunny replied.

"What?" Jack said, confused.

"Call me Aster." Bunny said. That caught North off guard, Bunny never let anyone call him Aster, not even the other guardians.

"Alright, Aster. Can I ask you a question?" Jack said, his voice sounding happier than it had a moment ago.

"Sure Jack." Bunny said, again surprising North. Bunny always called Jack Frostbite, or Snowflake or some other nickname, but never Jack.

"Did you mean it? What you said about noticing me?" Jack asked, his voice quite again, timid.

"A'course I meant it Jack, never really knew what it meant till recently though." Aster said, his voice sounding…embarrassed?

"Oh? And what does it mean then?" Jack asked, the smallest hint of hope coloring his voice.

"I think you know" was Bunny's joking reply.

There was a long pause and then Jack said "Aster…would you…" There was a slight rustle and then Bunny replied "Sure Jack." Another, louder rustle, and the slight squeak of bedsprings as though a large weight had settled into the bed.

North was about to open the door at that moment when a loud sob came through the door accompanied with a murmur so low North couldn't make it out. "I know Jack, its ok. I was scared to." Bunny said. Another murmur, another reply from Bunny "I know, I didn't want you to leave either." Another short mumble followed by a pause so long North didn't know if Bunny would say anything. Finally Bunny said "I love you to Jack."

North stepped back from the door, suddenly feeling guilty for intruding on his friend's private moment. Very carefully he backed away, willing the floor to remain silent as he retreated. When he reached the end of the hallway a broad smile was playing on his lips, happiness for his friends making him chuckle to himself. North smiled all the way back to his workshop, contemplating this new beginning.