I walked into the clearing just as Bunnymund mumbled to himself how the children couldn't see him, crouching down with Tooth reaching over to comfort him.
"Jack!" North said. I turned to face him. "Where were you? The nightmares attacked the tunnels; they smashed every egg, crushed every basket! Nothing made it to the surface. "
I frowned and began to reply when Tooth yelled my name and flew next to North. Her gaze fell upon the memory in my hand and she gasped loudly.
"Where did you get that?" she asked aghast.
I didn't know what to say. "I was- it's sti-"
"Where's Baby Tooth?" Tooth interrupted me, looking around frantically. Shame filled me and I fumbled for a reply, my mouth flapping uselessly.
"Oh Jack." Tooth said to me, and I could hear the disappointment in her voice. "What have you done?" she gasped, covering her mouth with her hands. North's gaze narrowed on me.
"That is why you weren't here? You were with Pitch?!" he asked angrily.
"No listen, listen." I began. I let out a breath. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean for this to happen!" I say sincerely.
"He has to go." Suddenly Bunnymund is behind me, eyes narrowed in anger.
"What?" I ask breathlessly. This can't be happening.
"We should NEVER have trusted you!" Bunnymund yells at me, raising a fist as if to strike me. I stumble back away from him, mouth parted in shock and he must see the fear in my eyes because his eyes soften a fraction and he stops his advance on me. He sighs.
"Easter is…new beginnings, new life." His gaze falls to the floor and shame fills me again. "Easter's about Hope." He looks into my eyes but I can't turn away from him. "And now it's gone." He finishes sadly, looking at me one last time, sighing, and then turning away, his eyes flopping down gloomily.
Panic fills me. This is it, I can tell. They won't trust me anymore, and rightly so. I didn't listen. And I screwed up-big time.
I turn to Tooth and North, looking to them for understanding. They would forgive me, wouldn't they? North looks confused and unsure. Tooth looks terribly worried. In the end they both just decide to look away from me, but that single action says it all. I frown and look down before gazing one last time at the "centre" in my hand that North gave to me. His wonder. I drop it to the floor and quickly turn away before jumping up and allowing the wind to quickly sweep me far away from here, leaving behind the only people I ever truly cared about in over 300 years.
Phil and his fellow Yetis stared at the large Earth in the centre of the room, watching gloomily as the little lights representing the believers slowly dwindled.
I ended up in the South. A blizzard whipped around me but I barely noticed. I hurriedly rushed up towards a cliff and prepared to throw my memories off the end, but stopped myself at the last moment. I let out a frustrated growl and stared at the memory in my hand.
"I thought this might happen."
I started at the voice of Pitch, his words still reaching me despite the blizzard. My eyes narrowed subconsciously.
"They never really believed in you." Pitch continued on, oblivious to the anger sparking inside me. "I was just trying to show you that. But I understand."
No. This was not what I wanted. I didn't want Pitch of all living things to relate to me. Furious, I spun around to blast him with ice which he blocked with his darkness.
"You don't understand ANYTHING!" I shouted angrily, landing back on the ground. I casted more ice at him but again he blocked it.
"No! I don't know what it's like to be cast out!" Pitch yelled angrily while we traded a few blows, parrying each other's in the process.
After one powerful hit by the both of us, I was left in a foggy patch, but I could still hear Pitch as he continues his rant.
"To not be believed in." Suddenly he was behind me and I spun around, slightly out of breath. "To long for…a family." I pointed my staff at him menacingly but lowered it slightly at the look he gave me. We could actually relate to one another. He was….like me…
"All those years in a shadow, I thought no one else knows what this feels like." He shrugged his shoulders but avoided my gaze, looking really sad and pitiful. He looked up at me. "But now I see I was wrong." He said, indicating at me. I looked at him, his words filling me with surprise and understanding. I lowered my staff completely and relaxed slightly. "We don't have to be alone, Jack. I believe in you." He walked closer to me and realization slowly started to seep in. "And I know children will too." He added.
"In me?" I mumbled quietly pondering his words.
"Yes!" Pitch sounded enthusiastic and indicated to a large wing-like ice and darkness structure that we had created during the fight. He grasped my shoulder gently. "Look what we can do! What goes together better than cold and dark? We can make them believe! We'll give them a world where everything, everything, is-"
"Pitch Black?" I supplied helpfully. Pitch stared for a moment, expressionless.
"And Jack Frost, too." He told me. "They'll believe in both of us."
"No they'll fear both of us." I said harshly. "And that's not what I want." I turned away, determined to distance myself from this evil. "Now for the last time, leave me alone." I said walking away.
"Very well. You want to be left alone? Done!" Pitch said, anger seeping into his voice. "But first…" suddenly I heard a squeak that made me stop in my tracks and turn back to the man I hated. Pitch lifted his hand.
"Baby Tooth!" I rushed forward and pointed my staff at him while Baby Tooth's squeals got louder.
"The Staff, Jack!" Pitch told me menacingly. "You have a bad habit of interfering. Now hand it over, and I'll let her go."
Baby Tooth shook her head at me. I lifted my staff higher menacingly before dropping my arms in defeat. Pitch smirked slightly. I held my staff for a few moments, dreading handing it over. I'd had it all my life, for the last 300 or so years. So many memories with the old piece of wood… and now I had to give it up… I finally flipped it over to Pitch who quickly grasped it.
"Alright. Now let her go." I said, hand outreached for Baby Tooth. Pitch smirked again.
"No." he said, and my eyes widened slightly. "You said you wanted to be alone, so be alone!" he said irritably. Baby Tooth squeaked indignantly in his hand and stabbed it with her nose. He gave a surprised gasp and then angrily threw her into the distance.
"No…" I began before I watched as Pitch snapped my staff.
"Arg!" I yelped, pain searing through my body. It was as if he had snapped me in half. Suddenly I was slammed in the chest by Pitch's darkness and I smacked into a wall behind me. It took my breath and I felt myself losing consciousness. I slid down and dropped into the crack in the ice and hit the floor with an audible thump. I could vaguely hear Pitch chuckle above me.
"No will come for you. The guardians have abandoned you and no one believes in you. You aren't wanted." He laughed loudly. "It's so sad. You should have accepted my offer while you had the chance." My vision swum and I heard something dropped. It crashed down to my left and I noticed through bleary eyes that it was the two halves of my staff.
My chest throbbed painfully and then my world turned black.