Laughter filled the air as a certain Jack Frost hopped from branch to branch in the forest outside of Burgess. He was racing towards Jamie's house, hoping to make it there before dark so he could have a few snowball fights and maybe go sledding. He knew of course, that he could just summon the wind to take him there, but this forest was one he loved and wanted to know better. Besides, he was almost there and the sun was only beginning to set on the horizon. He figured there was at least a good hour left. However, he wasn't aware that someone was following him. From behind a large, dead oak tree, Pitch observed him as he jumped from tree to tree. His golden eyes tinted with admiration as he watched Jack's feet barely touch the branch of one tree before he was hurdling towards the next one. He smiled to himself, something he rarely did after three years of being trapped in his prison with the nightmares.
No one knew that he had broken free, not even Mim. He preferred to keep it that way since this visit to Jack was supposed to be short and quick. He wasn't there to hurt Jack, contrary to what the Guardians might think. Even if he wanted to hurt Jack, he didn't have enough power. It had all been sapped when he was imprisoned, and it was now a physical excursion just to fly, let alone command an army of nightmares. No, he was here to confess something to Jack. Something that had been on his mind for a long, long time.
His thoughts were interrupted by a loud SNAP that filled the air. His head jerked up, looking in the direction it came from. He was quick enough just to catch a glimpse of Jack plummeting to the forest floor, his staff gone from his hands.
Pitch quickly raced over to Jack on impulse. He noticed Jack's head turn towards him as he got closer, a look of surprise on his pale face.
"What are you doing here!" He yelled up to him. Pitch chuckled and knelt next to him on the ground. His golden eyes absorbed the sight in front of him. Jack's left leg was bent at an odd angle, clearly broken. There were a few cuts on his feet and a few on his face. Everything else seemed like it was ok, but the leg was going to be a problem. There was no way he could fly or walk when it was broken that bad.
Pitch's thoughts were interrupted again by the sound of Jack's struggling to reach his staff. It was a few feet from his reach, but that didn't stop him from stretching and excreting himself , desperately trying to reach it. Pitch smiled at him, grabbed the staff and held it above his head, just out of reach.
"Give it back Pitch!" Jack demanded.
"How do you ask?" Pitch teased as he lowered the staff to just within Jack's grasp, then just out of reach when it looked like he was going to get it. Jack groaned in both pain and frustration as he let his arms go limp and drop down next to him.
"Why are you here? How'd you get out of the hole we trapped you in three years ago?" The boy questioned. Pitch inhaled before replying.
"Well, I was here to tell you something, but now it looks as though I'll need to take care of you for a few days while you heal." He told him. Jacks eyes widened.
"No! I don't need your help anyway. I'm fine." The boy assured him. Pitch raised his eyebrows.
"How about you stand up then." He challenged. For a brief moment, Jack's face flushed with doubt. It was gone just as soon as it was there though, and Jack nodded, accepting the challenge. He placed his arms on the sides of him and tried pushing up, but his broken leg went limp and he fell back down. He tried this again, multiple times actually, but didn't succeed once. He gasped and panted as he lay on the floor, glaring up at Pitch.
"Ok, so I need some help. So what." Jack shrugged, causing Pitch to laugh.
"Well, c'mon then." He said as he went to pick up Jack. The boy shied away, groaning in pain at the sudden movement.
"I don't want to go with you. You'll probably kill me." Jack sneered.
"Jack, do I look like I'm in any position to kill you?" Pitch asked him.
Jack had to admit he was right. His skin was a few shades paler than usual. There were dark circles under his golden eyes, and his cheekbones were sunken. He looked physically and mentally drained of all energy. Jack starred at the floor and shook his head.
"That's what I thought. Now, let me help you for a little while. I have no desire to kill you or any of the other Guardians." Pitch promised. Jack sighed.
"Ok, you can for a little while. But I'm keeping my staff and if I feel your in any way threatening me, I'm not holding back."
"Fair enough Jack." Pitch said as he leaned over to pick him up. He cupped is long arms under Jack's thin body until he had them all the way around him. Jack groaned softly at the sudden movements and touches, but the pain quickly went away. Pitch handed the boy his staff, and Jack shot him a warning glance before closing his eyes as he was lifted off the ground.
"See? Not so bad is it?" Pitch teased as he began to walk through the forest, carrying Jack bridal style. He smiled down at Jack, who was seemingly asleep now. He couldn't help but chuckle to himself. So much for a quick visit.