Q-A: YEAH I AM NOT DEAD! Chapter 39, whoo~! I am so close to finishing this story you have no idea. Though I guess that's the fun part, you don't know. XD Sorry that was bad of me. Anyway the conclusion of the great war is coming to an end here and with the whole gang together again they might just have a chance with beating the Morrígan… right? XDDDD Again I'm being a troll, sorry.
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. This story is pure fiction, blah, blah, blah. Why are you still reading this?
~ Rise of the Guardians~
Waking up always left Katherine feeling more drowsy than she felt before going to sleep. And awakening from a stone prison was somehow even worse. Not only did she carry a painful strain from the back of her neck, but her whole body felt rather stiff. Oh, she hoped Nightlight didn't have this problem eith-
Wait, Nightlight! Oh by the moon, she had tragically forgotten all about her dear friend until now. She started to feel dreadful before making the discovery of why she could feel pain again. Quickly, Katherine looked over at herself for inspection.
Her bright yellow winter coat, dark red trousers that almost melt into brown (similar to a hair color she was very familiar with), and her pointed brown boots made from her cobbler friend back in Santoff Claussen. At the moment, she examined her leather bag's contents Katherine remembered a white bearded man that lived in a grand oak tree.
"Oh no, I can't believe I've forgotten about Ombric too! Hopefully I haven't been gone too long. A few days tops. Surely everyone back home won't be to cross with me."
Katherine decided the next plan of action for her was to find Nightlight, give him the biggest apology for dragging him into this mess, and return home to see their friends again. A small honk was heard beside the young fifteen-year-old.
Kailash peered at her imprinted mother with warm eyes. Katherine smiled (despite the situation she was in) while stroking her snow goose's beak until the bird tried to peck. Katherine's temporary distraction prevented her from seeing someone else move over to where she was.
When sensing a new presence, Katherine turned around but was quickly relieved to see Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies.
"Oh, Katherine," the fairy-bird woman spoke in the most motherly voice that Katherine never expected to come from a seasoned warrior. "I'm so happy that you're all right."
It grew even stranger when she gave Katherine a warm hug.
"Toothiana?" Katherine gently pushed the older woman away, giving her a look of uncertainty.
"Is it really you?"
"Of course it is Sweet Tooth." Toothiana chirped with a smile. Her translucent pink wings (what happened to the big feathered ones?) fluttered feebly behind her back. "It's been some time since any of us last saw you."
"I suppose it has." Katherine replied in a small voice. Toothiana didn't sound angry when she spoke, but Katherine did still feel guilty about not telling anyone about her… abrupt departure.
She opened her mouth to speak until Kailash made another honk. Katherine turned her head, stared over to the opposite side of the stone hall to see two faces she never expected to catch a glimpse of.
For a moment Katherine mistook the tall, pale, white-haired young man for Nightlight. Thankfully she knew her friend well enough to tell that this was not him. His eyes were not the light green, but of icy blue. With the white hair Katherine remembered the description for the Spirit of Winter, Jack Frost. A boy stood by him with his hand linked with the winter spirit's. As for the girl, Katherine did recognize on the spot.
The Guardian of Storytelling became utterly speechless.
Katherine had read many books in her life (and published a few works since the Sandman and Nightlight saved her), and the most recent ones involved the long tragic tale of a brave woman who had given everything up to chance in order for her homeland to be saved. The woman Katherine read about was described with wild hair and wore body armor. She had thought the woman would be taller and older. She had thought the woman would carry a spear and shield at her side with a deep determination set in her eyes. She had thought the woman would be the answer that Katherine had been searching for since the failed battle against Pitch. She was wrong.
This girl was not the warrior woman Katherine had expected. Instead, the girl had bright red hair (even brighter than Katherine's no less) with a short braid on one side of her head. Her skin was light with freckles sprinkled across her face as though someone dropped grinded pepper. She wore tattered pants made with bright patches all over and a maroon coat with one sleeve ripped from the wrist. Her shoes were reminiscent of the ones Katherine currently wore.
"Now how on Earth did the goddess Brigit acquire the same boots I have?"
"Katherine," Toothiana spoke, unknowingly breaking the girl from her thoughts.
She tilted her head, showing she was listening.
"I have a few people I'd like you to meet." Toothiana said with a warm smile. She gestured Katherine toward two young girls; one that was stout and the other tall and skinny.
"Hello." Katherine waved but became slightly put out when they didn't return the gesture.
"Who are you showing us, Tooth?"
Katherine could see worry plaster on the Tooth Fairy's face. However, there was no time for explanations once the supposed Brigit skipping (SKIPPING?) toward them with her face beaming like a child would before receiving hot chocolate.
"Oh dear, now I am reminded of Bunnymund. I wonder if the other Guardians are here along with Toothiana."
Brigit stood before Katherine with Jack Frost catching up in an almost comedic fashion. The poor boy tried to cover his embarrassment with a smile, but the damage was done, they all saw his near tripping incident moments before. The redheaded girl, on the other hand, did not show any signs of embarrassment where she stood. Alternatively hobbling would be the right word as she was trying very hard not to fidget around in a restraint manner. Katherine was wary about who would take the initiative until Brigit broke it.
"Hi, I'm Bridget. I just want to let you know since this is pretty much a first time thing for me I want to set something straight. You rock, I think you're awesome!" Bridget ("So she decided to rename herself, fine.") shouted with an odd sound joining not too long after.
"Sorry," Bridget apologized. "I didn't mean to squee. I'm just such a big fan of your work." Jack Frost smiled at her with a glow in his eyes for one reason, or another.
Katherine blinked, completely taken back from the Goddess' response.
"What could a 'squee' possibly mean? And what's this all about fans, it's much too cold in here for any to be of use. And should I even dive into the 'rock' comment?"
"Ehh, I think you might be coming off a little strong there, Bridget." Jack Frost said flatly.
The redhead's face matched her hair momentarily.
"Who are you guys talking to?" One of the girls spoke again, leading Bridget and Jack Frost to stare at her with surprised looks.
"You mean, you mean you can't see…" the Goddess trailed off.
Jack Frost let out a puff of cold air; Toothiana frowned miserably, and Katherine began wondering what was going on.
"There she is, Katherine!"
"I know that voice just about anywhere." Katherine felt her heart skip a beat.
Her old friend Nicholas St. North appeared the same as she remembered only with a longer whiter beard. His belly had gotten larger as well, but she decided to keep that to herself.
The former Cossack chuckled merrily before giving Katherine one of his warmest hugs imaginable.
"Ha, ha, it's so good to be seeing of you again, Katherine."
Her eyes welled, but Katherine quickly wiped them away.
"I'm glad to see you too, North." The sudden reunion was growing when E. Aster Bunnymund hopped over. Katherine had to look over at him twice to see if he wasn't wearing his emerald coat. His egg-staff was nowhere in sight either with two bent pieces of wood on his sides and brown string over his feet. He was even carrying a small toddler with a strange blonde haircut over his shoulders as though he was her father…
No, that couldn't ever happen in the million years. Could it?
Bunnymund placed the small girl to the ground, which moments after made a straight beeline toward the slightly taller brown-haired boy near Jack Frost.
"I don't want to stop the reception so abruptly but-"
"BUNNY!" Bridget cheered before promptly embracing him in a manner nearly identical to North's.
"You're all big 'n fluffy again." The redhead muffled through the pooka's fur.
Bunnymund gave the girl a smile (another thing Katherine never thought of witnessing) and patted her head. "Since when did I stop being fluffy?"
"Didn't Bunnymund threaten to battle North to the death when he called Bunnymund that?" Katherine was becoming very confused. The only solace she felt came from North's hug and the eventual arrival of two people she was glad barely changed at all.
Sanderson Mansnoozie walked with his usual drowsy stride as two more unfamiliar boys followed him. Holding in the rear was none other than Katherine's true friend, Nightlight. He was still the same even though he had grown a few inches in the last few years. Since the night the Sandman had rescued her, Katherine began to see that Nightlight had started appearing older. She and the rest were happy when they learned of the news. Katherine herself felt rather flustered when learning it all came from his Kiss of Goodnight. A goodnight kiss that he had planted on her when she been placed in a horrible nightmare-ish sleep by Pitch. Just remembering the moment when she Nightlight smiling down at her when she first awoke still prompted Katherine's heartbeat.
However, that all had to wait when Bunnymund regained his composure. "It's too early to celebrate now. We need to form a plan before-"
Yet again Bunnymund was cut off, this time though it was not due to a joyful embrace between friends. It was something far, far too horrible.
Slouching forward, with her body sickly thinner than ever, the Morrígan dragged herself with the sharp sound of metal scraping the ground. Her alabaster skin had turned sickly corpse yellow with her eyes being literally bloodshot that did not illuminate from the weakly veiled moon's glow. They even seemed to ignore the light altogether. Her brown hair was in disarray, looking as though rocks and rats fixated themselves inside it. The once magnificently feathered dress was nothing than shambles as individual feathers fell down. The Phantom Queen's plumage was molting, but something was stealing itself into the missing feathers.
Katherine barely had time to open her mouth in response, only for her dear friends to beat her to it. The Guardians led out hard battle cries before charging forward. What brave fools.
"No, wait!" Katherine extended her hand; Bridget alone paid heed.
Bridget looked over at her childhood hero with immediate concern.
"It's just like before, she's trying to-"
Too late, the Morrígan leaned forward, lurching with retching sounds emitting from her throat. Moments later a black ooze-like substance pooled around the tattered dress shimmering with the authenticity of an oil spill, only much deadlier.
"It would seem my time to hide in plain is no longer required," the Morrígan's voice dripped maliciously while a distorted secondary voice was heard alongside her. The tone was foreign sounding, almost from a different time, and yet it struck a cord in Bridget. There was something off-putting about it that Bridget was getting a suspicion of where the sudden new voice came from.
"Along with this possessed body, the world will be mind now."
Bridget instinctively took a step back, somehow standing in front of the children. Something wasn't right. The way the Morrígan was speaking did not sound anything like the way she had been before. Wait, possessed body? Oh no…
"This is not good," Bridget spoke aloud, pointing out the obvious.
"But first, I need to do some unfinished business." It got really bad when the (possessed) Morrígan meet her gaze at Bridget.
"Really not good!"
With arms raised the Morrígan summoned crows out of thin air. Their forms were not stable, unlike the predecessors; they shifted and flickered in the air like black flames, ready to strike with glazed expressions that did not help in the Guardians or Bridget's situation in the slightest. The demented crows cawed loudly in such a way that it disrupted everyone's ability to hear, apart from the Morrígan since she did not look bothered and did not flinch like Bridget did as she kneeled to the ground with her hands covering her ears.
"Remind me again why I'm glad to be out of that rock wall?" Katherine asked.
How Bridget could still hear was beyond her understanding.
"We've got to stop the Morrígan sooner rather than later," Tooth chimed, holding Pippa and Cupcake in her arms. "She's getting even more powerful with the Solstice coming along."
"She'll be unstoppable if ve do not act quick." North grunted.
Bridget gazed at the ground, fixated by the newly formed cracks. Every other moment small specks of black threatened to break free. The only thing that stood in their way was Bridget's quick puffs of air that pushed them back inside.
"Oh MiM, this is not going good. Crom Cruach as threatening to break out and something weird just happen to the Morrígan…" Bridget's thoughts trailed off, her mind putting two and two together.
"Crom is controlling the Morrígan. That's why that voice sounds so familiar. I heard back on that night in Samhain. Moon-dammit this means my aunt was crazy long before I got married. Heh, usually it's the other way around."
This left Bridge wondering if what the Morrígan said earlier was the honest truth? Or was it just petty lies made to get under the redhead's skin. Of course, Bridget remembered her failed marriage with Bres and how ostracized she felt when returning back home. All of that was true, the only part she was not sure about was whether or not the Morrígan truly did despise her and the rest of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Could it possibly be all of the Dark One's doing? Had it been a shadow that slowly consumed what was left of the Morrígan all those years ago?
"The Torch," Jack muttered. "We need to get the Torch!"
"And how in blazes are we supposed to do that?" Bunny inquired, his paws pulling down his ears from the noise. "Even if I'm back to my normal size, the magic I have is nowhere to be found."
The rest of the Guardians gave beaten looks in response. They were in Bunnymund's situation too.
"The Treasures will only work if Manny's light is underneath them," the Pooka elaborated while joining the others in a closer group.
Eamon, his brothers, and Goch made a protective half-circle around the children. The girls joined them not all that later with a few of the Fey struggled to the small group.
"None of us can use our magic either." One Selkie cried rather beautifully. "None of our pups have their seal skins as much as we do."
"Even mah firepower starting to weaken." Goch admitted grumpily. "Since I fell here, mah whole body's been mixed up."
"It was from the barrier." Bridget reminded her. "The Morrígan set it up so her enemies would be weak compared to her."
"And once I…defected back, I lost mah skills to vanish and reappear."
His brothers gave him dirty looks.
"I swear it was either do or die when she handed me that offer months ago."
"And yet you still helped us out in the end." Tooth said as a matter of fact.
Eamon sputtered a nonsensical word as his face turned red.
"No time for that now, Toothy. Ve must summon Torch to save children."
"I'd like to see you try that with my crows up in the sky." The Morrígan taunted after she ceased her battle cry.
"Heh, I'd like to see her try," Jack mocked, though his tone and nervous form gave him away.
Bridget felt her heart go out to the poor guy. Here was the Spirit of Winter standing on the day that should be all about him, but was forced to fight for the fate of the world. Bridget suspected that if Jack had his way, he would be playing with the kids back in Burgess with them all playing with snowballs, joining in fun sled rides but using the most dangerous ice ramps ever made, ice-skating across…
Then she got an idea. Bridget made a small whistle, gaining Jack's attention. She motioned with a finger toward her shoes. Next, she did a swirly signal near the sole and pointed underneath the Morrígan's feet. A second or two passed between them until Jack's furrowed expression turned into the most mischievous smirk Bridget had seen on him in a long time.
Things were about to get fun.
Katherine had been through many adventures in her life when things had a moment to look hopeless, and this, this was one of them. She read all about them, the Tuatha Dé Danann; the Children of Danu, but knew they were not exactly gods per say. More of a celestial race than anything, but beside the point, Katherine knew they were mighty and powerful with each member having their own unique set of powers. So the Morrígan possessed more power than any of them.
"But her mind appears warped now," Katherine thought. "There could be a chance she might not be all powerful."
The Morrígan moved forward, intending to fight all her opponents, when an unexpected change came. The Phantom Queen became comical for a moment with her arms flailing and her body hit the floor. Her face became acquainted with a newly made road of ice as the sound of two people laughing was heard.
"What the…" Bunnymund spoke under his breath at the site. Katherine gaped along with the pooka after witnessing Jack Frost forming the ice path and Bridget hanging onto his staff.
The Morrígan stood up (had a great struggle though, with her lips frozen on the ice forcing her to angrily slash it away with her claws) and glowered at the two fast moving speed-skaters. She barked orders at her crows for them to fight the Guardians before giving chase to follow Jack Frost and Bridget herself.
"Whoa," one of the children sighed out, appeared in awe of the two adolescents.
"Since when did Bridget learn how to ice-skate?" The brown-haired boy asked Bunnymund with interest.
"Long story," the chocolatier waved it off. He brandished out his curved stick ("Oh, what was the name of that thing called again? Ombric told me there was this whole race of people in that continent, erm, country where they throw those curved sticks around. Banner-ung? No, wait boomerang. Yes, that's it!")-boomerang with finesse. "Time to show these rats-with-wings what we're made of."
"Here we go again." Toothiana said with a hint of amusement.
Wordlessly, North gave the Sandman and Nightlight commands to bring out their weapons, prepared for the looming battle. Simultaneously the Guardians of Childhood charged together in their recently formulated frontline and dived in the assault.
A sword, dreamsand, moonlit daggers, boomerangs, and interestingly enough, a black thin cane sliced and whacked the cursed crows respectively from each Guardian in his or her own pace. Bunnymund acted as though he had eaten his special chocolate (sans extra arms to fight with unfortunately) with North right on his back swiping his swords in a manner quite similar to a propeller, clearly the former Buccaneer was having a lot of fun. Sanderson and Nightlight were working in such perfect sync that Katherine almost couldn't tell who was who. Toothiana was light on her feet, either skipping or dancing away from a wayward crow and thumped it with the blunt end of her cane.
"Where on earth did you get that?"
"Long story," Toothiana echoed Bunnymund's words.
"Why do I have a feeling I'll be getting that answer a lot tonight?"
A loud outcry was heard, leading both female Guardians to turn their attention toward the source. The Leprechaun and his brothers were having a wee bit of trouble with handling the crows; even if the tall fire-breathing lady have been assisting them the whole time. The five legendaries were so overwhelmed by two to one. They did not notice a few girls compelling the stout girl away from the group.
Adrenaline filled Katherine along with a desire to protect. Her heartbeat and breath quickened, and with caution thrown completely into the wind, Katherine knew the cry for help from the scared girl was calling to her and her alone. She had firsthand experience with dealing with fear, all too well.
"Katherine, where are you…" however, Toothiana's words fell silent on Katherine's ears. She already felt prepared to do whatever it may take.
Somewhere deep in Cupcake's mind reminded her of using Bridget's fire gift to create a giant, or unicorn, or something to fight back. But her nine-year-old (going to ten) mind was being frozen with fear. Nothing could help her now. She was far from home with her closest friends unaware of her being taken away-
"Hiyaa!" A voice could be heard with the honk of a bird also present.
Cupcake had closed her eyes previously fearing for her life but now reopened them again. Below her on the ground were the two crows responsible for dragging her out, each of them lying motionless. The site of the unconscious crows became less apparent as Cupcake noticed a thick book on top of the birds. It was an encyclopedia on…
"Hamster dialects?" A thick eyebrow was raised in confusion.
"… a fine edition if I have not seen one like it…," a voice echoed through Cupcake's ears. Just when she heard it, the voice vanished as quickly as it came. Much to her surprise, the book, began to shift slightly before lifting up in the air by an unseen force.
"A book flying? Unless…" Cupcake trailed off, she soon recalled a fiery figure on a bird flying above her cage, and the strange conversation the Tooth Fairy seemingly had with herself earlier. She acted as though there was someone else there.
Old nursery rhymes, clever limericks, and short stories made Cupcake remember one person who, while she had always thought was made-up, still introduced her to a world of magic; a world where all sorts of kind and pretty creatures existed. Including the magnificent unicorn.
"Mother Goose?" Cupcake tested the name, pleased that the phrase sounded right. Lifted her head from looking at the ground to be face to face with the most unexpected spectacle.
Katherine blinked owlishly, taken back by the great stare the younger girl was giving her. She was also a little bewildered by the name…Cupcake, yes that was it-had given her moments before.
"I suppose that's meant to refer to the fact that I am the 'mother' of a snow goose." It actually sounded like a fitting name after Katherine gave more thought into it. At least she thought for a few more seconds when another crow dive-bombed toward her and Cupcake. Without even turning around Katherine, swatted the bird away with the leather bound book in her hands.
"So that must be where the phrase throwing the book at someone originated from." Katherine spoke with amusement.
"But won't that hurt the book?"
Katherine turned toward Cupcake, touched by the girl's concern. Most of her friends never cared too much over a book's state of being unless it was literally falling off the seems, Katherine thought.
"Don't worry, that's a…" Katherine glanced over at the book's spine before smiling. "12th Edition. Which means I must have the other eleven back home somewhere. Now if you may excuse me." She let out a battle cry and sliced three crows with her trusty dagger leaving a very awed Cupcake.
The rest of the battle was going fluidly even with the small talk between Katherine and Cupcake (a moment that really made Tooth melt on the inside). The Big Four and Nightlight fought the onslaught of crows with unexpected help from a few of the children. Their fiery images turned into lions, tigers, and sharks that chased away the many crows the Guardians had missed.
"Twenty-three, twenty-four," Bunny muttered after kicking a crow away with his powerful foot.
"What are you doing?" Tooth asked the Pooka suspiciously.
Grass-green eyes stared into her pink amethyst. "Sandy, North and I are counting how many crows we each can bag."
The Fairy inwardly groaned. "You boys never change."
"Habits die hard." Bunny countered wittily before saving Tooth from a crow that almost went for her neck.
"You're welcome." Bunnymund smirked.
Tooth rolled her eyes playfully before they turned serious again. "There are still too many crows around. I don't think we can handle them all."
North grunted, his sabers slashing away half a dozen crows away. "Good thing that Jack and Leetle Girl are making Morrígan distracted, yes?"
"Blimey, perhaps the Big Ankle-biter and Frost are on to something." Bunny whistled in approval.
Tooth felt her heart melt a second time. She gave her head a shake to snap out of it.
"Even with Jack and Bridget distracting the Morrígan, we're still too far from the Treasures and by the looks of these birds, they won't be stopping anytime soon. Especially the ones up in the sky blocking Manny."
"Maybe I can be of assistance," Katherine's voice chimed in impeccably on queue. Tooth and the others looked to see the girl riding on her goose with a determined grin. The girl was in her element, and no one would say otherwise.
"I think I might be able to fly up through that painfully gaping hole and-"
"No," the elder Guardians responses were quick and to the point.
"You vill do no such thing." North forbade.
"Wouldn't be the first time I disobeyed you or Ombric, Nicholas." Katherine reminded North with her head held up high.
"It's bloody suicide!" Bunny shouted with emotion. His nostrils flared.
Sandy shook his head so quickly that sand was flaking all over, unintentionally dispensing the golden flakes on wandering crows.
Tooth was ready with her rebuttal when someone else spoke. The voice belonging to a being that had barely uttered a word since his reawakening.
"Let her go." Nightlight had everyone's full attention despite how frail his voice sounded. "Katherine can go up there and do something to end this war. None of us can fly remember?"
Tooth exchanged a meaningful glance toward the spectral boy and former Star Captain before returning his light-green gaze back to Katherine. "She can do anything if she sets her mind to do it. I believe in her more than anyone else."
Tooth melted again and welled near her eyes. Katherine already beat her to the punch by wiping her own tears away.
"Thank you, Nightlight." After that was said Katherine commanded Kailash up into the air and, without gaining any unwanted attention, left everyone's gaze.
"She can do it." Nightlight assured everyone.
"But it will be is the bigger question." Tooth thought to herself.
Ice-skating, in Jack's opinion, was always a dance. Dance was movement between people that involved quick steps and a quicker mind to execute that next action. Jack knew this better than anyone or at least until Bridget had become just as competent as he was. A little bit of confidence had been all her own though. Of course, anyone would need self-assurance when being chased down by a deranged crow woman with cursed feathers firing from her hands.
"Try and make a wall!" Bridget suggested brilliantly.
Bridget gave him a credulous look until he realized what she was implying.
"Oh, right." Jack smiled sheepishly. With a wave from his staff, Jack formed a large glacier in front of the Morrígan's path.
An audible was heard leading Jack and Bridget to exchange giggles.
"You're getting pretty good at this whole skating-away-from-the-enemy-thing." Jack complimented Bridget in an attempt to sound suave.
Bridget rolled her eyes, but they did not meet with the smile on her face. With her eyes, temporarily lowered to the ground, Bridget caught sight of Jack's bandages.
"Jack, what happen to your hands?"
"Nothing, just an accident." Jack's answer was taut. He glanced away with an emotion Bridget had rarely seen on his face.
"'An accident'?" Bridget raised a brow before gliding and pivoting around jagged bumps formed from rocks under Jack's newly made ice road. When her lame foot winced slightly from the old wounds, she came to the realization. Her little gift led her to being attacked by the blood wolves and later, "Oh, from when I…"
"It was an accident." Jack affirmed intractably. He was not going to let Bridget block herself away from him again. Never again.
"But I still hurt you." Bridget responded with a hint of sorrow.
Jack's eyes became focused on the ice track, but his words were directly toward Bridget and no one else. "Everybody has hurt me at least one point in my life, Bridget. Mentally, physically, intentional, unintentional it's all the same. What matters is that I learned to forgive… okay, I haven't forgiven Pitch, but he's a bastard, the Morrígan's evil to the core, and that Twitty blonde jerk-ass was mean to you."
Bridget snickered at that last one. "But I still hurt you. I promised myself I wasn't going to hurt anyone with my powers anymore. And I broke that promise by hurting the person that," she trailed off, uncertain whether to say the words that had been trapped since the first time the couple skated together.
"What?" Jack waited on baited breath. He had a good feeling of what Bridget wanted to tell him.
"Aagh!" The Morrígan screamed. The short half-minute between Jack and Bridget was over. The Phantom Queen recovered from her crash and flew with great vigor to catch up.
"Great," Jack griped. "Now what do we do?"
Bridget held back a frown. Jack was unaware of what her true intentions for having the Morrígan chase after them. Barely five seconds passed before Bridget saw what she sought after since freeing the children.
"Now, I let go." Bridget murmured before slipping her fingers away from Jack. With the speed and velocity, Bridget was successful at evading Jack's attempt to snagging her back. She wouldn't allow that anyway. The redhead knew what needed to be done.
Bridget was never known to be graceful, so falling headfirst to the ground and rolling uncontrollably was expected to happen.
"I was never good with my entrances." The gray-eyed girl thought lightly while pushing herself up. Her metallic colored eyes peered directly at what she was hoping to fall right next to, the Four Treasures of Tuatha Dé Danann. Even with them being used for dark purposes they still glowed that luminous glow Bridget had remembered.
"I just need to get near them to-" Bridget began to say until being forced down; her face forced on the hard earth.
"What do we have here?" The possessed Morrígan cooed sickly. "The clan's little embarrassment, that's what. Don't tell us you'll be trying to do something naughty again? Already you disappointed everyone for not leading a happy marriage with your hubby."
"Tell me something I don't know." Bridget groaned, struggling to push herself forward but the Morrígan's strength was stronger than before.
"What are you really trying to do, Fiery Arrow?" The Morrígan tapped a talon over Bridget's head, not caring if she drew out blood (which secretly she would've thrilled at seeing). "If you're think of repeating history we'd like to see you try. You couldn't be much help during Samhain, and you won't be much help now." She grabbed Bridget by her cheeks and forced her to look up.
"See how concealed that Glowing Orb in the sky is. It won't be able to save you now or your little friends. One by one, they'll be under our control just like you were… and your dear aunty."
"Crom," Bridget swore under breath.
"You are nothing, just like the rest of your pathetic race. Your own aunty was unable to do anything to take the throne until I persuaded her for my 'help'. You are alone now, none of your clan can help you with defeating me."
Bridget gasped; she was having some trouble breathing with the Morrígan/Crom's hand pressing down on her throat. In desperation, she stared at the sky, hoping for one miracle and become grateful at what she saw. Her hearing also didn't fail her when she heard the sounds of familiar voices growing closer.
"You're right about one thing, Crom. I don't have the Tuatha Dé Danann with me, but I'm not alone. Not any more or ever again."
The Dark One only had a second to register Bridget's words when a large blast of light engulfed the sky as a deafening cry could be heard. Bridget pushed her former aunt to the ground with great effort. The mad woman was clinging onto Bridget's coat forcing the redhead to sacrifice the remainder of her left sleeve. Once the Morrígan/Crom rolled unceremoniously to the ground, the disheveled Guardians joined Bridget in a brisk manner.
"Please," North panted, grabbed for some much needed air before continuing. "Tell me vhat is happening?"
"I had to draw the Morrígan here to this spot without making it look like it was intentional." Bridget explained the best way she could. She glanced over to where Jack stood and hoped that he had forgave her for the trick she did minutes ago. A small moan could be heard that made the remaining Guardians and human turn to see the Morrígan/Crom stirring back from unconsciousness. She/it gave a look of utter confusion toward the group with her/its yellow eyes fixated on Bridget.
"This is exactly the sort of person I am." Bridget declared to the dizzy Crom Cruach as his control on the Morrígan began to wane slightly. The redhead exchanged glances with the Guardians. They held determined expressions right when moonlight started to bathe the ground.
The dead cold air quickly faded like a bad dream. Bridget could feel all her fears, and inner demons grow small and shrink when she spied at the moon. It was big and bright just as she remembered.
Bridget felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Manny says, 'It is time.'" North said sagely with his eyes remained gawp toward the moon.
"Oh yeah, I'm feelin' it." Bunny clenched his fists in a proactive behavior. Sandy looked very please with himself as he could create little beings and objects from his dreamsand again. Tooth could barely stay in on place with all the excitement bubbling inside of her. Bridget was able to catch the glowing smile on Nightlight as he reunited briefly with his moonbeam friend.
"Ve must step forward to the circle." North continued. "Manny says it's best vay to bring out the Torch."
"Here goes nothing." Jack shrugged before walking over the stone carved ring made from intricate runes. The others soon followed leaving Bridget the last person not to cross.
"Bridget?" Tooth called out in concern.
The redhead looked at the circle and back to her friends. She had only just told Crom that things weren't going to be like Samhain, and yet here she was with her mind remembering that near-devastating experience.
Keep moving forward.
"Who said that?" Bridget turned her head around in order to find the unfamiliar voice. The Guardians traded confused looks with each other at seeing Bridget behaving so odd, even in their definition of what odd was.
There is no need for that. You can stop moving your head. The voice gently directed Bridget.
"Okay, I'm hearing voices in my head, but it sounds nothing like Brìde or Brìg so I must be-"
You're not losing your mind; the voice spoke again; I am merely speaking to you telepathically, if that is what humans call it I believe. Personally I would've went with a different name but I wasn't the true creator of the world. You of all people would know that, wouldn't you Brigit.
It only took Bridget less than a moment figure out whose presence was in her head.
I was hoping that you would listen to me again.
"When did I stop?"
A long, long time ago. Much longer than even our friend Jack Frost I'm afraid.
"I kinda guessed that one not too long ago to be honest."
I can't say I do not blame you.
"So what do you want?...sir." She addressed the formality in order to sound more polite.
Oh, now there's no need for that. MiM or Manny is perfectly fine.
"Can I call you Tsar Lunar?"
I don't go by that anymore-
"Okay, okay, sorry. Didn't mean to sound rude just now. Wait how long have I been standing here like an idiot? The others must be worried."
No need to be alarmed. I used what little power I have to slow time enough so our moment together can go without being interrupted.
Bridget was ready to shout shenanigans when she placed her attention back to her friends. Much to her surprise they appeared nearly fuzzy around their frames. She blinked a couple times in an attempt to see them back to normal.
It didn't work.
"Okay, I believe you, but one thing I'm not getting is why are you wasting your power to slow time to talk with me? If you're supposed to be the almighty god of whatever can't you just end this now and save the world?"
Same reason like all the other times when I spoke with the Guardians. I am merely an observer over the earth. I cannot intervene even if I wanted to, which of course I've always dreamed of joining the Guardians on quests, but that's another for another day. What I am trying to convey is for you to go on and join your fellow Guardians inside the circle.
"Now you're just sounding like a parent. I think we both know exactly what happened the last time I joined a group of magical people to stop an ancient evil from resurfacing and-wait, did you just say my fellow Guardians?"
Well, if you recalled the last time we met. Then you would know exactly why I compared you to them.
"Uhh, yeah… right. But do you really mean-?"
I think to get the best answer is to move forward on the next step to find it. I'm afraid I can no longer speak with you as Crom Cruach is trying to break through the time frame I made. Remember child, Belief is the greatest magic of all~!
"And may the force be with you," Bridget finished to herself.
"Bridget hurry!" Tooth called out again as time returned to normal. "We must follow with the plan MiM had set up for us."
Bridget turned her attention back to her… friends. She was far more comfortable with calling them that than anything else. With a deep sigh Bridget step forward and over the line. A small hum vibrated around her body as her clothes (what was left of them) blew slightly by the glowing energy.
"This is new." Bridget observed while looking at her hands.
"Now it is Midnight." North pointed toward the sky where the moon was aligned perfectly centered.
"So this is it." Bridget thought with her mind at ease for once. "Whatever happens now will be fates doing or Manny's. Something tells me if he talks to me again I'm just going to have to shut up and listen."
Those were the last words Bridget thought before she and the others become shrouded by the Treasures' glow.
Q-A: Can you believe it took me over a month to get this one down? Seriously this is over 17 pages long and most people finish loads of chapters during that time frame. Believe me, I read a ton of stories, which is half the reason it took me so long to finish this. Sorry. XP But hey I just remembered that this story was released one year and 24 days ago. Wow and most of you have been with me the whole ride since. Just a few more chapters guys (perhaps three or four, who knows) until the END… DX But worry not it's only the beginning I promise you there will be more adventures of Bridget and the Guardians. By the way, how many of you like my take on Katherine? She's not the same age as her book-self but hopefully still as creative and fun-loving like always. She is a bit scattered-brained but most people I know with a love of books (especially me XD) tend to be on the eccentric side.
Keep on Writin' and Rockin'