I know. I should focus on the Summer Twins series, a couple of other fanfictions, and an exam tomorrow. But this plot idea haunts me…

I don't know where this will go: maybe it will be linear, maybe just a series of one-shots.

Well, here we go.

The Death and Life of Jack Frost

Of all the things, he never thought he'd die.

Not so soon, at least.

When the ice cracked under his feet and suddenly the warm touch of the sun was replaced by the cold water, he wasn't scared at first, just surprised.

Fear caught him later, when he found out he wasn't able to swim to the surface.

Because he never learned how to swim.

He moved his limbs, every second stiffer, but everything was useless. His lungs screamed for air, the world was darkening. He could not even hear his sister's voice anymore.

The first mouthful of water entered his lungs, he coughed and more water came in with excruciating burning pain.

He stopped moving.

In his last seconds he could only think about his sister, at least she was safe and sound: he saved her. She would have experienced the same awful death that was now grabbing him.

He prayed, in his mind, as the town priest taught him, to be allowed to go to heaven.

He expected white clouds and little angels, or a burning darkness.

But nothing came.

Only the freezing cold around him.

But suddenly, he didn't feel cold anymore. Was it because he already died?

No, something was wrong. Jack opened his eyes, all of a sudden. Something changed: he was still underwater but apparently time passed, because above him, in the night sky, the bright silhouette of the moon shone on him.

He felt a strange force pulling him up, the thin layer of ice broke and finally he gasped as he gratefully breathed again.

He looked up, the moon looked bigger than he ever saw it before, its light shone on him, looking almost alive. A wave of warmth and kindness chased the fear and the darkness away, as he found himself smiling.

His feet touched the ice that rethickened itself like magic.

Jack Frost.

He looked up in surprise, he didn't know how but he knew that these words came from the Moon.

Your name is Jack Frost.

"Yeah, well, I know that" he said. His voice sounded clear, he was a bit surprised since he just spend some time under water.

A part of him screamed this was not possible, he could have not survived. Another part was just thankful some twist of fate spared him.

The Moon told him nothing more, it stayed silent. Jack finally looked around: he was still at the lake he went ice-skating with his little sister. Few feet from him, his shepherd's crook layed on the ice. He walked to grab it, slipping a bit on the ice: strange enough he didn't feel cold, despite being barefoot.

Finally he grabbed the staff, and to his shock it covered itself in ice crystals shining of a blue light. Jack almost dropped it, and when its tip touched the ground, more flower-like patterns spread on the already frozen surface of the lake.

Filled with shock but also curiosity, he grabbed the staff already and examined it: the blue-glowing frost seemed to follow his touch, when he dropped the staff it melted and returned being a normal looking shepherd's crook, as it always was.

Jack grabbed it again and walked to a tree on the lakeside: careful he touched the cortex with the curved point and watched in awe at the frost patterns appeared on it as well. He repeated the action on another tree and the same thing happened.

He started giggling: he could create ice. He ran back to the lake, running on the icy surface, the staff's tip touching the ground, creating patterns that followed his tracks.

Then, all of a sudden, a strong gust of wind caught him and, like he did not weighed a bit, lifted him in the air. Jack almost screamed as he twirled in the air, but when he realized he was floating above the lake, admiring his own worked, smiled with joy.

Then, the wind dropped, and Jack found himself falling through trees and branches: somehow he managed to grab one of these without losing grip on his staff. He was shocked but not injured, and he found himself laughing.

Then, a warm light on the edge of the woods caught his attention: a small village's lights.

Jack's eyes widened, his village, his home.

He had to go back, to tell his mother and his sister he was fine, they were surely heartbroken, believing him dead. He rose on his feet, balancing on the bough, waiting for another gust of wind to pick him up.

He didn't have to wait long: he flew fast towards the town, landing behind a barn. He didn't land gracefully, instead he stumbled and fell with his face in the snow, its cape covering his head, he rose just to fall again. Finally he managed to get on his feet, sweeping up the snow from his clothes.

Carefully, he peeked into the main square: some people were still around. Most of them dressed in black.

Were they dressed in black because of him? Jack knew he should be sorrowful, but instead a mischievous grin appeared on his face: what about scaring them or making a good prank? That was what he was always good doing, after all.

He was already thinking about some clever way to make his return, when he spotted his little sister speaking with Father Walter on a corner of the place. She was crying, and the young priest looked like was doing his best to comfort her.

Jack's smile suddenly fell, as he walked in the shadow to approach them.

"…but he was always doing bad things" the little girl was saying

"Making fun isn't bad, child. Your brother was a wayward lad, but far from evil. I'm sure the Good Lord will forget his mistakes…"

Jack felt a lump in his throat: they were talking about him. Not able to bear that sight further, he finally stepped out of the shadows.

"Pippa…?" he called, almost a whisper.

Nor the girl nor the young man moved.

"Pippa, Father Walter? Look, I'm here, I'm fine!" he continued, rising his voice. They continued to ignore him, the boy felt a wave of panic rising in his chest.

"Pippa, please, answer me" he approached the little girl, trying to grab her shoulder, but his hand passed right through her.

Another panic attack hit him. He couldn't get a breath, his heart felt like it was going to burst. It was the worst feeling he had ever had.

The sudden realization of being a mere ghost (because, what else could he be?), a mere echo of his existence, was too much. He walked towards other people, trying in any way to interact with them, uselessly. A bunch of kids playing ran right through him, causing him to feel a wave of real physical pain.

His eyes watered, tears rolled on his cheeks. Freezing cold tears, that turned into ice as they touched the ground.

It started snowing.

Jack sat down slowly on a cut tree. His staff touched the ground and the soil around it suddenly froze. A man, passing in front of him, slipped and fell. Some children laughed. The boy opened his eyes wide: he could not interact with people directly, but through his powers he could.

He grabbed a handful of freshly fallen snow and threw it at a kid.

"Who threw that?" the child looked around with a smile, in a bunch of seconds, a snowball fight started. Jack found himself laughing again and playing with the kids, although they could not see him.

He did not know how long they played, but at one point their mothers called them back inside. Again alone on the streets, he walked back home without thinking.

The door was closed: he peeked inside a window, his breath covering the glass with ice.

His mother was cradling Pippa and singing a lullaby: Jack's abandoned skates hanged by the fireplace. The little girl wasn't crying anymore, but there was no smile on her face.

Jack walked to the door and inside the small house: when the woman noticed the door opened, she stood up and closed, but Jack was quick enough to step in.

"I'm home, mum" he said, knowing that she could not hear him "I'm sorry…I wasn't careful enough…" he added, feeling a lump in his throat.

The woman ignored him, instead addressing her daughter: "Time to sleep, little one…" she said sweetly. The kid said nothing but nodded.

Jack just stood there for a while, then and idea stroke him: he walked to the small mirror in a corner of the room, intending to freezing it and writing on it, but the sight of his reflection stopped him. The boy in the looking glass had pure white hair and light blue eyes, his skin was as pale as death and his lips slightly blue: he looked like a corpse. Shaking his head he touched the mirror with the tip of the staff: the glass was immediately frosted. Before the heat of the room could melt it, he wrote with his finger: "I'm home".

He didn't need to turn around, the gasp of surprise coming from behind him made him smile.