Chapter 1: Firsts
The first time Tooth touched Jack was in a whirlwind of small hands prying his mouth open to get a better look at his molars. To his initial surprise, Jack had felt less of an invasion of privacy than a surprised bewilderment. In fact, he'd almost enjoyed the attention, simply because he'd spent three hundred years getting none of it.
Tooth touched Jack tenderly when she placed her hand on his shoulder in a moment of comfort, when he'd found out he had memories he'd known nothing about. That was the first time Jack had caught a glimpse of just how deep her compassion was.
When Tooth hugged Jack and spun him around after the end of the battle, her soft feathers brushing his neck, small arms holding him tight, Jack felt a much more bewildering flurry of emotions (some of which were definitely firsts) as he hugged her back, before he settled on simple content and ignored the others.
Jack enjoyed the contact because he hadn't experienced it in a long, long time. (He knew now he'd experienced physical affection from his family, but before he'd regained his memories he'd had no recollection of any caring touch at all). And he appreciated all of the small physical gestures the Guardians gave him, no matter how small and fleeting; but for some reason, Jack found he appreciated it from Tooth the most.
The Guardians had decided to have a quick celebration at the North Pole after the defeat of Pitch, with a plentiful feast and abundant music - eagerly supplied by the elves. As the festivities died down, the Guardians dispersed all at the same time, with Bunnymund giving a (nearly out of character cheerful) salute as he opened up his tunnel and disappeared into its depths, Sandy waving silently as he left to spread dreamsand on his schedule, and Tooth and Jack in tow as they said their goodbyes to North. North had spoken to Tooth fondly in his goodbye, and had said less to Jack, opting to –rather crushingly– hug him instead.
And then it was just the two of them in the biting Northern air, flecks of Jack's snow beginning to dust their frames, the bright light of the Midnight sun giving off the illusion of daytime.
Jack pulled his arms over his head nimbly in a stretch, his back to Tooth. He was a bit nervous all of a sudden, and he couldn't place why. He stared at the sky with a furrowed brow, as if it could give him an answer, but alas, its pale blue expanse provided no relief to his scrambled thoughts. Biting his lip, he turned suddenly to face Tooth, but hadn't expected her gaze on him, and he started a little. Tooth obviously hadn't been expecting him to turn so quickly either and Jack saw a bit of color creep into her face (or was that just his imagination?).
Smoothing her colorful head feathers, Tooth regained her composure as she flitted closer to Jack, and smiled. "I suppose I'll see you soon, then."
"Yeah," Jack said, "don't be a stranger." As soon as the words left his mouth and hung in the icy air, he realized they had more meaning than he'd meant. In fact, embarrassingly enough, they sounded near desperate. Tooth seemed to realize it too, because regret flashed in her eyes as she probably thought back of Jack's seemingly interminable isolation from the world- from them. The Guardians had all been busy with their duties and none of them had realized how very alone and lost the winter spirit had been all that time.
Tooth put her tiny hand on Jack's shoulder and he was reminded of only hours ago when she'd performed the same consoling gesture.
"Of course I won't," she said softly, and Jack could tell her words held deeper meaning, too.
They stood there for a beat, her hand still resting on his shoulder, the flurries of the snow picking up momentum around them, when Jack, on a sudden, wild impulse, pulled Tooth in and embraced her. This was definitely a first. Jack couldn't remember the last time he'd initiated a hug with anyone at all; he knew he hadn't since his past life, and that was definitely a long time to go without doing so.
The embrace had been on such sheer impulse that Jack pulled away nearly a second after the contact, blushing violently, his heart pounding fast.
Tooth looked stunned, and this time Jack was sure there was extra color in her face.
"Uh, I- sorry," Jack stammered, giving Tooth what he hoped looked like an apologetic grin but was probably more of a shaky grimace. He stared at the ground, mentally chiding himself because he was sure now she was probably regretting lingering with him while saying goodbye.
Tooth just shook her head, smiling, though there was now a bit of confusion in her eyes. "Don't be… sorry, Jack," she said. Jack looked up hesitantly and saw Tooth was studying him like she was trying to figure him out. Her confusion melted into understanding, and Jack saw her feathers rise and fall as she exhaled. Then, to Jack's surprise, Tooth wrapped her arms around him gently, her body temperature once again contrasting sharply with his.
"Don't be sorry," she repeated, her voice a delicate whisper that brushed against the skin of his neck like a sigh. Tooth's body was all warmth while his was all ice; Jack felt the immediate urge to shy away from her heat so he wouldn't make her cold and uncomfortable, but every fiber of his being was clinging to her touch. His body was so dreadfully starved of physicality that he clung to it without thinking.
"Okay," Jack said softly, blinking fast, and he hugged her back with tentative shyness, his hands resting above her wings. "Okay."
a/n: I know this subject has been touched on (hehehe) with Tooth/Jack and Jack's crave for physical affection, but I've wanted to do a fic dedicated to it for weeks.
So hopefully I'll be able to continue it. :D
These two give you cavities, I swear.
Please review and let me know what you think!