By the time the rescue party arrived back at the pole, Jack's crying had digressed to sniffles and now he was silent. Wide, red rimmed eyes stared out from the huddle that was curled in North's large arms. The Russian carried him as if he weighed nothing and was very gentle. The man could wield swords with brute strength but could also carve intricate details and patterns into ice sculptors with the most delicate of tools. They made their way into the warm workshop and North asked Phil to prepare the guestroom for Jack to spend the night despite a whine of protest from the bundle in his arms. Phil lumbered off in that direction and Bunnymund looked at Toothiana.
"Sheila, do Frostbite a favour and nip off to the kitchen and get him a bite to eat?"
Toothiana hesitated momentarily from where she was gently caressing Jack's leg that was perched over North's arm and then nodded. She understood Bunnymund's point of view. She was a guardian and a fighter but one yell from Jack and she would be tearing up at his pain, rather she do something constructive and not be a hindrance.
"If Sandy arrives I'll let him know what's happened." She said. BUnnymund and North nodded their gratitude and North took Jack to his office and just to the right of his office was a small room kitted with basic first aid and a cabinet with supplies as well as a doctor's bed. The number of times North had hurt himself in his profession was more than he would like to admit. Not to mention the odd yeti who was injured. Surprisingly the elves were hardly in there despite their numerous mishaps. Tough little devils.
North placed Jack on the table and saw him glance around nervously.
"Don't be scared Jack." Reassured North.
"I'm not scared." Argued Jack and gave a little jump when Bunnymund turned around and approached him with a large pair of scissors which he passed to North. The Pooka gave a little chuckle at the look on the boy's face, a mixture of panic and defiance. "Don't even think about bolting." He warned.
"What are those for?" asked Jack, eyes darting towards the scissors glinting in North's hand.
"To cut off your tops. Taking off your jacket could hurt your arm, we don't know how bad it is being." Explained North and without further ado, tugged on the material, lined up the scissors and began snipping. Jack held his breath as it reached his shoulder but North expertly cut around the tender area. Bunnymund had filled a bowl with water and was dabbing a cloth and brought it up to wipe at the dried blood on his face. Jack tried to hold back the small whine as he circled the tender bump and cut by his hairline but the Guardian of Hope was quick and efficient. IN no time at all, Jack's hoodie and shirt were cut away and thrown into the bin despite a weak "no" from Jack and his forehead and side of his face was clean of blood.
North and Bunnymund stared critically at Jack's shoulder and after quiet mutterings and a few experimental movements of Jack's arm, came to the mutual diagnosis:
"Dislocated Shoulder." Announced North.
"Is that bad?" asked Jack, frowning at the news.
"Well, its not as bad as it could have been. Couple of weeks in a sling and you'll be alright." Said Bunnymund. The warrior looked at North and Jack caught the glance that was passed between them. "What?!" he demanded.
Bunnymund shrugged and said firmly, "I'll do it" and moved towards Jack. "What?" asked Jack, panic setting in as North pushed him till he was lying flat on the table. A large hand restrained his chest and Jack could only move his head in panic as he tried to work out what was about to happen. "Bunny, don't!" he yelled as Bunnymund straightened his arm and waiting half a second, pulled and jerked the arm upwards. Jack didn't yell as the socket fell back into place, just sucked in air through his clenched teeth and kept his eyes shut, trying to block out the pain. Bunnymund gently touched the area around the socket to check no nerves had been caught and nodded, pleased.
"Is alright Jack," reassured North, "Bunny is done."
"Its good you're so cold," said Bunnymund, "otherwise it would have swollen and trust me, that would have been quite a process."
Jack now opened his eyes to glare at him, "I don't care, that hurt."
Bunnymund shrugged and then looked at North, "you're doing his head."
"What's wrong with my head?" asked Jack, trying to get up. North allowed him to sit up and North grabbed the metal bowl of water Bunnymund had used to clean him up. He gave a gulp as he saw the dark, deep mark by his hairline. "Just a couple of stitches." Said North now winding a bandage around Jack's arm and putting it in a sling. Jack eyed the door wistfully but didn't think he would make it very far.
When North turned around with a needle, Jack gave a yelp and decided to chance his getaway, now it was Bunnymund's turn to press down on Jack's chest and keep him still as North injected the anaesthetic. Jack closed his eyes as he felt the disconcerting feeling of tug of skin as North slowly but carefully sewed the skin together.
"Please tell me its over." Asked Jack when North had finished.
"Still your ankle to go." Said Bunnymund and after some more testing, decided it was just sprained. North lathered some healing cream on it and wrapped it up tight. Finally the two guardians did a final checkup. Bunnymund was worried about a slight concussion and it seemed Jack's ribs were bruised but not cracked or broken. Bunnymund gave Jack a wooden crutch to use under his good arm, "you're going to have to settle for this stick instead of your usual stick for awhile."
"Its not a stick, it's a staff!" yelled Jack, frustrated at the evenings event.
"Eat then sleep!" yelled North.
"He cant sleep yet," interrupted Bunnymund, "not with a concussion."
North stroked his beard and shrugged, "we will keep him awake then."
Jack hung his head, sleep at this point sounded like a wonderful idea. They waited patiently as Jack had a few practise rounds with the crutch and then slowly made their way to the kitchen. For Jack who was used to flitting everywhere, it was horrible to be so slowed down. Toothiana gave a little gasp when she saw a bandaged and stitched Jack on a crutch arrive in the kitchen. She flew forward and North and Bunnymund both yelled, "Mind the arm!" She halted her intended body crushing hug and settled for stroking his cheek. "Come have something to eat Sweet Tooth."
Sandy was there and drew up several images. Jack nodded, "I'm okay thanks." He said and the golden man helped him sit up on a stool. Jack ate the soup with relish but kept quiet, it had been quite an evening. His eyes felt heavy and he turned to Toothiana, the weak link he hoped. "Can I go to sleep?" he asked her. She was about to nod when Bunnymund shot her a look. "Stay awake one more hour Frostbite then sure."
Jack groaned, when was he going to get a break?! Then a thought struck him, "How am I going to get home? I nearly passed out when the wind picked me up."
North turned serious and stood up. "Is good question. Jack we are happy you are alright-" Jack gave a little snort, he certainly didn't feel alright. "-but" continued North, "you went and played were I told you not to. Punishment is in order."
Jack's eyes widened, "am I on the naughty list again? Sheesh that didn't take long…"
North shook his head, "No naughty list for you but you are grounded."
"Grounded?" asked Jack, confused at the term though it was fitting, it wasn't like he could fly again.
"You do not leave the pole." Said North.
"For how long?!" cried Jack.
"Two weeks." Said North firmly.
Jack stuttered, trying to think of a way out of his punishment. "It will give you time to heal and for the next two days, you do not leave your bed."
Now Jack's jaw dropped. Stuck in bed, for two days. No.
Bunnymund saw the look on Jack's face as he sat up straighter and gave a grin, it looked like Jack was going to argue and one thing you didn't do, was argue with North. It turned into a yelling match of epic proportions. Jack yelled till he was blue in the face and North yelled till he was red in the face. Toothiana fluttered back and forth, trying to calm the situation and Sandy waited, knowing neither would back down. He motioned to North and made a sand symbol of a watch.
"Time for sleep now Jack." Said North,calming down.
Jack decided now was a perfect time for a tantrum. As tired as he was before, the threat of being grounded had certainly woken him up. "No!" he yelled, throwing down his crutch."
"Jack!" scolded Toothiana.
"He's tired and sore," intervened Bunnymund, "he'll be better after some good sleep."
Jack gave an indignant yell as he was gently picked up by North and followed by the others to the guestroom. He fought as best as he could with one arm and when they got to the guestroom, he held on tight to North and he had to have his good hand pried off the man's shirt. Panic set in as Jack thought he was being left alone. "Don't leave, I'm sorry!"
Tooth fluffed his pillow and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead. "We wont leave till you're asleep and when you wake up someone will be here." She promised.
Jack turned to Bunnymund, "I really wanted to spar with you, I was going to kick your tail!"
Bunnymund grinned and scoffed, "you best be getting to sleeping and dreaming cause that's the only place that's gonna happen."
North nodded to Sandy who rose above Jack and gave a light sprinkling of sanddust, Jack felt his eyes grow heavy and tried to fight the heaviness overcoming his body. Within moments, he was breathing slowly and as deeply as his bruised ribs would allow.
Toothiana and Sandy both caught the look of affection and protectiveness on North's and Bunnymund's faces as they gazed at Jack, making sure he was alright and they grinned at eachother.
Jack slept on as they quietly exited the room.
"See you soon Sweet Tooth," whispered Toothiana as she left the door slightly ajar.
Alrighty so that was the next chapter. Not toosure where to go from here, Jack's grounding over the next couple of weeks where he annoys people and they finally see how insecure Jack is now that they around him 24/7? Sounds like an idea…
Pleeeease more reviews cause it motivates me to write quicker.