Dedicated to May Eve, who asked for something which would sucker-punch her with happiness. Not sure I quite managed, but I like it all the same, so here you go! Most difficult thing here? Finding a title.


Jack zooms through the air with a mad cackle, skidding off the wall and only just righting himself in time to avoid the oncoming yeti – he leans to the side and passes a hair's width away from the furry shoulder. Someone is howling in outrage behind him and Jack loves it.

He dodges the elf and leaps onto the railing – and away he goes, sliding down the impromptu skiing slope! It's so much fun, evading and running from all these hands that want to grab him, stop him -

Whoops! Jump over that outstretched arm, a glimpse of a furious furry face, that was a close one –

He's surrounded and that's exactly the way he likes it, because he's the center of attention and he revels in it – they see him and they're looking at him, and that's very nearly the best thing in the world, right next to a Sophie hug – and his grin stretches to impossible proportions as he's off again.

He hasn't had so much fun in decades – he snitches a cookie off an elf platter, sending the little creature spinning like a top with a gust of air, and crams the pastry into his mouth as he jumps away from the lunge Bunny makes for him – and nearly into Tooth, who'd been lying in wait behind him. Oh, they're good, but Jack's better, and he's been playing this game for hundreds of years – there's no way he'll let himself get caught with such an amateur move. He waves and grins manically as Tooth half-threatens half-pleads with him, and the distress on her face at the sight of the sugar in his mouth is just hilarious; so he bows extravagantly and, with a loop, rushes into the next room.

It's chaos there, of the best kind – Jack slaloms amongst the running yetis, leaving a trail of ice that uncurls like fresh blossoms behind him, hopping over an occasional elf, heart pounding in exhilaration, and North's booming laughter makes his chest feel both incredibly tight and incredibly warm as Bunny rants at him that it's not bloody funny –

Whoa! Good one, Sandy, but it'll take more than that to catch the Master of Mischief, the Trickster Extraordinaire!

Bunny has given up on North, and has launched into the chase with a new fervor, with single-minded devotion to pinning down the little nuisance that has snowed his warren in, his fur bristling in righteous indignation, and Jack –

Jack races through the air and bursts into clear skies laughing hysterically, his face alive with wild, delighted glee ; glances back at the rabbit doggedly tracking him, and his heart swells with overwhelming happiness. The thrill of the chase is addicting and his lungs are burning, his face stings and aches from so much smiling –

Jack's living like he never did before, and he doesn't ever want to stop.