So here is the Pitch reluctantly mentors Jack story I mentioned I was playing with. Grumpy Pitch is an absolute delight to write, and you can totally see where Jack might have gotten all that sass from...
This Pitch is probably a little more a curmudgeon than evil mastermind than most incarnations of Pitch are but lets just pretend that most of his angst and bitterness has yet to accumulate.
Hell froze over at 6:17am on a Tuesday morning in 1698. After spending much of his twilight hours watching children dare each other to stand on the edge of a forest he knew for certain wasn't haunted, filled with child stealing monsters or home to cannibals (mores the pity) Pitch Black had rounded off his night with a trip into a small church on the edge of some no name, flea infested village on the east coast. Pitch didn't make frequent visits to human places of worship, but in the last few centuries the fire and brimstone many of them preached had done wonders for business, and he felt he owed it to them to at least pay some attention to the drivel they were spewing.
That particular morning's sermon was being lead by an extremely zealous and deeply serious old man, whoes eloquent descriptions of what awaited them in the afterlife were enough to make even him shiver slightly in delight. He settled down in the back pew, next to a little woman with a neatly tied bonnet, and a small girl who looked like she hadn't slept in a week. Pitch didn't recall making any home visits recently and briefly wondered at the cause of her distress before deciding that he didn't actually care in the slightest.
Hard work and suffering were the name of the preacher's game. Pitch zoned out for most of it, but occasionally put in his own thoughts, which were universally ignored by the ignorant peasant population. Far be it for him to offer any insight on suffering, oh no…it wasn't like he had any relevant experience in that field...
Bored long before the summon ended, Pitch took his leave. Sun was slowly starting to peek through the bare branches of winter stripped trees. While he was perfectly capable of spending time in the sunlight, he liked it about as much as he liked attending any function arranged by Nicholas St North. Which was to say he'd rather let Toothiana remove all of his dentures with rusty pliers.
No, time to go somewhere nice and dark, and preferably with a rich aroma of decay and rotting shrubbery. Scotland, perhaps.
It was at that point, just as he was contemplating a day of peace and quiet while reading some of the more depressing human literatures (something Greek, maybe. Everyone died in Euripedes' work; Pitch almost missed him) the sky chose that moment to drop a soaking wet, wriggling teenager on his head.
Pitch let lose some of the more salty curses at his disposal and rubbed his elbow in annoyance. Aside from getting mud on his robes, he had rotten tree leaves in his hair and a considerable bruise to his ego. It was the latter that caused him to reach down, seize the gangly child at his feet, and give that brat a good shake.
It wasn't until he was halfway through insulting the boy's intelligence, parenthood and choice of clothing that he realized holding the obnoxious brat a foot off the ground, coupled with the child's ridiculously wide eyed expression could mean only one thing:
"You can see me?" The brat spoke before he had a chance to say the same words and Pitch dropped him in disgust.
"Oh how delightful: another one of you moronic do-gooders," he spat sardonically. "Just what my life needed." He looked up at the fading moonlight and fixed on a smile that had made grown men weep in fear. "Isn't this one a little young for you?"
The Moon twinkled back in amusement and Pitch cursed him under his breath. He regretted turning his back on the scrawny brat when a sharp tug on his robe threatened to knock him once more to the ground. The boy was strong for such a microscopic twig. "You can see me." He said in a daze.
"Observant little cretin, aren't you?" Pitch sneered. He crossed his arms and turned the full force of his glare on the wide-eyed monster. It was one of his most ferocious expressions, one saved for only Sanderson and his ilk. He'd used it on Toothiana once and she'd cried, right before punching him in the nose. Experience said then that it should have had some effect on the wet behind the ears whelp who looked up at him as if he was on first name terms with the Moon himself.
He was, but the brat wasn't to know that, was he?
Probably not, if the way he was looking at Pitch said anything. "Who are you?" He breathed in a manner that was quite frankly, slightly disturbing. Pitch couldn't recall the last time his discomfort hadn't been a direct result of one or more of the Guardians, and automatically tensed, ready to dodge a boomerang.
Still, if the boy genuinely didn't know who he was, then odds were he wasn't one of North's merry band of men, and Pitch could happily ignore the little brat.
He promptly prepared to do so. "Run along now." He said, summoning up the most condescending voice he could muster. In his head, it sounded a little like North and a little like the old fart of a preacher he'd seen that morning.
The brat didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to either the tone of Pitch's voice or the look on his face. "I'm Jack," he said. "Jack Frost. Are you from around here? How come you can see me? Can you fly too? I can fly but I don't think I'm very good at it, which is why I fell on you. Sorry about that, by the way, I didn't mean to, I just-"
Pitch couldn't recall the last time he had moved so fast. He picked the boy up again with one hand and slapped the other hand over his mouth. Far from being afraid, the monstrous little demon continued to babble away, as if now he'd started he was unable to stop.
Pitch felt a headache brewing. It was entirely unfair that a life of immortality and potentially limitless power did not negate the grating agony that a high-pitched child's voice could inflict on the adult nervous system.
"Would you kindly desist your mindless prattling?" Pitch managed to resist the urge to shake the child again and mentally released himself from any obligation to be nice to anyone for the next century. Finally, the boy stilled. "Thank you."
Pitch set him down on his feet and turned to go on his merry, un-chattered to way. He'd need to read something truly miserable to cheer himself up now, though he supposed he could always pop by Turkey and see how their little war was brewing.
Thoughts of decapitation and bloodshed brought a sneer of contentment to his face and this time he nearly tripped over the brat.
Speedy little monster, wasn't he?
Pitch looked down at him, his sneer no longer filled with delightful things, but thoughts of all the ways irritating little boys could meet sticky, sticky ends.
He was nearly half Pitch's height and a third his width. Picking him up had required no effort at all, so surely it was just a matter of finding the nearest cliff and tossing the irritating child head first over the edge?
But then, he had said something about flying…
Pitch finally noticed the pitiful wooden staff the boy clutched in his hands. More interestingly he noticed the lines of delicate ice that spread from his fingertips.
An Elemental. How delightful.
"Please," the manipulative brat turned big blue eyes up on him in a move that would no doubt propel North into fits of frenetic cookie baking. It had no such effect on Pitch, who didn't even find small animals cute, let alone children. "You can't leave now. You've the first person to talk to me in a year."
"A year?" Pitch repeated. The boy nodded sorrowfully and Pitch was utterly horrified to see tears brim in those nauseatingly blue eyes. Oh for the love of… "You're an infant." He said. "I have no desire to converse with infants. Shoo."
"I am not." Ah, temper tantrum. Worse than an infant, he was a spoiled infant.
"I beg to differ," Pitch said in a sickeningly calm way he knew drove people to fits of fury. "You are an infant and you are disturbing what while admittedly was not a pleasant evening, was my evening none the less."
"It's morning." The boy said, tears abating for the moment.
"Scram." Pitch said. He turned and walked away.
"Hey!" The boy called after him. "Hey, wait! Wait! Wait!"
The blast of ice froze him to the ground in shock. As soon as it wore off, Pitch realized that it had also literally frozen him to the ground.
Now that was interesting.
"I'm sorry." The boy dropped lightly down in front of Pitch's half frozen body. "I didn't meant to do that. I just didn't want you to leave."
"I'm sure." Pitch sneered as he tried to clutch at the tattered remains of his dignity. It didn't take much effort to break the boy's hold, but the fact remained that it should have taken no effort at all.
Once more he turned to leave. He'd defiantly be visiting Turkey, and maybe pop in on an execution or two in England…
Soft sniffling stopped him in his tracks. With great reluctance and even greater irritation at himself, he turned around.
The boy was a pitiful bundle of sorrow on the ground. He clutched his staff tightly and patterns of ice spread out around him in sympathy. Fat tears barely escaped his eyes before freezing on his face.
Pitch turned to the Moon. "What on earth were you thinking?" He scolded, jabbing one finger at the brat and scowling up at the fading orb in the sky.
Another silent twinkle was the only answer he got.
Cursing himself, the boy, the Moon, and everything else that existed between the three of them, Pitch grabbed the boy by one skinny arm and hefted him upright. "You will be quiet, you will do as you are told, and you will cease that incessant sniffling, am I clear?"
The boy nodded dumbly, too busy staring at the hand on his arm, a small smile twitching at his lips.
It had been a long time since Pitch had felt physical contact with anyone either, but you didn't see him smiling like some moronic child about it.
He'd regret this, he would, but he hauled the boy up against his chest, pulled the last of the darkness around them, and sped down into the depths of the earth.
Turkey could wait. He wanted to see what else the brat could do with those frosty little powers of his.
Curiosity might be a sin these days, but Pitch was nothing if not good at it.