Bunnymund released a long drawn out sigh as he flopped onto his back and relished in the feel of warm grass beneath his fur. He was exhausted to put it simply- and that was the sad part, considering that it wasn't even his busy time of the year. Winter was supposed to, officially, mark when Bunny could just relax. His mission was spring, and although he was still somewhat active during summer and fall, all of his 'major' work was over by winter.
That was the official border in his mind. However, just because he didn't have work to do that didn't mean that work wouldn't come up. And boy had it come up. For the past 3 days or so, Bunny had been all over his Warren; apparently the sentinel eggs had had a bit of a mishap in the Rainbow River. One of them fell in and ended up damning the whole thing!
Bunnymund found himself trying to repress a groan just at the thought of the flooding it had caused. It would realistically take weeks for that section of his home to return to it's natural coloring. Quite frankly there was absolutely nothing Aster wanted to do more than close his eyes and take a nice long nap.
Of course that would actually be convenient for him.
A familiar tension appeared in his chest, abruptly chasing away the gentle allure of rest with it's alarming tick. Begrudgingly, green orbs opened, only to see ribbons of colored lights stretching over the horizon, dancing through the sky and summoning him in a way he knew he couldn't ignore. The large rabbit gritted his teeth together and glared at the light show, "Ya gotta be kiddin' me," he growled below his breath.
This was definitely not his day.
Knowing he couldn't very well play hooky, the Pooka released a disgruntled huff while he stood to his feet. He spared his Warren a wary glance, hoping that it would survive without him for however long he was gone, before he tapped his foot and jumped down into the tunnel.
In less than a minute, he arrived at the frozen wasteland otherwise known as the North Pole. He really didn't understand what people found so magical about this place. It was freezing, covered with snow and ice, oh and completely devoid of life!
Upon entering the workshop, he was greeted by two of North's yetis who ushered him inside, grumbling in a language Bunny couldn't even begin to translate. They led him through the enormous workshop, even though he was confident he could navigate through it himself, and opened the double doors leading into the globe room.
As soon as the Guardian of hope entered, Tooth fluttered over to him sighing in relief, "Oh good. You're here," she breathed out. Bunny nodded, but stepped past her in order to glare at North, "Yeah I'm here a'right. Now what was so important that ya had ta call me all the way out here?" he demanded brusquely. Sandy tilted his head and formed a series of golden symbols, which made Bunny groan and rub his forehead.
"Ugh. Don' even get me started, mate. I swear the place's goin' straight ta hell," he mumbled.
"Is very important that all of us are here, Bunny." North assured him. Bunny removed his paw and observed the other with a note of readiness when he saw that his jolly demeanor had shifted to a somber appearance. He tensed, subconsciously, knowing that the man was hardly ever serious unless the matter was of the utmost importance. "As you may know my friend, Jack has been-"
"Hold up!" Bunny held up his paw, promptly interrupting the larger Guardian. Okay, he took it back. Perhaps North was losing his touch in his old age.
His expression visibly darkened upon the utterance of Jack's name and his anxiety over a possible threat vanished. His emerald irises narrowed threateningly toward the toy maker as he stomped up to him, stopping only when he was nose to nose with the immortal. "A' you tellin' me, that ya called me all the way out here...cause a' Frostbite!" he bit out in a dangerous timbre.
This was officially the worst day of his eternal life. The least they could have done was bring him there for an actual crisis!
North's blue eyes seemed to harden defensively in regards to the rabbit's tone of voice being directed towards their youngest. "Jack has been ill since the frost began last week," he informed the Aussie unkindly. Bunnymund rolled his eyes and snorted, "So the anklebita's feelin' a lil crook, so what?" he drawled out turning around to scan the room for the twerp.
Honestly! He realized they were a little rusty with kids and all that and having Jack as part of their group made them eager, but this was ridiculous. It wasn't like Jack was eternally 4 years old or something and needed to babied every minute of every day. Now with that said, Bunny did understand that with 300 years of absolute solitude the boy needed some attention.. but he didn't need to be suffocated.
Behind him, North sputtered indignantly, stunned by the Easter bringer's lack of concern. "Bunny, this is no ordinary cold," he gestured wildly to nothing. "There is something wrong with Jack," he insisted. "Which is why we must ask Man in Moon how to fix him!"
Obviously not grasping the severity of the situation, Aster proceeded to ignore his friend and growled once he spotted the white haired sprite. It looked as though he had slipped into the room unnoticed, considering Bunny couldn't recall seeing him upon his arrival. He was standing, or leaning actually, rather languidly against his wooden staff, smiling as Sandy 'spoke'.
Jack immediately turned his head, without thinking, to look up at the disgruntled rabbit approaching. "What's the big idea, huh? I thought you were supposed ta be sick," he accused, examining the shorter silhouette from head to toe before coming to a stop directly in front of him.
"An' ya don' look sick ta me," he said in a low deep voice that conveyed the depths of Aster's impatience.
The teen's posture stiffened defensively and he glowered at his rival, "Don't look at me Kangaroo. It's not like I wanted to have this whole meeting in the first place," he informed him. He motioned to the other three Guardians with a wave of his staff, "I tried telling them I was fine, but they wouldn't listen!"
Tooth hovered over to the youth, her mini-fairies following closely behind in order to fuss over their infatuation as well. "But Jack you're not fine," she protested persistently. The hummingbird-like female pressed the back of her feathered hand to the spirit's cheek, which immediately caused Jack to recoil. "You're almost at room temperature."
Jack took a step back, appearing uncomfortable with the contact he was receiving from the two bodies boxing him in. "For the last time Tooth, this has happened before. Probably a good five times since I became Jack Frost." he assured her calmly. "I don't know why it happens or what it is; it just starts in the winter and doesn't end until spring."
Tooth sighed hopelessly, "That's not normal though!" Her tone implied that they had been through this conversation many times prior to this. "You're supposed to stay cold Jack. Winter shouldn't make you sick. The fact that this happens during this specific season means it isn't natural."
Baby blue eyes rolled, "You know what? I don't have to listen to this," Jack announced finally, spinning around to march right out the door. He probably would have made it there too if a certain grey haired Pooka hadn't grabbed his arm before he could make his escape.
"Hang on tick, Frostbite." Bunny ordered gruffly, earning a loud groan from said sprite.
The pale teenager pivoted to the side and peered up at the tall immortal, "Come on, Cottontail. You said it yourself that I don't look sick," he reminded impatiently. Out of everyone, even if it meant agreeing with each other, he had at least expected Bunny to back him up. But, due to the firm hand around his bicep, he found himself vaguely surprised to see the very same person staring down at him with a peculiar gleam in his eye.
It didn't express that the warrior held any of the other member's concerns; however though, it did mimic their tokens of perplexity. It felt almost as if the Pooka was able to detect something that no one else could; something that gave him a split second of clarity and enlightenment that he couldn't seem to understand. An inkling and nothing more rested within mossy depths, but bewilderment proved to be it's greater opponent. Jack raised a dark brow at the regard, but wasn't given a chance to inquire on it since, before he could, Aster promptly released him.
Long ears stood straight up, cocking back, as Bunny sat on his haunches to sniff the air. He closed his eyes in concentration, trying to identify whatever he had caught a whiff of that had made him so edgy. The occupants of the room paused to observe the animal's movements, knowing that this always meant something was wrong.
Viridescent discs appeared abruptly, flashing with an unknown sentiment and locking with Jack's own tentative sapphires.
The unflinchingness of the man was alarming for some reason. The traces of ease collectively vanished from the winter Guardian's stance and he tightened his fingers about the circumference of his staff. He needed space, his mind screamed at him; he needed to put distance between himself and his furry comrade.
He took one step back, but the Australian took one forward. The gray haired figure leaned closer and Jack grew rigid at the knowledge of their proximity. His chest tightened and his breath caught in his throat when Bunny's advance halted. And then, he did the most peculiar thing.
He sniffed...Well he sniffed him, would be a better way to phrase it.
Never truly getting close enough to touch the boy, the rabbit scented the area around him, oblivious to the odd looks he received as well as Jack's, rather evident, discomfort. After a few seconds of this, Bunny sat back again; nose flinching and face twisting as he contemplated the odor. A gentle sneeze racked his frame, causing him to sniffle before he shook his head irresolutely
"No..No that's impossible."
A dull shiver ran down Jack's spine when the elder's gaze flickered over to him once more, still curious and uncertain. He swallowed dryly and repressed a stutter in his tone, "What?" Once the question was asked, Jack wasn't sure why he had even bothered. To his displeasure, he was disregarded and ignored by the rabbit, who, instead, merely invaded his personal space for a second time. His eyes widened and he nearly tripped over his feet as Bunny began to prod randomly at his shirt and hair while he inhaled.
Finding his voice, Jack protested eagerly, "Hey!" He pressed his hands against Aster's chest, attempting to stop his incessant advances onto him. The older male had a clear advantage over him in strength though and it showed by the lack of progress in his endeavors. The youth turned his head to the side, narrowly avoiding the twitching nose that flitted over his neck. He mustered up an irked glare, "What's up with you, Kangaroo? Why the hell are you smelling me!" he demanded, successfully pushing the other away with a well placed rough shove.
The Aussie faltered backwards a bit from the force, but appeared far too baffled to even notice the fact that he had been rudely pushed. He looked at the floor, his brows furrowing while he rubbed at his nose, hoping that perhaps he had made a mistake.
The young spirit breathed heavily across from him, his appearance ruffled and his cheeks flushing with an abnormal pink hue as he tried to gather his bearings. The contact had made him warm and..fuzzy for some reason, temporarily scrambling his thoughts and severely fucking up his brain. It was not a surprise. This was to be expected during the strange period of winter. Sometimes if he got too close to people (wether they could see him or not) he would get like this. Hyper-sensitive and uncharacteristically frazzled.
Despite his state of dishevelment, he watched Aster carefully whilst the other hesitantly lifted his gaze. Their eyes met and Jack's subtle glare held firm, as did Bunny's creased regard. Aster tilted his head, a bit, to one side; one ear flattening while it's partner remained upright. "It can' be though.." he murmured. He exhaled deeply in disbelief and placed his paws on his head, shaking it in a troubled manner. "No no no, doesn' make any sense," he contended persistently.
"Uhmm... Bunny?" Tooth jumped in, unsurely.
Ignoring the woman, the Easter Guardian abruptly dropped his arms and sent the snowy child before him a dumbfounded look. "You're a human..an' a boy!" he exclaimed incredulously. Jack blinked confusedly past his annoyed glower before releasing a soft huff, "What are you talking about, Bunny?" he questioned.
In response, the green eyed Aussie observed the pale youth somewhat cautiously and took a small step away from him, "Ya scent," he replied. "It's strange." he admitted silently. Jack's brow creased perplexedly, "My scent?" he repeated dumbly. He knew what the elder meant, but it still took him off guard. After all, sometimes it was difficult to remember that Bunny was well..a bunny. "What do you mean it's strange?" he continued.
The gray haired warrior broke eye-contact, snuffing warily at the air as his response filtered in and out. "It's different. Almost like...Almost like you're.." He stopped before he could finish though and looked at the floor, appearing desperately puzzled by what he was about to suggest.
The frost spirit crossed his arms over his chest impatiently, "Like I'm...what? Spit it out already, will ya Cottontail!" he pressured. He had dealt with this, whatever it was, for centuries without a clue about it, and knowing that Bunnymund might apparently have an answer; he wanted to know...now!
He received a brief scowl at the nickname, but Aster hurriedly looked back down and shuffled awkwardly away again. "I don' know how ta tell ya this," he confessed difficultly. No one could really blame him. Really, how were you supposed to tell someone.. a boy no less, this? The large rabbit closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, "But.." he breathed out, slowly, but confidently, meeting Jack's expectant expression.
"..If I didn' know any betta', I'd say you were in heat, mate."
The conjoined shout sounded from each Guardian, with the exception of Jack and Sandy, making Bunnymund flinch from the volume. Jack couldn't even bring himself to react big enough to the man's words; he just stared; slack jawed and wide-eyed like a deer caught in a pair of oncoming headlights.
Tooth recovered first; however, and quickly confronted the Pooka, "Are you sure about that, Bunny?" she incited nervously. Bunnymund, still seated on his back legs, peered up at the fairy. "Trust me, Tooth. I am an animal, rememba'? I think I know what a heat scent smells like," he grunted self-assuredly. Sandy floated over to him next and conjured up a few golden symbols that resembled a gender symbol and a question mark.
"Ya think I don' know that, mate?" Bunny snorted, having become fluent in interpreting Sandy's dream sand. "That's why it doesn' make any sense," he reiterated. "I'm just tellin' ya that's what the bloke smells like."
Out of nowhere, Jack began to laugh, loudly, which prompted the four to view him confusedly. The teenager was grinning and holding his sides, doubled over as if he had just heard the funniest joke in the world. The other Guardians exchanged bewildered glances, but said nothing as Jack settled down a bit; his laughter silencing to chuckles as he addressed them. "Good one, Bunny! You almost had me going," he commended as he took a step forward. "Were you guys in on it, too?" he asked playfully, glancing at Sandy and Tooth who looked on mutely. Bunnymund frowned; however, "I ain' jokin' around here, mate." he stated sternly. This only earned another delighted chuckle from the boy, who patted his shoulder condescendingly in passing. "Come on, Kangaroo. Jokes over. If you haven't noticed I'm missing a few key organs and furry appendages," he snickered, sighing pleasantly at the good laugh before he turned around.
Apparently irked by the child's behavior, Aster glared at the back of Jack's head, hopped up to him, and nudged him roughly with his nose, making the youth stumble. "I told you, I'm not pullin' ya leg Frosty. Ya really do smell like you're in heat."
This time, Jack peered over his shoulder and smirked amusedly at the hybrid. "Bunny, I already told you that this has happened to me before. And really," he emphasized, giving him an unimpressed glance. "That's impossible. Besides, I said this happens in winter. And, if I'm not mistaken, animals go into heat during the spring."
The older Guardian grunted at the stubborn teenager, but knew that it was true; it was impossible.
Just as Jack was about to retreat, a bright light suddenly flooded the room through the large skylight as the moon began to rise, effectively alerting the group to it's presence. Without thinking, they all abandoned the argument and gathered around the glow on the floor to gaze up at their nocturnal leader.
North took the initiative and cleared his throat, "Manny we need your help. Something is wrong with Jack. He is sick and we must know why," he said, choosing to ignore the alternative cause that Bunny had proposed just now.
In reply, a soft breeze swept through the workshop and a calm phantasmagorical voice drifted into their ears.
"Jack is not ill, my faithful Guardians."
Jack frowned deeply at this as he viewed the moon and shifted forward until he was standing next to North; half basked in the luminescence that made his pale appearance practically shimmer in exposure. "Not sick?" he parroted silently. His brow furrowed and his fingers tightened around the twisted wood of his staff for comfort and security, "But then what's wrong with me? What's happening to me? Why do I feel like this?"
A gentle, almost parental, resonance answered. "There is nothing wrong with you. You, as the seasonal spirit of winter, share a bond with that season. Every so often, there comes a time when conditions for a certain time of year are perfect, and the weather will flourish. Once again, this is true for winter, and as Jack Frost you share in this period of prosperity."
Jack stared on helplessly at MiM, uncertain of his words and their message. "But...I don't understand," he protested meekly. "That doesn't explain what's happening to me." He felt powerless. MiM was a source of guidance and comfort for all of them, and yet his presence often brought anxiety and confusion with it. He felt like a child in the moon's presence, but he supposed that that was a feeling mutual among all of them; for the moon's age made their 3 to who knows how many digit numbers seem miniscule in comparison. He was drawn to it, but at times like this, it felt like he feared it's knowledge. He revered it's power and influence and many times hesitated to ask for it's assistance and elaboration.. even though he knew it would all be, more than willingly, given to him at his request. The moon was the loving grandfather figure who was intimidating because of appearance, but was always glad to share his wisdom if only spoken to.
"My child, your fellow Guardian has already given you your answer."
Glacial orbs pulsed incredulously, "What? B-But that's impossible! I'm not an animal and I'm certainly not a girl!"
The soft tone returned, corrective, but fond of the youngest. "Male or female is inconsequential for this process. Being nature itself, it's laws do not apply to you. An animal will go into heat when the conditions are right to do so, and I assure you they are."
The timbre held finality to it that diminished as it spoke once more.
"Be careful my young sprite. Danger is fast approaching and you must protect the gift you possess."
With that last chilling forewarning, the vocalization in their minds became hushed and quiet, until the bond that had grown was broken and made numb, leaving their youngest feeling unsettled and alone. "Wait!" Jack called out in vain. His mind was a blur of questions that had no answers and in his heart he knew his efforts were pointless. MiM would speak no more to him..and this was why his presence was so perturbing. Most often, he would leave, having murmured a cryptic statement of the utmost importance that no one could begin to comprehend. He spoke in riddles that were never presented to them as such; subtle sentences with meanings that had to be discovered and problems that were spoken as solutions.
Dark brows knitted together and not even the gnarled wood beneath his fingertips could console him. "What danger are you talking about?" he whispered fleetingly, glancing between the twinkling stars as if he expected them to spell it out for him. Finally, after a few, disheartening, continuous moments of quiet, he respired defeatedly and dropped his head.
North frowned at the white haired spirit and rested his large hand on the boy's shoulder. However, he drew back when Jack shirked the appendage off. The man surveyed the youth, "Jack is something wrong?" a thick russian accent solicited worriedly. The teen dug the bottom of his staff into the ground, using it as a cane that he found himself in dire need of all of a sudden. His knuckles flexed when he tightened his grip, and as his back curved, he released a labored breath. This had happened before, it had happened five times before this and it had been happening a week before now..and somehow this time it came as more of a shock to him.
Perhaps it was because now he had a name for it.
It was a tell tale dizzy spell that set everything into motion. His skin felt warm and his limbs became heavy, dragging him to the ground despite his wishes. He breathed heavily while his forearms began to tremble subtly, "Just dizzy.." he exhaled silently. Having dealt with this odd 'illness' for the past week, North was instantly able to understand the double meaning to the reply. He knew that if Jack felt dizzy it meant his fever was returning, and that meant the Guardian of fun wouldn't last much longer on his feet. Once more, the toy maker rested his hand on the youth's back reassuringly, "Come. We will put you to bed and let you rest," he insisted gently. The teen emitted another shaky huff, but managed to nod in agreement to the offer.
As the pair exited the globe room, Tooth and Sandy watched with expressions of concern and pity for the poor boy, while Bunnymund, on the other hand, followed the two out soundlessly; ignoring the curious looks directed at his back.
From the moment they had left, North was aware that Bunny had joined them; however, he figured that since the Aussie hadn't spoken, there was no reason to dwell on his intentions. The trek was slow, but steady, to the winter bringer's room; no true dilemma arising aside from the occasional falter in footing.
It wasn't until the trio was a few minutes away from their destination, that a soft moan left Jack's lips. His lashes fluttered and his legs buckled beneath his own weight, sending him straight onto his knees with a rather ungraceful 'thud.' North quickly knelt down beside the fallen Frost, asking if he was alright and then trying to check to see if he actually was. Jack's baby blues were closed and the unnatural pink flush had returned to his cheeks, signifying the fever was already creeping up and sapping him of a majority of his energy. As North attempted to care for the sprite, Bunnymund watched the duo from a safe distance. He had made an effort to stay a ways behind, but as soon as Jack fell, he stopped. He was crouched down towards the ground with his ears positioned back, not quite touching his head yet and occasionally flicking to the side to catch the sound of the child's breathing.
The young immortal's newly tainted scent drenched the atmosphere, deluging his senses every single time he inhaled. Awakening long forgotten memories and urges that Aster was quick to shove to the corners of his mind. He had forgotten, over many hundreds of years, what heat smelled like. He forgot how warm and pleasant it made the air; how intoxicating it grew within seconds of subjection to it. The feeling was foreign and yet familiar; it was ancient, still functional, but covered with dust.
The last time he could recall an experience like this was before his people and his entire species were wiped out...and that was a long long time ago.
His rational brain openly scolded him for allowing his baser instincts to emerge this faintly. He wasn't doing anything, in fact, he was staying a good few feet away from the boy, but the fact that he was enjoying his scent made Bunny ashamed. Even if he was only, innocently, permitting delight in correspondence to the aroma, it made him feel like he had lost.
To be completely fair though, he was an animal..and there was only so much that he could resist.
Placing a hesitant paw on the floor in front of him, Bunnymund appeared to fall victim to memory, subconsciously reminiscing in things he had failed to retain from his youth. In the back of his mind, he knew he had enough control to not let his primitive impulses get out of hand.
But he was an animal..and sometimes animals just did what they did regardless of reason.
A strange sensation prickled at his fur while his stomach tensed with an inkling of concern for the winter spirit. Longing swelled within his chest, aching to console the evident discomfort the other was displaying. Caution embodied his movements as he hopped/inched up to the two huddled on the ground. He stopped, diffidently, behind the boy; struck with questions as to what to do and how to help. His furry ears flattened when a whine left Jack's throat and the strain in his breathing became more noticeably difficult. Staring at the child's back, Aster lost part of his cognitive brain and rejoined the half minded sway of intuition.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the grey Pooka, North eyed the Guardian vigilantly, appearing wary of him as he approached. Now, in his heart, he knew that Bunny would never intentionally hurt Jack; however, he also knew that, as an animal, Bunnymund possessed instincts that he might be unable to contain. They were all aware of what had happened to the warrior's species, so they also knew it was unlikely the man had come in contact with a 'situation' like this for quite some time. And, quite honestly, knowing that Jack was supposedly in heat made the bearded man wonder if it was safe to let the two near each other. I mean, for all he knew, Aster would end up trying to mount Jack or..whatever rabbits did. However, in spite of his reservations over the matter, the large swordsmen chose not to verbalize his misgivings. There was no sense in attacking the Pooka when he still had not done anything to prove that he was dangerous. So North continued to observe, ready to intercede at a moment's notice, but giving the Easter Guardian a chance to, unknowingly, defend himself.
Concurrently, Jack continued panting, too tired to get up or even try at this point. Since he was still, at least mostly, coherent, he would never allow himself to be picked up, which is why he knew North hadn't tried to yet. He would simply have to wait until he regained his bearings and stood up on his own. The only problem with this was that that could literally take hours.
But as much as Jack didn't want to remain on the floor, he was aware that he had no other choice. They would just have to wait...
Then, out of the stagnancy, something collided gently with the pale figure's lower back. It half nuzzled and half shoved him, prompting him to falter just a little and release an utterance of question. When another push came, he reached down to steady his position and opened his eyes sedately.
That was strange; North was next to him. So how and, more importantly, why was he pushing him from behind?
He blinked carefully, peering through snowy locks up at recognized cobalt orbs, wordlessly asking the male if he was responsible for the action. Although, when no reply, verbal or non, came; he attempted to pick his head up to see for himself. By the time he mustered up the strength to move though, the pressure against his body left and a muted 'thump' sounded from beside him. Something he had come to appreciate as the sound of Bunnymund's hopping.
Bunnymund? That didn't make very much sense at all.
He couldn't recall the Australian having left with them and he hadn't noticed his presence while walking either. A feverish moan passed his lips as another wave of exhaustion hit, causing him to slouch once more and abandon his previous thoughts. Less than two seconds later; however, a tickle came to his cheek. Naturally, he leaned away from the irritating itch and once he had, he squinted up dazedly, only to find a pair of pallid whiskers twitching unevenly. He paused, assessing the partial image drunkenly, before tipping his head back to discover striking emerald irises inspecting him oddly. The larger rabbit seemed worried, confused..and something else; something that was hard to define with words alone. To Jack, it was a certain element that made him realize his comrade was and always would be a rabbit. It wasn't really an emotion, but a look that portrayed a lack of voice; one that all animals possessed.
It was something that made the winter sprite feel as if Bunny would never speak to him again.
For the slightest moment, the notion filled with fear and the reason for it? Well he couldn't say. The older Pooka persisted to regard him with that enigmatic expression whilst he steadily lowered his head and, unexpectedly, nosed Jack's flushed cheek. Well now.. the white haired immortal just didn't know how to react to the concerned gesture from the usually austere Australian. This wasn't like Bunny at all. The, slightly, damp nose brushing against his skin felt strange still. He wasn't sure why, but it made the distorted fuzziness return and, this, elicited a faint unidentifiable noise from the back of his throat; not quite expressing dissent, but not encouraging his fellow Guardian either. Aster stopped upon hearing the barely audible breath and leaned back, just slightly, to survey the boy. He searched quickly and wordlessly; searched for things he knew would indicate something was wrong with the child. He shifted and sniffed the teen's hair experimentally; his breath ruffling the soft silver strands as he checked for indicating scents. The attention and propinquity caused the slender spirit to shy away, growing overwhelmed when the strange warmth in his stomach increased and spread.
It was too much. Even if it was just one person, it was still too much.
Noticing this, unreadable green spheres considered him briefly, as if contemplating..as if they knew exactly what was wrong.
After a few seconds, Aster bent down once more and then nudged the child's forehead with his snout, unintentionally knocking him off balance for a minute. Jack resettled his figure and raised a delirious brow at his furry companion's action, wondering what he meant by it and why he did it in the first place.
Actually, what he really wanted to know was why his rival was behaving this way at all towards him. Why he wasn't speaking..
Bunnymund pushed his head again, calling him away from his pondering, and then pulling back to watch the younger boy with an expectant look on his countenance. At first, the blue eyed prankster could only stare at the Pooka confoundedly, totally clueless as to what he was attempting to convey without the usage of his words. When the warrior angled his head to the side; however, a stroke of an enlightenment hit the Frost. Why it came, he didn't know. How on earth he had thought of it, he didn't know.
Jack clumsily reached for his staff, which he had dropped upon falling, and took an instant to glance over at the Aussie to gauge his reaction to this. As soon as his fingers grasped the object, two ears stood upright and twitched agreeably, as if to tell the the winter bringer that he was heading in the right direction. While Jack uncoordinatedly propped himself against the stick and used it to haul his protesting limbs up, he watched with a hint of fascination as Bunnymund followed, standing to his full height as well.
..Why it had worked? He definitely didn't know.
The stare was chilling and enticing. It frightened Jack and yet it made him want to know more. He couldn't figure out what was going through Bunnymund's head; his expression faced his own, communicating only limitedly with him. But then, in the blink of an eye, the entire demeanor Bunny had developed disappeared and the quality of speech returned to him as if by magic. Instantaneously, Jack was able to read the emotions more clearly and the gray haired being's posture relayed that he was acting with something more than just instinct. Before Jack could even attempt to confront the other about any of this, Aster looked away to meet North's suspicious gaze instead. "He doesn' look too good. Ain' gonna last much longa' on his feet, so ya should get Snowflake ta bed as soon as possible." he suggested motioning to Jack with a gentle inclination of his ear.
What was weird, even to Jack in his feverish state, was that they did just that.
They completed their journey to his room, with North at his side and Bunnymund falling into step behind them. It was weird and choppy. It felt as if a gap had taken place in those short seconds of their unvoiced connection that had caused Jack to skip over some sort of crucial plot point. Presently, as he was settled down on the crisp, white, sheets of the mattress, this was all he could ruminate on. The pace of his brain greatly outmatched that of his body and it made him feel positively sick. While North laid a wet cloth over his increasingly burning forehead, Jack attempted to sneak glimpses over at his silent comrade. The Pooka watched him with a vigilance that would probably have made him uncomfortable, had he been in his right mind, but currently only served to amuse his scrambled thoughts. A cerulean cover was pulled over frame and Jack found his lashes lowering without his consent.
What had happened was unsettling and uncommon; it had turned Jack's crooked universe completely up-side down. Blue was red and left was Thursday, and he could barely tell that it was incorrect.
As far as he could see, this whole day had just been one big mess. Nothing made sense anymore. He was a human male and yet somehow in heat. If that alone was true, then there really was no 'normal' anymore.
As his body began to succumb to the sway of the temperature, Jack found that he couldn't be happier to fall into the somewhat consistent world of his dreams.
Bunnymund kept his arms crossed uneasily over his chest as he watched North close the door to the young spirit's room. He was nervous and rightfully so. Since the minute he had stood up, he had felt North tearing into him mentally. The russian released a long sigh whilst dragging his hand over his face. He paused before turning to his friend and meeting his uncertain orbs.
Much to Bunny's surprise the other's face wasn't filled with disgust or rage, instead the man just seemed tired; exhausted really. He looked far older than he had three seconds ago that was for sure. "Bunny..are you aware of how serious this situation is?" The red-clad figure inquired.
Aster felt a frown work it's way onto his face, he wasn't all too fond of the tone North was using with him. It made it seem like he considered Bunny to be incompetent or negligent. His perception narrowed mildly as North took a step toward him, closing the amount of space that separated them, needlessly, in Bunnymund's opinion.
"I must know that I can trust you to protect Jack," North murmured seriously.
Aster grunted offendedly, "A' you tryin' ta say ya don' trust me, mate?" he accused angrily. What did North take him for? He wasn't some kind of sexual deviant! He was a Guardian for MiM's sake! Did North have that little of faith in him?
North held his hands up eagerly to insinuate his passivity. "Not at all," he assured genuinely. "It is just.." The trail ended with a dissatisfied exhale, as if North had found his words, but wasn't satisfied with how they were going to come out, "I need to know if you can control yourself around him" he supplied.
"Geez! It's not like I'm gonna attack the lil anklebita'," he defended himself gruffly. He didn't like the direction this conversation was heading in at all.
North shook his head, exasperatedly, at this and placed his hand over Bunny's shoulder, causing the other to pause. The irritation receded diffidently from his features as he looked at his friend, "Bunny..." The whisper was low and said more than Bunnymund wished to hear. He knew North wasn't trying to single him out. He had every right to be suspicious of him. Hell, he'd do the same thing if he were in his place. There was no telling how a situation like this could turn out if it was left alone. He was just thinking of Jack, that was all.
The Pooka lowered his lashes and respired while his long ears flicked backwards, "Ya don' hafta' worry 'bout me, mate. I can control myself just fine. S'not like I'm some dumb wild animal a' anathin'. I just...like the smell that s'all," he mumbled defeatedly, withdrawing a step so that North's hand fell from his person. He didn't want to be close to anyone with how he was feeling.
"He needs all of us."
Bunny looked away upon the remark, "..Trust me, nothin's gettin' near Frosty." he promised in a sad voice. Viridescent irises glanced up warily and saw a look of pity cross the man's face, filling his own stomach with sickness as he processed the sentiment.
He hated pity.
He wanted nothing more than to race back to his Warren and wait out the rest of winter there; however, he knew he wouldn't get the chance to.
North was right; Jack needed all of them here to protect him.
..And with his fur still tingling from the brief interaction he had shared with the sprite, Bunnymund knew he would never get far, let alone leave. He'd gotten his taste and was gradually beginning to crave it more than he wanted to admit. He had swallowed the pill, he'd taken the drink, he'd pushed the plunger...
He was going down and he knew it.
I wrote one of these for myself and thought of it a lot..this came out terrible and shitty and I apologize for that. It messed me up a bit because I kept glancing back and forth between my original for myself one which (doesn't really have continuity since it's only for me and what I want to read) and this one trying to keep elements and what not of it. Yeah ugh it looks...worse than I wanted. Sorry. I drew a picture on deviant art that was titled this, and a few ppl said I should write an actual fanfic for it so I decided to take a crack at it. Hopefully I'll be write something better next chap since the parts that I really want to translate from my original are the beginning ones in the next chapter. After that I'll have a little more liberty considering I'll have stuff to make up and only will need to look over basic plot points and not specific wording. Actually a lot of this is different from what I wrote in my original..like the entire part of after the moon talks and everything after that. lol oh well. Please don't bash my reasoning for the heat shit. Yes..He's in heat, okay? I like doing that. So therefore I will find any reason I can to do that..And I found one. So please don't review with -he's a boy!- or -this would never happen it's stupid-. Also nother weird tidbit, when Jack picks up his staff...I keep imagining Toothless and Hiccup..you know when Toothless drops the fish in his lap. LOL! Read it again and you'll know exactly what I mean.
This is so awful and I hate it! It's choppy especially at the end and really overall I'm sorry I didn't do a better first chapter. Hopefully..it'll be better later though.
Okay..well I hope you find a way to like it and review.