Heyooo. How're all of you? Personally, I'm good. I've watched ROTG recently and remembered this story and had an urge to rewrite it, so, well, here I am!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Rise of the Guardians except for my characters.
The Birth of Hope
Once, many years ago, a young girl was born. She had a large family, with two parents and four elder siblings. However, this girl was rather peculiar. She never felt fear.
Not to say that people didn't try to scare her. Many did. But nothing ever scared her. She wasn't scared when the Boogy Man appeared in her room when she was little- instead, she questioned how he'd gotten into her room and asked him if he was scared, because that's what her siblings did. Except they went to her parents' room. He'd then tried to scare her by any method he could think of. Nightmares didn't work, because she would simply remember she was asleep and wake up before she ever got truly afraid. Sometimes, when she went to get a drink of water, he would grab her ankle. That didn't scare her either- she'd just say, "Let go of me, Boogy Man! I just want some water." There was a few times when he'd even try and scare her with shadows and noises in her room. She'd just close her eyes and go to sleep as usual.
Pitch wasn't even sure how this child could see him. She obviously wasn't scared of the Boogy Man, of him, which should mean that she doesn't believe in him. But she did, because otherwise she couldn't see him.
But then there was things that the world gave her that didn't shake her fear, never curled her insides in cold ice. There was the time her parents died in a car crash. She was thirteen. Her eldest sibling was nineteen, and became their legal guardian. She wasn't scared when her parent's last words were said.
When she was sixteen and she and her first 'spouse', her girlfriend, came out to their parents/guardians, she wasn't afraid. Not even when her girlfriend's parents chased them both out of the house, not when the two got lost in the forest, not even when Pitch tried to terrify them both. She'd called him out, and told him to take them home. And so he did.
She was not afraid when she was eighteen and her girlfriend discovered she had terminal cancer. She was not afraid when her girlfriend died six months later, on their anniversary.
Twenty-three, and she had a boyfriend whom she adored. But when she told him she was pregnant, he turned and left. She hadn't been scared in the face of loneliness and abandonment nor the stress of taking care of her child. Pitch had tried to scare her then too, but hadn't succeeded. Instead, she cried on his shoulder about the unfaithful man who'd left her. Just because she was not afraid did not mean she was not sad.
Twenty-four was the first time she was truly scared. It was December 17th and she'd gone into labor. But she was sick- she was very very ill and the doctor and nurses feared for her. She feared for her child. She could not just leave her baby alone in this world, left to people who didn't know her. She was screaming in pain when Pitch showed up. She was bawling her eyes out when the baby was born, with Pitch standing by her side, wondering why this was the only thing the woman had ever feared. She had calmed down just before the doctors told her that her baby may not make it.
Six days. Six days passed with her holding on to life, not allowing herself to leave before she knew her child was going to live. December 23rd, and Pitch was still in the hospital room with her. She'd laughed at how he'd finally achieved his goal, to scare her. He'd just told her that she was being a fool; she'd never been afraid before, but she was scared now. "Well, I'm dying and my child is dying as well. What is there not to fear?"
It was Christmas Eve when the doctor came in and told her that her baby had stabilized. It was eleven thirty at night when she declared her baby's name. Hope. And then she'd given Pitch a stern talking to, about how he'd better watch over her child like he'd watched over her. He'd told her not to say such ridiculous things; she'd be the one watching over her own baby. She'd laughed and told him it was too late for that. She could already feel herself slipping.
She was declared dead at eleven fifty. One minute before the doctor and nurses were called rushing to Hope's side. The baby had suddenly stopped breathing. Pitch had followed them, watching the child for a strained eight minutes before the doctor declared the week-old dead. It was 11:59 pm, Christmas Eve.
One of the nurses had taken Hope's body gently in her arms, and took the baby to her mother's body, which had yet to be moved. She'd laid the baby down and opened the blinds to let the moon light in.
"Merry Christmas," she murmured, before quietly leaving the room. Pitch just stood there and stared for a short while, time seeming to have slowed down. He half expected golden sand to pour in from the window and float above Hope's head, but no such thing happened. Instead, the moonlight shone even brighter upon the two corpses, seeming to wrap around the baby. Pitch had watched from his shadows as the baby was lifted up, and suddenly began to cry as though she'd only just been born. And then slowly, the child was settled back into her mother, bawling and clutching at the hospital gown. And then the light was gone.
Pitch had known what to do then. Man-in-the-Moon had chosen Hope, but for what he could have possibly chosen a baby too young to have done anything significant for, Pitch had no idea. But the mother had asked.
The nurse screamed when she walked back in to see the baby's corpse missing. He had been asked to care for the baby; and that's what he would do. But Hope was not a fitting name for the baby, not really. They all changed their names after they'd been chosen.
Eve H. Black sounded better in his opinion. Eve Hope Black.