It was nothing short of miraculous that they all managed to stay awake long enough for North to actually land the sleigh at the Pole. The absence of believers had taken its toll on all of them, and they had expended a lot of energy against Pitch and his nightmares. Even though they needed less sleep than mortals, the requirement was still there. Bunny actually yawned once, and Jack stayed perched on the back of the sleigh, defying the wind, utterly still for once. Sandy grabbed the back of his hoodie and yanked him into the sleigh proper just before they went through the portal, preventing their newest member from falling off in the rush of warm-air-magic that suddenly burst back into chilly air over Santoff Clausen.
The reindeer tugged the sleigh straight into the stable and they all piled out and staggered off to the main room, leaving the vehicle in the yetis' capable hands, or paws. Bunny made a beeline for one of the armchairs by the fire, flopped down into it, and was asleep in seconds.
North hesitated, wavering between joining the rabbit and checking to see how his workshop was doing. Sandy decided for him, pitching a loosely packed circle of dreamsand at the back of his head. North toppled over with all the grace of a dying toad, falling into the armchair opposite from Bunny. Tooth settled on the rug in front of the fire, curled up with her back to the flames, and joined the other two in dreamland.
Sometime later, the Guardian of Memories woke, stretching out contentedly. For a moment, she allowed herself to stay like that, simply soaking in North's snores and the warmth of the fire behind her, then she sighed and blinked amethyst eyes open. She'd always needed less sleep than the others, partly her natural constitution and partly because she was a Guardian with a round-the-clock job, so she could go weeks on patches of sleep caught here and there in the lulls.
She pushed herself up, lifting into the air, and glanced around. Bunny and North were still flopped over in their respective armchairs, the former now with one of his paws running as he dreamed, while Sandy had conjured a cloud over their heads. Though she couldn't see the small golden man, she knew he was there. For a moment, she couldn't find Jack, then a flash of white and blue caught her eye and she had to stop herself from giggling.
The boy was sprawled, quite literally, in a windowsill, as close to the cold as he could get without leaving them. His head was lolling against the glass, leg dangling down the wall, fingers of one hand loose on the staff propped from a corner to the wall over his head.
She hated to leave them now, but she had to get back to her duties and she needed to make sure all her helpers had returned to the Tooth Palace safely.
"Baby Tooth?" she called softly, glancing around for the miniature cluster of turquoise feathers. She could have sworn the little fairy was right next to her on the way back. A soft chirp coming, surprisingly, from Jack, caught her attention.
A quick glance confirmed that the winter spirit was still asleep, not imitating Baby Tooth to trick her, but when she called again, the answering chirp definitely came from the region of Jack's head. She flew closer, and a head popped out of Jack's hood. Baby Tooth yawned hugely, then flew to her. Tooth cradled her missing helper in her palms, cuddling her close.
"Where were you?" she whispered, mindful of the rest of the still-sleeping Guardians not ten feet away.
Baby Tooth pointed back toward Jack and Tooth mentally smacked herself for asking a question with such an obvious answer.
"Ready to go?" she asked, wings lifting her a little higher. Baby Tooth shook her head firmly, hopping up to fly under her own power. She pointed back at Jack again and chirped.
"What?" Tooth asked. She glanced from her helper to the sleeping spirit, confused. "Jack can visit whenever he likes," she told the little fairy, "but we need to get back."
Baby Tooth chirped again, more urgently. "Shh," Tooth hushed urgently, glancing down at the two in the armchairs. Usually she had no problem translating her helpers, but Baby Tooth seemed to be having trouble getting her meaning across right now.
The little fairy chirped again, softer and slower, more deliberately.
"Oh," Tooth breathed as Baby Tooth's request finally became clear. It made sense, in a way; Jack had saved her, given her a nickname, but obviously there was more than she knew if Baby Tooth wanted so badly to stay with him. If one of her babies wanted this more than she wanted to collect teeth, what she knew they all loved, Tooth couldn't deny her.
The Guardian of Memories scooped her up, kissing the little fairy on her head before releasing her. Baby Tooth chirped once more in thanks before she flitted straight back to the winter spirit's shoulder and snuggled back into the folds of his hood, tugging the fabric over herself as a blanket.
Tooth hovered over, watching the pair of them. Asleep, the newest Guardian resembled the children they protected more than the immortal trickster he was. She smoothed back his bangs and repeated the gesture she had done to Baby Tooth, gently kissing his forehead.
She returned several hours later, fairies tallied and instructed, to find Jack had frozen Bunny's feet to the floor.
I went, I saw the movie and the plot bunny in charge of fluff (who had previously been missing, presumed dead) crawled out of his hole. Now I have feels. I'm dumping them here. Enjoy, and expect more