Jamie Bennett was part of an exclusive club. He joined this club on his nineteenth birthday, not long before he left home to go back to college, though not many people knew that.
"Can I take this off now?" Jamie complained, freeing a hand to tug at the scarf Jack had ceremoniously tied around his head. He'd been saying something about college and Jack had been sitting on his windowsill, only slightly paying attention like usual, when his white-haired friend had stood -well more like shot- up, dug in one of his drawers and tied the scarf over his eyes before scooping him up and shooting out the window.
"No," was the very short answer.
Jamie crossed his arms over his chest and tried to ignore the fact that Jack shaking was not, in fact, turbulence. He had no sense of which way they were going without his eyes open and given how fast Jack could fly, they could be halfway over the Pacific by now.
"Now you can take it off," Jack announced.
The brunette grumbled and pushed up on his scarf. When it came clear of his eyes, any remark he had been about to make died in his throat.
They were high off the ground, so much that the inky well that stretched over his head was utterly filled with sparkling lights. There was no pollution this high, or maybe Jack had flown to an area without any, but either way the stars were clearer than he had ever seen them.
He put out a hand and blocked out dozen of the lights with his palm. "Wow," he breathed.
"Look down," Jack urged. Jamie twisted to look over his shoulder and gasped. The world stretched below their feet, patches of sparkling lights against the darkness. They hung suspended alone in a dark void between warm gold and glittering white, both far far away, and it made him feel both unconquerable small and entirely significant.
"Why do you ever come down?" the question was punctuated with clouds of fog that the wind swept away.
He felt one shoulder move as Jack shrugged carelessly, but Jamie didn't want to rip his eyes away from the lights surrounding him. "Not a lot of fun up here," he offered, "but it puts things in perspective."
Jamie could only really croak out a "yeah"in response to that.
"Happy birthday Jamie," said the winter spirit.
They stayed up there for the better part of an hour, until Jamie started to shake with the cold and only then did Jack return him to the land below. After that, even in the summer months, every time Jamie started to doubt that any of it had been real, all he had to do was look up at night.
Even as he grew up, he never stopped believing. Even when the others who had stood by his side that night when they had saved the world stopped, one by one, he never doubted.
How could he? None of the others had seen an invisible hand make pictures in the frost on his window just when he was about to give up belief. None of the others had been flying, high enough to touch the clouds.
When his son ran into his arms, shrieking with excitement that made words incoherent, his wife shook her head fondly and turned back to what she'd been doing, but Jamie hefted the boy into his arms and stepped fully out onto the patio.
"Jack Frost, Dad!" his son exclaimed, "look, look! He's right there!"
Jamie followed the boy's finger to the gangly boy perched on the fence, watching them with a smile growing under messy white bangs. Even though Jamie had grown up, Jack still looked exactly the same as the night a rabbit had exploded into snow inside his room.
He nodded to the spirit, and Jack's face lit up. With every year that went by and he still believed, Jack was inordinately delighted. "Yeah," Jamie told his son, "yeah he is."
Now, be honest. How many of you saw the title and the first two lines and took a swan dive into the gutter?