A/C: This ones slightly longer, but still sort of introduction-ish. Thank you so much for all the feedback! By the way, each chapter's point of view will follow the order of Jack, Merida, Hiccup, and Rapunzel-with the smallest exception of the last couple chapters. And I'd like to announce that indeed there is the prospect of a sequel in the plot bunnies.
Point of View: Merida
The fire coiled and uncoiled into a ball of light, a shimmering group of snakes, their tongues licking up into the bitterly cold night sky. Unwilling to give into the freeze that was trying to grip me, I snuggled tightly into my mother's lap, feeling the lovely weight of the woolen blanket that lay on top of both of us.
"Jack Frost's been busy tonight," Mum noted, her voice folded with the knowing depth of a story.
"Jack Frost?" I murmured curiously.
"Aye," She said, pulling her arms tight around me. "A wee trickster scurries around in the cold, causing the air to freeze, the snow to fall more heavily, and the ice to thicken."
"Hah!" Da grumbled in the corner, shaking his head. "Ooh, and I suppose the willow 'o wisps lead him where he needs to go!"
"I told you Da, I saw a will-'o-the-wisp before!" I piped up, indignantly. "They are real."
"You're father should believe in magic more," Mum scorned, her voice not even hinting at actual anger. "Willo-'o-the-wisps are very real, and so is Jack Frost."
"Yeah," I agreed, nodding my head readily. "I believe you Mum."
"Good girl," Mum whispered, a smile traceable even in her voice. "Now, it's time to get a bit of shut eye."
"Alright, Mum," I yawned, curling up in her arms as she lifted me to some blankets that lay nestled by the fire.
Another arrow flung in a fantastic spiral through the air, whizzing to the very brim of the round target. Not a bulls eye, but at least I was actually hitting the wood now. Drawing back the taut string of the bow, I let loose another arrow. This one whizzed past the target, darting onto the frozen surface of a pond, skittering across the surface until it finally lost momentum.
"Come back 'ere," I insisted, jumping across a snow bank towards the rouge arrow. As I ran, the wind picked up slightly, causing the arrow to slide even further away. As soon as I managed over the snow and onto the pond, my feet slid from underneath, causing me to fall on my bum. Letting out an irritated squeak, I bounded back up again. It took no time at all to slip all the way to retrieve my ammo. But as soon as I got close enough to pick it back up, I froze.
At first I thought I was imagining his figure, outlined against the crest of snow, but rubbing my eyes a few time revealed that indeed what stood before me was not a phantom. His gangly legs were perched on the crooked staff he held lovingly between his fingertips, a flimsy blue coat sparkling on his figure, which looked far too thin to actually be keeping him warm from this frost. His silver hair was a tangled mess of tufts, which blended into the snowy landscape. But what really struck me, settling deep into my core and memory, was his eyes, frothing with a buoyant playfulness and such utter delight.
"Jack Frost!" I greeted, letting a gigantic smile break out across my features.
"You see me?" Jack breathed, his grin getting impossibly bigger.
"'Course I can see ya," I laughed, a snort escaping from my lips. "I'm not blind, ya know!"
"Of course you're not, Merida," Jack chuckled, somehow knowing my name. "You must believe in me."
"Why wouldn't I?" I shrugged, unable to see what the point to all his yammering was.
"Not many do-not many can see me," Jack explained, sliding off of his stick and prancing over. "That makes you special."
My smile widened at this thought, hopping up and down, nearly slipping to the ground again. Next to the frosty figure of Jack, I was a rosy ball of fire, my nest of hair tugging back from her face by the soft hands of wind.
"Merida!" Mum's faint voice called, from behind me. A quick glance revealed her standing back by our camp, her hands cupped around her mouth as she tried to get my attention. "Merida!"
"Oh," I sighed, my smile fading slightly. "I have to go."
"That's fine," Jack assured me, his mouth still quirked up in a modest smile. "I'll be back, fireball."
I nodded, the smile returning to brighten up her face even more. "G'bye!" I murmured, before skittering back off to camp.
"Merida, there you are!" Mum chuckled, sighing with relief.
"Mum! Mum!" I breathed, the first snowflake of many landing on my nose. Glancing behind me, I watched Jack Frost fly off passed the large pines that shielded my vision. "I saw-I saw Jack Frost!"