With Christmas having come and gone, many houses had removed the shining decorations that had been strung around them. The gleaming streams of lights, blue and red and green and yellow, were gone, as were any particular additions such as physical props of reindeer and Santa Claus himself, snowmen or elves, whatever they had fastened and attached to their roofs and walls and yards. Thus, Burgess wasn't as shiny as it had been when the holiday had been in full-swing, and the absence of all the beautiful lights was a pity indeed.

But still, in the dark night that enthralled the land in a cloak of shadows, a time of peace and sleep, the snow that had persisted throughout this winter was very beautiful. It blanketed the town in a layer of white, decorated walls and plants with frost, with icicles dangling from wherever there was an overhang. Cars would be hampered by the cold, while roads would need to be salted for the ice that laid so thinly upon them, but this wonderland of cold and ice gleamed brightly, dazzlingly, under the light of the full moon. Truly, even without the lights of Christmas, it was one of the most gorgeous sights Jack Frost had even seen.

The newly recruited Guardian was perched upon the highest peak of a particularly tall tree overlooking the town, giving him a perfect view of the moonlight glistening upon the wonderland he had forged for the citizens of the town, a shining beacon of his efforts. Children had been laughing and playing all day, indulging in sledding, snowball fights, making snowmen or snow angels. In short, having fun.

Which of course was what Jack was all about. He was fairly sure he had lucked out that his new authority was over the one thing he knew best in this life, and a grin expanded over his face as he contemplated this. Ah yes, his was easily the best thing about childhood to guard. What was more simple and yet more everlasting than fun?

Though to be fair, if he had to pick a decent rival to the best guardianship role, Sandy came close with his protection over the dreams of children, creating whole adventures and stories with just a sprinkle of his signature dream sand, his powers spreading over countries in streams of beautiful gold, soothing sleeping minds. But in Jack's opinion, however nice they were, a dream couldn't match the reality of an exhilarating snowball fight!

Twirling his staff in one hand with idle casualness, he felt the familiar energy flow through him briefly, a soothing coolness that travelled up his arm and into his staff, which flared light-blue for a split second, before releasing a cluster of snowflakes, which floated away in a light breeze. Jack watched them go, his grin relaxing into a content smile. Even after 300 years, the sight of a snowbound town shining under the moon in the quiet of night-time never ceased to captivate him in its beauty.

Granted, he'd seen quite a few beautiful things in his time to rival even this glorious view; the aforementioned dream sand, the curve of a rainbow as it glimmered through rain and sun, the final pink and red glimmers of the sun as it set, the moon shining bright and strong above, the Warren, North's Workshop, the Tooth Palace, Tooth herself-

He chuckled wryly to himself at the last thought, recalling how the fairy queen had cheerfully stated how beautiful she thought his teeth were when he'd been, ah, directed to the North Pole. Truth be told, he knew hands down that she was a thousand times more beautiful than any tooth in his mouth.

His chuckle turned into a laugh. Any tooth in his mouth. The pun was obvious yet still appreciated by his own sense of humour-

"So you've finally achieved all you ever wanted, and yet you lounge in a tree."

If this were a time before the war over belief, Jack Frost would have jerked up in shock, scrambling into a defensive position, staff aimed forward, eyes darting frantically for any sign of the familiar and loathed voice. But in his current situation, he lay as he were, simply tilting his torso over so he could see the ground, unconcerned with the interruption to his musing.

Pitch was rather bold, admittedly, standing near the base of a neighbouring tree, on his own, no reinforcements in sight, under the glare of the moon and heckling a Guardian. But Jack wasn't concerned by the reappearance of the Boogeyman. Judging by the fact he lacked his usual smugness or sadism, he was still recovering from both his defeat and the fear-smelling cruelty of his own Nightmares, and thus was hardly a threat to him.

"Pitch, please." The winter spirit stated coolly. "Everyone knows lounging in a tree is the best thing to do. Speaking of best things to do, why are you picking a fight with an initiated Guardian with the full moon out instead of cowering under your rock like a good little sneak?"

The fear spirit glared at the other immortal, before sighing dejectedly and replying: "I assure you; I haven't come out to pick a fight, nor am I at all ready to try again for another war against the moon's sidekicks."

Jack snorted at that, flipping his legs over to arrange himself into a sitting position, staring down at the Boogeyman with a mildly interested expression. He knew well enough from the last time he saw the fear spirit that Pitch wouldn't be inclined to make more Nightmares anytime soon.

Pitch continued: "In fact, quite the opposite of hostility! I've come to give you a warning-"

The winter spirit gave a short laugh, interrupting the other immortal, before sniggering: "Oh, a warning! Yeah, I know where this is going. You're either gonna warn me about some made-up monster or something to put me on edge and thus make me vulnerable to a later sneak attack, or there actually is some greater threat out there that requires us all to team up and indulge in hilarious shenanigans before said threat shows up! I've seen a movie about this, I'm sure-"

The fear spirit was indignant: "No and no. Shut up and listen."

Jack shut up and listened, adopting a bored expression.

"Now, a bit of context before my warning; true or false, you are quite fond, and by which I mean, very fond, of the Tooth Fairy?"

His disregard and boredom with the Boogeyman dissipated in an instant, replaced by a damning shock and embarrassment and fluster, and he shook slightly on the branch in surprise, stuttering: "I-I do- I didn't- Who told you that?!"

Pitch cut off any further ranting and rambling from the off-guard and now rather angry Frost with an amused grin and an equally amused tone: "Well, I could be clever and say that you told me just now, but honestly, it's pretty obvious. You've been, what, 17 or 18 for how many centuries? And then along comes this pretty little female who actually sees you and pays attention to you, and there we go! Immortal winter spirit regresses to simple hormonal boy."

"Shut up."

Noting the staff pointed at him and the now coldly furious glare in the other spirit's eyes, Pitch raised his hands defensively, before stating: "Okay, point taken. Now for the warning."

He looked to both sides, casting a wary gaze around the snowy woods. Then he looked behind him. Then he looked at the moon. And then, finally, he looked at Jack and said: "The Tooth Fairy wants your teeth. And she will stop at nothing to get them."

For a brief moment, there was silence.

And then Jack Frost burst out laughing, clutching his stomach with the utter force of the hilarity, almost toppling off the branch as he rocked backwards and forwards, his hysterical laughter echoing throughout the woods. Pitch waited, un-amused, for the Guardian of Fun to finish, and when he did, wiping icy tears of mirth from his eyes, he said: "You think it's funny? I, with all the kindness of my heart, take it upon myself to give you a fair warning when I could have sat back and watched the carnage, and you think it's funny?"

"Hilarious. That's the warning? Tooth wants my teeth? Is that really-"

The Boogeyman interrupted him: "You don't get it, do you? You obviously know she and her midgets collect children's teeth from under a pillow and leave them coins-"

"Do you still have the one she gave you?"

"What do- NO. Shut up. Anyway, she does that, but sometimes, she spots a mouthful of teeth, normally from an adult, that she find absolutely stunning. Perfectly aligned, well looked after, brilliantly white. She can't help herself. She has to have such plaque-free perfection for herself. So she takes them for herself, sets up a lovely little trophy stand for her latest haul. I glimpsed a brief look at her trophy room when I visited her Palace. Scary stuff, even by my standards."

Jack's humour was paused now, contemplating the Boogeyman's words. Tooth took the well-kept teeth of some individuals for herself, as trophies? While he knew Tooth was a sweet, good-natured girl, he was also well aware of her obsession with everything related to the chompers in one's mouth. And for some odd reason, he couldn't find it in himself to doubt this story that she might crave a particularly wonderful mouthful of the stuff.

But just as he considered something, Pitch answered for him: "How does she get them out, you wonder? Simple. A hammer and a chisel."

Silence.

"What?"

"You heard me. A hammer and a chisel. She waits until the victim is asleep, and then she chips them out, one by one. They never notice until they wake up and find only gums. Sometimes, she gets a bit careless, but it doesn't matter to her whether the chisel popped out something she wasn't aiming for; so long as she gets those teeth, she'll be happy, leaving her victim to live the rest of their life without them."

He paused, considered, and added: "Unless she misaims that chisel and hits a vital spot or something."

Jack was stunned, honestly stunned, and unable to find a retort. Clearly, the Boogeyman had to be messing with him, he just had to be. Tooth would never do something so amoral as to rip teeth out of someone, leave them with only gums for the rest of their life. And she certainly wouldn't hurt or kill anyone in such a manner either. Pitch was trying to screw with him, as he had with the canister of baby teeth and memories on that cruel Easter.

But then again, Tooth did adore pearly whites. But surely she would never do something so crude, so cruel, right? But she did love teeth-

Pitch interrupted his thoughts: "Did they not tell you that? Surely the Guardians would inform their new member of the Tooth Fairy's little habits. How amusing; Jack Frost doesn't even know how far his feathered friend will go for her toothy jollies."

Finally, he shook his head and snapped: "What's the point of this? Why are you telling me this?"

Pitch smiled sweetly: "Take a look in a mirror sometime, Frost, and have a guess whose jaw she might be craving next."

Jack's surprised blink was all it took. One moment Pitch was there, the next, he was gone, vanished into the darkness, leaving a brief chuckle and a rather disturbed winter spirit behind.

Quick as a flash, Jack whipped round to look at the moon and asked: "Is this true?"

No reply.

Annoyed and rather unnerved, he considered what he had heard. Apparently, and he didn't believe it, honestly, the sweet and kind and beautiful and gentle Tooth took her job to the extreme of hacking out any teeth she deemed wonderful and stored them in some sort of demented trophy room. Every rational inch of him disbelieved this, labelled that speech as a classic Boogeyman trick, refused to comprehend such a sickly thought about the Guardian of Memories.

And yet, he couldn't help but repeat, over and over: She does like teeth. She likes them a lot. For some twisted reason, it wouldn't seem out of character for her to wish to harvest the most impressive specimens.

He felt kind of sick now, the way his mind couldn't make heads or tails. The Man in the Moon wasn't confirming nor denying Pitch's words, and now even the beautiful snowy Burgess wasn't enough to soothe him.

His nightly solace definitely ruined, Jack called upon the North Wind and took to the sky. Maybe a change of scenery, and a different opinion, might be able to sort this out.


Tooth knew she shouldn't have accepted this, but alas, her good nature had prevented her from refusing, and so here she was, chipping out an ice carving in North's workshop, kept company by the man himself as well as a visiting Sandy.

An accident caused by the elves had destroyed a few of the ice sculptures the yetis used as the template for the toys they made, and replacements were needed, which was a job the Guardian of Wonder took upon himself. Tooth and Sandy had taken a bit of time from their jobs to visit North, to congratulate him on another successful Christmas, and he had convinced them to help out with the carving of replacements.

A glance at Sandy showed he was doing a pretty good job, slowly carving out a shape from the ice with rotating discs of sand. Being able to form shape-shifting tools of magical dream sand was definitely a plus when it came to making these sculptures, and on noting her looking at him, he grinned cheerfully at her, forming a thumbs up above his head with a flicker of gold.

She smiled back, but truth be told, she wasn't liking this at all. While she was good at delicate work, these blocks of ice needed a tad more force behind the chisel to etch out a shape, and unfortunately, she had a bad habit of putting too much or too little force into her chips, resulting in either the ice breaking up and getting ruined or painfully slow progress, respectfully. Given her high energy levels and equally high levels of enthusiasm and movement, this process of sitting quietly and still, slowly chipping away at a freezing block, trying to turn it into something useful, was a waking nightmare to the fairy.

When she once again hit the hilt with the hammer too hard, and a chunk of ice slipped out of the train she was trying to carve, she finally lost her patience and declared: "Ooh, I've had it!"

North and Sandy looked up in surprise at her outburst, noting her wings flipping frantically and her feathers ruffling in frustration, before the former sighed and said: "Tooth, relax, is no big deal-"

She stuck the chisel's tip onto the top of the ice block, and with a cold glare at North, smacked the hammer down onto it, neatly splitting the frozen mass in two with a sharp crack. He gulped and raised his hands defensively, while Sandy gave a silent whistle. For a moment, she fluttered upwards slightly in frustration, the other two Guardians watching her warily, before she sighed and muttered: "Sorry, North. I shouldn't be rude like this. But I just-"

"Is fine." He said cheerfully, as if he had never at all been scared by her act of dismembering an innocent ice sculpture in lieu of his head. "Sandy and I can finish up if you wish to go. Oh, but first! Do you mind finding Jack Frost for me? He would be great help in finishing work! Maybe make even more just in case of another accident!"

Tooth nodded, feeling better already that she could get out of the workshop and away from these darn blocks of coldness. So with that, she fluttered out, eager to get into the air and find that delightfully amusing friend of hers with the gorgeous teeth.

Caught up in her dreamy sigh and fond thoughts of Jack Frost, she didn't hear North shout after her: "Hey, Tooth! You took my hammer and chisel! Oh, those were my good ones as well!"

Sandy shrugged and got back to sculpting.


Oddly enough, rather than seeking out the Tooth Fairy herself, or the wise North, or the attentive Sandman, Jack found himself in the company of Bunnymund. Despite the consistency of their competitive and sometimes hostile relationship, after the battle against Pitch, the winter spirit had earned the rabbit's respect, for returning both belief and hope to the Guardians when they were at their lowest point, and thus, Bunny had made the decision to tell Jack where an entrance to the Warren (coincidentally located in Australia) was, allowing the Guardian of Fun to visit the Guardian of Hope without the need to be tossed down a tunnel.

And so, he found himself slouching after the taller immortal in the fresh grassy confines of the Warren, who was hopping from plant to plant, watching with glee as little eggs burst free of the petals, plopped onto the ground and then casually strode off on their tiny little egg legs.

To be honest, Jack couldn't help but grin at the Easter eggs. It was just so surreally amusing to see the little things toddling along by themselves. And it was almost as surreal how Bunnymund's demeanour changed when he was working; rather than the aloof, hot-blooded mammal he showed himself as in normal circumstances, the Warren brought out a more reverent, serene side, like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time. This, all that helped Easter come to be, was what Bunny truly lived for; the beginning of spring, new life and of course, the continuation of hope, the aspect of childhood that made the rabbit a Guardian.

Jack personally hoped Bunny would be less of a prick outside of his home turf, but he kept that to himself. The thought made him grin again, but it ended up sobering into contemplation as he recalled Pitch's warning, and wondered how he might bring up this unnerving revelation about Tooth to the spirit of Easter.

To be honest, he should be kicking himself for actually letting the Boogeyman's words unnerve him, get to him like this, but there was that demented logic that maybe, just maybe, Tooth might honestly be willing to go to pretty far lengths for her passion in life. Jack huffed and tapped his forehead with the crook of his staff; his mind wasn't sure what to decide -

"Quite honestly, mate, you've got pretty good timing. I was 'bout to go up top and track you down myself." Bunny was saying, jolting the winter spirit out of his musing. "See, thing is, working with perishables has always hampered me somewhat. If I mess up the timing, I ain't got enough, or my googies go rotten."

He hopped over to a particularly large cave, nestled just under one of the hills, and proudly gestured to it, causing Jack to raise an eyebrow at it, before glancing at the rabbit for an explanation.

"But I had an idea that could save me a whole lot of trouble, which is where you come in, Frostbite. You're gonna turn this cave, wait for it… into a fridge!"

The way he said it, the absolutely enthusiastic and confident tone in which he all but shouted the words, coerced a burst of laughter from the winter spirit, who had to hold onto his staff for support as he bent over, hearty laughs flowing out like no tomorrow. Bunnymund huffed and folded his arms, contemplating tossing a boomerang at the nose-biter's face, but Jack regained himself, straightening himself up with as much dignity as he could muster, a goofy smile still on his face.

"Okay, okay, a fridge. That's, ha, kinda cool. Good idea, Bunny."

"Thank you." The other spirit replied, deadpan now, tapping his foot slightly, before continuing: "So, basic idea is; my eggs are chocolate. Chocolate lasts longer when it's cold. So, you make this cave really cold, and I can store my stock in here to ease my workload. Get them out before Easter to warm them up, and they're ready to go. Sound good?"

"Awesome. Can we call it the Fridge?"

"It's my warren, it's my cave, and I will call it what I want, and I will call it the Fridge."

Jack Frost was a tad confused for a second, before Bunny's serious expression dissolved into a grin, and they simultaneously snorted in amusement. The rabbit had honestly made a joke, and the winter spirit was honestly amused by it. Times sure have changed.

But the Guardian of Fun again recalled what Pitch had said, and thus he sighed and asked: "Bunny, can I ask you something?"

The rabbit tilted his head slightly, nose twitching somewhat, curious as to what had changed the other immortal's demeanour, before venturing: "Sure, mate. What is it?"

Jack Frost hesitated slightly, unsure of how to phrase it, before he finally sighed and-

"Jack! Are you here?"

Well, speak of the devil.

The musical voice of the very being he was about to speak to Bunny about was echoing throughout the warren, repeatedly calling his name, inquiring for his location, along with the subtle hum of rapid wing-beats. Evidently, the Guardian of Memories had been searching for him for quite a while, if she was willing to delve into the Warren, easily the second least likely place he'd be hanging out at, considering he and Bunny often ended up bickering or tussling.

Admittedly, he felt rather torn; on the one hand, he wished to go to her, to alleviate any worries she had, to see her in all her wondrous exotic beauty, from the reassuring rhythm of her wings to the iridescent shine of green and blue and yellow feathers, but on the other hand, Pitch's words were fresh in his mind, inspiring hesitance and paranoia over whether she was here to see him or rip his teeth out.

Bunny spoke before Jack could make a decision: "We're over here, Tooth!"

A sigh of relief answered him, before the wing-beats came towards them, and over a large rock came the form of the Tooth Fairy, as flighty and energetic as other. Her violet eyes locked onto Jack, and she gave a joyful and pleased smile that sent a thrill of wonder through him. He couldn't help but grin back at her, adoring the happy expression on her beautiful face, the way those gorgeous eyes shone and the feathers flared ever so slightly. How could he ever been even slightly paranoid about the Boogeyman's warning? Tooth was the most wonderful, kindest, sweetest-

And then he saw what was in her hands.

A hammer. The handle a deep chocolate brown, intricately carved and impossibly smooth. The head seemed to be solid silver, with the thick cudgel gleaming with a dangerous beauty in the Warren's light and the curved spikes at the back glinting threateningly.

A chisel. The handle as equally brown and smooth as its companion, the long silver extension tipping into a terrifyingly sharp point that had a faint layer of ice around it, as if it had been hacking into the substance for some time.

Hammer. Chisel.

"You heard me. A hammer and a chisel." Pitch's words echoed. "She chips them out, one by one. Have a guess whose jaw she might be craving next."

Tooth was just fluttering down to their level, when both she and Bunny received the shock of their lives; Jack let out a horrified scream of pure undiluted terror and faster than the eye could follow, he ran away down the path, screaming all the while, scattering panicked eggs in his wake as his arms flailed around, vanishing over a hill, leaving only the fading echoes of his terrified screams behind.

Bunny was standing stock-still, eyes wide, ears flattened, chest rising and falling rapidly as he breathed in low and fast, one paw clutching his chest to try and stem his panicked heart. Tooth was just as wide-eyed, jaw dropped, feathers all ruffled and perked up in surprise, her height lowering and rising as her wings tried to readjust, the tools she had accidentally kept dropping from her hands and clattering to the ground.

Finally, Bunnymund turned to her and stuttered: "What."


Admittedly, Pitch had been expecting the Tooth Fairy herself to fly into his lair and attempt to strangle him or something. Surely the winter spirit would have screwed up something by now with his own paranoia, and thus Pitch was eagerly anticipating the results of said screw up.

But rather than an angry fairy, his visitor was a curious rabbit.

Bunnymund hopped out of the tunnel that had just slivered into existence on the floor, jumped over to a lighter section of his lair, noted the Boogeyman standing by his darkened version of the Globe, reared up to his full height, crossed his arms and stated coldly: "Lemme guess; it was you who planted this poppycock idea of Tooth being a psychopath into the snowman's head."

"Your ability of deduction never ceases to amaze me." Pitch replied cheerfully, clapping his hands together in amusement. "Tell me, what happened?"

"We were chilling at the Warren, then Tooth flies over looking for him, he loses his nut, runs off screaming like a bloody dingo or something, and me and Tooth are just like-"

He mimicked the shocked expression he had worn when Jack had run off screaming, and Pitch burst into laughter, holding onto his Globe for support with one hand as the other clutched his stomach, the fear spirit having a jolly good laugh at Jack's expense.

Bunnymund waited for him to finish, before continuing: "She went off after him, and I figured I'd pay our old friend a visit to see what he knew. And of course, he's the guy who started it in the first place."

"All in good fun, Bunny!" The Boogeyman snickered. "All in good fun. You can't blame me for wanting to play a harmless trick, considering how boring it can get lounging around in here."

Bunny simply dipped his head and frowned at the other immortal, whose amused tone shifted into a sigh and said: "Fine. I suppose you're here to avenge your frosty friend or something similar, is that correct?"

"No." The rabbit admitted. "In fact-"

He paused, and looked left. He looked right. He looked up, down, all around. And finally, he looked back at the curious Pitch, leaned forward slightly, and whispered in the tone of one relaying a conspiracy:

"-I actually came here to congratulate you. That was a bloody awesome prank."

Pitch raised an eyebrow in surprise, and then it was Bunny's turn to burst into laughter, stamping his foot repeatedly as he swayed to and fro in his humoured gesticulating.

And just like that, just as Pitch grinned and was about to laugh as well, the Guardian of Hope struck up a dignified pose with a stern expression and stated, wagging a finger to emphasise his words: "But don't do it again, shadow man. Much as I find it funny to see Frostbite so wound up, it ain't worth the ear-piercing screams nor Tooth getting all worried and nit-picky on our cotton behinds."

The Boogeyman simply shrugged and cheerfully replied: "Sure, rabbit. I won't trick the trickster again. I'm just satisfied that he was honestly dumb enough to fall for it."

"Me too. Good effort, mate, but remember, no more mind-screwing shenanigans, or Tooth will skin us alive after she's finished beating the eggs out of us." Bunny replied cheerfully, and with the conversation finished, he opened another hole with two taps of the foot and darted into the bowels of the Earth.

Pitch resumed laughing.


Meanwhile, Tooth was flitting around the frozen lake that Jack called home, digging through piles of snow and looking in the trees and scouting behind rocks in search of her fellow Guardian. Poor Jack was utterly terrified about something, a disturbing change from his usual cheeky and cheerful self, and Tooth was worried sick that some kind of horrible thing had affected her poor friend, maybe horrible nightmares or some kind of monster or, the worse scenario of them all, a cavity!

Tooth hugged herself and shuddered. The very concept of Jack Frost's gorgeous, flawless, gleaming teeth suffering from a cavity made her sick to her stomach! Hadn't he first run off screaming on seeing her arrival? Maybe it was a cavity, and he was trying to hide it from her and that's why he was so scared! Oh, poor Jack! She had to find him and make sure he was okay!

"Jack? Are you here?" She called, her worried voice echoing throughout the woods. "Jack, please answer me! I want to help you! Oh, Jack, please come out!"

She flew higher slightly, trying to get a good scan of the surrounding area, but there was no sign of him here. Either he wasn't here or he was really, really good at hiding, and neither option sat well with her. She was getting so worried; this wasn't at all normal, not at all. Maybe she needed to get back to North and hit the Lights! What if Jack was under some kind of horrible fear spell? What if Jack was suffering from horrible memories?!

She gasped and clapped her hands to her mouth. If Jack was suffering from bad memories that might have been hiding in his baby teeth, then she should have known about it and sorted it out! Oh, how could she be so unaware and foolish? How could she let down her dear sweet friend like that? It honestly brought the inkling of tears to her eyes.

"Jack!" She called again, a definite tearfulness adding to her desperation. "Jack, please, please answer me! Where are you?!"

The Guardian of Memories felt overwhelmed by her own fear and worry, and she ended up floating downwards as she struggled to not give into the urge to cry. What was she going to do? She couldn't find him, she couldn't find her friend!

Her knees finally hit the frozen surface of the lake as her wings flickered pitifully before lying flat on her back as the fairy wrung her hands together, feathers flicking up and down in her worried state. Oh, where was her poor Jack?

"T-Tooth?"

She moved so fast it was practically supersonic. One moment she had been kneeling, dejected, on the frozen surface, and the next she was airborne, turned towards the sound that had come from behind her, legs curled up and arms tight to her side as she dared to smile in joy.

Sure enough, Jack was there, poking out from behind a tree, watching her with a mixture of unease, wariness, sadness and just a teeny bit of relief that she wasn't holding those dreaded tools anymore.

"Jack! You're here, you're okay!" She squealed, tail feathers waving joyfully, the fairy restraining herself from flying over to him lest he get scared again, but in no way containing her happiness at finding him alive and well.

He hesitated for a moment, before he nervously grinned: "Yeah, fine as wine, I guess."

"I've been so worried! I looked everywhere for you, I thought you might be under some kind of horrible spell, or Pitch had done some fear thing or maybe a monster or a cavity, oh my goodness, the thought makes-"

"Tooth."

"-me absolutely sick, imagine a cavity in your gorgeous smile, did I say gorgeous, well, I guess I did it again, they really are beautiful though, oh, I-"

"Tooth."

She paused, taking in the second mention of her name, noted Jack's perturbed expression and snapped her mouth shut, cursing her bad habit of ranting when she got excited. Sobering up from the thrill of success slightly, she tentatively hovered towards him slightly, saddened by his slight flinch at the movement, and asked: "Jack, what's wrong? Why did you run off like that?"

He hesitated again, and bit his lower lip. In hindsight, this was the obvious outcome, and sure enough, he was feeling awkward stupidity start to flare up within him. The poor girl had been legitimately upset and pained by his disappearing act. He had taken Pitch's words too seriously, and now he had ended up hurting his friend's feelings because of it.

So, he decided to man up, take a stand and stuff the Boogeyman's twisted words where the moon didn't shine, and thus he declared: "Because I…. because I was an idiot. Pitch showed up, and he said… he said you wanted to hammer out my teeth."

He doesn't want to look at her, but as aforementioned, he has to man up, and thus he does look at her. Her expression is caught between shock and disbelief, and she sags slightly, though remains airborne, and he flinches at how his words might seem to her; her friend was truly fearing that she would honestly do something so drastically violent, so horribly crude-

Tooth moves in before he can react and her arms are around him in a tight hug that nearly squeezes the breath from him. He jerks back in surprise, but she holds fast, her head against his chest, arms pressing against his ribs and the rapid touches of wind from her wings is rather refreshing against his face.

"T-tooth?" He stutters, stunned by such hasty and surprisingly strong contact, arms awkwardly moving around her without getting caught by her wings, but after a moment of being squeezed by the fairy, she pulls back slightly to face him, arms still around him, and she states, firmly and decisively:

"You listen to me right now, Jack Frost. I have never, in all my life, done anything, or dreamed of anything, like that. Teeth are precious, and they should only ever come out when growing from a child to an adult! Don't you ever listen to that manipulative bad-teeth-having Boogeyman, because all he wants is to cause trouble! I could never do something so horrible to you, or anyone, because-"

He takes her words in as she carries on, and suddenly he's laughing now, actually laughing; her passionate denial of Pitch's words is like a river, washing away all the doubts and worries from him. Moon above, he was an idiot; his rational side had been right all along, had been utterly correct in disregarding Pitch's so-called warning. Tooth had never been the disturbing psycho the Boogeyman had made her out to be, absolutely not.

She's indignant at first at his laughing, but then seeing the familiar humour and joy in his face, her face brightens exponentially and she's laughing too as she presses herself against him, squeezing him tightly as her wings finally settle, allowing him to better hug her back as the sudden surprise of her weight pulls him, and her, down to the knees, and they stay there by the lake, laughing and hugging, for quite some time.

When they finally cease, Jack grins sheepishly at her and says: "I know I was an idiot, and I know I overreacted, but do you forgive me? For being so dumb?"

"Of course I do. Everyone makes mistakes." She replies, smiling sweetly at him in that way that makes his heart beat faster all of a sudden. "But for your sake, Jack, don't ever do it again."

Her threat contrasts with her joking tone and sparkling eyes, and he rather nervously snickers at it. She separates from him now, hovers up with a flutter of wings and cheerfully states: "Glad you're feeling better, Jack. Would you mind popping to the North Pole now? North and Sandy need some help."

He's surprised at the sudden request, but honestly, he'd do anything to make it up to her, and thus he leaps and sweeps into a bow, grinning widely as she giggles.

"Anything for you, milady."

"Of course." She giggles. "Well, I'll see you later, Jack Frost. Don't get into trouble."

And with that and a small wave, she darts off into the sky, as fast and as colourful as the hummingbirds she so closely resembles. Jack watches her vanish into the night, before a sudden thought occurs to him, and he turns to the moon and snaps: "You knew Pitch was lying. And you didn't think to tell me?!"

The answer he receives leaves him speechless:

"Truth be told? It was pretty funny."


Pitch is casually contemplating his Globe, feeling rather pleased with himself over the success of his prank, when he hears an odd buzzing echoing around his lair. Perplexed, he turns and looks around for the source, but sees nothing. Perhaps he should have soundproofed his lair when it was first formed to better control its atmosphere, but he always did like echoes.

Hindsight is funny like that.

Just as he's about to further investigate, the source suddenly appears before him; none other than the Tooth Fairy, glaring at him with a promise of brutal carnage, arms crossed, feathers ruffling with agitation.

He blinks, before chuckling and asking: "Ah, the fair Toothiana herself! Tell me, how badly did Frost mess up before you caught on?"

She doesn't answer verbally; instead, she spreads her arms and shows him what she's holding in her hands.

A hammer. The handle a deep chocolate brown, intricately carved and impossibly smooth. The head seemed to be solid silver, with the thick cudgel gleaming with a dangerous beauty in the faint light and the curved spikes at the back glinting threateningly.

A chisel. The handle as equally brown and smooth as its companion, the long silver extension tipping into a terrifyingly sharp point that glistened even in the rather dim conditions, as it had been recently polished.

As with the quarter, he is briefly perplexed, and then, it clicks, and utter fear spreads through the Boogeyman as he slowly backs away. A sadistically eager grin spreads over the Tooth Fairy's face as her violet eyes shine with enthusiasm, as she slowly hovers towards her prey, and Pitch is stuttering with unimaginable horror:

"Now, Tooth, there's no need to be so hasty, so aggressive! It was just a joke, all in good fun! I didn't mean any harm in it, I just- No, don't come near me like that, don't- No, please, Tooth, I'm not- No, no, get away from me! It was a joke! Get away from me! No, NO, NO- AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGG GGGGGHHHHHHHHH!"