Falling in Snow
Author's Note: Reedited, yo.
The high-pitch cry pierced the still quiet of the room, earning the fluttering feathery Guardian a few hard glares from her mini companions. Ducking her head, she blushed in embarrassment, but could yet hardly contain the smile that was dancing on the corners of her lips.
"Sorry," she whispered back apologetically, even as she floated higher with excitement. "But look at her little deciduous maxillary central incisor! How adorable is this?"
Toothiana, or the Tooth Fairy as she was known, cupped her cheek in delight and fluttered over to the bed of the sleeping child whose tooth she had collected. Soft even breaths stirred a mess of brown curls that fell about the round face of the four year old as she slept soundlessly. She cradled a stuffed hippo in her small pudgy hands underneath the blanket with her, a little pink hippo that mirrored the bright figures dancing across the wallpaper around them and the little decorative pieces that adorned the rest of her room. It was the hippo clock on the wall she looked to when she heard the beckoning twitter of a mini fairy beside her.
Sighing, she gazed fondly over the sleeping child again. "I know, I know, I'm coming" she responded. Tenderly, carefully, the Guardian raised a feathered hand and brushed aside the little girl's soft curls with her fingers. She watched only a moment longer before she drew herself away. Her heart felt full in a way she would never be able to describe, not even if she lived another thousand years, and Toothiana felt that warmth from the tips of her fingers to the tips of her toes.
Oh, how she missed this part.
"Alrighty then, let's move out ladies. Rebecca has a recital in the morning" she announced to the room in a whisper. She knew many things about the children whose teeth she collected, anything she needed, and she didn't want the darling girl with the love for hippos and dance and music to wake. The other fairies tweeted in agreement and flew in a flutter of green and blue out of the open window from which they had come, Toothiana following after.
Outside, the breeze blew by with a whistle, rustling her feathers and nipping at her underlying skin. She looked up to the moon then, bright and full and allowed herself a moment to enjoy what she was doing. She imagined the Man in the Moon smiling down at her as she imagined he did for all of the Guardians he had chosen. For the life of her, the Tooth fairy could no longer remember why she had stopped going into the field with her fairies, what could have been so important as to take her attention away from seeing the children for so many centuries. Whatever the cause, Toothiana knew the Man in the Moon meant for her to be right where she was now, and that was where she was going to be for centuries to come.
She wasn't allowed to her thoughts for too long. A flurry of fairies soon surrounded her, chirping and peeping and cheeping all sorts of news and updates. Toothiana didn't miss a beat, just put herself right back into her feathers, so to speak, with a smile, and fired back responses for each of them.
Another fairy joined her just as the others took off and tweeted in a fluster of excitement, violet eyes sparkling happily. A distinctive beauty mark dotted her face, but even without the spot, Toothiana knew exactly who the fairy was.
They were all a part of her after all.
"Oh! How wonderful" Toothiana exclaimed. She flittered about excitedly, looking around. "Sandy is here? Now? I didn't even—"
She stopped. Her own violet eyes widened in wonder as she finally caught sight of her friend.
"He is here" she laughed.
A large bird flew by her, glittering gold underneath the moonlight in a trail of sand as it soared by. More sand snaked through the air after it like things alive, and maybe they were, sand taking shapes of all sorts of marvelous things; there was a manta ray, flying through the air like any bird, and over there beneath her a giraffe slowly but surely took long grand strides to his sleeping child.
Toothiana giggled as she carded her fingers through the magical sand that passed by, her fingers tingling with a pleasant sensation that the wind didn't chase away. Rubbing them together, she watched with fascination as the enchanted creatures went through window after window and board after glass to reach the sleeping minds of the children of France. A pony galloped by her with a whinny, making its way through the window she had flown through not long before. Toothiana knew Rebecca would be having pleasant dreams that night.
Flying by the mystical creations of the guardian of dreams himself, it did not take long for Toothiana to spot him. Sandy was perched high in his golden, swirling cloud, tufts of blonde hair swaying gently as he conjured up more dreams with his sand like some great magician.
Toothiana smiled to herself. Oh, but he was better, wasn't he?
"Sandy! What a coincidence! How are you?" she called out brightly.
The little guardian paused with a start of surprise and then was smiling back at her. A little sandy image popped up above his head, taking the form of a big thumbs up.
"I'm glad" she answered honestly. She could count the amount of times she crossed by any of her friends while she was working on one hand. Though, to be fair, she had only recently took to the streets again—just before last year she had spent her centuries running her teeth operations from her castle in Southeast Asia. Back then, Toothiana only ever saw the other Guardians when there was a crisis. It was quite delightfully because the persistence of a certain winter spirit that they began to see each other more than every ten or so years. The thought of the boy made Toothiana's smile widen. She was sure a mini fairy was swooning somewhere.
Toothiana reached Sandy and gave him a hug which he returned with deceptively strong arms. It was easy to forget how powerful he was when he was so positively adorable. The fairy told Sandy as much and he pouted, sandy streams shooting from his ears like smoke. Fluttering back with a laugh, Toothiana spoke quickly to the fairies that had flown to her before turning her full attention back to Sandy.
"I forgot how wonderful it was watching you work. They're all beautiful, Sandy" she said, looking back at the dreams with a sigh.
She got a wide smile in a response. An image of a tooth and her fairies and a round of applause all popped up above his head in succession.
"Oh, thank you. It's nothing really," she said sheepishly. "Just cloning yourself into millions of copies and collecting children's teeth everywhere across seven continents every night. No biggie" She shrugged and snorted cutely, hands folded.
Sandy laughed silently at that, shoulders shaking with mirth. When he settled, a question mark popped up. A large rabbit.
"Bunnymund? What about Bunny? Did something happen?" she asked worriedly.
Sandy shook his head. Another question mark appeared and then the sand swirled into an image of searching binoculars.
"Oh! Where is he? I don't know"
Toothiana thought for a moment. "I haven't spoken to him since our last meeting. Are you looking for him?"
A shake of the head. Then an image of a boy in a hood and a staff.
"Jack is looking for him?"
This puzzled her. The next "mandatory" meeting Jack announced they would have wouldn't be for another two days. It was these meetings that he announced every month to break their monotonous schedules of work to spend time together for–real, actual, fun fun. Not the stuff you guys do on your free time. That's still called work—and she always kept perfect track of them.
Sandy nodded in agreement and then shrugged. The little Guardian began to work again, mouth set in such a way that Toothiana knew he was still thinking.
"I wonder what he needs" Toothiana pondered aloud as she darted to Sandy's side. She was at his other side a second later and Sandy was beginning to feel dizzy as he watch her flit about.
"It isn't easy getting in touch with Bunny while he's working. I hope it's nothing" If worry had again crept into her voice, it was something she couldn't help. It was hard not to be a little worried when her friends were concerned. They didn't exactly have good track records when it came to keeping away from trouble.
Sandy didn't say anything to that, but then again, he never did say anything. He had relayed his message and there was nothing more for him to do. Nodding in agreement, the little Guardian conjured up a great dinosaur he loved best out of all the great prehistoric beasts. The dream sand came to life before him and lifted its long neck to the direction it would be headed. The moonlight from the full moon above seemed to guide its way, the luminous rays falling delicately over the road ahead as it moved.
Somewhere in France, a little boy would get his dreams of dinosaurs.
The Warren was empty.
Jack Frost knew this definitely—he had spent the last half hour riding his winds through the long winding tunnels and over the great rolling hills that was the birthplace of Easter and spring. The only company he had with him were green and rooted in the ground.
Well, there was also the egg sentinels, but it was best they stayed frozen a little while.
Sighing in disappointment, Jack allowed himself to drop from the air to the grass below amongst a field of brilliantly colored foliage. He landed delicately on his feet, frost sprouting in small intricate patterns beneath his toes as he stepped lightly, taking special care to avoid trampling the flowers growing wildly around him.
The warm air felt pleasant against his skin, which was always something that surprised the very personification of winter itself. Jack curled his toes in the soil and leaned on his staff, allowing himself to enjoy the serenity of the Warren as he thought about Bunny.
And just what...present he should leave his furry friend this time around.
Mischief and a penchant for fun was as much a part of Jack as the frost that he breathed and the snow dancing at his fingertips. Pulling pranks on the Australian rabbit—no, bunny—was some of the best bit of fun he could have, topped only by the play he had with his young believers out in the snow covered streets.
Jack hummed deep in his throat. Bright blue eyes took in the wide expanse of the Warren, the brilliant flowers, the dipping green hills, the trickling streams, the soaring lush trees, and the possibilities were endless.
"Now...what to do, what to do?" Jack mused aloud with a smile.
Straightening, the winter spirit twirled the wooden staff in his hands as he began to walk aimlessly, whistling a tune he'd heard earlier on a car radio. He didn't know the name, but it was catchy.
"Now, what haven't I done?" he asked himself. " Freeze the stream? Make it snow in the tunnels?" They were all great ideas, but also things he had done at least once before in his less creative moments of mischievous happy times. Still, the utter shock and boiling rage that chased him in the form of a seven foot tall, warrior alien rabbit through the Warren still brought him to fits of laughter. The Pooka wore matted wet fur well, he was really doing his friend a favor.
Jacks eyes crinkled at the edges at the memories, and finally inspiration struck like a bolt of lightning from the heavens.
Jack spun around on his heels and pointed his staff to a red tulip looking flower, petals pointed up to him almost in question.
"Now that is a great idea" he exclaimed with a laugh. "You, my friend, are in the presence a genius"
He was talking to a flower he realized, not one of his best displays of sanity, but his excitement couldn't be helped. Anyway, shaking off the habit of talking to pretty much everything that never answered back for the last three centuries—flowers, rocks, trees, animals, people that didn't see him—was pretty much more of an effort he cared to bother with.
Unlike pranks. He could always be bothered with pranks. Pranks made almost everything better. Everything. The winter spirit looked up, face warm as another breeze blew past.
"Okay wind. To the tunnels!" he called.
Jack was laughing even before the great wind came and whisked him up and away off the ground to the air like a leaf or a snowflake. He twirled about as he was carried, arms out so he could better ride the air current. He cried out in excitement when he was thrown about in a loop and then another and a spin, before he settled out again and was able to coast easily towards the ground.
Soon, the young Guardian was gently dropped off to his destination. The hollow in the towering rock before him was large and framed by gray slated stone, the intricate carvings and individual pieces looking older than even the rock formation itself. The inside was dark, and Jack could hardly see inside from even the entrance where he stood.
Still, the burrow was hardly imposing. With the fresh smell of earth and green and the vibrant moss growing around the etchings, it looked more like a cozy den from a children's book than anything else. The image of walking painted eggs and furry rabbits marching and hopping through always made Jack chuckle, so he had no trepidation about walking inside.
He never did.
Like all of the Warren, the air inside was warm. The temperature never dropped, no matter the time of day, something that Jack imagined was attributed to some sort of magic. The smell of moss was stronger as well, and Jack ran his hand along the walls, letting the moist soft felt slide against his palms as he walked.
He came to a stop after he notioned he had gone far enough. Jack twirled the staff in his hand and tapped the end of it on the ground.
"Okay. This should be just as good a place as any" he said. His voice bounced off the walls ahead like an agreement of sorts.
And now was the fun part.
Ice suddenly bloomed from the bottom of Jack's staff to the mossy earth below his feet, much larger than the patterns that marked his goings. The cold touch was welcomed to his skin as it branched out further to cover the ground around him, freezing over the bottom of the tunnel in seconds.
Jack skated barefoot on the ice as it formed from his staff, letting the piece of wood guide the way for him. He quickly wound around the walls and the ceiling, his connection to the upwardly swirling ice keeping him from being pulled by gravity. He made twisting loops and circles that spiraled around the tunnel until it looked like some great green and white candy cane, and he just knew it was going to be awesome when Bunny—
The explosion of color and sound that went off in front of him was all Jack registered before he lost his balance and fell down from his ice trail. The white-haired guardian landed on his back with a sharp intake of breath, his focus spinning around him as the smoke and splashes of greens and reds and blues settled where he lay.
Head hazy, Jack could barely make out the sound of stone grinding against stone and of footsteps coming down heavy over the roaring in his ears. He sat up carefully and groaned, rubbing at the back of his throbbing skull. Shaking his head to clear it, the guardian looked up to his new company before his face split into a lopsided grin.
Jack chuckled. "I knew I smelled eggs"
Two egg sentinels stood before him, green-spotted stone faces set with an encarved glare.
The eight foot something warriors towered over him, rotational heads twitching and turning in what looked like agitation. Jack picked himself up slowly from the ground and raised his hands in a placating gesture. He had never seen them fight, not really, and he wasn't particularly keen on learning on the receiving end.
"Now, now. Let's not do anything hasty. I was actually just leaving" he said reassuringly. He was backing up towards where he had come, but the grin never left his face. "I just wanted to come by and leave something nice for Bunny. You know how he loves my presents"
His answer was more grinding stone as the two warriors suddenly broke off into a run.
Jack quickly made another ice path for himself and skated out of the way of the stampede as he rode along the wall and over their heads and down again behind them. Who knew those things could actually run?
Jack spun around so he was facing them, not missing a step as he began skating backwards. The stone sentinels slid gracelessly along the ice he had made before, rolling heavily as they tried to get back up. Jack gave them a salute and turned back around, laughing.
"Bunny, you're going to have to get better security than—"
Another egg came whizzing by him, narrowly missing his head before exploding behind him. Jack cried out in astonishment and stumbled a bit as he made another complete circle around the tunnel and looked back at the smoke, filling up the area behind him. Looking back in front of him, his eyes widened in astonishment.
"...that" he finished.
There were more sentinels, all lined up in his tunnel, and others appearing in the conjoining tunnels he passed. Jack skated between them, weaving around and through the stone giants as he passed. He may or may not have had to freeze more of them as he went, but watching them stumble over their frozen comrades and slip and slide on the ice was more than worth any reason he could think of. His blood was pumping and the rush, the adrenaline that was racing through him as he dodged their exploding projectiles and rolling bodies made him hoot and laugh as he rode through the winding passageways of the Warren, his voice echoing throughout.
There was a reason why he was the guardian of fun.
Hopefully this is a little better ;_;