HIHIHI! Ok, this is super late, but I'm going to work hard and give you guys a nice Christmas chapter! Enjoy!
BTW I got my CAST OFF! So now I'm going through physical therapy to learn how to bend my knee and build up the muscle strength with my leg.
ALSO! I appreciate all of my reviewers, and I can't even call out a special few because ALL OF YOU are so important to me! You stuck with me through pain, tears, laughter, and even controversy. THANK YOU!
"What is THAT?!"
Jack glared at the still cackling boogeyman before pinning an accusing look at North "Why did you put this one in?"
The family was having their Christmas celebration, and Jack was sitting on the couch next to Bunny while Pitch stood behind them leaning his forearms against the headrest, all were enjoying perusing through the family photo album. Though currently Jack was unhappy with a current picture showing him during one of his off seasons deeply asleep on the floor of the hallway, nibbling on his thumb knuckle and hugging a teddy bear to his chest, an image that the dark specter was gaining much enjoyment from, much to Jack's consternation.
"Aw, what Snowflake, you embarrassed over a little old picture?" Aster asked mischievously making the frost child stick his tongue out angrily.
"Whatever," Jack muttered before turning the page his face suddenly brightening when he saw the next photo "hey Bunny," he drawled with a wicked grin "lookie here!"
The Pooka felt his stomach drop in fear as he heard Pitch suddenly begin to snicker, and emerald eyes slowly slid down to see a picture of a small baby Pooka laughing at the camera covered in paint, and dressed in a little elf hat holding on to a candy cane.
"Oh come on, mate," Bunny pouted crossing his arms and sliding down into the couch like a sulky teenager "that's not even fair."
"It's plenty fair!" Jack protested "They have tons of pictures of my off season, so it's only logical that we have pictures of you during your rebirth!"
"You're a brat, and this ain't fair!"
I'm not a brat, and I'm not the one who put the pictures in the album!"
"Well I think-!"
"Just turn the page!" Pitch bellowed with a wide grin reaching down between them and doing just that, his own face suddenly becoming pale…or more pale than it already was "…Oh…"
"Ha!" Jack barked accompanied by Bunny's stifled chortling.
In the picture was the Boogeyman only dressed in a wide necked grey cashmere sweater and black sweatpants sitting backwards on a chaise lounge, his long legs resting on the headrest high above the top of the couch, while his torso was settled into the cushion his head lolling over the edge dangling over the floor. In his hands was a book, and on the cushions next to him was a plate of cookies and a cup of tea. Jack and Bunny cast their own malicious grins up to the man, and Pitch wilted under their smiles.
"It's not that funny," he muttered.
"Aw, but I like that picture," Tooth chirped hovering over the group and wrapping her arms around one of Pitch's "I like when you look casual, it's very…attractive."
Pitch gave the fairy a soft smirk before leaning in to peck her lips in a short caress "Well since you like it, I guess I don't mind that much."
"GET A ROOM!" Jack bawled his face twisted in a grimace of disgust.
"Seriously, you two," Aster rolled his eyes indignantly "can't you keep your hands off each other for five seconds?"
"Stop acting like teenager," North chuckled "besides, you are not innocent of googoo eyes."
"Yeah, no kidding," Jack snorted "every time Sabine's here, you're practically drooling. Are you gonna ask her on a date or what?!"
A grey blur cuffed Jack upside the head, making the silver haired boy yelp "Will ya shut it?!"
Tooth shook her head with a sigh before addressing the irate rabbit "Where is Sabine anyway?"
"Huh?" Aster asked turning to Tooth before giving a shrug "She's comin', but apparently she's gonna be late. Manny gave her a duty that she's savin' as a surprise, but she's all excited now that she's 'officially a spirit with a real job'."
"I wonder what kind of job it is," Tooth hummed excitedly turning her lavender eyes to Pitch.
The boogeyman pursed his lips in careful thought "Well she loves to paint as much as Bunny, maybe it has something to do with that."
"I think it should have something to do with snow," Jack sniffed haughtily "I mean she looks like an arctic rabbit, it would be perfect!"
"Pooka's don't do snow," Aster vetoed firmly "not now, not ever. It's part of our biology."
"Yeah right," Jack scoffed "you just don't want your girlfriend to have anything to do with winter!"
"She's not my girlfriend!"
"Well duh, because you're too chicken to ask her!"
"Like yer too chicken ta ask Faith out on a second date?!"
"I'm not Chicken! I'm just…waiting for the right moment!"
"That's just a sorry excuse fer bein' what ya are, a chicken!"
"Well it takes one to know one, cotton tail!"
"I said I'm not a chicken!"
Jack started strutting around the living room, bobbing his head clucking while folding his arms to look like chicken wings, making the Pooka practically fume in fury "Get o'er here right now ya flash frozen git!"
With a snarl, Bunny pounced and Jack gave a surprised yelp when he was tackled by two hundred pounds of muscled rabbit, his right arm getting twisted behind his back "Ah!" the frost spirit giggled "I give, I give!"
"Nah mate," Bunny smiled maliciously "yer not getting' outta this that easily, take back what ya said and I might consider lettin' ya up."
"Fine, I take it back!"
"Take back what?"
"That I called you a chicken!"
Jack blanked "And…what?'
"You know exactly what," emerald eyes sparkled at the memory of past battles that ended like this, a smug look replacing the bloodlust.
Jack's blue orbs brightened with memory before becoming shadowed with dread, and a firm pout poked his bottom lip out "Aw Bunny, not here?!"
"…Aaand…?" Bunny prompted.
The frost spirit deflated, knowing this to be his only option, before rushing out a flurry of words "You'rethemostamazingwarriorthateverwalkedtheearthandisbelovedbychildrenallovertheworldbecauseeveryoneknowsEasterisbetterthanchristmasandIshouldbegratefultohaveabigbrotherascoolandmanlyasyou!"
"There ya go," Aster snickered releasing the teen "that wasn't so hard was it?"
Jack sent his adopted brother a withering glare "Excuse me while I go throw up," he deadpanned.
The room burst into laughter as he stumbled away, gagging and clawing at his throat "Oh, I think I'm gonna be sick,"
Pitch found himself laughing right along everyone else, drawing his arm around Tooth's shoulders and drawing her close. One finger captured her chin, and angled her face up to his and smile lit his face "Merry Christmas, my dear."
Tooth grinned happily, resting her head on his chest and hugging the man and breathed softly "Merry Christmas,"
A flash lit the room, and the duo were startled to find Sandy carrying a camera, only to take the picture that slid out and place it in the photo album, while everyone watched it slowly reveal the smiling couple hugging each other under the mistletoe. Tooth giggled, and Pitch rolled his eyes, but neither found even the slightest shred of remorse. Jack grinned at his family, feeling warmer than he had in centuries, the smallest bit of moisture gathering in his eyes as his smile of happiness grew and crinkled his face in newly made laugh lines.
"Yeah," he murmured hugging himself to savor that warmth "Merry Christmas."
"MERRY CHRISTMAS!" North bellowed.
Sandy flew to the center of the room, raising his glass high, and everyone quickly grasped their own cups raising them in a toast.
"To family," North began.
"To a new beginnin'," Aster continued.
"To new memories!" Jack smiled.
"To love," Tooth sighed.
"To happiness, and finally finding where I belong," Pitch smirked.
Sandy glowed, literally, with the love and joy flowing through the room and his golden sand flew in streams of light to write "To seeing dreams come true,"
"Hear, Hear!" Jack clapped.
With much laughter and clamoring of voices, the group came together, their glasses clinking as they toasted each other. Gifts were soon exchanged and the group fell into the easy camaraderie and family fun that they all so desperately yearned for in times past. It was their first Christmas together as family where the past was well and truly set aside. Laughter floated through the windows, and echoed across the tundra, making the Northern lights shine brighter than they ever had before. But the thing that shined the brightest was Hope for a better tomorrow, Wonder on how so many lost souls could finally discover their deepest wishes in each other, the Memories of a brand new family woven over the past twelve months, Dreams for the future, the Courage to face your fears and find a new beginning, and the Fun that awaited them to discover like treasure glistening in the sand.
Merry Christmas, the light seemed to say, and may this New Year and every year after it shine brighter and brighter, for true riches are not measured in gold but in family and the memories you make. So this Christmas, find someone you can celebrate with, even if you're not related by blood because as everyone know family is not limited to merely blood relations but it is anyone whom you open your heart to and they in turn do the same. Make new a beautiful memories that shine in the dark places, and I am sure that you will experience this same light.
And as the night waned on, a silver streak of light danced across the night sky and a whisper in the dark "Merry Christmas to all, and to all…Good night,"
Merry Christmas to all my wonderful viewers, I love you immensely and I adore every review I get. Thank you so much, and may we all have a wonderful New Year!