Ok! So this is my valentines present for Hollyjolly-Loki-n-Pie. The request was "Bunny taking care of a heat exhausted Jack".
I hope you enjoy it! Happy valentines day!
As always, I don't own Rise of the Guardians or any of its characters. :3
Bunny did not want to accept that he was scared.
When North summoned them to the North Pole that morning he had been annoyed. The entire way there, Bunny had been muttering curses under his breath. He thought North was going to ask them to help him prepare for Christmas, considering it was less than a week away.
The moment he arrived, Bunny asked in annoyance, "What is it now, North? Elves dropped another snow globe and made all the presents disappear?"
North hardily looked at him as he said, "Jack is missing."
With those words, Bunny's anger flew out the window and his ears went up in alert.
"What!? Since when?!"
Sandy had a similar reaction as he noticed that the winter spirit was not in the room. Tooth was standing next to North, a somber look on her face.
"Tooth got a message from Jamie," North began. "He put it under Sophie's pillow when one of her teeth fell. It reads: Dear Guardians, it has not snowed in Burgess for 3 days. I know that it is normal for Jack to not show up all the time but it always snows here in winter. Not even the wind has blown. Did something happen to Jack? If you know please tell me."
Bunny sighed in frustration at the memory. North had sent them out to look for the winter spirit. Turns out the last person to hear from Jack had been himself. Jack had dropped in for a visit to the warren around a week ago.
No one had any idea where he was. It was normal to not hear from Jack for a few days, but what Jamie said was true. It always snowed in Burgess during winter. Something must have happened to him.
That feeling, that Bunny already stated was not fear, stirred in his heart again. He shook his head to rid himself of those thoughts. He had to focus on finding frostbite.
It was getting late already. He had been looking for Jack through all of North America. Sandy was looking through South America, Tooth through Asia and Europe, and North through Antarctica (they found out Jack used to spend some time there playing with penguins). They decided Jack would most probably not be in Africa or in Australia. Bunny promised to himself that if he ended up being in one of those 2, he would punch the boy in the face.
He actually decided to punch him anyways for making him worry… not that he was worried. He or one of the other Guardians would soon find him, up to some childish antic, laughing and saying he lost track of time.
Bunny was at a loss of where to look. He started in Burgess then continued on through most of the country. He them moved to Mexico. Maybe the winter spirit had decided to give them a rare white Christmas? He had found nothing there.
He knew that none of the others had had any luck either. Bunny took a deep breath as he felt desperation starting to creep in. He wouldn't let his composure fall. It wouldn't help him find Jack and it would give the boy an excuse to make fun of him when he found him.
He would find him. That was for sure.
Bunny decided he would go search in Canada. He began to make his way there when he heard a voice in his head that said "Florida desert"
Bunny froze. His eyes opened wide as he looked up and stared at the full moon.
He was about to question the moon but decided against it. He quickly made his way to said location all the while thinking "What are you doing in the desert you dill."
Breathing shouldn't be this painful, should it?
Jack could think of nothing else as he lay on the hot sand. He couldn't move, he could hardily breath, and he was scared. The blistering heat had robbed him of his energy. The last thought Jack had before falling to unconsciousness was
How did I end here?
Panic was not something Bunny was used to, but It was definitely what he felt when his eyes landed on the unmoving Guardian of fun laying on the sand. The moment he reached him, Bunny felt his heart stuck in his throat. There was an unhealthy red flush on Jack's cheeks and his breaths were so weak that even with Bunny's keen ears they were hard to hear. The sound was that of wind scraping through dry leafs.
Bunny accepted it now. He was scared.
He took the boy in his arms and opened one of his rabbit holes. He hadn't used them all day because he had no exact direction and he was afraid to miss something if he used his holes to go from one place to another.
The pooka's heart was racing faster than it ever had in his life. He had to get Jack to the cold. Bunny couldn't think straight. His body was in automatic mode and ran through his tunnels as quickly as possible, which was damn quick, but bunny feared it wouldn't be enough.
The moment he reached the North Pole he threw Jack's body onto the snow and quickly covered him with more. He stood by the pile of snow, breathing hard. His heart would simply not calm down, the fear heavy in the pit of his stomach. He looked at Santoff Claussen. He knew he had to let the others know that he had found Jack. He also knew that he couldn't just leave Jack in the snow. He looked at the pile again.
"I'll be right back… just… be ok when I get back." He ran inside the building and ordered the yetis to turn the boreal lights and get a bed ready for Jack in the infirmary.
With that, Bunny quickly ran back outside and began to dig Jack out of the snow. Once Jack's face was visible, Bunny let go of a breath he didn't know he was holding.
Jack's face looked closer to his usual pale self and his breathing sounded stronger. It was just as damaged and painful, but at least it stopped sounding like it was going to stop at any second.
Bunny began to wipe the rest of the snow off Jack when he realized his paws were trembling. He closed his eyes and tried to calm down. He couldn't let the rest of the Guardians see him like this, and Jack needed him right now. He wouldn't be able to help him if he didn't get a grip.
Bunny carried Jack inside Santoff Claussen quickly, trying to avoid the warmest parts of the building. All of the windows had been opened in the infirmary and the yetis were ready to take a look at the unconscious winter spirit.
Bunny placed Jack on the bed and ordered a yeti to get buckets full of snow. Another yeti began to look the boy over to find any other injuries. He made a yeti sound that Bunny knew meant something important but he didn't understand.
"What is it?" He asked, panic threatening to sink in again.
Thankfully North entered the infirmary in that moment with Tooth and Sandy at his heels.
"Where is he? What happened?"
Bunny was about to answer, but the yeti (Phil, was it?) was louder and got North's attention. North ran around Bunny and bent next to Jack. The rest of the Guardians did the same. The yeti pointed at Jack. Anger took over North's features.
"Bunny, what happened? Where did you find him?"
"In the Florida desert. Manny told me where he was. Took long enough for him to help." Bunny said with some bitterness.
Tooth frowned "What was he doing in the desert?" North looked at each Guardian in the eye.
"Phil says Jack has a bump in the back of his head. He thinks someone knocked him out. That someone probably took him to the desert knowing it would… harm him." The anger in North's face became concern as he looked at Jack. On the other hand, Bunny's concern became anger.
"What!? Someone put him there?! Who would do something like that?!"
A sudden silence filled the room when one name invaded the Guardian's minds. They silently decided to not worry about that for now and focus on their youngest member's health.
Phil began to place some snow around the winter spirit. Even after Bunny threw him in the snow his temperature was that of a regular human being, meaning extreme fever for Jack.
Suddenly Sandy's face became sad. He tugged at North's clothing. It took the Guardian of wonder all his strength to peel his eyes away from the winter spirit, but he was able to look at Sandy as he made the image of a sleeping child. North's eyes widened in understanding.
"You have to go give dreams to children." Sandy nodded sadly. Tooth, who had been running her hands through Jack's hair comfortingly looked up suddenly as panic filled her eyes.
"Oh no! I have to work too! I can't just leave Jack! But I can't risk the children loosing their belief." North felt worry as well. Christmas was only 1 week away. The yetis and him had been working like crazy but the entire factory had come to a stop at the sudden arrival of Jack.
Bunny looked at the worried Guardians, then back at Jack. The guardian of hope clenched his fist and said,
"I'll take care of him." Everyone snapped out of their thoughts and looked at Bunny. North was about to speak but Bunny interrupted him "You all have a lot of things to do, and don't try to deny it, North. I know you need the yetis to keep building the toys. Just leave one with me, I'll take care of our little snowflake." Tooth shyly asked,
"What about Easter?"
They knew there was still lots of time for that holiday but since the incident with Pitch, Bunny had spent every waking moment thinking of new and creative ways to make the next Easter one to remember. One that would make up for the failure that was last year, but that was no easy task. They knew he was truly very busy. His answer shocked them all.
"Easter can wait." They all nodded, knowing that Bunny would take good care of Jack. North looked at the group of yetis that were in the room.
"Who will stay with Jack?" One of them immediately raised his hand and made a sound. North nodded, not truly surprised "Alright, Phil. Do everything Bunny asks you to. If anything changes inform me immediately." North took one last sorrowful look at Jack then left the room. Tooth kissed the boy's cheek and hugged Bunny. Sandy planted a kiss on Jack's forehead and some dream sand danced around the winter spirit's face. He waved at Bunny as he flew out the window.
With everyone gone Bunny felt sudden exhaustion sink in. He asked Phil to bring him a chair and he set it next to Jack's bed. Bunny watched the winter spirit, whose cheeks had regained their red flush. He asked Phil for a bucket full of ice water and a towel. Once he got it he took the wet towel and caressed the boy's face gently. Jack's weak and painful breaths made Bunny's heart ache. He didn't know how long he was wiping Jack's face when the boy's eyes shuttered open.
They looked dazed and confused. Jack groaned and said,
"B-bunny?" His dry voice made the pooka wince. He covered it with a small smile,
"Hey frostbite, how do you feel?" Jack didn't seem to hear him, he just groaned more,
"Bunny… it's hot" he whined. Bunny was at a loss of what to do. He had already covered Jack's body with snow and his face was wet with icy water. He kept wiping Jack's face,
"Everything will be alright, snowflake. You'll feel better soon." Jack whimpered as his eyes began to close. Bunny sighed as he saw Jack fall unconscious once again. The worry in his chest had all but tightened and it was the only thing keeping him from entering blind-rage-mode and going on a wild search for whoever wanted to hurt the winter spirit. He dipped the towel back into the icy water, shivering as his own fur came in contact with the liquid. He brought the towel back to Jack's face and whispered, "You'll be alright. You have to be."
Bunny couldn't stop shivering. Maybe it was the wind blowing through the open window and surrounding Jack in a concerned matter, maybe it was the icy cold water freezing his paws, or maybe it was just the piles of snow surrounding the bed before him that caused him to shiver. The point was he was cold, but for the first time in his life it was a good thing. Jack needed the cold right now. It was the only thing that would make him better.
Bunny focused on Jack's face. Instead of thinking about the cold he thought about the boy's laugh and how much he wanted to hear it again. He thought of Jack's smile, Jack's eyes, and Jack's curious and playful nature that made him the Guardian of fun they knew and loved so much. The cold would help him get better and soon he would be flying around and being annoying like always.
Those thoughts were enough to keep Bunny going. All night he wiped Jack's face, he would add more snow when the one piled on the boy would melt, and would whisper this and that to him to make sure Jack knew he wasn't alone. Phil would get more buckets of snow and would try to get Bunny to take a break but the pooka would forcefully decline.
Bunny had just wiped Jack's face again. The red in his cheeks had started to fade. The Guardian of hope smiled and did not realize how his eyes were closing and his head lay on the bed by Jack's side. Phil had just returned with a new bucket of snow when he saw Bunny asleep. He was wondering what to do when he saw Jack was waking up.
The boy opened his eyes weakly and the first thing he saw was grey fur. He groaned lightly but thankfully it did not wake Bunny up. Jack blinked in confusion for a second then saw Phil out of the corner of his eye.
"Hi Phil." He murmured weakly, his voice cracking. Phil put the bucket down and walked towards Jack. Jack turned to face Bunny "He's… b-been here for a l-long time, huh?" Phil nodded. A soft smile appeared on Jack's face. He slowly pulled one of his hands out of the snow and petted bunny's head. The pooka shivered at his touch and Jack frowned "Phil… could you p-please get him a b-blanket." Phil eagerly nodded. He left the room and quickly returned with the warmest blanket he could find and placed it around bunny. The Guardian of hope instantly snuggled up to it and Jack giggled. "T-thanks, Phil." The yeti nodded, glad to be of service.
He turned around to get the bucket of snow that he had left by the door and move it to Jack's bed. When he turned around Jack was out again but he noticed the boy had taken a light hold of the pooka's hand.
Bunny woke up to comfortable warmth around him. It took him a while to realize it was a blanket keeping him warm. He raised his head and saw Jack's hand had an almost non-excitant grip around his. Bunny smiled as he realized Jack had woken up. He sat up and turned to look at Phil who was standing behind him.
"Did he wake up?" Phil nodded. "What's up with the blanket?" The yeti pointed at he winter spirit. Bunny's smiled fondly as he turned to look at Jack "So you're responsible for this, frostbite."
His smile disappeared as his eyes landed on Jack's face. His cheeks were as flushed as ever and a look of pain filled his face. His breaths were slow and labored. They sounded extremely weak and his chest hardily moved. Panic invaded bunny as he jumped out of his chair and gripped Jack's hand tightly.
"Jack! Jack! Breath!" Phil quickly made his way to the winter spirit's side and put more snow around him. It had no effect. Bunny tried to think of what to do but the panic was overwhelming. He was breathing hard, opposite to Jack who was breathing so incredibly slow. Every breath sounding dry and painful… dry… that's it! Bunny knew what he had to do. He had to get the cold inside of Jack, but for that he would need the boy to wake up.
With newfound hope, Bunny shook Jack. "Come on, frostbite. Wake up." Jack did not stir. Bunny let go of Jack's hand as he took hold of the boy's shoulders and shook him. "Don't be difficult! I need you to wake up!" Jack moved limply in Bunny's arms, making the desperation creep back in. "Wake up frostbite! Please!" Bunny stopped shaking him. Jack's head lulled to the side. The pooka could feel tears prickling at the corner of his eyes, but he wouldn't let them fall. Jack would wake up. He had to. "Jack, please." He whispered. "You have to wake up. You have to get better. You have to because we love you. I love you." Bunny stared at Jack's face before leaning in and kissing him.
Warmth. A terribly painful and suffocating warmth. It wouldn't let him breath. That was all he could focus on now: breathing. Keeping his lungs functioning. In… out… in… out… it was harder than anything he had ever done before.
Suddenly, when the heat seemed too much to bear, a new warmth appeared. This one was different. It was not painful or suffocating. It was comforting and pleasant. As sudden as it came, the source of the warmth was gone, but it's effects lingered. Jack could feel his body activating with its last amount of energy.
The Guardian of fun opened his eyes weakly and was meet by green ones. There was relief reflecting off them. Jack's mind was still too focused on breathing and on the warmth to make sense of what was happening. It took him too long to realize the green eyes were Bunny's and that he was talking to him.
"… need you to eat it!" Eat it? What was he talking about?
"W-what?" Jack asked, his voice cracking.
"I need you to eat the snow. You will feel better, I promise." Jack blinked a few times then nodded weakly. Bunny brought a handful of snow to Jack's mouth. The winter spirit took a bite, swallowed, and instantly sighed in relief. The cold of the snow calming the suffocating heat inside him.
He continued to eat it as Bunny ran a hand through Jack's hair. The Guardian of fun stopped for a second and smiled at Bunny
"This r-reminds me of a kid I o-once saw. She was 4, I-I think. She said S-snow is my fav-vorite food…". Bunny smiled fondly at Jack's comment.
It was in that moment when he knew that everything would be alright. He wanted to hug the winter spirit tightly and never let him go. He wanted to kiss him again and tell him that he loved him.
Should he tell him how he felt? Bunny continued to run his hand through Jack's hair and the boy leaned in to his touch.
He wouldn't tell him. Not yet. For now, the fact that his snowflake would be ok was enough.