Disclaimer: RotG is not mine... you guys should know the drill by now.
In the month since the last battle with Pitch, Jack had been given somewhat free reign on Santoff Claussen, to explore to his heart's content, and he found himself returning to one particular room more often than others. It wasn't the main workshop floor, where he would fly around, harassing Yeti workers, or the globe room where he would frost the floors and turn the elves into icicles and hang them off of the rails. No, it was a private room in North's private wing, where the Yeti and elves weren't expressively forbidden to enter, but it was generally agreed upon to leave on its own. This room in particular was still quite large, with fifteen foot ceilings and all, but it didn't feel near as large as it really was; what with mahogany paneling on the walls and a plush crimson carpet on the floor. Along one wall was a larger-than-life fireplace that was eternally lit, with an intricately carved and inlaid marble mantle that held sprigs of evergreen and holly with large advent candles nestled firmly in the greenery. Off to one side was a Christmas tree that was at least ten feet tall that was magnificently decorated in a classic fashion, including small white candles and fragile German glass ornaments.
In front of the fireplace was a tastefully overstuffed set of couches and recliners that one could get lost in and honestly reminded Jack of falling asleep in a cloud or snow bank. Against one wall was a simple upright piano that seemed to be put in shadow from the Christmas tree blocking the only light from the fireplace and the dim light from the picture window never quite lit up the remainder of the room, thanks to a storm that was passing through that was not his doing. Sitting on the window seat, Jack turned from observing the room to look outside the window, suppressing another yawn. It was almost June and he had yet to sneak away to hole up for his yearly nap before fall once again called for his assistance to paint the leaves and help ripen the last of the fall harvests. Leaning back, Jack pulled one hand out of his hoodie, drawing with it a small tube with holes in the side. It was a pennywhistle that he had found abandoned some years ago that he had picked up and given a new home.
As much as he loved his new 'family', there were just times when it was too much to be around so many people that could see and interact with him at the same time, and so he retreated to the rarely-used parlor when he started to feel particularly overwhelmed.
Putting the whistle to his lips, he blew a few soft notes that slowly developed into a song. If he had powers like Sandy's, images of a smiling brown-haired girl with a brown and red dress and skates would be surrounding him, full of life and carefree as she skated around a familiar looking pond. Next the scene would revolve into a cabin's main room and a family laughing around a smaller, but equally warm, fireplace as the two children danced with their mother as their father played a tune on a fiddle. The next scene would have been of the girl again, this time tucked into a bed with the blankets pulled up to her chin as the pennywhistle's song morphed into a soft lullaby.
Unknown by the boy, a figure nearly too tall for the door frame stood in the doorway watching the eternal teenager settle even further against the quickly frosting over glass as his posture and fingering with the tin whistle started to slip. "Boy is putting self to sleep, eh, Sandy?" The tall man chuckled softly, directing his comment to a golden man only about a quarter of his height. The golden man nodded with a soft smile, a snowflake, bed, Z and a question mark flashed over his head and the tall man shook his head. "I believe boy has been fighting sleep. I do not know why, but he seems more tired than usual." Nodding, Sandy thought for a moment, and then an exclamation mark sprung from his hair. With his passing knowledge of the boy, and seasonal spirits in general, Sandy had an idea of what the matter was. A calendar picture flipped from January to about April and May with a snowflake beside the months, but the late spring and summer months showed 'Z's instead, which turned back into snowflakes when the months turned back to fall and winter.
"Boy… sleeps in summer?" The tall man trailed off with his own vocal question mark, to which Sandy nodded enthusiastically. "Why has Jack not said anything? It is summer now." Sandy shrugged back with another question mark that floated for only a moment.
As the two talked, the last notes from the instrument trailed off as the whistle slipped from limp fingers. "Ah, boy sleeps." The tall man nodded to himself as he finally stepped into the room, intent on moving the boy to a more comfortable location. As soon as the man stepped close, Jack jerked awake, as if coming up for air. "Jack, why did you not tell us you sleep during summer?"
Staring at the large man without really seeing, Jack rubbed his face tiredly."Hmm? North?" He mumbled, one eye cracking open as he sensed a presence coming closer. Rubbing his eye, Jack sat up a little, absently grabbing his pennywhistle and tucking it back into his pocket. "Did you need me for something?"
The large Russian shook his head, kneeling to get closer to Jack's height. "No, Jack is not currently needed." The man didn't notice flash of rejection as he continued. "But I wonder, what does Winter spirit do during summer?" North asked again.
Caught off guard, Jack shrugged. Unable to come up with a plausible excuse, he simply told the truth. "I sleep. Its too hot to do anything else."
"Do you wish to use room here? I have one with windows that open and balcony for cold air." Not to mention he had sent some of his yeti in to specifically insulate the room so that it would stay the temperature outside without cooling the rest of his residential wing, and had already set it up with furniture and trinkets he thought the boy would like.
Shaking his head tiredly, Jack attempted to stand while yawning, leaning heavily on his staff. "N-no, I have someplace I stay. I don't want to be in the way while I take my nap." If not for the fact that he didn't want to miss anything important, he would have left several weeks ago. His eyelids threatened to stay closed every time he blinked, he was so tired. "So you didn't need me for anything?" He asked again, either because his sleepiness was affecting his short-term memory or just to make sure he could leave without disturbing anything.
North shook his head, unhappy that Jack wouldn't take up his offer, but unable to do anything to stop the boy from leaving. "Neit, you can go if you wish. You do not have to stay if you do not wish." North spoke reluctantly, stepping aside for the youngest guardian.
Nodding in thanks, Jack stumbled out of the room before turning around and giving a sleepy smile. "If something comes up, just ask the wind and she'll wake me up."
North was confused how that would work, but agreed nonetheless. He supposed it was like contacting Bunny by hitting the ground twice. Nature-based spirits, what a strange lot they were, indeed. "Sleep well, Jack." Sandy nodded in agreement, waving a sand-handkerchief and having a sand cruise liner 'float away in the distance'.
"Yeah," Jack smiled absently, "See ya around, Sandy. See you next fall, North." And with that, Jack floated out, carried on the ever-caring breeze to be pulled out through the closest opening window, yawning and handing all the responsibility of flying to his dearest friend the Wind.
Gah, this is what happens when its 3am and you can't sleep, but want to! Don't worry, there will be more, with better times ahead, and not just sleep on my mind! I want to try my hand at a oneshot series, and this is about the best one to start with. See ya next time! Dark Inu Fan