Heh heh heh….*hides in secret bunker where angry mob cannot find me* I'm baaaack….after a tiny little half-year hiatus…. So so so so SO SORRY for making you guys wait like that. I honestly didn't know that many people cared…

So let me let you in on a little secret: I had practically no plan for this story. It just happened. And then I got stuck after the last chapter, and life happened and I got into other fandoms and this little word document rotted away on my flashdrive. But then I happened to see all the followers for this thing and my heart melted as I realized that I let down my faithful readers. So I thought and thought and thought and figured out a way to finish thing. And as a bonus, this chapter is longer than the others ;)


Chapter 6: Battle Won, Battle Lost

Jack

I'll admit, I was a little freaked out. Sure, I fought Pitch and his army before, but something about this girl radiated power and hatred. I never heard of her in my life, but somehow I felt like Styx was older than me or any of the other Guardians, and that's saying something. Another thing, it seemed like Percy, the new guy, knew way more than we did on the matter.

Regardless of how confused I was, as soon as the army attacked, I swung my staff and fought. Already at least ten monster things were frozen solid, and I flew over the mass of them, freezing more with a mere touch. The frozen fearlings (maybe?) shattered, leaving a trail of ice shards in my wake. I laughed as some wolf-ish beasts swatted at me, only to hit air. I was flying after all. Of course, when the giant crows lunged at me, I was a little taken back.

I weaved through the angry birds, but then black feathers zoomed towards me like darts. I raised my staff in defense, and the feathers stuck into it like daggers. My eyes widened a little; I did not expect that to happen. Another volley of deadly feathers (never thought I'd say that…) came my way, and I dropped down out of the sky.

Unfortunately, the land monsters noticed this and jumped at me. I arched my body, their razor sharp claws barely skimming my torso, though it was enough to draw blood. I swung my staff and a wave of ice and snow slammed into them, hopefully burying the things.

Swooping upwards, I saw another pair of crows flying towards me, squawking with a vengeance. I headed straight towards them then pulled up right before the collision, slamming my bare feet into its surprising hard back. Spinning to blast the bird I kicked, I found the other one a few feet from my face. The blast of ice shot into its open beak, and it gagged. To my surprise, the bird jerked and exploded into dust. The dust dropped a couple of feet towards the ground before blowing away in a mysterious wind.

I aimed another blast at me previous intended target. A shard of ice went up its…umm…tender area below the tail*. It too exploded into blackish dust. Now temporarily free, I scanned the crowd to see how the others were doing.

North and Bunny were back to back, slicing at an assortment of monsters with their respective weapons: North his twin swords, Bunny his boomerangs. After a few slashes, those monster would dissolve into dust too, though more kept on coming. Sandy floated over them, slashing at the snarling crowd with his golden sand-whips. Tooth zoomed through them too fast for the monsters to truly recognize her, her speeding wings slicing through the dark creatures. I remembered Tide and searched for him, worried about how he was holding up, being a rookie and all. Sure, he had some mad skills, as seen with that stray monster earlier, but this was different.

Of course, looking at him in the midst of the army it still appeared like he was used to fighting monsters, despite claiming to have only been a spirit for a week. Tide slashed accurately, yet almost wildly, at everything in his path with his pen/sword thing (now in sword form, mind you). Occasionally, water would spurt up out of some random sewer and come to him. Without a second thought, he twisted the spout to his will, like it was an extension of himself. I might've been a natural with snow and ice when I first became a winter spirit, but something about his technique screamed practice.

I flew down to him anyways and began to fight alongside him, blasting the snarling creatures with bursts of ice. Almost without communication, we moved back to back.

"Jack!" I looked up from the monster in front of me to see a huge wave about to crash into the hoard around us. The wave, unfortunately, swept us up too. The first thought to cross my mind was sheer panic. You couldn't blame me for freaking out; I did drown 300 years ago. With that thought racing through my mind, I almost didn't notice that I was still breathing. Tide held onto my wrist as we floated in the midst of the water. He smirked, and his sea green eyes glinted.

Suddenly, we shot upwards, the water beginning to swirl around us. The vortex opened up, and Tide slung me out, before spreading his hands over his creation: the current swirled faster and faster, a deadly cyclone being the result. The cyclone pushed through the monsters, sucking them in and spitting them out as a poof of dust. When there was nothing left, the cyclone dissipated and collapsed, dropping Tide to the ground. He sank to his knees and took a few deep breaths as the rest of the Guardians and I converged at his location

We all must have looked the same: eyes wide and mouth dropped open. Tide looked around at us, then sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. "Heh, got a little carried away. Sorry, it's instinct," he explained poorly.

Tooth reached down and placed a hand on his shoulder, noticing his weary position. "Are you alright?" she asked, taking care of the matter of safety before explanations.

Tide nodded. "Yeah, just a little drained. It happens," he answered, sounding very sure on the subject. Tooth didn't say anything else and simply stood up straight again.

"Very impressive for newbie," North stated, eyeing the water spirit with a hint of suspicion. "Where and how did you learn such techniques?"

"Sorta just picked it up...over time…" Tide shrugged, muttering the last part under his breath.

"And how are you not wet after all that hullabaloo?" Bunny asked bluntly, clearly curious about the phenomenon. I did a double-take, realizing for the first time that he really was completely dry. And for that matter, I was dry too.

Tide shrugged again, climbing back to his feet and absent-mindedly brushing off his shorts. "I only get wet if I want to. I and anybody touching me is encased in a thin air bubble in water, allowing me to breathe, and not get wet," he explained. Bunny just gaped at him a while before looking away, shaking his furry head. I barely caught the hint of a smirk on Tide's face.

"What have you done?!" Styx cried, fury emitting from her very breaths. Everyone turned to face her where she stood a ways away, the last of the monsters by her side. "You insufferable…mortals!" she screamed in rage, confusing the majority of us. We were immortal just like her…

Tide was the only one not bothered by her choice of words. In fact, he rolled his sea-green eyes and muttered something on the lines of "typical" under his breath.

"I can hardly attack any camp with these puny monsters left, much less… Argh! I'll be back for you, and that I swear!" She glared at us and she vowed her revenge, but somehow it seemed like she was eying Tide in particular. And with that, she and the last of her beastly cronies disappeared with a grand gesture of her arm.

But I still didn't quite understand what she said before. The revenge thing, sure, that was expected, but did she say that she was planning on attacking a camp. Like a summer camp? 'Beware children! Hand over your canoes, sunscreen, and macaroni and glue and my monsters will spare you!' Yeah maybe I didn't hear her correctly…or she was delusional. My bet was on the latter.

Tide however seemed a bit taken back, and his eyebrows were knitted together and he was biting his lip nervously as his fiddled with his pen-sword hybrid (in pen form), and his gaze kept shifting from the sky, to the direction of the sea, and some other direction.

"Well!" North clasped his hands together. "Job well done! Let's get back on sleigh unless two certain killjoys want otherwise, no?"

Bunny mumbled angrily under his breaths, glaring at the Russian while he only smirked back.

Just as North was about to hop in, but suddenly the air seemed to drop ten degrees (wasn't me, I swear) and everyone froze. I recognize the feeling though, not like chilly, but cold, like a dark presence…

I whipped around to see Pitch Black stride out of the shadows, clapping slowly, a look a satisfaction evident on his sickly grey face. "That was certainly impressive, I must say. But we can't have that, can we?"

"What do you want, Pitch?" Tooth growled, her feathers rising in agitation.

"Yeah, why are you here?" Bunny reinstated, boomerangs back in hand.

"You see, I'm, how do you say it, insurance," he replied. He looked over at Tide and chuckled. "I thought I already took care of everything, but apparently someone intervened. I suppose I must keep true to my word to my alliance, though." He smiled, revealing his jagged teeth, and swept his gaze over me as well. "And I might as well enjoy it."

Faster than I ever recalled him moving (and I know he's fast) he ran up to me and Tide and sliced through our chests. Both of us simultaneously looked down like flustered idiots only to watch black sand slowly crawl out of the cut and spread over our bodies. I tried to retaliate, and I really wanted to, but it felt like a two ton weight was holding me down, and that it was pushing against my chest and my lungs. Tide must have felt the same way because he gasped and staggered a step back, looking strained.

"What did you do?!" Tooth screamed, charging Pitch. He simply disintegrated and re-appeared to the side.

"My dear Toothiana, I already tried the direct approach and see where that has gotten me. I simply decided to do what I do best: stick to the shadows."

And with that, he disappeared, and my world went black, though I was still conscious. I went from feeling like the weight of the world slammed into my chest to feeling as light as the air. But not like when I'm flying, no, that's fun. Now it felt like I was divided into a thousand molecules and that each molecule was buzzing around, flying separate directions, all sporadically.

I finally caught my breath, and through the black spots in my vision, I saw stone walls, only for the room to spin as the dizziness caught up with me. I hit the ground, a definitely solid stone ground.

"Uhnnn…" Tide groaned, and I realized that he was in the strange room as well, as he was holding his head and in a similar position as I was.

But we still weren't alone.

Pitch hovered over us, clearly satisfied. "This way, I get to taste your fear longer." He held up a jagged grey iron knife, the one he must have used on us earlier; it glinted darkly as he leaned over and brought it closer to us. "And oh how I love the taste of your fear."


So I celebrate my return by ending in another cliff-hanger…heh heh heh it happens…but I'll try not to take so long this time. And to ensure I don't take forever, attack that little button down there and fill the box with lots and lots of words. You'll then make sure I don't forget. ;)