A/n: Dearest readers, I give you the final chapter. Ö It is quite short and kinda rushed/babbly but I hope it still satisfies you lovely folks.
-The Sprite's Return-
Calm, clear eyes passed over a bowed snow-white head.
The child Father Winter had let descend from his realm was returned to him no longer a child, and no longer alight with unending merriment. A solemn code among immortals lay broken at Jack Frost's hands, alongside the delicate shards of his simple heart.
Aster of Spring and Tiana of Summer faced no more than a warning, for the idea was not their own. The next human head they knowingly harmed or spared would cost Aster his bodily marks of rank, and Tiana her little crown.
But the one who led them in this breach of old, old law, the youngest of them and among the most beloved of Winter's children, knelt still in wait of his punishment. His face kept to the frozen floor beneath his bare feet and one bent knee, and the pale visage reflected in the ice looked on with eyes just as cold and hollow as the frost shed from his own touch.
Father Winter did not speak, nor did he move from the cloud throne whereon he sat.
Jack waited. His impatient eyes darted up to meet his father's, but still the god spoke not, and his son could not read past the impassive shadows and craters in his divine face.
"Is this your punishment?" the sprite asked in a thin voice. "Are you never to speak to me again?"
The other being rose, and the formation of a throne dispersed into shapeless wisps.
"I've not yet decided," answered Winter, his tone as free of inflection as his face was of sentiment.
His son's lips parted to reply, but nothing came from them as his eyes searched the god for any sign of feeling, of forgiveness, of disappointment, of wrath – anything but this lack of even the slightest care. Jack's lips fell shut again, and his eyes dropped back to the floor.
"You asked me to return your immortality," continued the cool, ethereal rumble of Father Winter's voice. "Only to use it as a weapon against man."
Jack's jaw clenched as he tried to defend himself. "They were going to kill an innocent—"
"Innocent, Jack?" Winter interrupted, allowing a gentle lilt to enter his emotionless tone. "Is it for you to decide who among mortals is deserving of life or death?" The god moved without footsteps to the kneeling sprite. "We of Nature's descent cannot divide humanity into terms so simple as innocence and guilt. We can be neither sentries nor enemies to the mortal races – for one man's foe will always be another's guardian, one right another's wrong. You see, Jack," only the lightest breath of sound met the sprite's ears as the divinity lowered beside his son. "Nature is. It only is. Once we choose to align to a human concept of just or of unjust, of pain or of pleasure, of only one narrow angle in the entire prism that is existence... then we cease to be of nature."
Jack looked up into the eyes across from his own, at last finding in them a subtle sorrow. "You have forgotten how to be, and not take sides, or make choices between human constructs. I gave you human flesh... but I am not the one whoturned you human." Father Winter sighed a gust of northern winds over his child's brow. "Even here in your immortality, you now see with human eyes, and follow a human heart."
The sprite gazed with confusion at his forlorn father. A prick of hope fluttered up his being, but he could not yet be sure Winter was saying what Jack so desperately prayed he would.
"There is one punishment common of your trespass," said the god quietly. "...A sentence of mortality."
A small, shuddering breath fled Jack's gaping mouth.
"Spring is not yet come, after all," conceded Winter with his sad little smile. And he added, "You don't belong here anymore... so I must return you to where your heart still dwells..."
The news passed swiftly as a flame. The King's castle was in ruins, crippled by the very hand of God, some said. Young Galahad was a man so pure, even the heavens moved to free him. None would now touch him for fear of divine wrath – not even the Dagger.
Astrid stayed in Burgess to heal, but the moment she was on her feet again she was off, ever in search of adventures to partake in and injustices to counter. She promised to send word if ever a sign of Jack Overland passed the self-knighted woman in her journeys.
It was days after the castle siege. The evening snowfall drifted like a white lace veil over the little town's blinking fires and candle lights. In the dwindling warmth of the stables, Hiccup filled the troughs with oats in tired, tense motions. His face was solemn over a gnawing mind.
From behind him, the door suddenly blurted with the heavy creaks of opening, and Fury whinnied at his side.
The young horseman turned.
There stood Jack in his doorway.
Snow was crested in his hair and tumbling from his cloaked shoulders, and his fair face was aglow from the kiss of brisk air. Chestnut eyes were bright, and pale lips were wide around labored breaths.
Hiccup only stared from where he was for a moment, rigid as a stone. Then there was a tiny lift of a lip, and a glint in his eyes, and the bag of oats in his hands fell to the ground as he launched towards the door. The youth came to a clumsy halt once he was in arms length of the other young man, questions dallying on the tip of his tongue but none making it through his astonished smile. So in the stead of words, Hiccup gave the man his arms, throwing them around him and holding tight.
With a surprised little sound, Jack's wide eyes soon fell closed, and the embrace was returned with matching force. When Hiccup finally pulled back, his tongue remembered how to shape words again.
"Was it you?" he asked breathlessly, his grasp still caught in the wood brown cloak. "Was it you at – at the castle and then my window...?"
A pearly white grin and a vigorous nod were his answer.
"Are you..." the stable boy paused, wrinkling his nose a little at himself, but he pushed out the question with his self-conscious eyes averted.
"Are you an angel?"
Jack blinked. A cheeky twinkle caught his eye as he shook his head. "Nay," he replied merrily, tickled by the idea. But with a nervous breath, he repeated, "Nay... I gave back my wings." The young man paused when the other boy met his eyes, and wetted his lips. This was the moment he'd awaited for as long as he'd loved him. "To be here," said he.
"To be with you."
The look Hiccup gave him phased slowly from the utterest surprise, to the softest gaze and the lightest smile.
Then he leaned his smile closer to the hopeful perk of the other man's lips. And in the meager light of the one lamp hanging from a rafter, in the chill scattering flakes of snow on the ground from the still open door, in the whistling wind tapping at the windows and the eager breaths between two meeting faces, Jack Frost finally won the human lifetime he was promised.
And he shared it with the one who carried his heart, and whose heart he was given in kind, wrapped in a gentle kiss.
A/n: AAAAHHHH THAT'S IT IT'S DONE WOOHOO!
Omg sorry for the cheese lol. xD And the babble about nature not ascribing to morality earlier eheheheh.
I know it's not super elaborate and doesn't get into what happens to the side characters much aside from Astrid. Nor is there much on the kissy times. D: Possible I'll write a quick nsfw side story, because Jack discovering sex for the first time sounds kind of great.
THANKS FOR READING.
For real, you guys have made this a real pleasure.~