Okay, everybody. This is the first time I'm writing a story and actually putting it online to read. Hope you enjoy it. All reviews and criticism are appreciated! ^.^
Disclaimer : Rise of the Guardians does not belong to me and never will (Boohoo). I'm just having a bit of fun with it.
E. Aster Bunnymund supposed it all started about a week ago, when the Guardians were lazing around a fire. Ever since they defeated Pitch, they had taken to getting together every few weeks at Santoff Claussen. They would have dinner together, play games (though that was mostly to distract Jack), talk of how their work was going, trade teasing banter, and simply enjoy being together.
And they had Jack to thank about that.
Jack's presence had changed so many things in their lives. He brought so much joy and cheer into what used to be, not exactly mundane, but a somewhat habitual life. His boyish childishness, naivety and endless curiosity brought so much variety and difference into their lives and he was so endearing, he became the most important part of their little family.
So, it wasn't that surprising when all the Guardians started to develop an intense need to protect him; Bunnymund especially.
Sure, they hadn't exactly met on good terms, but ever since the Guardians started this little tradition of theirs and he had gotten to know the 'real' Jack, he had quite simply fallen in love.
So, it was Bunnymund who noticed how strange Jack was acting that night. It was the small things like how he wasn't as chipper as usual and how his smile looked a bit forced, and didn't quite reach his eyes.
The others didn't notice, but Bunnymund did and his paternal instincts flared like a firework. This was his Jack! Nothing was supposed to make him even a little bit sad. He was going to find out what was eating at Jack and if the crux of his problem was a someone instead of a something, well then, he was going to be one very bad bunny.
After that night, he started shadowing Jack, knowing Jack wouldn't tell him what the problem was. Jack was too independent, a trait he both loved and hated about Jack.
Nothing happened for the first few days. Jack started a few snowball fights, skated on his lake and generally did what he usually would. The only problem was he did it all listlessly, as if a heavy burden was on his shoulders and it was making him hurt inside. It made Bunnymund want nothing more than to hug him and protect him from the entire world.
However, he couldn't do anything when he didn't know why Jack was suffering. So, he waited and kept watch and finally, one dark, starry night, when the moon was full and shining, he was rewarded.
Jack was standing in the middle of his lake, shepherd's crook held close to him, his head leaning against the staff, staring down into the deep dark depths. He was silent and barely moved a muscle. In fact, he was standing so still that if it wasn't for the rise and fall of his chest, Bunnymund would have thought Jack was nothing more than a statue.
And then suddenly, his ears twitched. There was a sound. So soft he almost didn't catch it. It sounded almost like… sobbing. Bunnymund's eyes widened.
Jack was sobbing!
And Bunnymund suddenly found himself hugging Jack, not quite remembering when he started moving. The staff was tossed aside without thought, becoming nothing more than a normal piece of wood as it hit the icy surface of the pond.
If Jack was surprised about the appearance of the large warrior bunny, he didn't show it, instead shoving his face into Bunnymund's furry chest and outright bawling. Bunnymund curled his arms even more tightly even Jack and started whispering softly.
"What's wrong, mate? Shh, m'here. Not going anywhere anytime soon. Nothings gonna' hurt you when I'm here. Aw, frostbite, don't cry anymore."
Really, Bunnymund had no idea when he learned to speak like that. He was a warrior, who enjoyed a solitary life in his warren and took great lengths to avoid mushy scenes like this. He didn't like to be seen as weak. But, somehow, this was alright. It was alright if it was for Jack.
Slowly, Jack's shoulders stopped heaving so much and his bawls became soft sobs. Bunnymund slowly rubbed Jack's back soothingly.
"I….I used to w…won,,,,wonder…w..why I always came back to t….this place," Jack suddenly said, his voice shaking, muffled by Bunnymund's fur. Bunnymund knew he was talking about the time before Pitch, before he got back his memories.
"After P…Pitch broke my staff in h…hal…half and left me in the gorge, I fou…found out."
Jack's breathe hitched.
"Shh, calm down, frostbite. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. M'won't care." Jack shook his head vigorously.
"I want you to know," was the soft, somewhat pleading answer before Jack was pulling himself away from Bunnymund, trying to control his sobbing. Bunnymund waited, finding patience he never knew he had, for Jack to calm down enough to tell him, even though all he wanted was to curl up around the little snowflake.
After a few minutes of hitched breathes, Jack started talking, head down, eyes staring down at the smooth, glassy lake surface, as if he was reading it.
"I felt so depressed and discouraged and…..hopeless when I had my staff broken. The pain when Pitch snapped it in half was like being shot. It was the greatest pain I have ever felt in my life." Bunnymund's paws curled into fists at this. "Afterwards, I remember lying in the gorge and Baby Tooth was with me and I think she was trying to cheer me up, because the next thing I knew, the box with my teeth in it started glowing."
"I had almost forgotten I had it. I was ecstatic when I saw it. For some reason, seeing it gave me hope. 'Finally, I would be getting my memories back', I remember thinking. 'Finally, I can find out who I was.' And I did. I found out I had a sister, her name was Chloe and she was the sweetest thing in the world."
Jack took a deep breathe.
"One day, we went out skating and really I should have been more careful. Should have checked if the ice was thick enough, but I didn't and suddenly, Chloe was standing on thin ice, standing on the very line between life and death. And I was scared, so scared. I did the only thing I could think of; I pretended we were playing a game. I remember it was hopscotch. It was the only thing I could think off at the time. 'Distract her!' I remember shouting to myself. 'Get her away from the thin ice!' "
"It was a slow process or at the very least, it felt slow, it felt like it took hours to coax her away from where she was standing. There was a hooked branch with near me and when she came close enough, I used it to pull her to me, away from the cracking ice, but the force of my pull, pushed me forward onto the very spot she had been standing on."
Bunnymund's eyes widened. He had a feeling he knew what happened next.
"We were laughing in relief, I remember," Jack continued, voice shaking a bit. "I was so happy she was safe and then suddenly I heard this crack, and I fell. Fell into water so cold, so biting, so painful, all my breath was forced out of my lungs. I re…remember trying so hard to get back to the surface, but I couldn't find th…the hole.
"All I could see was the dark murky water, and then I felt so tired and I just couldn't move anymore. And then the darkness was closing in and I kept on apologizing to Chloe. But, I just didn't have the strength to keep struggling and…..and-"
And Jack tackled Bunnymund, burying his face into the bunny warrior's chest again, sobbing like a scared child.
"I…I was so sc…scared. It..was so painful and so scary," Jack forced out, shoulder's heaving.
"I didn't wa..want to di….die! I didn't! And I was so scared! I didn't want to die!"
Bunnymund tightened his arms around Jack, giving him all the support he needed to get this all out, even as the immensity of Jack's words reached him. Jack had died! The little frostbite had died to become the winter spirit he was now! All the other Guardians were chosen when they were alive, even him, but the frostbite, oh the poor little frostbite, had died before he was chosen. It was enough to make Bunnymund want to give the Man in the Moon a piece of his mind and while he was at it, he would have to whack MiM around with his boomerang too.
As it was, he settled for glaring at the moon over Jack's shoulder, silently scolding the moon.
"I thought I would be happier if I got my memory back. And a part of me is," Jack whispered, voice levelling out. "But another part of me doesn't want it anymore. Doesn't want the memories because they hurt so much and now I hate this place because it was where I left Chloe. It was where I died! But, it's also been my home for 300 years and I don't know where else to go!
"I can't go to Santoff Claussen; North's too busy preparing for Christmas and I would just mess things up! And Tooth's place is all the way in Asia and is too warm for me and she's so busy collecting teeth! And Sandy needs to go out and spread dreams to the children and I can't distract him with my problems! And I would just get in your way in the warren!"
"NO! NO! You wouldn't get in the way. You're part of the family. You're our little brother, you're my little brother. You're always welcomed, wherever you want to go to!" Bunnymund internally shouted. He wanted to shout it out loud, scream it to the heavens, but he knew Jack needed to get this off his chest without any interruptions, so he kept quiet.
"But…but," Jack's voice became smaller, as if he was confessing to a great sin. "But, I'm so scared here. And I don't want to stay here anymore. I keep on having dreams of drowning and even though I know I'm immortal now and control the ice and snow, I'm still afraid, afraid the ice I stand on will crack and disappear under my feet and I'll fall again! Only this time, the darkness will close in on me and I won't wake up!"
And that was it. That was what was making Jack so sad; the thing that was stopping the smile from reaching his eyes and Bunnymund felt his ears fall down to lie flat against his head, showing how sad and sorry he was that Jack had to go through that.
Jack had started sobbing against him again and Bunnymund just let him, not sure what to do but let Jack cry it out, paws rubbing soothingly up and down Jack's back.
Bunnymund wasn't sure how long he sat there, but finally, Jack's sobs slowed and stilled and his breathing evened out. Bunnymund could tell he was asleep. The poor kid had cried himself to sleep!
So, Bunnymund just curled up around the winter spirit, ignoring the chill he felt, and tried to think what to do next. After much contemplation, he nodded firmly to himself and slowly got up, lifting Jack into his arms steadily so as to not wake the frostbite.
After picking up Jack's staff, he looked around angrily as if he was telling the lake area to disappear forever, to just vanish off the face of the earth. Finally, he made his way to solid ground, and opened a hole.
He glared at the moon one last time before jumping in. The hole closed behind him, leaving nothing but a pink flower.
Bunnymund ran around trying to find a spot that was cool enough for Jack. Finally, he found one to his liking and laid Jack down there. The warren was underground so it was still cooler than the Tooth Palace in Asia. Hopefully, it would be cool enough for Jack.
No matter, Bunnymund thought to himself as he curled up around Jack, he'll just give Jack a nice corner or room to call his own and the snowflake could just freeze it over. Sure it would make the place a bit colder than he liked, but he didn't care; as long as Jack was happy, it didn't matter how uncomfortable he was.
And it would be a damn cold day in hell if the kid ever had to go back and live at that cursed lake again.
"Yes," Bunnymund whispered into Jack's hair. "You'll never have to go back there again, frostbite. I'll take care of you. I'll always take care of you."
And with that Bunnymund's eyes closed and his breathing evened out, his body forming a protective barrier around Jack.
Whatever happened tomorrow would happen, but for now he would guard Jack from the outside world that had hurt him so very, very much because no matter who he was before or what he had done, Jack will always be, indisputably, his little snowflake;
Now and forever.
Alrighty, then! I know I'm not that good at the speech parts and the characters are a bit OOC, but I hope you guys liked it. And please leave a review before you leave! Thankies! ^.^