Jack and the Wind
Summary: "Besides he hadn't been alone. He had the Wind." When Jack gets hurt the Wind shows the Guardians just how protective it is of Jack. (Sorry cannot think of a better title or summary)
Hey guys. For those who are reading my Icy Shadows fic I'm still writing it, don't worry. I just got an idea for this fic and I had to write it down. And...I guess I rambled again (over 7,000 words? Geez!). I'm sorry for the rubbish title and summary but I tend to suck at those. If you can think of anything better feel free to leave a review and I'll happily change it.
Anyway hope you enjoy...even if it does ramble a little :3
Edit: I've corrected a few errors. Hopefully they're all gone now.
If you had told Jack a year ago he would be a Guardian, he would have raised his eyebrows at you and outright call you crazy.
He still couldn't believe everything that happen that Easter. From suddenly being toss into a sack and then being told he was to be the new Guardian, to fighting against Pitch, then seeing his memories and realise he saved his sister, and finally, after three hundred years, he could be seen by children...sometimes Jack still wondered if it was all just a dream and he would wake up by his lake.
He was surprised that being a Guardian was pretty fun. Yes it was a lot of work and Jack found he wasn't allowed to create winter wherever and whenever he wanted anymore. But he found out that he had actually subconsciously been a Guardian for years, without realising it. Even through back then they couldn't see him he would always play with children, made sure they had fun, and protecting them too. Now he was knew he was Guardian he just doubled his efforts.
The Guardians were great too. He didn't think much at them when he first met nor when they had first told him he was the newest Guardian, if he was honest. But during when they were fighting Pitch and the time they spent when they were not all working...was pretty nice. Jack learnt that Bunny wasn't so bad, in fact he was great to challenge to arm wrestling. Jack was finally allowed to roam North's workshop whenever he liked and he found out that North was everything like his centre, every day at his work was filled with wonder that Jack found it impossible not to enjoy. Tooth would always take time to have a small chat with him and when she wasn't busy Jack could always play with Baby Tooth and the other mini fairies. And while Sandy could not speak, Jack found it fun to play charades with him and interpret the sand images Sandy make, laughing when he tried interpreting too quickly, before Sandy had finished the image and the golden man would give him an exasperated look before grinning too. Jack enjoyed being a guardian and enjoyed being in their company.
The only problem he had with them was when they once brought up the fact he had been alone for three hundred years.
They all regretted ignoring Jack for so long. Tooth especially, for she had burst into tears and claimed she was a horrible person when she realised Jack had been alone for three hundred years with hardly anyone showing him an ounce of kindness.
Jack had been quick to reassure them that there were no needs for apologies; he had already forgiven them long ago. He also told them if they had shown interest in him at the start he would have probably turned and flown off anyway. The Guardian's jobs were full of responsibilities after all and as the essence of fun Jack and responsibilities didn't go hand in hand so easily. It was only after three hundred years alone and subconsciously protecting children without realising it that Jack realised being responsible might not be such a bad thing, something he probably wouldn't realise on his first years as a spirit. Maybe that was the reason why the Man in the Moon had waited before telling the other Guardians that Jack was meant to be a Guardian too.
Besides he hadn't been alone. He had the Wind.
To that, Bunny had said: "The wind doesn't really count, mate, it's not exactly a walking, talking, living being after all."
It was only the Wind holding him back and the fact that they were now his friends that stopped Jack from jumping down and freezing Bunny into a popsicle for that remark. For he knew Bunny didn't know, he was only the Easter Bunny at all and a Spring Spirit. But what he had said was a lie. Okay the wind couldn't walk, granted that bit was true. But it was a living being. She was a living being.
Ever since she had lifted him off the ground and had started carrying him in her currents, the Wind had been the only companion Jack ever had. She took him across the world, she played with him and she cheered him up when he was down. She looked after him, making sure he ate despite the fact the winter spirit had proven over the years his appetite was about as big as a sparrow – he was too busy creating snowball fights to think about eating – and making sure that Sandy's sand always reached him when he fell asleep, for even through Pitch was still plotting his cunning scheme and had barely taken note of Jack's presence either, his newly created black sand still could reach out and turn children and Jack's dreams into nightmares. Most of all she protected him.
She could talk too. Not in the way that any of the Guardians would understand though, not even Sandy. She talked in a language that did not need words nor images to create what she was saying. She spoke in the language as old as time, the same language that the sands of Sandy and Pitch spoke and also the language Manny used; through when talking to spirits he spoke in a language that they could understand. Jack had learnt this language during his years of playing with the Wind. Manny still did not speak to him but Jack could understand Sandy's sand now, though he had to be touching the sand with his hand or his staff to do so, and so for a couple of years Jack tried not to mind as much.
It had been torture when Pitch had snapped his staff during that time in the Antarctic. Not only the pain that shot through his body but the fact that the connection between him and the Wind had been savagely ripped apart. He could still feel the Wind billowing around him but he could no longer understand what she was saying, nor could she pick him up in her arms and make sure he was alright. He had been slammed into a icy wall and dropped down into the crevice below after that, while Pitch threw down the remains of his staff as a mocking reminder that he could no longer talk to the Wind. With his connection gone and all the events that had happened, Jack had lost his hope rapidly, "Pitch is right. I make a mess of everything"
If Baby Tooth hadn't been there also and she had not shown Jack his memory box, Jack probably would have not found the strength and hope that he had upon seeing himself save his sister. He didn't care that he had died when that happened, he had saved his sister's life; he was a guardian! With that he had grabbed his staff and somehow had found the power to mend it. He had felt the Wind's pride and joy as the white low shone from the staff's ends and melded them together and he had laughed when the Wind had picked him up into a loving embrace. Then they had flown off, ready to defeat Pitch and bring back the children's beliefs.
The Wind was his friend and dear companion from day one. But Jack didn't expect the Guardians to understand. It was odd, despite the fact that they were magical spirits, their jobs were to protect children, and they needed children to believe in them, the Guardians were still adults, apparently, not believing in things unless they saw it for themselves. And through Jack did asked the Wind if she wanted the others to know that she was a living being, the Wind preferred to keep quiet, like the Guardians preferred that adults didn't believe in them, she preferred that only a few spirits knew she wasn't just air.
So Jack didn't correct Bunny on his mistake, instead deciding it was best he took his leave. Winter was still needed in other parts of the world after all and now he was a Guardian, well he had to be responsible and do his job.
Still he couldn't help but hope that one day he could finally tell the others how much the Wind had helped him cope in those three hundred years alone.
Dawn was starting to spread its pink and orange rays across the sky. The Wind was carrying Jack across the ocean, back home. Jack instead of flying was resting on the Wind's currents, doing his best to keep his eyes open. He had pulled an all-nighter, spreading frost and snow across countries that had enter winter. It will great for children to wake up and see the thin covering of snow on the ground in the morning. It was too early for deep snow in those countries yet. Back at home in Burgess it was still in the middle of Autumn.
He felt the Wind gently nudge him when his eyes again shut and did not open for a good couple of seconds.
"'M okay Wind," Jack mumbled, shaking his head to try and get rid of the sand in his eyes. Damn it, he was sure he stayed clear of Sandy's sand last night.
The Wind didn't seem to believe him as Jack felt an unimpressed breeze rush through him.
"Okay, okay, I'll take a nap when I get home," Jack said. At the Wind's coldness he cracked open his eyes which had unknowingly shut again, "I can't sleep for too long Wind, we have a meeting at Santoff Clausen today. After accidently missing two and being late for three, I can't skip out on this meeting, Wind."
The Wind sighed but finally relented. They finally reached land and headed straight for Burgess. Jack sat up, stifling a yawn and leaning his head on his staff.
"Maybe I'll stop by Jamie and borrow some of his mum's coffee," He mumbled. He didn't really want to fall asleep in the middle of the meeting.
He felt the Wind nudged him as she spoke to him softly. Apparently she was needed to help some Storm Spirits once she had dropped Jack off at the lake. She would still be back around the time to take him to the Arctic but for most of the morning she wouldn't be there. Well actually she would, seeing as the wind had to be everywhere but the main part of her would be over in Europe. Jack would still be able to fly but not as much.
"Its fine, Wind." Jack said. He noticed that they had finally reached the outskirts of Burgess, "In fact if you want you can drop me off here. I can make it home myself."
The Wind tossed him a little as if saying, "Yeah right,"
"Hey I could!" Jack argued. He then suddenly let out a large yawn.
The Wind whistled, showing she was definitely unconvinced.
"Oh shut up," Jack said. But he laughed, "Okay, okay, take me to the lake then."
She did just that flying through the town at a quick speed. Jack couldn't help but let out a sprinkle of very light snow on the townspeople as they flew over them, laughing when some of the children looked up and pointed at him. Jamie had been spreading the story about him at school and Jack seemed to be getting more and more believers each day.
Eventually they reached the large lake that Jack had called home for three hundred years. The Wind carefully placed him onto the frozen lake. Jack noticed the feeling of worry filling the air and he rolled his eyes.
"Wind, don't worry. You've left me alone before."
Again if the Wind had eyebrows she would have raised them.
"Hey that was just one time! I didn't know the prank would backfire okay?" Jack said. He had ended up completely covered in pink dye that took a day or two to scrub off and even longer to get it out of his clothes, "Besides that was ages ago. And I don't plan to prank Bunny...well at least not until after the meeting anyway. I'm just going to take a nap. What's the worst that can happen?"
The Wind sighed and then, after rustling Jack's white hair, she flew off into the sky, taking a few leaves with her. Jack watched her go, a frown appearing on his face once he was sure her presence was no longer there. He didn't like being left completely alone at the best of times.
Shrugging off that thought he walked over to some of the trees, deciding which one he would take a nap on. Just as he was about to fly up he suddenly felt as if he was being watched.
"Well if it isn't the winter spirit."
Jack spun around. His eyes widened in shock before he set them into a scowl, "You!"
After the Wind had finished helping the Storm Spirits she hurried back to Burgess. She sensed that something was wrong. Someting was very wrong. Worry swirled around her and she picked up the pace, not caring that the cold harsh breeze she carried knock over several people along the way.
She finally reached the lake and searched around. Usually Jack would be sleeping in one of the trees just by the clearing but he wasn't in any of them. Worry changing into fear, the Wind started to search the forest, calling out for Jack, through to anyone else's ears it would just sound like the wind was howling.
"I'm here, Wind," She heard.
She headed down to the forest floor. Jack was leaning against the tree, his staff grasped tightly in his hand. He look as though if he let go of either he would fall to the ground. For some strange reason he also had his hood up so it casted shadows on his face and would not look up at the Wind.
If she had a face she would have frowned in confusion as she came closer and tried to blow the hood off. Jack grasping his hood to his forehead stopped her.
"I'm fine," He said when she let a wave of her concern wash through him.
She didn't believe him, once again trying to get him to lower his hood. It only made him hold onto his hood tighter and for him to scowl at her.
"Look, we're going to be late for the meeting," He snapped, "Can we just go?"
Surprised at his suddenly snappiness she billowed around him, "Someone got up on the wrong side of the branch,"
"Sorry," Jack murmured, through he still did not let go of his hood. The Wind sighed and picked him up and carried him to the North Pole.
He was silent the whole journey, not talking to her at all or even playing with her as he always would when they were flying. The worried feeling did not leave her alone and she kept brushing against her charge, only earning a small smile from him. She wanted to ask him what was wrong but she knew that Jack wouldn't tell her and if she kept asking he would get annoyed. So she didn't say anything and Jack stayed quiet.
The Guardians were standing in the globe room. North stood by the table with buttons for the globe, keeping an eye on the lights and seeing which ones had gone out. Thankfully there wasn't that many that had gone out. Those that had were just children that were growing up and turning into adults; sometime that happened all the time. No Pitch trying to destroy children's beliefs today.
Tooth was seated hovering in the air, talking quietly with her fairies. Baby Tooth was anxiously perched on her head, staring out the window which was open, her face perked up when she thought she heard something before it fell again when she realised no one was there yet. Sandy let out a sigh and created a sand image to express his boredom.
"Where is the little bugger?" Bunny asked.
The Pooka was pacing up and down the balcony that circled the globe, glancing up and now again at the window before shaking his head and muttering curses under his breath. North waited until Bunny passed him before he reached out and grabbed the Pooka, stopping his pacing.
"He will be here soon," North told Bunny, through he himself was getting irritated himself. He did his best however to keep his expression calm.
"This is the fourth time the frostbite has been late!" Bunny cried angrily, "The boy needs to start taking this job seriously."
"We will talk to him when he gets here," North said firmly.
Tooth and Sandy both got up when they heard this, worry flashing on Tooth's face as she flew over to them.
"You're not going to tell him off are you? Maybe he just got sidetracked with his chores." Tooth said, through she sounded doubtful.
"He used that excuse twice." Bunny scoffed.
"Or, or, maybe he forgot?"
North and Sandy shook their heads, sand images flashing across the golden man's head as North spoke, saying the exact same thing the sand images meant, "We both reminded Jack about the meetings. Three times. I do not think he forgot Tooth."
Tooth sighed, wringing her hands together. To be honest, she thought that this was getting ridiculous herself. Not only had Jack been late for four times now but, by being late, she was keeping both she and Bunny from their jobs. Through Bunny didn't have to work as hard seeing as Easter had long been, she still needed to work both day and night not only ordering her fairies to get teeth but also sorting all the memories out and making sure the right tooth went in the right memory box.
Letting out a sad sigh she nodded.
"Alright. But don't be too crossed at him," She said.
"I'll be more than cross, mate," Bunny growled as he glared at the window, "Where the hell is the blighter?"
As if by magic, Jack finally turned up just as those words left Bunny's lips. He flew through the open window, landing on the window sill, a little wobbly, before he stepped down into the globe room.
Normally the Guardians would have noticed this instantly. Jack rarely wobbled, after years and years of flying and perching on things like branches, fences, poles, wires, he had complete perfect balance. The only times he did not have perfect balance was when he was not holding his staff and seeing as that his staff was grasped tightly in his hand, that wasn't the case.
However they were all crossed right now, or at least in Tooth and Sandy's cases trying to be. So they didn't take in the fact that Jack's landing was unsteady. They did not notice Jack's hood up either.
"Finally decided to show up, frostbite?" Bunny shouted, marching up to the winter spirit before North could stop him.
Jack flinched at the anger in the rabbit voice and coughed nervously, "Sorry I'm late...I was spreading winter all last night and when I got home I sort of just crashed out...guess I slept longer than I thought."
Jack purposely ignored the Wind as she circled around him, a touch of confusion in the air as she recalled he wasn't sleeping when she found him.
The others didn't notice this; not understanding the Wind after all.
"I don't want to hear your excuses!" Bunny yelled.
"Jack, this is fourth time you've been late," North said quietly
"I know! And I'm really sorry," Jack said and his voice did sound like he was truly sorry, "Look; I didn't mean to be late today, okay? I just...overslept. An honest mistake. It won't happen again!"
Sandy noticed the pause between Jack's words and started to notice something was wrong. Jack wasn't even looking at the Guardians, instead studiously staring at the floor, his hood obstructing his face from view. He tried getting everyone's attention but of course they weren't looking at the gold man and so did not take note of his sand pictures.
"Do you think you can just turn up to these meetings whenever you feel like it, mate?" Bunny said.
"What? No, of course not!" Jack cried, finally looking up. However his hood still cast a shadow over his face and the fact Sandy could hardly see it, made him all the more worried as he wished for an elf to pop up.
"Well it sure looks like you do!" Bunny yelled, "You need to start showing responsibility, mate!"
"Hey!" Angry flashed in Jack's tone, "I have been more a lot more responsible than I used to be, okay?! I've been spreading winter where it's needed, not where I feel like it, I make sure I don't put too much ice on the roads so kids can't get hurt, I don't pull off that many snow days so that they can still go to school, and apart from those four meetings and the two I missed; I have shown up on time to the others ones! I know that might not be enough and that I'm not a good Guardian, but I've been trying!"
Now Tooth was starting notice that Jack seemed more upset then he should be and North had spotted Sandy jumping up and down, in full on panic now. Bunny however still hadn't realised yet that on the last sentence it sounded like Jack was almost in tears.
"Trying is not good enough, mate," He growled.
"You know what? I'm not in the mood to talk to you, Kangaroo. You guys have the meeting without me." Jack said, turning away and asking the wind, quietly under his breath, to take him home.
"Oh no you don't!" Bunny growled, grabbing Jack's arm just as he was about to fly off.
His grip on Jack's arm was firm; Bunny still did not like to be called kangaroo. But it wasn't painful. Even when angry, Bunny wouldn't go as far as to hurt the winter spirit. His grip wasn't even tight enough to leave a small bruise.
And it certainly wasn't tight enough for Jack to let out the loud cry of pain he did.
Bunny dropped Jack's arm in shock and Jack's other hand shot over to grab, as if to try and stop the pain. To Bunny's horror and everyone's shock, Jack's arm stuck out at an odd angle. Broken.
Suddenly the Guardians were all thrown back by a sudden gust of wind, all of them slamming into the wall, even North who seemed to big to be thrown into the wall by anyone. Tooth's fairies shrieked and flew over to the globe to hide as the torrent of wind did not stop. Cold air and bits of ice was flung at them as a tornado started to form right in the globe room, tossing objects everywhere in rage. Behind it stood Jack. He was waving his arm and jumping up and down.
"Wind! Stop!" Jack cried, the Guardians still somehow hearing him over the angry roar.
This caused the Guardians to look up in confusion. They had all thought that Jack was controlling the wind; that he had reacted violently when Bunny hurt his arm. However instead he looked just as scared as they were, waving his staff in a fruitless attempt to stop the wind.
That's when they realise that they could see Jack's face. When the whirlwind had picked up, Jack's hood had been blown off; Jack too busy trying to stop the wind to even realise. And when they saw Jack's face they knew why his hood was up.
His face was covered in bruises, both of his eyes black and his nose looked like it was broken too. There was blood hanging from his nostrils too, from the looks like it, Jack had attempted to wipe it off with the back of his hand before deciding to just ignore it and his cold temperature had eventually frozen the blood before it could trek down to his lips.
Jack, not realising that they were all staring at him, continued to shout at the Wind, begging her to stop.
"Wind! Calm down! Bunny didn't break my arm, okay! Bunny did not break my arm! So stop! Please!"
Finally the Wind stopped. The tornado died away, things dropping to the floor, as she managed to control herself again. Tooth's fairies, peered over the globe. Baby Tooth was the only one that left the hiding spot as she flew over to Jack, eyes wide as she saw his injuries. Some of the yetis had came rushing to the door, wondering what on earth was going on.
The Guardians got up from the floor. North lowered the arm he had held over his face to shield himself from the storm. Tooth shook the flecks of frost that had coated her wings. Sandy, who had jumped onto his sand and flew up into the air a moment after he had been flung into the wall, lowered himself back down to the ground. Bunny just stared at Jack, his eyes wide in shock and slightly apologetic too.
Jack looked back at them, with worry and fright written across his face.
"Sorry! She get's overprotective at times!" He explained.
"She?" Bunny asked.
Once again he was pushed back by an angry gust of Wind. Jack's good arm reached out to stop her from attacking the Guardians again so instead she sent an angry sharp cold blast of wind to each and every one's of their faces. The blast she sent Bunny was the coldest and sharpest.
Once that was done she whooshed around Jack, clearly worried and upset at the injuries Jack had and the fact that Jack hid them from her. Jack sighed.
"I'm sorry, Wind."
She ignored his apology instead gently picking him off the ground and carrying him carefully to the windowsill, away from the Guardians. She sat him down on the windowsill and then, with a reassuring brush against his cheek, flew off. Baby Tooth followed them, letting out a sad tweet. Jack was her friend, and she hated to see him with so many injuries.
Jack just sighed and with his good hand, held out his finger which Baby Tooth perched upon immediately. They both looked up as the Wind flew back in the room.
She was carrying bandages, casting material and a bowl of water with a cloth inside; which she placed by Jack. She started to swirl around Jack's broken up, lifting it up gently and carefully.
Jack glanced at Baby Tooth, "You probably don't want to see this," He said, gesturing that she should go to Tooth. Baby Tooth however shook his head and he groaned, "Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you."
Before any of the Guardians could ask what Jack meant, the Wind began setting his arm. The Guardians rushed over at Jack's loud scream but was blocked by a barrier created by the Wind. If she was going to set Jack's arm correctly, she needed to concerate and she couldn't with those blithering idiots nearby. Baby Tooth was bad enough, what with the little fairy letting out a shriek too and trying to make the Wind stop, before Jack thankfully managed to pluck the fairy away with his good hand.
His face was creased up with pain and he was squeezing his eyes shut, through he could not stop a few frosted tears escaping. The Wind hated doing this at the best of times but it was the only way Jack's arm would mend correctly. When he first broke his arm he had told her to leave it and the arm ended up growing crookedly, the bone growing incorrectly. They had ended up having to break the arm again so the Wind could reset them. Back then he had broken his arm during a flying accident, both of them were still new at it after all, Jack new at flying and the Wind new at carrying someone. But recently over the couple of years Jack ending up with a broken bone was...not always because of an accident.
Finally she had managed to set it correctly. Making sure the arm did not move, she cradle Jack softly, who let out a choke sob in relief that the worse part was over. To the others, it appeared that Jack was swaying in the Wind, but Baby Tooth, who was on Jack's lap, realise the Wind was rocking Jack, like a mother would rock a baby. Jack welcomed the embrace with a small smile; the pain of his arm lessening.
The Wind then picked the bandage up and began unrolling it. She struggled when trying to tear the bandage from the roll; it was much harder when you didn't have any hands (or teeth or scissors). Thankfully Baby Tooth helped, still a little shaky after seeing Jack's arm being set, but managing to get control of herself. The Wind and the little fairy worked together at getting the casting material on Jack's arm.
The Wind then picked up the cloth from the cool water (she could not use warm water for that would hurt Jack rather then help him, being an winter spirit after all) and started tending to Jack's face.
"I can do that myself, Wind," Jack said.
The Wind simply gave him a nudge as if to say, Yeah, sure. She then asked Jack a question, through neither the Guardians or Baby Tooth could hear her.
"I'm fine," Jack said. When the Wind did not let up he let out a sigh, "Okay, okay. I may or not have some bruises on my chest and my ribs may or not be cracked, a little. But I can do that myself. The last time you treated my ribs, you wrapped the bandage around me so tightly I couldn't breathe."
He got a light blast of air to his head for that. The Wind let out a sigh as Jack grinned at her. Again if she had a face, a small smile would have graced its features.
Feeling the barrier go down while the Wind was no longer setting his arm, the Guardians slowly walked over, afraid the barrier would come up again. It didn't however as Jack, Baby Tooth and the Wind turned to face them.
Tooth immediately rushed over and engulf Jack in a hug, through she was careful not to hurt them, "Oh Jack, I'm sorry we were so cross with you!"
Jack, after a moment of shock, return the hug awkwardly, "It's fine, Tooth."
"Mate, I'm sorry," Bunny said, as he stepped towards them. He got another blast of air in his face almost as if the Wind told him so you should be. She got a glare from Jack for that, but she didn't care.
"Don't worry about it, it's not your fault." Jack replied, "I just didn't realise my arm was hurt...that bad."
"How did you hurt your arm, Jack?" North asked.
Jack flustered, his eyes darting away from them as he coughed nervously, "Um...I..."
"And get those bruises? And crack your ribs?" North continued.
Jack shifted on his seat, looking like he was about to run it. However he was distracted as the Wind circled around him, to the guardian's sounding like she was making a whooshing sound, as she spoke at a fast rate. A frown cross Jack's face, and he forgot the others were there.
"Hey, I didn't know they would attack either okay? Quit blaming yourself!" Jack cried.
The Wind continued, obviously not convinced. Jack let out a small growl.
"You were needed by the Storm Spirits, remember? You can't be there all the time when I need help! Besides it wasn't so bad, today. Could have been much worse."
Still the Wind didn't let up, rushing around the room, picking things up and putting them back down, as if refraining herself from chucking them about the room, clearly angry.
"For the millionth time, you can't attack them!"
Why not? The Wind seemed to ask as she let out an frustrated whine. Jack glared back in return.
"Because they need you need to help them in their jobs too! If you go all vengeful on them they just used that as another excuse to beat me up-"
"Beat you up?"
Jack froze, eyes widening as he suddenly remembered that all the Guardians were standing right next to him, listening to the whole one sided conversation. From the way the Wind dropped the vase and let it shatter on the floor, she forgot they were there as well.
"Oh no you don't," Bunny said as Jack tried to make a run for it. This time Bunny laid a careful paw on Jack's uninjured shoulder and pushed him back down onto the window sill, gently but firmly, "You're not going anyway 'till you tell us who's been beating you up. From the sounds of it, this ain't the first time is it?"
Jack sighed and looked away, glazing down at the white cast. He felt Bunny's paw leave his shoulder and another replace it. He looked up to see North.
"Jack, please." North said, "Tell us."
Jack looked into the blue eyes that was filled with worry for him before he glanced at Tooth and Sandy. The same worry filled their eyes too. He glanced at Baby Tooth, who nodded encouragingly and then finally back at Bunny.
Finally he relented. Pulling his knees to his chest, ignoring his injuries, he glanced out of the window.
"It was the Autumn Spirits, okay?"
He spoke so quietly that if the Wind had not carried his voice over the Guardians, not even Bunny's sensitive ears would have heard him.
"I met them about – two hundred and fifty? Yeah fifty – years ago. They were really nice at first. I actually was beginning to think I could be friends with them. But then the time for winter rolled up.
"They got...really mad when me and Wind started taking the leaves off the trees down and start covering everything with frost and snow. Said I was ruining their artwork. I tried to explain that, well autumn was over, and I had to start taking down their artwork. They didn't let up though. They...called me a menace...said that Manny probably created me by accident just to destroy everything. Then they started attacking me, beating me up. Always just before winter. A couple of times I tried waiting a week or so after winter meant to start before I started creating frost and snow. Didn't work. That only made them angrier."
Jack shut his eyes, taking a deep breath. The Wind wrapped around him, gently. Jack leaned into her embrace, reopening his eyes and turned to face the Guardians.
"As I said earlier I...was out all night spreading winter in Europe." Jack explained, "I was pretty tired so when we got back home to the lake in Burgess, I was going to take a nap before the meeting. Wind said some storm spirits needed her and so she left to go do that.
"Before I could find a place to sleep though they appeared. I was shocked to see them, it's the middle of Autumn after all. They tried to attack me but I managed to knock them down and took off running in the woods. I didn't realise they were more of them until I was grabbed by one of them. They held me with one hand at my throat, twisting my arm with the other so much I thought it would break." Jack glanced down at the cast on his arm and looked back up, letting a small wry smile, "Guess it did.
"They threw me against a tree. That may have been when I broke my ribs. Through then again that may have been when they started punching and kicking me in the stomach. Sorry, getting sidetracked, anyway, they pulled me up by the throat again. They told me that they had found out that I was a Guardian. Apparently they were told by a Summer Spirit who was told by another Summer Spirit who was told by a Spring Spirit who was told by another Spring Spirit who was told by...I interrupted them at that point. They weren't that happy that I had been chosen to be the fifth Guardian. They said a few things..."
Jack fell silent and his eyes fell from the Guardians again.
"They said what, Snowflake?" Bunny pressed. He figured that it was important.
Jack remained quiet and for the moment it looked like he wouldn't say anything. Then he let out a shaky breath.
"They said...they said that when I helped saved children from Pitch, it was just pure luck. They said that you guys didn't really care for me; that one day you and Manny would realise your mistake at making me a Guardian and kick me out." He whispered.
They were all silent for a moment.
"Do you believe what they said?" Tooth asked.
Jack didn't replied. But from the way he turned his head away from them, they could tell that he did.
"After that they beat me up. I was past fighting back at this point. I...I just laid there and took the beating. They sneered and then left me, saying something about hoping I might die this time. I managed to pull myself up to my feet, eventually and started to head back for the lake. And then Wind appeared and I realise I was late for the meeting. Again...sorry about that.
"And that's it, I guess," Jack said. He felt the Wind caress his cheek and wrapped around him again, cradling him once more. He closed his eyes, suddenly very tired.
"I'll bloody kill them!"
His eyes snapped open and Jack turned to see Bunny yelling angry, swearing that he would murder them. Tooth was scowling, her hands balled into fists, as if she wanted to go and knock all the Autumn Spirits' teeth out. Sandy was silently raging and North too looked angry that they had hurt their winter spirit. However he managed to control himself as he reached out and grabbed Bunny before the Pooka carried out his threat.
"Let go of me, North! They deserve their heads wrung of their necks!" Bunny yelled. Jack blinked in shock at how violent that threat was.
"Killing them will not help in matter," North explained, firmly, "We will go to their king, Fall, and explain to him what's happened. He will deemed the best way to punish his spirits."
"Fine..." Bunny growled, "But the next time one of the blighters cross my path," He made his fist collided with his paw in a punching motion.
Sandy nodded in full agreement. North sighed, through he too wouldn't mind teaching those spirits a lesson.
"Jack are you okay?" Tooth asked.
The three males turned back to the windowsill to see Jack leaning heavily to one side, looking like he would fall out the window any minute, if the Wind wasn't there to keep hold of him. He blinked tiredly, his eyes growing heavier by the second.
"Just tired...Didn't get any sleep," He murmured, doing his best to stay awake but failing.
North walked over and picked him up, gentle of his injuries. The Wind allowed him, but she stayed close as she and the others followed North out of the globe room and down the corridor. He opened a door to one of guest rooms and entered inside. He laid Jack gently own on the bed. Meanwhile the Wind opened the window to allow the cold air to blow in before flying over to Jack. North stood back and allowed her to tuck her ward in, rustling his hair softly and rocking him gently until he finally fell asleep. Sandy sent his golden sand to Jack, and an image of dolphins appeared above the boy's head as he smiled contently.
The Guardians were about to leave when a soft female voice spoke.
"Thank you," The Wind said causing the Guardians to spin around.
"You can talk!" Bunny cried.
She shushed him, another cold breeze hitting him, through gentler this time as she chided him for nearly making Jack stir.
"Yes," She said once Jack had fallen back into slumber once more, "Though I don't often speak in the language you speak, only this once. I need to talk to you and seeing as you do not understand the language I and the Sand speaks, I will have to talk to you like so,"
Sandy looked up, confused.
"As you have found out today, I am a living being just like you through until now I did not seem to speak. So are you and the nightmare king's Sands, Sanderson. However we speak in a language that has long been forgotten about by other spirits. Only Manny can speak it and only he and Jack can understand it. Though given time, I'm sure you will understand your sand too, though it will take a few years."
"Wait, Jack can hear Sandy and Pitch's sand?!" Bunny asked, finding it hard to believe.
"Only if he touches the sand with his hand or his staff. And while he enjoys talking to Golden Sand often, I don't think he's very keen into listening to Nightmare Sand that much. The few times he did hear what they had to say were not very pleasant."
The Wind shivered, the cold air making the Guardians shiver too. They weren't sure exactly what nightmare sand would say but they agreed it probably wasn't very pleasant.
"I'm sorry about the way I reacted earlier," The Wind said softly, "For a moment I thought you had hurt him, like you did at Easter. I guess I lost my temper. What Jack said is true; I can be overprotective at times."
"That's understandable. After all you have been with him for three hundred years," Tooth replied.
The Wind was quiet for a minute, even the breeze in the air stilling for a moment as she thought.
"I am going to tell you something Guardians, something I am meant to keep a secret. Please do not share this with anyone, not even Jack."
The Guardians promised they would. After a moment, the Wind told them.
"Before Jack was created, Manny came to me and asked me a favour. He told me he was creating a Winter Spirit and that one day he would become the fifth Guardian. However before that the winter spirit will be on his own for three hundred years. Not even he would be able to keep him company, he would only be allow to tell the spirits' name." The Wind said, "That's why he had come to me. He knew if the winter spirit was left completely on his own it would destroy him. And so he wanted me to be the spirits' companion. He wanted me to guide him, protect him, make sure he stayed on the path on becoming a Guardian and most importantly make sure he would be able to smile and have fun without letting the three hundred years alone truly bring him down. And so I agreed.
"However I was not expecting how close Jack and I would become. I knew that I would be his friend and companion and he would be my friend and my ward...but over the years I..."
"Saw him as your son?" Tooth finished off for her.
"Yes. I started to see myself as his mother. Which is good, for despite being three hundred and seventeen years old, he is and will always remain a child. But it doesn't make it easier when those Autumn Spirits began attacking him. I wanted to make them pay for hurting Jack but Jack remain persistent that I should not do anything. We have both been alone for so long you see. The only thing I know is how to look after Jack and the only thing Jack knows is how to take care of himself, and me, if I need it. We...aren't used to letting others in. The ones we had...let us down in the end."
The Guardians fell silent, staring over at Jack, taking in what she said.
"After today you have proven that you will not let us down like those who had before," The Wind spoke softly, "However you must remember, that through Jack has indeed forgiven you, and I believe that it was actually Manny's intentions (through I do not know why), for leaving him for three hundred years, Jack still will have doubts about himself and his place as Guardian. In time he will give you his full trust, and believe me, his full trust is stronger than my winds during a hurricane. But before then try not to break it, for in this moment of time, his trust shatters so easily.
"If you want to tell him off for when he makes mistakes, do so, he is still learning and will need to know when he does wrong. But do be careful to not have a go at him too hard. At least not until he fully trust you,"
The Guardians nodded in agreement. That sounded fair. After all there would be times when they may have to scold Jack if he did slack off work or misbehaved. But they understood, Bunny especially, they probably should take a few minutes to calm their anger before telling Jack off.
When the Wind spoke again she sounded tired. It was draining her energy, as she had used a lot of her strength just so she could communicate with the Guardians.
"One more thing...Jack does not know what it's like to have a family. Even after retrieving his memories, they were pretty vague. And while I looked after him like my son...after today I realised I might not be there it time to keep him safe." The Wind said, "I would appreciate it if I knew...he had other family members he could rely on if I can't be there."
"Of course," Tooth replied.
"He'll always have place at Santoff Clausen," North added.
"Snowflake does need someone to make sure he keeps out of trouble," Bunny said, "I'm in."
Sandy created an image of all the five guardians, the golden North, Tooth, Bunny and Sandy all surrounding Jack and giving him a hug. Golden Jack was flushing, embarrassed by the attention but he was laughing too.
The Wind did not say anything, no longer having the energy to do so. But she did not need to so. Even if the Guardians still could not understand they could still feel the cool, but gentle breeze rushing around them in thanks before settling next to Jack to watch over him while he slept.
I didn't ramble too much did I? Sorry if I did. Anyway I thought that Jack would be able to understand the Wind and then remember a summary for a fic about Wind and Sands (haven't read the fic but the summary sparks ideas). So I included that in this as well. And I've read in some fics that sometimes the Autumn Spirits (well they were probably called Fall spirits but here in Britian we call it Autumn...through in honestly Fall makes much more sense you know with the leaves falling. But just as I will always write Mum with a 'u' instead of an 'o' I'm calling the season Autumn...through I decided to call the Autumn Spirit Fall as it does sound like a good name. Anyway I included that too.
Hope you enjoyed. Please leave a review. Critism is always welcome (as long as they aren't flames or really really horrible. Nice critism is always welcome)