AN: Heads up—this is going to have a really LONG AN at the end.
You have been warned!
Also, it occurs to me that I've forgotten the disclaimer. So, this is the disclaimer for the entire fic: I. Do. Not. Own. Bunnymund. Or North, Or Toothiana, or Sandman, or Baby Tooth, or the North Pole, or Jamie, or Sophie, or Monty, or Pippa, or Cupcake, or Claude, or Caleb, or any of the yetis or elves, or Disney, or Dreamworks, or Rise of the Guardians, or the sleigh, or the snow globes...
...Okay. *huff* I don't own Jack Frost, either. Jeez—spoilsport.
I do, however, own Pumpkin King, Sin Cantus, Jane Jackson, Thomas, Hilda, and Mike. And the theory that spirits can't die but can be destroyed. And this entire PLOT. *sticks tongue out smugly*
The Happy Conclusion
The Time Jack Lost His Stick
The next morning, when Jamie's mother powered up the television, the news came on. A handsome anchorman who looked like he was wearing makeup was sitting next to a beautiful anchorwoman with golden hair that seemed a bit too perfect. The woman was speaking directly to the camera, face unnaturally blank as she talked about an event that might've warranted emotion from anyone else.
"…and, in more current news, there's panic at the Halloween Jubilee as, at around eight o'clock last night, several dozen children went missing. Reports say that there were no witnesses to the actual crime. How is this possible, Mike?" She smiled at the camera—an upturning of the lips that seemed painfully fake and didn't quite reach her eyes.
The anchorman smiled just as emotionlessly without even turning when he was addressed—just as his partner had not turned to him when addressing him. "Well, Hilda, interestingly enough, it shouldn't have been possible. Reports tell us that the lights in the school parking lot, where the school Halloween party was set and where the kidnapping took place, were only out for a couple seconds. When they came back on, the children were gone."
"What a quandary," Hilda replied, sounding just overenthusiastic enough that she managed to convey the feeling of not being at all interested in what she had been told.
"Indeed. But what's even more interesting is that each and every child was later found gathered around the Burgess Memorial statue in the square, sound asleep. Police have been left scratching their heads as to how they got there and who would kidnap the children only to leave them where they would most assuredly be found."
"Oh my," Hilda exclaimed with false surprise. "Now who would do that, Mike?"
"No one knows except the children, Hilda," Mike replied with well-feigned seriousness—apparently the only emotion these two knew how to display with any degree of success. "And, strangely enough, they don't seem to want to talk."
Hilda nodded, also suddenly expertly serious. "Right you are. Let's run some footage that was taken last night when the children were found."
The image of the two was replaced by a grainy shot of a statue of a family, surrounded by heaped snow. About half the children were still asleep or just waking up, while several were running around in excitement and still more were sobbing for their parents.
A reporter, a dark-haired lady in a scarf and mittens, was turning to look at the camera, eyes wide.
"Oh my word, look at this!" she exclaimed in real excitement, a nice change after Hilda and Mike. "We've found them—goodness, we've found them!" She turned again and ran over to the children, followed by several police officers. Blue and red lights were obviously flashing behind the camera, because their glow could be seen reflected off of the statue.
"Are you all okay?" one of the policeman asked an older boy.
The black-haired, dark-skinned boy grinned. "Uh-huh!"
The newswoman turned abruptly to the camera, cheeks flushed. "Well, there you have it!" she said enthusiastically. "The children have been found. Now the police will do a head count to make sure all of the children are here, and maybe we can finally find out what happened to them!"
The headcount proved successful: everyone was there.
The newswoman approached a couple little girls. One blonde one was hopping around, shouting "Bunny! Bunny! Hop-hop-hop! I saw Bunny! I saw him!" The other was giggling and waving her arms. "Sweetheart," the newswoman said gently to the second girl, glancing quickly at the camera. "Can you tell me what happened to all of you?" She held out her microphone.
The little girl flashed an adorable gap-toothed grin at the camera and squealed: "We saw a snow fairy!" She giggled again and ran around her friend, still waving her arms and the light-up wand that went with her Disney princess costume.
The newswoman smiled at the camera, making her skepticism clear. "Maybe we should ask someone older," she suggested, already making her way through the mass of happy children.
She finally came upon the boy from earlier, who'd said they were okay. "What's your name?" she asked him, holding out the mic.
"Thomas," he replied.
"Can you tell me what happened here?" she asked.
His face lit up. "Aw, you shoulda seen it!" he exclaimed. "The ghost was like 'I shall rule Halloween!' and then the Easter Bunny was like 'Oh no ya won't, Mate' and we were like 'Ah, he's gonna kill us!' and Santa was like 'No no no no, we kill him!'" The boy waved his arms animatedly as he told the story and made a brave attempt at the various accents. He broke off suddenly and looked at the reporter with wide eyes. "Did you know that Santa's Russian?" he asked in awe.
The reporter was obviously taken aback by the absurdity of the tale. "Ah…no," she replied hesitantly, glancing in confusion at the camera. "And I…didn't realize that the Easter Bunny was British, either."
The boy shook his head seriously. "Not British," he corrected. "Australian."
"Right. I stand corrected," the reporter replied in clear skepticism. The boy wandered away, calling for a friend.
The newswoman turned again to the camera. "I'm beginning to think something a little strange is up," she admitted. "Let's see if I can find someone who looks sane…"
Another boy—a different one, with brown hair and brown eyes, walked in front of her then, calling, "Sophie? Sophie, where are you?" He turned to the woman. "Have you seen my sister?" he asked in all seriousness. "She's about this tall—" he demonstrated, "—and has blonde hair and a Bunny costume."
"She was over there," the reporter replied, pointing in the direction of the girl who'd been hopping around. But as the boy turned to go, she called, "Wait!"
He turned to face her, the question clear on his face.
"First, can you tell me what happened here?" She smiled at him. "Everyone I've asked seems to have only wild stories about myths and ghosts!"
The boy studied her, ignoring the microphone she was holding out to him expectantly. He seemed to be appraising her almost, weighing her words. Finally, he looked up at the sky, and at the snow falling, and said thoughtfully, "It looks like Jack Frost had fun tonight, huh?" Then, with a smile of farewell and a wave, the boy walked away to find his sister.
The reporter was left frowning at his retreating form. Finally, she shook her head and said to the camera with an uncertain laugh, "I'm beginning to think they're doing it on purpose. But," she straightened up and brushed off her winter coat, suddenly serious, "what matters now is that every child appears to be safe and sound, and the police will figure out what happened. When we learn more, I promise we'll be here and running the cameras. In the meantime, this is Jane Jackson with the Burgess Times, wishing the viewers a Happy Halloween and Fabulous First Frost." She held out a hand to catch a snowflake and smiled dazzlingly at the camera.
The image reverted back to Mike and Hilda, unfortunately.
"Jack Frost?" Mike asked in faked interest.
"Yes indeed, Mike," Hilda replied. "Police still don't know what to make of that cryptic comment."
Jamie's mother rolled her eyes at her son's antics and switched the TV off.
If she'd believed, however, she might have seen something else: as Jamie Bennett uttered Jack Frost's name, a shadow flitting across the sky suddenly halted, backtracked, and flew over to investigate the hubbub.
"…wishing the viewers a Happy Halloween and Fabulous First Frost," Jane finished with her signature smile.
Next to her, the snowy-haired boy grinned and bowed low, miming sweeping off a hat. "You're very welcome," he answered graciously, raising his head to grin at the camera.
Had the camera kept rolling, they would have seen Jack Frost wave at a few of the children, wink at Jamie, pause to give the oblivious Jane some improvised bunny ears as a photographer snapped her picture for the newspaper, and then soar off into the night to catch up with North's sleigh, leaving a soft snowfall in his wake.
AN: Aaaaaaand…there you have it! Happy ending for all!
Here's where the long stuff comes in. In honor of everyone who's noticed my story, here are the official lists!
CRAZY little Dragon
Capella Sherlock Holmes
Crazy-random-reader of hogwart
Don't touch my Seaweed Brain
Peanut Butter Rules
CRAZY little Dragon
Don't touch my Seaweed Brain
I LoVe ChOCoMoNsTeR
Sage of FanFiction
The Homunculi Twins
feathered moon wings
mog the 13 moogle
I LoVe ChOCoMoNsTeR
Capella Sherlock Holmes
AccioLight (previously scrubslova)
Frost and Winter Chills
Don't touch my Seaweed Brain
Peanut Butter Rules
Thank you, all! I know authors don't usually do this and it's long and boring for those of you who may have tried to brave the whole list (I wouldn't if I were you; just find your name and move on, unless you want to go cross-eyed trying to keep all the names straight!) but each and every single one of you absolutely made my day! Yay!
I'm going to reply to reviews now, and then I have some important business to speak of.
skywright, one word: DEEEEEEP. What you said there in your review for chapter nine was very, very wise. Thank you.
EpicDetour9, thank you as well, for the very long review! Okay, okay, I now understand your…letter explosion…and am glad that you approve of my story so much! All I live for is my stories; I'm thankful they're worth it! And hey, look! :) Haha, not April 6th. Turns out, it wouldn't have been April 6th anyway—this is what I get for not keeping track of the days. It woulda been April 5th, tomorrow.
Don't touch my Seaweed Brain…hmm, I hadn't been planning on writing more, but you know what? I might just do an extra chapter—kind of a bonus thing—with Bunnymund finally confronting Jack. However, it won't be posted right away; this story was ready-written, which is why I updated so fast, but I am notoriously slow at writing other things, so it'll be at least a week, probably more, before I post anything else. We shall see…
Embersky, I AM sorry it was so short (tho you're right; it may have just been the schedule) but you know what? I always think that it's better to have an epic, full short story than a long one that just drags ON and ON and ON. And lately I've been more into shorter stories. Don't know why. I used to write huge monstrosities with several hundred pages and intricate plots that didn't really make sense…and now I've churned out this tame little hundred-pager. Weird.
moonshine19, I am glad to return the favor! :D It makes me happy to know I was able to repay you for absolutely making my day. Also…well, whaddaya know…there is a calendar on my computer. You learn something every day, huh? Guess you can tell I'm not exactly tech-savvy… :/
Night-Fury1, that was the goal! Haha, sorry for scaring you. Hey, I wanna see that video! :D Sounds fun! Haha.
Ever, I apologize. I am deeply, truly sorry. :)
Magiccatprincess, thank you! Those were some of my favorite parts, as well. I will always laugh at that ending, even though I wrote it…oh gods. Laughing at oneself. The first sign of insanity. *pales*
Guest, Pitch will not be making an appearance (as you've seen, actually, since we're at our journey's end) but I am now kicking myself for not seeing that earlier and building off of it. *sigh*
I LoVe ChOCoMoNsTeR, thanks! I loved writing those parts. Also, I sincerely hope I can, too. Maybe I shouldn't have started with this one; apparently I've set the bar very high for myself! :) Haha, oh well—guess the pressure's on! I accept the challenge.
Capella Sherlock Holmes, I agree. It's funny how characters take on a life of their own; I had not planned for 'Punkin' King to really be adorable or relatable…it just kinda happened… Haha, guess that's what happens when you let the story sweep you away.
sealaustinallyheart, you scared me there for a moment. Haha, I don't want to be shamed! 'Specially not by him! Aw, no, please—don't cry. Please don't cry. It'll be okay…
TasteTheRainbowww, I know the feeling, but never thought I'd be the cause of it. Thank you.
AnaEl92, thanks! Haha, I tried that too, but somehow it didn't work. However, my best friend has it down. I don't know how she does it…
Well, I said long author's note—as you can see, I wasn't joking. But I've got one last order of business.
I have three more stories in the works, and am wondering which one you guys would want me to post next, IF I decide to post any.
The first is kind of a brother/sister fic, called 'Wish Upon A Star'. In it, Jack's sister comes back just like he did, as a spirit—the Wishing Star. Death is mad that both Overland siblings have cheated him of taking their souls, and so decides to take revenge by targeting them and Jack's believers. The catch: neither Star (his sister) nor Jack know that Star is his sister.
The second is called 'Journey to the Past' inspired by a song from Anastasia (Journey to the Past by Aaliyah). In it, Pitch comes back and is, for some unknown reason, messing with Father Time. In the resulting battle, both him and Jack are sent back in time—to just a couple years after Jackson Overland's death.
The third is 'Here, Kitty-Kitty'. Less of a serious fic, more of a very, VERY fluffy adventure (both literally and metaphorically). Basically, in the aftermath of the movie, Jack isn't sure about his place with the Guardians, despite their telling him that he is one of them. He wishes that he could just know for sure whether or not they care about him—and, unfortunately for him, the spirit of the Wishing Star (not his sister; this is a different character with the same identity) hears him and grants his wish…by turning him into a cat? (Yeah…like a djinn, she can't control how the wish is granted). So, Jack has one month to get the Guardians to recognize him, or the change is permanent.
What do you think? I have three long-term fics in the making here, and no idea which I should work on. A little help?
Well, I'm gone for now, anyways. You guys might be receiving a little bonus chapter about Bunny chewing Jack out for leaving the Pole, but that'll be in some time, not right away. Sorry for this extremely long AN; eventually I'll edit out some of it, like the descriptions of the stories, and the 'official lists'.
Until next time, folks! Thank you for reading my story! :D