Moonbeams and Sunshine 6

Jack snuggled into Bunny chest more. This was much better. Bunny's room was nice and cozy, large but nothing compared to that monstrosity Nightlight had led him to. Here was nearly the right size with no bells or whistles. He had slept soundly in Bunny's arms with the Pooka slowly stroking his hair as he carded his fingers through coarse fur. This was nice. He shifted a little closer, wanting to do more than sleep but remembering their promise to behave themselves while visiting Manny. But he was content to simply sleep in his love's arms.

"Snowflake, time to wake up," Bunny murmured, nuzzling his hair.

Jack groaned and snuggled even closer, until he was laying completely on top of Bunny and pinning him to the bed. "Five more minutes," he grumbled, smiling when he felt Bunny's chuckle ruble through his chest and his embrace tighten.

"No, not five more minutes, squirt," Bunny teased, easily lifting and shifting Jack off him so he could get up. "We need to get ready for breakfast. The others should be up and about by now. Come on, move it, frostbite."

The sprite did the opposite. He threw the blanket over his head and huddled into the bed. "Nope, not getting up. Go on without me."

"Jack, up. Now."

"Uh huh."

Bunny sighed. He knew the issue and honestly couldn't blame the kid for wanting to hide. Nonetheless Jack couldn't hide forever and he would only make matters worse if he avoided Manny all together. As Jack's mate and best friend he was supposed to support him but he also knew when the boy needed a good swift kick to the rear.

"Last warning," he called, rounding the bed to get closer.

"Nope," Jack yawned, making a display of rubbing his face into a fluffy pillow. He gave a startled yelp when Bunny suddenly scooped hi up, blankets and all. "Hey! What are you doing?"

"Taking you back to you to your room, ya gumby," Bunny answered, making sure to keep Jack tucked in the blankets so he couldn't escape.

He carried the youth to the hall where they met up with a very amused North who was on his way to Jack's room as well. He raised one bushy brow at the wiggling bundle in Bunny's arms and then, his smile growing, he pushed back the corner of a blanket to reveal Jack's grumpy face. "Still hiding?" North asked, trying hard not to laugh.

"He won't let me sleep in," Jack objected, as if being bundled in blankets and carried about was a perfectly normal thing.

North nodded sagely. "I see." He placed the blanket back over Jack's face, grinning when the boy objected and did his best to hold in his laughter. "I guess we should let him sleep."

Bunny rolled his eyes but grinned at his friend. "Stop encouraging him." He hefted his squirming bundle of boy and continued on to Jack's room as North chuckled. He nearly dropped Jack when he saw just how big it was and the kid had been complaining so much. It was huge. Finding his way to the bedroom – who in their right mind needed something this large – he dumped the sprite on the oversized bed. Manny must have lost his mind to build something this big and give it to Jack. The boy would be lost.

Jack tumbled out of the blankets onto the bed. He rolled onto his hands and knees and gave the Pooka a glare. "Was that really necessary?" he asked with a grumble.

"Yes," Bunny answered, stilled bewildered by the room. "Now get cleaned up and dressed. I'll meet you in the lounge."

"You could always groom me," the sprite offered, striking a sinfully sexy pose.

A little whine came from Bunny but he made a hasty retreat. "Hit the shower, mate, before I send Papa North in to get you ready or worse – Pitch."

"You're no fun!"

Laughing, Bunny left. The boy was way too tempting at times. He needed a few minutes to catch his breath before joining the others. He had a bad feeling he would have to come back in half an hour to drag the kid out of the room. Maybe he would get North to deal with hi. It was very hard to be good when all he wanted was to hide away with his mate and rut to their hearts' content. He needed to find something to distract himself with.

. . .

"Quickly," the woman in white whispered to her elves. "Find him. Bring him to me unharmed."

Dozens of small crystal like ships descended on the Moon and around the glimmering palace but staying out of sight of the guards. It was rare for any unwelcome guests to visit the Moon so MiM defenses were not nearly as high as one would think for a man so powerful. Twenty strange creatures, invisible to the naked eye, moved quickly toward the palace and searched each window, searching for their target in complete silence, only pausing when a green streak passed by and an unnatural wind whirled around them before vanishing.

. . .

North stumbled when the pale green wisp rushed past him and into the great hall. The smell of fresh earth and soil followed it and he barely caught a glimpse of a familiar face. He paused and stared after it before following. What on Earth is she doing here, he wondered, his pace increasing as a sense of dread knotted his belly. Something was very, very wrong. "Mother Nature?" he called but she had already disappeared.

His curiosity and worry peaked and he all but rushed to the room and shoved the heavy doors wide open. Inside Mother Nature had materialized into her solid form. She stood before Manny and spoke in a desperate tone that sent a chill down North's spine.

"They've awakened," she said looking a mix of panicked and angry. "I've tried to stall them and make them understand there's no need for their power anymore. I tried putting back under but they discovered what we did. Now the Queen believes that he was meant for them, that we stole him from them. They're coming."

"Who?" North asked, unable to keep quiet. "Who's coming? Who are they after?"

Seraphina looked away from Manny in surprise and stared at him with those same amber orbs as her father. "The Ice King and Queen. They've spent the last 350 years in deep sleep but now they're awake. They want Jack."

North stared at her in shock. The two legends of fairy were well known for their erratic behavior and desire to bring about the next ice age. It had taken all of the Guardians and nature spirits to lock them into what was supposed to be an eternal sleep after their last attempt to spread ice throughout the world. He looked to Manny and for the first time saw fear on his usually happy face. This was serious.

"Nicholas," Manny started, taking a step toward him. "I did not know. They were not supposed to awaken for another 700 years."

"Where is he?" Seraphina asked, panic growing as she moved to the tall Russian. "Where is my son?"

"In his room. Come. We'll get him and gather the others," he assured her, placing a comforting hand on her back. "Manny, please, increase the guard."

Surprisingly, MiM shook off his shock and hurried after them. "I'm coming with you," he said firmly. "No one is touching my son."

Sadly they would never make it to Jack in time. An explosion rocked the palace.

. . .

Jack was just buttoning up his shirt when the attack happened. There was no warning, no sound of klaxons or guards running about. His windows exploded inward, glass shards flying everywhere and he barely had enough time to raise one arm to protect his face. He reacted instinctively, ignoring the pain of glass embedded in his arm to summon his powers and throw half a dozen invaders back out the window. He raced for his staff and swung it in a perfect arch as two more went to grab him and knocked them away but there were too many. He backed away, holding his staff protectively in front of him. To his surprise the invaders were soldiers. Ice elves like him. The distraction was all they needed for one to slip behind Jack, snatch the staff from him and wrench one of his arms painfully behind his back and bring him to the ground.

"Get off me!" he yelled, trying to pull free but his other arm was yanked back and both encased in ice so solid not even Jack's magic could counter it. "What are you doing? Let me go!"

That same elf hauled him to his feet and he was pushed shoved and passed between elves until he was thrown onto a strange crystal ship. Before he knew what was going on they were rocketing away from the Moon and back to Earth.