"Are your eyes closed?" North asked.
"Yes, they're closed," Jack said with a chuckle as North led him down the hallway.
Usually when Jack wasn't busy making snow days for the children of the world he would often hang out at North's workshop and just watch the man work, not before freezing some elves and messing with the yetis first of course.
Jack tapped his staff on the ground and a created a sheet of ice very close to where a few elves were walking. Jack chuckled when a few of them slipped and fell into each other like dominos. North had been busy overlooking the yetis work and making sure the elves didn't break any of the toys they were testing. Jack tapped North's left shoulder and then skipped over to the man's right side when he turned around. North turned to the right when he heard Jack's laughter. The Guardian's eyes immediately lit up at the sight of Jack and North grabbed Jack's shoulders, picked him up off the ground, and kissed him on both cheeks. This had become a regular occurrence, but Jack still flinched every time North picked him up. He appreciated the gesture, though, so he never complained.
"I have something to show you!" North said. "Come with me!"
As the drew closer to their destination, North had asked Jack to close his eyes. North took Jack's hand to make sure the boy didn't bump into anything. When Jack heard the sound of a door opening, North finally said:" Alright, open your eyes!"
Jack's face twisted up when he saw that North had brought him into a bedroom.
"What do you think?" North asked smiling wide, his eyes shining bright with excitement.
"Uh." Jack looked around. The room was about half the size of North's office. There was one window on the opposite wall from where Jack stood and in the corner was a bed with a red comforter and a few dark red pillows. There was a small wooden nightstand beside the bed on the left wall and on the right wall was a wooden wardrobe. It was a nice room but there wasn't anything particularly special about it.
"Uh, it's nice. It's a nice room," Jack said finally.
"So you like it?" North asked.
"Yeah, I mean, you've got a nice room," Jack said.
North laughed. "Is not my room! It yours!"
Jack's head jerked and he arched an eyebrow. "What?"
"Well, if you want it to be. I figured you could come stay here when you have time off. Just relax for a while," North said.
Jack's jaw dropped. He tried to say something, anything, but he could think of nothing to say so he just stupidly opened and closed his mouth. He looked around the room again. His eyes landed on the bed.
"Wh-wait…this is-this is for me?" Jack asked.
"Yes," North said.
"This is-this is…my room?" Jack asked.
"All yours! I left the walls bare so you could decorate however you want. If you want to have icicles hanging from the ceiling, go right ahead," North said.
"Wait," Jack said holding out his hand both to get North to be quiet and also as a way of keeping himself balanced. He had suddenly become light headed and the room was spinning and he was having a hard time processing what was going on. "So this is my room? I can come here whenever I want?"
"Yes," North said.
"I can come here and sleep here?" Jack asked.
"If you want to sleep you can sleep. If you just want to sit and relax and read a book you can. Whatever you want! Is your room!" North said.
"So-so I live here? Like, I can come here whenever I want to?" Jack asked.
"You come here whenever you want to anyway, I figured I'd give you a room all to yourself," North said.
Jack's eyes crossed and he felt like he was sinking inside of himself. He couldn't believe it. He had gone so long flying from place to place and never really settling anywhere. The concept of having a place to call home was so foreign to him. Well, not entirely, he had always referred to Burgess as his 'home' but he had never had a home with a roof over his head or a bed to sleep in. Whenever Jack was tired, because he didn't have to sleep like mortals did, he would sleep in or under a tree or behind a building. He hadn't ever slept on a bed before. He had sat on Jamie's bed occasionally when he went to visit but Jack had never laid down on it.
North's face dropped when he saw how uncomfortable Jack was. "You don't have to, you know?"
Jack looked up at North, his eyes widened in horror.
"I mean, it was just an offer. Only if you want it, don't feel like you have to take it," North said.
"No!" Jack surprised both North and himself at his outburst. "No, I mean…but I can have it, right?"
"Only if you want it," North said.
A smile cracked across Jack's face and he let out an exasperated gasp.
"I just figured you might like to have place to stay when you're not busy but if you…" North was cut short when Jack threw his arms around North's neck and hugged him as tight as he could. North wrapped his arms around Jack's waist as Jack cried softly into the crook of North's neck.
"Thank you," Jack whispered through his tears.
"You're welcome, Jack," North said smiling.
"Thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me," Jack whispered.
"I think I do," North whispered.
Jack laughed and wiped the tears from his eyes as North set him down. North put his hands on Jack's shoulders and waited for Jack to look him in the eye. "I'll give you some time alone, alright?"
"Yeah," Jack breathed, his smile wavering as he tried to hold back sobs. It was embarrassing enough that North was seeing him all teary eyed.
North smiled and wiped away the tears from one side of Jack's face before he stood up and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Jack had dropped his staff when he went to hug North. He picked it up and set it against the wall before jumping into his new bed. He crawled under the covers and nestled his face deep into one of the pillows. Jack wasn't capable of getting warm. He could feel warmth when it was there but it would only brush the surface of his body; he himself would not warm up internally. So Jack didn't pull the covers tighter around his body to get warm, he just liked the feeling of having something wrapped around him. He let himself sink into the deep soft pillow and mattress and snuggled into the comforter and smiled and laughed like an idiot as he hugged one of the other pillows close to his body. He wiped away a few more tears but after a while, he just let them fall onto the pillow he was cuddling with.
Jack laughed and rolled onto his back. He looked up at the blank ceiling. He didn't care that there was nothing covering the ceiling or hanging from it. All he cared was that there was a roof over his head. All he cared was that North had just giving him a room all his own without ever asking Jack in advance. North had just decided one day that he was going to give Jack a room in his home. North had just decided one day that he wanted to share his home with Jack. It seemed too good to be true. Jack shook his head, rolled over, and buried his face in the pillow he had under his head.
He didn't want to think too much about it. What if it was too good to be true? What if there was some ulterior motive behind all of this? Jack squeezed the pillow tighter to his chest and pulled the covers over his head.
"Don't think about it," he told himself. "It's not like that. He does care about you. He does care about you."
He squinted to keep the tears at bay but it was a futile attempt. Jack kept repeating it over and over again "He does care about you. He does care about you." but he could not bring himself to believe it. For centuries, the Guardians hadn't cared about him. The Sandman had interacted with Jack before he had been chosen, but it was always nighttime somewhere in the world and Sandy would have to leave almost as soon as he came and years would often go by before Jack ever saw him again. Jack told himself it was because Sandy was busy but something in the back of his mind would tell him it was because the Sandman had forgotten all about him or worse, Sandy just didn't want to be around Jack. Jack had often cried on Sandy's shoulder and told him about his problems and Jack was sure he'd annoyed him with it.
Jack squeezed his eyes tighter, squeezed the pillow tighter, curled into a tight ball, ground his teeth hissing that North did care, that Sandy did care, that the Guardians all cared about him, that anyone cared about him but he couldn't bring himself to honestly believe it. Jack dug his face deeper into his pillow so that no one could hear him cry. He wanted desperately to run out the door, find North and beg him to promise that he cared. Beg him to promise that there was no other reason for his gift other than wanting Jack to be happy. Beg him to promise he hadn't given Jack the room just to keep an eye on Jack and make sure he wasn't screwing anything up because Jack had messed up Easter before and North probably didn't want Jack ruining Christmas too.
But Jack couldn't go to North. He didn't want to whine and cry and bother North. He wasn't going to risk looking like a selfish needy brat in front of North.
Jack rolled around trying to get comfortable while still clinging one of his pillows to his chest. He wept silently until he finally fell asleep.
I have dozens upon dozens of plot bunnies for Rise of the Guardians, but this Is the fanfiction that I seem to be making the most progress with (God, I hope I didn't just jinx it by saying that lol) so I decided I'd upload the first chapter. I currently have the first five chapters finished, so what I'm going to try and do is update the next chapter every time I finish a new one (for example, I'll upload chapter 2 as soon as I finished chapter 6).
Hope you enjoy!