Story Title: It Snows When it's Dark Out, Too.
Summary: A collection of one-shots that take place before & after Jack became a spirit & guardian and after the defeat of Pitch Black. Revolve mostly around Jack's relationships with the big four as well as how he coped - and is still coping - with the aftereffects of being ignored for so long.
Rating: T for suggestive humor, self harm, and excessive descriptions of angst, pain, depression, mutilation, loneliness and violence. J There are spoiler alerts, since most of these are either past events that justify why something happens in the movie, or future events clarifying what happened in the movie and why. And then some :D
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, THIS FANFICTION IS NOT WRITTEN FOR PROFIT, MAINLY OUT OF BOREDOM AND FOR THE HECK OF IT. |:
Chapter One: ~Bunnymund, Jack, and Pitch~ Remembering '68
Chapter Song: Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls
When Jack woke up on that late Easter morning, not only was he clueless as to what day it was, but he was also clueless as to how he'd ended up on the frozen lake in the first place. He couldn't remember falling asleep there, though nowadays his memory was one of his least helpful attributes; he was constantly forgetting things and the ones that he'd been able to remember became tangled and jumbled. Still on his side, he looked at his reflection in the ice that covered the waters from which he was reborn. Judging by the long streaks on his face where gleaming frost had accumulated, the winter spirit had gathered that he'd been crying; the white glistening frost first outlined the bottom of his eye, where the tears gathered before finally spilling out, and continued to stream down his blue blushing cheeks. It was clear to him that he'd been crying for a while, after noticing how many different trails of tears there were that the frost covered; but as to whether or not he cried himself asleep or cried while asleep, he couldn't say.
A tired, exhausted moan escaped Jack's blue lips. His entire body ached, feeling drained for some odd reason, and he hadn't slept well at all. This was because in his sleep, Jack was many things. He was livid. He was lonely. He was confused. He was many things. And they all just overlapped each other, the bitter loneliness trying to overpower the dizzying confusion, the dizzying confusion trying to override the wrathful resentment he held towards himself and his existence. He could feel himself tossing and turning on the slippery ice, thoughts invading his sleeping mind infesting his dreams.
Why am I even here if no one can see me?
Why can't anyone see me? Do they choose not to?
Was I just put here to make it snow in the winter?
Why did the moon only tell me my name? Couldn't he have told me more?
Did he choose not to because he wants to watch how much I'm lost without the answers?
I know I'm not alone, but where are the others? Are they avoiding me? Why?
What am I supposed to do? Why can't I leave? Am I supposed to figure it out on my own?
Is this all just some joke? Is he just doing this to make me feel this way? Why?
These were questions that ate at him for nearly 150 years (though he couldn't remember exactly how long if he tried), and he thought that he would grow used to them by now. After he'd shaken off the rest of his drowsiness, he picked himself up from the ground, only to regret falling asleep in the first place. First of all, Jack had somehow managed to create a huge blizzard in the surrounding area - in his sleep - possibly caused by the relentless questions and nightmares that led him to cry in the first place. But the fact that he could bring on a raging blizzard simply by not controlling his emotions well enough wasn't necessarily what made him want to regret ever falling asleep. Jack (albeit shakily) swiftly swooped up his staff from the ground and positioned it defensively, ready to attack the tall figure as it slowly emerged from the white background.
It was Jack's first up-close encounter with E. Aster Bunnymund; otherwise known as the Easter Bunny.
And he looked ticked.
Jack remembered when he first met Bunny a long time ago, though he knew not of his name or his purpose. And technically, he didn't formally meet him. He spotted him from a distance, thinking at first that he was some sort of creature because the darkness of the night had shielded most of his features, sort of like what the snow was doing to him now. He flew over to say hello, but noticing something was flying over to him, the Bunny fled. Jack saw him fall through the ground, leaving only a bright colored flower to show where he was just standing. After that, the winter spirit didn't know what to think, the confusion and irritation later carved into the soft skin of his wrists. They'd become frosted over as well.
The 6"1 Pooka loomed over Jack in an intimidating manner, causing the winter spirit to take a cautious step back. He could barely make out the bunny's expression, mainly because his fur was speckled with snowflakes and the constant gusts of snow-infused wind kept blocking him out, but he could feel the rage emitting from the Guardian like a fire emitted heat.
"Well, if it isn't Jack Frost," he spoke with a thick Australian accent as well as an impatient, stern voice. "Just what do ya think you're doin', mate?"
Jack blinked a few times. "Y…you-you know my name?" I've never met this guy - well, bunny - before in my life! He thought. How does he know me?
"A'course I do! We all know it… Hey, ya must be the newbie that Tooth was talking 'bout! The one with the really white teeth," he paused briefly to inspect the teeth inside of the agape mouth. "Wow, they really do sparkle like freshly fallen snow… crikey, kid…"
"We-we all-? You mean there's others? I'm not the only one!?" a rift inside of Jack had begun to fill with joy, completely disregarding the other rambling that Bunny had added to that sentence. "All this time I thought I was alone!" he was so giddy that he'd barely noticed the bunny take an threatening step forward.
"I made a bet with North that you'd be a troublesome lil' bugger," The words were dripping with loathing.
"Looks to me like I won,"
Without warning, Bunny withdrew one of his boomerangs and chucked it at him full force, Jack barely having time to react and dodge it. "Wha-? Hey, what gives?! What's your problem?!" he shouted, ducking in time for the boomerang to go over his head once more and back into the paw of its owner. Bunnymund, having taken offense to both of these questions, hopped towards the boy nimbly and grabbed the collar of his old-style shirt, pulling him close so that they were face to face.
"My problem's all around ya, mate," he growled aggressively. "You're the one who created this bloody blizzard on my Easter! You just ruined Easter for all the lil' anklebiters who live 'ere!" Bunny shook Jack for emphasis.
Oh, I get it now! Jack thought to himself as the Pooka continued to blabber, unaware that Jack was no longer listening. He's the Easter Bunny! Why did I not get that earlier? Wait, does that mean… His thoughts became his words, interrupting the Easter Bunny with a hopeful voice.
"Wait, so does that mean you're all real?"
Bunny seemed taken aback. "Wha-what was that?"
"You are the Eater Bunny, right?"
"Well, what's it look like, ya gumby?" he asked, dropping back onto the ice and inspecting one of his boomerangs. "Though I go by Bunny, if you must know. Crikey, I almost forgot how clueless you were,"
Jack wasted no time standing up and resuming his questioning. "So that means that Santa Claus is real too?"
"A-and the Tooth Fairy?"
Again, Jack was ignored, the Bunny smugly and intentionally disregarding his presence and meticulously wiping clean his boomerang.
Hey, are you even listening to me?"
"Can't say I am, Frostbite. But ya must be used to being ignored by now, ain't ya?"
Jack stumbled backward. The words tore him apart.
"What? You don't like that, do ya? Well I hate to break it to ya, mate, but you ain't ever gonna be seen, by anyone! 'Cause, ya see, no one believes in you. No one cares."
"Stop it!" Jack shouted loudly, startling Bunnymund and causing the blizzard to howl and intensify tenfold. "Blimey, kid, you're really startin' to push your luck."
"Likewise, Cottontail." Bunny shot him a disbelieving look. And as scared as Jack was, he sparked the fire that eventually led to their everlasting feud, not really thinking about what was coming out of his mouth.
"Look, I didn't know that your precious egg hunt was today," his voice, previously full of enthusiasm and excitement, now contained nothing but sarcasm and anger. "But I promise you that if I knew beforehand, I wouldn't have brought on this blizzard. I would've brought on the next ice age instead!"
"Oh, that's it, ya damn pest! Com 'ere!" The Bunny ran towards him full speed. Not knowing what else to do, Jack jumped into the air, the wind lifting him up and eager to take him wherever he pleased. The South Pole, take me to the South Pole! His mind screamed, and the wind propelled him toward his destination as fast as it could.
It took less then half an hour to reach the South Pole - that alone revealed how eager he was to get away from the psychotic bunny who clearly needed to learn how to loosen up. Catching his breath, he landed on a clearing beside his favorite glacier, his hands and legs shaking and his heart racing. There had been others? This whole time? And they were… ignoring me? No… making fun of me because other people can't see me? And people can see them?He thought to himself as he faced the giant glacier, pausing for a second as he heard a whoosh sound behind him. He turned around just in time to have something gray ram into his chest and slam him against the sheet white glacier, his staff slipping from his hands in the process. The impact left him stunned and out of breath, and it really didn't help matters when something clasped tightly around his throat and held him up against the glacier.
"Going so soon, mate? I can't say I'll ever understand why the Man in the Moon granted someone like you immortality, but it sure does irk me,"
"Well… you and…me both, Whiskers…" Jack, despite his current position, smirked slyly as the sarcastic, choked words somehow escaped his lips. But his thought process went a little something like this: I can't breathe. I can't breathe. Wait, is that the Easter Bunny? I can't breathe. How did he find me? I can't breathe. Did he just come up from the ground? I can't breathe. Is he gonna kill me just 'cuz of some blizzard I accidentally made? I made the thing in my sleep! Cut me some slack! That's no fair- I can't breathe!
"Oh, I've got a feeling that I'll be buttin' heads with you more often, Frost. So jus' stay away from me, got it? And while you're at it, stay away from all of us. The last thing we need around is a troublemaker like you."
"Aw.. that's no fun…" he managed to say, though his head was pounding and his eyesight was becoming blurry.
"Yeah, well it won't be for you, mate,that I guarantee you,"
The bunny was going to continue, but a sharp, cold pain began to creep up his right arm. Jack's frost, which slowly formed from the palms of the small, pale hands that were trying to pry Bunnymund's paw from his neck, had crawled up the bunny's arm and begun to turn into ice; it was magic frost after all. With a brief yelp of surprise, he dropped the boy and began to break and rip the ice off his arm. Jack fell on his knees, coughing uncontrollably until he could properly breathe again. When he could, he grabbed hold of his staff and looked up to see that Bunny was plucking the last of the ice off of the gauntlets on his arm.
"What's the matter, Cottontail?" he asked with a now raspy, hoarse voice, "Don't like the cold?" he asked before shooting him with a blast of snow from his staff. Whilst the bunny was shaking it out of his fur, Jack took this opportunity to flee the South Pole. He flew up into the air and flew over the ocean, where he knew that the Bunny couldn't possibly come up from the ground unless he had a death wish. He was aimlessly hovering for what had to be at least three hours or so. He could fly over there all day, so long as the wind took all the tears that fell from his eyes and the blood that dripped from his wrist, and whisked them away somewhere only he would find them. Both were eventually dropped by the wind and lost in the ocean, just as Jack was lost until he felt it safe to land.
~After '68, at the Tooth Palace~
"Wait, is that Jack Frost?" Pitch questioned, walking around the ornate, floating chamber and shooting the winter spirit a quizzical look before disappearing once more. "Since when are you all so chummy?"
Jack was hesitant to respond to the villain at first, but gripped his staff tighter and decided it'd be best, as he searched all around him for where he could have gone.
"So you're like a neutral party?" the voice asked not too far behind him. Jack flipped around to see Pitch nonchalantly strolling and weaving through the golden structure. He sounded almost bored.
"Then, I'm going to ignore you…" He pointed to Jack before turning around and continuing his sentence.
He chuckled slightly. "But you must be used to that," Jack took a shaky step back, his anger slightly dampened by the sickening amount of pain and truth in his words; they tore him apart. He slightly lowered his staff, the comment reminding him of what he really was: invisible. But the comment only made Bunny angrier. Bunnymund remembered what happened the year of '68, when he taunted the poor boy for being unseen by anyone, which caused him to have an outburst and only feed to the blizzard.
" Hey, are you even listening to me?" His voice was angry and confused.
"Can't say I am, Frostbite. But ya must be used to being ignored by now, ain't ya?"
Even at the North Pole not twenty minutes ago, he'd said this him, knowing it was his weak point, knowing that it would eventually cause him to break, or at least stop talking.
"But they don't believe in you, do they? You see, you're invisible, mate. It's like you don't even exist."
But after seeing how hurt the young boy was when Pitch said the words, he saw it. Jack's face was, for a second or two, distorted with sadness and anger. The words tore Jack apart.
And this time, Bunnymund wasn't the one doing it.
For whatever reason, knowing this made him feel ticked.
"Pitch! You shadow-sneakin' ratbag, come 'ere!" he hopped speedily toward the nightmare king, briefly grabbing Jack by the shoulder once he passed the spirit and ensuring that he was behind him before lunging toward Pitch. He was fueled by only two things: the hatred he had for Pitch for saying those hurtful words to Jack, and the hatred he had for himself, for ever making the kid feel like a waste of space in the first place.
Bunny swore to himself that once this was all over and behind them, he would never say things like that to Jack again. And, if he could bring himself to do so, he would try to apologize. That is, if he could bring himself to say the words, the words that would probably mend Jack together again.
Author's Note: You will notice, if you watch the Tooth Palace Scene very carefully, that Bunny briefly grabs Jack on the shoulder and pulls him back before charging for Pitch (even though he was probably using him for leverage or something like that, but hey, I'm just being creative; that or I've been drugged… Mneh, either way). You'll also notice how smugly Bunny looks at him after saying "But they don't believe in you, do they? You see, you're invisible, mate. It's like you don't even exist." because he knows he can get the best of him through saying stuff like this. I decided to make a little thing relating to why Bunny seemed so defensive after Pitch said those things to Jack :/ the text might not be exact though, but I don't have the movie yet, I'm forced to go over to my friend's house if I want to watch it, so… :) will edit later.
If you would like a second shot of this certain event, say, of Bunny apologizing, then just ask. I try to take requests, I do violence, sadness, no slash or lemon. Sorry, I just cant write those :/