Okay, this is JUST and EXPERIMENT (I also kinda have writer's block...you should go read Kindred Spirit after this). If I receive a bunch of love I'll continue (actually I'll add on to it whether anyone likes it or not), but please let me know how you feel about it! This is only a sort of prologue; the actual story I want to write like this takes place three hundred years after the movie(which didn't happen in this AU).
You know, this is really long...maybe I should've cut it down... Anyway, enjoy(or not)! BTW, pictures of the landscape/original workshop can be found at the RotG wikia on the North's workshop page. Just look for outside views of the place; you'll find it.
Update 4/15/13: Fixed some stuff that was bothering me; sorry for those of you that thought it was a new chapter (which I plan on updating soon).
DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING!
The London sky is historically clear, allowing the people below to witness a rare and beautiful sunset. Though many are glued to the glass-screens and paying more attention to the forecast for tomorrow than admiring Mother Nature's current spectacle. But one figure stands well away from the gathered crowd; tattered blue hood of a worn sweater pulled up to shadow his features. The loner's hands lie folded in the pocket, ironically trying to keep them warm even though his feet are bare.
Suddenly bored, he turns sharply to leave but pauses as the wind carries a tid-bit of the meteorologist's prediction to his hidden ears.
"…expect the temperature to drop a few degrees overnight; cloud cover moving in and staying for a cup of midnight tea but not long enough to drop anything more than a dusting across the city. As for the morning commute…"
"Dusting?!" a voice calls from the depths of the blue cloth. The people around him ignore the indignant cry, drifting away now that they have what they need. The irked being storms up to the glass, the air around him sinking to just below the freezing mark.
"You think that I'm going to just give you a flurry now and move on?" Infuriated sapphire eyes glare at the machinery and frost erupts from the place he pokes the screen. "I'll show you a dusting," he growls before jumping into the air and rocketing to hover miles above the bustling European city. The force of propelling himself against gravity rips the hood back, revealing snow white hair and skin too pale to be warm and alive.
Checking on the position of the storm he'd prepared earlier, Jack closes his eyes and searches for his inner cold. Building it up, he calls upon Wind to roll the clouds in. His friend, sensing his anger, begins to push the gray mass too fast. But Jack stops it, telling Wind to follow the silly mortal's prediction; that this way they'll be even more surprised when Jack proves them wrong.
Wind happily complies, loving how smart its Jackie Boy is. So Wind lazily blows on the little storm, moving it slowly across the northern Atlantic Ocean. It isn't until just past midnight that Jack deems the placement perfect and slips inside the clouds he personally made hours ago. Still charging up his inner freezing, he draws the extra water in the atmosphere around him into the cloud; weighing it down even more.
The vapor Jack's floating in darkens considerably; nearly turning black. A satisfied smile creeps onto his face, and he sinks out of the condensed fog. Flying just underneath it, he releases just enough of his cold to coat the entire underbelly of the storm, which is so laded with moisture that a few stray snowflakes start to fall.
"Ah ah ahh," he chides gently as he sends them back into the cloud. "Not yet, be patient."
The climate drops another few degrees, and Jack finds it becoming difficult to hold back the mini-blizzard he's created. Maybe he should've brought his staff…
No! he scolds himself. After six hundred years, he doesn't need his staff for everything, just the big stuff. Making frost, flying, and directing snow storms he can do just fine on his own.
But this is a big flurry…
And I should be able to control it without assistance, he tells himself. Besides, it's too late to fetch it now.
More precipitation tries to sneak past him, and he pushes it back again.
"Almost there, just hang on for a couple more minutes," he soothes, trying to pacify the antsy storm. But it doesn't want to wait. It wants to let go; to rid itself of these heavy but beautiful flakes of ice. Jack dashes to the east side of the city, shaking with the strain of controlling the monster and with excitement.
Turning to face west, he gathers Wind behind him and murmurs one word:
Diving at an angle, he streaks to where the full moon's beginning to set; fully releasing his chilling force as he whips through the city. Wind screams how fun this is in his ears as snowflakes plunge out of the sky with him. Jack whoops in success as most of the humans out at this early morning hour scurry to find cover or protect their faces.
"Does thirteen inches sound like a dusting to you?" he shouts, happily buzzing around and directing random flakes. "This should teach you not to predict Jack Frost!"
North Pole, many hours earlier
Symphonic music blasts from hidden speakers and the big man himself hums along, large hands delicately carving a gigantic block of ice into something he imagined minutes before. Pushing away from the desk, he nearly runs over several elves, which reminds him—
"Vhere are my cookies?" he shouts, and multiple bells jingling paints a very pleasant picture in his mind, drawing a chuckle deep from his belly. Which should be full of sweets…
A plate of his favorites is produced in front of his face, with a few appearing to be gnawed on. Elves are easy to find, not very smart, but nonetheless good little workers. At least, that's what he tells them.
Picking one up that looks relatively intact, he's just about to shove the baked dough in his mouth when the ground—no, the workshop—shudders; and a very not-good sounding crack resounds through the tense air. A waiting-silence fills the atmosphere after words, and North quickly stands, grabbing his twin sabers and flinging his door open. He automatically heads for the Globe Room, because all bad things seem to happen there.
Stepping over (and on) the gathered elves, he shoves aside an idle yeti to get to the control panel.
…And nothing is wrong. No lights area rapidly extinguishing, Manny isn't demanding his attention, everything is…normal. Well, as normal as a magical workshop full of mythical creatures can be.
But then the shaking resumes, and more than one deafening crash follows.
"Vhat is going on?" North shouts, not liking this invisible enemy. He looks to his chief yeti, who shrugs and gargles something in his home tongue.
"Somevon find out vhat is wrong!" he commands; another sickening crack accompanying his raised voice. An idea suddenly blasting through his brain, he rushes to the windows and peers out.
"By ze Moon…" he murmurs; blue eyes wide as he watches another chunk of ice fall away from his workshop and shatter loudly in the fog below. "Hit the Light!" he orders the gray yeti, who pulls the mahogany handle up before pressing it down. The aurora boreal arc across the sky, spreading out so to be seen for miles around and effectively crying for help.
North Pole, twenty minutes later
"You, make sure zhat is secure!" North cries, the sword in his right hand whistling over the heads of the frantic elves. Idly, he imagines how he—and more specifically they—would live if they were normal height…
He'd have to paint his whole workshop red.
"Oi, North!" a thick Australian accent calls, and a six foot (seven counting the ears) gray rabbit dashes around a pair of yetis carrying magically enhanced beams out the door. "What in bloody hell's going on 'ere? I nearly fell through the ice on me way up!"
North's lips twitch; and he turns to face his friendly rival.
"Bunny, I vish I knew," the Russian replies, stepping forward so he's not having to shout over the commotion.
"Well if ya don't know, why'd ya call us in?"
"Seriously North; not all of us have days—no, weeks—off," a musically feminine voice agrees, and the owner flits into view; a blue-green cloud of her miniatures floating around her. "Am I right Sandy?" she continues as the golden man drops down, disintegrating his jet back into grains of sand. He nods in her direction, the forms a picture of cracking ice above his head with a question mark next to it.
"Yes Sandy, I know about ze ice," North says, leading the way back to the Globe Room. "But vhat I don't know is vhy it is melting."
"Well that's obvious," the Easter Bunny snorts. "It's too warm. That's what ice does when it's too hot." And under his breath, he mutters, "And good riddance."
"But zis is North Pole! It does not get varm!"
"Well, apparently it is," Tooth points out, hovering by the window and watching as the workers try to keep more ice from plunging down the chasm. From her view, she can distantly see patches of water shifting under its thin frozen form. "What'll you do if this keeps up? Christmas is too close for you to move anywhere."
"Zhat is vhy I called you here!" the red man cries. "I need your help to keep Workshop stable until after holiday."
"Believe me when I say this," Bunny says as the building groans and shudders. "One architect t'another; this isn't going to last another month, let alone 'till Christmas."
North sighs, head dropping. "I thought same thing. But vhat can I do; Christmas is right around corner, I can not disappoint ze children."
Toothiana drifts forward and places a dainty hand on the big man's shoulder, smiling sympathetically. "Don't worry, we'll figure something out, right g—"
Sandy suddenly jumps into the air, mouth open in a silent cry of happiness. Bright gold eyes locked on hopeful blue ones; he makes a sand model of a boy in a tattered jacket and even more worn pants above his head. He holds a thin staff with a crook at the top in his left hand, and a ball of some sorts in the other. The hood is pulled up to hide his eyes, but a mischievous smile can be seen painting his youthful face. Tooth gasps in recognition, violet eyes lighting up with desire.
"Jack Frost," Bunny spits the name out, glaring at the representation. "'Ow did I know you'd think 'o him?"
"Of course!" North shouts, smacking his head. "Vhy did I not think of zis? Ve must find ze boy!"
"Are ya sure there isn'a different winter spirit?" Bunny calls after the gift-giver, who had thrown open his doors and is making his way to the sleigh room. "Like maybe Old Man Winter? He's around, ain't he?"
"Jack Frost is Old Man Winter," Tooth says joyously, darting after North.
Bunny's shoulders sag, and he hops despondently after Sandman. "This day can't get any worse."
"I vouldn't be so sure, Bunny," Nicolas shouts, climbing into his machine. "Last I heard; Jack vas dumping snow on London and heading to Antarctica."
"Great," the rabbit groans. "I'll check London, you go 'head with Antarctica."
"You're not taking the sleigh?" Tooth asks, sitting patiently in the back.
Bunny stares meaningfully at the fairy. "If I'm goin' to that frozen wasteland, I'll be takin' my own transportation."
Tooth frowns as he disappears down one of his tunnels.
"What's with him?" she asks, and Sandy shrugs as North bursts out laughing.
Antarctica, Present Hour
Jack spirals through the air down to his icy home; still laughing about his prank in London. Wind sings along with him, enjoying the happiness it gets to share with its Boy. Bare feet touching down, he sighs in pleasure as the cold embraces him, telling him everything. Connecting with the ice; divulging into its secrets had taken only a bit of practice, he'd mastered the art of sensing things through his frozen art in only half a century. Practically the blink of an eye.
A bit of melting in the south quarter, curse Global Warming; it's been making his job so much harder. His staff is still where he buried it, though a very large person is wandering through his wonderland right over top of it—
Wait, wait, wait; hold up. Who the hell is in his domain right now?
The ice tells him whoever it is, he isn't human.
Another spirit. Jack frowns. He hasn't played any particular joke on a fellow spirit in at least twenty years (actually, it's probably thirteen, but who's counting?), but one may have gotten caught in his gags with the humans…
Smiling devilishly, he whispers to Wind, "It seems our fun isn't over yet."
Wind dances around him, tugging at his clothes as Jack calls to the clouds overhead that are already pregnant with the conditions needed for a blizzard. Telling them to release, he watches in satisfaction as a solid wall of gray barrels his way.
I just love a good snow storm, he sighs as the white-out envelopes him. Moving through it without hesitation, he easily finds the floundering spirit that had so fool heartedly wandered into his territory.
Not even looking at the intruder, he calls up the snow beneath the interloper's feet and wraps it all the way up to his knees, effectively trapping him in place. A frightened shriek echoes suddenly, and Jack backs a step away. Isn't the being he just caught a male?
A second pressure soon lands on the snow, and Jack nods absently. Two spirits; one a flier and one a walker. The rapidly falling snow must be weighing down the other's wings. Good thing he decided this snow should be wet; dry snow would've just fallen off rather than clump.
Wind draws his attention elsewhere, pointing out that a portion of the air isn't being blessed with his flakes of art. Not even Wind can get inside.
"Well, what is it?" Jack asks, frowning again. Three immortal beings, here, at one time? Impossible. Coincidences like that just don't happen; not to him.
Focusing on the area that Wind is talking about, he sharpens the snow, turning it into sleet. Pounding against the strangely resilient floating box on all sides, it doesn't take long for the shield to be dropped.
Moving quicker than the lightning he sometimes plays with, he darts up to the creature with a ready-made blade of clear ice. Pressing the knife to his victim's throat, he clears the immediate air between them to get a look at the face of the soon-to-be-maimed spirit.
Wide gold eyes set into a round, tan face peer back, and snow clings to the five points of gold that the immortal's hair's been styled into. A flag made of sand waves above his head; obviously a sign of peace.
Jack blinks, unable to believe what he sees. There has got to be a misunderstanding…
"Sandman?" he asks slowly, uncertainty laced in his voice. But the weapon does not waver, staying solidly against the killing point.
A war cry echoes to his right, and a blue blur speeds the pair's way. Twitching the hand not holding the dream maker hostage, he flings a wave of innocent-looking snow at the attacker. The two forces collide, and the snow encompasses the petite figure, pinning her limbs to her side. With a screech of fury, she collapses to the ground.
"Tooth?" Jack is quickly realizing this wasn't the best way to deal with these intruders, but they are trespassing. Absentmindedly stomping his foot to freeze some animal running around below the ice, he drags Sandy back to where the first spirit was caught; though he already knows who's going to be there.
"Good m-morning Jack!" North tries to smile through his snow-beard. "I hope ve are not interrupting."
Jack does not return the happy facial expression; instead he releases his captive and impatiently waves away the storm.
"Why are you all here? I haven't done anything to bother you lately," he says, eyes flickering between the three Guardians while twirling his switchblade naturally between his fingers.
North shakes out his clothes as Sandy brushes off Tooth. "Vell," the Russian says, pulling his feet free. "You see, ze N—"
"Where's Bunny?" Tooth cuts in, back to hovering in the sky. "He should be back from checking on London now…"
"Oops," Jack utters before flicking his wrist and opening a hole in the ice. A gray mass darts out before it closes, crouching a few feet away and shivering violently.
"What in bloody hell did ya do that for?" the freezing Pooka cries, emerald eyes glaring at the winter elemental. "I could'a died!"
Jack rolls his eyes. "What do you want; before I decide this snow needs replenishing."
The three higher spirits glance to the man in red, and he shuffles his feet.
"Ve need your help Jack," he says solemnly. "Ze North Pole is melting."
Jack stares at him for a full minute before doubling over in laughter.
"What's so funny?" Bunny growls. "This isn'a some joke, we're tellin' the truth."
"I just think it's hilarious that you guys came all the way here to tell me something I already know!" Jack gasps, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand as freezing rain leaks out of them.
"Wait, you know?" Tooth asks, flitting closer.
"Of course I do!" Jack replies indignantly. "I am Winter personified."
"How long?" North cuts in, frowning deeply.
Jack shrugs. "Eh, it's been awhile now…but it really started disappearing about a century ago—"
"That's a hundred years!" Bunny cries. "Why didn'ya fix it sooner?!"
"Fix it sooner?" Jack repeats, the air around him plummeting. "Because of me it's still there! If I'd have left it alone it would've melted completely forty years ago!"
"Then vhy is it still melting now?" North butts in again.
Jack sighs explosively, pacing away and pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Because there's only so much I can do from a distance," he finally answers.
"A distance? Vhy be far avay if you need to be close?" the ex-thief continues, confusion plain on his features.
The white-haired teen before him clenches his teeth. "I can't get near it with your freaking yetis in the way! Trust me, I've tried!"
Enlightenment crosses the faces of all those present.
"Ahh," Tooth sighs. "They keep chasing you out, huh?"
Jack throws his head back to stare at the milky sky. "I'm talking to a bunch of idiots."
North smiles. "Vell then, problem solved! You come to Pole, fix ice, and no chasing by yetis!"
The big man turns back to his sleigh, oblivious that Jack has stayed put.
But that stops him, and he whirls around in confusion.
"I…can't," Jack enunciates slowly.
Bunny snorts. "Huh, I guess dropping a foot 'a snow in London really took it out of ya."
Jack smiles, sighing as memories float back. "Yeah, that was fun… But no! That's not what I meant!" he adds vehemently. "I mean that I could go with you and piece everything back together, but in like six hundred years or something it'll just melt all over again. And you'll find me again; I'll fix it again but then it'll erode quicker, and quicker, and every time I replace it the ice will be weaker until I can't do anything."
"Antarctica looks fine to me," North points out.
"That's cause I'm always here!" Jack exclaims, throwing his arms out. "I'm always nearby to stop the melting; to keep the ice perfect! To keep the Pole like that I'd need…I'd need…." He tries to find the perfect word, but fails.
"Unlimited access?" Tooth supplies.
"Yes!" he points at her before turning back to North. "I'd need unlimited access at the Pole to keep it in pristine condition."
The Russian shrugs. "Done."
Jack starts. "Done? That's it? No negotiating time periods; no anything? You're not going to fight me on this?"
Another shrug. "You know vhat's best for vinter, you said yourself. But you think of breaking in—"
Jack waves his hand. "That got old three hundred years ago; now there's no fun in it."
North continues to glare suspiciously, but nonetheless climbs into his sleigh anyway. "Are you coming?" he asks as he realizes the youth has turned his back on the machine.
"Nah," he calls over his shoulder, slamming his foot down and catching his staff one-handedly as it shoots out of the ice. "I think I'll fly. Besides, I got a delivery to make; India's in dire need of my presents."
Tooth giggles at the allusion, and North huffs. "Just don't be late!"
Jack smiles darkly. "Don't worry old man, I'll make my drop-off and still beat you there." With that, the spirit leaps into the air; rocketing away with only a blast of frigid air in his wake.
"Cocky bastard," Bunny mutters, climbing in beside Sandy. "I'll ride this thing just to prove 'im wrong."
North smiles back at him, flicking the reins and laughing as his frienemy clutches the seat for dear life.
The North Pole, a few minutes later
The sleigh touches down on the ice, water spraying up as the feet slip along the surface. The glacier behind them cracks, but instantly repairs itself to the wondrous eyes of the passengers.
"Geez North, did you go around a flight path or something?" Jack asks, startling the big man as he leaps onto the control panel of the machine. "I've been waiting for hours."
"Jack….I—can't see vhere…I'm going!" North gets out, trying to control the skidding transportation device. The elemental only shrugs, leaning over and dragging the crook of his staff along the slush. The reindeer's hooves suddenly receive better traction and the wild motions of the vehicle stop.
"Doesn't matter anymore." Jack hops off, landing lightly and waiting impatiently for the Guardians to clamor down. Bunny takes one look at the mixture of water and ice below and decides to stay in the sleigh.
"How much damage?" North asks a passing yeti, who grumbles a short sentence before moving on. "More ice has fallen but—" he stops as he notices that Jack isn't listening; instead standing perfectly still with his eyes closed. The temperature drops and the boy frowns.
"It's worse than I thought," he murmurs, stepping towards the ledge of the glacier that overlooks the mass of buildings that make up the workshop. "You do know that all the ice supporting this place has vanished? The only things keeping these hunks of wood from sleeping with the fishes are all the believers you've got."
North pales considerably, fear for once wining out over determination.
"It is fixable…right?" Tooth asks, hovering closer.
Jack snorts. "Duh. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't."
The fairy frowns slightly, but forces herself to perk up and comfort her friend. "See, he can mend it."
"How much breakable stuff do you have in there?" Jack asks suddenly.
"Everything," Nicolas replies immediately. "Vhy?"
"Never mind. Are all your people out?"
Jack nods, eyes flickering across the bland landscape. "Can you gather them over there?" He asks, waving to a relatively thick area of glacier material near the sleigh.
"I need them out of my way. You do like having workers, right?"
His answer comes as bellowed orders to group. It takes a few minutes for the fantasy beings to comply; time Jack spends doing a quick fly around the area of the grand palace and the ice mountains surrounding it.
"Anything you want changed?" he asks once he returns, letting the wind hold him rather than land.
North shakes his head. "I just vant zee ground to stop zee shaking."
Jack cocks an eyebrow. "You sure? Now's your time to ask for some renovations…"
"No. Just fix problem."
Jack shrugs, holding his hands up in a pacifying gesture. "Just asking."
Before any other comments can be muttered or exchanged, he shoots off to hover between the deteriorating buildings and the people gathered on the iceberg. His back to the floe, he calls up a pillar of ice just large enough for him to stand upon. Taking a deep breath, he holds it as he places the butt of his staff on the ground; right hand holding the place the crook begins and his left gripping the wood six inches below that.
The wind stills, and the Guardians pause anxiously for something, anything, to happen. Waiting has never been something they're good at; mostly because the suspense kills them.
Jack can feel their stares burning his back, but he ignores it. Blocks everything out and just listens to the ice. Feels the way it moves; bares the weight of the world and gleams in the sunlight. Senses the water far, far below that should be in its solid form, liquid that wants to be cold and hard and beautiful again. He connects his soul to the substance around him, embraces the cold and pictures what the Workshop used to look like. Imagines what it looks like now, and visualizes how to fix it. Goes through every step in his mind, perfecting every miniscule detail and glorifying the entire project.
The Big Four watch in amazement as the air shivers around the spirit before them; crackles with frozen energy tinted with electrifying blue light. Even the elves can feel the ice respond to his call; abandoning itself to his capable power.
And just when things seem incapable of getting better, Jack moves.
Slowly lifting his staff off the earth, he holds it for a second before slamming it down with such force that his staff plunges three inches into the ice. Wind screams suddenly, not entirely drowning out the sound of splintering crystal as it ushers forth a cloud of snow. Everyone is blinded instantly, unable to see two inches from their faces. Wind moans once more before the flash-storm is blown away, revealing the sight the witnesses most want to see.
The Workshop looks as if it was just erected, standing majestically and soundly on a refined icecap. The smaller buildings branching off are covered in the perfect dusting of snow, glinting marvelously in the light of the low-hanging sun. Weak yet lustrous beams from Moon dance off the replaced runway for the sleigh, seeming to approve of finished product.
Jack gently pulls his staff from the pillar, allowing the structure to disappear as he leaps from it to stand with the others. North doesn't take his eyes of the picture-perfect place presented in front of him. Jaw gapping and eyes misting over; he crushes Jack in a hug as soon as his feet touch the ground.
"I take it you like it?" the captured being gasps, struggling for a moment to free himself.
"Like it? It is perfect! Even better than old one!" the Russian exclaims, glancing down at the white-haired teen. "Thank you."
"You think so?" Jack asks, looking over his shoulder.
"Of course!" Toothiana cries, embracing him as well. "I almost wish you could do this to my palace!" Sandy vigorously nods his agreement and even Bunny looks impressed.
Tooth begins to pull away, but notices a slight purple-blue hue lighting Jack's cheek. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, it's just been awhile since I've released that much magic," Jack replies, sighing. "Actually, I feel great; like I—like I can freeze the Pacific!"
Four pairs of eyes flash to his face and he quickly adds, "Which I won't do!" And a muttered, "…anytime soon…"
"Vell, vhat are we standing around for! Let us go see vhat you have done!" North exclaims suddenly, bounding into his sleigh and flicking the reins. Sandy and Tooth take their places and Jack hangs near North's head.
"I should probably tell you—" Jack starts to say, but North cuts him off.
"No telling! I vant to see for self!"
Jack shakes his head, drifting back to the seats. "Okay, but I tried to warn you…"
But the reindeer take off then, entering the tunnel that should lead them back to the stables. But as the feet of the sleigh touch the ice, it swings around uncontrollably; hitting the new walls and jarring the old passengers. After a couple of moments, Jack decides that his point's been proven and rights the direction; helping North guide the machine back to the stables.
"Vhat vas that?" He asks as he stumbles out of it; a bit dizzy in the head.
"That is a new type of ice I've been working on," Jack informs. "It has fewer ridges and is much slicker than the regular stuff, thus speed is constantly being gained. Figured you'd like something like that."
"Ya could'a warned us!" Bunny cries, claws scrabbling as he tries to find a paw hold.
"I tried. He—" points to North "—wouldn't listen!"
"Well, is there anything else we should now about?" Tooth asks, crossing her arms.
Jack thinks for a moment before shaking his head. "Nope. That should be it."
"Should?" Bunny repeats.
"Hey, don't judge! Have you ever remade something without breaking the crap inside?"
"Hey!" North shouts indignantly; not going to let the 'crap' comment slide. The simple inquiry soon develops into an all-out war with Bunny on Jack's side; agreeing that all North's stuff is 'just as useless as snow', which infuriates the Frost spirit. Both winter beings tag-team it, at one point saying that 'eggs are only for one-time use that rot worse and smell just as bad as teeth when they get old', causing Toothiana to join the fray. Sandy, trying to be the good guy, attempts to gather their scattered concentration.
Let's just say he lost his temper, everybody got a good nap, exploring the newly rebuilt workshop was put off for another day and leave it at that.
So...that was the end. As I said above, please let me know if you liked it, hated it, or think it's the best thing ever (which would be the best thing ever!)! Love ya!