When Easter was ruined in movie, Bunny nearly punched Jack but didn't. What if he had punched Jack? What if he didn't stop at just punching Jack?
Bunny beats Jack, really badly. The other Guardians do nothing to help Jack or stop Bunny. They have essentially lost their last hope of winning and Jack is to blame, so they allow it but don't participate. Jack manages to put some distance between himself and Bunny and runs off to the arctic to recover.
Now Jack fears the Guardians, especially Bunny. He still helps defeat Pitch in the final battle but after that vanishes into the night. Some months afterward, the Guardians realize that they went too far and look for Jack to apologize. Jack runs like the devil himself is nipping at his heels.
++++Jack has a scar from when Bunny beat him, and its somewhere visible.
++++++When Jack shows up for the final battle, he's recovered from the more serious injuries, but is still covered in bruises.
++++During the final battle, Jack is trembling. Only Pitch realizes that Jack isn't trembling in fear of him, but in fear of the Guardians.
++Jack rejects Guardianship.
++++++++Sandy is the one who kicked the Guardians butts into gear when he learned of what they did to Jack. He's severely disappointed in them.
++++After another failed attempt to catch Jack and talk to him, Pitch appears and taunts Bunny with his mistake.
+++++++In his desperation to escape the Guardians, Jack would do things that could lead to his serious injury(Like fly up into the sun, because they would be blinded and he could slip away in the glare. Get creative) and sometimes actually succeeds in hurting himself.
"No you don't understand! Listen to me!" Jack beseeched. He took in the desolate sight of kids walking through Bunnymund with defeated slumped shoulders and felt the weight of his mistake slam into his chest. "…I'm sorry." Jack breathed.
Bunny didn't take kindly to that. He marched straight up to Jack and punched him in the face. Jack looked stricken and gingerly traced his jaw. Bunny huffed angrily and punched Jack again.
"We should never have trusted you!" He bellowed as Jack tumbled to the ground. "You messed everything up! Easter is new beginnings! New life! Now it's gone because of you!" Bunny continued screaming and ranting as he towered over Jack. Jack was too scared to move; Bunny was scaring him. Jack knew he crossed a line, but even in his wildest dreams Jack never thought Bunny would hurt him. Bicker; sure, maybe even roughhouse a bit, but Jack never thought Bunny would straight up try to kill him.
Jack was horribly wrong. The first few punches Jack took like a man; he screwed up so Bunny was in the right. But Bunny started doing more than punching. He pummeled Jack's face in until it was blacker than Pitch's robes. A few of Jack's teeth got knocked loose and that's when Jack got truly terrified, because while Tooth flinched at the loss of his teeth, she didn't step in to help. Bunny started to forgo punching and started using his teeth and claws—anyone who thought rabbits couldn't out claw a cat was an idiot—and Jack got a few new scars to add to his collection.
Jack pleaded with Bunny to stop, and when that didn't work he turned to the other two guardians. He begged, beseeched, cried for them to help, but North turned his eyes full of wonder away and Tooth fretted more over his teeth than Jack himself. They wouldn't help; they blamed him. Pitch was right; Jack messed everything up.
Now knowing help would not come, Jack realized he had to help himself. He clawed at the ground to find enough purchase to get up and run. Bunny stopped Jack's futile resistance by smashing his delicate hands with his furry fists. With Jack's hands both broken, he abandoned his scramble for freedom and instead used his useless limbs to shield his face. It didn't matter one lick to Bunny; he was too blinded by his rage to realize the Frostbite was dying.
That scared Jack more than anything else in his life. No one cared that Jack was losing blood fast. No one would care if he lived or died. No one would mourn the stupid winter spirit that ruined Easter. If Jack died now, he would be forgotten almost immediately. No one would bat an eyelash. Jack panicked. He didn't want to die! In a surge of adrenaline, he bucked Bunny off of him, grabbed his staff—which had been lost in the scuffle—and bolted out of the glen of broken eggs and shattered hopes.
No one followed him.
Jack rode the wind all the way to Antarctica; not giving any thought to the hotter climates he had to cross to get there. The equator did more damage to his already splitting skin and Jack couldn't find it in himself to care. He absently gazed at his hands—they bore the brunt of Bunny's rage—and noted detachedly that they would scar over. Most of Jack's scars came from his attempts to defend himself—no one else would do it for him apparently—shielding his face saved Jack from more obvious disfiguration. Nevertheless, Jack still sustained heavy injury. Jack lost several teeth—Tooth could have told him which ones—he broke his ribs in five different places, his hands were both bending in unnatural ways, and that didn't account for all the bruising, cuts and bloodohgodsomuchblood! Jack did what he could to stop the bleeding and being in a place of absolute cold helped a great deal. The snow was like clay that he could mold into skin that wasn't there and was also a soothing balm for the pain.
Once Jack calmed down and broke the haze of shock that descended on him, it dawned on him that Bunny could have—would have—killed him. That shook Jack up in more ways than he would've liked. Jack could feel himself spiraling deeper and deeper into despair; he could see the shadows of insanity creeping in the corners of his eyes. Jack was almost grateful to see Pitch standing there with a sympathetic gaze; it gave him something to focus on other than the dark thoughts swirling in his head.
"I knew they would be angry, but I never expected this." Pitch murmured while tracing the bruises still healing on Jack's face. Jack recoiled back from the touch and attacked Pitch with the fervor of a wounded animal. Pitch used his blackened sand to negate Jack's frost, but did nothing to strike back. Finally Jack wound down from his frenzy, but kept a tight grip on his staff.
"What do you want?" He asked with a quiver. "You proved your point! I mess everything up; I get it! You don't have to stick around anymore!"
Pitch didn't look smug; in fact he looked almost sorry. "What have they done to you, boy?" he whispered. "To make you tremble with fear at their very mention?"
"You know what happened! I ruined Easter and got what was coming!" Jack cried. "Now go away! Leave me alone!"
Pitch looked critically at Jack before sighing. He saw the desperation in Jack's eyes and knew the boy was lashing out to protect himself. Pitch knew that tactic well. He took no offence to Jack's attempts to push the Nightmare King away. Pitch relented with another hefty sigh.
"…Fine. I'll leave you alone. But first let me give you something." Pitch said. He offered Baby Tooth to Jack; she was curled up in a ball and quivering with fear, but otherwise fine.
"Baby Tooth!" Jack gasped. He darted for the little fairy and grabbed her from Pitch. Pitch didn't move to stop him. "…Thanks." Jack begrudgingly muttered.
"Think of it as an apology. The rabbit went too far." Pitch sniffed. "The lights are fading fast, Jack. You might want to decide where your loyalties lie soon."
With that ominous word of advice, Pitch disappeared into the shadows beneath the ice. Now that Pitch was gone, Jack focused his efforts on Baby Tooth. She peered up at him with relief and gratefulness. She twittered about and hovered over him as she checked his injuries. Baby Tooth keened at the absence of Jack's teeth and Jack had a field day keeping her from hunting Pitch down and making him pay for the loss of such perfect bicuspids. Jack assured her Pitch had nothing to do with his beating, but wouldn't say who was.
Jack eventually settled down in the snow again to speed up his recovery. Baby Tooth snuggled up in his hoodie pocket for warmth. She twittered to Jack in soothing tones when he suddenly burst into tears. Baby Tooth saw jack's memory box and thought it would be a great way to distract her new friend. She heaved it out of the pocket and activated the memories inside. Jack was hesitant to look—they were the reason he abandoned Easter after all—but ultimately decided they were his memories and he could look at them if he so skittishly peered inside and was lost in a trance for a few moments.
What he saw was never revealed to Baby Tooth, but she didn't really mind what the memories were if they made Jack smile like that. His smile seemed brighter; like he had a new purpose. Even with the loss of most of his teeth, Jack's smile was the most beautiful thing Baby Tooth had ever seen. His joyous giggling was contagious and soon Baby Tooth was smiling and laughing along with him.
The moment couldn't last forever. Jack knew what he had to do now, so he gingerly placed Baby Tooth back into his hood, grabbed his staff and made his way into Pitch's lair. He had some fairies to rescue.
Unfortunately, the fairies couldn't fly anymore. The rescue attempt was all for naught. Jack nearly gave in to despair, but then he spied the dark globe that was so similar to the one at North's workshop. He floated over to it with a sad look in his eye, until he spotted a lone light shining like a beacon of hope in the small town of Burgess. Jack's smile came back full force and he laughed like a loon when he realized who the last light was.
"Jamie!" Jack cheered. He cheerfully did a back flip in the air for no reason other than he was just so happy. Jack was so proud of his favorite little weirdo who believed in almost anything. That belief would come in really handy right now.
Jack knew he had to protect Jamie. He was the only thing keeping all belief from being snuffed out. The only problem with that plan was if Jack knew who the last light was, everyone knew. If Jack went back to Burgess now, there was a strong chance he'd run into the Guardians again. Jack almost didn't go; The Guardians would handle it, right? It was their job to protect the children of the world. Except Jack need only look at the globe in front of him to know that they weren't doing their job. In the end, Jack pushed his fear aside and bade the wind to take him home.
Having Jamie see him was a welcome surprise. Jack nearly tackled him in his excitement. The last light was Jack's first believer; who would've thought? Jack could almost die again, he was so happy. The meeting could have gone better—Jamie nearly had a conniption when he realized Jack was hurt—but Jack honestly couldn't care less. He was too happy to let anything bring him down.
The happiness nearly came undone when the Guardians showed up in North's dilapidated sleigh. He had to consciously tell himself to breathe and remind himself that he was there to save Jamie—his first believer. He couldn't let Jamie's light die. That didn't mean he wasn't scared to death of the inevitable encounter though.
"Jack? Why are you here?" North asked disbelievingly. Jack didn't miss how North crouched lower over his saber at the sight of Jack; a purely defensive move. Jack had to wince at the thought of North considering him an enemy. Jack hated himself for being relieved that none of the Guardians were strong enough to do any harm to him just then.
"Same reason you are." Jack congratulated himself on how he kept his voice from wavering. He motioned for Jamie to join them and he did so with a wondrous look on his face.
"I knew it! You are real!" He gushed. Jamie's happiness dimmed when he noticed how weak they all were. "What happened to you guys? Where's the Easter Bunny?" He questioned.
"When we lost Easter, it took a toll on all of us; Bunny most of all." North sighed gravely. Jack's eyes immediately darted to the sleigh; he hadn't really thought about how he would handle seeing Bunny so soon. Jack was almost hyperventilating until he realized Bunnymund wasn't… scary. Even when he wasn't gunning for Jack's blood, Bunny was an intimidating sight. Six feet of muscled rabbit with a mastery of Tai Chi and a permanent scowl would be horrifying if he didn't bring kids chocolate and goodies every year. But the little puffball with big green eyes staring up at Jack with guilt and fear wasn't what pummeled Jack into a bloody mess earlier that day. Bunnymund was now—dare he say it—cute. He was in no way threatening and that somehow pissed Jack off; if he was gonna be scared of the Easter Bunny, he could at least look frightening. Jack tightened his grip on his staff and unintentionally drew North's attention to his hands.
"! Jack, your hands!" He exclaimed. Tooth and Bunnymund whipped their gazes to Jack's hands and caught a glimpse of angry red scars before Jack shoved them farther in his sleeves.
"I'm fine. We got more important things to worry about." Jack hissed. He was shaking; barely repressing his fight of flight instinct.
"But you aren't fine, are you Jack?" Pitch suddenly purred from the shadows. Everyone startled into battle stances in anticipation for a fight. "Considering the Easter rodent almost killed you today, I'd be worried if you were."
Bunnymund winced when he looked up at Jack. He knew he crossed a line. He was just so hopeless and angry and dare he say it scared when he felt the little anklebiters walk right through him. Jack was just a convenient outlet for his rage. It was not an excuse and it wasn't right; Bunny knew that. It hurt to see Jack's obvious terror of them, but Bunny knew he deserved every skittish glance, every foot of space between them, and every rebuke of contact.
Jack was shaking and clutching his staff so hard that his knuckles went from pale to bone white. Bunny was horrified to note that no matter how tight Jack's grip became, the marks on his hands stayed that same ugly red. If Bunny tried hard enough, he could delude himself into mistaking the cuts for cat scratches. But Bunny had morals and he would not forget a slight against a child. And dammit, Jack was a child, wasn't he? Three hundred years with the face and heart of a child and they abandoned him. The Guardians were supposed to protect children, but they failed their child so horribly. Like it or not; Manny chose Jack Frost to be a Guardian. That made him family.
"Jack, what is he talking about?" Jamie asked with the innocence only a child could have. "Bunny didn't really hurt you, did he?"
"Aw poor Jack. You put on such a brave face… and for what? You can't even defend yourself from a wee rabbit!" Pitch's shadows mocked them by playing with Bunny like a shadow puppet. "Such an adorable bunny rabbit… Would you like a scratch behind the ear?" Bunnymund flinched away from the shadows and hopped away.
"Don't you touch me!" He snarled.
"But I thought you liked a good scratch? You certainly scratched Jack up well enough." Jack listened to the taunts frozen in terror. He was hugging himself and desperately trying to hide the scratches.
"Stop it…" Jack whispered. "Please just stop…!"
"You want to forget, don't you Jack? You just want to live your life as you had been, and forget that you even met the Guardians don't you?" The soothing, seductive purr sounded really close. Jack shivered at the closeness; especially when the smooth honey turned to jagged knives as Pitch hissed in his ear. "It doesn't work that way, Jack. The Guardians hurt you and they need to be punished. You can't allow them to walk away without any consequence!" When Jack started to cry, the knives went away and the soothing tones returned. "I'm trying to help you, Jack. You may think my methods are harsh, but this is a harsh world. I am fear, Jack; fear protects you from the things you should fear. At my center, I only wish to protect the children as you do." Pitch mentioning his center hit Jack with all sorts of conflicted feelings.
"Jack, don't listen to him! He doesn't care about the children! He's just trying to manipulate you!" Bunny cried from the safety of the light. Pitch couldn't help but laugh.
"Manipulate, you say? Isn't that what you were doing, Aster?" Bunny shivered at the use of his real name. Pitch made it sound like a curse with the way he rolled it in his mouth. "Letting him spend 300 years alone with no one to see or hear him suffer… letting him stew in the notion of loneliness… Letting him cry and scream and beg for any kind of friendship before suddenly calling for his aid… befriending him like he always wanted… I dare say that is a most perfect example of manipulation."
Jack's eyes were wide with fear. He looked to the Guardians for any hint that what Pitch said was a lie. They all winced; they knew how it sounded.
"Jack, that's not how it is." Bunny denied. "We had no idea you were—"
"—alone. Was that what you were going to say, rabbit? Of course you knew he was alone! He's Jack Frost; everyone knows who he is! They see him laughing and throwing snowballs and not once did anyone stop and think where does this child go when there's no one else around? You knew he had nowhere to go, but you didn't care because oh the little frostbite made it snow on Easter so he must be bad!" Pitch mocked Bunnymund by mimicking his voice.
"Shut yer lying mouth, Pitch!" Bunny snarled.
"It's no lie, Peter Cottontail. You know that better than anyone." Pitch hissed. "Just look at what your inaction has done to Jack." Pitch's shadow motioned to Jack's shivering frame and all of the Guardians felt the weight of their sins slamming into their cores.
Jack was crying. That was the worst part of this whole thing. No one had ever actually seen Jack cry before; maybe he'd get a little misty-eyed, but he never actually cried. He was clutching his ears trying to block out Pitch's words and trying to quiet his sobbing. Jamie was hugging his waist and looking at Jack with concern in his big brown eyes. A child comforting a child; it was a heartbreaking sight.
"Stop it please!" Jamie cried. "Can't you see you're making him cry?"
"Oh sweet innocent child… you're not old enough to know that crying is a good thing sometimes. If Jack's crying now, it just means he knows that he was right to fear the Guardians. He sees the truth about them and it hurts, but he'll be better off for it latter on. Isn't that right, Jack?" Pitch cooed.
Jack shook his head; vehemently denying what Pitch was saying. He refused to believe such an ugly truth. But when no other protests came from the Guardians themselves, Jack had to think that maybe the Nightmare King had a point.
If it weren't for Sandy suddenly reappearing in a swirl of golden sand, Jack was sure he would've ran away again with his tail between his legs. He would have taken Jamie with him of course; he couldn't forget his mission, but he wouldn't have been able to stay in Burgess any longer.
It turns out, Sandy wasn't actually dead. He was biding his time slumbering in the Nightmare Sand and waiting for a touch from a child with genuine belief. Jamie wasn't aware he had triggered Sandy's return when he brushed past a Nightmare earlier in the night. Either way, it was troubling for Jack to see the ex-wishing star again. Sandy wasn't there for Easter, but Jack was unsure if he blamed him for his death. He put aside all doubts and fears that Pitch had planted in his head and helped the Sand Man defeat his opposite.
Sandy thrashed the Nightmare King with the grace of a ballerina. Jack took care of his Nightmare hoard. In hindsight, it was almost an anticlimactic battle. If Jack thought about it too much, he would think Pitch threw the fight. It was too easy for them to wrangle Pitch into submission and when they finally did, he didn't even bother to struggle. All he did was give Jack a strange look and say,
"In the end, you know I'm right." It was strange, but the newly revived Sand Man thought nothing of it. Knowing that Pitch was no longer an issue, Sandy sent his dream sand to the children who needed them. One by one, nightmares turned into dreams of bunnies, fairies, Santa Claus, and snow. Subtly, the Sandman restored the belief once lost through sweet dreams.
Everything was alright in the end. The peaceful lull of golden sand seemed to put everyone at ease. Jack could almost forget that Bunnymund was back to his normal size and standing not too far away from him. All too soon, Jamie had to go home and back to bed and the fear growing in the pit of Jack's belly could no longer be ignored. The Guardians approached him with a familiar thick tome. The Guardian's Oath was still left unsaid by Jack. Jack couldn't believe his eyes; they still wanted him to be Guardian after all that? They thought Jack would go along with it?
"Jack. The offer is still on table." North murmured with a gleam in his eye. "You are worthy of being Guardian. You have proven as much today." North gave a meaningful side-glance to Bunnymund, who nodded his head with a sorrowful gaze.
Jack's eyes darted between all of them. Though he was mostly patched up by his stay in the Arctic, Jack could still feel the hollow twinge of newly mended bones. Jack hadn't even had time to properly heal from the beat-down Bunny gave him and they had the gall to offer him Guardianship? No. That wasn't going to happen. Not ever. Jack's flighty gaze settled on Bunnymund. Suddenly all the hurt, fear, and stress that Jack had been pushing aside came flooding back. Just looking at Bunny made Jack's hands sting with the fresh memory of bitingscratchingPOUNDING.
"NO!" Jack blurted out. When he received strange looks for his trouble, Jack tried again. "I mean uh, no thanks. I'm grateful for the offer, really!"—not really, his mind supplied. "But I'm gonna have to pass on this one. See ya!" Jack was gone before anyone had the chance to protest.
Sandy wasn't stupid; he knew he missed something. Jack's refusal was too weird and too quick not to be worrying. He looked to his fellow Guardians to see if they knew what was wrong, but they too were acting strange. Bunny scoffed and said good riddance—something that would be normal for him if it hadn't been for the genuine hint of sadness in his voice. North looked conflicted about Jack's swift rejection; like he didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. Sandy was shocked; North was the first one to really have faith in Jack, so it was alarming to see North give up on the sprite so quickly. Tooth was flittering about with nervous energy. Sandy could see her guilt miles away. Tooth always wore her heart on her feathered sleeve; this time was no different. She darted to and fro and nibbled her nails. Her legs were tucked up to her belly like a loaded spring.
Sandy stared expectantly at Tooth until she cracked. It wasn't hard to do; she was itching to get everything off her chest. Everything sort of tumbled out in rapid rambling and guilty feather-pulling. She told Sandy everything that happened since his 'death;' especially how Bunny beat Jack up on Easter. She confessed to not helping him out of spite and how she knew it was wrong to blame Jack but with everything going so horribly she was so frustrated and Jack was just there and ohgodSandywhatdidIdo? Bunny flinched like a scolded child when Sandy whipped his incredulous gaze to him.
"Yeah mate, I know I screwed up. I'm so sorry for what I did, you don't even know." Bunny confessed under the heat of Sandy's accusing glare. Sandy shook his head vehemently and showed everyone through his sand that Jack is the one they should all apologize to. Sandy also motioned that he couldn't bear to be around them just then. He only looked back long enough to give them a disapproving look before floating off to give more children sweet dreams.
A/N: Wooooooooooooooooooow I'm such an ANGST whore. XD;;
So I TRIED to format this to make it seem like Jack was panicking even as I was writing him. Did I do okay? ._.; It's kinda hard for me to write out split-second reactions so please forgive any lagging in my writing. I try. *throws sparkles*
If you're wondering why Pitch seemed like a pussy in the final fight, well, you'll find out soon enough. :)