A/N: Ooooooooooh we finally get to the last part and the eagerly awaited chew out by Pitch to Bunny. 8DD You're welcome~
Aster was practically tugging his ears in frustration. How hard could it possibly be to track down a winter sprite who caused mischief wherever he went? Apparently, it was nigh impossible, because Bunny was the best tracker to ever live and he still couldn't find Jack Frost.
They tried the obvious places first, of course; Burgess, Russia, Antarctica, and Canada were scoured high and low in case Jack returned to his usual haunts. He had to have been in Burgess at some point because the last light—Jamie was his name—informed them that snow days were in abundance since he first saw Jack. Jack always managed to make himself scarce before Bunny got there, so Bunny went to the next obvious step; keep track of any freak weather patterns and corner the frostbite as he was making his rounds. The thing about that was Jack Frost somehow managed to create illusions like the frost rabbit he made for Jamie to help him spread winter throughout the world. That led to a wild goose chase where they were tracking illusions and not the actual Jack Frost. Bunny pulled out the big guns then. He listened for the wind. The four winds each had their own personal tenor and while Jack could ride all four of them, he frequented the North Wind the most.
Bunny had his ears perked listening to the wind for hours and he still couldn't detect the tinkling laughter that came with Jack's joyful rides through the wind. Bunny was tired, sore, and annoyed at his inability to track a simple sprite, but he wouldn't give up. Sandy was right; he owed Jack Frost an apology. Hell he owed more than that, but an apology was a good start.
Just when Bunny was about to turn in for the night, he heard it. It was faint and if Bunny wasn't looking so hard for it, he would have missed it. Bunny finally heard Jack's jingle bell laughter riding the winds. Bunny dashed to the source before Jack could get wise and escape again.
The little hellion was in Burgess! The first place Bunny looked was where he ended up finding Jack weeks after the disastrous Easter Sunday. He was instigating a snowball fight; typical. He fluttered about and hurled snowballs at all the children. No one was safe from Jack's joy-packed ammo; there was no discrimination in their game. By the time the children were called to come in, every kid in Burgess had snow in their hair and all over their clothes. Bunny couldn't help but stop and watch from the shadows. It was such a stupid thing; throwing bits of clumped snow at people, but there was no denying the joyful smiles that adorned each and every child's face as they played and romped through the snow. For such a simple thing, it was fun. It was so simple that most every spirit mistook the importance of it for 300 years; Bunny included.
Jack waved to every child as they left for the comforts of home. He made sure each of them knew he cared. He asked them about their day, laughed at all their inside jokes, and gave them all hugs. It was so simple, but it knocked the breath from Bunny when he realized its importance. Jack had never been touched in all his 300 years of existence. He'd never been seen. Jack never had a friend in the world until the Guardians shoved him in a sack and tossed him through a magic portal. Knowing that made Bunny's heart clench with tremendous guilt; The Guardians were Jack's first friends and they betrayed him.
"Jack!" Bunny called out before he could stop himself.
The reaction was instantaneous. Jack gasped and dropped the snow in his hand. He swiveled around in the air and gave Bunny a deer-in-headlights look. Bunny could see the whites of Jack's eyes even from a distance; that's how wide they were. A beat passed and then Jack flew away like a startled blue jay.
Bunny gave chase of course; there was no way he was letting the Frostbite get away given how much time he spent tracking him. Jack was a slippery devil, he'd give him that, but there was a reason you didn't want to race a rabbit. Bunny was fast and he was a trickster. No matter how fast and slippery Jack Frost was, Bunny would be faster and cleverer. Bunny pinned Jack down somewhere in Michigan and it broke his heart when Jack screamed and struggled like his life depended on it.
"Let me go!" Jack cried. "I'm sorry I ruined Easter, just please lemme go!" He was desperate. That much was obvious. Jack was breathing so hard and fast Bunny was worried he'd start hyperventilating. Aster noted the loss of most of Jack's teeth and winced. Tooth was still pissed at him for knocking them out. Shimmering slate eyes wet with tears stared up at the Easter Bunny with fear. Aster nearly missed Jack's breathy whisper of,
"I don't wanna die."
That did it. That little plea from a child so convinced he was going to die broke the Easter Bunny. Aster keened low and long and he curled over the winter sprite like a wounded animal. Words sometimes hurt more than any weapon ever could. Bunny wept for the child he failed so horribly before he said,
"I'm so sorry Frostbite."
Jack didn't relax at all. He stayed tensed like a bowstring the entire time Bunny had him in his grip. Jack stayed perfectly still like a prey animal in a predator's grip. He listened to Aster's apology only because he had no choice.
"Please. I don't wanna die. Let me go." Jack pleaded softly. Apologies were nice, but Jack couldn't forget Aster's face warped with rage as he rained down his twisted justice unto him. Jack was witness to Aster's anger and he couldn't help but wonder if it would happen again. Aster wasn't safe; not for Jack.
Aster stilled and took the time to really look at Jack. Jack was two steps away from fainting in panic. He stared up at Aster with terror written all over his angled face. Jack wouldn't forgive him; not as long as he feared him.
Aster made a painful decision then; he let Jack go. Aster turned Jack loose from his hold on him. Jack scrambled up and away from Aster before sloppily taking off and banging into a few trees in a hasty escape. If Aster was ever going to make things right for Jack, he would have to let him come to him. Now set in his resolve, Aster turned to walk away and clear his head—
—and ran right into Pitch. Aster cursed and jumped away with boomerangs held tightly in each hand. He should've known Pitch was behind Jack's fears!
"Oh no, Aster, you did that yourself." Pitch drawled with a razor thin smile.
"You readin' my mind or something?" Aster growled. Pitch laughed.
"You forget who you're talking to, rabbit! I don't read minds; I know fears." Pitch shifted from shadow to shadow until he was right behind Bunny. "And Jack is terrified of you! Rightly so, of course; it's not like I'm the one who beat him senseless over a few smashed eggs." He teased.
Bunny hollered and tried to hit Pitch with his boomerangs, but his shadows were intangible and therefore unhurt by them. "It was more than just a few eggs, don'tcha think?" He hissed.
"Regardless of how many there were, it's irrelevant isn't it? You almost killed Jack Frost over eggs. Isn't that just petty?" Pitch sniffed. He shifted shadows again before Bunny could catch him. "I mean, murder is bad regardless of the reason, but over eggs?" Pitch taunted as he reformed on a nicely shaded branch.
"What did you do, Pitch?" Bunny snarled. "What I did was a right blunder, I get that, but Jack's no wimp! He wouldn't act like that if you weren't involved!"
Pitch sneered and shifted so he came out of Bunny's shadow. "And how would you know that hm?" He bellowed. "What, are you and Jack suddenly chummy now that the Man in the Moon says he's a Guardian? You don't know the first thing about Jack Frost, you fool! You only talked to him for three days! One of which was spent grinding him into powdered snow because 'Boohoo Eastter's ruined!'"
"Oh and I suppose you know all there is to know about Jack!" Bunny countered.
"I certainly know more than you do, Aster. I actually took the time to get to know Jack before I befriended him! We're quite close, you know. You could say we clicked." Pitch taunted. "And as his friend I'm telling you to stay away from Jack. You've done enough, thank you."
Bunny sucked in a breath. Pitch and Jack? Friends? When did he get knocked over the head?
"You're friends…?" Bunny tested out the words slowly.
Pitch rolled his eyes exasperatedly. "Yes, you blundering idiot, we're friends. I know it's a shock; the big bad Boogeyman has friends. Newsflash Cottontail; The Guardians aren't the only ones who can have those! In fact, I can happily say War and I are getting married soon. I'd have gotten you an invitation, but you're so busy with Easter I figured I wouldn't waste the paper. You understand." He drawled.
"…What?" Bunny blurted out before his brain could catch up. War and Pitch? Admittedly it made sense but Aster did not need that mental picture in his head.
"God it's like talking to a three year old…" Pitch huffed. "…Look, just stay away from Jack and I won't cause any undo trouble for a few thousand years. That's a fair deal, right?"
"As I recall, we seemed to rough you up pretty good." Bunny sneered. "What makes you think we won't do it again?"
Pitch snickered. "You honestly think you won that little skirmish? Oh nononono. I threw the fight; I already had what I was gunning for." He waved dismissively.
Bunny bristled. "And just what were you after anyway?" He hissed.
"The whole point of that spectacle was for me to gain believers and therefore companionship. It was much easier to befriend Jack than to go through unnecessary plots, so I threw the fight. Everyone's happy." Pitch shrugged. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a friend to comfort. Ta." Pitch said before he was suddenly gone.
Bunny was left in the clearing alone. He blinked away the dumb look on his face and straightened up a bit. He gazed determinedly in the direction Jack Frost flew off in before murmuring,
"Even if Pitch is right, I'm still gonna make it up to you, Frostbite. I promise you that." And with that, Aster tapped his foot and summoned a tunnel back to the Warren.
He had a proper apology to plan. Maybe a simpler approach would work? Who knew? Nevertheless, Bunny would try everything until it worked.
A/N: WHEW yay I'm done. 8D
No really, I'm done. xD No more. This is the last chapter.
I like to keep my endings open to interpretation. So from this point on YOU get to decide whether Jack forgives Bunny or not, whether Jack befriends the Guardians or not, how Pitch and War's wedding went, and everything else. We all know Jack's going to befriend Sandy because PFFF HE'S SANDY.
GO PITCH! GET YO SASS ON! *ahem* Yeah I love a good chew-out scene like nobody's business. XDD And awh, Jack's still missing his sparkly teeth... muwahahaha.
I honestly got so pissed at Bunny while writing this chapter. XD; 'BUNNY, YOU DON'T EVEN know JACK, WHY WOULD YOU SAY SUCH STUPID THINGS LIKE 'OH HE WOULDN'T BE SCARED SHITLESS JUST BECAUSE I TRIED TO KILL HIM!' -My mentality throughout the whole scene with Pitch.
Speaking of the sassy-long-legs, I think I synced pretty well with my 'inner Jude Law' what do you think? I was in the ZONE while writing Pitch. Did it show?
*Whispers*I kinda wanna do a follow-up with War and Pitch's wedding but...*Shot*