Disclaimer: I don't own ROTG.
Ch4: Giving space, quite literally.
Mental and physical space, is needed to process the changes. Children are confused about the new situation, a new family is not a small thing.
Emotions and territorial fights can therefore blaze, especially when teenagers are involved.
#4 Give everyone their space.
Jack was hard to keep track of. North was easy to find at his workshop. Tooth at her palace, her mini-fairies not that hard to find. Bunny at his Warren, the pooka was connected to nature so he could be contacted by knocking a simple morse code knock against trees. Sandy's dream ship was nearly impossible to find but the Sandman could easily be tracked down by finding sleeping children and just following the trails of dreamsand.
Jack Frost was not easy to find.
The winter spirit spend half of the year on different halves of the earth and none of the older guardians knew where the frosted youth went when it wasn't winter somewhere in the world.
Tracking him down when he was late for their monthly meeting was hard.
Tracking him down after an argument or after he ran/flew off when the other guardians pried too much for answers was close to impossible.
300 years is a long time, even for immortals. sometimes Jack had gone for over fifty years without speaking to anyone, but that wasn't the worst, not by a long shot... Beatings, starvation, hunting and so many other things happened during those three centuries. Most of them things Jack prefered not to talk about. Most things the others knew about those years was from what the winter child mentioned in passing.
A person needs to 8 positive touches a day to... to keep sane- to keep functioning.
Jack had gone for years without any form of contact and when he did, it wasn't the most positive kind of touches. The closest thing he had gotten to anything was a pat on the shoulder from one of Summer's sprites... Which had not been the seasonal's smartest move...
Eight positive touches a day...
Jack hadn't gotten those for 300 years, that were 854.400 positive touched he did not get, and it showed.
It showed when he could stop the cringe when Tooth touched his face to get a better look at his beautiful teeth, eyes either usually at her as if ready to block an attack or... ready to run from the place.
It showed when Jack couldn't stop squirming when North put a hand on his bony shoulders.
It showed when Jack always slowly shuffled away when the Easter Bunny's broad shoulders almost brushed against his. It went automatically, they all realised that. Well all besides Jack.
Like when he automatically ducked away, or walked underneath Sandy to avoid any form of contact.
It was the worst when he jumped back at Tooth or Sandy's presence when they tried to hug him.
Or when Jack never forgot to flinch when Bunny lifted his paw to affectionately ruffle snow-white hair.
And there was no denying that it hurt. Not Tooth, North, Sandy or Bunny could deny that kind of hurt. The cold feeling and stinging sensation in their chest. Like someone squeezing and twisting their hearts every time Jack shied away from them.
Jack didn't do it on purpose, that they knew. No, those instincts were there thanks to other much older spirits who taught is was fun to use the young spirit for target practise.
After so many years without any form of contact Jack did not know how to react.
So Jack avoided it.
And the older guardians had no one else to blame for this than themselves. Them, for leaving him alone for so long.
That's why they wanted- No, that's why they had the need to fix it. Even though they all knew they could never-never- ever- no matter how they wanted to, they could never make up for their mistake.
The red sack landed with a dull thud on the floor. "Bunny!" Jack protested struggling to find the sack's opening. "What did'ya do that for?!" He cried pushing his head out of the sack. "You could have just asked me to come..." Jack trailed of when he got a good look of the room he was in.
His forest... The walls were painted with the exact scenery of his forest at his lake in Burgess. Leafless trees all decorated with a nice layer of frost that was so detailed it looked just like he had frosted it over himself! The lower walls covered with snow and delicate perfectly painted snowflakes covered the walls.
On wooden floor there were multiple Asian rugs most of them green and in various shades of blue and purple. Jack recognized some of the symbols on the hand woven rugs as the same ones that covered his tooth container.
...So words in Tooth's language?
From the ceiling -the high up ceiling that had multiple round windows that could be opened- hang five dream-catchers, each in a different size and color.
There a large window with cushions on the windowpane. There was a bed against the wall, neatly made with lots of soft looking pillows, a couple of feet above the bed hang a light blue hammock that hang suspended from the ceiling. The cloth in various shades of light to dark blue and just like the other Asian rugs, this to seemed to be handmade.
A white closet carved out wood, the closet had a very natural feeling to it, the same went for the bookcase filled with books on different kinds of magic, magic North promised to tell him more about. Books on surrealism and books about animals. Books about adventures at far away places and other inspiring tales.
There was desk near the furthest wall from the bed. On the desk were multiple sketch books and pencils. There's a little purple sack on the desk and by the way glowed Jack suspect it's filled with either dreamsand or some other magical dust.
Jack's eyes scanned the room, that's when he finally saw the name carved into the wooden bed frame.
"What?" Jack perked up. "This is mine?"
"Of course it is!"
Hearing the loud cheerful voice Jack got to his feet and turned around to find the other guardians standing in the door opening each in their own way looking hopeful. Jack looked at North who had spoken before. "What do you mean?" The white-haired youth questioned tilting his head.
"Is room for you Jack." North answered cheerily. "Room we make, for you. You like, da?"
"Yeah..." Jack slowly replied unable to hide his grin as he looked around the room again. "This place is great, but... Why?"
At the question the big four visibly wilted. North's smile slipped away, Tooth flew down so she was closer to the ground while Bunny struggled to keep his ears up so to not show he was saddened by the question, and Sandy who was in the middle of forming a sand image let the sand shaped heart above his head break without even noticing.
Because it's the least we can do for you.
Because we want you close to us.
Because we want you to get used to not being alone.
Because it's good for you to be around people again.
Because you are our family.
North looked at those deep sky-blue eyes staring at his own, those eyes so uncertain and still so untrusting. North wanted nothing more than to tell the boy all that, but he knew that Jack wasn't ready for it yet.
So instead the Russian said "So you know you always have a place to come back to."
The look Jack gave him was so grateful North laughed. Not in a teasing way, North laughed in relief. Relief because the frost child hadn't run of, Jack had a habit to make quick escapes when things got too emotional.. or too close..
North was relieved that they now had this boy who somehow made them a family.
"So what do you think?" Tooth asked to distract Jack, help him ease down a little. It's weird how she can still have a calming effect on Jack while she's flying up wings buzzing with excitement while the fairy talked almost just as fast. "My fairies and I made the rugs! Do you like them? Baby Tooth picked out the colors!"
And Jack couldn't keep the grin from his face as he listened to Tooth explain all the symbols on the rugs, he grinned when Bunny talked about painting and when Sandy and North showed him books.
Jack may not see them as family yet, but they were getting closer and closer every time.
Author: Sorry this chapter is so late guys, I sorta lost inspiration for this one... Oops? And most of my focus went to my other story Little Prince, if you like my writing style please check out that story as well.