N/A: Hello you guys!~ Chapter Nine is here for ya. Yay. And guess what? I got myself a Beta. How cool is that? Give a round of applause to The Demons Rose for being so kind enough to edit and improve this lovely fanfiction. And I have to say, it was just absolutely awesome for you guys to welcome me back. It was so heartwarming I almost cried…ok not really but it brought a big smile to my face. So anyway, back to the chapter!

~Snowy Shadow Cat

Chapter Nine

It was December with only three days left until Christmas break. The halls of the high school were set abuzz with the coming excitement. You couldn't take three steps without hearing what someone was going to do for the holidays. Most were leave Burgess to visit family or to get to warmer weather. It had been snowing after all.

Even with the cold weather and snow, Jack was still in a sour mood. Well not so much as sour as reserved. The Home had no plans for the holidays which was just a reminder that Jack's family was gone. And it didn't help that his birthday was coming up either. Another year without Emma bouncing on his bed so he'd wake up for her to sing happy birthday. No more cake for breakfast because that's how he wanted to start the day. Everyone's excitement was just reminding him of what he didn't have anymore.

There was this one good thing that came out of his though, Jack was finally writing in his journal. It was his way to complain when people asked if he was alright and he had to lie every time. He wrote how he truly felt about the issue and how much he missed his family and the things they did. He was writing in it now at the moment. He was in English so it wasn't like he was going to get in trouble for it. He made it look like he was taking notes just for extra cover.

'I know I've said it before but I miss them. With every day that passes, I'm one step closer to crying all day. It's not the fact it's Christmas. You know that. It's my birthday. I hate my birthday, every year now I wish I could just skep that damn day. I can't remember if I've told you why yet. If I have then you'll just have to bear with me. I know I say the same things, over and over again but I can't help it. This helps me get through the day. Which is why Mr. Cox gave you to me I guess. Remind me to thank that man later. I just heard a girl say she had to go up to New York to see her family. She's complaining about it now. She doesn't know how lucky she is to still have family. I've got no one and it's all my fault. That's what hurts the most about the holiday, my birthday, every day. I have to live with the fact I killed them off for the rest of my life. If I just hadn't asked to go to the movies they'd still be here. I should've died with them. It's all my fault.'

Jack couldn't write anymore after that last sentence. His glacier blue eyes were welling with tears that were about to spill over. With a shuddering breathe, the frosted teen closed his journal and put it aside, trying to push down the wave of emotion he was feeling. He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. The writing was helping but he had to deal with things, with thoughts, with emotions he had been avoiding for three years. It was helping yes, but it made him feel even more broken than he first originally thought. But the more he wrote, the more he got it out, he could feel himself get better. He could feel his heart lose its permanent ache it's had for three years. He could finally pick up the pieces and put it back together, to make it whole again. Yes, the writing was breaking his heart again but sometimes to fix something, to make it better and stronger you first have to tear apart the repairs you've made before and just start anew. And that's how Jack was fixing himself. That's what was happening to him whenever he put pen to paper.

Jack was never really one to read. He was never one to write. Never in his childhood did he remember sitting down with a book to read it unless it was for school. He didn't read for pleasure. Writing assignments? Pfft, don't even get him started. He hated writing assignments. Essays, book reviews, daily journal entries for school, all he could live without.

He just never thought, not in a million years, that writing was what would ultimately help him come to terms with what happened. He never thought something so simple as filling a page with words could relieve such a massive weight on his shoulders. And even with the wave of emotion he was feeling at the moment, the sudden and strong urge to cry, he knew he'd feel better afterwards. The first few times he felt this way after writing, he told himself he'd never write again. But oddly enough, he felt so tempted to just write down his thoughts on some days. Others, he just needed an outlet if someone (usually Pitch) got on his nerves and just had to get it out. Now he felt so stupid for not actually doing this, keeping a journal, sooner. I mean really, how hard was it to just pick up a pen and write in a book. It didn't matter if there were big jumps in between the dates. It didn't matter if you didn't even date it! Sometimes Jack would date it and sometimes he wouldn't, depending on he felt. It was just an outlet and one that was working. He was so overjoyed to finally getting help, he was just grateful for the only friend he seemed to have: his journal.

Speaking of 'friends;' the frosted teen was now at lunch, still not eating the slop the school was handing out and was calling food. Seriously the spaghetti they were serving today looked over a week old and like it was a mass of living…stuff. Honestly, no joke it looked like it would jump off the school trays and run away. That's how Jack saw the stuff and that's why he refused to eat it. Toothiana was sitting with him, waiting for the Kangaroo and her giant Russian friend. They were...doing something that Jack couldn't remember because the excited teen was happily talking Jack's ear off about her plans for Christmas. Sure it was a little annoying but in some way it was…kind of charming. And it made the frosted teen feel better for some reason. As he listened, he just had the faintest of smiles tugging at the corners of his pale lips.

"…and hopefully Nana, you know my grandma, can come too so we can see her. I haven't seen her in, like, forever! Ok that's not true, I saw her last Easter but that so long ago! We're talking from April to December I haven't seen her. She's my favorite grandma! That reminds me…" And that talking just kept going on and on and on. "Are you still listening?" She'd periodically stop to ask.

At which Jack would nod his head. "Yes I'm still listening. You were saying?" He'd reply with a soft smile, causing the multicolor haired teen to smile back brightly and keep chattering away. They both were so involved into the conversation that they both didn't notice when Bunnymund and North approached them and just stood, listening to Tooth ramble on.

It wasn't until Bunnymund placed a hand on Tooth's shoulder did the two teens noticed the others there. The fairy-looking teen jumped with surprise as she looked up at the Australian. "Bunnymund! Don't do that, you scared me half to death!"

He and North let out amused chuckles. "We've been standing here for a while now mate. Can't help if ya don't pay attention."

Tooth rolled her eyes before turning her attention back to Jack. "Sorry Jack but I promised them to go to the library with them during lunch." She apologized sweetly before getting to her feet. The frosted teen simply nodded in acceptance.

"Unless, of course, you want to join us?" North suggested, head cocked to the side at the suggestion.

All three stared at the white haired teen intently as they waited for his answer. Jack couldn't help but smile before nodding. "Sure. I'll just be sitting here by myself anyway." He said, getting up to follow them to their destination.

Tooth let out an excited shriek before grabbing Jack's hand and tugging him to the library, Bunnymund and North in tow, laughing as Jack struggled to keep up with the excited girl dragging him along.

Aw look at that, Jack's finally making friends . He just needed to get things off his chest is all. Hope this chapter makes up for the shortness of the previous one even if it isn't too long itself. I was actually hoping to get this up this weekend but I got so busy with doing things like going to another county and working I just didn't have time. But I'm not too far off my mark so it's ok! Hope you enjoy and feel free to leave a review. I'm still having that poll going on for Character Death or Characters Live. Remember, I'll post both chapters so you can see how both endings work out but only one will be the official ending. The other will just be a 'what if' chapter. See you next chapter!~