Author's Notes: Not beta'd, written of a prompt from rotgkink meme! It was really cute sounding. As much as the ending might scare you, this is NOT a death fic! This is also a one shot, but tentatively. I might add more.
Prompt: Jack's been on his own for so long that it just never occurs to him that he can ask for help. Its not that he doesn't trust the guardians, its not that he's too proud, its not that he's ashamed of needing help. It just never occurs to him that 'friends' = 'can ask for more than pranking-aid'. Which means that Jack disappears every once in a while and no one can find him. Since this is Jack, everyone assumes that he's shirking his duties to cause mischief. So when someone finds him hurt, then immediately freak out, whisk him away for treatment and the guardians keep checking up on him while it recovers. And it absolutely. Blows. His. Mind.
I Keep Forgetting There's an Us
The first time it happened, Jack thought Tooth was going to cry. Hell, Baby Tooth almost did, cheeping away and nuzzling his neck and looking so apologetic and Jack didn't even know why. His poor little friend looking like that? Oh no, that wouldn't do! So he smiled and comforted them both best he could, and even tried to joke, because laughter made everything better. Though he was sort of flying blind here, for more reasons than one. His attempts at smiling made the mottled skin under his eye face stretch and yeah it stung a bit but it wasn't it was like it was something he wasn't used to. Never get in the way of your own snow shards, was one of his first rules he'd made to himself after learning how much he danger he could do in the winter months in Russia. He'd learned that rule pretty quick, actually.
Except that little girl was running home in the wicked sleet and he did not want her slipping on ice or getting hit by the hail chunks, so he'd shot in front of her, face up in the sky, only having time to close his eyes before he was pummeled and the wind directed it around him, whistling apologetically.
Of course the damage had been done, and it seemed Jack still had some blood vessels left to break, and his skin could still swell cause yeeeouch that had not been fun at all! His whole body more or less ached, but his cheeks and left eye had gotten the brunt of the snow, it seemed. Oh well, least he had ice to well, ice the wound. He'd comforted himself with that humorous, if not slightly dry thought, snuggled in a bare tree by himself and touching his face carefully, inspecting it in a branch he'd coated in ice so slick it was nearly a mirror. Meh, not so bad. He'd had worse.
And that's how Baby Tooth had found him, he'd tried to start a conversation only for her big pretty eyes to get wider and her to gesture emphatically at his face, but when he'd only blinked and shrugged it off, she seemed to get more frantic. Jack eventually gave up trying to ask her how the tropics were and if the tooth had been a new one or a regular patron of their visits. She was too busy hovering over his bruised skin all weirdly, kind of scolding like. Scolding? Well what he was supposed to do?
Oh come on it wasn't that bad. He'd tried.
Apparently it was.
Suddenly he was in Tooth Palace, suddenly there were Baby Tooth's all around zipping and zooming, and his own perched in his hood and chirping as Toothiana fluttered down asking what was wrong. She'd taken one look at him and given a tiny strangled shriek noise, kind of like a cardinal, Jack thought. Next thing he knew, Tooth was all over him like a mother hen with her chicks. As for Jack himself, he'd stood there frozen; (hah) with raised eyebrows and watching her a bit bemusedly.
"Tooth—Tooth!" Jack finally laughed, scooting back gently but firmly, meeting her gaze. "I'm fine, this is nothing! Just a little ice accident! Don't worry about it—" If he'd thought his words would make the fretting go away, he'd never been so wrong since the time he thought he could freeze over the salt pits. If anything, it only seemed to panic Tooth more, and Jack was subjected to weird stuff after that. Like thin, albeit gentle hands cupping his cheeks and ice being held there for him, and instructions on what to do if the swelling didn't go down, and did he want something to drink maybe? Oh and no solid foods mister! Smoothies!
It was all very odd, Jack settled on as he was worried over. (That was the word for it, right? Being worried over? ) Not unpleasant or uncomfortable at all, no, just…different. Well Jack wasn't sure what to think. He had the feeling he was missing something, too. But for the life of him he couldn't put his finger on it.
So, being Jack Frost, he forgot about it, figuring this was a onetime only deal.
Then it happened the second time, and this time it was with Sandy and North because when you plummet thousands of feet unconscious you're more than a little lucky that you land on the back of a giant sand stingray. Even if the only thing you remember is dangerously avoiding a plane, pain, then the sensation of falling and darkness…and opening your eyes God knows how much later to see two elves staring at you like a deer in headlights.
Jack gave a manly yelp and nearly tumbled off North's bed. Wait—North's bed?
"Where…wh—oh….hey North!" Jack said jovially, staff already in hand and having relaxed by having his 'security blanket' in his grasp.
"Hey North?" Parroted the large man from where he stood in the doorway, hands on his hips and giving Jack a stare he'd thought he'd seen before, a long time ago, when he was a little boy and he had a father. But it was probably just his imagination.
"Dis is what you say to me, after Sandy haz' just flown you into my factory, broken leg and unconscious? Eh? Hey North? Jack! What were you even DOING?!" Jack had the decency to look sheepish, but it was only because he was a liiiitle bit scared of the larger man when he was getting a judging stare like that. Jack hid behind his usual, laid back grin, knowing that could get him out of any situation.
"Ehh, no worried, I was just—hey, ow, stop that," he tried to shoo away the elf, only to have a Yeti lumber up with a little nurse hat on and being to check him over, and ignored Jack's gripes easily. Seemed his grin wasn't working too well these days—that was weird.
"I wasn't doing anything North, I kinda…ran into a plane, I was heading back to Burgess to figure out what to do about it when I guess I sort…fell asleep?" He shrugged, inspecting the wrapped limb. "S'not so bad, I've had worse." Because he was looking down he missed the stare North was giving him, a mixture of disbelief and shock and…and a hint of hurt.
"I think yoo' should be telling Sandy to 'not worry' zis man has not left you're side since he brought you, see for yourself, eh?" Jack blinked and looked over at the snoozing guardian in a chair by the bed he was sitting on, and he felt something weird in his chest at the sight of his fellow guardian there next to him.
It was warmth but….but wasn't warmth bad for Jack? So why did this feel kind of nice?
…weird. His new friends were sooo weird.
The third time it happened, it happened to be that they'd all be there, because they'd all found him.
Well, actually, if he recalled correctly…Bunny found him first, muttering a string curses about how late he was and what a bad image it was for a guardian to—
Jack didn't know what else Bunny was going to say because as soon as the pooka saw his crumpled form lying on the turf, torso being squeezed under a tree, arms curled round his staff, half unconscious but recognizing Bunny and trying to smile….well, Bunny had stopped dead.
"…ey Bunny….miss me?" How many days had it been? Shit, everything hurt…stupid tree. Okay it was his weather that broke the log in half but the tree didn't have to freaking drop on him like that!
He'd been lost on what to do for a while. He remembered having this really foggy thought about maybe calling…for…but then the thought had melted like his snow, his thoughts turned to slush and it was hard to focus. He kept drifting in and out. What he did realize though, was the warmth he felt in his core again, when he saw Bunnymund.
He'd be okay now.
Jack wished he'd thought to try and reach them sooner, though.
"Frost!" It's an odd tone to hear from the rabbit, but he can't dwell on it for too long, cause woah is everything really fuzzy all of a sudden, hah, that's weird…
"Good luck moving tha'Bunny….s'heavy as those stone…egg thingies ya'got." Jack half laughed half coughed, his words slurring. The sharp pain in his torso had given way hours ago to a dull throbbing ache, and Jack wondered if he'd feel anything at all in a while.
So then all Jack can make out is Bunny's shouts and grunts, and what's he doing? Oh Jack can see gold. He blinks a couple times to clear his vision (it doesn't work) but he decided if he's hallucinating then that's just fine too. He really would like see Sandy, the man was really comforting actually, and they all were of course.
There's no way they'd all come unless he was in trouble. The OTHER kind of 'bad behavior' trouble' of course, he meant.
Now though, he was starting to wonder…maybe they would have come anyway, if he just wanted them.
"Sandy?" Jack muttered to the sky anyway, trying to move his head. It hadn't been so bad until the weather changed in the morning and the sun came out, so the snow melted and well, then it had all gone downhill from there.
The faint sound of sand shifting as he listened to a loud Bunny and then bells and somethings landing heavily, along with a thick Russian accent added to the action that was coming in and out.
"….North…" He was really sleepy now.
Suddenly chitters and chirps as Baby Tooth fluttered by his ear, he could hear her wings, he could hear larger wings too.
"…Tooth…" There was the moon, so big and bright. Jack didn't feel scared though, he'd stopped worrying the second he'd heard Bunny's tunnel snap closed.
That was really thoughtful of them. But they didn't all have to come.
His arms slipped from his staff, foggy eyes focusing on the moon overhead, dimly before slipping shut and drowning everything out but a single thought.
It was sure was nice of them to worry.