Okay so a friend introduced me to the rise of the guardians and I totally fell in love with the movie and Jack's wee sister. So here's a one-shot inspired by her and Jack taking place 10 years after Jack's death.
The one that was left behind.
I miss you, brother.
Sitting on a small boulder I watched the spindles of ice that crept across the lake's surface, the fingers reaching out to grasp at the still water and pull it within winter's cold clasp. Reaching out my own fingers to touch the tiny patterns that always looked so magical, shuddering slightly as my tips brushed against the chill.
Was this how he felt? His life was so full of energy always bringing warm laughter to the village as his next trick was played out. I couldn't ever imagine him cold.
Sighing I brought my hand back to fit it once again within my glove and finally tore my gaze away from the lake's deceptively calm surface to look around me. The forest surrounding me was still, silent as a burial ground in the pre-dawn light. For once though I welcomed the silence and the soothing presence it seemed to create.
Winter had come.
The light dusting of frost that glimmered across the tree bark and the soft blanket of snow gently covering the ground seemed to soften the space, rocks looking less angular and branches less sinister.
The tenth winter since…
I felt my body glide through the air only to land in a heap on the stronger more resistant ice that edged around the lake. Startled I looked up, my eyes instantly making contact with my brother's.
His face broke out into a broad smile, not one of those small cheeky grins he flashed almost every day, but a true smile, one that reached his eyes and let me know he was truly happy.
It was probably only this thought that had sustained me through the first few weeks after… That he had been truly happy that I had been alright, that I had been safe. He, my brother, had been glad that he had saved me.
Slowly I got up off my resting spot, eyes once again drawn to the lake. I trod carefully, walking gradually towards the water's edge not wanting the crunch of my footsteps to disturb the peace of the morning.
"Jack" I whispered while gently taking a small dusting of snow in my hand. A light wind ghosted over my palm, picking up the small crystals and making them swirl away from me, across the lake. I watched them go, feeling my lips pull into a small sad smile.
"Jack" I started again. "Today's my wedding day"
Tears began to form in my eyes, the salty liquid running down my cheeks to freeze instantly as they hit the cold ground. I tried to stop them but the wall I had held intact for ten long years had finally come crashing down.
"I wish you were here Jack" I choked out in-between sobs. I dropped to my knees no longer being able to hold my body upright as all my energy went into the sobs that were being wrenched from my body.
I don't know how long I spent there, huddled beside the lake that had taken away my brother and best friend. I screamed my anguish to the silent forest until I could scream no more and finally the tears ran their course. As I sat there an occasional hiccup seizing my body, I felt dried up, an empty shell, like I had nothing else to give.
"Suppose you're thinking a bride shouldn't be crying on her wedding day" I said after some time a wry grin spreading across my face.
I could picture his face perfectly, his cheeky grin and mischievous eyes laughing at me. "You're being silly sis" he would say.
My grin disappeared. "I miss you brother"
Lying back against the cold ground I felt spent, tired although I had only been up a couple of hours. Snow had begun to fall, the small flakes landing on my face felt cool and comforting as they cleaned the surface of my tears.
How could weather make me feel better, I thought while staring up at the grey sky that swirled above the forest canopy. But it did. Sighing I hauled my body to my feet brushing off the snow that had covered my brown cloak.
"Maybe it won't be so bad Jack" I smiled looking back at the lake. It glinted back at me in return and for once I wasn't afraid. Taking a small object out of my pocket I turned it over a few times feeling the familiar smooth surface of the wood against the pad of my thumb. I smiled at the little figures before slowly walking back over to the boulder where I had spent many of my mornings sat upon.
"I'll never forget you… Brother" Placing the small figurine onto the worn surface I took one last look at the small clearing before turning and walking back towards the village.
The one that was lost
I wish you could see me.
I sat next to her. The girl with the brown hair and eyes that looked so familiar. My gut told me I should know her but try as I might, my brain refused to come up with a name or any memory of her at all.
It frustrated me at times but there were also times, like this morning, when I liked it. Two strangers sitting on a rock on the first day of winter watching the dawn play out in front of us.
Sighing I stretched my body out across the boulder, folding my hands beneath my head to create a pillow as I watched the clouds pass over head.
"You know we spend most days out here together and I don't even know your name"
The girl remained as silent as ever. Glancing over to her out of the corner of my eye I saw her own gaze glued to the lake, her lips turned down in a frown.
"Not a word eh?" I sighed turning my eyes back up towards the sky. "Well I think you need a name. How about Mia?"
"Yeah… Mia" I whispered again feeling the wind whip the name off my lips to float through the air. It felt right somehow.
Suddenly I felt the presence beside me leave. The girl had got up, treading carefully towards the lake like the snow on the ground was broken glass. I sat up on my elbows watching her back slowly walk away from me.
"Okay fine, so you don't like Mia" Jumping up and grabbing my cane I let the currents in the air guide me till I was in front of the girl again, crouched low and perfectly balanced on my cane. "But you know it's not like you give me much to go on. I don't even think I've heard you speak." I continued.
The girl, Mia, walked on by oblivious to my presence and every word I said. Heaving another sigh, I let my body flop to the ground, it really was frustrating sometimes.
The barely audible words had my body jerked upright, eyes wide as I took in the girl's appearance crouching by the lake. Did she really just…
Excited I flew from my position, disturbing the wind as I went.
"That's my name!" I stopped right in front of her. "Can you see me?"
Her eyes seemed fixed on me while a sad smiled played across her face. After all this time, maybe… just maybe…
But then her gaze dropped, back down to the ground and she remained as silent as ever. Deflated I let my own body float down, landing lightly on the ice just inches in front of her. It might as well be miles.
I didn't bother looking up this time. The hope had died within me.
"I'm getting married today"
Of course, I thought. She's obviously thinking about another Jack, maybe a past lover. Well time for you to leave Jackie boy, this is clearly something private.
I got up, wrapping my cloak, which had fallen slightly in my earlier excitement, securely back around me.
The sob echoed all around the silent forest.
Startled I turned back watching as the girl fell to her knees, gut wrenching sobs being torn from her body.
"I wish you were here Jack"
Stunned I reacted on auto pilot, my body moving quickly towards her as if I pulled by some invisible force. "I am here" I said before I could even realize what I had said. Kneeling down beside her I tried to put my hand on her shoulder.
It fell right through, the limb passing through clothes and skin, and muscle and bone to fall back to my side.
Of course Jack, what were you thinking? Angrily I got to my feet, kicking at the snow and sending it flying.
The cries continued to echo through the trees, each one getting louder in pitch it seemed. And you can't do a damn thing about it. Never had I felt as useless as I did then.
Sighing I sat back down on the boulder. I may not be able to give any words of comfort but it felt wrong just to leave her there sobbing her heart out to what she thought was an empty forest.
So I stayed and gradually her cries began to lessen until only the occasional hiccup shook her body.
"Suppose you're thinking a bride shouldn't be crying on her wedding day"
I smiled sadly at her. "No I was thinking I wish you could see me"
"I miss you, brother"
So that's who she was thinking about, not a lover but a brother… I wonder what happened to him.
Suddenly I realized it had begun to snow, the fresh flakes falling all around the two of us. I marveled at them, at each individual pattern that nature had somehow miraculously created. It brought a smile to my face.
"Maybe it won't be so bad Jack" Slowly the girl heaved herself to her feet; tiny pink blotches had appeared on her skin where the snow had melted on her. Nether the less her own smile mirrored mine as she looked around the clearing.
"Yeah maybe it won't…"
The feeling that the girl was somehow trying to say goodbye to this place was felt by me. Maybe it's time for me to leave as well.
Laughing, I got up thinking, I hadn't visited Bunnymund in a while. A plan already formulating in my mind I didn't notice the girl walk back up towards the boulder and place a small wooden figurine on the center. Glancing down I had the sudden urge to see what it was but just as my hand was about to pick it up, I thought again. No, time to go Jack… time to go.
"I'll never forget you… Brother"
Looking back up, I saw the slowly retreating figure of the girl disappearing quickly in the now heavily falling snow.
"See you later… Mia"