Phantom: Hello all!
Trainer: What's up?
Phantom: sorry for the late chapter, but a lot of stuff has recently happened to us that has either slowed us down or made us lose our will to write for a bit.
Trainer: but we're back now!
Phantom: that we are.
Trainer: so first off, thanks to all the encouraging reviews, replies, follows and favs we've received.
Phantom: second, we'd like to tell you the most recent reason for a slow update. See, we live in Toronto and we had about 5 days ago a storm of freezing rain. Not a big deal normally, just a little ice. However, this time the rain went on for several hours and we now have about an inch of ice on everything.
Trainer: yeah, we had to leave our homes on day 2 because the power went out. It was a family effort to grab what we needed and then took shelter at our grandparents'. Thing is, we are still at our grandparents' house on this 5th day.
Phantom: and the irony of it all; we went and saw the movie FROZEN the night all this chaos started. Don't get me wrong, the movie was awesome and we recommend it entirely, but we are more than ready to return home and let this winter within a winter end.
Trainer: yeah, we came home that night 5 days ago singing "12 days of Christmas with Gred and Forge" while sliding everywhere. We had so much fun even though it was dangerous. Then yesterday, we went to check the house and it was colder inside than it was outside! That is just messed up! I ended up wearing my mittens on my feet the floor was so cold.
Phantom: indeed, the floor was freezing but the strangest thing is that despite the cold, the ice in the freezer had melted! Life just sucks sometimes, huh?
Trainer: well, enough about our frozen hell, onto the story!
Phantom: Happy Holidays everyone! Here is your holiday gift (doesn't matter what winter holiday you celebrate).
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Rise of the Guardians; the plot is mine as well as some characters.
Chapter 4: Girl of the Wind
For when looking at the memories:
Italic – Memories
Bold Italic – Thoughts in Memories
Regular – Everyone else
Once again the Guardians, Burgess kids and Nightmare King found themselves standing within Jack's bedroom. They all took in the surroundings to see if anything had changed. Everything seemed a little more worn as some of the toys looked as if they had been fixed on more than one occasion and a familiar toy bunny sat on the floor next to the bed. It too looked as if it had been played and loved to death.
The Easter Bunny and Sandman wandered over to the desk which was littered with many drawing and notes. Sharing a curious look, the two Guardians took a closer look at the papers. Some were drawings of people Jack knew, other were of nature in all its glory, and then finally the last drawing were of spirits and sprites known only to believers. The notes were really information about certain creatures or beings; what they look like, who they are, their story, etc.
"Heh, looks like Jamie ain't the only one obsessed with the unknown," Bunny said as he noticed Jack's story book that he and his dad had made lying over some other pages.
Sandy laughed in his own way while Jamie joined them and looked at the extensive notes and images. His mouth hung open as he looked at the goldmine of information. Funnily enough, Jack's book was open to the story Sam had told him in the last memory with a page of notes inquiring as to who all the beings in the story were really.
Pippa came up and pat Jamie on the back. "Well, if you two do end up being related then this sure explains your obsession," she said as she held up a page that had been on the floor. It said, "Believing is everything" and then she let the page drop again.
North chuckled. "Ah, Jack was bright boy when young. Knew you had to believe to truly see."
Sandy started laughing again as he pointed to some images – hand drawn – that were up on the wall. The first one was of and Easter egg lying next to a flower that looked like the kind left behind by Bunny when he used his tunnels. The one next to that was of the window in Jack's room, but off in the corner of window frame were a pair of glittering wings and a few green/blue feathers. Next was an image of some young children asleep in their mother's arms as swirling gold sand showed the kids playing and having fun. Another one showed some Christmas cookies lying in the fireplace. The last one took everyone, even Pitch, by surprise; a perfect draying of a Nightmare – up close and personal. It seemed Jack had very close calls with the five spirits.
Monty adjusted his glasses and said, "I think Jack was better at the detective game than Jamie was though."
Everyone nodded, all still shocked. They were usually so careful and made sure to not be seen by anyone and yet here was a child who singlehandedly found something about each of them and was still searching for the answers.
Tooth took a closer look at the drawings. "Jack must be a very strong believer," she mused, "and look at how well he draws! It's so detailed!" she started sounding like a proud mother again.
A moan sounded from the bed and an arm fell out from under the sheets and towards the floor. Everyone's attention was now on the figure in bed which they assumed to be Jack. Sure enough, Jack was asleep in bed and had buried his head under the pillow. The sunlight flitting through the window hitting the back of his head as he tried to ignore the fact that he should wake up.
"Jack?" Mary's voice called from below.
Jack didn't move. "hnm?" he called back sleepily.
"Jack, are you up?" she called again.
Jack pulled his pillow of his face and rolled onto his back calling back, "Noooooooooooo" and then promptly placed the pillow back on his face.
The kids laughed at Jack's behavior.
North didn't get it – as per usual. "I do not understand," he said, "Jack says he is not up yet he responds. Isn't dat sign he is awake?"
Bunny shook his head in mirth. "Give it up, North. It's not worth it to explain it to ya," said the Pooka.
North shrugged and just crossed his arms.
"Ja~ck, don't make me come up there," Mary warned. When she got no reply she gave an exaggerated sigh. "Oh well, I suppose I'll just let your father eat the rest of this breakfast…"
Jack sat upright and stared in horror at the door to his room. Jumping out of bed he yelled, "Whoa, let's not be hasty. If you had started with food I would have gotten up earlier. I'll be right down." Ha paused as he fumbled around his room trying to grab his clothes and added, "don't let papa eat my breakfast!" as he pulled on a vest.
Everyone took in Jack's appearance since he seemed to show the most as to how much time passed. He was taller and lanky, his hair still messy but about as long as it was in the present. He still wore similar clothes as he did when he turned four and forwent the shoes again. Pitch gave a critical eye as usual and tried to place why this Jack seemed so familiar. He shook it off again and assumed that Jack was now around 6-7 years old.
Jack raced downstairs after placing the toy bunny back on the bed. The other followed along as they had been doing before.
Jack slid to a stop at the table and sat down across from his father. "Morning papa," Jack said as he grabbed his breakfast. It consisted of fruit, bread and some cheese.
Christopher looked up from a letter he was reading and smiled briefly before returning to his letter with a serious face that just looked out of place on the man.
Jack took a bit from his bread and looked at the letter with curiosity. "wuf wif ha hetter?" Jack asked with his mouth still full.
This resulted in a slap on the back of his head from his mother – which made Jack swallow the partly chewed food and choke slightly. "Jack, don't talk with your mouth full. It is rude," she reprimanded.
Jack rub his head and mumbled, "Crazy woman" only loud enough for his father to hear.
Christopher shook his head in amusement. "The letter, Jack, is about some important news in town, or rather near town." Jack waited his wonder in his eyes for the man to continue. "Another family has moved into the settlement and since I'm a part of the committee for the running of this town, I have to visit them to learn the whole story for why the sudden move, who is in their family, what they can offer us as a community; the basics," Chris explained.
"You're not just going to kick them out if they aren't good for the town are you?" Jack asked a little worried for the new family now.
His father laughed and shook his head. "No, we'd still welcome them anyways. It's all a matter on where they will live though. They need to choose a place to build a house and them everyone can pitch in to help them. Until that time they'll be staying at the inn."
Jack nodded and suck a berry in his mouth. "Wonder if they've got any kids," Jack mused. Just as Jack was about to eat another berry his father stood up and placed the note in his pocket.
"Jack?" he called. Jack paused in his eating and looked at the man. "Why don't you come along? It will give you your first taste of what it's like to lead a community. You'll likely take up my position once I'm done anyways."
Jack nodded eagerly and grabbed the rest of his breakfast – the berries – and raced out of the house without a second thought. Mary glared at the door. She had noticed Jack's lack of shoes. She turned to Christopher and gave him a pointed look. "Shoes," was all she said and pointed at the object.
Christopher laughed and said, "You can't make him do it if he doesn't want to, Mary. Besides, he's gone out without his shoes on in the past and he's been fine. He understands that on certain occasions he needs to wear them."
Mary just shook her head sadly. "Fine, but if something happens, I blame you. He's your son."
"Oh, sure, when he does something wrong he's suddenly my son, but when he does something right he's all yours," Chris grumbled.
Mary hit him with her spoon and then kissed his cheek. "Make them feel welcomed," she said.
"Will do," was all he said and then left to catch his son.
Christopher managed to catch up to Jack who was throwing his berries into the air and skillfully catching them in his mouth. When he saw the familiar staff his father carried he knew that it was the other man.
"So, papa?" Chris looked at his son as he slowed his pace a bit as they walked the Spring dirt path. "What do you know about this family so far?" Jack asked and popped a blackberry into the air.
Christopher snatched the berry in mid-air and ate it himself, much to Jack's displeasure. "Well, to be truthful, not much. The family is small and only brought their most prized possessions with them from their past town. From the way the letter put it, these folks were trying to get out of their previous town as quick as possible."
Jack mauled this over as he ate the rest of his berries. As they grew closer to the town the road's edges were lined with fences that looked quite recent. Jack climbed onto the one closest to where he and his father were walking and balanced himself as he continued to walk.
"So, what town or settlement did they come from?" Jack asked eagerly, ready to find out as much as he could before actually meeting the family.
"They came from a port town. It means that they got plenty of goods and trades from overseas that would then be sold here and in other towns," Chris explained. "They came a long way to get here, at least 5 towns away from us as well as one major city."
Jack let out a whistle. "That is some distance to travel just to get here," he said, "Can't wait to meet them."
Jack's father chuckled lightly, but Jack could tell that there was something off about it and gave his father a curious look silently asking what the problem was.
Christopher must have noticed his son's expression because he told him "it's nothing Jack." Jack knew it was nothing, but let the topic drop anyways. "Besides, if they have a kid then I need you to make them feel welcomed. Can you do that Jack?"
Jack smiled wide and said, "of course! I can make anyone smile!"
With that said, Jack jumped off the fence with a 'ta da' and followed his father into town towards the inn.
"Now remember Jack, make them feel welcomed. Sam and his father will be there too as well as Eli and possibly Michael with their fathers so please, best behavior today," Christopher pleaded.
Jack nodded absentmindedly and took in the town and watched out for random animals. Once or twice he had to dodge a chicken and another time his father pulled him out of the way of a dog and the younger children chasing it.
Soon enough they reached the inn and just as Christopher had said, Sam, Eli and Michael were there with their respective fathers waiting for them to arrive. The adults were talking to another man who had tan skin, black hair that was showing signs of grey, evening stubble, blue eyes and somewhat fancier clothing that showed his obvious wealth from his life in the port town. The older boys were chatting quietly off to the side, but what really got Jack's attention was the little girl standing slightly behind the new man. She was clutching his clothing and kept looking around scared like something bad was going to happen. She had blond hair and dark blue eyes. She too wore nicer clothing of a dress in a green fabric. Along the side of the dress were swirls in white that looked almost like the wind. She looked no older than himself.
"Hey, Jack! Jack? Hey, you alright?" Sam waved a hand in front of the boy's face. Jack didn't realize that he had stopped let alone that he had been letting his mouth hang open and that he had been staring.
Eli was also snapping to get Jack back to reality. "Oi, Jack, what's got you acting like a fish out of water?"
"Better yet, what are you staring at?" Michael asked.
Jack came back to his senses but just pointed at the unfamiliar faces. The other three boys looked to where he was pointing and said a unanimous 'oh'.
"Yeah, that's the new family who wants to live in our town. It's just those two though," Eli said. "Wonder where the mother is..."
"Maybe that's the reason they left," Michael said. "Perhaps things didn't turn out well and they left her."
"Who are they?" Jack asked as he gazed at the girl. He could stop himself from looking at her every few minutes.
"The father's name is Cedric Windy. He's a medicine maker so he'll be heavily welcomed into town. He's like a healer. That's his only daughter. Her name is Elisa, Elisa Windy. She looks so scared of everyone. Wonder what could have done that?" Sam answered.
They stayed there for a few moments before Eli caught Jack staring at Elisa and snorted. Jack gave him a confused look which only mad Eli laugh some more. He ruffled Jack's hair and said, "Aw, Jack is growing up."
By now Michael had figured out what was happening and whispered something to Sam who got a goofy grin on his face. "Jack? Do you have a crush on the new girl?" he asked while trying to keep his chuckles low.
Jack blushed and stammered, "n-no! I don't!"
"Then why don't you stop staring at her?" Eli jibbed.
"I… I was just wondering why she isn't trying to talk to anybody, that's all," Jack said defensively.
"Su~re," the three elder boys teased.
Jack stuck his tongue out and then moved away from his friends. "Hey, where are you going?" Sam asked.
Jack turned and gave a deadpan look. "I'm going to talk to her, welcome her to the community and all that other stuff."
Sam shared a look with Michael and Eli before he said, "I wouldn't try, if I were you."
"Well you're not me," Jack supplied. "But why shouldn't I?"
"Well, we've all tried talking to her. She just hides behind her father and stays quiet," Michael explained. Jack gave him a disbelieving look which made Michael smirk. "What? You don't think you're the only one who likes her do you? I know I'd like to give it a shot."
Jack didn't know why, but this made him angry and so he continued on his way to greet the new girl. He smiled when he saw her and he gave a little wave. If anyone could get her to smile and open up, it was going to be him. Jack walked up to the circle of men and tugged on his father's leg. As expected, Christopher noticed him and smiled brightly.
"Cedric, I'd like you to meet my son. Jack, this is Cedric Windy. He's going to be moving into a house near the lake like our own. Cedric, this is my son, Jackson," Chris introduced.
The two shook hands and Jack explained that he preferred to be called 'Jack'. "It is very nice to meet you, Jackson," he said. Jack made a face at the use of his full name but returned to his smiling demeanor quickly. "This is my daughter, Elisa." Elisa peaked out from behind her father and stared curiously at Jack.
Jack smiled at her and asked, "Do you want to play with me and my friends?"
Elisa shied away and clutched her father's clothes even tighter. "Sorry about her. She's just a bit shy at the moment. This move has taken a lot from us and it's hard for her to reach out to anyone now," Cedric said. He let out a sigh. "She actually used to be so open with people. So carefree and adventurous. Wore her heart on her sleeve as they say."
Sam's father nodded in understanding. "I can imagine what it must be like for her to go from what she was to how she is now. Such a drastic change, something life changing must have happened."
Cedric only nodded and didn't say anymore on the subject. Throughout the whole talk, Jack and Elisa kept glancing at the other, one with curiosity/wariness and the other with hope for future fun. Every time they managed to get eye contact, Jack would smile or make a silly face while Elisa would turn away or hide. This continued until the families had to say goodbye and return to their homes for the rest of the day.
As Jack and His father walked, Jack voiced his thoughts. "Elisa seems really nice, but I don't think she likes me very much," he said sadly.
"Don't worry about that, Jack. She and her father left their hometown because it held bad memories and they needed an escape. Don't worry, she'll come around. From the sound of it, she's somewhat like you, but thinks things through more thoroughly. Maybe all she needs is a push in the right direction," he said.
"You really think so?" Jack asked hopefully.
Chris nodded. "I'm sure of it," he replied, "Just use that old Frost Charm!"
Jack gave a shout of excitement and spun in circles. "I'll make her see how fun I can be if it's the last thing I do!"
"And maybe a little bit more," Chris mumbled with a knowing smile as he followed his son along the dirt path.
The scene blurred again and the group found themselves back in the town. It didn't appear that much time had gone by since they could clearly see Elisa walking around looking just the same as she did a moment ago. She kept glancing every which way with a nervous look and kept her hands close to her chest.
Pitch smirked as he recognized the signs of fear. He wished that this could all be real again for a moment so that he could drink in such potent fear. Sand too saw these signs and gave a nasty glare at the Boogieman when Pitch managed to catch his eye, an amused glint fixated within them.
"Elisa looks like she's adjusting well," remarked Cupcake, but everyone could hear the uncertainty in her voice as she spoke. She didn't believe her statement for one minute.
Just then, Jamie caught some movement behind them and turned to see Jack walking into town with his trademark smile in place. Although, some may have called what he currently had a smirk. Jamie tugged on North's jacket and said, "Look, here comes Jack" as he pointed to the memory.
Everyone turned and Bunny groaned. "Ohhh, I don't like that look on his face."
Jack walked into town but it was only as he saw Elisa that his smile turned into a full blown grin. He walked up to her and crossed his arms staring down at her a little and showed his brightest smile. Elisa just stood there and even took a step back as if Jack were some wild animal about to attack.
"Hi," Jack said warmly. "We met a few days ago. You remember me, right? We didn't really get a chance to talk did we? Jack Frost," and he held out his hand for her to shake. Elisa backed up another step and squeaked a little in fear. Jack's smile faltered and a saddened look entered his eyes.
Pitch privately enjoyed that. The current Jack took a lot to get to look like that and here a girl his age had managed to do it in a few seconds.
Elisa seemed to notice Jack's sudden mood change and took a cautious step towards Jack and held out a small pale hand to him. Jack's spirits rose a little as she tentatively grasped his hand and shook it. Jack didn't hear her speak, but at least he had gotten some reaction out of her other than fear.
The two let go and just stood there for a moment before awkwardly before Elisa bowed her head slightly and walked off. Jack watched her go and then looked down at the hand the she had touched. His smile grew as he closed his hand and looked back up at her retreating figure.
"I have some work to do," he said to himself. He didn't notice Roger glaring at him from across the street or the fact that Roger's frown soon turned into a malicious smirk.
"He is up to something," North mumbled to Tooth. Tooth looked to where North was looking and frowned in worry. "I can feel it, in my belly." Tooth nodded in agreement.
Pitch once again stood off to the side. He also noticed the obnoxious boy. He didn't like this Roger boy, even more than he had disliked Jack. And that is saying something. Some quiet twittering made him look to his shoulder to see Baby Tooth going through different emotions like anger, adoration, sadness and a few others. She would giggle at one moment like a little fangirl and then punch her hand in a threatening manner (although it wasn't really since she's a cute little fairy) as if she wanted to hurt someone.
"What are you doing?" Pitch asked in a low voice quiet enough that only the little tooth fairy could hear him.
Baby Tooth was caught by surprise with the sudden question and nearly fell off Pitch's shoulder (not that he would've minded). Coming back to the present, Baby Tooth outlined how she didn't like Roger. Apparently, she was one of the fairies that would normally be deployed to Burgess, especially starting around Jack's time since Toothiana started having to collect more teeth then she could handle alone. Baby Tooth explained in hushed tones that she had to visit Roger a lot during his time as a child since he more than once tried to pass off another's tooth as his own. One time he had even tried putting a rock that looked like a tooth with another tooth to try and trick them. They still collected the teeth and then put them to the right child, but they left no money for him.
"And what of the rock tooth?" Pitch asked. He was learning that you could always hate someone more than you had.
"I threw it at his head the next morning when he woke up. I still grabbed the rock though," she admitted.
Pitch nodded his head. Not the ideal punishment but still a fair one coming from one of Toothiana's helpers. But that still didn't
"Whoa! What's going on?!" the twins asked.
It seemed like memories where flying by and each time one came they saw a moment when Jack tried to get Elisa to open up more to him. Although it wasn't always in the best of ways.
They saw him just casually greet her in town. The two of them simply walking around and talking to other town's folk or children. There were a few times when Jack was doing something silly which brought small smiles to her face and made jack smile even bigger. There were times when Jack pulled pranks and she watched. Others where she was the target of his pranks which result in her chasing him around trying to get revenge on him. They saw him being watched by Elisa as he helped one of the younger kids and when he stood up against Roger.
One of these times Roger gave him a black eye and Elisa said that what he did was noble but very stupid. He told her that if he hadn't then no one would have. She called him an idiot after that. That was the first time she ended up speaking to him. There were times when he purposefully annoyed her by stealing her books while she read, suddenly swinging out of nearby trees and scaring her, following her around town and refusing to leave her alone. It was quite amusing as to what lengths Jack was willing to go to get her to like him, even a little bit.
The memories slowed down a bit until they came to another memory instead of flashing again.
"So, Jack, how has your attempts to get Elisa's friendship been going?" Sam asked as they sat on the rocks of the pond.
"Augh!" Jack flopped onto his back with his hands in his hair.
Sam chuckled, "that well, huh?"
"I don't get girls," Jack said.
Sam raised an eyebrow. "What about Susan? She's a girl, and you understand her pretty well."
Jack sat up. "She's different. We grew up together and she hung around all us boys for a good part of it. She doesn't shy away like this. I'm starting to run out of ideas."
"Sooooo, teasing her and being friendly haven't been working?"
"No, she talks to me now, but she kind of sees me as a pest I guess. You know what she called me the other day when we saw each other in town?" he asked. Sam shook his head. "A damned trickster!"
Sam couldn't help but notice the blush and beginnings of a goofy smile on his 'little other's' face. "And what did you say?"
"I…I called her a nasty nerd…" Jack admitted, but the smile and blush remained. Sam smirked in a knowing way which Jack caught. "What are you being so smug about?"
"Ah, young love," he said wistfully as he walked along the bank of the pond.
It took Jack a moment to catch on before he went completely red and shouted, "I do not like her like that!" and stomped after Sam.
"Su~re, you just like to tease her in ways that get her attention on you," Sam retorted in a very teasing way.
"Exactly," Jack said. Then he caught on to the sarcasm. "Wait, what? No!" Sam cracked up and ruffled Jack's hair.
"Oh? Then why do you watch her when you hide in the trees around town?" Jack didn't respond and just blushed more. Sam chuckled again and kept walking. "Oh Jack, you'll see what I see at some point."
The memory changed again and now it was Fall. The town looked amazing in the autumn colours, but this time everyone was working on putting up decorations for some sort of party.
"Wonder what they're celebrating," Pippa mused as she and the others walked around.
Jamie nodded, "Must be something big. They even have musicians setting up over there.
"Look! It's Elisa and her dad," Monty shouted.
Sure enough, there they were. They were talking to some people who were dressed similarly to them the first time they saw the two.
"Maybe they came from the same place the Windy family came from," Tooth commented as she took in the new peoples' clothing.
"It is good to see some familiar faces around here," Cedric said. "How is the port doing?"
"Quite well," said a man who looked a little odd. He was wearing clothes from another country and he had an accent. He was very tan, muscular, had black hair with visible greying areas and his eyes were dark brown. "Trading has become more popular in towns and cities that have access to the water. People like me see that we could have much business in mainland towns where our goods are uncommon."
Elisa was clinging to her father again but for once she was smiling at the mysterious man. The man smiled down at her. "And how are you, Elisa? Still in high spirits I hope."
Elisa nodded slightly but not immediately. "Sorry, Johann. The whole incident has been hard on the both of us. She's become a little withdrawn from people she doesn't know," Cedric explained. "I was hoping that this would be a good place to have a fresh start."
"Oh, that's alright Cedric. I heard all about it. That wrench has actually been chased out of town soon after you left. It was either that or being killed herself! If you ask me, she shouldn't have had the choice," Johann said. "So, Elisa, have you made any friends?"
"Actually, one of the head men of this town has a son who has been trying very hard to make her feel welcome. Although, I can't say he always goes about it the right way," Cedric admitted.
Elisa nodded. "He started off being nice to me, but then he started to play jokes or just annoy me. He followed me around all day once and wouldn't leave me alone when I told him to, Trader Johann!"
Johann laughed. "Sounds to me like he won't give up till you two are close friends!"
Elisa pouted and stuck her nose in the air. "Not on my watch!"
Little did she know that Jack was listening in in a nearby tree. Sam and Michael were leaning against the trunk of the tree and kept passing amused glances to one another. They would stare at the group of people talking and then at Jack and then back to each other. It was kind of funny watching Jack trying to figure out what he should do.
"Jack, just go up and talk to her," Sam said.
Jack gave a glance at the two older boys and then went back to staring at Elisa, deciding to ignore the two. They had been like this for weeks after Sam spilled the conversation he and Jack had to Michael. It was starting to grate on Jack's nerves.
"Seriously, Jack," Michael added, "You're going to drive yourself mad at this rate."
Jack scoffed and jumped out of the tree. "Ha! Like you two know what's going on in my world let alone my head."
"Yeah, like we'd want to go into your head. Who knows what we'd find in there," Sam joked.
Michael laughed. "I think it would be quite frightening if you ask me. I mean, it's got to be with all the stunts Jack pulls!"
By now both older boys were laughing and wheezing as they tried to breathe in a breath. Jack rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, just be careful. Never know when one of those ideas might be targeting you next." Unfortunately this just caused the boys to laugh harder. In the end, Jack walked away from them.
He walked up to Cedric, Elisa and Johann instead. "Hello, Mr. Windy, Elisa," he greeted as they returned it. "I'm sorry, I don't believe we've met," Jack said as he turned to Johann, "Jackson Frost, but call me Jack."
"Ahhhh, so you're the young man I've heard about. Quite the trickster aren't you. Heard you use them to brighten people's spirits when they're feeling down," the trader said.
Jack crossed his arms and smirked. "Yep, that's me."
Johann chuckled. "Well, you definitely see no downside to it. If you don't mind my asking, why don't you have any shoes on?"
Jack took a moment to look at his bare feet. He had walked out of the house again without his shoes. "Oh, uh, personally, I don't like wearing them. If I get the choice I just don't wear them. Sometimes I just forget them…like today," Jack admitted as he blushed.
Elisa giggled quietly but Jack still heard and flashed her a smile. Johann and Cedric then excused themselves since they had to talk about where the trader could set up his goods for the town's people for later, leaving Jack and Elisa alone.
"If it isn't the damned trickster. What have you got up your sleeves today? Are you going to steal my book again? Or how about messing up my dress. Maybe I should just chase you down now and save myself the trouble of it later," Elisa stated.
"Why, I never knew the nasty nerd was capable of such things! Maybe I need to up my game. You never seem too upset when you chase after me and not once have you told me to permanently leave you alone," Jack retorted with a smug smile.
This had been their routine for several weeks. And if both were honest, they didn't want to stop. Teasing the other was just too much fun! And Jack was all about fun.
The two started walking around the town and watched as traders set up stands for goods (Elisa introduced some of them to Jack while Jack did the same for Elisa), hang decorations and set up a sort of stage in the center of town.
"So, what is everyone setting up for anyways?" Elisa asked as she watched one of the traders hand out candied apples to the younger kids.
"It's the Harvest Festival. We had a good crop grown this year and we're going to celebrate. Though I really wouldn't know. My family are shepherds, not farmers," Jack explained. "There's supposed to be a huge feast with dancing and music and games too. We also have the traders come here from all around so we can get something that's not from around here."
"It sounds like fun!" Elisa said. For the first time Jack saw what this girl must have been like before she moved to town.
"Yeah, it is," he admitted. "Although I usually stick to the games. I'm not a dancer and papa hasn't taught me to play a musical instrument yet. He said he would like to soon though."
"Does he play an instrument?"
"Yeah, the violin. But he only plays for family or special occasions. He might play something tonight."
Elisa smiled. "Well than I'll look forward to it."
Soon it was getting to be midafternoon and the festival began. Everyone from town was moving about talking, laughing and just plain enjoying themselves. Jack and many of the other kids had started up a game of tag near the center of town. Other kids had gone with parents to look at the different goods the traders had. For some reason Elisa was walking and talking with Roger, but everyone could tell that her small smile was forced and that she didn't want to be near him. Eli and Susan soon came to her rescue, much to Roger's annoyance.
At some point, Christopher climbed onto the stage and began banging his shepherd's crook to gain everyone's attention. It worked for the most part except the kids were still playing in front of the stage. Most of them were stopped by their parents. The last one to go quiet was Jack who tripped and was then caught by the crook staff. He smiled like an imp to his dad and then stopped like everyone else and listened.
"Welcome! Welcome to our harvest feast. We welcome both old and new faces this year from both near and far. This is a time to be happy for what we have and what we have gained as well as to remember what we have also lost. With these words, I say, WELCOME TO THE HARVEST!"
"TO THE HARVEST!" the town's folk echoed. Christopher turned to the musicians and motioned them to start playing. The music was lively and then out of nowhere, Elisa and Susan began dancing in the middle of the town. It started of fairly calm almost Celtic but Elisa looked to be in her element.
Jack watched on in amazement as she seemed to dance on air. Every movement was delicate and precise. It was like she was controlling the wind entirely so that her dress, hair and body moved with it. Susan wasn't half bad either. Then the music sped up and people began clapping as the two girls began dragging people from the audience to dance too. Jack didn't know when but somehow Elisa had pulled him into the dance too.
He stood there frozen and blushing. "Elisa, I can't dance!" he told her but all she did was laugh.
"Aw, come on Jack. Don't tell me you're afraid," she teased.
Jack seriously had no idea what to do. He was out of his element. He looked to the stage that had the musicians on it and saw his dad playing his violin and motioning him to dance. He took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. "I can do this," he told himself.
Elisa then grabbed his hand and said, "Here, do it like this" and led him in the motions of the dance. Jack soon got the hang of it and the two were dancing freely now. It was almost like it was just the two of them half the time since the half of the time they dragged away from each other and had to dance with others in the huge circle.
The music sped up more and soon enough both were spinning and changing from one partner to the next. Everyone gave a giant leap into the air and spun fiercely. Jack thought he was going to get dizzy by the time he stopped. The climax was coming and Jack turned around only to bump chests with Elisa and holding her hands as the music finished. The two blushed and quickly separated out of embarrassment, but neither one stopped smiling.
Sam, Michael, Eli, the triplets and Susan came up to them each telling how amazing the dance was. Elisa admitted that it was a song that she had requested from where she was from and had taught Susan how to dance it. Apparently, Susan had grabbed Sam who grabbed Michael and they were all dragged in. The triplets had been watching from the side with Eli the whole time.
Jack and Elisa participated in a few more dances as well as some games. Jack jumped up at one point and proclaimed himself the 'king of fun times' and all the kids flowed him around as he acted silly and mad people laugh.
There was another dance that happened in which all the boys did. It involved a few flips and tricks and one time Sam and Michael launched Jack and the Triplets into the air while Eli and some older boys spun long sticks. The girls and younger children all clapped and laughed.
Soon enough the festival had ended and the adults were cleaning up. Jack and Elisa sat near a fire pit just burning sticks and waiting for their parents to take them home.
"So, how did you like the festival?" Jack asked. He had a lot of fun and with Elisa which made it all the better to him.
"I had fun! Ha ha. I haven't had fun like that in such a long time," She said with a fond smile.
"Good," Jack said. "Wouldn't want to disappoint you during your first festival here."
Elisa blushed and tucked some blond hair behind her ear. "Yeah, well, you're not suck a bad guy to play with, you know, when you're not being such a damned trickster."
Jack looked at her in surprise, he didn't notice his stick was still burning. When he finally did he yelped and quickly put it out. Elisa giggled but covered her mouth to try and hide it. It didn't work since Jack just ended up nudging her anyways.
"Yeah, you're not so bad yourself once you finally open up to people. Who knew such a nasty nerd could have so much fun doing something other than reading?" he countered.
The two shared a look before bursting into giggles. Jack sighed and leaned back to look at the sky. Elisa did too, but she shivered a little. She pulled out a small cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders like Jack had done with his not too long ago. The two stared at the sky where a half moon watched them.
Jack sighed. "I think we got off on the wrong foot when we first met," he said.
"Gee, you think?" was his response.
Jack rolled his eyes and sat up to look at her. "No, seriously. I was just trying to make you feel welcomed but I don't think I did a very good job of that. I like to make people smile, not run away scared. So what do you say, Elisa? Want to start over?" he asked as he held out his hand to the blond.
Her blue eyes met his brown ones before she smile and shook his hand. "Hello, my name is Elisa Borealis Windy. And you are?" she said cheekily.
Jack laughed and shook back, "Jackson Overland Frost, but call me Jack. Huh, I just realized that your name is all about the winter wind."
"You're one to talk! Your name is all about winter itself!" she said.
"No, but seriously, why Borealis?"
Jack paused to think about this and found he had no answer to this. "Ok, good point." The two laughed again and stared at the sky once more. "Soooooo, what's your favourite season?"
"Winter. I love it. There are just some things you can only do in winter that you can't do any other time of the year," Elisa stated.
Jack smiled. "I think this is going to be a beautiful friendship!" he declared much to Elisa's amusement.
The memory faded and left the Guardians, Burgess kids and Nightmare King to think about what they just saw. They were all silent, some not sure what to think while others just wanted to be silent.
North chuckled and caught all the questioning stares that the kids sent him. "I remember Elisa. Very clever girl. Very nice to everyone and always willing to give a hand to anyone, even those who didn't deserve it. She started getting in trouble around 9 or 10. I think I know why now."
The kids laughed at this. "It was because of Jack wasn't it," said Jamie.
Sandy made sand images of Jack and Elisa with a heart between them.
"You think those two get together, mate?" Bunny asked. Sandy nodded happily as he recalled giving dreams to both of those kids in which they thought about the other even before anything might have happened.
Everyone expected Tooth to start gushing over Jack's possible love life but to everyone's surprise, she looked almost saddened.
"Oi, Sheila, what's the matte'?" Bunny asked.
Tooth looked up and then back to her hands. "Well, this just made me wonder how much does Jack miss all of this; his past? Does he miss his loved ones, his friends, everything? I mean, he got his memory back, so he must know everything now. Imagine how alone and hurt he must have been after the battle with Pitch. Remember? He stayed away from us and didn't come back for two months. He must have been finally feeling his loss."
The Guardians looked down as realization hit them. They had all had a past as well, but they had known for a very long time while Jack had forgotten for centuries only to have the truth slammed down right in front of him; everything he had once known was gone.
Pitch didn't seem troubled by this. He, like the Guardians, had his own past and had accepted it, but Jack's predicament didn't really bother him. Actually, Jack had gone to visit Pitch during those two months he had supposedly left the Guardians alone. He didn't stick around a lot, so that still meant that the boy had avoided his little friends likely to cope, but the fact that Jack had gone to him for company instead of them made him feel good. Mostly since it hurt the Guardians so much and would likely hurt them more if they knew Jack had gone to him.
The kids on the other hand were confused. "What do you mean Jack didn't have his memories?" they asked. The Guardians shared a look as if deciding whether they should say or not. They looked like they were about to tell when the next memory started up; much to the Guardians' relief.
Phantom: Well, that's it for this chapter. I hope you all have a happy new year and all that jazz.
Trainer: WOO! Staying up past midnight…again!
Phantom: you thinking what I'm thinking?
Trainer: Drunk Science?
Phantom: YEP! And a dance party until midnight!
Trainer: but we already did that with friends and family during our big games night…oh well.
Phantom: I hope you all did enjoy this chapter because I had fun writing it. Also, some of you had asked about the last chapter I wrote and the most common question was about the story Sam was telling. The answer; yes, I just RotBTD you all and you'll see more of those characters in later chapters. Also, the dance that I had in this chapter is the same song from Tangled "Kingdom Dance" and I mean the full thing!
Trainer: I KNEW IT! Until next time people.
Phantom: just warning you all now so I hope you read this; I am going back to school for my second semester on January 6th so once again chapters will be slow. I will try to update some while I'm working, but I can't promise.
Trainer: and she does have two stories going at the moment. So try to be patient with her. School is a first priority and then stories after that.
Phantom: I do get a reading week in February so I may get something in then, so cross your fingers that my teachers don't give me huge projects during it!
Both: Until next time! HAPPY NEW YEARS!