I said it was coming! Homeless Jack Frost and Bunny taking him in! :D Anyway, it's a Human AU and Jackrabbit so keep those in your mind as your reading and if that's not your cup of tea then feel free to drop the story and go in that direction - towards the backwards arrow or the ^ direction towards the close tab button.
Summary: Jack Frost is a homeless 19 year old living on the streets Burgess that E. Aster Bunnymund has the chance of running into when he moves to Burgess for personal reasons. Little does Aster know, Jack's not only a permanent fixture in Burgess, but in Aster's life as well. (Human!Bunny, Jackrabbit)
Pairings: Jackrabbit, North/Tooth (whatever that ship name is), and possible minor Blackice in future.
Warnings for this chapter: Homelessness, the mistreatment of homeless people, and over all disrespect.
White hair barely peeks out from an old, royal blue, snow covered sweatshirt's hood as the young adult wearing it pressed his forehead against the smooth, cold glass of a bakery's window. Bright, stunning blue eyes stare through the fog of his breath, struggling to admire the wonderfully crafted pastries and sweets inside.
The clerk at the cash register inside shoots the boy a warning look, having known the male to try and weasel food out of anyone who withdrew from the shop. If the kid stayed around for longer than a few minutes he'd have to go usher him away.
The white haired male sighs and looks away from the clerk's gaze, he knows he's not going to get anything from him today.
It was the third day in a row that week that Jack hadn't eaten more than half a bagel and his stomach was growling with discontent each step he took down the street. It was getting to be very hard to make it that week, more so than he originally thought.
It seemed with the holidays, less people were willing to give up food or share. Which, it was sort of ironic seeing this during a time such as Thanksgiving where everyone supposedly handed over canned foods to shelters for the needy. Jack was more than needy. He was homeless and had been for a while.
He spent most of his time moving from place to place in Pennsylvania but Burgess was by far his favorite place to be. He had a few friends there, though they were just children.
A cough rose in his chest and he struggled to hold it back. He'd rather look like a kid who was lost than a homeless teenager. He never looked his age. People always compared him to a sixteen year old but he was really nineteen, an adult for over a year but still relying on the kindness of those around him to survive.
He really hoped the Bennetts would return home from their vacation to Florida so he might have some kinder company.
Jack stumbled along, his feet numb from having no shoes to wear. It was one of the few things that gave away the fact he did not have a home, or at least that he was one very strange, possibly intoxicated individual.
Either way, Jack hated shoes and would rather do without. There was also the fact that he carried around a large, shepherd's crook-like stick. It looked like one, could probably act like one, and was Jack's favorite possession aside from his pair of ratty, torn, brown pants he couldn't remember where he got from.
If anything, Jack screamed the phrase hobo. But he knew how to clean up nice and take care of himself. He wasn't a hopeless case.
Jack pushed himself out of the way of a pregnant lady and her husband, the woman was obviously in a hurry and Jack didn't have anywhere to move fast. He smiled kindly at them. The woman smiled back nervously, and her husband only frowned disapprovingly.
By now the couple should have become familiar with Burgess' only hobo with stark white hair but some people never understood. Jack shook his head as they disappeared behind him and watched the pathway ahead of him. A new, unfamiliar truck was driving down the street with that familiar slow pace that screamed 'I'm trying to understand where I'm going'. He smirked at the sight.
It was obviously not a tourist by the way the male was driving. Tourists would drive quicker than that, if only slightly. Don't ask how Jack knows, he just does.
Jack only smiled brighter at the sight and kept walking down the street in the opposite direction. He'd get to see the guy again, no doubt. Now all Jack had to do was go beg for food in front of his child friends' houses.
Aster was more than frustrated. His stupid Iphone couldn't give him the right directions if its battery life depended on it and he was sure he was lost. He'd heard Burgess was a nice place and very much unlike his home country of Australia, which he couldn't decide whether or not that was a good or bad thing.
Most likely it would turn out to be a bad thing.
He shook his head, following the street signs towards the address he thought was the home he was supposed to be moving into. It was a small, two bedroom house near the edge of the woods where he wouldn't be bothered by too many of the townsfolk.
He looked forward to finding it. Aster was always the person to keep to himself and he rarely spent too much time with friends. He'd visited Burgess several times for work, having become business partners with a good family friend. But he didn't have that many friends of his own, and he never had been one for social interaction. His closest friends were business associates or friends of business associates.
Either way, Aster was glad to be meeting back up with the local toymaker, North. The toymaker was a bulging man with an equally bulging personality. He loved children and always had some long heartwarming speech to give in his heavy Russian accent. Aster's parents had met the man when they visited to America for work and after that, Aster became acquainted. North was probably the closest to family that Aster had left.
Aside from North, Aster also knew two others in the area. There was Tooth, a nickname she achieved from being a dentist, whom Aster had met from interactions with North. North and Tooth were very close friends and Aster had heard about more than enough dates the two had shared.
Tooth wasn't the only one Aster knew aside from North though. Sanderson Mansnoozie was another person in the area he'd met from his family's business ties in the area. The man was the CEO of a mattress company but Sandy, as they liked to call him, also owned a local discount furniture store in the area that he spent his time at. He may have been CEO but he delegated most of his work towards his second in command and only went to conferences when absolutely necessary because of his lifelong muteness.
Needless to say, Aster liked the man. He was a kind, short, and very round man with a welcoming and caring personality.
Aster also liked the silence whenever they were together.
Figuring that he'd call the three when he finally got settled, Aster drove up to his new home and parked in the snow dusted driveway. It was already going to be a very cold winter, Aster had assumed by the early snowfalls. He'd have to get used to it. He wasn't accustomed to the cold air and weather of Pennsylvania.
He fumbled around in his pockets for his unused house keys. The realtor had sent them to him with all the necessary paperwork and such. Aster had bought the place sight unseen for personal reasons. He'd seen pictures of the place and the price was cheaper because of the age but Aster had no qualms with living in an older house so long as the heating system worked efficiently.
Content with the new home he'd picked from many, Aster pulled a few boxes from the back of his truck and gathered them up in his hands. Quickly he made his way towards the front porch, climbing a few creaky wooden steps before being able to stick the key in the lock.
The door opened with a creak that could rival that of the steps and he cringed slightly. Maybe he'd get used to it, maybe he'd repair it. Aster couldn't decide yet.
He pushed the wooden door open with mild interest and looked around the inside of the house. It was more modern than he expected, though it also was coated with age. The furniture he'd shipped from Australia had already arrived with the heavier items and was arranged in the living room area.
Aster wanted nothing more than to drop onto the old green, patchy couch he'd been watching TV on for nearly his entire life but he had work to do and the house to explore.
Carefully he set the cardboard boxes down at the base of the stairs and went back to retrieve the others from his truck, along with his suitcases. When all the necessary belongings were inside the house, Aster pushed past the boxes and bags and began looking around his new home.
The entire downstairs floor was hardwood, with the exception of the tile floored kitchen. It was polished but Aster could see the age of the place. He tried to remember when the house was constructed but his mind was elsewhere.
He discovered the kitchen had a pantry large enough to be a closet, which might not have been a bad thing but when did he ever need so much space for food. He shrugged it off and inspected the kitchen. Some of the paint was chipping in areas but he didn't mind repainting things. He knew the house would be a project.
The fridge was new, and so were the countertops, oven, stove, and microwave. They had all been replaced within the past year or so which mean Aster wouldn't struggle too much when it came down to making food.
The dining room had an old chandelier hanging from the ceiling which he contemplated removing but he guessed it gave the home a good feel. Most of the walls were covered with peeling wallpaper which he'd have to remove and put a real layer of paint on. Aster never liked wallpaper.
The living room and family room were both connected by a large space in the wall. In the shared wall was a shared fireplace that had two open sides facing both rooms, the bricks smelled of ash and smoke but it was a woodsy smell like the smell of burnt firewood and not cigarettes.
There was one half bath downstairs and one full bath upstairs. Both looked like they needed to be cleaned thoroughly again.
Upstairs were the two bedrooms and a patio that was situated over the kitchen. The patio was connected to one of the bedrooms, which Aster quickly decided would become his bedroom, and it faced the woods. It almost reminded Aster of home, if only because of the nature aspect.
After exploring both bedrooms and walking back downstairs, Aster got to unpacking. He decided he'd sleep on the couch that night so he wouldn't have to go through the physical labor of moving the parts of his bed upstairs and such. He'd probably take the week to properly unpack anyhow.
Soon Aster was sitting on his sofa facing the semi-large and old TV that he'd had for several years as well. He fell asleep without eating dinner and had nothing but new beginnings and bad pasts stuck in his mind.
The next morning, Aster woke up and unpacked some of the kitchen materials such as pots and pans. Then when it got to be around ten in the morning he walked out and hopped in his truck and drove into town. He needed to pick up some food at the grocery and he'd heard from North over the phone that the local diner had really good breakfast.
Aster normally would have made food at home but seeing as he had none and he was starving, he decided a stop at the diner would have been good before he went to the supermarket.
It didn't take much for Aster to find the diner. He'd seen it on his way into town and the road he lived on branched off from the center of Burgess. After a few minutes of driving he was already parked in the parking lot and hopping out of his truck to go inside.
The moment he pushed open the door, a bell chimed to let the staff know that a customer had walked in. Almost everyone in the diner glanced up for a second before going back to their meals and conversations. The diner was a typical 50's style but modernized to keep up with the times. Aster made his way to one of the counters and sat down, figuring it was seat yourself.
A few minutes after dropping in his seat, a girl in her early adult years walked over with a menu and annoyingly popped the bubble she'd created with her bubblegum. Aster frowned at the action but responded with a thank you.
"I'm Theresa. I'll be serving you." The girl said in an ambiguous voice. Aster ignored the tone and looked at the menu. He thought the girl would leave but she didn't.
Theresa then leaned on the counter, crossing her arms and giving him a knowing look. "You're new around here. Did you move to town or are ya just stopping by?" She asked with a heavy Pennsylvania accent. At first it hadn't been so bad but now she seemed to be in the talking mood.
"Moved." Aster replied curtly, effectively hiding most of his own respective accent. The girl couldn't inquire about it yet.
Theresa nodded her head. "From where?" She asked, leaning a bit closer over the counter and effectively further entering Aster's bubble of personal space.
Aster was just about to answer when the door jingled and he too instinctively, with the rest of the crowd, looked towards the doorway.
The male standing in the doorway had no shoes, ratty clothes, and stark white hair. He was younger, but probably around Theresa's age if Aster could guess correctly, probably still younger a year or two. He had a bright smile on his face and a goofy look in his bright blue eyes. He was disturbingly pale which made Aster feel a little concerned, considering Aster had probably one of the darkest tans of the entirety of all of the town's inhabitants.
"Hey, get out of here Frost. Not unless you've got money!" Theresa instantly reacted, straightening against the counter and pointing at the male angrily.
Aster blinked in surprise at the girl's harsh reaction and quickly found himself disliking her more. The youth only frowned at her and continued into the diner. "I thought you'd be a little nicer Theresa. We've had fun before right?" The boy questioned as he walked over to one of the counter's seats, two seats from Aster to his left.
The girl only continued to scowl and walked over to the male. "I don't need homeless trash in here. Mrs. Bennett might let you in here but I'm not going to dote on you. No free food from me." Theresa practically growled until a man came from the kitchen with a dirtied apron and pushed her gently out of the way.
The older man gave the waitress a scolding look before turning towards the boy. "I'm sorry Jack, but she's right. We don't have anything to spare right now." The man said in a soft, understanding tone. Aster watched silently as the boy nodded his head in defeat. Something had changed in the kind, energetic kid's body language as he slid off the chair and retreated back to the doorway.
Aster didn't watch as the door jingled shut again and the boy disappeared from sight.
Something about that encounter irked him. The boy seemed more than kind, and he just needed help. Aster would have given it had he known more about the situation. He wouldn't just jump into some homeless kid's affairs and get the town against him.
A few moments later, Theresa walked back over with a new stick of bubblegum in her mouth, a blue color rather than pink. Aster made it his effort to frown at her when she came over. She had treated that kid like he was a heathen.
"Sorry about that. Stupid kid thinks he can weasel food and money out of everyone. He'll never get anywhere in life." Theresa grumbled, holding a pad in her hand to write down Aster's order. Aster continued to frown at her words but ordered anyway.
He tried to pull back his accent as he spoke but several people looked in his direction when he talked in his Australian accent. "Ah'll have the country man's special." He said. Theresa instantly smiled at him. "I knew you were foreign!" She exclaimed with a sort of enthusiasm that scared Aster.
"So what part of Australia are you from?" Theresa instantly said, leaning back forward on her elbows. The counter seemed to be the only thing holding her up but Aster knew she probably would have just sat down with him if he sat in one of the booths.
Aster sent her a curt glare and a scowl. "A few miles out of Sydney." He replied, really finding this girl to be a pain in the neck. Why had he stopped by here again?
Theresa hummed and looked back down to the pad. "What did you want to drink?" She asked, realizing she was neglecting her job while talking to this foreigner.
"Water." He responded and she nodded her head, backing up off the counter and walking towards the kitchen area so she could get his food and water. Aster sighed when she finally disappeared to do her job and glanced towards the seat where the boy had been sitting before.
Was the kid really that bad that they had to kick him out? It was cold out there and he had barely any layers, plus no shoes. No wonder he was pale. Aster wasn't normally a friendly, outwardly caring person but he would have at least let the kid stay for a while in the heated air.
Eventually the chef who had urged the boy to go walked out of the kitchen again and began picking up some plates from different tables. When he went to walk past Aster, Aster stopped him. "Hey, who was the kid just in 'ere?" Aster asked, curious.
The man gave him a one eyebrow raised look before nodding. "You're not from around here so I can understand the curiosity." The man explained as he put the plates down on the counter a little ways away from Aster and turned to talk.
"That there was Jack Frost. He's a homeless kid whose been in the area for god knows how long." The male started, glancing towards Theresa to see if she was in hearing distance. "A lot of people here don't like him, since he's been homeless for so long and he seems to all around be a bum, but others like the Bennetts and Mr. North will help take care of the poor kid. He's a nice guy, just homeless is all."
Aster nodded his head and glanced towards the doorway where the kid had been a few minutes before. "Thank you." He said, bowing his head slightly to the chef. The man nodded his head back with a smile and picked up his plates again before disappearing to the kitchen.
Eventually Theresa brought Aster his water and after a few minutes of reluctant chatting about the flight times to Sydney, she brought him his food as well. Aster ate pretty quickly, hoping to get out of there before she started up more conversation.
He soon paid his bill and left the diner with the jingle of the bell hung on the door. Theresa waved at him with a sort of flirtatious interest but Aster didn't like her and it'd never happen in her lifetime.
Once outside he glanced around at the parking lot, half expecting to see Jack Frost sitting on his butt in the snow with some sign that says 'will do _ for money'. But Aster knew Jack wasn't that type of homeless kid. He seemed too bright and happy for that.
Aster then hopped in his truck and drove further into town to the local Safeway. On the way there he thought he spotted a familiar head of white hair but he played it off as his mind messing with him. Jack Frost wasn't any part of his troubles anyway and he had enough of those to deal with.
The Safeway had a ton of good, high quality foods which made Aster happy but he missed some of the products you only got in Australia, like this certain brand of cookies or a type of soda. He didn't miss those things all too much though and he would be happy to make his own foods at home as he usually did.
He went about his shopping pretty quickly, getting the generic things you'd like to have in your refrigerator and pantry like canola oil and milk. Then he went about getting the long lasting pantry items and picked up some food for his next few dinners and some sandwich fixings.
Everyone in the store was interested to see the new male in their town but they adjusted quickly. It had already spread that there was an Australian in town that would be living there. Burgess seemed small enough that news like that traveled fast.
The cashier he went to was a kind old woman who greeted him nicely and started a little small talk about what he was in Burgess for. When Aster replied that he needed to get away from bad memories, she understood and didn't pry but instead welcomed him to Burgess.
He definitely liked her more than he did Theresa.
After making sure he got plastic bags, for his own reasoning he said, Aster took his groceries to his truck and went to drive home. That night he'd call North and see what the man was doing. No doubt the man would want to come help him get settled which in Aster's case might not be too bad. Aster needed to move some heavy furniture.
But for now Aster wanted to go take his food home and set up his painting easel on the patio outside his bedroom. He'd like to paint some of the scenery as soon as he could but of course unpacking was also a necessity.
On his way home as he drove through a small neighborhood, he saw some kids playing out front of their houses. It was Thanksgiving time and some blown up turkey balloons were out front along with Indians and settlers. The kids were throwing things playfully at the blown up decorations.
Among the children, Aster spotted Jack Frost in all his homeless glory playing with them and cheering them on. He guessed that was just the sort of person Jack was and may have cracked a small smile as he drove off back home.
He had a feeling that Jack Frost was like a permanent fixture in Burgess and Aster would one day get to meet him personally. But for now Aster was more interested in being an antisocial artist in need of a new job. He didn't like people that much anyway. He was only curious what put Jack Frost on the streets for so long.
Hello there and wow you've made it to the bottom. I praise you. Thank you. Anyway, reviews are soooo soooooooooo welcome I appreciate them so much. If any of you have questions about the fic or want to contact me and you're not someone with an account, feel free to find me on tumblr. My url is r2mich2.
Otherwise, if you find grammatical and spelling errors I will love you if you tell me. I don't get this stuff beta'd.