Well, this is it. My big return to Fan Fiction after a few years off. This is an idea I've had for a couple weeks and decided to take a shot at publishing it. This story will involve a few original characters, just a heads up if that's not really your "thing."
I do not own Rise of the Guardians, which is why I'm writing fan fiction and not writing the script for Guardians 2
Edit: As of 9/24/2017, about two and a half years after this story was first published, the first chapter has been edited and revised. Reading back, I realized that not only did I unintentionally start digging myself a shallow plot hole grave, but that my writing skills had improved enough over the years that I knew I could do much better. So readers both old and new, please enjoy!
Being a Guardian of Childhood was definitely a far cry from being a renowned troublemaker and trickster spirit. Of course, Jack also nearly single handedly controlled winter itself and was responsible for practically the entire season, but that was secondary in his mind to spreading fun.
Jack brightened as he suddenly remembered that he had plans to hang out with Jamie next week, as school was due to end and summer vacation was just on the horizon. He mentally started making a list of all the things they could do together.
"Jack?" It was Bunnymund's call that snapped him out of his impromptu brainstorming session. "Stop drifting off in the middle of our meetings!"
Jack was so startled he nearly fell off his careful perch atop his staff, but he was able to regain his balance before he fell. He mumbled out an apology, looking slightly sheepish as he tuned back into the conversation.
The pooka rolled his eyes at the winter spirit's antics, but he still had a good-natured grin on his face. "Anyway, as I was saying, I think we should be a little more on guard."
"What do you mean, Bunny?" Toothiana asked.
"I don't know, I've just… got a feelin'." He shrugged, not able to put his exact concerns into words. "Look, I listen to my instincts and they're tellin' me somethin's off. Can't put my paw on it."
North and Toothiana traded looks. North was the first to speak. "Bunny, I seem to remember last 'feeling' you had you ran out of purple dye."
"It was a bloody disaster!" Bunny immediately defended. "You try paintin' Easter Eggs without purple!"
"Be that as it may" Toothiana interrupted patiently before he could go on a long rant about egg painting (again). "Are you sure that it's something… serious?"
The pooka's ears suddenly dropped back against his skull. "I… don't know."
Jack decided that he needed a little moral support, so he floated over to Bunny and put a hand on his furry shoulder. "Hey, I'm sure that if Bunny-"
Cutting himself off, Jack's eyes widened as a familiar filling filled his mind.
"Jack? You alright?" North's heavy brows were knitted together in concern as the winter spirit's face had suddenly frozen.
Just like with Bunny's instincts, there was no way for Jack to put the feeling into words. However, in his case, he knew exactly what was causing it. Instead of responding, Jack turned all his focus inward as he focused on the feeling. The moment he paid attention to it, it merely grew, until it was almost tangible. Wrapping his mental hands around an imaginary rope, he pulled.
Eyes turned upwards as a barn owl, its white feathers nearly glowing in the moonlight swooped down through the open skylight. North, Toothiana, and her fairies immediately slipped into offensive positions, while Jack, Bunny, and Sandy merely stood and waited.
Bunny took the initiative in defusing the situation as the owl swooped down on one of the rafters and settled down. "Stand down, she's a friend."
"What?" Toothiana was thoroughly puzzled, but he didn't answer her question. Instead, the owl once more took flight and dive bombed the floor… only to explode into a swirling mass of leaves. Brown, red, and golden yellow leaves of all shape and size twisted around in a formless shape for a few moments before coalescing into a rough, humanoid figure. One of the nearby yetis grabbed one of the deep red leaves out of curiosity, only for it to suddenly snatch itself out of its fingers and rejoin its brethren.
The leaves compacted even further until the figure was complete. It was a girl of about sixteen or seventeen, though it was highly unlikely that she was actually as young as she looked. Her spirit status was immediately betrayed not only from the show of magic, but also from her slightly pointed ears and mass of unnaturally copper hair pulled up into a messy ponytail. Gleaming scarlet eyes flickered around, taking in both the workshop and those gathered there.
Tooth's nose twitched as she sniffed the air, her attention diverted for the moment away from the newcomer. "Does anyone else smell that?"
"Pumpkins and bonfires" Bunnymund answered easily. "You'll get used to it."
Sandy waved his arms to gain the attention of Toothiana and North. A golden symbol of a leaf floated above his head, followed by a quick succession of images including a Jack O'Lantern, an apple, a tree with full leaves and finally another tree with bare branches.
Smoothing down her dark red and brown skirt, the girl headed over towards Jack and immediately threw her arms around him, drawing attention to the fact that they were around the same height.
"Thanks for letting me in" She said, her face slightly muffled where it was pushed into the crook of his shoulder.
"Hey, no problem" Jack shrugged when she released him, smiling broadly. "It's been a while since we've had to do that, huh?"
"Yeah, definitely." She agreed. The excited look on her face started to bleed away into one of confusion.
"So, what is it, Ash?" Jack prompted.
"I… uh… I came here for a reason." The spirit, whose name was apparently Ash, insisted. For a moment, she picked uneasily at the hem of her midriff-baring dark orange shirt and readjusted the elbow-length sleeves. The wooden piece anchored to the shirt, resembling a branching tree, was slightly shifted in the process so it once more laid flat and centered on her chest. "I think I had a whole speech planned out… I think?"
"Just relax, it'll come to you." Jack insisted. From the way he easily reacted to the sudden lapse of memory, this was a fairly common occurrence.
"Um… It was… Something…" Letting out a frustrated sigh, she threw her hands up in the air. "I can't remember!"
"Hey, it'll come when it'll come." Jack said, slinging an arm around her shoulders. "Right now, how about I introduce you to the rest of the Guardians?"
It was at that moment that Ash seemed to realize exactly where she was. Her red eyes widened in slight shock and her mouth dropped open. Snapping it shut with a soft click, she blushed bright red.
"Ash, I believe you know Bunny?"
The pooka waved. "Been a while, Ash, you missed our last sparrin' session."
"I did? I'm sorry." She immediately apologized. "I'll make it up to you next time."
"And this is Toothiana, Nicholas St. North, and Sandy" Jack finished the introductions.
"Uh… hi." Ash gave a little wave. "I'm Ash, Spirit of Fall and Jack's big sister."
"I did not know you had sister!" North suddenly boomed, stepping forward to grab one of Ash's hands tightly and shake it in greeting enthusiastically. "You are most welcome to my workshop!"
"It's very nice to meet you." Toothiana surged forward once North had let her go, and Ash suddenly found herself mobbed fairies. Jack managed to stop her before Tooth shoved her fingers in his sister's mouth. "Oh, your teeth are just beautiful! Not as pretty as Jack's, but close."
Ash blinked twice. "Thank… you?"
"You're welcome!" Toothiana chirped.
Sandy merely inclined his head in greeting, a gesture that she returned. They'd never spoken directly, but the Sandman had waved at her from time to time if she happened to be out while he was spreading dreams.
"Perhaps you would like tour of workshop?" North offered. "And perhaps some hot cocoa and cookies?"
"Jack!" Ash's sudden yell made the Guardians jump in surprise. She paid no mind to their reactions as she whirled towards her brother. "I remember!"
"You do? What is it?"
"I've been trying to find you for two weeks." Her words were coming out in a frantic rush. "Jack, Dawn and Prima escaped."
Jack somehow managed to get even paler than he was normally. "They what?! How?!"
"I don't know, I think… I think that they might have had help." Ash bit her lip nervously. "I think it might have been Pitch."
"Excuse me!" Bunny suddenly interrupted. "What the bloody hell is going on?"
"Dawn and Primavera, the spirits of Summer and Spring, they escaped their prison… I guess they thought that with Pitch on the loose they'd have a greater chance or maybe he broke them out, I don't know."
The Guardians winced at that. Pitch's escape had come out of nowhere nearly five months prior. One day he'd been locked away in his lair turned jail, and the next he had vanished. There was no grand plan, no sudden surge of power, he'd just disappeared into the woodwork. Of course, the Guardians had been searching for him from the moment they'd learned of his escape, though all efforts had been fruitless.
North gave a half-hearted chuckle. "But that is impossible! We would have known if something went wrong! Man in Moon would-"
"Not this time." Ash interrupted sharply. "Not with those two."
"I don't understand." Toothiana admitted. "I thought Spring and Summer were benevolent?"
"Not many know the truth." Bunnymund explained. "Only those of us that have connections either to their season or have all the good eggs and bad eggs' name written down in a big bloody book." He cast a pointed glance towards North, who looked decidedly smug that fact. "Truth is, those girls are about as nasty as you can get. Summer only likes the heat and tends to burn out those she's supposed to protect. And Spring, she doesn't like humans because she doesn't like how they treat her precious plants and animals."
"Oh" It took a moment for the Tooth Fairy to absorb that information. "And now that they're free… What are they going to do?"
The two seasonal spirits traded glances as they both flashed back to what had happened prior to Dawn and Prima's imprisonment. It was Jack who spoke, a solemn tone in his voice. "Most likely? The same thing that put them in prison in the first place."
Ash nodded in agreement. "They're going to try to steal our powers."
Look, it's only been one chapter and I already have villains, a new protagonist, and an impending conflict. Let's see how this adventure unravels together, shall we?