Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters used in this fic.


General Warnings: Rated M for Later Violence and Suggestive Themes


Author Notes: Hey guys. So first of all, I'd like to apologize, because I now have three stories up on my account, and I am posting a new story. Sorry. My bad.

But seriously, I'm not quite sure you guys understand. The plot bunnies are legit multiplying. Exponentially even. I'm not even sure how many there are now. I'd like to say there's around 40 new documents on my computer with more fanfic ideas. I'm not even joking with you. They are literally reproducing LIKE ACTUAL RABBITS. And if you don't know how fast and how large rabbits reproduce, let me just tell you: it's a lot.

But anyways, I'm sorry, and here's the new story.


STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES BUT IT'S WORDS THAT TRULY HURT ME.

Bunny chances a glance at the spirit sitting beside and slightly behind him, eyes closed in bliss and wind ruffling through the kid's hair like an old friend, and mouth twitching into a mischievous smile, looking for all the world like he belonged in the sky and not on the earth.

He thinks back to the confrontation he had with the kid back at North's place, and winces. He should've had a better grip on his own emotions.

But none of them believe in you, do they?

He guesses he could push the blame onto the fact that Easter was only in 3 days, shove all the guilt aside and pretend he was innocent in causing the pain Bunny had seen flash through the kid's eyes.

You see, you're invisible mate…

But Bunny knows he is the one to blame.

…it's like you don't even exist.

And then the kid had shouldered aside the quick stab of pain flickering in those pretty blues (and Bunny knows that his words had to have hurt wide and hurt deep) and threw some of his own shots right back at him. And Bunny couldn't stop himself from retorting back with some barbs of his own.

People believe in me.

Bunny has to stop the shocked confusion from showing on his face at the sight of faint tears welling up in Jack's eyes, the kid's expression twisting into something hurt and lost and broken, and Bunny wonders just how long Jack had been alone for that particular expression to come about. It's all he can do to keep his ears from flattening against his head in sorrow and guilt, the shame rising up in Bunny's throat threatening to choke him.

North called Jack's name and it was too late. Bunny blames himself and his stupid pride for getting them into this mess. His pride was what had boiled his blood at the kid's words, and it was his pride that refused to let him apologize now.

He steals another glance at Jack. Bunny means to apologize, but the words stick in his throat. Jack decides to get back at him with a little prank, the bloody stupid frostbite, and Bunny obviously panics before seeing the little brat safe and sound. Bunny acts like everything is normal between them, and snaps back, nervous and uncomfortable in the whipping air (unlike Frost), trying his absolute best to wipe away what had just happened back at the Pole.

And then North throws a snow-globe (and Bunny's stomach is in danger of emptying all of its contents), all hell breaks loose, and Bunny is so frustrated that he can't help, can't because he's absolutely freaking useless in the air, and is so so grateful to Jack when he jumps up and snatches a fairy from the snapping jaws of one of those blasted, infernal dark creatures.

Upon finding Tooth on the verge of panicking, they race to her side. Bunny is too caught up in the adrenaline and immediateness of the situation to notice one of their party is making sure to stay a respectful distance away from the four Guardians huddled together in solidarity and simply together. Pitch Black arrives with the usual malevolent flair and evil stink (Bunny will still smell it on them until weeks after their final battle with the Bogeyman is concluded) and delights in giving them a lecture about exactly how foolish they were and here Bunny must force down the hot anger rising up, and then he notices Jack. Pitch opens his ugly, filthy mouth and something deep inside of Bunny burns because Pitch unintentionally echoes Bunny's words. Before he knows it he's bolting towards them totally and completely running purely on instinct, hurling insults at the man who has unknowingly repeated the Pooka's words, and the guilt and hatred of himself compels him to fight back, tooth-and-nail-and-whatever-else-is-on-hand, for Jack's sake. Because Bunny doesn't miss the tensing of the kid's shoulders, the grip on his staff tightening so hard around the piece of crooked wood that, if it was even possible, turns the kid's fingers even paler, and that same slightly broken expression appear on Jack's face for the briefest of moments when Pitch dismisses him.

But Bunny forces himself to calm down, calm down Aster, because Pitch is still there, still very much a threat, and he needs to pull himself together. So he does. But the memory of that sight still lingers in his mind, and later he will wonder what exactly it was that made Jack look so broken.


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