* All of the feedback I had gotten from that author's note was...incredible! I was almost crying with how happy I was becoming.
This is going to be another collection of one-shots, following Jamie, Sophie and the rest of the Guardians. It'll mostly be centered on Jack and Jamie's bond, though. A fair warning, for those who didn't read "The Bond", you may want to, otherwise you'll have no idea what's going on.
It should be noted that little things might be changed or slightly different in this series, nothing too major though. I'm also taking requests and one-word one-shots. Meaning, if you give me a single word, I will write a one-shot around that word. Also, I live for constructive criticism.
I don't own Rise of the Guardians.
Well...I hope you folks enjoy it!
The lush grass in the valley swayed peacefully with the spring draft, the window echoing off the cliffs and stony overhangs. Perfectly oval boulders seemed to curl against their resting places, welcoming the start of the Equinox. Tinier, white ovals peeked out of the undergrowth as well to bask in the serenity. These little ones were the stragglers for this year and, as they watched a small figure gently patting the ground, their dawdling paid off.
The small figure chuckled softly when the tiny creatures sidled beside her to enjoy the afternoon, and to watch her handiwork. She withdrew her hands from the dirt in an attempt to toss back her unruly golden hair. Jumping to its tiny feet, one of the eggs jumped onto her leg and scrabbled up to her shoulder. Ducking to her neck, it used its pearly body to help hold back her hair. The other eggs watched this and seemed to dance around in agitation and jealousy. And the egg on her shoulder merely bobbed haughtily.
The girl shook her head warmly at them and placed her hands back on the earth. She took a breath to let fresh air warm her lungs and closed her striking green eyes to concentrate. The eggs stopped their pettiness to circle around her hands, crowding each other to get the best look. They gave a leap of anticipation when green light filtered between her tiny fingers.
Then, the light pushed against her palms and parted her thumbs and index fingers. A thin stem reached up from the ground. Out of the top came the delicate bulb of a tulip reddening in color. The eggs ran happily around the new flower, nearly trampling on the other ones beginning to grow around it. The girl laughed lightly at her creation and the antics of her friends.
Very suddenly, though, the dancing ceased, the eggs skidding to a halt. She tilted her head at this, especially when the egg on her shoulder leapt away to join the others. They seemed to be facing the crest of some nearby fern bushes.
The eggs suddenly jumped back and fled to the safety of a dried creek bed. The little girl stood up in surprise, but then faced back to the ferns. Just beyond the bushes she could make out the sound of swiveling stones; the turning of the sentinel eggs. She gasped, revealing two gaps from missing baby teeth.
Something was coming, and it was headed right in her direction. She bent her knees a little. Whether she was ready to fight or flee, she wouldn't find out until the enemy was upon her. The ferns began clawing at the air, desperately trying to veer away from what was coming. The little girl took a wary step back, readying herself.
Ferns were ripped and mangled as the intruder burst from the bushes, falling forward to land in front of the girl. When she looked down at the kneeling figuring, and saw the brown leather wrapped around his back, her shoulders sagged and she took on the expression of boredom. She didn't really give the young boy a chance to catch his breath.
"What'd you do," she asked dully, though her small voice was as gentle as flower petals.
The boy exhaled sharply. "You...you've got to hide me!"
"From what," she said, trying to help him to his feet even though he was several inches taller than her. Her voice took on a hint of worry. Her brother wasn't one to overreact. Exaggerate at times, but not overreact. "What's after you?"
He brushed stray twigs and grass hastily out of his chocolate brown hair and also wiped away at the sweat on his neck and forehead. Before he could explain anything the ferns started to tremble again. Another form was catching up to him, and by the sounds of the weeds slapping together and against the ground, the creature was large.
The boy wasn't able to run anymore and he let out a groan of defeat.
The creature crashed into the valley without slowing. Its powerful back legs propelled him and a swift paw shot out before the boy could even think about running again. The beast was lean and tall, and covered in bright stony fur. His long ears were drawn angrily against his head as he held the child up by the scruff of his cloak.
The rabbit's outburst shook the valley, even some of the sentinel eggs humbly ducked out of sight. The boy winced sharply, and the girl merely shook her head, looking at her brother questioningly.
"I-I swear," the boy stuttered, raising his small hands defensively. "It was a total accident. I didn't mean-"
But the rabbit wasn't listening to him. "Show yourself right now, Jack Frost! I'm giving you five seconds to take responsibility, or he..." He slightly shook the boy in his claws. "gets tossed into one of the rivers. The pink river!" The little boy blanched at this, but then another voice sounded from the tree line, making him relax a little.
"Is that your best threat," the voice said, belonging to a white-haired teenager lounging casually on the middle branch of a tree. The teen rolled his brilliant blue eyes. "I'm shaking in my hoodie."
"You got one minute to clean up that ice, or I'll-"
Jack Frost twirled his staff lazily. "Is that before or after I take those five seconds of responsibility?" He laughed under his breath when the rabbit's eye twitched angrily. "Come on, Bunny! It's the day after spring, lighten up a little." He grinned smugly at Bunny, who was still fuming and hadn't let the child down yet.
"Killjoy," Jack grumbled under his breath. He inhaled and stood up. "Well, go on, Jamie," he gestured his staff in the boy's direction. "You heard the kangaroo. Go and clean up the ice. Can't wait to see how you do that."
Jamie, the boy in Bunny's grasp, blushed. "I, um," he murmured. "I kind of don't know how..."
Jack finally convinced the irate Pooka to let the boy down. When Jamie felt the ground beneath his bare feet he started for the tree Jack was leaning against, and the winter spirit leapt down to meet him halfway.
"What happened," Jack asked, ruffling the kid's hair.
Bunny walked towards him, pointing an accusing claw. "You froze the waterfall at the east end of the Warren."
"Wrong," Jack said before pointing down at Jamie. "He did."
Jamie gaped. "Jack!"
Jack put a hand to his chest innocently. "Honesty is the best policy." Jamie grunted when the Guardian leaned his hoodie-clad elbow on his head and clicked his tongue in mock-disapproval. "Selfish, Jamie, very selfish. Am I right, Bunny?"
Bunny rubbed his temples. "I don't care which of you did it. Just-"
"I don't get why you're so angry," Jack tried to reason as he came almost nose-to-nose with Bunny. "Easter was yesterday. You won't need the egg dyeing rivers for several months." Bunny scoffed grumpily. "Besides, it was accident. He's still learning, give him a break," he said, nodding to a tired and embarrassed Jamie.
Bunny flashed the boy an apologetic glanced. "Still," the rabbit grunted. "Neither of you should be here this time of year. The Warren needs to recuperate and temperatures below seventy are not helping."
Jack waved dismissively. "Well get it straightened out," he smiled, slinging his arm around Jamie's shoulders to steer him away. "Come on, Jamie. Let's get the ice out of here before Bunny has an aneurism." He turned to whisper into the little boy's ear. "Or freeze the rest of the rivers."
"I heard that," Bunny exclaimed, carefully watching them leave.
"No you didn't," Jack hollered, making Jamie snicker. Before they rounded the hill, Jack turned around. "Speaking of responsibilities, don't you have a flower to fix?"
Bunny tilted his head in confusion before realization struck him like a train. He turned on his heels to finally acknowledge little Sophie's presence. He was about to tell her something when he noticed a crushed red flower, plastered down against the rabbit's large footprint. Bunnymund winced and scratched his neck as he approached Sophie.
"Sorry there, ankle biter," he murmured guiltily to her. The little girl merely shrugged, but Bunny could sense through their bond that something was different. So, he crouched in front of her to stare at the wilted flower. And then he had a thought. "Is this the first time you've made a flower grow without it dying?"
Sophie grinned widely and her unruly blonde hair bounced as she nodded.
Bunnymund laughed proudly. "Good on yah! Would've been beautiful if someone hadn't stepped on it though." His grin faded and he looked away, shamefaced. He froze when he felt a tiny bit of warmth over the top of his nose.
Sophie had stepped forward and reached up, having to stand on her tiptoes. She was very small for her age and was still working through her toddler years, but she had a sense of quiet maturity that greatly impressed the Guardian.
Bunny leaned forward into her touch and smiled kindly as he placed a paw delicately on her head. "Thanks, ankle biter." He stood almost to his full height. "Now, I need to go and make sure they're actually cleaning up, instead of making things worse." He plucked the flower from the ground and tucked it carefully into one of his wrist braces. "And when I get back, we can make this whole valley shine with thousands of flowers, yeah?" Sophie nodded excitedly and watched the rabbit bound off to the eastern part of the Warren.
It was taking Bunny a while, and Sophie could see that he was still struggling a bit. He liked things to be beautiful and calm, and tidy and controlled. Sophie wouldn't disagree with Jack that the Pooka could be stuffy and uptight, but that wasn't the problem.
No one was perfect. The world had many flaws. With Bunny always spending so much time in his Warren, it was hard for him to see that. But now that he was Bonded to Sophie, she could see he was starting to loosen up more and more, especially now that he was seeing the world through the child's eyes.
The world that Sophie and Jamie had been plunged into was as equally imperfect. Strife happened here and there, and there were adventures aplenty. The Guardians could be both entertaining and tedious. Magic was both amazing and frightening.
Just like spring brought new beginnings, everyone has to begin somewhere. And Jamie and Sophie were just starting out.