I yet live! So, I don't really have an excuse for being gone, other than having no motivation to write down all the swirling ideas I have in my head. To be quite honest, Rise of the Guardians was an integral part of my life from 9th grade onward, and it still is, only because of all the characters I made in its universe. That being said, THIS STORY IS OC-CENTRIC. It's full of original spirits of many different types. They're diverse in tons of ways, so if you don't think you can handle that then you don't have to read this. I'm just sharing this because I love both canon and fanon so much that I don't mind showing other people what I made with it. I hope you enjoy!

Feeling like people are tiptoeing around you is a strange kind of unpleasant. It wasn't bad when people were extra nice and affectionate, but it can be...confusing. Off-putting. Almost fake, almost like compensation for something they've done wrong that you don't know about.

Jack had been feeling like this for about a week. In the beginning, he just thought that North was pouring on a bigger dose of hugs, laughs, and cookies than usual. Then he thought that maybe Tooth was having a great run of successful collections and was even happier than usual. He started to worry when Sandy tried to hug him constantly. He got extremely suspicious when Bunny decided to gift him a bunch of Easter candies in July, apparently after hearing that he was staying by himself more than he was staying in the room that North had insisted he take in the workshop.

Like a parent whose children were being overly sweet to avoid getting in trouble for breaking something, Jack was getting annoyed. He decided that he needed to get to the bottom of whatever was happening. His mind immediately flitted to mischief; maybe he could pull the Northern Lights to summon everyone? Maybe pay back the first undisputed action of stuffing someone in a sack and tossing them through a portal? He grew a bit giddy, trying to think of how he'd actually pull that off with everyone.

Luckily, or rather to his disappointment, he didn't have to go through with anything that might have gotten him hurt by an unsuspecting Guardian. As he paced through North's workshop, sliding his finger along the second-floor banister and drawing frost along its surface, he heard a clamor beneath him. Instinctively, he looked down at the floor, but then rolled his eyes and peered over the banister. He heard stomping and saw a frazzled-looking Bunny leaving the kitchen.

"I'm NOT trying another bloody cake!" Bunny shouted. "We've got nearly 8 months to get it right. We don't need to do this all now!"

"We have many flavors to try!" came North's voice. "Many combinations!"

"They don't need to be done now, and especially not all at once!" Bunny tapped his foot against the floor. A hole began to open up, but Jack saw his chance. He thrust his staff, quite epically he thought, and flash-covered the hole with ice. Then he jumped on the banister and, also quite epically, flung himself down to the first floor.

"What the-?!" Bunny lurched back, narrowly dodging getting his feet frozen. His eyes widened when he saw Jack, and he stood up straight. "Wh- how long've you been here?"

"Long enough," Jack replied, hoping he sounded intimidating despite not knowing exactly what Bunny and North had been talking about. "I'm done with the secrets and I wanna know what's going on." He spun around when he heard footsteps and wing beats leaving the kitchen. "You all are gonna tell me what's happening!"

"What are you talking about, Jack?" Toothiana asked. She looked innocent enough, but she didn't follow with anything more. Jack shook his head at her big, worried eyes and turned to Sandy. The golden little man formed a question mark above his head, followed by a smiling face in Jack's likeness. Finally, Jack turned to North, who looked like a deer in headlights for a millisecond before grinning and waving his hands.

"It was a surprise! A special gift, for...uh, party!" North nodded. "A celebration for the end of summer!"

"It's still August." Jack deadpanned.

"There are many flavors to try, and many combinations! It could take a month to find the best one!" North's smile didn't fade. Jack glanced at the other guardians, noting how they looked tense, yet slightly relieved. His eyes narrowed. So they were going to ride on North's booming voice to get out of this? Not on his watch.

"You guys have been acting weird for days and I want to know why."

"Weird? What do you mean, weird?" North shook his head. "No-one is acting weird!"


Jack slammed his staff against the floor. A plume of cold air rushed outward, while frost raced out in a circle. The other Guardians went silent, looking at Jack with nervous eyes.

"Tell me. What's going on." Jack scowled when no-one said anything. "It feels like you're coddling me. Why?"

Again, no-one said a word. Uncomfortable looks and mild glares passed between them all, until finally Sandy made a series of images above his head. First it was Jack's face alone, then it changed to the Guardians' head huddled together, and then Jack alone again. A big, sad frown drooped on sand-Jack's cheeks.

"You...think I'm sad without you?" Jack's brow furrowed in confusion, feeling almost insulted.

"No, that's not it," Tooth waved her hands, gingerly stepping toward him. "It's just...we know that the last few centuries were hard on you. You didn't know who you used to be. You didn't even know why you were Jack Frost." Sandy nodded emphatically, while North gave Jack a solemn smile. Bunny scratched his head, looking uncomfortable.

"...You had a hard time. We…" Bunny shook his head and Jack thought he saw him grimace. "No. I gave you a hard time. A lot. But 300 isolated years...it woulda hurt anyone."

"Isolated…?" Jack tilted his head to the side. Tooth nodded at him.

"You spent a lot of time trying to be noticed, by humans and spirits," she came closer to Jack, putting a hand on his shoulder. "And we regret that it took so long to just treat you well. Even now, as a Guardian, there's so much to make up for. Even...even if we can't fix it, we can be a family, Jack."

It was ironic, Jack thought, how sweet Tooth was. He believed over everything that if her powers were more dark in persuasion, she could give anyone a cavity instantly. He glanced at North, who had moved in too.

"Is true. You are family to us, Jack. We want to treat you like it. We want to make sure you know you are welcome, and we are sorry for making you feel unwelcome at times."

"...wow, that's...really nice of you guys," Jack started with a half-smile. The confusion still hadn't left his face.

"But...what do you mean, isolation? I haven't been alone all this time."

Hhhhhhhh short introduction, I know. It'll pick up soon. Like I said, there will be a lot of OCs in this, and probably subsequent stories I write. It would be great if you could give me feedback on my writing! Thank you for reading.