The story takes place 16 years after events in Rise of the Guardians movie. Jack is 19 due to mature themes inside.
ON RATING: I tried to write it in the spirit of YA but I go further than YA because I don't like a tease. I'll give you a warning before the line is crossed if you'd like to skip that part.
This story has a prequel: Bloody Brain Freeze, so if you'd like to learn how our favorite winter spirit met vampire Claire and warlock Adam, head over there.
I do not own characters from Rise of the Guardians. I own my original characters: Wind (spirit), Claire and Adam, and the plot of this story.
Chapter 1: Everyone loves the hair
I am Wind.
I always have been.
I am everywhere.
I see all.
And Winter is mine.
"There was this girl in my village," Jack said, trying to dig in his hazy memories to remember her face. "I don't remember her name but I had a huuuge crush on her. She had this cute laugh that I found so adorable, I did everything I could think of to hear it. So, you know me, I pulled silly pranks, joked around and tried to get her attention in my usual playful way but it didn't really work. She just thought I was annoying."
Claire chuckled and bumped his shoulder. "Her loss. Humor is important."
Jack was glad she agreed with him. Too many people failed to fully appreciate it.
He enjoyed his nighttime hangouts with Claire. Who would've known that a vampire friend was exactly what an immortal spirit like him needed.
They were sitting comfortably close at the edge of Jack's pond, their shoulders touching. The moon was reflected in the completely still water and Jack wasn't sure if he should look at the sky or the reflection in the pond to gaze at it.
Winter was waning but it wasn't over yet and he savored the feeling. This was his time. His strength was at its greatest and he felt at home when breathing in the brisk air.
He thought back to the girl he had a crush on back when he was human. It didn't feel like it was her loss. If only he had more time, maybe he would've gotten the courage to tell her how he felt. Time made all the difference. He lost his chance.
"Why so serious?" Claire ruffled his hair playfully.
Why did everyone have a thing for his hair? Sure, it was white like snow and that's unusual but it was just hair.
Suddenly, ripples appeared on the pond, disturbing the moon's reflection, and a strong gust of wind blew at her, knocking her to the ground where she landed on her back with a yelp.
Jack chuckled and helped her sit up. "She's warning you. Don't mess with the hair."
A gentle breeze played with it and arranged it back to its usual state. Jack closed his eyes to enjoy the sensation.
"Ah," Claire groaned, "Wind again."
"She gets jealous," he said, getting a frown from her.
She sat back next to him in the same position as before with her legs outstretched. She wore black leather boots over her leggings today which looked funny next to his bare feet.
"I still don't get it how she's this… this being but we never see her. Is she a spirit like you?"
"Not entirely. It's like she's in a different category. Not a spirit, more like a force of nature that also happens to be conscious." He sighed. "Well, I don't know much about her, I guess, other than the fact that she's everywhere and that she has been my companion from the very beginning. I wouldn't be able to fly without her, you know."
"How do you know Wind is a she?"
He smiled back. "I don't know. I just do."
Claire tucked a curly lock behind her ear and he noticed the interesting shade her dark hair took on in the moonlight. It was almost blue.
"So, seriously? That was the only time you were in love? In three centuries, there was no one else?"
"Girls don't see me," he said quietly.
This was a depressing topic which he avoided thinking about but tonight, he felt the need to talk about it.
He'd become pretty close with her over the past few months and thoroughly enjoyed her company. She was a great friend to have and he had very few.
It wasn't easy being the Spirit of Winter, especially because he was invisible to humans. Thankfully, Claire wasn't one. As a vampire, she could see him and he felt very much lucky to have met her. And now that she moved in to Burgess, he could visit her as often as he visited Jamie, his human best friend.
"Even if they could, I'm cold to the touch. Who would want that?"
He shook his head to shake off that thought. He was torturing himself with the what if. He had long accepted that he would never experience real love. There was no need to hope for the impossible.
"I died young. There was a lot I didn't get to do."
"So, you regret not making a move on the girl you liked when you had the chance?" Claire looked at him with a gleam in her eyes he couldn't quite explain.
"Yeah. You live only once, you know… and I... I didn't live to the fullest."
He dropped his gaze to the ground, lost in the thoughts of wasted chances when Claire gently raised his chin with her two fingers.
"Jack," she said quietly, looking at him with some kind of emotion in her eyes.
Before he could say anything, she leaned in and placed her lips on his. It was soft and gentle at first. He was so stunned, he didn't even react. Then, her kiss turned more serious, passionate, and he melted into it, forgetting everything else and just enjoying the sensation of her lips.
Claire knew how to kiss. It was evident that she had much more experience at this than he did, and unlike him, she wasn't shy.
The kiss was over too soon, he thought, and he found himself looking at her with a goofy grin as a warm sensation spread through his body.
'What was that?' His thoughts swam around in his brain sluggishly as he stared into her hazel-orange eyes. 'Why did she kiss me?'
Then, a heavy thought crossed his mind and replaced the warmth with the coldness he was so accustomed to. He told her a sappy story of his pathetic lonely life and she wanted to make him feel better. She was only trying to be a good friend and do him a favor. Maybe she was lonely too and wouldn't mind a cold being like him even if he repulsed her.
But he didn't want a pity kiss. He could take on insults, teasing or taunting but he couldn't accept the thought of someone feeling sorry for him.
He didn't want to think more of this. This whole evening was a mistake.
"I need to go," he whispered.
He didn't wait to hear what else she wanted to say but asked Wind to carry him away.
He shouldn't have told her that story. He should've just stayed quiet when she asked him if he had ever been in love. He was a fool.
Claire stared at where her winter spirit had just flown away to for a good thirty minutes. What did she do wrong? She's been dying to show Jack what she felt for months and thought this was a perfect opportunity. The mood was just right, they were so comfortable with each other, and he finally opened up to her.
She was never great with words, that's why she decided to just go for it and kiss him. Action speaks louder than words, doesn't it? And she was sure that he liked it too. He was definitely into it so why did he run away?
"I shouldn't have surprised him like that," she groaned into the night.
"But maybe it isn't the end of the world," she said to herself. "Maybe I can still turn this around."
I am Wind. I am everywhere. I see all.
The Nightwalker put a claim on my Winter.
This cannot be. Winter is mine for I am Wind.
I am Wind and it is time.
A/N: Hmmm. Wind is up to something. I bet you will not guess what she's planning.
Are you on Team Claire or Team Wind?