I do not own Rise of the Guardians or Lucifer.
Chapter 5: Devil's judgment
Jack had to admit, the Devil was nothing like he imagined. Tall dark and handsome, first of all, but also charming and sophisticated. He wasn't surprised by the lack of horns or tail, humans often got the lore wrong, but instead was astounded by his personality. He carried himself with an air of confidence and arrogance, which wasn't surprising, but he also showed genuine concern over Jack's soul and did not appear malevolent in any way. Jack was still a little freaked out by the encounter and was careful to not provoke him but he had to admit that he was starting to like the Devil.
"Tell me, why did you turn Hell into a Winter Wonderland?" Lucifer asked.
"It was hot," Jack said, scratching the back of his neck. Was he in trouble over that? How did he always manage to get himself in so much trouble?
Lucifer smiled at that. "It might be an improvement."
Jack chuckled, glad that his work was appreciated, he agreed - snow made everything better, but then his smile faltered when he remembered that he was still in Hell.
"Uh, Mr. Morningstar, could you please help me get back home? I really don't belong here."
"How did you get here in the first place?"
"I'm not entirely sure but I have a theory. I'm pretty sure I heard Bunny say, 'Go to hell, Frost!' and there were North's snow globes on the table. If one of them fell down by my feet and a portal was opened right at that time, I could have been transported all the way here. These globes are quite literal, I suppose."
Lucifer looked at Jack appraisingly and the spirit wondered if he was going to let him go. Would he keep him in Hell? Would he force him to go to Heaven? Jack really just wanted to go back home.
"Man In The Moon has been naughty, very naughty. I wonder how many souls he stole right from under Dad's nose to turn into his own spirit army," Lucifer said, considering the dilemma.
Jack swallowed, waiting for the continuation. Would the Devil take out his anger at Manny on him? It wasn't his fault.
"How cheeky of him. I love it!" Lucifer exclaimed with a broad smile, surprising Jack. "Anyone who stands up to dear old Dad gets praises in my book."
Jack blinked and looked at the Devil, disbelieving. Did he just hear this right?
"But I'm still bothered by the guilt room," Lucifer added. "I've never seen what happens if an innocent soul is placed there. I am rather curious what that was about in your case."
Jack saddened at the memories of all the horrible scenes he was forced to live through for what felt like years.
"Is that what it's called? Very well named, I suppose. I certainly felt the guilt."
"What were you guilty of, though? I didn't see a sin committed. Were those memories?"
"No, not memories," Jack sighed. "Right after I died, I remembered nothing of my previous life so I never knew to check on my family." He looked down at his bare feet, hesitant to say it out loud. He exhaled, deciding to continue. He needed Lucifer on his side. It was time to be honest. "I recovered some memories recently. They're all very faint and brief. I don't even remember anyone's names… But what bothers me is that I don't know what happened to them, my family. What happened when my sister had to come home alone and tell my parents that I died to save her. Can you imagine how awful that must have been?"
He looked at Lucifer briefly who seemed to be lost in thought.
"And I can't help but worry," he continued. "Did they blame her for my death? Did she blame herself? I saved her so she could live a full happy life, not so she'd sulk in guilt over me."
"So you feel guilty because there is a possibility she felt guilty?"
Jack shrugged. "I guess I do."
Lucifer chuckled. "You're the least guilty person in Hell, Jack Frost, myself included."
"Tell that to this room," Jack joked, picking up his staff.
"Bunny," North said quietly coming nose to nose with the Pooka. "What did you do?"
Bunny swallowed, feeling bile in his throat and looked back at the now empty space where earlier he saw Jack falling through a portal into a dark realm. "I didn't just send Jack to Hell, did I?"
Suddenly, a loud whoosh sounded behind them followed by a gust of wind. They turned around and saw Jack being put down on the floor by a man with big white wings. They both looked at the scene with open mouths.
"You're back!" Bunny exhaled with relief, ready to hug the youngster but then eyed the stranger with caution. "I didn't send you to Hell."
Jack locked eyes with Bunny.
"Don't you ever dare say that to anyone, Cottontail! Hell is nothing to joke about."
Bunny looked at the winged man who was eyeing North's workshop in slight amusement.
"Uh, what, mate? Where were you?"
"In Hell, where you put me," Jack answered furiously.
"No," Bunny stammered, intimidated by the winged man who was now sizing him up. "It can't be, mate. You were gone maybe only half an hour."
Jack addressed the stranger, "I had to have been gone at least a few days. Although, the guilt room felt like years."
His eyes were lost in sad thoughts and Bunny felt that he did not want to know what "the guilt room" might have been.
"Time passes differently in Hell. It was only minutes here," the winged man said with a charming accent. "Anyway, I better get back." He pulled something out of his coat pocket. "If you're ever in LA, Jack, stop by Lux." And he gave him a business card.
"Thanks again. I owe you," Jack answered, taking the card.
The stranger smiled broadly, "Yes, you do," and flew away although he didn't open a door nor a window.
Jack was looking at the card in his hand with a smile.
"Who was that, Jack?" North broke the silence.
Jack looked up at them with a grin. "My new friend. Lucifer."
Bunny swallowed with a loud gulp. Leave it up to Jack to make friends with the Devil.
Lucifer landed on the balcony and walked into his apartment, just to find that his sister was already there.
"You returned him," she said from the couch, not looking at him. "Interesting choice."
He walked around to his bar and raised an empty glass to her in question. She shook her head. He was going to drink alone then. He poured himself a drink and went to sit across from her. He spread his arms on the back of the couch and put one foot on his other knee. His sister was petting a pillow again.
"Rae-Rae," he finally asked casually, "did you know that Man In The Moon has been stealing souls from Dad?"
She grinned mischievously and slowly put her index finger to her lips.
Lucifer smiled broadly.
A/N: How did you like it? I love hearing from readers.
This one was fun to write. It started as a "what if" type of experiment but got more serious as I got deeper in it. Doesn't it make sense though? Jack is a soul that should've gone to Heaven! Naughty Manny, naughty indeed.
Update: I have been challenged to write more for this crossover. I'm not one to back away from a double dare so I might just do it. So, there might be more chapters coming in the future.
Smell ya later.