The darkness was clearing up. Sandy was almost surprised when it had started to lift away at his prodding. The poison veins were becoming fainter as the days went on until Jack finally seemed to be looking himself again.

He had awoken a few times in that time. Groggy and a touch delusional, but conscious. Sandy had never been so happy to have his work interrupted when Jack called out softly. Usually in discomfort, but it was better than the deathly stillness that had come over him before.

Sandy was surprised at the resilience of Jack's mind. The darkness had not had any tight holds and where washed away when Sandy doused him in golden dreams. Jack's unconscious adventures returned. Dolphins created waves and snowflakes fell from an imagined sky just above his sleeping head.

The slow recovery of the winter sprite was enough to make the others feel better too. North had been caught humming, Bunny had been leaving a steady supply of chocolate eggs for Sandy, and even Tooth had been more perky. They were all relieved and it made Sandy feel better about himself and everything that had happened. He still regretting that it had happened, but at least everything was going to be okay.

He smiled and petted a hand through Jack's hair, feeling the cold in the soft locks. The boy looked peaceful in his sleep, and it surprised when his eyes opened a slit to look at him blearily.

He grinned and waved a little.

Jack tried to wave back, but all he managed to do was twitch his arm. He still smiled weakly and that was enough to reassure Sandy that he had seen him. He was still a little pale to be completely normal, and there were heavy shadows beneath his eyes. But this was the first time that Jack had awoken and not been in completely discomfort.

Sandy made a few snowflakes out of sand and sprinkled them over Jack. The boy smiled a little wider, his eyes rolling around groggily to try and follow them in the air. He still was not all there yet, that much was obvious but Sandy still laughed silently. Jack seemed to have sensed the amusement in the dream weaver because he looked back at him, confusion coloring his face.

Sandy waved his little hand in a reassuring gesture. The lines on Jack's face smoothed out and he seemed to relax a little. He was still so very exhausted, but he also seemed happy. Whatever the poison had done to him, it was gone now and Jack was better. Sandy sighed, happiness and relief curling in his chest.

Jack drifted off into sleep again and Sandy sprinkled more snowflakes over his head. The boy fell into a peaceful slumber and the dream weaver sighed again. He allowed himself to relax into the chair, the old wood creaking beneath his weight. He sat there slumped for a long minute, watching Jack with a touch of contentment.

He started a little when the door creaked open a touch and a pooka face could be seen peaking in. Sandy smiled patiently and waved the other in. The Australian crept in silently, closing the door slowly so as to prevent making any noise.

He crept over to the side of the bed as if Jack would explode if he so much as made a peep. He even took a page out of Sandy's book and waved noncommittally at the sleeping boy.

Sandy motioned that he was sleeping, and that he was doing better.

The look of sheer relief that blossomed across Bunny's face could have lit up the room and for a moment Sandy almost wished he had a camera, just so that he could document a moment where Bunny actually cared for someone. Not that he was surprised or anything. It was just the first moment that Sandy had been able to see it for what it was and not be worried about Jack as well.

They were not out of the woods yet, but they could start to see the light through the trees. Jack was going to be fine. Bunny seemed content now, a gentle smile on his face. His eyes shown with an unreadable emotion as he watched the winter child.

The pooka suddenly turned, pulling something small out of his pack. He gave it to Sandy with a nod of thanks and left the room. Sandy smiled as he broke off the bunny ears and nibbled on the sweet confection. He would save the rest for Jack when the boy woke up, he decided. But the ears were his, no questions asked.

Afterword: No there isn't a chapter missing, and no this is not the end of the story. It would be nice if everything was fixed this quickly and perfectly, right? What kind of world would we live in then? Would the perfection only be superficial? A veil carefully concealing something that no one person could stomach. And there goes my brain on a completely different tangent, blah blah blah!