October 18. 5:00 AM
The rain woke him up at five in the morning. Jack listened to the sound beating the roof for twenty minutes before finding the will to get up. He fumbled around in the dark for a while for clothes, not turning on the light for fear of searing his retinas from the sudden light. After falling twice with a dull thud and becoming increasingly convinced that someone was going to wake up cussing and yelling at "whoever was making that god-awful racket", he gave in and just sat back on his bed for a few more minutes. He was going to have to do some cleaning sometime soon.
Maybe not. After today, things would be a lot different. He had big plans for today.
He stayed on the bed, resting his elbows against his knees and staring at the blackness that was his floor (or whatever was on his floor… or living on his floor…), for the next half hour. The sun started to brighten the curtains at the end of the thirty minutes and he began to move around the room again. Around the same time, he began to hear other sounds of life in the house. His parents were too tired at the moment to yell at each other, but that would change as soon as the first one had their cup of coffee or shower. Usually, it was at the same time. Ever since his father had lost his job, it'd gotten considerably worse.
He checked through his backpack to make sure he hadn't missed any homework before pulling out a book and killing time reading. The pages were intermittently broken up by shouts from downstairs. His mom should've been the one on the coffee advertisements. "Drink coffee! Punch your husband! Verbally abuse everyone under the roof!"
Welcome to the house of fun. Wipe your feet on the mat before you come in.
It was six forty-two the next time he checked the clock, and he left the book on his bed as he walked out of his room and down the hallway. It was sparsely decorated, and there were a few stains and dents they had never gotten around to covering up or repairing on the wallpaper. He passed his parents' room, which was now vacant, and the bathroom. He stopped outside of his sister's room and knocked lightly on the door. Like usual, there was no response, so he pushed the door open and flipped the light on.
This was the only neat room in the house. Everything had a specific place. If it was unnecessary, it wasn't in there. The room was practical, like his sister. She was sleeping, poised and perfect, on the bed. She was1on her back with her hands down by either side. It looked incredibly uncomfortable, but hey, he wasn't going to be the one complaining later on in the day if she was sore.
He stepped over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, shaking her slightly. "Hey. Got to get up."
"No, I don't. It's Saturday."
She dragged the pillow out from underneath her head and proceeded to beat him mercilessly with it for a few seconds. "Liar!" she moaned.
He grinned, hands up in defeat. His sister scowled at him. He enjoyed hassling her, but she absolutely hated him. He wasn't really sure why, either. About three years ago, the two had been out on a frozen pond in the backyard when the ice had begun to crack. Jack had managed to stop her from plummeting into the frozen waters, but he had ended up crashing through instead seconds later. He ended up in the infirmary for a few days with hypothermia. She had started avoiding him after that until, less than a year after the incident, it had become a total hate-love relationship. If he had to guess, it was probably because she liked being in control of the situation, and he reminded her of the one time she hadn't been.
Jack left the room and went down to the kitchen. His parents were both in there. His father was seated at the table, scowling down at his cup of coffee. His mother was… murdering pancakes in a pan. It was quite messy, and the forensics team would have a long day cleaning up the mess after the evidence had been gathered. They would undoubtedly find her guilty of pancake murder for the trial.
This crime was caused by her lack of attention to the simple task in front of her. She was too busy yelling over her shoulder at her husband about the taxes not being paid, too much money spent on beer, and savings money being taken out of the bank without cause. Jack tuned it out. It was the same rant she did every day. Considering it was a routine by now, he suspected his father was also ignoring it.
The teen grabbed an apple and made a quick sandwich before fleeing back up to his bedroom before anything was thrown around the room. It probably wouldn't hurt if it hit him, but he'd have to change clothes.
He stayed up in his room until seven. School started at eight, but it was a good excuse to get out of the house. He grabbed his backpack and walked downstairs. His sister was eating her breakfast at the table. Their "father figure" was already gone, out looking for job opportunities, and their mother was on a required break. She was cleaning up the pancake mess and disposing of all evidence of the crime.
She glanced at him as he walked towards the door. "Off for school?"
"Yep. Hey, I've got a project to work on with some friends tonight, so I might not be back at the normal time," he said, turning to face her.
She nodded, scrubbing the pan with a soapy dishrag. "Okay. If they need you to spend the night there, that's fine."
He nodded his thanks, and waved before turning and leaving. It was four miles to the school, but he had time and shortcuts. The walk only took about forty minutes because of all the shortcuts he took, and he was disappointed to find he still had time to kill before the school building would even open. Jack sat down on the sidewalk, set his backpack down, took out his book, and continued reading.
The school was a small one, not covering much space. The elementary school and middle school were across the street, but in opposite directions from each other and diagonal to the school. The administration building was planted between the two and directly across from the high school. All of the buildings were short, squat, ugly buildings that hadn't been rebuilt since the 90's. There were multiple fire hazards in each, but as long as they weren't reported, they apparently weren't a problem.
A few other stragglers had begun appearing, lounging around on benches outside the school or on the curb. Jack had purposefully avoided the benches so he didn't have to deal with anyone else who wanted to sit down near him. Unfortunately, though, one of those who fell into the 'anyone else' category was walking towards him now.
Pitch Black was one of those poor kids who had a last name that could be the source of so many puns for a first name. He had turned from a dull kid as a kindergartner to a cunning and manipulative teenager. Pitch was also the only reason Jack always regretted coming up to the school early. He usually had to deal with listening to the taller boy make snide comments and sarcastic quips at everything he could.
"Frost, Frost, Frost," Pitch sighed, leaning against the light post beside Jack. "I've told you, I could wash your clothes if you wanted. Is that the second time you've worn that shirt this week, or the third? I stopped counting."
"I remember that part of your comment," Jack started, and then paused as he lost his place on the page. He frowned, found it again, and then continued, "Included that I stick around to help you with your essays for English."
"Helping's not so bad, is it?"
"It is when it translates into doing the entire thing for you."
"Maybe not the entire thing-"
"Pitch, go bother the third graders across the street. They'll be more interested in what you have to say."
Pitch began to snap back a comment, but was quickly interrupted. "You 'eard 'im; beat it," the new voice snapped. Pitch shot a look at the newcomer, but Jack already knew who it was. He had seen the shoes coming his way and immediately known who it was. No one else in the school had feet so large. Aster Bunnymund glared at Pitch to further get his point across.
Pitch whipped around and stalked off, not in the mood for a confrontation, it seemed, with the much taller teenager. Aster waited a few seconds to make sure he was really gone before turning sharply and dropping down quickly to sit next to Jack. The latter was a bit surprised he didn't bruise anything doing so, but Aster always moved with a sort of bounce and never seemed to get injury from the sudden movements and quick reflexes. Anyone else certainly would've.
Aster reached up and grabbed the edge of Jack's hoodie, yanking it down to reveal his face. "Hey, if people knew it was you sittin' here, they might actually come talk to you."
"Yeah, like who?" Jack snapped back, flipping the hood up again. "Go away."
Aster grunted. "This is the last place I wanna be, trust me. I can' even believe I'm about to ask this, but no one else I know in our class even sorta understood yesterday's class and homework in Trig. Did ya get it?"
Jack looked at him stupidly for a few seconds.
"That a no?"
"Isn't it obvious?" was Jack's immediate answer.
"… No," Aster replied slowly.
Jack groaned, burying his face in the sleeve of his sweatshirt. "God save me from morons who were texting in class."
"How d'ya-?" Aster demanded. He knew he'd had the phone hidden.
"Because you kept glancing down. It was obvious. I'm not re-teaching the lesson for you if you didn't even try to pay attention."
Aster shifted awkwardly. "Death in the fam'ly. Grandpa. Tryin' to stop my Mom from totally freakin' out."
Jack was silent for a few moments before sighing and giving in. "Alright. How much of it did you understand?"
"Not a lot."
Jack pulled out his book and started leafing through it to the page they had ended on. "Alright, so this is how the book teaches it. But the book's kind of stupid in this chapter, because there's a much easier method to do it…"
He spent the next twenty minutes trying to teach one of the people he hated most in school yesterday's entire Trigonometry lesson. Aster seemed to catch on pretty quickly, but still had to get through the actual math problems. He got half of them from the back of the book and worked the rest out as quickly as he could without completely messing up the process Jack had just explained to him. By the end of it, Jack was just staring off into space while the extremely tall Aussie next to him was hurriedly scribbling problems down on paper.
After today, he wasn't going to have a need for these feuds with kids. He was getting away from this. Far away. He wasn't ever going to come back.
Usually, that thought would've brought a smile to his lips. It had for the last few weeks. Something felt off, though. It wasn't comforting today like it should've been. There were haunting thoughts, ones of doubt, lingering in his head this time.
His fingernails dug into his palm as he considered this. After all the time he had spent planning out how he was going to do this, he was having doubts now? This was supposed to make him feel better, not worse!
Aster kicked him. "Hey, man, you alright?" His accent made the last part nearly unintelligible as it slurred 'you alright' into 'ya'lright'.
Jack looked at him sharply in surprise, coming out of his reverie. "What? Yeah, fine." He glanced at his watch. "Let's get to class. The bell's going to ring any minute now." He shoved his books back into his bag and walked to the school doors.
He didn't hear Aster hesitantly mutter, "Thanks."
October 18. 9:16 AM
He jerked slightly as he woke up, worried more about the soreness in his neck than the fact that he was still tired. Jack groaned silently to himself, burying his face in his hands. He raised his head so he was simply cupping his chin with his palms. The teacher, Mr. Watson, didn't care. He had never even sent a sideways glance to Jack whenever he slept in his class. All the teacher cared about was that Jack turned his work in on time and got good grades.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Aster leaning back into his seat with a pencil in his hand. It seemed like he'd jabbed Jack to wake him up. Jack turned around slightly to raise an eyebrow at him. Aster pointed to the board in way of explanation, and Jack saw Mr. Watson beginning to lay out and explain the beginnings of an essay they were going to have to write. Jack turned around to fully face the board. He bet Aster had only done that so they were even now. The two rarely spoke if it wasn't to poke fun at each other. He wasn't sure why they never agreed on anything. They just didn't.
Homework. He wasn't going to miss that when he left.
Jack smiled to himself, hiding it by dropping his chin back into the palm of his hand and covering his mouth with his fingers, as if in an absent gesture. It looked like his idea was making him feel better again. He was glad to have that feeling back.
He wrote the layout for the sake of the teacher in case he walked around. Mr. Watson gave them the rest of class to begin working on the paper. Jack pulled out a notebook and began writing. He had another project that he needed to work on immediately. This homework was never going to be turned in, so he didn't see any reason to even bother starting on it. He scribbled out a few names on the paper and wrote something by each. It would probably take a few days, but the tall, lanky teen sitting diagonally from him would learn his name was on the paper. Thinking of what his expression would look like when he found out why made Jack smile all over again.
The bell rang about ten minutes later, and by then, he had finished his 'assignment'. He packed his things up and headed to his next class.
October 18. 3:00 PM
The day had ended, and Jack was walking out of the building with a heavy backpack and arms full of binders when he was ambushed by the most likely suspect. Aster more or less appeared beside him, snatching most of the binders from Jack's hands. The younger was about to protest and flinched visibly at the sudden movement, but let it go when he saw Aster was just helping and not looking through them. The Australian didn't look too happy and seemed to be just doing it because he wanted to have something to do at the moment.
"Thanks fer helpin' me out this mornin'," Aster muttered. "Didn' think ya heard me earlier."
"Didn't, actually," Jack admitted. Did this mean Aster had thanked him twice? Wow.
"It helped a lot today. Did ya notice most of the kids strugglin'?"
"Yeah. I can't believe she actually managed to go over that many homework problems and then still get through the next lesson. We're going to be the only two who can actually get tonight's done, I'll bet."
"Prob'ly." Aster shifted the binders' weight in his arm. "What's with all this?"
"You'll find out soon," Jack replied easily.
Aster rolled his eyes, as if wishing he hadn't even asked. He was only carrying the Trigonometry book home and didn't seem to mind walking with Jack.
"Look, just get out whatever you have to say."
"Aster, we hate each other. What's up?"
"Jus'… wonderin' if you were gonna start tutorin' back up at our school."
Jack shot him a confused look. "Me?"
"Yeah. You get it better'n anyone else, even some a' the teachers. The kids could really use yer help. The tutorin' program's been down fer a few years 'cause the tutors stopped comin;. I think you could start it up again."
Jack eyed him. "Okay, now I'm worried. Where's this coming from?"
Aster shrugged, honestly not knowing. "Jus' thought you'd be good at it."
Jack looked forward again. "I can't. Something else is in the way. But I know someone who'd love to help the others and has the power to do so. He just doesn't know it yet, but I'll ask him if he'd like to try it out."
Aster grudgingly nodded. Jack doubted he had asked about this for himself. Aster was probably one of the best students in Mrs. Brendan's class. Unlike Jack, this teen was a guy who truly looked out for others.
"Don't you need to turn off somewhere to go home?" Jack asked, wondering just how far this guy was going to go with him.
"As soon as we get there, nimrod," Aster grumbled.
"Just wondering." The conversation was becoming a bit awkward, so Jack decided to make it even more so. "Hey, um, thanks for waking me up for the essay. I'd kind of be screwed if you hadn't."
"I know," Aster responded. "Tired?"
"Yeah. Woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep."
"Yer always asleep in his class."
"I'm almost always tired. Been working on something, and my parents keep me up a lot, too."
"What do yer parents need ya for?"
"They don't keep me up on purpose. They're just… loud… sometimes." He let Aster make of that what he would. It wasn't going to matter, because he wasn't going to see him ever again after Aster went his own way to go home. Aster was frowning, not sure if he was supposed to assume Jack's parents were just very passionate about each other or if there were anger management issues in the house. Jack didn't say anything to suggest that it might be both.
"Well, try an' get some sleep," Aster said, kind of lamely. "Hey, it's yer birthday today, ain't it?"
"Sandy told me," Aster replied. "Well, you know, in his way." The short friend of Aster's didn't speak. It was a biological condition he'd been born with. The kid couldn't make a sound.
Jack knew Sandy vaguely, but couldn't for the life of him figure out how Sandy would've known that his birthday was today. He decided some things were just left to be mysteries, and didn't ask any further questions about it.
"Okay… What's it matter, anyway?"
"Jus'… Don' know, actu'lly." A few seconds later, he added, "Hey, I leave here." He pointed down a side road leading off the main street they were walking on. He looked a bit hesitant and was eyeing the mass of stuff Jack was carrying. "Yer house isn't too far away. I can walk ya the res' of the way back, if ya want."
"Yer gonna get scoliosis or somethin'."
"Not today." Jack smiled unexpectedly at the gesture of kindness from Aster. He tried to force the smile back down without making it obvious, but was fighting a losing battle. He held out a hand for the rest of the binders, and Aster handed them over. They stood there awkwardly for a second, neither sure if it was socially appropriate for them just to turn around and leave. Jack looked like he wanted to say something, but he didn't know what to say.
After another second, he forced off whatever train of thought he had had, nodded at Aster, and turned around and walked away. Aster barely paused before walking towards home.
Jack pondered the turn in Aster's personality towards him for a few seconds before deciding to ignore it. He wasn't going to need Aster for what he was about to do, so there was no reason to think about him. It would just be a distraction from what had to be done.
The road had houses on both sides, but they were sparse and loosely packed together. Jack passed between two of them, walking to the heavily wooded area behind them. Within a few minutes of walking in, he could no longer see the houses he had just walked through. The trees were large and beautiful, turning colors in the late fall. The ground was a covering of warm colors, ranging from reds to yellows to light purples. The air smelled wonderful and fresh. There would be no one to pester him here.
He continued walking until he heard the familiar humming of the river. He had walked in a large circle around his house, avoiding it as best as he could. Jack didn't want to go anywhere near that place. He absolutely hated that house. The river was going to take him far away from here. It ran swiftly and strongly for a few miles before plunging into a reservoir. It didn't seem like a great distance, but to him, it would be. He'd never been very far out of town before, and he wanted to be gone.
His house was upriver from here. If he accidentally dropped something, there was absolutely no way any of them could learn about it and foil it. Already, he could feel his heart beginning to pound. He was excited, and he definitely didn't want to be stopped.
Jack jogged a ways down the river awkwardly, carrying the binders as tightly as he could. He slowed when he saw the footbridge he had been looking for. It was about six feet above the river, the safest distance for it to be at. When the river flooded, it sometimes would almost completely cover the bridge's supports. The bridge would barely stay above water.
Jack walked onto the wide bridge, setting down the stack of binders. He dropped his backpack next to it. Jack sighed, stretching his arms to loosen up the muscles. Now that he was actually here, it was a bit surreal. It had taken so much planning, and he had finally gotten to the climax of it all.
With barely a pause, he stepped to the railing of the bridge, peering down into the water. He hated water like this, honestly. It reminded him too much of the pond. He couldn't see the bottom, and that was really the only similarity, but it still gave him the shivers. That's why it was perfect.
He looked back at the backpack and binders. There was no real reason to arrange them in any special way, so he decided to forgo even making it look neat. Someone would be more likely to stop and look if it appeared to have just been dropped, too.
With a smile, Jack looked back down to the river.
October 19. 11:35 AM
Aster met Nick the next day at lunch, not sitting down but standing and placing both his hands on the table across from his friend. The other teenager barely looked at him, too focused on his lunch. The other two who usually sat with them had yet to arrive. "Nick, 'ave ya seen Jack?"
Nick paused in his eating and looked up at Aster. "Jack?"
"Frost. Jack Frost. Seen 'im?"
"No… He wasn't in homeroom, now you mention it…"
Aster took his hands off the table, leaning back in confusion. "I can' find 'im anywhere. I don' think he's at school today."
"Does it matter?"
"Yeah, I needed to talk to 'im about somethin'. He told me he knew someone who would tutor, but I don' know who it was."
"Yeah, but I don' want 'im to forget an' then go back on his promise."
Nick shrugged. Aster turned and navigated his way through the tables and out of the cafeteria. Nick stared at after him, puzzled, but gave up trying to figuring it out and went back to his meal.
Aster trekked down to the office for an answer. If Jack wasn't there, he would've had to have called in to avoid an unexcused absence on his report card. He opened the door and walked in. The secretaries seemed to be upset about something, and were talking to a few teachers. Mrs. Brendan was among the group. Aster recognized the principal, Mr. Vanesburg, as well.
Mr. Vanesburg looked up as the door opened. "Aster. Can you come into my office for a minute?"
Aster froze momentarily. He was pretty sure he hadn't done anything wrong. Actually, good or bad, he couldn't see any reason he needed to be in the principal's office at all…
But the offer was being made, so he walked in after Mr. Vanesburg.
The office was sparsely furnished, probably because anything would make the room look worse than it already did. A police officer was waiting in the room, hands clasped in front of him. Aster, becoming even more wary, sat down on the cheap chair across from the desk in the office. Mr. Vanesburg sat down on the office chair and rubbed his temples with his fingers. "I'm sorry, this is just… We never expected this to ever happen." He glanced over at the police officer.
The officer nodded, taking over. He looked at Aster and gently asked, "Our sources said you walked home with Jack Frost yesterday afternoon."
"Can you tell us what happened that day?"
"Well, we don' usu'lly get along… but yes'erday mornin', I had to talk to 'im fer help on Trig homework. No one in class got it but 'im. He's great at math. Best'a any of us, I'd say." He realized he was fumbling and tried to straighten out what he was saying. "He helped me, and then we went to class. He fell asleep durin' English, which he usu'lly does, so I hit him with my pencil to wake 'im up, since he'd helped me out that mornin'… Uh, then later, I didn' think I'd really said thanks for the homework help, and I kinda wanted to get it over wi' so it didn' bite me in the butt later, so I waited for 'im outside of school and walked home wi' him. He had a bunch of binders wi' 'im, which was really weird, and his backpack was tot'lly full. I walked as far wi' 'im as I could until we got ta the place where I needed to 'ead 'ome from. Last I saw of 'im." Aster looked between the officer and Mr. Vanesburg quickly. "Actu'lly, I came up to the office 'cause I was wonderin' if he was sick today or somethin'… I was gonna talk to 'im about tutorin', but I can' find him at school…"
A knot clenched up in his stomach as he watched the expressions of the two adults. Mr. Vanesburg closed his eyes, trying to control his breath. He looked like Aster had just broken his heart with something he had said. The officer just looked mournful.
The officer swallowed, and asked, "Can you describe how he acted when you last saw him?"
"Ah, seemed… Well, it was kinda awkward 'cause we never really get along… He seemed happy about somethin', though… I kept askin' about the binders, but he just smiled an' told me I'd find out within a few days."
Mr. Vanesburg stood up abruptly and left the room. Aster followed him with his eyes, confused. Then he turned around quickly, looking at the officer. The officer looked regretfully at Aster, before taking a few steps closer. "I'm sorry I have to tell you this," the officer said hesitantly. "A woman biking this morning found an abandoned backpack on the bridge over James Creek. She opened it up to see if she could find out whom it belonged to and found this on top."
The officer handed the note to Aster. Aster took it quickly, scanning the words.
"I'm sorry to whoever finds this note. Just know that this was going to happen no matter what."
The officer looked broken-hearted as Aster looked up at him. Aster was shaking his head vehemently. "This can' be ri', Jack's not dead-"
The officer sighed. "We're still looking for a body. It may have already gotten swept out into the reservoir, though."
They'd already given up. They thought he was dead.
"Look, he's always grinnin' and causin' mischief. There's no reason fer 'im to… He was actin' completely happy yes'erday!"
The officer shook his head. "Usually, when they near the date when they're going to do it, they seem to rise out of a depression and become happier. It's because they know it'll be over soon."
"Usually, I'd leave something to my parents here, but frankly, they own it already. You two get to deal with most of the crap in my room. Sorry. I tried to clean up, but I've never been good at that sort of thing."
"Jack 'ates water! If he killed 'imself, he'd never do it like this. He got pushed into the pool once and completely freaked out. I-I think 'e almost froze to death in a pond, and he's never gotten over it."
"I'm sorry, but that's what we found. Listen, under the circumstances, no one expects you to be back in school and doing homework. We spoke to your parents already, and they said it'd be fine if you stayed at the station for a while in case something comes in."
Aster nodded, standing up to go get his stuff.
"It's up to you on whether or not you want to tell any of your friends what happened," the officer said. "You were the only one mentioned on the note who wasn't family, so if you want to tell any of his friends…"
"He doesn't have any," Aster replied numbly.
"Sis. You're going to do great things. Keep going, okay?"
Aster woke up in the station a few hours later with his head pillowed by his arms on the desk of the officer from the school. The man had left earlier for home. He'd wanted to stay, but the police chief had shooed him off, taking in how tired the poor officer had been. No one came up and talked to Aster, but whether it was out of politeness or awkwardness, he didn't know. Someone would hesitantly bring him coffee occasionally, taking pity on the poor child's determination to wait until the official word came in.
Jack's sister was sitting in the chair of the officer who had left. She had leaned back and was fast asleep, mouth open slightly. Aster didn't have the heart to wake her. The two had been talked uneasily before, but with the little that Aster knew about Jack, it quickly just became silence. He didn't know where the parents were.
An officer approached them with a carefully blank expression. Aster reached over and tapped Jack's sister's knee to wake her up. She jerked slightly, sitting up straight and opening her eyes. She focused on the officer.
"We found his body washed up on a coast of the reservoir," the officer said slowly. "We tried to resuscitate him, but… he was already dead."
"Aster Bunnymund. I've kept a bunch of binders over the years as I studied math. They're full of all the tricks I picked up. There's a few more hidden in the abyss of crap that is my room. I'd tell you where they are, but I'm not completely sure myself. Good luck finding them. My sister's great at organizing things – maybe she can help you find them. If you want anything else in the room, feel free to take it. It's not like anyone else is going to want it."
Jack's sister was crying into her hands, not even trying to hide it. Aster was shaking his head vehemently.
"He can' be dead! 'E wouldn' leave me anythin'… I barely knew 'im!"
"Aster, the body's been a bit… damaged from the rocks in the river, but it's him."
"It's someone else… It c-can' be 'im-m…"
The police officer looked at him regretfully. Aster continued trying to tell the officer he was wrong, but could barely get the words out past a bad stutter. He wiped away tears at the corners of his eye harshly. The officer put a hand on his shoulder for a second and then walked out the door to let the two children grieve on their own.
Oh, Aster… Thanks for waking me up. I might've missed our next class, Trig, if you hadn't. Get the tutoring going, okay? You'll do a great job.
October 18. 3:00 AM
Aster groaned as he woke up, rubbing a hand across his tired face. He glanced at the digital clock beside his bed and groaned when he saw the time. Three AM. Wasn't this the twilight hour?
He rubbed the side of his head as he tried to go back to sleep. He still had Trigonometry homework, didn't he? Yes, he did. There was no way he was going to get it done before school started without some help.
Well. He could hope, couldn't he?
a/n: I do not own Rise of the Guardians.
If any readers here live in or are Australian or Russian, please help! I suck at accents. I can't even write accents. HELP!
Please note that there is more than one chapter. Don't think this is a one-shot. It's not.