For Motaku1235 and a bit for AnimeHuntress: Dear Motaku1235 requested the following: "…why not do a nightmare about the guardians for Jack, and maybe Pitch's thoughts on all of this happening?"
Well, I have a plan for part of that request, and the other part…we'll see what happens by the end of this chapter, shall we? I do hope this fulfills you expectations, Motaku!
And AnimeHuntress had a lovely idea, one that I had considered, but didn't do initially because I thought it would be a bit…um…morbid? Gory? Crazy-Psychotic? Traumatizing to some? Possibly all of the above. But…So you wish it, so shall it be!
Remember, if it's a dream/nightmare, that means it's written in italics!
Also, this actually takes place BEFORE the ending of last chapter, just so you know. ONWARDS!
Nightmares and (Dis)Comfort
Iridescent wings were still, dainty feet resting on the ground, large violet eyes shimmering with unshed tears and dull with disappointment. "Why? Jack, why would you do this? The entire world is doomed, because of you…"
A near-deafening crack split the still air, like a thunder clap and shattering glass. Toothiana's screams followed shortly after as her wing burst into hundreds of broken shards of ice. Jack screamed along with her, screamed as invisible forces tore her body apart before his eyes, screamed as he was held back from helping her by grey skinned hands. He screamed and howled and raged as somewhere in the deep blackness a voice he recognized laughed.
"Why didn't you give us another chance, Jack? Why didn't you give us a chance, like we gave you…?" The gently admonishing tone was barely heard over the screams and laughter. Barely, but heard nonetheless. Tears streamed down his face as the Tooth Fairy's motherly voice echoed around him, cutting him far more deeply than any blade ever could.
***********Here, have a line break. Line breaks are good for you…maybe…****
He scuttled back from the towering figure, gasping in terror as the being before him gargled at him. Jack wanted to scream, to cry, to fly away from the horrific sight before him. He wanted to stuff cotton wool in his ears so he wouldn't have to hear the wet squelch the larger man made as he tried to speak, as he tried to make shredded vocal cords form words of accusation, of condemnation, to form words at all. But Jack couldn't block out the sound.
Shivering in fear, he watched as Nicholas St. North came ever closer. Blood dripped sluggishly from the gaping wound in the man's famous belly, and bubbled from the gory hole in his throat, his once white beard matted with the red substance. Large hands landed on his shoulders, almost swallowing the entirety of the child's torso. North leaned over and gasped out a wet cough. Blood spewed from bloated lips onto the child.
************Oh my, another line break. Why can't we have tea time, instead?*****
From the darkest shadows, he watched, yellow eyes narrowed in glee at the sight before him.
On the far side of the cavern, Jack stood, hands pressed to a thick layer of ice. From his vantage point, Pitch couldn't see what the Winter Child was looking at, but he knew. Oh, how he knew!
While pain and insanity had still gripped the child-spirit so completely a year ago, Jack had meticulously gathered the remains of the Guardians and brought them to one of the lower caverns. Curious, Pitch had watched Jack create two large holes in the walls, splitting the stone easily by forcing ice to expand in cracks. Then, in a manner that was grotesquely reminiscent of a child putting a puzzle together, the Boogeyman had watch the boy slowly piece Toothiana's body back together, each segment of flesh, bone, and feather carefully aligned and sealed into place with ice, until the bird-like body had been, more or less, whole. There were missing feathers, bloody wounds and ragged gashes, but it was without a doubt the once majestic Guardian of Memories. Even her wings had been repaired, the only part of her that looked relatively unharmed by the time Jack had finished. Fine lines cut through the gossamer appendages, spider web thin reminders of the cruelty Jack Frost had once wrought upon her.
It had only been after the boy had put every piece of the puzzle he had found back together that he made use of the smaller of the two holes. With the utmost care he had lifted the delicate form and placed it in the hole, holding it suspended two feet off the ground while ice slowly filled the surrounding area. Occasionally he would remove something from the pocket of his hoodie and settle it in the ice, suspending things that Pitch, at the time, hadn't been able to identify. The end result was Toothiana, Guardian of Memories, forever preserved in flight in a tomb of ice. Nicholas St. North had received a similar burial, although Pitch had found it to be much less gruesome and far easier to watch the proceedings of.
Jack had enlisted the aid of some of Pitch's Nightmares to drag the oversized corpse into the cavern. Then the boy had stripped the Christmas spirit of his coat and shirt before slowly, methodically, cleaning away all traces of blood and gore. He had redressed the body afterwards and, using the Nightmares again, slotted North's corpse into the larger hole. The Nightmares braced the body as the ice slowly filled the chamber. Once, Jack reached in and arranged the arms, sleeves rolled up to reveal the "Naughty" and "Nice" tattoos, so that they held something over the gaping wound in the man's stomach, hiding it from view. The Nightmares collapsed and slide out of the hole just before they were trapped, their task complete, and fled to join their kin. A small part of Pitch's mind wondered if the creatures were just eager to return to their own kind, or if they were terrified of the level of insanity the boy was displaying. Pitch refused to believe the second voice that asked if he was scared, as well.
Instead, he waited.
When the boy had left, hours later, the grey skinned spirit had approached the tombs, a burning desire to know what else had been placed in the ice. With North, he only saw what appeared to be a fruitcake, the object large enough to mask the wound beneath it. Around the Cossack's throat was a scarf, a gaudy multicolored affair that had been arranged to appear as if it was caught in a strong breeze. The once rosy cheeks were forced up to accommodate the fake smile the ice had forever molded onto the blue-in-death lips. Of North's swords, there was no sign, although Pitch has seen Jack collect them, as well. Likely, the taller being had thought, the boy had simply squirreled them away elsewhere.
After giving the Guardian of Wonder a sneering smirk, he had slid over to the other tomb. What he saw very nearly made him question his choice to offer Jack Frost his revenge on those who shunned him. Mini-fairies, their bodies twisted and bent like sick parodies of marionette dolls, hung about their 'mother.' But worse, at least in the Nightmare King's opinion, were the dozens of baby teeth scattered about as well, blood and gums still appearing wet from within the ice.
Vomit splattered on the frosted stones and his own cloak. Those teeth…those had been teeth freshly ripped from a child's mouth. Several children, in fact. In that moment, Pitch had recalled a brown haired, wide-eyed boy, a gap in his teeth, trembling in fear before the King of Nightmares and Jack Frost. He remembered a smaller body, wrapped in the child's arms, with tangled blonde hair and bits of bent wire, elastic, and pink mesh-like material hanging from the smaller child's shivering back. He remembered other children, too: a brutish girl with an affinity for pink and horses, a bespeckled blonde boy, brunette twin boys, a skinny girl. The list went on, but each child had one thing in common…they had all resided in the town where the Guardians had made their last stand. Pitch knew that, if he wanted to confirm his suspicions, he could have gone to the town and sought the children out, and all of them would have been missing every single baby tooth they had.
In that moment, Pitch had wondered if Jack Frost was crazy enough, was strong enough, to destroy him.
Now, a year later, the elder spirit knew he had nothing to fear from the boy. The child regretted his actions towards the Guardians, that much was certain, if the nightmares were anything to go by. Night after night, the Winter Spirit dreamt of the rotting remains of his almost-family, of his betrayal to thing and to the rest of the world. Guilt was eating the boy alive, gnawing away at his very soul. The only refuge the child had was with the rabbit, and even that mangy creature refused to give the youth the love he so desperately craved.
So instead, the boy came here, to the tomb he had made for his almost-Father and almost-Mother. After every nightmare, Jack Frost came and pressed himself against the ice, as close as he was able, now, to get to the two people who could have loved him. He talked to them, apologized over and over for what he had done, until his voice was horse, or tears choked him up too much to speak.
It was then, and only then, that Pitch would reveal himself.
He watched as Jack Frost, the almost-Guardian, slide to his knees, sobbing brokenly. As the boy began to curl his body into the fetal position, Pitch stepped from the shadows. He dropped to one knee and gathered the weeping child into his arms, pulling the boy close as he rose, and carried them both from the chamber. Jack continued to cry, cold hailstone tears rolling down his cheeks and clattering to the floor. Only in his dreams did the tears remain unfrozen.
Pitch carried the slight figure past the boy's chosen chambers, away from the once proud Pooka warrior, away from the hooked staff that was the conduit for the child-spirit's power, and passed the hanging cages that once held thousands of Mini-Tooth Fairies. He took Jack Frost deep into the catacombs of his lair, until he reached his own sleeping chambers.
Then, and only then, did he set the sobbing child down. With a tenderness that most did not associate with the Nightmare King, he placed his ward on a massive bed of black sand. Frost spread from the boy's body, stopping the shifting motions of the sand and creating a sort-of stable mattress. Pitch sat beside him, allowing the boy to burrow into his side, placing a head of snow white hair on the older spirit's lap. Gently, he carded long grey fingers through those pale locks. Quietly, he whispered praise to the boy for all that he had accomplished.
He told him how proud he was of the massive blizzards that had cut power and made traversing the outside suicide. He complimented snowball fights that ended in bloody noses and broken bones. He plied the boy with praise after praise for his craft until, at last, Jack raised his snowflake blue eyes to Pitch's glowing yellow ones…and smiled in joy.
Then, as with every other time, Jack laid his head back down, and fell asleep to his new Father's praise.
And Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, the King of Nightmares, smiled in glee as the boy became his very own pet.
**************And look, it's the final Line Break of the chapter!*****
Um….well…that didn't really go as I had planned…but then again, when DO these things go the way I intend?
*ahem* Right, well, that was…a bit darker and….gorier than I had anticipated. But there you have it!
Motaku1235, AnimeHuntress, I do hope this was satisfactory! To everyone else: I'm sorry…."I'm so, so sorry…" (cyber-huggle if you know what that quote is from!)
I shall add more chapters, done up with other requests, as often as I can, but things crop up. Keep the suggestions coming!
Oh, and "Snowdrop" will have a new chapter coming out before too much longer…maybe a week or so. I was having issues, but then I had a conversation with my lovely friend, Kaylessa, who helped me with a dilemma caused by the chapter! Yay for Kaylessa!
And one final note: Who would be interested in reading a RotG version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Because I dreamed it, and it was…interesting, to say the least.
Anyway, it's almost 3am, and I have lots to do tomorrow! Good-bye for now, my dearlings!