Author's Note- A kid!Pitch fic was requested as a counterpiece to the kid!Jack chapter in AHFF (chapter 78). Here it is.
Jack found Pitch huddled in a dark corner of the lair, his knees folded up to his chest and his eyes squeezed shut. "Whoa. What's-"
"I don't feel well," Pitch grumbled from behind clenched teeth.
"Were you messing with Pestilence again?"
"No, this isn't her, it's someone else, and they're trying to put some kind of spell on me and I'm trying to fight it off and you're distracting m-" Pitch snapped, but abruptly stopped.
Pitch shuddered, and suddenly seemed to... shrink. In an eyeblink, there was a child-sized Pitch sitting in the spot, blinking yellow eyes confusedly.
Jack stared at the kid for a second, speechless. Then he laughed and scooped up the kid, holding him up by his armpits away from him. "Aw, you're adorable!"
The child's gaze fixed on Jack, and then he hissed and bit one of Jack's hands.
"Ow!" Jack cried, dropping Pitch. "No biting!"
The child landed on his feet and skittered away from Jack to hide behind a pillar, peering out suspiciously from around it.
"Okay, I'll admit, this is pretty weird." Jack stooped down to meet the boy's eyes. "Hey, Pitch? Do you know who I am?"
The pint-sized boogeyman just stared at Jack.
"Can you talk, kid?"
Still more staring.
"Hey, it's okay. I'm not going to hurt you." Jack laid his hand down on the floor and let frost spiral out from it, intricate fernlike patterns curling over the stone, glittering in the gloom of the lair. "See? Pretty, isn't it?"
The kid looked down at the pattern for a moment, then back at Jack, expression unchanged.
"Hmm. Tough crowd," Jack said, shaking his head. "Alright, kid. Suit yourself. I'll just take a little nap, then." He yawned theatrically and settled back on the stone floor, pillowing his head on his crossed arms. He closed his eyes and waited. Sure enough, after a few moments he could hear the soft scuff of approaching footsteps. Jack bit back a smirk, laying still.
Then a small hand closed around a hank of his snowy hair and yanked at the same time as a little foot planted itself on Jack's cheek. "Ouch!" Jack exclaimed, his eyes snapping open. "What-"
There was another hissing sound and a flurry of movement as the kid that had been attempting to climb his face scurried down to crouch on his chest, staring down at Jack with suspicious eyes and latching onto the front of his hoodie.
"You don't understand the concept of playing nice, do you?" Jack complained, wincing as he rubbed his sore scalp. There was an awkward silence following that. "...Still not talking, huh?"
Jack sighed and shifted so that he could prop himself up on his elbows. This was apparently not well-received by the child perched on his chest, because he growled and tightened his grip on the soft fabric of the hoodie with fingers that were suddenly much more like claws, pricking through the cloth to jab into Jack's chest. "Ouch! No, ow, stop that!" the Guardian scolded, sitting up entirely so that his hands were free to pull the talons free from his hoodie and skin.
Pitch snarled at him and scrambled to stay in place on the suddenly very vertical chest. Jack ignored him and gently pulled Pitch's claws loose, letting the kid tumble into his lap. "You're like a freaking feral cat, you know that right?"
The child stared up at Jack indignantly, and his breath hitched, lower lip trembling.
"Aw, no. Don't throw a tantrum. It's alright. Shhhh," Jack soothed. Wincing a bit in anticipation of being bitten or clawed again, he reached out and cradled the kid in his lap. Surprisingly, this didn't actually provoke retaliation in the form of sharp objects. Pitch sniffed and clutched Jack's hoodie with unclawed fingers this time, curling up and leaning against him.
Jack stifled a snicker. Man, Pitch was never gonna live that down when he went back to normal. Which would hopefully be soon-ish, because as cute as this was, Pitch was a nightmare of a kid and Jack didn't really want to lose any more blood.
They stayed that way for a short while, Jack humming a tune he hoped was calming.
After about five minutes had passed, Pitch shifted restlessly. "Want out," he mumbled.
"Oh, you can talk," Jack said, unwrapping his arms from around the kid. "There you go."
"No. Want out."
"What, like, outside? I'm not sure that's a good ide-"
"Want OUT!" Pitch yelled.
"Okay, okay! Jeez," Jack muttered, scooping the kid up in his arms and getting to his feet. "Outside it is."
Pitch made a rumbling noise and didn't bite him, so Jack assumed that meant approval. The wind swirled around Jack, picked them up and drew them out into the chill spring night. They landed in the woods, shaded from the moon and far away from other people. He didn't know how this Pitch would react to strangers. He set the miniature boogeyman on the ground. "There you go."
Of course the kid didn't say so much as thank you, just blinked up at Jack and wandered off to explore. Jack sighed and leaned against a tree, watching as Pitch crouched down to overturn a medium-sized rock. A swarm of seething bugs was revealed and Jack shuddered. Of course Pitch would look for bugs... Jack choked when the kid picked up a centipede, examined it and dropped it in his mouth whole.
"Pitch no! Don't eat that!" Jack yelped, rushing forwards to pry Pitch's jaw back open and scoop out the critter, earning a snarl, a half of a centipede, and nipped fingers for his troubles. Jack grimaced and flung the half bug out into the bushes. "Don't do that!"
Pitch growled up at him and Jack sighed. It was going to be a long night, wasn't it?
In retrospect, giving Pitch a piggyback ride was a bad idea. Heck, at the time it was clearly a bad idea. But Pitch had a pair of lungs on him that you wouldn't believe, and Jack, ears ringing, finally gave into the shrieked demands. "Alright, alright, jeez! Just be careful with the claws near my throat, okay?" Jack groaned, kneeling down and holding his hands at his sides so Pitch could clamber onto his back."And don't pull my hair, either."
The miniature boogeyman climbed on board and held onto Jack's shoulders as the Guardian stood back up again, supporting the kid's legs in the crooks of his arms.
"Off we go!" Jack said, setting off on a loop around the clearing they had been playing in.
And then suddenly there was a significantly larger amount of weight on his back than there had a moment ago. "Gah!" Jack cried as he teetered off balance and fell forwards to crash into the ground, all air driven from his lungs by the weight that landed on his back like a sack of bricks.
"What the devil?" A voice above him demanded.
Jack groaned something indecipherable.
"Jack?" The weight on his back shifted slightly. "I don't see-"
"Get... Off!" Jack finally managed to wheeze out.
"Oh. What are you doing there?" Pitch asked, not getting off of him.
"Ow. Dying. From crushed lungs." Jack groaned.
"Well, that's your own fault, isn't it. What possessed you to give a piggyback ride to the Nightmare King?" Pitch asked, unsympathetically.
"Give? You demanded!"
"Then your weak will is to blame."
"Get offa me!"
The boogeyman heaved a sigh and got up.