Synopsis: Jack Frost has given up his Guardianship. Why? Well, part of the reason is his first believers. But there’s so much more then that. Follow Jack through his life and struggles of adjusting to humanity. Make new friends and discover how awkward life actually is. And… there are some things just can’t stay in the past.
Pairing: Human!Jack x Older!Sophie
Alternate Link: Here
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North had summoned the Guardians to the workshop. Jack Frost was perched on a table, waiting for them anxiously. He was shaking. He had to set his staff aside to hide the fact his hands were shaking as bad as they were and shoved them into his sweatshirt pockets. He denied food and drink offered to him by elves and yetis. North could sense his unease. Jack knew he wasn’t hiding it well.
And when the other Guardians arrived, they turned to North and asked if there was trouble. Nicholas St. North frowned and nodded to Jack. He was up. He took a deep breath and gave them his famous crooked smirk.
“Lighten up,” he laughed. “You look like someone died.”
The air was somber. They all knew their youngest and newest member was struggling. They’ve done everything they could to help. Bunnymund had a set of ice eggs go out in places that still had winter during the Easter and painted another with winter patterns. Sandman had sent out dreams to the places Jack told him he would be visiting and further. Every child had at least one dream about Jack Frost. North had given out Guardian-themed toys during Christmas. Toothiana had reminded those that had forgotten about Jack just how much fun they had with the winter spirit.
All of their efforts were for not. They had very little effect.
“How many believers, Jack?” North questioned.
He frowned. “… Ten.” he replied.
Toothiana rested next to him and put a hand on his back. Jack gave her reassuring smile. “Jack… we’re not going to let you disappear.”
“I know.” Jack nodded. “I know you guys could keep me here. But… I don’t want that kind of life, you know? A constant flux of believers and non-believers. Have power just to have it snatched back.” It would be exhausting and he refused to keep up with that. After the emotional turmoil and distrust brought on by three hundred years of solitude, he wouldn’t be able to handle something as distressing as that.
“So… you’re just going to give up?” Bunnymund demanded. “No, that’s not what you do, Jack Frost and you know it. You never give up.”
“You’re right.” Jack nodded. “I’m not giving up on life just… this one.” The Guardians simply stared at him, not quite understanding. Sandman had a sand question mark above his head. “I’m going to give up being Jack Frost. I’m going to ask the Man in the Moon to give me back my humanity.”
Toothiana covered her mouth in shock. North and Sandman exchanged glances. Bunnymund was clearly taken aback.
“Is that even possible?” Toothiana asked.
Jack shrugged. “I don’t know. But… I’m going to make my case to MiM and… hopefully he’ll listen.” Jack felt the strength in his voice giving out. Feathered arms wrapped around him. His hands reached up to clutch them and he leaned into Toothiana’s embrace.
“You’re here to say good bye.” she stated. He nodded, his heart heavy in his chest. “We’re going to miss you, Jack.”
“I mean… it might not be for good.” Jack smiled weakly. “Jamie, Sophie and I are going to keep trying to catch North on Christmas. We’re going to keep an eye out for Bunny on Easter. We’re still going to watch Dreamsand. And… you know, if I have kids, I’m going to have to make sure they get to sleep if they want a tooth fairy to collect their baby teeth.”
If he had kids… wow. He had never thought of that. The idea actually… kind of excited him. This only brought Toothiana’s arms around him tighter.
“We’ll keep an eye out for you guys.” Jack nodded, his vision blurring and his chest tightening. “But we will have to say good bye for good eventually. So… if we don’t… I don’t… I just wanted to say thank you. For everything. These past years have been the best of my life and I’m so grateful.”
“You’ve accepted me. You’ve given me a family.”
“But… I have another one that will be just as welcoming. So I won’t be lonely, I promise.”
Jack’s eyes shot open. Oh… it was a dream. Jack sat up and rubbed his forehead. No, not a dream. A memory from last week. He looked up and his friend Jamie was eyeing him with worry. What?
“You okay, man?”
“Yeah, just a…” Jack touched his face. It was wet. Why? He rubbed his face. “Yeah, just a dream.”
Just the only sing most heart-wrenching moment in his life. Already missed them.
Jack stretched and dried his face before rolling out of bed. Or, rather the air mattress that served as his bed. Jamie said he was going bring Jack back to his apartment near school. Jack honestly wasn’t too sure about the plan. He had never met Jamie’s roommates and he felt like the school was a bit too far.
He wanted to be close to Sophie, too.
“So… why am I waking up?” Jack looked up to Jamie who usually never woke him unless it was an accident. Like tripping or accidentally being too loud while getting ready.
“Mom needs you to help her apply for citizenship.”
Jack balked. “What?”
“Well, it’s the easiest way to get you into the system.” Jamie shrugged. “She doesn’t want to make up some crazy story for you. You’ve got to. And no, I don’t mean actually crazy. Try and make it sound as dull and boring as possible.”
“You’re no fun.”
Jamie rolled his eyes. “I’ll help out after I do some laundry. Go on.”
So, Jack sat with Susan at the kitchen table, filling out paperwork. It was perhaps the most mind-numbingly boring thing he had done in his entire life. He tried to make something fun out of it. He really did. But this… there was no possible way.
“Can’t we just forge documents?”
“No, we’re doing this the legal way.”
“Come on, I know some pretty good shady people that can do it. Or well, I know who they are.”
“Keep at it or so help me I will call you Jackson for the rest of your life.”
Jamie and Sophie joined them, helping out. He wondered if this was going to cost any money. He felt guilty. This family had already spent money for him and a lot of it. This whole process was annoying.
“You know, we can save a lot of time if I just marry Sophie instead of getting a green card and living in the States for five years and then becoming a citizen, a spouse really seems to make this go faster. Where are we saying I’m from again?” Jack commented jokingly. While it rose a laugh from Susan, it caused Sophie to turn redder then the paint she was using and for Jamie to give him an incredulous look. At least someone liked his joke.
“What if I get deported?”
“Then we’ll go looking for those dealers you were talking about.”
“Alright!” Jack pumped his fist.
They reviewed answers and the four of them were on the same page. Susan flipped through print outs of information concerning becoming a citizen and rubbed her forehead. She handed him about thirty pages of what appeared to be questions. “You’re going to have to know those, so, I guess familiarize yourself with them.”
Jack flipped through it. An English and Civics test? Was she joking? “Ma’am, have you forgotten I’ve been around the three hundred years and have lived through this? I’ve been around longer then this country, thank you very much.”
“Well excuse me, Mr. Jack Frost. You don’t seem much like the history buff. Or like someone who would pay attention to any country’s history.”
“… Alright, fair enough.” It was true, if this were any other country, he would probably know absolutely next to nothing about their government. But, while Jack was still young, he was curious about this forming country’s birth. Yes, some things changed over time. But he was still involved in learning about this country specifically because he thought that maybe MiM had created him here for a reason. No, it just so happened to be he was a Colonist.
This family was small. It was broken a long, long time ago but they had never seen it that way. Susan’s husband left without a word, no means of contact, not even a phone call. But they got by. Jamie and Sophie understood they had to work for it if they wanted nice things. But neither were greedy. For as long as Jack knew them, they weren’t brats either, unlike most children. They were close and tight knit and loving. The siblings didn’t worry about their father or lack-there-of.
As they were finishing up the forms, Jack was wondering how he could ever make this up to them. They showed so much kindness and Susan expressed compassion for a complete stranger. He needed to show just how grateful he was for them. But how? What could he do?
Jack looked out the back window, seeing the rocky ledge by the pond. … That might work.
“Can I borrow a shovel?” Jack asked.
“Just… I need to borrow one.”
“Okay,” Jamie furrowed his brows uncertainly.
Jack slung the shovel over his shoulders as he left the house without an explanation. Ducking through the loose fence plank, he trekked to the pond, nodding to kids he passed. They were skipping stones and climbing trees, a girl reading a book under a tree. They waved and smiled back at him.
It was so good to be seen. He had been able to really revel in it the day before when Sophie and Jack went to the park. He was able to play with the children without the risk of any of them running through them. Jack chased young children and Sophie, pretending to be a monster while the young girls pretended to be witches with magic that protected the princes. Sophie was the cackling hag that tried to trick the smart princes and witches. It ended with a dogpile on Jack and parents summoning their children to go home.
Jack walked through the forest, counting trees. Three this way. Two back. One that way. There. A tree with a snowflake carved into the trunk. This was it.
“You’re a really bad ninja, Sophie.” He stuck the shovel into the dirt and turned to the girl that had tried to secretly follow him.
“Are you digging up a body?” Sophie asked.
“Trying to find Wonderland?”
“That’s a rabbit hole, Soph. Alice didn’t dig it.”
“… I should probably watch the movie, huh?”
“If you do, don’t watch the Tim Burton one.” Jack grinned. “Excellent director. Just sad he didn’t do more original stuff.”
“Frankenweenie was good!” Sophie defended.
“Point is, watch the original animated one.” Jack nodded.
“So… what are you doing?”
“You’ll see.” Jack smirked, his eyes twinkling.
So, he got to work. Sophie offered to help but Jack insisted he worked alone. He was getting tired already. He had barely just begun. Halfway through, his hands began to blister, which was a new sensation for him. Sophie quickly left and he continued to dig. It hurt, but he sucked it up and worked, searching for the object of his hunt. It was right here. But how far down was it?
Sophie returned and made him stop momentarily. She cleaned his blisters and wrapped his hands and then put some gloves on him. Jack thanked her, kissed her cheek, and went back to work. The children seemed to have noticed something was going on. They saw him digging and came to investigate.
They sky was red with a summer sunset when Jack finally hit something. He cried out with excitement and Sophie peered into the hole. After he dug out the old, rotten, wooden object Sophie took the shovel from him. He adjusted the box and pulled himself out of the hole that was much deeper then he recalled. Sophie helped him pull the 3’x5’ chest out the dirt. Hands on his lips, he sighed and nodded, content.
“Most of it is probably trash, but there’s probably some good stuff in here.” Jack said as he opened the chest to look at his old treasures.
“I thought you said you didn’t keep anything.” Sophie breathed, taking in the assortment of knick-knacks and rotting trinkets.
“Doesn’t mean I didn’t try.” Jack shrugged. He noticed the children peering around trees and through them, trying to see what Jack had from a distance. He lifted a old, rusted bayonet from the chest and aimed it. “Bang bang!”
The children squealed and laughed and he beckoned them closer. He showed them some of the things he had collected over the years, explaining what they were and where they came from. Stars were sparkling through the trees when Jack handed them each a coin from a bag full of them he had. They thanked him and Jack put everything back in the chest before Sophie helped him carry the chest and shovel back to the house.
“Mom!” Sophie called from the front door. They were both covered in dirt, Jack much more-so then Sophie. “Jamie!”
Susan turned on the porch light before opening the front door and looking Sophie and Jack up and down. “Were you do hiding a body or something?”
“How come everyone assumes I killed someone?” Jack clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes. “And here, I thought I would give you something nice for being so trusting. But I guess you don’t actually trust me.”
“What are you—…. Jack, what is that?!”
Susan stepped onto the porch and looked down at the box with wide eyes. … Well, it was the size of a coffin. Maybe he wasn’t assisting his case. Jack opened it to show what was inside.
Jamie made it to the door and whistled. “Whoah.”
“I mean… I didn’t take care of anything. It’s been underground for about a hundred and fifty years. A couple of things accumulated over the years.” Jamie and Susan knelt in front of the box and pulled out portraits, a vase, some clothes. There were a lot of children’s toys. Three rifles. There was currency from every part of the globe. There were some weapons of different kinds. Tribal masks and ceremonial garments.
“I was a bit of a klepto.” Jack admitted. “I wanted to try and find some things that were just as immortal as I was. I don’t know what’s actually worth anything, but… I hope you can find something. It’s all yours.”
Susan gaped at him. “You… you’re not serious, Jack. You don’t have to, really.”
“No, no. I owe you. You’re putting me up and paying for stuff and helping me for later in life. You guys are amazing.”
“I don’t need it. I haven’t touched it in so long. This stuff isn’t in the best condition, but… maybe some things are still in decent condition.” Jack carefully picked up one of the object. He flinched when it fell apart in his hands. Chuckling, he dropped the remains. “Oops.”
“Oh man… thanks, Jack.” Jamie said sincerely. “Thank you so much.”
Sophie dug further into the the box. She hissed, pulling her hand back. Her finger bled and she grumbled, diving back in to pull out a shining blade. “Oh.” her eyes widened. “Oh! It’s gold!”
“Oh. Right. Yeah, that’s real gold.” Jack commented, remembering how he obtained the golden daggar. That was one of the cooler things he stole. Also the most recent. Unlike the other blade, there was very minimal rust on it.
“… We can get rich off of this.” Sophie’s big green eyes took in the gold.
“Not rich but… we could probably make pretty penny from it.” Jamie said, studying it.
“Jack,” Susan turned to him, eyes brimming with tears. “Are you sure? These are reminders of your other life. We can’t just take them…”
“Let me keep my clothes and staff and it’ll be okay. I don’t have any attachments to these.” Jack shrugged. “It’s fine. Really. I don’t want any of this—whoah!”
Jack was pulled into an embrace. Susan held him tight and stroked his hair tenderly. He timidly returned the hug, shocked.
“Thank you, Jack.”