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
—— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —— ——
This whole immigration thing was starting to get annoying. Too many questions, too many lies, so much to keep up with. Jack, needless to say, was quite frustrated with it. He was suspicious and he knew it.
Turns out, it would take about six months minimum to get it.
Jack was really starting to considering going to a guy.
To distract him from his brooding, Jamie and Sophie would often take him out. Sophie would take him to her babysitting jobs with her, Jamie would take him to the arcade. They all went to Sophie’s gallery showings, Jamie and Jack tricking people into buying her work.
Jack was never a person to sit still anyway. He didn’t like being cooped up in a house. He wandering the town often. Their neighbors all knew who he was. They didn’t know where he came from or how he got there, but they knew the Bennetts were taking care of him. And that he was fantastic with children.
All the children loved him. He somehow knew how to connect to each one. What the parents didn’t know was that he had watched them. As an invisible winter spirit, he studied the children of Burgess and got to know them. The children didn’t question how he was able to make them smile without batting an eye.
A month later, Jack had realized time seemed to shift differently. A month felt like years. To Jack, who had been immortal, time went by in the blink of an eye. Ten years felt like one. And now, he knew he would expire. It seemed as if his unconscious mind switched his perception on how time worked and told him he needed to savor what he had of it.
The family was going through the many items Jack had left them with. They had sold the items that held any value, donated some more interesting objects that had history to a museum. They decided to keep some of them and put them on display, such as the ceremonial masks from Asia (Sophie insisted).
Going through the box, Jack had actually forgotten he collected some of the things they dug out. Including a tiny box that Susan had trouble opening.
He stared at it, totally forgetting how brash he actually was in his early years. Not much changed, honestly. But this was something even he was surprised he did. Man, did Jack have gall. If he had known what he knew now, then, he would never have taken this.
Jack took it from her and twisted a trick lock before opening it. Glowing golden sand laid inside.
“Sand?” Susan quirked her head curiously.
“Jack, is that—?” Jamie took the box from him.
“Dreamsand.” Jack nodded.
“Dream sand?” Susan questioned.
“Sandy’s Dreamsand.” Jack laughed. “I had no idea who he was for about fifty years. I just knew he was like me. I saw him only once, but his Dreamsand appeared all over the world. It made me feel like I wasn’t really alone when I saw it. So… I took some.”
“… You stole the Sandman’s sand.” Susan repeated bluntly.
“Well. It was always really cool.” Jack ran a finger over it and small dolphins rose and danced around each other. “I didn’t realize just how powerful he really was. Or how old. He’s pretty much like a god in our world. But it’s hard to think that way when you actually meet him. He’s kind, benevolent, but can really kick some butt. He’s the only one that really scared Pitch. I was kind of ignorant back then and nabbed some of his sand.” Jack shrugged.
Jamie closed the box and placed it in Jack’s hands. “This is yours.” Jamie said decidedly. “You keep it.”
Jack smiled and clutched the box tighter. “Thanks.”
One more thing to help remind him of his former life and his family. His chest throbbed as he pocketed the box. Susan rubbed his back before turning back to the almost empty chest.
During the nights when Jack, Jamie, and Sophie would sit on the porch roof and watch the Dreamsand, Jack made attempts at climbing onto the higher roof. Sophie would protest and Jamie had to brace him or catch him. When Jack almost fell off the roof altogether, he stopped trying. He just wanted to get closer to the floating sand. It didn’t often get this low unless it was going through the windows to reach the inhabitants.
Now, Jack had a little bit to savor and was in easy reach when he needed it.
In July, Jack was becoming more anxious. Next month, he and Jamie would be moving back into Jamie’s apartment. Jack didn’t want to be a burden to Susan much longer, but he didn’t want to leave Sophie so far behind.
Susan was sharp, though. One night, while Jack was reading a story Jamie had written, Susan sat herself next to him. He glanced to her from his upside-down position and flashed a smile in greeting before turning back to the pages. Jamie had wanted a proof-reader and Jack volunteered. They both knew Sophie wasn’t much of a reader, as much as she tried. She wasn’t very good with grammar, either. The job had fallen on Jack.
“How do you feel about moving in with Jamie, Jack?”
Jack almost dropped the printed sheets of paper and looked back at her. What brought that up?
“Um… I’m nervous.” Being away from Burgess. Being away from Sophie. “I don’t think his roommates will appreciate a free-loader as much as you do.”
Susan laughed. “No, I didn’t think so, either.” She set her laptop on the coffee table and turned the screen towards him. “I did some looking around. I think I found something that might be a better plan.”
Jack turned himself right-side up and leaned forward. On the screen, he couldn’t quite make sense of what the page was trying to tell him. A picture of a building and too many words. He furrowed his brow, and read the larger text.
“… What is this?”
“An apartment.” Susan explained. “Three bedroom. One bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and a spare room.” He looked to her, his eyes wide. “It’s between Jamie’s and Sophie’s schools. They’d still have to drive a bit to get there, but the listing is pretty cheap. I think if we can get you and Sophie a job, you’d all be able to afford it.”
“We can use the money from the sword we sold online for a down-payment, but you three are going to have to pay for the rest.”
Jack looked to the listing and studied the picture. This woman was incredible.
“I didn’t think you’d want to shack up with strangers. Or only see Sophie when she goes to visit or Jamie comes home.” Susan folded her arms. “Sophie said she was going to miss you. So, I thought the three of you might want some place to call your own.”
“Susan…. You’ve already done so much for me. Why?” Jack managed to say thought a tight throat.
“You’ve been watching over my kids for so long. Now it’s time for someone to watch over you, right? Besides. I’m still expecting you to take care of them. It’s hard to be their Guardian when they’re separated, right?” Susan offered him a smile. “We can call the landlord and reserve the listing.”
“I don’t know what to say… Thank you.” Jack put a hand over his chest, touched by her sincere concern for him.
“I thought you might appreciate it.” She met his gaze with a careful smile before closing the laptop and standing up. As she made to move, she stopped and turned to him with curiosity. “Jack?”
Her sudden change in tone worried him. He met her eyes. “Yeah?”
“Is there something going on with you and Sophie?” she questioned.
Oh. OH. Jack felt hot and embarrassed. Why? He didn’t know. He stumbled over a jumble of words he couldn’t quite form properly. He shook his head to clear his head. Nope. Didn’t work. “W-What do you mean?”
“Just, I saw… You know. Never mind. It’s your business.” she shook her head and moved towards the door.
Did… did something happen? Did he do something wrong? He stared at the pages in his hands, suddenly very confused. He felt like he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t have. What was it though?
He was left, trying to read the pages in front of him but his thoughts prevented him from taking in more than a sentence or two at a time. Sophie. Sophie…. What was going on between them that Susan noticed?
When Jamie came in to ask about Jack’s progress, Jack sat the papers down and looked up at the man who’s excited expression turned curious.
“I got a few pages done.” Jack said. “This is really good. Just a few mistakes. And the story is just amazing.”
Jamie sighed with relief and sat on the table across from Jack. He studied the boy before flipping through the work. He nodded and skimmed the words before him. Jack was proud of Jamie. Jamie was an aspiring writer who was writing a piece to send in to publishing companies. A sample of a book he was working on writing.
Jamie smiled at the compliment. But it fell, replaced with concern. “You okay, Jack? You seem distracted.”
“Um…” Jack hesitated to talk with Jamie about this. Maybe he should talk with Sophie instead? He wondered if she would even want to. No… no, he’d talk about it with Sophie. “It’s nothing. Just something your mom said. And speaking of, did she tell you about what she found?” Jack asked, quickly changing the subject.
“She found something?” Jamie asked. “Like what?”
“What?! You’re own mother didn’t tell you? Ha! Proof she likes me better!” Jack laughed. Jamie punched his arm and informed him he would receive another painful infliction if he didn’t tell him. So, Jack explained Susan’s plan. Jamie was over the moon! He was actually excited for this new idea and the two of them were coming up with ideas with what to do with their home. They were plotting new adventures and were wondering what great memories they would make.
At dinner, Susan brought it up again. Sophie squealed and leapt from her seat to hug her mother and thank her over and over and over. She knocked over a cup in her excitement that Jack and Jamie were trying to mop up and she promptly ignored indignate cries.
“But, wait.” Jamie held up a finger. “We need to get Jack a job. How is he going to work without… well… anything?”
“He can work under the table… We’d have to look around. Maybe find some people who need regular babysitters or nannies. Or a small restaurant. We’ll find something. Some place that won’t ask too many questions.”
“Good luck with that.” Jamie puffed. “But it’s okay if he can’t find a job for a while. Soph and I can take care of things.”
Jack poked at his food. He didn’t like that idea. Not one bit. He hated this as it was. He wasn’t able to buy his own clothes or food. He would really feel awful if Jamie and Sophie were supporting him. He needed to find something. There had to be somewhere that would hire him. Right?
After dinner, Jack sat on Sophie’s bed and watched her paint. It was probably one of his favorite activities. She always had this dreamy look on her face. That is, until she sat down to paint. She would take on this intense focus that hardened her soft eyes and usually caused her lip to bleed. Sophie had a habit of biting her lower lip while she worked.
And hers were was nothing short of amazing. Jack wondered why she was even going to art school. He didn’t think she could get any better. If she did, she’d probably reach god-hood. But she was her own worst critic, so she felt the need to improve and get some formal training.
Besides, it wasn’t even really for her art. It was for teaching. She wanted to be an art teacher.
Jack had never thought about “what he wanted to be when he grew up.” He never needed to. He didn’t even know where to start. There were some pretty cool jobs that he wished he could try. Like an astronaut or an actor or a spy. Being a mad scientist also always seemed fun. Or a wizard! After he had met one in Santoff Clausen, he always wanted to learn more magic. Maybe Jack should become and art thief. Yeah! He could sneak into museums and steal works of art to decorate their probably small apartment. Jack could even steal back some of Sophie’s art!
He snickered at the thought, storing the idea away for when Sophie was less distracted.
He watched her profile, her bright green eyes squinting a bit as she added a fine detail. She was pretty pale, even for it being summer. Even for being outside at least twice a week. Then again, Jack was the one that dragged her outside. Not that she minded, but Sophie inherently kept to herself. She let a few people in and Jack was honored to be one of them.
Sophie had some issues. When she was a toddler, she was quite daring and fearless. She kept her curiosity throughout the years, but something happened when she was younger to take away her boldness. The loose plank wasn’t always loose. It had been when Jamie was old enough to leave the yard, but one time when Jamie left through the fence to meet his friends at the pond, Sophie followed him. There was a street just beyond the fence and… Six year old Sophie was very lucky her brother had been able to get her out of the way in time. Jamie tackled her, the car swerved, the fall caused Sophie to break her left arm. After that, their mother fixed the fence. It became loose again when Jamie was eighteen and figured Sophie was old enough to know better.
That was the event that instantly snatched away her bravery.
But gave Jamie enough for the both of them.
The girl became scared of everything. She was scared of heights, of flying, of large animals, of people. Sophie became terrified of other humans. It was almost debilitating in high school. But Jamie and Jack encouraged her to try and talk to people.
But she had never been scared of the Guardians. She had never been scared of her brother. And she was never scared of Jack. Except when he tried to take her flying with him. And she was terrified of the roof when they went to watch Dreamsand. But she got over it.
Sophie had gotten much better then she used to be. Once she learned she was actually okay when it came to interacting with children and those younger then her, she opened up. Sophie volunteered at a hospital at least once a week, visiting the children’s ward. She was happy to babysit. She was so happy when it came to working with children.
Which is why she wanted to be a teacher.
A creative girl with high anxiety and an addiction to the feel of canvas. At least, that’s how she described herself. Jack didn’t think it was as bad as she made it sound. She was cute. She was funny. And she might not ever realize it, but she was clever.
“Hm?” she didn’t turn away from the canvas. She brushed blonde hair behind her ear, streaking green across her cheek. She had stopped caring about getting paint all over herself or on her clothes. There was no stopping it. When Jack kissed her, there was many times he’d pull away with acrylic on his lips.
“Your um… your mom thinks there’s something going on between us.”
Sophie stopped. She stopped. She never stopped painting unless someone pulled her away from the work or she passed out at the easel or she completed her piece. She turned to him and set the brush down.
“Do you think there’s something going on between us?” she asked gently.
Uhhhhh…. “It kind of… maybe… I felt like I was caught.” he admitted, rocking back and clutching his crossed calves.
She giggled and crossed over to sit on the bed across from him. “Caught? Doing what?”
“I don’t know… I mean, we weren’t keeping any secrets, were we?”
“Weeeeell,” Sophie averted her gaze, pink dusting her cheeks. “We were… kind of… doing something without telling anyone.”
Jack flushed brightly. “The kissing?”
Jack didn’t really try and keep it secret. He just never brought up the topic. And just did it when it felt natural or it felt like the right time. And didn’t think Jamie would like to know what he and Sophie did. Or rather… what he did to Sophie. He was usually the one that initiated the kisses. She had yet to be the one to kiss him.
“You know that it’s usually… couples and stuff that kiss, right, Jack?” Sophie asked, putting her hand on his.
Jack nodded. “Yeah, I know.” He sighed heavily and rubbed his forehead with his free hand. “I just… Sophie, you’re… I don’t know… I can’t put it into words. Whenever I try, I feel stupid. I really just… I really care about you and…”
“Shh, it’s okay.” she leaned forward and nuzzled against his forehead. “You’re confused. It’s alright.”
“Sophie,” Jack met her gaze. “People do that kind of stuff when they’re in love, right?”
“Yeah,” Sophie smiled.
“Does that mean we’re in love?”
He felt her stiffen. Her entire face turned red and she pulled back. Was that the wrong thing to ask? Oh, crap.
“I… I don’t know, Jack.” she stammered. “I can’t say anything for you.”
“… I’m sorry.” Jack pulled away from her and got to his feet. He suddenly felt like everything he was doing was wrong and unfair to this wonderful, beautiful girl. “I shouldn’t have… you just never… I…”
She never stopped him. She never sat down and explained this foreign feeling to him and he never asked her to. He just assumed it was okay. He was such a jerk! Jack disliked this greatly. He was always so sure about everything. If he didn’t know the rules, he’d make up his own. He’d break them anyways. But this… his mind was reeling and he had no idea what to think. Why did Sophie make him feel so… confused? But so right at the same time?
“Jack,” she grabbed his hand. It was hot and he was sweating. It was a strange sensation for both of them, neither being used to Jack’s heat and Jack could never recall sweating before the past month. It was even stranger when it wasn’t even hot in the room. In fact, it was quite cool. Then why was he so hot? “It’s okay. Let’s talk.”