A Rise of the Guardians Fanfiction
What Would You Do For a Memory?
You lay in bed, twisted and entangled in the covers, staring breathlessly at the ceiling. What had happened to make you so thrilled, you had almost no idea, but you had woken up, drenched in sweat and trembling in excitement as you gazed up at an empty, blank surface high above you.
It was a dream, of course. A wonderful dream. A dream about a boy, a boy in a blue sweatshirt, a boy with a pale face… holding a long, wooden staff in his hand…
Ridiculous. You turned over in the sheets, trying to untangle your legs out as you sat up, now fully making an effort to lie on the mattress properly. This can’t be… Dreaming about a boy. It’s silly.
You let out a groan as you saw that the corner of the bed sheet had been pulled out again. It did this, every night, always at the spot where the bed touched the corner. Your bed was so heavy that you couldn’t even move it from where it stood, and so you always had a hell of a time shoving the sheet back in so that the mattress wouldn’t be exposed.
“What the hell! Stupid bed!” you nearly shouted as you tried to move out of the cocoon you’d wrapped around yourself in the dead of the night.
Throwing your blankets off of you now, you crawled across the bed, the sweat feeling cold and damp on the palms of your hands as you grabbed the sheet and began your furious battle against the corner of the bed.
“Stupid”—you snatched the sheets with trembling fingers—“dreams!” Ramming it against the corner of the room in which you were struggling, you felt a sudden sense of annoyance at your nighttime expeditions into dreams as you were carried off in the arms of Morpheus.
“Damn bed sheets! I bet that’s what’s keeping me up all damn night!”
The sheet must have taken some offense at this, because in the next moment you’d rammed your middle and forefingers against the wall, bruising them well enough to make them swollen. You only cursed harder at this and kept going at it.
“Damned sheets!” You pushed all your weight against the sheet as you tried to stuff it down the narrow space between the wall and your bed. “Damned dreams! D-Damned Sandman! What the hell—Sandman doesn’t even exist!”
Isn’t that who brings me all these dreams, though? Hadn’t I believed in him when I was… I don’t know… six years old? … no… No! I don’t believe in Sandman! I don’t believe in him! He’s for babies!
You rammed half of your body against the wall; you had only just realized that it wasn’t the fact that the sheet had budged itself loose that angered you into taking your temper out against the wall. It was the dream.
“I don’t believe in Sandman,” you found yourself hissing as you tried to pushed your head into the corner itself, causing a flaring pain to burst down your body in blooms of fiery aches. “I don’t believe in any of them anymore. I don’t believe in any of them. Any of them!”
You felt your pinky finger nearly snap against the violent force that you were exerting onto the bed sheet and wall—the stark white fabric had torn slightly in your fingers, and the paint on the wall was scratched. Who would have ever thought you’d be this angry at… at a boy? A mere dream?
“I don’t believe in Santa. Not Santa… not the Easter Bunny either…” you breathed as you struggled to fight a losing battle with the bed sheets, a battle that you didn’t even want to win. “No one. I don’t believe in those stupid children’s stories. And I… I…”
The throbbing of your now swollen fingers pushed their sensation up your arm and made your spine tingle. How could you hurt yourself like this? Over that boy?
“I especially”The pain that nearly snapped you inside your skull—“don’t believe”The splitting pain not only in your mind, but in your heart, where you’d once so easily believed—“In Jack Frost!”
You collapsed against the sheets, your forehead damp with your own sweat, your lungs heaving as they sought the air that they needed after your cruel rant. “D-Damn that bed sheet… a-and J-Jack Frost…”
For days, weeks, and months now, he had been in your mind, haunting you daily. Every day, in your dreams, there had been a figure, a blurred vision of a boy standing before you, surrounded by swirling, white and blue snow as he vaporized from absolutely nowhere, as if scooped out of the thin air by some mystical force…
The dreams had always been blurred. Always. Every night, you always saw a figure about your height, only an inch or two taller… a rush of navy blue, brown, white, and a tall, towering stick of sorts…
And then tonight you had seen it.
Two stormy grey orbs, glowing out of the dark and blurred dream-figure’s face as they gazed upon you, bright and calm. It was as if the one who possessed them wanted you to see his eyes, wanted you to… to…
“Believe,” you murmured, laying into the blanket. “What crap.”
“No… no… stop, please…”
The visions became clearer as you stared into the grey eyes that belonged to a faceless figure, as if it were a memory, formed only by a thin mist. But slowly, it was growing clearer, as it did each night… you’d never seen it before, but now… the thin lines that formed a pair of pale, cold lips were forming right before you… the line of a nose, the thick eyebrows that were only slightly crusted by a bit of frost, right on the edges.
The silver hair that shone in your dreams, like the moon, was becoming so visible that you could pick each strand from the next, that you could almost feel the thin, silky locks brush against you, although he was feet and feet away…
You were lying in a pile of snow, sunk in so deeply and so exhausted that you couldn’t find the energy to move, much less budge yourself out of the mess you were in and escape.
Every night, the same dream, only each day, growing more and more meaningful, filled with the flickers of a life that seemed so long ago.
Your life. Images of a young child of only five flashed around you; your eyes were fixed on the figure before you, but even then you could see the past move, as if by machinery, about you, flowing before your eyes like water.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the deep, calming voice that you knew so well but tried so desperately to block out. “Don’t be afraid anymore. You know I’m real… you always knew it, (Name)… no point trying to block it out…”
You knew that deep, nearly musical voice. You remembered the days that it echoed in the back of your mind as you played in the snow, laying in the deep mounds of ethereal, soft, white, wet fluff, smiling up at the boy you once knew.
You had known nothing of him, and yet, with his mischievous grin and brightening eyes, the way his face lit up as he watched you form your first snowballs as you totted around the lawn, cheering in happiness as you saw the first snow that he had cast especially for you, you knew him. Deep in your heart, you knew that boy, who he was, and although he never told you anything about his life, his world, his thoughts, you always felt a sense of security and warmth.
And now, now as you were trapped in the midst of a blizzard of forgotten memories, you saw those eyes again. Those storm-grey eyes, flickering with warmth and passion, were now threaded through with grim despair and desire, a look that you’d never seen on the winter spirit’s face before.
“Don’t be afraid.” With those sad, longing eyes, he looked down upon your shivering form as you lay, helpless and sobbing drying, in the wasteland of snow that he had created. “Please… don’t be afraid… I lost my temper, I was… I was stupid… please, (Name), understand it… please!”
“I don’t want to understand!” You found yourself shrieking the words, but they were lost, as if caught in the wind of childhood memories swarming this way and that about you, thrown away in the gusts of the past. “I don’t want to! Y-You meant it! You never cared, did you?!”
“I cared!” He protested now, as if you couldn’t see through the act he was putting up. “You don’t understand! I lost my temper! I lost it so badly that I… that I… please, (Name), you have to understand… Just… please… I can’t stand to see a child in pain, you know that!”
“You never cared! Never! Never!” You could feel the hot tears sliding down your flustered cheeks as you curled up into a ball in your miserable, cold spot, trying to find warmth in an empty world. “Never! The only thing that came from you in the end was darkness! Pitch-black darkness! It’s your fault that the sky was covered in black clouds! It’s your fault that… that…”
But it was too late for further words—as the memories swarmed around the spot in which you lay, they had swept away the form of the spirit that you had once loved and known as a brother.
“Damn it… I-I hate you, Jack Frost.”
“I-I hate you…”
In bed, once again, surrounded by damp and sweaty sheets. Sitting up immediately this time, you gritted your teeth in an effort to busy yourself and find a bit of peace in keeping yourself occupied.
“I hate you, Jack… I hate you… It was your fault all along…”
It was his fault, yes. You were almost sure of it! It was his fault! Everything, everything that happened that day… everything.
“I want some fresh air…” It was a completely dark atmosphere in your room, with the curtains by your bed drawn and covering the window, and the pitch-black of it made you want to escape from the horror of your dream.
Yesterday had been such a beautiful, pleasant dream… perhaps because you had been thrilled to be face-to-face with the feelings of your childhood once more, but now… now, the terror had resurfaced. Once you had stirred fully the night before, you’d realized that you had been feeling happy about meeting the winter spirit that you had promised yourself to forget and hate.
Feeling exhilarated at his visit to you in a dream was betraying your own self.
The curtain were spread apart by your fumbling, clumsy fingers, and you gulped as you pushed your head out the window, not noticing that somehow, it was already open, and—
You found yourself gazing into the moonlit sky as the first snow fell.
“Snow…” Was this merely a coincidence, or was it… no, it couldn’t have corresponded with the dreams. “Snow… all the memories…”
All the memories of you playing in the snow, with him, the handsome smile on his pale face as he—no! You promised yourself that you wouldn’t think of him!
But what would you do for a memory? a voice in the back of your mind nagged.
“Anything,” you found yourself mumbling. “I’d do anything for a memory to escape into. Anything.”
You started as there was a sudden clink beside you, and you turned to stare, wide-eyed, at the side of the windowsill that your hands were gripping.
Outside, on the windowsill of the smallest bedroom on the second floor where you were for your winter break, was a box. A round, cylinder-like box that seemed to gleam in the moonlight, beckoning you to it. It was a shiny, metallic golden on the outside, large enough for you to grasp in your hand like a large, long, and cylindrical medicine container.
You picked it up and stopped, your eye trailing to the slyly smirking face on the end of the box that faced you. The face of a white haired boy that was ever so familiar.
You froze—this was an opportunity. You weren’t sure how you knew it, but gazing upon the face that was illuminated in the moonlight, you knew it. The silvery, gleaming locks of white hair, the glowing eyes… the smile that you knew so well.
Without a further word, you opened the box to reveal a panel of a marble, ornately fashioned box with metallic looking red, blue, and gold patterns sparkling within. Your fingers tapped the sides of the box patiently and gingerly—and then your hand found its way to one of the smooth, beautifully shaped triangles on the marble panel.
“Jack! No, don’t!”
A voice was ringing at the back of your mind, but it wasn’t a work of your imagination this time… no, it was real. You could see the flashes of black and blue through your head as you shut your eyes and watched the scene playing before you. It wasn’t long until you realized that the blurry figure shooting through the air in your mind’s eye was Jack Frost.
“I have to, Tooth!” he shouted, his hand clenching his staff tightly as he gritted his teeth, much like you did nowadays. “I have to! For her! She needs me, she needs me to help… it’s… it’s… you wouldn’t understand!”
“Jack, no, North says that you can’t save the little girl, Pitch will have her too easily, there’s no use in—”
A bright green, red, and blue form of a flying woman had burst into your mind in a parade of bursting colours. Her eyes were a light, deep violet, and she stared at Jack pleadingly as she cried, “No! It’s not worth it, you’re a Guardian! We can’t give you up to Pitch!”
“I don’t care if I have to die for her. Pitch is trying to gain control of her—he wants revenge. Revenge for how I kicked his butt last time we went up against him. I know that guy, Tooth. He’ll try to take away what’s important to me.”
Jack’s pale, pointed face directed its gaze from Toothiana and off into the stormy. black sky.
“This is Pitch’s work, Tooth. He wants her to suffer, and he wants me to see it. Heck, I’ll give him what he wants! I’ll go there… and… and… I’ll kill him if I have to!”
And without heeding the Tooth Fairy’s further pleas, Jack Frost shot off into the storm clouds, the wind carrying him with ease and speed as he rocketed off towards what you recognized was your home. You found your feet lifting off the ground with him, and you were soaring above the ground, a pair of invisible eyes beside Jack as he made for your house.
And there, far below you, were two figures on the lawn—a seven-years-old girl, sprawled across the dead grass, her eyes dead and dull and her face pale as death as she lay. Beside her stood a towering figure of a man whose gaze sent prickles down your spine. He gazed, with horrifyingly cat-like, orange eyes, his lips curled into a venomous sneer as he stared up towards where you and Jack floated hundreds of feet up in the air.
Jack plunged down from the sky immediately, heading straight towards Pitch Black.
“I’ll kill you, Pitch!” roared Jack; as he dived straight down in midair, he raised his staff and aimed for the latter. A sharp jet of razor-like, jagged shards of frost blasted from the edge of his gnarled branch and into the ground where Pitch had stood the moment before—the Bogeyman had leapt away moments before he could hit him. “I’ll kill you! For hurting her, for doing… doing this to her!”
Pitch let out a ragged, icy laugh as he leapt aside, dodging spears of ice and frost that Jack Frost shot at him. “She’s mine, Jack! All mine! You should’ve come with me instead of joining those second-rate Guardians—look at this way, Jack.”
His ugly, grey lips contorted into an evil smile before he hissed: “Her heart is mine, Jack Frost. No longer yours.”
“Wh-What do you mean!?” Jack had landed roughly on the patch of dead, wilted grass that was now your lawn, staring wide-eyed at Pitch. “What did you do to her, you devil?!”
“I took her heart, Jack,” sneered Pitch. “I took it, all for my own, because I couldn’t bear to see you love a child who believed in you. See for yourself.”
With a flamboyant and pretentious bow, he spread his arm and swept it in the direction of the motionless child in the grass, he face lowering to hide his horrible, wide-toothed grin.
Jack’s scream rippled through the air, and a stifled gasp finally escaped through your mouth, a gasp unheard by any figure of this memory. You were the girl lying there, face-down in the grass. You recognized your (hair colour) strands of hair, torn at and unruly, the once-tan flesh that you recalled you had before.
“Y-You damned demon!” Jack flew to your side in a blur, and as he held your limp figure in his arms, he demanded, “Change her back! Change her back, you bastard!”
“Too late now,” drawled Pitch, his deep voice entirely different from the warm, comforting tone of Jack’s; Pitch’s voice brought you a sense of fear and fright that quickly paralyzed your invisible, intangible body. “I’ve done my work! I’ve gone into her very heart, Jack, and now she won’t believe in any of you anymore; not North, not Bunnymund, not even Toothiana! And most of all, Jack… she’ll hate you!”
“D-Devil…” Cold splashes of tears were pouring down Jack’s face, his expression ground into one of pure hatred and fury. “I’ll kill you for this! For making her not believe! Pitch, you have no idea at all what it’s like to be me—you’ll never understand what I do! I love her!”
He lifted his staff, readying for the attack on the man of darkness, but in the next moment, Pitch had spun on the spot, disappearing in a swirl of darkness and shadow as the ground split apart where he had stood, and in his place remained a snarky, resounding laugh of triumph and wicked glee.
Without hesitance, Jack snatched your hand and dragged you away from the large crack in the ground, his eyes blazing with anger. Once he had pulled you far enough away from the split in the earth, he cradled you once more, his face fallen and tear-streaked as the frozen snowflake, borne from the tear that had trickled from his cheek, fell upon your heart.
And in the next moment, you found yourself half-hanging out of the window, the back of your shirt and your hair drenched with sweat as you realized just how much Jack Frost had loved you.
Pitch’s laugh still ringing in your ears, you turned from the window, the box still in your hand—and there, waiting for you, seated on the side of your bed, was Jack.
The blue of his jacket, the frost threaded into his hoodie and the knees of his brown pants, stood out clear in your mind. There were still there, each streak of snow and ice on his clothing, and in his hand was gripped a sturdy staff of branch-like wood that was also sprinkled in snow. He smiled sadly at you.
“So… (Name). You can see me now.”
You gasped in half-delight and half-sorrow as you sprung forward from the windowsill and pummeled him in a hard, squeezing hug; you felt him as if he were a wall of ice against your thin, silk pajamas, but it only proved to you, more than ever, that he was real.
“Jack… I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you… I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I thought that you were the one who had destroyed my home… Jack…”
“No, (Name), it’s okay, I understand,” he said gently, lifting you off of him with incredible strength and placing you on the sheets beside him. “You don’t need to apologise.”
“But I do!” you insisted, tears brimming in your eyes as you gazed up at him incredulously.
Every lock of hair was real, every patch of smooth, white skin… your hand brushed against the silky smooth white of his hair, and he smiled reassuringly, allowing you to grasp his hand as you stared into those deep grey eyes.
“Wh-When I woke up, I felt… I felt horrible, like there was something dark and heavy in my heart… the sky was black, and my house was on fire, Mommy and Daddy were nowhere to be seen, and—oh, Jack!” You burst into tears now, the wetness of it pouring down your cheeks. Jack reached out with his forefinger, and as a tear dripped onto the flesh of his tip of his digit, it froze on the spot. “I feel like a child, Jack, but—no, let me finish—I thought you were responsible, I thought you’d burnt the house and made it b-blizzard…”
How horrible the blizzard had been that day, how dark and black the snow had seemed!
“Jack… I-I’m so sorry, I should’ve known it was Pitch, I should’ve known it was him who had gotten into my heart!” You jabbed with a finger at your chest, where your heart thumped beneath; even now, it sickened you that Pitch might still be in there, throbbing and bursting with anger at the fact that you could now see Jack. “I’m sorry, Jack! I-I saw the memory… I know you loved me… I know you’d never have done anything to me or m-my family…”
“It’s okay, (Name).” With a gentle, cold touch that felt like the newly falling snow upon your face, Jack Frost reached out to sift his pale fingers through your hair. “It’s okay. I know that Pitch was in your heart; that’s why you didn’t believe.”
“Y-You… you put that box there, didn’t you, Jack?” you sniffled as you wiped a tear away with your own finger, staring at your hand in hopes that the tear would freeze on your skin as Jack had done. Crestfallen, you let your arm fall to your side again. “You put it there so that… so that I’d see your memories.”
“Yeah… yeah, I did,” he murmured, his hand still in your hair. “I asked Sandy to do me a favour, too. Beforehand, I’d always ask him to pay extra care to you when he was doing his job… I was afraid Pitch would give you nightmares. So I told Sandy to leave off on you today. He wasn’t too happy about that—he really wants all the children to have happy dreams, you know—but… I had to ask him. I knew that you’d have nightmares, and so… you woke up. And you found the tooth box there, just outside the window that I’d left open; it has my memories in it, all my memories as a Guardian. My plan worked… and now, here we are.”
He smiled uncertainly down at you, but you weren’t objecting. Nodding your head heavily, you tried to smile through the tears. “Th-Thank you, J-Jack… I-I’m glad that I believe in you a-again… Tha-Thank you…”
“(Name)?” Jack blinked several times, his eyes down on his bare feet as he muttered your name.
“Y-Yeah?” You looked at him, startled, worried that you’d offended him. What was the reason he appeared so… so undaunted?
“I love you.”
In the next second, you felt his cold lips brush against yours; it was as if there were fortress of ice pressed down upon your flesh, which was quickly numbing, but you gladly accepted the gesture, and you sat still, your eyes closed as Jack smiled against your lips before backing away.
“I always told you that I loved you, but you probably don’t remember,” he murmured into your ear. “But… now that you believe… I want you to know. I love you, (Name).”
You swore that you could hear the distant sound of a mortified screech of disbelief and fury that was Pitch, but you pushed it away—suddenly the room had grown illuminated, brightened by the moon’s light, and when you glanced up, you saw snow falling out of nowhere, in your room.
“J-Jack… it’s beautiful…”
But when you looked back to him, he was gone. Struck with fear and panic, you looked wildly about for him, but then you stopped; a voice was calling out to you.
“(Name).” It was Jack! “(Name)… remember… as long as you believe, nothing can harm you.” You sat still, entranced by the bodiless voice that echoed through your room, and with a feeling of bliss, you listened to Jack’s last words to you: “Pitch is gone. You’ve purged him from your heart—with love and believing. Believe in me, (Name)… and you’ll always be protected.”
Jack Frost had gone, but with you, he’d left a memory so precious that you felt it belonged to a special place in your heart. A special place… Looking down, you realized that the tooth box was still in your hand.
“A special place…” you mused as you clutched the box tightly to you, and as if that had inspired you, you found that you had a few words of your own to say for Jack. “… I’ll always believe. You’ll always be there, Jack. In my heart. No matter what, I’ll always believe in you… in Jack Frost.”
Because… what would I do for a memory.