Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Rise of the Guardians
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog Amnesty: 5: Pitch and my own challenge to write a Christian story every month
Word Count: 1,645
Date Written: 27 April 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DreamWorks, not the author, and are used without permission.
He stood, staring up into the seemingly endless and empty night sky. He knew kids feared what was in that inky black darkness, and although they had once had a real reason to do so, there was nothing that could hurt them now. The nightmares were over. The temptation was over. And yet . . .
He was never truly tempted, was he? Pitch had thought he could tempt him with the power and darkness. He had thought he could tempt him to go against those who were so good that Jack had believed, deep down, that he could never measure up to them. But whereas that might have been a temptation, Jack never could have harmed the children.
He stood now between them and nightmares, checking in on each child after Sandy had visited them. There was an unspoken fear even among the Great Three that Pitch would find a way to return. He was evil, and evil, Jack knew, never truly died. Neither did good though.
A star winked out from behind a passing cloud. Its bright light caught Jack’s attention immediately, and he looked to it as he thought of his little sister. He had loved her with all his heart; he still did and forever would. He hadn’t lost her entirely, he knew. She was still with him, watching him from above, gazing down at him even then, as bright as that star. She was always with him, and everything he did was marked by his love for her.
The tiny Fairy hovering next to him squeaked in urgency and concern. “I’m okay, Toothie,” he told her with a wide smile. He was more than okay, really. He was in the best place he had been since his separation from his sister and his own resurrection. It was painful, at first, not being able to communicate with the living. It was far more painful when it came to her, but eventually he’d found ways to communicate. Throwing snowballs and leaving his marks in the snow had been the first ways he had found to still reach his sister. He had watched how she had responded, and cheering her up had soon led him to cheering up other kids as well.
There was something special about a protector of children, and it wasn’t just where his own sister was concerned although she had inspired him to protect the other children as well. There was good and evil in the world, but innocence, true innocence, could only be found among the babies of all the species in the world. He loved baby animals, too, but there was nothing like watching a child’s eyes light up.
Perhaps it was because they reminded him so much of the joy he’d felt every time he had made his sister smile. He wondered if Red, EB, or Tooth had ever had a special child they had loved and if that child had left his or her impact on them the way his sister had. He had once accused them of not knowing children at all. They didn’t know them like himself or Sandy, but they certainly loved them. He was certain Sandy had had a child once he had loved. He’d like to know all their stories. Maybe one day he would, but in the meantime he would continue to be honored by his presence among them and continue to live his life in such a way his sister, smiling and shining down upon him, would have no reason but to be proud of him.
He glanced up as the Tooth Fairy landed beside him. “Jack,” she spoke gently, the sound of her voice mingling with the sound of the dozens of pairs of tiny wings of the smaller Fairies around her, “are you okay?” She looked at him in great concern.
He flashed a broad smile. “Of course! I’m more than okay!”
She pulled back and peered closer at him, clearly unconvinced. “Are you sure? Because if you’re thinking -- “
“I’m sure,” he said quickly and determinedly before she could continue.
“If you’re thinking,” she pressed, not being fooled by him at all, “about . . . about You Know Who,” said, not liking to say his name out of some fear that calling upon him might somehow call him back to them in the land of the living and, worse by far, to the children, “I just want you to know I know you never really tempted. You had locked away the memory of your sister -- that was your true cause of amnesia --, but you still remembered her.” She reached out and touched his chest, her fingers over his heart as soft as feathers. “That’s why you loved the children so much even when you didn’t really know who you were and why you never fell for his tricks.”
“I know,” he answered, speaking too quickly again. “I . . . “ He looked away from her. She smiled and her little Fairies fawned as he blushed lightly. “Just don’t tell the others, okay?”
“I won’t,” she promised, “but they’ll learn in their own time. They have learned to accept you, just like I told you they would.”
“Yeah,” he muttered, still not looking back at her, “but look at what it took -- “
“Santa and EB are rather set in their ways,” she admitted, “but they have learned that you are one of us.”
“Yeah,” he murmured again. He didn’t want to think about what it had taken for them to accept him, or what they had all nearly lost in the process.
“You were never tempted,” she spoke again, reaching out and stroking his shoulder, “and I’m sorry I ever doubted you.” Knowing he needed to be by himself, she took off from the rooftop and continued on her mission to collect tooths through the night. He looked back in time to see her little Fairies span off away from her and then he looked back up at the night sky, the moon which had now also come out from hiding, and that one, meaningful star. It appeared to wink at him once more.
He had been tempted, perhaps a little, or so he’d thought, but only because he’d forgotten his sister for a time. He’d forgotten her love on the surface of his mind, but deep down in his soul and in his heart, he had still remembered her. He had still known what it was like to be loved and to love a child. He never would have harmed the children, and it was all because of her.
Gazing up at the night sky that no longer seemed so vast and empty, Jack wondered what might have happened if he had not known the love of his sister as a boy. In the next second, he knew his answer: If he had never loved her, and she had never loved him, he would not have given his life to save her. He would have still lost her, but a lot sooner than time had taken her from him, and he had lived a dark, lonely, and short life. Yet now he knew love and fun. He knew joy, and his life was seemingly endless while he touched billions of children’s lives over the centuries he lived.
She had given him that. She had given him his purpose in life and a whole, new life. She had given him his love and marked his life forever with that love. They had both been born with a greater plan in mind than just themselves. She had been meant to guide him, and he had been destined to love her, and all the children he encountered, forever. He had been gifted with so much because of his little sister’s love. Things would have been different if they hadn’t bonded the way they had, and so much worse.
The star again appeared to wink at him, and the Man in the Moon smiled down upon him. Jack smiled. He nearly beamed as he thought of his sister and felt his love swell in his heart. He had been given so much because of her, and he had so much love to give the rest of the children in the world in her stead. Yes, somebody had known exactly what He was doing when He’d placed them together, just as He’d known He was setting the Guardians on the right path when He told them to add him to their numbers.
He had known Jack would never fall to Pitch’s temptation because of the love in his heart. He had known what He was doing when He placed Jack and his sister together. With a smile and laughter from his heart bubbling through his lips, Jack took off flying through the night and toward his oldest friend. He had never been tempted by Pitch, but he could have been so easily. The fact that he hadn’t was all because of his sister and the one who had placed them together in the beginning. There, the Immortal boy thought, save for the love of the Man in the Moon, go I.
But he hadn’t gone to Pitch, and he wouldn’t go to him even if somehow came back. He wouldn’t have caved to him on a permanent basis even if the Guardians had never accepted him. Toothie was right: He was too good for his evil ways, and it was the love of his sister that made him that way and that gave him the light and the wisdom, the mercy and the compassion to share his love with all the children of the world. Jack danced on the night air; laughed into the gay, night wind; planned the snowball fights of the coming day; and watched over the children all across the world, -- and all because his sister and the Man in the Moon had first loved him.