By Amanda Pizzolatto
Word Count: 4577
Rating: PG (moments of peril)
Summary: Jack Frost and the other Guardians meet siblings Jamie, Sophie, and Rapunzel and take them on the adventure of a lifetime. Inspired by Peter Pan.
The green eyes fluttered open and grew with surprise as they were met, not with the ceiling, but with a pair of striking blue eyes. She let out a gasp, right before he did, which apparently woke up the dog. The dog lunged at the boy, who flew straight towards the window and out into the night.
“Abby, calm down, girl. Abby!”
“What is with that confounded ruckus?”
Rapunzel glanced at her father as he and her mother entered the room.
“I don’t know; we were all sound asleep when she began barking,” remarked Jamie as he struggled to keep the dog from leaping out the window.
Sophie went straight to their mother. “Mommy, did Abby see something?”
Her mother picked her up. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out, honey.”
“Oh, probably a bird. Come on, everyone back to bed. Abby, calm down or you’re going outside!” Mr. Bennett’s command was met with instant obedience as Abby settled down and let Jamie guide her back to her bed.
The children were alright for now, but to be on the safe side, Rapunzel always had Abby sleep nearby. Though she never told her family what she had seen, she pondered over those blue eyes and couldn’t help but paint them, keeping the art well out of sight. The next couple of weeks passed uneventfully, until the evening Mr. and Mrs. Bennett prepared to go to a dinner party.
“What is wrong with that dog? She’s barking her head off, and it’s going to drive me crazy!” complained Mr. Bennett after coming back in from chaining Abby in the backyard.
Jamie glanced at him with worry, “Dad, she only barks like that when there’s danger around.”
Mrs. Bennett nodded. “I know how she feels, I feel rather anxious myself. Oh, why did the party have to be tonight?”
Mr. Bennett placed a reassuring hand on his wife’s shoulder. “I know dear, it’s getting to me too, But we’ve already accepted the invitation and have no plausible reason to back out now. Besides, your sister will be here, we can have her take Abby up every now and then to check on the children.”
Mrs. Bennett nodded before ushering their children to bed.
“Mommy, will everything be alright?” asked Jamie, for the frenzied barks of Abby could still be heard outside the window.
His mother smiled reassuringly. “Your aunt will be here, and Abby is just outside. I’m sure everything will be fine.”
As if to reassure herself, Mrs. Bennett walked towards the window and made sure it was closed and locked. Only then did Abby calm down, but she was watching the window like a hawk.
“Oh, Mom,” Rapunzel said, “I wish you didn’t have to go.”
Mrs. Bennett crossed the room and wrapped her eldest in her arms. “I know, dear, but your father and I already promised the Collinses that we would go. And we don’t break our promises.”
Rapunzel smiled. “Right.”
Mrs. Bennett kissed her eldest daughter’s forehead before tucking her in. She did the same to Jamie and Sophie before turning off the lights and leaving the room. A few minutes later, the children’s aunt had arrived, and the couple was off to the party as the first snowflakes of the storm fell. Everything was quiet and peaceful until Abby took her attention off the bedroom window.
A wintry wind unlocked the window and pushed it open gently. A little fairy and a pale boy with a slightly glowing staff flew into the room, the boy quickly closing the window behind them.
“Alright, Baby Tooth, we’ve got to find that nightmare. Uh, you take the left, and I’ll take the right.”
The little fairy nodded, and the two separated, the fairy heading towards the open toy box and a toy house while the boy went towards the dressers and the beds. He immediately crawled under Sophie’s bed, looked around for a bit before heading to Jamie’s bed, and finally Rapunzel’s.
“Hmm . . . where is it?” The boy moved from the beds and checked the nearest corners and the dresser. “Baby Tooth, anything?”
The fairy shook her head after she finished looking through another corner.
“Oh come on, where is it? I know it’s in here somewhere. Come on, little shadow, where are you?”
Baby Tooth gave a little shriek and pointed. The boy swiveled, and a horse head reared out of the shadows menacingly and charged. The boy ducked to the side as the horse barreled past, aiming for the beds.
“No!” the boy shouted.
Rapunzel sat up in bed right as a beam of frosty light shot from his staff and struck the horse, freezing it. Jamie and Sophie had also woken up, and rushed to join Rapunzel as the boy touched the frozen horse with his staff.
“Who, who are you? And what was that thing?” Rapunzel asked as she pulled Jamie and Sophie closer.
The boy grinned sheepishly as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Oh, right, sorry about waking you up. But that might have been a good thing, considering that this is a nightmare. Oh, and I’m Jack Frost.”
Jamie gasped as he crawled out of the bed. “Jack Frost? The Jack Frost?”
Jack bowed. “The one and only. And you are?”
“I’m Jamie Bennett, and those are my sisters Rapunzel and Sophie.”
Jack blinked. “Uh, which one is which?”
Rapunzel got off the bed and curtsied. “I’m Rapunzel, Mr. Frost.”
Jack bowed. “A pleasure to meet you, but just call me Jack. And I guess that means this little squirt is Sophie,” he stated as Sophie latched onto his arm.
“Yup!” Sophie grinned. She pointed to the nightmare. “Was that trying to get us?”
“Yeah, I’m not sure which one of you, though, or even all three, but at least I got it before it did get to any of you.”
A soft tapping at the window caught their attention.
“Oh, excuse me for a sec.” He rushed over and opened up the window a little bit, allowing a stream of golden sand into the room. It went straight to the nightmare and touched it ever so gently, the nightmare shifting from black to gold in no time.
“Whoa . . . what’s happening?”
“The Sandman is converting the nightmare back to a dream,” explained Jack.
The golden sand whisked right back out the window. The children rushed to the window to watch it fade away into the distance.
Jamie glanced down, and gasped. “Abby’s gone!”
Rapunzel gasped, too. “Aunt Aurora must be bringing Abby up to check on us like Mom asked her to!”
“Well, go back to bed!” hissed Jack.
The three Bennetts dashed back under their covers while Jack rushed to lock the window and hide behind the curtains. A couple of minutes later, Aunt Aurora and Abby stole into the room. Abby led the way and sniffed each of the children before Aurora took her to check on the window.
“Alright,” Aunt Aurora muttered, “the children are in bed and the window is locked. Really, I have no clue what’s gotten into Frederick and Arianna to be so worried.” With all seriousness, she looked Abby straight in the eye. “Did you put this silly idea in their heads?” Abby sat down, seemingly content after checking on the children. “Alright, let’s head back downstairs so they can sleep. I won’t put you back outside, it’s too cold! Sound fair?”
Abby gave a little nod before following Aurora out of the room. A moment later, the children bounded out of their beds and practically swarmed Jack, just barely giving him time to move away from the window as the questions came fast and furious in hushed tones.
“How did you get in here?”
“Where do you live?”
“Are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy all real, too?”
“Whoa, whoa! One at a time! I can fly, Rapunzel, and I used the wind to unlock the window. I don’t use that power often, but this was an emergency. As for where I live, Sophie, I live at the North Pole with Santa. And yes, Jamie, they’re all real; my little friend here is one of the Tooth Fairy’s helpers. And guess what, even the Man in the Moon, the Groundhog, Leprechauns, and a few others are real, too. But you might not ever hear about some of those others since they only stay in certain parts of the world.”
“Wow,” all three breathed.
Another slight tapping was heard at the window. Jack pushed back the curtains to reveal a trail of golden sand.
“Oh, right, listen,” he said to the children, “I’d love to stay and chat some more, but the Boogeyman doesn’t exactly give up very easily. So, I’ve got to go fight some more nightmares. Come on, Baby Tooth!” He opened the window, but a hand on his sleeve stopped him.
“Can’t we go with you and see everybody?” asked Jamie.
“Jamie!” berated Rapunzel.
Jack turned and sat on the window sill. “And why would you want to meet the others?”
“Because I’ve always wanted to see the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus for real. Besides, Rapunzel could use some help to continue believing in all of you.”
Rapunzel chuckled nervously. “Oh, that’s not necessary, I’ll take your word for it.”
“What? And risk losing your faith in us? Not a chance.” Jack turned to the golden sand and tapped on it, the fluid path solidifying with tendrils of ice. Baby Tooth began squeaking with uncertainty. “Oh, come on, Baby Tooth, it’ll be alright, they won’t mind, much.” The little fairy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Well, what are you waiting for? Come on, let’s go!”
“Why can’t you fly us there?” asked Rapunzel.
Jack shook his head. “And risk dropping one of you? Not happening; this way will be safer. Come on!”
“Alright!” exclaimed Jamie as he hopped onto the golden path, followed by Sophie.
“Wait, Jamie, Sophie!” said Rapunzel. “What about Mother and Father?”
Jack shrugged. “We’re going to Dreamland, so time works differently. Hours can go by there while only minutes go by here.”
“Wow! Come on Rapunzel! This is going to be fun!” grinned Jamie before he and Sophie dashed off.
Jack gave Rapunzel a hand. “Come on, we’d better make sure they don’t do anything to hurt themselves. And besides, it’ll be quick, I promise.”
Rapunzel sighed as she took Jack’s hand and they dashed after the younger two. The four traipsed over the golden sand as the path zipped them over the city, over the forest, and out over the sea.
After a few minutes of seeing the sea, Jamie turned to Jack. “How much longer?”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Just a bit more; the island’s always moving.”
“Really? Cool!” Jamie turned to keep an eye out for the moving island, along with Sophie.
The four walked in silence a ways before Sophie gave out a shriek.
“There it is!” She pointed down below, where an island could be seen moving slowly. It looked almost like a tiny galaxy, with long tendrils spiraling out from the center.
“Yup, that’s it,” grinned Jack.
“But, how do we get down?” asked Jamie. They had reached the end of the path, with not much between them and the three-hundred-foot drop.
“Watch.” A few seconds after Jack touched the path again, an ice slide formed, ending right where the island was moving past.
“Whoa,” breathed the Bennetts as they stared on in shock.
“Well, come on, you want to meet the Sandman, don’t you?”
The Bennetts nodded as one after the other slid down the slide, whooping and hollering. Chuckling, Jack flew past them, ready to catch them at the bottom.
“Woohoo!! That was awesome!” exclaimed Jamie when he reached the bottom.
Sophie grabbed onto Jack’s arm. “I want to do that again!”
Jack chuckled. “Sure, but first let’s go meet the Sandman.”
“Right!” stated Jamie before he and his sisters followed Jack over the sand dunes. He led them to the largest dune, atop which slept a little man surrounded by mermaids.
“Ooh, pretty!” gasped Sophie.
“How lovely!” breathed Rapunzel.
The Sandman opened his eyes, and though surprised at seeing the children, smiled and waved.
“Hi Sandy! Great to see you, old pal. These kids wanted to meet you. Sandman, this Rapunzel, Jamie, and Sophie Bennett. Guys, this is the Sandman.”
A group of pictures flashed above Sandy’s head.
“Whoa, whoa, Sandy, slow down! I can’t read that fast!”
Sandy let out a breath and began again. The pictures flashed by a little more slowly, allowing them to see a nightmare, a pirate, a boat, a cave, and the three Bennetts.
“So, the Boogeyman sent out his nightmares to find a boat?”
The Sandman nodded and showed the image of the Bennetts again, this time surrounded by nightmares.
“And they’re looking for them?”
“But why us?” asked Rapunzel.
A pair of eyes appeared above the Sandman’s head, and they opened.
“They’re the only ones awake?” she guessed.
Sandy nodded and another image appeared over his head, this time of an hourglass.
“And we’re running out of time.” Jack sighed. “Okay, sorry kids, I’ve got to get you back home, you’ll be safer there. Sorry.”
Sandman patted Jack on the shoulder understandingly, and put up a finger. Turning to the sand dune he had been sleeping on, he began to form it into a four-seater airplane.
“Whoa,” breathed the children.
“That is so cool!” grinned Jamie.
The Sandman made a hat out of dreamsand, and holding it, bowed. He jumped into the plane and waved the children over.
“But what about Jack?” asked Rapunzel once everyone else was seated.
“Hey, I can fly, remember? Don’t worry, I can keep up,” Jack grinned. He turned to the Sandman. “Hey, um, think we could show them the others real quick?”
Sandy blinked before sighing, and nodded. They whooped with excitement as the plane took off, heading up north. After visiting the North Pole for several hours, they went to the Easter Bunny’s Warren before finishing up at the Tooth Palace, all while learning about the duties of the Guardians.
Sandy returned to his island and showed them around real quick before announcing that the children truly had to go home. Moaning and yawning, they climbed back into the plane. The engines started up and they took off, just as an ominous black shape crept out from the mist and rammed into the little airplane, sending the three children screaming into the sea.
“No!” yelled Jack as he dove into the water after them.
All four heads rose above the water, gasping for breath, right before a net was lowered and swooped them up as the ship flew away into the night. The net was dropped on the deck and the children tumbled out, giving a pirate enough time to grab Jack’s staff. Jack still took a protective stance, keeping the Bennetts behind him, though they were surrounded and he was clearly outnumbered at least thirty to one. The pirates moved aside, and a dark figure approached Jack.
“Pitch,” Jack growled.
Pitch Black smiled. “Hello, Frost. I really should thank you, for you’ve brought me such wonderful specimens on the longest night of the year.”
“What do you want with them?” hissed Jack.
“Oh, I’ll turn maybe one, two, or even all three into my darkling prince and princesses. You know, I rather like the idea of having a little family.”
“Oh, Jack, I’m not the monster. After all, I wasn’t the one who put them in harm’s way.” Pitch smiled cruelly as Jack’s face went from anger to surprise and hurt.
“No! It wasn’t Jack’s fault; I wanted to meet the Guardians!” Jamie blurted.
“That may be, but Jack knew that I was out looking for an appropriate child to claim for my own this night, the longest and darkest of all nights.” Rapunzel pulled Jamie and Sophie closer to her as Pitch took a step toward Jack. “And now no one can find you. Dream Pirates, take them below! We have a cave to reach and a ceremony to prepare for!”
Several Dream Pirates pushed the four below deck and locked them up in a tiny dungeon. As soon as the Dream Pirates left, Jack sat down in a corner and let out a sigh.
“Jack, it really isn’t your fault,” stated Jamie.
“But he’s right; I knew he was out looking for children tonight and why we had to take every precaution to protect them. I . . . I didn’t tell you about it because I didn’t want to worry you or frighten you.”
“Well, it worked; we weren’t worried or frightened . . .” began Jamie.
“Until now. Jack, I’m scared,” stated Rapunzel.
“Me too,” said Sophie as she snuggled closer to her sister.
“Yeah, even I am,” Jamie admitted.
“Jack, what’s he going to do to us?” asked Rapunzel.
“I, I don’t know, but I do know that if we have some fun, it’ll make it harder for Pitch’s plan to go the way he wants it.”
“But how can we have fun in this tiny dungeon?” asked Sophie as the three glanced around the tiny quarters.
Jack merely grinned. “You’ll see.”
He soon got them playing hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, hangman, and even got them to draw in the frost he created on the walls. But the fun was over far too soon when several Dream Pirates dragged them out of the dungeon and herded them back up to the deck. The ship was now banked on a shore inside of a cold, dark cave, causing the children to huddle even closer together, staying near Jack for warmth as well as protection. The pirates pushed them towards a plank, near where Pitch stood, apparently gloating in his victory.
“So, which of you will join me, or all of you?”
“No!” screamed Rapunzel as she pulled her siblings closer.
“Leave them alone, Pitch! Take me, instead!”
Pitch glanced at Jack as a pirate handed over Jack’s staff. “Really?” He broke the staff in half, causing Jack to double over in pain.
“Jack!” the children cried out as they rushed to him, Pitch tossing the pieces of the staff over the side.
“I don’t know if that will work, per say. But shall we try?” He lifted Jack up with some shadows and tossed him off the plank.
“No!” Rapunzel dashed over, only to see him fade into the sea. Or what she thought was the sea, for at a second glance, she soon realised there were horse forms down there, writhing and tumbling over each other.
“You like my nightmares, dear? It’s a special technique I’m still trying to perfect, but at least I have enough for my purposes at the moment.”
Rapunzel glanced down into the inky blackness below her and shuddered. Nightmare after nightmare raised its head to watch her like a predator seeking its prey. She turned around on the plank to glance at Pitch Black, a cruel grin plastered on his face while two of his Dream Pirates restrained Jamie and Sophie.
“If, if I jump, will you let them go home?” asked Rapunzel shakily.
Pitch nodded, “Yes, I shall.”
“How can I trust you?”
“That’s just the thing, now isn’t it? You can’t.”
Rapunzel gulped at his reply before turning and looking back at the swarm below. Muffled screams from Jamie and Sophie made her turn back with a tear in her eye.
“I-I’m sorry, I have to protect you. Tell Mom and Dad I love them.”
Jamie shook his head and tried to speak through the Dream Pirate’s hand covering his mouth. Rapunzel merely took a shaky breath, and jumped.
“No!” screamed several voices.
A sleigh flew in, and the Guardians leapt onto the boat. Santa quickly took care of the two pirates holding Jamie and Sophie.
“Get to the sleigh!” he ordered the children.
“We will save her, you get to sleigh, now!”
Jamie nodded, and putting complete faith in Santa and the others saving his sister, grabbed Sophie’s trembling hand and dragged her to the sleigh.
“Jamie, how, how are they going to save Rapunzel?” asked Sophie through her tears.
“I..I don’t know, we just have to believe that they will.” Jamie pulled his sister close while the battle raged on around them, the Sandman keeping most of the pirates away from the sleigh with help from the Tooth Fairy, while Santa and the Easter Bunny worked their way towards Pitch and the plank.
A loud whoop made the battle pause as everyone looked for the speaker, but he soon revealed himself as an icy breeze obliterating several of the nightmares and pirates.
“Jack!” yelled Jamie and Sophie, as the blue-clad figure flew from underneath the plank. A figure in pink was in his arms.
“He saved Rapunzel!” squealed Sophie as Jack flew towards the sleigh.
A swarm of nightmares rose up to stop him, furious at being refused their prey.
“Jack, look out!” each person shouted.
Jack caught the hint and flew Rapunzel up to a crow’s nest. He set her down and took on the nightmares.
“Stop!” The nightmares and the pirates backed down as Pitch flew up to where Jack and Rapunzel stood. “You and I are going to finish this, Frost!”
“Sounds fine by me!” shouted Jack as he flew to meet the Nightmare King.
Black shadows and white ice battled it out furiously as everyone else could only watch, mesmerized. Jack apparently could easily hold his own against Pitch, every attack thwarted and sent back in kind. They weren’t sure how long the battle actually lasted, they were so fascinated by how the sparkling ice tore through the shadows and the inky shadows splintered the ice. But then Jack got the upper hand and sent Pitch sprawling on the ship’s deck. Jack quickly returned to the crow’s nest to check on Rapunzel before landing on the deck to face Pitch.
“Give it up, Pitch, you’ve clearly lost.”
Pitch glanced at something to the side before grinning, “Have I?”
With a hiss, several Dream Pirates swarmed over Pitch, taking him with them over the side, each one landing on a nightmare that carried them away from the ship.
But Pitch turned and shouted, “This isn’t over yet, Frost! I will be back, and I will have my darkling princess!”
“And I’ll be here, Pitch, protecting them all from you!” Jack glared at Pitch until he and his minions left the cave. Then he turned to Rapunzel and flew her down to the sleigh.
“Um, thanks guys,” he said, “and . . . I’m sorry.”
“You’re sorry? Is that it? You put these kids’ lives in danger, and you think sorry is gonna cut it?” growled Bunny.
“No! It was my fault,” explained Jamie. “I begged him to let us meet you. I didn’t want Rapunzel to stop believing in you. She, she’s the one who helped me believe in you, and I couldn’t stand knowing that she was going to stop believing.”
Rapunzel hugged her brother. “Oh, Jamie, I’m sorry if I worried you. I promise that I will never stop believing.”
“What good will that do?” Bunny asked. “A lot of people have promised, and they broke those promises.”
“Bunny!” Tooth berated him.
“A Bennett never breaks a promise, especially one that’s been made to family,” Sophie stated matter-of-factly.
“Good,” said Santa, “keep that promise and you will stay off the Naughty list. But first, I think we need to get you home. How about a ride in the sleigh?”
“Really? Yes!” Jamie jumped up, throwing both arms in the air.
“This is going to be fun!” grinned Sophie.
Rapunzel chuckled. “Alright, let’s hurry up, I want to get back to bed.”
“Of course you do; you’ve had one exciting night. Anybody else coming?”
“Yup,” blurted Jack as he jumped into the sleigh beside Rapunzel.
“We’d like to, but Sandy and I have to get back to work.”
“And I’ve got to get back to preparing for Easter; it’s early this year.” Bunny glanced at Jack. “And there’d better be no blizzard this year, either.”
“What? Oh, fine, I’ll keep my interference down to a minimum.”
“How about none at all?”
“Bunny, perhaps another time? We have to get these kids to bed.”
“Fine, get going.”
“Thank you,” said Santa. “See you later. Hiya!” The reindeer took off, the sleigh leaving the cave fairly quickly.
Santa pulled out a snow globe and spoke to it. “I say, Bennett house.” He threw it into the sky, where it burst open into a swirling portal. The sleigh went through, and landed gently on the Bennett house.
“Wait, how are we going to get past Aunt Aurora to our room?” asked Jamie.
“Don’t worry about that, I’ve got this.” Jack picked up Sophie and flew her down to the room. She fell asleep the instant her head touched the pillow. Jack went back for Jamie, who didn’t fall asleep until he spoke to Jack.
“Thanks, Jack, for everything.”
Jack ruffled his hair. “No problem.”
He flew back out one more time, to get Rapunzel. When she got into the room, she made sure Sophie and Jamie were both tucked in like their mother would. She turned back to the window to see Jack standing on the sill and the sleigh going through another portal.
“Thank you Jack, for everything.”
“No problem, though I am sorry for putting your lives in danger when I knew Pitch was on the roam.”
“Hey, you still helped save us, and we did have fun.”
“Well, there is still that.” He bent forward and kissed her forehead. “Goodnight, Punz.” She pulled back in surprise. “Punz?”
Jack shrugged. “Hey, it sounds like good nickname. Or would you rather be Ray?”
Rapunzel giggled. “Punz it is.” She surprised him by pulling him in for a kiss.
“What? Punz, I can’t . . .”
“Thank you for saving my life.”
They kissed again, Jack pulling back more slowly this time.
“Okay,” he said, that’s enough. I can’t, we’re going to have to stay as friends.”
“I’m a Guardian, Punz; I’m immortal, you’re not. You’re going to grow up, get married, and have kids of your own, and . . .”
“And I’ll die,” Rapunzel whispered.
Jack nodded as he sighed. “Yes.”
Rapunzel reached up and touched his face. “It must be hard to . . .”
“Yeah, it is, but at least I have the other Guardians to keep me company.”
“Mm-hmm, but they must get boring to hang around with, don’t they?” She pulled him in for yet another kiss.
“Punz, I . . .”
“I know, but I won’t get another chance.”
With a shaky breath, he let her kiss him a couple more times before needing to pull away.
“I have to go; your parents will be back soon, and Pitch is still out there.”
Rapunzel nodded. They kissed one more time before Jack flew away after waving goodbye, Rapunzel locking up the window before climbing into bed. And just like a Bennett, she kept her word—all three of them did—for they remembered and continued to believe long after their friends had stopped believing, and long into their old age. They told their children and grandchildren about the Guardians, sparking belief in a whole new generation. But they never forgot that night, nor a first kiss.