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[personal profile] earthstarmoon
Yeah, surprise, surprise, another Rise of the Guardian fic from me. Will this stop anytime soon? Probably not! XD

Title: The Whole Story
Rating: G
Summary: When visiting North's workshop, Jack ends up telling North the whole story of his encounter with Pitch and the offer he made. The reaction was not what Jack expected.

Jack looked around his room, HIS room. Granted, North had only provided the basics. There was a bed and a dresser for the few things he did own. The window was left open to let the cool breeze in from outside. Jack leaned out and let the wind play around with his hair.

"So, you like?" North asked from the doorway. "Is not much, but wanted to let you have freedom to decorate."

Jack was grinning ear to ear. "It's great, North. Is it really okay for me to have this?"

North laughed as they walked back into the hallway. "Of course, plenty of room here." He wrapped an arm around Jack's shoulders. "Bunny, Tooth and Sandy also have guest rooms, you just get to use yours more often, is all!"

Jack's eyes softened. "Thanks, it means a lot." Burgess would always be his home, but it was nice to know he had a place with a roof over his head.

North pointed to his office. "Come, let me show you latest ice models I have working. I am planning snowball throwing machine."

"Oh, please tell me we can use Bunny as a test subject." Jack pretended his staff was a baseball bat and swung it. "He's way overdue for a snow ball fight."

North chuckled, but then seemed puzzled as he glanced down at Jack's staff. "Jack, I've never noticed before. What is that jagged line?"

Jack lifted his staff to his face. "Oh," Jack replied, tracing his fingers over the cracked line. It did appear out of place with the rest of the smooth wood. "That was from when Pitch broke my staff and I had to literally fuse it back together." He gave it another swing it in the air. "I'm just glad I managed to fix it."

North froze and stroked his beard. "Broke staff? When did he do that?"

Jack opened and closed his mouth as he leaned against North's desk. "Well, um, after what happened with Easter last year I flew to Antarctica to collect my thoughts."

North sighed, and made Jack wonder if they were still mad about that. "We were too harsh on you."

Taken aback, Jack shook his head. He hadn't expected that response. "No, you weren't. I screwed up. If I had been there-"

"Would not have changed thing," North stated placing a hand on Jack's shoulder. "You don't know, but when Sandy returned and found out he gave us LONG lecture."

Jack frowned as North led him to a chair to take a seat in, sitting in his own chair before he continued. "He pointed out you are just one person and with how powerful Pitch was at time," he shook his head. "It was impossible to cover all tunnels even if you were there."

"Sandy said that?" Jack said surprised. He was curious to see what kind of images Sandy had to produce to explain all of that to them.

North nodded. "Was furious with us." He sighed. "We were exhausted and we blamed you for it, that was not fair." He placed a hand on Jack's shoulder. "Have been meaning to tell you for long time, but we are all sorry, not just for blaming you, but for leaving you alone for so long."

Jack swallowed. He still felt guilty over what had happened that Easter, but hearing it wasn't entirely his fault eased it a bit. "Thanks," he softly replied.

"But" North continued. "I am interrupting story. Go on."

Jack nodded. "Anyway, I was debating what I should do and Pitch showed up."

North frowned and folded his arms over his chest. "He broke staff so you wouldn't help us?"

"Yeah," Jack continued nonchalantly. "But before that, he asked me to join him."

North was silent and a look of horror crossed his face. "He what?"

The look alarmed Jack. "I didn't of course, but then he was holding Baby Tooth hostage so I had to give him my staff to get her back." North still kept his horrified expression and Jack began to ramble just to finish his story. "He broke it and then tossed me into a crevasse." Oh gosh, now he looked angry. "But I managed to repair my staff on my own and I flew back to you guys." He raised his hands. "That's all there was to it."

North stared hard at Jack like he was debating going into battle. "North?"

He rose and placed both of his hands on Jack's shoulders. "Jack, did he do anything else?"

The dark tone North's voice took startled Jack. "What?"

"Did he do anything else to you?" North replied in the same dark tone.

Jack shook his head. "No, and trust me it was a walk in a park compared to the mind games he played in his lair."

"Mind games?!" North exclaimed. His eyes narrowed. "Jack, when was this?"

Jack was silent. He hadn't wanted to make North more upset than he was.

"Jack, tell me," North replied, but in a gentler tone.

Jack chewed his lower lip. "It was when I took Sophie home, I came across his lair and tried to rescue Tooth's fairies, Pitch kept appearing in and out of his shadows." He shivered. Jack still hadn't been able to look at a shadow without flinching. "He just rambled nonsense that I would never be accepted by you guys and stupid stuff like that."

North's face was unreadable and Jack decided to continue. "Then he gave me my memory box and I found myself back in Bunny's tunnels." He attempted a smile. "It really wasn't that big a deal, looking back on it now." He lied, it still creeped him out to remember, but he didn't want to worry North any more than he already had.

North had no expression on his face. Suddenly, Jack found himself in a large bear hug. Jack was startled, but hugged North back. After a long moment, North released Jack, then marched out of his office.

Jack chased after him. "North?" he called. He was walking so fast Jack had to fly to catch up. "Where are you going?"

"Getting swords," North replied as he opened the closet and reached for his coat and hat. "Was too easy on Pitch, should have chopped arms off."

Jack blocked him and pushed his hands against his chest. "What? No! North look I'm fine. You do NOT have to go after Pitch."

"Yes, I do!" North snapped and Jack saw the fury in his eyes. "He needs to pay for what he's done."

"He did pay," Jack replied back. "We sent him screaming back into his hole in the ground, remember?" North's arms began to drop and Jack began to relax. "That's more than enough for me."

North still frowned and then cursed in Russian. "You are right," and placed a hand on Jack's head. "I had just wish I had known this sooner."

"I appreciate the concern," Jack replied. "But I can take care of myself and it's not a big deal."

North shook his head. "Jack, you are not first person Pitch has tried to recruit." His eyes soften a bit. "We have told you about Katherine, have we not?"

Jack nodded. "She's your adopted sister that became Mother Goose."

North nodded, his gaze softening. "Next time she is around, we must introduce you. She will want to write your story." He removed his hand and placed it back on the shelf. "Pitch had wanted her to be his Nightmare Princess."

This was news to Jack. "Wait, Princess and what would I become? A Prince?"

North gave a bemused smile and led Jack back to his office. "He was not quite then how he is now, but he was still as manipulative." North grimly frowned. "She was only 12 years old when we first fought Pitch, and he tried to make her doubt herself many times."

Jack frowned. Now he understood. North probably felt he had failed to protect Katherine those times and hearing about his encounter with Pitch made it feel like he'd failed again. Jack gave a soft smile and patted North on the back. "But I'm okay and she was okay overall in the end, right?"

North gave a small smile. "Yes, cause also like you, Katherine has strong spirit."

Jack laughed. "Sounds like we have a lot in common. She was only 12 and I was only 14 when Manny chose me."

"What?" North asked his eyes widened. "You were only 14?"

Jack grimaced. Man, why did he just keep dropping the bombs today. He sheepishly gripped his staff. "Guess...I never told you guys, huh?"

North chuckled. "I am thinking there is much we should catch up on." He pointed Jack to a seat. "Sit, I bring cocoa. It is past time you hear whole story how we defeated Pitch all those years ago."

Jack grinned. "I'm in the mood for a good story."


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