You’re experiencing some serious déjà vu.
Jack Frost is once again in your living room, lying on your couch, completely unconscious.
Except this time, you know who he is and for a fact that he’s extremely ill. Though with exactly what, you’re not sure.
And there’s no curiosity here. Just fear and panic for the one you love.
You lift off the damp wash towel that you have resting on his forehead. It needs to be changed.
You lay your free hand on his head, checking his temperature.
He’s still burning up, the same temperature from the last time you had checked it. He’s far too warm even for a regular human, let alone for the spirit of winter.
His cheeks are flushed a deep red to match the fever. His lips are parted, each of his breaths shuddering and strained. They’re so infrequent sometimes that you will anxiously rest your ear on his chest, listening for his faint heartbeat as your own races.
You refresh the cold towel and place it back on his forehead.
On occasion, he’ll mumble something incomprehensible, his head rolling from side to side as he scrunches up in pain.
You are at a complete loss of what to do.
For one, you had no idea that Jack could even bleed. If he was supposed to be able to, in the first place. Or is it something brought on by this out-of-the-blue malady? You have no clue. Based on the day that you first met him, you know that he can be hurt, but recovers at an incredible speed. He is a spirit after all.
You doubt that he is supposed to be able to shed blood, so you attribute this to his affliction.
You fire up your computer and plug Jack’s symptoms into your search engine. Maybe the internet can tell you what’s going on with him. If what he has is human and can be cured using regular remedies.
You find a few possibilities, but none of them perfectly fit what is going on with Jack. Most of them also involve runs to the hospital, and you can’t exactly do that, anyway.
After a few failed attempts to wake him up and get some medicine down his throat, you’re left feeling completely helpless.
Tears begin to stream down your face as you gaze upon Jack’s limp and sickly figure, wishing you could relieve him of the pain that he is in.
Please Jack, you beg him in your head, as if he can hear your thoughts. Wake up. Tell me what to do. Please don’t leave me here, alone. Please…
Knowing that there’s nothing else you can do and unable to watch bouts of agony take over him, you walk back outside, wiping the tears from your face.
The bright moon is there to greet you.
MiM, you call out to it telepathically. What do I do? Jack’s in trouble, and I’m lost.
You remember the sad smile on the moon’s face that you had seen after confessing your own love to Jack.
The same one it wears right now.
You knew, you think, astonished as it dawns upon you. You begin to speak aloud. “You knew this was going to happen! Why didn’t you tell us, why didn’t you warn us or stop us? You let this happen!”
You feel completely betrayed.
The moon remains silent, still solemnly smiling down upon you.
“You must know what I have to do, then,” you continue, anger and disappointment swelling up within you. “Tell me. You owe me that much…You owe him that much after letting this happen to him! Please, talk to me!”
But it doesn’t speak a word.
“Fine,” you spat. Some help you are, you think to yourself as you head back inside and slip on a jacket and boots. Sitting up there, high in the sky, all high and mighty. You don’t really understand what’s going on. Thinking you can make the decisions that affect all of us. You’re not down here, with us. Here I thought you truly cared and understood. But you obviously don’t…
You kiss the top of Jack’s head. His hand twitches, as if in response. “I’ll be back soon. I’m going to go find some help. Somewhere, somehow…There’s gotta be someone out there who knows and will tell what we should do.”
You steal a final concerned glance at him before closing the door behind you. You’d hate to leave him in this condition, but you know you’d be of better use searching for a cure instead of hanging around uselessly.
You turn and face the town.
And begin to walk.
A light in a house switches on as you walk past it. You see someone stirring inside. Thinking nothing of it, you continue your trek.
You soon hear small footsteps crunching in the snow behind you.
You turn around to a pair of big, brown, questioning eyes.
“Hello, Jamie,” you greet the boy. “What are you doing awake? It’s late.”
He plays with his hands guiltily, averting his eyes. “I was reading and saw you walk by.” He looks up at you, smiling wide. “What’re you doing walking around? It’s late.”
You chuckle and kneel down so you’re roughly eye-level with him. Children can always bring a smile to your face, and right now is no exception despite the gravity of the situation that you’re in.
“I just thought I’d take a late-night stroll,” you lie.
But if there’s one certain thing about kids, it’s that they can not only offer up the complete truth (no matter how harsh), but they can also catch a bad lie.
“What’s wrong, (your name)?” he asks, seeing right through your fib.
You sigh. You’ve been caught. “Someone very dear to me is in trouble, and I have to find a way to help them.”
“I see,” he responds, deep in thought. “Who is it? Maybe I can help.”
You ruffle his hair. “Not this time, Jamie.” You stand back up. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, anyway. Yes, even you,” you finish, stopping him in his tracks before he could argue.
“Aw, all right,” he sadly says.
You smile at him. “Now get back to the house and head off to bed. It’s too late for little Jamie’s to be up and about.”
He giggles. “Okay. Good luck on your quest, I hope your friend gets better!”
You laugh slightly at the fact that he just called your search for a cure a “quest.” He waves goodbye and runs back into the house.
You lower your own hand, which was also raised in farewell. You turn around and keep walking, feeling more hopeful about your chances after the late-night encounter.
“Protect the children.”
You shake away the moon’s voice playing back in your head. You can’t help but begin to be worried for the kids of the world, as well. For little Jamie.
The Guardians will protect them, you resolve. It’s their duty. But why would the moon tell me to do that? But wait. He was talking to me AND Jack. At least, I think he was, based off of what he said at the beginning. Was he telling the both of us to protect the kids from Pitch? Does he not think that the Guardians can do it alone…?
You’re so lost in thoughts not only of your odd conversation with the moon but also ones of poor Jack that you don’t take notice of your surroundings.
You hear wood creak beneath your foot, snapping you out of your train of thought.
You look up, wondering how in the world you almost ran into a house and didn’t notice it.
You’re greeted by a familiar old door. With carvings of birds and trees decorating its wooden surface.
A little LED “Open” sign flashes at you from the corner of the window, backed by a warm, welcoming indoor light.
You smile wide, putting your hand on the doorknob.
And you push open the door.