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The Heartless

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“I just wish I knew what… what I was doing wrong.” Jack Frost sighs as he stares at the unyielding moon above; if it had answers for him, it wasn’t telling. Every night had been the same for years unending.

He would watch the children play in the icy world he had created for them, join in their revels unnoticed, and at the end of the day, he would be alone. As always. No matter how hard he worked, how much joy he tried to bring, no one noticed him. Whether he played pranks or assisted humanity, it hadn’t seemed to matter.

“Please, I just…it’s been so long, and… and I’m sitting here in the dark, talking to myself. Because no one can see me.” The immortal hangs his head and wraps his arms around himself as he settles in for another solitary vigil.


“The man in the moon has not deigned to concern himself with the affairs of the likes of us for some centuries now. If you wait for answers from him, you may wait forever, winter child.” Jack jerks his head up as the silky voice, seemingly made of darkness, speaks from behind him.

“Who’s there? Did someone say something?” He brandishes his staff in front of him protectively, jumping to his feet at the unknown threat.

“I did. But there is no need for violence… I mean you no harm,” the voice continues on, now sounding curious.

“You can hear me?” Jack asks, incredulously.

“And see you, as well,” the shadows answer. Jack’s face, if possible, goes paler than its usual icy hue.

“You’re the first one in…ever,” he breathes, swallowing hard as he struggles with warring hope and caution. 


The shadows begin to coalesce in response, forming themselves into a tall, lithe man with gray skin, slick dark hair and piercing golden eyes. He wears a mantle of flickering darkness and has an ominous air about him, but his eyes bear no malice toward the younger immortal. Instead he almost looks…pitying?

“Do you truly mean to tell me that no other, human, spirit or immortal, has ever spoken to you?”

“Not in three hundred years,” Jack affirms. “I thought I was alone. Who…who are you?”

“My dear boy,” the spirit says, sounding appalled. “I fear a grievous wrong has been done you. I—allow me to introduce myself. I am Pitch Black. Darkness and fear are my domain. I am the shadow in the closet, the noise under a bed, the nightmare one hopes to dispel upon waking. But even I am not so cruel as to ignore a fellow spirit for—three hundred years, you said? I was never told there was another…”

His countenance darkens considerably, and balls of darkness crackle at his fingertips.

“The Guardians lied,” he hisses angrily.


“The others?” Jack looks at Pitch, bewildered.

“They’ve never said a word to me, I didn’t—the children believe in them, so they… they never had time for me. I’m just Jack Frost. I give kids snow days and make parents trip and fall on the ice.” He laughs self-deprecatingly. “I don’t even know why I’m here. Are you—I’m sorry, Pitch, was it? Are you quite sure I’m not dreaming? This is real? I’m not alone?”

Pitch reaches out and touches the other immortal on the shoulder in response, almost tenderly, squeezing in a comforting gesture. He notes with interest how the young man’s face colors slightly, and how his breath hitches, how he stares at Pitch as though he is drowning and Pitch is the lifeline.

The winter spirit’s hand reaches up, tentatively, and rests over Pitch’s, hovering.


Three hundred years without contact, Pitch thinks, swallowing hard. It has been a long time for him (darkness, after all, is home to a host of activities, not just nightmares), but this boy…has never known the touch of another.

“You are not alone, Jack Frost,” he says, gently as he is able, allowing his fingers to splay over the boy’s shoulders. “Nor will you be. The Guardians may have kept me unaware of your existence, but then—“ he smiles bitterly, “perhaps that is to be expected. What, after all, goes better with darkness…than cold?  That is, unless you despise me. For my work.”

“Despise you? How could I?” Jack fairly yells. “You’re speaking to me! You’re, you…you touched me. Me! No one’s ever…”  he trails off, eyes skittering downward in embarrassment.

“I see,” Pitch says, calmly, a hint of a smile tugging up the corners of his angular face. “But how rude of me! Please, I must at least invite you to my abode. A cup of tea, perhaps? You must tell me of yourself, Jack Frost. Though I may not be a comforting presence, I mean to correct this wrong. None should lack for companionship, and I fear we share a similar plight. Please.” He extends a hand to a portal, shimmering black in the night sky. “After you.”

Jack smiles, big and bright and guileless, and steps through.


Jack flits from corner to corner, taking in the vast underground cavern Pitch calls home.

"I know it's not much," Pitch begins, wryly, but Jack cuts him off as he swoops through the air, touching everything, practically vibrating with excitement.

"Are you kidding? It's great! It has a ceiling and walls and everything! I've never been inside before...Ooh, what are these? What's this? What does that do? Wow, what are THOSE?"

He alights on one of the huge golden cages hung from the ceiling and taps it experimentally with his staff, setting it to swinging.

"I use them for nightmare roosts, mostly," Pitch volunteers cautiously, taken aback by the youth's enthusiasm.

"Really? Where? Can I see one?" Jack spins around and around as though the nightmares are hiding from him just out of view.

"Er, alright. If you're quite sure. To me, Melpomene," he calls, and a steed of glittering darkness materialises at his side, stamping the ground and whickering.

"Oh, wow," Jack breathes. "She's beautiful. Can I touch her?"

"Do you want to lose a hand?" The nightmare king inquires, not unkindly.

Melpomene tosses her head and trots right up to Jack, who instantly starts cooing over what a gorgeous girl she is and stroking her soft, velvety nose.

Interesting, Pitch thinks.


Interesting, he thinks again, later, when the tea has been drunk and Jack has recounted 300 years of solitude and mischief, and managed to prise a few words out of Pitch about his own life, as well.

The boy is so painfully lonely and earnest, it hurts just to watch him.

He blossoms from the smallest kindness.

Pitch tries not to see the similarities between himself and Frost, and fails.


Oh, very interesting, he thinks, watching the boy sleep, nestled against a pile of furs and pillows on the floor.

There are no beds here; beds are tools of the trade. Pitch prefers reclining, recumbent, on Persian-style cushions.

Frost seems so innocent, and yet...his dreams, oh, his dreams...


Jack Frost is no idiot.

He has watched humanity for centuries, pressed his fingers against the glass and lingered longer than he ought while children grew, and touched, and fucked.

Sanderson has never visited Frost; his dreams are his own, and in them, he conjures lovers, lovers who touch him and sate his yearning with fingers and lips and cocks like fire. He whimpers softly, his fingers reaching down to palm himself through his trousers in sleep.

He rocks against his hand, the perpetual boy on the cusp of adulthood, with all the desires a man might feel.

"Pitch," he moans, "touch me."


The nightmare king hears. He hears, and because it has been so very long, and because the boy is dreaming, and because he has never been wanted until this boy who does not fear him, but believes in him, who says his name...he hears, and he obeys.


Pitch douses all light in his abode.  He steels himself, takes a breath, and murmurs, “this is a dream. No more, no less. In the dark, I can be whoever you desire. And when you wake, I can be no one at all.”

In the darkness, his darkness, he can be desirable. Not an old, frightening spirit with harsh features and jagged teeth.  Yes, he is all too familiar with using covering darkness to hide from another who would recoil from him in the light of day.


He settles in beside Jack on the furs, stroking the boy’s sweat-soaked hair back from his forehead. Jack shudders, his mouth forming an open ‘o’ shape.

“Please. I need…”

“I know.” He prises Jack’s hand from its place cupping his arousal. He will take this slowly, he will make this good for the other spirit, and Jack will never have to know it was him. Even if he did call his name.


What Pitch does not anticipate is Jack’s hand grasping at his coat, pulling him down on top of the smaller immortal, pressing their bodies together all at once. Jack moans again, his eyelids fluttering, but he does not wake, exactly. Yet suddenly he feels the boy’s hardness pressing into him, and he slides his thigh just so---there, yes---and they are aligned, and the delicious friction is maddening.

Jack’s hips undulate erratically, and Pitch shivers, because it feels so---ah, ahhhh---and he WANTS, fierce and sudden. He revises his opinion quickly; he will make this good for the boy, yes, but take it slowly?

Fuck slowly.

Slow is for someone with self-control.

Slow is for someone who might get a second chance at this.

Slow is for someone…else.


At a touch, Jack’s clothing dissolves, melting away into the inky blackness. Pitch contemplates, briefly, using his mouth on the boy, but this is laughable---with his teeth? Not likely. But there is one thing his teeth are good for, and that thing is biting, and he does, teasing and tasting the boy’s icy flesh as Jack gasps and makes incoherent little needy noises.

Lips shape themselves out of darkness and press against Jack’s neck, flick over his taut nipples, and Pitch smiles, predatory, as Frost’s body arches like a bow.

The boy’s hands reach out blindly in the dark, brushing Pitch’s hair, then his face, exploratory now and if the nightmare spirit was thinking properly, he might question—but no matter.  Frost’s fingers journey down, brushing the dark robe, and further still, not content just to be touched but wanting to touch as well, until they find Pitch’s arousal and the older spirit hisses as his cock throbs. But this isn’t about him, not really, and Jack distracting him just won’t do.


Pitch brings a hand down between Jack’s legs, running agile fingers up the younger man’s hardening length before brushing a thumb over his tip, already leaking in protest. He wraps his hand firmly around Frost’s member and slides the slickness around.

Jack sighs and writhes again. “More,” he begs.

Pitch pulls back, just to hear the frustrated agonized sounds the other spirit makes at the loss of contact, and then the phantom lips are pressed against Jack’s cock while Pitch vanishes his own robe. He resumes his position against Jack and lines up his arousal against the boy’s and he sliiiiides---and the feeling is like stars bursting behind his eyes, so good, so hard and smooth and he bites, hard, Jack’s left nipple, just above his heart, and he feels the other spirit come undone with a high-pitched wail against his cock as he tastes the ice that flows in Frost’s veins in place of blood.

Pitch touches Jack’s still-pulsing member, brings a finger to his lips, and tastes him. Delicious. But it isn’t enough, not nearly, and Jack is still hard, and Pitch still wants, and he cannot resist this pagan offering, and he whispers, his voice a note rougher than usual, “turn over.”


“Yes, gods, please,” Jack agrees, and rolls onto his hands and knees, and trembles with lust and nervousness as careful fingers rub at his entrance while dark tendrils hold him up and brush at his cock and Pitch’s other hand rakes delicate lines down his back. All Jack can do is pant and mewl, barely tensing when one finger pushes past his entrance and crooks inside. He clamps down hard when the second finger joins soon after, but then Pitch is doing something with the fingers inside him and now Jack is pressing into the fingers and it’s glorious, glorious…and they’re gone.

“I’m going to fuck you now,” Pitch says, the head of his cock pressing against Frost’s tightness, and Jack says raggedly, “Pitch, Pitch, please, ,please, want you, want this, please”, and Pitch groans and it doesn’t even matter anymore that he’s an old ugly spirit with no heart to speak of, because he pushes inside and Jack clenches around him like a vice and then everything dissolves into frantic rutting and touching and Jack’s wanton sounds, so good, so very good, and the pleasure-pain of orgasm after orgasm that rolls around Pitch’s cock until he can’t take it anymore and comes hard, shouting Jack’s name.


After, he summons his robe back and brushes Jack’s hair back from his forehead one more time, almost tenderly, and leaves him there, exhausted and limp and sated in the darkness, and Jack does sleep, then, for true.

The nightmare king ghosts into the shadows, his talons sharp, his resolve a steel blade. He has business this night.



Jack slumbers, peaceful.



Elsewhere, there is screaming.



And if Jack wakes to find a world that is cold and dark, but with fierce joy, and the Guardians all gonedeadlostforgotten, a world where everyone knows his name, the winter prince who could tame the nightmare king, who is cold and capricious and full of tricks, some even good…

…well, who better as a consort for darkness than cold?