Actions

Work Header

Too Cold to Cry

Chapter Text

Hugging his knees to his chest, Jack grits his teeth and shakes, his chest heaving with strain as he sobs. Gasping, he whines quietly, tracks of tears freezing to his flushed cheeks as he tries to stop crying, his sore eyes squeezed shut. Trembling, he wipes his nose on his deerskin pants, hating himself for falling apart like the pathetic mess he is.

Chapter Text

His knees wobble as he crosses the hardwood floor, leaning against the ornate table for support, his temple throbbing faintly. North waves a cookie under his nose, but Jack just smiles and shakes his head.

“I’m not hungry,” he insists, even though his insides are hollow, empty like he deserves.

Chapter Text

Jack yells loud enough to wake himself, a choked cry echoing through the clearing as he jolts upright, heart hammering painfully in his chest. His blue eyes are blown wide, darting in every direction as he clutches his staff, his sister’s haunting screams ringing in his ears.

“Just a dream,” he tries to reassure himself, but he can’t catch his breath with his heart lodged in his throat.

Chapter Text

“I’m not tired...” Jack insists with a yawn, swaying on coltish legs and rubbing his heavy eyes, blinking slowly. His vision blurs as he nearly falls over, but Bunny’s grip on his arm saves him from collapsing from exhaustion. Jack aches for a break, for sleep, but he’s too afraid to close his eyes, too terrified of what waits for him in the dark.

Chapter Text

The battle is over, and everyone is celebrating, laughing and shouting and hugging each other—everything is too loud and bright, and Jack’s head aches from getting hit too hard.

He watches Sandy float toward him, a warm smile on his round face, as black spots dance across his blurry vision. Jack’s knees buckle, and his eyes roll into the back of his head as he collapses, falling unconscious.

Chapter Text

Jack bloodies his knuckles by punching the concave walls of the hourglass, but he can’t escape the torrents of black earth raining from above, slowly but surely burying him alive.

“Let me out!” he screams, throat raw from hyperventilating, but Pitch just laughs. Jack realizes he’s going to die here, alone with only a cheshire cat grin to keep him company, when sand nearly fills the hourglass, rising past his nose, and he can’t move, can’t scream, can’t breathe.

Chapter Text

“Oh my, you’re burning up!” Tooth exclaims, pressing her smooth palm against his sweaty forehead, and he moans at the cool touch. Trembling and achy, Jack cracks open his leaden eyes, his temple throbbing at the bright light, and offers her a wobbly smile.

“M’fine,” he reassures, his voice scratchy on account of his dry throat, “I’m not sick.”

 

Chapter Text

“Where am I?” Jack slurs, his head lolling to the side as his gaze darts around the blurry room, his eyes narrowing in confusion as colors and shapes swirl around him in a hazy hurricane of sensation. A woman is hovering at his bedside—he reaches for her with a floppy hand, unsure if she’s a magical creature or his mother, and giggles, a dopey smile curling his lips. “Mom?”

Chapter Text

“You’re significantly less insufferable when you’re not running your mouth,” Pitch comments offhandedly, the barest hint of a smile on his shadowed face, and Jack gnashes his teeth, clawing at the arm pinning him to the brick wall. Choked gasps spill from his lips as the iron grip around his throat tightens, lighting a fire in his lungs and bringing tears to his eyes. He feels like he’s drowning all over again as darkness encroaches on his vision, little panicked noises falling from his open mouth as he struggles to breathe.

Chapter Text

Jack has never been used as a human shield before, but there’s a first time for everything, and it's his own fault, really, because he shouldn’t have let Pitch catch him off guard in the first place. He tugs on the arm barred across his throat, wheezing, and watches with wide eyes as the Guardians skid to an abrupt halt, their weapons still raised.

“Oh, don’t worry,” Pitch reassures them, tightening his hold and effectively keeping Jack from squirming away, “You can have your little pet project back—once you surrender, of course.”

Chapter Text

Skeletal fingers grab a fistful of Jack’s hair and yank his head back, forcing him to look up into menacing golden eyes. He hisses in pain, gritting his teeth and glaring fiercely.

“Perhaps you’re more trouble than you’re worth,” Pitch considers, pressing a sharp blade against the curve of his throat, and Jack winces, gasping as the knife draws blood, cold red droplets sliding down his neck.

Chapter Text

Jack’s tendency to be annoying gets him in all sorts of trouble—this time, he irritated a winter witch, and, in her anger, she miraculously turned him back into a human, warm-blooded and vulnerable to the cold.

Now, alone in a forest in Northern Russia, Jack’s teeth chatter as he trembles violently, curled up in a ball and lying in the snow, numb and frozen. Drowsily, he cracks open his frosted lashes, frowning at his fingers and toes blackened by frostbite.

Chapter Text

Soaked in sweat, Jack dizzily stumbles away from the beach, panting and cursing out the summer spirits he just fought off. He clutches his aching head and only manages a couple shaky steps before he collapses, hitting the ground with a thud. Groaning, Jack tries to stand back up, but he’s too weak, too melted and burned out.

 

Chapter Text

Jack’s first attendance at North’s annual New Year’s Eve party is ruined the moment he downs a flute of champagne. The poison—someone poisoned his drink, holy shit—hits him almost immediately, and he drops his glass, staggering back a couple steps. The guests around him scowl in disgust as foam bubbles gathers at the corner of his mouth, and they ignore him when he goes down, twitching and convulsing.

 

Chapter Text

The scythe swings down before he can blink, stabbing him in the chest and pinning him to the asphalt. Jack tries to scream, but all that comes out is a garbled, wet sound—one of his lungs is run through, maybe even his heart, he can’t tell for sure—and Jack didn’t even think he could die, but it happened to Sandy, and this sure looks like a mortal wound, with so much blood pouring out and all. He can hear Bunny cursing something fierce and Tooth’s fearsome battle cry, and he wants to help—he has to help—so he lifts one trembling hand to try to yank out the curved blade, but as soon as he jostles the spike, white-hot pain burns through him and knocks him out instantly.