It took barely a decade, a blink in his lifetime, for Pitch to recognise the difference between fighting Jack and fighting the other Guardians. It was fun to fight Jack, not just for the satisfaction when winning a battle, but for the unsettling thrill of losing. Pitch could see in Jack's eyes that when children weren't involved, their fights were just games - not just part of the "job" of being a Guardian. It had been a very, very long time since someone willingly decided to play a game with Pitch.
Most of their battles took place above ground, where their abilities were well-matched and the watchful eye of the moon prevented real injury, but recent victories had left Jack cocky enough to follow Pitch alone into the dark.
"You never learn, do you, Jack?" Pitch taunted as he raced ahead, dipping in and out of the shadows of his lair, but never moving far enough ahead for Jack to lose sight of him. His taunt wasn't completely accurate - Jack was smart enough to stay in open spaces wherever he could after one too many battles where he'd let Pitch corner him - but not so smart as to avoid chasing Pitch down a tunnel. The shadows surrounding Jack were thick and dark, and Pitch laughed as he sprang his trap.
Tendrils snatched at Jack from all directions, some gripping him by the arms and looping tight, others catching him by the ankles. Jack's staff clattered to the ground, useless and forgotten for the time being. "Let me go!" Jack snarled, twisting and bucking to try and break the hold of the shadows.
"I'll think about it," Pitch said, taking a moment to admire his own handiwork. Seeing Jack caught was satisfying in and of itself, though it did raise the question of what to do with him - beating Jack unconscious after defeating him would be unsporting, and Pitch had no plans of infecting Jack with a nightmare. Pitch knew Jack's fears all too well; they mirrored his own. "Whatever am I going to do with you?" Pitch thought out loud, letting the shadows settle around Jack more comfortably so that only thin, strong loops held Jack's wrists above his head and tied his feet to the floor.
With his arms drawn up and his ankles bound so that he could not make use of any breeze that might find its way underground, Jack looked deceptively delicate. "Very clever," Jack said, still struggling to free himself. "Seriously, if you don't let me go, I'll -"
"- Scream?" Pitch interrupted, folding his arms. "Please, by all means, go ahead."
"I was gonna say kick your ass," Jack snarled as Pitch rode the shadows to stand in front of him. Jack's predicament spoke to a long-forgotten hunger in Pitch, one he'd never needed or nurtured because it served no purpose. Technically it served no purpose even now, but while close enough to Jack that he could smell the fear on him, hear the sound of his heart racing, he wondered if that old hunger might be worth indulging.
Pitch loved words, but some actions were better preceded by other actions; when he bent to kiss Jack on the neck he listened for a protest, tasted the frozen sweat on Jack's skin for any bitterness.
Pitch knew the difference between paralytic terror and the shiver of anticipation.
"Tell me to stop," Pitch said, straightening up again and watching as tendrils curled down from the ceiling and under Jack's top, drawing it up and off to expose the pale skin beneath. White-pale, not grey-pale like Pitch's, and beautiful enough that a lesser man might have been envious. "Tell me, 'No'."
Jack's breath came in short, sharp bursts, and the silence was enough for Pitch to consider letting him go - inspiring fear was one thing, inflicting pain was another - until Jack broke it to stammer out, "What do you want?"
Pitch smirked, letting other tendrils wrap their way up and around Jack's calves, though not yet exploring the danger zones of thighs or hips. "That ought to be obvious," Pitch said, but honoured Jack's right to ask with, "I intend to ravish you."
Jack's expression went from alarmed to incredulous. "Ravish me?"
"Well, for want of a better expression." Pitch shrugged. "If you'd rather I be coarse about it, I mean to fuck you senseless."
Jack's silence this time was of a very different sort, and when Pitch let the shadows rush up to tug at Jack's waistband, there was no discomfort in Jack's gasp.
"As I said," Pitch said, watching as the shadows stripped away Jack's pants and revealed the dusting of frosted-over hair trailing from Jack's navel to his groin. He couldn't entirely hide his smirk on finding Jack was already hard. "Tell me to stop."
Pitch let the shadows answer any remaining questions Jack might have had, curling them around Jack's thighs and letting them tease the inner flesh there before inching up further, rubbing against the sensitive skin just behind Jack's balls. It was all too tempting to reach out and touch him at this distance, and skin-on-skin contact would only speed everything up; Pitch intended to make this last as long as possible, given there was no guarantee Jack would grant permission for this again in future.
Leaving the shadows to tease Jack as they wished, Pitch dove back into the depths of his threshold, finding a chair and bringing it back to the tunnel so he could sit in comfort and enjoy the show. He could still control the shadows if need be, but for now they had their orders - simple, animalistic orders, and ones they were content to obey.
Tendrils spread out across Jack's chest, licking at the small peaks of his nipples and down into the dip of his navel, Pitch feeling every detail by proxy and wondering if he might get to taste them with his own tongue some day. Jack's earlier struggling to get away from the shadows had been replaced by struggling to get more from them, his back arching and hips bucking, his body failing to understand that shadows did as they - or Pitch - wished. They could not be commanded by anyone else.
Pitch relented once Jack's struggling was punctuated by the word "please", shifting the attention of the shadows to Jack's neglected cock and watching as they wrapped around it, stroking and squeezing but offering only pressure, no real friction. Jack's frustration was visible, vapour rising from the melting frost on his skin, and each breath sounded as though it had been punched out of him; the pressure on his cock wasn't enough to let him come, not like this. Not easily, at least.
"Please, Pitch, I can't," Jack panted, and Pitch was suddenly thankful for his own bloodless nature as Jack's cry sent a rush of heat through him that would have had him flushed otherwise.
The touch of a real hand might have been enough for Jack if Pitch had given it, but Pitch meant to continue working with shadows - the distance gave him a better view of some details, and it made concentrating on Jack's treatment easier. Up close and personal, Pitch might have felt more - invested.
Besides, Pitch liked to push Jack. He loved to see what the boy would and wouldn't allow.
Pitch watched Jack squirm at the touch of a thin tendril against his entrance, and when Pitch pushed it in deep, rubbing against Jack's prostate as he did, the cry Jack let out was a desperate, keening thing. If it weren't for the obvious evidence on the tendrils around Jack's cock and the way Jack clenched and relaxed in waves around the shadow inside him, Pitch might not have realised Jack had come - Jack's orgasm seemed to have caught him by surprise, a shallow, quick, small thing.
Pitch narrowed his eyes. "We can both do better than that," he said, summoning another tendril to push in alongside the one already in Jack, and twisting the two tendrils together as they started fucking Jack instead of simply stretching him open.
Jack's previous orgasm might have been a disappointment, but it had left him pliant, easier to manoeuvre and willing to have his legs pulled up and spread further, letting the shadows move deeper, and Pitch couldn't help but admire the stretch of Jack's neck as the boy tilted his head back and shut his eyes.
The build-up was slower this time, letting Pitch enjoy the sight of Jack gradually losing control, forgetting himself as he was overwhelmed by sensation. The muscles in his thighs tensed, his toes curled, his hips rolled with every thrust of the tendrils inside him, and Pitch was as greedy for Jack's reactions as Jack was for the shadows fucking him.
When Jack's lips fell open on a wide, wet gasp, Pitch couldn't resist filling his mouth with another shadow, pressing the weight of it down against Jack's tongue and feeling the moan Jack let out around it. Every hitch in Jack's breath, every whimper, every gasp was swallowed by the shadow and relayed to Pitch, and gave him the warning he hadn't been given the first time Jack came.
Pitch slowed the speed of the tendrils fucking Jack, tightened the hold of the tendrils on his cock around the base of it, delaying Jack's second orgasm as long as he could; Jack was an eternal eighteen-year-old, with all the stamina to go with it, but Pitch had no intentions of relying on that stamina. Being starved for touch had stolen Jack's patience.
"Tell me to stop," Pitch said, teasing, before he felt Jack's body go slack in submission.
Pitch summoned a third tendril, slimmer than the other two had been, and pushed it in before letting all three fuck Jack hard and fast.
If it weren't for the shadow between his lips, Jack's scream might have pierced through to the surface world.
There was little clean-up duty afterwards. Pitch's sand absorbed any mess, and the shadows carried it away with ease. The only effort required was that of easing Jack back into his clothes, and once that task had been taken care of, Pitch simply had the shadows deposit both Jack and Jack's staff in his arms before dispersing.
It was strange to look at Jack like this - exhausted without injury, senseless without pain. So much of Jack's hair had gone from white to brown, thawed temporarily by the heat, and his skin had taken on a pale peach hue, like the ghost of a tan.
Pitch smiled as he scooped Jack up into a bridal hold and thought of the empty beds around the world, children who hadn't gone to bed or who were spending the night at another house. It wouldn't do to drop Jack off anywhere the moon might see him, and as much as Jack wasn't meant to need sleep, it was fairly obvious he needed to rest.
"Hey," Jack muttered, somewhere in the travel between the shadows under the surface world and the shadows of a comfortable but appropriately cold bedroom, "You."
Pitch looked down at Jack only briefly before resuming his navigation of the underworld.
"What happens next time I win?"
Pitch laughed. "Well, I suppose you can return the favour." Arriving at their destination, Pitch dropped Jack onto the bed and admired the slow return of white to Jack's hair - and to everything else close enough for him to freeze.
It didn't take long for Jack to fall asleep in full, or for a familiar trail of gold sand to seep in through the window and circle Jack's head. As tempted as Pitch was to touch it and find out what Jack wanted to see in his dreams, it seemed right not to know all of his secrets.
After all, Jack did not know all of his, including the reason why Pitch whispered before disappearing, "I wish you luck."