You stared at the thermometer on the wall across from you in dismay as sweat dripped down the contours of your face, over the swell of your nose and falling down into the carpet. The red bar was all the way up to a whopping 98 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 36 degrees Celsius—and it certainly was obvious with the air conditioning in your house being broken. Of course, the fact that said house always had something wrong with it and why your father had decided to drag your family out in the middle of nowhere was still a question you pondered about seven months after the move.
Wiping more beads of sweat from your flushed skin, (h/c) sticking to your forehead in damp clumps, you gave a small groan and fell back onto the couch in defeat. A fairly nasty heat wave had decided to stop by your area now that it was the middle of summer, correlating just perfectly with the sudden malfunctioning of your house's air conditioning. What made the situation even more lovely was the fact that your parents were both out of town on business trips, and you weren't going to trust some random maintenance guy to be in the house alone with you to fix the air conditioning.
You could handle the heat in favor of protecting your innocence.
…okay, maybe not, you groaned once more as it seemed to get even more stifling inside the house, the air thick with humidity and sweltering heat. It was almost like you had been transported to the sun or something.
The intolerable high temperatures of the summer were making you long for the freezing winds and icy blasts of the winter.
Sighing, you forced yourself off of the couch and into a standing position with a grunt of "C'mon, (name)…" heading to the door with the hopes of the outside air at least having a breeze that would work better than the fans in the house. Dragging your feet along, you made swung the door open and stepped out into the equally-as-stifling air of the outside world, bright rays of sun hitting your (e/c) eyes and immediately making you momentarily blind.
"Stupid old house for being old and stupid and not everything working properly inside it," you muttered in a disgruntled manner, ducking your head from the sun's harmful gaze and heading around to the back of the house to the familiar expanse of trees. The forest that covered most of the property was your favorite bit about living out in the middle of nowhere, to be honest; the lake was pretty (and most likely a prime swimming spot, but the idea of snakes hidden beneath the waters unnerved you) and the trees always made you feel like they would hide all your secrets.
Plus, it didn't help that you had met a certain someone seven months ago one cold, winter day while trying to ice skate on the lake's frozen surface.
A small smile crossed your lips as you made your way into the forest, bare feet crushing the slightly wilted grass beneath your soles. Despite all your complaining—which, in reality, was only on days like this when circumstances made you quite irritable—you honestly enjoyed living out here. It was quiet and peaceful, and once school had started back up after Christmas vacation, you had actually made quite a few friends. The town was only a few miles away, and it wasn't much of a bother to drive out there to hang out and such. In some ways, this was a much better living arrangement for you and your family than your old home had been—plus, your father was dead-set on making your creaky home the most beautiful house for miles. The only problem was, well…he would always get distracted. Resulting in your mother arguing with him about his priorities.
It didn't bother you much, really. Not after the little…occurrence…that had happened to you in these same woods only a mere seven months ago. You could remember it like yesterday—the freezing, bitter winds; the icicles that dripped off the skeletal trees like sentries; the way your breath turned into a cloud every time you exhaled; and, of course, the kiss that had made it feel as if the entire continent of Antarctica had given you lip lock.
All because of Jack Frost.
The tranquil feelings that had been present inside you instantly dissipated into something more negative and heated, like the simmering atmosphere clinging to your skin like fog. Your fists clenched and your teeth ground against one another, a little growl rising from your throat.
"And Jack Frost has not shown his damned face since that day, leaving me to think I'm either crazy or I was just a conquest on what is most likely a very long list of girls whose mouths have suffered a minor case of frostbite."
Something had changed in you that day the winter spirit had shown up and proven his existence. Not only had you begun to ponder the actuality of other figures from various myths and legends being true, but your heart had felt…tighter. It was the only word you could use to describe the strange sensation. It was almost as if your heart, on top of constantly pumping blood throughout your body, was also trying desperately to cage in emotions that you did not exactly want to feel bubbling up inside you.
Damn you, Jack Frost, for making me feel like a pathetic little schoolgirl…!
You were (first name) (last name), not some daytime soap opera actress who had fallen for the mysterious, charming male character the moment he had appeared on the screen. So what if Jack Frost had appeared to you and stolen a kiss—your first one, no less—and shown you a little bit of winter magic? If it truly had happened, well, then it was best to forget about it. Right?
"Because…he hasn't come back…" you found yourself murmuring quietly, looking up from the ground to see you had stopped at the shore of the lake. The unfrozen surface lapped at the edge of the shore with small waves, the water shimmering brightly in the harsh rays of the sun. What you wouldn't give to rip off your shorts and tank top and just dive into the water, which appeared deliciously wet and cool, even though there was the threat of snakes and other unknown creatures lurking beneath the surface.
You slowly sat down at the lake's edge and plunked the tips of your feet into the water as your bottom rested on the grassy sand, sighing as the skin was submerged into a substance that was significantly cooler than the sweltering air around you. Your (h/c) hair was still plastered to your forehead, but you didn't exactly care as you poked your finger into the surface of the water, making little ripples as you swirled it around.
"…Jack Frost hasn't come back…and I thought he would…so I would…so I would…continue to believe…so I would know that…he really does exist, and that entire thing wasn't just some daydream," you whispered, closing your eyes. There was still anger inside you, of course, at the fact that the damned floating boy with the white hair and magic staff of winter hadn't stopped by again for "more than a nip," but underneath that irritation was something…melancholic. Something forlorn, gloomy, and almost miserable.
"…he probably forgot about me, then." Your voice, although soft, echoed throughout the silence of the lake's area and penetrated through the almost boiling air of summer around you. "So since he forgot about me…I guess I should just forget about him. Forget that Jack Frost apparently does exist. So then I can…stop getting these weird feelings—"
You instantly cut off when your (e/c) eyes were drawn to a strange shimmering in the air above the lake. It seemed to zip all over, to and fro, until suddenly there was a burst of silvery light that morphed into…snowflakes. Snowflakes that began to quickly glide across the water like a figure skater. The lake's placid surface instantly froze with a definite cracking sound as the snowflakes ran across it, and with a jolt you realized the strange phenomena was heading straight towards you.
"…what the fuck?!" you yelped, hopping up and backing away from the lake's edge just in time before the area you had been resting your toes in was completely coated with a thick sheet of crystalline ice, casting glimmering patterns all across the ground where the sun's rays deflected off of the smooth surface. As absolute bewilderment gripped your previous feelings of dejection, a charming laugh rang throughout the area with the tone of a sleigh bell.
A laugh you would have remembered even when you were old and dying and your own name was a stranger's to you.
"No…n-no way…" Your (e/c) eyes widened as the snowflakes began to form into a human-shaped blizzard right before you, morphing into a figure that you had secretly thought about more than once over the past few months.
In a matter of mere moments you were staring at the grinning face of none other than Jack Frost.
You stood there open-mouthed, just gawking at the silver-haired boy in shock. He looked exactly as he had that fateful winter day—loose blue hoodie laced with intricate patterns of frost, frosted-over brown slacks, shoeless feet, pale face, gnarled staff in one slender hand, and beautiful blue eyes so large and deep that you could have drowned in them and not even cared.
His grin widened at your stunned expression, painfully reminding you of how ethereally attractive the boy was. "Hey there, (name). Did you miss me?"
Three seconds passed by between his words and your next actions, but to you they could have been three decades.
You stepped forward and raised one hand, as if you were going to yank him in for some sort of embrace.
And with one swift downward motion, there was the satisfying stinging sensation of skin slapping against skin as your palm met with his cheek with as much force as you could muster.
"You son of a bitch!"
Obviously, Jack had not been expecting that. The winter spirit stumbled backwards a bit, dropping his staff as his own hand flew up to clutch at his reddening cheek, gazing at you with an open mouth and wide sapphire eyes. "(N-Name)? W-what was that for—?"
"You know damn well," you hissed through gritted teeth, shaking your hand out to rid it of the chilly, tingly sensation that had crawled across your skin upon contact with Jack's face. "You show up out of the blue, kiss me, leave me in the cold with partial frostbite on my fucking mouth, and don't show your face again until the hottest damn day of the summer, acting like nothing happened! What nerve do you have showing up at all?! Just let me forget about you, Jack!"
Jack was silent, still gazing at you as a shadow of something you could not pinpoint crossed over his face. You went on, months of pent-up rage finally being allowed to boil over—after all, it wasn't like you could vent your plethora of mismatched emotions towards a figure of legend to anyone and not have them pin you for crazy.
"I need to grow up, and being assaulted with thoughts of whether or not you are truly real do not help with that! I'm going to go insane if I don't just pretend like that day never happened, especially since apparently you can be bothered to visit me! Is that what all you people from myths do?! Kiss girls and then leave them alone?! Answer me, dammit!"
Your voice had risen to a high-pitched shriek by now, sharp enough to cut into the bark of the trees around you. You were breathing heavily, chest heaving, and your vision was just a tad blurry with red.
You didn't realize the wetness dripping down your cheek was, in fact, a tear and not sweat until Jack extended his finger out and caught the bead of water on the tip, where it froze on spot. He was silent still, simply gazing at the ice bead on his finger for what seemed an eternity, until he at last said in a soft tone, "…I didn't come see you because I was afraid you had already forgotten about me, (name)."
Your breath caught in your chest, but you weren't about to let him know that his words had affected you. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!" you hissed out.
Jack gave you a smile. This time, however, instead of it being the sweet and mischievous one you had imprinted in your memories, it was full of pain and regret—like he held a great burden deep inside of him. With a sigh, he ran a pale hand through his silver hair, and in that moment you realized the absolutely deadly temperature around you had dropped to a comfortable autumn-like one.
"I figured you had instantly written off that whole thing as a dream," Jack said slowly. "I…you were the first person to see me, (name). My entire life as Jack Frost…I've been invisible. Because…I've had no one to believe in me. But when I saw you, griping about how I was making winter miserable for you, I hoped that maybe, just maybe, you'd be able to see me. And I was right." He gave a short, quiet, bitter laugh and shrugged. "I was so excited when I realized that you could see me. I didn't really know what to do. So I just…followed my instincts. Hence the, erm," he coughed awkwardly into his hand, looking bashful. It was an expression you suspected he didn't show quite often. "kiss."
You allowed the words to sink in for some time, just staying silent as you pondered them. Finally, you muttered out, "Then why didn't you just show up to prove you did exist; to make sure I wouldn't forget?"
"Well…I've been busy," Jack admitted slowly. "I'm…kind of a Guardian now. The Guardian of Fun, actually. So on top of making sure kids are safe from fear, I've just been…scared. Isn't it dumb? Jack Frost was scared of showing himself to the first girl who saw him, because he was terrified she had forgotten about him."
Well. That had been unexpected.
The term "Guardian of Fun" didn't mean much to you. Only the words "terrified she had forgotten about him" really rang in your mind. Swallowing thickly, you cleared your throat and managed to get out, "I…d-didn't forget about you, though, Jack. I…w-wanted to. B-but I didn't. So you should…have just let me see you again. B-because I was scared…y-you had forgotten about me."
You had done it.
Told Jack Frost what you had been trying to say for seven months.
Before you knew it, you were crying in full earnest now; tears slid down your cheeks silently as you just stared at the ground, hands and fingers clenched into tight fists. "A-and I kind of hate you right now, Jack, because…you made me feel things that I don't know what they are…a-and I don't want to be that one girl in the movies that everyone scoffs at because she thinks it's l…l…l-love at first sight or something stupid like that…"
And now Jack was probably going to think you were an idiot for saying those words out loud. You were pathetic.
"Th-this is all your fault, damn you!" you snapped, only with your slight sniffling it didn't come out as angrily as you had intended. You quickly rubbed at your eyes, defiantly staring at the winter spirit in front of you. "How are you going to make up for this, you asshole?! It's not very 'Guardian-like' to mess around with a teenage girl's emotions, I'm betting! So do something to fix all this, Jack! Like…like…like making it snow because I swear to God, I'm going to pass out in this heat!"
At those last words, you saw a sly smile—the grin that you had a feeling was normal with Jack, rather than the solemn expression he had been wearing only moments earlier—and the curved wooden staff was clutched in his hand once again. Jack swiped the staff in a low wave, and bolts of silver-blue energy crackled along the gnarled surface, rising up to the curved end before shattering out with a glass-like tenor. The energy shot up into the air before bursting like a firework of wintry colors and hues, and instantly the perimeter around the two of you was being doused with snowflakes, the air significantly colder.
Before you could say anything, Jack's hand was gripping your wrist and tugging you closer, until you were being embraced as tightly as the winter spirit dared as the snowflakes fell gently onto your (h/c) hair and melted upon contact. His arms slid around your torso, his contact a blissfully cool relief to the summer's deadly heat accompanied by the sudden drop in temperature, and you couldn't help but just melt into his embrace just like the summer snowflakes in your hair.
"…did I make it up yet?" Jack murmured against your ear softly, his lips brushing against the skin and sending chilly tingles up and down your spin. A small blush settled across your cheeks, and you shifted a little in his arms, so that you were gazing up at him.
"…just snow doesn't cover the entire bill, bastard," you answered in as steely a tone you could muster. When Jack rose a silver eyebrow, you amended the statement with a rushed and hurried, "Y-You have to do more than just n-nip at my nose, r-remember?"
The grin that plastered itself on Jack's mouth was all you needed to know your words had been the right thing to say.
The world was instantly blocked out by a blizzard as Jack's lips slowly and gently covered yours just as they had seven months ago. They were cold like before, yet once again they sent flames licking across your skin as the supple yet rigid pressure crushed your mouth to his. Summer and winter exploded in the kiss as a hot breeze swept across the two of you, cutting through the freezing snow that refused to cease falling as it dusted the both of you in a delicate white blanket. Jack's arms tightened, his sweet and enigmatic flavor sending your senses into overdrive as you pressed against his chest as hard as you could, wanting to be completely devoured by the snowstorm his lips created when they were against your mouth.
The icy storm you had been tossed into terminated when Jack pulled away, resting his forehead against yours and breathing a chilly breeze that fanned across your face, adding to the bits of frost and icy that now clung to your quivering lips. His blue eyes were halfway closed, gazing into your (e/c) ones as one hand brushed against your cheek, a content smile on his elfin and otherworldly face.
"Now did I pay up?" Jack asked in a teasing tone, brushing his nose against yours as he kept you clutched in his embrace.
You nodded, a tad breathless as your throat was practically frozen, but you could have cared less. "Yeah, but," a shrewd little smile that mirrored his crawled across your cold lips, and you gave a little shiver as adrenaline continued to course through your veins from the wintry, wonderful kiss. "I think we'll have to make this a monthly bill, don't you? So we don't…forget…"
A ripple of understanding crossed along Jack's face, and he nodded sincerely, giving your forehead a quick kiss before pulling away to get a better look at you. He stroked your snow-covered (h/c) hair, eyes as bright as a winter moon and as deep and blue as the Arctic ocean as his hand slid down to yours, gripping it tightly.
"Don't worry, (name). We won't forget. How can we? After all…we believe. And since we believe…" Without warning, the winter spirit suddenly launched into the air, dangling you underneath him in one arm and carrying his staff in the other, the usual cheerful and rascally laugh ringing throughout the air. "There'll always be snow in summer! So…let it snow!"
A startled shriek ripped from your throat as you desperately clutched at Jack's hoodie, but soon a little bubbly laugh replaced the alarmed yelps as the two of you soared through the summer skies above the green, leafy tree tops—a winter storm brewing on the horizons of the sun as the unnatural phenomenon of large, thick snowflakes began to fall from where you both were flying. Your smile was so wide that it almost hurt your face as you squeezed Jack's hand, allowed him to guide you as he led the trek across the sky.
Let it snow, indeed.