Whoever had invented the idea in terms of it being a "fun way to pass the time" was a complete and utter idiot.
Stumbling around on the surface of a frozen lake on too-tight for comfort ice skates that squeezed and pinched your feet in the most uncomfortable way as you waddled around like a penguin was not your idea of fun. It was the complete opposite. It was horrendous, absolutely exhausting, humiliating, and just completely and utterly a waste of your valuable time.
Then again, being that you had moved out to the middle of nowhere right when winter had decided to kick in, it wasn't like you had anything better to do.
You sighed as you plopped down on the lake's edge, which was covered with a thick blanket of snow, and stretched out your aching feet with a groan. Your name was (first name) (last name), and your father had decided out of the blue to move your family out into the old farmhouse his best friend had grown up in many years ago, just for a more…rustic appeal, as he put it.
Rustic was right.
The damn house was so old that the electricity didn't always work, and you could swear there was a hidden hole in your room from the permanent draft. To make matters worse, the house was smack dab in the middle of the country—the nearest town was at least six or seven miles away. The only thing you were remotely pleased with was the vast expanse of private property behind the house, which consisted of some fields, a good-sized forest, and of course…the lake. Which was now frozen over, along with the forest and the rest of the area around your house being blanketed in snow and ice, and you couldn't help but admit the entire property looked like a winter wonderland straight from a fairy tale. All the silvers and shining ice crystals and the pure, innocent-hued snow covering the ground…
However, despite your mental admittance to your new home being very pretty during the winter, that didn't stop you from complaining about how there was nothing to do but sit around in a blanket and freeze your ass off. It was winter vacation, meaning that you would be starting school after the Christmas holidays and the New Year, so of course…there really was nothing for you to do but complain and annoy your parents.
Who, in order to combat your continuous complaints and moping around about how you had been dragged away from your home of sixteen years just because they wanted to explore their more rustic and rural side, had instantly shoved a pair of ice skates into your hands and pushed you out the door.
To fend for yourself out in the cold, bitter, and unforgiving winter's wrath as you desperately attempted to waste time by making a fool out of yourself in the middle of nowhere.
…at least there was no one else to watch you, or else you would have died inside. Especially after the fourth time of just point-blank falling down on your ass when all you had done was try and shuffle a little across the ice. So, now here you were, plopped down in a snow bank as you attempted to regain your breath, and cursing the fact that even though it was at least thirty-five degrees below Fahrenheit, you were still sweaty and hot beneath your mounds of cold-battling winter clothes.
"I hate winter," you grumbled in irritation as your (e/c) eyes stared up at the skeletal limbs of a tree looming over you, ice covering the bark like a crystalline suit of armor. Your (h/c) hair was most likely getting covered in snow as you lay haphazardly across the chilly bank in exhaustion, but at the moment you could care less.
As soon as the words leave your lips, a biting wind streaks across the icy surface of the lake, causing some loose snow to flutter up in a small tornado of flurries. The wind is cold—freezing, really. It was the most frigid and arctic-like wind you had ever felt, sending a violent shiver up and down your spine. It was so cold that it permeated through the multiple thick layers you had bundled up in, making it feel as if an icy hand had just shimmied right beneath the fabric and caressed you.
"S-stupid goddamn w-winter," you stammered out through chattering teeth as you hugged yourself, certain that if your cheeks hadn't been flushed before from the cold that now they were indeed. "S-stupid s-snow…s-stupid cold…s-stupid ice...s-stupid—"
As if on cue, a loud sneeze interrupted your mantra, and in a fit of utter irritation you growled and snapped, "A-and s-stupid Jack Frost f-for nipping at my goddamn nose when all I want to do is be warm and not act like an incompetent monkey on ice skates!"
The last bit was a tad on the shrieking side, echoing throughout the empty woods before another vicious gust of glacial wind carried it away in a cacophonous shrieking of its own, the skeletal limbs of the trees knocking against one another in quite the ominous manner. The air around you seemed to shimmer with a light blue glow as snow suddenly began to fall slowly, coating the ground even more, and from behind you there was an impatient, annoyed grunt.
"Hmph. It isn't very nice to insult people when they're standing right here."
Instantly you spun around in a 180, mentally congratulating yourself for having kept the scream nestled deep within your throat. Standing before you—no, wait…floating about three feet in the air before you was a boy. A boy with hair as silver as the moon's beams on a cold winter's night, skin as pale and smooth-looking as the petals of a lily, and eyes as blue and deep as two pools of melting glaciers. He wore a blue hoodie that was loose around his chest, and when you peered closer at the fabric, it almost seemed to be threaded with…frost. The same went for his brown slacks that somehow simultaneously resembled sweatpants, also very loose on his legs in all their icy-covered glory. As your eyes trailed further down, you did a double take when you saw he was barefoot—and that his feet weren't even pink with cold as they should be. What the most interesting bit about this boy (aside from the floating, of course) was the stick he held; a thick, gnarled one that curved at the end and was dusted lightly with frost as well.
All you could do was stare at him, your brain refusing to comprehend the fact that he was floating and dressed like it was summer.
The boy gave a little grin then, one full of impish mischief. Your mind decided to decode his appearance at that moment as one attractive individual—he had a sort of ethereal handsomeness to him, almost elfin and inhuman. It was…strange. You couldn't quite explain it. Nor the fact that he was…floating.
"Hello, there." With a jolt you realized the floating boy was speaking, and you stared at him with wide eyes. His voice was alluring, almost—yet it was playful, exciting. Again, it was something you could not exactly put to words.
"U-Um…h…hi…?" you swallowed warily.
The boy gave a little bow and floated closer towards you, pale fingers tapping on the surface of the odd stick he held. "I repeat: it's rude to insult someone when they're right here. That little jibe you made earlier? Hit me right here," he placed a hand over his chest, the general area of his heart. "And just when I froze this lake over for you when I saw you coming! I didn't want you to fall through the ice, so I was just doing my job. After all…"
He smirked then, giving you a little wink.
"I am 'stupid Jack Frost,' and ice is my specialty!"
All you could do was gape in utmost stupidity.
"Jack…Frost…" His name escaped your lips slowly as they formed little puffs in the frigid air. The rational part of you did not want to believe his declaration in the least, yet…that other part of you—the secret part that still retained the heart of a child—couldn't deny the thrill his words sent rippling through every cell of your body.
"You're insane," you scoffed out at last, crossing your arms with a shiver—it was so damn cold now with the arrival of this guy! "J-Jack Frost doesn't exist. That'd be saying that Santa's real, and the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman too! They're just stories made up to make kids happy!"
The boy—or Jack, as you supposed you had best call him, since you had no other name—gave another little smile at this. "Oh, trust me—Santa's real. A real pain in the ass if you piss him off, him and those swords of his…and the Tooth Fairy would attack your mouth in sheer happiness if she saw your teeth—they're so white! As for the Easter Bunny? Well, I'd call him more of a kangaroo, but he'll knock your lights out with his boomerang if he hears that. The Sandman's real, too—though he'd probably just doze off and not really pay attention."
Again, all you could do was stare at him with a "Are you for real?" expression plastered across your incredulous face.
"Don't believe me, do you?" Jack asked playfully, grinning to show you rows of perfectly straight and white teeth. "Well then…guess I'll just have to prove it!"
Before you could react, his fingers were wrapping around your wrist, and even through the layers you could feel an even colder chill than the air around you. Suddenly, his arm was looped with yours, and he was yanking you up in the air with him, a laugh bubbling from his mouth when you screamed and flailed around wildly as he rose higher and higher until you had surpassed the tree tops.
"O-oh my fucking God g-get me d-down r-right now this is-isn't happening th-this isn't real i-it's just a d-dream i-it's just a dream i-it's just a—"
Your rapid ramblings were cut off by Jack's finger calmly placing itself against your lips, the digit as cold as an icicle yet as soft as fallen snow. Instantly you fell silent, though you still attempted to cling to him as best you could as your feet dangled beneath you, and you gazed up at his face anxiously. This really was just a dream…right?
"Watch," Jack murmured, his free arm that was not supported you in midair suddenly extending out—it was the hand that held his staff. With a flourish, he waved the staff in a little circle, and a small blizzard of silvery-blue ice crystals shot out from the tip and blasted down onto the surface of the lake, adding yet another layer of ice to it. Your (e/c) eyes went wide at the sight, and you couldn't form coherent words, instead merely gaping in silence as he turned his head back towards you with a grin.
"Pretty cool, right?" he joked, grin widening at the use of his pun. "I control ice and snow and the wind and everything you seem to hate about good ol' winter. I'm Jack Frost! So…believe me now? Or need some last minute convincing?"
"Y-You…a-ah…w-we're still floating…a-and…you made ice…o-out of a stick…" you stammered out in a weak and disbelieving tone, the cold not even affecting you anymore in your shock. "…p-poof."
The pale boy rose a silver eyebrow in amusement. "…poof?"
Jack laughed, a sound that was almost like the bells they put on carriages during those romantic winter movies—only it was better. Much, much better. "You're cute, you know that? And obviously you do believe in me, since you could see me. You can't fool Jack Frost! …by the way…what's your name?"
"(N-Name). It's…i-it's (name)."
You weren't even going to answer, but apparently your vocal chords had a mind of their own.
"(Name)…" Jack hummed thoughtfully, tapping the tip of his staff against his silvery-white hair. He brightened, and was suddenly descending slowly back to the ground with you in hand. A sigh of relief left your mouth as you pressed closer to him in fear of falling to your death (though, with all that snow, it probably wouldn't be too life-threatening), and a sense of…security engulfed you in an extremely warm embrace, a clear contrast to the wintry atmosphere you were currently shoved up against.
You didn't get it.
When the two of you made it back safely to the ground, Jack suddenly dropped his staff and, with both hands, grasped your shoulders. Instantly a red light flashed inside your mind, but as he gazed down at you with those blue eyes—eyes full of so many things, layers upon layers of emotions and memories; eyes that were the epitome of winter—all you could do was stare back dumbly, unable to move or speak.
"I think I'll let you in on a little secret about me, (name)," Jack said in a murmur, the icy ghost of a smile curling across his pale and handsome face.
"O-Oh yeah? W-what is it?" you managed to get out in a thick tone, swallowing as his face leaned closer—the cold was just emanating off of him in waves, yet…it honestly wasn't bothering you as much anymore. Which was a complete shock, since you really did not hold much affectionate passion towards winter.
There was no answer from the winter spirit.
Instead, suddenly his mouth was on yours and his hands were grasping your waist, grinning against your lips as his own covered them like snow blanketing the land. It was cold as ice yet as hot as fire at the same time. It was hard and unyielding like the most rigid of glaciers, yet as soft and flexible as freshly fallen snow. It was sweet and bitter and sad and exciting all at the same time, and all you could do was sink into the kiss like you were sinking into freezing water that made your skin burn.
It was Jack Frost.
It was winter.
And you loved it.
Just as quickly as the kiss had started, however, it ended like the life of a snowflake falling into a cup of hot chocolate. Jack pulled away, giving you a tender smile and running the chilly pad of his thumb across your swollen yet numb lips, forehead pressing against yours.
"…I do more than nip at your nose, (name)…~"
And just like that, he was gone.
All you could do was stand there and blink rapidly, fingers gently poking your frost-covered lips over and over again as if you could imprint the sensation of Jack's mouth on yours into your nerves. The blades of your ice skates sunk deep into the snow, and your balance was a little unsteady, but still you simply stood there in silence as the snow continued to fall around you.
That had really happened.
Jack Frost was real.
Just as you had always hoped he'd be, despite everything you had ever said to contradict it.
A smile managed to tug across your face, mouth slightly uncomfortable as it began to unfreeze. But you didn't care—you felt like you could ice skate across thousands of miles of frozen water without stumbling or falling even once.
Because Jack Frost was real, and he had kissed you.
"…I guess winter isn't so bad," you giggled out at last, face flushing from both the cold and the fluttering sensations that were going awry inside your chest.
"Even if Jack Frost doesn't just nip at my nose."