She knew he was there. She knew where he was from the moment his feet hit the ground. That was the thing about being connected to all nature; she was well aware of what went on in her realm. She was Mother Nature, after all, she knew everything. Why the brat would even try to sneak up on her was beyond her. Really, did he honestly think she wouldn't notice?
Deciding to push down the annoyance, she went about her business. In all the world, she considered only the Amazon forest to be her home. It was old, the oldest forest in the world, and that called out to her. Really the whole world was hers, and anywhere could be her home, but here she felt more calm and peaceful here than anywhere else and it was—why wasn't the brat leaving! She gave a mental groan as accepted that she was going to have to deal with him.
"Is there something I can help you with?" She called with a small glance over her shoulder. From the stuttering feet, he was not expecting her to notice his presence. She rolled her eyes. Really. "The fact that you even think that you can sneak up on me is insulting," she informed, turning to face the man.
He matched her in height, however any similarities stopped there. He was pale and light where she was tanned and dark; bald with light eyes while she had a head of dark hair down to her waist with eyes of gold. He was round where she was lanky, dressed in lights silks and she in a dark gown. She crossed her arms and starred the man down, waiting.
"You seemed busy."
"I'm making time."
"I thought we could talk."
"We don't talk," she said with a snort. "You only come down off your rock when you need something. Now, let's try this again; what do you want?"
The Tsar Lunanoff, or as many knew him the Man in the Moon, balked looking somewhat abashed. He smiled and gave a nod of acknowledgement.
"I suppose we should do something to remedy that," he offered. Nature only raised a brow, awaiting the response to the question. He sighed. So much for pleasantries.
"I wish for us to discuss Jack Frost's inclusion into the Guardians."
And just like that, any pleasant domineer that might have existed in the conversation vanished. The woman's face went blank and her eyes alit in anger.
"No," she said shortly, turning on her heels in dismissal of the conversation.
"NO! We are not on first name basis right now."
"Pitch is rising again."
"Your problem, not mine," she informed, still stalking away.
"They will need the help. He's more powerful than I've seen in years; he's able to walk in the light, corrupt dreams, he—'
"What part of 'it's not my problem', did you miss?!"
She whirled to face him, pretty face screwed up in anger. Her eye all but burned in rage, her teeth were barred in a snarl, and to be honest there was quite the resemblance to Pitch in that moment. But that was an observation that he very wisely kept to himself.
"I don't care what the shadow is up to. I made it very clear when you brought this hell to my world that you were to LEAVE. ME. OUT OF IT!" They were nose to nose now, heavy glares on both sides. "You are not dragging my little boy into your blood feud, understand?"
Point made and rage simmering down, she turned away. Firmly ignoring the Moon spirit, she focused her attention on tending the forest vegetation. The man took a calming breath; working with the spirit of nature was always so aggravating.
"Seraphina," the woman's shoulders stiffened at her name and the man pushed on before she could respond, "the boy is a Guardian. I've known that since I helped you create him."
"I knew it. I knew you had an agenda there." She turned back, once again fuming in anger.
"Yes, it's who he is. We both know it."
"Don't pretend to know anything about him. You've never taken the time to know anything about him. At least I tried to be a part of his life!"
When Lunanoff dropped his head, Sera continued on.
"Do you have any idea what you've put him through? Every time I see him, it's 'why won't you talk to him?' or 'what did he do wrong?' Do you have any idea how much it hurts me to see him like that? Do you?"
"It pains me as much as you. I could not speak to him, and it hurt. Sera, he's mine as much as he is yours."
"You want to drag him into a war. You don't do that to someone you care for." Her voice was lowered to a whisper to match his, eyes shining with concern for the boy she considered her son.
"He'll be well protected."
The woman snorted and rolled her eyes, bitter amusement replacing concern.
"Your Guardians have had three hundred years to protect him. And they have failed, epically. I have no confidence that anything will change. I don't trust them."
"You've known some of them your entire life."
"Personal relationships aside, I don't have any faith in their abilities. I don't trust them with my boy."
"Sera, the boy doesn't deserve this. I may not have been in his life, but I can see how he's been hurting.
"The way you're trying to protect him is hurting him. You can only be in his life so much, and he needs more." Sera shook, her lip trembled. Seeing the weakness, he pushed on. "The Guardians will give him what he needs; the attention, Believers, his memories. He needs this."
There was a moment of tense silence, and then Sera let out an angry shriek. She turned away sharply to strike a tree and the earth around her trembled with her rage and sorrow.
"I hate you! I hate you so much, I hate you! Why do you have to be here?" She demanded. "Why do you always have to come and destroy anything good I have?"
The Moon stood quietly while she reigned in her emotions, watched her trembling shoulders from where her back still faced him. He sighed once more, accepting defeat for the moment. There was still time before Pitch made his move, still time to convince her. But for now this discussion was over.
"I don't understand why you continue to interact with me if you feel as such. You came to me when you wanted to make Jackson a spirit, and I do not understand why you would do so with such animosity toward me.
"But all I ask is that you think it over. And think of Jack." When she only continued to stare ahead, he sighed once more and prepared to leave. She spoke before he could depart.
"There's only six of us."
He came to a stop, looking over at her. She still hadn't turned.
"That's all that remains, all that's left of our way of life, of where we came from. I can't, can't really bring myself to cut all contact with any of you."
He moved forward, coming to a stop just behind her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. He could never quite understand her pain. He'd been only a babe when the Golden Age came crashing down; he had no memory of any life other than the one on the moon. But he could understand holding on to the survivors of the fall, the only ones old enough to truly understand one another.
"I pity you." Sera's voice pulled him back to the situation at hand.
"I at least have memories of it. I can't imagine what it's like to know nothing." She turned to him, clearly expecting a response.
"It's difficult," he admitted. "I hear stories about the worlds my parents ruled, the majesty and beauty, but that's all they are. Stories." He met her gaze with a searching one of his own, smiling shyly.
"Will you tell me?" He requested and her eye brows shot up in surprise that had him laughing. "I have a feeling the stories are rather idealized," he explained and she laughed as well with a nod of agreement.
"I'm starting to remember why I put up with you." She motioned for the man to follow, summoning a tangle of vines to serve of sitting.
"Come, sit. I will tell you of where we came from. And we will discuss Jack's inclusion to your little club."
The Tsar followed eagerly, looking excited for both conversations. Sera spun back to face him, bringing the man to a halt. Her eyes blazed once more, drawing his undivided attention.
"Just remember, if anything happens to my child because of whatever hair-brained scheme you've got brewing, I will rain fiery hell upon you in retribution," she promised darkly. And the man believed her fully. He nodded his comprehension and like a switch was flipped; her face went from terrifying to pleasant.
"Good, now, let us speak."
The man shook his head. There was never a dull moment when speaking to Mother Nature.Start writing here ...