Blossoming Unions Intertwining
Bunny scratched behind his ears, stretching out the muscles in his shoulders as Jack entered the shelter. He glanced over as Jack briskly strode over to him, trying to remain calm as he sat next to him without hesitation.
"Hey, mate." Bunny gave him a nod.
"Well, seems like you're feeling better." Jack said.
"Yeah... you could say that." Bunny replied, reaching over to place some items on his belt.
Jack nodded slowly. "So... what did you and Alice talk about? She was in here for a while."
"Not much... she was just helping me." Bunny answered.
Jack pursed his lips, holding his staff upright. "Yeah... I can see how you wouldn't be talking much."
Bunny raised a brow as he strapped on his belt, securing his boomerangs and egg bombs on it. "How do you mean?"
Jack forced a chuckle then. "Well, you can't get too many words in when you're kissing someone." He glanced over at Bunny, glaring at him as his expression became serious.
The Easter guardian stopped then, exhaling sharply as he shut his eyes tight. He braced himself for a few moments, shooting out of his seat to make a dash for the exit. He wasn't quick enough however, Jack waving his staff to freeze Bunny's feet to the ground. He groaned loudly, letting his head fall back for a moment as he smoothed down his ears.
"Fantastic, Alice, you just HAD to kiss and tell, didn't you?!" He shouted to no one in particular.
"Alice didn't say anything, so leave her out of this." Jack said, walking to stand in front of him. "I saw you kiss her, Bunny. I don't understand you!" He exclaimed, holding his hands out. "Alice and I have been together for months and you're still pulling this stunt!"
"Takes two to tango, mate. She could have said no. She didn't." Bunny replied.
Jack shook his head, turning around and letting his hang head for a moment before facing Bunny again. "You're supposed to be my best friend, Bunny... I mean, you're a guardian, you're supposed to do the right thing!"
"Don't give that to me, mate. This has nothing to do with me being a guardian, this has nothing to do with anything except what I'm feeling." Bunny said.
"Well what you're feeling is WRONG!" Jack shouted.
Bunny's face dropped, exhaling sharply as he shook his head. After a few moments of tense silence, he finally spoke. "You know why I kissed her, Jack? Because for as long as I can remember, I've only had one thing in life. Bringing joy to children. And for a while, making them happy, made me happy. But then, I began to feel something else. Something that no matter how happy those little ankle biters were, I couldn't shake it. One day, I realized, that I was missing something. Then all this happened. Alice came into our lives. I began to understand what loving someone else was... having a family, when your sister came back to you. You have it all, Jack. What do I have? A schedule? Is that all I was meant to experience in my life?" His voice began to shake, his hand clutching his chest. "I'm sorry if you think what I feel is wrong, but maybe, I just want what you have! E- Even Sandy and Tooth have found their happiness together, s- so all around me, everyone is with their 'someone.'"
Jack sighed, furrowing his brows deeply. "You know... for someone who hates Pitch with a passion, you're starting to act just like him."
"Oh rack off!" Bunny snapped. "And now that you mention it, even that sorry bloke has somebody, and a nice lofty castle to live in! He's the last person who deserves to enjoy life!"
"He didn't steal Elsa away from someone, Bunny!" Jack replied.
"Oh, so lying to her about her 'supposedly' dead sister and keeping her in some dank cave against her will doesn't count, huh?" Bunny said.
"That's not what I mean, Bunny!" Jack growled lowly, clenching his teeth. "Look... I want you to be happy... you're my best friend. But being happy by taking someone else's happiness away is wrong. Alice and I love each other. If you were to take her all for yourself... you're no better than when Pitch tried to take joy away from children. You would be as greedy as he was."
Bunny frowned deeply at this, hugging himself a bit as he let his head hang. "You're right, mate." He sighed deeply. "I just... I get this... tight feeling in my gut when she's around... when I look at her, my heart aches. It's driving me up a wall, Jack... and it's getting worse. I don't know how to stop it... I don't know how to make things right."
"And you make fun of North when he talks about his gut." Jack smirked lightly, Bunny punching his arm lightly. "Okay, okay, back to serious..." He sighed. "So... maybe you should try talking to someone, you know... see if you can give them the ol' Bunny charm and swoon them."
Bunny rolled his eyes. "And who around here do you think I can 'swoon?' I may as well go back to Arendelle and try to ask Hiccup's bloody dragon on a date! There's no one, absolutely no one, that I could even consider."
Jack turned when he heard someone approaching from behind, Emily stopping when she saw Bunny's feet frozen to the ground. "Jack, I believe you should leave his medical care to me. You clearly do not know the basics of the art of healing."
Bunny snickered at this, the ice guardian rolling his eyes as he waved his staff. The ice around Bunny's feet disappeared, allowing him to flex his toes. "Emily, trust me, he's lucky I didn't kill him." Jack said, moving past her to head outside. Emily raised a brow, floating over to Bunny and instructing him to sit.
"Let me see your arm." She said.
"Oh..." Bunny smiled lightly. "Thanks Em, but Alice already took care of it. Looks and feels like a million bucks. And not the animal kind." He chuckled.
Emily tilted her head. "Alice is not responsible for your improving condition. Perhaps you were not fully aware in your state last night." She said, taking out a small root woven bowl with some salve inside, wordlessly taking his arm into her hand to apply more of the mixture to his skin.
Bunny blinked, looking from his arm to her. "Wait... you... you did this?"
"That is correct." Emily answered, not looking up from his arm. Bunny sat back a bit, deep in thought as he processed this.
"Huh... and here I thought you wanted to be neutral and all." Bunny said.
Emily stopped for a moment, her eyes briefly meeting his before diverting her gaze. "There is a difference between being neutral and being heartless, Bunnymund." She said. "There have been times in my life where I have been heartless, yes..." Her delicate fingers gently massaged the salve into Bunny's forearm. "... however, as of late... I do believe that the presence of all of you here has forced me to forsake both qualities." She glanced up at him then. "I do have a heart... it is just very broken. I must preserve what is left before my heart is lost forever."
Bunny frowned a bit as Emily looked back down. "Look, Em... for a long time, I thought you were just... someone with just a storm cloud over their head all the time, just a bad egg. But I didn't know you. I knew the general facts, that's it. I never had a reason to understand you... but now I think I'm beginning to, a little..."
"Must you need a reason?" Emily asked. "Does the sun need a reason to provide the Earth warmth? Do the clouds need a reason to quench the thirst of the vegetation below? Does the soft soil need a reason to provide solace for new life to grow? None have reason, they simply do so because it is in their nature to give. I would think it would be in your nature as a guardian to do the same."
Bunny glanced to the side. "A few people have told me I haven't been very guardian-like lately... I suppose they're right."
"You have seen the error in your ways, then. Now you can do what is necessary to change it." Emily placed the empty bowl aside. "I must tend to the forest, now that I have tended to you." She said, rising to float out of the shelter.
After a few moments, Bunny's ears perked up, jumping to his feet. "Emily?" He cleared his throat when she turned, raising a brow at him. "U- Um... mind if I... watch?"
Emily tilted her head. "You wish to watch me prune my trees and maintain my flora?"
Bunny shrugged. "Hey, can't be any more boring than painting eggs day in and day out, am I right?" He chuckled nervously.
Emily narrowed her eyes warily. "Very well, if you insist. Please just refrain from distracting me."
Bunny cleared his throat, pushing his ears back with one of his hands. "Well, I can try but... I can't help that I've got a handsome mug, can I?" When Emily gave him a flat look, Bunny rolled his eyes, his ears returning to their upright position. "Can't give a guy a little, can you?" He muttered as he followed Emily into a deeper part of the forest.
Gustav groaned, heaving a sigh as he wiped his brow. He winced when he was nudged from behind, Maximus giving him a disapproving snort and motioning to move forward with his head.
"Hey, come on! I've been working all morning! Can't I take a second to breathe?!" The boy exclaimed.
Maximus neighed in response, stomping his front hoof down. The boy rolled his eyes, continuing to push the broom forward to clean up around the stables. As he was doing this, Eliza stepped outside, Pascal sitting on her shoulder as Baby Tooth fluttered around her, the two small creatures squeaking and chirping to each other. As Eliza walked by a small garden, Pascal shot his tongue out, picking a flower and handing it to Baby Tooth. She giggled lightly, taking out a tooth to give to the small chameleon in exchange. He blinked at the molar for a moment, shrugging as he nodded to her in thanks.
Eliza stopped when she heard Maximus giving Gustav a hard time, the horse neighing a loud laugh when he knocked his Viking helmet off. She frowned, approaching them.
"Maximus, that isn't very nice!" Eliza placed her hands on her hips. The horse blinked at her before pinning his ears back, snorting sadly at her. "Now I know you have a job to do, but you can work together." Eliza picked up Gustav's helmet, handing it to him. "It seems like you've tidied up most of the area here... if you like, I can bring us out some small pound cakes I helped bake in the kitchen for us to eat. I'm sure you're quite hungry."
"Boy, am I!" Gustav smiled. "All this work builds up an appetite..."
Eliza smiled, glancing to the side as she rubbed her arm a bit. "I should also thank you... for last night. I could have gotten into trouble."
Gustav shrugged. "Well, you tried to help me out, so I was just returning the favor."
As they spoke, Maximus got Pascal's attention, motioning towards Gustav and shaking his head. Pascal looked between the two teenagers, narrowing his eyes and looking back at Maximus, nodding to the horse and pointing to his eyes.
"I overheard Hiccup talking about your dragon that you brought here... may I see him?" Eliza asked.
Gustav perked up then. "Fanghook? Yeah! Toothless was helping him get used to the area... not too many grassy fields around here." Eliza followed Gustav to where the dragons were, the boy smiling and running up to the Monstrous Nightmare to hug him. "I missed you!" He exclaimed, the dragon growling happily in response. He turned then, waving Eliza over. Toothless lifted his head, having been resting a bit and wagging his tail lightly when he saw Eliza approach.
"Good morning, Toothless." Eliza smiled, gently petting his nose before approaching Fanghook. "Hello Fanghook." Eliza smiled, curtseying lightly to him. Gustav snickered, Eliza furrowing a brow at him. "What's so funny?"
"What was that you just did?" He asked.
"I just curtseyed... it's proper to do when introducing yourself or attending a special event." Eliza answered.
"Sorry, it just looks kinda funny..." He snickered again, Eliza pouting as she crossed her arms, sticking her nose in the air. She started to walk away, Toothless giving the boy a flat look as she did so. "H- Hey, where are you going? Oh come on, I was just kidding around!" He ran after her, turning around and jogging backwards a bit in front of her when he caught up. "Alright, I'm sorry, can't we just- okay, I won't make fun anymore, promise?"
Eliza stopped, uncrossing her arms. "... Alright... but you had better keep your promise..."
"That's a relief... I think I need at least ONE friend around here... hey, let's get some of those little cake things you were talking about, at this rate I could eat a whole Gronkel!" Gustav said.
As they headed inside, both Baby Tooth and Pascal glared at Gustav, the two crossing their arms. He cleared his throat, moving to the other side of Eliza so he was farther away from them. Eliza went first, peeking into the kitchen area to see if anyone was inside. Once the coast was clear, she waved Gustav on, the two helping each other take a tray of the small pound cakes. When they turned to leave, however, they were stopped when Merida was suddenly behind them, Eliza and Gustav freezing in their tracks. Merida's arms were crossed, tapping her foot lightly on the ground.
"Did ye clean up those stables like Hiccup asked ye to, laddie?" Merida asked Gustav.
"Y- Yes m'am..." He answered, chuckling nervously.
Merida narrowed her eyes a bit, pursing her lip. "So if I go out there and see one strand of hay out of place, you are giving me authority to flank ye?"
Gustav groaned. "Come on Merida, I worked out there all morning-"
"As princess of clan Dun'Broch and future chieftess of Berk, you will answer m' question!" Merida shouted.
"Alright, fine, you can flank me!" Gustav exclaimed.
Merida stared at him warily for another moment before smirking. "Alright, y' can go then." As Eliza passed around her, Merida stopped Gustav for a moment to let her walk ahead a bit. "And I warn ye laddie. Y' get that little lass into any trouble, and ye WILL get flanked, ye ken?"
"Y- Yeah, sure... no trouble at all." Gustav said, hurrying up to catch up with Eliza when Merida let him go. He readjusted his helmet, shaking his head. "Jeez, you would think this girl was some rare gemstone the way everyone is so protective of her around here..." Gustav said to himself as he caught up with Eliza.
Turbo giggled lightly in his sleep, muttering a bit as he dreamt. "Yeah... rip that little glitch's... arms off..."
His masochistic dream would soon be abruptly interrupted when something whacked his helmet, jostling the cybrid awake. He hopped up, his cybugs scurrying as he looked around. He turned to see the Queen glaring at him, tapping her scepter into the palm of her other hand. "It is quite interesting, Turbo... everyone else is placing their full effort into their arduous tasks and you are here slumbering!" She hissed. "Gather yourself and follow me to the west end of the mountain, I shall teach you how to fight your enemies more proficiently!"
Turbo blinked in surprise before grimacing. "Listen lady, I still have a sore backside from the other night, I'm not in the mood to listen to your yakking in my ear all day."
The Queen whirled around then, grabbing his long neck and snarling in his face. "Your lack of acknowledgement of my authority is severely wearing on my patience, underling!" She roared, her voice beginning to split into multiple pitches, higher and lower. "You shall either oblige me or I shall ensure that you receive the greatest amount of suffering for your insolence!"
"Alright, ALRIGHT!" Turbo shoved her away, growling in frustration. "You are so ANNOYING! Jeez, my wings are still numb from that stupid- I'm coming!"
Once they reached the western end of the mountain, The Queen turned, observing Turbo for a moment. She approached him, walking around him as she read into his heart briefly. "You are someone who will do anything to get what they want... that is a trait you and I both share. You care not for who is harmed in such a process, as long as you fulfill your desires in the end. However... you must truly and wholly want something... in order to place your whole heart into achieving it. That is how I shall motivate you on this day. You shall endure my wrath in order to increase your own... sharpen the potency of the abilities you possess. We battle now, and I shall critique your shortcomings."
"Yeah, I think I'm just fine the way I am, thank you very much." Turbo replied.
"Attack me!" The Queen hissed.
"Okay, okay, fine, you psycho!" Turbo groaned, trying to swipe at her with his hand to which she dodged easily, hitting him when she spewed fire at him.
"You would rather be doing anything else other than this right now... you don't see the point in all of this 'nonsense...' I am irksome, irritating to you, you simply want to be left alone but reap the reward of destroying the child when the opportunity arises!" The Queen shouted, hitting and knocking Turbo over with another fire attack. "All of the potential you possess... wasted because you believe that you can soar right to your goal... and that anything you cannot, is not worth your time. You are not worthy of royalty or glory..."
"Hey, shut up already!" Turbo growled, swiping his hand to miss her again.
"You cannot cope with the truth... you instead choose to live a lie, hide behind it... but you are defenseless upon exposure!" The Queen shouted, one of her tentacles wrapping around his neck, tossing him right into the wall like a ragdoll.
Turbo groaned, grunting as he got up and glaring at her angrily. "Alright, I've had enough of you pushing me around!" He growled, his back spikes popping out as he curled into a ball, building up momentum as he rolled swiftly towards her.
"Yes! Now you are finally translating your frustrations into action!" The Queen exclaimed, climbing up on the wall and crawling over him, Turbo losing momentum when he could not roll up onto the ceiling. He uncurled himself, his wings flapping rapidly as he soared towards her, groping the air to try to grab her off the ceiling. She used her tentacles like whips, keeping his hands at bay. "You think that your enemies will simply allow you to overcome them; you think that the child will simply allow you to destroy her; you must use everything you have to destroy your opposition! Do not allow them to linger!"
The Queen was about to crawl down on the other side, spewing more flames back at him to knock him down to the ground. He shook his head, growling as he charged forward towards her, the Queen making a sharp dodge to the left to evade him.
She was met with shock when she felt something hit her hard, knocking her into the wall behind her.
Turbo had used his tail to send her flying back, his nails digging into the wall as he pinned her there. Face to face, his eyes burned into hers as her expression softened a bit, her eyes wide.
"I don't... like... losing." He snarled, yanking his hand out so she dropped to the ground.
The Queen stared after him for a few moments, her shock slowly melting into a triumphant smirk.
"Neither do I... another trait we share, Turbo. But if you cooperate... we can both relish in our victories together. Stop resisting me, stop resisting this process... the work shall all amount to great worth in the end." The Queen said.
Turbo groaned, turning back to look at her. "Look... whatever grudges you have against those other people, I really don't care. All I want is to give that glitch and that giant lackey of hers a game over. Once that happens, I'm out of here, sister."
"Yes... it is in your nature to be so quick to run. You finish one task, you move onto the next, never looking back. But you do not realize that your past may catch up to you and bring great affliction with it. You cannot always run away, Turbo. You cannot always hide. You are no longer alone... take advantage of that." The Queen said, approaching him slowly.
For the first time, the Queen's words were finally sinking in, and she grinned upon seeing him thinking upon them. He glanced up at her, rolling his eyes for a moment as he sighed.
"Okay, how about this. You make sure those two good for nothing codes bite the dust, and I will do whatever you ask me to. You want a milkshake? You got it. You want to take a nice drive? I'll be your chauffeur. Hell, I'll even kiss your feet as long as I get to squish that little glitch into road kill, toots." Turbo said.
The Queen raised her brows, smirking lightly as she nodded. "Very well." She turned, waving her hand to conjure a small card guard army. "You may begin by practicing upon my forces; I shall return at the end of the day to review your progress."
"Yeah, yeah, fine..." Turbo groaned, making his way towards the card guards. The Queen took her leave, grinning darkly as she did so.
Bunny hadn't realized it, but he had become quite engrossed in the beautiful array of colors sprinkled throughout the forest, Emily spurring new growth as she floated along gracefully. Her essence flowed and weaved through the trees, her eyes carefully scanning around her to ensure all was right. She tapped her chin lightly, using her other hand to conjure a large leaf to sprout from the ground, floating up a bit to sit upon it. Bunny approached her then, making her sway a bit and grimace at him lightly as he leaned against the stem.
"I must say, Em... I'm pretty impressed." He said. "Quite a system you've got going on here."
"Unlike you, I have the luxury of living how I please... my work is done on my own time... not on a predetermined schedule." Emily replied.
"Tell me about it..." Bunny sighed. "So..." He glanced up at her. "Now what?" When Emily looked at him quizzically, he chuckled. "You're all finished up, aren't you? What do you want to do now?"
"I typically meditate after up keeping my domain. I must rejuvenate myself first." Emily floated off the leaf, going over to her throne. She lowered the tips of her feet into the water just in front of it, her whole body turning an aqua shade of green as the flow of energy from the pool of water traveled through her. Bunny watched with interest, Emily remaining in this state for a minute or two before she returned to her normal hue, crossing her feet in midair as she levitated above the water. Her hair floated calmly, her eyes closed.
"Hey, uh... mind if I join?" Bunny asked.
Emily cracked an eye open, staring at him flatly as she exhaled slowly. She touched down to the ground, approaching him.
"Alright. Is there something you need of me? Is there something you wish for me to do for you?" Emily asked, a bit exasperated.
Bunny blinked in surprise. "Uh, no... no, there isn't."
"Then what is it that you want?" Emily asked.
Bunny tilted his head. "I don't really want anything, Em... I don't understand what you're-"
"Can you please explain this to me then; why are you persisting to follow me about?" Emily asked.
"I- I don't know, I just... wanted to spend some time with you, is all... small talk, something..." Bunny answered.
"What reason do you have to want to spend time with me?" Emily asked suspiciously.
Bunny saw the skepticism in her expression, his own softening as he remembered that this was a young woman who had dealt with much hurt and disappointment in her life. She trusted few, and he could say from experience that he himself wanted nothing to do with her in the past, believing she was incapable of socializing with anyone. However, having actually been around her during his stay in her forest and getting to know who Emily was beyond the general aspects of her life that he knew about her, he was beginning to understand that perhaps there was more to Emily than just her wild and sometimes dangerous nature; perhaps there was a softer, more nurturing side to her if only someone ventured deep enough to seek it out. He was beginning to see why Sandy still cared for her after all this time. He chuckled lightly, smiling warmly.
"Well... someone told me not too long ago that you didn't need to have a reason to be understanding and giving towards someone... it just comes naturally." Bunny said.
At this, Emily's expression changed into one of slight surprise upon her words being repeated back to her. It was then that something short of a miracle occurred;
Emily smiled at him. It was warm, and genuine, much like the same she had done for Sandy upon their arrival.
"Indeed... it does." Emily replied quietly. "You should heed my advice more often, Bunnymund; it's quite becoming of you."
"And you should smile more often." Bunny replied. "I think it's pretty." He blinked then, clearing his throat. "P- Pretty nice, you know. Usually you're so uptight..."
Emily raised a brow, observing him with a bit of intrigue. The manner in which this interaction had transpired was... new and unfamiliar, she thought to herself. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she felt that seeing Bunny in a new light had drawn her own personal attentions to him. Prior to this, she had never once taken interest in him; he was simply one of the guardians, nothing more. He had also been one of her father's greatest foes, another important reason to disassociate with him, with all- well, most of the guardians. But those hindrances had been lifted, the veil opening to reveal someone that she felt was worth her company. She was having less and less of a problem allowing him into her space, and she was curious of her own atypical action in this regard. She glanced down, waving her hand over the water below. Out from the shallow pool, a large lily pad emerged.
"You may sit here beside me to meditate. Do you know how?" Emily asked.
"Em, I'm a master of Tai Chi and the ancient art of Kung Fu... meditation is my middle name." Bunny smirked lightly, hopping over onto the lily pad to settle on it, crossing his legs and resting his elbows on his knees. He closed the space between his thumb and index fingers, sitting up straight and closing his eyes, breathing in deeply.
Emily raised her brows, nodding as she displayed that she was impressed by his knowledge. She floated over to him, levitating just over the water this time so she could be at his level. She maintained the same position as him, cracking an eye open briefly to observe him. She then closed it, holding her head up as the two sat side by side in tranquil, peaceful silence.