My RotG surge now has other fandoms peeking in around the edges (particularly Beyblade and Rune Factory: Frontier at the moment), so while more fic is most definitely coming I'll try not to be a one-fandom writer in February. Probably another surge of fic once I get my hands on the movie, though.
The only other thing I have to say is that I'm stupidly happy I got this to 1000 words exactly.
Title: An Image of Frost
Pairing: hint of Bunny/Jack
Summary: Bunny enjoys sketching new patterns in his free time, but lately one subject is getting much more attention than he would like to admit.
The first batch of dye came out significantly darker than in years past. Bunny painted test patches on bits of eggshell and examined the deep blue result with a critical eye. His usual spring palette was all brightness and pastels, a rebirth of color from the darkness of winter, and here he had a blue more suited to deep shadows in snow (or a particular troublemaker’s hoodie, but he ignored that coincidence). But taking inspiration from hope and new life also meant not getting in a rut. Bunny decided the rich blue would be beautiful with patterns of sparkling white to catch the eye.
Sketching snowflake designs in his spare moments was nothing more than a meditative exercise. No two perfectly alike, even when they followed the same pattern, just like his googies. Even in the off season he was busy tending his egg plants, or experimenting with new flavors and colors and patterns, and sometimes he just wanted to play with art that wasn’t outlined in his job description.
When he started sketching the fernlike curls and brittle branches of frost patterns, that was pure business. Bunny’s favorite designs came from sketching whatever caught his interest, and those patterns interested him very much. He liked the deceptive fragility and the tenacity they represented. Bunny had certainly lived long enough to appreciate beauty when he saw it.
If he gnawed his pencil and sighed at those sketches once or twice it was only because he was thinking of how the painted ‘frost’ would embrace each egg.
The first thumbnail sketch of Jack Frost was hidden on a page of idle snowflakes. One little distraction among many. It certainly didn’t hint at anything to come.
It also didn’t mean anything when he got a full page worth of Bunny’s attentions. He was an interesting subject, and Bunny was only trying to reconstruct how he could possibly balance on top of his staff. He wasn’t even gripping it with his toes. Bunny traced the lines of Jack’s body and wondered if the way he stuck his butt out when he leaned forward was for balance or just him daring someone to call him in it. And the picture wouldn’t have been complete without a playful smirk to suggest right where gravity could kiss him if it didn’t like how he defied it.
Somehow several pages filled with loose, hurried lines that struggled to capture Jack in flight. He would tumble through the air, ragdoll and graceful all at once. Sometimes he would be gone on the wind before Bunny could even whip out his sketchbook, and it required a clever use of tunnels to lie in wait for Jack and get a good look. The difficulty of expressing Jack’s fluidity in static images only made him a worthy challenge.
Every sketch had an excuse. When Jack pulled up his hood and dozed off at one of the Guardian meetings, Bunny sketched the play of shadows across his face (he was leaning against Sandy at the time, which made for a particularly interesting light source). When Jack ran his fingers impatiently through his hair, frosting it over, and shook the ice crystals out again in a glittering halo, how could Bunny possibly resist trying to capture those novel textures?
Jack wasn’t beautiful. He was only human. He certainly wasn’t the sort of natural wonder that some artists would spend their whole lives enraptured with. (Breathtaking natural wonders were all well and good, but when painting the Grand Canyon on an egg something was generally lost in the process.) He was simply an interesting subject Bunny indulged in occasionally.
It was a completely innocent pastime, right up until Sandy caught him at it. They had all been waiting for North to show up for the last meeting before Christmas. Jack had his staff balanced across his shoulders, chatting with Tooth while she tried to direct her mini fairies and distracting her with his grin, and Bunny didn’t pass up the opportunity to indulge in a quick study while Jack’s back was to him.
He was completely lost in committing the lines of Jack’s lean body to paper when he felt the tickle of sand on his shoulder. Sandy, silent enough to sneak up on even him, was peering at his open sketchbook with undisguised interest.
The image of Sandy’s comment was downright obscene.
Bunny yelped and swatted at the sand picture before anyone else could see. “Shut it! It’s nothing like that!” He was only drawing what he saw. It wasn’t his fault Jack’s trousers looked like they were painted on.
His yell got Jack’s attention, and almost before he could flip the sketchbook closed the youngest Guardian was pestering him, wanting to know what was happening? Was Bunny sketching? Could he see? Honestly, Bunny had that sketchbook with him all the time so why wouldn’t he share? And he kept trying to blow the pages open with gusts of wind and pretending it wasn’t him, as if that would fool anybody.
Sandy just folded his hands in his lap and smiled, a bright halo hovering over his head when Bunny glared at him.
He was only saved by North’s pre-Christmas madness, which made for the shortest meeting of the year and allowed Bunny to escape with his dignity mostly intact. At least Jack hadn’t seen what he had been absorbed in sketching.
It wasn’t until that moment of panic that Bunny was even aware of the fact, but Jack was featured on nearly every page in his sketchbook. He didn’t know why (he did know that Sandy’s suggestion was absolutely wrong) but drawing Jack had become an obsession.
The realization didn’t quite stop him. Whenever he caught himself focusing on his new favorite subject yet again he would pause and stare at the paper in dismay for a few seconds and wonder what was wrong with him.
Then he would go back to adding details to the frost curling around Jack’s shoulders.