Darkness fell in the endless caverns and caves of the Boogeyman's lair. The cold chill of winter had long set in every crevice of the all scrap metal and dead stone that cluttered the place. Frost covered every cold, flat, surface it could find.
The metal cages dangled lifelessly by their thick chains; making low groaning sounds as they swayed ever so slightly against every invisible breeze.
In the center of the dead cave; Pitch stood stoically, his demeanor as 'high and mighty' as ever, in front of his black metal globe, in which its dark appearance was conquered by the lights of all the children that believed in the world. They twinkled like the endless stars in the night sky, some going out, and being replaced with new ones. Their numbers had grown considerably; as hope, wonder, memories, fun, and sweet dreams flourished through the children's lives…
It sickened him.
He glared at the lights with utter distain, his dead, silver-golden, yellow eyes burning through the globe with irritation. The lights had grown much in number since the last time he had looked at them… a little too much…
His anger finally boiled over as his lips drew back into a horrid snarl, "Rrraaagh!" he threw and angry ball of black sand at the globe furiously, making a loud clang as it hit, leaving a dent in Africa. He turned his back on the globe and cursed to himself; glaring at the ground with fuming anger.
His shadowy sand wisped around him, seeming to express his agitation; his Fearling serpents slithered mindlessly at his feet and around the cavern grounds, awaiting their master's commands if needed, while his horses hid in the shadows, also awaiting the command to carry out his bidding.
Pitch sighed and circled the globe tiredly, his narrowed eyes focusing on every single light on every continent with contempt.
The brightness made him sick to his core. The very thought of love and happiness nauseated him, and he cursed the Guardians quietly.
He sighed and gave a mirthless smile.
"The lights are shining so beautifully…aren't they?" he said hollowly to one of his Fearling Horses, which stood next to him obediently. Pitch continued to circle it, like a predator and its prey, trying to figure out how to strike first.
"But wouldn't it be more beautiful if every single one of those lights… was snuffed out? Imagine; the whole world embraced by darkness…" He chuckled thoughtfully. "…glorious darkness….and the dreadful screams of the children would be endless…" He said reminiscing on the thought. He looked back to the globe. "But I wonder…"
Then he stopped walking, turning to the globe all the way with surprised curiosity.
He walked over to it and leaned his face close to one of the continents.
One light caught his eye, and seemed to stand out amongst the rest. The light was settled in North America in a location he recognized.
"Burgess…" He said with an amused tone.
A content smile twisted his features. He let out a low chuckle, which turned into full out laughter which echoed through the endless caverns of his dark lair. He knew what this light meant. "I didn't think she was still here…" he said as his laughter subsided, but then he feigned a pout, "But it's no fun when your prey isn't running…" he mumbled disappointedly. "I love to see them terrified…."
Then he saw the light began to move rapidly up North.
"Oh…so now the little Dreamer is on the run, isn't she? Never did it cross my mind that a little bit of broken ice would scare them into hiding her from me now…" He smirked. He leaned back and rubbed his thin, angular chin in thought, "Hmm… so she's running to the Pole… Well then…" He flicked his hand up and snapped his fingers, which echoed throughout his labyrinth-like home, and gained the attention of his horse-shaped and serpent Fearlings, "Why don't we pay her and North a little visit? Shall we?" They slithered and galloped to him obediently. Circling around him, they awaited his orders.
One serpent slithered up his arm, and he cuddled it close to his face as it snaked around him, smiling blissfully, "Ah…Yes, by beauties, you will have your fun …" the serpent that curled around his arm tilted its head expectantly at him, as if waiting.
Pitch smiled smugly at it and pointed the arm in which the snake was curled on, slowly at the bright light on the globe. He smiled wickedly.
"Go. Do what you wish with the Guardians. But bring me the girl…Alive."
And in a blink of an eye, the serpent darted off his arm, as the others slithered and galloped out of his sight, faster than a bullet, trailing black smoke and sand behind them. Swarms upon swarms of Fearlings followed, rushing past his tall, lithe frame, completely unfazed.
Pitch hadn't felt this powerful since the Dark Ages.
And it felt amazing.
The power coursed through his body like the dark blood which pumped through his veins.
The Guardians thought they could get rid of him for good.
The memory of Tooth's words rang in his mind, until he had a headache.
His forehead wrinkled slightly, as her rubbed his fingers against his temples, "The audacity of that scattered brained, ball of feathers…I'll stuff a pillow with her…and her pesky little flying vermin she calls fairies…" he spat out.
He sighed, standing up straight with his hands folded behind his back, "But no matter…once the Dreamer is mine, I will make the human's nightmares reality…I will make all of their nightmares real." He chuckled to himself, "And little by little; their minds will be eaten away, along with their faith…and the Guardians will waste away as well…"
He looked down at his hand and opened it as black sand swirled in the palm of his hand creating a shape of a girl.
"…and you're my missing puzzle piece…Skyler."
He laughed maniacally to himself as it echoed through the ice covered cave.
"Whooo-hooo! Yeah!" Jack, Sandy, and Bunnymund were sliding through the grass covered tunnels at maximum speed.
"See? I told you it'd be easy!" Jack gloated; Bunny rolled his eyes, holding the red sack tightly, with the sleeping human inside seeming undisturbed. "Yeah, but you needed our help to get her!" Bunny called after him. Sandy rolled his eyes, sensing the upcoming argument.
Jack looked back at him, "Says you—!" Jack stopped in mid-sentence his expression turning into shock. "Oh, Jeez!"
Bunny quickly looked behind him and gasped, "CRIKEY…!" he yelled.
Black sandy shadows were sliding after them in the form of snakes and horses, their golden eyes full of hunger and anticipation. It was Pitch's Fealings.
"You should seriously close your tunnels much faster!!" Jack yelled. "Pitch must've found out where we're hiding her, and sent those bloody things after us!" Bunny looked ahead, and saw a light in front of them, he grinned, "Look we're almost there!" He said. But the Fearlings were catching up to them, and they were getting too close to him.
"Sandy! Cover me!" Sandy let Bunny slide past him, as he turned around and conjured a grenade out of his Dream Sand. The Fearlings froze and had what looked like a scared expression on their black faces.
There was nothing but an explosion of gold and black dust following them through the tunnels, and Sandy was casually sliding after them. "Whoo! Yeah, go Sandy!" Jack cheered with a laugh; Sandy turned forward and bowed while sliding.
Bunny felt the bag in his arms stir, "Oh-no…she's probably awake now…" the bag began to squirm some more and he heard a few muffled yells. Bunny looked up again at the light. Just a little longer, Sheila…
"Alright, we're almost there…!"
But then the black sand recollected itself and continued to peruse them, "Aw-no…" Jack groaned. Sandy looked at his expression; and he turned around, and turned back with a pouty, but irritated face. Then a light came into view.
Bunny pointed, "Look!" Sandy's face lit up with a hopeful expression.
"We're going to have to pick up speed if we're going to make it in time!" Jack yelled as he saw the Fearlings closing in.
Sandy gave a thumbs-up and made another sand grenade; he looked back and waited for the right moment, "Ready?" Bunny asked.
Sandy nodded not taking his eyes off the Fearlings.
"Here we go…!" Jack said.
The light came into view.
Sandy unpinned the grenade and threw it.
"North Pole; here we come!"
Tooth watched as North paced back and forth restlessly as they waited for their comrades to return. The yetis and the elves continued with their usual lives, aside from cleaning up the workshop.
The large Russian muttered to himself nervously as he stroked his long beard feverishly. Tooth was hovering nearby with a worried look plastered on her face, her fairies also buzzing around, just as nervous as North was.
North finally sighed irritably, "What is taking them so long?" he asked impatiently. Tooth sighed concernedly, "Things like this take time, North. They're probably having trouble getting her here…" North stopped pacing and looked at the iridescent fairy with a baffled expression, "Why you they have problems retrieving a child??" North asked, throwing his arms up for emphasis.
Tooth sighed, knowing North's great impatience was clouding his common sense, "Children have families. It isn't easy to take a child from their family and for their parents not to notice they're gone." Tooth said, crossing her arms. North waved her off, "Bah…" he grumbled.
North stopped pacing again, and Tooth stopped flying for a moment, when the ground started to shake and rumble beneath them. The Yetis stopped working, and the elves stopped playing around.
"What now…!?" the ground started to shake even harder. Tooth began to molt her feathers a little out of fear, her feet immediately left the ground as her wings flapped frantically, and her fairies huddled close to her as they shivered fearfully.
"Please don't be Pitch, please don't be Pitch, please don't be….!" She whispered slightly, crossing her fingers.
Suddenly the ground sunk in, revealing a giant hole.
And suddenly Jack, Sandy, and finally Bunnymund flew out of the hole followed by black and gold sand exploding behind them.
Bunnymund stood back up and closed the hole immediately before anything else could get through.
The three of them panted and all of them flopped onto the floor simultaneously, breathing heavily.
Their hearts were pounding in their chests as the blood pumped through them.
Bunny was clutching the red sack tightly to his chest.
"Jack! Bunny! Sandy! You're back!" Tooth said excitedly, relief washing over her. "Good heavens! Jack! You're back boy! Ha-ha!" North picked up the winter spirit by the shoulders and gave him a bone crushing hug.
"Y-yeah, yeah, yeah…! K-kinda crushing…me!" North let go of him, and he gasped, holding his sides, coughing a little. Sandy sat up, rubbing his head, and Bunny rolled off his back and gently set the red sack on the floor.
"D-did you find her?" Tooth asked buzzing up to them, her violet eyes wide with anticipation. Jack looked over at her and gave her a reassuring smile.
"Yeah, we found her." He rolled his shoulders and walked over to the sack and knelt down on his knees.
He started to untie the top, "She came really easily, though." He said with a thoughtful look on his face.
He opened the top and peered inside with a happy look on his face.
"Hey, you okay?"
The sack moved a little, Jack peered in closer, "Hey…"
Jack flew backwards with a thud, "Aw! OWWW!!" he said rubbing his jaw. He looked up and saw a fist protruding from the opening of the bag.
She just punched him in the face.
The sack squirmed and tumbled over with a thump, "Ow!"
The Guardians stared on with shock and wonder as the captive poked her head out of the sack slowly, Elves peered into the bag and dispersed quickly out of the way.
"Rimsky Korsakov…" North whispered in disbelief.
Skyler crawled out of the bag half-way and looked at her surroundings, her black disheveled hair blocking part of her vision. She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and her eyes widened.
"Whoa…" she whispered; eyes wide with wonder. A happy grin slowly crept on her face.
"They do exist…so I was right all along…"
they stared for a long time.
"Oh my god..." Thunk!
"Great. She's out again." Jack grumbled.