Chapter 18: Home
[Name] slowly blinked open her eyes, her body still hurting from the day before. She realized there was a small buzzing sound and opened her eyes wider to see Tooth floating above her.
"Oh, thank goodness you're okay!" Tooth gasped and flew closer to [Name] and gently placed her hand on [Name]'s shoulder.
[Name] stared at her for a moment and then looked around the room, noticing the other guardians were here as well.
"Are you alright, ankle biter?" Bunnymund asked, stepping forward with pure worry in his voice.
"Y—yeah." [Name] stuttered and clenched her teeth in pain as she tried to sit up. She looked over when she heard a painful gasp before her as Jack sat up as well.
"J—Jack, are you okay?" [Name] worriedly placed a hand on his shoulder, and noticed a healing wound running along his side. Hopefully it won't scar…
"Yeah, I'm fine." He let out another grunt as he pulled himself upright, and looked over at her. "I'm more worried about you."
[Name] shook her head at him, "Don't be. You had to carry me all the way back here, you're in worse shape than I am."
Jack looked sternly at her and opened his mouth as if to argue back, but was interrupted by Bunnymund stepping forward.
"Save your arguing for later, mates. The important thing here is you two got out of this alive." Jack and [Name] both looked up at Bunny until [Name] finally sighed, "Bunny is right."
She looked back over at Jack and gently lifted his arm to get a closer look at his wound; it must've been bleeding all night, because the area of her bed that Jack's side was over was soaked crimson red.
"S—Sorry…" Jack apologized when he noticed the blood stain. "It's fine. I'll wash it later." [Name] let go of his arm and looked at the other guardians, who had been watching them the entire time.
Bunnymund let out a small chuckle at her, "You two really care for each other, eh mate? Jack has never looked at anyone like that before. You might even be able to stir up the old fella—" Bunny patted his lower waist gently as a hint of what he was talking about, "—We all know he needs the fun." Bunny gave her a mischievous wink.
Jack let out a sarcastic laugh until his face turned serious again, "Shut up."
[Name] just stared, dumbfounded, at Bunny. "I still don't know what that means…"
"Better that you don't, mate." Bunny pulled out one of his boomerangs and began to play with it.
Jack stood up, one of his knees buckling under him, but he managed to catch himself. He looked down at his ripped blue jacket, "Aw, man. It's like I'm wearing rags now." Mostly only skin was showing everyone on the right side of his body, where he had been struck.
Tooth sighed and flew over to Jack. "Jack, are you really only worried about your jacket? Does it not worry you in the slightest that Pitch has suddenly appeared again?"
"Of course it worries me." Jack grabbed his staff, which was resting against the wall, and used it as support. "But I can't exactly do anything about that in my current state."
Tooth frowned and looked down at his wound, and then placed a gentle hand of his shoulder. "Right, sorry." She flew back over to the other guardians and began talking quietly with Bunny.
North finally cleared his throat and walked forward to sit next to [Name], "Sadly, we need to be heading back. But, I want you to talk this—" North cut off as he reached his hand into his jacket, then handed the small item to her, "—If you ever need us, use this snow globe to come find us." North smiled and gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder, "Stay strong, [Name]." With that, they left.
[Name] stared down at the snow globe and smiled, placing it gently on her night stand. She weakly stood up, holding back grunts with every step, and walked over to the mirror to observe her damage.
Her eyes widened as she realized her face was bruised with a few cuts, her right shoulder had a deep gash going through it, and she had tears on her shirt from where she had been whipped. She placed her hand over the most noticeable injury, though. She had a large burn on her left arm that was mysteriously shaped like a spiked horse.
Jack looked over and noticed her, then limped over to look down at her burn. "When he surrounded you with that sand, it whipped your arms and shaped into a Nightmare's body. He gave you a few lashings while you were unconscious to add extra pain… It was unbearable to watch."
[Name]'s eyes began to water as she processed everything that had happened to her. Such a sweet dream had turned into a nightmare…
She shook her head to chase away her tears. No, she wasn't doing to cry. She looked over at Jack, who was staring at her sympathetically. "It's okay." She rubbed her arm, "It's healing fast, and it doesn't hurt. I'm more worried about your wound."
She moved over to Jack's side to look down at the wound. It was deep, and still oozing small drops of blood, but most of it had protective clumps of blood over it.
Jack smiled and wrapped his free arm around her, pulling her closer. "It'll be fine, we should get some sleep."
[Name] nodded in agreement and walked over to her bloodstained bed, pulling up the blankets so that they didn't have to lay on the dried blood, and sat down. Jack limped over to the other side of the bed, then sat down as well.
They laid down and Jack wrapped his arms around [Name] pulling her to where she could tuck her head into the curve of his shoulder. She had to admit, the cold felt good on her wounded body.
[Name] smiled and closed her eyes, the way he was holding her and his cold brought her back to the days before this nightmare happened, and it soothed her to sleep.