Gene is having an unfortunate day. After almost being snowed in at home, wading his way through the storm to drop of work-related papers, twisting his ankle and then freezing his butt off while wai...
Warnings! Rather intense stranger-M/M kissing, an almost death, and blaspheming of a well known folk-tale. Once again, I've probably mis-labled this by putting it in the Fantasy section, but if anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know. I'm not so good at labling my stories...
It was cold.
Very, very cold.
Gene Swift trembled and tried to huddle deeper still into his coat, shivering hard as he stamped his feet and tried to will himself to be warmer. It wasn't as though he could wear anymore clothing; three shirts, a sweater, his down coat, a thick red scarf, long-johns and thick pants over thicker socks and snow-boots, a wool hat on his head and gloved hands shoved deep in his pockets, and he simply couldn't understand why he was still shivering his ass off.
'And of course, the bus has to be late!/' he thought in irritation, glaring hard at the very empty road, distinctly lacking in large, clanking and barely safe mass-transit vehicles. Never mind that it had been snowing hard for the past two days, never mind he was apparently the only one in the whole damn town who was even outside, having opted to try and walk to his workplace instead of rotting inside his own apartment. Sure he was snowed in, but he needed to drop off the paper he had written /that day or else, so threatened his boss, he'd been fired. So even though everyone told him the office was closed, the paper was delayed, the boss wouldn't even know, Gene made the walk through the snow, almost killing himself three times, and put the damn paper into the bloody mail-slot. There! he had thought in fierce triumph as he turned away. Lets see them try and fire me now!
And he had promptly slipped and twisted his ankle.
Now Gene has a very high pain tolerance, but even he wasn't daring enough to try and wade his way back home through two feet of snow and with a twisted ankle. So he called his friend and found out that the buses had started up that morning and the snowplows were making their runs, so if he was willing to just sit tight for a while something was bound to come his way that would be willing to take him home.
Two hours later, and Gene had yet to see even a person walking down the road towards him. He grumbled, he curse, he shivered, he even yelled at the grey sky when it started to defiantly snow again, but nothing helped. He thought, in despair, that this was where he was going to die, and in his 25 years of life he hadn't bothered to write a will, cause I mean, who would at that age? That thought was only in a short moment of true depression as he reached the two-and-a-half hours mark, which was quickly dashed away as he heard the first sign of life aside from his own chattering teeth in hours.
Though he looked up in glee, head turning to see who it might be, though the footsteps continued to crunch along closer and closer to where he stood, he saw no one. A frown crossed his face and his heart beat a little faster, breath came a little quicker as his imagination ran wild, providing images of ghosts or demons or even a frostbitten axe murderer who had lost his toes in the snow and now went around cutting off people's feet and letting them bleed to death so he could take their still warm, almost living toes for himself and-
"Well hello there." came a voice from directly behind him.
Gene screamed, whirled around, then yelled again as his abused ankle gave out from under him and he went sprawling in the snow, lost his hat and sank deep into the two-foot tall frozen water. Laughter exploded above him, though his face was too covered by snow and he was shivering too hard to see who it was, and the laughter didn't sound familiar. It was by far the most delightful laughter he had ever heard before, though. Like a child's laugh, though with a deeper tenor and an almost frozen, ice-tinkling quality to it, it fell over him like soft snow and he shook his head, trying to clear his face and see who was making such a laugh. A hand grabbed his flailing arm, his hand instinctively grasping a-hold of the arm and felt himself hauled up quite easily, as though he didn't weigh a thing.
He gasped, eyes still blinded by snow, and gentle, cold bare fingers brushed them off so Gene could open his eyes finally. His head jerked back as he found himself almost nose to nose with a very peculiar looking man. It wasn't that he was wearing only a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and thin looking dress-pants in the frigid cold, and didn't appear bothered by it at all. It was that his hair was a startlingly cold color of blue, as were his eyebrows and even his eyelashes, and the short hair was up in a shocking display of icicle like spikes. The hair was so pale that it was almost white, and his eyes were near colorless, being a shade of blue even whiter than his hair. His skin was pale, face long and sharp but a handsome youth, with tinkling silver in his ears in the shape of icicles and snowflakes. But he had no color in him, as though he were dead, even if Gene could feel his cool breath puffing over his face. However, even as he watched, tinges of pink appeared on his cheeks, as if warmth were being sucked into him from an outside source..
The man grinned. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." Even his voice was icy, but humorous despite the crystal quality. Gene started to shiver again.
"N-no, i-its alright..." he said, smiling slightly. "U-um..." Unfortunately, he couldn't move back, having stood up in a drift, and the peculiar looking man didn't seem in any hurry to get further away from Gene. In fact, the icy man kept leaning in, as Gene instinctively leaned further back until he was sure he was going to lose his balance.
The man sighed an icy breath over Genes face, a puzzled look crossing his face. "Are you cold?" he asked in a genuinely curious tone.
"..." Gene gapped at him. What a stupid question! How could he not be cold!? He was shivering so hard he couldn't even speak, and he realized with a thrill of panic that this was the coldest he had felt; the closer the man got, the colder he became. His heart thudded as the man reached out and grasped him by the waist, holding him up so he wouldn't fall, and even through the shirts, the sweater and the coat, icy patches of cold appeared on his skin from where the man's hands touched him.
Gene gasped in a shuddering breath, eye locked on the man's icy eyes, feeling the shivering stop as his body became so cold it couldn't even shiver anymore, and an impossible realization overcame him. This icy man wasn't human at all; this man was going to be the literal death of him.
A sad look overcame the blue man as Gene began to stiffen, breath coming in shorter gasps as the cold spread across his body. The man leaned in, and Gene's eyelids fluttered weakly in protest as cold lips and teeth nipped at his nose, then fell to gently smooth over his trembling lips.
Gene's eyes flew open as suddenly warmth filled him. His body heaved, arms flailing up as a burning heat spread from his lips where the icy man was still kissing him, flooding his body until he felt scorching red from it, panting in the suddenly unbearably hot coat and many layers of clothing. The icy man's eyes closed, tilting his head and more firmly pressing his lips against Gene's, making him fall back and land with a grunt on the hard metal of the bus stop sign. His feet were still stuck in place, overlapped by the man's legs and they bodies were completely pressed together, the man still wrapping his arms ever tighter around Gene as the kiss deepened, Gene unable to resist as a slick cool tongue licked at his lips, then let itself through the human's open lips as he continued to pant from the heat which just kept coming.
By this point Gene had completely lost all common sense. The delicious and almost painful feelings of heat and warmth wrecked havoc on logic, as his arms finally came up to pull the icy creature closer, eyes closing too and the kiss became not just deep but passionate, as though lovers who hadn't seen each other in months. Neither of them seemed at all inclined to stop, as a deep rumble began in the icy man's chest like a long, continuous sound of pleasure, and Gene himself let out little noises as his mouth was invaded, possessed, life being forced back into him and sending tingles across his skin, setting every nerve on fire.
But finally Gene had to breath. A jolt shot down his spine, and he ripped away, arching his back and letting out a cry of surprise which ended in a deep gasp, eyes flying open as he truly came to life again. Then he collapsed, sinking deep in the snow against the cool of the bus sign, feeling himself steaming in the crisp air. Mindlessly, he sat panting as he shucked off his clothing, desperately trying to cool down as a puddle of water formed around him from the melting snow. When finally he had stripped down to his bottom shirt, he looked up, eyes blurrily trying to focus on the icy figure before him. He managed to make out a concerned smile on the man's face, before he fell sideways and passed out.
"So I hear that you'd like to become human for a while. To walk amongst the mortals for some time."
"That's true, sir."
"The process is painful."
"But sir, I cannot feel pain..."
"Not painful in a physical sense; painful in that what you must do to become human hurts the mind and soul. Are you willing to commit to this?"
"Are you that desperate to walk amongst the mortals?"
'I'll be waiting for you, Jack Frost...'
"...Yes, I am sir."
Sigh. "Very well, this is what you must do. Find a human; a human with a strong life energy. You must take that energy from them, use it as your own."
"B-but sir! That will kill..."
"Yes, it will."
"It's the only way..."
"...Is there any way to return it?"
"There is, but it can only work if the human has not lost all of their energy. But Jack, if you cannot commit yourself to this, do not try! It will permanently scar the human; they will never be the same if you perform this only partially. Can you commit yourself?"
'I'll be waiting...'
"...I can, sir."
Gene awoke with a start and a gasp, body trembling and shaking but not shivering. No, he was far from being cold; in fact he felt intensely warm. He looked around, mind not registering the familiar walls, the familiar couch he lay on, the familiar fireplace in which a fire roared, and it was several moments before he realized he was home. He flung off the comforter which covered him, standing on alternately wobbly and stiff legs. He looked down, and saw that the twisted ankle had been expertly wrapped.
'/Was it a dream?/' He though desperately. The clock said that it had been five hours since he had stood by the bus-stop, since the icy man had come, since-
A hand flew up and touched his lips. They tingled from the memory of the literally searing kiss, the kiss that had given him back all his warmth. His nose felt very cold, though, and his fingers gently ran over it, feeling a particularly soft patch of skin at the very tip which had no feeling in it. A quick hobble to the bathroom and a look in the mirror told him that he had acquired a bright white scar there, in the shape of an ice-crystal. '/Was it a dream?'/
Gene limped about his house in confusion until his ankle forced him to sit back on the couch, and he stayed there, puzzling and puzzling over it all. He couldn't remember coming home, he could barely remember the fact that he had dropped off the paper at work. The only clear thing he could remember the entire day was every single moment of his encounter with the icy man, which brought a blush to his cheeks. Well, the man had been awfully attractive...
He ran a hand through his short red hair, sighing and looking out the window. He frowned, standing a bit too quickly and, wincing, hobbled over to the window. He peered incredulously at it, reading the words written there in loopy, frost-written letters.
My sincerest apologies.
"Not a dream..." Gene muttered, eyes wide.
Every time the snow fell after that day Gene would get the intense chills. The chills would sometimes last for days, without any other sign of sickness, until he would suddenly feel an icy look upon him and his warmth would return to him. Always that stare, and sometimes Gene would look up to the snowy sky and would catch a glimpse of palest-blue eyes watching over him.
He never did find his hat.
A girl sat on a fallen tree deep in the forest, eyes closed and listening to the sounds about her; the soft snow falling from a tree limb, the flutter of a bird rustling it's wings, the slight crunch of a fox stepping delicately through the snow-covered brush. Her breath was soft, puffs of white slipping from her nose and dissipating into the chill air. Her thick brown hair was far too short to provide warmth, but she wore no hat nor scarf, sitting calmly and without shivering in a thick canvas jacket and holey jeans. Large dark boots were on her feet, and her red gloves were fingerless as they clasped loosely together on her lap. She waited, face titled slightly upwards, her thick, dark eyelashes resting on her high cheekbones, a soft white scar like an ice-crystal just under her right eye. Her rosy-cheeks were the only indication of the coldness around her.
A tinkling rushed to her eyes and sightless eyes opened, they snowy whiteness staring unseeingly as her ears heard the rush of wind over the tops of the frozen trees. Her head tilted further upwards, eyes looking upwards, ever upwards, and a little smile crossed her lips as the softest breath of frost whispered across her cheek.
She sighed, smile widening and eyes closing. "Ah, Jack..." she whispered. "I'm glad you came."
Her head fell and turned to face the icy man who sat beside her, warm hand falling to clasp the cold one which rested between them. The icy man turned and held the human's back, tightly, and the girl frowned, sensing a peculiar uneasiness in the other. "Jack, what's wrong?"
"I...." he turned away, as though unable to look at her. "I almost did something terrible..." he whispered, eyes staring without blinking at the snow drifts around the log. The girls hand lifted itself from the other's, sliding along the cold skin and shirt of the figure until it reached his face. Gently, she turned him to face her, and they stared into each other's eyes. She smiled.
"I'm sorry." She said softly. "that what you almost did has hurt you, but I will never turn away from you for something you did not do. The point is that you did not do it. And that's what makes you." She leaned forwards, placing a delicate kiss on his nose.
He sighed, a puff of cold breath fanning over her cheeks. "I almost killed him..." he said half to himself.
She shook her head. "But you /didn't/." she insisted. She brought up her other hand, cupping his cheeks and rubbing her thumbs soothingly over his skin. "And that's what matters. I can wait, Jack. We'll find another way." she finished, leaning in and placing a kiss this time on his lips, which were still warm.
And she understood. Father Winter had told her, had told her all about it, and the fact that Jack had spared the man made all the difference in the world. She would wait, there was always another chance.
Author's Ramblings: When I first wrote this I ended up being unhappy with the Epilogue. There was something about it that just didn't fit, and I kept telling myself that I would change it. Finally I sat down to do it, after a couple of months, and re-read it. I found that I couldn't remember what had displeased me so much with it. I couldn't remember anymore. So I hope you guys liked it, and maybe I'll remember in time what I thought was wrong with it, but I doubt I'll change anything at this point.