(This story takes place before Jack fell in to the lake, before he became Jack Frost.)
The winter air outside was cold and crisp, not making your job any easier. Your mother had asked you to feed the chickens this morning- or at least the chickens that were left. The harsh winter had taken many of their lives and the eggs that fed your family with them. Three little clucking chickens that were huddled in their pen came close as you spread out the feed out in front of them. They pecked at it quickly while you looked around.
It was a quiet little village with dirt paths covered in horseshoe prints and log houses. A few people were out doing their morning chores like you, some waving as they passed by. There were small white patches of snow from the storm that had taken the lives of many farm animals around town. This winter had been one of the harshest for all that lived there, along with your family. However, the town was nice and peaceful, and everyone helped out one another. Not a single person was left behind.
You shivered and drew the small shawl you'd draped over your shoulders closer to your body. You were about to turn back when something caught your eye.
It was him again. Jack Overland, the brown haired shepherd boy that had a wide reputation for being a mischief maker. But, he was also one of your very best friends. It hadn't always been that way though. You had grown up hating the boy for all the tricks he played on you and the other little children in town. He loved throwing snowballs at unsuspecting people, and teasing the town girls with little creatures like lizards.
You could remember the day you became officially acquainted with Jack like it was yesterday. He'd stolen your friend's hat and was holding it at a height that she couldn't reach, due to the fact that he was a very tall seven-year-old. You had been brave and stood up to him in the only way you could think of; You punched him in the stomach, causing him to drop the hat which you caught and gave back to your friend. He then became angry with you and called you names, with which you spat your own insults right back at him. When he finally ran out of rude things to say, he simply said "You know, you're alright."
Since then you'd grown to become inseparable friends.
Now as he stood there watching you, you couldn't help but grin. Something in his gaze told you he had special plans today and you weren't going to sit there and not be a part of it. You hiked up your skirt above your ankles and began walking towards Jack and his small flock of sheep.
"Up early are we?" He asked with a smirk. "I see the beauty sleep didn't work."
Jack Overland: Best friend, shepherd...but you were now reminded of what a jerk he could be.
"At least I try, Jack," You defended "You seem quite fine being an ugly brainless idiot."
The two of you laugh, now nearly prone to feeling insulted by each other's words. Of course, you knew your words would never be true. Jack couldn't be ugly if he tried. Besides being known as the trouble maker, he was also admired greatly by the town's young women for his looks. His soft brown hair, golden brown eyes, and flawless skin sometimes even caught your attention.
"So, any plans?" Jack asked you, slinging his shepherd's staff over his shoulder.
"I don't think so. Maybe a few chores around the house," You replied, looking at the little sheep that crowded around Jack.
"Good," He said "Then you can help me."
"With what?" You asked, curious.
"Well, part of the fence is broken and falling apart in some places. I figure you're manly enough to help out," He said with a grin.
"Sure I'll help," You said, brushing off his comment "I'll meet you over there after I'm done then. Mother might have something for me to do."
"Sounds good, see you then," He said.
He clicked his tongue and prodded a few of the sheep to follow him. You watched his retreating figure for a minute before getting a large smile on your face. You didn't know what, but something told you there was more Jack was wanting to do then fix the fence. Maybe he'd have another devilish plan...You shook your head. Jack was slowly turning you into a trouble maker yourself.
True to your word, you dashed through the dirt roads after sweeping the house, nearly tripping over wandering chickens while you avoided hitting people and horses. Finally you reached the big open field where people took their sheep to graze, although most of the grass was useless anyway. You crossed the large plain, crunching grass under your feet until you reached the small fence that belonged to the Overland family. Jack was herding all of his little sheep in to the pen, poking them with his staff. As far as you could tell, not a single fence post looked damaged.
"Hey," You called out upon getting closer.
"Hey," He said back, not bothering to look up as he continued his task. With the last sheep in, he closed the little wooden gate behind it.
"So..you didn't bring Molly?" You asked.
Molly was Jack's little sister with the same brown hair and brown eyes that he possessed. She always wanted to tag along wherever he went, and whether he knew it or not, you could tell she looked up to him and he loved her more than anything in the world.
"Nah...she didn't want to come," Jack said, locking the gate.
Well that was a complete lie.
"Oh...so where are we fixing the fence? It looks perfectly fine to me," You said. Surely something was up. He was avoiding your gaze like the plague. "Jack...?"
He turned to face you but still didn't make eye contact. You were about to ask what was wrong when out of no where he grabbed your shoulders and pressed his mouth against yours. With eyes wide open in shock, it took you a minute to realize what he was doing. He was kissing you. Your head spun with a million questions, and it didn't help that you felt dizzy for some reason. You wanted to break away...but his lips were so warm and inviting. Before you could stop yourself your eyes closed and you were kissing him back with arms wrapped around his neck. He interlocked his fingers and rested his hands on your lower back, pulling you closer against his body. Only when he broke away did you realize what you had done, drawing a deep blush up into your face.
"Thanks for not punching me," He said, leaning his forehead against yours. You were still wrapped in each others arms, but neither of your seemed to mind. His warm breath cascaded over your face, only making your blush worse. You couldn't exactly tell, but he looked pretty pleased with himself.
"I almost did," You said honestly. "You could have warned me."
"I hope you know how clueless you are, I've been dropping hints for weeks," He said.
"Really? Well I hope you know that you're not a very good kisser," You teased.
"I guess I better get some practice then. Oh, and here's your warning," he said before leaning back in to join your lips with his again.
When you woke up the next morning, you didn't exactly remember how you got home, or when. The only thing that your mind could dwell on was the many kisses you'd shared with Jack yesterday, and his confession of his love for you. Of course, you had to reveal that you'd felt the same way for a while although you'd pushed the feeling away, not wanting to ruin your friendship. But now the two of you had something more, and it was wonderful.
You yawned and got out of bed, a permanent smile stuck on your face. You even found yourself humming a little tune as you dressed for the day. Your head was so dizzy with pleasure and excitement that you barely noticed the cold when you stepped outside to feed the chickens once more. After completing your chore, you looked around for Jack. Usually he'd be somewhere with his sheep, watching you feed your animals, ready to greet you with some empty insult. However, you couldn't find his face among the townspeople. After looking for a while, you decided just to go see if he was still at home.
His house wasn't too far, just a few doors down, and he was well worth the walking. You rapped on the door which was coated in frost from the freezing night that had passed. His mother answered the door and smiled when she saw you. You didn't even have to ask and she knew you were looking for Jack.
"He went off with Molly just a while ago. They should be back soon. I'll tell Jack you wanted to see him," She said, drying her hands that were no doubt wet from laundry on her apron.
"Thank you, Mrs. Overland," You said before turning to head back to your own home.
You busied yourself with extra chores that day, trying desperately to get Jack off your mind. It wasn't worth it though, and he continued to fill your day dreams.
When a knock came at your door, you braced yourself for a comeback to his witty greeting that would come when you opened it. However, Jack's smirk wasn't there to meet you. Instead, it was Sally Martin, a good friend of yours. She had a hand over her heart and was panting hard with a pale face, no doubt distraught.
"Sally!" You exclaimed "Are you alright!?" You gently pulled her inside while she struggled to get out what was on her mind.
"He-He," He stuttered "He fell in...Oh, (your name)!" She was panting harder now, and tears were starting to pour from her eyes. She had you seriously worried.
You sat her down on a chair in your kitchen. "Sally, you need to calm down," You said slowly "Just tell me what happened. It'll be okay."
"It's Jack!" She cried, fresh tears falling down her red cheeks "He went and...he tried to save Molly but-but-but he fell in! They can't find him!"
Your heart stopped. "W-What happened to Jack!?"
"At the lake," Sally managed "He...he fell through the ice. Th-They can't find him!"
You didn't need another word. Before you knew it, you were flying out the door and across the dirt roads, not even caring in the least bit about the cold. Nothing mattered but getting to Jack now.
"Jack!" You cried as you ran, your legs begging for you to slow down.
Finally you reached the lake were a few villagers were gathered around it's dirt shores. Your eyes scanned them for Jack, not wanting to believe that he was the one that caused the hole that was staring at you from the middle of the frozen lake. You couldn't find him. Hot tears filled your eyes, blurring your vision and you thought for sure your heart would explode from beating too fast. You found yourself running across the ice, but a pair of strong arms grabbed you from behind. You had to reach the hole, you had to save him.
"Jack!" You screamed as you fought to get out of the man's iron grip. He just picked you up as you continued to struggle and brought you back to the safety of land. You were pulling, scratching, fighting, doing anything to get away. Eventually you couldn't fight anymore and you broke down in to a sobbing mess. You felt the strong arms release you, and you were embraced my a tender hug. You opened your stinging eyes to find your mother holding you close, and Mr. Overland walking away. He must have been the one who saved you from falling in yourself. You melted in to your mother's embrace, an endless supply of tears falling from your eyes. Sobs shook your shivering body as you tried to get yourself to calm down. But the thought of Jack's lively face, and the taste of his kiss reminded you that you would never see him again.
Suddenly you felt a small hand take hold of yours. You opened your eyes to see little Molly, her face streaked with tears as well. Your mother continued to hold you while Molly cried with you.
"It'll be okay, (Your name)," Molly bravely said in a near whisper "All Jack ever wanted was for us t-to be happy. We need to be happy for him."
Although her words were few, they melted your heart and you managed a small but painful smile. "Y-You're right Molly. I'll t-try to be happy for Jack. Thank you."
She nodded and you watched as she went to join the rest of her family. Jack's father was holding his wife as she shook with sobs, no doubt feeling even worse pain then you were. Only a few villagers were left, and the sunset was upon you. You mother took your hand without a word and led you home. You felt so numb, so cold. You could just imagine Jack in with wings and a halo, shaking his head at what a baby you were being.
The night brought no comfort as you tossed and turned, unable to sleep. Your supply of tears had long run out, so you lay shivering with dry sobs. Molly's word suddenly came in to your mind. Out of everyone, she should have been the most crushed by Jack's death, but she still found a light in the darkness. You took a deep breath and tried to pull hope out of the devastating sadness that you felt. You decided to not dwell on the things you would miss out on, but the great memories you had made with him. Slowly but surely, a smile crossed your lips.
Yes. You would try and be happy for Jack.