"Pitch? Pitch?" Called Jack, as he entered the dark lair.
"Over here," a voice echoed far away.
Jack walked further, trying to locate the Nightmare King. "Pitch where are you?"
"Over here. Just follow the sound of my voice." Jack continued to walk towards the boogeyman's voice, wondering what was going on. "That's it, just a little closer Jack." The boy finally arrived at the voice's location, but it spoke no more.
"P-pitch?" Something moved in the darkness, and Jack pointed his glowing staff at the creature; it was Pitch tied up and gagged. "Pitch!" Jack dropped to his knees, and untied the rag around his mouth.
"RUN!" Pitch screamed. Jack was about to ask what he meant, when suddenly the guardian was lifted off his feet and pinned against a wall. He looked up to see something that looked like Pitch, only it wasn't Pitch. The thing's body was black and made of sand, and his eyes were bright red.
"What have we here?" The monster asked. "Such an innocent little boy. Such a good and noble heart." It stopped to laugh. "Why that won't do at all."
"NO! Leave him alone!" Pitch screamed.
The monster looked over at Pitch, and flashed a sinister smile. "Oh you love this boy?" It looked back at Jack, who had tears streaming down his face. "How touching. But how could he ever love you, when he is filled with light? I think he needs a little darkness."
"P-Pitch help!" Jack managed to scream.
"NO DON'T HURT HIM! PLEASE!" The black sand began to swarm Jack, and the frost elf screamed as the darkness consumed him, as it did to Pitch so long ago. "NO! STOP!" Pitch cried, as he tried to break free of his bonds. "NO PLEASE!" But the monster only laughed as Jack's ear splitting scream echoed throughout the lair.
"Aren't you happy? He'll be just like you now." Jack turned to Pitch, his tear filled eyes beginning to turn yellow, and he mouthed the word "help."
"NO!" Pitch woke with a start. The Nightmare King quickly sat up in bed, panting deeply. He held his head in his hands, trying to get the image of Jack screaming out of his mind. "No, that will never happen. Ever." His words brought him no comfort, so Pitch quickly left the lair.
Jack was standing on top of a tall building in Burgess. He desperately wanted to give the children a snow day, but unfortunately it was only October, and if he did he would never hear the end of it from the Guardians. The frost elf sighed, when he suddenly heard someone calling his name. It was coming from the alleyway beside the building he was on; Jack flew down into the shaded area to see Pitch with a concerned look on his face. "Pitch? What're y-"
"Are you alright?" The Nightmare King asked, grabbing Jack's arms and looking him up and down for wounds. "Are you hurt?"
"Um, nooooo..." Jack said, pulling his arms away. "Why would I be?"
"I just had a bad feeling."
"You shouldn't be out here." Jack reminded the boogeyman. "The sun could seriously hurt you!"
"I had to be sure you were okay!"
Jack's eyes widened, and he wasn't sure what to say. "Oh, uh okay." That's when Jack noticed Pitch was taking deep breaths, and there was a bead of sweat on his forehead. "A-are you okay?"
The Nightmare King became mad at himself for looking so weak, especially in front of his lover/enemy. "I'm fine!" He looked away from Jack. The snow spirit grabbed Pitch's hand, and leaned his head against the man's chest.
"I don't get what's going on, but it'll be alright." Jack smiled up at the boogeyman, and Pitch hoped that what he saw was nothing more than a bad dream and that Jack would always keep his innocence. Despite how Pitch tried to hide his feelings, Jack could tell he was deeply shaken. "Hey, come on, I wanna show you something."
The boy, being careful to stay in the shadows, led Pitch to a section of the woods that the man was unfamiliar with. "Jack, where are you taking me?"
"You'll see!" Jack replied, excitement in his voice. They walked a little further through the ice covered grass, when Jack stopped abruptly. The guardian turned to Pitch with a serious look on his face. "Okay, I am about to show you something no one else has seen before. If you wanna see it, you have to promise not to tell ANYONE."
"Jack, what are-"
"You gotta promise!"
"Alright, alright!" Pitch said getting flustered. "I promise!"
A grin broke out on Jack's face, and he grabbed the Nightmare King's hand and walked him towards a large clump of trees. Jack pushed apart the branches, and revealed a very small clearing; it was the size of a small living room. The trees were so closely woven together they created walls and a ceiling, which Pitch was grateful for since it kept out the sun.
"Jack, what is this place?"
"It's my secret place." Jack said while scooping some old toys and books into his arms. "I found it when no one could see me, and no one seemed to want these so I brought them here. I was hoping someday, someone would would come wandering through the woods, find me here, and play with me." The frost elf had a look of forlorn on his face, and Pitch felt a great sadness overcome him. The boogeyman sat down next to the boy, and picked up the dust covered and moth eaten book with the title: Grimm Fairy Tales. "That's my favorite book."
"It's a rather dark book for a Guardian to have." Jack giggled with a slight shrug. Pitch opened up the book, began to flip through the pages, and stopped at Hansel and Gretel. "It's good idea for a story, but the ending was rather disappointing; I was rooting for the witch."
"You're terrible!" The snow spirit joked, pushing the man. The two laid down in the grass, and Pitch began to read the story. Jack found it rather shocking that Pitch was a great storyteller, despite the fact he was the king of darkness. The book was so finished, to Jack's misfortune, and the pair began to talk about nothing in particular as Jack played with a small toy car.
"Hey, Pitch?" Jack asked, not looking away from the car.
"Why'd you abduct me?" Pitch's smile faded, as he was reminded what he did to the boy. "Tell me why."
The Nightmare King hugged the guardian close to him. "I-I needed you near me."
"Couldn't you have found another way? The sand-thing really hurt."
"Yes I know, but I couldn't think of a way to get you to come willingly."
"Next time," Jack began with a sigh, "try talking to people first."
"You hardly listen to the Guardians, you never would have listened to me." The snow spirit shrugged, not knowing how to respond since Pitch was right. "I didn't want to hurt you. I DO care," Pitch added under his breath.
"What did you say?!" Jack inquired, quickly sitting up.
"Nothing!" Pitch answered, beginning to sit up as well.
"No! You said that you really care about me!" The frost elf gave a teasing grin.
"I did not; you must have heard me wrong." The boogeyman clarified, as he began to blush.
"You're just a big old softie!" The Nightmare King glared at the boy, his eyes were like flames. Pitch pinned Jack down on the ground, but the guardian was still smiling.
"Stop looking at me like that! I am the boogeyman, and you will fear me!"
The guardian of fun found himself laughing. "It's kinda hard to fear the one you love."
Pitch's glare vanished, as is mind focused on that one word. "Love?"
"Yeah. You okay, you look ill."
"Yes, I'm fine." Pitch assured, while releasing the boy. "Do you really mean that?"
"You'd know if I was lying. I'm a horrible liar, just ask North."
The boogeyman smiled, it had been so long since anyone told him they loved him, it felt good. "I love you too."