"You're kidding!" Pippa exclaimed. "She eats...dream sand?"
"If sweets are her dinner then dream sand is her dessert," Jack said as he glanced up to the sky. "Sandy told us, well his particular sand language, about after her little escapee and almost eat the whole cloud."
"Did she really try to eat Sandy?"
"Well..." Jack hesitated as he glanced back at North, "When she was just a toddler she tried a couple of times. Every time she saw him, she reached her arms for him like she wanted to hug him."
"Resulting small bite marks over his cheeks, hands, fingers, looking like a Dalmatian," North laughed embarrassed , "And then there was one time Evy had tried to eat my forefinger, furiously biting it like she expected it to have a candy center. Still got a mark from it."
"Sophie just growned up from it," Jaime said and shrugged his shoulders. "She couldn't leave my Batman doll alone. His head are looking like when your fingers are after a long bath."
"I really hoped these cannibalistic tendencies would be tapered off at some point," North replied back, "especially after the milk teeth came in but-"
"Kids, who are you talking to? Mrs. Bennett suddenly came out from the house, holding a certain, small bunny girl in her arms.
"Bunny, jump jump jump!" Sophie waved cheerily at Bunny who couldn't resist waving her back with a small smile on his face.
"Oh just Jack Frost, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny Mom!" Jaime said and everyone started to giggle as Jaime's mom gave him a slightly confused look.
"Okay? But it's bedtime now," She said and took the bucket of water and started to toss into the fire.
"It's almost midnight Jaime. Go and brush your teeth and then go to your tents.
"Alright," Jaime sighed.
"You're sure kids you don't want to sleep inside? We got plenty of space in the living for your sleeping bags."
"Mom, we are camping," Jaime moaned, "You're supposed to sleep outside when you camp."
"Alright honey, but I leave the door unlock in case one of you change your mind. Goodnight kids," Jaimes mother said smiling down at them and walk, with Sophie calling "Nigh night Bunny", back into the house.
After she closed the door and shut the light down in the living room, the children and the guardians looked up into the sky. They couldn't see the big golden cloud, but small golden strings were beginning to show up in the sky, travelling down over their head and began heading towards the windows where children who have or are ready go to bed.
"Will he come down and join us?" Pippa wondered.
Jack purses his lips and turned back to Jaime, clasping his shoulder, "He is a very busy man. It's always night somewhere in the world, but when you go to bed he will. "
Monty glanced at his watch, "Maybe we should go to bed? It's pretty late."
Pippa made a small pout. "One more story, okay? And it's Bunny's turn!"
"Oooh no no no, you leave me out of this," Bunny crossed his arms defensibly and turned his back at them. "I want no part of it."
"Oh come on Bunny," Jack laughed and pocked him with his staff on his shoulder. "Considering you were one of her favourite main targets, you should have a good one or dousing to tell, like the day when Evy showed you the latest statistic on the commercials report about our holidays and how she bragged about it."
"Ha, ha, ha Frostbite."
"Please Bunny," Jaime pledged, "Just a short one."
Bunny turned back the children with a huff, "Quit looking at me like that with those puppy eyes. Alright, I'll tell a story then you all be good kids and go to your sleeping bags."
"Tell us about when she painted your ears green and your claws pink," Jack smirked at him.
"Not even in million years," But suddenly, Bunny's eyes lit up. " Actually, I've got the perfect finale." He turned towards Jack with an evil smile. "You remember Evy's little tea party don't you?
Jack's smiling froze and he starred at him horrified. The other guardians and the kids all sat up straighter, looking between Bunny and Jack with highest attention.
"You wouldn't," Jack said nervously.
"Make it a good one, Bunny," Caleb chuckled.
"You bet I do."
In Easter Bunnys Warren.
This was Bunny's favourite time. Sitting by the purple river, surrounded thousands of eggs in need of painting, having cans with all the colours you can think, multiple sizes of brushes so he could use to create the most beautiful, wonderful, sweetest paintings you can think of to put on a egg . Even he could let the flowers and the river take care of the colouring, but there was something calm and meditating in painting eggs. It helped him relax and calm his nerves, which have been pretty nerve cracking during the past six years. But he was so engrossed by what he was doing that he failed to even notice someone was behind him. This someone with a teasing smile on his lips looked over to see what Bunnys was working on.
Bunny nearly jumped two meters up, nearly dropping the egg he was painting, luckily Jack caught it before it could break.
"Crikey Frostbite, you almost gave me a heart attack, "Snapped Bunny as he snatched the egg back, "and then what would have happened to Easter? Me stone dead!"
"Bad day at the office?"
"I must finish three million eggs before Easter and I only reached three and a half, Bunny muttered, quickly looking over the egg over for any damage, "And what are you doing here?
"I was in the neighbourhood. Thought I'd drop in and give a message from Evy."
"What trouble is that little nightmare getting into now?"
Ignoring Bunny's grunt of annoyance, Jack threw himself up to one of the Easter stones and knelled to look down at him
"Why do you always see her as a walking time bomb?"
"Because she's an A+ nightmare material with both a sugar and sand rush the whole time." Bunny said, waving the egg at him.
"She would never eat Sandy or destroy his dreams, " Jack growled, rolling his eyes over Bunnys silly accusations, "climbing up to the cloud was of pure curiosity."
"Yes, and taking his measures to see which part she shall dig in first," Bunny muttered as he started to paint the egg again.
"You're overreacting. She's just a girl with... high spirits."
"She's not normal child Jack."
"Normal is a relative term. End of sentence," Jack said and jumped down. "If you want normal, she is going to have a tea party this evening."
Bunny quirked an eyebrow at him. "A tea party?"
"And you're invited to join us, " Jack smiled and handed him a small card. The handwriting was awful, but Bunny could spell out his, Evys and the word "party"."
"Who is going?"
"Well it is going be just you, me and perhaps Sandy. North and Tooth couldn't because of their deadlines."
"And you think I don't have other things to do? More important things?"
"Oh come on, it's only a tea party. Just give one or two hours of your time to make Evy happy and I assure you will come out from there alive and intact. This is going to be fun, and there are also dress code."
Bunnys ears twitched. "A dress code?"
Jack grins like a shark, and Bunny's frown deepens even more. "Yes, the dress code is that you must dress up as a pirate."
Bunny's ears flicked. "A pirate? Why pirate?"
"Don't know," Jack shrugged. "Too many of North's great adventures stories. She loves them."
"I'm not going," Bunny suddenly looked so indignant it was actually comical; arms crossed, brows arching and eyes rather wide.
Jack rolled his eyes, "Stupid Kangaroo."
"Don't be ridiculous. You're going. I'm sure you'll look absolutely dashing with black hat, golden earrings in your fluffy ears and a green, stupid parrot on your shoulder."
"In your dreams Frostbite." Bunny glared at him, almost ready to hit his white haired head with the top of his boomerang to remove Jack's grinning look.
"Is that what you're worried about? Looking silly?" Jack teased. "Customs party's are fun and please, give Evy a chance. She really wants you to come and be her friend. Is that too much?"
For a long minute Bunny was silent, walking back and forth over the green grass before he finally spoke. "Alright, alright. Fine."
Jack looked up at him, wide eyed. "Seriously?"
"Just a short visit , take a cookie, sip some tea, talk with her dolls and then leave. Got it?"
"Great! Evy will be thrilled."
"Do I really have to wear one of those..."
Bunny snorts and rolls his eyes. "North is going pay for this. I guess it's the story of the pirate queen and him that turned her head?"
"Guess so, but I think he even told her about his encounter with the mermaids. If you dont have any pirate hat, try and find some fine sea-shells."
Hearing this last meaning, Bunny couldn't help to make a long sigh, "I'm so going to regret this," he said and then he tossed the ruined pink/yellow egg into the purple lake.
He was already regretting accepting Evy's (Or rather Jack's) invitation. Walking through the corridor that leaded to Evy`s room, he meet the very spiritual Jack at the entrance.
"Hello Bunny, " Jack greeted him.
"Frost.... What a interesting outfit." He said, giving Jack a look over his costume.
Together with a red bandana, Jack wore a white shirt with long sleeves and a long waistcoat. He still wore his brown pants, but instead walk barefoot Jack had found a pair old brown boots that was almost to big for his feet and for the final touch, a long pirate sword hanging in a belt around his hips.
"It's called a costume. Something I notice that you do not have."
"This is my costume." With a quick moment Bunny placed a eye patch over his right eye, "Any problem?"
"Whatever floats your boat," Jack shrugged. "I thought you would have pick either to be a good, nasty or a drunken pirate, or at least a nice pirate tattoo, but perhaps you already got a couple if you just shave to bring it up. Perhaps we could draw a beard around the mouth."
"If you move a pencil near my fur, I will force you too walk on a plank and drop you down in my river."
"That's the spirit Captain Bunny!" Jack cheered at him, "Keep it going and you will get the prize for best acting."
Throwing the laughing boy a look behind that would literally freeze Hell over, Bunny stalked towards Evy`s door and opened it, and stopped short just inside the nursery and gaped over the sight before him.
Turns out that not only did Evy had sent out a sparkling, bad handwritten invitation, she managed to decorate the whole room that it looked to be an upper deck of a pirate ship. Over the ceiling a old pirate flag and a large net was hanging over them, a treasure chest placed in a corner of the room. Sand were covering the floor together with shells, gold coins, ocean stars and at the entrance, Bunny had to make a small jump to avoid the worryingly, sharp sword an old skeleton ("Where did he come from", Bunny wondered? " A former party guest?") who held tightly in his bony fingers.
Sipping tea from a chipped teacup and eating biscuits, chatting to a doll, sat Evy dressed up a some kind of a pirate-queen. Together with a red/black stripped dress with white undergarments, Evy wore a large, golden belt around her tiny waist and a pearl necklace around her neck. To complete the outfit, she also placed a large, black pirate hat with a peacock feather on it over her head.
The table was round and there was a chair for the hostess and four other small chairs for her guests. Two of the chairs were already taken by Mr. Blue and a doll in a pink, but damaged dress.
"Arrrrgh Bunny!" Evy greeted him.
"Arrgh to you," Bunny said hesitantly as Jack put his hands behind Bunny`s back and pushed him forward before he could change his mind.
"I would like you to meet Miss Anastasia," Evy said indicating a the doll. "She is a pirate princess who are just pacing by with her ship and I invited her for a cup a tea. Hope you don't mind."
Bunny looked at the doll Evy was presenting. She appeared made of soft, fluffy cloth and had shiny green buttons for eyes and red lips on under her black button nose, but the dolls skirt was ripped in small shreds and a black shawl was wrapped around the dolls head, together with a pirate hat and an eye patch.
"Nice to meet you," he said before taking the empty seat between the dolls and Jack took a seat beside Evy.
"Where is Sandy?" Bunny wondered and looked around.
Evy pouted a little, "Sandy has more important things to do so he couldn't come."
"How unfortunate," Bunny said as he eyed the table. Except for tablecloth, once a real pirate flag, all black and a skull in the middle, everything looked relatively normal. Five pink cups was placed on the table together with a matched tea-pot. There was a brown rum-bottle next to it, a plate with small brown cookies and an orange looking cake. Looking completely innocent and a large bowl in the middle that was covered and smelled delicious.
"I made it all by myself," Evy said proudly and waved her hand over her creations.
"We are teaching Evy how to cook. " Jack said to Bunny as they sat down one the small chairs. "If she get to watch and learn how the meals are made and let her decide the ingredients', maybe she will not be so picky to eat it."
"I am not picky. I just don't like the green things." Evy snorted.
"Worth a try," Bunny said and then mumbled lowly to Jack. "But I`m afraid she will only learn how to cook the sweet stuff, and perhaps to find a proper receipt for "Sandy-cake" or "Soufflé-Sandy".
"No grumpy faces tonight, Bunny," Evy said as she started serving her guests, including her dolls.
"Do you want a cake Mr. Aster?" Evy smiled at him as she gave him a plate. "It is Carrot cake and I made it myself."
Bunny eyed it suspiciously. "Carrot cake? Probably a lot of sugar, but oh well. She deserves is a second chance."
The last sign that set the alarm bells off in Bunny's head was catching a glimpse of stifling giggles behind Jack's hands before he shove a bite of the cake into his mouth. Moments later his face scrunched up and he swallowed it with great difficulty.
"Evy?" Bunny asked, making a face. "What's wrong with this?"
"What you talking about?" Evy said, her eyes narrowing. "It is Carrot cake."
"It doesn't taste like it," Bunny grimaced as he placed the cake down. "What did you add beside carrots and who helped you with the cooking?"
"The elf's of course."
"Just as I thought, and the ingredients?"
"WORMS?" he shouted in an exasperated tone, sending little bits of cake flying from his mouth onto the table.
"Watch your manners! This is a tea party," Then she popped the whole cake into her mouth and down it with a gulp of tea. Then she grinned at Bunny, together with little pieces of cake between her teeth. "See, you eat it like this."
Bunny stared at it for a few moments before he spat out the rest of the cake and looked at Jack, horrified. "Just what exactly have you been teaching her?" He coughed.
"A few tips how to eat proper and try to experiment with it."
Again, Bunny looked to Jack for guidance and seeing any sight of madness. "With worms?"
"Hell no! Roots, Apples and berries when we are out. That sort of things!"
"The apple you gave me had a worm in it, it tasted much better than the Apple," Evy said and took another large piece of "Carrot cake" and then placed one on Jacks plate.
Jack made a grimace. "Yuck, yuck and yuck!"
"You should have told me earlier about this. Aren't earthworms an excellent place to pick up some nasty parasites?" Bunny said and tried to use the table cloth to wipe away the taste of worms from his tongue.
"It's not like they're picky about what THEY eat," Jack added, "Right Evy."
Evy cocked her head in confusion. "You want me to eat, and I like insects."
"Can we change the subjects. How about some nice cup of tea please ("If it not poisonous I hope", Bunny thought bitterly.)
Eagerly Evy poured plain, classic and very safe Earl-Grey tea in each guest cup, but when it was her cups turn she took the rum-bottle and what Bunny saw as she poured was a string of bright, golden liquid coming down into the cup.
"What a minute, is that-"
"Dreamsand," Evy said as she put down the bottle, taking the cup and took a sip from it.
Bunnys furry face paled, then taking a hard grip on Jack sweater. "Excuse me Evy, I need to talk with your brother for a minute," and dragged out Jack behind him out from the room.
In the corridor Bunny smashed Jack into the wall, almost hurting him.
"First maggots and candy, now you're letting her have dream sand. Are you mad?" He hissed through his teeth at him.
"She doesn't need to eat tons of it," Jack growled and removed Bunny's paw from him and lowered his voice so only Bunny could hear. "Just some small amount she won't be so cranky. When she doesn't get her candy, she almost smash the windows and-."
Bunny cut him off, slamming a fist down on the wall beside Jack's head.
"If you just give her the small finger, she will take the whole hand. You should know that Jack. You`re her brother. She has half of your "frost" in her."
"And what would you choose me to eat?" Evy suddenly spoke back with a sour pout on her face, standing in the doorway with a grey-brown cat made by soft fabric in her hands,. "Candy, worms or Dreamsand?"
"Candy, then you will get a teeth ache, and that would suit you fine."
Evy`s sour face turned over Bunny`s words and she started to giggle. "You're funny Hunney Bunny. You're always so grumpy, like my little cat." She pointed at a small toy cat that had a very displeased look on his mouth, "That`s why I like you."
"Cute." Bunny muttered.
"Now, come in and sit your grey, furry butt down on the chair again," she pointed imperiously at Bunny, "The Tea-party isn't over yet."
Much to her persistence, Bunny shook his head and walked in.
"Fifteen minutes," Bunny grunted to Jack as they sat down at the table.
Evy`s lips curled up at the corners, "But you wish to eat something, right? Isn't worms, candy and dreamsand enough?"
Bunny grunted again; he looked about as thrilled as a wet kitten.
"I don't know which one is worse."
"Carrots perhaps?" Jack altered his smirk into a bright, innocent smile and picked up the teapot to offer another refill to Bunny.
"Is there anything on this table that at least has no wriggling worms or sand in it?"
Evy offered him a plate of cookies which looked good, not creepy and innocent enough.
Hesitantly Bunny took a small bite, but made a small grimace and placed the cookie down.
"H-h-how much sugar did you really put in these cookies?"
"It wasn't that much, I mean... The recipe only called for a cup and that didn't seem like it would make it sweet enough so I, you know, improvised, and Pitch helped a little bit."
Jack choked on the hot tea he had raised to his lips, spluttering, as he stared at Evy before him.
"What?!" Both Bunny and Jack shouted and stared at her. "When did you meet him?"
"He was passing by when I was preparing the ingredients. He said that extra sugar would give the cake an extra touch."
"He certainly gave it an extra touch," Bunny snorts and rolls his eyes before he took up his boomerang and pointed directly at Evy, "How many times has he been here, under North's own roof and you unguarded?"
"Just a couple of times."
"Has he given you any nightmares or anything recently?"
"Not really. The ponies are cute, but they are hard to ride."
"Is he planning something?"
"Yep, and he definitely showed what the grownups are doing when they are not sleeping." The last sentence she dragged out her words dramatically and then lowered her voice. "I know what Pitch doesn't want you to know."
Two pairs of wide-eyed eyes, almost ready to pop out from their heads, landed on her as she shrugged nonchalantly, trying to project every bit of reassurance she could.
Bunny clenched his paws, trying to keep his cool, but it was hard when he was ready to run out and throw his boomerang right at Pitch face and break his ugly, hooked nose once and for all. Instead he lowered his voice. Composed he spoke steadily and slowly to Evy.
"Alright little miss highness-princess-pirate. When and how did you meet Pitch?"
"Oh it was just merely a accident. It happened just after when I gave that poor man his funeral." Evy shrugged, having her eyes down as she took another sip from her tea.
"Man? Funeral?" Bunny looked at Jack through narrowed eyes. "Is there something you forgot to tell me Frostbite?"
A grin, almost wide enough to split her face and her eyes gleaming with amber, Evy raised quickly her head up and moved her small body closer to Bunny..
"This is another story. Beside I didn't know he would end in Pitchs big cave instead of Hell, but let me tell you how what happened afterwards."
And then Evy began her sweet little tale as she munched a piece of the "carrot cake" about her encounter with the Boogey-man.