Bits and pieces of RotG fic that I am working on- I have not yet figured out what order I am tackling these things if at all, because I have to knock out Shadowplay entirely, too.
Allegiance - Pitch/Jack - the MMORPG AU no one knew they wanted! featuring Pitch and Jack as skype buddies and in-game frenemies.
Jack groaned as the familiar lance formed- and nailed his avatar straight through the heart. He had to admit that the animation from the inside looked really badass; like he was being consumed by shadows. His own belief spell had been a little . . . embarrassingly magical-girl sparkly. And his avatar might have thrown it like a freaking snowball. At least it had a blue glow.
He hoped it looked more awesome when he leveled it up. It had better.
He absently clicked to accept the voice chat request and heard a very familiar voice roll through his headset.
"You had to have seen that coming, Jack." Pitch was laughing at him, and sounded pretty damn smug besides.
"Yeah, yeah, quid pro quo." Jack sighed and drummed his fingers. He'd been warped to the other side of the battle field, and could see his friends on the opposite side hesitating. Well, except Bunny; Bunny was still fighting on. Thanks a bunch, buddy. At least he wasn't tossing his freaking grenades at Jack.
The Nightmare King stood to the back of his army, issuing a stream of commands in the guild chat. "So, what do you choose?"
Jack sighed. "Well, what would happen if the Nightmare King corrupted Jack Frost?" He trailed off, glancing at his (former) guild mates. "Uh, I'd feel sorry for Tooth, first off."
"My wha- no, she's a flier, fliers take heavy ice damage."
Pitch was silent, then sounded delighted. "So you would fight your brethren."
"Corrupted means corrupted, evil boss." Jack shrugged. "I'm not the best minion ever but I wouldn't lose sleep over icing Bunny. Just once."
The Guardians slowly began ceding the field.
[Fearling]JackFrost shouts: Yeah, you better run, you cowards!
Pitch laughed, a proper villain laugh, and concluded, "You might make a better minion than you realize. Alas, denied battle, what do you choose?"
"What do you need?" Jack shrugged. "I've got time, and I'd rather do something."
"I hoped you might say that."
The quest name on the invite that pinged before Jack wasn't one he'd played through, since it was for higher levels, but it looked familiar. "Wait. Wait. Isn't this. . .?"
"Oh yes. I thought it was appropriate since you were the one who helped level me. You're going to help me get my steed."
Jack stared, then started laughing. Pitch had enormous brass ones, with a hell of a sense of the ironic. And a point: ice mages were good for the stasis spells needed to catch a mount. "All right, all right. Let me grab a bite and then we'll go horse-wrangling."
"Fair enough. In fifteen?"
How To Train Your Nightmare - Gen- because this was the first thing that came to mind when people suggest How To Train Your Dragon crossovers, not Hijack
There, ahead of him through the trees, was his coney-thieving culprit. Jack saw the glimpse of black between trunks and thought "Great, we've got a bear." His mother would be furious with him for getting even this close to one, then the men would have to rally to go hunting it or drive it away. The last thing the village needed was a foraging bear.
He crept a little closer, leaning over the rock overhang to get a better view down the valley. He could see more black between the trees, now. Then he realized how far away it was and the real scale hit him.
Whatever that was, it was way, way too big to be a bear.
And what would a bear be doing out foraging in the dead of winter?
Jack swallowed hard and clenched his hands on the rocks. It couldn't be, right?
He just had to get a closer look. He'd never seen one before in his life, even though they'd all heard the stories. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. . . He'd just have to be careful, that was all.
Familiarity was on his side; he'd played and hunted in these woods since he could barely walk. The ridge over the valley was rocky and offered plenty of overlooks without sacrificing stealth. Jack was almost silent and breathless as he ran along the ridge, hoping against hope that it didn't take off and move on before he could catch up and really see it.
He thought he'd lost it when he got to the end of the ridge, overlooking the clearing and small pond below. But- there it was. Jack could see the long line of its back as it leaned down. It must have broken through the ice on the pond to drink.
Jack could see why the preachers would call them the devil's work: it was wrought all in black. This one wasn't like any illustrations he'd ever seen of dragons before. It was built like a coursing hound; long, thin legs leading to a slim but deep chest that tapered into a high narrow waist. The tail was easily half again the length of the body, built like a muscular whip that ended in a shape like a wicked barbed spearhead. Its wings were tightly furled, curled against the double ridge of ebony spines running down its back. But the truly impressive part was the head that raised streaming from the water; wedge-shaped on an arched neck, golden-eyed, and crowned with a thicket of twisted sharp horns.
It breathed out sharply and its entire body was limned in blue white for just an instant. Steam created a cloud around it, and sharp golden eyes scanned the area as if it could feel Jack's gaze. Jack ducked behind a tree, hoping it couldn't hear his frantic heartbeat.
It could set itself on fire?!
There was only one kind of dragon Jack had heard of that could do that. He was no expert, but he was a boy with a sufficient amount of interest in tales of adventure and the fantastic. That had to be a Nightmare. But there was no mention of any being black, much less so tall and crowned with horns.
There was only one thing he could call it, then: Nightmare King.
Jack edged cautiously back for another look. He couldn't tell how big it was from here exactly, but from having stood where it stood. . . . He guessed it half again as tall as the Henderson's plow horse, its body almost twice as long. The wingspan must be immense, wider than barns.
It ducked its head to grab something from the snow on the bank- a pile of Jack's snared coneys, the thief- and slunk away between the trees, long tail carried high. The way it prowled was halfway between sinuous and feline- but why wasn't it flying? It must be going somewhere nearby.
Before he could even think about it, Jack was moving, crouching and jogging through the trees after the dragon like he was one of the men stalking game. For as big as it was, the dragon made alarmingly little noise; it wove through the trees like a shadow.
Twice, he thought the dragon heard him; it stopped, cautious, wings shifting away from its body without spreading them, and craned its head on that long neck to look behind it. Each time, Jack froze, not daring to even move to get behind a tree, and eventually the dragon moved on. It led him on a circling path maybe a mile north of the pond, a place of hidden gorges and caves that his father had once promised to tan his hide if he ever found out Jack had been in them. Jack didn't know what was here but he was automatically more cautious and even more on edge.
The dragon stopped in what seemed to be the shadow of an ordinarily hill, then pawed with surprisingly delicate long digits at the snow until it fell away, revealing a narrow black pit. Jack watched with fascination as it dropped the tangle of bundled coneys down the hole, prodding carefully until they fit through and vanished.
What was it doing? Stashing food to come back later? Obviously the hole was too small for the dragon to fit into, even if it stuck its head down, so. . . was there another entrance?
The dragon dropped to the ground, half-curled on its side around the opening, and did the last thing he expected; it crooned, low and soothing, into the dark.
Jack didn't think he was imagining the answering noise a moment later; higher pitched and more like a chirp, followed by what might have been the sound of his entire pile of coneys being crunched down in barely a few bites. Come to think of it, the entire pile hadn't looked like much in the muzzle of the dragon to begin with. The dragon in front of him could have probably snapped them all up in one go. So why wasn't it eating something . . . bigger?
Jack wanted to smack his forehead when he figured it out: because nothing bigger would fit down that hole in the ground. But why the hell was it doing that in the first place?
The dragon curled possessively over the dark hole, made a noise that was so low Jack more felt it rumble through him than heard it, and lowered its head broodily over its folded paws.
It wasn't going anywhere any time soon. Jack slowly, carefully, backed away, waiting until he was out of sight before turning to head on a straight line back for home before nightfall. Empty-handed, with a story no one would believe.
There was a dragon, a Nightmare King, in the woods stealing his trapping.
And it had company.
Unchained - don't look at me like that I have no idea what's going on - fearling!Pitch and host!Kozmotis symbiote headcanon
Pitch did not much enjoy being shuffled to the wayside, even if it was to the metaphorical front-row seats. He could feel Kozmotis's resolve, the way the man tightened his hands at his sides. He could feel how the general moved, ever balanced, but with an economy of motion as he staked out a spot at a landing on the stairs, his back to the wall.
It was more awareness than he'd thought he'd have, to be honest, almost exactly like being in his own body- except for that one little problem. He could see and feel everything, but not control it.
Was this what it was like, being the puppet? No wonder the General had been his best source of horror for those first few centuries. Morbid fascination could not help but wonder what it was going to be like to feel them dying second hand.
The general raised a hand and pressed it to his/their chest, murmuring, "Calm down. Your panicking won't help."
Well yes, obviously. They had no time to lose before the nightmares would be upon them. Kozmotis might as well tell him to think happy thoughts. Any more brilliant ideas, General?
"Yes, actually. Can you supply me a blade?"
Can he- what, you didn't think of that before volunteering to take on the nightmares bare handed? That wasn't brave, that was suicidal. You unbelievable idiot!
The first was already plunging down the stairs at them. Kozmotis turned halfway to face it, one hand at his hip to steady where the scabbard would ordinarily be, the other poised to draw in the long-ingrained habit of a swordsman.
"Sooner rather than later, please."
Oh, since you asked so nicely- Pitch focused through the hands that were no longer his own, reached for the shadows, and let Kozmotis's memory dictate the shape and heft. No sooner was the weight in his hands than the man acted, drawing and slicing through the surprised nightmare before it knew what hit it. It took a conscious effort from Pitch to maintain the connection to the shadows; it was like passing from shadow to shadow through harsh light.
Of course the golden general embodied light. Pitch wanted to roll his eyes. They couldn't have it any other way.
Kozmotis was ignoring him, he could tell, but that was just as well. Even long denied control, the man was a superb fighter; he set to the battle with a will. Like he thought survival was possible.
A single man, no matter how illustrious his resume, could not take an army of nightmares.
"An army at once, no. A few at a time. . ." Kozmotis smiled, and it felt grim, not at all flippant like Pitch's own smirks. "I can hold them as long as I need to. Until the end."
Equinox - Gen - sequel to Midnight Sun - how to bring a Nightmare King into the Guardian fold, one orbit around the sun at a time.
The box taunted him.
It was wrapped in bright, shiny gold paper, with a black satin bow. It was as North a thing as possible something intended for the Nightmare King could be.
And Pitch could not, for the life of him, understand how it had turned up to occupy his throne.
Oh, it wasn't that the significance escaped him. He wasn't tied to the seasons, but he wasn't entirely unaware of the passage of time, either. Certain dates were marked in his mind as being quiet nights best spent in. Christmas Eve was one. For some children, the cessation of nightmares for one night would be their only gift. He might as well be gracious about it.
This, this was something else entirely.
Pitch realized he was acting like he was afraid of the contents, and scowled to himself. It was North, for the star's sake; what North thought might be a suitable Christmas present for him--much less why he was bothering--was worth a good shiver.
He did so fear good intentions.
Carefully, he picked up the tag, and raised a brow at the broad, cheery scrawl.
You are right, you are not a child. You should not be judged like a child. You are a good Nightmare King. Merry Christmas!
Oh. Yes. Entirely right to be alarmed: North was paving half the path to hell right now.
He almost resolved not to open the thing at all, and feign ignorance when North undoubtedly accosted him about the contents later, but . . .
He wasn't immune to morbid curiousity. It wasn't a small box, either, easily taking up his entire seat. What ever did North think he wanted, anyways?
Pitch slit the paper gingerly with sharp talons, peeling open the wrapper and setting it aside before raising the lid.
Pitch shook out the long coat that had been neatly folded into the box. It was finely wrought in smooth heavy wools with fur lining: all in black, of course. He experimentally swung it on, feeling the heavy drape of the full skirt flare around his legs before settling like a warm embrace.
He unconsciously stroked the soft fur cuffs and smiled faintly.
"The yetis delivered after all. Better than slippers, at least."
Fearless - Pitch/Jack - sequel to Taken - the natural consequence of becoming too familiar with the incarnation of terror.
"No, really, how old are you?"
"Don't be rude, brat."
Jack knew he was pushing, but Pitch didn't look pissed, just exasperated. He'd had enough time to get an idea of how far he could wear on the spirit's last nerve before he'd snap. Which was always funnier than it ought to be. As if Pitch thought he could get Jack to stop teasing him. "Hey, it's a legitimate question. How old is fear? As old as humanity?"
"Older." And Pitch said it so dismissively Jack knew he wasn't joking. "I didn't think you were interested in philosophy."
"Damn," Jack whistled, then hurried to defend his less than scholarly leanings. "And I'm interested in wherever philosophy meets . . . whatever you guys are. Spirits. Older than humans?"
"It's hard to say. Other things were afraid before humans, Jack. I was many places before I came here." Even, or maybe especially, striding through a completely average middle class suburb, Pitch looked. . . inhuman. Every inch the self-possessed Nightmare King stalking the gloom of twilight.
"Wait, you mean . . . you were out there scaring aliens?" Jack turned and poked Pitch's chest curiously, aiming exactly for that v of pale skin framed by his robe. "So you're actually an alien spirit of fear."
Pitch didn't break stride, rolling his eyes. "If you must be technical about it."
Jack walked backwards to keep an eye on him, grinning. "So, ballpark it for me. How long are we talking about?"
Pitch huffed and folded his arms, "Measuring time in the greater universe in terms of this planet's orbit around the sun is a hopeless fallacy."
"I just mean, thousands of years? Millions?" Jack threw his arms wider and wider, "Billions?"
"Hardly that old. I can't measure my span against the life of stars." Pitch considered for a long moment, "At least fifty thousand."
Jack didn't stumble on the pavement but it was a near thing. "That's . . . still pretty impressive."