Jack crouched in front of the small, weathered grey tombstone, brushing snow away from the tight inscription. The evergreen trees surrounded him, imprisoned him in this sanctuary of lost time and memories. He breathed in heavily, and read the simple phrase on the grave.
Here lies Pippa Jacklyne Overland
Mother, Wife, Sister, and Daughter
Died from Hypothermia
His sister, lying six feet under deep soil and snow. She had died so young. Sure, she had had a new baby girl, and a husband, but that didn't mean she had lived the life she had deserved. Jackson Overland had protected her the first time, when the ice had cracked, throwing her to the safety of the thicker ice, but he wasn't there to protect her from getting lost, from the cold, from the blizzard. From Jack Frost. A tear trickled down Jack’s face, and he wiped it away angrily. Why did he have to get so worked-up all the time?! Why couldn't he just control his temper?! His sister could have survived, without Jack Frost killing her at 26 years old. She hadn't deserved this. Just like The Titanic, hypothermia, and frostbite. He had killed so many people who had families, friends, people who loved them. Like Pippa had loved him. It was always his fault.
Jack stood up, blinking cool tears out of his eyes, and gently prodded the wet earth in front of Pippa’s grave with his staff. A small clear ice vase appeared, a snow forget-me-not hanging sadly over the crystal lip. Jack remembered that day, the day he had regained that one flash of memory, right before watching his sister freeze to death. Jack had stopped the blizzard, his anger turning to pure terror, transforming the air into a wispy snowfall. He had landed next to her, afraid to touch her, not wanting to make her colder as she laid in the freezing snow, miles from any shelter.
He had stood there, worthless, as she died, her face as ashen as Jack’s own. Jack had cried, recounting the one memory he had gained, over and over again, the one of this girl, laughing, laughing at the blurred figure of someone hanging upside down from the thick bough of an oak tree. He didn't know why he felt so sad. He didn't know her, at least he hadn't then. He didn't remember anything after that, though her beautiful deep brown eyes still lingered in Jack’s memory every time he revisited that moment. Her eyes, staring up at him, her pale mouth feebly mouthing one word; "Jack”. She then fell silent, falling into the supreme overlord that is Death. Someone even Pitch couldn't deny.
Jack slid down onto his knees, bowing his head in shame. “I’m s-so sorry, Pippa. So, so, s-so, so sorry. I didn't m-mean to.”, he stuttered. There was no response. Jack felt a lump gather in his throat, and tried to swallow it, painfully. But that just made it catch. Jack fell apart. He sobbed, mumbling apologies rapidly under his breath. Jack felt the snowfall grow heavier, large snowflakes falling lightly on the points of pine needles.A soft sound drifted to Jack’s ears; the sound of small feet softly treading nearby. Jack recognized the familiar footfalls instantly. Sandy. Jack wiped at his eyes, and stood up, turning to face the Sandman's concerned golden eyes, right in front of his face. How had he moved so fast?! Jack started, and Sandman stepped back, 'Sorry' forming in golden dreamsand above his head. Jack shook his head, trying to swallow his remaining sobs, achieving to nearly choke himself. After recovering from his series of racking coughs, he replied. "No problem, Sandy." Jack hesitated. "...How much of that did you see?" Sandy shrugged his shoulders, letting his gaze wander. He had probably seen most of Jack's breakdown, the most humiliating part. Sandy smiled shyly, and gestured behind Jack, at the tombstone. Jack turned, and his mouth opened in surprise. A shimmery golden rose was leaning next to the snow flower in the ice vase. They were beautiful together. Just like Pippa and Jack. One a cold and forgotten creature, the other bright and optimistic. Jack turned back to Sandy, and smiled thankfully. Sandy, understanding, smiled, pleased. His smile faded, and a question mark appeared above his head.