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Fic: A Softer Rapture (Jack/Proto, R)

Title: A Softer Rapture

Fandom: Rise of the Guardians

Pairing: Jack/Proto

Warnings: Mentions of death and suicide.

Author’s Notes: If you haven't watched In The Flesh yet despite my recommending it, I'd like to reiterate that if you're okay with the themes, you really should give it a go. Thanks again to nightmareships for reccing the show to me in the first place, and to ksclaw for the beta; this is the story of how Proto didn't believe in angels until he died and met Jack.


Proto hadn't thought much of religion in his first life. He'd been raised Catholic, went through the motions of attending church, saying his lines in communion, confession, confirmation, a series of Cs that did nothing to persuade him of miracles or the sanctity of life.

He lived, he died, and it was only then a miracle happened. Two, in fact.

He rose from the dead, and he met Jack.

Jack's parents didn't see how important he was or how beautiful - they tolerated his presence, but everything about their behaviour said they wished it was his sister that had risen. After all, she hadn't wanted to die; she'd frozen, or drowned, Proto didn't know which but he knew thin ice had killed her. And unlike Jack's cousin who'd written a suicide note before downing pills with the much, much older man he was dating in secret, Jack hadn't left a letter.

Jack's family had been riddled with tragedy even before Jack slit his wrists, but he had come back, a blessing, a redemption, and what remained of his family could not see it. They had him hide behind drawn curtains and thick layers of cover-up, enough that he walked around practically orange when he dared to leave the house, and they had him wear those ridiculous solid blue contact lenses.

Proto never thought the day would come when he would see what lay beneath the cover-up, but he'd mistaken Jack's quiet nature for a coward's before, and Jack had proved him wrong.

Jack was proving him wrong again.

Proto didn't think Jack's parents knew he was visiting, doubted they would have cared much if they did, and sat on the edge of Jack's bed, waiting for him to emerge from the shower. He wondered what scars Jack had beyond those on his wrists and the injection point on the back of his neck, wondered if Jack had any needle scars for reasons other than vaccination.

Proto scratched lightly at his elbow, feeling self-conscious of the track marks that littered his skin, but the feeling passed when Jack opened the en-suite door and stood before him, naked and dripping wet.

Proto didn't mean to cry, but choked back a sob at the sight of him anyway. Jack was more beautiful than he had dared imagine, his eyes glacial, skin and lips and hair as white as snow. As ivory. As nothing, because they weren't perfect and Jack was.

"I've shown you mine, now y-you show me yours," Jack said, stammering, and Proto took the hint.

Even if stripping out of his sweater and jeans was meant to address the imbalance between them, Proto couldn't help but feel like Jack wore his nudity like a kind of armour, and his was just - exposure.

Jack walked over, dropped to his knees, and for a brief, confused moment Proto thought Jack was going to try and give him a blowjob despite the fact neither of them had the blood-flow to make it any fun. He laughed when Jack simply helped him take off his socks, looked at the unused blood vessels running down Jack's shoulders and chest in dark rivers. He wondered what it would have felt like to trace every single one of them with his tongue, back when it had full sensation.

"A-always struggled with those even - even when I w-wasn't. This." Jack waved a hand over his face dismissively and Proto leant forward, hands stopping just shy of Jack's shoulders.

"May I?" Proto asked, and when Jack nodded, he let his hands make contact, stroked up Jack's shoulders to his neck, closing his fingers and thumbs around it. Proto's skin was numb for the most part, as if he was forever wearing gloves, but he could still feel how fragile Jack was, how easy to break, even if he couldn't feel each breath passing through Jack's throat.

"You look amazing," Jack said, and Proto let go, reached his fingers up to touch Jack's lips - his real lips, with their real, white tinged with blue colour - scarce believing that those words had come out of them.

They were bitten and scarred, typical for anyone who had fought with their teeth, and Proto shivered at the thought of how Jack would have hunted while looking like that - both inhuman like the rest of their kind, and angelic. A ravenous, avenging angel.

Proto felt a soft push against his fingertips - kisses, small and gentle ones - before Jack opened his mouth slightly and ran his tongue over them, looking Proto directly in the eye for permission.

Proto pushed one of his fingers into Jack's mouth, knew he would have let Jack bite it off entirely if he wanted to. Jack paid attention to each of Proto's fingers in turn, sucking on and licking at them before moving onto Proto's palm with soft little butterfly kisses that Proto could see and hear but couldn't feel. It was enough to make his knees weak, and he was glad to be sitting.

Jack pulled back after an age that still wasn't close to long enough, dipped his head further to kiss Proto's stomach, his thighs, his soft cock.

"I'm sorry," Proto said, remembering how this used to go with all the pretty people he used to spend time with back when his pulse could race.

"It might not al-always be this way," Jack replied, not taking his hands off Proto's legs, touching him as if Proto was the one worthy of worship. "I don't mind. If it is, we'll w-work something out."

Jack smiled, and Proto had to smile back before he helped Jack up onto the bed, the two of them barely fitting together on it. Proto was too tall for it, and even if Jack hadn't stopped growing before he died, he wasn't unusually short for someone physically eighteen.

"Stay with me?" Jack asked, as if Proto had thought of any other option, and Proto held him tight, realised that they hadn't kissed yet - not here, in Jack's bedroom.

Proto held his breath and leant in, slowly, giving Jack a chance to stop him, and when Jack didn't and their bare lips met, something like a heart beat inside Proto's chest.

I love you, Proto kissed into Jack's lips, sometimes soft, sometimes hard, and when Jack's fingers pulled at Proto's hair to tug him closer, it felt like he was kissing the words back.

Jack was worth breaking the rules for. Even the ones Proto had made for him.

He was worth dying for. Again.
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