The Nightmare Before Christmas Fan Fiction ❯ Roots ❯ Caught ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Jack groaned softly as the blade bit through his skin right beside his nipple. That area was sensitive, and it felt so good. So very good…

"Again," Jack grunted to himself as he drew the knife down his skin again. Ooh, it felt so good! "Yes!"

Jack was so into his own pain that he didn't sense the eyes on him. Sandy hurried away back to camp once he felt he'd seen enough. He hesitated, gesturing the other leaders away from Oogie.

"Squanto?"

"Yes, Santa?"

"Did you give Jack that knife like you said you were going to?"

"Yes. He was reluctant to take it."

"Yes. I think I know why."

"Really? Why?"

Sandy hesitated them told them of how Jack was hurting himself. They stared at him when he fell silent.

"You're joking," Eros finally said.

"No. He had his back to me, but there was fresh blood on the blade, and there was no animal in sight."

"What do we do?"

"I don't know…"

"Maybe we should tell Oogie," Squanto said slowly.

"You would get in trouble for giving him the knife," Bunny pointed out.

"I would rather get in trouble than Jack bleed to death."

"Then we tell Oogie. Agreed?" Sandy asked.

"Agreed," they echoed.

Squanto took the lead, going to stand in front of the seated bogeyman, who stared at him in an uninterested way.

"What do you want?"

"I made a mistake," Squanto said firmly.

"Oh really?"

"Yes."

"What mistake is that?"

"I…I gave Jack a…a knife," the Indian said, his voice weakening slightly as he admitted it.

Suddenly Oogie looked much less bored. He surged to his feet.

"After I specifically warned you not to give him one, you dare to put a knife in his hands?!" he roared.

"I thought you were just being an ass!" Squanto argued. "I didn't know he hurts himself when he has one!"

"Caoch!" Oogie swore violently. "One of you saw him doing this?"

"I did," Sandy said. "He's over in the woods."

"No, he's not," Sam said, pointing. "He's coming back right now."

Oogie snagged Squanto by the shirt. "We are not done discussing this."

Squanto said nothing, and Oogie released him. Jack smiled at them.

"Hey. What's going on? Are they finally trying to get along with you, Crawly?"

Oogie's eyeholes narrowed. "Take off your shirt, Jack."

Jack paled and shook his head. "I told you, Oogie, I don't do that stuff anymore."

"Oh really? The Injun said he gave you a knife, Jack. Why didn't you tell me he gave you a knife?"

"I…I lost it."

Oogie frowned. "Take off your shirt Jack."

"No!"

Oogie had inched forward until he was right in front of his friend. Jack tried to bolt, but the bogeyman grabbed him and easily stripped his shirt off. The Holiday leaders froze when they saw what was beneath it. Cuts. Cuts everywhere. Some of them were fresh and red. Squanto suddenly felt sick. He should have listened to Oogie. Said person looked pissed.

"How dare you?!" Oogie growled. "You promised me, Jack! You promised you wouldn't cut anymore! And then you blatantly lie to my face!"

Jack struggled in his friend's grip, but Oogie was so much stronger than him in this form. He began crying as his movements became slower because he was tiring. He went limp, sobbing in pain. Oogie turned back to the leaders.

"You see what you've done?" he demanded. "This, this is why you never let Jack own a knife when he's human! You all are absolutely—Hey! Get back here, Jack!"

Jack had used the opportunity of Oogie being distracted to slip his grip, and now he'd snatched up his bow and arrows and was sprinting away. He ran to his knife and grabbed it then hid in a tree until the others had given up looking for him. After slipping down as the sky began to turn colors, he rapidly caught a rabbit and made a fire. He miserably skinned and gutted the thing and cooked it then ate. Curling up by the fire, he cried himself to sleep.

He awoke to soft touches and found himself cuddled against a plush, warm surface. Jack shivered and began to cry as Oogie gently stroked him. They lay in silence for a while, staring into the coals of the fire. Oogie finally shifted.

"You should have told me the thoughts were bothering you again, Jack. You should have told me that the urges had come back. You should have told me the moment you started cutting. I have a question for you." There was a short pause. "Why didn't you?

Jack didn't answer for five minutes, unable to speak past his tears. Oogie tightened his grip, holding him close as Jack's misery overwhelmed him. The wretched creature finally turned and buried his face in his friend's burlap.

"I didn't want you to know how weak I am. You're so strong…I'm pathetic."

"Everybody has their weaknesses, Jack. I have my temper and antisocial behavior. You have a cutting problem. There is no shame in admitting you need help. Okay?"

Jack nodded, nuzzling the rough material his friend was made of. "I love you, Crawly. You're my best friend. I hated lying to you. I was so ashamed, so very, very ashamed. But I felt like I couldn't face you. I knew you'd be angry at me. And…And disappointed. I couldn't stand the thought of that. So I lied and kept information from you. I'm sorry, Oogie."

"Jack, I would have been disappointed only when you started cutting, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have come to me. I love you. I want to help you. I can't do that in the dark. What you did was wrong. I'm disappointed in you. But," Oogie said as Jack flinched. "I love you. Now, where is it?"

Jack whimpered, reluctant to give it to his friend, and ashamed of that reluctance. He slowly slipped the knife from his pocket, toying with the sheath.

"You know I don't want to give it to you, right?"

"Yes."

Jack swallowed then slowly held it out. Oogie split his seem open and the bugs pulled it inside. The leader of Halloween Town wanted it back immediately, and he began to cry again, knowing that Oogie wouldn't give it back to him. Not unless he was supervised in his use of it. Oogie stroked him.

"It's okay, Jack. You know I won't deny you. But I have to watch. I have to make sure you don't go overboard. Okay? You know that, right?"

"Y-yes. B-but I don't want to be supervised!"

"I don't want to lose you. You know what happened when I ignored it. You nearly died from blood loss. I'm not going through that scare again. Now, relax. Go back to sleep. We'll deal with the others tomorrow morning. Okay?"

Jack nodded, cuddling close. He was tired, but not cold. Not with his Oogie there. It was nice and…and…warm…Mm.


Chapter 3
Chapter 5
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