Show Me The Light

Many years have passed since that memorable Christmas Eve when Rudolph led Santa's sleigh through Stormella's blizzard. Now, he goes from the troubles of childhood to the troubles of parenthood. Zoey has given him two beautiful fawns; a son and a daughter named Noel and Bell. Born with a red nose like her father, everyone expects Bell to led the team in her father's place one day. There's just one problem: she doesn't know how to make her nose glow! Can she show courage, character, and a heart that's true when her father disappears two days before Christmas?! Will her friends, Thorn, Bucky, and Juniper help her find the leader buried within her? Bell doesn't have answers to either of these questions as her search brings her face to face with one of winter's oldest and most cunning beings; Jack Frost.

I only own Juniper, Rowan, Holly, Blaze, and this depiction of Jack Frost.
The rest belong to TC-96 on deviantart.com

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1. Stuck in their Shadows

"Bell? Bell, come on out!"

The fawn merely retreated farther back into the bushes. She could see her father's light tan legs just inches from her muzzle. Finally, after a sigh of defeat, the legs disappeared. Giggling, Bell tried to keep her voice down. Suddenly, she felt something yank on her tail. With a cry of fright, she leaped out of the bush and into the snow. Behind her, she could hear deep laughter.

Turning, she smiled up at her father and laughed as well, "You found me dad! You're getting good at hide and seek."

"Maybe you just need to find better hiding spots," Rudolph winked, "you forgot to hide your hoofprints."

Laying her ears flat, she pawed the ground, "Gosh, dad. Did you have to tease me like that, then?"

He smiled, "Come on, Bell. Your mother is waiting for us."

"I can't believe Noel is finally big enough to visit Santa's toy factory! Time sure does fly."

"How do you think I feel," Rudolph sighed, "I turn around and you're almost a yearling."

"I can't wait to start school," Bell bounced around happily, her brown eyes glittering brightly, "do you think I'll make some friends?"

"I'm sure you will," Rudolph said, nuzzling his daughter and earning a giggle in return, "I have faith in you, Bell."

As the pair strolled through Christmas Town towards their house, many elves and reindeer waved at Rudolph. Bell watched as her father returned every one with a wave of his own. After a while, she began to frown. Everyone loved her father, and all because of his brilliant glowing nose. Now, Bell did not look anything like her father. Then again, she didn't look like her mother either. She was a dark brown, far darker than both her parents with a pale underbelly. She did have their brown eyes, however, and she had also inherited her father's beautiful red nose. It was a gift as well as a curse. Already, people were talking about how Bell would someday replace her father when he got too old to pull the sleigh. The thought of doing such a thing terrified her not because she was afraid to replace her father, but because she was afraid she'd let him down.

Though Bell had Rudolph's nose, she still had no idea how to make it glow. Her father had attempted many times to train her the way the Sprites of the Northern Lights had him to no avail. No matter how hard Bell concentrated on those she loved, her nose refused to even flicker. She had begun to think she'd never earn a Medal of Valor.

"Rudolph," the pair stopped to greet a couple of older reindeer, "wait up!"

"Grandpa! Grandma!"

Bell sprinted towards Rudolph's parents, smiling as they caught her in a hug. Blitzen and Mitzi held their granddaughter close before turning towards their approaching son.

"Hey pop. Hey mom," he greeted, allowing his mother to give him a quick lick on the cheek, "what are you doing?"

"As if we'd miss our grandson's first trip to Santa's factory," Mitzi giggled, "we'd like to come."

Blitzen nodded in agreement, "Ah, it seems like only yesterday your mother and I took you there, Rudi."

Smiling at the memory, Rudolph nudged his daughter into action. She pranced about the group, leading the way towards the large factory at the edge of town. Inside, the sounds of singing elves poured out of the open windows. A doe waited by the doors with another fawn. This one was a younger buck with light brown fur and eyes.

"Mom," Bell ran forward to touch noses with Zoey, "grandma and grandpa are here!"

Nodding, the doe giggled, "I can see that, Bell."

"Bell," she glanced over to see her little brother jumping with excitement, "factory! Factory!"

"That's right, Noel," she said, smiling, "you're going to see the factory!"

"Well, let's not keep the poor boy in suspense," Rudolph chuckled, opening the door, "Noel, welcome to Santa's toy factory!"

The young buck squeaked in delight, prancing about the workshop and watching all the elves at work. Bell watched the scene unfold with a smile as she stood beside her parents.

"Well well well," she glanced over to see a small snow fox approach them, "long time, no see Red."

"Slyly," Rudolph greeted, holding a hoof out for his friend to shake, "how are you? What are you doing here?"

"As if I would miss my favorite nephew's first day in the factory," Slyly smirked, "I'm hurt, Red."

"H-hey there, little b-buddy!"

"Leonard," Slyly turned to greet the large polar bear as he slowly approached them, "ain't this nice? The old gang back together again. We should do this more often."

Ignoring the rest of the conversation, Bell went to check on Noel. The young buck's eyes were wide with wonder, not wanting to miss a single thing. He pranced about the elves, watching their quick hands create toys of all shapes and sizes. An older elf noticed him and smiled as he presented the young reindeer with a stuffed alligator. Awestruck, Noel squeaked with happiness and gratefully took the toy in his mouth. Returning to his sister's side, he presented it proudly to her. Smiling, she nuzzled him and led him back to their parents.

"What a prize, Noel," Rudolph chuckled, "are you having fun?"

"Factory," Noel responded as best he could through the alligator, "fun!"

Bell chuckled as the doors opened once again to reveal Santa himself. Smiling, Rudolph and Blitzen went to receive a head pat from their boss while Zoey and Mitzi kept an eye on Noel. Turning, Bell made her way to the candy cane trees. They were in full bloom this year, producing extra large canes. Lifting her front hooves, Bell reached for the one nearest her. It was almost within reach when another muzzle reached forward and snatched it away from her.

"Hey," she turned to face the newcomer, "that one was mine."

"It was still in the tree," the buck sneered, chewing on the candy cane, "so, technically, anyone could take it."

"But I was reaching for it!"

"Doesn't mean you own it," he suddenly glared at her nose, "then again, you red nosed rejects think you own everything around here."

"That's not true," Bell pawed the ground, "and we're not rejects!"

Giving a burst of snarky laughter, the buck turned and walked off with his nose and tail in the air. Snorting with anger, Bell turned her attention back to the tree. All the larger candy canes were towards the top, far out of her reach. Sighing, her ears drooped as she turned to return to her family.

"Need some help?"

Blinking in surprise, Bell glanced back at the young doe standing beside the trees. She was her age with dark brown fur and no spots. The stockings on her back legs went higher than the ones on her front, and there was a stripe of white beneath her black ear tips.

"Don't worry," the doe continued, searching the trees for a suitable treat, "my brother treats everyone like that."

"That mule was your brother?"

The doe laughed and nodded, "I'm Thorn, and that was AJ. And that's Bucky."

At that moment, another fawn ducked behind the trees in attempts in hide.

"We can all see you, Bucky," Thorn giggled, "don't worry, AJ's gone."

The buck that joined the pair was small with light colored fur and long hair. His beautiful green eyes glanced at everything but Bell.

"Nice to meet you both," she smiled, "my name is Bell."

"Hi Bell!"

"H-hey."

"Now," Thorn's gaze once again traveled to the trees, "what do you say we help ourselves to some of these candy canes?"

"All the good ones are too high," Bell sighed, her ears drooping slightly, "we can't reach them."

"Says who," Thorn chuckled, "never put limitations on yourself. Push yourself to see just what you can accomplish. My mom taught me that."

With that, Thorn gave a great jump. Wrapping her teeth around a large cane, she pulled it out of the tree with no problem.

"Viola!"

"What a jump," Bell hopped with excitement, "I don't think I've ever seen one higher!"

Throwing her chest out with pride, Thorn proceeded to retrieve two more candy canes for herself and her brother.

"So why is AJ like that," Bell asked, chewing on her treat, "I just met him, but it's like he didn't like me already."

"Well," Thorn and Bucky shared a look, "our dad is Arrow. He was really mad when your dad made the sled team and he didn't. Now he wants AJ to succeed where he failed. Dad pushes him so hard and gets really angry when he doesn't meet his expectations."

"Oh," Bell glanced over at the buck, who was trying his best to catch Santa's attention, "so he's in a shadow of his own."

"You could say that," Thorn nodded "what about you? You sound like you've got a shadow too."

"Kind of hard not to with a dad like mine and a nose like this."

"I think it's pretty," Bucky said softly, "it reminds me of the mistletoe berries."

Giggling, Bell smiled, "You really think it's pretty? I can't get it to glow, though."

"Bucky's right," Thorn nodded enthusiastically, "glow or no glow, your nose is beautiful!"

She laughed, blushing, "Thanks Thorn. Your nose is pretty too."

"Oh, this old thing," the doe smirked, "I wear it everyday."

As the trio shared a laugh, they were joined by Rudolph and Noel, "Bell, it's time to go home."

"Coming dad," she turned back to her new friends, "will I see you two at school next week?"

"You bet," Thorn winked, "I can't wait!"

Bucky nodded in agreement, giving Bell a small smile which she returned wholeheartedly.

 

The week passed agonizingly slow for Bell, who couldn't wait to see Thorn and Bucky again. On the first day of school, she had rushed her family through breakfast so they could start their long walk to the schoolhouse. The young yearling bounced around her parents with excitement, Noel trying his best to copy her.

"I can't wait to see Thorn and Bucky again," she said for the fifth time that day, "I wonder if they missed me."

"I'm sure they did, Bell," Zoey smiled, "but remember to pay attention to your lessons. Mrs. Prancer taught your father and I when we were younger. She's an excellent teacher. You'll learn a lot from her. So make sure to listen carefully to what she has to say."

"I promise mom."

"Promise," Noel repeated, "promise!"

As soon as the schoolhouse was in view, Bell's heart began to pound terribly. Sure, Bucky and Thorn were her friends, but what would the other fawns think of her? What would they think of her nose?

"Bell," she jumped in surprise at the familiar voice, "incoming! No brakes!"

Turning, she saw Thorn racing full speed towards her, "No!"

Too late. The dark colored doe crashed full force into her friend's rib cage. The pair tumbled a ways as Bucky chased after them.

"It's so good to see you again, Bell," Thorn got up, unfazed by her rough landing, "did you miss us?"

Giving a groan, she pulled herself to her hooves and gave a weak smile, "You bet. Are all of our hellos going to be like that?"

"Do you want them to be?"

"Not really."

"Oh good," Thorn suddenly gave a wince, flattening her ears, "because that really hurt."

The girls shared a laugh as Bell's family joined them.

"Looks like you're good here, Bell," Rudolph smiled, giving his daughter a quick nuzzle, "I think we'll head home now."

"Ok dad," Bell nodded, "see you later."

Allowing her mother to give her a quick kiss on the cheek, Bell followed her friends into the schoolhouse.

"How cute," she turned to glare as AJ pushed his way by her, "Bell needs her mommy and daddy to walk her to school."

"Grow up, AJ."

"You don't see my dad walking me to school, do you," the buck sneered, "pretty sure that qualifies as grown up."

Leaving the trio, the larger buck made his way to the front of the classroom. If he was to be the best in class, better be up front where the teacher could see his hoof whenever he raised it.

"Hi there," a new voice caused him to turn in surprise, "you're AJ right? I'm Rowan."

The doe was about his size with dark tan fur and a sandy colored underbelly. Though she had a certain elegance to her, muscles rippled beneath her pelt indicating many months of training. Her eyes were a vibrant blue, sparkling brightly in the morning light. In her left ear was a large, triangular shaped chip.

"You're who?"

"Rowan," she repeated cheerfully, "Comet's granddaughter."

"Oh yeah," AJ shrugged, "aren't you Juniper's twin? You know, the buck with the good voice?"

"Yeah," she nodded, "that's me."

AJ fell silent as he noticing her staring, "So what do you want?"

"I was wondering if I could sit by you?"

"Are you serious," the buck snorted, "I can't be seen with someone like you. I need to surround myself with winners."

"I understand," AJ blinked in surprise as she smiled even more, replying cheerfully, "I just thought you might like some company, you know."

Scowling, the buck raised an eyebrow, "You're really weird."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"I was insulting you."

Rowan smiled again, "I know. But I'm still taking it as a compliment."

Snorting, the buck threw his nose in the air, "Fine. If you're that desperate, I suppose I could let you sit by me."

"Thanks, AJ," Rowan said, returning to his side, "thanks a lot."

The buck merely rolled his eyes. what an odd doe.

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