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Tinkerbell stirred awake, quietly getting to her knees and shifting onto her feet, hunched and glancing around like prey getting ready to battle its predator. Ready to win. There was a shuffling around her treehouse she felt uneasy about. “Wendy,” she whispered, gently rocking the girl’s shoulder. “Wendy, get up.”

“Tinker, what is it?” Wendy rubbed her eyes and sat up. The blonde put a finger to her lips and shook her head. They had to be quiet, focus on the moving grass on the ground below. Wendy stood up and grabbed her dagger. She took the caution to be quieter than a feather ruffling against the wind. They both knew who it would be.

The Lost Boys.

They just couldn’t be sure which wimp Peter decided to send this time. Tinkerbell didn’t trust that Peter was telling the truth when he said he needed Wendy to save magic. As long as she pretended sick, she would live. But Tink wasn’t willing to stake her friend’s life on a promise from the Pied Piper. He was a traitor, manipulative, dark. Taught the fairy all she knew about being demonically playful. Without the playful part. She lost that when she lost her wings. She did match Peter in his tricking ability, though. What she lacked in play, she more than made up for in her ruthless battle tactics. Evenly matched in different categories, she liked to believe.

Peter’s group had yet to successfully capture either of them. And Tink wasn’t planning to lose anytime soon.

“Okay,” she moved her lips and joined Wendy in grabbing a weapon. A sword she had acquired after defeating a Lost Boy, to be precise. It was a message every time the boys shamefully went after them. Clouded green eyes met Wendy’s light brown ones, a silent go ahead, and they were both jumping off the treehouse, landing solidly on the dirt.

“Attacking girls in the dead of night? How crude!” Wendy held a boy from behind, dagger to his throat. Her words were harsh and innocently spoken, like a true Darling.

Tink took her place next to Wendy in case she had to join the defensive. “What does the Piper want from us, now?” The fairy practically rolled her eyes.

Oh, but this was a surprise! The other boy, likely the leader of the little invasion, was taller than any of the Lost Boys she had seen, yet. Tall and lanky. Possibility of lean muscle. Not as strong in physicality, though, from the bravery in his eyes, she could tell he had clever wit. “Her,” was all he said. Deep. Spoken with careless haste.

“Chatterbox, isn’t he,” Wendy said. Tall-and-lanky didn’t seem to approve of her sarcasm. He stepped forward and closed quite a bit of the distance. Tinkerbell interjected. She couldn’t be too close in front of the boy Wendy had or she might get hurt, but she absolutely would not tolerate his stink being near a creature as grand as Wendy.

“I don’t think so, acting-leader-boy.” She threw her sword, tip down, into the spot of dirt between them. “He spat a lie at me once. If I didn’t fall for it then, I’m most certainly not going to fall for it now.”

It was blonde versus blonde, and the blonde boy bent his head towards Tink as she stood her ground even tighter. She had to hold back a harrumph. “You already have,” he smirked. The words had barely any emotion or intonation behind them. They were empty and filled her up with worry and doubt. She unleashed her sword from the ground and pointed it at Felix while she glanced back.

The boy Wendy had at knife point was now lying on the ground, Wendy not anywhere in sight. The sharp sword tip immediately pushed against the tall boy’s throat. “I said,” Tinkerbell clenched her teeth, “you’re not taking her.”

“Pan’s Shadow,” he pointed to the dark sky.

“No,” she breathed out slowly. “No, you speak trickery just like he does.” She pressed her lips into a tight line, firmed her feet again and prepared to kill. “Wendy,” Tink called out. There wasn’t a response. No sound of movement behind her, either. “Wendy,” she yelled louder. It didn’t even echo. “Okay. Okay, how do I get her back? She cannot leave with you! Your Piper will not allow her to live even after whatever cruel deed he has planned is done.”

“Pan can be merciful.” He paused. “At times.” Another disgusting grin plastered on his face. God, she didn’t cover assholes in fairy training. She knew what would hurt Peter, though.

“If his shadow has taken her, it will not be for long.” She concentrated. Hard, keeping the sword steady and trained on the blonde boy. She concentrated on good thoughts, good form as Hook had once taught her, unfortunately. There was dancing light and warmth emanating from it. Excitement. She felt joy and youth and spirit and used it to light a literal fire far enough away so it wouldn’t burn them, but close enough to her tree encampment that it would reflect around the area.

The Shadow’s weakness was light. She didn’t have any sort of candle handy, but the fire would do well enough. The boy, of course, didn’t make a sound. His eyes were stern in disbelief. She simply smiled in return. “Anything’s possible in Neverland. If you think hard enough.”

A pained, shrill scream rang out. Wendy. Tinkerbell could hear her coughing, catching her breath. “Fine,” Tinkerbell faintly heard.

“What is your name?” She wanted to remember him. By name. Looks wouldn’t get her anywhere. There was revenge to be had for even attempting harm on Wendy. There had been physical harm to her, emotional harm. It was likely her soul had almost been ripped all the way out. And Tink wouldn’t ever take that lightly. “Answer or you bleed.”

“He told me you’d gone crazy.”

Again with the near-monotone! “I do not play his games. I will act if you refuse my question. Now, again,” she let the sword tip trail across to his right. “Your name.”

It met complete silence. Not even the trace of a breeze, no crickets to chirp in Neverland and frogs hadn’t been believed, yet. There was a charged void circling around the two and neither was willing to back down enough to stop it. She felt a chill on her neck her scarf could not fend off. She waited. Patiently. Waited.

In one swift and sudden move, the sword clanged to the ground and she had one hand white knuckled on the boy’s cape and the other gripping onto a knife she had hidden in case close combat was a necessity. “Very well, then. Puppet shall do. The Piper’s Puppet.” All too fitting, she thought. He didn’t blink, barely breathed out of turn. “You will remember this encounter. And you will deliver the Piper a message.”

He was required to pass messages along so he responded out of requirement. He made it obvious. “And the message?”

The once-fairy didn’t hesitate before dragging the sharp blade along the boy’s face, curving down from the forehead and over his nose, down his cheek. Still, the boy remained quiet, still. His fingers curled into almost fists and looked like he was going to push her away. She had a strong hold on his cape. He wouldn’t have gotten very far. “Tell your leader,” she said the word twisted with disgust and despise, “we are never off our guard. And there is certainly more, where that came from, “ she tapped the end of the fresh wound and hopped back. “Go. When you return, I’ll take your eye out.”

She had to be ruthless. Cunning. She needed to instill terror on the boys. And with one down, another scarred, the scales would be tipped in her favor when the Pied Piper came knocking. “Oh, don’t forget that one,” she jerked her head to the cold body. Wendy had killed him in an attempt to deter the shadow, Tinkerbell rightfully assumed.

She gave him one final glare. A promise. He’d deliver the message and they’d be sure to come back with reinforcements. The tall boy hefted the dead body over his shoulder and began the trek back to Peter’s camp. Satisfied, Tink hurriedly ran off to find Wendy. “Tinker.”

“Wendy,” she responded carefully. “Wendy, oh, Wendy! I was so careless. Peter almost got you.” They huddled near the trunk of a tree, shaded in the extra darkness. Tinkerbell placed her hand on Wendy’s flushed cheek. “What can I do for the pain? You’ll ache for a while, but there are berries around here to remedy some of it.” She needed to reverse it, to fix the damage she let slip past her. She was already crawling into the bushes to find something, but a hand pulled her back.

“Stop, I’ll be fine. They won’t come back tonight and I’d appreciate a bit of sleep?”

Tink closed her eyes and sighed. “Yes, pleasant suggestion.” They helped each other up and Wendy threw her arms around Tink’s shoulders, digging her fingers into the loose strands near her bun. “Wendy?”

“Thank you. No other is finer to defend my life, or our cause.”

“I promised to save your brothers. This means having you by my side.” Tink rested her hands comfortably on Wendy’s waist.

Wendy pulled back, keeping her hands against the other girl’s cheeks. “Aren’t we a pair,” she smiled softly. Her expression relaxed and her light brown eyes lit up with pride.

“Just like—“

Wendy smiled before pressing her lips against Tink’s. Soft and thankful and raw longing. Gratitude. A wordless caring. The blonde was more than happy to have her partner in crime. They had their own reasons for going against the Lost Boys, but in the end, they raised a commotion and that’s exactly what they needed. Together. They had kissed several times after similar battles, but this one was different and Tink felt it. She understood. There had been an unexplainable terror in Wendy nearly having her entire soul ripped from her body, as if someone cut her skin open in the back and was slowly peeling it off, deliberately causing as much pain as possible.

Tinkerbell would never let that happen again. She couldn’t lose Wendy at all. Her wrath would be vengeful enough to tear down 10,000 tribes of Lost Boys. So she kissed back harder, rougher, wanting to be untamed and unleashed.

They finally came up for air, and Tink noticed the fire she started had vanished. She rested her forehead against Wendy’s. “What was that for?”

“I am allowed,” the girl giggled.

“Yes. Yes, you are. Back to bed, unfortunately. Your aches will be worse tomorrow.”

“Great,” she rolled her eyes and leaned on the blonde for support as they made their way back up the treehouse. Tink placed their weapons where they belonged, allowing Wendy time to change into a fresh nightgown and slip into the makeshift bed, which was more like a nest because she wasn’t used to having company this long. It was made mostly of leaves and blankets she stole now and then from Peter’s group. They didn’t seem to be missed.

“Sleep without worry. We’re safe for the night.”

“What did you do?” Wendy asked quietly.

Tinkerbell settled in next to Wendy and pulled the blankets up around both their shoulders. Wendy tucked her chin underneath to be childishly adorable. “Gave him a message. We should prepare for a real war soon. It’ll be ugly.”

“Mm, I’m sure.” Wendy turned to face Tink, kissing her once more, drawing it out and making the comforting sensation last. “I expect to be waited on hand and foot tomorrow.”

“Oh! We shall see. Heavy request for your brave knight.”

“It is. Brave knights are always repaid for their dutiful services.” Wendy ran her tongue along her bottom lip. Tink furiously blushed and wiggled further under the blanket. The cloth would hide her thoughts. “Too late. Your treehouse wouldn’t hold that secret,” Wendy teased and put her arm over Tinkerbell’s belly, nuzzling her head into Tink’s chest until her body felt pillowed and light. “Goodnight, Tinkerbell.”

“Night, Wendy,” she murmured. The cheeky girl, Tink thought. Maybe Wendy could have a day off tomorrow, after all.

At least they would be safe in their dreams. Existing in Neverland meant never dreaming about it. They’d wake up here, tangled in each other’s limbs under the blankets with the grey morning to welcome new aches.