Actions

Work Header

Saints Can't Help Me Now

Work Text:

 

Saints Can’t Help Me Now

 

Wendy looks at the bloodstains on her dress, and decides it’s time to face Tinkerbell again.

This is two mornings after she murdered Felix (not by her own hand, but she might as well have)- two nights after she nodded her consent to Peter, two nights after he soaked the forest floor with blood in her name.

The Lost Boys were asking after him. They hadn’t, at first, seeing Peter’s potent fury shake the forest to the root, and Wendy’s carefully blank mask (they are not the smartest bunch, but even they know that an expressionless look from their Lost Girl is like calm before a storm, silence before a scream).

Tootles told her, in hushed undertones sitting at the foot of her bed, that they’d all assumed Felix had let her escape. That she’d somehow gotten hold of magic beans or commandeered Peter’s shadow (the thought makes her laugh, but it is a hollow sound when the jest is linked to her escape), and Felix had let her slip through his fingers.

They hadn’t, not even for a moment, suspected that he would try to kill her. Innocents, Wendy thinks, wondering if, had Felix chosen, he could have lured one of the Lost Boys to their deaths. Perhaps gullible Slightly, or naïve Tootles. They would never see it coming, poor things. The more she thinks on it, the more she realises that seeing the worst in everyone, seeing the shadow in their souls, is the best defence one can have. No matter the broken hearts it leaves behind.

(the picture of Felix leaning over their bodies, panting as he swirls patterns in their blood, is something that burns like acid at the back of her eyes)

The Lost Boys did not request a funeral. Wendy doubts they even thought of it; they are boys, after all, only children, and they don’t understand anything about death other than play-acting it in a game. What they do understand, though, is pain. Pain, fear and loss are anthems below which a Lost Boy marches, instilled in them by Peter, the boy who wants to prolong his own youth but still manages to create a perverse mockery of it, forcing children to live in terror of his wrath.

Wendy trudges through the dense bush that has miraculously sprung into existence since three days ago, growling as she parts leaves and twigs away from her with already-scratched hands. The day is hot, but the kind of humid heat that leaves her hair frizzy and her palms damp with sweat. She can feel Peter’s watchful gaze from the way the wind whistling through the trees sounds suspiciously like his dry laughter, from how the plants reach to her with something close to intent.

She pretends not to notice, batting away the leaves of a fern that aims for her neck. The journey to Tink’s house usually only takes half an hour, but the trek has been doubled now that all this stupid greenery has covered the sole clear path.

Peter has left her alone, for the most part. They haven’t touched each other since the time against the tree. Something has changed with them, now (a corpse lies between them). The game has changed. He’s giving her space, she realises, as much as an omnipresent, possessive teenage boy can. Again, Peter knows Wendy right down to the core, and has guessed that she needs time to think. To reconcile the Lost Girl with the beast, the bloodthirst with what’s left of her conscience.

(one and the same, little mouse)

Wendy has never felt as scared as she did with Felix’s hand around her throat. She touches the ring of bruises, a scalding reminder of his claim to her life, to her death. She remembers the starving look in his eyes, the muscles in his arms rippling as he’d cracked her head again and again into the hard bark of the tree.

The terror had risen up inside her, seeped into her skin like claws made from darkness, their inky black fingers drumming a tattoo upon her heart and ripping the breath from her lungs and sweat from her pores, dousing her in panic. Is this how I die? She’d wondered, and found that there were no strings of pride she could hold on to, only the word please. She was afraid, and the unfamiliarity of it was enough to send another pang of horror through her being.

But then Felix’s hold had loosened, and Wendy’s rage (lit within her waiting, wanting) had flared like the hackles on a wolf, like the lip curled back to reveal jagged teeth, and it had smothered her fear as easy as breathing.

She’d said Peter and it was a death sentence, a decree for his throat to be slit.

She closes her eyes and sees the spray of blood, red spurting through the air to soak into the bottom of her dress (hands too but only she can see) and spatter on her shoes, the gaping cut in Felix’s throat- an awful mouth, stretching wide in a scream he can’t utter- his dulling eyes, Peter’s hand on her cheek.

(bark against her back a mouth on her lips a crown on her head)

Peter has killed before. She’s certain of that. But Wendy had never seen someone die until Felix’s lifeblood was scattered on the ground before her, a grisly token, and she can’t help but think that she should be feeling an emotion more akin to remorse rather than satisfaction. She can’t help but think she shouldn’t be able to relate with Peter at all.

(the body made her ill but the result is thrilling)

Yet, even as she ignores the boy in question, she can feel the wolf inside howling to meet his, her blood humming in response to his call carried on the wind. And she knows, not deep down but all through her soul, that when he slit Felix’s throat he saw something in her expression that mirrored his, and in that moment the game changed. The dance took on new steps. The cage that threatens to grow iron bars from bone and trap her here (as if she wasn’t already) is shrinking as steadily as his hunger is increasing.

She might have seen blood on the ground and felt vomit rise in her throat, but the raw power that had sparked at her fingertips from the delight taken in conquering an enemy felt perfect. She had felt supreme, then, fucking Peter against the tree, feeling the blood on his hands, slick against her skin. She had felt absolute- yes, he had wielded the knife, but Wendy was the one who had taken Felix’s right to live with a mere nod of her head.

It is an intoxicating, all-consuming thought, to know that she has made Peter kill someone.

(who needs blood underneath fingernails when you have a boy who’ll slit throats for your honour?)

Wendy stops in her tracks, taking a long sip from her waterskin. Sweat is trickling down her back, making her dress cling to her like a second skin. Her hair has increased three times in volume since this morning, and has probably gathered approximately a thousand small sticks in that time. Her boots are rubbing uncomfortably on the areas that her socks leave uncovered. She’ll probably have blisters by tomorrow, not that she’s a stranger to those. Her feet are littered with scars and callouses from years of bare feet pounding against the forest floor. A few more marks won’t make a difference, except to harden the armour of her skin as well as her heart.

The bush has grown in height now, as well as in thickness, and leafy ferns stretch over her head. The clear blue sky is visible in cerulean slats between each branch, the sun burning brightly overhead.

It should be a beautiful day, but all this irritating foliage is putting a dampener on the whole thing.

“Peter.” Wendy snaps finally, after minutes of deliberation, putting her waterskin back in her belt.

The bush behind her rustles, a cool breeze stirring through its grasses, then goes still. Nothing happens.

She gives a growling sigh. “Peter, I know it’s you. Just… come out.”

The foliage creaks, shadows extended until they lap like the waters of the lagoon at her feet. He steps out from behind a particularly tall leafy green, arms crossed and spindly fingers resting on his sharp-pointed elbows. He smirks at her, eyes roving, and slides his tongue out to wet his lips. “Yes, Wendy-bird?”

She scowls at him, eyebrows knitted together. Despite this, she feels herself somewhere close to relaxed as they sink into familiar patterns; Peter acting the playful boy, Wendy embodying the cunning witch. “Cut the plants down.”

“You don’t like them?” he asks, tilting his head and flexing his hands.

Her eyes track the movement, and she fights the urge to chew on her lip as memories of Peter’s fingers on her- in her- tracing every contour of her body surface to the forefront of her mind. “No.” she spits, abruptly.

Peter oohs in mock-insult, mouth twisting into a derisive grin, and she knows he sees the desire in her gaze. “I made them for you, Darling.” He murmurs, reaching out with one slender-boned hand to twist a dishevelled curl through his digits.

“I don’t care,” Wendy says, her tone lowering, “cut them down.”

A shadow passes over his expression, only for a moment. It’s a flicker, something cold shrieking in the black of his eyes, a madness behind his irises. It curls at his lip, sharpens his tongue and teeth, and then it’s gone; hidden once again behind his boyish mask. Not for the first time, she notices how much narrower he looks- that youthful roundness of his face, the cherubic tilt of his head has all given way to the sacrilege of age, to whetted cheekbones and hungry eyes. “No,” he says, tugging on the curl in his fingers, “you don’t tell me what to do, little mouse.”

She slaps his hand away, ignoring the pain of it when several strands are ripped from her scalp, and steps forward. She tilts her chin to meet his gaze, eyes burning and jaw clenched. “You killed Felix for me.”

He scoffs. “That wasn’t-”

You spilled his blood for me.” She grits out, and every bit of pain or fear Wendy has ever used to make steel for her soul is present in her voice, sliding underneath consonants. Her words crackle and spit in the air, coiled tight with strength and set alight.

The plants around them tremor, not in fear but in reaction to the pure authority that she radiates. Only Peter, who has most likely spent much of his existence being fairly unimpressed with many things, barely raises an eyebrow.

“You slit his throat on the forest floor,” she begins again, her voice steady, “but only when I gave you permission.”

His hand is around her throat in seconds, his angry face inches from hers, sinewy muscles in his arm bunched tight. She lets out a startled, choking gasp but keeps her eyes locked on his and refuses to step back. He squeezes, and she knows that he is thinking about giving her a brand new ring of bruises around her neck, to make it his, but she doesn’t care. He can leave as many marks as he wants on her skin; they will heal, they will be returned to him. Her body is there for everyone to see but her heart and her head shall remain unscathed, her own private domains. Peter cannot harm her mind; she has spent years constructing an impenetrable fortress, and Felix’s death has only allowed the wolves in her heart to skulk on its battlements.

She clutches at his hand, fingernails scrabbling for purchase. “His blood is in the soil of Neverland,” she rasps, “and I was the one who commanded it.”

“What do I care?” Peter snarls, the madness flickering in his eyes again, icebergs at sunset.

She licks her lips, and gives a hoarse chuckle that makes him pinch the skin of her hip, hard. “You know you can’t make a blood sacrifice here without it meaning something, Peter.”

Her words are true enough, even though they are more a play to confuse him and knock him down a few notches, rather than warn him. She wants to make him question himself, realise what he’s done, realise the power this has given her. Wendy has spent all but twenty-three years of her long life exploring every inch of Neverland, and if she has learned anything it is that it is alive, and not to be trusted with a matter so serious as a tribute, inadvertent or not. The moment she nodded her consent, and the drops of Felix’s lifeblood rained down upon its soil, the island began to owe her something.

What, exactly, she does not know.

He considers her, fuming. “I’ll make it mean nothing.”

“Too late for that.” She rasps, reaching out with one hand to dig her nails into the skin of his exposed collarbone. It’s a motion that never fails to make him desire her like burning, like flames are licking at his skin. Peter is cold, cold as ice, but Wendy’s touch is fire and the clashing of the two is something deliciously close to pure chaos.

He hisses, like always, and makes to slide his hands from around her throat to the back of her head, so he can gain better access to her mouth, but as soon as his grip loosens she ducks under it.

He grabs for her, but she twists effortlessly out of the way, the grace of nine decades coursing through her limbs. “Peter,” she sighs, “I have things to do.”

This stops him in his tracks. He stares at her, chest heaving, eyes wild as a storm rages underneath his skin and cold fury freezes the blood in his veins. Any warmth taken from the sun dissipates as the tell-tale shadows surge upwards until they are almost three times her own height, pitch black walls stretching past the dense foliage. Wendy feels a chill descend upon her skin, percolating to her bones, and she fights a hysterical laugh that is bubbling to the bottom of her throat.

What?” Peter seethes, his voice deadly-quiet, eyes flinty with the promise of pain.

She knows his question is for dramatic effect rather than the chance to earn his forgiveness. It’s too late, anyhow- there’s nothing she can say to calm him. She can never quell his rage, only add to it. She is meant to be the fire that burns him, and he the ice that tries to douse her flame.

(Wendy has long since given up pretending they were not born to play this game)

“I said,” she begins, her tone sugary-sweet, “that I have things to do. And it would be lovely if you could make your little garden… disappear.”

The grinding of his teeth is practically audible, and she tries not to eye up the shadowy walls that imprison them, together.

He stalks forward suddenly, and she attempts to move past him but he already has his fingers hooked in the fabric of her dress. She is drawn (not stumbling never stumbling) to his chest, where he holds her pressed up against him, hip-to-hip. He slides a hand up from the base of her back and tangles his fingers in her hair, using the mane of curls to yank until she meets his gaze.

He stares down at her, the whirling, molten coal-black of his eyes sparking with rage, nostrils flared as he breathes harshly through them. He doesn’t speak, doesn’t demand that he owns her, doesn’t kiss her till she goes weak at the knees. This is an entirely different sort of anger that cannot be forgotten, erased by kisses and burned away in the ruin left by their game. This is pure, unadulterated fury, frosty and dark. Wendy wonders if, perhaps, she has gone too far this time. Yet, even as she struggles to break his hold, arousal coils at the pit of her gut and sets her heartbeat racing. Even as she feels the bars of her cage clamping shut as tightly as he grinds his teeth, there is a ferocious snarl threatening to tumble loose from her lips, tinged with pleasure.

She strains to kiss him, to feed the kindling that has settled in her bones, but the hold on her hair is tight and she cannot quite reach his mouth. Instead, she gives a sharp thrust of her hips, trying to relieve some of the pressure that is building in her abdomen. He snarls instead of moaning, pulls her head back until tears are in her eyes and does not touch his teeth to her throat, but still grinds shamelessly into her- letting her feel the heavy weight of his cock, hard and hot against her thigh.

Wendy gives a shaky whine, weak-sounding and fragile. No, no- she can’t give in to that. She is the one in control, she is the one manipulating the carnal desires of Peter Pan. It’s an act, a dance, a game. A simple swivelling of her hips, a faked moan, a lusty sigh- this is all it takes to make him unravel. This is all it takes to watch him tremble apart beneath her fingers, the ultimate power; better than twisting the forest to her whims, better than watching blood splatter on the dirt ground at her command.

She snarls, lets the sound surge through the air between them to burn up the remnants of her tremulous whimpers, and reaches down to rub her hand against him. Peter hisses through his teeth, letting his forehead fall against hers, and it hits her that he might have missed this- it’s evident in the way that his muscles relax for a moment, in the way that his cock twitches beneath her fingers at the lightest touch- and she lets a sneer curl at her lips.

“Three days is a long time, is it?” she asks, leaning up to slide her tongue against his mouth.

His eyes are screwed shut, and he doesn’t answer- only parts his lips willingly and loosens his hand. She kisses him slowly, with the kind of intensity that denotes power and swallows any attempt at revolt.

As always, though, Peter doesn’t give up without a fight. He slants his mouth over hers, moving his hands to cradle her head with his thumbs pressing, bruisingly, into her cheekbones, his lips slick and warm. He kisses as if he’s starving, as if it was food he was denied for three days rather than her body, fingernails scrabbling against her scalp and teeth clashing against hers. He doesn’t relent, doesn’t lean back to press his lips against her jaw, or pause to whisper her name as if it’s his salvation, only crushes her against him until she’s sure her skin is going to split apart and burst.

He bites her tongue, hard, and she takes her hand from his cock to scratch her ragged fingernails down his cheek. Blood slips over her palms and he makes a noise in the back of his throat that’s equal parts anger and arousal; the wolves in them both howl with the intent to shatter worlds.

(her crown weighs heavy, but her blood sings and the forest takes up its chant)

Wendy unbuttons his shirt with red-slicked fingers, running her hands over the leanness of his chest, scratching her nails over his nipples and swallowing his replying hiss. She pushes the piece of dark-green cloth over his shoulders and he shrugs it off, letting it fall to the ground.

She pulls away from him abruptly, slapping away his hands when he reaches out to grab her again, and undoes the belt that holds her waterskin. He stills, watching her with hungry eyes as she reaches up to slowly peel the high-necked dress from her body, and doesn’t notice the way she watches him, equally lustful. He’s slim, with a narrow waist and spindly fingers, but wiry muscle ropes his arms and chest, and she remembers the way they ripple under her hands when she fucks him, meeting her thrust for thrust. She remembers how it feels to have his chest pressed against her back, bark beneath her fingers, and pleasure so acute she’s certain that this time- this time- it’ll kill her.

The wall of shadows drops in tandem with her dress, and Peter’s hand is slipping past the seam of her knickers before she knows what’s happening, feeling the dampness of her curls and flicking his thumb over her clit. She cries out (missed this, missed him), and grips his biceps as his pupils, hot and needing, dilate in response.

He licks his lips, uses the rough fingers of his other hand to cup her breast. He leans forward, thumb still circling her swollen clit, juices leaking onto his wrist, and suckles on her nipple. She arches her back, pressing her breast further into his mouth, hands scrabbling for purchase on his shoulders as she grinds down against his palm. A finger enters her, and she hums at the delicious sparks the motion sends up her spine before marking the skin of his neck with her teeth. He moves his mouth from her breast, tracing kisses up to her jaw, and pushes his finger deep inside her. She feels the cool air reacting to the saliva on her chest, his skin (warm, so warm despite the ice in his soul) under her hands, his hummingbird pulse under her lips.

She feels as if hot flowers are blistering beneath her skin, as if there’s something tangible just beyond reach and if he would just fuck her-

“Long time, three days.” He rasps, lips on her ear, and presses his thumb down hard enough to make her convulse.

Wendy bites him, tasting blood in her mouth for the second time that day, and presses herself against his chest further, her nipples hardening almost to the point of pain. He pushes another finger into her to join the first, pumping in a steady pace that makes the all-too familiar heat unfurl beneath her skin, butterflies alighting in her stomach.

No, she thinks, mine.

She growls, scratching her nails down his back, down to the base where she knows he likes best, and tilts her chin to nip at his earlobe.

Peter gives a rumbling groan, deep at the bottom of his throat, and the smooth strokes of his fingers stutters. She whispers, “Take off your trousers,” and of course he doesn’t, angered by the commanding tone in her voice, so she does it for him (she barely has to look, now, doesn’t even fumble), urging him to step out of the confines of his pants and pushing his hands away in the process.

She drops to her knees, trailing her fingers down his abdomen, the sharp cut of his hips (still mottled purple and blue from her teeth), leaning forward to ghost her breath across the head of his glistening cock. She looks up at him from under thick lashes, letting her tongue slide out to wet her reddened lips. She tilts her head, meeting his gaze as she softly kisses the head, stifling the cruel laugh that is born in her throat as he moans.

Her fingers curl around the base, pumping slowly, twisting her grip slightly in the way she has learnt he cannot withstand, and takes his cock into her mouth. His eyes flutter closed as she lets her jaw go slack, but then she swallows him to the hilt, and they snap open again to lock on to hers. He snaps his hips, thrusting to the back of her throat, smirking when she jerks a little.

(carve it off with a knife show him who you are)

Wendy knows exactly how to pull Peter’s strings. She knows his body, his anger, better than her favourite book- there is no metaphor, no line of text, no page that she has left unscrutinised, there is no trick or look or innuendo that she does not utilise. She knows him just as well as he knows her; the only difference, the only unequal ground, is that he is not a girl.

Peter Pan has never been subjected to the cruelty of boys, to the cruelty of himself. He has never been forced to retreat inside his own head, to take himself apart and build himself again, using pain and fear and bitter weeping as a foundation. She’s not even sure he has ever had a heart, so she knows that he has never had to cast it away in favour of steel.

Peter has his Lost Boys, his Neverland, his lust for youth. He has everything to lose. Wendy, however, has nothing but a burning desire to set the beast inside running free, and everything to gain. She is a deadly combination; a woman scorned, with bloody feet and blackened soul.

She will win this game.

It is with this thought that Wendy licks the vein on the underside of Peter’s cock, power humming through her veins as she tastes him at the back of her throat. Looking up at his dazed expression, she knows the picture she must paint; cheeks flushed, lips stretched around him, wild hair falling to brush against her breasts. His breathing quickens in tempo, the steady rocking of his hips faltering. She feels his hand, tangled in her curls, and this gesture of control makes rage flare up in her gut, yet she lets him pretend he has even a modicum of power here. If only for a moment.

She arches her back, and slowly, deliberately, reaches down to cup her breast. She moans around his cock as she traces her thumb over the pink nipple, and he gives a choked gasp, hungry eyes following the movement in rapture. All it takes is her other hand to slip even further downwards to rub against her clit, the rasp of her tongue against him, and he comes, shuddering and thrusting erratically, throwing his head back to cry out. The bitter liquid hits the back of her throat, and though she fights it she cannot help but gag, but she swallows every last drop.

She suckles at him until he stops, letting his cock slide from her lips with a wet pop, and stands as he slowly slumps to the ground. Her legs are slightly shaky, her core still achingly wet, but she pushes past the primal wants (needs) of her body and refuses to think about how much she wants him inside her, wants his skeletal fingers on her breasts and his knife-kisses on her neck. Instead, she gets to her feet, reaching for her dress and belt.

He is lying, flat on his back, panting heavily. His cock lies, spent, between his legs, and his eyes are closed. His expression is dazed, content, and something thrills within her veins at the knowledge that she can quiet Peter Pan with her mouth, and nothing more.

It sounds like a riddle; what can quell the rage of the boy king using only lips and teeth and tongue, but no words?

She almost laughs, but she feels that this would cheapen the occasion- turn her into a cackling madwoman and not a calculated, efficient Lost Girl. She has her moments, of course, but this is not one of them.

Wendy stands over him, and smirks. He can’t quite muster a glare in his afterglow, but the intent is there. She gathers her clothes against her chest, ignoring the flare of heat that takes up residence in her abdomen when Peter curls his fingers around her ankle in a bid for her to stay. “Let’s play chase.” She hisses, and before he can answer she is off running through the tall greenery, dodging and twisting and laughing.

(mad bad never sad)

As expected, the plants jump to attention, reaching for her bare skin and sliding across the ground, searching for a falter in her step but there is none, because she is wild and Neverland owes her a blood sacrifice.

She shrieks and whoops in response to his furious screaming of her name, baring the skin of her back to thorned foliage, laughing as it draws red beads across white cream, the beast in her breast slipping to the surface. Her teeth are bared as her soul, her hair blown back by the wind that rips through green leaves- but it doesn’t push her back, because even Peter’s rage is not as powerful as she- and the wolf scrambles up her throat, shredding forth from her lips and erupting into a howl that splinters through the Neverland air.

WENDY!” Peter roars, and there is a beast in his voice, too, and she grins as he starts to give chase.

(a game a game a game)

Vines stretch out to touch her and she twists away from them, claws unsheathed and raking across bark until sap pours in thick rivulets down rough skin. The plants quake in response, angry and vengeful as their master, and Wendy can feel him just behind her. His fingers whisper across the base of her spine, and she surges forward, willing herself to run faster.

In the back of her head, she remembers that she’s wearing nothing but her boots and knickers, and hopes to God (not Peter never Peter) that Hook hasn’t chosen today to lead one of his ill-advised expeditions of the island.

Although, perhaps the look on his handsome face when he realises that she’s not a- what did he call her?- a girlie, anymore, would be worth it.

Wendy darts to the left, down the path that leads to Tink’s treehouse, just as she feels his breath, hot on her neck. He snarls in frustration, shadows twisting and convulsing in the corners of her eyes. She tears, limbs pumping and blood surging, towards the rope ladder.

He has already figured out the rules; she need not tell him. If she gets inside Tink’s door, he cannot enter. She wins.

Her fingers are mere inches from the first step when his fingers bite into her hips. Her chimes of laughter turn into furious shrieks as he drags her away from the safety of her friend’s home, back into the forest. She fights him, limbs thrashing and back arching and none of the unerring grace that fills her when she evades the plants; it’s all the wolf now, the wolf that starves rather than the wolf that hunts, and there is too much wilderness in her charred heart for elegance. Not now.

Peter fucks Wendy with her back on the ground, her right leg hooked over his elbow so he can push deeper, knickers simply shoved to the side, her cries echoing through the forest.

(they are swallowed by the trees)

His face is inches from hers, contorted with rage and lust and ownership, his thrusts so forceful that her whole body moves with them. He fucks her without reprieve, hips cracking into hers, his whole body pressed against her skin and it feels as if he’s going to split her in two, or meld into her, or make her explode and she rolls her hips to meet his thrusts, gasping Peter Peter Peter into his waiting mouth.

The forest thrashes around them as he reaches down to palm her breast, drawing out of her to the tip then pushing back in to the hilt. Sweat coats them both, sticky and crusted with salt, their bodies sliding together- skin meets, parts- lips crash-

He reaches down to stroke her clit, and then she’s shaking apart with a wordless cry, skies unfolding beneath her skin, white light bursting behind her eyelids. She keens, back arched and muscles spasming enough so that he follows immediately, hips bucking helpless against hers as he empties himself into her. He collapses, and his lips stay on hers, murmuring Wendy-bird, my Wendy-bird into her open mouth like it is deliverance.

They stay like this for minutes afterwards, her legs around his waist now that his arms cannot hold her, her fingers tangled in his hair, he whispering words of ownership against her tongue.

(a wolf’s thirst can never be quenched and its freedom shall never be taken)

When he kisses her again upon taking his leave, when she can taste the triumph (and something else, something fragile and altogether more powerful, something she can use) on his teeth, she feels the bars of her cage begin to creak shut, and knows she needs to get out.

The realisation only makes the bars grow faster.

 


 

Tinkerbelle’s house is neat and tidy, dark wooden floors kept gleaming and windows devoid of dirt. There are only three rooms: her tiny bedroom, complete with a small green cot and plush armchair, the tea room, and the reading room. Wendy has visited this place almost every day since she stumbled upon it in her third year of confinement, and sometimes she thinks it is the fairy’s friendship that kept her from going mad.

(before she embraced it)

“You’re alive,” Tink breathes, darting up from her place in the rickety old chair by her window to pull Wendy into a warm embrace.

After almost an hour of sitting on the forest ground, wide-eyed with the realisation that Peter’s burning desire to own her was both her cage and her saving grace, Wendy shook the pleasure from her bones and resolutely started off to her friend’s home.

She left any sympathy or guilt behind.

“Excuse me?” she asks, incredulously, into the fluffy mass of blonde curls that has invaded her vision.

“I thought- when I heard the Pan-” Tinkerbelle hesitates, pulling back to lead Wendy over to where she has just boiled a fresh pot of tea.

“You thought he was going to kill me?”

“It’s just- you didn’t come and see me for almost three days. I thought the worst.”

Wendy looks at her friend’s tear-stained cheeks, the dirt on her dress, and believes her. “But,” she adds, frowning, “that’s hardly rare.

Tink shoots her an apologetic look. “Sorry, pet, but I wouldn’t put it past him.”

She sighs, moving past her to the tea room. “Nor would I,” Wendy murmurs, thumping down on the lumpy couch next to the wooden tea table, yet the thought that Peter should kill her still makes her throat tighten.

With exactly what emotion, she’s not sure.

The blonde fairy follows her, taking a blanket from a cabinet and tossing it on her lap. “It’s cold, lots of wind today,” she explains innocently, and Wendy’s cheeks flush. “I’m glad you’re alive.” Tink says quietly, reaching over the table to pat her hand.

“I’m glad too, I would have missed your tea.”

The feeble attempt at a joke makes Tink smile, and she fetches a chipped cup from her collection, setting it in front of Wendy. “What was he so miffed about, anyway?”

“Felix tried to kill me.” She replies quietly, tilting her head to look at the ceiling.

Her friend stops her tinkering, nimble fingers presumably stilling in shock. “Pan killed Felix, didn’t he?”

Wendy nods. “Yes. But, Tink,” she whispers, and she cannot help but allow a small glimmer of pride edge into her voice, “he asked me first.”

“That- that’s a-”

“A blood sacrifice, I know.” She turns her head to look at the fairy, almost smiling at the fear on her face.

“Pet,” Tinkerbelle says, hushed, “you need to get out of here. Before this,” a small hand waves in the air as she searches for the word, “game that you’re playing ends up with you dead.”

Wendy wants to tell her it can’t, it won’t, Neverland owes me blood and it will be his and I will go free- but she knows that it will sound insane. She is operating these thoughts only on superstition, and Tink is far too level-headed to believe that this island would be willing to go against Peter Pan, its creator, its king, simply because she gave blood to its soil.

Yet, she feels in her bones that her beliefs are true. She needs someone mad, someone with nothing to lose, someone who would help her destroy Peter without a thought to the consequences.

Her wolf howls, and the forest howls back.