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"I'm Not A Child Anymore"

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                Wendy Darling was not a child anymore; That much had been made clear on the night her lavishly adorned parents decided to go out for the evening and boast to their fellow rich folk about their many achievements. 

                Their condemning statement might’ve meant little to someone having never set foot in the Darling residence, but the same was not so for the eldest child, who had grown up in the same room as her brothers since they were born.  That room was the very stage where Peter Pan had sailed in from a land known by only those who held no ties to the world of logic in which they lived.  It very easily could’ve been a dream, and if that had been the case, none of the three Darling children would ever have wanted to wake up. 

However, it was by their own guilt and remorse of having abandoned their former life so shamelessly which had instigated their return back to their own world, and away from Neverland's magnificent charms. 

Wendy had been heartbroken upon realizing that she had grown up and would have no way of returning to the enchanting land she’d so hoped to dwell in forever.  As she dutifully folded away her clothes and set them into the baskets being transferred into the guest bedroom adjacent to her parents’, she could make no eye-contact with her brothers as they pleaded and begged for their parents to allow their sister ‘just one more night’ in the nursery with them.   There was a time when their efforts had been fruitful, and with each night approaching, the demands of their parents were all but brushed off as Wendy dutifully set about telling a new tale of the magical adventures of Peter Pan, and his Lost Boys.

Now, their luck had run dry, the Pixie Dust was no more, and the magic had dissolved from the once merry atmosphere.

It was as though Wendy had been condemned to a prison-cell forever, as now, she was denied any possibility of allowing her brothers' entry into her new bedchamber to recite their favored tales, as was the same for Wendy from entering her siblings’ room.

“It’s not proper for a young woman to allow boys into her room.” George Darling had stated after broadcasting the new rules of the house which would be put into effect immediately.

“Not even if they’re my brothers?” Wendy inquired hopelessly, which her father reiterated in a stubborn tone. 

“Boys and girls are not to be together behind closed doors, as it is immoral and wicked of them.”

“But why?” Wendy’s timid voice interrupted gently as she dabbed at the edge of her eyelid with the tip of her finger.

George Darling sputtered, his eyes widening at the abrupt inquiry.  Wendy was old enough to need to be separated from her brothers, but not old enough to hear about marital intimacy.  His face turned beet-red before Mary, his beloved bride, carefully brushed him aside to sit beside her woeful daughter.

“Is it really so bad?” She asked as she wrapped a comforting arm around her child, rocking them both in a slow, easy cadence.  Wendy could sense the anxiety in her mother’s voice, and quickly understood the amount of effort which must’ve been put towards furnishing the practical room.  With the calculated foresight of a major actress, Wendy forced a smile to stretch across her lips.

“It’s beautiful, mother.  I love it.”

Unfortunately, the ruse wasn’t enough to conceal away the tears still pooling in the young girl’s deep blue eyes, and Mary quickly noticed them and gave her daughter a look of remorse.

“It’s a lot to get used to, dearest; I understand that.  But give it a week and I’m certain it’ll grow on you.”

The promise of her mother’s loving tone caused a real smile to emerge from the fragments of the fabricated one.  Truly, Mary and her husband were complete opposites, and Wendy was only too glad of that. Her mother was able to extinguish the fire of rage which simmered into almost anyone she came into contact with.  Wendy couldn’t ever stay depressed around her mother for long.

“I will get used to it,” Wendy replied with a long sigh, her sorrow now evaporating while in her mother’s presence.  It was almost painful to know that soon she’d be alone to ponder her thoughts, and her mother wouldn’t be there to dry her cheeks when they were painted anew.  Yet while her mother held her to her breast, there was nothing that Wendy feared, nothing in the world.

“I love you, mum.” Wendy murmured as she burrowed closer to her mother. Mary held her daughter tighter, a genuine smile creasing her lightly aged features.

“And I love you too, my dearest Wendy.” She replied softly.

With almost no reluctance on Wendy’s part, slumber quickly overtook her, allowing a nap to interrupt the already dismal afternoon. It was a good thing that all of Wendy’s furniture, which earlier had decorated the nursery, now was scattered about this smaller area, her feather-stuffed bedding suddenly becoming all too welcoming to resist for any longer. 

With a tiny peck of her rosebud lips, the young mother tucked her daughter in for the afternoon nap, her fingers running through the tousled ringlets of her daughter’s hair before she quietly extinguished the oil lamp set at the side-table.

As soon as the door had closed to her new bedroom, Wendy bolted up, racing to the nearby window which overlooked the disheveled collection of dirt-clad buildings and establishments which grew up from the ground like weeds.  Black smoke billowed from the massive smokestacks on the horizon, and Wendy quickly recalled a similar smoke having resonated from the cannons of the wretched Captain Hook’s pirate ship. 

The window had been locked so tightly that it took a great deal of effort for Wendy to pry it open with her tiny fingers.  The window threw itself open in a great current of foul-smelling wind, tossing Wendy back a few steps to avoid colliding with the glass panes.  Regardless of the fact that the outside smelled sour and toxic, and quite unlike that of the stale, yet fragrant, air having fled from within her room, Wendy allowed the window to remain open with the hopes that the famed boy clad in forestry might pay a visit despite her new residency.

A small smile creased her lips as she breathed in the tiny pinpricks of natural air from amidst the stinky plumes, and was instantly transported back to when she’d awoken in Neverland with a house built around her out of logs and sticks.  The smell had been rustic, and so unlike anything Wendy had ever experienced before in her life.  Despite having lived a life of reservation and patience thanks to her doting mother, the foreign desire to explore and adventure was what had awoken the carnal intrigue Wendy had unknowingly harbored deep within, which then inspired the small girl to chase after her brothers in an attempt to ensure their safety.

It was exhilarating, as it was terrifying, but awoke a level of understanding about the world that the young woman had never known existed.

That night was the first night Wendy spent in her new bedroom, and already she felt the undeniable clutch of fear wrapped around her heart. The open window caused the translucent curtains to billow like specters out of the corner of her eye, which then would cause her mind to swim with the limitless possibilities of otherworldly creatures existing just beyond her capacity to understand. 

That was when her door opened, a low groan resonating with the aged hinges being put into motion.  In stepped Wendy’s mother, her hair brushed out and loose around her shoulders as she stepped towards her eldest daughter, a candle in her dainty hand.

“How are you faring, dear?” She inquired thoughtfully, finding a place to sit at the foot of Wendy’s bed. The girl sat up slowly, ignoring the warmth now abandoning her scrawny figure.

“It’s alright… I just miss John and Michael…” Wendy replied pathetically, which bade her mother to brush a sympathetic hand over her daughter’s arm.

“It is a substantial change from what you’re used to… I know it doesn’t seem fair right now, but soon you’ll come to understand why the way things are the way they are.”

                Wendy fidgeted with the ringlets in her long hair before her mother slowly lifted the young girls chin to stare back at the older woman.

                “You do like it, don’t you?” She whispered softly while studying her daughter’s eyes.

                Wendy’s lips felt as though they were forcibly being made to smile, which was what she did in hopes of appeasing her mother. “It’s wonderful.  It’s everything I could’ve asked for in a bedroom.”

                Mary Darling seemed contented with her daughter’s proclamation, and once more sat up from the bed, looking like a ghost as she held the candle out before her like a beacon.

                “I came only to wish you goodnight, and to tell you that tomorrow, you and I can travel to the bookstore and see if there’s anything that might intrigue you.  How does that sound?”

                Wendy instantly abandoned the fabricated joy in lieu of this news, her heart instantly leaping for joy at her mother’s aspirations for the coming day.

                “I would love to, mother! Thank you--!”

                Mary Darling’s finger came up to her lips, hushing the overly boisterous girl before anyone could be alerted to the pair’s conversation.

                “If you join me, we can have a lovely day out like we used to.”

                Wendy agreed gratefully, returning to the former laying position on her bed and shrouding herself with the blanket all the way up to her chin.

                “Goodnight, my dearest Wendy.” She cooed before slowly departing back into the hallway, the candle’s yellow light slowly fading from Wendy’s view as the door sluggishly fell closed.

                 “Goodnight, mother!” Wendy answered merrily, her thoughts swimming about the next day’s events. It was always a treat whenever Wendy and her mother ran errands together, as it prompted almost a secretive bond between the pair which the boys of the house couldn't understand.

                It wasn’t long afterwards, while she stared out into the starlit sky from her bed, that the young woman dozed idly away, her visions transporting her to a new Neverland; one where Peter Pan and her would remain forever, never having to worry about the anxieties of mortal men.

Chapter Text

                A distant roar roused Wendy from the tranquility of slumber as she opened her eyes and sat up.  The sun had just begun to bathe the sky in a light wash of gray, which puzzled Wendy completely.  Why had she awoken so early? What had been the noise?

                Laying down once more against the overstuffed pillows at her back, she listened intently for the noise to make itself known again, her imagination elaborating on a dozen possible reasons behind it.

                That’s when it happened again, this time followed by a cacophony of swearing.  This hadn’t been the first time that she’d heard the dissonance of noise, as it had become an unfortunate addition to the daily toils of the household.  Ever since her father, George Darling, had lost his job at the banking company he’d dedicated so many years too, he’d taken to drinking away the stress-induced grief he’d fallen into. With that being said, there were times where he’d get angry for very trivial things, causing Wendy to fear for the day that the drunken parent might dispose of her onto the streets without anything but the clothes on her back.   But worst of all, she feared for her beloved brothers, and what might become of them if they were to intervene. 

                Her mother had promised her that such a punishment would never be put into effect and that they both loved her very much, but that was before her father had taken to drinking his burdens away more regularly.  Nowadays, it was difficult to tell what would set him off upon his return home from wandering the streets.  His breath would always be rancid with alcohol and vomit, and his footing would frequently leave him and cause him to tumble over.  The seemingly relaxed George Darling would be almost identical to his former demeanor, save for the occasional slur of his speech or blubbering.  It was when so much as one minuscule thing was seen as ‘Out of order’, or, ‘Abnormal’, that the tables would turn dramatically.  Mary would attempt to rush her children out of the way of her husband's unpredictable rage while enduring a majority of his anger, herself.  Despite the air still being warm, Mary Darling had taken to wearing long shawls over her arms and neck to conceal the evidence of her husband’s fierce sufferings against her.  

                Unfortunately, as each night would bring about more shouting and cursing, the eventual conclusion would offer no comfort to the young children as they all understood it to be an intermission and that it would resume again the next night. 

Guilt plagued Wendy as she felt like she was approving the frequent punishments her mother suffered by not making an effort to stand between them.  With timid, slipper-clad feet, she slipped quietly out of bed and towards the door where a tiny sliver of yellow light streamed through the keyhole.  Biting her lips, Wendy knelt down to peer through and survey what was happening.  

                Across the second-story hallway, a collection of shadows danced and convulsed across the wall; one cowering in absolute fear and despair, her arms up in defense as her assailant—A bearlike horror—stormed towards her.  Tears flowed freely down Wendy’s face as she finally bore witness to the grievous violence her father was so unabashedly inflicting.  Standing up, Wendy threw open the door, basking in the dim gaslight of the candelabras overhead.  George’s expression turned carnal at the sight of his daughter while Mary’s face became wracked with terror.

                “Wendy—Go back into your room! Everything is alright--.”

                But it was too late; the predator had found a new target in his own daughter.  Taking the leather belt he’d been using against his wife, he stormed towards the scrawny girl, ignoring the pleas resounding from Mary as she crawled desperately behind him and gripped his pant leg in hopes of distracting him away.  Wendy let out a pitched wail and flew back into her room, her fingers trembling as she slammed the door and went about trying to lock it with the brass key resting against the nearby bureau.  The hardwood door vibrated with the amount of strength put into her father’s attempts at forcefully entering, but all Wendy could do was push a chair against the door and hope that it would be enough to escape the sadistic abuse having been witnessed.

                “YOU STUPID BITCH!  YOU GET BACK OUT HERE, OR YOU’LL NOT BE ABLE TO SIT PROPERLY FOR A WEEK! COME. HERE. RIGHT. NOW! I SWEAR BY THE POWER VESTED IN ME THAT YOU WILL LEARN NOT TO INTERRUPT A HUSBAND AS HE’S CORRECTING HIS WIFE!” The slurred speech resounding behind the wooden door was loud, but not enough so that Mary’s prayers for mercy went ignored.  Despite anything Wendy could still hear her mother standing just behind her husband in a desperate attempt to pull him away from the bedroom door of his daughter.

                That was not the end of that unholy torment, as George continued to beat his wife in their own bedroom, her sobbing as clear as if she were in the same room as all who heard her.  It would be hours before George Darling would finally fall unconscious from the wasted energy, and Mary would quietly pick up the shattered remains of anything he’d spilled to the floor in his blind fury. Despite everything that had gotten her up to this point, the young mother still looked as beautiful as an angel, and had the compassion of one, as well.  With an embarrassed reluctance, she felt ashamed to see her children while in such a lowly state to assure them of her wellbeing and to apologize for keeping them up so late. She didn’t want them to see the new bruises now painting her alabaster flesh, but with the strength of a thousand women before her, she carefully approached each bedside, offering up a tiny peck of her lips against their full, round, cheeks, before telling each of them how much she treasured and adored them.

                Wendy’s room was still locked, so when her mother had gone about trying to open the battered door, a whisper-soft sniveling escaped her thin lips when she realized there was no chance of redeeming the trust of her eldest daughter as she waited fearfully for her father to burst through and beat her bloody, as he’d done with his own wife.  Through the keyhole, the young mother peered in, at once recognizing her daughter asleep in the voluptuous bedding she’d been given.  A teary smile split her bruised lips as she chanted the same declaration of her love to Wendy as she’d done with John and Michael. 

                “Sleep well, my dearest.” Mary cooed, before rising up from having knelt at the keyhole, a pained groan accenting her voice while she stretched and moved.

                Unfortunately, as with most nights, Wendy’s heart was broken, and the attempts her mother had just instigated in trying to aid them both in finding solace had been what had sent Wendy into a fit of sobs.  It would be hours before she would finally pass out with exhaustion, just as the sun had begun tinting the gray sky with a wash of tropical colors. 

 

Chapter Text

The next few days, thankfully, were simple, and uneventful.  It was exactly what the Darling children needed at the dismal time of their life.  Luckily, their mother’s sister, Aunt Imogene, had graciously donated a sum of money to aid in paying for the essentials while George was suffering his dry-spell.  It was a blessing in the eyes of Mary, as now George’s stresses had dwindled down, as did the nightly sessions of abuse. Wendy’s nightly prayers had been answered, and things seemed to begrudgingly return to normal.

                That is, until one dreadful morning.

                It was just hours after Wendy Darling had finally gone to sleep when a horrific outcry abruptly shook her out of the haze she’d fallen into. This time, it was different from the typical angry slurring which usually echoed from the lowermost floors; it was utterly despairing.

                “Papa! What’s happened?” George’s voice resounded fearfully from across the hall. A young yet sturdy pair of footsteps patted past Wendy’s door, followed by a more timid set shadowing just behind.  Her brothers had also recognized the unusual hopeless tone of their father’s slurring and had since gone to investigate.  Good on them, Wendy thought, recalling the night she’d tried to be brave, like them.

                Suddenly, without barely a moment to separate the two events, John’s thundering footfalls echoed towards Wendy’s room before he abruptly threw open the door and grabbing the older sister by her forearm, his face as pale as the first winter’s snow while panic possessed his features.

                “What’s wrong?” Wendy cried in dismay, her gaze flickering over George’s in hopes of revealing the truth for herself.

                “Mother’s not breathing.”

                Wendy’s heart was a lump of coal before John had even concluded the statement.

                Her mother was… dead. She couldn’t be dead—She was Mary Darling—she was supposed to live until Michael got married and Wendy had children. Mary Darling couldn’t not be alive.

                In only her nightgown, Wendy raced to her mother’s bedside, unbelieving of what she saw deep within the shrouded bedroom.

                There she laid, her skin the color of dust as she portrayed an almost tranquil expression over her features.  It was as if she simply were sleeping as her hands hugged the patterned coverlet to herself.  When Wendy’s fingertips brushed against her mother’s cheek, her breath caught, the chill of her mother’s once lively spirit now vacant from the shell now resting before them.  She was as cold as a statue, the wine-colored bruises still visible over her arms, neck, and face.  Had she died from the violence inflicted on her?  Or...

Wendy couldn't even conclude her own thoughts. Numbness took hold of her thoughts and emotions.

                “We must alert the authorities!” John shouted amidst tears in his eyes.  Michael didn’t say anything, simply nodding in grim agreement as he clutched his favored teddy bear in the crook of his arm and nuzzled his face against the aged cloth.  George nodded numbly, simply sitting across from the bed in a massive armchair, a tin flask clutched in his left hand. 

                Meanwhile, Wendy was beyond distraught. Was this a preventable conclusion to her beloved mother’s demise? Or had it been a mercy killing?  Wendy couldn’t even fathom the possibility that her father might’ve delivered the killing blow that sent their mother up to the heavens, but that also could’ve been a possibility.  As John and Michael chattered away to the constable over the phone, Wendy slowly looked up at her inebriated father.

                “Did you do this?” She whispered, her voice betraying the true horror her mind was still fixated on. George jolted up as if he hadn’t heard the timid voice of his own daughter just now.

                “Of course not, stupid girl!” George retorted, glaring at the ashen figure strewn across the grand bed. “How could I have? You may have lost a mother, but I lost my wife.”

                Wendy heard the despair in his voice and quickly recanted her accusations with a bow of her head. “I’m sorry, Papa.” She whispered, big, plump tears rolling down her youthful cheeks as she clutched the haggard corpse of her mother.

                It wasn’t long at all before a resounding thud announced the arrival of the police who carefully assessed the scene and were forced to take the body of the youthful woman to the mortician's. Wendy, at first, would have none of it, her arms constricted around the chilled body as she pleaded with the officers to leave their beloved mother alone, and that she surely would wake again like in the Faerietales.  No one wanted to separate the mourning girl from her mother, but eventually, such maneuvers had to be observed as two officers held Wendy as if she were a porcelain doll, and the rest of them spent a few minutes carefully placing the dead woman onto an awaiting cot, all while George Darling observed the performance without emotion.  The three Darlings’ held each other as the officers bid their leave, taking with them the once vibrant woman that was their mother, away as though she were naught more than a broken fragment of machinery.  Wendy and John nestled Michael between them as they cried into the other’s shoulder, each one calling out to the woman who’d never again arrive at the summon.  They hardly even noticed George getting up and leaving to go for a walk, flasks in hand as he clumsily wrapped his overcoat around himself and gruffly smacked his hat on over his balding head. 

                That was when it was decided that the three Darling children would adjourn into the nursery and stay in the same bed in order to protect one another from the potential violence that their mother could no longer shield them from.

                As was the tradition, Wendy would open the window looking out towards The Big Ben, tuck Michael into the center of the bed, before permitting John and herself to nestle themselves in.  The door was already locked, and a chair had been expertly placed beneath the handle.  If their father were to return in the wee hours of the morning, he would have no one to attack but himself or the inanimate objects which littered the house.

                For the first time, despite the abrupt and unfortunate circumstances, Wendy could feel herself dozing off in the safety of her brothers’ warmth; Michael now resting his face against the puff of her nightgown’s sleeve.

                “Mother doesn’t have to worry about getting beat again,” John said softly in the gloom of the dark Nursery.

                Michael made a noise of agreement, “She doesn’t have to worry about hiding her bruises anymore.”

                Wendy gave Michael a kiss on his forehead for such an innocent proclamation.

                “That’s right.” Wendy agreed as she stroked her younger brother’s thick brown hair and tried to ignore the heat of newly brewing tears.

                “Wendy?” Michael inquired softly against his sister’s neck.

                “Yes, Michael?” She replied gently as she stared into the ceiling as though it were a faded collection of hieroglyphs on a wall.

                “Will you tell us a story about Peter Pan like you used to?”

                Wendy was glad it was dark so that neither of the boys could see the tears rolling down her cheeks upon hearing her youngest brother’s request. It’d been seemingly years since she’d told such a tale, even though it’d barely been a few weeks at the most.

                With her fingers combing unconsciously through Michael’s ravenous bed-head, Wendy allowed a small smile to part her pink lips.

                “Once upon a time, on an island called Neverland…”

 

((((0000))))

 

The funeral held for Mary Darling was a dainty spectacle to be had.  She had many friends in her lifetime, and seemingly all of them had attended, each one adorned in a matching ebony shroud.   Yet to make the display even more theatrical, the day of the funeral was laden with a wash of gray clouds and rain, as if heaven itself were also mourning the dismal loss that humanity had suffered. 

Wendy, John, and Michael walked ahead of the droves, just behind their father as he held a massive display of creamy flowers which looked like they’d been woven in spider-silk.  Mary’s brother, sisters, mother, and an innumerable collection of former college associates, childhood friends, and even various acquaintances from George’s former workplace, who’d once been introduced to the doting mother, were gathered to the local cemetery to mourn the loss of one of their own.  There were so many tears shed on behalf of the pale woman on display in her coffin before the priest, joining the rain in their cascade towards the mossy floor.   Latin chanting was declared to the crowd, promising that Mary’s dedication to the church had assured her a prosperous afterlife in Heaven, with God.

Wendy fidgeted with the corset wrapped tightly around her abdomen, her emotions drained from having to exhibit the frail corpse that had once been her mother over a dozen times in the past few days.  She noted that the lace sleeve adorning her mother’s wrists had fallen, exposing a collection of yellowing bruises which would most certainly offer speculation in the eyes of any who were able to chance a glance downward from young woman’s heavily painted face.

As soon as she was able, Wendy carefully set the porcelain rose to stretch overtop her mother’s folded arms, her fingertips chastely brushing over the lace in order to conceal the abuses she’d suffered prior to her death.  She’d hoped that there’d be no contact between herself and the icy flesh that was now her mother, but there was, and that alone sent chills running up Wendy’s spine.

George carefully pulled her away from the coffin, and that’s when Wendy realized she’d been staring for far longer than was considered normal. George was next, and Wendy admired him so for placing a kiss on his mother’s forehead while placing his own flowers over her breast.  Wendy never would’ve had the courage to do so on her own.

Lastly, Michael approached the coffin, his deep blue eyes dewy and forlorn. Instead of setting his own flower where his elder siblings had, he removed a familiar teddy-bear she’d given him for his first birthday.  Without a word to counter the hushed comments rippling from the crowds, Michael placed the worn teddy-bear so that it nuzzled along her neck.  

“I love you, mummy.  Teddy's helped me when I've had bad dreams... maybe he'll help you now.” Michael whispered, his voice cracking just before Wendy scooped him up and held him as though he were an infant once more.   There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience as they witnessed the sentimental offering donated by the youngest of the Darling children.
               

                With as much reluctance as could ever be displayed, the droves having gathered now began to dissipate and adjourn back to their own families.  George had left long before, obviously having made up his mind to visit the local tavern and drown away his sorrows in the day’s grog.  Wendy, John, and Michael were left to admire the display of flowers having been set over the dirt which now covered the body of their mother.

                “It doesn’t make sense…” John murmured, his voice stiff and unwavering.  Wendy turned to her seemingly apathetic sibling in confusion while she rocked John who’d by now almost fallen asleep on her shoulder.

                “What’s not making sense?” Wendy asked, her voice cracking at the sheer bewilderment of her brother’s statement.  “She’s dead. We’re alone with our father--.”

                “No, not that… she died suddenly, did she not?” John retorted, the rain having distorted his eye-glasses so that Wendy couldn’t scrutinize his true expression.

                “Well..., yes…” Wendy replied as the trio slowly began their long walk home, following the trails left behind by the former guests of the funeral. 

                “She was fine, and then she wasn’t. I will say this now; I’m more than certain that father had something to do with it.”

                “John! You cannot say that aloud!” Wendy pleaded as they emerged onto the sidewalk, receiving various nods of empathy from the company shambling along the walkways.

                “I can if it is true, and it is. While father is still away at the pub, I’m going to investigate like a true detective.” John boasted, despite his deep voice wearied with grief.

                “Not now, John, you’re exhausted, and we’ve had a long day…” The Darling children rounded the corner onto their beloved terrace, quietly admiring the buds of flowers that their mother had planted only that spring. No one would be around to replace the bulbs once they’d concluded their terms.

                “It must be now! There must be justice for our mother, Wendy! Don’t you understand?”

                “Not so loud!” Wendy whispered hoarsely as she carefully carried Michael up the stairs and into the nursery so he could take the nap he so desperately sought. “If the neighbors hear, and word gets back to father, he’ll… he’ll…” Wendy was shaking like a leaf, but not from the cold.

                John’s shoulders slumped in grim agreement. “You’re right.  I will not say anything until there is concrete evidence.  Does that satisfy you, sister?”

                “It does,” Wendy replied before she, too, adjourned to her own bedroom, slipping off the tight-knit ebony garment she’d forced herself into that morning.  Without worrying about the need for a nightgown, or any other sort of covering to conceal away her underclothes, Wendy slipped into her bed, lethargy having washed over her limbs and forced her to abide by the demands they lacked.  After all, now was the best time since her father wasn’t home, and there was always the possibility of reading if it was found that she couldn’t sleep that night.

                That’s when she was instantly reminded of the lock on her door, and how it would be especially essential under the implications of her father returning home in a state of absolute rage.

                Scampering over to the door, a horrifying realization befell Wendy upon the discovery of the former slot beneath the knob, intended for the key to be slotted, was now nothing more than a hole which went right out to the other side of the door.

                Her father must’ve stolen it away, Wendy thought with a rush of panic. What was she to do if her father decided that she had vexed him somehow?

                She feared the results of informing her brother of the recent turn of events, and so, set about closing the door once again, and then bracing the back of her chair beneath the doorknob as a makeshift barricade.  It wasn’t nearly as grand as the steel hull of Captain Hook’s ship, but anything was better than being completely without defense. If it were in her power, Wendy surely would’ve barred her door closed forever with iron locks and chains to keep her father from harming her as he’d done to her mother. She would then await Peter Pan to rescue her as he’d done countless times before. 

                With the fragments of a smile causing her lips to curl upwards, she fell asleep to the hope that her beloved Peter would return so that she could give him... a thimble.

 

 

Chapter Text

                There was someone in the bedroom with her.

                At first, Wendy had believed it to have been a dream, but soon the noises became all the more insistent; a soft rustling of fabric somewhere near the corner of her room, over by the doorway.

                Confusion, followed by a sense of dread at once washed over Wendy as she opened her eyes, yet still pretended as though she were asleep.  Her door was open, the chair having been placed on the nearby wall.  That’s when she caught sight of a hunched figure standing at the adjacent side of her bed.  Chills ran up and down her spine at the mere knowledge that someone, anyone, was watching her while she slept. The fear that it might’ve been Captain Hook, or perhaps even a burglar having broken in, caused tremors of fear to race up and down her spine; yet the very real possibility of it being someone much closer to her could’ve caused her to faint from the racing thoughts ensnaring her mind. 

                Despite the still impossibly dark room, Wendy already could tell that the figure was at least twice her size, and most certainly would not allow her any feasible victory if she were to attempt an escape.

                That’s when her coverlets were sluggishly drawn aside, exposing her bony little legs to the crisp night air.  Her timid feet quickly retreated to the warmth of the blankets once more, but a beefy hand wrapped around her ankles, pinning her down.  Goosebumps blanketed her flesh.   

                A slurred rasping resonated from the stranger, indicating that he was as drunk as a fool while he let out a blubbering cacophony of chatter which Wendy couldn’t attempt to decipher.  Now, she was afraid but could do nothing while her panic froze her in place.

                That was when the unthinkable happened.

                By now, through the attempts of her nervous legs to retreat into warmth again, her nightgown had risen far past her knees.  

She hadn’t considered the repercussions of the thrashing until it was far too late.  With a graceless succession of movements, the inebriated creature clambered atop her bed and pinned her down with his bulbous legs situated between her own.  A yelp escaped her lips, which then caused the man to realize his ploy had been found out.  At the same moment, the blubbering he’d iterated before now emerged in full translation.

                “… So much like your mother...”

                A clumsy hand brushed upwards towards her womanhood, eliciting a wide array of foreign feelings coursing through the young girl like a hurricane. 

                “Papa, no!” Wendy pleaded, but not before he silenced her with a forceful kiss against her face, his breath rank with the day’s drinking.  His hips began to plow against hers, though he did not penetrate while her underthings stood in place. 

                He was naked from the waist down, her father’s typically regal attire now unkempt and disheveled in his haste to satisfy himself.  Wendy could feel his warm skin against her own.  It heated her icy flesh, but inevitably triggered more panic than ever the young girl had experienced in her short lifetime.  

                “Yes, yes… Please~!... Mary!” He moaned, his grinding becoming more labored and frantic while he rasped against her throat, biting it to halt any further refusal.  Tears ran down Wendy’s face as she continued to strain against his advances, but found that her efforts merely provoked more enjoyment from him.  Her nightgown now rested above her belly-button.

                Without any legitimate warning to prepare the young woman for her fate, George Darling then ripped her underthings away and tossed them into a corner. 

                “Please, Papa--.” She whined in desperation as she continued to kick and fight against him.

                It was then that his hips came crashing against her, his hardness forcefully tearing through her virgin entryway despite how much it resisted.  Wendy’s pleas were silenced as a hoarse wailing ripped through, so pitched and unwavering it simply came out as a dry hiss. 

                “Stop fighting!” George growled as he forced her face to the side with his forearm while his other hand grasped tightly against her hip.  That’s when the worst of the torturous endeavor began, the sheer agony of it all being the only thing Wendy could focus on as her father relentlessly thrust into her until he was able to form a rhythm in his movements.  A sticky wetness emerged between Wendy’s legs, which served to lessen the impact of her father’s merciless thrusts. 

                “Such a good girl, such a good girl… so wet for me…” He moaned in a slurred rasp while his fingertips sluggishly ran through her stringy lengths of hair as a drunken effort to pacify the pain resounding through her with each thrust.  Wendy couldn’t find a response to justify her thoughts as she desperately willed away the agony coursing through her.  Numbness claimed her senses as she stared off into the distance, eventually associating herself with it and allowing it to consume her entirely.  

Then, and only then, did she find a slight glint of peace amidst the chaos unfolding around her.  She became as limp as a boned fish, and in doing so, allowed her to regard the assault as being an unavoidable event that would hurt less if she simply accepted it.  Like a shard of driftwood amidst a raging storm, she would allow the ocean to do with it what it willed, even if it meant she could lose herself in the process. 

George’s thrusts became more insistent and surely as he let out a cacophony of moans and whimpers.  He forced her face to stare up at him as he continued to rock against her, the darkness concealing his features, but not the animalistic hunger in his eyes.

“So beautiful… My darling Wendy… Now a young woman…--.” His words were halted by a resounding moan, the loudest one yet, followed by a riotous spasm of his hardness still inside her.  A rush of warmth overtook Wendy’s body as her own father’s seed filled her until it eventually spilled out from her.  The warmth her father had forced into her stung her raw flesh as the foreign essence bled out, but Wendy couldn’t find the ability to care anymore.  It was over.

George slid out from her, panting heavily with exhaustion as he brushed his arm against his forehead which glimmered with sweat.  Wendy couldn’t move in response, her body aching with each slight movement. George left her there, tugging his trousers back over his toned legs before departing from the bedroom of his eldest daughter.

A strange substance leaked out from between her legs and pooled on her mattress, but the strength to care about anything anymore had long ago departed from the young woman.  Despite the unwavering chill in the grand bedroom, Wendy fell asleep once more, completely disregarding the chilly state of her legs and waist while they remained uncovered by the blanket having protected them for so many years before.  Where now was the protection her blanket had supplied since she was young?  Why had it forsaken her when she needed it most?

Despite there being no nightmares to plague her rest, the unyielding darkness prompted her hopeless fear and panic in a way that was so much worse than any nightmare. 

Too broken to cry, Wendy felt less like a human and more like a statue.  Perhaps she subconsciously wanted to be a statue so that she never again felt pain…  Were there yet any scientific anomalies that had the potential of transforming her to stone?  Such a magnificent spectacle she would be for all the city to view and appreciate.  Everyone would gather around to bear witness to the girl-statue who looked out to the crowds with reverence and dignity.  No one would wonder about her past, nor how badly she might’ve been hurt during her lifetime.  They would simply admire her radiance as though she were an ancient goddess…

Oh, how magnificent a statue Wendy would be.

       

 ****

                Blood.

                It had been blood which leaked from between her legs all throughout the night. 

                When she’d finally yielded to the summons of the morning, Wendy found she could hardly move without a harsh, shooting pain roiling up her every nerve and causing tears to sting the edges of her vision.  That was when she forced herself upright with great strain and difficulty, and abruptly discovered the horrifying burgundy stain painted overtop her once flawless cotton sheets; physical evidence of her father’s transgressions against her. 

                The flesh between her legs burned and ached without ceasing, the pain amplifying when she’d sat up, which caused the persistent tears welling behind her eyes to abruptly fall.  It wasn’t simply the physical pain which caused her to weep, although it played a significant part, but also how fast her own father had disregarded her own comforts in service to his own.  

He hadn’t even thought to check on the girl he’d so carelessly destroyed, but for that, she was genuinely grateful.   She didn’t even feel bad that her brothers had not checked her as they regularly did at about that time of the morning.  It gave her the time she needed to process her next course of action while she tended to the sickly crimson mess now painted over her linens.  At least it was over…

                Pain and fatigue compelled her feeble efforts towards concealing away her father’s transgressions until she finally made up her mind to lay down once more when everything had been thrown into the launder’s basket.  She would wash those later, but for now, Wendy would treat her injuries like any other she’d ever received during her lifetime; through resting. 

With a cloth bandage rolled up and pressed between her legs to absorb the remaining carnage that might’ve been left behind, she dressed into another nightgown, though adamantly slowly while her joints fought in protest.  She could feel the bandage already gathering up the residual blood-flow and felt ashamed at the diaper-like padding pressed so against her nether region.  What had she done to deserve the abuses she’d received? There was no denying that the crimes were hefty as she’d never before experienced a worse disciplinary tactic than the one she’d been given late last night.  Did all Papas do that to their daughters?  Had George and Michael had similar punishments wrought upon them?  All these questions and more weighed heavily on Wendy’s mind with each second seeming to mock her as it passed.  She ignored when her brothers had come to collect her for afternoon tea, feigning illness when they pleaded for her.  It stung to rebuke her younger kin so, but Wendy could see no other alternative, and to have them potentially discover the truth behind her frail and sickly composure would’ve destroyed her.  

She was Wendy Moira Angela Darling, and she wouldn’t allow her beloved subjects to bear witness to her lowly human suffrage, even when her one true love, who had every ability to steal her away from this torture, would not reveal himself at her pleas. 

Peter… Oh, Peter… Won’t you return to me?  For I’ve forgotten how to fly…      

Chapter Text

Her father returned to her again that night, as reckless and unsurely as he’d been before.

Only this time, he hadn’t waited for Wendy to be asleep. 

She’d been dutifully reading one of the classics in hopes of it lulling her to sleep, but all such trials ended when her door was thrown open with a horrific ‘Crack!’ 

                Splinters and chips of plaster fluttered to the ground from the sheer force of the blow but went entirely unnoticed as Wendy instinctively crushed her knees against her chest in hopes of that providing some semblance of protection against her father’s predicted advances.

                Dried vomit stood out against his once befitting white suit-shirt and blood streamed from a freshly torn lip only for it to be mopped up by the unshaven scruff of his chin.   As far as Wendy could tell, today’s visit to the tavern had not resulted in any pleasantries spared by her father’s reflexive fury, and the injuries he’d sustained further proved her theory. 

                George Darling snarled at the frightened figure in the bed, his eyes burning with rage as his fingertips flexed into fists.

                “John tells me you’ve done nothing but mope about in your room all day; is that so?”

                The supposed question concealed the unforgiving demand for an answer—and God save anyone who dared to deny the disgraced upholder of household law his self-proclaimed rights. 

                “I have been feeling ill, Papa, I’m sorry I couldn’t tend to the chores today without getting everyone else sick--,”

                “Rubbish!”

                A porcelain figure having rested daintily on Wendy’s side-table was abruptly hoisted and tossed across the room for it only to smash into a plethora of shards against the floor.  Wendy suppressed a sob of remorse for the dainty heirloom, but not before her father had abruptly torn her coverlet from the mattress and tossed it so that it now served as a shroud over the porcelain fragments.

                “Get up!” He roared, causing Wendy to cower in absolute terror as she held her hands up as a feeble attempt to shield herself against any potential blows.  This only served to worsen her father’s already heartless disposition towards his daughter, and with that, grabbed the smaller woman by one of her defensive wrists, and twisted her around so that he could take his place at the edge of the bed and place her over his knees.

                “Nasty brat!  Nasty, nasty, nasty thing!” He slurred.

                With each nasty, another smack was planted against her bottom, causing her to scream and cry out for mercy.  That’s when he stopped, which gave Wendy the illusion of her night’s torments being over early.

                But how wrong she was…

                As she was still reeling from the humiliating beating her posterior had received, she suddenly felt her undergarments being thrown aside, along with the bloodied rag having rested there.  This seemed to intrigue George Darling, who didn’t waste a moment before he’d shoved his index and middle fingers into her battered entrance and quickly pulled them back out.

                “My darling Wendy,… you’ve had your first bleed.”

                She could almost sense some praise in her slobbering father’s tone, but such a tranquil moment did not last for long, for her every fear was soon realized and abruptly used against her.

                “That doesn’t mean that I shall not savor your delicious cunt, child, but rather, will ravage it all the more as a celebration of your newly established womanhood.”

Like a villainous tyrant in a book Wendy had once read, he seemed to laugh in a mocking, crow-like cackle, before tossing her from his lap and onto her bed.

                Before her pursuer had a chance to pounce on her, she allowed the violent toss he’d elicited to become a determined tumble off of the bed and onto the awaiting floor below.  A vile cacophony of slurred abuses rained down against her ears, but they did nothing to calm her racing heart as she ran towards the door.  Her bare feet padded rhythmically against the floorboards, and only stuttered after the tender flesh of her heel had been penetrated by a wayward shard of porcelain.  George fumbled to catch his daughter, demanding that she return to him immediately or risk a far worser punishment than the one just recently bestowed.  Blood drained down the insides of her legs in rivulets, but regardless of the growing stain now emerging onto her lacy nightgown, she continued to pursue the illusion of freedom which loomed so near to her.  All she had to do was get to the front porch and out the door before she--.

                “Gotcha!”

                With only the slightest amount of the timidly pluming skirts trailing behind her, George had managed to surprise Wendy enough to cause her to trip and tumble down the hellish number of stairs. 

                Every joint burned with the abrupt conclusion to their gallop, an iron flavor pooling on her tongue from accidentally having bitten it during the fall.  Wendy didn’t even have time to calculate what number of stairs were left until the landing before a raging pain ripped through her head and caused a pitched whine to tear from her newly bruised lips.

                George had taken a fistful of her unruly blonde locks and had proceeded to yank them, inevitably forcing Wendy to stand out of desperation to escape the resounding pain.  Yet although she had conformed to his wordless demand, he continued to pull and yank as though her dainty locks were no more than a leash.  With Wendy’s desperate attempts to free her hair from the relentless heaves, her father began smacking her face back and forth until it was as red as her equally throbbing arse.  Her pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears while he was as belligerent as he was aroused for the child whos demeanor matched that of his late bride's. 

Things began to darken around the edges as blurry tears cascaded from her sapphire eyes as she accepted the possibility that she might not survive the night.  Yet rather than such possibilities tormenting her until her eventual demise, she felt at peace. 

'Mother, you wait for me... Welcome me into your arms--' Wendy pleaded silently, willing herself away from the pain being inflicted on her person. 

A resounding howl rang clear somewhere far off.  Wendy was on the ground, the disassociation she'd been plagued with only serving to confuse her more.  What had happened? 

Michael was by her side in an instant, tugging his sister anxiously while she laid dormant on the wooden floor. 

"Wake up, Wendy, come on!- Come on!" He pleaded as big fat tears rolled down his youthful cheeks.  Wendy hardly had the strength, nor the motivation to rise, every bone in her body choosing to remain vulnerable despite Michael's incessant protests. 

That's when a stronger pair of arms were wrapped around her hips, scraping her doll-like figure from the ground.  It was a face she recognized but could not place a name to.  He was a little taller than Wendy, fair, freckled skin boasting many months and years of outdoor exploration and adventure.  The strange boy's eyes glimmered beneath his ravenous ginger locks with a wisdom which far exceeded his youthful presence. 

"Peter!" Michael and John cheered simultaneously.  Wendy could feel a foreign sense of joy shock briefly through her system but kept reserved in the event that all of this was but a facade of the mind meant to trick her. 

In his scrutiny of the bulbous figure lying unmoving on the ground, Peter turned towards Wendy's brothers, hate written plain across his features for the unconscious adult. 

"What's happened?  Who did this to her?" Peter inquired stiffly as he continued to clutch the barely coherent woman to his chest.  She burrowed her face affectionately into his shoulder. 

George was the one who'd answered, "It's too long of a tale to tell, just get her out of here, for her sake." Michael demanded after some muffled chatter resonated incoherently against Wendy's ears.

"And leave you behind?" 

'No, Peter, don't leave them here!'  Wendy pleaded in her head, the strength to move and speak freely having been reaped from her.  Sleep was fast approaching, and Wendy knew it wouldn't be much longer before it would finally consume her. 

"Yes, we can take care of everything here, just get her away from this... please..." 

That was the last thing Wendy was able to understand before succumbing to her exhaustion, a dreamless slumber affectionately welcoming her as though they were old friends. 

She wouldn't fight anymore; it was time to sleep.  

      

               

 

 

Chapter Text

It felt as though a hundred years had passed before Wendy eventually opened her eyes to the golden sunlight just beginning to peer through the voluptuous canopies overhead.  The sky was painted in more colors than could be composed by an earthly-artist, and that brought an admirative smile to the young girl’s face.

                She was laying on a bed of furs in the middle of a magnificent jungle which boasted a dazzling emerald wash behind a plethora of unique wildflowers.  She’d been to this place before, and recognized it for its dreamlike atmosphere.

                Neverland…     

                “This is a dream…” Wendy mused quietly to herself as she peered about her surroundings, an absented grin plastered on her lips.  After all, could she not enjoy this blessed realm her mind had conjured for the short duration she could?  In but a few short moments she would undoubtedly return to the dismal circumstances at home, and inevitably, her father’s wrath, so what harm was there to revel in such a unique environment?

This was not the first time she’d envisioned such a place; an island which was alive and had a spirit and personality all its own, and which floated like a lily pad along the grand ocean’s currents to wherever it desired rather than like an earthly island which was rooted to the marine floor.  It was an enchanted island-- one that unbelievers would never have the opportunity to visit, leaving its few, equally remarkable, inhabitants free to do as they pleased.  Like a precious heirloom, Neverland’s occasional visitors were charged with its anonymity and concealment, thereby creating a secret coven of unique children who all harbored one distinctive secret.  It was for the best, Wendy knew.  For if an adult- someone with ties to Earth and its delusions of grandeur- were to find out about this sacred land, it would be treated like a tourist attraction and certainly destroyed in the process.  That idea disgusted Wendy, which then prompted her to acknowledge how truly long this particular dream was among the others she’d experienced in her lifetime.  Surely, she would rise soon?

                A shadow sped past Wendy’s peripheral vision, causing her to pivot her head in its direction.  Had it been a beast about to pounce?

                No; a boy.

                Peter… Her Peter… now stood before her with the same charming smile he always wore for her, as though she’d never once left.  With his fists rigid against his scrawny, boyish hips, he beheld the young girl as though he were the valiant storybook knight having rescued the princess from a dragon.  In a sense, he had, Wendy decided.

                With a wild mop of dirty-brown hair cascading around his round, youthful cheeks, a lively pair of glimmering sapphire eyes followed her own as she slowly collected herself.  

                It wasn’t long before she could feel a blush rising to her cheeks, “Hello, Peter.” She whispered coyly, praying that this dream would last just a few moments more.

                “Wendy-Bird…” He replied before sitting beside her on the furs.  He sat so close that she was able to recognize his usual musky aroma, which Wendy had grown to adore since it was among the tell-tale signs of Peter’s presence.  The best way such a distinctive flavor could be described was that of an adventure; the signature fragrance of pine, gingersnap, and burnt bark all tied in together with the contrasting perfumes of flowers and fresh soil.   All these and more were what came to mind as Wendy breathed daintily against the air surrounding him.

                “This isn’t a dream…” She proclaimed softly to herself, surprising Peter, whose smile faltered if only for a moment.  His usual carefree demeanor was then replaced with that of a concerned adult; quite awkward and out of place on the immortal boy’s face.

                “You were bleeding… and bruised… I’d never seen anything like it… Girls don’t get hurt like boys do, I thought…” He was obviously straining to piece together the macabre scene he’d witnessed the night prior.  None of the merfolk he’d befriended, or even the beautiful Tiger Lily, showed signs of injury or pain while he knew them.  How was it then that Wendy was the only one he’d ever seen decorated with bruises and slashes?  Peter soon concluded that it was because an adult-man had inflicted enough pain to injure another like him, and had disregarded her incapacity to tolerate such abuses.

                “Girls are just like boys, Peter… We get hurt sometimes too…” As Wendy spoke this, she slid her hand against where she knew a gruesome laceration had slashed across her fair skin, only to find green bandages tightly entwined around and fastened with a makeshift pin sculpted from a thorn.  Like Peter, she was wearing a simple tunic made of sewn leaves and had inadvertently been using her other clothes as a pillow and blanket duo, but frankly, she was glad to be out of them.  Already she’d forgotten when last she’d changed out of those stained rags.  

                “Where’s George and Michael?” she asked softly even though the inquiry seemed foolish at this rate.

                Peter was openly reluctant, his fingers nervously running through his wild mop of dirty blond locks.  He seemed flustered, which was a first for Peter.

                “They asked me to take you here and keep you safe… I figured I owed them for saving my Lost Boys from Hook last time you were all here...” His cerulean eyes were now peering into hers, obvious shame overshadowing everything else. “Tink and I got in a fight the other day, and I only had enough Pixie Dust to get me there and back.  The only way I was able to bring you along was that I carried you in my arms the whole way…” His serious expression turned goofy. “Did you know you sucked your thumb when you’re asleep?  I thought only babies did that?” He scrunched his face up as he teased her playfully.  

                Wendy was back to blushing red as a cherry while Peter laughed and cavorted throughout the empty air before stopping, his face abruptly sullen.

                “If you’d rather be with your brothers than here… I won’t stand in your way… Though you’d have to get the Pixie Dust from Tink.  I’m still mad at her.”  He declared rather sheepishly.  Wendy could sense his fear of her departure once more.

                Hadn’t she asked for this dream- back when she’d believed wholeheartedly that it was one- to last longer?  Now she had the opportunity to ensure that that remained the case.  Though she was worried for John and Michael, and the fates they would be resigned to without her, she could feel her reluctance gently slipping away from her thoughts.  After all, John was old enough to take on the responsibilities she had shouldered for all these years.  They could thrive so much better than if she were there, Wendy knew…

                She gave a carefree grin, standing upright from the fur bedding before taking Peter’s hands into hers.  There were a plethora of aches and cramps engulfing her body, but she ignored them.  “I will stay here.  My home has made it clear it doesn’t want me there anymore.” 

                Peter returned the equally ecstatic grin before hefting Wendy into the air as though she were made of cotton.  Spinning her around, they tore through the air, Wendy’s arms left to wrap around his shoulders while they flew throughout Neverland’s wilds.  Her mossy green tunic billowed behind her like a flag through the rush of summer air as a giggle bubbled up from her lips while they briefly glanced overtop the calm waves of Neverland’s azure seas.  It’d been so long since she’d laughed so genuinely.

                “I’ll get you a knife just like mine so you can learn to protect yourself, hunt, and live off the land—I’ll have my Lost Boys begin the construction of a treehouse just for you; cos you’re a lady—Rufio can assist me in making sure that Hook doesn’t go snooping around while you’re there…  Until you can learn to defend yourself—It might take time since you’re a girl--…”

                Peter’s verbal thoughts were as flighty as he was as he carefully settled the young girl on a rock within the Mermaid Lagoon.  The sun’s rays had yet to grace this particular gem of Neverland, so the local merfolk were still lurking beneath, probably watching the two ‘land-striders’ (as was the label placed on any who were unable to dwell beneath the waves indefinitely.) as they cavorted and plunged through the winds.  Breathless, Wendy laughed, watching as Peter propped himself on a shipwreck’s hull.  The sloping arc of wood was seldom visible through the small armies of barnacles having accumulated over time. 

                “Soon, you’ll know this place just like I do, and we’ll fly around wherever we please… if it makes you feel better, I can also show you how to get to London from here…” His careless demeanor reluctantly soured upon the mention of Wendy’s prior residence.

                “Don’t worry, I trust you’ll ensure that I’m safe.” Wendy offered, which seemed to satisfy the peculiar boy as he began fiddling with a charm adorning a strap of leather around his throat.  It was the ‘Kiss’ Wendy had given him so many years prior.  Its polished exterior was now weathered and tarnished with age, but Wendy was overwhelmed with joy at the sight of the familiar trinket; a symbol of their first meeting…   

                He’d truly never forgotten about her, and that was the evidence for it.  Leaning forward, Wendy clutched either palm around one of Peter’s wrists and gave the spry young boy a sloppy, passionate ‘thimble’.

Chapter Text

                How many days had it been since Wendy had first arrived in Neverland? Days? Weeks? Perhaps, even, months? 

                Despite that dubious little thought at the back of her mind tugging incessantly at her attention, Wendy refused to allow such trivial matters to take root.  She was free to do as she pleased for as long as she desired, and the yearning to go back home never came to mind. 

                It was on one particular day (either Wednesday or Thursday; Wendy couldn’t recall anymore since the days on Neverland rarely ever followed in the clockwork schedule of the mainland) that The Lost Boys had decided they were going to begin the construction of a treehouse in order to later create a magnificent zip-line which spanned from the tallest oak-tree on the southern side of the island, to a tiny patch of land just a few meters from the Mermaid Lagoon.  A small collection of foliage, rocks, and even a tiny sapling grew just off the shoreline on a small pile of rocks and soil.  Usually, the Faeries were seen there, either enjoying the warm summer air, or scouring the tidepools in search of lost things, but now, it’d be a landing pad.

                ‘Lost things’, as Wendy had come to understand, where the given definition of anything having washed up from the Mainland onto Neverland’s shores.  Peculiar baubles, such as keys, bolts, kitchen-knives, spoons, and even various pieces of jewelry were found washed up along the white sands of Neverland’s beaches.  If the Mermaids were not quick enough to discover it in time (on account for their natural lust for shiny, beautiful things), the faeries were the next to lay claim to them.  Every now and then, Wendy would go out along the shore with Peter and search for things to decorate her new home with and it wasn’t long before the tiny alcove that had been declared hers (just big enough to hold a taut hammock and an aged barrel which she’d repurposed into a shelf) was littered with various little oddities.  From grand, unscathed seashells to a waterlogged pocket-watch, and even, a monocle with a small crack snaking from one side to the other, nothing was ever too broken for Wendy to adorn her chambers with.  Anything to remind her of the subtle joys of England’s dilapidated cities and villages.   

Since her room was among the few which had a window to peer out into the mess of ferns and moss, Wendy carefully assembled a quaint little balcony which would best serve the little folk often seen either chasing one another through the sprawling forests or tending to the various flowers growing throughout the land.  Needless to say, they were harmless, and rarely ignored Wendy’s greeting whenever she happened upon one of their inconspicuous little nests.   

In fact, from that very window, Wendy could see a collection of Lost Boys, all clad in their rustic forest-garbs, assembling around the great oak while one of them had proceeded to clamber up its lowermost branches.

It was Twiggs; one of the youngest of the human-inhabitants of Neverland, and one that reminded Wendy most of her brother when he was young.  Encumbered with a surely length of rope around his shoulders, Twiggs continued upward to the fork of the tree, urged by the cheers of his brethren waiting beneath.  Wendy watched with aghast awe, fearful that the small boy with the dirty blond hair and freckles would fall and hurt himself. 

Unfortunately, Wendy’s fears would soon be proven rational when Twiggs accidentally shoved his hand into what had originally appeared to be an abandoned squirrel’s nest but was actually that of a faerie’s.   Needless to say, the tiny winged things were not pleased with their bedraggled intruder, and promptly began circling frenziedly around the boy, jabbing at him at each opportunity with what appeared to be sewing needles (a commonly used weapon among the faeries of Neverland).  Twiggs cried out with each poke and eventually ended up losing his footing on the outstretched branches beneath and tumbling backward.             

He fell a few feet and landed on his arse, his legs propped unceremoniously against the vertical trunk of the tree.  The motley group of children were laughing and teasing the fallen boy, before another member began his trek up the scratchy, snagging bark, ignoring the faeries as they hurled a cacophony of curses which resounded only as tiny, ringing chimes.  

Wendy wasted little time in running over, anxious to find out what she might do to help poor young Twiggs in his abrupt defeat.  Everyone’s attention was now moved to the newer, stronger Lost Boy who’d already gone far beyond where Twiggs had, apologizing profusely to the faeries as he went. 

“Are you alright? Do you need a bandage? Some medicine?” Wendy stammered as the emerged from the hollowed-out tree.

The flurry of questions only served to intimidate the small child, who merely shook his head and righted himself.  Thankfully, it wasn’t often that injuries occurred, as Neverland’s influence had caused an increase in physical durability and stamina.  While a fall similar to the one Twiggs had experienced would’ve suffered a Mainland child a severe concussion and perhaps even a few bones broken, Twiggs had gotten up with barely a scuff on his calves and a subtle bruise against his shoulders. Wendy felt her demeanor slacken when she realized the boy was fine. 

“You’re always so worried…” A deep voice commented, bidding Wendy to turn.

It was Felix; one of the few Lost Boys to be almost considered a man.

He was a bit older than Wendy, and perhaps even older than Peter, but that did little to tarnish his boyish demeanor and playful aptitude.  With his hair tousled and unkempt as it hung in long, shapeless tendrils, his eyes shone as though he were about to relay a long-concealed secret.

“Back home, a fall like that would’ve rendered a boy in need of a hospital,” Wendy stated plainly as she plucked a rogue feather from the ground.  It was a magnificent scarlet and glimmered like silk.

Felix gave her a puzzled glance, “What’s a… hose-pet-all..?”

Wendy laughed, but before she could give the appropriate response, she stopped short. 

“I… I don’t remember.”

She could recall it was a massive building full of people of every age, that everyone wore white, and that anyone who went in would come back out in bandages.  What in the name of Neverland happened in there?

Felix smiled, “You must’ve made it up then.” He turned on a heel and made his way towards the nearby shoreline.  The azure waves lapped impishly against the slight banks, revealing a plethora of forgotten treasures with each advance along the shore.  Wendy wasted no time in following the taller boy, skirting his heels while she searched feverishly for another trinket to add to her collections.

Wendy followed absently behind, “Yea… I guess I did…”

Felix gave a churlish shrug at the timid girl’s bemusement, instead opting to glance in her direction, uncertainty clearly written across his features. 

“Something’s bothering you… what is it?” Wendy chirped, charging ahead of him before rooting herself defiantly before him.  Felix, of course, halted, his eyes roaming over her porcelain features. 

“Wendy, I would like to have what you’ve given Peter; I would like to have a thimble.”

Wendy’s face turned red as a pomegranate at this sudden declaration, feeling shocked, and then embarrassment for the friend she’d grown to care for like a brother. 

“Peter told me strange things about thimbles…  He said it got him to fly higher and faster than ever he had in his lifetime…” Felix approached her, which caused her to take a nervous step backward.  “Show me how to?” He pried gently, his voice deep and barely above a whisper.  

This progressed until she was braced against a nearby tree and Felix was growing ever nearer, his wolflike gaze boring into hers.  Peter was especially protective of his Wendy-Bird, but Felix was his right-hand… Surely, he harbored benefits that the other Lost Boys didn’t…

She hadn’t a second longer to evaluate her options before Felix had lowered his head and pressed an open-mouthed kiss against her lips, coating her chin and cupid’s bow in saliva as a result of little to no experience.  She tried to pull away, but he held her face to his, his thumbs stroking her sharp jawline and down the contours of her neck as greed consumed his movements.  That’s when something seemed to take over Wendy, driving her to new heights that her drunken father had never allowed her to pursue.  It was she who deepened the kiss she was now indulging with Felix, uncaring of the later consequences were Peter to find out.  Wendy pulled at his clothes, deepening the kiss until they were both moaning loudly through their nostrils.

“He was right!” He moaned coarsely, pausing a moment to assault her lips for another moment.  “It feels so good!”  

Within moments Felix’s tongue was forced between her lips, and she obliged it, allowing him to do with her what he willed and hold her in whatever way he preferred.  Stars glimmered behind her eyelids as she had begun matching his incessant thrusts against her thigh.  It was as though she were recalling a nightmare, and yet reading it in a way that it wasn’t so horrifying anymore.  She wanted more, but what more could she want?  A sinking suspicion at the back of her mind dubiously emerged, which caused Wendy to contemplate more devious activities they could be doing.  For a moment, she even wondered how big Felix was…

All at once, he pulled back, wiping his mouth with a calloused palm as his breathing came out in deep, loud gasps.  Wendy straightened from the trunk of the tree, her cheeks still a deep shade of crimson as she quietly dragged the back of her arm against her lips.  There was a heat to Wendy’s gaze, but no longer one of embarrassment.    

It took a moment for Felix to gather himself properly again as his eyes scanned over every inch of Wendy’s slender, young body.

“I would like to do that again… later… when the Lost Boys are asleep…” Now Felix seemed to be the more flustered of the pair, despite the fact that Wendy was still quivering like a leaf.  “It will be our little secret, yes?” His eyes filled with mischief while his breathing reluctantly returned to normal.

It didn’t even come to mind that she would tell Peter of such happenings between her and Felix. 

“I want more… now…” Wendy moaned breathlessly.  “Please, Felix…?”

Felix studied her impatient features, puzzlement slowly appearing on his own;

“More of what?”

 

 

Wendy was more than just a little infuriated at the abrupt conclusion of Felix’s and her activities earlier that evening.  But rather than allow her incessant arousal to bother her for the next few hours, she decided that she would do something about it. 

There were no doors to separate Wendy from The Lost Boys, and Peter, but at this point she’d gladly fuck Hook if it meant she could reach some semblance of peace between her thighs.  Hunkering down against the unseen corner of her humble alcove, Wendy spread her legs and allowed the cool air to rake up her heated figure.  The subtle wind felt glorious against her bare womanhood, but was quickly replaced by her fingers found purchase against her eager slit.  This was all so new to her, seeing as how she’d only been for her drunken father’s pleasure and never her own.  The thought of sex had once reviled her beyond compare, but now it entranced her with new ideas and possibilities. 

Sliding her fingers into herself, Wendy was pleased to find that her entrance was tight enough that it took a touch of effort to cram any more than one finger in.  The sensation was absolutely delightful, causing a hazed moan to trail out of her lips. 

Faster…

Deeper…

So… Close…

That’s when a silhouette abruptly filled the adjacent wall, causing Wendy to sit up suddenly, despite the fact that whoever it was had obviously seen her so scandalously spread open.

It was Peter, and he was watching her with an incredulous look on his face.

“What were you doing?” He inquired, his eyes twitching towards her moistened fingers even as she desperately attempted to wipe the fluids off on her skirts. 

“N-Nothing…” She replied, her knees quivering even as she strained to hide such noticeable antics.

Peter’s lips quirked into a devilish smile, “You are a terrible liar, my dear… Show me…”

With a succession of reluctant movements, Wendy repositioned herself in a similar poise as she’d harbored prior to Peter’s untimely approach.  Her cunt was still as pink and eager as it had been, and Peter was positively captivated by the presentation.  That’s when she’d proceeded to finger herself once more, her moans fluttering out from between her lips even as her lover watched in silence. 

“Stop…” Peter demanded, which caused Wendy to jump with a start.  Reluctantly, she slid her fingers out from that tight little entrance, and Peter couldn’t help but be enamored at the sight of a few rivulets of cum glistening against her fingers.

“W-What is it?” She pleaded, desperate to reach her climax before it faded away completely.  

Peter’s eyes were as dark as Felix’s, “I would like to try…”

Wendy glanced down at his palm, admiring how much thicker and longer his fingers were in comparison to her own.  Then she tried to imagine what his other finger might’ve looked like.

He approached her warily, even after she’d given him a consenting nod of approval. 

“I’ve never seen something so strange… have you had yours cut off?” He asked sharply, worry replacing the intrigue he’d momentarily held.  “The injury looks severe if it still hasn’t healed properly--…”

“Cut off--? No!  This is what girls look like between their legs, Peter…” She whined, anxious to feel something anything against her.  “Please, touch me?”

He studied his own fingers for a moment before his index finger and thumb dubiously pulled apart her outer lips.  She arched against the subtle touch, her legs widening further apart when the middle finger of his other hand sluggishly painted down her slit.  Peter decided he enjoyed the soft whimpers The Wendy-Bird was making, and with that being said, decided to replicate exactly what it was she’d been doing mere moments prior.

With very little hassle, Peter slid his index finger into Wendy’s cunt, savoring how tightly it wrapped around.  He thought it was going to be a repulsive activity, but now that he was doing it, a new feeling ignited at the base of his hips.  Something was growing. It had happened on numerous occasions prior, and usually when he wasn’t even thinking about anything in particular.   It had taken some research, but he was eventually able to figure out how to stunt such a peculiar event.   

Without thinking to tell Wendy about it, he abruptly unlaced the front of his tunic, producing forth a completely aroused manhood.  He was idly stroking Wendy while doing so, which prompted her to look up in bewilderment, almost frustration, for his negligence.

Her breathing caught short at the sight of Peter’s cock, a new wave of arousal hitting her and resonating deliciously outward.

“Peter…” She moaned softly, watching him as he fucked his own fist. Peter’s eyes flew open as he watched Wendy. “Put it inside me… We’ll both feel good…”

“H-How?” Peter retorted, his eyes full of childish misunderstanding, even as his hands continuously pumped his admirably large erection.  For a moment, Wendy felt bad, but such feelings quickly were overlooked when her cunt begged her attention once more.

“Lay down, I’ll show you…” Wendy whispered, crawling slowly towards Peter as he nervously did as she’d told him.

“This is the stuff that grown-up’s do, isn’t it?” Peter moaned forlornly.

“Yes, but you don’t have to grow up if you don’t want to…” Wendy whispered carefully as she straddled his thighs.  “We can still have this…”

Peter still seemed uncertain, but gave a curt nod for her to continue, his gaze following her every move even as she positioned herself.  

George Darling had frequently made her read scandalous articles only for him to demand that she do exactly what she’d read.  Being on top was one such activity, and despite the fact that Wendy was quite clumsy in that particular position, she would oblige it this one time since Peter was still fairly new to the whole concept of sex or even intercourse.

With a pitched moan, Wendy allowed Peter to be sheathed completely into her drenched cunt, which caused Peter to let out a bellowing, yet breathless, moan. Wendy’s womanhood far surpassed any Lost Boy’s mouth which he had shamelessly defiled, and he didn’t even have to worry about getting bitten!

Wendy attempted to bounce against him but apparently was unable to reach a high enough tempo.  For as soon as she’d been sheathed inside him again, Peter wasted little time in sitting upright and pushing her against the alcove wall.  With as much vigor as an enraged bull, he plowed into Wendy, his nails digging tightly into her plump thighs as she took every last ounce of his force with a blinded acceptance.

“Don’t do it yet, don’t do it yet…” Wendy moaned as Peter’s movements became all the more desperate.  Sweat coursed down his forehead and against his shoulders as his cock rammed mercilessly into Wendy. 

With a resounding wail which far surpassed any he’d previously voiced, he halted, and Wendy could feel his hot cum filling her insides.  Going slack he fell against the fur carpet, his breathing coming out in great, resounding heaves.

“What did you do to me?  I’m so tired…” He moaned.  Wendy crawled over to lay beside him, but he abruptly shouldered her off. She was too hot and sweaty, Peter thought with a disgruntled huff.  

Wendy tried to disregard Peter’s shove, but she couldn’t deny that it’d stung a bit.

“We did what adults do… but we did it as children…” She replied as she slowly dozed off, her green dress censoring her from the view of any who happened to pass by.

Despite the fact that Wendy’s hammock was a mere yard or so away, she laid beside Peter, reveling in how complete she’d felt while he was inside of her.   

Chapter Text

                It was a strange feeling; forgetting almost everything about one’s past life in favor of a new one.  But that’s what was happening to Wendy.

                She hadn’t noticed it prior, but over time simple pleasures of the world she’d left were slowly evaporating into her mind's valley of forgetfulness. It had even gotten to the point wherein she’d been telling Rufio a funny story back from when she was going to school in Westminster before stopping mid-sentence after she couldn’t recall what one did at an educational institution.  Rufio disregarded her forgetfulness as being trivial, and left to go with Twiggs and the others to hunt.  Meanwhile, Wendy was left to contemplate the adamantly disturbing event having only just unfolded.  This wasn't the first case of an amnesiac bout of forgetfulness she'd experienced in recent weeks, and in fact, now that she thought about it, realization dawned on her that it now occurred on an almost daily basis.  From absently forgetting a particular childhood fable she'd been told, to the basic definition of a common household term; she would've realized the dire circumstances earlier if she wouldn't abruptly forget them merely a moment after recognizing them. 

                After a few moments of wandering amidst the overgrown pathways which snaked throughout Neverland’s relentless tundra, she decided that she would feel more at peace along the beach wherein she always found it.  Peter would be along later, and that's when she would bring up her concerns, but until then, she would simply have to wait and come up with her own theories. Being at the banks of one of Neverland’s highest mountains, Neverpeak, Wendy chose to walk straight ahead of her, fondly acknowledging the island’s surrounding oceans each boasting a white-sanded shoreline. Captain Hook may need a map for when he scavenged periodically throughout the island, but Wendy didn't think it was a necessity so much as it was a crutch.  She found it simple enough to navigate throughout the island with very little trouble.  Perhaps the island was helping her, but that didn't matter. 

                Unfortunately, on that particular day, the island itself had decided it wanted to stretch out in size.  Within the day, the shores which had originally been less than 10 miles across in diameter now spanned more than a dozen on all sides.  Havendish Stream, which Wendy found out to be a regular commonplace for faeries to be found bathing and washing their clothes, and which had once been less than half of a mile from the mountain’s base, now trickled, more than three miles away.  Wendy hadn’t noticed the terrific distance until she’d clambered over a slight hill and could just barely see the blue of the sea between the trees.  With the distance of her voyage abruptly claiming her muscles, she fell against a wide trunk, wiping at the sweat having accumulated on her forehead from the overwhelming excursion.  These were the deepest parts of Neverland's forests, and the canopies were known to be so thick that it was as a constant twilight.  It provided a rare sense of serenity that not only bewildered but enchanted its wanderers.

                Brushing at the skirt of the forest-green ensemble she now wore almost every day, her fingertips found purchase against a familiar wooden object; a pan flute.  Akin to the one Peter owned, this one boasted the image of a bird along its edge, and harbored a collective of multicolored feathers beaded along its string.

                “His Wendy-Bird…” She mused idly, a smile worming it's away across her face as her fingertips beheld the subtle carvings.  Meanwhile, the tingling of bells choired throughout the timid brook, and like fireflies, a meager assembly of glimmering balls of light emerged, bouncing and cavorting throughout the emerald forests. The tiny creatures seemed to urge her to blow into the wooden flute, causing a small grin to grow along her sun-kissed features.  Even without making a special effort to do so, Wendy was already floating an inch or two from the ground.  With a brush of her fingertips against the polished wood, Wendy proceeded to blow lightly into it.  She’d taught herself a gentle melody a few nights ago, but was still a little clumsy on certain notes.  She’d planned to perform it to Peter to show him her gratitude for carving the beautiful gift, but not until she’d perfected it to the best of her abilities.  It would be called ‘Pan’s Crow’ as to pay homage to his signature rooster’s crow which he bellowed from the tree-tops on occasion.  The faeries listening in on Wendy's performance began swaying and twirling in response to the melodious tune, which in turn summoned more faeries to enjoy the performance.  It was truly a wondrous scene.   

                That’s when she heard it. 

                A tremor in the environment which had barely been enough for Wendy, herself, to hear halted the faeries having formed a halo of light just a few feet away.  Within the blink of an eye, the tiny creatures scattered like birds into the surrounding brush, leaving silence behind in their wake.    

                Replacing the dainty instrument against her hip, Wendy held her breath with the hope that she would hear that slight noise again.  Deep down, something told her it wasn’t a beast of the forest.

                “Who’s out there?” She hollered into the brush, smiling at the familiar game the Lost Boys regularly played on her.  It happened often enough that she was prepared to pounce at the first sight of a rugged leaf-garb.  Her blue-gray eyes shone mischievously as she crept closer towards where she'd thought the noise had originated, fully prepared to see Felix or Peter leap out from the foliage at any second from then.

                “Peter?! Whoever’s there better come out now!” She hollered, a sinking feeling forming in her stomach at the preparation for the scare she was moments from receiving.

                Someone did walk out, only it was no one she’d expected.

                “So, you’re the Wendy-Bird…”

Chapter Text

                It was a girl; the Indian Chieftain’s daughter…

                Long, black hair framed her delicately tanned features and woven into a pair of braids on either side of her shapely face.  A deerskin tunic was wrapped carefully around the girl’s scrawny figure by a leather belt, a motley collection of runes and tattoos adorning every inch of the woman’s exposed flesh.  They were war-paints, Wendy realized, but they were beautiful nonetheless.  

                The girl smiled a wide, unabashed grin before rising up from the muddy ground and brushing the fringe of her tunic down with her calloused palms.

                “That… is name; Wendy-Bird.  Yes?”

                Wendy’s panicked demeanor abruptly vanished. “Yes… Yes, of course, you can call me that.” She said with a relieved grin. 

                “You age many summers since last we met… Do remember me?” The girl patted a hand against her chest.  “I am Tiger Lily.”

                Wendy abruptly gave a low curtsy upon realizing this truly was the Chieftain’s daughter, and therefore a Princess by right, which Tiger Lily took with perplexed bewilderment.  Wendy blushed upon realizing that Tiger Lily didn’t understand what it was she was doing, and dubiously moved to change the atmosphere.

                “What are you doing here?” She asked after a moment.

                Tiger Lily looked forlorn, “Was searching for Flying Eagle… instead found Wendy-Bird!”

                Wendy, who’d long ago forgotten the jealousy she’d once harbored for Tiger Lily, was quick to offer the Native-Princess assistance in locating Peter, but Lily halted her.

                “We do not need man's help… we go by selves.”

                And with that, Tiger Lily crushed Wendy’s hand into her own and pulled her back to where the encampment surely awaited them.  Wendy had to run in order to keep up with the headstrong Princess as she wove seamlessly through the rustic tundra which made up a majority of Neverland’s territories.

                It wasn’t long before Wendy was out of breath and stumbling often, “Can you… tell me… what’s going on?!”

                Lily skidded to a halt, her expression harsh as she beheld the blonde woman beside her.

                “Pirate Captain steal away Running Deer, young brother.” Tiger Lily placed her palm over her heart, as though to further represent just how close the sibling was to her.  Wendy momentarily recalled her own siblings, John and Michael, but the memory was fleeting and quickly faded once more into the realm of the forgotten.

                “Where are they?” Wendy inquired softly, sympathetic of the young princess’s plight.

                “Old Tower… much water…  Running Deer does not swim!” Panic soon overwhelmed the young woman before Wendy was able to place her hands on her shoulders and whisper encouraging words to the distressed older sister.

                “We will save him…” Wendy declared, peering into Tiger Lily’s almond-shaped eyes.

                Tiger Lily’s head nodded once as a watery smile overtook her sorrowed features, “We will save him.” She confirmed.

                And then they were off, Wendy jogging just behind Tiger Lily as she plunged through the vegetation as though it were mere cobwebs.

 

 

                The gentle lapping of waves did little to soothe Wendy as it otherwise would’ve.  She and Lily were on the flanks of a small cliff’s-edge which overlooked an ancient tower which had been left in shambles.  The entire interior was exposed, various tidepools having collected amidst the unkempt cobblestone.  Sure enough, the mouth of the tower opened up towards the ocean, and it was obvious that the tower would be entirely submerged once high-tide had overtaken the shores.

                A shapely rowboat had been anchored far from the water’s edge, and Wendy could only imagine the amount of effort needed to drag such a vessel so far along the beach.  A disheveled pair of pirates skulked near the tower’s gaping mouth, and Wendy was quick to identify them as the sentries for that particular mission.  The coarse grumbling of at least a dozen men resounded from within the cavernous turret, only slightly interrupted by a high-pitched wail of what Wendy assumed was Running Deer pleading for his freedom.  Her heart went out for the young child.

                “We go soon… Water rise…” Tiger Lily whispered anxiously as she peered over the mossy stones.  She was right, Wendy realized.  Within the constraints of roughly five minutes, the water had already risen a good inch or so from its prior level.  Within the hour the castle would likely be a foot or so submerged, and depending on where Hook had imprisoned the small boy…

                “We go!” Tiger Lily pleaded right before she rose and made a plunge towards the shoreline, her tomahawk on full display as she charged as silently as a cat on the prowl.  Wendy made a distressed noise at the back of her throat before racing behind the headstrong woman, her dagger unsheathed and poised at the ready.

                There was a section of the decrepit fortress which was more than a yard in proximity to the cliff where Lily sprinted.  Wendy’s heart nearly stopped when the Native-Princess wouldn’t halt her frantic chase, and instead continued on until she leaped as gracefully as a gazelle over the precipice and clambered along the tower’s edge to ensure that her balance remained.  Twisting her head around, Lily wordlessly urged Wendy to follow her lead, her eyes wide with the urgency of the situation at hand.

                Wendy felt her courage drain to her feet as she scrutinized the ominous distance between the tower and the cliff’s edge.  “If she can do it, you can…”  She murmured to herself anxiously while hugging her arms to herself.  It was still a surely distance between her and the cliff’s edge, which in turn would serve as an ample amount of runway to eventually leap over the canyon just as Tiger Lily had done. 

                Down below, the tide roiled in, obviously quite deep in that particular section.  Wendy tried not to let that frighten her all the more and instead took to glaring ahead wherein the gap between the cliff and the tower was not as visible, and with a long, deep breath, dashed along the pathway as quickly as her legs would carry her. 

                She leaped.

                Her foot impacted the adjacent stones which made up the walkway on which Tiger Lily now strode, and the aged mortar having held the stonework together abruptly gave, causing Wendy to let out a startled yelp.

                Tiger Lily reached out, desperately grappling for her companion.

                The pads of their fingertips glanced off one another for a moment…

                Seconds before Wendy found herself plummeting towards the cobalt-blue waters.

                What sounded like cannon fire had actually been Wendy’s body crashing into the icy waters below, the fear of her demise overriding her desire to find the nearest shore.  The panic she’d suffered during the untimely descent was immediately replaced with a serenity the likes of which she’d never before experienced.  Opening her eyes, she found that the water did not burn, nor was it murky as ocean-water typically was.  Instead, it was as clear as crystal, to the point that she could just make out the silhouette of Captain Hook’s ship just beyond the shoreline’s end.  

                Her head broke the surface of the water moments later, and a desperate gasp for air tore from her lips.  Looking up towards the cliff where she’d made her startling leap, she saw Tiger Lily still clinging to the edge of the tower. Raising one arm over her head, she gave the other woman a reassuring wave, hoping that she would understand that Wendy was fine save for absolutely drenched from the chilly water.

                Unfortunately, that brief moment of relief was abruptly diverted when the pair of guards having been left to watch the tower’s boundaries were now approaching her, having witnessed the dive first-hand. 

                With their cleavers in hand, the gaunt, malnourished pair abruptly yanked Wendy from the water, hauling her back towards the tower. 

                “H-Hey! Let me go!” She crowed as her free hand sought for her knife.  The scabbard was empty, and that’s when she realized she must’ve inadvertently released it during her fall.  Great.

                Despite her incessant struggling, and the resounding curses from the underlings having taken her hostage, it wasn’t long before Wendy was concealed beneath the shadow of the ominous tower wall.  Already the tide had flooded the floor up to Wendy’s ankles.  Where was Running Deer?

                A panicked wailing quickly answered that silent inquiry, and Wendy’s eyes soon caught sight of a pudgy little boy clad in only a deerskin loincloth and moccasins.  His hands had been clasped over his head by a pair of rusted iron manacles, and it was obvious he was more than just a little uncomfortable.

                “Wendy… Darling…” A gruff, yet familiar voice resounded from somewhere far off, causing a chill to run up Wendy’s sopping figure.  Sure enough, a tall, elegant figure, clad in a scarlet overcoat and long, thick ringlets of hair turned, a wide, unabashed smile gracing his elegantly proportioned features.  He hadn’t been wearing his grand, feathered hat, and instead held it clutched in his last remaining hand while his hook tapped eagerly against a stone-sculpted banister, creating a clear, ringing noise with each contented knock. 

                “… Hook…” Wendy shot back, scorn marring her dainty features.  He hadn’t aged a day and yet she’d blossomed into womanhood.  

                Hook smiled and descended the mildew-clad stairway towards the younger girl.  She’d grown a good head taller since their last encounter and had also taken on a few extra womanly curves, which he was quick to take notice of.

                “Look at you… all grown up…” He mused while his icy-blue gaze raked along her lithe figure. She shrugged away from the grips of her captors and crossed her arms over her chest, her face red with either embarrassment or fury, she couldn’t tell which.

                Yet before she could make a comment towards his obviously deteriorated standards of piracy (that being he would sooner kidnap defenseless victims than outwit a Lost Boy or two), his signature hook came up to caress the side of her face.

                “It’s been far too long, my dear…” He whispered softly, the gruffness of his voice frightening her to no end.  All it would take for him to hurt her would be one slight flinch in the wrong direction.

                “Not long enough.” Wendy shot back disdainfully, causing the few crewmembers in attendance to gasp in awe at the cruel way in which she spoke to their superior.  The hook flinched against her cheek before dragging lightly down along her neck, glancing over her collarbone for a split second before dancing just at the edge of her tunic’s neckline.  It was just gentle enough to avoid drawing blood, but Wendy wasn’t as concerned about that. 

                “Let the boy go.” Wendy coughed, her eyes glancing towards the unruly waves washing even further into the dilapidated turret. “He’s innocent.”

                Hook let out an amused chuckle, “And just why would I do that?”

                “Because a Pirate with any semblance of standards would know not to take hostage a child who can’t defend himself.  Wouldn’t the satisfaction of watching a formerly strong enemy fall be ten times as rewarding?”

                Wendy knew from the start that Hooks pride was both his greatest strength, yet also his greatest weakness.  It would not be difficult to coerce him into a different mindset as long as his ego was what was put to the test.

                He stepped back from the younger woman, studying her porcelain features while his fingers glided along the rim of his hook.  A slow, cruel smirk emerged over his weathered features, and Wendy could feel a sinking sense of dread overwhelm her stomach. 

                “I will free the boy,” He declared, much to the surprise of the crowd having been silently witnessing the battle of words being exchanged.  

                Relief flooded through Wendy’s system but immediately ceased upon Hook’s continuation of the announcement.

                “But… I want something in return; a life for a life.”

                Wendy pursed her lips as her heart became ice beneath her ribs. “Very well.”

                Hook’s smile grew even more malicious, “Let’s shake on it.”

                He extended his hand of flesh towards her and she found herself studying the seemingly polite gesture.  With a seemingly disinterested flourish of her hand, she took his and gave it a sturdy shake.  Before she could pull away, he abruptly pulled the back of her hand up towards him, pressing his lips against the bare-knuckle before she had time to protest.

                “Free the boy and get him out of here.” He announced to the rabble before turning away from Wendy’s solemn form.  After all this, was she to die by being drowned?  Somehow, knowing that she’d willingly forsook her life in exchange for an innocent’s was the driving point that strengthened her resolve even further.

                Like a terrified mouse having just been released from a trap, Running Deer, with the water having risen up to the middle of his thighs, proceeded to scamper out of the dank chamber and out into the sun, gasping profusely as he charged.  Tiger Lily would be relieved to know that her younger brother was safe, if not a little waterlogged.

                Wendy began her reluctant descent down the stairs wherein the water was slowly beginning to rise up, but Hook held her back with the blade of his sword serving as a barrier.

                “And just where are you off to, my dear?”

                “You said ‘a life for a life’… Therefore, I submit my life as forfeit in exchange for the boy.” Wendy explained, somewhat confused that such a well-renowned pirate would forget the terms of his agreement with her so quickly.

                Hook seemed to contemplate her words for a moment, tapping his chin with the curvature of his hook as he did so before realization seemed to dawn on him.

                “Ah, yes, well,… When you agreed to a ‘life for a life’, that means your life now belongs to me, and I can do with it what I will.” A smug grin overwhelmed his unshaven features, causing Wendy to gape at him in horror.  She had fallen into a binding contract!

                “How dare you!  I am not your slave!” Wendy shot at him as she marched around to face him straight-on.

                His hand found purchase within the hair at the base of her neck and gave a stubborn tug, causing her to cry out in surprise.

“A deal’s a deal, my dear!  If you wish to revoke our bargain, I’m afraid your bargaining piece has run off!  Now--,” In an instant, she was whirled around to face a group of Pirates clad in motley-colored rags and belts. “Get her to the ship.  If even a single scratch is found on her, the inflictor will have his tongue cut out.  And believe me, I will be checking.”

And with that, Wendy was dragged off, kicking and screaming all the while.  She might’ve inadvertently prayed that her fate not be so lowly as drowning, but this was not what she’d had in mind as an alternative!  Out of the corner of her eye, Wendy thought she could see Tiger Lily’s face amidst the foliage, but Wendy could not even attempt to call to her or plead for her help.

After all, a deal’s a deal.  

Chapter Text

Shame brewed vehemently over Wendy’s porcelain features as Hook continued to smirk in return.  He was perched at the bow of the ship, taking up more than a fourth of it for himself as he lounged regally against the polished wood.  Meanwhile, Wendy had been forced to sit between two rowers, their combined stench nearly causing her to gag upon their arrival.  Sweat beaded down their ghastly features while they fought against the ocean’s current, which only served to worsen the already miserable conditions of Wendy’s captivity.  She had protested, at first, demanding that she not be crushed between the bulky creatures whom barely had enough space for themselves, never-mind a prisoner of war between them.  But Hook being himself, taunted the determined woman sitting just a meter or two away, claiming that there was simply nothing that could be done to better accommodate her needs; that she could see as clearly as he did that there was simply no more room to spare.   This was a lie, of course, seeing as Hook had taken up enough space to comfortably seat three pirates beside him, and Wendy was quick to mention that.

“Well, if you say so, my dear,” Hook mused, seemingly considering Wendy’s stubborn claims while nonchalantly admiring the number of bulbous rings adorning his every knuckle. “I will not deny the proclamations of a woman under my care… here;”

His palm slowly came to rest over his breeches, patting his thigh insistently while gauging the girl’s response.  The various crewmembers having been paying attention to the slight exchange gave a taunting chuckle which mercilessly echoed throughout the rowboat and mortified Wendy even more so than she’d been already. 

The young woman’s face grew flushed and hot while Hook smiled wretchedly, clearly enjoying the younger woman’s blatant disgust.  Yet, when she refused to relinquish her seat and accept the captain’s crude offer, his smile was quick to fade.  Turning to a rather intimidating fellow having been quietly monitoring the scene as it transpired, a private nod was shared, and Hook sat back and watched with mild intrigue while the Quartermaster began issuing out a plethora of commands to the various pirates in attendance.  Within moments, the soldierly commander was able to transform the unruly collection of underlings into an army of perfectionists, each one completing their assigned tasks with machine-like efficiency.  It wasn’t long before the timid little rowboat was soon skimming along the cerulean waters like a serpent, quick to enter into the deepest waters which shirked Neverland’s borders. 

It wasn’t long at all before the rowboat was carefully guided to float parallel to Hook’s beloved ship, and Wendy felt her stomach lurch violently when the wooden frames clapped together eagerly.  The crewmembers having gone with Hook on his visit to the shore were quick to stand, a collection of thickly-woven ropes immediately falling to meet their outstretched hands before they began tying said ropes to the little boat’s skeleton, grunting in an effort to ensure the knots were securely fastened.  The boat was beginning to groan in protest, at first, before beginning its slow descent up the side of The Jolly Roger. 

Wendy’s stomach dropped as the rowboat teetered and swayed through the empty air while the crew fought to maintain their Captain’s patience.  If Hook was uncomfortable, even nauseated, by the rather clumsy efforts being employed, Wendy couldn’t tell.  Clutching her stomach, she prayed that she wouldn’t be sick, but also prayed that Hook would get some poor man’s vomit over his velvet overcoat, if only just to wipe that stupid, satisfactory grin off of his chiseled features...

Wendy was the first to be unceremoniously torn from the boat, her shrieks echoing amidst the cacophony of pirates having emerged to welcome their captain back after his excursion to the shore.  A lively, yet out-of-tune melody resounded from somewhere on the ship, but Wendy was too disoriented to pinpoint exactly where, and instead had taken to clawing into the flesh of anyone who attempted to grab at and hinder her escape.  Of course, they abided by Hook’s initial demand, that Wendy was not to be harmed under any circumstances, but that didn’t stop a few from pinching her playfully to earn a spiteful reaction from the young woman herself.

“Shall we shove ‘er in the brig, Cap’n?” One of the shorter figures inquired, his eyes glimmering beneath a bandana which had been wrapped around his disheveled mane of dirty brown hair.  Hook returned the inquiry with a repulsed glare, which in turn caused the toad-like creature to cower in absolute reverence.  That satisfied the Captain before he turned to a burlier fellow adorned in nothing more than a pair of patchwork slacks and a sash which served as a makeshift belt.

“Take her to the alcove, and make sure she’s made comfortable.” He instructed, which caused Wendy’s heart to begin pounding like a drum when the crewmember gave a wide, toothless grin in her direction.  There must’ve been some hidden implications within Hook’s command, and that caused panic to blossom within her.

With a rather abrasive clap of a calloused palm against her bicep, the sturdy pirate wasted little time in guiding—no, dragging Wendy towards where she presumed the ship’s alcove would be hidden.  She tried to fight against the dominating grip enclosing her arms but found it near impossible given the angle in which he held her and the respective distance he observed to avoid any risk of injury she might’ve had an opportunity to inflict.  Spittle frothed at the corners of her mouth as she threatened a whole manner of retributions against her captor, ensuring his demise in a thousand different ways while she swung and punched at the empty air existing where the pirate had been less than a moment prior.   

Stumbling down the collection of stairs, he wasted little time in hoisting her up like a barrel of grog before draping her over the muscle of his shoulder, her gaze facing the corridor they’d only just walked.  A nearly invisible wooden door stood against the wall, glimmering dully as the pirate forcefully set Wendy down before shoving her inside.  The process of losing her balance was immediate, the nausea she’d been feeling since all day reaching a head as she collapsed hard on the ground within the alcove.  Before she had even a moment to get up and pursue her opponent again, he’d already shut the door and locked it with a key she hadn’t seen him carry.

Without a moment to waste, Wendy threw herself at the sealed door, her slender fists smacking vehemently against the wooden panels. 

“What does your Captain intend to do with me now that I’m here?! Does he truly believe that Peter won’t come looking for me?”

 “That's the Cap’n’s business, tha’ is.” He shot back, through gritted teeth, striking the door with a heavy fist.  Wendy fell back and pressed herself into the furthermost wall of the alcove, her heart roaring beneath her breast.  She was trapped.

At the sluggishly departing footsteps of her guard, Wendy peered around the tiny chamber in which she found herself, grateful that her eyes were already beginning to adjust;

It wasn’t terribly impressive, overall; the interior lacking any sort of furniture or recreational items to rest on.  The only light able to penetrate through the deep ebony that made up the furthermost corners was as a result of a metal grating overhead serving as a makeshift skylight.  Three gigantic barrels stood side by side to each other, their overall height dwarfing the younger woman by at least a yard.  For a moment, Wendy was desperate to know what might’ve been kept within the oversized containers, hoping against hope that the wooden kegs were being used to store water.  Her palms pressed against the flat of the wood, her trembling fingertips brushing along in search of a possible cork or spigot that might be used to release some of the contents.   Finally, her palm brushed against the metal of a faucet, and with little effort put forth to twist it open, caused a geyser to spill from the tubing.    All at once, a bittersweet flavor overcame the air Wendy breathed, and that alone caused a bout of panic to render her into a stupor. 

She remembered that scent, that toxic aroma having plagued her senses ever since before her arrival to Neverland.  Where had she smelled it?

With her dehydration temporarily sated despite her refusal to drink, Wendy retreated from the small puddle of the brown-tinted beverage, the fear and panic she was experiencing right then and there being completely without motive. 

Like a blind man searching for a lost artifact, Wendy delved into her fragmented mind in search for answers.  There had to be…

                A man… Tall, gangly, and slobbering as he fell over her and yanked at her nightgown…

                There had been an urgency in his movements; he was searching for something.

                Pain.

                Pain where there shouldn’t have been…

                Between her legs, an agony blossomed while the creature looming over her moaned and whispered sweet nothings into her ear…

 A chaotic rumbling resounded outside, the unruly clamor of a key being forced into a lock abruptly rousing Wendy from the horrific stupor.  With her eyes heavy and her body sore, Wendy crawled into the furthermost corner of the room, tucking her legs up as though to provide some presence of protection against the unknown…

The silhouette of the pirate from earlier was suddenly glaring down at her, his eyes raking over the darkened room, as though to ensure that Wendy hadn’t been tending to an escape route. 

“Your presence has been requested by the Cap’n, and he will be expectin’ you in this.” The creature stated plainly, as though she had an actual choice in the circumstances of her captivity.  A bundle of garnet fabrics abruptly filled her arms, surprising her as she beheld the expensive garb.

Before she had time to reject the messenger’s invitation, an undeniable groan resonated from her stomach.  It had been hours, possibly even days now, since her last meal.  She was supposed to enjoy the rewards of the Lost Boys’ hunt that day with Peter, Felix, and Rufio…

Had they noticed her absence yet?

Despite how admirably soft the cloth had felt against her calloused hands, she wasted little time in dropping it to the ground, a harsh sneer stretching across her features.

“No.  I’ll simply wait for Peter to come and rescue me.” She spat in response, her wiry little arms crossing over her chest.

In response, the Pirate’s browning teeth were revealed as a snakelike leer danced across his weathered features.

“He said you’d say that,” He admitted ruefully. “And he said, if that’s the case, you can wait for Pan with the crew… and you’ll be naked.”

A sickening lurch roared through Wendy’s stomach, though now it wasn’t from hunger.  The ominous figure before her gave her a wicked smile, which quickly soured as she scooped up the dress and clutched it to her bosom.

“I would like some time to dress before I am to see him.” She stated abstinently, to which the guard gave a grunt of his throat before slamming the door again, muttering curses all the while.

He wasn’t the only one to loathe the circumstances, and Wendy made that undeniably obvious even as she tended to the crimson dress’s daintily adorned laces and strings.

Chapter Text

There she stood, her gaze raking over the massive double-doors which still separated her from her daunting kidnapper.   The pirate having escorted her wasted little time in brushing past her and standing closer to the door, one of his hands clamped cruelly around her arm to prevent her escape.  Wendy felt queasy, but there were a million factors that justified the symptom; the nonchalant rocking of the ship over the choppy current being among the more distressing. 

The pirate raised his fist and planted it against the door three times, signaling the pair’s arrival.  Wendy could hear Hook bickering with someone inside, but all that was abruptly silenced when the door swung open with all the enthusiasm of a dog greeting its master.  Wendy was ushered in without a moment to waste, the bumbling older creature who’d been the one to open the doors departing just as quickly as Wendy’s shoeless feet found purchase against the polished floor.

Peering around, she could scarcely believe that what she was seeing was really there, and not simply a figment of her imagination.

Adorned in deep scarlet and bronze, the lavishly furnished abode practically glimmered in all its splendor.  Four pristinely polished windows stood on the opposite expanse of wall, while the rest were embellished with a disordered abundance of books, rolls of paper, and maps.  A massive globe stood at attendance nearby a mahogany desk which was draped in an ancient yellow-stained map and strewn with a motley collection of navigational tools as well as ink-bottles and quills.

A grand table served as the main centerpiece, however, with more than a dozen platters and dishes clustered expectantly overtop as though in wait.  It was more food than Wendy had ever seen, and reminded her of the feast that would’ve awaited her in Peter’s hideaway had Hook not confronted her.  Her abdomen ached all the more at the sight, the corset having been knotted tightly over her shapely ribs doing little to curb the ache in her empty stomach.

The Lost Boy’s scavengings would’ve barely suited as scraps in comparison to the bounty adorning Hook’s dining table. 

It took all too long for Wendy to notice the looming figure skulking at the head of the table, the overhanging brim of his favored hat concealing his face from view.

“Miss Darling…” He declared as he raised his head and gave her a cruel smile.  With a flourish, he rose, his only hand clasped around a polished silver chalice. “How good of you to join me.”

Wendy snorted, “It wasn’t by choice.”

If Hook had heard her, he didn’t react as he carefully strode around the table and used his hook to pull a chair out.  The velvet cushions of the daintily carved chair seemed to call to her.

Despite everything in her brain rejecting the circumstances at hand, Wendy strode proudly forward, refusing to look her host in the eye while she sat and he pushed the chair back into place.

“Is there anything that entices you, milady?” He inquired thoughtfully, his voice suave and leathery as he carefully picked up a carving knife.  It gleamed in the dim candlelight and caught Wendy’s reflection like a mirror. 

He seemed to notice her glancing towards the roasted pig having been presented to them, and wasted little time in slicing away at the abundant flesh and setting it on a plate for her.   Wendy noted that her own chalice had been filled nearly to the brim, and drew it towards herself, taking a massive gulp of the beverage before she could note its flavor.  Deep down, she hoped it was poisoned so she didn’t have to play niceties with her enemy any longer.  Her stomach moaned vehemently.

He set the plate towards her and went ahead to then sit against his own chair, his face still concealed by the harsh shadow.  When Wendy didn’t move, he straightened, as though having been scolded.

“Forgive me, your people prefer dining with gentlemen who remove their hats and coats prior to eating, yes?”

Before she could reply, Hook had rose, his long-coat falling away to an empty chair, his hat soon joining the discarded pile.  Beneath the scarlet overcoat, a loose-fitting, black undershirt now hung limply from his shoulders, its sleeves bunching at his wrists while a plethora of golden buttons held it closed at the front.  

That’s when Wendy took notice of something… odd.

In this light, Hook appeared to take on a different appearance altogether.  Though his eyes were still as blue as a robin’s egg and as equally sharp and mysterious, his face was much younger than when last he and Wendy had encountered one another; the shape and complexion of his face being altogether unique to that which had plagued a great many sleepless nights while she was much younger. 

Yet above all that might’ve convinced Wendy that this was not The Captain Hook she’d crossed with, this Hook, this… stranger, was much taller, and his voice was unapologetically fraught with an accent the likes of which Wendy had never heard before.

“Who are you?” She inquired stubbornly as she scowled at the imposter. 

Hook, in response, arched an eyebrow in her direction before raising his hook and waving it a bit.

“Is that a trick question, love?”

“No, I’m serious.  You’re not Hook even though you may walk and act like him.”  Even as she scorned him, she nibbled desperately at the slices of roasted pork having been presented to her.

Hook in response, merely took to his meal, silently enjoying what he’d already served himself. 

“You’re a clever girl, Miss Darling.” He stated between mouthfuls before he glanced in her direction, the long tendrils of his hair concealing nearly every inch of his face in unkempt, ebony tendrils.  

“I’m aware.  Now, are you going to tell me who you are or not?” Wendy shot back, snatching a bread-roll from one of the baskets atop the table and gnawing at it. 

“And why should I?” Not-Hook shot back, feigning an alarmed composure.  “After all, you’re not a member of my crew, and only members of my crew have ever known my secret…”

Wendy cursed herself.  He was a pirate; of course, he was going to make things difficult.

“Fine. I guess two can play at that game.” She answered calmly before diverting her focus down to the rest of the food she’d neglected to sample. 

The pirate sitting before her was silent, and that alone sent a smug grin to stretch across her features.  She’d gotten him.

“I’m sure you have questions for me regarding your imprisonment.” He offered.

Wendy quirked an eyebrow in his direction, “It’s crossed my mind a few times.” She replied vaguely.  In reality, she’d been nothing short of a nervous wreck upon her arrival aboard, but there wasn’t a chance that she would confide that to her enemy.  “Though, I assume it’s another half-brained attempt at catching Peter Pan that’s destined to fail.”

“That is partially true, although now I think my plan has more than just the possibility of success.” He sounded like a sleepless madman.

Wendy’s even gaze fixated against his as she scowled. “Why do you want to kill him? What’s he ever done to you aside from the obvious?”

Not-Hook smirked devilishly.  “Now, that, my dear, ties into my secret.”

“Are you going to tell me your fool-proof plan? Or is that another secret?”

Not-Hook let out a chuckle. “Now, you’re catching on.”

“Alright, fine,” Wendy stated irritably before setting her silverware aside and dabbing at her lips with the napkin having been provided. “What do you want?”

“I want Red-Handed Jill.”

Wendy nearly choked at the resurrection of the childish nickname she’d given herself during the brief excursion she took with Hook when she’d been too ignorant to understand the artificial friendliness having entranced her to betray her loved ones.  Why had he remembered her temporary pirate-alias? 

Her chest was taut as she worked to regulate her breathing. “Wh-What do you mean?”  She needed more wine.

He straightened against his throne, disappointment stretching his features.  “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten…”

“I haven’t.”

“Good. Then I ask you to take my request into consideration; I want you to join me and my crew as we leave this accursed island behind us once and for all.”

Confusion continued to muddle Wendy’s thoughts.

Not-Hook watched with what could’ve been sympathy.  “You love him still, even after all this time, don’t you?”

“That’s none of your business.”       

“Oh, but I bet you do...” A snakelike grin emerged over his features. “But there’s something amiss between the two of you, isn’t there?  A lingering barrier that exists yet you know not the reason for it.”

Disgust claimed Wendy’s features even as Not-Hook appeared to have more than just assumptions regarding her circumstances.  It wasn’t long before he concluded it for her.

“Let’s face it, darling, you’re too old for Neverland, and she’s rejecting you,”  Hook announced, the statement alone causing Wendy’s eyes to tear up.

“Please, stop…” She whispered forlornly as her gaze became downcast.

“Do you know what Peter does to the Lost Children who grow too old to live on Neverland’s shores?  Has he told you?”

Wendy looked up, the tears evident on her porcelain features.

“They… they don’t grow up… they don’t…”  Her wavering voice dwindled to silence.  

“Everyone grows old eventually, Wendy… Except for Peter, Felix, and that imbecile, Rufio…” His voice was now more graven and concerned than it’d ever been. “Have you ever stopped to think of why that is?”

Wendy dragged the tips of her fingers beneath her eyes to gather the wetness there. “No…”

“They’re not human, and they won’t hesitate to kill you just like they did all the others who grew too old…”

Wendy clasped her fists to her lips as she stared numbly ahead, fighting the need to cry out of both fear and panic as they roiled and intertwined with one another. “How do you know?”

Rather than speak, Not-Hook set his chalice of wine down before raising his hand up over his head…

… and prying the excessively voluptuous wig from its place before tossing it aside.  Raising his chin, he revealed a horrific bundle of scars which started at the bottom of one ear and stretched across all the way to the other.  The wounds had obviously been quite severe, and it was a miracle that this man had left the encounter with his life.  

“You were a Lost Boy, too?” She murmured with an air of intrigue.

“No… not lost... My father raised me on the sea all my life, and when I saw Neverland for the first time, I was the only one Peter took an interest in.  No one could see him because no one believed he was there.  They could hardly see the island, at first.  It was when my father became obsessed with Neverland, just like all of the inhabitants that had visited before him, that we were forced to stay and watch as he gallivanted throughout, dragging along the crew whenever he felt it necessary…”

“Who was your father?” Wendy asked, though she feared she already knew the answer.       

 A crooked smile emerged on Not-Hook’s lips.  “Captain James Hook.” 

His voice was calm and determined, which set Wendy on edge more than just a little. 

“Although,” He continued, “The man you and I knew to be Captain Hook wasn’t the original Captain Hook either…”

 

“Then who are..?”

“Killian.  Killian Jones.”

Chapter Text

                The young woman was dumbfounded to say the least, given the recent turn of events which had almost completely altered her understanding of the world she now inhabited.  One side of her mind was quick to chastise how blissfully unaware she’d been about Peter and his companions, having forgotten that anything that is too good to be true probably is.  She should’ve assumed something was amiss after a while, and yet somehow, she understood why that wasn’t the case…

                Neverland was cursed; forever condemned into isolation from society, and from mankind as a whole.     

All of its mortal inhabitants were hostages on that forsaken isle and they were too blind to realize that, but Wendy couldn’t scorn them for this, however, as she had been in the same mindset as they not so long ago…

“Killian…” The name ghosted across her lips, causing the man before her to shift nervously.  It was quite surreal to see the normally cruel, sadistic Pirate-Captain in such a state of uncertainty.

“What’s to happen now?” She asked before her mind could catch up.  It was the alcohol, she concluded.

The pirate before her straightened from having been leaning against the edge of the table. 

“Well, either you accept the invitation to join my ranks… I don’t think I need to explain how generous of an offer it is,.. or we see if the demon-child decides to pay us a visit on your behalf.”  He was studying the intricate sculpting of the goblet he still drank from. “Though, if it’s the latter that you prefer, I hope you won’t take offense if my men and I place a few wages.”  

Wendy sulked in her chair, her eyes downcast.  “You claim to sympathize with my plight and yet you mock me.” She snapped before rising defiantly.

“Sit down, milady, we’re not done talking.” Killian declared, a threat seeping through the cracks of the seemingly trivial request.

When she spoke, her voice was hollow and accusatory. 

“You could be lying to me…  You could just be trying to manipulate me into betraying Peter…” She felt dizzy. “I don’t care if you’re not done talking, because I am.”

Marching towards the door, her fingertips wound defiantly around the brass handles, feeling the chilly metal warm her heated flesh.

She hadn’t even heard him rise from his seat.

Killian had caught a wrist in her massive palm while his other hand wound around her corseted hips.  She expected pain but was more than a little surprised to feel his heated breath against her ear while he used his weight to keep her from escaping.  The flavor of his breath was both bittersweet and salty from the recent meal they’d only barely enjoyed.

“Let me go…” She begged, cursing herself upon hearing the desperate moan in her voice. 

He burrowed his face into her hair, breathing in as his hips unconsciously rutted against her backside.

“And why should I do that when I know you’re enjoying it?” He murmured against her hair while his thumb massaged gentle circles against her wrist.  “I can smell your arousal from here… or do you not believe me?” He paused to allow for a deep inhale as if to prove his point.  “Shall I investigate and prove it?”

At last, he released her, and she whipped around, shooting a hateful glare in his direction while she desperately struggled to collect herself once more.  He was absolutely right in regards to how eager she was.  If she were alone in the wilds of Neverland without anyone to observe her, Wendy surely would’ve allowed her fingers to adjourn to her arousal-slickened cunt by now.  It was almost unbearably hot beneath the coarse attire Killian had provided, even as she fought to ignore her need.

Distress, arousal, and confusion cavorted around inside of her until she could scarcely tell them apart anymore.  Her eyes remained glassy and unreadable, yet she felt as exposed as though she were naked before him.  He must’ve poisoned her; that was the only explanation that could fully justify her state of mind right then and there…

 “You presume much, sir.” She muttered shakily while her palms ran feverishly against the front of her skirts as though they’d been disheveled in some way.

“Is that so?” He mused, a quirk of his eyebrow and a smirk on his lips causing another rush of endorphins to course through her veins. “And here I stand under the impression that you’re more than asking for me to take you against every surface of this room.” 

That’s when she came to acknowledge just how dilated his pupils were; a slight ring of cerulean surrounding an inky sea. 

 At last, she looked up into his deep, sapphire eyes, her plump lips parted only slightly as she let out breath after lethargic breath.  There would be no going back now.

“Then what are you waiting for?” She whispered between gritted teeth as her lips mirrored the same devilish smirk he now brandished. 

That’s when he was upon her again, only this time she welcomed it.   

She could feel every pulse of her body thrumming as one, as well as each vein of blood, each bone, each nerve.  Then she focused her attention on him between each sloppy, drunken kiss… 

Each and every slight imperfection shone like an excess of stains over the contours of his face but likewise emphasized and accentuated his undeniably handsome features.  Wendy couldn’t decide whether she should’ve been repulsed by this determined creature or allured by his dominating personality.   

                The unyielding flat of the door against her back awoke her if only for a moment while Killian continued to ravage her lips and neck.  The scruff of his beard should’ve hurt, but instead enticed a new form of excitement to emerge from her undoubtedly glistening slit. Her palms instinctively came up to clutch against his neck as he hoisted her legs up and around his lithe waist.  He let out a throaty groan under his breath even as her fingers combed against his hair and he rutted against her eagerly.  It was so soft…

The kiss was halted if only for a moment, his and her noses just scarcely touching as they panted fervently as though they’d been drowning.  Wendy felt all too constricted in the borrowed gown she wore but had since completely forgotten the steps needing to be observed in order to remove the delicate frock.

Killian seemed to read her mind at this point because as soon as her fingertips had released themselves from around his neck in favor of the laced-up front of the dress, his fingertips folded determinedly into the neckline of the maroon fabric and gave it a quick and hearty yank.

As though it had been made of wet paper rather than cloth, the gown fell away in scraps against the floor, which caused Wendy to shiver at the abrupt chill of the air.  Her breasts became firm and her nipples erect upon their abrupt unveiling, and Killian wasted little time in engulfing them with his massive palms.   Wendy’s fingertips clawed into the thin fabric of Hook’s baggy undershirt as he suckled against her finely developed curves.

This was all so familiar to her, and yet she felt as confused as though it were her first time. 

The overly abundant skirts still clung around her hips, censoring the both of them even as Killian fumbled against his trousers and palmed something there.

“I need you.” Wendy gasped between gritted teeth as she beheld Killian’s desperate composure.

That’s when a wicked smile overcame Killian’s handsome features, and for a moment, Wendy’s sensibilities returned to her.

But only for a moment.

“Tell me what you need, milady…” He groaned into her flesh, nipping her playfully even as she batted him away and squirmed beneath his touch.  

                “F-Fuck me, please…” She whispered through gritted teeth as she glared down at her would-be enemy.  The firm heat of his cock was pressed just beneath her weeping cunt, and Wendy fought to thrust her hips in such a way that caused his member to slip inside her.    

                She hadn’t even had a moment to register the true girth of the man she clung vulnerably to and let a loud moan tear past her lips when he filled and stretched her so perfectly.  Each twitch of his member sent pinpricks of pleasure roiling between her hips even as she clenched around him eagerly.  Her gasps resounded like music in his ears as she bounced feverishly against him. It wasn’t enough, but Killian was quick to rectify that small detail as he abruptly sent her against a nearby tabletop which had harbored a small selection of books and knick-knacks. They fell with a great thud, but none took notice as Killian now laid Wendy against the flat of the table and thrust into her without mercy. The slick clap of flesh against flesh resounded against the choir of moans emanating from the pair. 

                “Say my name.” He murmured against her neck, nibbling the lobe of her ear gently as she let out a soft moan.  “Tell me what you want.”

                “K-Killian… please, d-don’t stop…”

                He chuckled devilishly beneath the gasps for breath and quickly grabbed against her hip before his nails delved hungrily into the abundance of flesh. If she would bleed as a result of his aggressive demeanor, she wouldn’t care and could possibly see herself approving of it.

                Killian fell against her, his entire torso engulfing hers as his elbows pressed over her shoulders and his fingers became entangled in her hair. 

                “Oh gods, yes…” He groaned lustfully as his thrusts became all the more energetic and unruly.  Wendy could feel herself reaching her climax sooner rather than later, and if her partner kept at it like this… it…

                Felt so… good--…

                Oh, god…

                “Killian—oh, fuck! I’m so close! Please! Please! don’t stop! Ughhhh…”  She arched her back against the polished tabletop and allowed the movements of her own hips to match with his even as she nearly had the wind knocked out of her each time Killian’s thrusts would impact.  Both of them let out a shout the likes of which the entire crew must’ve heard as Killian dumped his seed into Wendy’s eager cunt.

                Time seemed to halt after that exact moment while Killian’s breath reluctantly returned to a more normal pace.  Wendy, on the other hand, could’ve believed she was in heaven at that point in time.  Her entire body tingled so deliciously from head to toe as her legs fell weakly against the edge of the table.  She could feel the cum draining out from the inside of her hips, but disregarded this as well.  She could’ve easily fallen asleep against that table on which he’d fucked her, but Killian was quick to deter that idea.

                “I’ll take you to my quarters… don’t worry about the mess; my right hand will clean it up.”

                In Wendy’s dazed state a smile stretched across her lips while Killian scooped her up as though she were a porcelain doll.

“But you don’t have a right hand… remember?”

“Oh, shut up.”           

Chapter Text

                The days went by like months as Wendy debated and disputed in regards to her captivity in the hands of James Hook’s protégé, Killian.  Although she was allowed fresh clothes and a mat to sleep on during the night, it wasn’t without a bargain of some kind exchanged between her and her captor. Usually, it was the request for an evening of intimacy, but that went without much complaint.  There were still many aspects that remained in regards to her status as their prisoner, but the pirates treated her well (Most likely as a result of Killian’s constant threats to have them all hanged if they but glanced at her wrong). 

Whenever she was found on deck, Wendy was seldom alone, her presence closely monitored by Killian’s first mate, a stout yet well-dressed creature by the name of Sam Smiegel (Or Smee, as was his preferred nickname).

                Smee, out of the countless other pirates employed under Killian’s colors, was among the more bashful of the bunch, careful to ensure that he did not overstep his bounds in any way when in the attendance of either Wendy or Killian.  He did his best to accommodate Wendy as best as he could whenever she was under his watch, which in turn allowed for the situation at hand to be slightly more bearable. 

                Looking out along the azure horizon, Wendy rested her chin on her arms against the guardrail, yearning for the feel of solid ground beneath her feet. To say it had taken her some time to adjust to the sea-faring conditions was proven to be an understatement for Wendy, who’d spent many an hour bent over the banister of the ship to revisit her last meal.  Thankfully, such miserable spells had since come to pass as Wendy eventually acquired her sea-legs.    

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Smee sitting against the stairs leading up to the steer of the ship, his careless whistling bringing some semblance of merriment to her.  It reminded her greatly of Peter’s flute, which in turn caused her throat to tighten with the subtle understanding that he’d not come to rescue her.  What if he’d forgotten her?  What if he’d already found another bird to dote upon?

                How far away was she from Neverland’s shores?

                They weren’t on planet earth, so the lands which would emerge along the horizons were unfamiliar to her, and in turn, quite intimidating.  On numerous occasions she’d inquired as to what their destination would soon be, knowing that their supplies and rations were running noticeably thin, but Killian would not indulge her curiosity, choosing instead to avert his attentions to other matters.  It was maddening how completely unaware she was-- how isolated.

                Yet despite all this, Wendy found herself growing accustomed to the regular hustle and bustle of the ship’s daily toils to the point that she occasionally would find herself contemplating the possibility of accepting Killian’s proposal to joining his league.  It all sounded quite alluring despite her efforts to avoid romanticizing the very real dangers of piracy…   

                “Mr. Smee?” She inquired carefully, turning her head around to the bulbous figure still resting calmly against the wooden stairs.

                “Yes, Miss Wendy?” Smee replied politely before rising.

                Anxiety coursed through from the moment he’d begun patiently awaiting her response.

“Where are we going?” This hadn’t been the first time she’d asked her regular companion, but she knew it’d been a while since last he’d avoided the question.  Perhaps, he’d forget this time to keep such knowledge confidential.

He appeared about to speak, his lips parting to form the first word…

“Mister Smee!  That will be all.” A booming voice resounded from behind, causing Wendy to let out a squeak of surprise before turning, her stature rigid as Killian sauntered idly towards her.  Smee, being ever the subservient toady, obliged his Captain and silently slipped away, leaving Wendy and the captain almost completely alone (save for a few members of the crew working just away from earshot). 

“My clever little minx…,” Killian whispered deviously into her ear. “Turning my own crew against me, are you?” He jested.  Wendy had come to expect this behavior from the captain, the mask he wore in the presence of his crewmembers, the one demanding of both unrelenting subjugation and respect, abruptly falling away from the moment he was alone with the young woman.     

“Not at all!” Wendy replied as she coyly retreated a few steps from the tall figure before her.  Though she was still frustrated most of the impatience seemed to slip away as a small, flirtatious smile appeared on her lips to mirror his own.  He continued to advance until her backside abruptly hit the railing which was the last thing to separate her from falling overboard.  Excitement both compelled her to run and yet rooted her to the spot as Killian approached.

The space between the two was abruptly eliminated as Killian pressed himself determinedly against Wendy, pinning her to the spot.

“Do you truly want to know where we’re going?” He whispered, his breath hot against her face as his half-lidded gaze bored into hers.

Despite herself, Wendy found herself nodding. “Yes…” Her fingertips clung to the railing until she could feel the undeniable pinch of several splinters prodding her palms. 

“Neverland.”

Her brows abruptly furled, the unbridled tension which had since been coursing determinedly through her abruptly halting at the news.

“But… but… judging by the sun, sir, we’ve been going away from the island for days...!”

Killian looked heavenward, as though to confirm Wendy’s belief.

“Indeed... however…” He pulled back from the corner in which he’d trapped her, his gaze raking once more over her voluptuous figure. “… she doesn’t want us to leave…”

’She’?” Wendy repeated dumbly.

The shadow of a smirk appeared over his features. “The island, my sweet.”

Wendy felt a wave of bewilderment overtake her senses as Killian strode away as though he’d grown bored of the young woman’s inquiries. “That’s impossible…” She mouthed her voice barely a whisper in contrast to the relentless groan of the ship.

Across the gangplank, Killian peered over the horizon, a spyglass appearing in his palm before he handed it to her. 

“If you look out there… you’ll see the tiniest sliver of a line along the water… That’s the western shore… the mermaid cove…”

Wendy scanned the horizon, her brows furling as she squinted.  That’s when she could see it.  Like an ebony gash severing the expanses of sky and sea, Neverland awaited in all her glory, its presence silently drawing The Jolly Roger closer with each passing day.  After a moment of simply accepting that her home was closer than she’d ever expected, the spyglass fell from her gaze as she returned it to Killian.

“Which brings me to the… next order of business.  Come with me, if you please.” With that, the captain turned on a heel and strode into his quarters, Wendy’s timid footsteps creeping timidly behind.  He held the door open for her before closing and locking it securely.  Wendy could smell the pirate’s cologne and felt a small wave of glee encapsulate her thoughts before Killian’s voice broke the silence.

“As I told you, we’re returning to Neverland, but what I haven’t told you is how we’re going to get to the shore without Peter and his merry band wreaking havoc on my ship from the moment they see us.”

“Go on…?” Wendy mused.

“We’re going to row you to shore and let you go, but not without this…”

A vial emerged in Hook’s palm, the inky liquid perplexing Wendy as she beheld it.

“What is it?”

“Venom. One drop could take out five men, but I’m giving you this to slip into Pan in any way you see fit.” He pressed the tiny glass jar into Wendy’s limp palm, bending forward so that he was face to face with the stony young woman.  “When the deed is done, I want you to light a fire on the shore to let my crew know that he’s dead.  Then, we’ll ransack that hell-pit for every speck of glamour it has, put Neverland to our rudder and never return.”

His hand came to rest against her cheek, his eyes wide and desperate even as he fought to hide it.  She still hadn’t said anything and that was enough to turn him into a pleading mess.

“After it’s all over, I’ll take care of you, you have my word…” His fingertips combed a tuft of hair having escaped from the braid she wore, his thumb sliding beneath her eye as though to catch an invisible tear.  “My Red-Handed Jill…”

Wendy closed her eyes, absently leaning into the caress of his hand as her fingertips felt against the plain glass bottle.  How would she manage such a dangerous task?  How could she lie to her first love? Her beloved Peter?

No, he was not her ‘beloved’.  He had betrayed her with lies and secrets.  He deserved whatever hit him, same with Rufio, and Felix for keeping all of this and more from her. How could they, after all this time?

She hadn’t realized it until she opened her eyes again that she was crying.

“I’m afraid…” She whispered, her voice wavering while her freed palm wiped desperately against the wet streaks on her cheeks.  Hook’s lips pressed against hers, causing her whimpering to cease if only for a moment.  

“You can… and you will… and then, we will be together…” With each pause his lips fell against hers again, the affection he doted upon her causing a rush of heat to arise and swell within her; not from her nether-regions, but from her heart...  Was this what love felt like?  She couldn’t be sure…       

After a moment of respite, Wendy took one final glance down at the bottle still resting in her palm before giving the pirate captain a slight nod of the head, fearing that her voice would quake if she were to take the chance to speak. 

Hook wrapped his palms around hers before kissing them, his gaze never leaving hers even as his eyes, too, became glassy.

“May I ask one final favor of you, my Red-Handed Jill?” He murmured against her wrists while his gaze remained fixed to hers. “Share my bed tonight?”

Wendy found herself pulling away from Killian, despite every nerve-ending in her body screaming in desperation not to.  “Not this night…” She replied, her eyes still watery despite how often she blinked. “When I return, I will.”

With this, her hand brushed against his cheek, combing through the scruff growing there as she allowed a smile to stretch her lips. That’s when she turned and used the key, still fitted in its respective lock, to allow her departure, leaving Killian to ponder Wendy’s answers. 

She’d taken the poison with her.

Chapter Text

It was cold.

               The night air was as black as pitch, a starless, moonless sky blanketing the sea in an endless abyss of ink.  There was no contrast between the two masses, and that in itself was both alluring and ominous at the same time.  Wendy was back to wearing the fitted green gown that Peter had given her so long ago, the panflute with the little bird on it was strapped to her hip, and yet she couldn’t bear to caress its familiar, smooth pipes for fear of sobbing uncontrollably. The idea of Neverland being a sentient deity terrified her all the more, the amount that she didn’t know of the island forcing her to consider a whole manner of possibilities.

               Could it read her mind?

               Was Peter involved in its comings and goings throughout the sea?

               Would he know when she arrived?

               That last inquiry sent tremors running up her spine.

               Looking out over the northern horizon, she could just barely make out the tiny firefly-like lights signifying the innumerable treehouses in which the Lost Boys all slept.  It was deceptively serene, Wendy mused.   

               The somber theme of the ship was more than simply evident as she paced along the topmost deck.  Her departure was only moments away, and yet she felt more lost than ever before.

               Killian stood proud and regal beside the rowboat that Wendy would soon be set adrift upon. Even in the light of the torches which encompassed the deck, Killian’s expression was unreadable. She almost felt remorse for declining the invitation to his bedside…

               “Until your return…” Killian murmured affectionately, taking her hand in his before his chapped lips pressed a series of kisses over her fingers. His gaze lingered on the vial tucked aside her beloved panflute.  It was like a blot of ink against the voluptuous green of her attire.

               “Until my return…” Wendy echoed, her face tilting upward so that she might kiss the Captain’s hollow cheek.  He offered her a meek smile before stepping back, his hook gently guiding the young woman onto the little rowboat where she promptly sat, the splintery wood digging into her bare thighs as she settled herself.  Smee was watching from behind Killian’s imposing figure, his hat being bunched fervently in his hands while he bid her a gentle nod of his head.

               “It shouldn’t take you long to reach the shores; the waves are on your side,” Killian exclaimed with a smile before giving the nod to let the rowboat be lowered into the murky depths. The anxiously-awaited smack of the boat striking the water made Wendy nearly beg to be brought back onto the ship.  She’d been given a lantern, a handful of matches, and a blanket with which to keep warm given the chilly temperatures. 

               And with that, she began rowing, her fingertips wasting little time in grasping the lengthy oars and dipping them gently into the water.

               Killian was right, the waters were on her side.  Even before she’d begun the cumbersome task of rowing towards Neverland’s shores, it was almost as though she was being pulled towards it by invisible ropes.

               That’s when a splash from nearby startled her, and she found herself face to face with her own reflection within the water. 

               Until it moved when she hadn’t.

               The creature’s eyes were as pearls of azure, her seaweed-clad hair framing her perfectly scaled complexion as her head broke through the water and she bobbed along the waves.  

               “You’re helping me…” Wendy gasped in subtle awe.  The woman replied in what could’ve been a smile if it weren’t for the razor-like set of teeth hiding just behind her dark blue lips. Dipping in and out of the water every few moments, the merwoman’s webbed fingertips grasped the edge of the boat, the current beneath obviously being quite strong. 

               “The Peter find you gone to the evil one; Hook… he send us to find you…” The whisper-soft chorus of the merfolk speech nearly lulled Wendy into a haze as they cavorted just beneath the water’s edge where Wendy’s lantern-light shone.

               “Thank you…” Wendy called sheepishly, which in turn caused a number of the merwomen to smile and exchange knowing glances, their elegant tails weaving throughout the waters beneath.

               “Sleep now, Wendy-bird… you will be safe…” The synchronized whispers of the merfolk resonated around the tiny boat until Wendy could do nothing but abide by their wishes, her eyelids growing heavy while she enwrapped herself in the blanket she’d been provided.

               “… Sleep… Sleep… Sleep…” They chorused fervently.

 

 

               The dawning sun prompted Wendy to open her eyes, the familiar cry of gulls and the rush of leaves in the wind gently caressing her ears.

               She was back on Neverland, the pearly blue sea lapping quietly yet feverishly against the bow of the little rowboat she’d fallen asleep on.  Having long forgotten the lullabies of the Merfolk, Wendy praised whatever deity would listen that she’d managed to reach the island safely. 

               Slipping from over the boat’s rim, her bare feet splashed into the ankle-deep water which was warm from the sun’s noonday glow.  She’d arrived at a grove where an abundance of flowers grew along the shoreline, hummingbirds, and faeries alike flitting eagerly amidst the greenery. Serene was but a fraction of the beauty in which Wendy now observed.

               Until a shout, much like the crack of a whip, startled her back to her senses.

               A clamor of rustling trees and a series of shouts filled the air, of which Wendy could distinctively hear but a few;

               “She’s back!”

               “The Wendy-Bird is alive!”

               “Someone go fetch Peter; Mother is back!”

               Wendy’s fingertips gripped against the pipes of her beloved pan-flute, its presence bringing a smile to her face…

Until the tip of her index finger found the poison still knotted at her hip; so it wasn’t a nightmare—she was still expected to go about being Peter’s executioner…

               Everything else passed by like a blur…

               One moment, she was alone, and then the next, five children surrounded her, two of which had taken to embracing her around the middle and nearly knocking the breath from her lungs.  More and more arrived, but not before Rufio emerged, his crimson mohawk practically gleaming in the sunlight as he clambered lithely down the trunk of an angled tree.  Upon seeing the Wendy, he let out a terrific howl the likes of which all of Neverland had doubtlessly heard. Wendy couldn’t help but smile at the powerful sound.  Already she was succumbing to the glories of Neverland’s pleasures once more…   

               That’s when Peter emerged into the clearing, his presence alone prompting all the lost boys to stand aside and allow a pathway between the two.  

There was something amiss in his emerald eyes; something Wendy couldn’t quite pinpoint despite how ardently it stood out from the rest of him.  The hesitation was relentless at the back of her mind, as though she had forgotten something she shouldn’t have.  Her fingertips abruptly fell away from the vial on her hip. She’d been clutching it as though her life depended on it.   

Peter approached her, awe and uncertainty plaguing his every step like a reluctant child pursuing a new discovery.

“Peter…” Wendy sighed eagerly as a smile stretched across her chapped lips.  

               Did he know something was amiss?

               “Wendy-Bird…” Peter whispered right before a wide, unabashed smile filled his cheeks. “I knew the merfolk would be able to find you the fastest! I just knew it!”

               With that he charged towards the frail young woman, scooping her up in a massive embrace, launching the both of them into the air while he caressed her and gave her an unrelenting supply of ‘thimbles’.  Wendy’s laughter filled the sky as they frolicked throughout the blue, the Lost Boys laughing and cheering below as they watched.

               “Tonight! We feast!” Peter declared which caused the audience to cheer and spread out into a dozen different directions, obviously intent on hunting the Never-elk and bear which dwelt within the forests and mountains of Neverland.  Wendy chanced a glance towards the ocean’s end where a defiant ship loomed dangerously.

               “What’s wrong?” Peter inquired, which startled Wendy.

               Without a moment to doubt, Wendy held him tighter, “I’m afraid they’ll try and catch me again.” She whispered, forcing a whimper out of the back of her throat. She mentally applauded herself for sounding so convincing.  Peter clutched her more tightly, his gaze falling to the ship as he glared protectively on.

               “If they try to, I’ll kill them… every. Single. One.  Nothing, and I mean, nothing, will ever keep you from me again… do you hear me?”

               There was an underlying threat to his request, and Wendy was quick to be suspicious, though she refused to allow him knowledge of that. For a split-second, she could see the dominating, possessive side of Peter which far exceeded any that a mere boy would have; this was the cruelty of a malevolent deity, and that in turn struck fear into her very core.

               ****

               The Bottle trembled in her hand as she stared at it, tracing its every detail with the edge of her fingertip.  She stood over a vat of what she assumed was wine having been pressed from grapes earlier that day.  It was Peters choice beverage, so only a few were fortunate enough to so much as smell the delightful concoction.

               It was a man’s drink, he’d been informed. And to be expected, Peter loathed the very idea that something might be away from his grasp simply because he was a child in body.  

Twisting the vial open, she dumped the contents in, watching the black substance dilute into the burgundy mixture.  For a moment she watched the cauldron, hoping against hope that Peter wouldn’t detect something was amiss before drinking it.  He was so very particular...

It was done.  

“And just what are you doing here, Wendy-Bird?” A soft voice echoed behind her, nearly causing her soul to leave her body. Jumping around, she came face to face with Felix who’s eyes were dancing with mischief.

“Oh… um… no-nothing.” She chirped, “Nothing at all!”  

                Felix’s eyes fell against the cauldron’s brew, a cruel smile worming its way across his slender features. “Is that so?  Because I had just so happened to be strolling by when I caught sight of you pouring something into Peter’s wine…”

               Wendy was blushing so furiously she knew it was obvious despite the dim firelight. “It wasn’t… it wasn’t anything… Felix…”

               She knew exactly what had to be done to keep him from asking any further questions and ruining Wendy’s plot.

               Her fingertips wove between his, startling him substantially. “You told me once that you wanted what Peter and I have…” Wendy whispered as she guided Felix away from the cauldron.

               Bewilderment and confusion flitted behind the stocky boy’s gaze as his other palm came up and traced along her jawline.  The touch wasn’t meant to be affectionate, Wendy soon came to realize.  It was a familiar touch that she’d long ago forgotten.

“I want…” Felix began reluctantly, his voice hard.

That’s when he released her face and abruptly grabbed her arm, pulling her towards the adjacent exit.  Startled, Wendy could only follow, her breath catching in her throat before she could inquire as to where he was taking her.

Down a collection of stairs and through a number of doors, Felix then shoved her towards an awaiting ladder made of ropes.

“Climb,” Felix commanded behind her, his body pressed impatiently against hers.  For a moment she feared that he would push her over the edge if she refused (An edge which went down several feet before reaching a shallow brook surrounded by rocks and sturdy roots).  Wendy obliged, though reluctantly, her sore palms becoming marred with rope-burns as a result of her frantic clambering. Felix followed close behind, which complicated Wendy’s attempts at reaching the top.  Panic soon took hold of her thrumming heart and that alone nearly caused her to fall. Where was he taking her?

Yet as soon as she reached the top, Wendy quickly realized that her fears were justified. 

This was Felix’s private bedroom; a treehouse wherein the seldom floors were lined in thick furs.  Wendy could scarcely form a cohesive thought before Felix was behind her once more and pushed her onto said furs.  She fell with a loud grunt before rolling onto her back with the intent to fight back if need be. 

“You were planning on poisoning Peter…” He whispered huskily as he strode towards her fallen figure, his fingertips quickly unlacing the robes he wore. Wendy shied away from his accusations, though declined to argue.

“No one has to know, you know…” He murmured as the outer layers of his robes fell away, revealing a gaunt but muscular figure from beneath.

“Oh, yeah?” Wendy inquired rhetorically, her expression stern as she struggled to find the bravery she’d once had. “What’s the catch?”

“There isn’t one… at least, not one that I find trouble with…”

That’s when he was upon her, his palms groping and worming throughout her clothes as she fought against his advances.

“Get off me!” She growled as she pushed at his shoulders and kicked out on either side of his hips.

“Wouldn’t it be a shame for Peter to find out that his Wendy-Bird was trying to kill him?” He cackled as he bit down on her neck hard enough for her to let out a strangled yelp. Tears stung the edges of her vision as the scenery surrounding her became distorted.

“Get off me, please!” She cried as a familiar heat pressed stubbornly between her legs.  

She was in her bedroom, the shadow of a man standing over her, his erect manhood pulsating as he demands that she spread her legs. The scent of blood is foul on the air as she finds herself begging to be left alone, the hem of her nightgown stained crimson upon the awakening of her womanhood.  Yet her pleas fall on deaf ears as she smells the familiar scent of not only her arousal but the musk of the one attempting to subdue her.

Her fingers found purchase against the darkened face of her attacker, which caused him to cry out in pain.  Yet she refused to let up, a flurry of curses falling from her lips as she clawed into his eyes and nose and anything else she could get her nails into.  That’s when he released her, holding his face as his bloodied lips snarled at her.

“Filthy whore!” He coughed while holding his palms to his face and moaning beneath. Wendy didn’t wait to tend to his wounds but instead chose to fix her clothes and make her descent down the ladder.  Peter would surely hear about Felix’s injuries, but that was not important.

She had to get away from them; from all of them.