|Key to Hope
Author: Starzy12 PM
Locks Hunter is lost, and doesn't seem to want to be found. Peter is mischievous and all he wants is to go home. Based off of Syfy's Neverland and all the books. Prequel to classic tale. OC/PeterRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Peter Pan - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,200 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 05-29-12 - Published: 04-11-12 - id: 8014419
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Peter was not an artistic soul. A paintbrush didn't sit right in his palm and he could barely print his name without snapping the pen in half.
He did attempt to sketch, though. His renewed thinking of his deceased mother put him into a drawling frenzy. During his picking route he kept a couple scraps of paper and some black-chalk-like stuff he had swiped from a street artist. The stuff smudged his hands and cheeks and left a black stain everywhere he touched.
Locks tried to help him clean up when he came home, but he denied her, slightly embarrassed by his lack of excuses of how he got so dirty. She was always eager to do something to help and stay busy, since she was stuck in the basement all day. He already felt bad enough refusing her, he didn't want to mar and stain the borrowed pristine clothing that she had so little of.
Lock's was under the impression that all the boys were working alongside Jimmy during his sparring classes, so she wasn't surprised when they came home with dust on their cloths, red in their cheeks, and sweat on their brows from running from the police. They didn't feed her the lie, just played along with it. The word "thief" was still hard for the lads to admit, and the thought of loosing Locks' trust unnerved them all.
Previously the wares Jimmy and his crew had collected would just sit in a huge pile on the center table of their room; now the coins and trinkets were hidden in a large desk in the attic to prevent suspicion from Locks. There were no more piles of shiny merchandise stacked precariously on the rickety chess table, which was an odd change. Without the occasional flickering of stolen gold to boost their pride, the boys finally noticed just how poorly they lived without all the goods covering their mess.
The attic became the boy's secret at night when Locks was asleep, where they would hold meetings and game plan strategies.
The attic also became Peter's secret drawing studio to use when everyone else was asleep. As stuffy and uncomfortable as it was, it was easy to be alone with his drawings there in the quiet dark. Also, by drawing in the dark, and not in the middle of the street while picking, he didn't notice as many flaws with his work.
One night his lacking of drawing technique got to him anyway. He ripped the sketch of his mother down the middle, his breaths turning heavy and his hands starting to shake. He could feel the hot angry tears swirling behind his eyes and his face turn red.
The long stick of charcoal snapped in his white knuckled fists and sliced the skin of his palm. With his black and bloodied hands he wiped at his eyes, which came away wet and slimy. Fragments of paper littered the floor and speckled the dark with it's the reflecting moonlight.
"Dammit" he managed to scream in a voice just above a whisper.
God, why couldn't he translate it! If he couldn't draw his dreams than he'd eventually forget them, his mother's would fade along with them.
"P-Peter?", a soft voice stuttered from the attic thresh hold, "Peter it's s-so cold. Why ar-rn't you in bed?"
"Locks? Is that you?" Peter said in a shaky, course with tears voice.
"Yes. Peter what are y-you doing here? It's the middle of winter and you're here without a quilt!"
Her outline stood out from the dark, her cheek bones, nose, and forehead just visible with the moon light. She was wearing the thin shift that she was wearing the day she arrived, cut slightly shorter since the bottom had been turn red and shredded.
"I'm just... I was just thinking" he muttered, gathering the scraps of parchment so he could stuff them inside a cushion.
"Are you ok? You look... upset".
A chuckle escaped his lips. Oh he definitely looked worse than just upset. Here he was, a sixteen year old boy , with tears in his eyes and black and red streaks across his face, blubbering over a drawing. He was so pathetic, she was going to laugh at him tomorrow with Curly and Jimmy. The latter would strike him in the head for being so weak.
"I'm alright" he said in the clearest voice he could muster. He turned away to hide his face, but he was still partly visible.
"You are crying"
It wasn't a question, and he knew he was exposed.
She hesitantly walked over to his crumpled figure and kneeled down to his level. She took a handkerchief from her pocket and handed it to him.
He snatched it from her hands are wiped away the grime and blood, taking some skin with it.
"Just leave" he snapped. She flinched from his tone, but didn't move from him.
"I never thanked you for saving me" she whispered, "You didn't leave me in the middle of the road, so I'm not going to leave now"
She reached for his hand but he tore it away. Locks memory went to those of her deceased family members in France, the little cousins, always so stubborn, refusing to get help.
"Peter, how old are you?" she asked out of the blue.
"Sixteen" He answered in monotone.
He could feel her smile.
"I'm sixteen as well, and a few tears won't make you any younger"
The sound of paper rubbing together came from her direction. Her long, fingers outlined the woman's chin, the only thing defined under all his smudges. The woman was young, but clearly older than Locks. Her eyes were wide and smiling and her cheek bones high and smooth.
"Is this your mother?"
"No" his voice was unconvincing, "I'm... Um... No the best artist"
"It has promise. Let me try?"
She held out her hand expectantly. Peter turned to look at her face on, and dropped the broken fragments of charcoal into her hand.
Locks placed the drawling on her knees and hunched over the unfinished picture. A detailed face appeared from Peter's scribbles, complete with two wide, smiling, sparkling eyes.
"That's her face", his voice was soft with shock. "How did you do that?"
She shrugged, completing a perfect portrait of his mother from neck to hairline.
"If you keep drawling her, I'll be able to interpret it. Maybe one day you will have a full picture".
The air around the sweet girl suddenly cracked with energy. Peter felt himself being drawn closer to it, moved to insanity by her impossible suggestion.
Peter wanted to kiss her, badly, but he settled for pecking her cheek. Her soft skin singed his rough lips, and her scent of honey and vanilla kept him in close proximity, and in a shaky voice he said a quick, "Thank you".
Her eyes turned to meet his, and her smile made his cheeks catch flame. Her stutter from the cold air was gone, and she found herself no longer shivering.
"I don't do much in this house" she started, "You boys will not let me go anywhere and there isn't anything outside where I would feel safe. I stay in this house and do stupid, forgetful, womanly duties. Let me do this for you and it will make me feel like I'm giving back. I owe you, Pete".
Peter couldn't respond.
Locks went back to bed a couple minutes later. Leaving Peter with a near perfect picture of his mother.
It was straight out of his head, and the picture made him flush with happiness. He fell asleep that night with the picture under his pillow, folded to keep the charcoal from smudging. His eyes didn't close for a long time, for they were too focused on watching the miracle girl sleep on the other side of the room.
"I owe you" she had said.
His secret response : "I may love you".
Peter jumped back into the crime business with more vigor than ever. The next day Peter was the first one out the door. He was going to do some of his best work and bring back some heavy material, he decided, as if it was something he could completely control. With his panpipes in hand, he sat on a street corner and played his favorite tunes to draw his victims near. They dropped money by his feet unintentionally revealing where there money was stored on their person. Pete would play a certain tune to signal Tootles and Connor who were waiting to "bump" into them around the corner.
They couldn't do their jobs near the house though. Locks would catch them and ask what they were doing. Jimmy would skin them alive of that happened.
The scheme went well, and Peter had a hint of a smile on his face.
"Why I believe Pete's back!" Fox yelled, slapping Peter's shoulder.
"Peter! London's most feared crook!" Curly sneered playfully. Peter didn't bother to hide the sheer pride in his smile.
Jimmy had a certain spark to his eyes when Peter laid his findings out that night.
He sees my strength now, Peter thought.
His pile of goodies towered over the rest making the other boy's success look like a convenience. Fox even bit his lip when seeing his three bills and a copper watch stand miniscule to Peter's mountain of paper and metal. Fox emptied the goods into their hiding place with frazzled haste, his feathers ruffled.
"Our secret hiding place is getting full" Connor muttered. They had filled 4 of the 6 drawers of the desk. It was now, swiped clear of dust from their frantic opening and closing, making it look fresh and recently touched.
"I'll be taking everything to the bank and markets tomorrow so will have some room on Sunday afternoon when Locks is asleep" Jimmy answered.
"Are we going to keep her in the dark forever?" Tootles sighed.
Curly nodded along with him, "Yeah, she's had her share in living in fear. Why, it's possible she has stolen before!"
Brady's eyes were swimming with his child-like guilt, "We are her family. She should love us no matte what".
"She shouldn't have too" Peter answered for Jimmy in his commander voice, "Yes, she isn't alone anymore, and she is a part of our family. This is the best way to take care of her, so we do it to keep her safe. If she finds out and leaves, she will put herself in worse danger".
"I don't know if you've noticed yet, but Locks is not as weak as you think, Pete" Fox said slowly, afraid of getting his temper flaring.
Brady smiled, "Yes, she's tough enough to take you on Peter!"
Jimmy rolled his eyes, "We will tell her if she asks, We won't lie; just withhold the truth, like I taught you boys when we were caught by a priest that one time. Alright?"
Peter frowned, "Fine".
"So how was your day?"
Peter was perched precariously on top of an old tea cabinet, while Locks was sprawled out on the floor, hunched over her drawling again.
"It was fine" she answered, "I get so much sleep during the day out of boredom. It is hard for me to fall asleep at night". Guilt stabbed at Peter's stomach.
"Well maybe you could start painting the walls, or make us shoes" he laughed with force, "You know, to stay busy".
She smirked, "Yes, and then I could glue sparkles to Curly's clothes!"
A few moments of silent laughter came between them, and then Locks had to open her mouth and ruin it with a seemingly innocent comment.
"You all are very childlike, you know?" she said with a smile, like it was the most adorable thing. Her tone was slightly condescending, like she was cooing a baby in her arms.
Peter's face hardened immediately.
"I'm not a kid anymore! I'm growing up" he almost yelled at her. Yes, he knew he was immature and could wine like a toddler, but he was sixteen after all. No one wants to be a called a child, especially at his age.
Locks scrunched her eyebrows together in confusion, "It isn't a bad thing to be young, Peter" she murmured, slightly alarmed by his outburst, "In fact sometimes I find that it's the only thing that makes life bearable. The fact that you have a chance to be innocent and laugh all the time keeps you calm for the future".
Peter cruely laughed at her. He hated being young and foolish. If he was older he could have a job and repay Jimmy for all his hospitality and become his business partner. He was the best pick pocket in town, he would be ace with the burglaries. For a moment he even seemed older from the way he was laughing now, like a bitter, lonely old man.
Peter wanted to respond to her with some nasty, sarcastic, rude comment about her child-like smile and wide eyes; but he thought she would take it as a compliment, and Peter always blushed when giving a pretty girl a compliment. He didn't think he could insult her even if he really tried.
So instead, Peter said nothing to Locks for the rest of the night. They simply sketched in peace, listening to London's clock strike the hours and the slurred and sloppy conversations of drunken men on the streets below them.
Locks vowed never to speak of age with Peter again.
Let him grow up, she thought. He will regret it one day when he sees his family grow and change, leaving him behind.
For the first time in their lives the two teenagers speculated about the mystery of immortality.