Old. Alone. Done For.

It could be no other way; winning was never an option for you.

You hear no fear in their chanting.

You will not go down with your ship, Captain. You will never again be the figure of nightmares.

('the only man that the Sea-Cook feared')

You will never again be the master of dogs. You will never again have the pleasure of sinking your hook into flesh. (Another dead pirate, and another and another. Yet the numbers never dwindled.)

You will be consumed by your fear. The only fear you ever had. (The only one you will admit to.) Death does not frighten you. You will maintain good form.

Because winning was never an option for you.

Obsession with Pan would have burned away your black heart, eventually; it would have crumbled into ashes. And when you had disposed of the boy you would have been free. Free to go home. You would have found a new heart, eventually. (Home is where the heart is). But you would never have been whole again.

And you would have found that the world grew up while you played pirates against a boy. You would have been a story given form, but they wouldn't have real heroes any more. How disruptive, how passé. And the villains would always be shades of grey. You would use your charm and learn what should not be said. Blending in, distinctly grey. (You would forget how you loved red. Bright like Pan's blood. Bright like life.)

The executions would not be what you expected. One by one those who swore their lives to you would have them taken by the law. Hung by the neck until dead. Fools who forget (this is not Neverland...cannot be Neverland...never Neverland). And the law hear is not that of the iron claw. Their new master is procedure. Careful consideration of the facts. And they fear this more than a swift blow to the heart. They are told precisely when they will die. How they will die. It is a harsh justice that gives them time to realise terror.

And all would cheer as they fell. Rope tight at their necks.

You would watch with Smee beside you. (Gentle dog, good dog. Sit. Walk. Heel.) He has no bark or bite to threaten this world. He would fade peacefully, while they let you go quietly mad. You would break the silence with the whisper of metal against flesh. It peels away as sweetly as ripe fruit. You are bathed in blood (always, forever), fresh and warm and a last salute.

Insanity is a complete defence.

They would let you out, a man in pieces, but Smee would still be there to take care of you, and he would lead you home. Not your home. It's at the bottom of the sea now. A shattered wreck. Like you. He still calls you Captain, and you feel oddly embarrassed, but you can't have him call you James. Too intimate (where is your pride?), too close (too close already). Your instinct would be to gut him.

But you can't, not anymore, because they took away your hand...your hook. Hook. You. They broke it.

They broke you.

They would have broken you.

They will not.

You are Captain James Hook.

And the precious chanting of children guides you to your grave.