Authors Note- I originally posted this on another site, because it was the first fan fiction story of this length that I had done, and I was not sure whether or not it would become to ' heavy ' for the rating guide over here. I think it is probably safe enough.
Don't be fooled by the overly serious tone of the first chapter; I am incapable of writing anything that is one hundred percent serious.
He was not dead. He knew, because surely death would feel different than life.
Frowning , he opened his eyes. Above him was Hook, standing, prepared to strike. . .his blade dully lit by the stormy light. But Hook was not looking at Peter, he was looking at Wendy, who stood between them. Peter could not see her face, only her straight back, and blowing brown hair, but he could tell that she was defiant.
Hook could easily have struck her down. . .she was but a girl in a night dress, and then killed Peter, as well.
So. . .why did he pause?
The answer was simple, and not in the least way was it tinged with any resemblance of kindness, or forgiveness. He was not the type of man to be suddenly siezed with a bad bout of mercy, or to decide at the last moment to let a noble adversary live for the sake of good sport.
He was however the type of man who liked to draw out the agony and torment of his fellow man, or children, in this case. And right there, at the last moment, when he had been perfectly stomached for a vicious blood bath. . .a better, more evil idea had sprung into his mind.
It was so extraordinarily wicked that it made him grin a cold, malicious grin. He turned his cold eyes down to the boy lying prone on the deck. Then he glanced at the girl. She neither glared, nor looked afraid. This was part of the adventure, to her. Just a big pretend.
" Now tell me girl. Do you think I should kill this boy?" he asked.
She narrowed her eyes. She had fallen into his word traps before.
" Well? Speak up! Should I kill him?" he demanded.
" No." she said.
" No? Why, not? "
" Because. . ." she began, obviously thinking hard about her response.
"Yes?" Hook leaned closer to her, as if he could not hear her well.
" Because he is just a boy." she said.
"Just a boy. But, isn't he a special kind of boy?" Hook asked.
It came out very quietly, and after a long pause. Peter closed his eyes again, defeated. There were no more happy thoughts for him. He was just a boy. Just a boy, because Wendy had said so.
" No? You mean you do not think that he is special? " Hook sounded surprised.
" No. He is only pretending." she said.
Hook's face was very close to hers now. The smell of cigars, and brandy were strong about him.
" But, you like him, yes?" he asked, locking his gaze with hers.
"Yes, of course." Wendy exclaimed.
"And you do not wish me to kill him?''
"I do not wish for you to kill anybody!" she said.
"Well, then, perhaps we can come to an arrangement." Hook straightened back up.
"You're trying to trick me again!" she said, frowning.
" My dear, you have only two options, and since one is, that I kill the lot of you. . .the second could hardly be any worse, trick, or not. Now, would you like to hear me out, or shall I simply. . .kill the lot of you and have done? It's all the same to me." he actually smiled at the thought.
She gave a little huff, and raised her head. " Well, then? Let's have the terms . . ."
He raised a brow at her cheeky manner.
" How about. . .I let Peter Pan live. And the other boys too. . ." he raised his hand to stop her interruption. " and kill you in their place. Just you. Are you willing to do that? To die for this boy?"
He nudged Peter hard with the toe of his boot, but Peter didn't move.
" Trade your life, for the lives of those boys?" he waved his hand toward the lost boys.
" Give yourself to protect your brothers?" he whispered in her ear.
She trembled a little, fighting back the tears.
" You are a wicked man" she whispered back, and was infuriated when he only smiled again, and said:
" Of course!"
They glowered at each other for a moment longer.
" Still can't decide? What if I say I will allow them all to go free, right now? Your brothers can return home to your mother. She must be terribly sad. . .no? I would hate to think of her being deprived of all three of her children, when one would suffice. Will you let the blood of these innocent boys be on your hands Wendy?"
Wendy looked around, at all of the faces turned expectantly to hers. Except Peter, he still lay with his eyes closed, refusing to pretend anymore.
She felt a little angry that he wasn't even trying. He didn't care that this decision was given to her. Why not? It was a grown up decision. . .he couldn't be bothered with such a thing.
Still, she might have refused. Might even have begged for all of their lives. But the thought of her mother, grieving for her lost children. . .wrenched at her heart, and seeing that she was weakening, Hook delivered the final cut.
" I would have thought you were braver than this, Wendy. I had no idea you were
such. . .a. . .COWARD."
She turned on him then, anger flashing in her eyes.
" I am NOT a coward, Hook! And I will prove it. I'll prove I am braver than you! Set them free. All of them. I will die willingly for them." She set her her back straight, and held up her chin.
He appeared to think this over, looking at her, and then at the boys, who were all protesting and calling out to her to refuse. Some of them had tear-stained faces. After all, she was their mother, wasn't she?
Hook was silent. Contemplative.
" Well?" she demanded, growing nervous
He rubbed his chin. " Well, you are brave. But, are you noble, as well? "
"What do you mean?" she demanded.
"Are you a man. . .well, girl, of her word?"
" I would hope so!"
" So, if you gave me a promise. . .you would keep it. No matter what?" Hook asked.
She searched his face for a long time, obviously calculating the weight of her decision. Finally, she nodded.
" Yes. I would keep my word."
Now, everyone on the boat was silent, waiting breathlessly for the next move. Even Peter, against his will had opened his eyes and was watching the two people over him. The girl in the nightdress, and the Captain with the hooked hand. . .facing each other like soldiers on a battle field. Each wary of the other.
At last, the Captain spoke, and his voice was low and poisonously smooth.
" Well then. . .I am going to let you go. Let you all go free. How does that sound?"
She didn't answer. He read easily the distrust on her features.
" Yes, well. It does come with a price." he allowed. " I send you home to your dear
mother. . .but you must promise me that you will return to me. In say. . ." he looked her up and down. " Ten years? "
" You want me to promise you that I will come all of the way back to Neverland, just so you can kill me?' she asked.
"I want you to promise that you will return to me in ten years."
What if I forget how to fly?" she asked, baiting him towards anger.
" For their sakes. . .you better not forget." he said simply.
Again a silence.
" Why?" she finally demanded.
Why not just make me walk the plank now as ten years from now? I'll be just as dead!"
He leaned close again, his voice now so low that she was the only one who could hear him.
"Do you really want to know why?" he asked.
She nodded. Indeed, she was brave, he had to allow. Grown men, pirates, some of them, had swooned from fear at being this close to his wrath. Not Wendy, she merely looked at him expectantly, waiting with impatience and anger that mirrored some of his own tempers.
" Very, well. You see, if I kill Pan. . .he is just dead. He won't suffer. I want him to see his Wendy all grown up. Do you see? I want to see if he can realy, truly, feel. And I want to see his heart break. I want to see him suffer for a long, long time." he straightened up. " But of course, I would be satisfied to finish you all off, slowly and painfully. . .if Miss Wendy doesn't give me her word soon!" he growled.
When she didn't say anything right away, he raised his blade.
" Very well then, I-"
" I promise." she said, simply.
" You promise what?" he asked, smiling.
" I promise that I will return in ten years. . .if you release the boys and do not hurt them." she said almost as if it were one long word.
He grinned in triumph, and began barking orders.
They would all be set free, as well as Wendy. She would return home, he was sure of it.
They always did.
That gave him ten years to decide what he was going to do with her when she returned.
After all. . .he had not said he would kill her. He had merely let her assume, he reasoned with himself. After all, Pan was already ruined; bringing her back as a grown up and killing her would be an awful waste.
No. . .there might be something better. Something that would be revenge on Peter Pan for the rest of his life.
Nobody saw the look that came to the Captain's eye, as he watched the boys, all of them, even his nemesis, being trussed up and loaded in the dinghy. Wendy stood back, waiting for her turn to climb down. She felt the Captains look, and turned,
" Until we meet again then, Captain? " she asked.
He bowed, and took her hand. He planted a swift kiss on her knuckles.
" Until we meet again, Miss Wendy". he said.
And she was gone. Down into the boat, and away from the Jolly Roger.
She looked back, one last time, and saw the Captain, his hair blowing in the wind, his cold eyes glowing eerily in his pale face. He was waiting already for her to come back. Like the hungry crocodile, always circling the waters, waiting. . .
It was the vision that would haunt her dreams for the next ten years. . .