Disclaimer: I own nothing. At all. Nothing. Not even the pebbles on the ground these people walk on. Not mine. Nope.

So I may actually continue this. Not sure. I wrote the next chapter to help myself think a little more about it. I know it's short.


The only sounds in the room were anxious breathing and Willy's gloves squeaking uncomfortably beneath the sleeves of his soft night robe. The longer the silence went on, the more Willy realized what was happening. He was a few seconds too late.

"James—"

James dropped the bar and looked frantically at Willy as it shattered. "I can't…" he spluttered. "I…have to go…the boys…."

Mrs. Bucket faintly murmured, "No!" right before the disheveled playwright hastily made his way past Willy and out of the Bucket house. By the time Willy thought of going after him, James was probably already out of the factory.

The factory doors echoed disastrously across the entire building, and when the sound was over, every Bucket in the entire vicinity plus Willy was left staring at the crooked door, standing ajar and reminding the chocolatier of every waking moment since meeting James until that point that he tried not to let his heart's floodgates burst open….

Willy carefully looked down at the broken, forgotten chocolate bar, and his vision became blurry with tears.

Because it was broken, the cracked pieces together read, "Will You Maim Me?"

For the first time since he was a child on his own, Willy Wonka felt horrendously vulnerable and alone.

There was no shame in what Charlie did next; he carefully walked up to his mentor, sidestepping the broken bar, and held his hand. Willy held tight and cried, not looking away from the door the love of his life had used to escape from him….

To escape from him.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

James hadn't made it to his home before breaking down. He stopped at an all-too-familiar park bench and nearly fell onto it, emitting deep sobs and feeling as if he could die. He'd made the mistake this time. He was the one who really caused pain this time. His actions couldn't be reversed….

There was fresh snow on the bench when James had collapsed onto it. He buried his face in it, not caring how cold it was or how stupid he was at the moment. He didn't know why he couldn't say yes….

James didn't want to think. He didn't want to feel…he didn't want to be.

He would forever remember the Christmas when a little part of Neverland died.