Disclaimer: Incredibly not mine.

A/N: Written for the 179th challenge over at KH Drabble, the prompt of which was 'conflict'. I've never actually seen a fanfic for Pete before, although I'd be happy for people to point me in the direction of some. Reviews also exceedingly welcome!


Crossroads

© Scribbler, March 2009.


Pete was at a crossroads.

He wished it was a real, actual crossroads, with signs saying what lay in each direction. He was used to knowing where he was headed. Suddenly not was frustrating.

And all because he was sick of taking orders.

He sat down in the infinite blackness, wondering what he was even sitting on. This dimension sucked. All he could see was black.

"Black as your heart, Pete," Mickey had said when opening the portal. "Maybe spending some time there will help you contemplate your mistakes."

This dimension was nothing more than a freaking Naughty Step he was expected to cool his heels on while the Boat-Boy King cleaned up the castle. The coup wasn't even Pete's idea, but apparently that meant bupkiss. So much for the merciful monarch. Was this was payback for all those clips around the ear on the steamboat? Well, how was he supposed to know the kid was a runaway prince in disguise?

"I knew trusting Mortimer was a bad idea." Pete's words bounced back at him, like the darkness couldn't be bothered to swallow them up. "Momma always said, never trust a guy who laughs like a crapped-out lawnmower." Even if he did promise you half the kingdom and a future where you gave orders instead of taking them.

He wondered what had befallen the rebellion's leader. If he, a mere lieutenant, had been banished, what had Mickey concocted for his usurper of a cousin? Pete was all for sinking Mortimer headfirst into a vat of warm monkey vomit, but he doubted Disneyland's clean-cut king would ever think up anything that inventive.

"No, he's too busy throwing guys into other dimensions."

So.

What next? Pete considered his options. He could devise some means of getting back at Mickey when he finally got out of here, but who knew how long that'd take? He could try escaping, but how did you escape from a dimension?

Alternatively, he could do as ordered and repent for his involvement in the coup; 'turn over a new leaf' as Mickey put it.

The knot of resentment, growing inside for years, tightened.

He was the big guy once. He was in charge. Then, in seemingly no time, he was on the bottom of the heap, his cabin boy wearing a crown and parading around like he owned the place. Which he did, technically. Even this Darkness Dimension was Mickey's. What was left for ol' Pegleg Pete? Nothing but servitude and the expectation he should smile for being allowed to live in the pretty castle.

But the fact remained: these were his options.

Pete was tired. Maybe he should just stop resisting. Maybe it was finally time to retire his bitterness and try life as a willing subject. It seemed to work for everyone else. Who knew? Maybe there was something in it. Maybe, if you stopped thinking you were being screwed over, there was happiness at the bottom of the barrel.

Suddenly the infinite blackness wasn't so infinite. Pete turned. Fleetingly he thought Mickey was a mind-reader alongside everything else, and was coming to offer passage back to Disneyland. Instead a woman with a green face stepped towards him. A sense of power rolled off her, so potent even Pete sensed it. Every bristle on his chin stood on end.

She didn't introduce herself. "How much do you want revenge against the upstart mouse-king?" she asked in a silky voice that reminded him of serpents hissing before they struck.

The shred of clarity blossoming inside him shrivelled and died.

Pete smiled.


Fin.