"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December." — J.M. Barrie

He could be a patient man, if the need glaringly presented itself. His vengeance could wait, should wait, more like. The frighteningly twisted scheme concocted in his equally twisted mind required a more…matured victim. Horrific scenes, revolving mostly around him finally ripping Pan in twain with his hook, flitted through his mind as he ripped another apart with said appendage. Captain Hook cut his way out of that blasted crocodile and began the long swim back to the Jolly Roger. An image of wavy auburn hair and dancing green eyes tinged with flecks of grey resonated in his mind's eye. No, no that damned girl who had captured the attentions of his dearest enemy was only good to him a with a little more…ripening to her bones. His hook glistened in the moonlight as it aided him in hoisting up onto the offered rope that dangled from his ship's edge. Oh yes, he thought, as he climbed up the rope, exhausted yet driven by maddening rage. He had divested Neverland once and for all of the reptilian menace. Next would come Pan…at the hands of his storyteller. Oh revenge would be sweet indeed.

~Six Years Later~

"I shan't marry him, Papa. He's a boorish little snit of a man and a fool to compound it!"

A flustered tizzy of Wendy Darling crossed her arms and glared at her father. Wendy had grown, as children so often do, in the years since her sole excursion to Neverland. Though an average height, she was far from average in all other aspects. Her eyes, green orbs intermingled with grey, shone with wit and the vestiges of childlike mirth. Her mouth was full, supple, and pink. Her locks of auburn hair hung loose, their waviness giving her a near wild affect. Her hair cascaded down the creamy paleness of her bare shoulders, which were set in grim determination. Far from the foal-limbed youth she had once been, Wendy's form was now beset with voluptuous curves, made even more so by the tight corset ever-present around her slim waist. Wendy Darling had indeed become a beautiful woman, had it not been for an underlying temper that matched even the most foulest of pirates and a sharp tongue able to rip through the steeliest adversary's guard.

Mr. Darling sighed loudly and glared at his daughter.

"Every caller you've gotten you have denied, Wendy. You must marry, child."

Wendy cocked her chin high and returned his steely glare.

"All of these men were not suitable, Father."

"And how so? Were they not rich? Were they not handsome? Were they not of good families? Truly I cannot think of any suitors more…suitable."

"I do not wish to marry," Wendy said, though her thoughts drifted, as they were wont to do as of late, to a pair of cruel blue eyes and a swaggering, horrifyingly beautiful form. She shook the notion from her mind. Hook was evil. And would loathe being described as beautiful, even if he was as vain as she recalled.

In no mood for her headstrong sensibilities, her father's voice raised above his normal monotone. He leaned on the edge of the open parlor window and glared at his child, the pair fully unaware of the set of villainous ears listening intently to Mr. Darling's words.

"Mark my words, Wendy, the next man, I don't care whom he comes from, what he does, how old he is, or how boorish he is, the next man who walks through that door and asks for your hand will have it."

"Papa, no!"

"Young lady, you are to remain in your room until I see fit to allow you a reprieve from it."

Tears threatened to spill from her eyes, but Wendy held her composure until she had ascended the stairs and flopped unceremoniously onto her bed. The nursery, long since past the years wherein stories were told within its walls, had been converted into a bedroom fit for a young lady; the last loving efforts of her mother, whose bones lay cold in London's soil. Oh if only her mother were alive to comfort her now; if only Peter would remember her and take her back to Neverland where she would never have to grow further, would never have to marry, would never have to…but the notion was silly, Wendy realized, glaring down at her womanly figure, she had already grown. The thought brought about another bout of tears which were only silenced when the distinct ring of her doorbell sounded through the house. When a voice which had echoed in her nightmares and fantasies resounded in the hallway below, Wendy's blood rushed from her head, leaving her faint and tingling in such an inappropriate area she was shamed to think of it and surprised God did not strike her down for the sinfulness of it. Tiptoeing out of her room, Wendy peaked over the banister and caught a glimpse of the strangest sight she had yet beheld. Captain James Hook, in full terrifying pirate regalia, sat prim as you please in her drawing room, chatting with her father as if the action was an everyday occurrence.