Peter zipped through the air, fighting a scowl back as he made his way to the black castle. Tink flew next to him, trying to keep up, "He's right you know." Tink said as they landed across the waters from the castle, a dark cloud hovered over it making the waters it sat in frothy.
"About what?" Peter said grabbing a stone from the ground and chucking it as far into the dark waters as he could.
"About Wendy, she's not meant for this place Peter. She's a grown up." The fairy said gently.
"So what? The Indians are grown ups—Hook's a grown up!" Peter began to climb up the rocks to the castle—it seemed to be getting harder and harder to fly these days.
"They are a part of the island Peter. Wendy has a whole other life in England." The fairy hopped from rock to rock propelling herself with her wings. Peter frowned but said nothing as they got to the obsidian steps of the black castle and began the climb to the large front doors.
Goosebumps formed on Peter's arms as he grabbed the large rings that served as doorknobs and pulled the heavy door open and slipping into the inky darkness of the Castle's belly.
The Castle's layout was as he remembered it, coves of doorways with stairs leading up to the main castle, black waters licking up the craggy walls and splashing onto the pathways, three sets of manacles hung from the rock face so that when high tide flowed in the prisoners would drown.
Peter crept towards the stares and peeked around the corner, checking to see if any pirates were there. They weren't. He waved Tink forwards and lifted off the ground, zooming up the stairs towards the throng room.
The throne room was a large room with high cathedral ceilings, a long gray rug that had once been blood read, and an obsidian throne in which the skeleton of a long dead king sat, regal even in death.
Peter stepped forward and began to mutter the riddle, "First you need the dead king's crown," but the king wasn't wearing a crown he took a step turning and taking in the room "follow the crossed swords all the way down," he glanced around the room looking for crossed swords but the walls were bare, of anything and everything except for the windows that were placed near the ceiling. "Its gotta be near the throne." He muttered more to himself than to Tink as he advanced upon the dusty throne and peered at the dead king.
He had no qualms with touching the bones and perusing about them but he held respect for the legend of the King, apparently the king was a great man back in his own world ruling fairly but with an iron fist. It made Peter think of King Arthur—a king who he had read about from one of the many books Tink brought home for him. When the King and his castle were transported to Neverland the King refused the help of the fairies and his castle faded and perished. It had always been the abandoned black castle to Peter, all other bones having become dust except for the King's, but why?
Peter examined the throne that the King sat on, not wanting to touch him just yet, under his left arm was the engraving of two swords crossed to make an 'X'. "X marks the spot." Peter said with a grin, brushing the king's bone's gently off the arm of the chair and looking at the swords. "Follow the swords all the way down." He repeated and pressed the panel, it pressed inwards with a groan and gears and cogs that lay beneath the floor began to grind and whir, moaning and the dais that the King's throne sat on began to lift, beneath it were stairs that went downwards.
Peter's eyebrow quirked up and Tink landed on his shoulder, "Scared?" she asked.
He grinned, "I laugh in the face of danger." He said loudly before lifting off and flying into the inky darkness, ignoring the stairs.
Once he made it down to the bottom Tink lit up the room by flicking a bit of pixie dust into a lantern covered with cobwebs, the room was round and in the middle of it sat three pedestals, on them sat three identical gold crowns, on the wall behind the crowns were words inscribed into the wall.
"Take but the one your heart truly desires, but be forewarned if you take the wrong one the ceiling will become your grave."
Goosebumps traveled down Peter's arms as he moved towards the crowns, "So what do I do? Touch them?" he asked Tink who just shrugged and hovered with a worried look, he shrugged along with her, what's the worst that could happen? Sticking out his index finger he pressed it into the cool metal of the middle crown, an image popping into his head and making him suck in a shocked breath.
The image of him as a boy, flying around Neverland, laughing, battling with pirates and being forever young and free to do what he pleased. Peter smiled, "this is the one." He said reaching to grab the crown but Tink stopped him "please try them all Peter, what if that's the wrong one?"
"How can it be the wrong one? It's the reason we came for!" the boy said his eyebrows coming together but he reached out his finger again, touching the right crown, gasping as another image came before him of a mother rocking a bundle that he assumed was a baby and humming a sweet song that was vaguely familiar to him, after finishing her song she got up and placed the baby gently in it's cradle. "Good night my sweet Peter." She said.
Peter jerked away from the vision, flying backwards until he hit one of the circular walls and sliding down it, Tink raced over to him "Peter? What did you see? Peter!" she said tugging on his curls, a tear rolled down Peter's cheek which he wiped away furiously and stood. Peter didn't think of his mother very much, he thought she had abandoned him and that's why he fell out of his pram and into Neverland—he had never imagined that someone so loving could be his. He stood and went over to the last crown "One more." He muttered.
He placed his finger on the crown and was taken to a field of wildflowers; he was sitting and across from him sat Wendy, beautiful Wendy with her long, shiny golden brown hair and large blue eyes. She was weaving wildflower circlets and placing them on the head of a brown haired green eyed child who smiled at her with glee and unconditional love. The child turned to Peter and held out his chubby hands and Wendy turned and gave him a radiant smile that made Peter feel warm and safe. Peter let go of the crown smiling.
Tink watched her best friend smile softly, and felt her heart break. She hadn't been able to see the visions he was having but she knew what the last one had to be about. That boy was deeper in love with Wendy than he knew and the love that was once childish and pure was changing into a deeper and more whole love—the love that only a man can give. Tink pursed her lips with a bittersweet feeling and came to sit on his shoulder. "So which will it be?" she asked softly.
Peter knew which one he wanted but could he take it? Peter reached out instinctively and snatched up the crown on the left, holding it to him and squeezing his eyes shut for a moment before realizing that nothing had happened. I do want Wendy. He thought with his jaw agape. He looked at the crown in his hands—he was going to use it to become a child again why did the correct crown something different? He sighed and wobbled a little bit placing a hand on the middle pedestal to steady himself, the pedestal crumbled beneath his weight and the crown went crashing to the floor.
A distant rumble echoed through the room, "Oh no." he said grabbing a protesting Tink in his fist and hooking the crown to his belt before zipping up through the stairs as the cellar crashed down around him, he avoided falling rocks and coughed through the debris. In the distance he saw the light that was the exit.
Faster, faster, I'll never make it! He thought as he neared the exit, just as he was about to get away a falling boulder knocked him out of the air and pinned his leg. "No, no, no." he said yanking at his leg in a futile attempt to get free, Tink tried to spread pixie dust on the boulder to give him leverage but it was no use he sat with his back against the stairs watching the tunnel crash around him, I'm never going to get to see Wendy again—never going to see those cornflower blue eyes or her rose red lips. He closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable, Tink chattering in his ear, a hand reached into the tunnel followed by another pair and the hands yanked him hard, pulling him out from under the rock and onto the floor of the throne room as the tunnel collapsed in on itself and the throne lowered once more to it's previous position.
"Peter?" Fox asked "Peter you okay?" Fox and hawk stood over him, Hawk's bland expression in place but his eyes showed concern.
"Um…" he patted his body making sure everything was in its proper place before turning to them "yeah, thanks."
"Anytime." Fox said waggling his eyebrows like he always did, it made Peter uncomfortable most of the time.
"Uh… I gotta go—Tink?" he said and the fairy yanked on his hair with an angry glare.
"How could you give up like that you oaf!" she said yanking on his hair again.
"Ouch! Sorry." Peter said swatting the fairy away and rubbing his head. "Look, I have to go find Wendy you and the boys should head back to the treehouse." Tink nodded and didn't question him, corralling the boys out of the castle in the direction of home.
Peter lifted off the ground smiling; he wanted to see Wendy—to see her smile in the flesh and to hear her voice and her laughter. He flew over the treetops and towards the Mermaid Cove humming the song he had seen the woman in his vision humming, dropping down into the trees just outside of the cove. He picked his way through the woods and began to call out Wendy's name but stopped when he saw the figures on the beach. Slightly was bent over an coughing Wendy patting her back as she vomited up water, he said a few things and Wendy looked up her eyes wide before she embraced the boy.
Peter stood in the trees, watching them, the obsidian crown gripped in his fists. Was he too late?
My lack of updates is probably cruel and unusual punishment...
Uh here's another chapter that was half done and then I finished it-I'm rather happy with it (finally)
Any questions or critiques?
Please Read & Review then!