I looked around the Lost Boys' camp only to find it in shambles again. It seemed that every time they finished repair Hook's crew would come in again and try to fight them. The pirates had gotten more daring in recent weeks and had been attacking more and more frequently and personally I was tired of it.
"Wendy!" Felix called. I turned to face him and noticed a large cut running down the side of his face.
"Whoa, come on let's get you checked out. Is anyone else hurt?" I asked.
"No, but Peter's missing."
"Peter can take care of himself," I assured him. I led Felix back to my tent where I had several kinds of medicine; a perk of having a doctor for a father in my world, he was always making me carry a fully stocked first aid kit cause I never knew when someone would get hurt. I unloaded my pack and began cleaning his cut. The other boys filed in a few minutes later and I counted them all quickly. "Where's Devin?" I asked.
"He went to check the traps," one of the twins told me.
"He always misses the fights," the other twin finished.
"Right, of course."
"Are we going after Peter?" James asked pulling one of his springy curls with a worried look on his face.
"I am going after Peter, you all are staying here."
"Aw man," the twins said in sync.
"Stay here and start cleaning up," I told them all. I began packing my bags and getting ready to head out. I walked out of the tent and glanced over my shoulder at the boys who were looking a little too calm. "I mean it, stay here." Felix followed me outside and stopped me.
"You've gotta let me come with you Wendy!" Felix begged, he had always been the closest to Peter.
"You're the oldest of the boys, you need to stay here and take care of them while I'm gone. It'll be quicker if it's just me, if you came with me I'd worry about you too much."
"I can fight!"
"I know you can, you wouldn't have gotten all those battle scars if you couldn't. It doesn't change anything, stay here and take care of the others. That's an order."
"Aye aye, Captain," Felix said rolling his eyes.
"Now go on, I'll see you in a few days."
It took me hours to walk to the shore where Captain Hook's ship was anchored. By the time I arrived I was much too tired to actually swim out to the ship and stage a rescue mission. I missed cars, and motor boats and airplanes. It had only been a few months since I left my world but it seemed like years. I made camp in the trees not far off and tried to scope out the ship but couldn't see much from this distance, a nice pair of binoculars would come in handy right about now.
The following morning I woke up before dawn and walked down to the shore. I didn't have to worry about swimming out to the ship because Hook was waiting on me on the beach. I drew my sword, which Peter had taught me how to use in my time here, and held it out. "Tsk, tsk, no need for that now, Darling."
"Where's Peter?" I asked not lowering my weapon.
"Back on the ship, of course we'll return him to you soon. We just wanted to shake him up a bit. I'd like to negotiate with you."
"I don't bargain with pirates," I said.
"How do you know you don't if you've never tried?" He asked.
"What do you want, Hook?" I asked.
"I want you on my ship."
"What?" I asked a bit taken aback.
"You heard me. Everyone knows Wendy Moira Darling, the daring swords master from a distant world, blah blah you've heard the stories I'm sure. You've only been here a few months but word does travel fast, fairies love to gossip I'm afraid."
"I'll make you a deal. You agree to not only let Peter go but leave him, the lost boys and everyone else in Neverland alone and I'll join your crew."
He thought it over. "Deal."
"Really?" I asked shocked. He winked at me and motioned me to follow him into a small boat to go back to his ship. He offered me a hand so I didn't fall. We rode in silence towards the ship and when we got there his men tied us off. A ladder was thrown over the side and we climbed up.
"Welcome aboard," Hook said when we reached the deck.
"It's a pirate's life for me," I mumbled. No one laughed Pirates of the Caribbean joke but Hook glanced at me curiously. "Where's Peter?" I asked.
"Right there," Hook said motioning towards a door where one of the sailors was leading Peter up. "I'm sure he can fly his way off to shore, we have places to be."
"What's he talking about Wendy?" Peter asked glancing at me. I looked away. "Wendy?"
"I'm not staying with you Peter."
"That's ridiculous, of course you are," he said. I shook my head.
"You need to get back to the Lost Boys. I left Nibs in charge; you need to go make sure he hasn't destroyed camp or something," I tried to joke but it fell flat. "Look, Peter, you can't convince me to go back. There's nothing I can do there that will help me go home, maybe with the pirates I'll be able to." I tried to be as blunt as possible, I didn't want to hurt Peter but if that was the only way to keep him safe then it's what I'd have to do. "You really need to go." He looked at me one last time before flying back to the island.
"Good job," Hook said patting me on the shoulder. "Join me in my cabin, would you? We need to talk." Raise the anchor!" He yelled to his crew. He motioned for me to follow him. He held the door open for me and I walked inside. He sat behind a desk and I sat in one of the chairs in front. "You told Peter you wanted to go home." It wasn't a question but he raised his eyebrow as if it was.
"Of course I want to go home," I said.
He nodded. "I might know of a way that can happen, and it will be mutually beneficial to both of us. You see I believe I need to travel to your world."
I laughed. "What could you possibly want to do in my world? In case you hadn't figured it out, it's really nothing like here. There aren't any pirates for one thing."
"I don't plan on staying there long; I just need to go for a little visit."
"I'm sorry but I don't think I can help you unless I know what you want. Sending you off to my world to run free probably won't end well for anyone."
"I can see you're going to need to hear a story," he said.
"Calling it a story makes it seem like you're going to tell a lie," I said.
"What if I called it a history? My history. But it's late and we'll have plenty of time tomorrow. Before you go let me properly introduce myself, my name is Killian Jones."
The next day one of the sailors knocked on my door to tell me that Hook had requested my presence at lunch in his cabin. I left my room and went across the ship to his cabin. "Good afternoon, Hook."
"Killian," he reminded me. I didn't make an effort to correct myself; I didn't feel comfortable calling him by any other name.
"So you told me you were going to tell me your story," I said.
"Indeed I am. Where to begin…"
"At the beginning?" I suggested.
He laughed. "If I started at the beginning that would be a dreadfully long and boring story. I should tell you that this is a love story."
I snorted. "You're kidding me right? I don't believe you. The big and terrible Captain Hook has a love story to tell?"
"I promise I wouldn't lie to you. Anyways, I wasn't always so terrible." He smirked. "Ok, I may have always been a little terrible."
I rolled my eyes. "The story?"
"Right. By this point I had already been a pirate for some time, my crew and I stopped in some small town that we chose by chance. As usual we went to a bar to have a few drinks, mingle with the locals, and see what kind of stories are going around. This time was different, there was a woman." I rolled my eyes again but he ignored me and kept going. "Her name was Milah, she was married but she wanted to leave him."
"Because heaven forbid you stay out of trouble for once," I said.
"I'm always in trouble," he said. "We only knew each other for a few days, but when these things happen you know. We came up with a plan to leave town without her husband finding out but a woman from her village saw Milah getting on my ship and told Milah's husband. He came to my ship before we left to get her back."
"And that's how you lost your hand," I said.
"Are you going to let me tell my own story?" He asked. I motioned for him to go on. "Milah's husband was a coward and he wouldn't fight for her, he left my ship without her and so Milah and I were free to go off together." I started to say something but he cut me off. "I'm getting to the good part. A few years passed and I happened to stop in the same town as Milah's husband, but when we met this time he'd changed. I don't know if you've heard of the Dark One here in Neverland but in my world he was known for all the horrible things he did to people who got in his way."
"Wait, you aren't from Neverland?" I asked.
"No, I am not, my world is different. Rumplestiltskin, that was Milah's husband's name, confronted me and asked about his wife. I lied at told him she was dead. He challenged me to a duel to finish the one we started."
"And that's when-" He cut me off.
"If you don't stop interrupting we will never get through this," He snapped. "Of course he had magic; I was no match for him. He was about to kill me but Milah had followed me and she told her husband what had happen and why she'd left. She stole something he wanted and made a bargain with him for our lives. He came with us to the ship to get what belonged to him, he and Milah got in an argument and he killed her right in front of me. I refused to give him what he wanted so to get it from my hand he cut it off. That's how I became Hook."
I stared at him. "I'm so sorry."
"It was a long time ago."
"He didn't get what he wanted though, did he?" I asked.
"No, it was in my other hand. I used the magic bean to come here."
"Magic bean? Like Jack and the Beanstalk magic beans?"
"Exactly like that. There are a lot of thing you need to learn about my world."
"And there are a lot of things you need to know about mine."
"So you'll help me?" He asked.
"After a story like that how could I not? I'll help you get revenge on Rumplestiltskin."
Every day after that I ate lunch with Hook. We talked about his world and my world and he told me stories about people who seemed so much like the people in the fairytale books I had read as a kid, except these stories were real and most of them were horrible versions of the pretty Disney movies I'd grown up with. I told him about computers and cell phones and he stared at me like I was the one telling a fairytale. "So you're telling me that there is a box where I can find anything I could ever possibly want anywhere in the world in just a few seconds?" He asked.
"Yes," I said. "You aren't going to believe me until you see one for yourself, are you? Hold on I'll be right back." I ran back to my cabin and grabbed my bag. I pulled my iPhone out of the pocket. "Let me see if this still has any battery power." I turned it on and then showed it to him. He didn't even touch it he just stared at it. I unlocked it and started flipping through my apps. "See I can play games, or use a calculator or look up words in the dictionary or talk to my friends."
"It's like a magic box," he said. His eyes were still wide. I rolled my eyes and snapped a picture of him. I turned it around to show him the photo and he jumped.
"Oh my god you are too cute." I turned it off so it wouldn't run down the battery and stashed it back in my bag.
"What else is in there?" He asked eyeing my bag suspiciously.
"Oh no, I don't think you can handle anything else today. I probably should've started you out with something simple like gum. I'll see you tomorrow, Hook."
With each day that passed I saw him less as a scary pirate and more as a normal guy, well maybe not normal in the regular sense of the word but he definitely didn't seem all that evil any more.
"What do you miss the most about your world, besides your family?" He asked one day.
"Um, I really miss the food. Like cheeseburgers, and barbecue and soda. When we get to my world we're going out to eat. No more of this ship food. We're going to get some super greasy, super unhealthy all American food. You'll love it trust me." He didn't look so sure.
"Can I look at the magic box again?" He asked.
"It's called a cell phone, but sure. Only for a few minutes though." I hadn't brought it out since the first time I'd shown it to him because I thought he might have another spaz. I turned it on and started showing him some pictures. "That's my new house; I just bought it a little bit before I ended up in Neverland."
"How did you end up in Neverland?" He asked.
"That's a story for another time," I said. I flipped to the next picture. "Those are my sorority sisters after graduation."
"You have a lot of sisters," he said.
"They aren't my real sisters, just my friends," I said shaking my head. "I'd love to just drop you in my world and see what happens."
His eyes widened. "No, I might get eaten by a cheeseburger."
I laughed. "Cheeseburgers aren't alive, Killian."
He smiled. "You finally called me Killian," he said.
"Yeah, I guess I did."