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A Story

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There was no sense of movement, no sounds; they were just standing on white sand under a brilliant sun as if they had been standing there forever. Wendy stared at the Captain who was removing the rope that had bound his arms and she felt oddly numb. They were in Neverland and she had brought them there with just her words. Hook glanced around with a look of dismay on his face, but he showed no surprise over their sudden change of location.

"How long have you known I can do this?" Wendy asked and he shrugged.

"Since minutes after Pan died."

The numbness gave suddenly way for an emotion: anger. Wendy could not even recall being angry before. All her life she had been drilled to behave; a girl was not allowed to be angry. Now it welled up inside her, she felt hot and then cold, but when she spoke her voice didn't betray the storm inside her.

"You used me."

"Aye. Over and over."

This blatant admonition of what he had done made Wendy's anger boil over. She hit him across the face with an open hand, using all her strength. Hook's head snapped back and Wendy, ignoring the pain she felt from the blow, clenched her hand and tried to hit him again. This time he was ready for it and grabbed her arm. It made Wendy lose her footing and she fell down on the ground with Hook on top of her.

He had not planned it, being hit he had reacted on instinct, but now he realised he had a chance to act, before Wendy's words could bring down her revenge on him and he pressed his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t speak.

"Yes I knew. You didn't think I could have told you, could you? You were far too useful for me; your sweet voice has given me so much. I don’t need more and I could as well stop you from speaking ever again. I can gag you until I find something to cut your tongue out. Then you would be silent forever, my dear."

Wendy fought the panic the lack of air brought, and her anger came to her aid, though had Hook not been weakened from his time in prison she would not have succeeded. Instead of tugging ineffectual at his hand, her fingers went after his eyes, her nails raking like claws. Hook was forced to yank his head back, lest she would cause some real damage. In doing so, his hand shifted and Wendy took the opportunity to bite him as hard as she could. With a strangled cry, the Captain let go of her and she quickly moved away from him, but then Wendy didn't know what to do. She could run, but he would be able to catch her within a few steps. So instead she turned and faced him, breathing hard.

"I saved your life, mere minutes ago, and this is how you repay me? This is how you thank me? With threats?"

That was when she saw it. Only a glimpse in those blue eyes, but she suddenly understood what power she truly had.

"You're afraid of me!"

This man, whom she had feared so much, who had taken her freedom and her body, who had hurt her, he was afraid of her. Triumph mingled with the anger and she straightened up, speaking with a voice that held a tone of command entirely new for her.

"Go away James. Disappear from my sight. Leave me!"

For a moment she thought he would attack her again. He even took a step toward her. Then he stopped, and once again she could see the fear in his eyes, more pronounced this time. Without a word he turned and disappeared into the jungle, leaving her alone on the shore. For a while she stood there, looking at the place where she had last seen him. Then she left in the opposite direction, a walk that quickly developed into a run.

Wendy ran until her legs gave way under her. She felt sick. Her stomach cramped and she thought she was going to throw up, but she didn't. As the cramps disappeared and the pain died down, she became aware of another pain. All this time she could have gone home! She'd had the means, but she hadn't known it. She could have seen her family again, but now it was too late. How could she go back now? Wendy wanted to cry, but no tears came. Instead she started to scream. Again and again she screamed until her voice became hoarse. Then she just sat there, wrapping her arms tightly around herself and staring at nothing.

She sat on the ground for a long time, but when the day neared it's end, she shook herself out of her apathy. Whatever had happened, she could not stay here and grieve over events long past. It was too late to go home. She had grown up and her family would have long since have given her up for dead. It pained her that she could have returned had she but known it, but it was a pain she would have to learn to live with. But there was something in Neverland that she could do. Or rather, undo. She changed her position slightly; her legs had fallen asleep underneath her. Now that she knew, the first shock had quickly worn off. It was like she had always known, somewhere deep inside her and her mind quickly adapted to the possibilities. Now, by telling a story she wanted and no one else demanded, she took back her gift. Wendy went into her memory, searching for words she thought were long forgotten.

"All children, except one, grow up, and that child is Peter Pan..."

She told her story carefully and while she spoke she finally cried. It seemed as though her brothers were once again sitting close by, listening to her and Wendy could not hold back the tears that rolled down her cheeks. It hurt to tell this story, but it filled her with satisfaction as well. When she heard a slight rustle in the bushes, she wasn't surprised when Peter came into view. He looked the same: his clothes of leaves, the tousled hair and his mischievous green eyes were like they had always been. Wendy smiled and dried her tears.

"Hello boy."

Peter frowned. "Who are you?"

"I am Wendy."

Peter nodded as if that was obvious to him, but his next words told Wendy it was just a pretence. Her smile deepened. "What does a Wendy do?" he asked.

"She tells stories."

Peter's eyes brightened. "I love stories! Tell me one."

Wendy did. It was easier now. The more she spoke, the more memories of old stories came back to her. She told Peter about the Lost Boys and soon she could hear them gambolling in the distance. She told him about Tinker Bell and smiled when the small pixie suddenly hovered in the air before her, eyeing her with the same contempt as she always had. She told him of all the adventures that could be had in Neverland and of the wonders it contained. Peter listened in rapt attention, but when she was finished he rose from the ground.

"Well, that was nice, but now I have to go." With that he disappeared into the woods, not even bothering with a farewell. Wendy was left alone.

"Good-bye Peter," she said softly and then she rose to her feet. Peter was back and it healed a wound in her heart that never had disappeared, but he was not for her anymore. Wendy brushed back some of the hair that had fallen into her eyes. She had other things to face and they couldn't wait. For a moment she stood unmoving, looking around to figure out where she was. When she did, she nodded to herself and left.