the First


The door is cracked open, and Henry steps inside. He has a solemn look on his face.

"What's wrong?" I ask, a knot forming in my stomach.

"It's Peter," he sighs, "we weren't able to get the cure to him on time."

My world stops. The cold seeps into my body and I don't try to fight it, my thoughts come and go, like a stop motion film. Peter. Dead. Bunny. Alone. I failed. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block out the cabin, the world, everything. I feel a wetness on my face. I open my eyes to find myself in the middle of the forest, it's raining. A figure sits on the ground beneath a tree, shivering in the cold air. It's Bunny, staring into space. I rush forward to help him, but he doesn't move or blink. He just stares. He has prominent dark circles under his eyes, he's covered in dirt, and his clothes are in tatters.

"Bunny? Bunny, answer me."

He extends a hand and points in the direction he's staring at. A small stone sits in front of us, I didn't notice it before. There are words written on it: Peter Pan. It's a gravestone.

A howl pierces the air, followed by a few more. They're close. I glance down at Bunny, but he's staring in a new direction. I follow his gaze to find a wolf. It's massive, with a jet black coat, sharp fangs, and molten gold eyes.

It's him.

He crouches, baring his teeth. Bunny lets out a terrified whimper. Then it pounces with a mighty roar, Bunny screams my name.

I awake with a jolt, the nightmare fading into the darkness. Tears are streaming down my cheeks, soaking my pillow. The ship's cabin is as cold as ever. I huddle beneath the sheets, trying to stay warm. I'm shivering uncontrollably, my teeth chattering together. Calm down. It was just a dream. Turning my head, I find Hook sleeping next to me. This time, underneath the covers. It's that cold, I suppose. He has an extra blanket draped over him, he looks quite warm. Slowly, I shift my weight closer to him. I can feel the heat radiating off of him, it's like a blanket. I softly press my back against his bare chest, thankful for the soothing heat he provides. I pull his blanket over me. He wakes up then, with a soft moan. He wraps his arms around me, pulling me deeper into his chest. He sighs into my hair and falls back asleep. Soon enough, I muster up the courage to sleep, too.

Slightly's face is one of pure fury, he grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me hard.

"Why did you let him die! How could you do that to us! We trusted you, Relia!"

I can't get away, he won't let go.

"I'm sorry!" I shout, tears forming at the corners of my eyes.

"Sorry? Sorry? Sorry doesn't begin to cover what you've done. You've killed him, this is all your fault. If he hadn't been trying to protect you he wouldn't have gotten bitten in the first place!"

"I'm sorry!"

That's all I can seem to say.

"You're going to be punished." Slightly growls.

With one swift movement, he pushes me by the shoulders, and I fall backwards into a pit. I shriek as I fall, the tunnel of light above growing smaller and smaller until I can't see it anymore.

"Relia! Wake up!"

I wake up screaming. Hook is on top of me, shaking me by the shoulders, worry creasing his tired brow. I burst into tears, sobs wrack my body. I really did kill him. Henry never was going to give Peter the cure, he tricked me. Hook heaves a sigh and mutters something that sounds like, "Bloody hell."

He pulls me into his chest, rocking back and forth as I cry.

"It's all my fault."

"What's your fault?"

"He's going to die because of me. They won't have a leader anymore. They'll be alone. Bunny…" I sniff, my tears slowing.

He stiffens, "Who is going to die?"

I can't tell him about Peter. What am I doing? I pull myself off of him and wipe away my tears quickly, pulling my sheet up to my chest to block out the frigid air.

"No one. I was just dreaming."

He quirks an eyebrow at me, "Okay, love. I'll be going back to sleep then."

Seriously? I know he's a pirate, but I thought he would have a heart at least. He probably just wanted me to shut up so he could go back to bed. I need to stop thinking everything he does is out of kindness. Dawn is approaching quickly, the horizon is beginning to light up in an orange glow. There is no way in hell I'm going back to bed. He leans back against his pillows and turns away from me, pulling his blanket around his shoulders. I lay back against the bed, not bothering to get comfortable. Soon, Hook's breathing evens out, and he's asleep.

I slowly push myself up into sitting position, my leg complaining at my movements. I place my feet on the cold wooden floor. Taking a deep breath, I stand up from the bed, gritting my teeth. Hunched like an old woman, I take a few hobbling steps towards the window. I can put weight on my leg if I don't do too much, but it's feeling a lot better than what it did yesterday. I reach it and peer through. We're still docked. The village is right in front of me, I can almost taste that blueberry muffin. Beyond it, the jungle of Neverland grows wild and unkempt, keeping Peter from me and the cure.

With one last glance at Hook's sleeping form, I pull on my boots, open the door, and step into the crisp morning air. Instantly, the wind penetrates the little covering I have on, and I'm freezing. It seems the island is growing colder by the day. Snow will fall soon, it's in the air. I smack right into somebody, it's Henry.

His eyes grow wide, "What are you - why can - how are you able to walk?"

His stunned gaze makes me feel uncomfortable, "Am I not supposed to?"

Henry shakes his head, "No, no my dear. You weren't supposed to be walking for another week, at least! With that bullet wound he inflicted on you, it's a miracle you can even move. You're healing faster than a pixie!"

"I'm what?"

He pauses, speaking to me as if I'm two, "Pixies have special healing properties, their bodies can heal things like a broken bone in a matter of days."

I let that sink in, "Wow."

He chuckles, "Wow, indeed."

I take him lightly by the arm, and pull him away from Hook's door.

"Did you get the cure to-"

Hook's doors are thrown open with a force that almost rips them from their hinges. His expression is one of worry and anger, but it melts as soon as he sees Henry and I standing outside of his door. Was that relief that just flickered in his eyes? I hold his burning gaze, refusing to look down at his heaving bare chest just inches in front of my face. I have to remember that he doesn't care. He doesn't. He can't.

"What are you doing out here?" he asks, still slightly upset.

"Henry is taking me in to town." I lie quickly.

Something that looks like worry flashes through his eyes before it is replaced by the usual: annoyance and that slight hint of arrogance.

Henry shoots me an irritated glance, "Just for some clothes, Captain."

Hook turns his eyes away from me and focuses on the kind man, if looks could kill.

"We'll be back before noon." Henry says, trying to soothe the pirate. He's not afraid of him, and Hook senses it.

He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, "Fine. That's just bloody fine."

He turns and strides into his cabin, slamming the doors behind him.

"Come on, then." Henry says.

We slowly make our way down the gangplank, my leg hindering my movements quite a bit, my arms stinging with the cold air. This is going to be a long day.

"I'm sorry." I blurt, as soon as we're out of earshot.

He sighs, "It's alright. I know why you did it," he responds, finally taking in my mismatched outfit, "we might as well get you some clothes anyways."

We finally make it to the village, we waste no time in getting clothes. Henry and I settle on a tight fitting, loose sleeved white shirt, with a red sash tied around the waist. We select a pair of tan breeches, and knee high black leather boots. We walk to the bathhouse at the end of the village, it backs right up to the forest. I glance into the trees, seeing a little movement by a bush. It's nothing. I duck into the bathhouse and take a much needed bath, my leg stinging with the clean water. After I soap up and wash my hair, I dry off and climb out. There's a full length mirror along one wall of the dingy place, my stitches are visible even from a distance. I pull on my brand new clothes, my bikini underneath, trying to ignore the burning feeling of the pants against my knee and calf. Glancing in the mirror, I find that I look like a pirate. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. But on the bright side, I look like I belong in the village. I comb my fingers through my growing hair, it's almost to my waist now. I walk back to Henry, who is waiting outside.

"Much better." he says, a smile on his face. His eyes flick briefly over my shoulder, towards the forest, so fast I almost miss it. I turn, and spot what was in the trees earlier. It's Slightly.

I look back at Henry, who is holding the cure out to me.

"Thank you." I whisper.

"Be quick." he responds.

I limp as fast as my legs can carry me without ripping my stitches.

I place the bottle in his hand, "Here's the cure. Make sure Peter drinks all of this."

He nods his head, "Does that mean you get to come back soon?"

I feel a sharp pang of guilt in my chest; they've been alone this whole time, caring for Peter. I have to go back. I can't leave until my leg heals, but it looks like that won't take long.

"Yes. As soon as I can."

I'm not going to tell him about my bullet wound yet.

He smiles at me, "We'll be waiting."

"Goodbye." I reply.


He takes off into the forest, the bottle clutched tightly in his hand. I heave a sigh and turn to find Henry right where I left him, watching me. I walk back to him, the adrenaline of seeing Slightly draining out of my body and leaving me with a sore leg.

"Let's go." Henry says.

He puts my arm over his shoulders and helps me walk back to the ship. It's starting to hurt to put weight on it again. We slowly walk back to the ship and climb the gangplank. Only one thought is going through my head, over and over.

I have to get out.

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