Author's Note: As always, thanks to everyone who reviewed, favorited, and followed! It means a lot to me! Here's the next chapter. Sorry it took so long; school got real busy the past week or so.
Groaning, I rolled over on the soft surface I was laying on. My head ached, my eyes stung, and I didn't want to wake up. Waking up meant having to go to school, to do trigonometry problems, and to babysit Henry. It required pulling off the warm fleece covers that were currently wrapped around my body and allowing myself to stand in the frigid air of my bedroom as I waltzed around, searching for a suitable outfit for a frosty Maine morning. The idea didn't appeal to me whatsoever.
I turned again, this time opening my eyes, and gasped softly as I became aware of my surroundings.
It was still nighttime outside. The moon shone through the window, its soft white illuminating the wooden floor panels through the curtain. Birds could be heard chirping if I drowned out the whoops and hollers echoing from the window. Rapid beatings, from what I presumed was a drum, also made their way to where I now lay.
Most importantly, I was not in my own bed. I wasn't even in Storybrooke. I was in a tree house.
His tree house. In his bed.
I jolted up, regretting doing so immediately. My head pounded, and I dimly remembered Felix blowing red dust at my face. Poppies. That bastard.
On shaky legs, I stood up, gripping the furniture around me as I made my way to the window. My bare feet padded against the wood; whoever had put me to bed had apparently taken my shoes off first.
As I reached the window, I let out a sigh of mixed relief and disappointment. Henry was down there, drawing in the dirt with a stick while the twins, dressed in their usual raccoon costumes, bugged him with question after question. I was glad to see he was okay, both for his sake and my own, but he hadn't gotten away. Pan had still caught him, making it harder for me to guarantee his safe return back to his mothers.
"Look who's finally up," a voice whispered in my ear.
I jumped, letting out a soft shriek before a hand covered my mouth and an arm twisted my body around to face the perpetrator.
He looked no different than the last time I had seen him. His hair was still a light shade of dirty blonde. His dark green eyes still held a stormy, mischievous glint that wavered to one that was almost psychotic. He towered over me as well, for I was still barely 5'4" and he almost reached six feet.
He was dressed the same as well—green tunic and pants, his pipe reed and dagger attached to his loose belt, and his pied cloak hung around his shoulders. The very same outfit he had worn the day I left. It felt like it was just yesterday, but, in reality, it had been twenty-nine years and three months.
And he so easily reminded me of that very fact. "Now, now. No need to scream, darling. It's just me." He smirked, dropping his hand from my face, and I took a step back, praying that this was all just some kind of sick dream. It was a possibility, having had similar nightmares before. None had included Henry though, and none had felt this real. "I do believe we have some catching up to do. It's been so long since you were home."
"This is not my home," I countered and took another step back. The exit was just a few sidesteps away; if I ran fast enough, there was a good chance I could grab Henry, considering Felix had been nowhere in sight when I had peeked at the camp earlier. It was unlikely that the sextet of young boys would stop me. I had played the part of their mother for so many years, it was hard for them not to obey my orders over Pan's.
Just a step to the side—
Pan grabbed my arm, preventing me from moving any further away, and shook his head. "If this is not your home, then where? Selling matches on an abandoned street? A small apartment owned by your manipulating teacher in a land without magic? Or is it back on the Jolly Roger with a crew of criminals as your family?"
My eyes dropped to the floor. Huffing, I tried to brush off his words. Neverland was not my home. It hadn't been for a long time, and there was no way it would ever be now. I'd rather die than be stuck here again, no way of escaping Pan's ever watchful eyes.
"What do you need Henry for?" I asked, changing the subject. Maybe I could distracted him long enough to escape.
"That's none of your concern, Adrian." He stepped closer to me, letting go of my arm and picking at a stray lock of hair.
I swatted at his hand. "I'm his babysitter. It is very much my concern." At my statement, his grin only increased, and a sense of unease settled within me.
He chucked, the sound dark. "How ironic. A child taking care of another child." Another step closer. His face was now inches from mine, breath mixing with my own. I tried to move away, but my back hit the wall next to the window. "And you know what, Adrian?" he asked, arms on either side of my face.
"What?" I breathed, swallowing back my fear. Why did he always have to be so close?
He placed his lips at my ear. "You'll always be a child. Stuck here on Neverland. With me."
"No!" I pushed against him, and he stumbled back. Taking the split second opportunity, I ran, down the dwindling wooden staircase and onto the moss-covered campsite. "Henry!"
He glanced up from his dirt artwork, a bright grin popping on his face. "Addy!" Standing up, he ran and hugged me. "You're okay! I mean, they said you were. The twins, but I didn't believe them. I asked if I could see you. You know, to make sure and stuff, but no one would let me. Said Pan needed to talk to you first." Gosh, I forgot how much the kid could ramble.
I nodded. "Yeah, we spoke, and now, we're leaving. Come on, kiddo." I grabbed his arm and began to try and drag him out of the camp.
But then the twins stepped in front of us, and no later the rest of the little ones joined them, as well as a few of the other lost boys who had been on the island during my stay. Shouts of "Mother!" and "Adrian!" soon loitered the camp. Henry gave me a confused look.
"I'll explain later," I muttered, wanting nothing more than to disappear. No way were we getting out now. I turned my attention to the boys. "Don't suppose you lot will listen to your mother and get out of the way now, would you?"
A unanimous shake of their heads indicated that would not be the case.
I sighed. Feeling a tug on my leg, I glanced down, only to find Tootles clutching onto it. His skunk uniform was torn in more places than one, and I felt the urge to pick him up and sew up all the holes.
Don't even think about. You are not their mother. You are not staying. You are getting yourself and Henry back home this instant.
"I see you and the lost boys have reunited." The group in front of us grew silent as their leader approached from behind. Shaking Tootles off as gently as possible, I spun around and tightened my grip on Henry's arm ever so slightly.
"Yes, and now that that's taken care of, Henry and I shall be leaving." I made to march off, but a club pushed me forward. My eyes darted back to see Felix. So much for my escape plan.
"Why would you do that, darling?" Pan smirked and stepped closer and closer and closer until his face was inches from mine again. His lips pecked my own as I stared in shock. "The fun's just begun."
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