"Just be your-"

"Yes, yes I know. Be myself," Arthur shook off Hope's hands and childishly crossed his arms over his chest.

"Be yourself and they'll love you. Now stop fussing about."

"Yeah, problem is I've been being myself for the last couple of years and they haven't seemed so pleased to see me."

Hope paused, bit her lip and turned around fixing her dress as if by not looking at the problem, she could make it go away. "Nonsense, they loved you."

"Yeah, the assassination attempts were signed XOXO."

"You were a Vesper then: now you're a Cahill," she said, leaving the carriage and sweeping grandly towards the front doors. Without even looking over her shoulder, she entered the building, leaving a gaping Arthur behind.

Resisting the urge to stick his tongue out at the closing doors, Arthur unsteadily took his leave from the carriage. Everything was so fancy. Gold plated horse-drawn carriages, dances with elegant ball gowns, castles in obscure countries… what century did the Cahills come from?

Really though, Arthur's cynicism was just because of his nerves.

Or maybe it was the Cahills. They always did have a strange effect on him.

Either he loved them or he hated them.

Usually, he hated them.

But that one special case… that one girl named Hope… was the reason he was here at the gates of hell, and at that point he was wondering just how far love could stretch.

Ever heard of how bad it is meeting the in-laws?

This was worse.

Arthur would place all his money on the fact that every person in that room, even his loving fiancé, had some kind of weapon hidden on their self.

Actually, probably more than one.

He gulped and lurched forward, his feet coming up to the first marble step. Fancy. Too fancy.

You're going to die.

Take another step.

It's going to be slow and painful torture.

Remember to breathe too.

They'll probably start by tying you down to a table in the dungeon.

Step. Breath.

No one will hear you scream.

Step. Gasp. Pant. Another step.

That is, if they don't kill you on sight.

Finally, Arthur reached the top of the staircase, and faced the double doors. No one was outside guarding them.

They looked ominous, looming out of the darkness. He could just make out the chatter from inside.

Maybe Hope wouldn't notice he was gone. Maybe he could make a run for it; maybe he could change his name and live without any Cahill vs. Vesper nonsense.

That might work.


He stood before the doors, his hand outstretched, unwilling to take the door handle and pull it open.






Arthur couldn't believe this. He'd jumped off buildings that were on fire, swam with sharks to a secret Cahill base, infiltrated said base, and handled weapons and explosives that could make an army guy cringe, yet he couldn't attend a dance that his fiancé's family had thrown.

He was being stupid, he knew that. Come on, if the punch was poisonous Hope would have at least told him, right?


Hope… she was the reason he was here, dressed in an itchy tuxedo and marching to his own death.

Hope, Hope, Hope.

Grimacing one more time, he took the step needed to bring him closer to the doors.

Slowly, he opened up the doors….

Of course, you as the reader know he did not die at his first invited Cahill meeting. He lived on and married Hope Cahill, before having two kids with her, and ultimately dying happy.

But he never stopped being suspicious of any Cahill gathering, and after an incident with another former Vesper, he knew to also stay away from the punch.

Okay this is basically for all the Author/Hope one-shots I'm going to write. Or have already written and are now decaying in Word. I'm not sure how many there'll be, or if they'll actually be any more. XD Just play it by ear, yeah?

And here's a weird place for a disclaimer: I don't own 39 Clues, and the chapter title is a song from the movie Treasure Planet (like Treasure Island but with this complete bad-ass character named Jim. xD) Oh, and the title of the whole story is a book.

So, that's basically it. Sorry if not everything makes sense or isn't grammatically correct. i tried the best I could, okay? Dx

Unrelated- Song I'm listening to right now: Art is Dead by Bo Burnham