Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot and any unrecognizable characters and dialogue.
So... hi? I'm really sorry about the delay for this... I was just at a loss for how to go about finishing it. I hope you enjoy the ending and a big thank you to all of you who have stuck with this story from the beginning - over a whole freaking year!
So, here we go, last chapter of 'No One Escapes', little bit of a love scene near the end... I don't think it's worth an M rating and I shall now go and hide from mortification!
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."
― Khalil Gibran
"Who are you?" I asked, making the blonde woman jump and spin around to face me. I raised an eyebrow at the dagger she wielded but remained where I was. "I mean, it's not everyday that we get adults here."
I leaned against the nearest tree, waiting silently for her to respond and hopefully lower the dagger. Her eyes darted around the small clearing and I watched as she tensed further, clearly expecting an ambush.
I held back the urge to roll my eyes. I really didn't want to spend the next few minutes dodging a dagger. Her behavior, while a little amusing and annoying, was to be expected of a new arrival to the island. Neverland, despite its reputation, wasn't exactly the most cheerful of places, especially in the Dark Jungle. She'd clearly come unprepared, as she was wearing a short, sparkling green dress with a slit to her hip and her curly, blonde hair was up in a, what I assumed, pretty hairdo.
"Is this Neverland?" She asked suddenly and I nodded slowly, watching as she continued to look around the dark trees warily. "It's a bit different than I was led to believe."
"That it is." I agreed quietly. "Not the bright cheery place one hears about." I stopped when a soft breeze brushed against my neck, relaxing as Peter's hand gently slid down my back.
"It seems we have a guest." He breathed out before he approached the still wary looking woman. "But not quite what I was expecting." He circled her like a wolf, his smirk widening when she followed his every movement. "Who are you?"
She hesitated, slowly lowering her dagger. "Tinker Bell." She offered shortly, looking between us. "And who are you?"
"I'm Peter Pan."
She blinked in surprise, clearly aware of who he was before she looked at me with new eyes. "And this must be Tiger Lily?" She asked. My surprise must have shown on my face as she smile wryly. "I did my research."
Stunned, I spared Peter a glance, my surprise melting away to annoyance when I caught the amused glint in his eye. I rolled my own before I turned my attention back to the woman in front of us, noting how she had almost completely relaxed in our presence, though still held the dagger tightly.
"How did you get here?" I asked curiously and she looked down, sorrow suddenly overwhelming my senses as she raised her tortured eyes.
"That's a long story."
Peter laughed, the sound low and almost malice-filled. "Believe me," he gently brushed his hand against my lower back before he stepped to the now wary Tinker Bell. "We have all the time in the world."
I approached the tree house, watching in amusement as Tink peeked out of the door before brightening at the sight of me.
"Lily! Come up!" She ducked back into the tree house and I smiled fondly before I clambered up the ladder quickly.
I raised an eyebrow at the clutter surrounding me, watching as Tink fluttered around the small space like the fairy she once was. Usually rather tidy, despite how she was all but reduced to scavenging, the mess she'd made of her small home surprised me.
"Are you going somewhere?" I asked bluntly and she stopped before she spun around, guilt clouding her face. "Tink, what is it?"
"I... I'm trying to find a way off the island." She finally admitted, eying me almost warily. I swallowed at the look. Tink and I were friends, and Peter trusted her, I knew she'd never fully let her guard down around me.
"You can't." I heard myself blurt out and I raised a hand to cover my surprised face at the sight of her stunned look. The knowledge that no one could leave the island without Peter's 'permission' was rather common with the Lost Ones, not that any of the Lost Boys wanted to leave anyway. Tink had been here for years, not as long as Hook or I, but she'd been here long enough that I assumed she'd realized that no one left unless Peter allowed it.
"What do you mean 'I can't'?" Tink questioned carefully, her eyes wide with growing horror as my stomach plummeted.
"No one can leave here... " I swallowed thickly, forcing the words out. "Without his permission."
"This whole island is..." I stopped, closing my eyes tightly before I opened them. "He made this place." Her eyes widened as I continued. "I tried to leave for years. I can't tell you how many spells I tried... how many time I failed to take Bae home to his father."
My failure to get back home after succeeding to find Baelfire had bothered me in a way that nothing ever had, though waiting to murder my brother came pretty close. Despite my promise to get Bae home, even if I didn't go with him, I was no closer to fulfilling that promise now than I had been thirty years ago.
My hand tightened into a fist. "I've only ever left when I was with him and even then... I could never get away." Never mind that I'd only tried to leave the first time, but I kept quiet on that subject. While Tink had never bothered to try to understand my relationship with Peter, though she had admitted that he seemed to care in his own twisted way, she didn't approve. She'd tried several times over the years to get me to run away, only to realize that Peter had an uncanny ability to find me wherever I was.
Which was just another thing I shared with him.
Tinker Bell fell silent for several long minutes and I resolutely kept my eyes on the floor. Despite what I'd been through and how much I'd come to care for Peter, the desire to return home had never left me.
The promise I'd made to Peter half a decade ago had been all but sealed with magic, keeping me bound to him.
"So that's it?" Tink's quiet whisper shattered the still air and I slowly raised my eyes to meet her gaze. "We can never leave?"
"No one escapes."
"Lillith?" I turned away from the window to see Rumple in the doorway, staring at me curiously as the wind made the candle flame flicker. "We have a busy day tomorrow, you should be asleep."
While he sounded outwardly chiding, we both knew that I could, and would, do as I pleased. Though I usually listened to him, following his instructions to the letter, sometimes I would conveniently ignore his suggestions.
"Couldn't sleep." I turned back to look at the moon, narrowing my eyes as they bled red before I scanned the pale skyline for the black shape I'd seen.
"Is that all?" He trilled out, coming to stand by my side as he scanned the skyline before turning to face me. "Because it looks like to me... that you're looking for something."
I remained silent for several seconds before carefully responding. "I did see something."
"It looked like a Shadow."
He went still beside me and I turned to see an almost murderous expression adorning his face. If I was capable of it, I had an inkling that fear would be filling me at the hate on his face but, with the spell firming in place, all I felt was a tingling of curiosity as to why such simple words elicited such a harsh reaction from him.
"What is it?"
He froze, slowly turning to look at me and I watched as the hate slowly faded from his face.
"Nothing at all, dearie." He cooed before he suddenly jumped to his feet and pranced to the door. "Make sure you don't stay up too late." He paused in the doorway, keeping his stiff back towards me. "And... keep that window shut."
Before I could ask why, the door slammed shut and I was left alone in the darkened room, unaware of the bright yellow eyes observing me.
"So Tinker bell wants to leave?" Peter asked as he lazily lounged in the branch above me, one leg swinging of the edge in his usual fashion. "How... quaint."
I twisted around to stare up at him, my eyebrow raised in bewilderment at his odd wording. "'Quaint'?" I repeated in disbelief, blinking at his behavior before I rolled my eyes and leaned back against the rough bark behind me. "Interesting choice of words."
"Why do you say that?"
"Probably because the last time someone wanted to escape, you flew off the handle." Literally, I added silently, though didn't elaborate out loud as I'd been the one that had tried to escape last time. It was still a rather touchy subject that never failed to raise his hackles and make him brood for hours on end.
"Well," he paused and I looked up, not surprised to see that his leg had stopped swinging and he was now hanging off the branch to stare at me. "We both know hwy that is, love."
I sighed, looking away at the reminder of what I'd tried to do several times the first few years I'd been on the island. Escape had been my only intent back then. It hadn't mattered how or when, as long as it happened. But, after years of failed attempts, I'd pretty much given up hope.
Also, I thought, as Peter climbed down from his branch to join me on mine, I had another reason to stay. Smiling up at him, I reached up and tangled my fingers in his hair when his arms settled against my back.
Smirking now, Peter lightly pressed his lips against mine. After several moments of the simple contact, his hand lightly brushed down my spine before settling in the small of my back. His fingers splayed out, rubbing against the fabric of my tunic and sending shivers down my spine. To my surprise, instead of deepening the kiss, he pulled back.
I watched heat flash through his eyes, the expression making a tremor shoot through me. Eying me lazily, he licked his lips before he raised his hand. Fingers gently brushed against my own lips before he sighed and pressed his forehead to mine.
"Meet me at the beach tonight."
I pulled back slightly to gaze at him. His mouth twitched, curving ever so slightly upwards. Without a word, I nodded in response. His face broke out into a grin before he pressed a kiss to my forehead.
The moment he pulled away, he was gone. I closed my eyes, sighing deeply. I managed to distract myself for the rest of the day. Bae had been kept up with nightmares half the night, resulting in a half asleep fugitive. As I dragged Bae through the forest, cloaking him from the small band of lost boys we nearly stumbled into, he slumped against me.
"Bae?" I gently shook him. He blinked, raising lightly glazed eyes to meet my own. "Are you okay?"
He shrugged, looking down again before resting his head on my shoulder. I held back a sigh, choosing not to push him. I looked around, reaching out with my magic.
"Looks like they're gone." I muttered, moving to my feet before Bae grasped my hand. "Bae? What is it?"
"Why did he do it?"
I frowned, lightly tugging on my hand. Bae, however, refused to look up or release it. Resigned, I lowered myself down and sat next to him on the ground.
"Why did who do what, Bae?"
"Pan." He said, finally raising his bewildered gaze. "That night on the beach - when the mermaids tried to drown you."
I stiffened, still able to feel the stinging in my throat from the salt and the panic as I ran out of air. Unconsciously, my hand found its way to my throat as phantom pains hit it. Shaking myself back to reality, I focused on Bae's question.
"He went through all that trouble to get me here," I reminded him calmly. Last time I'd discussed my relationship with Peter around Bae, it hadn't ended well. And this time, Hook wasn't here to run interference. "I doubt he'd want some mermaid spoiling it by killing me."
"It's not just that, Lily..." He frowned. "He was... he was really worried about you."
I fought to keep my face blank. Bae's uneasy acceptance of me being involved with Peter was one thing, but for him to pick up on the fact that something else was going one was completely different. Clearing my throat, I began to twist my fingers as Bae continued.
"He wanted to kill that mermaid for you, I'm surprised he didn't the moment he knew you were safe!"
I held back the urge to confirm the fact that Peter had killed the mermaid. He'd done it after I'd fallen asleep. I only knew because he'd woken me up when he'd returned to the tree house, covered in dried salt and blood. While used to the sight of gore, I'd still been mildly disturbed by the easy way that he killed a creature that had been nothing but faithful to him. Other than fact that she'd tried to kill me, though it seemed that was reason enough for him.
"Bae..." I started, only for him to begin shaking his head.
"Lily... do you love him?"
Hours later, after managing to dodge Bae's question by a rather convenient patrol nearly finding us, I calmly approached the beach. Peter was there already. Sometimes I found being so attuned to him rather disconcerting, though tonight it didn't bother me so much. As I walked towards the surf, I had to smile at the sight of the waves crashing peacefully against the sand. While now slightly leery of the water, it was nice to know drowning hadn't completely put me off of any body of water.
Hands gently fell onto my shoulders moments before soft heat fell against my back. "Hello, love." Peter whispered into my hair, stirring the loose strands. "Thought you'd changed your mind."
I turned in his arms, tossing my dark curls over my shoulder. "Not a chance." I breathed back, smiling up at him as a dull ache started deep inside my body.
Peter grinned back wickedly, caging me in his arms tightly. I fell into his embrace, sighing contentedly against the moss green fabric of his tunic. He shivered in response, bringing a smirk to my lips.
"So, any reason you're depriving me of much needed sleep?"
His chuckle rumbled through his chest, the sound spreading to my own. Without a sound, he broke our embrace, his hand sliding down my arm to grasp my own.
"I figured we could take a swim," he offered, watching me carefully.
While I knew he was obviously concerned that the drowning attempt had frightened me, I could also sense his desire to let me have fun. As we didn't usually get to relax, as every time we tried Luca or Felix would ruin it with something.
I nodded once, the movement slight. However, Peter caught it and I saw the relief in his eyes before he gently tugged me closer to the surf. As we stopped before the crashing waves and he released my hand, my mouth suddenly went dry. Peter was pushing up his tunic, revealing a pale and lean torso. His boots were next, though her breath hitched when his hands drifted past the tie of his breeches.
He caught his smirk, forcing my face not to bloom with heat. Without a word, I kicked off my own boots before casting away the cowl around my shoulders. I watched Peter enter the water, stopping when the waves reached his thighs. He turned, raising an eyebrow at me. Recognizing the challenge for what it was, I reached down and shimmied out of my own pants.
Stepping over their discarded clothing, I lightly stepped into the water. Peter opened his arms, a faint smile playing at the edges of his lips. I however, had other ideas. Before he could react, I slammed into him, dragging us both into the deeper waters. My arm slid from his waist as I swan away, resting on the sand as water splashed around my elbows.
The sight of him rising from the water, sputtering and dripping wet, caused laughter to bubble from my chest. His gaze snapped towards me at the sound, his expression becoming predatory. Before I could get away, I was wrapped in his arms and he was plunging us below the surface of the water. I kept my eyes open, locking gazes with him under the waves as his hand gently cupped the back of my neck.
Smiling softly at him, I didn't protest when his lips met mine. After several heartbeats, I pulled away and broke through the surface, Peter coming up seconds after. I drifted closer to the shore until I could stand, the water resting at my calf. Peter followed, his sodden trousers sticking to his legs and I swallowed past the sudden lump in my throat as his arms wrapped around me again.
"Can a child fall in love?" I whispered softly, against his lips when he lowered them towards mine.
He paused, his heated gaze searing into mine. Recognizing his answer for what it was, I didn't protest when he sealed his lips to mine. Fire began to burn through my veins while electricity descended from my lips to my lower abdomen. The intensity, while frightening, only spurred my on. My hand snaked from his chest to his shoulder, tugging him closer before my hand tangled in his damp hair.
When Peter broke the connection, I couldn't hold back a whimper. He gently shushed me, the sound like a balm to my suddenly frayed nerves. His hands left my now exposed hip and waist, my mind struggling to catch up, to remember when he'd tugged my tunic up. Grasping both my hands in one of his own, Peter tugged me back towards the beach, gently settling me on the damp sand before resting above me. I stared up at him calmly despite the sluggish heat pulsing through me, as he rested between my legs, elbows on either side of my head.
His hands gently teased the edge of my tunic as he settled his weight on his knees. "Love," he whispered, voice low and husky. "Tell me to stop."
I raised my arms, locking them around his neck before I tugged his face to mine. "I don't want you to," I whispered against his lips, swallowing the groan that followed.
The rest happened, seeming to take hours yet flying by. Peter's pants went first, my hands stroking over the narrow planes of his hips as his own hands pushed my tunic up, leaving trails of heat. The sight of the desire strained, sharp planes of his face stroked the inferno inside me higher and higher until all i wanted was for it, and him, to consume me.
His hands carved patterns across my skin, his lips and tongue following until I my breath left me in gasps and cries and my body was trembling fiercely. The movement it became too much, the pleasure nearly driving me mad, he suddenly rolled us around. I gasped as he settled me on top of him, staring up at me with heated, green eyes.
He craned his neck up, peppering my face and exposed collarbone with kisses as his hands settled onto my hips. I locked gazes with him, feeling panic grip me once again. However, he gently soothed me with chaste touches, soft murmurs reaching my ears until I relaxed against him. Then suddenly, it was done. Pain suddenly blossomed deep within me, a slight burning ache that I gladly bade farewell to. Peter's comforting murmurs and kisses resumed, reaching every part of my body.
Green eyes raised to gaze up at me tenderly, quietly asking if I was all right. With a nod, I drew him deeper inside of me, connecting us in a manner that I never dreamed was possible.
"All right, love?" He asked softly, lazily drifting his hand up and down my bared, sand covered back. I didn't reply, merely buried my face against his neck, settling closer to his body. He chuckled in reply before we both became weightless, settling into the soft fabric that lined his hammock. I raised my head, glancing around to see the familiar walls of the tree house.
A quick glance showed me our discarded clothes now rested on the floor and I sighed, settling back against him. Sore and tired, I barely reacted when he pressed a kiss to my bare shoulder before sleep claimed him. I laid awake for hours despite my exhaustion, staring at his features and memorizing them before I pressed a soft kiss to his lips.
I love you.
Peter was gone when I woke up, though judging by the amount of sunlight streaming into the tree house, it was way past noon. I shifted, grimacing from the pain, though it was bearable. I knew healing it would probably only undo what had been done the night before. I dressed quickly, managed to dodge Luca and Felix, before I headed to the small pond I used to bathe. Scrubbing the sand off of my body, I rinsed out my hair before stepping out, drying and dressing myself moments before Peter came through the dense foliage.
He smiled softly at me, the tender expression making my heart twinge inside my chest. Without a word, he leaned down and kissed me softly, lingering as his hand cupped my cheek. When I stood, a twinge of pain hit me and I winced, earning a sheepish expression from him.
"It'll get better, love." He promised softly, chuckling when my elbow found his ribs.
I felt the magic long beofre it happened. We both spun around, Peter yanking me from the water as a vortex formed in it. As we both stared at it in shock, a voice I though I'd never hear again came out of it.
"Lillith! Come along, dearie!" Rumple crooned loudly, sounding rather impatient. "Don't make me force you!"
Stunned, I turned in Peter's grasp seconds before the vortex grabbed hold of me. "Peter!" His hands locked around my wrist as the pull increased, his horrified eyes on mine.
As my grip on his hands slackened, Peter's expression changed. I almost shrank from the feverish, almost mad glint in his eyes, though was given little time to react as I was ripped from his grasp.
"I'll find you! I told you, you're mine, forever!"
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?