Author: ILove2Write13 (with input from Illuminating Rainbow Light and GingerWitch47)

Fandom: Once Upon A Time

Story Title: memories will taunt you

Rating: High T

Warning: Slightly sappy with emotions, and I took extreme creative license with this.

Word Count: 12,500+ words

Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.

Summary: A magically imprisoned Peter Pan tells a story to Emma about the girl he saved, fell in love with, and lost.

A/N: In this, Peter Pan is not Rumplestiltskin's father and there was not the whole Henry-Body-Switch. Peter's backstory will be revealed throughout the course of this oneshot, and Stella is an OC with no base-Fairytale-character. Title is taken from the Bastille song "Haunt (Demo)."

Things happened in such a rush Emma wondered what the hell really happened.

They had saved Henry - thank the gods above - and brought Peter Pan back to Storybrook, where there was no magic for him to wield after Gold bound his ability. He was put in a prison not unlike the Dark One's, where he wouldn't be able to escape.

Despite everything that the teenager had put him through, Henry still went down and visited Peter, but always with an adult with him. Belle, Emma, Regina, Neal all took turns.

Every time he went down, Peter would be in the exact same position. Sitting in the farthest corner, one knee drawn up to his chest, his chin resting on top of it.

He asked the same thing every time they came down before lapsing into silence again, refusing to answer them or even acknowledge their presence.

"Where is my bracelet?"

Emma distantly remembered a woven bracelet being taken from him when he was pulled from Pandora's box. Gold had frozen the boy and cut off the bracelet, ignoring the boys screams and curses. Emma had assumed that it had been an enchanted item, but Gold hadn't said what it was.

One day though, Henry got a cold and was confined to bed. He somehow convinced Emma to go down and talk to Peter, keep him company for an hour at least.

Her son was too kind-hearted for his own good, but she did what he asked.

She did carry a gun though, she wasn't stupid.

Emma felt a small thrill of satisfaction when Peter did a double take when she walked down the steps to his prison alone, but he didn't move when she dropped to the ground on the outside of the bars, well out of arms reach.

"Where is my bracelet?"

There was silence for a while, but before she said the standard answer - "You're not getting it back." - she asked, curiosity almost choking her, "Why do you want it so badly?"

Peter slowly turned his head to look at her and he smiled a bitter smile.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

Emma settled against the wall in a more comfortable position before saying, "You never know."

There was silence again, before the teen whispered, "Let me tell you a story Emma."

He shifted so he could see her without craning his neck.

"Maybe four hundred years ago by your reckoning, there was a girl. Orphan, no one to love her, no family, living on the streets and dodging those who wanted to hurt her, spending the days looking for work to support herself and her little brother…one night, when I was flying above the Enchanted Forest, looking for a place to land and play my pipes to entice some new Lost Boys, I…I saved her."




The freedom that came with flight was hard to describe, but Peter relished in it anyway.

The forest spread out beneath him, bathed in silver moonlight. He swooped down, twisting with ease through the branches before landing on a building's overhang, a village spread out beneath him.

It would do for the night.

If he had known what would have happened, what he would do, the girl he would meet that night, Peter wondered if he would have continued to that village or turned around and left. If he had known the pain that would come, the feeling of hope and love being ripped away indescribable, would he have traded that pain for never knowing the good?

But he did continue to that village, and did drop down into the middle of an abandoned street.

He walked down the alley, his hood up and his hands already cradling his pipe, ready to begin when the village died down in activity a little bit more.

But then…then he heard struggling, grunting noises of pain and a softer, feminine voice calling out for help before it was muffled.

Intrigued, he flew up over the rooftops, following the scuffling noises.

What he saw almost made him vomit.

Peter was not ignorant. He knew what some horrible, vile men did to other women, or even other men or vice versa. He had heard horror stories from his Lost Boys of fathers who had assaulted their mothers, who were arrested for attacking other young girls, or of older women forcing young teenagers to accompany them places and the actions they would force out of them.

This girl was putting up such a fight, he was slightly impressed. But no fight was fair when you were outnumbered.

Five men, a few of them looking no older than he was physically, were backing her into a corner, toying with her, ripping her clothes and groping at her. She looked terrified, but she continued to fight and fight and fight.

Call him what you want, but Peter would never walk away from something like this.

So he dropped down to the ground, startled the hell out of the attackers, and proceeded to do what he did best.

He had a little fun.




"You killed them all?"

Emma stared in horror and admiration at the teen sitting in front of her.

Peter shrugged.

"They were going to rape her. They deserved it."

Emma saw something else in his eyes that told her something else.

They were bright with suppressed rage, rage that happened when someone you loved was hurt and there was nothing you could do to stop it, or stop the memory of it from haunting them. It was the rage that came from loving someone so much you would move heaven and hell to keep them from ever feeling that kind of pain again. It was the kind of rage that could burn down cities and destroy countries.

"What happened then?"

Peter smiled again, a softer smile than before, one that seemed more genuine than his usual smirk.

"She became the first and last Lost Girl."




When the fight was over, he turned to stare at the girl who was still backed into a corner.

She was pretty, he supposed, not really having much to go on; he had never really had a lot of experience with girls.

Her hair was long and a dark brown, falling to just below her collarbone. Her eyes were a bright blue, almost the same color as the oceans and skies in Neverland. She was thin, almost scrawny and gaunt from lack of food, but she was standing on steady feet, her eyes boarding into him.

"Not that I'm ungrateful for what you just did, but who the hell are you?"

Peter felt his face crack into a smile, not that she would be able to see it with the moon behind him and his hood casting his face in shadow.

"I go by many names…the Leader of the Lost Ones, the Pied Piper, Demon Child…but you can call me Peter Pan."

Her eyes widened but she didn't back down. She must had heard of him, heard the horror tales of him coming in the night to take children away to some land where they would be "happy."

But she didn't run.

He cocked his head at her and asked, "What is your name?"

Her eyes found his and he got an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach as she whispered, "My name is…my name is Stella."

Peter reached out a hand and she slipped her hand into it to shake.

"Well, Stella, nice to meet you."




"Her little brother was…well, is, my best friend, my second in command. Felix."

Emma jerked a little at that. It was hard to reconcile the cold voiced, scarred boy with a sibling.

Peter scoffed at her reaction.

"Felix wasn't always so hardened, Emma. Before I found them, for a long, long time, Stella was all Felix had, and Felix was all Stella had."

Emma was almost afraid to ask what happened to Stella, so she just kept her mouth shut and let Peter continue his story.

"I had never thought about taking a girl with me to Neverland - too much trouble, too much drama…and girls back there were never as tough as they needed to be to survive Neverland - but then I decided to take her back with me."




"Is there anyplace I can walk you?"

Peter had no freaking idea where this…caring was coming from.

Stella just shivered as she tried to maneuver the scraps of her clothing to cover her exposed flesh. Deciding to just roll with what was happening, Peter unfastened his cloak and draped it over her shoulders, ignoring her confused look.

"I just…I need to get home. Felix needs me."

Peter didn't know what the emotion in his chest was when she named a man that was waiting for her at home. Was she married? The lass couldn't be much older than sixteen, but then again, sometimes women married young if their family needed the help.

Stella must have caught the look in his eyes before she added on, "Felix is my little brother. He's only fourteen now, but…it's just the two of us. We stay in a barn on the outskirts of town, and that's where he stays when I go out to find work. He wants to help me, but he had a horrible sickness a couple of months ago, and he's still healing. He'll be worried if I don't get home soon, and the last thing I need is to search for him if he decides to come and find me."

Peter just lifted one hand out in a 'continue on' gesture, following a half-step behind her as she scurried down the alley, down a couple of backstreets and then up a worn path to a barn that was siting just on the outside of the town.

As soon as they were in sight, the barn door flew open a skinny teenager came running out, stumbling a little over his too large feet before he launched himself at the girl.

There was an immediate change to the girl. Instead of the strong, proud girl who had tried to fight off five men, she was softer, almost maternal. She held him close to her chest, not caring about their audience as she embraced her brother, one arm wrapped around his waist and the other cradling the young boy's head to the crook of her neck. It was a funny sight because Felix was about six inches taller than she was, but the way he carried himself and the panes of his face belayed just how young he really was. She softly whispered in his ear as she stroked his hair, quiet reassurances that she was there, that he wasn't alone and they were both alright.

That strange feeling rose up in his chest again, and more than anything Peter wished that he had someone to care for him that way, to cradle him when nightmares from his past came back to haunt him. He always had to be strong, be the leader to the Lost Boys, and he reveled in his new life…but it wasn't enough.

Maybe that's why he kept going out and looking for more Lost Boys, looking for more boys to fill the void in his chest…maybe he had been going about it all wrong. Maybe he was looking for more boys when he should have been looking for a girl.

Making a split-second decision that would forever alter everything, he put his hand on Stella's shoulder - the one that Felix's head wasn't on - and asked her, "If I could take the both of you away from here, from this place, to a land where you and your brother would never be separated, never want for anything…would you come?"




"She went with you to Neverland."

"Yes. I told her everything about it, though. She didn't go in with missing pieces. She knew she would have to fight, have to prove her worth…but in her eyes, it was worth it. It would be a place where her brother could live the life he always wanted, a place where they would never be separated, where no one would ever hurt her again."

Peter had his eyes close now, his head leaning back against the rocks.

"Neverland was always a place of dreams…it had been uninhabited - minus the mermaids - until I found it again in my dreams. I had been trying to escape my life, and I found it. When I got strong enough, got a handle on my powers, I brought boys with me, followed the magic of their dreams and their wishes and hopes. Neverland was originally a safe-haven, a place where I would bring boys who needed a new home. It never used to be as dark and desolate as you saw it."

He opened his eyes and stared at her with lonely orphan eyes, eyes Emma had seen in the mirror many times over.

"It was supposed to be a place where you would have a family."




Stella and Felix had been there for all of three years - not a lot of time by Neverland's standards - when Peter realized something.

Things had been changing. The feelings he had been getting in the pit of his stomach whenever he had looked at her had turned to bonfires, growing hotter and hotter until they consumed his entire body.

Stella loved Neverland, he could tell. She loved the adventure, the sense of family and belonging she got. The boys no longer felt fear at showing how sometimes they missed their families - because horrible parents or not, they were still their parents - and Stella had managed to hold them close and soothe those nightmares.

More than once he had gone by her sleeping area - they were still working on making a den for her as well, one separate from the boys so she would have her own space - and she had been cradling a nine-year old boy, Marco, against her side as he sobbed.

Peter watched, hidden in the tree line, as she ran her fingers through his hair and whispered softly, singing a lullaby most of the boys had heard already.

Peter felt another strange felling creep into his chest when he saw her take care of his charges.

There was an old motto he had heard before he had come to Neverland, that if you take care of someone's brothers, you take of the man too.

Stella had really turned the island into a home, a haven for these boys. She had made it warm and welcoming and safe, and seeing her really embrace her self-given role as mother was…heartening.

Peter turned and slipped away silently through the trees.




Peter smiled again, his eyes focusing on a spot on the wall somewhere over her shoulder.

"She fit in perfectly. The first time she was pushed into fighting, she gave the boy a broken wrist. They learned not to fight her, they learned to respect her. And Stella…she just fit. She was naturally a warrior, naturally a mothering figure. The boys loved her…and they weren't the only ones."

Emma could see it in her mind.

A girl who had always taken care of others, who had never had somewhere permanent settling into a fairytale world. Too jaded to see the world as a haven, she would have taken all the dangers in stride. She would have been the softer side to Peter in his leadership, the one the boys could go to for soothed nightmares and small injuries.

She would have been Peter's true love, if the lost, broken look in his eyes was anything to go on.

"You two fell in love?"

Peter sighed, his face going blank again.

"Not right away…in fact, I'm sure that Stella was convinced that I had no emotion, had no heart. She just didn't understand that I didn't know what to do with my emotions, I didn't know how to reach out to her."

"But you learned."

Peter smirked, like he was remembering a funny memory.

"Yes…I learned."





Felix snickered as Peter jumped from tree branch to tree branch - totally ignoring the fact that he could fly if he wanted to - as Stella wielded her sword at the base of each tree.

Honestly though, Peter should have known better than to take something from her den and expect her not to notice.

The scarf hung around his neck mockingly, the pale blue material contrasting shockingly with the dark green of his shirt.

Finally, Stella just let out a frustrated yell before she sheathed her sword and stomped away, shouting out, "If you ruin that scarf you better sleep with one eye open!"

Peter wasn't going to let his fun end like that though, because he put his flying powers to use and swooped down to scoop up the irate girl from behind, somehow maneuvering them so she was on his back, her arms and legs wrapped around him.


Peter laughed as he spiraled through the sky. Stella could fly, of course, if she wanted to, no one believed more than she did (not including him!), but she indulged him at the moment.

"Come on, I want to show you something! Maybe you'll forgive me when I do!"

And he did want to show her something. It was a part of the island that he had never shown anyone, the part of the island he had appeared in when he was escaping his life. It was about time that Stella knew the whole story about why he was there, why Neverland was like it was.

The Lost Boys knew bits and pieces about it, knew some parts of his past and the way magic had come to this land…but he felt a burgeoning need to tell Stella the whole story in a way that he had never felt before.

It was like the fire in his stomach, the fluttering in his chest, the way she could reduce him to just a sack of sensations with a laugh or a look.

He brought them to the little cove, with the giant tree that would produce the dust needed to help them fly. He maneuvered through the branches and let Stella climb off his back and settle against the tree, leaning her head and shoulder against it as he settled in the same position across from her.

"Why did you bring me here?"

Peter smiled wanly but unwrapped the scarf he had around his neck and wrapped it around her shoulders to help protect her from the breeze coming off the cove.

"I wanted to…to tell you the truth. How Neverland came to be, how I came to be here."

Her eyes widened and then melted and she reached out to grab his hand.

"Peter, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, don't feel like you need to-"

"I want to."

So he told her.

He told her everything.

He told her how he had been the only child in a happy family until he was about six years old, when his father had died in a milling accident. How his mother had fallen into despair and things were never the same again.

The string of men coming in and out of the house for his mother, the way they would sneer at him and kick at him whenever they could, his mother just in the corner not doing anything to protect her son. How he would beg her to leave this town with him, start a new life. How she had pushed him away and let him smack his head against the rocks, her boot coming down on his wrist to break it as she hissed out all the ways he had ruined her life and how worthless he was.

The way he finally ran away when the abuse became too much, how he ended up on the streets, struggling to survive. The way he was beaten and kicked around, whipped a couple of times and betrayed multiple times by people he thought he could trust. How he had grown up too fast, seeing too many horrible things - other children on the streets selling anything they could to survive, even their own bodies, how they would eventually curl up and die young with no one to mourn them or care - and how he eventually just gave up hope that he would find someone that would care. How he turned into a hardened teenager who didn't let anyone in or didn't let anything break him.

He told her how he dreamed almost every night of this island paradise where he could be safe, where there was magic and laughter and wonder and he didn't have to watch his back every minute of the day, a land where he would be free and happy. How one day he woke up from his dream and he was actually there.

How he learned how to control his powers and decided to make this island a home for boys who needed it, boys who had been left behind, orphaned, abused…forgotten. Lost Boys.

He told her how he thought everything was perfect, him and his boys, all of them bounding around on the island and having adventures, traveling to different worlds to find new recruits or dance with a bunch of other lonely boys, giving them the opportunity to escape their lives even if it was just for one night.

How he had been looking for more Lost Boys when he came across her and he found the missing piece to the puzzle that his little family needed.

If he was the father, the king, the protector against their enemies and the protector of Neverland, they needed a mother, a queen, another protector of their emotions and hopes and dreams.

Stella's eyes had filled up with water as he told her the story, and then when he finally ended with how she had completed the puzzle on Neverland, she just reached out and cupped his cheek, her eyes conveying all the emotion she would never be able to put into words, no matter how hard she tried.

And Peter just followed his instincts and leaned forward and captured her lips with his.

It was a first kiss for the both of them, and it was everything you would have expected it to be. Slightly awkward, took a couple of moments for them to find the right rhythm, but when they did, it was magical.

And in that moment, in what he had dubbed his "Thinking Tree" and in the same place he got his ability to fly and be free, he kissed a girl he was slowly falling in love with.

It was a whole different kind of flying.




"Neither of us knew what we were doing, to be honest. We knew about…well, living on the streets makes you a privy to things you would rather not know, but...we figured it out."

Emma didn't know whether she should be disgusted that this teenager was talking about sex in front of her or to be saddened that all they had known about it before they went to Neverland was that it was a way to make money.

Peter smiled again, his eyes focusing on a spot on the wall somewhere over her shoulder.

"The other boys didn't seem surprised…if anything, they were ecstatic because it really made us a family, with a mother and a father."




Time was tricky in Neverland, but Stella didn't mind.

All she had to do was imagine something and it would appear. All she had to do was believe in herself and in the magic of the island and she would be able to fly.

She still looked like she was sixteen years old, but time out in the sun and working hard for everything had made her toned, made her look older than she really was. Felix now looked like a fourteen year old, his arms chorded with lithe muscles and his shoulder broader from all the work and fighting he would do with the other boys.

At the moment though, she was pulling pieces of vines down to twist into rope. The nets they used to catch fish had worn thin, so she decided to make some herself to pass the time.

Arms were suddenly wrapped around her waist and hard, warm lips sucked on the pulse point in her neck. The vines in her arms fell to the ground and her hands grabbed the ones around her waist and she groaned, "Peter, come on, we're going to get caught again!"

Stella could almost hear him smirking against her neck.

"Come on, love, the boys have already gotten used to it. They all consider you a mother, and me a father, so it's only the natural way of things-"

"If you've forgotten, the first time Felix caught us you almost lost an eye."

"I let the little man feel like he was defending your honor. He's your little brother, let him feel like he can protect you."

"I can protect myself, Peter. If you want to continue this, wait until after the bonfire tonight, okay? That way we will not be interrupted."

He groaned playfully in her ear but let her spin around in his arms to wrap her own arms around his neck.

"As the lady commands."

She smirked back at him, but slowly, both of their faces softened. The playful, cocky mask he wore dropped and he was left just staring at her in wonder and she moved her hands to cradle his face and pull it down gently to kiss her.

They kissed like that - softly, innocently, tenderly - until there was the call of, "Oi! That's my sister, spare my eyes!"

Stella pulled back with a giggle and refused to blush. Peter smirked and ducked down to peck her lips one more time before he chased after the Felix, their laughter echoing through the jungle.




"Love didn't come easily to us at first. I was…inexperienced. I didn't know what she wanted from me, or what I wanted from her. It took us a while…maybe twenty years by your reckoning to finally admit it to each other. Don't get me wrong, I knew I cared for her deeply, but love? Love was a foreign concept to me then."

He looked Emma in the eyes this time, and she felt her own heart break for how broken that teenager was. That poor, bitter, broken and dark teenager who had seen more and done more than any man would ever do.

"I did love her, Emma. Gods, I loved Stella so much. Still do. I miss her so damn much and it never stops hurting."

He pulled his knees up and rested his elbows on them, burying his eyes in his palms. His shoulders trembled the slightest bit as he tried to regain composure.

The movement made her eyes go back to the pale ring of flesh on his wrist, where the bracelet that he was so concerned about had been for so long he had a tan line.

"What does the bracelet have to do with this story?"




They had been together so long it had been hard to keep track of the years. Time was tricky in Neverland. Always had been, and always will.

One day though, Felix had dragged him aside and asked him a very serious question.

And then promptly started laughing hysterically when Peter just stared at him blankly.

It took a while, but Felix had explained to Peter what marriage was.

Well, not really…Peter wasn't daft, he knew what marriage was, he just didn't understand why Felix was asking him.

Somehow it ended up with the two boys going off on their own to one of the many cliffs on the island as Felix told him the marriage ritual from the town they had left behind so many years ago.

The man and the woman would trade an item, typically jewelry of some kind, to symbolize their marriage. They would roast a piece of bread over a fire in their own home and feed it to the other, and then they would be married.

It was simple and easy, but Peter felt like it was too much, too soon.

He loved Stella, loved her with all his heart. What they had they were going to have forever, he knew that, and he was thankful for it everyday. She had made Neverland a home, made the Lost Boys a real family.

Felix seemed to read the apprehension on Peter's face because he placated his leader with, "You don't have to do it now! Do it when both of you are ready!"

Peter smiled weakly at the boy. Felix may have gotten more experienced, but there was still a part of him that was naive, there was still part of him who saw the island with blinders on, who cared nothing more than making sure his sister was happy. There was still a large part of him that didn't know the darkness that was brewing inside of Peter.

Peter ruffled the boy's hair and thanked the him, but added, "Let's not tell your sister about this…a little secret for now."

Felix just shrugged and ran back to camp before he joined in with the others roughhousing.

Peter's eye automatically scanned them all, making sure they were okay as he searched for the real person he was interested in.

Stella was sitting on a log, one of the younger boys in between her knees as she focused on getting some tangled twigs and leaves out of the young one's hair. As soon as she was done, the little one wrapped chubby arms around her neck in thanks before running off to find the others. She smiled softly at the little one before reaching behind her to grab her sword, expert fingers waxing and treating it to protect it from scratches while she sharpened it.

She was a mother and a warrior, a patient goddess and fiery Lost Girl.

She was the girl he had fallen in love with before he really understood what love was.

And even though he didn't think he was ready for marriage - or if he would ever be ready, there was a part of him that would always want to be that free boy - he knew he did love her and he wanted to show it to her.

So in the light of the full moon on one of their bonfire nights, he pulled her aside and wrapped a woven necklace around her neck like a choker. He had found some berries and dyed the strands varied shades of blue to complement her eyes.

Stella knew without him speaking or trying what he wanted to say. After so long together, they could read each other like books.

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a woven bracelet she had made on some downtime a while ago. Stella reached out and tied it around his wrist.

After the knots were tied, he pulled her close and kissed her desperately, trying to let her know, trying to get her to feel the depth of his love for her and just how thankful he was that he had found her.

Stella kissed him back just as enthusiastically and somehow (unsurprisingly) they ended up leaving the bonfire early that night.

They never heard the end of it from the Lost Boys, not that they really cared.

All he cared about was that now there was proof - linking, physical proof - that they belonged to each other.




"I was a coward, Emma. I should have 'married' her in her town's tradition that day. I should have faced my fears of possibly losing my freedom, because she was my freedom. She was my happy ending…but I'm a villain. Villains don't get happy endings."

He had gone back to staring blankly at the wall behind her.

"You were right, Emma. She was my one true love."

Suddenly, he transformed into the raging maniac he was back on the island. He shot to his feet and slammed his fist against the rocks behind him, roaring out in pain like a wounded animal.

"She was my one true love and I failed her! She was my one true love and she trusted me to have her back and I didn'tand she died, she diedin my arms!"




They had been happy…so goddamn happy for so long that Peter should have known better, he should have known that something would happen.

Every morning he would wake up in his hammock, Stella cradled against his chest. Sometimes, when it stormed, one of the younger boys would crawl into the hammock with them and he would wake up with a tiny head on his bicep as Stella held the child, and he would smile because this was a real family, and it was all he had ever wanted.

He wanted a safe haven for children, for the boys who had gone unheard for so long. A haven for children to be loved and cared for, to be part of a family.

Isn't that what it all came down to in the end? Family? The one thing he always wanted and the one thing he would always marvel over.

It had been okay for a while, just the boys and him, but they needed another piece, and he brought home Stella and everything had fallen into place. The boys loved her, she loved them and protected them and he fell in love with her and he loved and protected her.

Until the one day when that wasn't enough.

He never found out the names of the men who killed Stella. He didn't let them live long enough to even beg for their lives.

He didn't know how they got onto the island, only that somehow they had broken into the compound and were attacking the boys, attacking children with their knives and arrows and swords. There were so many of them the best thing to do was to abandon the compound.

Peter called out the order, and the boys fell back, but his eyes were desperately searching out Stella.

He saw her fighting off three men at once, a sword in each hand as she spun around and around, her legs flying and kicking, a small boy - Kellan, the small boy who would crawl into their hammock when there storms, the little boy who was taken from an extremely abusive home when he was only six years old - hiding behind her, his back pressed against a tree, blood pouring from his shoulder. It was probably the reason that Stella was fighting so hard. Someone had hurt her baby, and threatened the safety of her brothers, lover and others under her protection and she was not going to stand for it.

Everything happened in slow motion.

The battle was slowing down, most of the boys already heading to the rendezvous point, the men who had stormed the compound leaving as well, when a man with a bow and arrow in his hands shot an arrow, one aimed at Felix who was crossing the clearing to come to the aid of his sister.

Stella heard the twang of the arrow as it was let loose, and reacted instinctively. She turned and stood with her back to Felix and let the arrow strike her in the chest. The arrow buried itself in her skin, a mere inch from her heart.

The whimpering noise she made when the arrow hit her would haunt Peter for the rest of his too-long life.

Felix caught his sister as she crumpled.

Peter's vision was tinged with red.

The man who shot the arrow and the men who had been fighting her didn't made it three feet before Peter snapped their necks.

Peter felt his heart pounding furiously in his ears, like it was working double time to keep both himself and Stella alive. He hurried across the clearing, his knees hitting the dirt hard as he skidded to Felix's side.

Felix let Peter wrap his arms around the girl but didn't let go of her either; she was cradled between the two of them.

There was some scampering footsteps and Kellan scuttled over, his tiny face pale white and blood still pouring from the gash in his skin, but he threw himself down to the ground next to her head, his tiny hands grabbing her curls.

"We need…we need to get the medicine, the healing water-"

Peter's voice is panicking, he knows it, but deep down…he also knows there is nothing he can do to save her, not even magic could save her now.

Stella grabs his hand tight, the same hand that has the bracelet tied around it. She stares at him and he stares back and it's as much as a goodbye as they can get to without saying the words.

With waning strength, she pulls Felix's head down to kiss his forehead like she would do when he was younger and afraid of the monsters in the dark. Felix's shoulders are shaking as the reality that he is going to have to live without his sister hits him.

Stella turned to Peter and just cupped his cheek with her hand, her eyes slowly loosing light as he stared down at her as if he could bring her back by sheer force of will. Her other hand slowly cradles Kellan's face into the crook of her neck, her fingers trying desperately to stroke the young boy's cheek before it became too late.

But she slips away from them, her eyes falling shut as her hands grasp the three of them, tiny Kellan burying his face into her shoulder as they all shake with tears.




"I failed her. Because I couldn't save her in time, Felix lost his sister, the Lost Boys lost the only mother figure they had ever really known, and I…I lost my best friend, my partner…I lost my Stella."

His fingers softly caressed the spot where the bracelet would have been.

Emma longed to reach out to this teen boy and enfold him in a hug, like she would have done with Henry if he had been in that much pain. But this boy was jaded, too evil and cruel and twisted inside to ever want someone to comfort him that wasn't the girl he had lost.

"The Lost Boys and I…we gave her funeral. We buried her on a cliff we used to frequent. Everything changed after that. There was no one there to hold us when nightmares hit, when we were injured and scared and lonely. They would cry at night, and I didn't know what to do…it was always Stella that knew what to do to comfort. The boys became jaded, mean, cold…hard. They were men trapped in boy's bodies and I don't think I could ever fully forgive myself for letting that happen to them. Neverland suffered too. It was so in synch with my emotions that it became darker, crueler. I had upset the balance, and the punishment for that was my immortality was now going to come at a price."

Emma spoke up then.

"Why did you try and take Henry? Why did the power mean so much to you?"

Peter sighed and leaned his head back against the stone.

"His heart was that price. I was on limited time and magic, I needed more. I thought…I thought that with more magic, with more time I could bring her back, or I could rewind time and save her…I thought I could change things. And I…I just wanted her back more than I wanted the power."

Peter's eyes came back to meet hers and he smiled bitterly.

"I just want the bracelet now, Swan. You can ask Rumple, there is nothing magic about it."

Emma looked down at her watch and saw with shock that almost three hours had passed, so she stood up and made a move to leave, before pausing and shooting over her shoulder, "I'll see what I can do."




Emma purposefully chose a day that she knew Belle will be in the shop before she goes to confront Gold. If tenderhearted Belle knew what the bracelet meant, then maybe she could convince Gold to give it back to Peter. After all, how long had Gold held onto that chipped cup? Shouldn't he know just how important it was to hold onto those bits of the people you thought you had lost?

Belle and Gold were sitting at one of the counters, talking and laughing, but they both looked up when Emma entered.

"Ah, Miss Swan, what can I do for you?"

Emma smiled stiffly before she said, "I want to know why you took Pan's bracelet."

Gold stiffened a little but his mouth stayed quirked in that small smile.

"Because it's a weapon."

Emma rolled her eyes.

"Bullshit. You took it because it meant a lot to Pan, it was something someone he loved gave to him before they died."

Belle looked between them in confusion.

"Wait, Peter loved someone?"

"Yeah, a girl that died. Her name was Stella. He wants it back, it's a symbol of their true love."

"Rumple, is that true?"

Gold sighed before reaching into thin air to pull the bracelet down with a puff of magic.

"It is true, but what I said was also true. Something touched by true love is powerful in its own right. Look at how you regained your memories drinking out of that chipped cup."

Emma crossed her arms and continued to glare at him.

"He's in a cage that binds magic, just let him have it back."

Gold looked like he was about to protest when Belle laid a hand on his shoulder and just gave him a look. Gold rolled his eyes but chucked the bracelet to Emma.

"Fine, fine. Give it to the boy."

Emma didn't say anything more as she turned and walked away, heading back to check in with her family before she went back to see Pan.




The look on his face when she reappeared with the bracelet in her hand made her want to cringe. It was a look of awe, of fear, and complete and utter surprise. She didn't waste words, just threw the bracelet through the gap in the bars and watched as he clutched it tightly and held it to his chest, almost like how a child would grasp a teddy bear close during the night.

He looked up at her, and for one moment, the mask and the pain dropped to show her the sad little boy underneath.

"Thank you."

Emma just nodded her head before she turned around and walked back upstairs.




Emma cornered Felix at Granny's about a week later. The kid had been allowed out of his cell three days a week as long as he was always with an escort. Today it was Charming. Emma saw her father in the corner of the diner with her mother as the two of them kept an eye on the teen.

She dropped down across from him and he didn't even look up at her. She didn't know what she should say to him, only that she needed to say something.

"I'm sorry."

"For what?" He barked out.

"For your sister."

Felix's head snapped up so quickly she could have sworn that a bone in his neck snapped.

"How…how do you know about Stella?"

Emma smiled sadly at him.


Felix looked shocked but then he frowned.

"Why did he tell you about Stella?"

"Gold took his bracelet."

When Felix's eyes darkened, she quickly jumped in, "Don't worry, we got it back for him, he has it."

Felix sighed and then he just slumped over his mug of hot chocolate, poking at the whipped cream on top of it sadly.

"He never recovered from her death…and I don't think he ever will. She…she was the balance for him. He went off the deep end, he…he let the darkness take over."

Emma didn't know what to say, but she didn't need to. Felix just continued talking like he was speaking to himself, not even looking at her.

"He loved her so much…all the Lost Boys did. I had been jealous at first. I had been so used to being the only boy in her life and suddenly she was mothering all these others and hanging out with Peter…but at night she would still always come in and kiss me on the forehead before I went to sleep, even if I pouted and whined that she was treating me like a baby…"

Felix sighed, letting his hand fall to the side, a bit of whipped cream still stuck to the tip of his finger.

"I honestly thought that she and Peter might get married, maybe even have a child…I thought I would get to be an uncle…"

Emma just reached to the end of the table and grabbed the cinnamon and sprinkled some on the top of his hot chocolate.

Acting on impulse, she leaned across the table and kissed his forehead like she did with Henry when she put him to sleep or when he had nightmares. Just like how Stella had kissed her brother when he was younger and afraid of the dark.

Just like Stella had done when she was dying in place of the brother she loved so much.

As Emma walked away from the table - her mother and father's looks heavy on her back - she didn't see a tear slip down Felix's scarred cheek.




"You found out about Stella."

Emma turned around in shock as she walked down the street to the police station.

Tinkerbell stood behind her with her arms crossed to block out the Maine chill.

"You know?"

Tinkerbell smiled sadly.

"Yeah…I was good friends with her while she was in Neverland."

"Does Hook know?"

"He knows of Stella, I don't think he ever met her though."

"So who was Wendy?"

"Wendy was a girl he took, but it wasn't in an effort to replace Stella, it was in an effort to control her brothers. Peter never loved Wendy, he never could love her."

Emma sighed as she waited for the fairy to catch up with her.

"We need to tell the others…he's not a bad kid Emma, he's just…lost. He's been lost for so long since he lost Stella."

Emma sighed and pulled her phone out.

"I'll get everyone to meet at the police station…we'll tell them there. Maybe there's a way to bind his magic so he can just walk around like Felix is doing…or a magical binding contract that won't let him hurt Henry, or anyone."

So they all convened in the police station.

Emma stood up and told them the watered down version of the story.

Henry loked shocked, but then immediately started flipping through his book in an effort to see if Stella was mentioned and he just didn't remember. David looked shocked, and Mary Margaret looked like she was about to cry.

Killian looked like he had been hit on the back of a head by a two-by-four.

"Peter Pan was in love with that lass?"

Emma turned to look at him in shock.

"You knew her?"

"I owe her the life of one of my old crew members, Mr. Smee."

At the raised eyebrows he rolled his eyes and went, "Yes, Mr. Smee is a real person. He was my first mate. We were trekking through Neverland, almost in the darkest part of the island, though we didn't know it at the time. Mr. Smee walked right into a poisonous bush - not Dreamshade, but almost as deadly but not as hard to concoct an antidote for, if you know the right way. The lass appeared out of nowhere, scared the ever-loving hell out of my crew, and proceeded to make an antidote even with my sword at her neck. She asked for nothing in return, and once she administered the antidote she just turned and disappeared into the forest."

He ran a hand through his hair, his brow furrowed over his bright blue eyes.

"I tried to find her to thank her…gods above, those boys loved her. I remember seeing through my spy glass how they would flock to her and how she would care for them. I saw how Pan looked at her, I didn't know though that she was his true love…"

Pain flashed across his features.

"You say that she was killed in a raid?"

Emma looked at him in horror.

"Do you know who did it?"

Hook bit his lip and looked down in shame.

"When I lead the mutiny on my ship, we turned against the crown…I'm assuming that the ship with the men were there for us, there to take us back. They must have come across the camp and just attacked…"

Hook collapsed agains the wall and just sighed.

"It should have been my crew they attacked, not children, not a girl…"

Mary Margaret crossed the room and laid a hand on his shoulder, ducking her head to catch his eyes.

"It's not your fault…the fault lies with the man who shot the arrow."

A dark look crossed her face before she turned to face Emma.

"And I assume that that man paid for his crime."

Emma's nod made everyone exhale slowly.

It might make them somewhat dark, somewhat evil, but it comforted them to know that the man who killed that innocent girl, that set of the catalyst for Peter to turn evil, was dead, in a place where he would never hurt anyone again.




Eventually, they did find a way to bind Peter's magic so he could walk around town if he wanted to. He never did, not with the way the others would look at him. Like he was a ticking time bomb, like he was a monster just waiting to strike.

He found that he had no desire to do anything evil.

He just felt…empty.

His plan to get Stella back was gone, just like his life in Neverland.

When he was let free, the Lost Boys, despite everything he had put them through, came back and engulfed him in a group hug.

They took him to the house they had been given on the outskirts of town, and he threw himself into making it a home for the boys.

It was easier this time around in a way, as they had help. Emma, Henry, Regina, Mary Margaret and David all came and helped with meals and chores and making the house a home. The dwarves helped, and so did Red and Granny and a whole bunch of others.

Kellan - still the same age he was when Stella died - always crawled into bed with Peter, as he had done so many years ago.

Gold came by one day (dragged by Belle and Neal to help out with the Lost Boys), and gave Peter a gift.

It was an enchanted mirror, like the one in the Beauty and the Beast myth.

It would show him anything he wanted.

So night after night, he called upon the image of Stella and spent hours re-memerizing the curve of her lips, the tilt to her eyebrows, the way her eyes would sparkle in different lights…

And night after night he woke up with tears on his cheeks and a pain deeper than the ocean in his chest, right where his dark heart was.




He dreamed about her every night.

The worst dreams weren't the ones about her being hurt, or even the ones about her death.

The worst dreams weren't about her staring at him in horror at what he had done, at how dark he and turned.

No, the worst dreams were memories, memories of the time they had had together, the two of them dreaming and hoping about their future, a future that had been possible until she had been taken.




"Peter, come on!"

"No, our boys can handle one meal without us."

A soft smile stole over her lips as she looked at his sleepy face.

"'Our boys…' I like the sound of that."

Peter peeled open one eye to look at her, the two of them cradled in the hammock in his den. The two of them were cuddled together so tightly that it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began.

"They already think of you as their mother, their queen."

Stella rolled her eyes but cuddled back into his side, her head fitting perfectly into the curve of his neck.

"And they think of you as their father, their king."

Peter smiled down at her before he pressed a kiss to her forehead.

"They are like our children…you know, for some reason, I like the idea of them being…I like the idea of them being ours."

Stella drew patterns on his bare chest and he shivered, goosebumps appearing on his arms at the touch of her skin.

"They are ours. Family is not always about blood, it's about who takes care of you and loves you and protects you."

They lapsed into silence for a while, but then it was broken when Stella asked in a hesitant voice, "Do you think about us…you know, starting our own family?"

Peter sat up straighter, pulling her up with him as he looked down at her, his face furrowed in concentration and amazement.

"You mean…our own child?"

Stella blushed and bit down hard on her lip.

"I know we're perpetually frozen as children, but nothing could stop us from growing up mentally…and I don't mean me getting pregnant, I mean…taking baby, maybe trying let our magic grow them until they want to stop, if that was even possible…you know, our own child."

When he didn't say anything, she babbled on, nerves making her voice shake, "Not that the boy's aren't like our own, but I mean, like a child that would really be ours and one that we would raise in a safe environment, give them a childhood to be happy about, and we would have to explain to the other boys that we don't love them any less-"

He cut her off with a kiss, maneuvering on the woven hammock so that he was hovering over her. When they pulled away for air, he automatically started kissing a warm trail down her neck to her collarbone before looking into her eyes.

"Maybe not now, but definitely in the future…because I cannot think of one without you. And…I don't know if it's possible for us to use our magic to age a child, I don't know if we would be able to…but if I were going to have a child, I would want it to be with you. I cannot think of any part of my future that I wouldn't want with you."

Stella's eyes softened and she cupped his face in her hands before she pulled him up to kiss him deeply.




Months passed that way.

Slowly, the town stopped hating him, not that he really cared.

He found himself acclimating to this world, wearing the strange trousers that were called 'jeans' and the leather jackets almost everyone seemed to favor. He would drink coffee all the time now (honestly, trying to keep up with all the other boys was difficult, he needed the caffeine) and would even scroll through the internet, amazed at the plethora of knowledge that was available at his fingertips.

Stella would have been thrilled with everything in this world, especially the fact that women in this realm almost always wore the same pants that men did. Stella had hated dresses, had always worn breeches and pants like a boy. She would also have loved the abundance of fruit, how she could have it whenever she wanted, along with chocolate.

A familiar stab of pain hit in his heart thinking about her, but he was so used to it by now.

Ruby sighed as she cast a look to the teenage boy hunched over his mug of hot chocolate. He had come into the diner a lot, mainly with a little boy named Kellan who always clung to him and loved hot chocolate as well.

Everyone around town knew about Stella now, and they all looked at him with a mix of pity in their eyes. Ruby wished she could have connected with him, wished she could have told him about the love she had lost - killed, really, when she was in her wolf form - but she had fallen for other men too, had found love in other places. Even Killian, who had lost his Milah, didn't understand, because now the pirate had Emma, and even though Emma had lost Neal and Graham, she had found her family and was slowly moving forward with Killian. They all had found something else to love, had found someone else to love them.

There was one person in the town though that just looked at him with sympathy, not pity.


She knew what it felt like to have that gaping, empty hole in ones chest that drove a person to the darkest magic, that drove them to do horrible things in an effort to get their loved one back. She knew what it was like to just go completely dark side when it became clear that their loved one was never coming back and there was no point in trying to be good anymore. She knew how tantalizing the darkness was to someone who had nothing left to hold onto.

Peter knew that she had lost her true love, and even though she had another, she had chosen pain over replacing him. Regina knew what it was like to lose a true love and feel like they couldn't accept any other kind of love.

Peter could respect that, could respect her.

Because even if he found he had another true love out there, he wouldn't go looking for her. Mostly because that girl deserved better than a broken boy in love with a girl long dead, but also because he didn't think he could look at any other girl and not compare her to Stella, and that wouldn't be fair. It wouldn't be fair to saddle someone else with a person who could never stop loving someone, who could never dedicate themselves 100% to their current loved one because of a dead lover.

He would never be able to love someone again - not like how he had loved Stella, not that deeply and that irrevocably - and that was something he knew for a fact.

His heart was too broken.

He was too broken.




Yet, about three months later when a new threat arose, the first thought that came to Peter's mind was, Of course.

And the inhabitants of the town were looking to him to help lead the battle against the threat.

Apparently, his little fake company that had been there to "eradicate magic" had grown beyond what he had imagined. They were now operating beyond his control, beyond anyone's control.

And they were coming for Storybrooke.




"What do you mean you're not going to do anything!?"

David and Killian looked at the teen in shock. He had been sitting on the edge of the beach, water lapping at his feet, just staring at the mirror in his hands and looking at longing with the girl dancing in the depths.

"They can't get in, the town is cloaked. Just let them stumble around, they won't bother us."

"They will go after all magic, not just us! We need to stop them!"

Peter kept his eyes trained on the girl in the mirror and ignored them.

David shot a pleading look to Killian who just sighed and dropped down to sit next to the boy.

"Would she just sit by and let them eradicate magic?"

The words were like ice water to the teen's system and Peter stiffened.


"Then why are you just sitting by and letting them?"

And Peter's face both crumpled and hardened, his eyes blazing with hurt and grief and pain and loss-

"Because she's gone. And nothing matters other than the boys, and they're safe."

Peter looked at Killian with boiling eyes.

"I'm sorry I brought this here but…it's always been about Stella, about the Lost Boys. And with her gone? Well, nothing matters more than keeping them safe, and they are here. There is no reason to put them in danger when they are perfectly safe right here. I'm sorry that the company started with me, but this isn't my fight, and I won't fight it."




His mind was changed instantly when it became clear that the people got into the "anti-magic" movement and got through the fucking protection spell and went right for the boys.

He woke up to screaming and calls of "GET THE WEAPONS" - and he had a split moment to wonder how the hell they had weapons - before Kellan and Felix came sprinting into his room, their faces pale with fear as sounds of scuffling came from the main room.

Even with his magic bound, Peter was a force to be reckoned with. He fought and dodged, using the sword that was pressed into his hands like an extension of himself, cutting down those with weird metal contraptions that blew out fire and metal.

When it was all done - and the Lost Boys the clear winners, though battered and Felix with a bullet graze - Peter sought out David and Killian with a fiery look in his eyes.

They had attacked his family and they had wounded his best friend and Stella's brother and that was not going to happen ever fucking again -

"They attacked the Lost Boys. What do we need to do to fucking destroy them!?"




The movement of Anti-Magic People (AMP for short in battle planning meetings) came at them from all sides in guerrilla tactics. They weren't content with just destroying magic, they wanted to kill everyone who came from lands that used magic.

Regina had been shot in the arm, Mary Margaret had been ambushed and would have been killed if the Seven Dwarfs weren't nearby, and David almost walked right into a minefield before he was pulled back.

Everyone was on edge, the Lost Boys confined to a safe area - AKA, Killain's ship which was prepped to move out as quickly as possible if need be - and everyone walked around carrying weapons.

Peter was allowed his magic back, so he flew over the town doing rounds, dropping down flags to show how close or how far away the enemy was, and sometimes he would drop sleeping potion bombs into the middle of the AMP camps.

It was slow going, a battle that had no clear winners.

And every night, Peter still went to sleep with images of Stella on the back of his eyelids…how she would have fought to keep the boys safe, how she would have sprinted through the forest almost soundlessly to drop the bombs, how she would have been able to plan and keep things calm, how she would have fought this battle and not lost any of her morales...

After dreams like that, Peter found it harder and harder to keep up his ice cold front.




Yet, somehow everything came full circle.

They were in the middle of a scrimmage in town square when everything came to a halting stop when Felix cried out, "NO!"

Everyone turned, shock in their faces as they saw Felix holding up his best friend - the leader of the Lost Boys, the Peter Pan, the un-killable and unbeatable - a spreading circle of red in his shirt enough of a clue as to what happened.

Peter stared down in shock at the blood spreading across his front.

He had seen a man point one of those guns at Felix's turned back, and he had been furious because what a cowardly way to shoot someone with their back turned, and he had been moving before he could think to use magic, and maybe deep down it was what he wanted, to die to leave to see Stella again -

So he did what Stella done all those centuries ago. He had rushed to protect his brother.

Even if it meant sacrificing his own life.

It was a blur. People were rushing, crowding around the teenager. Regina sent out a huge pulse of magic to paralyze all AMP fighters, her arms dropping to her sides and slightly off balance from the amount of energy it had taken to cast the spell.

Felix had Peter cradled in his arms, his hands pressing down hard on the bullet wound to stop the bleeding before the two of them sunk to the ground.

"No, no, no…you can't…you can't leave me, not like this…"

For a moment, Felix looked like the little boy Peter knew before the years had gotten to him, before scars had appeared and time had worn him down, when he had his sister to love him and shield him from the horrors of the world...

Peter didn't look scared, or frightened, or even shocked. He was growing pale from blood loss, but he smiled at his second in command. A shaky hand came up to clasp his friend's shoulder while his other hand - the one with the bracelet - dropped to rest above his heart, an unconscious gesture of keeping Stella close to his heart as well.

Emma gripped Mary Margaret and David's hands, the three of them giving a respectful distance between the two boys. It seemed like all of Storybrook - minus those on the ship for safety reasons - were watching the tragedy unfold out in front of them.

"I left…I left a long time ago, Felix…I left with her…"

Peter gripped his friend's shirt tightly, begging him with his eyes to understand.

"I tried…I tried so hard to bring her back! I couldn't…I couldn't live in a world where she was gone…"

Peter's eyes filled up with tears suddenly and his voice came out broken, a toy that had been played with too roughly and had finally broke.

"I loved her…I loved her so much and I was left behind and I can't keep going anymore Felix I can't, please don't make me, I can see her again I can stop fighting…I can hold her and kiss her and let her know how sorry I was that I - that I couldn't protect her, that I'm so sorry I failed her, and I'm sorry, you lost her too, but I can't do it anymore I can't live while she's dead, I can't, I can't…"

And even though Gold was standing there with his magic ready, even though Regina and the Blue Fairy and even Tinkerbell could have tried to save him…they stood down.

Because they knew that Peter Pan had really died all those years ago when Stella had died. Because they knew that Peter didn't want to live in this world anymore - or any world without Stella for that matter - and he had finally been offered a way out.

Felix tried to smile at his dying friend - his brother, his leader, the one who saved him and his sister - and said, "I know."

Peter's hand was slackening, but he forced out, "Look after them…better than I did…tell them…tell them I love them…tell them I'm sorry I left..."

"You always did the best you could, you always looked after us and protected us, you deserve a break...let go. It's okay to let go, Peter, it's okay to let go."

There was a pause as pain flashed across Felix's face but he said in a slightly shaky - but still strong - voice, "Tell her I love her and I miss her."

Peter's face slowly relaxed and he closed his eyes, going limp, all of his breath going out in a burst.

The great Peter Pan was dead.




It was unanimous.

One of the beans from their precious store was used to open a portal for the Jolly Rodger again, another one tucked safely in the ship for their return home.

Neverland was even darker than it had been before - it was dormant right now, waiting for a replenishment of magic that wouldn't happen for centuries - but it seemed right to bury Peter right next to the girl he had loved so much he would rather die to be with her than live without her.

Felix stood vigil over Peter's side - Peter's body preserved with a spell until they buried him - fulfilling his new title of "Head Lost Boy."

Killian and Emma were steering the ship, both of them silent with the loss everyone could feel.

"I know how he felt…when Milah had died, I had thought several times about just following her…but now I have something to live for."

Killian looked down at Emma, tucked close to his side for shelter from the cold, and continued talking.

"But some…some aren't as lucky as I am."

Emma shook her head sadly.

"He died a long time ago, Killian. He died when she died, and I don't think anyone, not even another true love - which, according to the Blue Fairy, is exceedingly rare - could have helped him, could have made him want to keep on living."

Killian squeezed her tighter to his side.

"He's with her now in spirit…and soon, he will be with her in body too. This time though, no one is going to be able to separate them."




Peter Pan was buried when the sun was it its highest.

David and Killian took turns digging the grave (and seeing Killian handle a shovel with only one hand was a sight to see) while Regina, Emma, Mary Margaret and Henry went to grab flowers from the meadow they had passed a while back. Felix and Kellan and the rest of the Lost Boys had gone back to their compound to say goodbye to what had been their home and grab any last things they wanted before coming back to say goodbye to their leader.

When everything had finally been put into place, it was in the early part of the afternoon.

Unbeknownst to them, it was around this time that Peter and Stella would go flying together.

Peter Pan was buried under the slowly sinking sky, a medium sized headstone for the both of them now in the middle of the clearing. Henry whispered into Regina's ear and the ex-Evil Queen waved her hand, words appearing carved into the rock in beautiful flowing script.

Peter Pan & Stella

We will soar forever amongst the stars.

The Lost Boys came forward and each dropped a small trinket on the grave, each one of them holding their own memory and their own story - a pressed flower that Kellan had picked for Stella, a small nut in the shape of a star that Peter had given to Felix with a cheeky smile, a small, woven rope that had been practice for one of the Lost Boys from Stella - and soon they were just left standing in the clearing, staring down at the graves of the two people they thought they would never lose.

Felix stepped forward first, crouching down in between the two graves and putting his hand on the top of it to steady himself.

"I'm gonna miss you Pan. Stella, make sure he doesn't piss of some higher up, alright? I'll see you guys in a couple of decades…I love you."

And it went on and on like that, some of the smaller kids just whispering out, "Goodbye," before following Felix back down to the ship.

Soon, Kellan was the only Lost Boy left in the clearing. His eyes filled with tears, he reached out a tiny hand and said, "Bye Momma, bye Papa."

Mary Margaret let out a choked noise, but little Kellan just sniffed before slipping out of the clearing.

Henry paused on his way to follow the younger boy before he turned back to the grave and just said, "I hope you're happy wherever you are…and I hope you're together."

Killian and Emma passed by together, their hands gently brushing each others.

"Thank you for your help with defending Henry…we'll look after your boys, we promise."

Emma smiled at Killian before the two of them slipped out of the clearing as well.

Mary Margaret reached forward and dropped another flower - the same kind of flower that had been in her mother's hair when she died, the kind of flower that bloomed in the dead of winter and kept beautiful no matter what - and just whispered, "You both deserve your happily ever after."

David pressed a soft kiss to his wife's temple before he dropped another flower on the grave as well.

"And I hope you get it, and more."

Then it was just Regina left in the clearing and she just stared down at the headstone and sighed.

They were lucky…they were lovers who would be reunited wherever they were…she was never going to see Daniel, she didn't deserve whatever utopia he was most definitely in.

So she just brushed a gentle hand over the rock, a quick spell enveloping it to keep it from wearing down from the elements, and whispered, "I know you'll be happy wherever you are, because you'll be together."




There were a lot of places that their story could have really started:

- when Peter Pan offered two siblings a world they could only imagine -

- when Stella reached a hand out to cup his cheek in that Thinking Tree -

- when Peter wrapped that woven necklace around her throat -

- when Stella wrapped a bracelet around his wrist -

- when two teenagers and a young boy watched the person they loved slip away from them -

- when Peter crossed every line between light and dark to get her back -

- when Peter's plans fell through and everything shattered around him -

- when he found redemption in the town that Stella would have loved -

- when Peter found himself bleeding out in the middle of street, almost the same way that Stella had -

But their story really beings worlds and dimensions and universes away, where a teary-eyed Peter Pan gripped a smiling Stella close to his chest as they danced forever amongst the stars, never to be parted again.