Tinker Bell awoke to the sound of a large boom coming from the sea. She had fallen asleep on the fireplace’s edge and though the embers had long since turned black and stopped smoking, they rattled now with a strong force. She flew up in a sudden fright, like she’d awoken from a terrible dream, and looked around the hut. Everyone was gone.
She quickly flew her way up the stairs and out the window next to the door, where she could make out all the Lost Boys and the Darlings on higher ground looking out. On the sea, Captain Hook’s ship showed its port side to the coast, cannons being loaded.
“Tink!” Slightly said. “We weren’t sure where you were! You’re hard to find when you’re not flying.”
I’ll believe that when I’m dead, Tinker Bell thought.
She flew around the Darlings and over to Nibs, who had the best view of the coast from behind a large log that separated much of the forest from the beach. They were out of Captain Hook’s sight for now, but there was no sign of Peter Pan.
“We may need all the fairy dust you’ve got, Tink,” Nibs said. “We need to get out of here before Captain Hook sinks the whole island.”
“How did he find us?” asked one of the twins, shivering out of fright behind the rest of them.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Tiger Lily replied. “He followed us through the night.”
Tinker Bell looked at the ship. The pirates were all busy loading cannons, controlling the sails - but she couldn’t make out the sight of the captain himself, or even Smee for that matter. Then she had a sudden thought.
She wasn’t sure whether she’d said it aloud or not when Wendy spoke up. “Peter flew away and he said he’d take care of it.”
“It’s nasty business if you ask me,” said Slightly. “Captain Hook’s got at least fifty men.”
“He’s not going to challenge the fifty men,” Nibs replied. “Just Captain Hook.”
“Hook’ll never go for it,” Curly chimed in.
“Oh, yes he will,” Nibs said. “All he wants is Peter Pan, and he’ll do anything just to get a crack at him.”
“Look! There he is!” Tiger Lily shouted.
As if on cue, they could all make out Peter’s green clothes against the blue sky, streaming high above the pirate ship. He curled down and flew so fast that he ripped through a sail or two, and one or two of the pirates were so frustrated with this that they openly shouted at him.
Just then, Captain Hook came out of his quarters and on to the ship’s main deck. Even from her distant perch and with her small ears, Tinker Bell could make out his loud, raspy yell amongst all the commotion.
“Peter Pan!” he shouted. “Come down here and give us a fair fight!”
Peter finally stopped and perched on one of the sail beams, high above the rest of them. A few of the pirates looked like they were taking aim, but Hook went over to them and used his hook to aim their guns back at the deck.
“What’s going on? What are they saying?” Slightly asked.
“I can’t tell. I think Peter’s giving him the challenge,” Nibs replied. A few more words were being exchanged, and suddenly most of the pirates save Captain Hook moved to one side of the ship. Smee threw a sword at Peter and a few of the Lost Boys gasped, but Peter easily plucked it out of the air by its handle. “You see? Captain Hook’s accepted the challenge!”
Just as Hook and Peter were circling each other, waiting for the other to make a move, Captain Hook looked out to sea. He quickly regained his concentration and looked back at Peter. Tinker Bell suddenly took off toward the water, but Slightly managed to catch her legs between his fingers to stop her.
“Don’t worry, Tink. Peter knows what he’s doing.”
As she settled back down, she noticed once again that Captain Hook looked distracted. This time, though, he had lost any sense of Peter being there and started looking over the ship’s starboard side. He then looked at the wood planks, into the little crevasses that made up the ship’s interior. Whatever he was suddenly looking for, it was clear that he couldn’t find it.
Peter gave a swing at Captain Hook, and this let Hook regain his footing, remembering his fight with Peter Pan. But it was clear that Peter now had some sort of psychological advantage - he kept advancing toward Hook, and Hook kept backing up until he was against the boat’s far side and looked frightened enough to jump off out of fear.
“Someone find that incessant noise!” they heard him shout.
Suddenly Peter flew up in the air and used both of his feet to push Hook just enough that he struggled, and finally tumbled over the edge.
“Hook fell off! Hook fell off!” the twins exclaimed.
“Now the pirates are after Peter!”
Peter, seeing that the pirates were ready to shoot again, flew off into the sky and did his characteristic twirls and loops, able to easily dodge them. Smee, for his part, looked like he was trying to help Hook back up - Hook must have managed to hold on to the side.
“Peter!” Wendy said. “Peter, fly for your life!”
Just as Peter flew out of sight, all of the pirates rushed over to Smee and Hook, and when they all gasped, it was silent - except for a distant splash. Suddenly they heard Hook screaming.
“What’s going on?” Slightly asked.
“I don’t know,” Nibs said. “But it’s not good for old Hook.”
Just then they decided to look away, and all the Lost Boys, the Darlings, and Tiger Lily gathered together behind the log, with Tinker Bell flying in the middle to hear them all.
“We’ve got to check on Peter,” Wendy said.
“You mean you’ve got to check on Peter,” Tinker Bell replied, her arms crossed.
“Let’s all check on Peter,” a voice said. It was Peter! He had snuck up behind them.
They all shouted and embraced him, but he shoved all of the Lost Boys off and looked back to the ship. “Come on, Boys, there’s no time to lose now. Give ‘em some fairy dust, Tink!”
Tinker Bell, happy to oblige, now had plenty to give out and sprinkled it out. The Lost Boys flew behind Peter after the ship, and then sprinkled some on Tiger Lily and the Darlings to follow.
“But the guns!” Wendy said. “These pirates have guns!”
“Happy thoughts, now, Wendy,” Michael said. “And - look!”
From the far side of the beach, the Picanniny tribe came out in full force. Tiger Lily, floating above them, chirped with delight to see her people coming to their aid. The Picanninies started shooting arrows at the pirates, and only relented when Peter and the Boys finally reached the ship.
The pirates were now in full disarray. One by one, the Lost Boys pushed them overboard, with even the twins contributing to the action - until the rest of the pirates started jumping off themselves, clearly giving up the battle, and swimming off every which way - except the direction that would take them to the Picanniny tribe. When Peter finally made his way to the steering section - where Smee tried to make his last stand, he just laughed.
“Smee, you can jump off into the water or we can push you off,” he said.
Smee took a look at the gathering Lost Boys, then to the beach where he saw the Picanninies, and ran to the edge of the ship. “I’m coming to save ya, Captain!” he shouted as he fell in a cannonball to the water.
All of them came up to the steering section to look over the edge. “Imagine that,” Slightly said. “A whole crew of pirates done in by Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.”
“With a little help from Tiger Lily’s people,” Peter Pan said with a wink.
Tinker Bell, following them all, swirled around and rested back on Peter’s shoulder. “But how did it all happen?” she asked.
Peter smiled, then leaned against one of the wooden planks as they all gathered around. “I’d had a feeling that Captain Hook wasn’t done with us last night, so before dawn I flew over to the Picanniny tribe to tell them what happened to their princess Tiger Lily. They volunteered to put in some action right away. I was happy to oblige, and we came up with this plan: I’d fight Captain Hook one-on-one.”
“But what happened to Hook?” Wendy asked. “He looked in an awful fright.”
“It’s something I’ve been saving,” Peter said. Then he quited down, looked all of them in the eye one-by-one, and started saying quietly, “tick...tick...tick.”
“The crocodile!” shouted Slightly.
“I don’t understand,” Wendy said.
“The crocodile that took Hook’s hand - well, it also took a clock. So whenever Hook hears ticking, he thinks the crocodile’s nearby.”
“That’s what he was looking for!”
“Exactly,” said Peter. “I wasn’t afraid to fight swords with a man handicapped with that kind of fear. And it was all made possible because Tinker Bell knows enough to have fairy dust on hand at all times.”
Tinker Bell, resting on his shoulder, flew down in the middle of them all to bask in their praises. The Lost Boys were hooting and pumping their fists - even Tiger Lily had to laugh.
“Thank you, everyone,” Tinker Bell said. “It’s something not even a Wendy Darling could have done.”
“I most certainly could have!” Wendy said.
She’d replied to Tinker Bell. All the Boys went silent. Even Peter was silent - and Tinker Bell especially. They looked at Wendy.
“You can hear her too?” Peter said.
Wendy nodded, her eyes searching the ground for a suitable answer. “Certainly.” Then she met Peter’s eyes. “To hear Tinker Bell you just have to practice a little focus, that’s all.”
Tiger Lily stepped forward. “But you’ve known Tinker Bell just one night. I’ve known her for years and I never understood a word when she isn’t shouting in my ear.”
Wendy smiled down at Tinker Bell. “Well,” she said. “Perhaps one doesn’t always listen closely to one’s rivals.”
Tinker Bell flew slowly up to Wendy and smiled. Almost speechless, she simply settled on her shoulder and pointed to Peter. “All right, Wendy,” Tinker Bell said. “You have my permission to give Peter a kiss.”
Peter, having heard Tinker Bell, held out his hand.
“No,” Tink said. “A real kiss.” Then she flew off as Wendy approached Peter as he pucked his lips out forward and held his eyes shut tight. Then she planted a kiss on his lips, while all the Lost Boys shouted ewww!
“You’re the first one who’s ever won over Tinker Bell,” Peter said. “Why don’t you, John, and Michael all stay with us here in Neverland? You can be kids forever here.”
Michael and John walked up to either side of Wendy, both searching her eyes, knowing that she would have the final answer. She returned their looks, took both of their hands, and then looked back at Peter.
“I’m sorry, Peter. Our place is back home. In England.”
Peter looked sad for a moment, as did all the Lost Boys, but as his eyes welled up he decided to smile instead. “Okay,” he said. “Then I know exactly where we can sail this boat.”
The Lost Boys all cheered - Tinker Bell sprinkled Fairy Dust on all of them for good measure, and they nearly floated away as Peter got behind the steering and started shouting commands for the Boys. Tiger Lily made her way back to the end of the ship and Tinker Bell saw her, perching on her shoulder.
“I don’t need to be on this boat and watch Peter and Wendy kiss,” Tiger Lily said, her jealousy sending deep wrinkles across her face and over her forehead.
“And I thought I was moody,” Tinker Bell said into Tiger’s ear.
“Hey! I’m allowed to feel down. I love Peter too.”
“Well, you’d better get over it quick,” Tinker Bell replied. “Because you can’t fly home until you’re thinking happy thoughts.”