a/n: I took a short little break from this, but there are only a few chapters left if everything goes accordingly! Hope you guys are enjoying this because this AU has honestly been one of my all-time favorites<3 Peter Pan has a special place in my heart, that’s for sure.
also, this chapter doesn’t begin with the little “story within a story” that I normally have italicized in the beginning of every other chapter. This time it’s at the end, just in case you guys thought I might’ve forgotten<3
Lucy was left blushing, and again her eyes trailed back to the younger kids. She smiled when she saw that Natsu was holding true to his promise from earlier, flying two very excited children around the clearing as they flew after the balls of light.
Standing, the heiress decided that sleep could wait.
There were fireflies to chase.
A gawky man lumbered down the path after the other pirate, swaying a bit from a mix of fatigue and the island heat as his partner tapped his beardless chin in thought.
“Hmm,” the second man looked around dumbly while his crew mate shot him a dirty look that went unnoticed. “If I were a treasure, where would I hide?”
The taller, skinnier of the two only rolled his eyes and snorted. He struggled to find the energy to be snarky after stumbling around the island’s forest all morning in the damp heat, but he seemed to manage to conjure up just enough sass to reply, “Gee, I don’t know. Maybe you should try thinking like a treasure!”
Unfortunately, sarcasm only went right over the young pirate’s head. His eyes lit up in excitement as he snapped his fingers and exclaimed, “You’re right!”
The first man merely shook his head, pulling at his collar before wiping the sweat from his brow with an old bandana as he watched his crew member look deep in thought.
That would be a first, the man thought to himself, smirking while finding humor in his own comment. Then, it dawned on him just what the younger pirate was doing.
He was actually trying to think like a treasure.
The older man slapped a hand to his face while his partner continued to stare into space. However, apparently deep thinking was tough on an empty stomach, because it wasn’t long until the shorter of the two flopped to the ground with a loud huff.
“Thinking like a treasure is hard,” he whined, yelping when the older pirate stepped on him as he passed.
“Hey, wait for me!” The young pirate scrambled to his feet and hurried after the other. “Where are we going?”
“There’s a small spring up ahead,” the gawky man called over his shoulder, not bothering to slow down at all. “I need a drink and a quick sit-down. Then we can go back to looking for Captain’s precious treasure.” The older man rolled his eyes at his own words, pushing vines out of the way as he mumbled a quick, “which may or may not exist,” though, luckily, his words went unheard.
So the two walked along, and the old man only had to get onto the young pirate twice about walking the plank if he didn’t stop singing those blasted pirate jigs that Captain loved so much.
Sleeping on the ground–Lucy concluded the next morning as she stretched her arms high over her head–was ten times worse than expected.
“Mornin’!” came a chipper voice from the foot of her sleeping bag. Rubbing her tired eyes with a loose fist, Lucy yawned before greeting Wendy, who was sitting cross-legged and showing off that gap-toothed grin as she played with her braid.
It had fallen out a bit after being slept on, and Lucy made a quick mental note to offer to redo it later.
Wendy flipped the plaited hair over one shoulder, giving Lucy her undivided attention as she asked how the blonde slept.
Apparently not as good as you, the blonde laughed as she wondered how someone could be so chipper before the first meal of the day. Speaking of…
Her cheeks flushed at the sound her stomach made at the thought of breakfast. Though, the more she thought about it, the more it made sense as to why she was so hungry despite never being a big breakfast eater.
She hadn’t eaten a thing since arriving in Neverland!
Wendy seemed to sense this and giggled. The younger girl reached across the extra blanket that Lucy didn’t remember going to bed with–it was thick, with little tassels on one end–and grabbed Lucy’s hand to pull the blonde to her feet.
“Natsu was probably a little too excited showing you around to remember something like food,” she giggled, but her statement only made Lucy frown.
“Does Natsu not need to, um, eat?” She knew the boy was a little odd–come on, he could fly–but not having to eat?
Wendy snorted, “Oh no, he eats. Trust me, the boy eats. Normally he never misses a meal, but like I said, he was probably too caught up introducing you to our home! Now, come on,” she led Lucy way from the sleeping bags and in the direction of the other side of the clearing where the boys were huddled around a small fire. “It’s breakfast time!”
Wendy announced breakfast time in a sing-song voice, continuing to hum a little song under her breath as they walked. Lucy didn’t pay much mind to it, however, as she was a little preoccupied with wondering just what sort of meal a bunch of kids in the woods could come up with.
The answer came to her in a large whiff that carried in the breeze coasting over the open flames of the camp fire.
Fish, and lots of it.
Normally, the girl’s stomach would roll at the thought of it–she had never been a big seafood eater after the bedtime story her mother had read to her about a papa fish looking for his lost son–but she figured it was better than a few other things that it could have been.
“Yay!” The tiny Exceed fluttered his wings as it came to an excited halt in front of Lucy, holding a fish three times his size. “I love fish, Lucy! And Natsu and Loke caught a whole bunch this morning, so this is gonna be the best day ever!”
Lucy laughed behind her hand at the Exceed’s enthusiasm, stroking the little guy’s head before accepting the stick that Gray offered with pieces of fish stuck on the end.
A fish kabob, Lucy internally grimaced at the thought of eating it right off the stick. Lovely.
She was just about to take an experimental bite when she heard laughter behind her, right before feeling a tap on her shoulder.
It was Natsu, and Lucy noticed his proud grin before anything else. She’d spent enough time with him by now to be at least a little weary of that look, and that’s when she realized he was holding something behind his back.
“Good morning,” she grinned, hoping that if she played nice the she could guilt him into not playing some nasty prank.
Lucy began to mentally prepare for the worst, and she made a promise that if he was holding a spider behind his back to throw in her hair, she was gonna…
But, her worry was for naught.
“Mornin’,” he grinned, voice still a little thick with sleep as he kneeled down to join her.
He ducked his head, looking a tad sheepish as he finally presented what he’d been hiding from her.