Categories > Books > Peter Pan > Summer Days

Summer Days

by sharkprincess 0 reviews

Once returning to the village in an attempt to break off her marriage, Tiger Lily is sentenced to face a life-threatening punishment for running away just before her wedding; but a sort of miracle ...

Category: Peter Pan - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Romance - Characters: Lost Boys,Peter,Tiger Lily - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2015-12-23 - 12537 words

"Good morning, Father."

Deep in one of the caves near the Sky Eater village, on a bright summer's day, Tiger Lily stood inside, in its deepest tunnel, in front of a decorated gravestone, embellished in jewels and inked drawings painted upon its rock texture. The cave wasn't completely dark; a large circular hole was sitting on one of the walls to the right of the gravestone, letting in light upon the grave. Ropes and strings woven and braided into the design of a dream catcher were tied over the hole.

Tiger Lily stood before the grave. The skirt of her brown deerskin dress moved softly as wind blew through the cave, lifting up her long braid and shifting the crow feather in her hair. Her eyes settled themselves upon the name engraved into the grave:


She smiled, remembering the name of her father fondly.

"It's been so long," Tiger Lily began, her hands held close to her heart thoughtfully. "A lot has happened since I last came here to speak with you..."

She scratched her head nervously. "I know you never listen to what I say now, your soul has most likely moved on," she said, giving an anxious smile. "But if you were to hear my words now, I know you would be so angry with me."

Tiger Lily looked up thoughtfully, sighing. "Where to begin..." She then looked back at the grave, grinning sweetly as she pulled some hair behind her ear. "How I have so much to tell you, Father..."

She then poked her pendant reflectively. "I'll just tell you straight out, then. Father, I fell in love."

Tiger Lily then laughed. "Not someone from the village though. I don't think I could ever fall in love with anyone there. But someone else. His name is Peter Pan."

She smiled sadly. "Remember? He was the one you always warned me about." She then amusingly imitated a gruff voice in an exaggerated fashion.

"Don't go near the one called Peter Pan, Tiger Lily! He is dangerous and he will ruin your life and make it a disaster!" Tiger Lily chuckled, embarrassed of her action.

"But he's different than you thought he was, Father," she continued, returning to her normal voice. "There was something about him that drew me to him, and I just couldn't help myself. He told me that we should get married, and of course I said yes... And just as you might be thinking, this love wouldn't end well if I was still in the village and he was still out in the Neverwood. But I assure you, it ends differently than you think."

Tiger Lily shifted to the side, hands now behind her back.

"Let me tell you what happened a few days ago."

It was a hotter day, warmer than the days before, and it was only a few days until summertime really began. The birds from the south were starting to come back, the trees were becoming an even more vibrant shade of green than usual, and the sun was shining as bright as a star in the night sky, except with even more heat emanating from its golden rays. The air was more dry and less wet, and the sky was bright blue and perfectly clear, not even a single cloud forming.

Tiger Lily stood a little ways outside of the village entrance, hiding secretively behind a tree. She kept looking in its general direction, watching to see if anyone was entering or exiting at the moment. She was also still in her wedding dress, although surprisingly, the leather deerskin fabric somehow hadn't ripped yet; but that didn't mean it was no longer tight around her body to the point that she flustered most people in sight.

Her heart was beating faster than usual, but she kept telling herself to be strong; it had been several days, perhaps around three to four, since she had escaped from her wedding day and was saved by Peter. She had since been staying with him and the Lost Boys in their underground home; but now, her mission was to return to the village and find a way to break off the marriage before her mother-in-law decided to send more search parties out for her to look around the entire island.

"You sure you're ready?"

Tiger Lily turned around abruptly to see that Peter was there with her. His reddish brown-like hair seemed to shine in the sunlight, his beautiful complection glowing in the light, hypnotic bluish-green eyes staring at her intently. His hands were stuffed in the pockets of his pants, and he seemed rather stiff; he must have been concerned about her already.

"You weren't supposed to follow me," Tiger Lily grumbled, but her tone remained serious.

"You know I can't help but worry about you," Peter responded, narrowing his eyes. "Are you certain this is a good idea?"

"If I don't return to the village before this week ends, Aunt Agda will send the entire village to look for me," she told him. "My village specializes in foot tracking; they'd be able to find your cave in less than a day. And I'm not going to let that happen."

"Then you could have gone in two more days or so," Peter muttered sadly.

Tiger Lily shrugged. "Well, better earlier than later."

Peter sighed, putting a hand to his head.

"How can you be so calm about this?" Peter asked exasperatingly.

Tiger Lily quieted, her shoulders moving inward and her hands going behind her back. "To tell you the truth, I'm actually really nervous," she murmured, hands twitching behind her. "They might decide to execute me if I don't manage to call off the engagement..."

Peter grabbed her shoulders and pushed her up against the tree they were standing behind. "Don't say things like that!" he snapped, a pained look on his face. "You're gonna start killing me here..."

Tiger Lily's eyes were wide from his aggressive action, but she understood his pain; if he had been going in there in her place, she would have been just as worried, perhaps worse. She reached her hand out from behind her back and touched his cheek softly, stroking over it gently. "I'll be fine," she whispered reassuringly. "You don't have to worry."

Peter's cheeks turned pink, but he just sighed and took one of his hands off of her shoulder, placing it over her hand on his face and pressing it to his skin.

"I don't believe you," he said quietly. "If you think getting beaten and abused by a fiance and his mother is being fine, then I don't think you'll be okay."
Tiger Lily leaned forward and pressed her lips to his, kissing him, pulling away after a few seconds.

"Then you'll have to believe me just this once."

Peter hugged her hard, one arm going around her back, another around her waist, his head on to her shoulder as his nose neared her hair, breathing it in as if he was hoping it wouldn't be the last time he could feel it. Tiger Lily put her arms over his sides, nuzzling his ear affectionately.

"Don't take long, alright?" he asked, pulling back for a second to gaze into her eyes longingly.

Tiger Lily grinned. "I won't, I promise."

Something seemed to stir within him, and with a frustrated groan, his head suddenly went into her chest, forehead against her collarbones. "Gah, I don't trust you now!" he moaned, his voice muffled against her skin.

Tiger Lily just laughed. "Too scared to leave me?"

"Of course I am! You're important to me! I don't want you going in there all by yourself!" Peter sounded stricken with fear.

Normally, she would have brushed him off, as he technically wasn't supposed to be touching her there with his head... But she digressed, and dug her hands along the nape of his neck into his hair smoothly, pulling his head in closer; she could feel his face grow hotter against his chest, but she ignored it, scowling to herself. She kissed his head softly.

"I don't want to leave you either," she said quietly. "But I don't want to risk you or the boys' lives instead. So it has to be done."

Peter looked up, but his eyes were still looking down towards the ground. "If you insist," he sighed.

He then reluctantly let go of her, looking rather dejected as he looked away from her silently.

"I love you," he said under his breath.

Tiger Lily smiled. "I love you too."

She went up to him, her hand reaching out and brushing away some hair in his face, and tenderly kissed his cheek, before then setting off to the village entrance way.

She then felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see Peter again.

"One more thing," he added. "Um, you're gonna..." he looked over her wedding dress, face turning red, "...bring back more clothes, right...?"

Tiger Lily scowled, disappointed that Peter would ask such a question, especially before she was about to do something essential in order to keep him and the Lost Boys safe, as well as the safety of their relationship together. "You're joking," she responded stiffly.

"W-Well, not really," Peter replied awkwardly.

Tiger Lily sighed before she could snap at him. "Of course I'll be bringing back more clothes," she said in disbelief. "I'll probably be getting rid of some things to make up more space too, like this dress, it's too embarrassing." She ran her hand along her side from the top of her ribs to her hips, feeling the leather fabric cling to her skin.

"Uh, actually..." Peter interrupted.

"What?" she asked.

"I think that you should keep it," he said awkwardly.

Tiger Lily felt her face begin to get hot. "What makes you think that?" she demanded incredulously.

"Now hold on, it's definitely not because you have loads of sex appeal," Peter blurted out, then realizing he had practically said the wrong thing and covered his mouth quickly.

Tiger Lily was certain her face was red now. "W-What?!"

"Just keep the thing," Peter snapped. "It looks good on you and you know it!"

"N-No it doesn't!" Tiger Lily covered herself protectively with her arms and looked away, really embarrassed. "Sh-shut up!"

"Oh, come now," Peter said, smiling a little. "You don't have to admit it out loud, but you should at least be aware of it."

"I'm fully aware of it!" Tiger Lily growled, her face probably the color of a cherry at this point.

She then suddenly felt Peter pat her gently on the head. He smiled at her, looking so sincere that she wanted to melt. "You're the most beautiful thing in the world to me, Tiger Lily," he murmured, "with or without the wedding dress." He kissed her cheek gently, just as she had done to him.

Tiger Lily was becoming so bashful that she wasn't sure what to say. But then she showed a pouting face and looked away shyly. "You're unbelievable."

Peter grinned. "I know."

Under the watchful eye of Peter, Tiger Lily headed off to the village, worried now about what was to come next. The village gate was wide open, and the usual guards stood right inside the doors, as if waiting for anything to come and go in any time soon. Her heart was pounding even faster now; she usually could have just walked right on through fearlessly, ready to face her punishments with a blank face, but somehow, since staying with Peter and the Lost Boys, she had become more emotional.

Tiger Lily had actually prepared a plan in order to terminate her and Giant's engagement and ultimately leave the village, but now she wasn't so sure about it and was considering of scrapping the whole thing altogether. As for previously mentioning the possibility of execution, it was a real threat that could end up becoming the outcome of returning; she knew how much the elders, especially the chief, disliked her.

Swallowing and trying her best to push down her fear as much as possible, Tiger Lily walked over to the village entrance way and walked through the doors.
Just as she had suspected, the village guards standing by immediately turned their spears towards her direction, surrounding her. Another guard from the inside wall called out to the rest of the village. "Chief! We have found Tiger Lily!"

The tension in the whole village raised up instantly and many of the people began gathering in a crowd around her and the guards holding their weapons at her. Most of their eyes were wide in shock, some whispering amongst themselves and others pointing fingers at her while talking in irritated voices.

Then suddenly the crowd parted from the center and from it rose the chief himself, walking tall and mighty, his stature standing out greatly in comparison to the other men. His dark face seemed even darker than usual, and his pace was steady yet heavy, feet seeming to stomp on the ground lightly with ever step. He walked up to them, the guards turning around to Tiger Lily's sides so he could stand before her.

He looked down at her, black eyes staring stonily. Tiger Lily didn't move, her expression non-changing, keeping her calm the best she could.

Just when he was about to speak, Aunt Agda shoved her way out of the crowd and ran at Tiger Lily, full speed. "YOU TRAITOR!" she bellowed, knocking her to the ground and proceeding to kick her violently, her bulky feet ramming repeatedly into her sides and back. Tiger Lily groaned quietly with every kick, but she wouldn't shout in pain; she bit her tongue to keep herself from doing so.

She then picked Tiger Lily up from the collar of her dress, stretching the tight fabric even further, and began slapping her face angrily. The old bruises that had formed on Tiger Lily's cheeks weeks ago from Aunt Agda's beatings were beginning to come back, much to her annoyance.

Before Aunt Agda could sock her in the nose and most likely break it, the chief spoke. "Aunt Agda, I command you to stop," he said firmly.

Aunt Agda wouldn't put her down. "She is a monster!" she shouted. "She broke my rules, and for this she must be punished!" She then raised her hand again, about to slap Tiger Lily extra hard across her cheek.

"I said ENOUGH!" the chief barked.

Taken aback, Aunt Agda then bitterly tossed Tiger Lily to the ground, walking away furiously, the crowd parting around her to avoid getting in a fight with her.

The chief then stepped even closer to Tiger Lily, his long black shadow casting over her. He cracked a dirty smile.

"Welcome back, /Tiger Lily/."

Tiger Lily was confined to her hut, which, much to her amazement, had not been destroyed from one of Aunt Agda's fits of rage. A wooden door, however, was bolted to the entrance, and was tied down tightly with thick rope to prevent her from escaping. But it wasn't as if she was intending to escape anyway.

Tiger Lily then looked about her, checking to see if anything in her hut had changed. Nothing much had; her bed was the same, her clothes basket was the same, even her bag of weapons was the same. She opened it excitedly to see if her tomahawks and knives had been returned, but became disappointed to see it was empty. Aunt Agda must have kept them confiscated in her own hut. If she was to leave the village alive, she would make sure that she would get her weapons back from her.

Since her clothes were there, Tiger Lily decided to change out of the uncomfortable wedding dress and into one of her other dresses; since being a female in the village, she was only permitted to wear dresses or skirts, much to her distaste, since they were a bit risky to hunt in. She looked through her clothes, choosing a loose-fitting long-sleeved light brown deerskin dress decorated in a blue beaded pattern with a fringe around her skirt, waist, and sleeves, along with a leather belt cinched around her waist. She took off her boots and changed them to comfy brown moccassins, and removed the headband for a different brown one, putting back in her crow feather.

Being rather bored, Tiger Lily picked up the wedding dress and wondered whether to try to tear it apart now with her bare hands or keep it. As much as she hated it, she had been told constantly about how nice she looked in it, especially from Peter. She sighed, agitated; why would a decision over keeping a dress or not be so hard? She then resolved the problem with the simple answer of "dealing with it later"; but for the time being, she folded it neatly and slipped it into her clothing basket with the boots and headband with swan feathers packed on top.

As she had nothing to do, she picked through her clothes basket thoughtfully; even though her father had been renowned as a fierce warrior and stiff leader, having trained Tiger Lily to be able to see spilled blood since she was two, her father had also had this split side to him, in which he constantly spoiled her in pretty dresses and shoes. She hadn't paid much mind to it until now, and she never wore them as often as he would have liked her to, preferring to wear her plainer, less attention-attracting ones than the colorfully dyed lovelier ones embellished in beads and ribbons sitting at the bottom of her basket. Tiger Lily never thought much about clothes, but looking at the ones that she had received as special presents from her father made her feel sad and nostalgic; perhaps she should have worn them more.

Just then, she heard the rope get untied from the door by someone outside, and the door opened slowly, a hand pushing away the curtain. One of the villagers' heads peeked in, looking at her cautiously.

"You have been called to the leader's hut for an audience with the Council of Elders," he told her, pushing away the braids in his eyes. "I am the one sent to escort you there."

"Give me a moment," Tiger Lily requested, to which the man nodded and stood back up outside, right beside the door. She grumbled bitterly; the real fight would begin now. She then folded back her clothes and stacked them into her clothes basket, closing the lid, then walking out of the hut.

The man closed the door behind Tiger Lily, tying it back shut, and then took out another role of rope. "I was ordered to bind your hands," he explained. "It is a rule for convicts sitting before the Council of Elders, and it must be followed." He began to unroll it in preparation. "Face your back to me and hold out your hands behind you."

Tiger Lily reluctantly turned around and showed her hands to him. The man grabbed her wrists and began wrapping the rope around them tightly, tying the ends into a strong knot. Once he was done, he then took her to the chief's hut, walking behind her to make sure she would not run away.

Once they made it there, the man opened up the curtain and motioned her in, coming in behind her.

The chief's hut seemed to have been rearranged for more seating accommodations. Blankets were covering over the floor, pillows lining around the sides, the chief's bed moved and stowed away against one of the walls. The Council of Elders, along with the chief, sat on cushions, although the chief sat on the biggest. To his left was sitting Aunt Agda, and to his right was sitting Giant, who had to lean forward and duck his head down so it wouldn't go through the hut wall. The elders sat in a circle, there being six of them, all older women who had retired from being wives and now spread their wisdom to others.

All eyes turned to Tiger Lily, some scowling at her presence. The man bowed to the chief. "I have brought Tiger Lily, just as you requested, sir."

The chief nodded, acknowledging his service. "That is the only service I needed from you. You may go now."

The man bowed again, and left the hut, curtain flying behind him.

The chief then turned his attention back to Tiger Lily. His facial expression didn't change, but she could see a grim light flicker in his eyes at the sight of her.

"You may sit down in the center of the Council of Elders, /Tiger Lily/."

Tiger Lily passed in between two of the elders in front of her and once positioning herself in the middle of them all, sat down cross-legged. She faced the chief directly, glaring at him, while Aunt Agda and Giant glowered at her at the same time.

"Very well," the chief began, clapping his hands together. "Council of Elders, we are here today to decide the fate of committed huntress and orphaned daughter of former chief, Great Big Little Panther, Tiger Lily. She is charged with the accounts of assaulting her fiance, forcing her important wedding to be postponed, and departing from the village for four days without return. Each elder shall ask questions from witnesses, Aunt Agda and her son Giant, and Tiger Lily herself, to formulate her own opinion on how severe her actions were and how she must face her punishment. Then, if we can, we will hear the testimonies of our two primary witnesses, who will voice in their concerns on her sanction. We shall then come into agreement through systematic voting on our final decision."

"Also," he added," although Aunt Agda is a member of the Council of Elders, for this case, she will not have a place among them and her judgement remains only of that but a witness alongside her son."

"I have a question before we begin," croaked one of the elders.

"Yes?" the chief asked.

"What are the punishments that we can decide on?" she asked.

"Ah, yes, I forgot to mention them. We can decide on three punishments; firstly, she can face confinement to the village for a year and is not permitted, in any circumstances whatsoever, to leave its walls. Secondly, she can face exile, in which she is banished from the village and is forever forbidden to ever come back again. And thirdly, she can face execution, in which she is killed as a sacrifice to the gods and where we will choose a traditional way of putting her to the death."

Tiger Lily tightened her jaw; she had been right. Execution was a very possible destiny for her now. While her goal was to become exiled, both confinement and getting killed would not do her any justice and would not get the outcome she wanted. In the end, her only true wish was to be with Peter; dying was not an option.

"You may begin asking your questions, Council of Elders," the chief ordered. "We shall start with the closest elder to my left, ending with the closest elder to my right."

The elder closest to his left spoke. "I have a question for Giant, son of Aunt Agda."

Giant turned his head slightly.

"How was it that you were assaulted by the convict?"

The chief looked in his direction. "You are to answer honestly and speak the truth."
Giant hesitated. "I called her to my hut so we could consummate our marriage," he muttered. "But she refused and argued with me, and called me a lot of bad things."

"And wasn't there a knife involved?" the elder continued. "According to villager testimonies, the convict was injured severely when arrising from the hut, with cuts all over her body, including along her left side, her calves, and her arms, all fresh and bleeding. If she was the one to have assaulted you, then how come we didn't take into account that she was assaulted as well?"

Giant stiffened, and Aunt Agda shot a death look at the elder, but she ignored it. "That is a good point," another elder noted. "Why was that not taken into consideration?" she looked suspiciously at Aunt Agda.

"May I speak?" the chief asked.

"Of course," the elder said politely.

"It is my firm belief that this case was mainly called out due to Tiger Lily's disappearance," he explained. "The fact that she escaped is all that is important; the reasons behind it are not essential. What matters is that we decide on a way to sentence her appropriately, and not idle into any affairs that have no meaning on whether she deserves to be punished or not."

The elders nodded in agreement, although the ones who had brought attention to the assault seemed less convinced. "Understood," the elder responded.

Tiger Lily glowered strongly at the chief. It didn't surprise her that he would do anything in his power to make sure she suffered well. She spotted a smirk growing on his face, but it was unseen from the others.

"Then how was it that the convict assaulted you?"

Giant narrowed his eyes at Tiger Lily. "She shoved me off of her when I was just holding her down," he admitted shortly.

The elder seemed to think of this. "I see. Then I have no more questions to ask."

The next elder chose not to ask any questions, so it was on to the third one.

"I have a question for our fellow elder, Aunt Agda," she asked.

Aunt Agda stiffened, narrowing her eyes at the elder suspiciously.

"Of course, this could be considered a futile question, but it is a crucial one for my final answer on this case," the elder began. "Yet here it is: why was it that you felt it was necessary to severely beat the convict on a regular basis? Of course," she added, "this question could also apply both to you and to your son."

The chief looked both to Aunt Agda and Giant. "Your answers, witnesses? Aunt Agda, you are to respond first, as the question was asked to you before Giant."

Aunt Agda instantly broke into a laugh. "Indeed!" she snickered. "Truly what a ridiculous question! Aunt Fyre, you were always the type to ask such idiotic inquiries!"

Aunt Fyre, the elder, seemed to harden at Aunt Agda's response. "I believe that doesn't count as an acceptable response, Aunt Agda," she spoke through gritted teeth. "Would you please give a more serious answer?"

Aunt Agda gave an evil smile. "Well isn't it obvious? She is a beast, a wild animal that is in need to be tamed. She spends too much of her time hunting and exploring rather than serving and assisting like the true daughter-in-law she should be. And besides; she is a girl! She should be cooking and sewing and cleaning like the other girls in the village! It's her father's fault for not teaching her to be controlled; and so, that is why I beat her, because if I am to domesticate this sorry excuse of a chief's daughter, then I will do so with drastic measures whenever she makes a mistake I dislike!"

"Don't you dare insult my father!" Tiger Lily shouted, sitting up on her knees and growling angrily at Aunt Agda.

Aunt Agda scowled. "See? Look at what an animal she is! She might as well have been raised by dogs rather than us! The former chief should have just left her abandoned in the woods for someone else to find and discover the true burden she is. Hmph! What a foolish man!"

Tiger Lily lunged forward and managed to clamp her teeth tightly on Aunt Agda's arm, biting down hard. A tiny river of blood flowed out, Aunt Agda staring at her in horror.

"You can say as many bad things as you want about me," Tiger Lily snarled, pulling away, "but if you speak ill of my father one more time, I will see to it that you are-"

"ENOUGH!" A massive hand punched Tiger Lily hard in her stomach. She was tossed over onto her side, looking up through half-opened eyes to see that the chief had hit her. She felt an enormous pain in her stomach and she began to cough viciously, feeling blood in her throat. The elders frowned, trying to hide their shocked reactions of the chief's violence.

"It is against the rules to act violently upon one of the witnesses," the chief said darkly, placing his hand back on his lap. "Keep this in mind, convict, or some privileges will be taken." He smirked evilly. "Like the well-being of your stomach, for instance."

Tiger Lily kept coughing, now seeing blood beginning to fly out of her mouth onto the ground. The chief grimaced. "Now you're staining the carpet," he grumbled. "Perhaps I hit too hard. I'll see to it that it is cleaned once this case is adjourned." He looked over to the elder who had asked the last question.

"You are satisfied with Aunt Agda's answer, yes?"

"Uh, yes," the elder responded, troubled. "...I suppose I am."

"And would you like an answer from Giant?" the chief asked.

"No," the elder said abruptly. "No, no, just Aunt Agda's answer is fine, thank you very much... I, ehrm, have no more questions to ask."

"Very well. On to the next elder."

The next two elders didn't seem to have questions either, so it was on to the last elder. "I have a question for the convict herself, Tiger Lily," the elder said.

Tiger Lily stiffened, then shifting herself up so she would get onto her knees and assume into a comfortable sitting position. She felt more blood well up in her mouth, so she spit extra on the carpet, causing the chief to furrow his brow.

"What exactly were the activities that you were taking part in while escaped from the village and living in the Neverwood?" she asked. "I would also like," she added, "for the reason how you somehow managed to get bandaged in the middle of the forest."

She motioned her hand to the bandages wrapped tightly around Tiger Lily's arms and calves, any silhouette of the bandage around her ribs invisible through her dress. Tiger Lily realized she should have removed them as soon as possible before returning to the village; how she had been so stupid... In her head, she imagined a smaller Tiger Lily slapping herself.

"Do you have an explanation for them?" the elder repeated.

"You are to answer immediately once you are asked, both honestly and truthfully," the chief told her, a threatening and ominous edge to his voice.

Tiger Lily felt herself begin to panic; what was she supposed to say?! Surely she would be executed on the spot if she let it out that she had been with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. She couldn't let that happen; but what was she even supposed to lie about? The elders and the chief would most likely be able to tell if she was lying.

Finally, she decided the only way was to tell the truth; but with a twist.

"I was captured..." she muttered, " the Lost Boys."

Tension seemed to rise in great height in the hut at the name of the boys. "You were captured?" the elder demanded. "By the Lost Boys themselves? Even including their leader, the infamous Peter Pan?"

Tiger Lily nodded quietly. "Yes."

"But that's impossible!" the elder exclaimed. "They are to never approach our territory! They have been warned in the past! Unless," she paused, looking over to Tiger Lily, "unless if you crossed the borderline that was set."

Tiger Lily had her head down, hoping they would buy it. "I was still being chased by Giant," she admitted, "when I was running out of the village. When I tripped and fell, his head hit a branch and he passed out. I was desperate, and I needed to get away as quickly as possible, so I walked as far as I could until I made it near the border. Something found me, hit me in the back of the head, and I woke up in their hideaway."

The chief looked over to Giant. "You remember your head getting hit by a branch?"

Tiger Lily would have crossed her fingers if she could have, but the elders would have noticed, so she prayed silently but as hard as she could that Giant suffered from amnesia, and forgot that he had been shoved into a bush and knocked out by Peter. Please don't remember, please don't remember, please don't remember, please don't remember! She was practically screaming inside.

Giant rested a chin on his fist, seeming to think intently as his tiny little eyes seemed to bore a hole through Tiger Lily. As he continued to ponder, she could feel her heart beating even faster than the moment before she had returned to the village.

Finally he sighed. "I think so."

And that was all he said.

Tiger Lily wanted to let out a sigh of relief but she tried to breathe normally as she did before..

"You're certain?" the chief pressed.

Giant nodded, shooting a glare the chief's way. "Of course I am," he snapped.

"Giant!" Aunt Agda scolded. "Don't be rude to the chief!"

The chief returned a dark stare at Giant, then looking suspiciously at Tiger Lily's way, and then back at the elder. "Are you satisfied with the convict's answer?" he asked.

The elder paused. "Well, she still hasn't explained the bandages," she replied flatly. "Even if you were taken prisonner and somehow released, that doesn't show the reason behind why they decided to bind your wounds."

Tiger Lily wasn't sure how to explain that. She hadn't thought of it before.

But right as she was thinking of it, she came up with a brilliant idea. Well, okay, maybe not so brilliant, and it was one of the last lies she could use. In fact, Tiger Lily hadn't wanted to use it, because it lowered her chances of escape even further. But now, she had no choice.

"It's a bit of a tormenting reason," Tiger Lily said quietly, her tone having a tiny bit of a sad twinge to it. "You see, do you know of the flower known as monkshood?"

The entire hut went silent. Then one of the elders spoke up. "Do you mean that rare, pale purple flower that our gatherers extract with cloths wound over their hands? The flower that we use to poison and kill wolves, passed down in traditions for so long that it goes by the other name of 'Wolf's Bane'?"

Tiger Lily cracked a regretful smile. "Yes, that is the one. Unfortunately for me, however, the Lost Boys seemed to have found a large patch of them growing near the borderline. They must have known it was poisonous, because they handled it very carefully."

"What did they do?" the elder asked, blood slowly draining from her face.

Tiger Lily touched one of her bandaged calves softly with one of her bound hands. "They dissected it, and mixed it with another herb, and poured it into my cuts. My death will come soon."

"But that doesn't make any sense," one of the elders interjected. "Symptoms of the monkshood should appear in less than an hour. You would have been long dead before!"

Tiger Lily looked back at them, narrowed eyes. "Don't you remember what I said? They mixed in another herb. And it smelled strongly of sugar and sharp mint."

Then another elder spoke. "That's understandable, then," she murmured. "When a poison is mixed with that herb, a hybrid plant known as mintcane, the effects of the poison on the organism is negated for a few days, but it cannot clean out the toxins. It can also be understood why because it should mean that the victim's timely death will be a long and painful one."

"We should check underneath the bandages to see if she's lying," an elder said.

"That's pointless," Tiger Lily returned, "the poison was slathered into the bandages. While it may not look like it now, any touch from someone else will succumb to it."

"That's true," another elder said quietly. "The extractions from monkshood have no distinctive color."

"What day was it that they infected you?" the elder asking the original question asked.

Tiger Lily concentrated a moment. "Perhaps two days ago," she estimated.

The Council of Elders all frowned. "If we can guess correctly, I'd say the convict has another two or three days left to live," one of them muttered concernedly.

"Mintcane is a powerful herb, after all," another added.

They all murmured in agreement.

Tiger Lily instantly felt triumphant, happy she was able to convince the entire council, but she hid her smirk underneath her blank expression. However, with the lie that she was going to die soon, her chances of escape were dangerously thinner than before.

The chief, seeming to take on a new air, looked back over to the last elder. "Are you satisfied with the convict's answer?"

The elder nodded. "Yes. I have no other questions to ask."

"Very well then." The chief looked over the council, his back straightening. "Now, Council of Elders, we shall listen to the hearings of the witnesses, and their concerns on the convict's final punishment." He turned to Giant. "Giant. What manner of sanction would you most prefer to see for the convict?"

Giant paused for a moment. "I don't want her to be stuck here, that's just boring, you know?" He let out a crooked grin. "So I'm all for her leaving or her dying."

Tiger Lily felt her teeth grind against each other.

"I see, so it's either exile or execution," the chief noted. He turned to Aunt Agda, who clutched at the bite mark in her hand while sitting stiffly as always. "And you, Aunt Agda? What manner of sanction would you most prefer to see?"

Aunt Agda put it shortly and she didn't need to say more.

"I want her dead."

Tiger Lily had predicted that easily.

The chief then looked over the council once more. "Then we have either exile or execution, Council of Elders." He clapped his hands together. "And thus, the voting shall commence now."

Everyone in the room seemed to grow more tense, especially in Tiger Lily's case. Please let it be exile, she prayed. Please, please let it be exile.

"Elders who wish for the convict to be executed, raise your hand," the chief's throat rumbled.

Tiger Lily then looked up to her horror to see four hands raised.

"Majority rules," the chief said, smiling darkly. "I call this audience adjourned, with the conclusion of the convict, Tiger Lily, being executed as a sacrifice to the gods due to her insolence and impulsiveness. As Chief, I have already chosen our execution method; she will be burned to the stake."

Giant and Aunt Agda grinned.

Tiger Lily shivered as the chief looked down over her.

"Tiger Lily," he said loudly. "You are to be burned to the stake tomorrow, midday, in the middle of the village for all to see. You will be offered as a sacrifice to the gods above and we shall chant as the fire is lighted and you are set to burn."

Tiger Lily could feel her hands twitching in her bonds, and her eyes had widened as she stared down at the floor.

She had failed.

Then the chief peered down into her eyes and smirked.

"Have a good last night's rest, /Tiger Lily/."

All of a sudden, thinking normally felt like a strain.

Tiger Lily lay curled up in her bed in her hut at night, the door tied down tight. She had began to feel very cold, despite the hut walls being quite thick and the door keeping it warm in the room. But she still continued to feel intense chills.

It was most likely normal to feel this way. She had let down the Lost Boys, each and every one of them; Nibs, Tootles, Curly, Slightly, Twin 1 and Twin 2. She would probably never be able to see them again, ever see them having fun and playing together, ever see them running to her, surrounding her each and every time they met. She even missed seeing them being drunk, for god's sake.

But what she felt even worse about was the fact that she had let down Peter. That morning had been the last time she witnessed his smile, his laugh, his charm. She wished with all her heart that she could just feel his arms wrap around her one more time, whispering in her ear and brushing his hands over her face. She kept visualizing his face in her head, picturing his handsome face, beautiful hair, mesmerizing eyes, imagining his upbeat grin which always caught her off guard and made her blush hard. She missed his witty comments, his cheeky smirk, his clever sense of humor, and everything else about him that she loved with everything she had.

And what felt worse was that Tiger Lily had promised him herself that she wouldn't get hurt and she wouldn't get killed; she promised him that she would find a way to resolve the marriage peacefully when the Council of Elders were called to judge her. But she hadn't done that.

And now here she was, shaking in her blankets and quilts, knowing that that very morning had been the last time she would be able to be with them.

Tiger Lily began to feel hot tears stream down her face, and she began to sob. Even if the entire village could hear her, she didn't care. She felt worthless. She was going to die tomorrow and she would never see the one she loved again.

"P-Peter," she choked quietly, her hands covering her mouth with jittery fingers.

Her crying began to soak the pillow her head was resting on, and the tears were dripping off the sides of her face on to the sheet lay down over her bedroll mat. She wiped her eyes and pulled the blankets over her head, trying to shut everything out, trying to make everything disappear.

The next morning, summer light poured over the Sky Eaters village, casting its glow onto the huts. The clouds were especially bountiful, blocking out the sun occasionally and moving away slowly. While the sunshine on the hut felt warm and pleasant, Tiger Lily could only feel a darkness to it.

Tiger Lily awoke quietly, stifling any sort of yawn. She could feel the tears from last night had dried into her face and stiffened the fabric of her pillow.

Usually, Tiger Lily woke up focused and serious, ready to go out and hunt the best animals she could. Her goal was always the same: to bring back good food that she could cook over a fire in her own time, and eat a delicious and satisfactory meal to end the day nicely.

But this would be a grim morning; as it would be the last day she would ever be conscious.

When Tiger Lily sat up, her hands fell onto her lap. She felt limp all throughout her body, as if she couldn't see the point in moving them efficiently anymore. She no longer wanted to put herself to work; she no longer wanted to make herself feel efficient. It didn't matter any more.

She felt so worthless that she was no longer afraid of dying. It was just this nagging pain which tugged at her heart that made her wish she could have done something different and change what had happened yesterday.

Tiger Lily solemnly crawled out of bed after hearing almost the entire village up and out of their huts. She would have gotten up much earlier if she had the heart to, but she didn't see much point in trying as hard now. She weakly worked her hair into a long loose braid, just as she usually did, sticking her crow feather into the side of her bangs above her ear.

Tiger Lily was about to move over to her clothes basket, until she noticed something by her door which she hadn't seen before; a bag. Suddenly curious, she took the bag up and onto her lap, opening it, and feeling around inside of it, before pulling out a dress. It was black, probably made from several ravens, as it was covered in feathers. White swan feathers were decorated on the chest, with a fringe along the skirt's hem. It was also sleeveless, accompanied with a white belt and a white and black headdress of feathers.

Inside the bag came a note with poorly scribbled script; the village lacked in knowing how to write properly. But she read over it, ignoring the spelling mistakes.

Convict Tiger Lily,
/You are to wear this gown during the sacrifice as part of the tradition./
The gods shall marvel at you as your burning corpse is fittably costumed in a robe of feathers.
/Think of it as your funeral dress./

Tiger Lily would have scowled harshly, but she thought nothing of it. It was no surprise that there would be extra rules to the traditions of execution, in which dressing the victim was an appropriate standard.

Undressing, Tiger Lily then somberly slipped into the dress; while it was a little tight around her stomach and up, the skirt was somewhat more loose and flowy, ending an inch or two above her knees. She belted in the dress with the white belt, and then put on the black and white feathered headdress; two white feathers with blue beads on each side fell along the sides of her face by her ears from it. She found a pair of black woven bracelet-like bands with hanging white swan feathers, pulling each band up to the middle of her upper arms.

Tiger Lily sunk to the floor, where she slowly found herself picking at the pearl pendant around her neck, the same necklace that Peter had taken; although when she had asked him why, it had just been an excuse to get her to seek him out. Her fingers traced the fabric of the skirt. For the dress to be made of buckskin and then decorated with so many feathers, perhaps the reason was so the fabric would catch on fire very quickly.

Just as she began to imagine herself burning on a stake, Tiger Lily heard the sound of the door being untied. The door slowly opened, and a head poked through the curtain.

To her hidden surprise and fury, it was the chief, who seemed to be dressed in a shirt and pants with an enormous beaded necklace, different from his vibrantly painted loin cloth and lack of jewelry. He cracked a smile at the sight of her, his dark evil eyes peering more ominously into her than they ever had before.

"Good morning, dear niece," he chuckled. "And my, you found the little gift I left in your hut. You look very beautiful, stunning, in fact. The gods will be so incredibly astounded by your magnificence, and so will the men of the village, who will regret that they had not taken on to you before this very day."

Tiger Lily ignored him, looking to the floor silently, a dismal and unsmiling expression on her face.

"A hard night sleeping, I see? Well, that won't be a problem. Now, my lovely convict, my only request of you is that you undo that pretty braid of yours." He furrowed his brow as a smirk grew on his face. "The fire would only spread slowly if you wear about you such a hairstyle."

She would have snapped back at him in a sharp tone or refused him outright, but instead, she pulled out her braid, her thick hair now down, the length reaching the top of her ribs.

"Now come along, please." The chief stuck his head back outside, and Tiger Lily got onto her knees and followed him stiffly.

The execution must have been prepared that morning. From a pile of cut up trees stood a tall log, the stake, the place where Tiger Lily would be tied, and the tree pile would be lighted on fire, and the fire would spread up the stake and up to her. It was a mighty sight, located in the very center of the courtyard-like area of the village, for all and every villager to see. Many wives and their children sat gathered outside of their huts and around the large structure, including many men and warriors who stood in various places around the village.

Many heads turned to Tiger Lily when they saw her arise from her tent, her dress of raven and swan feathers making her stand out in stark comparison to the brown outfits that surrounded her. The chief made his way over to the stake, his braided up-do which he only wore on special occasions having been styled on his head, making him seem even more taller than the others. Tiger Lily followed him, many eyes looking to her.

Her ear heard a conversation between a young boy and his mother. "Mama," the boy said aloud, "why is that girl being taken to the big log?"

"It's a special tradition, son," the mother said quietly, trying to hush him. "She is going to be offered as a sacrifice to the gods."

"She's going to die?!" the boy demanded loudly. "But that's not fair! Why would you kill such a pretty girl so she can be given to gods?"

"Quiet!" the mother snapped, cupping a hand over his mouth and waving her index finger at him disapprovingly.

The boy's voice reminded her of the Lost Boys; Tiger Lily's heart somehow hurt even more.

Once taken to the stake, a pair of men escorted her up the pile of cut trees carefully. They had her stand on a thick tree, and then pushed her firmly against the stake. One of the men took out a long coil of rope and began tying it around her and the tree, while the other one held her shoulder down so she wouldn't try to move.

The tightness of the rope grew more taut and taut with every time the rope held her back against the tree. The rope also went lower and lower, wrapping around from her shoulders to her stomach to her knees and eventually to her ankles. It wasn't too tight to make her not be able to breathe comfortably, but it was tight enough to ensure that there was no way she was to escape.

After they finished and tied the rope on the other side, the men walked down the pile of trees. The chief nodded to them and they stood by; he then handed one of them a rock of flint and a rock of steel, the other man a char cloth and a piece of tinder. The crowd went completely silent.

The pieces were stuck, and a hot red spark flew into the air. one of the men tossed the burning flame into the pile, and before the village knew it, the wood was set on fire.

The crowd roared as the flame spread, the sound of the blaze lighting each and every little log. The villagers began to stand back further, some shielding their children to prevent them from getting burned. Thick smoke began rising up into the air, swirling around Tiger Lily as it went up higher and higher.

Tiger Lily's eyes began to sting and water from the smoke, and she tried to keep them closed. The inferno-like heat was growing in size near her feet, and she was beginning to worry. The tribal drummers stationed nearby were beginning to beat their instruments, playing a ritual song and began to sing in unison.

/Guess this is it/, Tiger Lily thought, coughing as the smoke went into her mouth. /All I have to do is close my eyes and wait for the pain to take me. And then it will all be over/.

But with the tugging still pulling at her heart, she also felt a tear drip down the side of her cheek. She was on the verge of sobbing as images began flashing in her head of being with Peter and having fun with the Lost Boys. She remembered her necklace getting taken in the middle of a lightning storm, meeting the Lost Boys after getting knocked out by a pirate and saved by Peter, being given the wolf puppy Midnight (who knows where he was now), sharing her first kiss with Peter, crying in his arms after running away, cuddling against him safely in his bed... No, it was too much now. Too much.

And suddenly, just as she felt her foot twitch as a flame singed her toe, the noise all stopped.

Tiger Lily opened her eyes slowly, wondering what was happening, and then let out a gasp when she saw what had happened in the last few seconds.

To her shock, before the pile of wood which the stake sat upon, was the chief, being held down on his knees with a knife to his throat, by none other than Peter himself. He stood out among the villagers, reddish brown hair shining in the sunlight, his bluish green eyes piercing through his threatening gaze. She looked around more, to see that the Lost Boys were gathering over the walls of the village, weapons in hand.

"NOBODY MOVE!" Peter shouted. "IF YOU DO-" he held the blade up even closer to underneath the chief's chin, pulling him up by the hair, "YOUR CHIEF IS JUST AS GOOD AS DEAD!"

A horrified swarm of whispers echoed across the villagers as they stared in terror at their chief being caught by a teenage boy. "Chief!" one of them shouted, but Peter pushed the blade up even closer to his neck, shutting him up instantly.

"Peter..." Tiger Lily murmured, still in awe. She felt as if the life she had begun to lose from her oncoming death was starting to flow back into her, as if there was still a chance of being free.

Peter looked over to Curly and Tootles, both whose positions flanked the stake from their perches up on the walls, and nodded to them, as if giving them a signal. Tiger Lily noticed that they both each carried massive buckets in their arms. The two leaped down courageously from the walls and tossed the buckets' contents on to the fire; and Tiger Lily felt the edge of her foot get splashed with a bit of liquid. It was water.

Although the flames were startled but not completely quenched, Curly and Tootles used the moment wisely and ran up the pile of wood quickly to Tiger Lily.

"You guys," Tiger Lily whispered in shock.

"'Sup, Tiger Lily," Tootles said quickly, pulling a knife from his pocket.

"Good to see you again, Tiger Lily, sorry for the late rescue," Curly added, also taking out a knife.

At the exact same time, the two held their knives up in the air and sliced down on the ropes, cutting them in one vicious swipe. The rope ends instantly fell off of Tiger Lily and the stake, but they fell onto the pile of wood, the fire beginning to start again soon. Just when she was free, Curly grabbed her hand and led her down the wood logs, Tootles close behind.

Two guards by the sides then tackled them, spears in hand, but Tootles rammed into them, managing to knock them aside. He grabbed one of their spears and began fighting back with another guard, sparring impressively with him.

Tiger Lily looked over the village in haste to see that the villagers had gone wild, women and children fleeing to their huts while loads of male warriors began fighting the Lost Boys. She watched Slightly haul one warrior over his back and tossing him over his shoulder, before pinning another one down. Nibs somehow carried an enormous club, which he smacked into oncoming warriors, aiming for the head, stomach, or groin, a different hit for each opponant. Even Twin 1 and Twin 2 handled themselves extremely well, battling several warriors at the same time with each a pair of knives half the length of their own bodies, occasionally working in a tag team to take out two or three at the same time.

Still in the center, Peter held the chief down with the knife still pointed at his throat, ready to slice if necessary. Tiger Lily suddenly felt herself panic; as much as she hated the chief with a passion and would have preferred him dead over anything else, she couldn't have Peter kill him.

"I need to get to Peter and the chief," she shouted to Curly over the loud war cries.

"It's too dangerous!" Curly yelled back, tugging on her hand with both of his. "I'm supposed to take you back to the cave as quickly as possible! You can't go out there!"

"Curly, please!" Tiger Lily begged, stopping to stare Curly in the eyes with sincerity. "Your survival depends on it."

Curly hesitated, looking pained, but he reluctantly let go. "Peter's gonna kill me for this," he shouted loudly, "but I'll cover for you in the meantime!" He brandished a different weapon, this time wielding a long sword which glinted in the sunlight.

Tiger Lily thanked him, and began to sprint through the crowd, dodging any attacks from warriors before they were hit back by Curly. She could see her way to the two in the middle but it would take a bit of time to get through.

After leaping away from the pointed tips of spears and the bladed edges of tomahawks, Tiger Lily found herself in the middle of fight, standing before Peter and the chief.

Peter looked up, shocked, seeming relieved to see her free from the stake, but surprised of why she was here. "Tiger Lily," he said in awe under his breath.

Tiger Lily showed him a small smile, the true happiness of being able to see him glowing in her eyes, but then she breathed in deeply.


Somehow, perhaps by a miracle, the Lost Boys and the warriors, who had been deep in combat, turned their attention to the usually quiet Tiger Lily. They looked surprised to see that she was no longer tied to the stake, but instead standing before the chief, who grunted as he was held back by Peter.

Tiger Lily sighed quietly, before approaching the chief calmly.

The chief glared up at her, furious. "You were with them all along, weren't you?" he growled. "I knew you were up to something, leaving every day, bringing back animals when you were truly with these cursed beings!"

Peter held the knife up closer to his neck, pressing the blade lightly into his skin. "Don't you dare, you old bastard!" he snapped.

"Peter!" Peter suddenly looked back to Tiger Lily, astonished by her tone. She looked at him pleadingly, a desperate look about her. "Please," she said quietly, "let me handle this."

Peter hesitated, but he sighed and scowled as the chief glowered at her.

"Dear uncle," Tiger Lily began, speaking directly to the chief, "I request that you have me exiled forever from the Sky Eaters village."

A shocked murmur grew throughout the warriors. Now the Lost Boys were looking up, curiously.

The chief's stare was full of hatred. "Exile?! Ha! I was happy enough to know that you'd be killed today! As if I'd let you go so easily, Tiger Lily. Not until I see you dead!"

Peter stiffened sharply, but he held himself back from stabbing the chief.

Tiger Lily's gaze on the chief didn't change. "I assure you, my dear chief, that you can consider me dead from the day that I leave here permanently. Now please," she began again, "I wish to be exiled from the Sky Eaters village and be forever forbidden to ever enter its walls. You will never have to see me, or hear from me, ever again. Isn't that what you've wanted all along?" she raised an eyebrow.

The chief was silent, a snarl present on his face.

"After all," she added, "I've known since the day of my arrival in this village how much you've despised me. How much you hate seeing the image of the brother you loathed so much growing into me. How much you laugh at my foolish actions and how much you cackle in happiness when I have gone into misery and misfortune. You've always wanted me gone, away from here and this world. And if I'm exiled," she said, crossing her arms, "then I'll be away from here and gone from you world, and you can begin reliving your life peacefully and cheerfully, with my presence eternally absent of your eyes."

After several seconds of silence, the chief finally returned his answer. "Very well then, perfect!" he shouted. "I hereby exile you, Tiger Lily, from the Sky Eaters village. You will come back for your things tomorrow, and after that day, I never want to ever see your filthy, disgusting, putrid, and savage appearance before me ever again! Do I make myself clear?!" he demanded angrily.

Tiger Lily nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Good! Now let go of me, scum!" The chief brushed Peter off violently, much to his rage, and stalked off to his hut.

Tiger Lily sighed with relief, feeling comfort flowing back inside of her again, her heart to her chest. "Phew..."

She suddenly felt Peter's hand take hold of her hand. She looked up to him, having never seen him so happy in her entire life. He smiled, his eyes shining brightly as he squeezed her hand, as if trying to hold back from hugging her tightly in front of the Lost Boys.

And when they went back to the Home Underground, the Lost Boys filtering cheerfully inside, Peter quickly stole a kiss from Tiger Lily when they weren't looking, his soft parted lips pressing deeply against her own for only a few moments. He then pulled back, his arm still on her shoulder, before giving her the same grin that made her heart skip a beat.

"Welcome home, Tiger Lily."

The next day, Tiger Lily returned on her own to the village to go collect her things. The guards let her pass through solemnly, not looking her in the eye. She headed into her hut, which was soon to be torn down once everything was taken, and found that her bag of weapons had been returned from Aunt Agda, much to her happiness.

She took what she could and gathered them in her arms: her basket full of clothes, her bag of weapons tossed over her shoulder, and her bedroll and mat rolled up, with the blankets folded and stacked on top. It was a lot to carry, but she could bare it.

Tiger Lily walked out of the hut carefully, just when she saw the little boy she had seen yesterday, who had complained to his mother about her sacrifice. He approached her awkwardly, his hands behind his back.

"U-Um," he stammered. "Do you need any help?" he then asked.

Tiger Lily smiled at his kind gesture, making his cheeks turn pink. "No, I am fine, thank you though," she replied.

He then suddenly pointed to Midnight. The little wolf puppy was beginning to follow her back, whining as he couldn't understand what was going on. Tiger Lily saw him run in circles around her feet, confused.

Tiger Lily then got an idea. "Would you please keep my wolf?" she asked him.

The boy turned bright red. "Keep him? But he's yours, isn't he? You were the one who brought him into the village many weeks ago. He would miss you so much if you never come back!"

Tiger Lily didn't like it either, but she remembered the reason why Peter had given her Midnight in the first place; so he could have a safe home.

"He's only a puppy," she told him. "He'll forget me by the time he's grown older. And I know this is a lot to ask for," she added, "but would you take care of him in my place? I can't bring him out into the woods with me, I wouldn't have enough food to feed him or proper shelter to give him... Here, he can be free and happy."

The boy paused, then bending down on his knees, sticking his hand out to Midnight for him to smell. Midnight sniffed his finger briefly, then running into his arms and licking his face with love.

"See, he loves you!" Tiger Lily grinned. "Now, would you take care of him?"

The boy seemed reluctant at first, but then he determinedly held his fist up and saluted her. "Yes!" he responded stoutly.

"Good," Tiger Lily said warmly. She set down her clothes basket and scratched Midnight gently behind the ears. "Goodbye, good friend," she murmured into his ear.

She then picked up her clothes basket, Midnight beginning to bark back at her, but before heading out, she turned back to the boy. "Take good care of him for me, okay?"

The boy nodded enthusiastically. "I promise I will!"

Finally, it was summer time. Everything was bright and covered in sunshine. The plants that grew exclusively during summer were thriving healthily, the grass was a prettier dark shade of green, and the birds were out singing again, chirping and flying through the trees. The sky was always blue and without any clouds at all, and the sun's rays were powerful, but not intense; just a warm light casting over Neverland.

Tiger Lily nervously hid behind one of the trees. She could see Peter standing in one of the fields overlooking the endless sea, waiting for her. She kept pulling back her bangs behind her ears, adjusting the feathers in her headband, pulling her dress over her hips. Her hands were feeling shaky and a surge of adrenaline would run through them every few seconds.

Gosh, she was anxious. But it was just Peter. If anything, she was the most relaxed around him. This couldn't be so hard, right?

Then, breathing in and out carefully, she then stepped out slowly from behind the trees, and out into the open towards Peter.

When Peter turned to her, she felt her heart beat even faster. He was dressed in a foreign black suit, a ribbon-like bow tie around his neck, a white high-collared buttoned shirt underneath his blazer, and black pants, but he wore his regular ragged shoes. The suit must have been something that washed up on the beach, as some random objects from the continents far away were carried out by the sea and on to Neverland's shores. But the suit looked clean and the few rips look as if they had been sewn together with random colored pieces of string. But he still looked so dashing to the point that Tiger Lily felt speechless.

She shakily approached him, walking through the short grass and holding her hands together, looking away when he set his eyes upon her. He smiled, rotating himself to her, his hands stuffed in the blazer's pockets.

"You wore the wedding dress," he noted. "Even if you told me a hundred times you wouldn't?"

"I decided that I would just this once," Tiger Lily responded, scratching her head awkwardly. She then turned bright red, panicking. "D-Does it look weird right now?!"

Peter laughed, and Tiger Lily found herself chucking a little too. His laugh was so gentle and addicting; hearing it made her want to laugh with him too.

"Why should you worry at all?" His fingers brushed over her cheek, her face feeling his hard and calloused hand. "You look amazing."

"Sh-shut up," Tiger Lily muttered, her face becoming hot and her eyes glancing away.

"Oh, you. When will you ever give up?" Peter pat her on top of her head gently, his smile sweet and kind. "And what do you think of this?" he motioned to the outfit. "I believe they call this a 'suit' in some places." He raised an eyebrow and gave a cheeky grin. "Don't I look handsome?"

Tiger Lily wanted to respond, but she was too flustered to give him a compliment. "It looks funny on you," she joked quietly, cracking a little smile.

"Funny? How in the world does this look funny on me?" Peter demanded, furrowing his brow.

"It just... does," Tiger Lily giggled.

"Hey, you know I look good!" Peter snapped, but Tiger Lily just burst out laughing. It must have caught him by surprise, because he turned away slightly, pouting slightly as a blush grew on his cheeks.

"So..." Tiger Lily glanced up at Peter. "How do we do this, then?"

Peter itched his chin, thinking for a moment. "Well," he began, "I know that you start like this."

Peter then suddenly bent down and got on one knee, kneeling down before her, much to her astonishment. "And then you do this." And from the pocket in his blazer, he removed something shiny, and held it up for her to see; it was a beautiful silver ring, encrusted with a red gem.

"And then you do this." Peter took a hold of Tiger Lily's hand. He breathed in, as if preparing himself. "And then you say something like this."

He held out the ring, holding it near Tiger Lily's hand. "Tiger Lily, will you marry me?"

Tiger Lily had shared many moments with Peter, like hugging, cuddling, talking, kissing, and many other things. And all of these moments had led up to Tiger Lily blushing from his gestures. But this time it was different. She felt a sudden shortness of breath as her face felt as hot as the fire which had been to burn her when she was tied to the stake for her execution in the village. She stared down at Peter, the beautiful boy who had brought excitement into her love, and the first for her to fall in love with.

A tear suddenly ran down her face. "Yes..."

Peter put the ring on Tiger Lily's finger and then stood back up, before placing his hands on her waist and pulling her in, kissing her softly on the lips. She put her arms around his shoulders as the two continued to kiss, with even Peter's tongue sneakily finding a way near her lips as they began to move their mouths against each other.

Peter then pulled back, smiling as he gazed into her eyes. Tiger Lily put her in head Peter's chest, holding tightly on to him and letting some stray tears drip away or wipe themselves on his blazer. "I love you," she whispered.

And with a happy sigh, Peter put one arm around her shoulders and one arm around her waist, hugging her hard, his head rested on her shoulder.

"I love you too."

"So that's all that happened," Tiger Lily finished, twiddling her thumbs as she paced from side to side in front of her father's grave. "I'm sure you must be beyond furious with me, seeing his daughter go wild and ending up with a man from outside of the village."

She smiled, remembering her and Peter's little marriage ceremony. "And as for the marriage," she added, "it may not seem official to you, but I've got the ring to prove it."

Tiger Lily flaunted the red gem on her finger and showed it to the gravestone enthusiastically. "He said he stole it from the pirates by the beach, I suppose I can believe that, but in the end, they have the best gems anyhow, since they steal so much of it..." She thought back on Peter's handsome suit and kissed the gem for the memory.

"But it looks like that's all I've got to tell you, Father," Tiger Lily said. "Life will be a lot more different for me now, but I know I'll adjust quickly. I have the Lost Boys there, ready to support me as I am to them, just as Peter is there to lead them and let me love him back. I promise with all my heart that I'll look after them, even protect them with my life if I have to."

She then leaned forward and planted a kiss on the gravestone. "Hope you enjoyed the story, Father."

Tiger Lily turned back, walking towards the cave exit. "Love you, Father!" And then she left the cave shortly.

When she came outside, it was sunny and quiet, the perfect combination of summer weather. She let her arms out open and breathed in the fresh air as a breeze ruffled through her dress. Truly a lovely day it was.

Tiger Lily then saw that Peter was waiting for her, sitting on a nearby rock and inspecting his hands with curiosity. He turned to her when he saw her, eyes brightening up, and leaped off the rock, heading towards her.

"Done?" he asked.

Tiger Lily nodded. "Yep. I told him everything in everything. So I guess we can go back now."

"Took you long enough," Peter grumbled, to which he received a sharp look from his close friend/lover, now wife.

"Hey, just because I'm updating a gravestone about my life doesn't mean I can't take a while when doing it!" Tiger Lily protested. To this, Peter laughed. "What's so funny?" she demanded.

"The way how you put things is hilarious," he laughed. His arm wrapped around her shoulders and pulled her in against him as they started walking back, her head falling on to his shoulder. She felt her cheeks get a bit warm against the sleeve of his shirt.

"You still blush when I hug you?" Peter asked. He must have felt the heat from her face.

Her cheeks reddened further. "O-Of course I do!" Tiger Lily stuttered. "It's just, the way you do it sometimes! It catches me off guard..."

"Like this?" Peter lowered his hand to her waist and tickled her side with the tips of his fingers. Tiger Lily leaped up in surprise and quickly covered her stomach, brushing off his fingers with her hand. "H-Hey!"

Peter just laughed. "I'm sorry, just teasing you. Couldn't help myself, you know?"

"You're hopeless," Tiger Lily sighed, stopping behind him, rubbing the spot where his fingers had drummed along her side.

She then felt Peter's lips press against hers, his arms going around her and pulling her into him. Tiger Lily grew distracted and the two kissed, growing more tender and sensual with every passing moment. She pulled back reluctantly, seeing straight into Peter's eyes. He grinned.

"Feeling better?"

Tiger Lily couldn't help but smile warmly at him. She nuzzled his face softly with her nose.

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