We flew to Neverland as fast as we could. I was glad to see Jamie again. The person that I couldn’t help turning to look at just to make sure she was still there was Vanessa. I couldn’t believe that she had forgiven me. She’d started to believe in me all on her own. I was never going to mess up in such a way that she was going to leave me again. I’d missed her kiss, her touch, the way that she’d always known exactly what to say to make me feel better, even when she didn’t know I was feeling upset. When Manny had taken us both to his house and told us we were only together, well, he only forced us back together because our daughter was going to save the kingdom…well, I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if I was the father of Vanessa’s child. Would I be a good father? I would try, at the very least.
We reached Neverland before mid-afternoon. We raced back to the hideout and exactly what I expected to have happen happened. They all fell at her feet, and Rapunzel, Merida, Kida and Melody all tackle-hugged her. I snickered at her reaction just before she hit the ground. The look on her face said “Oh God, they’re going to kill me.” I think there wasn’t one girl in the room that didn’t cry. Peter, Hiccup, and I just stood to the side and watched. It was actually funny, really.
“I missed you all!” exclaimed Vanessa.
“Then why did you leave?” asked Melody.
“I was just mad. Please forgive me,” replied Vanessa.
“We’re just happy that you’re safe,” said Rapunzel.
“Hey, is that an engagement ring?” asked Merida. Vanessa looked over at me and smiled.
“Yeah, it is. We’re engaged, But get this, we already were,” said Vanessa.
“What do you mean?” asked Melody.
“Turns out that I was inside a diamond for three hundred years. My fourteenth birthday was the day before Jack became Jack Frost. Manny put me in a diamond because…” Vanessa’s cheeks went red and I knew she was going to tell them. Mine went red as well. “Jack and I both had to be Guardians and a married couple, because the daughter of two young Guardians, like Jack and I, is going to save the kingdom.”
“So… you’re telling me that… not only are you and Jack going to sleep together… but Manny already knows about it? Does he know… details? Because that would make him a pedophile. Or a pervert. One or the other,” said Rapunzel.
“I hope he doesn’t know details, that would be disturbing,” said Vanessa. She groaned. “Thank you very much Rapunzel, now that image is seared into my eyelids.”
I laughed. I think next to everything is funny as long as I’m in the right mindset. Hiccup looked over at me and raised his eyebrows. That was the worldwide signal for “Really?” I nodded. He whistled and I punched him on the arm. Funny thing about Hiccup, ever since getting together with Merida, he’d become less shy and more sure of himself. I was glad of that, because now he acted like a dude. Peter and Wendy were just standing around, wondering what they should do or say. I thought it best to end the girl-wide weepfest. I nudged Jamie with my elbow.
“Vanessa? Your friends are waiting for us,” said Jamie. All the girls got off of Vanessa and brushed off their skirts. Merida went over to Hiccup and kissed him on the cheek, for what reason, I’ll never know.
Vanessa and I talked it over, but neither of us had any idea where our friends were. Apparently Snow was still alive and Vanessa didn’t know where she was either. Derek was missing too, but I honestly didn’t care. Jamie had a massive crush on the Thimble girl I remembered from the lake, and she was gone too. So many people were gone.
“How about we start small with Thimble and Snow?” I suggested.
“And Derek,” said Vanessa.
I was about to object, but then I remembered that that was why she’d left me in the first place, because I’d been a jealous idiot about her spending so much time with Terence. I sighed.
“And Derek,” I agreed reluctantly. Vanessa’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. She smiled and leaned towards my ear.
“Thank you,” she whispered. I took the opportunity to hug her and kiss her on the cheek.
Peter equipped everyone with a sword, except Merida, who took a bow. Tink gave us a refill on pixie dust, except for Vanessa and I. Jamie thought it was really cool that he could fly. Vanessa looked a little relived that she didn’t have to carry him again. So, armed and unsure where to go, we went back to the kingdom. No one really knew what we were doing besides saving people. We were going to save people. Good thing Vanessa was with us, because we wouldn’t have even known where to start. She led us to the replica of the school.
“There were a bunch of opalvirgins here earlier, but they appear to all be gone now,” said Vanessa. “I say that we check the barracks first. I didn’t get to check them earlier today.”
We flew around behind the school and Vanessa landed on her feet. She ran inside the tent, but there was nobody in there. So it appeared. I heard a tiny whimpering coming from under a barrel. Jamie, Vanessa and I all stepped forward. Jamie lifted the barrel up and we all saw a girl around Jamie’s age. She had auburn hair and was wearing a brown nightgown. Jamie saw her and gasped. Then he fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around her, and she did the same.
“Thimble! I am so glad that you’re alive!” exclaimed Jamie.
“I thought you were dead! I thought everyone was dead!” exclaimed Thimble in an Australian accent.
I looked at Vanessa and raised an eyebrow. She mouthed “I’ll explain later.” I shrugged. We gave Thimble a sword, some pixie dust, and kept going. Vanessa found Snow by a pond in the woods around the school. There was still no sign of Derek. I was kind of glad of that, but I made myself sound upset about it. There was good that came out of it though, we found the tower where our friends were imprisoned. It looked roomy. What didn’t look so roomy were the battlegrounds that we’d have to fight on. It was swelled to bursting with opalvirgins.
“Okay, this should be simple. All we have to do is free the other princes and princesses. Our numbers will be increased. Not to match theirs, not even close, but it should suffice,” said Snow. Somehow, warrior Snow scared me a lot more than talking to birds Snow.
We flew unnoticed over the opalvirgins and landed on the roof of the tower. Snow was going to cut a hole in the roof, but Thimble was having none of that. She just melted a hole in the roof and we dropped in. A couple girls screamed. Then they looked relieved.
“Vanessa!” exclaimed Giselle. She tackled her and I held back a laugh.
All the other princesses either started laughing, crying, or kissed someone on the cheek. I got eight kisses on the cheek.
“Okay, okay! Just calm down. We have a plan to get everyone out of here. We’re gonna give you a sword,” said Vanessa.
“Wait! Just…think for a second,” said Belle. She turned behind her and grabbed a book. “I’d just like to know how you plan to give all eighteen of us a sword. I mean, there are only so many swords, and some of us don’t even know how to fight.”
“How many of you know how to fight?” asked Merida. A few hands went up, Mulan, Belle, Aurora, Aladdin. “How many of you can use magic?” Giselle, Cinderella, and Tiana raised their hands. “Och, that’ll never do. How many of you know where Mickey is?” Every hand went up. “Where is he?”
They all moved out of the way and there he was, sitting on the ground shaking, muttering to himself. I flew over and looked him over. He didn’t look the same as before, like back at his castle. He looked deteriorated, as if the situation had leeched all of his strength away. Vanessa gasped and flew over after me.
“Oh my God, this isn’t right. What’s the matter?” she asked Mickey.
“Gerald…he tells me the secrets of the world. He tells me the sacrifice that will have to be made,” he looked up into Vanessa’s eyes. “You shall have to make the biggest sacrifice of all, if you are to remain good.”
“And, happy birthday to me,” muttered Vanessa after a moment.
“It’s your birthday?” I asked. She nodded. “Well, I guess this killed it, didn’t it?” She nodded again. “Oh, well, what can you do?”
“Mickey, what sacrifice will I have to make?” asked Vanessa, putting her hand on his shoulder.
“I believe the more accurate question would be what you are willing to sacrifice to do the right thing.” asked Mickey. Her eyes widened, like she recognized that question. “Think it through, for later.”
She backed away, a glassy look in her eyes. I looked down at Mickey. “Are you going to be able to help us or not?” I asked.
“Help you? No, I will not be able to help you. Will I be able to fight alongside you? Ah, that is the question. I will be able to fight with you,” said Mickey. “And. as for weaponry, there’s a huge store of weapons under the floorboard, under the bed.”
Snow pushed the bed out of the way and pried the floorboards up with her sword and revealed a huge collection of every kind of weapon imaginable. Even a slingshot. I couldn’t believe that, a slingshot. What were we going to do, poke them in the eye? I didn’t need a weapon, I had my handy dandy staff on hand constantly. The people who had come from Neverland all had swords, so we just had to equip some people. Some of them didn’t even take weapons, like Pocahontas and Belle. They wouldn’t be fighting with us. Belle knew too much, she was probably the most valuable hostage here. Pocahontas was more of a medic than a fighter, so she would just stay behind with Belle. We were about to burst through the window, but I turned to Vanessa first.
“Happy birthday, Vanessa. Your present is another fight,” I said. She smacked me upside the head. We then burst through the window and hit the ground running.
Vanessa went off in a completely opposite direction than me, but Hiccup was hot on my trail. We went over to the left and hit six opalvirgins faster than they could blink, which was an amazing feat for Hiccup, based off of his size alone. I probably didn’t look like the kind of guy either, but I was, now anyways.
Not many of us were actually making very much progress but Mickey. He was taking out scores of opalvirgins just by waving his hand. He probably could have won the war all by himself, but he wasn’t going to keep that up for too much longer. Giselle was pretty much useless right about now. She was just sticking behind Merida, hoping that she wouldn’t have to use her sword. While she had me distracted, an opalvirgin knocked me off of my feet. I slid back just in time for the swing of the sword to cause it to get lodged in the ground in between my legs. Hiccup stabbed upwards and I rolled out of the way. I flew up above the battle and shot blasts of ice over any opalvirgin I saw. But there was something off. I saw a girl, scarcely older than Giselle, who was eleven, fighting against us. She was holding back, trying to make it look like she was giving her all. When Giselle was on the ground, the girl’s sword tip against her chest, the girl ran in the opposite direction. I wanted to tell Vanessa to leave her alive, but I didn’t see Vanessa. I decided to get Merida to take her inside. I flew next to her.
“What is it?” she asked, taking out three opalvirgins.
“There’s a girl fighting against us,” I said, zapping one coming from behind her. “I need you to take her inside.”
“Dead?” she asked, confused.
“No! Alive, you weirdo!” I exclaimed. She nodded and fought through the crowd to get to her.
Soon, we’d driven the last dozen or so opalvirgins back into the woods. Hopefully they’d stay gone, but we couldn’t wait around to find out. I went back into the tower to get help to the little wounds that I had gotten. Pocahontas was busy treating the ones with broken bones and such, so I just grabbed a band-aid and stuck it on my cheek, where I had gotten a good slice. I’d had a bunch of other cuts and even a few burns, but they were all gone now, no scars to even prove that I’d gotten them.
Now, for the girl. She was sitting against the wall. She had a long cut running from her wrist to a little ways past her elbow. I grabbed a roll of gauze and went over to her. She seemed scared; she gasped and pressed herself against the wall. When I knelt next to her and took out the gauze, she flinched, like I was going to punch her or something.
“It’s okay,” I said, “I’m not going to hurt you. You’re hurt.”
Her eyes were still wide with fear, but she let me take her arm and wrap the gauze around it. She slowly moved away from the wall, but she was still wary of me. When I was finished, I stuck a few safety pins on the bandages to keep them in place. Then I stood up and reached for her hand. After a moment, she took it and I sat her in a chair.
“Can you tell me your name?” I asked.
“T…Tamara. Tamara Blitz,” said the girl.
“From the way you look, I’d say you’re not from around here,” I replied. Her skin was dark, and her eyes were as well, a deep brown. Her hair was black, and in what looked like hundreds of tiny little braids. That wasn’t something girls did with their hair in this kingdom.
“No, I’m from Tamriel, it’s far from here,” said Tamara. “I was kidnapped and sold to the opalvirgins to fight you. I never wanted to though, which is why I didn’t kill that girl.”
“She’s probably very grateful,” I replied. “Don’t worry. You’re safe here. Go get Pocahontas to give you some medicine, or something.”
She obliged happily. I turned to Merida, whose left arm was in a sling.
“Where’s Vanessa?” I asked urgently.
“I don’t know. None of us have seen her yet. She didn’t die, we’ve already checked the bodies, and she wasn’t taken, because, let’s face it, she’s Vanessa. She’s just vanished,” said Merida.
That got me panicked. Not dead or prisoner, just missing. That didn’t sound like the Vanessa I knew. I went outside and searched for her until the sun went down. I just had no idea where she’d gone. I went back to the tower, promising myself that I would find her tomorrow. Maybe…Hopefully…
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