Window Watching (part 17 of My Brave Wendy)
Disclaimers: The rights to the film and book "Peter Pan/Peter Pan and Wendy" do not belong to me; this is just done for entertainment. Chapter disclaimer: lyric credit is placed under the lyric.
Rating: PG-15 (for adult themes and mild sexual references)
Archiving: It's a requirement that I have that you ask me before posting any of my written work. Thank you.
Summary: This is a work of fiction based on the 2003 film "Peter Pan"; it is centered, like the film around Peter & Wendy's relationship, just so you know. Basically the whole "never saw each other again" is out the window and for the purposes of the fiction they did.
Setting: This happens 1 year after Peter last saw Wendy, she's now been sent to a boarding school in Switzerland with her parent's new found fortune, but it's nothing like the place they thought it to be, as WWI is in it's starting stages there's fear all around and she's left without adult supervision along with some of her boarding school girls to find a way home and hoping that a certain first love will find her.
Spoilers: The film, it'll spoil you if you have not seen the film!!
Appreciation: Always to my beta Rogue, who is absolutely awesome!
When time and space have no equilibrium that's when she would be waiting; in that place between sleep and awake. Because it had been 4 years and he had no returned.
No shining star, no smoke Indian-signals. Nothing. Nothing at all. All was lost and hope was bleak. But she no longer hoped. She had long ago accepted that he would not be coming back. That his parting words where an easy let down to what life might bring and what life would do without.
Her fairy boy was a shadow of her dreams and a hero of her childhood nights. Though she had no longer been a child when he had last felt his skin it would sooner be easier to plan as if it were a childish prank than a thought effortlessly forgotten.
She only hopped that wherever he was, and however long he lived he would remember her face. He could soon forget her name and her address... but she prayed he'd not forget her face. Because for all the days she lived without him she would never forget his face, or his smile or the warmth his hand gave to hers.
So, there her dreams went to lie and die.
In a place called Neverland, with a boy whom she vaguely knew.
Peter Pan. He that made her realize she wanted to live. He that made her want to see the sun each day and enjoy it's giving rays.
She would often imagine him playing with the stars and racing with the flocks of birds. An endless mirth of fun and games where bittersweet memories had no place and all was laugh and sports.
There he would be, there he would reside... her golden boy. Mischief would rule his existence and only the moment where he was about to dream would he remember an angelic face of a girl whose name he did not know and whose eyes loved him with all of her soul.
But she now knew that he had forgotten. He had forget about her and about his promise and above all...
he had forgotten how to be a man.
The war was not soon to seize and soon it brought much more devastation than the short days she had seen it with her now close friends and her family.
Helen, Rosalind and Joanna were her closest companions and would often spend as much time together as they could. She found it relieving to talk of fine dresses than tell pirate stories all of the time to her younger brothers. It was the day she caught herself looking forward to her trip to the dress shops that she realized that there was no part of her that was a child anymore.
Children do not see what she had seen in her life and they do not feel the pains she would feel deep in her soul like she did... once in a while.
Her dearest friends would no longer ask her about Peter neither would her family. They preferred to keep his name hidden in shadows like an awful secret they all knew but would never discuss.
She decided that she enjoyed this arrangement. To speak of him without anyone other than her heart was still too fresh and painful to bear.
Maybe when she was older and had children of her own she would tell them the tales of her youth and how she had been saved by he that was the hero of all children; the deifier of the rules of nature and God.
Her Peter Pan.
Now it had been so long since she had spoken of Peter than she begun to wonder if her years spent under his presence had been a dream; a story adapted into her life as a child.
On the first Monday of the month of October, when the chilly breeze tended to squirm itself through her window though it was now locked and barred there was a knock in the Darling house.
It was a messenger from the Duke of Waterford. This being a common occurrence since often a message would come from her dear Helen the letter was accepted graciously and given without preamble to Wendy Darling.
Since dinner was about to be served Wendy placed the closed letter upon her bed and went downstairs to help her mother set for dinner. Mrs. Gardner made a rather exquisite Quail Stew with steamed vegetables from the Darling garden as it gave the last of it's fruit before the Winter came.
During dinner they all laughed and talked, mentioning how they missed John, Curly and Michael who were all in a fine boy's school in the south of Wales.
"Read us another poem from Lord Byron, Wendy," one of the twins asked her.
"Not tonight, dear," she answered, yawning widely. "Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll read two of them. Both of you make sure you have done all of your lessons for class tomorrow."
"Of course, Wendy."
They obeyed her and went to the nursery.
"Wendy, dear... you look so tired. Why don't you retire and I'll take care of Mr. Darling's brandy?" her mother asked her. Wendy turned to her and smiled, agreeing with a nod. "What says Helen, dear?"
"Oh... I've yet to read her letter; I'll do so before bed," Wendy answered and kissed her mother's cheek before going up the stairs.
Her bedroom was now mostly white. Like a frosting on a cake; a snow village that was lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Her aunt said it was symbolic of her purity. To Wendy it reminded her too much of her long nights in the freezing cold all those years ago. She shook her head and picked up the ivory envelope on top of the bed, settling herself down on her sofa to enjoy the usually long read.
She was, however, confused when the writing was not that of the usual fine scrip Helen usually sported. It was much more masculine with hard lines and fewer sentences.
My Dear Miss. Darling
I do hope we all find you in good health for as the news I am about to inform you off might be of quite a shock. Today, as my dearest Helen and I were strolling through our gardens we found something or someone I should say that might' be of particular interest to you. For there in the shadow of Lady Waterford's white rose bush was your long departed friend Peter! He seems to be fine of health except for a bit underweight the doctor said he would be fine with a week worth of chicken broth. What concerns me the most is his mental state. He seems lost and quite simply put confused and not of a stable mind. The only thing he keeps repeating is "Wendy".
I write to you in the most urgency to come as soon as you receive this letter for Mr. Pan's sake. You, as always are more than welcomed to stay in our home until Mr. Pan is in better health.
Wendy dropped the letter, her hands trembling and her watery eyes searching wildly her frosted room which was always too clean for her. She did her own version of a "delicate" growl and threw her lamp (the lamp which barely lighted her surroundings but gave enough light for it to be civilized) against her white-wooded dresser, letting it shatter to the floor into a hundred pieces.
Within seconds her brothers came running into her room, eyes wide and faces red.
"Wendy!" they cried, all alarmed, all worried.
"Send for a taxi," she snapped to the eldest of them.
"But Wendy, you're not well," one of the twins commented.
"I'll fetch mother," Toodles commented.
"Fetch the taxi!" she roared. Even her always soft hair seemed wild and threatening to them at the moment. "At once!"
Toodles, pale as he was managed to nod and run out of her room.
"Wendy!" she could hear her mother coming up the stairs.
"Mother, come quick!" one of the twins begged of her, still shocked at Wendy's wild behavior as she frantically threw her garments into an overnight bag.
"Wendy what on earth..." Mrs. Darling stood watching her, eyes just as wide as the twin's and her gapping just as fast.
"Mother!" Wendy told her, picking up her suitcase. "It's Peter! The Duke has found Peter!"
Her voice was wavering, her nerves were shot and she was shaking like a leaf.
"Peter? Peter Pan?" her mother repeated, just as surprised as Wendy had been.
"Yes, one in the same!" Wendy cried, pashing past her mother with her dragging suitcase.
Mrs. Darling seem to suddenly realize were her daughter was headed and flew after her. "Wendy!"
Wendy didn't stop and continued her furious battle down the stairs.
"Wendy! Where on earth are you going? And at this time!" Mrs. Darling bellowed after her.
"I'm going to him, mother - he needs me!" Wendy reached the bottom step and she let Toodles take her suitcase from her; dragging to the door.
"The taxi has arrived, Wendy -- do reconsider!" he pleaded.
"A Taxi?" Mr. Darling came into the hall in time to see Toodles going out the front door with Wendy's luggage and Mrs. Darling frantically crying out after Wendy as she nearly ran down the stairs.
"Goodbye father, I will send word back the moment I am settled," Wendy told him and kissed his cheek.
"Send word? Good heaven! Mary, what is going on?!" he demanded of his wife.
"Oh, she's leaving, George--chasing after that young man, Peter!"
Mr. Darling seemed to understand what was happening because he choose to reach out and grab Wendy's hand. "Wait a minute!" he cried. "There will be order in this house!"
Wendy struggled against his grasp, looking on wildly at the front door. "Father, please!" She quickly took the note sent to her by the Duke with her other hand and shoved it at her father. "Here!"
Mr. Darling let go of her hand as he was rightly startled by the paper being forced on his face. "What--"
"Read it George!" Mrs. Darling demanded of him.
Mr. Darling adjusted his glasses and opened the short letter. They both read the contents, their faces palling then look up at Wendy... but she was gone. She had gone out the front door and left with the taxi.
"She needs to do this, George... she's a grown woman now and she's going to a safe place, we've often trusted the Waterford with her well being."
The Waterford Estate was one of the grandest in London. Well, it truly resided in the outskirts of London; taking a small province to itself as it flourished the land with it's rich fields, grand manor, award-winning horses and everlasting tranquility... until that night.
All this grandeur was lost to Wendy as she concentrated herself on the road before her; too many times had she come to the manor and admired it's beauty... and too many days and nights had she spent alone.
The news had hit her body like a bath of cold water during January's chill. It was a spasm effect that she had no control over. Her nerves were jittery, her hands (oh, delicate hands) trembled and her left eyes was developing a nasty permanent twitch. In all, it was too much excitement; much more than the proper lady was used to.
She leaned forward on the seat of the coach to take a better look at the house through it's darkening haze; to see maybe a flash of a blond head or a wisp of fairy wind.
But nothing came to her; the manor was as stylish and as ordered as she had always remembered it; perhaps she thought that the arrival of Peter would disrupt something in the ecosystem; the oceans would change tide, the moon would brighten it's glow just for her and her fluttery heart.
As the carriage as brought to halt in front of the large manor steps the butler came rushing forward to open her door but she was already halfway out and running up the white steps.
"Where is he?" she demanded, lifting her skirts as to not trip over the stairs.
The butler held her elbow for steadiness and opened the large door for her. "My Lord Duke is in the study waiting for you, we expected you hours ago--"
"I know! I was delayed," she explained quickly, easing herself through the house she as quite familiar with and to the study.
"My dear Wendy!" the Duke turned to her from his pipe-smoking before the fire. "I've been waiting ages!"
"I deeply apologize, my lord," she bowed quickly--her eyes still wide and her hole body shaking with anxiousness.
"No apologies, come dear girl," she followed him out of the library. "We have been trying to move him to a more comfortable room but he refuses for my maids to touch him, just to have the doctor come is was a dragging problem!"
Wendy's heart beat in her chest faster than it should on any human being, her body singing with excitement, dread and fright. "Is he hurt, is he wounded?"
"The doctor stated he is simply very frightened," the Duke told her, leading her don a dark corridor; one Wendy in her four years visiting the manor had never seen.
"Where are we?" she asked, her body shivering against the much cooler atmosphere.
"This is the lower floor, used in times of war as a hiding place for royalty."
"How did you get him here?" she asked, her brows furrowed.
"He fled from the doctor and ended up in his current room, we've been unable to get him out," he explained.
She sighed, watching as they approached a door which had two servants there with blankets, food and other rations waiting expectedly for their master.
The door before her as old and dusty, as if decades of non-use had made it part of the picturesque; the cobwebs dangled from it and sang to her a cryptic poem.
"Here, he must be cold," the housemaid told Wendy as she handed her a thick wool blanked which Wendy accepted quickly.
"I shall go in with you, my dear," the Duke stated. "There's no telling how wild he is and what he might do!"
"Yes, miss! He bit my finger!" the maid showed her a bandaged digit and Wendy winced. "I do apologize... I will talk to him alone, My Lord... I can take care of myself."
"I have no doubt of that, my dear. But I must insist, for your own safety!" he pressed.
"My lord... if there is someone Peter would never hurt it is I." she assured him and took the food from the other maid's hand.
The Duke grumbled but let her in the door by herself.
Taking a deep breath Wendy nodded and passed the barrier of the door. The room was dark except for two candles that had been set up around the room, cast a warm golden glow over the sparsely furnished room.
And that's when she saw, curled up against the wall -- taller than any young man she had ever seen, his blond hair raggedy and dirty and his once golden skin almost pale and pasty.
Tremors formed throughout her body; she had read he was alive, she had talked about it but now seeing him before her tore right through her heart.
"Peter..." she whispered. Her on voice, quavering and unbelieving. "Peter?" she came closer and he whimpered.
"It's Wendy, Peter... Wendy is here..."
He lifted his dirty head and those questing green eyes found her.
She gasped and couldn't help but smile. He was no longer a boy but a man--a thick beard covered his face and the once tight fitting leaves were now in shambles-- leaving him nearly naked.
"Wendy... Wendy... Wendy..." he mumbled, still looking at her very curious.
"Yes, Peter..." she came closer to him and he let out a loud wail.
"No, Peter, please!" she came closer until she was sitting next to him on the bed, making him wail louder than ever. He began trashing about, his hands trying to cover him face and his long large legs hitting the air in spasms.
He grabbed his hands and let him shake her, him being much more stronger than her. "Please, Peter!"
His chest heaved and she could see the tear tracks running down his face. After a while he stopped screaming and simply looked at her, softly sobbing and hiccupping.
"There... there... it's Wendy, Peter."
His head tilted slightly as he studied her.
"Wendy." he said, rather strained.
A smile broke out in her face and she sighed. "Yes. *I'm* Wendy."
Slowly, as the seasons change, a smile broke in his face. "Wendy." he repeated.
A hand, large and dirty tentatively went towards her face and she forced herself to stay completely still. His warmth touched her like a gentle lover's kiss in the cool Spring air and she nearly sobbed at the gesture. Tears or realization that had been held back these few hours broke free and touched his finger tips in a divine gesture.
"Don't cry, Wendy-lady." he whispered.
That only made her sob.
Her on hand came up to meet his and they caressed each other in an intimate gesture.
"I was so lost...." he said slowly. "I... tried to... to find you."
He was shaking and she realized it was the cool temperature of the room.
"I've been... searching for... so long..." he whispered, now bringing his forehead to rest against hers.
"I'm here now, Peter... I'm here now. I wont go away, I promise." she told him touching his own face, remembering once more how his skin felt under her fingers.
"I grew up, Wendy... I didn't mean to grow up." small tears left his eyes, shame filling his voice.
She smiled warmly at him. "I grew up too, Peter... your Wendy grew up also."
"Why, Wendy?" he asked, his voice like a child's.
She took a deep breath. "Because we loved, Peter... we loved like grown-up... and you can't be a child once you love like that."
He studied her face for what seemed like a life-time and then slowly nodded.
"You're always so brave, my Wendy..."
She laughed, softly. "You too, my brave Peter."
She stood up and offered him a hand. "Come along, Peter... let's go home."
A/N: After struggling through school work and real-life I finally was able to finish the story. Thank you for those of you who wrote me encouraging emails instead of ranting that I was taking too long, since while writing college papers the last thing one needs is people bitching about fanfiction. I hope that those of you who have followed the fiction enjoy it and it's ending.
I know many of you are asking if I will write more Peter Pan fiction and I've got to say that I wont; I'm trying to finish my WIP from my other fandom so I can get to my professional writing. Thank you all for the support and the believers that Wendy and Peter could've had their happily-ever after.