Disclaimer: Peter Pan, all characters, places, and related terms belong to J.M. Barrie. The plot belongs to me.

Author's Note: Another one-shot from me to you. :) This happens sometime during the beginning of the Darling children's stay in Neverland. Please let me know what you think.


Fortified

Wendy tried to ignore it: the rain and hail pounding the ground; the loud, rolling thunder; the lightning which flashed brightly, finding its way between the tree roots and falling on the children's faces. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and clung to the blanket wrapped around her trembling body. When would it stop?

A very loud crack of thunder boomed as a bolt of lightning struck somewhere nearby. Wendy's yelp was drowned out by the thunder. She quickly sat up and her eyes darted about. To her amazement, all the boys were fast asleep, the storm having not awakened them.

Brushing the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand, she squeaked at the rapid flashes of lightning which illuminated the house, followed by more booms of thunder. Wendy lay back down and brought the cover up over her head in an attempt to protect herself from the raging weather outside. However, she was forced to bring the blanket down to her chin when the air under it became stuffy. She hid her face in her pillow and covered her ears with her hands.

She hated thunderstorms, and experiencing her first one in Neverland was even more fearful for her than before. She felt all alone. She was not in the comfort and security of the beloved nursery. Nana was not here to rest her head on Wendy's bed, to allow the girl to cling to her furry body, or to lick her face in assurance the storm would soon pass. The others were sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of the storm. There was nowhere for her to seek comfort. Wendy would have to wait for this to pass by herself.

Her body shook with frightened sobs. If only Mother were here! She always calmed her and would wait with her for the storm to end. Wendy tried to remember what Mother did when she stayed in the nursery with her; perhaps, if she tried to imagine Mother being here, it would help her not be so afraid.

She put her cheek against her damp pillow, breathing heavily. She whimpered as she saw another bright flash behind her closed eyelids and tensed, anxiously waiting for the roll of thunder which came a moment later.

Wendy pictured herself shivering in her bed as the storm raged on outside the nursery. John and Michael were sleeping, undisturbed by the weather. She imagined her fingers buried in Nana's fur. In the short silence after the thunder died away, she heard soft footsteps entering the room and the sound of Mother's night robe dragging on the floor behind her. Wendy felt the bed sink slightly as Mother sat down on its edge. She smiled slightly as Mother gently clasped her free hand and squeezed it gently. Immediately, some of Wendy's fear dissolved as she now knew she was not alone. She clung to the hand, basking in the warmth, silent protection, and strength that were given in that simple clasp.

After a little while, she jumped, startled by a flash of lightning and another rumble of thunder, not as loud as the others. Before her terror could return full force, Mother's other hand pushed some wet hair from her forehead.

Wendy relaxed more as she imagined Mother softly singing near her ear. It may have been a lullaby, but it was a song she had never heard Mother sing before. It was soothing and calming: her tears would be wiped away, and laughter would surround her, she would fly above the storm to a land of sunshine and rainbows…

Mother's voice was drowned out at times by the thunder, but as time went on, her voice become stronger than the thunder as the storm moved on. Wendy's grasp on Nana loosened. Her chin nestled into her shoulder. She did not react to the last of the lightning and thunder that reached out towards the nursery a final time. She gently squeezed Mother's hand in thanks before sleep claimed her and happily drew her into the land of dreams.


A last, faint flash of lightning reached down into the house under the ground before retreating for the night. There was only silence in the cool air.

Peter gazed down at Wendy and was relieved to see she at last had fallen asleep. Carefully, he freed his hand from her relaxing grasp, and tucked the blanket around her. He gently brushed away the tears which lingered on her cheeks. He then rose from crouching beside her. He stared at her for a long moment. To see the peace in her face after her tears and trembling and shaking was uplifting to the boy. He had never seen her so scared or helpless before, and he didn't like it.

A thoughtful frown darkened his brow as slowly he returned to his own bed. Lying down, he continued to watch Wendy. As he allowed his eyes to drift shut, he decided Wendy would never face her fear alone again.

THE END