A gift for a loyal Peter/Wendy lover, who always sees fit to leave a kind yet honest review, even if the story in question isn't to her liking.
I've been horrible with my longer fics...and horrible to the readers. This is created from bits of the storyline to "Winds of Time" which is stalled...unfortunately. I plan to get back to it eventually. In the meantime...enjoy this somewhat ending. :)
Peter(Pete)/Wendy(Gwen). Reincarnation. Modern day.
by Azul Bloom
"Oh Peter. My boy. How long has it been?"
"I trust you've been kept company?"
"Yes. Your home was always so hospitable."
"I made sure they knew to be so."
"…Where are you?"
"Mostly nowhere. Sometimes here. You've called me up plenty."
"Will I be in your nowhere too?"
"I don't know."
"Wendy…I have to be in your nowhere…or somewhere…just…wherever…"
It was just after sunset so a line of rosy pink was still visible in the far horizon, but the velvet cover of night had already descended upon the land. The stars shone brightly, twinkling on and off and beckoning more and more of their brethren to come and witness the event; for tonight it was whispered amongst the whimsy winds that Peter Pan would finally unite with Wendy.
Bloomsburry Senior High had really outdone itself this year. Instead of the usual school gymnasium or community auditorium, they rented the old Barrie Manor, a large forgotten structure on the outskirts of town that had long been lost in memory. The gardens, once richly kept by the mistress of long ago, had grown wild and mischievous, covering stone and wood alike with deep greens and vibrant reds, yellows, violets and blues. The dance committee had considered wiping out the vegetations to make room for their artificial paradise, but they opted to only trim back a few of the more obtrusive growths and leave the garden as free as it liked to be.
They scattered a few white Christmas lights on the trees, bushes and vines, hung lanterns with orb candles every here and there and sprinkled vials of golden glitter dust in almost every place. At the end of their great toil, the crew took a step back, wiping sweat from their foreheads and cracking their fingers in pride. Someone with wide eyes gaping mouth said it was better than she expected they could do. Another person said he didn't think it really was them that did it.
It was after all…like a perfect Eden.
Gwen looked around the front of the manor as the car pulled up the street, driving further past it a bit before suitable parking was found. She glanced at her reflection in the windshield as her date walked around the black impala's extended backside, making his way to her door.
"Madam, if you please?" he said and offered her his hand, palm up.
Gwen chuckled delicately and took his hand, gliding out of the car; her shin-long dress fluttering sweetly in the light breeze as the many layers of ice blue thin shimmering fabric bounced and settled around her slender frame. It was as if the wind hugged her with every movement. "Thank you again, Nathan."
He closed the door with his butt and leaned against it, hands in pockets and ankles locked. A half smile plastered on his face, he looked straight at her, and then inspected her from heels to tawny curls. "All this loveliness would have been wasted, otherwise."
With a grin, Nathan offered her his arm and they walked up the street to the manor, joining all the other juniors in couples and huddles, chattering away ready for a night of frivolity.
"I'll make it up to you." She insisted. "Don't think for one minute that I don't know what a huge sacrifice this is for you. Only a real friend would come through for me at the last minute, like you did."
"Yes. I am wonderful." He sighed at his own greatness. "You WILL pay me back some day. But hey, I couldn't let you stay home tonight."
"Gwen!" A loud yelp from their right materialized into a girl in a short black dress and flats that scampered over to them. "Oh you look so pretty!" She swooned as she grabbed Gwen's hands and extended her arms to get a better look. "Oh and your hair! Oh, I'd kill for your hair!"
"Tess, you look great too!"
"And Nathan" Tess said as her attention refocused on him. "Who would have thought you can look fairly descent when you comb your hair?"
"Nice to see you too, Tess."
"But what gives? You two are here together?"
"Wh…what about James? Oh Gweny, you were gonna be the envy of the school!"
"It's a long story. And I'd rather not get into it right now. I wanna enjoy our Junior Prom. Besides…" she said as she gave Nathan's arm a tight hug. "Friends are just as good."
Having nothing else to add, Tessy said "later," and walked back to her own date, Tommy as he greeted Lily and John.
"Well, shall we?" With a dramatic swoosh of his hand, Nathan cleared the air for Gwen to continue up the steps. She nodded gracefully, enjoying the game of pretend and took his arm once more, beginning their ascension. She glanced at the structure of the home, admiring the large beautifully and intricately carved sycamore doors that were left wide open, leading down a long corridor lined with a midnight blue carpet with golden trimming that extended from front doors to the back of the home where large glass doors with etched vines and blooms gave way to the garden.
"Oh my," she gasped in awe. "This is gorgeous."
"Yeah. It really is." Nathan sounded distant, not in a troubled way, but as if his mind was zigzagging across planes.
"Anything wrong?" she asked.
"No…nothing. It's just … nice."
Tess ran up to them again with a pudgy red head by her side. "Guys, we got a table, wanna join?"
The night continued in a joyful manner. The group at the table consisted of Tess and her date Ray, Molly the red head and Heath, Helen, Rose, Mick, Gigi, Clem and Vince, Rosalyn, Olivia and Gwen and Nathan. All well known to each other so not a stitch of awkwardness was involved.
Once in a while, Gwen noticed that Nathan slyly glanced away from the table. She wondered if there was someone he was watching for. Perhaps the girl for whom he secretly held affections. Gwen knew there was one. It was in his face, in his glossed over gaze every now and then. On valentines she caught him with a red rose in hand and when she questioned him about who it was meant for, he blushed and that was odd, because Nathan was not the type of guy that blushed.
So now she felt a bit bad. She'd been so engrossed within her own problems with James and Pete that she hadn't given Nathan's situation any thought. And now, instead of bringing whoever he had really wanted to the dance, he had been stuck bringing her.
"Nathan" she leaned into his ear and whispered. "You don't need to stick by me all night." She smiled gently in the shadow that her cascading hair and his tilted head created. He saw the light lift from the corner of her lips and knew she was okay.
"Right." He whispered back. "I'll be back. Punch."
He got up amidst jovial questions and comments from the rest of the table and left but not to the refreshments area, but inside the manor. Gwen tried not to wonder about who he was going off to meet. If and when he wanted her to know, he'd tell her. Rosalyn engrossed her in the table's whimsy conversation and she released all concerns from her mind. Until…
The loud crashing music died down and a lullaby soft ballad began as the lights dropped to meet the dreamy rhythm of the song. "All right Bloomfield High! Looks like we're all present and accounted for. So at the request of one of you, we'll drop it down for love."
Couples took over the dance floor, hands on shoulders and waists, looking dreamily into each others eyes. Those around Gwen's table did the same. Heath and Ray pulled their dates up, Clem dragged Vince out and Mick took his pick from the others which turned out to be Rose. Olivia and Rosalyn wailed in fun over their single status and Gwen laughed, only to be interrupted by a soft tap on her shoulder.
She turned to see a very awkward Nathan. "Gwen, may I have this dance?"
The other girls hushed as they watched. Gwen was stunned by his demeanor, but she smiled anyway. "Sure."
He led her to the dance floor with his hand on her lower back, softly pushing her along. They found a spot and he took her right hand as the other settled on his shoulder.
"You look really nice tonight." He said with more awkwardness.
"Thanks. You already told me but it's always nice to hear it." She smirked. "And Tess was right, you really surprised me with the hair and the clothes and the shoes and all of that."
He laughed and then his eyes drowned in hers, a look that made Gwen fidget. A few times he looked like he was about to speak, and every time it made Gwen's heart stop. This was trouble. One single thought bounced around in her mind. Could Nathan's secret crush be…
"Gwen" He finally gathered the courage. "You're a great girl. James didn't deserve you."
She flashed him a grin paired with a wisp of a chuckle.
"I know you were disappointed when, well, when he showed himself for the…well…I won't say it…he's just a horrible person." Then he silenced, and she felt his arm around her waist and the hand that held hers give a light squeeze. "Were things different…if I was… if you hadn't been…" but he stopped himself again and the dark shadow that had appeared over his eyes vanished. "Well it's not important. It's fleeting, but other things…aren't."
"I'm not following you."
He laughed. "Damn. You have no clue? He's really gonna have a hard time with this."
He laughed again and she finally noticed that he had been leading her away from the center of the dance floor and off to the side were the gardens lead away down a little path toward a gazebo of steel and white roses with a sprinkle of more lights. Within the darkness of the gazebo, stood a boy who seemed to lengthen upward when Gwen came into view.
"What is this?" She asked as she stepped away from Nathan.
"It is… you're destiny, Gwen." He urged her forward and then disappeared into the dance again. Gwen watched him leave, making a motion as if to follow him, but she didn't.
"Scared?" the figure blurted out and gave away its identity.
She slowly turned to shadow and squinted for a better view. "Pete?" she asked.
He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, tucking his hands into his pants pockets. "Yeah."
"What is this all about?"
"Come up here, and I'll tell you." He said and she hesitated momentarily but did as he asked. With every step she took, his figure became clearer, ascending from the dark shadow that the gazebo created around him. He was gorgeous, she thought. Golden tresses combed back, curling out at the ends. Great big eyes of deep green, sprinkled with specks of gold and the most playful dots of black in the middle.
When she was but a couple of feet away, he offered her his hand and released it only once she was well within the shelter of the heavenly gazebo. "So?" she asked.
"Nathan is your date." He said.
Gwen gave him a sideways glance and wrapped her arm around one of the steel columns. "Yes. He was nice enough to accompany me tonight."
"Where is James?" he said with a mocking tone.
"I don't know." She shrugged her shoulders. "Probably off on his bike somewhere."
She arched an eyebrow at the word. "O... kay."
Pete shook his head. How rather curious that James had been someone she was interested in. He supposed it might have always been so. But it didn't matter. He knew what truly lay in her heart. Otherwise…time would have not allowed this.
"I once loved a girl very much." His voice dropped to a strong but subdued whisper.
Gwen gave him her full attention, tilting her head sideways in his direction. "I see. Were you in love?"
"Yes." He said. "But I didn't want to believe it. I couldn't believe it. It was against everything I ever thought I needed."
"That's pretty cowardly of you." She said with contempt. Why was he declaring his love for another to her?
"Yeah. I think so too. At least, I do now."
"So what happened?"
"She wanted me to make up my mind." He turned to Gwen. "And I did. I let her go."
"I still visited her, even though she learned to leave me in her past. But she was always very kind."
"She sounds wonderful."
"She was." His eyes remained on the dark night. "Eventually…after a long time…. She died."
Gwen felt a deep sinking heavy emptiness in the pit of her stomach that seemed to be her heart weighing down. "Oh." She let out a mournful whimper. "I'm sorry. Was she ill?"
Pete shook his head. "No. It was simply her time, she said. She wrote me a letter. That's how I found out. From then…I realized…I ..." He broke off and turned to Gwen. His far off gaze melted away in a flash and the playful sparkle again reigned in his eyes. "How do you like the decorations? They're cool aren't they?"
It shocked and rattled Gwen to see how fast he could switch. One moment, she could see a deeper side to him. An aged and wiser knowledge. Then, he was simply Pete again. "They're lovely."
"I'd say they were… as if out of a dream."
She stared at him. It was odd how much he seemed to be inside her head, hovering around in her thoughts before they spilled out of her mouth as words. "Yeah."
"Bella is a friend. I helped her out with ideas for the decorating committee. So in a way…I kinda thought this up."
"Oh. Well, you did a good job."
"Yeah." By then, he had made it to the side rail, leaning back on it with his elbows supporting his weight. "Gwen. What do you think of me?"
"Think of you?" She eyed him with concern. "You're a good person. Most of the time. But you can be a bit pompous. Arrogant."
He smiled and looked away. "Sounds like you really don't like me at all."
"It's not that I don't…"
He snapped his eyes back to her. "So you do like me."
She stammered. "I...I didn't say that…"
"You deny it?"
He closed in on her with a speed that took her by surprise. "Do you?"
"I…" Those perfect eyes of jade locked in an embrace with her own and she felt the ability to lie ripped from her. "I'm done playing this game!" She said and tried to make her way around him.
But he grabbed her arm, not harshly, but still tightly. "But the game was so fun."
Gwen stood motionless, unable to make sense of the situation. Sensing he was loosing her before he'd even gained her back, he loosened his hold on her arm a bit and retreated slightly, allowing her space. "I…I don't want to be alone anymore." He whispered with his gaze down.
She stopped pulling away, but didn't look back at him. "I don't know what you want. Why…what is all this about?"
"It's all about you, Gwen."
Her head shot back; her eyes resting on him. "Me? You have a very funny way of going about things! You knew that I…'fancied' you as you put it, but never did you give me any mind! Not until James did! And now…that….that James turned out to be such a….now that I want nothing to do with him and I thought I could simply forget the both of you…you come and pull this trick on me! I'm not your play thing! I'm not your game! I'm not something you can amuse yourself with and then forget when you've had enough!"
She'd ripped her arm away from his hold and was about to storm off.
"Wendy!" he cried out in desperation.
A warming chill crept down her spine. That name…what was it about that name? "Was that her name?" she almost whispered back.
"And you call me by her name. I'm not her." She took a couple of determined steps straight toward him; firmness in her tone building with every word. "Is that your aim? To replace the one you lost with me?"
"No. Never could I replace her. Never. Only she could make this loneliness go away. Only you."
She was dizzy with confusion. The world around her blurred in and out of focus as the white decorative lights twinkled and moved as if alive. "What…"
Pete noticed the dazed expression on her face as she appeared to sway just slightly. She was coming back. He knew it. It was happening at this very moment. All she needed was a little more...carefully...delicately...
"I got your letter just days after…but I found out before I even knew. The fairies felt it…Neverland felt it. I felt it."
"Neverland?" The world seemed more brilliant, the colors transcending the hold of reality and becoming more than just hues. The lights now flew around as if detached from earth. Gazing deeper into Pete, she saw his elegant dark suit melt away revealing emerald green that glowed brightly.
"It cried for you. The skies bore gloom and the forests grew dim. Not a creature was joyous. It just never was the same again."
"You were…you are…its chosen princess…You are…my chosen…princess…" And he took her in his arms, drawing her limping body closer to his own and wrapping himself around her. Like a spell being cast, he spoke her true name into her mouth, whispering each syllable. "Wendy".
She almost became liquid in his arms as all her strength dissaperated with their lips embrace. He held her tightly, forgetting any plan or course of action he had delicately plotted out. In that moment...all of him was dedicated and meant for her.
A cool breeze swept through the whole garden, taking the party goers by surprise, and circling the steel gazebo until finally engulfing the young lovers in a flood of memories. Hair and dress swaying wildly in the wind, Gwen felt her heart opening her mind, easing the truth back into her reality. There were fairies and mermaids; crystal lakes and diamond stars; fireplaces and laughing children; dancing under the dark veil of night when no one but they inhabited their world. In a matter of seconds, although it seemed like decades, 'Gwen' became a simple mask.
"Pe…ter?" she asked, her eyes still closed, afraid of the uncertainty all around her.
"Yes…" he loosened the embrace, but she held on tightly to his jacket, as if not ready to let go.
Wendy opened her eyes slowly, taking in the vision before her. It was still Pete in flesh, a boy with slicked back hair in polished shoes wearing a black tux, but she now knew it was just on the outside…for inside…he was a boy dressed in skeleton leaves with wild, sun kissed hair and the brilliance of summer in his skin.
"You...have...come back to me?" He asked, almost happily chocking on his words.
Still entranced, Wendy managed a gentle, sweet smile. "You... came back...for me...just like you promised."
Slowly, the blurryness went away and a new strength filled her body. "What took you so long?" she asked playfully.
Peter chuckled. "I was ... just a boy."
Wendy's smile grew wider and suddenly she gasped...aware of a phenomenon she wouldn't have thought possible just a few minutes beforehand. She glanced downward quickly to beckon his eyes to look to their feet. Peter did so and laughed triumphantly.
The ground was a distance below them so there they were, hovering in the air like so many years before. He pulled her out from under the gazebo's roof and upward toward the diamond filled sky.
They were finally home.