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

Dedicated: For Arella1.


It was a fine day with not a cloud in the blue sky, and a cool breeze gave some relief in the heat. Two children were at the edge of the brook, washing that day's laundry. Well, one was washing while the other had the simple task of hanging the wet garments on the branches of a nearby tree.

"Why did Cinderella run away from the ball?" Peter asked as he moved back to Wendy's side after putting up a pair of pants.

The girl frowned a little. "Because if she had stayed, her dress would have changed back into rags, and everyone would have realized she wasn't a princess."

"The prince…would not have loved her anymore if he saw her dress change back?"

She thought for a moment. "I don't know. He might have. But he did marry her in the end and would have heard what had happened to her while living with her family."

The boy nodded slowly as he sat down and watched the sunlight dance over the water. "But he should have been able to keep up with her when she ran off. She would have needed to be careful not to break the slippers."

"Perhaps he was so surprised when she fled that she was too far ahead when he went after her," Wendy suggested, plunging Nib's soapy shirt into the water. Amusement crept into her tone: "It may a have been the first time a lady had ever run away from him, and for a moment he didn't know what to do."

"Hmmm," Peter replied, his gaze coming to rest on the girl again. "Well," he declared, "if you ever wear rags like Cinderella, I shall still like you."

Her head jerked up, and she turned towards the boy who met her astonished gaze. "You will?" she whispered shyly.

He nodded firmly and added, "And if you ever run away from me, Wendy, I will catch you." His eyes were like deep pools of blue, and there was a foreign softness in them.

Wendy blushed and, holding his gaze, said, "I won't run from you, Peter."

The boy smiled and leaned forward to thimble her on the cheek.