Author's Note: Well, here's the first chapter of what will be a short, five-or-so chapter story. I've been fighting with this idea for a few days now; it simply refuses to go away and demands to be written.
What's a poor girl to do?
Reviews give my fingers the strength and speed to carry on … hint, hint.
It's a Fine Day for It
You've gotta love kids.
Chapter One: That Seems Reasonable
The Lost Boys, all but one, dove off of the Jolly Roger's plank and into the ocean. Even baby Michael took the plunge; clutching Bear with a delighted shriek, he plugged his nose and squeezed his eyes shut until impact with the water. As he bobbed to the surface, Nibs grabbed a hold of his arm and hefted him onto the ladder.
John Darling sat out, watching with a faint frown as Peter somersaulted into the water, making the biggest splash of all. The boy then caught a squealing Wendy in his grip and shook water all over her. "Peter!" Wendy, giggling, tousled his hair playfully. "You've got me all wet!" The boy who would never grow up just laughed smugly, and handed Wendy a large towel.
This exchange was particularly troubling to John. Wendy, noticing his discomfort, came to sit beside him, towel draped over her shoulders. "What's the matter, John?"
"You are my mother, aren't you, Wendy?" He asked, suddenly grabbing her hand.
She cocked her head at him, puzzled. "Of course!"
"And Peter is my father?"
Wendy laughed affectionately, brushing John's bangs away from his face. "You are full of silly questions today, John. Who else do you think your father could be?"
But John shook his head. "Then you and Father are married, aren't you?"
That threw the older girl for a pause, and she could do nothing but stare for several seconds, blinking rapidly. John, seeing that he had upset his mother, explained hurriedly, "It's only that mothers and fathers ought to be married."
She looked disturbed, her eyes flying to Peter and sticking there as a light blush colored her cheeks. "John!" she cried, embarrassed. "I…"
But Wendy had no answer for him; for indeed, she remembered, mothers and fathers ought to be married. Her mind conjured all sorts of words that she couldn't quite attach meanings to, except that a severe sense of impropriety surged through her: words such as wedlock, and wanton, and loose.
Wendy wasn't entirely sure of the location of the path of sin, but it sounded positively dreadful and she was one-hundred-percent certain that she didn't want to walk it.
"Well, yes, John," she managed finally. "I suppose they ought to be."
John seemed appeased. "Well then," he spoke with finality, "You and Peter are to be married!"
Both children spun at the new voice; Peter's hands were on his hips and an absolutely baffled expression donned his face. Wendy's face darkened to a shade comparable to a summer rose as John stated matter-of-factly, "You're to be married. All mothers and fathers must be married."
Peter frowned. "What's 'married'?" He asked, and his eyes lit. "Is it dangerous?"
John looked at Wendy, who sought desperately for a proper answer. "Oh, no. To be married is…oh, dear. It's a…a promise, that mothers and fathers make, that means…that they'll always stay together, and…and always care for their children, as long as they live."
They waited without breath as he seemed to consider the idea. "That seems reasonable," he decided.
Disregarding her towel, Wendy threw her arms around Peter's neck joyfully. "But," she exclaimed as she pulled away, suddenly realizing what a big undertaking a wedding was, "Who will marry us?"
Peter frowned at her, puzzled. "I thought that I was marrying you," he said slowly.
Wendy laughed patiently, resisting the urge to thimble his cheek (because Peter didn't like to show affection in front of the Lost Boys; Fathers were supposed to be tough). "You are. But someone has to actually perform the ceremony."
Nibs, who had joined the group, raised his hand eagerly. "I can do it!" He cried eagerly. "Oh, please, Mother!"
Wendy, who didn't like to show any doubts in her sons, eyed him nervously. "Are you certain? It's a very important job." He nodded earnestly, a smile lighting his face. "All right, then, Nibs," she declared. "John can teach you what to say to join us in marriage."
With a gleeful whoop, Nibs leapt to his feet and ran to the edge of the Jolly Roger. "Did you hear that, boys? I'm going to marriage Mother and Father!"
This news brought a fresh hoard of Lost Boys, each clambering to have a special job in the wedding. Wendy pressed her hands to her cheeks, overwhelmed. "Oh, my!" She cried fretfully. "One at a time boys, please!"
But they ignored her, continuing their shouting and tugging at her nightgown, until, "SHUT UP!" Silence flattened each boys' smile and Peter pointed his sword threateningly. "The next person to speak without permission gets run through!"
Wendy sat up a little straighter, although she knew he hadn't been speaking to her. Sometimes Peter was a little frightening (but really, it was part of the appeal).
"All right," she began in a soothing tone, "I'm sure we can find something for each of you. Nibs shall conduct the ceremony…Slightly, you can provide music…Toodles, you can be the ring bearer…and…and of course I shall need…" she cast around for something to say, "I shall need…"
She blinked, turning her head in surprise at the sound of Peter's voice. He winked. "That's the most important job of all, gents. Just think of it: you have to sit as still and quiet as possible so's you don't disturb anything. And if you don't…" he trailed off, shuddering.
Wendy's eyes twinkled as she bit her lip, playing along. "Oh, perhaps that's too dangerous for the boys, Peter," she began, before the shouts of the boys overpowered her meek suggestion.
"We can do it, Mother!"
"I won't hardly make no sound at all!"
"I'm the quietest boy you ever saw, Mother, I can do it!"
She smiled, heaving a sigh. "Oh, all right," she acquiesced. "But you must be careful, won't you? I need you to promise." The children each held out a pinkie, and Wendy dutifully linked with each in turn. "No crossies," she demanded sternly, and the boys nodded solemnly. She met Peter's eyes. "Thank-you," she said to him quietly.
He didn't answer, merely grinned smugly. "Oh, the cleverness of me," he crowed, before lifting into the air and diving back into the water. The Lost Boys quickly followed; this time with John in tow. Wendy shook her head, smiling as each sprinted off of the plank and into the cool ocean below.
Something in Wendy declared loudly that weddings weren't supposed to happen exactly like this; but something else, something larger exclaimed that it didn't matter how things were done in London—this was Neverland and she, Wendy Moira Angela Darling, was about to become a Pan.