A/N: I've always loved Peter Pan. This just popped into my head, 9 o'clock at night, during study leave. And I couldn't stop writing. I've never written any Peter Pan fanfics, so I hope this one is alright.
I'm not sure if I should leave this as a oneshot or continue.
"Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane." - Morgan Freeman's Red in The Shawshank Redemption
"Once upon a time, there was a girl called Cinderella who lived in a far distant land you all probably haven't heard of. She was rather pretty, and had two trusted friends - a raccoon called Joe and a cat called Mitt.
Now Joe and Mitt were pretty smart for animals. She'd met them a while back, way before this story started..."
"Remember the story about the haunted forest?"
"Anyway, Joe and Mitt were the ones who found the hidden treasure map to a large pile of gold and treasure and asked Cinderella to help. The treasure, she said, would free her family from the evil clutches of the nasty one-eyed golem."
"Last time, it was the story about that golem, right?"
"Yes. Now, the problem was, there was a pirate who was after this treasure too. He was a handsome man by the name of Piers..."
From the first day that Wendy, her brothers, and the ex-Lost Boys left Neverland, Peter Pan watched them.
He watched them grow up, and, like lonely, desperate children, he wished he grew with them too. He wished the Boys were still with him, running around Neverland, terrorizing Hook, following him on his escapades (though he would never admit it).
He wished John and Michael Darling still with him - John, who fervently followed the Lost Boys and the Indians, and Michael, who looked up to him with adoration.
But most of all, he wished Wendy, Wendy, the girl who had given him her thimble, who had stirred unknown feelings within him, had stayed. He had thought of her as an annoying pestilence as first, but she was a good storyteller. He missed her stories, her tales spun from silken threads that wove into each other to continue, forevermore.
She never ended her stories. From the first day she started telling them to the last day of her stay in Neverland, she left them - no, she didn't merely leave them; she made endings that weren't really endings, but more like beginnings, making you hang onto every word that came from her ruby lips, making you beg for more.
It was cruel, but enthralling.
And so Peter Pan watched them grow, he watched Wendy grow into a beautiful teenager, he watched as John, Michael, and each of the Lost Boys departed for 'boarding school' (whatever that was), and came back every Christmas and summer.
It was so lonely.
Tinker Bell, his loyal companion for many years, had died a while back. Peter didn't remember when, but he felt the loss wrack his young body, but he knew it was the way. Fairies had short lives from a human's point of view, but to them, it was a long while.
But he would see her again someday. The Fairy Queen had mentioned something about rebirth among the fairies - to make up for their life spans. Peter, like every other inhabitant of Neverland, lived forever, unless they were somehow killed. Humans never aged - unless they felt like they wanted to.
And Peter wanted to grow up. Though he had once vowed never to, the loneliness ate at him. Before the appearance of Wendy and her brothers, he would not have had such wishes. Before the arrival of Wendy, he would have never wanted to grow up.
But he now did. All the people he cared about were growing up, and he wished to grow. And he did. His unruly hair became more unruly, his legs longer, and his lean frame filling out just right. But his eyes never changed. The mirthful, mischievous depths never changed.
In one recent spar with Hook, he had noticed Peter's change.
"Where's your darling Wendy? She went home, didn't she?"
Peter decided not to dignify that with a response. The whole of Neverland knew of Wendy's return, for she had touched them all deeply with her presence, even for a short time.
Hook had twirled his cutlass then, to try and fake a jab at Peter. But Peter never fell for his feigning - there was always a little twitch in his eye that Peter picked up. "You changed for her, didn't you, Peter Pan. You grew up."
Hook was starting to rile him. "Of course! Everyone grows up sometime!" he snarled, and started attacking more aggressively, jabbing his blade forward, towards Hook's chest. But Hook managed to block the blow, a smirk forming on his thin lips.
"Neverland isn't the same as where she is, Pan. She's going to grow up and forget about us and Neverland, get married to a man, have her own children, and grow older, until she becomes an old woman. And then she's going to die." Hook's amused face made Peter want to slash him into pieces, and feed him to the ticking crocodile, bit by bit.
But his words had implanted a seedling in Peter Pan's mind. She's going to grow up and forget about us and Neverland, get married to a man...
A foreign emotion pierced his heart. The forgetting part was worrying, but for some reason, it didn't bother him as much as the 'married to a man' part was. He didn't know what 'married' meant, but it didn't feel right. For Wendy to do anything with another man made him feel angry and it felt like something had scorched his chest.
She couldn't forget about Neverland. She couldn't get 'married' to a man. She couldn't have children with that man. She couldn't grow old and die.
Peter Pan would not allow that to happen to Wendy. Those words that Hook said would never happen.
Contrary to the beliefs of Michael, John, and the rest of the ex-Lost Boys, Wendy had never forgotten about Neverland. In fact, her dreams were constantly plagued by the roguish boy with the sparkle in his eye, his unruly, yet silken hair that she could run her fingers through and who she had given her first kiss to.
She remembered the stories she told the Boys and Peter - and she did continue them after they left Neverland. In truth, they were almost parallel to her life. Cinderella was the embodiment of Wendy herself, Joe and Mitt were of all the boys, and Piers was Peter.
Of course, she made it interesting with plots that wound round all the characters, some of which never even happened. If she had removed them, it would have been obvious, even to the children, who she was talking about. However, as time passed by, the stories wound down - there was no more with Pan, and the boys were now gone; they had now grown up, and were far too busy for such things.
But Wendy still held on. Hoping.
But her father, the ever-conventional Edwardian man, was tied to reality. He understood the arrival of the Lost Boys, and had adopted them, but he had told her to forget Neverland.
"Daughter," he had stated solemnly one night, "You are of marriageable age. You should be out there, finding a suitor, finding a husband, and not holding onto your childhood. You have grown up."
Despite her protests, Wendy knew it was her obligation. She, at the age of sixteen and a little more, was supposed to be ready to find her future husband. But she would never forget her first love, the first boy she had given her 'thimble' to.
Peter Pan - the boy who haunted her dreams, who was the subject of her daydreams.
It had been years. She had left the window open, in vain hope that he would whisk her away to Neverland again. Foolishly, she had stayed awake, lying in bed, her eyes trained on the horizon and the London rooftops for the boy, until she grew weary and fell asleep.
Sometimes she thought she felt a presence nearby. Sometimes, in the morning, she thought she saw handprints on the window.
The windows were now closed.
And Wendy was in a pretty baby blue dress, ready to go to a nearby party with her mother and aunt, to meet with Gavin. She had met him a while back, during McIntyre's cocktail, and he had been a gentleman, his eyes sparkling similarly with mischief.
Wendy knew her aunt was trying to get her and Gavin together, but she couldn't help but think it was a little rushed. She had no problem with his flirting, or his small gifts, but it seemed with each meeting, he became bolder, to Aunt Millicent's delight.
She thought it was too much. Her mother, on the other hand, knew what was happening and tried to intervene. Like all mothers, she could read her daughter's feelings like a book, and knew it was too fast for comfort.
Mrs. Darling could see that her darling daughter, Wendy, was still hung up on the handsome boy who had stolen her heart.
Peter had returned, determined to see Wendy, and see if she had forgotten about him and Neverland. But she was heading into a carriage, in a beautiful dress, along with her mother and aunt.
And so he followed her, hiding in the shadows, until they reached a nice manor in the countryside, the bright lights of the ballroom visible. It was at this point Wendy and chaperones exited the carriage, and Peter took off, climbing onto a tree in the garden to peer into the ballroom.
It was magnificent.
The furniture was gold-trimmed and white, the floor a marble grey, and above the masses of dancers, a crystalline chandelier of gold, reflecting its own light, illuminating the large room.
He watched as his beautiful Wendy entered, with her mother and aunt behind her, appearing to look for someone. The beady eyes of Wendy's aunt caught someone heading their way, and a smile appeared on her face; Peter's eyes followed.
A young man, dressed in black, had taken his Wendy's white-gloved hand, and planted a thimble on it.
Outrage. The fires in Peter's chest burned ferociously, as he watched that bastard take give his Wendy a thimble. Peter wanted to burst in there and whisk Wendy away, but for some reason, he felt he couldn't.
He observed as the fiend pulled his Wendy amid the crowd of dancers, swaying slowly to some song that Peter had never heard before. His Wendy placed her delicate hands on the wretch's shoulder, and Peter felt the smouldering rage envelope his body as he saw the brute grabbed her small waist with his grubby hands.
It was pure torture. The pricking at his heart did not stop; it had increased, and he felt as if his blood was trickling down, down to the earth.
By the time the music stopped, Peter felt like he had sat there, on the tree, for eternity. And then the killing blow came.
The scoundrel tipped her backwards slightly, and gave her a heated thimble.
The pain in Peter's heart was unbearable, threatening to shatter it forever. Wendy had gifted him with that thimble - the thimble on the lips. Her soft, pliant lips should have only touched his, not some scumbag's!
If Wendy remained in the thimble for any longer, Peter felt like he would die on the spot.
As if some God had answered his heart's desperate cry, Wendy tore away, and ran, through the crowd, onto the balcony, away from the knave, into the gardens. It was then, Peter's chest felt like a great weight had been lifted off it.
Wendy's hands were desperately wiping at her mouth. Gavin's kiss made her feel... dirty. And now, she was wiping away the remnants of it, wiping away the kiss as tears streaked down her porcelain cheeks.
Her kiss had been reserved for one only. The one who took her to Neverland. The one who had stolen her heart.
The one who would never return to claim it.
A cool breeze had blown past, tossing her hair into disarray. But Wendy didn't care. Gavin had overstepped his bounds. Gavin had taken something she wasn't willing to give.
And her heart screamed betrayal at her even letting him close to her. It was screaming for the one who could calm her frayed nerves with a simple smile, who could make her feel whole.
She could hear steps coming up from behind her. Peter?
He was about to swoop down to Wendy, and take her away to Neverland, but someone had come. Quickly, he zoomed back to his hiding place, and watched as Mrs. Darling walked onto the balcony, talking to Wendy.
Mrs. Darling was a kind woman, unlike her sister-in-law, Wendy's aunt. She was the mother Peter would have liked, but he would not leave Neverland. He watched as the older woman wiped away his Wendy's tears, hugged her, and escorted her out of the manor.
Dammit! It should have been him wiping her tears, taking away her pain, making sure her smiles and laughter was always there. It should have been him.
Disappointed, he followed the carriage in the darkness back to London. Back to the Darlings' house. There, he would make his presence known
Her mother always knew what was wrong with her. With one look, her mother always knew her feelings.
She was soothing, taking away her tears, with delicate dabs of her handkerchief.
"Gavin was too forward, my darling. I'll talk to Aunt Millicent - she'll tell him to tone down on all this. If you don't want to see him, dear, just tell us."
Wendy meekly nodded, and let herself be guided into the carriage, taking her back home. She missed the boys, who were all in a faraway boarding school, their imaginations crushed as calculating logic took over.
John had been one of the first to dismiss Neverland. He claimed that Neverland was just a childish little game that they had played when they were young, and the Lost Boys were not from Neverland after all - their parents had adopted them from a nearby orphanage.
But Michael still believed. During one of the holidays when all the boys were back, he confessed, "We don't mention it anymore. John used to talk about it a lot, and the boys teased us. Then the headmaster caught the wind of it and told him to stop such 'childish fantasies'. When he didn't stop, he and a couple of the Lost Boys were caned hard. They never spoke of it again."
It had broken Wendy's heart. Her beloved brother, along with some of the boys, had been oppressed by the system. The system, where 'common sense' reigned and imagination was cast off as some illusory child's play.
As she climbed the steps to her bedroom, she hoped - no, she wished Peter Pan would come and save them from the constraints of society. Like clockwork, she opened the window, before changing into her nightclothes and slipping into bed.
The moment she turned towards the window, to see the moonlight filter through the windows and into the room, she saw a familiar silhouette.
"They found the treasure, and saved Cinderella's family."
"What about Piers and Cinderella? Didn't they live happily ever after?"
"Well, the thing was, Cinderella never told Piers what she felt. And she didn't know what Piers felt about her either."
"So what happened?"
A sad smile found its way onto Wendy's face. "That's a story for next time."