A little ficlet I came up with while on holiday. Yeah, it's Wocky/Pearl. Again. But set in the PW era!
Little Pearl swallowed and shivered as she shuffled her way into the deserted park- it had taken her over fifteen minutes to get there, and she was freezing cold. The already-dead autumn leaves rustled and crunched beneath her feet- it was late September, and a chilly breeze was setting in, causing the swings to creak eerily as they swung back and forth, as if they held the spirits of children playing there.
She had hoped the park would be in better shape- she planned to spend a whole hour there, after all. In the book she bought that gave couples advice on how to strengthen their relationship, it had said 'Be sure to spend some time alone together, away from the kids.' And she was the kid, right? So, she had decided to give Mr Nick and Mystic Maya their 'alone time'. They sure deserved it.
Pearl wasn't sure she trusted those creaky swings, nor the rusty roundabout. The only other thing in the park was a huge old oak tree twisting up out of the hard ground at the back of the park, bare of leaves, sparkling with frost, and bending over on itself like an old man. The bottom branches stooped quite low to the ground. If Pearl, jumped, she could reach them.
Trotting over to the tree, she steadied herself before launching into the most powerful leap she could muster. Grabbing the branches with her small, strong hands, she hung there for a few moments, before gathering her strength and swinging her right leg up to hook around the branch. Then, using her leg, she pulled the rest of her body up and around so that she was lying on top of the thick branch. She lay there panted for a short while, before getting to her feet, using the branches above her to stop her falling. Then she repeated the process onto the next branch, ever so slowly ascending up the huge withered tree.
After a while she stopped for breath. Leaning her back against the trunk of the tree and sliding down to sit on the branch, she gazed out over the empty park and smiled proudly. She had made it very high up. She was sure she could not be too far from the very top. But Pearl was wise enough to know she should never climb to the very top of such a big tree. She should really climb down now.
Shifting in her position, she glanced straight down so she could judge the best route down. Strange… The branches below her seemed much further away than when she had climbed them just ten minutes ago. She had climbed a lot higher than she'd thought. Sliding nervously off of her branch, she kicked her legs out below her to try to feel for the branch below. She couldn't find it. And then she started to panic. Frantically heaving herself back up onto her previous branch, her darted her eyes left and right, desperately scanning the park for any signs of life. There was none.
"Mr Nick… Mystic Maya…" Pearl's lower lip began to tremble. She began to sniffle. And then she burst into tears. "Heeeeelp!"
A few streets away, and young boy was riding his bicycle, furiously trying to perfect the Wheelie, when an ear-splitting shriek had caused him to lose control of the handle bars. The front wheel of the bike hit an uneven piece of paving on the ground, and he was sent flying over the top of his bike and crashing head first into a gathering of dustbins.
"Oww…" He groaned, rubbing his sore nose, plucking a banana peel off of his wild brown hair, smoothing down his orange fringe and brushing yesterday's Chinese takeaway from his clothes. He looked angrily from side to side. "Awright! Whoever what screamed just now, you gonna regret it!" He shouted. "C'mon, show yourselves, if yo' man enough!"
A pitiful sob was his reply.
"Help me… Somebody please help me…"
The boy's vicious expression faded from his face, and he looked around.
"Who said that?"
It sounded like… a little girl. Crying. The boy began to walk through the maze of alleyways, eyes peeled for this person in need of rescue, his stride becoming faster and faster as the voice became more and more urgent.
Eventually he came into the cleared in which the park was located. Weird… He was sure the voice had been coming from this direction, and yet the park was completely deserted. He wandered out into the centre of the park, frowning.
"Um, ex-excuse me…" he heard a weak voice ring out and he jumped a foot in the air.
"Wh-Wh-Who said that?!" He demanded, sweating bullets.
"Up here!" The voice sniffled.
The boy looked up to see a little girl wearing odd, old-fashioned clothing, her elaborately-styled hair blowing gently in the breeze, her face white and stained with tears. Ghostly white.
"AHHH!" The boy yelped in shock, leaping into the air and landing unceremoniously on his backside. "WHAT THE HELL?!"
The girl sniffed again and wiped her eyes.
"I'm stuck." She whimpered mournfully.
"I climbed up, and now I can't get down."
"Uh…" The boy looked around. "Should I… go get someone?"
"Don't leave me!" The girl began to wail again, like some grieving banshee.
"Ok, ok! Don't start cryin' again, sheesh!" The boy grumbled. He paused. "What's your name?"
"I can't tell you. You're a stranger." Pearl said. She'd often heard from her teacher that she must never tell a stranger her full name.
"Well… How old are ya?" The boy asked.
"T-Ten." Peal answered. "Um… Boy, are you going to help me?"
"Hey! I ain't no little boy, G! I'm a man, through an' through, got it?!" The boy said fiercely.
"Um… Ok…" Pearl said.
"Y'know, gal, yo' ain't that high up. You sho' you can't reach that branch there?" The boy asked.
"Yes! I tried and I tried, but I couldn't!" Pearl's eyes filled with tears and she began to howl again.
"Ack! D-Don't cry!" The boy ran up to the side of the tree and began to haul himself up. "Hold on a sec, I'll come get you!"
"A-Are you sure?" Pearl asked warily.
"Yeah, course! I am nearly thirteen, y'know!" The boy bragged. Then he lost his balance and he fell backwards, leaving him hanging upside-down by his legs from the branch. Pearl gulped.
It didn't take too long for the boy to scramble his way up to the branch below her- he climbed faster than Pearl, but with less precision, causing him to slip and very nearly fall a couple of times. By the time he reached her, he was covered in all sorts of grazes and bruises, none of which he seemed to pay much attention to.
"Ok." He breathed heavily, trying to catch his breath as he got shakily to his feet on the branch directly below Pearl. Leaning one hand against the tree trunk for balance, he raised his other to her.
"C'mon, grab my hand." He ordered.
"Your face! It's bleeding!" Pearl cried in alarm.
"Wha? Oh, yeah." The boy shrugged nonchalantly. He shook his raised hand. "Away!"
"Um, ok…" Pearl lowered a trembling hand to grab onto the boy's. The second their hands touched she latched onto him like a vice, her breath shaking, she was so frightened.
"Good. Now, gimme your other hand." The boy said. And, maintaining his balance, he let go of the tree trunk and raised his other hand to her. Pearl slowly let go of the branch and held onto it, shaking like a leaf caught in a gale.
"Right, now swing your legs over this side of the branch, got it?" The boy said. He sounded calm, but Pearl could feel his hands trembling as she held onto him.
"I can't." Pearl whispered.
"You can, come on!" The boy urged.
"No! I'll fall!" Pearl protested fearfully.
"You won't fall!" The boy looked up at her, a serious frown on his face. "Listen up, 'kay? You ain't gonna fall." He assured her. "Now, we gonna get you down from here or what?"
Pearl nodded, and taking a deep breath and steeling herself, she swung her legs over one side of her branch, very nearly losing her balance and keeling over all together. Pearl screamed.
"Cut it out!" The boy snapped. "Now, shift yourself offa that branch. Don't worry, I'm holdin' onto you. You won't fall."
"No, but you might." Pearl said.
The boy ignored her. Pearl carefully slid herself off her branch. She and the boy miraculously landed on the length of the branch below, albeit in a painful heap, the boy hitting the back of his head against the tree trunk and Pearl twisting her wrist.
"You ok?" The boy asked.
"Yes, I… I think so." Pearl said breathlessly. "You?"
"Whatever. Let's just get down from here." The boy said gruffly; and they began the entire terrifying process again, the boy clambering down onto a lower branch first, then leading Pearl down by the hand after him.
They reach the bottom in little over twenty minutes- more than half the time it had taken Pearl to get up.
"Th… Thank you very much." Pearl said, still quivering.
"Ah, no problem. You just gotta help out if ya see a Damsel in Distress, y'know what I'm sayin'?" The boy grinned. He paused. "I forgot to ask… You're not a ghost, are you?"
Pearl giggled. "No!"
"Ah… Good." The boy grinned sheepishly, tugging at his orange fringe.
Pearl gasped. "You are hurt!" She exclaimed, rushing to his side and leaning upwards to get a better look at his grazed cheek. "Oh no! This is all my fault!" Her eyes started to well up again.
"Ah, no worries. It's just a lil' scratch." The boy shrugged it off.
"No, look, it's bleeding a bit!" Pearl insisted. "You might… You might need stitches!"
"What?! Yo' crazy, kid." The boy laughed. "This is nothing. I get scrapes alla time."
"Hm…" Pearl frowned in protest. Then she stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek, right on the small graze.
"Gyahh!" The boy clamped a hand over his cheek like he'd been stung by a wasp. He glared at her. "Wh-Why did you do that?!" He demanded.
Pearl pouted, hurt. "I was just kissing it better." She said innocently.
"Well, I don't need it kissin' better, 'kay, G?!" The boy shouted furiously, wiping his cheek deliberately. "Yuck!"
"B-But that's what you're supposed to do when someone saves you…" Pearl said confusedly. That was always how it went in Fairy Tales!
"I did not save you!" The boy yelled. His face was getting pretty red by now.
"Y-Yes, you did…" Pearl sniffed. "You climbed up and helped me down when I was stuck. You saved me."
"Shut up! Don't say that!"
Pearl tilted her head to one side like a puzzled little cat. "Why?"
"B-Because!" The boy snapped. His voice lowered in volume. "It's embarrassing!"
"But I thought…" Pearl lowered her head sadly. What she though had been a good idea had now backfired in her face, and she had upset her rescuer. Her bottom lip began to tremble, and her eyes began to burn again. "I'm sorry, I thought…" Her voice caught in her throat and she didn't say any more.
"Oh, God, no! Don't cry, don't-" The boy said, panicked, waving his hands in front of his face trying to shush her.
Pearl began to howl, her face crumpled, noisy tears flowing down her cheeks.
"Ah… Uh…" The boy looked around nervously, checking if anyone was around to stare. He hadn't meant to make upset her! Dammit, how come every time he met someone new, someone always ended up in tears?! How to stop her crying...? How to stop her crying?!
Well, he did the one thing that was guaranteed to shut her up.
He kissed her.
Not an innocent peck on the cheek either; a proper kiss-on-the-lips. Right there, in the middle of the park.
Pearl's eyes widened, and her tears immediately halted- she was far to shocked to focus on crying. Her first kiss! She always wondered what it would be like! Hmm, it was… different to how she'd imagined it would be. She'd thought it would be more… gentle? The boy's lips were dry, and he had a cut there from the feel of it. But… it did feel quite nice, actually…
Pearl suddenly felt the boy pull away from her abruptly, and she snapped open her eyes, which she had automatically closed to see him stumble back, trip over his own feet and land unceremoniously on his backside. His cheeks were bright scarlet and he was stuttering incoherently, as if he'd only just realised what he'd done.
"Um…" Pearl swallowed, her face pink, though not from crying. "What…?"
Leaping to his feet, the boy shouted "That, just now! It was nothing, okay?!" And without another word he turned and bolted across the clearing like a speeding bullet. He skidded round the corner and didn't come back.
That night when Pearl skipped cheerfully back into Wright and Co Law Offices, both Maya and Phoenix had to wonder why she seemed to be in too much of a dream to even ask if they had had a nice, romantic time.
"Yes?" Pearl shook her thoughts from her skull.
"Wassup?" Wocky asked.
"Oh, nothing, I was just thinking… Seven years ago… you were the one that saved me, weren't you?" Pearl said, smiling knowingly.
"Yes. Remember that little girl you rescued from being stuck in a tree in that park? The one you kissed? That was me." Pearl revealed proudly/
Wocky shrugged. "Oh, I know." He said nonchalantly.
"You… What?! How long have you known?" Pearl cried, anmoyed at being kept in the dark for so long.
"Ehh, I dunno. Figured it out not long after I met ya. I mean, met you again." Wocky answered.
"And you didn't tell me?!"
"I thought you knew!"
"Well, I didn't! Until just now." Pearl corrected herself. Well, at least she could get a few questions off her chest now! "So… Why did you run away after you kissed me, hmm?"
"Well…" Wocky bit his lip and rubbed the back of his neck. "People were starin' at us!"
"The park was empty." Pearl raised her eyebrows, seeing right through his lie.
"Damn!" Wocky cursed. "You remember that?!"
"Of course! A girl isn't exactly going to forget her fist kiss, now, is she?" Pearl sighed.
"I guess not… So…" Wocky paused. "Did you like it?"
"Y'know…" Wocky lowered his voice. "The kiss."
"Wocky!" Pearl cried, pretending to be offended.
"What?!" Wocky said indignantly.
Childhood fluff, woo! Oh, did I mention how much I love reviews? Anything you have to say on this would be helpful, so please, review if you feel like it!