Story: wendy wendy wendy
Summary: "Peter," she said, "the only way I'll go with you is if you drug me and toss me over your shoulder. And even then, it's a toss-up."
Notes: God, I'm a total sucker for children's books. Also, imitating Barrie? Not. Fun.
Disclaimer: I own the illustrated version, which is rather oddly filled with drawings that make it look the book took place in the twenties. And I, in my infinitely ill humor, am somewhat annoyed by that. Yes, I am a freak.
Wendy Moira Angela Darling III was pissed.
"I have a what, sir?" she asked.
"A passing grade," said her professor, looking at her over the rim of his spectacles. "I don't know why you appear to be so shocked, Miss Darling."
"Because I am great at Lit & Comp!" she bellowed.
"You may be great," he said absently, rifling through a pile of papers, "but your attendance record speaks to the contrary. Try handing your papers in on time, Miss Darling, and perhaps your grade will begin to reflect this supposed greatness."
"I – I . . . Ah!" Wendy, with much stomping of boots and tossing of hair, stormed from his office.
John and Michael were waiting for her outside of the professor's corridor, chatting in overly-bright voices, considering the circumstances, and being generally insensitive gits. Wendy make sure to hit each of them with her swinging bag as she marched past them.
"Oomph!" cried John as a particularly pointy corner caught him in the stomach. "What was that for, Wends?"
"I HATE MR. COMPEYSON," she yelled into the rafters, and continued through the front doors of the building onto the street.
"Ah," said John knowledgably. "So the grade wasn't a mistake, then?"
"John," said Michael, cowering a little, "shut up."
"YES," said Wendy. "HE INSISTS THAT I'M NOT PUTTING IN ENOUGH EFFORT. Well, bloody screw his effort. And his mum."
"That's nice," said Michael faintly.
"Don't we know his mum?" asked John. "She makes lemon bars for Sunday dinners."
Wendy, nose firmly in the air, knew better than to respond to such provocation. Michael would do it for her, he being the fearful sort.
"John," he promptly hissed, "don't rile her up!"
"She's already riled up," pointed out John.
"You're going to make her worse," said Michael, "and then she won't help up with our homework."
"Ah," said John. "And your motives become rather clear, don't they?"
"Well, I care about my grades—"
"— yeah, when Wendy's helping you with them—"
"—and if you're so bloody brilliant, why can't you string a sentence together without her help—"
" – if you find it so impossible to pass through secondary school without her help, why are you even bothering—"
"—we're both going to fail our A-levels if she doesn't help—"
"Boys," said Wendy, who had paused outside of Boots. "I am going inside for a new tube of lippy. When I return, you will have shut up."
She turned, entered the store, and disappeared into the waves of coiffed matrons and muddled-looking husbands.
"Your fault," muttered Michael a few seconds into their silence.
Ten minutes later, Wendy had returned, her forehead dabbed with powder and her lips shining brightly. She was also looking a considerable bit more sociable.
"Hullo," said John. "Done?"
"Ready," said Wendy, swinging her bag across her chest. "Shall we?"
"We shall," said Michael, proffering an arm. Wendy took it with all due gravity, and they set off down the street, looking for the world as if they'd been in Victorian times (were Victorian fashion to have included scuffed black boots and mini-skirts and shirts with oddly-phrased words on them).
This was the third time that Wendy Moira Angela Darling had been . . . well, Wendy Moira Angela Darling. In the beginning, she'd always been Wendy, at least until an odd night in 1905, from which she eventually returned and insisted on being called Moira.
And that was the end of that, especially when Moira Darling Kennedy died in 1956. She had children, but little was remembered of them.
She did, however, have a tenuous connection to the next Wendy Moira Angela Darling, born two minutes after her death in 1956. Regardless of a lack of family relations, the two grew up remarkably similar. Wendy II, in fact, disappeared for a few months in 1959, whereabouts unknown. Records show that, when she returned, she legally changed her name to Angela Darling, preferred Angie.
So when Angie Darling Evans died in 1991, it was a shock to everyone that a pair of (again, unrelated) Darlings chose to name their newborn daughter Wendy Moira Angela in her honor.
Well, a shock to almost everyone.
"This is the part of the conversation where I add something witty, isn't it?" said John suddenly. They were in the midst of their usual Friday afternoon activities, with tea in the old nursery and Wendy giving dramatic renditions of her newest novels.
Wendy, scanning ahead a few chapters, shrugged. "Perhaps," she said. "Are you feeling witty?"
"I dunno," said John. "I just feel a bit like there's something witty I could be saying at the moment."
Michael, stacking Mrs. Darling's best tea china in a tower, paused. "I feel like I should be running about," he said. "Like I used to when I was little."
"You still do, dear," said Wendy, who had nonetheless ceased in her reading. "You don't think – it's those feelings, do you?"
"Bit late, iddinit?" asked John, who wasn't talking about the time. "We've been waiting for four years and it's getting more improbable every day, Wends."
"Oh, what do you know?" asked Wendy irritably. "We wouldn't have come back if something wasn't going to happen."
"Yes, it's our god-given destiny to save Neverland from the Nefarious Hook," muttered Michael.
"I think I liked you better when you were younger," sniffed Wendy.
"I'm the same age as you are and we're as related as a banana and a pair of socks," said Michael. "I'm allowed an opinion now." He often felt the need to assert himself in some way or another. He was taller than both Wendy and John now, but was still treated like the youngest.
"Don't underestimate the genetic adaptability of the banana," remarked Wendy in one of her usual airy tones. "At any rate, I'm absolutely knackered." She yawned, then peered at the old clock over the nursery fireplace. "And it's only three in the afternoon." She gave John and Michael a significant glance. "What about you?"
John opened his mouth, perhaps his witty comment making its appearance, but it was drowned out by an absolutely enormous yawn.
"Imagine . . . that," he said, and by the end of his sentence all three of them were fast asleep on the nursery floor.
A few seconds later, there was a boy in the window.
Well, he wasn't really a boy. He was more of a man, or at least a boy on the verge of becoming a man. He was dressed in loose jeans and something that might've passed as a shirt in the summer of 1985. Under a shock of blond hair, he was grinning rather ruthlessly.
He leapt over the metal railing with enviable ease, almost as if his feet skimmed on the air. He stuck his hands in his pockets, and made to stroll in circles around the unconscious teens. "This is great, isn't it, Tink?"
Behind him, through the open window, a rather fat cat was scrambling for purchase on the plaster overhanging.
"You don't think they forgot, do you?" he asked the cat, pausing to nudge Michael onto his side. He frowned at the view. "This one seems awfully old."
The cat, having successfully conquered the climb, shot the blond a very unfriendly glance.
"Oh, I'm not old," said the boy-man, shrugging. He wrinkled his nose and forwent an appraisal of John altogether. "I'm just tall. Luck of the draw."
Wendy, still wearing her brown wool tights and a very short skirt, looked a bit like a doll. There were seven little silver dots climbing up her left ear (the only one visible through all that brown), and her shirt was twisting to reveal a bit of her stomach.
The boy-man grinned. He bent down, breathing into her open ear, and whispered, "Wendy Moira Angela Darling, I've come back."
She awoke with a start, flickering to her feet lightning quick. Had the boy-man been a half-second slower, she probably would have broken his nose.
She looked confused for a second, before her eyes focused and she realized that there was a man in the nursery with her and her two unconscious best friends. Then she narrowed her eyebrows.
"Oh," she said in a tone of great disgust. "It's you."
"Of course it's me," said the boy-man. He had straightened, and was looking at one of the pictures hanging on the wall. A Monet print, full of smudges and little dots of highlights. He was not impressed. "Who were you expecting?"
"I had come to the wonderful conclusion that you weren't coming," said Wendy. "You forgot about me last time. You forgot about me twice last times."
"Sorry," said the boy-man unrepentantly. "The second time wasn't my fault."
"Hmph!" said Wendy emphatically. When she turned to stalk off angrily, she stepped on the cat's tail, and was promptly mauled for her trouble.
"Tinkerbell!" cried the boy-man. "Leave Wendy alone!"
Glaring sullenly, the cat went off to sulk near the dollhouse.
"Wait," said Wendy suddenly, pausing to look more closely at the boy-man. "You've – why, Peter, you've grown up!"
"Have not," said the one identified as Peter.
"You most certainly have," said Wendy delightedly. "You have to be my age by now, haven't you? Are you really seventeen, Peter?"
"Maybe," he said, looking shifty. He'd grown bored with the Monet and was now poking her little bobble-head dolls that were lined up on the dresser. "It's all a bit fuzzy after I died, so I suppose anything could've happened, even" – here he shuddered – "growing up."
"Oh, but this is marvelous," said Wendy, then realized – "wait, you died?"
"Well, yes," said Peter. "Didn't you? Twice?"
"Yes, but I'm not the boy who was going to live forever," pointed out Wendy reasonably. "Besides, what business do you have going off and dying and not telling me about it?"
"It was an accident," said Peter. He poked the last in the line of bobble-heads, and drew back with a start when it began to warble something in high-pitched Japanese. He quickly moved on. "'Sides, the lady in white was very understanding."
"Well that's all good and well," said Wendy, "but none of this means that I'm going to go off with you and frolic with wolf pups in Neverland." She put her hands on her hips and looked terribly firm.
"No fun at all?" asked Peter, pouting and slouching towards her where she stood in the middle of the room. "I can't do anything to convince you?"
"Peter," she said, "the only way I'll go with you is if you drug me and toss me over your shoulder. And even then, it's a toss-up."
"You're horrid," said Peter.
"No," she said. "I'm Wendy. And I'm going to stay Wendy. I'm fast running out of middle names, you know, Peter, and I'm afraid that in this case third time is most definitely the charm."
"No more dancing with the fairies?" he asked. "No more drinking out of flower cups and flying through the clouds and singing with the Never bird?" Peter Pan had been a manipulative child, and now that he was a young man of fairly attractive facial features, he was even more so. Time had been kind to him for the most part (excepting the rather regrettable occasion at which he had died, but Time had been properly horrified and apologetic concerning that event, so it was all good and well again).
"No dancing," said Wendy, who was nevertheless wavering upon this central point of her argument. "No drinking, no flying, no singing." She thought of the terrible Mr. Compeyson and then steeled her heart against any more attacks from the Pan front.
"I'll give you your kiss back," suggested Peter. He was carefully not looking at her as he said this, leaning down and examining John's body so that the fall of his hair obscured his mischievous expression. He really was quite a manipulative little boy, wasn't he?
"I don't want it back," said Wendy with little conviction. True, the kiss on the corner of her mouth had always been called perfectly charming (two adjectives which failed to describe Wendy Moira Angela Darling III), but Wendy was above common bribery. Not literally, as the seventeen-year-old-Peter was rather tall, but morally to be sure.
"Oh, well, then," said Peter, almost deflating as his foremost offense was neatly deflected. "I suppose you're a lady now, and high above adventures of any sort."
"Certainly," said Wendy.
"And you'd never consent to go gallivanting off with my sort," he continued.
"I don't gallivant regardless," said Wendy, "but yes, no going with your sort."
"Oh, woe is me!" cried Peter, and although his choice of words was more often better suited to dry sarcasm than response to actual injury, Wendy nonetheless felt a gentle pull at her long-buried and slightly dusty maternal instincts.
"You'll be fine," she said, stepping over Michael to pat him sympathetically on the shoulder. "I'm sure you'll recover quite marvelously from this setback, Peter. You forget us with abominable ease."
"Never! Never!" wailed Peter, hunching his shoulders, and Wendy ventured even closer, offering more sympathies than strictly necessary, and it was then that Peter (oh, what a clever, mischievous, horrid boy!) struck.
With a cry that hadn't been heard in the Darling nursery since the freeing of the latest Wendy (Angie Darling, circa 1959), he triumphantly pulled Wendy off her feet and launched them both into the air with a burst of fairy magic.
They spun like a drunken top, twirling limbs and Wendy's brown hair all askew, and through it all Peter crowed "Oh, the cleverness of me!" and it was all as it should have been.
Or it would have been as it all should have been, had not Peter been two rather significant feet taller than the last time he'd flown indoors, and had Wendy not become seventeen and, in the process, gained the attributes specific to the age.
Namely, womanly bits.
So when Peter misjudged his distance in the way particular to a boy who knew mathematics as a passing acquaintance rather than a bosom friend and crashed into the ceiling, every cheerful and happy thought in his mind quite fled.
With an almighty crash, he and Wendy tumbled onto Wendy's bed and Peter found himself cradled against a body that had quite differed from the last time he had played make-believe with its possessor. In the strange way of biology, actually eating as opposed to make-believe eating had made Wendy Moira Angela Darling a teenage girl. With breasts.
Peter sucked in his breath, and felt the tingles he normally associated with sword fights and ordering other people about run through him. Wendy was groaning and ineffectually pushing at his shoulders, but he found himself unable to do anything other than freeze.
"Peter," she finally cried, "get off of me! I'm going to poke you in the eye!"
Even with that most reprehensible of threats, Peter found himself moving at an abominably slow rate. He dragged himself off of her, and settled back on his heels, looking at the sprawled Wendy (breathless, arms out-stretched and eyes focused on the ceiling) through the veil of his fringe.
Wendy noticed, when she stopped communing with the ceiling, that Peter had an odd look on his face. "I say, you didn't hit your head, did you?" she asked, and she propped herself up on her elbows to give him a bit of a closer look. Realizing a moment later that she was perhaps a bit too concerned for his welfare, she hastily attempted to scramble backwards.
She was halted, however, but Peter's quick reflexes and the sudden brush of his lips against the corner of her mouth. This time, it was Wendy Moira Angela Darling who was stilled, and Peter drew away almost as lightning fast as he had swooped in, and Wendy felt her lips begin to curl into a smile.
"You gave me back my kiss," she accused him.
"Yes," he said, looking at his hands and rubbing his knuckles against his chest. "Er, I think I did." Then, because Peter Pan did not like sounding anything less than utterly certain, he drew himself up as much as he could, and declared, "well now, I've given it back to you, will you come with me?"
"You're horrid," said Wendy, which wasn't much of a refusal as far as refusals went, and smelling a weakness, Peter began to grin his horrible, cocksure smile. Then Wendy was looking away, to John and Michael's lightly snoring bodies twisted on the nursery floor. The thought of Mr. Compeyson and Lit & Comp crept up on her, and she could feel that usual exhaustion with the mundane begin to crawl up her spine.
Peter's eyes flickered to her mouth.
"Oh, fine, Peter. I'll go with you. But only for a little bit, you understand? And you have to wake up John and Michael and you have to tell Tinkerbell to stop clawing at my feet and you have to let me bring extra clothes because I absolutely refuse to wear this all the time, and once we defeat Hook, you have to bring me straight home. Are we clear?"
"Crystal, lovely Wendy," said Peter brightly.
"Call me Wends," she offered graciously.
Thoughts? I followed a lot of the book rather than the films, although I have to say Jeremy Whatsis and his general aura of arrogance (which fit brilliantly with the character, don't get me wrong) inspired my vision of seventeen-year-old Peter.