Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even the ideas are mine.
Peter Pan and X-men crossover? I know it won't even rate in this sites weirdest crossovers, but it's still been a bit of a challenge for me. This is set between X-men two and three, after the school has been invaded and before the return of the Phoenix.
This was written for the Assembly of Christian Authors forum 'The Phenomenon 09' prompt challenge. All glory goes to Amita4ever, to whom belongs the concept, the ideas and the inspiration.
This story is for her.
Peter had always known the world intimately. He had explored every bit of it and watched it for hours, and had grand adventures up and down it. It was his plaything – not quite a toy or a playmate, but something of both. It was always there and always the same, just like him. The world didn't change, and it never would.
Now, the world had grown up.
It was a busy world; all rushing and hurrying and frantic moving. Grown ups moved through it, staring straight ahead just like they had always done, but he didn't see any children anywhere. It was a dull world; all gray and hard without an adventure in sight, and it had no time for him. Peter felt betrayed.
He sank down to the hard sidewalk in a narrow alleyway, and he felt lost. These were not even like the alleyways he had known. The walls were decorated, splashed with bold patterns and pictures in beautiful colours. He ran his fingers over them, following the patterns, but he couldn't make any sense of them.
He didn't understand this world.
But it was not all bad. The city was so full of colour! Even the gutters were full of it: bright, crumpled packaging, all silver and gold like pirate's teeth. It just lay there like rubbish, and people hurried past as if they didn't see it, as if it had no value at all. Bright patterned papers blew around their hurrying boots. Peter was sure he could stand and stare at it all for hours, only he couldn't wait to see what was around the next corner.
Huge lifesize – larger than lifesize, even – portraits were painted right on the walls of buildings. And they seemed so real! He didn't feel safe turning his back on them. They seemed to stare right at him, although he ran his fingers over the length of them and they were flat and empty. It made him shiver, although Peter was never afraid.
"Hey, honey." A grown-up was looking down at him. She was fat and she was smiling and her red coat was pulled tight and tied around her middle. Her hair was like fairy wings – light and fine and strangely coloured. "Are you lost?"
He didn't usually let grown ups so close to him, but he was distracted and in so many people he had hardly noticed anyone, and hadn't thought anyone would notice him. So he said nothing, he just shook his head silently, watching her hair blow around her face. He had never seen anything quite like it.
"Are you sure, honey?" She watched him and he stared back without blinking. Her bright mouth grew tight and she gave a huff and turned away. Her feet made a strange clatter as she moved.
Then he forgot her, because something more interesting had caught his attention. It was human, and it was flying.
Ororo sat at her window and watched the sunset. She sat there, letting the minutes pass, just watching. She tried not to think, because when she thought she thought about all the things she should be doing, and her peace all disappeared. It had been a long time since she had sat still and enjoyed doing nothing.
When had she stopped? She didn't know. Sometimes she felt so very responsible. There was the school and all her children and these days the whole world seemed to depend on her, and her mind didn't seem to be hers anymore.
The sky was dirty tonight. She would have preferred a sweet, clean sunset, just gold gently fading into the corners, leaving the sky to deepen into night. Sweet and peaceful and slow, lulling her to sleep.
She left the sky as it was. The day had been hot and dirty, and it didn't feel like the day was really properly finished if you didn't let the sun set its own way. She had used to love to do it when she was younger, but then she hadn't the time and now it didn't feel right anymore. It was like growing old. People grew and grew, and eventually they wore their lives on their faces. Sometimes you could almost see what sort of a life they had lived, as they grew closer each day to dying.
She could feel herself growing old. She hadn't for years, but right now she just felt as if she had lived a very long time. Maybe she was just tired – tired and drained of everything she had to give, and so angry at the world it surprised her sometimes.
Minutes passed and the sun sunk lower, and Ororo didn't listen to the child calling below (Emily? Was it Emily?) and did not feel guilt and enjoyed the sunset.