summary: Her breath smells distinctly like peppermint and whiskey and he wonders when exactly Wendy Darling grew up and why she did. AU.
author's note: Well hello, Peter Pan fandom! I was going to continue this further, but then I realized I haven't posted in about a month (!) and I've been confused as of late. So I hope you all like it and I hope you review, because that's honestly what I need right now. Agh. Boys confuse me.
Possible sequel? I just wanted to finish this baby, but I'd love to write more for Peter Pan. :) Such a good angst fandom, I cannot.
It's a windy, cold afternoon. His scarf is tied tight against his throat, so tight that he must adjust it to breathe. The ground is stiff under his worn boots. He hurries into a busy pub, the line is long but the room is hot. He is not meeting anyone and he thinks about how lonely he's become in such a short time.
His mind strays to her without a prompt. Her pretty brown hair and her blue dresses dance in his thoughts, tangling with his troubles and bringing an all over calm. He doesn't understand why he is thinking of her – Wendy Darling, the girl whom he used to play with as children. The most noteworthy thing about Wendy Darling, he thinks sullenly, besides her innocence and beauty, would be her knack for creativity. She had gotten his young mind attached to the blissful dream of Neverland, a place where he could never grow up. In Neverland, he would stay young forever. He remembers the promise he had made to himself, that he would never let another man steal his Wendy.
He looks down at himself, at his suit that he had ironed himself in a hurry this morning, the mismatched socks that featured polka dots and christmas trees. He thinks that being young forever would have been a lovely thing, but he had to grow up, as well as Wendy had to. His last day with her before she ran off to boarding school was bittersweet and she had given him, tiny, little Peter with the clothes that were always green, a kiss on the corner of his mouth.
Three years later, when thirteen year old boys were going through the awkward stage of adolescence and were fascinated by the new appearance of a girl's breasts, someone asked Peter if he had had his first kiss. Peter had replied yes, because Wendy Darling was so far away and yet, three years later, he could still taste the lingering of afternoon tea on her lips.
Maybe, if he still believed in magic, the girl in front of him would be Wendy Darling. She teeters on black heels and she is wearing a slinky blue dress that contrasts with her startling brown hair. He thinks about how pretty she is, even from behind. He hasn't met a girl he's liked as much as his last serious girlfriend, Rebecca. But it's been ten months since her and sometimes Peter still wakes up in the middle of the night and searches for her in his bed. He hates how he manages to stay single. He is twenty three and this should be the prime of his life. Instead, he feels like the childhood days with Wendy were the good days he'll look back on.
The girl in front of him shifts, and she's leaning against the wall, fiddling with a cigarette and a lighter. Peter looks at her discreetly, and suddenly is thrown into shock. Wendy Darling is in the same pub as him. The girl with the slinky dress and the black heels is in fact, Wendy Darling. Thoughts spin in his head, Wendy Darling with red lipstick on. Her lips that tasted of tea. He wonders now, if she would taste of smoke. He wonders what she would do if he moved his hands across the curves that her dress showed. He shakes his head and grabs her attention. She smiles coyly, and he is breathless. Wendy Darling was an innocent child, and now, she is a woman. A real life woman. "You look familiar," she says.
He clears his throat, his fingers brushing the scarf around his neck, "Is that you, Wendy?"
Her smile is friendly, but her eyes are clouded with confusion, and he laughs awkwardly as he says, "It's Peter."
Her fingers fly to her mouth as she gasps, her eyes twinkling. She manages to smudge a bit of her cigarette ash on her cheek, and he gently wipes it off with the pad of his thumb. She takes a drag, breathes out smoke and drops her cigarette to the floor. She crushes it with the heel of her shoe, and she grins, "Peter Pan. How fate plays out, only God knows!"
She looks beautiful, he is thinking. She is still stunning and he wants to crush his lips on hers, so badly. He can barely think of anything else but this. Nothing but pretty, sexy Wendy with the slinky dress and the bedroom eyes. "It's crazy to see you, Wendy," he smiles, "I was just thinking about you."
Her eyes widen, her lips twisting into a flirtatious smirk, "Oh, really? What were you thinking about me exactly?"
He cannot help but notice the undertone of her words, the air between them that rippled with sparks. This is chemistry, he thinks, none of that rubbish they teach in school. He thinks that she is meant for him, and he is meant for her, that maybe he and her can create another Neverland. This time, maybe she could stay and he could kiss her more and more until he has to stop.
But alas, Peter is not the only one who finds Wendy Darling pretty. Countless men have their eyes on her, on her slinky dress and her heavy lidded eyes. Someone brings a harsh burst of cold into the pub, a frigid wake up call that is quickly burned up by the heat in the room. Peter would have ignored the man who has walked into the room, but Wendy's eyes widen and she grabs a mint from a dish and suddenly, Peter is very aware of the man's presence. "Peter," Wendy whispers, "Wait for me by the ladies room. When you see me move my leg to the right, get up and I'll meet you after."
She leaves him in a dizzying haze of her perfume. Honeysuckle invades his nose, bringing fresh memories of childhood and freshly mowed grass. He catches the face of the man who Wendy flings her arms around. He is tall and tired looking, but he has a handsome face with intense blue eyes. Peter wants to punch this man, and he doesn't understand where it has come from. Such behavior is childish, foolish. Peter Pan is not a child anymore, and he should not be waiting for Wendy Darling by the ladies room, but he is.
Her eyes are lustrous and rich, and she takes his hand in hers, right there by the ladies room. Her fingers are cold and he thinks for a minute how strange it was for such a warm room to keep someone's fingers so cold. Her lips turn upwards and he thinks she looks so beautiful. He has never seen someone with as much charisma she has in a simple smile.
She leans in much too close for someone who has someone waiting for her at a table. Her breath smells distinctly like peppermint and whiskey and he wonders when exactly Wendy Darling grew up and why she did. His fingers involuntarily take one of her curls into his fingers and rolls it between his thumb and his index finger. She isn't smiling, but there is such a winsome gleam in her eyes that says she needs her lips for a new reason.
She gently places her lips on his, as if they were just ten years old once more and she was about to disappear. She tastes of peppermint and whiskey, but he can almost imagine the taste of tea and the smell of old books that spoke of special lands. He can see Neverland behind his eyes, and his fingers roam to her left hand, and there, he feels a large ring. He pulls away, his fingers still clutching the glimmering ring. It is much too fussy for Wendy, he thinks. He knows this within the first hour of seeing her again. This ring is not something she likes, but rather, this ring is a largely expensive, encrusted shackle.
"Peter," she whispers.
His mouth tastes too bitter now, and he hates it. He hates how he has seen her again for the first time in thirteen years, and she is gone from his grasp again. He hates how he has wasted an hour on her, only to find that she has changed and has gotten engaged. He hates how she had to grow up, and he never got to see what she's become until he, himself, has fallen under her charms. He hates how he had to grow up without her.
He hates the thought of being without her, how he has only seen her for an hour and he knows he will never be in love with anyone else. Wendy Darling, with her pretty eyes and her conniving charms, she is the one for Peter Pan and he knows it.
He sighs and puts his head against the wall, "I thought we'd be able to be Peter and Wendy again."
She takes his hand, her ring bumping into his knuckle and he winces. She takes a deep breath, and speaks so quietly in his ear that he thinks it may not have even been said.
"We can be, Peter."
She puts a lipstick stained napkin in his chest pocket, and she flounces away, her slinky dress riding up her legs.
Peter breathes and touches his pocket, just to make sure it was real.
The next time he sees her, she has asked him to come to her home. Her fiancé is away and she is wearing a shirt that buttons up to her throat, and yet, she is even more beautiful this time. Her hair is loose and spills across her blue button down. She wears a modest skirt, and he wishes he could have her all to himself.
She gives him a smile that takes away his breath, and fairytales begin to make sense. She and this and the lunacy of it all, it all comes together. The way she says hello, and the way she breathes out, like this is nothing but right. He knows that this, no matter how strange and wonderfully wrong it all is, it is somehow going to be right. Peter and Wendy. Wendy and Peter. It is right.
She kisses the corner of his lips, her lips lingering on the verge of his. He could move only a centimeter and there they would be, committing a sin. He doesn't like thinking of it. He doesn't like knowing that Wendy Darling is engaged and soon to be married.
"It's funny," he whispers, "How we can be committing adultery, and yet, we used to say we would never grow up."
She frowns, and deep creases form on her forehead. He tries to smooth them with his fingertips because she looks older when they're there, looks sadder. He doesn't like her to be sad, and he wonders if there is some way she could realize that. The creases stay still on her forehead, and she whispers, quite slowly and softly, as if it was not to be caught. "Is this wrong, Peter? Is it wrong to want to be with you and Neverland, and not to be with the man I am betrothed to?"
He nods a tiny nod, and Wendy Darling, the perfect, innocent girl she used to be, disappears as she closes the gap between Peter's cheek and his lips.
They fall into bed and Peter doesn't doubt that this is one of many nights he will spend with her. When Peter wakes up in the middle of the night, so late it is really the early morning, he sees Wendy's pretty heart-shaped face against the expensive cloth of her pillow.
He would cry, but Peter Pan is not a boy anymore. He is a man, and Wendy Darling is a woman.
He wonders why it has to end this way. He doesn't really know why it cannot be him and her. Wendy and Peter, Peter and Wendy and Neverland. He wishes it was all a fairytale. A beautiful fairytale, where there was a happy ending, would be such a lovely adventure.