Chapter one: The return
Peter Pan tapped softly at the window of Wendy Darlings bedroom. The night around him, lush and sleepy was painted black and perfectly quiet. Chilly autumn air brushed his blushed cheeks as he tapped again, almost silently. It was late in the evening, and all were sleeping, even Wendy.
"Wendy!" Peter whispered through the thatched window pane, hidden by the heavy maroon curtain. If John or Michael spotted even a glimpse of Peter, he'd have to leave. He needed Wendy's help, and he needed it now.
Wendy then appeared through a gap in the curtains, fair locks of hair swung down onto her shoulders, dressed in a pastel blue night gown. She tugged them aside carefully, before her face grew with surprise at the young boy standing outside her window. She tip toed to open a small window at the top, no bigger than a pillow, and pressed her head as close to it as possible.
"Peter? What are you doing here?" She whispered, appearing to be shocked, angry and thrilled at the same time. She had right to be, the last time the two had met, she'd helped fight off Captain Hook, saved Neverland and returned home without hearing of Peter again. And here he was, a year later at her window side looking no different than how he did all that time ago. His ageless face never changed, nor did his innocence. He was taller, by only a few inches, but that was all. Despite his growth spirt, he too needed to tip toe to reach the open window of the Darling household.
Peter had so much to ask her, he'd missed her so much, but he couldn't bring himself to say anything. After all, he had more unfortunate news to bring. His face remained stern.
"Wendy, I need your help." He whispered sharply through the window. He longed to take her to the old Neverland, he wanted to dance with her at the falls, and swim with her and the mermaids in the streams, chase her through the lush canopies of the banana trees, reunite her with the lost boys and walk along the soft beach on a silent night, skipping stones into the motionless ocean, and spot distant ship wrecks that lay on the horizon. He wanted it so badly, but he couldn't. Neverland had changed.
"Whatever could be the matter?" Wendy broke him from his picture, and snapped him back to the horrible reality. Peter sighed.
"Neverland has changed…" He looked down at his feet, disappointed at himself for baring the awful news.
"You see, after you left, and Captain Hook was banished, everything was fine." He sniffed, to try and hold in the truth. He wanted to lie to her, and tell her that everything was fine, but it wasn't.
"Until now…" his voice was distant and faded, lips chapped and cold.
"The Vulture… He ambushed Neverland. He bombarded the island with huge cannon balls, there's not much left."
Wendy's face grew in shock, in horror as Peters words painted the grey picture in her pure mind. Peter looked down again, avoiding eye contact, squinting to try and lure his despair from seeping out of him and being drained into Wendy, he wanted her to be free from this, he needed her help though. Eyes like oceans; he continued infecting her contaminated mind.
"All the colour has gone… The empty shipwrecks have been captured and are being used as loading bays for huge iron crates of harpoons and gas tanks… Even the mermaids are being hinted for scales… And the forests…" Peter sobbed, trying to hold it in so Wendy wouldn't see.
"They're being demolished to make… The factories." He looked away in despair. The thought of the towering grey chimneys, pumping clouds of smoke out made him shiver.
"What factories?" Wendy broke the deadening silence apprehensively, not really wanting to know the answer.
Peter looked up at her with his tear sodden eyes.
"Where they take the fairies."
There was about a five minute silence that followed; Wendy realising the lack of Tinkerbell and steadily coming to terms with the gross reality of the magical land, and Peter trying to control his flowing tears. Wendy stared through the window at the innocent Peter, his eyes a bright spectrum of colours, that dripped down his canvas face. How could this even be true? She slid her delicate arm through the tiny opened window and brushed the child's cheek. Instantly, as her fingers reached his tender skin he looked up. Cheeks so cold, so numb they stung. He had lost his sparkle, he had lost his colour. His tears ran down her hand and brought the icy streaks to her. Their eyes remained transfixed on each other, begging for the other to say something, but no words came. They just stared, waiting for the nightmare to stop. Neverland was so perfect, how could anything ruin such a perfect thing?
"What are we going to do?" The words finally came to Wendy's chapped lips, although broken and dry; drained of any emotion or expression. There was a pause where the answer should of came, purely because there was no answer to begin with. Peter didn't know what they were going to do or how they were going to do it, all he knew was Wendy cave him comfort. The Lost Boys, although like brothers to him, didn't meet the bond he had with her. He'd missed her so dearly; Neverland was never the same without 'mother' there.
"I don't know…" Peter frowned, his seeping eyes closed tightly on themselves. Wendy moved her fingers carefully to lift the boys limp chin. He was so pure, so innocent. Every time she looked at him, she feared of spoiling him, ruining his natural glow, but she never did. She looked into his eyes, and parted her lips to speak.
"Wendy Darling? Are you awake at this hour?" Wendy's mother called from outside the bedroom. Wendy's hand shot back through the gap in the window, and whispered hastily under her breath.
"Get me out of here Peter." Her eyes spoke the eagerness. Peter agreed instantly. He didn't even know how, but he was going to escape with her, and save Neverland. Wendy gave him all of the confidence in the world.
"Peter!" She whispered sharply
"I've missed you." She smiled at the little innocent boy, standing outside the thatched window pane of Wendy Darling's bedroom. She pulled the curtain across, slicing their company. Peter smiled to himself for the first time in a year.
"I've missed you too."