Title: The Return Home

By: Susie Bones

Email: theyellowsubmarine_@hotmail.com

Summary: What if Peter never saw Mrs. Darling in the window? What if Wendy believed her mother really had forgotten her?

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Not mine. Sorry.

The Return Home
Susie Bones
September 2002

"Quick, Tink," he whispered, speaking to the spot of light hovering above his shoulder, "close the window; bar it! That's right. Now you and I must get away by the door and when Wendy comes she will think her mother has barred her out, and she will have to go back with me."

Tinker Bell did not seem to be very approving, but she did as Peter told her, for as always, she thought of herself as Peter's fairy and she loved him very much.

Having successfully barred the window, Peter danced around the room gleefully, delighted with himself and how very clever he was. He heard music playing in the next room. Curious, he went to see what it was. But at that moment, Tinker Bell tugged on his ear.

"What, Tink?" he asked, rubbing his ear. She pointed at the window and her bells tinkled madly.

"Wendy and the boys are arriving, Peter. You and I must go now."

He glanced around the room a bit doubtfully. Wendy must have loved this place very much to want to come back so soon. But who on earth would want to leave Never Land?

The music in the next room suddenly stopped and there were footsteps. Peter darted out of the room, followed by Tinker Bell. There was an open window in the room across the hall and it was out this window and that Tink and Peter escaped.

Meanwhile, in the day-nursery, Mrs. Darling brushed away her tears. She rose gracefully from the piano and walked into the dark room where the children had once slept. And they still would have been, had she listened to them, had she said something sooner about that shadow…

Hot, stinging tears ran down her cheeks in a flood.

"Oh, my dears," she whispered, standing the door way and looking at the three empty beds, "Why have you gone?"

Still weeping silently, she crawled into Wendy's bed. Mr. Darling was still in the kennel, but he had long since gone to sleep and did not notice his wife's entrance. Mrs. Darling faced the wall, closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep in her daughter's bed.

Moments later, Wendy, John, and Michael landed outside the window.

"It is locked," John said, looking up at Wendy with a puzzled expression.

"Is this home, Wendy?" Michael asked.

"Locked!" Wendy cried dismally, pressing her hands against the cool glass and ignoring Michael.

"Who is that in your bed, Wendy?" John asked, peering into the dark room and frowning.

"I-I do not know. It is not I, for I am right here. But that would mean…"

"Mean what, Wendy?" Michael asked her.

Wendy suddenly felt very dizzy and she pressed a hand to her forehead. The locked window…someone sleeping in her bed…and that dark shape in the kennel was most certainly Nana and they would need a nurse for…

"Another child," Wendy whispered, turning away from the window. John's eyes widened behind his glasses.

"No, Wendy! They wouldn't!" he said. Poor Michael did not have any idea as to what the older two were talking about, so he simply peered into the room himself. At that moment, Peter landed next to Wendy. Before he could say anything, however, she turned to him.

"Peter! Mother and Father have forgotten us! There is another child sleeping in my bed and the w-window is l-l-locked!" Wendy cried out, bursting into tears. Peter looked quite alarmed at this. He had never encountered a crying girl before and he was not sure how to deal with her.

"I told you," he said matter of factly, "Didn't I tell you this would happen?"

Instead of stopping, her tears only flowed harder. Peter looked to John and Michael, but they did not seem to be any help, for they were on the verge of tears themselves.

"I am sorry your parents forgot you, Wendy," he said softly, after a moment's thought. Wendy stopped her crying and looked at him.

"But I did tell you this would happen. It is all right, though. You can come and live with the boys and me forever. Do you really need parents who've forgotten you?"

She looked at her hands, then up at Peter, whose bright eyes were sparkling down at her. She smiled wearily.

"I suppose you are right. I am sorry I did not believe you," she said.

"Oh, it's all right," Peter said with a wave of his hand. And, seeing as Tinker Bell was not around and Wendy was still upset, he gave her a thimble to cheer her up.

"Come on, then. We've got a ways to go," he told her. Wendy nodded, still smiling, and one hand on her lips, where Peter had given her the thimble. She turned to John and Michael, both of whom were watching the dark shape in Wendy's bed. None of the children did not seem to know that not enough time had passed for another child to come.

"Let us go, children. We've been forgotten here. Mother and Father do not want us. See, they have that other child to love now," Wendy said bitterly. She was crushed. She had wholeheartedly believed her mother and father would always keep the window open for her, however long she had gone.

But she had been wrong, apparently. Peter was right. Mothers were overrated.

John and Michael looked at her, startled at her tone, but Peter took her hand before any of them could speak.

Mrs. Darling turned over then and saw something extraordinary. Wendy, John, and Michael were standing outside the window. And the window was closed. Wendy was holding the hand of that boy, the flying one with all his first teeth. At first she was took shocked to move. Her children had come home at last!

But they did not look into the window. They flew out into the night. The boy, Peter, glanced back but Mrs. Darling was never sure if he saw her or not. Still, she knew what had happened. He had stopped Wendy from coming back. Somehow, he had tricked Wendy. She was sure of it. She felt a dull, throbbing anger beat in her very heart of hearts. She hated Peter for stealing her children away.
hey had chosen Peter over her and she supposed she hated them a little bit for that too.

She watched the four shapes (followed by a bright spot of light that she thought was a star) fly away from her house forever. She did not cry when they faded away. She did not cry as she woke Mr. Darling and told him what had happened. She did not cry even when he did.

But when she looked around the room, her eyes fell upon a leaf. A leaf that most certainly did not come from any tree in London.

And it was then that she did cry.

As for Wendy, John, and Michael, they flew away to Never Land many, many years ago. And, as far as I know, that is where they remain today.