Categories > Books > Peter Pan > Star Mile
Disclaimer: I can claim no ownership to any rights associated with Peter Pan.
Author Notes: This story is named after a Joshua Radin song of the same title. It concerns Wendy and Captain Hook, a pairing I have recently come to enjoy. Please rest assured that Wendy is not a child. I liked the 2003 film's portrayal of the characters Mr. Barrie brought to us so much that it is them I think of when I read the book or write this story (especially Jason Isaacs). This is also my first fan fiction in the Peter Pan universe, so please feel free to offer advice if you think it will help. I appreciate any reviews.
Wendy Darling was not an ordinary girl; by 19, she had already experienced adventures one thousand times more exciting and interesting than whatever she might learn in lessons at school or from her peers, and she knew it. That kind of knowledge can be dangerous in the wrong mind. She might have become arrogant and unapproachable. She might have believed that because what she learned in lessons was not as exciting as events in her past it wasn't worth learning. She might have decided nothing was more important than what she already knew, and that the only thing for her to do was to relive it over and over without any thoughts for the future. She might have, but she didn't, and she was better for it. From the dullest arithmetic lecture to the most thrilling philosophical question, she strove to understand new things outside her own ideas. She was clever enough to understand that learning new things made her stories even better, and, after all, it was her stories about which she cared most. As she grew older, her stories grew better. They were still filled with the innocent imagination of a child, but also carried the weight of knowledge.
As it happens, Wendy spent a lot of time writing her stories in a courtyard at her finishing school. It was a less popular area of the campus because it was far enough away from the dormitory to be inconvenient, but Wendy thought it had the nicest flowers, and the lack of impish girls running through it might be the reason. She found the peace and quiet she needed there, and some of the best things she ever imagined were born in that courtyard. There were days of endless dreaming about adventures and comedies-even some tragedies. She would compose her stories first in thought, and then write them out, clearly and perfectly on the page. There was never a wrong stroke of her pen, never a spare drop of ink, and the pages always stayed crisp and clean. Most of this painstaking work was done for her own sake out of an obligation to neatness that she found within herself, but it did occur to her that it was only polite to make one's stories easy to read should she ever decide to let anyone read them. But Wendy preferred to tell her stories like the great poets and bards of old. She wanted to be like Homer when he relayed the account of Odysseus. Sadly, as she got older her audiences grew rarer and rarer. Now that they were nearly done with school and practically ladies, her friends were more interested in dresses and men and parties than they were in magic or pirates or goblins. Once in a while, they begged her to regale them with a story of a beautiful princess who won the affection of the noblest prince after some terrifying and almost tragic adventure. She obliged, but it was bittersweet. Part of her still wanted to live forever in that land of Happily Ever Afters, but now that she was older and more accomplished in her talent and understanding, she knew it couldn't always be that way.
Her greatest joy was when she could go home for holiday and her brothers, who were on the fast track to growing up themselves (almost too fast, Wendy thought), would ask to hear her newest plot invention. Sometimes they wanted old favorites, but she liked that just as well when it was for them. The three of them-Wendy, John, and Michael-had been in their own adventures together in Neverland, and met their adoptive brothers, The Lost Boys. No matter how grown up they got, they would always share a special understanding among them that can't even be explained. When they were all home, they would go up to the nursery at night and sit at the window, staring out at the sky and talking of Peter Pan and the mermaids and Indians. They would mention the pirates sometimes, but the thought of Captain Hook always caused a shudder to run through their little huddle. For the boys, it was because they were still terrified of him, and the memories of near death at his hand were too frightening to deal with. For Wendy, it was more complicated.
"After all," she would tell herself, "we didn't die, and perhaps there is some redemption for Hook." Or there would have been, if he hadn't died. What made her shudder at his memory was not the distress in which he had placed her, but the barbaric quality of his final moments, during which he maintained his polite formalities. The moment it happened, even though she had been caught up in the excitement of passing danger, she felt her stomach tighten. It was no trouble to ignore it when she was twelve; she didn't even understand it. She often featured him in her imagined stories now, but he was different in her eyes. He was still himself, still a killer, still a pirate, still trying to destroy Peter Pan, but there was a new facet to him in her imagination. He was noble somehow; he was fair. She never exactly considered the idea that maybe-probably not, but maybe-Hook was not totally in the wrong for his bloodlust against Peter. She didn't know the events that led to his hand being cut off, and now that she was older and understood things even only a little more, she had to admit that it might not be as simple as Hook being completely evil to Peter's complete good. Another thing she never really acknowledged to herself was some of the slightly unnerving characteristics of her childhood hero and love. None of this was ever discussed during her holidays with John and Michael or the others because she knew they would think she was being daft. She couldn't even discuss it with herself.
If Wendy was just a little bit simpler, if she was a little less extraordinary in her thinking about people, then she wouldn't be troubled. She would remember that Hook tried to kill her and her brothers, and that Peter Pan saved them and that would be all. There would be no nagging guilt or curiosity about motives and actions. She would divide them into two separate categories like in her older stories of Good triumphing over Evil... But Wendy was no ordinary girl.
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