Categories > Books > Peter Pan > Star Mile

A Fair Chance.

by amphytrion 0 reviews

Wendy is older now and coming to realize that not everything is as simple as good triumphing over evil. Hook/Wendy on the way.

Category: Peter Pan - Rating: R - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Hook, Wendy - Published: 2007-06-24 - Updated: 2007-06-25 - 1914 words


Wendy's heart was in her throat, and it wasn't from flying for the first time in many years. Neverland, covered in ice as it was, sparkled like the biggest, brightest star in the sky, and she was seeing it from miles above the world. The vastness of the pristine sea around its one pale jewel was so spectacular that she couldn't stop tears from slipping down her cheeks at the sight of it. The speed at which they flew whipped the tears away in all directions, some of them hitting Peter's face. He stopped, confused, and stared ahead at her for a moment before flying quickly to catch up and calling out.

"Why are you crying, Wendy? Are you hurt?"

"Oh, no, no, Peter," Wendy smiled, "I'm only crying because, well, quite honestly I've never seen something so beautiful in my whole life." She sensed Peter's confusion and continued, "I mean, Neverland... It's so lovely, isn't it?"

"You've been here before, though! Nothing's changed."

"I've changed, haven't I?"

"I guess so," Peter said, and his disappointment was so clear Wendy thought he might banish her, but "Grownups cry at the dumbest things!" was all he said before flying off toward the island.

Wendy didn't know how to reply, and she was sure it would be best not to say anything, anyway. The sun was starting to come out, and whatever was happening down on the island was sure to be more exciting (and hopefully less awkward) than what was happening to her in the sky. "Peter," she called, "Peter, wait up!"

By the time they landed on the island, the sun was baking down upon them, and the flowers were all in bloom. The only clouds in the sky were the puffy, sweet-looking kind that one might imagine into fantastic shapes. Everything Wendy saw reminded her of a specific thing about her first trip to Neverland. She remembered tiny wildflowers so bright they looked like diamonds. When she commented on it, the boys had made her a chain of them to wear as a necklace, and she loved it. Even Peter's confident stride reminded her of how safe she had always felt in his presence, though it also pushed thoughts of "he's only a boy" to the front of her mind. Ignoring those, she chose instead to remember the mermaid lagoon, and the caves, and the Indians, and all of the other beautiful things.

Peter led them through the forest, swishing his sword back and forth in front of them and relaying some of his recent adventures. Wendy realized that some of them actually involved her, but he didn't remember that, of course. It was troubling to think that he could so easily forget her in some parts of his life, but remember (eventually) to come collect her in the spring time. She supposed it had something to do with the importance of his needs above others', but he was only a child, and that was child like. She enjoyed hearing the stories, all the same.

Peter stopped walking abruptly, causing Wendy to crash into his back. They didn't fall, but she was embarrassed and appropriately apologetic. Peter seemed not to notice and only looked hard at her for a few minutes before saying, "You might not fit in your tree anymore, Wendy. We're gonna have to make you a new one so you can come inside."

Wendy nodded graciously.

"Men!" Peter shouted. "Men! Come out at once! I've brought the Wendy Lady back to be our mother, and you must all come out and greet her or there will be no supper or games!

Faster than anyone could imagine, seven boys popped out of nowhere and lined up in order of height, smallest to tallest, before Wendy. Even the largest boy was a head shorter than she was. Each of them smiled brightly, hands tucked together at their bellies, and said "Hello, Mother" in unison, then bowed.

"Hello, boys," Wendy said, and she tried her best to smile in a motherly fashion. The feeling that this was not going to be the fun she remembered was already growing in her stomach, but she suppressed it.

Peter was immediately between Wendy and the boys to bellow orders. "We must measure Mother for her new tree. Now, everyone, let's get to work!"

The work, as they called it, mainly consisted of staring at Wendy and guessing at which trees would be "fat enough" for her to use as an entrance. This was extremely embarrassing for the poor girl, but she was aware of their ignorance and thankful for their kindness, so she did her best not to let it show. The real problem she was facing-though she did her best not to-was that she was now going to be living with several young boys who wanted nothing to do with growing up. As much fun as it might have been to imagine motherhood when she was twelve, it didn't sound appealing in any way now that she was almost twenty. Doing the washing and mending and cooking and tucking children in was what she came to Neverland to avoid, wasn't it? On the other hand, it was only pretend, as Peter would point out, and she wasn't really anyone's mother. The responsibility wasn't really there. She ought to at least give it a fair chance, oughtn't she?

Before sunset, the boys had hollowed a tree just so that Wendy could slide in and out of it. Knowing they had worked all afternoon to make a sufficient entrance for her did enough to improve her spirits that she actually enjoyed preparing a meal for them, teaching them to wash up properly, and helping them all into bed, where they eagerly awaited a story. Wendy told the boys about Cinderella, knowing it was Peter's favorite, and he played his pipes in the appropriate places for added drama. When the story was finished and all the boys asleep, Wendy smiled lovingly on them and kissed each forehead. She gave Peter "medicine" at his insistence, and allowed herself to enjoy it. Slipping back into her earlier youth was intoxicating; she felt giddy and full of promise. She actually felt bad for doubting the job of surrogate mother, and just as she was starting to feel her happiest, Wendy sighed lightly and made to retire to her own bed. She combed her hair until it laid smooth down her back and tied it with a ribbon, pulled back the covers of her bed, and was just ready to slip into it when she realized it was filled with worms and insects, all of whom seemed surrounded by fairy dust. A faint ringing of bells that sounded like laughter brought a name to the front of Wendy's mind: Tinkerbell. As disgusting as cleaning up the mess was, Wendy still felt comfortable in her new cocoon of sentimentality. She was wrapped up in memories that she started to forget why she was different, now.

Several days passed similarly to the first, save that Wendy was there for more than afternoon and evening. Since the boys had no real mother, there was so much mending to do in their clothes that she hardly had a chance to get out of the underground home. The boys came home as filthy as they could make themselves because they enjoyed learning how to wash, which they forgot promptly the next day. Wendy thought it odd that they could look forward to something they forgot, but Neverland was like that. Peter took charge often and ordered everyone about, which Wendy realized early on that she hated, now. Still, it was pretend ordering, and what waited for her in England was real, and she could deal with Peter's mood swings.

One week into their new routine, the boys settled down for a bedtime story, but Wendy was exhausted. She tried to promise them a bigger, better story the next day if only she could rest this night, but the boys pretended to cry, and Peter said something about grownups making worse mothers than when they were children. "Well, now," she said, "Maybe Father can tell you a story." Peter's ears twitched at this suggestion, but he did not outright oppose it. "Don't you think, Peter, that the boys would love to hear about how you maimed Captain Hook? I mean, that is, how you cut off the cutthroat's miserable hand?" She added the last part to sound less like she was interested for Hook's sake and more like she was fascinated by Peter's boldness. It worked.

Peter grinned and stood on his stool holding his sword. His eyes flashed in the mischievous way that delights children and frightens parents, and he spoke in a soft voice. "We were out walking, me and some other Lost Boys, and we heard the pirates singing in the lagoon. We crept up on them and saw that they were cutting down a tree to do a repair on the ship. Hook was there, and I saw him walking toward another tree and patting it," Peter was talking so fast it was a marvel anyone could understand him. "He leaned on the tree, like this" he said, and he mocked, in mid air, Hook leaning with his right hand on a tree. "So I went up behind him and cut off the hand! Then I threw it to a crocodile that was swimming nearby." Peter bowed and sank to his stool, proudly accepting the cheers of the lost boys.

Wendy was pale. "He wasn't threatening you?"

"Hook? No, he didn't even know who we were till that day. Isn't that funny?" Peter and the boys certainly thought so.

"And you must have felt the trees were important... that's why you cut him? He was cutting down important trees so you-"

"No, Wendy! Gosh, why does there have to be a reason? He was there, so I cut his hand off!" He said it as if it was the most obvious thing. "Now, come on, children, it's your bed time! Isn't it, Mother?"

"Yes... bed time. Sleep well." Wendy hastily kissed each child before practically running to her bed. The thought of Hook leaning innocently (if he could do anything innocently) against a tree before having his hand hacked off and thrown away was positively reeling. She couldn't have imagined it more brutal or unfair. Surely, Hook was a murderer, and more than likely he had killed before he ever heard of Neverland, but still! She could almost smell the blood that must have flowed freely from his wrist, hear the cries that must have hoarsely made it from his belly into the air. For the first time in her life, Wendy realized that it might have been silly for her to expect Hook's own nature to be the reason he lost his right hand. She knew, maybe better than anyone aside from the Captain himself, Peter Pan didn't need to be provoked. After a solid week of trying to give a fair chance to her new life, Wendy thought maybe she ought to be giving the fair chance to something or someone else. Years of wonder had not solidly brought her to the conclusion that Hook was, at least in part, innocent, but this night she realized for the first time that he did have at least one good reason to hate Peter. Wendy thought she just might hate him for it, too.

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