A more grown up version of the Peter Pan tale and with a lesbian twist.
Forever In Neverland
They say there's a world of endless wonder out there somewhere. It's a place where children can play all day and never grow old, a world without rules. Ever since I heard of this wonderful place I have wished for it to be my home at every possible chance. And it just so happens that after years of wishing and hoping for an escape from this world of misery and death... my wish finally came true...
Once upon a time...
“How can you call yourself a soup kitchen if you don't have no soup?!” I shouted. The man looked like he couldn't quite decide whether to feel sorry or not.
“You should have showed up earlier, we get busy 'round the holidays. Kid like you has no right being on her own anyway, why don't you run on home or something?”
'And be beaten or molested by that drunk... no thanks.' I turned my face away. “I can't do that...” The man sighed.
“Look, I'm sorry, but we ran out early and there's nothing to be done about it. But if you'd like I could...”
“Forget it,” I interrupted, not wanting to go through the whole 'I could call someone to help you' routine. The police would just make me go home and that was the last thing I would ever let happen. I slammed the empty bowl down on the counter and left, trying not to breathe in the smell of the warm soup as I passed the tables on the way out. A shiver ran through me as I stepped out into the night, my much too thin jacket doing almost nothing to keep out the winter chill. “Merry Christmas to me...” I muttered bitterly before making my way to the cheap streets in hopes of finding a warm place to sleep.
“Somebody help!” a girl's voice cried out from the alley behind a nearby building. I paused, my brain warring with my heart as stories of street gangs using female members to lure strangers into a darkened ally floated through my mind. “Please let me pass... just let me go and I won't say a word!”
I gritted my teeth. I'd heard pleas like that enough times in my life to know it was genuine and slipped quietly into the alley, pulling the knife I kept in my shoe from concealment. Keeping to the shadows as much as possible I made my way around the bend to take in the scene. Two men, drifters like me from the looks of them, had a young girl around my age on the ground and backed up against the wall.
'Stupid girl...' I thought, taking in the fine dress and jewelry she was wearing. Dressing like that in a place like this was practically screaming for trouble to find you.
“Come now miss, from the looks o' what I'm seein' you have the likes to help a few poor sots like us. Why don't you jus' hand over what you be carrying and we'll leave you on your merry way,” one of the thugs said in a manner that implied anything but what he was saying.
The girl, no matter how foolish she may have been for coming here, seemed to realize this and clenched up as if to flee. Realizing she would never make it out the alley alive, I stepped from the darkness and approached them.
“Let her go,” I said in as menacing a voice any fifteen year old girl could manage. My sudden presence seemed to surprise them, but it quickly vanished upon seeing me.
“And why should we let such a fair catch go, little boy?” one of them murmured as he took a few steps toward me, the stench of cheap booze coming with him. Well if anything at least my disguise would hold up under the scrutiny of a drunken bum.
“Because I'll give you a few new holes for you to piss out of if you don't!” I shouted, pulling the knife from behind my back. The man's eyes flickered for a second but he kept approaching.
“Come now, what's a little boy like you going to do with...” his words transformed into a ragged shout when I slashed his outstretched arm. “Me arm! You shit, I'll...” again his words stopped as I approached him, knife at the ready.
“Get out of here or I'll cut ya in ways that won't heal up so easy!” I shouted, glaring back and forth between him and his partner. The man's eyes narrowed, and for a second I feared he'd rush me, but eventually he turned and ran off down the alley, his friend following suit behind him. I let out a shaky breath as I allowed my nerves to loosen, it wasn't the first time I'd had to use my knife but it never got any less frightening. I walked over to the trembling girl and offered my hand, a hint of anger shooting through me when she flinched away before I realized I was still holding the knife in my other hand. “Sorry 'bout that...” I murmured as I returned the knife to my shoe and offered the hand again. She paused for a moment before accepting it and allowing me to help her to her feet where she promptly wrapped me up in a tight embrace.
“Oh, I was ever so frightened!” she wailed into my neck. I could feel hot tears dripping down from her cheeks. Awkwardly, I put my arms around her to offer some comfort. “I was on my way home from my uncle's when those two brutes grabbed me and pulled me into this filthy place. I... I feared... oh I'd been told of the unspeakable things that vagabonds are capable of but I never imagined I'd...” I pushed her away from me and fixed her with a glare.
“It's always the same,” I whispered before turning and walking away. It seemed even risking my life to save someone wouldn't earn me any respect.
“Please wait!” she called out after me, hurrying to catch up. “I don't know what I said to offend you so but I do apologize for whatever it was!” I sighed and kept walking.
“Doesn't matter,” I muttered, walking down the block with her on my heels.
It was obvious that she didn't want to be alone after what had happened but a small part of me found it comforting nonetheless. I'd never had someone with me while I searched for a place to sleep. It was strange, I hadn't thought I still had it in me to feel such a thing anymore but I was actually a little embarrassed.
“I'm afraid it does to me! You just saved me from being savaged by those ruffians and it won't do to have upset you for any reason. I must apologize for my rudeness and thank you accordingly for your bravery. I...” she paused in her ranting when she noticed me checking the allies that we passed. “May I ask what you're looking for... young sir?” she asked nervously.
“Sir?” I say with a laugh, removing the page boy cap and giving her a good look at my face, her eyes widening with realization. “Even us damsel saving homeless girls need to sleep somewhere,” I said bitterly.
Her eyes softened as she looked me up and down for the first time, a look of understanding in her gaze when she faced me once more.
“I'm sorry... that was rude of me before,” she said quietly. Her apology sounded genuine enough so I gave her a small smile.
“Look, just forget it, I'm just in a bad mood because I didn't get anything to eat, soup kitchen ran out early.”
“Oh you poor thing!” she exclaimed. It was strange, her voice didn't carry any of the usual pity I normally heard in those words, there was definitely something different about this girl. “If it wouldn't offend you may I offer to buy you a meal? It's the least I could do after you saved me.” I stopped her from reaching into her handbag and shook my head.
“That's not why I helped you. I just... I can't stand to see girls treated bad, is all. I grew up with it. Hell, I live out here to get away from it.”
“I see...” she said thoughtfully. “Though I do feel sorry for the way you acquired it I am very grateful for your... chivalry,” she said with a blush. I found my resistance against the girl weakening as I offered a more friendly smile.
“Where do you live?”
“Pardon?” she asked, slightly confused.
“Maybe I could walk you there if you want? Pretty girl like you shouldn't be out on her own at night anyway.”
“You... you would do that for me?” she asked, a warmth that had been missing filling her face.
I gave the girl an admiring look, taking in the dark curls of her long hair, full lips, and a body that was just starting to fill out with a woman's curves. I could have laughed at how different we were if it wasn't so depressing. My own hair was a sort of dirty blond color and cropped short by my own hand with my trusty knife, my face was also thin and pale from lack of eating and had a light sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of my nose. My body was also more angular, thin, and lanky but whether it was from my lifestyle or just how I was born, I couldn't say. In a way, I was grateful for my somewhat boyish appearance. After all, the prettier you were on the streets the more dangerous it was for you. It was sad in a way, adding in our levels of wealth the two of us were as different as night and day.
“Go against my chivalrous ways to let a lady like you travel without someone to take care of her,” I said with a laugh and held out my arm for her, the action adding to her already adorable blush.
Part of my heart fell with the words, knowing that my attraction to girls like her had been a major cause of the troubles in my life. The feeling was forgotten however as she slipped an arm through mine and pointed off down the street.
“It's a few blocks that way, I believe, my brave knight,” she giggled, playing along with the little game as we started off towards her home.
“You know, I'm glad I met you tonight,” I said after a while.
“Oh?” she asked. “I would think you would regret it after having your life threatened by those brutes.”
“You get used to that kinda thing,” I said, smiling sadly. “I'm glad I met you because I'm usually all alone on Christmas, it feels kinda nice getting to spend some time with a person who doesn't treat me like rubbish, especially one as pretty as you.”
“That's the second time you've called me pretty...” she said quietly. I froze, pulling her to a stop with me.
“Sorry ‘bout that... it's a habit I had around pretty girls like you. I don't mean to...” She giggled again.
“I'm not upset, you silly girl, it's sweet coming from someone like you.”
“Someone like me?” I asked, somewhat suspicious.
“Someone who...” she paused and considered her words carefully. “Someone who has very little to be happy for and yet is still willing to risk their safety to protect someone in trouble. You have every reason to hate someone like me based on appearance alone because of the way wealthy people likely treat you but you still saved me and then sought no reward. You're a kind and wonderful person... and you really don't deserve to live as you do. I...” she stopped again, blinking a few times. “I just realized we haven't even been properly introduced! My name is Wendy, Wendy Darling,” she said, pulling away and giving me a curtsy. I laughed and bowed low.
“Petra Pan, happy to be of service to such a fine lady.” Still blushing readily, she linked her arm with mine once more and we continued the much too short walk to her family's estate. Upon arrival I let out a low whistle as I took in the place. “Wow... I feel out of place just standing in front of it!” She laughed nervously, pulling away to clasp my hand in hers.
“Won't you please come in? I'm certain my family would delight in having you after your bravery!” she said, eyes pleading with mine. With some effort I managed to coax a fake smile onto my face.
“I'm sure they would, Wendy, but I've got to get going, don't wanna lose out on a good spot,” I lied, not wanting to hurt the sweet girl’s feelings with the sad truth that her family would throw me out without hesitation. “You've already done me more kindness then I'm used to, best Christmas in years!” I said, trying not to choke up as I realized it was true.
“But... I want to do so much more for you to repay your kindness...” she murmured, lowering her eyes. A crazy thought struck me and I couldn't keep the smile from spreading across my face as I fished through my pockets.
“How's about we share a kiss?” I asked, pleased with my own cleverness as I located the small thimble and hid it behind my back.
“A-A kiss?” she asked, her face immediately flushing crimson as she turned her eyes away. My stomach fluttered at the sight.
“Yeah, it's easy!” I said, closing my eyes to keep from getting too caught up on her pretty face. “We just...”
Something soft and warm pressed against my lips. Stunned, I opened my eyes to find myself face to face with Wendy, eyes closed, her head tilted slightly to the side as she kissed me. It was easily the most wonderful moment of my entire life no matter how short a time it lasted. Slowly, she pulled away and opened her eyes.
“Merry Christmas, Petra,” she said, chewing on her bottom lip nervously. A hint of concern suddenly entered her eyes when she looked up at me, reaching out gently to brush away a tear I hadn't realized had fallen.
“Thank you...” I whispered, not trusting myself to say more. She smiled and rocked back and forth on her heels for a moment.
“I should probably get inside. They're probably worried sick about me being out so late.”
“I'm sure they are. Just glad I could get you home safe to them...” I said, turning around slowly.
“Petra... I do not wish for this to be our last meeting! Can you promise me that we'll see each other again?” There was such honest sincerity in her voice that it pierced my heart like a knife. I allowed another smile to form and turned to her, holding out the thimble in front of me.
“What's this?” she asked, peering at the tiny object curiously.
“It's a kiss,” I said, grinning as the realization struck her.
“So you meant... and I... oh how dreadfully embarrassing!” I couldn't help but giggle.
“Hey no worries, I liked yours much better!” I said, laughing outright as she tried to glare at me and failed miserably due to her blush.
“You're horrible!” she huffed, turning away and crossing her arms. Within a few seconds she was already peering at me over her shoulder. “So you wish to give this to me? This kiss of yours?” I shook my head.
“Nope, we're gonna share it just like I wanted!”
“How do you mean?” she asked, humiliation forgotten as she turned to regard the tiny thimble like it was solid gold.
“Well, I'll give it to you tonight and then the next time we meet you give it back to me and so on. And this is my lucky charm so I'll be wanting it back soon, you hear!” She seemed taken aback by my abruptness at first but smiled and nodded as the implication set in.
“I promise,” she said, reaching out to take it from my finger and clutch it to her chest.
“Well, I should be off, want to get a good spot and all that...” I said, taking a few steps away from the smiling girl.
“You be safe!” she called out to me.
I nodded and bowed low before giving her a wink and turning away to walk back to the cheep streets. I noticed it felt a lot colder without her at my side but I shook the thought away. Now wasn't the time to be depressed, I'd just been kissed by the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. This was the happiest day of my life...
So lost was I in my memories of the time I'd spent with Wendy Darling that I didn't notice the piece of wood descending towards my head. It was strange, I knew that the two men from before were hitting and kicking me but I couldn't feel a thing. Hell, I couldn't even feel the cold of the quickly reddening snow I was laying in, or even the ground beneath that. It felt like I was flying, flying far away into the sky. It was so beautiful amongst the stars... I'd have to remember to take Wendy flying with me sometime. Flying with that beautiful girl... I'm sure she'd love it so much that she would smile and laugh and it would all be just for me... so that's exactly what I was going to do.
It's a good thing I went flying through the stars that night, it really is. If I had stayed I would have had to hear the sounds of a woman screaming upon finding the battered and broken body of a young homeless girl as she returned home. I would have had to hear the pitying grumbles of the neighbors as they gathered from the woman's screams and the dreadful wail of the police horns as they arrived. And worst of all... I would have heard the heartbroken wailing of a young girl as the police collected that homeless girl’s body and took it away... a young girl clutching a small thimble to her chest...
It's a good thing I wasn't there to experience that sadness because I was finally going to live in the place I had wished for years to visit. A place where happy thoughts can do the most wonderful things...
To be continued...