Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Peter Pan
Character/Pairing: Wendy, Peter
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r18.06: Mystify and comment_fic: Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Childhood memories requested by evil_little_dog
Warning(s): Future Fic, Character Death, Dark AU, evil!Pan
Word Count: 1,299
Date Written: 20 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Barrie, not the author, and are used without permission.
They speak of him as if he is merely another childhood memory, a fabled character they once believed in so strongly that they lost a whole chunk of their time growing up believing that they were in a land where no one grew older, bigger, or wiser. Children still whisper his name, and a mere child’s book has become a play and a movie so many times over. There are grown men now who portray him both on the telly and in plays.
Not too long ago, she read in a paper about a man dressing up as the fabled hero and bringing him to life in a children’s hospital. She scoffed then, retorting that the children should not be made to think that there is any land in which they will not grow up, grow sick, or die, but the truth is that there is such a place. There is a real land that holds such magic, and yet it is a greater horror than the world in which they live in, where one only has to pick up a paper to read about thousands dying and bombs being dropped again out of the skies.
There is such a place. There is such a boy. But he is no hero. They talk about him. They laugh and giggle and write more tales about him. Her brothers claim to barely remember what she has worked hard to convince them was only their wild imaginings when they ran away. She doesn’t want them to remember the truth. It is bad enough that she has to remember the beast, the monster that wears a boy’s face and plays an instrument that beguiles all children to trust him, boys to follow him, and girls to love him.
She loved him once, and then she discovered that her brothers were wasting away. They were fine and dandy as long as they did whatever the Pan asked of them, but when they stopped to remember home, when Michael cried for their mother, a part of them wasted away. A part of their very essence drained from them and went into the monster. But they still never would have died. He kept them alive, just alive enough that they would add to his merrymaking, add to his trickery of convincing more children to fall for him, and continue to help sustain him.
Wendy’s blood boils every time she remembers the beast. He was no creature of fun and love. He was a monster who fed off the children’s energies and kept them alive merely to keep feeding him. The Pirates had been right to fear him, to hate him even, but they had been the only ones in that mystifying land to see the creature, the “Boy Who Lived”, for what he truly was. She doesn’t know how long they stayed there before she herself finally saw what was happening.
She doesn’t want to know. It’s bad enough that she knows what the monster was doing and that he still comes to haunt them every night. That’s why she insists on keeping bolts on the windows and caring for John now that he’s grown older. It’s why she didn’t hesitate to take in Michael’s family when he lost his job. It’s also why she refuses to allow that dreadful book into her home and why the Pan doll her youngest grandchild once came in clutching disappeared soon thereafter.
Wendy remembers burning that bloody doll. She remembers feeling a sense of relief and pride surge through her. If only it could be so easy to destroy the real thing! But he still comes. He still comes and peers through the windows and looks at them. How on Earth she ever thought his eyes were fetching is beyond her now. She can see the evil in them now, feel the hatred burning from his gaze for she remembered what she had seen despite all the spells he tried to cast on her and they escaped his clutches, taking with them not only each other, three of his endless meals, but the rest of his “Lost” Boys.
Oh, yes, they were lost all right: lost to their families and the ones who loved them because of the Pan. They were lost and terrified and in so much pain when they came back into this world and the spells began to fade away. Many of them didn’t make it, and every one of those who did suffered with amnesia for the rest of their lives. They don’t remember, but Wendy does.
That’s why she walks the halls every night. It’s why she has another loyal, Newfoundland dog who never goes on a chain and never will. Nana the Thirteenth is more protection than Scotland Yard will ever be. You can’t shoot something you can’t see, after all, and you have to first believe in the Pan in order to see him. Wendy believes. She’ll believe ‘til her death bed, and even then she’ll be fighting.
She’ll always fight. She’ll fight for the future of the children these old walls surround. They aren’t just hers, but that doesn’t matter. They are all hers to protect, even the ragged munchkins who came in just tonight, hearing that they could get free food and a place to sleep here. She’ll never shut her doors, and she’ll never let that monster in.
Underneath her baggy housecoat, Wendy shifts her gun. She looks up to the windows again, expecting to see those blood-red eyes with green pupils looking at her, watching her every move. But he isn’t there. She can feel him. He’s somewhere near, but she can not yet see him.
Fear starts to flood her. Her old, wrinkled skin pales. Her hands shake but hold tightly to her clattering gun. Quickly, she racks her mind. She remembers locking every window, barricading every door. The children know that the one thing she asks is that they never open a window or door at night. They never risk letting in the wrong kind of element, as she reminds them in the day. They think she’s loony; she doesn’t care. She only cares that she protects them.
She whips around so swiftly that she almost stumbles and falls over her own feet. Pipe music is beginning to play in the very hall with her. The Pan lifts his head, and Wendy’s heart drops. He’s made it to them! After all these years, he’s finally made his way again into her home, into her sanctuary!
“No,” she cries and levels the gun she carries all night every night. The female child holding to the beast’s hand steps in front of him. “But, Auntie Wendy,” the rag girl cries, “you said you’d help us!”
“Help you, yes, but help him, never!” She waves her gun. “Move out of the way, child!”
Already, doors are opening. Children are coming forward as the Pan continues to play his haunting melody. Wendy shakes and suddenly feel so very weak and tired.
“You grown ups are all alike,” Pan says, lifting his head from his pipes with a Demonic smile. “You’re always so tired and full of pain and sorrow, and you always fear what you don’t understand.”
“Why don’t you take a rest?” Peter Pan smiles at her, and ice slides through Wendy’s bones and veins. She can’t move. She’s rooted to the spot. “You took my children once. Now I’ll take yours, old woman.” Those are the last words she ever hears as Nana barks in the distance and the gun slips from her hand, crashing to the floor, as she topples backwards.
“You could have had it all. You could have been my Mother. Now you’ll have nothing.” Pan smiles and plays his music as Wendy dies.