Flying with Peter

Note: Birthday mathom for Erin (thehush), who I hope will like this.

"Come on, Wendy -- don't be afraid!"

Peter's voice rang out exultantly as he flew high and higher, circling around and around Wendy, who kept looking back longingly, down at the thick canopy of trees beneath them. She still was a bit wary of flying, which was probably not surprising after being shot from the sky.

"I don't know if I can, Peter… Maybe I should turn back."

Then, just as she felt herself falter, Peter was beside her, taking her hand in his boy's hand, small and dirty around hers, yet strangely comforting. Flying onwards, white cotton candy landscapes of clouds hiding the ground from her eyes, mixed emotions shot through her, as they always did when he was around. She never knew whether she wanted to look after him, strangle him in annoyance at his cockiness – or ask him for another kiss, a proper one this time. It confused her, yet deep down Wendy knew that this was the way things were supposed to be.

She was supposed to be here, in Neverland, looking after the Lost Boys, flying hand in hand with Peter Pan. Even if she had no idea where they were going.

"So, are you ever going to tell me where we are going?"

"Told you, it was a surprise – so just wait a while longer. Don't you always tell the boys to be patient?"

Peter turned on his back and smirked at her, clearly enjoying the annoyance he caused her. Yet he didn't let go of her hand, pulling her over, so they flew facing each other. Looking at him, that strange, hot feeling rushed through her again, and she could swear she saw something similar flash in his eyes.

Yet before she could act on the impulse to lean down and wipe that irresistible smirk away with a kiss, he turned once more abruptly and began to descend, pulling her after him. They shot downwards, through the clouds and always faster, until Wendy wasn't sure they'd be able to stop before they hit the ground. But naturally Peter didn't worry about things like that – shortly before they reached the canopy of trees he pulled them up in a circle, crowing triumphantly as she clung to him, screaming in surprise. Then he brought them down to the ground, and they landed gently on a carpet of soft green moss.

As soon as she had solid ground beneath her bare soles, Wendy tore her hand free and slapped him with it.

"Peter Pan, a gentleman does not scare a lady like this!" She stomped her foot in fury, aggravated that she kept letting him get to her like this. But the sheepish look on his face, guilty conscience clearly visible although he would of course deny it if she dared to mention it to him, deflated her anger.

"I'm sorry, Wendy. I shouldn't have – not after what Tink did to you! I guess I'm still not used to being in the company of a real lady…" he batted his eyelashes at her, and Wendy couldn't help but laugh, knowing he played her as he had ever since they first met, but unable to resist his smiles and dimples nonetheless.

"Well, since we're here now, why don't you show me whatever you dragged me here for?"

With a delighted cry, Peter grabbed her hand again and pulled her through the forest. "You'll love it, Wendy, I just know it!"

As they approached a spot where sunlight shone brightly through the trees, he slowed down and motioned her to be quiet. Secretively they crept onwards, until they reached the edge of a small clearing. Pulling her down next to him, he crouched down behind some flowery bushes and pointed at a lone tree that stood in the middle of the lush green meadow dotted with brightly colored flowers.

"See," he whispered, "there it is…"

Wendy stared at the tree as hard as she could, but was unable to make out anything extraordinary.

"What is it, Peter? I can't see anything!"

With an impatient wave of his hand, he reached over and held her close to him, until their heads were on the same level. For a moment, all Wendy could feel was the heat of his body next to hers, but then she followed his line of sight.

And then she saw it, and her breath caught.

In the branches of the tree, basking in warm golden sunrays, sat the most beautiful bird Wendy had ever seen. Right away she knew what it was, although she had never seen one like it before.

"Peter," she whispered, struggling to keep her voice down,"It's a phoenix!"

He looked at her, his eyes shining proudly. "No, it is THE Phoenix, the only one in all the world!"

Exchanging delighted smiles, they kept sitting there, silent, bodies pressed against each other, bathing in the presence of the Phoenix – and the heat between them.

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