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he thinks he'll keep her

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Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. 

Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.

. . .

"A girl?" the boys had exclaimed upon seeing Wendy for the first time. She had politely said her name and gave a small curtsy, looking between the dirty children that stood huddled around her.

Her nightgown was ruffled like pale feathers, her hair a mess of brown curls, no doubt hiding a nest. She looked like a bird- a broken bird that couldn't even fly, thought Tinkerbell bitterly, hatred already burning in her eyes.

Wendy's voice was sharp against her ears- nothing like the soft, lilting voices of the other fae. She covered them with both her tiny hands, pulling a little at her hair as she did so. She wanted to rip out Wendy's curls, rip until the girl shrieked in pain, and then rip out her tongue too.

Pan's shadow had led the girl here, much like it had done with the others, only this time it had brought a girl. There were no other girls on the island. They did not need girls. Did not want them here. Pan had agreed himself.

But when he looks at the Wendybird, Tink can see that he's interested.

She begins to glow a deep red, the color of blood. She huffs angrily then turns toward the lagoon, an idea already blossoming in her head.

. . .

"We were only trying to drown her, Peter," a mermaid calls out prettily, fingers drawing idly on the rock in front of her. Pan laughs. Wendy, however, is not so amused.

She is standing upon a bigger rock, water dripping from her now ripped dress. She is soaked, head to toe, and her hair hangs limp. The bird couldn't swim.

The mermaids had lured her down to the waters with a song. Male or not, their voices were enchanting to mortals. Wendy had been no different.

She had followed them as they took her hands and pulled her towards the sea, eyes wide in awe and mouth parted slightly. She had even started to hum to herself as the waves washed over her. That had soon turned to screams. And when the salt water began to fill her throat, choked gasps for air.

But before the mermaids or the waves could pull her under, Wendy had scratched and kicked enough to grab onto one of the many stones dotting the edges of the lagoon.

Pan was standing there watching and even offered the girl a hand. Tinkerbell had hoped he would pull her up only to let go at the last moment so she would fall back into the dark waters like he had done with a lost boy once before. He did not.

She had really been counting on the mermaids to take care of Wendy, though.

Earlier that day, she had brought them each treasures. An emerald pin for the black haired one to hold back her tresses, a pearl encrusted comb for the blonde, who she knew was fond of the pearls, despite their abundance along the shoreline, and a necklace with bits of turquoise for the one with the amber colored tail. She had complained of Peter's new pet and how Wendy was the only one he had time for anymore.

They had quickly seen her side.

All it took was mentioning to one of the younger boys how much Wendy wanted to see the mermaids. Tootles was fond of the girl- mother, he had called her- and not too smart. He told her of the lagoon and, when Pan was distracted, led her unknowingly into the trap.

Wendy just had to get closer, despite Tootles' protest. She had to see their glittering scales up close. A simple lullaby from the mermaids and everything was going how Tinkerbell wanted it.

Then Wendy had to ruin the fun with her screaming, and Peter had heard. The girl was awful.

Now he was showing her a quick way to dry off.

By flying.

Tinkerbell watches the two in air- Peter, elegant and skillful in the way his body glides through the sky, and Wendy, with her too long limbs pushing out in a way Tinkerbell knows from earlier that means she's trying to swim.

She watches the Wendy's legs kicking against the gentle breeze, and the smile on Peter's face as he watches her too.

He used to smile at her like that.

She feels something wet against her cheek. Reaching up, she catches a teardrop on her finger. She presses it against her lips, curiously. There is a flash of pink as her tongue flicks out to taste it. Salty, like the sea.

Slowly, she looks toward Hangman's Tree. She lifts up into the air, gossamer wings flitting behind her like a heartbeat, and takes off into the trees, a blue light amongst the darkness.

. . .

Peter has made her a home in a nook in the tree. It's shallow, a small dip in the bark, but plenty big enough for her. She keeps her chamber separated from the rest of the tree with a curtain, which is almost always closed away from the boys prying eyes.

She is sitting on a couch in the far corner of the alcove, wings tucked gently behind her back. She is heavy against the plush cushions today, sinking in.

A mirror stands across the room and she catches her reflection. Her skin is tinted sapphire, dusted like a spirit.

She no longer glows as brightly as before. Her eyes are big and glossy and she knows more tears are waiting for her.

Even so, she watches her willowy body, the shape of her hips, her breasts, the curve of her neck. Wendy isn't shaped like her. She is only a girl. She will never grow into her body. Not like Tink.

Tinkerbell runs a hand along her thigh and up, watching her mirrorself do the same. She saw Peter, earlier, grab the bird and press her against a tree. None of the lost boys were watching, but she was. She always is.

He had kissed her.

At first it seemed like a game, he was laughing when he did it. But then something changed when he pulled back and looked into her eyes. They were both staring at each other, the girl out of breath, and then he leaned in and did it again. Softer.

She knew then that it wasn't pretend anymore.

She imagines it is his hands on her, and tries to ignore the emptiness she suddenly feels. Then she gets a new idea.

A smile- the first one since the bird landed on the island- breaks across her face. Her teeth are sharp. Her skin shifts, stained like wine.

. . .

This ill-luck had given a gentle melancholy to his countenance, but instead of souring his nature had sweetened it, so that he was quite the humblest of the boys.

Poor kind Tootles, there is danger in the air for you to-night. 

Take care lest an adventure is now offered you, which, if accepted, will plunge you in deepest woe.

Tootles, the fairy Tink who is bent on mischief this night is looking for a tool, and she thinks you the most easily tricked of the boys.

. . .

The tree tops are full of glowing orbs, soft greens and incandescent whites, pale pinks and vivid crimson- much like Tinkerbell herself. The fae can sense the change in the island, the change that started since the girl arrived.

The trees themselves are beginning to grow brittle, cracking under the weight of tiny cities. The sky is streaked with lightning and the sea tosses against the shore even when Pan is not angry. The boys are beginning to cry for things they cannot even remember.

The faeries are hungry for a change of their own.

As before, it is easy to get the whispers in poor Tootles' ears. He may be blind to what is coming, but he is not deaf to the poison they fill him with.

A faery dance.

Wendy would love that.

She is tired of being chased up trees by the boys. Tired of playing house when she really wants to learn to sword fight. Peter won't let her, he says she wishes to be a pirate and that is treachery and treachery gets your throat cut.

So the girl sneaks out of the tree house one night when everyone is asleep. Peter made it for her. He says that she is a lady and ladies do not sleep with boys. He has designed it to look like her nursery room back in London since he refuses to let her go back.

Tinkerbell broke the mirror in her alcove the day she found out. She supposed she should be happy that the girl was further away from Peter, but she catches him going into the tree house at night. Sees his face when he leaves in the mornings.

Wendy follows the trail of lights deeper into the wood.

She does not see the way the trees bend closer in behind her. The way they block the view from the treehouse- from Peter- who is making his now almost nightly rounds towards it. The way that the path shifts and changes so it is no longer the same one she walked.

The forest moves enough so the girl will not be able to find her way out again. Not in time, anyway.

She is unaware of the sinister looks sent her way as she passes under the branches of a willow, it's wisps stroking her face. It is growing up from the side of a clear lake, it's roots threaded in and out of the glassy surface. There are flowers dotting the damp ground and wisteria trees in the distance. She thinks it something out of a fairy tale, not noticing the way the wisps reach out, just missing curving around her neck.

She hears the sound of pipes playing in the distance and something like the gentle tinkling of bells and coins. Peter plays the pipes. She hurries forward, desperate to watch the celebration. A faery dance means a wedding. She is a romantic and doesn't want to miss this opportunity.

The sound gets louder as she gets closer and she can see a glow from the trunk of an oak tree. There is pixie dust everywhere, shimmering along the grass like dew drops, smeared along the bark. She bends down to peer inside, knees crunching along acorns.

The faeries hidden in the branches peer closer too.

She sees the couple dancing in the center. The male spins the female and she twirls with a grace that makes Wendy almost envious. Her fair hair is wound through with tiny budding flowers and atop his head sits a circlet of dark vines. They are wearing golden cloths made of a material she has never seen. It catches the light from their body and shines so beautifully that Wendy can feel tears in her eyes.

She leans in, a smile on her face, when it happens.

There is a swarming in the air behind her, little wings on little bodies, and suddenly she is being attacked. She is being slammed into a hundred times over, hands pulling at her hair and clawing at her skin. She tries to knock them away, and in the daze of the chaos, she catches the couple in the tree as they stop dancing.

All around them the faeries stop talking and turn to Wendy. Their eyes are dark and she sees now that their bodies are all glowing a soft red, muted beneath the strange fabric, but not hidden.

They smile and she sees pointed teeth.

For a brief moment she remembers the pixie dust covering her hands and knees from where she sat on the ground. She tries to think a happy thought like Peter has taught her, but all she can think about are the faeries moving closer, and the pain along her back and face where they have ripped away at her skin. She opens her mouth to scream, but before she can, the rest are upon her.

. . .

When Peter gets bored with the boys, he gives them to the faeries. He doesn't care what happens to them by then. He forgets them soon after.

They love the ones who have yet to grow up because they still taste of innocence.

Wendy's flesh is sweet, and it hangs about her like a perfume. Thick and heady. They fly back on unsteady wings, still drunk on the taste of her.

Her bones are picked clean, porcelain.

Tinkerbell takes care of Tootles. She tells him Wendy is in danger, that she got too close to the mermaids again and there is no time to get the others. The brave- foolish- boy follows her without a doubt in his little heart.

She watches the mermaids drag him under, makes sure he is dead before she flies away. This has cost her more then jewels, but it was a price she was willing to pay.

Peter asks about Wendy for the first few days. His shadow cannot find her, the boys cannot find her, he cannot find her.

He destroys half the island looking for her. When his shadow says she is no longer on the island, he destroys her tree house.

Within the first few days the lost boys have forgotten her. A girl? There are no girls on Neverland.

By the end of the week, Peter has forgotten her.

. . .

She sits curled up on Peter's shoulder, a hand intertwined with a curl from the nape of his neck. Tink nuzzles him, humming to herself.

She has never glowed brighter.