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Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Just seeing Peter was like a dream come true.  Two weeks wasn’t that long in the minds of many, but the two had been barely separated since they had become friends.  It was hard not having his calming touch in so long, even if she had been able to speak to him every night.  It was rough, not having him around while she went to school and while she worked on being more in charge with the kids.  But, Peter was easily falling into conversation while just looking at him needed a moment.  She barely registered his kiss before he sat beside her.  She just stared at him and listened, a goofy grin of her own resting on her lips. 

Wendy didn’t even need to speak, as Peter covered most of the conversation.  She was glad her mother let them have some time together, her work could wait.  The perks of online school, she worked at her own pace and when she wanted to.  “Wait, wait.” she spoke, holding her hands up as she continued onto a new topic.  “Let’s just keep on one topic for now.  How are you doing?  I’ve missed you.” she smiled, pressing another kiss to his lips softly.  God, it felt amazing to have him next to her again.  Like the weight of the world was lifted off herself.  “Do you like working here?  Have you enjoyed baking?”

“He enjoys sleeping in, that’s for sure!” Madeline called out, to which Wendy laughed.  “Ignore me, sorry, I couldn’t help it!”

Wendy then moved on to his next topic of Mrs. King.  Wendy had been in contact with her as well, getting updates on trial times and how it had been rescheduled due to ‘Mr. Darling’s work schedule’, which she felt was stupid.  He made his own schedule at the damn office, he could be off whenever he wanted and still get paid.  “I’m glad the meeting went well with your parol officer.  Luck for us we got one of the only guys not on Hook’s side, probably Mrs. King’s doing.” Wendy spoke, taking a bite of her croissant.  God, she could eat these for the rest of her life and be satisfied.  Her mother was clearly a skilled baker, and she was surprised it took so long for her to open a place by herself.  

“So, you must have heard from Mrs. King that the trial was delayed, right?  We have another week since Mr. Darling couldn’t take work off, even though he owns the damn business.  They are all up to something, I just know it.” Wendy spoke, trying to figure what they would be trying to get that would hold them up.  She knew they must be digging in about the lost boys' families, and probably hadn’t gotten far enough to use it as leverage or something.

“The kids miss you.” Wendy spoke, knowing that Peter would want to hear about them.  “All of them have so many activities it’s hard to keep up with what they are all doing.  Did you see the video I sent you?  Michael needed you to see his debate skills in action!  That kid is gonna be a killer lawyer someday.” Wendy beamed, the pride she had for her brother was clear on her face. As Wendy went on, she was sure to use their nicknames for Peter, no need to put extra stress on him.  “And Curly has been doing so well at his swim meets.  I guess he’s learning high diving now, which is exciting.  And Slightly got his costume for the play, here I have a photo.” she spoke, pulling out her phone and showing the boy in his costume as he performed.  His curls began to look more and more like Peter’s hair, just floppier from lack of a haircut.  “Slightly gonna be so jealous I actually got to see you today.”

SmileBright     106d ago

“I've missed you too,” he flashed his boyish grin at her. “It's only day one for me here but I'm loving it so far. Madeline has shown me how to make scones from scratch. I made a bunch of blueberry ones, you'll have to take some home to try with the others!”

Wendy was just like John in how she steered the conversation right back to business. It irked him that Mr Darling could throw such a wrench in the plans all because he couldn't be bothered to use vacation days even though the firm was his to run. The spiteful prick knew exactly what he was doing. That was fine, they weren't going to play into his hand. If he thought he could rattle them by interrupting the proceedings then he had another thing coming. Mrs King was determined to win this case and her advice for them had been clear. Do not engage. “I bet you anything he's trying to recruit more witnesses because they don't have anyone on their side to use,” Peter huffed. “We have all the evidence we need but they're scrambling. All they have are illegal documents and fraudulent activities within their charitable friends. I doubt any of them want to put their own asses on the line in a courtroom.”

Peter wouldn't put it past Hook and the Darlings to even bribe people to take the stand for them. After what had happened with Murphy and Boone it was almost a guarantee to happen again on a grander scale. The Darlings had money to spare and Hook had the influence of his badge to sway whomever they needed to. The kids could only hope that the bribery wouldn't get as far as lining the judge's pockets. Mrs King was a damn good lawyer but a corrupt judge could blow everything up right in their faces. 

“How are the kids?” Peter changed the subject, stomach knotting uncomfortably at the new panic. He took great comfort in the pictures she showed him, smiling proudly back at the faces of the boys deep in their extracurricular activities. He couldn't wait to see them again. If it weren't for the stupid ankle bracelet he'd go right then and there to wrap them all in a bear hug. 

“And what about you?” Peter turned his attention to his girlfriend, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “You're being incredibly brave for everyone else but who is taking care of you? I don't want you to burn yourself out now that you've got online classes as well as trial preparation. I especially don't like that I can't be there for you when you need me to. Is there anything you need from me while you're here? It isn't much but I'm at your service."

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy loved talking to Peter about the kids.  They meant so much to both of them, it was hard to think that anyone else would be suitable to care for them except the two of them, but she had already seen what a great job Alice and Hope had done.  It even seemed as though the kids respected and trusted them, which is all she needed.  Was someone who loved and respected them to be watching over them.  That was, until Wendy and Peter could do it on their own.  

Wendy broke out of her thoughts when Peter spoke to her.  Pushing some hair behind her ear, asking who was taking care of her.  He could always see through anything she tried to cover up from him.  “Oh, you shouldn’t worry about me.” she spoke, the tears couldn’t help but well up in her eyes.  “It’s hard.  It’s hard without you.  But, I’ve been able to manage it thus far.  Hope works with me for trial prep, school I can handle, and I work with the kids when they get home from school.  Alice and Hope wanted to prepare me for when we can officially get custody by showing I can handle being in charge of all of them at the same time.  So I have full reign over them from when they get home to bedtime.  But you shouldn’t be worrying about me.  You just have to worry about just laying low and baking,” Wendy pushed a smile to her lips, pushing the tears away from her eyes.  

There wasn’t much else the two of them could do. Push through until the trial.  And it was much harder than anyone would have thought.

Two Weeks Later…

Wendy had visited the bakery two more times before the trial, and one time with Mrs. King as well.  The day before they got all their talking points together, and Mrs. King was ready to support the two through the entire trial.  The only ones allowed to attend the trial of the kids were John and Michael, as they were going to be witnesses if it called for it. Hope was also there, as Alice was caring for the rest of the kids back at the house.  

Wendy had bought a new dress for the trial, something black and cut off at the knees.  Her hair curled and pushed back from her face.  She wanted to make sure her mother could see that she was just fine without her.  Seeing her parents was going to be hard, but she knew she could do it, especially with Peter by her side.  Peter entered after Wendy had with Mrs. King, a small smile on Wendy’s face as they locked eyes.  “Are you ready for this?” she whispered to him softly, the silence of the courtroom broken by some idle chatter.  

Soon after, Hook and The Darling’s entered the courtroom, and Wendy stared straight ahead.  She didn’t want to look at her adoptive parents, or Hook.  Those three adults broke her heart and hurt her in unimaginable ways.  She wouldn’t look at them until she had to, her hand reaching for Peter’s hand under the table, squeezing it tightly.  

The talk was cut off when the bailiff announced the entrance of the judge.  “Please rise. The Court of the Second Judicial Circuit, Criminal Division, is now in session, the Honorable Judge Caleb Hayne presiding. Judge Caleb Hayne is our interim head judge as Judge Barrett Tates is out on leave.” Wendy was glad to see that the judge wasn’t someone Hook could have blackmailed or bribed, considering he was visiting.  The look on Hook’s face was priceless when he found out, but his face went back to its arrogant look quickly.  The judge looked at everyone, before speaking.  “Everyone but the jury may be seated. Ms. Booker, please swear in the jury.”

Wendy’s mind went numb as the bailiff swore in the jury.  She took a minute to realize the moment was here, and it was time for her adoptive parents to get what they deserved.  She came to when they judge spoke once more, “Your Honor, today’s case is Mr. and Mrs. George Darling versus Ms. Wendy Elizabeth Darling, the adoptive daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darling.”

What Wendy didn’t expect was the talking, that turned to screaming, coming from behind her.  “What does she mean?  Wendy!  What is she talking about?!” Oh no, Michael.  They had never had a chance to explain the adoption to Michael, and now he had to learn in the worst way possible.  

“Michael, please, you need to quiet down.”

“No John!  I need to know what is happening?!  She’s wrong!”

“Wendy and I-, I mean-”


“That boy needs to leave the courtroom until he can handle himself” The judge spoke, hitting his gavel against the table.  Alice picked up the boy, taking him out of the room before the boy could make a beeline to his sisterJohn following behind them.  Wendy turned, seeing a look of betrayal across Michael’s young face.  The brunette hid her face in her hands, wiping the tears that tried to push themselves forward. 

And with that, the trial began.

KoozaPeter Pan   102d ago

Peter Pan

Peter couldn't avoid the anxious bouncing of his foot against the vinyl flooring of the courthouse. What made everything even worse was that he wasn't permitted to sit at the prosecution table beside Wendy, holding her hand like he'd promised he'd do for the duration of her case against her parents. Mrs King had been explicitly clear that only those involved in the lawsuit were permitted to be on the courtroom floor with both the plaintiff and the defendant. So, he sat as close as he could get; right behind Wendy and slightly to the left so she would see him if she looked back. The tie around his neck felt like it grew even tighter as the judge entered the room.

Surely the Darlings had no chance to win this? They were less than thirty seconds into the trial and already his thoughts were spiraling. It wasn't until Michael's voice broke through did Peter get brought back to reality. Fuck. He could see the hurt and fear in Wendy's eyes as she turned to look at her baby brother, who in turn appeared just as devastated. “I've got him,” Peter whispered to Wendy, hurrying after Hope and John as they escorted Michael to the lobby.

“Let me go! I don't want you to touch me!” The youngest Darling had tears streaming down his face, fists clenched at his sides as his brother and Hope tried to calm him. “You lied to me this whole time!”

A bailiff stood nearby, head slightly titled as he gauged whether or not he needed to intervene. “Hey hey hey,” Peter murmured, hands raised as he approached the trio. “Why don't you two go back inside and I'll wait here with Michael?

Hope frowned. “Won't that violate your probation? You aren't supposed to be away from Andrew and Madeline.”

I'm not supposed to go further than thirty feet of them. This is well inside that measurement. Plus I'm in a courthouse, I don't think I'll be getting into much trouble. Besides, John should be in there with Wendy. This applies to him too.”

John looked heartbroken to leave his baby brother behind but did as he was told, understanding that he wasn't going to get through to Michael just yet. Peter loosened his tie, crouching down to try and meet the younger boy's gaze. “I know you're upset, Mikey.”

“Don't call me that. No one calls me that!”

Okay, scratch off nicknames to break the surface. “I know you're upset. You have every right to be upset but please don't be angry with John and Wendy. They've done nothing wrong.”

Big fat tears rolled down Michael's cheeks, quickly to be wiped away. “They lied! They said we'd always be a family but we're not a family! They said they weren't my brother and sister!”

Wendy and John would never say that you weren't their brother, Michael. You know that.”

“Not them, the judge man! He said ‘adopted’. That means not related! If Wendy and John aren't related to me then they're going to leave me behind with Mom and Dad and I don't want to be left behind. They're mean to Wendy and John, what if they'll be mean to me too now?”

Peter wanted nothing more than to wrap the little boy in a bear hug and swear that he'd never be hurt as long as Peter Pan was on this earth but he figured Michael would throw a punch if he tried. “We're not going to let that happen, okay? Wendy and John might not be related by blood but you are their brother and they love you very much. You're not going to get left behind Michael, I promise you.”

But you don't know that!”

Has Wendy ever turned her back on you?” At this, Michael shook his head. “Has John always been there to help you?” A nod this time. “Then what makes you think something as silly as a piece of paper will ever stand in the way of them keeping their baby brother safe, huh? You know them better than anyone Michael. Wendy is fighting to keep you with them, so is John. You'll be safe with them forever, we're going to make it happen.”

Michael sniffled. “Promise?”

Peter stretched out his finger. “I, Peter Pan, pinky promise that nothing bad is going to happen to you, Michael Darling. You won't be left behind, and you certainly won't be unloved.”

He sat on the floor and rested his back against the wall, Michael soon joining him. “Am I in trouble for yelling? Am I going to jail too? Will we be cellmates?”

Peter snorted. “No, you're not going to jail. Though I think we may have to sit here until they go into recess.”

The little boy's eyes lit up. “Recess?!”

Not that kind of recess.”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy felt better knowing Peter was with Michael outside, especially when she saw John and Hope re-enter the courtroom.  He had told her he would handle it, and she believed him.  Michael and Peter had never really connected before, as he was constantly berating him for hurting Wendy all those weeks before.  But, Peter did have social-emotional skills that Wendy did not possess, so hopefully that would work in his favor to help out her baby brother.  She was doing this for her family; John, Michael, the Lost Boys, and Peter.  

Mrs. King stood up, before clearing her throat to speak to the judge.  “Your Honor, members of the jury, my name is Marissa King and I am representing Ms. Wendy Elizabeth Darling in this case. I intend to prove that Ms. Wendy Darling has suffered child abuse and neglect from her adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Darling, as well as stalking, blackmail, wrongful arrest, and kidnapping charges against Captain James Hook. Thank you.”

Mr. Darling scoff was loud enough to hear across the floor as he stood to defend himself.  He was a great lawyer, yes, but it was through lies and deceit.  Hopefully his string of lies would be seen through the judge.  “Your Honor, members of the jury, my name is Mr. George Darling Esquire and I am representing myself, my wife, and Captain James Hook in this case.  We intend to prove that  all of Ms. Darling’s ‘claims’ are false, as well as show that she kidnapped both our other adopted son and our biological son without our knowledge. Thank you.”

Wendy didn’t think they were going to try and attempt to criminalize her as well, as it never seemed they cared about their sons as much.  Wendy was easy to wed off to make a quick buck, but the boys were always going to inherit the law firm from her father. Well, they cared about Michael enough, but not too much about John.

“Prosecution, you may call your first witness.”

“Thank you, your Honor. I call to the stand Ms. Wendy Darling.”

Wendy sat down at the stand, got sworn in, before sitting down in the witness stand.  Mrs. King approached her, a warm smile on her lips as she came over. “Ms. Wendy, would you mind explaining to the court your story of what you have witnessed at home?”

Wendy spoke through her life.  The fact that her parents took away everything from her at age 9, making her earn her bed, clothes, and other things by proving it through etiquette and ‘respectful’ behavior.  She also explained the fact that at the age of 10, she was forced to take care of John and Michael alone as her parents went on months-long business trips, or vacations without them.  She cared for the home, cooked, cleaned and went to school during those times.  She also had missed school to take care of the boys if they were sick, and that went on until she left home.  She also explained how when they left home, her parents were not home so she took the boys with her so they would be properly cared for and not abandoned.  

Thank you.  Wendy, do you believe you were properly cared for and loved by your adoptive parents?”

“No.  I was manipulated to believe that only being a mindless servant to them was all I was capable of.  I was attempted to be married off before I turned 18 to a person I did not choose so they could benefit from a pay-off.  I was not told of my adoption until I found our adoption papers and was able to meet my biological parents, who asked for an open adoption that I did not receive.  I don't believe the Darling’s loved me or wanted to care for me, I think I was merely a paycheck to them.”

“The Defense may cross-examine the witness.”

George stood up, his emotion toward his adoptive daughter was nothing more than the expressionless face he sported 99% of the time Wendy saw him.  “Ms. Darling, your mother and I-”

“Excuse me, Judge.  I’d prefer if I was not considered his daughter as he is trying to do.  I feel like it is being used to make the court feel sympathy for him.”

Request approved.”

“Ms. Wendy, we as your adoptive parents, believed we did our best to explain how to behave and act in a high aristocratic society.  We had never denied you anything you had wanted, as well as let you experience multiple types of activities.  Do you deny these things?”

“While it is true you did give me items and put me into activities, you refused to let me choose what I did or what items I received.  You also refused to let me choose to marry for love as well.”  The look on Mr. Darling’s face dropped, assuming Wendy would crumple as she always did when she was on their roof.  She had confidence he had never seen in her, and had to question her differently.

“Are you talking about your boyfriend, Peter Pan?  The man who kidnapped multiple children, has several misdemeanors and broke into my office and went through my personal items.  That boyfriend.  We were trying to protect you.  A life of crime was not what we wanted for you, as we cared too much.  Do you deny the influence this boy has had on you?”

“Peter Pan had been wrongfully charged.  He has shown me true love and unconditional love.  He cares more for me and others than you have ever cared for anyone.”

“And that’s why he is currently on house arrest.”

“Mr. Darling you may step down.  Ms. Wendy you may step down.  The court on a brief recess.”

Wendy stepped down, walking out of the courtroom and going straight to the bathroom.  She had refused to break on the stand and she had just had to empty her dirty laundry.  She had never said everything out to anyone like she just did, she was exhausted.  She was done talking, and she knew that Mrs. King knew that.  She exited the bathroom, making sure her tears and make-up weren’t completely messed up.  She found Peter with Michael and without words she wrapped her arms around him.  “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard…” Wendy spoke, her arms tightening around his torso.  

“Recess is ending.  Everyone please re-enter the courtroom.”

KoozaPeter Pan   100d ago

Peter Pan

Tensions were running high in the courtroom after Wendy’s back and forth testimony with her adoptive father. Murmurs of the crowds silenced as the judge re-entered, face emotionless which re-ignited Peter’s stomach ache. Logically he knew that the judge had to remain neutral. It wouldn’t be a fair trial otherwise. The only problem was that Peter wanted to yell at the top of his lungs that the Darlings were monsters who didn’t deserve mercy. Seeing as he and Michael were only allowed back inside after promising to be silent, there wasn’t much he could do.

“The prosecution may bring forward their next witness.”

Mrs King rose to her feet, buttoning her blazer. “The prosecution calls Mrs Madeline Davis to the stand, Your Honor.”

The room watched as Madeline was sworn in, face just as stoic as the judge though even from his seat Peter could see the fire in her eyes. Not once did she look away from the Darlings, even during the questioning period where she detailed every single nook and cranny clause of the adoption agreement. “It was negotiated quite clearly that the adoption was to be open. We had been under the impression that we would be allowed visitations with our biological children, Wendy and John, once they were in the custody of Mr and Mrs Darling. The second John was born, they were ripped from us entirely. My husband and I grieved, believing them to be gone for good and it’s only through an absolute miracle that we have been lucky enough to be reunited with them, though our hearts are broken by the severe mistreatment and abuse they suffered at the hands of their adoptive parents.”

Mrs Darling fidgeted in her seat, feeling the heat of Madeline’s stare. Peter felt nothing but pride for Mrs Davis in that moment. A few more remarks and statements from Mrs King and the defense was called for cross-examination. Mr Darling remained smug and confident. “Now Your Honor, I am not one to call into question the decisions a parent must make but a person cannot help but wonder and question the validity of such grandiose accusations by a woman who cared so little for her children that she signed them away to strangers rather than raise them herself.”

The gavel fell and the courtroom was silenced once more from the agitated murmurs he had sparked. How despicable of a human being one must be to arrogantly profess a mother selfish for making an impossible decision? “I believe that you are seeking to capitalize on a payout that Wendy is also suing for. What do you think of that accusation, Mrs Davis?”

“I think it’s a disgraceful claim, much like your questioning my decision to put my children’s best interests first.”

“A child’s best interest is with their family, no? Yet you washed your hands of your son and daughter for the last eighteen years.”

Madeline remained calm, not rising to the bait. “As I said before, the adoption agreement clearly stated that my husband and I were to have visitation rights with our children. An agreement that you illegally breached when you disappeared with them. If I’d have been granted that access to them like I was legally entitled you, you can certainly bet that I would have filed for custody the moment I found out how abused they were.”

“Your Honor, again I must question-”

“Question away all you’d like, Mr Darling. The evidence has already been submitted to the court proving you breached a legally binding contract and therefore Wendy has every right to sue for kidnapping on top of the damages you’ve done.”


For the first time, Mr Darling’s face dropped and reddened. “As her custodial parent I had every right to take my children wherever I pleased. How can the court take your testimony seriously when you forfeited your parental rights instead of taking responsibility for getting pregnant in the first place?”

Madeline straightened in her seat. “The court will see that I acted as a loving parent ought to. Something you would know nothing about, Mr Darling. A parent’s responsibility is to put their child’s best interests at heart and my husband and I did just that. We were in no position to raise a child, let alone two, and that’s why we decided to break our own hearts for them to have a chance at life without the struggles we knew. You were entrusted to care for our children and instead you managed to traumatize them and break their spirits with your callous abuse and for what? Because you and Mrs Darling are nothing more than cowardly bullies who hide being corrupt police officers and fraudulent business transactions to maintain an empire of trash, at the sake of innocent children. You want to call yourself a parent Mr Darling? You can’t even call yourself a man.”

The gavel fell once more as the courtroom burst into frantic reactions. “There will be order in the courtroom! The defense and witness are reminded that they will act civilly and with decorum!”

Peter couldn’t hide his grin no matter how he tried. Madeline had rattled the Darlings with her calm composure, but Mr Darling was practically foaming at the mouth to get a rebuttal in. “No further questions,” he snapped, choosing to back down instead with his tail between his legs.

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy felt a sense of pride being the daughter of such a strong woman like Madeline.  She was calm, collected, and didn’t stoop to the lows that Mr. Darling has done.  He made dig after dig to get underneath her skin and she pushed through with poise and elegance. She had stared intently at her adoptive parents, her own anger that showed in her words.  But, Madeline never faltered from professional.  She made George Darling stumble, and that was an almost impossible task.

Mrs. King seemed pleased with Madeline’s time on the stand, and Madeline couldn’t help stopping and pulling Wendy into a hug.  “We’ll do whatever it takes, Wendy.” she whispered into her ear.  Wendy pulled her tighter, before the judge banged his gavel to separate them.  Madeline found her seat next to Andrew who pressed a kiss to her cheek and pulled her in for a hug.  Wendy couldn’t help but smile at them, before Mrs. King stood up once more. 

The Judge cleared his throat, before turning to Mrs. King.  “Prosecution, do you have more witnesses to call?”

“We have plenty to call, Your Honor.  We call John Napoleon Darling to the stand.”

John rubbed Michael’s back quickly before he headed onto the stand and swore in.  He let a faint smile go to Wendy before directing his attention to Mrs. King.  Wendy couldn’t help to notice how adult John began to look, what he had been through in only 13 years had truly aged him a bit.  He was tall, thinning out from his childhood, his jaw chiseling out as well.  He was almost a spitting image of Andrew now.  

“John, will you tell the court how your life looked growing up under George and Mary Darling.”

“Well, I will agree with Wendy.  At ten years old we were stripped to nothing and had to earn everything back by etiquette, respect, and, in my case, grades as well.  I knew my role in the home was to take over the firm, but that was before Michael was born.  When Michael came, I was told I would take it over until Michael was old enough.  I never wanted to be a lawyer, no offense Mrs. King, but it wasn’t where my heart lived.  I was an heir, and that was all I was.”

“So, George and Mary were hard on you?”

“They had standards that were rewarded with necessary things for a child to thrive.  A bed, clothes, things like that.  But they weren’t home much.  Wendy took care of Michael and I. Wendy stayed home when I had chicken pox, Wendy changed Michael’s diapers.  If anyone shaped me into who I am-,” John spoke, his eyes finding his sisters, “It was Wendy.”

“John, can you please explain to the court what happened when you left the Darling home.”

“Wendy sat down with Michael and I about what was happening.  She told us we didn’t have to follow her, and we could go home whenever we wanted to.  Michael had agreed immediately, as he knew how little our parents were home anyway.  I was hesitant, but I followed.  I was hesitant only due to worry of what would happen if they went looking for us.  But, luckily for me, they never cared to look for me.  Only Michael and Wendy.  They truly never needed me anymore.  Peter Pan did not coax us in any way, or persuade us to stay.  He did not ‘take us in the night’ like people claim.  He has been more of a father figure than my own adoptive father.  He was the one who helped me face my biological family the first time, and he was the one I was able to talk to before I asked out my girlfriend.  It had always been him.”

Wendy’s eyes widened a bit when John admitted to having a girlfriend, she only thought it was Tink.  She knew Peter didn’t even know he was having that conversation with John when he did.  As Peter would have had a fit about it.  

They called for the defense to cross-examine John.  The face on George was a smug smile.  He had been able to manipulate John before easily, and hoped it would be the same.  

“John, why don’t you tell the court about the camps, weeks away, and overnights at colleges you were able to participate in?  All of the time we gave you exactly what you wanted to do.”

“You mean the bribes you gave me?  Those were awarded to me due to my own applications, and I was allowed to go because you were caught in a lie and I caught you.  You thought sending me away would make me comply.  I complied out of fear.  But don’t try and pretend you were trying to ‘help’ me in any way.” John spoke, his calm demeanor similar to his biological mother.  

George skipped over anything he said, really driving him the minimal care they had for their adopted son.  “We pushed you to do well because we knew you had it in you.  We knew you could.  Are you saying we were bad parents because we pushed you?”

“Pushed me? You think what you did was pushing me?  Harsh punishments for bad grades, not letting me have dinner before assignments were done, making me redo assignments if they weren’t ‘college level’. I’m 13 years old! You-”

“No further questions.”

I wasn’t finished!” John yelled, standing up and slammed his hands down on the stand. “You weren’t just bad parents, you weren’t parents! You lied to me and Wendy for years!  Your Honor, if you need submissions of fraudulent trials Mr. Darling has been part of, I’ll submit them.”

John stood up, walking off the stand and sitting back down in the stands.  George Darling was fuming, but so was John.  

“We will take another brief recess.  John, do you have those submissions on you?”

John nodded, pulling his bag he brought in and followed the judge, followed by Mrs. King and Hope, as witnesses.

KoozaPeter Pan   98d ago

Peter Pan

As appealing as it was to watch the Darlings get put in their place by John, it broke Peter's heart to see just how much trauma and damage such a young boy was exposed to, and for the sake of his parents' own egos and narcissism. Pride wasn't enough to describe how Peter felt when John rejoined the rest of them. As if he wasn't already resolved to helping these boys right alongside Wendy, seeing John and Michael so open with their emotions sealed it. “Great job,” Peter mouthed as John caught his eye on his way to the judge's chamber.

Seeing as it wasn't a criminal trial, no one was prevented from approaching the prosecution or defense side to speak during the recess. Peter wasted no time hurrying to Wendy, reaching for her hand. It probably wasn't appropriate to kiss her in the middle of a courtroom, no matter how much he wanted to. “You're doing fantastic. You and John are total badasses!”

“Wendy I'm not mad anymore,” Michael appeared at his side, slapping Peter's hand aside to take over with his own. “Well, I am a little but Peter said you weren't going to leave me behind and I trust you so I know that you won't now but I was just scared and-”

Breathe, Michael.”

This recess is boring. When are we going to be done? Did we win?”

It was a short break. Less than ten minutes into the recess and the baliff was calling the courtroom to rise as the judge re-entered. Evidence submitted, it was time to begin presenting. Peter didn't know what the hell kind of evidence the Darlings would present but he already knew the ace Mrs King had up her sleeve. “Your Honor, if I may, I'd like to present to the court exhibits A through G.”

The projection screen illuminated the photos one by one. Each depicted bruising and scratches that had been left when Mr Darling had attacked her before she ran off with Peter, who was grateful that they had taken the time to photograph her injuries for just such an occasion. “Your Honor these lacerations and contusions were left on my client, Wendy Darling, at the hands of George Darling during a fit of rage. Instead of being a calm, rational human being during a disagreement with his then-seventeen year old daughter, Mr Darling chose instead to put his hands on her and leave her wounded. Her boyfriend, Peter Pan, is the one who got her out to safety that night. Had he not, my client might not even be sitting here before you today. This is what this man is capable of. Nearly hospitalizing an innocent girl for standing up for herself!”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy felt immediately better once Peter was close by once more, taking her hand.  What she wouldn’t give for a kiss right now, but the court room seemed to put both of the teens on edge.  She was so proud of John, and she had worked through the box  the twins stole with John the night before to find the pieces of evidence that would be the most incriminating.  John had pushed through as much as she had, just in a shorter amount of time.  If anything, he suffered more because they now knew what worked the best with Wendy, and doubled it toward John.  If felt good to let him expose their father and let him heal a bit from what he went through.

Wendy felt the small swat of Peter’s hand, as Michael’s hand replaced it. As Michael explained his thoughts, Wendy bent down to be eye to eye with the red head.  “Michael Nicholas Darling, you will always be my baby brother.  I would never leave you behind with the Darling’s.  We will always be a family, okay?” she smiled, pressing a kiss to his forehead.  His comment about the recess made her giggle a bit, before she ruffled his hair.  “Not yet, but we will.”

They called the court back, Wendy taking her seat behind the prosecutors table.  She looked as Mrs. King presented the evidence; the photos Peter had taken of her after the attack of her father.  At the moment it had been something she didn’t want to do, but now she was happy they did.  The Darling’s couldn’t talk their way out of this.

“Objection!  How do we know these are from me?  How do we not know her boyfriend had hit her and blamed it on me? I never laid a hand on that girl.” Mr. Darling shouted from the table.  Michael, who sat next to Peter now balled his tiny hands up, “Peter, I don’t like how he's talking about Wendy! Am I gonna turn out evil like them?” he asked, his eyes wide and full of anxiety.   

“Mr. Darling, we also have a video taken the same day.  Wendy had a camera in her room, and we were able to get the footage of that camera to show the attack.  The whole attack.” Mrs. King announced, before the screen was brought out.  There was no sound, but it showed the attack.  Mr. Darling holding the girl tight against the wall, Peter charging in, Mr. Darling almost suffocated Peter before Wendy hit him in the head.  “That was purely self-defense!  That boy broke into my home!”.  Mr. Darling looked at the judge, who just shook his head.  Mr. Darling could only sit, crossing his arms as he was in the chair. 

“Our examination team is now looking over what John has presented.  From my short look, it seemed like multiple pay-offs from one Captain James Hook for unlawful arrests of different ‘problematic’ people.  Most of those linked with a note that explained what happened, and both signed by Capt. Hook and Mr. Darling.  Our examiners are making sure these are not forged documents and will be accepted to the trial once that has been decided.” The judge explained. “But, Mr. Darling, call up your first witness.” 

The smug look returned to Mr. Darling’s face as he stood.  “Your Honor, I’d like to call Mr. Pan to the stand.” he spoke, seeing the confusion on Wendy’s face.  He was going to question Peter?  That made no sense, he’d tear him apart if he was up there.  Wendy looked to Peter, a confused, and a bit of a hurt look on her face. Mr. Darling coughed, “My apologies.  I mean Mr. Thomas Pan, CEO of Pan Real Estate.  Father of Peter Pan, and recently, Thomas Pan Jr.”

A man with the same curly hair as Peter stood up, his dark green suit pressed and accented with hold.  He stood from the back of the Courtroom, as he walked up to the front of the court and got sworn in.  He looked at Peter directly, emotion gone from his face, but a friendly smile as Mr. Darling approached the bench.  

“Hello Mr. Pan.  Now, your son is currently dating my daughter.  He had high influence over her, as she never had many friends or attention from males very often.  Could you explain to the court your story with your son, and the kind of manipulation he could have over Ms. Wendy Darling. I have heard your son has had some run-ins with law enforcement.”

“Objection!  Peter Pan has nothing to do with Wendy’s case!” Mrs. King shouted.

“Overruled. Wendy hadn’t run away until Peter entered her life.  He is a reliable person for him to question.” The judge spoke.  Mrs. King pulled out her notebook, ready to take notes on this mystery man.  Wendy turned back to Peter once more.  “I’m sorry” she mouthed to Peter, knowing she would work through that with him later.  “You can leave the room if needed.” she mouthed, using her head to motion to the door, before blowing a sneaky kiss towards him and turning back.  Wendy swallowed hard.  Fuck.

KoozaPeter Pan   95d ago

Peter Pan

Thomas Pan oozed wealth and privilege, not daunted at all by being called to testify. His eldest son had betrayed the family in the worst way possible, turning his back on the empire that Thomas had worked his ass off to build. Sitting on the witness stand he stared down at Peter with pure disdain. This was his chance for revenge, and he was going to take it. Mr Darling set the stage and now he got to deliver the performance of a lifetime. “Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen, my business was built with one thing in mind: family. My entire job is making families turn their dreams into reality by securing their forever homes. My own personal dream was that I would one day pass this business on to my child. When Peter was born, I had nothing but hope for his future and promised I would do whatever it took to make him happy.”

Across the courtroom Peter sat with his jaw clenched, fists forming on his lap. Thomas was lying through his teeth but he just had to sit there and take it. “From a young age, my son Peter was…difficult. He was headstrong. No amount of discipline seemed to work on him. I thought it was just a phase, you know. Boys will be boys. But then Peter began to outright disobey my instructions in a manner that wasn't just a child being rebellious. It was blatant disrespect. From the time he was eight years old, Peter has done nothing but spit in the face of authority. We hired Detective Hook when it became clear that Peter's frequent bouts of running away weren't going to be just a phase. At the age of thirteen, Peter had run away a total of eight times for various periods of time. One was just a few days, others spread the course of weeks.”

Peter remembered those nights of waking up to Hook standing over him, hauling him to a police cruiser to return him to Thomas and his mother. “We were gone a lot for business trips but we always made sure to leave Peter supervised. Every chance he got, he was gone again. My hope was that he'd grow out of the rebelliousness and accept his place as heir to the family business but when he turned fifteen we were hit with the surprise that he had filed for legal emancipation from us. Even more surprising was that he won. Overnight our son vanished without a trace, leaving us blindsided and heartbroken. It took years before we were able to bring ourselves to try for another baby.”

It was the first Peter had ever heard of a younger sibling and it gnawed at his heart. Would this new baby understand the role he was born into? That he only existed because of their parents' greed, and not out of love and devotion like parents should have for their children? Did he look like Peter?

“Your Honor I can't say that I'm surprised by the charges brought against Peter,” Thomas continued, sighing and shaking his head. Mrs King was chomping at the bit to get her round of cross-examination in but for now she had to remain silent. “Peter encouraged these young boys to leave their homes and families behind like he had, not for one moment considering the damage this will do to them as they get older. Peter has essentially kidnapped these boys and in turn has brainwashed Ms Darling into believing the same schpeal about emancipation. I have no doubt for a second that this is all a self-serving plan that Peter has come up with. No doubt financially motivated of course. With no prospects before him, Peter would have to rely on income from somewhere. Why not a young, pretty, privileged girl who could be easily influenced by a boy's charm? Anyone can see the pattern of an abuser. To isolate their victim from loved ones and put nonsense into their head to control them, as Wendy has fallen victim to my son."

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy couldn’t believe the lies that Mr. Pan spoke.  Peter had told her everything that happened with his parents, and he was just spewing lies.  His job being about family?  Hell no.  It was about making as much money as he could off of people who actually respected their families.  Mr. Pan was trying to hurt his son as much as he hurt him by being himself.  Wendy wished she could speak her mind and scream at the man for saying such things about Peter, but she knew she couldn’t.  

Mrs. King looked just like Wendy did when Stella was teaching Peter math.  She looked like she was about to break the pen in her hand as she took notes.  Mr. Darling smiled smugly toward Mrs. King and Wendy, before his smile turned friendly back to Mr. Pan.  “I couldn’t agree more with you Mr. Pan.  My daughter got most of these silly ideals in her head once she started hanging around your son.  We wanted her to be comfortable in life, and now she’s bouncing from home to home.   And your son is currently on house arrest.  Your Honor, you can clearly see how terrible an influence Peter Pan has been on Wendy.  She is only here trying to sue my wife and I after hearing from Peter about being emancipated.  She is clearly a victim of abuse and can’t make decisions like this on her own.”

The judge made a note on his notebook, before looking to Mrs. King.  “You may counter, Mrs. King.”

Mrs. King stood, giving Peter a calming look before she went up to his father.  “Mr. Pan, you claim your son has been defiant since a young age.  Did you ever ask him why?  Or ask him if owning the business was what he wanted.  Because for the short time I have known Peter, he is the kindest and most respectful man I have met.  He loves Ms. Darling more than words can say, and cares about people so deeply.  The man you spoke of is not the Peter Pan that I, Wendy, any of those boys, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, or Mrs. and Mrs. Hart has come to known.” Mrs. King spoke.  

Mr. Pan searched for answers, before answer Mrs. King, his words smooth like butter.  “My son was always asked what he wanted to do.  He was allowed to do whatever his heart desired.” he spoke proudly, looking briefly to Mr. Darling for support in just a nod.  “Then why would he run away?  If doing what he wanted was an option, then why would he choose to run?” Mrs. King spoke, giving Mr. Pan a look.  “Now in his life, he is doing what he wanted.  You held him hostage in a situation not unlike Ms. Darling.  And now, you lie like you lie to your clients.  I have receipts from homes you have sold recently, getting almost 20,000 more from each person, and pocketing it.  Bank statements, and mortgages that differ in tens of thousands of dollars that you sir are pocketing.  If you’d lie in your business, why not now?”

Mr. Pan was sweating.  He looked to Mr. Darling, before shaking his head to answer.  “No further questions, Your Honor.”  Mrs. King spoke, before returning to her seat.  She looked at her phone briefly, before raising her hand.  “Your Honor, my last witness has arrived.  May she go before the defense has another?”

The judged granted this, much to Mr. Darling’s dismay.  “I’d like to call Mrs. Jane to the stand.  Mr. Pan’s secretary from years ago, someone who knew Mr. Peter Pan very well at a young age.”

KoozaPeter Pan   91d ago

Peter Pan

Mrs Jane.

Peter's eyes welled up, watching his father's former secretary approach the bench to be sworn in by the baliff. Eleanor Jane had been the only friend Peter'd had in his childhood, taking pity on the small boy whose father verbally abused him on every occasion. It had been years since he'd laid eyes on her and she hadn't changed a day. She had the kindest face, though it turned to daggers once she was seated and looked upon the Pans for the first time in who knows how long. She must have been in her late 40's now but she looked exactly as he'd remembered. Mrs King had done it. She'd found their secret weapon.

“Mrs Jane, could you state for the court what your relationship to the Pan family was?” Mrs King was right in her element.

“Yes ma'am, I served as a secretary for Mr Thomas Pan's real estate company for about eight years before I resigned from the position.”

“And do you recall seeing Mr Pan's son, Peter, during those eight years of employment?”

“Frequently. Peter was at the office several times a week, often for hours on end. This included during school hours when one would assume he had classes to attend.”

“And can you tell the court what you observed between Mr Pan and his son during those eight years of employment? How Peter was treated by his father, if there were any concerns that you had?”

Eleanor sat up straighter in her seat, jaw clenching. “I witnessed some of the worst instances of verbal and emotional abuse I have ever come across in my life. Mr Pan was notorious for his short temper but seeing it unleashed on a small child was staggering. Peter would often be reduced to tears at the hands of his father, who also left him unsupervised for hours. He even left the poor boy behind on several instances, and I would give him a ride home. We are talking a small child under the age of ten.”

“And did you ever witness Mr Pan strike his son in any manner?”

“Not to my knowledge however with how Peter would flinch whenever his father was near, it was not hard to read into the situation behind closed doors.”

“Objection Your Honor, speculation!”

“Overruled. Mrs King, continue.”

Peter sat shaking in his chair, reliving the nightmare childhood he'd fought hard to suppress. Mrs Jane had witnessed it all and was here on his behalf, to testify to the true horror of life under the control of Thomas Pan. “And were you ever in the presence of Mrs Pan?” Mrs King continued.

“Only on occasion, Your Honour. Company parties and things like that. Mr Pan preferred that his wife did not come around the company during work hours.”

“And why do you think that is, Mrs Jane?”

Eleanor locked eyes with Thomas. "Because Mr Pan sexually harassed myself and other female employees, often groping us against our will, and he was afraid that his wife would find out. Thomas Pan is an abusive deviant who cannot be trusted under oath, Your Honour. I testify that he is a dangerous man, and his son suffered under his custody".

The truth was out and the courtroom buzzed. Peter's tears fell silently, shoulders hunched as the judge tried to regain control of the room.

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy listened intently to the back and forth between Mrs. King and Ms. Jane.  The both were eloquent and fully released everything about Peter’s childhood, and burst Mr. Pan’s entire question is wide open.  The room was abuzz now, and Ms. Jane was able to leave the stand.  Mrs. King called another recess at Wendy’s request, as Mr. Darling agreed as they needed to work on who they would be calling up next to actually help their case.  

Wendy stood, made her way over to Peter, whispering to him to follow her.  She had him follow her outside of the courtroom, before pulling him toward her in a hug.  “Peter, I had no idea…” she spoke, keeping him close.  Peter had told Wendy his story, but never in this detail.  She didn’t know how close their childhoods had been, and how deeply Peter had been hurt by his parents.  “Are you alright?” she asks, pulling back from the hug and rubbed up and down his upper arms.  

Ms. Jane approached the pair, a smile on her lips.  “Hi.  Eleanor Jane.  It’s nice to meet you Wendy.  Peter, you have grown so much.  I’m happy to see you doing well and with someone who loves you.” Eleanor speaks to both of them.  She shakes Wendy’s hand, before holding her arms open to hug Peter.  “Thank you, Ms. Jane.  Your testimony will help so much.  Mr. Darling is truly going as deep as he can.” Wendy spoke, lacing her fingers together.  “Anything that I can do to help Peter, and ruin Mr. Pan I will do.  I left that job far too late, but I couldn’t let Peter be alone as he was.  I left once Peter was at school more regularly.” 

The recess is called to an end, the three of them reentering the courtroom.  Wendy pressed a kiss to Peter’s cheek, before heading back behind the table.  She start down, Mrs. King pulled her notebook out to take notes on whoever else Mr. Darling could pull.  Mr. Darling’s smug smile came back once he spoke to Hook, and looked to Mrs. King before he spoke.  “Your Honor, I’d like to call Wesley Boone to the stand.”

Wendy watched Boone, who had turned them in just a few weeks before, wearily approach the bench and get sworn in.  He sat down, trying to avert his eyes to Wendy and, especially, Peter.  He is only doing this because of the blackmail from Hook, similar to why he turned them in.  He took back his promise of releasing all their fines and misdemeanors, but did allow Murphy to come home.  Hook told them as long as they testified against Peter and Wendy, they would allow their records to be clean and they could officially leave this place.  

“Mr. Boone, could you please tell the court of your relationship with Wendy Darling?”

Boone let his eyes drift up, seeing Wendy and Peter’s eyes on his.  Wendy was upset at Boone’s sudden switch to work for Hook.  They had helped Peter, Henry, and herself before, and now he was testifying against her.  

“Peter was a kid and we helped him out a little bit.  Wendy came with Peter a few times.” His answers were short and his posture was slouched over.  Hook coughed a bit, catching Boone’s attention before he sat up a bit straighter.  Wendy watched this interaction and knew; blackmail.  

“Now, can you explain to us Wendy and Peter’s crimes that they asked you to help them commit.”

“Uh, well.  They didn’t really-”  Another cough from Hook.  “Oh, uh.  They asked us to listen in around to get intel on Hook.  And, uh, we hid them from the police during a raid- I mean, scheduled search.  They wanted our help with more, but we refused.”

Even Wendy knew that wasn’t true. They were clearly being blackmailed by Hook, as all his words came after Hook would cough.  Sick.

“I have a question for the witness.” Mrs. King spoke, smiling as the judge allowed a counter-question while Mr. Darling was still questioning. “Mr. Boone.  Hook seems to have a cold, and is coughing quite often.  Is there anything you want to say if he wasn’t coughing?” Mrs. King spoke, finding the worried man’s eyes, “If you’re worried, we will protect you too.” Mrs. King leaned in, a calming and trustworthy smile.

“I promise.”

KoozaPeter Pan   86d ago

Peter Pan

Peter's head was hanging down as Wendy approached, falling into her arms and burying his face in her neck. “I hate them so much, Wendy. So fucking much.”

The sound of Mrs Jane's voice - the friendly, compassionate one he'd grown up knowing - drew his attention. Peter hesitated, unsure if he was allowed to show her just how grateful he was for her to show up for him the way she did but the second her arms opened for a hug, he dove right in. “I've missed you so much Mrs Jane,” he tightened his hug. “Thank you for being one of the only ones who cared.”

Back inside the courtroom everyone waited on baited breath for the next witness to take the stand. It hurt to see Boone so defeated, wearing an ill-fitting mismatched suit and bags under his eyes like he hadn't slept in weeks. Hook was breaking this poor man who'd done nothing but help kids who needed it. Listening to Mr Darling lead the witness into false testimony was infuriating but Peter could do nothing but sit there and listen to the lies until Mrs King caught on to Hook's questionably timed coughing spells.

Boone glanced from lawyer to lawyer, shaking slightly. “Mr Boone I will remind you that you have sworn under oath to tell the truth,” the judge spoke. “If you have information pertaining to this trial then I will request that you come forward with it.”

Mr Boone, you are safe here,” Mrs King assured once more.

“I didn't want to do it." Tears welled in Boone's eyes and his shoulders began to quiver. “He took everything. I ain't got much but he took it anyway.”

Are you referring to Mr Peter Pan?” Mrs King led. “Did Mr Pan take everything from you?”

Boone was silent for a moment and then gave the faintest shake of his head. “Mr Hook showed up one night at my home. Had his men rip everything up. He beat Murphy with his billy club. Beat him real good. Said we had to help him catch Peter or else.”

Or else what, Mr Boone?"

Objection Your Honor, this is leading the witness!” Mr Darling slammed his fist down on the table.

“Overruled on grounds of relevant information. You will keep your temper in check in my courtroom, Mr Darling.”

Boone still couldn't meet anyone's eye but he continued. “Said we would go to jail for years. For the rest of our lives. We'd never get out again, unless we helped him get Peter. Captain Hook set up the raid to arrest Peter and Wendy at my house. I didn't want to do it Wendy, I swear I didn't!” At this he finally met Wendy's eye. “Peter never did nothing wrong to deserve jail, he's just a kid. Wendy too. Hook blackmailed us Your Honor, that's why I'm testifying. If it's all the same to you I don't want to do this no more.”

Your Honor he is giving conflicting information, this is absolutely ridiculous accusations against an upstanding officer of the law!”

He's a damn disgrace is what he is!” Boone yelled back, sob breaking through. “I just wanted Murphy back, you took the one thing I had and used him against me you bastard!”

“Enough! The witness is to compose himself and Mr Darling, I will not tell you again. Control your temper!”

Mrs King repressed her satisfied smile. “No further questions Your Honor.” 

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Mr. Darling stared daggers at Boone, but sat down.  “No further questions, your honor.” he repeated, before slouching down in his seat.  He had one more person who could truly end this whole thing.  If he could just talk about Peter Pan maliciously manipulating Wendy right in front of him, they could win.  Henry Powers and his family were well known, and he could get their case back on their side.  They promised him an in at any Ivy League college he chose, as well as a job at any company he wanted directly out of college.  He could get anything he wanted, and they could get him Wendy.  They promised him the life he dreamed about forever, and he was ready to lie, cheat, and steal for it.  

“We call Mr. Henry Powers to the stand.  Previous boyfriend of Wendy, previously betrothed to Wendy, and childhood friend of Wendy.  Child of Mr. Powers of Powers Pharmaceuticals.”

Henry stood up, adjusting his dark blue suit as he walked up and got sworn in. He looked confident, collected, and like he was ready to do whatever it took to make Mr. Darling and Hook happy.  Mr. Darling stood up, approaching the boy with a smile and a handshake.  “Hello Henry.  Can you please tell the court of your relationship to Wendy beyond what was already said, as well as your story of the prosecution.

A smug smile rested on his lips, something Wendy hadn’t seen in years.  “Wendy and I are childhood friends.  We dated for three years in high school, and we ended up mutually deciding to break up in our senior year, only months before Wendy began to spend time with Peter.  After Wendy had spent time with Peter, she had done countless illegal things, including using the family cabin and their credit cards without permission.  Peter was the ringleader in all of this, and manipulated her completely.  Peter had put stories in her head of how terrible her family was to her, and how he was all she ever needed.  Wendy came to her senses and returned home, where we began courting and I eventually asked her to marry me.  I have photos of the event, and a video of her agreeing to the marriage.  She eventually took off with Peter once again, after attacking Mr. Darling before stealing her away.  I believe she may have developed Stockholm Syndrome due to this.  Wendy Darling is sick and is being fully manipulated by Mr. Peter Pan.  I don’t think she knows what she is truly doing.”

That fucker.  Wendy could see Henry refuse her eye contact, as he stared directly at Mr. Darling.  He would occasionally look toward Peter, but his eyes would never make their way to hers.  Wendy knew Henry more than anyone, and he couldn’t pull that out of his ass.  He was given a script and memorized it.  He was just as blackmailed, or bribed, as Boone was.  Henry wanted one thing, and that was Wendy.  

“Mr. Powers, can you please tell the court about the dynamic in our household?  You spent quite a bit of time, as well as stayed overnight a number of times in our guest room.”

“Objection! He can’t talk about the dynamic of a place he did not live in!”

“Overruled, continue.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Darling were kind parents.  Doting parents as well.  They were truly invested in their children’s successes.  Wendy, before Peter, was kind, intelligent, and won many cotillion awards.  John was successful in school, and received highest honors at our school.  Michael as well.  All these were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Darling.  They are a well-respected couple, and their kids were just as respectful.  Mr. Peter Pan destroyed any hope of them now being successful.  He has taken the girl I love and made her hateful and deceitful.”

“Henry!  Look at me!”

Wendy shouted from her table.  The male looked straight ahead, at Mr. Darling.  “Henry, look at me now!  Tell me you believe everything you are saying!  You would never say that.  If you love me, look at me right now.”

Henry’s head turned to look at Wendy, and his smug look left his face.  He smiled, genuinely.  He looked at her, his lips pursed before the words tumbled from his mouth.  “Mr. Hook and Mr. Darling bribed me.  Wendy had never done anything that wasn’t for the well-being of another person or her brothers.  The cabin and credit cards were owned by the Darlings, and free for any children to use.  Now, I may like Peter Pan, but he loves Wendy.  He helped me pick out her ring.  We did it to buy Wendy time to get away from the Darlings.  She was kidnapped by Hook under the guise that she would keep Pan and the lost boys safe if she went home.  During this time, she dropped 10 pounds and became reclusive. I don’t care what you promised me, Mr. Hook or Mr. Darling.  Your honor, what I have just said is the truth.  I was bribed.”

“Thank you, Henry.”

“Your Honor!  It’s clear Mrs. King has found a way to sneak into our chambers and manipulated all our witnesses!  I would never harm my adoptive daughter, and neither would my wife!   I am a upstanding member of society, as well as Mr. Hook!  We would never do this shit!”

“Mr. Darling!  I have told you once, please, control your temper!”

“George…watch yourself.”

“I am sick and tired of being pegged as a villain!  That stupid, fucking girl Wendy Darling is the reason my whole life is terrible!  My wife is sleeping with Mr. Hook, I have no heir to my company and I’m about to go to jail! But I will not be the villain for no reason!”

“Jury, decide your verdict.”

A sea of ‘Guilty’s’ fill the courtroom as the jury left to decide, a scream coming from Mr. Darling before he slams his hands and heads onto the table in front of him.  Wendy couldn’t help but smile.  She looked back at Peter, happy tears filling her eyes.  

They fucking did it.

KoozaPeter Pan   84d ago

Peter Pan

They had won. They had fucking won! Henry had Peter on the edge of his seat, ready to burst out in a rage until Wendy broke the man down for him. It was nothing but pure satisfaction to watch the Darlings and Hook's faces melt into outrage as realization dawned on them that they had lost the case they believed to be easy money. Peter caught Wendy's eye and beamed, wishing he could wrap her in his arms and celebrate but the court was still in session.

“Until conditions of your possible bail hearing are read, I am placing Mr and Mrs Darling  under arrest for child neglect, abuse, and endangerment, as well as fraud. Captain James Hook is to be placed under arrest for criminal harassment and witness intimidation. Baliff please see to it that the suspects are placed in custody.”

The Darlings sat dumbfounded, unable to believe that they were wearing handcuffs and being led off to await their fates. Hook was not going as quietly. “This is a fucking atrocity!” he struggled against the cop restraining him. “I am a captain of the police force, I can't be arrested! That boy deserves to rot in jail, and the girl right there with him!”

Captain Hook I recommend you use your right to remain silent!”

No, I will not stand for this!”

It happened in a fraction of a second. One minute Hook was empty handed and the next he was aiming the baliff's pistol directly at Peter. The pain registered before the loud crack of the gunshot reached the boy's ears. Fire. It felt like pure fire was engulfing his shoulder and arm. “Peter stay still, don't move!” he heard Alice calling his name.

When had he fallen to the floor? Christ, this hurt! “He didn't hit Wendy or the kids, right?” he winced, still not processing that he was the one wounded.

“Someone call an ambulance! Peter you've been shot but I don't think it hit anything major. This is going to hurt but I need to put pressure on the wound until the medics get here. Wendy? Wendy get over here!"

The entire courtroom was buzzing with shock and disgust. It took another two officers to slam Hook to the floor and get a set of cuffs on him while Peter tried sitting up in a panic, afraid that the captain was going to come back and finish the job. “Don't let the kids see, okay?” Peter reached for Wendy with his good arm, realizing they probably already saw the blood pouring from his shoulder.

When the EMTs arrived the courtroom was cleared aside from Madeline and Wendy, and Peter refused to budge without at least one of them coming with them to the hospital. “No you don't understand,” he argued though his speech was slurred from the pain medicine kicking in. “I'm under house arrest, I have to be with my chaperone.”

“And why does the young girl need to come?”

That young girl is Wendy fucking Darling, you put respect on her name! She's my girlfriend, she has to come.”

One of you can come, but only one of you. And forgive me for saying but I think the court will ignore if he's away from his chaperone seeing as he's got a bullet in him that needs to come out soon, so I need you to decide who is coming.”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy world felt like it broke the moment she saw Hook with the gun, before hearing it go off.  She ducked instinctively, along with Mrs. King, and stood after she realized who it had hit.  “Peter!” Wendy yelled, as she rushed over at Alice’s call to her.  Wendy carefully took his good arm, helping him sit up.   My god, the world couldn’t give them a break. 

Wendy, I will stay as they announce the verdict in the judge’s office.  Keep me updated on Peter, and I will tell you the verdict later on.” Mrs. King spoke to Wendy, to which she could only nod before directing all her attention to Peter, keeping her hand in his tightly.  “Honestly, I think only a couple of them saw anything.  They are okay, and I’m okay.  And you’re gonna be fine, okay?” she spoke softly as they brought Peter toward the EMTs.  Madeline on one side of him, Wendy on the other.  Once Peter dug his heels in, fighting to make sure one of them came to the hospital.  

Wendy held Peter back as he yelled at the EMT, having him relax.  Wendy looked toward her mother, before her mother smiled.  “You go, Wendy.  Andrew and I will follow behind the ambulance and meet you there.  He needs his support person, and that’s you.” Madeline spoke, giving Peter a kiss to his temple, before Wendy and Peter were loaded into the ambulance.

Wendy tried to stay as out of the way as possible, as the EMTs put in an IV and checked his vitals.  Lucky, they hit nothing major but his shoulder would be in a cast for some time.  But the main thing was he would be going into surgery the minute he got to the hospital to get the bullet removed.  Wendy would be able to wait in his recovery room as the surgery would only take an hour or so.  “He’s going to be okay though, right?” Wendy asked, and the EMTs smiled, “He’ll be just fine.”

As soon as EMTs did what they could, Wendy took hold of Peter’s hand on his good arm.  “Peter, we did it.  We won.  Hook and my parents can’t do anything anymore to us.  We can finally do whatever we want.  We don’t have to hide anymore.” Wendy smiled, pressing a soft kiss to his knuckles.  “We have our lives back.”

As soon as they were pulled into the hospital, Peter was carted away as Wendy was left behind.  “Peter!  I love you!” she called after him, as Wendy went to the desk to give as much information as she could about Peter, before getting put into his recovery room.  As she knew she’d be waiting a little bit, she went to the gift shop and grabbed him a card,  a stuffed animal, and some balloons.  Arriving back to the room, Andrew and Madeline had clearly talked their way back to the room, setting their vase of sunflowers next to the bed.  The three of them sat down once they signed his card and got the room decorated for Peter.  

“Are you excited?” Madeline asked, as Andrew nudged her, “About the trial.  Not this.”

“Yes, I guess.  I don’t know what’s going to happen to the kids.  I’m worried about them.  Well, the lost boys.  They are wards of the state, so they can stay with Alice and Hope.  But I was supposed to have custody of my brothers, but I know it’s not going to happen now.  I’m too young and have no job or anything.”

“We actually wanted to ask you about that.  Would you be interested in being adopted again?”


“We know you're legally an adult, but Andrew and I want to adopt you.  And John and Michael.  So you guys can still be a family.  A legal family.  We want to make sure you were okay with it first before we brought you the paperwork, but it’s almost all filled out.  It just needs signatures.”

Wendy’s eyes filled with tears, before nodding and hugging her mom and dad both.  Legal, actually parents who loved her.  “I would want nothing more than to be yours again.  You want to include Michael too?”

“We overheard him saying he was worried you’d leave him behind.  We could never do that, and besides.  If he’s your brother, he’s your brother.  We love him all the same.”

Wendy and her parents had some time to chat before Peter was brought in.  The doctor said he should wake up soon, but would be a little groggy until he fully woke up.  Wendy approached the bed, seeing his eyes start to flutter open.  “Hey Peter, it’s me.  How are you feeling?” Wendy asked softly.

KoozaPeter Pan   79d ago

Peter Pan

Peter was in agony but he still fought off the anesthesia, mostly as a challenge to himself to see how long he could last. He barely managed to count to eight before the propofol won, rendering him completely unconscious. The surgeons were able to retrieve the bullet fragments without difficulty though it took a while to locate exactly where it was. The angle Hook had shot the boy at was from an upwards trajectory and therefore it lodged on an angle in his body. Once he was in the recovery ward, the loopy young Pan began to immediately pester everyone within earshot. “They won't even give me a cheeseburger, you know that?” he slurred to Wendy when she was permitted inside his room. “They said I have'ta have jello or pudding. Who wants that stuff when cheeseburgers exist?”

“We've been through this Peter,” the nurse was mercifully patient with his ramblings. “You have to have light stuff in your stomach, not grease. You don't want to be sick do you?”

“I got shot and I don't deserve a cheeseburger? Wendy they're meaner than Hook! Did we win?” The conversation from the ambulance was completely forgotten. “Do they know he shot me? Just lined up and boom! Right in front of the judge. It was mean. I don't recommend getting shot.”

He reached for her hand though his own was tangled in the mess of IV tubes. “I thought if I die at least my last view was your face. You've got such a beautiful face. Real pretty. And comforting. So I wasn't scared at all. Well, I was a little scared. Maybe even a lot scared. It hurt like hell.”

“Hon, he's going to be like this for a while,” the nurse warned Wendy. “I don't advise any serious conversations unless you want non-serious answers. When he woke up all he wanted to know was where you were and then he cried when we told him he had to wait to see you.”

“I didn't cry! Well…maybe I did. I cried a lot but you would too if you didn't get to see Wendy right away.”

He squeezed her hand, trying to pull her onto the bed with him. “Did I miss anything? The kids are okay? You're okay? I don't want them to worry, they aren't worrying are they? Tell them don't worry! I'm right as rain now, completely bullet-free!”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy smirked, covering her mouth as she hid a laugh from a very out-of-it Peter.  She nodded, hopeful that Peter would take that as her taking his side about the cheeseburger, even though she knew he shouldn’t be eating much of anything, let alone a cheeseburger.  Peter continued his slurred rambles, but Wendy was just relieved he was okay.  They had the best news of their lives just moments before, and now they were in the hospital.  She knew Alice, Hope, and Mrs. King were waiting by the phone that Peter was out of surgery and okay, which she sent a quick message to all of them.  Wendy would keep the surprise of the kids coming to see him until he was a bit more coherent.  

Wendy’s smile grew when he asked if they won, which she nodded.  “We did, we won.” she replied, helping him navigate the wires he was tangled in to hold her hand.  “I know, babe.  But you need to relax, you are more all over the place than you usually are.” Wendy spoke, brushing his hair back.  She looked up as the nurse began to speak, listening to what she was saying, the smile playing back on her lips as she spoke of his neediness for her.  She could tell her reaction made him a bit self-conscious, even in the state he was in. 

The nurse headed out, claiming she’d be back in a while to check on Peter’s progress and give meds as needed.  When she left, she felt Peter’s hand tighten on her and pull her almost onto the bed with him.  His questions came at her like a freight train, and it took her a moment to think about the answers to all of them.  “Whoa, whoa.  Slow down.” Wendy spoke, pulling his hand towards her lips, pressing a kiss to his knuckles. 

“You didn’t miss anything.  The kids are fine.  I am fine.  No one else got hurt from Hook’s shots but you.  They might be worrying a little bit but I let Hope, Alice, and Mrs. King that you are okay.  Mrs. King is still waiting for the final sentence from the judge as Hook’s outburst gave him a little more to think about.  We all know you’re good now, but you still need rest, my love.” Wendy pushed his chest back into the bed, finding a spot to sit on the edge of the bed.  “You just had major surgery, and you need time to recover.  But we won.  We’re free.” Wendy smiled, looking over to Madeline and Andrew who had snuck in behind her.  

“Hey Peter.” Madeline spoke, walking to the other side of the bed.  “I’m so happy you’re okay.  How are you feeling?” she asked, in her true motherly fashion that radiated off of her.  The truth was, Madeline would have adopted Peter too, but she knew the weird implications that would happen when Peter and Wendy eventually got married.  She knew the two would end up together forever, and felt like being mother to both might get weird.  

After a few hours, Wendy felt her phone vibrate.  “Oh, it’s Mrs. King.  Let me put it on speaker.”  Wendy spoke, putting the phone on speaker phone, allowing her parents and Peter to hear as well.  “Hello?” she asked, hearing a very happy Mrs. King on the other line. “Wendy!  How is Peter?” she asked, her voice happier than Wendy had heard her before. “He’s doing well! Tell us what happened!” Wendy asked, taking Peter’s hand in her own, her grip tight.  “Mrs. Darling is charged for 10 years for child neglect, Mr. Darling is charged with child neglect, abuse, forgery, and obstruction of justice of 40 years and Hook is sentenced for life for attempted murder and obstruction of justice.  All of Peter’s charges have been dropped, and he is no longer on house arrest.  The kids are being placed as fosters under Alice and Hope, as they believe that you both are too young to take them into your own custody, as both of you don’t have jobs or a home.  But you will have full access to see them whenever you’d like, with permission from Alice and Hope of course.  Wendy, you and your brothers have been awarded your college funds your adoptive parents had created for you, as well as $35,000 dollars as personal injury funds!”

Wendy could have fainted.  They got everything they wanted and more.  She truly didn’t want any of the Darling’s tainted money, but it could help Peter and herself get their life finally started.  Wendy put a hand to her head, “Holy fuck…sorry mom and dad.” Wendy spoke, before awkwardly smirking toward her parents.  “Holy fuck is right!” Andrew spoke, before Madeline hit him in the stomach.

“Peter, we can finally do everything we ever wanted.” Wendy spoke, her smile growing with each second.  “Well, we were going to offer this after the trial but now it’s for once Peter is better.  We wanted to get you guys a little getaway once you won, because we knew you would.  How would you two like a little beach getaway?  Boardwalks, amusement parks, ice cream, beaches.  All on us?” Madeline smiled, handing over a booking printout to Wendy, who leaned over to show it off to Peter.  

Wendy wasn’t able to answer, as a pile of tiny children barreled into the hospital room, everyone carrying a homemade card and the twins carrying a giant stuffed dog.  The shouting words couldn’t be identified as they spoke over each other at the same pitch, which was truly a skill.  It didn’t stop until Tink whisted, halting the noise to a stop as she walked next to the bed where Peter was.  “We’re glad you're okay.” she smirked, before leaning in to hug him, the lost boys following suit.

KoozaPeter Pan   67d ago

Peter Pan

$35,000. That was all Peter was able to register in that moment. “Do you know how many cheeseburgers we can buy with $35,000? At least fifteen cheeseburgers, Wendy!”

“Peter, we can finally do everything we ever wanted.” Wendy spoke, her smile growing with each second.  

“Well, we were going to offer this after the trial but now it’s for once Peter is better.  We wanted to get you guys a little getaway once you won, because we knew you would.  How would you two like a little beach getaway?  Boardwalks, amusement parks, ice cream, beaches.  All on us?” Madeline smiled, handing over a booking printout to Wendy, who leaned over to show it off to Peter.  

The pictures looked stunning and way nicer than any vacation he could ever remember going on as a kid. Did he go on vacations? He had a vague memory of Miami but he'd spent that mostly sitting in a board room with his father. Plus this place had ice cream! It was instantly a yes from the wounded boy. “But did you hear we got money? We can get an apartment Wendy! Our very own apartment.”

The kids all came spilling into the room at once, stealing his attention away again. The meds were keeping Peter quite loopy and all of the changes in conversation was getting hard to keep up with. “Guys did you see me stop that bullet?”

“You stopped the bullet with your body, Peter. Not exactly ideal superhero stuff. If anything it was moronic to not duck faster when you saw Hook with the gun,” Tink hoisted herself to sit at the foot of his bed.

The point, Miss Downer, is that I survived a gunshot. And we won our court cases! Yours truly has nothing left to fear from Captain Hook, the bastard is safely locked away and I am delightfully intoxicated on pain medicine so the joke's on him.”

The lost boys all berated him with questions, wanting to see the surgical wound and then demanding to eat the measly dinner of toast and pudding the nurse brought in. Peter would go on a hunger strike until he got his burger, he was determined. “So if it's a yes from you and Wendy for the trip, I think I'll get a hold of our travel agent to set up your trip,” Andrew rose to his feet, excusing himself from the room.

“What trip?”

“Do we get to go?”

“Aw yeah, we're going to Disneyland!”

Madeline couldn't contain her laughter, falling more and more fond of these misfits her daughter and Peter had acquired. “I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this trip is only for Wendy and Peter. They deserve some time way after everything that's happened, don't you?”

The kids looked horrified. “But…who will be there to jump on them first thing in the morning to wake up?” Nibbs looked at her as though she had a second head.

“Or to steal from their dinner plates?”

“What if they wake up in the middle of the night and we're not there to sing them back to sleep?”

“That's us they sing back to sleep, moron.”

“I'm not a moron, you are! Your face is!”

Peter reached for Wendy's hand. “Am I hallucinating or is my room full of little goblins who have no volume control?”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy could help but smile as the kids immediately included themselves in whatever the teens were also doing.  The case had just been won and they hadn’t seen Peter in a month, and it was clear they wanted to see Peter as much as possible. But they needed time to be together too, as she saw Peter a total of two times over the past month.  Her mom tried to let me down easy, but that didn’t sway them too easily. They were already whining, and fighting, about it until Peter reached out to her.  She took his hand, giving him a smile before wolf whistling to get the kids attention from each other and onto her. 

“We’re in a hospital, you all need to keep your voices down.  Besides, Peter doesn’t need you all shouting while he is trying to recover.” Wendy spoke, her tone was kind but stern as well. The kids all averted her eyes, kicking their feet at nothing on the ground.  The grumbles of “sorry”’s were said by the accused parties, before they began talking amongst themselves once more.  Wendy went over to Peter’s side once more, and pressed a kiss to his hand, one of the only places she could get to without getting tangled in wires.  Madeline came up and patted her on the back, “You got these kids in line, huh?” she teased.  Wendy laughed, seeing them already blowing up medical gloves over in the corner, “As much as I can.”

After another hour or so, Alice had come by to collect the kids, and say hello to Peter.  “I assume you won’t be back home tonight, right Wendy?” Alice started, nodding her head as she saw Wendy nodding back to her.  Wendy knew that she would be staying overnight with Peter, or if she wasn’t allowed, she’d go with her parents.  She needed to speak with them more about the whole ‘adoption’ thing before they brought it up to either of her brothers.  “I’m here to take the kids back home, it’s getting late and they have been out all day with the trial.  How are you feeling Peter, looks like they got you all fixed up.”  Alice spoke, walking around to the side of him, giving his hair a fluff.  

After packing up all the kids, each one giving Peter a hug or high five, they headed out.  Madeline and Andrew headed out too, telling Wendy and Peter to call them when Peter got out, not before Madeline gave them each a kiss.  Now that they were alone, Wendy found a seat next to Peter on his bed.  “How are you feeling?” she asked, knowing the pain meds must have been wearing off a bit.  

Wendy moved off the bed as the nurse came in to check all of Peter’s vitals, hanging another bag of fluid, and leaving some pain meds in case he needed them before heading off to check on some other patients.  Wendy found her way back onto the bed, taking his hand.  “Peter, were you serious before?  You want to get an apartment together?” Wendy asked.  Sure, it sounded silly for her to wonder if he really wanted to move in together.  They had already said they were going to get married, had already lived together with ten kids, but she was a bit surprised.  They were barely 18, even though she wanted nothing more than to start their lives together, especially after everything they’d been through.

“I want to, if you do.” Wendy spoke, a small smile on her lips as she took his hand, giving it a tight squeeze.

KoozaPeter Pan   53d ago

Peter Pan

Peter started feeling the ache coming back while the kids were still there but waited until they had gone home before allowing himself to show it. “It feels like hell,” he admitted to Wendy, smiling sadly. “Good thing Hook is a lousy shot, right? Could have been a lot worse.”

Almost on queue the nurse came in with more pain medication, and with it came that cloudy drowsiness that Peter was enjoying far too much. Wendy found her way back onto the bed, taking his hand.  “Peter, were you serious before?  You want to get an apartment together?” 

Smiling up at her, he reached a hand to cup her face while squeezing the other. “I mean I want to live with you forever. We could be in a shack in the woods and I'd be happy. I wanna live with you and marry you and have babies with you and retire with you. I want it all, Wendy.”

The medicine worked damn quickly, rendering him a blubbering mess again. “I know I'm high right now but I mean it,” he started getting choked up. “You're my family now and forever and I wanna live with you to show you how you should be taken care of. We can be happy together. No Hook, no Darlings, no worries. We can start our life together finally, with no baggage. And we can still see the kids whenever we want, and go on proper dates together. Don't you want that too?”


“I want to, if you do.” Wendy spoke, a small smile on her lips

“SHE SAID YES!” Peter whooped, nearly pulling the IV right from his arm as he threw them victoriously in the air. “She said yes, everyone!”


“Mr Pan, I have other patients in here and I'm going to have to ask you to quiet down,” the charge nurse returned, sternly putting him in his place.

Peter was discharged the following morning into the care of Andrew and Madeline, and while he was excited to leave the hospital behind, he was not eager to be in a sling for the next month. “How am I supposed to do anything fun?” he plucked at the hem of the fabric. “It's genuinely worse than the ankle bracelet.”

Please don't tell me you're comparing wearing a sling to being on house arrest.”

“I am, Andrew. I am.”

At the house Peter wasted no time in dialing Wendy's number. “Please please please tell me you can come over. I'm on restricted activities and I'm bored out of my mind. We can go for a walk or something, or watch a movie. I just want to spend time with you, whatever you want to do. Madeline even said I can't work at the bakery until I'm out of the sling, can you believe that?”


Logically it made sense if his dominant hand was out of commission that he wouldn't be able to actually bake but it felt like a slap in the face when she told him he couldn't join her until he was better. “We can look for apartments!” the idea sparked in his head, eager for the two of them to get their own place where they only had to follow their own rules.

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Wendy had been waiting since she woke up to hear from Peter.  She knew that Madeline and Andrew were picking him up, and she didn’t want to call him and distract him from all the paperwork that came with a hospital visit. But when her phone rang, even her final essay didn’t stop her from answering the phone.  A smile rose to her lips immediately when she heard Peter’s voice over the phone.  “Yeah, I just have to get dressed and I can head over.  I know you want to be the big strong man you are but you need to rest your shoulder or it will never get better.  And you want to be able to carry me around, right?” Wendy teased, resting the phone between her head and her shoulder so she could pack up her school work assignments.  Considering she was already ahead, she knew she could take a break to see Peter. 

“Yeah, we can look online!  Make some appointments to view a few.  Probably should open up a bank account for myself, and you should too for your paychecks once they start coming in.  Wow, I sound like an adult.  It’s crazy how much we can do now that the Darling’s and Hook are locked up.” Wendy smiled, placing the phone on speaker as she got dressed from her pajamas she had been wearing.  Wendy already knew speaker phone was usually a bad idea, because as soon as the lost boys heard Peter’s voice…


“PETER?! It’s me, Slightly.  You and Wendy are going to see my show tonight, right?  It’s opening night and I’m freaking out!”

“My turn! Peter, Curly stole my pet rock!  And I know it’s mine because mine was grey-ish and had speckles on it!”

“That’s what ALL rocks look like, doofus!”

“Wait, Peter’s on the phone?  When are you coming over?  I made a paper-mache volcano and it’s SO cool!”


“Give me the phone back!” Wendy’s stern voice broke through the arguing of pre-teen boys, who looked up at her with wide eyes before slowly handing her the cell back. “Slightly, yes.  We’ll see your show tonight.  Tootles, your rock is downstairs on the table, next to Curly’s.  I marked it with a T so it wouldn’t get mixed up.  Nibbs, your volcano is amazing and maybe Peter can come by before the play to see it explode before we go.  Okay?” 

The boys seemed pleased as they bounced off, Slightly shouting “See you later, Peter!”  before he headed off as well.  “Seems like I got this guardian thing down.” Wendy teased, before sitting down on the bed.  “Hey, can I talk to you about something?” she whispered into the phone, before closing the door of her bedroom and locked the door.  “I don’t want Madeline or Andrew to hear me either.”

“So…Madeline and Andrew want to adopt us.  Like the boys and I.  Michael, John and me.  They want us to be able to be siblings, and they know how John and I feel about Michael.  But, I don’t know how to tell the boys.  I feel like I should talk to them about it before Madeline and Andrew do, just to make sure they don’t freak out.  But…I don’t know how to feel.  I’m excited, I love my parents.  But…I don’t know.  It feels weird.  I already had parents before and it wasn’t great, what if something happens?  What if…I’m too much work or they just want the boys or…I don’t know.  Am I being crazy?” Wendy stopped getting ready, sitting on her bed.  She knew she couldn’t talk about this with Peter once she was in their home, and it had been on her mind since they brought it up yesterday.  She played with the hem of her PJ shorts, anticipating his answer.  

KoozaPeter Pan   39d ago

Peter Pan

“I never thought planning to open bank accounts could sound so sexy, Wendy Darling,” he smirked. “My beautiful independent lady.”

As soon as the kids joined the line, Peter struggled to keep up through the haze of painkillers. “Everyone needs to listen to Wendy before my head goes kaboom!” he groaned into his cell phone. 

There was some rustling and last minute attempts to speak to him before he heard the door click. “Hey, can I talk to you about something?” she whispered into the phone.

“You can talk to me about anything, anytime,” he relaxed into his pillows, propped up per doctor's orders.

Wendy's news was heartwarming but understandably worrying. They'd not had the best experience with the Darlings and were naturally hesitant to trust any more adults with their well-being but Peter had spent enough time listening to Andrew and Madeline talk about Wendy and her brothers to know that they had nothing to worry about. “I know it's easy for me to say that everything will be okay but I genuinely think you can trust them with this, Wendy. If you think about it, the fact that you're now eighteen and they still want to adopt you says volumes. You're technically an adult and they could easily dodge it by saying that just getting to know you is enough but they want that connection to you and the boys. And they want Michael too. Trust doesn't come easy when it comes to us but I think this is the real deal.”

With all the hardship and trauma that Wendy and the boys had faced, they deserved this chance to be a part of a true family. It only made it better that it was a blood connection. “They haven't stopped asking questions about you three, to be honest. They're dying to know everything about you, John, and Michael. I think they were even going to start shopping to get the boys' rooms set up here if you all agreed to it. But I told them you were mine to keep so you'll have to make-do with the guest room when you come visit,” he teased.

The concept of apartment hunting had never been appealing to him but now he couldn't wait for her to show up so they could begin their search. The money they were awarded in the trial would help for sure but they still would have to budget quite a bit to even get a small one bedroom for just the two of them. Peter only hoped it wouldn't be in the bad part of town. Not that he begrudged Murphy and Boone where they lived, but he wanted peace of mind with their first home together. “I can't wait to see you, Wendy-Bird. No amount of painkillers could make me feel better like you can. Please hurry and get here so I can be clingy and demanding of your attention all day.”

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

Peter made her smile almost instantly with his words.  Her real parents had never given her a reason to doubt them, why should she start now?  Maybe having her parents spend some time alone with John and Michael might help the idea of it warm up to the boys.  She knew how close the boys were with the Lost Boys and Tink, and being away from them might be a tricky transition.  But if they wanted to be able to be the parents they didn’t have the ability to be before, why should she make it hard on them?  “You’re right.  They have done so much for us since we’ve known them.  I have no reason to doubt them.” Wendy spoke, adding some makeup and adjusting her outfit before grabbing her wallet and keys. 

“I’m heading out right now, I’m going to walk and make my way over soon.  15 minutes, tops.” Wendy spoke.  “Love you Peter, see you soon.” she spoke, hanging up her phone and sliding it into her pocket.  She headed downstairs to where Alice and Hope were getting lunch ready for the kids before taking John and Slightly to school for his dress rehearsal before his opening show tonight.  “I’m heading to my parents place to spend some time with Peter, do some apartment hunting and such.  I’ll plan on Peter and I meeting you at the school tonight to see Slightly’s play.  See you guys later.” Wendy spoke, waving to them as she headed out the door.

The walk to her parents house wasn’t a long one.  They needed to look into getting a car as well, something simple so they’d be able to get around.  Once Wendy was out of school and in a college program, she’d be able to get something part-time as well to help out with the rent.  Peter had the bakery job and if he was full time, Wendy knew they’d be okay.  She was so thankful they were able to get some money out of the trial, as well as all three of the Darling kids' college funds as well.  

Once Wendy got to the house, she was quickly greeted by her father and mother on a business call about a large order coming in for the bakery.  She was so proud of her for being able to run a very successful bakery right out of the gate.  She had been selling baked goods from their home for a few years and was able to upgrade to a bakery so she had a loyal fan base already.  “Hi Sweetie.  Your moms on a phone call so just keep your voice down.  How are you doing?” Andrew asked, a smile on his face as she spoke to his daughter.  Madeline was able to join just a moment later, wrapping her arms around Wendy.  “Hey guys.  Oh, Slightly’s play is tonight.  The whole group of us is going so if your free, we’d love you to join us.  John’s also the Stage Manager so we’re going to support him as well.” 

Both parents agreed to go with them, excited to meet the lost boys a little bit more at the show.  Wendy also took the time to speak to them about the adoption decision, and that she hadn’t mentioned it to the boys.  She recommended they take them both out, and then bring up the adoption while all the Darling children were together.  That, in Wendy’s opinion, would be the best way to go about it.  She worried about Michael or John freaking out without her there to talk through it.  Wendy did mention that she was really excited by the idea of it, to which they had a mini group-hug between the family.  

After their talk, Wendy found Peter upstairs in his guest bedroom.  “Hey you.” Wendy spoke, entering the room and pressing a kiss to his lips.  “My parents said the door has to stay open, no funny business at their house.” Wendy teased, even if she was missing the freedom they had when they lived in the cabin. “So, apartments.” Wendy started, pulling out the laptop she had brought with her.  “I’m thinking we try to stay as close to this area.  So you can get to work and we can visit with everyone easily.  We could also check the Eastside, I know those places are nice.” Wendy spoke, getting her computer booted up.  The town they lived in and the Eastside were very wealthy and affluent areas, so most apartments would be far more than what they needed for a first apartment.  

“What do you think, like a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom?” As humble as Wendy was, she was raised from extremely wealthy parents and didn’t truly understand what most things go for.

KoozaPeter Pan   17d ago

Peter Pan

Peter's gut churned when she mentioned Eastside apartments. Even if he worked full time for Madeline and got a second job on the side while Wendy worked part-time and went to school, he doubted they would even be able to afford the walk-in closet of an Eastside apartment. “Sure,” he croaked. “We can definitely look. Two bedrooms, two baths?”

He felt dizzy just looking at the photos. Peter knew what rich people could afford but even some of the lamps these people owned were made with crystal. Whatever he was going to make at the bakery would never cover the expenses of such lavish apartments. Hell, he didn't think an entire year's salary would even cover rent for four months. “I was thinking though, do we really need two bedrooms?” He broached the subject carefully, picking lint from the hem of his shirt. “For starters, I mean. It's just us. If the kids want to sleep over, we can get an air mattress or something.”

Henry would be able to afford the places Wendy wanted to pick out. The bitterness flared up in his chest before he could stomp out the embers. Stupid pompous trust-fund Henry. At this rate, Peter would be lucky if she lowered her standards even just a little to something more accommodating for two teenagers on a budget. He hated the fact that he couldn't let her have the pick of whatever she wanted but one of the frustrating things was explaining to her exactly why that was. Through no fault of her own, Wendy had never known any different than a luxurious lifestyle. Peter loathed the fact that it was him who had to break the news to her that they needed to be more reasonable with their expectations.

“I mean, if you think about it really, why do we need two sinks in the bathroom? We can have sex and kiss each other but we can't share a sink? That sounds like a ripoff that the real estate agent is using to get us to spend more money.”

But it wasn't just the dual vanities. It was the walk-in closet, the stainless steel appliances, the balcony with a view overlooking the nicest park in town. Everything on Wendy's must-have list was a grinding reminder of how utterly broke they were at that moment. “What about Meadow Springs apartments? They're affordable.”

Peter took the laptop and typed in the website for a local four-plex that was up for rent. It was dated, to say the least. Brown carpet in each room except the bland white linoleum of the kitchen and bathroom floors. It was one bedroom and one bathroom, though calling it a full bathroom would be generous. There was no tub, only the shower crammed in beside the toilet and sink. “It looks homey, right? A few pictures on the wall and some throw blankets, we could really make it home!”

Not only was it within their very small budget, but it was within walking distance to the main street of town so they wouldn't have to worry about getting a car any time soon. It was certainly next on the list but once forfeiting first and last month's rent to the landlord, they wouldn't have much funds to play with.

Wendy Elizabeth Darling

For the first time since she met Peter, Wendy couldn’t read how he was feeling.  They had almost always been on the same page with everything, but right now she felt like his questions were silly.  Of course they didn’t need all the things she had been looking for in the apartments, but why would they settle for anything less than the best.  It seemed like Peter disliked or had a reason to not like each apartment she showed him.  It was getting frustrating.

When Wendy heard him mention Meadow Springs, she couldn’t help but let a laugh escape her lips.  That was, until she realized he was seriously considering it.  Meadow Springs was nothing more than an apartment, it could barely be considered an apartment in Wendy’s eyes as they shuffled through pictures.  “Peter, you can’t be serious, right?  Like it barely has a full bathroom.  And do you see all the brown?!  Carpet holds years of dust and dirt, we should get hardwood at the very least.  I don’t think that oven is even from this decade.”  Wendy spoke, before exiting the webpage of Meadow Springs.  

Peter had to be joking, right?  After what they had been through, they deserve something nice to live in.  Wendy knew she would be home more than Peter would be, considering she’d be home to do homework and on weekends when she had time off.  Peter’s schedule at the bakery was pretty much full time, especially after he’d been out for a few weeks while his shoulder healed.  They didn’t have endless money, but none of these places seemed outrageously priced. 

“Peter, what is going on with you?  Don’t you like the places I’m showing you?  I just want us to have a nice place to live.”  

Wendy took the computer, searching up an apartment complex that was nearby where her parents lived now.  Now, it wasn’t what she was really expecting, but it seemed to be more what Peter was showing her.  It had an actual full bathroom, only one bedroom but it was on the larger side, and had laundry in the complex that they would share with the others.  The Oaks, it was called.  She had passed by it hundreds of times at this point, and it didn’t scream nice, but it seemed decent.

“Not really what I was going for, but we could look here.” Wendy spoke, her voice sounding a bit disinterested.  She wasn’t disappointed, more like she didn’t know why Peter was looking at places like this when they really didn’t need to be this frugal.  “The Oaks also had two bedroom apartments as well.  And they are a bit nicer and they were just built last year.  Only like $500-$700 more than the one bedroom.  Here, look.” Wendy flipped to different pictures, their apartments much more bright and newer looking than the one bedroom.  “I just want us to have a place that we are happy in and can be home.  I don’t want a place that is falling apart and we consistently have to fix it.  What do you think my parents will say when they visit?”

That sentence made her stop.  Was she thinking of Madeline and Andrew, or the Darlings?  Because Madeline and Andrew would be proud of any accomplishment the two completed.  The Darling’s however would criticize until the sun came up.  Was Wendy too concerned about the looks rather than what this meant for them?  This was a fresh start for them, not an excuse to look better in the eyes of the town.  

“I-...I’m missing the point, aren’t I?”

KoozaPeter Pan   3d ago

Peter Pan

He bristled at her tone. Meadow Springs was perfectly reasonable, especially for a first home. “There's nothing wrong with it,” he forced his voice to remain calm. “I can rent a steam cleaner from the hardware store and give the whole place a going over to get the stains and dirt out. Carpet can be cleaned, you know. And who cares if the appliances are white, we don't have to worry about buying new ones any time soon!”

She just wasn't getting it. Peter could talk to her until he was blue in the face listing all the reasons they couldn't very well afford the kind of places she was looking at but Wendy wouldn't understand. How could she? She'd been born with a silver spoon in her mouth and wanted for nothing materially speaking her entire life. It was both understandable and infuriating. For Peter, as long as the place didn't have a cockroach infestation it was perfectly liveable. They could decorate it to look nicer than the bland real estate photo galleries. “I'm just saying, we need to be smart with our finances and-”

“I just want us to have a place that we are happy in and can be home.  I don’t want a place that is falling apart and we consistently have to fix it.  What do you think my parents will say when they visit?”

There it was. The ingrained fixation the Darlings had instilled in their children about putting out the perfect image, always. “Andrew and Madeline aren't the Darlings, Wendy,” Peter sighed.

The light seemed to go on in her eyes, realization dawning. “I-...I’m missing the point, aren’t I?”

Peter smiled sadly, taking the laptop from her and setting it aside. “Wendy, I wish I could give you the home that you want and deserve right now. I really do. I want you to have the updated appliances and walk-in closet, and a room big enough for a king size bed. Some day I will get us that house. But right now it isn't about having those things that will make our home special. It'll be special because it'll be ours. Peter and Wendy's apartment. We'll save every dollar that we can until we can afford something better but I'm afraid it just isn't possible right now with the little money we have.”

God it hurt to have to say it but they couldn't live in a fantasy world when they had so much on the line. He just wanted her to understand that he didn't deny her the apartments of her choice because he was being picky. It was the exact opposite. “We don't have to live at Meadow Springs but we really need to be careful with our budget when we do find a place. We don't want to lose our first apartment because we couldn't afford to pay the rent.”

Peter grabbed the laptop again and re-opened the real estate page. “Look let's just set the budget to be between $1000 and $1300 a month in rent. We should be able to manage that between the two of us with me working full time at the bakery. We just need to pick a place that has utilities included so we don't shave too much of our money off paying bills.”


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