Silver was careful with opening the door, wanting to just enter the loft quietly and without making a scene. No one seemed to be there and she breathed out, heading to the kitchen to see what food was around.
"Ayy, dirty stop out." Peter piped up as he walked to the kitchen and ran a hand through his unkempt hair, he hadn’t banked on encountering Silver en route to his late night snack but it wasn’t a bad thing.
"So happy you’d kill me off?"
"That’s a bit dark. It’s more like taking you with me."
"I know, I know…” Wendy said hoarsely, a quiver at the end of her voice, one hand moving over her eyes as the other rested on the counter. She felt sick with herself, a flare of self-loathing in the back of her chest.
The way things were now, the family unit they’d created, it was easy to forget how they had started. Peter the dealer, Wendy the constantly-craving junkie. All of the secret meetings in alleys and the wads of bills she had pressed into his palm. Wendy knew that part of her wasn’t completely exterminated, just safely hibernating, and one of her biggest fears was when and how it would wake up.
"I’m sorry.” she whispered earnestly, a phrase not often heard leaving the lips of a Darling. Her jaw wobbled before she steadied it. She couldn’t stand the idea of Peter being disappointed in her, even the smallest amount. And while no, she hadn’t opened the bag and hadn’t taken any dust, the back of her mind was thinking about the way the dust used to taste when she rubbed it against her gums and the sweet feeling of dreamy calm that came after.
Biting her lower lip, she drew her leyes up to look at Peter, nodding once more.
"My father owns a couple properties within about a four block radius…" she offered. "It wouldn’t be anything fancy, but maybe we could figure something out…"
"Hey, I know. I know."
His words weren’t meant to indicate that he couldn’t see how hard she tried, he could and he had an endless respect for her over it. What he feared was her ever ending up in a similar situation that Maggie had been and just the thought of that brought him across the room to face her, arms wrapping around her so he could engulf her in a hug.
He held onto her for a moment, when the action ended staying close, cheek resting against the top of her head as he considered her words carefully.
Any other time and his pride might get the better of him, firing back with something pertaining to them not relying on her father for so much but if this was what was best for their child then it was worth considering.
"We should check them out then. Make a day off it, take little man to the park while we’re at it."
"Why can’t you take someone else? Or make new friends?"
"I don’t want new friends. I’m very happy with just the one I’ve picked."
"All we need is a Vine and we’re on our way."
Maggie grinned once he set her back down, glancing up at her friend. When he commented on her hair, she ran her fingers through her red mane.
"Thanks. Did you get blonder?" She wrinkled her nose before reaching up to ruffle his hair. "How’s it been? How’s Alfie, Wendy?"
"I’d be a great Viner to be honest, I should look into that."
Peter shook his head after he’d tried and failed to look up at his short hair.
"No, don’t think so. Did get some nice weather though, sometimes the sunlight gets it a little lighter."
He grinned at the mention of Alfie, lighting up like Christmas merely from getting to speak about him.
"He’s growing non stop, he’s so big since you last seen him. You gotta drop by and see him, I’m noticing it and I see him every day. Wendy’s been asking for you, she’ll be delighted to see you too."
"I wasn’t going to…I wouldn’t…" Wendy sighed, needing to tell herself as much as him, closing her eyes as her fingers tightened into her palms for a moment before bringing herself back together. She turned to look at Peter, watching him as she leaned back against the counter.
"I was fourteen when I started, you know…" she said slowly, nodding her head slightly in the direction of the dust. "I needed it all the time, it hurt not to have it…And when I found out about Alfie I just…Stopped. I don’t know how…"
She nodded gently. He was right, Peter usually was.
"Do you have any ideas of where?"
"I know you did and I’m proud of that and I’m frankly amazed by that but that not knowing. That worries me a little. I love you, I know how much you love Alfie but I never fucked with dust for a reason. I come home here and scrub myself red raw before I pick him up because I’m terrified of him being anywhere near that shit but what’s the point of that? It’s everywhere in here, always has been and as a dealer I expect that I’d be frankly more concerned if it wasn’t but as a father I’m losing sleep over it. Then seeing that. Jesus, Wendy.”
He wasn’t on a mission to try and make her feel bad, nor was he trying to lecture on things he knows he doesn’t know everything about, he just wants lessen the concerns that seemed to stack taller the more and more he thinks about them.
"Not far." He specified, this was his home too, if he was going to leave it he’d hope to only go a stone’s throw away.
"Best we can afford without ending up on the outskirts of London."
Michael jumped up, clutching Andromeda tightly. Once he noticed it was Peter, he grinned as he held out the bunny, not even questioning why he was here. He could understand. Bunnies were adorable.
"Yup! She’s right here."
Peter stepped into the room and counted it a miracle that he didn’t fall over his own feet by how fast he tried to move himself from the door to where the fluffy creature was.
He held his hand out and trailed it along her ears, petting the bunny softly, managing it before he bounced on his feet lightly and made a gleeful sound.
"Ahhh she’s so much softer than she looks! Does she bite?"
Maggie’s serene smile widened at the sound of the familiar voice, one eye opening to rest on her friend. She was happy to see everyone but there was something amazing about seeing her close friends.
"Gonna use my beauty to my advantage? I don’t blame you."
Both eyes opened, clearly playful, as she ran her fingers through her chopped locks. Without hesitation, she pushed herself upwards and launched herself into his arms, hugging him tightly.
“Pietro, I’ve missed you.”
"Definitely, gonna milk it for all its work. Internet fame, wayyy!"
Peter grinned, wrapping his arms around her and hugging her tightly like he hadn’t seen her in forever. That’s how it felt, though he understood the reason behind it.
If this was any night before she left, he’d have bet he had more chance of finding her on a wooden stool in the Sheep than sat against a tree.
He kissed her cheek repeatedly, each one sloppier than the last before he placed her down on her feet.
"Maaaaagneto. I’m so stoked your back."
"You look great! I like the hair."
"Is it true?" Peter asked as he poked his head around Michael’s door on his way back from the bathroom that he hadn’t actually needed to use. He liked to make a military mission out of the tiniest thing and Operation Rabbit Recon was no different.
"Do you have a bunny?!"
The jump of surprise showed in Wendy’s shoulders, the quick catch in her breath, but nowhere else. Biting her lip guiltily, she laid the packet back on the counter and curled her fingers against the surface.
"Just looking…Someone must be missing it…"
"I’m gonna keep real chill about you gazing at some stray dust while our son’s in the other room."
He didn’t want to jump to conclusions unnecessarily, instead he walked to the fridge to get a can of coke, cracking it open and taking a gulp before speaking again.
"I’m just gonna bring up that whole moving out idea again."