(always has a Peter plan).
"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it."
I used to have a home with a mum and a dad and a brother. Now I've got a Loft with more brothers than I can count (brothers can be girls too, go figure). They call me leader sometimes.
Delicately, Peter balanced a bottle of Coke on top of the stack of food he’d taken from the fridge, his tongue poking out from the side of his mouth as he concentrated hard on not dropping what he was holding.
Jake just shook his head laughing.
"I thought I’d get it blown up so you’re little spawn can see what her Pops used to look like."
"Can we at least wait a month or so after my baby is born before we try and trash my cool image to ‘em?"
He twisted the old photograph around a few times, torn between just throwing it away and tucking it back in the safety of his backpocket, kept again to look at another day.
Peter let out a laugh at the image before him, most notably his dreadful haircut.
"Please don’t show that to anyone. Ever."
Wendy tried for a moment, in vain, to raise to her feet. However, managing the balance issues the bump provided her proved to be too much of a challenge so she gave up and remained seated on the floor.
"Could you just…?" she sighed and motioned to the spot on the floor opposite her and waiting for him to sit before she continued.
"Pete, you pretty much know everything there is to know about where I come from." she said softly, running her hand through her hair. "I mean, there’s pretty much no hiding what my family is and what we’re like. Most of the time I’d like to but," she snorted softly. "It’s all out there. And it’s always meant…a lot to me that you’ve at least tried to see past that all."
She furrowed her brow as she looked at him. “But I have no idea where you came from, Peter. One day you were just here. And you’ve got this brother who you’ve never spoken about, who also is just here one day, who doesn’t trust me, and that’s all I’ve got to work off of.”
"And I never asked because you never brought it up, but we’re having a kid. We’re having a baby, Peter, and I don’t even know what your mums name is…"
Peter moved to sit where she’d indicated, looking every part like a child who feared that he was going to get shouted at. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to share these things with her, to allow her that bit closer to him, it was that it was easier to deal with it how he had been.
Locked away in a nice little box in the back of his mind marked ‘do not open’. It remained there, gathered dust and only marginally got to him.
His expression softened at the mention of his mum, the idea of her flooded him with a wave of affection and an overpowering sense of sadness all at once.
He missed her dreadfully, but he couldn’t think too much on that.
"Beatrice. Her name is Beatrice, but her friends called her Trish. When she had friends. My dad is called Arthur and if you call him Art or Artie he’d knock your teeth down your throat, I know cause Jake did it once sarcastically and he had a bloody lip when he dragged him back into the living room. We have no aunts or uncles because our parents were only children which I guess makes some sense of how twisted up with each other they got. Our grandfather on Arthur’s side when I was four, grandma six months later. Mum said it was of a broken heart while she tried to hide her broken wrist. Dad didn’t take it well. Our other grandparent’s are still alive, Doris and Peter. They’re pushing ninety but you’d never think it because they come to life when they’re bickering with each other. They feed the ducks in St. James’ park every Thursday, sometimes grandma knocks the cap right off his head cause he can’t pick it up. They used to bring us there until they gave mum an ultimatum and she chose dad over them. Jake still visits them but I don’t, I look like mum and it’s just easier to not see them wince when they look at me for too long."
The shattered state of his family never cut him more than that moment, he could lie to himself about his origins for days and weeks and years, no one to question it. No one who required his honesty quite like Wendy Darling.
"So when I say there’s no one to invite.. I mean there is no one. There’s a brother who it hurts to be around sometimes, two grandparents who deserve their peace after the lives they’ve had and mum.. She could be dead for all I know. I don’t have a family. I have ghosts. I have you, and I have this baby and I have the people in this Loft and that is enough for me so please, don’t make me raise the dead."
She bit her lip, her fingers absently folding the corner of the page of the book. “Not anyone?”
"Not a soul."
Except for Jake, but a baby shower wasn’t exactly his scene.
"Like it or not, it already has."
If things hadn’t changed, they might’ve been found within a few days instead of weeks. If they hadn’t changed, Dylan and Nibs might not have Hook’s initials carved into them like livestock.
It wasn’t fair to harbor even a little bit of blame towards Peter for that, he had more going on in his life than just the Lost Boys, Nibs had always known that, but a small part of him did. The darker parts of his brain that had been eating away at him since Chuck’s death had returned in full force and he didn’t know how to stop that.
"Dunno. Nurses don’t want to give me an exact date."
Peter nodded, though the fact still left him feel unsettled and even a little panicky. He listened to the beep of the machines and their mechanisms for a moment before he spoke again.
"Will you be coming home to the Loft?" The question was offered a little sadly, he could understand why he wouldn’t but at the same time, he didn’t want him to leave.
He never wanted anyone to leave.
Wendy pressed her lips together for a moment, flipping through the book of baby names on her lap, trying to be patient before she answered.
"No, you don’t have to go…" she said slowly. finally looking up at him. She was quiet a long moment as she looked at his face, considering, before she continued carefully. "But…My mum…She’s going to ask if there’s any of your family she should invite. As a courtesy kind of thing…"
"There’s no one to invite." He cut across her trailing sentence, not willing to let it gain anymore traction.
"There’s a face." Wendy argued immediately, looking at him. She didn’t have much for practical skills, but she was good at observing the people she cared about. She was good at noticing things. "There’s always a face…"
"My face isn’t really the matter at hand here," He said after a few seconds had passed. Diverting attention from things he didn’t want to discuss was practically second nature to him.
"So this baby shower, I don’t have to go do I?"
"You’re having a kid. Things are changing."
Nibs attempted to shrug, but he didn’t get far before wincing in pain. He was still trying to wrap his head around the fact that it had been three weeks in that basement, and the slight hint of anger and sadness that resided inside him that it took that long for people to either notice they were gone or to care.
"Yeah, I’m starting to see that more clearly than ever. There’s some things I don’t want to change."
Childish wishes, really. Things never stayed the same, they were always changing. Mostly it was in minuscule ways that didn’t make him feel a rush of fear, but then there was the bigger stuff.
He looked over Nibs again, the sight of him harder to take with each glance.
"Will you be in here long?"