Even though his feelings for her never faded, he managed to forget about her and then resumed traveling through realms, eventually always going back to Neverland, where he couldn't grow up.
Cast (in order of appearance):
Aline Morrison: Dianna Agron
Rachel Leslie/Jaime Locksley: Lily James
Richard Stark/Prince Robb: Richard Madden
Paul Salvatore/Prince Stefan: Paul Wesley
Ian Salvatore: Ian Somerhalder
Celine Portman/Princess Aurora: Natalie Portman
Nicolas Grace/Peter Pan: Topher Grace
Jessica Day/Wendy Darling: Zooey Deschanel
Colin Jones/Killian Jones: Colin O'Donoghue
Atie Reed: Crystal Reed
Holly Dobrev: Nina Dobrev
Tyler Hale: Tyler Hoechlin
Irene Thorne/the Evil Queen: Eva Green
Maria Michele/CInderella: AnnaSophia Robb
Prince Darren: Darren Criss
Amber Brie: Alison Brie
James Ford: Josh Holloway
Chapter 6: Chasing stars
Aline woke up to the sound of her Blackberry buzzing. Who the hell could be calling this early? Sitting up, she reached for her phone. When she saw the caller, she groaned. Of course.
"Good morning to you too" Rachel snorted.
"It's 6 AM." Aline sighed
"Which means the debate is in three hours."
"I know. But why are you waking me up?"
"I just wanted to know if you put up all the posters for the debate yesterday."
"I did. Seriously, is that why you called me? It could have waited."
"For that and for wishing me good luck."
"You don't need luck, you need some Xanax."
"Very funny. See you at the debate" and at that Rachel hang up.
Aline groaned when she looked at her clock. There was no way she was going back to sleep now. Groaning some more, she put away her cell phone and flopped down on her bed. This was going to be a long day.
Richard was starting to get nervous. Even now, meeting up with his friends for coffee, he couldn't take his mind off of the forthcoming debate. He knew from the beginning that he had to speak to the people in this town eventually but still, with the debate just an hour away, everything seemed too real. What if he was not the candidate everyone was hoping for? What if the mayor had a better plan for this town than him? What if he wasn't ready? In the jumble of all this questions, the thought of failing Rachel was what worried him the most. She seemed to have so much faith in him, on what he could bring to the town, that he couldn't bare seeing her disappointed. He was completely absorbed by his thoughts to notice that Paul wasn't even paying attention to him as he was staring not so discreetly at Celine.
"I see that you guys are having the time of your lives." Ian said while sitting down next to his brother.
"Shut up Ian." Paul groaned while focusing his attention back to his table.
"Why so grumpy little brother? Still mad about your little princess?"
"Seriously, just shut up."
"Alright, alright. But let me just tell you what you should do now. Find another woman. There's plenty in this town, you just have to pick. And if you're still pissed at your princess, just make her jealous. Am I right Rich?"
"Huh- I don't think Paul needs our advice..." Richard said, clearly trying not to be involved in the matter.
"Not yours obviously. But I know my way around the ladies. Trust me, little brother you'll forget about this one in no time." he said, pointing at Celine.
"What if I don't want to forget her? I thought she could be the one."
Ian rolled his eyes at this "Paul, you're such a romantic idiot. There's no such a thing as 'the one'. Based on my experience, there's only one-night stands. If someday I tell you otherwise, punch me because I'm clearly out of it."
"When the time comes, I'll remember that." Paul said with a chuckle. "Don't you have to go? The debate is in less than an hour." he added, turning his head towards his friend.
"Yeah. I have to meet up with Rachel before it starts." Richard said, getting up.
"Sheriff Leslie huh? If you're into roleplay..."
"Shut up Ian." Richard said as he was leaving.
"What did I say now?" Ian said while Paul just rolled his eyes.
Nic had not been able to sleep for days. He had tried to find an explanation but there was none. She couldn't have survived. He saw her die. And yet he had seen her, here in Rosedell. And she was just like he remembered. Getting up, he decided to face his fear and go visit her at the psychiatric ward where she had been brought back two days ago. This couldn't go on forever. Ever since he saw her at the hospital, he didn't do a thing about this curse. Last time he did, he called this guy to hire him as the new PE teacher and now all his waking moments were spent thinking of her. Why she was in this ward in the first place? Nic remembered the sweet innocent girl that he met once and he knew something was wrong.
Peter couldn't stop thinking about her. Ever since she helped him find his shadow, she seemed to be stuck in his brain. Yet, he had met countless other children, girls and boys, in the course of his life and he always ended up forgetting them before another adventure presented itself. What was different about her? She did say 'no' to Neverland. Peter groaned, if she didn't want to come, it was fine by him. He didn't want to think about her anymore. Here, in Neverland, time didn't seem to pass by and he knew he had to find some new adventure to take his mind off of her. For that, he needed a child's imagination.
Indeed, after all this time spent in Neverland, Peter wasn't able to create new adventures for himself anymore. He had created many scenarios and possible stories in his head, but in the end there was so much he could do while being by himself. One day, fighting pirates, swimming with mermaids and flying over Neverland didn't seem fun when he did it alone. So he had visited countless other realms, some with magic, others without, but everywhere else, Time had its hold. Neverland was the only realm that could bring him eternal merriment. So he had picked a realm without magic and a boy who lived there to bring back to his island. His name was Killian, he had dark hair and bright blue eyes and absolutely loved pirates. Peter had chosen him for this specific reason and already could imagine the fun they would have. He convinced him to come to Neverland and with pixie dust, off they went.
When they got there, Killian's imagination was promptly at work and Peter started his new adventure with pirates. They fought against Barbossa, who tried to destroy Peter and captured Tinkerbell, the fairy who provided the pixie dust for Peter. When they finally defeated the captain, Peter hoped to start a new adventure with Killian, but the child didn't want to leave the pirates. Peter was so furious that he left him on the ship and flew away in order to get another child, sure that Killian would change his mind and would stay on the island. When he came back with another friend, he noticed the pirates were gone and so was his first friend. For a long time, he didn't see any pirates, as he strictly forbade every child he brought to Neverland from thinking about such adventures. Until he forgot entirely about the incident. One day, he brought a boy and the pirates reappeared again. But the crew had changed, Blackbeard was now the captain of the Jolly Roger and Peter didn't know how the adventure would unfold. However, among the crowd, there was a man who seemed familiar. He seemed to be in his twenties so Peter couldn't understand how he could know him. However, as soon as Peter saw his blue eyes, he remembered the little boy he once brought and fought pirates with. Peter couldn't believe it. He had grown up, he wasn't his friend anymore. And the only thing Peter couldn't forgive was broken promises.
Now Peter was by himself again and decided to go back for another friend. One who would want to go with him. He flew and flew until reaching the Darlings' house. He hadn't planned where to go, but the pixie dust worked this way, it would take you to what your heart needs. Approaching the window of her room, he looked inside and saw how peacefully she was sleeping. Her brown hair framed her face and her glasses were put down on her side table. She looked so much prettier without these glasses that were ten times too big, he thought with amazement. Not resisting to enter the room, he opened the window and slipped inside. Next to her bad, there was her two little brothers sleeping and the dog he had encountered the day before was nowhere to be seen. Watching her sleep, Peter contemplated waking her up and trying to convince her once more to come to Neverland.
"Peter?" the girl said while sitting up. While Peter was deciding if he would wake her or not, he hadn't noticed that she was already up.
"Shhhh Wendy. You don't want to wake up your brothers. Not yet." Peter whispered.
"What are you doing here?" Wendy whispered too, while putting her glasses back on her nose.
"I'm offering you a last chance. Last chance to go with me, to go to Neverland."
"Peter. I already told you. Pirates? Mermaids? It's too dangerous and I can't leave my brothers."
"They can come with us. Wendy, if you stay here something horrible will happen. Way worse than any pirate or monster you'll face."
"What? What is it?" Wendy asked, panicked.
"You'll grow up. And I won't be able to see you."
"Growing up? Peter! That's not awful. Everyone has to grow up."
"I don't. I won't. And you won't either if you come with me. I can show you wonders, Wendy. Things you couldn't even imagine."
Wendy didn't seem convinced but she was curious about a thing "Would you teach me how to fly?"
He had seen Wendy walk across the plank and fall into the deep, cold waters, never to be surfaced again.
"Fly? Of course. But if I do you have to promise me to come to Neverland and never grow up."
Wendy stopped listening the moment Peter agreed to teach her to fly. She nodded frantically and shouted "Oh Peter!" thus waking her brothers up.
Peter was very pleased, he had convinced her. Not taking chances that she could change her mind, he pressed the little boys to get up. "Now we have to go, adventure waits for no one. But you'll need that" Peter added while throwing pixie dust to them.
Seeing that the children started flying, he took Wendy's hand and went out the window.
"What do we do now?" she shouted, trying to speak above the roar of the wind.
"You have to follow me Wendy and always head for the second star to the right, and then straight on 'til morning." and off they went.
Atie was waiting for Celine as the latter was closing the cafe for the debate and the last costumers were leaving. She was a bit worried, Nic hadn't show up for days and nobody seemed to know where he was, not even Maria as she was his closest friend. Her thoughts were interrupted when someone knocked her over, spilling all her coffee over herself.
"Damn it." Atie shouted trying to take away the hot droplets of her beverage from herself.
"I'm sorry. I didn't expect someone to be behind the door." the man said while extending his hand to help her stand up.
"That's okay." she said while pick herself up from the ground.
"If you like, I can buy you a cup of coffee later." he said with a wink.
Until now she hadn't seen his face but as she did she recognized him immediately. Ian Salvatore. The town's womanizer.
"No that's okay. I suspect you're not the buying-a-girl-coffee type of guy." she said with a tense tone, she didn't like man that are used to girls saying yes to them.
"Is that so? You don't know me."
"I know your type. And your reputation. That is enough for me to have an idea."
"We can go now, Atie." Celine said while walking out of the café. "Sorry, I didn't want to interrupt."
"I guess that's my cue." Ian said while turning away, confused. Something about that girl ticked him. Maybe it was the way she acted so defensively.
"What was that about?" Celine asked rising an eyebrow.
"You don't wanna know. Let's go, we're gonna be late." and at that they headed towards City Hall.
Rachel parked her car in front of the City Hall and noticed that Richard was already there, waiting for her. From her car, she could see that he was nervous. He was checking his phone every five seconds and stroked his hair from time to time. Stepping out of her car, she had to admit she was a bit nervous. All morning she made sure that she didn't forget anything and now that was it. The debate will be an indicator of Richard's chances to succeed. He could do it. They could do it, she convinced herself.
"Easy there, you look like you're about to burst into flames."
"Yeah, I'm a bit nervous." Richard said while toying with his phone, "I think I shouldn't have had coffee. I can't seem to stop moving."
"It's alright, you can do it." Rachel said while taking his hands in hers so he would stop moving.
Richard was a bit confused by the gesture. He had gotten closer to her these past days but he was starting to think that he was feeling something more for the redhead. A feeling that somewhat was making him more nervous than the prospect of a thousand debates. Oddly her gesture also soothed his anxiety in a way he couldn't comprehend. Her presence seemed to make him stronger, as if he could face anything. The moment was suddenly gone when Rachel let go of his hands and was looking at him quizzically.
"Hey you can do this." Rachel said with a reassuring smile. She couldn't have him losing it right now.
"Okay. Yeah, I can do this." and then nodded as if, gathering his courage.
"I'll be right beside you."
"You better be." Richard replied with a smirk and both entered the building.
The City Hall was packed with people. Everyone seemed very eager to see the showdown between the Mayor and Richard. Rachel was only glad about the turnout, it would be a good thing for people to see the bitch for who she really was.
"I trust you to say what you think is right, but here", she grabbed a piece of paper from her jacket pocket and handed it to Richard. "Just something to make them think."
"Is this true?" Richard asked after reading the paper.
Rachel glared at him. "I'm not a liar. It makes sense. The wires were cut."
"Do you trust me or not?" Rachel snapped.
"I trust you", Richard said without hesitation. He did.
"Then I trust you. Go up there and make this all worth it", Rachel nudged him a little to head towards the other end of the hall where the stage was.
"I'll see you there?" Richard asked as he walked.
"Yeah." Rachel watched as Richard disappeared in the crowd of people, and when she heard someone behind her clear their throat, she turned around to see Holly looking at her.
"Holly. We can count on your vote, right?" Rachel said dryly. She was about to walk away when Holly grabbed her arm roughly.
"I know that you think you have some way to bring us down. But the truth is that you have no proof."
"Proof about what?" Rachel tore her arm free from Holly's grasp before walking off.
"Is everything okay?" Tyler asked as he walked into the building, Aline following close behind.
"It's perfect", Holly muttered. She gave Tyler a small smile before walking away to find Irene.
"Where is Nic? Wasn't this whole thing his idea in the first place?" Aline asked.
"No one has seen him today", Atie asked as she walked in with Celine. "We're getting worried."
"If he doesn't show up at the debate, we'll go look for him once it's over, okay?"
The others could do nothing but agree.
Once the debate started about an hour later, everyone (except Nic) had taken their seats in the hall. Now they were just waiting for the candidates to show up from behind the curtain.
"You can do this", Rachel said to Richard once again. She'd decided to stay backstage in case he needed something. He looked worried, but not as worried as he'd looked that morning.
"Just be yourself. I can't think of any reason why anyone wouldn't love you", Rachel said softly. It was more than she usually said. She felt more relaxed around Richard than she did around other people, less in need to keep her shield up.
"Nobody's perfect", Richard pointed out.
"You're right", Rachel chuckled. "But they don't know that. It's all about the act", she stepped back a little. "Go on, it's time."
Richard nodded, and then he'd stepped on the other side of the curtain.
Everyone remained quiet while Celine rushed up to the stage to introduce the candidates, and everyone remained silent still when Richard walked over to the center where the microphone was located.
He took a breath and spoke: "I'm pretty sure not nearly all of you know me. But I guess when you heard about the election it didn't matter. This town hasn't seen one since... well, I'm 21 years old and I've personally never seen an election happen in Rosedell. I think that itself speaks for something. For years all of us have been living blindly under the authority of this woman", he turned to look at Irene briefly before turning back to the citizens. "But I'm here to end that. All of us have a right to know what happens in this town, and why it happens. If I'm elected, I'm not just going to stop people from visiting their loved ones in the hospital just because I say so, and I'm not going to terrorize innocent people for my own amusement", at that point he quickly turned to look at Rachel, who was standing next to their curtains in the back, out of sight for everyone else.
"I'm pretty sure not nearly all of you know me. But I guess when you heard about the election it didn't matter."
When she gave him a reassuring smile, he continued: "And I'm not going to try to have anyone killed just because they stand against me."
At this, as expected, the people in the room broke into a quiet mutter, but it was quickly silenced when Richard continued: "Your Mayor tried to have our Sheriff, Rachel Leslie, and myself, killed only a few days ago, during the storm. The electric wires that were the cause of the blow-up in the office were cut by hand. I don't have any particular proof, so no one should feel obligated to believe me, but the Mayor and her...assistant had both spoken threats against Rachel only less than a day before the explosion. All of you can think if this information means anything or not, we should all be able to keep our free will. If you vote for me, I'll make sure that happens."
No one was sure whether they should applaud or not, none of them had ever been a part of a town event like this before, but they clapped nevertheless, and it made Richard smile, giving him more courage.
Next up was Irene. She walked over to the center of the stage, trying to control her anger. None of this was supposed to happen. This was supposed to be her world. Here she was supposed to get what she wanted.
"I don't exactly know how to respond to Mr. Stark's accusations, which are truly horrid. I've been Mayor longer than most people, that is true. But isn't there a reason why no one ever thought to re-elect me? Have I not kept this town happy, have I not made this town safe? As for the supposed attempt on the Sheriff's life, perhaps, when hiring her, I overestimated her maturity. She and her candidate are both little more than children. Perhaps it was wrong of me to think of them as adults. Anyone who knows me knows I would never hurt anybody. It is very clear that miss Leslie's traumatic past, losing her father, has made her a little too paranoid, and I'm sad to see she's taken Mr. Stark down with her. But enough about them. If you vote for me, I'll make sure this town stays as the happy place it's always been, and as a bonus, I've made some calls with certain salesmen in London. There is some spare money in the town budget. Surely we could, together, think of something to add more entertainment to this place." She gave them a lovely smile before nodding her head and going back to her corner. People applauded once more, and backstage Rachel was frowning. Of course she would sink as low as bribery.
The rest of the debate went on rather quietly compare to the starting points. There was really no telling what the crowd was thinking, but Rachel was pretty sure Richard's accusations against Irene had made at least some of them think. And that was enough for now.
"That was great", she said when it was finally over and Richard got backstage again.
"Yeah, it was good-", he paused when they saw Nic storm into the room from the back entrance and walk over to Irene. "I want to talk to you. Alone."
Irene nodded in confusion and followed Nic out of the building, through the back door.
"I don't know what this is, Mr. Grace, but I really don't have time-"
"That mental patient. Jess. How did you find her?" Nic snapped.
"We found her at the side of a road years ago. She had clearly been using drugs, otherwise-"
"Don't LIE to me! I'm sick of lies and these made-up stories. I know the truth and I know you know it too. So WHAT happened to her?" Nic yelled. Irene went pale and stared at him in shock.
"Yes, I remember", Nic said roughly. "And you know what that means. So unless you want to die right here, right now, you tell me, what happened to her?"
Irene merely smiled. "Just because you assume someone dies, it doesn't mean they actually do. Now, let me make something very clear. If you try to...I don't know, make them remember, you should stop and consider how much Jess, no, wait, Wendy actually means to you. I still have her in my custody. And as long as I do, you are going to keep quiet, or she will die for real this time."
"So it's true? You tried killing Rachel and Richard? Didn't past experiences teach you anything?"
"You're in no place to question me. So back off, unless you want your little lover to end up dead by your front door. You got it?"
Irene walked back inside without waiting for a reply, but what she didn't know was that Nic had had a tape recorder with him, and he'd been able to record the whole conversation.
Peter didn't know what to think anymore. He had seen Wendy walk across the plank and fall into the deep, cold waters, never to be surfaced again. Of course Wendy was a great swimmer, there was no denying that, but the ship had been so far from the shore that there was no way she would have made it back. And there were crocodiles and sharks and other horrible things in the waters. It had all happened so fast that Peter felt fuzzy even thinking about it. One minute they had just been having fun on the beach, and the next Blackbeard's men had come and taken Wendy. She'd tried screaming and kicking but nothing had worked. They'd even knocked Peter out cold. They could have just killed him, but for some reason they hadn't. Perhaps they thought a better way to make him suffer would be to kill Wendy. And they were right. Peter had showed up too late. When Wendy was walking down the plank, he had still been too far away to catch her. He couldn't have saved her. He even jumped into the water himself, but saw her nowhere in sight. She was dead. Because of him. Blackbeard had killed her because he had a grudge against Peter. And now she was never coming back.
I've been Mayor longer than most people, that is true. But isn't there a reason why no one ever thought to re-elect me?
What Peter didn't know was that Killian had tried to stop Blackbeard. He knew how important Wendy was to Peter, his old friend, so he had tried. But Blackbeard had ignored him. And a few moments later Peter had emerged from the water, looking outraged and very eager to kill them all. He had an advantage because of his ability to fly. So he'd grabbed a sword that had carelessly been lying on deck, and stabbed Blackbeard in the eye, then he'd slit his throat. Everyone was utterly surprised. Peter was many things but a murderer wasn't one of them. Perhaps the death of Wendy had been the death of him. So now, a few days after the attack, after the Jolly Roger lost its captain, Killian sat on deck and thought about Peter, about what he'd done had been utterly in bad form. He'd had no honor whatsoever, butchering the men like they were sheep. Of course he had flown off before the men had any idea what he was doing, which only added to his gruesome intentions. There had been nothing honorable about what Peter had done, but then again, had there been any sort of honor in killing an innocent girl like Wendy? Killian pondered on this while trying to remember the man Peter used to be, and the man he used to be, too.
"Didn't past experiences teach you anything?"
"Nic was here?" Maria asked in concern. "Did you see him?"
"Yeah, he went backstage and shouted at Irene. And I haven't seen him since", Rachel said. "I think he left right after talking to her."
"Not quite", they turned around to Nic staring at them with the record tape in hand. "I think you'll find this useful."
"What's on that?" Rachel asked eagerly as she grabbed it.
"Let's go to the station and listen to it", Nic said. He had taken out the part about their true identities, but Rachel didn't have to know that. And she wouldn't care anyway. All she cared about was hearing Irene confess to trying to have her and Richard killed.
"Yeah, I'm gonna call Richard, he went come to change clothes", with that she dragged Nic out of the hall, completely ignoring Maria's request to be able to talk with him.
"I wonder what's up with him", Maria sighed in distress. "Do you think he's mad at me?"
"No way. He's been avoiding everyone", Atie said. "Speaking of people to avoid...", she locked eyes with Ian Salvatore for the second time that day. He gave her a smile, but Atie merely ignored it. "Can we go?"
Before Maria could answer, she heard a voice behind her. As she turned around, she saw the Coma Guy looking at her. He looked at her in such an overwhelming way. Like he'd known her all his life and she was the only thing he'd ever wanted. Or was Maria just imagining it?
"Hey...", he said softly.
"Hey. I'm glad to see you're okay", Maria smiled. "I never got to hear your name. I'd like to be able to call you something other than John Doe."
He looked hurt, but Maria couldn't understand why. How was she supposed to know his name?
"It's Darren. Listen, can we..."
"Maria, can we go?" Atie asked impatiently. She hadn't been listening to the conversation, but as soon as Celine emerged from the bathroom, she was eager to leave to not have to talk to Ian.
"Yeah, I'm sorry... I'll talk to you later though. I'm so glad you're okay", Maria gave Darren one more smile before following Atie and Celine out.
Amber was surprised when she heard James calling out for her after the debate. Turning around, she saw he was somewhat agitated.
"Hey. I'm sorry about last time, I thought-"
"Don't worry about it." James said shaking his head.
"Okay. So you were at the debate huh. Kinda intense. Do you think the mayor tried to kill them?"
"I wouldn't put it past her."
"You think so? Well maybe." She was a surprised by his behavior, something was wrong. "Are you okay? You seem worried."
"Everything's fine. But if something were to happen to me, could you take care of the kids?"
"The only thing I've taken care of so far is my rabbit, but he's alive." she joked a bit. Not getting any reaction from James, she became suspicious "What do you mean by something were to happen to you? Are you in trouble?"
"No. I just have to know if the kids would be okay if I'm no longer there."
"Yeah, they will. But James if there's something wrong I can help or something."
"Don't worry, everything is fine." and he walked away, leaving Amber with concern.
When Richard arrived at the sheriff station, he expected to find Rachel alone but here she was with Nic and Tyler by her side.
"Richard, we got her." Rachel said, the moment she saw him.
"The mayor. She practically confessed trying to kill us and he recorded it."
"It's not a legal way to have proof, we can't use it against her."
"That's right." Tyler intervened "if she doesn't confess properly, you don't have a case."
"But if everyone listens to it, there's no way she was going to be elected." Rachel said enthusiastically.
"Don't you want to make her pay for what she tried to do?" Tyler asked, surprised
"She's never going to confess and there's no proof" Nic explained.
"Nic's right. But at least, she will lose the election. You're with me?" Rachel asked, turning our head to Richard.
"After people hear this, nobody will vote for her." Rachel said
"I hope you're right." Tyler sighed.
Soon, Nic and Tyler left, leaving Richard and Rachel alone in the station.
Richard was still stunned by the morning events; he had never had such a rush of adrenaline before. As an architect, he was not used to experience stressful situations but somehow the feeling was familiar.
"Are you okay?" Rachel asked, taking a step closer to him.
"Yeah. It's just... This morning had been crazy, I haven't had time to process."
"Yeah. Things are going crazy around here. I don't even remember feeling this busy. But you were great. At the debate."
"You think so?"
"Oh yeah. You could tell people loved you."
"Well it's not just me, you are a pretty good campaign manager."
"No but it's you. You're a natural. People are attracted to you. You can't fake it. I couldn't."
"No, I'm not."
"Richard Stark, I hate to be the one telling you this, but you're a born leader. Sorry." Rachel added with a smile.
Richard smiled back "So what now?"
"The election is around the corner. Hopefully people are not going to be stupid and the hag's reign will be done."
"I hope we'll still see each other, regardless if I win or not."
"Of course we will. We'll still be friends after the election." Rachel almost instantly regretted saying 'friends' and the look on Richard's face reaffirmed this feeling. Shit.
Peter had brought home Wendy's brothers almost immediately and decided he would no longer bring anyone else to Neverland. He didn't want to see anybody. He stayed many years in seclusion in Neverland, trying to forget about Wendy. Even though his feelings for her never faded, he managed to forget about her and then resumed traveling through realms, eventually always going back to Neverland, where he couldn't grow up. Even if he got back to his old ways, he decided to stay alone and never finding a child interesting enough to brought to his island.
However this changed when he met Alice Carroll.
He was wandering through London's countryside when he spotted a girl unconscious on the ground. She couldn't be more than ten and had long brown hair. She was also wearing a blue dress, that was completely trashed as if she sprawled on mud all day. Peter tried to wake her up and soon she did. She seemed surprised to see him at first but soon was more worried about where she was.
"Where are we? Back in England?"
Peter found her question odd as she was not supposed to know about magic. Or ability to travel between worlds for that matter. "What do you mean by back?"
"Oh I was in the most beautiful land. It was full of color, mushrooms of all sizes and flowers who sang." Realizing how crazy she must sound, she started to panic a little "It is real. I have been there, you have to believe me."
"I do. I think you are referring to Wonderland. I spent quite a few days there, not the best world I've been to really."
"You went there?"
"Yes. But the Queen is a little crazy so I didn't enjoy my stay all that much. She's always trying to cut off some heads."
"How? Can you take me there?"
"You want to go back? I don't see why."
"Oh but I've spent so little time there. I followed a rabbit down a hole and I ended up there. But I got lost in the forest after running from the Cheshire Cat. I must have hit my head because the next thing I remember is you waking me up."
"There's a way for me to take you back. But you have to promise me something if I do."
"What is it?"
"That after you had your fun in Wonderland, you come back with me and follow me to Neverland."
"There are other realms like Wonderland?" Peter nodded. "Then I accept."
"Alright. Here's the thing. I have this Pixie Dust. It will make us fly and your heart will find its way to where you want to be most."
"Let's go then." Alice said enthusiastically.
Peter took the pixie dust from the little bottle he carried around his neck and then throw it over Alice and himself. As they rose in the sky, Peter grabbed her hand and said "Here we go. I just hope I can get some tea while being there." oblivious to the fact that he would never leave Wonderland.
"How is it going with the mental patient?" Aline was surprised to find Colin waiting for her when she got home.
"No, it's not you. It's me. I just... I'm not really... used to stuff like this, I guess"
"She seems to be alright. The word in the street is that Nic knows her. I don't really know how that's possible, but.... Were you at the debate?"
"Yes, I was in the back row. I think your friend's boyfriend has got a chance of winning."
"He's not her boyfriend, yet anyway", Aline chuckled. "I trust we can count on your vote?"
"Yes. Aline, listen...", Colin walked a bit closer. "I've been getting mixed signals from you, to say the least. I'm very much interested in you, but if you want nothing to do with me, I-"
"No, it's not you. It's me. I just... I'm not really... used to stuff like this, I guess", Aline said.
Colin nodded. "Fair enough. Well, the offer on that date still stands, if you're interested. Have a good night", he gave her a small smile before walking off, and for the first time, leaving Aline to consider the date offer seriously.
"Celine!" as Celine headed towards the diner to make sure everything was okay for the night, she froze when she heard Paul call after her. She hadn't even had time to think about the kiss and the feelings she'd gotten after it. She just felt weird seeing him again, and she didn't know how to act around him anymore. Why was she thinking about spinning wheels and roses?
"What is it?" she turned around to look at him, putting on a fake smile.
"I just.... I haven't seen you in a few days. Are you okay? Are we okay?"
"I don't know, Paul, I just... I need time to think about this, all of this", she gestured at him. "And you're really great, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for a relationship."
Paul stared at her in confusion. "What happened? Before we kissed, you and I, we... we were-"
"Things change", Celine interrupted. "I'm sorry, Paul", with that she opened the door to the diner, got inside and slammed the door closed after her, leaving Paul out in the cold.