The bar had more smoke in it than usual that night. But James still saw a tiny, shiny flicker coming from a stool on the far end. Walking closer to see what it was, it became clear that the flicker was from a cute petite blonde with a pair of wings. He made a gesture to the bartender, and a Johnny Walker on ice slid down the bar.
“Hey, Blake, what’s up with the chick with wings? Did I forget it was Halloween or something?” He asked, catching the glass.
“Nah, she says she’s Tinker Bell.”
James coughed up his swig, “Sure, and I’m Peter Pan.”
Blake wiped up the wasted alcohol. “After the shit, I’ve heard her rattle off. I wouldn’t say that too loud.”
The blonde was sitting alone with eyeliner running down her face and had half fallen out a bun on top of her head. She was a mess. Attractive. But a mess. Tinker Bell or not, James would get the story from her; he had no problem encouraging women to talk.
“What she been drinking?”
“Everything from rum, vodka, and gin. You name it. She’s had it tonight.” Blake shook his head and sighed, “poor thing.”
“Blake, you’re turning into a softy.” James ribbed.
“You want to be a shoulder for her to cry on, don’t you? And then take—”
“Hey, sometimes I’m a little better than dirt.” James interrupted him. “Just send her a martini of some kind.”
Tinker Bell watched the conversation from down the bar. It was no surprise that, again, she was the topic of discussion. But there was something about this one. He looked familiar in a comforting sense that actually disturbed her.
“Great, here comes another one of these creeps,” she muttered. “Can’t they just leave a girl alone?”
Earth seems to be full of them. Staring out the window to the windy street, she wondered why she ever picked this rat hole in the first place. Oh, that’s right, to find someone other than him. Stirring what was left of her drink, she thought about the most recent events that had brought her here. I can’t believe these humans have destroyed everything with this atom smasher, searching for different dimensions. What, are they stupid? Do they really think that all their fairytales and nightmares come from nowhere? Now everyone can cross back and forth, no problem. I bet that Wendy bitch was happy to find that out. Blake walked to her with another bright green martini in hand.
“And would this be from the guy at the other end?” Tink wiped the eyeliner from her face, but the mascara had already stained it.
“That would be the one. Every one of your drinks has been from someone feeling sorry for you. I don’t think this one is as bad as the rest.” Blake watched Tink size him up compared to the rest of the creeps from the night. “This one’s a local. I promise he ain’t that bad.”
“Maybe you’re right.”
Blake waved James down. He was about 6’2 with a crew cut, and what was left of his hair was either dark brown or black. When he got close, his emerald green eyes pierced right through her.
Those eyes, I know I’ve seen those eyes before. And when he sat down, he smelled like Neverland. How strange.
“Blake said your name was Tinker Bell.” The green eyes went straight to the wings.
“Yes, they are real.” She made them open, flap, and then lay back down. “So, what do you want?”
“My name is James.” He held out his hand for her to shake. However, Tink stared at it as if something was off. “Usually, one would at least shake the hand of the person who bought her a drink.”
“James, where are you from? Blake says you’re a local, but you look very familiar, and I’m not a local.” She reaches across the bar and takes a straw.
“Tinker Bell, what happened to Peter Pan?”
The tears began rolling down her face, makeup going everywhere, and finally, she pulled the sorry excuse for a bun down.
“It’s so funny how the story is told here. It isn’t even the right story.” Between sobs, she sips her drink. “What is this crap of being a kid? Peter Pan isn’t a kid. He’s really 106 stuck in an eighteen-year-old’s body!”
“He’s really 106? And that would make you?”
She gave James the death stare and started searching for Blake to get this guy away from her.
“I forget a lady never reveals her true age.” He taunted her too much. “Tinker Bell, my name is James Hook.”
Her head turned so quickly it should have snapped off. Tinkerbell muttered something over her drink while she reached to check if her wand was still in her boot. “Captain James Hook?” She whispered. “You can’t be. Pan killed you.”
Hook’s laugh silenced the entire bar. “The same time Pan was trying to kill me was when this wonderful little rip in time happened. And, darling, if I remember correctly, it upset you gravely that I was being killed.”
Tinker Bell blushed and quickly tried to conceal it. “Of course it did. Who else was going to get rid of Wendy? Not the babbling lost boys. They couldn’t kill her even when she was right in front of them.”
“I was never going to kill her. Pan wanted me to get rid of you.” His confession turned her eyes bright red. “God, Tink! After so many years, you still don’t understand, do you? How did Peter ever get to this Wendy girl?”
“It’s awfully similar to the Disney story. Only when they say he lost his shadow, he didn’t. Who knows what he really lost that night, but he was upset, and so was she. There was so much screaming and fighting. It didn’t make sense why he was bringing her with him. I mean, he was sleeping with Wendy, but he was sleeping with everyone else, including me. Disney got both wrong. She wasn’t a child, either. She was seventeen. AND THOSE bastards! They make me look like a slut.”
Hook chuckled at the idea of his pathetic character shoving her into a lantern. “If only you were tiny enough to shove into a lantern, it would have made that whole ordeal a lot easier.”
Tinker Bell threw what was left of the drink in his face. Blake handed James a towel. This was the third drink thrown tonight, and they had all come from her. Blake savored James being off his game with Tinker Bell. James was always a smooth talker and always knew how to calm a girl down when she was upset.
“Bell, do you know why he brought her to Neverland?” He asked slowly and deliberately.
“Some crap about her parents wanting her to grow up, and he didn’t want her to. It doesn’t matter. It was a B.S. story.” She took her wand out from the boot and flicked it once, and the glass was full again.
“Tink, she was pregnant. He wanted to tell you. He wanted to tell you he loved her, but you were so angry and wouldn’t hear it. He loves her, and I love you, Tinker Bell.”
Over and over, the Disney version of what happened that night ran through her head, but she knew deep down it wasn’t true. But she wanted it to be true. She wanted Peter to have dropped Wendy off at home and returned for her. But he never returned. Tinker Bell remembered them fighting over Wendy on Hook’s ship, but never the truth. Tonight explained everything. Peter had promised her he was only dropping Wendy off and coming right back, but even then, deep down, she knew he would never be back.
“He’s a father.” The words barely escaped her mouth. James nodded, and she fell into his arms, crying more.
“Just take me back to Neverland.”