Airling is truly special, and was the original lost-girl. Shortly after Wendy's departure from Neverland, Tinkerbell discovered young Airling alone and abandoned. Tink told Peter of the girl's plight and the boy decided to have a girl around permanently. Peter has been her mentor ever since, and Airling's skills now even match his own; the two are in-separable. She can fly, fight, and while Peter crows she howls. Airling has become the leader of the lost-girls, and Peter's second in command.
Model: Julia Johansen
"Brightly Wound" by Eisley
It's happening all the time
When I open my eyes
I'm still taken by surprise
I hold sunlight and swallow fireflies
And it makes me want to cry
I love you
I shall never grow up
Make believe is much too fun
Can we go far away to the humming meadow?
We were walking there
And I had tangles in my hair
But you make me feel so pretty
You have shining eyes
Yes, like those forest lights
And it makes me want to cry
Airling ran through the forest, her feet only leaving the ground to fly over the stray ditch or boulder. Slung over her arm was a satchel filled with berries and nuts. In her arm was a fresh young rabbit that she had caught only moments before. Tonight, they would have hasenpfeffer and wildberry stew, one of Lyte's specialties. Though Rabbit would not appreciate the choice of protein.
She reached the Lost Hideaway, and she took a moment to admire them. The tree houses could neither be called a tree or a house. They were something better than that. A cluster of structures made from sticks and other materials they'd found. The trees had thick limbs that were perfect for climbing, and were surrounded by plants that were littered with tiny lavender flowers and wide, waxy green leaves shaped like hands folded in prayer. They called it home.
Airling could feel him coming up behind her, and of all her keen senses her ability to sense Peter's presence was her most astute. Peter's voice came chiming in behind her. "A rabbit, huh? Our Rabbit's gonna love that." The fading sun shone in his eyes. He smiled.
She smiled back. Tink circled her, surrounding her in the shimmery dulcet glow of pixie dust. "Any sight of Hook or Calypso?" Airling asked, though she really didn't want to know the answer. Both pirates were powerful and chaotic forces, but together they were destructive; treacherous.
Peter's smile dimmed. "No, not yet." He said, lowering his feet onto the ground. He looked faintly exhausted these past few days, and his hair stuck up in mad angles. She felt silly in his presence sometimes; like a stupid, love struck child. "But we will soon, I'm certain of it. That's why we have to be ready when it happens."
She nervously twisted the string hanging off her satchel. "What if one of them hurts one of us, Peter?" She asked, quietly. The Lost Boys and Girls were her family, and some of them were so innocent and mild mannered, she couldn't imagine them winning a face off with a pirate. "What if one of us is killed?"
Usually Peter turned down such ideas straight away or simply pretended that he did not hear them at all to begin with, but this time he looked at her straight on. "I can't let that happen, Airling." He said, his voice somehow both soft and fierce. She flushed dewy shades of pink. "I can't let it."
She nodded, swallowing hard. Tink looked back and forth at the two of them. Most people only listened to words, but the silences they shared could speak volumes to the attentive ear.
Peter leaned close to her and whispered something. She could hear it, though he had been speaking softly. The words tickled, as if a million tiny butterflies were rounding through the air and making their way to her brain. "Don't ever grow up." Peter had said, and then went flying off toward the tree house, where there was a clatter of what sounded like brass pots and pans and the unmistakeable sound of Slightly cackling.
As Airling flew behind him, biting her lip as the warm air brushed against her face, she couldn't help but wonder if what he had said had been a wish or a warning.
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