Author's note: Well, I am quite attached to this ship, for some reason. This is not quite the same style of writing as Empathy, but it takes place after that. Though it could be read as a stand-alone. Anyway, hope ya'll enjoy, and please review.

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they belong to whoever has the copyright now. Please don't sue me. Savvy?



It was morning in Never, Neverland yet again. There was hardly a cloud in sight, all that were visible nothing more than white puffs in the sky. The sun was swiftly rising for another long day, full of adventures and dangers and treasures for Peter Pan to discover. Along with his little faerie, Tinker Bell.

Except Tinker Bell was off on her own, sitting on a little rock on a very large cliff, gazing out at sea. Gazing out at the ship anchored not too far from the shore. Gazing out at the Jolly Roger, where the infamous Captain Jas. Hook resided.

Peter was waking, after a night full of bad dreams and waking only to wave Tinker Bell away when she tried to comfort him. He did not want her, he wanted Wendy.

The sad and confusing thing was, Tinker Bell was not as hurt by this as she once was. Instead, she was beginning to enjoy her periods of exile. And this confused and worried her. She was enjoying her stays with her pretty Peter's archenemy.

Ever since one night of exile from Peter, when the pirate Captain had made his presence known to her, she had been staying onboard the Jolly Roger during her exile. Come morning, she would return to Peter, once again his faithful faerie companion. Though she never told the mischievous boy of how she spent her banishment, keeping the secret dear and close.

But this time, when Peter had waved her away, angrily telling her he did not need her company, she did not go to the Jolly Roger and its captain. She had started to, almost reaching the ship before suddenly realizing what it was she was doing. She was almost eagerly flying towards the man that had tried to kill her boy, her Peter.

Why in Neverland was she even going to Hook at all? It confused her now that she thought about it. Perhaps because even though she loved Peter, she was still a faerie. And faeries hold grudges, more so than most humans though for shorter periods of time of course. Faeries are not all innocent and fair, they can be quite malicious if pushed a certain way. Perhaps that was it, Tinker Bell was simply having her own revenge against Peter, though she never told him.

But that did not explain why she always looked forward to her visits with the pirate captain. Nor why she no longer thought of him as Peter's nemesis to defeat, a man trying to kill her eternal boy, but as a, dare she even speak it in her mind, friend.

Tinker Bell shook her head, sending those thoughts away. She'd had quite enough of trying to figure it all out, she was starting to feel dizzy from all the circles her musings led her in. It was enough to her that she was loyal to Peter first and only visited Hook when exiled from the stubborn youth.

Besides, she and Hook were not so different it seemed. Both their lives seemed to be controlled by Peter and Neverland's will to please the boy. But while she was did not have much problem with it, Hook was nearly driven insane by the fact.

Perhaps that was it. Empathy. Or pity. Maybe both. Either way, she found she enjoyed his company, and would keep him secret from Peter. Then she would not have to choose between them well, she would not have to give up Hook.

Her wings fluttering rapidly, she hovered and stared at the pirate ship for a moment before flying away, back towards the house below the tree. She was halfway back when she spotted him, Captain Hook, wandering through the forest. Coming from the Black Castle.

Now this was quite curious. Tinker Bell could think of no reason why Hook would go there, and he rarely did something without a reason, no matter how odd or devious it was or seemed. Unable to resist, Tink flew over to him, coming to hover right in front of his face.

The pirate reacted with slight surprise that was quickly replaced by mild amusement as he smiled at the glowing pixie. "Why good morning, Miss Bell," he greeted her, his voice strangely out of breath it seemed. "Has Pan taken to banishing you first thing in the morning now?"

Tink growled at that, her little rings and motions telling him her displeasure at the remark. But she let it pass, as she was now too curious in Hook's appearance at the moment.

He was slightly sweaty, as though he had been running or fighting. He was simply dressed, black shirt, black pants, boots. Sword on his belt. He did not wear a hat, though he had not worn one as often since his supposed death.

Tinker Bell chimed questions, asking him what he was doing, where he had been. She was extremely interested by the fact that he seemed to be coming back from the Black Castle. Well, she was interested in everything, but this most certainly was much more intriguing than anything else had been lately.

Hook merely chuckled softly. "You are just like all human females. Inquisitive to the death," he told her and began walking again. He wore a secretive smile that made Tink angry and fascinated, and as she fussed at him and questioned him more, the smile grew. "I was practicing the sword, if you must know," he finally told her with a longsuffering sigh. "It is an art form and an exercise, and one must keep the skill finely tuned."

Tinker Bell merely nodded, a thoughtful expression coming over her features. She did not like it that he was still practicing his fighting skills. What if he was planning something? What if Peter saw him? What if? There were too many "what if" scenarios for her comfort.

Hook seemed to notice her distress, for he reached up his only hand, placing the palm right under her so that she sat on it. He brought her near his face, his smile now almost kind. "Do not fret, Miss Bell. I have no intention of putting these skills to use on anyone soon. I merely must keep myself sane and physically fit."

Tink stared at him skeptically, but finally decided he spoke true. She sighed. Lying down on Hook's hand, she tried to forget who he was. Why did she have to find out he was alive? Why did he make himself known to her? Why did he have to be so kind to her, make her like being around him almost as much as being with Peter? Why was everything so complicated?

It was perfect until Peter found Wendy. But then, after he saw her the first time, everything changed. Everything became complicated in so many ways. Tink had hoped it would all return to normal after Wendy left, but alas, Neverland would never be the same again.

"Something troubles you, little Pixie," Hook stated. "Something to do with your being away from Pan at dawn yet again?" he asked her gently.

Tinker Bell shrugged. She did not feel like telling him her thoughts, it would only make matters worse. Her head suddenly lifted as she heard the sound of Peter's voice, faint and far away. But nearing swiftly. Panicking, Tink flew around Hook, pleading with him to go, to hide.

Hook's eyes lit up as he realized what was upsetting Tink, and for a moment Tinker Bell feared he would face Pan and ruin everything. But then he nodded, and began to walk back towards the Jolly Roger. He paused, turning to face her again. "Tonight?"

Tink nodded without even pondering if Peter would be in a banishing mood that evening. He would. He almost always did. What she did wonder though. Was she to blame for the exiles lately? Would she cause Peter's wrath tonight?

The pirate captain nodded again and turned, walking away from the depressed faerie. Something inside her wanted to go with him, but she wouldn't. She couldn't. She had to go to Peter. She loved Peter, she loved their adventures, she loved her life.

Then why was she so sad to be returning to those things?