At long last, I have a new Bobble/Tink story for all you good people! I still support the pairing wholeheartedly, but man, I agonized for ages what to write next about them. Well, mates, I hope this story is worth your while.

Characters © Disney

Story © unicorn-skydancer08

All rights reserved.

Bobble usually didn't consider himself the crying type. Even when he stubbed his toe on a stone, got scratched by a thorn, or hurt himself by accident during work at the Tinker's Nook, he seldom broke out in actual tears.

Yet, for some strange reason, he found unexpected tears welling up a lot more often lately, most especially when Tinker Bell was near; and he would feel a sharp pang in his heart.

Bobble didn't know what the matter was with him, why he ought to feel this way. He didn't even know how it had begun in the first place; all he remembered was that he was talking one day with Tink, and she'd leaned in and kissed him on the cheek before taking her leave. Even though the kiss was very light, not even lasting two seconds, Bobble never forgot it, and even now, he could still feel her soft touch. Sometimes, when he was alone, his hand would unconsciously drift to his cheek, touching the very spot where Tink's lips had touched him; at that moment, his vision would go blurry, and his head would sink into his hands.

Once, he'd come dangerously close to breaking down in front of everybody while he was in the Nook and Tink passed by him. When Clank asked him if he was feeling okay, Bobble turned away, murmuring that he just had something in his goggles. He was ashamed at his behavior; a tinker should have better dignity than that! What was it about Tink that had such a powerful effect on him, that caused him to blubber like a baby at the most inconvenient times?

Bobble got his answer one warm night in Spring Valley, after he had quit work and was watching the fireflies as they winked and blinked in the inky darkness. Presently, Tink came to join him. Bobble was tempted to flee on the spot, lest he dissolve into another of those sticky puddles, but he braced himself and managed to say in a reasonably steady voice, "Hey, Tink."

"Hey, Bobble," she greeted him back, in a voice like soft summer wind.

"How are you this fine evening, lass?" Bobble's voice held a bit of a Scottish edge to it, which Tink had always admired.

"Okay, I suppose. How about you?"

"I'm as right as rain." Bobble offered a passable smile, though his heart was already beating considerably faster and his stomach felt like a swarm of butterflies was trapped inside.

Gazing up briefly at the crystal-clear sky, with its myriad of diamond-like stars, Tink remarked, "It's a beautiful night, isn't it?"

"Beautiful, indeed," Bobble replied softly, though his eyes were fixed on Tink's face, which was limned by the white light of the moon, mingled with the soft golden glow of the fireflies.

He felt an overpowering need to be closer to Tink, to always have her by his side. He yearned to take her into his arms, to hold her to him and kiss her rosy mouth. Almost without realizing it, his hands began to reach out in her direction. He quickly jerked them back, but that was when it hit him, when he finally understood why he was acting so goofy lately.

It didn't take a genius to figure it out.

He was in love with Tink—completely head over heels. The idea intrigued him and horrified him at the same time.

How can this be? he asked himself. How could I fall for someone like Tink? She's my best friend, practically my sister!

Yet even as he questioned his feelings for her, there was no denying what he felt.

"Bobble, are you okay?" Tink sensed something serious weighed on his mind.

"Of course," he lied feebly. "I—I'm perfectly okay, Tink. Never been better in my life."

She didn't look like she believed it. "Come on, Bobble," she coaxed, "I know you're keeping something from me."

"Keeping…something?" Bobble repeated, struggling to swallow the massive lump that had lodged in his throat.

"Come on, tell me."

He faltered for a time before he answered lamely, "I can't."

"Sure, you can," she insisted. "You can trust me, Bobble. I promise to not give anything away."

His head now bowed in sorrow, Bobble turned away from her, murmuring disconsolately, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you." Inwardly, he added, I hardly believe it myself.

"Try me."

Knowing that it was useless to resist, Bobble sighed deeply and put a single hand to his forehead. Oh, you might as well, his inner voice told him. Better now than later.

The words rose, unbidden, to his lips: "I love you, Tink."

She looked at him curiously. "What did you say?"

Now he turned his face full on her, and his face was a study in sorrow. Visible pain was evident in every feature. Tink had never seen anyone look so hurt, nor had she seen such passion and longing in one's eyes.

"I love you," Bobble said again, sounding almost desperate.

A long moment of silence followed this profound statement. Tink merely looked at Bobble, and he was sure that she was disappointed in him, that she must think he'd gone crazy. He braced himself for what was sure to come next.

When she finally did break the uncanny silence, what she said took him rather aback: "Is that all?"

Bobble blinked, startled at the smile that graced the other fairy's lips. What did she mean by "is that all"?

"Is that all that's bothering you?" Tink went on to say. "Oh, Bobble!"

The next thing Bobble knew, she had her arms wrapped tightly around him, nearly choking him. He stood stock-still at first before tentatively returning her impassioned hug. They stayed like that for a long time, and when they finally drew apart, Tink placed her hand along his lean jaw as she regarded him tenderly. "Why didn't you tell me this sooner?" she asked in a soft whisper.

He shook his head faintly. "I don't know, lass," he whispered back. "For a while, I didn't understand the reason for my feelings. Then…well, I suppose it was just cowardice. I was too afraid of what you'd say, how you'd react."

Tink ran her fingers ever so gently along his skin, making him shiver. "Then allow me to mollify your fears," she told him, and before he realized what was happening, she was kissing him, mouth to mouth. It wasn't the fleeting kind of kiss, but rather the kind in which she tilted her head at a certain angle and took her sweet time. Somehow, Bobble couldn't bring himself to pull away; some strange spell held him in place. Something inside him literally melted, and he felt that familiar sting in his eyes and that warm wetness on his cheeks. Almost involuntarily, his arms engulfed Tink's body and he returned her kiss with every bit as much passion, and more besides.

Every kiss led to another, until both fairies found themselves gasping for breath. Even after the kissing had ended, they continued to hold fast to one another, neither wanting to let the other go for a second, never once caring whether anyone could see them. Tink buried her face in the hollow of Bobble's neck, inhaling his pine-like scent, while he toyed absently with her hair.

He gave out a short, watery chuckle as he declared ruefully, "Ah, blast…why do I always cry?"

Though Tink was silent, and though her face was hidden from his view, Bobble was sure she was crying, too, for he would have sworn he felt her tears sliding down his neck.