A/N: This story is created in collaboration with Warrior717. After nearly a month of trading ideas and ironing out details, we are very pleased to present: Hooked!

Disclaimer: We do not own Once Upon a Time. If we did, the season 2 premiere would air next week, and not several months from now! May credit be given where credit is due.


Far away and very near, in the space between the notes of a laugh, there is a land where clocks do not tick and never means forever.

Some claim this land was forged from the forgotten dreams of the other lands' children. Others claim it was forged from the dust of stars.

Neverland claims that it simply always was.

Every leaf and twig, every insect and critter, seems to glisten and hum with the sweet essence of magic. But it was not always so.

Neverland remembers when it first tasted magic. It all started with the arrival of an adolescent boy with a curious name and a bitter heart.

He materialized late one night, alone, on a stone ledge overlooking Neverland's waters, surrounded by tendrils of brilliant emerald light. Had the island not witnessed his extraordinary arrival, it would have still known that this boy was different from any other. He did not gawk at the way the island's willows and rocks seemed to whisper and breathe with a life of their own, did not marvel at the spectrum of iridescent colors that painted each and every leaf. He merely sat down, hugging his knees and clenching his teeth, quaking with a sorrow and rage uncharacteristic of someone who had not lived a hundred tortured lifetimes. Yet he did not cry. Yes, this boy was very different indeed.

The magic arrived soon after, in the form of seven tiny, winged creatures with tinkling voices, and Neverland was never the same.

The fairies looked after the boy, offering him companionship and warmth, but their soothing words and tenderness alone could not ease the bitterness which plagued the boy's heart, could not ward off the nightmares which tormented his sleep.

So, they taught him how to fly.

And fly he did. Oh, the cool caress of the wind on his face, in his hair: it was blissful oblivion. He tumbled and twirled above the treetops, laughing as their leaves tickled his bare feet. Enveloped by the fairies' magic, the boy was uninhibited, free.

But when he landed, bitter memories of broken promises swarmed about him like a flock of ravenous vultures, pecking and pulling and tearing at his soul until it was raw and bleeding.

So every day the fairies' magic lifted the boy's broken spirit high into the air, washing over the bruises like a warm balm, and each time his willowy legs returned to the earth, the flock seemed smaller, their beaks less piercing.

One day they vanished altogether; the boy was reborn.

As he soared above the wispy clouds, joyfully shouting his new name to the island, his dancing eyes caught something they had not seen before: the dark silhouette of a pirate ship ghosting along the horizon.

A/N: Are you intrigued? Feedback is always appreciated!

Also, we are very pleased and excited to announce that our story, along with two others, has been nominated for the 2013 Once Upon a Fan Award for Best Multi-Chapter Fan Fiction! If you would like to vote for that category and many others, type OUAF Awards into Google and click the second link from the top. Thank you! :)