And now, the final chapter of this little story of mine. I'll wait 'til it's over before I start to get sentimental. Anyway, here it is!

Shortly after Tinkerbell had gotten Peter safely to the waiting nurse talent fairies, she was grabbed by one of them, enraged that she had left the infirmiry in her condition. She was pretty much thrown back into her room and was going to be strapped to her bed, though she was able to talk the nurse into not taking it that far. As badly as she wanted to stay with Peter to make sure he was okay, she knew there would be no point in arguing with this nurse, as she was more than a little insistent that Tink stay in her room.

Tink lay wide awake in her bed, she was told to try and get as much rest as possible, but until she was 100% sure that Peter was okay, resting was simply out of the question, or at least she wanted it to be. She rolled around relentlessly in bed, wanting desperately to stay awake until she found out how Peter was doing, but as time wore on, the exhaustion of the day seemed to finally overcome her. Her eyelids became heavier, and her rolling around slowly ceased. She felt consiouness begin to slowly slip from her, and her eyes closed completely. But then, the instant she felt herself slip off to dreamland, she heard a voice that snapped her awake.

"Hey, Tink."

Tinks eyes flicked open immediately, and peering down at her through an opening in the tree was Peter. His face was bandaged up quite a bit, but other than that, he looked quite happy. Tink smiled up at him, relieved beyond words that he could move again.

"Hey there, big guy!" Tink said happily.

"Are you alright?" Peter asked worriedly.

"Oh, don't worry about me, Peter, I'll be fine." Tink responded, waving her hand. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, thanks to you." Peter replied solemnly.

Tink gave a sheepish smile and nod.

"I'm glad to hear that, Petey Boy." She said.

Peter smiled back at her, but his smile abruptly faded after a few seconds and his eyes glistened with tears. Tink looked surprised at Peters sudden change of emotion.

"I'm sorry, Tink." Peter sobbed.

He then fell to his knees, his head was still visible in the tree opening. Tink wanted to open her mouth to say something, but Peter continued.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

Peter buried his head into his arm and began to cry full on. Now Tink was able to find her voice.

"Peter, please don't cry." She pleaded. "I'm okay, I'm just fine. You don't have to cry for me."

Peter lifted his head slightly and looked down at her with his puffy red eyes.

"It's all my fault." He said quietly.

"How is it your fault, Peter?" Tink said confusedly.

Peter wiped his nose on his sleeve and attempted to choke out some words.

"I-if I hadn't have b-been such an jerk to you t-today, y-you wouldn't have left early, and you w-wouldn't have gotten captured, and none of this would've happened." He sobbed.

He then stuck his hand through the opening and lowered it down to her and gently stroked her body with his finger. Tink let out relaxed sigh, it felt so soothing against her sore body that she didn't think she'd need painkillers anymore. She gently patted his finger with her small hand and looked back up at him.

"Peter, it's okay if you were upset about me being late today, I know I really let you down." She said calmly.

Peter shook his head vigorously.

"That doesn't excuse the way I acted." Peter said, sounding deeply ashamed of himself.

Tink had never seen Peter look so undignified. The proud look he alway wore on his face had completely disappeared, leaving no trace whatsoever. And indeed, Peter had never felt so low in his life as he did at that moment.

"Seriously, Tink, why didn't you just tell them where the cave was? I could've taken them!" Peter said exasperatedly.

Tink shook her head stubbornly.

"No way, Petey! I wouldn't do that to you. Even if you are tough enough to take on all of them, I still wouldn't lower myself to sell you out to them. I know better." She said sternly.

Peter closed his eyes and bowed his head. He still looked as though he blamed himself for what happened to Tink. She tugged his finger in an attept to get his attention. Peter opened his eyes again and gazed back down at her.

"Death Before Betrayal, remember?" Tink reminded him.

Peter gave an annoyed grunt and shook his head again.

"Oh, c'mon, Tink, that was just some stupid phrase I came up with to sound cool! They're just meaningless words!" He groaned.

Tink tugged his finger even harder and Peter turned back down to her. She was staring up at him with a very serious expression on her face.

"Not to me, they weren't." She said very sternly. "To me, those words mean just how far a friend could go to protect another, how far I would go to protect you, and I'm sure how far you'd go to protect me."

Peter was deathly silent now. He stared down at his brave friend with a look of awe and deep admiration on his face. He never knew Tink cared about him that much, and that she would take his words so seriously. He wanted to say something how much he admired her, but Tink spoke again before he could open his mouth.

"And you know what, Peter? I'd go through it all again tomorrow if I had to. I could never live with myself if anything happened to you, and I... URHG!"

Tink suddenly clutched her side and gave a pained groan. The painkillers had now completely worn off, and has Silvermist had said, the pain came rushing back to her instantly.

"Tink, are you okay?" Peter asked worriedly.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Tink moaned through gritted teeth. "I just need to take these painkillers regularly for a few weeks."

She let go of her side and felt around on the table top next to her for the flower petal cut that had been refilled with that clear liquid. She grabbed it and choked it down as quick as she could. Once again, the effect was instantaneous. Tink put the cup back on the table and relaxed against her bed, letting out an exasperated sigh. She then looked back up at Peter, who suddenly looked extremely angry.

"Those Dove damn cowards!" He shouted enraged.

"Hey!" Tink snapped at him. "What did I tell about using that word?"

Peter glared back down at her, seriously annoyed that she had bitched him out for that again, especially considering that he now knew how often she used it. But as much as he wanted to point that out to her, he realized that it wasn't the best idea to complain about the fairy who'd just saved his life, so he managed to hold his tongue, though he could've sworn he saw Tink give him a sly wink out of the corner of his eye. For a while after that, the two remained silent, Peter still gently stroking her body. The only speaking that came after a few minutes was when Tink turned onto her side.

"Do my back please, that always feels so good." She crooned.

Peter smiled and happily obliged, running his finger around her back and across her wings. He was happy to do anything he could to relieve her of the pain she was in. As he stroked her tiny body, he suddenly remembered something, something he had wanted to tell her for a long time. The feeling had been bothering him all day, and now he finally had a chance to share it with the person he cared so deeply for. He thought for a moment, wondering if now would be the best time to bring this up, especially after what Tink had been through, he didn't feel he could burden her further. But when would he a chance like this again? They were alone, they were friendly with each other again, it had to be now! Peter hesitated for a moment, then slowly began to speak.

"Hey, Tink?"

"Mmh?" Tink responded.

"Uh, listen," Peter began. "There's something I think you should know about me, about how I view you as a person. It's kinda personal, and I'm not quite sure how to say it."

Tink slowly rolled over onto her back and looked up at Peter.

"Peter, you don't have to tell me anything you're not comfortable with. I'd rather be blissfully ignorant than know something about you that you'd rather I not know." She said soothingly.

Peter hesitated again for a moment, but quickly shook it off.

"No, Tink, you saved my life tonight. I owe you more than I'll ever be able to repay, but I think telling you this would be a good start." Peter said confidently.

Tink gave a long exhale. Peter did seem like he really wanted to get something off his chest. She gave him a quick nod, and Peter took a deep breath and began.

"Do you remember when you first met me? I told you I never wanted to grow up, right?"

Tink nodded.

"But I never told you why I didn't want to grow up." Peter said.

"Yeah, you did." Tink said quickly before Peter could continue. "You said didn't want all those responsibilities that came with growing up, didn't you?"

Peter sighed deeply.

"That was just part of the reason." He said gravely. "There was something else. Something that I never wanted anyone to know about. But keeping it bottled up inside me has just made it worse. I have to tell you this, Tink. It's the only way you'll truly understand me."

Tink went completely silent. All her attention was diverted to him. Peter took a few more seconds to prepare himself. He was about to talk about the two people he swore he'd never bring up again. Still, talking about them was the only way he'd be truly free of them. After one more deep breath, he spoke.

"I never told you about my parents, did I?"

Tink shook her head.

"They... they were... I hated them." Peter said with a small tone of anger. "My father was a cruel man. All he ever did was drink and take his rage out on me and my mother. He beat he constantly, and when he couldn't find her, he'd beat me. He always insulted me while he whipped me with his belt, said I'd never amount to anything, that he never even wanted me. And he always called my mother a useless whore, that the worst mistake he ever made came out of her womb. The only kind words he had for anyone was for those who would lend him money to get drunk off his ass."

Peter stopped there for a moment to gage Tink reaction. She looked positively horrified at hearing this. If there was one thing Tink hated more than anything else in the world, it was people who were cruel to children. After a few seconds, Peter continued.

"There was nothing I could do, no one I could turn to comfort. Whenever I heard him beating my mother downstairs, I'd hide under my bed and just wish that someone would take me away from all this."

Tink finally couldn't resist the urge to jump in.

"Didn't your mother try to make you feel better?" She asked.

Now Peter seemed deeply saddend by something. His eyes began to well up again, and he couldn't seem to find his voice. Tink patted his hand comfortingly, and even though her hands were so small compared to his, they offered an unbelievable amount of warmth. Slowly, Peter found the courage to speak again.

"When I went to my mother for comfort, you know what she told me? I walked up to her as she was nursing her bruises, and I asked her why daddy was always hurting me, why she wouldn't make me feel better. She looked down at me, and then she said 'You'd probably grow up to be just like him.' and that was it."

Now Tink found herself unable to hold back tears for this poor boy. All this time she never would've guessed that Peter was tormented by this, he did such a good job of hiding it.

"I didn't want to be him!" Peter sobbed. "I couldn't be him! So I ran away to that park and stayed there for days. They never came looking for me. In fact, no one seemed to care about me. They never gave me a second glance when they passed me, and I was usually huddled somewhere, trying to stay warm, just hoping someone would care."

Tink gave Peters hand the most comforting squeeze she could, a single tear rolled down her cheek.

"I'm so sorry, Peter." She whispered.

Peter was now gazing down at Tink with a a small hint of happiness in his face.

"But then I met you," He said. "And you brought me to this place, you took me in when no one else would. And for a while, I just thought of you as a friend, which was good enough for me. But as time went on and we became closer, I saw something more than a friend in you. You took care of me when I was hurt, you comforted me when I was down, you protected me when I was in danger, you... you were everything my parents weren't."

Somehow, Tink seemed to know what Peter was going to say, but she wanted to hear him say it first.

"I don't see you as just another friend, Tink, but more as a... as a..."

Peter just couldn't find the strength to say this next thing, and Tink felt maybe she should be the one to say it after all.

"A mother?" She said.

Peter closed his eyes and slowly nodded. A lot of things were starting to make sense to Tink now. The way Peter had been acting for the past few days, his outburst when Tink failed to get to him in time that morning. It all pointed to signs of a child who was feeling neglected. And sure enough, Tink sometimes felt like she was something of an authority figure in his life, though she tried to avoid the word 'mother' around him. She knew he wasn't very fond of parents, but she never realized that unfondness stemmed for the horrible abuse his parents put him through.

"I guess you've noticed the past few weeks that I've been wanting to be with you all the time, and that I'd get all upset whenever you wanted to be with your friends instead of me." Peter said. "Recently, I've just been having lots of memories of my parents. I tried to push them from my mind a long time ago, but I just can't be rid of those memories forever, they might just haunt me forever. But whenever I'm around you, I feel I can accept those memories, because I never have to live through them again as long as you're with me. But whenever you wanted to spend time with your other friends without me, that feeling of neglect that I always had with my mother came rushing back to me. She never tried to stop my father from hurting me, she never gave me the kind of love that you have, and I just... sometimes felt it was my fault that you didn't want to be with me, like I... I did something wrong."

Peter then buried his head into his arms and sobbed loudly. Tink was utterly speechless. She had a feeling that Peter had just told her something he had never told anyone else before, and it was absolutely breaking her heart. As much as she loved and cared for Peter, she never would've guessed that Peter felt he needed her that badly. She gave him a few minutes to let out all his sadness and hurt, and then tugged his finger to get his attention again. It was time she made something perfectly clear to him, something she wanted him to always remember.

"Peter," she began. "I am truly, truly sorry about what happened to you, if I had known that stuff sooner, I would've tried to be there for you more often. To be honest, I've sometimes thought of myself as a mother to you, especially when you first came here. You were so young and reckless that I felt like I had to hold your leash from time to time. But you've matured so much during your time on Neverland. I tell you, I've never been more proud of you in my whole life than when I saw you beating the shit out of those pirates tonight."

Peters head was still partially hidden in his arm, but Tink could barely make out a small smile form across his face.

"I've always tried to be someone who you could go to with problems, someone you could always count on to be there for you." She continued. "But the truth is, I can't be the mother you want me to be all the time. The life of a fairy is hard, we're always working on changing the seasons and trying to sustain ourselves, which isn't easy when you're five inces tall. Also, I have other friends besides you, friends who I also care deeply about and want to be with sometimes. It's just the way things are. Sometimes I just have to put my priorities first, and sometimes they might not include you."

Tink gazed apprehensively up at Peters face, worried that she'd see that bitter, stubborn look upon him. Instead, she saw a face that clearly showed understanding and acceptence. He nodded solemnly, and Tink breathed a quick sigh of relief. Then she gazed deeply into his eyes and gave him the most serious and meaningful look she had ever given anyone.

"But I want you to know something, Peter, and I want you to always remember this." She said softly yet sternly. "I don't ever want you to feel like I don't care about you, or that won't be there for you, cause that's not true. I care about you more than you'll ever know, and even though I may not always there for you exactly when you need me, I want you to remember what I told you just now. Whenever you're in danger, or whenever you feel like you need a friend to comfort you, if I can spare even a single second, I'll use it to be with you."

And now, Peter no longer felt like crying. His heart was too full of joy and hope fore tears to come.

"I understand that now, Tink, and I respect it." He said confidently.

Tink gave him the most beautiful, warm smile he'd ever seen and patted his hand reasurringly.

"Well, seeing as I'm something of a mother to you, you're grounded for a month for going after Hook on your own." She said, trying to sound serious, but being unable to hoold back a few giggles.

Peter must've caught those giggles pretty quickly, because after a few seconds he was laughing uproariously, and soon, Tink was joining him. The two laughed and laughed for a good few minutes. The horrific events of the day seemed to gradually delete themselves from their memories. Still, she felt one day she should tell Peter about what she went through specifically. She wanted to tell him about Marla, about her daring escape, about how she tracked him down when he went to fight Hook, about her battle with Marla with her friends coming to help her, and how she had discovered what had happened to the Darling family, which was what she was really dreading. But the time to tell this story was not now, not when they were so at peace with each other, and not when she was starting to let her drowsyness take her over.

Tink relaxed every muscle in her body and slowly let her eyes close. This was the first time she really appreciated just how comfortable the infirmiry beds were. Peter noticed that Tink seemed to want to rest now, and didn't want to disturb her any further. But before he left, he stuck his head into the opening and brought it down as close as he could to Tink, and kissed her tiny body.

"Thank you, Tinkerbell." He whispered. "Thank you for everything. You're the best friend a guy could have."

Tink didn't open her eyes, but she smiled warmly.

"Don't mention it, buddy." She whispered back.

And with that, Peter slowly lifted his head out of the opening, cast one last glance at his now peacefully sleeping friend, and flew off into the night sky. The dark clouds that had covered the island were now completely gone, and the moon was shining brightly down on it. The trees swayed gently in the light breeze, and the stars twinkled beautifully above. In the distance, the pirate ship still floated calmly on the water, it's lights were now entirely extinguished. It was a truly beautiful night, one Peter wished Tink could see. As he flew back to his cave, his mind buzzed thoughts on how he would make it up to her. And suddenly, he remembered something she had asked of him last night, something she wanted him to teach her, and with a smile on his face, he knew just what to do: He would teach her how to play that pan flute.


Well, it's finally over! It was some journey writing this thing, I gotta tell ya! I came up with the idea for it basically because I wanted to do a story depicting Tinkerbell as a tough girl, because that's how I always saw her. I hate stories that show TInk as a dotting damsel in distress, that is so NOT who she is! Also, I wanted to do something that involved Peter Pan, and explore their relationship in a hopefully unique way.

I want to take this time thank all of you for reading this story and giving it a chance, especially ElectricPixie410 for reviewing so much. It was a crazy one, I know! I also know many of you have followed this story passionately, now that it's over, I want to hear your opinions! Leave me some reviews! As far as future ideas go, I have a few neat ones that I want to try out, (one involving Vidia) but I kinda want a break now that I've finished this one! Thanks again to all of you! You guys are the reason I did this! 'Til next time, so long!"