Peter flew up into the treetops with a scowl, dragging his tiny winged friend along with him. "What's wrong with you?" He hissed under his breath.
Tinker Bell didn't reply. She only crossed her arms and turned away from him in the air.
He groaned, pulling his hat down over his eyes. "C'mon, Tink. Work with me here."
She stuck out her tongue.
He wasn't getting anywhere like this, so he shrugged, throwing his hands up into the air. "Okay, fine. Be that way. Then I guess you won't care if I have Wendy and her brothers stay here with the rest of us Lost Boys forever, huh?"
The pixie whipped around, her face already a ripe cherry tomato as she reprimanded him in her high, jingling voice.
"Then talk to me, Tink. What's got you all wound up?"
Tinker Bell opened her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it. She refused to look at her friend.
" . . . Tink?"
She sighed and lowered herself to kneel on a nearby branch. "You're not the first human I've known," she said quietly.
"I don't like talking about it."
Peter hugged one leg and rested his cheek on his knee. "You're my best friend, Bell. You can tell me anything."
She glanced up at him from the corner of her eye and sighed once more. "One of the first times I visited the Mainland, I met a little girl. Her name was Lizzie." She smiled slightly. "She was so inquisitive and sweet and I loved her a lot, y'know? And she believed. She never stopped believing." Her smile fell. "But as much as she loved fairies, she still loved being a human. So she stayed there. And she grew up.
"I visited her every summer, but eventually, she got sick. Really sick. And she wouldn't get better." She hugged her shoulders. "She died. And there was nothing I could do."
Peter sat in silence for a moment. "I'm sorry," he whispered eventually, but he knew it wasn't enough. It sometimes slipped his mind how much older than him Tinker Bell really was.
She fluttered over to his hand and hugged his thumb. "I just don't want that for you, y'know?" She squeezed a bit tighter. "But thanks."
"Yeah, 'course." He lifted her to his chest and have her a gentle cupped-hand hug. "Anytime."