While being working under the Blue Fairy's supervision in the Enchanted Forest, Tinker Bell mischievously sneaks out against her superior's orders. One night, she saves the life of the Queen, Regina, after the castle balcony gives way and sends her falling to a near death. Introducing herself as Tinker Bell, the fairy spends time with the young Queen at a small inn. Miserable with life, Regina confides in Tinker Bell about her non-existent marriage with King Leopold and playing stepmother to his daughter, Snow White, who she calls a monster for destroying her true love. Hoping to help Regina's circumstances, Tinker Bell offers Regina true happiness with pixie dust, which will help her find a new love. She flies home, but is caught by an angry Blue, who is neither pleased at Tinker Bell's rule-breaking nor her desire to help Regina. Despite Tinker Bell's insistance that it isn't very fairy-like not to help someone in need, her request for pixie dust is vehemently denied. The Blue Fairy disregards her argument and orders Tinker Bell to stay in the cavern for further training under her supervision. Though she agrees, after the Blue Fairy is gone, Tinker Bell sneaks out to steal pixie dust. Heading back to the castle, she fetches Regina and the two fly together as the pixie dust is spread in the air, leading them to a tavern. After descending to the ground, they peer inside the building to see the pixie dust causing a man with a lion tattoo to glow. Before Tinker Bell leaves, she points him out as the person who will give Regina happiness, and encourages her to go in.
Later at the palace, Tinker Bell arrives to check on how the meeting went. She is discouraged to see Regina is not "glowing" as she should be after finding her true love. Grumpily, Regina lists all the bad qualities in the man, but Tinker Bell realizes that Regina was too scared to go into the tavern. Regina denies her own cowardice and calls Tinker Bell a horrible fairy. A wounded Tinker Bell tells Regina how she stole pixie dust for her sake and will get into trouble for it. Nonetheless, Regina coldly sends the fairy away. As she departs, Tinker Bell encounters a severely disappointed Blue Fairy in the courtyard. Though she asks for another chance to make up her mistakes, the Blue Fairy states Tinker Bell is already on her second and final chance. Her superior states that she no longer believes in her (Tinker Bell) anymore, and takes away the fairy's wings. ("Quite a Common Fairy")
At some point after losing her status as a fairy, Tinker Bell runs into Regina's mother, Cora, whom she tells about having attempt to help her daughter find love again. ("Mother")
In an attempt to make the villagers tell her where Snow White is hiding, Regina insists Snow doesn't care or love them. Tinker Bell steps up to refute these claims, stating that she was there when Regina threw away her chance at love. She expresses concern over what Regina has turned into since they last saw each other and tells her things don't have to be the way they are As the one who originally led Regina to the man with the lion tattoo, Tinker Bell believes Regina can still be happy. The pixie dust cannot dictate Regina's actions, but only show Regina a possibility she could've chosen for herself. Regina asserts that she is happy the way she is, to which Tinker Bell boldly declares she knows the real reason for her reluctance is because she doesn't believe she deserves love. Despite her fury at the ex-fairy standing up to her, Regina decides to spare Tinker Bell's life in order to prove to the villagers she is merciful. She warns Tinker Bell not to take this lightly; the next time she crosses the Queen will be her last. Tinker Bell goes on to tell Regina's father about the man with the lion tattoo and points him to a doorway to Cupid's arrow, which can help Regina gaze upon the person she loves most. ("Page 23")
Somehow, Tinker Bell ends up living in a tree house in Neverland, where she becomes a trusted ally of Pan's through similarly unexplained means. One night, she sees two men treading through the jungle and knocks out one of them and she threatens the other, a pirate named Hook, at knife point. She demands his reason for being in Neverland, which Hook claims is to find magic and return to the Enchanted Forest. He guesses on the spot that Tinker Bell is a fairy, and wonders why she won't help him find his "happy ending". Tinker Bell reveals that she has lost her wings, bitterly telling him he'll have to figure out his "happy ending" himself. As he takes out something from his waist, Tinker Bell has the impression it's a weapon and pulls out another blade at him. Instead, it's only a rum bottle, which they share as a drink. Hook tells her about his quest for vengeance against the Dark One for killing the woman he loved. She is surprised that he'd go that far for something that might get him killed. Hook claims he would only risk his life for two things; love and revenge.
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