The moonlight shown through a gap in the curtains of Emma's room. It was a cold light, made only colder by the impending threat from the Wicked Witch. Ever since they had discovered Zelena's true identity, Emma had been unable to get a good night's sleep. She hated the fact that she had to stay at the bed and breakfast due to Henry's missing memories, though it wasn't his fault, of course. Even though Granny had been kind enough to put her and Henry in the large, two-bedroom suite, she hated not being able to stay at her parents' loft to help protect her mother and soon-to-be sibling.
Emma continued to toss and turn, her mind still spinning with trying to figure out a new way to defeat the Wicked Witch. All she could come up with was driving up to Zelena's farm house in the Storybrooke fire truck and turning the hose on her. The idea was just as good (if she could even call them that) as any of the others she had come up with over the last several days.
Knowing it was sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Emma forced her brain to clear itself of ridiculous, magical murder plots so she could get at least a few winks of sleep. She just needed enough to function at this point.
Just as she began to dose off, Emma heard a creaking coming from outside her room. She listened closely, figuring it was Henry on his way to the bathroom, but it wasn't until she heard his distinct snoring, something he had undoubtedly inherited from his charming grandfather, did Emma realized someone else was in their suite.
The intruder's footsteps paced outside her bedroom door. Were they waiting for her to awaken or were they just waiting for the opportune moment to make their move? Either way, Emma wasn't about to wait to find out.
She moved her hand slowly and silently to her gun that was under the pillow next to her. Just as she wrapped her fingers around the grip, the footsteps retreated from her doorway.
Fearing the intruder was going after Henry, Emma leapt out of bed. She opened her bedroom door and immediately aimed the gun in the direction of Henry's door, but found no one.
Quickly scanning the room, Emma saw the door to their suite cracked; the intruder, who Emma knew had to be Zelena, had escaped. She moved swiftly around the couches to the door and leaned her back up against the wall next to it. Her foot glided across the floor as she slowly opened the cracked door with her toes.
Before she could get a good look down the hall, the footsteps started growing louder again; the Wicked Witch was on her way back towards their room, but Emma was ready for her. She listened closely, her fingers tight on the grip of her weapon, waiting for the witch's foot to hit that squeaky step towards the top of the stairs.
The wooden creak echoed down the empty hall and Emma jumped out from behind the door, pointing the barrel of her gun right at the heart of the intruder, ready to shoot.
Just as Emma was about to pull the trigger for the kill, her instincts told her not to and she hesitated just long enough to find out why.
"Bloody hell, Swan!" Killian shouted as his survival instincts took over and he ducked.
"Hook!" Emma breathed, her pulse rushing from all the adrenaline pumping through her. "What the hell?!"
Killian stood up, slowly realizing the state of Emma's appearance. She hadn't even bothered to put on clothes when she leapt out of bed and was standing there wearing nothing but a black lace bra and matching panties. He didn't admire her beauty for very long, however, as Emma had yet to lower her weapon.
"Are you still contemplating killing me, love, or can we talk about..." Killian gestured up and down indicating to the lack of her current wardrobe.
Emma stared him down, letting the sarcasm pour out from her eyes, but she still didn't put down her gun.
"How do I know it's you?" Emma asked, not registering her current appearance. "How do I know you aren't actually Zelena posing as Hook?"
Killian understood immediately; Emma was always very smart and never took a chance when it came to trusting someone, especially if her gut told her otherwise.
"Fair point," he said. "Ask me anything, love."
Emma, not taking his eyes off of the pirate for a second, pondered this all important question: What wouldn't Zelena know? She obviously had minions - or should she say monkeys? - everywhere, keeping their eyes on everything and reporting back to her. Who knows how long that had been going on for? She couldn't ask any old question. It had to be a moment, a specific moment, one that only she and Killian would know. The corners of her mouth curled ever so slightly into a smile as she recalled a moment.
"When we climbed the beanstalk, back when we first met, you told me I was an open book." She paused as his eyes softened. "Why?"
Emma watched him closely, ready to pull the trigger if he hesitated for even a second. She knew if it really was Killian he would remember. It was the first time in a very long time that she had connected with someone so strongly. And there was no doubt he felt it too. Since then, the connection between them had only grown stronger, and it was getting harder and harder to deny it.
Killian smiled, his eyes meeting hers, fondly remembering his first cracks at Emma Swan's hard shell.
"Because you had the look of someone who had been left alone, someone who had been abandoned. It was the same look as those of the Lost Boys. The same look I had in my eyes."
Emma breathed a sigh of relief and dropped her weapon.
"Killian, what the hell are you doing here? Why did you break into our room in the middle of the night?"
Hook cleared his throat, trying as hard as he could to focus on her face. "Love, if you're wanting to have a serious talk with me, then I'm going to suggest you add to your attire."
"Fucking hell," Emma said, only just realizing she had been standing in her underwear the whole time. She turned back to her suite and walked in, pausing when she noticed Hook was still just standing in the hallway. "Come on," she said to the pirate, gesturing for him to follow her inside. "And be quiet. I don't want Henry to wake up."
Emma crossed through the living area, Killian following behind her, and tip toed into her bedroom. The pirate stood leaning against the door frame, not wanting to go in uninvited.
"You can come in, Hook," Emma whispered.
Killian crossed over the threshold and closed the door behind him. He looked over and saw Emma pulling on a pair of jeans. If it was possible, she became more beautiful every time he saw her and his love for her grew even more. He had no idea how he was going to tell her, though he could bet on what she would do when he did.
"So are you going to tell me why you're here at three in the morning or are you just going to stand there?" Emma asked as she pulled a shirt over her head.
Killian looked at the floor as he shifted his weight nervously. She knew he had been hiding something from her; she could read like an open book just as he could with her. Emma waited for him to say something, but the seconds ticked by without a sound from him.
"I know you've been keeping something from me," Emma pointed out.
"What do you mean?" he replied.
"Killian, I'm not stupid. You know I can always tell when you're lying. And you've been acting weird around me for the last week. Something's up."
He looked up at her. "Why haven't you said anything before now?"
Emma shrugged. "I thought I'd give you the benefit of the doubt, and I told you that I didn't care about what happened in the last year." She paused. "But this is different, isn't it?"
"Then tell me. What could possibly be so bad?"
Killian felt tears forming in his eyes and diverted them away from Emma even though he knew she had seen.
"There's really no easy way to say this," Killian started.
Before he could continue, Emma walked over to him, closing the gap between them. He could smell her sweet scent, which made it even more difficult to tell her what he needed to.
She ran her hand down his arm until she brushed her fingers along his, briefly lacing them together. Her face was inches from his, her sparkling, jade eyes searching him before flicking down to glance at his lips.
"You can tell me anything, Killian."
She was going to kiss him. Emma was going to kiss him. He had been yearning for this for more than a year, though it felt like lifetime, but he couldn't let her do it. He couldn't let her kiss him. Not until she knew everything.
"Emma, stop," he breathed, breaking his hand away from hers and holding it out to stop her from coming closer.
Emma looked at him confused. "I thought this is what you wanted," she said.
Killian met her gaze, unable to stop his eyes from stinging with tears.
"More than anything in the world," he whispered, "but there's something you need to know first."
"Killian," Emma said, placing her hand on his shoulder, "nothing you say is going to change how I feel. I don't care what you did over the last year. I don't care what you did two hundred years ago. You're a different person now. You're not the pirate I thought you were."
He knew her next words before they even came out, something he had longed to hear since he first kissed her, and this made it all the more painful.
"I love you," Emma whispered.
"Oh Emma," Killian replied, "I love you too, and that's why I can't let you kiss me."
Emma stared at him, his latest statement processing in her head.
"Killian, if you're worried about your breath-"
"It's not that," he said, the corners of his mouth twitching in slight amusement at her comment. "It's the Wicked Witch."
"Zelena?" Emma questioned. "What does she have to do with this?"
Killian took a breath. "She placed a curse on me," he explained. "A curse on my kiss that if my lips touch yours, all your power, all your magic, everything that makes you special, that makes you the Savior, will be removed."
Emma understood at once. "That's why you've been acting weird."
"Ok, so you can't kiss me. Why didn't you just tell me this in the first place?"
"Because there's more to it than that." He looked at her, his heart breaking for the decision he was about to place before her. He tried to carry this burden for her, but ultimately he knew it was up to her to make the decision. "If I don't kiss you and remove your magic, she will kill everyone you hold dear. Your friends, your parents, Henry-"
"And you," she added. Her face was filled with conflict, but quickly turned to anger. "Why didn't you tell me this before now?"
This is what Killian had been afraid of. He knew he shouldn't have kept it from her. He thought he could solve the problem without her ever knowing, but Zelena was too clever.
"I'm sorry, Emma," he said, fresh tears welling up in his eyes. "I thought I could protect you... protect Henry... everyone. I thought..." He took a deep breath. "I thought I could find a way to defeat Zelena without you ever knowing." He swallowed thickly, trying his best to collect himself. "I didn't want you to carry this burden."
Emma stepped back from him. "So you thought you would just decide my fate? My family's fate? My son's?! How long have you known about this?"
"A week," Killian sighed.
"A week?" Emma said, her voice raising louder despite Henry asleep in the next room. "You've known about this for a week and you didn't say anything?!"
"I didn't know what to do, Emma. I'm sorry!"
"You could've at least said something to me! To my parents! Anyone!"
"I'm sorry, Emma!" He took an audible breath. The sting of his tears and his heart was almost too much to bare. He had hurt her, something he swore he would never do, but even when he tried to protect her had hurt her. "I was just trying to protect you," he whispered. "But I can't even do that."
Emma sighed. It wasn't Killian she was furious with; he was just trying to do what he thought best for her and her family. It was Zelena she was livid with. All of this had been because of her - all the threats, the pain, this new curse - it was because of her, and she needed to be stopped, no matter the cost.
"How much time do we have before she starts going after everyone?" Emma asked calmly.
"I don't know, love," Killian replied, grateful that she had calmed her voice.
She shook her head. "You know what? It doesn't matter."
Killian cocked his head trying to read her mind. "Why not?"
"Because I am not going to let everyone I love suffer just so I can keep my magic."
She moved closer to Killian again, determined to kiss him this time, but he stopped her once more.
"But you'll lose everything. You need your magic to defeat the Wicked Witch. Regina's magic isn't strong enough. There will be no hope for us."
Emma smiled and took his hand in hers once more.
"If there's one thing I've learned from my parents, Killian, it's that there is always hope. We will find a way to defeat her and we will all be happy once and for all."
Killian had no doubt before he even told her that this would be her decision, but the fact that he was the one to take away what made her special killed him inside.
"I'm sorry to be the one to do this to you, Emma," he said, his voice shaking.
"It's not you who needs to be sorry. It's Zelena. And she will pay for what she's done."
Emma closed the gap between them once more and, keeping hold of his hand in hers, put her other hand around the back of his neck.
"I love you, Killian Jones," she smiled.
Killian smiled back. "And I love you, Emma Swan."
Emma closed her eyes and pulled him down to her. She felt the wetness on his cheeks from the tears that were flowing down his face. As their lips met, Emma felt a cold rush through her body as though all the blood was draining from her. The magic was gone; she felt it, but she didn't care. The life of the man in front of her, along with the lives of her loved ones, meant more to her than all the magic in the world. She loved them and would do anything to protect them.
Just as they were about to break apart, a rush of wind coursed through the room and Emma felt herself fill with a warmth like she had never felt before. Her magic had returned and it was stronger than ever, and there was no question in her mind as to why.
It was True Love's Kiss and it broke the curse.
Emma started to laugh as her lips parted from Killian's.
"What is it?" he said smiling.
"I'll bet Zelena didn't see this coming," she replied.
"See what coming?"
Emma smiled again and gave Killian another quick peck before snapping her fingers. Killian watched in awe as she sent sparks flying up to the ceiling.
"Your magic..." he whispered happily.
"It's back," Emma continued, her smile lighting up the room even more than those sprks. "And it's better than ever!"
Killian, so overjoyed that words could not describe what he was feeling, pulled her in for a hug and kissed her forehead. Emma looked up at him with the most determined look on her face that he had ever seen.
"Now, let's go get that green bitch," Emma declared.
"As you wish, m'lady," Killian replied.
He gestured toward the door and they walked hand in hand out of Emma's room, their love proving to both of them that it truly was the most powerful magic of all.