A/N: Not too sure why but the original note disappeared!
Hello, hello! Another update from me! I'm back at school now so updates should remain regular but as I am in my last year before university, it will get busy! I will let you know if I am unable to update though!
I am hoping to post my new OUAT oneshot this week at some point so do keep an eye out for it!
Thank you so much for all your fabulous reviews - I will reply to them in the next few days! Thank you also to the new followers and those who have pressed that favourite button!
Enjoy this new update!
"Well, the way I see it, I could've killed you twice... the poison and when you were knocked out." Emma says, craning her neck to look up at Anton, hoping that her reasoning works. "I didn't."
Anton shifts on his feet. "What do you want?"
Emma smiles up at him, breathing a sigh of relief.
"The man I came up with, I'm not entirely sure if I can trust him and that he won't just take the compass and go, leaving us behind." she explains.
Anton shrugs. "What can I do to help?"
Emma considers for a moment, looking over at the pile of rubble the pirate is stuck beneath.
"If I had a way to keep him up here for a little while..."
"There are some chains against the wall." Anton points to the pillar just behind the rubble. "My brothers put them there as a precaution; in case any humans trespassed."
Emma looks over and her gaze catches the chains. They look sturdy enough.
"If I lock him up, can you give me ten hours before releasing him unharmed?" Emma asks, knowing that will give them enough time to track Cora and get the dust so they can go home.
Anton considers her request before nodding.
"Ten hours." he confirms. "Be careful going back down the beanstalk."
With those final words, he turns to leave. Emma calls for him, making him stop and glance back at her.
"Thank you." she says earnestly.
Anton nods once, a hint of a smile on his lips as he does so. He then walks out the large room, Emma letting out a tense breath when he disappears from her gaze.
She throws the sword aside and makes her way over to the pile of debris. Kneeling down, she locates the metal cuff and pulls it over before looking into the pile.
"Hook?" She can hear his groan and spots his hand trying to push aside some of the rocks. Helping him, they create a big enough gap for him to squeeze through. "Take my hand. I'll pull you out."
His hand wraps around hers and with her help, he manages to crawl out. A laugh escapes him at the ability to move freely once again.
"You are bloody brilliant. Amazing!" he says, slightly breathless. He kneels, catching his breath after being so squashed. "May I see it? The compass."
Emma rummages into her jacket pocket and pulls out the golden compass. She extends it in her left hand, cradled in her palm. Hook reaches out his singular hand, but does not touch it.
"It is more beautiful than legend." he breathes in awe.
Hook reaches out to touch it now. Uncomfortable, and wary, Emma hastily extracts her hand and puts it back in her jacket.
She smiles tightly. Hook breathes out a laugh, seeming to understand her hesitation.
He extends his hand again, this time to her.
"Come. Let's go."
Emma looks down at his hand, then back up to his face. After more hesitation, mostly wondering if she should reconsider her plan, Emma slips her right hand into his. Hook smiles lightly at her and Emma takes that moment, using it to her advantage.
In the blink of an eye, she locks the cuff around his wrist before standing and taking a few steps backwards; distancing herself physically, and emotionally, from the Captain before her.
His gaze lingers on the chain.
"What are you doing?" he questions quietly. He looks up at her and stands. "What are you doing?" His voice is louder, more vulnerable.
"Hook, I..." Emma drops her gaze to the floor, unable to make eye contact. Guilt is already hitting her. "I..I can't-"
"Emma, look at me." She does, breathing heavier. "Have I told you a lie? I brought you here. I risked my own safety to help you - the compass is in your hand. Why do this to me now?"
His voice is weaker than she has heard. She tries not to let it effect her... she really tries.
"I can't take a chance that I'm wrong about you." Hook shuffles his weight from one foot to the other, his face one of disbelief. "I'm sorry."
She turns to leave, needing to get off the beanstalk, back to Henry.
"You're sorry? You're sorry?!" he shouts, trying to go after her but is hindered by the chain attached to his wrist. Emma keeps walking. "I got you here! I got you the compass!"
"I got the compass." Emma corrects, stopping and turning to face him.
"Well, you're just going to leave me here to die?" he questions harshly. "Let that beast eat me, crush my bones?"
"He's not a beast." she says firmly, her voice wavering. She cannot let this change her mind. "And you're not going to die. I just need a head start, that's all."
Emma looks at him a moment longer before turning around and restarting her walk to the hole in the wall Anton had revealed.
Hook's voice calling her surname follows her, accompanied by the sound of him pulling on the solid chain, as she disappears from his view and approaches the entrance to her way out. Emma makes it to the entrance before she freezes.
"Come on, Emma." she chides herself but finds she still cannot move.
She knows all too well what it feels like to be abandoned by someone, and to abandon someone else. The guilt over giving Henry up at his birth still grips her. Emma doesn't think she can do it again to someone else.
It isn't fair.
"Don't be stupid." she tell herself, shaking her head. "He is just a pirate who could turn on you at any time and you will never get back to Henry."
With a deep breath, she takes a few steps forwards, shivering slightly in the cold and damp conditions. But she stops again.
What if you're wrong about him? a voice asks her. He saved you when you could have died on the beanstalk after slipping. You were worried about him when he was stuck under that debris.
Emma shakes her head again but the words stick. He could have let her fall off the beanstalk, let her fall to her death so he could get the compass for himself. He could have pushed her more when they were talking on their way up, but he didn't. He knew she wouldn't like it.
Cursing under her breath, she turns around and walks back towards Hook. He has stopped shouting for her and when he comes into view, she sees that he is crouching down, head cradled in his hand and hook. He slowly looks up at the sound of her footsteps. A furrow appears on his brow.
Emma says nothing as she kneels down in front of him. Reaching to the inside pocket of her jacket, she pulls out her small tools. Hook looks at her, eyes squinting suspiciously. She quickly picks the lock and stands back up when the handcuff falls off with a loud clang. Her gaze refuses to meet his as she replaces the tools in her jacket.
"We should go." she says, already turning back to the hole in the wall.
Only two steps are taken when his hook catches her arm. He whirls her around to face him.
"Why did you come back for me?" he asks. Emma reels in her surprise at his tone - soft, kind. "You could have just left me."
Emma glances up and freaks out at the emotion in his face; no trace of anger anywhere. She moves away from him, glancing back down to her feet.
"Follow me. We really need to go."
They are both quiet as they make their way through the tunnel and up until they are once again in front of the beanstalk. Emma reaches out and takes hold of a piece of vine but doesn't climb on it.
"I couldn't leave you there like that." she says quietly, not checking to see whether Hook is listening. She knows he is. "You didn't deserve it. That's why I came back."
She doesn't wait for him to reply, climbing onto the beanstalk instead. Hook follows a second later and they start their descent, silent and hurried.
They move down steadily, focused on their progress. About a third of the way down, Emma glances to her left, Hook slightly lower than her. Both of them are breathing heavily.
"I'm sorry." she says and he glances up before finding the best place for his hook to grip. "I acted defensively - I couldn't have been sure that I could trust you."
Hook is silent for a moment, climbing down a particularly rough patch. He stops moving, catching his breath. Emma ends up level with him and does the same.
"Despite what has happened, you can trust me, Emma." he tell her, shaking his arm out to get some feeling back. "I won't betray you and you must know that if you came back for me."
Emma takes a deep breath before she starts moving again, knowing that they are against the clock.
"It wouldn't be fair to abandon you up there. I know all too well what that feels like."
Hook looks at her, eyes brushing over her face. She bites her lower lip, emotion welling up inside her.
"I've been abandoned before," he admits softly. "but this is the first time someone has come back."
"I haven't ever had that luxury. I just knew I couldn't abandon someone else."
They are silent for another few minutes, continuing their downward climb.
"You were talking about abandoning someone. Was it your son?"
Emma lets out a breath and reluctantly nods. They are quiet until they are nearly two-thirds down, when Hook speaks again.
"Who abandoned you?"
She knows that she probably shouldn't, but she finds herself opening up to him.
"I was sent through a magical wardrobe the day I was born by my parents to break the Evil Queen's curse when I turned twenty-eight." she starts, her words almost absentminded as she focuses on her movements. "I was found on the side of the road back in my world and I was eventually placed with a family. They gave me up when I was two because they were having their own child. From then, I went from family to family, group home to group home. I gave myself my surname because I wanted to assure myself that I could get through it - even though it felt like hell."
"I'm sorry, Emma." Hook says. His words are utterly genuine.
She simply shrugs. "I ended up getting used to it until..." she stops herself, backtracking and adjusting her words. "Being alone is what I ended up getting used to."
"You said you were in love once." Hook says, almost hesitant. "What happened?"
They move silently for a few minutes, Emma trying to formulate an answer.
"His name was Neal; he was my first love." she manages to say. "We met during a robbery and since neither of us had anyone, we stuck together."
Emma continues her story, the trouble they got up to and how she tried to help him but he had set her up, landing her in jail. She is quieter talking about finding that she was pregnant and her voice becomes thick with emotion when she describes having doubts about her abilities and decided that it would be best to give Henry up, that it was agony to not look at him before they took him away.
Hook stops moving again, causing Emma to do the same.
"I just... I couldn't leave you like I have been left so many times."
Hook smiles sadly.
"I am grateful you didn't leave me. I do know what it feels like to be left and it isn't a feeling I wanted a repeat of."
His words shock Emma slightly and she doesn't want to tear her gaze from his. She might wish she could deny it, but she cares.
"When I was a boy, I would sail with my father and older brother. One night, I woke up after a nightmare and my father soothed me back to sleep. When I woke up again, he was gone. He'd sold me and my brother in exchange for a row boat. We became slaves to a horrific captain who liked to whip and beat us if we didn't conform to his liking."
Hook scratches behind his ear.
"I'm sorry, Killian. No child deserves that."
His face softens at the use of his name, not his moniker.
"No child deserved your fate either, Emma; curse or not, princess or not." he says. She gives him a weak smile before they start moving again.
They continue in a much more comfortable silence and exchange a panicked look when a dangerous shudder rocks them. Emma lets out a loud curse and tells the pirate beside her to hurry.
Together, they jump and slide down the beanstalk. They can pick up the sounds of fighting, different voices shouting. She panics slightly at the realisation it is her mother fighting with Mulan.
"Stop!" Emma shouts, jumping down the last of the beanstalk and falling on her side with a groan.
"Emma!" Mary Margaret shouts, clambering off Mulan and rushing over to her daughter. "You okay?"
She helps Emma stand up, which she is grateful for considering how exhausted she feels after all that climbing; and being squeezed within a giant's hand. Mary Margaret even brushes her down, removing the dirt from her clothes.
"Two earthquakes and a jump off a beanstalk... I think my brain is still rattling around a little bit."
"I did what she ordered; nothing more than that." Mulan says firmly to Mary Margaret before turning back to Emma. "Did you get it?"
"Yep." Emma says, breathless. She produces the compass, showing it to the ladies in front of her.
"Where's Hook?" Aurora asks, glancing around.
"Right here." he says, approaching them and brushing himself down with her singular hand.
"You actually helped her?" Mulan questions, surprised.
"I gave my word. I didn't break it."
"Mulan." Emma says, bringing the warrior's attention to her instead of being fixed to the pirate captain. "We should gather our stuff and get going. We need that dust from Cora."
Mulan nods, giving the pirate a wary look before she goes to organise everything, Aurora following. Mary Margaret nods in their direction before grabbing Emma's arm and pulling her a few steps away. Emma pockets the compass back in her jacket.
"You told her to cut it down?" she questions, her tone coated with desperation and disbelief.
Emma takes a deep breath. "Yes, I couldn't-"
"We go back together." her mother interrupts, shaking her slightly. "That is the only way. Do you understand?"
Emma looks at the expression on her face and immediately knows that words aren't enough. She leans forwards and pulls her mother into a hug.
"Yeah." she breathes out.
"Good." Mary Margaret takes a deep breath, calming herself. "Let's go get that dust from Cora."
"And go home."
Mary Margaret hums her agreement and holds Emma tighter for a few moments. She lets go and looks at her daughter's face.
"I'm going to talk to Mulan about where we should go. We will set off soon." she explains.
Emma nods. "Okay."
Mary Margaret smiles at her before walking to the others. Emma turns and sees Hook lingering awkwardly on his own. She walks up to him and he smiles lightly at her.
"Are you alright?" she asks him.
He nods. "Aye, I am. Are you?"
She considers his words and their previous conversations.
"Surprisingly, yes." she says, her thumbs hooking into the pockets on the back of her jeans. "Thank you."
Hook - no, Killian - is surprised by her words. "What for, love?"
Emma smiles. "For letting me open up and apparently forgiving me for almost leaving you up there."
"I understand why you did, Emma, so there is nothing to forgive. I may not have done it in my position, but in yours it seemed only right." Killian says kindly. "I should thank you."
He shrugs. "You let me open up too, and you are still here."
Both of them say such things rather flippantly, yet they both know that it means so much to each of them to reveal the pain of their past and not be ignored or judged.
They are both startled when Mary Margaret calls Emma's name, saying they are ready to go. Emma looks up at Killian who smiles at her.
"After you, Swan."
The Saviour and the pirate start walking, one step closer to home.
End note: Please review! :)