A/N: Some good old Royal Family and Pirate fun awaits you readers! Hope you like it! Rating is back to T, or even K+ this time. =) Thank you for your support, and hope you're having a wonderful holiday season! xx IFHD

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Chapter 7: Possibilities

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Inspired by:

"It Will Rain"

By: Bruno Mars

If you ever leave me, baby,

Leave some morphine at my door

'Cause it would take a whole lot of medication

To realize what we used to have,

We don't have it anymore.

There's no religion that could save me

No matter how long my knees are on the floor

So keep in mind all the sacrifices I'm making

To keep you by my side

To keep you from walking out the door.

'Cause there'll be no sunlight

If I lose you, baby

There'll be no clear skies

If I lose you, baby

Just like the clouds

My eyes will do the same, if you walk away

Everyday it'll rain, rain, rain

I'll never be your mother's favorite

Your daddy can't even look me in the eye

Ooh, if I was in their shoes, I'd be doing the same thing

Saying "There goes my little girl

Walking with that troublesome guy"

But they're just afraid of something they can't understand

Ooh, but little darlin' watch me change their minds

Yeah for you I'll try, I'll try, I'll try, I'll try

I'll pick up these broken pieces 'til I'm bleeding

If that'll make you mine

Oh, don't you say (don't you say) goodbye (goodbye),

Don't you say (don't you say) goodbye (goodbye)

I'll pick up these broken pieces 'til I'm bleeding

If that'll make it right

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Much to Killian's protest, Emma somehow managed to slither her way out of his greedy grasp. She threw the pirate one last, warning look - to which he merely replied with a look of divine innocence - before leaving him be in the bathroom.

"That's impossible!" Mary Margaret shot out suddenly from her seat at the dinner table as Emma strolled back into the kitchen sans the pirate. Her eyes remained wide, with her face as white as her name.

Emma greeted her distraught mother with raised brows and halted her movements. The delicious smell of something wafting from the stove somewhat distracted her, but she managed to keep her attention on Mary Margaret when the older woman didn't cease to glare at her. "Sounds like you're in a good mood!"

Mary Margaret didn't stop her pacing in front of her daughter as she continued with, "There must be some other explanation. I just...I can't believe it."

At first, Emma was confused about what exactly her mother was speaking about, but when she saw Mary Margaret's knowing eyes darting towards the closed door of the bathroom, her words suddenly became clear. Emma managed to fight the rush of blood to her cheeks and shrugged calmly. She managed to say in a steady voice, "If you're thinking what I'm thinking, well...it's the only possibility that I can think of at the moment."

That effectively stopped Mary Margaret's pacing. Her face blanched even more. She suddenly whirled to face Emma and gulped, "Oh, God. It's possible?"

"Well, it worked for you and David twice now, so if the sword had been enchanted, it dealt more than a flesh wound," Emma reasoned, simultaneously trying to convince herself. "Maybe I have brought some sort of magic back with me or something. I don't know."

The older woman suddenly felt discomfort. And nausea. "Actually, I was talking more about...your feelings toward the pirate."

Emma swallowed nervously as her stare fell to the ground. She hoped to God right then and there that her dear mother had not heard her activities with Hook earlier. She sputtered, "That's a big question mark for us both, to be honest. I'm out of answers, just like you are."

"Another question is," Mary Margaret managed to sit down once more, somewhat retaining her calm demeanour, "what exactly did Cora enchant the sword with? I mean, I don't think putting you to sleep was the first thing she had in mind."

That was a question indeed, thought Emma.

Before she could recite her suppositions, however, David walked into the apartment with quickened steps; Henry closely trotted behind him. The grandpa-grandson duo made their way into the kitchen, where Mary Margaret and Emma continued to converse in hushed tones. Giving his daughter a hug and his wife a kiss, the prince asked, "What happened? We tried to come as soon as you called..."

"He's alive somehow." Emma cleared her throat, finding it a bit embarrassing to tell David and Henry as she held her son in her arms, "After you all left, I stayed in the hospital. Before I fell asleep, though, I just...I uh...kissed him for a split second - you know, to thank him post-mortem for saving my life and all. Then, he woke up this morning, protesting to the burning of his ship and corpse."

David donned the same, incredulous expression as Mary Margaret first had.

It was the pirate's turn then to join the mini-congregation. He appeared from the bathroom, buttoning up his shirt and grinning widely. He was at a loss as to what they were exactly discussing, but as he advanced, he continued smiling. He recognized that Emma couldn't help but stare at his coming form, her softened eyes following him as he strolled to her side. The pirate felt a flutter in his chest; he took note of her reaction to his sight, that was for sure; though, he ultimately resolved to remain focused on David and Henry's arrival. "Ah! More guests!" He greeted them with amiable nods. He received an uncertain, quizzical look from David at first; then, the prince eventually threw the pirate a smile and nod. Henry beamed without question, missing teeth and all. Delighted by their responses - which definitely bore marked differences from the first time they had met - the pirate suggested with mirth in his tone, "Shall we pay a visit to your local tavern in celebration of my return from oblivion, then?"

"I'm not allowed," Henry piped up lightly, peering upwards at the grinning captain.

Hook squatted down to his height, then gave him a wink. "Oh, perhaps your mother can make a tiny exception this time! You're almost of age, anyway, correct?"

Charming grimaced, head rearing back. "He's ten years old!"

The pirate then heard Mary Margaret growl behind him. He saw her glowering at him before he even looked. "Hook, just..."

Hook stood up straight once more, hands held up in surrender, "...'shut up'," he finished lightly for her, rolling his eyes animatedly. "I know, I know."

Emma ignored the pirate's current theatrics. What she couldn't ignore, however, was what transpired next.

Without warning, Henry stepped forward and embraced Hook lightly. The endearing contact only lasted for a few moments, but it rendered all of the adults in the room speechless. The young boy continued to smile from ear to ear as he pulled back, saying, "Thank you for saving my mom, captain. I don't know what I would do if I lost her again."

Frankly, just like Emma, Mary Margaret, and David, Hook didn't know how to react to this. Although the three former adults were taken aback by Henry's treatment of Hook, the pirate, in general, was not used to this form of affection at all. Embraces from women, sure, he was born with an inherent gift for reacting to those. But the embraces of a child - a child who bore him nothing but thanks - well, that certainly carved something new within the pirate's brain. The treatment of heroes and villains were definitely as opposite as night and day. When Hook still didn't know how to respond, he eyed the others for some sort of aid, but it was clear that he was left to his own devices for this one. After a few heartbeats, the shocked expression on his face receded, and his signature smirk appeared once more. He ruffled Henry's dark hair with his hand and said, "You're very welcome, lad. It was pretty painful," his light eyes then shot up to Emma, whose eyebrows were still raised in bewilderment, "but definitely worth it."

Emma felt tingling sensations and warmth course through her body then. Attempting to brush off the pirate's longing stare, she lifted his shirt to examine his wound. She felt Hook's body instantly tense at her sudden touch, though she resolved to ignore that reaction as well and continued about her business.

"Here? Now? In front of your family?" Hook said in a hushed tone, leaning his face forward. He was almost nose to nose with her now as he purred, "Emma, darling, I think you are becoming addicted to public displays of affection. I'm beginning to worry."

She replied to the bawdy remark by merely giving the smiling pirate a weary look. Her eyes grazed his chest - just long enough for him to notice - then landed upon his exposed abdomen. The new dressing on the wound only appeared to be stained with a few specks of blood. She regarded him curiously when he didn't react much to the pressure of her hand on the side of his torso. Her suspicions were confirmed. "The wound seems to be healing quickly," she announced.

Hook placed his strong hand upon Emma's and kept her fingers pressed upon his flesh. "Actually, darling, it seems as though it has entirely healed."

David and Mary Margaret shared a stern look.

Henry stepped forward and tugged at the pirate's shirt. "Hook?"

"Aye, little lad?"

"Just had a question..." the young boy scratched his head.

The pirate widened his arms in front of him and grinned. "I'm all ears!"

"At the Sheriff Station...in the jail room," he began slowly, nose crinkling in thought, "what were you doing to my mom, exactly?"

Hook's head snapped back. Emma visibly wobbled on her feet.

"It just looked like you were...biting her neck like a vampire," young Henry finished with a shrug. "I thought it was part of your magic or something."

Perhaps it is, Hook thought amusedly. He cocked his head to the side, genuine interest lining his face. "What's a vampire?"

"Ooookay, that's enough there, Henry," Grandpa David came to the rescue once more and placed his solid hands upon the boy's shoulders. He motioned his head towards the living room and attempted to ignore his wife's appalled expression. "How about we go watch some television for now, hmm?"

Crisis averted. It took a few moments for Emma, Hook, and Mary Margaret to fully recover. Not surprisingly, the pirate was the first to do so.

Hook nonchalantly followed David and Henry's retreating forms as they headed to the adjacent room. Then, the pirate's bright blue eyes began to shine in awe and wonder as David turned on... "A magical box!" the pirate exclaimed. Enthralled by the images (of dinosaurs, no less) that he was seeing before him, he stalked cautiously towards the television and walked behind it to see where the images were precisely coming from. David and Henry shared a look at these antics, then observed the swashbuckler with raised brows. Emma and Mary Margaret wore similar expressions and remained speechless. Not aware of his enchanted audience, Hook firmly tapped the top of the television with his clenched fist, then began to rightly shake it.

"Uh..." David said in alarm, holding out an arm. "I don't think you should do that."

"This...this box," Killian scratched his head with the tip of his hook, "how does it conjure up such images? Is this magic?"

"It's science." Henry smiled as Mary Margaret handed him a bowl of popcorn.

Hook backed away slowly, cautiously, as though face to face with a starving predator. His face still exhibited bewilderment as he breathed out, "It's...it's bloody brilliant." He forced himself to fit into the couch with Henry and David, thus forcing David to wearily scootch over a little bit and be pinned to the arm of the furniture. The pirate, whose orbs were still locked upon the screen, then mindlessly reached out for the food.

Out of nowhere, Mary Margaret suddenly swatted his hand in a scolding manner. "That's for Henry."

"Hey!" Hook exclaimed, his arms wide in protest. He jutted his thumb towards the young boy, who couldn't help but stifle a giggle, and muttered, "Shouldn't you be teaching the lad how to share? Honestly, Snow, I should procure a guide to good parenting for you!"

With a nod of permission from Henry, the pirate delved his hand into the bowl of popcorn, acting as though nothing had happened.

A pirate was telling her how to...share?! Mary Margaret's jaw instantly dropped at this, then whirled her head to face Emma. Her growl was unmistakable. "Stop him before I hurt him!"

Emma grinned impishly. "I've come to the conclusion that it's best to ignore him."

Now that would certainly be a Herculean task.

"Mmm...mmm!" Killian's eyes continuously widened as he stared at the bowl in between him and Henry in disbelief. "What is this delicacy? It's delicious!"

"Popcorn." Henry beamed, placing the bowl entirely on Hook's lap. The young boy couldn't help but feed the pirate's, well, feeding frenzy. "It's good, isn't it?"

Hook nodded enthusiastically, his cheeks now puffy. He managed to mumble, "Simply divine!"

David shook his head at this and stood to join Mary Margaret and Emma. Surprising even to the prince himself, he bore no hate for the pirate. At the present moment, he only felt gratitude towards him for saving his daughter. However, after hearing Emma's recounting of how exactly he was still living and breathing before him - and munching all of his grandson's popcorn like a starving duck - he still couldn't fathom how the miracle had transpired. "So," the prince began, jutting his thumb towards the swashbuckler, "tell me again how exactly he is still alive?"

"That's what I've been trying to figure out," Mary Margaret crossed her arms, then eyed Emma. She, too, felt gratitude towards the pirate for saving her daughter, but a part of her still couldn't help but be wary of him - particularly of his conspicuous attempts to defile their daughter. "I'm sorry, darling, but I refuse to believe it was the power of True Love's kiss."

David wavered in his stance as the thought crossed his mind once more. He shot Emma a curious look. "You kissed him, and...well...do you...?"

Judging by the look on David's face, Emma knew that he wasn't ready to hear what else she had been doing with the pirate. She also knew what he currently asked her, despite his speech trailing off. She merely shrugged, attempting to mask the sinking feeling within her. She physically felt the sting of her words as she blurted, "I don't know. I don't know what it was that saved him."

Mary Margaret discerned how Emma was being affected by all of this. She frowned. Her voice receded in volume and tone as she suggested, "Maybe we should talk to Dr. Whale about this. He seemed rather keen on testing Hook this morning, so maybe he can give us more answers?"

Although the television had garnered his undivided attention earlier, it wasn't long before Hook's eyes automatically landed upon Emma's form. He saw that she was having a heated discussion with her parents about, no doubt, him. Yet, what made him react was when he saw flashes of sadness and worry exhibited upon her face. He stood then, gave Henry a pat on the head, and joined the rest of the Royal family. "About my return to the land of the living," he began knowingly, hands clasped behind his back. He finished with utmost sincerity in his voice and looks: "I'd like to thank you for whatever it is that you did, Emma."

"What I did?" Emma gave her head a shake. "Hook, now I'm not so sure that I really did anything..."

"It was your power that brought me back," the pirate stated firmly, "I am sure of it." It was clear that none of the other adults shared in his surety. Nevertheless, he couldn't fight off his instincts. He suddenly had the urge to kiss Emma, but somehow managed to refrain for the time being. "However, I do see a negative side to this."

"We have to keep our television under lock and key?" Mary Margaret piped up, though her tone was less acerbic this time.

"No. Much worse." At this point, Hook's once amused face grew entirely serious. His eyes became dark. "Now Emma just made herself even more valuable to Cora."

"What?" Emma crinkled her brow. "How?"

"The unpleasant sword that found itself in my flesh," Hook began, then pursed his lips in distaste, "wasn't meant to kill you instantly. It was enchanted to take your powers from you - whatever you may have." Hook took inventory of Emma's eyes as he continued, "Fortunately for us, Cora received absolutely nothing from me."

Emma's face continued to exhibit her confusion. "How do you know all of this?"

"First, I've seen a lot of things in my travels," Hook encircled his hands, "and second, I just thought it logical. Cora has become interested in you because of the power that she knows you wield. Given my time with her, it wasn't difficult for me to discern her character - my lust for gold and her lust for power are parallel."

"Well," Mary Margaret considered the pirate's explanation for a few moments, "even if that is the case, and whatever magic Cora wields here in Storybrooke, one thing is for sure: her powers are weaker here."

Hook held up a finger and countered, "True, but she still has powers. We still aren't sure of what she's truly capable of. I fear she should not be underestimated."

Emma pursed her lips into a thin line. "How badly do you think the arrow hurt Cora?"

"The arrow looked like it punctured deep into her stomach," Mary Margaret replied, brows furrowed. "For all we know, she's lying dead somewhere in the forest."

Emma nodded at this, then turned to David. She lowered her tone, conscious of Henry's hearing. "Still no news of Regina?"

"None." David gave his head a curt shake. "No one has seen her since yesterday."

"So," Mary Margaret calculated in her head, "No news is good news, right?"

The pirate disagreed with her again. "Well, with Cora, it's different. If she is still alive, who knows what she could be plotting?"

They all thought about Hook's latter point. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to take Cora's apparent absence lightly. Perhaps this was all part of her little game. Taking the current circumstances into consideration, Emma was the first to speak once more. "We'll use this time to try and find Regina and prepare for Cora's future attacks. Unless we know for sure that she's dead, we'll keep our defenses on high." Her eyes met everyone else's alternately. "I have a feeling that this isn't over yet."