Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.
AN: I'm having a lot of SwanThief feels and I feel the need to let them all out! I was really overwhelmed and inspired by the response I got on my first Emma/Neal fanfic that I decided to write more. And it's a bit of a sequel to the other story.
This is an AU in which Neal never left Emma because his encounter with August didn't happen and neither of them knows about the curse. They will get to Storybrooke eventually and as much as I think Neal is Bealfire, I'm not still sure if I'll write him as Bea in this story. I know that "no stranger comes to Storybrooke" but let's make an exception this time in case he's not Bea.
English is not my first language so I apologize for any mistakes. Enjoy and please review! :)
Emma Swan woke up alone on her bed with the sound of laughter and the smell of hot chocolate coming from the other room.
She rubbed her eyes and realized what day it was.
It was her 28th birthday and it was going to be a great birthday. They had the week off and her family planned a road trip. She was really looking forward to that.
She always wanted to go to Boston and since that was one of the places Neal and her never got the chance to go to, she chose it. She knew she would spend her birthday on the road but it didn't really matter, she was used to it.
Emma got up from the bed and walked to the kitchen to find her two boys laughing and having fun with each other while making breakfast. She stood by the hallway just looking at them. It was moments like these she loved the most.
When she was little all she wanted was a family who loved her unconditionally and she never got that. It was like a dream every time she looked at her family and realized how blessed she was now.
Her ten-year-old son looked disappointed once he saw her out of her room.
"Mom! You're not supposed to leave your room. Dad and I were going to take the breakfast to you in bed, it's a surprise!"
Neal smiled at his son and walked over to Emma.
"Happy birthday!" He kissed her and after they broke apart he shot a look at Henry.
"Oh, right. Happy birthday, mom!" The kid came running towards his mother to give her a hug.
"Thank you." She kissed her son's head. "I can come back to bed if that's the problem? I didn't mean to ruin your surprise."
"Yes, go." Henry let go of his mother and turned her around so she could go back to her room.
Neal chuckled and went back to the oven to finish the pancakes.
A few minutes later father and son entered the bedroom singing "Happy Birthday".
Neal leaned down to give Emma another kiss and Henry made a face. He was used to it but now he was starting to get to that age when kids are disgusted by their parent's displays of affection.
Emma broke the kiss and smiled. She then gave her son a hug.
Once the family had finished their breakfast Neal took everything back to the kitchen and Emma got up from her bed.
"Come on, Henry. We have a big day ahead of us so let's get ready."
Henry nodded and went to his room.
For her 28th birthday Emma wanted to go on a trip. Back when she and Neal were young and before they had Henry, the couple spent months visiting new places in their yellow bug.
They decided to move to Tallahassee and soon they found out they were expecting a child. As much as both Emma and Neal loved the idea to settle down and eventually they got used the life as parents, they really missed their old days. So they planned to go on road trips every now and then.
Henry loved it, too. The kid had such a curious little mind and loved to meet new places. It didn't take long for the kid to get used to spend days on the road.
The family was finally ready to go so they put their bags inside the car, the same yellow bug they've had for years, and the three of them got in. Emma turned on the radio and their trip started.
They spent the entire day on the road and they still had another day to go. For entertainment they would play road trip games and make up stories about people they've seen in other cars. They had lunch at a diner and slept at a motel for the night.
They continued on their trip the next day, had lunch at a diner again and Emma and Neal kept switching turns at the steering wheel.
Hours later they caught a storm and Emma, who was driving at the time, got a little bit lost.
It was late in the afternoon and the sun was starting to go down. Emma looked at the backseat and saw that Henry had fallen asleep. When she looked at the passenger's seat she found her husband leaned over the window taking a nap.
She sighed in frustration once she realized she was lost. With no one in sight, she shook Neal awake.
Neal hadn't even realized he had fallen asleep and was taken aback when he was woken up. "What? I'm awake. What is it?"
"I think I'm – we're lost."
"What do you mean we're lost?"
"The storm… I couldn't really see where I was going but I kept going. Now I have no idea where we are."
"It's okay, we'll just keep going until we can spot someone or something."
Emma nodded and put her hands back on the steering wheel.
It was half an hour later when Neal finally saw something.
"Look, a sign!"
Emma looked over to where Neal pointed and read the sign.
"Welcome to Storybrooke. Well, at least it's something."
"We should go in and ask for directions."
The yellow bug rolled into town and it took a few minutes until they could finally spot someone.
"I wonder where we are, this town looks dead."
"It does, doesn't it? It's like our car is the only colorful thing around here."
Neal chuckled and opened the door to get out of the bug. Emma did the same as a handsome stranger was coming their way.
"Hello. May I help you?"
The man had an accent and Neal wasn't found of the way he was looking at his wife. He saw the man had a sheriff badge.
"Yes. Hum, where are we exactly?"
"This is Storybroke, Maine."
"Maine?" Neal looked at Emma. "How did we end up in Maine?"
"I honestly have no idea." She looked at the sheriff. "We were on our way to Boston but we sort of got lost. Could you give us any directions?"
The sheriff looked down trying to think of what to say when he realized he had never left the town so he didn't have any directions in mind.
"I- I'm sorry but I honestly can't remember any directions right now. Maybe we could get to the station and look at a map."
Neal really wasn't liking this guy. It was getting late and he thought it was better to stay in town until the morning.
"Excuse us for a moment." He said as he pulled Emma aside to have a word with her.
"What is it?"
"It's late, maybe we should just find a place and stay until tomorrow."
"I would disagree with you if I weren't so tired. I guess it's for the best."
Neal turned and looked back at the sheriff. "We were thinking of staying the night, is there any place you would recommend?"
"Sure. There's Granny's Bed and Breakfast right down the street."
"Thank you." Emma and Neal said.
"No problem. And if you still need directions you can stop by at the station. My name is Graham, by the way." He smiled at Emma.
"Bye, Graham." Neal shot him a look and quickly got into the driver's seat.
Emma walked into the car with a small on her lips.
"What was that?"
"What was what?"
"That look you gave him. Were you jealous?"
"Of course I was. Didn't you notice the way the guy was looking at you?"
"Oh, honey, come on! He was just trying to be helpful."
"Yeah, right. Let's just get to this Granny's place."
Emma kept the smile on her lips. She actually loved when he was jealous but she would never admit that to him.
Once they got to Granny's Bed and Breakfast Emma woke up Henry and they got their bags out of the car.
They barely got into the inn when they heard someone shouting. "You're out all night and now you're going out again!"
They opened the door and another voice came through the stairs. "I should've moved to Boston!"
"I'm sorry that my heart attack interfered with your plans to sleep your way down the Eastern Seaboard."
Neal cleared his throat. "Excuse me?"
The older woman turned around and looked at the family in shock.
"Hi, how can I help you?"
"We'd like a room." Emma answered the woman.
"Would you like a forest view or a square view?"
"The square view would be fine."
"What's the name?"
"Cassidy. Neal Cassidy." The woman handed the keys to Neal and they walked into their room.
The family got settled and ready for bed. Henry had slept for a few hours but that didn't mean the kid was going to stay up. It's been a long couple of days and he was still pretty tired.
While the three of them were fast asleep, the town's clock did something it hadn't done for a long while. It moved.