Disclaimer: I am not ABC or Disney, so I own nothing, not Once Upon a Time or its characters. But if I did... ;)

Title: Backlash

Summary: In which Hook goes to see Emma in the hospital against other's warnings/wishes.

Pairing: Captain Swan, Emma x Killian Jones| Hook

Word Count: 2,270

Author's Note: I really like this piece so I hope you will too. Let me know what you think! Enjoy :)


i.

It gains the more it gives
And then it rises with the fall
So hand me that remote
Can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow?

- "Let Go" Frou Frou


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"I should try again…" the man's eyes are large and blank and confused.

"You did try."

"But it has to work right? You said it would work."

The older man leans hard on his cane as he considers this.

"Magic is unpredictable here Bae. It may not have been enough this time. I don't know what to tell you."

The older man reaches out but before he can lay a hand on the shoulder he is searching for, the younger man pulls away from him.

"You can tell me that you'll fix this. Use your magic," the word is said so spitefully that it'd be obvious to all that there is a long story behind his scorn of it, "for something good. Do something right with it for once."

With each man so involved in their conversation as they are, neither notice the onlooker just down the hallway.

Hook watches this exchange from his place just around the corner as Rumpelstiltskin comforts the man Killian has found out is his son, Milah's son, and who he has also come to realize shares a rather complicated past with Emma. Watching this is something that twists Hook's stomach into knots, seeing this other side of his foe, having to witness his crocodile be more than just a monster. How dare he attempt to use those vile hands to both comfort and rip out hearts. It's sickening.

But today, the heavy, rotting, leaden feeling always stewing in the pit of Hook's stomach is missing and the constant voice in the back of his head whispering songs of revenge and promises of 'you'll feel better when you get even' is silent for once.

He is not here for Rumpelstiltskin.

Hook remains in his spot out of sight and watches the pair recede further down the hospital hall with narrowed eyes, his foe surely making promises to find a solution. If even just for that, Hook's seething hatred for the man diminishes just a bit. He truly hopes that some magic cure will indeed be found.

With the hall finally looking empty now, Hook had already waited until night to come here, he is just about to turn the corner and head towards his destination when two others exit the room. He recognizes them immediately, Snow White and Prince Charming, Emma's parent's—what a bloody surprise that had been—and since he had been warned he would not be welcomed, playing both sides as he had in the altercation which had led to this, Hook stays put.

"It's okay," Charming is saying into Snow's hair as he holds her, "Everything is going to work out fine. She'll be okay Snow."

Hook can't see her face from where he's hiding but he can tell that she's crying by the tremble of her shoulders. Her first words are inaudible, smothered by Charming's shirt but if Hook had to guess he'd say they resembled 'I can't take seeing her like that David.'

Her next words are a little clearer and Hook can make those out, "After everything we've gone through to be a family again. It can't end like this. It can't."

"It won't," Charming urges, "Emma is a strong girl. She'll make it Snow. You know that."

"But Neal's k-…" she stammers over her own words and trails off. Hook wonders what she'd been going to say. Anything about his Crocodile or his crocodile's son interests him.

"I don't give a damn about that," David grasps her face in his hands, "And you shouldn't either. We'll find a way."

Snow looks up at him and they share a long, private—as far as they know—look. And a few moments later, Hook watches as Snow nods her head and seems to stand up straighter, looking taller than he remembers her being.

"I need to get cleaned up for when Emma wakes up," she says. And the belief heard plainly in her voice, the conviction that Emma will in fact wake up, is astounding. Hook has to admit that he's a little impressed and despite what he'd initially thought, he is not so sure anymore about which parent Emma actually gets her strength from. "She'll feel guilty if she sees how worried we've all been," Snow continues.

Hook thinks he sees Charming smile down at her but he can't quite hear what his highness says next since he's too busy leaning as casually as possible and smirking at the nurse who exits one of the rooms right next him.

The nurse flusters and smiles—actually he thinks he remembers this one from his short stay shackled up here—and continues along her merry way, but by the time Hook sneaks a look around the corner again David and Snow are gone.

He waits a few more seconds this time, just to make sure that no one else is going to turn up, and then he makes his way down the hospital corridor.

When his hand closes around the doorknob, he hesitates—maybe he shouldn't be here, perhaps he should stay away like everyone had warned—but then he is turning the knob and slipping inside, shutting the door quietly behind him.

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Hook doesn't know how long he's just been standing there.

It hasn't been many weeks since their places were switched and he was the one laying in a bed much like the one Emma is in now but—there was no way that he had looked so frail, so fragile… had he? It's disconcerting to see the strong woman he knows look like that.

Killian approaches the bed, and with each step he expects her to wake up, to glare at him as amusingly as she always does, to something, but Emma stays just as still as when he'd first entered, the machine hooked up to her emitting the same repetitive beeping rhythm.

Her blonde hair lays rumpled against the soft white pillow under her head and her skin is sallow. She looks drained but not lifeless, as if she is just deeply sleeping—which he supposes is the truth—-and her face is calm. Hook thinks that none of it has diminished the beauty of her at all.

He stands still.

This is his fault.

Not entirely, sure, but he is still partly to blame. You can't play both sides of good and evil, not that either are as black and white as some like to assume but in this case it had been obvious which side was the right one. In this case it had been clear because Emma had been on it.

Perhaps if he had fought on the right side, he could have prevented this. If he hadn't been so dead set on his revenge, the only other person in the last 300 hundred years who had seemed to even remotely and genuinely care about him wouldn't be laying in this little room, fighting—and he knew Emma was fighting—a death sentence.

He'd thought it only a sleeping curse. And no, he had not been the one to put the curse on her but he hadn't stopped it either. He could have done something, even as simple as letting her know what the witches had been planning.

Hook never would have allowed for the witch's plan to some into fruition if he had known the truth. At the time he had thought: what harm could come from sleep? And it would finally give him the chance to dispose of his foe. It sickened him now, deeply, that he had considered Emma just another obstacle. It had sounded simple; with her asleep there wasn't much of anyone who could keep him away from exacting his revenge on the crocodile.

"I'm a bloody fool," Killian whispers aloud, into the virtually quiet room, half expecting Emma to agree with him.

He'd never wanted this. He'd never intended for her to get hurt. The witches had tricked him, used him, and he'd gone along with it like an idiot, blind to anything but his hatred for Rumpelstiltskin. How was he to know that here in this world a sleeping curse had much more dire consequences, that if they couldn't find a way to wake her up—

" I'm a fucking bloody fool."

He hadn't even questioned it. He'd betrayed Emma's trust… not that he'd ever truly gotten it, but he had wanted it once hadn't he?—Didn't he still? And that was, for some reason, a blow he had still never quite fully gotten over. When Emma had shackled him up and left him on top of that beanstalk, the betrayal had stung as much as if she had cut off his other hand.

"But you still didn't deserve this," Hooks says, clenching his hand into a fist.

At the time he'd thought that she'd broken his trust and left him to die but she'd made a deal with the giant. He'd been freed and as a consequence he'd even gotten the opportunity to acquire the trinket that'd granted him voyage to Storybrooke in the first place.

Killian tentatively sat on the edge of her bed, turning eyes to the door to make sure they were still alone, before turning them back to look over her, his gaze softening.

Hook knew he'd made his choices and he deserved what he got for them. The fact that his foe was still up and walking around while this strong-willed, brilliant woman he'd betrayed was slowly drifting away, was like a slap in the face.

This is what revenge had gotten him.

He'd done so many horrible things, some that he didn't wish to think about, others that he'd simply forgotten after they were done, and what had it all even meant in the end?

It's been more than 300 years and he had already exacted revenge— he hadn't been lying about Belle being the place that the crocodile kept his heart and Hook had taken that away from him.

But it hadn't been enough.

It hadn't closed the gaping hole in his heart like he'd thought it would.

Hook had needed more… or at least he thought he had.

But now… seeing Emma like this, even if his plans had worked out and he had finally killed Gold—as Emma always referred to him—Hook is somehow entirely sure that—still—it would not have healed him either, that it would not have undone the damage, and even more so, that it would not have been worth it. Nothing so inconsequential could ever be worth Emma's life.

And that thought struck him, hard.

"I apologize," Killian says reaching for her hand, "I should've let it go love. I see that now. I need to let it go."

His vendetta has done nothing but feed him poison.

Hook looks down at their hands, Emma's unresponsive and limp in his grasp, and smoothes a calloused thumb across her skin. It feels clammy and colder than it should be and if he focuses, he swears he can feel the warmth fading by the second.

But still, just seeing them this way, he is reminded of that one small second, the one he had since pushed to the back of his mind. It was right before she'd chained him down and left him with the Giant. He had seen it, felt it—the connection, the spark—right before the fear had crept into her eyes, when she'd took his hand in hers.

And maybe having her believe in him for just that moment hadn't closed the ragged gaping hole in his chest… but he had forgotten that it was there.

When he'd had Emma and she'd trusted him, for even just the time it took her hand to cross the chasm between them and grasp his, it was the first time in as long as Hook could remember that he had not been in pain.

Hook lets go, placing Emma's hand gently back on the bed, and moves to stand up. He'd done what he came here for, to apologize to her for what he'd done… the first apology that he'd given since before Milah because nothing had really mattered after that.

And he is left feeling empty and lost as he looks down at her, knowing now that he should leave, and not just her side but this town, maybe this realm, there is nothing left for him here. Revenge is a road he has traveled for far too long, longer than many are even meant to live and he needs to let it go. He just wishes that there was some other way for him to have figured it out.

Hook doesn't know what they could have had, maybe nothing… probably something, but it doesn't count for much anymore does it? Killian starts to turn on his heel and leave but something stops him. He glances over his shoulder back at her.

This is goodbye and he could just say the words and go, be a gentleman about it, but then again he is a bloody pirate and really, if he thinks about it, Emma wouldn't have expected anything less. He almost smirks.

Hook turns back around and gazes at the sleeping Swan girl before him, some part of him knowing that this is not the way that it should have ended.

He gently moves a strand of golden hair off of her cheek and leans in.

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"Goodbye Emma," he whispers softly into her ear, "You really would have made a bloody good pirate love." And then in a slow movement, his nose barely grazing her cheek on the way there, Captain Hook softly presses his lips against Emma Swan's in a kiss.

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The magical backlash is pretty much immediate.

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