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: 2437

Author's Note: I had the urge to continue this & then other people wanted me to continue this and so here we go :). I'm thinking there will be four parts to this fic, possibly five? Let me know what you think! Enjoy.


ii.

"Wake up, look me in the eyes again."

- "Bloodstream" Stateless


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As it turns out, true love-or at least the magical representation of it-has a scent.

—something sweet like vanilla, but as faint as the smell of rain carried on a breeze.

And a taste.

one that can't quite be explained, only experienced.

—savored.

And a presence.

like being wrapped up in a warm blanket late in the dead of winter.

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In truth, it is all very disorientating and when Emma wakes up shrouded in the haze of magic, she is suddenly made all too aware. Her skin is warmer, there's a gentle ringing in her ears.

Her heartbeat feels different, like the rhythm has changed. It echoes.

With a gasp, she opens her eyes, and almost just as quickly Emma finds herself falling into the bright blue ones looking back at her. He is only a short breath away, poised above her with a look as open and confused and glazed over as the one surely on her face. Their gazes lock.

She knows these eyes, the brows arched above them, the slightly stubbled chin, the small scar on his cheek and Emma knows that this is Hook-but at the same time, it's as if this is the first she has seen him… or at least that it's the first time she's allowed herself to see him the way she maybe always has.

They are both pindrop silent, overwhelmed, lost, in awe, and then—

"Emma…?" he breathes her name, followed by a sharp puff of breath, almost a laugh, as if he can't believe it. "What just—

She's already shaking her head.

"I don't know." She cocks her head to the side and her brows furrow, "Wait. Hook, did you—

"…Mom?"

And then the moment slips away as Emma blinks and turns from him.

"Henry?"

"Mom!"

Hook rises and looks back just in time to see Emma's son dashing towards her bedside. The boy is beaming, shouting "You're back! You're okay! I knew the curse would be broken!"

And Hook backs up to allow for the Mother and son's reunion and much needed embrace. He doubts the lad has even seen him, he's so focused on his mom as he rightly should be. Emma had been slipping away, Hook had felt that the life was leaving her. Hook remains completely and entirely stunned.

What the bloody hell had just happened?

"Yeah kid, I guess I am alright," Emma says, her hands clasped around Henry's face, smiling at him.

"How did you break it?" Henry asks, enthusiasm boiling over, "Mary Margaret and David just told me Neal couldn't do it!"

Right, Killian remembers. The Crocodile's son had said something about failing. Had Rupelstiltskin actually managed to figure something out when they left? That fast?

But then Mary Margaret and David have stormed into the room too, both with equally astonished looks, and then the happiness and excitement and pure joy of the reunion just gets larger. David does, however, take the time to glare at Hook on the way to Emma's bedside. To which Hook, of course, returns the look with his own smug leer.

As Hook continues to stand there, eyes back on Swan, his confusion about what exactly had just happened lessens in importance, pails in comparison to the feeling of relief that blossoms in his chest.

She's okay.

Whatever it had been—and there's a second, an inkling, where he thinks that maybe it could have been him, that he'd done it, but how could that make any sense? He doesn't have any magic here—Emma's okay.

Perhaps she had been fighting just as hard as he'd thought, the strong lass that she was. He doesn't know and Hook honestly doesn't bloody care. The relief he feels just to see her move— the limp and lifeless hand he had held less than five minutes ago is rustling her son's hair—is overpowering, like the breath has been knocked out of him, and now his mistake in not choosing the right side quickly enough will not be something he has to carry around with him for the rest of his life, wherever it is he intends to go.

And at this moment, watching her happy with her loved ones, Hook is beyond grateful. He doesn't think he would've been able to live with himself. Forget about carrying the weight of her death on his shoulders, the guilt and remorse would have eaten away at him. He wouldn't have been able to take two steps.

Hook allows himself one small and genuine smile but soon he begins to feel that he is imposing on the tight knit family affair. And even still, Hook can't shake the feeling that this, his last day in Storybrooke—because he's still leaving. He has to go—may have just marked a better beginning.

And of course it had been because of Emma Swan.

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"How did this happen?" Snow White asks after so many hugs and so many heartfelt words that she's lost count. There are tears still brimming her eyes. Charming is sitting on the edge of Emma's bed holding her hand and Emma can't place why something about it feels so distinctly familiar and yet somehow off.

"What do you mean?" Emma asks, still looking down at their hands and trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with it. She is still a little lightheaded.

"We tried true love's kiss. Neal was here with Mr. Gold and I swear he tried four or five times but nothing happened. Gold had to nearly drag him out of the room…" Snow's eyes become downcast at this. She remembers how much Neal had wanted to fix it and a part of Snow knows that he'd been trying to make up for the things he'd done wrong to Emma in the past. But it hadn't worked. She'd actually felt a little sad for him.

"Where is—are Mr. Gold and Neal now?" Emma asks, trying to make her voice not sound so tight, because if Neal had supposedly tried so hard why wasn't he here now? They've talked about it but Emma still doesn't know if she can get passed their past, not really. At least, she hasn't fully made her mind up about it yet.

"They went to try and find another way. We all thought—we thought that you wouldn't wake up. We thought we might lose you," Snow's voice cracks.

No one says anything for a moment. Snow and Charming each having their own thoughts about if that tragedy had befallen them, what they would've done if they lost Emma—their savior—their daughter.

Emma thinks about what it would have done to Henry.

"Maybe… it just took longer this time," David cuts in, "For the kiss to work, I mean. Maybe a spell becomes more powerful here each time it's used. We're going to have to be more careful. This can't keep happening."

"Yeah… maybe," Emma says, her mind clearing more by the minute. She sits up straighter in bed not convinced that it is something so simple as that at all. "But I think—when I woke up…" she stops, eyes widening. Her gaze flicks from left to right, looking around Charming and Snow, and then the words die in her throat.

She lets go of Charming's hand.

He's not here anymore. He's left. Hook's gone.

And then about a millisecond after that, Emma is yanking the hospital sheets off her body and jumping out of bed.

Because Henry is gone too.

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"Wow you're boat is awesome."

Killian halts his steps and releases an agitated sigh, turning on his heel. There have been far too many unwelcomed guests on his ship in the recent past for any pirate to handle. His ship is still invisible and he hadn't heard anyone following him on his way from the hospital but maybe that had something to do with him being to caught up in his thoughts to pay attention.

Henry trots up to him, continuing to take in everything he can see from his spot on the deck.

"Ship," Killian corrects, and though still a little miffed, he is inwardly approving of the admirative look on the lad's face. At least Emma's son has good taste about his trespassing.

"Huh?" Henry asks.

"She's not a boat. She's a ship and it'll do you good to remember it." Killian bends at the waist, looking Henry dead in the eyes, "And now that we've gotten that little tidbit cleared up, what pray tell do you think you're doing on my ship mate?"

"Exploring," Henry says with a shrug, not the least bit wary or intimidated, as if it should be completely obvious that this is what he should be doing at this time of night, coming on to a pirate's ship—one who's loyalties have been questioned, mind you, and that no one particularly trusts and debatably shouldn't—on a whim.

Hook blinks twice, quickly in succession.

"Come again?" he questions, deadpan.

"Well since I'm probably going to be on here a lot more from now on, I just figured—

Hook cuts him off, straightening up.

"No," Killian says pointing at him. "There will be none of that. And you should be at the hospital with Emma anyway," Killian stares hard at him, "The last thing I need is for the lot of them to think I've up and kidnapped you. His highness is probably already gathering up the bloody calvary. I'll have you know, I am actively trying to be good right now- and actually good, not faking." He grins.

"David'll be fine," Henry says, glancing up at him with speculative eyes, "Kinda like my mom is. She's doing great actually. No curse or anything. Weird huh?"

Now Hook is good at reading people—it's a given since it's one of the things he's perfected during his long life including the time he'd spent in Neverland—but he wouldn't have to be to know that something was amiss. Clearly, the boy is up to something.

"I was there," Hook replies, slow and suspicious, "I saw."

"I know," Henry answers, giving him a strange smile and a meaningful look. He is rocking—in a terribly preccocious way—back and forth on his heels that has Hook lifting one confused and slightly agitated brow.

"It was you wasn't it? With my mom, I mean. It didn't work for Neal."

"What?" Hook asks, nowhere close to following. And what was it with the Crocodile's son coming up so much today?

"This is so cool. I can't believe I missed it! I should have known when you chose our side in the end. Why else would Captain Hook fight with the good guys?! And then when-"

"Hold your britches mate," Hook interrupts, with a gesture of raised hands—well hand and hook, "Now what the bloody hell are you going on about?"

"You kissed my mom."

There is a pause but then Hook can't stop the smirk from spreading on his face.

"Yeah, well.. don't tell your grandfather," he whispers, conspiratorially.

Henry beams and whispers mostly to himself. "I knew it."

Killian can't help but laugh. It's not exactly the response he'd been expecting. Had this been what all this sneaking on his ship had been about? At least someone here besides the lovely Emma seems to like him.

"Hold on lad, it was just a goodbye," he assures, knowing that it had started out that way but also knowing that it had became something entirely different. He can't even begin to comprehend what had happened, what that feeling had been after he'd kissed Emma, when she'd opened her eyes. Emma probably would have been able to call him out on the blatant lie, "And speaking of goodbyes," he hastily continued, "You need to get going so I can start getting my things together to do the same."

"Wait, what?" Henry asks, perplexed. "What do you mean?"

"I'm clearing out of Storybrooke," Hook replies, almost dismissively. "Less I get sucked back into my favorite game of skin the Crocodile." He gestures towards his hook.

Henry stills.

"But you can't leave now! What about Emma?"

Hook gives him an appraising look for the sharp alarm written on his face.

"I'm not leaving now. I'm leaving in the morning," he repeats, as if it changes much of anything,"And I'm sure we're both well aware that Emma can take care of herself. In fact, she might be glad to finally be rid of me." Hook, despite his natural proclivity towards them, has to force a grin.

Because Hook remembers sitting at Emma's bedside, watching her still and pale and unresponsive, thinking of maybes—a spark—the thing that's been going on between them, and he doesn't even believe himself.

Emma might pretend—and fool many a people, though she could never fool him—but she wouldn't be glad he was gone at all.

And hadn't that been the point? They circled each other constantly. Wasn't the fact that he could tell she as much enjoyed their run-ins, their venomless spats, as he did, part of the fun? Wasn't he less than an hour ago contemplating what they could have been when he'd thought there was no longer a possibility for it? And now, wasn't that possibility back?

But Hook's leaving… because of Rumpelstiltskin. He'd already made up his mind. He's avoiding getting tempted back into the hellish pit he'd finally found a way to crawl out of—

—Right?

He's not running away from anythingfrom herfrom—

He's not being a coward—he isn't.

"…so tomorrow?" Henry asks, making sure of the amount of time he has to fix all of this.

"At first light," Hook answers dazedly, still lost in his thoughts, before he takes in the contemplative look on Henry's face. His eyes narrow. "Why?"

"No reason." Henry answers, abruptly turning around and quickly making his way towards the steps to depart the Jolly Roger. He is off before Hook even has the chance to blink.

"And don't worry," Henry shouts up at him, "I won't let them know I was here! And your ship really is great!" he adds, without even turning around.

Hook watches the boy bound down the dock back towards the town, fast as if on a mission, and keeps an eye on him until eventually Henry vanishes out of sight.

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Well, he's odd, Hook thinks.

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It isn't until later, after Hook has had the last of the bit of rum still on his ship—much to his displeasure—and mumbled about how "Bloody right his ship is a hell of a ship," that Hook decides that odd though the lad is, he likes him.

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