Chapter 4: Take a Chance
Emma dropped the dream catcher on the floor in shock, looking to the sleeping pirate in the bed next to her. He had done this to protect her. After everything they had been through she couldn't understand why he would care. She had chained him to a beanstalk, he locked her in a cage, she knocked him out with the compass, and yet he still drank the potion . . . to protect her. Emma felt a hand on her shoulder and looked to see Mary Margaret standing there with a sad smile.
"Why?" Emma asked. "Why would he drink a potion to protect me?"
"That's a question you would have to ask him," Mary Margaret replied. "I can guess, but I don't think you'd like what I'd have to say."
"What are you thinking?" Emma asked. "There is no way I can ask him. His true love is dead. There is no way we can wake him."
Mary Margaret looked back at David. "Maybe Milah wasn't his true love," she stated, looking back at Emma. "He gave up his life for you."
"What are you trying to say?" Emma asked. "That he loved me? That's not possible. He spent 300 years trying to avenge Milah's death."
"And then he gave that up for you," said Mary Margaret. "If he didn't care, then why didn't he just let Cora kill you? He could have had his revenge and you wouldn't be there to interfere. Emma, he gave up everything for you. I have a hard time believing that he doesn't have some feelings for you that weighed in on his decision."
"That's not possible," she repeated.
"Let me ask you this, Emma," said Mary Margaret. "Do you have feelings for him?"
"What?" Emma asked confused.
"Do you have feelings for him?" she repeated. "You have gone through a lot of trouble to try to help him. I know you probably want to believe that you would do this for anyone, but I think you are doing this because it's him."
"I. . ." Emma hesitated. "I don't have feelings for, Hook."
Her voice was weak and she wasn't sure she believed those words herself. This was much more than she was willing to deal with at the moment. There was no way that Captain Hook had any feelings for her. It just wasn't possible. Though she did have a hard time explaining why he would be willing to give up his own life to save hers and her families. That meant he had to care for her, but that didn't mean that he was in love with her.
"Emma?" Mary Margaret's voice pulled her out of her thoughts. "Maybe you should stay here and think."
"What's there to think about?" Emma asked. "I don't love, Hook and he doesn't love me. There is no way to save him."
"If there was even the slightest possibility that you are his true love," Mary Margaret started. "and kissing him could wake him, would you do it? Would you try?"
"I. . ." Emma started, unsure of her answer. She had been working so hard to find a way to bring him back, but she still couldn't believe that she would be his true love. "David you've been quiet through all of this."
"I'm not going to pretend I like Hook," said David. "But I can't deny what he did to protect you and our family. Even given his past, he gave up a lot to protect you and I can't help but respect that."
"So you're saying that you think he has feelings for me too," said Emma.
"I don't know," said David. "I can't pretend I know what the pirate is thinking, but he cares about you enough to give up his life. He went under that curse thinking he would never wake up and he was okay with that as long as you were safe. This is ultimately up to you. You have to decide what you want to do. If you kiss him and he doesn't wake up then nothing changes. What you're afraid of is what might change if he wakes."
"What makes you think I'm afraid?" Emma asked, barely able to contain the shakiness in her voice.
"I know that we haven't been in your life until recently, but we can tell that you've been hurt in the past," said Mary Margaret. "Someone you loved hurt you and you're afraid to try to love again. I told you once that those walls you build up can keep out pain, but it also keeps out love. Do you remember that?"
"Yes," Emma replied simply.
"Even before we knew who we were," Mary Margaret continued. "I could tell that someone caused you a lot of pain. Because of that you're afraid of what will happen if you let someone in, but sometimes when you let love in it can be amazing. It's a feeling that you will never get to know if you keep pushing people away and refusing to let anyone in. I'm not saying that I ever hoped that you would fall in love with Captain Hook or that he would be your true love, but I want you to have that opportunity. It doesn't matter who it is with as long as you are happy. True love is the most powerful magic of all, but you won't experience it if you don't take a chance on someone."
"You think I should take that chance on Hook?" Emma asked.
"You need to take a chance on someone," said Mary Margaret. "And he may be your true love. This is something you need to think about. We'll leave you alone, but remember that with the bad there is also good. I think that's true for him."
Emma just nodded as her parents left the room. This was never a position she ever thought she would find herself in. She never believed in true love until she found out who her parents were, and even then she was still skeptical. True love wasn't something she ever thought she was capable of having. Not after Neal. She didn't even think she believed in true love then, but it was the only time in her life that she was able to let someone in so easily. Hook had pretty much given up his life for her. How could she stand back and just ignore the possibility that she could wake him up?
However, Emma still wasn't sure she could deal with what that would mean. The possibility that Hook could be her true love was not something she was prepared for. She sat on the edge of his bed studying the man's face. He looked peaceful and not at all the dark pirate she was used to seeing. Part of her missed the smirks and flirty innuendos. She brushed the hair out of his face and smiled. Maybe her parents were right and she needed to stop being afraid of what might happen and take a chance.
Without another thought she brought her right hand up to his cheek and leaned in brushing her lips against his lightly. There was a surge of electricity that formed around her and she pulled back looking at his face for any sign that he was waking up. At first he was still, but then he took a deep breath and opened his eyes. Emma could feel the tears forming in her eyes as she smiled. He looked confused as his eyes adjusted to the light, and then they stopped on Emma. He smiled as he brought his right hand to rest on her cheek.
"I was hoping it'd be you," he stated.
Emma let out a strangled laugh and leaned in to kiss him again. He pulled her closer and she could feel the tears start to fall from her eyes. When she pulled back he wiped the tears away with his thumb.
"Don't cry, lass," he said.
"I thought I lost you," said Emma. "You gave up your life to protect me."
"I wouldn't be able to survive if someone killed the only other woman I've ever loved," he replied.
"You love me?" Emma asked, feeling the tears start to well up in her eyes again. He sat up straight in the bed, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"More than you know, love," he answered, pulling her into another kiss. She sighed against his lips, moving both of her arms around his neck. He pulled away resting his forehead against hers.
"I think I might love you too," she stated with a smile.