I can't help it. I just want to keep adding to this :)
So there are some parts which are canon here, some parts which are not. I've taken a shot from the promo for next week and incorporated that in. Pre-warning that there is some Emma/Neal analysis in here, but essentially it's always going to be Captain Swan :)
Thank you to those of you who are constantly encouraging me to write more. You're the reason this fic exists :)
She wanders and doesn't remember where she has been. It's been only an hour since she had lost her grip on Neal down that portal and there were still a couple of hours before she would have to face Henry and tell him the gut wrenching news that his father had disappeared with little to no hope for survival.
If she were in an optimistic mood she would say that Neal could make it. He's a tough man who has been through a lot; she had seen the scars that crisscrossed all over his body when they had been together. He had told her of nasty nights living on the streets but she knows better now, she knows of the magical realms from which he came and the dangers that lurk in his home.
Tears gather in her eyes again as her mind takes her to the cannery and the green light and the stark red of his blood everywhere. On her clothes, in her hair, on her hands.
She ducks into an alleyway as sobs overtake her body. Her back against the cool brick wall, she tips her head forward, burying it in her hands. This cannot be happening.
She thinks of her words to him, her love for him, and it hurts. It hurts more than she could imagine. It's like him leaving her with that watch eleven years ago all over again. With her hand over that portal she had seen the decision he had faced shining in his eyes and she couldn't let their story go without an ending again. She may have stopped being in love with him a long time ago, but seeing how much he has been trying with Henry and trying to accept his past there was no denying that she had love for him still.
Her mind flashes to Hook and the brief kiss they had shared only this morning aboard his ship. The feelings that stir within her at those thoughts are so different to the ones she has for Neal, but everything right now hurts. She just wants easy.
Taking a deep breath and shuddering on the exhale, she tries to compose herself enough to continue her walk. She knows she's a mess, Neal's blood still in her nail beds, her face tear streaked and puffy, a bruise forming on her cheekbone, but she has to try to keep going. Neal had sacrificed himself for the sake of Henry. When the time comes, she has to show him that people can make it out the other side. People can be strong.
As she approaches the docks, where curiously, she can see the Jolly Roger, she reprimands herself internally for being this person. The type who needs another. Her hand absently touches her chest where her pendant once lay. But it is gone, just as Neal is and another wave of uncontrollably burning sadness hits her again.
And it's that which does it in the end. The feeling in the pit of her stomach that aches when her heart does pulls her closer to Hook and his ship, the place that just that morning she had felt utterly at home on.
He feels the earth shudder beneath his feet as they strike down on the trigger, the small stone that will end this town and all the magic in it. His hook reaches out to grasp at the wooden support beams in the mining tunnel, holding himself up as a dangerous smoke leeches from the stone, turning the ground to grass almost immediately, erasing the magically built town second by second.
And he regrets it.
He regrets teaming up with these two and focusing solely on his revenge. He regrets not saying more to Emma, not having the time to do so. He regrets it so much that it hurts.
So he runs. He runs hard and fast from the crumbling mine shaft, swinging himself out of the collapsing entry and making his way to the docks.
Only this morning he had been with Emma aboard his ship and he realises now, with a painful blow, that if this town is destroyed, so is she. So is her happiness and any chance at his. The Crocodile's face looms in his memory, but it fades in comparison to her. The first person to give him hope in over three centuries.
The magic seeping from the town takes the cloaking spell from his ship and for the first time since they had anchored here, he sees the Jolly Roger for all its glory in the bay of Storybrooke. He doesn't even stop to catch his breath as he takes long strides across the pier and onto his vessel to prepare her for sailing.
It's not even ten minutes later that he hears the familiar sounds of boots on his decks. He calls out instructions to her, asking for her assistance or to go collect as many people as possible because he's going to take them away from here. But as her face turns towards him in the early afternoon sun, he catches the wet trails of her tears in his sights and comes to a standstill.
"Emma, what is wrong?" He climbs down a small ladder, coming to stand in front of her, cupping her cheek and brushing a tear away from her face, "Did she hurt you? Did Tamara hurt you?"
She shakes her head and then leans forward, craving the feeling of being held. She just needs human contact, needs to know that someone can be her anchor, "Neal is gone."
He had suspected something scandalous had happened between the two, but the tone of her voice does not convey a recent romance and part of him, a part he is very ashamed of, is grateful for that. It is defeat he hears though. It's a loss more hefty than merely another person, no, she carries the weight of a loss of a part of herself.
"I'm so sorry, lass."
She wraps her arms around him tightly, drawing herself closer to him, "I don't know what to do."
He pulls back then, grasping her shoulders, "I don't know how to fix what has happened, but I do know that we need to move, my dear."
She frowns, "What?" She's been so completely self-absorbed that she didn't even realise there are extra ropes on the ground and sails in the air, "Where are you going?"
He watches her carefully, "Anywhere but here. Tamara and Greg, they've found a way to destroy Storybrooke and I feel as though if I can fit a few on the ship, I can get you away. Be kind of a saviour to the saviour." His eyes search her for a reaction to his words.
But her expression reveals nothing. She is lost. Lost in her own mind, her youth stripped from her only hours ago. She is a different person and he's not sure what to do.
Something crashes behind them and their attention shifts to the town, thick vines curling around the buildings, crushing them and bringing them to the ground. Emma stares at the mess, horrified, while Hook springs back to action, throwing himself around the ship, preparing it for a long sail, "Please Emma, I need help."
She looks at him then, turns her back on her falling home and really looks at him. The way his eyes are begging and sure. He wants to save people. This is a man changed by this world. He had come here a revenge filled pirate, but now, not once had he mentioned skinning his Crocodile. Not once did he say she could collect people to save, but leave the man who he sought revenge on. He was willing to save whoever he could. Which is something that, today of all days, she could relate to. "Okay," she whispers.
He smiles at her, his heart aching for the way she is staring at the place she had called home, "We'll make it right, love. It'll be okay."
She thinks of what he told her this morning about finding his home on the sea. How the Jolly Roger finds base for him. A small burst of hope ignites in her at that point as she faces the pirate, the man she trusts, once more, "I know."