Okay, every time I start writing one of these one-shots I think it's going to be under 1,000 words because I only want to get the idea out of my head but then I sit down and start typing and it always gets out of hand. Because the moment I dive into their emotions I can't seem to stop.
So, TAKE THE FEELS!
Emma was leaning over the railing, staring into the turquoise water below. She had to admit that Neverland was beautiful. It really was. All the colors seemed brighter, more livid. But the beauty was only masking the danger that was hidden in its waters, hidden in its forests.
But she wasn't alone. Her parents were with her. Henry's grandfather and Regina.
Since the moment he'd told her that he just needed reminding that he could care about other people than himself, he had actually never wavered. Her heart had actually jumped in her chest as Gold had asked him if he was done trying to kill him. She had seen the hurt in his eyes, she'd seen how much it cost him to let go of his revenge. But he did let go.
Three hundred years he had only one goal. Killing Rumpelstiltskin. Three hundred years.
Emma didn't want to think about why he came back. He had told her about Baelfire, one night when she couldn't sleep and came up on deck, stumbling upon him and they'd started talking, the night seeming to let them forget for one moment why they were on his ship together, where they were headed, for one moment they'd forgotten about the dangers that were lying ahead of them. They had been just sitting opposite of each other and had talked for hours.
She didn't want to think about the fact that she'd walked on deck almost every night since then, searching for him, expecting him to be there, to take her fears away, even if it was just for a few hours.
She didn't want to think about the fact that being near him actually calmed her down, soothed the turmoil that ricocheted through her brain during the day. Every time her mind wanted to tell her that he was the one person who was keeping her sane, she shied away. Pushing the thought into a deep corner of her brain, just ignoring it. Because she couldn't deal with it. Not now. Not when all she could think about was finding Henry.
A shadow fell over her and she turned her head, smiling softly as she saw that Mary Margaret had joined her. She didn't say anything immediately, just staring out on the ocean with her until she suddenly tilted her head and spoke quietly. "What is going on between Hook and you?"
"Nothing." Emma replied quickly, realizing that the answer came probably too quickly and her mother raised one eyebrow, giving her a knowing look. A look that said that she was not buying it and Emma huffed out an exaggerated breath before she said reluctantly. "Too much."
"I know." The confidence in her mother's voice somehow shocked her. She had thought she had hidden her feelings for Hook pretty well. But apparently not well enough.
"Mom?" Emma said softly and she saw her mother flinch slightly out of the corner of her eye as she addressed her like this. She knew she was still not used to it. They both weren't. But right in this moment Emma needed her mother. She was confused. "I'm scared."
"Because no matter how hard I try ..." Emma trailed off, not knowing how to put it into words what she was feeling.
"He gets under your skin." Mary Margaret replied softly.
"He can read me like an open book." Emma said, barely above a whisper. "He just takes a look at me and knows what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling. No matter how hard I try to keep everything hidden behind a mask of confidence. He just sees right through it."
"He knows you."
"Tell me that I'm crazy!" Emma swirled around to her, her voice taking on a pleading tone. "Tell me that I should turn around and walk away from this! Tell me that I'm just being ridiculous. That the feelings I have will go away. That I'm just too emotional right now."
"So you want me to be the voice of reason here?"
"Yes! Tell me that I'm completely out of my mind."
"You didn't lose your mind."
"But he … I shouldn't … how can I ..." Emma pressed her hands against the railing, tightening her fingers around the wood.
"Emma!" Mary Margaret put her hand over hers, squeezing her fingers slightly, waiting for her to look up before she continued. "It's understandable. He came back. He came back for you."
"No. You're wrong." Emma jerked her hand out of her mother's grip, crossing her arms over her stomach. "He came back because he wanted to prove to himself and Neal that he could be a better man."
"Neal? What has Neal to do with it?"
"He was on his ship a long time ago when he was still a boy and he is … was Milah's son. He wanted to be a father for him but Neal blamed him for his mother's death and pushed him away." Emma explained, turning her gaze back to the ocean as she added softly. "He didn't come back for me."
"You are such a strong woman, Emma. I'm really proud of you." Mary Margaret grabbed her shoulders, turning her around gently, her hands cupping her face. "But sometimes you are just blind."
"What do you mean?" Emma asked, tilting her head unconsciously into her mother's touch.
"Do you really think it would come easy to him to admit it out loud?" Mary Margaret replied, not answering her question straight away. "You know his past. We all know it. He lost his love and was driven by revenge for over three hundred years. Until he met you."
"No! It has nothing to do with me." Emma said stubbornly, not willing to listen to her mother's argumentation. "He gave up his revenge because of Neal."
"Neal might had something to do with his decision but we were all there when you held your passionate speech at Granny's. I could see it in his eyes how much it affected him when you told him that you two understand each other. Because you do. You had a connection with him right from the start and Emma?" Mary Margaret lifted her hand and put a finger under her chin, tilting her head up so that she had to look into her face. "He was really hurt that you left him up on that beanstalk. He didn't lie to you. He wouldn't have done the same. He might be a pirate but somehow he still has a code of honor. He trusted you. I don't know what happened while you climbed up that beanstalk and fought Anton but something did happen between you two. I could feel it."
"Because something did happen. Because even back then he could see right through all the walls I've built up to protect myself. He didn't even have to try. He just saw me. He just saw the person I really am, Mom."
"You should tell him."
"Tell him what?" Emma asked slightly exasperated.
"How much he means to you." Mary Margaret said softly. "He was alone for three hundred years and you know better than anyone what it means to be alone. Don't waste precious time, Emma. He needs you and you need him." Mary Margaret turned her around so that she was looking straight at the helm and gave her a gentle push. "Go! Tell him!"
Emma stumbled a step forward, stopping unsure but when she looked over her shoulder back at her mother she just gave her a reassuring nod and straightening her shoulders, Emma walked towards the helm, taking the steps up to him with a confident stance.
But when she reached him and looked up into his eyes all the confidence left her and she just stared at him for a few seconds before she tried to push words past the lump in her throat. "I ..."
"Swan? What is it?" Killian asked, looking at her with a scrutinizing gaze, clearly at a loss why she'd come up to the helm but then his gaze softened, understanding shining out of his eyes as he said softly. "You know we will find him, don't you? We will find him."
"I know. But that's not what I want ..." Emma replied, trying to get the words out again but she still wasn't able to tell him what she wanted to tell him, what she needed to tell him.
"I would have never thought that my mother, of all people, would tell me to just go for it." The words burst out of her and she continued hastily. "But I should have known. After all, she and Dad moved heaven and earth to be together.
"What are you trying to tell me, love?"
"God, this is harder than I thought." Emma sighed, kneading her hands in front of her before she took in a deep breath, stealing herself to get it all out. "I … I really don't know how to say it. So I'm just gonna say it and it'll probably come out completely wrong but ..."
"You don't make any sense, love. I don't understand ..." Killian began but Emma interrupted him.
"This … you and me … it scares the shit out of me. You should know that. I'm so scared. Scared about not finding Henry, scared about losing someone while we are searching for him, scared that we will never find a way out of Neverland."
"You don't have to be scared."
"But I am scared." Emma said firmly, her voice shaking slightly as she continued. "I'm scared about all of those things. But what scares me the most are the feelings I have for you. I … Mom told me I need to tell you. So this is me telling you."
Emma forced herself to hold his gaze, to not chicken out now. Because her mother was right. He should know. She should tell him. Balling her hands into fists, she gathered all her strength to tell him what he needed to know.
"You are scaring me, Captain. You are really scaring me. The feelings I have when it comes to you are scaring me. I meant it when I told you that you and I understand each other. Because we do. When we climbed the beanstalk … I felt drawn to you … like we are somehow kindred spirits. What I'm trying to tell you is … you mean a lot to me. Somehow I consider you a friend but … I want this to be more than a friendship … my feelings go beyond mere friendship … I want you. Plain and simple. I want you."
Emma didn't even give him a chance to say anything in reply as she stood up on her tiptoes and wrapped her hands around his neck, pulling him down to press her lips against his.
As her lips met his he couldn't react immediately, still stunned by her words. He'd promised her that they would find her lad and he hadn't let allow himself to look closer at the feelings he had for her. He'd always told himself that there might come a time when he could take a closer look and pursue her. Deep down he had known all along that she might be the woman who would bring him back to life. A part of him knew right from the start that they shared a special connection.
He had denied himself to act on the attraction but since she'd taken the first step he couldn't hold himself back any longer and his arms went around her waist, pulling her into his body, his mouth devouring her hungrily, kissing her passionately.
"I want you, too." Killian murmured against her lips, his voice hoarse with emotions. "Gods, Emma! I want you more than you can imagine."
Emma leaned her head against his shoulder, the emotions coursing through her body making her feel dizzy and a chuckle slipped over her lips as a strange thought popped up in her brain and leaning back, she met his eyes, a smile curving up her mouth as she said. "You know David is gonna punch you again when he finds out."
"He is one overprotective father." Killian replied, shooting her a devilish grin.
"Yes, I know." Emma whispered contently, the realization that David would probably go into protective Daddy mode sending a warm feeling through her body.
"I'll gladly let him punch me when it makes you that happy."
"What do you mean?" Emma asked curiously.
"You've lacked a father for so long in your life, love." Killian replied softly. "I know the feeling and I'm glad to know that he will always protect you. Because that's what fathers do. Protect their children."
"There is still so much I don't know about you. You never told me about your parents and I want to hear … I would really like to hear about Milah."
"I'll tell you everything you want to know, love." Killian said, hesitating for a second before he added. "But you might not like what you'll hear."
"Afraid I'm gonna turn away when you tell me all your gruesome secrets?" Emma asked softly.
"Yes." Killian replied honestly.
"I won't." Emma reassured him, pressing a kiss against his lips.
"Promise?" Killian asked, the uncertainty in his voice making her throat close up.
They both had a past. They both had loved people and they both had lost people. They both had done things they weren't proud of. They both had made mistakes. But she was confident that they still had a chance to find their happy ending.
They had found each other. She had lost hope a long time ago. But being in his arms she felt the flames of hope rising up in her chest again. He had brought hope back into her life. He had brought love back into her life.
She had lost faith in love. She had believed that she would never truly love anyone ever again. But apparently some sayings were true.
Only love could heal a broken heart.