So I really want to apologize for the huge hiatus I took from this story and also thank you for your continued support and interest—you guys have been amazing with your kind comments. With the season starting I kinda got sucked into the excitement of what we were seeing on screen and neglected my WIPs for the easy and quick satisfaction of one-shots. But now that I've calmed down a bit, I'm ready to continue my fic and have actually decided not to write any more new one-shots until I've completed my WIPs (that being said I have some that are already written that I'll be posting).

*Quick re-cap only because it's been so long...Emma and Hook found Greg in the woods, Greg who was quite obviously poisoned informed Emma that mermaids took Henry. In order to quiet Greg as the poison consumed him (he was clearly dying) Hook killed him, this understandably upset Emma and we ended the chapter with her getting sick and Hook quietly comforting her—chapter picks up the next day.*

Disclaimer: I don't own OUAT.

You'll see I gave a nod to some of the things we've already seen in the season ;)

Please review! :)

She nearly couldn't take it anymore.

Her entire body ached.

Her arms and legs burned.

But still it wasn't enough.

Grunting, Emma pushed herself up off the ground. Straightening her elbows and locking them into place, she kept her legs tense as she quickly lowered herself back to the dirt. Again and again, she repeated the action; her face mere inches from the dried mud as she huffed out a breath and pushed herself back up fast, swearing silently with the grueling effort as pain shot throughout her—her body protesting her every action.

She freakin' hated push-ups.

Still, the fire in her limbs only egged her on, the heaviness in her gut pushed her even harder and the voices in her head drove her further; urging her to keep going, even as her breathing became labored and a cool and stinging sweat trickled down her neck, gathering between her breasts and soaking her clothes.

She couldn't sleep.

She couldn't think.

She couldn't focus.

So she was preparing.

One, two, three, four…

Oh god it feels like it's eating me from the inside out!

Clenching her teeth together Emma shifted her hands, her arms quivering with the action as she continued her brutal routine, attempting to block out the shrieking noise and the disturbing images that bombarded her racing brain as her lips trembled and her feet slipped ever so slightly.

Look at me! They did this to me!

Her vision wavering, she shook her head, quietly cursing once again as the frantic and familiar voice only continued to grow louder—all desperation and dark resolve; creeping into her mind it created a black nearly palpable cloud. Her eyes narrowing and another small grunt escaping her lips, she tried to rid herself of the sound, her efforts falling just short of successful as Greg's words only continued to echo in her ears.

Mermaids. Mermaids have him.

Pushing herself off the ground one last time, cursing loudly, violently, disgustedly, she sat down with a long and huffing breath, her eyes hazily focusing on the vibrantly blue sky above her as she waited for her heart-rate to slow.

She should be sleeping.

She should be exhausted.

She should probably be dead…

She hadn't a fucking clue what she was running on.

She only knew that her brain wouldn't let her rest and that her body was twitching and humming with some source of hot and buzzing energy.

Energy that terrified her.

They had spent the entire night hiding, keeping to the dark shadows, as they moved through the trees—holding their breaths and waiting for an impending attack anytime they heard a sound or detected the slightest trace of movement. Like every other night in Neverland it had been terrifying and miserable and nearly torturous—what had happened with Greg, Hook's unwavering resolve and his ruthless actions, continually flashing before her eyes and only making it that much worse.

Pan's playground was truly, truly, an evil place.

And as they had made their way through the thick trees she had felt a new weight drop heavily onto her shoulders as a darker desperation continued to drive her forward. Seeing what the shadow and his boys had done to her son's kidnapper, knowing that they so desperately wanted Henry and that they'd stop at nothing until they had him, had settled itself over her, wrapping around her like a cold and despairing blanket.

A frightening and taunting and constant reminder that her son was in grave and imminent danger.

Despite her protests that they keep moving, frantic and anxious to find the stupid sea-shell wearing fish who were currently holding her son captive—he was alive, she had to believe he was alive—Hook had insisted that they stop, signaling the rising of the sun in the red-hued sky, and informing her that after a few hours of rest they'd get moving once again.

It was the last thing she had wanted to hear.

She had argued, threatened, and cursed him out, even drawing her sword to no avail.

Appearing drawn, almost aged and utterly drained, he had cleared a spot near some overgrown bushes, and had dropped to the ground, pillowing his arms beneath his head and quipping something about how she could keep watch if she was so dead-set on falling over from exhaustion.

Truth be told, she had spent a good five minutes debating on leaving the bastard—a darker part of her wanting to cause him physical harm. But instead of doing either, she had found herself wearily lowering her aching body to the forest-floor, silently accepting the small but no less painful defeat. And of course, infuriatingly enough, even though tired and ragged and running on God knows how many hours of actual sleep, she had been unable to rest, her eye struggling to remain open, her heart rate refusing to slow. So instead of fighting it, she had busied herself by watching the steady rise and fall of his chest—her hand tightly wrapped around her dagger, her ears listening for any sign of danger.

She wasn't sure how long she had watched him.

But it had soothed her; and in a land with so few comforts she had allowed herself the small indulgence.

"What are you doing?"

His voice, quiet and tired, drew her attention upwards as his shadow fell over her, breaking her from her thoughts and gaining her focus. Shaking her head, chasing away her internal musings, she made a move to get up, pausing for a moment and wincing slightly as her muscles protested the harsh and rigorous routine she had just put them through.

She really freakin' hated push-ups.

Brushing a loose strand of hair out of her face, she rested a few seconds longer on the ground, squinting as her eyes struggled to adjust to the sight of him. With his back to the sun, he appeared to be cast in a radiant and almost eerie light, the shadows of the trees behind him looming around him like a dark and ominous threat.

"I was preparing."


A scowl pinching her lips together, she finally heaved herself up; and straightening quickly, she ignored the ache in her limbs as she batted at the loose leaves and dirt that stuck to her clothes—memories of the night before, of what he had done, of her despair, of the way he had wordlessly soothed her, holding her hair back as she had emptied the contents of her stomach, suddenly flooding her fast. "A fight."

One sharp eyebrow rising high on his forehead, Hook looked her over carefully, something odd and searching pulling at his features as he stepped closer—blue eyes warily scrutinizing. "I see."

Not liking the tone of his voice, the softly spoken note of understanding woven through it, Emma pushed past him, the constant knot in her stomach pulling tighter as she put some distance between them—her breathing slightly labored, the thick and humid atmosphere that encompassed Neverland not helping at all. "Apparently this whole island is at war with itself, everyone's trying to get their hands on my son. I can't just play hide and seek in the woods with you… I have to be prepared to fight for him okay?" She turned, surprised that he had followed her, more than a little annoyed that he was standing close and downright frustrated by what it did to her heart—the flutter and flip. "So I'm getting myself ready." She continued on, willing her voice to remain steady, ignoring his close proximity." Physically…I'm preparing. Since the poison…since even before that…since coming here…" she paused, shaking her head, her anger resurfacing, "dammit I can't sit around and let myself get weak...I need to prepare my—"

"Yourself." He stepped forward as he cut her off, the dark circles under his eyes had faded fractionally with his sleep, the rigidness in his spine had smoothed. "I understand…you're conditioning yourself for a physical fight…and while I commend your efforts darling, I have to ask while you're pushing your body, attempting to strengthen it…what of your mind?"

Her eyes narrowed into tiny slits at the murmured question, her lips thinning, and something inside of her taking immediate offense to his soft and slightly hesitant tone.

He was looking at her as if she were a caged animal.

"What about my mind Hook?"

"You keep pushing yourself like this sweetheart and you're bound to break."

"Excuse me?"

He let out a soft seemingly frustrated sigh, and bringing his good hand to his forehead he squeezed his temples lightly, muttered something under his breath, and squared his shoulders before leveling her with his icy and resolute blue stare. "It's not an insult Emma. You're strong…I've never doubted your abilities...not for a second, as I've yet to see you fail at anything…"

And just like every other time he had let his guard down around her, commending her with no innuendo attached, she felt her resolve weaken as her barriers wavered.

"But you're also a bloody stubborn lass." A tiny ghost of a smirk dusted his features with the comment and he merely held his hand up when she made an attempt to speak, her words cut off as he continued on. "This relentless punishment you've put your body through since the poison, trying to prove to yourself that your strong and capable and all the things you inherently's foolish and—"

And suddenly she felt her barriers shoot right back into place.

Throwing her hands up, unable to keep quiet any longer as she suddenly saw red, his praises falling on deaf ears as unexpected anger rolled off of her in waves, she stepped towards him with an aggravated and nearly violent curse. She didn't need him telling her what she was doing, why she was doing it, and how it was wrong. "You don't know what the hell you're talking about. And that's your problem Hook, you run that mouth of yours without thinking it through first...I'm not trying to prove a goddamned thing to anyone…I'm trying to save my son."

"And you long as you don't bloody well kill yourself before you have the chance." Something had abruptly shifted in the air; tension sparked between them and his calm and relaxed demeanor changed within the blink an eye—accusation and slight fury radiated from him as a spark of silent rage lit in his gaze and his posture stiffened fractionally. His good hand flexing at his side, his jaw clenching tightly, he eyed her carefully, something dark and slightly ruthless crossing over his features. "Refusing to rest, barely eating, pushing yourself beyond the point of exhaustion…fighting me the whole bloody way…do you actually think that's doing some kind of service to your son?"

"I'm trying not to delay his rescue any longer!"

"And I'm not sure how much more forthright I can be. It'll do you no good if you fall over dead on your feet before we have the chance to find him."

"That's not what I'm doing!"

"Isn't it?"


"Why then are you so intent on not listening to me? Did you sleep at all?" When she didn't say a word, he swore under his breath, his eyes flashing as he took a step towards her. "Look at yourself, you're exhausted, eyes half-mast, drowning in your own sweat, and refusing—"

"He's all I have left!"

Her shriek, loud and shrill, echoed throughout the trees, fading away into a lingering ring as her chest heaved and hot tears pricked at her eyes; the threat of a sudden emotional breakdown coming out of nowhere and looming above her as she quite suddenly found herself struggling to maintain composure.

He was all she had left.


And it hit her, like a heavy and forceful ton of bricks…she had nothing. She had never really had anything at all until he had shown up at her door all toothy smiles and hopeful and knowing eyes. She hadn't wanted it at the time; she hadn't wanted any of it…had fought it tooth and nail at first.

And now…

Now she'd give anything, everything, to get it all back.

She didn't want to be alone.

She was separated from her parents—who very well could be dead—and her son was being passed around Neverland like some prized treasure, hunted and sought after by the creatures and villains who inhabited the god-awful place.

And it wasn't fair.

Nothing about this was fair, or simple, or easy.

The whole freakin' thing sucked.

"I have nothing else." Her voice came out croaked and gruff, and shaking her head, her eyes shot to his, searching for something, anything, that showed her that he understood, that he wasn't judging her. "I made a mistake giving him up all those years ago…you don't know what that's like…I…I won't let him down again." She averted her gaze from his, biting on her lip to keep it from trembling. "He's all I have…Mary Margaret and David are probably dead they're—"

"Clearly you don't know your parents."

Raising watery eyes to him, she shook her head, annoyed and somewhat confused by his terse interruption—his body was tense and stiff and his eyes refused to meet hers for a few long and telling seconds. "Excuse me?"

He raised an eyebrow, his shoulders lifting somewhat lazily, defying the intense fire shining in his stare when he finally looked at her while taking another step towards her, invading her space…he was always invading her damned space. "Your parents are not your usual royalty Swan…I'd be quite surprised…disappointed actually…if they let Neverland win so easily. My guess is they've yet to succumb to the peril's of the island."

"You don't know that."

"Don't I?"

His quietly murmured inquiry had her pausing, her breath coming in short and exhaling fast as she considered the somewhat loaded question; and opening her mouth to shoot back an answer, one that was laced with sarcasm and most likely unnecessarily harsh, she shook her head as his voice echoed in her brain—hope and determination lingering in his tone. Instead of unleashing her anger, instead of lashing out and raking him over the coals for no reason at all, she squashed down the urge somewhat begrudgingly, swallowing her words while considering his softly spoken statement. It was funny, hilarious actually, because if she took the time to think about it, a moment to truly and really think about it…Hook probably knew more about her parents—who they were and what they were capable of—than she did.

It was so fucked up.

Just like everything else in her miserable life.

"There are people out there Emma…" his voice ripped her from her thoughts, the sincerity in his tone catching her attention as he shuffled even closer—sweat and rum and a scent that was wholly his invading her nose. Lifting her eyes, she tried to focus on what he was saying, instead of the fact that he was still moving towards her and that the air was too thick and hot…and…and dammit now her exhaustion was catching up to her. "People who care about you…who are trying to get back to you…who will stop at nothing to be reunited with you once again…"

His words echoed true in her head, and part of her wanted to listen to him, wanted to latch onto what he was saying, wanted to understand and appreciate that he was trying to be reassuring, that he was trying to help; but there was another part, a stronger, angrier, more intense part, that only wanted to scoff at his efforts. Even with his strong and somewhat misplaced belief in her family…in them…shining in his eyes, woven into his tone…she wanted to push him away, laugh and call his bluff.

He didn't know a thing about her and the people in her life.

Nothing at all.

And then, infuriatingly, she felt the dam inside of her wavering a little, getting ready to give way and break, as abruptly she was bombarded with images—dark and bleak images that drowned out his passionate and comforting words.

Henry, her parents, her multiple brushes with death, Greg…


Hook fighting with her, saving her, killing for her…





"You have people Emma…we just need to be smart…it won't be easy, nothing in this land is, but if you would just trust me I will help you find them. I promised you before that I intend to guide you through this place and I swear to you again…I will do all in my power, everything I can, to help you."

Suddenly frustrated by everything around her, the unbearable heat, the overgrown brush, the lingering images of a dying Greg; unfairly and undeniably annoyed by his words—his calm and knowing tones and his too searching eyes—she felt irritation begin to coil up inside of her, the pressure building—her parents' screams, images of snarling wolves, of heated dreams, of Henry's face, echoing in her head—until...she snapped.


His eyes widened with her ground out statement and feeling a somewhat sick thrill at the sight, her lips curled into a vicious snarl, as her hand unconsciously wrapped around the hilt of her dagger, her breathing coming out heavy, her heart pounding rapidly.

"What you're talking about is a pipe dream Hook…wishful thinking. Right now, at this moment, I have no one. Not until I change that…not until my actions prove otherwise! Do you understand? I have no one." Taking a step towards him, she practically seethed the words; her sudden rage simmering up from her very core—clearly surprising him as much as it did her as it nearly consumed her whole. "I don't care what you think about David and Mary Margaret, what you believe you know about them. If back when they were Snow White and Prince friggin Charming they could handle themselves…well then good for them. But look around us Hook!" she gestured wildly to the trees behind them, the unforgiving sun above them. "We're in the middle of some overgrown forest and we're dodging a manic shadow, getting chased by wolves and…and hell…I was almost killed by a damned plant. And you…regardless of what you barely know what the hell you're doing!" The laugh that followed her biting words was slightly maniacal, its viciousness loud and harsh. "And then…then there's Henry. He's gone…and I'm no closer to finding him then when we first got to this god-forsaken island." Sucking in a deep breath she moved even closer, annoyed that he didn't have the decency to appear at all ashamed by the fact that she had just spouted off about his ineptness and was currently staring bloody-fucking murder at him.

Oh no, instead he refused to look away; he refused to budge at all.

"My parents are gone…I don't give a rats ass what you say…the last fucking time I saw them they were surrounded by man-eating dogs and left with a woman who apparently has wanted my mother dead for the past few decades…and according to you Gold really isn't any better. So yeah I have no faith, I have no hope. Right now…at this moment…I have no one! So if I want to keep pushing myself, if I refuse to let myself rest, even a little, it's because of that less than comforting thought…because right now I'm alone." She moved forward again, their bodies just short of touching, her voice raspy and hoarse with her harshly spoken words. "I'm alone until I fix it. I'm alone until I—"

"You're a bloody fool."

His words were so soft, so low that she almost didn't hear him over her own furious ranting. And as he breathed them out, her eyes flashed to his, widening as he suddenly moved forward, crowding her fast, her feet fumbling back of their own accord as he forced her backwards with seemingly little regard for the way she huffed out a soft curse…the calm facade he had worn only seconds ago fading fast.

"You stupid ungrateful little—"

"What the—"

"You speak of having no one, of being bloody alone…when…everything…everything I've done since you're son has been taken has been for you and you alone!"

Jesus. Christ.

"You teamed up with the same people who took him you jackass!"

"A mistake you'll not soon let me forget!"

Her eyes grew wide as he bellowed the words out, her heart stopping for a moment, the stillness in her chest aching, before suddenly, it began racing fast threatening to pound itself right past her ribcage. And swallowing over the rising lump in her throat she shook her head, her lips numb as she tried to find the right words, tried to force them out. "Why the hell should I…"

"I don't know why I came back." He cut her off, his words hissing in her face—his breath washing warm over her cheeks—once again he was close…too damned close. "What I thought I owed the whole bloody lot of you, I could have left you to your own devices in that sodding town. But I didn't and since we've embarked on this journey, never once have I strayed, never once have I done anything other than what was in your best interest…Henry's best interest." He barreled on, moving forward again, forcing her backwards once more, her clumsy feet nearly tripping over each other as her back suddenly came into contact with the unforgiving and rough bark of a thick and tall tree. Still he refused to let up, continuing to invade her space, caging her in, he placed his good hand on one side of her head, his hook on the other—reflexively her fingers twitched at her side, brushing the hilt of her weapon.

"You—you think you deserve some kind of award?" She hated that her words came out a hushed whisper, her eyes fluttering rapidly as she tried to figure out how the hell things had escalated so quickly. "You think that—"

"You're so busy feeling sorry for yourself, pitying your situation, almost getting yourself killed, refusing to open your eyes, refusing to see!"

"See what?"

"Me!" His voice roared the word out, the sound resonating between them, causing her to flinch back a bit. "Me Emma! You've got me…whether you bloody well want me or not."

Before she could respond, before she could even think about processing his words, he pitched forward fast, his hand suddenly snaking back behind her head and pulling her towards him in one quick and jerky movement, the air whooshing out of her lungs as her body collided with his hard and unyielding one. And suddenly, infuriatingly, she couldn't move…not at first, her arms numb and weak hung limply at her side. She could only tense and stiffen when his hook wrapped around her waist, the metal digging into her skin and urging her body even closer to his—the heat of the island, the fractional space between them only highlighting their already sweat slick and sun soaked bodies. And as he lowered his head, clear intent flashing in his eyes, she saw red, she felt fear and she desperately pushed down the overwhelming and terrifying need that nearly consumed her entire being.

"You stupid son of a—"

Her angry curse was silenced immediately as he crashed his lips down onto hers with no preamble, no hesitation…no chance for her to pull away.

And for a moment she froze completely.

For a moment she didn't do anything at all; the feel her body crushed against his, the brush of his mouth moving freely over hers, sending sparks of shock shooting throughout her.

For a moment, for one moment only, she went lax in his grip, allowed herself to open up, to lower her walls, to forget where she was and why she was there, to just give in and kiss him back. Closing her eyes, a gasp escaping her as his teeth dug into her bottom lip before soothing it immediately with his tongue, she absorbed the terrifying sensations—voices screaming in her head, her skin on fire, her heart hammering hard.

She felt lost, she was floating away; and on the verge of drowning, she gripped him harder and held on tight, needing him to anchor her.

She thought she heard him grunt, she thought she heard her name, whispered near reverently, slip past his lips, she thought she felt his hips tilting into hers, she thought she felt a quiet moan bubble up from her throat …but then, almost blissfully, she thought absolutely nothing at all; his arm tightening around her waist driving almost every coherent thought from her head.


How long had she secretly craved this…unknowingly needing him?

Her mind shouted that she still didn't want it, her body cursing it a liar, as her heart hung in limbo between the two.

And then, as he shifted his grip on her neck, as his lips suddenly softened and gentled on hers before abruptly diving back in for more, as her hands gripped at his collar and her body surged forward arching into his, as a frantic whisper in her head turned into a hiss before fusing into a loud and violent roar, she snapped her eyes open, everything rushing her all at once as it dawned on her exactly what was happening...

Exactly what she was doing.

What happened after that was a blur of emotions and sensations, actions and reactions. Through the hazy fog clouding her eyes, through the tingling vibrations dancing across her skin, through the humming in her ears, a part of her watched, almost detached from it all, as everything played out in slow motion.

Anger, confusion, disgust, warring within her, she pulled back fast and pushed him away—their breaths heaving, their stares clashing.


She tried to back away, swearing as the tree made its presence known behind her, scratching her skin and preventing her from moving any further. Shuffling forward slowly, something pained and sorrowful dimming in his gaze, he took another tentative step, her eyes narrowing in vain as she tried to look everywhere, anywhere but at him.

"Look at me."

God she hated him, truly hated him at the moment.

"Emma…I should have…"


No…she couldn't…wouldn't…listen to him, not when her mind was a jumble of chaos, her body a shaking heap and her heart a racing mess. And as he reached for her, apology and understanding in his gaze, her body acted of its own accord; her walls swiftly shooting back up as her fist suddenly went flying out fast...

She punched him.

Pulling her hand back she gritted her teeth as pain shot down from her knuckles, through her wrist and up her arm, the sight of his head flying back, his eyes widening and narrowing into tiny slits as he whipped it forward again before straightening swiftly, implanting itself into her brain—the sliver of regret she felt only shadowed by the hot burn of growing satisfaction.

"Get the hell away from me." Her voice was nothing more than a raspy whisper, and clutching her aching hand to her chest she debated going for her dagger, pushing away the screaming voices in her head that were protesting her every action—her mind, body, heart, and soul all at war with each other.





Run! Run! Run!


"I mean it." She hissed out at him, her cheeks flushing hot as she struggled not to trace trembling fingers over her raw and swollen lips—images of her body pressed against his flashing in her head tauntingly. "Did you...did you think I was going to just fall into your arms…is this what this has all been about? Was it just an act? Taking care of me, staying with me...the entire time—have you even been trying to help me find Henry? Was—was this just some sort of set up…some twisted…God…what the hell is wrong with you? You're sick…you—you disgust're nothing but a selfish bastard…a pirate." Her tone dripping with venom, she spat the last word at him as if it left a bad taste in her mouth, watching as his jaw tensed with her spitefulness, his eyes hardening dangerously. And at the sight, something inside of her perked up, begging her to stop, warning her that her anger was slightly misplaced and that her emotions were getting the best of her; but the overwhelming betrayal she felt at his actions, the fact that her feelings for him were a mess and unclear, and suddenly she was scared so very scared, outweighing any sense of reason or sound logic.

And why the hell had he kissed her?

"Get away from me…I'll find my son on my own. Leave…we're—we're done."

She watched as something slightly sinister glimmered in his eyes, the apology and the regret slowly fading, the blue of his gaze icing over as his features gave way to a cool and composed mask of indifference. His good hand coming up to wipe away the trickle of blood that had formed at the corner of his mouth he raised a sharp brow as he glared down at her.

"Bit of an overreaction love, especially coming from a woman who so readily accepted my advances."

He was ready for her the next time she swung out at him, deflecting her blow with a grunt and throwing her arm away—a smug grin stretching his lips and a taunting glimmer of anger laced with dark amusement flashing in his gaze.

"I swear to God I will..." she paused only to shake her head, her body shifting closer to his, "If you don't get the hell away from me I will kill you..." Her voice was low, her warning ringing true as the buzzing energy she had felt the night before with Greg slowly warmed her veins, terrifying her and empowering her all at the same time. And she knew it was an overreaction, she knew that she was blowing things out of proportion, but she couldn't help it, wasn't sure she could stop herself even if she tried. "I swear I will."

And maybe it was the tone of her voice.

Maybe it was the stiffness in her body.

Maybe it was the look in her eyes.

Or maybe it was the way she flexed her fingers back and forth like she was itching to do something with something could come shooting out of them at any moment.

But abruptly, almost unexpectedly, the smirk fled his face, his posture straightened and something unreadable flashed in his eyes, before she saw him looking at her with the same disgust and confusion she had felt only moments ago. Eying her warily, his hand reaching down to rest on the sword at his side, his lips thinned into a tight humorless smile, his eyes refusing to meet hers, before slowly, insultingly, he lowered himself into a mocking bow.

"As you wish love."

She barely had the chance to think, to blink, to exhale the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, before he turned on his heel and stalked away from her, the crunch of the ground beneath his boots sounding like canon fire as he disappeared into the thick line of trees, fading from her sight completely as she was left staring at nothing at all.

She was alone.


Leaning against the tree at her back, Emma closed her eyes, infuriated with herself for the overwhelming urge to cry; tears, hot and damning, pooled at the corners of her eyes threatening to spill over at any moment.

And dammit she was so sick of crying.

So sick of being miserable.

And bringing both hands up to her face, she rubbed her temples, trying to block out the phantom feeling of Hook's lips on hers, the way she had unthinkingly reacted, the crush of his body against hers, his truth-laced words ringing in her ears...

"Me Emma! You've got me…whether you bloody well want me or not."


She didn't want him; she didn't want to want him. She just wanted to find her son, she just wanted to go home. And with a frustrated groan and a muttered curse she dug her fingers harder into her skin as considered the fact that she had just chased away the one person who might be able to help her do just that.

Because she was stubborn.

And tired.

And hostile.

And an idiot.

A goddamned idiot.

Swiping her fingers over her lips, trying to wipe the taste of him away, she tried to relax, tried to collect herself, attempting to gather her bearings and sort out her thoughts, the heavily guarded walls around her heart threatening to crack and shatter. She wasn't sure how long she stayed like that, leaning against the tree for support, the sound of Neverland around her—the call of the birds and the cry of the exotic creatures—ringing in her ears as the hot and merciless sun pounded down on her.

Images swept into her brain unexpectedly: sword fighting with Hook on the deck of the Jolly Roger, Hook saving her from the nymph, Hook giving her his sword, Hook saving her from the poisoned thorns...

Hook saving her.

Hook saving her.

Hook saving her.

Finally, when she was ready to move, to attempt to pick up the pieces of the mess she'd made, she breathed in deeply and squared her shoulders as she mentally prepared herself to venture into the death-trap known as Neverland's forest...alone. Part of her was unsure if she should try to find Hook, while another part of her still burned hot with the fading licks of anger and betrayal that continued to course through her—she didn't have time to focus on him, not when Henry was out there. It was the telling sound of a twig breaking in front of her, the shuffling of feet, that had her exhaling out a deep breath, both relief and the remnants of her fury flooding her veins as she opened her eyes.

"Hook I—" Her words caught in her throat when instead of meeting clear and vibrant blue, her eyes met a dark and unfamiliar gaze; the emotionless depths staring straight through her. "Who the hell —" But her words were cut off by a pinch of pain and a flash of heat, a numbing sensation quickly overtaking her. And lifting a suddenly heavy hand to her neck, she felt her eyes widen as a rush of panic shot through her fast—her fingers brushing the small and smooth dart that had pierced her skin.

Darkness consuming her quickly, she barely had time to register the figures that stood behind her silent and indifferent attacker, her mind weakly trying to count them as they closed in on her. And as her legs shook and she fell, her thoughts drifted to Hook; dimly she wondered if he was still in the woods, if he too had become a victim just as suddenly as she...or if worse yet...

He had fed her to the wolves.

The world closing in on her, she was out before she hit the ground.

Goddammit Emma! She's frustrating me and I'm writing the damned thing! ;) BUT I do have her set up for the next chapter nicely...there's a big OHHHHHHHHHH moment coming up for Emma. I promise.


Anywho, as I mentioned in my earlier A/N I really want to focus on my WIPs as opposed to shooting out one-shots. So for those who've decided to stick around and continue on with me I appreciate it so much. I really really want to tell this story and now that the excitement of the new season has worn off a bit I'm excited to finish my Neverland tale.

Thanks again so much for reading!

And please review! :)