Emma and Snow turned at the sudden interruption to see the bruised and battered pirate hobbling down the hallway. He was looking curiously at a plate full of blue Jell-O in his hand.
"I found it on the tray," Hook said as he leaned up against the wall for support.
"Really?!" Emma retorted as she marched over towards him. How the hell did he get out of those cuffs? she thought to herself.
"Pirate!" he sassed holding up his arm as if knowing exactly what she was thinking. Hook looked back down at the strange substance in front of him. "What the bloody hell is this?"
"Jell-O," Emma stated.
"It's food," Snow snapped. "You eat it."
Hook raised his eyebrow at the two women in disbelief. "Oh I thought it was a hallucination." He caught Ruby out of the corner of his eye and surveyed her quickly. "Although, you're quite real aren't you?" Ruby glowered at him as Hook's mouth curled into that devilish smirk.
"Go eat your Jell-O," Emma said grabbing Hook's arm and pushing him back down the hall.
Emma continued to guide him through the hospital back towards his room.
"Am I really supposed to eat this?" he asked jiggling the goop that was still in his hand.
"Yes and you're going to like it." Emma shoved him around the corner.
"Ease up, would you, darling?" Hook asked cringing at the sharp pains coming from his ribs.
Stumbling across the threshold to his room, Hook shuffled back to the bed and collapsed onto it inhaling sharply as he did. Emma grabbed hold of the plate of Jell-O and set it on the table next to the bed before he could drop it all over the floor. She stood and watched for a moment as Hook attempted to pull himself up properly, the pain from his broken bones clearly causing him to fail.
"Here," she said, "let me help." Emma bent down, took hold of his ankles and swung them gently up, slipping them underneath the covers as Hook lightly adjusted himself and laid back against the pillows. She moved to the head of the bed and reached back behind his head. "Can you sit up for a second?" Hook obliged, grasping at his chest, as Emma fluffed his pillows. "There," she said as she placed a hand of support on his shoulder allowing him to fall back onto the pillows.
"Thank you, Emma," Hook said.
"Do I even want to know how you escaped?"
"I already told you. I'm a pirate."
Emma smirked. "Well, I'm not going to let that happen again." She moved quickly, grabbing hold of his wrist that still had the cuff attached and raising it behind his head locking the other cuff around the bar at the top of the bed.
"Really, Swan?" He gave her a bored look. "Again?" Emma looked at him expressionless then pulled up a chair and sat next to him without saying a word. "Alright then. How do you expect me to eat now?"
God damn it, Emma said to herself. She hadn't thought of that. She looked from Hook to the Jell-O then back at Hook again and reached up rubbing her face in defeat.
"I guess I'm just going to have to feed you." Emma stood and picked up the plate of Jell-O and a spoon and sat on the edge of the bed. "I can't believe I'm doing this," she sighed shaking her head and taking a scoop of the blue gelatin.
"Wait just a bloody second," Hook blurted out as the spoon approached his mouth. "I am not eating that."
Emma rolled her eyes. "Why not?"
"That," he nodded at the spoon, "whatever that is, it's not right. And there's no way I'm letting you put that in my mouth."
"It's food, Hook. Everyone here eats it."
"Would you eat it?"
"What?" She looked at his quizzically.
"Would you eat it?" he repeated.
"Uh, yeah," Emma replied. "I've eaten it several times in my life."
Hook stared at her in disbelief. "I'm not eating that," he said finally.
"Look," Emma said, starting to get impatient, "it's either this or no food at all." She stared down at the bruised and, apparently, not-so-helpless pirate.
"You eat it first," Hook said.
"I want to make sure it's actually edible."
The spoon clanked on the side of the plate as Emma finally put it down. "Are you kidding me? For God's sake, Hook, why would I give you something that you can't eat?"
Hook shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know, love. Why did you abandon me on that beanstalk when you knew you could trust me?"
Emma stared open-mouthed at the sudden twist in their exchange. Hook looked at her and smirked; he knew he had struck a nerve.
"Fine," Emma groaned in an attempt to avoid answering his question. She picked up the spoon and placed the Jell-O into her mouth, grinning childishly at the pirate as she swallowed. "There, you see? It's edible. Now will you eat it?"
"If you insist, love."
Hook watched as Emma took another scoop of the strange, blue substance and brought it up to his lips. He opened his mouth, hesitating slightly, and allowed Emma to insert the spoon. His lips closed lightly around the utensil for a moment before she pulled it back out leaving the Jell-O behind.
His face contorted as his tongue rolled over the gel-like food. It tasted sickeningly sweet and not at all natural. Hook looked at Emma, desperate for guidance; he didn't know whether he was supposed to chew it or swallow it whole. She bore an almost cruel smile, clearly amused at the display of his confusion in front of her.
Emma could tell he didn't know what to do. It was taking every ounce of strength she had to not burst out laughing at his reaction. "Just swallow it, Hook," she instructed. He followed her orders and took a big gulp. "Now, was that so bad?"
"I still don't understand what the bloody hell I just ate," Hook said licking his lips.
"Well it's... it's..." Emma looked down at the plate. "It's... Jell-O..." She could tell by the look on Hook's face that her description was not the least bit helpful. "It's just Jell-O. There's really no other way to describe it."
"I suppose it's not the worst thing I've ha," he admitted.
"Does this mean you want more, Captain?"
Hook smiled. "Aye, lass. That I do."
Emma's mouth cracked at the corners; clearly the menacing pirate was not going to admit he had taken a liking to this newfound food. She took another spoonful of Jell-O and fed it to him. For a moment, Emma entertained the thought of pretending the spoon was actually a plane that was coming in for a landing, but decided that she probably shouldn't anger the man who had shot a woman in the shoulder only hours before.
The two of them sat in silence watching each other intensely as Emma continued to spoon-feed Hook the rest of the Jell-O. As she scooped up the last bit off the plate and guided the spoonful to his mouth, Hook caught her eye and winked causing her to fumble with the utensil, inevitably dropping it right onto his broken ribs. He inhaled sharply and clutched his chest with free arm, squishing the spilled Jell-O into his robe.
"Oh shit, I'm sorry," Emma gasped, leaping off her chair and throwing the empty plate onto the side table. She hurried over to the sink on the other side of the room, picked up a towel and brought it back over to Hook. She tried to lift his arm off his chest, but he held it tightly down.
"Hook, stop," she said. "You're smashing it into your robe and making a mess. Let me clean it up."
Reluctantly, he lifted his arm up and allowed her to wipe away the access Jell-O. His robe and hospital gown were now stained bright blue and smelled of blue raspberry.
"I suppose I'll have to change out of these now," Hook concluded. "You wouldn't want to help me with that, would you, love?" He shot Emma that devilish grin she had seen many times before.
Emma rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that's not in my job description, Hook. Sorry."
"Can't blame me for trying," he replied smugly as Emma walked back over to the sink and began rinsing out the Jell-O-soaked towel. "May I at least have some water, Emma?"
"Yeah, hang on a minute." She finished cleaning off the towel, wrung out the access water and hung it on the edge of the sink to dry before walking back over towards Hook.
A pitcher of water was also on the table beside his bed along with a styrofoam cup and straw. She picked up the cup and poured some water into it, placing a cover on top and sticking the straw into it. Sitting on the edge of his bed once more, Emma brought the straw up to Hook's lips. As he drank, she glanced up at the cuffs hooked on the bed and his wrist double checked to make sure he hadn't escaped in the two minutes she had her eyes off him.
"Thank you, lass," Hook said when he had finished drinking. "Now, are we going to discuss the little matter of you leaving me up on that beanstalk?"
Emma sighed and looked up at the clock. She was relieved when she realized she had been with Hook longer than anticipated and knew she should get back to her parents and everyone else waiting on Dr. Whale to finish the surgery on the mysterious outsider.
"Not now, Hook," Emma said finally. "I go back to my actual job instead of babysitting you any more."
"And you trust me not to escape again?"
She eyed him carefully. "Maybe. I'd love to see you get out of this configuration anyways."
Hook raised his eyebrow. "Is that a challenge, my dear?"
"Perhaps," Emma smirked. She stood up and placed the cup back on the table and started walking towards the door, but stopped a couple paces shy and went back to his bedside.
"Did you forget something?" Hook flirted.
Emma leaned down. "Just know, Hook, that if you escape again, I can't protect you from Rumplestiltskin. And believe me when I say he will kill you for what you did to Belle. I hid you in here to protect you so if you care at all, you'll stay here."
Hook stared up at her for a moment before Emma turned around to leave the room once more. Before she could leave, he stopped her once more.
"Emma, wait," Hook said suddenly.
She turned back to him, eyebrows raised waiting for one of his innuendo-filled comments. "What, Hook?"
He grasped for words, but nothing came.
"What?" she pressed.
"Could you send for some more Jell-O?" he asked finally.
Emma smiled and shook her head in amusement. "Aye, aye, Captain."