Joining the many of you who have written a post Good Form fic. Like I could help myself.

Disclaimer: Every episode would be Good Form if I owned the show. They'd never progress further, just kiss all the time.

..:::..

These Arms Will Not Be Taught to Need Another's

..:::..

So is it better to tell and hurt than lie to save the face,
Well I guess the answer is don't do it in the first place.
I know I'm not deserving of your trust from you right now,
But if by chance you change your mind, you know I will not let you down
-The Special Two, Missy Higgins

..:::..

Killian plays with Pan's words over and over in his mind well into the night, offering to take first watch so he can try to figure out exactly what to do with this new information. He knows what either form of action could cost him and telling Emma or not telling her terrifies him equally.

He knows this is Pan's game, this is his intention, to drive a wedge between him and the one thing that has given him hope in centuries. His fight with the childlike demon started many years ago and he has no intention of backing down easily.

There just has to be a way that he doesn't lose everything again.

He's done the selfless thing for a little while now and he likes the way it makes him feel. But dammit he needs a moment of selfishness because that kiss meant too much to him and he's not willing to lose the chance to have another. He cares for her too much.

The choice is pretty much taken from his hands the second she unexpectedly comes and sits next to him, all wide eyed and curious, "What's going on, Hook?"

And he frowns at her bluntness. How could she possibly know that something is bothering him? She's the open book; he thought he had crafted his façade well enough that no one could read him.

Apparently not.

"Look, I know something is up. You spent the night avoiding me and after something like…after what happened earlier, I expected a lot more of you in the flirting department." She tilts her head, trying to mask the slight smile that crosses her face, "I may have even expected it, prepared for it."

That they're even in the position to have this conversation warms him. He hasn't felt like this about someone is such a long time and he likes it. He likes it far too much. And it makes what he has to say next one of the most difficult sentences to pass through his lips.

"Emma, there's something you must know." His eyes meet hers and there's a seriousness there, an intensity. The smile has vanished and in its place is something inquisitive and slightly on edge. "Pan, he told me something and…" he doesn't know how to tell her so that it sounds real. Because to him it's all still a dream that he can't wake from. In the end he decides the most direct way is probably the easiest, "Your Neal. He is alive and in Neverland."

She frowns, a look of disbelief crossing her features. To his surprise, her initial response is completely cautious, "And you believe him? You believe that boy?"

He doesn't understand at first, but then realises that she knows nothing of his own messy past with Pan, "Of course I do. Not believing him led to the demise of my brother and I will not have that happen again. Not with you."

But she's hardly paying attention to him, "How could you? I thought you actually cared for me." The hurt is evident in her expression, in the way she turns her body from his, standing up out of pure defence. "I suppose it would be too easy to expect anything more than lies from a pirate."

She spits the words and he feels them hit his heart with a jolt. He stands up, following her, always following her, and tries to get her to face him, his hook reaching out for her arm, "Emma, please. He's alive, you must listen to me."

She swings around, her open palm connecting with his cheek and he probably deserved that from a long time ago, but not now, not when he's trying his best to make her see.

He grabs her wrist, holding it tight in his hand while her other hand beats at his chest, tears starting to pool in her eyes, "He can't be alive, he can't." And he realises that she's begging him to say it. To take it back, to make Neal dead again. Because that would make it easier. It would take away any chance for that man to hurt her again.

Suddenly her reaction doesn't seem that far over the top. He thinks about those endless nights of closure he would never have with Liam, with Milah. And how over time the wounds have almost healed, allowing him to finally move on. And now Emma, who has allowed herself to see the possibility of something with him has to deal with the man who hurt her again. She had finally begun to let him go and now he's back.

And to him, that justifies each hit she throws at his chest. He lets her come undone against his body, her voice soft and confused, trying to tell him again and again that Neal isn't alive.

It's a long while before she draws a shuddering breath and just stops, staring blankly at his chest, not really comprehending anything. His arms come out to gather her up in a tight embrace, letting her come down from her shock.

"Is he really alive?" she asks meekly.

"Aye."

Her eyes close and he feels little pearls of wetness from her tears drip onto his skin, "It's going to get complicated now."

He drops his head against hers, his lips whispering across her hair, wanting to kiss her so badly, but not knowing his place in all this, "I thought as much."

She raises her head briefly, red rimmed eyes meeting his cautious stare, and reaches a hand up to the side of his face, cupping it gently. His eyes close of their own volition, leaning into her palm as her thumb caresses his cheek. Then before he can register what is happening, he feels her lips press lightly against his.

It's a mere whisper of what they had earlier, but it's enough to give him hope.

Because he knows it's going to be hard between them, but he is willing to fight for what he wants.

And he really wants Emma Swan.

:::

Thoughts?