A big Thanks to Cinders and Once_Dude over at the OncePodcastForum for your great reviews, and thanks to everyone who read and liked I hope you enjoy this chapter :)


Previously...

"The man from before he, he gave me an address. It's, it's to your father's apartment." Emma tells Henry whose eyes widen.

"What? What are we doing here then, we need to go!" Henry stands but Emma grabs his hand.

"Henry wait. I know you've always wanted to meet your father but he isn't there, he's long gone."

"So this is where my dad lived?" Henry asks Emma as he looks up at an apartment building.

"It's a palace compared to some of the places he lived." Emma runs a hand along Henry's back then makes her way forward into the building.

"How are we going to get in?" Henry questions as both he and his mom stare at the locked gate.

"A little trick I picked up when growing up and I needed to get into someplace real quick." Emma smiles in reminiscence. Emma next runs her hand up and down all over the buttons on the console and as they here the door buzz and open Emma smiles confidently at Henry while saying.

"Someone always answers." Emma holds the door open for Henry and lets him walk on ahead she then takes this time to catch her breath. Up those stairs was where Neal lived, it was easier now talking about him but seeing where he lived and stuff he owned; things that were irrefutably him would be hard.

"Any more tricks you can show me?" Henry asks excitedly as he stands in front of Neal's apartment door rocking backwards and forwards on his heels. Emma shakes her head.

"Henry you shouldn't be proud that I used to steal and break into places, I'm not." Emma sighs and Henry relaxes a little.

"I know what you're doing." Henry tells Emma who looks at him questioningly.

"You're stalling." Henry answers smartly and correctly, Emma looks away a little embarrassed that Henry could read her so well.

"It's okay to be scared mom, I know my Dad hurt you but it doesn't change the fact that he's my dad and I want to know him; know whatever I can about him seen as he's not here. And I am proud of you Mom." Henry gives his mom a sincere smile. Emma ruffles Henry's hair.

"I'm so lucky to have you." Emma smiles lovingly at Henry who grins back at her.

"Enough stalling, come on mom." Henry resumes his bouncing.

"Fine, fine. You wanna see how to pick a lock kid." Emma shakes her head as Henry watches with wide eyes as she easily picks the lock in a matter of seconds.

"That was so cool, you're like a spy." Henry walks first into the apartment pushing the door wide open; he looks around the rather small apartment with eager eyes. He sees some lockers which peaks his interest so he walks over to them and opens them seeing what things he could find.

Emma stands in the door way assessing the room seeing if what she saw matched with the guy she remembered. She saw lots of artwork which surprised her as she didn't know he was artistic. There were lots of things he'd collected which didn't surprise her as he always liked little trinkets, at that memory Emma reaches up to her chest where the swan pendant rightfully rests, she grips the pendant and breaths closing her eyes and gathering strength. As she opens her eyes her eyes land on something which sucks all the air from her lungs.

"Mom? Mom are you okay?" Henry watches as his mom stands in a trance like state then walks towards the window oblivious to him calling her name. The thing that has captivated her puzzles Henry, for it wasn't anything exciting; it was only a dream catcher.

Emma reaches up for the dream catcher mouth falling open in amazement; he'd kept it all this time. Emma holds the dream catcher in both hands and turns towards Henry her eyes wide.

"What is it Mom?" Henry asks.

"He kept it, all this time. I thought, I don't, why would he keep this?" Emma ponders and as she does so she clutches at her swan pendant, it is in that moment when Emma's eyes snap wide open.

"You weren't going to tell me about him were you?" Neal states upset with Emma.

"No, I wasn't." Emma doesn't lie.

"Yeah, well, he's my kid too, so you don't get to make that decision by yourself anymore." Neal replies fiercely.

"I'm not letting go of you." Emma clings desperately onto Neal as he hangs within the portal.

"Uhh! You have to." Neal grunts in pain.

"No, you're shot! If you fall through that portal, you'll die no matter what world you land in! "Emma shouts while fiercely trying to pull Neal up.

"No, but, Emma, Henry needs you. He can't lose both of us .Don't make him grow up like we did." Neal knows the inevitable; he tries to reason with Emma.

"Then don't let go." Emma clings to Neal tears falling down her face as she looks at him.

"I need you. I love you." Emma cries wishing that she could save Neal.

"I love you, too." Neal smiles through the pain, and as he stares at Emma he tries to convey all that he feels and cannot say then opens his hand, Emma's hand grabs at the air as Neal falls into the abyss.

"No." Emma whispers brokenly as a tear falls down her cheek.

Meanwhile…

Neal sits slumped in his cell, head bowed. In his hand he holds the swan pendant, he caresses the swan image.

"Hmm. It appears our plans have changed." The witches' voice echoes into the room she enters moments later.

Neal looks up, he wasn't a fool he didn't want her to force him again.

"Good boy." The witch hums and smiles gratifyingly at Neal.

"It appears you are quite loved. You're friends have formed a little band of followers to come and rescue you. Now I'm just going to have to put a stop to it. Won't take long darling and we'll be on our way." The witch smirks evilly.

"What are you going to do?" Neal doesn't really want to hear the answer but he needs to know. The witch laughs sardonically and turns.

"What are you going to do?!" Neal shouts after her standing, he grips onto the bars yelling after her.

"What are you going to do?!" Neal's voice echoes through the room as the witch leaves the room a huge grin on her face.

"I have friends of my own." The witch strides into a room the doors flying open after her. The witch approaches a balcony she stares up into the sky.

Flashes of brown can be seen in the sky, the grin on her face widens if possible. A monstrous looking flying monkey lands before her; it bore huge claws and shark looking teeth that would cause serious damage.

"Assemble the others. It's playtime." The witch watches as the monkey flies off, it screams out into the sky.

The witch looks to either side of her, flashes of brown jump from the ledges. A swarm of ten other monkeys just as hideous fly to meet the lead monkey; they form a v formation in the sky and drop rapidly towards the green below.

"Fly, my pretties, Fly". The witch cackles with glee as she watches the monkeys descend to do her evil bidding.

...


Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did writing it. Please don't be shy and comment, I crave feedback so if you can review please do. Many thanks for reading x

P.s thanks to POM for the suggestion at the end it was too good not to include.