Heavily inspired by a post on Tumblr about how Hook must genuinely believe that Jello contains medicinal properties :D
100% do not know how this fic happened lmao. It was supposed to be light and fluffy and turned a little angsty. I have some ideas to continue, and the next one will be fluffy, but wanted to get this one out there first to see if anyone even liked it :)
Emma cannot believe this. Stuck on the couch while David and Hook scout the forest for the Wicked Witch – Zelena, she corrects herself – again; might as well start saying the real name now that they knew it.
Because of Neal.
She looks over to Henry at the kitchen table studying through the star charts Hoo – Killian gave to him and bites back her emotions; no need for her heart to hurt just as much as her damn ankle.
Speaking of which…
She fluffs her pillow again and places it under her tensor-wrapped foot to help with the swelling and begins another round of ice treatment like Whale had instructed.
There was no freaking way she was going to be stuck here another day. She is starting to see how Mary Margaret feels being stuck on the bench. She needs to be out there with them. She needs to make Zelena pay for depriving her son of the chance to grow up with a father.
She stares at the swan necklace where she had placed it on the table. Find Tallahassee. It mocks her without really trying to. How is she supposed to find Tallahassee when her life is one episode of disaster after another?
It doesn't stop. And it will never stop.
She is the Saviour. She knows this.
But who will save her?
Her final promise to Neal appears to be an impossible feat, only adding to her heavy heart.
Emma hears the floorboards creak behind her and immediately wipes her face of the emotions lingering inside her.
But she knows that there was no point to it really. He already knows what she is feeling without seeing the traitorous thoughts written on her face as plain as if she took a sharpie and wrote them across her forehead.
He knows her. And it scares her.
He leans lightly on the coffee table in front of her. Even sitting, he towers over her and it makes her uncomfortable. Not because his position implies power, but from this angle she cannot even attempt to hide herself and her heart from him.
"Emma…" he trails off silently, not knowing where to begin.
She steers the direction for him, "Any luck finding the witch?"
He shakes his head, "She and the Dark One have gone into hiding. We were not able to locate either of them."
She tries to lighten the mood, "Probably because you all insisted I sit this one out. You must have been totally lost without me." She puts on a smile, but even a monkey could identify it as fake and forced.
She cringes. Monkey jokes were forever ruined.
To her credit, he does sport a small smile and provides her with a sarcastic reply, "Aye lass. Your father and I were utterly lost without your guidance." She notices his cheeky grin tugging the corner of his lips, but she can tell his heart isn't really into it. "Perhaps we should have let you come with us. With no way to walk, I could have carried your lovely arse all over the forest."
Nevertheless, she gives him that look and rolls her eyes. Of course. Any excuse for getting his hands on her.
She wishes he would. A small part of her craves this touch, just to remind her that she isn't alone.
"Anything else I missed?"
"David is ensuring lady Belle does not attempt to find the Dark One herself. Tink will be staying with her for a few days, offering protection and companionship. I imagine she will be needing it."
There is a tone of sincerity and sentiment in his voice and Emma realizes that Belle and he now share a common feeling; the loss of a step-son figure.
"I'm sorry," she blurts out, almost ashamed she had not said the words earlier.
"Whatever for, love?" Confusion crosses his face as he stares deeply into her eyes and searches them for answers.
She looks away while wringing her two hands together, unable to stand his penetrating gaze.
"Neal," she replies quietly and glances over to where Henry was seated, but he must have gone upstairs since he was no longer there. In his absence, she pushes on, "I'm sorry about Neal. I know you were close once upon a time, and no one really knows that. I imagine that's hard; to grieve in silence."
He remains stone still other than fiddling with the glove of his fake hand. He must have switched his hook for it, knowing Henry would be home. The thought warms her heart that he is thinking of her son.
He begins suddenly and sharply, "I cannot imagine why you are thinking of me and how I feel in this situation, Swan. What Bealfire and I shared comes nowhere close to the grief of losing a past-love and father of her child" His gaze returns to hers as he shakes his head incredulously, "Do not spare me a thought when you have so much more to be thinking about at the moment. I should be offering you condolences when you have lost so much more than I."
Emma shifts herself to face him, planting her feet on the ground. She ignores the pain the shoots up her leg. She places her hand onto his and stops his fiddling. He looks at her in awe and she locks onto his gaze.
"Yes, I lost someone I will always care about and who is Henry's father, but you also lost a son." She shifts her hand into his and her heart speeds up; she had no explanation for how bold she was being. She drops her gaze to their entwined hands and bites her lip in fear for what will come next.
With vulnerability and fear, he slips his hand out from hers and brushes a stray lock behind her ear. His voice is low and rough around the edges with emotion, "You should not care about me, Emma."
Mixtures of grief, sadness and longing plague the deepest corners of his glassy ocean orbs when she returns her own to his.
She takes a deep breath, "But I do care about you, Killian."
The silence between them lasts forever. In this moment, she knows that the beginnings of a bridge have been created across their impossible and indescribable canyon. The bridge, a symbol of something sturdier to be fashioned, yet so easily destroyed and fragile if attempted too soon.
He snaps to attention and almost jumps away from her as they hear Henry coming back down the stairs. She feels his loss immediately.
"Mom, is that Killian?"
She chokes out an affirmation to her son as Killian crosses to the kitchen counter to grab a cardboard bag he must have brought with him.
"Aye, lad. But I mustn't stay; simply here to bring your mother and you sustenance." He flashes his trademark smile before reaching into the bag and handing Henry an item.
"I believe that is called a 'hamburger', awful name for something that contains red meat rather than porcine." He shrugs.
Despite the tension only minutes earlier, Emma cannot stop the snort that emerges from deep within her. Not becoming of a would-be princess.
He turns to her, smile dropping as the worry overtakes his features, "No need to worry my dear, I brought you one as well."
He places her burger on the table, pulls out another container and places it next to the burger. He avoids her eyes the entire time, not that Emma could really blame him as she was doing much of the same. She could barely think of what to say to him now.
He crumples the cardboard bag and walks back to the kitchen's garbage. "Alright lad, be sure that your mother eats all of it, as I imagine it will help with her ankle's current ailment, and I'll return tomorrow to discuss those star charts, deal?"
Henry nods, "Deal."
"Then I will take my leave."
He walks slowly and hesitates at the door. "See you tomorrow, Swan. Hope you like the color," he calls back as he walks out.
Emma's face furrows in confusion, hope you like the color?
Her eyes narrow in on the unknown container next to her burger and she is opening it before she even realizes she reached for it.
She was curious beyond belief, he had said that it would help with her ankle, didn't he?
What could he possibly find at Granny's that helped with sprained ankles?
Pulling back the lid revealed a pile of red Jello.
She laughs for a very long time.
"What is it, Mom?" Henry asks from the counter.
Emma just shakes her head, turns towards her son and continues to laugh, "Just eat your hamburger that does not contain porcine, Henry"
She flashes him a grin and he laughs with her.
Please review :)