"Snow." Red interrupted as her friends began their trek towards the castle. She watched Hook ride away from their group, "I can't stay."
Snow frowned and looked at her friend, "We've just got home Red. You can't be leaving already. We haven't even gotten to the castle yet." She turned around to Charming hoping he'd give the same advice but he left the two old friends alone.
Red pulled the cloak off from around her shoulders, "I have to. You know me Snow, I can't sit still for long." She wrapped her arms around her friend, "And I have to try, you should know that better than anyone."
Snow laughed gently, "Then I hope you'll find him."
"I hope so too." She shed her red cloak and donned a new one in luxurious black fur. Red ran through the woods with Hook's scent filling her nose. He had a good head start on her but his horse was no match for her speed. When she reached him his horse reared its legs at the scent of her.
"Bloody hell mate." Hook said steadying his horse and gazing down at the black wolf. "Why'd you follow me for huh?" He questioned, "Charming doesn't trust me?" Ruby growled and nipped at Hook's boot. "Fine. Fine." He hissed pulling on the horse's reigns. "Follow me then, but keep from scaring my horse would you?" Hook led the way through the woods until they reached the coast line. "We'll have to make a rest here." He said and dismounted from his horse.
"I know you're going to try and find Emma." Red said standing directly behind Hook.
Hook stumbled backwards grabbing onto his horse for support, "Geez Red!" He shouted as he regained his balance, "Announce yourself before you de-werewolf next time." He pulled down on his leather cloak straightening it. "Why would you think I'd try to find Emma for? Regina said there was no way we could ever cross realms again."
"But you're going to try and find a way." Ruby smiled, "I've seen the way you look at her Hook I know you won't accept what Regina says. You waited years for vengeance, what will you do for love?"
Hook glared at her, "So what is it you really want? It can't be just to find Emma."
"I need to find my way to a different realm. Regina said she would cast a spell to send us back home, but what if this wasn't home for someone?" She put her hand on the horses back, "I'm trying to find Victor."
"Victor?" Hook asked.
"Dr. Whale." Ruby said annoyed.
Hook smiled getting a good look at Ruby, "You and the good Doctor then?"
"Not exactly—we're just friends, besides we hadn't even gone on our first date and you have no room to talk Snow told me all about your little escapades with Emma in Neverland." She said to him.
"Really what did she tell you?" He jibed. "Please describe it in detail cause' I'm sure she got them all right and it'll probably sound filthy when she said-."
"Okay Hook you've made your point." Ruby blushed. "So what is your plan then?"
Hook laughed taking a seat on the sand. "What makes you think I have one?"
"You spend centuries chasing after a man, a big hide and seek game between realms if you will. You must have your ways."
He patted the floor beside him, "Take a seat then Red, we have a lot to talk about." Red fanned her skirt out and took a seat. "There aren't any more beans." He started, "If there were we'd be terribly lucky but it seems luck is never on our side."
Furrowing her brows Red looked at him, "Never on our side?"
"You know…" He stumbled, "On the hero's side."
A slow chuckle started in her belly rising to a full howl, "A hero—Hook, you can't be…" She saw the look in his eyes, "...serious." she trailed.
"I'm not exactly a villain anymore, if I was even that. I've fallen for the Savior of all people." Red's head tilted in understanding so Hook continued, "Spells have a very particular set of small print in the rules so trying to determine what our rules are now will be hard. I'd suggest the Mad Hatter's hat if it hadn't been destroyed in Storybrooke but I'm not even sure that would work."
"Could he make a new one?" She suggested.
"It's possible, we will add this on the list for potential means of return." He pulled a notepad from his jacket and a pen. "I've also heard of a wishing well, though I'm sure the well will have rules of its own. No rising the dead. No making someone love you that sort of thing, but with the right wish we might get something to help us. If we could find a genie in this realm even better."
Red leaned back on her elbows as she watched him scribble the list of possible ways out of the Enchanted Kingdom, "What about mermaids? Ariel said any mermaid can transcend realms through the waters."
"Unless you can breathe underwater that method will be useless for us."
"Okay then—what about something from The Dark One's castle? Rumple spent years searching for Neal. Regina's curse couldn't be the only way for him to find him. He must've had a backup plan."
Hook tilted his head considering it, "Also possible, we'll check their too." He tapped the pen against his forehead.
"Henry told me about this game once Kingdom something. He said it had a lot of the same fairytale characters he read about in it. He told me that in the game there is—what did he call it—oh, corridor of darkness. He said it leads to different realms but the more you walk through the corridor the more corroded your heart becomes, but if we only walk through it once we should be fine."
As he wrote down the suggestion he asked, "What makes you think that this corridor is real?"
"Everything else seems to be, couldn't hurt to look into it."
"Might hurt our hearts apparently." He reasoned.
Frustrated, Red pushed herself to her feet, "I thought you wanted to find Emma, I figured no matter what it cost."
Hook folded the cover over his notepad and stood to join her, "I do want to find her but I think it does matter the costs. I'm not sure Emma would accept me back if my heart were corrupted. She probably thinks it already is. And the Doctor—do you think he'd like for your heart to be corrupted?"
"You're right." She agreed, it wasn't usual for her to be this reckless so she tried to be a little more reasonable, "Maybe we can use the wishing well to get protection in the corridor, or maybe even something to breathe underwater than we can do the thing with the mermaids."
"A good thought." He flipped back open his notepad and added it to the list. "So why Dr. Whale?" He asked inserting the end of the pen into his mouth, "I never would've thought the two of you were so cozy." His words muffled by the pen.
"We just get each other." She stated but the expression on Hook's face told her he wouldn't let it go so easily, "I was there for him when he needed someone and I think it was a time where I really needed someone too. He told me a lot of things about his past and he finally made sense to me, I never was able to figure him out before. He hid behind his mistakes, it reminded me a lot of myself." She admitted, "And now he's gone. I'm just worried that he's going to be back home in his black and white world and he's going to start resenting himself again. I know he missed his brother but I fear all this time he's spent forgiving himself will wash away once he's trapped in a realm with all of his mistakes."
"Saving someone from themselves. There seems to be an awful lot of that going around." Hook said, "Emma caught me off guard. I wasn't ready for her."
"Who is ready for Emma?" Red smiled.
He responded with a smirk of his own, "I know she won't remember me when I find her but I just need to see her. I need to know she's okay."
"You don't think Regina gave her good memories?"
"Oh no I don't doubt that." Hook admitted, "I didn't get a lot of chances to see Emma happy and I just need to see her happy. " He paused.
"Hook—"Red smiled and nudged him, "Are you getting sentimental on me?"
"Enough of that then." He said turning from Red and detaching himself from the moment, "Let's get some sleep we'll search tomorrow for my ship. All I can hope for now is that it still has all my maps." Hook sat against the trunk of a tree and closed his eyes.
Red watched him for a moment before sitting opposite him leaning her back against another tree. "I was wrong about you." She said closing her eyes.
Hook waited for her to say more and at her silence he opened his eyes to see she had fallen asleep. She was wrong about me, maybe I was wrong about me too. He thought with a smile, "I'll find you Swan." He whispered.
"You and Charming," Red smiled, "What a pair of hopeless romantics."
He tried to mask the smirk that encompassed his face, "Shut up and go to sleep wolf." He jested. Maybe it was good that Red had followed him; together he knew they'd find a way out of the Enchanted Kingdom and maybe, just maybe they'd even consider themselves friends when they did.