WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE

AUTHOR'S NOTE/DISCLAIMER

My take on the second part of Season of Once Upon A Time and starts right after Rumplestiltskin sacrificed himself to kill Pan in "Going Home". Belongs to ABC Studios and whoever else owns the show. And yes, the bulk of this first chapter is the same as my story "Paying The Price". I was actually writing this story when I got the idea for that one so I just went with it. The first chapter starts out the same as the end of that episode but will have twists and turns in later chapters. This will be Emma/Neal, but I'm not going to ignore the Emma/Hook friendship.

As soon as the spell lifted, Belle dropped to her knees sobbing, and Snow immediately went to her, pulling her close.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered, smoothing back her hair and the woman leaned into her. "No! Rumple…he's gone." I can't believe it. He's gone. He sacrificed himself for us. He had his happy ending and he gave it up for us, she thought. As she continued to cry, Neal let out a shaky breath and started walking away from the group. As one Emma and Hook walked up to him.

"Oh damn," Neal whispered. He's gone. And we were starting to get to a good place. I screwed up. I missed my chance, he thought to himself.

"Baelfire. I'm so sorry. I know the Crocodile and I were never on the best of terms, but I-"

"It's fine," Neal interrupted, his voice thick with emotion. Emma pulled him towards her, and though he struggled at the hold for a moment, he eventually leaned into her as the tears started to fall.

"Neal," Emma whispered. I don't know what to do. How do I help him? she wondered.

"My father did what he had to do. He saved us," he said. I can live with that. I have to, he thought to himself. Killian watched the two, his eyes clouding. She comforts him in a way no one else can. They belong together, he realized.

"IT'S HERE! IT'S HERE!" At the frantic shouting, Snow helped Belle to her feet and they all turned to see Leroy and Tinkerbell running up to them.

"The Curse! It's here!" Tinkerbell reported.

"It's coming from all sides!" Leroy added.

"Can we stop it?" David queried.

"I can," Regina asked. "I can destroy it. But it'll destroy the town. The Curse created Storybrooke and once the town's destroyed, it'll be gone. We'll be in the Enchanted Forest again."

"Even Henry?" Emma asked and the other woman shook her head.

"No he was born here, so he'd still be here."

"Alone?" Not acceptable, the Savior thought to herself. She couldn't believe that the formerly Evil Queen would even consider it. It didn't add up. There had to be a catch.

"No, that's my price. I have to give him up. But you'll stay with him."

"I don't want to leave you. I love you," Henry stated. I can't leave her. I won't, he thought.

"I love hearing you say that. But you heard Rumplestiltskin: villains don't get happy endings," Regina replied.

"You're not a villain. You're my mom." At this, Regina smiled. I love that our relationship's better, she thought to herself. She started to say something when Ruby ran up to them.

"It's getting closer!" she reported. We're running out of time, Regina realized.

"You have to go…now," she stated.

"You're going to have to take our memories aren't you?" he realized.

"Yes, I'll but I'll give you both new memories. One where Emma kept you and you both grew up together," she answered.

"You'd do that?" the blonde asked.

"Yes," came the response. "But I'll have to act fast." Emma nodded and then turned to her ex.

"Come with us," she encouraged.

"I really wish I could, but this isn't my world. Besides, Belle needs me. Now go. Get our boy the hell out of here." At this, she nodded and hugged him tightly.

"I love you."

"I love you." She then turned Killian.

"Hook…take care of yourself."

"And you too, Love." With that, they went to Regina.

"Hey," Neal said, causing Henry and Emma to turn. "This isn't over. I'll see you both again," he promised and they nodded. Then, they got into the yellow bug and started driving off. As they did so, Regina waved her hand in their direction and mouthed a spell, implanting both of their minds with memories of Emma raising Henry from the very beginning, cooking him meals, soothing his hurts…all the things she had done. But now it would be as if Emma had done it. As she watched the car disappear, Regina felt a tightness in her chest and she choked back a sob. She was losing Henry. It wasn't fair! She didn't want to lose him! But it was the price she had to pay to make sure he was safe.

"I love you, Henry. Be safe, My Little Prince." As Emma headed down the road, she looked at Henry and smiled. This trip was going to be a blast.

ONE YEAR LATER

Emma smiled as she made cocoa for her and Henry as she finished cooking the eggs and bacon. Love Saturdays, she thought to herself. It was their day. Her life hadn't been easy. After conceiving Henry after a one night stand and then delivering him in jail because the worthless jackass she had been dating at the time had set her up to take the fall for a heist he had committed, she had struggled to do right by Henry. But it had all been worth it. After the food was done, she put it on plates, and then she put the cinnamon into their cocoa and then brought the mugs and plates to the table and sat down, smiling at her son. They each went to take a bite of the food when-there was insistent pounding on the door.

"We expecting someone?" he asked.

"No," she replied.

"You don't think it's-" he started to ask, a note of fear creeping into his voice.

"No. Devin's still in jail," his mother assured. They'd let me know if he wasn't, she thought to herself. There was no way she would let that bastard anywhere near Henry. She went to the door and her brows furrowed in confusion when she saw the guy in the black trench coat. Who the hell is that? she wondered. Making a decision, she opened the door.

"Swan," the man said in an Irish accent.

"Who are you?" she demanded. Did Devin send him? she wondered frantically. If one of his friends was pissed about him being placed in prison due to skipping out on his bond, how come they hadn't been notified? Before she knew what was happening, the guy had pulled her close and kissed her passionately.