The Journey Back Home – Chapter Five: Fairytale
Summary: Regina and Cora's plans to find Mr. Gold's dagger are enacted under the cover of the brutal storm while Emma and Hook wake up and must deal with their new found relationship.
Word Count: 4, 053
A/N: I can't thank you all enough for you kind words and support :) This kind of reaction to my first fanfic has been the best confidence boost. I'm going to try and work the story as best I can to go along with the new information we get each week but it'll mostly follow the events I've already set up here. This chapter might be a bit shorter, than usual but I'm working up to the good stuff!
Special Thanks to my wonderful beta Gabe for her help, as usual!
Keep the reviews coming! Compliments or Criticism, I'd love to hear what you have to say!
"What are we doing here, mother?" Regina asked as they made their way through the empty streets of Storybrooke, the sounds of their heels clacking on the sidewalk almost drowned out by the heavy downpour of rain around them.
Regina struggled to keep up with her mother, holding a large umbrella out to try and shield the both of them as they rounded a corner and came upon the library.
"Patience, my dear," Cora replied calmly, eyes trained on the top of the town clock tower as she looked up from underneath the brim of black fabric, the edge dripping with a collection of raindrops.
As they approached the large doors, Cora looked at her daughter expectantly. Regina reached into her coat pocket to retrieve one of her skeleton keys and placed it in the lock, the mechanism clicking open.
"We already established that Gold didn't hide the dagger in his precious Belle's library," noted Regina sourly as they entered the dark building. "What are we doing?"
"I thought you would have figured that out by now, Regina," Cora replied coolly as she made her way to the staircase in the corner of the large room, dimly lit from the flashes of light conjured by the storm outside. She turned back after climbing several steps to address her daughter who remained paused by the front door.
"We need the proper vantage point, darling," Cora continued, climbing further up the spiral stairs. Regina moved to follow her.
"We're going to find it with magic?" Regina surmised, heavy skepticism apparent in her tone.
"Well, the more conventional ways of locating it haven't quite worked out for us, have they?" Cora whipped backwards as they continued to ascend the clock tower.
"But mother, if it were that easy I would have found it the moment Gold brought magic here" Regina fought back against Cora's condescension with an indignant roll of her eyes.
Cora just smiled as they reached the top of the tower, the clock's face a window which granted view of the entire town, the trees blowing viciously in the violent rainstorm.
"It seems as though your focuses were more directed towards this boy of yours," Cora chided, "without me here, you'd still be wasting your time."
Regina's anger was met with a loud clap of thunder which shook the old building and reverberated throughout the small room. "Henry is not a waste of time, mother."
"Oh sweetheart, I know," Cora soothed, "but we need the dagger first, before we can get your son back. The stunt you pulled with the fire today was less than helpful, it put a target on our backs."
"I thought maybe I could convince him to come home with me once he was alone," Regina cast her eyes down, ashamed of her false hope.
"Don't fret, my dear," Cora lifted her hand to the side of Regina's downtrodden face. "We'll get him back soon enough. We'll harness the power of the storm and use it to our advantage."
Regina finally looked up and saw her mother turn to face the clock window, her hands raised to touch the cool glass.
"Is that even possible?" Her daughter asked, her voice thin with disbelief.
With a sly smile Cora continued to gaze out of the tower at Storybrooke, "The dampness of the rain and the strong winds will mask the magic that is necessary for this type of tracking spell."
Regina didn't say anymore, for she then witnessed a purple haze forming around the hands of the oversized clock, the dark smoke twirling around the metal arrows. She went and stood next to her mother, the confident smile still present on her aging face. Regina grew hopeful as the violet clouds wound themselves throughout the old clock, creating intricate patterns that resembled the deadly vines Cora often controlled, but was shocked when they suddenly disappeared, vanishing with a quiet "puff."
Cora sensed the disappointment in Regina's muffled sound of surprise and reached for her hand, pulling her closer to the window and pointing silently to the streets that lay below them. Regina then saw the same purple magic emerging from the sidewalks in front of them and travelling forward at a fast pace, the edges of the smoke in the shape of the same arrows on the clock in front of her. The smoke dipped and dived as it spread out through the streets of Storybrooke, following the curves of the pavement.
The haze was quick and thin, its trail disappearing behind itself the further away from the library it got. On a clear day it would be an obvious sign of magic, but tonight the dark clouds and heavy wind kept it hidden from prying eyes.
Regina, eyes big and questioning, asked, "What now?"
"Patience, sweetheart," Cora reminded her daughter, with her eyes trained steadily on the horizon.
After a long beat of silent tension the sky before them was illuminated with three distinct pink lightning bolts crashing down from the dark clouds. They remained in view a second too long for them to be natural, and for an instant cast the town in a dark rosy shade, their unique hue telling Regina that they were a part of Cora's magic.
Regina reigned in her surprise as the two women turned to face each other. "Well, what does that tell us?"
"That my dear, gives us the three locations that Rumplestilskin's dagger has ever resided," Cora answered with a deep breath and wide smile, giddiness evident in the air around her.
"But how will we know where they struck? Storybrooke is larger than you think, mother," Regina said with a tone of annoyance, thinking they missed their chance.
Cora began descending the spiral steps before answering, a confident gait still present in her exterior. "Oh, I'll know," she finished, disappearing into her purple clouds with a grin, leaving her daughter behind.
Regina cast one more glance towards the window, trying to make out the buildings below through the heavy torrents of rain, white lightning casting bright shadows over her face. With a deep sigh, she too vanished into a thick cloud of purple smoke, following her mother back home.
The face of the library's clock tower was shrouded in the violet haze for only a moment, signaling the witches' departure, but slowly disappeared into the cold night air without notice.
The sound of seagulls greeted Emma early the next morning, the sun shining through the window with a cool breeze in the aftermath of the violent storm. It was an odd sound to wake up to, confusing Emma for a quick moment before she recognized the strong arms around her and remembered what had transpired only a few hours before. She involuntarily blushed, though no one was awake to see it, for it was clear from his heavy breaths that Killian was still asleep. Emma turned carefully in his arms to face him.
Emma felt vulnerable as she glanced down at their naked bodies, shifting her position in their embrace. She hadn't been so exposed in a long time. But it was different now, in a good way, for when she looked up at Killian she saw the same vulnerability in his face. He didn't look handsome as he slept. In fact, he appeared almost silly with his mouth open slightly, his face squished awkwardly against the pillows, and little snores coming from his throat. What made Emma smile was his contentedness, all the lines gone from his face in a state of utter relaxation. She had never seen him like this before, having been used to his guarded expressions and calculated movements. Killian looked so young, without his pirate makeup or ancient eyes to reveal his true age. It was the dark scruff on his chin and the strong body against hers that gave him away.
Not wanting to wake him just yet, Emma rolled onto her back to stretch out her spine and stare up at the dark wooden ceiling. She was conflicted because every part of her body screamed happiness after the night she shared with Hook, but her brain kept reminding her of Henry, making her wonder whether or not he would forgive her.
Lost in thought, Emma didn't realize that Killian had awoken, and he slowly worked his fingers up from their position on her lower abdomen and over her ribs to rest on her delicate breast, trying to get her attention.
They didn't speak at first as Killian began to massage her with his hand. Emma gave him one of her questioning smirks, her eyebrows drawn.
"I couldn't help myself, darling," Hook jested, fingers still on her, as he leaned in to Emma's neck and press several open-mouthed kisses there. "Such a lovely sight to wake up to," he whispered into her skin, finally moving his lips up to hers.
Emma just laughed in response to him. Last night had felt so serious that she was glad for these few moments of giddy romance. Their kisses this morning were sweet and heartfelt, the two of them having come down from their heated passionate advances.
Killian looked down at her, propping himself up on his elbows and smiling brightly as the sun filtered in from outside and lit their faces.
"You've ruined me, Emma Swan," he joked, shaking his head and starring deep into her blue eyes that were squinted to avoid the bright rays. He smiled one of his big grins and Emma knew he was kidding.
"Only because you've ruined me!" she exclaimed incredulously, her hands coming up to rub his scarred shoulders, fingers grazing over the lines of darkened flesh. "Look at us!" she continued in a playful tone, gesturing between them, "Sharing our feelings, letting our guard down – we're practically different people!"
Hook leaned in closer to her and nuzzled her nose with his, "In a good way, right?" he questioned, looking back at her eyes to gage her reaction.
Emma's hands travelled to his still lightly purpled ribs, following them until she could clasp them behind his back, pulling him down onto her in a meaningful hug. "Definitely good," she said into his throat.
She could sense the weight in his next kiss, for it was hard and deep and made her stomach flop with anticipation. Killian ran his fingers through the hair behind her ear as their tongues ran against one another, both of their eyes clasped shut to enjoy the intimate sensations.
Emma's fingers began to move down his chest as they slowly grinded into each other, curling through the dark hair that peppered his stomach, leading toward the apex of his thighs. She grasped him softly, loving the feeling of him stilling above her in pleasure. She stroked him for a moment, their mouths still devouring each other, when he finally paused.
"Wait," Killian whispered, moving away from Emma's hands and trailing kisses over her collarbone and down to her stomach. Emma stretched out further as his mouth went lower and lower down her body.
"I want to show you how good you make me feel," he told her, his gaze up at her serious through his short lashes. His lips went to her inner thighs, working their way toward her centre while his chin tickled her in just the right way. Her breath became ragged in anticipation, and Emma let out a loud gasp as his lips connected with her most sensitive spot, sucking and licking with his tongue.
Emma dug her hands into the bed sheets, fingers gripping the dark material, struggling for purchase as she arched into him.
Hook lapped at her core before inserting a finger into her, making Emma scream in surprise while writhing on his bed in pleasure. He stopped a minute to take in the sight in front of him, admiring her beauty with a look of awe on his face.
"Don't stop," she said, her voice thin and eyes pleading with desperation.
Killian bent down to press hot kisses to the space just below her navel as he inserted another finger into her, moving them expertly and making her moan. His thumb began work on her pink bud, flicking it in tandem with his other movements, causing her walls to begin shudder around him.
Emma's hand came down to touch the side of his face, and with her breath still heavy, requested, "Now, Killian, I need you now!"
His mouth came up to meet hers immediately as he finished his ministrations and poised himself at her entrance. They locked eyes as he took her, deep moans escaping from both their lips. Emma came almost immediately, worked up already from his previous devotions, however was taken again by the feeling of his intense thrusts, and clamped around him a second time, causing him to follow after her with a loud cry of her name.
Tears pricked at the corner of her eyes as Emma lay there, overwhelmed by their heightened intensity, her breasts moving up and down with her chest as she struggled to regain her breath. It seemed as though their desire for each other had only increased since last night – something she didn't think possible at the time.
He leaned over her from his position on her left and kissed her once more, slow and intense, knocking the breath out of her once more before falling back onto his side in silence.
"Two days," Emma spoke out into the quiet cabin, the only other noise being the seagulls that still flocked on the decks outside.
"What's that, love?" Killian asked absentmindedly.
Emma turned on her side to speak to him properly, hand coming up again to trace his faint scars. "It's only been two days since we made our deal," she said lightly.
"To which deal are you referring, love?" he grinned at her, playing with several strands of her soft hair, rolling them through his fingers.
She looked at him with a false sternness, unappreciative of his jest.
Killian continued softly, escaping her scolding expression, "Aye, I remember," he nodded carefully, thinking of his next words. "What can I say, lass? A pirate like me can only resist so much. You came on so strong I had to surrender."
"Me?!" Emma shoved him away from her slightly, her face aghast, "You're the one who couldn't keep his hands, sorry hand, to himself!" she joked.
"That cuts me deep, love," he cried, clutching his chest in mock pain.
She smiled at his antics but still wouldn't apologize.
"Alright, alright," Killian yielded, leaning back into her face. "I have to admit, I knew I had to have you as soon as you tied me up to that damn tree." He started placing kisses down the length of her neck. "Most beautiful treasure I'd ever seen," he whispered into her ear, making her shiver.
"Okay lover boy," Emma giggled but stopped his advances. "As much I'd enjoy it, we can't spend all morning here. I have a job, you know."
"Yes. You must go protect the precious townspeople," he groaned as she got up from the bed, and bent to pick up her scattered clothes. He watched her with hooded eyes, admiring her confidence to walk about the room in nothing but her skin.
"You could come with me you know," she suggested while fastening her bra and then jumping slightly to get her legs back into her tight black jeans.
Killian threw his arm of his eyes, growling at the idea. "I think I've had enough knightly heroics for a lifetime, lass. You bring out the worst in me, I swear."
Emma sighed deeply, exaggerating her movements, "That's too bad. I was going to have a reward for you and everything," she said, stressing her mock disappointment as she grabbed her coat and headed for the door.
Hook was beside her in an instant grabbing her arm and pulling her to him, still stark naked. "Hold on a minute love, I never said no, now did I?"
She smiled up at him brightly, "Yeah, that's what I thought," Emma laughed, planting a chaste kiss on his lips and pulling back. Hook's head seemed to follow hers forward, wanting to continue, but she stepped out of his grasp and back peddled towards the cabin's exit.
"Meet me at the station in an hour," she ordered, pointing a finger at him to reinforce the command. He grinned and she let her eyes wander up the length of his body one more time. "And Captain?" Emma added, luring him back in with her most seductive tone, looking up him through her lashes, "You might want to think about some clothes," she teased, laughing as she opened the door and stepped out into the morning.
"I make no promises!" Hook shouted after her, the English brogue thick on his tongue, still smiling from ear-to-ear.
Emma went straight to the station from the docks, telling herself she needed to get started on the street clean up as soon as possible, but knowing that she just really didn't want to face Mary Margaret. David was easier to fool when it came to sneaking around, but she knew her mother would be suspicious.
Emma was glad she kept an extra shirt at the office, relieving her of the need to explain why she hadn't changed from the night before. She slipped on the cream chemise, tossing her other shirt into the drawer of her desk, traded her black wool coat for her brown leather jacket and snapped the sheriff badge onto her hip. And after tying her mused hair up into a high ponytail and washing her face of smudged mascara, Emma convinced herself that she looked totally different from the previous day, confident she wouldn't attract any attention.
When Hook met her some forty minutes later she was taken aback by his appearance. He too had changed, for he wore simple light brown breeches, a white button down shirt, and his black leather jacket and boots. His whole aura had lightened, along with the smile on his face.
"Well don't you look different," Emma greeted him, carrying her yellow police tape under her arm as she exited the station, meeting him on the sidewalk.
"Good different, I hope," he breathed, falling into step with her as they walked down the narrow sidewalk, their shoulders brushing. "I feel like a right twat in this," shaking his head with regret.
"Well I like it," Emma soothed him, realizing he must have dug out the old clothes for her, in an attempt to blend into town with the others.
He took her hand in his as they walked down the street, making sure there were no people around to see them, as a way to thank her for putting him at ease. It was odd to see him this way, Emma thought as they walked hand in hand. He was still Killian, with his rude jokes and charming features, except she saw nervousness in him. He was unsure of himself, for what she guessed must be the first time in a long time, and it almost comforted her for it didn't make her feel quite so alone. Like they were going through the same struggle together - both breaking down their walls.
As the couple rounded the final corner together they sprang apart at the sight of a large crowd gathering again in front of the burnt down diner. Only it was no longer in pieces, for Mother Superior was standing in the entrance way wielding her blue wand and causing the café to repair itself bit by bit.
Emma kept forgetting that some now had the ability to use magic inside the town borders, so the sight of the small nun took her by surprise. What scared her most however was the image of Mary Margaret, her arms crossed as she stood on the street corner opposite to them, eyes glaring in accusation. David was only a few feet away from her but his attentions were elsewhere.
"Well lass, looks like we're busted," Hook said reaching back to grab her hand with a smile.
"Stop it," Emma whispered under her breath, knocking his hand away from her and moving to cross the intersection towards her mother. "She doesn't know anything yet," she finished haughtily.
"Yet?" Hook teased, "So you're going to tell her? I'd love to be there when you do," he told her, a few steps behind her quickening gait.
Emma looked over her should with an expression that silenced him. It almost seemed to say, be careful or you won't be getting that reward, so Hook kept quiet.
"Looks like you guys have everything under control," Emma called out when she was halfway to her mother, trying to ease the tension she knew she would be walking into.
"Where were you?" Snow asked, ignoring Emma's opening statement and eying Hook suspiciously.
"Went back to the station last night to finish up some paper work after saying goodnight to Henry," Emma lied through her teeth, "Must have gotten sidetracked and fallen asleep there."
"But I called you several times this morning," Mary Margaret pressed, concern still in her tone. Hook busied himself with watching the blue fairy work her magic on the half-collapsed diner, not wanting to give anything away with his smug smiles.
Emma struggled to fill in the gaps of her story. "Yeah, I went right out of it," she continued, "even got this wicked pain in my neck from that damn desk chair. I've got to get a new one of those soon." Emma reached up to rub the side of her neck, feigning injury.
Mary Margaret didn't look satisfied with her story but turned back to David and the others anyway.
"Nice touch that," Killian whispered softly into her ear, startling her, "Although I'm pretty sure it wasn't the chair that gave you that little kink in your neck."
Emma blushed. "You'll behave yourself, Captain," she warned, "If you know what's good for you." She winked at him, going to join her parents in assessing the rest of the damage and leaving him with the others gathered on the sidewalk.
The two women walked through the early morning woods with purpose, Cora leading the way with her daughter following cautiously behind her.
"Are you sure you know where you're going, mother?" Regina called ahead. "I've been out in these woods a hundred times and never saw any signs of a hidden dagger. And Gold wouldn't just bury it anyplace random."
"Right you are, sweetheart," Cora agreed. "He'd only hide it somewhere important to him, somewhere sentimental. He's weak like that," she laughed.
"But how will we –," Regina didn't finish for in front of her lay Storybrooke's abandoned cabin. It had been there since the curse struck and Regina had never thought much of it, however as she looked at it now it was clear she should have. Through the dirty glass windows, a pink glow was faintly shining, something alight in the corner of the desolate shack.
"What could Rumplestilskin have to do with this place?" Regina asked as the two of them tried peeking through the transparent spots that were dotted in the dust of the small panes to see what was inside.
"That," Cora started as she turned the rusty handle to the cabin door, it squeaking open with an unpleasant whine, "is a very good question."