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With This Ring

Chapter Text

"Something's wrong!" Emma cried. "They're all in danger!" She held out her left hand, staring intently at her antique engagement ring. Made of platinum and black onyx, it was an officer's ring, and had originally been Killian's - a gift from his elder brother, upon graduation from the Royal Naval Academy. Now it was glowing with a strange and dazzling blue light.

Startled, Snow dropped her teacup, cracking the delicate flowered porcelain, and the baby suddenly woke, wailing.

“Why is your ring glowing?" Regina asked. "What's wrong?"

Shocked, Emma leapt from her stool. "Killian cast a spell on my ring, so that we could always communicate with each other - even if one of us is in another realm. After our time travel jaunt back to Elizabethan England, he strengthened the original spell, and added another - sort of an "early warning" system, to alert us if the other is in danger." She strode to the big kitchen window, her hands starting to smolder with white fire. "And that time is now! Something is threatening Killian - and by extension, the rest of our family." She glanced at the other women, and the crying child. "Protect little Neal and yourselves!"

Snow grabbed the baby, and turned away, shielding him with her body. Regina wrapped her arms protectively around Snow, and the two women quickly moved towards the back of the kitchen, away from the window.

Raising her hands, Emma started to chant. As her voice rose, the light in her hands intensified, and suddenly blazed outwards, hurtling through the window, and shattering it into a hundred jagged pieces. She jumped aside, her face averted, as broken shards of glass cascaded onto the counter, and kitchen floor. Still chanting softly to herself, Emma closed her eyes, and before her inner mind, a vision unfurled. She could see Killian on the deck of Leroy's old boat, sea water cresting over him, his face and body agonized, as he cast bolt after bolt of searing blue light towards a whirling inferno that hovered directly above him. Beside him, staring into the hell-mouth, stood a grim David. There was no sign of Robin Hood, Leroy, or the boys, and with a growing sense of horror, she wondered if they had been swept overboard.

"Killian!" Emma shouted. "Dad!" She turned towards Regina, who was gazing at her with concern. "A vortex has opened in the sea! Killian's fighting it off, but he's only one man, and it's extremely powerful. And the storm is growing worse - I think the boat might sink. Hurry, Regina - Take my hand, we must combine our magic, and send it to strengthen his!"

Regina joined Emma at the window, her boots crunching over glass, and wrapped her fingers around her friend's. "Tell me what to do."

"We're going to spirit walk," Emma explained. "I used my magic to turn the window into an astral road between worlds. Now I'm going to cast another spell that will allow us to leave our bodies, so we can travel that road. Keep holding my hand as I chant the spell, and whatever happens, don't let go. As I chant, we must channel our magic at the same time, and send it towards Killian. Hold the image of him, and our other loved ones in your mind. Our magic and intent will carry our souls to Leroy's boat, where we can join forces with Killian. That said, this ritual is very dangerous. While our souls will remain tethered to our bodies by what is called the silver cord, if we don't stay fully focused on our destination, and connected to each other, we could end up anywhere. The last thing we want is to be lost between worlds, with no clear pathway back to our bodies."

Regina nodded grimly. "All right. Whenever you're ready."

"I can't believe this is happening," Snow muttered, and began to cry. "Our guys under threat, and now you have to cast this dangerous spell. What will become of your bodies when you spirit walk?"

"Don't worry, Mom," Emma soothed. "Everything will be all right. Our bodies will simply fall asleep, so keep guard over us."

"I will," Snow promised. Gently, she laid her young son back in his carrier, and grabbed two large towels from the neatly folded stack of clean laundry on the bar. She spread them on the floor, covering the broken glass. "This will help protect you both, when you fall asleep." Wiping away her tears, she attempted a watery smile. "Please be careful - and bring yourselves, and everyone safely home."

"We'll be back before you know it," Emma said softly. Her gaze shifted to Regina. "It's time." She took a deep breath, and started to chant the ancient Atlantean spell that Killian's ancestor, Dr. John Dee, had taught them back in Elizabethan England. Her grip tightened on Regina's hand, and as the arcane words of the spell flowed into the room, there was an odd sense of displacement, and a faint shuddering, like the prelude to an earthquake. Purple light sprang from Regina's fingertips, mingling with the white light streaming from Emma, their joined hands brightly illuminated, as if from within. Triumphantly, Emma uttered the final word of the spell, and the combined magic of the two women shot through the window, taking their spirits with it. As their bodies collapsed to the floor, hands still clasped, their souls flashed across the roof tops and trees of Storybrooke, heading towards the distant sea, where one man's magic was all that stood between life and death.