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Now Or Never

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They'd been home for four days now. And for the first time she has been fortunate to call these people family, things were... good. And normal.

With that feeling of normalcy, Emma also had some very huge issues on her mind: Hook. In those few days she could count the times she had seen him. In those instances there had been little to no actual communication involved.

Hook had been in sight of her. At Granny's Diner, he would be sitting at the counter, joining in conversation with those around him. Even the unlikeliest of companions- like Leroy- was on the receiving end of a good-natured word. She'd only seen him share one on one conversations that seemed to include deep conversation only with Tinkerbell though. Was there...

No, there couldn't be anything been them. Because of everything she and Hook shared. There was a bond, strong as ever! The fact that days had passed without talking or acknowledgment of the other was no big deal. Right?

Was it SHE that had given up on them, she wondered, frowning and not understanding. Is that the reason that in all this time they were apart? Friendship is important, and she felt as if she'd lost her friend.

■■■■■■■■■■

"Emma. " Neal's hand came up to touch her elbow.

She smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. "

They, including Henry, were spending the evening together at her home. Just some family fun, including talks, games, snacks. But Emma couldn't help it when her mind wandered. She was definitely loving that Henry could have this. It was nice that she and Neal could co-parent in this manner. It was something that she or Neal had not experienced in their own childhood. Supplying this to her own child gave her a feeling she had never known before. It was like letting out an audible breath she did not realize she was holding. She had a sense of being able to breathe.

And then there was the other end of this family life... Their days home, Neal had made his feelings and intentions known. No matter how Emma tried to avoid the matter, it was inescapable. She tried whenever possible to ignore that tightening in her chest and the pit of... something in her stomach when they were together. Neal wanted them to be a real family. He wanted the house and the dog and the picket white fence out front. He wanted the dining room table to be the place where breakfast and homework and dinner were shared. He wanted smiles and laughter and love. He wanted her. And she...

Didn't.