Emma pulls an old backpack out of the storage closet and hands it to Henry. "Here, fill this one, too. Take everything you might want for the next month. I have no idea when we might come back."
If we come back, she thinks but doesn't say as Henry nods and dashes back to his room.
Emma meets Hook's eyes for a moment, and she can tell that he understands.
"I'm sorry," he says softly. "If there'd been any other way—"
"Don't apologize." She pushes down the pain welling in her chest. "It might have been a happy lie, but it was still a lie. I'd rather have the truth any day. Especially when it brings me back to my family." But it does hurt—god it hurts. This life had been a good one, just like Regina promised, while the reality she's about to face will bring nothing but more of the exhausting and seemingly endless labor that her previous stint in Storybrooke once brought her. Even so, she doesn't regret it. This is her truth, and she'll take it, regardless of the consequences.
She starts pulling her favorite coats and pairs of boots from the closet, putting them in a pile. She won't be able to fit all of them in her car, but she'll have to choose somehow. Her fingers grasp the red leather jacket she wore that day a year ago as she drove away from her family, and she holds it in her hands, staring down at it, all the old memories flooding back as if they'd happened only yesterday.
Blinking back tears, she raises her eyes to see Hook—Killian (both names now mingle interchangeably in her mind)—watching her again. The haunted look in his eyes as he glances down at the jacket is enough to tell her that he remembers their last moments together with as much painful potency as she does.
Not for the first time she wonders what their long year apart has cost him, and what price he paid to find her again. Someday she'll ask him, but not today.
On impulse she closes the few yards between them and rests a palm against his cheek. She sees his eyes widen in surprise for just a moment before she closes her eyes and brushes her lips against his.
They are soft and warm, far warmer than she would have expected on this chilly day, and when he leans ever-so-slightly into the kiss sparks fly down her back, just as they did on that long ago day in Neverland.
Emma pulls away after just a few seconds, before Killian even has a chance to respond. She can't give into the temptation to explore this thing between them right now. Not with Henry in the other room. Not when their task is so urgent.
Hook stares at her in wide-eyed astonishment as she slowly drops her hand, and she swallows hard, trying to contain the confused tangle of emotions that is struggling to get out. "Thank you," she says breathily, "for finding me. For bringing me home."
His Adam's apple bobs and his eyes dart around her apartment. "I thought this was home."
Emma smiles, feeling the full bittersweet weight of Regina's gift on her shoulders. "It was. But not anymore."
He nods. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
She sighs. Back to work. No time for any prolonged moments. Maybe there never will be time. "I'll grab a bag. You can help me pack."
She heads to her room for a duffle bag that she has stashed in her closet, and unconsciously raises her fingers to her lips. She can still feel the ghost of their kiss burning there, and she doesn't want it to go away.