Emma was trying so hard to keep it together. Henry was so grown up. Walking away from him was so hard. In the last four years since he had left, he had changed so much. An afternoon wasn’t enough time but she had to let him find his own story. Only he could do that.
Emma felt a small measure of relief that Regina would be with him and the other version of Killian would be as well. It was strange to see the wish realm’s version of Hook again, especially looking more like her own Hook. Hearing the other Killian talk about his daughter set Emma’s mind running wild imagining a daughter with Killian’s eyes and what combination of her features and his their child would end up with. If Emma wasn’t already pregnant it’d be enough to make her want to drag her own Killian home and never leave their bed until she was pregnant.
Although in their case it had taken so many years she had almost, almost!, given up hope of giving Killian a child. Dwindling hope of their own second chance, an opportunity to break the cycle of parents being separated from their kids and ensure their own kids didn’t feel like she and Killian had as children: lost and alone. Killian was so great with Henry and even her brother and it left her feeling like there had to be something wrong with her that she couldn’t bring a baby to full term because Killian Jones was absolutely meant to be a father. Her doctor (and Killian, and her mom and even Granny) had reinforced more times than she could remember that miscarriages happened to more women than most people realized and just because one happened didn’t mean she couldn’t have another. It was so early in her pregnancy, barely a baby bump, and Killian was already mollycoddling her. She understood why but with four months to go it was going to be a long road.
Emma pressed her hand to her stomach and held Killian’s there as she looked at their son. Emma could see a little of Neal in Henry. But she could see so much of Killian in Henry as well. She could see Killian in Henry’s mannerisms and attitude. Killian squeezed her hand and she looked at her husband, then her son, his other mother and other Hook and knew it was time to go before this portal closed on her. Her path and Henry’s would diverge here but Emma had no doubt in her mind that they would meet again. After all her family had a saying.
I will always find you.
Discussions of redemption and debts
I have a few ideas about where I want this to go. I’m going to do my best to write and post one approximately 500 word chapter everyday because it’s a manageable goal. Enjoy!
Hook was sitting on the log by the dying fire, staring at the chess piece he’d carried across many realms, when he felt the tip of a hook tapping on his arm. He looked up to see Emma’s Killian eyeing him with a natural expression. By the tilt of his head towards the opposite side of the clearing, he understood Killian intended for them to talk privately. He followed, trying to prepare himself for what might be unsaid between them.
“Aye, what is it you wished to say?” Hook demanded of the other man when they were out of earshot of the others.
“My wife has placed her trust in you by asking you to look after Henry. You have to understand how important it is; that you do not break that trust. Emma’s trust was one of the things that set me on the path to let go of my villainy and explore the possibility of a happy ending, or, as Emma prefers, a happy beginning,” Killian explained, though Hook could tell there was more to be said from the way he paused.
“I understand this is a second chance and I don’t intend to waste it,” Hook stressed, almost desperate that his doppelganger believe that he meant it. After almost separating the man from his child, a pain he wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy, Killian had still pleaded with Emma to save his life, thus Hook now felt a debt was owed.
“I hope you do not. I think you should also know that Henry is the one responsible for setting the events in motion that lead Emma to me. Emma had Henry when she was incarcerated for crimes the father of her child pinned on her. Young and alone, she gave Henry up to give him his best chance unlike our own fathers who were selfish and abandoned us for self preservation. Regina,” Killian pointed towards the Evil Queen, “she adopted Henry and raised him alone until Henry was 10 and set out to bring Emma to Storybrooke. He helped her find her parents and she eventually found me. Her family became my family and though I might not be the lad’s birth father, make no mistake, Henry is my son and I love him as such.”
“He seems like a fine young man. I’m sure… well… I’m sure he’ll be okay,” he mumbled, stumbling over his words, a little embarrassed that for all the languages he knew, words had failed him just then. Killian chuckled softly.
“He may seem grown but he’s still a lad in many ways and you know it. I need you to promise me that you will look after my son, as though he was your own, because whether he means to or not, he’ll look to you for guidance and support because you're a version of the man that helped raise him,” Killian contended, intentions finally aired out.
“I owe both you and Emma for saving my life, so I promise, on my honour, that I will guide and protect young Henry in your stead,” he vowed, extending his hand.
I'm posting this on Tumblr as well if you want to find me there I'm Katealexandra26. Please like, reblog or follow over there if you like this story. This chapter won't be on there until my tumblr stops misbehaving, so probably later today.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hook’s doppelganger grasped his hand firmly and shook it twice. The other man was grinning a familiar grin.
“What?” he asked, curiosity at the cause running rampant in his mind.
“I know that you will do your best to keep your word. You have honor in you, Killian. When you meet your daughter again, you'll be able to tell her this day was the start of your journey to being a better man,” Killian promised.
“You're so certain I'll find her?”
“Aye, absolutely certain.” Hook stared as other man exuded complete confidence, bordering on cocky arrogance.
“How can you be so sure?” Hook demanded.
“My family has a motto they live by: ‘I will always find you.’ So if someone in this family promises to help you find your family, just know that we really hate to give up and it's going to happen,” Killian soothed him, resting his hand on his shoulder.
“Aye, like a man unwilling to fight for what he wants, deserves what he gets?” It was a wonderful thought, Hook mused, that one would always find someone, even if it was a bit naive.
“Exactly. I truly wish you the best of luck and I hope you find your daughter and everything you're looking for,” Killian said, embracing him briefly.
“Good luck with the babe. I'll watch over your Henry,” Hook promised again.
Killian turned and bid Regina farewell and then Henry. Hook watched Emma Swan, though he supposed she was truly Emma Jones, as she held her son not wishing to let go. Killian came and gently pressed his hook into her back and guided them away from the group. They both looked so happy and it gave Hook hope that one day he would have his own happy beginning.
Hook watched the spot where the Savior and her pirate had stepped through the portal back to their realm, long after they had gone, lost in his thoughts.
“Hook!” the Queen shaking him by his shoulder broke his reverie. She had somehow got her magic functioning enough to effect a wardrobe change to a tight-fitting red leather riding outfit and her dark hair was now long and wavy.
“Aye, I'm coming,” he grumbled, assuming she wanted him to move. “I'm not the one who had to waste time on a fashion change in the middle of the bloody forest!”
Regina's palm fell open as she tried and failed to conjure a fireball.
“Looks like you're all out of juice” Hook mocked. He could have sworn the woman was about to physically attack him.
“OK! Enough of that. Let's get out of here before Lady Tremaine’s forces find us,” Henry stepped in between the two of them.
Hook might have agreed to look out for Henry because he owed a debt but torturing Regina would no doubt provide endless amusement. Let the adventure begin, he thought, grinning as he jogged to catch with his traveling companions.
Up next... back to Storybrooke
To make up for not posting a new chapter yesterday this chapter is twice as long as normal ones. Just an FYI, I cried writing this chapter. It has been really cathartic writing my pain into Emma's journey. There is a discussion of death and loss in this chapter. I have tagged this story as angst and the next few chapters will be rocky but hang in with me. We will break through the darkness and find the light. Please refer to tags before proceeding.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Emma felt a mix of emotions as Killian opened the door for her and she stepped inside their home. Her heart missed Henry every second of every day. She didn't tell Henry, but she had checked on him from time to time over the years. Mirror magic was definitely a handy thing. Regina joined her and Killian on a few occasions and they watched Henry for hours at a time, the three of them reliving memories of their son as a child. A few times, Emma even used her cell phone to snap a few pictures of the images she conjured in the mirror to show her parents.
Killian asked her one of the times they had checked on him how she thought Henry still had gasoline for his motorcycle. Emma figured he had used his Author’s pen to magic some gas into the tank. Since Emma had gotten pregnant this time she had checked on him more often then she would've liked to admit.
What she had told Henry was true, she was never going to be okay being apart. All she wanted was for her kids to be happy, even if life took them away from her. A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought of the two children she and Killian had lost. Knowing as she did of the afterlife, she hoped her children's souls found peace. She liked to think they were watched over by their Uncle Liam and she would see them again someday.
“Love?” Killian softly whispered as he gathered her into his arms. “It's ok,” he kissed her forehead, her cheeks and her lips. Emma couldn't hold back the tidal wave any longer.
Emma sobbed large, ugly tears as her emotions overwhelmed her. Missing Henry, thinking of her lost children and her damn hormones was just the worst fucking combination. Her legs started to give way but Killian scooped her up and carried her up to their room. Once he reached the bed, he helped her out of her clothes and into her pajamas. He deposited her clothes in the laundry bin and disappeared into their closet and returned wearing a pair of flannel sweats, brace in hand. He tucked his brace onto his side table and joined Emma under the covers.
“I texted Dave and let him know we're back. He said he'll cover the station calls overnight to give you a chance to rest,” Killian ventured, knowing she was still awake.
Emma turned in his arms. She pressed herself against his bare chest, trailing her hand over the dark hair that covered his chest, taking comfort in his closeness.
“Thanks. I wasn't exactly up for going straight back to work. I was thinking about Reagan and Brandon,” Emma mumbled, meeting his eyes. Killian's expression fell a little. She knew what he was remembering as his arms tightened around her.
“Aye, I imagined that you might be,” Killian said, pulling back and catching her chin to turn her eyes to his.
Reagan was their first child. Emma had been too early in the pregnancy to know the child’s gender so Archie had suggested that they both pick a gender neutral name for the child. A way to remember and grieve at the same time. Brandon had been born at 31 weeks and the prognosis from the doctor was grim and something magic couldn’t fix. She and Killian got hold him and made sure their little boy felt nothing but love in his brief hours on this earth. His funeral had been difficult to make it though. She was grateful Henry hadn't been there for that.
“It will be okay, love, I know it. I know this babe is strong and will be safe in your arms before you know it,” Killian vowed. Emma kissed him fiercely.
“I have hope. Seeing Henry helped bolster that feeling. Although I won't lie, I've thought about mixing up that potion I used on Zelena to speed up my pregnancy,” Emma admitted, looking away.
“You know that isn't the answer,” Killian warned.
“Zelena threatened to do it too, you know, when I first told her and Regina,” she reminded her husband. “Though I know she meant it as more of a way to ensure things didn't go horribly wrong for this one. I almost wanted to take her up on it. She is a surprisingly good friend. Motherhood has certainly changed her.”
“Motherhood has changed you, Swan,” he reminded her of her own journey since Henry knocked on her door all those years ago. “I have faith. Even after all these years of trials, I have faith.”
“I'm staring down forty, Killian. The dangers are higher and just thinking about taking that potion is evidence of my doubts, but with you here with me, I feel stronger and I know this child will be alright.”
“Exactly, now get some rest my love. Tomorrow you've got to tell a certain wicked resident that her sister has chosen to stay in another realm,” Killian advised.
Emma groaned, forgetting entirely about the fact that she had not texted Zelena about the events of the past two days.
“Why me?” she whined, laughing as Killian tickled her.
“Well, Swan, because Zelena would never harm a pregnant woman,” Killian laughed. “Now I know she's not exactly going to be pleased that Regina didn't say goodbye but mother to mother, she'll understand Regina's choice.”
Emma felt just a little better and she knew that was her husband’s goal. Killian held her as he sang a song in one of the languages he knew. Emma never asked him it's meaning but he often sang it when she was worried. Emma's hand rested on her stomach, rubbing over the gentle swell until she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer, lulled to sleep by Killian's lilting voice.
Keep those tissues handy... Henry has a story to tell
Sixteen year old Henry comes across something he'll never forget.
This chapter contains descriptions of blood and pregnancy loss. I know this is a spoiler, but for many (myself included) it’s often a trigger so for that reason I’m making note of it here as well as updating the tags. Please don't hate me for this chapter.
Many years ago…
Henry threw his keys on the counter. He knew Killian was on his way home from the station but Emma had come home early because she wasn’t feeling well. His growing younger brother or sister was taking a toll on her.
“Mom, I’m home,” Henry called, knowing when she didn’t answer she was probably asleep.
Henry made his way up the steps and saw the door to his parents’ room was open. He peaked in and his mother was definitely not in the bed. That’s when he heard a small moan from the bathroom. He entered cautiously, not wanting to interrupt if Killian had come home early. Once was enough scaring for one lifetime. The closer he got the more he felt something was wrong. He gently pushed opened the door to find his mom on the bathroom floor, blood pooling under her.
“Oh my god. Mom!” Henry shouted sprinting to her side. He could only just make out the sound of the door closing downstairs. “HELP?!”
The clatter he heard as Killian threw down what he was carrying and bounded up the steps echoed in his ears. Henry felt at Emma’s neck for a pulse. She wasn’t fully conscious and felt clammy under his hand.
“EMMA! Seven hells!” Killian cried, rushing to Emma’s side barely avoiding slipping in her blood in his haste, pulling her into his arms as his knees landed hard on the tiles. Emma’s eyes opened briefly before rolling back as she passed out again.
Henry was shaking. He knew what was happening and his heart was broken but he was worried he’d also lose his mom. No, that was unthinkable, his brain shouted at him.
“Lad, go out and call 911 and then your grandparents. Tell them to meet us at the hospital,” Killian ordered, grabbing him by his shirt and helping him stand when he didn’t immediately move. Henry stumbled exiting the room and did his best to avoid the blood on the floor.
Henry did as instructed. The paramedics seemed shocked to be getting a call to respond to the sheriff and deputy’s residence and assured him they were only 4 mins out. His grandmother was so distressed by the news that she had passed the phone to his grandpa, who also struggled with the news but took a moment to help Henry slow down his breathing. Henry made his way back towards the bathroom, where his stepfather was clinging to his mother.
“Henry, go downstairs and let the paramedics in. Please don’t come back in here, my boy,” Killian instructed and Henry recognized the authoritarian tone that Killian had honed for centuries as a Captain and leader of men. Henry knew better than to ignore the order. Not that he believed his stepfather meant him harm, he knew Killian loved him as though he was his own son. Henry knew the order was given because Killian was trying to protect him.
Once in the kitchen, he called his other mother. Regina had not heard the news and offered to come over. The doorbell rang.
“No, ma, it’s ok. The paramedics are here. Got to go. Meet you there,” Henry said, hanging up the phone.
Opening the door, he directed the paramedics upstairs. Minutes later, they returned carrying Emma on a stretcher.
“Henry, come here,” Killian said, opening his arms.
Henry hugged his stepfather tightly.
“She’ll be okay, she’s a fighter,” Killian assuring both of them in that moment. “I’m going in the ambulance. Drive safely, don’t rush and violate the rules of the road.”
“I’ve been doing this driving thing for a while, thank you. Longer than you if I recall,” Henry said, trying to lighten the conversation. “Go, I’ve got it. Mom needs you.”
Killian didn’t need to be told twice and dashed out the door. Henry closed and locked the house behind them both. His helmet rested on the back of his motorcycle, within minutes it was secured on his head and Henry’s bike roared to life. He took the fastest route he knew to the hospital, making sure to follow all the laws. His mothers would take away his keys if they knew how reckless he could sometimes be. Today wasn’t the day to add to his family’s worries.
Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve decided to go back to college (2nd degree) and my life has been a bit consumed with getting ready for that new journey.
Henry pulled into the hospital parking lot just minutes after his grandparents. Snow was waiting to hug him after he secured his helmet to his bike.
“Henry, are you okay? You said you found Emma bleeding on the bathroom floor?” Snow queried, breaking the hug to take her son from her husband’s arms. Henry could hear the pain in her voice.
“I’m fine,” Henry lied. He was anything but okay. His mother was inside and he desperately wanted to know how she was doing.
“Come on, let’s see if we can find out if there is any news,” David suggested, ushering them towards the entrance.
They hurried into the hospital only to have a nurse direct them to a waiting area after indicating that Emma had been taken immediately into the operating room. At least Killian was with her.
Rather than sit, Henry passed the time pacing impatiently in front a door bearing an “Authorized Personnel Only” sign. After what seemed like ages, Killian appeared from behind the door without his hook and wearing blue scrubs. Killian came straight for Henry, hugging him in silence for many long minutes. Killian released him and guided him toward the chairs where David, Snow and Regina were waiting. They stood when they saw Killian and Henry enter the waiting room.
“She’s okay. They stopped the bleeding. It’ll be a little while before she’s awake,” Killian informed them, grief and exhaustion written plainly on his face.
“Oh, Killian. We’re so, so sorry for your loss,” Snow sniffled, enveloping her son in law in her arms.
David embraced Killian next and Henry took a moment to breathe. He felt so incredibly sad and flopped into a chair, head falling into his hands. He must have fallen asleep because next thing he was aware of, David was gently touching his shoulder.
“She would like to see you,” David said wearily, looking like Henry was sure they all felt. His grandfather’s eyes were red, evidence he had been crying, and his hair was ruffled as though he had been frustratingly pulling at it.
Henry felt immensely relieved that his mom had regained consciousness and asked to see him. His mind wandered as he trekked the familiar halls to the room his mother was now resting in. His family had definitely seen more of this place than most.
Henry pushed the door open slowly to find his mom lying in the hospital bed, seemingly asleep so he turned to exit the room so she could rest.
“It’s ok, kid. I’m awake, it’s just really damn bright in here,” Emma called out, halting Henry’s retreat.
Henry turned the knob on the wall near the light switch so that the room was just barely illuminated. It was enough that one could see in the darkness. Henry cautiously sat on the end of his mother’s bed.
“Thank you, Henry, for saving me,” Emma said, sitting up a little more in her bed. She was still pale and Henry could tell she had been crying.
“I’m so sorry, mom, that I wasn’t there for you sooner… I might have… been able…” Henry stammered, trying to find the right words. He felt just a little frustrated that words failed him just then. He turned away, grief at his mom’s pain causing him to finally cry.
“Hey, look at me,” Emma implored, grabbing Henry’s hand. “There was nothing you could’ve done. Sometimes, there’s nothing anyone can do. It’s not your fault.”
Emma gathered Henry into her arms and hugged him fiercely. Henry lay down on the bed next to his mom as he might have done as a child and let his mother comfort him. Not long after that, his stepfather entered the room and sat in the chair keeping watch over them both. Henry began to drift off to sleep, exhausted and mournful, though extremely glad his mother had survived this tragic ordeal.