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The German War therefore is at an end.” Emma Jones repeated those words to herself, who knew eight words could be so powerful? Who knew eight words had the power to make her seven year old son jump for joy? Most importantly, who knew eight words had the power to let her believe her husband would be back from the war?

Emma was frantic with worry when a letter from her husband had not come in ages, she thought the worst, but her boy, their boy, Henry, gave her hope. If he believed that his Papa would be back soon, then he would. Henry Jones was like any other young chap his age, he would come home with dirt and grime on his clothes and underneath his fingernails from playing and he had a wild imagination. But most importantly, his parents believed he had the heart of the truest believer. So his belief that his Papa would be back home to tuck him in every night with a story and a kiss on the forehead made Emma worry a little lesser.

The Joneses resided in New York before the start of the war, but were eventually evacuated to a quaint seaside town in Maine where they would live with her mother and father David and Mary Margaret on their farm after Killian and her younger brother Leo were shipped off. The name of that town was Storybrooke. Everyday since then,  Henry Jones would walk down a forest path which led to a well that was tucked away behind some trees and bushes. He would take a nickel out from his pocket, squeeze his eyes shut and wish that his Papa would come back home. He would kiss the nickel before tossing it into the well.

Henry often assured his mother that his father would return soon, especially when they hadn’t heard from him in a while.

Ever since Emma’s eyes captured the eight bold black letters that grazed the front cover of the newspaper, she felt lighter. They had been very lucky as they weren’t the recipients of any letters of condolences, but that didn’t stop Emma from worrying.

Until the day came, the day Emma had been anticipating for what felt like an eternity. News of naval vessels had been reported docking at Storybrooke port. As soon as she caught wind of it, she lifted her boy up onto her hip (despite his groaning from being woken at such an ‘ungodly’ hour) and sprinted out of the house.

---

The pier was crowded with people waiting to see their loved ones again, Emma and Henry spotted Belle and Ruby amongst the crowd of thousands.

“Emma, Henry, Waiting for Killian I suppose, you should all come over for lunch tomorrow!”

Emma turned around and was met with kind blue eyes and white blonde hair.

“Elsa! Yes that would be lovely. I think Henry is excited to see his Uncle Liam again” Emma said as she nodded to Henry who was asleep and had his head tucked in the crook of neck.

Elsa chortled and focused her attention back to the ships. Soon, the men started disembarking. Emma heard the delighted squeal of the usually quiet Belle as she caught sight of Will Scarlet walking down the gangplank, Belle sprinted forward and threw herself at Will. He dropped his possessions, caught her in his arms and spun her around.

Emma then caught a flash of red as Ruby rushed towards Victor Whale who had been a medic to the troops and watched as they clung onto each other for dear life, his nose pressed to her brunette hair before he shut his eyes and sighed deeply.

“HENRY!” shouted a young voice

Henry’s woke up with a jolt to be greeted by Roland Hood tugging at his foot.

“Roland, sweetheart, calm down.” chided Regina Mills-Hood softly, before hoisting him up onto her hip as well, to give him a better view.

Emma’s heart was beating out of her chest as she scanned the crowd for Killian, and to her utmost relief, he stood on the deck of one of the many ships, alongside Liam and Robin, their hair billowed in the breeze as they too made their way down the gangplank.

“Henry, Henry, wake up baby. Look who’s home” she whispered into Henry’s ear

Henry stirred and looked out into the crowd, it didn’t take him long to catch sight of the familiar face that tucked him in at night that promised him with a kiss on the forehead and a bone crushing hug that he would come home. He slipped out of his mother’s arms and ran towards his father.

“PAPA!” he shouted, beside himself with excitement.

Killian whipped his head forward, dropped his belongings and crouched down with his arms outstretched.

He gathered his boy into his arms and peppered him with kisses, Henry would normally groan at all the affection that he was receiving but instead, he giggled with pleasure. Happy to be in his father’s arms again.

“I missed you so much mboy! Oh look how much you’ve grown, you’re going to be taller than your old man soon!”Killian exclaimed. Henry beamed with pride at that exaggerated remark and nuzzled his head into his father’s chest

“I protected Mama like you said I had to, I promise you that.” Henry said, his voice slightly muffled, Killian smiled warmly at his son and looked out into the crowd again. He caught sight of the blonde tresses that he was so enamored with, the same blonde tresses that he had brushed his fingers through. That he held when he dipped her for a kiss on their wedding day. He moved forward quickly, so as to taste those lips again. They kissed passionately, eventually pulling apart for air, but that didn’t stop Emma from peppering kisses all over Killian’s face.

“I’ve said this in my letters but, I need to say it to you again, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where I didn’t think of you and Henry...Umpf”

Emma cut him off with another kiss.

All around them, loved ones were being reunited, Robin and Regina gazed into each others eyes as they held Roland between them, Liam held Elsa in his arms as she sobbed happily into his uniform, they pulled apart for a split second when young Henry bounded up to them to say hello to his Uncle Liam, to give his parents a moment alone.

---

The crowd on the pier started to disperse as Emma, Killian and Henry made their way back to the farm with David and Mary Margaret after being reunited with Emma’s younger brother Leo.

Henry sat on his father’s shoulders as they entered the property, the family dog Wilby bounded up to Leo and Killian before he barked and wagged his tail at the pair, happy to have their family whole again.

The Joneses settled themselves in their cottage that was situated a short distance away from the main house. Killian tugged Emma towards his chest and held her close before pressing a kiss to her hair

“Emma, love, I’ve missed you, there are no words that can describe my joy to finally be home.”

“But this isn’t really home.”

Killian pulled away from Emma slightly, and frowned, his brow crinkled in the process.

“Love, I’ve told you countless times, I do not care where we are, we could be living in the middle of a junkyard for all I know, but I know for a fact that you and Henry are my home. As long as I have you two, I’m home.” Killian said

“You’re such a sap.”

“But I’m your sap.”

“Welcome home, Killian.”

“I’m glad to be home love.”