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What a Kiss Means

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"I saw you kissing him."

Emma sighed, feeling trapped. It was a thank you, and that was all. There was nothing else to it. But Killian Jones was more than handsome, and she could understand why Regina would be jealous. Maybe it hadn't been such a great idea. But it had gotten him off her case long enough for her to breathe, and that was what she wanted. She was suffocated by people telling her what to do and how to live her life. For a savior, she hadn't been doing much saving. And Henry was still lost, stuck god-knows-where with Pan and the lost boys. They hadn't accomplished much, and everyone had their own opinion about what they should do - what Emma should do - including Regina.

She hadn't planned to kiss Hook - it had simply happened, without her really thinking about it. Looking back, she felt nauseous, her insides quivering. He tasted like rum. They all knew he had a drinking problem, and it made the kiss especially unpleasant. But how could she tell Regina that? How could she tell her it was all to her Hook off her back and that all she wanted was for everyone to leave her alone and let her make her own decisions? There wasn't a tactful way. Suddenly, she was thinking of the others. Did they know? Worse yet, did they see, too? It felt strange to think it, but she wondered what her father would say. He'd probably gut Hook like a fish.

"It was just a thank you, Regina," Emma finally managed. "It was nothing."

Regina looked disgusted - offended, even - like it was a personal attack. Maybe even a little. . . hurt? Was it pain Emma saw in her eyes? It couldn't be. Emma couldn't tell what she was thinking, but she knew it wasn't anything flattering. She braced herself for another venomous verbal attack - more reasons why she was an unfit mother. She waited, but Regina just stared at her, almost through her. The silence was painful, like needles in her skin, and it didn't break until her father pushed his way through the brush beside them.

"What are you guys doing? Come on. We've got to keep moving if we're going to find Henry before Pan turns him into one of his lost boys."

David was serious, and oblivious. He noticed nothing unusual about their interaction, which told Emma that he didn't know about the kiss, either. Another reassuring fact was that Killian was still alive, which also meant her father didn't know. Still, she wondered about the others. Who else knew? Did Regina tell them? She wasn't sure if Regina was the type of person to keep a secret like that to herself or to spread it around like wildfire. Then again, she reasoned, if anyone else knew, they'd probably be making a rather large deal out of the whole situation as well. And she could understand why. The pirate wasn't exactly boyfriend material, and Neil had only just died.

But she loved Neil, and she hadn't moved on, and that was what was important. No matter what they thought, the kiss was nothing but an apology. As Emma walked along behind David silently, she thought about what the kiss might have meant to Killian. After all, it had been him that pursued her. He was probably just trying to get into her pants. She didn't exactly like the guy, but she was still glad her father didn't know about what happened. She didn't want him a dead man. Besides, they needed him to find Henry, and that was what she cared about most. If Hook was happy, their journey continued. If not, well. . . they'd be stranded in Neverland with nothing to go on and no way to find Henry.

She knew Hook knew more than he was telling, and she wanted to get it out of him. But she knew she had to be careful. Setting him off would only set Operation Cobra Rescue back even further than it already was. Things looked hopeless as they were. But she believed that the pirate could get them to her son, and that was why she tolerated his insolence. It wasn't like she wanted him around, but she did need him. They all needed him.