"This is where they are keeping Henry," Emma says moving the stick on the sand as if we were supposed to understand her scribbles and rocks as a map "Pan's campout, according to ah…"
Is she serious?
I look at Emma and I see how she struggles with saying Tinker's name. After everything we've been through is this still a thing with her?
"Tinker Bell," Tinker says walking behind her.
"Yeah, I know, still weird to say"
I rolled my eyes even though the mix of confusion and embarrassment on Emma's face is adorable.
"Tink is fine," Tinker says walking back to where we are.
"I'm not sure if that's any better," Emma says "Anyway, she said that are entries positions across the front which is why we are going to come into the back entrance here," Emma says pointing at the rocks on the back of the map "We attack our way in and when the coast is clear we are going to snick on in"
"You still need to deal with Lost Boys once we are inside," Tink says walking back and forth again.
"I think we can handle a few children with pointing sticks," I say from my not very comfortable seat on a rock.
"It's not the sticks you need to worry about," Tink says folding a blanket "It's the poison they deep them with"
"Dreamshade, Hook warned us," Snow says.
"Good, because one nick and you'll spend the last…"
"Poison sticks equals death," Charming says and stood up from the floor abruptly "When can we put this rescue mission into action"
"I'm ready to go," Tink says "Just as soon as you tell me the exit plan"
She had to ask!
Tink looks at all of us waiting for an answer and Emma looks at me, with an expression that says what the hell are we going to tell her? I bit my lower lip and frown because one, I don't know what to tell her, and two, I can't believe I know what that face meant.
"You do have a scape plan, don't you?" Tink asks looking at us again.
"It's more of a last-minute trip," Snow says.
Gods, I think silence would have been a better answer.
But I suppose one can never expect Snow to be silent.
"If you don't have a way off this island then none of this matter," Tink says.
"We'll figure out," I say as I rise from the stone I was sitting on.
"You'll figure out?" Tink says "No one comes and goes from this place unless he allows it. This is a waste of time"
"When it comes to family, we always find a way," Charming says.
At least he got a point there.
"You don't get it. Here let me show you something" Tink says and opens her bag and I see her pulling a watch out of it "You what this is?"
"Yeah, it's a watch," Emma says.
"I got it from the people who brought your son here"
"Greg and Tamara?" Emma asks as she quickly rises from the ground and walks in Tink's direction "Where are they? Why would they give you that?"
"I got it off the girl's body," Tink says "I spent half the night cleaning the blood off of it. And the other guy? Well, it wasn't enough left of him to find anything useful"
So, he's dead.
Gods, I can barely help the smile that forms on my lips.
Owen is dead.
That miserable bastard that I once thought I could care for like a son is dead.
I know that part of me should feel sorry for him. But I guess that part of me is dead…just like him.
"This is what Pan does to people he employed what you think he's gonna do to you? I'm not sticking my neck on Pan's chopping board without a way off this island. When you figured that out, you know where I live"
Tink walks away from us as we all start to discuss our escape plan, or better yet, the lack of it. The Neverland tourist guide in the shape of a Pirate says he was only able to leave the island because of a deal he made with Pan, and honestly, I don't even want to know what kind of deal was it. Apparently, there is no way off this island without Pan's permission or a way to open a portal, which is something none of us possess.
Hook says that Neal was the only one who was ever capable of leaving the island without magic or Pan's permission and the wave of pain and guilt makes an appearance behind Emma's eyes. It's so real that for a moment I feel like walking to her and pull her into my arms. But I don't do that. Instead, I just look down and wait for someone to say anything else that will pull her out of the dark thoughts she is probably having right now. But Emma is the one who speaks and asks Hook how did Neal got out of the island which is something that I should have asked instead of feeling sorry for her. Hook says that we need to find out how and starts to walk inside the jungle again and all of us follow after him.
Curious enough, this time around we don't walk for hours. After some point, God knows where the jungle became less dense and the warm wind of the night was actually soothing. The lamp I'm holding in my hand is weak but the moon is so bright up in the sky that we barely need it. We take a turn to the left and I see a huge rock with some sort of face shape on it and a little wooden door in the front and then Hook's voice announces that we have arrived at our destination.
"What is this supposed to be?" I ask starring at the construction in front of me.
"So, what, Neal swam out of Neverland on a vine?" Emma says staring at the rock the same way I do.
"If someone would be kind enough to give me a hand," Hook says and walks to the door "What you say, Savior?"
I roll my eyes at the little scene.
He got some nerve.
"I'll do it," Charming says the second Emma takes a step to help Hook.
I like him better every passing day.
Emma stands beside me as the two idiots works on getting the door open. Again, I could just use magic to make that happen, but I don't even bother to offer. If they want to put on a show for their respective love interest so be it.
Charming seems to get the best out of the competition between the two of them and I'm glad for it, although, he seems a little too out of breath for such an easy task. We enter the little stone house and well, it's just rocks. I have no idea what the hell are we doing here. Emma seems to think the same as me when she calls out for Hook.
I hate when she calls for him.
Hook and Charming finally join us inside and begin yet again a competition to get the fire on the torch. And yet again, I could have just waved my hand in the air and make the fire happen.
The place is finally light up and I can see scribbles everywhere. How old was he when he was staying here? Emma seems a little mesmerized by everything around her and honestly, I can sympathize with that. I remember all too well how it feels like to lose your first love. And we both carry the guilt of feeling responsible for their deaths.
We start to look around to see if we can find anything that can help us find a way out of the island. If you ask me, it's all crap but I play along with them. I look at Emma having a chat with Hook and I can't help the pang of hurt that crosses my heart. I can hear them talking about Neal and I supposed I should be rational and look at that as two people talking about someone they used to know, but my stupid heart seems to disagree with my brain.
I hate that he is closer to her.
I hate that she wants to be closer to him.
Emma turns around and walks to where I am with her parents. She asks if we found anything useful, and the answer is no. Another waste of time. Time we should spend looking for Henry. But then Emma picks up the coconut with the candle she was holding and puts it together with the other half Charming had and tells all of us to look up. And would you look at that? The bastard left a map behind.
Hook tells us a little bit of his story with Baelfire like a proud father and for a moment I don't totally despise him. The moment is gone the second I ask him if he can read the map and he says no.
The pirate is useless.
I don't know why the hell that still surprises me.
What does surprises me is the disappointment that crosses Emma's face. She leaves the cave house in a hurry and I want to go after her badly but her parents are already doing that, I stay behind with the damn pirate who just keeps looking up at the map as if he is going to find the answers we desperately need.
I hear shouting coming from outside and then everything turns quiet. I walked out of the stone house and I see Snow and Charming hugging each other but Emma is nowhere to be seen. I turn around, not wanting to interrupt the moment, not that I care about their moment, I just really don't want…I don't know, make small talk?
I walk into the woods looking for a quiet and alone place so I can sit down for a second and put my thoughts in order. We still don't have an escape plan and without one, this whole quest is useless. How long until Pan gets Henry back if we don't find a way out of this damn island? I look out into the woods and I see blond hair contrasting with the deep green and brown of the woods. I quite like the way the moon reflects on Emma's hair, it makes it looks brighter. I walk in her direction, trying to be as silent as I can but the breaking branches on the ground give me away.
"Mary Margaret, David, please go away," Emma says without turning around in a heavy voice.
"Gods, I rather kill myself before I became them"
"Regina!" Emma whispers, still with her back on me.
She is sitting on a trunk (this jungle is full of them) looking out at nothing. I see Emma cleaning her face as I come closer to her and that only tells me one thing. She's being crying.
"Do you mind if I sit here?" I ask.
"Go ahead!" Emma says simply.
I move and sit by her side, looking out the same emptiness she's been staring at. It's soothing, sometimes, to look at nothing. I always find that to have a calming effect on me. The wind blows and Emma's hair fly with it and the sweet scent of coconut assaults my nose. I quite like the smell. Waking up with my nose buried on the back of her neck while her scent slowly brings me back to life wouldn't be the most terrible faith on earth.
"What are we going to do, Regina?" Emma asks, pulling me out of my train of thoughts.
"If there is something I learned from you heroes is that you'll always find a way"
"I'm not a hero, Regina!" Emma says "I just want to get our son back home"
"We'll find a way, Emma," I say as I turn my head to look at her.
"What if we don't?" Emma asks and turns to look at me "What if we get stuck in this damn island?"
"Then we'll defeat Pan and all the lost boys and built Storybrooke 2.0" I try to joke.
"And we'll do what, live up in the trees?" Emma smiles at me.
"Well, I'm planning on magicking a mansion up in hill" I smile back at her "Somewhere you parents can't annoy me"
"And how are we going to work out Henry's visits?" Emma asks.
"I suppose we can magic him up and down"
Emma laughs, such a genuine laugh that my heart dances with happiness. Her smile is honest and it touches her eyes and I just want to make her feel like this all the time.
"I'm sorry about Neal, Emma," I say sincerely "I know all too well the pain of losing your first love"
"I lost him a long time ago, Regina," Emma says looking out the emptiness again.
"But it still hurt, doesn't it?" I ask.
"It does," Emma sighs "I thought he was a bastard for so long. I hated him in a way I never hated anyone before"
"And I can't stand the way David and Mary Margaret make it look like I lost the love of my life," Emma says "I didn't. Neal wasn't the love of my life"
"No, of course not," Emma says "It sucks that he died, especially the way he did. Henry lost his father and I lost…someone that I used to love"
"Why don't you just tell them that?" I ask curiously.
"I really don't want to be all touchy feelings with them" Emma sighs "I just wish they get a fucking clue"
"That's not your parent's strongest suit" I let out a small laugh.
"Why is it so easy for me to just open up to you?" Emma asks "Why can't I do that with them?
"I don't know," I say "Maybe because we have too much in common"
Emma stretches her hand to my hair and her fingers gently slide down my hair strands. My breathing accelerates as if I was running a marathon and I feel my whole body warm. She looks into my eyes and for a second my breathing gets caught up in my throat as I look back at her before my chest starts moving up and down again at a rapid pace.
Gods, why does she always do that to me?
How does she always do this to me?
"There was a leaf in your hair," Emma says showing me the leaf between her fingers.
"Thanks," I said back and quickly look down.
I can feel my cheeks burning.
Why doesn't she kiss me already?
"We should head back," Emma says "I really don't want David and Mary Margaret coming after me. Can I sleep in your tent tonight?"
Emma gets up from the trunk and stands in front of me. She stretches out her hand to me and for a moment, my brain shorts circuit as my eyes just stare at her hand.
"Shall we go?" Emma says.
I blink a couple of times as without thinking I just reach for her hand. I feel that jolt of electricity again when our fingers touch and once again I don't know what to think of that. I never felt that before. Magic doesn't behave like that unless…I shook my head and let go of her hand as soon as I'm up.
I do not want to think about things like that.
They are dangerous.
It's one thing to have feelings for Emma, but to think she could be...
We walk side by side back where the three idiots have set up camp. I magic my tent but as Emma and I try to get inside, Snow calls for her. I know Emma doesn't want to talk to her, but I'm sort of relieved for a moment alone.
Emma goes with her and I enter the tent. I quickly magic Emma's mattress, pillow, and blankets by the fireplace and hide under the covers. It doesn't take long before she walks in again, and I stay quietly just listening to her movements. I hear a sniff and I guess her mother found a way to upset her again.
A chill invades my body in bed as the sheets are pulled up. The mattress sinks beside me, and then the chill is gone replaced only by warmth coming from Emma's body.
"I don't want to sleep in there alone tonight," Emma says in a small voice.
Emma shifts in bed again as I stay still, completely paralyzed. Her breathing gets heavier and heavier and the little bits of air that escapes her lips tickle behind my neck. Every bone in my body wants to turn around and wrap her inside my arms. My skin feels like tiny little needles piercing my flesh with the desire to run my fingers at every inch of her body. Emma shifts in bed again and this time I can feel her nose brushing against the back of my neck and my body immediately tenses.
This is going to be one hell of a long night for me.