It had come down to this, the happy endings were at stake for all whether they be heroes, villains and those in between. Zelena, who had been Marian since activating the time portal, had managed to again get Rumple under her thumb (or under heart) and split his magic from the dagger. The witch may have been more powerful than everyone had anticipated but she had been defeated for good this time before she could collect the power. The dark ones essence was no longer tethered to either Rumble or the Dagger, instead it flowed through the town seeking out the only other person in residence with blood ties to witch, Regina. Quick thinking by both the Savior and the Queen had allowed them time to get the latter to safety with Robin, hiding deep with her vault with every protection that anyone with magic could provide. The town was taking a brutal hit, unable to hold out much longer Regina took a page out of the Hero's book, knocking out Robin and left to stop the madness occurring above. Like weeks before at the town line she was going to do the right thing.
Robin came too and realizing what she had in mind, left to inform the rest of the heroes company. He found them convening at the Mayor's house, desperately trying to find a solution other than the one they had already found. In an old almanac detail the dark one, they had dealt a blow. It stated that the only way to defeat the problem was an act of self sacrifice by the wielder of the strongest light magic, this would not only defeat the darkness but bring back the happy endings, repairing the damage attempted by the Author and Zelena. The only person who fit the bill was Emma. All had agreed that it was not an option they could take. Books were scattered everywhere, all desperate to find a solution that didn't involve Emma. Busting through the doors, Robin informed them of what Regina was planning to do, barely holding on to the fact that they had finally found each other only to be lost again.
The Charming's agreed to go with Robin to get Regina back, leaving Emma, Killian, an irate Belle, a distraught Henry and a begrudging Rumple to continue to find a solution. If Killian had not been so lost in his research to save his Swan, he may have questioned why she didn't put any argument about going to find Regina, Emma was not one to sit in the side lines while others were in peril. He put it down to the fact he didn't think she would do what she was now in fact doing. As he moved back to the table he noticed the dagger was missing, stopping dead in his tracks.
'Swan.' His shouting stocked the rest from their work as he rushed through every room in the house. 'Swan, Swan...Emma!' With out a second thought he bolted from the building, his eyes catching a faint glint of her golden locks as they whipped down the street. 'Swan, Emma don't do this.' Rushing after in such haste he lost his footing, stumbling froward, hand brushed the ground as he manged to keep both his momentum and on his feet. Following her down the street he caught sight of the sky as it darkened and began to converge towards the pawn shop. Opening out to the main road he had almost reached her as shouts and cries from the royals and the thief broke through the claps of thunder that engulfed the town.
'Regina!' Robin was running towards his love from the other end of the road. Fighting like Killian to stop their partners, to rethink their currents plans, they were both out of reach as the wind began to whip around them, starting to form a cyclone.
'Emma wait.' Killian had just about caught up with her as the wind started to engulf Regina. The Charming's stood by and were trying to convince her to rethink her decision, unable to move closer as she had frozen them in place. Regina started to writhe the the magical pressure built high around her.
In those last moments his Swan finally turned round to look in his face and what he saw chilled him to the very bone. He knew that look, the look was immovable, resigned and set. She was going to do the unthinkable. This was his happy ending on the line. Even with the town at stake there must be another way. There had to be another way. Taking the few steps so he stood right next to her she spoke, just loud enough for him to hear.
'I can't let Regina be consumed by darkness again. I can't let there be a world with out hope. We didn't work this hard to lose what we have.' She took his free hand in her own, rubbing the rings on his fingers, drawing strength for what she was to do next. 'We need happy endings Killian. This worlds needs them.' The sounds of shouts and pleas from the other three fell on deaf ears as the two only saw each other.
Killian went to move her away from the Queen but his feet were also stuck to the ground and he knew it was over even if his heart had yet to accept it. 'Emma I lo-'
'I know Killian.' Pulling him closer, leaning her forehead on his, she whispered. 'I have to save all of them. That mean ours too. Find me.'
Emma crashed her lips to his in sheer desperation, shaking as she pulled everything he was willing to offer her. It felt like home, regret, love. Love so strong and so pure even the most pious of nuns would seem sinful in comparison. It was over far to quickly for Killian's liking. He could see in her face for a split second that if it were longer she wouldn't be able to go through with it.
'Always.' His reply came without a thought, his delicate promise to never give up, to hold strong and love her till his dying breath.
Pulling away from him he kept hold of her hand until the last moment, savoring every last touch. His face stoic, the lump in his throat making it beyond difficult to breathe but he refused breakdown. The sky above them began to flash, the evil essence spiraled round the cracks of bright blue lightning getting closer to the women. Raising the dagger to the sky and shout things he couldn't hear save for the odd few words, Henry, responsibility, them. One final crack hit the weapon, encasing his love in the mixture of light and dark. The flash was so intense Killian raised his arm to try and both bock out the light and still see her.
She had disappeared into nothing as both Regina and the dagger fell to the floor. Snow's crying broke the sudden silence as she fell into her husbands arms, inconsolable at the fact that they had lost their child again to an evil curse. Robin rushed to his loves side, desperate to rouse her, fearful of what might have happened. The sky around them began to lighten as those Killian had felt in the manor caught up. Henry ran to his mother on the floor, screaming out for her to wake.
Killian fell to knees in silent sobs, finally unable to hold them back. His entire world had ended, finishing right before his eyes. The ache in his chest was more painful then any other he had felt before and he had endured a lot. His cries turn through hate, despair, anger, pain and loss. He couldn't let his heart believe what his head was telling him to be true. She couldn't be dead. She had saved the happy endings, so what about his. She was his, she had to be out there some where.
'Nooo, I don't believe you. She can't be dead, she can't be. I can't loose another one.' Lost in his despair he missed the agonizing shouts from Henry as Regina had come too and told him what had happened.
'Emma.' Allowing himself a moment longer, Killian rose from the floor, closing his eyes, afraid to look at anyone directly for fear of loosing it again. Pulling himself together as much as he could, he drifted back into captain mode to help deal with the pain of desperation again. Killian moved to pick up blank dagger, hand shaking as he reached for it. Only then did he spot that one of his rings were missing, it was his brothers ring and he never took it off, quite a plain silver band with a dark red stone in the middle, the only family heirloom he had. Staring at his hand he came to the realization that she had taken it in her final moments, needing some of his as he did her. Standing back up and turning round he walked back towards the manor straight pass Rumple pushing his old leash into his grasp 'We have work to do.' Rumple may now be bereft of the power of magic but he still retained his knowledge of it and Killian knew that. The now ex dark-one no longer had the upper ground to disagree with the man and followed obediently behind, Killian just walked away not waiting to see if he followed. The only thing he noticed other that the sounds of loss and cheers from others as they came out into the street was the feel of Henry by his side taking hold of his hand, clasping tightly, drawing support from each other. He too was unable to look in his eyes as they walked in companionable silence.
'We'll find her, you'll find her.'
Weeks went by and they had found nothing to help them find or even know what had happened to Emma. The town had fallen into peace again but the loss of their savior held a deep ache to all. No one spoke about what had happened that night especially to her family, Killian included. Though others had offered to help with their research, as time went by they drifted away, giving up hope of ever finding her.
After two months even those within the close knit group where beginning think it was false hope. The only ones how held true, their hope never wavering were Henry and Killian. The strong bond they had formed was seconded to none. Regina had even allowed her son to spend a few nights a week with the Captain aboard the Jolly, not that she really had a choice as the lad would have just gone anyway. He needs him just as much as the other. One night while dropping off Henry she suggested that Killian start to find a way to let Henry down easy and prepare him for that fact that she may never come back.
'It has been months and we have found nothing. He needs to move on, to spend time doing what normal teenagers do, not lost in books and translations until the early hours of the morning.' The more she spoke, the firmer her voice became as though now that she had started the words just stumbled out. 'We all agree you need to think about him and how our never ending crusade is hurting him. You need to move on. We need to live in the happy ending she gave us.'
'And how are we suppose to do that, your highness.' Barely concealing the anger in his voice. 'How can we do that when she isn't here. How dare you presume to tell me what to do with my life. I have never pushed the lad into helping me with my quest but I will never push him from it. I will never asks him not to believe. How can you even do this after what she did for you, for everyone in this bloody town. SHE IS MY HAPPY ENDING REGINA AND I WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON HER.' He took a deep breath, regretting the threatening tone to his voice, hoping Henry was too far below deck to hear the confrontation. 'If it were you stuck out there, would you want Robin, Henry and the rest of us to give up, to just admit defeat after it started to get difficult. Or what if it were they who were gone. Tell me your highness, would you give up so easily?' Unable to form words to disagree with the Captains statement she only nodded her head and turned to return home, only confirming the time she would be back to collect him the following day.
1 Month Later
After a few more dead ends and false leads things started to look up when Belle managed to complete a particularly difficult translation which lead Rumble to make a break through. In the months since the incident the ex-croc had reverted more into the man he was before becoming the dark one, not changing all the way but a good medium in between. He was still working to mend the broken bonds of trust with his estranged wife, the fling with Will had naturally run it course but that didn't mean she was ready to take Gold back, if at all but his help to find Emma was going a long way.
'I do believe that Miss Swan is in the realm of Lost Souls. A cursed land reserved for those who have the blackest of hearts, the deepest circle of hell. It goes by my names dependent on the realm, the Underworld, Hell, the Locker,' Killian's ears perk up, 'the Dungeon Dimension and so on. This realm is an extremely inaccessible place to reach as it can only be accessed and inhabited by the dead, those few given a fate far worse such as Miss Swan and those that rule them. There are 2 entities currently at war with one another for complete control of the realm. Hades, who rules the land and Jones, who rules the Sea.' Everyone's eyes drifted to the now empty spot where Killian sat only moments earlier upon the sound of his last name.
Killian had already bolted out of the building before being bombarded with questions. A deep rush of warmth filled his chest, the hope beginning to heal the shattered remains of his broken heart. Careering back to the Jolly, he rushed to his chambers to pull something out of his safe that he had not looked upon or even given much thought to in nigh on two centuries. By the time Killian made it back to the library the conversation had continued without him, David attempting to calm everyone down.
'Still there must be a way to reach one of them, something that can get us an in, a chance to get her back to us.'
'I might have a solution to that problem.' He held out a switch blade about the size of his palm, its handle and hilt resembling a dull graying conch shell.
'How did you get that? They are not easy to come by Captain.' Rumple refrained from falling in to old monikers that would aggravate Killian further.
'That is none of your concern, all you need know is that I know what it is, I know how use it and I will pay the price.' Heading back to the door before stopping to talk to the group. 'Jolly, tonight, half an hour before sunset. If you are joining me, and gods know that I wouldn't be able to dissuade you, I ask that you do exactly what I say, no arguments. It is not up for negotiation.' Killian left before more could be discussed, hearing the questions and shouts directed to him. Making it out the door to take in the fresh air, calming his panicking nerves, he rounded the corner and lent against the building, hidden down an alley.
'Is he really that bad mate?' David came into Killian's view, concern lingering in his tone. He assumed Gold had made the connection and informed the rest of the rescue party of his connection the Captain of the Flying Dutchman.
'Not always, I have so few memories of my childhood and with the age I am they are hazy at the best of times but yes once he was a good man.' Unable to look the prince in the eye, he focused on what was to come, the price to be paid.
'You want to talk me through the plan, I know you have one. That look you have right now is Hook, the man with the steel exterior gearing himself for action.' That caught Killian's attention. 'Choices made under emotional distress tend not to be the best. I am not trying to change your mind, I just want to help you think it through. Have an-others perspective, find the holes and fix them before they happen. I know you want to rush to get to her but at what cost.' Killian remained silent, hoping it would deter the prince and leave him with his thoughts. As it became clear that the man was not going to back down, he relented motioning towards to station so they could talk in private.
They arrived some time later, neither having spoken during the walk. Killian pulled out his flask, taking a decent side swig before passing it to David, who motioned to the couch indicating him to sit. Killian couldn't sit down so began to pace back and forth slowly, composing himself before he spoke again.
'I am going to make a deal with him. I have the opportunity to ask for one but I vowed never to use it, to see him again.' Taking back his flask and draining the warming yet dry rum. 'While returning to the Enchanted Forest on Pan's orders, we came across a ship barely afloat, though we could see no survivors I moved so we could inspect it further. The Dutchmen appeared from below the depths, port side to the Jolly. He came aboard and stilled. I was in shock. A man I had not seen since I was a young lad, say at least a century, was on my ship. Liam's ship.' He dropped in the space next to David. 'If he was shocked he hid it well as he just cracked a smile that would cause the most fearless of foes the tremble before him. He looked different, darker, consumed by power as I was revenge, infected my magic. He became cruel and vindictive not unlike our ex dark one but without his merry disposition,' voice laced with sarcasm 'he made demands that at the time I was unwilling to conform to. He played my pride and gave me the knife stating that one day I would be willing to pay it and that he would take great pleasure in agreeing to it. Because of our blood ties and by the laws of his servitude, he cannot physically harm me but that won't save you or any that chooses to join us. Once a deal has been struck he can not be undone. I refuse to bring any you along unless I can guarantee your safety as part of our bargain.' The prince quietly sat there, taking in the words spoken.
'You won't tell me what he wants from you.' Killian remained firm, confirming him words. 'Okay, but you should talk with Gold.' David raised his hand, not wanting to be interrupted. 'I know you would rather not but the man has spent years making deals, he can make sure that there is no loopholes so you are not completely taken advantage of. Shall I get him to meet you at his shop?'
'Aye mate.' Pulling himself back to his feet, nodding at him as he left for the shop.
Killian had changed back into his pirate gear, needed this sense of the familiar to control his actions. He needed the sear force and ruthless determination of his past self to achieve his quest. He would do and be anyone if it meant the chance to get her back. That evening at sunset when the barriers between realms are always weaker, they gathered on the docks. Killian had already explained to the group of David, Regina, Robin, Snow, Henry, Belle and Rumple, (only the first three joining him on the journey), why they were here and not on the Jolly. As part of the curse of the Dutchman, the Captain can never stand on dry land in any realm other than his own, so negotiating here will keep everyone safe until terms can be made and agreed upon. Taking one last look at the group, reiterating his demands that they keep silent during this. Taking the blade from his coat, Killian sliced his palm on the blade, pressing down to draw the blood out and gathered it on the metal before snapping it shut and holding it over the waters edge. The blood trapped inside dripped down through the conical structure and out of the spiral tip.
'Blood to blood I call to thee.' He spoke as the blood hit the sea and stared to fizzed, beginning to boil and turning the water black as it moving a little further out to sea. The dark water grew in size until it was large enough for a grand galleon to rise out of the water and bob on the surface. The excess water on the ship either flowed off the sides or turned to an eerie fog before it could hit the company.
'Who dares to summon me from...oh the whelp. After all this time now you call of me.' Smiling evilly, chuckling as the rest of his ghostly crew carried on with they chores, all refusing to look at their Captain. 'Your one deal, I assume you are here to collect.' He was quite tall, easily the tallest out of everyone there. He was dressed is a heavy set, blue brocaded three quarter length coat paired with black leather pants, similar to Killian's, though it looked brand new. His chest was bear, showing his sickly gray skin, hinting at a large scar drawn over his heart. His hair was dirty blond, short and smooth, quaffed to perfection. The part that shocked them most was his eyes. Exact copies of Killian's, right down their drifting colors that flowed through hues of blue as his emotions changed.
'I wish to make terms to retrieve someone from the Locker.' Killian bellowed out, glad that his voice didn't falter or show his inner fear.
'Boy, you know I can not bring back the dead. Why wast-'
'This person is not dead, but trapped.' The look of recognition on the visitors face hit Killian in the gut, trapping the breath locked in his lungs. Jones eyes flared as he noticed Killian's reaction to his own.
'Ah, you wish for the Swan lass, I can see why.' She's Alive! She's There! Hearing the shouts behind Killian, Jones relished is the fear of the crowd, enjoying the way he had their full and undivided attention as he walked up and down his deck. 'Oh that she is, such a smart and clever lass to survive that long. So strong and yet so broken, I do so love it when they cry, gives me something to play with.' Killian lost it.
'SILENCE! YOU WILL NOT SPEAK OF HER! YOU WILL-' Stepping forward brandishing his hook at him.
Taking a moment to find his composure as those behind shouted for him to calm himself. It had been too long to get here and with his lack of sleep his impassioned emotions broke through on almost a day basis. He looked at David before turning back to Jones.
'It's okay.' Staring down his father. 'Your Terms?'
'There is only one thing I want from you, Boy. I want your memories of Liam, your brother. I have none left to remember, time works differently in my Realm. Days here are weeks in the Locker. I wish to remember my 1st born, my true son, not of the bastard son of a whore who stands before me. Give that which I seek and I will bring you to your Swan and return her back here.' His words were meant to hurt him further, pushing his buttons as he knew the love Killian had for his mother and brother.
'No!' To his surprise most of his company stepped to his side flanking their Captain, showing a collective front to Jones. David had known for long time now the esteem Killian had of his brother as too did Henry, having spoken with his new father figure during their time together.
'Wait.' He knew what this was about, he could see it in his fathers. This was not about having memories of Liam, it was about taking them from Killian, the offspring he never wanted and for years felt burdened by before leaving him for dead in a port at a young age.
'My deal is the only way that this will happen dear Captain.'
'I think not Father. You will take me and a group of my choosing to Emma and return ALL of us back to this realm in the condition we left in and in the quickest time possible. No harm shall come to them by either your hand or that of those at your command. Once complete, you are to leave this town never to return. You do this and I will agree to your demands of memories of my brother.' Staring down the man, showing that this was the only way to get what he wanted.
'Agreed' Jones step forward as a plank was magical extended and lowered so they stood eye to eye. He sliced his palm on his sons hook before holding it out to shake. Doing the same, Killian clasped his fathers hand shaking it firmly.
'Blood to blood it is sealed.' Killian dropped to his knees as he felt the full wight of the pack land heavily on his soul. The only way he would be released would be either a break in terms or the completion of them. As soon as Jones had reached the deck, the gangplank hit the dock to allow them aboard. Goodbyes and well wishes were exchanged between those leaving on the expedition and those staying behind. After Regina and Robin had spoken to Henry, Killian took him to one side, dropping to his eye level, to speak in private, away from lingering ears.
'Now Lad. I will bring her back to you. I swear on all the Gods and what little is left of my soul that you will see her again.' His eyes never wavered from the boys, conveying the sincerity of his words. 'You only need to believe and do what we discussed earlier. Can you do that for me?'
'I can and I will keep it safe but I don't need to believe that you will find her. I know you will.' He spoke whilst placing his hand on the man shoulder. 'And your soul is not something to belittle. You are a Hero Killian, embarking on a true heroes journey. Liam would be proud.'
Pulling away from the boy, Killian moved the splinter group waiting for him to join them and lead the way abroad the cursed ship. The crew gave them a wide birth, shuffling out of the way, almost afraid of the living joining them. A sailor, presumably the first mate, explained that for traveling between realms they would have to go below as they were living and would not be able to handle the pressure exerted. Having decided before hand that they were to separate under no circumstances whilst on this quest, they made their way down below deck the living quarters they had been assigned as the ship dropped below the sea level, returning to the Locker.
2 Days Later
A ripple of magic blasted through the town as the Dutchman returned to Storybrooke alerting Grumpy, who was on duty on the docks, to the return of their missing comrades. Snow had organised a round the clock watch whilst taking over the Mayoral duties while Regina was away and coordinating with the merry men who had taken over sheriffing on Robin's orders. Grumpy called Snow, who could them form a call tree to get a hold of everyone else, to inform her that they were back, it was less than five minutes before they had reached the Dock with a few more people than had seen them off. Upon Killian request, only a few more were allowed to meet them. There was no need for more people to be in danger and he didn't want to overwhelm Emma after what would have been a horrific ordeal.
Snow, (Neal had been left with Granny), Grumpy and the rest of the dwarves, Henry, Rumple, Belle, Red, Roland and Little John stood on the docks as the Dutchman pull in to make berth, allowing its passengers to disembark. The gangplank had barely hit the wood before Emma rushed off straight into her sons waiting arms. Falling to the floor, clinging to every bit of him, unable to believe that she was seeing him again. Killian looked on, happiness filled his heart at the reunion that Snow had joined, closely followed by David as they made a crumpled heap of limbs on the docks. Roland ran to his dad as smiles, cries and laughter filled the air. Being the last one to leave, Killian turned to his father who had made his way to the edge of the plank.
'Blood to blood it is done.' He took his sons hand, healing the scar that sealed his end of the deal. 'Now lad give what is owed to me.'
'Killian. What is he on about?' Emma broke from her family, turning towards her love, fear in her eyes as to what he had given up to get to her this time. In the rush to get her back home they had failed to tell her the terms of the agreement made. 'What did you do?' Killian didn't look at her, focusing on Jones. He could hear soft spoken words as David told her of the deal he made to get her back. 'No Killian. That's too much, I'm not worth what little you have of your brother. I can't let you do that for me again.' She broke from her fathers grasp to make it by his side, hand grabbing his hook to pull him away.
'Try something new Emma.' Hoping she would pick up to drop the subject and trust him as David pulled her back, whispering in her ear as she trashed in his arms, shouting out in frustration. Jones reached out with a clear glass orb that began to glow as a small steam of white emanated from Killian's temple flowing back, turning the ball blue.
The shock of this caused Killian to fall to his knees as his memories were extracted one by one. His hand slammed to his temples as his brother was ripped from him. Times spent at the academy, in laughter, quiet dinners, heroic battles and each one in between were taken from him. As the last one left, he was filled with an empty, lost feeling in his heart. Emma was finally allowed to reach her love as David let her go to him. She raced to his side and placed her hands either side of his face, attempting to calm him down and soothe his pain.
'Such a shame you had so few left of your brother.' Jones twirled the orb in hand, scrutinizing it's new contents.
'Brother. What brother? I don't have a brother. What are you talking about?' Clearly confused by this revelation. He had never had a brother, having always been an only child. Emma helped him to his feet while Jones cackled, his ship fading into ocean, resuming his quest to find lost and blackened souls to drag back to the Locker. Killian turned round to find the congregating group looking at him with tears in their eyes, the look that were given were a mix of admiration and guilt at the price he had payed to finish Emma's work and bring back both her and their happy endings. Catching Rumple's eyes he was reminded of a conversation they had before he set out on this quest, focusing on that he calmed.
'All clear dearies.' Gold spoke confirming that they were again out of the reach of the Dutchman and its crew. Henry stepped forward, pulling a small black box from his coat pocket.
'Fear not Swan.' Taking it from Henry's palm, his cheeky smirk gracing his face, making everyone question his sudden change.
'I kept it safe for you Killian.' Hugging the man and taking back his mothers hand, unwilling to let her go again. At least not for a very long time.
'Thank you lad, your the only one I trusted it with.'
Day of Departure, After talking at the station.
Killian made his way to the pawn shop to try and come up with a plan to deal with Jones. He knew what the man would want, it would be the same thing he asked for last time. Upon reaching the door, he found it unlocked with the closed sign swinging and the blinds closed. Walking towards the counter, he was still at a loss as to how to get around this impending loss. Though he would be willing to pay any price to get to Emma back, the loss of Liam to him could change him entirely. Liam had been the one to instill him with the values of good form, even as a pirate he held firm to these ideals. Time passed on as Killian wracked his mind to come up with anything to keep them and how to get the wording of the deal right to ensure the lives of those who would be in his charge.
Gold entered his business with a sense of trepidation. He had not been left in a room alone with the man as most of the company, let alone the town, feared that with the loss of Emma he would drift back into flights of revenge. Only Henry knew this would never happen, knowing completely that he had changed and would never tarnish what Emma had done for him, having told him so himself.
'His highness informs me that you are going to make a deal with Jones to extract Miss Swan from where she currently resides.' He walked passed Killian to come behind the counter.
'That is correct. As you know, the blade I have is due to the ties I have with my father.' Killian gritted his teeth, he knew David was right but he wished to not divulged his history with his former foe. 'He wishes to take my memories of my brother in some twisted sick power play. This does not concern me as much as how to word my deal so those who are going to join me are safe from harm as much as possible. I will not put others in danger when the right steps can be taken.'
'Are you sure he will take your deal with your extra stipulations?'
'Aye he will.' Nodding at the man.
'Well we can get to that in a moment but I have a better idea. You are not the only Jones I have dealt with.' Killian was intrigued by the man words, not familiar that their paths had crossed but by the tone of Rumples voice it had not been a pleasant one. Gold moved over to one of his glass cabinets, pulling out a small purple pebble. 'These stone have a very special quality Captain. They have the ability to take memories from others storing them for safe keeping.'
'Like the ones used on Emma and Elsa.' He had not seen one before but after the Snow Queen debacle, Emma had told him how her missing months had been returned.
'Correct Captain. Once taken they leave no evidence at all. If we remove some of those that you hold dear and leave enough to placate your dear father, you maybe able to keep more that Miss Swan upon your return.' Killian was genuinely surprised by this. It could work. Could he really keep both? Though he really wished to believe the man, years and years of mistrust and revenge meant it was difficult to take his word.
'Why are you doing this? What do you get out of it?'
'Without the curse of the dark one within me, I feel no need to continue our animosity with each other or deal in such evil and wicked terms. I know I can never atone for my past but I hope that my actions here and now with speak louder than words ever could and prove that I am willing to change. I own a lot to Miss Swan and she means the world to Henry, as do you. If this helps to get her back and keep you the man you are, I want to help in any way I can.' Rumple looked Killian in the eye. 'One time offer Captain.'
Nodding his head, Killian's unspoken acceptance of his words were enough to get through the rest of the exchange as they when through each of his memories deciding those to keep and those to be lost to Jones. Rumple also provided a small black box with a special enchantment so the only ones who could open it would be Killian and those he picked out, said people being Henry and Emma, this could be used to keep them safe from harm or interference. Once that was dealt with they conversed about the up coming deal and how Killian would keep his newly formed crew safe from Jones' wrath.
Muttering words learn from Gold earlier he opened the box to show a small purple stone used to store memories. Shocked faces, gasps and laughter filled the air upon the revelation and ingenuity of the Captain and Gold. Leaving the couple to talk alone, albeit after promising Henry they would be along shortly. The lad didn't look impressed but understood that they needed some time alone. He gave them ten minutes before he would race back to drag them to the Granny's. Once they were left alone on the docks, Killian broke the silence.
'Would you do the honors my love.' Placing the stone in her hand, only trusting her to give what he was missing back. Waving her hand over the stone, a soft flowing essence returned to its owner in a much less painful manner than the ones before had been taken. As soon as it touched his temples, his brothers faces returned to his mind. The memories that he had picked to keep, both good and bad, filled his vision and his heart. The ones that made him the man he was today. Once complete his head flicked back and his eyes rolled over as everything came back into focus.
'You tricked him.' Emma spoke shocked at the deception from the most unlikely trio.
'Pirate.' He chuckled, wiggling his eyebrows in the way he knew she loved. 'So Swan.' He smirked again taking her left hand, rubbing the ring on her finger. 'I feel the need to confront your pirating tendencies when you left.'
'I'm sorry Killian. I just needed something to hang on to. I didn't know where I was going or if I was ever going to see you again.' Tears filled both their eyes at her words.
'It's okay Emma, you don't need to explain your need for tokens.' He pressed his forehead to hers, interlocking his fingers with her own while she gripped his hook with the other. Closing his eyes, trembling into her touch he spoke softly, only breaking once. 'Promise me you will never do that again. We do things together Swan or not at all. Together.'
'Together.' She agreed as they stood their in silence, just happy to be in each other company. 'So wanna start our happy ending.'
'As you wish.'
Their kiss was slow and tender, never growing into more. Combinations of emotions filled the air as his hand brushed her cheek, flowing into her golden locks, still caked in blood and dirt. Her now free hand placed over his heart, feeling the firm beats hammering beneath. They lips broke apart as she pushed to speak the words she never thought she would be able to say to another man again, the words she didn't let him speak at their separation that felt too much like what had occurred at the town line years before.
'I love you Killian.'
'I love you too Emma. My Swan.'