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When Hook told Emma that he was going to think of her every day, she smiled at him and said good. His heart soars and it’s the first time since Neverland that he thinks his feelings aren’t one sided. But as quickly as that happiness fills him, heart ache replaces it.

He’s never going to see her again.

He stands there and watches as she speaks to Regina. He can’t take his eyes away from her. In a matter of minutes, she will be gone from his life. Words can’t describe the heart break he’s feeling. It’s unlike anything he has ever felt. Milah was taken from him, she is gone from the world, it was terrible, and tragic, but it almost seems easier. Because what’s happening with Emma seems far worst. Emma, the woman who has changed him in a way that he never thought possible, will still exist, and while he’ll remember her, she will have no memory of him.

“Well, your past won’t. But your future will,” Regina explains.

Her future.

Regina’s giving her a clean slate to have the future she’s always wanted. A future with her son. His eyes move over to Bae and he sees the man trying not to break down. For the second time, he lost his father, and now, he is about to lose his son, too.

A thought comes to Hook’s mind, and even though it pains him, he has to try. He failed Bae in the past and he doesn’t intend to do it again.

“What if…” his voice interrupts her. “What if someone wasn’t brought here by you and the curse? Could they escape it?”

Regina blinks. “I don’t… it might be possible.”

He looks back at the man that he once hoped to raise as his own. “Bae, you could be with your family.”

He promised him that he would back off, that he would give him his chance for Henry’s sake, and that is exactly what he’s going to do. He’s going to give her the happy ending she always wanted, even if he wasn’t with him like he hoped.

Emma’s jaw drops and while everyone looks back at Bae, he can feel her eyes on him.

Bae’s face lights up as he moves forward.

“Regina is it possible?”

She lets out a sigh. “You may not have come over with the curse, but your father did, and because you two share a blood connection with Pan, I doubt you’ll be able to out run it.”

Hook’s heart breaks at her words while Bae deflates.

“It was a nice thought,” Snow mumbles to him but he ignores her.

Nice thoughts don’t help the situation.

“You should go,” Bae calls out to him.

Hook snaps his head up to look at him in shock. Bae knows what Emma means to him, he knows his feelings toward her… and that’s when he realizes it. Just like he was, Bae was trying to give her a happy ending, whether it meant it was with him or not. He opens his mouth to debate that it won’t work when Bae cuts him off.

“You have no blood connection here. Regina didn’t bring you with the curse, you’ve crossed the line already without losing your memories… you’ll be able to out run it.”

The smoke starts to get closer as they all stand there and wait for Hook’s answer.

“He’s right,” Regina whispers. “It would work. But Hook, you would be giving up everything. You’re past… you won’t remember anything from the Enchanted Forest.”

His heart pounds in his chest. Part of him wants to run right across the line and never look back, but there’s also a part of him that is terrified that Emma won’t want him.

“You would do that?” her voice is so soft; he almost doesn’t hear here.

When he finally looks up at her, he sees a sparkle of hope in her eyes.

Taking a step forward, he answers, “Aye.”

Of course he will. He would give up anything just to be with her, to follow her, he would go to the ends of the earth if it meant he could be by her side, no matter what he is to her.

She sucks in a breath and when she nods, his heart explodes with joy. Regina looks up in the sky at the smoke.

“There isn’t much time. The curse will be here any minute.”

Henry gives her one last hug and she kisses him on the forehead. David walks up to Hook with tears in his eyes.

“Look after them.”

“With my life,” he promises.

David nods and moves back to his daughter while Hook walks over to Regina.

“My brother and Milah…”

Regina nods. “I know.”

“What will happen to me?”

She sniffles and brushes her fingers through Henry’s hair. “I’ll give you memories, just like I’m giving Emma and Henry.”

His chest tightens and he pleads with her.

“Don’t make us a fake family, Regina.” She looks up at him with wide eyes. “Give me a way to be there, but don’t force it.”

Regina gives a slight nod and flicks her wrist. He looks down to see that his leathers have been replaced with modern clothes and instead of his hook, there’s a prosthetic hand.

The curse is rapidly surging towards them as Snow White approaches a tearful Emma with a smile and plants a kiss on her forehead. After she they say one finally good, Emma turns to Hook and Henry and gives a slight nod before the three of them walk to her car and get in.

Just as they cross the line, Emma reaches out to take his hand in her own. His eyes stare at their hands and he can’t hold it back anymore.

“I love you, Emma,” he confesses.

He’s not sure why he tells her. Maybe because he wants her to know before they start whatever new life lays ahead of them.

She blinks as a tear runs down her face.

A small smile ghosts across her lips and she whispers, “I know.”

Killian is five years old when his mother dies of cancer. He doesn’t remember her much, but he remembers how Liam cries and his father changes.

He’s eight when he wakes to find his father has abandoned them. They run out of food to eat after a week and the school calls social services when they find out.

He’s ten when they try to separate him and Liam for the first time. Killian trashes the office while Liam bites the social workers arm. They never try to separate them again.

He’s thirteen when Liam wins his emancipation case and he takes them out of the system forever.

He’s fifteen when Liam joins the Navy, they live on the base and he thinks his brother is hero.

He’s sixteen when he finally graduates and officially becomes an officer in the Queen’s Royal Navy. His brother sits in the stands and watches with pride.

He’s nineteen when he and Liam finally get stationed on the same base and everyone talks about the Brother’s Jones and what an unstoppable force they are.

He’s twenty-one when the accident happens. They are doing routine training when a cousin of the Duke decides to smoke a fag in the oil room of the ship. He forgets to put it out fully and there is an explosion. Liam dies in his arms on the deck from his injuries. The man is never punished. Six months later, he’s dishonorably discharged for drunken disorderly.

He’s twenty-three when he meets Milah at a pub. She makes him feel happy for the first time since his brother died. They spend their nights drinking and starting fights with anyone who dares to step to them. Milah gets off on the danger and he gets off on her.

He’s twenty-five when he and Milah leave the restaurant. They are celebrating their two-year anniversary and on their way to pub for some drinks. Milah insists on driving since he has had too much rum. They are two blocks away from the pub when she gasps and faints while driving. He yells out to her and tries to grab the wheel but he’s too late. He wakes up in the hospital three days later. They tell him he’s lost his hand and Milah had a heart attack and didn’t survive the crash.

He's twenty-seven when he gets the tattoo. He hopes that it will numb the pain of losing her… it doesn’t. It’s only a reminder.

He’s thirty when he finally decides to leave London because he can’t stand to live in the same place that holds so many nightmares and moves to New York. He finds an apartment that he can afford and works at the local pub to make a living.

One month later, he meets Emma Swan.