The Promise

Manipulation

Emma awoke to a fine mist hanging low in the trees and a warm body under her fingertips. At some point during the night she had obviously gravitated towards Killian and now found herself draped over the pirate in the most comfortable way.

She opened her eyes and realised that her head was on his shoulder and her hand was tucked snugly under the opening of his shirt lying right over his heart. Her leg had hooked over one of his and she could feel his arm curling around her back, hand resting on her waist, holding her close.

It certainly wasn't the worst way to wake up and if she snuggled in a little closer and enjoyed it for a little while longer before he awoke then really, who could blame her?

Her father apparently, she decided, when the not so subtle clearing of his throat suddenly sounded and she lifted her head to see him staring down at her with an oddly mixed expression of acceptance and mild reproof.

"Breakfast is ready," he told her quietly.

"Okay, we'll be right over," she replied as she felt the pirate stirring slightly against her.

The prince hesitated a second as if to say something more then merely nodded and walked away.

Killian's hand tightened around her briefly before his eyes flickered open and Emma turned to him with a soft smile.

"Good morning. Did you sleep well?" she asked as soon as his gaze met hers.

He took quick stock of their situation and relished the feel of her warm body pressed flush against his before he slowly nodded.

"Aye. But I woke up better," he countered with a sudden grin.

"Yeah, well, don't get too used to it," she commented wryly as she rolled away from him.

His face fell at her implication and he immediately relinquished his hold on her so that she could stand up.

"Of course not, Swan," he answered in an affronted tone as he too stood.

He glanced around for his waistcoat more to hide his disappointment than actually because he wanted to wear it. Spying it on the ground he picked it up and put it on, quickly fastening the front clasps. A gentle hand on his arm had him turn around to face her and she gave him a slight smile.

"I only meant that judging by my dad's face seeing us together like that he'll probably be camped out between us tonight," she told him pointedly, wanting him to understand that she wasn't rejecting him.

Killian raised his hand and rubbed a little self-consciously at the spot below his ear while he processed the fact that Charming had caught him cuddling, albeit unknowingly, his daughter.

"I see," he finally said, feeling foolish for doubting her and hopeful that it meant there would be more mornings like that in their future, all at the same time.

"Come on, let's get some breakfast," she urged, grabbing his hand and giving it a tug, "I'm starving."

He was still getting used to this more tactile Emma. It was a side of her he'd only seen displayed with Henry. He'd never really thought that she'd ever touch him without reserve like that.

Hoped, yes, but never truly believed it would happen.

Why would he when she had seemed so determined to push him away?

Maybe that's why even the simple act of holding hands seemed all the more meaningful to him.

They joined the others and he was pleased to note that Martha seemed more amiable than the previous evening as she bade him an almost cheerful, "Morning, Killian."

He returned the greeting then he and Emma had a small meal of bread toasted over the fire accompanied by warm tea before Charming stood up and announced that they needed to head out if they were to start gathering men together to help.

"Robin, you and Regina take your men and head to the east," the prince ordered, "There's a couple of large towns that way so you should be able to find some volunteers there."

The archer nodded his agreement then Charming turned to Hook and Emma and continued quietly, "We'll go north. The villages are smaller but the people were loyal when we took back the kingdom the firsttime."

Emma gave him a wry smile. She'd read how they'd beaten Regina to retake the Enchanted Forest back in Henry's storybook.

"I'll just get my coat," said Killian, taking his leave of them.

He walked back over to where it still lay on the ground near his blanket and picked it up with his hook. Holding it aloft he brushed off the dried mud and leaves that clung to the leather with a scowl of displeasure then quickly ran an expert eye over the damage caused by the arrow.

"I can try and fix that for you if you want?" Emma offered, coming up behind him unexpectedly as he slipped his coat on.

He was about to turn and face her when he felt her hands come to rest lightly upon his shoulders.

"By all means, work your magic, Swan," he quipped warmly stilling under her touch.

Emma rolled her eyes even though he couldn't see her then slowly began to move her left hand down his back, smoothing the damaged leather until she covered the torn part completely with her palm.

Her power came easy and within seconds she removed her hand then grinned in delight when she saw that the leather was now unmarked.

"Good as new," she told him, giving his shoulder a light pat, "Take a look."

He turned around and seeing how thoroughly pleased she was with herself the urge to kiss her was overwhelming as he caught her hand then tugged her gently towards him.

"No need. I know you can do anything you put your mind to, love," he replied softly before leaning in.

Emma's heart skipped a beat at his unwavering confidence in her abilities and she immediately moved to meet him halfway. Their kiss was agonisingly tender and sweet and every fibre of her being urged her to deepen it into something more. Something heated and passionate and them, but given their current situation she knew it couldn't happen...not yet.

She pulled back reluctantly and let out a soft groan of frustration as she looked up at him.

"I know how you feel," he remarked wryly earning a laugh from Emma. It was a throaty sound that had him lean forward and place another quick kiss upon her lips before releasing her hand and gesturing over at her father, "We'd better go."

From the other side of the camp Martha watched Emma and Killian walk over to Charming with a narrowed gaze. It bothered her more than she liked to admit that the pirate was so obviously enamoured with the other woman. It wasn't that she had any feelings for him, more that she didn't like it when she didn't get what she wanted.

And she wanted him.

Glancing around she took stock of the situation and a new plan began to form in her head. One that would give not only Gisbourne what he wanted but her as well. Moving quickly she strode up to Charming and gently touched his arm to gain his attention.

"Before you leave, Sir, would it not be beneficial to retrieve the bag I have hidden first?" she queried, "If the guards are about they may stumble across it and all of Killian's efforts will have been for nought."

"Good idea," he concurred after a moment, "I'd better come with you."

"Actually, I would like Emma to accompany me if she will?" Martha proposed looking at the Saviour with a smile as she added, "I'd feel safer with your magic around me and it's far more effective than a sword should we run into trouble."

Killian was surprised at her request. He had thought that Martha didn't particularly like Emma but before he could comment the Saviour was already agreeing.

"Sure, I'll come," the blonde said with a nod, seeing the perfect opportunity to speak to the young woman alone.

"Do you want me to come with you, Swan?" Killian asked taking a step after her as she moved away.

She turned around and shook her head causing him to stop.

"No, it's okay. We won't be long," she assured him lightly.

Killian gave her a tight lipped smile in return and Emma could tell that he didn't like the fact that she was going without him.

"Hey," she said softly, closing the short distance between them and placing a hand on his chest, "I'll be fine. It's not far and we'll be back before you know it."

The pirate stared at her for a moment and whatever he saw there had him visibly relax. He captured her hand and gave it a light squeeze as a far more natural smile graced his features.

"I know," he declared ruefully before relinquishing his hold with a cautionary, "Be safe, love."

Emma smiled back at him then turned and gestured for Martha to lead the way. With one last glance back at Killian, she then followed the younger woman into the forest.

They walked in silence and Emma racked her brains at how to broach the subject of her and Killian when the other woman suddenly spoke of it herself.

"It must have been a great relief to you to find that Killian hadn't taken the potion I gave him," Martha stated nonchalantly.

"Yeah, I was worried for a while there," Emma answered truthfully, quelling a dart of irritation as she deftly caught the low tree branch that Martha had carelessly allowed to spring back into her face as she walked behind.

"I was surprised at how close you two seem," Martha continued in the same uncaring tone, "He never mentioned you once."

The blonde bristled at her words as her annoyance rose another notch but she somehow managed to reply in an even voice, "Our relationship has always been a little...complicated."

Martha huffed out a slightly mocking laugh that grated on Emma's nerves.

"Only because you made it so, I'd wager," the other woman commented in a slightly accusing tone, "Men are simple creatures that are easily pleased. It doesn't take much to garner devotion and if he were mine..."

"Well, he's not," Emma cut in sharply, not liking her insinuation or demeanour one little bit.

Martha glanced over at her with a marked look of disdain that she quickly covered up but said no more as they continued on.

Taken aback by the other woman's fleeting expression, the blonde fumed silently behind her wondering how the friendly chat she'd planned on having with the younger woman had turned into something else entirely.

An uneasiness settled in her gut as for the first time since they'd met, Emma felt that there was something off about Martha. An underlying coldness that bordered on calculating that she'd somehow missed, or the other woman had expertly hidden. Either way she didn't like it one little bit. Once they were back at the camp she decided she would ask Robin if he could spare one of his men to take the other woman back to her home. There would be no need for her to stick around once they'd retrieved the bag. She no longer had any power and it was clear she wasn't a fighter so it would be reasonable to suggest that she leave for her own safety if nothing else...and the quicker the better as far as she was concerned.

"We're here," Martha said breaking into her internal musings.

Emma looked up to see that they were in a small clearing.

"Where is it?" Emma asked looking around.

"There, under that log," she replied pointing at a fallen tree stump a few feet away, "I buried it by the second knot along."

Wanting to get the bag and get the hell back, the Saviour immediately went over to the tree and knelt down. She could see where the earth was disturbed and began digging with her fingers until she felt the leather pouch.

"Got it," she announced.

Giving it a tug, she pulled it out and smiled triumphantly to herself before putting into her pocket. She stood up then turned to Martha only to still when there came rustling noise from nearby. Seconds later three men dressed in uniform black and red tunics burst out of the undergrowth to her left wielding swords.

"Gisbourne's guards," Martha gasped aloud.

"Stay back," Emma called out as she raised her hands out in front of her, already feeling her magic beginning to spark at her fingertips.

Martha smirked to herself when she saw that Emma was completely focussed on the men and quickly picked up a sturdy looking branch from the forest floor. Stealthily, she approached the blonde from behind and swung the branch up. Emma let out a cry of pain as the wood connected with a sickening crack against the back of her head then she fell lifelessly to the floor out cold.

Martha looked down upon the fallen woman with a malicious smile as the guards sheathed their weapons and moved closer.

"She's not the one we're supposed to bring back," one of them commented derisively as he eyed the blonde.

"There's been a change of plan, Captain," Martha remarked icily giving the man a quelling glare that had him swallowing hard despite his bravado, "and she is the bait."

She broke eye contact to gaze back at Emma then gave the prone woman at her feet a swift kick to her side. When there wasn't even the faintest groan of response she bent down then rummaged through her pocket and pulled out the pouch. She stuffed it into her apron then straightened up.

"Take her back to the castle and put her in the dungeons for now," she ordered then with a flick of her wrist a shower of fine silver dust floated gently down over the unconscious woman, covering her before dissipating. "That should keep her asleep for a few more hours."

The two other guards nodded then hurriedly bent to pick Emma up and carried her away to where their horses were tethered nearby.

"And what do I tell Lord Gisbourne?" the Captain of the guard asked unhappily. His master didn't react well when things didn't happen as he expected.

"You can inform his Lordship that I shall be there soon and that by days end I guarantee he will finally have his revenge on the one he wants," she replied archly.

The Captain regarded her through narrowed eyes then shook his head.

"I hope you know what you're doing," he warned, "I'll not be dragged down with you if this fails."

"It won't if you just do as I say," she retorted harshly before ordering sharply, "Now go!"

She watched him stalk off then waited until she heard the sound of hooves thundering away before she headed off into the forest and picked up the trail that would take her back to the camp. Now everything was in place all she had to do was play her part and all would be well.

In a few short hours she fully intended that both she and Gisbourne would have what they most desired. For her that was Killian of course. For him it was revenge on the person that had murdered the one woman he'd ever loved.

Soon Gisbourne would finally kill the Evil Queen.


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