A New Home
Sleep couldn't have come to her even if she tried. Emma spent the entire night staring blankly into the darkness, feeling like a weight was placed on her chest as she knew it would be the last chance she would ever get to sleep next to her son in a long while. She took hours filing though memories; remembering the good times and the bad times, she realized how much she took the twelve year old for granted. Henry had been lost once in Neverland. Now Emma was going to be separated from him again.
Snow and Charming got everyone up at the break of dawn, obviously more than excited to see everyone else again. The blonde found this slightly ironic- they were the two she thought would want to stay most of all. A thought in the back of her mind told her that they would return again someday, once they got everyone else in their kingdom to come back with them.
The final walk out of the hotel room was completely silent. Neal and Emma stuck close to Henry as much as they possibly could, savoring their last moments with their son. The remaining five hung back.
Soon, they were all surrounded by nothing but grass for miles it seemed, completely alone and distant from everyone else. David stopped and turned to look back at Robin, who already had the ring out and ready for use.
The large group simply stood in silence, exchanging looks with one another, not knowing what to do. It seemed so simple- open the portal and walk through it. But both Emma and Neal knew it wasn't going to be that easy.
Snow was the first to walk over to Henry and wrap her arms around him, trying her hardest not to get emotional for Emma's sake.
"I'm really going to miss you," she started, resting her chin on the too of his head- he was now tall enough. "You're really going to love living here. Everything in your book is here; don't be afraid to explore it all."
Henry gave her a warm smile, remembering when she had first given him the book.
"Thanks for believing in me grandma." He told her, as she slowly let go of her hold on him.
"Look at my grandson, brave as a prince." David said with a teasing smile, taking no time in giving him a hug as well. "Have fun, but don't get too crazy with the merry men."
Henry laughed, giving him a quick nod. "Promise. Take care of everyone back home. Tell them that Regina really changed."
David couldn't believe how mature the twelve year old was starting to become. "I will. I'm sure they'll miss you, though."
He gave his shoulder a squeeze and took Snow's hand, telling her it was time to start worrying about the portal. She nodded, giving Henry one last smile before heading off to talk to Robin. As the two left, Hook saw his chance to talk to the boy. He walked over towards him, trying to avoid Neal's tumultuous glare as he did so.
"I'm sad I never got to properly teach you now to be a pirate!" He said, bending down so he was eye level with him.
"Sometime in the future," Henry told him, "Emma and Regina made an agreement that she'll bring me back after two months."
Killian smiled. "Then I'll see you again. I'll have to learn everything about new realm you're from, it's quite strange."
Laughing, Henry leaned forward to whisper something in his ear, something Neal nor Emma couldn't catch. Hook nodded, straightening himself up and giving Emma a quick glance before walking off. Maybe she was seeing things; but it almost seemed like there was a real hint of sadness in his eyes.
Henry turned around to face his parents, tears already pricking his eyes as he went towards them, opening his arms as they both pulled him into a tight hug. That did it for Emma; the wall that she had forcibly built herself crashed down as she held her son in her arms for the last time in a long while. Two months, it's only two months... She kept repeating this to herself in her head, though it felt like an eternity.
"I love you guys," Henry said softly, closing his eyes to savor the moment.
Neal leaned back to give his son a thorough look, trying to put a hopeful smile on his face. "You're so strong, Henry. I couldn't be more proud of you."
His words hit the twelve year old hard, giving him a surge of happiness and pride.
"Take care of mom. Please," he let out a small sob as Emma held him tighter, never wanting to let go.
"Don't worry about me," she said, keeping her voice from wavering, "we'll be fine."
She placed a light kiss on his cheek and slowly tore away from him, holding Neal's hand tightly as the image of the swirling green portal appeared behind him. Emma then walked over to Regina, hurriedly wiping all the wetness off her face as she gave her the most serious look she could muster, though tears still threatened to fall.
"Two months. I don't care how much you love him; you bring him back to Storybrooke two months from right now." She said, pointing a finger towards her.
"I promise," Regina told her, understanding her pain. She was extremely grateful for her decision; Henry was right, she did need him with her.
"Oh hell," Emma muttered, throwing her arms around the other woman's neck, "I never thought I'd actually say this but I'll miss you Regina."
The brunette was taken aback for a second, but she returned the hug gratefully."You know what Emma?" Regina asked, refusing to get emotional over something so simple. "You're the first friend I've had."
The blonde laughed, pulling away to wipe away her tears again. "I feel so honored."
"Just... Take care of yourself."
Emma faced Robin. "You're sure the portal can only be used two more times?"
"It uses an immense amount of power," he explained, "so I'd guess about two more times. But we would have to use one of those times to get him back to Storybrooke."
"Well if you find any other way to generate a portal, don't hesitate to bring him back, even it's only for a little while," The blonde told him, inwardly begging herself to calm down. She knew she could trust the two with Henry; the only thing was, she felt like she needed the boy as well- Hook and Neal would be at each other's throats, she really needed someone she could always count on to be there for her. Granted, she did have her parents. But Henry was special.
Emma forced the thoughts out of her head and turned towards the whirling green portal. She couldn't look back at her son. She knew if she did, she would choose to stay with him. Walking over the Snow and Charming, she took their offered hands, Neal and Hook behind them.
"Let's go home."
They all jumped in unison, disappearing into nothingness and leaving a blank green field in its place.
The remaining Hood-Mills family stared solemnly towards the empty space.
Henry ran to Regina's arms and she held him securely as he let out small sobs into the fabric of her shirt.
She immediately felt the change around her, something she knew was for the better.
The four of them slowly made it back to Robin's house, all feeling exhausted for it being fairy early in the morning. Henry took a few moments to examine over the front of the house, trying to push down all his feelings about Emma and Neal leaving. He knew that being sad wasn't going to help anyone. His mother did that frequently, he now knew. Pretending to be alright when everything surely was not. Henry was sure things would still be fun though- he just wouldn't be with his other family.
"So this is my new house?" He asked, setting his arms on Roland's shoulders and leaning on him a bit.
Regina smiled. "Yeah, for a while."
They all entered through the front door, everything seeming extremely peaceful and quiet. Robin pulled Regina aside as Henry started filing through Roland's toys.
"I guess now would be a good time to discuss the sleeping arrangements," he said, putting a concerned look on her face.
"I guess so, it's pretty important."
She then turned towards Henry and Roland. "Henry, you really don't have a lot options for where you want to sleep-there's Roland's room, that's the only place there's space right now."
Henry paused in thought for a moment, glancing around the house for another option. "I can't sleep on the couch?"
"For two months?" Regina asked, sarcasm traced in her voice, "not going to happen."
Henry sighed as Roland let out a triumphant smile. "Yay! Henry's gonna move in with me!"
"Don't worry, I can make you a bed as soon as I can," Robin said reassuringly, "in the meantime I guess you'll have to sleep on the ratty old thing."
Henry's eyes widened slightly. "Make me a bed? As in, out of wood and stuff?"
"Well that's how you make a bed," he replied with a slight laugh, "I made Roland's, it's not that hard."
The boy couldn't be more grateful for his actions. Maybe, just maybe, he might actually end up liking this man his mother had become so close to.