We Can Love Again

The Hollow

The man that stood before them wasn't at all what either of them had expected. This man seemed so old and frail; Neal wondered how on earth he was still alive. Nevertheless, Merlin was said to be the smartest magician that remained in the Enchanted Forest, so both Robin and Neal decided to give him a shot. Neal wanted a way to get to Neverland as fast as possible- having an angry father as a traveling companion wasn't fun to the slightest.

"Is there any way to create a portal to another realm?" Robin asked, haste in his voice.

The man, Merlin, gave him a small smile, trying to convey at least some hope in the situation.

"There is a way, yes, but it is... Difficult." He said, sounding extremely frail as he spoke.

"My little boy is out there. I'll do anything to get him back." Robin impatiently said, "just tell us what we need to do."

"There's a rare talisman that can be used to generate enough power for a portal." He explained, "lucky for you, I happen to have one with me."

Neal narrowed his eyes. "What's your price?"Merlin let out a small chuckle. "I would expect nothing less from the son of Rumplestiltskin."

"How did you know?" He asked, surprised he had guessed it so quickly.

"You look like him, that's why." Merlin said matter of factly, "and I can't think of one other person in this realm that would want to go to Neverland. It's an awful place,"

Neal sighed. "So it's that easy then- just a talisman and boom, a portal?"

"When a talisman is used, it creates a channel between both realms. Sometimes they don't always work... I don't know how strong the magic is of the people in Neverland." He said, disheartedly. "I'm sorry, that's the only advice I can give you."

"It's okay, thank you so much for the help." Robin let out a small smile towards the older man.

With a poof of purple magic, a small, circular object appearing in the palm of his hand.

"I really do hope you get your son back," Merlin said as he handed Robin the object. "You might end up getting more than you bargained for on this journey of yours."Robin was confused at his statement, but he simply nodded another thank you and started off towards the door with Neal at his side.

"Are you prepared for all of this?" Neal asked anxiously, "Neverland isn't exactly a place you look forward to visiting."

Robin didn't bother shifting his eyes as he spoke. "My son means more to me than anything else in the world. If saving him means going through hell and back, so be it."

"Do we have to leave right now?"

With a wave of her hand, the whole camp cleared away as if it hadn't been there at all.

"Saving Henry is pretty important, remember?" Regina answered, taking one final look around before turning towards the others.

"I can use a tracking spell to find the tree hollow," she told them, "shouldn't be that much of a journey considering it only took him a couple hours to get here."

"But he was running," Snow objected, "we're not sprinting all the way there are we?"

Regina gave her a look with her brown eyes. "Not unless you want to."Roland stamped his foot against the ground impatiently. "I want to meet Henry!"

"Okay kid, we're going," Emma smirked, following Hook towards the direction of the glowing yellow footprints that emitted off the jungle floor, heading due west.

Regina looked down at the boy. "Do you think you can walk or will I have to carry you the whole way there?"

Roland responded by looking up at her with his huge brown eyes, his mouth forming a pout; he knew it worked every time with his daddy.

"Okay fine, get over here." Regina caved in to his cuteness in no time at all and lifted him to his feet, following the others on the shining path. Inside, she wasn't sure what to feel. They were so close to finding Henry it seemed unreal- just a few days ago, they were just a couple of lost people hopelessly wandering over a god- forsaken island.

Now, they had a plan.

Tinkerbell watched Regina with slightly narrowed eyes from behind. She was so intrigued with this new behavior of the evil queen- it was so unexpected, especially to her. Last time she had an encounter with her, she acted like a complete and total bitch. If she thought she could become mother of the year just like that, she was horribly wrong. The blue fairy was right, there was no one who could save her; not even this child.

"That's it, that's it!" Roland suddenly exclaimed, shattering the uneasy silence.

Emma turned around, anticipation showing in her eyes "Are you sure?"

He nodded, suddenly feeling nervous. Regina set him down on his feet, trying to decide what to do with him.

"Okay Roland, we have to go in there and get Henry," Regina said softly, "they won't see us coming, so you don't have to worry. All you have to do is stay here."

Roland frowned. "But what if something happens to you?"

"I have magic, remember? I'll be okay, promise." She reassured, wrapping her arms around him.

Emma went over to the trunk and stuck her hand inside, not really knowing what she was looking for.

"Now stay here, promise?"

Reluctantly, the boy nodded. "Promise..."

"I think I got it guys!" Emma said hastily, causing Regina to spin around towards the hollow in the tree.

"We have to play our cards right here. Tinkerbell, you're sure you can create the portal as fast as you can?"

"Of course, your majesty," she replied sarcastically, "just keep them away from me and we should be good to go."

Everyone exchanged glances. "We got this guys, we should be used to fighting people by now." Emma said in a feeble attempt to arouse the group.

The scene before them began to shift as Hook properly deactivated the wall that kept them from their predecessors; it began transforming into a different image right before their eyes.

Regina couldn't help but turn to look at the boy one last time, the terrorized expression on his face the same one he wore when they first met one another. When she turned her attention back to what lay in front of her, she saw a gigantic evening fire roaring in the middle of the Lost Boys, all seeming to be enjoying themselves as they talked and ate.

Peter Pan was the first to turn around, smiling warmly as if they were invited guests when he saw them. "Well it's about time you all showed up!" He exclaimed, "I thought we could have a nice little party together."

Emma stepped forward, her face glowering towards the person who had kidnapped her boy. "Where is Henry?"

Peter continued to grin, holding up a frayed rope in his hands. "You mean this Henry?" He pulled on the rope, causing the twelve year old to jerk forwards, his hands bound and his mouth covered.

"Come and get him!"

In a flash, all the Lost Boys advanced for them, unsheathing their weapons. The scene burst to life, arrows flying and swords clanging every which way. Regina immediately began scanning the area for Pan, who wasn't anywhere to be found.

"Now who's this little guy?" She heard his voice behind her and she jumped, turning to see Peter holding Roland by the back of his shirt so he was hanging loosely in the air. He was screaming and kicking, fighting to get away from the boy, making her slightly panicked.

"Let him go!" she demanded coldly, opening her hand to form a fireball.

"Nope, that won't work," he chided, the fire extinguishing as soon as he said it.

"Did you replace Henry already?"

She didn't answer; instead, she lunged forwards to grab him- only to be met by empty air.

"Oh, you're going to have to try harder than that." He taunted, "if you honestly think you can escape this island, you're wrong. Don't think I don't know what Tinkerbell is doing. We'll kill all of you before you can even step through it."

She turned her attention towards the others, who seemed to already be struggling. Peter mused in the slight flicker of fear in the queen's eyes.

"Just give up, Regina. I'll spare this one's life. He doesn't deserve to be tortured by you anyways."

It seemed like an easy answer, giving up. But she looked into Roland's eyes, she saw the trust he had gained for her in the little time he had known her, and she realized it was the other way around. It was she who didn't deserve him.

Regina faced him without a glint of fear. "I can't do that. He means too much to me."

Suddenly, she felt a surge of power run through her- a power she hadn't felt before. She raised her hand out towards him and sent a bright blast in his direction, knocking the evil mastermind right off his feet, causing the other Lost Boys to freeze right in their tracks. Roland fell gently back to his feet, staring up at her with amazement.

David and Snow took their chance to overpower the Lost Boys while Emma darted towards where Henry lay. Peter looked up at Regina with a confused look on his face, his smirk wiped off his face.

"I never thought it would be you, Regina," he muttered before his entire being became swallowed up in the earth, leaving nothing in his place but bare grass.

Regina headed straight for Henry, her heart racing excitedly as Emma began loosening the binding around him.

"Mom!" He cried, throwing his arms around Emma once he was free. Regina fell to her knees in front of him with tears in her eyes. She missed him so much.

"You found me!" Henry grinned, hugging her as well. "I knew you would!"

"We have to get out of here," Regina said softly, wiping away her son's tears, "we have a way out."

She exchanged a small smile towards Emma before standing up to face Snow and David, the last of the Lost Boys falling to the ground.

"You got Henry?" David asked towards them, a smile already on his face as he saw his grandson.

"I've got the portal ready!" Yelled Tinkerbell, just as a large blue field of magic appeared in the now empty field, the sky darkening behind it.

Regina made her way back to Roland and scooped him up in her arms. "See, I told you things would work out." She smiled, hugging him close.

"Uh, mom, who's that?" Henry asked, a confused look on his face.

"Let's save introductions for later, okay? Right now, we're getting out of here; for good."

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