Adam and Eddie: We pride ourselves on bringing up old things from past seasons and incorporating them in newer seasons. We connect the past to the present.
Me, an intellectual: What about how you had a thing going where Lily wanted to find her father and Emma was going to help her? You never brought up how Regina killed Graham. Why have you guys not gone further in depth with how Henry was supposedly Rumpelstiltskin’s demise? Why not connect those plots and details you brought up?
After an attack by the Lost Boys, Emma and Killian find themselves in an impossible situation. Canon divergence from 3x07.
This was an idea I had back in September, but let it sit after writing the intro and finally picked it up again recently. Working on it has basically kept me going during an intensely shitty week. The first 3 chapters are already complete. @caprelloidea is basically the best person ever for helping me through this one.
They’ve just finished filling the canteens when he hears it. A familiar rustle somewhere behind him in the jungle, the same noise that kept him on edge for years in this hellish place, the one that left him looking over his shoulder for centuries. He glances over at Emma to see she’s oblivious, capping the water and adjusting the satchel over her shoulder, her ears not as attuned to this place as his are.
“Swan,” he whispers. She turns to face him and he raises a finger to his lips, tilting his head in the direction of the noise.
They stand there frozen for a long moment listening, the only sounds the occasional call of a bird or the chirping of an insect. He’s just about to relax when he hears it again, and by the tensing of Emma’s shoulders she can as well. She looks toward the noise and back at him, instinctively reaching over her shoulder for her cutlass.
The cutlass she’d given back to Baelfire.
Her eyes widen, and the first tinge of panic starts creeping up his nerves. Emma glances around for something, anything she can use as a weapon as he draws his own sword, stepping between the noise and Emma. It could just be an animal, or one of their group wondering what’s taking them so long, or -
The Lost Boys appear, faces slowly emerging from the jungle. First just in front of him, and then to his right, and his left, swords glinting in the sunlight and arrows dark-tipped with poison.
A dozen weapons against one.
He spares the quickest of glances back and sees Emma frozen, still empty-handed. He turns back to his attackers, one last sweep of the landscape as he considers their options. There’s only one.
There’s only a split-second before they both turn and sprint, splashing over the shallow stream and barreling headlong into the jungle. They need to put some distance between them and the Lost Boys, take advantage of their longer strides and find some kind of hiding place to wait it out as they go by. But as his legs and lungs first start to burn as they duck and tumble and run, dodging arrows the whole way, he realizes what Pan’s crew is really doing.
For @katie-dub‘s hub prompt CS + cold. I… don’t know. Just trying to eek out the words I guess! Deserts though. How about ‘em.
850 words of Neverland flangst, because I love it so.
Eremology. The study of deserts.
The year Emma turned ten,
she’d slept in five different foster homes, attended six different schools,
learned the names of a dozen temporary siblings and forgotten them as soon as
the door closed behind her.
The only thing she hadn’t
forgotten, were the deserts.
Thing is, you see,
when you change school district almost monthly you’re thrown into whatever area
of study that grade are following at the time. And that year, over and over, it
Sahara, Gobi, Mojave.
The words had slipped off
the tongues of half a dozen nameless, faceless teachers, the desks all
splintered and worn under her tapping fingers. Katie woz here. Monica hearts
Tyler. The names all scored through with a furious compass point when the teachers
turned their backs
She hadn’t left her
name behind, hadn’t taken anything with her but that endless, listless rote of names.
Neverland is about as
far from those arid places as it’s possible to get, and yet, lying in her
makeshift shelter, her shirt still damp from the sweltering heat of the day,
her teeth chattering futilely against the encroaching chill, they’re all she
can think about.
Hot by day, cold by
night. Lands where unsuspecting travellers could be caught unawares and unprepared.
Where the very ground seems out to kill you and your bones would be left to be
bleached by the sun, or turned, in this case, into flutes for feral boys.
Like setting the Lord of the
Flies in Nevada, she thinks to herself, and snorts with laughter.
And then, as if
freezing to death wrapped in a cocoon of your own cooling sweat wasn’t bad enough, there’s him.
The embers of their
fire have long since burnt out, so it’s only the reflected light of the few
stars that linger in Neverland’s cursed skies against the curve of his hook
that she can see in the still darkness. Not that she needs light to see where he
is. Not when she can hear him prowling through the shadows of the camp’s
perimeter just as he’s taken up residence at the edges of her consciousness,
the memory of the heat of his skin the only warmth she can cling to even though
she wants - she knows - she should throw it off.
grumbles, her tongue too slow, too thick for other words. “G’to sleep.”
advisable, not with Pan lurking about,” she hears his footsteps approach, then
stop, shuffle in the leaf litter as though he plans to turn but can’t quite
decide how, the glow of steel at the edge of her unsteady vision. “Are you sure
She huffs, tries to
wriggle onto her side to avoid the way she knows he must be staring at her, the
little furrow that appears between his brows, the slow, pink slide of tongue
against lip as he considers her. She can’t though, her legs won’t obey, her
feet too heavy and leaden and numb.
“I’fine,” she lies.
Takes a liar to know
He moves over her
like a shadow, the glint of steel smothered by the darkness as he rests his
hand on her cheek. It’s hot as fire, and she finds herself leaning into it, a
little moan escaping as she wonders whether it might be worthwhile to burn.
discontentedly as he moves away, but in a moment he’s back, something warm and
heavy settling over her legs and body, a collar round her throat that chilled
fingertips soon recognise.
“Keeping you alive,
that a problem, is it?” he snaps, the warmth of the coat dulled by the chill in
his voice. She imagines the furrow getting deeper, the nervous glance he sends
in the direction of her sleeping parents. Of Neal. She remembers the taste of
him. The bite of rum. The promise.
A one time thing.
There are deserts in
the Arctic, she remembers, where the cold keeps out life as assuredly as the
“Have you,” she
stops, licks dry lips with drier tongue, “Have you ever been to a desert?”
“Deserts, you know.
They’re - they’re places with nothing - an’ nothing grows. Too dry, or too hot, or
too cold. I’m cold.”
“You don’t say,” he
murmurs, and then he’s close - too close almost - his breath fanning flames
across her face, his skin radiating warmth even through the leather as he
stretches out alongside her.
“You’re hot,” she
grumbles, and she hears the uptick in his brow, the little smirk at the corner
of his mouth.
“Is that so?”
“You’re hot,” she
says again, her brain fuzzy from his proximity, pins and needles in her nerves.
“And I’m cold.”
“Alright, love,” he
says, soft as an Arizona breeze, his fingers leaving scorch marks along her
jaw. “I’ve got you, I’ll warm you up. I promise.”
“That’s not what I
mean,” she says, tries to say, but the ground is softer beneath her now, her
body melting towards his. “That’s not what I -”