just neal and emma getting to just *be*

a one time thing (and other untruths) (23/24)

Captain Swan. Modern AU.

“She supposes the reason she tells him is the same reason she kept his phone number after all those weeks." 

Notes: I submitted my grad school app and finished this fic so it’s been a pretty good week, I’d say? One chapter after this, then the epilogue. Probably be posting that stuff within the next couple of days? Endings are a Big Deal so I might sorta stare at it for a bit and move around commas and parentheses before posting, so I dunno when, exactly, it’ll be up. But I hope you guys like this chapter, at least. (Side note: I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time researching baby development, reading articles like ‘your baby at 6 weeks’ and whatever, but I know there are possibly, probably some inaccuracies and I apologize.)

(Shout out to swallowedsong for looking over this and stuff.)

Wanna catch up?

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twenty-three.

            She thinks she forgot this part.

            No, scratch that. She didn’t forget.

            It’s just that last time, she was so worried about everything else when it came to having a newborn that his not sleeping through the night was hardly the largest of her concerns.

            And boy does Aidan hate sleep.

Keep reading

Emma didn’t know what happened. Things were going okay. They were very okay and she was happy. It had been a month since killian and her had talked, and she was just going on with things in her life, still with Neal. But Neal had been more and more distant, seeming very on edge and he told her he was doing something big, something he didn’t want her mixed up on, didn’t want her to get hurt of. She was happy for him and just stayed buy his side, until she got sick one morning, and then the next and then the next. The doctor later confirmed her suspicions and she found out she was pregnant. Emma was so scared, she didn’t know what she was going to do and she was scared of his Neal would act, she couldn’t lose him–she’s lost everyone. But Neal suprised her and hugged her tight, telling her how happy he was and going to fence these watches he was moving for someone, make a big sell out and the two–three of them were gonna go away, move to Florida, have a happy life. For three days she lived in bliss, excited for their family–until He slipped a watch onto her wrist, told her to met him at the edge of town at 10, but he wasn’t waiting for her. A cop was. David–someone she knew, a friend even. He knew she didn’t do this but took one look at the watch on her worst and shook his head sadly before handcuffing her and bringing her to the station. She didn’t cry, not when they told her she was under arrest, not when they said Neal hadn’t been seen in 2 days, not when they locked her behind a cell and said they’d be moving her to prison in the morning. When David asked who she wanted to call, who she wanted to come she didn’t say anything, remembering killian shouting ‘don’t come crying to me when he hurts you’ she couldn’t go to the one person she needed. David though knew Emma, and knew who her friends where, making a phone call to killian. “Hey, Killian Jones. This is officer Nolan, I uh..I think you should come down to the station, there’s been a situation…” Before explain what he new, knowing this girl shouldn’t be alone right now.

//why can’t you?
devilishlyhandsomerogue

2

3x20 / 6x09

That scene in 3x20 was maybe the most sad scene inside of a happy one I ever seen. It was after they defeated Zelena, and Snowing, Emma, and Henry were in the room excited to be with baby Neal safe and sound. But you just can’t help it but getting sad when you watch Hook looking at them from the outside, wanting so badly to be included, to be an integral part of this family and joy.

And then you have 6x09. Not only he’s included, he’s entering aside Emma, one of the first (and sadly only, at least in that point), to meet the new baby. He’s totally in the “inner circle” this time around. 

I just love seeing Hook getting all these little closures along the way. Because in 3x20 he deserved to be included, yet he felt an outsider, and people let him feel this way (or at least didn’t care enough to include him, and actually invite him in to meet the baby). But now he’s not only there, he’s actually Belle’s best friend. 

This is too beautiful.   

Their intention was for Emma and Neal to get back together. That is where the show was leading since the beginning. Then something happened. I don’t know if they just think Hook is more attractive. I don’t know if they just think more people like Hook, which i don’t believe to be true, but they could think it. I don’t know if Eddy & Adam just don’t like that we knew where the plot was heading and decided to change it for a trick plot, it wouldn’t have been the first time on this show. I don’t know if ABC told them to keep Hook and get rid of Neal. I don’t know if MRJ wanted off the show or if there was some other personal reason.

Regardless, we don’t know the specific reason, but for some reason the producers changed their mind mid series, mid season. They decided to change the plan of their show. They decided to take everything they had built over all that time and flush it down the toilet. So now here we stand on the other side of that decision with them having thrown away all of the build to Neal/Baelfire being the love of Emma’s life. Now we stand here with them having tossed in some random character that was thrown in in the second season as nothing more then a bumbling buffon who was supposed to be Rumpel’s foil for little while. He was never supposed to be anything but that. He had a long standing relationship with Neal/Baelfire’s very own mother and sought revenge for her death for centuries and now we are supposed to accept that he is in love with another woman at the drop of a hat. And not just any woman, but the true love of that same boy whose mother he loved for all those centuries.

It was not the plan. It could never have been the plan. The great and epic true love where Neal waits centuries and crosses realms and finds Emma, the one girl from the Enchanted Forest. The daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming is pulled by time and destiny to find and fall in love with the son of Rumpelstiltskin. The epic story that could have been. The daughter of the light and the son of the dark meet and through all of their trouble, fight against the prophecy. They do not allow themselves to be pulled apart by fear of trust, by the pain of their past, and after all those years they come back together. And together they build the future.

I was reading the 3x15 synopsis on ABC’s site to refresh my memory about something . . .

Quiet Minds : “Belle learns that the symbol on Neal’s hand is from an ancient talisman on a key that opens the vault of the Dark One, who can only be restored in exchange for another life.” 

IN EXCHANGE. Has anyone wondered if Neal’s soul might have gone into the vault? Rumpelstiltskin died in Storybrooke, yet he ended up in the vault in the Enchanted Forest. Of course, he was the Dark One, but Neal’s life was taken in trade. Neal died in this realm, yes, the Land Without Magic, but Storybrooke has magic. I don’t care about the Apprentice’s/the show’s creators’ excuses. They both died by magical means, in a magical region.

Take Zelena to the vault (have the pregnancy found to be a lie–Oz witch wasn’t prepared for this realm’s ultrasound technology; or after she gives birth–either one). She’s the reason Neal is in there. Her life for his life. That’s how they could bring him back. LBR, I know they don’t want to, but they could. 

Or–I want to see dark!Emma contemplating the exchange. A look ahead in time … years, decades of being the Dark One is weighing heavily on her, so she contemplates trading her life for Neal’s. Angstfest central.

I don’t need Swanfire.  I just want Neal back.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Swanfire, and after what happened in 5B, I’ll never be able to ship CaptainSwan.  Nothing against those who do, but it’s just my personal preference.  But I’m perfectly okay with the show staying CS if only they’ll bring Neal back.

He doesn’t need to be Emma’s romantic interest.  Neal/Baelfire has enough story of his own.  He’s Henry’s father.  He’s Rumplestiltskin’s son.  He’s a boy was sucked through a portal to Victorian England from the Enchanted Forest, got stolen away to Neverland for over a hundred years, and then came back out sometime in the 1990s.  He’s had an amazing journey that we’ve barely even begun to uncover, and I want to know more about that.

I want him to have a chance to be a dad.  I want him to finally be able to have a relationship with his own father, since they barely had a chance to patch things up before everything went pear-shaped.  I want him to live.  And you know what?  Neal will always love Emma, be it platonic or romantic love.  He’d want her to be happy.  If Hook makes her happy, he’d be okay with that.  It might not be his first choice, but he’d stand aside for Emma’s sake.

We keep having these one-arc characters come in to be the “friend that Emma never gets”.  You know what?  Neal could damn well be that friend.  He knows her, and just because they were together once doesn’t mean they aren’t both adults and co-parents who could be friends now.

This show is supposed to be about family, not about romance. I want him back for family reasons.

neal: *dies the first time*
emma: lol k gonna make out with the hot pirate
neal: *dies for real*
emma: yeah sorry won’t give up my magic for you gotta save the town & i was hoping you were dead anyways so 


hook: *drowns/zelena cursed his lips*
emma: KILLIAN COME BACK TO ME! gives up her magic just to save him.
hook: *dies in the AU*
emma: BRING BACK HOOK!
hook: *probs dies in the mid season finale for real*
emma: lolol yeah no fuck that. if i have to go hell and back to get him that’s what i shall do. 

just really really really love HOW MUCH emma loves killian. you can tell she never has and never will love anyone (romantically) like she loves him. cause duh, TL and soulmates. it’s the best thing. 

if i see one more ‘but hook just gave up a boat - an inanimate object - to get to her. wow what a great sacrifice, it’s not like neal gave up his life for her or something - and emma swallowed it all up and kissed him?! way to go ugh cs is disgusting’ i’m gonna fuck some shit up because you’re totally missing the point of it all hE GAVE UP A BOAT YES A BOAT THAT HAD BEEN HIS HOME YES WE KNOWS IT’S AN INANIMATE OBJECT YEST BUT THE THING IS HE GAVEIT  UP BECAUSE HE MISSED HER

BECAUSE

SHE

IS

HIS

HOME

HOW FUCKING DAFT CAN YOU PEOPLE BE THEY SAY THAT LINE AT LEAST 6 TIMES IN THE DOUBLE EPISODE FFS i understand you hating a ship and not being able to stomach it i really do but please do yourselves a favor and stop coming up with the most ridiculous arguments to make it look stupid or invalid in your eyes (such as 'emma is ooc!’ 'hook is a stalker!’ and so on) because holy fuck this is gonna be a looooong hiatus 

Am I the only person not overly bothered by Neal making another appearance? I mean, for Henry’s sake it’ll be nice, if they get a proper goodbye and all. Especially since Henry is currently on a mission to save his potential stepfather. It’d be kind of poetic, and just nice, for him to properly say goodbye to his biological dad along the way. And it’d be kind of nice to see Neal confront his dad, as well, about some of his recent choices.

And lest we forget, when he died, Neal just wanted Emma to be happy. They’d been through a lot and they were okay. And he and Killian were okay, too. So as it stands, realistically, if Neal has any role in the rescue-Hook arc at all, I’d expect it to be a helpful one. To prove that he meant what he said about wanting Emma to be happy and find Tallahassee with someone else.

There’s nothing to worry about. He’s not a threat. He’s not going to hurt anyone, that’s never been what he’s about. If anything, this’ll give Henry some closure, and maybe Emma too. I honestly only see good things coming from this, mostly for Henry, but maybe for Emma too, and maybe even for Killian. So, you know. I’m more than okay with that. No one can change what he did, but if he can now help Henry and Emma or make them feel better, then I’m definitely okay with having him back for a few scenes.

Seashells

for spencerkate, hooked205, butterflycinderella, OUAT moms, anyone who likes the babysitter!Killy trope, and lovers of idiotic fluff everywhere.


“This was a terrible idea.”

“Four hours, Dad.  I’m pretty sure Killian can handle a toddler for that long.  And Mom has to learn to take time for herself SOMEtime.”

“The loft will be in ruins when we come back.”

“Oh don’t even start.  They’re just going to watch a little TV, and then when Henry gets home they’re all headed to the beach.”

“He’s taking Neal to the BEACH??”

Emma bit back a laugh.  "Not helping you calm down, I see.“

"Maybe I should stay, just to be safe…”

Dad.”  Emma put her arm around David’s shoulder and steered him towards the station.  "I need you back at the station.  Can’t do this by myself, can I?“  She gave him a reassuring smile.  "We’ll see them there in a little while.  Everything’s going to be fine.”


Keep reading

Emma started this arc by considering marriage. She decided that she wanted to get married because the man that Henry described was what she wanted. That man who was said to be the antithesis of Neal turned out not to be Walsh. Retrospectively the guy who will not leave Emma and who wants to be with her and Henry (have them to be his home) seems to describe Hook. He was the one to start the arc by coming back for her (“I came back to save you”). And he was the one who refused to set down roots (build a home) without Emma. The episode is one huge anti-parallel with ST. Emma sets Hook up to send him to jail, but she comes back for him. So Hook is the man that her child was describing (the opposite of his father).

Henry knew that Emma liked Walsh enough to consider marriage because she introduced them to each other. By the end of the episode Emma introduces Hook to Henry.

When Emma should think about Walsh’s proposal, she instead thinks of Hook’s proposal.

In the episode, Emma chooses to give up her secure dream life and to trust Hook. Something that Hook describes as her “taking a leap of faith.” That was what Rumple accused her of not being able to do in the first episode of the season. They were his exact words. So it seems that part of Emma’s entire journey this season is to learn to take a leap of faith.

Therefore, Emma’s arc begins with her considering marriage to the dream guy Henry describes who turns out to actually be Hook. And the lesson she learns is that she needs to take a leap of faith and trust Hook. She needs to give up her safety net and choose him. That’s how her arc starts in 3b and it is directly related to her character arc that was set up in the first episode of 3a.

Last episode Hook again brought up the fact that Emma considered marriage. The theme is kept in the audience’s mind.

The chances of Emma and Hook finishing the arc by getting married are astronomically high. She started her arc by unknowingly considering marrying him and by learning to trust her gut about him and just leap into the unknown for him. She started her arc by choosing him above her security blanket.

And that’s not me being bias. In order to be bias, I would need to want this to happen. I don’t. That’s just me reading the elements I am given. If I was bias, I would refuse to consider this a possibility because I do not want it. But if I take out my own desires, what I can see is that Emma ending the season married makes the most sense narratively speaking. These characters are not real people. Their stories are constructed. They have neat arcs. Themes surrounds them. Dialogues are used to foreshadow storylines. Real life does not work that way, but T.V. shows do. And what the show seems to be setting up for Emma in the start of 3a looks like it should culminate in marriage.

As Henry said “the writing [is] on the wall.”

I’m just going to say this one thing and then I’m done with the topic.

for 28 years of her life, Emma Swan hasn’t known love. And love is everything. It’s what keeps us grounded, sane, comforted, happy, etc. I personally believe it’s the greatest feeling whether romantic or platonic, it really is everything. And this beautiful angel hasn’t known that. She was thrown around in foster homes because she wasn't loved enough to be fought for. When she met Neal, she finally knew what love was. She knew what it was like to be loved and she held on for dear life. She stole the watches for him because she didn’t want him to leave, she didn’t want to lose love. And he left her after all that, forcing her to once more question herself, feel unworthy, unloved, broken, alone, and changed forever. She believed he didn’t love her enough so we’re back to square one. We’re now at one night stands because no emotional attachment equals no heartbreak. What Emma’s known is an emptiness that continuously haunts.

And I adore Killian Jones with every fiber of my being, but I don’t blame her in anyway when she lashes out. When she’ll be hesitant sometimes in the future because she doesn’t know what it’s like still. She’s finally opened up but the fears will cloud her because they don’t go away overnight. That kind of emotional trauma stays with you. And although Killian’s alone in the world, he’s known love. Milah loved him before she died – it’s the last words she said to him. Liam loved him to the moon and back. His crew have always been loyal to him – they’ve loved and respected him. The point is, while it’s difficult for him to put his walls down, it’s also a bit easier because he knows love. Life’s been unfair to him in different ways but he knows what it’s like to have felt it thus making him much stronger as a partner.

Emma’s just re-learning it in ways she’s never known it with her parents, son, friends, and boyfriend. It’s okay if she takes a little time, panics, second guesses. Understand her, for it’s normal. And I’m 100% Killian knows and understands this as well. He’s fighting for her because he knows she deserves it. And it’s going to be beautiful every step of the way just as it has been since the moment they met.

“Emma Swan, you know her?” Neal

“How do you know her?” Mulan

“She’s…she’s my…I don’t know but she’s in danger, I have to get back, I have to help her!” Neal

Words cannot describe how much I love this scene. It may seem just a cute and silly bit at first glance but it revels so much about what kind of man Neal is.

Just before he fell through that portal, Emma declared that she both loved him and needed him. And yet Neal doesn’t immediately jump on that and decide that clearly they are together and Emma is now ‘his’. He fully admits that he doesn’t know who he is to Emma and who she is to him.

Because Neal understands that Emma decides who she is with. That just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you should be with them. That just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you aren’t still angry and hurt.

Because Neal understands that Emma gets to decide when her walls come down, when she wants to be with someone, when she’s ready to actually act upon the love and need that she feels.

And he’ll still stand by her, supporting and helping her no matter who he is to her or how long it takes.

If I was to talk about everything that was terrible about this past episode of OUAT, I’d be here all night, but there’s one thing that just gets me and pisses me off to no end.

So Emma’s going to mount an Underworld rescue party (dragging along her thirteen year old child) to save her boyfriend who she’s been dating for… I dunno, a few months at best, that literally JUST TRIED TO MURDER HER PARENTS AND SON because… “It’s not fair that Killian’s sacrifice didn’t amount to anything”? And after Hook has asked her on two separate occasions this half season to let him go? I mean, I don’t normally give a damn about what Hook wants, but that’s seriously not okay. And, I’m sorry, we’re willing to do all of that for Hook, the guy that tried to kill them and has been dating Emma for a couple months and maybe kinda acted like a decent human being before he was the Dark One, yet never once anyone has ever tried to go after Graham?

Y'know, the guy who save Snow’s life, made it so that Charming could escape Regina, made Emma sheriff, was a true friend to their family, and died after being raped and controlled by Regina for well over twenty eight years? Was that fair to Graham?

How about Neal? Y'know, Henry’s father who wanted the chance to b there for his son, Emma’s first love, the man who sacrificed himself for them twice, the one guy who could actually hold Rumple and Hook accountable for bullshit, and the guy who was handed over to an evil immortal demon and spends a hundred years under whatever horrors Pan could concoct before later being killed by a witch to undo his dad’s sacrifice? Was that “fair” to Neal?

Maid Marian who got murdered and replaced and taken away from her toddler son? Was that fair to her, Emma? Ingrid? The woman who was a foster mother to you, and, though she wasn’t perfect, she sacrificed herself to undo her mistakes out of love for you and Elsa? Guess that was fair too. Daniel? Queen Eva? King Leopold? Ruth? Johanna? 

How were any of their deaths more “fair” than Hook’s? Why is Hook oh so much more special than anyone else who has died on this show? Like, I’d sympathize more if they were going to save all of their friends from the Underworld and Hook was just the last straw, but honestly going to save just Hook because it’s not “fair”?!

I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit. I need a quote from Gargoyles… “On the contrary, death is the ultimate fairness. Rich and poor, young and old, all are equal in death. You would not want to see the Jackal God play favorites.” Anubis gets it.

Pairing Spotlight: Captain Swan

Originally posted by hookedoncapthook

Betting my followers have been waiting a while for this one, huh? Sorry, I can be very forgetful…

How do I describe Captain Swan? It’s not just the pairing of Captain Hook with the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. It’s not just a lovely case of people who have loved and lost before finding a new love. It’s just something magically well done in all respects.

Originally posted by emilydoesdisney

Captain Swan is made up of Emma Swan, focus character and audience surrogate of the show, and Killian Jones, the dashing pirate who comes in during the second season. And right from the get-go things are set up perfectly. The episode “Tallahassee” contrasts Emma’s every interaction with Hook with her past, failed relationship with Neal Cassidy, the older man who knocked her up as a teen and then let her take the fall for his crime, the reason Emma has her walls. Hook just seems to get Emma and she’s clearly attracted to him…which is why she leaves him chained on top of a beanstalk, because she’s not sure she can trust him and is afraid of those feelings.

Hook stays in the antagonist role for the rest of the season, however his role was shortened due to his actor breaking his leg so we don’t know what the original plan was. He initially works for the evil Cora, but even in a sword fight with Emma he’s doing more flirting than fighting. It turns out Hook has a noble reason for his villainy: Rumpelstiltskin, the Dark One, killed the woman he loved and he wants revenge…and to die too, it’s pretty clear he’s suicidal at some points. But he decides ultimately to help the heroes out when Emma’s son Henry is kidnapped and go to a place he’s never want to return to: Neverland. Now that’s dedication!

Originally posted by ridingyourdragonthrutime

See, it turns out Peter Pan is a jerk. How much of a jerk? He tells Hook that Neal—who has been placed in a love triangle sort of thing with Hook and Emma—is still alive, thinking Hook won’t tell the others. Turns out our Captain believes in good form and he does. Pan also put Neal in a place where people have to tell secrets to get him out. Hook’s? He loves Emma. Emma’s? She’d been hoping Neal was dead.

…Well, that’s one way to spell out who wins the love triangle. Subtle this show is not.

Originally posted by morrocanhoe

The ship also gets a time travel plot where, as a distraction, Emma seduces Killian’s past self. It is exactly as hilarious as it sounds, not in the least because present!Killian gets jealous. I’m not even kidding.

The best thing about the relationship is how well they play off each other. Hook is one of the few characters not included in the curse, so modern things often baffle him. The cell phone scenes in season 4A are all utterly awesome and downright hilarious, and it’s always good if a ship ca make me laugh. Emma, in contrast, has found someone she can really let in, someone who sees her as Emma first, not as the Savior, not as a problem, not as a fixer, just as Emma. She’s clearly just as invested in him as he is in her and it’s great.

Captain Swan is just a lovely bundle of fluff, love, and drama that really makes it a wonderful paring to ship. Doesn’t hurt that they really have a ship, too. Well, unless Hook needs to give it up to save Emma…

Originally posted by hook-found-emma

Seriously these guys can be so cute it might be a heath hazard. Make sure your D’aw Meter can withstand it.

Minor thinky thoughts of the morning

It’s just funny to me that, in Emma’s case, Neal is kinda THE THING that made her who she is (and I do NOT mean that in a good way), but in Neal’s case, Emma is just sorta one more thing that happened to him.

Emma’s flashbacks have focused on Neal, and with good reason.  Because of him, she is who she is today.  Again, not in a good way. An Emma who was never screwed over by Neal would still be a wary, guarded foster kid, but she wouldn’t be AS damaged or AS wary about letting people get close.  Also, he’s Henry’s father, and Henry is the thing she loves most, so yeah, that’s a factor.

But with Neal and/or Bae-centric episodes … we don’t see anything in them that points to her being any kind of factor in changing him at all. He literally sent her to jail and went on with his life.  It’s kinda hard to be invested in a guy who didn’t seem to take anything away from being with Emma, and who’s first instinct, upon meeting her again, was to yell at her and treat her like a little girl.  Making him Bae is the only reason people care about Neal, you will never convince me otherwise.

Even Tallahassee, which was the SF origin story, if you will, focused on EMMA and the effects of being with him.  It wasn’t about NEAL at all, it was, in fact, more about HOOK than it was about Neal.  And that’s hugely important and something I think people just gloss over.  It wasn’t about SF.  It was about the fact that Neal screwed Emma up so badly that she couldn’t even process the way she felt about Hook like a rational adult.

On the flip side, with the exception of The Crocodile (which still boasts a HUGE parallel with Emma), all the Hook-centric episodes have distinctly and purposefully shown the impact that Emma has had in his life, how he’s changing BECAUSE of her presence there, BECAUSE of the fact that he realizes that in her, he’s found someone he can love again.  Even ASOTM, while focusing on what happened with Bae, still shows that the catalyst for the change in his heart THIS time around, was Emma.

In short - SF was written explicitly to show us why EMMA is so wary, guarded, and unable to let love in.  CS has been written in the vein of the True Love of this show.  Overcoming all odds, breaking down walls, supporting, guiding, and making each other the BEST versions of themselves that they can be.

It’s not the only reason, but it is one of the big reasons that I can never ship SF. The show never TOLD me to.  The show never gave me ANY REASON to, not even in the beginning (I was not cooing over how cute they were in the Tallahassee flashbacks, I was more concerned with Emma and the pirate in the present, because to me, that’s where the story has always been).

This gif absolutely kills me, and I’ll tell you why. It shows the tenderness of their relationship. The way Emma closes her eyes, the tiny hint of a smile on her lips, how gentle he is, it makes my heart ache. Their relationship is just so pure, so amazing, there aren’t many words to describe something like that. Just the plain love you can see it this gif, it’s simply beautful. This is why Captain Swan is so great. I mean this guy was a pirate, a full blown villan, and here he is, softly kissing his princess on the cheek. And Emma, oh Emma. She’s never been in a relationship like this. With Neal it was different, that was certainly love, don’t get me wrong, but damn. This love is so true. And Walsh, I mean that was obviously fake, but they’d been together for some time, and she didn’t even have a fraction of the affection she has for Killian. So yeah, sometimes I watch this gif over and over again until it makes me cry.

Emma's choice

Now that all season 3 is behind us, I’ve been trying to figure out what was the exact moment that Emma chose Hook. Sure, it was a (very very very…) long process, but in my opinion the process wasn’t about Emma making the choice. It was about her accepting it.

I think the moment Emma truly chose Hook was already in 305, just a fraction of a second before she kissed him-

I believe that this moment that back then we saw as her deciding to except Hook’s challenge and kiss him, was actually her choice moment.

Let’s remember what Emma was like just an episode earlier, she was crying because she loved Neal and angry at him at the same time for what he did to her, she was above all a mother in distress trying to get her son back but was always one step behind.

And then came this moment. I think Emma in this moment forgot about everything around her, all the troubles seemed so far away. The only thing on her mind was the little flirt game that she has going on with this pirate in front of her. And so she kissed him.

And we all remember her reaction after the kiss

This kiss had the exact same effect on both Hook and Emma only with one difference, one of them was willing to admit it and the other wasn’t.

In the echo cave Hook talked about what the kiss exposed for him. Emma wasn’t ready to deal with it just yet. She did however constantly showed signs.

It started at the echo cave, in which she seemed more swiped by Hook’s confession then by seeing Neal again. There was even a moment where she looked back and didn’t want to leave Hook and her parents behind.

And if I already mentioned Snow and Charming, I must say that in general I’m not pleased about their relationship with Emma. Although I did love the evolution of Emma and David’s relationship in 3B, something always seemed off for me there. If it’s not even thinking about her when they decide to stay in Neverland without her, or returning to Storybrook with a curse only when they needed her help or some more staff that I should probably leave for another meta…

But the thing is, I don’t know how much David and Snow really know Emma. They know she is unique, and somewhere inside she is the beautiful princess they always dreamed she would be, but somehow they’ve manage to miss what Hook means for her. At least at the beginning (and in Snow’s case I’m not sure she even gets it now…).

Emma unconsciously tried to get her parents to notice it, I think somewhere she wanted them to tell her: “Emma you have feelings for this man”. With Snow it was right after the kiss:

Snow here completely missed Emma. Her daughter basically told her that she felt good for the first time in a very long time and all she could say is “Neal would understand”. Maybe Neal would understand (although he did act like five years old with the lighter…), but Snow didn’t understand anything for sure…

With David it was right after he convinced her to give Neal a chance.

It wasn’t coincidence that she made the “keep me away from Hook” remark in this exact moment. Among all the reasons she told David about her not going to meet Neal, there was one she wasn’t saying, but maybe hoping in some unconsciousness level that her father would get it all the same.

The only one who truly knows Emma in my opinion is Hook. I think this is why although she constantly mocked him and treated him badly he knew it was because she was denying her feelings. This is why he could have said those two wonderful remarks:

The several times Emma couldn’t deny her feelings were when there was something to risk Hook’s present in her life:

In all of those situations she was about to lose him, and it made her react and show her true feelings.

Notice that I didn’t at all mentioned Emma choosing Hook over Neal in this post, for me it wasn’t about it. And the more I think about it the more I realize there was no need to make a clear choice in 315. Because like I said, the choice was already made, but it wasn’t Emma’s time to except it.

But again in the moment that Neal asked to speak with her alone at the hospital, she was immediately concerned about how Hook will take it because again, it felt like a moment that will cause her to lose him.

The moment where Emma comes to except her long made choice is after Hook confessed that he traded the Jolly Roger for her. It was then where Emma could leave all her fears behind and devote herself completely to this man who stayed there through everything she put him through, who past every test. The one who chose her as his ”home”.

Look at her face right before she kissed him. This is the moment Emma comes to except the fact that she chose Hook. Doesn’t it resemble another look that she had once before?

 

Those are defined moments for Emma. At the first kiss she is making the choice and at the second kiss she comes to except it.

The entire season 3 of once upon a time is about Emma’s journey to find home. Just like she needed time to except her feelings for her parents, she needed it to accept her feelings for Hook. And just like with her parents the feelings were there all along, she just needed some time to except them.

But that’s o.k, it runs in the family. 

Just answered a question with this, but felt it deserved its own post:

I’ve seen a lot of people being unhappy that Emma was friendly with Neal and didn’t appear to be holding a grudge against him. Now, I get wanting her to call him out and whatever, but honestly, that has already happened. She told him how much he hurt her in both 2x21 and 3x06. We know from seeing Emma interact with Hook and with Henry in season 1 that the more she has feelings for someone, the more she tries to push them away. For her to be casual and friendly-exes with Neal shows that she’s over him. She’s not giving him the same power to control her emotions and her reactions, she’s not trying to push him away because he hurt her so much, she’s not afraid of facing what she feels for him, which is a deep affection still and for him as the father of her son. But she’s over him romantically. She really, really is. If she was still harboring lingering feelings, she wouldn’t have acted like she did with him tonight. Trust me. She would have been trying to push him away and still being heartbroken and worried about the power he had over her. She wasn’t doing that. I was HAPPY to see her able to acknowledge that she was happy with him, once, without simply dwelling on the pain and heartbreak. It means she’s healing.

I said this in my answer, but once again:  I can see that I’m going to be answering a lot of questions about Neal and Emma’s feelings tonight, which is fine, but…. remember, Neal died. He’s dead. He’s not coming back. His death was to set up Emma’s future. Whether or not Emma “needed” his permission, the seed was planted in the audience’s mind for her to move on and be happy. Very, very clearly.