"Mendel and Tamara," Hook breathed, his good hand nestled over his ribcage. He stood in the open doorway, Mary Margret’s hand still clutching the knob. "They activated the fail safe."
David crossed the living room, his hands swiftly diving to his hips as he stepped in front of his wife. “We’re already aware of that, mate,” he snapped, a sneer dripping into the last word. “What are you doing here?”
His cheeks still flushed, Hook limped past David, taking in the apartment with a small, almost imperceptible smile. His eyes landed on Emma on the staircase, knees tucked up under her chin. He opened his mouth with a quip, but when he saw the way her eyes darted from his and the bruise that kissed her cheek, he abruptly closed it. He knit his brows together, staring at her with an unreadable expression.
Clearing his throat, David strode up to the pirate, breathing hotly as if sizing him up for a fight. Hooks eyes flicked from Emma to David’s hands, still aplomb across his waist, with thinly veiled amusement. “You can relax, highness,” Hook drawled, leaning on the counter. “I’m here to help.”
"How can you help us?” Mary Margret asked, closing the front door. From behind the kitchen island, Regina and Henry straightened, listening.
"Do you know how to stop it?" Henry asked feverishly.
Hook glanced over his shoulder at the boy, eying him for a moment with a a studying look before smiling softly, shaking his head. “No, lad, that I do not—however, I do happen to know that the two bastards are in ownership of two magic beans. I can help you get them.”
"Why?" Regina and David asked at the same time, their eyes narrowed suspiciously.
Sighing heavily, Hook glanced up at the ceiling. He ran his tongue over his teeth, as if wrestling with the words. “Contrary to popular belief, I’m not heartless. I have done many a questionable thing many a time, but I cannot sit idle while an entire town sinks to the locker.”
"I don’t trust it," Regina snapped instantly, coming around to face him with her arms crossed. "I don’t trust him. If the trigger goes, so does Rumplestiltskin. He’d win. What’s your angle?"
"We live," Hook replied tightly.
"I don’t believe him," Regina insisted. David pulled his lips back, staring down the pirate.
"I do," Emma murmured from the staircase, her head still bowed into her knees. She looked up to find every set of eyes on her, but her gaze went straight to the pirate. Louder, she said, "I trust him. I’d know if he was lying."
Everyone remained silent. Emma glanced around the room, resting on her mother. She straightened and stood, noticeably still shaky but a strength—nay, anger—was building in her voice. “No one believed me about Tamara, and look how well that ended,” she said soberly. “He’s telling the truth.”
The left corner of Hook’s mouth lifted, a noticeable spark in his eyes that wasn’t quite there before. He looked as though he wanted to add something, but held back, and instead swiveled his neck towards David with a new air of confidence. “Shall we then, mate?”
David glanced between Emma and Hook and nodded curtly. “One thing first—” Without warning, David’s fist slammed into Hook’s jaw. The pirate let out a rather inventive curse and stumbled back. Mary Margret let out a surprised cry, and Emma’s eyebrows shot up.
"The bloody hell was that?" He snapped.
"That was my right hook," David grinned thinly, clearly pleased with his joke.
"Aren’t you hilarious," Hook spat, checking his face for blood.
"That was for the crowbar. Now we can go. Can I trust you’ll have my back?”
Hook laughed humorlessly, rubbing his jaw gingerly. “After that?” David shot him a smug, tight smile, and crossed his arms. This was clearly a test, but Hook seemed to prideful to take the bait.
"You can," Emma sighed, seemingly amused despite herself. "He’ll have your back."
Their eyes found each other again, a wordless moment passing between them. He raised his eyebrow, and she raised hers right back. For the first time that day, but not the last, both felt something awfully akin to…hope burn across their skin, hot like fire, welding the two together.
"Aye," he agreed, eyes still on Emma. "That I will."