"What are you insinuating, Regina?"
Swatting at the massive leaf to her left, the queen staggers a bit around a lifted root and grunts, glaring over her shoulder at the couple behind her. “I’m just saying that,” she snaps, voice suddenly raising, “I think we’d have found Henry by now if our guide was more interested in exploring Neverland than he was Emma.”
David freezes for a moment, his fist curling and batting against his thigh. He opens his mouth with a reply, but an arm flies in front of his chest, silencing him. Mary Margaret steps forward. “Come on, Regina, we’re all doing our part to look for Henry. Hook included. He’s even been…surprisingly helpful.”
"That’s my point,” Regina replies smugly.
"You’re just angry because we haven’t had any leads yet, and you’re looking to blame it on someone," Rumple cuts in smoothly as he steps over a log, passing the three of them with a shake of his head.
"Be that as it may, I’m not here to babysit their hormones," Regina hisses, lowering her voice as Emma comes crashing through a thicket, her hair wild around her face.
"What’s taking you guys? Hook’s got a limp and we’re moving faster than you all," she asks, eyes wide.
"Swan?" Hook’s voice echoes, a moment later appearing from the brush that Emma has just emerged from. "Where did you g—oh."
Emma throws him a dubious look before turning her attention back to the others. “You need to keep up, we have a lot of ground to cover before nightfall,” she says firmly.
"We know, honey, we’re going as fast as we can," Mary Margaret sighs tiredly, eying her and Regina’s heeled boots and Rumple’s cane.
"Well, we could split up," Hook offers, stepping forward with a shrug. "I can take Swan and we’ll comb the western end while you lot take the east. And we’ll meet back at the ship by dusk."
"I don’t think that’s a good idea," David says instantly, glaring at the pirate.
"Why not, mate? The crocodile is the only other one familiar with the island,” Hook replies, raising a challenging eyebrow. All eyes turn to Rumple, who shrugs in agreement.
"Then I’ll go with you two."
"Right, that’s a lovely plan; leave the queen and your wife alone together with only Rumplestitlskin between them."
David opens his mouth, but closes it a moment later, looking to Mary Margaret with a frown.
"This is ridiculous," Emma huffs, stepping between her father and Hook. "It makes sense. Hook and I are moving fast anyway."
"That’s what I’m afraid of," David mumbles under his breath.
Emma stares at him for a moment, her nose wrinkled as if she’s trying to decide if she heard him right. “What was that?” David only grunts in reply, turning on his heel and walking back to his wife with his fists balled at his sides.
"Dusk, then?" Emma repeats, looking to her mother for confirmation, who nods curtly.
Hook flicks his gaze between Emma and David with a knowing smirk. He then clears his throat, swiveling to face Emma. “Shall we, darling?” He asks, bowing and extending his hand as if for a dance.
She brushes past it, rolling her eyes. Hook glances over his shoulder at David, throwing his hand and hook into the air in mock exasperation. “Swans. What are you going to do; can’t live with them, can’t live without them,” he quips.
"Hook!" comes Emma’s voice, already sounding faraway. As if he can’t resist, Hook passes one last condescending smirk to David before slipping off through the foliage after Emma.
The remaining four of them stand awkwardly still for a moment, until Rumple clears his throat impatiently and begins walking in the opposite direction from which Hook and Emma disappeared to. After a moment’s hesitation, Mary Margaret takes off after him, leaving David glaring at Regina.
"Hate to say I told you so," she murmurs vindictively, pursing her lips and relishing in watching him squirm. David sighs in the direction of Emma and Hook, as if willing the forest to send Emma barreling back through the brush.
He trusts Emma, and, even if he won’t admit it aloud, he trusts Hook, but he definitely doesn’t trust the two of them alone. But he has to.
"Even in Neverland," Regina laughs smugly, turning on her heel, "they grow up so fast."