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Hook

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Hook

 

The Mayor catches movement out of the corner of her eye. The conference room door opening, interrupting the head of the Department of Sanitation’s power point presentation. A sense of foreboding precedes her assistant walking in bearing a grim expression. Swiping a finger across the screen of the muted cell phone sitting next to the yellow legal pad adorned with notes and doodles, there are no notifications of missed calls or texts. One word leaves the Mayors lips.

“Henry?”

Shaking her head, the assistant hands the Mayor a folded, pink telephone message slip.

Unfolding the paper, a quick glance and a quicker decision.

“This meeting will have to be rescheduled.” Purple smoke swirling where the Mayor was sitting.

 


 

 

The ambulance is still parked at the Emergency Room entry, its back doors standing open. Regina glances inside, taking note of the blood on the floor along with the detritus resulting from the haste in which trauma cases are treated en route to the hospital.

 

 

“Regina?”

Turning to the sound of the voice, Regina mentally prepares herself for the onslaught.

“Regina, what are you doing here?” Snow snaps out.

“I am her emergency contact, dear. As the Mayor, I am required to be notified anytime a city employee is injured, as you should well know from your tenure.” A sniff. “Or was your time in office too brief for you to become aware of the responsibilities?”

“You know I was trying to maintain control”

“As I recall, you lost control of your first town meeting within mere minutes of its beginning. Not a good way to instill confidence amongst the populace.” An almost feline grin. “Perhaps that is why you were ousted.” Regina turns, gazing hatefully at the hard, molded plastic chairs before selecting one. “Or was it because you forgot to have the main lines coming in to town repaired? No? Or possibly that it slipped your mind that the generators required fuel to keep running?”

 


 

 

Emma is sitting in her new rental house, on the couch sipping coffee. Just sitting in the quiet. Admiring her new place. Leather couches, two recliners and big screen TV all atop an area rug.

Turning her head to gaze into the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances gleaming, copper bottomed pans hanging from the overhead rack. Picturing Henry eating breakfast at the bar, backpack on the floor.

“It all came together, better than I thought it would,” musing aloud to no one.

Some items had been purchased as soon as they returned from Neverland and put into storage. Snow wanting a baby was the excuse Emma needed to move out without revealing that living with them was slowly driving her mad.

The mix of brand new, Boston and New York reflected where she had been and where roots were finally being sown.

A place of her own, to come and go as she pleased. A proper bedroom for Henry. Private bath for herself. A double garage to house the Bug along with various odds and ends.

The gentle chimes of the clock striking of the hour breaks Emma from her reverie “Up and at ‘em, Swan. Snow will be here soon.”

 


 

Henry skidding around the corner looking frantic broke the hostile staring contest. “How is she?”

Regina smoothly stood, arms out for the hug that was rapidly approaching. “We don’t know yet, they are still evaluating her condition.” Releasing Henry from their hug, Regina kisses his forehead.

“What happened? How did she get hurt? Was she on duty? I thought she had the day off? We were going to”

Regina interrupts the rapid questioning “Henry, sit down and we will tell you all we know.”

Retaking her seat, Regina motions for Henry to sit between herself and Snow.

“We were supposed to have breakfast at Emma’s new place and when I got there the door was open,” Snow begins to explain.

 


 

 

Emma grabs a carton of eggs, bacon, butter and grated cheese from the refrigerator while humming along to the music playing softly from the docking station. While placing her bounty on the counter top, the doorbell rings.

“It’s unlocked, Snow! Come on in!” Selecting a pan from the overhead rack, Emma switches on the burner, plops down the pan and adds butter.

The doorbell rings again.

“Okay, okay…you got your hands full or something?” 

 


 

 

“And when I looked in, although this was my first visit, I knew something was wrong. So I called out for Emma while I got my cell out and called David. I found your mother hurt and hung up on David so I could call for the ambulance and, well, here we are!”

Although Regina appreciated Snow skimming over the details for Henry’s sake, the perky way she ended was entirely uncalled for as well as the nauseating hand patting. Suppressing a smirk, Regina noticed Henry pulling his hands away from under Snow’s and stuffing them into his pockets.

The squawk of radio traffic causes all three to turn their heads as David comes around the corner.

“David, have you found?” Snow begins.

Quickly shaking his head ‘No’, David leans down to kiss his wife’s cheek and sits down. “Any news?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay. I've got Ruby, Leroy, Mulan and Tink out looking. No joy at Granny’s or the harbor. The Rabbit Hole isn't open, but Mulan checked the building. Ruby is trying to track the scent while Leroy and Tink are looking at other places. I gave them all- well, not Mulan who has the other patrol car- radios. Did you two think of someplace else?”

Both Regina and Snow shake their heads ‘No’. Henry appears to be deep in thought.

 


  

Opening the door, Emma finds not Snow but Killian. “Hello, love.”

 


 

Dr. Whale walks around the corner. Immediately Snow and David surround him, pelting him with questions.

“Calm down. Sheriff Swan is stable. Several lacerations have been cleaned and stitched. The shoulder dislocation has been manipulated and re-positioned. I would like to have the Sheriff undergo an MRI to check the placement of the shoulder as well as an x-ray of her neck, however this is where we run into some difficulty.” While Whale is the best doctor in Storybrooke, his parsimonious tone reveals his terrible bedside manner. “Sheriff Swan is being most uncooperative.”

“I’d be happy to talk to her, doctor.” Snow volunteers brightly, moving towards the doorway of the waiting area.

“I am not sure that would be for the best, Snow.” Stops the princess in her tracks. Looking around, Whale spots Henry and Regina. “Madam Mayor, if you would accompany me.” A sweeping gesture indicates that Regina is to go first.

Standing and smoothing the imperceptible wrinkles from her dress, Regina nods once to Henry before heading around the corner.

Whale catches up at the No Admittance door. “Regina, you need to be warned-the Sheriff took a terrific beating today.”

Regina follows Dr. Whale past a warren of curtained off treatment areas and through a door marked CCU. This new room is large with a quarter circle nursing desk crammed with computer monitors, some of which are displaying what must be patient vital signs. Mirroring the desk are 8 glass walled rooms in a quarter circle. Although it is cool, it is not the ambient air temperature that causes Regina’s skin to goose bump.

“It is okay now, Sheriff…you are safe…he is not here…” a soft female voice, obviously trying to calm Emma down alerts Regina to which room she is needed in.

Standing in the open sliding glass doorway, Regina is confused to see the hospital bed empty. An IV stand with a hanging bag of fluid is beeping its displeasure, the end of the tubing lying on the floor is a growing puddle. The machines for monitoring patient vitals and other various medical readings are flashing angry red. Turning her head slowly to the right, Regina sees the back of the voice still trying to coax Emma into bed. The crouched woman so focused on her patient that she startles when Regina clears her throat “Allow me to try, dear.”

Waiting for the nurse to scooch back to gain room enough to stand, Regina crosses her arms over her chest and taps a foot. Once she is upright and turned around, Regina dismisses her without a word.

Crossing the few steps back to the bed, Regina grabs the folded blanket wadded up at the foot as well as the blanket hanging halfway off. Returning to the area where the nurse was, Regina hesitates momentarily.

Emma has somehow wedged herself under a chair in what would be the corner of the outside wall if the room had corners. She is leaning back against the side of the wooden wardrobe for patients street clothing, her legs curled up under her body so that all is visible is a small portion of her battered face in the space left open between the bottom of the back of the chair and the top of the seat.

Emma is crying and murmuring half words that sound like pleas for mercy. It is clear that Emma, though conscious, is not in the here and now.

Dropping the folded blanket on the floor, Regina first kneels then maneuvers into a sitting position, settling herself in. The second blanket forgotten, left in a pile on the floor.

“Ms. Swan. Honestly, you have nerve. Dragging me down here, away from several important meetings” Regina continues talking, Mayor mask and voice, taking Emma to task.

The crying lessens and the mumbling begins to taper off.

A bruised, bloody knuckled hand tentatively touches Regina’s. “Regina?” so softly spoken.

“Emma. Are you ready to get up off the floor, dear?”

“Um, I guess…”

“No, let me help you. Wait until I move the chair, okay?” Regina moves as quickly as she can, getting up and straightening her clothing. Picking up the chair, pivoting in the small space and putting it down, mostly out of the way. “Okay, now. Uncurl your legs” turning back to face Emma, Regina gets her first unimpeded view.

Emma has a black eye, bruised cheek…well, the entire left side of her face was one huge swollen bruise. Golden hair matted in places with blood. A cervical collar around her neck, she is holding her right shoulder oddly. The hospital gown, usually open at the back, was put on backwards allowing an angry red cut to be glimpsed between the ties. Knees abraded, legs also badly bruised. One bruise looks like a boot print.

“Right. Now. Let me have your hands or do you want to get up on your own?” the calming deep breathing techniques are not working. Concern is warring with retribution, magic held at bay in the waiting area singing in her veins. Emma first.

“I’ll do it, I've got it…just gimme a minute.”

Emma does start moving but for some reason her right hand doesn't find purchase against the cold linoleum flooring. 

“Emma. Be still.” Regina gestures and Emma is lifted smoothly, gently off the floor. Floating over to the bed, landing like a feather. Top sheet and blanket are pulled up. “There. Much better.” Pulling the chair to the bedside, Regina sits. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not yet. Who… who is here?”

“Henry, David and Snow. David has Mulan, Ruby, Tink, and Leroy looking for your assailant.”

“I don’t want Henry to see me like this. Have David call Mulan in to take a statement from Snow and myself since neither he nor I can. Oh, and photographs of the scene and…stuff.”

“Alright. Now. Why won’t you consent to the tests Whale wants?”

“I am holding on to evidence. Please, have Mulan come here.”

Loathe to leave, Regina understands that Emma needs the illusion of control. “I will be right back.”

 


 

  

The telltale click of his mother’s heels has Henry racing around the corner, waiting for her to come through the No Admittance door.

“How is Emma?”

“She is awake and hurting, dear.” Raising her eyes to include David and Snow now hovering behind Henry.

“David, Emma wants Mulan to handle this case. Please radio her to come here, now. After Emma turns over some evidence, Mulan will take your statement Snow. Then I would like you to take Henry to Belle.”

David turns to walk back around the corner to the waiting area, already on his radio.

“No Mom! I want to see Emma!” Henry is just shy of throwing a tantrum

“Henry you will see her tomorrow, I promise.”

“But I, we want to see her too!” Snow, however, is in full tantrum mode.

“Both of you calm down. Emma is not ready for visitors yet as there are more tests Dr. Whale needs to do.”

 


 

 

Blinking stupidly at seeing Killian at her door and not Snow, Emma quickly recovered.

In the calmest, unfriendly tone she can manage, Emma inquires “Do you have a police emergency?”

Holding up his hand and hook in surrender, trying to pull off sincerity “I just wanted to talk to you.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘No’. Good bye.” Moving to close the door, Emma isn't all that surprised when Hook puts his foot across the threshold blocking the door.

“Swan, come on.” Dashing grin than doesn't work, “Give me another chance.”

“What part of ‘no’ is too difficult for you? The no when I caught you lying to me? The no when I figured out you are working with Rumple? The no when you were getting a blow job behind the Rabbit Hole?”

“You won’t even let me explain. She meant nothing to me, I just needed to”

Frustrated and getting a bit pissed, Emma interrupts. “It may have meant nothing to you but that means something to me. I already gave you several chances. I remember you working with Zelena- trying to kidnap Henry, having cursed lips. Before that helping Cora. Leaving Regina to be tortured. Do I have to go on? You said you had changed but all I see is you doing what you want regardless of others.”

“Just like you moving and not telling me.”

“I am not with you. I am not in love with you. I have no obligation to tell you anything, Hook. Please leave.”

“I traded my ship! My ship for you!!

“No, you chose to trade your ship for a magic bean. I was never part of the deal!”

“You are mine, mine do you hear? Mine…to do with what I please” using the hook around Emma’s bicep he yanks Emma down and toward the door, causing her to fall forward head first into the door then the threshold. Unhooking from her arm, Hook steps over Emma’s body and into the house to drag her in.

 


 

Walking back into Emma’s CCU room, Regina noted that the IV had been restarted, the other medical monitoring equipment happily making squiggles, lines and/or numbers. Emma had her eyes closed but was not sleeping. Her jaw flexing, one hand fisting and releasing the blanket, a few silent tears escaping- this was pain.

“They haven’t given you anything for the pain yet?”

“No, something about after a test or scan thing.”

“I see.” Retaking her seat. “Mulan is here taking Snow’s statement. I asked your Deputy to do that first so Snow could take Henry to Belle’s. David is off assisting with the search.”

“Okay.”

“Rest, if you are able. I will be right here.”

 

Sometime later, Regina sees Mulan enter the CCU unit and stop at the nurses’ desk.

“Emma, Mulan is here.” Regina quietly comments. Emma’s eyes snap open.

 A brief discussion later, Mulan enters Emma’s room.

“Sheriff.”

“You need to collect the clothing, take photographs of injuries, request copies of medical reports, and tag this” pulling the blanket and sheet down to reveal a familiar hook gripped firmly “as evidence. I assume you have already documented and photographed the residence.”

“Yes I have, Sheriff.”

A nurse bustles in with another chair, sets it down and leaves. A different nurse walks in with a white plastic bag emblazoned Storybrooke Hospital and excessively taped shut. Handing the bag to Mulan, she turns to leave.

“Pardon me, ma’am. I need you to sign a form before you leave this room.” Mulan calmly explains. Setting the hospital bag on the end of the bed, Mulan takes a black strap off her shoulder, hefting a big black hard shell evidence collection kit onto the chair just brought in. Snapping it open, she pulls out a clipboard with a form already attached. Adding a few notes, she hands it to the nurse, briefly explaining its purpose and asking her to sign by the ‘x’. Receiving the clipboard back, Mulan thanks the nurse and nods that she may leave.

Fingering the plastic, Mulan frowns.

“Don’t worry. I insisted that each article of clothing had to be placed in a separate paper bag, labeled with time and date and the nurse’s full name, and then taped shut. I think that should satisfy chain of custody.”

Nodding in agreement, Mulan takes the form off the clipboard, opens the clipboard itself and inserts the paperwork.

“Ready for photographs, Sheriff?” Not waiting for a response, Mulan continues “Then I can collect the weapon.” Pulling items from the kit.

Regina stands up, leaning towards Emma. Her hands go to her stomach, one over the other, clutching at the wrist. Moving now. Almost wringing. Start to reach to touch Emma, wanting to express comfort, care but instead wrap themselves around the patient railing. “I’ll just step out, Emma. Get a cup of coffee or something, okay?” Regina’s eyes express all that she didn’t/can’t say. I want to stay. I want to know what he did to you. I want to do everything to him that he did to you, just for starters. But I also know you will tell me when you are ready, so I’ll just go.

Emma reaches out, lets her fingers barely touch, caress Regina’s nearest hand. “’Kay.”

 


 

Dazed, Emma lets Hook drag her inside thinking it might tire him out. Willing her body to be as heavy as possible. Element of surprise. Make him think I am knocked out. Her right shoulder collides with a wall, the pain is intense. Trying to control her breathing, eyes still closed, she feels the difference in the flooring. Kitchen. Hot, buttered pan.

What Emma wasn't expecting so soon was a hard kick, then another to her legs. Curling into a fetal position to make herself smaller works, her back absorbing the kicks, until Hook grabs her hair, wrapping it around his fist, yanking her head back, tearing out what feels like a handful.

“I know you are awake, tell me no now, wench!”

Emma can feel the hook at the hollow of her throat, digging in, suddenly slashing downwards, cutting/tearing her shirt, bra, and skin. Wet warmth.

No explodes in her mind, the pan leaps off the stove and swings itself at Hook’s head. The resounding thunk, groan, his body falling atop Emma.

Right arm not working, Emma uses her magic to move him off. Sitting on the floor of her kitchen, back against the cabinets, breathing heavily…thinking.

Removing the hook wasn't nearly as hard as she thought it would be.

 


  

Mulan finds Regina pacing in the waiting area, a cup of vending machine coffee in one hand.

“Madam Mayor, I am finished. I am to tell you they took the Sheriff for x-rays, she was… concerned you might be worried if you went back to an empty room.”

A flicker of a smile. “Thank you, Deputy. Any word from the search?”

“He has not been located yet. A garage of stolen bicycles, an empty farm house used by squatters, that sort of thing. If I can be of further service,” Mulan hands Regina a business card “give me a call Mayor Mills, anytime.” Bowing, Mulan takes her leave.