The Boy Who Ran Away
or the story of Bealfire
It all started with a boy that had lost his father. This was not uncommon at that time because the country was at war, but he had not lost his father in the war as the other boys had. He had lost him to a great darkness that had consumed all that was good in his father, all that he had loved. This darkness went by the name of magic.
The father that had loved him, cared for him, comforted him when his mother had been killed was gone. Magic had killed him or was killing him and replacing him with a cruel man filled with hate that hurt everyone around him. At times he thought he saw the loving peaceful man deep inside fighting against the darkness but the magic was strong and his father was not. He was a weak man a cowardly man and he needed Bea's to help him win this fight.
Bea needed something powerful, powerful enough to defeat the dark magic. There was only one thing he knew that was that powerful. More magic. So he called upon those who practiced the magic which was governed by the light. They gave him a cure to his fathers illness, but it was not powerful enough and he was not strong enough to defeat the darkness and free his father from the hold it had on him. The boy payed the price for his failure. He was banished to a strange new world alone without even the shell of his father to protect him.
After some time fate took pity on the boy and he found a new home with people that loved him and cared for him. Sadly it was not to be. Magic returned to take his new family from him. To steal them away to a world of darkness. He begged them to hide, to fight the pull that magic had on them. But it was fate that had brought magic to that household and fate can not be denied. In a last desperate effort he made a deal with the darkness. His life in exchange for those he loved.
For the second time in his short life he had done battle with the darkness and this time he had won. He had protected those he loved from the curse of magic. Still it had come with a price, a price he had to pay... or did he? He had freed his new family from their fate perhaps he could escape as well, create his own destiny. It was worth a try.
He did manage to evade it for a time. He found a new life with someone that he came to call a friend but you can not escape your destiny. One day the darkness came for him and his friend betrayed him. He was alone once again.
Several lifetimes later he finally manages to escape and find his way back to the world without magic. The world where he had once had a happy home with the Darlings. His experience with the darkness has left him scarred and the betrayal of his so called "friend" has left him unable to trust.
Now calling himself Neal, he made his own way in the world never letting anyone get close enough to hurt him. Then one day he meets a girl. She has the some look in her eye. The look of some that has be hurt, betrayed and abandoned, but there is also an aura of strength around her, of hope. It is seductive and he finds himself falling for her.
They travel together have adventures and he finally decides that it is time to try again. He could spend the rest of his days with her. He would put everything behind him and they could live a long, happy, ordinary
life together. All he needed to do was end the gypsy lifestyle he now led.
That night when he was attempting to dispose of the last things that tied him to that life he was approached by a man. The man told him that Emma had magic inside her, that it had claim to her. That she was fated to play a role in it's plan. At first Neal did not believe him. He did not want to believe. Then the man told him that he was from a land of magic and he knew who Neal really was.
Neal began to panic. The man knew. Did he know that he had escaped the world of darkness? Would he take him back there? What could he do? H could ask it could take him instead. It had worked before... No. He wouldn't let it take him again. He would not go though that again. He could run away with Emma. But the darkness would find her. It would find them and it would take her... It was fated. It was her destiny. Even if it didn't find them the magic was already inside her. It would consume her. I would turn her dark.
"What can I do?" He asked the man.
"You can leave" he said.
Run away. Just give up. He had never thought of that. He had always chosen to battle the darkness before, but it was a battle he could not win. No matter what he did the magic always took what in wanted in the end. He could not save Emma, but he could save himself. He would be dooming himself to the life of a coward. A fate that had made his fathers' and his fathers' fathers' life a living misery. Still even that pitiful existence would be better then being consumed by the darkness. He made his choice. He ran.
Years later he is still hunted by what he did. Then one day a postcard came with a single word written on it's face.
He had asked the man before he left if he would tell him wether or not the girl, Emma had won her battle with the darkness or not. That single word told him that she had. That she was stronger then him, something he had always known, that she had done what he couldn't. He hoped that she was happy and pushed her to the back of his mind.
Some time after the postcards arrival he found someone or she has found him. She was sweet and kind and ordinary and he has almost stopped looking over his shoulder for the magic to come and take him back. Until one day it came knocking at his door.
His father had found him, at least or the creature his father had become had found him, and with him was Emma. He couldn't believe it Emma and she was still Emma. The darkness hadn't consumed her. Her experience had soured her but it had not taken away her strength or her beauty. She told him that she had a son and he knew then that he had to make right the wrong he had done. He had been cowardly. She had proved that magic could be defeated, but it took strength, strength that he had not had before. He swore that from this point on he would be strong, for her and for Henry.
The Girl Who Could Not Love
or the story of Emma Swan
Emma had never known love. She had long ago stopped searching for it. She depended on only one person in her life, herself.
Then one day she found someone that shared her philosophy. They traveled together for a time depending on no one together. Until they both came to realize that this was no longer true.
They began to plan their life together. The future was warm and sunny and filled with hope. Then out of the blue he left her to take the fall for a crime he had committed before they had met. After he had left she learned that she was carrying his child, Neal's child. She could not keep it. She wouldn't know how to care for it or even how to love it so she gave it away.
Years later a boy appeared on her doorstep he said his name was henry and that he was her son. Then it happened again as it had with his father. All of a sudden, out of nowhere she knew. She loved him. She wanted to care for him. She wanted him to be apart of her life.
One thing led to another and she finally found the people that had always loved her but had had to give her up and she realized that she loved them too. She also met someone who like her had given up his child and had since regretted it.
Together they found his lost child and as soon as they did it became clear that this was not her first time finding him. It was Neal. She wanted nothing to do with him but he convinced her to sit down and talk. They did and told him he had a son. He insisted on coming back with her to get to know his son. She didn't want him to. He would just break Henry's heart when he left.
At least that's what she told herself. The truth was that as soon as she'd seen him it had all started to come back the euphoria, the giddy joy, the days when they had done nothing but lie in bed all day and still she had never felt happier. She didn't want to feel that way again not if she knew it would inevitably end.
Still henry would never forgive her if she was the reason he never knew his father, so she agreed.
Some days past and Neal remained pleasant and mature when around her. Sometimes they would talk and he explained why he has left her and he apologized. "It isn't enough" she told herself "don't trust him"
Still when he introduced her to his fiancee she felt a twinge of jealousy come to life inside her. "You don't want him" she said "let her make the biggest mistake of her life."
She watched him with Henry. He loved him. She could tell. Had he felt the same way about her once? No. He couldn't have. But he's changed now he is someone Henry can depend on.
Time went by and Emma continued to grapple with her feelings.Then one one day they were betrayed by someone they never saw coming. Neal was shot. He was dying and she couldn't save him.
She was going to lose him again, but why did she care? Henry needed him. She needed him. She realized. She loved him. She had all along. After all he'd done she had never stopped loving him.
"I love you too." he said and she knew he meant it. Then he was gone.
Here's how I see it...
I know its clique but it really is true that you never get over your first love. I do believe it's unrealistic for your first to be The One. It's possible but rare. However your first will always be special and unique no matter what.
Even if you find someone else that you love more. The experience of discovering love for the first time will never happen again and despite everything you will always long for it. When the chance comes along to try again it's very hard to resist even if it may not be the smartest choice. At least that is what I personally have experienced and that is what I see happening with Emma. That is probably why I'm so drawn to the ship.
I also don't believe Neal left Emma just because August said so. He left because he learned that she was involved with magic and he was scared. It was a cowardly thing to do but hey it runs in the family. (jk... sorry Rumple fans. I couldn't resist.)
But really, think of it from Neal's point of view. Magic has taken away everything he ever cared about. First his father, then after he thought he'd left it far be hide it found him again and took away the happy life that he could have lived with the Darlings. I can only assume that the next 300 years were not happy ones but it is obvious that they left him scared.
Like Emma he has issues trusting people. Unlike Hook who can at least be sure that Milah loved him. Neal has no such assurance. He believes his mother left him and his father betrayed him. Anyone else that he's come close to caring about have either hurt him (Hook) are been hurt (the Darlings).
I believe that he came closer to loving someone with Emma then he had in a long long time, but their budding romance was not enough to get him involved in something that he had spent his whole life escaping.
Now I hear what you're all saying. It's cant be true love if something as trivial as that broke them up. Well, I don't think Swanfire is meant to be "true" love. I see it more as your everyday sweet/complicated kind of love that the average person experiences. I find it refreshing alongside all the other epic fairytale couples on the show. A bit of ordinary (almost) lost in a world of extraordinary.
Still despite his fear when Neal learned about Henry he broke the chain of cowardice that had plagued his family for generations and willingly exposed himself to what he feared more then anything in the world so that he could be with his son.
Don't get me wrong, he still has a lot of work to do to prove himself worthy of Emma again, but that journey to gain back each others trust is what interests me about their relationship. Hook could also one day be worthy of Emma but he has yet to show any inclination for doing such a thing. I guess the question is who can get to that point first.
Thats exactly what I love about Swanfire. Snowing and most of the other romances on this show were predestined they will "always find each other". Like I said, I don't believe Swanfire is "true love" ( I see true love as being a very rare thing that doesn't happen to everyone) but I do think they are in love. Will it work out? Who knows, but I think it has a chance. The unsurety of Swanfire is what makes it so interesting and (for me) relatable and realistic.