To say things were okay between Neal and his father was an overstatement. Things were far from okay. Anger, hurt, sadness, resentment, and apprehension all cramped together. However, part of Neal wanted to try and fix things with his father and him. Would things ever be completely mended? It didn’t seem probable. But, he did want to try. At the very least they could come to an understanding and civility could be shared amongst the men.
So many years separated. So many years waiting and hoping and dreaming. So many years of fending for himself and so many years of protecting himself had passed by. He’d grown up to be self-sufficient and a survivor. He’d survived Neverland. He’d survived being alone. He’d survived betrayals. He’d survive all this, too. He hadn’t a choice in the matter. It didn’t mean the past did not hurt. It didn’t mean being alone didn’t hurt. It didn’t mean returning to Neverland didn’t hurt. It didn’t mean the betrayal didn’t hurt, either. It all did. But that was his lot in life and he’d be stronger for it.
He shrugged with the comment. “Yeah, well Neverland has that affect on people. Sleep’s hard when you’ve got nightmares to contend with,” Neal replied. The words came harsher then he meant, but his own walls were up. “You can sit if you want. I know that leg bugs you. I’m guessing you’ve got a bone to pick eh?” He gestured over at the crate; it was the only seating in the space.
He pressed his lips together. “I’m planning on staying in Storybrooke. I’m not abandoning my boy, not now and not ever. I’m not leaving Emma behind. Not again,” he explained. “I don’t know where I stand with them or with you, but I am going to be there.Rumplestiltskin