She barely sets foot at Granny’s, little bell still ringing above her head, that a snort escapes Emma’s lips before she can stop herself. Having the unfamous Captain Hook sitting on a bar stool, wearing jeans and a shirt and his goddam leather coat, focused on the menu in his hand, does that to you. She puts a hand to her mouth, trying not to laugh out loud, especially with the look Ruby gives her, half way between hilarity and exasperation.
Of course, true to himself, Henry doesn’t see anything wrong with that and greets the man with a “ahoy captain” that has at least the merit of making Hook smile. Still, his eyes don’t leave the menu, a deep frown on his brows, even when he holds his good hand out to Henry in that intricate handshake of them they’ve created during their short time together on the Jolly Roger.
(Emma pretends her heart doesn’t swell when they do that. It’s not that bloody adorable, seriously.)
“Lass, what’s…” Hook frowns, reading slowly, “a banana split? And how do you manage to have bananas all year long, for all it matters?”
Ruby opens her mouth even if no sound comes out of it, giving mother and son their usual hot cocoa. Emma feels bad for the poor waitress, because Hook has obviously been at it for a long time. “It’s… you know what, never mind. You’re not having this for breakfast. Pick waffles or something.”
Hook looks at her, confused, then back at the menu again, ever more confused, and even Henry has to stiff a laugh now because it’s just ridiculous that way. The boy shares a look with Emma, who just shakes her head and rolls her eyes. They go back to their drinks in an amused silence.
“Emma?” They all – the four of them – turn their head to the door in a perfect synchronisation, to see Neal standing there awkwardly. His smile is tense as he waves to Henry, then focus back on Emma. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
She wants to tell him no, fuck off, I’m spending some quality time with my son right now and don’t you know breakfast is sacred, but said son is sitting right next to her and she can’t take that liberty. So she shrugs instead and replies “yeah, if you want” as unenthusiastic as possible without sounding rude.
She comes next to Neal, arms folded against her chest like a shield, and raises an eyebrow. He’s clever enough to take that as his cue to speak, the words tumbling out of his mouth in his hurry to be done with it. “Can I spend the day with Henry?”
She opens her mouth, closes it, glances at Henry above her shoulder then opens her mouth again. Nothing comes and she’s once again very tempted to tell him to fuck off because sharing her son with Regina is already hard enough, because it’s all too much, and can’t she just spend a single day alone with her son, is that too much to ask.
Silence lingers between them, heavy and awkward. That is, until she hears Hook’s voice, clear as bell. “Why would you put carrots in your cakes?” The giggle is out of her lips before she can stop it because Emma Swan isn’t really that good under pressure and that pirate is too much and everything else is too much right now and she just laughs.
Of course, Neal suddenly realises that Hook is indeed here – how he missed him in the first place, she has no idea – and his face goes blank. “What is he doing here?”
He says it loud enough for Hook to hear, and the pirate finally lets go of his menu to stare back. They look like peacocks during mating season, all puffy chests and deadly glares, which is just bloody ridiculous.
“He’s having breakfast. That’s what people do at a diner in the morning.”
“He’s having breakfast with you?”
And with that, Emma knows she’s done for the day, knows there’s no way she can have a civil conversation with Neal after that. He’s been pushing her since the Echo Cave, pushing all the wrong buttons in the name of fighting for you, and she just wants to tell him to stop, to tell him it’s not that easy. It’s not how it works, not with her, not with them. And his obvious jealousy is just too much, because she already has too much to think about, Henry to take care of and Snow’s (potential) new baby to deal with, and the last thing she needs is for Neal to add more bullshit on top of that.
So, quite naturally, she snaps. “Yeah, he’s sitting next to us, you have a problem with that?”
If there are ‘abort mission’ signs above her head, Neal choses to ignore them. The fool. “You can’t trust him. He’s a… a pirate.”
“Yeah, well, he’s my pirate, so…”
She freezes, and Neal freezes, and it’s as if everybody in the diner hold their breath at the same time, all eyes on them. She holds her breath too, waits for a quip, an innuendo, that doesn’t come. When she looks at him, Hook stares right back, all emotions washed out of his face, only leaving stupor. He might come to the same conclusion, because his lips curl into his trademark smirk, if only for a second, as if he knows it’s what he’s expected to do. Only nothing comes and his face goes blank. His eyes are wide, though, so very wide, and she can read the hundredth of emotions flashing past them.
He jumps to his feet, takes three long strides until he brushes her arm with his hook. “Can I have a word?” Pointed look at Neal above her shoulder. “In private.”
She can only nod, not trusting her treacherous mouth right now, and follows him to the backroom. His hook never leaves her arm.
She waits until the door closes behind them to face him. “Listen, Hook, I…”
Whatever she wanted to say dies against his lips as he kisses her, hard and rough, her words turning into a soft moan at the back of her throat. His hooked arm snakes around her waist, pulling her to him until her frantic heartbeat melts with his, while his good hand finds its way to her hair. Her own hands find the collar of his coat, the leather familiar against her fingers. So are his lips against hers, tilting his head just the right way, putting just enough pressure, tongues meeting and teeth grazing. She feels more than hear him whispering something against her mouth and forces herself to break the kiss and look at him.
His eyes are so very dark, his lips swollen, and he’s panting in a way that should probably be forbidden in all the realms. It’s mesmerizing. She still manages to raise an eyebrow in a silent question. He smiles tentatively, almost shy, and breathes out a “yours”. Her heart misses a beat, her lips curls into a grin. She may share Henry with Neal and Regina, she may be still dealing with the fact she’ll have to share her parents with a kid soon enough, but at least that much is sure. Killian Jones is hers and only hers, no question asked. He’s hers and no one else’s. Nobody to share him with, nobody but her her her.
“Mine,” she whispers back.
He growls, low and deep. But when he kisses her again, the pressure of his mouth is softer, tongue teasing her lips, fingers brushing her cheek. He takes his goddam time, leaving her dizzy and breathless as he explores her mouth. His lips then travel on her face, kissing her nose, cheeks, grazing her jaw, brushing against her neck. She’s melting in his arms, panting and making little noises at the back of her throat she would be very ashamed of if the situation was different – but it’s him and he’s not going to judge her. If anything, it only seems to make him more ardent in his affections, biting her earlobe, sucking on her pulsing point, and he repeats it, again and again, like a mantra, like he’s afraid it’ll stop being the truth if he stops saying it. Yours yours yours yours.
“Hook – Killian.”
“Yes, my love?”
He does as she says, keeping her close to him and “as you wish.” It’ enough to feel weak in the knees again because if only he knew. (If only he knew what it meant, he’d keep saying it, again and again, with a small smile on his lips, until she’d accept the words, the feelings, until she’d accept that true love might indeed not be something only out of Henry’s book.)
His eyes are an open book to her, hopeful and loving, excited and terrorised. He is, she realises, afraid she’ll break his heart, afraid this is just a trick, like a kid who’s been told Christmas is cancelled when he saw the present under the tree. It breaks her heart a little, this vulnerability, how willing he is to put his heart, his fate, in her hands. It scares her to death, not used to it, not used to receiving without being asked anything in return. His love for her is selfless, pure, knowing she might never be his even if he is hers.
And how stupid is that, seriously?
He’s the first man she’s ever met who won’t try to possess her, to win her over like she’s only a goddam prize and, up until now, he would never had made the first move, always waiting for her accord, always making sure she’s the one making the choices. She didn’t think that kind of men existed, they’re the stuff of legends, only living in books. (There’s irony in that, of course.) She isn’t quite sure what to do of that, of him, but she knows one thing: she’s not going to let him go, not going to let him leave her.
(As if he would leave anyway, the stubborn idiot.)
“Emma?” he asks, shyly, and only then does she realise they’ve been silent for quite a long time, forehead against forehead in a tight embrace.
She nods, slowly, takes a deep breath. “I’m yours, too.” It feels like a leap in the void, scary yet exciting, as she offers her heart on a platter for him to do as he pleases.
He’ll take great care of it.