Swear On Her Name
The stench is stifling. The heat of bodies piled upon bodies being almost too much to bear. But his revenge matters far too much to give in now. Cora gave him a job to do, and he intends to carry it out. Gain the heroes trust, lead them astray. Get the compass, get back to Cora and her sparkly dirt. And go and skin himself a crocodile.
The waiting has started to become excruciating. How long could four bloody women take? But finally he hears footsteps nearing, he switches his expression into the poor, helpless blacksmith character that Cora had instructed him to play.
The women's voices reach his ears, he bites back a smirk at the horror and despair that lies in their words. Their discussion of the ogre attack, their description of the carnage around them sends a thrill through his veins.
He shifts slightly as their voices edge closer, hoping that one of them will see the hand that now feels a cold chill on its skin. Sure enough, a high voice called out.
"Hey! Hey! Look!" He hates to admit it, but her voice is music to his ears. The soft femininity of her voice wracked with individuality that tells him of a similar past to his own. Oh, we are going to have some fun…
A hand reaches his own, pulling him from the carnage a top him. He immediately switches deeply into his character.
"Please…" His own voice makes him feel sick, the pathetic nature of it sending nausea rushing through him. "Please help me." Ugh… The life of a coward…
Still, he keeps up his charade, the blazing sun hitting his face as he stares up at the women around him. Two he has already seen before, and is quite well acquainted with. One looks like a warrior, dressed in an armour unlike any he has even witnessed before in his travels. Another is evidently from this world, in a long purple gown that appears far too regal for the current situation.
Strange clothing catches his eye, a short-haired woman in the oddest apparel looks at him worriedly, before turning to the other woman. And his jaw almost drops. She is quite possibly the most stunning creature in all the realms. He looks past her interesting and intriguingly tight clothing choices, noticing the way the sun shines against her golden tresses.
She looks strong, tough, and is utterly gorgeous. Gods. How I'd love to take her back to my ship and have my devilish way with her… But he keeps his facade. He won't let some blonde goddess distract him from getting his revenge on the Crocodile. Never.
The women are kind. The blonde and the warrior lass are wary of him, that's for sure. But they help him out of the bodies and wander off to fetch some water. Biding his time, he hides his face in his hand, pretending to be traumatised by the events caused by Cora, but really keeping a careful ear out.
His years as a pirate captain had granted him with a keen sense of hearing, listening for mutinies from within his crew and ending the traitors' miserable lives before they had a chance. The two women edge their way closer to him, goblets of water in their grips. He can just about hear their conversation, the way they discuss the backstory he had spun a few months prior.
"Said he lost his hand in an ogre attack. Why would Cora leave a survivor?" The warrior woman appears to say, trying to keep her voice low but failing tremendously (much to his pleasure).
"It's messy. Doesn't make sense…" He bites back a laugh. She doesn't trust you one bit…
"You think he's lying?" So… the warrior woman supposedly believes him… That's a start…
They are so close to him now, trying desperately to keep their voices low, but his hearing is far too good. He keeps his head down, acting sad and horrified.
"I think Cora's tricked us before. I don't want that to happen again." The beautiful blonde stands next to him, holding out a cup of water. "Here you go."
Time to act the victim.
"I can't thank you enough for your kindness. Fortune, it seems, has seen fit to show me favour."
He isn't surprised when she asks him how he escaped, his answer readily prepared.
"She attacked at night - slaughtered everyone in one fell swoop." He adds a quiver to his voice for dramatic effect, sinking into the role of the coward. "When she started ripping out people's heart, I hid under the bodies of those who had already been killed. Pretended to be dead myself. Mercifully, the ruse worked."
She raises an eyebrow at him, and it takes every inch of him to bite back a smouldering smirk in return.
"So much for fortune favouring the brave."
He makes a mental note. She's a feisty one. Something about her sarcastic tone sets him in a state of awe at the woman, something that he has to push down, quipping back with a phrase drenched in defensive sarcasm.
"It was all I could do to survive."
And then, she does something he doesn't expect. Something that sends a fire racing through him. She leans forwards, face close to his, her voice a whisper that sends a million shivers down his spine.
"I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm pretty good at knowing when someone is lying to me."
He swallows roughly. Who does she think she is? He whispers back.
"I'm telling you the truth."
Her soft smile is unconvincing. He knows she doesn't believe him. But perhaps with enough charm, he can sway her opinion.
The pixie-haired woman peaks his interest, mentioning the town Cora had referred to as housing the crocodile. He's further intrigued when she mentions a grandchild.
"You have a grandson?" She looks far too young to have a grandchild… His query, innocent enough, allows him to possibly make a headway into them trusting him. He acts like he is truly interested in her family.
He is disappointed when she replies bluntly, not caring to go into detail about how she could possibly have a child and grandchild. He guesses it's due to the curse that forced him to be frozen for twenty-eight years.
"Well, I know this land well." Time to face the music… "I can guide you-"
His head is pulled back by a rough tug on his hair. All and any hope he had swiftly fades as the blonde's voice, dropping with venom, whispers in his ear.
"You're not gonna guide us anywhere, until you tell us who you really are."
Just what he bloody needed, tied to a tree by four woman. After closer inspection, he had come to realise that the short-haired woman had a recognisable face. Snow White.
And he had finally learnt the names of the three other women as they forced him up against the rough bark of the tree. The warrior woman was Mulan, the regal brunette was Aurora. The blonde referred to Snow White as Mary Margaret for some bloody reason.
And the blonde herself, well… Swan. Emma Swan. He had to admit it. But it suited her. He bites back a wince as Mulan roughly tugs on the rope, letting it chafe against his waist uncomfortably.
He resorts to his pathetic, whimpering persona. I'm going to see this through.
"I already told you. I'm just a blacksmith."
The Swan girl simply rolls her eyes at him, causing him to clench his jaw in frustration.
"Sure you are." Then she whistles loudly. Bugger. "You don't want to talk to us? Maybe, you'll talk to the ogres when they rip you limb from limb."
Oh, bloody fucking hell… The trees around them start to shake as the ogres start to approach. One last try and then he'll tell them. Damn Cora to hell, he's a survivor and is not about to let four woman end his life.
"You… You can't just leave me here like this!" He shouts after them, trying desperately to get them to believe him.
"What if he's telling the truth?"
Damn. Oh, bloody hell, the jig is up.
He stares at Swan's retreating back, before rolling his eyes and gritting his teeth. He lets the blacksmith character go, instead bringing the pirate back into play.
"Good for you!" She turns, finally seeing him as the man he is. He smirks, devilishly. "You bested me. I can count the amount of people who have done that on one hand."
She walks back to him, looking up with a haughty expression in her gaze. She really isn't in the mood for any kind of shit… Well, I guess it's my job to give her some.
"That supposed to be funny?"
Oh, making jokes about my hand? Clever lass…
"Who are you?"
He sighs inwardly.
"Killian Jones. But, most people have taken to calling me by my more colourful moniker." He pauses for dramatic effect. "Hook."
Snow White is next to talk. "Hook." The realisation on her face makes him want to grin, if not for the current and life-threatening situation he has found himself in.
"Check my satchel."
She pulls out his namesake, gaping as the sun glints off the metal. He longs to feel the weight at the end of his arm again, to tear through the coarse ropes holding him against this bloody tree.
"As in Captain Hook?"
The Swan girl's voice forces his gaze back to her, a smirk gracing his features.
"Ah, so you've heard of me."
Of course she had heard of him. Who hadn't? The most fearsome pirate in all of the realms.
"You better hurry up." Of course, question time. "They're getting closer. So, unless you want to be dinner, you better start talking."
Wanting very much to not be an ogre's dinner, Hook decides to betray Cora in a split-second.
"Cora wanted me to gain your trust, so I could learn everything there is to know about your Storybrooke. She didn't want any surprises when she finally got over there."
The Swan girl still doesn't look convinced and tells him as much, referencing the destruction of the magical wardrobe.
"Ah, but the enchantment remains. Cora gathered the ashes. She's going to use them to open up a portal." He smirks inwardly as they all share a panicked look. Perfect. "Now, if you'll kindly cut me loose…"
He can do this, he can sway them to be on his side. He doesn't give a damn about who he allies himself with, as long as he can get his revenge. Hook glares at Mulan when she responds.
"No. We should leave him here to die. To pay for all the lives he took."
The bloody nerve…
"That was Cora, not me."
The Swan girl seems to be the leader, instructing the other women to leave him there. Irritated and desperate, Hook calls out after them.
"Wait. WAIT! You need me alive."
Emma looks incredibly irked when she turns back to him, evidently bored with the conversation.
Hook throws on the charm, his need to survive this and get to that new realm overtaking his every sense.
"Because we both want the same thing - to get back to your land." Come on, Swan. Help a pirate out.
"You would say anything to save yourself. Why are we supposed to believe you now?"
Hook sighs, frustration overcoming him again.
"I arranged for transport with Cora. But, seeing how resourceful you are, I'll offer you the same deal. I'll help you, if you promise to take me along."
She seems interested now, his mission was a success. He grinds his teeth slowly as he stares her down, seeing the cogs grinding in her head, his offer tempting.
"How are you going to get us home?" She asked, her interest piqued enough to allow him to work on convincing her completely.
"The ashes will open a portal, but, to find your land, she needs more." Didn't expect that now, did you? "There's an enchanted compass. Cora seeks it. I'll help you obtain it before she does."
He can see her starting to accept his deal, her need to get home forcing her to do what she has too in order to succeed. Even if it means trusting a pirate.
"So, Cora won't make it to Storybrooke, and we'll be one step closer to getting home."
What could she possibly have at home that was so important? Snow White had her grandson and husband, who did Emma Swan have? He would find out, if his life depended on it.
"Sounds too good to be true." Snow White says. Hook rolls his eyes, looking at her.
"There's only one way to find out."
Swan draws his attention again, her voice piercing him for some reason. Why does this woman affect me like this? You don't even bloody know her, Killian.
"You tell me one thing, and whatever you say, I better believe it."
This ought to be good…
"Why does Captain Hook want to go to Storybrooke?"
Oh… Swan. You have no idea.
Hook's expression darkens, the thought of the Crocodile sending hate coursing through his veins.
"To exact revenge on the man who took my hand… Rumplestiltskin."
The knowing glances the women give each other tell him everything he needs to know. Cora was right, the Crocodile is in this 'Storybrooke'. And Captain Hook will get his revenge.
Bloody stupid clothing choice here, Cora. How in the hell am I supposed to walk through a forest in this ridiculous monk attire…?!
Hook sighs as he leads the heroes through the woods, directing them to the beanstalk atop which the compass lies.
"Up ahead. We'll find the compass just over the ridge."
And once again, his wonderful hearing plays an important role, hearing the women trailing behind discuss him leading them into a trap. They couldn't have been more wrong.
For once, Hook was telling the absolute truth. He doesn't care about Cora, simply wanting that damn bloody compass to get to a new realm and kill the Crocodile.
They are wrong to not trust me… although I can't really blame them.
Finally, they make it to the edge of the forest. He swallows when he seems the tall, looming beanstalk in the distance. Taller than I suspected…
"Let me guess… The compass is up there?" Emma stands beside him, her eyes fixed on the plant before them. He can see the worry in her eyes.
Hook smirks. "Oh, yeah."
Her gaze remains fixed on the beanstalk, all of the women staring at it.
"So, how do we get to it?"
"It's not the climb you need to worry about." Smirking, Hook looks over to her. "It's the giant at the top." He returns his gaze to the stalk, but he can feel her eyes on him.
Swan makes the first move, clambering over a log in front of them. Mulan pushes on him and he follows, hands tied and nearly tripping over his blasted robe. The group make their way over to the beanstalk, preparing to start a whole different kind of adventure.