Emma would like to say that she doesn’t do this often. She would like to say ‘my place or yours’ in a charming way. And she would like to say goodbye and never see him again. However, as a side effect of Emma Swan, none of these things can be said honestly.
She works up a lot of pent up emotions working in the big city and so lets off some steam once in a while by hanging out at bars and flirting shamelessly and then allowing the flavour of the month to take her home. But she can never take them to her home. Never introduce them to her ten year old. They’re all one night stands. In theory she shouldn’t come across them again. Theory doesn’t always work in practice.
Last month Henry had wanted to stay over at a friend’s house and so Emma had used it as an excuse to get dressed up, put on some make up and head down to an unfamiliar bar. It was called ‘The Jolly Roger’ and she had heard that it was a good spot to find a man. So Emma slipped into a grey tight fitting dress, the straps criss-crossing on her upper back, and her favourite red leather jacket, and then headed to the bar. It was fairly quiet when she first walked in, but that was unsurprising because it was only seven and so she took a seat at an empty stool.
Emma looked around. It was really quite nice. The bar was made of a dark wood and there was a ship’s wheel hung up behind it. Also behind it was an incredibly handsome man. And he was walking towards her. He had dark disheveled hair and vivid blue eyes which she found herself drawn to. “What can I get for you love?” He asked in an English accent. God help her.
“Uh… I’ll get a screwdriver, but not too much vodka. I plan on sticking around for a while.” She took her leather jacket off and hung it up on one of the hooks that was beneath the bar top.
“Of course.” The man walked away and Emma turned to look around again. At the moment there were a few guys that fit the profile of a possible one night stand, a profile which mainly required stamina and not wanting a relationship. The stamina was critical tonight though because she was feeling irritable and had a lot of pent up rage about a case that she was working and so she was trying to decide how to properly judge stamina visually. But before she could, her drink was set down in front of her by the handsome barman. Her eyes were torn away from their task and began to contemplate him for the position. He was rather athletic looking, and he looked like he could take care of himself if it turned out he wanted a relationship and she had to turn him down. It happens more than you would think.
“So what’s on the menu for you tonight.” He asked smirking. She paused, unsure of what he meant. “What are you looking for?” He elaborated.
“I’m not sure exactly what you mean.” She tried to feign an innocent look.
“Are you meeting friends? Are you looking for someone specific? Or are you looking for someone to bed?” He was still smirking. She decided then that she hated that smirk because it was none of his business and she told him as much. He pretended to look hurt. But he just stood there, and that infuriated her more.
“Fine, yes. I’m looking for someone to bed, or however you put it. You’re not from the eighteenth century are you because I hear that they were all contagious with one thing or another?”
“No, I’m not. The name’s Killian Jones, but everyone just calls me Hook.” He smiled and then extended a hook towards her.
“Umm… Why do you have a hook?” It was a little daunting.
“Theatrics. Most of the time I wear a prosthetic hand but when I'm here I’m Captain Hook. You know, of the Jolly Roger.”
“Oh! That’s really kind of clever.” She took the silver metal and shook.
“Thank you. And who might you be? I don’t believe that I’ve ever had the pleasure of you coming aboard my ship before.”
“It’s not a ship. It’s a bar.”
“Maybe.” He said as though she was wrong but he didn’t want to argue with her.
“Emma. Emma Swan.”
“Well, Emma Swan it's a pleasure. Why is a beautiful woman like you out without an escort? Surely you have a man at home, do you not?” He moved to fill a pint glass for another customer but never took his eyes off of Emma.
“No. I don’t. It’s a long story but I don’t date.”
“I’m sure it’s a tale of heartbreak and woe. Perhaps you would tell it to me?” He gave the man his beer and then moved back to leaning in front of Emma.
“Maybe not tonight. Tonight is for an itch to be scratched.” Emma smirked and finished her drink.
“Another?” He nodded at her empty glass. She nodded back and he whisked away the glass to refill. She noticed that he kept on checking the clock that was hanging on the right wall.
“What are you waiting for?” She blurted out as he sat the new drink in front of her. Somehow, he had gotten the ratio of vodka to orange juice perfect.
“The cavalry so I can go eat something. I usually work the lunch and afternoon shift and then I have a few bartenders that come in around this time to relieve me.” Emma’s smile turned into a frown. He was leaving. She didn’t want him to leave. “Don’t be sad love. I’m bloody starving and if that Will Scarlet doesn’t get here soon I’m gonna wring his neck for making me wait so long.” He smiled and she giggled. God she was turning into a schoolgirl.
“Have you ever been to the burger bar down the road?”
“No. Have you?”
“No. I just know that it looks really good and you should try it.”
“Well then, would you accompany me to dinner Miss Swan?”
“I already ate.”
“Then perhaps I could buy you an ice cream sundae or a warm drink while I eat?” A chime at the door sent Killian smirking again. “The cavalry is here. What do you say?”
“I should probably stay here. Scratch that itch. I don’t get many nights off and I really need to spend tonight being bought drinks and making myself feel good.” As she finished, Killian’s ears went pink.
“Maybe the drinks can be on the house and after dinner I can see if I would be able to scratch that itch for you love? If that’s truly how you want to spend your night off then allow me to accompany you.” He smirked and Emma tried to look into his eyes for deception but only saw blue and honesty.
“Okay.” She finished her drink as Killian turned to the three new bartenders and told them he would be taking off.
“I’ll be right back.” He said to her as he vanished into the back room, it sounded like he was walking up the stairs. Emma slipped on her red leather jacket and smiled as a bartender with fairly short hair took her empty glass from her. Killian was right back and he had traded his hook for a prosthetic hand and was wearing a black leather jacket. As he walked over to her, he offered her the crook of his arm and she slid her hand into it.
They walked down to the burger joint and were directed to a booth. Killian ordered a large chicken burger with fries and onion rings and Emma ordered a honeycomb ice cream sundae, it was by far her favourite flavour of ice cream. However when it came to eating, she was trying to steal Killian’s onion rings. “You can have them if you’d like.” He offered for about the third time. He had only eaten one and then realised how much Emma had liked them and so left them alone. “Or I can order some more.”
“It’s much more fun stealing them.” She said nibbling on one.
“It’s hardly stealing if I'm letting you take them.”
“Fine.” She picked her sundae up off the little dish which looked more like a teacup dish than anything else, and then set about trying to move all of the remaining onion rings onto the dish and pulled it towards her. Killian was smirking. They ate in silence for a while, and then Emma said “I hope you don’t think that you’re going to make a regular thing out of this.”
“Out of what Swan?”
“I’m not going to date you.”
“If that’s what you wish, I knew that going in though.” He ate his last fries and Emma nodded curtly.
Shortly after, they got up to leave. He paid the bill and then turned to her. “Your place or mine?” He asked in his brazen handsome way.
“Yours.” She said all to quickly.
“Got something at home you don’t want me to see Swan?” They walked out into the chilly night air. Even though it was only August, it was starting to get a little cold as it got dark.
“I have a son. He’s not at home now, but he’s due to be brought back around ten and I cannot be having a strange man who I hardly know interact with my son.”
“How old is he?”
“Ah! He's probably started thinking that he can take care of everything himself and do anything.” Killian’s eyes betrayed the hurt he was feeling, but he quickly covered it up with a smirk.
“Yep, that sounds about right.” They got back to the bar, but before Killian opened the door he spoke.
“If it would be easier for you to take me home, I would set an alarm and be out of your hair before your boy gets home.” She hadn’t thought of that, it would be easier. She wouldn’t have to make her way home in time to let Henry in, and Killian understood that she wants him to be kept separate from her son.
“Yes. Actually that would be easier.” She smiled.
“Okay, then lead the way.”
Emma had walked to the bar, knowing that if she didn’t she’d have a nightmare trying to get the car in the morning. And so they walked together for the fifteen minute walk to her apartment. She quickly unlocked the door and opened it. They stepped in together. “Do you want something to drink?” She asked, suddenly timid. She had never brought a man home before.
“Aye. You don’t happen to have some rum by any chance?” Killian was looking round at the apartment. Glancing at some of Henry’s things; a small pair of trainers by the door, a baseball jersey thrown haphazardly across the back of the sofa, and a well loved copy of ‘Peter Pan’ sitting on the kitchen counter. Killian laughed as he saw it, and it warmed Emma to see his smile.
“It’s his favourite. I tried to convince him to take it with him to his friend’s house, most nights he can’t sleep without reading a chapter, but he was adamant that he didn’t want to lose it.”
“Tell the boy that he’s welcome to come to the Jolly Roger for lunch sometime, if he comes by on a weekday my cousin Rose will be there, she dresses up as Tinker Bell and is a hit with the kids.”
“You’re really into the whole theatrics of it all, aren’t you?” She moved a little closer to him and he nodded. “So, rum. I think I might have a bottle. Can’t tell you if it’s any good or not because I don’t drink the stuff.” Emma went into the kitchen and grabbed the bottle from behind the several bottles of vodka, and then poured him a glass and herself another screwdriver. They drank in silence and then she removed her leather jacket and his and threw them on the couch.
All of a sudden their glasses were empty and Emma found herself standing right in front of him. She looked slightly up into his unfathomable blue eyes and for a moment could’ve sworn that she could see the ocean, and then shook it off by pressing their lips together. His arm with the fake hand settled around her waist and his other hand moved to her face, lingering a few millimetres above her cheek, eliciting jolts of desire from within her, and then he made contact with her cheekbone. It felt like fire but Emma found that she didn’t mind getting a little burnt. Her hands were more needy, grabbing at his shirt collar and lacing through his hair. It quickly became disheveled but it just made him more appealing. She cursed under her breath. She had never wanted a man as much as she wanted him. He tasted of rum, fries and lust. Emma unbuttoned his shirt to reveal more muscles than she knew what to do with, but not the sort that were built up at a gym, the muscles that were slowly built and toned doing hard work for a lifetime. She could appreciate that. He shrugged the shirt off and onto the floor. She raised her hands to touch his skin and found that he had a few scars littering his chest and back. Emma traced them with her fingers and thought about what it would be like to trace them with her tongue. But her tongue was still occupied in Killian’s mouth. She let go to breathe and spun around to face away from him. “A little help?” She was breathless but he understood that she meant helping with her zipper. She clasped the top of the back of the dress and pulled it taut so that he could take the zipper one-handed. Killian’s hand moved soft as it grazed the back of her neck and the tops of her shoulders. He moved it down to where the zipper hung and tugged on it carefully. His knuckles brushed Emma’s back all the way down to the small of her back. She could feel jolts of electricity coming from his fingertips. He let go and she turned back around to face him. This time when they kissed it was slower and less forceful. Killian took the time to study every inch of the inside of his mouth with his tongue and Emma groaned into him. She shook her arms out of the dress and stepped away from it, dragging Killian into her bedroom, their mouths still pressed together. She hadn’t been wearing a bra, the straps were difficult to hide with the criss-crossed straps of the dress and so she hadn’t bothered. Emma felt Killian’s hand move tenderly over her breast and stroking her nipples making them hard. The pressure was almost unbearable, Emma pressed one of her hands down firmly on top of the hand Killian was using to fondle her breast. He got the picture - she didn’t want soft, didn’t want to make love. Emma wanted to fuck. She wanted to be fucked so hard that she wouldn’t be able to walk. She reached down to undo his pants and then tugged them and his boxers off. Killian dropped her onto the bed and yanked down her lace panties. She thought that she saw something in his eyes for a moment, but couldn’t place it before it was gone and replaced by want and desire. She thought then that he will move back up the bed and kiss her again, but was only a little disappointed when she found out what his plans actually were.
Killian used his fingers expertly to stroke and massage between her folds, and she hummed when he found her clit. She could feel the pleasure almost take over her when he stopped. She grumbled her disappointment and he laughed at her. “Come on Jones, I didn’t think it would be like you to leave a woman high and dry like this.” He chuckled again and then moves further down the bed, further away from her. She groaned, but is silenced when he took her in his mouth, his tongue flicking and flitting away. This time she groaned in pleasure as she felt the warmth and release take over her. She laid back properly sated for the mean time. It’s probably the best orgasm she’s ever had. Emma reached over and set her alarm for nine thirty and then turned back to Killian who was trying to rub himself off. “Let me help you with that.” Emma says and takes Killian’s length in her hand. She pulled and stroked and at one point even licked to her amusement when Killian shivered with pleasure. He came pretty quickly and then fell back onto her bed. They both laid there for a while until Emma turned on her side and said “Ready for round two?” She’d been having an all round shitty week at work and so needed a little more to keep her from biting off her friend’s heads. Killian chuckled and then nodded. Pressing up against her and pushing their mouths together again. This time, Emma led and twisted their bodies so that she was on top, and then she dipped her mouth back into his and slid her hand down between them to run her finger up Killian’s cock to try and get him ready. He reacted as she’d hoped he would and then Emma didn’t want to wait. She broke open a condom packet and slid it on, and impaled herself on him. They both started rocking their hips in fast movements. The kisses got sloppy and heated as they were both close to completion. Killian came first, and Emma fell off of him. She was alright with not coming a second time, but then Killian’s devilish fingers were back flicking and creating friction within her and she came soon after. The smirk was back on his face.
“Well, I’d certainly like to make a habit out of that.” He chuckled, but Emma froze. He felt her recoil back into herself. “No, I didn't mean- I know you don’t date Swan. I just thought that it might be a little easier knowing that there’s someone to scratch your itches,” he used her own metaphor to try to calm her and get her to relax again. “and you don’t have to spend hours looking for someone to do just that.” He breathed. “I get it if you don’t want to do that. But, that Swan, was some of the best sex I’ve had in a while and I’m not sure I want to not do that again.”
“Hmm…” She thought about it for a moment. “I guess it would be more convenient than trolling the bars just to settle with a subpar lay. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you remember that it’s just an itch and there’s no dates to be had.”
“If that is what the lady wishes. But it’ll have to be mutually beneficial, I have itches too.”
“That seems fair. I have Henry though.”
“I’ll try not to be too much of a hassle.” He was smirking again, and God it was annoyingly hot.
“I suppose that I could leave him with a neighbour for an hour if there’s a real emergency.” She was deep in thought.
“And what would you class as a sex emergency, hmm?”
“I don’t know but it can’t happen too often.” They both laid pondering what would constitute a sex emergency and begin to list ridiculous circumstances aloud.
“I’m playing host to a group of lesbian models at the bar who are absurdly hot but of course don’t want me and because I am a gentleman I would never force them into anything, but I am still a man who’s needs seem to grow the longer I stay at the bar.”
“I guess that would be okay…” She paused. “I get saddled with a weekend shift and am particularly angry because it was last minute and am forced to leave Henry with someone I don’t know so well and I have forty minutes before I have to pick him up.” She smiled and Killian nodded.
“If you were particularly angry, how could I refuse?” They keep going over possibilities that become more and more illogical and by the time they are contemplating alien abductions that would lead to a sex emergency, they are both asleep.
Emma heard a knock at the apartment door before she heard the alarm. She freaked out, it’s only nine thirty. Henry wasn’t due back for thirty minutes. Emma hit the alarm in the hope that it turned off (it did) and she pulled on a matching set of flannel pajamas that were discarded on the floor. Killian was still lying in her bed but she had worse things to worry about. She practically ran out of her room and into the main apartment when she spotted Killian’s clothes strewn across the floor. She chucked them through the ajar door before shutting it. “Mom?” She heard from behind the front door.
“Coming!” She yelled back. Emma finished buttoning her pajama top and then unlocked and opened the door.
“What took you so long?” Henry asked before pushing past her to go put his stuff down.
“I was asleep kid. You’re early.”
“Sorry.” The woman, who was standing by the door, said. She was Henry’s friend’s mom.
“It’s fine. It’s only half an hour. Not like I was doing anything.” She was trying to push down her panic. Hoping desperately that Killian would stay in her room. But the woman caught sight of Emma’s dress from the night before which had been abandoned right outside of her bedroom door, and Emma moved to stand in front of the door, trying to shield it from view. The woman seemed to realise what was happening and smiled knowingly.
“Hey, Henry. Do you want a hand putting everything in your room?” She said to the kid. He looked at Emma and then back at his friend’s mom and nodded. Emma mouthed thanks at the woman.
Once Henry and the woman were out of sight, Emma threw open her bedroom door to a mostly dressed Killian. He was lacking shoes and his leather jacket. “You’ve got to go right now.”
“I programmed my number into your phone under ‘Handsome Devil’” He smirked again. God.
“Sounds about right. But you have to go.”
“Okay.” He picked up his shoes and slid his feet into them and was being shoved out of the door by Emma.
“Goodbye Swan.” He left. The woman poked her head back through Henry’s door.
“He gone?” She asked. Emma nodded, and the woman opened Henry’s door fully. “Well Henry, Roland loved having you over. You should come over more.”
“Yeah?” Henry seemed a little confused that she would invite him but took it in his stride.
“Yes. And Miss Swan, sorry for being early and for disturbing your - sleep.”
“Thank you. Call me Emma.” She stuck out her hand.
“Regina. I’d love to have coffee with you sometime.” Regina took her hand and they shook.
“That sounds great. Thank you for bringing Henry home.” Regina nodded and then left.
Henry wondered over to the couch later that day and saw Killian’s jacket. “Mom? Who’s is this?” He held it up. It was much too big and he knew it couldn’t have been hers. Emma flinched, but then she had an idea.
“That’s my friend’s jacket. He came over yesterday and forgot it. How about we go get lunch and I can take it to him? What do you think?”
“Is he nice?”
“I think you’ll love him.” Emma took the jacket from Henry as he started beaming. She picked up her wallet and keys and then was ushering Henry out of the door. They were standing outside the Jolly Roger fifteen minutes later.
“Mom, this is a bar.”
“Yes Henry it is.”
“Are we having lunch here?”
“Yes we are.”
“And your friend is here?” He was trying to wrap his head around the whole situation.
“Yes, we shouldn’t keep Captain Hook waiting. He has a bad temper.”
“Your friend is Captain Hook?” Henry grew excited and practically skipped into the bar.
As she’d expected, Killian was perched behind the bar wearing a crimson leather vest and black leather pants. He smiled when he saw her. Emma took Henry’s hand and walked them over to the bar. “Henry this is my friend Captain Hook.” She paused. “Captain Hook, this is my son Henry.”
“Well its a pleasure to meet you lad.” Killian moved his hand out for Henry to shake, but then he decided that it would be better for Henry to shake his hook. Henry did and he started giggling. “Are you both just passing through or do you want a feed? Tinker Bell is on a break right now but when she gets back I can have her whip up something.”
“Tinker Bell?” Henry’s eyes filled with wonder.
“Yes lad. She likes to help out during the week. It gives her purpose.”
“Can we stay mom?”
“That is why we’re here Henry.” She laughed at the boy’s amazement.
“Why don’t you go find a table while I talk to Hook alone for a minute?” Emma said as she brushed Henry’s hair with her hand and he ran off.
“Back so soon Swan?” She could hear the smirk in his voice.
“You left your leather jacket and I thought Henry would like to meet his favourite storybook characters.” Emma passed Killian’s jacket over the bar.
“Aye, he does seem enthralled by it all.”
“You led me to believe that there would be a few kids around Captain.”
“It’s a little after lunch time love. The regular lost boy crowd left about an hour ago. Tink does story time after eating which is why she’s on her break now, but she should be back any second.”
“Tink?” Emma smirked.
“Well yes Swan, my cousin Rose who is never called Rose. Just like I’m more often called Hook.”
“Hmm… I assume you have menus?” She took a step back and realised how close they had been standing. He nodded and handed her a kids menu and an adult menu and she walked over to the booth that Henry had picked. He was completely captivated by Killian and his hook for a hand. “Here kid.” Emma set the kids menu in front of Henry. She perused for a while until she settled on what she wanted - lasagne.
A few moments went by and then a small blonde woman wearing green and fake wings walked over to their table. “Are you Tinker Bell?” Henry asked with a huge smile.
“Yes I am. And what’s your name?”
“I’m Henry, and this is my mom, Emma.”
“Emma huh?” It sounded like she knew something. Emma hoped to God that she didn’t. “What can I get you both?” Tinker Bell made a pad and pencil appear from seemingly nowhere.
“I want the burger and a sprite.” Henry said.
“Please.” Emma said to Henry.
“I want the burger and a sprite please, Tinker Bell.” Henry reiterated.
“And I’ll have a water and the lasagne please.” Emma said and Tink nodded and took their menus and left.
Every now and then Emma would glance over to Killian who was cleaning and marrying the condiments. Eventually their food came and when she took a bite of the lasagne, she couldn’t help but moan at how good it was. It was almost as good as Granny’s lasagne. A pang of homesickness hit her as she thought about Storybrooke; the house she had to give up when she moved to New York, her brother David and his wife Mary Margaret, the sheriff’s station where she worked, Granny’s diner and the harbor where she liked to walk when her head was full.
Emma ate while Henry sat in front of her, telling her all about the great time he’d had the night before at Roland’s house. Roland was a few years younger than Henry, but they were both into playing pokemon on their gameboys and so got along well. By the time they were finished, the bar was filling slowly with evening guests, and Killian was now serving drinks instead of cleaning. “Can I say goodbye mom?” Henry’s question snapped her out of staring at Killian.
“I said, can I say goodbye to Captain Hook?” Henry looked exasperated with her not paying attention.
“Yeah, lets go together though, there’s quite a few people in here now kid.” They both slid out of the booth and made their way to the bar. Henry’s head was barely above the bar, but he couldn’t see properly so he hopped onto one of the stools. “Don’t get comfortable, we’re leaving.” Emma said firmly and Henry nodded. They both waited for Killian to finish up serving a group and then he made his way over in their direction.
“Do you want another drink love?” Killian asked.
“No, we’re actually just leaving.” Emma said. “Henry wanted to say goodbye.” Emma rested her hand on Henry’s head.
“Thanks for the food. Maybe we’ll come back soon.” Henry said as he looked pointedly at his mother.
“You’re very welcome to come back lad.” Killian smiled.
“Thanks Captain Hook.” Henry smiled back and hopped off the stool.
“Thank you.” Emma said.
“I mean it. You’re welcome to come back.” Killian said in a lower voice to Emma. She took Henry’s hand and they left, but not before Henry yanked back his hand and suggested to Emma that he was ten, not a kid anymore. She chuckled and they walked home.
It was nice to be back, she unlocked the door and held it open for Henry to run in. “Dad?” He said.
“What?” Emma was shocked. “Neal?” And sure enough, Neal was sat on their couch wearing a fake smile.
I'm going to try and upload a new chapter every few days but I am back at college next week so that plan might go out the window. But I love this au so I'm gonna try and get new chapters out as quickly as I can. Enjoy.
“Henry, go play in your room for a little bit, I need to talk to your dad.” Emma turned to Henry, trying desperately to ignore Neal who was now standing.
“But I thought we were gonna watch a movie.” Henry complained as he pulled his scarf off.
“We’ll watch any movie you like in a little while, but first go play or read a book.” She was frazzled.
“Okay.” He strolled as slowly as he could into his room, hoping that she would change her mind at the last minute. She didn’t. Neal lost his fake smile as soon as Henry was out of sight.
“I gave you that key three years ago for emergencies only.” She was furious. “Why the hell are you in my apartment?”
“I waited outside for a few minutes but you didn’t show so I figured that I’d wait in here. Where were you?”
“None of your goddamn business. Why are you here?”
“I want to see my son.”
“No. Get out.”
“Emma…” His tone sounded like he was warning her.
“No. Fuck you. You gave up all your rights to see Henry when you walked out on me when I was seventeen, and then again when you walked out on us two years ago.”
“I get that you’re mad Emma, but see you smell like a distillery. And I know for a fact that you’ve been sleeping around. And this apartment is tiny. If you don’t let me see my son on a regular basis, I’ll be taking you to court for full custody and I will win. Because I don’t drink, I have a steady girlfriend and we live in a four bedroomed house.” He moved closer, to whisper in her ear. “And Tamara and I have had dinner with several judges.”
“What the fuck do you think you’re playing at?”
“I want Henry every other weekend. Drop him off on Saturday at nine.”
“And if I don’t?” Emma wasn’t scared of him, she was angry. She was angrier than she had ever been in her life. It made her furious that Neal thought he could walk out and walk back in whenever he pleased and threaten to take Henry from her.
“Well then, I’ll make sure you never see Henry again.” He smiled at her and then moved to the door. “Nine o’clock Emma. Don’t forget.” And then he left. She wanted to scream. She wanted to grab him by his collar and pull him back into the room and beat the living shit out of him for what he was threatening. She wanted to take Henry far away from New York and forget all about Neal and his ‘steady girlfriend’ Tamara.
She paced for a while, trying to figure out if his threats were empty but came up with nothing proving that he wouldn’t do what he said. She sank down into the couch. She was so angry and so upset and horrified. Emma itched her face and found that it was wet, soaked with tears. She became aware that she was sniffing and crying still. Henry’s head appeared from around his bedroom door. “Are you okay mom?” He asked.
“It’s fine. Everything is fine.” Emma wiped her tears away and stood, smiling. “Go pick a film and put it on, I need to call Uncle David.” Henry nodded and ran off to find a movie. Emma grabbed her cell phone and moved to her room, closing the door behind her. She called her brother. He picked up on the third ring.
“Hi Emma. What’s up?” He sounded happy. She waited, she didn’t want to ruin his happiness. “Did something happen?” He asked, and then “Is Henry okay? Emma why are you crying?” She realised that she was still crying.
“Henry’s fine.” She sniffed. “Neal was here.”
“What did he do? Did he hurt you? I swear if he hurt you he’s gonna spend the next few weeks in a hospital bed.” Trust David to overreact.
“No, he didn’t hurt me. He, uh… Neal was here when Henry and I got home from lunch and he said that he wants to see more of Henry. Demanded it. He said that he wants Henry every other weekend otherwise he will file for sole custody.”
“If that asshole thinks he can walk back into yours and Henry’s lives like this and threaten you both, he’s gonna have to go through me. I’m on my way.”
“David it’s fine. Don’t come. By the time you get here it would be night anyway. I just wanted to let you know because you are going to have to pick a different weekend to come visit, because Henry will be with Neal this weekend.”
“Emma come on! You can’t tell me that you’re agreeing to his demands! No, I won’t let you. I’ll see you soon.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m gonna talk some sense into him, he has no rights to Henry. He’s basically just a sperm donor. Besides, does Henry even want to spend time with him?”
“I don’t know.” She paused. “I’ll call you back. Don’t pack or leave until I speak to you in a few minutes.”
“Okay. But if you don’t call in the next ten minutes I’m gone.”
“Thank you.” She hung up. The only thing that could make this situation worse is if David got arrested for assault. Emma set the phone down on her bed and walked into the main room. “Hey kid. Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Is this about dad?” Henry paused the film.
“Yeah, it is.” Emma moved to sit next to him on the couch. “So the reason your dad was here earlier was because he wants to spend time with you. I wanted to know if you want that too.”
“How much time?” Henry screwed his face up.
“Your dad wants you to spend every other weekend with him. Is that okay?”
“No, Uncle David is visiting this weekend, and next weekend is your birthday.”
“I was talking to Uncle David a minute ago and he said that he would come at another time if you wanted to be with your dad.” Emma said, and Henry thought for a moment.
“Did dad make you cry?” Emma didn’t want to lie to the kid.
“Yeah he did.”
“Did he mean to make you cry or was it an accident?”
“It wasn’t an accident Henry.” She hated that her kid was being forced to choose between his parents.
“Then I don’t want to see him.”
“He wouldn’t make you cry on purpose Henry. He loves you.” She had no idea why she was defending him.
“But he used to tell you that he loved you and he made you cry.” Perceptive kid.
“Yeah I suppose he did. Okay, I have to call your dad to tell him, but he will want to talk to you kid, so leave the film paused.” Emma went to grab her phone and she dialled Neal. It took ages for him to finally pick up.
“Emma.” He said curtly.
“I talked with Henry and he said that he doesn’t want to see you. I left it entirely to him.”
“He’s my son Emma. What kind of nonsense have you been telling him about me?”
“Nothing. I let him decide what he wanted to do and he doesn’t want to spend time with you.”
“Can I speak to him?”
“Yeah.” Emma handed the phone to Henry.
“Hey buddy, your mom says that you don’t want to hang out with me this weekend.”
“We're busy at the weekends.” Henry said frowning.
“Did you want to pick another day then? I could pick you up and we could hang out.”
“No. You made mom cry.”
“She was just being silly Henry. I didn’t really do anything.”
“Yeah, I would really like to spend time with you buddy. I miss you.”
“I miss you too.” Henry said automatically and Emma frowned.
“How about I pick you up after lunch tomorrow and then you can stay over and I’ll bring you back home in the morning?”
“That doesn’t sound too bad. I guess I’m okay with that.”
“I’ll see you then. Can you put your mom back on the phone?”
“Yeah, bye dad.”
“Bye Henry.” Henry handed the phone over and went back to watching his film - it was Atlantis Emma discovered.
“Neal.” Emma said.
“So Henry and I have agreed that I will pick him up after lunch tomorrow and have him overnight and then drop him back with you the next morning. I’d like to make it a weekly thing, and I think Henry would too.”
“Thanks for including me in the decision.”
“You didn’t include me in the decision to brainwash Henry by telling him that I made you cry earlier.”
“I didn’t tell him, he asked and made his own mind up. What did you offer him? Candy? Cinema trips? Ice cream?”
“It hurts that you think so little of me. I didn’t have to offer him anything other than my company. Don’t forget to pack an overnight bag for Henry.” He hung up. She sat for a moment in the kitchen, thinking about how Neal didn’t have to bribe Henry to agree and how Henry had told Neal that he missed him. Tears threatened to fall. But she willed them back and called David again.
“Is everything okay now?”
“No, Henry wants to see Neal. But they aren’t doing weekends so you can still come over this weekend.”
“When are they seeing each other then?”
“I’m sorry Emma. But at least it’s better than the weekend.”
“Yeah, Henry didn’t want that because you’re coming and then it’s my birthday. He said he missed Neal. I thought that I would be enough for him.” The tears from earlier were running freely down her cheeks now.
“You are enough for him. Has Henry ever asked to talk to or see his dad?”
“No, so you know that this is all Neal’s doing and Henry hasn’t actively sought out his father. You are enough for him Emma. You are.”
“I’ll see you both on Friday evening. I love you Emma.”
“Love you too.” She hung up. “I’m taking a shower kid.” She called to Henry before going into her en suite bathroom and stripping. It hardly felt like last night that she had sex with Killian but she was already starting to need him again.
Once the water was running hot, she stepped in and tried to suppress the shiver she felt as the water hit her shoulders. It was a nice distraction from Neal and Henry and David. She thought for a while about what her life would’ve been like if she had actually given Henry up when she wanted to. He would’ve found a new family, one that wasn’t fucked up like theirs is. He could’ve been happier, not torn between two parents who can barely stand each other. Emma found herself thinking about how selfish she was to keep him.
Emma’s energy was zapped. She had been lying on that bed for hours, trying to push the kid out, alone. She was sweaty and her face was tear stained by the time the nurse moved to give her the kid. “No.”
“You can change your mind, Emma.”
“No. I can’t.” Her voice was broken and wavering. She wanted a family so badly. She wanted someone who would love her, but she couldn’t be that selfish. She couldn’t damn the kid to solitude. And then he started to cry. Emma turned her head. She saw the nurse holding him. Her son. Automatically, her arms reached out to comfort him. The nurse handed him over and Emma sighed into him as she held him. He quietened. He was so tiny. And as soon as his small fist gripped around Emma’s finger she knew that she could never give him up.
She smiled at the memory.
The day passed quickly with films and frozen pizza, and then Emma woke the next morning dreading lunch. She made hot dogs with proper frankfurters and chopped up onions. Henry slathered his in ketchup, and Emma trailed both ketchup and mustard along hers. He seemed excited to spend time with his father and it hurt more than Emma realised. She had been everything to Henry, she was a mother, a father, a friend. She was his entire family for so long and now he was choosing Neal it really hurt. But she didn’t want to make Henry feel bad so she ate in silence and helped him pack his bag. “Mom?” Henry asked as he watched his mother try to zip his bag and fail several times, letting slip several curse words. “Are you okay?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah. I’m fine Henry.”
“You know I’m not excited to see dad, I’m excited to see Uncle David tomorrow right?”
“Oh Henry! Your dad loves you. He just doesn’t like me very much. You can be excited to see him. It’s okay.”
“But I’m not. I’d rather be with you.”
“Give him a chance, okay? Have some fun.” She stood after finally zipping his bag, and there was a knock at the door.
When Emma swung open the door, she could tell from Neal’s face that heard their conversation. “I’m sorry. I thought- I thought that you were-“
“Constantly telling him what a bad guy you are. No. I told you, I don’t want to affect his decision to ice you out if I can help it.”
“I’ll bring him back this time tomorrow. Thank you Emma.” He took Henry’s bag from her and then said to Henry “Come on, I’ve got lots planned. You’ll love it." Henry followed Neal out of the door.
Emma spent the afternoon watching reruns of Friends and the Big Bang Theory, checking her phone every ten minutes. It was eight o’clock and she was starting to feel like she needed to do something to get her mind off of Henry. She was secretly pleased that he wasn’t excited to see Neal, but she also legitimately wanted him to give Neal a chance. Surely two parents was better than one. No matter how much that one loves you.
She grabbed her keys and red leather jacket and then found herself walking towards Killian’s bar. This time it was more full, being later and closer to the weekend. And although there was an empty stool, she opted to standing and leaning over the bar. There was a guy that she vaguely recognised from before. “Hey, are you Will Scarlett?” She asked.
“What’s it to you?” He had a really strong English accent.
“I just wanted to know if Killian is upstairs.”
“And who might you be?” She rolled her eyes. “Come on darling, you have me at a disadvantage here.”
“Emma. Can I go up?” His eyes widened and then he nodded.
“Just make sure you knock first, he’s a bit weird about people invading his space. But somehow with you I don’t think he’d mind so much.” She rolled her eyes again and walked around to where the bar finished. She walked behind it and then stepped through the door. Emma found herself losing confidence as she walked up the stairs. She rapped her knuckles on Killian’s door.
“Hang on.” She heard him yell. It was a moment before she heard him shuffle to the door. “What do you want Will-“ He looked at her. “Not Will.” He smirked.
“Emma.” She pointed at herself.
“Well, come in. Emma.” He smiled. “Drink?” She nodded and he made her a screwdriver.
“You know, that’s not the only thing I drink.”
“Yes, but you did seem to thoroughly enjoy it the other day.” That was true. God. “So I’m assuming you’re here about our agreement. I didn’t really expect to see you so soon.” Emma looked around his apartment. It was smaller than hers. They were standing in the living room. It had a fairly beaten up couch and a small TV, but the far wall was lined with shelves and books. It looked like a diverse collection, and a well read one if the state of the books was any indication.
“I’ve had a stressful couple of days.” She said and then finished her drink in one. Her pupils blew wide and she moved towards him. His once-blue eyes were now almost completely black. He took a mouthful of rum from a bottle sitting on the coffee table and then he proceeded to close the gap between them.
Emma kissed him first. It was slow and methodical. He tasted like rum again. She wondered if the rum taste was always there or if it was only there because both times they had kissed he had been drinking rum before. His hand moved to her hair that was currently in a ponytail. Until it wasn’t. Killian had inserted his finger underneath the elastic and pulled softly until it fell to the floor. She broke the kiss to shake her hair out. And then they were kissing again. His fingers moved to thread through her hair as hers began to undo each button on his dress shirt. She made quick work of it, soon slipping his shirt off. They were moving slower than before and she found that she preferred it. Not that quick wasn’t good, it was just not as good as watching him take his time with her. She shrugged out of her leather jacket. Killian’s hand moved from her hair to her face where he nudged it up slightly, deepening the kiss. Emma pulled off her t-shirt and they stopped kissing just long enough for her to drop it on the floor. Their mouths crashed together again and Killian’s hand moved, stroking her back. She reached to unbutton her jeans and then stepped out of them. Killian copied with his own jeans. “Bedroom?” She asked.
“This way.” He lead her towards the only door in the apartment that was closed. He opened it and let her in first, before closing the door and pressing her up against it. The force of their bodies pressed up together made Emma moan into Killian’s mouth, he smirked and responded by reaching up to unclasp her bra. It was his turn to moan. His mouth moved down her neck and began to nip and tease at her breasts. His hand was placed firmly at her back, a fact that Emma was grateful for as her legs almost gave out. “I want… to be inside you again.” He breathed.
“Yes. Do it." His mouth was against her’s again and she dragged his boxer briefs down and then watched as he stepped out of them. She really hadn’t imagined how toned his body was. She stepped out of her panties and then grabbed his arm as he began walking to the bed. “No. Now. Can’t wait.” He seemed to understand her gibberish because he slid himself inside of her. She wrapped her legs around him. He thrust into her gloriously and Emma moaned at the contact. She realised that they hadn’t used a condom, but that’s what the pill’s for, she guessed. He felt good, and created a natural rhythm of his thrusts. Neal who? She thought and let out a giggle.
“No.” She smiled and encouraged him to keep moving. She was so wet for him and he slid in and out with ease. The friction was nice, although she realised that the door handle was sticking in her side. She scrunched her face up. “Bed.” He nodded and moved them to his bed where it was easier for both of them. Emma shuddered as she came, Killian felt her walls flutter around him and he came as well. He slid out of her and got up to get a wash cloth. “Where are you going?” Emma whispered sleepily.
“To clean up. Do you need me to set an alarm?”
“No.” She turned on her side and sleep took her. Killian came back in the room and cleaned them both up before chucking the cloth in the hamper and rolling on to the bed. He fell asleep instantly.
There was a knock at the apartment door. Killian woke. He was wrapped around Emma, they were facing each other but her face was snuggled into his chest. The knock came again. He darted from the bed, replacing himself with a pillow when Emma reached out for him and pulling his underwear back on. He made his way to the front door quickly and quietly. “Will.” He said when he opened the door.
“It’s time to lock up Casanova.”
“What?” Killian rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.
“It’s four o’clock, let’s go.” Will pulled him out into the hallway. Killian followed him down the stairs.
“I didn’t see your lady friend leave last night. Emma, was it?” Will asked.
“So I assume she didn't leave, if the clothes on your floor were hers, that is.”
“Am I only gonna get one word answers from you?”
“Maybe.” Killian smirked. He was more awake now. The bar was empty, as he’d expected, and Will was the only person left.
“See you tonight.”
“Goodbye.” Killian let Will out and locked the door behind him, and then set the alarm panel and walked back into his apartment. He had to do it every night, but being woken up by Will was never fun. One time he had told Will to sod off and Will locked the door but wasn’t able to set the alarm system because it had to be set from the inside after the door was locked, hence Killian being the only one who could do it.
He grabbed the pillow back from Emma’s grasp and settled back into her arms.
Emma started to stir at ten. She realised that she was in an unfamiliar place pretty quickly, but saw Killian next to her and relaxed. She remembered the events of the night before. Killian’s eyes opened softly. “Hey.” She said.
“I have to go, Henry’s being dropped off soon.”
“Who did you have to pawn him off on to come over?” He asked jokingly but she frowned.
“Henry... he’s with his dad.”
“Is that why you’ve had a stressful couple of days.” She nodded. “You're welcome here any time love. Do you want me to walk you home?”
“No need. You’ve probably got to work soon. I won’t see you until at least Monday because my brother is coming to visit for the weekend. But I’ll text you.” Emma got up and quickly found her clothing and redressed.
“Okay.” He said softly.
“Bye Jones.” She was standing at the foot of the bed.
“Bye Swan.” She left and he realised she would need the code to leave. “The code is 2-3-8-1.” He yelled at her.
“Thanks.” She yelled back. After a moment he heard five beeps and then the main door open and shut.
Emma walked home by herself, and once she got home she made a hot chocolate with cream and cinnamon. Killian had made her completely forget Neal for a night, but now she was anxious to get her son back. She decided to keep busy, and so she took a shower and changed into a sweater and leggings, and then she made the guest room up for David. She was happy that her brother was visiting, but she knew that the main reason he was coming was to convince her to move back to Storybrooke. And other than Killian, she didn’t have anything tying her to New York so she would have to come up with a damn good excuse to keep him off her back. She grabbed a bagel and another hot chocolate, and was eating when there was a knock at her door.
It was Neal and Henry. They both looked very happy. Emma smiled and took Henry’s bag from Neal. “Have a good time kid?”
“The best. We went to an aquarium and then we had dinner just the two of us at the pizza place I like. It was so good mom.” Henry was beaming.
“That’s great.” She turned to Neal. “No Tamara?” Emma asked quietly.
“I wanted time just me and Henry. She understood. Have you thought more about letting me hang out with Henry every week?”
“Yes. I guess as long as you call me if anything happens then I’m okay with it. Two parents are better than one.”
“Thank you Emma. So much. I’m really sorry about the other day, I just really missed him and I thought that you’d never let me see him unless I forced you to. You’re a great mother and I would never- could never take Henry away from you.” Neal turned to Henry. “I’ll see you next Thursday buddy.”
“Bye dad.” Neal left. Emma thought about how worried she had been that he would take Henry, but as he said what he did just now, she realised that it was an empty threat. And although she was scared and manipulated into letting Henry go out with him, she realised that it might just be the best for all of them. Emma was tempted to give David a call, but he was probably on the road by now. The phone rang. She half expected David to be on the other end, but it was a voice she only just recognised.
“I was wondering if maybe Roland could stay over on Monday night? He and Henry seem like really good friends and Robin asked me out to dinner but we need someone to look after Roland, hopefully for the whole night- if you catch my drift.” Emma chuckled.
“Yeah, I understand. I would love to have him.” Emma was more friends with Robin than Regina, she barely knew her, but she loved Roland and Robin and that was good enough for Emma.
“Thank you so much. He’ll be so excited. I’ll drop him off at five on Monday then. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Thanks again for the other day. I wasn’t expecting Henry that early so it was helpful you distracting him.”
“No problem. I’ll see you Monday.”
Emma settled down to a quiet afternoon on the couch, while Henry was in his room first unpacking and then reading some of his comic books. Emma was excited to see her brother, it had been a few months since they last saw each other, but she was also very distracted by a certain man with inky black hair and blue eyes. Even the thought of him made her want him. No one had ever had such a strong affect on her before and she was more intrigued than scared. She found herself remembering how warm she had felt in his embrace and how safe she felt. But she couldn’t think like that. That's boyfriend stuff. And Emma Swan does not do boyfriends. Even if she was maybe starting to grow accustomed to the idea it wouldn’t be fair on Henry. So, she shut the thought down in her mind and greeted David with a bear hug when he came to the door. “Hi.”
“Come on in.” David stepped in and dropped his duffel bag in the guest room.
“Is Henry in his room?”
“Yeah.” She said and David went to knock on Henry's door.
“Hey.” He said as Henry opened the door.
“Uncle David!” He practically jumped into David’s arms. “You’re early!”
“There was less traffic than I thought.”
“Are you hungry?” Emma asked him. “I thought we could order in.”
“Definitely.” He smiled and then sat down on the couch along with Henry who couldn’t seem to let him go. He accepted the beer that Emma gave him and then he pushed his shoes off.
“Chinese sound good?”
“That sounds great.” David smiled again and Emma passed him the takeout menu. She would get her usual chow mein and order Henry’s usual sweet and sour pork.
About an hour later, after they had ordered Henry got up to go to the bathroom and David moved closer on the couch to Emma. “Was everything alright with Neal?” He asked, he had his concerned face on. He would make a great father some day.
“Yeah, better than I expected. Before he came in yesterday he heard me defending him to Henry and he realised that I wasn’t lying about not putting ideas in Henry’s head if I can help it. He was more than civil earlier, and he explained that it was all just empty threats because he thought that I wouldn’t let him see Henry otherwise. He was right. I wouldn’t have let him near Henry if he hadn’t threatened me. But it’s all mostly okay now.”
“That’s something at least.” David said as Henry came out of the bathroom.
“Did mom tell you that she knows Captain Hook?”
“No,” David looked incredulous.
“Yeah, he’s so cool. And he doesn’t even have a perm.”
“And how would you know what a perm is?” Emma asked, trying to divert their attention away from Killian.
“You told me when we watched Peter Pan last year." Henry looked smug. “He owns a bar and Tinker Bell works there too. It’s so cool.”
“Tinker Bell huh?” David smirked at Emma.
“And I'm pretty sure that he’s mom’s boyfriend.” Henry elaborated.
“Why would you think that?” Emma became defensive.
“Because you look happy now and you stand too close to him, annnnddd… I saw him sneak out of your room on Wednesday morning.” Damn perceptive kid. Emma turned beetroot red under her brother’s and son’s gazes.
“How did you even see that? Regina was meant to keep you busy.”
“It’s okay mom. I’m just glad that you’re happy. Even if you are dating Captain Hook.” Emma was speechless, she couldn’t exactly explain one-night-stands or relationships that were only about sex to her ten year old kid, but she also wanted to assure him that Killian and her were just friends. She had paused for too long though and Henry and David were talking about something entirely different. David gave her a look that said ‘we’ll talk about this later’, and she went red again.
Hope you enjoy. I started back at college and I have been saddled with a crap ton of work and so the uploads may be less frequent. Possibly going down to one a week, but I will power through and with that said, I'm off to take a nap. Please leave comments, my heart soars every time I read a comment.
Emma awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee. Her stomach rumbled and she shuffled out of her bed and into the kitchen, still wearing her pajama bottoms and tank top. Her hair was down and throughly mussed, she tucked it behind her ears to stop the tendrils from falling in her face. David was standing there cooking the bacon, already fully dressed, while Henry was chatting away at him from the breakfast bar. “Morning.” He smirked at her as he saw Emma traipse over to the coffee and pour herself a mug. They hadn’t been able to talk about Killian just yet, she knew that David was probably dying to talk to her about it and give her the patented ‘overprotective brother’ speech, but she made up a lame excuse that she was tired and went to bed just after Henry did. “I couldn’t find any eggs.”
“We don't have any.” Emma said as she sat down next to Henry, as if he was insane to even think that they would have eggs.
“You don’t have a lot of things Emma. Your cupboards are practically bare.”
“I meant to go shopping yesterday.” She mumbled into her mug.
“We’ll all go after we eat.” He said and both Emma and Henry groaned. “It’ll be fun.”
“No it won't." Henry replied.
“The kid’s right. Shopping sucks.” Emma agreed. David placed a plate of bacon in front of Emma and another one in front of Henry, and then emptied the last of the bacon into the pan.
“We have to do it, or we’ll starve.” David stepped closer to Emma and whispered in her ear, “Unless you want to go to the Jolly Roger for lunch?” Emma’s cheeks went red.
“I guess we’re going shopping kid.” She announced, and half an hour later, they were sat in her yellow bug driving.
Henry was wearing headphones and watching Youtube on his phone, Emma was driving and David kept on looking at Emma and then down at his hands and back at Emma again. “What?” She was going crazy with all his staring.
“So, Captain Hook huh?” He smirked as he looked at her. Emma turned her head to him and then back to the road. His smirk wasn’t as sultry as Killian’s, and oh God she was thinking about Killian's mouth. And Killian’s mouth on her mouth. She blushed. “You’re doing that a lot lately.”
“Blushing whenever he’s mentioned.”
“I’m not in love with him or anything.”
“Didn’t say you were. So who is this guy?”
“His name is Killian and he owns a bar.” Emma stared at the road intently.
“Okay… so why does Henry call him Captain Hook?”
“His bar is the Jolly Roger and he wears a silver hook when he’s working.” She paused. “Are you done interrogating me?”
“For now.” He smiled at her. David turned to her in the car. “For the record though, I think Henry’s right.”
“You do seem happier.” Emma shrugged the comment off.
David was pushing the cart around the store whilst Henry was running ahead to get some of the things they needed. They were half done and Emma was sulking. All the talk of Killian made her miss him. No, she didn’t miss him, that’s boyfriend stuff. She just wanted to see him was all. “What's new back home?” Emma asked, trying to divert her own attention from thinking about Killian.
“Belle left town, closed up the library and all.”
“What happened?” Emma was shocked.
“Her and Gold were arguing a lot, I was called over on more than a few noise complaints. And then last month she packed her stuff, locked up the library and dropped the keys at the station and left.”
“Wow.” She couldn’t believe it. Before Emma and Henry left Storybrooke, they both spent a lot of time at the library with Belle, often consoling her over arguments she had with her husband Robert Gold even after they had separated. She often felt bad for leaving Belle behind, but she needed a clean break from the town. “Where is she now?”
“No one has heard from her since. But I’m pretty sure that I saw divorce papers sitting on the counter at the shop when I stopped by last week.”
“I’m happy for her, that she finally got away from him. Gold is bad news.”
“Yeah.” He pushed the cart thoughtfully.
“Do you… do you think that there was a time when they were truly happy together?” Emma asked quietly.
“There had to have been. I think that’s why it took so long for Belle to leave, because she just kept thinking of the good times.” David spoke as if he understood, and Emma realised that he probably did. He was married to Kathryn for eight months, but then he fell in love with Mary Margaret and left her.
“Right.” Emma reached up and grabbed a couple of assorted boxes of pop tarts.
“Do you really need that many?” David screwed his face up.
“Yes I do.” Emma said. Henry came running back to the cart. But he wasn’t alone. Emma looked up curiously. Henry was holding the hand of a man and tugging that man into following him. Emma realised with a start that it was Killian. Oh God. Henry was smiling, and Killian was smiling, but David looked confused and Emma supposed she looked mortified.
“Look who I found mom!” Henry seemed pleased with himself.
“Emma.” Killian nodded awkwardly.
“Henry, you can’t just abduct people.”
“Sorry.” He seemed sheepish.
“It’s quite alright lad.” Killian said to him, still holding Henry’s hand but was standing by his side now. They all stood in awkward silence for a moment before Emma realised that David and Killian were waiting for her to introduce them.
“David this is Killian, Captain Hook. Killian, this is my brother David.” She said.
“Nice to meet you mate.” Killian shook David’s hand.
“Killian huh?” David smirked. He turned to Henry. “Hey Henry, let’s go look for something to make for dinner tonight.” He took the cart and whisked away Henry, and Emma and Killian were left alone, staring at each other. Goddamnit David.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.” Killian started.
“Yeah, well we had no food. Like zero food. And David was complaining because he wanted to make breakfast but we only had bacon and coffee.” She was rambling.
“Oh, I wanted to let you know that I will be out of town from Tuesday morning through to Friday evening. I’ll be around on Monday night though and I wouldn’t refuse the company of a beautiful woman.”
“That would be nice.” Emma smiled, and then frowned.
“I just remembered that I’m looking after Henry and his friend on Monday night.”
“Then perhaps I’ll see you on Friday night, love.” He tried to hide his disappointment.
“Yeah,” She did the same. “I’ve gotta go find Henry and David. I’ll see you Friday.”
“See you Friday.” He smiled as Emma walked off down the aisle.
She found them both walking down the milk aisle looking very pleased with themselves. “Are we almost done? I’d like to go home and put my feet up.” Emma asked. Shopping is boring, although she mused that it would be less so if she had a pair of ocean blue eyes looking for half of the stuff with her.
“I think so.” David pushed the cart towards the tills.
“Oh wait.” Emma said and David stopped. She rushed to the next aisle across and came back with a box of tampons which she threw in the cart.
“Ready?” He asked.
They paid and then loaded all of the bags into Emma’s bug, Henry sitting in the back again but this time demanding to listen to the radio and not whatever he had been listening to on his phone on the ride over. Emma smiled when ‘Simple Man’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd came on and she happily hummed along. David glanced over at her a few times with a confused expression on his face, but he didn’t say anything and so Emma chose to ignore it.
David helped her carry all the bags up the flight of stairs to her apartment and as Emma was grabbing the last two bags and about to lock her car, her phone rang. There was no caller ID, but Emma figured that it could quite easily be work. She picked up. “Emma Swan.”
“Oh Emma. Thank goodness.” Emma’s lips upturned as she recognised the familiar accent of her friend Belle. “Listen. I’m in a little bit of a pickle and I was hoping you’d be free to chat?” She seemed nervous and maybe a little desperate.
“Of course. Would it be better to speak in person? I’m not working today and I’m sure David would love to look after Henry for a while.”
“That sounds great. Could you meet me at The Author’s Attic in an hour?” Emma was surprised that Belle was in town.
“Of course. I’ll see you then Belle.”
The Author’s Attic was a cafe slash bookstore that Emma had only been to once. She remembered that it allowed pets and had incredible cakes and had a great atmosphere. She was pretty sure that it had a second floor full of crazily comfortable armchairs and second hand books that people were allowed to read as long as they at least bought a drink, but the main floor was crowded with shelves full of brand new books that people could buy and several tables and display cases showing off all the cakes. Emma couldn’t really come up with a good reason why she had only been there once, but once she arrived she remembered. There was absolutely no parking, the traffic outside was horrendous and all of the tables were occupied by hipsters and students and hipster students. She sighed as she stepped in. It really was a nice place, but it was a little loud for her taste. Emma saw Belle then, standing at the bottom of the wooden spiral staircase in the far corner. She walked over to the woman. “Hi. It’s been a while.” She smiled.
“It has. Do you want a drink?” Belle asked.
“Do you think they do hot chocolates here?”
“They do. Go find a seat upstairs, I’ll order.” Belle wasted no time in walking over to the counter, and Emma turned away, walking up the spiral stairs. She had to admit that it was a lot less busy upstairs, and more quiet. Most people were happy reading or talking softly which satisfied Emma. She found a spot in a corner and set her purse down on one chair while sitting in the one opposite.
Belle came over quickly, carrying a receipt and a promise that their drinks would be brought to them. “So how long have you been in town?” Emma asked. She tried not to sound mean but it was obvious that Belle knew this place and it hurt that the brunette hadn’t reached out to her earlier.
“A couple of weeks.” That made her feel somewhat better.
“Where are you staying? I would offer you my guest room but I’m afraid that it’s occupied.” She chuckled.
“With a friend.” She blushed. So a friend of the male variety, Emma guessed. “I wanted to talk to you about Henry.” That got Emma's attention. “Specifically your pregnancy with him.”
“Are you-“ Emma’s eyes filled with wonder, come to mention it she did look a little rounder. Belle nodded. “Congratulations.” Emma smiled and Belle smiled back.
“I wanted to ask if you ever had any doubts about not telling Neal that you were pregnant.”
“So you haven’t told the father?” She wasn’t judging, she had no right to, but she was curious.
“No. I haven’t.”
“Is it Gold?” Of course it would be, but Emma didn’t want to assume.
“That’s the thing, it’s not.” Emma’s jaw dropped, and Belle clearly noticed and shuffled uncomfortably on her chair. “I’m eight weeks pregnant and we both know that it’s not serious because I was still living with Robert at the beginning. But Robert and I made a decision that we would separate four months ago. I just didn’t have enough money to leave Storybrooke until I met Will. He helped me find my footing when I finally left.”
“Is he good to you?” Emma didn’t want her friend to be taken advantage of.
“Can I ask why you haven’t told him?”
“I’m scared. He’s definitely not father material, he’s barely boyfriend material and I wouldn’t want him to stay out of obligation but end up hating me for it.”
“I think that you should tell him. My situation with Neal was different. We were already split up, I was in prison, hell I was gonna give Henry up. And then when I didn’t. I tried so hard to find Neal, but he vanished. I was going to tell him. So I think you should tell Will. And if he reacts badly then you can stay on my couch for a bit.” Emma smiled.
“Would you- would you come with me? To tell him?” Belle was obviously quite nervous.
“Thank you so much Emma. I should probably tell him as soon as possible, I think I'll give him an opportunity to split if that's what he wants but I really hope he doesn't.”
“I think that's fair. When should we go?”
“He starts work at seven. So I'll meet you at your apartment at ten to seven. He works nearby.”
“Okay. I mean it about the couch, and once David’s gone you can have the guest room.”
“Thank you Emma. I really appreciate it.”
The pair sat at the bookstore for a while, sipping at the drinks that were brought to them and catching each other up on what had been happening in their own lives. Although Emma and Henry left Storybrooke almost four years ago, they went back for all of the birthdays and holidays, but it had still been almost five months since she had seen Belle. Emma couldn't help the guilt that she felt for leaving her with no one, but Emma had to leave. She couldn't live in a place like that with so many familiar faces that filled with pity as soon as they saw her, because they all knew.
She didn't even love Graham, she just really really liked him and was thinking about moving on from her fears of commitment. They moved in together and he was really good to Henry and he was really good to her. And his proposal was only a surprise for her, everyone else in town had expected it, even Henry. She wasn't sure why she accepted. Maybe it was because he was offering her the type of life that she always wanted. A white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog. They bought a house together. It was nice, big, and had several empty bedrooms for the possibility of future kids. They moved into it a few months after his proposal. It was incredibly beautiful. The house was Victorian style and freshly painted cream. The front garden was full of vividly coloured flowers and buttercups peppered the back garden. It had two large floors and five bedrooms. The master bedroom was painted a light grey and was filled with paintings of the forest. It was nice. There was a small room next to the bedroom that Emma turned into a study. One of the walls was completely glass and looked out onto the harbour. She never understood why Graham had chosen a place by the sea rather than a place in the woods where he was obviously more comfortable. Later it occurred to Emma that he did it for her, because she always felt drawn to the ocean and Graham just wanted her to be happy. The study was so beautiful. When she couldn't sleep, Emma would grab a blanket and sit in the study watching the dark sky and the coal black ocean. A lot of the time Graham found her sleeping in her office chair. She was happy. She was happy until she wasn't.
Graham had a heart attack six months after they moved into the house and he died. He died a few weeks before their wedding. Emma couldn't cope. She withdrew and David and Mary Margaret ended up taking Henry, looking after him for two months, and dropping food off at the house for Emma. But all Emma did was sit in her pajamas in her office chair and watch the ocean. She barely ate, barely slept. She lost a lot of weight and didn't speak to anyone. Her eyes were constantly rimmed with dark circles and her hair was greasy. She couldn’t bare to sleep in the bed that they had shared, and so she took turns sleeping in the office and one of the spare bedrooms, or when the pain was particularly bad, she would stay in Henry’s bed. She wasn't just upset at Graham’s death, she was also upset that she would never be able to find happiness and she cursed everyone who tried to give it to her. So, in the middle of the night four years ago she packed up and took Henry to New York. She kept the house because she couldn't bear to let it go because it was her last link to the happiness that Graham had wanted for her, but it meant that she could only afford a crappy apartment in New York while she owned it. And whenever they visited Storybrooke, they stayed at the house because she didn't want to put David and Mary Margaret out or cough up for a room at Granny’s. They never fully packed the house up, leaving photo frames with pictures of everyone and pictures of Graham and Emma, and Graham and Emma and Henry up along the walls. They even had an empty ornate white and gold picture frame sitting on the mantelpiece.
“I'm home.” Emma called out as she closed the front door behind her.
“We’re in the kitchen.” Graham called back. Sure enough, as Emma stepped through the archway, she saw her two boys sitting at the breakfast bar. Henry seemed to be doing homework, while Graham sat next to him, presumably helping. “I got you a present.” He smiled as she walked through the door. He pecked her on the cheek, it was familiar, like they'd be doing it for the rest of their lives.
“What for?” She asked shocked. There were no anniversaries or birthdays or any specific date in the near future.
“Just because I love you. And it's kind of an early wedding present.” He said in his thick Irish brogue.
“I'm pretty sure we're not meant to buy each other gifts, that's what the guest are for.” But she accepted the wrapped gift anyway. Her fingers opened the paper and pulled it off. It was a gorgeous photo frame. It was white and had gold details painted that looked live vines and leaves. The frame was empty and she looked up at Graham, beaming at him.
“I thought we could put our favourite wedding picture in it and put it above the fireplace.”
“That sounds wonderful.” She kissed him softly but as she went to pull away, he held her close and whispered in her ear.
“I know you still have doubts, and that's okay. But I want this to remind you that no matter what happens, in a month’s time, I'll be waiting for you at the end of that aisle Emma Swan. It's my promise to you. I love you.” He kissed her again and she felt more confident that he would never leave her. Ever.
Graham gave it to her a week before he died. It stayed empty as a reminder of his promise. The house symbolised how he wanted her to be happy. But the frame symbolised how she was never meant to have that happiness. It was like her bug, from Neal, it reminded her that in order to stay together and not be shattered into a thousand pieces, she couldn't trust or allow anyone into that position again. That is why Emma Swan doesn’t do boyfriends.
She drove back home and asked David if he would look after Henry again in the evening. She apologised profusely explaining that she wouldn't be long and she might end up lending her couch to Belle if things didn't go to plan. But she really hopes they did go to plan because the apartment was crowded enough with David staying. Emma realised that she didn't know where Will worked, so she stuck with her tank top, jeans and red leather jacket ensemble.
Belle knocked at 6.47pm. Not that Emma was waiting or anything. Her stomach was rumbling and David had promised her dinner when she got back. “I’ll see you soon.” She called to David and Henry as she closed the door behind herself. Belle, too, was wearing the same outfit which made Emma more comfortable that she hadn’t changed. “Is it close enough to walk or do you want me to drive?” Emma asked.
“No, it’s just a few minutes walk.” They walked in silence. It was still light out but wouldn’t be for too much longer. Emma realised that they were heading to the bar, Killian’s bar.
“Wait.” Emma said, and Belle stopped in her tracks. “Is your Will, Will Scarlet?”
“Yes, do you know him?” Belle was surprised.
“We’ve met.” She didn’t elaborate and Belle didn’t push. She would rather not talk about Killian if she couldn’t help it.
They both stepped into the bar, Belle first and then Emma. The Jolly Roger was busy, but by no means full and so they chose to sit at the bar. Emma saw Killian looking over at her every now and then, and when he raised his eyebrow at her, she subtly shook her head and went back to talking to Belle.
After a few minutes Will stumbled in and moved to stand behind the bar. “Nice to see you’re on time again Will.” Killian mumbled through gritted teeth. Will was almost ten minutes late.
“Ah! Our beautiful girlfriends are here Killian. I can see why you wanted me to be on time.” Will leant across the bar where Emma and Belle were sitting. “Hey gorgeous. Want a drink?” He pecked a kiss on her cheek, any more and he would earn a grating look from Killian. “And Miss Emma Swan what will it be for you?”
“I was hoping we could talk?” Belle asked nervously. “Wait- did you say our girlfriends?”
“Emma are you dating Killian?” She turned to her friend. Emma was stunned, she couldn’t answer.
“I don’t date!” Emma said harshly. “You know that.” Belle’s face fell, and suddenly all Emma could see was pity and sympathy. And she hated that, but she refused to run this time. Belle needed her help, and as uncomfortable as it was for her, she was going to do it.
“I know. I’m sorry.” Belle said. There was an awkward pause between them all for a moment, and then Belle continued to Will. “I need to talk to you.”
“I’m taking a break.” Will declared to Killian and stepped out from behind the bar.
“You just got here.”
“Yeah, well I’m taking my break. I’ll see you in fifteen minutes.” Will escorted Belle and Emma into the back office. “So how can I help you two lovely ladies?” He asked as they all sat down in the chairs, Emma taking what she assumed to be Killian’s chair so that Will and Belle could sit next to each other. However, it did mean that there was a desk and two people between her and the door. But the window was open behind her and she supposed that if she really had to make an emergency break for it she might fit through it.
“I need to tell you something.” Belle started.
“I just want to let you know, before I tell you, that I really really like you Will.”
“I like you too, but if you’re getting back with Gold I won’t be there to pick up the pieces again.” He seemed to be getting angry but was trying not to let it show.
“Good. What is it?” He let out a breath that he’d been holding.
“I’m pregnant.” She half whispered it, excitedly. She didn't appear too nervous anymore.
“I am more than a little confused love.” Belle’s face fell. “Is it-?”
“It’s yours.” She was quiet. Emma could quite clearly see that Belle was upset, but she knew that the situation had to play out and then she would take Belle home and they could share the dinner that David had cooked for her and she would take care of Belle. It broke her heart that her friend was in this situation, Emma had something similar with Neal but at least they had planned for a future together. Will wasn’t the type to settle down or talk about having a family.
“I suppose we have a lot to talk about then.” Emma couldn’t tell if he was happy or not.
“We do. I promised myself that I would be brave enough to give you an out, and if that’s what you want, or even what you think you want then I suggest you take it because I don’t want to make you miserable. I care about you too much for that.”
“No. I don’t want that.” His eyes became glassy and he was shaking his head rapidly. “I want you Belle.” When they began to kiss, both gripping each other’s faces in their hands, Emma realised that she should probably go. She left the room and as she opened the door of the office, she ran straight into Killian’s firm chest. One side of her mouth turned up.
“Were you eavesdropping Jones?” He blushed.
“No. No, of course not. I wasn’t.” He picked up a washed glass and dried it off with the towel that was strewn over his hook. “I was just wondering what was so important that my employee was being made late for it.”
“He’s not late, you know perfectly well that he’s on a break.”
“I don’t usually have to work while he’s on his breaks, and I’m working so he’s late.”
“What’s got you so sour pirate?” She asked jovially.
“If you must know, I had plans with this beautiful bombshell of a woman, blonde with green eyes deal, but my family in Ireland called and my sister-in-law, Elsa, is in the hospital. And so I’m being torn away from this woman’s attention and my successful business and New York City to sit next to a hospital bed and fetch coffee and feel utterly useless.”
“I’m so sorry, is your sister-in-law going to be okay?”
“I’m not sure. They haven’t told me too much, other than that she has severe hypothermia.”
“I just want you to know that you can rest easy because I’ve heard it on the grapevine that your blonde bombshell has agreed to wait for you to come back before she moves on to another suitor. Her attention will be solely on you until you come back to keep her attention.” She smiled and looked away from him. He flashed her a smile back.
“That does make me feel a lot better love. I’ll be thinking about you when I’m in Ireland and it’s cold and wet and my bed is empty.”
“Who said anything about me?” She flashed him a grin and then moved back to the other side of the bar, where she should’ve been this whole time.
“Tease.” He muttered under his breath.
“Aye love.” Emma tried really hard to mimic his accent, and she almost hit the nail on the head. He laughed. “I’ve gotta get back, I’m super hungry. But I’ll see you on Friday.”
“See you Friday.” Emma walked out of the Jolly Roger and went home. She decided to just send Belle a text.
Emma: Hey, I assumed everything went well. I didn’t want to intrude, but my couch is still open if not. C u soon.
As she stepped into her apartment, her phone buzzed. She looked at the screen.
Belle: Good call. Couch not necessary. See you soon.
Emma smiled and then set her phone on the counter. ”Hey.” She greeted David.
“Everything go okay?”
“In the oven.”
“Thanks.” Emma removed the plate from the oven, it was still warm. “Where’s Henry?” She asked as she dug into the spare ribs on her plate.
“His friend called to talk to him about some new Marvel film, he’s on the phone upstairs I think.”
“Which friend?” Emma asked curiously.
“Rowan. No. Umm…”
“Yeah, that’s it. Roland. He seems like a sweet kid.”
“He really is. I’m friends with his dad, Robin. And I guess I might be friends with Robin’s girlfriend, possibly.”
“How do you not know if you’re friends with someone?”
“There was a moment of camaraderie and then she mentioned going out for coffee. I don't think she has many friends in the city.”
“Well neither do you. It might be good for you to make a new friend. Either that or come home. Mary Margaret and I miss you guys.”
“I can’t. I can’t live there again. Not after what happened.” She was starting to panic, and she really wanted to run, but she was glued to her chair.
“I hate to push, Emma, but you seem to have gotten over most of the trauma.”
“It’s not that. It’s the people.”
“Everyone’s really nice in Storybrooke, you of all people know that.” He was confused.
“Exactly, they are too polite to forget about what happened and what almost happened. I see the looks on all their faces when I visit. They all want to comfort me and make me feel better, but I hate being coddled.”
“I know, but they don’t know how to act around you. It would be better if you lived there, they would soon forget. Most people haven’t seen you a whole bunch since back then and so they remember you- and him- like you were. But I understand if that's not what you want to do.”
“I’ll be home next weekend. I just hate how they all feel bad or guilty or ignore me. My fridge is always completely stacked with casseroles and bakes even this many years after.”
“It’s how they show they care.”
“I know. Thanks David.” He realised that the conversation was over, and he wasn’t going to push her more on it. He wondered for a while why she decided to talk to him at all. Since the incident, every time he broached the topic of moving back to Storybrooke again, she would shut him down without mention of Graham or her feelings. It was progress, even if it was indeed incredibly slow.
Sorry it took so long for an update, I had about four college deadlines in quick succession with each other. But after tuesday I have a week and a half off, so I plan to release another chapter soon if I can find the motivation that is.
Emma was convinced that her brother was hiding something from her. Whenever he was left alone in a room he would whip out his phone and start talking in a hushed voice to whoever was on the other end. And when she happened to step into the guest room on Sunday morning to ask if he wanted anything to eat, she was surprised to find him standing, staring out the window and talking on his phone again.
She stood for a minute, not wanting to interrupt but she didn’t want him to think she was eavesdropping so she coughed. He turned around suddenly and his face flashed with guilt for a moment. “I was wondering if you wanted breakfast?” She asked, ignoring his facial expression. He nodded.
“I’ll be right out. Mary Margaret says hi.” Emma turned and walked back into the kitchen, feeling better that he was talking to his girlfriend, but still curious as to what had him looking so guilty. She decided to forget about it and she began by shoving two slices of bread into the toaster. Emma reached into the cupboard behind her and grabbed her box of pop tarts and set a couple aside to replace the bread once it was finished. She also grabbed the carton of eggs that David had insisted they needed. Emma began to scramble them, stopping only to take out the toast and put her pop tarts in. There was no point in making Henry any food because during the summer he never crawled out of bed until at least noon on a Sunday. She smiled at David as he took a seat at the breakfast bar and then plated up the eggs and toast for him. It wasn’t Michelin star but she knew how David liked his eggs. “Any plans for today?”
“Henry has practice in a couple of hours. But other than that, no plans.” Emma smiled. Henry had bugged her for a month to let him join the soccer team and although she was happy that he was making new friends it meant that there were a few extra trips to the emergency room than Emma would’ve liked.
“I want to take you and Henry out to dinner then, like a birthday meal, because I don’t think I’ll get the chance next weekend. Everyone’ll be wanting to spend time with you and you’re only staying one night.”
“That would be really nice.”
David and Mary Margaret were engaged. He told her at dinner that night. He seemed really excited about it and Emma was happy for him, she really was. But she didn’t think that she could bear to attend a wedding. Not now, not ever. Even just the thought of white dresses and best man speeches made her throw up. She got so close to her own happy ending with Graham before it was ripped away. But Emma was happy for her brother and Mary Margaret, they deserved their happy ending. And so she put on a false, but convincing, smile and talked about the future with her brother that evening.
Later, when they got back to the apartment, Emma gave David the key and ushered him and Henry up the stairs, saying that she would follow she just needed to make a call. David looked at her worriedly and then conceded. She sat in the bug and once her boys had disappeared, Emma began to cry silently. All the emotions of her abandonment and her inability to keep someone who loved her came back all at once, in an overwhelming tidal wave.
When Emma finally reappeared in the apartment, her eyes were red and puffy and her mascara was smudged but David didn’t say anything, just handed her the hot chocolate with cinnamon that he had made her. He seemed to understand. She brightened up as she drank the cocoa.
David got a taxi to the airport the next day because Emma’s bug wouldn’t start. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence but David was running a little behind schedule and so was forced to say goodbye. When he left, Emma turned into a zombie. She barely payed attention to her surroundings, bumping into furniture on more than one occasion and when Regina dropped Roland off on Monday, she was worried for Emma. Regina even offered to cancel her date, although Emma didn’t really see the point of that. Roland was well behaved and had good manners and kept Henry busy. It was easier to look after them both than if Henry had been alone. Although they did argue about what to have for dinner, Emma made the decision for them, shoving a tray full of chicken nuggets and fries into the oven before it could get physical between the boys. After dinner, they decided to build a fort in Henry’s bedroom so that they could sleep under the blankets and pretend that they were camping under the stars. He was a nice kid and Emma expressed the sentiment to Regina when she came to pick him up the next morning. “So, have you seen Killian Jones recently?” Regina asked casually as she waited for Roland to get his stuff together.
“No - wait, you know Killian?”
“Robin and Killian are friends.”
“Huh, small world.”
“It is indeed. Thank you for looking after Roland, Robin and I are very grateful.”
“It was my pleasure. I’d love to look after him again, if you wanted to go out just the two of you.”
“Be careful, I might just take you up on that offer.”
“Please do, he’s a delight.” Emma smiled, but the longer the conversation went on, the more forced her smile became. She liked the woman, but she really needed to stop existing for a while. Emma was still trying to get her head around the whole ‘wedding’ thing.
The rest of the week went quickly, and Emma wasn’t even sure it did go by at all. It felt trippy, like the Twilight Zone weird. She wasn’t all there, on autopilot until Henry went to bed each night, and then she would pour out a huge glass of wine and try not to cry. It was great that they were getting married and building a life together, but did they really need to get married? Before she knew it, it was Saturday morning.
Emma woke suddenly, feeling cold. She had forgotten to close her bedroom window and the wind was defeating the purpose of her duvet. She rolled over and looked at the time. 7.58. Emma exhaled loudly. She had two minutes until her alarm would go off. Closing her eyes, she tried to cocoon herself in the duvet. But the alarm went off, interrupting her trying to warm up. She rolled out of bed, literally, bumping her elbow on the floor and thanking God that her bedroom was carpeted. Emma skipped over the shower, knowing that she would rather have a shower in her house back in Storybrooke where the water was hot, not just warm, and the water pressure was better than good. It was her birthday tomorrow and even though they were only going to stay in Storybrooke for one night, she wanted to make the best of it.
They made pretty good time, having packed the night before, and were dressed, fed and out the door at 8.30. Henry was still half asleep and so Emma had to grab his hand in an effort to tug him to the car. She let him sleep for a little longer as she kept the radio down low. It only took a few hours to get to Storybrooke as it was Saturday morning. It wasn’t too painful a car ride, but while Henry slept, Emma couldn’t help thinking of the possible reasons she hadn’t been feeling like herself. The only thing she could come up with was Killian’s absence. She hadn’t seen him since the grocery store the day before she began to feel crappy. Although the impending wedding was most likely the source of her melancholia.
The yellow bug pulled up outside the house by the harbour. There weren’t too many people around, but Emma noticed that Eric and Ariel’s boat was missing from it’s usual spot in the harbour. She shook Henry awake and encouraged him to take his backpack up to the door of the house. It was still as she remembered it.
The sunlight filtered through the many windows, the back wall was entirely floor to ceiling windows showing the harbour and their backyard. The first floor of the house was open plan, with hardwood floors flowing from the kitchen, living room and dining area. A spiral staircase in the corner of the room lead up to the second floor. There were five bedrooms, a study and two bathrooms on this floor. Henry’s bedroom here was more decorated than the one in their apartment as they had more creative liberties owning the house than they did renting the apartment, and so he had a Spiderman mural painted on his walls that Graham had paid someone to do before they all moved in.
The fridge had been stocked the previous evening by Mary Margaret, just enough to get her and Henry through the weekend, and a note was left on the kitchen counter.
David and I will be having dinner at Granny’s this evening at six and would love for you to join us. No pressure. We will be over tomorrow at nine to have breakfast and prepare the house for the party.
“You hungry kid?” She called out.
“Definitely.” He smiled and walked into the kitchen.
“What do you fancy? Pasta? … Sandwiches? …” She trailed off as she began to search through the cupboards.
“Pizza!” He exclaimed.
“I don’t know Henry. We don’t have any frozen pizzas.”
“Can’t we order in? Pleaasssee.” He begged. Emma thought for a moment, trying to figure out if she could afford to pay for another take out.
“Fine.” She relented, smiling when Henry shoved his fist in the air. She got a sudden urge to watch The Breakfast Club. “Hey kid, have you ever seen The Breakfast Club?” She asked curiously. He shook his head and his eyes gleamed with interest. “It was my favourite film for a long time when I was young.” Being completely honest, Emma felt a connection with the roguishly independent characters, especially Judd Nelson’s character.
“Can we watch it?”
“Of course. I’ll call for pizza, you turn on the TV.” He ran across the room the the huge flatscreen that Graham had insisted on buying because ‘You can’t watch football without a flatscreen Emma.’
Emma wandered up the stairs with the phone, reeling off their order, and then came back down carrying the DVD case and a couple of cosy blankets. She put the disc in and then settled on the couch next to Henry who seemed enchanted that she was sharing something from her past, and Emma resolved to do that more given the look on his face, but skip over some of the bad times not wanting to haunt Henry with images of her starving on the streets or being pregnant in prison.
The pizza arrived quickly, and Emma suggested that they ate on the couch out of the boxes, if he was careful. Henry smiled brightly. Usually at the house they always ate in the dining room because all of the furniture was so expensive and important to her that she didn’t want to risk spilling or dropping anything on it. But when they were in the apartment they quite often ate on the couch if it suited. She wasn’t uptight about cleanliness, but she had never been furniture shopping for a whole house before, until Graham took her. It was important to him, so it became important to her.
Henry made it to the scene as the characters were all dancing to ‘We Are Not Alone’ before he fell asleep. She wouldn’t let him sleep too long or he wouldn’t sleep that night, but she waited until the film had been over for a while before shaking his shoulder awake. “Did I miss it?” He asked groggily.
“Yeah, the ending’s the best part.”
“Maybe I can watch the ending another time.”
“I’ll bring the DVD back to the apartment with us then. You can play a video game for a couple of hours until we have to meet Mary Margaret and David for dinner if you want.” Henry nodded excitedly and then rushed over to the games to pick one out. Emma’s phone buzzed in her pocket and she slipped it out to look.
Killian: Emma could I come round this evening, it may be one of those emergency situations we talked about.
Emma frowned. She was at least three and a half hours away but it seemed as though he really needed her. She made a decision and stood from the couch, where Henry was now loading up ‘Uncharted’. Emma walked up the stairs quickly and went to sit in the study, pulling a blanket over her shoulders as she sunk into the chair facing the harbour. She called Killian. “Hello?” He was speaking over loud noises.
“Hi, it’s Emma.”
“Just hang on a second love, while I get somewhere quiet.” Emma waited for a minute, with the phone to her ear suddenly becoming very self-conscious and tempted to just hang up. As she was about to do so, Killian spoke again. “That’s better. I didn’t expect a call.”
“I wanted to ask how much of an emergency it is because I’m about four hours away at the moment, spending a weekend back home. If it was really pressing we could meet in the middle.” She was hoping he’d say yes, she had missed his old timey British and his fingers working out the tension she accumulated.
“I’d hate to tear you away from your family, Swan. It can wait until you get back I suppose.” She heard the hesitation in his voice, not really believing that he could wait.
“Do you want to talk about it?” She asked before she could think. There was a pause.
“You wouldn’t mind? I’d hate to burden you.”
“I offered didn’t I?”
“I suppose you did. Okay.” He paused, trying to organise his thoughts and Emma waited. “My brother is trying to get me to move back to England, nothing new there. But Elsa is getting worse, she has developed pneumonia and hasn’t warmed up any. Liam’s worried and he doesn’t think that he’s able to take care of their daughter while Elsa’s in the hospital. He wants me to move back to help.”
“So why don’t you?”
“There’s a reason I left England, and it keeps me away. But I also have the Jolly Roger and friends here in New York.”
“Okay… so why don’t you stay with them until Elsa gets better and they’re back on their feet?”
“Are you trying to get rid of me, Swan?”
“No. Of course not. I… enjoy our time together. But family comes first, always. And it seems like your family needs you Killian, a lot more than your bar needs you.”
“Perhaps you are right.”
“There’s no perhaps about it. I am right.”
“Well, thanks for listening love.”
“Of course. I just hope that Elsa gets better.”
“As do I. Goodbye Swan.”
“Goodbye Jones.” Emma hung up. Her body sighed into the desk chair and she wondered what the hell she was playing at. Killian was a good lay, just a good lay. Nothing more. But she was giving him advice like a friend. She shouldn’t have called him. It feels as though their relationship had suddenly changed. But she hoped that Killian would take her advice anyway, and hoped that it might put a little distance between them.
Before she knew it, it was time to meet her brother and his fiancé for dinner. Emma gathered Henry into the bug and they drove to the diner.
As soon as they stepped in, Emma was ambushed by Ruby, dragging her into a corner and attacking her with questions. “It’s been so long, why the hell haven’t you visited? I’ve got so much to tell you about Victor and Dorothy and have you seen Jefferson yet?”
“Woah, calm down Ruby. When do you get off work?”
“Come by the house when you’re done. We can catch up.”
“That sounds great. Don’t forget to stop by to see Jefferson, he still hasn’t forgiven you for not stopping by last time you came back home.”
“I’ll see you later Ruby.” Emma took Henry’s hand and led them to the booth where Mary Margaret and David were sitting.
“Emma. It’s wonderful to see you again.” Mary Margaret stood and pulled her into a hug, and then crouched in front of Henry, hugging him as well.
“I’m sorry it’s been so long.”
“No, don’t worry about all that. Just make sure that you visit more often.” They all sat at the booth.
“So David tells me that you’re engaged. How did he propose?”
“It’s a great story, really romantic.” David cut in.
“Yeah, oookay.” Mary Margaret said sarcastically. “We went on a long weekend hunting trip and we were walking around this huge lake, stalking a doe. I was teaching him how to use a bow and arrow, but he missed, startling the doe. It ran off, and David ran after it. He slipped on a rock and fell into the lake.” She paused to laugh.
“She doesn’t need to know the whole story Mary Margaret.” He was embarrassed.
“He had the ring in a pouch in his pocket, but it fell out into the water. David was so panicked. He was searching for the ring for almost an hour, and wouldn’t let me help because he still wanted to keep it a secret. But I found it first, it had washed up with all his splashing and when I pulled the ring out the pouch he practically attacked me trying to hide what it was.”
“To be fair,” David cut in. “I had the whole thing planned out precisely and I wanted to surprise her. At that moment, it was my last chance to keep the surprise.”
“The surprise had passed by that point. I knew exactly what it was when I saw it. But when he jumped out of the water at me, I almost dropped the ring. The cat was out of the bag and so David decided to take the ring from me and get down on one knee and propose right there and then, while he was still wet.”
“I had planned to propose later that day but still in the forest, so it wasn’t much of a difference.”
“And it was perfect.” Mary Margaret smiled.
“It was.” David smiled back.
“Wow.” The four sat and regaled more stories of things that had happened since they had last been altogether.
Emma and Henry got back to the house a little after eight, and Henry ran up the stairs to read while Emma sank into the couch and flicked on the TV. Before she knew it, there was a knock at the door. She opened it to find Ruby. “Come on in.” Emma swung the door open further. “You want a drink?”
“Got anything stronger?”
“Sure.” Emma closed the door and then poured out two shots of tequila. Ruby downed hers and then reached to pour a second. “Looks like you’ve got a lot on your mind. So spill it Lucas.” Ruby took another shot and then took a seat at the breakfast bar.
“I have a problem.”
“I figured.” Emma said as she sat next to Ruby.
“Well actually two problems. Victor and Dorothy. I’ve been with Victor for three years now, we live together, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to propose soon. But my friendship with Dorothy has… uh… developed. I think I love her.”
“That is uh… a development.”
“I feel more strongly about her than I have ever about Victor, but I’m with Victor and he’s good for me. He’s good to me.”
“Take another shot and then we’re going to play a game.”
“This is serious Emma.”
“I know, and this’ll help, I promise. Take another shot.” Emma said and Ruby nodded. They both drank. “I am going to ask you a question and I need you to answer it quickly and without thinking.”
“Okay.” Ruby nodded.
“Who do you want to be with?”
“Dorothy.” Ruby said with conviction.
“Well then you should be with Dorothy.”
“I don’t even know if she feels the same way, and besides, I’ve been with Victor for three years.”
“But you want to be with Dorothy.”
“So find a way to let Whale down nicely, before he proposes, and then be with Dorothy.”
“Thanks Emma. Is there anything new with you? Any new guys?”
“No.” She paused. “Not really.” Emma smiled.
“Not really and no are two very different things. So which is it? Not really or no?”
“Who is he? How did you meet? Is he hot?”
“His name is Killian, we met at his bar and yes. He’s incredibly hot.”
“His bar, as in he owns the bar?”
“Yeah, the Jolly Roger. He has a thing for Captain Hook.”
“Not bad. But I will need to see a picture sooner or later.”
“It may already be over between us.”
“What do you mean?” Ruby asked, concerned.
“I might have convinced him to move back to England for a while.”
“What? Why would you do that?” Ruby seemed genuinely angry that Emma would deny herself the opportunity for love.
“His brother’s wife is really sick and family is the most important thing.”
“Says the one with no family.” She said cruelly.
“That’s exactly how I know that it’s the most important thing. Because I don’t have it.”
“I’m sorry Emma, I just hate to see you denying your right to a happy ending.”
“Believe me, Ruby, Killian is not my happy ending.”
“You don’t know until you try. And something tells me that you haven’t tried.”
“It’s not what he wants.”
“How can you be so sure of that, without even asking him?”
“We both agreed that our relationship would only be a physical one. It doesn’t matter anyway, he’s probably going to England and I won’t see him for a while.”
“Okay. I get the hint. Let’s talk about something else. David said that you saw Belle. Is she alright?”
“Yeah, she’s great. She’s actually pregnant and has a great boyfriend in New York, he actually works at Killian’s bar.”
“That’s great. And is the baby-?”
“The baby isn’t Gold’s, it’s Will’s.”
“Thank God for that. We really don’t need a mini-me of Mr Gold running about Storybrooke.”
“Definitely not. Have you heard from August lately?” Emma asked and Ruby shook her head.
“Last I heard he was in Venice.”
“That sounds nice.” Emma said dreamily. She had always been jealous of August and his ability to pick up and leave to go off in search of better places. She missed him sure, but his heart was on the back of his motorcycle with his typewriter and she would hate to force him to settle down to a life of boredom for her. In the most platonic way possible. Emma loved August like a brother. They were together before Ruth adopted her but he had stayed close until he left in search of adventure.
Ruby stayed overnight, not wanting to go back home to Victor when she had made her mind up about leaving him, but also being too drunk to honourably breakup with him. The latter had been Emma’s idea. Ruby slept in one of the guest bedrooms, down the hall from Emma.
The next day was a flurry of excitement. David and Mary Margaret had come over at nine so that Mary Margaret could decorate the house for the party and David could make everyone breakfast. Ruby was up pretty early for someone who should’ve had a hangover, and was busy flipping pancakes in the kitchen already dressed, when Emma stumbled down the stairs in her pajamas. Henry was sitting at the breakfast bar drinking a glass of orange juice while David was frying up some bacon next to Ruby with the pancakes. Emma walked around them to switch on the coffee maker. “Coffee’s ready Em.” David said as he watched her, his brow furrowed.
“Oh. Thanks.” She stopped trying to turn it on and poured herself a mug. She was more asleep than she thought. “Where’s Mary Margaret?” She asked once she had enough caffeine to be able to function properly.
“Outside, trying to set everything up for later. We thought since you were leaving to go back to New York at five, the party could start at eleven and then wind down at three to leave you with enough time to say goodbye to everyone.” David replied.
“You mean Mary Margaret thought.”
“She’s the brains in the relationship I’ll admit. Happy birthday Emma.” David kissed her on the forehead.
“Thank you. Really. It means a lot. After breakfast I have some stuff I want to do, could you watch Henry? I’ll only be an hour.”
“Of course. Just make it back before eleven.”
They all ate in relative silence, and then Ruby cleared up while David went out to help Mary Margaret. Emma left the house and got into her bug. She drove quickly to Jefferson’s shop and let herself in, despite the ‘CLOSED’ sign hanging in the window. “We’re closed.” She heard him say.
“Hey!” She called out, venturing into the haberdashery.
“Emma?” He appeared from the back room.
“Yeah, I wanted to come by and say hey.”
“Hey yourself.” He smiled, stepping closer to her.
“You don’t seem all that mad at me. Ruby swore that you were still angry that I didn’t come by last time I was in Storybrooke.”
“I’ll admit I was a little miffed, but you’re here now. I’m so glad to see you.”
“It’s nice to see you too.”
“Happy birthday Emma.” He smiled wider, if that was possible. “Wait there a minute.” He instructed and left the room. Jefferson came back with a parcel.
“Oh hey, you didn’t have to get me anything.”
“It’s your birthday, how could I not?” He handed her the parcel which was wrapped in a deep red paper with thick silver ribbon wrapped around it tied in a bow on the top. Emma unwrapped it carefully, and opened the box. Inside was a really nice leather jacket. She slipped her coat off and replaced it with the leather jacket. It was a little flamboyant, sure, with it’s long pointed sleeves and how it reached the middle of her thighs at the back. It was a dark plum colour and had a soft inside layer.
“It’s beautiful and must have cost a fortune. I can’t accept this.” She said taking the jacket off and holding it back to Jefferson.
“Only a fortune in time.”
“What?” She was confused.
“I made it myself. I hadn’t tried my hand at a leather jacket before and I thought it would make the perfect gift for the woman who can’t seem to get enough of them.”
“Thank you.” There were tears in her eyes as she hugged the jacket to her chest.
“You are most welcome. I hope this means that I’m invited to your birthday party later today.” He smirked.
“Of course. It’s at my house, starts at eleven. Bring Grace. I’m sure Henry would love to see her. I’ve got to go. But thank you. So much.”
“Your smile is all the thanks I need.” Emma pulled the jacket back on and then left the shop. She placed her coat on the passenger’s seat of her car and then walked across the street to ‘Game of Thorns’.
She greeted Belle’s father, who owned the store, and then looked around for the perfect bunch. Emma found an arrangement with white and light blue wildflowers. It was perfect. She bought it, and then drove to the cemetery.
Emma visited Graham’s grave whenever she was in town, and always left flowers. She sat in front of the headstone “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved. - George Sand. Graham Humbert died 18th September 2013” He wanted that quote to be a part of his vows to Emma and so she thought it was only fitting if it was written on his gravestone. Emma began to talk to him and tell him about everything that had happened, even the stupid stuff. “I think I met someone.” She said, embarrassed. “He’s a lot like you, just more crass. I think I have a thing for accents.” Emma chuckled. “And leather jackets.” She smiled. Her phone buzzed.
Mary Margaret: You better be outside the front door because it’s almost eleven.
“Crap. I guess I’ll talk to you when I come back to Storybrooke, next time. I love you.” She stood, and then touched the headstone as she left.
Emma got back to the house in good time. “That’s new.” Ruby commented as she walked through the front door.
“The jacket. I have to say it suits you.”
“It was a present.” She blushed.
“From Jefferson, I know. He’s been working on it for the last few months. He’s been driving me crazy trying to get my opinion on it.”
“Months? Remind me to thank him again later. Wait, that’s why you were so desperate yesterday that I go see him.”
“Guilty.” She shrugged.
“I’ve got to go to the bathroom, tell Mary Margaret I’m home and I’ll be out in a minute.”
Emma went to the bathroom in her ensuite, hoping for a little more time until the crazy started. And then she sat for a moment on top of the toilet seat. She stared directly in front of her, and her gaze landed on the box of tampons that she had bought the last weekend when David had been to visit. She was sure to have needed them by now. Actually she should’ve needed them a week and a half ago. “Fuck. No no no no no no no.”
Emma ran out of the bathroom as quickly as she could, only stopping to forcibly remove David from her path. “Where are you going? The party’s starting!” He called after her as she ran out of the house and down the street. She ran all the way to the nearest shop and stood panting in front of the aisle displaying the pregnancy tests. It hadn’t been like this with Henry. She hadn’t taken a home pregnancy test, she just noticed the symptoms and went to see the in-house doctor of the penitentiary who had done the test for her. But like with Henry, there was no man in her life to help her. If she was indeed pregnant, Emma would raise the shit out of the baby and be a fantastic mother.
She finally purchased three tests, just to be sure, and then walked home calmly, although she was anything but. She strolled back into the house and hid the brown paper bag with the tests in upstairs, rejoining the group that had now congregated. “Where did you go?” David asked doing his best impression of a worried father.
“It’s cool. I felt ill so I ran to the store to buy some Advil. No biggie.” She tried to shrug him off, but he frowned as if he didn’t believe her.
“Are you sure you’re okay Emma?”
“Yeah,” She breathed, he wasn’t buying it and so she brought out the big guns. “I visited Graham’s grave earlier. That’s why I was late. And I was having a freak out upstairs because I didn’t get to properly say goodbye. But I’m fine now.”
“Oh Emma. I’m sorry. I’m sure that everyone would’ve understood if you were a few minutes late.”
“It’s fine. I had an hour with him, just lost track of time.” She felt bad for deceiving David, but technically she wasn’t lying. She would rather be spending more time at the cemetery than here.
“Come on, everyone’s here.” David put his arm around her shoulder and led her out into the backyard. Henry was playing in the bushes with Grace, hide and seek probably, and she saw Jefferson smiling as he watched them.
It turned out that David and Victor were starting up the barbecue for lunch. Emma walked over to the drinks table where Ruby was lurking. “Have you done anything yet?” Emma asked when she noticed that Ruby was watching Dorothy.
“No, but I know that I need to do it soon. It’s not fair on Victor to string him along. But I love him, but I love her. God I need a drink.” Ruby poured herself a martini.
“Slow down Rubes, it’s only eleven in the morning.”
“It’s five o’clock somewhere. Can I get you something? A screwdriver or tequila maybe?” Ruby began to grab a couple of the liquor bottles so that she might tempt Emma.
“I’m not feeling so hot, but I’ll take a Dr Pepper if one’s cold.” Emma smiled innocently, and almost flaked under Ruby’s scrupulous glare. And then her hand instinctively curled over her stomach. Ruby noticed and let out a sound unlike anything Emma had heard before, and then dragged Emma by the arm into the house.
“That no good Captain Hook-loving bastard knocked you up, didn’t he?” Ruby whispered violently, glancing occasionally at Emma’s stomach.
“No?” Emma squeaked out.
“No? Try it with a bit more conviction.”
“No.” She said more confidently this time.
“Better, but I still don’t believe you. Emma, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me last night.”
“I didn’t know last night.”
“Aha! So you are pregnant!” Ruby smirked.
“No, yes. I don’t know. I haven’t taken a test yet.” This time it was Emma dragging Ruby by the arm. Emma led her to her bedroom and they sat on the bed.
“Why haven’t you taken a test? Are you scared? Do you think that Killian doesn’t want to be a dad? Do you not want to be a mom again?”
“Chill Ruby, I figured it out not even twenty minutes ago. That’s why I ran out, to go buy some tests. But I couldn’t exactly say ‘wait a minute guys, don’t start the party yet, I have to take a pregnancy test to discover if I’m carrying the illegitimate child of a man way too obsessed with a kids story and who fucks like a God’.”
“Okay, fair point. You really think he fucks like a God? That’s high praise from Miss One-Night-Stand.”
“Not the point. We need to go back downstairs or someone will notice.”
“You said you bought the pregnancy tests, right?”
“Yeah, I stashed them in the drawer.” She pointed to her bedside drawer.
“Take one now. It only takes, what, three minutes. They won’t miss us.”
“Three minutes without the guest of honour? They’re totally gonna miss me. Especially Mary Margaret. I swear she’s been planning this for a year, since my last birthday.”
“If you don’t do it now, you’re going to die waiting until everyone’s gone home.”
“You’re right. Okay, but one more problem.”
“What is it?”
“I peed twenty minutes ago. I’ll need several drinks.”
“Will do. I’ll be back, don’t go anywhere.” Ruby said. Emma took off her new leather jacket and folded it neatly on the bed. Ruby came back pretty quickly, holding two cans of Dr Pepper. She passed them to Emma and then closed the door.
“Thanks.” Emma opened the first and began to down it. And then she opened the second, drinking it slower than the first. Once it was finished, Emma unboxed one of the tests and went into the ensuite. “Really Ruby, thanks.” She said as she closed the door.
She peed on the stick, and then washed her hands. Ruby hit the timer button on her phone as Emma stepped back into the bedroom. They both laid down horizontally on the bed with their heads next to each other, but their bodies on opposite sides of the bed. “Tell me something.” Emma said quietly.
“I don’t know. Tell me a story.”
“Okay.” Ruby thought for a moment, and then began. “Once upon a time, there was this incredibly beautiful woman with dark brown hair. They called her Red for the cloak she always wore. She was heroic and brave, and always knew what the right thing to do was. She gave her heart to a man, a healer, but Red always felt like there was something missing. Until she met this kind, caring, sweet woman from Kansas. Red felt guilty because she loved the woman, but she also loved the man. She didn’t know what to do. But then her friend, a woman she loved very much and a Princess, came home one day and put everything in perspective for her. ‘Go with your gut’ the Princess said, and Red’s gut was telling her that she loved them both. And as Red was making up her mind about what to do, her friend admitted that she was pregnant by a nasty pirate. Red was horrified at first and wanted to visit the pirate and kick him in the nards, but then as the Princess told Red about the pirate, Red realised that her eyes lit up and there was a smile on her face that had been gone since her Huntsman had died.”
“Ruby.” Emma said warningly.
“It’s almost over. Let me finish.” She waited until Emma gave a slight nod of her head and then continued. “But the pirate was on his way to England to sail the seven seas and didn’t know about the child. Red convinced the Princess to at least give the pirate a chance to step up and be a father, knowing that if he chose not to, she hadn’t lost anything. She found out where he was and she went to him. And Red’s friend lived happily ever after, with or without the pirate, because she had a family who loved her and more than she could ever wish for. The end.”
“Okay. I think it’s done now.” Emma said, stalling. “I can’t look. Could you look?”
“Of course.” Ruby twisted Emma’s wrist carefully so that the stick was facing her. “How should I react? Should I be excited or upset?”
“Just tell me Ruby. Rip the bandaid off.”
“I am?” Emma’s voice was filled with wonder.
“Yeah, you are. I assume that you’re happy by that tone.”
“I think I am.” Emma smiled.
“We should go back to the party. I’m sure they’re all missing you.”
“I just want to lay here for a while. I’ll be down soon. Go.”
“Okay. Don’t be too long.”
“I love you too Ruby.”
“What? When did I say that I loved you?” She was confused but not repulsed.
“Red’s friend, a woman she loved very much. I love you too. Now get your butt out of my bedroom. I need a minute to process.” Ruby stood and left Emma lying on the bed, walking out of the room and back to the party.
Emma could hear the chattering and movement from downstairs, but blocked it out in favour of the seagulls and the soft splashing of the waves against the boats in the harbour. Her right fist grabbed at the sheets, twisting them between her fingers. The bed tethered her back to reality. Emma stood slowly and smoothed her clothes, she put the jacket back on as she was planning on staying in the yard for a while.
The noise grew as she walked down the stairs, and she was greeted by Jefferson at the door to the yard. “Hey.”
“Hi, you’re still wearing the jacket.” He smiled.
“It turns out that this is my comfiest leather jacket, and it doesn’t hurt that I really like the man who made it for me.” Emma said and his smile widened.
“I’m glad. Can I get you a drink?”
“I’ll take a Dr Pepper.”
“No alcohol for the birthday girl?”
“I’m pacing myself.”
“Alright then, I’ll be back.” Jefferson left, and Emma made her way to Mary Margaret.
“David told me about earlier, I’m sorry. I didn’t know where you were. In the future, just let me know if I’m being too overbearing.”
“It’s fine. You’re not overbearing.” Emma chuckled.
The party went quickly, if anyone noticed Emma not drinking alcohol they didn’t mention it. And David and Victor made incredible burgers. Henry played with Grace for a while and then sat next to David when everyone was eating. Emma looked over occasionally, seeing him happier than he had been for quite a while. If it wasn’t for her job and the fact that she really liked New York, Emma would be considering moving back if it meant Henry would be happier. But it wasn’t an option. There’s no place for a lawyer in Storybrooke.
As promised, people began to leave around three, and eventually only Mary Margaret, David and Ruby remained to help clean up. Emma sent Henry inside to put his stuff back in his rucksack, and she was carting her few presents to her car. When she turned back to the house, she heard a yelp from beneath her feet. Emma stopped and looked down.
At her feet was a red-brown cat with matted fur who was yelping. “What’re you doing cat?” Emma bent down to stroke the cat. “Do you have a family?” She looked through the fur for a collar. “No? Come on, let me help you.” The cat meowed as Emma picked him up and took him into the house.
“What’s that you got?” David asked as Emma walked into the kitchen.
“It’s a cat.” Emma grabbed a couple of bowls with her free hand, and poured milk into one, and then scooped some of the leftover tuna casserole that Mary Margaret had made into the other bowl. And then she placed the cat on the floor in front of the two bowls.
“You can’t keep him.”
“I know.” Emma said sadly.
“He probably has a home.”
“I don’t think he does.”
“Either way you’re going back to New York so you shouldn’t get attached.”
“I’m not getting attached, I’m just feeding him.”
“Just make sure that’s all you’re doing.” He said as he left to find his fiancé.
“Ignore him cat, I know I can’t keep you, but I hope we’re friends.” The cat meowed in agreement, or what Emma hoped was agreement. “I might have enough time to give you a bath. What do you think?” The cat sidled up to rub himself against Emma’s legs. “Finish your food and we can get you clean.” She suddenly received a text.
Killian: Heard on the grapevine that it’s your birthday today. Happy birthday Swan.
Emma: I’m guessing that would be Will and Belle’s doing.
Emma: Have you heard anything about your sister-in-law?
Her phone rang and she answered it. “No, they’re saying that it’s no better, but no worse. I guess we’re lucky for that.”
“Are you going to England?”
“Aye. I talked to my brother and he appears to really need my help. Elsa’s family, what little she has left, live in Alaska. And I’m the only family Liam has, so he needs me there looking after my niece. It’ll only be for a fortnight. I can’t really afford anymore time away from the bar than that.”
“Will I see you before you go?”
“Sorry love, I’m leaving early tomorrow morning. Got to get my head down early, transatlantic flights can be a nightmare.”
“Oh. Well I’m sure I’ll see you at the bar sometime then.”
“Yeah. Goodbye Swan.”
“See you Jones.” She hung up. The cat was looking up at her. “Don’t look at me like that. I can hardly tell a man I barely know that he’s knocked me up over the phone. Let’s run you a bath.” Emma dropped the bowls in the sink and then picked the cat up, carrying him up to the bathroom. She put the plug in and ran the bath a few inches high, and then plonked the cat in. To her surprise he didn’t fight it. Instead he just curled up and laid down in the water. Emma grabbed a sponge that she was definitely going to throw away after this, and began washing him, untangling his fur with her fingers. It took longer than she’d expected it to because he’d fallen asleep halfway through to her ministrations and her quiet humming. “Wake up cat. Time to get you dry.” Emma pulled the plug and lifted the sodden cat into an old towel. The cat purred as Emma dried off his fur, and kept on pushing his head into her open palm. “There, isn’t that better.” She dropped the towel into the hamper and gathered the cat up. Now clean she thought he had beautiful fur and he looked good enough to snuggle.
Emma still had a couple of hours until she had to take Henry back to New York, and so she sat on the sofa watching reruns of Hell’s Kitchen and cuddling the cat. He didn’t seem to mind because he purred for a while and then fell asleep again. “I’m gonna have to go Emma-“ Ruby started as she walked into the main room. “What is that?”
“God, you’d think you people have never seen a cat before.”
“Why have you got a cat? Who’s cat is it?” Ruby stood in front of the TV to stare at Emma and the cat, but Emma looked around her to keep watching the show.
“I’m pretty sure he’s a stray.”
“Why have you got a cat?” She seemed exasperated by Emma’s antics.
“I’ve had a trying day. I needed a little down time.”
“And your idea of down time is stealing a cat to cuddle?”
“Exactly. I fed and washed him and so he is paying me back in hugs.”
“You really don’t know where he’s been.”
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll stay out of it. I just wanted to say goodbye, and to tell you that I’m going to try to fix the whole Dorothy and Victor mess. I’ll text you what happens. And you better tell-“ Ruby stopped as Henry walked into the room. “You better tell the pirate that he knocked up the princess. I mean it Emma.”
“Alright I’ll tell him. But I’m telling him in person. That’s not the sort of news you want over the phone. Good luck with your situation. I love you Ruby.” She scratched behind the cat’s ears.
“Hey cat, what have you done with my friend Emma? She’s gone all mushy.” Ruby said and then she left.
“When did we get a cat? Was he a birthday present?” Henry asked excitedly, sitting next to Emma to pet the animal.
“No kid, he’s a stray. I felt bad so I’ve been taking care of him for the last hour. But we can’t keep him.”
“Are you all packed?”
“Yeah. I put the Breakfast Club DVD in my bag for later.”
“Cool, we should head out in twenty minutes.” She said, and Henry moved closer to her so that his head was resting on her shoulder.
“Why do we live in New York?” He asked with a sigh.
“Lots of reasons Henry.”
“My job, I couldn’t do my job in Storybrooke.”
“You could do a different job.”
“Maybe, but I like to think that we have a pretty good life in New York. You have school and friends, your dad lives nearby, I have friends, we have a pretty cool apartment.”
“No. I don’t wanna to go back. It’s better here.” Henry started to cry.
“What’s making you feel like this?” Emma asked, setting the sleeping cat down next to her and reaching to brush away Henry’s tears.
“We have a house here, why aren’t we living in it. Why do we live in the apartment?”
“What’s brought this on Henry?”
“I miss everyone. Two days is a really short time. I want to be here for all of the days, like it was before. If Graham was here, he’d let me stay.”
“Oh baby, if Graham was here we wouldn’t have left.” It was Emma’s turn to cry. She didn’t realise that Henry remembered Graham all that well, he’d been only five when Graham had died. “Let’s go home.” Emma pulled Henry up with her and they put their bags in the car. Henry ran around the house turning off the lights while Emma said goodbye to the cat. “I hope I made your day somewhat better cat. Maybe I’ll see you next time we come into town.” She scratched his ears and then placed him on the ground outside of the house. He stared at her for a while, and then sauntered off. “All the lights off?” She asked as Henry appeared.
“Yep.” He said and then got into the passenger’s seat of the bug. Emma locked the door and followed him into the car.
“Could we get a pet when we get home?”
“I don’t know, Henry. What kind of pet would you want?”
“How about you think about it, and when you’ve made a decision we can talk about it?”
“Okay.” Henry said and went silent, lost in thought.
They met no traffic on the way back to Storybrooke, it being Sunday. Emma sighed happily as they drove through their neighbourhood, it was nice to be back. Until it wasn’t.
Henry reached the door first and Emma heard him shout out for her. She rushed to his side. The door had been left ajar, and Emma turned the light on as she pushed it open the rest of the way. She sank to her knees. “Oh God.” Emma breathed out. Her apartment was completely empty. The only things that remained were things that were fixed to the walls like kitchen cabinets and shelves. Even the fridge was gone.
“Mom?” Henry stood still in the empty room, his eyes filling with tears. “Mom?” He whimpered and ran to his room. Henry’s room was the only room that had belongings still in it, which Emma was forever grateful for. There was barely anything left, but it was more than nothing. His bed was still there, Emma’s wasn’t. And some of his clothes were piled underneath the hangars in his wardrobe, whereas they took Emma’s entire wardrobe, the wood and all. Henry still had some of his toys, although the PSP that Emma had worked hard to buy for him was missing. Emma’s room was the barest. Nothing was left. It was now just walls and a floor, and they weren’t even left a couch that she could stay on. She went out to the car to grab the overnight bags they had packed, but she left her presents in the car. When she returned, she found Henry sitting on the end of his bed, staring out of the window. He turned to meet her eyes when he heard her coming back in. He was crying quietly. And Emma knew that there was only one thing she could say or do to get her son to smile again that day. That horrible day that was meant to be her birthday.
“Hey buddy. Don’t be too sad. We can go out for dinner and then move back to Storybrooke in the morning.” She stroked his hair and he smiled wetly at her. “Where do you want to eat?”
“Can we go to the Jolly Roger?”
“I don’t know if they serve food in the evening.” Emma answered honestly, but amended what she said when Henry looked sadder. “But we can definitely go and see. If not then I’m sure I can find us somewhere good. Come on, let’s dry those eyes.” Emma took her sleeve to Henry’s face because that’s all she had now, in New York anyway. She still owned a fully furnished house in Storybrooke, and she couldn’t believe how relieved it made her that she hadn’t sold it when the realtor had been asking around a couple of years ago. She would’ve had to start completely from scratch, again.
They hid their overnight bags under Henry’s bed because the lock was busted and it seemed as though the thieves had made more than one trip and could be back, because how else would they get all of the furniture out? And then they strolled to Killian’s bar, Emma’s arm tightly wrapped around her son for fear that the thieves might come back and take him too. It only took a few minutes to come across the familiar sight, the dark brown and red tavern-style bar. Emma saw that it was fairly busy when she walked in, and noticed that Will was working tonight. He glanced up at met her eyes. For a moment, Emma thought she saw confusion on his face but it was quickly replaced with joy. He waved them over. “Emma! Killian wasn’t expecting you… and is this Henry?” Emma nodded.
“Say hello Henry.”
“Hello. Who are you?” He asked with his boyish curiosity, his current sadness forgotten temporarily.
“I’m Captain Hook’s first mate, I suppose. I’m also dating your very fine friend Miss Belle French.”
“Are you Smee then?”
“Alas no,” Henry frowned at Will. “me name’s Will Scarlet.” Henry grew excited again.
“Like in Robin Hood?” He asked with enthusiasm.
“I guess so.” He scratched the back of his neck. “What can I do you for lad?” He asked smiling.
“We’re in a bit of a situation.” Emma started and pain flashed across Henry’s face. “And we wanted to know if you serve food in the evening as well as at lunch.”
“No, I’m sorry. Our chef only works at lunch and we don’t get enough requests to pay her for longer. We only have crisps and nuts.” He looked sheepish.
“Crisps?” Emma asked. Suddenly a new voice joined the conversation.
“Chips love.” It was Killian. “I didn’t expect you to come over, and bring Henry. What’s up love?”
“It’s fine we were just looking for somewhere to have dinner, that’s all. I’ll probably see you when you get back from England.” No she wouldn’t, she thought. Emma turned around to leave, but Henry tugged on her hand.
“Our house is empty and it’s all gone. Mom promised me we could come here to eat because it made me stop crying.” He said bluntly. Goddamn kids, Emma thought.
“Oh, well in that case you simply have to eat here.” Killian said as if it was the most obvious solution.
“But you don’t do food.” Emma retorted, embarrassed.
“Ah but for you both, I can make an exception. Follow me.” Killian waved them to follow behind the bar, Henry went first because Emma was still half-wishing she could get out of the situation.
The three traipsed up to Killian’s apartment. “You live up here?” Henry asked with wonder.
“I do.” Killian nodded as he gestured around. “It’s not much but it’s a place to rest one’s head.”
“It’s more than we have.” Emma mumbled under her breath.
“Why don’t you sit down and tell me exactly what has gotten you in such a state?” Killian sat on the couch and patted the space next to him for Emma to fill. She did, to his surprise. Emma realised then that what he said must have been in reference to the smudged mascara under her eyes.
“We got back from Maine an hour ago and the apartment door was open. Everything was taken. The rooms have less in them than when we got the apartment. We have no food, hell we have no fridge or microwave. All my clothes are gone, the TV, the sofa, the lamps, the medicine cabinet was cleared out, even the leftover baby aspirin from when Henry was younger.” Baby aspirin. Baby. Killian’s baby. She should tell him. But she didn’t want to ruin his life.
“Well it would be my honour to make you both dinner. What do you like?” He turned and asked Henry who was looking around the room with interest.
“I like pasta. Mom always makes the pasta either too hard or too soft. How do you make pasta?”
“How about I make some and if you don’t like it I can find something else?”
“Okay.” Henry walked over to the bookshelf.
“And do you like pasta too Emma?”
“Very well. I haven’t eaten yet either, so I hope you don’t mind if I join you both.”
“How could we mind, it’s your food and your apartment?”
“So it is, I didn’t want to assume.” Killian moved to the kitchen to get everything out of the cupboards. He also sat a glass on the counter and a bottle of vodka and a carton of orange juice next to it for Emma. When Killian’s back was turned, she filled the glass with the juice alone and took a long sip.
“Henry do you want some juice?” She called out.
“Yeah.” He walked into the room as Killian handed her another glass. She poured a second glass for Henry and handed it to him.
“Be careful, don’t spill it.” He took the juice out to the sofa and sat.
“Not feeling like drinking Swan? I would’ve thought that you’d need it the most at a time like this.”
“You saw that huh?”
“Aye. The bottle wasn’t moved and the colour of your juice was the same as Henry’s, it would’ve become lighter with vodka.”
“Alright Sherlock Holmes. I just feel like I need to be in control of one thing tonight. My faculties. If I drink then I’ll feel everything slip away. I can’t do that to myself or Henry tonight. He needs me.” It wasn’t really a lie, Emma thought that even if she wasn’t pregnant then she wouldn’t be drinking for that reason.
“I understand.” And she thought that he did, he really understood.
They didn’t talk too much after that, Killian made pasta in white cheese sauce, simple and quick. “Where are you going to live while you find a new place?” Killian asked when his bowl was almost empty.
“Oh, we… we’re not-“ Emma started.
“We’re going back to Storybrooke.” Henry smiled brightly. “For good. That’s right, right?” He turned to Emma.
“Emma?” Killian’s face was full of panic as he looked at her.
“Yeah, I own a house in Maine, have done for five years. We’ll live there.”
“Can I ask you why you lived here in a small apartment when you own a house in Maine?”
“It was where we lived with Graham.” Henry happily cut in again.
“He was my fiancé, he died.” She said quickly.
“That… makes sense.” On the surface Killian was talking about them not living in or selling the house, but he was really referring to Emma’s existence and the closed-off-ness and one night stands, and their sex-only ‘relationship’. It made sense now. “When are you moving?” He asked, the corners of his mouth downturned.
“In the morning. The lock is broken, I don’t have a bed or a couch to sleep on, there’s nothing tying me to New York anymore.”
“Right.” He said sadly.
“What?” Emma sighed. “Are you suggesting that you might be something tying me to the city?”
“No love. I know what this is, or was. I’m not ignorant.” He said spitefully.
“Well good, because as a matter of fact I barely know you and I can’t not move back to Maine just because a man I hardly knows flutters his eyelashes at me.”
“I don’t expect you to.”
“So then why do you look so sad?” She yelled, and immediately regretted it when she had to run to the bathroom to throw up. She was down on her knees in front of the toilet bowl, puking. A few moments later she heard Killian come up behind her a grab her hand.
“Give me your wrist Swan.” He said quietly. She did, and he slipped the hair tie off. It was difficult for him to gather her hair with only one hand, he was wearing the prosthetic tonight, and Emma thought that it might have been easier with the hook. He pulled her hair back and tied it into a bun, so that none of her hair got puked on.
“My cooking’s not that bad Swan.” He chuckled. “Are you sick?” It was now or never. But she was moving to Maine in the morning, and he was going to England in the morning. To hell with it, he needed to know.
“I’m pregnant Killian.”
New chapter! Huzzah! I'm writing a bunch of other CS fics that I'm really excited about at the moment which is somewhat slowing the writing of this fic. But once the other ones start to become complete and I upload them, I'm sure you'll all stop being mildly frustrated with the confusing upload schedule for this fic. Enjoy the next chapter.
“I’m pregnant.” Emma turned to look up at Killian who’s jaw had now made permanent residence with the floor. It was a while until either of them said anything else. Emma could almost hear the crickets. She suddenly wished that she could take it all back. Ruby was wrong; Emma had plenty to lose. Her pride, dignity and her spirit. And maybe her temper. “Right, well I have my answer then.” She stood and wiped her mouth on some tissue, threw it into the toilet and flushed. Emma left the bathroom, grabbing Henry’s hand and walking him quickly down the stairs and back into the bar.
“Are we leaving mom?”
“Because Killian has to go to England very early tomorrow morning, and we’ve got to get back and go to sleep so that we can get back to Storybrooke in the morning.” Henry seemed to contemplate her words quietly before speaking.
“Okay.” He agreed.
Just as Emma was about to get to the door to leave the bar, an arm grabbed her. She twirled around, about to chew the person out but saw it was Will with a very worried look on his face. “What do you want?” She asked in an effort to seem strong, even though all she wanted to do at that moment was curl into bed and cry. But Emma didn’t have a bed in New York anymore, so that would have to wait until she got back to Storybrooke. She’d probably cried more in that house than she had in the rest of her life.
“Take it easy lass, I just wanted to know if I ought to be sending Belle your way? You seem upset is all.” He said.
“No, it’s fine. We have to leave.”
“Alright. If you’re sure.” Emma nodded curtly. “Bye Emma, Henry.” Will let go of her arm and she turned back around and left. Emma vaguely thought she heard someone yelling ‘Wait’ but if it was her they were after, they would’ve come to get her. No one did so she trudged home with her son in silence.
Henry was completely shattered by the time they got back, so Emma told him to get into his pajamas. “The sooner you go to sleep, the sooner you wake up and the sooner we can get back to Maine.” Henry appeared to agree with the logic.
“Where will you sleep?”
“I thought that we could both sleep in your bed tonight, but if you don’t want me to then I can sleep on the floor.”
“We don’t have any blankets or pillows, you can sleep with me.”
“Thank you Henry.” She tucked him into his bed, sliding him closer to the wall than he would usually be. Emma decided that she would wait for her son to fall asleep before joining him. She retrieved her bag from under the bed and went next door to change into her pajamas.
Emma slid down the wall of her completely empty bedroom and rested her head on her knees. She exhaled deeply and then began to shake. It was happening again. She was left alone to raise another kid, abandoned by another man. Although Killian was different, she had been given no false illusions concerning the nature of their relationship, they both knew that it was just sex. But with Neal Emma thought they were in love, she thought that they would get married and find their happy ending in Tallahassee. He had deceived her. Made her look like a fool. Had stripped her dignity and had shattered her heart.
When she returned, Henry looked sleepy, but wasn’t asleep yet, and had shuffled closer to the wall. Emma turned the light off and crawled into the small bed with Disney Peter Pan covers. She pulled Henry towards her, into an embrace, and the boy lent his head on her chest and threw his arm around her. “Did you and Killian have a fight?”
“Not exactly. I told him something and he didn’t react how I wanted him to.”
“How did you want him to react?” He said, eyelids drooping.
“I wanted him to be happy.” Emma whispered into the darkness as Henry fell asleep. “I wanted us to be a family.” She pressed a kiss to her son’s forehead and closed her eyes, attempting at her own slumber.
Emma’s sleep was interrupted several times throughout the night when she heard knocking. She got up each time only to reveal that it was someone knocking at a neighbour’s door, or take out being delivered to her neighbour. She never hated her neighbour more because each time she thought it was Killian knocking and each time she felt her soul break apart when it wasn’t.
Henry woke her up just after dawn, excited. “Mom! Mom wake up! We’re going back to Storybrooke.” He bounced on the bed, mindful of Emma’s presence.
“Okay kid, but I’m going to need a crap load of coffee.” Dark circles and a throbbing in Emma’s head betrayed just how badly she had slept. “How about you pack all of your stuff up in here and I’ll go across the street to get some coffee and donuts?”
“Sure. How much can I take with me?”
“All of it, no furniture though. Only what will fit in the bug. But don’t leave anything you’ll miss because we’re not coming back.”
“Okay.” Henry grabbed a top from his wardrobe and began pulling his pajamas off. Emma went into the bathroom to straighten up and get changed as well.
It only took ten minutes for her to look like something resembling more of a human than before, and she only vomited once. Emma checked in with Henry before she left and found him contemplating his remaining toys.
“I’ll just get a large black coffee to go please.” She heard as she walked into the deserted cafe. It was him. It was Killian. Emma was thinking about turning around and leaving, but her need for caffeine outweighed her flight response.
“What can I get you?” A young barista said to her. Killian turned around, not expecting to see anyone this early. He looked awful, he obviously hadn’t slept either.
“Can I get a large americano with two extra espresso shots, a hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon on the top, a bear claw and a jam donut please?”
“Sure. It’ll be a minute.”
“I can wait.” Emma was trying to avoid looking at Killian but he was staring at her. The barista turned her back and went to make the coffee. There was no one else in the cafe.
“Do you think you should be drinking coffee Emma; in your condition?” He asked concerned.
“In my condition! Like you care about my condition!” She spat, turning to look at him.
“I do. It was just a lot to process last night. Completely unexpected. I’m pretty sure that too much caffeine is bad for the baby.”
“I have a four hour drive, without the caffeine I’m not going to make it. I’m pretty sure that crashing your car is worse for a baby.” She said mockingly.
“So you’re still leaving? Even after finding out you’re pregnant?”
“Hey! I made the decision to leave after I found out. Henry and I belong in Maine, and so will the baby. You don’t get a say. Especially after how you reacted last night.”
“I’m sorry about that. I was shocked, but that’s not an excuse really. Let me drive you to Maine so you can try and get more sleep.”
“Aren’t you meant to be at the airport right now?”
“No. I spoke to my brother last night and he cancelled my ticket. If Elsa isn’t better in a few days he said that he’ll fly me out himself, but he wanted to give me time to deal with this.”
“Deal with it?! We aren’t going to deal with it! I’m not getting an abortion! Who the hell do you think I am?”
“No, love, that’s not what I meant.” He said wearily and then growled, frustrated. “I meant deal with the mess I made last night by not going after you. And, I suppose, deal with the mess I’m making now. Please, just let me drive you and Henry to Maine. You look exhausted Emma.”
“So do you.”
“But I can drink coffee.”
“Fine. But I’m allowed to drink coffee, only one cup so I’m making it worth while.”
“I’m not sure that’s how it works. You should drink mine instead. It’s got far less caffeine in it.”
“Fine.” He was probably right.
“I’ll go back to my apartment, grab some things and then I’ll meet you and Henry at your Volkswagen in ten minutes.”
“Why are you grabbing stuff?”
“I have a few days before going to London, and I fully intend to fix my mess. I’ll stay at a hotel or something and then get a train back.”
“Alright. I’ll see you in ten minutes.” The barista handed them their drinks and donuts, and then watched as Killian and Emma traded coffees. Killian held the door open for her and Emma smiled. She wasn’t as miserable as before.
When she got back, Emma helped Henry carry his stuff to the bug, and then they shut off the lights, and left the key on the kitchen counter. She would call her landlord in the car. “So Henry, I saw Killian this morning.” He grew excited. “And he’s going to drive us to Storybrooke and stay for a couple of days. Is that okay?” He nodded enthusiastically.
“Are you sick?” He asked after a moment.
“Why would you think that?”
“You’ve been throwing up, and you look sick.”
“Yeah kid, I’m sick. It’s just the flu. I’ll be better in a few days.” She wasn’t ready to tell him yet, didn’t know whether he would appreciate a new sibling or not.
Killian showed up exactly when he had promised with a sports bag slung over his shoulder. “Morning. You ready to go?” He asked as he walked towards them both.
“Aye aye captain.” Henry said enthusiastically. “Can I sit in the front with you?”
“Emma? Do you mind sitting in the back?” Killian asked.
“Not at all, it would make a better place to nap.” She said, taking Killian’s bag and putting it in the footwell behind the passenger’s seat. She handed the keys to Killian. “You can drive stick, right?” She asked, suddenly nervous.
“Yes, although not in England.”
“Everything is flipped, the gear stick is on the left.”
“It’s alright love, I’m used to not having a left hand. Let’s get going then.” Emma strapped into the back seat and laid her head against the window, feeling embarrassed. Killian and Henry joined her in the car, and Killian began to drive. Closing her eyes, she tried not to eavesdrop on Killian and Henry’s conversation.
“Do you have a boat?”
“Actually I do, I share it with my brother but it stays in England with him.”
“Why is it in England?”
“Well lad, when I was nineteen, my brother Liam and I built the boat. We lived in England, and I didn’t move to America until four years ago. So Liam kept the boat because it would’ve cost a lot of money to have it brought over here.”
“Oh. Do you miss it?”
“Do I miss what?”
“England. Your home there.”
“Sometimes, but I haven’t felt at home there in a long time.” Emma tuned out their conversation as sleep took her.
A small hand was shaking her awake. “Mom? Wake up.” Emma stirred and when she opened her eyes, she saw Henry’s brown eyes staring back at her. She smiled.
“What’s up kid?”
“We’ve stopped at a service station.” Emma noticed then that the car was stationary and was parked outside a Starbucks. Killian was making his way back to the car, smiling at them.
“I picked up some snacks and hot chocolates.” Killian said, holding out a brown bag.
“Thanks, I’m just going to the toilet, can you watch Henry?”
“Sure.” Killian put the bag on the roof of the bug and then pulled the seat forwards so that he could help Emma out.
“Thanks.” She walked off. Emma went to the bathroom and then splashed cold water on her face. She remembered that she had to make some phone calls and it would be better to do that sooner rather than later.
Killian and Henry were laughing by the car when she reappeared, Henry was eating a bag of chips. “I’ve got to make a couple of phone calls about the apartment and my job, could you guys just hang for a minute?”
“Of course. I didn’t know what you’d want to eat, something sweet or savoury, so I got a white chocolate and strawberry muffin and a tuna and spring onion sandwich. I’ll have whichever you don’t want.”
“Save me the sandwich?”
“Of course.” Killian smiled as Emma walked to the back of the car and took her phone out. She called her landlord first.
“Hullo?” A gruff voice said.
“Hi, it’s Emma Swan from apartment seven.”
“Okay. What is it?”
“I was away for the weekend, got back last night, and the apartment had been broken in to. Everything had been stolen. It’s not safe, and so me and my son have moved out. I left the key on the kitchen counter but the lock is broken. I’ve paid you till the end of the month, but after that you’ll have to find someone else to live there. I’m sorry for the short notice, but I hope you can understand my position.”
“Oh. Yeah, I’m sorry. That’s fine. Did you file a report with the police?”
“No. Nothing was worth the hassle.”
“Alright then. I’m sorry again that this happened.”
“Me too. Bye.”
“Bye.” He hung up.
Next Emma had to call her boss. “Hello. It’s Emma Swan.”
“Ah Miss Swan, you’re late.”
“I’m really sorry, but I won’t be coming in.” Emma explained the situation.
“Right, well I have a few options available to you. The first is that you quit right now and you only receive payment this month for the hours you have completed. The second is that we phase you out of the company. You would do some online research and paperwork for a few cases, and video chat with the head lawyers on the case. This would be a decrease in pay but you would get a sizeable amount at the end of it. And all your work would be done from home, you could choose an end date. The third and final option is we transfer you over to the Maine office and you would continue on as you did here, just in Maine. Where are you planning on living?”
“I have a house in a small town called Storybrooke.”
“One second.” The line was quiet while Emma’s boss made her wait. “The commute is over an hour, it may not be favourable. Have a think. Call me back before end of day on Wednesday. Until you decide, you will be on a paid leave so don’t worry about that.”
“Thank you. I will call you as soon as I have made a decision. I really appreciate this.”
“Whatever you decide, I know everyone here will miss you.”
“Thank you again.”
“You’re welcome. Goodbye Miss Swan, all the best.”
Emma walked back to Killian. “All good?” He asked.
“Yeah, it is. We’re about half an hour from town now. How about I drive the rest of the way?”
“It’s not necessary Swan.”
“We’ll be coming off the motorway after a few minutes, and then it’s a bunch of turns through an equally small town that you’re unfamiliar with. It would be more of a hassle for me to try and remember which way to go ahead of time.”
“Alright. Just eat your sandwich first.”
“Okay.” Killian handed her the bag which now only contained a takeout cup and the sandwich which Emma excitedly removed. She ate it quickly, sighing happily at the taste.
“You like spring onions Swan?”
“I’ve never really thought about it before, but they are so good. Why don’t we have them with everything?”
“Because they’re the devil’s vegetable.”
“What? You bought it, there was a fifty fifty chance that you would’ve had to eat the sandwich.”
“Ah, actually there wasn’t. I wasn’t planning on eating. I wrapped the muffin up in napkins for you to have later.”
“Are you really this nice, or is it just because I’m-“ She stopped, Henry stared up at her. “because of my condition?”
“Your condition, Swan?” He smirked.
“Mom has the flu, Killian. That’s why we had to leave last night, because she’s sick.” Henry said, cutting in.
“Ah, the flu. Of course. Your condition.” He winked at Emma. “And to answer your question Swan, I am always a gentleman.”
“Sure, okay.” She said sarcastically, her cheeks burning when she thought of how much it was kind of true, knowing him in the physical sense.
“Truly. I am. You just have to get to know me better.” He looked at her with a twinkle of hope in his eyes.
“We should get going. Come on kid, you should let Killian sit in the front, his legs will get all cramped sitting in the back.”
“Okay.” Henry hopped in the back and Killian fixed the chair back in place, settling down in it. Emma sat next to him and began to drive.
As they got to a red traffic light, ten minutes from Storybrooke, Emma turned to Killian. She whispered “Open the glove compartment and grab me a twizzler. But quietly, Henry is dozing.” Killian only smirked as he followed her wishes. He handed her a cherry twizzler and then took one for himself. As Emma looked like she was about to argue, Killian put his hand up.
“Arguing will only wake the boy. You don’t want to be down another one, do you?” He smirked, flashing his teeth. Emma grumbled.
Ten minutes later, they were back. “I’ll drop you at the inn so you can find a room and unpack your stuff and then I’ll leave Henry with my brother. I’ll come back and we can talk. Sound good?” Emma asked.
“Yes, thank you.” They pulled up to Granny’s inn.
“Henry, wait here. I’ll be out in a minute.” Emma shut off the car and then got out. Killian reached around his seat, and with help from Henry he had his bag.
“I’ll see you soon lad.”
“Definitely,” He smiled brightly. Killian got out and joined Emma.
They walked into the inn. “Emma? I thought you left yesterday afternoon.” Granny appeared.
“I did. Long story, Henry and I are moving back.”
“That’s great news. When?”
“Hopefully in the next ten minutes.” Emma smiled. “I was wondering if you have a room that my friend Killian could stay in?”
“Oh, I’m really sorry Emma, there’s some swimming championship in the next town over and we’re fully booked. I suspect everywhere is. It’s nice to meet you anyway Killian. Everyone calls me Granny.”
“It’s good to meet you Granny.” Emma led Killian back to the car.
“I guess you’ll be staying with me and Henry then.”
“I can’t put you out like that, I’ll just find somewhere else.”
“I hate to burst your bubble Killian, but there aren’t any other places to stay. At least not in Storybrooke.”
“Oh. Well if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.” Emma got back into the car, and Killian followed, setting his bag at his feet. “Killian’s staying with us Henry. There were no rooms.” Emma explained at Henry’s look.
“Can I show you my room?” He asked, excited.
“Of course lad.”
It was only another minute until they pulled back up to the house. “You own this house?” Killian said, eyes wide.
“Why would you ever choose to live in a tiny apartment in New York when you own such a beautiful house?” Emma didn’t answer. “Is that the harbour?”
“It is.” Emma smiled. “It’s the main reason we chose it, because it’s so close to the harbour. Come on, if you like that you should see the yard.” Emma got out of the bug and dragged Killian through to the back yard. “Isn’t it beautiful?” The garden finished where there was a wooden path that led to the water. It sparkled in the daylight and the air smelt of the sea.
“Incredible. I can’t seem to get my head around why you would leave.” Killian stared at the water. Emma’s smile faltered.
“A story for another time maybe.”
“As you wish.” They stood looking at the view for a while longer. “Would you like help carrying the stuff in from the car, love?”
“Yeah.” They walked back to the car where Killian helped Emma unload.
Once all of Henry’s things were put up in his room, Killian swung his duffel over his shoulder and Emma led him to a guest room. “This isn’t the biggest, or the best guest room, but this one has a view of the water. I thought you’d appreciate that more. If not I can take you to a better room.”
“No love, this is perfect. Thank you.” The bed faced a wall which had a large bay window looking out onto the water. Killian dropped his duffel onto the floor. “I’ll unpack and then be down to have a talk.”
“A talk, or the talk?”
“The talk Swan.”
“Okay. I’ll make some hot cocoa then. And I’ll tell Henry to make himself scarce. The bathroom is the room opposite.”
“And Emma,” Killian said just as Emma turned to leave. She turned her head back to face him. “don’t be worried love. I like to think that I’ll surprise you.” He smiled, and then Emma left.
She walked down the stairs quickly and found Henry lying on the couch, reading a book. “Hey kid, Killian and I have to talk but after that why don’t you ask him if he wants a tour of Storybrooke?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that.”
“Also, do you think you could go to your room and play a video game or watch an episode or something until Killian and I have finished talking?”
“Sure mom.” Henry slid off the couch and walked up the stairs. Emma felt bad, but the conversation she was about to have was extremely important to her and their future. She began to make two mugs of hot cocoa. If Killian didn’t want one, she would give it to Henry for being a good sport. Emma was spraying whipped cream and then shaking the cinnamon over them when Killian came downstairs.
“Shall we?” He swept his arm to indicate the couch. Emma nodded and set the hot cocoas on the coffee table, Killian looked surprised but accepted his. “I just want to start by saying how excited I am.”
“I had the chance to be a father once, but that didn’t work out. And so I resigned myself to not settling down or having kids. It used to be a dream, and I didn’t realise how much I still wanted it. I want this, Emma. I want to be in your life and the baby’s life. I want to be there for all of it. I’ll sell my bar, and I’ll move to Storybrooke if you’ll allow me the privilege of being a father.”
“You want to help raise the baby?”
“Of course I do.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Just tell me that you’ll allow it. That you want me to help. I know that you’re more than capable of raising a child on your own, Henry is proof enough of that. But this time you don’t have to. This time you have me.”
“Yes, alright. But how is ‘us’ going to work? Are we going to be friends, friends with benefits… more?”
“Personally I don’t see the point in looking elsewhere for sex. We had a good thing going and I’d very much like for that to continue. If you wanted a relationship I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.”
“I’m not ready for that yet. Maybe we should just be friends.” Emma’s heart sank at her own words but she knew it was for the best.
“Aye. Probably for the best.” Killian sat forward, ignoring Emma’s face, and took a large gulp of his cocoa.
“You know what, no.” Killian spun around at her words. “You’re the best sex I’ve ever had, and I don’t wake up feeling ashamed or questioning my previous state of mind. And pregnancy makes women super horny and with you looking like you look I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my hands to myself.” She paused. “I guess what I’m saying is that it’ll be better for the both of us if we’re having sex.”
“I can’t disagree with you there.” He was smirking. They heard Henry walking down the stairs and both turned their heads.
“Can I ask him now?” Henry asked Emma.
“Yeah, Henry. You can ask him.”
“Killian can I take you on a tour through the town? I’ll show you all the good places, like the castle on the beach and the well in the woods. It’s not like an official tour where they would show you the clock tower and the library and the sheriff’s station, it’ll be filled with places that nobody expects because they’re meaningful to me.” Henry rushed over to stand in front of Killian.
“Of course lad. Go grab some shoes and I’ll be with you in a moment.”
“Okay.” Henry said, disappearing.
“Is this alright?” Killian asked Emma.
“Yeah, I need to go see Mary Margaret and my brother. Tell them I’ve moved back. Just make sure that you bring him back before two.”
Emma decided to walk to her brother’s loft after Killian and Henry left. It was a really nice day and the sun warmed Emma’s skin. She knocked on the loft door.
Mary Margaret opened it, and got visibly excited when she saw Emma. “Emma what are you still doing here?”
“Can I come in, it’s a bit of a long story?”
“Yes, of course. Come on in.” Mary Margaret waved Emma into the loft. “Do you want a drink?”
“I’d love a glass of water.” Emma said, and Mary Margaret poured out a glass of water and handed it to Emma. They both sat at the breakfast bar. “Henry and I moved back.”
“Oh that’s great! Do you need to borrow David’s truck to help bring everything back?”
“No. Uh… Henry and I did it this morning.”
“How did you fit everything in your bug? And what made you change your mind?”
“Funnily enough the answer is the same for both of those questions.” Emma explained that they had been robbed. Mary Margaret gasped.
“Did you call the police?”
“No. There wasn’t a lot of point to that. I just wanted to get Henry out of there as quickly as possible.”
“You should really have called the police. What if they could’ve caught the guy because he was fencing your stuff?”
“I know you probably won’t understand this Mary Margaret, but if someone is desperate enough to have to steal some of the furniture from my apartment they deserve it. All of it was second hand when I bought it. And they were considerate to leave most of Henry’s things, which shows that they were most likely going to keep the furniture, not sell it. Or they wouldn’t have discriminated.”
“I guess that sort of makes sense. Are you sure you’re okay though?”
“Yes. As much as I didn’t want to move back, I’ve realised that I really do miss living here. Before I forget, I have a friend staying with me and Henry for a few days. He was worried about what happened and had already taken some time off work, so he’ll be in town for a few days.”
“A male friend?”
“Who is he?”
“Mary Margaret.” Emma warned.
“Is it someone I know, or someone from New York?”
“He’s from New York… technically.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? Oh! Is it Captain Hook?” Mary Margaret smiled brightly.
“How do you- David.”
“Yeah, your brother really can’t keep a secret. Can I meet him?”
“You know David. You’re engaged to David.”
“No, not David. Captain Hook.”
“Oh. Um… his name is Killian, and I suppose that might be okay.” At Emma’s words Mary Margaret let out a squeal of excitement.
“The three of you could come here for dinner tomorrow, or I could cook at your house. Whatever you feel more comfortable with.”
“That sounds good. It would probably be easier to do it at my house because the kitchen is much bigger and more than one person can be working in it without bumping into each other.”
“Good point. This is exciting.”
“I also wanted to ask if you had any leftovers from the party yesterday that you could part with because I’ve got two hungry mouths to feed back at home and the fridge is empty.”
“Sure, I’ll grab a couple of containers. You could turn it into a picnic. I know that Jefferson and Grace were going to hang out in the park today, you could go say hi.”
“I wouldn’t want to impose on their bonding. I’ll probably take a trip to the book store and then maybe go out and take some pictures.”
“Oh, that sounds great Emma. You haven’t taken any pictures in such a long time.”
“Yeah, since Graham. Storybrooke is my muse, I’m not into the whole urban photography scene. I like landscapes of forest and nature and water. New York is Storybrooke’s polar opposite.” Maybe that’s why I chose to run away to New York. Emma thought.