Another day, another skip. To Emma Swan, it was all routine by now. She comes home from work tired everyday. Sometimes with a few injuries, depending on how difficult a skip tried to be. Today, however, she was just exhausted. Walking through the dim hallway, bleary-eyed was probably a bad idea and the feeling of a solid chest colliding with her chin confirmed that further.
“I’m so sorry, oh my god,” Emma hurriedly says, as the man’s hands flew to her arms to steady her.
“S’alright, love. I should’ve been looking as well,” the voice replies.
She froze. The voice, the accent. She’d recognize that voice anywhere. It all comes rushing back to her once she looks up and sees those eyes. The deep cerulean blue that now held the same surprise she’s sure is obviously etched onto her face too.
She knew this day would come. She knew she would have to face him again. She just knew it. Emma gazed up at him, his face, his features exactly the same as it was the last time she saw him. The very words he said to her before he disappeared for two years flashed into her mind:
“You will see me again, Emma. I promise you. Even though it pains me beyond imagination to walk away from you now. This is what you wanted, so I have to respect it.” The broken-hearted expression, his tear-filled eyes, and his bowed head were the last she saw of him as he dragged himself out of their shared apartment. And consequently, out of her life.
Once again, she felt completely guilt ridden. Two years. He was gone for two years. She hadn’t heard anything from him the whole time. The silence that overtook the dark hallway and the current expression on his face proved what she already knew — she broke his heart. Enough that he felt as if he couldn’t even send her a quick text to let her know what he was up to, or even just that he was alright.
Killian was different now. Yes, he looked the same, but she saw something else in his eyes. Something that reminded her of her past self. With one glance, she knew what it was. The sweet, flirty, and always-joyous Killian that once brought her walls down, now had walls of his own. And it was her fault. She did that to him. A deep sorrow had rooted itself in his heart and she was the one that put it there. Emma had changed Killian Jones without meaning to. All because she was too broken to let herself love him like he deserved to be loved. She pushed him away. She promised never to hurt him, and yet she broke that promise.
“Emma, I-” His words brought her out of her thoughts.
Clearing her throat, she lamely replied, “Hey.”
“What brings you here, love?”
“Oh, um, I- I live here,” Emma stutters as she points to the door marked 322, next to the one Killian is standing in front of. As he turns to look towards where her finger was pointed, she looks down and notices the boxes on the floor beside him.
“You helping someone move in?” she asks, still looking at the boxes and crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“No, actually. I- well, I’m moving myself in. I, uh, reside here now, too.” Killian nervously chuckles, pointing to apartment 321 and scratching behind his ear, something she always used to tease him about.
The sight of Killian’s smile, however small, made her vow to herself to do everything in her power to keep that smile on his face. With this decision, she let her hesitations fly out of her mind.
Smiling back, she says, “Oh, well in that case, would you like any help? My brother should be home from the station by now–”
“Yeah, he’s a cop. And my roommate, actually,” Emma laughs. “So if you want, I can just change real quick and I’ll bring him over and we can help you get settled in?”
“Are- are you certain, Emma? I mean, it’s late and I wouldn’t want to trouble you or David for that matter,” Killian replies.
“Yeah, of course. Like you said, it is late and six hands would get this done faster than your two would. Besides, my brother needs the exercise. You know the stereotype about cops and donuts?” she asks. Killian thinks for a moment and then nods. “Yeah, turns out it’s not a stereotype at all,” she says, trying to lighten the mood.
Laughing, Killian finally agrees, “Alright, love. If you’re sure.”
Taking her keys from her pocket, she steps around him and moves to unlock her door. “I’ll see you in a bit, Killian,” she smiles before entering her apartment.
“Okay,” he counters and smiles back as he enters his own.
It had already been forty-five minutes. Killian had no clue how far away the station was from the apartment building but he figured, however far, it shouldn’t be taking this long.
Maybe Emma and David went to the local diner to get some grilled cheeses and hot chocolates, Emma loved those. Or maybe something had happened? Something serious?
Killian’s mind began to wander and he soon found himself coming up with some of the most terrifying scenarios that made him panic like crazy.
“Calm yourself down Killian, she’ll be fine.”
For about ten minutes he told himself this until he was absolutely certain he had calmed down. He decided he should at least try to remember what Emma's brother was like. After all, it had been over two years since he last saw him and staring at him blankly like someone would with a stranger wasn’t going to make a fantastic second-impression.
Standing up, he paced around the huge, open room making an attempt to recall some of the basic details of David Nolan, when out of the corner of his eye he spotted a small picture hanging up beside the modern, American fridge. He walked over carefully, trying not to make any noise even though there was nobody else here and Emma’s only neighbour was him.
Picking up the picture to get a closer look he noticed David and Emma’s striking resemblance. His heart skipped a beat when he saw Emma with her beautiful, golden locks and emerald green eyes, which he adored. Wait, could it have been David? His perfectly carved smile which looked like an angel's would most definitely leave a lasting impression. Before he had time to even consider it, he heard a loud knock and then the door creaked open to reveal the people he had been longing to arrive back.