Chapter One: First Meeting
As Killian stood in the rehearsal room taking in everything he couldn’t help but be nervous to meet his new partner who he had been told would be the show’s Pro Dancer and previous Champion of Season 24 Emma Swan. Looking back around the room it felt like a proper competitive dance floor complete with mirrors, a bar, a few chairs, and a table and, of course, the camera crew that would be filming every move, recording every word, and shooting everything he and his partner would be taking part in throughout the show. The editors would then decide which footage would be used and what the viewers who watched Dancing with the Stars would get to see, those viewers would not only be judging him and his partner on choreography and his ability to learn the routines, but also how well they worked and got along with each other in these videos.
Nothing to worry about.
Killian stood in the middle of the room as he thought back to himself on why he let his brother, and his wife Elsa, and niece Ellie talk him into this.
“What could possibly go wrong with joining a dance show,” Liam insisted. “You’ve already had to waltz on Ever After what makes this any different. The pros who have competed are already well known, and get much national attention, which is a bigger fan base for you on Ever After, and new opportunities for the future. Besides it seems like a nice paycheck while Ever After is on their mid season break and your being paid to dance with beautiful women, it also states even if your bumped early you still get paid for other routines as well. And besides Ellie’s loved that show since moving here and I think she’d love it even more if her favorite uncle joined the show for its new season. And you like seeing Ellie happy right?”
As Killian thought it over “Yes and she could still see me on Ever After not humiliating myself by dancing on national television.”
“Seeing you dance won’t change anything about how your fans or family feel about you, and you know that. Trust me I really think you should do it, take a risk.”
After a few hours of thinking it over and encouraging words from Liam, Elsa and Ellie, Killian finally called the producers and agreed to do it. Three-months of commitment that would allow him to dance and be taught routines under a pro who would come to be his partner on the show. It would be then after he could do as he wished and continue to work on Ever After as well, so it worked out well in the end.
“Uncle Killian’s going to be on Dancing with the Stars that’s awesome!” Ellie his ten-year old niece had declared with sparkling blue eyes and a wide smile as he reflected the smile and all doubts seem to disappear.
Shaking away the memory Killian, refocused his attention on the present as a PA interviewed him while he waited for his partner. Producers had told him she was one the pros with more experience and time on the show but still close to his age as well, and that she wouldn’t know until she opened the door, so the film crew would get genuine reactions to both meeting each other. He, along with the other celebs who were joining the show were told in advance so that they could do research about their pro if need be. Normally it would be the pros who would know their partners first, but producers decided to shake things up for him and his costar Regina as they were trying to promote Ever After and knew surprise for the pros would be just as good as if the celebs didn’t know.
Killian had some knowledge of his partner-Emma Swan, she had been on the show for twelve seasons and had always been a finalist until season 24 when she had finally won the Mirrorball trophy with partner and famous book author August Wood. She had been a dancer for a longtime and was feature in a few dance videos, until she had joined the show on their twelfth season and been a full-time pro dancer on the show ever since, she was clearly good as she and many of her partners always made it to the semi-finals or finals but had never actually won until Season 24. Now she was coming back for her thirtieth season.
Her career didn’t need a boost, or any benefactors as clearly seen she earned her reputation and was clearly desired by many whenever a new season started. he found that when she was not in a season as a pro was always there in the opening or side and tour numbers as one of their best. The only thing he could think of however was how well of a teacher she was and what could he do so he would not let her down or show that he could learn not having much dance experience before Ever After when he had to learn to waltz but this this was something new entirely.
The door opened as he sucked in a breath as Emma stepped in. She stopped as she looked him over and smiled. Her green eyes flashed with what seemed to be uncertainty, so he had no idea whether she seem disappointed or happy about him being her partner. He overheard the show’s producers as some pros always requested their partners maybe she was one of them.
As he waited for her to respond he began studying her as well. She didn’t look too different from any picture his niece had shown him or those taken from the show or her social media accounts. She wasn’t very tall, but she wasn’t short either and would probably come up to his chin, she had long blonde hair that he had seen twirl as she was spun in certain dances and tied up in others. She was obviously fit and had curves that suited her well and most costumes she wore better which he felt better about knowing they could use this knowledge for more tricks in their routines as well. He also noticed she dressed in workout clothes rather than to look good for the cameras, which meant she was ready to dive right in as he was.
Good. (Though being honest she looked good for the cameras either way).
Emma smiled, as the door closed behind her. “Oh my god, Killian Jones I have to admit I actually thought they were pulling my leg when they said we had some of the Ever After cast join us. I am actually a fan of your show, so this should be interesting Emma Swan.” she stated with a smile as she outreached her hand to shake.
Taking her hand in his he happily shook hers and smiled back at her “Killian Jones as you already knew that. Captain Hook on abc’s Ever After, I think it’s only fair to warn you I don’t have much dance experience. However, I look forward to working with you Miss Swan.”
Releasing each other’s hands and faced one another “Oh please Emma is just fine, so is the famous Captain Hook ready to dance for the chance to win that Mirrorball?” Emma asked with a teasing tone and smile.
“Defiantly how ready are you to teach me?” he asked matching her smile with his go to Hook smirk.
“Absolutely delighted. Now are you familiar with the Cha Cha?” she towards the stereo to turn on the song chosen by the producers for them to use. “I am becoming familiar with them as luck would have it my niece just happens to love your show.” he stated as he looked back to her.
“Great, well let’s see what it is you’ve learned from you and your niece watching together.” Emma stated as she turned to face him.
Killian wasn’t bad for someone who claimed to not have much dance experience. he had a way of sensing the music and falling into rhythm that helped with movements and helped teaching him easier for Emma. The more of the routine they learned she could tell he was determined to learn as he listened to her every word and followed her lead every time. As time passed and they continue to learn the routine they were getting better acquainted and continue to have fun as they spent more time together.
“You know for someone who doesn’t have much dance experience your doing much better than expected, I think you underestimated yourself.” Emma stated as she tied her sweater around her waist and sat next to him on the floor. “maybe or maybe I just have a good teacher.” he stated as the caught each other’s gazes and smiled.
“So, tell me about yourself Emma if we’re going to each other’s partners for the next three months I want to get to know you.” he stated as he sat up a bit to better look at her.
Turning to look back at him she smiled “Not much to know I’m afraid been involved in dance and gymnastics since I could walk, joined Dancing with the Stars on their twelfth season been here since just won my first Mirrorball last season and I’m hoping with help from you I can make this my second win season. So how about you Capt, what brings you to the dancefloor this season?”
With a nod of understanding he smiled “Well with Ever After getting a new season and needing some more news this seemed the perfect way to promote and my family somehow had managed to convince me that I won’t look a total fool so here I am. Although if I could beat Regina while I’m here that be pretty great too.” he stated with a laugh which caused her to laugh as well.
Getting up to begin working the routine again she spun around and leaned against the bar with a smile “Very well Killian Jones then beat the Evil Queen you shall, I have no doubt that we could go far.” she stated with a smile.
“We make quite the team don’t we Swan?” Killian asked as he got up to join her again. “Yeah I guess we do.” she stated getting back into their starting position.
As rehearsal week rolled around and everyone prepared for the first show night the celebs got to experience firsthand what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling, and partners aren’t rehearsing in the rehearsal rooms. As the production crew and producers run wild the pros mainly enjoyed messing and hanging with the pros who weren’t their partners or knew well. As Killian entered the studio and began to look for Emma he had found her with Graham Huntsmen a fellow actor who worked on a CIA like show and he portrayed a cop who always trusted his instincts he had been partnered with Pro dancer Ruby Lucas who was currently fixing her make up and trying to talk to Emma. As Ruby motioned her head towards Killian he happily walked over as the four of them had spent a few good minutes amongst each other to pass the time until they were needed for rehearsals to begin.
Once rehearsals had finished and the couples had known where to start and end the opening number, they got into position to begin the couple dances. Walking to enter the stage Emma saw Killian anxiously waiting for their ques to begin. “Never thought I’d see the legendary Captain Hook so nervous hey look at me you have nothing to worry about we’ve been working hard your going to do great. And besides since this is our routine if you mess up don’t worry no one is going to know because they don’t know the routine. The judges may notice but try not make a big deal out of it.” she stated with a smile as she outstretched her hand for him to take and they entered the floor together.
Killian rocked rehearsal with very few to none mistakes, anytime he did mess up Emma was there to help him fix so they would look better on premiere night and to help encourage him every step of the way.
As the rehearsal continued and they struck their final pose and let out a heavy breath Emma looked back to Killian “Don’t worry the mess ups are what are going to make you even better the longer were on the show.” she stated with a smile as Merlin motioned for them to join him as he told them they would spend some time with him and then join Belle in the skybox and would occasionally get the scores with him most of time get them with Belle. As Emma lead Killian to the skybox so they could cheer on the rest of the teams and enjoy the rest of the rehearsal.
It was very becoming very real to him as he found the premiere day one day away and watched as the other couples worked just as hard, and all he could think of was how much of a competition it really would be. It was then he had stride to do his best and if not to win for him but to win for Ellie.