An insistent pounding finally brought Killian around, and he blinked his eyes a few moments, trying hazily to remember where he was. He'd dreamed of the Jolly again, and it was almost as though he could still feel the deck shifting beneath his feet. He glanced, bleary-eyed at the clock on the nightstand as the pounding resumed.
"Hook! Killian! You in there?"
David's voice brought him instantly awake, so he rolled himself out of bed and in two long strides, wrenched the door open.
"What is it?" he demanded. "What's happened?"
David drew back, turning his head away with a pained look. "Could you put some clothes on, please?"
"Sorry mate, but you came looking for me." Killian stepped back to the bed, wrapping the sheet around his lower half.
"Yeah, but I don't need to see quite so much of you." David turned back around cautiously. "Don't pirates have to be ready for anything?"
"Who says I'm not?"
"Well I suppose it depends on what you hope to be ready for." He cracked a smile, and it went over like a lead balloon. He had a terrible habit of forgetting that David was Emma's father sometimes.
"What's this all about, mate?"
"Get some clothes on - we're going down to the dock. I'll wait for you in the truck."
Killian reached out, grabbing David's arm. "Is Emma all right?"
David gave him a reassuring smile. "Emma's fine. She sent me to get you. Now get dressed." David started through the doorway.
"What's going on?" Killian called after him.
"It's a surprise!"
They pulled into the cannery parking lot, and David turned off the ignition. "We're here."
"The cannery?" Killian looked around. "All I see is big, ugly building. What's all the fuss?"
David smiled a secret smile. "Come on." He crossed the parking lot with Killian following behind, and as they rounded the building, Killian made a face.
"Don't tell me you hired us out as cleaning crew. It certainly smells like they can use it." He wrinkled his nose. "I don't know why you have to be so bloody secreti-" He stopped dead in his tracks, his jaw hanging slack. Emma stood on the dock, smiling ear-to-ear.
"Look who's back," she called out.
And there, moored on the dock, bobbing gently on the water, was the Jolly Roger.
"How? I don't understand? Where...?" he was at a loss for words.
"Nobody knows," David answered. "We woke up this morning, and there she was. No one was aboard, and she appears to be intact."
"I'll be damned," Killian said under his breath - then he gave an exuberant laugh. "My ship! She found her way back to me!"
"It appears so," David said, clapping him on the back. "Why don't you go give her the once-over?"
He hadn't even finished his sentence before Killian was walking toward her, with Emma intercepting him on the way. He picked her up, swinging her around, laughing again and planting a loud, smacking kiss on her.
"Hey!" She called out, good-naturedly. "Watch the spine!"
"Sorry, love." He released her slowly, letting her slide down his body. Emma held his eyes a moment before she stepped back, a little embarrassed with David standing there.
"Don't you have a ship to check out?"
Killian nodded. "Yes I do. I do indeed." There was a wealth of satisfaction in his voice and he moved toward the gangplank. He started to climb up, but paused to turn back to Emma. "They didn't find anyone aboard? Anyone at all?"
"Nope. Whoever they were, they either vacated before it crossed the portal, or they're here in Storybrooke somewhere. No one's reported any strangers in town, though." Emma's forehead creased and she motioned David over.
"We're going to canvass the town - it's entirely possible that someone doesn't want us to know they're here."
"Good idea," David agreed. "But you'd think if they were going to cause trouble, they'd have done it already."
"Just who did you trade the Jolly Roger to, anyway?" Emma asked. "You didn't say."
"I was busy." He gave her a smile and the gleam in his eyes made her feel entirely too warm.
"Who?" She repeated.
"I didn't get his name. Rumor had it there was a sea captain in the port town of Tyverna who was looking for a vessel made from enchanted wood. He also happened to have come into a stash of magic beans. Our interests were aligned, so I made the trade."
"You traded your ship to an anonymous sea captain?"
"I didn't much care who he was, Swan. I needed to get to you."
She felt warm again, and her eyes shifted away to look at the ship. "Was he questioning you about Storybrooke or anything?"
Killian shook his head. "No, not at all. I didn't stay long and I can hardly say I knew him well, but he seemed a decent sort."
"Let's get down to the cabin," David suggested. "If you've got some paper, I'll take down a description and Emma and I can get to work."
The sun was setting when Emma climbed down the ladder. Killian reclined on the bed, booted feet crossed at the ankles, arms folded behind his head, eyes closed and a smile on his lips.
"You are the picture of a contented man," she remarked, stepping into the cabin.
He opened his eyes, grinning at her like a boy who'd just been given an enormous lollipop. "I am indeed, Swan. Care to join me?" He patted the bed next to him, and the grin turned sly. Emma shook her head ruefully.
"You are entirely too adorable when you smile like that."
"I know. Why do you think I do it?" He patted the bed again.
Emma bit her lip, hanging back. "I just came by to make sure you hadn't had a visit from our phantom captain."
"No one's come aboard," he replied. "Well, except Henry, that is. I think he was nearly as thrilled to see the old girl as I was. Made me promise him more sailing lessons."
"He'll like that," Emma agreed. "We had no luck in town. If anyone came with the ship, they're nowhere to be found. We organized a search party and went door-to-door while Robin and the Merry Men checked out the woods. Nothing."
"Perhaps an accident befell him shortly after he opened the portal." He swung his legs off the bed, getting to his feet and walking over to her.
"Maybe," Emma said. "We'll just have to keep our eyes open, I guess." She looked around the cabin. "You're really at home here."
"'Course I am, love." He stepped closer. "And you being here just completes the picture."
His words hung in the air between them, and when he leaned in, she met him halfway. The kiss was soft and gentle, and he cradled her face in his hand as his lips played over hers.
"I can barely believe it," he whispered against her lips. "Both you and the Jolly in a span of days. I keep taking shots of rum to be sure I'm not dreaming."
"You and your rum," she smiled, kissing him again.
"You're a good excuse," he grinned. "God knows you've driven me to drink from the day we met."
"You're no picnic, either," she replied, pulling back. "And I need to get home. It's taco night and Henry's waiting. You want to join us?"
He looked a little torn, and she reached out, putting a hand against his lips. "It's okay - I get it. You don't want to leave her just yet."
"If it's all the same to you - I promise I'll make it up to you tomorrow." He gave her a lopsided smile.
"Don't worry about it," she reassured.
"No, I insist." He smiled, reaching out to twirl a lock of her hair about his finger. "And you just gave me an idea of how I'm going to do it."
Her eyes met his, locked, and she flushed.
"Well...I gotta go." She backed up toward the ladder. "See ya tomorrow."
"Tomorrow, Swan." He gave her a look that warmed her insides again, his eyes lingering on her as she climbed back up to the deck. Then he turned in a slow circle, wrapping his arms around himself tightly.
He was a contented man. A very, very contented man.