SPOILERS for 4x02 and 4x03. First Once fic; leave me some love :)
She wakes up the next morning to a killer crick in her neck, slumped on the couch with what feels like a twisted rod for a spine. But, she's alive and it's warm and that's all that matters. From the sound of it, the rest of the loft is awake, with her parents banging about in the kitchen and the baby somewhere amusing himself, maybe with Henry –
Emma cracks her eyes open as a shadow blocks the sun from her face, sees her son staring down at her, forehead creased and eyes squinted, shoulders hunched a little like they always are when he's worried. Okay, so maybe he's not with the baby.
"Hey," she says, sitting up slowly to ease the pain in her back. "You okay, kid?"
"I think I should be asking you that question," Henry retorts, plopping down beside her.
"Whoa, easy on the bouncing there, buddy. My back is killing me."
"Yeah, that's what happens when you fall asleep on the couch all night," he says matter-of-factly. Then he frowns. "What were you doing all night, anyway? You never came to bed."
Emma massages her neck and grimaces, avoiding Henry's gaze. "I, uh, stayed down here. With Hook."
"Hey, quiet down over there," Mary Margaret whisper-shouts from the kitchen. "Neal is still asleep."
Emma turns. "Seriously? With all that noise you're making?"
Her mother shoots her a glare, but Emma ducks away smiling. "I swear, it's a miracle that baby ever sleeps through all the noise in this apartment."
"You're avoiding my question," Henry accuses, arms crossed.
"Hook. You stayed on the couch with him… all night?"
Emma frowns. "Yes…"
"Are you sure that's such a good idea?" Henry cautions, letting his arms fall to his lap. "I mean, there're innocent ears in this household. You wouldn't want to corrupt them, you know."
Emma's mouth drops open. "Henry Daniel Mills, you are not allowed to comment on my love life!"
"Aha!" Henry shouts triumphantly. "So you admit it! You like him!"
"Guys! The baby!" Mary Margaret pleads.
"You hear that? You're going to wake the baby," Emma says, knocking his shoulder. She stands. "I'm gonna grab a shower. A nice hot shower. With lots of steam. And heat."
"C'mon, you gotta tell me!" Henry begs, following her to the stairs.
"I don't gotta tell you anything, kid. This is none of your business."
"Is not," Emma retorts. Then stops. Pivots and squints at him, all slouch-shouldered and pleading. "At least, not yet."
"But – "
"None of your business," Emma singsongs, and she's padding up the stairs now.
"This is so not fair!" Henry shouts after her. "He'll be my step-dad, you know!"
What? Emma stops dead, fingers white around the bannister.
"Hey!" Mary Margaret snaps. "I thought I told you to keep it down. That baby is running on seven hours' sleep and I'm running on a lot less, and I'll thank you to keep the noise to a minimum, or I just might boot you out to Granny's. Or the forest! See how you like tents for a few weeks, hm?"
"But Mom won't tell me about her love life!" Henry whines.
"Her what?" David yelps, and that's when the baby starts to cry.
An hour later she's escaped, showered and full of pancakes, ears still ringing from all the questions fielded over breakfast. (Are you sure you're okay? You can take the day off, you know. It's not all the time one gets trapped in an ice chamber. Your hair's still wet – let me dry it; you'll catch cold.) That last one had come from Mary Margaret, and as soon as she hits the sidewalk outside, Emma's wishing she'd taken her mother's advice and spared five minutes for the blow dryer. It is cold outside. Worse than cold. Freezing.
She shivers, memories of the cold and ice seeping in. "None of that," she murmurs, shrugging deeper into her coat. "That's over now." And it's really not that cold. She's just imagining it.
She finds him at Granny's, terrorizing the customers as usual. Rather, he's attempting to and failing, seeing as his primary targets are Granny and Red, who is one morning shift short of tossing his charming ass out the window. Granny is just unamused.
"Hey, Granny, why don't you let me take a crack at him?" Emma says, flashing the old woman a smile.
"Gladly!" Granny hmphs and slams the pot of coffee onto the table, where it accidentally sloshes onto Hook's leather pants.
"Oh, come on, mate, that isn't fair! These are my best pants!"
"Not anymore, they're not," Emma smirks, sliding into the bench across from him. "You know, you really should try to be nice to them. Granny, especially. She controls your rent, you know."
"Yes, well, I'll thank you to keep out of it," he gruffs, dabbing at the coffee stains.
"Besides, your pants are black, so what does it matter?"
"It matters because I smell like the stuff!" Killian growls. "Coffee. Vile concoction."
"Really?" Emma gapes. "Coffee? Of all the swill you've drunk in your life, coffee is where you draw the line?"
"I see you're feeling better," Hook grins, and it's not lost on her that he's changing the subject. But that smile –
"Yes. I am, actually. A shower helped warm me up."
"Just the shower?" His grin widens.
"No, not just the shower," she concedes with a lopsided grin of her own. "Thanks for staying last night, by the way."
"My pleasure," he murmurs with none of his usual innuendo. "I'm glad to see you're not shivering anymore."
"Yes, well, blankets and hot showers will do that for you. And dashing pirates who bring you hot cocoa." Emma blushes, suddenly wondering if she should have said that. But he's grinning, that eyebrow raised, and yeah, maybe she shouldn't have said it but she's liking the results. She reaches for the mug Granny'd left for her, suddenly desperate to do anything but hold his gaze.
"You snuck out on me," she says, pouring the coffee. "When did you leave?"
"At sunrise. I figured Prince Charming wouldn't be too amused if he found a filthy pirate on the couch with his daughter, warm blankets or no."
"He does have a name, you know. And I'm sure he wouldn't have minded. Besides, it's not as if we were… doing anything." She fiddles with her coffee cup handle.
"Well, regardless what we were or were not doing" (and here she blushes again), "the fact still stands that I'm a pirate, and princes don't like pirates. Especially pirates with eyes on their daughters."
"Even if those eyes are honorable in their intentions?" she murmurs, glancing up through hooded lids.
"Oh, there's nothing honorable about these eyes, love."
Her stomach flutters, and she leans closer, lips parting. "No? Then tell me, what – "
She jumps as Mary Margaret materializes over her shoulder. "I thought you'd left to go to the station," her mother says, shifting the baby to her shoulder.
"Yeah, I, uh, stopped for coffee first," Emma mumbles, holding up her cup.
"Really," Mary Margaret smirks, eyes gleaming. "Well, your father was on his way there when I left, so you might want to head over there soon."
"Good idea – "
"Oh, good morning, Killian," her mother interrupts, shooting a dazzling smile at Hook.
"Good morning, m'lady," he returns, inclining his head. "I trust the little one's not depriving you of too much sleep?"
"No, not at all," Mary Margaret coos, kissing Neal's cheek. "In fact, I didn't have to get up until sunrise this morning. It was lovely."
"Right." Emma jumps up, gathering her scarf and hat. "I'm just gonna go put this in a to-go cup." She hurries to the counter.
Maybe living in the same house isn't such a good idea after all.
She stops by his room at Granny's the next morning – after sunrise – and knocks, tucking her hands behind her back while she waits for him to answer the door. It takes him a minute, and she's bouncing on her toes by the time she finally hears fumbling on the other end. And then suddenly it's open and she's facing –
a shirtless Killian.
"Emma," he says, surprised.
"Uh – hi. Hi." She swallows.
"You're up early."
"Oh. Yeah, I guess so. Listen, if this is a bad time…"
"Why would it be a bad time?"
"Um. No reason. I just thought maybe I woke you up and you'd rather be asleep. Or something."
He frowns. "Well I'm awake now. Is something wrong?"
"No!" she says, too loudly, and then amends, "I mean, no. Nothing wrong. I just, wanted to give you this."
Hook stares down at her hand. "What is it?"
"It's a phone."
"Yeah. A cell phone. You know, to talk to people with. Here, take it."
Hook lifts the phone between his thumb and forefinger, as if it's a pinch-happy crustacean about to take the bait. "A phone… to talk to people… you mean like the device your father used while you were in the ice chamber?"
Emma swallows a laugh. "Uh, sure. That was a walkie-talkie, but yeah."
"Never mind." She steps closer. "Let me show you how it works."
"Do you want to come in?" he asks, suddenly backing away from the door.
"What? Oh no, I'm fine out here. Really." But then she considers the neighbors and the rumors that would abound if one of them saw her standing in the doorway with a shirtless Hook. "On second thought, yes. I will come in."
He seems to understand until they hit speed dial.
"Is this like your net throw thing?" he asks after her fifth time explaining which number calls what person.
"Yeah. The… pizza. And something." He gestures vaguely with his hook.
"OH. Oh. No, this is not like Netflix. I mean kind of. But not really. Anyway, you push this button, and it calls me."
"The button calls you?"
"No. The phone. This phone calls my phone."
"It calls your phone. With a voice?"
"Uhm… no. With – it's complicated. The mechanics of it escape me. Ask Leroy sometime, I know he'll love it."
"So," he says slowly, palming the phone. "I push this number, and my phone calls you."
"Calls my phone, yes." Maybe he's finally getting it. Maybe?
"Okay, and after it calls your phone, then what happens?"
"Well hopefully I'll answer," she says, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"And if you don't?"
"Then you'll get my voicemail."
"Yeah – you'll hear my voice, but it's recorded and tells you to leave a message so I can call you back later."
"Voicemail." He shakes his head. "You humans have very strange words in this land. Cell phone, voicemail. Netflip."
"Flix," she corrects quickly. "Netflix."
"Look," she says, scraping the hair back from her face. "You don't have to take it if you don't want to. I just thought it'd be nice for you to have one, so you can call people if you want to."
"Call you, you mean."
"Fine, call me. But David's number is in there, and Mary Margaret's, too. And also Regina's, if you really need it, and I can add others, too. Once you get the hang of it."
"I think these will suffice," he murmurs, kissing her cheek. "You're the only one I'll ever call, anyway."