unbetaed, all mistakes are mine
Epilogue II: The pirate princess
Penelope was his undoing. Killian had always thought that Emma was his weakness, only to learn that Liam and Henry's combined manipulation skills that could best even a three hundred year old pirate like himself.
But Penelope, she was something else.
She was everyone's undoing. Penelope came to this world with dark hair like her father and green eyes like her mother. As years went by, her resemblance to her grandmother was even more striking and Killian had started to refer to her as the fairest of them all when he was carefully placing her in bed at night.
Penelope had a special way with people, that much both Emma and Killian knew; and it had been difficult for them to prevent their daughter to be spoiled by their friends and family. But it was only when Penelope had broken one of Regina's favorite china and the only thing that happened was Regina cocking an eyebrow and saying, "don't do it again, dear" while handing an apple to the little girl that was almost a replica of the ten-year old girl she'd sworn to destroy once; that Killian and Emma truly realized the extent of Penelope's charming genes.
A trip to Storybrooke proved them right when Penelope enchanted all her toys to have a tea party. Emma and Regina had to track down two teddy bears all the way into the woods, while Killian retrieved a tiny crocodile from the docks, cursing silently at the irony.
Fourteen year old Penelope proved to be a challenge. With a wardrobe picked by her godmother Ruby and paid willingly by his godfather Vinnie, Penelope truly was the fairest of them all. But she had her parent's disposition to always be a little of an outsider and definitely for getting into trouble. Nothing major, other than that time she and Liam took The Beanstalk out and almost wreck it.
At fifteen, Penelope developed her first crush in no other than Roland Hood, who'd had a least a decade on her. While Killian sighed and ran his hand through his hair, Emma laughed at it.
"You're centuries older than me, Killian." She said.
"That is different, Swan and you know it." He retorted.
Emma laughed as she hugged him, her lips pressing softly to his, "It's just a crush, she'll get over it."
But she never did. For Penelope, Roland was her true love. As unrequited as it will always be.
Penelope surprised no one when she decided to follow her father's footsteps and becoming a police officer. But after graduating with honors and a couple of years working in Jersey, she decided she needed to get out of the place where her last name would be seen as the reason she got everything and moved to the place where her mother's name would be the reason she got the job, but she could still make it hers.
And thus Penelope packed her mother's old yellow bug (that she had improved with magic) and moved to Storybrooke to become the first Sheriff/Savior after her mother had left more than twenty-five years ago.
Most sheriffs in Storybrooke have not had magic, but it was a welcomed addition for the person occupying the position. Hardly anything happened these days, as many of the citizens had magic of their own (several true love couples have stayed and raised their kids there) and old feuds had been left behind.
Penelope found herself at home and at ease in Storybrooke. She quickly befriended several of her peers: Cinderella and Aurora's youngest daughters became her new friends and the three of them would be spotted having drinks and shooting pool at The Rabbit Hole.
But her truest friend in Storybrooke was Tiberius.
She met him on her first day back, as she took a walk on the docks and ran into one of the young men that worked there. She hadn't seen him in more than fifteen years, but the son of Ariel and Eric still had eyes the color of the sea and dark hair, the high cheekbones now covered by a slight gingerbread scruff. He might be the grandson of a god, and the son of a prince, but Tiberius loved to lead a simple life.
So you're back into town? They said they'd bring someone new for the Sheriff position but I didn't know it was you. Welcome back, Penny Jones.
Don't call me Penny, Tiberius. And that knot is wrong.
I'm the grandson of Triton, are you seriously correcting my knots, Jones?
I'm the daughter of the Scourge of the Seven Seas and he can tie better knots than your grandpa with one hand. Do you want me to turn you into a toad?
I have magic too, remember?
While Penelope's magic was wild and tempestuous like a storm at sea, Tiberius' magic was calm as the soft breeze over the ocean on a spring afternoon. And its combination was a force to be reckoned with. Tiberius made a habit out of hanging out in the sheriff station with Penelope when he wasn't working at the docks, bringing her hot chocolate with cinnamon and grilled cheese – but really, Jones, has no one ever told you that you need to eat some vegetables too? Let me at least bring you some salad once in a while.
More than once, he'd gone with her to help her with a case - since you are lurking here, might as well come with me and become useful. No, Tiberius I am not giving you a gun, use your magic.
Eventually, she started teasing him that she should make it official and make him a deputy once and for all. Tiberius would smile shyly and deflect her comments, telling her she could always repay him the favor by going sailing with him.
Penelope loved sailing, and she used to commandeer his sailboat every time they went out, showing him how he should be doing. Tiberius would just smile again, letting her do whatever she wanted. And when the breeze would get a little chilly, he would take out his peacoat and give to her, because – clearly Jones, hasn't your father taught you that red leather jackets are not proper clothes for sailing – and – shut up, Tiberius or I'll turn you into a toad and you'll have to wait for your true love to come kiss you.
And if Penelope felt something different as she burrowed herself in his navy peacoat, both of them watching the sunset, she'd never said it out loud.
Because it was nothing, really. He was a good friend and nothing more. She knew what love was, and love was what she felt for Roland, even though she knew he'd never see her in the same way.
Tiberius was a friend. A Good Friend.
Until one day some stupid villain showed up hell-bent on revenge on a town that had not seen a revenge-driven attack since Zelena and in the midst of the fight, Penelope came to realize she'd overestimated the villain's powers. She tried to prepare for a strike that never came, as she witnessed in horror how Tiberius jumped to protect her, taking the hit of the curse with him.
Strong magic as she never seen in herself before blasted from her hands and the villain was soon vanquished. Penelope threw herself into the floor, right where Tiberius was lying motionless.
No. It couldn't be.
That was when realization hit her. That what she thought was love, wasn't. It was just a child infatuation she'd hold onto to avoid getting her heart broken.
But now her heart was breaking, because this, this might as well have been love. The lazy Sunday afternoons sailing, the quiet times at the station sharing a grilled cheese, the pool games and beers at The Rabbit Hole, the late night lasagna binging at Granny's and every single time he'd walked her to her door, only to give her a longing look as he ran a hand through his hair and wished her a goodnight.
Her hand reached to caress his cheek as she leaned in, tears in her eyes and a plea in her heart, "Come back to me, Tiberius." She whispered as her lips brushed his.
And then she felt the magic wave ripple through them, light and warm enveloping them both. It was a familiar sense, she'd heard her grandparents and her own parents describe it and she knew that it felt different for each one. For her grandparents, it had felt like a sunny morning at the edge of a lake, the smell of forest and homemade food. For her parents, it had been like the quiet after the storm at sea, the sense of a turmoil finally ending and the taste of hot chocolate and rum.
For her, it was grilled cheese and beers and the chilled breeze felt when overlooking the sunset at sea.
She felt his breath intake and she pulled away to meet his sea color eyes looking at her tenderly. He slowly pulled himself into a sitting position and reached out to brush a tear from her cheek with his thumb. "What? Did someone turn me into toad that you had to kiss me?" He smirked smugly.
She shoved him playfully between tears and laughs, "Shut up, you idiot. Don't you ever do that again."
Tiberius pulled her close to him, his eyes boring into hers, "I will do that again if your life is in danger, Jones. Don't you know it by now, Penny?" He sighed, resting his forehead against hers, "I love you."
She nuzzled her nose with his, "I love you too."
He closed the distance between them and kissed her.
("David is ecstatic because he's the grandson of a god and the son of a prince."
"You father can be so obtuse, Swan. Tiberius is, first and foremost, a sailor. A man of the sea."
"You seem very chipper for a guy that just found out his only daughter has found true love. I honestly thought you were going to drive there and threaten him with your hook."
"Swan, you wound me. Besides, love, who do you think the lad has asked for advice to? Do you think the sea god or the prince know anything about how to break down a savior's walls?"
"Aye, I figured it out last time we were there visiting. I'm quite perceptive, Emma."
"You've conspired to trick your own daughter!"
"Pirate, love. And there was no tricking. You can't trick true love, Swan.")