Emma gets the call around nine - trouble down at The Rabbit Hole, someone's throwing down as many punches as they are shots, could she come take care of it?
It's early in the night for this kind of thing, but she takes it in stride. Weirder things have happened in Storybrooke. She takes the squad car and leaves the lights on; usually she only has to show her face for the guilty parties to calm down, amicably get in the back of the car, and spend the night at the station. She's not expecting tonight to go any differently until she opens the door and the owner shoves Killian at her. She stumbles a bit: Killian's weight is heavy on her, his head resting on her shoulder as he mumbles incoherently. "Sheriff, get him home and sober him up," the owner tells her. Emma's confused - he's banned people from the bar for less, what gives? The owner shakes his head. "He's been spinning tales between drinking and fighting, 'tain't a normal night. I'll frighten him some when he's sober, but just get him home."
Emma nods. "Come on, pirate," she orders Killian softly.
She shifts him to her side, looping his good arm around her shoulders. His head lolls. "D'you know was 'n the Navy, Swan." He somehow manages to mumble and slur his words all at once, his feet are unstable under him as they make the short walk to the car.
"I did, you told me," she says.
"Proper sailor, me, bet you think it's funny to think about," Killian slurs, stumbling and wrenching a muscle in Emma's neck as he almost falls. She gasps in pain, hauling him upright and then he's in front of her, his face twisted in sorrow even as his eyes can't focus on anything for very long. "No, no, no, no, no, no, Swan, no, you're hurt, I hurt you -"
"It's fine," she insists - and it will be after a heating pad and some Advil - laying her hand against his cheek comfortingly. "Killian, it's okay."
But he continues to mumble the word "no" and every one is increasingly more broken. All Emma can do is carefully cup the back of his head and bring his forehead down to rest against hers, hoping the contact will soothe him enough that she can get him into the car and back to Granny's. She rubs small, soothing circles against his cheek with her thumb. He tries to mimic the movement, but his good arm is still around her. He brings the hook up to the side of her face, the feel of cold metal against her skin making her jump in surprise.
He goes still, the steady stream of denial falling away. Killian's breath comes faster and then he's wrenching himself away from her, fumbling at the hook with an unsteady hand, finally unlatching it from the brace and hurling it down the road with a feral yell. It hits the pavement with a distant metallic clatter. Emma's frozen in place while all of this occurs. It hits her that he thinks she jumped because she was afraid of the hook.
He thinks she's afraid of him.
Killian stumbles again and falls to his knees, bracing himself on the ground with his hand. Emma moves to help him but he lashes out - she's fast enough to just miss getting hit in the stomach by the heavy brace. "Emma?" Her dad's voice comes from somewhere behind her and she turns. He's in the truck.
"Dad, help me get him in the car," she says.
"Is everything alright?" David asks, throwing the truck in park and getting out.
Emma sighs. "He's drunk. I'm trying to get him back to his room."
She takes one of Killian's arms and David takes the other. Together they haul him to his feet and David gets the back of the squad car open. Killian sort of melts into the backseat, mostly sitting but dangerously close to laying across it. David closes the door. "You want help getting him up those stairs?"
She nods. David goes back to his truck, intending to follow her. She goes around to the driver's side but hesitates a moment. She looks in the direction he threw his hook. As much as she doesn't want to leave him with a weapon, she knows that a) he has plenty of others stashed away in the inn and b) leaving it laying around is probably going to make some people start asking questions.
Emma scoffs and jogs down the road, looking for a glint of curved silver. David honks the truck's horn and she waves him off. Luckily, drunk-Killian can't throw for shit and the hook isn't too far away. She tucks it into her coat pocket and jogs back down the road to the car.
"Thanks, Dad. I've got it from here," Emma says softly outside Killian's room.
"You're sure?" David asks, skeptical.
"Yeah," she says, nodding and opening the door.
Killian's silent but still conscious, shuffling a step behind her as she helps him inside. She manages to get his leather coat off - and thank God it's not the pirate duster or they'd be here for years getting that heavy thing off - and pushes him down onto the bed. It's a testament to how drunk he is that Killian makes no moves or innuendo about the way she's treating him. She gets his boots off and slings his legs up onto the bed properly. If he gets cold, he can figure out how to get himself under the covers. Emma turns to go when he finally speaks, his voice low and rough, "Swan."
She turns. "I'm right here, Killian."
"Don't go," he mumbles, and he looks pathetic, still dressed and his face mournful as his head lists to the side.
She crouches down next to the bed, reaching up to smooth down his hair. "I have to finish working. I'll come back when I'm done, okay?"
He nods and she gets up. As she shuts the door behind her, she makes a note to stop at the pharmacy and grab some Advil. Both of them are going to need it in the morning.
She doesn't sleep well, propped up on one of the chairs in his room. Maybe he'd intended for her to share his bed, but when Killian Jones has a drink (or twenty) he tends to sprawl out. When he wakes with a groan, the hangover already kicking his ass, Emma shakes herself out of a doze. "Why are you over there?" Killian asks, his voice muffled as he's covering his face with his hand against the dawn light.
"Someone sleeps like a starfish," she replies, getting to her feet with a groan. Advil is definitely on the menu this morning.
"No, why are you in my room?" he asks, rolling over to follow her movements. "And why do I feel like I've been bludgeoned with the smith god's hammer?"
Emma grabs a bottle of water she'd thought to get, and dumps out some pills for both of them. "Someone decided to go hard at The Rabbit Hole last night," she tells him. She sits on the edge of the bed, offering medicine and water. He takes both and she dry-swallows hers. "Wanna tell me what happened?"
"Don't remember," he says, handing her the bottle and scooting over.
She moves into the place he's vacated. "Wanna try that answer again?"
Killian's eyes are closed and he's quiet for so long that she thinks maybe he's fallen back asleep. "Please tell me I didn't hurt you," he whispers finally.
As aggravated with him as she is, the desperation and self-hatred in his voice makes her heart ache. She slides down under the covers to lay next to him, her arms going around him. Killian returns the gesture, burying his face in her chest. "You stumbled on the way to the car and that kind of sucked," she says quietly. "You thought I was afraid of your hook so you threw it down the street. You took a swing at me but you missed. That's it." He squeezes her tighter and she absently combs her fingers through his hair. "What happened yesterday?" Emma asks.
"I'm sorry," he says and it's muffled.
"I forgive you. I'll forgive you more if you tell me what happened."
He comes up for air and sighs. "The anniversary... of the day my brother passed."
Emma closes her eyes slowly. That explains everything. "Killian, I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault, love," Killian says. "It just hit me harder this year. What happened after he died, how it must have pained him to watch me become what I did. And now, how he must see me and how he must be so disappointed that I wasted all those years when I could have... I could have had this."
"Hey," Emma says. "If he could see you now, you really don't think he'd be proud of you? That you fell so far and fought your way back up? None of us on the hero side have clean slates, most of all me."
"Swan," he murmurs, and she knows he's about to argue with her about that but it's the truth. She's just as broken as any villain. With the right push, she could have gone just as dark as any of the other witches they've faced.
Instead, she holds him tighter. The sun creeps higher in the sky, filling the room with sunlight. Emma thinks wryly of the author and story details and metaphors and chuckles softly. Killian makes an inquiring noise and she shakes her head. "Hey, you've never really told me about him," she says. "Liam. Would it help?"
"I don't know," Killian confesses.
She smiles. "Try me. I'd like to know more about him."
This makes him laugh and he rolls away from her. "And that's how it always started," he says. "Liam always caught the eyes of ladies I fancied and now I find he's still doing it hundreds of years later. Bastard," he adds affectionately.
Emma laughs and lays her head on his chest. His heartbeat is strong and soothing. "Well, before I decide to run away with your dead brother, maybe I should know if he liked pancakes or waffles, or if he showered regularly."
Killian's fingers find their way to her hair. "We didn't have such things at home, but he was a stickler about bathing," he begins and as he continues the sun fully comes up over the horizon. Emma dozes in the morning light as she learns about the man she'll never get to meet: the captain her captain aspired to be, who loved dogs, had an appalling lack of musical talent, and wanted twenty children. The man who taught Killian how to pick pockets and then shine his boots for inspection. Maybe she would have liked Liam Jones enough to run away with him, she decides. But she has a feeling her eye would have always been drawn to the shy, straight-laced lieutenant who watched her now with all the love in the world in his eyes.