A/N: Here's chapter one of my newest MC story! The plan, right now, is for this story to be roughly twenty-two chapters long. I already have eleven written. I hope you all enjoy!
"You checked the weather reports for today, right?" Emma asked wearily as she helped David prepare the boat for launch.
He rolled his eyes impatiently at her and opened his mouth to respond. Before he could reply, Ruby shouted back from her place on board. "Emma, stop worrying. This is going to be fantastic. We have two coolers full of beer and it's a beautiful day. What could go wrong?"
Before Emma could shout back the list of numerous things that could go wrong, Ruby resumed her place sprawled out on the deck, already down to her bathing suit and ready to tan.
Mary Margaret rushed up from below deck after hearing the squabble. "And sandwiches! Don't forget I made sandwiches."
David gave Emma a knowing look, because Mary Margaret's sandwiches were barely edible, before the two continued their preparations on the boat. Emma had been sailing before and was looking forward to going again, but David had never captained a boat before. Still, he insisted that he be in charge as this was his new boat and they were all gathered to celebrate his one year anniversary with Mary Margaret.
Hours into their trip, Emma had to admit she was having an amazing time. The sky was clear, not a cloud in sight, and the sun warmed her skin in the perfect way. After a long Boston winter, this was exactly what they'd all needed. Mary Margaret's sandwiches were actually good, which was a true miracle, and Ruby was behaving herself for the most part, probably because Victor was off at work and not around to impress.
The four friends spent hours laughing, joking, and reminiscing about past times together. They were all still in awe of the fact that Mary Margaret and David's wedding had already been one year ago.
"Emma, move, you're blocking my sun," Ruby scolded as she peered open her eyes to shoo Emma away.
Emma gave her a questioning look in return before the entire group froze and looked up to the sky. In no time, the picturesque, gorgeous day had turned gray and looming.
Emma's stomach began to knot as she noticed the waves in the distance. "I don't like this, David. It's time to head back," she said nervously, but trying to keep her composure.
David turned the boat around and began to head back to Boston, but they were at least two hours away from the city. They sailed on for a while with minimal trouble, but they knew that wouldn't last. Their nerves rose with each passing minute as the weather continued to worsen around them. Soon, the wind began to pick up pace, scarily swaying the boat along with the rough waves. Rain began pouring from the sky as if a whole additional ocean was being dropped on them.
Ruby huddled below deck, frozen in place with panic. Her sobs could be heard above deck over the roaring storm winds. Mary Margaret ran back and forth between decks trying frantically to help in any way she could. David and Emma fought to control the boat, but before long, they knew they were fighting a losing battle.
"What are we going to do?" Mary Margaret cried.
Emma's heart felt as though it would beat right out of her chest. They were at least an hour away from Boston, and there was no way they were going to make it.
"David, go with Mary Margaret below deck and call the Coast Guard. Give them our coordinates and tell them to hurry. I'll keep steering," Emma yelled as she practically pushed David from his place beside her towards the direction of the stairs.
David opened his mouth to argue, but stopped when he saw the fear in Emma's eyes. He grabbed Mary Margaret by the crook of her elbow and rushed below deck.
Emma worked to control the boat in vain. Waves were now pounding into the vessel from both sides, rocking the boat to the point that Emma truly thought they would capsize. If she survived this, she was going to kill David.
As if reading her mind, David rushed up behind her. "I called the Coast Guard. They're sending a rescue team. They should be here in twenty minutes."
"I hope we last that long," Emma said with a nervous gulp as she looked before her to see a massive wave approaching.
Killian attached his flippers and readied his equipment as Smeeson briefed the crew on their assignment over the loud buzzing of the helicopter. "We've got four civilians in a personal vessel about twenty minutes off coast. They're right in the midst of the damn storm."
Tina groaned from the cockpit as she checked the weather reports. "The storm's getting worse. You two need to hurry and get them up. Got it," ordered the petite blonde. She may have been smaller than all of them, but Tina had an air of authority the others wouldn't dare challenge.
"Aye, aye, ma'am," Killian and Eric chimed together. They'd had years to practice their chant, and it always grated on Tina's nerves, much to their delight.
The helicopter circled around the coordinates that had been sent, shining its searchlights at the unforgiving waters below in an attempt to spot the vessel.
"There" cried the copilot, Robin, as he pointed forward, "see the bow sticking out of the surface."
"Pull her around," Tina ordered to Robin as the two flew the helicopter into a better position. Once there, she turned around to address Killian and Eric. "Guys, we only have fifteen minutes of fuel to spare here. Grab who you can and get your asses back on board."
The four struggled to keep their balance on the quickly dwindling portion of the boat that was still above surface. The wind gushed above them at what must have been hurricane force. Rain pelted them, almost cutting their skin with its intensity and the waves continued to crash into them from all sides.
Emma was sure this was the end. There was no rescue in sight and the boat would be below surface within another five minutes. If they didn't freeze to death from the cold and wet, they would surely drown.
Mary Margaret and Ruby were in tears at her side. Emma sighed as she looked down at the approaching water. She didn't have the courage to face any of them. This was her fault. She knew David wouldn't check the weather. She should have done it herself. She could have prevented this. Maybe if she'd forced them to stay closer to shore, they would be home now watching movies and laughing together.
This was surely the end. Emma thought of the life she was leaving behind: a job that she loved, a beautiful apartment, and her dog. Emma's eyes widened in horror. Her dog. Who was going to take care of Lady?
Emma pushed the thought from her mind. Someone—Kathryn, maybe Victor— would take her in.
The boat sank even further, now causing them to be submerged in the water up to their knees. Just as Emma was fighting to make peace with the end, she heard a faint buzzing noise come from the sky. She looked up to see a helicopter approaching its searchlights scanning the waters.
"They're here!" Mary Margaret cried triumphantly as she pointed up to the sky.
David grabbed the flare he had taken from below deck, Emma made him buy it, and set it off, waving it for the helicopter to see.
The bright red light caught the helicopters attention, as the four were illuminated by its searchlights immediately.
They were saved.
They watched in fascination as two bodies clad in bright orange wetsuits jumped into the water and began swimming towards them.
Two figured approached the boat and carefully climbed aboard what was still above surface.
"We're rescue swimmers with the Coast Guard. We're here to get you out," one said in a lilting British accent. British? Emma thought that was curious, but was immediately distracted when the swimmers began questioning David.
"Is there anyone else?" the second asked as they both looked around, surveying the waters around them.
"No, just us four," David answered confidently.
The British one gave a thumbs up to the helicopter above then turned back to the group. "Alright, you two are going up first," he said as he pointed to Emma and David.
"No," they both cried in unison.
"Take her first," David insisted as he practically shoved Mary Margaret into the other swimmer's hands.
Emma looked back to the first— the one with the British accent. She stared into his bright, sea blue eyes pleadingly as she gestured to Ruby. "Get her out. She's panicking."
The swimmer stared back at her in conflict as he replied. "You're not a good swimmer."
Emma narrowed her eyes at him in surprise. "How do you—"
Before she could finish her question, a basket arrived from the helicopter above. The two swimmers grabbed Mary Margaret and Ruby as they had been directed and secured them inside. They signaled up to the helicopter, which then began reeling in the cable, pulling the basket out of the water and through the air.
When the basket was halfway to the helicopter, the boat was hit with an enormous wave, scattering the remaining party.
Emma was pulled under the waves and dragged with an overwhelming force. She felt as if her body was weightless as she was thrown about like a doll. She kicked frantically, struggling before she reached the surface and took a frantic breath. That damn rescue swimmer was right. Somehow he knew she wasn't a good swimmer. She could barely dogpaddle. Emma breathed rapidly as she kicked with all her might to stay above the surface.
She heard her name being called, David's voice, but it was from far off. She was goner. Emma began to lose her battle with the forceful water and felt her body slipping down. Each kick to the surface began to do less and less for her as she struggled to get air. Finally, Emma kicked another time, only to feel the cold reality of water over her head. This was it.
Emma opened her eyes to be met with dark, dark water. She could faintly see the surface above her, taunting her, but it was slowly getting further and further away. Suddenly, a hand gripped her shoulder and pulled her through the waters and above the surface.
She coughed up water, salty, burning ocean water, as she blinked her eyes and struggled to get her bearings.
"Emma," came that British accent from before. "Emma, you're alright. I've got you. You're alright now. Stay with me, love," he urged as he pulled her through the waves.
Emma was confused. She felt nauseous from the ocean water she'd imbibed and the sky above her blurred. She felt her body soaring through the water as if she was riding a speedboat. This guy was fast, she thought as she weakly tried to kick her feet and help, but it was useless.
Finally, Emma had come back around once the two had stopped and she saw David being held by the other swimmer.
"Thank God you're okay," David said in relief as he smiled weakly towards Emma. She swore she saw tears roll down his cheek, but they were both soaking wet, so she couldn't be sure.
The four huddle together in the water for another minute until finally the basket returned to them.
"Take her up first," the other swimmer insisted as he nodded towards Emma.
Her swimmer helped Emma into the basket, making sure she was secure before he held onto the side and gave a signal to the helicopter above. The two slowly ascended into the air as the cable was lifted into the helicopter.
"It's alright, Emma. We're almost there. You're safe now," the swimmer assured as he brushed his hand over her hair. Emma instantly calmed as she stared back into his bright eyes and felt her heart rate slow. He wouldn't let anything happen to her.
Finally, the basket reached the opening of the helicopter. Another man pulled Emma aboard and then helped her swimmer inside.
"Hurry up with the basket, Smeeson. The storm's getting worse," her swimmer ordered as he helped her take a seat inside the helicopter.
The man, Smeeson, quickly readied the basket and sent it back down for David and the other swimmer.
Mary Margaret and Ruby huddled together on the other side of the helicopter, while Emma's rescuer grabbed a blanket from underneath her seat and wrapped it around her shivering body. She began crying lightly, and grimacing, because she was crying and people could see her, but she couldn't help it.
They almost died, and she just wanted to be home in her cozy apartment, watching old movies and cuddling with Lady. He wiped away a few stray tears and gave her a gentle smile. "There now, love. You're safe. You'll be home soon," he soothed before pulling the blanket tighter around her and heading back toward the other man.
The basket with David and the other swimmer had finally reached the helicopter. Emma watched as her swimmer grabbed David's arm, helping inside the vessel. Then, he turned around to reach for the other swimmer, but just as he did, a strong gush of wind knocked the helicopter back. The copter swayed to the side, losing control for a minute before the pilots straightened it.
Emma was knocked onto the floor along with Mary Margaret, Ruby, and David. She staggered back into her seat just as she heard her rescue swimmer shouting in panic.
"No!" he cried as he leaned over the edge of the helicopter looking down into the waters.
Emma looked around the helicopter, accounting for everyone on board— the two pilots, Mary Margaret, Ruby, David, herself, Smeeson, her swimmer, and…no. The second swimmer wasn't on board.
The two crewmen leaned over the side of the helicopter, clearly waiting on baited breath for something to happen. Finally, after a minute passed, her swimmer started moving.
"I'm going down," he shouted.
"Killian, there's no time. We barely have enough fuel to get back," came the high-pitched, yet firm voice of the female pilot.
"We're not leaving, Eric," Killian shouted back fiercely as he turned back to survey the waters below.
The male pilot spoke next, equally firm, but also worried. "Killian, don't be stupid. The storm is too bad now. We're low on fuel. We have to go."
Killian shook his head before sitting on the edge of the helicopter, dangly his feet off. "We're not leaving him. Give me ninety seconds and then go," he cried before, jumping into the water after his friend.
Emma pulled the blanket around her tighter and rushed towards the edge of the helicopter, poking her head out of the open door to watch the scene below. Every emotion imaginable was fighting for control inside her—panic, guilt, and awe over this selfless of her rescue swimmer. Killian.
For some reason she started crying again, but Emma was too upset to even care because Killian still hadn't resurfaced yet. What if they'd both died, and it would be all her fault for not forcing David to check the weather.
The image of two bodies popping above the surface over the crashing waves broke her from her train of thought. Emma let out a breath of relief as she saw Killian hold tight to the other swimmer. Smeeson lowered the basket below, and Emma watched as Killian put the second swimmer, Eric, inside before holding tightly himself.
They were hoisted into the helicopter within a minute. Immediately, the door was slammed shut and the helicopter sped away back towards the coast.
Killian laid Eric onto his back as he and Smeeson examined him.
"Is he alright?" Emma asked in panic as she edged forward to get a better view.
"Looks like he hit his head on some debris from your boat," Killian responded as he pointed to a gash across Eric's forehead. "He's lost consciousness, but I think he'll be alright."
As if on cue, Eric slowly opened his eyes and began coughing up water, fighting to catch his breath. He coughed a few more times, clearing his throat, before smiling weakly toward Killian. "That was stupid of you. Captain will have your head."
"Oh, I can deal with him. The real person I'm afraid of is Ariel. She may be eight months pregnant, but I'm still quite confident that she could, and would, skin me alive if I returned without you," Killian quipped as he helped Eric sit up and tended to his friend.
Emma watched the scene before, absolutely moved and fascinated by the man who had saved her life.
The hanger of the Coast Guard station was dark and dim, but thank God it was warm and dry. Once the helicopter landed, the rescue team departed and a medical crew examined the group. Thankfully everyone was fine, just a few scrapes and bruises, but nothing serious. They were given some food and water and looked after while they gave an official report about the events that led up to the accident.
A couple hours passed before they were ready to depart. Mary Margaret and David were comforting each other as Victor, who had rushed over once Ruby called, went about reexamining Ruby for any injuries. Typical doctor.
Emma stood by herself in the corner observing them and awaiting her cab, when the swimmer from before approached her.
"That was quite brave of you," Killian said as he leaned against the wall next to her and took a sip from a coffee cup in his hand. He looked absolutely exhausted, but still handsome with his bright blue eyes and messy brown hair on display. He was wearing a navy blue jumpsuit, and Emma had to fight not to melt at the sight of him. No, stop it, Emma. He is not attractive, she scolded herself.
"What?" she asked in complete confusion.
"Insisting that I help your friend first even though you were clearly the weaker swimmer. I pegged you for the worst, but you were quite persuasive. Last time I listen to a drowning person," he mused as he inwardly scolded himself and took another sip of his coffee.
Emma's mouth fell open as she stared back at him. "Well, I wasn't being brave. I just wanted my friend to be alright," she insisted awkwardly. He was the one who saved her. He was the brave one.
"Still, it was pretty heroic," he chimed as he quirked an eyebrow at her.
Emma shifted on her feet nervously before she replied back, just above a whisper. "You're the real hero. You saved my life, and you risked your own to save your friend."
Killian let out a small chuckle at her comment. "Trust me, if you'd met his wife, Ariel, you'd understand—I was still saving myself," he teased.
Emma pursed her lips and gave him an admonishing look. "No, you're trying to be humble, but you're not fooling me. You're a hero."
He was blushing now and reached up to nervously scratch behind his ear. "Well, we can't have his wife alone in a delivery room just a month from now, can we?" he asked quietly casting his gaze downward before he perked up and changed his tone entirely. "Anyway, if you want to properly thank this hero, maybe you would have dinner with me sometime?"
Emma's eyes widened at his suggestion. Before she fired back, trying to stay confident, "Buying you dinner would surely do the trick."
"I never said anything about you buying. Letting you pay would be bad form," he insisted firmly.
Emma rolled her eyes and huffed in amusement at his comment. "Well, here's my number. Call me and we'll make plans," she said as she grabbed his coffee cup and wrote her full name and phone number along the side with the Coast Guard pen she'd snatched up as a souvenir.
"Swan," he whispered with intrigue after he glanced at the coffee cup and stared back into her eyes.
Emma flicked her tongue against her teeth before spinning on her heel and sauntering away towards her taxi, which had just arrived.
Once she'd reached the taxi door, Emma heard the ecstatic cries of a woman from behind her. She turned around to see a flash of red hair rush over and envelope Killian in a tight hug. Ariel, Emma thought as her heart panged in her chest at the sight.
As soon as the cab began to pull away and head towards Boston, Emma's heart sank with the realization that she'd given Killian her cellphone number, and her cellphone was now likely at the bottom of the ocean.
"Change of plans," she shouted to the driver, "we have to stop by the store first before we go to my apartment. I need a new phone."
Please leave a review, and let me know your thoughts on the first chapter. I hope you all enjoyed the start of what will be a fluffy and fun story!