A/N: This is a flashback of Killian and Ariel's first kiss, as mentioned in my other fic, In the arms of the ocean devotion rushes out of me, which will have more chapters very soon. But for now, true love kiss magic ;) Thank you Ale (Mariposa Miko) for being my beta and my friend, I love you darling. This goes to you!

The kindest of kisses break the hardest of hearts

Her eyes are still huge with astonishment and she's taken a hand to her lips, trying to capture some of the thrill they felt when they kissed. He moves closer, as if he's about to kiss her again; but he changes his mind and stops. Her eyes close, and she lowers her face; she takes her hand away and nibbles at her lip, scowling in deep contemplation. He feels baffled and frustrated at the oddity of the situation; yet, as he sees her lip turn pink under her teeth, he's perplexed at the strength of his need. He doesn't understand the urge, but he wants to take her bottom lip into his mouth and suck it until it turns red.

She's quivering, her locks are a deep auburn now that she's soaked; her lilac dress is transparent and the thought of his crew seeing her so vulnerable displeases him, so he takes off his jacket and hands it to her. He stands and yells to his men: "She's alright! Prepare the ship, we'll dock here today". Without knowing what else to do, he sits next to her on the beach and stares into the green and white surf. He stretches his legs and she imitates him; her small toes wiggle and bury into the honeyed sand, and he's enthralled by the pearly skin of her ankles. He refuses to believe that anything magical happened when he kissed her. Bugger, he didn't kiss her, he was trying to save her. "But that was definitely a kiss" he quarrels with himself. He frowns, undecided, and scratches his beard, itchy with the salt water.

Her eyes follow his movements, traveling over every angle of his face, now that she has the opportunity to be so close to him. For days, in misery she saw him smile with his men, spellbound by his cheerful, easy character; she heard him laugh with their pirate songs after many goblets of wine, she had wanted to keep his laughter in a seashell and listen to it every morning as soon as she woke up. But right now, she's pleased with just looking at him, absorbing him.

She feels a tear run down her cheek, as she devours the feeling of the sunlight playing on her skin like kisses; the sensation of the grainy sand, tickling her toes; the lullaby of the waves, familiar and soothing, like her father's voice; the freshness of the ocean breeze, cool and exquisite as a night's hug. She's appalled at what she did, throwing away her precious human life; she can't stop berating herself at her ungratefulness. Though, more than anything, she tries to reason with herself: "What happened when he kissed me? What had been that sizzle?"

"What was that, back then when you saved me?" she asks finally, and he turns, electrified by her voice; it's sweet as thick molasses, but enticing as red silk, he's equally moved and seduced by the sound of it; he needs to hear more.

"Well you see…" he pauses, unsure of the tale he's about to tell her, he doesn't even believe it himself, he stopped believing long ago. "There's a saying in this magical land that any spell, any curse, any sorrow, can be healed with true love's kiss, but…"

"So, are you my jolly sailor bold?" she inquires, eyes wondering and mellow, and he smirks, as he understands she's heard the men sing that old mermaid song.

"Ah, beautiful, I might be more than that, if that kiss is any indication"

She blushes, embarrassed at his teasing, and he can't help but think her cheeks look like a field of poppies and she looks over to the sea. He chuckles, delighted at her ingenuity, but turns serious quickly; he kneels in front of her and he sees her squirm, shy at his attention, after so many days of feeling like a shadow.

"Ariel" he starts but she gasps, awed that he even knows her name. The guilt courses through him and he hates himself for ignoring her so many days; after all, she was just a little mermaid, dropped into a new world, surrounded by loud, evil men. He could have been kinder, she deserved gentleness. But he was not a tenderhearted man, he was no man at all; he was an empty shell, a bandit; he was unable of feeling love. That had sunk in an ocean of darkness; he was just a ghost ship now.

Maybe that ship could rise for a lost mermaid who couldn't stand life being cruel to her. "Why should she?" he speculates; she's beautiful, untouched by malice, open to happiness, to adventure. She's pure, just a child. She deserves love; after all, magic has a way of being right in the end.

For the time being, as he lookes at her with hurt and regret, she studies his face, marveled. His messy black hair and blue eyes are his most prominent features; they intrigue her, adding to his air of mischief and allure. He's more handsome than any merman she ever knew, with his pink, grinning lips and his scruff; she can still feel his mustache and beard caress her face. She smiles, amused at his earring; but grimaces as she sees his cheek.

"How did you get this?" she says, as she strokes his right cheek, where a scar mars his clear skin. His eyes close, like in pain, from the memory and from the loving touch she gives him, as she pats the imperfection and her fingertips seem to wash away the ache.

"I got in a fight with a demon. A crocodile" he mutters; his heart pounds, trying to break away from the hurt of the past and reach out to her loving contact. She deposits a kiss on the scar, and for a second time, the magic of true love kiss flows between them, soft and tingling as the sprinkle of fairy dust.

"See, all better" she whispers, but her eyes are glazed; they resemble the tide at sunrise, when it sparkles and foams. His eyes travel from her eyes to her lips; they're red and swollen and he smiles, thinking he got his wish; when she parts them and he feels her breath on his tongue, he's enslaved.

"Ariel, I need… I need to do this again" he warns before he catches her mouth with his, but he stumbles back when she grabs his hair and clings to him. Her body falls on him, warm and supple; she seems to pour all her adoration, her admiration, her willingness to fall in love with him, into that kiss, into her hands lying over his heart. As their lips move, magic bonding them together, she seems to say: "I'm In, Killian. I have faith in you, I believe in us. I want more of you, I'm giving you my all. Don't hesitate; plunge into deep waters with me. My heart is yours, take it. Don't be afraid, I'm here with you, I'm not going anywhere".

He pulls apart terrified, as he feels chains breaking inside him, his heart feeling again. Love is possible again; he can't deny it anymore, every kiss confirms what he refused to believed. He thinks amazed: "There is love in our bodies and it holds us together". She looks worried, but he smiles genuinely, for the first time in a very long time, and he looks at her warmly. She smiles as well, love shining in her eyes.

"Well, it appears I am your jolly sailor bold indeed."

She giggles charmed and hugs him tight. He smiles into her hair and beams. Maybe there is something to magic after all.

A/N: If you liked, please review! I love hearing your opinion guys! :)