Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Once Upon A Time


"Emma, sweetheart" a woman with hair black as night calls to the golden haired woman who is standing on the balcony, staring off into the endless calm, cerulean sea. "Please," she beseeches, "just go meet the young man."

"Mom" Emma's wavy Aurelian hair swirls around her face as she turns to look at her mother. Her electric pearly grey eyes narrow in bitterness, "I thought we talked about this. I don't want to."

"Emma—" Snow hisses, matching her daughter's attitude, "Your father and I aren't expecting anything. We just want you to go meet him. He is very nice." Approaching her daughter, letting her hands rest on the elbows of the upset princess, "Please, just go meet him, you might like this one."

Emma puffs. This will be suitor number twenty-four. Her parents had been trying to get her to marry since she turned twenty summers, eight summers ago. Emma loves her mother, but not one of the suitors had matched her. At most, when she would ask why they wanted to have her hand, each suitor would falter and make a faulty excuse. Suitor number fifteen had said, "Because you are beautiful!" and when she asked for another reason he could not think of one.

"His going to be as stupid as the last twenty-three of them." Emma bites out bitterly.

"You don't know that, he could be the one!" Snow says smiling confidently. "It would really make your father, and I proud if you went."

Emma's angry pearl eyes glared into her mother's olive-green eyes, "Fine" She huffs with sharp seeping through her voice.

"Thank you, Emma!" Snow jumps with joy and hugs her daughter, "We truly aren't expecting anything, but your father and I have been trying to help you find your true love for so long, we just feel so much hope…"

'For me to end up happily ever after, you two' Emma rolls her eyes at the thought. "I'll go pack." Emma says begrudgingly. "Oh! I already did for you!" Snow smiles happily.

"You didn't know I was going to agree. Why did you pack my stuff?" Emma gasps, her eyebrows furrowed with vexation at her mother's actions.

"I knew you would agree." Snow smiles with mischief; "You will leave tomorrow morning to catch ship to meet him!"

Emma rolls her eyes as her mother sashays off with excitement. Turning back towards the ocean that glows orange with the sunset, "I don't believe in true love…" Emma whispers, "at least not for me" she sighs sadly as the memory of suitor number one filled her thoughts.

"Stop." Emma snaps at herself for trying to remember his face. It will only cause pain.

"Mom, can you read me a bedtime story?" Henry, her son asks.

Jumping in fright, "Henry!" Emma gasps as she turns to face her son, "When did you come in?" She questions with her hand over her racing heart.

"Just now." He mumbles quietly, "...so can you?" Henry looks up at her his dark chestnut eyes looking up at her.

"Of course." Emma smiles and rushes over to him, "What story do you want to hear tonight?" She takes his little, pale hand into her own and leans over to kiss his shaggy brown hair.

"I want to hear…" He says thoughtfully as they walk towards his room, "The story about Peter Pan."

Emma giggles, "Alright. Let's get you changes into your nighties, then I will tell you the story of the great Peter Pan."

The next morning comes too soon for Emma. The time dawn had arrived; her maids had come into her room to wake her. Of course, that did not matter since Emma did not sleep a wink.

"My lady?" One maid whispers, "It is time to awaken" She gently touches Emma's shoulder.

"I'm awake." Emma rustles and sits up in her feather bed, looking at all the maids. "Why are there so many of you today?"

"We are here to help dress you for the carriage ride and the ship ride, my lady." The same maid spoke up. "We had chosen the powder blue gown if you like it my lady." The maid signals for the other servants to bring the dress to show the princess.

Emma sighs, "Can't I…" she hesitates, "Where pants?"

The head girl seems astound and looks down, "The Queen, my lady has requested you wear a dress of your choosing." She fiddles nervously with the hem of her skirt, "We can retrieve another dress if you wish my lady."

Emma rolls her eyes, "Of course she does." Emma smiles at the head maid, "Can you do me a favor, Eliza?"

Eliza, the head maid looks up startled that the princess knows her name, "Y-y-yes? My lady?"

"Can you please sneak some pants and other clothing into the carriage?"

Eliza nods, "And not to tell the Queen?"

Emma smiles, "Yes, not to tell the Queen."

Eliza nods, "All right, my lady; however is this gown suitable for the carriage ride?"

Emma stares off, "Red. I would like to wear a red dress."

The entire group of maids scurries off to get the dress that had been requested.

"Remember your manners, Emma" Snow chides as she fixes the hairpiece in Emma's hair, "And don't talk about your training in weaponry either."

Emma scoffs as she brushes her mothers hands off, "You and Dad taught me!"

"Yes, well," Snow look amused, "Most men," She coughs, "Don't like to know a woman could best them in a spar."

"Moooooooom." Emma whines as the carriage pulls up.

"Emma! You will be fine! Your father and I will leave in three days time." Snow reassures her. "Henry!" Snow calls for her grandson, who had been sparring with his grandfather, "Come say goodbye!"

Henry quickly drops his wooden practice sword, "Mom!" he shouts and tackles into her. "Oh! Henry, careful!" Snow says as she reaches to adjust the hairpiece again.

"Mom!" Emma snaps as she flicks her wrist, singling her disapproval as she bent over to hug Henry. "Be good." Emma whispers and kisses his forehead.

"I will." Henry hugs her back, "Good luck" He grins, knowing his mother's reputation.

Emma nods at him before looking at her father, "Don't make him do anything stupid, Dad." Emma chides her father. "Me?" Charming raises his arms in defense, "I would do no such thing!"

"Mhmhm." Emma hums, "I'll miss you guys." She looks at all of them again, "Love you."

The family replies that they love her also as she climbs into the carriage. As the carriage pulls away, Emma tries not to think of the trip ahead of her.

"Princess, we are here." A loud booming voice echoed as the doors on the carriage opens.

"Thank you, Grumpy." Emma says sweetly as she steps out and down from the carriage. Emma glances towards the docking area that is crowded. "Let's go, princess." The dwarf holds out his hand. "Thank you." Emma takes his hand as the royal guards accompany her towards the ship.

As the company walks to the ship, the crowd parts ways to let the royal blood pass. Almost all of those on the dock bow to the princess as she walks by. "Hello." Emma nods as she passes, "Good day to you"

As she passes a group of men, she glances over to look closer at them. "Hello, love." One man dressed in a black leather tunic with a high collar. His hair is inky black hair contrast with lightly sun-kissed skin and his brilliant sea grey eyes and with his right earlobe there was a little dangling silver earring. This had to be the most attractive man she had seen in her life.

"G-good day." Emma stutters out as her party passes the group, his sexy devious smirk never leaving his face.

"Ah! Welcome princess!" The Captain of the royal ship approaches the princess, "Welcome aboard!" He smiles and bows to her.

"Thank you, Captain." Emma says sweetly, "We can we board?" She asks directly, wanting to be able to relax.

"Ah, yes." The Captain hesitates, "Well, there has been a slight issue, my princess."

"Excuse me?" Grumpy steps in, "What do you mean, there is a slight issue?" His blocky, short frame cutting off contact with the princess.

"Well, you see…" The Captain stutters. "No, you see!" Grumpy hollers angrily.

"Grumpy, no." Emma stops him, "We can just go to an inn." She pauses and looks at the Captain, "When do you think we can board ship?"

The Captain hesitates, "Tomorrow, my princess."

"TOMORROW?" Grumpy screams attracting more attention from the crowd around them. Emma flitches as she grabs Grumpy, "Let's just find an inn!" she begs.

"If you think—"

"Grumpy!" Emma hisses with a plea, "Stop, lets go." Grumpy gave the Captain one more stare down, "Let's go find an inn!" He announces before storming off, ahead of the company. The rest of the guards look toward their princess for an answer, "Well…" She looked at them, "You head the dwarf!" as she flings her arm towards the direction Grumpy had stormed off, "Let's go." She walked at the head of the company after the heated dwarf.

Emma had managed to let the maids leave her alone in her room of the inn. She sighs heavily. "I need a drink." She mumbles as she looks through the chests of clothing to find a pair pants and a top. She pulls out a pair of black, tight pants and slips them on and grabs the top. The top, which is white, lined with shimmering gold, is similar to a corset, but with long sleeves and a line of fur that sat around her shoulders.

Emma places a dagger into the left black boot she had put on once she released that the maids and servants had not packed her bow or sword. Sighing, she opens the window, peaking out below to see if there had been any patrolling royal guards. There weren't any.

Stepping out to straddle the ledge of the window. If she jumps, she would only get a bruise or two, and there are no other ways to get out of this inn without being seen. Emma reaches in to get her black cloak, before leaping over the edge of the window and landing on her feet before falling to the ground.

"Damn." Emma mumbles brushing off the dirt and checking for injuries. None. Looking both ways, she rushes off towards the tavern.

Emma, with her cloak on and hood up, casually walks into the bar; no one notices her presence, she is just another tavern-goer. Emma swaggers up to the bar and orders a scotch to start off. She hands the money to the bartender who made her drink and hands it to her within minutes. Emma lazily glances around the see who is about. Whores trying to play their profession with men, men drinking telling tall tales of their adventures, and a small sprawl of no worries.

Emma orders whiskey next and thinks back onto the divine seductive man who had greeted her, improperly! Emma is intrigued on who the man is and what is occupation is. Emma orders another mug of whiskey as she listens to the tales being told around her as she faces the bartender.

"Aye that evil crocodile cut off my hand!" She listens in.

"Rumpelstiltskin is his name, some know him as the Dark One, but I…" The man stops, "I know him as crocodile" Her face still facings the bartender, she slowly beings to turn around to see the man. Emma knew Rumpelstiltskin; he is locked in a dungeon that her parents tricked him into trapped.

"I plan on skinning the blasted crock, when I find him. He has kept himself well hidden from me, but I shall find him. I will take my revenge on him for cutting off my hand."

Emma starts at the man. The same man who greeted her earlier in the day. "Aye, Hook, you will!" One of the men lifts his mug to the Captain.

'Wait…Captain Hook?' Emma's blood rushes, 'He is a PIRATE.' Shame fills her as she turns to leave a tip for the bartender. "Thank you." She mumbles.

"No problem, princess." The bartender answers and winks at her when she looks at him in shocked.

She turns to give the man one last look, she wants to remember his striking features and those gorgeous stormy ocean eyes. His eyes met hers, and his face turns into an attraction of interest with lustful filling. Gasping, Emma rushes out of the tavern, running back to the inn, stumbling from the buzz she had received from the alcohol.

Turning to look back to see if had come chasing after her, Emma trips on the cobblestone road and almost hit the street had, not to warm arms wrapped around her. "Easy there, love." The stranger—Captain Hook—jokes as he lifts her up onto her feet.

Emma looks up at him with fear, unable to move, his arms never leaving her waist. "Look here," He grins lustfully, "I have the princess falling for me."

Emma scoffs, "No, you don't" and tries to push him away, but his grips tighten. He laughs and lets her go. "Why is a princess doing at this late?" His dark eyes stared into her.

"Why shouldn't a princess be out?" Emma sneers as she backs away from the charming pirate.

"Hmm." The pirate pretends to ponder, "Possibly, lass because there are pirate about."

"Like you?" Emma says as she stares at his hook.

"Aye," He smirks as he looks her up and down, "Like me."

"If you are going to kidnap me, you better try harder." Emma challenges him as she pulls the dagger from her boot and points it at him. He just laughs, "I am not going to kidnap you, as temping as that is…" He pauses as he gets closer to her, his eyes memorizing her, "the things I'd love to do to you, lass." He touches her hair, "But I have better things to do now be a good princess and run home."

Emma stares at him in shock as he turns and walks away, "You have better things to do than kidnap a princess?" She yells to his fading form.

"Aye, lass I do." He yells back, not bothering to turn around as he disappears into the darkness of night.

Emma stares perplexed at the blackness of where he had disappeared before turning around and returning to her inn.


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