A/N: Rating goes up a bit in this chapter! =) How are you all liking the story so far, my lovely readers? Good? Yes? haha How about the series? Is it just me, or are they totally trying to keep Hook and Emma apart for now? Where are all the Captain Swan scenes, dammit? lol But I can't wait for the new episode tomorrow! I think we'll finally get to see who Bae really is. Think it's Neal, too? =) Enjoy this next installment! xx IFHD

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Chapter 14: Storm

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Inspired by:

"Storm"

By: Lifehouse

How long have I been in this storm?
So overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
Water's getting harder to tread
With these waves crashing over my head

If I could just see you
Everything would be alright
If I'd see you
This darkness would turn to light

And I will walk on water
And you will catch me if I fall
And I will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright
I know everything is alright

I know you didn't bring me out here to drown
So why am I ten feet under and upside down?
Barely surviving has become my purpose
Because I'm so used to living underneath the surface

Everything's alright
Yeah, everything's alright

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Flashback - Fairytale Land

Killian looked at the compass in his right hand, then through the telescope in his left. The Jolly Roger had been headed due south for the past couple of days, but their course had to be diverted slightly that morning due to a brewing storm in the horizon. Fortunately, he and his crewmen managed to avoid the oncoming threat by a needle; however, waiting for the storm to pass while going off-course wasted precious time for their journey. Killian sighed and raked his hand through his mussed hair. Perhaps he would take more time to complete the mission instead of impending death for him and his crew. Patience was a trait that he had developed over the years, aye, but it was invariably growing thin.

He needed to find a way to Neverland.

Now.

Just as the ship made a hard right to turn back towards their original course, the crewman perched atop the main mast's lookout released a panicked cry. Killian's spine stiffened at the sudden sound, and he swiftly strode towards the starboard side of the ship to inspect the situation.

"Captain! Captain Jones!"

From the corner of Killian's eyes, he could discern Starkey hurriedly making his way towards him along the main deck. Killian appraised the flustered man when he reached his side. "What is it, Starkey?"

The older man's orbs were alit with alarm. "We're under attack."
After a quick, 360 degree survey of their surroundings, Killian still couldn't see precisely where the threat was coming from - at least, from where the pirate captain was standing.

"The assailants come from beneath the seas, cap'n," Starkey explained, jutting a sausage-like finger towards the deceptively calm waters. "They attempt to sink the ship!"

Killian's eyes narrowed as his body filled with adrenaline. "Ready the cannons. Arm yourselves!"

The sounds of unsheathing swords and cannon blasts beat down Killian's eardrums. The pirate captain unsheathed his own sword and remained entirely alert. He still had not seen any of the creatures that Starkey spoke of, but when he felt the ship tilt almost off-balance to the starboard side, his desire to annihilate the threat increased tenfold.

No one would stand between him and his mission to find his parents and exact revenge.

He would make sure of that.

Killian attempted to maintain his balance as he held onto a dangling rope from the main mast. At the top of his lungs, he ordered a full attack. It took several moments, but their counterattack had somehow managed to return their ship into sailing position. "The opponents falter," Killian stated, looking over the ship's railings, "Maintain the full offensive, men!"

Now Killian was hungry to face the threat himself.

"Cap'n! Cap'n, we caught one!"

He twisted his head towards the sound of a deckhand's voice. He sheathed his sword and attempted to catch his breath. "Bring it here."

Two crewmen dragged the contents of a soaked net through the main deck. Even through the pandemonium, the chorus of gasps that reached the captain's ears were enough to pique his interest.

Starkey swallowed nervously as he stalked towards Killian's side. "Cap'n, it has...it has a..."

"...tail." Killian finished through tight lips. His thoughts reverted back to the many creatures that he had encountered during the Ogre Wars. Without an ounce of fear, the pirate approached his crew's newest catch and stared at the creature right in its bright-blue orbs. In a light tone, he queried, "Do you have a name, mermaid?"

At first, the red-headed creature refused to answer. She tore her gaze from the captain's eyes, expression remaining hard.

"The creature says that we have disturbed their seas..." one of the crew members piped up behind them.

Killian nodded in understanding as he squatted down to the mermaid's height. When he reached out to remove the netting from her body, she instantly recoiled and pushed herself back from him. Killian watched her with curious eyes as she slithered from side to side on her back, inching further and further away. When his crew moved to detain her once more, Killian raised a hand to halt their movements.

The pirate persisted forward, with his stare unyielding. He continued in the same, light tone, "I am Captain Killian Jones. I will not hurt you." He held up his hands as though in surrender and managed a small smile. "I would just like to know your name."

The mermaid hugged herself, shivering. She finally met Killian's stare. When she failed to see malice in the pirate's eyes, she replied with:

"A-ariel."

End of Flashback

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Emma dragged her feet up the stairs towards her apartment. The day's events were weighing down both her mind and body at this point. After the townspeople had conversed within and dispersed out of the Town Hall, she knew that she had her work cut out for her. The preparations for Cora's attack, the situation with Hook...the fatigue that she felt was all-encompassing, and it would take more than sleep to remedy the maladies that she was currently experiencing.

What Emma was sure of, however, was that, when all of this was over, she needed to be rid of Hook.

She was about to place her keys into the keyhole when she noticed that her door was slightly ajar. Her instincts screamed within her as she pushed the door open a bit further. Suddenly alert, Emma reached for her gun and listened for any sound coming from within. She could already see faint light through the crack, though what made her puzzled were the different voices that she then heard. With a deep breath, she drew her gun out in front of her, burst through the door, and quickly surveyed her surroundings.

Hook was sitting comfortably on the couch, feet crossed upon the coffee table, as he watched television.

It took a few moments for Emma's rapidly-beating heart to calm to its resting state. Incredulity lined her tone as she snapped, "Did you...did you just break into my apartment?"

Without unlocking his eyes from the screen and not even a bit bothered that a barrel of a gun was pointed right at him, Hook took a swig of the bottle of rum in front of him, placed it back on the coffee table, and merely pointed to his hook. "It looks as though indeed I have."

Emma lowered her gun, though only slightly. If she pulled the trigger now, she'd only maim the pirate...much. Her acerbic tone wasn't lost on him. "You have some nerve coming back here after what you've done."

"You mean, warning you and all of your precious townsfolk about Cora's attack and most likely saving many, many lives?" He clucked his tongue admonishingly, finally looking at Emma with a raised brow. "Now, now, Emma, is that really any way to thank me?" With a shake of his head, he uncrossed his legs and stood. A lascivious smirk formed upon his lips as he lifted an index finger as-a-matter-of-factly. "Actually, there is one way that you can thank me..."

Emma wasn't the least bit deterred or offended. She stood her ground, her jaw remaining taut. "Why are you here?"

Hook opened his arms wide before him, half in invitation and half in order to make a point. His speech was beginning to slur as he maintained a wobbly stance. "Well, you left my ship so suddenly that we didn't have a chance to really talk."

Emma's grip on the gun tightened. "There's nothing to be said, Hook."

"Killian."

"Whatever." The young woman cocked her head towards the door. With a snarl, she hissed, "Get out."

Hook would never admit to her - let alone himself - that her words of contempt affected him. Not only slightly, but deep within the core of his heart. In truth, he wanted to find Emma again, truly, to just speak with her, and only her. He thought about the night that they had shared and what he had told her about his past - something that he had never recounted to another soul in this world. Not even to Milah. Oh, how close he had felt to Emma that night. Hook always teased Emma for being an open book - and yet, the effect that she had on him, he realized, was making him into an open book whenever he was with her. He couldn't - wouldn't - believe that being apart from him was what she truly wanted. "You really want me to leave, love?"

Emma paused as some of her resolve waned. She lowered her gun. "Say what you have to say, then get out. I have an attack to prepare for."

If that was the opportunity that she was giving him, then he would take it before the ship sailed. "You know, love, by preventing me to enact revenge, you are taking the Crocodile's side." The pirate's lip twitched. "You're allowing him to be free of what he had done to me."

"No. I am not taking his side. I'm..."

"...But you're not taking mine," he interjected.

Emma's patience ran dry then. "Hook," her finger pointed directly towards the open door as she snapped, "I don't want anything to do with you. How can I make that any clearer?"

Hook's chest tightened. No, he thought. She was lying. Even he could see that. This was just what she does: shuts people out. She pretends not to care when she really does only because she didn't want to get hurt again and... Shit. How much did he have to drink? Was that his third bottle of rum? Fourth? His steady gaze faltered for a brief moment as he cleared his thoughts of the clutter and said, "I care about you, Swan."

If it weren't for the change within Emma's eyes, Hook would have thought that she hadn't heard him. But no matter what she said now, and no matter how she acted, she couldn't hide from him. When Hook took an unsteady step forward, Emma stepped back. She bit her lip and winced. "It's not enough, Hook. You are who you are. I can't care about someone like you."

Instead of with all-encompassing rage or sadness, he eyed her with undying curiosity. "And what is it that I am, exactly?"

The words flowed through her lips in almost a whisper: "A villain."

Hook remained silent.

"I had faith in you, Hook." Emma's head shook. "I had faith that you could change. But you blew it."

He managed to keep his expression neutral. "And you are the almighty judge of my transformation?"

"You hurt Belle!" She replied exasperatedly, her hands lifting in the air. "Isn't that evidence enough?"

"Are you saying that my feelings for you do not matter?"

Emma stiffened. "...No, they don't."

This triggered something within the pirate. Something that wouldn't allow her to lie to herself any longer. He advanced, remaining undeterred by her words and actions. Her every retreating step was matched by his steady stride forward. "Then how do you explain how you react when I do this?" Hook greedily pulled her to him and ran his fingers down her arm. "Or this?" He then wrapped his arms around her body and pressed his lips upon hers, claiming them in a greedy kiss. Before she had a chance to react to his actions, he pulled back slightly and rested his forehead upon hers. "Oh, dear Emma, don't you see? You will these feelings away, but your body and instincts cannot lie to me."

To her own damnation, Emma was rooted to the ground. All she could think about was the warmth of his body, the sweet taste of ale in his breath. His lips were so cold, yet so warm. She cursed inwardly at her inability to resist, at the fact that her body so quickly responded to his advances.

Like it always did.

It was then that Emma felt the pirate's hand cup her bottom as he ground his hips upon hers. "Do you feel the need that you ignite within me, Emma?" He heard her moan in response, and the sound was enough for him to further his ministrations. Hook began to nip and kiss at Emma's neck, making her head loll back in pleasure.

What began as a soft and delicate connection quickly evolved into heated passion. Hook slightly lifted Emma off of the ground in order to take her a couple of steps forward and lie her down upon the couch. The young woman could only brace herself for the pirate's attack once more by holding out her open hands in front of her. Hook's eyes were glazed with desire as he mounted her, feeling at home in between her legs. Oh, how he wanted to rid her of her clothing in an instant. He shivered at the warmth of her hands upon his chest and at the growing need that was consuming his body entirely.

The feelings of anger and lust coalesced within Emma in a veritable maelstrom. Her inflamed eyes landed upon the pirate now above her; her look was first admonishing, then quickly transformed to that of searching. The pirate answered her with a searing kiss upon her lips and his hand grazing upon her sensitive core. His touched seemed to burn through the fabric of her clothing. Emma's body reacted to this, and she automatically thrust her hips upward in order to meet his touch.

Hook momentarily broke the kiss in order to lift Emma's shirt up with his teeth and subsequently place a trail of kisses upon her abdomen. The pirate then began to use his Hook to unclasp her bra...

That was when Emma snapped back to reality.

As though burnt, Emma pushed him away as quickly as he had mounted her and retracted herself from his grasp. She stood, dishevelled and disoriented, though found the words to say, "We're done here." She turned her back to him and stalked towards the kitchen. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an attack to prepare for."

Hook eyed her incredulously and kept his gaze firmly upon her retreating form. When Emma demanded for him to leave once more, he piped up, "I know what brought me back, you know." He trailed closely behind her as his voice grew taunting. "What broke the enchantment."

Emma froze. Her back tensed. "What?"

Hook placed his lips right to her ear. "True Love's kiss."

"You're wrong." Emma replied curtly, her jaw clenching. Her head slightly turned to eye him. "It wasn't true love's kiss, but a potion."

"I do not believe that."

"Ask Dr. Whale."

Hook bared teeth. "He knows nothing." Then, he tempered his voice once more as he said, "I know what's inside your heart, Swan. You're an open book, remember?"

What is Hook playing at? Emma growled inwardly. And how does he even know the possibilities of what brought him back? Whatever brought him back, it didn't matter now. Why would it? she thought. Romances weren't like in fairytale books, anyway.

Now face to face with the pirate, she reiterated one more time, "Get. Out."

"Is everything alright?"

The deep, concerned voice caught both of their attentions. Their gazes fell upon the new arrivals. At Emma's door stood Charming, Mary Margaret, and Henry. The looks on their faces were a mixture of surprise and curiosity.

Hook shrugged nonchalantly and gave the Royal Family an innocent look. "I truly have no idea. I was merely watching the...er...tele...television, and Emma began to scream at me."

"Don't listen to him." Emma stood in front of the pirate, blocking part of him from view, and faced her family. "What's going on? How are the preparations going?"

Mary Margaret's expression darkened as she imparted:

"It's Cora. The attack has begun."