Title: This Is My Kingdom Come
Author: Abigayle (Tumblr: )
Pairing: Killian Jones/Emma Swan (Once Upon A Time)
Rating: M (sex, talk of gore, language || Warning: Dark!Hook)
Summary: "—I could have killed you, Swan." || Emma needs a promise from Hook. Hook needs to reconcile with his darkest side. (Spoilers up through Queen of Hearts)
Suggested listening: "Demons", by Imagine Dragons, "Underneath", by Adam Lambert, and "Poison and Wine", by The Civil Wars.
At first, Emma was furious to find Hook lurking around Storybrooke, somehow practically invisible to everyone but her, even in all his leather and boots and hooks and anachronisms.
Cora remained to be unseen thus far, although Emma had promptly warned Mr. Gold and Regina that she had reasons for believing that the arrival of the Evil Queen's vindictive mother was imminent. Emma found herself refusing to tell them what exactly her reasons were.
Yes, she had been furious. After getting back to Storybrooke and feeling the initial adrenaline of seeing Henry again fade, Emma had time to notice a mixture of relief and something just short of longing at the thought of never having to deal with Hook again. She had learned a long time ago to ignore and vehemently push away feelings that might lead her into dangerous risk, especially risks with such violent blowback (Prison? A baby? A broken heart? Graham's crushed heart?). For the first time in her entire life, she truly had love to fight for, and she had decided on top of that beanstalk that she wasn't going to risk letting a goddamned pirate get in the way of reuniting with her son—
—Even after Hook had gotten in her space and just stood there, being there, looking down into her with his sea blue eyes and all the curiosity in the world as if he were trying to decipher her, make her fit like a piece into his own troubled mosaic—puzzle— and tried to make her feel just okay there, but then his eyes were starting to grow dark and—
—and she hadn't. She had made sure of it. But now she was here and Henry was safe for now and Hook was waiting in the shadows and her blood was running stale.
Her purposes were innocent enough when Emma decided to let her own curiosity get the best of her.
— — —
Hook knew she had seen him in dark alleys and around corners, time and time again, and he had let her, time and time again. The first night her cool, steely eyes had met his, he had been leaning against the brick wall of what appeared to be a flower vendor's shop, the light drizzle of a Maine midnight storm wetting her blonde locks as she walked out of her Sherriff's office. Her expression moved quickly through surprise, fear, and finally something else he couldn't place his finger on. To his surprise, she had just kept moving.
The last night, he let her follow him back to his ship.
Emma was every bit as curious as he needed her to be for the journey. Instead of only following him a few blocks tonight, carefully staying half a klick behind, he needed her to want it enough to follow him now around the edge of forest, just outside of town and straight to the coastline, around the small cape and out of Storybrooke's sight. Despite her better instincts, he was willing to bet, she never turned around to go home.
He had been very proud of himself for finding this spot to anchor the Roger, having caught wind of the townspeople's inability to cross over Storybrooke's border. This way, Hook could have free passage in and out of Storybrooke, but nobody could follow him back to his ship.
Well, almost nobody.
Encountering the daughter of Snow White in the Enchanted Forest had been cause for some change of plan. The hot, burning orb clamoring for vengeance inside Hook (well, inside Killian— Hook was that vengeance) had evolved since Emma Swan abandoned him miles above the land below them. His need to skin his Crocodile was just as strong, stronger perhaps, but his selfish desires had changed somewhat.
Hook understood through his shock why Emma had refused to take a chance on trusting him. He was sure that someone in her past had been allowed in, and that someone had taken his chance to leave her with a broken heart, maybe something more. And Hook— Hook felt within him an entirely explainable certainty that this someone had been a man very much like himself.
And that had been the most disgusting thing of all. He did bristle at the idea of a woman losing her heart… but even over himself. The years Killian had with Milah were something he couldn't be convinced to trade for all the pirate gold in every realm known to man. But—
—But he had spent more than 300 years thinking about the consequences of Milah's actions, of their actions. If Emma Swan were to explain it like one of the infantile fairy tales he had so often heard her recount in such choppy fashion, Milah's decision to leave the Crocodile for a lifetime full of adventure and love would have sounded like a beautiful, lofty idea that could only hurt the villains in their story. But—
—But there were more than villains. Milah had borne a son with Rumplestiltskin, the frail, pathetic man he knew existed before he became the Dark One. She had talked of Baelfire not often, but on occasion and always with such sad eyes. The Lost Boy he once was had always screamed then to play pretend with her, to kiss her and smile and lead her on glorious adventures to make her forget about the Lost Boy of her own. Each time they played, the game had worked a little bit better. By the time the Crocodile caught up with him, Hook had not seen that sad look in Milah's eyes for more than a decade, but—
—But then. Then, it had been the last look she ever gave him.
Somewhere out there, maybe even in this world, there was a Lost Boy by the name of Baelfire waiting for the father who had abandoned him not long after his mother had done the very same. For all Hook knew, that same Lost Boy had spun himself a life of thievery and mischief, making troubled young women fall in love by playing pretend with him before proving to be the worst thing that had ever happened to them, if they were lucky.
Their end, he thought, if they were less fortunate.
The wounds ripped into Hook's heart from Milah's death beside him had healed, eventually. The problem with wounds, he had learned, was that those which festered and became black with infection either had to close up or kill you in the end. And when these wounds did heal, he found that they left the most wicked and deadly of scars.
So when Emma Swan had betrayed him in the Giant's lair because some man had probably played pretend with her too long before looking on as her heart was crushed, he could not blame her.
And yet, in a way that he felt still had so much to do with the man he was himself, he knew that this man somewhere— the man who was like him— was not the beginning or the end of Emma Swan's grim fairy tale.
He had felt the tension between Emma Swan and Snow White, two women whom he'd sensed were still strangers to each other across a wall of circumstance. He had listened, on nights when the Princesses had decided to make camp, as Snow White quietly tried to talk to her daughter about this Henry boy, about how Emma would get back to him, find him again like they themselves had found each other again after so many years apart.
And he had heard Emma when she bit back, "No, Mary Margaret. I found you."
Although Hook could not remember knowing his mother and father, he knew that they had left him of their own choosing. He and Emma Swan shared a genetic code unique to those who knew what it was to be abandoned, for whatever reason. He knew Baelfire, wherever he was, shared that same code, all three a part of an unnamed brethren of those who were alike only in that they were so different from everyone else who believed magic could heal any wound and make happiness last forever and ever. It was a brethren that must grow every day, he thought, with every new child (every man, woman) that watched the innocent, incorruptible love in their life disappear.
He wondered if there was a place, maybe some beautiful paradise or kingdom above him in the night sky, where they all unknowingly meet sometimes, silent, on cold summer nights when the air is thin and empty and the sun had left them to just remember what they never had for themselves, won't ever have a chance at again unless they can pretend it's still there or maybe, maybe unless the sun decides to finally rise warmer than it set.
Second star to the right and straight on 'till morning.
So no, he could not blame Emma, because he was Emma in a strange way. He was an Emma Swan that had lived for three hundred years in a land where dreams and fury never grow old, where there was nothing but time and wicked creativity for plotting revenge. Hook was true to his word, he would not have left Emma Swan on top of that beanstalk, but only because he had lived centuries longer than her and he knew who to waste his time on with skepticism and when to recognize when something good had finally come along.
But there were people he could blame.
He could blame men like himself, who did not think twice about creating broken families because his own had become so broken long before he could remember.
He could blame the children of the men like the Crocodile, somewhere out there, who never learned from their parents' mistakes and who so often became the very same men who ruined their lives.
He could blame men and women like Snow White and Prince Charming, who could justify abandonment of a child on the basis that fucking magic can solve everything.
But most of all, he could blame men like the Crocodile, men who orphaned sons and daughters because they would not fight for what they believed right, who let go of family because it was just too damned difficult to hold on to, who killed women to hurt those he despised, who created men like Hook, like the man who ruined Emma Swan.
So Hook had decided, after Emma left him on top of that beanstalk, that his course of action once arriving at Storybrooke would be slightly different than he had originally planned. He would fashion himself a new pair of crocodile hide boots, for certain, but not before finding every person Rumplestiltskin had ever hurt, every child that ever had to grow up without parents because of him or his curses, every lover that had ever seen their true love ripped away from them. He would gather them before him, and every one of them would be made to watch, to gape as the Beast's heart hung from the end of his hook and the blood began to crust on the ground around his boots and he saw green scales glisten in the justice of the starlight far above him and—
—And then Hook forgot, not for the first time, what so defined the man he had dedicated the rest of his life to destroying.
Men like the Crocodile killed because vengeance was easier than blaming themselves.
— — —
Hook waited for her on the topmost deck, casually leaning over the wooden railings of the Jolly Roger as she followed his last steps straight up to the edge of the ramp. He watched as Emma took in the sights of the great ship she heard about in all the great stories, very real before her eyes now. He could imagine how it must look to her, so out of place amongst everything she knew her world to be, a foreboding gray silhouette alone in the misty dusk settling over the sea. Hook could read the indecision on her face about furthering the risk she was taking, having followed him for miles already but unsure now if satisfying her curiosity was worth boarding a real-life pirate ship.
"It's really quite nice inside, my love. And I would be hard-pressed to turn away such enticing company on an evening like this." He decided to take her by surprise, speaking up suddenly and pouring every bit of charm he could muster into his greeting.
Emma's head snapped up to where she found him leaning over the rails, clearly shocked that he was aware of her presence.
"What, did you really think I wouldn't notice someone following me?"
She remained silent, mouth open, looking like she was about to run at any second.
"I don't bite, love. Come aboard."
"—Is no longer in my company," he cut her off, casting his eyes to the aged wood of the deck below him. Hook felt the need to convince her of his sincerity for a brief moment. "Our arrangement was a means to an end, and that end was arriving in your world. I no longer have reason or interest in associating with that woman."
Emma's eyes suddenly flashed anger. "Why are you here, Hook?"
"You know the answer to that, Princess."
She considered her options for a moment. "Is it just you on board?"
He shot her a grin and arched one dark eyebrow. "Pirate's honor, milady."
She rolled her eyes at him but, to his surprise, began stomping up the ramp anyways.
Hook turned and walked to the deck below. He met her as she was entering the hallways dividing the crew's cabins, watching her take in the old, well-preserved look of boards and fixtures.
"I take full measures to make sure my crew takes care of the Roger," Hook bantered, idly. "I went through a lot of trouble to steal her away some years ago, and I won't have her falling decrepit due to a sordid lot of pirates." He made sure to put a little extra bite on the last word, teasing her with another arching eyebrow and swift lick of his lips.
"The Roger? As in, the Jolly Roger?" Emma gave him her infamous eye roll once more. "This is ridiculous."
"Now, now, lass." He slid his hand down onto the small of her back, a little surprised when all she did was shoot him a glare. "No making fun of my ship, or I won't give you the grand tour."
"Hook, I'm not here for a tour."
"Then why are you here, love?" She pretended to grimace at the pet name, but let him lead her through the wide double doors and into the Captain's quarters all the same. Emma's expression softened briefly as she took in the grandness of the room before her, adorned with rich mahogany furniture and beautiful gems, marred by the occasional gash of an angry hook.
She tore her eyes from their exploration as he closed the doors behind them, keeping out the chill of the wind.
"I'm—I'm here because I need you to make me a promise."
Hook briefly considered her unease in the room before walking over to his desk, taking his time with an answer as he set to work lighting the lantern.
"Pray tell, love, why on earth I would I ever want to make you a promise," he asked, not bothering to inject any charm or levity into his voice, "after what you did to me on top of that beanstalk?"
She ignored the question, clearly not feeling much like defending her actions at the moment. Hook didn't need her to.
"I need you to promise me that you won't hurt my family."
Hook thought it best to remain silent as she talked, ignoring his sudden urge to yell at her, to shout about the things he had done for her to make sure she got back to her son, to make sure there wasn't one more Lost Boy in the world.
"I don't know everything you're planning on doing here, Hook. But I know you want to kill Mr. Gold." She paused as turned to face her, apparently uncomfortable with the way he was sauntering her direction, dragging his heavy boots. "And I'm not sure why you haven't tried yet, but I've been watching him—"
"—You didn't warn him I was here."
Her eyes flashed with confusion and fear again, betraying her surprise and confirming what he already knew to be true.
"You told that Crocodile and the Queen about Cora. They've been looking for her." Her eyes averted the gaze he shot her, tinged with a hint of growing irritation. "But you didn't utter a word to them about my being in Storybrooke. Why?"
Hook watched as Emma stuffed her hands in the pockets of her coat, using the grip to tug the article more tightly around her body. "I don't know. I figured I could handle—"
"—So now you've abandoned me with a giant," he interrupted, his voice growing tenser by the second. "And you've watched as I returned to Cora only to go and secure your path back to your son at the last minute regardless of your unfathomable betrayal."
Confusion etched her face as her eyes grew wide, her mouth opening in protest before he continued.
"And you know, you're positive enough about my honest-to-goodness intentions in Storybrooke to keep my presence a secret, and yet you have the gall," he was yelling now, closing the space between them, "to board my ship and demand I start making you promises not hurt the person you love, when you know goddamned well, Princess, that I only came to your realm to avenge the person I once loved?"
And suddenly that same girl he came face-to-face with in Rumplestiltskin's cell was looking up at him now, the same girl whose face had melted from anger and fear into raw vulnerability as she had wrapped her hands around the bars, moving just close enough to make him reconsider his actions at the time. The memory angered him.
"I… I didn't tell them because…" Emma was backing up slowly as his arms had come up to grip her biceps, to keep her still, keep her from running away. "I shouldn't have left you behind. I shouldn't… You have every right to…"
But she did not bother to finish her sentence. Hook saw in her blue eyes some reconsideration, some change in course. They were standing just inches apart, his arms holding her body there with him, in his quarters, on his ship, and she was full of demands and now apologies and now questions and her hair was damp and goddamn, fighting off the urge to kiss her trembling bottom lip had not been in his plans tonight.
"What did you mean?" Her words broke his trance. "What did that mean that you—you secured my path to Henry?" For once, there was no insult in her voice, no sarcasm, nothing of the tools he had always seen Emma use to build up her wall around herself, nothing but a small shake of her head. "You stole the compass and went to that lake and—"
"—I could have killed you, Swan."
She stilled even her smallest movements, listening.
"You've wielded a sword, what, three times? Maybe four?"
Some small, confused path to understanding flickered in Emma's eyes as he spoke. Hook quieted his voice but sharpened his words, and he could see his own darkening pupils reflected in the face of the woman whose arms he was now gripping, certain that he must have been hurting her.
"I counted, Swan. I had seven open shots at killing you, at slicing you limb for limb, but I didn't. I needn't have fought to do it either, you were practically handing your life over to me, but I knew you—"
"—You knew I wouldn't have killed you," Emma finished for him. He loosened his grip a little. "You knew I would have just knocked you out or tied you up. You weren't afraid to look like you were losing. You actually…" She trailed off, looking down to his bared chest where the little petrified bean wasn't, used to be. The growing understanding on her face reached its apex. "The bean. You… you used the bean."
"Didn't see why couldn't both have what we wanted, Swan."
Emma's eyes were back to his own now, filled with something new and different and exciting and bloody dangerous.
Hook released her and began backing away slowly, casually, donning a mask that suggested nothing in the world could be a bother to him, certainly nothing—no one— in this room.
This was not the way he had intended things to go when he decided to let her follow him back to his ship.
He turned away from her, grabbing a small cloth and set about cleaning his hook. Emma was silent for a very long time, no doubt counting her options, and if she had decided to leave right then, he honestly wouldn't have stopped her.
Instead, several moments passed before Hook felt a hand still his working arm. He considered ignoring it completely, pissing her off enough to make her stomp away, but there was something about the way she felt next to him, lifting a hand to him and asking for his attention, that made him acquiesce.
"Thank you," she whispered, just loud enough for him to hear. "Me getting back to Henry, it… It wouldn't have mattered in the end, not to you. You still would have gotten to kill Mr. Gold."
"You would be surprised to learn what does and does not matter to me, Swan."
Hook was suddenly aware of how much she was getting underneath his skin. Emma's presence was creeping over every inch of his body and there wasn't a day of his life he wouldn't have grabbed a woman such as this and thrown her onto his bed, just feet away, and set about devastating her completely. But now…
"Why kill Rumplestiltskin, though? Why not be the better man and start a new life, here? Why reward violence with—"
In an instant, Emma's wrists were pinned to the wall above her head, wrapped up with just his able hand, his hook slamming into the wood next to her head. He had her trapped. Waves of regret and terror were crashing across her face, and Hook could not control the dirty fury he suddenly felt at her being here, on his ship, in his quarters, touching him, making him remember that he even gave a shit about her or her bloody son or anybody but himself.
"I am going to kill Rumplestiltskin," he growled at her, low, low in his throat. "I am going to kill that fucking Crocodile because he killed Milah. He took her heart, ripped it out of her living, breathing body, right in front of me."
His teeth were clenched so hard through his speech that his jaw was aching. Emma squirmed against the wall and he almost violently (almost) stilled her with a crash of his hips, crushing them just right against her body and pinning her there.
The fear he tasted hot on her breath was his oxygen. The steel of his hook grinding into the wall was his sustenance.
"I am not going to listen to you, of all people, tell me I shouldn't go ahead and slice his damned head off. You, the blessed fucking daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, savior of an entire realm, savior to victims of a curse that tore a world apart and hurt thousands only because that fucking Crocodile created it in the first place."
Hook had her full attention. Of that much, he was certain. Even her wrists seemed paralyzed, still under his hand, and she seemed to have forgotten the hook embedded in the ship next to her skull. The fear in her eyes was gone, replaced by the dawning of an understanding and pity and sorrow and something that felt oddly like lust, or something just as filthy and glorious.
"—That's not my name, Emma." He was not sure if he'd meant for it to be a warning.
He suddenly became more aware—very aware—of how much he was crushing his body against hers.
"Killian," she breathed.
And just like that, he was crushing his lips against hers. His hand freed Emma's wrists and it was not without some surprise on his part that she used her hands to tangle roughly in his hair instead of pushing him away.
He pried his metal appendage from the wall and wrapped his newly freed arm around her lower back, pulling her away from the wall and against him completely. He bit down on her bottom lip, just hard enough to make her gasp so he could slip his tongue inside, velvet.
Hook— Killian— really wasn't in the mood for making requests tonight.
Before he knew it, there was the clang of belt buckles and the rustle of fabric and Emma was growing very impatient, tearing at him like he had awoken some sort of beast inside her. She pressed her hand against his flushed chest once his tunic was discarded, and just felt, still for a second, maybe less, but it served its purpose.
Yes, his heart was still in his chest.
Things stopped making sense shortly after that. Thoughts, time couldn't be linear, not after he saw her bare for the first time, all soft skin and taut nipples and hot, searing heat coursing through his body as Emma wrapped a hand around him, stroking and massaging and there wasn't time for that, he thought, maybe shouted, and she led him into her.
Killian knew that a stranger looking in on the scene would see two people so alike and so very different, clawing and crashing together like they needed it to affirm their existence, to remind themselves that there are other people— other bodies, Emma's body— in this world that had spent time, so much time, thinking those thoughts and just…
He was lost in her. In that second, nothing made sense but her and what she was giving him and oh, oh God, he was hell bound, she didn't need this from him and he was sure he was fucking up now, breaking and entering and dooming another mother with a helpless child.
Killian forced himself to stop thinking then and just poured everything he had into making her shudder, making her wrap those long, elegant legs around his waist, securing them there while he took her so hard she would scream, scream for him and scream about him, scream his name, scream for Killian—
—and he felt himself beginning to lose it, all too soon. He wasn't ready, he didn't think he'd be able to get this back once it was all gone. He needed to make Emma remember this. She was biting down on his shoulder, hard, as her orgasm peaked. But he knew he needed to make her look up, make her see him.
With more abandon than he knew he could show anyone, he grabbed the hair at the nape of her neck and pulled, just hard enough to yank her head back, up, up to look at him and yes, God yes, he was fine just forcing her to watch his eyes as he let go. He needed Emma to see him in the most vulnerable state he had allowed himself to be in for over three hundred years, and Killian knew that she needed to see it too.
As he crashed over the edge, fell hard, it occurred to him that he had been wrong about the place that abandoned children meet. There was no second star to the right, no kingdom in the sky. Those children cry and they grow up and they hurt and then they hurt others, and the cycle trips over its own feet until finally two of those same souls crash together. It happens on top of beanstalks, it happens in stolen cars and pirate ships; it happens wherever it needs to, because it needs to happen. And that morning when a warmer sun rises comes in the middle of the darkest nights.
Emma did not leave him that night. Killian at least expected to have to silence weak protests, to give her reasons to stay, be he hadn't needed any of it. They talked very little, but it was a comfortable silence. The crystal calm of the air in his chamber was punctuated only by her soft sighs as he ran the cool steel of his hook over her soft, sated curves.
She was beautiful. And it was okay that he didn't deserve her, because he knew he didn't have her, not yet.
He left that task for another day.
As she was finally drifting off to sleep, Killian gently tucked a lock of golden hair behind her ear with hook, letting it rest against her rosy cheek as he whispered to her sleeping form.
"Nobody's going to hurt you or your son, love. Nobody."
It was a promise.
At dawn, when Emma left, Killian watched from the bed as she donned her somewhat torn clothing and fixed herself up. She approached the bed quietly and planted one last kiss on his cheek. He saw no issue in letting her think he was sleeping.
The door closed behind her, and he went to the window to watch her walk away into the foggy morning, disappearing behind the trees.
Killian set about dressing himself, smiling at the mess they had made of the room in the night.
The Jolly Roger would sleep for the day, anchored just outside Storybrooke, while its Captain left to stalk the shadows again, invisible to everyone but the one who knew him best.
Thank you for reading! Reviews, crit, and reposts most appreciated!