Disclaimer: None of this characters are mine. No Killian Jones, no Emma Swan, no Graham, no Ruby. Nope. If they did, we'd all hang out and I'd probably spend my days staring at their prettiness and perfection. Sadly, they all are owned by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, along with OUAT. Bastards.
Emma was running.
From what, for what, where to - she still was trying to figure out.
She stopped in the middle of the road, hair whipping at her cheeks, wind howling behind her. Bracing her arms around her body, gulping air in gasps, she wondered what could she have possibly done in another life to deserve another betrayal. How could it be that all the guys she found slightly attracted to, maybe even – she gulped – feeling the slightest possible inkling of something for – hurt her?
Impatiently brushing blond strands out of her face and trying to calm her breathing once more, she found herself at a loss of what to do from here. Rage. Disappointment. Hurt. The scene she had been witness of earlier still burning behind her eyelids, she nearly cried out in exasperation. She should have known better. After all she went through with Neal, how could she be so careless as to bring her walls down again?
Ugh. Stupid walls. She shouldn't have listened to Mary Margaret's pep talks – really, someone who had just spent the night with Dr. Whale shouldn't be considered the most convenient for romantic advice, right? – but either if she wanted it or not, the conversation they had had that morning had struck a chord inside her.
Funny thing – funny as in, pathetic Emma grumbled at herself – was that she wanted to believe her. More than anything. She wanted to believe that she could feel something for somebody – that she could care for somebody so much that she'd risk everything for them. Even your heart.
Especially your heart.
Since she had gotten to Storybrooke, Emma had been too scared to admit to herself that everything was changing in her life. For once, she did feel the need to protect and care for someone. The joy of considering a place home. The fluttering of her heart every time Henry and she played with their walkies and shared a hot cocoa together at Granny's. Staying up late watching a movie and having popcorn with Mary Margaret.
The most horrifying thing she had to acknowledge, though, was that she would entertain any romantic feelings at all.
Emma suddenly stopped in her tracks, astounded, and looked around. Oh, hell. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Of course she'd come here. The salty breeze did nothing to calm her beating heart for once. She lingered in front of the oak door and after a couple of cleansing breaths, she used the hanging metal hook to knock twice.
Yeah, that's right. What Emma was most scared to admit was that she had let herself feel something – 'not feel', she corrected herself stubbornly 'just… you know, the temporary inappropriate thought here and there' – for two guys.
And seeing as how she had just experienced on firsthand how close the Sheriff – Emma's hands clenched so hard her knuckles turned white at the unwelcome image – and the Mayor were, her most logical response was going to him.
"Swan? What are you doing here?"
Without actually thinking or even acknowledging his presence, Emma sauntered into the house and waited for him to join her in the living room.
"Oh, no pleasantries, huh? So forward, love. Here I thought the deputy should bring an order to come barging in people's places but aren't you always the surprise."
Emma stood there, in the middle of the room, hugging herself and trying to come up with an explanation. Why was she really there? What was she doing? Of all the places to go, why Killian's…?
Her name on his lips made her look up involuntarily to his face. His stupidly handsome face. His stupidly blue eyes. Eyes full of concern – well that was new, they were usually full of mischief, contempt, mistrust.
Acting purely on instinct, Emma slowly unzipped her red leather jacket and let it fall down to the floor, never taking her eyes off his. Blue on blue. Sky on sea. His mouth hanging open, he was about to say something but she was suddenly on him, swallowing any possible words he may have been about to speak.
Slanting her mouth over his, she put every ounce of her hurt, confusion and hope into the kiss. Startled, Killian took her by her upper arms and made her look at him.
"What's wrong? Why are you doing this?"
She grabbed his face and kissed him again. Hard. Over and over. She knew she was winning over his growing confusion when she heard him moan and instead of trying to hold her in place he pressed her closer to him. Tongues dancing, hands grabbing at each other's scalps forcefully enough to make them wince, Killian maneuvered them to the closest wall and pinned her there. Hooking her thighs around his waist, she nibbled his earlobe while he kissed impatiently her jaw. Suddenly, he stopped and gazed at her once more, eyes bewildered.
"Are you crying?"
Was she? He caressed her cheeks quietly and Emma could felt the salty taste of her tears on her lips. She tried to play it off by kissing each of his fingers on her face, but he took it in his hand and hold her there.
"Emma, what do you need?"
She looked right at him, at the honesty in his voice. In his face. And she could only come up with one thing.
"You. Please Killian, I need you."
His expression guarded, he pushed some hair behind her ear and kissed her softly.
Holding her in his arms, he carried her to the bedroom, closing the door behind them. And he gave her exactly what she needed. Exactly what she hadn't really known that, in fact, she wanted as well.
Next morning, first thing she acknowledged were the comfy sheets she was wrapped in and the cold space beside her on the bed. Slightly put out, she got up, awkwardly picking up his bra and panties – how the hell how had they ended up there, God – and put on one of Killian's shirts. While she was buttoning it up, she heard the sound of conversation coming from the front door. Not wanting to show up barely dressed, she waited until she heard the front door closing, taking a peek to make sure whoever it was had really left.
"You're free to come out, darling. No one will have the pleasure of seeing your delicious legs today, I'm afraid."
Rolling her eyes, she walked out of the bedroom and made her way to the kitchen. His back was to her, so she quietly put her arms around him from behind and let her forehead lie on the space between his shoulders, breathing in his scent. Sea, sun, wind. Killian.
He tensed a bit when he felt her behind him, but immediately relaxed. He sighed, turned around and pushed her with his right hand to the table where breakfast was served. "Go and eat something."
She smiled a bit and walked over there, taking a green apple – she wasn't too fond of red apples after having Henry repeating all those fairy tales nonstop – and sat on the table. Crossing her legs, she was about to take a bite when he talked again.
"So, the Sheriff just came and paid a visit."
Emma froze. He wasn't looking at her, but she could tell he was assessing her reaction. She bit the apple forcefully and feigned ignorance. "Did he? What did he want? Are you in trouble?" She tried to joke and smiled. "Did you get into another fight with Leroy when you were drunk the other night at the pub? I told you he can't hold his liquor…"
He was finally looking at her through his eyelashes while he poured some tea in his cup.
"Actually he came looking for you. He mentioned you left last night quite upset about something and he wanted to make sure you were alright. Quite the gentleman he is, if you ask me."
Emma kept eating her apple and tracing the lines on the table right beside her leg, not wanting to give anything away by babbling some kind of excuse. She wasn't sure how to put into words what she needed – hell, she didn't even know what she felt – but what she was completely positive about was that last night had meant something. Maybe it hadn't started heading into that direction, but it did.
A journey itself inside the four walls of his bedroom.
But she knew he wouldn't be so quick to accept that. And she couldn't really blame him, considering she would probably do the exact same thing if it were her in his place.
"So, Swan…" She visibly flinched. After a night of murmured, loving 'Emma's' in her ear, it was physically painful to come back to 'Swan'. "Why did you really jump me last night? I understand my charms would finally win you over, but even I am astounded at having to do nothing to make you show up in my door…"
"No, no, wait, hear this: what if you were doing patrol around Main Street and caught Graham getting out of the Mayor's place in the middle of the night? And as the poor, soft, sensible, hurt, fucking beautiful bird you are you came back here – where you know you'll have me waiting for you with open arms 'cause you bloody well know I can't fucking deny you anything when you look at me with those sad eyes of yours. So please, for once in your life, tell me the truth."
Emma stared right at him.
"It wasn't like that."
"Sure it wasn't," he scoffed, "but just for the record, darling, next time you wanna get it on, just say so, don't wait for the Sheriff to fuck you up."
Emma stood abruptly and walked to him until her nose was barely touching his chest. "I SAID IT WASN'T LIKE THAT."
He smirked cruelly at her. "Does your inner super special lies detector work on yourself, Swan? I'd love to use it now."
She felt herself being drained of all energy. She stepped out of the kitchen, shrugging off his shirt and wearing her clothes hurriedly once more while he taunted after her while he drank his tea, as if this didn't really affect him that much. "Oh, and there she is again, the Emma Swan we all know and love: running away, not admitting what she can't really see: that she's a coward. And a liar."
She couldn't help herself even if she was resolved not to utter any words until she left that place. "I'm NOT A LIAR".
"Sure you are. Why don't you just say you used me then? I won't be mad, I swear, I just want you to fucking admit it."
She stopped in her way to the front door. "I'm leaving."
"Well, you know where to find me for your next hot call. Or you know, next time you find a reason to be pissed off at the Sheriff."
She hit with her hand the wall beside the door, frustrated at herself, at him and at the words she couldn't help to hide. "You're ruining everything. This night, I thought you felt…"
"Oh, so now it's my fault? Do my ears deceive me? Did she just had the guts to blame me?"
But Emma had already left, the hook on his door merrily swinging mocking the tears in her eyes.
The following night Emma felt a slight sense of déjà-vu. In the middle of the road, alone, red cheeks, heart beating.
This time, she was running.
This time, she had a purpose.
This time, she wasn't lost.
She finally reached her destination – Granny's, where she knew he'd be drinking with his crew from work. She opened the door, scanned the noisy crowd – Saturday nights, even in Storybrooke, tended to be quite wild – and finally spotted him. He drank from his glass, not looking that interested in anything going on around him. He probably just wanted to get wasted into oblivion. She made her way to him with purpose in her stride, took him by his arm, ignoring his astonished "Swan? What the hell?" and, after giving Ruby a quick nod, made her exit out of the dinner and into the street.
"Swan, really, this is getting bloody ridiculous, you…"
"Shut up. And I really mean it. Shut. Up. Or I'll punch you and tie you to a chair with a rope on your mouth so you have to let me talk and fucking listen for once and not jump at me every time you feel like it – which is pretty much always."
She dropped her arms to her sides and took a long breath.
"I have to tell you something, something I've been trying to figure out since I got to this place and I…," she sighed and dropped her head, "I need you to please listen. Please. 'Cause every time you say 'Emma' or 'Swan' when we fight I start yelling and now I don't want to yell or shout, as much as I love to fight with you."
She lifted her gaze and found his on her intently.
For once since she had known him, he kept quiet and didn't even make a dirty remark about the tying him up thing. He gazed at her intently and made a motion with his head so she would go on.
Bracing herself, Emma mustered all her courage and went for the kill.
"Look… you were right. Right about me going to your place after seeing Graham and Regina together." She made a face. "I was… I don't really know. I was hurt. Hurt because for once I had let myself think that maybe it was possible for me to find a good guy. A guy who would care for me, a guy who wouldn't betray me. I've had enough of those in my life, and let me tell you, the 'bad boy' stereotype? Not so fun to be around." She peeked at him under her lashes. "You know where I'm going with this, right? You understand why I'm telling you this? You are exactly the type of guy I'd sworn to myself I'd never let near me anymore. I knew you were trouble – how can you not be? I mean, you are infuriating, you are cheeky, you are an absolute disaster, you flirt with every woman you run into, you get into fights every week, you can't keep a single conversation without making me want to punch you in the face." She paused at stared at him, her voice dropping. "But that didn't stop me from wanting to be around you."
She breathed slowly through her nose to calm herself. Or try to, anyway.
"Look, Graham and I… I wanted to believe I felt something for him. Maybe I did. Maybe. I… I can't know what he sees in me. A co worker. A pretty face. A lost girl who just found out the kid she gave for adoption ten years ago who suddenly wants to know him and actually care for him cause it makes her feel whole – wholer than she has been in her life.
But that's the thing, I can't know if that's what you saw in me either. Maybe you see a pretty girl too. Maybe you see a chick you'd like to bang now and then. Maybe you see a girl who fights with the Mayor every freaking time they run into each other – a girl who has fought all her life. A girl who has finally found a reason to stay.
You know why I went to your place? I was running in this damn road asking myself where the hell should I go, or why in hell I was running in the first place. And today I realized I was actually relieved to see Graham and Regina. I was hurt too – I know I was. But I did feel relieved. For what? Right? Why would I feel that when I just saw the guy I wanted to maybe have something with making out with the woman I wanna punch in the face – more even than I wanna punch yours, and that's saying something - everyday? The only reason I can come up with is that I knew it wasn't that what I needed. Or what I really wanted for that matter.
And whenever we found ourselves together, I couldn't help but think that maybe it was because I wanted to spend time with the only person in this town who just didn't belong. But last night? Last night, together, I felt like I did belong. And you did too."
Her eyes searched his. Waiting for him to deny what she had just said, or to laugh at her, or maybe – maybe agree with her.
"Was I wrong?"
He kept staring at her. Emma clenched her fists, waiting for the fallout, and dreading the possibility that he'd leave her. Like everybody had left her before.
"Emma. When have you ever been wrong?"
She closed her eyes, holding her tears of relief, as his arms came around her. Her face tucked in his shoulder, she left the breath she had been holding for the last minute, all the tension coiled up in her body, her fear and regrets leaving her at least for this moment.
He took a strand of her hair and curled it in his finger while he drew her closer to him with his arms.
If you had to name a moment in your life, Emma thought to herself, she'd name this one 'home'.