A/N: Hello fellow shipmates! Here is my first shot at writing Captain Swan. Please bear with me during this one-shot.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of OUAT characters or Jack Sparrow, sadly.
Thanks to: QueenofaSwan for beta-ing. :)
A pirate cannot be trifled with.
Emma was letting the drowsiness of their exhausting journey sink in on her. What a long day it had been, and full of different emotions. Only hours since coming off the beanstalk, Hook had caught up with them with an "oh good, you're still here I see" and tried to converse with them nonchalantly - as if nothing ever happened, as if he didn't care that Emma had left him chained and with a giant for a babysitter. The fantastic four whirled back on their ankles, worry shown in their faces and a bit puzzled as each instinctively reached for their weapons: Mary Margaret for her bow, Mulan for her sword, Emma for her gun, and... well, Aurora slithered closer to Mulan's back.
His eyes fixed on Emma as he commented, "I thought you had left me to die, but thankfully, you had the giant protect me." Thankfully you've got me to protect you, he had said to Emma earlier, before they went up the beanstalk, and she was confused as to why Hook was thanking her for the fact that she had the giant promise he wouldn't hurt him, just stall him. Shouldn't he be angry at me? Pirate blood in his veins and all?
He looked as if he was merely returning from a wood-collecting journey, carrying a few sticks of wood resting over his hooked hand. The girls couldn't muster a word, none of them wanted to be the first one to be questioned or to make him snap. "Well, lovelies, if one of Hamelin's prancing mice has indeed eaten your tongues, nod with your heads," he said sarcastically, a crooked smile on his face. Aurora broke their still stance, shaking her confused head, eyes darting from Mulan to Snow and Emma, who opened her mouth to say something back but was cut off by Hook, "I think we should start a bonfire and call it a day. It's getting pretty late; it's already dark and you must be tired of walking. I wouldn't want you to get hurt," his eyes fixed on Emma, "but you will if you keep running like that in the dark," he said with utmost sincerity in his face, "as far as I know, no one has followed me here". No one meant Cora, obviously. Emma incredulously searched his face and his stance for a lie, something that could give him away, but she couldn't find a trace of it.
Snow was watching her and Hook, and seemed to understand from Emma's stillness and indecision that something was off (or on) between them. If Emma hadn't pinned him to the ground and tied him up already, he shouldn't have a reason to hurt them. Then why do we keep running away like all hell is about to break loose? Snow thought. They were complaining about Emma's pace a few minutes ago, but now her motherly instinct told her that her daughter was running away again, not out of fear, but evasion. Oh, she was evading Hook, just like she had evaded Graham when he started to crack her shell. That habit of hers had to stop. With a sigh, she put her bow and arrow back in place and felt Mulan and Aurora's confused what-the-hell-are-you-doing looks on her face. Hook then threw the wooden sticks onto the floor, and his arms rose up to show them his empty hand and hook. It's clearly evident he has not come back to fight us. He catched up on us pretty quickly, so if he wanted to hurt Emma he could have done it by nightfall, Snow pondered. Nevertheless, Emma's eyes were still fixed on the pirate, her fists curled tightly, knees slightly bent, ready to defend herself if Hook so much as blinked. There go her walls. Snow called to him with the proper voice of a queen, "Ok, Captain, you're right and we could all use a good night's sleep before we resume our journey tomorrow."
Snow observed that Hook's eyes never left Emma, a faint smug smirk forming on his face. It was Mulan's turn to speak, using her bossy tone, "Fine, I'll take first watch, but you make the bonfire."
Emma didn't direct a word to Hook all night. She seemed odd and confused to have him there, getting more nervous with each passing minute, but also feeling lighter and drowsier as sleep invaded her limbs, her eyes heavier and heavier until she couldn't open them anymore...
Someone's delicate fingers were caressing her, her face and her hair while she slept. It felt oddly comforting, and a sweet voice called to her, "Emma, dear, it's your turn to patrol." She slowly opened her eyes and saw Snow looking at her, and she stood quickly, sleep vanishing as her senses became more alert. "Right, of course", she mumbled, "good night, uh, Snow."
Emma walked up to a tree near a high ground and sat with her back to it. That way, she could see farther outside the clearing to scan for any movement. They were in the Enchanted Forest after all, who knew if a troll decided to pay them a visit in the wee hours of the morning. Snow had cuddled under Emma's warm blanket and drifted to sleep immediately. The others were already heavy with sleep under their bundles of quilt. The bonfire cracked every once in awhile, growing dimmer by the minute and the small clearing where they camped was lit from above with many stars.
If only Henry would see this. She wrote a mental note to herself, to take Henry camping some day in the safe forest of Storybrooke, with no evil lurking around, no trolls following their scents, no witchy bitchy Cora, no sexy smug pirates making her life impossible... Sexy, huh? She could almost picture Killia-Hook's devilish grin accusing her with his impossibly oceanic eyes, making her heart flutter and her mind cloud. She had been cursed to like bad boys. They weren't relationship material, weren't responsible, weren't trustworthy. They fled as soon as they had the chance. That was why something was definitely off with Hook today; he was supposedly the most feared pirate in all the fairy tale lands and pretty young too to be a captain. She was sure as hell he didn't get that title just for his good looks, and right now, she questioned why he had come back, why he didn't hold her betrayal as a grudge. She needed to talk to him eventually. For now, she would settle for this night of peace and tranquility. Tomorrow would be a definitely annoying day with his snarky remarks and innuendo looks raining over her and she would need all her energy. Her eyes searched for his blanket but it was oddly missing. Hook, where is he? She sat up straighter and searched the camp with her eyes slowly accustoming to the dark. 1... 2... 3 blanket-burritoed princesses, where's my pirate burrito?
Standing up, she had the sudden feeling that someone was watching her, and as soon as she heard the rustle of leaves she turned around, drawing the gun from her hip holster and pointing it out into the dark. "Hook?" She asked, her voice wavering with fear. No one answered. "Who's there?" she whispered, venturing into the woods, following the soft cracks of twigs and leaves until the bonfire light almost faded behind her, the moonlight washing through the forest canopy above her. She felt something warm creeping up against her back for like the third time, and whirled around to see a very alert pirate with raised eyebrows and hand and hook.
"Shit! You almost gave me a heart attack!" Emma angrily snapped, her eyes wide open.
"I would love to give one to you in a more proper manner," Killian's voice a soft growl, a smirk upon his face.
"No thank you." She replied curtly, hands crossing tightly over her chest, eyes now narrow, glaring at his pretty face.
Emma couldn't believe it; the pirate was still intent on laying his innuendos on her. Can't he just drop it and grow up? She went back to the bonfire clearing and sat angrily on the forest floor, her back pressed against a large tree. He knew how to get into her head and unnerve her; his presence made her want to break Snow's toaster all over again, her fists balling up, her nails biting hard into her palm. Just think happy thoughts, she mutely said to herself, relax. Don't let him get to you. She folded her legs in a butterfly position, her back straight, eyes closed and hands gently rested on her knees. As if meditation is going to magically make him disappear, the voice inside her said. She let a long breath go and opened her eyes as the rustle of leaves came closer and then drowned.
Emma saw Hook approach out of the corner of her eye. So much for relaxing. Pirates, it seemed, were like any other washed-up high-school jock and douchebag, clueless on understanding to back off when the girl didn't give a damn about them. Just my luck. Emma had had her fair share of those a few years ago. "Argh, go away!" She gestured with one hand brushing the air and didn't even bother to look at him.
"My, my... Is that a behavior fit for a princess?" He retorted in that alluring voice of his, propping himself on the ground beside her.
Emma turned to give him a pointed look. "Don't call me that, I'm no princess", her voice tone lowering as if warning him to not come closer to the hidden beast inside her.
"Duly noted." He nodded and squinted at her, studying her. "Hmm... you're right, somehow I doubt you would have been a proper princess in any kingdom." He scoffed as if he saw something amusing happening on his head and sat down right next to her, eyes turned toward the fire consuming the little sticks of wood left.
Emma snapped. "What is that supposed to mean?"
Hook turned toward her with a slightly exasperated voice, but composed expression. "Oh well, for starters, how about being nicer to a pirate? A pirate that you left tied up, whom you trusted and yet betray-" "I did NO-" Emma almost interrupted, but he placed his index finger over her mouth to shut her up, "...left him to cover up your own insecurities", he quickly continued, "and now has come back with no attempt at harming you or any princess of your annoying little party," he emphasized, rolling his eyes.
Emma moved her head an inch away; she had to keep her lips away from Killian's tingling touch. Killian? Where did that come from? Her inner voice asked. She shook her head in confusion to drive away the thoughts. "Why?"
"Do I really need to repeat that," he asked, then his eyes turned mischievous, "or was I distracting you in some other way?"
She shot back, "No! I mean, why did you come back? Why are you acting so... normal, so... forgiving?" Her words were slow, quiet, trying to sense the terrain, to know if Hook was just playing her or if he was actually not as fearsome and heartless as she thought.
"On one account, I figured I had to prove to you that my intentions to help you return to your land safely are quite honest, despite my life trade."
"So you're just being a gentleman?" Her eyebrows arched at her own bewilderment in remembering his words up the beanstalk and mentally bracing herself for his reaction.
He nodded, "I told you before, I'm always a gentleman."
Emma's lie detector switched on high to trace a lie in his expression. His voice had been completely calm and decided, not cunning, different from his common, roguish pirate talk. He was being honest, but guarded still. She pressed on with her brows furrowed, not completely convinced of his act. If it really is an act. It just has to be. She thought. Or is that what you want to believe? Her conscience offered.
"Am I to believe you? Are you sure there is no other explanation?" Emma's voice was guarded.
Hook averted his gaze to the woods and back to her again, opening his mouth to speak, his shoulders shrugging, not knowing whether to confess to her that she had gotten under his skin. But Emma needed the truth right now, and Killian was willing to offer it to prove himself. "Yes... and... well, on another account, getting you to trust me and overcome your insecurities is quite the challenge, my dear Swan."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Emma answered in a low voice, flinching, averting her gaze from him. She had read her again.
"Playing dumb again, are we, love?" Hook studied her closely, their arms a few inches apart.
"You know nothing about me." Emma refused to look at him.
"Ohh, all evidence to the contrary, lass. You are an open book. Don't think I don't know why you left me tied up in the giant's lair."
Emma did not answer, did not ask, even though Hook's tone was baiting her, attempting to stretch the enlightening conversation. He wanted to make her acknowledge what she refused to see. He didn't need any words; he just wanted to look into her eyes for the admission that she had trusted him back up there and was afraid to admit it. But she was not going to bite that easily. Her jaw was set tight, fighting the need to talk back, to defend herself when he looked right through her walls.
Hook shook his head, amused at her strong resolve. Stubborn lass. He scooted closer, placing his hooked arm around her and felt her tense under his touch. He drew his rum flask from his chest with his hand and offered it to her. "Do you fancy a drink before you hear my theory? Ladies first." He said with a wink.
"Oh, the gentleman, right. How thoughtful." Emma's tone was sarcastically gracious. He smiled.
"What I need is for you to shut up and go back to sleep," she replied, her lips tensing into a fine line.
He shrugged his shoulders and took a drink of rum. He didn't find her silence or resolve off-putting and, in wanting to prove it, he approached his mouth to her ear as if confiding the location of a secret treasure to a comrade pirate, "Aye, then I'll be quick. My theory is that we're very much alike, you and I." Emma didn't blink, so he repeated it in a huskier voice, "I and you... us."
Emma was absorbed in her thoughts; she had practice in resisting the advances of men, countering their lines with witty remarks to brush them off, but she sure as hell didn't expect that line coming. He was a bloody pirate, the epitome of bad blood in his land, and she was a sheriff in her world and a could-have-been-princess on his. She had known him for... what? Less than a week? And they were already twin souls? He didn't know one thing about her past, but she knew that both had been in love and both had lost. She was sure he didn't know about her time as a thief, and he mustn't, or it would make him even more delusional and annoying, if that were even possible.
She felt aware of Hook's gaze staring her from head to toe and back, stopping on her ribs. That infuriating son of a- Emma felt a blush coming up and distracted him as defense, eagerly snatching his flask and taking a drink, bottle still lingering on her pout as she said, "you seem very certain".
Hook was definitely caught off guard by Emma's reaction and nervously tore his eyes from the shiny thing that he had discovered dangling half-out of her jacket, but composed himself quickly and gave her a wide smile as he stared at her rum-soaked lips. "I would be willing to bet my hook - nay, my ship - that we are alike in more ways than you let me on. You would have made a hell of a pirate."
Emma shook her head as she felt the burn of the rum on her throat. He had left her tongue-tied with his statement. Bull's eye, Emma. She couldn't conceal a small smirk forming on the corner of her lips, so she drank a second time from the flask and glared at him, "Has anyone ever told you you're extremely cocky and overly confident?" The words had come out slurred and fast, her tongue tingling with the effects of the rum.
He gave her a playful nudge on the ribs and took the flask from her hands, consciously brushing her fingers, and drank up. "One day, you'll let me break through those walls of yours. You'll come over to my side, I know it", he stated and the corner of his mouth twitched upwards. He paused to intercept her denial but he noticed her gaze darting from his eyes to his lips and back. She didn't protest to his allegation, so he took the opportunity to distract her further. "Do you want to know why?" He asked with a devilish smirk closing the gap between them.
Emma felt frozen as his blue eyes approached her; she caught his smell and welcomed it, leathery, salty and spicy, clouding her mind and luring her in. Only after she managed to swallow a large lump on her throat she heard herself ask with a faint voice, "why?"
Hook stopped when his lips were almost touching hers. "One word, love. Curiosity." He licked his lower lip and Emma was so entranced by it that she mimicked his action. Hook continued in his dangerously husky and slow voice. "One day, you won't be able to resist me," his hand traveled to pull a strand of hair away from her face, caressing her cheek. "You'll want to know... what it tastes like."
His stare was intense, shining with the deepest blue Emma had ever seen, and it made her mouth water. She shut her eyes almost unconsciously as she felt the magnetic pull of his lips lingering hungrily above hers. She felt his fingers caress her lips once, but then he pulled back, breaking the spell.
Hook began to stand up and let out a small merry laugh at Emma's bedazzled expression. "But seeing as I am a gentleman I would never put you in a position that would compromise your honor", he said, obviously sarcastic, bowing non-chalantly.
Emma, of course, felt like an idiot and couldn't help her anger swell inside her. "Oh, so this is part of your little pirate act? How gentlemanly of you to lead a woman on and then disappear forever", she said, standing up straight to level his eyes, her hands on her hips. She instantly regretted having spoken the latter part, biting her lower lip in frustration; she had given too much away.
"Oy! You wound me, love," he said, raising his hand to his chest, feigning to be offended. He started walking backwards towards the woods, "but forever is such a long time. And just for the record, when I find something I fancy, I do not rest until I have it."
His suggestive voice and raised eyebrows sent a shiver down Emma's spine, longing already for what didn't happen between them. And already he was walking away from her... "Wait! Where are you going?" The hint of disappointment almost reaching her voice.
His startled boyish look seemed off on him, but vanished quickly. "I was just going to get a drink, my dear Swan", he said, shaking the rum flask. Then his expression turned to one of a lustful man, "I'll be back in a beat, lass... would you be so kind as to... warm our bed for me?" He shot her a disarming wink.
Emma glared at him. "You're delusional!"
"Keep telling yourself that, darling."
She felt relieved and proud of herself: she had survived another round of "Besting Captain Innuendo". What? Are you giving him pet names, now? Deep down, however, she wasn't so sure she could best him next time. She sighed and scooted over to the bonfire, obviously colder as her source of warmth went away. As she dug her hands into the pockets of her jacket she noticed something unusual. They felt empty. On her left pocket, safely tuck, had to be... The compass!
"Crap! Crap! Crap!" Emma muttered as her hands dug into the ground, uselessly searching for the shiny object. Nope, he took it. Damnit, Emma! How could you be so irresponsible? She kicked herself mentally, propped herself up, glanced at the three still sound asleep princesses, and ran as fast as she could into the forest where Killian had disappeared.
A/N: So, how was it? I tried to write my own version of Emma in the Enchanted Forest. I know there are too many fics already written about all those scenarios, but I was pleased with my final draft. Next chapter is titled "Persuade Me" IYKWIM. ;)
Oh, and let me know if it was too OOC for Killian or Emma.