A/N: Inspiration hit me randomly for this. I am playing with the idea of true love in the world of Once Upon a Time and how it might not always be as well received as one might thing. Plus, I really think that Emma needs a true love because we're dealing with fairy tales. But maybe that's just me. Anyway, this is a sort of comedy romance thing. I was just having fun with it. Events are meant to directly follow episode 11 of season 2, the Outsider. Hope people like and that I got everyone in character. Enjoy. :)

Part One
A Stupid Kiss

Who liked hospitals? Really? Emma stood in that hallway sure to her very core, that no one could like being inside a hospital. The only reason you might ever go to one? Is for increasing degrees of not good things. Currently, Emma Swan was working.

Whatever the mess that had happened last night, and it was all still too confusing, had left quite a few people in some bad states. Belle was currently unconscious, she had not been mortally wounded but had needed surgery for a bullet wound. There was some stranger that no one seemed to know in the ICU, he was a whole other mess to deal with. Gold was a mess of rage and profound sadness. From what Emma could gather, Belle had been pushed over the town limit. Which meant only one thing. Which meant that Gold probably just lost his one true ally in the town. Not to mention all that true love nonsense. This all brought her to the man lying in the room behind her.

Hook.

Killian Jones. Whatever the hell he wanted to go by, she only wanted to know how the hell he got to Storybrooke. If there was any sort of shock felt by her upon seeing him lying there, pool of blood, nearly lifeless, it was the shock of seeing him at all. Once the injured had been brought in to receive care, Emma had had to nearly fight Gold to keep him away from Hook. He claimed that Hook was responsible but wasn't fully able to articulate responsible for what. Emma could guess. It didn't make her job any easier and she certainly felt for the man who could make Rumplstiltskin that pissed. Now she was on guard, trying to keep everyone at bay until they could piece together a full story.

Emma propped up a chair, fell back against it, and let her head hit the wall. One night and suddenly she had more problems than she had ever had to deal with all compounding at once. The stranger. Belle. Even Regina was still an issue, Emma only hoped that she didn't take all the accusations too personally. That lead her to Cora and there was a whole new mess she didn't even want to consider.

There hadn't been much said about Hook's condition either. He wasn't waking up, but all the tests they had done showed he hadn't suffered any serious injury. He looked worse than he actually was. Though he'd taken some serious bruising, they couldn't see why he was still unconscious. As if his mind simply wasn't responding to the world the way it should. Like he was sleeping on purpose. Whatever that meant.

When the tension made her fidgety, Emma stood up and tried walking off the jitters. She rubbed at her shoulders and peeked into the open room behind her. He hadn't even moved. Not a stir. She brushed it off and then found herself face to face with her mother and jumped.

"Holy hell." Emma put a hand to her chest. The hallway had been so quiet for so long she hadn't expected to see anyone. Snow held out a free hand and steadied her. "You can be really quiet you know that?"

Her mother smiled. "I didn't mean to scare you. I just thought you could use this." She held up the other hand, which had a steaming cup of coffee.

Emma let her shoulders sag. "Most definitely. Thank you."

"Don't mention it." Snow glanced into Hook's room and frowned. "Is he still in danger then? From Gold?"

"I believe so." Emma said with a sigh. "Whatever he did, it was probably really reckless and stupid."

"Why do you say that?" Snow probed, inching closer. Her face was serious as she searched her daughter, looking into her eyes which made Emma half smile.

"It, uh, what?"

"What?" Snow shook her head.

"What're you staring at?" Emma clarified.

Snow played with the hair behind her ear. "I wasn't. Staring."

Emme rolled her eyes. "You were staring. Why so defensive?"

Snow smiled. "You're too observant."

"Yeah, kinda my job." Emma smiled back.

"Anyway, I wasn't staring to be intrusive. It's just…" Snow headed toward Hook's room, frowning. "Ugh. I've been debating with myself all night. Do I say something? Don't I? It's the right thing to do. But then it's Hook we're talking about and—"

"Whoa. Mary Margret. Slow down." Emma put her hand on her mother's shoulder. "Breathe. Okay? Now what is it?"

Snow bit her lip and then nodded to her daughter. "It caught my eye immediately. You don't not notice these things…when you've been…" She closed her eyes and opened them. "Emma, I know enchanted sleep when I see it. He's not going to wake up."

"What?" Emma let her go, stepping backward.

"I don't know how…or who…but I know that this is magic. That's why…that's why he won't wake up." She picked at her finger nail and glanced up at her daughter. Emma was staring at Hook, worry in her eyes and Snow wanted to believe it was professional worry. "There is…obviously, only the one way to break an enchanted slee—"

"True love's kiss." Emma finished and then swallowed the lump in her throat.

Snow watched her. "Yeah."

"Then what do we do? He can't just lay here forever…but he's not dead either." She put a hand to her head, wrestling with the practicality of their options.

"He just has to wait for true love's kiss, Emma." Snow offered calmly.

Emma shook her head. "But she's dead. I mean, I assume it's her. The…what was her name? Mia, or something. He's got a tattoo of her and I'm pretty sure she's dead. So…" Emma's shoulders sank. "So he's stuck like this."

"If she was his true love, then yes." Snow let out an even breath, staring at Hook.

"What are you implying?" Emma turned toward her, finally recognizing the hesitation in her mother's answers.

"I'm not implying anything. I just mean that it's always possible she's still out there. We just don't know." Snow squeezed Emma's hand once. "I should get back. I told Charming I wouldn't be long."

Emma watched her leave before looking back into Hook's room. She stepped forward, looking down at him as she neared the bed. The arm with the tattoo was facing up and she saw the name she had forgotten. Milah. She felt sorry for him. Then she heard movement outside the door and she strode quickly for it. When she was met with the face she actually had been expecting she placed a cautious hand to the holster on her hip.

"I need you to back up now, Mr. Gold." Emma warned. His eyes were still harsh, but he made no movement to advance.

"I think I can be of use." He stated.

Emma wanted to laugh. "Yeah, I'm sure you could, but right now I can't let you anywhere near him. He may be a dirtbag, but it's my job to protect him until we can find out exactly what happened. It's called due process."

"I know what it's called, Miss Swan. And I can already tell you exactly what happened. He shot Belle and that, in turn, pushed her over the town limits. I had intended to end his life right there, but the car interfered. That's the truth of it, if I'm being concise."

Emma nodded. "Very. And I believe you, but that still doesn't mean I can let you hurt him."

"No, I suppose you can't. However, I'm not here to hurt him. Not now, at any rate." He hadn't smiled once, which was unlike him. Even when he was being particularly devious he smiled. "Forgive me, but I couldn't help but overhear you and your lovely mother." He motioned to where Snow had just left. "She seems to be under the impression that this unconsciousness is the result of magic?"

Nodding again, Emma eased the hold on her holster. "About that…"

"It wasn't me." He cut her off, answering before she could ask. "I assure you, if any magic caused by me had made contact with him, he'd be dead." Gold held her eyes with his. "What I'm here to do is to see if this is actually the work of magic."

"Why?" Emma narrowed her eyes.

He smiled. "Because if he is cursed then it would make job so much easier. You see, if he is cursed, then he'd be stuck. Forever sleeping and never allowed to die. I doubt that anyone in this world or ours could awaken him. Not any more, at any rate. So I'd be delighted to learn for myself."

Emma glanced over her shoulder. "I suppose it can't hurt…if you promise not to lay a finger on him." She warned. "If he isn't cursed, you can't go and kill him."

He didn't seem happy about this, but he nodded. "That's fair. I promise that he will receive no harm by my hand this night. After tonight, I make no promises."

Emma stepped out of the doorway, allowing him space to enter. "That's fair."

Gold stepped forward, his face instantly contorted when his eyes fell on Hook. Emma worried for a second before he held out a hand to quiet her. "Don't worry, Miss Swan. I made a promise." He looked Hook over, keeping his distance. Then he got close to his face and bent down.

"What're you—" Emma was silence before she could protest.

"I need to check his eyes." He said quietly, then, with shaking fingers, he pried one eye open. Emma was watching, slightly anxious and mostly curious. Then Gold stepped back and began to clean off his hands. "All that damned eye-liner."

"Is he cursed or what?" Emma asked, jumping to the point. Gold started his exit. "Gold?"

"Oh, he's cursed all right. But it wasn't by any outside force."

"What?"

Gold cleared his throat and turned, already half out the door. "He's lost the will to live, dearie. He's there because his entire reason for living is now suddenly gone. He's exacted his revenge on me. With nothing left, there was nothing in him to cause him to wake. It's punishment enough…for now."

Emma watched Gold leave and then looked down on Hook. People always looked innocent when they slept, their faces usually much more serene than it ever is when awake, not so for Hook. His eyes were drawn shut and his lips were a frown, but they were frozen that way. Unmoving.

"Man." Emma sighed. "I can't imagine a worse kind of hell." She looked him over. He wasn't dead, but he'd never wake again. Not without some kiss he was never going to get. She chuckled. True love had always been so unrealistic. Even with all that had happened, with her parents and all the other stories she now knew were true, even then it still seemed so…unfathomable. To a person like her it just didn't make sense for someone to have that one soul mate. That one person meant to be with them no matter what the odds. That just didn't happen in the world she knew. People didn't work like that. She wasn't soured enough to believe that love was unattainable. For most, well adjusted, people it worked out just fine. Even in the world outside Storybrooke. People got together and were happy. But they were usually one in thousands and she knew enough about herself to know that it could never happen for her. For Hook too, she would imagine. They were very much alike.

Emma put her hands in her pockets. "You've got it worse than me, though, huh?" She spoke to him, even if he couldn't probably hear her. It was nice to talk to someone without worrying about what they would say. "I may not ever find happiness in that sense, but at least I can find it in other ways." She thought of Henry. "You're stuck here. Stuck." She sighed. "Magic shouldn't work like that. There has to be some other way to break this thing without it being some…unrealistic kiss." She frowned. "The whole thing seems silly. Magic should have plan Bs. Or loop holes." She chuckled again. "Listen to me? A year ago and I would have thought myself insane going on about magic like this. I still think I'm a little insane…I mean, there's a…shit ton of stuff going on that could drive anyone over the edge. You and this whole curse thing being the least of the problems."

Funnily enough, she had never actually hated him. She had left him behind in the Giant's house simply because she hadn't hated him. He carried on way too much about trust and opening up for her liking. That, and she knew she had a soft spot for the cocky ones. If she let it continue there was little doubt in her mind that he'd keep trying to coax her into making a mistake. She couldn't risk that. Not with Henry. Hook might have been fun for that first night, if she had indulged, but more than that was asking for trouble. So she had said a flat out no. Plus, it did him some good to hear it. She couldn't say that she hadn't enjoyed rejecting his flirting. Which is why it had been so hard to.

"The most powerful magic in all the world…is true love's kiss."

Emma scoffed at the idea. "What's so special about true love's kiss? I can't imagine it would feel any different than, say, non true love's kiss." She pursued her lips and then it dawned on her and she recoiled, turning around as if he could actually see her blush.

"What…the hell am I doing?" She shook out her hands. All the talk of kissing had made her mind jump to places she rather it didn't. Like attempting to do just that.

But what could it hurt?

Emma blinked. Did her mind just…talk on its…no that couldn't be it. She frowned, puzzled. Her thoughts were definitely not her own. They were totally being influenced by something…sinister by the look of it. It kept turning her around and making her eyes fall onto his face. All this talk of magic…maybe someone was really trying to get her to…do what she would never, ever, do…and…

Emma slapped herself. "Get a grip." She ordered. "No one is kissing anyone. Not in this room. Not today."

As if her mind truly were against her, she could picture Hook's reaction if he had been able to hear her. She thought she saw him smirking, despite his sleep, but then she shook her head and he was frowning again. "What the hell are you still doing here, Emma?" She said this aloud and wondered exactly why she couldn't get her feet to carry her out the door. Where it was safer.

Her feet had moved and she found herself nearer to the bed instead of further. Good grief. If the universe was giving her a nudge, it wasn't really focused on subtlety. "Okay, I get the point, but you're wrong." She said aloud. "There's no such thing."

Hook's lips didn't look any less inviting.

Emma licked her own and her hand rested on the sheets, careful not to in any way touch him. "Only to prove you wrong." She said aloud again, to no one. "Only to prove…this kind of thing doesn't happen in the real world…" She leaned down and it felt ridiculous, but she just kept falling forward. When she stopped it was only when their lips were touching, but she couldn't even call it a kiss. Not at first. The spark of it, the wave of energy, were much more pressing to her. Her eyes went wide and she froze. Then her mind told her, ha, it didn't work. Her eyes grew even wider when she felt him turning her gesture into a real kiss, lifting his head into her lips and even beginning to open his mouth…

"Holy shit." Emma sprang backward, hand wiping at her lips.

Hook blinked, groaned and then smirked. "Should I feel violated?"


A/N: I needed a reason for Emma to kiss him so I sort of made it like...the universe coaxing her into it. That's probably lame, but I didn't want to not finish the story because of that one detail. I was debating between having Cora put Hook under the curse or having it be a self inflicted thing because of the talk of him being suicidal at the end of the episode. I chose the more dramatic option. Oh, and I know the tone of parts of this should be a touch darker, but I wanted a more comedic feel. It does get angsty, cause he is really hurt after everything, but I don't give it much play. I focused on the funny banter between these two. Next chapter is all banter. ;)