AU: I've changed a few little things, like Emma's 21, Killian's got a hand, and this is set in a world where Neal and Emma broke up for a little while before getting back together just in time for her to go to jail for him.

"That's not how you do it." The Irishman laughed, sliding his hand over the blonde's back. "The cue ball doesn't go in the pocket."

"Well if you sucked as badly as I do at pool, then you'd be thrilled about hitting that white ball into the corner pocket." Emma turned around, giving her opponent a cheeky and intoxicated grin. "You fill me up on Baileys Irish Crème and your accent and you expect me to be a good shot."

Killian arched his brow, "I've had way more Bailey's than you tonight, love." He grabbed the bottle off of the table behind him, taking a long swig straight from the bottle. "Half a bottle to two glasses is nothing."

"Then how about you shoot a good shot?" Emma put her hands on her hips, laughing as her pool stick clattered to the floor. She bent and picked it up, unable to resist the urge of looking up at him from beneath her lashes.

"I think I will." He smirked, moving around the table. "All you have to do is-" He slid the stick between his pointer and his middle fingers, making a perfect shot that sent the six ball skittering into a the pocket. "You see?"

"I see." Emma grinned, her eyes meeting his. "You're just the perfect shot."

Killian grabbed the little block of blue chalk off of the side of the table, he grabbed her pool stick. "Let me fix this for you and we'll get you making a pocket in no time." The Irishman stepped behind her, "Put your hands here and here." He couldn't resist but smile at the way she leaned against him.

"Are you showing me your secrets?"

He aligned the shot, guiding her hands and helping make the shot. "What do you know, you're a natural." Killian's eyes flickered between her eyes and her lips, leaning closer, just a breath away. "Miss Swan."

"Thank you," She whispered, bridging the distance between their lips, gasping softly at the contact. For a week that had been a downhill spiral of sucking majorly, tonight was the first bright spot. It wasn't often you had a devilishly handsome Irishman focusing solely on you in a bar full of ready and willing women. It was refreshing.

Killian slipped the pool stick out of her hands, reaching around her to sit it on the pool table. His lips were incessant against hers, tongue sweeping across her bottom lip, tasting the Baileys on her lips. His week had been spent in hell, reliving the past that he'd sooner forget. Ten years ago, when he was twenty-one he'd made a few errors in judgment, falling in love with a married woman. They had been happy, living life on the edge, skipping town and getting the hell away from her husband. Until her husband murdered her. The case had been reopened when reports started to come in that Gold had been sighted. But reopening old wounds wasn't going to bring back the woman who was ruthlessly murdered.

But a little bar down the street from his hotel had brought him a moment of brevity in a week of turmoil. She wasn't even what he normally went for, but that lost look in her eyes and the expression of brokenness as she stared down at an empty glass reminded him of himself. A kindred spirit amid a crowded bar.

"You got a place somewhere?" Emma whispered as she pulled back for air, her eyes meeting his. They were strikingly blue, the sort of blue that made her skin burn. She could feel them piercing through her skin as he studied her intently.

"I do. Just down the street." Kissing her once more he stepped back, slipping his hand into hers. "Was that a you should go home comment? Or was it a I should go home with you comment?"

"Definitely the a later." She flushed hotly, nervously tucking her hair behind her ears. "Because you just cannot kiss a woman like that and not follow through with it. Unless that's some twisted custom the Irish use."

"And you might wonder why Northern Ireland's always fighting. We leave 'em wanting." He drew his tongue across his bottom lip, tasting her still. "Shall we, love?"

"Gladly." Emma grinned, the first time she'd actually smiled in over a month, maybe more. She'd only broken up with her boyfriend a week ago, but she hadn't been happy in the relationship in a lot longer than that. Perhaps the life of crime wasn't the most satisfying.

"Where are you staying?" Killian asked as he pulled on his coat, glancing around for Emma's.

She shook her head when he met her eyes, shrugging her shoulders. "I've got a car."

"And no coat?" He tugged at the sleeves of his, shucking it off and draping it around her shoulders.

"My ex took it." To be honest it had been a coat they both shared and he clearly thought leaving the car – without a heating system – was a consolation for skipping out with everything they'd had together.

"Well, he sounds like a piece of work."

Emma pushed her glasses up her nose with a laugh, "Yeah, but then again so am I."

"Likewise." He smirked, leading her from the bar after paying off their tab. "So do you typically allow men to pick you up at bars or should I feel lucky?"

"Well, seeing as I've never been hit on at a bar like this, consider yourself lucky." She matched his smirk, surprised to see the exact same look on his face. "But here's the better question. Handsome, Irishman like you – is this your typical Thursday night game?"

"Not at all." He shook his head, pressing his lips together. "I've been off of the market for ten years."

Emma arched a brow, "Were you married?" Part of her hoped that that wasn't his way to say that he was married and just looking for a good time.

Killian gave a short laugh, an empty sound that didn't carry onto his face. "No, no. I was with someone and she was murdered. It kind of puts you off the whole being with someone again thing."

"Oh God, I'm so sorry." Emma frowned, feeling guilty for bringing it up.

"You didn't know, it's fine."

Emma's eyes widened, "That's what your whole thing about this week being the week from hell for you… Did they catch the bastard or something?"

"Almost," He licked his lip, nodding slowly. "The case was reopened officially this week – there were some leads." Killian held open the hotel door, letting her slip past him. "You're awfully intuitive you know that?"

"It was just a lucky guess." She shrugged, walking towards the elevator. "What floor?"

"Four." Killian replied, pulling the room keys out of his pocket. "So I'm going to guess your gloomy mood and week from hell was thanks to this ex you mentioned." He leaned against the elevator, giving her a reassuring smile.

"He left last Friday. We fought, I got pissed, I told him to get the fuck out of my life if he was going to keep pulling this shit."

Killian cocked a brow, "Out of curiosity… Are you at thief?"

"I-.." Emma swallowed thickly. "No."

"Don't worry, love." He laughed as the elevator door opened and he tossed her his wallet. "Take a look in there."

Emma followed behind him, opening the wallet curiously. How in Hell's name did two cons with equally shitty weeks find each other in a bar when they really needed someone? "So should I be calling you Killian Jones? Is that actually your name or is James Bean or John Hook your real name?"

"You'll note there's no I.D. card for Killian Jones in that." He pushed open his hotel room, giving her a small smile. "Killian's my real name."

"You don't even know me and you're just telling me who you are?" Emma tossed him the wallet back, her brows knit together.

"I've got nothing left to lose." He shrugged. It wasn't even that, it was just he'd got to a point now that nothing seemed to matter. Until tonight. It was the first night in ten years where he could laugh and smile with ease. There was no weight on his shoulders. He felt free.

"Don't say tha-" Emma started, but his lips met hers and she forgot every word she'd meant to say. Was it the alcohol that made kissing him feel this damned good? Because it was unfair how just how great it felt to kiss him.

Tonight two strangers, two perfect strangers, met and saw how broken they both were. Unsaid words lingered in the air and whispered prayers were pressed into their skin. Neither could ever be completely mended, their scars were too deep but they could try. They were bare before each other in ways that strangers should never be. Maybe in another life they could have been more, they could have been lovers, and they could have been together for the long run. But the fates refused to cooperate long term. Tonight was their night. Sometimes perfection has to stand alone.