Disclaimer: I am not ABC or Disney, so I own nothing, not Once Upon a Time or its characters. But if I did... ;)

Title: Backlash

Summary: In which Hook goes to see Emma in the hospital against other's warnings/wishes.

Pairing: Captain Swan, Emma x Killian Jones| Hook

Word Count: 1183

Author's Note: Suddenly this will be more than 5 pieces now. But it's because, like this one, the chapters will be shorter. It's either that or I'll never get them out, probably get distracted and then this will never get finished lol. So short it is. This one is Hook centric. (I'm ashamed b/c I hardly edited it. Hope there's no blatant mistakes! The next chap. is like... two-thirds done. I just need to find time to finish it) Let me know what you think :)

eta: I just had to go through and fix italics and dashes and UGH. i think i got them all. FF why are you messing with me today?


iii.

"Someday I'll wake you.

Sometimes I'll wait for myself.

Someday I'll hold you through.

Tonight I'm alone."

-"Mend"- Elsiane


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The thing about moving past what's kept you going for so long, is that giving it up—sitting still, dealing with all you've pushed down and pent up—does not feel like looking ahead... but instead like going backwards.

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Hook is up doing nothing. The time it had taken him to get his things together was embarrassingly short especially for a pirate. Until now, he'd never noticed how little he'd cared over the years, how few possessions—keepsakes—he'd actually deemed important enough to keep. Besides recently—a giant's bean which had already been made useful—it'd been many years since he'd taken anything.

Hook had been so many places in his quest for vengeance, seen so many astonishing things… and yet he hadn't really seen anything at all had he? He'd hardly paid them any mind. And now Gold isn't even gold to him anymore.

It's ironic, his foe's—ex foe's?—new name.

But that is not the worse thing that Hook is finally noticing.

The thing worse than missing out on his own life can be heard in the dismal quiet of his ship. His vessel is just about the only thing that is still around from then, that still matters something to him.

But the silence is stifling.

It's crewlessness is not right.

He is not fond of the unnatural quiet.

Where have they all gone? When had they decided that his quest was no longer worth it no matter how long they lived? Had he even noticed as one by one, each one of his men had—?

Every so often, sitting in his room, the floorboards creak like heavy footsteps sounding from the deck above—and how had he not heard this a week ago, a year ago, a decade, a—and it's almost like back then, like times so long ago that they might as well have never existed.

Hook should feel better now. He should feel unburdened moving past the negativity of his past, his vengeance, the vice that'd been keeping him stagnant… but he's moving past the good from back then too isn't he? What is he now without that?

And there's this itching question at the back of his mind that wont go away.

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What was the point of living so long if it hadn't been to kill Rumpelstiltskin?

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But these thoughts will get him no where.

And Hook knows exactly what a night like this calls for.

What he needs to clear his head—

and anyway, he's leaving tomorrow and what kind of bloody pirate—and he still is one, was one, isn't he?—would he be if he didn't give himself a proper send off?

—There's just one tiny little problem with his plan.

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No Bloody Rum

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Ruby approaches slowly, glass in hand. It's late, too late, and she's been on her feet for hours but that's not going to keep her from getting her point across. When he reaches for the glass, she pulls it just out of reach, watching as his eyes snap up to land on her face.

"You know," she says bluntly, "if Granny or anyone else who knew who you were was here, I wouldn't be serving you."

Hook blinks, staring at her. What he'd like to say is that this wouldn't list among the top of his most favored places to partake anyway, that a cheesy little diner in a fake little town was a last resort in his brilliant going away plans, that he could care less about everyone's—save one golden-haired lass'—opinion of him here, but no where else is open and the ghost footprints and the unanswerable questions are still like wisps of smoke in his mind and that glass, sitting so neatly and tight in her hand, is going to drown them out.

Hook licks his lips, and with a grin from the side of his mouth, leans back in his seat.

"And that begs the question, why are you darling?" he asks, silky and smooth, dragging his eyes from her gaze purposefully slow, down and back up again.

Ruby tilts her head to the side, cocking her hip and giving him a devious smile, "Well you aren't too hard on the eyes," she says, pointed and truthful, and because well… Ruby can't help herself sometimes.

And Hook, grinning a little wider now because that was easy enough, reaches for the glass again only to grasp air.

"But that's not why pirate," Ruby says suddenly a lot more serious, "You royally fucked up in the whole Cora vs. Us, Us vs. Cora situation, but I think it meant something to you," she leans forward a bit now, "I think what happened to Emma means something to you."

Ruby pauses and Hook smirks at her as if unaffected, even if only to cover up the slight widening of his eyes that he wasn't quite able to stop. Ruby smiles back, looking a little more smug and continues,"And I know she'll be all right. She'll wake up. She's Emma. But that's not why either. The only reason I'm okay with you being here, is because I don't believe you were ever as bad as you put on."

And maybe it's a little harder to turn a new leaf than Hook thought. The first good thing to do would be to tell her that Emma is fine, that's she's right, Emma did wake up. And the second would probably be to let her know she'll not regret letting him in the diner tonight. He no longer has a reason to harm anyone, directly or as a consequence of his actions.

But old habits die hard and maybe, just maybe, Hook doesn't take kindly to people trying to get under his skin… well, unless their last name is Swan, and she's the only one he'd ever let slip exactly what his qualms with Gold really were.

The tattoo on his wrist itches, suddenly feels tight, pulling at the skin.

"Sure you're not seeing what you wish to see love? " he says, act falling to the wayside, voice dark. He leisurely moves his other arm, the one with an end sharpened to a menacing point, and lays it across the top of the table.

Ruby falters for a moment—and fuck, perhaps he shouldn't have done that. She is still the one holding his rum. How had he forgotten?—but then there is a scoff combined with a roll of eyes.

His drink clinks as it hits the table.

"I'm not seeing anything pirate. I'm sensing it," she informs him, turning on her heel. Ruby makes it about three steps before she halfway turns around—he has already taken a large swig of rum by then— "And besides, if you ever screw us over again, I could always just eat you."

And then her red pumps are tapping their way back behind the bar.

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He is just thinking that he won't be around much longer for her to try, when the bell on the diner door chimes.