Thanks to Endless Questions for being my beta for this chapter!
I don't own ouat. Thanks for your reviews.
Wasn't love, love.
Chapter 54: Seer.
Looking up and down the street, and with a last sigh, she pushed open the pawn shop door. It had been difficult to make Killian stay with Ruth while she went to her -as he called it -date with his crocodile; but finally he had accepted. But only after Mary Margaret had used her schoolteacher's tone to tell him Emma was an adult who could handle herself -a thing that in his words he bloody knew- and made sure that David went with her, her personal body guard.
Now there she was with her -this was too odd- father; a solid presence behind her. The owner wasn't on sight, but an odd awful smell was making her cringe. "It smells like livestock." She turned to complain and found a smiling David taking a deep breath.
"It's lanolin." He said almost in awe.
Wondering who in his right mind could possibly like that horrible odor and severely pondering being the daughter of such a man, Emma walked further into the shop. "Gold! In here?"
"Well, it is my shop." Mr. Gold's voice answered.
Following the sarcastic sound both David and Emma entered the back room. Mr. Gold was covering a piece of cloth with lanolin. The frown on Emma's face grew bigger. "Whoa! What is that?"
"Oh, this is lanolin – used for waterproofing." He put down the cloth. "It is the reason why sheep's wool repels water."
"It stinks. Um, if there was a reason you called me… If you want to talk about that quickly or outside." Emma gestured out of the small room, there the smell was so strong that Emma made a mental note to take a shower as soon as possible.
"Yes." Emma pushed David back into the main shop as the other man followed her.
"First of all, what's he doing here, dear?" He tilted the cane to mark his words his expression stern.
Puffing out his chest David answered before she could speak. "I'm protecting her."
The shorter man leaned forwards in his cane. "I think Mrs. Jones is very capable of protecting herself." He paused, observing David who was behind Emma, his hands on his hips. Mr. Gold blinked, recognition in his eyes. "Charming! Welcome back." Emma turned around puzzled wondering how he had managed to realize the change in David. "Is your wife awake too?"
"Of course she is."
"Congratulations Mrs. Jones." Emma turned to face him, totally confused. "You're doing a great job in breaking the curse." The compliment threw her off.
"I did nothing." She mumbled in confusion.
"It was her husband." David informed him, stepping closer to the pawn broker, and with a short nod signaled to the severed hand exposed in a shelf. "From whom you will keep your distance." He lowered his voice leaning over the counter. "He's family now." He added dipping his head until he was eye level with Mr. Gold.
To her surprise the small man didn't recoil back, instead he leaned over the crystal counter too, his hand gripping the edge, an ugly snarl made an appearance over his face. "We," He pointed a long finger to her." have a deal dearie." He hissed showing his teeth, his brogue thicker than ever. "He's safe as long as his wife keeps her end of the deal." Then he straightened, his face returning to his usual self, and faced her.
"What deal?" He asked with vehemence.
Ignoring David, Gold brushed away his words with an odd flourish and began to talk again his voice gentle. "I just wanted to, uh, express my condolences, really." Emma blinked trying to cope with the sudden change. Now she had seen a glimpse of the crocodile. And after that display, her belief in the damn curse was growing stronger by the minute. "The Sheriff was a good man." Her father finally stepped back, placing his hand on her shoulder.
"Thanks I suppose." Emma and David exchanged a questioning look, yes, she was his deputy, but their relationship hadn't been long.
"I believe that after two weeks of acting as Sheriff, the job will become yours. Then you'll have to wear the real badge." He stated pointing at the badge at her waist.
"Yeah, I guess." She cleared her throat. "I'm just not in a hurry. So, um, thank you for the kind words. And sorry for missing the appointment we had yesterday."
"After Mr. Hubert death I supposed you wouldn't come." He walked to a cardboard box on his counter. "I have his things."
"What?" Asked both David and she.
"The Sheriff. He rented an apartment that I own. Another reason for my call, really. I wanted to offer you a keepsake."
Emma frowned. "I don't need anything."
"As you wish. Well, give them to Mayor Mills. Seems like she was the closest thing he had to family."
"I'm not sure about that." David walked towards the box, glancing inside.
"No love lost there, I see. Look, I feel that all of this stuff is headed for the trash bin – you really should take something. Look – his jacket."
"No." Emma shook her head confused.
"Well, look. Your boy might like these, don't you think? You could play together." He held up a pair of walkie talkies.
"What's the price." David asked stretching his arm in front of her.
The shorter man sighed lowering his arms. "This is just a token, free." The pawn broker shook his head, a look of hurt in his brown eyes. "No, please. They… They grow up so fast."
David seemed to believe him and took the walkies.
Emma smiled at Mr. Gold "Thanks."
The man nodded. "You enjoy these with your boy. Your time together is precious, you know? That's the thing about children – before you know it, you lose them." Both men in the room engaged a pained look and Emma wondered who Gold had lost, and realized how much it must hurt for her parents to have lost her childhood.
Emma turned to go, and just as she was heading out of the shop, Gold called her name. "Mrs. Jones." She stopped under the door frame, glancing back at him. "You will need me." David appeared behind her. "Mrs. Jones, two people with a common goal can accomplish many things. Two people with a common enemy can accomplish even more. How would you like a benefactor?"
"A benefactor?" Emma frowned, not understanding why this man who hated her husband was suddenly being nice, and helpful.
"Mr. Gold." Her father -she would never get used to it- spoke in a deep voice. "We know the way you accomplish things. You will not use my daughter."
Mr. Gold shook his head. "Always the hero. I was just offering assistance with the Mayor, her authority? Well, maybe she's not quite as powerful as she seems. If you know where to search for."
"What do you get by that?" Emma asked.
"Deary. I want the curse broken. The sooner, the better." And with those words he disappeared again behind the dark curtain.
The air was full of giggles, the dinner overflowing with the usual sounds of any other Saturday afternoon. Ruby was dressed in red bright shorts that barely covered an inch of her long legs, the tank top too short to cover her belly. The girl was on a step ladder, connecting some nails that where scattered over the walls with a red heart printed paper trim, amused. Keeping the metallic stairs put, Dr. Whale observed the big amount of skin barred at him from his angle, licking his lips absently, completely unaware of the hatred filled look Granny sent his way.
A movement caught Killian's (I wasn't sure if he is who you are talking about) attention and he faced forwards again. Mary Margaret leaned over the table brushing a lash from Ruth's cheek, her voice never faltering as she went on explaining something about Valentine's Day. His princess let her, closing her blue eyes briefly and resuming drinking her strawberry sundae.
To say he was worried was an understatement. His perfect little lass wasn't talking, and the worry was consuming him. Snow kept telling him that it was not so strange after such a traumatic event. But he was not okay with her reasoning, after all, her memories with children came from a curse, and his daughter was a seer, maybe she had seen something too scary for her short age.
A male voice made him snap, Killian dropped the straw into his sundae and turned around. Their eyes met and the color completely drained from the stubble-man's face, his mouth opened and he immediately jumped from his stool, running as if the Devil himself was after him. In his haste, he collided with Ruby's metallic flimsy stairs knocking her down awkwardly into the surprised doctor's arms.
Despite the show Killian had the stranger pinned down a couple of feet away from Granny's door. His smug grin couldn't be wider, he had him.
"We have a lot to discuss bloody scallywag." He growled into his ear, crunching him under his weight.
"I'm... ouch" Killian roughly shoved his head against the floor.
"Killian!" The school teacher's scolding voice yelled from behind him.
Killian glanced back as Mary Margaret stormed towards him, dragging Ruth along. "Ye're lucky my daughter is here."
"What's wrong Killian?" Snow concerned voice asked.
Killian pressed his prey harder against the floor. "That bloo… that excuse of a man tried to kill us back in Boston." He glanced back again checking Mary Margaret's attire in search of any suitable rope. "Please, give me your belt."
The woman didn't hesitate handing him the item and observing how he did a handcuff knot one-handed. Killian stood up, pushing his captive with him, making the man yelp as the restraint on his wrists cut into his flesh. Harshly he turned him around pushing him towards the general direction of the station.
His little precious princess was trembling and shaking, her eyes full of tears, the terror shining through them. Her hands were clasped over her little mouth as she walked backwards colliding with Snow's legs. "Don't worry darling." She smiled down at the girl. "You are safe, he can't hurt you." The woman tried to hold her, but the girl struggled with well learned movements of self-defense and was free in a heart-beat, not running from them but staring confused at the beaten man, taking a step towards him, tears streaming down her face and she started breathing faster and faster, breathing small sips that made Killian cringe. Her little chest was sinking with every breath. He had seen her like that just once, when she had to be hospitalized.
Looking down at the man he held tight he realized he was staring at his little treasure, at his daughter, at his tiny love. Roughly with all his force he kneed him in the groin, making his knees give out. "Ruth? Breath darling."
Mary Margaret tried again to approach her with no luck. "Killian, take Ruth home, I will drag him to the station. Call Emma and David." For a few seconds he weighed his options; looking at the delicate queen before him, with her white coat and wool cap, pure representation of innocence. "I'm capable of doing it."
Killian nodded placing the makeshift rope in her right hand. "Mary Margaret, take this too." Un-pocketing his hook he placed it in her left hand. "It's sharp as a blade."
A little bit taken aback the queen twisted it in front of her face and then a fierce expression he knew too well replaced her expression–the same Emma wore when she was decided- she pressed the point into the man's neck. "Walk." She ordered.
As the white figure and her prisoner disappeared into the night Killian turned around, Ruth wasn't shaking anymore, but her breathing was still ragged and her hands were on her mouth. Kneeling in front of her he caressed the curls that escaped the red bonnet Mary Margaret had lent her.
Their daughter was not the typical lassie who cried or lost her temper. She was nervous, loud, talkative, bossy and cheerful; barely crying when she hurt herself or was denied a whim. His baby did not cry. Despite this he knew the scene, Emma wept just like that. So as if she were her mother, he approached slowly, just as he would do to a frightened beast, and once his arms were around her little fragile body she clung to him just like her mother had done too many times.
Scooping her up Killian walked towards the apartment that was now a second home to him, the princess in his arms crying silently in his shoulder, her sobs lighter and her breathing better. Once at home, he sat on the couch, the lass secure in his arms, her face pressed against his neck he dared to ask. "What's wrong my little pirate princess? What has my brave Ruth so scared?"
She chuckled, and he smiled, knowing that his Emma would have done the same exact sound. Much like her mother. "I can't -Papa."
He sighed, making his princess look up at him. "My beautiful lassie, what did you see in the car accident? Why weren't you speaking my darling?"
The girl hesitated blinking fast, her blue eyes full to the brim with tears and her usually fair face puffy and red. "I -saw the car explode." Her voice broke with emotion. "I didn't know if I was in…" Killian took off the beanie and kissed her head encouraging her to go on. "I thought I was going to die."
"You didn't, Ruth." He kissed her again.
"What if I'm wrong and someone dies? What if Mama dies?" Her eyes filled of tears. "What if Henry dies?" Her voice broke. "What if you die?" She whispered gripping his jacked tightly in her hands.
Killian pried her hands from his clothes and with his contraption made her look up at him. "You have a gift Ruth, you can see things that are still to happen." He smiled at her kissing her balled fists. "And that is a gift because it gives us the chance to change things. You should not be afraid." Her lower lip quivered as she nodded, her jaw settling in determination. "And if we can't change something it is because that destiny has prevailed over our interests. It will never be your fault."
He could see doubt in her eyes. Such an open book. "But…"
"Darling, if your mama's or my life weren't as they were you wouldn't be here." She relaxed her hands, placing both of them open on his chest. "Destiny tends to be cruel at the moment, to give us the greatest treasure of all later –love."
I'm sorry for the delay, but as you see this is an extra-long chapter I had to cut in two, because there is too much happening at the same time (I know, completely my fault). About Ruth's reaction after seeing August face… the mystery will be discovered in the epilogue I have already written.
Keep reviewing! And thanks for reading!