Prompt: Hey, any chance of a short fic based off of the idea that even though Gold has his heart, Killian is able to fight against Gold's instructions (to a degree) because, like Regina, he loves with his whole being and soul and won't hurt Emma (or Henry/Charming etc) - obviously angsty with a fluffy end? (I just really like the idea that maybe he could fight the compulsions!)
Every moment could be the last. He knew that. Felt it deep in his bones. Felt it ripping him apart. Felt all of this without his heart.
He still felt love.
The love for his Swan.
But he should leave. He should get away from her as far as possible. He couldn't bear the thought he might hurt her, or Henry, or anyone else she cared about. Couldn't bear hurting anyone. Failing her.
He should leave.
He knew what it felt like to see someone's heart crushed in front of you. Knew how it hurt when the light in their eyes dimmed and they slackened in your arms. Knew the heartache. Knew the pain.
He couldn't do that to her.
He should leave.
To spare her from witnessing all of it. Spare her from the pain.
But he kept staying. Telling himself it would be just one last evening, just one last hour spent with her. Seeing her smile, feeling her fingers brush his skin, feeling her lips ghost over his.
And he savored every little moment he was granted with her. Every single one of them.
"Killian, you okay?"
He looked at her, forcing himself to smile to ease the worry in her eyes. If he still had his heart it would break right in this moment when her mouth tilted up into a soft smile, and her hand came to rest against his cheek, her lips pressing against his with a feather-like touch.
"I'm okay, love," he breathed. "I'm okay."
He was glad she couldn't look him in the eyes right now because he feared she might see the lie, might force him to tell her.
He wanted to tell her. He wanted desperately to tell her to run away from him, to take her family and run. To get as far away from him as possible.
Because he wasn't strong enough to leave her.
He couldn't bear the thought that he would hurt her, and no matter what happened.
He would hurt her.
He tightened his arms around her, and pulled her closer, felt her breath brush over his skin, felt her body melting against his, and it broke him.
He needed to be strong.
He needed to be strong for her.
He needed to leave.
He felt the tears brick the back of his eyes, and he tilted his head, burying his face in her hair, inhaling her scent, trying to burn it into his memories so that he would remember it when the Dark One crushed his heart.
Just this one evening.
He would only stay a few hours longer.
And then he would leave.
To save everyone he would hurt while being under the control of the Dark One.
To save her.
He was standing in the cold, staring at her apartment from the other side of the street. It was time. He had to go. The longer he was standing here the larger the chance was that she would come out, or someone else from the Charming family would stumble over him, and drag him with them.
His fingers curled around his belt buckle as he shifted, the leather of his old clothes creaking. He changed clothes again. Going back to his old pirate clothes. He needed to become the ruthless Captain Hook again for his last hours of life. Because it wouldn't be more than that. It would probably end in a few minutes. He just hoped he would get far enough away before the Dark One poofed into existence and crushed his heart. Killian hoped he would be so furious that he would kill him rather than commanding him to kill someone else. He needed him to forget why he ripped his heart out, and just kill him instantaneously.
He stole a last glance up to her window before he turned around and walked away with heavy steps. But he didn't get far. The moment he rounded the corner he was stopped dead in his tracks by the sight in front of him.
The Dark One with Henry by his side, the distraught expression on the lad's face telling him he wasn't there on his own free will.
"Not so fast, pirate. I am not done with you yet. You are not allowed to die yet."
He wanted to throttle him. He wanted to bury his hook in his chest and kill him. But he knew it wouldn't work. He couldn't even move a muscle. He was completely under the control of the Dark One. He couldn't do one bloody thing to stop him.
Gold's fingers dug into Henry's shoulders, clearly causing the lad pain as Killian saw him flinch, and anger roared up in him. Hatred he couldn't act upon. It was burning him from the inside out.
"Let him go, crocodile," he hissed, his hand clenching into a fist beside his body.
The lad was trying to get away from the sorcerer but he was clearly under a spell to keep him at his place. Killian didn't understand how Gold could be so far gone that not even love reached him anymore. He was threatening Henry's life. The son of his beloved Baelfire.
Killian had felt the same once. Believing the dark side was better. Believing love had no place in the life he chose. Until he met Emma, and she reminded him again of how it felt to love. She had pulled him out of the darkness, and back into the light, and he would give his life to keep her safe.
"You are going to fetch her for me, pirate. And then we will finish this."
Henry shot him a desperate look, but he couldn't help him. His body turned around against his will, and he marched back to Emma's apartment, searching desperately for a way out of this predicament.
She greeted him with a smile, and pulled him into the apartment, her lips brushing over his cheek. The apartment was silent. They were apparently alone. What might be a good thing. Gold couldn't use him to hurt several people. Killian could concentrate all his efforts on not hurting Emma.
He fought the compulsion with all he had in him, willing himself to keep his thoughts in check so that Gold didn't start to suspect something. But Emma was as sensitive as usual, picking immediately up on his distraught state.
"What is wrong, Killian?"
"Nothing," he said quickly, rushing towards the table and grabbing a pen.
He reached for a paper, burying his hook in the paper to nail it to the wood, ignoring her baffled expression as he started to write, struggling to keep his thoughts from what he was writing.
I need you to cloak my thoughts, Emma.
She leaned over the paper, reading his message, and her eyes snapped up to his, confusion flickering over her face, and he tightened his fingers around the pen, writing another message.
He could feel the pull, could feel the Dark One's fingers tightening around his heart as he sensed that something wasn't right, and he gasped, the pen dropping on the table with a loud bang as his hand clutched over the place his heart should be and he slumped forward.
But a moment later the pain was gone, and he straightened, his eyes focusing again. Emma's hands were glowing with her magic, and he knew she had done what he had asked of her. But they were running out of time. They would only have minutes.
"Swan, listen to me!" he said urgently. "Gold has Henry. He is going to hurt him. He wants your magic."
"You have to stop him before it's too late." He stepped closer, grabbing her hand. His fingers tightened around hers, willing her to understand, to know what she could do next. He could feel the Dark One creeping back in, the spell Emma had put him under apparently falling apart. "He is coming back. You have to stop him."
Sudden understanding flickered over her face, followed by fear, and then determination. "He has your heart?"
He could only nod before the spell broke, and the Dark One was back in his thoughts.
What happened, pirate?
She knocked me out. She might have sensed something.
The Dark One's thoughts were crawling into his mind and made him shiver. And how did she manage that, pirate?
How the bloody hell should I know.
You are a useless tool, pirate. I am going to punish you in front of her, and then I am going to take her magic, and make you watch her die before I crush your heart and finish your miserable life.
Emma's fingers tightened around his, probably sensing his hatred for the Dark One, seeing the anger in his features, and he gritted his teeth, forcing himself to not think of her while the Dark One was in his head.
But first I am gonna make you kill her son.
Killian gasped as the connection broke, horror rushing through him as he locked eyes with Emma.
"You have to kill me, Emma. Right now."
He gripped her hands and pushed them against his chest, hoping she would use her magic to put an end to this.
"No!" She ripped her hands out of his bruising grip, and folded her arms defensively over her chest as she stared up at him. "What did he say?"
"He wants me to kill Henry," he whispered, self-loathing washing over him. He should be able to stop it. He should be able to get out of the Dark One's control, but he knew it wasn't possible. "I can't control what I am doing, Emma. You have to kill me. It's the only way."
"I am not gonna kill you," she yelled, snapping her hands up and slamming them against his chest, pushing him backwards. "We are going to find Henry, and we are going to safe him. And your heart."
"I am not worth the risk, love. You should save Henry."
"I will. But not by harming you." He opened his mouth to speak, but she shook her head vigorously, her fingers curling around the lapels of his jacket as she pulled him forward. "No! I am not losing you. I am not losing you, or Henry, or anyone else I care about. Just no."
"Love, you ..."
"Don't say it again," she hissed. "I am not going to lose anyone of you."
"But ..." he started, his breath getting knocked out of him suddenly as sharp pain ricocheted through him, and he dropped to the ground, his hand reaching for his heart, the one that wasn't there, as the pain kept rushing through his body.
Gold was back in his mind, and forced him to speak his words to Emma. "You will come to the clearing where the Snow Queen's ice cream truck had been. I will wait for you there. With Henry. And your pirate."
He sucked in a breath, pure agony ripping through him as he saw Emma vanish in front of him, a swirl of magic enveloping him and drawing him away from her, blackness enveloping his mind and pulling him under.
He lifted his head carefully, every muscle in his body screaming, and it took him a few seconds before his vision cleared, and he could take in his surroundings.
Emma was standing at the other side of the clearing, her posture rigid. He could feel her magic pulsating through the air, but she couldn't do anything. The crocodile was holding a knife to Henry's throat, making it impossible for Emma to do anything.
"Come over here, pirate!"
He couldn't stop himself. He buried his hook and hand into the mossy ground, and pushed himself up, walking slowly towards Gold. He made him stop a few feet away, pushing Henry in his direction, and Killian's arm lifted on its own accord. He tried to push it down, but it wouldn't budge. His hand was reaching for Henry's throat, and his fingers were tightening around it, Henry's fearful eyes meeting his.
"I know this isn't you, Killian."
The understanding in Henry's voice made his throat close up, and he gritted his teeth, trying to overcome the compulsion, and loosen his grip. But he couldn't.
"I am sorry, Henry."
"Look at your pirate, Miss Swan." The Dark One's voice was full of victory as he addressed Emma, and Killian watched her out of the corner of his eyes, saw her body practically vibrating with the need to rip Gold apart. "This is who he is. A murdering soul who doesn't care about anything but himself."
"You are lying," Emma snapped, and Killian wanted to tell her how much her faith in him meant to her. But he couldn't.
"He killed innocent people, Miss Swan."
"Because you forced him to," she said without a flicker of doubt, and he gulped hard.
He had helped the Dark One kill someone before he was under his control, and Emma's unshaken faith made the self-loathing churn his stomach upside down.
"I wouldn't need to," Gold said coldly. "He would get back to the dark side all on his own eventually. But it is so much easier to use his heart, and speed up the process."
Gold was reaching into the pocket of his coat, pulling his hand out a moment later with his fingers clutched around Killian's heart. When Gold's fingers tightened around Killian's heart, his fingers tightened around Henry's throat, and a groan of pain slipped over his lips when the crocodile closed his fingers more firmly around his heart.
"Killian, look at me!" Emma's voice was drifting to him through the cloud of pain which surrounded his mind, and he struggled to look at her, to see her face. "You can fight it. I know you can."
"Emma, I am so sorry." A tear slipped down his cheek as his hand tightened around Henry's throat, and Rumple's eerie giggle echoed over the clearing. "I am so sorry."
He closed his eyes, hoping for a miracle when her soft voice reached his ears. "The most powerful magic of all."
He opened his eyes, meeting hers. He saw the hope flashing up in her eyes, and the flame burst to life in him too. Sweat was pouring down his forehead as his mind tried to fight the compulsion, waiting for her to make her move, hoping it would end this nightmare.
"Love," she whispered, stepping closer to him, her fingers skimming over his cheek as she breathed, "I love you, Killian Jones. I love you."
"Gods, Emma." His whole body was shaking now, but he still couldn't move his fingers away from the lad's throat. He couldn't even say it back; the words stuck in his throat, the Dark One keeping him from saying them out loud. "I can't ... it doesn't work."
"Fight it, Killian," she said firmly. "Remember. I can't lose you too."
Her hand slipped back to his neck, and her fingers curled into his hair as she pulled him down, her mouth closing over his. He felt the urgent press of her lips, and a moment later he felt the magic crackling between them, slipping into him, healing him. His fingers relaxed, and his arm dropped down, releasing Henry out of his grip.
The angry shout made them all swirl around to Gold. He wasn't holding Killian's heart in his hand anymore. His heart was lying on the ground, glowing in a bright red, and he stared at Rumple's hand, an angry red burning on the Dark One's skin where he had held Killian's heart, the sorcerer's angry gaze finding his as he lifted his foot, ready to crush his heart under his boot.
"You are still gonna die, pirate."
"Don't think so," Emma shouted beside him, and a second later the Dark One was thrown through the air and knocked against a tree, his head colliding with the bark and his eyes rolling backwards as he slipped down the tree, out cold.
"You alright, kid?"
Emma didn't even give the crocodile another look, apparently completely convinced that Gold would stay unconscious for a while.
"I am fine, mom." Killian still kept staring at the Dark One, fearing he would move again at any moment, and kill them all. But Henry's next words made him swirl around to Emma and her son. "Let's get Killian's heart back where it belongs before it gets harmed."
"Yeah, right," Emma said with a hoarse voice, shooting him a wobbly smile before she took the few steps to his heart and leaned down to retrieve it. "Let's put it back where it belongs."
He couldn't keep his eyes from her when she cradled his heart carefully in her hands as he walked back to him, her lips quivering as she whispered, "We can't have you heartless after all, pirate."
She pressed his heart against his chest, the organ slowly slipping through his skin and back into its place, and he still could just look at her, rendered speechless by the strength of his Swan, and the magnitude of the love he felt for her.
"You are marvelous, Swan," he breathed, closing his fingers around hers when she flattened her hand against his chest as if to make sure that his heart was beating. "Just marvelous."
"And don't you forget it," she whispered, leaning forward to brush her lips over his neck.
"I did mean it, you know."
Somehow she had found him, here up on the roof. Not that it really surprised him.
"Pardon me, love?"
"What I said out in the woods." She came closer, her eyes never leaving his. "I did mean it."
"That you can't lose me too?"
He knew that was not what she was referring to, and her head tilted to the side as she watched him intently, not saying anything, searching his face for something, though he had no clue what she was looking for. And then she smiled and walked towards him, and his heart slammed against his ribcage as she shook her head. He didn't want to hope that she really meant what she had told him, that she didn't just say the words under duress but because she really wanted to say them, because she really loved him.
"You want to hear it again?" Her voice was soft, barely audible, and he nodded.
"If it isn't too much bother." His voice cracked, and her smile wavered, tears welling up in her eyes as she stepped into his embrace and tightened her arms around him.
"I love you, Killian Jones." She leaned back, her hands coming up and cupping his face, her thumbs brushing over his scruff as she repeated in a whisper. "I love you."
"Gods, Swan. I thought I would lose you. After just having found you," he rasped, pressing his lips on hers for a searing kiss that left them both breathless before he leaned back to find her eyes. "I love you so much, Emma. So much."
"Then you should stop trying to hide things from me. I want to know everything," she told him softly, her fingers playing with the hair at the base of his neck, and her eyes shimmered with so much emotion that his throat closed up. "The good things and the bad things."
"Aye, love," he replied, pulling her flush against his chest. "I will tell you everything. No more secrets."
"No more secrets," she whispered against his skin.
They stayed on the roof until the sunset, staring at the multitude of colors flashing over the horizon, knowing that this was still not over, that they couldn't rest just yet.
But this was a quiet moment. A moment that only belonged to them. For a few precious minutes all heartache and pain, all their problems and mistakes were forgotten, all the villains pushed to the back of their minds.
It would all come back the moment they left the roof, but for now they were content just to be in each other's arms.
They were alive.
They loved each other.
Whatever the future might hold they would face it together, and survive.
Because love was the most powerful magic of all.