Killian and David both seem to be trying to impress Emma, to prove that they can protect her, this just a little interpretation of the last few episodes and what could happen next episode.
Disclaimer: No amount of pixie dust will have me owning the awesomeness of this show. I just play with the characters.
A Father's Love
Charming sees it before Emma does. He sees the way the pirate is looking at his little girl. Sees when it changes from meaningless innuendo to something more. He sees the spark.
And it scares him.
It's supposed to be his job to look out for his daughter. He's supposed to be the one to save her and keep her from harm. As a father, that's his duty, his purpose in life. To protect his princess.
But their lives haven't really played out in the most traditional of ways.
He remembers holding Emma in his arms when she was newly born. He remembers the intense rush of happiness that had flooded him and if he could go back, he would hold onto her just that moment longer. If he lived that day again he'd never give her up. The curse would have been broken some other way, he wishes he'd had more faith in that at the time.
Because it almost kills him when he thinks about the sheer magnitude of memories he could have had with his daughter that he's now missed out on.
And now, now there's this other man there. He's charming and clever and despite his past, caring. With eyes for his daughter.
He finds himself trying to prove himself over and over again, to show Emma that she can trust her father. That he's so sorry for ever making her doubt that, for making her doubt the world. But he can feel his grip slipping moment by moment as Hook continues to do everything right that he has done wrong.
They say there's a moment when a father has to give way to another man in his daughter's life. But David doesn't feel as though he's had long enough with Emma. He doesn't want to give her up. Not again. Not so soon.
So every time Hook is there helping, so is David. Because he can't let his daughter think that he doesn't care. He needs her to see that he can be there just as much as the pirate.
"You need to stop, mate," Killian says quietly as he check's David's wound again, the black tendrils of Dreamshade spiralling out from the graze. "You're aggravating the poison."
David hisses as he lowers his shirt, the scratch of fabric on his tender skin burning, "Need to stop what?"
"You know what." A look of concern passes over his face for the man who reminds him so much of his brother, "Trying to prove yourself to her. She knows you love her."
"And how do you know that?"
Killian ducks his head briefly, but bravely faces the prince as he answers, "Your lass and I talk, mate. We speak often of our hopes and our fears."
And David's not sure what it is, but he reads into Killian's words and finds exactly what he had been hoping to hide. Exactly what the prince had been trying to ignore and stave off. Something that reminds him intensely of himself and Snow in their youth. A budding romance.
He's sick and weak, but he draws his sword faster than Killian can anticipate, leaving the pirate leaping back, confusion etched on his features.
"Stay away from my daughter," he threatens, pushing towards Killian.
He holds up his hands in defence, the thought of reaching for his own sword not even crossing his mind, "Listen David. You're in no shape."
And it's him trying to prove himself all over again, "I will always defend her."
"Aye. But let's make sure you have a few more days to do so." He reaches out to lower the sword trained on his throat and finds it falls easily, the prince already losing his strength and willingness to fight, "We should go back to camp."
Charming nods, his heart heavy. The words of the pirate sober him completely and he realises that he can't hurt this man when all he's done is help them, "We should." Because the truth of the matter is, he can see what a good man Killian Jones is, and if someone is going to be around to look after Emma, he's not totally opposed to it being the pirate.
So as they walk back into the camp and see Emma piling up wood to make a fire, David pulls his lighter from his pocket and hands it to Killian. He doesn't offer an explanation or even a smile, but the meaning is understood between them both.
Please do what I couldn't.