\ˈspärk\ - noun: a trace of a specified quality or intense feeling.
The seagulls above called to one another as Emma and her parents stood by the edge of the docks, waiting for their ship ride home. The royal family was not like most would believe. In fact, half of the time, they didn't act like royalty at all. Even now, Emma's hair was styled in a neat braid while she was dressed in her white blouse, a leather bodice on top, her riding pants, and boots. Most of the time, she refused to wear a dress outside the castle unless it was for an important event, which their voyage was not.
They had made a visit to one of the smaller groups of villages, Jericho, Hempton, and Remnville, which had all recently been assaulted by the Evil Queen's forced. Houses were burned down, people were slaughtered, and each town reeked of death and blood. Being the rulers of the kingdom, her mother and father gave an uplifting speech to each little town and helped in every way they could, whether it was actual labor work or not.
Within the week, they had managed to get the villages a bit cleaner and home in the process of being rebuilt, thanks to the help of the dwarves and a dozen castle guards that had volunteered to help. With seven days of hard work and effort, the crippled societies were slowly starting to recover from Regina's wrath, and that's how it's always been.
The Evil Queen stayed in her castle, sending out her army wherever she saw fit, but she never made a large advance, no, she wouldn't dare. Every kingdom stood by them, supporting their family greatly, and Regina knew this. Emma tried not to worry about her parents' old enemy, but the thought of an attempt of war always lingered in her mind because Regina had something her parents did not.
Yes, they had the fairies on their side, and Rumplestiltskin was just a name call away, but if there was one thing her parents always told her, it was that magic always comes with a price. And something told her that Regina wasn't afraid to pay it if it meant gaining her revenge on her family.
All in all, Emma was just glad to go home. She missed August and her aunt/godmother, Red. The journey home would take at least two weeks, but she knew the travel by land would have been much longer. The thought made her smile.
"Happy to be going home?" Emma turned and saw her mother walking towards her with a sweet smile.
The blonde returned it fully, "Yes, I am. Believe it or not, I might actually be starting to miss Jiminy's life lectures."
"That's frightening," her mother laughed, but it didn't reach her eyes completely. Something was on her mind.
Emma asked, "What is it?"
"What is what?"
Her mother bit her lip and looked out to the sea, as if asking for assistance. Finally, her gaze returned to hers and she took Emma's hands in her own. "Emma," she started. "I know you don't like when I mention this-."
Damn it. She was going to bring that up.
"—but you have a right to know. Your father would have done this, but you know how he is when we speak about… Killian."
"Gods, mother, what more do I have to know about that insufferable pirate?" Emma huffed and turned away from the woman angrily.
"Emma," Her mother said sternly. "He is not a pirate. He is a very noble-," Emma snorted. "High-ranking officer in our navy. Killian is the youngest man to ever reach the rank of Lieutenant; it would be an honor to marry a man like him."
She spoke sharply, "Isn't that a bit bias considering you and father are the ones who promote sailors and soldiers?" The Princess immediately regretted it, "I'm sorry for snapping, it's just… I don't-." Emma stopped speaking abruptly as a ship came into her peripheral view.
Its sides were painted with red and yellow while the rest of the vessel was a dark brown color. The sails seemed to stretch to the sky as they billowed in the sea breeze along with the crest of her family. The blonde's eyes widened in realization.
"That brings me to my second point. We will be sailing back home on the Jewel," She said hurriedly.
The Jewel. Liam Jones was the Captain of that ship and his Lieutenant was… "WHAT THE HELL-?"
"Emma!" Her mother scolded, but Emma didn't care, she was furious.
"I refuse to step near that ship as long as he is on it," she shouted, causing a few of her mother's guards to turn towards the curiously.
Yet, the troubled Princess continued to rant, "He is terrible! I don't want to see him at all, and I don't care if he's a Lieutenant or not, I-."
She stopped. Her mother rarely raised her voice, so this certainly got her attention. However, her mother was not angry, she noticed. She seemed exasperated at the most, she just wanted her attention. "Dear, I know this is hard. I know this isn't… Exactly what you want, but the Lieutenant is a good man, despite what you may think. The only thing I ask of you is to give him a chance. Be civil on the sail home and if your impression of Killian hasn't changed, then… You don't have to be betrothed to him any longer."
Emma's eyebrows rose considerably, "You mean it? Just hold a decent conversation with this man without spitting at him and I will be free of the engagement?"
"Yes," her mother nodded.
With a sigh, she agreed, much to her mother's relief and delight. She took her hand and led her to join her father, who was speaking to the captain of his guard. The King shot her a sympathetic smile before resuming his conversation. Emma gave him a weak smile back before her gaze went to the oncoming ship that was drawing nearer to the docks.
Emma couldn't help but frown at the thought of seeing the man she despised once more. It had been six months since her parents told her that she was to be betrothed to Lieutenant Killian Jones, the well-known navy sailor. He was Captain Liam's younger brother, and was adored and respected by many. However, to her, he was a snotty, up-tight, prick.
She hated him.
It had been four years since she actually spoke to him, but she saw him around the castle quite frequently, getting new orders from her parents or reporting something with his brother. She remembered meeting him for the first time, when she was eighteen, and she basically had to force herself to be lady-like. Her thoughts of the man weren't pleasant. No, she would not let rumors of Killian Jones become her interpretation of the Lieutenant.
She really did try her best, "Hello, Lieutenant," she said with a forced smile and a small curtsy.
"Princess Emma; I am delighted to meet you," he said with a bow.
Then, at that moment, their eyes met, and there was fire.
Sparks flew between them; sparks of conflict and friction. Dislike. She didn't know what it was, but something about him just rubbed her the wrong way. Maybe it was the way he walked around, proud and mighty. Maybe it was the way he didn't mind the way that women that hung themselves all over him, but still rejected them harshly.
Maybe it was the fact that she knew that he was putting on a façade as well.
"I heard that you and your brother just came back from the Eastern kingdom," Emma said as kindly as she could.
The young Lieutenant puffed out his chest a bit, full of pride, and replied with the same false tone. "We handled the trade transaction very well. Queen Aurora and King Phillip complimented us greatly."
"Really? How surprising," Emma said in a blunt manner before she could stop herself. The Queen shot her a look of admonishment from beside her. The blonde averted her gaze and pretended that she found a sudden interest in the tapestry that was hung in the throne room.
"What my daughter meant to say was that it is expected that Aurora and Phillip found you and your crew so admirable," Her mother praised. "How is their little girl, Sarah?
"Much better than your bratty daughter," Emma heard him mutter. Liam elbowed Killian in the ribs, causing the man to wheeze, however, her mother did not seem to notice or hear this exchange, because she still stood there, smiling brightly. The Lieutenant coughed and finished, "Queen Aurora and King Phillip's Princess is young, almost half a decade old, and she is faring well."
"That's wonderful news! You and your brother never disappoint us. You were always secretly David's favorite crew, Captain, as well as mine," She said to the men with a smile.
The elder of the Jones' grinned widely and gave a bow, "Thank you, your highness; that is most flattering. That's the best thing my brother and I have heard all day. Now, Killian and I will be off, the Jewel's cargo still has to be unloaded. It was very nice to see you, your majesties." The Captain bowed once more before he gave his brother a pointed look.
Emma watched as Killian made a face, but it was gone in a second. "It was lovely to meet you, Princess," his words had sarcasm dripping from them as he gave her a farce look of happiness.
"Likewise, Lieutenant Jones," Emma replied with just as much derision.
Emma wrinkled her nose as soon as Liam and Killian turned the corner and left the room. She remembered the long speech her mother had given her right after that moment, telling her how unladylike it was to speak unkindly to a high ranking officer. Her father, however, had simply said, "Good girl," at dinner, when his wife relayed their conversation with the two Jones brothers.
Since then, she has loathed the thought of ever seeing Lieutenant Killian Jones again. Nothing about him was likable. Nothing. As a matter of fact, he was exactly the type of person that she loved to cause mischief around, the stuck up, condescending type. It was amusing. Emma smirked at the fond memories she had of when she used to run around and play shenanigans on the palace guards or her former caretakers.
Her smirk immediately died as The Jewel pulled next to the dock and slowed to a halt. Emma sighed and composed herself as her mother and father went ahead to go greet Liam. It's only for two weeks, she reminded herself. Taking a deep breath, she walked towards the Captain after her parents had moved onto the ship and gave him a genuine smile. She always liked Liam.
"Princess," Liam bowed and grinned widely at her. "It has been long."
Emma moved forward and wrapped her arms around him in a friendly manner and he returned the gesture briefly before pulling out of the embrace. "So it has. How is Lydia?" Emma was much closer to Liam, in contrast to his brother. He often greeted her when she was strolling through the courtyard or passing through the throne room. Thus, she knew about Liam's soon-to-be wife, Lydia.
"She is well," he said cheerfully. "We're waiting for Spring to come, then we will wed."
"That's fantastic! I'm certain my mother and father will allow you time to be with her," Emma said, enthused.
"Be with whom?" Her father asked.
Emma turned towards him, a smile still on her face, but instead of replying to her father, her eyes locked onto a tall man that was walking down from the ship. His tricone was tucked underneath his arm while his sword was bound to his side. The scar on his right cheek stood out less, the one Liam said he had gotten when playing with their father's letter opener. His hair was slightly disheveled from the strong winds. And his eyes… His vibrant blue eyes shone brightly, even in the sunlight.
For a moment, she simply stood there, staring at him with her mouth slightly agape. Emma stayed glued to her place as Killian walked up to her with a pleasant look on his features. It was almost as if… There was something different about him, something she failed to notice before. It was as if something changed.
"Absolutely wonderful to see you again, Princess," Killian said. For a moment, he almost seemed sincere. For a moment. "Even if you do smell like dirt and cow manure."
Emma's blood boiled instantly and sparks flew once more, however, there was one spark. A small one, so tiny, so miniscule, no one noticed it. Not even the Princess or the sailor.
A spark of change.
[A/N]: Hello! Season three is just full of goodies! It gave us the joy of Lieutenant!Killian and I just knew I needed to write something with him in it. This will be a bit longer than my other fic FMD, but it will also update a bit slower since my focus is on my other AU fic, but I just thought I would put this out there. Thank you to vickyvicariouswho helped me set the direction of this fic. Please leave your thoughts or a comment if you can ~ Sam