Inspired by firstbeanstalk's post on Tumblr about a possible Captain Swan conversation after the sneak peek:
Emma: You told him?
Hook: I assumed you already did.
Hook: Why wouldn't you?
Emma: Because who I kiss is none of his business!
Emma: It stopped being his business a long time ago.
"Hey." A hand at his arm stopped Killian before just before he left the cave; he took a quick sharp breath.
"What was that just now?" Emma didn't let go of his arm. He could feel her grip, just barely through his layers of clothing. It burned, branded him, made him feel like a bloody schoolboy again with how fast his heart beat at the simple touch.
"I gathered it was the beginnings of a plan…" He raised an eyebrow at her, careful not to glance down. But a moment later she let go anyway, crossing her arms over her chest and leveling him with a mild glare.
"That's not what I meant. Just now. It got… really awkward, really fast. Is there something I need to know?"
Killian sighed, dropping his head. He smiled ruefully. "Ah… I may have divulged some details to Neal about our…"
He trailed off, unwilling to lie and call it a dalliance to Emma's face, but unable to force out the word kiss. 'Just a kiss' she'd called it, as if it were just anything. As if it weren't everything.
"Oh, god," Emma moaned, connecting the dots. "You didn't."
Killian shrugged, trying to swallow down the bitter jealousy on his tongue. Her concern for Neal shouldn't infuriate him – he wanted what was best for the lad as well as what was best for Emma. If they found their happiness in each other... "I was under the impression he already knew."
"Already –" Emma snorted, running a hand through her hair. "Why would you think that?"
This time, the hurt was a sour ball in his throat, a cavity in his gut, and he couldn't quite rein it in. "You told your mother. It didn't seem you much cared who knew. If it mattered so little to you."
"I –" Emma stopped. Swallowed. "That's not… I told Mary-Margaret, I wanted to talk to her about it." (He tried to stop the hope flaring up at those words, but it was impossible, he was simply too eager to find a shred of reciprocation. Just a kiss, a one-time thing, surely, surely, she wouldn't have wanted to consult with her mother about… ah, but that was before Neal's safe return.) "You think I want to explain that to Neal?"
"Apologies, love," Killian told her, voice low, heart heavy. "It was an accident."
Emma made a sharp, irritated sound, turning away from him to pace back further into the cave. She continued on as if he hadn't said a word. "I mean, it's not like it's any of his business in the first place – but now there isn't going to be any avoiding it, he's going to – damn it, Hook!"
She spun round to face him, eyes flashing, golden hair gleaming in the dim firelight, expression fierce. Killian stared at her, his heart racing faster despite himself – it was awful, this constant bloody storm of emotion, carrying him rapidly on waves of hope and dejection alike. He knew better, knew far better than to ask, but his body had frozen, his mind buzzing with such helpless hope –
"None of his business?" He asked quietly, through numb lips. "Why would you say… He's…"
Emma froze in her tracks, staring at him. Whatever she saw on his face had the anger melting off hers, replaced by something – something soft, and a little wounded, and how dare he hope.
"Neal and I haven't been together since before Henry was born," she said bluntly. "Who I kiss stopped being his business a long time ago."
She made as if to go past him, but Killian still could not breathe, could not, could not let her go without learning if this was –
"Emma," he said, desperate, arm half-reaching for her before he drew it back. He felt on fire, burning, burning. "What was your secret?"
For a long moment she was silent, eyes dropping to the ground. Killian waited, breathless, hoping, consumed by flames. This could be his rebirth or damnation, oh please gods.
Emma tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "My secret… I told Neal that I love him. That I will always love him."
It should not have been a surprise. It wasn't, in fact, and all the worse for it, but at least Killian's heart broke quietly. At least he was able to bite back her name, hold it deep in his lungs, along with everything else he couldn't ever tell her, all those stupid words – I love you, love you, I'll give you anything, everything, brilliant beautiful Emma, strong Emma, you've saved me, you're so broken and so am I, I can't fix anyone but I'll be broken with you, we can try to fix each other, Emma, Emma, gods above and below, I love you, you make me feel like a man of honor, you make me want to be a hero, to be anything so long as I can be worthy of you, please, you don't have to love me just give me a chance, just touch me, just trust me, just let me help you, just smile I don't care at whom, Emma just be happy, please be happy with me.
"But that wasn't my secret," Emma said, lifting her head. She looked Killian straight in the eye as she said, "My secret was… that I wished he was dead. I didn't want him to be alive because I didn't want to deal with the pain of seeing him again."
Her voice broke but she didn't look away.
"You –" Killian breathed, completely unknowing of what he would say next, only that Emma was drawing closer, swaying in, chin trembling a little, eyes wet, but so close. "You –"
"Emma? Hook?" Neal called from just outside the cave, and they both jumped. He stuck his head back in, looking at the minimal space between them with clear suspicion. "Come on. Let's get going."
Emma nodded. "Right. Let's go."
And she walked past Killian to Neal, so close that her side brushed along his, scorching him, leaving him trembling in her wake, crashed against the rocks, destroyed, born from the ashes, hopeful and hardly daring to believe it and just utterly lost to her –
"I'll always love him," she'd whispered as she passed him, hot breath against his ear, "but I want to move on."