Happy Birthday Grace (afastmachine)! I'm so sorry it's late, but I'll totally be better prepped next year! :)

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Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own

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When she finds him, he's sitting alone in his quarters, his flask open and halfway to his mouth, the room smelling of alcohol and regret. He lets his hand drop, grimly smiling as she pushes through the door, "You don't have to pity me, lass."

She shakes her head, "That isn't what this is."

He raises his eyebrows at her and tips the flask back, taking a healthy gulp of his spiced rum, "Then you're here to gloat?"

Her eyes widen at his demeanour. He's not been like this since…well since ever. Not with her. She's seen glimpses of it with others, glimpses of this calm indifference, of this bitterness, but with her he's always been so open. "I have nothing to gloat about."

He scoffs at that, thinking back to the diner and how Neal had pounced at the chance to court her. How she hadn't exactly knocked him back. When they had found their way into Regina's vault he'd carefully snuck away, taking pity on himself. Emma had those around her that she needed, she wouldn't even look at him.

"Then why taunt me with your presence?"

She feels a little hurt by his words, but continues towards him, not stopping until she's standing between his parted legs. She thinks of what's going on outside and realises that there's no time for the pain she wants to feel, there's no time to be angry at him for basically ignoring her, there's no time. She wants to touch him and so she does, her hands coming to rest on his shoulders. And he finally looks up, "I'm here because there's a curse coming and I don't want to forget you."

His brow creases in a frown. He disappears for a moment of solitude and another curse is upon them? But more than that, Emma, his love, she's come to see him. "There's a curse?"

"The same one that brought everyone to this land, the one that orphaned me. Pan's got hold of it." Her voice tremors in a way that most people wouldn't recognise, but her hears it, the escalating fear, the frightened girl behind the grown up woman who has to take it upon herself to save everyone, "And I just don't want to be alone through it this time."

He sets his flask down, standing up and inadvertently into her arms, "You have your parents, your boy, Baelfire. You are far from alone."

If he didn't know any better he'd say a smile quirked at her lips and he's suddenly very aware that her hands are still on his shoulders, fingers clenching into his muscles, "They're all out there, trying to find a way to stop it and I realised something."

He's so close to her when he answers, his breath flickering across her lips, "What's that, love?"

She can feel her eyes closing, her head tilting into his touch. He's so close, "I don't want you to be alone either."

His lips against hers are unexpected and searing and she almost forgets how to breathe, his touch sparking something in the pit of her stomach and shooting out through each of her extremities. It's so much more desperate than last time, her need for him evident from the way she curves her body against his. She doesn't want to forget him, she doesn't want to forget the way he makes her feel.

"Gods," he breathes, his lips connecting with the smooth skin of her neck, walking her backwards, pushing her up against the wall. She vaguely hears something heavy drop to the ground and roll away and realises it must be his hook when his arm comes around her, practically squeezing her to him.

And without it, she really would be rude to call him by his moniker, so when she moans out his name as his hand cups her through her jeans, she calls for Killian, not Hook.

With his hand still palming her heat, her leg hitched up slightly to let him in, he pulls back to look her in the eye and while it lets all kinds of emotions in, it also breaks the urgent spell they'd been under.

"What did you call me?"

She blushes. It's been such a long time since he introduced himself, there's every possibility she got it wrong, "Killian. Right?"

He sweeps a golden lock of hair behind her ear, leaning in to press a more chaste kiss against her lips, "Thank you." She rocks her hips against his hand, but he removes it, his forehead resting against hers, a low growl coming from his chest for just the briefest of moments, "I want you, but I don't just want you now. I want you forever."

She almost whimpers, wanting nothing more than to take this moment, to have it with him and be selfish for once. But she knows he's right. There will be a way for them to be together for a lot longer than this one time and they need to find that way.

"Okay," she whispers, "Okay." Because she's already accepted her fate as the saviour and though she knows they're fighting for a day off, she can't take it yet.

So instead she pushes out of Killian's embrace, her hand grazing against his cheek once more, staring into his eyes. One day this will all be worth it. She knows that. The fight will have ended, the curses will cease to fire, she will curl up against Killian and watch Henry grow up with a smile on his face, in safety.

And she knows this because for the first time in her life, she doesn't have to do it alone.