She'd slammed the damned door in his face. In his face.

He'd spent a year searching for any possible way to get back to her, risked himself in countless ways, finally crossed realms and battled the bureaucracy of a strange city in a stranger land to track her down and when he finally got to her door, she slammed it in his face.

Hook let out a sigh. Really, he should have expected that. She didn't know him, after all, not anymore. The curse had seen to that, even as it had sucked him and the others away from her, along with any memory she held of them or the time they'd shared.

He slammed his hook down on the counter in frustration.

"Hey! Watch the woodwork!"

"Sorry, mate." Hook said, apologetically. "It's new and I'm still getting used to it."

The man eyed Hook suspiciously as he moved over to the cash register. "Well, the gold in your coins checks out, but without a driver's license, I can't take it. I don't need any trouble."

Hook sent his eyes heavenward, praying for patience. "I told you, mate. No license. Just the gold. It can be yours and you'll never have to see me again."

The man stared at Hook, biting his lip. Hook saw his indecision and leaned in to make the most of it.

"Here's the thing, mate. I need money, and I need it now. And if you know of anyone who's got a room to let on a cash basis, I'll throw in two extra coins for your trouble."

The man's eyes grew wide. Each one of those coins was worth a fortune by itself. He'd tested the gold personally, and they were unlike anything he'd ever seen before. Collectors would pay a king's ransom for those, and even if they passed on them, the melt value on the coins was incredible.

"I've got a room, over the shop. It's mostly used as storage, but it's got a lock and it's own key. Let me clear a few boxes out of it and it's yours. It's small, but there's a bed and you can use the bathroom down the hall."

Hook smiled charmingly. "A bed is all I need, mate. I'm not going to be here long."

The man reached his hand across the counter. "Deal."

Hook shook the hand, then looked around the shop. "I don't suppose you can direct me to the nearest clothing shop? I need something a little more...normal."

The man pointed across the street to the department store nearby. "That'll have what you need. And here's your money, minus the first month's rent." He pushed a stack of cash at Hook, along with the key to the room.

"I'll have the room cleared out in half an hour."

"Thanks, mate."

Forty minutes and two swooning salesgirls later, Hook returned to his room, setting two large shopping bags down on the bed. He had three pairs of pants, several shirts, two hoodies, a blazer, a pair of shoes and one cable-knit sweater, all in varying shades of maroon, dark blue and black.

He eyed them distastefully. They were utterly without flair, but he needed to blend in. Obviously, their first meeting was far from a success, and he'd only succeeded in putting her completely off of him. He needed to regroup, and find a way to get close to her again. He made some inquiries and passed a few bills here and there and finally plotted his course.

He was after the heart of the good lady Swan, and whether she remembered him or not, he was sure that heart was still intact. He told her once he wouldn't need trickery to win her, but she would have no memory of that now, so officially, all bets were off.

Tomorrow, he'd be sure they came face to face again, and when they did, he'd be playing to win.