In honor of one of the best on-screen TV bromances, I bring you one of my favorite fanfic chapters that I’ve ever written. “Caught In A Bad Bromance” is the story of Killian Jones’s Bachelor Party, and in this particular canon, the gang is all in the Enchanted Forest, and Neal and Graham are still alive and married to Tinkerbell and Red, respectively.
So enjoy Killian’s last night as a free man….Hangover style!!
“Do you promise you guys won’t get out of hand?” Snow asked again, for the third time. “The wedding is tomorrow and I won’t have Emma’s special day ruined by a groom with a hangover.”
Killian raised a brow, looking at her with a comical expression. “D’you really think I can’t handle my rum?”
“Relax,” Neal added. “The wedding’s not till sunset. That’s plenty of time for Killian to sleep it off. He’ll need his rest, anyway – he’s gonna be up all night.” Neal waggled his brows, giving Killian an elbow to the ribs.
“Really?” Snow glared at Neal.
“I’m joking! Sort of.” Neal held up his hands apologetically.
“You just told the girl’s mother that he’s going to be going at her daughter all night.” Graham pointed out.
“Enough!” Snow put her fingers to a spot between her eyes, rubbing. “Just…be reasonable. No drinking to delirium. No broken bones. No starting fights or falling in the ocean or anything too ridiculous. Just go have a nice, chummy drink and get him home at a decent hour.”
Snow’s lecture was interrupted by the arrival of her husband, who was clearly excited about a boy’s night out.
“The dwarves are meeting us down at the tavern. Are we ready?” he asked, rubbing his hands together.
“Are you?” Snow asked, looking around at the group apprehensively.
“Of course I am,” he said, clapping Killian on the back. “I’m taking my future son-in-law out for his bachelor party, and I’m still young enough to kick his ass. What could possibly go wrong?”
David opened his eyes slowly. Very, very slowly. The first thing he was aware of was the floor, mainly because he seemed to have his face smashed into it. He moved his tongue about inside his mouth, but it felt as though someone had spread it over with glue. The taste was…well, it was indescribable, and not in a good way.
He groaned, rolling over. That was a mistake. The entire room shifted and whirled around him, causing his stomach to lurch to the point where he thought he was going to be ill. He took several deep, cleansing breaths and then managed to pull himself up to his knees.
“What the hell happened?” He groaned again, glancing around the room. He was at the tavern, that much he could glean. But he had no idea how long he’d been there. A slow sweep of his head from side-to-side showed something straight out of an apocalyptic nightmare. Dwarves were scattered all over the room, littering the floor, slumped over tables and – was that Sneezy? – half-naked and sleeping on the bar.
Graham was on his feet, but barely, staggering toward the water closet. Neal was face-down, not far from the door, with his arm outstretched as though he had been trying to make it through and dropped where he stood. There was no sign of Killian.
David managed to push himself the rest of the way up to his feet, holding his head gingerly. “What time is it?” he asked no one in particular.
“Early.” The voice came from Grumpy, who was sitting slumped over at a table. He lifted his head and tried hard to focus his bleary eyes on David without a lot of success.
“Guys!” Graham’s panicked voice broke in as he staggered back into the room. “There’s a chimera in the water closet!”
“Has anyone seen Killian?” David asked. Graham gave him a shrug, still clearly trying to get over relieving himself next to a chimera, and Grumpy rubbed his eyes, then laid his head back down on the tabletop.
“That’s a hell of a blackened eye you’ve got there,” David remarked, looking at Graham. “Wake Neal up,” He cradled his head in his hand. “We need to find Killian and get back to the castle before Snow comes after me and I get an arrow in my ass.”
Graham managed, with great difficulty, to roll Neal over, semi-rousing him. Neal threw an arm across his eyes to shield them, mumbling “Not now, Tink.”
“Neal.” Graham shook him. “Neal, wake up.”
Neal finally stretched, then looked around in surprise. “What am I doing on the floor?”
“It seemed like a good place to be for most of us,” David replied dryly. “We need to find Killian.”
Neal sat up. “Oh yeah. The wedding…thing. That’s today, isn’t it?” He ran a hand over his face, pressing against a tender spot on his lip. “Hey guys? Am I missing a tooth?”
He opened his mouth wide, and Graham peered down at him. “Oh my God! You are!”
“He’s missing a tooth?” David staggered over.
“Holy shit!” Neal looked up at David. “Your face!”
“What about my face?” David asked, panicked. He stumbled over to the bar, rolling Sneezy off a silver serving platter, then tilted it up so he could see his reflection.
“What the HELL!” he swung around, bellowing. “I’ve got a tattoo! How did I get a tattoo?”
Graham leaned in, peering at it with confusion. “Is that… a kitten? And flowers?”
The tavern owner’s voice reached them from the top of the stairs. “I believe you wanted a lion, clutching a snowdrop, but you let that sappy dwarf do it.”
“His name is Dopey,” Grumpy supplied.
“I HAVE A KITTEN TATTOOED ON MY FACE!” David roared.
“Yeah, well, I’m missing a tooth!” Neal said, with no less heat.
“Worst of all,” Graham added, “We’re missing a groom.”
David put his elbows on the bar, cradling his tattooed face in his hands. “Snow is gonna kill me.”
They’d all finally gathered around a table, after a thorough search of the tavern and the street outside failed to yield a pirate.
“Okay,” David said. “Let’s piece this together. What’s the last thing anyone remembers?”
“We all shared that bottle of rum that Grumpy brought,” Neal offered, while rubbing his eyes. “The one with the weird aftertaste.”
Grumpy gave him a dark look. “Yeah, we did that. And Killian was with us.”
Neal nodded. “He was. Everything after that is sort of blurry.” He looked over at the tavern keeper. “Any idea how I lost my tooth?”
The tavern owner shrugged. “Maybe you did it chasing the chimera?”
“So we were in the forest?” Graham asked. “How long?”
“A couple of hours. Long enough to find the chimera. You wanted to make a gift of him to the bride-to-be.” The three men exchanged glances. Yeah, that would have gone over well.
“You might want to try Granny’s place,” the man offered. “She’s right on the edge of the woods, and you took that path. Maybe your friend is sleeping it off there.”
Half an hour later, Granny was glaring at the lot of them with open disapproval. “You showed up here, spaced out of your minds, screaming about how you were going to find a chimera and paint it white for Emma’s wedding day. Then you got into a fistfight and I threw all of you out.”
“A fistfight?” David looked confused.
“How do you think brainless over there lost his tooth? You buried your fist in his mouth.”
Neal and David looked at each other in surprise. Then David glanced down at the back of his hand. It was bruised, with a deep gouge in the knuckle.
“Why were we fighting…exactly?” David asked Granny.
“Well, Graham wasn’t fighting – he was talking about all of you being some kind of wolf pack and swore he could leap that fence over there. The fence won.” she smirked. “And he opened his smart mouth,” Granny said, pointing at Neal. “He reminded Hook that he ‘nailed Emma first’ and you flipped him around and yelled ‘Did you just say you nailed my daughter?’ and before I knew it, there was blood on the floor and Hook was standing there laughing his ass off.”
“So Killian was definitely with us then,” Graham observed. “Where did we go afterward, do you know?”
“Hook said something about having paint on board his ship. That’s the last I saw of you. Idiots.” She slammed the door in their faces.
“I can’t believe you punched me in the face,” Neal said, rubbing his jaw tenderly as they walked toward the docks.
“You’re lucky you don’t have a hook in your neck,” David said with a glower. “How the hell did we get so drunk, anyway?”
“Uh…that might’ve kind-of been my fault… a little.” Grumpy said, sheepishly. “I went to Regina for a strengthening spell and I added it to the rum.”
David stopped in his tracks. “You what?”
“I thought it might add to the fun. Sort of kick things off with a bang,” he shrugged, giving them an apologetic smile.
David stared at him in total disbelief. “I’ve got a kitten tattooed on my face! Neal is missing a tooth! And Graham here almost got his private parts gnawed off by a chimera! How is that in any way fun?”
“Sorry,” Grumpy replied with a frown. “Yeesh.”
They were making their way down the dock, almost to the Jolly Roger when Graham stopped short. “David! Check this out.”
They all crowded around, and there, buried in the dock a good inch or more was a hook.
“Why in the hell would he leave his hook stuck in the dock like that?” Neal asked. “He must’ve really slammed it down.”
David shook his head. “I don’t know. Let’s just get aboard the ship. If we’re lucky, he’s sleeping in the Captain’s cabin.”
They couldn’t get so lucky. Killian wasn’t in his cabin, or anywhere else on deck or below. And they were fresh out of clues.
“We’re going to have to call in the big guns,” David said. “It’s time to get Regina down here.”
Her coach pulled up forty-five minutes later, and the men met her on the dock.
“What took you so long?” David complained. “I sent that kid to the castle half an hour ago.”
“I had to pick out something to wear,” she said, looking perturbed. As she stepped down out of the carriage, David turned and she got the full view of his face.
“Oh my God! Is that… a kitten?” she laughed.
“Clutching a bouquet of flowers,” Neal added. “I actually kinda like it. It suits him.”
David’s hand curled into a fist again, but he managed to restrain himself. Barely. “We have a problem.”
“So I gathered,” Regina said, taking them in. “Where’s Hook?”
“That’s the problem.”
“Well, I can’t help you there. Not in time, anyway. It’ll take me a few hours to come up with a seeking spell.” She made a tsk-tsk sound. “Aren’t you a sad sight?” She shook her head, unable to keep the smirk off her face. “And it’s nothing compared to what Snow and Emma will do to you.”
She reached inside the beaded reticule that perfectly completed her dress and overcoat ensemble, and pulled out a small hand mirror.
“Snow? Snow, are you there?”
“I’m here!” Snow’s voice came from the mirror as David stood behind Regina, gesturing and shaking his head wildly in a total panic. Graham’s eyes widened and he backed up on the dock, looking like he might break into a run.
Neal put his hands on his face, then walked over to bend and retrieve the hook stuck in the dock. He had to pull for a while to dislodge it.
“Where are they?” Snow’s voice rang out. “Are they okay?”
Regina glanced around. “That’s a relative term.”
“Are they nearby?”
“Just a few minutes away, as the crow flies.” Regina smiled. “I’m sure they’re dying to regale you with – ” Her exposition ended abruptly with a whump as Neal slammed into her from behind. He grabbed the mirror out of Regina’s hands.
“Hey!” she protested, as Neal shushed her.
“Snow! Hey! Listen, everything’s great and we’ll be home in just a little bit. We decided we all wanted to have breakfast first.”
“I don’t understand…” Snow said, squinting as she peered into her end of the mirror. “Why are you covering your mouth?”
“Still chewing my food,” he said apologetically.
“Can I talk to my husband, please?” Snow’s patience was clearly wearing thin.
“He’s uh…he’s having a heart-to-heart with the groom. You know. Male bonding. Gotta go, Snow.”
He grabbed Regina’s bag off her arm, shoving the mirror back down inside it.
“What was that all about?” she asked crankily.
“I know where Killian is.”
David stepped forward. “You know where he is? Where?”
Neal looked straight up, pointing at the Crow’s Nest. “He had to have thrown his hook from pretty far away for it to have embedded this hard in the dock. We must’ve dragged him up there.”
David’s eyes widened as he stared up at the mast. “Holy shit. Let’s get him down!”
They found him nude and semi-conscious, tied to the mast pole. To say Killian was out-of-sorts would be an understatement.
“Bloody hell,” he cursed hoarsely. “I’ve been shouting all bloody morning. Where’ve you all been? And how did I get up here?” He glared up at David, then blinked his eyes in confusion. “Is that…a kitten, mate?”
David’s face was stone. “Let’s get him down.”
They wrapped him in a blanket, creating a sort of sling out of the ropes and lowering him carefully to the deck. As they wrestled him into his clothing, Regina leaned against the railing, arms crossed, shaking her head and unable to stop laughing.
“This has been the best morning,” she said. “Really. I haven’t had this much entertainment in a long, long time.”
David walked over to her, trying to keep his voice civil as her eyes locked on his face and filled with mirthful tears.
“Regina, we need your help. Can you fix this?” He gestured around at the group. “Fix us?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “I rather like your new look. And with Toothless and Shiner in the mix, it should make for quite the colorful wedding day.”
“Regina.” David’s eyes were full of entreaty. “I’m begging you. Please.”
She let out an inelegant snort. “Oh, all right.” She waved her hand, passing it in an arc across the three of them. Their faces glowed a moment, and then it faded.
“Did it work?” David asked, rubbing his face.
“Wait. You didn’t want me to leave the flowers, at least?” Regina deadpanned. She burst out laughing at David’s look of pure panic. “I’m joking. You’re all good as new. Not even a trace of a hangover.”
David swung her up in his arms, kissing her cheek soundly. “Regina, I owe you!”
“I did it for Emma. After all she’s been through, she deserves a decent wedding day. Now let me clear the cobwebs out of her groom’s head.” She knelt down, touching Killian’s forehead briefly. He blinked his eyes, then levered himself up to his feet.
“Well now, that’s better.” He smiled over at the other men as he pulled on the last of the clothes Neal had brought up from the cabin. “Who’s ready for another round?”
“I’d better get back,” Regina said, as they walked her down the gangplank toward her waiting coach. “Do you want a ride?”
“No, I think a walk in the clear air will help,” David said, holding the door for her. “We’ll be up in a few minutes. Thanks again, Regina.” He shut the door, and the coach took off.
“Are we sure we don’t want one last drink?” Killian asked, producing his flask. “It is my wedding day, you know.”
“I think Emma will have enough surprises without us making any more for her,” David said, putting an arm around Killian’s shoulders and leading up him up the road to the castle.
“What Emma doesn’t know won’t hurt her, mate,” Killian said amiably. “Last night was our secret. Right, gents?”
The men called out their affirmations, and Killian smiled at David. “There. You see? No surprises.”
David’s eyebrows went up. “We shaved her name into your chest hair.”
Killian looked down, pulling his shirt apart with extreme dismay.
“Aw! Bloody hell!”
“Caught In A Bad Bromance” is part of my one-off fanfic series, “Captain’s Choice,” which is set in and around my existing OUAT Fanfic, “The Memory Keeper” trilogy. You can find more info on where to find my fanfics (and novels!) at the top of this page.