This particular Once Upon A Time Fanfic chapter is from a series of one-offs I titled “You Had Me at Malfeasance.” Some of these are fun scenes I’d like to see, and some, like this one, are “missing scenes” in and around the existing story.
This chapter is set right after Emma battles her erstwhile fiance-monkey, Walsh, and realizes she hasn’t ever really been free of Storybrooke, the memories she made there….or the people she made them with.
He followed her through the door and off the roof, listening to her boots ring on the stairs, and his after her.
He wasn’t sure what he was going to say to her. He only knew he should be saying something. Obviously, things with this man…this…interloper had gone terribly wrong, and while he was secretly delighted by it, he wasn’t cad enough to delight in her pain. Emma was hurting, that much was clear.
She stopped a full flight down, but didn’t turn around.
“What?” Her voice was flat and perfunctory, not inviting comment. He decided to persevere, walking down the last few steps to stand in front of her.
“What happened up there?”
“I told you; it didn’t work out. Story of my life.” She made a move to go around him, and his hand shot out, stopping her.
“Where did he go? Did he try to hurt you?” His eyes were concerned, sweeping her up and down as if looking for an injury.
“He vanished in a cloud of smoke and his fangs and claws were a big surprise, but I’m over it now.”
“Fangs and claws?”
“He turned into some kind of demented…flying monkey.” She looked up at him, still having a hard time believing it herself. “And from the way he talked, I was part of his plan from the beginning,” She looked away, trying not to let the tears form in her eyes. “Whatever it was.”
Hook looked alarmed. “A flying monkey? What the devil…” He shook his head. “So you were his target?”
“Yeah. I guess.” Emma suddenly felt incredibly weary. She leaned back against the railing on the stairwell, trying to gather her thoughts. Regaining her memories today was enough of a blow, but to find out that she couldn’t really have chosen this life anyway – not that she would have, but it was nice to know the option was there – it was just weighing her down.
“You all right?” He asked softly. Something in his eyes pulled at her, and she found herself opening up a little.
“You know, ever since I found out who I was, my life has been one long rollercoaster ride from calamity to chaos. I had a year where none of that happened, and now it’s gone.” He started to speak, but she held up a hand to stop him. “I know, I know…you’re going to remind me again that it was all a lie. But I believed it. I believed it because I wanted to believe it. I still want to believe it.”
“You’ll get through this, Swan. You’re the most resilient person I know – next to me, of course.” He gave her a half-smile, stepping forward to twine a lock of her hair around his finger. “It’s been a long year for both of us, I suspect.”
She reached up, pulling his hand away with hers. “I’m not in the mood, Hook.”
His jaw tightened and his eyes flared briefly. “I didn’t mean it that way.”
“Didn’t you?” She smirked. “Am I supposed to believe you were out of action for a year? Please.” She dropped his hand and pushed against his chest to get him to move. He was having none of it, lowering his head until his mouth hovered disconcertingly close to hers.
“And if I was?” He looked at her through hooded eyes, his voice barely above a whisper. “You can tell I’m not lying, Swan. You can read me like a book – and I, you. We’ve always had that between us. Perhaps it’s time we stop pretending we don’t know each other so well.”
She closed her eyes in sheer self-preservation. “I can’t do this right now.” She opened her eyes again, keeping her tone firm. “I need to get home.”
He stepped back. “We’ll get you home, and Henry, too. We’ll find out what’s going on, and we’ll fight whatever bloody demons we have to fight.” He reached out again, stroking her jawline with his thumb. “But you can’t brick me off behind a wall, love. I won’t stay.”
He pulled his hand back and he looked at her, while she looked at the floor.
“Come on,” She said finally. “I need to pack.”
“I’ll never get used to these horseless carriages,” Hook complained. “Everyone drives like a madman and there’s no way to stretch out your legs or lie down, if you’ve a mind to.”
Emma gave him a warning look, sending a half-nod over her shoulder in Henry’s direction.
“The lad’s asleep,” Hook informed her. “Has been for some time now.”
“Well, you can get out and stretch your legs a minute – I’m stopping for gas.”
“Fuel. It’s what the car runs on.” She put her blinker on, merging over to the right and pulled into a gas station. “This won’t take long. There are restrooms inside, if you need them.”
He gave her a nod, heading toward the dingy looking mini-market attached to the gas station. He came out a few moments later with a key attached to a large block of wood. He held it up, walking over to her.
“What the devil is this? Do I use the block to prop open the door?”
She smirked. “They do that so no one steals the key.”
He raised his brows, clearly not understanding, and made his way around the side of the gas station to the restrooms. Emma finished pumping, looking through the window at sleeping Henry. What the hell was she going to tell him? She still hadn’t worked that one out. He’d been peppering Hook with questions the whole way here, and Hook, to his credit, had answered them all with a clever, deliberate vagueness that made her head spin. Henry seemed to be buying it, though. He was having a blast with his new friend, Killian.
And it felt strange calling him Killian. Too…personal.
She replaced the pump and put her gas cap back on just as Hook was walking back out of the mini-market, having returned the key. She got in, and a moment later, his door opened and he slid into the seat next to her.
“Good God. I’ve been on prison barges that smelled better than that.”
She gave him an apologetic look. “Gas station bathrooms are rarely a nice experience.”
“I may have to burn these clothes,” He muttered. “Or the boots, at the very least.” He tilted his head back on the seat rest. “How much longer until we get there?”
“About two more hours,” She speculated. “As long as there’s no major road construction to slow us down. You can get some sleep if you want. I don’t mind.”
“I can manage,” He replied. “Wouldn’t want to leave you without conversation.”
She rolled her eyes. “It might be nice to be alone with my thoughts for awhile.”
He stared ahead out the window, and she looked at his profile, just as she’d done so many damn times in that jungle when she thought he wasn’t looking. He quirked a brow, casting his eyes sideways, catching her in the act.
“That’s the problem with you, Swan,” he surmised. “You’ve been alone too long.”