My Once Upon A Time fic The Memory Keeper, was set smack in the middle of the season 3 hiatus, and therefore has it’s own take on what happened once Killian helped Emma get her memory back – including a very different Wicked Witch.
In this scene, Killian and Emma are hiding out in the cabin of an old friend, trying to stay one step ahead of the witch. This chapter is titled “The Princess and the Pirate,” and features this great soul-searching scene between the two.
Emma sank down onto the bench seat at the table. “Oh, God. You just said the “R” word.”
“Relationship?” Killian’s eyebrows went up. “So I did.” He sat down next to her. “Does it help to know that I’m nearly as frightened of the word as you are?”
She looked at him sideways. “I won’t hold you to it, you know. You can still take it back.”
“And why would I want to do that?”
Emma stood up suddenly, pacing away. “Because you don’t need this! Everybody around me is under constant threat – evil queens and kings, demon teenagers, sorcerers and witches and God knows what’s going to hit us next. Who the hell would sign up for that?”
He crossed his arms, studying her. “So that’s it then? You think you’re too much trouble. Is that it?”
“I’m just saying that I care about you enough to warn you away. I don’t do relationships. I think that’s partly why I’ve been so damn attracted to you, because I thought we were on the same page with this, and that made you safer. Somewhere along the line we got away from that and now you’re neck-deep in all this mess.”
Hook stood up, walking over to her. “I’m a grown man, love. And if you’re looking for something safer, you certainly shouldn’t be considering a pirate.”
Emma threw her hands up, raising her voice in pure frustration. “Look, I’m trying to do the right thing, here! You can back out now, and no hard feelings. Get away from all this – from me – before you get hurt. Because I hurt people. And people get hurt around me. It’s just the way it is!”
His hand clamped down on her shoulder. “D’you think I haven’t hurt people? Your sins are child’s play compared to the hurt I’ve inflicted in my lifetime! I’ve lied, cheated, betrayed, maimed, murdered and a thousand other transgressions too numerous to remember. Do you know what happens to people who live my life? They become the target of others who share that lifestyle, and all of that darkness follows them, weighs on them, drags them down and swirls around them. You think you have baggage, love? I’ve got a barge full.” He finished his tirade with a great deal of self-disgust evident in his tone, walking over to grip the mantel above the fireplace.
She stared at him, shaking her head slowly. “You’re not that man anymore.”
He said nothing, and she moved over to him, putting a hand on his back.
“Killian, you’re not that man. And maybe you never really were. Maybe you were as stuck in what you were as I am now, in what I am.”
He turned his head to look at her, his jaw flexing. He still didn’t say anything.
She moved a lock of hair off his forehead. “You’re not that man.”
He reached out, caressing her cheek with the backs of his fingers. “Do you understand now, love, why I can’t walk away? It’s because you believe that. Because you make me believe it, too.”
Emma’s eyes filled with tears, and she blinked them back, hard. “You’ve given up enough because of me.”
He shook his head. “It was a fair trade, love. I’d make it again if I had to.”
“But that’s just what I mean. You shouldn’t have had to. If you hadn’t gotten mixed up with me, you’d be on your ship sailing into some port with a crowd of barmaids waiting to welcome you at the dock. I bring calamity with me everywhere I go.” She crossed her arms, hugging herself. “Honestly, have you had one moment of peace since we met?”
His eyes softened. “Maybe one. And I could ask the same of you, love. Maybe we’re the ones that all this mayhem lands upon because we’re the smartest and the strongest solution to it. Maybe you’re meant to be the savior and I’m meant to be the man that savior saved.” He pulled her into his arms. “And maybe you should realize that we’re stronger together.”
“We are a good team.” She leaned up, kissing him softly.
“That we are.” He kissed her back.
“I don’t know how all this is going to work out.” She kissed him again.
“Consider it an adventure.” He kissed her once more.