In my latest Once Upon A Time fanfic, Mr. Jones, Killian has been thrown into an unfamiliar world – ours – but without the benefit of his memories. They’re simmering under the surface, but he’s having a devil of a time getting to any of them.
In this scene, he meets his new neighbor – someone who seems to be vaguely familiar. . .
He’d just settled down on the tattered couch with a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup when he heard the crash. A neighbor’s voice carried through her open window.
“Keep it down out there!” she yelled.
Killian set his dinner on the coffee table and walked to the door, opening it. He stared down the row, first left, then right. A box full of odds and ends – an old lamp, a digital alarm clock, some clothes, a few dishes – was scattered across the balcony walkway, but there was no one in sight. He pulled his door shut behind him and scratched his head as he stared at the mess.
“What the devil?” he muttered, glancing up to see if someone had dropped it off the roof, when suddenly the door open in the neighboring apartment. A woman – a beautiful woman, he silently amended, with the most glorious cloud of blonde hair stepped through, then froze in her tracks, startled, when she saw him.
“Uh. . .”
Her eyes were wide, and she was slowly breaking into a smile at the sight of his face. He was used to that, of course, but this smile. . .well, it made him want to smile back.
“Hello,” he said by way of greeting. “Lost something?”
She glanced down at the broken items and the upended box. “Yeah,” she laughed. “I guess you could say so.”
“May I offer a hand? I’ve only the one but I’d be glad to put it to good use.” He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers, bringing on another laugh.
“I’d appreciate that,” she said. “I’ve been moving in all day and I’m just exhausted.”
She started to squat down but he waved her off. “Get off your feet,” he said. “I’ve got this.”
She gave him a grateful smile and walked back into her apartment – a fact that he was thankful for, as the box was ungainly and getting it in a good grip took some doing with only one hand. He managed, as he always did, and at her direction, he set it down on the sofa.
The place was bare with only a few boxes scattered about. She must have moved everything to the bedroom if she’d been moving all day, as she claimed. There was hardly anything here.
“Can I offer you a drink?” she asked, reaching for a bottle from a cupboard.
His mouth watered, but he shook his head. “Thanks, no. I don’t drink.”
Her eyes popped wide. “You don’t drink?”
It was a common reaction, but he refused to apologize for it. “Doesn’t appeal to me,” he said. “At any rate, I have a dinner that’s getting cold.”
“Oh. Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “I just thought we should introduce ourselves. Over a drink.”
She wasn’t blushing. Her eyes were warm and her manner direct. He was so used to stammering women, or fawning women, or forceful and somewhat scary women. This one was none of that, and he found himself intrigued.
“The name is Killian,” he said. “And you are?”
“Emma.” Her eyes hadn’t left his, and her answering smile showed that she’d seen him react to the mere sound of her name. The familiarity of it wrapped around him like a warm blanket and he gritted his teeth in frustration, willing it to flower into a full memory. But, as always, it dwindled back to nothingness.