In my Once Upon A Time fanfiction, Pandora’s Pain, Storybrooke is visited by a lone woman, who’s looking for a very particular box. Unfortunately, this woman carries a curse that affects the lives of anyone near her, sending them back to relive the most troubled time in their life.
In this scene, Killian and Emma have a quiet moment alone before all hell breaks loose – and Emma decides to ask a difficult question . . .
They stood in silence for several minutes, just watching the sun sink into the sea. Killian had been right about that, too – it was incredibly romantic. She sighed, lifting her head from where she’d leaned it back against his chest.
“Why the long sigh, Swan?” he asked. “You’re not turning pensive on me, are you?”
“Maybe a little bit,” she confessed. “Just thinking about what life must be like – looking at this every day.”
“And now you know why the sea is any sailor’s first love,” he replied. “I suppose his ship is his second.”
And you gave up your ship for me, she thought. A glance over her shoulder at his face said he was probably thinking the same thing.
“It’s all right, Swan,” he said with a half-smile. “I don’t regret that trade.”
The brightness in his eyes was making her stomach tense, and his hand slowed on her stomach. She drew in a long, somewhat shaky breath and looked away, pulling out of his arms to face him, with her back against the rail.
“You know all about my life before,” she said. “I only know bits and pieces about you.”
He raised his brows. “Maybe it’s better that way.”
“Maybe I want to know more.”
Her eyes held his and this time, he was the one feeling it in his gut. He had a sixth sense about women, and when a woman said she wanted to talk, it usually meant trouble. But this was Emma. It was only natural that they learn more about each other, as they spent more time together. He wanted to know everything about her.
He just wasn’t so sure she wanted to hear everything about him. He swallowed hard.
“What do you want to know?” He tried to keep his tone light, in the hope that she would follow suit and ask him something of little import. He should have known better with the likes of Emma Swan.
“Can you tell me about Milah?” she asked. At the obvious discomfort on his face, she added. “You know all about Neal – even more than I knew. I just…feel like it’ll help me. Know you better, I mean.”
He nodded reluctantly, setting his forearms down on the rail and leaning into them as he turned the question over in his mind.
“There’s not much to tell, really. You know she was once married to Rumplestiltskin -”
“Yeah, I know all that,” she said, gesturing him to move along. “Neal told me all the dirt.”
Killian raised a brow. “Really?”
She gave him an apologetic grimace. “He was warning me away from you,” she explained. “That was early on. He didn’t feel that way at…the end,” she finished uncomfortably.
“Nevermind,” she said suddenly. “You don’t need to tell me anything. I’m sorry.”
He reached out, touching her arm. “No, it’s all right.” His eyes softened. “It’s hard to talk about because I lost her. Just as you lost Neal.”
She looked over at him. “So, what was she like?”
He shook his head. “She wasn’t you, Swan. That’s all you really need to know.”
“I don’t know if that’s good or bad,” she answered. “You loved her for centuries.”
Killian’s hand slid up, and his thumb brushed her chin, tracing the line of her jaw.
“And you think that’s it for me?” he asked huskily. “You underestimate me, love.”