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Something Wicca This Way Comes

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Hell, hell, bloody hell ! Killian paced up and down, back and forth as David and Liam tried to think of a way out of this. “Why couldn’t you have just listened to us for once,” Killian hissed, dragging a hand down his face before glaring at the bruised and battered detective before him. “We’re the experts here.”

“Calm down, Killian,” Liam stood in front of Killian’s path, blocking him from taking another step. His older brother raised his hands in a placating manner. “We’ve been in tighter spots than this. We’ll be fine.”

“Guys, trust me, it’s not that big a deal.” Killian felt the anger in his chest rise up like a tidal wave. He wanted to smack that fake sincerity right off the man’s face. David leaned back against the brick wall behind him and said, “You just have to give a witness statement.”

“We can’t be witnesses though, can we mate?” Kilian bit out through gritted teeth. This was what he got for being the good guy, for saving the precious mortal. What a load of crap. “We used our powers to save your sorry ass, didn’t we? And last I checked, that’s not something we can just explain to the--”

The EMT, who’d just cleared David for a concussion or any other major injuries passed by, causing Killian to hold his tongue. He was lucky he wasn’t dead, going after a Guardian demon like that all on his own, especially after Liam had warned him that he had no way of vanquishing him without their help.

Liam waited until the other man passed and then said, very quietly, “We’ll just have to make something up. It can’t be that hard--oh come on,” he frowned after Killian gave him a very specific look, one he’d grown familiar with over the years. It was usually directed at the youngest Jones’ brother, and very rarely towards the eldest. “We’re ex-Navy, aren’t we?”

Rolling his eyes at his brother’s logic, Killian turned his back to them and placed his hands on his hips while he thought. He could’ve gotten on board with the plan easily--if it weren’t for one small detail: the possessed mortal was still alive.

Sure, the demon might be vanquished and gone, but the mortal host had been the one to summon him. For all Killian knew, the bald headed man remembered everything that happened. If word got out that a pair of brothers subdued a serial killer with the power of magic they’d either be locked up in an insane asylum or demons would come to kill them. 

Bloody hell, Killian thought as he watched a pair of officers drag the killer into the back of a police car. The man smiled at him. His lips stretched far too tightly across his skin, and his eyes were so wide the entire iris was visible. He looked deranged. Maybe there was hope for the brother’s Jones yet.

“Look, it’ll be your word against his,” David whispered, causing Killian to turn back around to give him his full attention. His blue eyes flashed back and forth between the two brothers as he continued seriously, “and no one is going to take the word of a serial killer over two vets.”

Killian scoffed. That might work for Liam, an honorably discharged captain, but Kilian had barely made sub-lieutenant before being kicked out. He doubted his word would hold much stock, even against a crazed killer.

“Fine--fine,” Killian ran his hand down his face and tried to focus. “Let’s get something together before--”

“Howdy boys,” a new voice chimed in just behind Killian. Closing his eyes he tried to take a deep breath. This was it, it was the end of the Charmed Ones and all because bloody Nolan had to be the hero.

Opening his eyes to face his doom, Killien found himself facing the most gorgeous creature to ever walk the planet. Long, curly blond hair, shimmering green eyes, and a wry smile had turned one hardy sailor into a tower of jello. He didn’t know this woman standing beside him, but he would.

“You don’t look too banged up,” she commented as her eyes flitted over David’s form. “Guess you were lucky, huh?”

“Yeah,” David tried to smile but it didn’t quite make it. Liam looked between the two of them, then took a step back and redistributed his weight, as if he were preparing for rocky seas. “Luckily these two showed up when they did. Ah,” he made a show of looking over her shoulder, towards the other officers and onlookers who’d begun to gather, “any idea when they’ll be able to give their statements?”

Killian winced and Liam crossed his arms, but the woman didn’t pay them any attention. “I waved them off,” she shrugged, and Killian’s jaw almost dropped. “I figured it could wait until the morning. It’s past midnight anyway--everyone’s dead on their feet.”

Whoever this woman was, Killian decided as he felt his stomach twist into knots, she was his savior. 

Liam elbowed him in the ribs and he nodded in agreement. Now they’d have time to come up with a plausible story. 

“Well then, if that’s all,” Liam began, taking a step back towards the entrance of the alley, “we really should be going.”

“Now hang on a minute,” Killian grinned and aimed it at this mysterious woman. It was a charming grin, one that had made many a women blush and eagerly hand over their phone numbers. “I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced.”

“Oh, right, uh,” David shook his head and pushed himself off the wall he’d been leaning on, “Killian, Liam, meet Emma, my new partner.”

Holding out his hand, Killian raised a brow and said, “Killian Jones.”

Raising a brow of her own, a sly one to his affectionate, she took his hand and shook it, “Emma Swan.”

A moment passed, and then another. Killian realized he’d be perfectly content to spend the rest of his life just like this. Liam cleared his throat, “You wanna let her hand go now, Killian?”

Stroking her thumb gently with her own, causing her second brow to rise up next to the first, Killian didn’t look away from her as he responded to his brother, “Why would I ever want to do that?”

“Maybe because she’s got to do her job,” David said, rather loudly. Emma pulled her hand away, and Killian couldn’t help the frown that pulled at his lips.

After another brief period of silence, one that was, in Killian’s opinion, much more awkward than the first, Liam asked, “How long have you two been working together?”

Emma shoved her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket and nodded towards David, “Not long, just since,” she looked back at David briefly, “Graham’s funeral.”

“Oh.” Liam said a bit dumbly. “That--right. That makes sense.”

Graham Humbert had been a fine detective. He was second to none when it came to tracking down bad guys, and was sharper than a hunter’s knife. In the end, though, he proved too smart and wound up getting too deep into matters of the Underworld. The Charmed Ones had done all they could to save him, but in the end, not every innocent could be saved. That’s what Tink kept telling them, anyway, but Killian figured that was more for Liam’s benefit than anything else.

“Like I said,” Emma looked down at her feet, then back up to David with an expectant look in her eyes, “it’s late. Especially for you grandpa. Go home to your wife.” 

“Hey,” David protested, his mouth dropping open. “Who’re you calling grandpa? I’m barely old enough to be your father.”

“Right,” Emma said slowly, her eyes narrowing just a bit. Looking between the two Jones brothers, she gave them a tight lipped smile and said, “Come by the station anytime tomorrow to give your statements, okay?”

Killian grinned, “Looking forward to it, love.” His cheek earned him a half smile, and the sight made his heart flutter. Watching her leave, Killian found himself imaging what her true smile would look like--radiant sunshine, maybe.

“Hey, knock it off,” David snapped, giving Killian’s right peck a back handed smack. 

“Knock what off, mate?” Killian sneered, tired of having to deal with the older man. “Don’t tell me you’re into her. You’re married for Christ’s sake.”

David stepped back as if he’d been burned, “What? No! She just,” he looked after the way she left, “look,” he levelled, looking Killian in the eyes, “I don’t know, it’s just--there’s something about Emma. Something that feels . . . familiar?” He shook his head, “Like deja vu? Something’s off.”

Snorting, Killian slid his thumbs into his belt loops, “Sounds like she reminds you of a past lover that you’re hung up on.” David raised himself to his full height, his brows furrowing as he prepared a response.

“Killian,” Liam’s stern, no nonsense voice snapped his body into attention; arms at his sides, chin up, and heels touching. Once he realized what his traitorous body had done he forced himself back into a casual posture.

“Come on,” his older brother said, his eyes dark and thoughtful. “We have a lot to do tonight, and we still have to fill Will in on all of this.”

Killian almost groaned. Will hated being left out of the action. They’d be hearing complaints from him about this for at least a week, maybe more if he had a test he was supposed to study for.

There was only one thing that would make any of the following discussions endurable--the fact that he’d get to see Emma again tomorrow. Looking down at his hand, his skin tingled where she had touched him--

"No, stop it! Stop!” The little girl cried, shying away into the wall behind her.

“It’ll be fun!” A high-pitched voice trilled, though the owner of the voice remained out of sight. “Just light one teensy-weensy little fire and you’ll be free to go.”

Tears streamed down the little girl’s face, leaving tracks against dirt and soot on her cheeks. She whimpered and tried to flatten herself even more against the wall.

“Come on then,” the voice chirped, “come on.” When the girl didn’t move, he roared, “Light him on fire or I’ll cut your throat!”

The girl screamed, her small fingers pressing against the sides of her head. The other side of the room came into focus--a Grimlock was chained against a wall, his black eyes wide with fear. His mouth gaped open, but before he could shout out, he was consumed in flames.

--Killian? Killian!” Liam’s hand was clamped tightly around his forearm, but it was a good thing. It tethered Killian back into the present.

Sucking in a deep breath, Killian blinked frantically as his vision returned to him. “Killian,” Liam’s voice was close to his ear, ensuring no one around them heard. “Your premonition? What happened?”

Feeling a bit dizzy, as was normal still even after two years of having his powers, Killian shook his head, “I don’t know.”


Emma watched, one by one, as the people around the crime scene disappeared back into their homes or back to their jobs. She’d chosen a spot on the wall to lean against, her still form going overlooked by everyone until she was all alone. Or so it would appear.

Pushing off the wall and raising her arms above her head to stretch, Emma looked down at her shadow. Against the yellow light barely illuminating the alleyway, it was hardly noticeable. Lowering her arms and shoving her hands back into her pockets, she turned towards the light, then looked over her shoulder and said, “Tell him I’ve made contact.”

At first nothing happened, and then, as if waking up from a long sleep, her shadow shivered before slinking away into the darkness. 

Chapter Text

The old stairs of the manor creaked with Killian’s weight as he headed down them. Swinging a left towards the kitchen, the middle Jones brother was hit by a most foul smelling stench. “Bloody hell, Will!” He covered a hand over his nose once he saw his brother standing by his cauldron. “What is that?”

His younger brother shrugged, “Nothing new, just a sleeping potion.”

“Then why does it smell like something died?

“Oh,” Will said, staring down into his potion with knitted brows, “was I not supposed to put pig’s feet in it?”

“No,” Liam strode into the room, his hands outstretched as he headed straight for the cauldron, “but that’s okay.” He smiled kindly at his youngest brother before picking the cauldron up with some towels and dumping it down the sink. “What else is practice for, right?”

A cloud of white smoke appeared from the sink drain and Killian winced, wondering if they'd have to call the plumber again. 

“Now,” Liam threw both towels over his shoulder and looked at Killian and Will with bright eyes, “who wants breakfast?”

Flashing a quick look at Will, Killian tried his hardest to sound casual as he said, “You know I would, but I actually have to get going. I’ve got to get down to the station to give my statement.”

Will nodded, “Yeah, and I’ve got to, ah--finish a paper. I’ve just remembered it’s due today at noon and I haven’t even started.” Without another word the youngest Jones brother dashed off.

Pursing his lips, Liam raised a brow, “My cooking’s not that bad, you know. And you used to love my beans and bacon breakfast sandwiches.”

“And they will forever be held dear in my heart,” Killian placed a hand over his chest to help drive his words home, “but I can’t stomach another mouthful of beans, brother.”

A white light shimmered between them, abruptly cutting off their conversation. Slowly, a form took shape, and from that shape their white-lighter, Tink, appeared. Trinity Nicole Green, better known to her charges as Tink, had been the Charmed Ones white-lighter since before they knew what a white-lighter was. 

“Morning boys!” She smiled brightly, then inhaled. “Oh my--what is that?”

“Potion gone wrong,” Killian said dryly, watching as Tink furiously waved a hand in front of her nose.

“Oh,” Tink smiled mischievously, looking towards Liam, “and here I thought you had tried to cook something again.”

“Ha-ha,” Liam said, but his lips were pulling back into a smile. Taking a step forward, he cupped Tink’s face with his hands and gave her a loud, smacking kiss to her forehead. “What did I ever do to deserve a girlfriend as kind as you.”

“Hmm, guess it’s just one of the world’s greatest mysteries.”

“Right, well,” Killian coughed, averting his eyes towards the back door. He loved that his brother had found happiness and love, but he didn’t always love witnessing it. “I’m off.”

“You’re really going to the station?” Liam asked, taking a step away from Tink, but sliding a hand around her waist to pull her close. He tilted his head, “We still have two hours until we’re expected.”

Raising a brow and trying to keep his smile from turning too sly, Killian responded, “I don’t want to keep Detective Swan waiting. Is that a crime?”

“Detective Swan?” Tink asked as Liam groaned. “Does this have anything to do with last night’s Guardian attack?”

“Yes,” Liam sighed, “but mostly it has to do with Killian’s crush on David’s new partner.”

“Oh, he’s got a new partner? That’s good!” Stepping away from Liam and towards the fridge she added, “Don’t make things awkward for him Killian. David’s got enough on his plate as it is.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Liam asked, sharing a concerned glance with Killian. Killian shrugged, not understanding what the white-lighter meant. As far as he knew David’s life was fine. Or as fine as any detective’s life was, anyway. Sure, there was the added stress of knowing about demons and witches, but he’d handled that information relatively well. 

Tink merely hummed as she pulled out some eggs, cheese, orange juice, and sausage links. “Nothing,” Tink shook her head as she focused on the spread before her. 

Raising his brows, Killian said nothing, but took another step towards the door.

“Before I forget!” Tink said suddenly, her voice loud and her hands flailing. Killian closed his eyes and took a deep breath, wondering if, at this rate of interruption, he’d just barely make it to the station on time after all. “Oh,” Tink looked around, “I need all of you here actually.”

“Will!” Liam called, his voice easily reaching the second floor. “Come down here for a moment please!”

It was quiet, and then, just like Tink’s arrival, a white light shimmered down from the ceiling, and within seconds Will was sitting at the kitchen table. “Look, Liam, I love you but if you think I’m eating your breakfast beans--oh, hi Tink!” Will blinked, then spotted the items on the island in front of her, “are you making breakfast? I’m starving!”

Liam massaged the skin between his brows and Killian choked on a laugh. Trying very hard not to smile, Tink said, “Yes, I am, but business first.” Taking a second to look over each brother, she said, “The Elders are nervous.”

“Nervous?” Liam repeated, planting his palms against the island’s counter and leaning forward. “Why?”

“There’s been whispers that the Source is planning something big, something,” she paused, pursing her lips in thought, “something powerful enough to shatter the stars.”

Killian snorted, “That’s poetic.”

Rolling her eyes, Tink continued, “Poetic or not, the Elders don’t like it so they’re giving you a task.”

“A task?” Will asked slowly, “Isn’t it enough they have us battling demons and warlocks every other day? What, they think we’re not busy enough?”

“Will,” Liam snapped, and the sound of it made Killian’s back straighten. Looking straight at his youngest brother Liam said, “We’re the Charmed Ones. Our destiny is to restore the balance between good and evil. Killing demons and being busy with it is part of the deal.”

Turning his head away, Will muttered, “I don’t remember signing any contracts.”

“So what is this task, Tink,” Killian asked quickly, before Liam could respond. And everyone said Killian was the one with an attitude. Will was just quieter in his anger and frustration. 

Tink was silent for another moment. Her fingers tapped against the island counter once, twice, thrice, before she said, “They want you to find the Savior.”

The silence that permeated the room was so thick, Killian was surprised when it didn’t knock him onto the flat of his back. Eventually though, someone had to speak, and he figured it might as well be him, “I’m sorry, the what ?”

“The Sav--”

“No, no, love,” he shook his head, “apologies. I heard you just fine.” He shook his head, trying to get things straight in his mind. “Are you trying to tell me that the Elders want us to find a myth?”

“She’s not a myth,” Tink tried to say, but was cut off by Will, “She’s not real!”

“Guys, enough ,” Liam ordered, glaring at both his brothers until he knew they weren’t going to pipe up again. “Go on Tink.”

“Look,” she sighed, placing her hands on her hips, “I know everyone thinks the Savior is a myth, or propaganda, or whatever, but she’s not. She’s real, and it’s her destiny to defeat the Source! If we could just find her--”

Find her?” Killian ran a hand through his hair, “If the Elders can’t even do that what makes them think we can?” 

“They think you’re connected somehow, and--”

“She went missing almost twenty years ago!” Will chimed in, leaning forward in his chair with his forearms resting against his legs. “Even if she weren’t a myth, she’s probably long dead.”

“Not true,” Tink shook her head, “we’d know if she were.”

“Oh, but you don’t know where she is? Convenient,” Killian began to pace. He always knew the Elders were ridiculous and senile in their old age, but this took the cake. How were they supposed to find someone that never existed? Or was probably long dead! They had better things to do than chase after some ghost. Like actually chasing after ghosts!

“If the Elders say the Savior is still out there,” Liam said slowly, his arms crossed over his chest and his brows furrowed into one another, “then we’ll do our best to find her.” Looking at his brothers, first Will, then Killian, he added, “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

“Fine,” Killian bit out, “whatever you say, brother.” 

And with that he finally took his leave. 

Chapter Text

The police station was a drab and depressing building, built from gray stone and accented with iron steel. However, not even it’s ugly facade could dampen Killian’s good mood. Thoughts of the Savior had quickly left his mind as soon as he finally escaped the manor, and the only remaining thoughts  revolved around a beautiful blonde and whether or not she might want to take an early lunch with him. 

Brushing past several uniformed officers and a few suited bodies, Killian stopped right in front of a desk that was topped with a placard reading Detective E. Swan. “Hello Swan,” Killian all but purred, bracing his hands on the edge of her desk and leaning forward.

Emma glanced up from the file she was reviewing with raised brows. Looking at her watch she said, “You’re early.”

“Well you know how the saying goes,” Killian grinned, “the early bird catches the worm.”

“And what,” Emma asked as she leaned forward herself, her long, golden hair slipping past her shoulders, “is the worm in this metaphor, exactly?”

“Lunch perhaps? Just you and me?” Killian raised a brow, his blue eyes meeting her green ones. “What do you say, Swan?”

“I say,” Emma smiled, a small, hesitant thing, “I should take your statement.”

“Right, that.” Killian nodded then pushed himself away from the desk and plopped himself into the chair on the side of her desk, the one that criminals usually sat in while awaiting processing. "Very well. Statement first, then lunch." 

Ignoring him, Emma pulled out a form and asked, "Name?"

"Killian Jones."


Scratching at his ear, Killian replied, "1329 Prescott Street."

"Have you always lived there?"

The question surprised him, as he didn't think it was something the form had asked. Sitting up straighter, emboldened by her interest, Killian answered, "Since I was thirteen or so, but before that I lived in England with my brother.”

Emma sat back in her chair and tilted her head, "What made your family come to San Francisco?" 

"My father remarried. She was American and they wanted to start a life in her hometown." 

That was mostly true. Lilian had been born and raised in San Francisco, but by the time she'd met his father, everyone who knew her had thought her dead for at least fifty years. She'd been a white-lighter to his witch father, and they'd fallen in love. 

Unfortunately for them, relationships between white-lighters and their charges wasn't allowed. No one was supposed to know, and no one would have ever known, probably, if it hadn't been for William. Who knew a white-lighter could get pregnant? Not Lilian and certainly not his father. Once the Elders discovered the relationship, and it’s intensity, his father and Lilian went on the run, leaving Killian and Liam behind for their own good. At least, that’s what they were told by Brennan the night he left. 

Then, nine years later, after Lilian died at the hands of a dark-lighter, the Elder’s forgot their anger, and Brennan remembered his two other sons.


Sniffing, Killian averted his eyes and took in the surroundings of the station. Not much was going on. David's desk was empty, as was the conference room and Captain's office. There were a few people in the holding cell at the back of the room, but he could tell they were mostly drunks just sleeping off the alcohol.

"Mr. Jones?" Emma's voice caught his attention.

"Killian, love. I insist," He gave her a small wink, as an added touch.

"Killian," Emma said with a faint smile, one that could easily be overlooked. "What do you do for a living?"

Coughing to cover up a wince, Killian told her, "I was in the Navy for a while. Left about three or four years ago."

Emma wrote down what he said, then asked the dreaded follow-up question, "Honorably discharged?"

"Liam was, aye," Killian looked down at his fingers, intertwined on his lap. "Me, not quite."

"Oh." Blue eyes snapping up, Killian noticed Emma's knitted brow and surprised frown. "Sorry," she shook her head, "it's just I would've thought--" she cut herself off suddenly, darting her eyes back down to the paper before her. "What do you do now?"

Vanquish demons , he wanted to say, conjure spirits, brew potions, oh and occasionally I box, too. 

Instead he said, "I bartend every now and then at my brother's pub."

"All right, now that that's over," Emma flipped a page over in the form, then looked back up at him, “Tell me what happened.”

Killian regaled her of the story he and Liam had decided upon the night before. He told Swan of how they were on their way to meet up with Nolan for a pint when they heard something suspicious in the alleyway. They soon saw the crazed, bald headed man standing over Nolan with a knife and the two of them acted immediately. Tackling the offender to the ground, disarming him, and subsequently rendering him unconscious.

“That was pretty brave of you two,” Emma said, “not many people would’ve stuck their necks out like that--even for someone they knew.”

“Ah, well you see, Swan,” Killian smirked confidently, “if it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s surviving. Now that that’s all finished, what do you say to a bit of lunch?”

Emma laughed, averting her eyes and shaking her head, “You sure are persistent, Mr. Jones.”

“Killian,” he corrected again. “And I’ve learned from experience that you’ll never get anywhere in life without it.”

Looking at her watch, Emma hummed, “I’ll have to pass on lunch, but I can spare a few minutes for a walk.”

“Wonderful,” jumping to his feet, Killian began to lead the way. “You’re new to this station, aye? Are you new to the city as well?”

“Yeah, I, uh,” she took a moment to lock his statement up in her desk drawer, then followed him out of the station, “I just moved here last month.”

“From where, if I may be so bold as to ask?”

Chuffing out a light laugh at his small tease, she answered, “New York, and Boston before that.”

“An East Coast girl, eh?” They took a turn to the left outside of the police station. It was a shame Swan could only spare a short walk. There was so much in the city he’d love to show her, but Killian supposed that would just have to wait. “What brought you all the way to California?”

“Work,” she said vaguely. Then, as if an afterthought, added, “I mean, I was transferred here after making Detective.” She shrugged, “You gotta go where the jobs are.”

“Oh, aye, I understand that. Do you enjoy the city?”

“It’s not too different from any of the others I’ve lived in.” She looked up and squinted at the bright, blue sky, “The weather’s pretty nice though.”

Biting the corner of his lip, Killian turned a corner and pressed his luck, “You didn’t mind leaving your loved ones behind? Family, friends,” he paused, “a boyfriend, perhaps?”

Emma snorted, “Smooth, Captain obvious.” Shoving her hands into her pockets, she let out a long sigh and said, “Look, I’m kinda a loner. Always have been.”

“You don’t like your parents then?”  Killian winced at his blunt question, but he could understand that feeling quite well himself. Before his death, Killian and his father hadn’t been on the best of terms. That’s what happened, he supposed, when a father leaves his two children in the hands of a brute while he went off with his pretty new wife and child to a new country.

“Don’t have parents.”  The words were short and practiced, like she’d said them many times before.

Wanting to kick himself, Killian tried to apologize, “Shit, Swan, I’m--”

Emma smiled at him courteously. It wasn’t a genuine smile, but a mask people put on to make others at ease, “Don’t worry about it. You can’t miss what you never had, right?”

They turned another corner, and a gust of air blew into them, causing Emma’s golden curls to fly about her face. She stopped to push her hair back and before Killian could help himself, he reached out and tucked a small tendril behind her ear.

She froze at his touch, looking up at him with wide, green eyes and her lips pulled down into a surprised frown.

Snatching his hand back as if it’d been burnt, he said, “Sorry, I didn’t--ahh--” Bloody hell he was making a mess of this.

“No, um,” Emma looked down and retucked the hair behind her ears. “Thanks.”

They continued on in awkward silence until they made another turn. They were more than halfway through their walk now, almost back to where they started. Having already shoved his foot as far into his mouth as he could, he figured he had nothing more to lose by asking, “Do you have any plans this weekend, Swan?”

“Just helping out with the arraignment hearing tomorrow.” She let out a half heart chuckle and added, “Great way to celebrate my birthday, huh?”

“Surely you have more planned than that,” Killian’s brows furrowed. She’d said she was a loner, and she was still very new to the city, but still--it was her birthday. She deserved to do more than spend the day in a courtroom. When Emma did nothing more than shrug, Killian made up his mind. “We’ll do something, then.”

Seeing Emma’s raised brows, and remembering just how badly this walk of theirs had gone so far, Killian quickly retraced his steps and added, “I’ll bring Liam and my other brother, Will. And Tink, too! We’ll all go out to Liam’s pub after the arraignment for a few drinks.” Realizing he was rambling, Killian gave her his best, most charming smirk, and said, “What do you say, Swan?”

Emma stopped, and Killian realized they’d finally made it back to the station. 

“Sure, why not?” Emma tilted her head and looked him up and down. “Your brother’s bar isn’t far from the courthouse, right? Let’s meet up there around five.”

Surprised that she’d agreed--surprised, but immensely pleased--Killian nodded his affirmative. “We’ll see you then.”

“Killian!” Liam called out, walking up for his own appointment with Emma. “Hello Detective,” he smiled, “I hope I’m not late.”

“Not at all,” Emma said, taking a step up towards the station’s entrance. “Come follow me.”

“Will this take long?” Liam asked, looking between Emma and Killian, “I was hoping Killian and I could ride home together,” he locked eyes with Killian as he said, “we have some family matters to discuss.”

Closing his eyes to prevent Emma from seeing them roll, Killian was immediately reminded of their conversation this morning and how they were meant to find the Savior. 

“Won’t take long at all,” Emma assured him, obviously missing the sudden tension between the two brothers. “Killian,” his eyes snapped up to her, his heart pounding in his chest at her use of his name, “you can either wait out here or in the lobby.”

“Here’s fine, Swan. Thanks.”  Looking back towards his brother, he said, “Take your time.”

After giving his brother a very unimpressed look, the eldest Jones brother ascended the station’s steps and disappeared inside to give his statement. Leaning against a handrail, Killian scanned his eyes over the passing crowds to pass the time. 

Soon a familiar face appeared. David Nolan walked towards him, his hands holding a cup of coffee from the nearby diner, Granny’s. 

“Nolan,” Killian nodded in greeting.

“Killian,” the older man nodded back. “What are you doing out here?”

Jerking his chin towards the direction of the station, he answered, “Liam’s just finishing up his witness statement.”

“Oh yeah,” David’s brows rose with realization, “the arraignment hearing for that guy is tomorrow, isn’t it?”

Frowning, Killian wondered at the detective’s forgetfulness. “Aye, mate, the one for the lunatic who tried to kill you. That guy.”

David laughed, but it was a quiet, hollow thing. “Guess I need caffeine more than I thought.”

“Right,” Killian said slowly. Then, as David took a step up to pass by, Killian asked, “You don’t have any plans for Emma tomorrow, do you?”

Tilting his head, David frowned and shook his head, “No, why?”

Killian wondered if Emma was still too new as a partner, or if she just hadn’t told David about her birthday yet. She didn’t seem to be hiding it, but she wasn’t promoting it to the world either. “It’s Swan’s birthday so I just wanted to make sure,” he paused, “you and Mary Margaret used to bring Humbert over for dinner for that sort of thing.”

“Oh,” David stood taller, “oh, I didn’t, um,” he furrowed his brows and looked down at his feet. “No, I didn’t know it was her birthday.”

Killian shrugged, “No matter. I’m getting a few people together for her so it works out. After the arraignment we’ll go to Liam’s. Want to join? The invitation is open to your lovely wife as well, of course.”

“No.” David said quickly. “Sorry, tomorrow’s no good. Maybe another time.” Before Killian could say anything more David was up the stairs and inside the building.

What a strange day this was turning out to be.

Not long after Liam reappeared by his side. “Ready?” He asked, “Or did you need to get one more flirt in?”

Killian snorted, “I’m not that bad. Besides, need I remind you how much flirting went on between you and Tink?”  When his brother’s cheeks darkened to a ruddy red, Killian nodded, “Exactly.”

They headed for the parking lot, and Killian quickly spotted the car. Wanting to delay their supernatural discussion as much as possible, he said, “It’s Swan’s birthday tomorrow. It turns out she’s new to town so I offered for us all to meet up for some drinks.”

“Define all,” Liam said, pulling out his car keys and pressing the button to unlock the doors. 

Killian waited until he was seated before answering, “You, me, Will, Tink.” He reached for his seatbelt then added, “I invited Nolan, too, but he can’t make it.” Liam grunted, turning the key to start the engine. “He seemed off just now when we spoke,” Killian thought about his most recent brush with the Underworld. “You don’t think that Guardian demon has anything to do with it?”

“The Guardian?” Liam asked, his attention mostly on the rear window and he backed out of the parking spot.

“Aye, you know, maybe his behavior is being affected somehow?”

“Killian, you can’t be serious,” Liam looked away from the road to give his brother an incredulous look. “Nolan’s behavior has nothing to do with demons.” Looking forward again, he sighed and said, “It’s the anniversary of his daughter’s death.” Glancing over and seeing Killian’s stunned face, he said, “Don’t tell me you didn’t know.”

“How the bloody hell was I supposed to know?” He and David weren’t that close, and the only photo he’d ever seen on the detective’s desk were of his wife and son, Neal.  “Why doesn’t he have any pictures of her?”

“Because he doesn’t have any pictures of her,” Liam shook his head. “She died the day she was born, or something like that. I’m not too sure. Have you never noticed,” he looked directly at his brother again, “over the past three years how depressed he becomes around this time?”

Killian winced, realizing that he hadn’t. To his credit, though, it wasn’t as if David ever spoke about this directly with him. Never once in all the years Killian knew him did David ever mention having a daughter.

Leaning his head back against the seat rest, Killian closed his eyes, suddenly very tired, “Bloody hell what a day this has been.”



Chapter Text

Emma shimmered into the cave dwelling she called home and headed straight for the small box on the other side, mentally setting the many candles in the room alight. Opening the small box, she groaned when she realized she only had three tonics left. Soon she’d have to pay a visit to the Seer for more. Those trips were never fun.

Reaching in and grabbing one of the vials, Emma called out, “You gonna lurk in the shadows all night?”

“Hmm,” a chuckle came from behind her, “never could get much past you, huh?” 

Emma turned and from the darkness came what appeared to be a human man. Appearances were deceiving though, especially in the Underworld, and although the creature before her may not have looked threatening with his curled lips and warm brown eyes, she knew well enough that he’d gut her if it suited him in the slightest.

“What do you want, Bae?” Baelfire only allowed a certain select few to call him by his childhood name. Emma wasn’t sure if she got away with it because of their shared history or because he knew he couldn’t force her to quit. She didn’t use it as a term of endearment though, or even to annoy him. It was too much of a habit now. 

“I wanted to check in on you.” He took a few steps back until the back of his legs hit her bed. He dropped down against the blankets, creating a light cloud of dust to arise. “See how the mortal world was treating you. Do you like it?”

Emma snorted, pulling the cork stopper from the glass vial and staring down at the amber liquid inside. Shooting half the tonic down in one swallow, she winced as the burning sensation rolled down her gullet. “They’re all so stupid up there, thinking nothing can hurt them.” It annoyed her to no end, how happy and calm everyone always seemed to her. They had no idea about the different types of hell out there.

“Ah, to be mortal and naive.” Baelfire grinned. Then, rubbing the back of his head in a manner some would call a nervous tick--though never to his face--he asked, “Any progress on lover boy?”

Leaning against a wall, Emma couldn’t help the smirk that pulled at her lips, “Jealous?” She and Baelfire had once been a ‘thing’ back in the day. Demons don’t do relationships, but they could do lust and envy. For Emma it had been nice to have company every now and then, for Baelfire it had been a bit more complicated, but nothing permanent. He’d dropped her like dead weight as soon as a pretty, evil witch named Tamara. Seeing him like this now, envious that Emma’s directing her gaze at someone else, tasted a bit like vengeance on her tongue.

Baelfire tsked, turning his head away. “Don’t be stupid. I just want to make sure everything’s going to plan.” He turned his sights back on her, “You’re taking your sweet damn time after all. Pretty boy’s eating out of the palm of your hand. When are you going to kill him?”

“Patience never was your strong suit.” Emma brushed her hair back and tried to think of what to say that would get him to leave. He was starting to get on her nerves. Once upon a time she might have appreciated his presence, but that time had long passed. Now she just wanted him gone so she could sleep. “Killian enjoys the chase, the hunt. If I act too interested he’ll get bored.”

Stalking closer to where Baelfire sat on her bed, she continued, “The Source sent me to get close to the Charmed Ones. To learn their secrets and destroy them once and for all.”

“So why don’t you just kill him?” Baelfire asked, tilting his head up to look at her. “Set him on fire and get it over with.”

It was true, Emma could burn the brothers alive just by thinking about it, but she had to be smart about this. “How many other demons and warlocks have tried brute force to kill them? And how many are still alive to talk about it? The Charmed Ones won’t be defeated through external forces alone. They need to be destroyed from the inside.”

Flicking him on the forehead, adding a spark of heat with the movement, she ordered,“Now get off my bed.”

Baelfire rubbed his forehead and stood, glaring at her but not making a move in retaliation. He wouldn’t risk hurting her now, not when she was so integral in the Source’s plan. “So what, how long do you think this will all take?”

Emma shrugged, “A few weeks, maybe a month.” She thought about how wrapped around her finger Killian already was, and how much tension there already was between the brothers. Their conversation in front of her at the station might have been short, but it’d been enough to set Kililan’s teeth on edge. “No more than that.”

“Good,” he took a few steps back towards the shadows. As his body began to shiver away, he commended, “I’d expect nothing less from the Source’s number one fire starter.” And then he was gone.

Now that Emma was alone, she chanted an ancient repelling spell to keep it that way. No one else was getting in--not alive anyway--which meant she could rest in peace. She crawled into her bed, used to its unforgiving surface and the rigid blankets she’d accumulated in an attempt to soften it. When she’d finally found a position that felt comfortable enough, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The candles in the case extinguished themselves, and Emma reopened her eyes to darkness. 

Unbidden, a pair of blue eyes flashed across her mind. Then a charming smirk. Emma’s heart pounded in her chest and she frowned, disliking the feeling. Rolling onto her back, she toyed with the vial of tonic still in her hand for a moment before pulling off the stopper. With one final swallow, she finished her tonic and fell asleep. 

Chapter Text

Tonight would be an amazing night. Killian was sure of it. First a bad guy would be kept off the streets, then he’d take Emma to Liam’s pub and make up for the disaster of a conversation they’d had at the police station. She didn’t seem too put off by his awkward questions, though, which gave him hope that he still had a chance with her. 

“What time are we leaving again?” Will asked around a mouthful of apple. “We have to be there at five, right?”

“Aye,” Killian nodded and then looked at the clock over the kitchen sink. “If we leave at a quarter to we should be fine.”

A blinding white appeared out of the corner of Killian’s eye, making his eyes water. When the light dimmed, he blinked and found Tink standing by the kitchen table. “Hello boys!” Her green eyes surveyed the room, “Where’s Liam?”

Will swallowed audibly before answering her, “Upstairs getting ready. He should be down soon.”

“Ready?” Tink tilted her head to the side, “Ready for what?”

“We’re taking Detective Swan out for her birthday tonight.” Killian raised a brow, “Didn’t Liam tell you?”

A vacant look overcame Tink for a moment. If Killian had been looking anywhere else--if he had even blinked--he would have missed it. Her mouth dropped open just half an inch lower than normal, and a glassy look invaded her eyes. Killian wasn’t sure if the look meant she was in deep thought, trying to determine the answer to his question, or if the look was caused by something else.

With a little shake of her head, causing strands of her wheat blonde hair to escape from the bun atop her head, she said, “No he did, I just forgot. Speaking of forgetting--oh, hello dear,” her back straightened as Liam walked into the room. Pausing her speech, she met him halfway and sprung up onto her tiptoes to kiss his cheek.

“Hello beautiful,” Liam said quietly as he looped his arms around the white-lighter’s waist and pulled her close. Too bad it wasn’t quiet enough for either Killian or Will. The two younger Jones brothers caught each other's eyes and pretended to gag. 

“You were saying, Tink?” Will said, his brows so high they almost reached his hairline. He kept his gaze steadfastly away from the romantic pair, staring straight ahead at nothing. “About the uh,” he cleared his throat, “something about forgetting?”

“Oh, right,” she gave Liam’s shoulder a harsh tap. “I spoke to the Elders about the Guardian you told me about.”

“Aye?” Liam frowned, “What about them?”

“Don’t look so serious,” Tink smiled sweetly, and brushed a small lock of hair behind Liam’s ear. Killian closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He wished the two would separate long enough for Tink to tell them what was going on. At this rate one would keep distracting the other until it was midnight.

Glancing back at the clock and seeing the time, Killian cut in, “Can we speed this thing up? We have somewhere to be after all.” The last thing Killian wanted to be was late. That’d be one hell of a follow up from their last encounter. First rude--or idiotic, he wasn’t sure which was worse--then late? He’d be lucky if Emma ever gave him the time of day again.

“Right! Sorry,” Tink grimaced at the younger brothers in apology. “Other witches have been running into Guardians in the area.” She stepped out of Liam’s arms and shrugged, “It seems like they’re being more active than in recent years.”

“So what does that mean?” Will asked while leaning back in his chair. “They’re reproducing or something?”

“Or someone’s summoning them,” Liam rubbed the back of his neck, still looking at Tink. “Is that what the Elders think?”

Tink nodded, “They think there’s a demon in the area who’s been giving them out, sort of like a keeper.”

“We should go back to the club,” Liam said, looking back and forth between his brothers. “See if there are any clues we missed.”

“Not tonight,” Killian protested, standing straighter. “We promised Swan we’d meet her at the courthouse.” Before his older brother could say anything more, he added, “And if we hurry maybe we can question the killer about it. What’s his name--” he snapped his fingers, “Smith! We can ask him about the demon.”

Will snorted and asked, “And how are we supposed to get him alone?”

“I could freeze them, I guess,” Liam rocked his head side to side in thought. “Selective freezing, I’ve done that before.”

“Just focus on the Innocents!” Tink advised, taking a step closer to Liam again. She curled two fingers through his belt loops. “That should do the trick.”

“He’ll already know about magic,” Killian said, pushing this think train even further. “He didn’t get possessed by a demon without learning a thing or two about the Supernatural.”

“All right then,” Liam threw an arm around Tink’s shoulders and headed towards the back door. “Let’s get going.”

He reached for the car keys, but right as his fingers were about to grab them they disappeared in a ball of blurry white light. Looking over at Will to find a wide and wicked smile on his face, Killian laughed as his brother announced, “I’m driving!” Then he ran for the door.

The Brothers Jones made it to the courthouse in practically no time at all, arriving ten minutes before the hour. They entered the courtroom just as the killer and previously possessed man, Emilio Smith, took his seat at the defendant’s table. The judge was still conversing quietly with his bailiff, so Killian quickly led their group over to where he spotted Emma sitting next to David. 

“Hello, Swan,” Killian greeted as he slid into the seat next to her. Then came Will, then Liam, and finally Tink. “Happy birthday by the way.”

Peaking at him out of the corner of her eye, Emma gave him a small smile. “Thanks. You’re early.” She checked the time on her watch and then sighed, “Or we’re late. The last case ran long.”

“This should be over soon,” David assured her, then nodded to the Jones brothers in silent greeting. “Hopper has everything he needs to keep this guy behind bars until trial.” He bit the inside of his cheek, then added, “Well he should , anyway.”

“Except the weapon,” Emma looked at Killian, “what did you call it again? The knife--an etha-something?”

“Athame,” Will corrected helpfully from over Killian’ shoulder. A bit too helpfully, Killian thought as he noted the look of surprise on Emma’s face.

Jabbing his younger brother in the sternum with his elbow, Killian shrugged and tried to play off Will’s immediate knowledge of such a random weapon, “It’s used a lot on a favorite show of ours. About two brothers who hunt demons.”

“Oh, right. I think I know the one.” Emma turned back to her partner and said quietly, “You don’t have to be here David, really. I can testify for the both of us if we’re called.”

David shook his head, “No, that won’t fly with this judge. He’d take any excuse to let Smith out.” He grimaced and his foot began to tap incessantly against the floor. “He’s not called free Willy for nothing.”

“What was that?” Liam asked.

“Nothing,” David’s foot kept bouncing. “He just has the highest release record in the city is all.”

“All rise for the honorable Judge William Hamilton,” the bailiff announced, his voice deep and echoing in the near empty courtroom.

The judge was an older man with a receding hairline and old, circular glasses. He was probably the sort who liked to give people second, third, even fourth chances. Normally Killian could support a man with that mentality, but in this case, a second chance could mean an Innocent’s life.

Hamilton called for Hopper’s evidence in the case, which the red haired man presented, listing piece upon damning piece. First there were Smith’s prior records, then the witnesses who saw him leave the club around the same time as David, then Liam, Killian, and David’s testimony about the night’s events. Everything lined up. There was no way Smith would walk.

“Mr. Spencer,” the judge turned his head to Smith’s lawyer. “You may proceed.”

The tall defence lawyer stood and cleared his throat, “It seems to me, your honor,” he began and immediately his words made the hair on the back of Killian’s neck stand on edge. There was a harsh steel in his voice, one that was covered with silky honey. He knew immediately that whenever this man spoke, he might not be lying, but he was never telling the truth. “You can’t very well hold for a murder trial without a murder weapon.”

Hopper stood up, his lips pale and his glasses a bit crooked as he defended, “Your honor, the state has already stipulated that the alleged murder weapon is still outstanding. We have two eye witnesses who, who--”

“Saw what, exactly?” Spencer asked, his face passive and unimpressed. “My client bent over the detective?” He clicked his tongue, “That’s how they justified their attack? How do they know my client didn’t happen across the scene and try to revive the detective?”

David ran a hand across his mouth and Killian heard the faintest of muffled swears. Emma’s hands balled up into fists, but her face remained unchanged from her usual slightly scowling demeanor. 

Killian looked back towards his brothers. Tink’s lips were pursed and her brows furrowed, while Liam looked concerned but not upset by where the proceedings were going. And Will’s eyes were honed in on Smith’s back. 

“And why,” Spencer continued, “if they were so easily able to subdue my client, did they not find the murder weapon?” The lawyer looked between Hopper and Hamilton. Killian smothered a groan. That stupid weapon, he thought about how he’d flung it into the Guardian’s third eye. It had vanquished the monster, but it had destroyed the weapon as well. Why couldn’t it ever just be easy?

Spencer’s brows raised and he made a show of spreading his fingers wide as he said, “What, did it just magically disappear?”

“Objection!” Hopper called out, but Killian ignored that and looked to his brothers. Three pairs of eyes were on him. None of them needed to speak, but they all thought the same thing: he knows.

But how, and why? Killian’s brows furrowed deeper and deeper, surely becoming one thick line across his forehead. Was Spencer in on it? Was he the demon handing out Guardians like candy?

Emma turned to whisper something in David’s ear, her hair brushing against his shoulder from the force of her movement. Turning himself, he hissed at Liam, “ Now !”

Liam nodded, then closed his eyes, took a deep breath and with a flick of his fingers, froze the room. Beside him Emma’s hand was cupped around David’s ear, her green eyes alight with frustration. David’s cheeks were puffed out, no doubt from a held breath. His leg was stopped mid-tick and his eyes half lidded. Even Tink was frozen where she sat, her eyes expectantly looking towards Liam. 

“It worked,” Will sighed, his mouth a bit open.

“Overruled,” the judge’s gavel hitting the wooden block sounded like a rock crashing through a glass window. Three pairs of blue eyes snapped to the bench.

“It’s the judge!” Liam sat up straighter, hardly believing his eyes. 

“Your honor,” Spencer shook his head, “I move for this case to be dismissed.”

“And the lawyer,” Will cried. They looked around for anyone else it might have been and suddenly found themselves surrounded. Bailiffs, security guards, even the stenographer looked towards the brothers with malice in their eyes and ravenous grins on their lips.

“It’s everybody,” Killian said unnecessarily. Pulling Will up by the cuff of his shirt, he yelled, “Run!”

“Kill them!” The judge’s voice yelled out.

A guard swung his baton at Will, who just barely managed to orb out of the way in time. Letting go of his brother’s shirt, Killian squared up against the law clerk in front of him. Fists raised, he feinted left, then right, then struck out and made contact squarely across the man’s jaw. 

“One down,” Killian said as the other man’s eyes closed and he fell to the floor. He looked around at the rest of their enemies, “a dozen to go.”

Two on one this time, a bailiff and the stenographer. The stenographer was surprisingly good at hand to hand fighting, not falling for any of his feints and ducking around his punches. The bailiff got behind him and swung, his bat almost making contact with the back of Killian’s head when he heard Will shout, “Baton!”

The weapon orbed out of the bailiff’s hand and into Will’s. Killian’s younger brother immediately used the bat against its owner, swinging and striking him across the back. 

What Killian wouldn’t give for an active power like Will’s. 

The stenographer took advantage of his distraction and attacked, her foot coming in contact with the bottom of his ribs and forcing him backwards. For a moment gravity disappeared. Killian let himself fall back, his head careening to the floor, and then his feet rose up and kept rising up and up and up, swinging his entire body around until he found himself standing on the wooden railing of the juror’s box. 

Releasing a deep breath, Killian reminded himself that levitation could be just as useful.

Back to the task at hand, Killian made good use of his height above the woman, jumping onto her and slamming her into the ground. When he pulled himself off the floor, he looked around to find only the judge and his brothers standing. 

“Freeze him!” Will yelled as the judge watched them with wide eyes. 

“I can’t,” Liam came running towards them from the other side of the room, giving Will’s arm a good smack when he was close enough. “It’s called immunity for a reason. Once they have it, that’s it.”

“Then blow him up!” Will cried, bouncing on the balls of his feet and wanting to rush head first into another fight.

Realizing Liam hadn’t used his more destructive powers all evening, he looked around at the unconscious bodies on the floor. “If they’re demons,” he looked up at Liam, “why didn’t they use their powers?”

The judge hissed, then scurried away through the door behind his bench, “To me!”

Shadows rose from the bodies around them like smoke. The human bodies didn’t move, didn’t even twitch, as the Guardians possessing them returned to their master.

Liam nodded, “He’s the one we’re after.”

l Emma l 

Emma had felt the ripple of Liam’s freezing power over her skin just as she turned towards David. She froze in place, betting that she’d be overlooked due to the fact that the room was full of demons. The Charmed Ones were surprisingly adept in non-magical forms of fighting. Both Liam and Killian relied on nothing more than their fists to save them from the frenzied hands of the possessed. 

The fight was over quickly enough, which Emma was thankful for. She could have held her body like that, unmoving and unblinking, for much longer, but it would’ve been so boring .

The demon ran away like the coward he was. It wasn’t surprising though. Demons who sold powers and possessions were like traveling salesmen; always selling something defected and unnecessary, and disappearing at the first sight of trouble.

As soon as the brothers disappeared after the demon, Emma relaxed and sat back in her seat. Then, she shimmered after the demon herself. 

He hadn’t gotten far, she realized as she materialized in front of him. The Charmed Ones would be here any second. She’d have to make this quick then. She couldn’t let the brothers see her, but she also needed to make sure this low life, demon scum didn’t get away. He’d caused her too much grief for that.

The demon stopped, his jaw dropping and his eyes widening in fear and confusion. “What the hell?”

Emma released a small breath of a laugh and said, “Thanks. I’ll take it from here,” With the barest of effort, set him ablaze.  

Through the red hot flames, she could see the door’s handle on the other side of the room twist. Before it could open, revealing the brothers, Emma shimmered away.

I Killian I

They walked in on a strange sight. The judge screamed before them, then disappeared into nothing as he was vanquished. “Okay,” Will said slowly, “how did that happen?”

“Good question,” Liam looked around the room, seeing if there were any clues. Killian looked at the floor. There were no scorch marks or broken glass. A witch with a potion didn’t do this. Liam’s head snapped back the way they came, “We’re not alone.”

Rushing back to the courtroom, they found nothing amiss. Everyone was still either unconscious or frozen. Something tight in his chest loosened a bit when he laid eyes on Emma’s still form. 

“How are we gonna explain all this?” Will asked, nudging Killian in the side and jerking his chin towards Emma. “To her, I mean.”

Wincing, Killian took a deep breath and said, “I have an idea. Come on, help me move her and David.” Between the three of them, and Tink once Liam unfroze her, they were able to move Emma out of the row and into the aisle, and moved David towards the edge of the row. Grabbing a baton, Killian moved to stand behind Emma and raised his hand. “Sorry love,” he apologized right before landing a blow against her back, sending her straight to the ground.

At the same time Killian dropped the baton, Liam unfroze the room, waking Emma up to a hard floor and a bruised back. She groaned and pushed herself up, “What happened?”

Killian knelt down next to her, “Swan, Swan--you alright, love?” He shook her once, then again when she merely groaned again. David blinked and looked around, confusion obvious in his large round eyes.

“Yeah, I think so.” Emma rolled onto her back then leaned up into a half sitting position. “What happened?”

“Er--” Killian felt his tongue turn heavy in his mouth. He hadn’t thought his plan all the way through.

“Smith went crazy!” Will cut in, his voice a bit too loud to be natural. “He tried to escape and then all the court guards were, ah--on his side, and uh--” he paused, looking at both Liam and Killian for help.

“Thank god for Nolan here,” Killian said, gesturing vaguely at the still dazed David. 

“Saved the day,” Liam added, his tone tight and his eyes strangely fixed onto Emma. Killian frowned at his older brother but then Emma winced and he realized she was trying to stand up. 

Grabbing her by the elbow, Killian helped her to her feet. “What?” She asked, bringing a hand to her head and narrowing her eyes.

“Something good happened Swan,” Killian smiled, making sure to look her in the eye and convey all the sincerity that statement merited. Raising a brow, he challenged, “Can’t you just accept that?”

Bringing her hand down to her neck and kneading the flesh there, Emma raised her brows and laughed, “It’s not really in my nature.”

“Nonsense,” Killian wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, then steered them towards the exit. “Now come on, Swan. Your celebratory drink awaits.” 

Chapter Text

The Jones brothers had had one hell of a week. It had all started with Liam scouring the Book of Shadows for a demon or entity that could’ve vanquished the judge at the courthouse. Then, a few days later when Liam discovered some cloaked demon trying to steal the book, he dove even deeper into its contents in an attempt to figure out who or what was after them. Liam had crammed his nose so far into the book it was a wonder it didn’t become part of the binding. Even Tink couldn’t tear him away for longer than five minutes. 

Will and Killian had just begun discussing their concerns when a portal had thrown the three brothers into the past, forcing Liam to focus on the present. Well, sort of. At any rate, they’d helped a man rescue his pregnant wife, delivered the baby, and discovered the baby boy was their ancestor, Stede Bonnet. 

After that surprisingly heartwarming adventure to the past, things in the Jones house had settled down some. Everything seemed to return to normal, or as normal as it ever really got for the Charmed Ones. Will was able to catch up on some of his school work, Liam and Tink had been trying out new recipes for the pub, and Killian had acquired Emma’s number. For a while, it was almost like they were just normal men.

Until Liam decided to ruin it all by being the perfect witch that he was. “Look at this,” he said one morning in the kitchen, as Will ate his breakfast cereal and Killian read the newspaper. Liam dropped the book atop the table, the weight of it causing a loud bang to reverberate through the room and the table to shake. Will’s honey-nut loops splattered out of the bowl and into his lap.

“Thanks,” Will grabbed at some napkins to sop up the mess.

“Look,” Liam said again, pointing at the page he’d opened the book to. “The Firestarter, an extremely rare and coveted magical creature. I’ll bet you guys anything this is what we saw at the courthouse.”

Killian kept reading from where he sat, noticing Liam had left a lot out. Will leaned back in his seat and asked, “What makes you so sure? We’ve seen demons burn others before. Even the judge could throw fireballs. Not powerful ones,” he shrugged, “but still.”

“It’s more of a gut feeling than anything else, but my instincts have never been wrong before.”

“Hold on,” Killian stood up to get a closer look at the text, “this says Firestarters are mortal, that they can be good or evil.” He looked between both brothers, “If it is a Firestarter, maybe they were there to help.”

Will picked his spoon back up, but before taking a bite he asked, “Then why didn’t they stick around and say so?”

“Will has a point, and look at this,” Liam pointed to the bottom of the text, “they’re usually bodyguards of the Source. That’s what caught my attention.” Liam’s eyes were wide and bright, his back perfect straight as he laid out his theory, “What if the Source sent his bodyguard to attack us?  If they’re mortal then they could be anyone.” His eyes flashed towards Killian, then quickly away.

“But then why would they help us?” Killian asked, reaching for the book, “Why not just--” As soon as his fingers touched the ancient page Killian’s breath left his lungs and his eyes fluttered to a close.

A woman slept soundly in her hospital bed, her short dark hair a sharp contrast against her pale white skin. There was a slight sheen of sweat over her brow. She looked tired, but happy. Glowing, almost. 

Killian recognized the woman easily enough, having become very acquainted with her through her husband. It was Mary Margaret.

Beside Mary Margaret, in a small plastic crib, was a new born baby. She was wrapped in what looked to be a hand knitted blanket. There was something embroidered on the side of it, but Killian couldn’t quite make it out. The baby was so small, her fingers no longer than an inch at the most. Her big eyes were open, taking in her new world. 

Then a shadow fell over her. The baby raised her hands and began to fuss, but soon a woman appeared and cooed at the baby to quiet her.

Killian knew at once this woman didn’t belong in the room, and that she wasn’t mortal. Her long black hair was pinned up with feathers and her floor length dress glittered with its many diamonds. She reached for the baby, a wicked smile pulling at her lips. The demon woman looked over to the still sleeping Mary Margaret and said, "Fair's fair."

Then she and the baby disappeared.

With a gasp and a shudder, Killian was brought back to the present. 

"Killian?" Liam asked, placing a steadying hand on his younger brother's shoulder.

"I think," Killian paused and looked down at the page before him, "I think I just saw a demon kidnap Nolan's daughter."

Liam frowned, "What does that have to do with the Firestarter?"

Shaking his head, Killian said, "No bloody idea."

After that Will threw his empty bowl into the sink and headed up to his room to get dressed while Killian and Liam perused the book. They hoped to identify the demon that stole the Nolan baby, but the Book of Shadows was hardly considered a light read, and not every description came with an illustration. 

Feeling a kink developing in his neck, Killian sighed and called it, "I need a break."

Liam didn't move, but he did release a low hum of acknowledgement. Watching him for a second longer, Killian wished he had half his drive and perseverance.

"I'll go check the mail." The newspaper on their street was always delivered at the same time every morning, but the mail time always fluctuated. Sometimes their mailman, Verne, started on their street and they received it about the same time as the paper, but sometimes he'd start on the other side of his route or a few streets in, depending on his load or where he'd be going after his shift. 

Killian opened the front door and found a long white box on their stoop. There was no other mail, just the box. He picked it up and found a small note taped to it.

“Will, mate,” Killian called from the foyer, looking down at the box in his hands. “You’ve got a package. Flowers I think.”

“Flowers?” Will repeated as he came down the stairs fully dressed. “From who?”

Killian shrugged and placed the box on a table, “Maybe that lad you went on a date with last weekend. Or were supposed to at least.” Killian winced as he remembered how Will had had to call the date off due to some minor demon activity.

“Peter? That’s weird,” Will took off the box’s lid, “we’re gonna meet up tonight so maybe--ugh! What the hell?”

Covering his nose at the foul stench, Killian looked down at the withering petals and wriggling mealworms. Truly it was more shocking than anything. Who would do this? Throwing the lid back on, Killian grabbed the box and bee-lined it straight for the front door. “What the bloody hell,” he muttered as he threw the contents into the bushes. 

Looking back at his younger brother, he asked, “You piss someone off lately?”

Eyes as wide as saucers, Will shook his head, “Not like that! You sure it was from Peter?”

“It didn’t say, maybe it was a prank?”

Will’s brows rose, “You think?”

Heading towards the bathroom to wash his hands--he didn’t touch anything, but his skin suddenly felt like something was crawling over him--he asked over his shoulder, “You in a prank war with anyone?”

“What’s all this then?” Liam asked, peeking his head out from the kitchen. 

“Will received a box of bugs,” Killian said loudly over the running water. “Don’t worry, they didn’t get on anything.”

“A box of bugs?” Liam frowned, “Do you think it could’ve been a demon?”

Will snorted, “What demon sends flowers?”

“I don’t know, I’ll check the book.” And off he went, back the way he came to bury his nose in the old familiar pages.

After drying his hands, Killian shook his head and sighed, “So much for that. He’s worse than before.”

“You think we should talk to him about it? Or Tink?”

“You make it sound like he needs an intervention.” Will lowered his gaze and raised a brow. Killian pursed his lips, “Hey, it’s Liam. He knows what he’s doing.”

“Right,” Will said slowly. “I’m going to call Peter.”

“I’ll be at the pub!” Killian said before heading out the door. The pub wouldn’t be open to the public for a few more hours at least, but at least there he could be productive--and hopefully remain bug free. 

There were only two other workers there, August, the assistant manager, and Walter, the dozy man who acted as a daytime security guard. “Walter,” he greeted, patting the older man on the shoulder and jerking him awake.

Walter’s eyes bulged and his surprised gasp turned into a stuttered snort, “Ah, wha--what? Oh, hi Killian.”

“You’re here early,” August said by way of greeting. He jerked his chin towards the pub’s entrance behind Killian, “You alone?”

“Aye,” Killian took a seat at the bar and grabbed a cleaning rag and a glass. “Liam’s doing some research back at the house and Will has class.”

August nodded and looked back down at his book, “Is Liam gonna come by soon? I have some questions,” he tapped his pencil against the book’s pages, “about last month’s numbers.”

Grabbing another glass, Killian said, “Not sure. He’s been a bit, ah--” he froze and realized he’d been about to say distracted. “Focused lately.”

“Right, right.” August sighed and pushed the book away. He grabbed his own rag and began to clean alongside Killian.

“How’s that book of yours coming?” Killian asked after several moments of silence. Well, save for Walter’s snores, which started up again not long after Killian had taken his seat. “It’s a mystery, right?”

“Oh yeah,” August huffed out a laugh, “I hit a bit of writer’s block.”

“Ah, sorry mate.”

August shrugged, “Don’t worry about it. Whenever something like this happens I have a foolproof plan to fix it.”

Grinning, Killian focused on a particularly difficult smudge, “Aye? And what’s that?”

Placing his clean glass to the side, August looked Killian straight in the eye and answered, “I get a change of perspective.”

They continued on like that until it was time for the pub to open. Walter’s relief, a tall woman named Ruby, came and took over checking ID’s and making sure drunks got into cabs and not their own cars. Liam did eventually show up to check on things, disappearing to the back room with August almost immediately. The assistant manager left soon after, and Killian took over his shift as bartender. Tink made an appearance as well, arriving later on in the evening. 

For a small period of time, everything seemed normal. That should have tipped Killian off that something was wrong.

Not long after Ashley, a sweet, quiet girl with short blond hair, arrived and started serving patrons, Killian received a call. “Hey Will.”

“Hey Killian,” Will’s voice sounded strange, almost shaky.

“You alright, mate?”

“Yeah! Or, ah, no. Well,” Killian’s brows furrowed. The pub with its crowds had become too loud for a phone conversation, so he moved to the back office. “I just--can you and Liam come home? I think we were robbed.”

“What?” Killian’s brows shot up. Of all the things he’d expected his brother to say, it wasn’t that.

“Well no, I know we were robbed. Just,” Will sighed, “can you bring Liam home, please?”

Not needing to hear more, Killian grabbed Tink and Liam and after a rushed explanation, told Tink to orb them home.

The front door was open when they arrived. Tink and Liam rushed in to find Will and David talking in the living room. “Oh, Will!” Tink’s hands cupped Liam’s face, “You’re shaking. Here,” she pulled the blanket on the back of the couch over his shoulder. “I’ll go make you some hot coco. Don’t move.”

Killian picked up a piece of broken mirror and sighed. Looking around he took stock of their home; tables were overturned, the sofa’s stuffing had been ripped out, and Will’s plants laid scattered everywhere. Killian could only imagine what destruction awaited him in the rest of the house. 

Tink returned and handed Will a mug, “Blow on it first.” She looked at Liam and said, “I’m going to check in with the Elders, see if they know anything.”

“Don’t take too long,” Liam said, kissing her on the cheek. Tink nodded before disappearing in a blur of white light.

“Did you notice anything about the intruder?” David asked Will, “Anything to help identify him?”

Will shook his head, “No, it was dark--all the lights were out.”

“Well there’s no sign of forced entry--”

“There wouldn’t be if it was a demon, would there?” Liam leaned against the fireplace. His jaw was so tight Killian could practically hear the grinding of his teeth. 

Killian kicked away a piece of a vase, “Demons don’t usually vandalize.”

Liam opened his mouth to retort, no doubt about to list off several demons who did, indeed, vandalize homes, but David quickly asked, “Do you notice anything missing? Clothes, jewelry, household items?”

“No,” Killian shook his head, “but it’s a bit hard to tell at the moment.”

“All right, well we were able to lift some fingerprints and we’ll start running them tomorrow morning. What I want you guys to do is make up a list of enemies who may have a reason to do this.”

“Already done,” Liam pulled out a folded piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it to the detective. 

Unfolding the list, David released a heavy sigh as he read its contents, “Grimlocks, Abraxas, Guardians--are there any humans on the list?”

Shrugging, Liam simply said, “Humans aren’t our problem, mate.”

“Demons don’t leave fingertips,” Will pointed out before taking a sip of his coco, steadfastly ignoring Liam’s glare.  

“Look,” Killian quickly intercepted what he felt was an argument in the making. “We’ll make two lists. One for us and one for Nolan. That way all sides are covered.”

“I’m telling you this is a waste of time. It’s always a demon.” Liam ran a hand down his face, “Every second we waste making up a list is another that gives the demon a chance to attack.”

Killian sighed. Liam was usually right, and his argument here was sound, but his stubbornness with the list and his fixation on demons was growing to be a bit much. Especially for Will. The youngest Jones brother didn’t know the eldest like Killian did. They’d been together through thick and thin, and whatever Liam did, he did it for them. He was protective by nature, but sometimes that protectiveness could come off as smothering. 

“You’re not always right, you know,” Will snapped, glaring into his mug. “Think about the flowers I got this morning. What demons does that?.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” David looked between Liam and Will, his hands up as if to keep them apart even though neither had moved an inch. “What’s this about flowers?”

“Someone sent me some dead flowers with bugs on them,” Will took another sip of his coco. “Killian found them on the doorstep with my name on them.”

“Aye,” Killian added, “there was no signature on it.”

“Will,” Liam sighed, “you’re one of the nicest kids out there. Who would want to hurt you? The flowers were just a prank.”

David ignored Liam’s words and continued on with his questions, “Do you have any idea who might have sent them? Anyone you might have slighted lately?”

Shrugging, Will pulled his blanket closer around him, “No. Not that badly anyway.”

“Even the slightest thing can set these types of people off. Believe me.” David rubbed at the crease between his brows, “Stalkers don’t need much.”

“What about Peter?” Killian asked, looking at his younger brother with his head tilted. “Didn’t you stand him up the other night?”

Will fidgeted, “Yeah, but,” he paused, thinking of the right words to use, “Peter’s not that type of person.”

“You never know,” David said solemnly. “Now, let’s talk about security. You guys have none.”

Liam rolled his eyes and pushed off from the mantle, “We don’t need security. We’re witches.”

Killian watched as his brother headed towards the kitchen. It was a wonder that Liam seemed more frustrated with the detective and his questions than the fact that their house had been broken into. He supposed that’s why he was so much better at this witch business than himself, Liam was never frazzled by the supernatural.

“Witches should still have alarm systems!” David called after him, his brows furrowed. Shaking his head, he said, “You guys should at least lock the door.”

“I lock the door,” Will said, almost pitifully as he shrank even further into his blanket.

Killian winced, “I sometimes do.” Honestly, it was a miracle he remembered to close it sometimes. 

“And I lock the attic door,” Liam had returned with a glass of water in his hand. Three pairs of eyes turned to look at him curiously. “What?” He asked, “that’s where we keep the Book of Shadows. And after that demon almost got its hand on it I thought we should add the extra layer of protection.”

“You’ll lock a door for a book’s safety,” David started, his voice dry and tired, “but not your own?”

“We can handle ourselves.”

“Right,” David shook his head and took a few steps towards the door, “well I’ll keep you updated on what we find.”

Under his breath, so low only Killian could hear, Liam muttered, “Which will be nothing.”

David opened the door to leave, and found his partner on the other side. Emma took a step back, surprised by the sudden movement but recovered quickly, standing aside to let him pass. 

“Emma!” Killian’s brows rose up high at her appearance. Behind him, Liam released a low hum as he sipped his water before walking back into the kitchen. “What are you doing here? Come in, come in.” He waved her in, quickly meeting her halfway in the foyer. 

“I heard about the break in,” Emma’s frown was deeper than usual. She stepped further into the home as she took in the damage and her eyes widened when she noticed Will on the couch. Turning her focus back onto Killian she added, “I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

Killian nodded dumbly, completely awestruck that Emma was standing before him. “Aye, we’re all alright.”

“Is Will--”

“He’s fine too,” Killian quickly assured her, wincing as he also took in his younger brother’s pale face. He must’ve been more tired than Killian first thought. “I should probably help him up to bed though, but,” he paused, raising a brow at her, his lips curling into a grin “were you worried about me, Swan?

“Maybe,” Emma allowed herself a small step forward, then her eyes flashed over his shoulder and she raised her chin. “I should go though.” She took a big step back and looked down at her feet, her blond hair falling over her shoulders. “You guys need your rest.” Glancing up at him through her lashes she asked, “Call me tomorrow?”

Killian’s heart stuttered in his chest and for a moment he forgot how to breathe. “Of course,” he finally said, his lips stretching into a wide smile as he showed her out. “Good night, Swan.”

Emma smiled over her shoulder, “Good night, Killian.”

Chapter Text

While everyone’s attention was on Will or the broken wreck of their home, it was almost too easy for the demon to slip out the front door undetected. If Emma hadn’t been facing that direction, she would have missed it too. Cutting her conversation with Killian short, she quickly followed the invisible being out onto the front patio. 

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” she called, her voice barely more than a whisper. “I know you’re here Glass.”

One minute there was nothing, and then suddenly a tall, light skinned man was standing before her. “Hello Emma. Fancy meeting you here.”

Tilting her head to the side, Emma raised a brow, “What are you doing here Glass? This is my gig.”

“You sure about that?” Sidney Glass frowned as he began to circle her. The creases beside his mouth deepened, making his face look too long to be human. “Because I hear that the Source grows tired of waiting. He wants results.”

“And he’ll get them,” Emma tried to hide the annoyance in her voice, but from the look Glass gave her, she wasn’t successful. “I’m close.”

Glass laughed and stopped his shark-like behavior. His shoes clicked as he snapped his heels together before her. “No,” he sighed, “you’re not. You’re distracted.”

Snarling, Emma stepped closer to get into his face, “Watch it, Sidney, or I swear, you get in my way again--”

“And what?” Glass smirked before his form disappeared. Emma bared her teeth at the darkness, her eyes snapping this way and that, trying to figure out where he went. “You can’t fight what you can’t see, Emma.”

After a moment of silence, Emma determined he’d left and shimmered down to the Underworld. Her destination wasn’t her little hole in the wall though, this time it was the Source’s chambers. Emma’s skin was hot with her anger and she felt the urge to tear something apart with her bare teeth. She was the Source’s most trusted bodyguard. She was his Firestarter. She wouldn’t be sidelined by some second rate demon who’s only skills were invisibility and pure gall. 

When she arrived in the dark and stony chamber, the Source wasn’t alone. Baelfire sat in one corner, picking at a few pieces of cooked meat left over on the room’s table. He looked up at her arrival, then narrowed his eyes when he registered her anger. 

The source sat before his spinning wheel. He was participating in his usual past time of turning straw into gold. When she was a child, growing up at his side, she’d loved watching him do it. It was a beautifully elegant process, and a surprisingly delicate hobby for someone as powerful and brutal as the Source. 

Today though she was two seconds away from turning the spinning wheel into a pile of tinder. “Master.” She kept her fisted hands at her sides, her fingernails digging into the skin of her palms. 

The Source made a low noise of acknowledgment but didn’t raise his gaze from his task. “What is it, dearie?” His voice was deceptively low and calm as he noted, “You look quite heated.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about Glass?” Her mouth pulled down into a scowl but the rest of her remained frozen. No matter how mad she was, she knew the Source’s demeanor could change at any moment. One false step and he’d rip out her heart. He’d probably hand it over to Baelfire too, as a snack.

“Hmm? Oh yes,” he blinked, then looked up at her. His big yellow eyes honed in on her and his shiny green lips pulled back into a smile. “Because I didn’t want to.”

Baelfire snorted, but quickly averted his eyes when Emma turned her head to glare at him. Taking a deep breath, Emma tried to cool the raging fire in her head. She felt like a volcano about to erupt. “I don’t need his help,” she bit out. “My plan is working. If you just give me more time--”

“Two months is quite a bit of time already, don’tchya think?” The Source asked, his nose scrunching up as he spoke his quick words. 

“Other demons have had two years and I don’t even get two months? That’s bullshit!”

“Nah-nah-nah!” The Source wagged his finger at her and bared his teeth in a challenging sort of smile. “Two months with all the knowledge of those who came before you. It’s been too long and I want them dead.” The Source shook his head, his shoulder length wavy hair barely moving as he did so. He stood up and straightened his tailed jacket. “The Seer assured me that Glass would come in handy. How, I don’t care. Now get to it girlie!” He titled his head to the side and gave a theatrical flourish with his hands, “Those Charmed Ones aren’t going to destroy themselves!”

He disappeared in a wall of flames. 

“Aww, don’t look so grumpy, Emma,” Baelfire smirked at her from where he sat in the corner. “Dad’s just messing with you.”

“Don’t you start!” She snapped, placing her hands on her hips and giving him an unimpressed look. “I know you broke into the Jones house last week. What the hell did you think you were doing?”

Shrugging, Baelfire sighed, “I was curious. Wanted to see if I could get my hands on that book of theirs.” Tsking, he looked away and added, “Couldn’t even touch the damned thing.”

Emma shook her head and moved on, “Why Glass? He’s just going to be a nuisance. I don’t have time for this.”

Lazily tossing a piece of meat her way, Baelfire rolled his eyes, “Relax! Just get rid of him if he annoys you so much. No one would even notice if he were gone.”

Dragging a hand down her face, she pointed out the obvious, “He can turn invisible. Makes it kind of hard to hurt him.”

“Hard,” Baelfire leaned forward, resting his forearms on his legs, “but not impossible. Have you ever heard of ectoplasmic biochemistry?”

“What?” Emma shook her head, exasperated at his question. What kind of question even was that anyway?

Baelfire laughed, “Thought not. It means that Glass doesn’t like the cold. It makes him visible.” He leaned back and smirked, “Too bad he doesn’t have the nerve endings to warn him when the temperature takes a dip.”

Emma stared at him long and hard. He didn’t flinch, didn’t blink. He was telling the truth. Running her tongue across the edge of her teeth, Emma hatched a plan.

The next day, Emma watched the Jones manor until the sun set and the three brothers all left the house together. Liam and Will were bickering about something, but Emma was too far away to hear. She made a mental note of it though. Bickering led to fights, and fights led to destruction. 

When the Charmed Ones finally pulled out of the driveway, Emma left her little corner and walked straight up to the front door. Liam had been the last one to leave the house, and according to David’s official notes that meant-- “Aha,” Emma hummed as she easily turned the door’s handle and found no resistance. 

Leaving the door open behind her, Emma sauntered over to the thermostat and turned on the air conditioning. The night was supposed to be a cold one, the coldest of the year so far in fact. Emma made sure to turn the thermostat as low as it would go, and then moved to the parlor. Room after room she went, opening every window she came across to let in the chilly night wind. 

She went through the second floor next, then made her way up to the attic. This door, unlike the one before it, was locked. Emma rolled her eyes before shimmering to the other side. Unlocking the door, she opened it and set her sights on the large bay windows just past the Book of Shadows.

Emma eyed the relic on her way, wondering how many demons were listed in it. Was she? Shaking her head, she walked past it and opened the windows, taking a second to appreciate the cool breeze on her still hot skin. Even after her talk with Baelfire she still felt out of control. She’d see the Seer tonight, she decided. A vial of tonic always helped and she needed more anyway. 

Turning around, Emma thought about what she’d do next. Take some tonic, obviously, but maybe after she’d pop in on Killian at the pub. He’d probably love that. Flirting with him was like walking a fine line. She couldn’t be too accessible or else he’d grow bored, but too standoffish and he’d give up. Emma needed to find a way to capitalize on the discontent she’d witnessed between Liam and Will earlier. Killian would know what they were arguing about, she mused, it’d be easy enough to find that information out from him. 

But first, Emma shook her head, she had to take care of Glass. Heading back the way she came, Emma once again found herself staring at the Book of Shadows. Her heart pounded in her chest and something in the back of her mind whispered for her to reach out and touch its pages. Stepping closer, her fingers itched to do so. Baelfire was a demon--well, half anyway--maybe since she was human she could--

She took another step and felt a strike of lightning wrap itself around her neck, then her vision turned dark.

I Killian I

“It worked!” Liam yelled, his voice muffled by the live band’s instruments. Had it not been for the fact that his elbow jammed itself into Killian’s drink, spilling it all over the bar, Killian probably wouldn’t have noticed anything.  

Accepting the clean hand towel from August, Killian began sopping up the liquid and asked, “What worked?”

“The crystal!” He stood up and grabbed Killian by the back of his neck, “We have to go. Will!” 

After grabbing the youngest Jones brother--ripping him away from his date in the process--the three of them were on their way back to the manor. Before they had initially left for the evening Liam had confessed he’d created a sort of demon trap in case anyone tried to steal the Book of Shadows again. Will had thought he’d lost his mind, stating it was dangerous and likely to kill someone. Liam, as sure as ever, disagreed, stating that since the attic door was locked, only a demon could get in and be trapped. 

Well, Killian thought as they rolled up to their house and found the front door wide open, they were about to find out which brother was right.

As soon as they walked in, Killian cursed, “Blood hell.” It was freezing! Worse even than outside. He made his way over to the thermostat, “Who turned the bloody AC on?”

“Probably the same person who opened all the windows,” Will snipped, rubbing his hands up and down his arms. “What demon does this, huh, Liam?”

“Come on!” Liam said in a rush, taking the stairs at a run. “We’re about to find out.”

Killian followed next, racing up the stairs right behind his brother. Maybe there was a demon who liked it better cold, or maybe this time it was a demon and a human after them, or--”Emma!”

The door to the attic was wide open and laying on the floor, unconscious and surrounded by crystals was his Swan. He lunged forward, but was yanked back by Liam. “Killian, wait--”

“Get off,” he pulled himself free, “she’s hurt!” Falling to his knees at her side, Killian carefully rolled her onto her back and checked her pulse. “Swan? Swan, can you hear me?”  

She grumbled something incoherent. Her eyelids fluttered, but didn’t open. “Killian?” She murmured, her head rolling towards his direction.

Killian pressed his hand to her cheek, rubbing his thumb against her cheek bone. “Shh, Swan, it’s alright. I’m here.”  Killian realized his hand was shaking and tried to keep it steady. “Can you open your eyes for me Swan?”

Green eyes flickered open, first focusing on him and then all around as she took in her surroundings, “What--”

“What are you doing here?” Liam asked, his voice rough and his hands up, ready to use his power. 

“I was,” Emma tried to sit up, but then her eyes rolled back into her head. 

“Here, Swan,” Killian shushed her again and pulled her head into his lap. “Take it slow.”

Emma looked up at him, her skin pale but her eyes bright. Quietly, just for his ears, she said, “Thank you.” Killian’s heart stuttered against his rib cage and the ability to breathe escaped him. 

After another moment, Emma kept her eyes on Killian but she started to speak. “I was coming by to check on you. I saw,” she took a moment to swallow thickly, “I saw the door open so I came--”

“You came to check on us,” he finished, looking towards Liam with a glare. Once Swan was safe and home he’d be having words with his older brother. His demon trap very nearly killed her!

Liam’s jaw tightened and he raised a brow in silent response, not a hint of apology in his eyes. It made Killian want to vomit with frustration. 

Shaking her head, Emma sat up and asked, “What happened?”  The color was returning to her cheeks, but Killian still made sure to keep a hand on her elbow as she rose to her feet. Emma looked at the ground and pointed to the crystals, “What’s that ?”

Will sputtered, and stared at the crystals with his mouth agape. Killian could see him trying to come up with something--anything--that would explain what had happened, but absolutely nothing was coming to him. Killian felt the same. How were they supposed to explain how a few crystals electrocuted someone? Bloody hell, Killian thought, he wanted to strangle Liam right now.

“It’s a trap,” Liam said plainly, folding his arms over his chest and starring Emma right in the eye. Feeling his own jaw drop, Killian felt his stomach drop down to the floor. What the bloody hell ?

“A trap,” Emma said slowly, her brows raising higher than Killian had ever seen. “For what?”

When no one, not even Liam, answered her, Emma shook her head and headed for the door, “I’m out of here.”

“Swan!” Killian called after her, glaring at his older brother as he went. Emma sure was quick though, and by the time he was properly able to catch up to her they were almost on the first floor again. “Swan, I am so sorry. Please forgive us.”

Emma merely snorted in response, so Killian continued, “Liam’s just been on edge lately, since the break in--”

“Like hell I have,” Liam snapped, his eyes alight with an indignant fire. Killian slapped his hands to his head, at a loss for words. He didn’t understand Liam right now, didn’t understand why he was just making everything worse when he was usually the one making things better.

“Do you know,” Emma spun around and pointed an accusatory finger at Liam, “that your trap is the equivalent of having a loaded shotgun with a trip wire behind your front door? That’s illegal!” Her voice rose with her anger. “I’m a detective, I could have you arrested!”

“Someone--someone turned on the air conditioning!” Will said suddenly, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “Why,” he said slowly, “would someone do that?”

Emma looked at him like he grew a third head, “I don’t know, and right now I really don’t care.”

Liam watched, stony faced, as Emma turned and stormed out of the house. Killian turned to follow her, then paused and looked back at Liam, “Bad form, brother.”

“Swan, Swan please,” he caught her arm before she made it to the patio steps. “Emma,” that got her to pause and turn around. She kept her eyes averted but didn’t pull her hand away. “Look, Emma,” he sighed, “I am so, so sorry. Liam, he’s--well he’s been under a lot of pressure lately and--”

“Stop,” Emma shook her head and raised her eyes. “I’m just,” she paused, then gave his hand a small squeeze, “I’m glad it wasn’t you who did this to me.”

“Never Swan,” bringing her hand up to his mouth, Killian pressed a kiss to his knuckle. “I would never hurt you.”

I Emma I

Emma never thought that being hit with lightning could feel so good, but as soon as she had woken up she felt . . . different. Her mind was clear and she no longer felt like she was on fire. Something inside her felt settled, too, as if something had been knocked back into place. Something was different about Killian, too. She wasn’t sure what just yet, but when he’d kept her from falling back onto the floor, and how he’d cradled her in his lap so tenderly, like she was something precious, it had made her warm inside. Not hot, like she was boiling over, like she was used to, but warm. 

She didn’t give herself any time to reflect on that, though, because Liam was onto her and Glass was due to arrive. After assuring Killian that she was fine to drive home, Emma shimmered back down to her hovel in the Underworld. 

When she appeared next to her bed, she found someone sitting on it. “Hello dear,” the Seer greeted. Her red lips were stretched out into a fake smile, one Emma was all too familiar with. “Long time no see.”

“Regina,” Emma nodded her head in greeting. Pulling off her leather jacket, she asked, “What brings you here?”

“Your tonic, of course,” Regina motioned towards a chest at the end of the bed. “You were due for a refill, yes?”

Emma starred at the chest. She’d just been thinking of restocking her supplies earlier in the evening and somehow had already forgotten all about it. Shaking it off as a side effect of Liam’s demon trap, she said, “I am. Thank you.”

Standing up, Regina straightened her skirts and looked around the room, sneering at the overall dust and disarray. “I see you’ve been busy. How has your task been going?”

“It’d be going better if you hadn’t involved Glass.”

“Oh him?” Regina chuckled. She walked over to the chest and opened it, plucking out a single vial. “Worry not, dear. He’s dead.”

Emma’s brows rose, “Already?”

“Hmm, it seemed the Charmed Ones work quickly. They caught him in some trap and when he was about to spill the beans about you, well,” she looked at Emma over her shoulder and smiled wide, showing off her large white teeth, “Rumple had to end him.”

For a moment Emma wondered what Glass had done to piss the Seer off so badly that she’d set him up to die. With a start, Emma realized she almost felt bad for him.

“Are you sure you’re quite well, dear?” Regina turned to fully look at her, her brows furrowed and her lips pulled into a frown. “Headaches again? Well, no matter, a bit of tonic will take care of all that. Here,” she pressed the glass vial into Emma’s hands. “Good luck.” And with that she was gone.

Emma stared down at the small vial. The tonic was something she’d taken everyday for as long as she remembered. The Seer made it special for her, to keep her powers strong but under control, and to keep her head from boiling over. But for the first time in her entire memory, Emma felt wrong even just holding it. Something in the back of her mind made her hesitate. 

Uncorking the vial, Emma turned it over and watched as the amber liquid inside spilled out onto the floor.


Chapter Text

Killian closed one eye and aimed the other at the small red circle on the dart board before him. He lined up his shot, pulled his arm back, then fired.

The dart hit just outside the bullseye.

“Tough luck there, mate,” Liam laughed from where he sat in the back corner of the bar as he reviewed his ledger book. 

Normally, reviewing the pub’s accounts would fall under the assistant manager’s job, but August had called in sick for the day. It was only fair, Killian had thought even when Liam had grumbled. The two of them had called in at the last minute multiple times due to demon activities. At least August had had the good enough timing to call in when nothing supernatural was happening. If he had pulled this last week, when Liam had been obsessed with the Firestarter, their house had been ransacked, and a demon that turned invisible tried to stab Liam in the back, then maybe Killian would’ve been a bit more peeved at the man’s absence. However, this week had been a total one-eighty from the last, so he hardly minded picking up the extra shift. 

Rolling his eyes, Killian walked up to the dart board and pulled the dart free. “It still hit the target, didn’t it?”

Liam hummed but his focus was back on his book. Or, at least, that’s what Killian thought. “Don’t you think it’s strange?” Liam asked.

“Not really,” Killian closed one eye again and took aim, “darts never really was my game.” He threw the dart again, hitting the exact same spot as before. 

“Not that,” Liam shook his head. “The fact that the only reason we were able to see that demon--Glass--was because someone had opened all the windows and turned on the air conditioning?”

Sighing, Killian placed his hands on his hips and replied, “I like to think of it more as serendipitous.” It’s true, the only reason Liam had seen the demon’s attack coming was because the house had been so cold, which apparently was Glass’s weakness, but who would have set him up like that? It had to be a coincidence. 

“And what about the flowers Will got?” Liam acted like he hadn’t heard Killian. He sat back in his chair, running a hand through his hair. “And how does the Firestarter fit into all of this? We have to be missing something.”

“You’re overthinking this, mate.” Killian didn’t know what else to say. “Besides,” he offered, “You yourself said those flowers were just a prank.”

Liam hummed noncommittally. Had Killian thought it was strange that none of Will’s friends had owned up to the prank? Yes, but maybe they just felt they’d gone too far and regretted it. Killian turned back to his game, not wanting to indulge Liam’s obsession any more than he already had. 

Although Liam might have been correct about there being a demon after them, and although his crystals had been imperative in trapping Glass and questioning him--as much as they could question him, anyway, before he’d been engulfed in a pillar of hellfire--Liam had crossed a line when it came to his pursuit of evil. Emma had been caught in the crossfire and could’ve died. It had caused the two brothers to come as close to fighting as they ever had. Eventually Killian and Will succeeded in getting through to him and convinced him to apologize to the detective, which helped ease the tensions a bit in the house.

“Have you heard from Will today?”

Killian’s brows shot up, surprised to hear a normal question come out of Liam’s mouth. Looking at the clock on his phone, Killian said, “No, he was gone before I woke up this morning. Maybe he had an early class.”

Liam grunted, “I don’t think he does on Fridays. Don’t you remember him boasting about his three day weekends when he planned his classes for the semester?”

Frowning, Killian nodded, “Aye. Maybe he was meeting up with friends or wanted to get some extra studying in.” Even as he said it, Killian knew it wasn’t true. Liam loved sleeping in whenever he could. Nothing short of a demonic attack could get him out of bed before nine. “Maybe we should give him a call.”

“Aye,” Liam pulled out his phone and was about to call but was distracted by a knock to the front door.

Liam frowned, but got up to open the door. For a second Killian thought it might be Will, but then realized he’d have come through the back like they always did.

“Detective,” Liam greeted, genuine surprise in his tone. “What are you--I mean, how can I help you.”

“Is Killian here?” Emma’s voice carried past Liam all the way to Killian’s ears, making his back straighten.

Liam moved aside, “Right over there.”

Emma walked in, her hands shoved in her coat’s pockets and a small smile on her lips. “Hey,” she greeted.

“Hello Swan,” Killian smirked. “It’s a bit early for a drink, wouldn’t you say?”

Huffing out a laugh, Emma tilted her head down in an attempt to hide the widening of her smile. Killian’s chest burned with pride, knowing he had an effect on her. “No,” she said, looking up at him through her lashes, “actually I wanted to talk to you.” She hesitated, then looked back over her shoulder towards Liam.

Clearing his throat, Liam held up his phone and said, “I’ll just ahh--I’ll be in the back.”

Once his brother disappeared into his office, closing the door behind him, Killian took a step closer to Emma and brushed his hand against hers. “Well, Swan?” 

When her own fingers reached out and twined with his, Killian felt his lips pulling into a wide smile. After moistening her bottom lip with her tongue, Emma said, “I’m here to ask you on a date tonight. For dinner.”

Killian’s legs felt like jello. If he were a weaker man he might’ve stumbled from the shock of it all. Killian raised a brow, “Shouldn’t I be the one asking you that?”

Scrunching her nose, Emma rolled her eyes, “I should’ve known you’d be old fashioned.” She looked directly into his eyes and dazzled him with her smile. “You’ll probably want to wear your Navy uniform like some cheesy movie.”

“Not so old fashioned, Swan,” Killian placed a hand on her hip, curling a finger into one of her belt loops. “As for my uniform, I believe I burned it the day I was discharged.”

“Ah yes,” Emma placed her hand on his chest and focused her gaze on one of his buttons, “that dishonorable discharge. I forgot you were a bit of a bad boy.”

Grinning, Killian told her, “You have no idea.”

Stepping even closer, so that their noses were almost touching, Emma whispered, “I’d like to find out.”

“Killian,” Liam’s voice felt like someone had thrown a bucket of water on top of him. Emma quickly took a step back and schooled her face back into its usual frown. 

“I’ve got to get going,” Emma said, looking awkwardly between Killian and Liam. “I’ll pick you up tonight around seven?”

“On one exception,” he bit down on his lower lip, going out on a limb as he continued, “allow me to plan the evening.”

Emma’s green eyes honed in on his blue ones. There was a spark of mischief behind them as she said, “I know how to plan a date.”

“You know how to catch bad guys, Swan,” Killian raised a challenging brow. He didn’t know where all this playfulness was coming from, on her end or his, but he was enjoying it all immensely. “I know how to plan an evening out.”

“Fine,” she said, trying to smother a smile. Eyes flashing over to Liam again, she frowned slightly before saying, “I’ll see you then.”

Once Swan left the pub, Killian looked over and found his brother glaring at the door. “You still don’t trust her, do you?”

“I don’t,” Liam said bluntly, then noticed the look on his younger brother’s face and added quickly, “really know her. Do you?”

Killian shrugged, “Not as much as I’d like to.” He looked down at the floor to hide how hot his cheeks had become. After a long, deep breath, he asked, “Any luck?”

“No,” Liam shook his head, “it went to voicemail. I think we should head home, maybe scry for him.” He pursued his lips, “I just have a bad feeling.”

Killian nodded and pulled out his own phone, “I’ll try again on our way.” He pulled up Will’s contact, but before he could hit the call button, a premonition took him.

Will stood in the kitchen, his eyes swollen and unfocused. His chest rose and fell drastically, as if he’d been running. 

Someone wearing a dark hoodie appeared behind him, the gun in his hand glinting against the sunlight. The figure pulled the trigger, the blast from it was deafening. Will sucked in a sharp breath, then fell to the ground.

Blinking rapidly as he regained his sight, Killian didn’t wait for Liam to ask what he’d seen, “We need to get home--now!”

As they sped home, Liam driving well above the legal limit, Killian explained what he saw. It definitely wasn’t a demon in his vision. He didn’t understand it though. Why didn’t Will just orb away?  Did it have to do with the state of his eyes? Killian had never thought about the physical limits of Will’s powers before. He’d assumed his little brother could perform them blind, but thinking on it now, as his heart raced in his chest and sweat dripped down the back of his neck, he realized he’d never seen Will orb something to or from him without looking at where he was aiming.

Screeching the car to a halt on the curb in front of the house, the two brothers hauled ass into the manor. Just as they turned the corner into the kitchen, they saw the dark figure raise his weapon. “Liam!” Killian yelled as the gun went off, but his older brother already had his hands up, freezing the man and the propelling bullet in its place. 

“Bloody hell,” Killian swore, lunging forward and snagging the bullet out of the air. “Will,” he sighed, finding his brother exactly where he saw him in his vision. Will’s eyes were red and angry, and when Killian pulled him into a hug he realized his brother was trembling something fierce.

“It’s August,” Will said, although his words were a bit garbled from the shudders of adrenaline. 

“What?” Liam pulled the figure’s hoodie down and there he was, the man they’d called friend. The man they’d trusted with Liam’s bars, who’d offered them rides home, who’d joked and clowned around with them for months. 

“Tink!” Killian yelled once Will’s legs gave out and they both began to slide towards the floor. “We need some help!”

Tink soon arrived and with a pale face brought her healing hands to Will’s eyes. A golden light appeared and soon Will could see again. The three of them brought him over to the living room couch. Liam ran to find some blankets for the shock, and Tink whipped up some hot coco. Will held the mug in his hands, basking in the warmth but never once bringing it to his lips. He told them all what had happened. How he’d stayed late at the pub last night and offered to help August clean up. Then the psycho threw cooking oil into his eyes, knocked him out, brought him to the manor and tied him up in the basement. 

Killian knew there was more to the story, but he’d heard enough for now. Striding over to the still frozen man, he pulled his arm back and threw all his weight into a punch to August’s jaw. The action caused Liam’s freeze to wear off, but it didn’t matter, as August remained on the floor, unconscious. 

Liam called David, who immediately sent over a squad car to pick August up and cart him off to jail. When they were alone again, Killian’s suspicions about Will’s powers were confirmed. He’d never had to orb without seeing where he was going before, and when it came down to it, he discovered that he couldn’t. Liam had patted him on the shoulder, told him that was something they’d work on later and then told him to get some sleep.

Will slept for several hours, not even stirring when Killian, Tink, and Liam began to pick up the mess that had been made while Will had been trying to escape his attacker. 

After Killian and Liam lifted a bookcase back to its upright position and began collecting the fallen books and nicknacks, Liam shook his head, “I can’t believe this all happened because of some mortal.”

“Aye, it’s like Nolan said, I suppose. You never can tell.” There was a bit of silence as Liam took time to alphabetize his books and Killian just crammed them all onto shelves. 

“It’s almost seven,” Liam said, “have you had a chance to plan your date for tonight?”

Although Killian noticed that Liam steadfastly kept his gaze down at the books he was organizing, he pretended not to mind. Instead of wondering why his older brother was taking a sudden interest in someone he didn’t particularly like, Killian pretended his brother was just being curious. “Of course, I’ve had this date planned since the first moment I met Swan.”

“Well, ah,” Liam cleared his throat and finally began to stack his books, “just don’t be out late.” He jerked his chin over to Will’s form over on the couch, “I’d feel better if we were all together tonight.”

“Right,” Killian gritted out, barely holding back his tongue. He knew his brother was just concerned for him, especially right after Will’s attack, but he was a grown man who could take care of himself. “Well, I’d better get ready.”

Once Killian had showered, changed, and added a touch of cologne, it was ten till seven. Checking that he had his keys, phone, and wallet, he headed down the stairs and found Will standing in the bottom. His blanket was around his shoulders like a shawl and he held a decorative pillow tightly to his chest.

“How’re you feeling, mate?” Killian asked as he took the final step off the stairs and gave his brother a pat on the shoulder. “Want me to bring you up some tea?”

Will grimaced at the offer, and it reminded Killian that his younger brother was steadfastly American, even when it came to his beverage options. “Coco, maybe?” He offered instead. 

“Tink’s making me some,” Will gave him a half smile. “I’m just going up to bed to rest there.” Looking his brother up and down, then giving a tentative sniff, he asked, “You got a date?”

Killian laughed, “Aye, Swan asked me out.”

“About time!” Will’s smile was a full one this time. “Where are you going?”

“The Morris.” It was a restaurant Killian had only really heard about and never gone to, but the reviews were amazing and the food wasn’t overly priced like so many other restaurants in the city. It would be special enough for a first date, but not so intimidating or extravagant that either of them would feel uncomfortable by the ambiance or meal’s price tag. 

Will whistled, “Bring me back some of their buckwheat donuts, yeah?”

“Of course mate, now go on and get up to bed.” As he watched his younger brother ascend the stairs, he couldn’t help but add, “And don’t forget to eat something more than chocolate tonight!”

There was a knock at the door and Killian’s heart soared. Shouting out a quick, “Got it!” He quickly took the few steps over into the foyer and opened the door to find Emma on the other side. “Hello, Swan.”

Emma wasn’t dressed in anything fancy, and he hadn’t expected her to, but the simple black dress she wore beneath a black leather jacket inspired him to say, “You look beautiful.”

Grinning at him, it was her turn to look him over, “You don’t look too bad yourself, Killian.” Holding her arm out, her grin widened, “Where to, captain?”

Chuckling, Killian linked his arm through her own, “Just you wait.”

Emma drove, but Killian was in charge of navigation. It didn’t take them too long to arrive at the restaurant, less than a half hour, and when they arrived they were lucky enough to be seated right away. Once they were seated, Emma took off her jacket and hung it on the back of her seat. The sight of Emma’s bare arms made Killian’s mouth run dry. Before this, he wouldn’t have considered himself an arm man, but after seeing her toned and well defined muscles, he realized he most definitely was.

“So,” Emma looked up at him over her menu, “tell me about your day.”

Killian huffed out a laugh, “How much time do you have?” Emma raised a brow, challenging him to continue, so he did. Normally he would’ve changed the subject or glossed over what had happened, but with Emma, he felt that not only could she handle today’s craziness, but that she actually wanted to hear about it.

He told her about what happened, sans magic, of course. How Will had been sent those strange flowers the day their house had been broken into, how both he and Liam had been worried after not hearing from Will all morning, and then coming home to find him with August. Besides a pair of raised brows, Emma didn’t seem too perturbed by the story. “You must hear about these kinds of things every day.”

Emma shrugged and released a deep sigh, “It’s one thing to hear about it, another to live through it. Are you sure you don’t want to call off the date? We can reschedule if you’d rather be home with your brothers.”

The sincerity behind her words made him smile, “Will would never let me live it down if I took you up on that offer. Besides, he’s been asleep for most of the day. He won’t even notice I’m gone.” He would notice if Killian forgot to bring him back those sweets though.

“As long as you’re sure.” The waiter came to take their drink orders. When he left, Emma tilted her head and stared at him through narrowed eyes, “Why do I have a feeling that you and your brothers live very exciting lives.”

Snorting into his glass of water, Killian said, “Hardly. It only seems that way at times.”

“Right,” Emma took a small sip of her wine. “How long have you three lived together? I can’t imagine living with so many siblings to be easy.”

“It’s only been a couple of years, and” Killian shrugged, “it’s not so bad when you’re close.” Killian took a sip of his own wine, then confided, “Sure some things can get frustrating, but it’s never too bad.”

The waiter returned for their dinner orders. Emma ordered the king salmon and Killian ordered the oysters with kimchi mignonette. 

“You’re lucky,” Emma placed her elbows on the table so she could rest her chin in her palm. “I never got along with any of my foster siblings. We fought constantly.” She chuckled, “That’s probably why I’ve never had a roommate.” She pulled her lips back in a fake grimace, “We did always fight over stupid things, though, like clothes and what to watch on TV. It all seemed so important back then.”

“I know exactly what you mean. Just the other day Liam and Will were arguing over locking the front door. You’d think grown men would know better, but,” he gave an over exaggerated roll of his eyes. “Do you still keep in touch with any of your foster siblings?” He reached for a roll of bread.

“Not really,” Emma leaned back in her chair and pulled her hair back. “Once you age out of the system you’re on your own.” She shrugged, “Keeping in touch is pretty low on the list of priorities.

Killian winced, feeling as though he’d once again put his foot in his mouth. Emma smiled gently and reached across the table, covering his hand with her own. “Don’t look so scared. Really, I don’t mind talking about this stuff.”

Squeezing her hand with his, he returned her small smile with his own. Then, as if overcome with the need to dig deeper, he asked, “Do you mind if I ask a personal question?”

Brows furrowing, Emma said, “Shoot.”

“Do you remember anything about your birth parents?”

The waiter returned with the meals, forcing them to let go of each other. After warning them both that their plates were hot, he once again scurried off to his next table, leaving them alone.

Emma looked down at her fish and toyed with the edge of her plate, seemingly unaffected by its temperature. “No,” she said quietly. “I don’t remember anything about them.” 

She looked up at him, and Killian knew she was going to continue so he said, “You don’t have to, Swan, if you don’t want to.”

Smiling her crooked little half smile, she told him, “It’s okay. I’d like to.” Taking a calming breath, she continued, “I don’t remember anything, but one of my foster fathers told me I was found on the side of the road, wrapped in nothing more than a blanket.”

“Do you ever think about looking for them?”

Emma shook her head, “No. I don’t think I’d want to meet them, actually.” She picked up her knife and fork, “Okay, enough of my tale of woe,” she joked, “tell me more about that boat you mentioned before.”

So Killian did, he spoke about how, when he’d first gotten out of the Navy he’d pulled together all his savings to buy a wrecked sailboat. He’d been planning to fix it up and sail around the world. First he’d planned to sail along the Pacific Coast down and around South America. Then wherever the wind took him. Back to England, maybe, to revisit old sites from his childhood. 

“I almost had enough saved to fix the thing, too, but then,” Killian trailed off. The reason he hadn’t followed through with his dream was that his powers were activated and all of a sudden he had responsibilities. “Well,” he shook his head, “it worked out in the end. If I hadn’t stayed then Will and I wouldn’t be nearly as close.”

“You’re half brothers, right?” 

Killian nodded as he ate one of his oysters. After swallowing he said, “Aye, we’re only five years apart but the first time we met I was thirteen or so. Before that it was just Liam and me.”

Emma smiled, “You really look up to him, don’t you?”

“Liam?” Killian chuffed out a laugh, “Is it that obvious?”

“I think it’s sweet.” She speared a piece of fish with her fork. “Everyone should have someone in their lives like Liam. A protector.” She took a bite.

Killian hummed thoughtfully, “I wish Will had had him growing up, maybe they’d understand each other a bit more.” Instead of chafing at the elder’s protectiveness, Will would understand it--appreciate it, even. 

They continued their conversation, talking about everything and anything. They discussed minor things, like their favorite foods and movies, as well as the major, like their home lives and personal goals. It was surprisingly easy to talk to Emma, once Killian got out of his head. Emma was witty and kind, and as the night progressed she showed more and more of her smile. It was absolutely radiant. Killian could sit there for eternity if only she’d continue to smile like that at him.

Eventually, after they’d finished their dinner, shared a dessert, and Killian had gotten Will’s donuts to go, they made their way back to Emma’s car. They drove to Killian’s home in silence, their hands intertwined over the center console. Emma drove easily with one hand on the wheel, a soft smile on her lips as Killian’s thumb caressed her skin.

When they arrived back at the manor, Emma insisted on walking Killian all the way to the door, laughing, “What would your brothers think of me if I did anything less? That’s no way to end a date.”

Wrapping his arm around her shoulders for the few steps it’d take to make it to the front door, Killian pulled her close to press a kiss atop her head, “How chivalrous of you, Swan.”

They reached the door and Emma turned towards him, “I had a good time tonight, Killian.” Her eyes flickered down to his lips.

Raising a brow and moving his arm so his hand rested against the back of her neck, he asked, “Good enough to warrant a second?”

Emma smiled. “Maybe,” Her voice turned soft as she said, “depends on what happens next.”

Killian closed his eyes and leaned in. The moment his lips met hers, a shudder ran down his spine. Emma’s hands came up and grabbed at the fabric at his waist, pulling him closer. The hand that was cradling the back of her head tangled its fingers in her golden locks, pulling slightly and making Emma gasp.

Kissing Emma felt like coming home. Like he’d been at sea for months and months and was finally sent to land for extended leave. It was a sense of relief mixed with excitement. 

Emma’s tongue swiped across Killian’s bottom lip, making him drop Will’s box of donuts. Pushing Killian backwards until his back was to the wall, Emma’s hands, surprisingly hot, made their way beneath his shirt and she dragged her fingernails down his skin. 

Laughing slightly into their kiss, Killian pulled away just enough to say, “As much as I am enjoying this, Swan, what do you say we move it inside?”

Emma’s eyes, slightly clouded with lust, cleared up in an instant, almost making him regret he’d said anything. “Right, sorry,” Emma looked down and pulled her hands away before shoving them into her coat pockets. “I just, ahh,” she bit down on her bottom lip.

Before she could retreat even further, Killian ducked in to press a quick kiss to her cheek. “You need never apologize to me, Emma. Now,” he pulled her hands out of her coat with his own and tilted his head so he could look her in the eye, “would you like to come in?”

Smiling softly, Emma shook her head, “I should go.” Giving his hand a squeeze, she said, “Goodnight, Killian.”

Watching her walk back towards her car, Killian sighed, “Night, Swan.”

Chapter Text

| Killian |

The three brothers sat side by side at the bar, each of them nursing a beer of some sort and not having the energy of raising it to their lips. It’d been one hell of a week, and it was only Monday. 

Killian could only hope the supernatural world would give them a few weeks before their next attack. Hell, he’d even take a few days at this point. Ever since their run in with the Guardians it’d felt like an almost constant battle against the Underworld. It didn’t used to be like this. Killian remembered when they would go months without running into any troubles, but now it was almost a daily occurrence. 

“How’re you feeling, Liam?” Killian asked, looking down into his glass of amber liquid. 

Liam grunted, “Fine.”

He’d give his brother a pat on the shoulder if he thought he could raise his arm without feeling it’d fall off. Liam probably didn’t want to be touched right now, anyway. He’d spent the last twenty four hours feeling everything after all. A demon had cursed him with the powers of an empath. Or, Killian corrected himself mentally, the demon was the one who was cursed. He’d just passed it along to Liam when he had the opportunity. 

It made Killian wonder why Liam had been in that foreclosed building to begin with, but that was a question he’d ask at a later time. The demon acted as a hermit, refusing to leave a room in an abandoned building for fear of feeling human emotions. Then Liam came, like the white knight he was, and took the curse onto himself. It’d been horrible.

At first it wasn’t so bad. It was almost like having a new power. Liam was able to glean what other people were feeling, and it led to them helping more Innocents than ever before. But then he started to feel their feelings, their pain, their loneliness, it kept coming and coming and coming until Liam sequestered himself into the basement and threatened to blow up anyone who’d try to come down. He wouldn’t even let Tink near him. 

Eventually they were able to find the original owner of the powers, a mother superior whose name Killian never did quite catch, and she plus the Charmed Ones were able to track down the demon and vanquish him before he could do more harm to anyone. He hadn’t gone down easily, though, and the three brothers were sure to be sore all week because of it.

“We shouldn’t have come out for drinks,” Will sighed. “Now we’ll never get home.”

Killian agreed, “Think anyone would notice if you orbed us out of here?”

“Maybe not,” Liam huffed out a laugh. “But they would,” he jerked his chin up at the ceiling, referencing the Elders.

Killian barely held back a grimace. They were in for a long night.

| Emma |

Emma stared out the window of her apartment and tried her best not to show any guilt or remorse on her face. Looking down at the dagger in her hands, she twisted it this way and that, noticing how the light caught the metal blade. 

This needed to be done, she told herself sternly. The Source expected her to succeed, and she couldn’t let him down. She’d come this far, done this much, so why was she now having a crisis of conscience? Since when did she even have a conscience? It didn’t make sense. Just because some guy made her heart flutter inside her chest didn’t mean she could just throw in the towel. 

She had a job to do, dammit. Releasing a steady breath, Emma turned around and faced the Spirit of Rage.

“Well, Zelena?” Emma cocked a brow, “Do we have a deal?”

Zelena’s laugh was like a purr, “How could I say no? Your plan is positively wicked .”

| Killian |

The next morning all three Jones brothers had a bit of a lie in. Although Will might have been known for lazing his mornings away in bed, Liam and Killian, both naval men, were usually up and moving before the crack of dawn. Today though, no one so much as stirred until noon. 

“Shit,” Killian eventually heard the muffled curse from Liam’s room. After a series of loud bangs and a few more swears, Liam called, “Killian, Will, we gotta get up!”

There was a brief silence, and then, from Will’s room, came a pathetic cry of, “Why?”

“Now!”  Liam barked in his most officer like voice, causing Killian to jump out of his bed with his back straight and his arms pinned at his side. 

Forcing his body to relax, he met Liam out in the hallway. Will soon joined, leaning against his door frame and glaring daggers at his eldest brother. “This better be good.”

“We’re hosting the Home Owners Association meeting this afternoon.”

“So?” Will asked.

“So,” Liam snapped, “which one of us is hosting it? I can’t do it. We’re doing inventory at the pub and restocking.”

Will crossed his arms, “I’m meeting with a professor in a couple of hours.”

They both looked at Killian, who quickly raised his hands and shook his head, “Sorry lads, I’m taking Swan out to lunch.” He looked at Will, “Can’t you just reschedule?”

“This will be the second time I’m cancelling on him!” Will clenched his jaw, “I need this class to graduate. Why don’t you just reschedule with Emma.”

Killian raised a brow, “Not likely, mate.”

“Ugh,” Will threw his head back and went back into his room, slamming the door behind him. “You guys are such jackasses!”

“What’d I do?” Liam asked, grinning all the while at Killian. Shaking his head, Killian turned towards his room, intending on getting ready. “Oh wait,” Liam said, causing Killian to turn back. “You’re taking my car today right? Mind dropping me off at the pub first?”

“Of course.”

“Great, and don’t forget to refill the gas,” Liam teased, “I’m taking Tink out tonight and I don’t want her to have to orb us home.”

Rolling his eyes, Killian shot back, “That was one time, brother. Let it go.”

“Twice,” Liam corrected with a raised brow, “and never.”

| Emma |

Emma waited outside the police station for Killian to arrive, doing her best to keep her breathing even. She needed to stay calm and remember the plan. She’d asked Killian on this date specifically to get him out of the house and distract him. In order for Zelena to work her special brand of magic, she needed the brothers angry, and according to what Killian had told her on their last date, that wouldn’t be too hard a task to achieve. 

“Afternoon, Swan,” Killian greeted as he appeared at her side. Blinking, Emma cursed herself for not paying more attention to her surroundings. Killian leaned in to kiss her on the cheek, and a small smile pulled at her lips. 

Due to Emma’s “schedule”, she only had an hour for lunch, so the two of them walked over to where several food trucks were parked, ordered, and found a bench in a nearby park. 

“So what are your brother’s up to today?” Emma asked before taking a bite other walking taco.

“Not much,” Killian answered around a bite of food, then took a moment to swallow before continuing, “Liam’s at the pub doing some inventory and Will’s stuck at home hosting some HOA meeting.” Huffing out a laugh, Killian said, “I actually feel a little bad about that.” At Emma’s raised brow, he added, “He was supposed to meet a professor today but I made him cancel so I could meet with you.”

Emma’s fork froze mid air, the food that was atop it wobbled and then fell back into the Fritos bag. It was happening again, she noted, strangely without a hint of annoyance. A warm feeling bubbled up within her chest. It was nice, but new and unfamiliar. It distracted her so much that she didn’t even think as she asked, “You really like me that much?”

Killian laughed, “Isn’t it obvious?”

Fire consumed her face, but not the fire she was used to. The one that made her feel powerful and like a force of nature. This fire focused over her cheeks and made her feel like something precious and coveted. 

Then the guilt set in, which was also a new sensation in the Firestarter’s life. She never used to feel guilt or bad about the things she’d done or the people she’d hurt. Then again, she’d never had to hurt a human before. It was the only explanation Emma could think of.

Still, she thought as she watched Killian talk, a part of her wondered if it had to do with her feeling for him that made the guilt so much worse. He’d been so kind to her, and Emma would never forget the way he’d pulled her into his lap when he thought she was hurt. 

“--and I can’t believe he still holds that against me,” Killian’s voice penetrated her thoughts. “It was almost five years ago,” he shook his head. “I know he’s joking but sometimes it feels like he doesn’t trust me.”

Emma tried to figure out what he was saying. For the second time that day she’d let herself get distracted, worrying about inane things like feelings . She was growing soft and it was becoming more and more apparent. She knew there were some whispers growing in the Underworld about her already.  If she didn’t finish off the Charmed Ones soon, she’d quickly find a target of her own on her back. Hell, the Source would probably put it there himself.

“I mean,” Killian continued, not noticing Emma’s silence, “it’s only gas, and Tink can always--” he quickly stopped himself. “Tink has her own car, too.”

Reaching out to play with the hair at the nape of his neck, Emma smiled and reassured him, “Of course Liam trusts you.” She had to stifle her smile from growing even wider as she noticed the effect her ministrations had on him. His shoulders relaxed and his eyes drooped as she continued to massage the muscles in his neck and twist at his hair. “You all just sound a bit wound up is all. It’s like when I work too hard and need to let off some steam.”

“Thanks Swan,” Killian leaned in and pecked Emma on the lips. “You always make me feel better.”  Emma opened her mouth but nothing came out as she was once again paralyzed with an onslaught of feelings. “I should get going,” Killian said, looking at his watch.

“I’ll walk you to your car,” Emma said after clearing her throat.

The two of them threw away their empty bags of food and made their way back to where Killian had parked on the street. “So,” Killian smiled as he placed a hand on Emma’s hip and pulled her close, “when can I see you again?”

Emma reached up and pulled on the lapels of his shirt, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again very soon.”

“Is that a fact?” Killian raised an encouraging brow.

  Humming, Emma pulled him down for a kiss, then said, “I can guarantee it.”

The two pulled away and Emma stepped back on the sidewalk to watch Killian pull out of his spot. As she waved goodbye to him, Emma found Zelena staring at her from across the street. Her green eyes shone with her distrust and suspicion. Swallowing thickly, Emma reminded herself that she had a job to do.

With a flick of her hand, Emma’s magic reached out and snapped the car’s fuel line hose.

| Killian |

After his date with Emma, Killian returned home to change and then walked over to the gym. Emma had been right. He needed to let loose and find a way to relax. It’d been a while since he’d been able to box, anyway, given the obscene amounts of supernatural grief they’d been through the past few weeks. 

By the time he finished his work out routine and sparred with a few guys, the sun was setting. And after he showered and started back home, it was completely dark out.

Walking up to the front door, Killian felt good. His muscles were tired and sore, sure, but he felt lighter, like he sweated out all his grief and worries. Now he just had to eat some carbs and find some electrolytes and he’d be off to an easy night of sleep.

As soon as he entered the house, though, Killian knew something was wrong. “I’m getting real tired of your spoiled brat routine, Will.” Liam’s voice was scathing and loud. Killian’s brows furrowed, wondering what his younger brother had done to anger the elder so.

“What’s going on?” Killian asked, finding his brothers in the living room.

“Shut up!” They both yelled at him, causing Killian to step back from the ferocity of it.

“I’m sorry you had to pull your weight around here for once, but I can’t be everywhere at once,” Liam scolded. “And considering the pub is the only reason we’re able to keep this house and keep you in school I think you should really be more grateful towards me.”

“Grateful? Hah!” Will ran his hands through his hair, “Right, because where would we all be without the great and powerful Liam? Always there to mention shortcomings and disregard opinions because yours is the only one that matters. Hell, I almost got killed because you couldn’t get your head out of your ass long enough to even consider a non-demonic threat.”

“I am the only one here working to find out who’s trying to get us!” Liam roared, “The only one who has any idea about the Firestarter or who she works for. Get your head out of your ass and maybe, just maybe you’d notice that.”

“Get over yourself, Liam.”

“Brothers,” Killian raised his hands and took a step closer. “What has gotten into you?” It wasn’t like either of them to go at each other’s throats like this. Where was any of this even coming from?

“By the way,” Liam rounded on him, “you owe me for a car tow and a tank of gas you little leech.”

“Excuse me?” Killian raised his brows. Whatever had happened to Liam’s car it most certainly wasn’t his fault. He’d made sure to bring it back with a full tank of gas.

Will crossed his arms, “And I’m the one that never pulls his weight? What’s your excuse?” He took a step forward and shoved Killian’s shoulder, “All you do is sweet talk your cop girlfriend.”

“What the--” Killian shuddered, feeling as if he’d just been body slammed and then set on fire. Barring his teeth, he shoved his brother right back, tired of his whining and complaints, “What’s wrong, Will? Jealous?” He shoved him again and turned on Liam, “And what’s your problem? Afraid you can’t control us, brother?”

“Right,” Liam got into Killian’s face, his breath fanning across his skin. “Like I don’t have better things to do than clean up your messes. God, Killian, you’re such a fuck up! If it weren’t for me, you’d be dead in some gutter right now.”

Will scoffed, “No wonder dad abandoned you two.”

Killian didn’t even think, he grabbed the first thing he could find--photo frame, and chucked it at Will. “Frame!” Will cried, waving the item back at Killian in a ball of white light. Leaping up, Killian levitatived towards the ceiling, leaving Liam in the object’s path. Raising his hands, Liam blew the frame up before it could reach him.

Falling to the ground, Killian sneered at his brothers, “I’m out of here.”

Slamming the door on his way out, he began to walk down the street without a destination in mind. As he continued down his path, gritting his teeth and cursing his brothers over what they said to him, he slowly settled down. It wasn’t much longer that the anger started to fade away, and then it vanished, leaving him bereft and bewildered. He didn’t understand what had happened, but as he walked, he tried to figure it out. 

Why had he been so angry? Liam and Will’s words had hurt, of course, but that was no reason for him to rise to their taunts. He had said the words though, had even put hands on his brother. It was unforgivable, he realized with a sinking feeling in his stomach. How could they ever forgive him for what he said? He’d never forgive himself. 

Eventually he looked up and realized where his feet had taken him. “Emma,” he whispered, looking up at her apartment building.  He’d only been there once, but the visit had stuck, and he was glad for it.

After making his way up to the building’s third floor, Killian knocked on the door of apartment 333. 

“Killian?” Emma asked as she opened the door a crack. Opening it wider, she asked, “What are you doing here?”

She invited him in and Killian felt his eyes begin to burn as he told her about what happened. He sat himself down on the couch while Emma walked around the room, listening to his story. Soon his voice turned hoarse, and Emma went to the kitchen to grab them both something to drink. 

“I just don’t understand what happened,” Killian leaned his head onto the back of Emma’s couch and released a deep sigh. He wished he could release everything into that one movement, all his anguish and frustration and hurt, and then deflate into the couch’s cushions. “We’ve never fought like this before.”

“Never?” Emma asked as she handed him a bottle of beer. 

Taking it gratefully, Killian closed his eyes and shook his head. “We’ve been frustrated with one another, sure. But this was--we weren’t even fighting about anything. Not really.”  He grimaced as his earlier words rang throughout his head. Killian knew he could be cruel, that his tongue could be as sharp as a knife, but he’d never lost control before. Not like this.

Emma reached out a hand and squeezed his knee. “It can’t be that bad.”

Killian let out a broken, half hearted laugh, “Oh Swan, you have no idea.” He placed a hand over his face and closed his eyes, “I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of them ever spoke to me again.”

There was a pause. Killian thought about looking at Emma to see if he could tell what she was thinking--what she thought of him. He must’ve looked so pathetic to her in that moment. 

“Killian, you need to go home.”

Blue eyes snapped open and brows furrowed into one, “Swan, I can’t--I told you, they--”

“They’re your brothers, Killian,” Emma said sternly, her set jaw leaving no room to argue, “they love you and you love them. Look,” she sighed and bit her lower lip. “I may not know much about families or--or whatever, but I know that you three would do anything for each other and that includes forgiving each other over stupid fights.”

Standing abruptly, Emma pulled him up with her in a feat of impressive strength. Pushing him towards the door, she continued, “But you won’t be able to do that by hiding out here.” She opened the door, “Now go.”

Looking back and forth between the hallway and Emma, Killian smiled and leaned in to press a gentle kiss to her lips, “Thank you, Swan.”

| Emma |


As soon as Emma closed the door, she sensed Zelena’s presence. “So the rumors are true!” The red headed demon screeched. “You’ve gone soft!”

“It’s over, Zelena.” Emma shook her head and leaned back against the door. Looking down at the dagger in her hand, she said, “Get over it.”

“I put too much work into this plan to see you throw it all away.” The green amulet around her neck began to glow. “The Charmed Ones will die, whether you like it or not.”

Baring her teeth, Emma stood tall and took a step forward, “Shut up you damned Spirit.”

“You think this will protect him?” Zelena taunted, her words practically spitting out of her mouth, “You’re only delaying the inevitable. Once the Source hears about this you’ll be--”

Emma lunged forward and grabbed Zelena by her neck, “Enough! I’m done listening to you!” Her skin was hot to the touch, and she could see small beads of sweat appearing along Zelena’s skin.

“Angry, are you?” Zelena gasped, her red lips pulled back into a terrifying smile. “Good, because there’s something I haven’t told you.” Emma’s brows furrowed, but before she could so much as blink, Zelena’s body disappeared with a flash of green light from her amulet and her spirit stepped into Emma’s body.

Speaking through Emma’s lips, Zelena continued, “I can possess my victims, too.”

I Killian I


Taking a deep breath, Killian walked through the front door of his home and found his brothers and Tink in the living room. “Have the judges made their decision?” He tried to joke, feeling uneasy as he took in everyone’s dour faces. “Have I been banished from the island?”

“Killian, thank God,” Liam quickly pulled his younger brother in for a tight hug. 

Surprised, Killian brought his arms up and patted Liam on the back, “Well I wasn’t expecting this.”

“Where have you been?” Will asked, patting Killian on the shoulder once Liam took a step back. 

“At Swan’s,” Killian frowned at everyone as he explained, “after some talking she convinced me to come back and face you two. What’s happened?”

“The Firestarter,” Liam practically spat.

Tink raised her hands and took a step closer to her partner, “We don’t know that for sure.” When Liam glared at her, she added, “Well, we don’t!”

“We’ve lost out powers,” Will interjected, scrunching up his nose as if the words made him nauseous.

“What?” Killian’s brows shot up and fled up to his hairline. “How?”

Tink grimaced and explained, “Your fight earlier. When you three used your powers on each other in anger, it broke your bond.” She pointed up to the ceiling, “It was so bad I could feel it up there.”

“It’s not our fault we were angry,” Will threw his hands up indignantly. “Not that mad, anyway.”

“If we don’t have our powers,” Killian said slowly, looking at one brother and then the other, “then that means . . .”

Liam nodded, “Yeah. Someone’s going to come after us.”

“We’re sitting ducks,” Will said, ever so tactfully. “What do we do?” He asked Tink. “How can we get our powers back?”

Tink shrugged a little helplessly, “You need to restore your bond as brothers.” With wide eyes she looked between the three of them. “But I’m not exactly sure how--

A crash came from the sunroom. The three brothers made eye contact with one another and then went to investigate, knowing full well no good could come of it. 

“Swan?” Killian didn’t understand what he was seeing. Emma’s hair was a tangled mess around her shoulders and in her face. Her eyes were wide and crazed. She turned her head towards them in a slow, shaky way, almost like a puppet on a string. 

“Killian,” Liam warned, “I don’t think--” Whatever he thought, Liam couldn’t say because the next moment Emma threw a dagger straight at his face. 

Liam threw his hands up, forgetting his powers no longer worked, but Killian was quick and pushed him out of the way just in time. Emma raised a hand and the wall behind the brothers caught fire, trapping them in the sunroom.

“What the hell?” Will cried, throwing one of their picnic chairs at Emma and backing away. “Is she possessed?”

“What?” Killian whispered as sweat ran down his back from the heat of the flames. “That’s not . . .” he watched Emma take a step closer in that strange and jerky way. Something wasn’t right. Her eyes, he realized. Something was wrong with her eyes. “That’s not Swan.”

“Killian, mate,” Liam shook his head. “I’ll distract her while you two make a run for it.”

“No,” Both Killian and Will said at the same time. The two younger brothers looked at each other then nodded. Grabbing Liam’s hand and then Will’s, Killian said, “We’re in this together.”

The light above them flashed and the house beneath them shook, and immediately, they knew. Their powers returned. 

Will orbed away, appearing behind Emma and shouting, “Hey!”

Grunting, Emma snapped around and lashed at him with a ball of fire. Quicker than she, Will orbed away again before her flames made contact. Liam didn’t hesitate, taking advantage of her distraction, bringing up his hands and blasting Emma in the back.

Emma’s body shuddered and a dark shadow was forced from her body. The shadow solidified into the form of a young woman with fiery red hair. She clutched her chest, holding onto a cracked green pendant. Straining to breathe, she looked around the room in a disarray.

Liam and Killian watched as Emma rounded on the demon, “You dare betray me?” A ball of fire formed in her raised hand. The red headed demon flinched away, but couldn’t escape Emma’s aim. 

For a moment, everything quiet, and then, “Back up guys!” Will’s voice shouted at them from the other side of the burning wall. There was a hiss, and then a layer of white foam tackled the roaring flames until they were nothing more than smothered char. 

When the mist of the fire extinguisher dissipated, Will stuck his head through and asked, “Everyone alright?”

“Almost,” Liam answered, her voice even and calm. Then he spun around and with a flick of his fingers blasted Emma through a window.

“Swan!”  Running out into the garden, he found Emma lying on the flat of her back, a large piece of glass sticking out from her side. “Bloody hell,” he reached for the glass, but then thought better of it. “Tink!” He looked behind him for the white-lighter and called again, “Tink!”

The familiar blur of white light descended beside him, but before Tink could fully manifest, Emma disappeared in her own blur of white light. “What the--” following the light, Killian watched Will summon Emma’s form back inside the sunroom and spotted the crystals in Liam’s hands. “Liam, no!”

Tink looked up at him where she knelt, her brows furrowed deeply, “What’s going on.”

“It has to be done, brother,” Liam said solemnly, he grip on the crystals tightening. “We need answers.”

“She can explain, I’m sure--”

“Killian,” Will shook his head, a small crystal cradled in his own hands. “She’s the Firestarter.” And without another word, the two brothers put down the crystals and locked Emma inside the deadly trap.