Killian groaned into his pillow, knowing his alarm would be going off in only a couple of minutes. He debated on letting it go off, letting the noise wake Mara, but decided against it, not wanting to deal with her yelling at him so early in the morning.
Turning off the alarm, he made himself get up to get ready, thinking that he would likely get to nap in his office.
Showering and dressing, he left his room, passing his wife's on the way out to the kitchen, only grabbing a cup of coffee and a bagel before grabbing his satchel to head out.
Normally on his days off he would call Graham, the one friend he had in Storybrooke, but knew it was too early to ask the sheriff to get breakfast with him on the days he had class.
Killian had always been an early riser, but hated that he had to do it to go to a job that he despised. It may have paid decently, allowing him a comfortable life, but it had grown tedious teaching the same few students astronomy every semester for years.
The biggest perk for him was the optimal parking he was able to get the days he was scheduled to teach, always able to park his Firebird in the closest spot to where his office and room was. He didn't mind walking, but wanted to avoid walking through the lots while more people with less than skilled driving abilities were out as much as possible.
The late October air promised the season would be changing, making him sigh in derision. Even as the seasons changed and years passed, nothing ever changed in the town, save Henry.
Killian liked Regina's adoptive son, the boy a welcome break to the monotony of life in the sleepy town. More than once Henry had sought him out because of his friendship with Graham for help with his schoolwork or just to talk, until they had something that was a mix between friendship and a parent and child relationship.
Regina hated the bond, often throwing barbs Killian's way, which only delighted him that he was able to get under her skin. He would gladly do anything possible to antagonize her, bitter about the situation he had been put in.
Reaching his office, he hung up his coat and called the sheriff's station to ask Graham to meet him for lunch at Granny's, leaving a message he knew would be heard soon enough.
Quickly eating his small breakfast, he reluctantly moved to leave for his class, wondering if his students would ask the same questions they had the day before.
Killian lifted his head from his arms as he heard someone sit beside him at the counter, seeing Graham grab one of the menus in front of him.
"Rough class?" he asked conversationally, not looking up from the pamphlet.
"If I have to explain again why we have a dark side of the moon, I think I'm going to start putting rum in my morning coffee," Killian said by way of greeting.
Graham chuckled as he set down the menu and waved Ruby over. "You're the one who decided to be a professor."
Killian bit back his retort that he didn't have a choice as Ruby came by to get their orders, flashing Graham a flirty wink as she did so. While she grinned, she didn't flirt with Killian, which he was fine with.
"So, any plans for tonight?" Graham asked. "Or are you going to be hitting the Rabbit Hole again?"
"No clue," Killian replied as he took a hearty swig of his coffee. "I'm thinking about going to maintenance my ship tonight. Hell, I might spend a couple nights there."
Graham shot him a sympathetic look. "Fight with Mara again?"
"Isn't it always?" Killian replied with a humorless laugh. "I merely breathe and that harpy is yelling at me."
"Why don't you just get a divorce?" Graham asked. "Seriously, mate. You're not happy. You have completely separate rooms. When was the last time you've even had sex with her?"
Killian had never slept with the woman given to him as a wife. It felt too deceptive to him, that he remembered everything before Regina cast her curse, that he was taking advantage of someone who didn't even know who they were, much less that he was Captain Hook. He never tried getting really close to anyone save Graham. Even if the town had essentially given him a new life, he wondered how well he would be received if everyone knew who he was.
At the beginning he tried to have a good relationship with her, but even the first day in a new realm, she had been bitter towards him. She tried to pick a fight over something he didn't even know about, and had ceased her attacks since.
He tried not to be too angry with her, knowing just like most of the rest of the town, she had been cursed to forget her very identity. He had no idea who she was, even when he had tried searching before.
He didn't know many of the people, having stayed mostly in Neverland before striking the deal with Regina that had put him in his personal hell. Henry had helped him when he first showed him his storybook, leading to the true identities of some of the townspeople he didn't already know.
Killian had been willing to act as Regina's assassin until he learned from his target, Regina's own mother, that his memories would be erased with the curse, therefore eliminating his reason for going with it. He had confronted her about it, furious that he wouldn't be able to get his revenge against the imp who killed his love. Because of his anger, Regina agreed to let him remember himself, promising him what would be a good life in a new land and still be able to enact his revenge.
He hadn't expected to be double crossed by her even after he carried out the mission she tasked him with. He was given a house that felt like a prison, a wife that made being anywhere near her unbearable, and a job that while it paid good, made him miserable.
He hadn't even been able to get his revenge, the curse making Rumplestiltskin forget himself. Becoming Mr. Gold, he no longer remembered who Killian was, who Milah was, or that he had murdered her, making it that even if Killian had enacted his revenge, it would be meaningless.
"But I stay there because there's nothing else," Killian said in a low voice. "You know how this bloody town would talk if I left. Besides, nothing ever changes here, anyway."
Graham sighed, playing with the handle of his own coffee mug as their food came. "You know, if you ever need a place to stay, my couch is always open."
Smirking, Killian nodded in appreciation. "Thanks, mate."
Watching a few more people shuffle into the diner, including the woman he recognized as Snow White, he couldn't help releasing a heavy breath, feeling the same feeling of monotony that he had earlier in the morning.
"Do you remember when you became sheriff?" he asked Graham.
Graham looked ahead pensively as he chewed his food before answering. "No, I can't. I've been sheriff for as long as I can remember. Why?"
"No reason, mate," Killian replied, having expected the answer.
Having just finished repairing the loose board for the umpteenth on the deck of the Jolly Roger, Killian wiped at his brow, debating on how soon before he wanted to retire for the evening. As soon as he considered running by the diner to pick up dinner for himself, he felt his phone go off in his back pocket.
Releasing a groan, he hit to answer the call. "What do you want, Graham?"
"Henry's missing," Graham said.
Killian stiffened at his words. "What?"
"Regina called and said that he never came home," Graham said, the sound of a car door closing in the background. "He left school and wasn't there when Regina got home. She hasn't been able to find him."
"Where do you want me to look?" Killian asked, already stepping off the gangplank onto the docks.
"Check around town," Graham responded.
Killian nodded, even knowing Graham wouldn't see him. "Got it."
He was already walking before he hung up, worry twisting his stomach. Henry was smart, but he didn't want to think about what could happen. Regina didn't have near as many enemies as she had before, but they still existed. Even in the town, there were people that hated her. He prayed that no one decided to go after Henry in retaliation.
Night had already fallen, doing nothing to ease his nerves about what happened to Henry. Quickly doing the math, he figured that Henry had been missing for approximately five hours, meaning he could be anywhere in the area, or possibly even be no longer in the town.
Killian was loath to think about that possibility, knowing that no one could go after him, that no one could leave the town. Regina was the only one ever able to leave the town, having done it when she adopted the boy.
To his chagrin, no one had seen Henry since he left school, coming up with nothing even hours later. Keeping in touch with Graham, he knew the sheriff had not found anything.
Killian was tired, but knew he had no other option than to continue looking, even as he saw from his phone that it was nearing eleven at night.
Standing by the closed down town library thinking about going into the forest, he started at the shrill ringing of his phone.
Seeing Graham's name on the screen, he quickly answered it. "Please tell me you have news."
"He's home," Graham told him.
Killian let out a loud sigh of relief. "What happened?"
"The lad went out of town and found his birth mother," Graham said tiredly. "He found her in Boston. She brought him back."
His eyes widening in surprise, Killian began walking back towards the house he resided in. "From Boston? How did he get there?"
"No idea," Graham said. "But he's home, and his mother is leaving tonight."
"Is he alright?" Killian asked.
Graham sighed. "Physically, yes. As soon as Regina got to him, he started yelling how he found his real mom and ran off to his room. He didn't want to talk to me."
"I bet Regina loved that," Killian muttered before he continued on in a normal tone. "But I'm glad he's home safe."
"Aye," the other man replied. "Hey, mate, thanks for the help."
"It's no problem," Killian said, turning onto the street where his house was. "I'll come by in the morning and bring breakfast."
"Thanks," Graham said.
He hung up as he reached the front steps, mentally preparing himself to go in. Taking the plunge, he unlocked the door, stepping in and shutting it behind him. He heard the television on in the living room, letting him know it was likely Mara was still awake as he made his way to the kitchen.
Throwing some leftovers in the microwave, he sat at the island to eat his dinner, not wishing to be disturbed.
As if reading his mind and deciding to go against his wishes, Mara came into the kitchen, throwing him a derisive look as she flipped back her light brown hair.
"Wow, you finally decided to come home," she said as she reached into the fridge and extracted a bottle of water.
"Henry came home," Killian said by way of response.
"That's good," she said carelessly.
He had to fight the urge to scoff. "He went out to find his birth mother. She brought him home."
"Good for them," she said.
Closing his eyes, he laid down his fork to pinch the bridge of his nose. He knew she was trying to get a rise out of him, knowing from experience she would do anything to pick a fight some days. Determined not to give in, he made himself calm down to finish his dinner, even if he did stab his chicken with more force than necessary.
"So where did he end up?" she asked in the same careless voice.
"Boston," he said.
"And you guys didn't think to check if maybe he left the town?" she asked mockingly.
"No," he responded in annoyance. "He's ten years old. How are we supposed to know that he went to bloody Boston?"
"Well, considering Graham is the sheriff."
"In case you haven't noticed, the entire town is surrounded by forest," he pointed out. "He could have simply gotten lost in there for all we knew."
Mara narrowed her hazel eyes at him coldly. "I'm aware of the terrain around here. Or do you forget that it's my job around here treating animals that have gotten lost in there?"
Killian bit back the retort he wanted to throw at her, instead opting for one that would make him less miserable in the long run. "Well then, you know how often it happens that something gets lost out there."
Rolling her eyes, she turned on her heel to go back into the living room.
Killian counted the argument as a personal victory, having mostly kept himself calm and avoiding the personal insults she was so fond of throwing at him.
Finishing what he had left, he quickly washed what dishes he had, unable to shake the impulse to always clean up whatever mess he left. Going back to his bedroom, he locked the door, changing into some pajamas and removing his brace before settling in with a book to read until he fell asleep.
Using his back to push open the door to the sheriff's station, Killian carefully balanced the drink tray holding some coffees for him and Graham as well as a bag of food.
"You know if you had only waited a second I would let you in," Graham said in amusement.
"But what fun would that be?" Killian replied as he followed Graham into the station.
Looking around, he wasn't surprised to see Leroy in one of the cells, but the other one contained a woman he'd never seen before.
Killian felt the air leave his lungs as he looked at her, taking in her golden hair, fair skin, and jade eyes. He'd seen plenty of pretty women in his centuries long life, but could only think of one who rivaled the siren before him. She was dressed plainly in dark jeans, boots, and a red leather jacket over a white shirt, but it did nothing to detract from her beauty.
The thing that drew him in most was the look her eyes held, a loneliness that he suspected she carried deep within her. She had the same look he had seen in the eyes of many Lost Boys, as well as himself whenever he looked in the mirror.
He forced himself to get a grip on himself after a beat, making himself tear his eyes away from her so he could focus on what she and Graham were saying to each other, but not before he caught her looking at him with an expression he suspected matched his own.
"Seriously?" she asked through the bars, focusing on Graham as he moved away from the cells after letting Leroy out of his.
Graham moved so he was standing in front of her, completely relaxed.
"Regina's drinks are a little stronger than we thought," he said knowingly.
"I wasn't drunk," she said with a hint of annoyance. "There was a wolf standing in the middle of the road."
The comment drew Killian's attention, making him look at her more closely. As far as he knew, wolves didn't exactly live in the area, but they were in a town that consisted of fairytale characters.
"A wolf," Graham said skeptically. "Right."
"There could have been," Killian offered in the women's defence. "Maybe not a wolf exactly, but people do have hybrids. Plus there's plenty of breeds that look like wolves."
Graham raised his brow at him, making him cock his own brow in return.
"Graham?" they suddenly heard Regina call from the front, sounding panicked.
"Henry's run away again. We have to-" she suddenly stopped as she saw the blonde woman in the cell. "What is she doing here?"
She stepped until she was directly in front of the cell. "Do you know where he is?"
"Lady, I haven't seen him since I dropped him at your house," the blonde responded. She gestured to the bars. "And, pretty good alibi."
Killian couldn't help smirking at the comment.
"Well, he wasn't in his room this morning," Regina said, the panic in her voice returning.
The other woman was quiet for a beat, thinking. "Did you try his friends?"
"He doesn't really have any," Regina said quickly. "He's kind of a loner."
The blonde looked unsettled by the statement, a brief look of pain flashing in her eyes.
Looking at the others, no one else caught her expression.
"Every kid has friends," she said quietly before speaking up. "You check his computer? He's close to someone, he could be emailing them."
Regina suddenly looked scandalized. "And you know this, how?"
"Finding people is what I do," the blonde leaned further into the bars, her voice suddenly carrying a persuasive tone. "Here's an idea. How about you guys let me out, and I'll help you find him?"
Killian couldn't help fully smiling, thinking how much he liked the woman.
Regina stood there for a minute debating before huffing. "Let her out."
The woman looked almost smug as Graham unlocked the cell.
Regina threw a dirty look Killian's way as she hurried out of the station, making him only grin further.
He looked back as the woman stepped out of the cell, decidedly stepping into her space to speak to her.
"I don't believe I caught your name, love," he said lightly, extending his hand out to her, knowing it was a custom that had extended to their current realm even if they didn't have to worry about checking for hidden weapons.
Raising a critical brow at him, she shook his hand. "Emma Swan, Henry's mother."
Killian grinned as he gave her a slight bow, happy to have her identity. "Killian Jones, at your service."
He felt a sense of triumph at the amusement in her eyes.
"I'll give you guys a ride over to the mayors," Graham called as he retrieved the keys to the squad car, shattering the moment.
Killian gestured for Emma to go ahead of him out of the station, something telling him that things in the town were about to change.
Slipping into his room, Killian tossed his jacket on his bed, rolling out his shoulders in an attempt to relax from the day.
He felt bad for both Emma and Henry, knowing they were both in miserable situations.
Henry was being made to believe he was crazy by Regina, having to see Dr. Hopper because he truly believed everyone in the town was cursed. He knew Henry wasn't crazy, that he was right about everything his book told him, but his hands were tied. Killian couldn't tell him he was right without there being severe consequences. He would have done it if he were only risking his own safety, but refused to put Henry in any kind of danger.
Even if Emma had put Henry up for adoption, Killian had a feeling it was for a good reason. Her demeanor when he saw her after she spoke to Regina the last time told him everything he needed to know, that she was genuinely worried about her son. She wanted him to be happy and in a good home, something he had a feeling she knew what it felt like to be without. The look of solitude she carried only added to his theory.
Shaking his head and deciding to deal with everything in the morning after his class, he went to his window to crack it open to let the autumn air into his room for a little while.
Lingering a bit, Killian looked out over the town, resting his arms on the window sill as he did so.
He instantly caught the movement of the clock of the clock tower, seeing the time had changed to 8:16.
Suddenly grinning at the clock running for the first time in twenty-eight years, he thought with some excitement that Emma's arrival in Storybrooke was the sign that things were about to change, that she just may be the one to break the curse.