The last thing Killian Jones needed in his life was a roommate -a pregnant one at that. To make matters worse, she seemed just as against their current situation as he was. The only reason he’d agreed at all was because David -the man who’d arranged it all- was a good friend, and the situation was complicated.
Still, he figured it was best to just… make the best of it. After all, it was his job to protect his pack, and while Emma Swan wasn’t technically a part of that pack, she was David’s cousin, and he saw the man as a brother.
So when he was asked to protect one of Neal’s latest conquests, he couldn’t find it in him to say no.
Neal Cassidy was the son of not only his former lover, but of his greatest rival. He’d never met the man, but he knew very well that he’d been trying to stir things up recently, making him a problem that needed to be dealt with.
“You and I both know this is ridiculous,” Emma stated. He hadn’t even shown her her room yet.
“Ridiculous,” he mused. “Yet you’re still here.” When she shot him a death glare, he held up a hand in mock surrender. “I’m only saying, luv. You’re a grown woman. There’s no rule stating that you have to listen to your cousin.”
Emma seemed to consider this for a moment, then shrugged. “I have my reasons,” she said. “You could have told him no.”
But he couldn’t. Not that she’d understand. How could he explain his reasons to someone who seemed to know very little about wolves and their ways though?
“Dave says you’re a witch,” he said, changing the subject. What he didn’t say was that David didn’t have to say anything. Killian could smell the magic on her.
“And he’s worried about you,” Killian continued. “So perhaps we can just make the best of this until he’s convinced the danger has passed.” If it was as bad as David thought it was though, Emma might just become a permanent resident. He kept quiet on that, not wanting to irritate her further.
“My baby is only a quarter wolf,” she stated, matter of factly. “If that’s how wolf genes work, anyway.”
“It’s not,” Killian informed her. “When it comes to this sort of curse, fractions don’t matter.” Sure, the phrase half-wolf was an insult often thrown around, but a half wolf was still a wolf, and no amount of human DNA could change or even slightly diminish that.
“He’ll still grow fangs and change with the moon,” Killian continued. “His instincts and strengths will always win out over his human side.”
“But he’s muddled,” Emma argued, as if that mattered. “And there’s no way he can be this Alpha from that stupid prophecy. David’s overreacting.”
The prophecy. The reason David was so worried about Emma and her baby. Her denial proved more than anything how little she knew of wolves. Purity truly meant nothing, not in the grand scheme of things anyway. There were packs that boasted pure bloodlines, and turned on their own if lines were broken. All that meant was their packs were filled with inbreeding and more problems than anything else.
It was as though they’d forgotten the only reason they were wolves to begin with was because of a curse.
Killian didn’t come from such a pack. At least, it wasn’t that way before Rumplestiltskin took over. He was really too young to remember all the finer details, but his own mother had been a witch, making him just as muddled as the baby Emma carried now.
He was rescued by his older brother, Liam, and a family friend, Graham Humbert. Their pack was in shambles due to an unexpected war that tipped in Rumple’s favor unfairly. The slimy worm had tricked a witch into helping him take what he felt was his right as Alpha.
It had all gone to hell after that.
Killian was taken across the sea to the safety of Storybrooke. When they’d first arrived, the pack had no true organization. It was a town filled with strays and drifters with no real home among their kind.
Liam changed all that. He made certain that everyone knew they had a place. That he would ensure their safety. It wasn’t the most conventional road, but the others began to look at him as a leader, and in turn, he reclaimed his Alpha birthright.
But then he died, leaving a pregnant wife behind. Elsa gave birth to a baby girl mere weeks after losing Liam. With no heir to speak of, the pack began to look to Killian.
The reluctant Alpha.
As unwanted as the job was, he took it seriously.
Though he never expected to play any part in the prophecy.
Yet here she was, the woman carrying the child destined to bring about the end of Rumplestiltskin. He wasn’t sure which details were true or not. He’d let others worry about prophecies while he focused on more practical matters, like survival.
With these new developments though, he wanted to make sure he knew what he was dealing with. Thankfully, Elsa had a few contacts among the witches who would have better luck tracking down the prophecy in its original form. That alone would help them understand better what they were working with.
“Listen,” he said. “Why don’t we discuss the finer details later?” He figured dumping all the information he had on her would overwhelm her more than she already was. It wasn’t good for her or the baby. “Right now, you’ve just finished a long trip and you’re likely tired. Let’s get you settled so you can rest.”
She relented, though he sensed her defenses were still up. Not that she was afraid. He smelled no fear. But she was angry. Frustrated by a situation beyond their control. Stuck in a place she’d rather not be.
He understood that feeling well.
Just as he tried to reassure her, he reminded himself that this was all temporary. How temporary remained to be seen. They had at least a full six months before the baby was born. Then, he couldn’t imagine the danger would pass. The infant would be weak and vulnerable. There wasn’t a chance Emma could protect him on her own.
He didn’t doubt her capabilities. From what David had told him, she was a fairly powerful witch despite her inexperience. Still, a pack of wolves would have no trouble with just one witch.
“I’m not sure Neal even knows I’m pregnant,” Emma said. “He ran off with his backup plan -who also happened to be the woman he was cheating with- when I started to question his methods.” And when I was no longer useful. She added silently.
She didn’t even realize she was pregnant until some time later.
“I doubt the thought will cross his mind,” Killian nodded. “But his father has been dreading this prophecy since his rise to the top. It’s the reason he’s surrounded himself with power.”
“They haven’t talked in years,” she argued. “Maybe even decades.”
Killian still seemed wary. “Like I said, luv. He surrounds himself with power. I wouldn’t put it past him to keep a few seers and oracles at his command.”
Emma frowned. That was the last thing she wanted to think about. Despite Neal’s refusal to talk to his father, Killian confirmed that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Their methods were similar, and Neal was definitely trying to start an uprising of sorts.
Wasn’t her power the very reason he’d kept her around? As undeveloped as it was, he still found a use for her. It wasn’t until Tamara stepped in and outshined her that Neal decided working on Emma’s skills -or lack thereof- wasn’t worth the effort.
It wasn’t that she was a bad witch. Quite the opposite. When it came to potions and spells, she could keep up with the best of them. For an orphan with no formal guidance, it was a wonder she had any clue at all.
“You need rest,” Killian reiterated. “We can talk later.”
“Okay,” she agreed. Normally, she’d put up a fight, hating it when she was told what to do. But Killian was right, she needed rest. The trip from England had been turbulent, and the fight with David had been even worse. She didn’t want to have to deal with another storm before she had a chance to close her eyes for awhile.
He left her alone after that, and while she was exhausted and ready for a good nap, the moment her head hit the pillow, her eyes were wide open and her mind was racing.
What the hell was she doing?
Running from one problem and right into another. That’s what she was doing. It was bad enough she’d gotten mixed up with Neal and his insanity. Now she was getting caught up with Killian, Storybrooke and the ceasefire that only seemed to exist because of an ocean.
She was going to drive him insane. When David had informed him that his cousin would probably be a difficult housemate, Killian imagined that he’d been exaggerating. Family was always difficult. It was in their nature to annoy one another and make house sharing a trial.
Oh, how wrong he was.
He immediately regretted not taking his friend seriously once Emma woke from her nap. It seemed she had a renewed energy, and a bone to pick. Suddenly, the slightly defensive woman he’d met became a force to be reckoned with.
Though he wasn’t quite sure why she was upset with him.
Emma was not someone he would consider fragile. A little bit naive, perhaps, but tough as nails. She was hard headed and stubborn, leading him to understand how she’d gotten in so deep before finally reaching out to David for help.
“I’m sorry,” she said, though it sounded more like a snap than an apology. She had been fighting him on just about everything, so the “sorry” was welcome, but he didn’t think it meant the end of trouble. “I know you’re just trying to protect me, or whatever it is that David’s paid you to do, but I’m not used to having rules like this.”
He wasn’t sure she was used to having any sort of rules at all.
“First of all,” he sighed.”Dave isn’t paying me.” Oh, he’d tried. But taking the money felt wrong, and it wasn’t like he needed it. Immortality could have its perks if you played the financial game right. “Second, I’m not trying to restrict you. I’m simply telling you that… at least for the time being, you shouldn’t be alone. If you need to go out, I’ll accompany you. If I have to take off, I’ll have someone come in and stay with you-”
“I’m not a child,” she argued. “I don’t need to be babysat. And how much protection do I really need anyway? Neal doesn’t even know about the baby, and his father… even if he knows, he’s a whole ocean away.”
“Airplanes are a thing, luv,” Killian stated. She did have a point though. Even travel took time, and infiltrating Storybrooke could prove difficult for an unwelcome guest. Still…
Emma groaned in annoyance. She may have denied being a child, but her actions screamed defiant teenager.
“I doubt Rumple will come at all,” Killian continued, ignoring her little tantrum. “At least not at first. He’ll likely send his dispatchers to take care of the problem. That’s what I’m worried about. You’ll never see them coming.”
“And you will?” she sassed.
“Aye,” he nodded as he ran a thumb over the scarred skin where his left hand used to be. “I made the mistake of not knowing once.” He’d lost Milah and his hand in one fell swoop. “It’s a mistake I’ll never make again.”
And he hadn’t. Rumple had sent plenty of spies and dispatchers over the years. Killian assumed they were attempting to finish the job. So long as Killian was alive, he was a threat. With Liam gone, he was still the true heir of his old pack. Not that he’d want the position. As reluctant as he was to be in charge in Storybrooke, taking over the English pack would prove futile. Rumple had owned them for over a century. They were, and always would be, loyal to him.
The fight didn’t leave Emma, but she nodded. “Okay. So, I’m safe with you, or… whoever you decide to put in charge. Got it.” There was sarcasm in there, but he was just grateful that she’d relented for the time being.
“I know it feels like you’re a prisoner,” he said. “And I know we don’t know each other very well, but believe me when I say that I hate doing this. All the same, I take my job seriously, and right now, my main focus is to protect you and your baby.”
“I get it,” she sighed.
“Perhaps a bit of company… other than me… would help you feel better?” he asked, smiling when she seemed to perk up at the suggestion.
When he’d told Elsa about Emma’s predicament, his sister-in-law was quick to not only help him with the prophecy, but ready to pack up and bring her family to Storybrooke.
In a way, he supposed he owed Emma. It had been awhile since he’d seen Elsa since she’d remarried and followed her husband to New York. It was hard for Killian to leave his pack behind, and quite a trip for his young niece.
He missed them fiercely. So despite the circumstances, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t at least a bit grateful.
There was a pack in New York that was made up of strays and drifters, just like Storybrooke. Despite the distance, they’d been allies, and as such they were always ready to come running if need be. That was how Elsa had met Jefferson to begin with.
One of Rumple’s dispatchers had gone after Liam and Elsa. There was no mistake. Liam had seen them coming. He’d been able to take out the other wolf, but not without losing his own life in the process. Perhaps it was because he was protecting his wife and child, putting more care into their safety than his own. Elsa carried unnecessary guilt over it, but Killian knew his brother would do it all over again without hesitation.
Killian took care of her, and when Gracie arrived, he cared for her too. Several members of the New York pack stayed behind to help keep everything from falling apart.
Storybrooke reorganized and declared Killian their new leader. It was the last thing he wanted, but he didn’t have the heart to let all his brother worked for go to waste.
“So who’s going to be my new best friend?” Emma asked. Again, her words were laced with a sarcastic tone, but this time, she seemed more amused than annoyed by the situation.
“My sister-in-law,” he stated. He didn’t care that she’d remarried. Hell, he loved Jefferson, and was even the best man at their wedding. But Elsa would always be his family. “You’ll like her, actually. She’s a bit like you.”
Emma raised an eyebrow and laughed. “Is that a compliment?”
“If you want it to be,” he chuckled. “She’s also a witch.”
“So you hired me a tutor?” she asked.
“Why is everything an argument with you?” he groaned. “Yes, she will most likely want to help you with your magic. No, I am not paying her to tutor you. But she’s also bringing her husband and my niece. So-”
“You get to have a guy's night, and we get to be little happy housewives?” When he growled at her, she smirked. “I’m just kidding. Yikes. David said you had a temper, but he didn’t say you were this touchy.”
“He did say you were this difficult,” he muttered, but the statement only seemed to amuse Emma more.
Emma tossed and turned for the better part of an hour. She’d opened the window, hoping a nice sea breeze would help calm… whatever the hell was going on with her.
The moment she’d stepped foot off the plane, she wondered if she’d made a mistake. Asking David for help was really a last ditch effort to fix the mess she’d made of her life, but was it the best choice?
Up until she was 16, Emma had bounced from home to home. An orphan with no past, and seemingly no future -that was until David and his mother found her. She never thought that she might have family other than the parents who had abandoned her, yet there they were. An Aunt and a cousin.
She never really asked why they’d bothered to look for her, and she never pried into their lives for any information on her mother. It was a sore subject for everyone, and Emma didn’t want to open that particular wound. Even after David’s mother, her Aunt Ruth, passed away, she buried the questions. When David tried to talk to her about it, she simply said she didn’t want to know.
It wasn’t exactly the truth. Part of her did want to know. But another part of her reminded her that despite the circumstances, she’d found her family, and her mother -and whoever her father was- deserved no part of it.
David was the best family anyone could ask for. It was just the two of them now, and even though she’d been a world away, they were still close. That was why she asked him for help in the first place. Unfortunately, as eager as he was to help, he was also prone to going overboard with the overprotectiveness.
Hence the babysitter.
She understood that in her circumstance, a supernatural protector was much better than a human. Guns didn’t do much damage against magic. David’s wife, Mary Margaret, was a wolf like Killian, but she’d also just given birth about a month before Emma arrived. A new mom was too busy protecting her own. She didn’t need a wayward stray -especially not one that brought a world of trouble trailing behind her.
Besides, Killian was the Alpha, and David made sure she understood that when it came to protecting the pack, he was the man in charge. And when Killian said he took his job seriously, she knew he meant it.
There was something about him though. Something that triggered that need in her to butt heads with him. Granted, that was usually her default state. She butted heads with most people. Even David. That was why she’d run off to England in the first place. She wanted to find her way on her own, and it felt like the furthest away from anyone who might want to reel her in.
Now she was here, completely reeled in. Finding one’s place in the world really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
A sharp knock on her door startled her.
“Emma?” Killian called.
She grabbed at the comforter and covered herself. She wasn’t indecent, but she wasn’t wearing much. No need to give Killian any ideas. “Yeah,” she answered once she was sure she was semi presentable.
Killian opened the door and frowned at the open window. “Really?” he asked.
Emma wondered how he knew.
“I can’t set the alarm with an open window,” he said, answering her unspoken question. “And what the bloody hell are you thinking, luv?”
“It’s warm,” she lied.
Killian crossed the room and shut the window. “It’s not. And you really should be more careful. It’s bad enough that someone could break in through the window. There’s no need to just let them in.”
“And if it gets too hot?” she snapped.
“I’ll bring you a fan,” he growled as he left the room. The door didn’t slam, but it didn’t close gently either.
“Well that could have gone better,” Emma grumbled. Though she wasn’t sure how. Killian Jones was infuriating.