Killian wakes with an unfortunate feeling of being watched. He keeps his eyes closed, the typical chills of knowing he isn’t alone running down his spine. He takes the time to evaluate the situation, and it’s easy to sense he’s not in danger. There’s no adrenaline pumping, no fight or flight instinct kicking in. So, he opens his eyes slowly and tries to move before remembering that the restraints are still on him. He can adjust but not much and he can’t leave the bed. Looking over, he’s not surprised to find a pair of eyes on his. The fact that it’s a stranger does surprise him, though.
“What’s it like to be a pirate?”
Blinking a few times, Killian tries to recognize the boy sitting across from him. He doesn’t think he’s seen him, although Killian had been a bit groggy when he first got in. He observes the tilt of his nose, the full cheeks, and mischievous smile, and Killian nods. “You’re Emma’s son.”
The boy, he must be Henry, nods and leans closer. He sounds entirely too excited when he speaks. “And you’re Captain Hook. Mom and Mary Margaret told me all about you. They told me to stay away but…” He trails off then, shrugging his shoulders and leaning the chair back on two legs. Killian has a feeling this boy doesn’t often do what he’s told. Just like his mother.
“But you were curious what a pirate is like,” Killian finishes knowingly, trying to sit up with difficulty considering his bonds. It ends up being too painful and so he lays back down with a grimace. “I’ll show you marvelous things if you give me my hook, kid.”
“I may be young but I’m not stupid,” Henry responds scathingly and Killian has to laugh at the indignant look on the kid’s face. “My mom calls me kid too.”
Killian nods, yawns, and looks up at Henry. He’s surprised he didn’t immediately recognize the boy now that he’s looking closer. Henry has quite a few similarities to his mother. He definitely has the same fire in his eyes, and Killian has to smile at that. “Where is she anyway, your mother?”
Henry looks at him again with the same look as before. “I’m not telling you. It’s none of your business. Now, are you going to tell me what it’s like to be a pirate or should I leave?” Henry stands up at the threat, looking exactly like his mother, Killian thinks, down to the expression on his face.
Annoyance fills him, and Killian is tempted to reprimand the kid. How dare Henry speak to him like that? Killian wasn’t the one who barged into the hospital room, waking him up from a very pleasurable dream and then taunting him when he didn’t get right to the point about how he lived his life. However, although Killian would rather cut out his tongue than admit it, he’s bored. He isn’t used to laying in a bed alone all day. He’s had his crew with him for as long as he can remember. So, he shrugs. “What do you want to know?”
“Did you really meet Peter Pan?” Henry asks, sitting back down and Killian realizes in that moment that Henry had no intention of leaving either way. He’s tempted to ignore the question simply because he doesn’t enjoy being manipulated.
“Ah, Peter Pan,” he says instead, looking at the boy. He can’t deny that it’s nice to have such a rapt listener. He enjoys telling his tales. And so, he launches in to the story of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys and Neverland and Tinkerbell.
Henry is the perfect audience, gasping at all the right parts and Killian embellishes details even more than he normally does. When Emma comes in several hours later, Killian’s throat is sore from talking. He’s waving his arms as wildly as he can with the cuffs on, telling a tale of himself and Milah having to escape from a wicked sea witch who tried to lure them in with her, admittedly beautiful, singing voice.
Just the word has both males jumping, looking over, one with a guilty expression and one with an entirely unrepentant one.
“Mom,” Henry responds, the look of guilt easing as he sees that Emma doesn’t look too angry. “How’d you find me?”
“Ah, Henry. You should never ask something like that. Feign innocence. You can simply say that I kidnapped you,” Killian says to Henry, his expression changing as he turns to Emma. He adds as much heat as he can to his gaze while he’s still in such pain, a smile playing on his lips. “Emma, love, I only did it so you’d have to come visit me.”
Emma scoffs, coming to stand behind Henry’s chair and resting a hand on her shoulder. She would never admit she had found Henry nearly an hour ago and had been listening to the story of the sea witch. There’s something about Killian’s voice when he talks about Milah, something that makes her go hot and cold and she refuses to think about what that means. “Because I’m sure the great Captain Hook is lonely.”
“It’s the truth. Perhaps you should move me into your apartment. Or even better, your bedroom so I can get round-the-clock care.” Killian grins, revealing his teeth, and there’s that damn fluttering in her chest again. It has to go away before Emma screams, throws something, or worse, gives in.
When they had been in her mother’s land it had been different. She had a son to get back to and she couldn’t be distracted, especially when she didn’t know where Killian’s loyalties had been. Now, here, it’s different. She still has a commitment phobia, and she doesn’t want to let anybody slip past her defenses the way Killian so badly wants to. But sometimes… sometimes the man sends heat straight to her stomach. “Perhaps I’ll send you to a psych ward where you’ll get no visitors at all. Henry, aren’t you supposed to be at the stables taking care of your horse?”
“Already done. Gramps said that I can ride him tomorrow,” Henry says, a proud smile on his lips that Emma returns. He is the only one who can elicit such a smile from her and Killian can’t deny that he enjoys it.
That she’s so open right now, so soft, has Killian drawing in a sharp breath of surprise before he’s realizing he’s doing it. She raises her eyebrows, but he shakes his head. Not a conversation they need to have in front of her son.
“Then why are you here?” Emma asks Henry, even though she already knows the answer.
Henry waves a hand in Killian’s direction and Emma marvels that Killian has stayed as quiet as long as he has. He seems to observe them and Emma wonders just what he’s seeing. She wonders just what had caused him to gasp. “It’s Captain Hook, Mom. I mean, Snow White and Prince Charming are one thing… kinda boring, don’t tell them I said that. But this is Captain Hook.”
“I’m flattered. See, beautiful? Your son here knows how to talk to me,” Killian says, lips curving into a mischievous smirk as he looks at her.
She pointedly ignores him, squeezing Henry’s shoulder. “Henry, I don’t want you to come back here. Captain Hook is dangerous.”
Henry looks up at her, back at Killian and then at her again. If Killian’s not wrong, he’s being deliberately manipulative and Emma can see it as well.
“He’s completely tied up. What’s the worst that could happen?” Henry asks.
“Shall I answer that?” Killian asks and Emma turns to him with a glare, eyebrows raised. He gives her a cheeky smile before his look turns serious. It might be the most serious she’s ever seen him. “Do you really think I’m going to hurt your son, Swan?”
Deep inside, if she’s honest with herself, she knows the answer to that. Just like, as they look at each other, she knows that he would never hurt her. He’s a mystery to her, a liar, and one who avoids all her attempts at catching said lies. But she knows that neither she nor Henry are in any danger from him. “Regardless, I don’t want him getting any bad ideas. He doesn’t need to be caught up in this.”
Killian’s eyes seem to be looking directly into her soul in a way that makes her remarkably uncomfortable. She looks away, and he grins triumphantly.
“Why don’t you get us something to drink? My throat’s parched from so many stories,” Killian says in Henry’s direction.
Henry looks suspicious, but at his mother’s nod, he huffs and heads out of the hospital room in search of a vending machine.
“What do you want, Hook?” Emma asks, coming around the chair Henry had vacated so they’re closer.
“After everything we’ve been through, you need to trust me,” Killian says. She gasps, jerking back and pulling her gun as he removes his arm effortlessly from the restraint. “I’ve been able to get up ever since they moved me into this room. You think a hospital bed could keep Captain Hook? If I wanted to, I could’ve choked the doctor, got the key, took my hook and left.”
Emma looks at him as if she’s searching his face for something, her gun in hand but her finger off the trigger. “So, why are you still here? Why haven’t you gone after Rumpelstiltskin or Belle or… just gone?”
“What would I do?” Killian asks, unable to hide the note of bitterness in his voice. Emma hears it, her head tilting a little to the side. “The portal is closed. I’m stuck here. I can’t go home. The townspeople either hate me or fear me. I don’t know my way around town.” The bitterness is masked then, a smirk taking its place. “Would you like to give me a tour, love? I could be persuaded to make a break for it with you.”
“I could you give you tighter restraints right now. Or, I can put you back in handcuffs and make sure you can’t leave,” Emma says, softly. Neither misses the way her voice shakes and it’s not fear.
The picture of nonchalance, Killian shrugs. And Emma finally puts her gun away, her hands dropping to her side.
“Are you planning on that, Emma?” Killian asks, her name coursing through her like a flame.
“Will you go after somebody? Are you going to hurt anybody else?”
As Killian sits up, she notices his wince, reaching a hand out, but he waves her away. “Guess you’ll just have to do what I’ve been telling you, love. Trust me. Or don’t. I’ve found telling you what to do rarely works.”
They both look up as Henry comes back in, holding a can of coke with a straw in it. Killian hastily crams his arm back into the restraint, his eyes never leaving Emma’s although she avoids his gaze. Henry hesitates at the door, sensing the tension, before continuing into the room.
“Did I interrupt something?” Henry asks.
“No,” Emma says immediately.
“Yes,” Killian says at the same time.
With a quiet sigh, Emma ruffles Henry’s hair as she moves out of his way so he can sit in the chair again. She smiles as Henry looks at her, obviously worried she’s going to make him leave. “Be good.”
A knowing glint in his eye, Killian grins at her. “Not going to tell me that, too?”
Emma isn’t sure what possesses her, isn’t even sure exactly what she’s doing until she’s leaning forward, resting her hand on his cheek and looking deep into his eyes. The heat shoots through her, her stomach clenching at the way he’s gazing at her. They both know what the other is searching for and it seems they both find it. In that moment, Emma wants nothing more than to lean forward, connect their lips, do what she’s been dying to do and what he so clearly wants.
It’s only the thought of Henry that has her pulling away and she clears her throat. “I’ll be back later to pick up Henry, Hook.”
Killian’s eyes don’t leave hers. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“Ew. Can we get back to the mermaid now? It was starting to get good,” Henry asks, wiggling the coke can as he sits forward, all but pushing Emma out of the room.
Emma nods, giving Henry a wave and avoiding Killian’s eyes on her.
“Emma.” Reluctantly, she turns to face Killian, tilting her head in acknowledgement. “Call me Killian, love.”
She shakes her head, although they both know it’s not a denial of his request. She doesn’t respond, leaving the hospital room with the door cracked. Triumphantly, Killian smiles, sure that she’ll be calling him his name from now on. He turns back to Henry, trying to remember what they’d been talking about.
“The mermaid,” Henry prompts impatiently.
“Ah, yes. Well, me and Milah were the only people on board and there was a gigantic wave coming towards us, bigger than anything I’d ever seen before in my life…” Killian says, getting quickly back into the story, using his arms to indicate how big the wave was. Henry is just as attentive as before and he doesn’t seem to notice that Killian is just a bit distracted.
And neither are aware of Emma sitting right outside the door, eyes closed and her head against the wall. It’s his voice that she can’t walk away from. It has nothing to do with him. Just his voice, she tells herself.