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Something in the Wine

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He has a brother. The revelation catches Killian off-guard more than seeing his rotten bastard of a father in the Enchanted Forest over a hundred years after…

Well, after.

He’s conflicted. All he’s wanted since the day his father left them, was his family back. His father, his brother, and him together again. He knows it’s a child’s dream, an impossible dream, but he’s been unable to bury it down deep enough. It’s his particular failing as a pirate that he’s never fully kept that particular treasure of his locked and hidden away for good.

But now there’s a chance… His father is magically alive and he has a brother. A family.

After Liam died, he’d acquired a family of sorts in his crew, but they could be bought, and his trust in most of them only extended as far as the payroll being disbursed in a timely manner. He’d begun building a family with Milah—had a family in her. Then, in a heartbeat, she was dead, along with their dreams of a future together.

This new turn of events with his father isn’t enough for him to give up his vengeance, to forget about the Crocodile, or Milah, or the loss of his hand. It’s too late for family. Out of respect for that elusive dream, he decides to renege on his terms with Regina and remove them from the equation before she realizes and keeps him from his prize.

The letters of passage are not hard to come by; merchant ship captains who want to keep their goods are generally amenable to making deals with feared and legendary pirates.

A legendary pirate with a brother young enough to be his own son, in this case. Killian cannot quite see himself playing the same role his own older brother did. He’s hardly as protective or as jovial as Liam was. Killian is dark and angry, rash and violent. He’s Captain Hook and not Killian at all. There is no room in his life anymore for love of any kind. Romantic or fraternal.  

He’d tried with Bae, his last chance at having something resembling a family, to give up his revenge to make a life for Milah’s son in her stead and couldn’t do it. He’d never forgiven himself for letting her wish for Baelfire to be a part of their lives to go unfulfilled. After that, Killian never considered he’d get another chance at being part of a family—even one that was cobbled together. He certainly never expected this.

As Killian hears his father call the young boy “Liam,” hears him offer those same words of bravery to the boy he’d said to Killian on the eve of the demise of his childhood, he becomes incensed. Barely thinking at all, consumed by the disrespect shown to his Liam, Killian reacts. In the time it takes him to pull his blade and sink it in his father’s gut, he loses everything he never thought he had to begin with.   

Captain Hook is the kind of man who deserves no family.

Killian blinks and finds himself in the close confines of the Queen’s carriage again. His heart pounds in his chest and his throat is tight holding back a shout of frustration and agony that threatens to tear from him.

“Finally awake, I see, Captain,” Regina says. Her tone is as imperious as ever and tinged with something he can only categorize as glee.

She smiles at him in a way that makes him think of sharks.

“I was beginning to wonder if you’d ever wake.”

Wake? “What are you talking about?” Killian straightens up and clears his throat, but he feels leaden and slow.

Regina smoothes the skirt of her dress and folds her hands over her lap. “My spell, of course. In the wine you were drinking? It’s a variant of the sleeping curse I created.”

“What the bloody hell did you do to me?” Killian grinds out.

Shrugging, Regina says, “I sent you on a little…dream mission, if you will. The only way to wake up is to complete the task I set out for you. In this case it was to kill someone, but not just any old person. Yourweakness.”

Killian’s heart still hammers from beneath his ribcage, and the ire he’d felt toward his father is nothing compared to what is rising in him with every word passing from Regina’s lips.

Leaning forward in her seat, Regina grins conspiratorially at Killian. “So, who did you kill?”

Pushing into the cushioned backrest as far as it will allow, Killian sneers. “My father.”

“That couldn’t have been easy. Well done. You’ve passed my test, Captain.”

All he can do is roll his eyes at her smug satisfaction. “Wonderful.”

“Shall we get on with the business of you killing my mother now?” Regina sticks her head out the window of the door and commands her drive to return to her castle.

It was all in his head. His father, his younger brother. Liam. Neither of them were real. Making his brother an orphan never happened. His family is an illusion. Again. Killian can’t decide if he is relieved or sickened.

In that moment, he finally understands that his dream of having family is like a wave shattering against a shore until it’s rocks are jagged and dangerous. Uninhabitable, just as he’s become. Killian also knows it’s not his father who is—or was—the real weakness.

He’ll be damned if he ever lets Regina find that out.