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What Are You Waiting For?

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It was near one in the morning as she looked out the window of her father’s truck. She could barely see anything, but she remain focused on the passenger window so her father couldn’t see her still crying. She tried to muffle her sniffles, but she knew he heard them.

He sighs as he moves his hand over to hers and squeezes it a bit “I’m not sorry for what I did, to be honest I’d do it again. Actually I would have skipped the reasonable talking and gone straight to knocking his lights out.”

She couldn’t help but smile at how ridiculous her father could be at times, “I know dad… it still doesn’t make it hurt any less of what he did though.”

“I know princess, but he got what he deserved. I should have hit him with my truck!”

“Really dad!?” She shook her head and chuckled, “I think you did enough damage to Walsh. He’s probably going to be in the hospital for a week.”

“Well, the stupid son of a bitch shouldn’t have cheated on you Emma, knowing full well that her father would teach him a lesson… which I think he won’t forget!” He said, sounding self-assured.

“Thank you dad, I’m glad I called you.” She was glad, if she had called her best friend Elsa, she’d be listening to her tell her that she never liked the guy or that she can do a million times better, etcetera. While the boasting would have been nice, she needed her dad. Also she really did want Walsh to be knocked out cold. All that kept going through her mind was *4 years, I wasted 4 years!* She was tired of the men that the universe was offering her, why was it so challenging to find a decent guy?

As they drove into their quaint little town the sun was starting to rise, she saw a few of the locals scattered around heading off to work. She smiled as she thought to herself that nothing ever changes in Storybrooke. The smile went away as she told herself again *Nothing ever changes.*

Chapter Text

“Why am I not surprised that mom is waiting outside for us, it has to be at least fifty degrees outside.” Emma shakes her head as he father pulls into the drive way.

“The whole town could be flooded and I guarantee your mother would be in a boat waiting, if she knew you were on your way. There could be tornado…”

“I get it dad!” She climbs out of the truck and gives her mother a weak smile as she heads towards her for a hug. “Hi mom.”

Mary Margaret was beaming as she gave her “little” girl a hug. She didn’t say anything, she just let her hug do all the talking. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s that her daughter wouldn’t want to talk about the last twelve hours, so the most she could do was embrace her tighter to let her know she’ll be okay. She pulled away to see Emma trying to hold back her tears, but ultimately gave in and let them roll down her face. Mary Margaret gave her an earnest smile, before guiding her into their family home.

It took everything Emma had to not fall apart in her mother’s arms, but the moment her mother’s hold tightened she couldn’t fight it anymore. She didn’t like to look weak in front of her parents. She always tried to seem stable, but when your boyfriend of four years decides to cheat on you for two out of those four years with some busty red head, in your home, and in your bed. There’s a time where it’s okay to just break down and cry your eyes out and this was one of those times. She goes over to the living and curls up on the couch and just cries. She held it together long enough, she needed to wallow and hate herself for not realizing what was going on sooner… she felt stupid.

“Why does it feel like I’m incapable of being loved by anyone other than my parents?” Emma cried.

Mary Margaret sits next to Emma and places a pillow on her lap before guiding her to rest her head on it as she strokes her hair back. “I hate that someone made you feel like you’ll never find love or that no one will ever love you, because that’s just not true. One day you’ll meet someone who will make you forget that you ever felt like this, but for now just cry. Get it all out of your system so you can move on from this.”

Listening to her mother talk was putting her to sleep, she had almost a singsong tone to her voice when she spoke. It always reminded her of Snow White when she spoke to the woodland creatures. With that last thought she was fast asleep. Mary Margaret gently slid out from her and covered her with one of the blankets lying around. She walked over to the kitchen where she found her husband adoring his cup of coffee.

“Everything not go as you wanted it to?” She said smugly, knowing that David was only to pick Emma up and bring her back home, without any confrontations.

David set his cup down and gave his wife a questionable look, “I don't know what you're talking about?" He didn't look at her as he took a sip before admitting to what he did. "Alright, it went exactly how I wanted it to. I broke the jackass’s nose, I just wish I had done it sooner. It took a lot of willpower to not beat him to a pulp.” He took another sip of his coffee. “I hate that she’s in pain because of him.”

“Me too, but with time she’ll be fine.” Mary Margaret sighed as she looked back out to the living room, seeing her daughter pulling a pillow close to her, to feel a sense of security. She was startled by David’s phone going off.

“Sheriff Nolan… uh-huh… yeah… okay, I’ll be there soon.” He puts his phone back in his pocket before bee lining it to his wife to kiss her bye. “That was Killian, said there’s a problem at his shop. I’ll be back after dealing with this, to get some sleep, love you."

“Love you back.” She watches him leave and goes back to the living room to sit next to Emma as she sleeps. She grabs a book off the coffee table and begins to read it as she drinks her coffee while her daughter sleeps peacefully besides her. “One day, sweetheart.” She whispers to herself.

Chapter Text

Late afternoon Emma opens her eyes as she hears knocking at the door, it took her a minute to remember where she was, but reality was settling in of the night before. She sees a note on the coffee table from her mother telling her that she and her father were out at the grocers and will be back later. She almost felt sad again being alone, if it was for whoever was outside deciding that knocking wasn’t enough, no they needed to start ringing the doorbell continuously to irritate her. She storms over to the front door and opens it, just as she was about to start yelling at the asshat ringing the doorbell, she was immediately attacked by blondes. Pulling her into them for a death crushing hug, that was soon followed by being grilled for her actions.

Elsa was the first one to start in on Emma, “Do you have any idea how worried I was?! I get one phone call from you and you were completely incoherent the whole two minutes talking to me. I swear I thought I heard that your washing machine broke on you! And here I’m thinking, wow that must be an excellent washing machine to be crying over. I called you back at least a dozen times! Just to find out this morning from your father that, that dick cheated on you!” She pulled Emma back into another soul crushing hug.

“I’m sorry… after I called you I decided to call my dad.” Emma said as she sniffled a bit into Elsa’s shoulder.

“And what?! You decided I didn’t need to know you weren’t okay?” The other blonde decided that Elsa’s scolding wasn’t enough. “We’re friends Emma! Best friends, if you’re not okay, we’re not okay.”

Emma moved back from Elsa and looked at Tink. “I’m sorry Tink… I just…” Emma knew that her friends would always be there for her, no matter what. She just didn’t want to put them through another failed relationship. She almost told them this, before Elsa’s previous words confused her. She looks back at Elsa, “How did you get broken washing machine from that phone call?”

“Walsh… washing, with your chaotic crying I mistook cheating for machine. I heard broke just fine, but then you hung up on me thinking the conversation was over…” Elsa spoke like her misunderstanding made sense, but she soon changed her tone to a firm one. “Which by the way clearly isn’t.”

Emma and Tink snickered at her clarification, but Elsa just rolled her eyes at them.

“Yeah, so are you going to let us in so we can talk about it?” Tink chirped.

Emma stepped aside to let them in, they immediately went to the living room and hunkered down on the sofa.

“Wait?! Do we need drinks for this?” Tink asks.

They all looked at each other and nodded simultaneously, Emma rushed to the kitchen to grab a bottle of red wine and three glasses. She comes back and has Tink pop the cork. After the glasses have been filled, she sighs.

“So where do you want to start?” Elsa asks

“The beginning…” Emma could feel herself starting to drown in her thoughts and all the signs she should have seen. She took a sip of her wine and starts. “I wasn’t enough, what we had wasn’t enough, and it kills me to know that he wasn’t just fooling around with woman after woman. He was in a relationship with one other woman for two years, while he was with me.” She sniffled. “I should have seen the signs, they were right there in front of me! He hired this leggy, presumptuous, red haired woman and I pretended to be fine with it. He truly did need help with his store and she had experience, but after time Walsh would start telling me that some important buyer wanted their furniture with extravagant detailing. So he had to stay late here and there to make sure the buyer was satisfied and that he needed Zelena’s help. Apparently with all those late nights they fell in love. I ignored the looks they gave each other or how he would touch her so carelessly. I didn’t want to be that girlfriend who was jealous all the time, feeling insecure.”

“Oh, Emma.” Tink reached over to grab her hand.

Tears were now streaming down Emma’s face, “Last night I came home and there they were...” She will never be able to erase the image of them from her mind. “In our bed, her on top of him… I can’t… I can’t stop seeing or hearing them.” She moves her hands to her face and cries into them.

Elsa and Tink set their glasses down and moved in closer to Emma to hug her as tightly as they could. Their hearts were breaking for their friend. After a few minutes they pull away and hastily grabbed their wine glasses to drink, refilling Emma’s.

“He told me that he didn’t love me anymore and that he hasn’t for the last year, all while she was still on top of him. I lost it, I started throwing things and screaming. I left the apartment and that’s when I called you, but I reverted back to a child. Calling my dad, I needed my dad… I needed the only constant positive male role model in my life with me than my friends. He picked me up in time square and didn’t say anything other than we need to pick up my stuff. When we got back to the apartment Walsh and Zelena were still there.”

Tink and Elsa were now more absorbed with the story, because everyone knows not to hurt the daughter of Sheriff David Nolan.

“Walsh thought it would be a good idea to be rude to my dad for barging in, dad was calm for a good two minutes before he couldn’t hold in his anger anymore. He began to roar at Walsh, calling him a disappointment and that if he was a man he would have ended things the moment he knew he wasn’t in love with me. Walsh decided to retaliate by speaking unkindly things to me, how I needed rescuing from my daddy and that I was too damaged to continue loving. That’s when dad charged at him, one swift punch to the face and dad broke his nose.” Emma downed her glass.

Elsa’s eyes widened and Tink started giggling. Emma couldn’t help but relish in the memory of her dad defending her honor.

“Blood gushing everywhere, of course dad liked it so much that he went back and gave him a few more licks. Zelena was screaming in the background about calling the cops and dad told her he was a cop and that if she did call them they’d probably get in a few hits too. You know my dad, he’s friends with everyone. After that we gathered all my things and now here we are.”

“Walsh… is an idiot and you…” Elsa moves her hand to Emma’s chin to lift it, so she’s looking at her. “You are not damaged, don’t let his words affect you. There is a whole town who loves and cares for you, compared to one man.”

“Whole town versus one man.” Tink uses her arms and hands to gesture Elsa’s point, then smiles at her. “Now, as much fun as staying home and drinking your mother’s wine is, I think we need to go out! We can hit up Ruby’s nightclub.”

“Since when does Aunt Ruby have a nightclub?” Emma asks.

“Since her and Victor broke up six months ago, but we all know they’re still seeing each other for the last five weeks. Shhh… it’s a secret.” Tink said sarcastically.

Emma laughed and shook her head, she really did miss being home. “Okay, we can go to Ruby’s club. What’s it called?”

Tink and Elsa smiled and said together, “Prey.”

Chapter Text

“Emma, we’re back!” Mary Margaret shouts after seeing the couch vacant. Her and David head to the kitchen with bags of groceries.

“Emma?!” David calls after her, wondering if she was still at the house. Soon they hear footsteps of more than one person coming down the stairs.

Emma comes around the corner to the kitchen with Elsa and Tink following right behind her. “Hey, I was wondering when the two of you would be back. Tink and Elsa want to take me out tonight for a girls night.”

Mary Margaret smiles when she sees the girls, “Well that sounds nice, you need a girl’s night out. Hello Elsa, Tinkerbella.”

Tink scrunches her nose when she hears her full name being said out loud, “You don’t have to say my full name Mrs. Nolan, Tink is just fine.” She hated that her mother had an obsession with Tinkerbell when she was pregnant with her, figured adding an ‘a’ at the end gave her name flair.

Elsa and Emma snickered at Tinks annoyance with her name. She shot them a death glare before looking back at Mary Margaret.

“Okay, Tink.” She says and chucks as she put away the groceries.

“So where are you three going or is it a secret?” David asks.

“They're taking me to see Aunt Ruby’s club. Why didn’t either of you tell me she opened up a club?” Emma asks.

“To be honest we didn’t think it would be thriving like it is, we thought she would have gotten frustrated with having two businesses. Figured she would have closed it down after the first month, but the younger townsfolk liked having another place to hang out. So she decided to keep it since it was making money. Also there’s room to dance, unlike the Rabbit Hole.” Mary Margaret explained, “We just kept forgetting to bring it up.”

David cut in, “You can blame our old age.”

The girls giggled at his comment, “Please, the two of you aren’t even 50 yet! Anyways we’re going to go get ready and head out.” Emma said.

“Okay sweetie, your key is hanging on the hook by the front door. I attached a cute keychain I think you’re going to like.” Mary Margaret said thoughtfully. “You girls be safe.”

“There’s tiny pepper spray bottles in the front closet, each of you take one. Use it on someone if they don’t know the meaning of no, got it?” David looked at all three of them until they nodded.

“Yes and thank you Mr. Nolan” Elsa smiled as she left the kitchen with Tink and Emma, heading back up to Emma’s room. They went through her closet trying to find something to wear. “Here.” Elsa hands Tink a forest green plunging v-neckline dress with spaghetti straps that falls just midway of her thighs.

“You want me to wear this?! It’s freaking forty degrees outside!” Tink shouts at Elsa.

“Yes and we will be inside. Besides this will look cute on you, so put it on.” Elsa ordered

“Yes your majesty!” Tink wildly bowed to her as she went to change into the dress.

Emma laughs at Tinks over the top hysterics towards Elsa, she really did miss being around them. She missed Tink’s overreactions to just about anything that got to her and Elsa’s demure personality. She could handle anything thrown at her with a calmness. Sometimes she regretted leaving her hometown, but she knew if she stayed her entire life would be predictable. She’d be her father’s deputy and eventually sheriff when he decided to retire. Probably be married to her high school sweetheart Graham and have a child or two. Just stuck doing the same thing day in and day out, but it didn’t happen. All because of a thief.

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It was Emma’s senior year in high school and she had been dating the same boy Graham Humbert since her freshman year. She was absolutely in love with him, he was kind, respectful and always made her feel safe. They were the ‘it’ couple of the school, he was the student body president and captain of the lacrosse team and she… she was just Emma, the sheriff’s daughter. At the time she didn’t care, she was in love and planning her future with Graham after high school. Until the son of the town’s pawn shop owner came into town. Neal Cassidy Gold.

She met him when he was hiding in the back seat of her yellow volkswagen, he was attempting to steal it to leave Storybrooke. He was a few years older than her and had more life experience than her and she found it fascinating. She loved that he was the complete opposite of Graham’s good boy persona. Slowly she was being pulled into his web of destruction. Stealing from a few of the stores in town, lying to her parents about where she had been and with who. Breaking up with Graham for him and not feeling a bit saddened when Graham begged to not throw away their relationship. She didn’t care, all she wanted was an escape to an adventure filled life and she thought she saw that with Neal.

As soon as she graduated she ran away with him to Boston, leaving her parents a note saying not to worry and she’ll keep in touch. Neither of them had a permanent job and stole when they had no money. They lived that way till her twenty first birthday, everything went to hell that day. Neal was starting to steal more than just food and knickknacks. He and a buddy were moving onto breaking into stores and taking everything in the registers, sometimes the big score would be if they can open the store’s safe. The night of her birthday Neal and his associate broke into the wrong store. The owner was still there and used any means necessary to protect his store, so he shot them pointblank in the chest.

Emma was waiting for Neal at her favorite little bistro the night he died. She had waited for over an hour, the waiters felt bad for her being ‘stood up’ and brought her a cupcake with a candle lit for her birthday. She shed a tear as she blew out the candle, wishing she had never met Neal. A few hours later she would be regretting wishing that as she received a phone call letting her know her boyfriend had died during a robbery. Emma’s world felt like it was crumbling around her with that phone call. Two weeks after Neal’s funeral she fled to New York to start her life over again, this time without thieving to survive.

======================

“Earth to Emma!” Elsa shouted

Emma snapped out of her trip down memory lane, “Sorry, what did you say?”

“I said you can wear this… where were you?” Elsa asked as she handed her a dress

“Boston.” Emma replied as she took the dress Elsa picked for her

“Stay away from there… and New York, your mind doesn’t need to visit the past right now.” Elsa said, “Now try on that dress, it’s perfect for tonight.” She smiled at Emma, wanting her to just unwind.

Tink comes back out from the restroom in the green dress and her hair done up in a poufy bun. “Well, if I wind up in the hospital due to hypothermia we know who to blame.” She says as she stares at Elsa.

“Drama queen, but you look great in that dress. Green truly is your color Tink.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere with me miss ice queen, but thank you.” Tink does a once over, making sure she looks perfect.

“My turn, I guess.” Emma walks into the restroom to put on Elsa’s dress choice. She pulled the skin tight red dress with thick straps over her body. She looked at herself in the mirror and noticed how the dress drew attention to her chest and legs as it landed along her mid-thigh. She looked even curvier than before, she walked out and strutted to the middle of her room. The girls were wooing as she modeled off her dress. She wanted to bring the lightheartedness of the evening back before she got lost in her thoughts.

“Good thing you kept that dress, because it didn’t fit that well back in high school.” Said Tink.

“I’m glad I kept it too.” Emma went over to her vanity to apply a bit of makeup and tousle her wavy hair to give it more volume. “Okay, Elsa your turn.”

Elsa scurried to get changed into a navy blue high neck, sleeveless romper with lace going down her outer pant legs to show a bit of skin. She put her hair in a side braid with little gems along it. No matter what Elsa would wear she always looked regal “Let’s go to Prey.”

The town was small and took them no time to arrive at club Prey. When they walked inside Tink darted straight to the fireplace in the lounge to warm up. Elsa went to go check in their coats and Emma was in awe as she looked around. The club had a very carnal, but classy vibe to it. Thick drapes along every entrance, black furniture and various shades of red along the walls. It really did feel like you were prey and at any moment someone was going to come in and pounce on you. Emma could feel a few eyes staring her down. She was beginning to feel overwhelmed, she wasn’t even all the way in the club and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. She pushes away from a crowd entering the club as she was trying to exit. She finally got out and ran to the side of the building where no one was hanging around. Leaning against the cold bricks, she inhaled the icy air.

After a few minutes Emma finally calmed herself down enough to start trembling from the cold. She wrapped her arms around her to try to warm up a bit, but knew she had to go back inside to get her jacket and purse so she could leave. “Ugh!” She wasn’t ready for this, she wasn’t ready to socialize with anyone, and she certainly wasn’t ready for what happened next.

“You okay, love?”

Emma screamed to the top of her lungs and the man who asked how she was jumped back as she startled him. Emma reached for her purse to grab the pepper spray, only to remember its back inside. “Damn it! I really didn’t want to go out tonight, just for it to end this way.”

The man looked at her confused, “What are you on about? I was just checking to see if you were alright. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

Emma looked over at him and froze. He was handsome, like ridiculously attractive. She couldn’t stop gazing at him, until he cleared his throat. She snapped out it and shook her head, “Sorry, I’m just… I didn’t see you there. I thought I was alone.”

He smiled at Emma, “It’s alright, love.” His voice was warm and kind, like he was actually concerned about her, a complete stranger. “I heard something over here, there have been vandals in the area. I thought I was going to catch one finally.”

“You thought I was a vandal?”

“Can you blame me?” he countered. “It’s late and this is usually the time people up to no good come out to play.”

“Well, I can assure you I didn’t come out to play.” Emma wanted to bop her head for such a lame response. “I just needed air.”

“I see… I think you’ve had enough of the frosty air, anymore and you’ll pass out from it.” He shrugs his coat off and hands it to her. “Here, you clearly need it more than I.”

She hesitates for a second before deciding to take it and put it on, wrapping it tightly to her. It was still warm from him, “Thank you.”

He noticed her attire and could tell she fell victim to the towns latest hotspot. "I take it club Prey wasn’t to your liking?”

“At the moment… no. Too many people and it felt like I was being devoured by it all.” Emma huffs as she’s continuing to keep warm.

“Not to come off strong or anything, but do you want to warm up inside my store?” He pointed to the building right behind him.

Emma looked over to see him pointing at a hardware store. She really didn’t want to go back in the club. It was too cold to walk home and in heels, she looked at him and nodded “As long as you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.” He smiles as he walks towards his store and looks over to see her still standing where she was. “Well… what are you waiting for, love?

Chapter Text

Emma contemplated if she should go inside. She didn't know him, he could be a complete lunatic. She just wanted to go back to her room and feel sorry for herself, but as she looked at the sincerity in his eyes, she knew he only wanted to help her. She shakes her head as she tells herself that maybe she was the lunatic for being so trusting, especially after last night. She walks towards the hardware store, once she stepped inside she was immediately immersed in the warmth.She lets out a sigh of content as she gets the feeling back in her face.

Emma looks over her shoulder to see the man rummaging around behind the counter. She jumps a bit when she hears him let out an ‘aha’, then watches him walk back towards her with a small metal box. He places it by her feet and walks around her, he comes back with a stool. She was feeling nervous as they had yet to say anything to one another. She decided to be the first one, just as she opened her mouth he beat her to it.

“Okay… so you can sit there if you’d like.” He gestured to the stool he just brought as he crouched down to the metal box, twisting the knob to turn it on. “Those shoes don’t look like they’re comfortable to stand in… and this wonderful little heater should help warm you up a tad faster. Doesn’t seem like it would, but I assure you within ten seconds you’ll be able to feel your toes again, love.” He stood back up and smiled at her.

“Thank you.” Emma took a step back to sit on the stool, she moved her feet towards the heater and chuckled after ten seconds. “You were right, only ten seconds.”

She was feeling a bit warmer than she should as he stared at her with what only can be described as the most enticing crystal blue eyes she’s ever seen. She moved her feet away from the heater and looked everywhere, but where he was standing. “So… is this your store or do you just manage it?” Emma was internally battling herself, ‘next ask him about the weather, because you’re on a roll with the small talk.’

“I own it. Well, co-own it. A mate of mine and I noticed that Storybrooke was lacking a proper place to purchase apparatuses for your everyday living.” He said proudly.

“You and a friend decided to open a place for people to buy tools and whatnot besides the local five and dime, which only carries hammers and nails. Got it.”

“Well when you put it that way, you make it sound cheap.”

Emma shook her head at how thoughtless she just was, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put down your store. It great Storybrooke has an official hardware store, it’s needed one for a while now.” Even though she isn’t looking at him, she found it stress-free to talk to him. She turned her head a bit towards him. Only to see him still staring at her, she was feeling hot now. Having the heater blasting at her and still wearing his coat, she felt like she was going to melt. She stood up and took it off to give it back to him.

He was about to ask her how long she's lived in Storybrooke and why he hasn't seen her around town, till he saw her taking his coat off. “Wha, what are you doing?”

“Returning your coat, I’m warm now.”

“Yes, but what happens when you leave the warmth of my store and enter the cold again without it?” He really just wanted her to keep it on so he wouldn’t be distracted by how tight and little that red dress is on her.

“I have a coat.” She retorted

“Which I’m assuming is next door, love. Unless you ventured out tonight without one and are referring to the one in your closet at home.”

“Next door and why do you keep calling me love?” She huffed. ‘Quick witted’, she thought as she contested on the coat matter.

“Ah, see. Now from here to there I can already speculate that there is a ninety nine percent chance you will be cold the second you walk out of here… and I don’t know what to call you as you never told me your name. Also it’s out of habit… love.” She was irking him with her stubbornness.

“What about the one percent, huh?” 'Really Emma?' She really need to work on her people skills. “You also never told me your name and you don’t hear me calling you some term of endearment.” Emma was telling herself to stop being at odds with him, but damn it. He was making it difficult for her. She thought maybe she was trying to be annoyed with him, so he would look less attractive to her. She tried handing him the coat again, but he was refusing to take it.

“Killian, Killian Jones.” He said with some frustration. “The one percent chance is you staying here till someone brings you your coat, but I'm guessing no one knows of your whereabouts. Now wear that till you get your own coat back and you can return mine when you’re done with it.”

She thought about it and he was right, then it hit her as she remembered about Elsa and Tink. They were probably freaking out trying to find her, she needed to leave. “Such a gentleman.” Emma quipped back at him.

Killian’s smile came back as he acknowledged her quip, "You still haven't told me your name, love and I'm always a gentleman."

Emma sighed as she held the coat closer to her, "Emma."

"Emma." He said almost a whisper. "Do you have a last name as well or is it one of those names like Bono or Madonna where it's useless to you?"

Damn it, he made her smile at his jest. "I think I'll leave it as Emma." She was screaming on the inside at herself for flirting with Killian. The last thing she needed to do right now is flirt with someone, especially since her last relationship had ended just less than twenty four hours ago. She put the coat back on and went to the door, "Thank you, again for keeping me warm. I'll bring your coat back… eventually." With that being her final say, she walked out.

Killian couldn't look away as she walked out. He knew he had a goofy grin on his face as she left. "Emma." He repeated as he scratched the back of his head, "Bloody hell…" A few minutes later he heard the door open, he looked up hoping it was her. Immediate discontent showed on his face as he saw it was his best mate and co-owner of the hardware store, Robin.

“Well don’t be too ecstatic to see me, mate.” Robin chuckled as he walked over to Killian. “How did the rest of your evening go?”

Killian smirked as he thought about his short time with Emma, “Truly incredible.”

Chapter Text

Emma rushes next door and sees Elsa and Tink standing out front of the club with panicked looks on their face. When she got closer they saw her and hurried towards her. Elsa expression soon changed to one of frustration. Emma braced herself for the tongue lashing she was about to receive.

“Where the hell have you been?! Tink and I looked everywhere for you and asked everyone if they’ve seen you. Couldn’t call you because you left your phone in your purse, which I have! Damn it Emma, we were worried about you.” She huffed and crossed her arms across her chest. “Well? What do you have to say?”

Emma cleared her throat before beginning, “I’m sorry, again. I didn’t mean to make you both worry. I… I just could breathe in there. It was overwhelming and I felt so many eyes on me. I know you two wanted me to go out and have fun, but I would have been fine with just going to Granny’s. Prey was too intense, like everyone was looking for a hookup and I’m not there yet. I won’t be there for a while.”

Tink frowned as she listened to Emma, “We’re sorry too, but that still doesn’t answer where you ran off to and what are you wearing? Where did you get that coat?”

Emma felt her cheeks getting hotter as she thought about her brief time with a maddeningly charming hardware store owner. She could honestly say meeting him was the only positive outcome from tonight. She sighed and wrapped the coat a little tighter against her. “I’ll tell you, but can we get out of this cold, maybe go to Granny’s?”

Elsa and Tink nodded and went to Granny’s. When they got there they sat at their favorite booth towards the back. Besides them there were only a few other patrons, Emma figured everyone was probably at the Rabbit Hole or Prey. The girls placed their orders and sat quietly waiting, mainly Elsa and Tink waiting to Hear where Emma went.

“So…?” Tink started.

Emma smiled and shook her head, “I was actually next door.”

Tink gave Emma an odd look, “You were at the clock shop?”

Emma bit her lower lip and shook her head. Elsa thought about what was next door to Prey and arched her brow. “You were at the hardware store.” She said it as more of a statement than a question. “Why there?”

“I was invited in there.” Emma saw the puzzled looks on their face. “The owner was kind enough to let me hang out in his store. I didn’t want to go back in the club and there was no way I was walking home in the cold wearing heels, so he offered to let me warm up inside till I figured out my next move. He even place a small heater to next to me to help me defrost.” Emma chuckled

“Wow, that’s really kind of Robin to do that.” Elsa said

Emma was the one giving Elsa a puzzled look now. “Robin?” She remember Killian telling her he was co-owner of the store, so Robin must be the other owner she thought. “No, Killian.”

Elsa and Tink’s eyes widen, surprised that Emma said Killian and not Robin. “Killian? Killian Jones helped you out?” Tink said as though it was hard to believe.

“And I’m going to assume that the coat you’re wearing is his?” Elsa asked

Emma nodded, “Why are the two of you looking at me like a phenomenon just happened. Is there something bizarre about him helping me out?”

“Kind of.” Elsa said “No one talks to him and he doesn’t talk to anyone. When he does speak he always comes off a bit prickly.”

“He’s unpleasant, heaven forbid you ask a simple question about faucet knobs. He’ll look at you like you’re speaking another language and call you a knob. Jones is just a complete smartass.” Tink cut in bitterly.

Emma snorted at Tink’s comment, but saw how crossed she was about her encounter with Killian. She could sense he was a bit of a smartass, but his charm overpowered it. ‘Charm’ she thought again, he was very charming. She was brought out of her thought when their food arrived. She immediately began to dig into her grilled cheese sandwich and let out a little moan. She didn’t know what magic Granny’s obtained to make an ordinary grilled cheese taste so delicious. “I swear I could eat this every day, all day.”

“So, back to what we were talking about.” Elsa wanted to know more. “He gave you his coat…”

“I left my coat with you and I was freezing, Killian let me wear his before going inside his store. He was a gentleman about it… an annoyed gentleman. I was being stubborn trying to give it back to him” Emma said bashfully.

Tink noticed how gleeful Emma is as she talked about Killian, “When are you giving back his coat?”

“Umm… I’m not sure, soon.” Emma wanted to see him again, but that frightened her. She continued eating so she didn’t saying anything to fuel the fire that Tink and Elsa were starting.

The girls hung out a bit longer before calling it a night. They tried to ask more about Killian, but Emma changed the topic. She couldn’t believe the things the girls were saying about Killian, he didn’t come off grouchy. When she got to the front door of her home she pulled out her keys. She looked at the keychain her mother had attached to her key and smiled. It was a little white crocheted swan with a tiny sewn on tiara. Sure it looked childish, but she knew her mother made it with love and that made her love it even more. When she opened the door she put her keys into her (Killian’s) coat. Emma went to her room and got ready for bed. The moment her head hit her pillow she let out a long sigh. She thought about everything that happened to her in the last twenty four hours. She felt the need to cry, but her mind drifted to crystal blue eyes. The need she had changed to one of bliss, soon her eyes were closing and sleep took over.

When Emma woke up the next morning she could hear chattering going on down stairs. She wrapped herself up in a robe and headed down stairs to see what was going on. She heard her parents and another voice coming from the kitchen. As soon as Emma saw who it is she shrieked with joy and ran right for her. “Aunt Ruby!”

Ruby wrapped Emma up in her arms and squeezed her as tightly as she could. “Good morning sweetheart! I was looking for you last night, in fact so were Elsa and Tink.” She pulled away and gave Emma a stern look, but it didn’t last long. Ruby was never able to be upset with Emma for more than a second. She loved her, like she was her own daughter. “I came by to make sure you were okay and not traumatized by Prey last night.”

“Oh, yeah… it wasn’t… your club is astonishing Aunt Ruby. Honestly the name fits perfect, but I’m just not ready to be part of that scene.” Emma explained as she sat down next to her.

“Sweetheart, you don’t have to clarify anything with me. Your Father…” Ruby looked over at David, “told me about what happened with that…”

“Flying monkey.” David stated without missing a beat.

“Sure, David.” She looked back at Emma and placed her hand on hers. “Anyways don’t feel like you need to go out every night to forget about him. You just had your heart broken. I’m sure your mother has told you this already, but you’re allowed to be sad and cry. That’s if you want to, but I found the best remedy to getting over any man is to keep busy. Like a project or work.”

“You mean like how you keep busy with your ‘Victor project’ after the two of you broke up?” David interjected once again.

“David!” Mary Margaret shouted

“David, for the love of my sanity shut it!” Ruby huffed at him

“Fine, but don’t think for a second we don’t know why you’re in such a good mood lately.” David protested as he stood up. He leaned over to kiss his wife and then over to Emma. “Time for work, I’ll see you later hun. Emma, stop by to see me later. Ruby.” He gave a nod towards her, “I’m glad you’re happy again. Bye.”

Mary Margaret shakes her head and looks over at Ruby with apologetic eyes, “He means well, Red.”

“I know, we just wanted to make sure we were solid before announcing that we’re back together again. I don’t think this town could handle a fifth break up.” Ruby joked

Mary Margaret chuckles and looks over at Emma, “So, have anything planned with the girls today?”

Emma inhaled deep and shook her head, “No, but there are a few things I do need to do today before going to see dad.” With that she got up and went to her room to get ready for the day. She grabbed her own coat to put it on, then grabbed Killian’s. As she headed to the front door her mother was crouching down to get the newspaper off the porch. “I’ll see you later mom.”

“Okay, sweetie.” She stood up and noticed Emma with another coat that looked oddly familiar. “Whose coat is that?”

“Oh, just a friends. I’m returning it.” Emma said as she walked outside

“Hmm… well enjoy your day out.” She relied cheerily. “Maybe you and your father can grab lunch after you return Killian’s coat.” Mary Margaret gave Emma a knowing look before closing the door and returning to her visit with Ruby.

“Ma…” Emma began, but her mother closed the door before her embarrassment showed. She let out a sharp sigh as she started walking to Main Street to the hardware store. It was still early and Emma wasn’t sure if the store would be open yet. She wondered if she even wanted it to be open, to see Killian again. She closer she got, the more she felt inclined to turn around and keep the coat. Before she knew it, Emma was outside the store. She looked at the store hours sign, “Opens at ten?” She looks at her watch, it’s barely nine. She grunted and bonks her head on the door window in frustration.

“What are you doing?” Killian questions

Emma jumps and screams from fright. Killian jumps back from her and yelps as wells. Emma turns around to see who it is, “What the hell?!”

“Honestly love, we need to stop meeting like this.” Killian exclaims

“Then stop sneaking up on me!” Emma sighed and extended her arms out to give Killian back his coat. “Here, I just came by to give you back your coat.”

“So I’ve gathered, glad it was able to keep you from freezing.” Killian takes his coat and stands in front of his store awkwardly with Emma.

“Well, thank you… again.” Emma can feel his gaze drilling a hole through her head and decides it’s time to leave before she says something humiliating. “Bye.”

“What’s the matter, love? Do I make you nervous?” Killian enquires

“No!” Emma says a bit too loud and quickly. “Nooo, I just have some things to do today.”

“Right, well it delights me to know I was on top of your list of things to ‘do’ this morning.” He said cheekily.

Emma felt her face burning up and couldn’t find the words to response to his brazen comment. As soon as she regained her bearings she glared at him. “You are so…”

“Charming? Dashing? Handsome?” Killian wiggled his brow at the last word.

“Vexing” Emma stated and walked away. She could see why Tink was frustrated with him. He may be charming, but he is also arrogant.

Killian smirked as Emma stomped away from him. He knew he shouldn’t have provoked her, but after their encounter last night he couldn’t help himself. He puts his coat on and when he shoves his hands into the pockets he feels something. Killian pulls out his hand to see a key with a little toy swan attached to it. ‘Adorable’, he thought as he put it back into his pocket. The thought of seeing the engaging Emma again brought a smile to his face.

“Happy again I see!” Robin claims and he heads towards the entrance.

“Aye, mate. You have impeccable timing.” Killian said as he scratched behind his ear

“Don’t I always” Robin opens the door and walks in with Killian following, “So what’s got you all cheery this morning?”

“A possibility” Killian answered

Robin gave Killian a questionable look, “You going to enlighten me on this ‘possibility’ mate?”

Killian thought about before shaking his head, “Not yet.” He said as he clutched onto the swan key chain in his pocket.

“Well if this possibility is making you smile like that…” Robin pointed to Killian’s face as he continued on “I accept it, with open arms.”

Killian smiles, but wonders when the next time he would see Emma. He doesn’t even know her last name. He considers walking down Main Street hollering her name, but thinks it may be too over the top. He shortly comes up with a brilliant idea. He goes round behind the counter and pulls out some blank paper and a marker. He messes about with it for a bit.

“What are you up to?” Robin asks as he’s goes over a few order forms

“This!” Killian chirps as he turns the paper around so Robin can see it. Written on it ‘Found: Key with keychain’, underneath it was a doodle of the key and the swan keychain. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t good either. He knew if he put the paper up on the window and she walked by, she would be motivated to come in. “I’ve recently acquired someone’s keys and being the good Samaritan that I am, I’d like to return them back to their rightful owner.” Killian grins

“Obviously you’re up to something, mate.” Robin looks over at him and cocks his brow.

“Me? Never.” Killian digresses “Scouts honor.”

“More like a pirate’s word” Robin countered

“Aye, now if you excuse me I have to make sure this poor little woven swan finds their owner.” Killian goes over to the front window and tapes the paper to it, so it was visible for the outsiders to see.

“Ah, lovely” Robin jested

“Not as lovely as you, mate” Killian protested

“Stop, before you make me blush.” Robin said sarcastically

Killian chuckled then sighed contently staring at the sign as he thought the name ‘Emma’. He couldn’t wait till their next encounter.

Chapter Text

Emma was agitated with Killian, it made her even more agitated with the fact that she fell asleep last night thinking of him. She huffed as she made her way to Granny’s to pick up a couple of pastries, a coffee, and a hot chocolate for her and her dad. On her way to the sheriff’s station she decided to walk on the opposite side of the street from where the hardware store is. She decided it was best for her to avoid Killian and his quips. When she makes it to the station she sees her dad at his desk looking frustrated.

“I take it that your morning isn’t going well?” Emma asks

David looks up and smiles when he sees his daughter, “I didn’t think I would see you till lunch time and kind of. Storybrooke is dealing with vandals at the moment and the little monstrosities are making it difficult to catch them. I have an inkling of who’s is behind it all, but he always has an alibi.”

“Who do think it is?” Emma places the cup of coffee on her father’s desk and the box of pastries

“Peter North and his little gang of lost boys”

“Ugh, they’re still calling themselves that? It was cute when they were five, but aren’t they about to graduate high school?” Emma takes a sip of her hot chocolate and sits across from her dad.

“They are, still doesn’t stop them from being a thorn at my side. Yesterday morning the “vandals” trashed the outside of the hardware store. The owner called me yelling, they’ve hit his store three times in the last two months. The last time they egged it, this morning though the library was covered in toilet paper.” David drank his coffee as he pushed the stack of files away from him with frustration.

Emma remembered Killian mentioning vandals and thinking she was one of them. She smiled a bit at the thought of last night. She shook the thought away just as quickly and focused on her dad. “Dad, where’s your deputy?”

David sighed, “Well, Graham was my deputy till about two months ago. He and his new bride decided to move to Seattle. Since then I haven’t been able to find anyone to take the position. Actually, that’s what I wanted you to come see me about. I don’t know what your plans are… but I was wondering if you’d like to be my deputy or possibly co-sheriff? Leroy isn’t up to chasing down criminals and by criminals I mean our new town rascal Will Scarlet.”

Emma gave him a questionable look, “Rascal?”

“You’ll understand when you meet him, but the point is that Leroy would rather be behind the desk filing paper work than being out and about on patrol.” David was looking at her with hopeful eyes.

“To be honest dad, I don’t know what my plans are either. I mean I kind of made a life in New York, but now…”

Emma kept thinking that she’d only be home for a few weeks, not forever. She left this town because it had nothing to offer her, but as she lived in Boston and New York she realized those places had nothing to offer her either. She was alone there and never made time to make friends because she was always working. At least she’d have her friends and family here to help her. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea of making a life for herself in Storybrooke. She figured as a child you dream of traveling and seeing the world, but the reality of it is there’s no place like home. It just took her ten years to understand that concept. She smiled at her dad and sighed.

“I’d like too permanently move back home and be your new deputy. Maybe co-sheriff later on.”

David jumps out of his seat and rushes over to hug Emma. “Oh princess, you have no idea how thrilled I am right now.” He moves back to let her breathe. “So… how does starting tomorrow sound? You can spend the rest of today relaxing and settling in and tomorrow I can have you helping me patrol the town, maybe we can finally catch Peter and his band of miscreants.”

“Sure dad.”

Emma spends the rest of her morning at the police station, till her dad gets a call to defuse a situation between neighbors. She leaves and wanders along Main Street, not wanting to go home just yet, but not sure where she wanted to hang around. She wasn’t the type of person to spend her day shopping or pampering herself. She changed her mind and decided to just go home. When she got there she noticed her mom’s car wasn’t there. Thinking maybe some alone time would be good for her, she digs into her jacket pocket for the keys her mother made for her, but came up with nothing. She checked frantically in all her pockets.

“What the hell?”

She could have sworn she put her keys in her jacket pocket, only to realize it wasn’t her jacket she put it into to. She tilts her head back and groans in frustration. She makes her way back to the center of town and stops before she gets to the hardware store. She was just going to get her keys back, nothing else. She continued on to the store and notices on the window a sign. ‘Found: Key with keychain’, She looked at the drawing and shook her head in disbelief. Emma entered the store and ripped the paper off the window. She looked around, but saw no one.

“Hello?” She walked towards the counter, looking for any signs of life. “Hello?!”

“What do you want?” Killian spat out as he sprang up from behind the counter, but as soon as he saw who it was his manner had changed. “Hey.”

Emma screamed and jumped back a bit, causing Killian to yelp in return.

“Damn it! Stop sneaking up on me!” She stomped her foot down.

“Aw, are you telling me you don’t enjoy meeting like this every time? It’s kind of like our thing now.” Killian smiled

“No and we do not have a thing.” Emma was trying to ignore the little jump her heart did when he called the encounters their thing.

“Well I don’t know about you, love, but I don’t greet and get greeted by a shriek every time I encounter someone.”

Emma rolled her eyes and glared as she slapped the paper in her hand down on the counter, “I’m here about this.”

“Ah, yes. I was wondering how long it would be till this little swan found its way back home.” He said as he took out the woven swan and key from his pant pocket and placed it on the counter.

She stopped glaring at him and just looked at him, taking in the words he just said. Almost like serendipity.

“You alright, love?” Killian looked at her with concerned eyes.

Emma snapped out of it and nodded, “Yeah.” She reached for the swan and clutched it tightly.

“Have an admiration for swans?”

“Something like that. My mother made it for me, kind of like a welcome home gift.” She looked down at it and smiled.

“Hmm, so I take I’ll be seeing more of you around town?” Killian couldn’t help but smile at the thought of seeing Emma more frequently.

Emma bit her lip and nodded, “Probably, since I’ll be working down the street.” She steps away from the counter and begins walking to the door to leave.

“Really?! Where at? Maybe I can stop by, become a regular patron.” He thinks he’s being so charming about it, but notices Emma trying to hold back from laughing.

“I don’t think you would want to be a regular at my job.” She laughs

“And why is that?”

“Because I’m the new town deputy.” She says as she walks out.

Chapter Text

“Lunch!” Robin shouts as he enters the store with two bags filled with food from Granny’s.

“Finally, thought I was going to perish due to starvation.” Killian looks through the bags to find his lunch. “Aw, no dessert?”

“Really? Sometimes I think you have the mind of a five year old.” Robin says as he takes out his food.

“Probably why Roland and I get along so well.” Killian replied with a matter of fact tone.

“He’s the only one you get along with.”

The men sit at the counter and eat their food and Robin looks over to the front window and notices the sign gone.

“What happened to your ‘found’ sign?”

“Oh.” Killian’s face turns a slight pink as he thinks about his third encounter with Emma. “The owner of the keys came by and picked them up.”

“Hmm, so who was it that lost their keys?” Robin was staring at Killian, watching him as he was picking away at his food, looking anywhere but him. “So?”

“They’re new in town, you don’t know them.”

“Uh huh, do they have a name?”

“Why are you so intent on knowing about who the bloody keys belong to, mate?” Killian huffed out

“Because, you were sooo giddy about the owner finding them. I’m just curious to whom is making you as giddy as a school girl.” Robin was grinning now.

“I swear you and Liam love to annoy me.” Killian muttered

“Well, he’s across the pond and can’t bug you... I’m right here, mate.” Robin says as he wiggles his index finger at Killian’s ear.

“And you say I’m the five year old.”

“Must be why we get along so well.” Robin using Killian’s words against him. “I’m waiting.”

Killian rolled his eyes, “Emma, her name is Emma. She’s new in town and…"

A customer walk into the store with a smile on his face, “Hey. Do you guys have any…"

“No!” Killian spat out

“But you don’t even know what I was going to…” The customer tried to continue on.

“We don’t have it.” Killian retorted.

“But…”

Robin smacked Killian’s arms and gave him a stern look, then looked at the customer. “What are you looking for, sir?”

The customer looked at Robin, his smile was gone, “I… I need a few sheets of plexiglass.”

Killian smirked.

“Um, we are actually out of stock at the moment. I apologize for the inconvenience, sir. We do have a shipment coming in two days though.” Robin was trying to look apologetic to the customer.

The customer sighed, “Thank you for your help.” He said to Robin, “But not you.” He told Killian. Then walked out.

Killian went back to eating his food as though nothing had happened. Robin just sighed, not knowing what he was going to do about Killian and his attitude towards the town folk. He then remembered their conversation before they were interrupted. The new Storybrooke resident. Just then he remembered hearing the Nolan’s daughter is back in town and her name is Emma. Robin’s smile grew wide.

“What?” Killian asked

“The sheriff’s daughter is making you all giddy!” Robin stated as he laughed

“The sheriff’s daughter? No, we’re talking about Emma” Killian had never heard anything about the Nolan’s having a daughter, but it’s not as though he ever asked anyone anything personal.

Robin sighed “The sheriff’s daughters name is Emma… Emma Nolan. Leroy was telling everyone at Granny’s this morning. She just came back from New York. She hadn’t been home in, I think he said ten years. Didn’t say why though.”

Killian stared at Robin wanting more information, he gesture his hands for him to continue. “And?”

“And what? That’s all I know, mate.” Robin retorted

“Honestly, Leroy is the bloody town gossip. That man surly had more to say than her moving back after ten years. It’s hard to get the man to shut up about anyone, especially if they’re new. When we moved here everyone knew who I was, my birthday, and how I liked my eggs!”

“Not everything, Killian, just like with Emma. If you want to know so much about her why don’t you ask her?”

Killian banged his head down on the counter, “Because!”

“Because why?” Robin countered

“Because she’s the town’s new deputy and more than likely she’ll arrest me, thinking I was stalking her. I don’t know…” Kilian was frustrated with himself, all he wanted to do was to talk to Emma, flirt with her to see her face flush that intoxicating rose color he can’t stop thinking about. “I don’t know how to approach her. Each time we’ve met it’s been here or outside of here and all with reasons.”

Robin leaned over to pat Killian on his shoulder, “You’re such a git.”

Killian popped his head up to that remark and replied sarcastically. “Thanks for the words of encouragement, mate.”

“Anytime.” Robin stood up and cleared away his mess. “You know, I seemed to have forgotten that I was supposed to deliver some mason jars and what not to Mrs. Nolan. You know how much she loves her crafts. I would take it myself, but I have to go pick up Roland from his play date. Would you mind?”

"I hope you never become an actor, because that…” Kilian’s hand gestured to Robin’s entirety “was awful.” He sighed and nodded. If making a delivery meant possibly seeing Emma he would do it. Killian never made home deliveries, Robin always did, due to him being friendlier to the town folk.

Robin brought over a large wooden crate box filled to the brim with jars, string, glue, and a variety of other things the store sold. “Make sure to let Mrs. Nolan know that the end of next week I’ll have her order in. Got it?”

Killian rolled his eyes and saluted Robin, “Aye, sir!”

He picked up the box and headed out to the Nolan house. Everyone knew where the sheriff lived, he and his wife would sometimes have social events at their home and would invite Killian and Robin over. Killian would be dragged to them, but left as soon as he greeted the hosts. He had no use for his car, the town was small enough to walk everywhere. He arrived at the Nolan’s residence seven minutes later. He didn’t see the sheriff’s truck or any vehicle present. Killian walked up to the door and knocked, while balancing the crate with his other hand. No answer. He tried again, but nothing.

He sighed and knew it would be too lucky for him to see Emma for a third time that day. No one was home and he felt ridiculous. He stepped back and turned to leave, but just as he was about to walk off of the porch, he heard the door unlock. He turned around to see Emma standing behind the door. Her hair dripping wet and wearing a robe. His mind began to wander as he stared at her, not blinking till she made a sound.

“What a surprise not having to scream when seeing you.” Emma said

Killian’s mind snapped back to reality and smirked at her comment, “Love, if you wish for me to make you scream all you have to do is ask.” He bit his bottom lip.

Emma felt her heart flutter and her core tightened to the thought of him giving her a reason to scream. She shook the thought from her mind. “What do you want?”

“Ah, Robin needed me to deliver this” He gestures to the crate, “to your mother.”

Emma opens the door a bit more to peek at what’s inside it. “It’s just a bunch of junk.”

“To you maybe, but your mother on the other hand doesn’t see it that way, love. She receives a crate like this monthly, so she can craft whatever it is she likes making.”

Emma reaches for the crate, only to have Killian step back a bit so she wouldn’t take it.

“Sorry, love. It’s a heavy crate and what kind of gentleman would I be if I had you carrying it.” Killian stared at her, wondering if she would go along with it and let him in the house.

Emma sighs and steps aside as she opens the door for him to walk in. “You can just leave it there.” She says as she points to the empty spot by the door.

“Nonsense.” Killian says as he walks past her into the living room. He places the crate on the coffee table and looks around the living room, then back at Emma. Noticing the annoyed look on her face. “What?”

Damn he’s cute, Emma couldn’t stand that he was just standing in the middle of her living room, being cute. “Thank you. I’m sure you’re busy and need to be getting back to the store, sooo bye.”

Killian placed his finger on his chin and looked as though he was thinking about if he was busy or not. “It’s not like the customers are missing me, love. Besides I’m never too busy for you.” He smiled as he looked back at her and arched his brow.

Emma had to bite her lower lip so she wouldn’t smile, but then she realized doing that would make it seem like she wanted him. Which she did, but he didn't need to know that. She exhaled loudly and shook her head. “Hmm shame on your poor customer service, but I’m busy.”

Killian looked at her from head to toe, “Hmm, I’m sure you are. Lots to do, right?” He said in a deeper tone as he popped the t at the end”

Her stomach flipped as she wanted to tell him what she wanted to do to him. She fought the urge to grab him by his jacket and kiss him senseless to shut his smug self-up. “I…” Before she could say anything, she heard the front door open and saw her parents walking in. “Mom… dad…”

David walks in seeing Emma first, “Hey princess…” He stops as he sees Killian standing in his living room, with his daughter. Then notices said daughter is wearing just a robe.

“Killian?” David said with murder in his eyes.

“David, why did you stop?” Mary Margaret said as she bumped into him. She looks over into the living room and sees Emma and Killian and the way David was looking at them. She then sees her monthly crate from the hardware store. “Ah! My crate! Thank you Killian for delivering it!”

Killian quickly looks over at Mary Margaret and smiles, “No problem Mrs. Nolan.” He looks over at David a bit nervous and gives a nod to him, “Sheriff Nolan.”

He finally looks back at Emma, “Well as much as I would love to continue our conversation on customer service,” he emphasized on the service. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut it short. Very busy, so much to do… princess.” He whispered the last part so only she could hear.

Emma blushed as she listened to Killian, “Yeah, and good luck with that. Bye.

“Ah, before I forget. Mrs. Nolan, Robin said that your order will be in at the end of next week.” Killian then takes his leave, heading back to the store.

“Thank you, Killian” Mary Margaret said as he left.

David watches Killian leave and looks back to Emma, “Care to explain?”

“Explain what David? He just delivered my things and Emma was being courteous, isn’t that right, Emma?” Mary Margaret knew how over protective her husband gets, especially when it involves Emma.

“I just finished washing my hair when I heard someone knocking at the door. Killian brought the box in and I was asking questions about his store. That’s all, he’s really…" She wanted to say what he actually is 'infuriatingly charming', but settled with a different word for him. "...nice.” Emma felt like she was a teenager again. Being interrogated about her boyfriend. She mentally scolded herself for that. He’s not her boyfriend, he’s not anything to her. She smiles at her dad and looks over to her mother for help.

“Nice?” David laugh at that. He’s never heard anyone call Killian Jones nice.

“Well, that’s sweet of you to say Emma. Not many people think so, but it’s good to never judge a book by its cover… like some people.” Mary Margaret elbowed David. “Right, sweetheart?”

David sighed and nodded to his wife. “Yeah, just not in a robe. Okay?”

“Okay, dad.” Emma gave him a reassuring smile before bolting upstairs to change. She couldn't stop thinking about Killian and his forwardness with her. She actually liked him flirting with her, which she wouldn't admit out loud. But since running into him, it made her not think of Walsh and her sadness. She actually felt a bit happy thinking about someone she had only met less than twenty four hours ago. She was curious how it was going to play out between her and Killian.

“It’ll be interesting.” She said out loud.

Chapter Text

The Next Day

 

Emma wakes up to her alarm going off. She looks over and sees it flashing six o’clock. She grunts as she gets up, rubbing her eyes. Today is her first day as Story Brook’s new deputy. She hears a tap on her door, then her mother’s voice.

“Emma? Wake up sweetie.” She opens the door and peeks her head in and smiles as she sees Emma up already.

“Morning, mom. I’ll be down stairs soon.”

“Okay, breakfast will be ready soon. Figured a good breakfast is the best start to your first day as deputy.” Mary Margaret steps back and goes back to the kitchen.

Emma yawns and gets up to get ready for the day. When she was done she headed down to the kitchen, walking in on her parents being disgusting affectionate towards each other. “Can’t go a second without expressing your love for one another?” Emma sits at the table and smirks at her parents.

David kisses his wife before stepping away to go sit next to Emma, “Good morning to you too.” He leans over and kisses her forehead. “What can I say, your mother still makes my heart skip a beat.”

Mary Margaret brings a plate filled with French toast over to the table and sits with her family, blushing at David’s comment. “Well, you still give me butterflies.”

“Stop… the two of you put Disney couples to shame with all your lovey-doveyness.” Emma said as she fills her plate with bacon, eggs, and a few slices of French toast.

"True love, princess. It does exist." David says as he makes himself a plate.

Emma fights the urge to roll her eyes, but it did make her happy to know her parents would be together forever. So she just smiles and shakes her head, "Whatever you say, dad."

“Oh!” Mary Margaret quips as she goes back to the counter. When she sits back down she hands Emma a mug. “It’s not breakfast without hot chocolate, just the way you like it.”

Emma notices the whipped topping dusted with cinnamon. “Thanks mom.” It was her favorite way of drinking it and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

“So, I take it that you don't care to wear the entire uniform?” David looks at her clothes, seeing the official Story Brook beige button down shirt, but jeans instead of the dark brown pants to match and knee length boots.

“Please don’t make me wear those pants, it feels like they were made out of burlap.” Emma looked at her dad with her puppy stare.

Mary Margaret smirked as she lifted her cup of coffee to her lips. Waiting for David to cave, like he usually did when it came to Emma.

David knew Emma should wear the town’s official uniform, but he also knew she was right. The pants were horrible to spend the entire day in. “Fine.” David ignores Mary Margaret’s snicker as they eat breakfast.

Once breakfast was finished David and Emma left to the station. Once there he decided to give her a tour.

“Dad, you really don’t have to bother with the tour. This place hasn’t changed at all.”

“That’s not true!” David objected “We now have…” He looked around trying to find something different and soon spots the dvr. “Ah ha! That’s new!" He pointed. "No more video tapes, we’re going digital here.” David said proudly.

“Wow, well… my mistake, dad.” Emma giggled and walked over to what she figured would be her desk. On it she saw a badge with her name in it. She picked it up and stared at it. Thinking about a time when becoming the town’s deputy made her want to cry, but now it seemed right. She sat down and noticed on the edge of the desk initials carved into it ‘GH’. Graham… she was sitting at his old desk. “Dad?”

“Yes, princess” David called over his shoulder as he was grabbing some files from his desk.

“Why did Graham work here? He was never interested in law enforcement.” Deep down she knew the answer, but wanted to hear it.

David sighed as he grabbed what he needed and walked over to Emma’s desk. “When you left, Graham… well… he didn’t know what to do with himself. His heart was broken and he spent the entire summer after graduation sulking. Everyone tried to take him out to get his mind off of you…”

Emma felt a bit revolted by her actions back then. She looked down as she continued to listen to her father.

“One night when I patrolling the town I see someone standing in front of Gold’s shop. Graham was about to smash a brick into the front window. I stopped him before he caused any damage, he was too drunk to fight me and came with me back to the station. The next day we had a lengthy talk about everything that happened. I convinced him to help me here and as time went on he showed me that he was responsible and dedicated to being here, so I decided to make him my deputy. Working here helped him get over you and he was starting to become happy. Eventually he met someone who is now his wife, they just married a few months ago and she wanted to move back home to Seattle to be closer to her family while she’s pregnant.” David stared at Emma, watching her reactions.

Emma’s eyebrows shot up in surprise to hear Graham was expecting a baby. Then again she always knew he wanted to get married and start a family. Originally with her, but things change. “Good for him.” She said somberly. She really was happy that he got his happy ending. Now if she could just find hers.

“Yeah, he emailed me recently to let me know he’s now the chief of police in the city where his wife is from. It was a good move for him.” David nodded his head as he spoke.

“That really is great… I know how much you liked him when we were dating and I’m glad you were there for him after everything I did… I know that what I did…” Emma was beginning to feel down, remembering all he past mistakes.

“Hey…” David reached out to hold his daughter’s hand in his. “After all that has happened, no matter what, you are my daughter and I will always love you and be proud of you. What’s in the past is in the past. Don’t beat yourself up over it.” He gripped her hand a bit tighter. “Now, ready to fill out a bunch of paper work?” David made a face at Emma as he handed her a file filled with papers for her to fill out.

Emma smiled at her dad and nodded, “The most tedious part of the job, right?”

David chuckled and nodded, “Once you’re done with that we can go drive around town and make sure everything is okay.”

By the time Emma finished filling out her paperwork it was just shy of eight. They walked out of the station and the town was active as everyone was opening their shops or taking their kids to school. She got into the passenger’s side of the police cruiser as her dad got into the driver’s side and they left, driving around. When they passed by the beach David let out a loud sigh. Emma looked towards where he was looking and saw a man digging multiple holes along the beach.

“What is he doing?” Emma asked

“Frustrating me too early.” David replied back as he parked. He got out of the cruiser and began walking down to the beach.

Emma grabbed her coat and followed, curious on what was going on. “Who is that?”

“Remember yesterday when I said we have a town rascal?

Emma nodded, “Yeah.”

“That’s him. Will Scarlet. Usually his antics don’t start till the evening, but I guess he couldn’t wait.” David finally reached him, half of his body down in a large hole.

“Are you going to arrest him?” Emma asks.

David spoke up so Will could hear him, “Well that all depends on Mr. Scarlet, isn’t that right?!”

Will pops his head out from the hole and smiles, “Evening, sheriff.”

“It’s morning.”

“You don’t say...” Will looked up to see the sun shining down on him. “Hmm, that explains a lot.”

“Don’t you think it’s too early to be drinking?” David questioned.

Emma just watched with amusement as she took her beanie from her pocket to put on.

Will looked like he had to think about David’s question, “It’s never too early, then again I haven’t had a drink since last night.”

“By last night do you mean right before the sun rose?”

“If the sun hasn’t risen, it’s still considered night time.” Will countered, “Now if you excuse me, I must be off.”

“What’s with all the holes?” Emma asked

“Well, hello… who might you be?” Will smiled

“The new deputy, now answer my question.” Emma replied back, no longer amused.

“I lost something, I was merely trying to find it.” Will said as serious as he could.

“What did you lose this time, Scarlet?” David sighed

“His mind, obviously.” Emma quipped.

Will made a face at Emma, “Ha… so funny and here I was about to ask you out on a date.”

“Such a loss.” Emma retorted

Will rolled his eyes at Emma and looked back at David, “Me keys.”

“If you lost your keys, then what’s that hooked on your belt loop?” David examined

“Huh, well that was an evening wasted. Guess I’ll be off then.” Will turned to leave, only to have David take hold of him by his shoulder to turn him back towards them.

“You know I can’t have you wandering around town in your condition, Scarlet. It’s against the law to be drunk in public. I’m going to have to take you in, have you sleep it off. Then afterwards you need to come back here and fill every hole you dug.” David took out his cuffs.

Will sighed and nodded, “Whatever. It's too cold to deal with you and mini sheriff over there, let’s get it over with then. No cuffs this time, not in a kinky mood at the moment.”

“Promise not to run when we get to the cruiser?”

“Really? You’re going to trust him to listen to you?” Emma questioned.

“Oi! I’ll have you know I’m very trust worthy, but you lost the chance to find out for yourself.” Will turned and strutted with a little wobble to the cruiser, “We going to the station or not?” he said before getting in.

Emma rolled her eyes and walked with her dad back towards the cruiser.

“Not how I wanted your first day to start, but it could have been worse.” David shrugged

“I can’t believe you deal with this on a daily basis.” Emma teased

David smiled at Emma and got into the cruiser with her as Will was passed out already in the back seat. “Well at least the drive back will be quiet.”

As they drive back to the station Emma notices a brown truck coming down the street, “Dad? Isn’t that your truck?”

David looks and shakes his head, “No… no, my truck’s at the sta…” As the truck comes closer his eyes widen, “That’s my truck!” David shouts.

The truck was now speeding up heading straight at the cruiser. Emma’s yelp woke Will and David made a sharp turn to avoid whoever was in his truck playing a twisted game of chicken with him.

“Oi! What the hell?” Will shouted as his head bashed off the window at David’s turn.

The truck kept going, zooming pass them heading in the direction where the town line is. David tried to get a look at who was in the car, but focused on righting the cruiser, but he couldn’t stop it from the inevitable crash they were about to be in. The last thing David heard was Emma and Will yelling, then silence.

Chapter Text

“Emma? Emma, can you hear me? Open your eyes… something!” David was shouting as the paramedics were helping him out of the cruiser. He was swatting them away, wanting to check on the welfare of his daughter. “I’m fine! It’s Emma you should be more focused on!” David’s heart was pounding out of his chest as he watched his ‘baby’ being moved on to a gurney.

Will strolled over to David, cigarette between his lips as he searched for his lighter. He didn’t have one scratch on him, he just got out of the cruiser like nothing had happened. “So… I’m just going to leave then.”

David arched his brow as he turned to Will, “You were just in a car accident, you need to go to the hospital to make sure there’s nothing wrong. Not only that you’re still being detained for earlier.”

“Ah, nothing wrong with me Sheriff. If there was, I’d know and you can arrest me later. We both know I’ll be up to no good later on.” Will let out a little cheer as he found his lighter to light his cigarette.

David sighed, more worried about Emma and how he was going to tell his wife what happened than Will's incompetence. “Will, you think you can stay out of trouble for more than twenty four hours?”

“I don’t know… I’ll see what I can do. Hope mini sheriff will be okay.” Will walked away from the scene, heading back to the beach.

David shook his head, he didn’t have time to worry about Will and his weird antics. He just watched as the paramedics moved Emma to the ambulance. He felt relief when he heard one of the men shout that she was waking up. He ran to her side and grabbed onto her hand. “Emma?”

Emma opened her eyes a bit and smiled at her dad, “I’m okay.” Then passed out.

------

Emma could hear people chattering around her and machines beeping. Her eyes fluttered open and saw her dad hovering next to her, “Dad?”

David smiled, “I’m here, princess.”

Emma tried to sit up, but soon laid back down. She felt a bit dizzy, “Ugh! My head is throbbing. Where are we?”

David moved his hand to her head, softly caressing her forehead, “ER, you’ve been asleep for two hours now...”

Mary Margaret rushed into the room to see her daughter lying on the bed, with wires and tubes hooked up to her. “Emma! I thought you said it wasn’t that bad?! This looks bad, David.” She looked like she was on the verge of crying.

"It's not, it's just a precaution." David said trying to calm his wife down.

Mary Margaret had an annoyed look on her face with his comment, but turned her attention back to Emma. “I tried to get here sooner, but the substitute took forever to get to my class and… and I’m so glad you’re okay! Are you hurting anywhere, how do you feel?”

“Mom… mom! It’s fine, I’m fine, and the only thing that hurts is my head. Calm down, okay?” Emma sighed and saw a familiar face walk into the room.

“Back for two days and already in the hospital, I didn’t expect to see you in here till next week.”

Emma smiled and arched her brow giving the man an inquisitive look, “Are you trying to imply that I’m prone to disasters?”

“Yes.” He said bluntly

“That’s rich coming from you, Dr…”

“Don’t finish that sentence, I just got everyone to stop calling me that… except for your Aunt Ruby. She’ll never let it die.”

“I feel like that needed a ba-dum-shh.” Emma chuckled.

"Thank you, I'll be here all week." Victor said jokingly.

“Hi, Uncle Victor.” Even though Ruby and Victor never got married, Emma always saw him as her uncle. He's been around since before she could walk.

“Hey, kid. Well I checked your charts and everything seems to be fine. Just a bump on the head.” Victor said as he double checked Emma’s paperwork. “Let me just do a couple of tests before I let you go.”

“Tests?” Mary Margaret quipped.

David moved his hand to hold Mary Margaret's. He squeezed it to let her know everything will be fine.

“Just going to check Emma’s hand eye coordination, reflex response, nothing to get worried about.” Victor said calmly. He took out his flash light to check her motor skills. Once done he took out a lollipop from his coat and handed it to her. “For being a good patient.”

“I’m not five anymore.” Emma said as she took the lollipop.

“Any yet you still took it.”

“Free sugar, I’m not going to decline free candy.” Emma smiled

“If you see a van that has that written on the side of it, stay away from it.” Victor jested

Emma rolled her eyes and got off the bed, “Ha ha ha.”

“Okay, since we’re done here I'd like to take Emma home now.” Mary Margaret cut in.

“Wait, dad and I need to go find his truck.”

“Oh no, you’re going home to rest, Leroy and I will go looking for it.” David chimed in.

“But…” Emma tried to protest.

“You may be fine Emma, but you do need to rest. Not all day, but for a while.” Victor gave her a sympathetic smile. 

Emma sighed and nodded, she felt like a kid again, but she knew fighting it would be useless. Everyone said their goodbyes, with a promise of a big family dinner towards the end of the week. Mary Margaret drove David back to the station and Emma home. She got her set up in the living room with lunch.

“Mom, I’m fine. I’m just resting, you don’t need to wait on me hand and foot.”

Mary Margaret walked over to her daughter and sat down next to her, “Sweetie, you can have the sniffles and I’ll be right here to take care of you. I don’t care how old you are, I will always want to take care of you.” She leaned over to kiss the top of her head and smiled. “Now, since my class is covered for the day how about you and I spend the afternoon watching movies?”

“Okay, mom.”

They relaxed and watched Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella first.

-----------------------------------------

The town was buzzing about what happened that morning. Everywhere you went someone was talking about it and the more you heard, the more the story escaladed. Killian was sitting behind the counter when he heard about “The Sheriff and his Deputy almost dying in a firey car crash”, he jolted off his stool moving closer to who was talking about the accident. He pretended that he was straightening the shelves as he listened in. Two older ladies were in the store buying a few small cans of paint, going on that the deputy had to be hauled off to the hospital and was in a coma.

Killian’s heart was pounding hard as he continued to listen in, but to his dismay they switched topics and wouldn’t shut up about which color would looked lovelier for the vases. He wanted to scream at the women, wanting to know if Emma is okay, he was about to kick them out until Robin walked in.

“Hey…” Robin looked at Killian, noticing his agitation. “Is everything okay, mate?”

Killian sighed and went back to the counter. He turned his head to the women, glaring at them, wishing they would leave already.

Robin walked over to them to try and help them make their decision faster. After fifteen minutes of getting them both to agree on a pale blue they finally left. Robin turns to Killian, “Out with it, what’s wrong with you?”

“Those women were talking about Emma and her being in some firey car crash… that she’s in the hospital in a coma…” Killian wanted to see her, but didn’t know her well enough to just visit and if he did, wondered if it would weird her out.

“What? Hey… hey, she’s fine.” Robin said as he placed his hand on Killian’s shoulder.

Killian perked up and looked at Robin with curiosity on what he knows, “And you know this how?"

“Ruby told me. She was giving everyone an update on Emma."

"Well… what did she say?!" Killian felt like he was on pins and needles.

"That she’s at home with her mother. She was in an accident, apparently some wanker stole the sheriff’s truck and tried to crash it into the car they were in. They barely missed them and when the sheriff turned he crashed into a tree… no fire. Out of the three of them Emma was the only one who had to go to the hospital, but she wasn't in a coma.”

“Three? Who was the third?” Killian questioned.

“Will, that git. He was being taken into the station before the accident happened. That’s not all! After the paramedics arrived he tells the sheriff that he's just going to leave, can you believe him. ” Robin huffed.

Killian couldn’t help but smirk at that piece of information, “Hard to believe the two of you come from the same bloodline.”

“Stop reminding me.” Robin sighed

“Back to Emma… so she’s okay?" The more he thought about it, the more relieved he felt.

“She’s fine, mate. The impact just knocked her out for a bit, but the doctor cleared her to go home." Robin paused for a moment and smiles. "You know, you should go pay her a visit."

“I don't think so.” Killian said a bit skeptical.

"Why not?"

"Because… because." A few minutes passed by, of him thinking why he shouldn't go. One being that he just met her, but he couldn't help feeling drawn to her. She made him feel happy and he questioned how someone he doesn't know can make him feel that way. In the end all he knew was that he really wanted to see her face. "I cannot think of a good reason why not." Killian felt defeated and a bit nervous. "I guess I'll be off then."

“Empty handed?” Robin queried

“Is my presence not enough?” Killian had raised his brow, he wondered if he should bring her something, but didn’t know what. He scratched the back of his head and looked around the store to see if anything there would do. What the hell would she need with any of it, “What do I bring her?” He picks up a box, “Like ‘Here’s a box of nails, how are you doing?’ I’d look foolish.”

“Actually, yeah. Maybe not nails though, you'd send her the wrong message.” Robin jested as he looked around the store, “Ah, here.” He hands Killian a little dark green lantern.

“A lantern?” Killian looked at it skeptically, but shrugged. “Random, but sure why not… I'll take the the red one though.” He takes it, “I’ll be back soon.”

“Take your time.” Robin shouts as Killian rushes out the door.

Killian practically sprints to the Nolan residence. Once he was close he slowed down, catching his breath. He exhaled as he tried to calm his nerves, he got to the house and knocked on the door. He then realized she wasn’t home alone, like last time. As the door opened, he was relieved to see Emma had answer it.

“What are you doing here?” Emma was surprised to see him of all people standing at her front door. 

Killian just stared at her, she looked perfect. Like nothing had happened, he shook his head and smiled. “Hey beautiful, umm… I heard about this morning…”

"Oh..." Emma blushed a bit as she stepped fully outside, closing the door behind her quietly. She noticed Killian looking a bit confused. “My mom’s asleep in the living room, I don’t want to wake her."

"Ah, well I just wanted to check to see how you are doing. Oh, and to give you this." He held up the lantern for her to take it. 

Emma gives him a quizzical look as she takes the lantern. "Thank you?", she couldn't help but smile the more she looked at it. "I think this is my first get well lantern." 

"Well, you never forget your first." Killian quipped.

Emma rolled her eyes, "Uh huh. You know most people just give flowers."

"I'm not most people, love." Killian said as he stared into Emma's eyes, memorizing them like he was never going to see her again. 

"I see that and as you can see I'm okay." Emma looked down at her lantern, not being able to take Killian staring at her like she was going to vanish. 

"I should let you get back to what you were doing." Killian said softly.

"I was just watching movies with my mom, but she fell asleep half way into the second one. I think she tired herself out from all the stress." She looked back at the door, then to Killian.

Killian arched his brow, "You know, all you have to do is ask. No need to beat around the bush."

Emma looked at Killian weird, "Ask what?"

"To watch a movie with you, keep you company and if necessary keep you warm." He grinned.

Emma smiled at his tenacity, "Not even close."

Killian looked at her as he put his hands in his pockets. Trying to continue the conversation with Emma, he didn't want it to end so soon. "What would I have to do to come close?" He said as he took a step closer to her.

Emma could feel herself turning red and her stomach felt like butterflies were fluttering frantically inside it, just as she was about to respond her phone went off in her back pocket. She took it out to see her dad was calling her, "Its my dad."

Killian watches as Emma answers the phone. Nodding and giving out one word responses to end the call soon.

"Okay, see you soon. Bye" Emma hangs up and puts her phone away. "Sorry… umm… my dad is on his way home with dinner" she was feeling nervous.

Killian couldn't help but smile, "Here we go again, what did I say about asking, hmm? Any ways as much as I would love to stay and have dinner with you and your family, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take a rain check."

Emma rolled her eyes at his cockiness, her nerves from before melting away. "That wasn't an invi…"

Killian had cut her off, "Its alright, love. We'll get the chance to have dinner together soon, but I must be going." He loved the way she looks when flustered.

"I never agreed to have dinner with you." Emma stated.

"Yet." Killian stepped back and began walking down the walkway, "Enjoy your 'Get Well Lantern', love."

Emma was too stunned to say anything back to Killian as she watched him walk away. She was so focus on him that she didn't hear her mother behind her.

"What are we staring at?" Mary Margaret asked looking in the direction Emma was.

Emma let out a little yelp and turned towards her mother. "Nothing... I didn't realize you were up."

"Oh, well I just woke up, what are you doing out here?" She looked down and noticed Emma holding a little red lantern. "Oh, that's cute. Is it from the hardware store?"

Emma stared at her mother for a second, not sure what say, for the second time within five minutes. "Umm… yes. Killian gave it to me as a get well gift."

"That was nice of him and different." Mary Margaret said in a chipper tone.

"Mom, can we not tell dad Killian came by? I don't want him getting all fatherly about 'this'." Emma said as she gestured to the lantern.

"Sure, sweetheart."

David pulls into the driveway, driving SBPD second cruiser and smiles as he sees his girls, "Well this is a nice surprise..." He walks up to his wife and kisses her. "You didn't have to wait out here for me though." He goes over and kisses the top of Emma's head. "Come on, let's get out of the cold."

Mary Margaret looks to Emma and smiles before going along with her husband, "When you called I wasn't sure if you'd need help with carrying in dinner..."

Emma stopped as she closed the front door, her parents continuing on into the kitchen talking. Her mother was awake, of course she was awake. Emma shook her head and went to join them in the kitchen for dinner.

"Were you and Leroy able to find your truck?" Emma asked as she sat down.

David sighed, "No and no one saw who was in the truck. The search continues tomorrow. Leroy is getting a few of his brothers to search the woods. Hopefully we'll find it."

"Well, you'll have me to help too." Emma grabbed her a Togo container filled with noddles and began eating as her dad went through his phone.

"I made notes of where we looked, sending them to you now. That way you're not hitting the spots we looked at already." David said then put his phone away.

Emma looked at her phone and saw messages from her friends checking up on her and the one her dad just sent. "Got it." She quickly sent out messages to Elsa and Tink, letting them know she'll see them for lunch tomorrow and put it away.

"Good, so what did the two of you do to?" David asked

Mary Margaret and Emma said in unison, "Watched movies."

Chapter Text

“It official, your life is way more interesting than mine. You have been home for less than a week and you’ve managed to wind up in the hospital and you get yourself a boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend...” Emma murmured, “and it’s not like I asked to be in an accident.” She felt like she had to point out to Tink.

“Right… because Killian Jones cares about everyone’s wellbeing and brings them a get well gift.” Tink said sarcastically. "And I know being hospitalized wasn't intentional."

“Tink, shut it.” Elsa said dominantly, she looked over at Emma and reached out to grab her hand. “We’re just glad you’re okay. The entire town was talking about what happened.
Every story we heard was more outrageous than the last.”

“That’s Storybrooke for you… small town, big stories.” Emma sighed as she concentrated on stacking her onion rings, than the choice topic between her and her friends.

“Still no luck with the truck?”

Emma shook her head, “No, I hope we find it soon. My dad has only had four hours of sleep, he thought looking for it at three am would have a positive outcome. He’s so tired and I would have been out there with him helping, if my mother wasn’t being so…”

“Motherly?” Elsa chuckled “Can you blame her for being a bit over protective with all that has happened?”

“It took a lot of convincing that I’m fine to work.” Emma couldn’t help but smile, “I guess if I was in her shoes I would react the same way.”

After a few painfully quiet minutes, Tink spoke up. “So we’re just going to ignore the elephant in the room?”

Elsa and Emma looked over at her a bit confused. Tink exhale noisily, “That you've got Killian pining after you and who more or less is wanting to take you out on a date. Which he never does.”

Emma rolled her eyes, “I’m not going on a date with him, Tink. I’m not even interested in him” Emma tried to keep cool, but she was horrible at lying, especially to her best friends. She was also curious as to why Killian isn't sociable with anyone in town.

“Really? Because that blush across your face seems to beg to differ.”

Emma looked down at her food trying to hide it, but they both saw it. “Fine! I think he’s cute, but that doesn’t mean anything.”

“It will to him.” Elsa pointed out. “You’re the only woman… well… person he’s actually held a conversation with, let alone flirt with. Whatever you did he's smitten with you.”

“Et tu, Elsa?” Emma glared at her for joining in on the Killian debate that Tink started. "I didn't do anything." Emma grumbled.

“I'm sorry, but it’s true, Emma.”

“Ha! Even Elsa Queen of rationality sees he’s hooked on you.” Tink shouted.

“A little louder, I don’t think the people outside heard you.” Emma hissed as she scooted out of the booth and put her jacket on. She wasn't in the mood to think about Killian, she did enough of that when she's trying to sleep. She just wanted to find her dads truck.

“Oh come on, Ems. Don’t leave.” Tink pouted, “I’m sorry, we won’t talk about you know who and how he ‘blanks’ you and wants to ‘blank’ you out to ‘blank’, then ‘blank’ you.” Tink winked.

“That sounds like a dirty mad lib.” Emma sighed

“Dirty mad lib? Can I play?”

All the girls froze when they heard a certain british accent coming from behind Emma. She turned to see the very person she was trying not to talk about. Standing very close to her with his stupid attractive face smiling at her like she hung the moon and stars for him.

“What, are you following me now?”

“Ah, you figured me out.” Killian teased

Emma gripped on to the booth, she really didn’t want to talk to him in front of her friends. So she said nothing.

“Calm down, love. I just walked in to get lunch, saw you standing here and wanted to say hi.”

“Hi.” She looked back at her friends. “I’m going now. Thanks for lunch, see you later.” Emma walked away from them, leaving Killian standing there with her friends.

Tink spoke up, “You should probably go after her.”

“I know that.” Killian said annoyingly at her before taking off after Emma.

“See, grouchy jerk.” Tink grumbled

“To you… I think we just witness the beginning of something great.” Elsa said as she pops a french fry in her mouth and smiles.

Killian runs to catch up to Emma as she heads back to the station. “Emma!”

Emma stops in her tracks, causing Killian to almost crash into her. He has never called her by her name, she was sure he had forgotten it, but she heard it loud and clear from him. She turned around to look at him, “What?” she snapped.

Killian felt a bit wounded at her tone, he thought everything was fine with them. He wondered if he had upset her yesterday. “Are you okay, love? Have I done something to offend you?”

So much for him using her name. Emma exhaled from her nose and shook her head, she saw Killian’s sad expression and felt awful for snapping at him. Especially since he didn’t do anything wrong. “No… I mean I’m fine, but no. You haven’t done anything. I’m just annoyed with…” She could feel herself wanting to just let everything that she’s had bottle up inside her for the past few days out. New York, the accident, the lost boys, him particularly, but stops short and says the one things that is mainly bothering her that morning. “I can't find my dad’s truck and I’ve looked at all the places my he told me to look.”

“It's a small town. You’ll find it, love. I know you will.” He gives her a reassuring smile.

Emma smiles back at him, “Thank for the vote of confidence.”

“Any time… Emma.”

Her heart skipped a beat, Killian saying her name shouldn’t be making her heart do anything. “Umm… I need to get back to work. Call me… I mean if you happen to see a brown ford truck call the Sheriff’s station.”

Killian smirked, “Right, what if I just want to call to talk to the deputy?”

"I didn't know you and Leroy were, how do you say it? 'Mates'." Emma said coyly

"I meant you, love." He took a step closer to her.

Emma felt a blush creeping across her face, “Will you be calling about an emergency?”

“Aye.”

“What kind of emergency?” Emma’s heart was racing now.

“Theft.” Killian had a devious look as he said it.

“And what was stolen” Emma said breathily.

“My hea…” Kilian was interrupted by a siren blaring as it approached them. It was Emma’s father and Leroy in the cruiser. Killian had a vexed expression on his face as he sighed. He felt like the sheriff knew exactly when to pop out of the woodworks to interrupt his moments with Emma.

Emma covered her ears from the siren and looked at Killian apologetically as her father got out of the cruiser. She signaled to Leroy to turn the damn thing off and he did. “Dad, what’s with the siren?”

David looked at Emma then to Killian, then back at Emma. Noticing her flushed face, “Emergency, I got a phone call from Archie. He was walking Pongo and got loose, ran off in the direction of the old mines. Archie doesn’t want to trespass, but he says he thinks he saw my truck behind a pile a gravel.”

Killian stepped back away from Emma as David kept glaring at him, “I’ll see you around, Emma.” He looks at David and nods his head, “Sheriff.” And heads back to his store.

David watches Killian leave then looks back to Emma.

“What? I’m not wearing just a robe this time.” Emma tried to joke.

“What going on between you two?” David wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer.

“Nothing.” She said that a bit too fast, “Nothing, he was just seeing how I was doing after what happened yesterday.” Emma groaned, “Dad, there’s nothing going on between Killian and I. Okay?” She wondered if she kept saying it enough maybe she'd start believe it.

“Okay, just… just be careful around him, Emma. He’s never shown interest in anyone or anything since moving here and now that you’re here he’s suddenly… interested.”

Emma was getting tired of defending herself when it came to Killian. She knew her friends and family were only looking out for her. Especially after Walsh, but Killian isn’t Walsh. At least she’s hoping he’s not like him, but shouldn’t she be the one to find that out for herself. All she was doing was talking to him… right? She shook her head to stop over thinking… everything and focus on the now. “Dad, it’ll be fine. Now can we please go, Leroy is looking a bit antsy sitting there doing nothing.”

“Fine, let’s go.”

-------------------------------------------

They drive to the old mines that the mayor had fenced off from the public since Emma was in kindergarten, but Emma knows that still didn’t stop teenagers from trespassing. Her being one of them that use to go there when she was younger. It was far from homes and businesses so no one could hear the loud music kids would play at parties they threw there. When they arrived Archie was waiting outside the gates holding what looked like a snapped leash.

“Archie.” David greets him with Leroy and Emma by his side.

“Sheriff, deputies. I… I would have gone after Pongo, but I don’t want to break the law by trespassing. I keep calling for him, but he won’t return.” Archie was a bit anxious wanting his dog by his side and not hurt.

“Don’t worry Dr. Hopper, we’ll get him for you.” Emma reassured him.

“Ah, Miss Nolan, I mean Deputy Nolan. It’s great to see you again and thank you.” Archie smiled at Emma.

She smiled back and headed towards the gates. Leroy had a pair of bolt cutters with him to unlock the gates so they could get through. Once unlock they decided to split up to cover the grounds for the truck and the dog. They all had their radios on them to communicate with each other. Emma could hear a faint barking the closer she got to the opening of the mine.

David’s voice came over the radio, “Emma… Leroy… you copy?”

“Copy, either of you find anything?” Leroy responded

“I hear Pongo. Approaching the mine, I think he’s trapped.” Emma took out her flashlight as she got closer.

“Emma be careful, if it seems too unstable stay back and wait for me and Leroy.” David was checking all the gravel hills for his truck. Along the way he noticed beer bottles and cans scattered around and what looked like bike tracks. “I guess we need to make the mines more secure from the public. Looks like the local teens made this their party site.”

“Damn kids, there’s an old couch out here too.” Leroy grumbled

Emma stifled a giggle, “Hate to burst you’re bubble, but when I was in high school the kids in my grade broke in here and made this into 'the' hangout spot, I guess the kids in town wanted to continue the legacy.

“Really Emma?” David sighed. “It’s dangerous, somebody could have gotten hurt.”

“Sorry dad. Kids need to rebel and have their own space away from snooping parents.” As Emma was talking she moved some planks of wood and medium sized boulders to try and free Pongo.

“Then they can go to the… wait… I found it! Its here, Archie was right!” David shouted. He ran to his truck to check if everything was okay with it. The driver’s side of the window is busted and the windshield cracked. When David rounded the truck to the bed he saw something bulky under a tarp. He pulled out his gun and aimed at the bulk with his right hand and pulled the tarp off the bed with his left. When he saw what was underneath it, he lowered his gun and got closer. “Leroy, I’m going to need back up. I’m over by the north east side of the entrance. Follow the bike tracks.”

“On my way.” Leroy hurried to David

“Dad, what’s going on?” Emma pulled another boulder out of the way and made enough room for Pongo to get through. He got out and ran back towards the entrance where Archie was waiting. “Heading your way, Pongo is free.”

“I found a nice surprise lying in the bed of my truck.” David put away his radio and climbed up on the bed. He nudged the surprise awake. “Rise and shine Mr. Croft!”

He opened his eyes and groaned as he sat up. He looked around and saw he was alone with the Sheriff. He had a look of terror on his face, but quickly replaced it with anger.

Emma and Leroy showed up and saw David standing by a hungover teenage boy in the back of the truck. “Is that… is that Felix Croft?”

“Yes it is, Mr. Croft care to say hello to your old babysitter?” David finally caught a break. He knew Felix didn’t steal his truck. He more than like helped, but this was all from the twisted little mind of Peter North. He just need Felix to confess and he could get them on all the other acts they committed around town.

Felix looked at Emma and scoffed, “What’s the matter, poor little Emma couldn’t make it in the real world and had to come running back home to mommy and daddy?”

“What’s wrong Felix, too difficult to think for yourself and have to rely on Peter to do it for you? What’s even sadder is that you’re going to be tried as an adult for this little stunt.” Emma countered.

Leroy steps up and handcuffs Felix. “Mr. Croft you are under arrest for grand theft auto, trespassing, destruction of property, underage drinking, and disorderly conduct while we’re at it. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have…” Leroy continued as he hauled Felix to the cruiser.

“What a brat.” Emma looked at her dad and placed her hand on his shoulder in comfort, “You okay dad?”

“I’m fine, princess. The question is are you okay?”

“I’m fine, it takes a lot more than some petty words from a kid to shake me." She wasn't going to tell him that the words stung a bit. "So, now what?” Emma walks to his truck.

“Now? Now we try and get a confession out of him and take down the ring leader for attempted murder.” David sighed, “I was ready to charge him for vandalism. You know give him community service, have him work it off." David hated to arrest kids, he always tried to find another way to help them, before it was too late.

"Dad…" Emma could see how distraught he was about it. Like he failed the town and its people.

David continued, "Then he had to go off and be stupid. He aimed right for us yesterday, Emma and we could have been badly hurt or killed due to his negligence. I don’t know what he was trying to accomplish, but he needs to be locked away for his and everyone else's safety. ”

“He will be, we’re almost there and maybe he'll get the help he needs… You want me to drive your truck to the Marine Garage, see if Doc can get your windows replaced?” She nudged him with her elbow.

David managed to give Emma a small smile. “That would be great, thank you. When you’re done come back to the station. Help me with Felix, we’ll let him stew in a cell for a bit before we ask him questions.” David kissed the top of Emma's head “See you at the station.”

Chapter Text

“Thanks Doc, my dad will pick it up tomorrow!” Emma said as she was walking out of the Marine Garage. She continued to walk back to the station passing by the hardware store, she fought the urge to stop in and see Killian and apologize for earlier with her father. She had to get back to help her dad with questioning Felix. When she arrived her dad was standing outside. “Hey dad, everything all right?”

“Yeah, just getting some air. Was Doc available?” David linked his arm through Emma’s arm as they walked inside the station.

“Yeah, you can pick it up first thing in the morning.”

“Well at least that’s something to be glad about today.” David sighed

“Dad…” Emma stopped him before they walked into the interrogation room. “We’re almost there. Come on, we’re one step closer to this being over. Keep telling yourself that, okay?”

David smiled a bit, “Just like your mother, in tough times she always looks on the bright side. Okay, one step closer."

"Really? I always thought I was more like you, even mom says I remind her of you. Then again she might have meant the stubbornness."

David laughed at that and nodded in agreement. "Have I told you how happy I am that you’re back home?”

“It’s been a minute.” Emma kidded.

“Well, I am.” He pulled her into a side hug as he kissed the top of her head. “Alright, let’s see what we can find out.” David walked into the room with Emma right behind him. Felix was asleep again with his head hanging back and mouth open. David slammed his hand down on the table and Felix jolted awake from the sound. He tried to move his hands to his face, but couldn’t due to them being handcuffed to the table.

“Mr. Croft this is not nap time! Now, I have some questions for you and I expect you to answer all of them.” David said in his most serious tone. “Why was my truck at the mines?”

“I don’t know… maybe you left it there.” Felix replied monotonously.

“Why were you at the mines?” David tried again.

“Is that where I was?” Felix shot back.

David inhaled deeply as he asked his next question, “Why were you in my stolen truck at the mines that are obviously closed to the public?”

“Took an evening stroll, saw it there and thought it looked like a good place to take a nap.” Felix smirked

David lost his composure at that, he slammed his hands down on the table and stared at Felix dead in the eyes, “We both know that’s not true and that you’re covering for someone in particular!”

“Dad…” Emma walked over to him and pulled him away from Felix. “He’s just trying to rile you up, like he did with me earlier.”

David sighed as he rubbed his hand down his face, “You’re right, you’re right.”

“How about I question him, while you go get some coffee?” Emma looked at him, hoping he would let her try.

“Are you sure? I mean you just saw what I went through with answers from him, but if you want to, go ahead. Maybe you’ll have a better chance than me.”

“I want to try.”

David gripped her hand as a silent way of telling her ‘good luck’ then walked out of the room.

Emma turned to look back at Felix, he had a smug look on his face. Like he had just won the battle, but Emma didn’t care. She was more focused on the war. She sat down in front of him, not saying anything. Just letting the silence intimidate him.

“Wanted some alone time with me, did you? Hate to break it to you, but you’re not my type. I’m not into old hags.” Felix looked at her with disgust, like he was going to catch cooties from her.

“Oh, Felix. You and I both know if I wasn’t ‘old’ as you say, I still wouldn’t be your type, although your type and I do share the same eye color.” Emma saw his eyes widen in shock, but try to quickly hide it as though he had no clue what she was talking about.

“You’re delusional.” Felix reply angrily.

“Am I? I’d say observant. For example I’m observing that the wrong person is in this room.” Emma watched him, as his jaw ticked and his breathing increased. He was nervous, if he wasn’t he’d seem more calm.

Felix didn’t say anything, he stayed quiet as he listened to Emma, glaring at her as she continued on. “Why don’t you tell me what happened Felix… maybe we can figure something out where you won’t go to prison?”

“I stole the truck, I aimed for the cruiser, and I broke into the mines and trashed the sheriff’s truck. It was all me.” Felix’s heart felt like it was beating out of his chest.

Emma was getting frustrated with him, because she could tell he was lying. “Felix, you know I know that isn’t true. Lying to protect Peter didn’t work back when you were four and it isn’t working now. Why should you be the one to take the fall for his misdeeds?”

“Shut up, you don’t know anything!” Felix shouted at Emma. She was getting under his skin now. “I did everything on my own! Peter had nothing to do with it!” His eyes were becoming glossier from the unshod tears he was hold back.

“I find that hard to believe, especially since you’re getting more worked up from the mere mentioning of his name. It’s as if you don’t care for your own well being, just as long as Peter is safe. Tell me Felix, was this part of the plan?” Emma could feel his pain, to love someone so much that they’re willing to do anything to protect them from anyone and everything. Too bad that is always ends in heartache.

“I don’t have to say anything. You have what you need, I did it!” Tears began to fall down his cheek, not able to hold back anymore.

Emma moved her hand to one of his cuffed ones and gripped it tight. “Let me help you Felix.”

Felix looked up into Emma’s sympathetic eyes, then back to hand on his. He didn’t shove it away. “Peter…” He sniffled.

“Peter what?” Emma asked gently.

“Nothing… Peter didn’t do nothing. I did.” Felix looked away.

Emma waited a few minutes to see if Felix would say anything, but he stayed quiet. She sighed and nodded her head, knowing he wouldn’t say anything tonight, but maybe after a night of thinking with no distractions he’d change his mind and tell Emma the truth. “Okay, Felix. The sheriff will be in here shortly to escort you to your cell.” She stood up and walked to the door. “I want you to think about something Felix while you’re lying in your cell… will he be there for you until the end?” With that she left the room.

Emma walks to her father’s desk and sits across from him, “He’s ready to go to his cell.”

David looked up from his paperwork to see Emma look disappointed, “I’m sorry, Emma. I really was hoping he would have confessed everything to you.”

“He confessed, just not the truth.” Emma sighed.

“So, what do you want to do?”

“Not to sound like a cliché, but let him think about what he’s done… I almost had him, I was so close. Peter has him wrapped around his little demonic finger so tight that he doesn’t see the harm he’s causing his future.” Emma quickly stood up, “I’ll talk to Felix again tomorrow. I just need to think of another way to get through to him. I need to go for a walk or something.”

“It’s been a long day. Go get some air, clear your mind and we’ll try again in the morning. Like you said Emma, we’re one step closer.” He stood up to kiss her forehead. “Go, I’ll see you later at home.”

“Thanks, dad. See you at home.” Emma leaves the station and wanders around Storybrooke.

-----------------------------------------

“You okay, mate?” Robin walked down stairs to see Killian behind the counter in deep thought. “Killian?!”

Killian snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Robin, “Hmm?”

“I asked if you are okay, you’re thinking pretty hard over there. Don’t want you to hurt yourself.” Robin teased.

“Ha… I’m fine.” Killian looked out the window and saw Emma darting past the shop. He gets up to run out to see her, but stops himself and sits back down. He didn’t want her to think he was creeping on her constantly.

Robin notices and shakes his head as he watches his friend struggle with his crush on the town’s new deputy. He claps Killian on his shoulder, “You sure? Since you got back from not getting us lunch, you’ve been sitting there starring out the window… like you’re waiting for someone to walk through those doors.” He smiles at him, “Also your brother has been trying to get a hold of you for the past hour. You might want to call him back.”

Killian looked over at Robin, rolling his eyes at him then pulled out his phone to see he had six missed calls from his brother Liam. “I’ll call him later.” He got up and walked over to the window. “I’m going for a walk.”

“Right, anywhere in particular?” Robin probes.

“No, just aimless walking.”

“Mind aimlessly walking over to John’s and picking Roland up from his play date?” Robin asks “Please?” He drags out a few e’s.

“Yeah. Alright, but don’t be mad if he’s hopped up on sugar when we get back.” At that Killian rushes out the door before Robin can protest.

“Killian!” Robin runs to the door and opens it, yelling at Killian as he runs away. “Don’t give him… sweets.” Robin grunts as Killian was too far away to hear him, “Damn it!”

---------------------------------------------

“Uncle Killy!!!”

Killian jumps at the shrill joy from his favorite little mate as he ran from the front yard to the sidewalk where he was standing into his legs and gripped on tight. Killian couldn’t help but smile as he wrapped his arms around him to lift him up. “There’s my first mate. Did you have fun playing with little John?” As he finished speaking John and his little boy walked closer to them.

“Hey Killian.” John put his hand out to shake Killian’s and hand him Roland’s bag. “Can you let Robin know that he ate already, he just needs a good bath. They played nonstop since Roland got here.” He chuckled.

“Will do.” Killian looked down at John’s son. “Don’t look sad mate, Roland will be back tomorrow.”

“Okay.” Little john said glumly. “Bye, Rollie.”

“Bye, lil John.” Roland replied.

Killian set Roland down and made sure his jacket was snuggly wrapped around him before the headed off hand in hand. “See you around John, little john.” The father and son waved them off and went back into their home. “So, since your father sent me to get you… how about we stop to get some ice cream?”

“Yeah!” Roland shouted with excitement. “I want chocolate!”

They begin walking to the local ice cream parlor, ‘Not another Sundae’. When they arrived Killian noticed through the window a familiar blonde ordering at the counter. He looked up to the sky and mouthed a ‘thank you’ to the universe. “Come on mate, ice cream awaits us.” They walk in and Killian begins to talk to Roland, pretending he hasn’t noticed Emma. “Since you’re getting chocolate, what should I get?”

Emma’s ears perk up when she hears a familiar voice talking behind her to someone. She was waiting for her order to be brought to her as she soon hears a little voice speaking back to Killian and her heart dropped. It was a kid, his kid?

“You like rocky road, so rocky road” Roland chirped.

Emma’s heart went from dropping to melting as she listened to the little boy. She had just placed an order for a pint of rocky road and her inner teenager screamed that they had something in common. She then rolled her eyes at herself for thinking that ice cream was going to be their special bond.

“Here you go, one pint of rocky road. Enjoy!” The cashier said cheerily as she handed her the pint.

“I see that I’m not the only one with great taste, especially in ice cream.” Killian commented.

‘Damn’, Emma thought. She turned around to see his smiling face, then noticed the little boy holding his hand. ‘So freaking adorable’. “Killian…” She felt awkward, not knowing what to say.

“Emma.” Killian replied back, he looked at her curiously. “Are you alright?”

“Fine.” She turned back around to the register to grab a plastic spoon and leave a tip for her ice cream, then looked back at Killian. “Well… bye.” Emma began to walk away when Killian took ahold of her hand to stop her. “Hey… what are you…”

Killian cut her off, “Don’t leave, just give me a second.” He walked up to the counter with Roland and ordered their ice cream.

Emma just stood there and waited like he asked. She should leave and let him have his time with his kid. She didn’t want to get in the way. Just as she was about to walk away Killian returned with a cone in one hand and Roland’s hand in the other.

“Walk with us.” Killian asked.

“No, its okay I don’t want to interrupt…” Emma protested

“We’re just walking across the street so I can drop Roland off at home with his dad.” Killian didn’t want her leave. He wanted to spend more time with her, without her father or anything else interrupting their conversation.

“His dad… you’re not his dad?” Emma felt a bit relieved, not because Roland wasn’t his, but because that meant she didn’t have to worry about intruding on a family and possibly an ex.

“Killy isn’t my dad, he’s my uncle.” Roland spoke up.

“Killy?” Emma couldn’t help but smile at his nickname.

“Aye, he’s Robin’s son. Cute isn’t he?” Killian let go of his hand to ruffle his hair a bit.

“I’m not cute, uncle Killy.” Roland huffed.

“No, I’d say you’re a very handsome young man.” Emma smiled at him.

Roland’s smile lit up his entire face as he looked up at Emma. “Thank you, you are very pretty.”

Emma blushed to that, “Thank you.”

Roland reached over to hold her hand, “Come on, you can walk with us.”

Emma couldn’t stop smiling to how adorable this kid is, “Sure, I’ll walk with you.”

“Really, you just declined my offer.” Killian was feigning offense.

“What can I say, he’s very charming. How can anyone say no to that face?” Emma was being pulled out the door by Roland as he focused his attention back on his ice cream.

“You wound me, love and here I thought I was the only one to make you smile like that.” Killian opened his mouth to take a bite of his ice cream, walking along the other side of Roland as they crossed the street.

Emma scrunched her face as she watched Killian, “Weirdo, who bites their ice cream?”

They reach the hardware store and Roland lets go of Emma hand, “It was nice meeting you!” He waves bye and Emma does the same before he runs into the store to show his dad his cone.

Killian looks through the window to see Robin glaring at him, then notices Emma and his facial features change to something more annoying to Killian. He rolls his eyes and takes a hold of Emma’s hand as he walks them away from the window down to the brick walls where he knew Robin wouldn’t be smiling like an idiot.

Emma goes along with it and giggles, “You okay?”

“Yeah, there was a draft over there.” Killian fibbed as he let go of her. He immediately regretted doing it. He liked holding her hand, he liked being around her.

“There’s a draft all around us with this weather, then again weirdos who bite their ice cream instead of licking it probably feel a draft all year round.” Emma teased him.

Killian smiled and could help the urge to run his tongue across his upper lip. “I like to save my licking for other enjoyable activities.”

Emma wondered if her ice cream was going to melt from how hot her body felt from that comment. “You, you kiss you nephew with that mouth?” She felt stupid as she was saying it, but she didn’t know how else to respond to that.

The corner of Killian’s mouth twitched up as he took a step closer to Emma. “I wouldn’t mind kissing someone else with this mouth… love.”

“Please, you couldn’t handle it.” Emma didn’t know what came over her. She hardly knew the man, but the moment she met him she couldn’t stop flirting with him. Of course his flirting was even worse than hers.

Killian arched his brow, “Perhaps you’re the one who couldn’t handle it.” Popping the t at the end.

Emma bit her lower lip as he popped his t again at her, it was the smallest thing, but it managed to make her feel hot and bothered. She didn’t know if it was being out in the cold for too long and the self-control part of her brain froze or being frustrated with work at the moment, but something snapped. She grabbed the middle of Killian’s jacket with one hand and kissed him with so much need and want, it made him drop his ice cream cone on the ground.

Emma claimed that as a personal victory.