every day i battle the urge to shave my hair again

The Difficult Kind - 1

Summary: When Killian Jones accidentally stumbles into Emma Swan’s undercover FBI investigation, first impressions are anything but good. Once the smoke clears, they never expect to see each other again. But with a common enemy and the stakes higher than ever, they quickly discover working together is the only choice. That goes rather poorly too – until it doesn’t. CS AU. 


Rating: M (for a reason) 

Author’s note: To quote a reader, this one is a bit “grittier” than what you may be used to from me. There is some dubious consent and moral ambiguity, so if that’s not your thing, this isn’t for you. @oubliette14​ made me the gorgeous graphic and has been invaluable along with @kliomuse​ for brainstorming and beta duties. Much love, ladies! 

Also on ff.net and ao3 

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“Well done, dearie.”

Killian sketched a mocking bow, allowing himself just the proper amount of disrespect to keep character without losing life or limb. “I’m a man of my word.”

“Indeed.” Gold considered him from his spot behind a massive desk, his fingers forming a steeple as if in thought, though Killian knew from experience any thoughts the wretched man had were sinister at best. A long moment of tense silence followed, not a soul in the room daring to so much as breathe too deeply.

Including the frightened-looking girl standing at Gold’s elbow in a poor excuse for a dress, the hem barely long enough to cover the essentials. Her name was Emily, and that was all he knew – even the dignity of a last name was denied her. Beyond that, Killian knew what everyone else knew: the girl belonged to Gold.

The taste of bile on his tongue, Killian waited until Gold’s lips twisted into what passed for a smile. “Well, as it turns out, I’m a man of my word as well. I did promise it would be worth your while if you came through.”

“Your payment was generous, though hard be it for me to refuse your gratitude.” He turned up the charm, ignoring the heavy thud of his racing heart. The last thing he wanted was to be standing in front of such a monster, dueling with quips and barbs. He had much larger concerns, but he needed to maintain his access to come and go as he pleased.

Someone’s life depended on it.

“Yes, it was, wasn’t it? See, this is what I like about you, Charles. Criminals these days, they lack manners. They don’t understand a man’s word is his currency no matter his station in life. But you, you understand.” Gold smiled at him, a reptile in a suit. “Given your excellent execution of your task, allow me to extend my hospitality. Emily is yours for the evening.” The girl showed no reaction, her eyes on the floor even as Gold gave her a none too gentle push in Killian’s direction, her tangled blonde locks spilling over her shoulder as she nearly lost her balance in her heels.

Killian swallowed, his thoughts scrambling for a response. Of all the things Gold could have offered him, the barely legal girl who was either his prisoner, or his whore, or both, was the last thing he wanted any part of.

“If rumor is to be believed, a man once lost his hand for merely touching her,” he finally said, relieved to have found a plausible excuse. “I hate to think what I might lose should you change your mind. I’m rather fond of all my parts, you see.”

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