Room with a View

Inspired by the BTS images of Killian at Casa de Dark One, using the spyglass/telescope in Emma’s living room. This totally supports my headcanon that one of the reasons Emma chose THAT specific white picket fence house is because you can see the harbor from there, and the Jolly Roger is the tallest thing in it so… I decided to write the thing before I get Jossed. Blame @liamjcnes for this. Enabled by her cover art because we’re drift compatible.

~1400 words, AO3 (unbeta’d, all mistakes are mine)

Another bloody note. She could have summoned him easily, he knew that from the first time she poofed them over to her house, but this time she’s asking.

Come by the house. I need to see you. -Emma

Killian cautiously ascended the porch steps and reached the front door, which curiously was cracked open. Maybe it was his old habit of never being able to resist an unlocked door. Perhaps it was the temptation to seize an unaccompanied glimpse into Emma’s basement containing her new favorite treasure. Either way, he braved inside and closed the door behind him.

From the moment the heavy latch clicked shut, his senses were heightened. Killian was acutely aware of the sounds, the air, even just the energy of this strange space. There was a disquiet about it, something that made Killian uneasy. He didn’t know how Emma came to acquire the house (Did she conjure it out of thin air? Did she take it from someone? Why this one?), but from their last meeting there, he knew she was certainly proud of it. The decor was sophisticated, if a bit modern for his taste. Not at all like the loft, all pastels, old wood and soft florals. This house was cold, without heart. Without the signature essence of his Swan.

He closely observed his surroundings, taking in details he hadn’t noticed in the haste of his previous visits. The few books on the shelves were old tomes by authors he didn’t recognize. There were lots of candles, but they appeared to all be the same white pillar style. The kitchen seemed to be immaculate, either hardly used or meticulously cleaned. (Dark Ones don’t sleep, do they not eat, either?) He scanned the perimeter until his eyes landed on something he hadn’t noticed before.

A brass telescope, pointed out the bay window.

Was it always there? Had he not noticed it before or was it a recent addition? Emma still hadn’t made her presence known so he took the opportunity to check out the vantage point. Maybe it would lend some sort of insight into her plans, her motives.

He delicately grasped the brass cylinder in his hand and brought it to his eye. He adjusted the focus as he had on his own spyglass countless times, and his breath caught in his throat when familiar scenery began to reveal itself in startling detail.

Clear, unencumbered blue sky.

Seabirds gliding overhead.

The tin roof of the boathouse.

The sparse forest of masts bobbing lazily against the sky.

Among those masts, two of them belonged to a ship considerably older than the rest in the harbor. One with a distinguishing yellow gunwale.

And beyond it, the horizon.

Killian felt his brow furrow against the eyepiece. He couldn’t tell if it was apprehension, suspicion, or the much more simplified heartbreak.  He was suspicious that her reasons were for the purposes of monitoring him, but he wanted to believe that even so far away, his Emma wanted to be close to him. Wherever she was, however far down she was buried in this leather-clad, red-lipped temptress, he clung to the belief that she could still be calmed by the sight of the horizon.

His thoughts drifted back to a particularly heartfelt conversation by the water, her warmth nestled between his knees and her heart fully in his protection. He was snapped out of his trance at the sound of a familiar voice behind him, laced with a foreign chill.

“Enjoying the view?”

Killian whirled around on his heels, practically knocking down the telescope in the process. His quick reflexes righted the thing and he squared his shoulders before the woman in front of him who bore an insulting resemblance to Emma Swan.

“It’s one I know quite well. I’m surprised you can see it from here.” He kept his calm shockingly well, a thin veneer but convincing. “Or maybe I shouldn’t be,” he added with a note of skepticism.

“I find the horizon relaxing,” Emma purred, with the sickening coy undertone she used with him last time they were alone here. “Besides, the only place I would rather be than here with you is on your ship, and I thought you might like it if we could see the Jolly Roger from here. You should see the view from upstairs…” Temptress.

His traitorous body showed signs of betrayal, his breath quickening, his blood starting to boil. Small beads of sweat formed on the back of his neck, and not from nerves. His intellectual mind was screaming protestations. No! This isn’t Emma. Walk away, Jones. Be strong. This is what she wants. You know more than anyone how the Dark One manipulates. Don’t be a fool.

Something in her eyes, perhaps a shadow or an illusion, but something was shining through that he could not ignore.

“And why did you think that would be advantageous? Part of your plan?”

“My plan?” She echoed indignantly. “I didn’t plan for any of this. But it doesn’t change things. This is who I am now. But that also doesn’t change what I want. I want this for us. A life. Here, together.” Her smile was soft and sincere, but still Killian’s hackles raised. As she delivered her little speech, Emma swayed her hips closer toward Killian, who stood rooted to the spot. “Now, I finally have the courage to go after what I want. I’m not afraid anymore. And what I want is you.” On the utterance of her last word she laid her hands tenderly on his chest. Not with the passionate grip of his lapels he knew she favored, but with almost tentative placement.

He could feel his resolve crumbling, deteriorating under her touch. He held her close, holding firm to her trim waist. He had been under Emma Swan’s spell since the moment they met. But this power she had over him now was other-worldly, and had nothing to do with her recently acquired dark magic. He missed her, his Emma, and it was a craving that ached to be assuaged. So any vague resemblance to what they used to have, who she used to be, even just the subtlest press of her forehead against his, tapped into a deep place of hurt and desire within him all at once. He chastised himself for being weak but he could withstand the agony no longer. Maybe just a taste.

“Emma, I…” he murmured, barely above a whisper.

“Shh..” Emma hushed.

That was it. The dam had burst and he could resist no more. He was weak, so weak. Her lips pressed against his with that familiar heat that banished all other thoughts from his mind. Her hand snaked up his neck and around to cradle his jaw. He slid his hand up her back, playing his fingers wide across her spine, bringing her chest in full contact with his. Perhaps it was some desperate attempt to bring their hearts closer together to accomplish…he couldn’t even fathom.

His words to her from seemingly long ago echoed in the recesses of his mind while their bodies were entangled. I know how you kiss. And after countless kisses since then, he knew her so well, with such deep familiarity, that he could recognize a single note of her symphony, no matter how many layers it was shrouded beneath. Her appearance had changed drastically from the tousled blonde princess in a red leather jacket he fell in love with. Her now hair tamed fastidiously in a braided bun, her dramatic new visage all high contrast and severe, to say nothing of her form-fitting black leather wardrobe. While he held her close and did nothing but feel, none of it mattered one iota.

For that brief moment of fantasy, with his eyes closed and his embrace tight and determined, it was his Emma back in his arms. He would never forget that woman’s kiss. And for a fleeting moment, he entertained the notion of staying. Of a life in that house. Of mornings overlooking the harbor, sun pouring through large windows draped in gauze curtains. Lazy, clear-skied days where they could spot the Jolly through the window, eagerly awaiting a day sail. Returning through the white-picket fence to their homestead. Shared meals cooked in that kitchen. Some eaten at the dining room tables, others not making it off the stove before one licked spoon turned into a deliciously passionate interlude on the kitchen counter.

As they broke the kiss, so did Killian’s reverie. Their foreheads remained pressed, his eyes firmly shut. For he knew the moment he opened them, the harsh reality would snap back into focus. That Emma isn’t here. This calculated temptress before him wasn’t the person he wanted that life with. He wanted that life, but not like this. Not until he had her back.

Inexplicably, an echo sounding eerily like his own voice drifted past the edges of his consciousness. Faint and far away, but distinct.

I’ll never stop fighting for us.