Harbor In the Tempest (3/5)
After an attack by the Lost Boys, Emma and Killian find themselves in an impossible situation. Canon divergence from 3x07.
A/N: This chapter is the reason I wanted to write this fic in the first place. Please don’t kill me. Endless gratitude to @caprelloidea for letting me yell at you about this.
Word Count: 4272
The sun slowly crawls across the sky, passing its zenith and giving way to soft late-afternoon light. Neither Killian nor Emma really know what to do with themselves, and they fall into an odd type of silence the likes of which he’s never felt before. It’s not exactly uncomfortable, not even sitting as closely as they are, not even with the full weight of what’s happening to her hanging between them. It’s not uncomfortable but defeated, like waiting for a ship to slowly sink on the open sea.
Every time he’s lost someone it’s happened quickly, going far beyond just Liam and Milah. Crewmen lost in battle or knocked overboard in violent tempests, first mates taken down by a knife fight in a tavern, a father gone without warning in the middle of the night. Death and loss are abrupt, sudden things for him, a simple flick of a wrist and a severed hand.
This is new. He knows what’s happening as well as she, both of them helpless to do any more than listen to the cliff up above, hoping for the sound of her parents or Regina coming through the woods overhead and frightened that it will never come. That’s new for him too, the fear crawling up his spine, an emotion that hasn’t seized him so completely in centuries.
For awhile he contemplates taking her hand again, lacing his fingers with hers to keep them warm, give her something to hang onto. He eventually decides against it. She’d accepted his touch earlier, even seemed to welcome it when he placed his hand to her forehead. But a sort of grim acceptance seems to have come over her ever since Pan’s visit, and he’s reluctant to try and talk much - he knows the topic of conversation would likely drift into unpleasantness soon enough.
He doesn’t know how to be there for her, but he aches to try.