For scapeartist and mryddinwilt for giving me all the Snook feels. I just needed Mama Snow and Hook to have a heart to heart and yeah… this is how it went down. Set after Rumple gets his ass handed to him and the curse of shattered sight is broken - but no TLK between CS has happened. Mary Margaret and Killian have tea and have a bit of a talk.
Rated: F for pure fluffy goodness
Five o’clock strikes on the town clock tower as he makes his way up to the loft. Emma had told him earlier in the day to meet her there and they’d actually try for a second date. Between curses that brought out the worst in everyone and getting his heart back from the Dark One, they’d hadn’t exactly had a moment to just be let alone attempt another date. He didn’t know what exactly she had planned but since he had asked this time, she’d insisted on planning the evening since he’d done so well for their first date. Even still he wondered exactly what her plans were as she had been out most of the day searching for a place to live outside the loft. He knew she didn’t want to leave her parents. Twenty-eight years of separation made it difficult to not want to spend what precious time they had together, he knew and respected that. He also knew that Emma Swan was a grown woman that had grown a bit tired of the lack of privacy that living with her parents, infant brother, and her own son entailed. Henry would no doubt move with her, cutting his time between Regina’s mansion and whatever new place Emma decided on.
He knocked twice and waited patiently at the door. Mary Margaret opened it, holding her son with one arm. “Killian, right on time,” she said with a smile as the bundle gurgled and cooed.
Killian followed her as she moved back into the apartment. His eyes searched for a shock of blonde hair and hesitated in his gait as he came up empty. “Where’s…?”
She pulled a bottle out of a pot on the stove and tested it on her wrist, before determining it was safe for baby Neal’s consumption. “Emma?” She finished for him giving him a knowing smile. “She told me to tell you that she would be back in a bit. Her father convinced her to help him get some essentials from the market. She would have told you herself but she left her cell phone here.”
He chuckled and shifted his weight between his feet. He’d not been alone with Mary Margaret before, except for that one time in the past when he asked her steal her own future wedding ring, but that was not the same woman who stood there, bouncing babe in her arms and thirty years of experience under her belt. He wasn’t entirely certain how to act. The only experience he’s had with her was in either her daughter or husband’s presence. He didn’t really know her as Mary Margaret as David and Emma so interchangeably called her.
Mary Margaret caught on to the tension in his stance and patted a dining room chair as she moved from the kitchen. “Have a seat, would you like some tea?” She asked as she cooed at her baby boy gently while he ate.
He removed his jacket, draping it on the chair he pulled out and sat down upon at her request. “Sure,” he said noncommittally to lend politeness to the unexpected hospitality. It was strange that since Emma and he had returned from the past how things were settling in even stranger since everything had occurred from that time on. Getting his heart back had been a wondrous relief. He and Emma were good, things were easy between them. An easy intimacy was growing and solidifying their relationship and it gave him a calmness that he hadn’t felt in over three hundred years.
“Will you take Neal for me?” she asked as Killian settled down at the dining table. His breath caught for a moment. Of all the things he’d expect to come out of the woman’s mouth, ‘will you hold my newborn child’ was not one of them. For as protective as she’d been it had been a slow process of letting go, letting other people hold her son instead of trying to be some kind of super hero mom who could cook, clean, run a town all with a baby on her hip. Mary Margaret moved towards him to hand over her second born and only son.
Killian hesitated, a nervous swallow making his Adam’s apple bob up and down. He wasn’t sure it was the smartest idea but Mary Margaret’s face was determined. He swallowed and clicked off his hook, letting it rest on the table. She showed him how to hold Neal, cradling his head and supporting him. She smiled and padded back into the kitchen to make the tea. Killian stared for a moment at the child in his arms. He looked already like his sister. The same stern set of brows and light hair. He wondered if that would change or if he’d be blond like his big sister. He marvels at the tiny fingers and shape of his nose and the little dimpled chin. Children, more specifically babies had never been something he’d come in contact with. Lost boys and a pre-teen Baelfire maybe but all of those hardly qualified in comparison to the squirming bundle that calmed and gurgled only to repeat the sequential movement. In three hundred years he’d never held a baby before, the feeling felt awkward yet oddly natural, effortless even. The clashing dichotomy perplexed him to no end.
“Seems you’re a natural,” She remarked, turning on her heel and headed back to brew their tea. He noticed an oddness to her demeanor, some how lighter and more easygoing. It would seem to him that Mary Margaret seemed a bit pleased with her summation of his baby holding abilities.
The Mary Margaret he’d been observing since their return from the past showed a women who was steadfastly determined to never let her new baby out of her sight for a moment, yet here she was handing off her child to him an infamous pirate. He shook his head and returned attentions back to the child in his arms who was stretching and balling his hands as he continued to drink from his bottle already holding it though he was just a month or two old. His little fingers grasping for whatever they could find purchase on found the chain from around his neck and pulled with surprising strength.
“Easy there,” Killian said softly, disentangling the infant’s hand from the chain before the tugging served to choke him.
Mary Margaret soon joined him at the table sliding his mug over to him he offered her to take her son and she gladly took the babe back into her arms cooing gently and glowing. “You’re not used to babies are you?” She surmised by the relieved look on his face when she took Neal back into her embrace.
“A pirate ship is no place for a child,” he answered quickly. She narrowed her appraising glance on him for a moment before returning her motherly gaze to her son.
Neal had finished his bottle and she placed it on the table, moving him to hug her chest where she began to slowly rub and pat his back. Killian looked to his little feet kicking as he settled with his face in his mothers neck. “I suppose so. I’m glad Emma and David went to the market I finally get a chance to actually talk to you for once.”
“Aye, this would be the most amount of words we’ve said to one another unless you count the conversation we had on my ship.”
“Oh you mean the one where you offered me safe passage if I stole this?” She said with a sly smirk holding up the green wedding ring resting on her left ring finger.
He snickered. “That would be the one, yes.”
“That was you wasn’t it? Not Captain Hook of that time?” She asked receiving only a simple nod in reply. “I suppose I should thank you and apologize.”
“For what m’lady?” He asked arching an eyebrow at her statement.
The woman rolled her eyes. “You can cut it with the m’lady, crap. We’re not in the Enchanted Forest, I may have been born royalty but here…” She paused a content smile sliding across her face. “Here it’s just Mary Margaret. Anyways, as I was saying, the apology for calling you a liar about the note that told you about the curse. I am sorry for that.”
He shrugged and leaned forward playing with the metal curve of his hook. “To be honest I don’t know who sent it to me, I only assumed it was you since you have a natural proclivity for birds.”
She hummed a moment, considering him. “And you were right to assume it but no I didn’t send it. I do wonder who did.”
“Again I am as in the dark as you are on that one.” An amiable silence fell over them for a moment. “Are you not going to finish your explanation?”
She looked up clearly having been distracted by her son. “What?”
“You said thank me. You never did say why. While I can’t say I’m not grateful for the nicety it would be good to know why before I accept your graciousness.”
“Do you always talk like that?” Mary Margaret snarked back. He chuckled in response. “Whatever, right, yes I did say thank you. Before your little trip to the past with my daughter, she was ready to book it out of this town with Henry as fast as she could and never look back. Whatever you said to her to make her stay, whatever happened on that adventure you two had, thank you. You brought her back to us and you didn’t have to. You could have left us to whatever fate Zelena had planned but you didn’t. I’m not an idiot to think you did it out of any nobility towards us, or anything. I know exactly why you did it but I needed you to know that I appreciate it.”
He looked down at his hands, unsure how to take the praise. “Anything I said to Emma, didn’t help. She came to the conclusion that her home is here with her family all on her own. I was just lucky enough to be there when she realized it. You are quite right, though. I didn’t do any of it for you.”
Mary Margaret smiled. “You did it for Emma. Traded your ship for her, I’m told.”
He sputtered for a moment, his tea going down the wrong pipe, causing him to set his mug down, coughing to clear his throat. “She told you?”
“Emma and I don’t generally keep secrets from one another. ‘Sides she didn’t have to, you’re here, your ship is not. Not hard to connect the dots.”
He sat back for a moment impressed. “It seems, your highness, I underestimated your powers of observation, though I suppose I shouldn’t have. You have always been a clever one.”
She smiled and rose to take Neal who was now asleep against her chest and put him down for a nap. “I guess we’re both guilty of underestimating one another. I certainly didn’t trust you for a long time.” She stated leaving him alone for a moment.
He played with the handle of his cup, before taking a sip and considering the course his life had taken. He looked back on all that had happened since that day in the Enchanted Forest when he made a piss poor attempt to play a lone survivor, a simple blacksmith. It wasn’t just Emma who saw through his façade it seemed. Maybe the superpower was inherited after all and not something wholly unique to the Savior. He certainly saw Henry had an incredible knack for it now as well. Everything then seemed so bleak and dark. A singular goal he needed to accomplish, get to Storybrooke by any means necessary and for one purpose. Yet it took only being tied to a tree and the threat of death by ogre to make him reconsider his tenuous alliance with Cora. Yet all it had taken was an adventure up a beanstalk and a betrayal and he was right back to his old tricks. He shook his head at himself. He wasn’t that man anymore. Emma’s words rang through his head, insisting that he was different, that he wasn’t a villain at all as he’d always feared.
Mary Margaret came back into the room and he glanced up. She smiled and took her seat again, setting the baby monitor on the table. “I can see why she likes you,” she announces drawing his surprised attention. His eyebrows raised and his head cocked to one side.
She settled into her chair sipping her Earl Grey. “You keep your promises and that is a big deal with her,” she remarked, taking another sip. “Now, when I first really met Emma, I wasn’t myself. I was a cursed and lonely schoolteacher. I got to know her better than I would have if the curse had been broken with her arrival. She likes to hide behind that wall of hers because she thinks it will keep her heart safe. I watched her go through everything with Graham. She tried so hard to push him away, to keep him at arms length that by the time she finally opened up to him he died. Emma is a very gentle soul beneath the hardened exterior. It breaks my heart as her mother to know that she’s known so much loss throughout her life. Part of it is my fault. I should have gone with her. I should have fought harder so she wouldn’t have been alone.”
His brow furrowed. “I’m not sure I understand your point to this,” he interrupted.
She smiled again, soft and sweet with her eyes misty and filled with regret. “Part of the reason why she has that wall at all is because we sent her through the wardrobe, alone. It’s only been fortified with time and for the last few months, even since Neverland I’ve watched you tear that wall down brick by brick. Part of the reason Emma is as open as she is now is because she’s had you in her life. I get that and I couldn’t be happier because of it. I thought, mistakenly that she and Neal had the real thing. Like her father and I. I’ve come to the realization that he’s as much responsible for her guardedness as David and I are if not more.”
“I can’t say I don’t blame her. I’ve lost much in my life as Emma has. She’s infinitely fortunate to have gained so much of it back. I don’t have any family. My only family died centuries ago,” he said, twirling one ring around his finger with his thumb.
“Your brother,” Mary Margaret surmised. “David told me.”
“My mother died when I was young. My father when I was a teenager. It hurts to lose the ones we love. With Emma, I lost her before I ever got the chance to have her in my life. To have her back even though we’ve missed out on everything means so much. It’s strange before all this I was just a bandit on the run from my evil stepmother. Look at me now, a mayor, a mother of two, a wife,” she marveled at her own past.
Taking a sip of his tea he leaned forward to place it back down on the table once he was done. “I remember the bandit well. So ready to run away from everything.”
She smiled. “Yeah I guess that’s where Emma gets her impulse to bolt from, huh?”
“I’m sure it’s not just from you.” He reassured. He knew Emma all to well to know that it wasn’t just an inherited trait, that instinctual impulse to run. It was a carefully constructed defense mechanism when things were getting to real, too good. He knew that when Emma was running from her magic, her family, and most of all running from him. He’s still astonished to this day that she stopped running from all of it, him included.
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right.” Mary Margaret agreed. “You know what else David told me?”
“He also told me what you did for him in Neverland, the real story. Not the lie he told us there, but what you did with the water when he was dying. You really did save his life.”
Killian met her gaze again. Not wanting the compliment to continue. In his mind he already didn’t deserve the first thank you. He didn’t want that again. “Again not for him. That island has claimed one too many in it’s wretched existence I didn’t want to see Emma lose her father to that forsaken place.”
“You really do love her, don’t you?” She asked
“Aye, that I do. Even if she doesn’t feel the same.”
Mary Margaret tilted her head to the side curiously. “Believe me, she does. My daughter may be guarded and gun shy when it comes to love, but I know my daughter. She wouldn’t have given up her magic to save your life if she didn’t care for you,” She paused taking in the look of surprise on his face. “Yes I know about that. I may have been in labor but it’s pretty obvious that you were cursed to take her magic away and then suddenly her magic is gone? She wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for someone she can’t live without. She wouldn’t have fought to save your heart if she didn’t feel just as strongly for you as you do for her.”
A contemplative silence fell over them as Killian mulled over what Mary Margaret had said. He didn’t dare hope that she was right. He wanted to believe it. Knew that she cared for him, but after a failed True Love’s kiss in New York he gave up hope that she’d ever feel the same and he’d come to terms with that, settling for whatever piece of her she’d offer. He’d take whatever fraction of her heart she would give and he’d cherish that because it was far more than he deserved. Late at night in his wildest hopes and dreams he imagined the possibility that she could love him as ardently as he loves her. But he never let the hope rise up once morning dawned. A moment into the silence the door to the loft swung open with David carrying bags of food followed by an exasperated and equally loaded up Emma.
Killian stood, clicking his hook into place and moved to take over half of Emma’s bags. She smiled at him and told him she didn’t need help. “Not commenting on your capability, love, just assisting where I can,” he answered with a quick kiss to her cheek.
Emma grinned and looked to the dining table as she made her way to the kitchen with Killian in tow. Mary Margaret and David were there already unloading poptarts and cereal boxes into the cupboards. David excused himself a moment later to go spy on his sleeping son, his wife threatening his life if he so much as made a peep that would wake the sleeping infant.
“Emma, go on, your father and I’ve got this,” Mary Margaret said, flashing a gentle smile at the two of them. Killian set the bags on the counter next to Emma’s as well and met Mary Margaret’s gaze and smirked. He knew exactly what she was doing. Telling Emma to go enjoy time with him instead of being the dutiful daughter.
“Are you sure?” Emma asked, vacillating between the obvious out her mother just gave her and staying behind for a few more minutes.
“Yes, go. Neal’s fed and already down for a nap. Wasn’t there something you wanted to show, Killian?”
Killian, confused, turned his eyes to Emma who grinned widely. “Thanks Mom, see you later?” Emma offered, taking Killian’s hand and turning towards the door, moving so quickly it was almost as if she were excited about something.
“Have fun,” her mother replied in a sing-song voice as they left.
In the hall Emma turned to lock the door behind her. “You want to show me something?” Killian asked tentatively.
Emma turned on her heel and her grin grew conspiratorial. “Yeah, actually, this,” she said holding up a set of brass keys.
“Keys? Keys to what?” He asked, hoping where this was going.
“I got my own place,” she stated simply, stepping forward and pressing her lips to his. He sighed into the kiss and pulled her close, cradling her neck. A moment later she pulled back, hands on his chest with their noses touching. “You’re the first person I want to show it to, so let’s go!” she replied lacing their fingers as she pulled back to lead him down the stairs and out to the bug. He followed, smiling the conversation between he and her mother put to the side for now, but the last remark of hers stayed with him, try as he might to ignore it but something stirred in his chest at the look of eager joy on his Swan’s face. That something he didn’t want to admit it, but he knew the feeling, the surge of anticipation, the possibility of it. Maybe Mary Margaret was right after all. If she was, he’d have to thank her later, but first he had an apartment to see.