SUMMARY: As if returning home penniless and heartbroken isn’t bad enough, the last thing Emma needs is for her mom to get her a job – and for her future boss to pull her out of the harbor before she even knows his name. But Killian Jones has never been afraid of the water…
Oh, look, yet another time I meant to write a one shot and it got completely out of hand. Hope you like it @32variations
I love the photosets @lenfaz made for this (yep, there’s five different ones) and am so happy she offered when she heard about this project! And a big thank you to @evil–isnt–born for beta duties, even if it did earn her odd looks at Starbucks.
Being back in Storybrooke is familiar and it should be comforting, but everywhere Emma Swan looks, she sees the bad choices that landed her in this mess.
Living with her parents.
Twenty-five and starting completely over.
If only she could go back in time and tell her eighteen year old self that dropping out of college to follow her boyfriend’s band around the country was a terrible idea; that said boyfriend would develop a drug problem, that he would begin stealing to fund his addiction, and that one day she would find herself picking up a payphone – a freaking payphone – to call her father in tears from a truck stop in the middle of Texas with a rapidly swelling dose of reality on her face.
Just over twenty-four hours later, she’s back in her father’s beat up pickup, the scent of cracked leather and gasoline wrapping around her like a childhood blanket. It’s a cool afternoon in Maine, and after the Texas heat, she’s shivering before they’ve even left the airport despite it still – technically – being summer.
And like nothing ever changed, David reaches into the narrow backseat and silently offers her his old flannel coat, his scent mingling with wood smoke on the worn sheepskin lining. Burrowed into the coat, the soft plaid under her nose, it almost seems like maybe coming home is a good idea.
Before her mother’s pursed lips and thinly veiled judgments.
Before the not-so-subtle hints that Emma got herself into this mess and it’s time to be an adult.
Before the humiliating announcement that Mary Margaret called in a favor and got Emma a job before the week is out.
The job is the last straw, and the end of that conversation sees Emma down by the harbor, desperate for a bit of solitude and peace. Her eyes fall shut as she steps onto the dock, the sun warm on her skin. Summer’s lazy days are fading into the golden haze of fall, the brine of the ocean beyond the harbor carrying on the faint breeze. Soon she’ll be able to see her breath like clouds of smoke puffing out in front of her with every step she takes, and the brilliantly bright sun she’s grown accustomed to several latitudes south will give way to the watery, muted light of winter in Maine.