in my shoes
OUaT | Hook/Emma | ~3500 words | Captain Swan Tales
Emma is practicing magic on her own when Hook stumbles upon her. He won’t keep his mouth shut, she loses control, and magic has its own rules anyway.
Taking a deep breath, she close her eyes in concentration and waves her hand again.
“Damn,” Emma mutters, and pinches the bridge of her nose, feeling a headache coming on. Regina always makes it look so easy but then again, the woman had years to get it right.
“You seem a bit tense, love.” Someone whispers close to her ear, the voice low and smooth, a warm breath tickling her skin. Startled, Emma spins around and finds the owner of the voice peering down at her with a crooked grin.
“Hook? What the hell are you doing here?” She hisses, eyeing him suspiciously.
He rocks back on his heels, places his hand over his chest and adopts an innocent expression that looks terrible out of place on the pirate’s face. “You see, I was minding my own business when I noticed movement in the library. As an upstanding citizen of this little town, I considered it my duty to investigate.”
Right. Hook and upstanding? That’s the same as if the Devil declares himself to be a saint. No, he’s been definitely doing something else, she can tell, and a second later it hits her. He’s been following her. And she failed to notice him.
Her lips tighten into a thin line as Emma glowers at him, a tiny part of her wishing that looks could really kill, but unfortunately, she hasn’t reached that chapter yet (and probably never will but in this moment, she really wants to give it a try).
Undeterred by her death glare, Hook licks his lip and gives her a slow once over. “So, Swan,” he drawls, quirking his eyebrow, and to her dismay, Emma feels a flush coloring her cheeks. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing that concerns you,” she tells him bluntly and straightens.
Chuckling, Hook pivots on his heel and saunters towards the circulation desk. “You aren’t, by any chance, practicing magic unsupervised…” He turns to face her and there’s a knowing glint in his eyes. “Are you?”
“Shut up,” Emma snaps, her blush deepening, and, God, she really hates him. So, maybe she’s not exactly following (in other words: totally ignoring) the rule her parents and Regina have set (under no circumstances is she allowed to practice magic alone), but the lack of progress is slowly driving her insane and a little bit of training isn’t going to bring the world to an end.
“My, my,” Hook murmurs, his lips curling into a hint of a smirk, the tip of his tongue peeking out behind his teeth. “You are quite the rebel princess.”
“Hook.” That one word carries an unmistakable warning. “Get out.”
“Why? Things just got…interesting.” His smile is wicked and all teeth. “Go on, lass, keep hitting the air. You do it so well after all.”
Now he’s just blatantly baiting her as he does so often these days. His favorite pastime, it seems. Emma narrows her eyes at him, her fingers itching with the burning desire to wipe that infuriating smirk off his face, but she resists, crosses her arms instead and settles for a challenging stare with an edge of amused boredom. Too late she remembers what he told her all those months ago when they were climbing the beanstalk. I love a challenge.
“Having a little magical trouble?” Hook asks, his voice full of feigned sympathy. “Don’t worry, love, we all have a dry spell from time to time.” He pauses thoughtfully, resting the point of his hook on his chin. “Except, of course, the Evil Queen and the crocodile.”
The words hit their mark. The air around them crackles as something awakens inside her, wild and bright, setting every nerve ending on fire, and Emma exhales slowly, letting her arms drop to her sides, hands clenched into fists, fingernails digging into the soft flesh of her palms in a vain attempt to stay calm.
Hook lets his gaze slide to her hands, then back to her face, looking entirely too pleased with himself, and before she can stop him, he delivers the final blow. “It must be really hard to see them using magic so easily, while you, the legendary savior, fall short of everyone’s expectations.” His sigh is as dramatic as it is mocking. “A shame, really, but what can you do?” He shrugs and smiles, almost dismissively.
The world shrinks in the space of a heartbeat, then expands with the next, and her control snaps with an audible crack. Emma moves in a flash and invades his personal space, shoving him hard in the chest and back against the desk. “You have no idea what it’s like,” she snarls at him, eyes ablaze. “Walk ten miles in my shoes first, Hook, and then I dare you to judge me again.”
He laughs, doesn’t even try to suppress it as he presses himself closer to her, and dips his head, his warm breath ghosting over her face. “Good form, love.”
Whatever is bubbling beneath the surface of her skin spills over, and too late Emma realizes what it is, watches the pink glow sparking between her fingers as she feels the power surging through her.
Magic winds around them like vines, she can’t move, can’t break the confines of the spell, and she knows, this is going to end badly. The odd mix of shock and awe in Hook’s eyes echoes that sentiment.
Then the world goes dark.
When this is over, she is going to kill him and toss his body into the sea. Preferable in close range to sharks. She tips her head up to stare at the ceiling, a grim smile on her lips. Or maybe she will make a short trip to Neverland and visit the mermaids…
“You know, love,” he says lightly, arms sliding through the bars until his elbows rest on the horizontal bar. “Women usually ask first before they get into my pants.”
Forget later. Boots hit the ground hard as Emma stands up and jerks open the drawer in the desk, only to come up empty-handed. Damn. Why did her father have to take her guns with him?
“Swan? What are you looking for?”
“Something, anything, to kill you with.” She leans back to peer around the corner and searches the small backroom with a quick glance. No useful weapons there either.
Hook coughs, but she’s almost certain he’s trying to smother a laughter. “May I point out that it’s your body you’re threatening here?”
Emma gives him a dark look. As if she could ever forget the fact that she’s stuck in his body while he’s occupying hers. “Shut up, Hook, or I will shut you up.”
He leers at her, unabashedly, and she rolls her eyes. “Is that a promise, darling? Because your body really seems to like the idea…”
Oh, God, the others better find a solution soon before she kills him with a…paper clip? She scowls at her choice of weapon before flicking it across the table. Frustration wells up inside her and she starts to pace, drumming her fingers against the brace.
From the corner of her eyes, she sees him shift, pressing himself closer to the bars, and she steels herself for another round of innuendos, but Hook surprises her. “It could have been worse.”
She stops pacing. “How so?”
“You could have ended up in the queen’s body. And I in the crocodile’s,” he replies, and Emma shudders in disgust at the thought. “Or we could have switched bodies with you parents.”
“God, no,” she groans, pressing the back of her hand against her eyes. The chuckle that reaches her is all Hook, even though it’s her voice, and she shoots him a halfhearted glare.
A smirk pulls at the corners of his mouth as he tilts his head. “Fortunately for you, lass, you were gifted with my perfect body.” Then he leans forward, his tongue darting out to trace his bottom lip and honestly, she’s way too old blush. “Feel free to tou–”
The door to the sheriff’s office slams open, and her father stalks in, followed by her mother, Regina and Gold. It must be a hilarious picture they’re presenting, with her father shooting daggers at his daughter while her mother’s eyes are soft as she watches the pirate.
“We know how to break the spell,” Gold announces, and something in his tone tells Emma that she won’t like the answer to her not-so-little magical mishap.
“You two have to literally walk ten miles together.” Way to drop the bomb. Well, that certainly explains her father’s thunderous expression.
“Oh, this is brilliant,” Hook quips, arching an eyebrow at her. “If I didn’t know it any better, Swan, I’d say you’ve been planning this all along.”
“Why, you–” Her father lunges at the cell and only with the help of her mother, Emma can hold him back.
“Alright, everyone. Time out.” She points at Hook. “You, stop it.” Cringing at the pained look in her father’s eyes, she squeezes his arm gently. “It’s going to be okay.”
“No.” Emma shakes her head, squaring her shoulders. “I’ve brought this upon us, so I’ll have to pay the price.” Even if it means to endure the presence of Hook for a few hours. Somewhere, fate is howling with laughter, she has no doubt about that.
“Now that you mention it, Miss Swan,” Gold says suddenly. “You still haven’t told us the whole story. What exactly happened?”
Panic flares up inside her and her face grows hot. “I was…” completely disregarding the rule you set, practicing magic on my own and magically messed up things because I let Hook getting under my skin? “…going to–”
“Actually, I am at fault,” Hook interrupts, and Emma whips her head around so fast, she’s surprised she doesn’t get whiplash.
“She was meditating when I came across her and I simply could not resist the temptation,” he continues, all traces of his flirtatious behavior gone. “I was provoking her deliberately. My apologies, your majesty.”
His eyes flicker to hers, the look in them open and honest, and Emma is stunned into silence as she sees that he’s truly sorry for what has happened. Distantly, she hears the others argue but her focus is solely on Hook. This earnest side of him is one he rarely shows and most of the time keeps buried beneath his moniker, but sometimes, especially when she doesn’t expect it at all, he takes her by surprise.
She’s still trying to wrap her mind around it when his gaze turns questioning, and Emma flushes as she realizes she’s been staring at him for several minutes. Recognition dawns on his face and his lips twitch upwards.
Thankfully, Regina chooses that moment to put an end to the discussion. “Well, it’s safe to say her powers are strongly linked to her emotions, something we didn’t consider beforehand. I’ll have to adjust her lessons accordingly.” She makes her way towards the door. “When you’re…finished with your pirate, please come and see me.” With that parting remark she leaves, Gold shuffling out after her.
Emma blinks. “What? He’s not my–” The door slides shut behind Regina and Gold. “–pirate.”
“I could be,” said pirate offers, a lazy smile spreading across his face.
“Not helping, Hook.”
“That’s not a no,” he points out in a sing-song voice, and Emma hastily steps in front of her father as he starts for the pirate again. Definitely time to get on with the walk of magic.
“Dad, please, just get my guns and his hook.”
“Fine,” her father grumbles and together with her mother, he rummages through the backpack they’ve brought with them. Emma uses their momentarily distraction to pluck the keys from his pocket and let Hook out of the cell, hustling him towards the exit. Or at least she’s trying to.
“What’s the rush, Swan?” It’s like a weird dance, two steps forward, one to the left and back, and he’s on the other side. She huffs and pushes him back to the door. “The sooner we’re on the way, the sooner we can return to our bodies.”
He opens his mouth for what she’s sure will be another sassy comment, but she fixes him with a look and he snaps it shut, pouting instead. Giving another exasperated sigh, Emma reaches around him to pick up the hook from her mother’s hand and attaches it to the brace before handing one of her guns to Hook without a second thought.
Bewildered, almost wary, he stares first at the weapon, then at her, and something tightens in her chest. He still thinks he’s not worth her trust, doesn’t know that he’s already earned it a long time ago.
Then again, she hasn’t been treating him any different, has she? In his mind they’re still the infuriating pirate and the annoyed sheriff. If she doesn’t make the first move and shows him that things have changed between them, he will never see it.
Usually, actions speak louder than words, but in their case, words always had the greater impact, and so Emma chooses those that have been theirs since the beginning.
Try something new, darling… “I trust you.”
Hook goes completely still, his face unreadable as he searches her face, eyes locked with hers, and she hopes he can read the truth there, can see she means and believes what she’s said.
When he nods almost imperceptibly, the tension leaving his body in a rush, she knows, he has found it, and she can breathe again, the tightness in her chest loosening.
“Thank you.” You and I…we understand each other.
A throat clearing causes them to jump, their moment of truth effectively broken up. Flustered, Emma meets her father’s disgruntled gaze briefly before looking away, only to see Hook’s lips slowly twisting into a grin.
Hell, no, not again. Time to go. Now. She grips his arm tightly and starts to half-push, half-drag an amused pirate towards the door and out of the station. “I have a hook and I know how to use it,” she threatens him, registering a second too late her bad choice of words.
She winces, expecting another suggestive remark but it doesn’t come. Instead, there’s a moment of silence before Hook speaks, and when he does, it’s with a strange tone in his voice.
“That you do, love, that you do.”
Their eyes meet, blue colliding with green, and Emma feels something shift between them, ever so slightly.
“I can’t remember the last time I took a walk for the sake of just walking.”
There’s a pause.
“It’s nice, isn’t it?”
“You cut down her apple tree?”
“And then you told her it’s her move now?”
He chuckles, eyes bright with mirth. “Oh, lass, you are truly something else.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“It is, love.”
“I can’t believe you fought a kraken.”
“Why? We have dragons, so why not a kraken?”
“Point taken.” She shakes her head, amused. “You’re turning more and more into a real Jack Sparrow.”
“Who’s that? And why is calling himself after a bird? Not really terrifying if you ask me.”
“Relax, he’s nothing more than a character in a movie about pirates.”
“Movie? You mean those pictures in the magic box?”
“Yes. We could watch them sometime.”
“I’d like that.”
When he squirms for the fifth time, she has enough.
“Okay, what’s wrong?”
“It itches and pinches and why are you even wearing this…contraption? It’s terrible uncomfortable.”
“My bra?” She grins. “Be thankful it’s not a corset.”
He stops abruptly, eyes boring into her back. “You’ve worn a corset?”
She makes a noncommittal sound.
“Is it difficult?”
When he looks at her questioningly, she holds up the hook.
“Ah.” He gives her a wry smile. “I would not call it difficult. It’s…different. But I had years to learn to live with it.”
“If you could have your hand back, would you do it?”
A heartbeat, two, three. Then
“I don’t know.”
With great care, she traces the tattoo with the point of the hook.
“She would have liked you.”
“You think so?”
“Oh, yes, love. The two of you would have made my life a living hell.”
She rolls her eyes. “Drama queen.”
“Just before he died, he told me he remembered.”
“He was the Huntsman, aye?”
“Yes.” She bites her lip. “Maybe if I had believed him when he said he had no heart…” Her voice trails off.
There’s a brief touch on her shoulder.
“Henry found the book, he believed from the beginning. I don’t know what would have happened it he hadn’t.”
“He’s a very perceptive lad.”
“And determined. Bordering on stubborn sometimes.”
“Quite like his mother.”
She sends him a mock glare. “Careful, captain.”
“Do you still love him?” He avoids looking at her, keeps his gaze on the ground.
There’s surprise in his voice.“But…he’s Henry’s father.”
“And he always will be but too much has happened between us.” She sighs. “Feelings can change. From lovers to friends, they say.”
A few seconds pass in silence.
“It can happen the other way around as well, can’t it? From friends to lovers?”
He finally looks at her. “Are we friends, Emma?”
“I’d like to think so.”
There are a thousands of tiny electric shocks coursing through her body, the world tilting on its axis, and she can hardly breathe. Something pulls her into every direction before squeezing her like a paper ball and back into her own body, leaving her gasping for air.
When Emma opens her eyes, she finds Hook standing right in front her, looking at her intently, the weight of his gaze settling heavy across her collarbone, and she’s left breathless for a completely different reason.
He raises his hand and cups the back of her head, his fingers twining in her hair. Slowly, he pulls her to him, his lips brushing hers, the contact light, almost hesitant as though he isn’t sure she’d welcome his advances.
Gasping quietly, Emma opens up beneath his lips, arching into him as a shiver runs down her spine. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she presses herself against him, and with a low groan, Hook deepens the kiss.
A few days later in Granny’s Diner, Ruby studies Emma with a curious expression on her face. Her friend is obvious to the scrutiny, completely absorbed in the newspaper she’s reading, and Ruby does something she usually refrains from doing – she inhales carefully and sniffs the air.
Emma’s scent is…different somehow. She still smells like cinnamon and pine forest, with the ever-present touch of magic, but underneath it, there’s a hint of…the ocean and rum?
Perplexed, Ruby ponders where she’s smelt it before, knows she has, and she’s short of pouncing on Emma and demanding answers, when the door opens and Hook enters the diner.
The pirate doesn’t acknowledge Ruby or any of the other patrons, he has only eyes for Emma, who’s still engrossed in the newspaper, and as he moves a bit to the right and closer to the counter, the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fall into place. Emma’s scent isn’t the only one that has changed.
Ruby smirks as her eyes go back and forth between her friend and the pirate. Something happened that day between them and it was not just Emma’s misfired spell.
“A man could become jealous of the paper you’re holding there, love. You pay an awful lot of attention to it.” Hook’s voice is husky, and though Emma’s only outward reaction is the twitching of her lips, Ruby’s senses easily pick up the quickening of her friend’s heartbeat and the blood rushing under her skin.
“A man also tends to exaggerate,” Emma shoots back as she folds the newspaper and turns to face the pirate. The second their eyes meet, their scents rise, a darker, sharper edge creeping in, the air sizzling with a well-known tension, and all that Ruby can think is, Oh, boy. She better intervenes before the heat between them sets the diner on fire.
“Captain. What can I do for you?”
Emma jumps slightly, a guilty expression crossing her face, and Ruby bites back another grin.
“Nothing. I’m just here to pick up the sheriff,” Hook replies smoothly, running his tongue over his teeth, and just before Emma’s look shift into a glare, Ruby can hear her friend’s breath catch.
Emma recovers quickly though and flashes her a small smile before she stands up and walks towards Hook. “Let’s go then. I’ll see you later, Red.”
From the corner of her eyes, Ruby continues to observe them, watches as Emma hits Hook’s shoulder lightly, listens to the quiet laugh he gives in return, and notes the way they lean into each other as they leave the diner, their hands brushing.
Once they’re out of sight, Ruby’s grin breaks finally free. These two really got it bad for each other.
- END -