I want a ship so intense that my muse doesn’t even know what’s happening to them. I want my muse to have feelings so intense they don’t recognize themselves anymore, that it completely consumes them and unlocks a whole new side of their personality that they have never seen before.
but what if emma and elsa talk about killian
like maybe the walkie talkie keeps fizzling out as emma’s trying to reach him - his voice broken and unintelligible through the speaker - and elsa’s off to the side watching emma getting increasingly frustrated (in part because she’s so cold and her hands aren’t working, but mostly because it’s her only chance of getting out and it keeps failing her). emma throws the walkie talkie down (in typical childish form, lbh), huffing and pulling her jacket tighter and tucking her legs into her chest, muttering something like 'goddamn' and 'no reception'
and then quietly, elsa interrupts the ensuing silence ‘who was that?’, her voice echoes in the cave, and it’s not at all hostile, just genuinely curious. “was it one of your loved ones?’ she says, or adds something to a similar effect, and emma’s all
'what? no, that's hook. he's my - he's - ” and she starts to frown, unable to finish the sentence, and elsa's eyes are still just wide and wondering, confused that the other blonde seems to be struggling with the simple question, so she says
"is he a friend… or - or your lover, perhaps?"
thinking she’s helping out, but emma grimaces. “I - it’s complicated.”
elsa gives a sympathetic smile. “he wants to be more, but you’d rather be friends?” and what should be a question sounds more like a statement - one emma can feel her whole body protesting because the assumption is so wrong, but then, in the back of her mind it gets her thinking - what must he think if someone she’s just met immediately concluded that?
"no, it’s no - " emma hastens to reply but -
"you doubt the honesty of his affections, then." elsa cuts her off, trying again, drawing it out more slowly this time, her voice rising in question at the end.
"no! god, no” emma almost yells, and she can tell the queen’s a bit taken aback by the almost aggressive reaction, and she falls short in an attempt to gather herself, feeling more and more like the world’s biggest idiot. “no, it’s just - we haven’t really had much time to… figure out what we are.” she manages finally, chuckling a bit as if turning it into a lighthearted issue will make her feel better about the way she’s been acting around him - the space, the patience, more understandable.
"there’s just never been the right moment." she tacks on for good measure.
"how so?" the queen asks, and emma expels another huff of frustration because she really doesn’t want to be getting into this, but elsa’s not trying to be rude, she’s actually really nice, and not at all a monster or a threat as she can tell the woman thinks of herself.
instead, she says “my job kind of means i’m always dealing with the town’s crises - and believe me, in storybrooke, there is always one waiting in the wings - and so i just don’t really have much time for me…” she shrugs, retreating inwardly on herself because somehow saying it out loud to a complete stranger has just made her realise how stupid it is. she doesn’t have to look at the woman to know the same confused expression is on her face once more.
"but i don’t understand," she begins and emma cringes even harder. "surely that’s even more reason to seize every opportunity you have with him…?"
emma manages a half-hearted smile at that, because well hello, irony. "yeah, you wouldn’t be the first person to think so" she mutters under breath, thinking the queen hasn’t heard her, but then:
"so, he’s aware of this, too?" she catches on, eyebrows raised in a way that emma’s already beginning to understand makes not answering impossible. (she may be a queen, but she’s sort of a bossy one, emma muses internally.) “and he understands?”
"well, yeah. he knows i’m working stuff out. he’s being patient." she swallows, eyes suddenly drawn back down to her folded hands, starting to rub them together (definitely not a nervous or uncomfortable impulse - she’s cold and she needs friction.)
"he’s a gentleman, then." elsa says, and the tone of assumption is back once again, but emma doesn’t care. she snorts out a laugh, which sounds really unattractive because her teeth are starting to chatter and the shivers are becoming increasingly pronounced.
"he likes to think so" she smiles wryly to herself, and elsa’s voice is beginning to seem more distant - separate to her thoughts which are getting louder and louder, and all she can think about is the press of his lips and what she wouldn’t give to have them warming hers right now. “but he’s more of a pirate, really.” she continues, ignoring the cold. “always making inappropriate comments and sneaking touches.”
she thinks of the swiss knife he makes out of his hook, all the unnecessary things he uses it for, and laughs. “and he always wears shirts which expose far too much chest hair than is decent for a town like storybrooke.” (what she doesn’t say is that she’s far from complaining about it.)
"but yeah - he’s patient." she nods, swallowing suddenly. her chest tightens and a new wave of cold rushes through her. her knuckles turn whiter still where they’re clenched around the ends of her jacket, and she thinks and he makes me feel good.
he makes me smile - makes me forget i’m smiling.
and he gets along with henry.
and he thinks i’m his home.
"he’s just - " she says eventually, voice thick with emotions she’s thus far been able to keep a lid on, realising with a shock that there are tears in her eyes. (last she checked - sub-zero temperatures are not tear-inducing, so any excuses are out of the question.)
"he’s always been there." she finishes in a small voice, lame and insignificant and unfair to the magnitude of the fact (the depth of how the four words make her feel). "he’s always coming back for me."
there’s a moment of silence and emma wonders whether elsa’s even listening anymore, but it hardly matters, because there’s a desperate need rising within her now - a need to hear his voice, settling in her bones, just as she’s recognising the fogginess in her brain as one of fear and she’s scared - so scared - suddenly needing him to know.
suddenly needing to tell him how she feels, even if it’ll likely come out a jumbled and incoherent mess, because he’s the one who’s good with words - not her.
she barely registers the sound of the talkie crackling to life once more, only feels elsa placing it in her hands, and vaguely, emma understands her earlier comment now - the one about how the cold’s never bothered her - because her hands are warm. really warm as she helps bring the makeshift phone up to her ear, smiling kindly (emma won’t forget this), before walking off to the other end of the cave and inspecting the damage for the fifth time already (giving her space.)
"Emma, love,” she hears on the other end, and relief floods through her.