So I wrote this for my best friend, Devy. I hope she likes it! And, just FYI, I have never seen Once Upon a Time, but due to the extent of Devy's obsession, I know WAY too much about it. So if I make a little mistake, it's because I've never actually seen the show. Just saying…

This is pre-Mila. I expect to kind of follow the events of the show but with some different twists you may not expect.

Hope you guys enjoy it!

Chapter One: A Cruel Mistress

Killian Jones lay on his stomach, clinging to soaked wood and being tossed about by an angry sea.

His ship was gone.

He gripped the wood, knuckles turning white. Squeezing his eyes shut against the salty onslaught of water, he let his forehead sink to brush the only thing keep him afloat. God, he was tired. His muscles ached from first fighting against the powerful waves of the ocean to find a piece of debris that could support him and now they trembled with the effort it took to balance his weight on the wooden fragment.

Would the storm never end?

He forced his eyes open lest he sink away into the black depths of unconsciousness. He flinched as a spray of water immediately caught him in the face.

Seriously? His ship was stolen. He was taken captive by a rival gang of pirates. Those dolts somehow managed to sink their ship during a storm, leaving him to fend for himself. Now the ocean itself seemed intent on taking him out?

A wave crashed over Killian, momentarily submerging him before the natural buoyancy of the wood returned him to the surface. He gasped, spitting out sea water and filling his lungs with air. His dark hair seemed almost black as it spilled across his forehead and into his eyes, making it even harder for him to see.

Not that there was anything to see. At least he hoped there wasn't. Unless it was his ship somehow being miraculously returned to him. Or a ship full of lovely beauties eager to nurse him to back to health.

Despite the situation, he chuckled a bit. A wave battered the side of the board and he fell silent, though still sporting a roguish smirk.

The darkness was almost as consuming as the sea. He wondered if any of the pirates had managed to survive like he had. He snorted derisively. Probably not. Bumbling fools. It had been mere hours since they had taken him as captive, getting ready to sell him to some of his enemies at the next port while those other blackguards sailed away on his baby.

He sighed, blinking heavily. He didn't know how much longer he would be able to remain conscious. He felt his grip loosening almost involuntarily, body listing towards the side of the wooden debris.

As blackness started to invade the edges of his vision, he thought he felt something brush his leg. He tried to muster the strength to lift his head.

With gargantuan effort he managed to raise his eyes. He could only keep his head up a moment before it fell back to the rough surface of the wood, blackness falling over his vision like a curtain.

That was odd. He almost thought he saw a…woman?

That couldn't be right. He wanted to open his eyes again, but it felt as if his eyelids had fused shut. He could only see the last few seconds replaying in his mind over and over again. The silhouette of a woman, long hair plastered to shapely shoulders. For a brief second, lightning had lit the roiling surface of the ocean and he had the impression of full lips and wide, luminescent eyes the color of a tropical sea.

There was no way that a woman could survive out in this storm…Well, the hallucinations had finally started. He clearly didn't have much time left before the sea claimed him as bounty. At least he had been blessed with a mercifully gorgeous angel of death.

His thoughts grew fuzzy even as it seemed he felt the press of a hand on his shoulder and fingers brushing aside the hair that had fallen in his face.

His last thought before he slid into nothingness was of the irony of having a luscious lady (hallucination though she may be) within arm's length and being too weak to make the most of it.

Death was truly a cruel mistress.