Walking up the steps to their house, Henry leading the way and Killian beside her with a vise-like grip on her hand, Emma suddenly felt exhausted. Swaying slightly on her feet while they waited for Henry to unlock the door, she felt Killian’s strong arm around her waist, supporting her, and she felt a wave of gratitude wash over her for what must have been the hundredth time in the short hour she’d been back- grateful to be alive, to have Killian, her son, and her father, grateful to be home, and grateful to have the vision ordeal over and done with. She didn’t know what would come next, but she did know what her plans for the short term would be- a shower and some sleep.
She felt Killian usher her through the door and allowed herself to be led in the direction of the couch, where Henry sat down next to her, seemingly intent on not letting her further than five feet from him. He allowed her to put an arm around him and pull him close (something that was becoming rarer and rarer- Henry was far from the stereotypical teen, but he still was a teenager), and was again grateful to have her Henry back, not the young, angry, hurting Henry she had seen in the Wish World.
“When was the last time you slept, kid?” she asked, and he shrugged in response, his eyelids drooping. She looked over at Killian, who had shed his jacket and was leaning in the door frame, as he shook his head- Henry had not slept for quite some time, apparently.
“Come on, then, bed,” Emma ordered, standing him up. “I’ll tell you everything in the morning.” Henry gave her another crushing hug, walked over to Killian, gave him a one-armed hug, and loped up the stairs.
Emma looked over at Killian, who was looking up the stairs where Henry had just gone with a mix of affection and what looked like longing, and she wondered what he was thinking. Before she could ask, he turned to her.
“And when was the last time you slept, love?” he asked softly, with a knowing look, walking over and sitting next to her on the couch. Emma curled into him instinctively and mumbled an “I don’t know” in response.
He kissed the top of her head. “Are you hungry?”
“Not really,” she said, “All I really want to do is shower and sleep, honestly.”
“Then that is precisely what you shall do,” Killian said, in what Emma liked to think of as his “old-timey, 300-year-old, gentleman” voice. She smiled as Killian pulled her up from the couch.
“Wait,” she said, stopping him as he turned to walk upstairs, pulling on his hooked arm. He turned, looking concerned, and she put a hand over his cheek. “I love you.”
His face softened, and he brought his hand up to cover hers where it rested on his face. “And I, you, Swan.” He clutched her hand and placed a soft kiss on her knuckles, before gesturing up the stairs.
“Now, come, milady, your bedchamber awaits,” he said with obviously overdone gallantry and a wink, to which Emma lightly smacked his arm and smiled, then led him up the stairs.
She took a moment to check in on Henry, who had kicked his shoes off and was asleep in his clothes, with the light on. She covered him up with a blanket and turned out the light, leaving the door cracked.
“He didn’t sleep very much while you were gone,” Killian told her regretfully as they walked down the hall to their bedroom.
“Did you or my dad?”
“Well, no…” Killian confessed.
“That’s why, then- he looks up to you guys,” Emma said. “When was the last time you slept?” she asked, zeroing in on the circles under his eyes.
“Not since you left,” he admitted, reaching up to rub behind his ear. Emma sighed.
“Well, we’re about to fix that,” she said, determinedly.
He wasn’t sure what had woken him, but a quick look over at Emma showed that she was still passed out wrapped around him like some sort of octopus, and that it was near dawn. He heard a noise that sounded like it was coming from outside- that must have been what woke him- and decided to go look. He pressed a kiss to Emma’s forehead, untangled himself from her, and pulled on a t-shirt. After briefly checking in on Henry- who was also still dead asleep (mother and son had the same ability to sleep through anything, he mused with a small smile) and walked down the stairs.
He got to the front door in enough time to watch David fall to the ground. Rushing outside, he tried to wake the other man.
“David! Hey, David! Are you okay?”
He stirred, and then stood up quickly. “I’m fine, I’m fine!”
Killian wanted to say that he had just watched the man collapse after possibly hallucinating, but settled on, “You don’t look fine. It’s time for you to tag out, wake up Snow, and get some bloody sleep!”
David shook his arm out of Killian’s grasp abruptly and spit out, “I said I’m fine! And if I wanted advice, I doubt id take it from a pirate.” The venom in David’s voice made Killian feel as though he’d been slapped, and reminded him of when they were in Neverland, when David had seen nothing in him aside from darkness. He’d truly thought that they’d passed this point in their relationship, and rationally he knew that David was exhausted and not thinking clearly, but it still stung.
He took a step back.
“Just tying to help,” he said, and turned and walked up the stairs and back into his and Emma’s house. He watched David pick something up off the ground- a coin?- and walk away. Killian exhaled loudly and ran his hand through his hair. He really didn’t want to wake Emma up to tell her about another problem, but he knew she’d want to know.
He sighed again, and trudged up the steps.
Walking into their bedroom, part of his dilemma was solved- Emma was sitting at the edge of the bed with one leg hanging off of the edge. Still obviously half asleep, she looked concerned.
“What’s going on? I woke up and you were gone,” she asked rubbing her eyes.
He crossed the room and sat next to her on the bed, taking her hand.
“Aye, I’m sorry, love,” he squeezed her hand. “I woke up and heard a noise…it was your father.” Emma cocked her head in question, but he beat her to it. “He hasn’t been dealing with all of this very well…he hasn’t slept either, and I’m beginning to worry.
“I’m not sure, but I think he might have been hallucinating, and I saw him collapse. I went out to see if he was alright, and tried to convince him to get some sleep and wake your mother but he was…combative.” He decided to omit the part about David calling him a pirate; David was the one in need of Emma’s help, and just because his feelings were hurt didn’t mean he should tell Emma.
But Emma, as usual, knew he wasn’t telling the entire story.
“What did he say, Killian?” she asked, knowingly.
“He said that he didn’t need advice, and if he did, he wouldn’t seek it out from someone with an…egregious of a past as mine,” he admitted.
Emma stiffened beside him, and he noted that she looked fully awake now, and she looked enraged.
“Do you think you could go back to sleep?” she asked, seemingly out of the blue.
“What? No,” Killian responded, surprised.
“Okay,” Emma said. “Let me get dressed, and then we’re going to go find my dad, and I’m going to kick his ass into shape,” she said with fire.
“Love, I didn’t tell you this for you to take action,” he insisted.
“Killian, he has no right to be saying things like that to you. You’ve done so much for me, and for my family- for this entire town, and to change, and you worked so hard to change, and you did. You’re the best man I’ve ever known, and it’s not okay for my dad to use you as a punching bag.”
She stood up but didn’t let go of his hand.
“And he really does need to sleep. My mom is going to be pissed when she wakes up. So, I’m going to go change, and then we’re going to find him and get him to sleep, and then come back before Henry wakes up. Sound good?” she asked, in a tone that left little room for argument.
Gods, what had he done to deserve this woman? He smiled and nodded, wrapping his arms around her waist and hugging her abdomen. She ran her fingers through his hair soothingly.
“I meant what I said, Killian,” he heard her say firmly, “but if you ever need reminding, I’m happy to, okay?” she said, squeezing his shoulders before stepping back to get dressed.
He followed her into the bathroom, where she was brushing her teeth, placed a firm kiss on her temple, and went downstairs to start coffee. By the time he came back up, Emma had gotten dressed and was brushing her hair into a ponytail. He pulled on some clean clothes and fastened his brace and turned around to grab his hook where he’d left it on the nightstand. It was gone, and he turned around to see Emma with a mischievous smile on her face, holding the hook. She stepped over and clicked it into place, giving him a kiss.
“Did you make coffee?” she asked, and he nodded, and she kissed him again. “I knew there was a reason I liked you,” she said and he laughed, following her down the stairs.
She scrawled a quick note to Henry and left it on the counter- ‘we went to go find David, just in case we aren’t back when you wake up, give me a call, love you’- and they walked out into the early morning.
Emma was pissed.
As far as she was concerned, there was no good reason to be awake before 6 AM, but this came pretty close. She knew that her father was taking the separation from her mother pretty badly, and from what Killian said, he hadn’t slept in days, but still. That was no excuse for him to lash out at Killian, who was probably the closest thing to a friend that her dad had in Storybrooke. And she also knew how hard Killian was on himself, and how hard he had worked to be the man he was today.
Not to mention, she had been pretty damned cozy snuggled in bed with Killian.
So she rallied, and she and Killian were currently driving around Storybrooke in the early morning, and she was cursing the Bug’s lack of cup holders again. She’d dumped their coffee into two travel cups, because there was no way that she was going to be out and about this early without at least two cups of coffee, but didn’t think that far ahead. She could drive one handed, but it was easier to have Killian hold hers, but he was also holding his cup, so that was out. The solution they’d settled on was
The first place they’d checked was the loft, but unsurprisingly to Emma, David wasn’t there. Her mother was still sleeping peacefully (well, as peaceful as one could be under a sleeping curse), and baby Neal was still with granny, so they moved on. Nothing at the station either, and so Emma headed towards the docks, where finally, they had gotten lucky. David’s truck was parked by the harbormaster’s office, and the man himself was pacing back and forth, muttering to himself on the dock. Emma put the car in park and put a hand on Killian’s arm as he started to unbuckle his seat belt.
“Maybe...you should let me try, just me, at first?” she suggested, tentatively. To her relief, he nodded in agreement, but he didn’t look happy about it. She smiled and squeezed his arm, took one last gulp of coffee, and got out of the car.
As she got closer, she could see just how bad her father looked- his eyes were bloodshot, with dark circles under his eyes, and his skin was pale. She couldn’t make out what he was muttering to himself, but the closer she got, the more worried she was becoming.
“Hey, dad…” she called out, stopping when David visibly started, and whirled around to stare at her, body tense.
She put her arms up in response. “Whoa, dad, it’s just me. What’s going on?” she said gently.
“Nothing. I’m fine. Go away,” David spit out.
“That’s not going to happen,” Emma said. “Please, dad, you need to get some sleep.”
“Did Hook put you up to this?” he asked venomously. “I should have known, you’d be against me too, just like he is. Poisoning you against me,” he’d started to mutter and pace again, and Emma reached out to stop him when he reacted wildly- he pulled his arm out of her grasp, and in the process, hit her across the face with the back of his hand. Emma recoiled, more out of surprise than anything else- it hadn’t been a strong blow, and it didn’t really hurt, but this needed to end, now.
She heard Killian get out of the car and run over- he had seen what happened, and was obviously coming to intervene, which was sweet, but also was the last thing David, the ticking time bomb, needed.
David, who clearly hadn’t registered what he had done, continued to pace, and Killian gave Emma a once over- she was fine, and shook her head to indicate they weren’t going to talk about this now.
“What’s going on, dad? Can I help?” she asked- maybe if she could figure out what had him so agitated, she could talk him down, she reasoned.
“My family is being torn apart, and I can’t stop it,” he said. “It’s just like the last time, we’ll never be together, not while he’s around,” he muttered.
“Okay…,” Emma was confused. “Who is he?”
“George! He’s out to get me, again!” David roared, turning towards Emma.
“He hasn’t done anything since the curse was broken,” Emma said calmly. “I think if you just got some rest, you’d wake up and everything would be clearer. Come on, dad, please,” she pleaded. David just shot her a glare, and continued to pace.
Emma huffed and crossed her arms; they were getting nowhere with this. Killian looked equally annoyed and concerned, and Emma made an executive decision. With a wave of her hand, the three of them appeared in the loft. Killian looked mildly put out, muttering “how about a little bit of warning, next time, Swan,” but David was furious.
“How dare you?” he yelled. “Emma, I just want to protect you!” he pleaded.
“I know, dad,” she said gently, walking over to him. She gently placed her hand on his arm again. “Please, for me, get some sleep.” He looked slightly skeptical, like he was considering it but would still refuse, so Emma pulled out the big guns.
“Please, dad, I want to tell mom what happened- to tell her I’m not going to die.” Instantly, David’s look turned reproachful, and he nodded.
“What happened to your face?” he asked, noticing the red mark on her cheek. “Did I do that?” he whispered, horrified.
“Well, yes…but it doesn’t hurt! And it was an accident. Please, dad, get some sleep,” Emma said. “We’ll deal with everything when you wake up, and we’ll figure out a way to break the curse, I promise.”
David nodded, now just looking small and defeated.
“Do you want to change?” Emma asked, and he trudged off to the bathroom to put on sweatpants.
Emma rubbed her eyes and looked over at Killian, who ran his hand down his face.
“Are you really all right, lass?” he asked, walking over and gingerly touching her face.
“Yeah,” Emma shrugged it off. “I’ve had worse.” Killian’s expression darkened, and she realized her mistake. “Really, it just looks bad. He didn’t hit me that hard.”
Killian nodded and stepped away from Emma when he heard David emerge from the bathroom. He sat down on the bed, next to Snow, and looked at the couple.
“I’m sorry,” he said, full of remorse. “Especially for what I said to you, Killian. I know you were just trying to help.”
“It’s already forgotten, mate,” Killian said, and David relaxed a little bit; Emma marveled at Killian’s capacity for forgiveness.
“Okay, wake mom up, and we’ll fill her in. Get some sleep.” Emma said. David nodded, leaned over and kissed Snow, and collapsed back onto the bed as the familiar pulse of magic whooshed through the loft.
Emma watched as her mother slowly sat up, oriented herself, and looked at Emma and Killian’s haggard expressions.
“How long was I asleep for?” she asked.
“A while,” Emma gruffly answered. Snow didn’t miss the way that Killian stepped closer to Emma and put an arm around her, and how tired her daughter looked.
“I think that you’d better fill me in once I change and check on your brother,” she said decisively.
Emma nodded, and leaned heavily into Killian, while Snow stood up to pull some clothes out of her dresser.
Killian led Emma into the kitchen space of the loft, and pulled out a chair, and indicated for her to sit, before taking the seat next to her.
“We’re going to figure this out, love,” Killian said, reaching over and taking Emma’s hand.
She smiled softly, and placed her hand over his. “I know. But whatever happens, it’ll be okay as long as I have you.”
Killian thought briefly of the ring box, hidden in his drawer at their home, and returned her smile.
“As long as you’ll have me, Swan, I’m with you.”