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Snow is an early riser, but she knows her daughter isn’t and so she waits, impatiently to be sure, but she waits a good three hours after she dug her wedding binder out of the box in her closet before she tucks it under her arm and heads off to Emma and Killian’s house. Emma gave her a key, for emergencies, she said, but Snow decides that she won’t trouble her daughter or her soon-to-be son-in-law by making them come to the door when she can just as easily… oh. Oh.

Snow stops dead in the doorway, her cheery greeting dying on her lips as she takes in the scene in front of her. She’s always known… well, suspected, to the extent that she ever actually thought about it, that Emma and Killian’s sex life was likely more… adventurous than hers and David’s… than a lot of people’s, probably. Emma is a woman who enjoys a bit of a thrill, and of course Hook —as David still calls him with a snarl in his voice whenever any conversation alludes to the passionate nature of the pirate’s relationship with their daughter— has had three hundred years to refine his techniques and to come up with new twists on old favourites. So actually, all things considered, them fucking on their kitchen table is not even the worst thing she could conceivably have walked in on. 

Though it is pretty mortifying, all the same. 

At least they’ve still got most of their clothes on, is her stray frenzied thought just as Emma yanks Killian’s jeans down and pushes him back on the table, straddling him, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him hard. They kiss with their whole mouths, tongues and teeth and wet, needy sounds and Killian makes a growling noise deep in his throat as his hand quests beneath Emma’s short bathrobe, gripping her thigh and pulling her closer, his fingers digging into her flesh. 

Still frozen in the doorway, Snow wavers, unsure of what to do. They haven’t noticed her yet so if she’s quiet she can just creep back out like she was never there… but just as she prepares to go the table creaks and Emma moans, her head thrown back and her thin black bathrobe sliding off her shoulder, and for a moment Snow is transfixed, forgetting she’s watching her daughter, seeing only a man and a woman swept up in the physical expression of intense love. The look on her face as she slides down onto him… the look on his when he is fully seated within her… open and vulnerable and raw with emotion in a way that once, not long ago, Snow could never have imagined either of them capable. She reels at the sight, gripping the door handle for balance as Killian’s hooked arm wraps tightly around Emma’s waist and his hand tangles in her hair, her fingernails digging into his shoulders and back as they begin to move together. 

They are so perfectly in sync, thinks Snow, and a memory flashes through her mind, a thought she firmly quashed once, three years before —has it only been three years?— at the sight of Emma and Hook heading off up the beanstalk, climbing smoothly together, pacing each other perfectly. She didn’t wish to see it at the time but… it’s always been there, hasn’t it, she acknowledges now, that pull of recognition between them. Half battle, half dance, fear and longing and the jagged edges of each catching on the other and refusing to let go. They’ve found their balance now, finally, after so much struggle and strife, so much work put into building up trust and breaking down walls. They deserve the happiness they’ve found with each other. They’ve earned it.

They’ve also earned some damn privacy. 

The table creaks again as Emma shifts the angle of her hips, crying out softly, Killian groaning into her neck as she takes him in deeper. She tugs on his hair until he looks up at her, leans her forehead against his. 

“I love you,” she whispers, and her voice is ragged and wrecked. 

Killian’s hand curves around the back of her head, his hooked arm firm around her waist as he thrusts up into her. “I love you,” he rasps. “Gods, Emma, so much.” 

Emma’s breath is hitching in her throat and the cords of Killian’s neck are drawn tight as Snow finally pulls herself together and slips out the door, closing and locking it as silently as possible, leaving them to find their bliss alone and unobserved. As she heads back down the street she pulls out her phone to send David a text. Whatever dangers threaten Storybrooke that day, they can handle it without the Saviour or her pirate. Snow will see to that.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Princess Emma was walking in her garden when the pirates snatched her. 

They were impressively silent for men who didn’t ordinarily walk on land; the first indication she had of their presence was the rough hand that covered her mouth, stifling her startled shriek. An arm came around her waist and another pair of hands quickly bound her wrists together. She felt the cool edge of a knife against her throat and a gravelly voice whispered in her ear. 

“I’m takin’ my ‘and away, now yer ‘ighness. But if ye make a single sound I’ll slit yer throat, and the cap’n be damned. Savvy?” 

Emma nodded her understanding and the hand disappeared. She barely had time to draw breath, though, when it was replaced by a gag, a raggedy scarf forced into her mouth and tied tightly at the back of her head. 

At least it was clean, she thought. 

The pirates —there appeared to be three of them— hauled her along at a rapid pace, though a gap in the castle walls and along the darkened streets of the town to the docks. Many ships were moored there but one stood out, tall and proud and painted with stripes of yellow. This the pirates dragged her towards, up the gangplank and onto the quarterdeck where the leather-clad man who was obviously their captain stood waiting. 

“How’s this ‘un?” said the man who’d spoken earlier. “Found ‘er where ye said to look.” 

The captain’s handsome face was expressionless, his blue eyes cold as they raked up Emma’s body. “She’ll do,” he said. “Take her to my quarters and lock her in.” 

“Aye, Cap’n!” 

The three pirates dragged Emma away. The last thing she saw before she was hauled below decks was the captain shouting at his men to prepare to set sail. 

They’d been sailing for a good three hours before he came for her. Emma had managed to free herself from both the gag and the ropes around her wrists —the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming could not be kept bound for long— but the door of the cabin was strong and sturdy and the lock was one she couldn’t pick. She was pacing up and down the small room when that door opened and the captain appeared. He shut the door firmly behind him and she heard the lock being turned from the outside. 

He regarded her with those blue, blue eyes. “Well, Princess,” he said.

“Well, Captain,” she replied. 

She had no idea who moved first— it really didn’t matter, because she was in his strong arms, held tight and close against his body, and his lips were warm on hers and his hair soft between her fingers and gods, how she’d missed him. Four months was far too long. 

“Apologies for the abduction,” he murmured against her mouth. “It had to look convincing.” 

“It was. I believed it myself until I saw Smee. If you hadn’t sent him along I wouldn’t have let them take me.” 

He chuckled, brushing her hair back from her face. “My fierce lass,” he said. “I thought as much, which is why he was chosen for the mission.” 

“Does the rest of the crew know?” 

“No. I’m afraid you’ll have to pretend to be my captive, for a few weeks at least.” 

“A few weeks alone with you in this cabin with its very narrow bed?” she teased him, “I think I can survive that.” 

He smiled, but there was worry in his eyes. “Emma— are you sure this is the only way?” 

She felt a stab of apprehension, but her determination did not waver. “Yes. I’m sorry to drag you into my kingdom’s quarrels, Killian—” 

“My love, you know there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.” 

“I know. But this will be dangerous.” Dangerous, and possibly deadly, and gods what if she lost him—

He sensed her rising panic and gave her a wicked grin, and a raised eyebrow. “Ah, you don’t have to worry about me,” he said. “I’m a pirate, love, danger is what I do.” 

She burst out laughing. She couldn’t help it. “What a line!” she gasped, wiping tears from her eyes. “Does that actually work?” 

He waggled his eyebrows at her. “You tell me.” 

She threw her arms around his neck, kissing him deeply. “Take me to bed, Captain.” 

“So that’s a yes, then. I’ll remember that.” 

He carried her to the bed and laid her down, his hands gentle as they removed her gown and his lips soft as they sought out each spot on her body that made her moan. They came together as they had so many times before, for once neither rushed nor in secret but slowly and reverently, words of love carried on soft moans and the waves crashing against the hull of the ship drowning their cries. After, she curled against his chest as he slept, stroking absent patterns through the hair on it, thinking about the task that lay before them. The coming days and months would not be easy, but Emma was confident they would succeed, certain she could handle whatever befell them. With her pirate at her side she could handle anything. 

Chapter Text

“No names,” she purrs when he offers to buy her a drink. “Not tonight.” 

“So we’re just ships passing in the night, then?” 

“Passing closely, I hope.” She trails her fingertips up the sleeve of his leather jacket, lets them rest on his collarbone, just beneath the open collar of his shirt. 

“Aye, lass,” he growls, and the promise in his voice makes her thighs clench. “Very closely indeed.” 

He presses her against the wall near the bathrooms less than an hour later, his lips hot on her neck and his cock hard against her belly as she clutches at him, tries to pull him towards the stalls. 

“No,” he says. His eyes are glazed with lust but there is determination in them. “Not here.” He takes her hand and pulls her out the door, into a cab where he kisses her again, hot and desperate, and his hand slides up the inside of her thigh to tease the drenched lace at the top of it. 

She could almost come just from this, she thinks, from his kisses and teasing touches. This is exactly what she needs tonight.

He leads her up some darkened stairs and into an apartment where he slams her back against the door and devours her. His fingers slip beneath the lace this time, slip inside her as his thumb rubs circles on her clit and she comes with a hoarse cry, so quickly she would be embarrassed if she could summon the energy. She is still coming down when he hoists her up, carries her to his bedroom where he lays her on the bed with surprising gentleness. 

There’s nothing gentle in the way he fucks her, though. It’s deep and hard and almost raw, and it dispels the momentary flash of fear she felt when he gazed down at her on his bed and the moonlight hit his face, and she saw something in his eyes that looked like tenderness. He fucks her until she screams, clawing at his back, until she comes harder than she ever has before. He leaves marks on her skin that she knows will last for days, beard burn and bites and bruises, and the soreness between her legs that she secretly loves. Everything he gives her is precisely what she craves, and for a single terrifying moment she doesn’t want to let him go. 

“You can leave now, love,” he says softly, later, when the sweat has dried from their skin for the third time and she begins to feel antsy, in need of escape. “You don’t have to wait until I fall asleep.” 

“I—” she begins. She doesn’t know how to finish. 

“I get it,” he says, understanding in his eyes. And sadness. “I didn’t expect to wake up with a woman who doesn’t even care to learn my name. But—” he brushes his hand gently over her hair, strokes her cheek with this thumb, so softly— “Perhaps once more before you go?” 

He is gentle this time, but somehow that’s also what she needs, his soft kisses down her body, his tongue soothing her sore flesh, his cock slipping inside her one final time, rocking into her until they tumble together. He kisses her, feather-light, then rolls away, and he doesn’t move when she gets up, gets dressed, and leaves. 

She calls a cab and waits for it at the end of his street, ignoring the tightness in her chest at the thought of never seeing him again. It will pass. 

That afternoon she picks up Henry from Mary Margaret and David’s. He hugs her tightly and holds her hand as they walk home and he tells her about his adventures with his aunt and uncle. Her chest is tight again, but this time it’s from happiness. Henry, she reminds herself. Henry is all she has room for in her life.

Henry, and the occasional hard fuck with a hot stranger. He’s still a stranger, she tries to convince herself when she ends up in his bed again. And again. And again. He is a stranger, she insists, because she doesn’t know his name. She knows nothing about him, except that he touches her as no one else ever has, and each time she slips from his arms in the dawn light is harder than the last. 

“Don’t forget it’s parent-teacher conferences tonight, Mom,” says Henry one morning, jolting Emma from a reverie involving rough hands teasing heady pleasure from every inch of her skin. She shakes herself, and focuses on her son.

“I haven’t forgotten, kid,” she says. “You’ve reminded me every day for the past two weeks.” 

‘I just really want you to meet Mr Jones,” says Henry, for the tenth or possibly hundredth time. “He’s the best teacher ever.” 

“So you keep saying.” 

“Did I tell you he was in the British navy—”

“Many times.”

“—and he’s been everywhere, Mom, and he has the coolest stories…”

Emma smiles as her son rambles. She’s actually looking forward to meeting this Mr Jones. 

She arrives at Henry’s classroom right on time, knocking lightly on the open door to get the attention of the teacher standing with his back to her, tapping on an iPad. Her breath catches in her throat. Something about his thick, dark hair and the way he stands reminds her of— 

Then he speaks and her heart stops. “I’ll be with you in a minute,” he says, in the voice she last heard whispering filth in her ear as her fingers fisted in that very hair. “I just need to finish up these notes.” 

She is frozen, unable to move a muscle and then he turns. “Please come in and have a seat, Ms Swan—” He breaks off on a gasp as his eyes widen. “You,” he whispers. “You’re— you’re Henry Swan’s mother?”

She nods, still frozen in the doorway. “And you’re his teacher,” she croaks. “Mr Jones?” 

“Killian.”  

“Emma.” 

Emotion flares in his eyes and he strides across the room, closing the door behind her. “I’ve waited months to learn your name,” he murmurs, and his voice is rough and needy. “It’s as beautiful as you are.” His hand slides up her hip, settles on her waist. “Please tell me this doesn’t mean I’ll never see you again.” 

“Never fuck me again, you mean,” she attempts to scoff. 

His hand grips her waist. “It’s more than just fucking,” he growls. “You know it is.” She shakes her head, tries to deny it. “Emma,” he says, and her name in his voice nearly ends her. “Look at me.” 

She can’t resist the plea. His eyes are so soft, so blue, and framed by—fuck her life—wire-rimmed glasses. He’s trying to kill her. 

“Give me a chance,” he implores, pulling her closer. “Just a chance to win your heart.” 

“Killian,” she whispers, and he groans. 

“Don’t say my name. Not here. Have dinner with me tonight.” 

“I—” 

“Just a chance, Emma.” 

He’s Henry’s favourite teacher. Her son is inches from loving him already, and she... all she wants is to stay wrapped up in him forever. She should run, now while there is still time. Run far, far away. 

“All right,” she whispers. “Dinner.” They are the scariest words she’s ever spoken. 

The joy in his smile makes her want to cry. 

She goes home with him that night as she has so many nights before, and he’s right. It’s not just fucking. Not for a long time. And when he wakes to find her still in his bed the look on his face squeezes her heart. She’s terrified, abjectly so. And she has never, ever been happier. 

 

 

Chapter Text

“RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!” 

Killian’s voice rang through the house and Emma sighed, rolling her eyes as she always did when her husband took their dog for a walk.

The baby kicked and she rubbed her swollen belly, not sure if their unborn child was responding to its father’s voice or just the general chaos of dog-walking time, as Kraken raced down the stairs and out the door, waiting on the porch for Killian and wriggling in excitement. 

“Do you have to do that every time?” she grumbled as Killian grabbed the leash off the hook by the door. “You woke the baby.” 

“Apologies, my love, my little love.” Killian paused to kiss her hair and pat her belly. “But it’s the only way to get the bloody dog out the door.” 

Emma snorted in disbelief, but Killian just raised an eyebrow and headed outside. She heard Kraken’s nails on the old boards of the porch as he jumped and danced in delighted anticipation and Killian’s indulgent chuckle. “All right, all right, you fearsome beast, let me get the bloody leash on you,” he said. 

The baby kicked again and Emma recommenced rubbing soothing circles on her bump. “Take it easy in there,” she said softly. “I know they’re noisy but your dad loves that dog, and you will too. A kid should grow up with a dog.” It was still weird to her, even after years of marriage, this domestic dream of a life she now had. A home, a husband, a great job, friends and family, even a dog. And now a baby on the way. 

Emma would never, ever admit this out loud but the truth was that despite how much she loved Killian she had deliberately put off having a baby with him, worried about how they two orphans would fare, raising a child together. It wasn’t like they’d had any parental role models to look to for guidance. But the moment Killian brought Kraken home, a scrawny, filthy puppy he’d rescued from a crate down at the docks, all floppy ears and terrified eyes, snarling and snapping at everyone but his rescuer, all of her fears had evaporated into the air. “The only survivor of a litter of six,” Killian had informed her as he cradled the puppy against his chest and rubbed his ears. “A tough lad.” With infinite and unending patience he had slowly gained Kraken’s trust and built his confidence —taught him how to dog in Henry’s words— and soon the scared puppy had become a handsome young dog, bright and friendly and almost well trained. Emma smiled at the memories. Killian was going to be an amazing father. 

--

Two weeks later Emma was lounging on the sofa with her feet up on the coffee table and Kraken’s head in her lap when her phone buzzed. She glanced at it to see a text from Killian. 

K: Apologies, love, I’m going to be late home. Dwarves. 

Emma sighed. Of course, she thought, say no more. 

Her phone buzzed with a second message. 

K: Might be quite late. Could you walk the dog? 

 Emma looked down at Kraken, who was watching her with his soft brown eyes. “Whaddya say, pup, want to go for a walk?” she asked. 

He perked up his ears and gave an excited bark. 

“Okay,” she laughed, hoisting herself up from the sofa. Standing up was getting harder and harder as her pregnancy progressed but she could still move well once she was actually upright, and she was excited to take a walk. Exercise was important, the doctor said, but she’d been struggling to find motivation for the gym since she hit her third trimester and when Killian was around he rarely let her do anything strenuous. She took the leash from its hook and called the dog. 

“C’mon Kraken, let’s go!” 

He trotted over to her, wagging his tail so hard his whole body wiggled as she attached the leash to his collar. She opened the door and stood back to let him through first. He didn’t move, except to wag harder. 

“What?” she asked him. “Come on!” 

“Woof!” he barked, wagging harder still, looking up at her with an expectant face. 

“What is it?” she asked. “What’s wrong? You love walks!” 

“Woof! Woof!” 

The baby kicked, and Emma remembered what Killian had said about getting Kraken out of the house. 

“Oh, you’re kidding me,” she said, putting her fist on her hip and glaring at the dog. “Really?” 

“Woof!” 

“I canNOT believe I’m doing this,” muttered Emma. “Release the kraken!” she said, rolling her eyes. 

“Woof!” 

“What?”

“Woof! Woof!” 

Oh, you have got to be kidding me!” 

“Woof!” 

“Oh all right,” she grumbled, and cleared her throat. “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!” she shouted at the top of her lungs. With a delighted bark, Kraken raced out the door, tugging her along behind him at the end of the leash. 

“You are as ridiculous as your dad, you crazy dog,” said Emma. 

The baby kicked. 

--

“That dog is ridiculous,” Emma informed Killian when he slid into their bed much, much later that evening. He curled himself around her, tucking his face against her neck and patting her belly to greet their child. 

“Wouldn’t leave the house unless you said it, would he?” Killian murmured. “I did tell you, love.” 

She wriggled her butt against him, snuggling deeper into his arms. Kraken jumped up on the bed and turned in three precise circles at the foot of it before settling down with his head on his paws. The baby kicked under Killian’s hand. Emma sighed. 

“Something wrong, darling?” 

“Not a thing,” said Emma. “Everything’s just right.” 

 

Chapter Text

It was supposed to be a one-time thing. 

When Emma pulled the blue-eyed stranger into the storeroom of the bar she was looking for a quick fuck, for a few moments of blissful escape from the stresses of her life. Nothing more. She was certainly not looking for her soulmate. 

And yet, the way he fit with her, fit into her, with none of the usual awkward wrangling, the strained muscles, the tentative pokes that preceded the deep, slick slide she sought, was just brilliantly, wonderfully, gloriously perfect. Suspiciously, impossibly perfect. 

He lifted her onto a stack of beer cases, his lips never leaving hers as she wriggled out of her panties and he wrestled his jeans down to his knees. He pulled a condom from his pocket and slid it on with impressive speed then gripped her thighs, pushing them wider apart and pulling her forward on the case and then he was inside her. Just like that. And the feel of him there was like coming home. 

She knew her eyes must be as wide with shock as his when they met, when they held each other’s gazes and tried to process what this was and what it meant. And then he groaned and started to move, and she squeezed her eyes shut and did her best to forget. 

It was the best sex she’d ever had, and she wished that came as a surprise. 

His size was generous but not excessive, filling her without strain, dragging just right along her walls as he drove into her with the exact amount of force she liked. She couldn’t restrain the moans that fell from her lips as her pleasure coiled and built within her, and then he twined his fingers in her hair and tugged, pulling her head back and latching his mouth onto her neck, and with a strangled scream she came. 

From his cock alone, which she had never done before. 

He fucked her through her orgasm, fucked her harder and faster, drove her higher and higher until she swore she could come again. 

“Go on, love,” he murmured in her ear, his voice deep and hot and wrecked. “I know you can give me another. Come for me again.” 

She wished she could laugh and tell him to get over himself but he was right. She was just on the edge and he felt so damn good and almost before she knew what was happening she came again, clenching down on his cock as she did. He gave a low, choking moan and joined her in release. 

He stayed inside her until their breathing calmed and his cock was soft, and she let him, didn’t push him away. Kept her legs wrapped tight around him and her fingers in his hair. When he finally pulled out she slid off the cases, put her underwear back on as he disposed of the condom and righted his own clothing. She tried to slip quietly out the door but he caught her arm before she could reach it. 

“Wait,” he said. “Are we not going to talk about this?” 

“About what?” she tried to bluff. 

He smirked at her but his eyes were intense. Sincere. “You know what.” 

She shook her head. “That wasn’t—it wasn’t—it was just the heat of the moment.” 

“You and I both know that’s not true. We’re soulmates, love.” 

“We can’t be. We—I—I don’t even know your name.” 

“Killian Jones. And you are...?”

God his eyes were blue, but the hope they held turned her blood to ice. “Someone who doesn’t believe in soulmates,” she said coldly, then pulled her arm from his grip and walked away. 

She walked away from him but not her memories of him, those she found she couldn’t escape. She thought of him, dreamed of him, of the look in his eyes and the impossible perfection of the way he fit with her. No one else was right, and she tried others, tried to fuck him out of her head with other men. Good looking other men, ones that were taller than him, broader, better endowed. But they all felt awkward and wrong and couldn’t make her come. And she hated faking orgasms. 

Finally in desperation she went in search of him. It wasn’t much of a challenge, finding people was her job after all. And as it turned out, he worked with her sister in law. 

“You’re a teacher?” she asked him when he came out of the school to find her lounging against the hood of his car. 

“Aye.” 

“Interesting.” 

“What’s it to you?” he snapped. “I’m nothing to you, remember? Just the heat of the moment.” 

“You and I both know that’s not true.” 

He rounded on her, caged her against the car with his arms. “Don’t bloody turn my words around on me unless you’re prepared to back them up,” he snarled. “I’m not—” She cut him off with her mouth. 

Kissing him felt even better sober, she thought, and felt sure the rapidly growing bulge in his jeans would prove the same. “I’m sorry,” she whispered when they came up for air, leaning her forehead against his. “I don’t do relationships and soulmates is an unbelievably stupid idea, and I just got spooked. So I ran. That’s what I do.” 

“So what changed your mind?” 

“I can’t fuck anyone else anymore,” she said, scowling, and he laughed at her expression. 

“Aye, love, I know exactly what you mean.”

“I tried to use the others to forget you, but they just weren’t right. You’re right. And I don’t want to run from that anymore.” There was hope in his eyes again, but this time she welcomed it. This time she shared it. “So, I have a proposition for you.” 

He raised an eyebrow. “Do tell.” 

“Let’s try it again. Sober this time, and slower. See if it’s as good as before.” 

“And if it is?” 

“Then I will maybe, maybe concede the existence of soulmates.” 

His grin was wide and joyous and it warmed her from the inside out. “So if soulmates are real, and if we are soulmates, then would that mean that if I asked you to dinner you wouldn’t punch me?” 

“Maybe,” she laughed. How was he even more ridiculously charming when sober? “Let’s do my thing first.” 

“As you wish, love.” 

The second time they fucked was better than the first, and the dinner date that followed it was the first of many. And whenever anyone asked them if they were soulmates, Emma would roll her eyes and Killian would quirk an eyebrow and reply that he was pretty sure they were but it might be necessary to check again. Just to make absolutely certain. 

Chapter Text

The first time she saw him was on a Sunday, and she really was doing the walk of shame—God, she hated that term—home far later than usual after a one-night stand, but her car had refused to start and her cell was out of juice, and she’d had to knock on the guy’s door, waking him up, to ask to borrow his phone. 

And hadn’t that been just a new definition of awkward. 

She’d just got into the elevator, barefoot, holding her shoes by the heels and her bag slung over her shoulder, when she heard his voice. 

“Hold the door, please.” 

Now there was an accent you didn’t hear every day in this run-down little corner of Boston, she thought. The man attached to it hurried through the doors she held open at his request, flashing her a grateful smile before slumping into the corner opposite to where she was standing. 

He looked like he’d had a rough night. 

She could relate. 

His eyes were closed and she let her own size him up. Tall and lean and dressed in black; if this were a late-night bar and not the elevator in her apartment building she would definitely have made a move. 

The bell dinged to announce her floor and she realised he’d never told her where he was going. “Um,” she said hesitantly. “Excuse me?” 

He opened one eye. It was kind of insanely blue. 

“You never said what floor you’re going to.” She indicated the panel on the elevator. “And I’m about to get out, so…” 

“Five.” 

“Uh, this is five.” 

“Ah.” He stood up straight and blinked rapidly. “So it is. After you, love.” 

She left the elevator with him on her heels, and when she stopped at her door he kept going… to the next one. He was her new neighbour. 

She turned, intending to say something, introduce herself maybe, be social and human for once, but before she could find the words his door had already closed. 

The second time she saw him was a Monday, and this time her exhaustion and dishevelment was entirely work-related. Her skip had eluded her for hours and then put up a fight when he did show, the police station had been chaos and by the time she made it home all she wanted was a hot bath and her bed. 

She spotted him coming and held the doors without being asked. He smiled gratefully and slumped in the corner again, looking just as wrecked as he had the day before. 

Someone was getting plenty of action, she thought a bit crossly. Who went out to get laid on a Sunday night? When they’d just been laid the Saturday before? She stabbed the button for the fifth floor with her finger and refused to think about why she cared. 

When the elevator dinged for their floor he didn’t move. 

“Hey,” she snapped, and he jerked awake. “Fifth floor.” 

“Cheers, love,” he said, and the gravel in his voice made her itchy. “I’m a bit knackered this morning.” 

“Rough night?” She heard the snark in her tone and so did he, if the raised eyebrow was anything to go by. 

“Aye. You could say that.” He unlocked his door and flashed her a grin. “Have a lovely day.” 

__

The third time she saw him was on a Thursday and she was coming back from an out-of-town overnighter, duffel bag slung across her back. This time he held the doors for her, smiling as she dashed through them. 

“Morning, love,” he said. 

“You’re looking a bit more alert,” she replied, then wanted to kick herself. Would she never stop snarking at him? 

He just laughed, blue eyes twinkling. “Aye, and feeling it too. I think I’m finally getting the hang of this.” 

Don’t ask, Emma, don't freaking ask, she commanded herself, but her mouth didn’t listen. “The hang of what?” 

“Oh.” He looked a bit abashed. “Er, bartending.” 

“New job?” 

“Sort of.” He glanced at her and when she nodded encouragingly, elaborated. “It’s my brother’s bar, but he’s in hospital with a broken leg, the git, so I’ve had to take over. It’s—not exactly my speed.”

“What, bars?”

“No, just tending them. I prefer to be on the receiving end of the drinks if I’m honest.” 

“I hear that.” They grinned at each other and their eyes met. And held.  

The elevator arrived at their floor and he indicated for her to leave first with a little bow. She took her time unlocking her door, waiting until he was nearly through his before asking. 

“Which bar?” 

He looked surprised, then scratched nervously behind his ear. “Um, it’s called The Jewel. It’s—”

“That little place just on the corner?” The one that always looked too warm and inviting to take her dates to.

“Aye, that’s the one.” 

“Hmmm. Well, have a good day.” 

“You too, lass.” 

The fourth time she saw him was Friday morning just past midnight when she walked into his bar. She’d caught her skip early that night—it was an easy one—and she was a bit disappointed. She’d taken a lot of care with the honey trap and now she felt all dressed up with nowhere to go. 

So she went to find him. 

He was behind the bar, wiping it down with a towel when she made her approach. His eyes widened, taking in her clinging red dress and the loose, flowing curls of her hair, the swing of her hips as she sauntered across the room, and then he grinned. 

“Well, hello neighbour.” 

“Hey.” 

“I’d greet you more warmly but it’s rather difficult, what with not knowing your name.” 

“Emma Swan.” She held out her hand. 

He took it, holding it a heartbeat too long. “Well, Emma Swan, I’m Killian Jones,” he murmured, low for her ears only. “Can I get you a drink?” 

“Bourbon. Neat.” 

His eyebrow quirked in approval as he grabbed a bottle from the top shelf and poured her a generous measure. “Sounds like you mean business tonight, Emma Swan.” 

She took a long sip of her drink, never taking her eyes off him. “Maybe I do.” 

His gaze turned sharp. “I do like a woman who knows what she wants,” he growled.  

— 

The fifth time she saw him was when she opened her eyes later that morning, blinking until her groggy haze cleared and resolved into Killian’s face. She frowned, slightly surprised she’d slept so soundly, very surprised to find she’d done so in his bed. She didn’t normally stick around for the sleeping part of sleeping together, and her own bed was literally next door. Where she should go. Right now. Instead she let her eyes caress him as he slept. His face was peaceful, and she just wanted to look at it a bit longer. 

As she watched his eyes opened and he smiled, bright and happy. And she smiled in return. 

“I didn’t expect you to still be here,” he said, then flushed “I mean—” 

“It’s okay. I didn’t expect to be here either.” 

He brushed a strand of hair off her cheek with a caress far too gentle for the morning after a one-night stand. “Well, since you are, can I get you some coffee?” he asked. “Breakfast perhaps? Something to fortify you for your arduous trek home?” 

She should say no, should get dressed and go home and think about what a dumb idea it was to sleep with your neighbour, even when he’s as hot as Killian. Think about how she was going to handle the inevitable awkward elevator encounters. Instead she heard herself saying “Breakfast sounds great.” 

His face lit up and she surprised herself again, this time by leaning in to kiss him. He responded eagerly, and by the time the kiss ended they were twined around each other, breathless and hot. 

“You know,” she said, “it is a pretty arduous trek. Maybe, I mean if you want, I might not make it until later. Much later.” 

He pulled her closer, hand tangled in her hair. “That seems the wisest course of action, love.”

_____

Chapter Text

His hook was digging into her back, so hard she could actually feel the sharp point of it pressing through her clothes and into her skin and she loved it. Loved it because it meant he was so far gone that he wasn’t worrying about hurting her—not that he would ever really hurt her, but sometimes he acted like he thought she might break if he handled her too passionately, and she loved it when he didn’t. Loved when he left marks on her skin with his fingers and mouth and hook and when he fucked her so hard she could still feel it the next day. 

She was quivering with excitement, her own fingers rough as she pulled his shirt free of his jeans and just ripped it open, sending the buttons flying off in all directions. His fingers twisted in her hair and gave it a sharp tug, dragging her head back so he could lick down her neck as he used his hook to shred the delicate blouse she wore. 

There was a reason she’d been practicing her clothes-mending spells so diligently of late. 

He gave her bra the same treatment, tearing it from her body and latching his mouth onto her breast, sucking hard as she yanked his jeans down and closed her fist around his cock. He groaned against her skin, hips thrusting helplessly into her hand and she laughed with exhilaration and relief. He was as desperate as she was, both of them strung tight with the strain of chasing bad guys and family obligations and not nearly enough time just for them, to be alone together. To fuck each other senseless. 

He nipped at her breast and her laugh became a moan. She waved her hand to rid them of the rest of their clothes, her breath hitching as he growled in approval and pulled her legs apart. She could feel the tip of his cock teasing her entrance and she drew blood from his shoulders with her fingernails digging into his skin. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes black as he leaned his forehead against hers, holding her gaze as he positioned himself. She was almost sobbing in anticipation. This was going to be so good. 

She wrapped her legs around his waist and they both groaned as he easily slid inside her—she was dripping wet—and their heavy breathing, their little moans and sighs, almost drowned out the knock on the door. 

Almost. 

“Ignore it,” he snarled, hitting the ’t’ hard as he began to rock into her, and she nodded, barely able to think of anything but how good he felt dragging roughly along her walls. They’d turned off their phones and warded their house and all but told her parents outright that they planned to spend the night doing filthy things to each other. The last six weeks had been for Storybrooke, but tonight… tonight was for them. 

The knock came again, louder. “Emma?” called a voice. “Killian? I’m so sorry to disturb you but we have an emergency.” 

“Bloody fucking hell,” snapped Killian. “What the devil is your mother doing here?” 

“I don’t know—” 

“Emma?” David’s voice now. 

And your father?” Killian’s eyes flashed with entirely the wrong sort of heat for a man still buried balls deep inside her, still rock hard and surely aching as unbearably as she was. They were so close. 

“It really is an emergency, Emma,” called David, and the genuine desperation in his voice managed to penetrate both her and Killian’s haze of lust. 

Killian growled and pulled out of her and she whimpered from the loss. He turned on his heel and began to march towards the door. 

“Killian!” she hissed. 

“What?”

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m going to get rid of your bloody parents and then I’m going to resume ravishing you,” he snarled, eyes snapping with frustration and anger. 

“Are you out of your mind? You can’t answer the door with a hard-on and no pants!”

“I bloody well can, this is my house and they know it’s our night alone! If they don’t want to see me unclothed there are many other places they can go!” 

Emma leapt off the arm of the sofa, snapping her fingers to summon his ruined shirt and his jeans. She wrapped the shirt around herself and tossed the jeans to him. “Just put these on,” she said. “It’ll be obvious enough what we were doing without us being actually naked.” 

For a moment she thought he would refuse. He glared at the jeans as though he’d like to set them on fire, that muscle in his jaw ticking wildly. Then he snatched them from her hand and began to put them on. Emma sighed with relief. Killian’s stubbornness was legendary and she knew he would have answered the door naked just to make Snow and David uncomfortable.

Part of her wished she could let him. If they embarrassed her parents badly enough then maybe they could finally, finally get an uninterrupted night to themselves. 

She pulled open the door, suppressing a smirk as her mother’s cheeks went pink and her father scowled, both their eyes taking in her bare legs and Killian’s shirt wrapped around her, then darting to just over her shoulder where her husband stood wearing his nastiest pirate sneer and his jeans, on but barely zipped, his erection nearly as obvious as if he wore nothing at all. She shot him a glare and he smirked. Emma turned back to her parents. 

“What’s up, guys,” she said. 

“We’re so sorry to bother you,” stammered Snow. “We really do know it’s your private night. But something’s gone wrong in the loft, and we really need you to come and, well, fix it." 

Emma heard the rumble of irritation in Killian’s chest and felt her magic sparking at her fingertips, propelled by the frustrated sexual tension still coursing through her. Were her parents seriously cockblocking them because of a problem at the loft? “You couldn’t ask Regina to do it?” she snapped. 

Snow and David exchanged a look, one of their silent conversations, before Snow spoke again. “Regina sort of… caused it,” she said.  

Chapter Text

Emma sits down in front of the fire, curling her legs beneath her. She hands a steaming mug to Killian and watches the firelight play over his features as he takes it, smiling the soft smile she knows is just for her. It warms her from the inside, just as it did the first time she can remember seeing it—on the second Christmas Eve she met him at August’s bar, when he looked at her with awe and wonder that made her knees weak and her heart pound. 

He still gets that look sometimes, when he’s buried deep inside her, when she tells him she loves him. On the day their daughter was born. She knows that even after all these years he still thinks he doesn’t quite deserve her, which she finds ironic as she feels the same about him. He saved her life, not just with the money but with his unwavering support and his unshakable belief that she can do anything. He inspires her to go further, to push herself harder than she ever could have done without him behind her, there to catch her if she should fall. She knows he’s there, and that’s why she doesn’t fall. 

She sips her hot chocolate and watches as the fire’s glow catches the silver in his hair. Sometime in the past year or so the silver overtook the brown and she adores it as she always has, especially now that she’s begun to notice silver strands of her own. His face is as handsome as ever, distinguished with his grey hair and his lines that fall in just the right places. She’ll never tire of looking at him, she thinks. She hasn’t in ten years and she never will. 

As she watches the lines at the corners of his eyes deepen and his dimples flash at her. 

“Have I got something on my nose?” he teases. The question he always asks when he knows she’s appreciating his looks. 

She dips her finger in the whipped cream clinging to the rim of her mug and swipes it across his nose. “You do now,” she says. 

“Hey!” He looks so genuinely affronted that she collapses into giggles, catching his hand before he can wipe off the cream. She takes his mug and sets it on the coffee table along with hers and crawls into his lap, draping her arms over his shoulders. His hands grasp her hips, flexing against her soft flesh as she kisses his nose, licking off the cream as she does. 

He tilts his head up and catches her lips with his in a kiss that tastes of dark chocolate and peppermint, a combination she doesn’t normally care for. On him, though, it’s delicious and she opens her mouth eagerly, letting the kiss deepen past the point of no return. 

Her arms tighten around his shoulders as he wraps one of his around her waist and fists his hand in her hair, tugging gently to break the kiss and lick a fiery trail down her neck. She sighs, sinking lower onto him, rocking her hips against the growing hardness she can feel against her core. Her fingers twist in his hair and she can hear his panting breaths and feel his racing heart, feel the urgency in the way his hands move across her body, and she loves it. Loves that she can turn him on as quickly and as thoroughly as he does her. Loves that the fire between them just grows hotter with each passing year. 

He slides his hands beneath her sweater and tugs it up over her head then cups her breasts between them, taking a nipple in his mouth, sucking and nipping at it through the lace of her bra as she fumbles with the buttons on his shirt. When all are undone she pushes it down his shoulders and he tosses it aside then deftly snaps open the clasp of her bra and does the same to it. 

Their mouths meet again, hot and desperate, and the soft abrasion of his chest hair against her nipples drives her wild. He flips them over until she is on her back, still kissing her as his hand caresses down her belly and beneath her leggings. She lets her legs fall open and lifts her hips to meet his questing fingers, moaning as they stroke her slick folds and slip inside her. After a decade together sex is like a dance; smoothed by long practice and they both know the steps, but the music pounding through them as they move in tune with one another still has the power to excite. 

She comes quickly on his fingers, gentle as a prelude, leaving her soft and sighing but still with fire licking in her veins and a fierce need for him between her thighs. He pulls her leggings down and off, kisses his way back up her body and lies beside her, resting his head on one hand as his fingertips dance across her skin. 

He has that look again, the reverent one that makes her feel so thoroughly adored. She smiles and he returns it, a soft curve of his lips that she can’t resist the urge to kiss. She leans into him as she does, pushes him onto his back and straddles his hips as he gazes up at her, love in his eyes and firelight on his skin. She follows its caress with her own, gentle strokes of her fingers across his collarbones and over his shoulders, down his chest and belly to the fastenings of his pants. She glances up at him as she undoes them. He’s holding his breath, watching her slide them down his legs and off then crawl back up to hover over his cock. 

She gives him a saucy grin as she kisses the tip then continues her journey up his body, taking his lips and his tongue with a fierce kiss as she settles her hips over his, finding her position easily and sliding down onto him. He groans and clutches her, thrusting up to meet her as she sets their rhythm. His cheeks are flushed and his eyes glazed; he’s farther gone than she thought and the sight and sound and feel of it intensifies her own desire, drives her faster as she rides him. His hands roam her body, down her back, over her hips, fingers curling against her ass to hold her steady so he can thrust up harder. 

“Mmm, that’s perfect,” she hums, arching her back. He’s grinding against her clit in the way he knows she loves and she’s so close she can taste it. She just needs…

“So beautiful my Emma, my darling, my love,” he murmurs, giving her the words that will tip her over the edge. “Love you so much. Come for me, Emma. Come…” 

She does, with a gasping cry that he echoes moments later. She lets her head fall into the crook of his neck, breathing in the scents of sweat and soap and sex and him, this man she loves so much. She’d know him anywhere, she thinks, by smell alone. 

He cuddles her close, stroking her hair and pressing gentle kisses on her temple and cheek. The fire is warm on her back and Killian is warm against her front and she sighs in utter contentment as she begins to drift off.  

“Don’t fall asleep, love,” his amused voice rumbles in her ear. “Santa hasn’t been yet. Imagine if he found you here like this, you wanton thing.” 

“Santa must know by now how wild you make me,” she retorts. “He sees us when we’re sleeping after all.” 

He chuckles. “I’m sure he’ll stuff your stocking anyway,” he says. “Since you’ve already been stuffed in other pl—” 

“Killian!” She slaps his chest, making him laugh harder. She can’t help but join him. She loves his laugh. 

The clock on the mantelpiece chimes softly, announcing the hour of midnight. His laughter fades into an adoring smile as he brushes her hair back from her face, his thumb caressing her chin. 

“Merry Christmas,” he says. 

“Merry Christmas, babe,” she replies. “I love you.” 

“And I you.” 

Chapter Text

“So you take your pictures in the music room and the left side of the balcony and I’ll take the living room and the right side.” 

“Swan—” 

“We should probably avoid the kitchen as much as possible since there’s too much stuff there to control for but your fans know how much you love your tea, so I guess you can have the corner with the kettle.” 

“Swan, is this—” 

“The bedroom is out, obviously. I mean, you might be able to roll out of bed looking all hot and bedhead-y but I definitely can’t.” 

“Well, that’s not true, love. Are you sure all this is really necessary?” 

“We have to keep up our social media presences, Regina would kill us if we didn’t.” 

“Aye, but—” 

“And you know I can’t go public with our relationship until the show’s over, way too many people think I’m with Neal and we need them to keep thinking it. Keeps our viewer numbers up.” 

“I know, but—” 

“Just one more season, babe.” 

“Aye, love. And that’s fine, you know I don’t mind keeping us private. But do we really need to be so… clinical about this? Surely no one will notice the odd similarity or two in the backgrounds of our Instagram photos.” 

“Killian, do you even read what people say about you online?” 

“Aye, of course, I—” 

“No you don’t. Because if you did you would know that they scrutinise everything. Every. Tiny. Thing. I bet you have fans who know what kind of toothpaste you use. Do you even know that?” 

“Um, the stripy kind?” 

“They’re all stripy, Killian!” 

“No, there are some with sparkles, I’m sure of it—” 

“Look, it doesn’t matter. We have to keep posting stuff. You promised to play that song with the rest of the band all at your different houses, and I’m going to do a read-through of a scene from one of our scripts along with the rest of the cast. We’ve got to be sure it doesn’t look like we’re doing those things from the same house, okay?” 

“Whatever you wish, Swan.” 

kj4eva posted a video 

                  omggggg this video 😍😍😍. This songggg! I love it!

killianslass liked this 

killianslass reblogged this from kj4eva and added:

                  Is that where he practices? I don’t think I’ve seen that room before? 

kj4eva reblogged this from killianslass and added:

                  @killianslass I think so? Those are Grammys on the walls yes? 

killian-jones-93 liked this

killian-jones-93 reblogged this from killianslass and added:

                  Where is that? Is it London? 

killianslass reblogged this from killian-jones-93 and added:

                  It looks like London. I thought he was in LA. 

iluvkillianjones liked this 

iluvkillianjones reblogged this from killian-jones-93 and added:

                  Definitely London. I remember that view from the balcony from that pic he posted last year. 

kj4eva reblogged this from iluvkillianjones and added:

                  @iluvkillianjones Oh yeah! I remember that! Well spotted. 

MistHavenWitch posted a video:

                  I am SO EXCITED for this new season! Can’t wait until they can start filming for real! 

allfornemma liked this

allfornemma reblogged this from MistHavenWitch and added:

                  Love how Neal and Emma were trying to pretend they’re not in the same house, lol. They’re so cute. 

emmaswanstan liked this

emmaswanstan reblogged this from allfornemma and added:

                  @allfornemma There is literally no way you can tell where they are. They were both in front of white walls along with half the rest of the cast! 

allfornemma reblogged this from emmaswanstan and added:

                  Um, yeah, that’s all for show. It’s so obvious. 

emmaswanstan reblogged this from allfornemma and added:

                  Did you even see the view from her window? That is not LA. Neal is in LA. 

allfornemma reblogged this from emmaswanstan and added:

                  How do YOU know it’s not LA? 

emmaswanstan reblogged this from allfornemma and added:

                  Because I’m not an idiot who will pretend anything to make my ship real. That’s obviously not LA. It looks like London or something. 

allfornemma reblogged this from emmaswanstan and added:

                  Seriously, why would Emma Swan be in London, she lives in LA and the show films in Vancouver. She has literally no reason to be there. 

theoneandonlykillianjones posted a picture: Starting the morning off right with tea in my favourite cup

killianslass OMG

iluvkillianjones I love it! 

killian-jones-93 It’s soooo cute! 

kj4eva gaaaaahhhh I want one! 

killianslass @kj4eva Right? Me too! 

kj4eva I would even drink tea if I could do it from that mug.

killian-jones-93 preferably after he’s drunk from it lol 

emmaswanstan You guys are so weird. It’s a cool cup though @theoneandonlykillianjones 

theoneandonlykillianjones @emmaswanstan Thank you ;) 

kj4eva WHAAAAATTTTT he never replies!!!!!!!

theoneandonlykillianjones the cup was made by an artist in my hometown in Cornwall. Here’s the link. 

killian-jones-93 😱😱😱

kj4eva TWICE 

killianslass brb buying all the cupssss

emmaswanofficial posted a picture: Taking in the sunshine after a workout. 

emmaswanstan that is DEFINITELY not LA

allfornemma say hi to Neal for me! 

MistHavenWitch ohh nice view! Do you have any quarantine workout tips @emmaswanofficial?

emmaswanofficial @MistHavenWitch I do yoga and some light weights with an app to track my progress. You don’t need much space for it! 

nemma_love Where’s Neal? 

allfornemma @nemma_love In the bedroom ;) 

nemma_love @allfornemma sweating, lol 

emmaswanstan you are all gross. Don’t ship real people. 

allfornemma @emmaswanstan don’t hate because you know it’s trueeeeee

“Emma, I’m going to need you to do a live stream.” 

“Really?” 

“Just a few minutes long. Just say hi to the fans, talk a bit about how you can’t wait to get filming again, show them around your house—no place too private—and that’s it.” 

“Um, Regina—” 

“Please don’t give me a hard time about this, Emma. I know you like your privacy but this is a fucking pandemic. Bend a little.” 

“Yeah, I hear you but I’m not at home. At least not my home.” 

“Whose home are you at?” 

“Killian’s.” 

What?”

“I’ve been here the whole hiatus. I was planning to be back for filming of course but I left it to the last minute and now I’m kinda stuck.” 

“And you didn’t think this was something that I, as your manager—as both your manager—might like to know?” 

“No, because we had no idea that it would become such a thing! And it’s not like you didn’t know we’re dating.” 

“Unfortunately, yes, that is something I know.” 

“Why do you have to be like that about it? You’re the one who introduced us!” 

“Your appointments happened to overlap, I left you together in my waiting room for ten minutes. I didn’t think even Killian Jones would work that fast.” 

“Well, he did, and it’s been three years now and we’ve kept it secret because of the show but as soon as the final season is done we’re going public. Just to let you as our manager know.” 

“Ugh. Fine. But you’re doing the live stream anyway. Find somewhere nondescript to film it. I’ll email you the list of things to talk about.” 

“Do I really have to?” 

“Yes. You do. It won’t kill you to interact more with the fans, especially now.” 

“Regina—” 

“Just. Do. It. Emma.”

“Fine.” 

“Hey guys it’s Emma here. Hope you’re all well and staying safe, and your families too. I’m sure you’re all going a bit stir-crazy staying at home, I know I am. So I’m here just to let you know that we’re thinking of all of you and as soon as things get back to normal we’ll be back filming the new season. We’ve all seen the scripts already and they are fantastic. It’s gonna be a great season and I can’t wait for you all to see it! So let me just show you around a bit, I’m not at home in LA right now but actually in London, so let me show you what I see out the window every day. Pretty nice, huh? There are worse places to be quarantined, I won’t lie. Well, there it is. So anyway I’ve got some time now if anyone wants to send questions about the show or even about workout tips or something, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments. Bye for now!” 

emmaswanstan OMG

emmaswanstan OMG

emmaswanstan OMG 

emmaswanstan LOOK IN THE BACKGROUND 

emmaswanstan JUST AT THE END THERE 

emmaswanstan ON THE LITTLE TABLE AT THE END OF THE BALCONY

emmaswanstan @killianslass @kj4eva @killian-jones-93 IS THAT KILLIAN’S TEACUP????????

Chapter Text

killianslass 😱 IT IS!!

killianslass IT’S DEFINITELY THE SAME CUP

killianslass WHAT DOES THIS MEEEEEEEEANNN?

kj4eva I THINK WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS

emmaswanstan THAT’S why Emma’s been in London! 

killian-jones-93 AAAAAHHHH!! OMG!!! Oh I hope this is real!!! They’d be the CUTEST couple! 

MistHavenWitch As long as it doesn’t interfere with the show...

emmaswanstan @allfornemma why so quiet, lol? 

allfornemma @emmaswanstan that could be anyone’s cup 

nemma_love it isn’t even that special 

allfornemma right? like what, who cares about a cup?

killianslass um, @allfornemma that is definitely Killian Jones’s cup. He posted a pic here. I bought one for myself. 

allfornemma @killianslass so what? You have one, anyone could have one. It’s probably Neal’s. 

emmaswanstan Like Neal Cassidy drinks tea 

nemma_love is it a SUPER SPECIAL cup that only holds tea, then? 

emmaswanstan deny it all you like but that is Killian Jones’s cup and that means Emma’s with him in London and NOT with Neal in LA. 

emmaswanstan @allfornemma @nemma_love sorry to sink your ship, lol, but hey don’t hate because you know it’s trueeeee.

“Oh my God.” 

“Love—” 

“Oh my GOD.” 

“Swan—” 

“OH MY GOD OH MY GOD—” 

“Emma, please—” 

“Regina is going to KILL me!!” 

“Of course she won’t.” 

How can you be so calm, Killian?” 

“It’s hardly the end of the world.” 

“It might as well be. Have you looked at Tumblr?” 

“I would literally rather gouge out my own eyeballs.” 

“Okay, fair. But someone’s screenshotted the video and it’s spreading like crazy. We can’t stop it.” 

“What would you like to do, love? What would make you feel better?” 

“I don’t know. I think we just have to wait for Regina.” 

10.43 Neal Cassidy: Nice one, Ems 

10.45 Emma Swan: Don’t start with me, Neal

10:45 Neal Cassidy: What did Regina say? 

10:46 Emma Swan: Nothing yet 

10:47 Neal Cassidy: At least Tamara doesn’t leave her shit lying around my place

10:47 Emma Swan: I SAID DON’T START

“Well, Miss Swan.” 

“Regina, I’m so sor—” 

“Save it. The way I’ve saved your ass.” 

“Um, you have?” 

“Yes. I’ve been analysing the social media reactions to your little slip-up, and fortunately for you they’re mostly positive.” 

“They are?” 

“Yes. There are a few still insisting you’re with Neal and this is all a cover-up, but overall people believe you and Killian are together and seem in favour of it.” 

“Oh. That’s, um, good. Isn’t it?” 

“We can turn it to our advantage.” 

“So that means it’s good.” 

“It’s not not good. Now, here’s what you’re going to do…” 

emmaswanofficial posted a picture: Lazy afternoon in London

emmaswanstan AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

emmaswanstan THAT IS KILLIAN IN THE BACKGROUND 

emmaswanstan THAT IS HIS GUITAR

nemma_love yeah sure, I’ll believe it when I see all of him 

allfornemma Right? Like a leg and part of a guitar proves anything 

nemma_love Neal plays the guitar too, right? 

allfornemma um maybe? I think he does?

emmaswanstan you guys’s denial is really impressive, lol 

emmaswanstan @emmaswanofficial Is it true then? You and Killian? 

emmaswanofficial @emmaswanstan Stay tuned ;) 

theoneandonlykillianjones posted a picture: Serenading my girl

killian-jones-93 HIS GIRL OMGGGGG 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 

killianslass AAHH that is the CUTEST 

kj4eva I AM DYINGGGG 

kj4eva I AM A PUDDLE ON THE FLOOR

killianslass @emmaswanstan That is Emma, right? 

emmaswanstan @killianslass OH YESSS. 

emmaswanstan It’s definitely her. It’s her hair and she’s worn that sweater before in insta pics. 

killian-jones-93 OHHH I’m so happy for them!!!

theoneandonlykillianjones Check out @emmaswanofficial for a video I think you’ll like! 

killianslass 😱😱😱

“Hi everyone, it’s Emma. So my last video caused a bit of a stir, haha, and so I thought I’d come back and clear up a few things. Um, so yeah. This is Killian.” 

“Hi Emma fans!” 

“As you can see he’s a huge dork—” 

“Oi!” 

“—don’t believe that ‘oh I’m a rock star look at me smoulder’ for a second.” 

“Hey, now. The smoulder is real. Never doubt the smoulder.” 

“Uh huh. So anyway, to answer all the speculation, yes, we are together. Have been for a while now.” 

“Three years next month, love.” 

“Yeah. What are you getting me for our anniversary?” 

“Oh, was I supposed to get you something?” 

“Only if you want to make it to year four, buddy.” 

“Never fear, darling, I’ve got you something you’re going to love.”

“Well, I guess I’d better get you something then.”

“Just being with you is the best gift I could ask for, Emma.”

“Well that’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard.” 

“True, though.” 

“Yeah, me too… So there you are, everyone, it’s officially official. You can ask us questions in the comments if you like, we may answer them.” 

“Just keep it clean, aye?”

“Yeah, not like Killian who leaves his cups lying around.” 

“Never gonna live that one down, am I?” 

“Nope. Bye everyone see you again soon!” 

kj4eva DYING

kj4eva I AM ACTUALLY DYINGGGG

killianslass I AM ALREADY DEAD 

killianslass RIP ME 

emmaswanstan SERIOUSLY THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL US ALL

killianslass RIP ALL OF US

MistHavenWitch Awwww 🥰

emmaswanstan I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS 

emmaswanstan @theoneandonlykillianjones @emmaswanofficial How did you meet? 

emmaswanstan THAT’S JUST QUESTION ONE

killian-jones-93 I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW 

killian-jones-93 I MIGHT BE CRYING 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

emmaswanstan my second question is for @allfornemma: DO YOU BELIEVE IT NOW??

killianslass @kj4eva @killian-jones-93 Ugh the way he kissed her hand I just CAN’T 

killian-jones-93 @killianslass RIGHT???? THE CUTEST 

emmaswanstan @theoneandonlykillianjones @emmaswanofficial Soooo… IS IT TRUE LOVE? 

theoneandonlykillianjones @emmaswanofficial What do you think? 

emmaswanofficial Yes

Chapter Text

August is always a difficult month for Killian. As if the sweltering heat and the mosquitoes and the bittersweet sense of summer waning weren’t bad enough, it’s also the month in which Liam died. Each year Killian grows tense and snappish as the anniversary approaches, both eager for the damned thing to be over and wishing it would never come. 

And this year, this one, is the worst yet. This August marks ten years since his brother passed, a fact that first begins to worm its way into Killian’s mind on a soft May day when he should be happy—his own bloody birthday. He’s 29 this year and with thirty now not so much waiting around the corner as looming up directly in his path, he finds himself struck by the realisation of just how painfully young Liam had been when he died. He can’t stop thinking about it as August draws nearer, or of all the things he’s seen and done that Liam—dead before he even saw his quarter-century—never had the chance to try.  

He knows himself well enough to be aware of what miserable company he is when these fits of melancholy overtake him, and this being such a long and vicious one he does his best to stay away from Emma as much as he can until it passes. His roommate has enough to deal with, he thinks, she doesn’t need him adding to her burdens. So he keeps to himself, stays in his room with music on his headphones or goes to the bar he knows she hates to brood over a glass of rum. Sometimes he takes long walks late into the night, alone with his thoughts and safely away from the temptation of Emma Swan. 

On the day of the anniversary itself he runs into her despite all his efforts. Her skip kept her out later than usual and so it happens that when he returns from the bar, drunk and aching deep in his soul, he finds her not asleep in her bed but in the kitchen making grilled cheese. She gives him a look that’s at once understanding and tentative, oddly yearning and full of sympathy, and he forces a smile to his face but does not speak. She opens her mouth but he shakes his head hard, willing her to understand that there’s no way he can bear her kindness now. If she offers it he will break and he can’t risk that, not with her. She means too much to him and he already wants so many things that she can’t give—there’s no telling what he’ll do or say if he lets his guard down now when he’s so bruised and so needy and so alone. 

She nods and swallows and tries to smile, and he retreats to his room feeling worse than ever. He lies in bed with sleep nowhere to be had and he thinks, once again, about Liam. He thinks about how his brother died before he had a chance to see the world as he always wanted. Before he could learn to sail the ships he used to admire in the harbour. Before he could fall in love. 

What kind of woman would he have chosen, Killian wonders. Or, perhaps, what kind of man? Either is equally plausible; he truly has no idea how Liam felt about love or sex or romance. It occurs to him that in some ways he hardly knew his brother at all. 

He’s certain though that whomever Liam might have chosen to love, he’d have made better go at it than Killian. Better than the married woman that he failed to save, better than the roommate with her mile-high walls who will never love him back. It’s almost like he’s trying to be alone, he thinks bitterly, and to waste every opportunity offered by the life that Liam worked so hard to give him.

~

His August mood that started in May lingers well past the end of summer, and the air is crisp with the bite of early October when Killian realises that he’s managed to go a whole day without once thinking of Liam. It makes him rather sad again but it’s also a relief; he can’t live his life trapped in grief and guilt and recrimination. And he needs to live that life, and live it as well as he knows how—he owes Liam at least that much.  

The following day finds him in the kitchen making fajitas when Emma gets home. He’s in the mood to cook for the first time in ages and he’s making more than enough to share, both because Emma’s been known to have a bowl of cereal of an evening and call it dinner and because Killian figures a nice meal will serve as an apology for how difficult it must have been living with him these past few months. 

He’s singing to himself when the front door opens, one of the old sea shanties he grew up hearing, and when Emma appears in the kitchen he gives her an apologetic smile. 

“Sorry, love,” he says. “I know the shanties aren’t your favourite, but—urgh.”

Emma strides across the room and flings her arms around him, squeezing him so tightly he grunts. She presses her face against his neck and he feels the warmth of her tears on his skin. 

“Thank God,” she whispers. “Thank fucking God.” 

“What’s this, Swan?” He hugs her back then pulls slightly away so he can look down at her face. “What’s wrong?” 

“When you’re sad you stop singing,” she whispers, as fresh burst of tears begins to flow. “This is the first time you’ve sung in six months. I’m just—” she breaks off on a sob. “I’m so relieved you’re feeling better. I was so worried, Killian.” 

He stares at her. “You were worried about me?” 

“Of course I was!” She tries to snap but it comes out weak and watery. “I lov—ah—I care about you.” 

His breath catches and his heart stutters as she goes rigid in his arms and watches him warily. In times past he’d have convinced himself it was a slip of the tongue and nothing more, but his vow to live his life the best he can is fresh in his mind, and Emma is still holding him so tightly and she’s still crying... crying because he was sad. Because she saw that he was sad. Not that he was a pain in her arse to live with but that deep down he wasn’t well. 

She always sees him.

Live, he reminds himself. Take the risk, for Liam who never could

He brushes the hair back from her face, tear-streaked and gorgeous and full of an apprehension that breaks his heart. “I love you too, Emma,” he says softly.

Her mouth falls open. “You do?” she gasps.

“Aye. Very much.” 

“Oh, Killian.” She squeezes him again and he lets her, cradling her head as she weeps freely into his shoulder, letting his fingers tangle in her hair as they have longed to do for years now. 

“I’m so sorry for worrying you, love,” he murmurs. “I never dreamed you’d notice.” 

“Of course I noticed,” she retorts, pulling back to dry her cheeks on the sleeve of her sweater. “I know it’s ten been ten years since Liam died and I knew how much that would upset you. I wanted to help, but—” 

“But I didn’t let you,” he finishes, shaking his head. “I’ve been a bloody fool. Can you forgive me?” 

“Of course I can. So long as you promise me one thing.”

“Anything, darling.” 

“The next time you feel that way, don’t try to handle it alone. If you don’t want to talk to me there are counsellors—” 

“You’ll do, Swan,” he assures her. “And I promise.”  

She nods, her smile brilliant with relief, light with lifted worry. “I’m always here for you, Killian,” she says. “To listen or hold your hand or anything else you need.” She takes a deep breath. “Because I love you.” 

Something settles in Killian’s chest, something that feels terrifyingly like happiness. He cups Emma’s face in his hands and kisses her, a gentle, clinging kiss that she stands on her toes to return, and for the first time in ten years Killian Jones knows that he is not alone.

--

Chapter Text

“So what kind of books do you like to read?”

Emma hesitates with her fork halfway to her mouth. “Um,” she says, then stuffs the bite in and takes her time chewing it as she tries to come up with an answer that won’t make her sound like a child.

“I really like short stories,” she says finally.

“Oh?” Walsh raises an eyebrow and it occurs to Emma, not for the first time, that he can be really fucking patronising. Why did she agree to this date, again? “Saki?” he asks with a smirk. “O Henry? Poe?”

“Fairy tales,” she replies shortly, irritated by him pulling author names out of thin freaking air as though he knows them. Maybe he does, but that doesn’t make it any less obnoxious.

“Fairy tales?” he says with a scoff. “Pretty princess stories?”

Emma frowns. There are no pretty princesses in the stories she’s talking about.

“Witches, more like,” she says. “Baba Yaga. Nourie Hadig. Vasilissa the Fair.”

“Oh.” Walsh looks taken aback, and she draws perverse pleasure from it. He doesn’t know everything, much as he likes to pretend he does. “That’s—well, it’s not what I would've expected.”

It’s not really what Emma would have expected either. She’s never been much of a reader. It was hard to be, bouncing from one school to the next, never really having time to settle in and form relationships with teachers and school librarians. No foster home she ever lived in had much to offer in the way of reading material, and she just never developed the knack of escaping into books.

Not like Killian had.

“Saved my life, is what they did,” he said, tracing the gilded title on his copy of Treasure Island. “When my father was drunk and my mum was crying. Liam made me stay in our room, said there wasn’t anything I could do to help. Which was probably true, but I could still hear them. I could hear—” He swallowed hard, gave his head a tiny shake. “Unless I had a book,” he continued hoarsely. “Then I could shut it all out, pretend I was sailing off in search of Flint’s treasure or taking the Ring to Mordor. Books kept me sane.” He looked up to meet Emma’s eyes. “I’d like for you to know that too,” he said softly. “That… transportation to another place, away from all things that trouble you.”

She shook her head, her chest aching. “I’m not like you,” she said. “Words don’t—I don’t know, they don’t vibe with me. I just get bored if I try to read.”

“What if I read to you?”

“What?”

His face was hopeful, his eyes a drowning blue. “What if I read out loud and you listened?”

“Um, well—” She thought about it. About Killian’s deep, smooth voice telling her a story. About sitting, cosy under a blanket, and just listening to him. “—yeah.” She gave a small shrug. “Maybe, if you wanted to.”

He smiled. “Let’s give it a try.”

And still, Emma thinks, she’s never read a book.

~

The date ends as early as she can manage it. Walsh drives her home, tries to invite himself in.

“Best not,” says Emma with a tight smile. “My roommate’s probably asleep.”

“Ah.” There’s tension in Walsh’s smile as well. “Sure,” he says. “Your roommate.”

She wants to ask him what the hell he’s trying to insinuate, but also she doesn’t really care. She gave Walsh a chance and it didn’t work out, and—

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” says Walsh. “Maybe we can—”

“I don’t think so,” Emma replies firmly. “I don’t think you and I are going to work.”

“Yeah.” Walsh sighs. “Yeah. Okay, then.”

He gives her a nod then turns to go. No further words are spoken.

Emma turns the key in the lock as quietly as she can, creeps into the apartment on the tips of her toes. The television screen wants to know if he’s still watching but Killian is sound asleep on the sofa. Emma smiles softly as she brushes back a lock of hair that’s fallen across his forehead. This is a turnaround, she thinks. Normally it’s her falling asleep, to the soothing sound of Killian’s voice as he reads her a tale.

She doesn’t think she can carry him to bed the way he does her.

“Killian?” she murmured, nuzzling sleepily at his neck as he lifted her from the sofa. The effortless ease of the motion, the smell of his skin and the warmth of his breath on her cheek had her heart fluttering, her belly clenching with sensations she couldn’t bring herself to name.

“Shh, love,” he replied. “Go back to sleep.”

“But is it finished?” she protested. “How did it end?”

Killian laid her gently on her bed and pulled the blanket over her. “We’ll read the end tomorrow,” he said softly, and she was sure she imagined the press of his lips on her brow as she drifted into dreams.

They never do read the ends, though, she thinks now. The next night is always another story, another ending she falls asleep before she can hear.

“Killian,” she says softly, brushing her fingertips down his cheek. “Killian, wake up.”

“Hmmm?” he mumbles, sleepy eyelids blinking open. “Swan?”

“Hey. You fell asleep.”

“So it seems.”

“I just thought you might prefer to do that in your bed, so you don’t wake up with a crick in your neck.”

“Aye.” He sits up and rubs the neck in question. Emma gulps as she watches the cords stretch as he does, and the ripple of muscle beneath his t-shirt as he rolls his shoulders. “How was the date?” he asks.

“Eh.” She shrugs. “There won’t be a second.”

“I’m sorry, love.”

“I’m not. I wasn’t that into him to begin with.”

“Well, so long as you aren’t upset.” He’s watching her so intently.

“Definitely not.”

His expression relaxes into a smile. “I’ll say good night then,” he says, standing and moving towards his door.

“Good night, Killian.” Her heart twists a bit as she watches it close behind him.

~

In her room she sits on the bed and kicks off her heels, reaches into the paper bag that sits on her bedside table. A soft knock sounds at her door.

“Come in,” she calls, letting the item fall back into the bag.

The door opens and Killian steps in, rubbing at his neck with one hand and holding a very familiar object in the other.

“We, uh, didn’t get a chance to read tonight,” he says. “And I thought—well, I thought perhaps you might be ready to see some of these endings for yourself. That you might like to keep this for your own.”

He reaches his hand out to her and she takes what he’s holding, staring wide-eyed at the worn cover, her thumb tracing along the F in Fairy Tales.

“But—” She looks up at him, dumbfounded. “This is your favourite.”

“Aye,” he agrees. “It’s seen me through some very tough times. That’s why I want for it to be yours.”

There’s a lump in Emma’s throat and she has to swallow hard around it. “Thank you,” she whispers. “I’ll take good care of it.”

He nods and turns to go.

“Killian!” she cries out, and he turns to her again. “I—I love this book,” she says. “I love it because you love it and because I—” She can’t finish the sentence but Killian’s eyes snap to hers and the look in them is ferocious. She grips the book tight to her chest and reaches into the bag on her table.

“I bought this today,” she says, pulling out another book. The same book. A newer copy, with a tougher cover and illustrated with real engravings. “I was going to read it tonight, but now—” Now she holds his book against her heart and knows she can’t part with it, not for anything. Not for all the world.

“Now I want you to have it.”

“I—” He takes the book almost reverently, eyes shining as he runs his fingers over the cover. “I don’t—”

“I want it to be yours,” she whispers.

Emma,” he chokes, and then he is pulling her close, his fingers in her hair and their books knocking against each other. “I’ll treasure it,” he says, his voice thick and rough with emotion.

The words he doesn’t speak are the most precious ones she’s never heard.

“I love these stories,” she says. “But only in your voice. The words are beautiful but it’s you speaking them that transports me. I bought the new book for the words but it doesn’t have you in it. This one, though—” She grips the old book tighter.

“That one is my heart.”

“And that one—” she nods to the new book, clutched tight against his chest “—is my hope.”

“Your hope?”

“For an ending,” she whispers. “A happy one.”

He rests his forehead against hers and she sighs into his embrace. “Oh, my love,” he breathes. “That, at least, I can promise.”

-

Chapter Text

It’s an offensively bright Monday morning and Ruby’s working her first shift of the summer at Granny’s new drive-thru when at just past eight a.m. a man pulls up to her window and blinds her with his smile. 

“Good morning,” he says, accepting the cup of coffee she hands him. “How are you today, lass?” 

“Um.” Ruby blinks. It’s far too early for her to be dealing with eyes that blue. And though she’s pretty much exclusively been into women these past few years, this guy’s face could probably convince her to give men another go. “Fine, I guess.” 

“Listen, Ruby.” She’s startled for a moment when he calls her by her name, then recalls she’s wearing a name tag. Duh. Seriously, it’s way too freaking early for this. “Could you do me a favour?” he asks, with a smile she’s pretty sure no one who’s into dudes even a little bit has ever said no to. 

“What kind of favour?” she asks warily.

He hands her a twenty. “I’d like to pay for the woman in the car behind me,” he says. “And tell her I think she’s hot.” 

“Sir, I’m not sure that’s—” 

“And keep the change.” 

He gives her a wink—a terrible excuse for a wink, actually—and drives off. 

Ruby hesitates. She’s not about to help some dude sexually harass another woman, no matter how blue his eyes, but he’s left her something like a twelve-dollar tip and he didn’t seem that creepy. She watches carefully as the next car pulls up. The woman behind the wheel is definitely hot—creepy-ish dude has good taste—with long, blonde hair curled in princess ringlets and an expression that looks just how Ruby feels—that it’s way too early in the morning for any species of bullshit. 

“Hey,” she greets the woman, handing over another coffee. “Um, it’s already paid for.” 

“What?” 

“The guy in the car in front of you, he paid for your coffee.” 

“Did he?” says the woman with a scowl. 

“Yeah. And he, uh, he said to tell you you’re hot.” 

Ruby figures this woman can take care of herself. She looks like she could flatten Mr Blue Eyes if she put her mind to it, and if he’s being a creep she deserves to know. 

The woman heaves an annoyed huff and rolls her eyes. “Thanks,” she says. “I’ll handle it.” 

Ruby gives her a nod and even manages a grin despite the early hour. She likes this woman. 

The next day at about the same time, the same man with the same blue eyes and a face that Ruby decides could actually be classified as an offensive weapon pulls up to her window, the twenty already held out between two fingers. 

Ruby glances at her list of orders. “She’s ordered a really expensive drink today,” she informs Blue Eyes. “Blended coffee with two shots of the specialty espresso and like four kinds of syrup, plus whipped cream and praline sprinkles.” 

Blue Eyes laughs. “Well played, love,” he murmurs, almost to himself, and pulls another ten from his wallet. “Tell her she’s devastatingly beautiful and her clever tricks only serve to further inflame my passions.” 

Ruby chokes. “I can’t tell her that!” 

Blue Eyes widens his blue eyes and lets his lip quiver slightly, like the fucking cat from Shrek, Ruby thinks grumpily. It’s still too damned early to be dealing with this. “Fine,” she huffs. She snatches the thirty bucks from his hand and exchanges it for his drink. 

He shoots her a lopsided grin that has her heart actually skipping a goddamn beat and another terrible wink, then drives away. A minute later Princess Curls pulls up, already looking resigned. 

“Apparently you are devastatingly beautiful and your clever tricks only serve to further inflame his passions,” Ruby informs her as she hands over the monstrous coffee drink. The woman’s eyes narrow. 

“So that’s how he wants to play it,” she says. “Thanks.” 

Ruby grins. “No problem, hot stuff,” she smirks, with a far better wink than Blue Eyes could manage. Princess Curls laughs. 

“Not you too,” she protests. 

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” says Ruby. “Have a nice day.” 

“You too,” Princess Curls replies, and drives off. 

The war of wills continues for the rest of the week, escalating to the point where Ruby begins to worry that the diner won’t have the wherewithal to handle the stakes of the warfare. On Wednesday, Princess Curls orders another massive coffee with a side of chocolate chip pancakes. On Thursday Blue Eyes gives Ruby a fifty and a slip of paper on which grilled cheese, onion rings, chocolate milkshake is written in such perfect handwriting Ruby is half convinced it’s a font. 

“She’ll call in this order at about twelve-thirty,” he tells her. “Make sure she doesn’t lay down a dime.” 

On Friday Princess Curls orders three coffees and enough breakfast food to feed an army. Granny chuckles to herself as she cracks eggs on the grill and Blue Eyes hands Ruby a crisp hundred-dollar bill with a flourish. “Tell her that her beauty puts the dawn to shame, and add a fruit salad to her order,” he says with a smirk. “Chocolate chip pancakes and extra-crispy bacon doth not a healthy breakfast make.” 

“No,” mutters Ruby, “I don’t suppose they doth.” 

On Saturday she’s off drive-thru duty and feeling a bit let down. She didn’t realise how much the romance of Blue Eyes and Princess Curls brightened her morning until she found herself facing a busy weekend without them. And she has Monday off. She gives herself a bracing pep-talk then swings through the doors from the kitchen with a pot of coffee in each hand, stopping short when she sees Blue Eyes grinning his weapons-grade grin as he leans against the counter. 

“Regular for me,” he tells her, just as the door jangles and opens to admit Princess Curls. “She, on the other hand, has become addicted to those sugary monstrosities.” His grin softens as Princess Curls approaches and he slips an arm around her shoulders, pressing a kiss to her temple. 

“Hold up.” Ruby sets both pots down on the counter and puts her hands on her hips. “Hold the fuck up. Are you telling me that all that crap with the buying your coffee and the telling you you’re beautiful—that actually worked?” 

“It did,” laughs Princess Curls. “About ten years ago.” She holds out her hand to Ruby. “I’m Emma Jones and this is my husband, Killian.” 

“Husband,” repeats Ruby faintly, shaking the proffered hand. 

“Afraid so,” says Emma, and Killian gives a long-suffering sigh. 

“Can I help it if after ten years my wife is still the most beautiful woman in any room?” he asks. “No offence, Ruby.” 

Ruby holds up her hands. “Absolutely none taken.” 

Emma and Killian find seats in a booth and linger over their breakfast—more pancakes for her, toast and poached eggs for him—and when they come to the counter to pay, Ruby waves their money away. 

“You’ve tipped me so much this past week, it’s my treat,” she says. “Just—never change, you guys, okay?” 

Emma and Killian exchange a look, then wrap their arms around each other and turn back to Ruby. “We won’t,” Killian promises, with more solemnity than Ruby expected from him. Emma nods in agreement. 

And they never do. 

--