The last thing Killian Jones needed in his life was a roommate -a pregnant one at that. To make matters worse, she seemed just as against their current situation as he was. The only reason he’d agreed at all was because David -the man who’d arranged it all- was a good friend, and the situation was complicated.
Still, he figured it was best to just… make the best of it. After all, it was his job to protect his pack, and while Emma Swan wasn’t technically a part of that pack, she was David’s cousin, and he saw the man as a brother.
So when he was asked to protect one of Neal’s latest conquests, he couldn’t find it in him to say no.
Neal Cassidy was the son of not only his former lover, but of his greatest rival. He’d never met the man, but he knew very well that he’d been trying to stir things up recently, making him a problem that needed to be dealt with.
“You and I both know this is ridiculous,” Emma stated. He hadn’t even shown her her room yet.
“Ridiculous,” he mused. “Yet you’re still here.” When she shot him a death glare, he held up a hand in mock surrender. “I’m only saying, luv. You’re a grown woman. There’s no rule stating that you have to listen to your cousin.”
Emma seemed to consider this for a moment, then shrugged. “I have my reasons,” she said. “You could have told him no.”
But he couldn’t. Not that she’d understand. How could he explain his reasons to someone who seemed to know very little about wolves and their ways though?
“Dave says you’re a witch,” he said, changing the subject. What he didn’t say was that David didn’t have to say anything. Killian could smell the magic on her.
“And he’s worried about you,” Killian continued. “So perhaps we can just make the best of this until he’s convinced the danger has passed.” If it was as bad as David thought it was though, Emma might just become a permanent resident. He kept quiet on that, not wanting to irritate her further.
“My baby is only a quarter wolf,” she stated, matter of factly. “If that’s how wolf genes work, anyway.”
“It’s not,” Killian informed her. “When it comes to this sort of curse, fractions don’t matter.” Sure, the phrase half-wolf was an insult often thrown around, but a half wolf was still a wolf, and no amount of human DNA could change or even slightly diminish that.
“He’ll still grow fangs and change with the moon,” Killian continued. “His instincts and strengths will always win out over his human side.”
“But he’s muddled,” Emma argued, as if that mattered. “And there’s no way he can be this Alpha from that stupid prophecy. David’s overreacting.”
The prophecy. The reason David was so worried about Emma and her baby. Her denial proved more than anything how little she knew of wolves. Purity truly meant nothing, not in the grand scheme of things anyway. There were packs that boasted pure bloodlines, and turned on their own if lines were broken. All that meant was their packs were filled with inbreeding and more problems than anything else.
It was as though they’d forgotten the only reason they were wolves to begin with was because of a curse.
Killian didn’t come from such a pack. At least, it wasn’t that way before Rumplestiltskin took over. He was really too young to remember all the finer details, but his own mother had been a witch, making him just as muddled as the baby Emma carried now.
He was rescued by his older brother, Liam, and a family friend, Graham Humbert. Their pack was in shambles due to an unexpected war that tipped in Rumple’s favor unfairly. The slimy worm had tricked a witch into helping him take what he felt was his right as Alpha.
It had all gone to hell after that.
Killian was taken across the sea to the safety of Storybrooke. When they’d first arrived, the pack had no true organization. It was a town filled with strays and drifters with no real home among their kind.
Liam changed all that. He made certain that everyone knew they had a place. That he would ensure their safety. It wasn’t the most conventional road, but the others began to look at him as a leader, and in turn, he reclaimed his Alpha birthright.
But then he died, leaving a pregnant wife behind. Elsa gave birth to a baby girl mere weeks after losing Liam. With no heir to speak of, the pack began to look to Killian.
The reluctant Alpha.
As unwanted as the job was, he took it seriously.
Though he never expected to play any part in the prophecy.
Yet here she was, the woman carrying the child destined to bring about the end of Rumplestiltskin. He wasn’t sure which details were true or not. He’d let others worry about prophecies while he focused on more practical matters, like survival.
With these new developments though, he wanted to make sure he knew what he was dealing with. Thankfully, Elsa had a few contacts among the witches who would have better luck tracking down the prophecy in its original form. That alone would help them understand better what they were working with.
“Listen,” he said. “Why don’t we discuss the finer details later?” He figured dumping all the information he had on her would overwhelm her more than she already was. It wasn’t good for her or the baby. “Right now, you’ve just finished a long trip and you’re likely tired. Let’s get you settled so you can rest.”
She relented, though he sensed her defenses were still up. Not that she was afraid. He smelled no fear. But she was angry. Frustrated by a situation beyond their control. Stuck in a place she’d rather not be.
He understood that feeling well.
Just as he tried to reassure her, he reminded himself that this was all temporary. How temporary remained to be seen. They had at least a full six months before the baby was born. Then, he couldn’t imagine the danger would pass. The infant would be weak and vulnerable. There wasn’t a chance Emma could protect him on her own.
He didn’t doubt her capabilities. From what David had told him, she was a fairly powerful witch despite her inexperience. Still, a pack of wolves would have no trouble with just one witch.
“I’m not sure Neal even knows I’m pregnant,” Emma said. “He ran off with his backup plan -who also happened to be the woman he was cheating with- when I started to question his methods.” And when I was no longer useful. She added silently.
She didn’t even realize she was pregnant until some time later.
“I doubt the thought will cross his mind,” Killian nodded. “But his father has been dreading this prophecy since his rise to the top. It’s the reason he’s surrounded himself with power.”
“They haven’t talked in years,” she argued. “Maybe even decades.”
Killian still seemed wary. “Like I said, luv. He surrounds himself with power. I wouldn’t put it past him to keep a few seers and oracles at his command.”
Emma frowned. That was the last thing she wanted to think about. Despite Neal’s refusal to talk to his father, Killian confirmed that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Their methods were similar, and Neal was definitely trying to start an uprising of sorts.
Wasn’t her power the very reason he’d kept her around? As undeveloped as it was, he still found a use for her. It wasn’t until Tamara stepped in and outshined her that Neal decided working on Emma’s skills -or lack thereof- wasn’t worth the effort.
It wasn’t that she was a bad witch. Quite the opposite. When it came to potions and spells, she could keep up with the best of them. For an orphan with no formal guidance, it was a wonder she had any clue at all.
“You need rest,” Killian reiterated. “We can talk later.”
“Okay,” she agreed. Normally, she’d put up a fight, hating it when she was told what to do. But Killian was right, she needed rest. The trip from England had been turbulent, and the fight with David had been even worse. She didn’t want to have to deal with another storm before she had a chance to close her eyes for awhile.
He left her alone after that, and while she was exhausted and ready for a good nap, the moment her head hit the pillow, her eyes were wide open and her mind was racing.
What the hell was she doing?
Running from one problem and right into another. That’s what she was doing. It was bad enough she’d gotten mixed up with Neal and his insanity. Now she was getting caught up with Killian, Storybrooke and the ceasefire that only seemed to exist because of an ocean.
She was going to drive him insane. When David had informed him that his cousin would probably be a difficult housemate, Killian imagined that he’d been exaggerating. Family was always difficult. It was in their nature to annoy one another and make house sharing a trial.
Oh, how wrong he was.
He immediately regretted not taking his friend seriously once Emma woke from her nap. It seemed she had a renewed energy, and a bone to pick. Suddenly, the slightly defensive woman he’d met became a force to be reckoned with.
Though he wasn’t quite sure why she was upset with him.
Emma was not someone he would consider fragile. A little bit naive, perhaps, but tough as nails. She was hard headed and stubborn, leading him to understand how she’d gotten in so deep before finally reaching out to David for help.
“I’m sorry,” she said, though it sounded more like a snap than an apology. She had been fighting him on just about everything, so the “sorry” was welcome, but he didn’t think it meant the end of trouble. “I know you’re just trying to protect me, or whatever it is that David’s paid you to do, but I’m not used to having rules like this.”
He wasn’t sure she was used to having any sort of rules at all.
“First of all,” he sighed.”Dave isn’t paying me.” Oh, he’d tried. But taking the money felt wrong, and it wasn’t like he needed it. Immortality could have its perks if you played the financial game right. “Second, I’m not trying to restrict you. I’m simply telling you that… at least for the time being, you shouldn’t be alone. If you need to go out, I’ll accompany you. If I have to take off, I’ll have someone come in and stay with you-”
“I’m not a child,” she argued. “I don’t need to be babysat. And how much protection do I really need anyway? Neal doesn’t even know about the baby, and his father… even if he knows, he’s a whole ocean away.”
“Airplanes are a thing, luv,” Killian stated. She did have a point though. Even travel took time, and infiltrating Storybrooke could prove difficult for an unwelcome guest. Still…
Emma groaned in annoyance. She may have denied being a child, but her actions screamed defiant teenager.
“I doubt Rumple will come at all,” Killian continued, ignoring her little tantrum. “At least not at first. He’ll likely send his dispatchers to take care of the problem. That’s what I’m worried about. You’ll never see them coming.”
“And you will?” she sassed.
“Aye,” he nodded as he ran a thumb over the scarred skin where his left hand used to be. “I made the mistake of not knowing once.” He’d lost Milah and his hand in one fell swoop. “It’s a mistake I’ll never make again.”
And he hadn’t. Rumple had sent plenty of spies and dispatchers over the years. Killian assumed they were attempting to finish the job. So long as Killian was alive, he was a threat. With Liam gone, he was still the true heir of his old pack. Not that he’d want the position. As reluctant as he was to be in charge in Storybrooke, taking over the English pack would prove futile. Rumple had owned them for over a century. They were, and always would be, loyal to him.
The fight didn’t leave Emma, but she nodded. “Okay. So, I’m safe with you, or… whoever you decide to put in charge. Got it.” There was sarcasm in there, but he was just grateful that she’d relented for the time being.
“I know it feels like you’re a prisoner,” he said. “And I know we don’t know each other very well, but believe me when I say that I hate doing this. All the same, I take my job seriously, and right now, my main focus is to protect you and your baby.”
“I get it,” she sighed.
“Perhaps a bit of company… other than me… would help you feel better?” he asked, smiling when she seemed to perk up at the suggestion.
When he’d told Elsa about Emma’s predicament, his sister-in-law was quick to not only help him with the prophecy, but ready to pack up and bring her family to Storybrooke.
In a way, he supposed he owed Emma. It had been awhile since he’d seen Elsa since she’d remarried and followed her husband to New York. It was hard for Killian to leave his pack behind, and quite a trip for his young niece.
He missed them fiercely. So despite the circumstances, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t at least a bit grateful.
There was a pack in New York that was made up of strays and drifters, just like Storybrooke. Despite the distance, they’d been allies, and as such they were always ready to come running if need be. That was how Elsa had met Jefferson to begin with.
One of Rumple’s dispatchers had gone after Liam and Elsa. There was no mistake. Liam had seen them coming. He’d been able to take out the other wolf, but not without losing his own life in the process. Perhaps it was because he was protecting his wife and child, putting more care into their safety than his own. Elsa carried unnecessary guilt over it, but Killian knew his brother would do it all over again without hesitation.
Killian took care of her, and when Gracie arrived, he cared for her too. Several members of the New York pack stayed behind to help keep everything from falling apart.
Storybrooke reorganized and declared Killian their new leader. It was the last thing he wanted, but he didn’t have the heart to let all his brother worked for go to waste.
“So who’s going to be my new best friend?” Emma asked. Again, her words were laced with a sarcastic tone, but this time, she seemed more amused than annoyed by the situation.
“My sister-in-law,” he stated. He didn’t care that she’d remarried. Hell, he loved Jefferson, and was even the best man at their wedding. But Elsa would always be his family. “You’ll like her, actually. She’s a bit like you.”
Emma raised an eyebrow and laughed. “Is that a compliment?”
“If you want it to be,” he chuckled. “She’s also a witch.”
“So you hired me a tutor?” she asked.
“Why is everything an argument with you?” he groaned. “Yes, she will most likely want to help you with your magic. No, I am not paying her to tutor you. But she’s also bringing her husband and my niece. So-”
“You get to have a guy's night, and we get to be little happy housewives?” When he growled at her, she smirked. “I’m just kidding. Yikes. David said you had a temper, but he didn’t say you were this touchy.”
“He did say you were this difficult,” he muttered, but the statement only seemed to amuse Emma more.
Emma tossed and turned for the better part of an hour. She’d opened the window, hoping a nice sea breeze would help calm… whatever the hell was going on with her.
The moment she’d stepped foot off the plane, she wondered if she’d made a mistake. Asking David for help was really a last ditch effort to fix the mess she’d made of her life, but was it the best choice?
Up until she was 16, Emma had bounced from home to home. An orphan with no past, and seemingly no future -that was until David and his mother found her. She never thought that she might have family other than the parents who had abandoned her, yet there they were. An Aunt and a cousin.
She never really asked why they’d bothered to look for her, and she never pried into their lives for any information on her mother. It was a sore subject for everyone, and Emma didn’t want to open that particular wound. Even after David’s mother, her Aunt Ruth, passed away, she buried the questions. When David tried to talk to her about it, she simply said she didn’t want to know.
It wasn’t exactly the truth. Part of her did want to know. But another part of her reminded her that despite the circumstances, she’d found her family, and her mother -and whoever her father was- deserved no part of it.
David was the best family anyone could ask for. It was just the two of them now, and even though she’d been a world away, they were still close. That was why she asked him for help in the first place. Unfortunately, as eager as he was to help, he was also prone to going overboard with the overprotectiveness.
Hence the babysitter.
She understood that in her circumstance, a supernatural protector was much better than a human. Guns didn’t do much damage against magic. David’s wife, Mary Margaret, was a wolf like Killian, but she’d also just given birth about a month before Emma arrived. A new mom was too busy protecting her own. She didn’t need a wayward stray -especially not one that brought a world of trouble trailing behind her.
Besides, Killian was the Alpha, and David made sure she understood that when it came to protecting the pack, he was the man in charge. And when Killian said he took his job seriously, she knew he meant it.
There was something about him though. Something that triggered that need in her to butt heads with him. Granted, that was usually her default state. She butted heads with most people. Even David. That was why she’d run off to England in the first place. She wanted to find her way on her own, and it felt like the furthest away from anyone who might want to reel her in.
Now she was here, completely reeled in. Finding one’s place in the world really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
A sharp knock on her door startled her.
“Emma?” Killian called.
She grabbed at the comforter and covered herself. She wasn’t indecent, but she wasn’t wearing much. No need to give Killian any ideas. “Yeah,” she answered once she was sure she was semi presentable.
Killian opened the door and frowned at the open window. “Really?” he asked.
Emma wondered how he knew.
“I can’t set the alarm with an open window,” he said, answering her unspoken question. “And what the bloody hell are you thinking, luv?”
“It’s warm,” she lied.
Killian crossed the room and shut the window. “It’s not. And you really should be more careful. It’s bad enough that someone could break in through the window. There’s no need to just let them in.”
“And if it gets too hot?” she snapped.
“I’ll bring you a fan,” he growled as he left the room. The door didn’t slam, but it didn’t close gently either.
“Well that could have gone better,” Emma grumbled. Though she wasn’t sure how. Killian Jones was infuriating.
Here it is! The next installment of “Waning Moon” for @cssns! Once again, thank you to my lovely beta @snowbellewells for all you do!
Also, thank you for the beautiful chapter art created by @mariakov81 She’s done all the art for this story and it is just amazing!!!!
Killian barely had time to open his arms for his niece, who all but took a flying leap at him.
“Woah there, lass,” he laughed as he lifted her into a tight hug. It had been nearly a year since he’d seen her last. She’d gotten taller, her hair longer. It had darkend some, more closely resembling his brother’s than Elsa’s now.
Her features made her Elsa’s little twin, save for her eyes. They were all Liam. A striking blue that often had him missing his brother a little more every time he looked into them.
“She’s full of energy,” Elsa warned -a little too late- as she came into the house. “We tried to make a few pitstops, but there’s no appeasing her brand of restlessness.”
He supposed that part of her personality came from her Aunt Anna.
“Well there’s plenty of room for you to run that off here,” Killian teased as Gracie giggled.
Jefferson came in next, toting a few bags. There was a look on his face that Killian assumed meant they needed to talk. He wasn’t really sure what Jefferson’s Alpha thought of the move, and he was even less sure that they’d stand by Storybrooke in the situation. Allies or not, Rumplestiltskin was someone most knew not to tangle with.
“Why don’t we get you settled?” Killian suggested. “Emma’s resting right now, so we can worry about introductions later.” He would rather everyone get to know one another first, then get into the difficult discussions later, but with Emma not feeling well-
“I promise I don’t have bad news,” Jefferson stated, interrupting his thoughts and easing his worries all at the same time.
“You have our support,” Jefferson stated once everyone was settled. Killian glanced out the window to where Elsa was helping Grace explore the backyard. He hated the thought that his family might be in danger again.
This time, it would be his fault.
“Hey,” Jefferson snapped his fingers to get his attention. “They’ll be okay.”
“Are you certain?” Killian asked.
“There’s safety in numbers,” Jefferson reminded him. “And when I said you have our support, I didn’t mean just me and Elsa.” He shrugged, “I guess when your pack is a bunch of nomads, picking up and moving isn’t a problem.”
The whole pack?
“It won’t be an issue, right?” Jefferson continued. “We’ve shared space before with no problems.”
They had. It was how Jefferson and Elsa met. Killian had let the pack in when they had nowhere else to go. It wasn’t long before Lancelot, their Alpha, decided it was time to move on and find a more permanent home. But while they shared space, there was no conflict.
He couldn’t imagine the pack would be on board with uprooting their lives again though.
“You’re overthinking it,” Jefferson laughed. “Ultimately, it’s your call, but Lancelot is ready to move if necessary.”
“I’d hate to think you’d be giving up your home for a fight that isn’t even yours.”
“But it is ours,” Jefferson countered. “Do you really think he’ll stop with Storybrooke? Rumple is drunk on power right now. He’s already attacked two other packs in England.”
Killian had heard the rumors, but he wasn’t certain of their validity until Jefferson confirmed it. Lancelot hadn’t been in the states very long. His contacts were somewhat better than the ones Killian still had overseas. He couldn’t imagine they’d say anything they weren’t completely sure of.
“It’ll be a couple months,” Jefferson continued. “To move everyone that is. Provided there’s room?”
“We’ll make it work,” Killian agreed. It would be a tight squeeze at first, but if his council agreed, they would find a way. “I’m assuming Lance is planning waves for his movement?”
That settled it. He'd talk to Graham, Ruby, and Mary Margaret about the proposal that evening.
Life with Killian Jones wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but Emma had grown used to it. Like David, he was overprotective, but she seemed to butt heads with him more than she ever had with her cousin.
Still, there was a side to him that she was certain he didn’t show to others very often. She very much doubted anyone would dare call him soft, but she found he could be incredibly gentle and sweet when he wanted to be.
Granted, it seemed to be a side of him reserved only for his niece, but it was there nonetheless.
If she were being completely honest, despite the personality conflicts that rose up from time to time, she very much enjoyed staying with Killian and his family.
Gracie was a bundle of energy that Emma couldn’t help but adore. The little girl followed her around so much when they’d first arrived, that Elsa started getting annoyed.
“Will you please let Miss Emma have some space?” she’d demanded on several occasions.
The neverending questions could be tiresome, but for the most part, having Gracie around was not only delightful, it kept Killian in a much better mood when she was present.
The day Elsa and Jefferson found their own home, Emma missed them before they’d even loaded up their truck. Logically, she knew they were practically around the corner and would be over often, but she would miss the chaos they brought to Killian’s quiet home.There would be no more early morning wake-ups, and no more midnight snacks with the rebellious Gracie.
Mostly, she missed having a 24/7 access-line to Elsa, who had very quickly become one of her best friends.
She refused to cry, even as their truck pulled out of the driveway. Killian however, intuitive as ever, placed a hand on her shoulder. “They’re not far, luv. I’m certain you can always sneak Gracie over if you want to have ice cream socials in the middle of the night.”
Emma spun to look at him and found him smirking. “But… how?”
“To the untrained ear, you’re likely very sneaky,” he stated. “But to me, it sounded like a herd of wild elephants trampling through the house.”
She rolled her eyes. Sure, he had what she liked to call “super-sonic hearing” but he was exaggerating.
A new moon.
A baby’s cries.
Emma gasped as she jolted back to awareness. She opened her eyes and noted Elsa still sitting across from her in the grass. Her friend was frowning, though it didn’t seem to be in disappointment.
It was concern.
“What did you see?” Elsa asked, “because whatever it was seemed pretty intense.”
“Not much,” Emma admitted. Her vision had been as dark as the night it presented to her. Mostly, she didn’t see anything. It was sounds and sensations that seemed to ring through. “I know you said I have to try and stay in these things, but-”
“It’s hard sometimes,” Elsa nodded. “Trust me, I know. Being an Oracle isn’t just about seeing things. It’s the whole package. Like you’re living that exact moment. And sometimes, it gets too intense. Especially when you’re just starting out.”
She should have more experience than this. At her age, most witches were already adept at working with and controlling their gifts. Unfortunately, she’d never gotten the proper training she needed to master her powers.
Now Elsa was stuck picking up the slack.
“Maybe this witch thing just isn’t for me,” Emma sighed. Despite the fact that they were only sitting on the grass, the visions were wearing her out. Tapping into whatever it was that fed the images to her mind was exhausting, draining her of what little energy she had.
“That’s not true, Emma,” Elsa said. “Look, why don’t we take a break for now? You can get some rest, and we can pick it up again tomorrow.”
Elsa was so sweet and patient that Emma hated being so cranky. Still, she managed to refrain from outright quitting -even though she knew tomorrow would yield the same results. Instead, she just nodded.
“Everything all right over here?” Killian asked as he approached them.
“Yeah,” Emma lied. “Just decided we needed a break.” Elsa didn’t say anything to contradict her, so Emma counted that as a win. She held her hand out and smiled up at Killian. “Help me up?”
She wasn’t big by any stretch of the imagination. Her bump was barely there as she neared twelve weeks. But between magic and growing a baby, simple things like standing up after a training session could be a challenge sometimes.
Killian chuckled and took her hand. As she stood, a wave of dizziness hit her, nearly knocking her right back down.
“Woah!” Killian steadied her against him so she wouldn’t fall. “Are you all right there, lass?”
She tried not to think about how good it felt to be in his arms, and she especially tried not to think about how delicious he smelled. The clean soapy scent mixed with a hint of the salty sea they lived near made her head spin.
“Emma?” Killian asked, his tone filled with worry as he lifted her off the ground and into his arms.
“Let’s get her into bed,” she heard Elsa say.
Emma made an attempt to tell them she was fine, but her mouth was dry and a wave of nausea came over her.
That was definitely not because of Killian.
Hormones at bay, she closed her eyes and tried not to think about the sick feeling in her stomach. She tried even harder to concentrate on Killian’s steadiness and not on how his hurried pace was making her symptoms worse.
It did her no good. Before she had the chance to warn anyone, she found herself retching, losing what little lunch she was able to eat all over Killian.
“Tub first,” Elsa instructed. “I’ll help her get cleaned up and you…”
Emma could almost picture the face Elsa was making at Killian.
“Me what?” he asked.
“Yeah, you take a shower too,” Elsa finished.
Emma’s eyes blinked open and she smiled when she noticed Grace lying next to her on the bed, just staring at her. “Hey,” she whispered.
“I’m not supposed to be here,” Grace announced. “But Uncle Ian said you didn’t feel well, and I wanted to make sure you were okay.”
She tried to piece together everything that had happened after she’d vomited all over Killian, but was at a loss. Logically, she knew Elsa had helped her clean up and had gotten her into bed, but she couldn’t seem to recall any of it.
God. I threw up all over Killain. After swooning over him.
“Are you okay?” Grace asked, looking impatient.
“I feel a lot better now,” Emma assured her, though she didn’t attempt to sit up. Her stomach felt settled, but she didn't want to tempt it with any sudden movement.
“Is your baby gonna be my cousin?” Grace asked.
Emma wasn’t really sure how to answer that. Despite the fact that this was now home and her son would be a part of this pack, he wasn’t really related to anyone save for her and David.
Still impatient, Grace sighed. “Because I heard Uncle Ian tell my Mama that your baby is his heir, so that makes him your baby’s Papa and my cousin, right?”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “You’re too smart for your own good. You know that, right?”
Grace wrinkled her nose and frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded.
“It’s a compliment,” Emma insisted.
A short moment of silence passed, then Grace spoke again. “So, is your baby my cousin? Did you marry my Uncle? How come he never told me about you?”
They were all questions she’d never asked before, but Emma chalked it up to Grace being a little more shy when they’d first met. A few midnight ice cream socials obviously made the little girl a bit more brave with her line of questioning.
“It’s complicated,” was the only answer Emma could come up with.
That on its own was an understatement. In an attempt to protect Emma’s son, Killian had named him his heir. She wasn’t sure how that would offer better protection, but Killian insisted it would.
“Gracie Lynn Jones.”
Killian didn’t yell, but Emma heard the stern note in his words. Grace frowned as she sat up and looked at her Uncle.
“You know you’re not supposed to be in here,” he said. “Your mother is looking for you. Why don’t you go downstairs now?”
“Sorry, Uncle Ian,” Grace said as she stood. Her head hung low as she walked out the door.
“Don’t be too hard on her,” Emma said. “She just wanted to make sure I was okay.”
Killian sat down next to her on the edge of the bed. “She’s got a big heart,” he agreed. “I also came up to see how you were doing.”
She didn’t try to sit up, still not ready to trust her stomach. “Better,” she said. “But not completely okay.”
He tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “That’s all right. You just get the rest you need.”
“I’m sorry I threw up on you.”
“It’s all right,” he laughed.
He continued to play with her hair, and she didn’t want to stop him. It was sweet and comforting all at the same time. She could feel herself starting to doze off again when he spoke.
“Elsa said you might have had a rough vision,” he said. “Did you want to talk about it?”
It wasn’t so much that the vision was rough, just the sensations that came along with it. Before she started working with Elsa, her visions came on their own and were usually hazy and difficult to understand. She’d never felt anything with them. They were just waking dreams that happened to show up from time to time.
Now, she was purposely going into trances to bring the visions out. It was as though the universe was attempting to punish her by making them clearer and more painful. Elsa said that she could never truly control her visions, but that calling them forward was a perfectly natural and normal thing for a witch to do.
“I just wish that I had been given a different gift,” Emma mumbled. There were so many out there that didn’t deal with the inner workings of the mind or visions of the future. She envied witches that could freeze time or make plants grow. They seemed to be much safer options.
Killian stood up, and Emma wondered if she’d somehow offended him. A witch that complained about her gifts was often frowned upon in the magical community. She wondered how wolves felt about that. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to keep the tears at bay. How could she upset the one person who had taken her in, no questions asked? Who had gone out of his way to find her a tutor so she could learn how to harness and control her powers? How could she-
Her thoughts were interrupted when she felt the bed move. She opened her eyes to find Killian lying down where Grace once was. He reached over and took Emma’s hand in his and gave it a squeeze.
“There was a time when I would have done anything to lift this curse from myself,” he stated. “To lift it from my family. I hated the fact that we were being punished for something we had nothing to do with.”
“Punished?” she asked.
“It was so long ago,” he explained. “Generations. No one truly knows why we were cursed anymore. I hated that. Hated being a wolf. Hated being so out of control that I dreaded every full moon.”
“I hated it so much that I refused to ever pass it along to anyone else. Even after I learned how to control myself, I still didn’t think it fair to subject anyone to such a life,” he explained. “Liam and I had one of our worst fights the day he told me Elsa was pregnant. I was so angry that he’d damn another innocent being to a life like ours. Especially like ours.”
“What changed?” she asked. Something had to have happened to change his point of view. Knowing him now, she never would have guessed that he would ever be upset about an addition to the family.
“Gracie,” he admitted. “When Liam passed, I took care of Elsa. I had come around to the idea by that time, but I still wasn’t happy about it. But then, Gracie was born. She was a spitfire from the start, and the last piece of my brother left on this earth. How could I be anything but happy when I still had a bit of my brother with me?”
She didn’t know what to say to that.
“You’re a powerful witch, Emma,” he said. “And you have magnificent gifts that could prove useful in your life. But you don’t have to like it. You can hate it. It’s an inconvenience. We aren’t considered ‘normal’ and people hate us for what we are. No one can fault you for wanting something different for yourself.”
“For my son too?” she asked.
“For him too,” he agreed.
Knowing that Killian wasn’t going to judge her for the way she felt about her powers helped Emma feel more at ease with her struggles.
She couldn’t deny that working with Elsa was helping despite how draining it could be. The most noticeable benefit was that her visions didn’t come out of nowhere anymore. They were definitely more intense and difficult, but for the most part, they came at her command.
On occasion, a vision would still sneak through. Elsa warned her that she might never have full control over that. Usually it happened when she was exhausted or overwhelmed, which was a problem she was dealing with more and more every day.
It seemed that growing a living thing from scratch was exhausting work.
She discovered quickly that she was grateful for Storybrooke. Everyone and everything was so close. Granted, Killian rarely let her out of his sight, but at least he wasn’t averse to shuttling her around when she needed to go to her appointments, or even when she just wanted to go visit David and Mary Margaret.
The situation wasn’t perfect, and she often felt as if she were on a short leash, but was still grateful that Killian was someone she could depend on.
Someone she could trust.
Not that she didn’t trust the other people in her life, but Killian seemed to understand her on a level that no one else did. He could listen and understand where she was coming from. They were both orphans. Both of them were given a difficult hand in life. Neither wanted the supposed gifts they’d been born with.
Emma was learning to live with the fact that she couldn’t change her circumstances. Suppressing her powers would only cause more problems in the long run, and controlling them gave her relief from them running wild.
Still, there were some days when she didn’t want to learn to live with any of it.
Today was one of those days.
It shouldn’t have been one of those days. It should have been a much happier day. Emma had had a great appointment, and felt the first kicks from her son. The weight she felt though eclipsed the joy she should have been feeling.
“You’re quiet today, luv,” Killian observed as he sat on the opposite side of the couch. “Everything seemed fine earlier. What happened?”
“I was just thinking,” Emma sighed.
She wasn’t sure how much she wanted to say, and Killian didn’t press her. Instead, he scooted closer to her and wrapped an arm around her. “You go ahead and think,” he said. “Just know that I’m here.”
Nearly four months ago, Emma might have recoiled at the gesture, but now, she rested her head on his shoulder and found comfort in his embrace.
“I love my son,” she said softly.
“I’ve no doubt about that,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean I have any idea what I’m doing,” she continued. “I have no clue how to be a mother.”
“You’re not doing this alone, Emma,” he reminded her. “And even if you were, I’ve no doubt that you are going to be an excellent mother. But do remember that you’ve got plenty of people ready and willing to help you out. People who have already been there for you.”
“Where is this all coming from?” he asked.
“I just feel like I’ve failed him already,” she said. “I mean, the only reason he exists is because I was stupid. That’s not his fault, but he’s still being punished for it.”
“His sperm donor is a piece of work,” she explained, though she had the feeling she didn’t have to. “I had to get protection because apparently, I had to go and get pregnant by the son of one of the worst monsters out there. So, my son’s life is probably going to always be in some sort of danger, and that’s my fault.” She hated feeling this way. Hated that when it all boiled down to it, her baby was probably living on borrowed time. It was no secret that Rumplestitlskin feared the prophecy that foretold his downfall, and her baby was supposed to be that downfall. “I wish…” she frowned. “I wish I’d been smarter. That I hadn’t fallen in with Neal and his crowd. I love my son,” she said again. “But I hate who his father is.”
Killian fell silent for more than a few minutes. Just as Emma began to worry that she’d unloaded too much, he took a deep breath and spoke.
“Neal is an idiot,” he stated. “And you can hate him for everything he’s done to the both of you. But don’t hate your son’s father.”
“Your son is my heir,” he said. “That makes him my son.”
“That’s… not how it works.”
“Perhaps not genetically,” he agreed. “But Neal abandoned you, and therefore, abandoned your baby. In my eyes, he’s got no claim to the child.”
It sounded entirely too good to be true. Honestly though, it just sounded like a lot of gray area. There was no way it would ever be upheld in court. Not if Neal came back and demanded his son.
What would happen then?
“Pack politics work differently than those of the mortal world,” he explained as though he heard all her silent questions. “I said he’s mine, you agreed, and that means he’s mine. This is his pack.”
“So that’s what you meant when you said being your heir would give him more protection,” she mused. “But… you didn’t ask for any of this. Why would you put yourself right in the middle with a woman you hardly know and a baby you didn’t ask for?” She was completely overwhelmed, unsure of whether she was going to smile or burst into tears.
Maybe both. Dammit, pregnancy hormones were horrible.
Her heart started racing when he placed his hand on her belly. “I saw him kicking around on the screen,” he said, not answering her question so much in words, but in action.
Emma sighed and closed her eyes as Killian tried to feel for kicking. It was so easy to relax and just enjoy the moment for once. There was something soothing about the way Killian was running his hand over her stomach.
Slowly, she drifted off into a half-sleep, barely aware of the world around her.
A baby’s laughter echoed through the room.
A little boy with a mess of brown hair poked his head into the room. His big brown eyes lit up when he caught sight of Killian. “I finded you!”
She snapped back to the present, unsure of how to process the scene that had unfolded in her mind.
“You disappeared for a moment,” he said. “Everything all right?”
She was all too aware of his hand still chasing baby kicks around her belly. Was the boy in her vision her son?
Was the baby… theirs?
“I think I just need a nap,” she lied. She wasn’t even remotely tired, but she needed to escape. It felt as though everything was closing in and that she was running out of room to breathe.
Killian jumped up to help her, looking more concerned than suspicious about her obvious lie. She tried to tell him she was fine and that she could definitely walk to her room all by herself, but that only seemed to worry him more.
“You saw something,” he guessed. “That’s why you zoned out, isn’t it?”
“I don’t really want to talk about it.” Her words were rushed, which likely didn’t help his own panic. How could she convince him it was nothing when she couldn’t calm herself down?
“You don’t have to talk,” he soothed. He wrapped her into a hug, and she once again relaxed into the comfort his hold provided. “But you can’t expect me not to worry when you panic like that. I can only assume that what you saw was bad, and if there’s anything I can do to help, I’d like you to at least give me that opportunity.”
It wasn’t bad though. At least, on its surface, the vision seemed almost sweet. But she was barely wrapping her head around having one child… was she really going to find her entire future here? With Killian?
With another baby?
“I can’t do this,” she stated, pulling from his hold. He didn’t give chase when she left him standing there, likely more confused than ever. But she needed to be alone. Needed the comfort that only a locked door and a nest of blankets could provide.
He thought about calling Mary Margaret first, but even though she was someone Emma considered family, everyone knew she had a difficult time keeping secrets. If Emma truly didn’t want him to know what was going on, she would not trust Mary Margaret with that information.
That was when Elsa arrived, ready for magic lessons.
While he wasn’t sure Emma would open up about what she’d seen, he knew that Elsa might be able to calm her down a bit.
There was a part of him that was hurt by her hiding from him. Up until her vision, Emma seemed to trust him. What had she seen that would have caused her to close up all over again?
Two hours later, Elsa was back on her way out. She didn’t mention anything about Emma’s vision, only that she was doing well with her lessons. After she left, Killian waited. He wanted to give Emma time to come to him, but after ten minutes, his impatience got the better of him.
He stopped to make a cup of tea for her, hoping the peace offering would help. As he made his way upstairs, he silently rehearsed what he was going to say to Emma.
“I’m sorry,” she said, meeting him at the door. He’d half expected it to be locked, so the fact that it was open was a nice surprise. “I wasn’t trying to upset you, I just…” she frowned, seemingly unable to find the words she was looking for.
“You were overwhelmed,” he offered, holding up the cup of tea. “And you’re perhaps still a bit overwhelmed now?”
She nodded as she took the cup from him. “Thank you,” she whispered. “I’m not really ready to go into detail, but maybe we could talk?”
“Of course,” he agreed. He followed her into her bedroom, and they both sat on the bed. The lights were dimmed, and he could smell the lingering of the magic that had been used.
Mostly though, he just smelled Emma: A sweet, cinnamon and vanilla type scent that sent his hormones into overdrive. It took everything he had just to control himself around her. He wondered if that was part of the reason she had withdrawn. Had he crossed a line and frightened her? Or perhaps he was trying to be closer than she preferred.
Either way, he hated the distance she’d put between them, and was grateful that she seemed to be closing it once again. When she didn’t say anything, he took her hand in his, brushing small circles with his thumb. “You don’t have to tell me everything,” he said gently. “Just what you’re comfortable with.”
“Elsa said that visions are a prediction based on the path you’re on,” Emma stated. “That they’re not always something that can be changed, but in some circumstances, they can.”
“So you want to change what you saw?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she muttered. “It’s hard to explain.”
Hard to explain, but she refused to give him any details. Great.
“All right, Swan,” he said. “Say you’d like to change what you saw. What actions would we have to take to put that change in motion?”
“I’d have to move.” Her words were so soft, he almost didn’t hear them.
“Move?” he asked. When she nodded, his heart dropped. As much as he didn’t want to have to deal with this mess in the beginning, he’d hate it if Emma left now. “Is it that bad?”
Emma shook her head, and though the lights were low, he could swear he spied a few tears falling from her cheeks. “It wasn’t bad at all. I just… I don’t know what to do, Killian.”
“One day at a time,” he said. “But please don’t leave, luv.” He was begging, and probably sounded too needy, but he didn’t care. He wanted Emma here, with him. Not only because she was safest there, but because he hated the idea of being without her.
When had that happened?
Emma looked up at him, eyes still dotted with tears. “You really don’t want me to go?”
“Whatever you’re warring with, we can get through it together.”
He only meant to hug her - a gesture meant to comfort, nothing more. But the moment he put his arm around her, Emma was kissing him.
It was tentative at first, but Emma quickly switched gears. She threaded her fingers in his hair and straddled his lap. He groaned and palmed her ass as she moved against him. He could feel her heat through their clothes, and the smell of her arousal surrounded him.
“Swan…” he murmured against her lips. He hated the horrified look on her face when he stopped her. She looked as though she were about to apologize. “I just wanted to suggest that we close the blinds,” he said, before she could retreat. He nodded towards the window and chuckled when she noticed it was open. “Wouldn’t want to give the neighbors a show, would we?”
“I…” she gave him a smile, though she still looked unsure. “You’re okay with this?”
He chuckled and rolled his hips up into hers, reveling in the soft moan that escaped her lips. “What do you think, luv?”
There was a small part of him that just wanted to take her right then and there. But this was Emma. She deserved better than just a quick romp. Especially right now. She’d been through so much, and her ex had left her so defeated.
She deserved special.
Two days later, Emma was back at it with magic practice. She’d tried to explain to Elsa what had happened -minus the sex- and described the vision she’d had. Despite the fact that she trusted him, she still felt dropping a bombshell like that on him was a bad idea.
“You should tell him,” Elsa said. “Because if you really think about it, this is his future too. He should get a say in it.”
“Really?” Emma asked. She did find it a little unfair to keep her visions from Killian, but she was afraid of his reaction to this one in particular. It wasn’t just a quick glimpse into the future, it was a possibility of love, family…
And for Killian, it would be the possibility of being even more tied down than he already was.
But would he really feel that way?
Over the past few days, Killian had made it perfectly clear that he was not having second thoughts about their current situation.
“You know I’m right, Emma,” Elsa sighed.
She was. No matter which way she looked at it, the future she’d seen had very much involved Killian. Not that she wasn’t enjoying the here and now. Killian seemed to enjoy it too. But did they have different ideas about what it all meant?
Was she leading him on?
There had been four more visions since the first, each more detailed than the one before it.
The biggest thing she noticed was the tone. When she worked with Elsa, she often had intense, and at times painful, visions.
These visions were happy.
“Okay.” Elsa stood, then helped Emma up. “I’m not going to tell you what to do, but just think about it? I know Killian can be a little difficult at times, and you two tend to butt heads, but he’s a good guy. You know very well that if he were having visions about you, that he wouldn’t hesitate to share them.”
She was right about that.
“I’ll talk to him,” Emma agreed, smiling when Elsa nodded in approval.
When Elsa left, Emma had every intention of heading into the shed to find Killian and tell him what she’d seen. She made it as far as the shed, and then whatever courage she had mustered up fled without warning.
She wasn’t sure what happened exactly. Maybe it was the fact that the thought of telling him was terrifying, or maybe it was the troubled look she saw on his face when she walked into the shed. Maybe it was a bit of both.
“Killian?” she asked. He was always so perceptive, picking up on any tiny sound or scent, yet now, he didn’t even seem to notice her arrival.
He startled out of whatever trance he was in.
So he hadn’t noticed her.
“Apologies, Swan,” he muttered. “How was your lesson? I’m assuming you’re finished?” He’d made it a point to give her and Elsa some space while they worked, especially since every time he’d been near, things seemed to go awry.
“It was fine,” Emma said. “But you seem upset about something. Is everything okay?”
“We should go back inside,” he said, offering no explanation.
Emma wondered if maybe Elsa was wrong. Obviously something was bothering him, but he wasn’t being very forthcoming. If he could keep secrets, why was it so bad for her to do the same?
He was quiet when they were in the house. She wanted to ask again if everything was all right, but knew that pressing him wasn’t the answer. Gently, she took his hand and led him over to the sofa. If he didn’t want to talk, he didn’t want to talk. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t be there for him, just as he’d continued to be there for her.
“You don’t have to tell me,” she stated, somehow speaking to both him and her own conscience at the same time. “I’m here though.”
“I want to tell you, luv,” he admitted. “I just…” he took a deep breath and shook his head. “It’s not very good news.”
It took him some time, but eventually, he was able to tell her what he’d heard. Lancelot had gotten information that Neal had somehow found out about her pregnancy. That might not have been the most ideal situation, but Emma wasn’t too worried until Killian told her the rest.
Neal was under the assumption that his son would be useful in the feud against Rumplestiltskin.
“Dammit,” Emma grumbled. It was the prophecy coming into play right before her eyes. Up until now, she hadn’t put much stock in it, and while Killian had been more serious about it, he too wasn’t certain of how valid it was.
“There’s been no movement as of yet,” he assured her. “And as far as we know, Rumplestiltskin is still in the dark. Neal isn’t going to want to reveal his ace until it’s time, and the less his father knows, the better it is for us.”
Emma had never met Rumplestilskin, and Killian had been a child the last time their paths had crossed. What she knew about her ex’s father though, was that he often knew more than he ever let on. While she was certain that Lancelot’s intel was solid, Rumple had a better poker-face than his son.
Emma’s hands settled on her stomach as she frowned. Everything was crashing down. Would this new information derail the visions she’d been having? Would she never even get a chance to know the happiness they contained?
“Hey,” Killian brushed her hair behind her ear. “We’ll be fine. Nothing’s going to happen to him.”
“Henry,” she said.
“Yeah,” she nodded. “I’m going to name him Henry.”
“That’s a good name,” he said with a smile. He leaned over and dropped a quick kiss on her shoulder. “And we can stop calling him ‘the baby’ now, aye?”
Despite the fear bubbling up in the pit of her stomach, she giggled. “Aye,” she said, doing a terrible impression of his accent.
“Hilarious, Swan,” he sassed.
She tried to keep the momentum going, tried to keep from letting terror wash over her. “Killian?” she asked as he nuzzled her neck. He seemed pretty intent on something less humorous, but a distraction just the same.
He pressed another kiss behind her ear. “No one’s coming to bother us tonight,” he whispered. “Why don’t we distract ourselves with some more enjoyable activities?”
As always, thank you to my awesome beta @snowbellewells ! Chapter cover by @mariakov81 Don’t forget to check out all the amazing art she’s done for this story!
“Full moon tonight,” Emma mumbled, still half asleep. She was actively trying to hide her face from the sunlight peeking through the curtains.
She noted that he felt warmer than normal. It was welcome in the frigid morning, but meant that he was nearing transformation.
Emma wasn’t ready for that.
He’d nearly lost his mind when she told him of her accident with Neal. It wasn’t something she’d ever planned on telling him, but it was impossible to hide the scar on her back.
It was an old wound, something that happened when Neal lost control during a full moon, but that didn’t diffuse Killian’s anger. There was a part of her that wondered if he’d hunt the man down and kill him. The other part of her didn’t know if she’d stop him if he tried.
Killian mumbled something in his sleep. She wasn’t even sure he’d heard her.
“Killian?” She asked.
“Aye?” He sounded slightly more alert, but his voice was still thick with sleep.
“Do you have…” she frowned, unable to find the words. Did he have what? A plan? Control? How was he so relaxed right now?
Maybe they should have discussed this days ago.
“You’ll be safe,” he assured her. “Unlike others,” he growled, and Emma knew exactly who he meant, “I can control myself. And you wouldn’t be here if I thought it was a risk.”
“Still…” she shifted when he turned to face her. “You’re still-“
“A wild animal?” He finished for her.
She felt ashamed for even thinking such a thing. He’d been nothing but kind to her, and she was treating him like he was no better than Neal. “Sorry,” she whispered.
“Hey,” he pulled her closer. “If it bothers you, I can stay outside.”
“That’s unfair,” she argued.
“No,” he disagreed. “It’s perfectly natural for you to be afraid. Especially since that arse could have killed you. And there’s always a risk, no matter how in control someone is.”
“You can’t just lock yourself outside every full moon,” she reasoned. Then there was Henry. At some point, her son would transform too. Would she lock him out as well?
“Slow and steady,” he said. “I can take the watch this week. You and Elsa can stay here while Jefferson and I patrol. We can ease into all of this at your pace.”
The first night, Emma stayed in with Elsa. Grace followed Mary Margaret around outside. Emma felt guilty knowing the girl stayed away because of her, but Elsa assured her that Grace preferred to run around during Moon-time.
“It’s only when they get older that they’d rather stay in and get belly rubs,” Elsa laughed. “Gracie still loves to venture out, and a new place to play is always going to call to her.”
Emma wondered if she was joking about the belly rubs. She couldn’t imagine Killian acting anything like a lap dog.
“Do you ever worry?” Emma asked. “About… you know…” She hated asking. For all the time she’d known Elsa and her family, it was clear it was built on love and trust. She didn’t feel right questioning that.
“I did at first,” Elsa confirmed. “With Liam.”
Elsa shrugged. “I was right to. After all, I was stepping into a situation I knew nothing about. He understood that, and we built that trust over time. It was easier with Jefferson. I’d been a part of Killian’s pack for some time when I first met my husband. He was friends with Killian, so I knew he could be trusted. We still took our time though. Sometimes… I still wonder if things would be different if I’d been more like my sister.”
“You have a sister?”
“Yeah,” Elsa laughed. “A completely normal, non-magical sister. She married a hockey player.”
It sounded wonderful. No magic, no crazy visions. She could bring Henry into a world where he wouldn’t be in danger.
A howl caught her attention, and she pulled the curtain back to glance outside. A black wolf stood guard near the house.
He seemed alert, but not on edge. Whatever he was howling at wasn’t a danger to her.
She wasn’t quite sure how she knew that.
“Sometimes they just like to howl at things,” Elsa answered the unspoken question. Seconds later, another chorus of howls joined.
The fear she’d felt up until this point had dissipated, and instead of wanting to hide, Emma felt what could only be described as a pull. Towards what, she could only guess was Killian.
Memories of her visions flashed in her mind. The harder she tried to push them back, the louder they became - echoing until she couldn’t deny that they were there, and there was no escaping them.
“Do wolves have soul mates?” Emma asked.
Elsa seemed caught off guard by the question. “They do have the tendency to mate for life, but as for an actual soul mate situation? I’m not sure I believe in that. In general, I mean. I believe we make our own fate.”
“But we’re Oracles,” Emma said. “Doesn’t that mean there’s some sort of pre-destiny going on there?” What about the very prophecy that had put her in this situation to begin with?
“Even as Oracles, we know things can change,” Elsa reminded her. “Our visions can only predict what will happen on the path we’re currently traveling. Sure, there might be a point of no return, like with Henry. He exists, and there's really no turning back. But those visions you want to keep denying? You can still change all that.”
Emma wasn’t sure she wanted to.
“I really think our visions just give us the tools we need to make the best choices for our situations,” she added. “Or… whoever’s situation you’re trying to help.”
She seemed so sure of herself, that Emma couldn’t help but wonder. “Have you ever had a vision that didn’t come true?”
Her friend’s face fell. “Just one,” she admitted. “Liam and I… I saw a son. Unfortunately, the world seemed to have other plans.”
Emma’s heart ached for Elsa as a new fear settled over her. She’d been so adamant about pushing Killian away, that she didn’t even think of the consequences. What if she’d already ruined it?
As scary as it was to see herself putting her heart into someone else’s hands, the thought of losing Killian was even scarier.
When Emma woke the next morning, Killian was sleeping soundly by her side. Before she got out of bed, she took a moment to take a good look at him. He looked peaceful in his sleep, but also thoroughly exhausted.
Not wanting to accidentally disturb him, she snuck out of the room and made her way downstairs.
She was nearly done making breakfast when she heard the creak of the stairs.
“I smell bacon,” Killian stated.
“Good thing I made extra,” Emma quipped. “Shouldn’t you be sleeping?” He still looked exhausted, and she couldn’t help but feel just a little guilty. He’d stayed out all night because of her.
Killian shook his head. “I’m fine, Swan.”
“Coffee then?” She asked.
“Aye, thank you.”
She busied herself around the kitchen, trying desperately to keep herself from focusing too much on him. It was nearly impossible.
“What’s wrong, luv?” he asked.
Right. He could probably smell her anxiety.
“Don’t say ‘nothing’ either,” he added. “You’re tense, and I can see it.”
How could she possibly explain it to him? The fact that she had grown to trust him explicitly? That was easy. He knew that.
But that she might be falling in love with him? That she might want all the things she saw in her visions more than anything else in the world?
That wasn’t going to be easy.
What if her visions were wrong? Elsa said it had happened before. What if after it was all said and done, Killian just didn’t have feelings for her?
Her self-doubt began to take over, and she shook her head. She knew he cared about her, that he wanted her close. They spent time together, and not because they had to, but because they both wished it. The house was large. He could just as easily protect her while giving her space as he could by her side. Yet neither one of them seemed to enjoy any part of the solitude. If they weren’t together, one was seeking the other out. She slept in his bed, even when there was no promise of sex. He held her close as though he feared she might slip away into the night.
“Swan?” Killian asked. “I can see you working something out in that head of yours. Anything you’d like to share?”
“Not particularly,” she muttered. He didn’t push her further while she served up breakfast and coffee, and they ate in near silence.
He didn’t try to get any information out of her after breakfast either.
By noon, they had settled into a quietness that wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, but something simmered in the air. She knew he could sense it. Her magic was tingling thanks to the war between her hormones and emotions. One was telling her to jump him, the other was insisting she talk to him.
It was a rough battle.
In the end, the quiet won out.
Killian didn’t seem to mind. He was still half asleep and likely had no patience for any deep discussions.
“You don’t have to stay outside all night,” she stated. “I mean… if you wanted to get some actual sleep…”
“Emma,” he sighed, though it didn’t seem particularly frustrated. Just sad. “You don’t have to take a risk you’re not ready for.”
“It’s not a risk,” she stated. “I trust you.” Her heart felt full when he smiled at her. “I trust you,” she said again. “And I want you to stay with me tonight.”
“As you wish,” he whispered, his sadness melting into awe.
She didn’t feel as though she deserved it. She should have trusted him all along. In ways, she did. He wasn’t a bad person. A bit cranky sometimes, but mostly, just a kind man who took care of those he considered family.
Of course he’d have better control over the wolf than most. Emma could only imagine that his heart was made of gold. If she wanted to believe that she trusted him completely -if she wanted him to believe it- she had to do a better job of showing it.
Killian wouldn’t hurt her as a man, and he sure as hell wouldn’t hurt her as a wolf. He’d protect her, like he always had.
“So…” she let out a small giggle. “What do you think of belly rubs?”
Sleep long forgotten, he scooted closer to her on the couch. “Is that what you’re offering?”
He was even warmer than he had been yesterday. She wasn’t sure how much of it was the full moon and how much of it was just him, but his nearness was affecting her all the same.
“Maybe,” she said.
“Just so you know,” he whispered as he placed a kiss on the bit of shoulder that her shirt exposed. “I prefer to be scratched behind the ear.”
Leave it to Killian to turn it into something dirty, she thought.
Not that she was complaining.
Emma wasn’t sure what to make of her current situation. If anyone had told her that one day, she’d be lazing around on the couch with a giant wolf snoozing next to her, she’d think they were insane.
Her comfort with Killian was a stark contrast to her outright fear of Neal.
If she didn’t pay attention to the moon, she ran the risk of dealing with a man who didn’t care about controlling the wolf. She’d made the mistake once, and only lived because of her magic.
It was something she had thought was a characteristic of all wolves. Up until she’d met Mary Margaret, she assumed there was no control once someone shifted. Then David told her that his wife often spent the full moon at home, hogging the bed.
It was the first time she understood that they didn’t just turn into feral creatures. That if they wanted control, they could have it.
Killian assured her he did, and now, she truly believed it.
A series of howls caught their attention. Killian’s ears perked up, and he sniffed at the air. A low growl reverberated in his throat, startling Emma just a little bit. It took her a moment to realize he was staring at the window.
When he leapt up and bolted for the door, a sick feeling knotted in her stomach. Something was wrong.
He scratched at the door, and Emma hurried as fast as she could to open it, knowing he’d break it down if he had to.
When the door swung open, Killian shot out like a dart. Emma gasped when she saw what had rankled him.
The brown, dirty wolf snarled when Killian lunged at him. Emma slammed the door shut and bolted it. She knew it would be little protection against an angry wolf, and hoped that her magic would be enough to ward Neal off if the worst happened.
“Emma!” She heard Elsa shouting and pounding at the back door. “Let us in!”
Emma hurried towards the back of the house and opened the door. A small grey wolf bolted in, followed by Elsa, who shut and bolted the door behind her. The little wolf -Gracie, Emma realized- jumped onto the couch and curled up into a ball.
“What’s going on?” Emma asked as her friend rushed over to the shaking little wolf.
Together, they tried to comfort Grace, and it wasn’t until the little one had calmed and fallen asleep that Elsa started to explain.
“Someone’s trying to start trouble,” Elsa stated. “I don’t know who-“
“Neal,” Emma said. “I saw the wolf Killian went after. It was my ex. Neal. What I don’t understand is how he got through. I was under the impression that this place was fairly protected.”
“It is,” Elsa sighed. “And somehow, he still slipped past it.”
She could hear the sounds of a fight outside, and it took every ounce of willpower to stay with Elsa and Grace. “I should help,” she said, looking towards the door. “I mean… we have magic, can’t we just-“
“We can’t interfere,” Elsa said. “Especially if…” she shook her head and turned her attention back to Grace. “We just need to let them handle it.”
Emma didn’t know what Elsa was hinting at, but she didn’t want to ask. As much as she wanted to help, if interfering would pose a problem, she would stand back.
That didn’t mean she wouldn’t nervously pace around the living room until she knew Killian was all right.
She made her way to the window once, only to be stopped by Elsa, who warned her that watching was only going to upset her more. “Killian can handle himself,” she assured her. “Besides, he’s not alone out there. They’re not going to let Neal get to you.”
“Did he come after you too?” Emma asked, glancing towards Grace.
“I’m not really sure what happened there,” Elsa admitted. “Mary Margaret brought her home, then ran off again. I’m sure she’ll explain it all tomorrow. My guess is their encounter wasn’t intentional, but she sensed the danger and wanted Gracie out of the way so she wouldn’t get hurt.”
Emma heard a yelp outside and ran to the door, ignoring Elsa’s attempt to stop her. She unlatched the bolt and threw the door open just in time to see Neal being chased off by a group of wolves.
Killian wasn’t with them. Instead, he hobbled towards the house, obviously injured. “Dammit,” Emma swore as she helped him into the house. “Should we heal him?” she asked Elsa. Not that she possessed the ability. She was an Oracle, and didn’t have the powers of a Healer. Still, she had magic. There had to be something she could do.
“Help him get comfortable,” Elsa stated as he flopped onto the floor. “We’re just going to have to tend to him the old fashioned way.”
Emma looked over Killian’s wounds as Elsa grabbed some rags and a bowl of soapy water. At second glance, he seemed more exhausted than hurt, but his injuries needed attention. The last thing he needed was an infection.
Killian woke as the sunlight peeked through the window. Every part of him ached fiercely. The fight he’d had the night before had been a rough one, and the last thing he remembered was falling asleep while Emma and Elsa cleaned his wounds.
“Bloody hell,” he grumbled, realizing that he was still asleep on the floor. He turned over to see Emma lying on the floor next to him. “Swan?” he asked, gently nudging her. “Are you alright, luv?” If the floor was uncomfortable for him, he could only imagine the aches and pains she’d wake up with.
Emma blinked awake, then groaned. “Everything hurts,” she complained.
“Well, why are you sleeping on the floor?” he teased.
She flushed, and his heart nearly burst at the sight.
She’d stayed because she was worried about him.
“Are you okay?” she asked, ignoring the question. “Do we need to get a healer?”
“I’m fine,” he assured her. “A bit sore, but nothing serious. You however, should probably find a more comfortable sleeping arrangement, or we might need a healer for you.”
Emma rolled her eyes, but didn’t complain when he helped her up. Nor did she go to her room when they went upstairs.
She didn’t even push him away when he slid under the covers with her.
It was their normal arrangement now, sleeping in his room at night, and yet, he half expected her to put up her walls this morning. He could see the fear in her eyes last night, and that fear still lingered. She’d shut him out when she’d been afraid before, so it surprised him that she didn’t this time.
“Can you tell me what happened?” she asked.
He wanted nothing more than to hold her in his arms as they fell asleep, but he knew he had a lot of explaining to do. Emma seemed only half awake, but he sensed that she might not relax until she knew everything was alright.
Killian sighed as she snuggled up against him. Knowing she was safe, that he and his pack had run Neal out for the time being, was enough for him right now.
But it wasn’t enough for her.
“It would seem your ex has found help,” he said. “Someone who knows how to work through the protections we’ve set up around the town.”
“Tamara,” Emma muttered.
“Possibly,” he agreed. He didn’t know much about the woman Neal left Emma for, but it sounded as though the man assumed Tamara was a better asset to his cause. Whether or not they were still a team remained to be seen. “We only saw Neal though. So, whoever he’s working with is staying hidden.”
“Elsa said I couldn’t help,” Emma said. “I wanted to help, but she said I couldn’t.”
“It’s all right,” he assured her. Sometimes, he forgot how much Emma still needed to learn about their world. “I know you wanted to help, but I’m glad you listened to Elsa. It’s best not to meddle in pack affairs. He brought the fight to us, and it was up to us to handle it.”
“I still don’t get it,” she said, “but I’m too tired to worry about it anymore.”
“Then get some rest, luv.” He kissed the top of her head and gave her a light squeeze. “Let me worry about Neal for now.”
Thank you to Snowbellewells for beta work! Also, thank you to mariakov81 for the lovely art! (Art will be updated later as mobile is not allowing me to embed it on ao3)
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. She was supposed to be in a hospital with a doctor and a good amount of pain medication. Instead, she was stuck in the house during the middle of a snowstorm and a power outage.
She also wasn’t entirely sure how qualified her friends were when it came to delivering a baby. That didn’t mean she wasn’t grateful. It could have been worse.
She could have been alone.
“I think I see a head!” Mary Margaret exclaimed.
Emma groaned in pain. The only thing going slower than this birth was the arrival of emergency services. “Where is the god damn ambulance?” she ground out.
Leave it to her kid to arrive the day the roads were impassable.
“You’re doing fine, luv,” Killian assured her, giving her hand a squeeze.
That wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
“The ambulance will get here,” Elsa stated. “But right now, we’re going to need you to push.”
She appreciated and hated all three of them at the same time.
Just when the pain bordered on unbearable, a cry rang out and a gentle kiss was placed on her temple. There was a relief, and suddenly, a new fear.
“Emma,” Mary Margaret gushed. “He’s beautiful!”
“I can’t…” Emma sobbed. “I can’t be a mom…”
“Emma-“ Elsa tried, but stopped when Emma shook her head.
“Give him here,” Killian said quietly. There was silence as the baby was handed off, and a shuffle when Elsa and Mary Margaret left the room. The only sounds in the room now were the quiet whimpers of her son as Killian tried to shush him.
“Please don’t try to convince me,” she said. “We both know I’m not cut out for this. I can’t…” her words were lost in sobs. How could she have ever thought she could be a mother? The urge to run was rising, and the only reason she hadn’t bolted was the fact that it was downright impossible after just giving birth.
Killian sat down on the edge of the bed, still quietly murmuring to Henry as he tucked a blanket snugly around him. “It’s not my job to convince you,” he stated. “But you need to know that Henry is going to be just fine. I swore I’d protect him, and that isn’t going to change.”
“I just want him to have his best chance,” she whispered.
“And he will,” he assured her. “But I think he’ll be much happier if you’re a part of that chance.”
She stole a look at the little bundle. Hadn’t she spent the past several months preparing for this moment? Not so much the difficult birth, but the after. The bringing her son home. The loving him, caring for him, and ensuring his safety… all of those things were what she had planned for.
But right now, she felt like she wasn’t anywhere near good enough to give Henry everything he needed.
“Ambulance is pulling up,” Elsa said as she poked her head into the room. “We might want to get Emma ready to move.” She didn’t miss the look of disappointment on her friend’s face when she noticed Killian still held Henry.
“I’ve got it,” Killian said.
Elsa nodded and left the room.
“Let’s get you ready to go,” Killian said. “It’s going to be cold, so it’s best to bundle you up as much as possible.”
“Wait…” she said, her arms reaching for Henry. “Let me hold him?”
Guilt overwhelmed her as Killian placed the tiny baby in her arms. How could she have almost let him get away so easily?
Killian didn’t leave her side in the hospital. For that, Emma was grateful. In the few short hours since Henry’s birth, she realized one thing:
She had no maternal instinct.
How did Killian Jones have more maternal instinct than she did?
She wanted to stick to her guns and make good on the promise that she’d never let Henry go again, but it killed her that her son only seemed to wail when he was in her arms.
“We got here as soon as we could,” David said as he stormed into the room with Mary Margaret. Emma groaned when the intrusion sent Henry into a fit. He’d only just gotten to sleep moments before. David quickly apologized and picked up the baby. “My fault, I’ll fix it.”
“Not like I could anyway,” Emma muttered.
“Swan…” Killian said softly as he shook his head. It was a discussion they’d had three times already. He was certain she’d figure out motherhood, and she was still doubtful of it all, but it wasn’t a conversation that needed to be had again. Not at that moment, at least. Right now, David and Mary Margaret seemed to be on some sort of mission.
“Is everything all right?” Killian asked.
“Ruby called,” Mary Margaret explained. “She said Lancelot was trying to get in touch with you. When she told him where you were, he said he’d be on his way. Ruby called Graham and Jefferson too.”
Killian nodded, and took the baby from David. “Why don’t you all go into the waiting room? I’ll join you when Lancelot arrives.”
“Please don’t keep anything from me,” Emma said.
Please don’t leave me, was all he heard.
“All right,” Killian agreed. “We can discuss it here when Lancelot arrives.”
That was exactly what they did. When Lancelot arrived at the hospital, they gathered in Emma’s room. It was a tight squeeze, but he noted that Emma seemed much more relaxed.
Elsa was the first to speak. “I was able to track down someone with access to the archives,” she said. “It will take him a while to dig, but we’re finally making headway with the prophecy. Once we have that, we can ignore all the rumors and see what was actually said.”
Killian didn’t like the sound of that. It had taken them long enough to find someone with access, now they had a further delay? Henry was here. Neal hadn’t returned since he’d had his ass handed to him months ago, but Killian knew his disappearance wasn’t permanent.
He’d regroup and return.
“I still believe that Henry is only a symbol,” Lancelot added. “However, even if that’s what the prophecy says, the rumors and inflations over the past century or so will be difficult to combat. Others still believe that the boy is some sort of warrior. While that means we’ll have to double down on protection now that he’s here, it’s also possible that we can use it to our advantage.”
“My son is not a pawn,” Emma snapped. “And I’ll be damned if you try to use him as a weapon.”
“I’d have to agree with Emma,” Killian stated. “He’s a baby. Innocent. We have to protect him. Using him as some sort of bait is the exact opposite of caring for him.”
“We might not have a choice,” Lancelot argued. “They might already see him as bait whether we use him that way or not.”
“Which is why we need to protect him with everything we’ve got,” Jefferson interjected. “It might be helpful if they come to us, but we have to make sure to minimize the risk to Henry.”
Because no matter which way they looked at it, there was a risk.
“Nothing will happen to the boy,” Killian insisted. “Or his mother.”
Emma hoped that her visions and magic would settle after Henry was born, but found quickly that her powers were even more haywire than they’d ever been. Elsa explained it was a mix of hormones and a lack of sleep.
If that was the case, she might not settle for some time now.
Henry was a demanding baby.
Killian was more helpful than he needed to be. She was grateful for the assistance, but felt guilty that she couldn’t seem to keep up with her own son. Yet, at the same time, she also couldn’t help but feel her heart nearly burst whenever she watched Killian with Henry.
It didn’t take long for her visions of a future with Killian to return full force. All she could see was a life where she’d built a home. Where she and Killian had fallen in love and expanded their family.
She wanted it now more than ever.
Unfortunately, no matter how much she wanted it, they still had to make it through their current debacle alive.
“Elsa said visions don’t always come true,” Emma said as Killian placed Henry in his bassinet. “She said that-”
“She and Liam should have had a son?” he finished. “Aye. Unfortunately, my brother’s life was cut unnaturally short, leaving no room for those visions to come true.”
“I want my visions to come true,” she said softly. She still kept them heavily guarded, not wanting to jinx anything by telling Killian too much.
Killian sat next to her on the bed and wrapped his arm around her. “Well luv,” he said, kissing her on the temple. “When we win this war, we’ll have all the time in the world to see them through.”
Until then, she vowed to try and get her powers under control. If she could get a glimpse of the good things to come, then maybe she could see something useful in their current situation.
Elsa still hadn’t heard from her contact, and both Killian and Lancelot were growing impatient. Emma was beginning to wonder if finding the prophecy was even worth it at this point. Henry was here, and it didn’t matter if he was only some sort of sign or symbol. Rumplestiltskin wouldn’t hesitate to destroy him and anyone protecting him.
He also had a life-long vendetta against Killian. Cutting down his rival’s pack would be the icing on the cake for someone like Rumple. Emma had never met him, but his cruelty was known throughout the entire supernatural community.
That was how she’d met Neal. Neal, who swore to her that he only wished to stop his father. Neal, who said he’d wanted peace amongst the packs.
Neal, who had lied through his teeth to gain access to her help and her powers.
He didn’t want peace. Sure, he wanted to remove his father from power, but not because he wanted to stop the war. Neal wanted the power for himself.
As powerful as he claimed Emma was though, her inexperience held him back. That was probably a blessing in disguise. Had she continued on with him, she might be dead. Or worse, Henry never would have had a chance against his grandfather.
The thought nearly destroyed her.
“Swan?” Killian gave her a little nudge and smiled when she looked at him. “Are you all right?”
“I need to start training again,” she stated. She’d stopped as her due date drew near. Exhaustion and discomfort made practicing nearly impossible.
“You just had a baby three days ago,” Killian reminded her.
As if she needed reminding. She was still sore in places she didn’t know she had.
“I know,” she sighed. “But I’m feeling a lot better now that he’s out. I’m not saying that I’m going to dive in head first, but maybe gaining a little control over everything so it stops going haywire would be a start.”
Killian nodded, and she knew he’d only agreed because she’d nearly blasted him when Henry had woken up wailing in the middle of the night. Exhaustion and hormones, he’d stated. They screwed everything up.
She groaned when Henry started fussing. “Is he hungry again already?”
“Stay put, luv,” Killian chuckled. “I’ve got him.”
“But if he’s hungry-“
“Then I’ll bring him to you,” Killian stated as he lifted the baby out of the bassinet. “No need to be up and down all day when you’ve got someone to help you out, aye?” He settled Henry into Emma’s arms and sat down beside her.
“Can you maybe grab my pillow?” Emma asked. “I know he looks small, but he weighs a ton already.” At least, it felt that way. Feeding time was quickly becoming Emma’s favorite. It was the easiest way to bond with him as it was one of the few times he wasn’t fussing or sleeping. But all eight pounds of him felt like a ton of bricks without some sort of support.
“Of course,” Killian laughed. “I suppose this means he’s not having any trouble gaining weight.’ He reached over and grabbed Emma’s pillow, settling it around her waist. Her arms felt instant relief as they rested on the cushion it provided. “Better?”
“Much,” Emma nodded. “Thanks.”
As he pressed a kiss to her temple, she felt a warmth course through her.
Killian couldn’t help but smile as the little boy barreled into him. “Where’s your mother, lad?” he asked, picking Henry up.
“She is right here,” Emma said with a sigh. She stepped into the entryway and gave an exasperated look to Henry, who hid his face behind his hands. There was a little girl, nearly asleep on her shoulder.
“Avoiding nap time again, are we?” he asked Henry, who only giggled. “All right,” he said. “Let’s stop giving your mother a hard time.”
He followed Emma upstairs and helped her put both the children down for a nap. Once they were certain that neither was getting up again, they made their way to their bedroom. “A nap sounds good, doesn’t it?” she asked.
“A little,” she said with a yawn. “You missed the worst of it. Full moon has them energized like that annoying bunny in the commercials. I really think we should have waited before adding another one.”
Killian’s breath caught for a moment as it dawned on him.
Emma was pregnant.
Killian nearly fell off the bed as the wind was knocked out of him. Emma seemed none the wiser to what had just taken place. She looked over at him and frowned. “Are you okay?”
“Did you just see that?” he asked.
“See… what?” she asked.
“The vision,” he stated. “Surely you felt something. We were… we had… Henry…”
“You had a vision?” she asked. “I mean, I felt what I assume was some sort of magic, but I thought it was more about me and Henry than anything else. What did you see?”
“Us…” he said. He wasn’t sure how though. He didn’t have magic, and the power to see the future wasn’t something wolves inherited. That was why many depended on the witches in their lives. “Did you send me a vision?”
Emma sighed when Henry began to fuss. Bonding time was over.. “I wouldn’t even know how to do that, Killian.”
“Perhaps by accident?” he suggested, taking Henry from her and resting him on his shoulder. “Because it was about us. You, me, Henry… and a little girl who I could only imagine was ours too.”
She looked down at her hands and shook her head. “You said you didn’t want to know. That you didn’t want to jeopardize anything.”
He’d always assumed the visions she didn’t share had something to do with their future, but ever since the first one had rattled her, he didn’t want to push. He knew she’d had more, knew she put up her walls just a little bit after each one, but he never guessed that he’d get a glimpse of what she was afraid of.
Never guessed that she’d find a future with him so terrifying.
“I don’t want to jeopardize anything,” he repeated her words back to her. “But I have to know… what is it about our future that’s so awful?”
“Nothing,” she admitted. “And… it scared me at first. It still scares me now, but for a completely different reason.”
He almost didn’t want to ask, but now that he’d seen what could be, he had to know. “Why does it scare you now?”
“I’m afraid of wanting it,” she barely whispered the words. “Elsa lost the future she saw. I know things turned out good for her in the end, but…”
She didn’t have to explain herself. He knew all too well the dangers of wanting something so badly, only to lose it because you were holding on too tight.
There was already so much at stake when it came to Emma and Henry. He knew Neal would come back, and he knew Rumplestiltskin wouldn’t be far behind. One simple cruel twist of fate could destroy the future that Emma seemed to so desperately want.
That he so desperately wanted.
“We’ll figure it out,” he assured her. “I’ll be damned if Rumple or his son destroys another future in this family.”
Waning Moon is back! Duels and confessions can be too much to handle. A frightening vision has Emma questioning everything.
Thank you to my ever so patient beta @snowbellewells and my lovely artist @mariakov81 You are both so wonderful!
Neal didn’t appear after Henry was born, and he didn’t show during the first full moon. No one had seen, or even caught the scent of him. Killian and Lancelot worked tirelessly to find some trace of the rogue wolf in hopes of warding off another surprise attack.
The next full moon was nearing by the time they got any news. It wasn’t the scouts, or even a result of the efforts put into finding him though. Neal found his way back into their crosshairs all on his own.
He didn’t wait for the moon this time.
Emma was resting against Killian on the couch as he tried to coax a belch out of Henry. Suddenly, Killian went rigid. He didn’t say anything, only handed Henry off to her as he stood and made his way to the door.
He shook his head, effectively shushing her without a word. The look in his eyes could only be described as murderous.
When a knock sounded at the door, she knew.
Fear washed over her, followed by a strange sensation she couldn’t really explain. Though she knew they were in danger as long as her ex was around, she felt safe and protected in a way she hadn’t felt before.
It took a moment to realize what was happening. As Killian dealt with their unwelcome guest, Emma noticed she and Henry were surrounded by what seemed like a bubble. She couldn’t hear the conversation outside, only the coos and hiccups coming from her son.
“Are you doing that?” she asked. It didn’t feel like she had any control over the bubble.
But Henry wasn’t even two months old.
A slammed door shattered through the bit of protection the bubble offered, and Henry started to wail.
“Sorry, lad,” Killian said as he scooped Henry back up into his arms. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
Emma still wasn’t sure what had happened, and she didn’t even know where to begin with explaining it to Killian. “Did you see that?” she asked.
“See what, luv?” He sat next to her and rubbed Henry’s back. As the baby calmed, he nodded towards the door. “If you’re asking about that act your arse of an ex put on just now, believe me, I saw it.”
She frowned, and tried to describe the bubble that shielded her and Henry from whatever Neal was attempting. “I don’t think I did it,” she stated. “I mean… I know my magic is getting stronger, but magic force fields aren’t something I’ve been studying up on.” Sure, things could happen by accident when her emotions were out of whack, but wouldn’t she have been at least the tiniest bit aware that her magic was hard at work?
“It’s possible the lad did it,” Killian said. “His mother is a witch after all. While it seems to be fairly random as to whether or not that gets passed down, I’ve learned it’s better to assume it has until proven otherwise.”
She figured the who and how would eventually be revealed, and pushed the thought aside for the moment. There were other things she needed to worry about right now.
“So what did he want?” She asked, nodding towards the door. When Killian tilted his head in question, she gestured at Henry. “Apparently magical bubbles are soundproof.”
He seemed to file the information away for the moment. Like her, he probably wanted to discuss it again when they had time to really dig in and figure it out. Right now, Neal was too much of a threat.
“He challenged me,” Killian sighed. “We fight at the full moon.”
“Fight?” She asked. “For what?” The next full moon was just over a week away.
“You,” he said, his tone laced with guilt.
Her simple response said it all. She was angry. Not that Killian thought she shouldn’t be, but how was he supposed to explain there was no other way without angering her further?
“It’s complicated, luv,” he tried.
“I’m not your love,” she snapped. “And I’m not your property! How could you think something like this would ever be okay with me?”
Henry began to fuss again, which only seemed to upset Emma further.
“How can you treat us like we’re nothing but things that can be bought and kept?” she demanded.
“That’s not why I’m doing this,” he said. “If there were any other way, believe me, I’d go that route. But if I don’t stop him now, he’ll just keep coming for you and Henry, and I can’t have that. I’m doing this for your safety, not because I feel like I own you.”
“Then why?” her voice raised, and Henry continued to whine.
“Emma, please,” he begged. “Let’s try not to upset Henry any further.”
“Then tell me why.” She’d lowered her voice, but her words came through gritted teeth. If his answer didn’t satisfy her, he knew she’d be gone by morning.
“Because I love you,” he said softly. “I love you, and I love Henry, and if I have to take part in some archaic duel to keep you safe, then that’s what I’ll do.”
His admission rendered her speechless. He wondered first if she believed him, then wondered if she had been expecting it after the visions she’d shared.
“I can’t do this,” she stated.
Killian half expected her to take Henry and run off, but she left the baby with him. It was a small relief, yet not enough to put him completely at ease. Chasing after her wasn’t going to do any good. He’d already made that mistake a few times.
Best to let her cool off. Then they could talk.
“I know, lad,” Killian soothed as Henry continued to fuss. “We’re both in for a rough few days.”
Henry was still too small to shift, but that didn’t mean the full moon had no effect on him. His first moon had left him fussy and inconsolable, and Killian could only imagine this one would be no different. Now with the tension in the house, things could only be worse. Henry seemed incredibly in tune with his mother and how she was feeling.
“Did you use magic?” Killian asked, realizing that maybe the boy was more in tune than either of them realized. “Were you trying to protect your mother?”
The boy’s only answer was to shove his little fist in his mouth.
“You can’t be hungry,” Killian chuckled. “You just ate. It wouldn’t hurt to give your mum a rest, you know.”
Henry let out a big sigh as his eyes fluttered closed.
Good. Killian sighed in relief. He was only sleepy. Not hungry.
Emma paced nervously around the room as she tried to grasp everything that had just happened. She could come to terms with the fight, however much she hated the idea. But Killian had a point. Neal would keep coming for them if he wasn’t stopped.
What she couldn’t wrap her mind around was the fact that he said he loved her. Not just her, but Henry.
And the words had come so easily for him.
In her visions, it was obvious there was love. It scared her despite the fact that she wanted it. She was nowhere near putting words to the feelings she was developing though. She wasn’t even ready to fully accept what she wanted.
He’d only caught a small glimpse in the one vision she’d shared, and he was in love.
“Ugh!” she shouted before thinking better of being too loud. For a moment, she fell silent, breathing out a sigh of relief when she didn’t hear Henry wailing, thankful that she hadn’t been as loud as she’d thought.
She needed an escape. With Henry and Killian just downstairs though, she couldn’t slip out and go see Elsa.
Because Elsa would know what to do.
Calling her was a second option, but calling would also likely bring her over. Having her over would definitely set Killian even more on edge than he already was, and would only make matters worse.
“Guess you’ve gotta figure this out on your own, Emma,” she muttered. Really, no matter how much help she had, she was the only one who could truly figure it out. Having a friend or two to confide in wouldn’t hurt though.
With a sigh, she sat on the bed and closed her eyes. Her visions were becoming clearer, and if she focused enough, she could see exactly what she needed to see, rather than some random part of her future.
“You never should have pushed him away, Dearie.”
Emma looked at the carnage that surrounded her, then to the man who was taunting her. She’d never met him before, but knew exactly who he was.
He held her son, and beside him, in a crumpled heap was Killian.
Emma’s eyes snapped open. “What have I done?”
That couldn’t be her future.
Her fear was replaced by dread and panic as she shot up and ran out of the room. She nearly collided with Killian in the hallway as he hurried towards her.
“Emma, luv,” he used his free arm to pull her close, careful not to squish Henry between them. “What happened? Are you all right?”
“I don’t know…” she said weakly, burying her face against his shoulder.
“Come on,” he said gently. “Let’s get Henry down for a nap, and then we’ll talk, aye?”
She let him lead her back into the bedroom, and sat down as he put a sleeping Henry into his bassinet. When he made his way back to her, she reached out and took his hand.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “For freaking out. I’m sorry for keeping you at arm’s length. I don’t want to push you away, but I don’t know how to stop doing that.”
She didn’t repeat his words back to him, and he didn’t say them again. There was a look in his eyes though, that said everything.
He truly loved her.
“Killian!” Emma gasped as he rolled his hips, entering her in one, fluid motion. She never tired of how he filled her. “Make me yours.”
His breath was hot on her neck. “Forever?” he murmured in her ear.
Emma knew exactly what she was asking for.
“Yes,” she agreed. “Forever.”
“Mine,” he growled, biting at the spot on her neck that he enjoyed nosing at after they made love. The place he nipped at when he was feeling particularly amorous.
The spot that would forever mark her as his.
“Yours!” she cried out, the pain ebbing into an erotic pleasure she’d never felt before.
“Emma?” Killian asked.
The vision shattered, much like Henry’s bubble from earlier. She looked up at Killian, who looked concerned. “I’m okay,” she said.
She nodded. “You should claim me,” she stated abruptly.
He backed away and sighed. “That would be cowardly,” he said. “And it wouldn’t stop Neal. He’s already proven he cares little for pack rules. He challenged me, and I have to face that challenge.”
“I don’t understand why you have to stick to a code of honor when you know he won’t.”
She waved her hand, cutting him short. “Forget about it.”
Killian sat next to her and pressed a kiss to her temple. “When the time is right, luv. Now… using it as some sort of loophole… that’s not how it should be.”
“He’ll be fine, Emma.” Elsa had been attempting to reassure her ever since the moon rose high in the sky.
Killian had long since transformed and took off to wherever he and Neal had agreed to meet. He’d outright refused to tell Emma where that meeting place was.
As if that would stop her. The visions she’d called up gave her a glimpse of the place. It was near the pier, though she wasn’t certain of the exact spot.
That didn’t mean it would be impossible to find.
“Do you think you’d be okay with Henry?” she asked.
“Emma, no,” Elsa warned. “You can’t help him. There’s no reason for you to go out there and make things worse. Stay with Henry, and let Killian come back to you.”
As if on cue, Henry started to fuss. She picked him up and held him close as she tried to soothe him. Pull to the moon aside, he hadn’t had any more magical episodes since Neal had arrived on the doorstep days before.
She was beginning to wonder if it had even been Henry’s magic at all. Killian seemed to think it was too soon to tell. At some point, she wanted to discuss it with Elsa, but right now she had a fussy baby and a dueling boyfriend to worry about.
That’s what he was, right? Boyfriend, and eventually… husband?
Their relationship seemed to be perfectly clear in her visions.
Except for one.
Confusion aside, she knew without a doubt that she didn’t want the horrible vision she’d had the other day to come true.