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“Good morning, baby,” Emma hears through the haze of sleep that is still clinging to her mind. She nearly cringes at the random use of the horrible pet name as she feels a hand softly grazing over the skin of her stomach. “Happy birthday.” Her sleepy confusion grows as she thinks Killian has forgotten that her birthday’s just passed. “You were conceived ten weeks ago, today,” she hears through a small chuckle. “One of the best nights of my life, perhaps, but I won’t soil your innocent mind with any more details.” Once her post-sleep brain fog clears up a bit, it’s apparent that Killian is talking to the baby this morning, softly giving the little guy an update on their development.

 

“You're the size of a prune, which I don’t believe I’ve ever tried before.” His hand moves away. “You've been growing all of your vital organs. And you're starting to look more and more like a little human now that you're developing knees and elbows.” His hand returns for a moment, circling briefly and leaving again. “Your mum should be starting to feel a bit better soon, but you're still sending her to the toilet to be sick every few hours, aren’t you, love?” she smiles, opening her eyes to see his head resting on her hip as he holds his new phone, the sun streaming through the salt-watered windows and making his eyes shine. “She’s also still very sleepy, but growing you is hard work. I think she’s doing phenomenally. She’s been complaining of heartburn a lot, which I didn’t know had a name, and she also might have some headaches.” he says, his voice still low as he presses a soft kiss to her low belly. “You are a troublemaker, aren’t you?”

 

Emma can’t believe that she’s falling for the most perfect man on the planet. Who knew that when she left him on that beanstalk, she would end up here, willingly sleeping on his ship and happily pregnant with his child?

 

“Ah, did you say good morning to your mummy, little one?” She chuckles softly now, slowly closing her eyes again as he presses another kiss to her belly and slides a hand up to pull her shirt back down. “Good morning, Swan.”

 

“Morning,” she grumbles out, pulling a pillow from next to her over her eyes. “What time is it?”

 

“According to the clock on my talking phone, it’s 7:23.”

 

“It’s just called a phone.” Her voice is still thick with sleep, but she can’t help but to smile at his inexperience with modern technology.

 

“That’s an impractical name. It’s used for talking.”

 

“You just used it to tell my baby that he’s the size of a wrinkly old prune,” she deadpans, eyes still closed.

 

“Just giving him the facts, love. I believe you would call it science.”

 

She smiles again before rolling over on her stomach, but as soon as she does, the motion jars her. Staying on the ship with him is a good idea in theory, but in practice, it hasn’t been helping with her nausea.

 

She groans as she moves to stand, grabbing onto his hand briefly to steady herself as she stumbles through the room to the basin. He’s behind her in a moment, his hand holding her hair and his blunt arm running up and down her back.

 

Once she’s finished and her face is wiped clean, he hands her a glass of water and a few crackers, their routine finally solidified. She’s even taken to keeping a toothbrush in his desk, which he also hands her.

 

“Ugh,” she starts after she finishes brushing her teeth. “I love this boat, but it’s not helping the morning sickness. Or afternoon or night sickness.”

 

Boat,” he scoffs, rolling her eyes as she pops a Saltine in her mouth and chases it with water. He walks her back to the small bunk and sits her down, kissing her forehead before planting himself next to her. “We’ll have to work something else out, aye love?”

 

She nods. “I always sleep so well here, but I guess I can’t handle the waves.” It’s true that she’s been sleeping better when she sleeps with him, so each time Henry spends the night at Regina’s, Emma spends the night with Killian.

 

“Tragic,” he says, his arm sliding around her waist. “Though the applications say you should be starting to feel better soon.”

 

“Apps.”

 

“Either way. I suppose now is as good a time as any to show you what I’ve been working on.”

 

She brings her brows together and looks up to him, seeing his bright eyes shimmering back down at her. “What have you been working on?”

 

“Perhaps I’ll show you tonight after work.” Emma groans at the concept of going to the station, leaning her head onto his shoulder as he chuckles and holds her slightly tighter and presses a kiss to the top of her head. “I wouldn’t argue if you chose to stay home today, though.”

 

His use of the word home makes her grin against his shoulder. They haven’t spoken much at all about what they’re doing here, but it almost feels like they don’t have to. He was right when he said not much needed to change between them— aside from the whole baby thing. She supposes that now she doesn’t have to sneak out, and Mary Margaret blessedly doesn’t assume she’s sneaking off to meet her ex.

 

If anything, she’s been feeling more secure in whatever it is that they share. Something shifted three weeks ago once they saw the little life they created. She’s heard that it’s difficult for dads to feel the full impact of fatherhood before the baby’s born, and if Killian becomes any better of a father than he has been so far, she might not survive the process of raising this kid with him.

 

This pregnancy is different from her last. She assumes it’s because of the changes her body has gone through over the last 12 years— she was practically a child herself the last time she was pregnant. This time around, she’s noticed that her morning (and afternoon, and evening) sickness is far more severe, as is her fatigue and breast tenderness.

 

She’s also recently become horny as hell.

 

For the last few weeks, she hasn’t really felt in the mood for sex because of how sick she’s been, but the nausea has started to fade a bit, giving way to arousal a few days ago when she watched Killian happily research the best apps for tracking gestation and fetal development. It’s the little things, she supposes.

 

She’s still frustrated from their date night, when she solicited him for sex and then promptly fell asleep, but damn if that wasn’t the best date she’s ever been on.

 

“Maybe I can stay for a little while longer,” she says softly, pressing her nose into his neck just below his ear. Her favorite part about waking up to him is the fact that he doesn’t wear a shirt to bed, giving her as much access to his fair and tattered skin as she could possibly desire.

 

“That so?” he asks, the shift in his tone evident. She nods against his neck and nips at his ear lobe. “Are you sure it’s… safe?”

 

“It’s not like I can get pregnant again,” she says, laughing lightly as her hand runs up his scarred back.

 

“I meant for the baby, love. Is it… I mean…”

 

“You're not gonna hurt him, Killian. The female body takes precautions to make sure of that.”

 

He nods softly, turning his head to press a gentle kiss to her temple. “Are you sure you're in the mood, love? I don’t want you to feel pressured; I know you’ve been feeling sick.”

 

“Didn’t you read about increased blood flow leading to excessive desire during pregnancy?”

 

“Aye,” he chuckles darkly. “Although I wasn’t sure if that was something you were experiencing.”

 

“Trust me, it is.”

 

He breathes out in a huff before moving quickly to capture her lips between his, his tongue sliding over her bottom lip before she allows him in. His right hand slides up her side again, this time reaching a swollen and tender breast under her shirt, and she hisses slightly.

 

“Sorry,” he murmurs against her mouth.

“It’s okay, it feels good, just sore.”

 

He nods, sliding his thumb over her nipple and kissing her again before whispering, “I’ll be gentle with you.”

 

She sighs at the feeling of his skin against hers, reveling in the sensation of being so sensitive to his touch. She’s barely holding it together just from his hand on her breast, so she can only imagine what sex will be like.

 

When she’s lying down all the way, her back against the pillows and his body nestled atop hers, he stops briefly so that he can back away and pull her t-shirt off, leaving her in only a pair a pink cotton underwear. His breath catches in his throat when he looks down at her, and she can only imagine the thoughts running through his mind at the sight of her suddenly massive boobs.

 

“Gods,” he mumbles, his eyes finally meeting hers. “You are the most beautiful goddess of a woman I’ve ever had the privilege of laying eyes on.”

 

She’s blushing immediately, and not just because of how turned on he’s made her. “You're just saying that because I’m pregnant with your kid,” she jokes lightly.

 

“Aye, but it was true before that, and it’ll be true once he’s born.”

 

“Could be a she.”

 

“Either way, I’m the luckiest man alive.”

 

She can’t take it anymore, she’s liable to start crying if he doesn’t stop with his sappy romantic words (or if he doesn’t get inside her). So, she reaches up and wraps her hands around his neck, pulling him to her so that she can kiss him with ferocity, their tongues dancing together and their lips becoming swollen.

 

He starts kissing his way down her jaw, her neck, her chest, until he reaches her left breast and starts swirling his tongue around the nipple, making her moan loudly and embarrassingly. She feels the smug bastard smirk against her skin, and she knows that her excessive horniness is not doing anything to tone down his excessive ego.

 

He releases her nipple with a soft pop and works his way further south, kissing her through her underwear as he scrapes his nails up and down her inner thigh, driving her insane. She’s close to shouting at him to get on with it before she feels him tugging the garment over her ass and down her legs, discarding them on the floor beneath the bed.

 

Once she’s bare before him, he spreads her at the knees and licks a long strip along her center that causes her to moan much louder than she anticipated, and she knows for sure that she won’t last long. He’s probably grinning as he sucks and licks and kisses at her clit, swirling his tongue so expertly that she thinks she might burst. Once his finger slides in, followed closely by a second, he curls them against her as he continues his work against her clit, and it’s mere moments before she a whimpering mess. She clenches hard against his fingers, her entire body seizing up as she rides out the most intense orgasm she thinks she’s ever had. Although, she seems to think that exact thing almost every time she and Killian are together.

 

His fingers barely stop stroking inside her as he somehow shimmies his way out of his boxers, the very ones he modeled for her last week when he finally made the switch to modern undergarments. He’s up at her level and kissing her, knowing exactly where she needs him before she can even think about it herself. As he lines himself up against her, he continues kissing her and eventually moves his lips down to her favorite spot below her ear, sucking and nipping and licking the sensitive skin. God has she missed having sex with him.

 

“Fuck,” he breathes out against her skin as he finally slides into her. She herself is moaning and whimpering at the feeling of being stretched by him. It’s slightly uncomfortable and a bit tender, but she’s able to quickly and easily push those thoughts from her mind when she feels him slide out minutely and back in. “Bloody fucking goddess, you are.”

 

“Jesus,” she says, throwing her head back into the pillows. “Fuck me.”

 

“It’s Killian,” he corrects.

 

She nearly has time to roll her eyes but loses interest in doing so when he begins thrusting harder into her, his hand holding hers above her head as her mouth hangs open in a silent scream of pleasure. He’s propped up on his left elbow, just barely hovering over her face, so she leans up and kisses him as he fucks her to oblivion.

 

She’s an absolute moaning mess after just a few minutes, and she can’t honestly believe how quickly he’s bringing her to this point. He’s always been great at what he does, but having sex with Killian while she’s pregnant and horny may be the most incredible feeling in the world.

 

“Killian,” she whimpers, and he lets go of her hands so she can bring one down around his shoulder and dig her nails into his skin and the other to her clit, her heels pressing into his ass to push him deeper. “Don’t stop. Killian, please don’t stop.”

 

He shakes his head against her neck, sucking on her skin again. “I won’t angel. Come for me, Emma.”

 

It’s as if that was all she needed, his words pulling a trigger that sets off the explosion throughout her body. She’s seeing stars as she comes with force, squeezing every part of her around him and potentially adding to the scars on his back. She buries her face in the spot where his neck meets his shoulder and bites into his skin, then releases as she lets out a shout. He’s toppling over the edge right after her, grabbing her hand and clutching it in his as he whispers curses and dirty words and loving little statements into her ear.

 

“Fuck,” she finally mutters once she’s caught her breath. “Morning sex is fantastic, but now I’m ready to go back to bed.”

 

He laughs against her skin, lifting his body off of hers, and she mourns the loss of his warm weight. “You may have time for a short nap, love, it’s not yet 8:00.”

 

“Guess it didn’t take too long, huh? I told you I was horny.”

 

“I’m not complaining, darling,” he assures her as he hands her a cloth and steps away to clean himself.

 

“Are you still coming tonight?” she asks once she’s cleaned up and lying comfortably in bed.

 

He sits on the edge of the bed next to her, running his fingers softly against her brow bone as he often enjoys doing. “Of course I am.”

 

“I’m nervous,” she admits.

 

“To see your own parents?”

 

She shrugs, nosing at his palm. “I just get the feeling that my mom is still… I don’t know, unhappy about this whole thing.”

 

He sighs and moves her over slightly before lying down next to her and kissing the tip of her nose. “Because it was unplanned?”

 

“Unplanned is the understatement of the year, Hook.” He breathes out a light laugh and nudges her cheek with his nose, urging her to go on. “My mom expected me to get back with Neal. It’s hard for her to see that that isn’t happening, no matter how happy I am.”

 

“You're happy, darling?” she nods and smiles at him. “Good. I’m just confused about why she wants you to be with him so badly after all he’s put you through.”

 

She falters slightly, cringing. “Well…”

 

“Swan, your parents know what happened, don’t they?” She shrugs, shaking her head. “Well that explains things, love. All this time I was racking my brains over why on earth they would want you to be with him, although I suppose I am rather biased. But now it makes sense.”

 

“I guess so.”

 

“Why haven’t you told them?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Emma,” he starts, leaning up slightly and running his hand along her jaw. “You can tell me anything, love.”

 

“I’m just,” she sighs. “It’s embarrassing. He completely screwed me over and I was so young and stupid. I still can’t believe I let him get me like that.”

 

“You were a child, love. No one would expect you to have known any better.”

 

“Still. I spent my whole life not… not needing them. I turned out okay after everything. And I don’t want them to know—or I guess I'm scared for them to know—that maybe in that moment, I did need them.” He nods. “I don’t want them to feel guilty for what they did because I know that they did what they thought they had to do, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering how different, how much better my life would have been, if…” she sighs, words falling flat.

 

“Aye love,” he sighs after a moment, kissing her nose again. “But think of what you gained. If that hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t have Henry.”

 

“Yeah,” she breathes out, snuggling into his chest and fighting off tears.

 

“I understand that it’s scary and you don’t want them to know, darling, but it might make things easier for you if they did. You can wonder ‘what if’ for the rest of your life, but it won’t change anything, trust me.”

 

“I do.” He grins at her, kissing her lips softly, briefly, before pulling away.

 

“I'm sorry to make you talk of such disconsolate things so early, Swan. I didn’t mean to push you.”

 

“You didn’t, it’s okay. I know you're right. It’ll just be difficult to get my shit together enough to actually talk to them.”

 

He nods again, kissing her once more before he moves to get out of bed. “Would you like to nap before work, my darling? I’ll wake you at 8:30.”

 

She grins now, sighing as she snuggles into the blankets and drifts into a quick and dreamless sleep.

 

~~~~

 

When she finally gets to the station, a little late because, try as he might, Killian simply could not get her ass out of bed, her father is waiting for her. He’s taken over patrols for her over the last few weeks, mostly because she couldn’t go an hour without a trash can or toilet within arm’s reach, but she thinks it’s also a protective-dad thing. As much as she hates the idea of someone doting over her or thinking she can’t do her job because of her pregnancy, she doesn’t mind the idea of her father doting over her. It’s still something that she’s getting used to, and just another example of how different this pregnancy is from her last.

 

“Hi hon,” he says as she sits down.

 

“Hey,” she says back, taking a deep breath and nearly falling back to sleep on the spot.

 

“Feeling okay?”

 

She almost smirks at the knowledge that one of her pregnancy symptoms has been sated for the time being, and nods. “A little better today, actually. I was only sick once this morning.”

 

He grimaces, an unpleasant sound leaving his lips. “The fact that you’re sleeping on a boat can’t be helping matters.”

 

“Don’t let Killian hear you call it that.”

 

“Don’t let him hear you call his boat an it,” David laughs. She smiles too, reaching towards her computer mouse and jiggling it until the screen comes on. “Elsa might come by today, to look at some town records.”

 

Emma nods at that, excited to have something other than phone calls and paperwork to do today. “Sounds good.”

 

“Your mother is very excited for tonight. Wants to know if you have any special requests.”

 

She purses her lips in thought before answering, “I’ve been really craving steak lately. And onions.”

 

“Steak and onions,” he says, nodding then rolling his eyes with a laugh. “I’m sure she can figure out a steak recipe. She won’t make it for me, so I’ll just guilt her into making it for her pregnant daughter.”

 

She smiles briefly before letting it fade as she turns her attention back to her screen.

 

“She is excited, you know. For the baby.”

 

Emma nearly rolls her eyes, letting out a sigh as she turns back to her father. “Just not for the baby’s father,” she replies, and it’s not a question.

 

“It’s a lot for her to take in. She thought for the longest time that you were with Neal.”

 

“And I’m not, I haven’t been for 12 years. I just wish she could see that I’m happy where I am.”

 

“I know, hon. Just—go easy on her. She’s used to true love and love at first sight and all that. She was raised differently from how you were in this world.”

 

“Trust me, I’m very aware of how differently the two of us were raised,” Emma snaps, immediately regretting her snarky comment. “Shit,” she mutters. “I’m sorry, that came out sounding a lot more hostile than I intended.”

 

“No, you're right.” He stands from his desk, making his way to hers and pulling up a chair so that they're sitting close together. “I know that it wasn’t easy for you growing up here. And I often kick myself wondering how different things would be for you if we had been here, or if you had been able to stay. What we did they day you were born… I still have nightmares about it.”

 

“You do?”

 

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Hell, I carried my newborn through a hoard of Black Knights and sent her away through a magic wardrobe for 28 years. I don’t know if I can ever come back from that as a parent.”

 

She frowns at him. “You did what you thought you had to do, to give me my best chance.”

 

“Just like you did with Henry. And look at the two of you now,” he says with a smile, although she can feel the grip that her guilt has on her heart tightening. “Raising a baby from the start is gonna be so different.”

 

“Yeah,” she nearly whispers, her eyes stinging and her throat burning as she holds back tears. She knows what he means, and knows that he means well, but she can’t stop the feelings of guilt and regret from flooding her entire being. How can she raise this new baby after what she did to Henry? After she subjected him to being raised by the literal Evil Queen?

 

How can she tell him?

 

“Anyway,” her father mercifully continues, standing from his chair and stepping back towards his desk. “I’d better be off. Patrol isn’t gonna do itself.”

 

She smiles as he leaves the room, letting it fade immediately as she ponders her regret. Before she knows it, the tears she was barely holding back are free falling down her face as she thinks about what this new baby will mean to Henry.

 

~~~~

 

Emma has every intention of telling her parents about her past with Neal at dinner, and Killian couldn’t be more encouraging. When she got back to his ship and told him, his face nearly split in two as he smiled at her. Then he told her that he was proud of her.

 

But when they arrive at her parents’ loft for dinner, Henry’s there, and suddenly her plans fly out the window. She’s just lucky that her mother didn’t invite Neal or Regina, too.

 

It’s not that she isn’t elated to see her son, who’s been spending a few more nights a week with Regina. It’s just that she knows that she can’t have this conversation in front of him. She also can’t freely display any pregnancy symptoms for fear of him somehow putting the pieces together.

 

Once they're sitting down for dinner, she smells the steak her mother has cooked, and her mouth begins watering.

“You requested this, love?” Kilian asks, squeezing her knee under the table.

 

“Mhmm,” she nods at him, giving him a soft smile.

 

“It smells delicious, Your Majesty.”

 

“Thank you,” Mary Margaret says with a strained smile. She places the salad and dressing on the table before stepping away and returning with a bowl of mashed potatoes. Killian serves everyone some salad, then offers her the Italian dressing and she nearly starts dry heaving, shaking her head and reaching for lemon pepper instead.

 

“So,” Henry says as he starts cutting into his steak. “Are you dating my mom?”

 

Killian chokes a bit on his Merlot, placing the glass down graciously and patting his mouth with his napkin. “Uh,” he starts, looking over to Emma for relief. She shrugs. “I, um, well I suppose I’m courting her.”

 

Henry nods pensively, stabbing into his salad and taking a huge bite. “Does courting mean dating?”

 

Emma smirks at the fact that he will not give this up, and glances over to Killian. “Yeah, kid. It does.”

 

“So, you're not dating my dad?” It’s Emma’s turn to choke on her drink, trying hard to swallow the water left in her mouth. She shakes her head no, unsure if she can trust her voice. “I figured. You haven’t been coming to dinner lately.”

 

“Henry, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still love you. And I still have love for him because he gave me you. But your dad and I… we just don’t work anymore.”

 

“He said he wants to date you, but it’s your decision.” Mother fucker filling her son’s head with bullshit, putting it on her.“But you don’t want to date him.”

 

“I don’t, kid.” She figures honesty is the best policy.

 

He nods again, shoveling a large helping of mashed potatoes into his mouth as Kilian reaches down and squeezes her knee again. Her heart is racing, and her palms are sweating at her son’s interrogation.

 

“That’s okay,” he finally says around his potatoes. “I could tell Captain Hook liked you and you like him.”

 

“You could?” she asks, smiling slightly.

 

“He’s not really keeping it a secret,” he deadpans, and Killian laughs along with Emma. David smiles and Mary Margaret might possibly loosen up, a little. (Maybe the wine is helping on that front, too.)

 

As they finish dinner and move on to dessert—chocolate ice cream, at Emma’s request and Henry’s fierce approval— she continues to ponder her son’s maturity. How can a 12-year-old who’s been through so much be so easy going? She at first thinks she just got lucky, but then she realizes that she played no role in raising him. As much as it pains her to admit, a large part of his attitude is courtesy of Regina’s upbringing of him.

 

Guilt settles over her again as she thinks about the decision she made 12 years ago. She knew at the time that it was the right thing to do. There was no way she would have been fit to be his mother when she got out of jail. She had no money, no home, and hardly any means to take care of herself, never mind an infant. But there’s a part of her that will always regret giving him up, that part made especially large when she saw the emotional torment he went through for much of his short life.

 

Knowing what he’s been through with Regina, knowing that she herself played a very heavy hand in putting him in that situation, makes her stomach twist. But knowing that she now has a second baby on the way, one whom she intends to raise with its father when she didn’t do the same for her first, makes her positively nauseous, and she wonders if she’ll have to excuse herself for the restroom before dessert is over.

 

After they drop Henry off at Regina’s house, they switch places and Killian drives Emma to the pier, slowly and carefully. He’s been doing amazingly well at driving, and she’s surprised by how much he’s been able to pick up in a few short weeks.

 

Once they arrive, he puts the car in park but doesn’t kill the engine, unbuckling his seatbelt and turning his body towards her.

 

“Alright, love?”

 

She shrugs as tears immediately fill her eyes, her throat burning again as her chest feels tight.

 

“I couldn’t tell them with Henry there,” she practically whimpers, her voice sounding completely pathetic.

 

“I know, Swan. It’s alright.”

 

She finds herself struggling to look him in the eyes, so she focuses on the horizon and the boats sitting along it. “I just…” she can’t finish her thought, shrugging again and letting her body deflate into the passenger seat.

 

“Something else is eating at you, love.”

 

“it’s… it’s Henry. How can I… how can I raise this new baby when I…”

 

“Swan,” he starts, taking her hand in his.

 

“I gave him away. I’m the one who essentially sent him to be raised by the fucking Evil Queen. How can I do something like that and then just… it feels like I’m replacing him.”

 

“Emma, darling, you're not replacing him. You still have him in your life. He’s here and he isn’t going anywhere because he loves you.”

 

“it’s just hard to think about telling him. What if he thinks I’m replacing him?”

 

“He knows why you made the decision that you did, love. You can’t change what’s already happened, so at some point you have to forgive yourself and move on.”

 

“That’s the second time you’ve said that to me today,” she says with a sound coming out of her throat, somewhere between a laugh and a scoff.

 

“it must be true, then.”

 

“I just can’t shake the feeling that at some point the other shoe is gonna drop and everything that’s been going so right so far is just gonna disappear.”

 

“I didn’t realize how traumatic this experience would be for you, love. It seems to be bringing back some strong feelings.”

 

She shrugs. “I guess.”

 

He nods, pulling her hand up to his mouth and pressing his lips to her knuckles. “Perhaps it would be helpful for you to speak with the cricket.”

 

“I’m not crazy,” she says defensively.

 

“I didn’t say you were, Swan. I just think it might be helpful to talk about these things.”

 

“I’m talking to you right now,” she says, her brows pulling together and a pout donning her mouth.

 

“Aye, and I’ll always be here for that, love, but it might be nice to have an objective person to speak to as well. I’m pretty pro-anything-you-decide-to-do.” She smiles at him again, finally turning towards him and leaning forward to rest her head on his shoulder. “Just think about it, aye love?”

 

“Aye.” He squeezes her shoulders and laughs lightly, kissing her temple.

 

“I know we just got ho—back, but would you like to see what I’ve been working on? It’s almost finished, but it’s probably ready for you to see now.”

 

She’d almost forgotten that they discussed this briefly this morning, and she’s suddenly excited to see exactly what the hell Killian is talking about, so she nods against his shoulder and sits up.

 

He puts the car in reverse and starts down the road, struggling slightly to operate the high beams with his hook but driving successfully either way. He slowly makes his way through town, passing through Main Street until they get to the outskirts and he turns right into a parking spot. When she looks up, Emma sees a row of matching apartments lining the quiet street. The one they're parking in front of is lit up with a light that resembles a lantern from his ship.

 

“What’s this?” she asks when he turns off the car.

 

“This is my project,” he answers, leaving the car and circling around until he reaches her door and pulls it open. He offers her his hand, but she’s still stunned and hasn’t undone her seatbelt yet.

 

She’s snapped to attention and clicks the button, taking his hand as he helps her out of her seat. She takes turns staring from him to the small townhouse and back to him.

 

“Your project…” she starts, unsure of what else to say.

 

“Aye, love. Just something I’ve been working on upon arriving here in Storybrooke.”

 

He takes a key from one of his pockets and sticks it into the lock before opening the black front door and gesturing for her to take a step inside.

 

The interior is slightly unfinished with blue tape lining the walls, and there’s no furniture in sight, but she can tell that the space is beautiful. It’s light and airy despite it being nighttime and the lights being off. He moves to switch one on and stands a few feet back from her as if giving her time to process what she’s seeing.

 

They're standing in what she assumes will be a living room, which has fully constructed walls that still need paint. To her right is a small kitchen with beautiful black granite counter tops with golden flecks throughout paired with light wooden cabinetry. It reminds her of the Jolly Roger.

 

She sees a small hallway with three doors lining the space. She takes a few steps towards them, then turns back to Killian as if to ask permission to enter. He nods, and she makes her way forward, opening the first door to her right to see a bright bathroom complete with a tub. The cabinetry and counters match those in the kitchen, and she smiles at the consistency.

 

She leaves the bathroom and steps over to the door next to it, finding what she imagines would be a small bedroom. The room isn’t too large, but it does have a nice sized closet, soft cream-colored carpeting, and a large window. These walls have been painted a soft white.

 

She smiles as she turns out of this room, noting that Killian is still standing in the open living room area allowing her to explore on her own. She turns around to the door across from the small bedroom and opens it up to find what she knows must be the master. It’s the size of the small bedroom and bathroom combined and has two doors on the other end which she assumes leads to a bathroom and closet. Killian has an end unit, so this bedroom has a large window on two walls. She opens a door closest to the entrance and finds a deep walk-in closet with bright lighting and a large mirror opposite the door. When she leaves and opens the other door, she finds a huge bathroom with fixtures matching the others in the apartment as well as a large standing shower at least double the size of an average one with stones that match the tan cabinets with golden flecks and black marbling throughout.

 

Emma is astonished at what she’s seen, unsure what to do or say as she stands in the empty, bare-walled bedroom. She finds that she doesn’t need to decide what to do, because when she turns, she sees Killian standing in the doorway looking nervous.

 

“I don’t…” she starts, but the words fall flat on her tongue. She doesn’t know what to say.

 

“I’ve purchased the space and have spent my days finishing it,” he offers quietly.

 

“How long?” she asks, stepping towards him until she’s almost close enough to touch him.

 

“Few months, about two weeks after we arrived back here.”

 

She shakes her head, her mouth hanging open. “Two weeks and you knew you wanted to stay?”

 

He’s blushing, his cheeks and ears turning a hot shade of pink. “Well, property is a very good investment,” he jokes, not making full eye contact with her.

 

She laughs awkwardly and shakes her head. “Right.”

 

“But yes, I knew.”

 

She starts to cry, obviously. And he gives her the smile that makes her heart flutter, of course.

 

“Don’t cry, darling,” he says with a soft chuckle as he whisps away a tear from her right cheek.

 

“This is just…” she waves her hands around between the two of them, words failing her.

 

“I know it seems like a lot, but I’m not showing you this place because I want you to move in.” She nods slowly, sniffling and wiping tears herself. “I bought it so I could have a project; something to finish. I felt so lost, and I just needed something to take my mind off the fact that I probably had to stop trying to kill the Crocodile, or that Baelfire was alive and well but not the man that I’d hoped he’d grow into. And as I was working, every decision I made I forced myself not to consider what you would think. And I had to kick myself every time I imagined you standing in here with me.” She lets out a harsh laugh before sniffling again. He nearly whispers, “but then you told me about the baby, Swan, and I just… I have so much hope. You’ve given me so much, love.” He wipes a tear again, his thumb stroking along her cheek and jaw. “I just hope that you’d feel comfortable enough to spend time here. And maybe I can make the spare room into the baby’s bedroom rather than the treasure room I was planning.”

 

She laughs again and leans into him, wrapping her arms around his middle and touching her tear-streaked face into his chest.

 

“This is a lot to take in,” she finally says against leather.

 

“I know, love. You don’t need to say anything just yet. I just… I want to be there for the little lad or lass, and you, and I don’t think a newborn should be living on a pirate ship. At least not until he’s old enough to become a pirate himself,” he adds with a smirk that she can hear.

 

“Could be a girl.”

 

“And she would be the most fearsome pirate in all the realms.” Without thinking, Emma presses a kiss into the exposed hair on his chest as another laugh escapes her lips. “You don’t have to move in here, Swan. It’s for the baby.”

 

“The baby lives in me,” she says with a smile, pulling back slightly.

 

“I know,” he smirks back.

 

She breathes out a laugh. “It is a lot, Killian, but I love it.”

 

“Do you?”

 

“Yeah,” she breathes out, and she suddenly can’t stop imagining how she might decorate the baby’s bedroom here. Then she remembers that he’s not asking her to move in and she shakes the thoughts from her mind. “Maybe we can stay here, then, instead of the Jolly Roger, once it’s finished.”

 

“That sounds perfect, love. It should only be another week or two before I can get furniture in here.” She nods, still smiling into his chest and squeezing him tight as his hand runs up and down her back. “We can take it slow.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

~~~~

 

The following Saturday, Emma watches as Killian and Mr. Smee move furniture around the townhouse until he’s satisfied with the layout, and she has to say, he has good taste. He picked out pieces that that fit perfectly with the aesthetic of the house, and since the walls were all painted a soft white last week, it’s starting to feel a lot more like a home.

 

She thinks back to earlier in the week, when Emma visited Mary Margaret for lunch and was absolutely put in her place over her delusions about their living arrangements.

 

Emma told her about Killian’s new apartment, about the high ceilings and the soft carpeting in the bedrooms and the hardwood floors in the kitchen. Then she told her about how the baby’s room has a big window overlooking the sea, and how large the walk-in closet in the master bedroom is, and Mary Margaret shot her a look that she couldn’t quite read.

 

“What?” Emma asked, raising her brows and frowning just a bit.

“I’m just surprised that you two are moving in together so quickly.”

 

“We’re not moving in together!”

 

“Emma,” she said with a light laugh. “That’s a little bit of a stretch, isn’t it? I mean, think of how much time you’ve been spending together lately. You're telling me that you aren’t now going to spend even more time at his new place?”

 

“Well,” she started, stumbling over her words. “I mean, yeah, we’re probably going to spend time together there, but that’s instead of the ship.”

 

“You are moving in with him eventually. Maybe not now, but you two are moving in together.”

 

“That’s a lie,” Emma defended childishly.

 

“Mhmm,” Mary Margaret said back with a smirk. “Whatever you say, honey. And are you planning on sleeping in your own bed tonight?”

 

Emma stared at her then rolled her eyes, knowing that she’s lost the argument because her answer is a big fat no.

 

Now, as she sits on Killian’s comfortable new couch and practically sinks into the cushions (a beautiful and regal red color, to match the fixtures in the captain’s quarters aboard the Jolly Roger), she thinks she’s ready for a nap at any moment until she watches him reach up to a high shelf to put glasses away and his shirt rides up slightly, exposing a sliver of skin on his abdomen.

 

And, because she’s actually a child and not a 29-year-old adult, she wads up a tissue and tosses it at him to get his attention.

 

He chuckles as he turns around, placing a glass back into the box it came out of. “Need something, love?” She nods and then reaches her arms out and makes grabbing motions with both hands because, again, she’s a child. Perhaps a toddler, actually. He makes his way over from the kitchen area and takes one of her hands in his. “Water? A snack?”

 

“I’d like a snack, yes,” she responds, tugging on his hand until he’s seated next to her and she hoists herself, with great effort and a bit of help, onto his lap.

 

“Mmm,” he growls as his hand makes its way around to cup her ass. “You’ve been absolutely insatiable lately, love.”

 

“Mhmm,” she says as she reaches down to kiss his neck. “It’s a symptom of my condition.”

 

“Your condition?” he snorts, slapping her ass lightly when she bites his skin.

 

“Mhmm.” She nods into his neck and starts to unbutton the few that are fastened and kisses her way down his torso and feels his breathing catch in his chest.

 

When she crawls onto the floor and reaches the button on his jeans, she pauses and bites lightly at his stomach, reveling in the feeling of his abs tightening in response. She undoes the button and slides the zipper down, scratching down the tops of his thighs as he sighs heavily and throws his head against the back of the couch.

 

Once she gets his jeans and boxers off (not before admiring the shape of him through the black fabric), she takes his length in her hand and strokes up and down a few times before wrapping her mouth around his cock. She hums and he groans softly in response, then she glances up at him through her lashes and meets his eyes with hers. She moves her mouth along his soft marble skin for a few moments before she feels the tip hit the back of her throat and his hand grips her hair, his hips spasming. He moves his hand down to her cheek and pulls her up a bit so that she releases him with a soft pop.

 

“I want you,” he says darkly, and she feels desire flooding her as he helps her to get up off the floor and tug her leggings and underwear down. Once she’s perched on his thighs, she feels his hand tracing down her body until his thumb reaches her clit and she sighs and rests her head on his shoulder. His fingers slide into her easily and he groans. “You're so ready for me, love,” he murmurs.

 

She hums and turns her head so that she can press her lips to his neck. When she feels him curling his fingers and circling his thumb around her clit, she grinds down against his hand before tugging on his arm. He removes it quickly so that she can reach between them and align him so that he can thrust himself up into her.

 

She lets out a satisfied groan at the feeling of him filling her to the hilt. She bites her bottom lip, pulling back slightly so that she can kiss him. His hand is running wildly along her back, lifting her t-shirt and sliding along her side until he finds her breast and holds it tenderly. They're still quite sore, and he has gotten used to fondling them gently.

 

“Bloody vixen,” he mumbles against her neck, nipping at the sensitive spot he tends to favor. “You are bloody brilliant. Amazing.”

 

As much as she thought she would hate it, especially hearing him talking up a storm on the beanstalk and in Neverland, she never tires of the way he talks to her when they're like this. The things he says are sometimes filthy, but never in a derogatory way and always in a way that makes her feel so much sexier.

 

God, fuck, can you—” She lifts her head from his shoulder and makes a small circular motion with her hand and he gets the message. He lifts her body off of his slightly, pulling out of her and then tugging her shirt over her head. She understands what he wants, too, and unhooks her bra, releasing her swollen breasts practically into his waiting hands.

 

He hums and squeezes gently, obviously pleased with their new size, before she turns away from him and gets on all fours on the couch. He’s practically growling now, feeling her up and down her waist and hip before he leans down and tongues at her entrance, drawing an embarrassingly loud moan from her throat. She reaches back and tugs on his hair as if to say get on with it, and he’s up again, leaning his hips against hers and running his hand along her again before landing on her ass with a light smack.

 

She’s pushing back against him, falling from her hands down to her elbows before he finally lines up and thrusts deeply into her. She lets out a shout and moves to set her fingers against her clit, but he brushes them away and goes to work himself, bringing her closer and closer with each caress. After several deep thrusts, they're practically falling into the couch with him landing on top of her but not settling all of his body weight on her, his hand still stroking against her clit and his hook digging into the couch next to her. The new depth and angle as he continues to thrust and move his fingers against her sends her over the edge in nearly an instant.

 

As she falls, her vision goes white, her mouth hanging open and biting into the couch in a silent (or perhaps not) scream. He follows shortly after her, burying his face in her hair and grunting out curses and praises into her ear as his hips continue to twitch against her.

 

“Fuck,” she mumbles against the fabric of the couch. She’s unable to move, and not just because Killian is still lying on top of her.

 

“Aye,” he responds. He presses a soft kiss to her ear underneath a curtain of hair. “You certainly are voracious lately, darling. I must say it’s one of my favorite symptoms of yours.”

 

She hums. “I guess it is better than the constant puking and peeing and sleeping.”

 

He laughs and kisses her cheek once more before lifting himself off of her and grabbing a box of tissues from an end table, offering it to her and taking one for himself. “Alright?” he asks.

 

“Yeah, just ready for my nap.”

 

“Take one, love. The bed isn’t ready just yet, but I can get you a blanket for the couch.”

 

She nods, reaching for her bra and shirt. Once they're both cleaned up and dressed, she says, “we should start thinking about the baby’s room.”

 

“Seems a bit early, but sure,” he nods with a smile.

 

“It’s never too early to start planning. Plus, I’m excited. I’ve never done this before.”

 

“Aye, love, neither have I.”

 

She smiles at him as he stands, throwing away the soiled tissues and walking towards a closet to grab a black throw blanket. “So, no secret kids I should know about?”

 

He chuckles and scratches behind his ear, draping the blanket over her body and sitting next to her. “I was always rather careful. Although I suppose times were different…”

 

With the way his body stiffens, she knows that her joke has made him uncomfortable. A part of her worries that he thinks he could actually have some secret kids out there.

 

“It’s okay,” she starts. “I didn’t mean to make you feel bad, I was just joking.”

 

“I know, Swan,” he says before gesturing to the couch as if to invite her to lie down. Once she does, he wedges himself behind her and arranges the blanket over them before he wraps his arm around her middle, his hand landing protectively over her belly. “I have no knowledge of any other children, and as I said, I was always careful. I suppose I’ll never really know for certain, though.”

 

She struggles with how to respond, not wanting to offend him, and settles on a joke. “Should I be offended that you weren’t careful with me?”

 

“No,” he chuckles. “I suppose I was just so enraptured by your beauty and the fact that you actually wanted to be with me that I lost all capabilities of logical thought.”

 

She laughs, holding his hand in her own as he rubs small soothing circles over what will soon be a small bump. “I’m happy.”

 

He pulls her a bit tighter and kisses her shoulder before saying, “good. So am I.”

 

“I’m glad you're here. With me.”

 

“There’s nowhere I’d rather be,” he nearly whispers.

 

After a beat, when her eyes are starting to feel heavy and the circular motions of Killian’s hand start to sooth her into near sleep, she lets out one final thought. “I need to talk to my parents about Neal.”

 

His hand stops for a moment but resumes as he says, “I think that’s a good idea.”

 

“It’ll help me to move past everything. And maybe if they knew everything, mom will stop wishing I was with him.” He sighs, and she knows she probably shouldn’t have said that. She is on fire today with the offensive comments. “Sorry. Just… I feel like I’m mourning him. Like I knew and loved someone totally different and now I have to get over it all over again 12 years later.”

 

“It’s alright, Swan, I know what you mean. Baelfire was someone I could have allowed myself to love, as well.”

 

She nods her head against his chest as he tightens his arm around her middle and falls into a blissful sleep.

 

~~~~

 

It’s almost a week later when Emma finally builds up the courage to talk to her parents. She knows she needs to do this, that it’s important for them to know what she went through and how it’s impacting her now. Killian was right, her first pregnancy was traumatic for her, and now that she’s pregnant again, she’s finding that she’s having some trouble with the memories of what she went through.

 

He offers to go with her on Friday when she goes to Mary Margaret’s loft, but she declines, deciding that she needs to do this on her own.

 

She’s spent a lot of time at his new place over the last two weeks, and it’s only helping to add to the guilt she feels surrounding Henry. Each time she spends the night, it’s because her son is staying with Regina, but a more illogical part of her feels as if she’s abandoning him all over again by not spending time with him. The fact is, she’s scared to spend time with him because she’s scared that he’ll find out that she’s pregnant. If she’s honest, she’s a bit surprised his blabbermouth of a father hasn’t told him already.

 

Killian has reminded her a few times that this isn’t something she can hide from Henry forever, and that he’s smart and will eventually figure it out if she doesn’t come out and tell him. He’s right, of course. But she hasn’t really started to show too much yet, aside from what could be passed off as bloating, so she’ll continue to live in a state of unhealthy denial for a while longer.

 

When she arrives at the loft, she’s filled with dread and discomfort, but she knows she has to do this. When she told them earlier that she wanted to come over to talk, she was sure that they were expecting the worst. Maybe they thought that Killian left her, or that something happened to the baby, or that she was hurt somehow. So, when she arrives, they're both pacing across the floor nervously and jump when the door opens.

 

She apologizes for startling them, and for scaring them in general, then takes a seat at the table with her father following close behind. Her mother has prepared tea and brings over mugs and the kettle.

 

Emma starts talking and finds it near impossible to stop. Once she starts retelling the story, the memories are flooding to her mind as if it happened yesterday. The way that she thought for sure that he was the one, how safe she thought she was with him, the confidence she felt as she was piecing together her plan. The love she had for him at such a young age.

 

Mary Margaret begins crying before Emma even tells them about the watches, knowing that something bad was going to happen. David sits quietly in his seat, his fists and jaw clenched tightly. When Emma talks the police getting a tip, and then about her sentence, she sees his eyes glassing over.

 

When she tells them about how she discovered she was pregnant, two months into her stay at women’s correctional facility, her mother stands from her seat and hugs Emma tight, sobbing into her shoulder as she squeezes her and muttering out begging apologies into the air. She knew that Emma went to prison and knew that she gave birth while she was there. But learning that Neal left her there and never came back was evidently too much for her to bear.

 

Emma continues to tell them about how she gave birth to a healthy baby boy while she was chained to the bed and wouldn’t allow herself to look at him. About how she sobbed at the sound of his cries and still hears it in her dreams. About how she doesn’t know how to deal with Neal being back in her and Henry’s lives, especially when he was behaving so possessively.

 

“I hate him, but a part of me still loves him. He gave me Henry, and when we were together, it was really good. But he… he fucked me over. I was just a kid. He’s the one who called the cops, he tipped them off on where I’d be. And I was wearing a watch, so he got away to Canada and I got found guilty.”

 

“Emma, I am so sorry. For everything,” her mother sniffles. She’s still wiping tears away, and so is Emma. “I never should have pushed you towards him. When you said you thought you still loved him, before Neverland, I was so hopeful that you would get the chance to be with your first love. I had no idea how much pain went along with that.”

 

She nods, “I guess I didn’t really realize it either. Me and Killian have been talking about it and I think he’s right.”

 

“What does he say?” David asks, speaking up for the first time and clearing his throat.

 

“That the first time I was pregnant was traumatic. And that it’s hard to come to terms with my feelings for Neal when a part of me will always love him, even if only because of Henry.”

 

David hums and nods his head, adding, “big words coming from the pirate,” with a slight smirk.

 

“Dad,” she threatens lightly, switching over to a more serious tone. “I know this was unexpected, and a surprise and unplanned and all that, but… I think I’m happier now than I have ever been in my entire life. I was happy enough with Neal, but I didn’t realize that that relationship was kind of… it was kind of messed up. I was only 17.” David clenches his fists again and Mary Margaret looks like she’s seen a ghost as she takes a sip from her mug, the tea having long gone cold. “But with Hook, it’s just… it’s so easy. He’s so good to me. and I know he’ll be a fantastic father. I just want you guys to see that, and see that I’m happy now, with him. I don’t want to be with Neal, and hopefully now you can see why. Hopefully now that I’ve told you, I can really move on.”

 

It’s quiet in the loft for a few moments before David speaks up and says, “I want to punch him in the face.”

 

“Me too,” Mary Margaret responds, turning to him and nodding her head.

 

“I do too, but it was a long time ago and that wouldn’t help anything. Right now, I just need to take time away from him and let myself get over it. Hook says I probably never fully healed from it.”

 

“Well,” Mary Margaret starts. “I am surprised to hear that Hook was the one who encouraged you to tell us. I’m surprised, but I’m glad.”

 

“Yes,” David says in response, nodding at her this time. “The way I see it, you're right. Seems like he treats you well.”

 

“Yeah,” Emma says with a smile.

 

“I actually spoke with Ruby a few days ago and she told me that I needed to, and this is a direct quote, get my head out of my rear end.” Emma chokes out a laugh as she stares at her mother, who nods at her. “She said she’s known about you two since your birthday, and that she’s certain that you and Hook are… well, she said you're in love. And to ask you about a necklace?”

 

Damn you, Ruby Lucas.

 

“She said my secret was safe with her,” Emma grumbles as she pulls the necklace out of her sweater and removes it to show her mother, explaining the meaning of the shining green stone.

 

She fawns over it for a few moments and says, “well, I’m glad she told me. I think she’s right about one thing,” with a sly smile as she wipes away another tear.

 

Emma rolls her eyes, but smiles. Because yes, maybe Ruby is right about one thing.