“Are you binding eldritch creatures or fishing?” he asks from the doorway.
Emma jolts, dropping her knitting. “Shit, no, sorry.” Only looking up then she realizes that her purple and red yarn is all over the floor. So is the green, which rolled away after she used it to make a leaf. A lumpy leaf that barely looks like anything. She should start over, again.
Looking at the sad little excuse for a hat, she rips out the needles and starts undoing it.
“Steady there,” he says, “I was just worried about the yarn on the floor.”
“No, no it wasn’t right.” She shakes her head, still unraveling what she worked on most of the afternoon. “I’ll just start over.”
Killian rescues the ball of green yarn, catching it with his hook while walks to the sofa. “I thought that one was all right.”
“It had a hole.”
“I’m sure some fashion of baby hats are allowed to have a hole. It’s not as if an infant will notice.” He drops the green ball of yarn next to her on the sofa and starts rescuing the red one, winding that back up to. “Whatever you make, love, they will adore it.”
“I should have just bought one.” Emma rips and rips until all that’s left is the little purple loop she made to start with. Now she has to cast on all over again. Sixty little stitches, that she’ll have to count and get right, and it’s all a mess.
“You didn’t want to buy something.” He drops to the sofa beside her, winding the mess of purple yarn around his hook, forming it slowly back into a ball. His hands move so quickly, so sure, because yarn is just like rope and his fingers know the way. “Which would be fine. Regina and the dragon won’t mind at all. You’ve been so good to them.”
“Having a baby is a big deal.” She snuggles closer to him, counting in her head while she casts on. “Like, it should be. It should be a happy thing.”
“They are happy.” He kisses her cheek. “Radiantly so, and the little one’s very strong. I’ve felt her kick.”
“Aye, love.” He pauses, smiling at her, the ball of purple yarn still wrapped around his hook. “What is it that troubles you?”
“She never had this,” Emma says. “Thirty-one, thirty-two,” she mutters to herself, not looking at him because he’ll see.
“She never got to be with Lily, at all. My parents took her away.” The last part, that her parents didn’t think she could be good, that they felt they had to change her.
“Which is not your fault, you weren’t even born.” His arm slips around her shoulders and she snuggles closer.
“But they ruined Lily’s life for me, and Maleficent’s, and now she gets a second change with Regina and this baby and the least I can do is make the baby a damn hat without any holes in it.” Emma keeps counting, whispering numbers under her breath as if this is part of her penance for being dark enough that she had to be saved.
“Yeah,” he nods to her. “How can I help?”
“More coffee?” Emma tilts her head at the empty cup on the table. “Maybe pick a movie.”
He chuckles. “Or you’ll subject me to Pirates of the Caribbean again?”
“I like listening to you list the inaccuracies in procedure and sailing.”
“It’s a right mess, even if it is a pleasant distraction.” He rubs her arm. “They will love whatever you make. I assure you.”
“Thanks.” Fifty-eight, fifity-nine, sixty. That’s a start. She can do this. Fifth time has to be the time it works.
“Hey.” he holds up the ball of purple yarn and meets her eyes, all sincere and soft. “Little dragon baby’s going to be so cute in her hat.” Killian kisses her once more and then he’s gone to the kitchen, leaving her with the yarn and the potential for a hat that isn’t lumpy this time.