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Rule The World

Chapter Text

“So, you know you’ve won the award, and the network knows that the show has won the award?” Emma asked, pulling her hair back “Doesn’t that kinda take away the wow factor?”

“I suppose so,” Killian called back. “But it’s a good way of promoting the show. We both know the only reason I’m cleared to attend tonight is for promotion of the second half of the season. With you on my arm, it’s only going to draw more attention for them. The only reason I even won the award in the first place is because of you.”

“That’s probably true,” Emma admitted with a sigh. “I voted for you like fifty times a day so I’m expecting lots of love in your acceptance speech.”

Killian snorted out a laugh as he finished tying his shoelaces.

“It’s cute that you think I’m joking,” she teased. “So, do we need to look surprised that you won?”

“Yeah. I guess it’s a good way of testing my acting skills,” Killian chuckled, moving to the doorframe to watch as Emma finished twisting her hair back into an effortlessly simply ponytail. “You look beautiful,” he assured her, as she span back and forth in the mirror over the bathroom sink.

“You think?” she asked, smiling at his reflection. “I know you said this wasn’t as formal as the rest of the award ceremonies but it’s our first public appearance since we announced our engagement, and I don’t wanna look stupid.”

Killian made his way quietly over to Emma, pulling her back into his arms. “You could never look stupid,” he assured her, placing a sweet kiss to the side of her neck. Emma had opted for a black, halter-neck dress, with royal blue accents for the evening. It’s sleeveless design, with cut-outs around her ribs and just below her cleavage, would keep her cool in the Los Angeles heat. While the below-the-knee hemline was perfect enough for an awards show and for her royal status. She’d added a thin, black and gold-plated belt to the look and a pair of black suede pumps.

It had been six days since the New Year’s Eve party.

Six days and Killian felt like he hadn’t stopped.

New Years Day had been the most relaxing of them all. Ruth had offered to host dinner for everyone, before their family and friends began parting once more, and they’d had a wonderful day surrounded by the people they loved.

Killian had gotten word on the next day that his presence at the People’s Choice Awards the following week would be highly appreciated. Emma had agreed to fly out to Los Angeles with him for the event, knowing he’d fly straight on to Vancouver when the week was over to resume filming, and she would return to London to continue her royal duties. He’d also made the official request for time off for the wedding, which had been granted almost immediately.

This, of course, meant that the next day, he found himself sat round a table with his parents, Liam, and Mary, as they argued over who deserved an invitation to the wedding of the year. Killian had argued that people he’d not spoken to for over a year didn’t deserve an invite, while his mother had been adamant that everyone should be given their one and only chance to attend a royal wedding. By the end of the day, they’d gotten no further than listing just their closest family and friends.

Brennan and Ailene returned to Ireland the following day. Their parting had been much more emotional than Emma had expected it to be. While they hadn’t stayed long, they’d managed to touch the hearts of everyone around them. Emma had absolutely no doubts that both she and her mother would be visiting frequently, between their duties.

Emma and Killian had boarded a plane headed to Los Angeles later that same day, offering Belle and Regina a seat with them on their way home too.

Thankfully, Anton had been able to secure the same rental home for them as he had for the premier party and Emma was grateful for that. She spent much of her life moving between hotels, apartments, and royal residences. Having somewhere familiar to return to was always a small comfort for her.

“You know, maybe we should make an offer on this place,” she suggested, leaning back into Killian’s embrace and resting her hands over his arms. “We’re gonna need somewhere to stay when you begin filming for your movie. It’s close to Regina and Belle, but secluded enough to fit security needs. This house would be perfect.”

“What are we gonna do with it for the rest of the year?” Killian scoffed.

“The same thing we do with all our other properties,” Emma deadpanned. “Wouldn’t it be nice to come back to a familiar home? Have a place here close to our friends that we could holiday in?”

“You think the landlord could be persuaded to sell it?” he asked. The idea of Emma and the private beach, attached to the property, was becoming more and more appealing the longer he thought about it.

“For the right price, I’m sure we could persuade him to.” Emma tilted her head back to watch as Killian considered her proposal. She could tell the moment he’d made his decision from the way his body relaxed ever so slightly, the corners of his lips pulling up.

“Okay. Have Anton make the call.”

“I will do,” she assured him, pulling out of his embrace. “Now, let’s go and promote the hell out of your television show.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” Killian teased, bowing as she walked past him and out of the bathroom. “Dear God am I a lucky man,” he whispered to himself, as he watched her stop to pick up her clutch bag, and then leave the room, looking every inch the princess she was.



Chapter Text

Attending an award show with Killian was a whole new experience for Emma. While she’d been to many within the UK, since turning eighteen, Los Angeles based award ceremonies were completely different. For one thing, the sun was out and beaming down on them all.

“I’m kinda nervous,” she admitted, twisting the ring she’d placed onto her index finger. “Which is ridiculous because we already know you’ve won.”

Killian pulled her in tighter and placed a sweet kiss to her hairline. “Wanna know a secret?” he asked. At Emma’s adorable nod, he continued, “I’m kinda nervous too. It’s not every day a guy gets to attend an award ceremony with the Princess of Cambridge.”

“I’ll have you know no guy ever has before,” she sassed back, twinning their fingers together.

“That had better not change any time soon,” he warned, with a faux stern tone, before dipping his head to kiss her bare shoulder.

Anton cleared his throat to suggest they had arrived at their destination and Killian sat back with a sigh. “Are you ready to do this?” he asked.

“Always.” The smile she gave him never failed to make his heart flutter, and he hoped that it always would.

Anton was at Killian’s side of the car soon enough, pulling the door open to allow the noise from the gathered fans and press to permeate the car. Killian climbed out as gracefully as he could, buttoning his jacket, before extending a hand back to help Emma out of the car.

He really needed to start taking tips from her on graceful exits.

He kept Emma’s hand held tightly in his own, as they waited for their turn to walk the red carpet. While he loved meeting his fans, Killian had to admit, this was part of the job he disliked most. Thankfully, having Emma by his side was making public appearances a lot more enjoyable for him these days.

When Anton gave them the word, he didn’t hesitate to lead Emma out into the middle of the carpet, to pose for the army of photographers waiting for them. He was always happy for an excuse to pull her into his arms, so Killian’s smile was wide and genuine as the photographers got their shots of the newly engaged couple. When they asked for pictures of Emma alone, Killian happily stepped aside, allowing her the space they needed. He stepped back in finally for the photographers to take their own shots of him, before he guided Emma away to the journalist waiting to interview them.

“I never get why they want the pictures of me,” Emma whispered. “I’m not winning an award.”

“No, but you are a princess,” Killian pointed out. “Besides, you’re also far better looking than I am, so it’s a no-brainer.”

“Debatable,” Emma argued, as they took their place before the female journalist.

“Oh, what’s debatable?” she asked, picking up on the tail end of their conversation. Killian flushed bright red and Emma laughed beside him.

Realising that she probably wasn’t getting an answer about a personal conversation, the woman interviewing them continued on to introduce them both. “Okay, I’m now joined by Fairytales actor Killian Jones and his new fiancée, Princess Emma of Cambridge. Congratulations to you both on your engagement. I hear a date has been set.”

“Yes, it has,” Emma agreed. “I’m sure it will be made public in the next few weeks.”

“Killian, you’re here tonight nominated for favourite sci-fi/fantasy actor, and your show, Fairytales, is nominated for favourite network TV sci-fi/fantasy show. How confident are you feeling?”

Emma made sure she schooled her features into as natural of an expression as possible, as she looked up to listen to Killian’s answer.

“As confident as one can ever be in this situation,” he replied carefully. “I’m well aware the show has a big following, that’s gaining momentum, but I also know we’re up against some powerhouses of fandoms.”

“And your own personal chances of winning?” she pushed.

“Well, Emma assures me she’s spent far too much time voting for me the last few weeks, so I’d say I’m in with a shot.” He winked in her direction and Emma couldn’t hold in her giggles any longer.

“You’ve been voting for him?” the journalist asked her.

“Of course. What kind of supportive fiancée would I be if I didn’t?” Emma scoffed. She was a little offended that the journalist would suggest otherwise.

As the interviewer was given the nod to wrap things up, Killian curled his arm around Emma’s waist, pulling her into his side.

“Well, it was lovely to meet you both. You look stunning, as always. Good luck tonight, Killian.”

“Damn these seats are uncomfortable,” Emma moaned, as she shifted once more. “You’d think they’d switch the padding out every now and then.”

Killian laughed a little at her complaints. “Such is the hard life of a princess.”

“Hey. If you wanna see what a hard life looks like, I can make you sleep on the sofa tonight,” she threatened.

“We have like four spare rooms, Emma.”

“Yes. And I can get Anton to toss all the beds in them.” She smiled sweetly in his direction and Killian could no longer hold in his own.

“You wanna switch places?” he asked, genuinely worried about her discomfort.

“Nah. They need you there for your shocking win,” she reasoned. “I just hope it doesn’t take much longer.”

Thankfully, it didn’t, and Emma soon found herself clapping along with the others as Killian accepted the first award on behalf of the show. He spent a few moments dedicating it to the entire cast and crew, that worked so hard to bring the show to television, before his own category was announced.

When Killian’s name was called for the award, he leaned over to press a quick kiss to Emma’s lips. “Shit, should have written a speech,” he whispered before taking to the stage. Emma chuckled as she watched him go. And if her eyes drifted down to his arse as he climbed the steps, then nobody else needed to know.

“Wow, thank you for this,” he began, his eyes scanning the crowd of people in front of him. “I’ll keep it short and sweet. Thanks go to the creators of the show, for giving me Hook to play with and make my own. And of course, to my Emma… who I’m pretty sure singlehandedly voted enough times for me to win this award. Even though I was up against her first love, Jensen Ackles.”

The crowd erupted into laughter as Killian took his leave, heading backstage once more for some press-room pictures and a few short interviews. It wasn’t long before he was back out, crouching down in front of Emma so as not to block the cameras.

“Wanna leave early and go get some food?”

“This is why I love you,” she quipped, following him out of the room.

Chapter Text

“Do you have to go?” Killian grumbled, watching as Emma packed up her stuff once more. He noticed that she’d left her toiletries in the bathroom, though. A sure sign that she was confident enough they would be able to secure the house for themselves.

“I’m afraid so. I have a meeting with a few designers to work on my wedding dress when I get back. Then I need to sort out the opening of the Foundation after the winter break, and the anniversary of my father’s death is approaching. I should be with my mother for that.”

“I wish I could be with you,” Killian sighed, pulling Emma down to sit in his lap. “I should be with you.”

“Hey, it’s not your fault,” Emma soothed. “I know you’d be there for me if you could. Don’t beat yourself up over this.”

Killian buried his head in Emma’s neck, taking a few moments just to breath her in.

“Will I at least get to see you for my birthday?” he asked, attempting to lighten the mood.

“Absolutely! You think I’m gonna miss getting to celebrate my old-man turning thirty-five?”

Old man?” he scoffed. “I’ll show you old man.” He stood as quickly as he could, catching Emma off guard, and tossed her down onto the bed they had just been sat on. “Could an old man do this?”

Emma’s giggles dissolved into moans as Killian began wrestling off her jeans one last time.

“Well aren’t you cheery?” Regina teased, as she watched Killian stuff his duffle bag into the over-head compartment, before taking a seat.

“You would be too if you just kissed your fiancée goodbye. Again,” he huffed, dropping down into the seat next to her.

“You’ll be seeing her soon,” she soothed. “She mentioned you were putting in an offer on the house in LA. That’s good. At least Emma won’t be alone when you fly out to film that big movie role you landed.”

“You think?” he asked brightening up a little.

“Yeah. You guys are in walking distance! Belle and I will take good care of Emma for you. We’ll make sure she doesn’t feel lonely or neglected.”

Thanks. That makes me feel like boyfriend of the year material.”

“Lighten up,” Regina chided. “I’m sure you’ll see plenty of each other over the next few months. You are planning the biggest wedding of the century.”

Killian fiddled a little with his phone before confessing, “The anniversary of her father’s death is coming up. I wanted to be with her for it. But I won’t. I’ll be stuck putting in as many hours as I can on set to make sure we don’t run over and I hold up production.”

Regina reached over to cover his restless hands with one of her own. “That’s not your fault, Killian. I’m sure Emma understands that. And yes, you might miss it this year. You might miss a lot of milestones over the years. But what matters most is that you’ll make the majority of them. The ones you do miss, just make sure Emma knows that you’re thinking about her on the day.”

“Thanks, Regina.”

“No worries. Now please, cheer up! You’re getting married soon. You should be bouncing with excitement. God knows I am.” She sat back in her seat to signal the finality of the conversation but Killian didn’t mind. He was hoping to catch some sleep anyway.

Killian’s first week back in Vancouver wasn’t much different to the ones that had followed before Christmas. The cast and crew congratulated him on his engagement, but otherwise, there was no major indication that any of the dynamics on set had changed. He had to admit, he was slightly relieved about that. Emma’s social status often brought with it a lot of awkward moments, and knowing that the people he spent so much time around weren’t treating him any differently because he planned to marry a princess, meant the world to him.

Slipping back into a routine came easily enough, and Killian spent his days messaging Emma as much as possible, before calling or Skyping her, depending upon the time and their schedules.

“So, how was your first week back?” she asked, settling onto her bed, to make herself more comfortable. Killian already missed that bed, and the woman sat on top of it, something fierce.

“It’s been good,” he admitted. “The crew are all really happy for us. Although, I get the feeling they’re not expecting invitations to the wedding.”

“You didn’t tell them?” she asked, frowning. “Did you change your mind?”

“No, not at all. I just figured it would be a nice surprise,” he chuckled. “How’s your week been?”

“Busy,” Emma admitted. “I’m starting the transfer of power to Uncle George. He’s going to take over my role at the foundation when we get married. Thankfully, he’s already pretty up to date on most of the stuff I do. But there are still some kinks to iron out.”

“You know you don’t have to give it up, right?” Killian sighed. “You can stay in London. I won’t hold that against you and I won’t love you any less for it.”

“Killian, I want to be with you. If it weren’t for all my duties and obligations now, I would be. You’re not forcing me to give anything up. I promise you that. Besides, Uncle George would have had to learn the ropes soon enough. I can’t keep running the foundation when I become queen. And as we have no real idea when that could be, it’s better he knows now.”

There was a slight lull in the conversation as Killian took a moment to appreciate just how wonderful Emma truly was, before she spoke back up again.

“So, I spoke to my Grandmother today,” she began. “She wants us to consider marrying at St Paul’s Cathedral instead of Westminster Abbey.”

“Is there much of a difference?” Killian wondered. He really should start Googling royal marriages more often on his breaks.

“Well, the cathedral will seat more people,” Emma explained carefully.

“Which means your Grandmother wants to make a big deal of this.” Emma nodded her agreement but didn’t say anything else. “Where did your parents marry?”

“St Pauls,” she replied. “It’s nice. But it’s not as nice as the Abbey.”

“Then there’s your answer, Emma. Don’t let your grandmother bully you into doing something you don’t want for your wedding day.”

A wide smile broke out across Emma’s face at Killian’s words. “It’s our wedding day,” she corrected.

“Nobody gives a damn about the groom. This is your big day. Trust me.”

She giggled a little at his tone before finally adding, “By the way, I found a designer for my wedding dress.”

“You did?” he asked, sliding forward in his seat. “And?”

“And, you’ll have to wait and see,” she teased. “All you need to know right now is that she’s British and I am very excited to see what she comes up with.”

“No hints at all?” he pouted.

“Absolutely none. You’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else.”

Chapter Text

“Ivory or cream?” Mary asked, holding up the two pieces of card between them.

“Aren’t they basically just the same colour?” Emma sighed.

“No, Emma, they’re not. Just pick one.”

“Fine. The cream ones,” she decided, having no idea which one actually was cream.

“We’ll go with ivory,” Mary announced. “It’s much more elegant.”

Emma tried not to let her frustration show, but she was struggling. Her mother had been inflicting wedding decisions on her ever since she’d returned from LA, and then telling Emma that all of her decisions were wrong anyway.

“You know, why don’t you just go ahead and sort all of this?” Emma snapped. “If you’re not even gonna listen to my opinions, why ask for them in the first place?”

She regretted snapping the moment the words left her mouth, but she was too proud to take it back. So instead, she stormed into her kitchen to grab a drink.

Mary gave her a few minutes to calm down before approaching her daughter. “I’m sorry, Emma. You’re right, this is your wedding, this should be your decision. I just want it to be perfect for you.”

“No, I’m sorry,” Emma groaned. “I just… a part of me doesn’t really care about this side of the wedding, you know? Who cares what kind of stationary we print the invitations on? And who cares what font we write on them with? At the end of the day, nobody’s going to remember the invitations or the colour of the tablecloths. And yet… a really big part of me thinks that even though I don’t care, Killian might. He should be here to help choose this. Maybe if he was I would care more?”

Mary excused herself for a moment, and Emma wasn’t entirely sure why, until she returned around ten minutes later, an old, leather-bound journal in her arms, and a much newer one resting on top.

“You might not think that anyone will remember the invitations, but I can guarantee someone will,” Mary explained, opening the older book and handing it to Emma. “I saved everything I could. Marrying your father wasn’t just the biggest event of my life, but the happiest moment of my life too.”

Emma flicked through the pages, skimming through newspaper articles her mother had saved about her relationship with David, their engagement announcements and portraits, all the way up to a copy of their wedding invitations, a section from Mary’s dress that had been clipped out, a swatch from a tablecloth, and all of their official wedding portraits.

“I’ve been making one for you and Killian too,” Mary confessed, sliding the newer book in front of her daughter. “It’s a lot harder to keep up with though, given how much you two love social media, but I think I have all the main parts.”

Emma ran her fingers gently over the pages showing the screenshots of her tweets to Killian, all of the many official portraits they’d had taken at different functions, cards and letters they’d sent to each other in their time apart, all the way up to the pictures that had been taken at the People’s Choice Awards a few days earlier.

“This is amazing, Mum.” Emma didn’t often cry, but she definitely found herself dashing away tears as she looked down upon the memories her mother had saved for them. “You’re right. I should pay more attention to the smaller details.”

“You’re right too. Killian should get a say in this. It’s his wedding as much as yours. We’ll make him up a little box of proof copies of everything and ship them to him, to see what he’d like. That way, he gets to see it all in person, and not over a computer screen.”

“Thanks, Mum.” Emma leaned into her mother’s side for a brief hug, before she pulled back and dried her eyes. “So, what’s next?”

“I have the box. Can I open it yet?” Killian asked, bouncing a little on his bed.

Emma giggled at his enthusiasm. “You know, you’re going to be really disappointed when you open that, right?”

“Why, what’s in it?” he asked, picking it up to shake it. “Is it something kinky?”

“It’s wedding invitations. I’m not sure how you could make those kinky.”

Killian’s face fell a little. “I could find a way,” he mumbled, before asking a little louder, “Do I have to like, personalise a ton of them or something?” He was a little worried about how the hell he’d fit that, and his January deadlines, into his work schedule.

“No, we just wanted to know which ones you liked best. It’s your wedding too, so you should have a say in every decision made, no matter how small.”

Emma watched as he opened the box up, and lifted out the smaller one inside. Her mother had made up a number of different prototypes using different colour and font combinations, on different types of paper. She’d even gone so far as to seal matching envelopes with her royal seal, so that Killian would be able to see as much of the finer details as possible.

“Wow, this is a lot of fancy looking paper,” he chuckled.

“I included chocolate too. Literally sweetening the deal,” Emma replied. She laughed as she watched him dive deeper into the box, before surfacing with Milky Way bars. He tore into the first one, before he started sorting through the stationary before him.

“Tell me about your day?” he asked, as he worked.

Emma watched as he examined each item carefully, while she told him about her day at the Foundation, and the interesting letters she’d read from people who had received their help in the past. They were always her favourite types of mail calls, and the walls of her office were rapidly filling with them. By the time she’d finished talking about her day, Killian had finished inspecting the stationary he’d been sent.

“These ones,” he told her, holding up one invitation design and it’s matching envelope. “It’s got a five written on it, so I assume that’s what you need to know.”

“Thank you. I’ll let Mum know straight away so they can get the order placed. Grandma wants them sent out before the end of the month, so we can start getting replies back by the end of February.” Emma relaxed back into her seat, some of the tension draining from her body. She’d tried hard to care about the damned invitations, but to her, they all the looked the same. Knowing that Killian had a favourite helped. She trusted him, and she trusted his choice.

“Thanks for letting me do this,” he told her, holding up a handful of the invites. “It kinda sucks being stuck out here while you’re back home planning our wedding. It’s nice to be involved in the decision making process.”

“I’ll send you anything and everything I can,” Emma promised him. “I want you to be happy about all of this. Even if you can’t physically be here with me to help choose.”

Chapter Text

“Damnit, I knew that,” Liam sighed, as he threw his pen down on the table.

“Don’t get so disheartened,” Emma encouraged. “Take your time and don’t rush! You can do this.”

Liam was frustrated with himself. Emma had arranged his Naval Service Recruiting Test after making the application on his behalf. She’d put in all of the time and effort to make this happen for him, and he couldn’t even pass the online practice tests.

“I don’t wanna let you down,” he mumbled.

“You’re not letting me down,” she promised him. “I’m more worried about you letting yourself down. Just take an hour out and go take Rogan for a walk. Clear your head. Then come back and try again. You’re not stupid, Liam. I know you can pass this test.”

Liam didn’t say much in reply, he simply called out for Rogan and left the apartment quietly. Emma let him go, knowing that he needed the time to clear his head if he were ever going to pass the test. He’d worked himself up too much to be of any use at that moment.

While he was gone, she used the time to do a little work of her own, going over the letters she had received that day. Most of the mail she was currently receiving were cards, congratulating her on her engagement. However, they continued to raise a question that had been playing on her mind for a while.

Killian answered her call on the third ring with a, “Hey beautiful, whatcha wearing?”

“Jeans and a sweater,” she replied honestly, chuckling at his answering groan of disappointment. “Would you prefer me to put on something lacy for your brother?”

“I suppose not,” he grumbled, as Emma laughed down the line.

“Sorry to call so early in the day. Do you have a moment? I just wanted to ask you something while it was fresh on my mind.”

“Of course. They’re just resetting, so I have a few minutes. What’s up?” he asked. Emma could hear the sounds in the background slowly fading, so she assumed he was moving to a more secluded spot.

“I’ve been getting a lot of cards congratulating us on the engagement, and asking if we were wishing for donations to be made in our honour. It’s something I’d like to set up, so do you have any charities in mind that you’d want the money to go to?”

“Wow.” He paused for a moment, and Emma knew it was to allow the information to truly sink in. Killian was doing well acclimating to royal life, but she knew it had its way of surprising him. “Um… there are a few links on my website for Irish charities… would they work?”

“Of course they would,” Emma assured him. “I’ll make a list and we’ll have that published, along with my own.”

“How’s Liam doing?” Killian asked, and Emma knew their time was coming to an end.

“Frustrated. I’ve sent him out to walk Rogan and see if that helps him clear his mind. He can do this. I know he can. He’s just second guessing himself constantly, so he keeps picking the wrong option.”

“Sounds like Liam,” Killian sighed. “You really think he can pass this test?”

“I do. I really do.” Emma heard someone call Killian’s name in the background and she knew it was time to say goodbye. “I’ll speak to you tonight, Handsome.”

“I love you,” were his parting words, before the line went dead.

When Liam returned that evening, Emma made them both a light dinner before he sat down to take the test once again.

This time, he passed!

“See? I told you, you could do it,” Emma teased, opening up a bottle of wine for them to share. “You just needed to stop over-thinking it.”

“Yeah, well… I’ll keep practicing to be safe.” Liam followed her through into the lounge, where he made himself comfortable on the sofa. “So, when are you flying out to see my brother again?”

“Sunday night.” Emma couldn’t have kept the smile from her face if she tried. “I can’t stay too long, though, so I’ll be home before the week is over.”

“Sucks,” Liam commiserated. “But at least you’ll be together again soon enough.” Emma nodded her agreement at that one. “How are the wedding plans going? Ma keeps going on and on about… things… but I have to admit, half the time I’m not listening.”

Emma snorted into her glass at Liam’s brutal honesty. “They’re going well. Guest lists for all three events are being worked on and invitations are going out before the end of the month, which is good. The Abbey is booked, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury. I already have a designer for my dress, and she’s busy coming up with some sketches now for me to choose from. I just wish Killian were here to make the decisions with me. I know he’s getting his say in them all, but it’s not exactly the same.”

“I can imagine.” Liam fell silent for a moment before he turned back to face Emma. “Question – can I book a stripper for his stag do?”

Emma threw him her dirtiest look before she replied, “If you do, the press had better never hear about it or I’ll remove everything that makes you a man.”

A comfortable silence settled over the two of them for a while as Liam found a movie to watch. Emma was busy texting Killian in between his scenes, and Liam had his own phone glued to his hand. When he set it back down, Emma finally worked up the courage to ask the question that had been on her mind ever since he’d arrived the day before.

“So… Ruby, huh?”

Liam scoffed a little. “Of course he fucking told you.”

“You’re not gonna tell me yourself?” she asked.

“There’s not really much to tell. I haven’t seen her since the New Year party.” Liam fiddled with his phone and Emma knew that wasn’t the end of his story.

“But you’ve been in touch, right? She’s the one you’re texting.” It wasn’t a question. Emma already knew the answer.

“Damn. You really are good. Yeah, she gave me her number. We were gonna meet for lunch after I sit this test.”

“That’s good,” Emma praised. “Ruby’s lovely. She deserves someone to love her.”

“You think that someone is me?” Liam asked, looking up to Emma’s face for the first time since the conversation had started.

“I think it could be you.”

Chapter Text

“Happy birthday, Killian.”

He’d been hearing it all day on set, but sadly not from the one person he most wanted to hear the words from. Emma’s flight had been delayed due to a storm in London, and he wasn’t sure what time she would be arriving.

“Thanks, Mate,” he called back, before heading to his trailer while the crew worked on the reset. Once back inside he pulled out his phone to check for messages. He had taken to leaving it in his trailer on his birthday, due to the number of notifications he often got, and this year was no different. He’d had messages from his mother and father, a tweet from Liam, a few more messages from his former band-mates, and even ones from Ruby and Mary. But nothing from Emma since her message about the delay.

“Hey, can I come in?” Robin called, without bothering to knock.

“Sure,” Killian sighed, locking his phone screen and setting it back down on the counter.

“You don’t look too happy considering you’re the birthday boy,” Robin noted.

“You’re wonderfully observant,” Killian sassed back. When Robin cocked a brow in question he added, “I just wish Emma would message or something to let me know she’s okay.”

“Isn’t she flying out now? Maybe she can’t? Or maybe she’s sleeping? You don’t have to panic if you can’t reach her every hour, you know? I’m pretty sure that out of everyone in the world, if something had happened to your girlfriend, you’d know about it.”

“Fiancée,” Killian corrected, automatically. “I know you’re right,” he sighed, dropping down onto his couch. “But it doesn’t make it easier. I also know that she’s always a target, no matter where she goes.”

“It’s natural to worry,” Robin assured him. “I worry every time someone I love gets on a plane. I mean, that’s an unnaturally high distance to be off the ground. But, you can’t let it effect you like this. Emma travels a lot. And you’re starting to piss people off, Man. If you get like this every time she boards a plane, you’ll have no friends left to invite to the wedding.”

Killian’s face lit up at the thought of his wedding. He couldn’t wait for a time to come where Emma wouldn’t always be on the other side of the world.

“So, on the subject of the wedding of the century, has your brother sorted a stag night for you yet?”

“Nah, he’s too busy with all this naval recruitment stuff at the moment. But Emma mentioned something about a stripper when I called a few days ago.”

Robin almost choked on the drink he’d helped himself to. “Emma’s letting you have a stripper?” When Killian said nothing in reply, Robin shook his head in disbelief. “Man, you’re so fucking lucky.”

Killian nodded his head in agreement, before groaning at the knock on his trailer door.

“Ugh, I guess that’s me,” he sighed, stretching out his muscles.

As he made his way back on to set, he noticed that there were more people gathered off to one side than there usually were, and less people running around busy with their own jobs.

“What’s going on?” he asked Robin.

“Beats me,” his best friend shrugged, following Killian to his mark.

It didn’t take them long to find what had caused the disruption on set. A large birthday cake had been placed in the centre of the huddled cast and crew, with thirty-five candles carefully placed around the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY KILLIAN which had been iced on top.

But Killian’s eyes were stuck on something else.


“Hey, Babe,” she greeted, making her way around the table carefully before allowing Killian to pull her into his arms. “Happy birthday,” she whispered, as he buried his nose into the crook of her neck.

He kept his hold on her for a beat longer before stepping back, to take in the woman he loved. She was clearly dressed more for comfort than for style in a pair of dark tights, an over-long checked shirt, black blazer and ankle boots. She had her hair tied back, away from her face, very little makeup on, and was wearing her glasses instead of her contacts. But she still looked more beautiful to him in that moment than anyone else ever had.

“God, I missed you,” he told her, bringing a hand up to run gently over her face. Emma turned into it, kissing his pulse-point softly.

“I missed you too,” she told him, a huge smile breaking across her face. “Your brother’s just not the same company.” She pulled him in for a quick kiss, well aware of the number of eyes on him, before stepping off to the side. “Now, I believe that the birthday boy needs to blow out the candles on his cake and make a wish.”

“I don’t need to,” he promised her. “I already have everything I could ever need right here.”

Emma and Robin let out a groan of frustration at Killian’s words.

“Even I thought that was cheesy,” Belle threw in, from the other side of the table.

“Just blow out your candles, Casanova,” Emma instructed, giving him a playful shove with her hip. She dropped her voice for the next part, making sure to keep it low enough for only Killian to hear. “Then you can shoot this scene and I can get reacquainted with Captain Hook.”

“I take it back,” he quipped, “there is definitely more to wish for.”



Chapter Text

Emma joined Robin on the sidelines to watch as Belle and Killian took center stage for the scenes they had left to film. She found is fascinating to watch as two people she’d come to know so well easily transitioned into their characters before her eyes.

It took a little over an hour for the first scene to be completed to the director’s liking, and when he called for a reset, Killian and Belle were ushered straight in to makeup before Emma had a chance to see them.

“Wanna go and meet some fans?” Robin asked, nodding in the direction of the small crowd that had been gathered at the end of the street.

“Absolutely,” Emma agreed. “Is there anywhere to grab coffee first, though? Jet lag is no fun.”

Robin chuckled, but happily steered Emma in the direction of the craft services tent for coffee, before the two of them bundled up and headed over to meet the fans.

The moment they caught sight of Emma, a buzz went through the crowd, and Robin gave her a gentle nudge forward.

“Aren’t you guys cold?” she asked, as soon as they were in hearing distance. Robin had stolen Killian’s huge jacket while he was in makeup to keep Emma warm. There was a mixture of head nods and shakes from the gathered crowd and Emma chuckled at their dedication. “I’ll have someone source you some hot drinks.” At Emma’s words, Anton slipped away silently, already pulling out his phone to find the nearest coffee shop. “You guys are amazing. How long have you been here?”

“Amy was the first to get here,” someone answered, pointing to a young girl who was hidden behind the crowd.

“Yeah. I’ve been here for about six hours now,” she told Emma, blushing a little at the sudden attention.

“Six hours? I get impatient when it takes him longer than me to do his hair,” Emma chuckled. “I can’t imagine waiting six hours for him.”

“We wanted to give him his birthday gifts,” someone else called out.

“You guys got him gifts for his birthday?” she asked, truly touched that complete strangers though so much of the man she loved that they would willingly spend their money on him. “That’s really kind. Anton, bring them cake too,” she called over her shoulder, before turning back to the crowd. “Has he been over to see you yet?”

Robin pulled her back slightly to whisper, “he was a bit distracted,” and Emma felt awful that Killian’s worry for her had kept him from coming to meet with his fans earlier. She knew this was a side to his job that he loved.

“Well, as soon as he’s finished, I’ll send him straight over,” she promised. “I think I’ve had him a little distracted today.”

Emma and Robin stayed for a while longer, talking to as many of the fans as they could, and taking some pictures when asked. Emma hated to refuse autographs, but it was firmly against royal protocol. Thankfully, the fans seemed to understand that and didn’t press the issue any further.

Just before she made her way back over to the filming area, Anton reappeared with a few helpers he’d managed to source from the crew, all carrying steaming mugs of hot cocoa and cake. Emma and Robin left just as Killian, Belle and Regina made their way on to set to begin filming a new scene together.

When cut was finally called for the day, Emma watched as Captain Hook left, to be replaced by the man she loved.

“So, do I get my birthday present now?” he asked, pulling her into his arms.

Apparently Captain Hook wasn’t quite gone for the day.

“As much as I would love that,” she confessed, “There are people waiting to see you and they’ve been here much longer than I have.”

Killian glanced over to the waiting crowd and then back to Emma, looking clearly torn at having to choose between the two.

“Go,” she told him. “I’ll be here when you’re done. Besides, I need to speak with Regina and Belle anyway.”

Killian leaned down to brush a gentle kiss to her lips, knowing that if he deepened it any further, he wouldn’t be getting away from her any time soon.

“I love you,” he whispered, before turning away to walk back to the group of gathered fans.

“You wanted to see us?” Belle asked, poking her head in to Killian’s trailer about an hour later. Killian was still busy with the fans on set, so Emma had made herself comfortable.

“I do.” She set her book aside to turn her attention to the two women making their way into the trailer. “I’ve found someone to design my wedding dress,” she began, and Belle let out a little squeal of delight.

“Sorry, I’m a sucker for a wedding.”

Regina rolled her eyes good-naturedly at her friend before prompting Emma to continue.

“And she’s offered to design yours too, to keep the harmony of the look. If I fly her out this week, will you be available to have measurements taken and go over a few of her initial plans?”

“We will make the time,” Regina assured her. “This is your wedding, Emma. We’ll do anything you want us too.”

“Thank you. I do need to ask one more favour though,” Emma admitted, a little reluctantly. “I can’t let news of who is designing the dresses leak, because the press will never let it drop. Are you okay keeping it to yourself? I haven’t even told Killian.”

“Of course we are,” Belle replied. “We’ll do whatever we can to make this easier for you.”

“Thank you.” Emma relaxed a little into the sofa, happy that her friends were on board with her plans. “That’s one less thing to worry about.”

Regina made her way over to Emma’s side and dropped down heavily into the seat next to her. “I have no idea how you’re planning this wedding right now. I would be a mess.”

“Being a princess helps,” Emma admitted with a chuckle.

“Still, all those people watching you get married and you only have less than four months to plan the entire thing? No thanks. If Robin has any plans for marriage in our future he’d better give me at least eighteen months’ notice.”

Chapter Text

“So, do I get my gift now?” Killian teased, closing his front door behind them and reaching for Emma. She danced out of his grasp, a wicked grin curving across her face.

“Give me ten minutes to freshen up a little?”

Killian pouted but didn’t protest. He knew Emma would probably want to shower after such a long flight.

She turned to head back in the direction she knew his bedroom to be, but stopped suddenly when she realised that there were new additions to his apartment.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, coming to stand behind Emma and wrap her up in his arms.

“I’m just remembering this is the first time I’ve been back since my visit to Canada last summer,” she admitted. “When did you hang these?”

“Um… I’ve kinda just been adding to them regularly,” he admitted, a little nervously. “I missed you. I know this isn’t the same thing but…” Emma cut him off with a kiss before he could say anything else.

Since the last time she’d been in the apartment, Killian had removed most of the artwork from his hallway walls, and instead, replaced them with many of the various pictures they had shared with each other the previous year. There were official press pictures from their social engagements, a few pictures he’d probably stolen from Twitter of the two of them caught out together. There were pictures from their many gatherings with friends and family, and the most recent additions appeared to be the pictures they’d taken for their engagement portraits, and then at the New Year’s Party.

“I can take them down if it bugs you?” he offered.

“Don’t you dare,” she protested. “You know my home’s like a walk-in gallery. I love them.” Emma turned in his arms and pulled him back down for another kiss. One that had Killian quickly backing her into the wall she had just been admiring. “Okay,” she chuckled breathlessly, as she pulled away. “I’m gonna go and freshen up and then you can have your birthday gift.”

“Or I could just join you?” he suggested, waggling his eyebrows playfully.

Emma considered his offer for a moment. She had purchased some pretty lingerie for the occasion, but the thought of Killian, naked and wet, definitely had her reconsidering her original plans.

“Deal,” she finally agreed, grabbing his hand to tug him in the direction of the bathroom.

When Emma woke again, it was dark outside. Killian was sat up next to her in bed. He’d thrown on a t-shirt and had his laptop propped up on a pillow, on his lap.

“Whatcha doing?” she asked, running her hand up and down his thigh.

Killian blushed a little, having been so caught up he hadn’t realised that she was awake. “Um… studying,” he confessed. “I have a paper due in a few days.”

“You do?” Emma asked, sitting up a little more to look over at his screen. Killian had a word document open on one half, and a Safari browser full of research on the other. “Can I read it?”

“It’s a little dull,” he scoffed.

“Trust me, I know,” she agreed. “But I’d still like to read it. I can’t believe you haven’t quit yet.” At Killian’s quirked brow she rushed on to clarify, “I didn’t mean that. I know you can do this. I just meant that you’re so busy with work, and flying back and forth for me. I don’t know how you find the time for studying too.”

“It’s not easy,” he agreed, thinking back on all of his late nights and rushed deadlines. “But this is an important part of your life. And it’s going to become an important part of mine. I want to be prepared for that.”

Emma leaned up to press a sweet kiss against his pulse point.

“Have I told you recently that I love you?”

“Not for at least an hour,” he teased, cupping her cheek to bring her in for a better kiss.

“So, can I read it?” she asked, pulling away and bouncing a little on the mattress.

Killian chuckled at her enthusiasm. “It’s not done yet, so how about you read it when it is?”

“I can live with that,” Emma agreed. “Why don’t you keep working for a little longer and I will make some coffee, order in some Chinese food and then get Anton to bring up your actual gifts?”

“Actual gifts, huh? And here was me thinking you… naked in my bed… was all the gift I needed.”

Emma slapped his chest playfully before slipping out of bed and sliding one of his discarded shirts on.

“You might change your mind after you’ve unwrapped them.”

Killian made his way out into the lounge half an hour later, his paper finally complete and his laptop tucked under his arm. He found Emma curled up on the sofa, with her phone in hand.

“Well, what did you expect to happen if you left him inside all day?” she snorted. Killian couldn’t hear the response on the other end of the line, but Emma replied with, “Just clean it up, okay? I do not want to come home to an apartment that smells of urine.”

Killian huffed out a laugh of his own as he set his laptop down and made his way to the kitchen for a drink. Emma had finished her conversation by the time he returned, and she turned to face him.

“Liam passed his Naval Service Recruitment Test,” she told him.

“He did? That’s excellent news.”

“Yeah. He said he’d messaged you about it, so maybe give him a call a little later?” she advised.

“I will do. Why would your apartment smell like urine?” He wrinkled his nose adorably in confusion.

“He left Rogan inside it all day while he was taking the test, fell asleep when he got home, and Rogan peed over him.”

Killian couldn’t contain his laughter at that one. Liam wouldn’t be living that incident down any time soon.

Chapter Text

“So, ready for your gifts?” Emma asked, once she’d finished stacking their plates into the dishwasher.

“You know you didn’t have to get me anything, right?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she scoffed. “Like you’d ever miss my birthday? Now… come.”

Killian followed her through to the lounge, and the small stack of gifts that Emma had placed on to one of the chairs there. He had to admit, he was a little excited to see what she’d gotten for him. Nobody knew him the way Emma did.

“The odd colored ones are from Liam, your parents, and my mother,” she added, sitting down to watch him unwrap each one. Ailene and Brennan had filled a box with some of his favourite Irish treats, that were impossible to find in Canada, along with the new Ireland Rugby shirt, and his favourite cologne. Liam had sent him some copies of old Pearl Jam albums he’d managed to locate on vinyl, for Killian’s ever growing collection. Mary had confessed to Emma that she was a little unsure on what to get her future son-in-law, so Emma had purchased some clothes she knew Killian would wear, on her mother’s behalf.

When he’d finished opening the gifts on the chair, he looked around a little confused.

“Mine’s behind it,” she told him, giggling a little.

Killian’s face lit up the moment he spotted the package she’d been talking about. Even fully wrapped he was well aware of what would be hiding under the paper. Emma’s laugh only got louder as she watched him rip the paper off and toss it over his shoulders in his haste to get to what lay underneath.

“Holy shit,” he gasped, lifting the lid on the box. “This must have cost you a fortune.”

Emma hummed a non-answer before asking, “Is it okay? Belle said you’re always moaning you don’t have one here. And now… you do.”

“It’s more than okay,” he assured her, pulling out the guitar to turn it over in his hands. “This is beautiful.” Killian sat the instrument down carefully before crawling across the lounge floor to where Emma was sat curled up on the sofa.

“I love you,” he told her, rising up onto his knees to kiss her.

“I love you too.” Emma smiled down at him, as she pulled back to get a good look at the face of the man she loved. “I can’t believe you’re all mine.”

“You can’t?” he scoffed. “I literally get dozens of tweets every day asking how the hell I got so lucky as to end up in a relationship with you.”

Emma leaned down to brush her lips against Killian’s once more, before he pulled away with a groan.

“I gotta send this to my brother,” he explained. “We’ll finish that in a minute.”

Emma barked out a laugh as she rearranged herself on the sofa, while Killian took to social media to tease his big brother about his awesome birthday gift.


“Okay,” Emma sighed. “I think that’s the second guest list done.”

“Ugh, I can’t believe you’re making me go through this twice,” Killian moaned, stroking a hand through Emma’s hair. She was stretched across his sofa, with her head in his lap, wearing nothing but the shirt he’d been wearing all day. “Why do we need so many guest lists?”

“Do you want two thousand people at the reception?” she asked. Even from her position, he recognised the quirk of her brow and the tone it conveyed.

“Point taken. So, how many are on this list?”

Emma’s eyes quickly scanned the spreadsheet she had open before she replied, “around six hundred.”

“Jesus Christ.” He scrubbed a hard hand over his face before asking, “Do we even know six hundred people?”

Emma giggledat his tone. “Personally? No. But half this list is made up of the people required for a state function. The next list is where we really cut it down.”

“Next?” Killian questioned. “We are just getting married on the one day, right? This isn’t like some weekend, buy-one-get-two-free deal?”

Emma chuckled in his lap before turning her head and placing a small kiss just above his belly button.

Killian twitched at the contact. If she kept that up they’d never finish the guest lists and he really didn’t want to be the one to explain to Ruth that the reason they hadn’t sent the invitations out on time was because they were too busy having sex on every flat surface of his apartment.

“I’m sorry, Babe. I’m doing such an awful job of explaining all of this to you.”

“No, you’re not,” he consoled. “I Googled some stuff after we got engaged but clearly didn’t Google the right stuff. Honestly, Emma, we could have the entire bloody country, in whatever Abbey or Cathedral, in whatever part of the country you’d prefer. I don’t care as long as, at the end of the day, I get to call you my wife.”

“That’s all I really care about too,” she told him, her eyes glistening slightly from the emotion his words carried. “But if we’re doing a big white wedding, we might as well do it our way. So… who are we putting on this final list.”

Chapter Text

While Killian worked most of Wednesday away, Emma and her wedding planner worked hard to make sure the invitations would be sent out as soon as possible, and arranged transportation to and from the Abbey. Emma would be arriving in a royal carriage, per tradition. However, Killian, as a non-Royal, would have to take a car from his hotel, to the Abbey. He’d chosen a Bentley Continental for the occasion, knowing his brother would get a kick out of travelling in such luxury and that the British brand would help with the image they were trying to convey for the event.

Belle and Regina slipped away early from set that afternoon to meet with Emma and her designer to go over some ideas for their bridesmaid gowns. As much as Emma wanted to stick with royal tradition in some areas for her wedding, she also wanted her two best-friends to have their own say in what they would be wearing for the event.

“Holy crap,” Regina gasped, as they entered the hotel suite Emma had hired for the meeting. “I can’t believe I didn’t guess it was you.”

“Well, I’m not sure I’m the obvious choice of wedding gown designer,” came the reply from the other side of the room. “But I couldn’t say no to a friend.”

Emma had considered a number of different British designers for her wedding gown, but the first person she had contacted had been Victoria Beckham. Victoria had been equal parts flattered and terrified by the idea of designing her very first wedding gown for her friend, but she hadn’t been able to refuse the offer. She’d made a number of evening gowns for Emma in the past, for various social events.

How much more different could a wedding dress be?

Emma lead the way over to the table that had been set up for them, covered with scraps of fabrics in all different shades of white. There were pencil sketches dotted around, that Regina did her best to memorise, along with tape measures and a small camera.

“So…” Victoria stretched in her chair, before looking at the women gathered before her. “I’ve spoken with Emma and she has a few ideas about what she would like, but she wants to know your ideas too so we can come to some kind of agreement between you all.”

Regina and Belle nodded their heads in understanding. It was what they’d been expecting when Emma asked them to fill the roles of bridesmaids for her.

“How about we start with the obvious?” Victoria asked. “Colours.”

For the next three hours, the four women discussed different shades of white that would work well for both Emma’s gowns and their own, before moving on to the cuts of dresses they preferred. Emma watched as Victoria took down the measurements for each of her friends, and snapped some pictures of them both from all kinds of different angles, before they dove back in to the pros and cons of each fabric.

By the time Killian had messaged to say he was leaving set, they’d agreed on a colour for the gowns, a few different cuts, and some fabrics to try. Victoria had promised to draw up some sketches for them to look over before they started to put anything into production.

“I cannot wait to see what she comes up with,” Belle gushed, as Anton drove them back home. “I’ve never had a gown made just for me before.”

“Me either,” Regina added. “It’s a little intimidating to know that the first one will be a bridesmaid gown for our best friend’s royal wedding.”

“You’re both going to look beautiful,” Emma assured them. “But not too beautiful. It’s still my day.”

Thursday was another busy day for Killian, so Emma filled her time with paperwork for the foundation. At lunch time, Anton drove her through to set to join Killian. She was able to catch the tail end of his scene in the studio before they broke for lunch and retired to his trailer.

“Having lunch with Captain Hook is kinda odd,” she noted, as he unpacked the sushi she’d purchased for them. “But also kinda like my every fangirl dream come true.”

“Want me to keep the hook on?” he teased, falling easily back into character with that devastating smirk and accent.

“Can you manage sushi with it?”

“You’d be surprised what I can do with this,” he teased, holding up said hook and wiggling his brows for effect. Emma dissolved into giggles.

“Maybe later, Casanova. We still have more wedding prep to take care of.”

“Oh, speaking of wedding prep.” Killian stood up and made his way over to the small safe in his trailer, before returning with an even smaller box in his hands. “This arrived this morning from your grandmother and I’m not really sure why but I assume it’s wedding related.”

Emma took the box from him, frowning before she opened it up. As soon as she saw what was inside, realisation struck her. “It’s Welsh gold,” she explained. “I’m sure I’ll find the same waiting at home for me.”

“Why though?” Killian asked, taking a bite of his lunch.

“Royal tradition. Wedding bands are made from the supply of royal Welsh gold that the monarch holds. This is a piece of my grandmother’s gold. She’s sent it to you so you can have my wedding band made from it.”

“Oh.” Killian looked down to the box sat between them. “I was gonna have your ring made from platinum. It’s supposed to be stronger.”

“You can do that,” Emma reassured him. “There’s nothing stating that you have to use this to make my ring.”

“No… but now that I know it’s a tradition, I kind of want to follow it,” he sighed. “What about white gold? Can I turn this into a white gold band?” he asked. “It’ll match your engagement ring better.”

“Yeah, of course you can. Speak to a jeweller and they’ll be able to help. Or I can put you in touch with the royal jeweller if you’d rather?”

“You have a royal jeweller?” he questioned, a little stunned. Although, he wasn’t really sure why. Of course the royal family had a royal jeweller.

“Yeah. Speaking of,” Emma took a moment to take a sip from her bottle of water before she continued, “Do you want a wedding band?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I?” Killian actually looked a little offended at the question.

“Most of the male members of my family choose not to wear one, or, if they do, they wear them in the more traditional royal way.” At Killian’s confused look she elaborated, “Under a signet ring on the left pinky finger. I wasn’t sure what your preference would be.”

“Well, I am more than happy to wear a non-royal, traditional wedding ring,” Killian told her, reaching over the table to take Emma’s hand into his own. “I like the idea of everyone knowing I’m yours.”

“As much as I love the idea of people knowing I’m yours,” Emma assured him, leaning over to give her fiancé a sweet kiss.

Chapter Text

“Ugh, I can’t believe I’m saying goodbye to you again,” Killian groaned, as he watched Emma pack her suitcase once more.

She leaned in to press a sweet kiss to his lips, before pulling back to stroke his cheeks with her thumbs. “Seventy-Seven days and then I’ll be with you as much as possible,” she promised.

“Trust me, I’m counting them.”

Emma leaned in for one more kiss, before she pulled away and turned back to her case. Killian wasn’t happy to see her leaving again, but as he glanced around the bedroom, he was happy to notice the additions that Emma was leaving behind. In fact, she was barely taking anything back to London with her at all.

“I’m sorry I can’t be with you next week.”

Emma had been doing her best not to think about the rapidly approaching anniversary of her father’s death. The day was hard enough to deal with as it was. Being without the man she loved was only going to make it worse.

“It’s okay,” she soothed. “I understand why you can’t. Besides, I’m not exactly going to be the best of company that week anyway.”

“I don’t care about that. I just want to be there for you,” he mumbled.

“You will be,” Emma assured him. “Just knowing that you’re thinking about me will be enough. I promise.”

Killian pulled her back into his arms, hoping that she would hang on to the feeling when he couldn’t physically be there to hug her.

The knock on his front door made them both groan.

“Anton needs to start being late every so often,” he mumbled into her hair.

“He’d probably be fired if he were,” she chuckled into his shirt. Emma squeezed him a little tighter before pulling back to look up at his face. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he whispered back, dipping his head to give her one last, lingering kiss, before pulling away. “Call me as soon as you land?”

“As soon as the plane stops,” Emma assured him. “I’ll see you again soon, Handsome.”

By the time Emma had made it back to London, she was exhausted both mentally and physically. All she wanted to do was check in on Rogan, before heading up to bed.

However, the moment she walked into her lounge, she wished she’d just gone straight up to bed.

“Emma,” Liam gasped, sitting upright on the sofa. “I forgot you were coming back tonight.”

“I’m um… I’m just gonna grab a drink and head to bed,” she told him, trying not to look at the way both his shirt and trousers had been unbuttoned and certainly refusing to look at Ruby who had been underneath Liam when she walked in. “Where’s Rogan?”

“He’s upstairs in your room.” Clearly, Emma wasn’t the only one who didn’t wanna see what she was currently seeing. “Okay. We’re just gonna…”

“Don’t need the details,” she called, backing out of the room quickly. “Just…. Maybe use a bed or something… so I don’t have to burn my couch.”

“Please… like you and Killian haven’t?” Liam yelled back.

When Emma made it to her room she found Rogan curled up on his bed, at the end of her own, fast asleep. She ditched her bag in the closet, promising herself to unpack it the next day, and quickly stripped down for a shower.

Rogan was awake by the time she had finished, so Emma spent some time playing with his ball on the floor. She’d managed to speak to Killian briefly when her plane landed, before he’d been called back to set, and she knew she wouldn’t make it until his finishing time to speak longer. So instead, she decided to fire off a quick tweet for him to come back to.

Having a big brother is everything I expected it to be! Thanks for loaning me yours @KillianJones1

Liam left early Monday morning to fly back to Ireland. Waking up to see Ruby still in the apartment wasn’t as odd as Emma thought it would be. Ruby and Liam seemed to fit together the same way she and Killian did, working together to fix coffee and breakfast for the three of them before they left to shower and dress. Ruby had offered to drive Liam to the airport and he was more than happy to get that little extra time with her.

When the apartment was empty once more, Emma quickly set to work, sorting through the mail that had built up for her while she was away, and emailing her personal assistant over details of charities for donations to be made to in honour of her marriage to Killian. When her mail had been sorted, and responded to, she took a small break for lunch, before deciding to pay her mother a quick visit.

Mary was on the phone when Emma let herself into the apartment, so she fired off a few messages to Killian while she waited for her mother to finish up.

“Emma,” Mary greeted, pulling her daughter in for a tight hug. “How was Canada?”

“Beautiful and cold,” she replied honestly. “How are you?”

“I’m wonderful. I was up in Leeds last week for some public engagements and people are so happy about your up-coming wedding, Emma. They were even congratulating me.”

Emma laughed a little at her mother’s enthusiasm. “The people in Canada I met were just as happy.”

“You’re going to be such a beautiful bride.” Her mother reached out to fidget with Emma’s hair a little before dropping her eyes. “Your father would have loved Killian.”

“Yeah, he would have,” Emma agreed.

“I wish he were here to see you now. To see how proud you make me.”

Emma didn’t know what she could say to make her mother feel a little better, so instead, she pulled her in for a tight hug, not letting go until Mary had stopped sniffling into her shoulder.

“Okay,” she announced, with false cheer. “We should talk about your engagement party.”

“Engagement party?” Emma asked. “Can’t we just write the New Year one off as the same thing?”

“You’re a princess, Emma. No. We cannot.”

Chapter Text

“An engagement party?” Killian asked, looking as confused as Emma had been when her mother suggested it. “Didn’t we do that whole thing on New Year’s Eve?”

“Apparently not.” Emma rolled her eyes in such a way that Killian knew meant it was a royal thing.

“Okay. So, when is this supposed to happen?”

“Beats me. I told my mother you’d be busy between now and Easter. And if we can’t combine parties with holidays then it’s not like we can do it then.”

Killian chuckled at her dramatic sigh. “I suppose we could do it sometime before Easter? I have just shy of three weeks for it.”

“I’ll let her know. I think she wants to have it in Ireland.”

“Ireland?” Killian asked. “Why?”

“She’s been planning it with your mother. It would be nice, though. To have our family and friends together for a celebration in your home country for a change. We already do plenty here. And I’ve missed the house.” Emma’s mind drifted for a moment back to the time they’d spent there before Christmas. She really needed to return soon.

“Are you sure? I know how much of a stickler for tradition your grandmother is.”

“I’m sure,” she stated. “I’ll send the dates you’re off to my mother and she and Ailene can go to town and throw us an engagement party.”

“I’ll let the guys here know,” Killian agreed. “By the way, I can get the Monday off after the BAFTA awards, if we stick to schedule.”

“That’s fantastic.” Emma’s smile grew at the thought of the awards night. It was one of the royal engagements she most enjoyed, and being able to share it with Killian was something she was looking forward to.

“I think the network agreed because they’re expecting it to be free publicity for the show.”

“I can wear my Fairytales shirt if that would help?” Emma suggested teasingly.

“If that’s all you’re planning to wear I think you might kill everyone.”


Emma was grateful that her schedule kept her busy for the rest of the week, as it gave her less time to dwell upon the upcoming anniversary. She spent some time at the Foundation, going over more of the handover process with her uncle George, before returning home to look over some of the readings Killian had chosen as his favourites for their wedding. Traditionally, there would only usually be one given during the ceremony, but Emma and Killian wanted both Robin and Will to have their own roles in their big day, so they settled on one for each of them.

Friday morning, Emma travelled up to Manchester for the day, to visit a local primary school that had recently had huge investments from her father’s Foundation to update their equipment.

It was easily the best day of the week for her, even if it did mean crawling out of bed at an ungodly hour in order to shower, dress and drive up for nine am.

As it was still the middle of winter, Emma opted for a knee-length; three-quarter sleeved; red dress, printed with blue and purple flowers; and a pair of thick dark tights to keep herself warm. Her stylist had helped to place her hair into a crown braid, a style she knew would help keep it out of her face while she was outside and in the bracing British winds. She finished her look with a pair of blue pearl earrings, her black velvet pumps and a thick, black trench coat.

Although she knew Killian would likely be fast asleep while she was preparing to head out of the door, she still snapped a quick picture for him and sent it over, before muting her phone for the day ahead.

The kids she met that morning were fantastic. They ranged in age from four to eleven years old so Emma was asked questions that ranged from, “Why don’t you live in a castle?” to, “Are you looking forward to your wedding.”

It was easy for her to forget about everything while she was out fulfilling her duties.

After she spent her morning meeting the staff and students, and sitting in on different lessons being taught with the new equipment the school had purchased, she was invited to stay for lunch. Emma didn’t know much about public school lunches, having never attended one herself. But she had heard rumours about just how bad they could be. Thankfully, it seemed that the investment had also worked wonders on the cafeteria, as the food was at least edible. And the conversation with the children far outweighed the lack of seasoning in her meal.

It was as she was sat in the car, on her way back to London, that she felt her mood start to dip.

“You okay?” Anton asked, raising his eyes to meet Emma’s in the rear-view mirror.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” she lied.

Anton knew Emma well, having worked with her for so long. He knew her almost as well as Killian did, so he knew pushing her right then was not what she needed. Emma would open up to him when she was ready.

“One of the kids asked me something today that got me thinking,” she began, just as they closed in on edge of London.

“Which one?” Anton asked, and Emma chuckled slightly remembering some of his befuddled looks as he’d followed her round the school, listening to what they had to say to the princess.

“One of the girls over lunch. She was so excited about my wedding. Told me that her mum had promised to bring her to London to try and see me before the ceremony.”

Anton wasn’t surprised. He’d already been in talks with the city of London’s police force and all of their own private security members. They were expecting a huge turnout in the Capital.

“She told me about how she couldn’t wait to grow-up and find someone to marry her too. She’d got her entire wedding planned out, bless her.” Emma paused for a moment to gather her own thoughts and Anton remained silent.

“And then she asked me, ‘who’s gonna walk you down the aisle now your daddy’s dead?’”

Anton wanted to groan. The poor kid probably didn’t realise just how raw of a subject it was for Emma at that moment in time.

“I mean, I know who I want to walk me down that aisle,” she carried on. “I knew the moment we picked a date who I was gonna ask. But I keep thinking about him, you know? I’ve gained so much this last year. I have a fiancé I love with all my heart. A new family and friends thanks to Killian. I’m closer to Grandma now, than I’ve ever been before, and she and Mum are talking now. I’m so grateful for it all. I really am… But I wish he were still here. I wish he could see how everything has changed because I fell in love with this cute Irish boy. I wish he could meet Killian and his family. And I really wish he could walk me down that aisle.” She paused again for a long moment before adding, slightly quieter, “And I feel guilty for that.”

Anton’s eyes shot up just in time to watch Emma dash away the tears that hadn’t quite fallen yet.

“Why on Earth do you feel guilty for that?” he asked.

“Because I have so much more than so many people,” she replied simply. “Those kids today; most of them come from families that are so poor, the best meal they get in a day is that crappy school food. Most of them can’t afford a television at home and I have four of them. I have so much to be grateful for, and yet, I’ve spent most of this week wishing for even more.”

Anton pulled the car over to the side of the road, not caring in the least bit about the angry drivers who beeped their horns as they passed.

“Emma,” he began, twisting in his seat to face her. “Wishing you father were still alive does not make you a bad person. Anyone, no matter what their position in life, would feel the same way you do right now and that wouldn’t make them a bad person either. Yes, you got lucky. You were born into a privileged lifestyle. But that doesn’t come without its own compromises. You feel guilty for having so much and yet you still make sacrifices for your country and your duty.”

Emma raised a disbelieving eyebrow in his direction.

“Can you honestly tell me that the fact that you’re here, and not currently in an apartment in Vancouver isn’t a sacrifice you’re making for your country? Because I sure as hell think it is.” Anton took a deep breath to gather his own thoughts on the situation. Emma wasn’t the only person who missed her father. “Your dad was a good man, Emma. He would be so proud of the young woman you’ve become. He’d love that you’ve found someone who treats you with nothing but the love and respect you deserve. He’d adore the idea that you found someone different and didn’t just bow to your grandmother’s peer pressure. That because of you, and the choices you’re making, you’re changing the royal family for the better. And I know for sure he wouldn’t want you to feel guilty about anything. He’d want you to be excited and happy about your wedding day. He’d want you to love and embrace every moment of it. He might not physically be able to walk you down that aisle, but he’ll be there with you every step of the way.”

Emma sniffed back more tears at Anton’s words before leaning forward to press a kiss to his cheek.

“You know, you’re quite good at this advice stuff,” she told him.

“Can you tell Jackie that?” he quipped. “She never listens to me.”

Emma sank back into her seat, taking a moment to compose herself, before looking up at him once more. “Just in case it wasn’t clear before… I want you to be the person to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day,” she told him.

Anton had to swallow past the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat. “Me?” he croaked. “What about your mother? Or your uncle? Or Killian’s father?”

“Don’t get me wrong, I love them all. But you’re the closest thing I have to a father,” she told him, “So I want it to be you.”

“I would be honoured,” Anton assured her, turning in his seat to start the car once more, wiping away his own tears before Emma could see them fall.



Chapter Text

Brennan had shut himself in the kitchen while Ailene and her friends had their ‘book club’ meeting in the lounge. Although, where the copious amount of alcohol and constant giggling came into play he’d never truly understand. But it was one night a month and he could cope with being turfed out of his own lounge for that one night.

“You sure you don’t wanna come out with me?” Liam asked, poking his head round the door frame.

“A night out with my son and his friends… Let me think about that one?” Brennan drawled. “I think I’ll pass.”

“Suit yourself,” Liam threw over his shoulder, heading upstairs to take a shower.

He was halfway up when the doorbell rang.

“Get the door, Liam,” his father called out.

Liam had either ignored him, or was already too far away to hear him, as the bell rang again. Brennan heaved a huge sigh, before pulling himself out of his seat to head down the hall.

Since Killian’s engagement to Emma had been announced, the family home had been inundated with calls and visits from journalists, all wanting to hear the Jones Family’s side to the story. Emma’s security team had stepped up, but that didn’t stop the occasional sneaky bastard from jumping the back fence to get to them.

So, when he wrenched open the front door, he wasn’t expecting to come face-to-face with his future daughter-in-law.

“Emma? Aren’t you supposed to be in Manchester?” he asked.

“I was earlier,” she replied. “Sorry for showing up like this, out of the blue. I needed a few days to myself but I thought I’d stop by and see how you guys were doing while I’m here.”

Brennan stepped back to allow Emma to enter the house, before closing the door softly behind her. “Well, Ailene has her monthly book club meeting tonight. But I’m pretty sure they’re busy discussing your wedding more than whatever novel it is they’re supposed to be reading.” Emma chuckled at his brutal honesty as she followed him down to the kitchen. “And Liam’s going out with some of his friends, so if you’re up for keeping an old man company we can order some takeout and watch the game?”

“Sounds like the perfect night to me,” she declared, slipping out of her jacket and resting both it, and her bag, on the nearest chair. “Pizza or Chinese food?”


Liam was the first to spot Emma in the kitchen, half way through a huge plate of Chinese food and a bottle of Budweiser.

“Hey. What are you doing here?” he asked.

“Flying visit,” she explained vaguely. “Going anywhere nice tonight?”

“Just into town with some mates. You wanna tag along?” he offered. But he already knew the reply.

“Anton would pitch a fit if I did. But thanks for the invite.”

Liam hesitated for a long moment. Killian might have known her better than anyone else did, but a quick look between himself, and his father, showed that they both knew something was off about the bubbly young woman they’d come to know and love. “Want me to stay in? I can cancel,” he offered, making a move to take off his jacket.

“No, it’s fine. Go have fun,” Emma assured him.

Liam didn’t look entirely convinced but if there was one thing he knew about Emma, it was how stubborn she could be. He nodded once before turning slowly to head out of the house, but stopped just in front of the lounge door, before turning back round.

“Does Ma know you’re here?”

“If she does, she’s playing it really cool,” Emma chuckled.

“Film that for me,” Liam told his dad, before calling a, “don’t wait up,” over his shoulder and heading out.

Emma and Brennan sat in companionable silence for a moment longer, watching an international friendly on TV, before she asked, “What time does book club end?”

“Usually around nine,” Brennan replied. “Do you wanna stay here tonight or head over to Killian’s place?”

“I’ll head back to the house.” Emma had to admit, now she was back in the Jones family home, she did want to stay. But she also knew she needed time to herself, to sort out everything going on in her head, and she didn’t want to push away the people she loved to achieve that. “I just need some me time, but I promise I’ll come back Sunday before I fly home.”

“Okay,” he agreed easily. He let another silence settle between them, turning back to the football match on TV before he offered, “If you need to talk, you know where we are.”

Emma had picking at the label on her beer bottle but lifted her eyes at Brennan’s offer. For his own part, he kept him firmly fixed on the TV screen, trying to make his offer seem less loaded than it actually was.

“Thanks,” she replied simply.

Emma waited until the end of the game before announcing, “Okay, I’m gonna go say hi to Ailene.” She slid off her chair and moved to place both her own, and Brennan’s, dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

Brennan chuckled a little knowing what was coming for Emma, and watched as she straightened out her dress and gathered herself, before heading down the hall.

She knocked softly on the lounge door and gave it a few seconds, before pushing it open.

Ailene and her friends had filled all the available seats in the room, and part of the floor too. There were plenty of empty bottles of wine on the small coffee table and a fair few discarded copies of Little Women too. She looked up at the sound of the door opening, her scowl immediately transforming into a shocked smile as Emma made her way into the room. “Emma? What are you doing here?” she asked, drawing the attention of all the other women in the room.

“Snuck away for the weekend,” Emma replied. “Thought I’d come and say hi while I was in the country.”

“Come and sit down,” Ailene invited. “Can I grab you a drink? Have you eaten? I can make you some dinner?”

“I have, thanks. Brennan’s been taking good care of me.” Ailene’s face dropped a little when she realised that Emma had been the one to ring the doorbell over an hour earlier. “We didn’t want to interrupt your night, but I wanted to say hi before leaving.”

“You’re leaving now?”

“Yeah. I wanna make sure Rogan’s settling in okay. But I’ll be back on Sunday before I leave. Maybe we could do dinner?” Emma suggested. “And I have a few wedding plans I wanted to get your thoughts on.”

“Definitely. Are you sure I can’t tempt you to stay?”

“Not right now.” Emma’s slightly bitter smile had Ailene’s memories crashing back and she suddenly realised why the young princess had decided to escape for the weekend.

“Okay, well message to let us know when you get back to the house, and call if you need anything,” she told Emma, moving over to give her a tight hug. Emma held on a little longer than she usually would, before waving at the other women sat gawking up at her, and then excused herself politely.

The house was silent as they listened to Emma say a quick goodbye to Brennan, before the door clicked shut.

“Well… she’s much prettier in person than I thought she’d be,” Maeve offered, breaking the silence that had settled over the house.

Chapter Text

Killian had just finished for lunch when he got his brother’s message. It was simple and straight to the point.

Dude, Emma just showed up at the house. You might wanna give her a call.

“Fuck,” he cursed, dumping his tray of food on the table next to Robin before turning to head straight back out of the craft services tent.

“Killian?” Robin called after him.

Killian simply waved a dismissive hand before wandering off to find some silence and privacy to call Emma.

He was already dialing the familiar number when he finally found the diner set they used, fully abandoned for the break. He slipped inside and locked the door behind himself.

“Hey,” Emma answered softly. Killian could already tell from her tone how she was feeling.

“Hey yourself,” he replied, forcing himself to keep his tone light. “You looked beautiful today. How was your engagement in Manchester?”

“It was good. Although, the lunch wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had.”

Killian snorted as he tried to picture Princess Emma in his old high school cafeteria. She definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed those meals.

“Anything else happen today?” he prodded, when it seemed like she wouldn’t be volunteering the information herself.

Emma sighed on the other end of the line. “Your mum called you, didn’t she?”

“Nope,” he replied honestly. “Liam sent me a message saying you were at the house.”

Emma was silent for the longest of moments and Killian actually found himself checking to make sure the call hadn’t dropped. “I’m struggling,” she admitted quietly and somewhat reluctantly. “This time of the year is always hard, but with our wedding coming up, it just seems so much harder.”

“We can postpone the wedding if it will help?” he suggested. It wasn’t really what he wanted, but he wasn’t sure what to do to help, given just how many miles were currently separating them.

“No,” she hurried to protest. “That’s not what I want. At all. I just…” she trailed off for another long moment, collecting her thoughts as best she could before she voiced them. “I was talking to some of those kids today and they were asking about who would walk me down the aisle without my dad being alive. I guess it just hit me harder than I thought it would. I mean, what girl doesn’t dream of the day her father walks her down the aisle to the man she loves?”

This time it was Killian’s turn to fall silent while he tried to think of what he could say to ease her pain.

But he was at a complete loss.

“I wish you could have met him,” she mumbled after a while.

“Me too,” he agreed. “I mean, I’m pretty sure he would have put the fear of God into me. And I might have come away from that meeting having peed a little in my boxers.” He paused as he heard Emma’s giggle over the line. She had the strangest and yet most beautiful laugh. “But I do wish I’d had the honour of meeting him.”

“He’d have loved you.” Emma was certain of that. “You’d have been like the son he never had, what with your love of music and sports.”

“I’m so sorry I can’t be there with you right now, Emma.” It was breaking his heart to hear how much hers was aching. “I just wanna hold you and never let go.”

“I could go for that.” Killian heard what sounded like soft sniffles on the other end of the line, before Emma spoke once more. “We really need some time alone. Just you and me. No work, no family, and no duties to fulfill.”

“A honeymoon,” Killian chuckled. “I believe the term you’re looking for is honeymoon.”

“Yeah, one of those,” she agreed. “We should pencil that in. How’s next year sound for you?”

Killian laughed with her, knowing that their schedules were going to keep them both pretty busy for the rest of this one. They’d already discussed the lack of potential for a honeymoon of any sort before his filming break for Thanksgiving.

“I love you, Emma. And I promise, we’ll get that honeymoon this year.” Killian was going to do everything in his power to make it happen for them.

“I love you too.”

“Everything okay?” Robin asked cautiously, as Killian slid into the empty seat next to him.

“Emma’s struggling a little with the anniversary of her father’s death,” he confessed quietly. The table was full, with Regina, Belle and Will, but he didn’t want the news carrying to any of the others in the room. “I don’t know what to do to help her. She’s always this strong, confident woman and now… she’s vulnerable and alone and I… I can’t be there for her when she needs me most.”

“You are there for her,” Belle assured him, reaching over to cover one of his hands with her own to stop them fidgeting. “You don’t need to be in the same room as someone to be there for them. There are other things you can do.”

“Just being there for her to talk to when she needs someone is more than enough,” Regina added. “Trust me on that one.”

“I just wish I could actually be there for her,” he sighed. “She doesn’t exactly get along well with her father’s side of the family, and she’s gonna be spending all day Monday with them.”

“That just seems like cruel torture to me,” Robin chipped in and Will nodded his agreement.

Killian went on to explain to his friends about Emma’s day, and what had led to her mini-meltdown. He knew they would understand and that they wouldn’t think any less of her for it.

He also knew they were the perfect people to help him work out what to do to help from Vancouver.

By the time they were being called to the makeup trailers, ready for the next scene, they’d come up with a plan that would, at the very least, show Emma that her friends and family in Canada were thinking of her.

Even if they couldn’t be there for her in person.

Chapter Text

Emma spent most of her weekend doing odd jobs around the house. Since she’d last been there, a team had been in to paint and paper the walls, and freshen up some of the décor. The house was now a perfect reflection of her taste, mixed with Killian’s. Almost like someone had combined her apartment at Clarence House with his in Vancouver. But it was still relatively sparse. So, while she was there, Emma decided to head into town to try and nab some bits that would make the house look more like a home for them both.

Even though Anton was a formidable shadow, following her around the stores, she was surprised to find that people tended to leave her alone to shop and browse. The occasional native would stop and ask how she was, or ask for a quick picture, but for the majority of her weekend, Emma was treated like anyone else would be.

And she loved every second of it.

Liam called round Saturday evening to see how she was doing, and complimented the new additions to the house. He’d brought food and beer with him, and as much as Emma had come to Ireland looking for solitude, she found herself enjoying his company as the two of them sat to watch a Transformers marathon.

On Sunday, she wasn’t ashamed to admit that she spent most of her day curled up in bed with her favourite book. Lounging around the house in one of Killian’s shirts, doing nothing, was exactly what she wanted from the day and just what she needed.

At around three pm Ailene messaged to ask if Emma would like to join them for dinner that evening. She’d offered to cook, if Emma would rather stay at home, but had also asked Brennan make a reservation at a local restaurant, just in case she would rather dine out. Emma was touched by the thought her future-mother-in-law had put into such a simple action. 

Ailene had been relatively quiet since Emma had left the house Friday night and she knew that was probably down to Killian. She assumed that he was in constant contact with his family, making sure they knew to give her the space she’d come for, but to also keeping an eye on her, to make sure she didn’t need anything. It was part of the reason why she loved him so much. He always seemed to know what she wanted, and was always making sure that she was happy and comfortable in everything she did. Nobody else had ever cared for her that way, outside of her own family, before.

Emma tapped out a quick reply to Ailene, asking if she’d mind eating out that evening, before climbing out of bed to start tidying up a little before taking a shower. Ailene was quick to message back and let her know they’d be by to pick her up at seven.

As much as she loved her future in-laws, she wanted the lack of privacy a public space offered, to avoid any potentially awkward conversations that might come her way.

Emma dressed conservatively for the night in a pair of black trousers and a black turtleneck sweater, knowing that the Irish night was going to be cold. She kept her makeup light and natural, and left her hair down, curling the ends a little to add some casual glamour to the look. The pair of black satin pumps, with jeweled accents, that Ailene and Brennan had bought her for Christmas, and the matching black clutch, finished her look.

The knock on her front door came just as she was finishing up a quick message to Killian, so she quickly hit send before running downstairs to answer it. Liam was stood on the other side, looking casually smart in a pair of dark trousers and a blue dress shirt.

“How do you make casual look so pretty?” he teased, as Emma pulled the door open a little wider for him to come in.

“A lot of expensive products,” she laughed. “I just need to grab a jacket and my bag and then I’ll be ready to go.”

She’d packed up what little she was taking back to London earlier that day, ready to leave with Anton, as she’d be flying back straight after dinner. Thankfully, the flight home wouldn’t take long so it wouldn’t matter too much how late she was getting there.

Dinner with the Jones family was everything Emma didn’t know she needed that night. There was some staring, and she was pretty sure there were lots of pictures taken both inside, and outside, of the building. But the conversation with her new family more than made up for it.

Liam happily told everyone that he’d gotten a time and date through for his interview with the Royal Navy, and how his last date with Ruby had gone. While Ailene and Brennan had not yet officially met Ruby, as her boyfriend’s parents, they’d spent enough time around her to know they very much approved of the new relationship in their son’s life.

Brennan spoke about work, and one of the funny incidents that had happened during the week, while Ailene asked Emma for recommendations for a small holiday destination that year she was looking to book. Between the three of them they kept the conversation light and fun, staying away from anything too heavy.

She was genuinely sad when their dessert plates were cleared away, and Brennan fought with her to pay the bill.

“Thank you so much for tonight,” she told them. “I wish I could stay longer with you all. I don’t think I realised just how much I needed this.”

“We understand completely,” Ailene offered. “You’re always welcome here, Emma. You’re family, and our doors are always open for family.”

“I’ll be back soon,” she promised them. “Maybe I could bring my mum over and we could go shopping or something?” she suggested.

“I’d like that very much.”

Emma glanced down at her phone to check the time, before reluctantly standing. The others quickly followed suit, with Liam being the first to pull her in for a hug.

“Message when you get home, so I know you’re safe,” he told her, before releasing her to his mother’s arms.

“I will do,” she promised, as Ailene squeezed a little tighter, before letting her go. Brennan’s hug was not quite as fierce as his wife’s had been, but it was no less loving.

“Call if you need anything,” he whispered. “We’re always here for you and we’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.”

It was the first time anyone had brought up the anniversary, but Emma was grateful for his words and the emotion behind them.

“I love you guys,” she told them, before straightening her back and putting on her public face. “I’ll see you all soon, and I’ll call next week.”



Chapter Text

The weather Monday morning seemed to perfectly reflect how Emma felt inside. It was dark and damp, with a possible storm looming. Emma struggled out of bed, willing herself to dress for the private church service that took place every year on the day.

She showered methodically, following her usual routine but without the usual energy she had for it, before wrapping herself up in Killian’s robe to head down to the kitchen and make some coffee. Rogan seemed to sense that his human needed some extra comfort that morning as he curled himself up on Emma’s lap, stubbornly refusing to move while she drank it.

When she’d finished, she moved back up to her room, to dress for the service. She’d picked out a dress just for the occasion, and just like all of the other black dresses she’d picked every year prior, this one would only ever see the light of day for this one occasion. When she was finished, the dress would be donated, just like the others, from previous years, had been.

The dress she’d picked was more modest than her usual style. The black silk dropped down to her knees and covered her elbows. Not that it mattered, as Emma had pulled on a pair of dark tights and her most comfortable knee-high black boots. The neckline was a little too wide for her liking, so she used one of the broches her father had gifted her to gather the loose fabric on her right shoulder and pin it in place. Besides her engagement ring, it was the only piece of jewellery she added to her look. She left her hair down and wavy, not caring in the slightest that she would be pictured that morning, and kept her makeup to a minimum before flopping down into a seat in the kitchen to wait for Anton.

When the knock on her door came, she gathered up her stuff, expecting Anton’s familiar face, even though it was a little early. She was shocked to find two members of staff stood on the other side instead, one with a large bouquet of flowers, and the other an even larger box. She showed them both in with a forced smile and a, “thanks,” before retreating back to the kitchen.

Emma hesitated only slightly before fishing out the card attached to the box. Her hesitation died as soon as she recognised the familiar scrawl on it.

My Princess,
I know today is going to be a tough one for you and I wish I could be there to share some of the burden with you. You’re always so strong and confident - but I want you to know that it’s okay not to be today. If you need ANYTHING, no matter how big or small, my phone will be on me all day. As will those of your friends and family.
I love you, Princess, and I will be there with you, in your heart.
Forever yours,
Killian X

She swallowed down the lump that had formed in her throat before opening the box that he’d sent with the flowers. Inside was a package that she knew had been designed to make her smile.

It wasn’t anything extravagant, by their usual standards, but it might just have been the best gift Emma had ever received.

Killian and his friends had loaded the box with everything they knew she could take comfort in. There were boxes of her favourite chocolates, and bags of the sweets she’d fallen in love with from a small store in Vancouver. A few bottles of her favourite wines were buried under a soft, red fleece blanket and silk pyjamas. They’d sent what looked like half of her favourite cosmetic store’s supply of bath bombs; bath salts; bubble bath; body wash and scented candles, along with some fancy face masks and moisturising lotions that Belle and Regina swore by. There were small packages of her favourite brands of hot chocolate and coffee, along with what looked like a custom made mug, and travel mug, to drink it out of that simply read, Future Mrs. Captain Hook. They’d included a red, tartan scarf that looked as soft as it felt, and a pair of matching gloves. There were even books and CDs that Will and Robin had recommended to her, along with a few of their partner’s favourite boxsets for Emma to binge on when she returned home. At the bottom of the box she found a prepaid Mastercard with a note taped to it that read, As I can’t send you Chinese food in this box, I figured I’d send you a way to get it. K.

But it was the collection of Fairytales merchandise they’d included that made Emma snort out a laugh. Most of it was focused around Hook including shirts; action figures; another fleece blanket and, most bizarrely of all, a body pillow.

And on top of it all was a small stuffed bear, dressed as Killian’s pirate counterpart.

Emma hadn’t expected to smile at all that day, but as she gazed down at everything her friends had sent for her, she couldn’t help herself.

When Anton finally knocked on the door, Emma was ready and waiting for him, bundled up in a black woollen trench-coat, with her new scarf and gloves, and clutching the small bear Killian had sent for her. He quirked a brow in its direction but said nothing as he escorted Emma through the building and down to the car waiting for them.

The small service was being held at Windsor Castle, so the drive over was relatively short. Emma wasn’t surprised to find most of her family already gathered inside St. George’s Chapel for the service.

She was usually one of the last to arrive.

A few of them sent her some strange looks for the small bear clutched tightly in her left hand, but Emma couldn’t bring herself to care. Instead she walked confidently through the room to take her place next to her mother.

Mary could barely look at her daughter.

It was her way of holding herself together and Emma appreciated that. They all had their own ways of managing their grief and this was Mary’s. Instead, Emma simply reached for her mother’s left hand and gave it a tight squeeze.

Ruth was, as always, the last to arrive, taking a seat on the other side of Mary. She smiled gratefully at Emma, but otherwise said nothing as the priest began his service.

Emma rarely cried in public and this was no exception, but she did find herself clutching the bear to her chest a little tighter than was absolutely necessary throughout.

She barely heard a word of what was being said, but that wasn’t any different to the previous years. Instead, Emma allowed her mind to once more fill with the few memories she had of her father. She’d much rather spend her time remembering him than listening to the words of a man who had never met him.

After the service, the family gathered in the foyer while they took turns to visit the Memorial Chapel, where David had been laid to rest. Emma kept to herself, not really wanting to speak with anyone, let alone her father’s family, at that moment. She was grateful that most of them had left by the time it was her own turn to enter the room.

Inside had always been rather elegant, given the function it served. It was full of the finest marble and stones the world had to offer. Nothing like the cold, dark tombstones Emma had seen in horror movies the year before her father’s death. Flowers had already been placed around David’s tomb and she bent to inspect them all. Most of the arrangements were very similar to the ones from previous years.

After all, her family were suckers for tradition.

But there were a few newer, brighter, arrangements that caught her eye, so Emma fumbled around for the cards that were attached to them, to see who had sent them.

For the very first time since her father was laid to rest, Emma shed a tear in the Chapel where he lay as she read the words her family and friends had written, and sent, to honour a man they had never even had the chance to meet.



Chapter Text

Killian was absolutely fuming when Regina pulled him aside that morning during filming to show him the tweets. Regina herself had been pretty pissed when someone had retweeted one of them into her timeline, but as the day progressed, and the gossip magazines began to pick up the story, she joined Killian in the positively-fuming camp.

The two of them were so wound up that they’d been dismissed from set early for struggling to slip back into character for their scenes. They received more than a few odd looks from the crew as they made their way back to Regina’s trailer.

“Who the fuck would do this?” Killian asked, pacing the length of his trailer. “I mean, don’t they have an ounce of compassion right now?”

“Compassion doesn’t sell their bullshit magazines,” Regina threw out. She wasn’t pacing but her tense frame was radiating anger in that moment.

“What do we do?” he sighed, throwing himself down next to her.

Regina was too angry to even begin to complain about the way he was handling himself in her trailer.

“We should just ignore it all. Rise above it. That’s what Emma would do,” she stated.

“We should,” he agreed. “But what are we actually gonna do about it?”

Emma kept to herself once the family had returned back to Buckingham Palace. She wasn’t really in the mood for forced socialising, so she decided to take a nap before dinner.

The room that was always reserved for her was warm and inviting when she pushed through the door. Emma was surprised to see the added addition of her engagement portraits on the wall, but she didn’t take much longer to look around the room. Instead, she kicked off her boots and curl up on top of the bed.

Emma fell asleep with her new bear clutched tightly to her chest.

When she woke, Emma felt a little more rested and a lot better equipped to handle the rest of the day ahead of herself.

She reached for her phone, intending to fire off a quick message to Killian and the others, to thank them for the floral arrangements and gifts, but she was distracted by the sheer volume of notifications on her lock screen.

She quickly pulled up a message from Anton, that had been marked as urgent, and simply read;

Click here.

The link took her to Killian’s official Facebook page. A page he often forgot the log-in details for - that was how rarely he used it.

However, the first thing on his page appeared to be a rather large text post, with a link to a tabloid article attached to the bottom of it. So, she made herself comfortable before she started to read.

Today, while I was on set filming, a friend of mine brought this article, and all of the others associated with it, to my attention. I usually brush off tabloid articles as nonsense and don’t bother dignifying them with a response. But in this situation, I was so angry at what I saw, that I simply had to reply to it.

Today, while I’m in Vancouver, putting in as many hours as I can to finish filming this season of Fairytales before my wedding, my fiancée is back home in London, mourning the anniversary of her father’s passing.

I tried to get the time off to be with her, but with my requests for award ceremonies, parties and other events also being granted, along with the time for my wedding, it simply wasn’t possible.

I can assure you, right now, I want nothing more than to hold the woman I love in my arms and allow her to grieve privately for her loss.

But as that wasn’t possible, I, along with my friends, put together a care package of goodies for her, to try and help her through the day. I sent her things like her favourite chocolates and sweet. Her favourite drinks and snacks. Small things, that always make her smile.

And I sent her a stuffed Hook bear.

Because it was cute, and I thought she’d smile when she saw it.

Today, she took that small bear with her to the service that was being held for her father.

And today, I’ve found pictures of her, with that small bear, plastered all over the internet, using it to question her abilities to rule a country.

Firstly, I am shocked and disgusted that someone has felt the need to take pictures of such a private moment.

Do people have no sense of compassion?

Have you already forgotten what happened nineteen years ago?

Emma and her family may owe a duty to their country, but they’re still entitled to their privacy.

And today, you took that from them. You might not have been the ones to take these pictures, but by sharing them, you have stripped the people I love of the privacy they deserve.

To use that small bear - that one small item I sent to the woman I love, in an attempt to make her smile - to belittle her absolutely disgusts me.

Emma is a strong, intelligent and confident woman. She’ll more than likely not care about this article when she reads it. She usually doesn’t.

But I do.

Because today, you took a moment that should have remained private, between family, and you twisted it to suit your own agendas.

Because today, you went from being huge fans of hers to showing just how little it takes for you to turn on her in order to push your own agendas.

And most importantly, I care because right now, the woman I love is hurt and vulnerable, and if she would happen across this article, I know just how much it will hurt her TODAY.

Shame on you all for making this day so much harder than it ever needed to be.

And because you have, I will no longer respond to requests for interviews from any of the tabloids, or journalists that have pushed this story for their own personal gain.

Killian Jones.

Emma brushed away the tears that had fallen at Killian’s heartfelt words before opening up the article and skimming through it. Sure enough, it was loaded with pictures of her arriving at Windsor Castle, clutching the small bear to her chest. Whoever had taken them had been close, and something about that sat wrong with her, but in her current state, Emma couldn’t put her finger on why. Sentences like, “Is the Princess a little too young to be a Queen?” jumped off the page at her and she exited out of the link almost as fast as she’d opened it.

Killian had been right.

If she’d read the trashy piece next weekend she’d have laughed and brushed it aside. But today… today those words and images cut deep.

She scrolled through the comments that had been left on the post, picking out those from Regina and Will agreeing with Killian’s words, and those from complete strangers who were offering their own compassion and support, before leaving her own simple reply for him.

The three words didn’t seem enough, but today, it was all she had to give him.

I love you. X

Chapter Text


“Oh Princess,” Killian sighed, taking in the woman he loved over his laptop screen.

Emma looked broken.

She was curled in on herself, the scarf that Belle had picked out for her wrapped around her neck, and her Hook bear clenched in her left hand. Her hair was a riotous mess, either from Emma’s own fingers running through it or from sleep. But the worst part was the obvious wet trails down her cheeks, and her bright red eyes.

She’d been crying and he wasn’t there to hold her.

“I’m okay.” She tried smiling to prove her point, but it wasn’t really helping. “I have Mini-Hook with me.” She held up the bear in her hand and Killian laughed despite himself.

“I thought you’d love that.”

“What’s not to love?” she asked. “He’s cute, dressed in leather and furry. Just like my man.”

“I don’t know if I should be offended by that?” he wondered and watched in awe as a small smile broke through Emma’s sadness. “How are you holding up, Beautiful?”

“Not so beautiful today,” she scoffed, running a rough hand through her hair to pull it back off her face.

“You’re always beautiful to me.” Killian let his words hang between them, hoping Emma could feel his sincerity. “I love you,” he finally added.

“I know,” she reassured him. “I love you too. And I…” she trailed off as the tears began to form again, biting her tongue in an attempt to hold them back as she pulled her eyes away from the screen and up to her ceiling.

Killian wanted to reach through the internet and dry her face for her.

“Thank you,” she finally ground out. “For… for the gifts. They um…”

“It’s okay,” Killian hurried to interrupt her, his own eyes stinging with the tell-tale sign of tears. “It’s okay, Emma. We know. We love you. I love you.”

“I’m so sick of crying.” She laughed bitterly, reaching for a tissue to dry her eyes.

“I hate this,” Killian complained. “I hate that you’re there and I’m here. I hate that I can’t be with you when you need me most.”

Emma nodded her understanding but remained silent for a while. She needed some time to compose herself. She finally spoke up when she saw him tapping away at his phone, out of screen.

“Don’t,” she warned.

“Huh?” Killian looked back up to offer her a tight smile.

“Don’t,” she repeated. “Don’t do something stupid. Don’t quit your job. Don’t book a flight back here. Just… don’t, okay?”


“I know. I wish you were here. I wish to God you were here right now to hold me. To just be with me. I really do. But I don’t want you to do anything stupid. I’m going to see you soon. Hopefully this weekend. And I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret.”

“I never regret being with you.” Emma knew it was true. But she still couldn’t let him sacrifice so much for her.

“You love your job,” she reminded him. “I love your job. And I suspect you’ve already pissed off those in charge with your decision regarding the tabloids so don’t do anything stupid.”

“You saw it?” he asked, locking his eyes on her.

“Yeah. I have alerts set for my name on certain sites, just to be aware of what people are saying about me. Yours too. Then I got messages from my staff, Anton and your brother.” She looked down briefly at the bear in her lap. “You didn’t need to do that.”

“I know. It just pissed me off so spectacularly.” Emma chuckled a little at that. It took a lot to piss off her man. “Did I make things worse?”

“No, you didn’t.” Emma wasn’t entirely sure if that was the truth, but she had been touched by his words. She’d make sure nothing came of his spontaneous decision. “I just don’t want you to get in trouble with the network.”

“They were a little annoyed but nothing major. I think they were just as upset by the stunt that had been pulled as the rest of us.” He blushed a little and Emma knew he was hiding something. “It helps that Regina and Belle backed me up.”

“Thank them for me?” she asked. “For everything.” Killian nodded his understanding. She didn’t need to voice it all for him to get it. “And your parents too. For the arrangements for my dad.” Her voice broke a little over the word, but she kept going. “I got a whole lot more than just a boyfriend last year when I ran into you, didn’t I?”

“Firstly, if you remember rightly, I ran into you,” he corrected, and Emma smiled once more. “And yeah, you did. But I think we gained more.”

“I love you.”

Emma had just jumped out of her second shower of the day when the soft knock on the door startled her.

“Give me a second?” she called out, scrambling around to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweater to answer it with. She was glad she had when she pulled it open to find Anton stood on the other side. “Everything okay?”

“I was gonna ask you the same thing? Can I come in?” Emma stepped back and pulled the door open a little wider in invitation.

Anton took a quick look at the bed, before deciding that the sofa would be a safer option. Emma followed him round to sit down beside him. The two sat in an awkward silence for a moment, before Anton finally spoke.

“Killian called me.” Emma didn’t really need any more information than that. “He’s worried about you. He always worries about you… but he wanted me to come and check on you. He thought you could use a familiar face. How are you doing?”

“I’ve been better,” she replied honestly. “It’s always been difficult. I miss him everyday. And I thought I was getting better at handling this. But the first thing I did when I woke up today was reach for Killian and having him not be there too was worse than I thought it would be.”

Anton turned to Emma, his large frame settling awkwardly on the narrow sofa. “I get it. Missing one man you love is hard. Missing both, at the same time, is impossibly tough. I can’t promise it will get any easier, Emma. But I can promise that Killian and I will do everything we can to make sure you’re only missing one man you love this time of the year.”

Emma wasn’t sure what came over her, but she leaned forward and into his chest. Anton didn’t miss a beat, wrapping his arms around her softly to hold her close as she sobbed quietly into his chest. He said nothing, just allowing her to cry out her own hurt and frustrations. When her tears had finally stopped falling, Emma pulled away before things could become awkward again.

“Thanks. I think I needed that.”

“Anytime,” he offered. Emma could tell from the look in his eyes that Anton had something else he wanted to discuss, so she waited patiently for him to bring it up.

“Do you want to talk about the articles?” he finally asked.

“No.” She stated firmly. She’d cried enough over them when they were first brought to her attention. But her shower and talk with Killian had helped clear her head. There was only one thing she wanted now. “I wanna know who took those pictures. Can you find out for me?”

“Of course, Your Highness.” Anton stood then, ready to take his leave. “Call if you need anything.” He bent to brush a kiss to the top of her head before seeing himself out of the room.

Chapter Text

Emma woke Wednesday morning to a message from Killian that simply read;

We’re ahead of schedule.
I’m flying back Friday night.
Tux will be delivered to your place.
Love you. X

Sunday would be the night of the sixty-ninth British Academy Film Awards and, much like her father before he passed, Emma had been invited every year, since she turned eighteen, to present the BAFTA Fellowship to its recipient. This year, she had asked Killian to be her date for the evening, but it had looked for a moment as though he wouldn’t be able to make it. With the weather in Vancouver taking a turn for the worst, it had completely thrown off their filming schedule. Thankfully, the team had worked tirelessly to make sure they could get back on track, knowing that Killian had a busy year ahead of him with his engagement to Emma now public news.

Emma was feeling much better with the knowledge that she’d get to see her man once again, after the way her week had begun. While family dinner had been a quiet and tense affair, nothing had been said about that fact that Emma had brought Teddy Hook down to the table with her, or the fact that she had her phone glued to her hand underneath it. Everyone seemed too busy, locked inside their own minds, to care.

Tuesday, Emma had spent shut away from the rest of the world. She’d decided to put her friends’ gifts to good use and had taken a relaxing bath with some of her goodies, before curling up on the sofa, in her new Pajamas, to watch one of the boxsets they’d sent her way.

But the news of Killian’s impending visit had put a spring back into Emma’s step. And it was a bonus that the award ceremony just so happened to fall on Valentine’s Day.

After sending Killian a quick reply, Emma showered and dressed for the day ahead.

Victoria was bang on time when she knocked on the door. Anton followed her into the apartment, carrying garment bags draped over his arms and large duffle bags slung over his shoulders.

“What is all this?” Emma asked, ushering her friend into the lounge.

“Well, I know we settled on a few different designs and styles,” Victoria began, gesturing for Anton to take everything upstairs. “So, I’ve started putting them into production. I have nine different base designs here, for the dress. There will be more added to it, but when we know what works best for your shape, then we can work on adding the detail.”

“Okay, that makes sense,” Emma agreed. “What do you need me to do?”

“Show me to your room and we can start putting you into these bases and see what we like best.”

Emma stopped in the kitchen to grab some drinks for the two of them before showing Victoria up to her room. She was endlessly grateful for the fact that she was anal about making her bed in the mornings, as she hadn’t been expecting Victoria to see the inside of her bedroom when she woke up.

“Now, I hope you’re not shy,” the older woman teased, “Because I’m gonna need you to strip for me.”

“You lucky woman,” Emma sassed back, before slowly shedding her clothes as Victoria busied herself with hanging up and then opening each of the garment bags to pull out the dresses safely tucked inside.

When Emma was stood in nothing more than her black lace underwear, she wrapped a robe around herself and moved over to inspect what Victoria had brought.

“Wow,” she praised, allowing her fingers to skim delicately over the satin.

“I stuck with the ivory colour base we’d chosen,” Victoria explained, coming to stand next to Emma. “These are all an ivory satin base, but I chose three different neck-lines to work with. As your finished gown will need sleeves, there will be layers over each one to finish the look, but I figured this was a good way to get started. I’ve also made each neck-line in each dress cut we chose.”

“Okay.” Emma nodded her head to show that she had understood, but she was completely blown away by the thought Victoria had put into the design already. “Where do you want me to start?”

Victoria handed over a large box that she had fished out of one of the duffle bags, before placing another on top. “Start with these,” she told Emma. “Inside there’s some lingerie I’ve designed for you. It should fit perfectly, unless you’ve lost or gained any weight recently. And there’s also a pair of plain ivory satin shoes. We need to get all of your measurements spot on and things like different underwear and heel sizes will make a huge difference to your final look.”

Emma took the box from the older woman’s hands and nodded to show that she understood what had been said, before excusing herself to change in the bathroom.

When she was finished, Victoria had one of the gowns off the hanger and ready for Emma to slip into. “This was your favourite on paper,” she explained, helping Emma into the dress.

As Emma tried on each of the gowns Victoria had designed for her, she realised just why her friend had already put so much work into them. The one she’d most liked on page looked awful on her. The neckline didn’t fit right with Emma’s bust size, and the cut of the dress was incredibly unflattering on her figure.

In the end, the two women settled on the A-line design with sweetheart neckline. Victoria made some adjustments to the fit of the gown, taking it in at some places, and making notes to let it out in others, before she told Emma to get changed back out of it.

“What happens now?” she wondered, as the two of them settled into the lounge with salads, wine and yet more sketches spread out before them.

“Now, I’m going to start work on the layers for this gown while I put the designs for your next one into production.”

“I can’t believe how much work you’re putting into this,” Emma sighed. “What are you going to do with all the other dresses that we ruled out?”

“Auction them for charity after your wedding,” Victoria answered decisively. “I think there are royalists out there who would pay good money for them, even if they are essentially scrap. And we can donate some money to some good causes as a result of that.”

“Thank you.” Emma was truly grateful that she’d picked Victoria for this task. She couldn’t imagine working with anyone else to design her dress. She had no idea how she would ever go about thanking her for all of the work she’d put into the task.

Chapter Text

Friday morning rolled around far quicker than Emma thought it would, and she was grateful for that. Although Killian wouldn’t be staying long, she would never complain about any length of time he spent with her.

Emma had already decided to spend her morning with her grandmother, helping with some of the daily chores that Ruth always completed. It was a good way to keep herself busy, and her mind off the time.

Ruth was always happy for the help and welcomed her granddaughter warmly.

“Emma, it’s so good to see you again. How are you doing?” she asked, reaching up to press a kiss to the younger woman’s cheek.

“I’m good, thank you,” Emma replied. “How are you?”

“Can’t complain, my Dear.” Ruth ushered Emma into her private office, and towards the plush sofa that sat inside of it. “I have the Privvy Council meeting next week to officially give my permission for you to marry. The announcement will be printed in the London Gazette the day after.”

Emma smiled softly at her Grandmother, before taking a seat and reaching for a stack of papers that sat on the coffee table.

“I heard about the pictures that were taken Monday,” Ruth began carefully. “I’m so sorry, Emma. I had no idea there was anyone on the grounds that shouldn’t have been.”

“It’s okay,” Emma reassured her. “I have Anton looking into who took them.”

Ruth nodded to show that she’d heard her granddaughter but said nothing else. Much like Emma, she had her own suspicions about where the supposed leak had come from. But she would never voice them without proof. So, instead, she changed the subject. “How are the wedding plans coming along?” she asked conversationally, as a tray of tea was placed down for them both.

“I think they’re going well,” Emma chuckled. “I’ve never planned a wedding before, but my wedding planner says everything is on schedule.”

“I’m sure it will be a perfect day,” Ruth reassured her. “And Mary tells me Killian is flying back today for the weekend?”

“Yeah he’s gonna be my date for the BAFTAs Sunday night.”

“That’s good,” Ruth hummed. “You’ll be together for your first Valentine’s Day. I missed mine with your grandfather. It wasn’t such a big deal back then but we took some time to ourselves after the day to make up for it.”

There was an easy silence for the longest of moments as Emma scanned the documents before her and Ruth sipped at a cup of tea, before Ruth finally brought up what had been on her mind.

“I’ve been speaking with my advisors and some senior politicians. There’s a slight problem with your wedding.”

“What kind of problem?” Emma asked, dropping the papers she held to turn her full attention to her grandmother.

“We’ve looked at the wordings of the current law and it appears that when you two marry, Killian won’t be eligible to inherit a title from you. You’d still have your own, but he would not. Which means that your children would also be without a title of their own.”

The realization hit Emma like a ton of bricks. “They need a title if they’re going to have a claim to the throne.”

“Yes, they do,” Ruth agreed. “So, we’re looking to change the law. Hopefully before your marriage… if not after. The plan is to allow the transfer of titles to work for both men and women marrying into the family.”

“That seems fair,” Emma agreed. After all, it was the twenty-first century and equality was something she felt passionate about.

“The law, however, will need to be drafted carefully so that any male marrying into the family would not succeed to a title greater than their wife’s.”

“So… Killian would become a prince, like grandpa was, when I am Queen,” Emma reasoned.

“Exactly. And of course, the two of you will have a dukedom conferred upon you on the day of your marriage. But once again, it’s something that would need to be drafted into the law as dukedoms are only conferred upon male royals, not females, unless she is a queen.”

Emma nodded to show her understanding and sat in silence for a moment while she sipped at her own cup of tea.

“Do you think it will be greatly opposed?” she asked.

“No, I don’t,” Ruth answered honestly. “You are incredibly popular, not only with the people around this country but worldwide, and your relationship with Killian is proving favourable. I can imagine the Commonwealth would approve.”

“But there’s always a chance,” Emma understood.

“Yes, there is.” Ruth reached across the small table to take one of Emma’s hands into her own. “And should that happen, we’ll come up with another plan. Even if it means Killian never getting a title of his own but your children inheriting yours.”

Emma didn’t want it to come to that.

She knew, deep down, that Killian wouldn’t care. The title was not what he was marrying her for, and he would happily agree to never hold one of his own, as long as his wife and future-children retained theirs.

But Emma didn’t want that.

Killian was a good man.

A man that had already sacrificed so much in his life to be with her, and would continue to do so. A man that she never once considered as beneath her position in life.

She wanted him to share a title with her, and their children, if for no other reason than the familial bond it would give them.

Killian deserved a title of his own.

And Emma would do anything necessary to make sure he was recognised as her equal.

“What can I do to help?” she asked.

Chapter Text

Emma woke to the feel of warm and familiar arms, wrapping around her, as an equally warm and familiar body slotted into the bed behind her own.

“Mmm, you’re here,” she mumbled sleepily.

“I’m here,” Killian whispered into the darkness. “Go back to sleep, Beautiful.”

“How was your flight?” she asked, snuggling back into his embrace. She’d forgotten just how much she missed those arms around her while she slept.

“Long and uneventful,” he replied honestly. When Emma stifled a yawn, Killian chuckled into her hair before placing a brief kiss to it. “Get some rest. We can talk more tomorrow morning.”

“Love you,” she mumbled, pulling his arm tighter around her body.

“Love you more.”

Emma woke before Killian did that morning. It didn’t often happen, but she imagined that the long flight and his grueling work schedule had exhausted her man. A large part of her wanted to wake him immediately, so that they could make the most of the limited time they had together. But the more sensible part told her to let him sleep.

She sat with him for a while, tapping away on her iPad to finish off some work while he slept, before heading for the shower.

Emma’s initial plan had been to make the most of the time they had by not leaving her bed all day. Unfortunately, the two of them still had far too much demanding their attention for that to be a reality. So, Emma had scheduled a tasting session at the Palace, with their caterers, so that she and Killian could finalise a menu for their wedding reception.

She woke him an hour before their appointment with gentle kisses, whilst teasing her hands through his hair.

“Wake up, Baby,” she called.

Killian hummed into his pillow, tightening his grip on it.

“We have to be at the Palace for one, or I’d let you sleep all day.”

She watched as Killian fought hard to shake the sleep that he’d fallen into, before pulling himself up into a sitting position against the headboard. Emma leaned over to grab the mug of coffee she’d made for him and handed it over, before running a gentle hand through his hair and over his stubbled face.

“Hey you,” she smiled.

“H Princess,” he sighed leaning into her hand. “I swear you get more beautiful every time I see you.”

“That’s probably sleep delirium,” she chuckled. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired,” he admitted, “But I’d gladly settle for tired and with you than well-rested and lonely without you.”

Emma leaned in to press a sweet kiss to his lips, before pulling back with a sigh. “We have a tasting session at the Palace, remember?”

“I remember.” Killian reached out to take her left hand into his own and brought it to his lips to place a kiss just above her engagement ring. “We’ll have plenty of time for lazy mornings when we’re married.”

“Yes, we will,” Emma agreed.

Killian downed his coffee as fast as he possibly could, before taking a quick shower and dressing.

Ruth was out on public engagements for the day, so Emma made the decision to drive the two of them over to the Palace herself. She normally spent most of her life being driven around, so the freedom to get behind the wheel of a car was a rare treat for her.

Killian watched fondly as the woman he loved navigated the streets of London effortlessly, taking a slightly longer route, before pulling into the Palace, where they were greeted by familiar members of staff and the wedding planner Emma had hired to help with their big day. They were running a little late, and one of the dining rooms had already been set ready for their arrival with two places, and a number of dishes under golden domes.

The two of them spent the next two and a half hours tasting and selecting everything from the canapes that would be served during their very first reception brunch, to the full meal and dessert that would later be served to their friends and family. They tried to keep their selections varied, to make sure there would be something for everyone attending, before they took a small break and retired to Emma’s suite in the Palace.

“Ugh, I feel so full. Is it possible to fill up on bites of dishes that fit onto a dessert spoon?” Emma asked, flopping down onto the bed.

“It is when you eat enough to have filled four plates,” Killian chuckled, settling down next to her. “Can you believe that in sixty-one days we’re going to be here, eating that food, as husband and wife?”

Emma rolled onto her side to look over at him, reaching out a hand to link with his own.

“Is that a touch of cold-feet I hear in your tone?” she teased.

“Not at all,” he replied honestly. “More like absolute awe. I still can’t quite believe this is all happening, you know?”

“Yeah, I do,” she agreed. “Sometimes I still think it’s all been one huge, epic dream, and I’m gonna wake up on that first morning, craving a Starbucks Cold Brew.”

Killian laughed as he pulled Emma into his arms, her head resting over his heart. “I can’t wait to be your husband,” he told her, brushing back the hair from her forehead.

“I can’t wait to be your wife.” Emma leaned in to press a sweet kiss to the bolt of Killian’s jaw but let out a stifled groan at the knock that sounded on the door to her suite. “Ready to go and taste some wedding cake?”

“Fair warning… I might puke,” Killian chuckled, helping her up to her feet.

Chapter Text

“Okay, so what else do we have left to do?” Killian asked once all the food had been cleared away and a tray of coffee had been sat on the table. Emma’s wedding planner, Kate, had joined them to go over the final selection for the menu and was currently riffling through a rather large file of paperwork.

“Not much left now, Mr. Jones,” she assured him, with a somewhat overly cheerful smile. “You just need to pick a photographer; a band and music for the reception; a florist and the floral arrangements for the service, the bouquet and the reception; organize your engagement party, rehearsal, stag party and hen party; book the hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests; design your rings for each other; work out seating charts for everyone; and sort out a marriage license.”

“Oh yeah, not much.” He rolled his eyes in Emma’s direction and she stifled her giggles behind her hand.

“Have you started looking for a suit for the ceremony yet?” Kate asked, still flipping through her large box file.

“Yes, we have,” Killian assured her. It was one of the only tasks he’d been given full responsibility for and he was going to make sure he did it well.

“Excellent news,” Kate declared. “Then I shall leave you two to enjoy the rest of your day.”

Killian waited until she’d left the room before turning back to Emma. “Is she always that happy?”

“Pretty much,” she confirmed with a nod of her head. “You get used to it after a while.”

Killian slid his chair in a little closer to Emma’s, before pulling her into his side. “Do you have anything you wanna do for the rest of the day?” he asked, nuzzling into her hair.

“Hmm, I have one idea,” she whispered, turning into his touch. “I believe there was a suggestion that involved spending the rest of our day in bed?”

Killian was up and out of his seat faster than she’d ever seen him move before. Emma couldn’t control her giggles as he picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and ran for the car.

When she woke the next morning, it was to the smell of fresh pancakes and coffee.

“Morning, Princess,” Killian whispered into the silent room. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Emma blinked away the last remnants of sleep before pulling herself up to rest against the headboard, tucking the sheet around her naked body. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby.” She leaned forward and Killian met her halfway for a searing kiss.

One that was full of promise for the day ahead.

“I’ve made breakfast for you,” Killian explained as he pulled back, so Emma was able to get her first good look at him that morning. His hair was still mussed from sleep, and he only wore a pair of lounge pants and his crucifix, but he looked like a God stood before her.

“You didn’t need to do that,” she protested.

“I wanted to,” he assured her. “I’ll bring it up.”

He bent to press another kiss to her hair before leaving to head down to the kitchen. Emma used the time while he was gone to freshen up a little, before shrugging into his discarded shirt from the afternoon before. She pulled Killian’s gifts out of their hiding spot in her closet, before climbing back into bed to wait for him.

When Killian pushed back through the door he had a tray of food in his arms, and a huge bouquet of flowers tucked under one of them. Emma giggled a little at the sight he presented, before getting up to help him with the tray.

“You could have left the flowers in the kitchen,” she teased.

“Pfts. Amateurs leave the flowers in the kitchen.” Killian waited for her to slide back into the bed, before sitting the flowers across her lap. “For you, Milady.”

He’d opted for the traditional red roses for the occasion, but had mixed in Emma’s favourite flowers too, to give it a less clichéd feel.

“These are beautiful. Thank you.” She leaned over to press a quick kiss to his lips, before pulling back and settling the flowers carefully to one side. When she turned back around, there was a small gift box sat in her lap.

“Okay, now you’re spoiling me,” she chastised, pulling on the bow that had been tied around the box. Killian leaned in slightly to watch as Emma lifted the lid and pulled aside the tissue paper that covered his purchases. “Oh, Killian,” she sighed, “These are beautiful.”

“I know you love your rubies, but I thought for Valentine’s Day I’d go for diamonds instead.” Inside the box was a stunning diamond necklace. The moment Killian saw it, he knew it would be perfect for Emma. The three strands were completely covered with over four-hundred-and-sixty diamonds. The left side of the piece was rather plain (if a diamond necklace could be described as plain) but the right side was what he knew Emma would love. The three strands of the necklace broke away into an intricate design that resembled leaves on a branch, flowing down to the center of the piece. It was exactly the kind of thing Emma would add to an outfit to give it a wow factor. He’d also managed to talk the owners of the jewelry store he’d purchased it from into making a matching ring and set of earrings for her.

Emma gently eased the large piece out of the box, feeling the weight of it rest in her palm and watched as it caught the early morning sunlight.

“This is incredible.” She lifted her head to catch her future-husband’s eyes and watched the pride shine through in them. He was happy that she seemed to love it as much as he thought she would. “Holy shit, this must have cost a fortune,” she gasped suddenly.

“You’re worth it,” he replied honestly.

Emma wasn’t so convinced. “When I say ‘a fortune’ I mean like a year’s worth of your wages, Killian. This is too much.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he chided. At Emma’s quirked brow he hurried on to explain. “Emma… between the two of us, we have an apartment in London, an apartment in Vancouver, a house in Ireland, and a house in the English Countryside. We don’t have a mortgage on any of those properties. We both work. We both earn a good wage. This isn’t going to leave me homeless so please stop worrying and enjoy the damned gift.”

She carefully placed the necklace back into the box before leaning in and pulling Killian’s head down to rest against her own. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I just don’t want you to think I need you to spend that money on jewels for me to be happy. I already am.”

“I just wanted to buy you something unique and pretty,” he smiled back at her, pecking at her lips with his own. “But… I can take it back if you’d rather?”

“Don’t you dare,” she protested. “I love it and I love you.”

“I love you too.” He leaned back in for another quick kiss before Emma slipped her own gift bag into his lap.

Killian looked like a small kid on Christmas as he pulled it open to see what was hidden inside. There were two small boxes in the bag, and he pulled them out and placed them into his lap. He looked torn for a moment before grabbing for the one on the left and opening it up.

“What’s this?” he asked, turning the silver key over in his fingers.

“Remember earlier when you listed all those places we now own and call home?” At Killian’s slight nod of the head, Emma continued, “Now you can add ‘a house in LA’ to the list,” she explained.

“The landlord took the offer?”

“The landlord took the offer,” she confirmed. Killian threw the box and key onto the bed, before pulling Emma into his arms. “I can’t wait to see you in a bikini,” he teased, his voice sounding more like Hook than like Killian in that moment.

“I’ll buy some new ones for the summer,” she giggled. Killian hummed against her ear, before he began placing wet kisses along the lobe and down her neck. “You… um… you haven’t opened the other yet,” she gasped as he bit down gently.

Killian pulled away with a dramatic sigh, before placing a kiss over her pulse point. Emma giggled at his theatrics before she handed over the forgotten second box.

“I think you’ll like this one,” she smiled, knowingly.

“I liked what we were doing before,” he replied with a pout.

Emma watched as he lifted the lid off the second box, before pulling out yet another key. Only this time, his eyes widened with shock.

“What the fuck is this?” he asked, his eyes darting from Emma, to the Aston Martin logo clearly emblazoned on the black key fob.

“It’s a key,” she deadpanned.

“Is this what I think it is?” he asked, shock permeating each word.

“I know you were a little disappointed that they didn’t make cars big enough to be chauffer driven for the wedding… so I thought I’d get you one of your own.”

“You’re incredible,” he chuckled, before pulling her back into his arms. “Best. Soon-To-Be. Wife. Ever.”



Chapter Text

“God you’re gorgeous,” Killian sighed, into Emma’s neck.

“If you don’t stop this, we’re not going to make it out of this place on time,” Emma protested weakly, leaning back into his embrace.

Killian pulled her in tighter, his grip on her body strong and steady, despite the combination of falling water and soap suds that currently clung to it. “It’s their own fault.” He paused to place another kiss along the back of her neck. “Who the hell puts an award ceremony on Valentine’s Day.”

Emma moaned as he sucked gently on the skin he’d been kissing. “Don’t you dare mark me,” she warned him.

“I’ll keep it to the places that won’t be seen,” he replied cheekily.

“Have you seen the jumpsuit you bought me?” she replied. “It’s very revealing.”

“Then I’ll just have to go lower,” he teased, dropping to his knees.

Emma opened her mouth to protest once more that they were going to be late that night, but all that came out was a drawn-out moan as Killian’s lips found her clit and began sucking.

“Oh… fuck it,” she moaned, surrendering to the power of his talented lips and tongue as she dropped her back to the wall of the shower.

“Getting to that part,” he winked, stroking her gently, as he brought his tongue out to gently tease her.

“Just um… just get there fast,” she sighed. “I’m not causing a scandal.”

Emma threaded one of her hands through Killian’s hair, using it as an anchor against the sensations he was sparking within her body, as she brought her other free hand up to tease at her breasts.

Killian groaned below her, sending pleasant vibrations through her clit, as he eased a finger into her. She dropped her eyes down to watch his own follow her every movement. He’d always loved watching her, and Emma found that she rather enjoyed putting on a show for him when he did.

Killian made her feel sexy and confident in a way nobody else ever had.

As he eased a second finger in beside the first, Emma pinched hard at her left nipple, the pleasurable pain causing her back to arch away from the tiled wall.

“Fuck,” she groaned, letting go to move over to her neglected breast.

Killian picked up his pace, his fingers stroking faster, as his mouth sucked harder, and Emma felt herself quickly climbing. She let go of her grip on his hair to bring her other hand up, teasing around her nipples, stroking and pinching the sensitive skin there.

Killian curled his fingers on his next stroke, hitting that spot inside of her that always had her seeing stars just as he scraped his teeth over his clit. Emma came with a small scream, her back arching away from the wall as her legs began to buckle.

Killian slid his free hand up her body, pinning her in place as he gently brought her down, easing her through her climax, before pushing himself back up to face her.

“You’re fucking glorious,” he praised, dipping his head to seal the words with a searing kiss.

Emma loved the taste of herself on his lips.

“Think you can handle another?” he asked, that cocky smirk in full and devastating effect.

“Shut up and fuck me, Jones.”


“I can’t believe how late we’re going to be,” Emma complained from her closet.

The glamour team she often used for big public events had arrived while she and Killian were still in the shower. They’d had to wait almost an hour before finally getting their hands onto her, and they didn’t look amused.

“We’re not that late,” Killian called back, rolling a ball around the bedroom floor for Rogan to chase. “It just means we won’t be sat in the car for like an hour, waiting to get in.”

“Unless traffic in London is awful and we’re stuck in the car for over an hour trying to get to the venue.”

Emma made a good point, but Killian wasn’t going to tell her that.

He also knew that he’d managed to get dressed and ready to leave within twenty minutes, and yet he was still waiting for her to finish getting ready almost two hours later.

But Killian enjoyed having a fully functioning penis too much to voice that opinion.

“Okay, I think I’m ready,” she announced, stepping out of her dressing room and back into the bedroom.

Her team had pulled her hair back into a low, somewhat-messy bun, that still managed to look sleek and elegant. They’d opted to keep her makeup light and natural, knowing that it would only enhance her beauty for the night.

The dress she’d picked for the occasion was nothing short of perfect for her. She’d opted for a red, strapless, satin gown for the evening. It wasn’t quite floor-length, stopping mid-calf on her left side, before swooping down to finish just above her foot on the right side, giving a good look at the silver peep-toe pumps she’d paired with it. However, the back was where the wow factor was truly hidden.

“How do I look?” she asked.

As Emma turned slowly for him, Killian noticed that on her left side, the dress continued up to stop just above her knee in the middle of the gown. However, on the other side, the fabric had been gathered to form a sort of train down the right side of her body, giving it a unique cut.

She’d finished the whole look with black painted nails, the jewels Killian had bought her for Valentine’s day, and a silver clutch bag.

“Wow, you look incredible,” he noted, his eyes widening slightly as he took her in from head to toe.

“Thank you. It’s not too much, is it?” she asked, turning once more. “I was asked not to outshine the nominees.”

“Then we should probably stay home, because that’s always gonna happen,” he chuckled, moving in closer to get a better look at her. “You’re beautiful.”

“So are you,” she praised.

Emma had never had the opportunity to see Killian in a tuxedo before and she was enjoying every moment of it. The black of his suit and the crisp white of his dress shirt were doing things to her that she didn’t want to voice, given their reasons for running late.

“You okay there, Love?” he teased, his accent dropping into the one of Captain Hook easily. “See something you like?”

Emma shook her head to clear it before slapping him with her bag. “Let’s go before we end up officially absent tonight.”


Chapter Text

“You’re lucky traffic is on our side,” Emma teased, as they edged closer to the Royal Opera House.

“I think it’s safe to say luck has been on my side since we met,” Killian replied.

Emma wasn’t really sure what to say in reply, so she simply leaned in to press a quick kiss to his lips. His sweetness and honesty still caught her off guard, and she hoped that it always would.

It didn’t take their driver long to navigate the familiar streets, and soon, they were parked up, waiting for their turn to exit the car and walk the red carpet.

“Is there anything I need to know?” Killian asked, playing with Emma’s fingers idly.

“Not really.” She cast her mind around for a moment, wondering if there was anything that shouldn’t be mentioned. Given their impending nuptials, she suspected very little that would be asked of them that evening would be off limits. “Just be yourself,” she told him.

Emma and Killian would be the final people to walk the carpet that evening, so she knew it would be busy when they arrived. It always was. But as their driver pulled the car round to their final stop, and the noise outside became audible, she could sense Killian’s nerves kicking in.

For someone who spent most of his life in front of a camera, he still hadn’t managed to shake the nerves that came with being himself before one. It was possibly one of the most adorable things Emma had ever seen.

Anton was the first to leave the car, moving round to open the door on Killian’s side so he could climb out. He took a deep and steadying breath before stepping down as gracefully as he could, buttoning his tuxedo jacket as he went, before extending his hand back to help Emma down.

The noise around them skyrocketed once more as the crowd got their first look at the princess, and Killian was delighted to see just how well loved she was. She took a moment to brush herself down, making sure she looked presentable, before taking Killian’s hand into her own once more to start the walk.

As he’d expected, Emma detoured almost instantly, making her way over to the crowds gathered at the side of the road, waving banners and signs in her direction. The security team around them seemed to have been expecting it, as they closed in rather quickly.

Killian took his own quick step back as he watched Emma interact with her people, stopping to say hi to as many as she could, accepting their gifts (that were quickly passed over to Anton), and agreeing to the many requests for pictures. He was so caught up in watching her work that it took him a moment to realise that someone in the gathered crowd was calling his own name, so he stepped forward to hear what they were saying.

“Would you mind signing this?” the woman closest to him asked, holding out her copy of Season two of Fairytales on DVD.

“Of course not,” he replied, a little stunned, before he realised that he had nothing to sign it with. Anton cleared his throat from behind him, holding out a black Sharpie with a look on his face that told Killian he’d been expecting the request to come.

As he passed back the first DVD case, and paused to allow the woman’s friend to snap some pictures of themselves with him, he was shocked to find that there was soon another case in front of him, waiting to be signed.

Emma sent him a small smile as she watched him make his own way down the line of people, signing their Fairytales merchandise and taking pictures with whoever asked.

Anton gave them roughly twenty minutes to mix with the fans before insisting that they move on. Emma hated that there were still people in the crowd, who had probably been waiting all day in the cold, that were being missed. But she also knew that she couldn’t hold up the entire show. So, she sent them all a sincere apology and a wave, as Killian took her hand once more to make their way towards the entrance of the building and the gathered journalists.

The press line was definitely more daunting than the fans had been, so Killian allowed Emma’s natural energy to wash over him, when it was their time to shine. She happily curled into his side, shivering slightly against the cold winds, as he wrapped an arm around her to pose for the photographers.

“Are you cold?” he whispered, dropping his head so Emma would hear him over the calls from the photographers.

“A little,” she replied, as she continued to smile. She pulled away from him a little to give the photographers another of their shots before adding, “I’ll cope though.”

Killian didn’t like the thought of Emma freezing outside for the sake of a few press pictures, but he also knew that she would never leave without giving the photographers what they wanted. So, he stepped to the side, allowing them to get her solo shots, and tried to keep his expression neutral while they took some of him.

Thankfully, it didn’t take the photographers long to get everything they wanted, and Anton was soon moving them along, ready to give their live television interview.

Killian vaguely recognised the woman stood waiting to speak with them, but he couldn’t put a name to her face. He was too busy worrying about Emma, who was shivering a little harder when the cameras were off her.

“Good evening,” the interviewer greeted, guiding them to the spot in front of their cameras. “How are you both this evening?”

“Very well, thank you, Zoe? And yourself?” Emma asked, easily taking the lead in their conversation.

Killian could feel how cold she was as he moved to wrap his arm around her. So, he made a snap decision.

Proper conduct be damned!

He wasn’t leaving his fiancée to freeze outside in the British winter.

He squeezed Emma’s hip gently before letting go to unbutton his jacket. As Zoe answered her question, he shrugged out of the jacket and draped it around Emma’s shoulders, hoping it would at least offer some protection against the wind. The way she smiled softly up at him, as he tucked her into his side, told Killian that she more than appreciated the gesture.

“Oh my word,” Zoe gasped, “You must be freezing.”

“Just a little,” Emma chuckled. “I’m gonna have to start suggesting we do this in the summer.” Zoe laughed along with her, before turning to the two of them.

“Well, let’s start with the obvious – congratulations on your engagement. Can we get a good look at that ring?” she asked, nodding at Emma’s left hand.

Emma raised it for the benefit of the camera filming behind them, before dropping her hand down to find Killian’s own. “That’s absolutely stunning. He’s definitely a keeper.”

“That he is,” Emma agreed. She was smiling for the camera but everything about her tone told Killian that she fully believed what she was saying.

“Is this your first time at the BAFTAs?” Zoe asked Killian, her attention suddenly focused fully on him.

“It is. Hopefully not my last though.”

“I hear there are rumours that the script for the movie you’ll be filming later this year is tipped for award season next year,” she continued. “So… do you think you’ll be standing here next year, not just as Her Royal Highness’s husband, but also as a nominee?”

“Um…” Killian brought his right hand up to scratch nervously behind his ear and Emma chuckled a little at how adorable he was when flustered. “It would be lovely,” he replied honestly. “I’m not gonna lie… I think everyone who gets into this industry dreams of making the award circuit one year during their career. But there is still a lot of time between now and then, so anything could happen.”

“And how would you feel about that?” Zoe asked, turning her attention back to Emma.

“Honestly? It doesn’t bother me how many trophies are sat in the cabinet at home. As long as Killian loves what he’s doing, I’m always going to be proud and supportive of him.”

Killian dropped his head to brush a soft kiss to the crown of Emma’s head, even though he knew that it wasn’t proper. He couldn’t really bring himself to care. Her responses were always just word perfect.

“Today is also Valentine’s Day,” Zoe carried on, changing the subject. “We’ve been asking everyone here, so we hope you don’t mind us asking you too, but how have you spent your day?”

Killian sent Emma a look that clearly screamed you can take this one while he willed his blush down.

This time, Emma was the one who chuckled a little nervously before she answered. “We’ve been working on a few wedding plans but mainly just enjoying our time together. We don’t get much of it at the moment.”

Zoe didn’t push any further, clearly aware that the couple were trying to dance around something awkward, so instead, she changed the subject one final time.

“And before I let you both go and warm up, I have to ask quickly… who are you wearing?”

Killian frowned a little at the strange question but Emma seemed to know what was being asked of her.

She giggled at the look on his face before answering, “Calvin Klein for the both of us.”

“Thank you both so much. Have fun tonight.”

And with that, Anton was once again guiding them towards the open doors, and the welcoming warmth, of the Royal Opera House.

Chapter Text

Once they were safely inside the building, Killian decided to forgo all ceremony and pulled Emma into his arms to warm her up a little. He couldn’t bring himself to care that there were people staring at the two of them. All he cared about was stopping her from shivering.

“How are you doing, Princess?” he asked, running his hands briskly up and down her arms.

“Better now,” she sighed, melting into his warmth. “Didn’t think it was gonna be that cold out there.”

“Lesson learned for next time,” he teased.

Emma pulled back when she felt a little warmer, but pulled Killian’s jacket a little tighter around her shoulders. “Shall we?” she asked.

“We shall.” Killian offered his arm and Emma took it, allowing Anton to guide them through to meet with representatives of the organisation, while the nominees, and their guests, in attendance took their seats in the hall.

“What do I do here?” he mumbled, as they approached a bunch of official looking people.

“Just smile and follow their lead. They won’t ask anything intrusive.”

Anton paused for a moment to allow Emma to shrug out of Killian’s jacket, and give him the time necessary to put it back on and button it up, before he introduced the chief executive of BAFTA, Amanda Berry.

“So good to see you again, Your Highness,” she greeted, dropping into an elegant curtsey. “Congratulations on your engagement.”

“You too. And thank you. Can I introduce you to my soon-to-be husband, Killian Jones?” Killian stepped up beside Emma, to take the other woman’s hand and offer it a firm shake.

“Lovely to meet you, Mr. Jones. I’ve been hearing wonderful things about you.”

Killian laughed nervously, bringing up his hand to scratch again behind his ear. “Thank you, Ms. Berry. It’s an honour to meet you.”

Amanda took her time introducing Emma and Killian to each of the others that had gathered to greet them, explaining a little about their roles within the BAFTA organisation.

Killian was fascinated by it all. He’d never given much thought before to what went on behind the scenes of an award ceremony, especially the more prestigious ones. But he could definitely understand why Emma had taken on the responsibility as President of the Academy. While Emma made easy conversation with the people around her, Killian was happy to just listen in, offering comments and opinions occasionally. Watching Emma work the way she did had always been a point of pride for him.

As the start of the ceremony grew closer, Emma and Killian were given a brief moment to freshen up, before being shown to their seats within the hall.

Killian hadn’t been expecting the standing ovation that was offered by the nominees. It blew him away to see how people that he often looked up to were currently doing their best to get a glimpse of Emma (and himself), as they made the walk to their front row seats. It was moments like these that he found himself needing to pinch his arm a little, to be sure they were real.

“Having fun?” Emma asked, leaning in to his side when the crowd around them had finally taken their own seats to wait for the start of the ceremony.

“Absolutely. I’m more than happy to do this every year,” he beamed back at her.

She chuckled at the sparkle in his eye and the excited bounce of his leg. Emma had suspected this would be one of a few annual engagements that Killian would love joining her for.

“Here,” she whispered, fiddling within her clutch bag for her phone. Killian frowned a little as she pulled it out, knowing that Emma tended to keep it hidden away while she was in public. “Don’t tell my Gran,” she teased, as she held the phone up to snap a quick picture of the two of them together.

He wasn’t surprised to feel his own phone vibrate in his pocket not long after Emma had tucked hers away once more. And when he pulled it out, keeping it hidden under his jacket, he was also not surprised to see the Twitter notification on his screen.

Date night with this one – and we’re at the @BAFTAs! Am I the best girlfriend or what, @KillianJones1?

While Emma was distracted by the person sat to her left, who had been brave enough to attempt to strike up a conversation with the princess, Killian tapped out a reply of his own.

@PrincessEmma Um – I think you’ll find the correct term is fiancée, as we’re to wed in 60 days. But yes – you are!

The ceremony was a lot longer than Killian had expected it to be, but he found himself enjoying the experience. Many of the nominees for the evening stopped by to say hello to the princess and her fiancée, offering their own congratulations and praising Emma’s wardrobe choice for the evening.

Killian found himself learning a lot from the brief interactions. There were clearly people amongst the crowd who thought that Emma could do better, and struggled to hide that fact. But there were many more who were wonderfully welcoming towards him. He only hoped that one day, his name would join theirs on the list of nominees for a BAFTA award.

Emma was presenting the BAFTA Fellowship that evening, and her part of the night came towards the end of the ceremony. She was given a standing ovation once more that evening as she took to the stage, ready to make her presentation.

Killian had to confess, he didn’t really hear much of what Emma was saying that night. She’d told him that the Fellowship was being awarded to Sidney Poitier, and that he wouldn’t be able to accept the award himself. But everything else was a bit of a blur for him.

As he watched Emma take to the stage to make her speech, so full of confidence and poise as she commanded the attention of every single person in the room, he was suddenly struck with a vision of his future.

Emma was going to make one hell of a queen, and he would be by her side (or in the front row) for every moment of it.

Killian wasn’t sure what possessed him to do it, but he pulled out his phone to snap a quick picture of Emma on stage, before taking to Twitter once more.

So proud watching @PrincessEmma take to the stage at the @BAFTAs. Nobody command a room like you do, My Love.

Chapter Text

Waiting for @PrincessEmma to get changed… Currently a common theme in my life.

Killian had been sat waiting for Emma to get ready for the BAFTAs after-party for the last twenty minutes. To keep himself busy, he’d taken to Twitter. After scrolling through some of the comments on the pictures he’d posted, most from his friends and family, he thought he’d send out one of his own to tease Emma a little.

He wasn’t expecting her to reply.

@KillianJones1 Says the guy who wears eyeliner on a daily basis! How long does that take to apply?

He snorted a laugh at her comeback.

@PrincessEmma HEY! It takes time when you only have 1 hand and a hook to work with.

He didn’t have to wait much longer for Emma to make her appearance.

She’d changed out of the red satin gown and silver heels she’d worn to the ceremony and into the black jumpsuit he’d bought her for Christmas, and her favourite black velvet pumps. Her hair was pulled back into a looser ponytail for the evening and she had left in her earrings. She’d removed the necklace he’d bought her for Valentine’s Day, instead swapping it for the one he’d given her all those months ago for her first visit to Canada.

The jumpsuit itself looked amazing on her.

Its neckline started at her collarbone, on her left side, before cutting down and across to finish just above her right breast. Underneath her breast was a sheer illusion panel, that cut down and across to just above her left hipbone. As she turned to give Killian a good look at what he’d bought for her, his eyes followed the illusion panel which continued around her left side and down to a V just above the top of her rather shapely behind. From there, it cut up towards her right side before turning once more up to her left shoulder.

The entire thing kept her completely covered, and yet, revealed so much. It was the perfect mixture of playful and sexy - and Killian suddenly couldn’t wait to get her back home.

“What do you think?” she asked, smirking slightly at the way his eyes had widened when he saw her.

“That… um… that looks even better on than I thought it would,” he mumbled, dropping his eyes down her body and then back up again as he took her in.

“You have fantastic taste,” she teased, moving into his personal space.

“I kinda wanna lick you,” he mumbled, the brain to mouth filter in his head complete shot in that moment.

Excuse me?” Emma asked, quirking a brow at him, and taking a short step back.

“I mean the bits that look like bare skin. I kinda wanna use my tongue to trace it.”

Emma hadn’t been expecting that reply and she moaned a little at the thought of it. The lowest panel on her back ended dangerously close to the top of her arse.

And Killian was incredibly talented with his tongue.

“Well… maybe if you’re good tonight we can look into doing that when we get home?” Her voice wavered ever so slightly, suggesting she was a little more effected by the image than she wanted to let on.

“Don’t tease me,” Killian sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face. She chuckled at his dramatics before grabbing her bag and heading for the door.

“Are you ready?”

“Just give me a minute.” He waved vaguely in the direction of his crotch, and Emma let out a dirty giggle as she realised it was looking slightly bulkier than it should have been in that moment.

While she waited for Killian to calm down a little, Emma pulled out her phone to check her messages. She wasn’t expecting it to vibrate in her hand, but she smiled to herself at the Twitter notification on her screen.

Killian had sent one final tweet for the night. He’d managed to snap a picture of her when she hadn’t been expecting it, as her body was turned towards the door, but her face had been peering over her left shoulder at him, crinkled adorably in laughter.

The message itself simply read,

WORTH THE WAIT! @PrincessEmma 

Killian had never been to an award ceremony after-party before.

He hadn’t been expecting the photographer waiting just inside the building, but it made a nice change to the usual paparazzi that lined red carpets. He was more than happy to pull Emma in close for the photographer to get his shots, before releasing her for him to take a few solo. The photographer handed Emma a small card before they moved on, containing the details on how to access the images, while promising that the pictures would be available before the night was over.

“So… what happens now?” Killian asked, as they were guided in to the party.

“Now, we get to mingle for a while. Only this time, we let people come to us, instead of going to them. At parties, we only go to them when they’re in the Palace. Then, if you don’t wanna stay we can sneak off. If you do… we stay as long as you want.”

Killian nodded to show his understanding. “So… meet everyone, go home and have wild sex all night before I jump on a plane again tomorrow. Easy.” Emma threw a gentle elbow into his side, as the first couple in the room decided to approach them to say hello.

The introductions were always the most boring part of any event with Emma. Killian hated that so many people felt the need to be fake around her. Emma didn’t seem to enjoy it either. He knew her well enough to know when she took a genuine interest in someone, and when she didn’t. It didn’t take him long to realise the ones who got her full attention were the ones who didn’t feel the need to try and impress her.

What Killian wasn’t expecting was the sheer volume of people who approached him.

He knew that while there were a great many who supported his relationship with Emma, there were also just as many opposed to it. And he knew that some in the room clearly felt themselves above him, given that the majority of his career had been spent in television and not film.

Yet, an hour into the party, while Emma was talking with Stephen Fry, Killian found himself deep in conversation with a number of award winning directors. What had started off as small talk to fill some time, had turned into somewhat of a lesson on how to impress in the industry. Killian couldn’t help but think that the men and women gathered around him might just have given him all the information he needed to boost his career.

Although she was deeply involved in a conversation of her own, Emma had kept a close eye on Killian since he’d been approached by a small group of people. She was happy to see that he quickly relaxed in his new surroundings, before throwing himself into the conversation.

She knew that public engagements were still an aspect of her life that Killian wasn’t one-hundred-percent comfortable with. So, watching him settle into her world effortlessly was always heart-warming for her.

“Not an ideal way to spend your first Valentine’s Day, Huh?” Stephen asked, drawing Emma’s attention back to him.

She laughed a little at having been caught staring, but made no apology. “It’s certainly not. Especially when you have so little time together. But Killian seems to be enjoying himself and that’s all I really want for him in life.”

“He’s a lucky guy,” Stephen commented, offhandedly.

“You know, I keep hearing that,” Emma remarked. “But I don’t think people truly realised that I’m the lucky one in this relationship. There aren’t many guys that would complete twelve hours of filming on a Friday, then jump on a nine-hour flight back to London, just to take their girlfriend to the BAFTA awards on Sunday night… before jumping back on a plane Monday morning to go back to filming Tuesday afternoon.”

“No… I guess there’s not,” Stephen mumbled, looking over at Killian himself.

He watched as the young man caught Emma’s eye and sent her a small, shy smile, before turning back to his conversation.

The princess herself seemed to be having a hard time keeping her eyes off him.


Chapter Text

“Okay, you really have to go now,” Emma giggled into Killian’s neck, but she tightened her arms around him nonetheless.

“Another minute won’t hurt.” Killian whispered the words into her skin, before pressing more kisses behind them.

“You said that ten minutes ago.”

Emma was about to protest some more when the sound of Anton, banging heavily on her front door, stepped in for her. “Mr. Jones. If we don’t leave now, you’re going to miss your flight.”

Killian sighed into Emma’s hair, his demeanour changing almost instantly.

“Hey, it’s not much longer now,” she offered, bringing her hands up to stroke tenderly at his face.

“I hate this,” he admitted. “I’ve never hated this distance between us more than I have these last few weeks, Emma. Isn’t it supposed to get easier?”

“I don’t think it ever will,” she confessed lowly. “I think being away from you is always going to be one of the hardest things I do in my life. But it’s worth it.” Killian looked up at those four small words. “It’s worth it because the time I spend with you, is the best of my life.”

Killian pulled her in close, crushing his lips down on hers with a searing passion. Emma liked to joke that he always knew the right thing to say, but the truth was - she was pretty good with words too.

“Mr. Jones,” Anton called out once more, ruining the moment.

“Just give me a fucking minute,” he yelled back, not even a little sorry that Anton didn’t deserve his harsh tone.

“Go,” Emma whispered. “And then come back to me again soon.”

“I’ll always come back to you, Emma.”

“So, did Killian apologise for snapping at you?” Emma asked as she climbed into the back of the Range Rover, with Rogan hopping up to curl into her side.

“He did,” Anton chuckled. “He seemed to feel pretty bad about it.”

“I thought he would.” She fished around inside her bag for her tablet, thinking that would be the end of their conversation, but Anton had other plans.

“I’m sorry this is so difficult for you both.”

Emma looked up sharply at the sound of his voice. “It’s okay,” she replied slowly. “It’s not like you’re the one to blame for the distance between us.”

“I know. I just… I’m probably the person best placed to see how much strain this distance is putting on you both, and I wanted you to know that if I could close it, I would.”

Emma leaned forward in her seat to press a quick kiss to his cheek. “Thanks Ant,” she whispered.

Killian wasn’t the only one boarding a plane that day.

Emma had made arrangements to fly herself, her mother, and Ruby out to Ireland so that they could do a little shopping for the events ahead, and work out the flower arrangements they wanted for the wedding.

Ruby and Mary were already seated by the time Emma joined the two of them, Rogan bouncing on her heels as he followed her into the plane.

“Emma.” Mary stood to greet her daughter, pulling her in tightly before she released her to Ruby’s waiting arms. “How was your weekend?”

“It was good,” she replied honestly, sliding into an open seat.

“What did you and Killian do for Valentine’s Day?”

Emma cocked a brow in her mother’s direction. “We went to the BAFTAs,” she explained slowly. Her mother should have known that.

“I mean before that,” Mary rushed to clarify. “It was your first Valentine’s Day. Surely you two did something special.”

Ruby snorted into her glass, clearly reading the situation much better than her friend could.

“We’ve been apart and we love each other. Do I really need to spell it out?” At Mary’s blank look, Emma rolled her eyes. “We had sex,” she replied bluntly. “Lots of it. Do you need any more details or can we change the subject?”

“Oh… um…. Yes,” Mary replied awkwardly. “I guess I assumed the two of you would have done something more romantic.”

“We didn’t exactly have the time,” Emma sighed. “By the time Killian’s flight landed, I was already fast asleep. I let him sleep as late as I could Saturday before heading over to the Palace to pick out a menu for the wedding reception. Then, Sunday we spent most of the day getting ready for the BAFTAs. Killian left about ten minutes before I got her.”

Mary shot her daughter a look that Emma couldn’t quite read, but she wasn’t entirely comfortable with. So, she pulled out her phone to focus on something else instead.

“Liam’s going to be waiting at the house for us when we arrive,” she explained, reading the message her almost-brother had sent while she was boarding.

“Oh crap,” Ruby gasped. “I just realised this is the first time I’m gonna be seeing his parents after seeing him naked. What if they hate me?”

“They don’t,” Emma assured her.

“They might,” Ruby countered. “I wasn’t sleeping with their son when they last saw me.”

“I was sleeping with their other son when they first met me and they still love me.” Emma felt a little bad for Ruby. She knew the age gap between Ruby and Liam had worried her a little. But Ruby really had nothing to worry about.

“It’ll be okay,” Mary assured her friend. “Ailene and I have spoken since you started seeing Liam. She’s excited to see you again.”

“You think?” Ruby looked so nervous that Emma almost wanted to hug her again.

“I know so,” Mary stated confidently.

Killian was still mid-flight by the time the private plane landed in Dublin, but Emma sent him a quick message to let him know she had landed safely anyway. She knew how much he worried about her while they were apart.

Almost as much as she worried about him.

Ruby and Mary had never seen the house Emma now shared with Killian, in his home town, and both were slightly shocked as Anton pulled the car up the driveway for them.

“Wow, this is an incredible place,” Mary praised.

It wasn’t big, by any stretch of the imagination. But Emma always felt like the house screamed home whenever she came to stay.

“It really is. I love it here.”

“Are you sure it will be okay to stay here? Killian won’t mind?” Ruby asked, as Anton helped her down from the back of the Range Rover.

“Not at all,” Emma assured her. “There’s plenty of space here.”

Before Emma could get fully out of the car, Liam had the front door open and was making his way over to help Anton with their bags. He paused to make a fuss on Rogan, before dropping a quick kiss to Ruby’s lips and bowing to Mary.

“Good to see you again, Sis,” he greeted, pulling Emma in for a hug.

“I feel like sometimes I see more of you than I do of your brother,” Emma teased, pulling away to lead them into the house she now thought of as her home.

“Well, I did always say you picked the wrong brother,” he bantered back. “It’s too late now, though. I’ve moved on.” He sighed dramatically for comic effect before throwing a cheeky wink in Ruby’s direction. Emma giggled as she watched the older woman’s face flame bright red.

Chapter Text

While Anton and Liam took the bag up to their rooms, Emma settled Rogan in and then gave her mother and Ruby a quick tour of the house, pausing to show them the new additions that had been added to merge her own tastes with Killian’s.

When they were finished, Ruby snuck off for a moment, giving Emma some time to talk with her mother.

“So, how’s the wedding dress coming along?” Mary asked excitedly. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked, but Emma had always remained pretty vague.

“Good. My designer has already started work on my second gown, and she added the underskirt to the dress I picked, to give it some shape. I have another fitting with her when we fly back to make sure it all looks okay, before we add the next layers to it.”

“Can I join you for that fitting?” Mary asked eagerly.

Emma smiled softly at her mother, but shook her head firmly. “Nope. You know the deal. Nobody else is seeing this until the day. That way, I can guarantee it stays a secret. Sorry Mum.”

Mary wanted to protest that she could keep her daughter’s wedding gown a secret, but was interrupted by Liam and Ruby’s flushed faces making their way back into the lounge.

“So, what are the grand plans for this week?” Liam asked, dropping down easily onto the sofa.

“Shopping,” Emma answered quickly. “I believe we are on the hunt for something for your mother to wear to the wedding, and we also need to pick out some floral arrangements too, as your brother can’t tell the difference between an orchid and a lilly.”

“That sounds… so boring,” he admitted, as Emma curled herself into the sofa beside him.

“You mean you’re not coming to carry all our bags?”

“I thought that was Anton’s job?” he laughed.

“You could always keep him company.”

Emma drove her mother, Ruby, and Liam over to Ailene and Brennan’s house that evening. It was her first time navigating the Irish roads but she’d seen the men in her life do it enough to know where she was headed.

The Jones family were just as welcoming as they had always been, as they ushered their guests inside. Emma watched as Ruby visibly relaxed when she realised that Liam’s parents weren’t treating her any differently now that she was dating their son.

Ailene had prepared a meal for the evening, and Brennan kept the wine flowing as they spoke about everything from work; the public engagements that Emma and Mary still had left; and of course, the wedding preparations.

“She won’t let me see her wedding dress,” Mary moaned as Emma and Ruby worked to clear the plates from dinner.

“Why not?” Ailene asked, turning her attention to Emma.

“Because the fewer people who see it, the less chance we have of the design leaking,” Emma explained, for what felt like the millionth time. “I promise, you can all see it the morning of.”

“Sounds fair to me,” Liam agreed. “If I were Killian, I’d want to be the first person to see it. But given that it’s impossible for that to happen, at least waiting so everyone sees it on the same day seems fairer to him.”

Emma hadn’t thought of it that way. She knew Killian was excited to see the gown. He’d often remarked that she looked her best dressed in white, and peeling her out of her wedding gown was becoming one of his favourite fantasies to tease her with, during late-night Skype calls. But she hadn’t imagined that he’d want to be the first to see the dress.

Apparently, Liam’s remarks also made sense to Mary and Ailene, as they quickly dropped the subject.

When Emma’s phone began to ring in her pocket, she knew who it would be before she’d even finished pulling it out, so she didn’t hesitate to excuse herself before answering with a sly, “Hey Baby, whatcha wearing?”

Liam’s teasing call of, “Eww…. Gross,” followed her down the hall.

When Killian’s flight landed in Vancouver, the first thing he did was switch on his phone. There were a number of alerts that lit up the screen, as he made his way out of the airport and to the car that was waiting for him.

Since the incident, on the day of the anniversary of Emma’s father’s death, he’d asked Will to help him set up alerts on his phone that would notify him about any news stories published about either himself, or Emma. The majority of the alerts that he got that evening were from news outlets, reporting that their Royal Highnesses, The Duchess and Princess of Cambridge had landed in Dublin.

Killian smiled to himself as he closed out of those and loaded the messages from Emma and his brother. He knew that his mother was very much looking forward to spending time with Mary once more, and Liam and Emma were fast becoming the best of friends.

However, there was one more message on his phone that he couldn’t ignore.

A quick glance at the time showed that he would be pushing it to make it there before closing, but he fired back a reply and then asked his driver to make a detour, before they headed home. While he was waiting, he pulled up Emma’s number and hit send to connect the call.


“What do you think?” she asked, handing over the piece for Killian to inspect.

While he hadn’t played a massive role so far in the plans for his own wedding, due to being on the other side of the world, Killian had taken his own responsibilities seriously. Which was why he found himself severely jetlagged, stood in the middle of the jewellery store he’d purchased Emma’s engagement ring from, examining another ring.

“It’s beautiful,” he admitted, turning the band to catch the light. “But now I’m worried it’s not regal enough. Should I have gone for something plain?”

The owner of the store, Maria he’d learned, shrugged her shoulders. “No offence, Sir, but I’ve never made a wedding ring for a future queen before.”


He stood for a moment longer before pulling out his phone to take a few pictures of the ring.

When he’d first taken the gold Ruth had sent him to Maria, she’d refused to make the wedding ring for him. She didn’t want to mess anything up, given who the recipient would be. However, Killian had been incredibly insistent, and in the end, she’d caved under his puppy-dog eyes.

Killian had first suggested a ruby set band for Emma’s ring, but Maria had talked him out of that, stating that it would be too much next to the engagement ring he’d chosen for his bride. After countless phone calls, and pencil sketches, they’d finally settled on the delicate band that now rested between his index finger and thumb.

But now, he was starting to doubt himself.

He’d wanted something unique for Emma’s design, knowing that she loved to bend tradition and that she deserved something that really was one-of-a-kind, like she was. But as he twisted the piece of metal between his fingers, watching the way the diamonds set into the twisted band caught the light, doubts began to claw at his gut.

The phone in his hand buzzed to signal an incoming message and he glanced down at the screen.

Anton was a man of few words, even when he was texting.

It’s beautiful

Killian sighed as he tapped out a reply, a little harder than he’d intended.

Yes, it is.
But that wasn’t the question.
Is it suitable for a wedding band?
For a Princess?

He was starting to wish he’d messaged his brother instead, as he waited for Anton’s reply to come in.

Why wouldn’t it be?

Killian groaned at the simple response, until his phone vibrated again.

The way I see it – you and Emma are making your own traditions.
Emma is not her grandmother.
You were not brought up in that generation.
What she deems perfect is NOT what Emma would deem perfect.
The wedding band YOU design for Emma should be something you think SHE will love.
Not what Ruth will love.
And who cares if nobody else agrees with you?
Emma’s the one who will be wearing it.

“Damn, he really is on fire this week,” Killian muttered to himself. “It’s perfect,” he told Maria, lifting his head to look at her. “Thank you.”



Chapter Text

The next morning, the women of the Cambridge-Jones family headed down to Dublin, to visit what was rumored to be the best florist in Europe. Ailene had mentioned the small shop to Emma during the wedding plans and after a little research, she had been more than happy to agree to visit the store.

Knowing how people often reacted around Emma, Ailene had called ahead to book them a private visit to the shop. Much like Killian’s plans for a date all those months ago, she’d also had to send some images of herself, with the princess, to convince the owner that she was not pulling some kind of elaborate prank.

Emma had done some more research of her own before the visit too. She knew a little about flowers and shrubbery, given that they featured heavily in all of the royal residences she’d visited, but she didn’t know much. So, she’d carried out some Google research in the hopes that she wouldn’t look too stupid during their meeting that morning.

“Your Highness, such a pleasure to meet you,” the owner of the store greeted, extending a hand for Emma to shake. “I’m Niamh and I own this store.”

“It’s wonderful to meet you, Niamh,” Emma returned. “Thank you so much for agreeing to see us.”

“Of course.” The older woman gestured through to the back of her store. “Follow me, I have a small workspace set up for us to go over some ideas for you.”

The women made their way back to a table that had been set up with some paper; pencils; and a laptop, in the middle of what appeared to be some kind of workshop. There were flowers in vases all around the room, in different colours, shapes and sizes.

The place smelled incredible.

Emma took a seat in the middle of the table, her mother and Ruby to one side and Ailene on the other.

“Can I get you ladies anything to eat or drink?” Niamh asked, hovering in front of her own seat opposite them.

“We’re all good, thanks,” Emma confirmed smiling up at her.

Niamh took her own seat, before pulling some paper towards her and setting her laptop up to one side. “So, do you have a colour scheme or any idea of anything you’d like to work into the arrangements?” Niamh began.

“Yes, actually,” Emma replied, shocking her mother - if the look on Mary’s face was anything to judge by.

“That’s good,” Niamh encouraged, picking up a pencil to begin making notes.

“I want to involve my favourite colour in some way, so each arrangement would have to be predominantly red and white.” Niamh nodded her head as her pencil flew across the page. “I also quite like the idea of working in the national flowers for our countries of birth,” Emma continued. “So, roses for England, and can you make shamrocks work in there for Ireland too?”

Niamh’s head shot up at that request, but Ailene was the one to put a voice to what everyone else seemed to be thinking.

“You don’t need to do that,” she assured Emma. Shamrocks were not a traditional inclusion in bridal bouquets, even in Ireland.

“I want to. Killian’s nationality is a huge part of the person he is. I know that he’s sacrificing a lot to be with me. But I don’t want anyone to forget who he is or where he’s come from.”

Ailene reached over to take Emma’s hand into her own and gave it a gentle squeeze.

She really had won the daughter-in-law lottery.

“Okay, anything else?” Niamh asked, breaking the silence that had settled in the room.

“One more thing,” Emma added. “I’ll need to include a sprig of myrtle from Queen Victoria’s garden. It’s royal tradition.”

Niamh made another quick note of that request before she pulled her laptop in closer and began tapping away. The women gave her a moment to work before Niamh spoke.

“Okay, so obviously, red and white roses seem like a no-brainer. The red roses have your classic meaning of love and romance, while your white roses are for marriage and new beginnings. Then I would recommend orchids. The red represents passion and desire, but also strength and courage. Something you, and your husband-to-be, seem to have a lot of. While the white represents elegance and beauty. May I also recommend ivy? It is often symbolic for marriage, friendship, fidelity and affection?”

Emma nodded her head as she watched Niamh stand and begin to gather some supplies. “Do you know what kind of shapes you’d like?” she asked, as she worked.

“No. I’m gonna leave that one to the expert,” Emma chuckled.

Niamh vanished for a few moments and returned with flowers draped across her arms. Emma vaguely recognised the different blooms she’d recommended for the arrangements.

“These are all I have at the moment,” she explained, gently sitting them down before the bride-to-be. “I don’t have shamrocks, ivy or myrtle here, but it’s not going to be difficult to get hold of any for you. Just take a good look at each bloom and let me know if you’re happy with them. Then we can start work on shaping and groupings.”

The women spent a total of three hours in the small shop that morning, looking at different suggestions for shaping and arrangements and debating which would look most elegant for what they had deemed the wedding of the century. By the time they left the store, Ruby’s nose was tingling from all of the pollen and Emma had, with the help of Killian and a few instant messages, chosen the arrangements for the Abbey and the reception.

She hadn’t yet made a choice for her bouquet, much to the disappointment of her mother and Ailene, but she had promised to message Niamh when she came to a decision.

Chapter Text

“Is that really what you’re planning to wear tonight?” Mary scoffed, as Emma entered the lounge.

They’d made plans to meet with the Jones family at the best restaurant in town that evening. While Mary and Ruby had left quickly to get showered and dressed for the night, Emma had called Killian to let him know that they’d picked and paid for the floral arrangements for the wedding. He was thrilled to know that their to-do list was slowly nearing completion, and assured Emma that his own items were being taken care of, before being rushed back to set to continue filming.

As Killian neared the final few weeks of shooting for season five, his free time was being cut drastically, and Emma hated that it often meant the two of them got little-to-no time to talk to each other, as a result of it. Logically, she knew that this was a good thing, as Killian needed to finish on time to make sure he would be in LA to begin shooting for his movie.

But her heart still ached every hour they went without speaking to each other.

After ending her call with him, Emma had rushed upstairs to prepare for the night ahead herself. “What’s wrong with this?” she asked, looking down at the dress she’d chosen. She’d picked a navy blue one for the evening, that fell to just below her knees. The neckline of the top was embellished with crystals and beads, which matched the patterns and dots of beading on the skirt of the dress. The top itself was made from soft layers of chiffon, which left her shoulders bare, but gathered just above her elbows to form a kind of sleeve. Emma had added her favourite pair of nude pumps before deciding to leave her hair down, and naturally wavy.

“It’s ugly, Emma,” Mary scoffed. “Surely you have something better in your wardrobe.”

Emma rolled her eyes at her mother’s words. Every so often, she’d pick an outfit for an event that Mary hated. But for some reason, it only made Emma more determined to wear it.

“I like it,” she replied, a little overly-defensive. “I don’t moan about what you wear, so I’d appreciate the same curtsey.”

“We’re going for dinner with your future in-laws,” Mary explained. “You could have made more of an effort.”

I made an effort. I’m showered and dressed, when I’d rather be curled up in bed, drinking wine and eating chocolate as I lament over the fact that the man I love could barely spare thirty minutes to talk to me tonight due to work. So… stop bitching at me.”

Emma turned quickly away from her mother when she realised that she’d revealed more than she’d planned to, and instead made a huge fuss out of gathering her bag and jacket.

“I’m sorry, Emma.” Mary made her way over to her daughter, wrapping her arms around Emma’s slightly taller form and resting her cheek against her daughter’s back in an attempt at a hug. “I’m sure Killian wishes he could have spent longer talking with you.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt that,” Emma replied quietly.

She truly didn’t.

She could hear the frustration and pain laced through Killian’s voice as he’d been called away. “Doesn’t make it any easier though.”

Emma was spared any more awkwardness at Anton’s firm knock on the front door.

“Looking beautiful again, Little Sister.” Liam winked for effect as he helped Emma slide her jacket off and hand it over to their host that evening, before moving on to help Ruby and Mary with theirs too.

“Thank you, Liam. At least someone likes my dress.”

“Who doesn’t like your dress?” he asked, looking genuinely confused.

“My mother,” Emma replied, just as Mary answered with, “It’s frumpy.”

“Yeah… I’m not getting involved in this one.” He backed away slightly, raising his arms in surrender, as Ruby sent him a supportive nod.

Ailene and Brennan were already seated, and rose when the rest of their guests made their way through the restaurant to join them. Emma had told them to go ahead of their own party, knowing that the press had already cottoned on to both herself, and her mother, being in the country. She’d been expecting the photographers camped outside of the building, but thankfully, the Irish press were so far behaving more respectfully than the British press had been in the past.

“Ladies,” Ailene greeted. “You all look so beautiful.”

Emma threw a cheeky look at her mother but let the subject drop as she allowed Brennan to pull her into his arms for a small hug.

Ailene waited for the entire party to be seated, and a few bottles of wine opened for them, before she brought up the subject that had been most on her mind for the past few days.

“Emma, I had something I wanted to ask you,” she began carefully.

Emma took a sip from her own glass before she told Ailene to, “Go ahead.”

“I was on the Google the other day…”

“It’s just Google, Ma,” Liam interrupted with an eye roll, as Emma snorted into her hand. “No ‘the.’”

“As I was saying,” Ailene continued, throwing a death-glare at her son for embarrassing her, “Google says your birthday is just before the wedding. Is that true?”

Emma blushed a little, bringing her hand up to scratch behind her right ear. (Damn Killian and his contagious coping mechanisms).

“It is, yeah,” she replied softly. “But it’s not a big deal.”

“Not a big deal?” Ailene scoffed. “You’re turning thirty. I’d say that’s a big deal. We should celebrate it.”

“We have the wedding a few days after. That’s all the celebration I need,” Emma assured her future mother-in-law.

“Nonsense. Everyone will be in the UK anyway for the wedding. I don’t see why we can’t celebrate it the way you deserve to be celebrated.”

Emma tried her hardest to put up a fight that evening.

She knew that their schedule, when Killian returned home, would be tight, making sure she fulfilled her royal obligations for the Easter holidays along with last minute wedding preparations. She didn’t want to add to everyone’s burden in that small time frame.

Unfortunately, her family would hear none of it.

After a small exchange around the table, and a few text messages from Liam to his brother, it had been decided that two days before her wedding, there would be a party at St. James’ Palace to celebrate Emma’s thirtieth birthday.

And at eleven-fifty-nine that same evening, Killian would be whisked away to his hotel, to make sure he did not see his bride the day before they wed.



Chapter Text

It was late by the time Emma, her mother and Ruby returned to the house that evening, and all she really wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep.

However, Emma had an important Skype call scheduled for that evening, that she just couldn’t put off.

What she hadn’t told anyone was that she’d paid to fly Victoria back out to Vancouver, to fit the dress that had been designed for Belle and Regina. Emma had wanted to join the girls for the occasion, but she knew that if she were in Canada, she wouldn’t have been able to stay away from Killian. And they both had far too much to do before the wedding for her to allow any kind of distractions. While Belle and Regina couldn’t leave Vancouver, the women had finally settled on a Skype call to collaborate with each other.

So, after saying goodnight to her mother and Ruby, and changing into something more comfortable, Emma settled herself on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and her laptop to await the call.

What she wasn’t expecting was to hear the sounds of a key turning in the lock on the front door.

She grabbed for something heavy, picking up one of the glass ornaments on the mantelpiece, before making her way over to the lounge doorway to see what was going on.

“Liam?” she gasped, dropping the hand holding the ornament.

“Emma? What are you doing up?” He looked incredibly guilty, and Emma was a little worried about why.

“Waiting for an important call. Why are you sneaking around the house at three am?”

“Honestly?” he asked. At Emma’s encouraging nod he carried on, “I wanted to spend the night with Ruby.”

“Why didn’t you just come back with us?”

“Ruby didn’t want your mother to feel like a third-wheel while I was here. We thought that it might be easier to just wait until she fell asleep, let myself in, and then let myself out before she woke up again.”

Emma deflated completely as she took in the hidden meaning behind Liam’s words.

Ruby had been worried about flaunting her new love in front of her best friend’s face.

Mary had been pretty much alone since David’s death. Emma wasn’t stupid - She imagined that her mother had enjoyed the company of other men on occasion. But there had never been anyone Mary had deemed good enough to fill David’s place in her life. Instead, she had spent a lot more time with her cousin, and the two women’s friendship had grown to what it was today.

While Emma knew very little about Ruby’s own dating history, she knew that Ruby had never found anyone that she had felt like settling down with.

But that all seemed to be changing with Liam now in her life.

And Ruby was worried that Mary would feel left out as the only woman in their group without a man of her own.

“You don’t need to sneak into the house,” Emma assured him. “Get Ruby to talk to Mum. I know it’s an awkward conversation, but there is no way on earth that my mother would ever want you two to hide your relationship just to make her feel better. She’s a romantic. She’s just happy that you’ve made her friend happy.”

“Thanks, Em.” Liam pulled her in for another hug, before Emma caught the familiar sounds of an incoming call on her laptop.

“Go get your girl,” she told him, pulling away to head back to the lounge. “Just… do it quietly.”

Liam chuckled softly before heading up the stairs for Ruby’s waiting arms.

Emma settled herself back down comfortably before hitting accept on the call.

“Hey Emma,” Belle greeted, smiling warmly at her friend. “We’re just waiting on Regina. She and Robin are filming and it ran a little late.”

“Oh no. I hope this schedule isn’t too tough on you all.” Emma hated that her wedding was having such a huge effect on so many people. She was suddenly very glad that Killian had wanted to pack his half of the pews of Westminster Abbey with the cast and crew he now deemed family.

“It’s all good,” Belle assured her. “We’re very motivated to finish on time for a number of reasons.” Emma chuckled a little as she watched Belle adjust the screen. In the background she could spot Victoria’s familiar garment bags, and the woman herself.

She didn’t have long to wait for Regina to join them. The woman in question came bustling into the room, already shedding her clothing as she made her way across the suite.

“Sorry I’m late,” she called out. “Now, let’s get started.”

Belle looked the most excited of the two of them as she too began stripping down to her underwear, before sliding on the ivory satin shoes Victoria handed to her.

“You know, if someone hijacked this call they’d get one hell of a show,” Emma teased, as she watched Victoria bring round a gown for each of the women.

“It would be worth millions,” Regina called back, before her eyes widened a little at the sight of what had been made for her. “Holy shit, this is beautiful.” She ran her fingers gently over the satin of the fabric before turning her full attention to Emma. “This is fucking gorgeous, Emma. Are you sure this isn’t your wedding gown?”

“Not enough fabric to be mine,” Emma laughed, and Victoria chuckled along with her.

“You should see it now I’ve added the underskirt,” she called out. “It’s really enhanced the shape and made the train stand out a little more.”

Emma couldn’t wait to see the progress Victoria had made on her own gown. But, as she watched Regina and Belle slip into their own dresses, with help from Victoria, her full attention was suddenly on her bridesmaids.

“Wow,” she sighed, watching as the fabric dropped down over their frames elegantly, before the women approached the camera, to give Emma a better look at each gown.

“What do you think?” Victoria asked.

Emma wasn’t sure if she was talking to herself, or to Regina and Belle, so she allowed the girls to answer first.

“I love it,” Belle gushed. “I’ve never felt so elegant before.”

She turned slowly to give Emma a good look at the entire dress.

Victoria had initially shown the girls a number of different designs she thought would work with Emma’s own gown. In the end, they had all agreed upon a 1930 inspired design. The dress was made of the same ivory satin as the base of Emma’s had been. Only this time, instead of an A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline, they’d opted for a cowl neck, trumpet style dress, with a draped cowl back and pleated skirt.

On Regina and Belle, it looked equal parts sophisticated and glamorous.

“I feel like I should be getting married in this,” Regina joked, turning to get a good look at herself from each angle. “It’s perfect.”

Victoria made her way over to Belle first, to check the fit of the dress. “Okay, I’m gonna take it in a little here,” she tugged slightly on the spare fabric at Belle’s sides, before beginning to pin it in place. Emma could already see how the slight alteration would enhance Belle’s figure. “Then, I’m going to add some crystal embellishments around here,” Victoria ran a finger around Belle’s waist, “here,” another around her neckline with a quick tap to each shoulder, “and here,” she added, pointing to a spot on Belle’s left hip. “That way, we add a little more wow factor to the look.”

She placed her hands gently onto Belle’s hips to turn her round, before giving the back of the gown a once-over. “We’re going to add some more crystal embellishments here,” she pointed out, lifting the draped fabric to run a gentle finger around the hemline of the scoop at the back, “and then some button detailing here, just to finish it off.” Victoria ran another soft finger down the center of Belle’s back, finishing just over the swell of her bottom.

Emma nodded to show that she’d understood what was being said. The gown was already so beautiful, she couldn’t imagine how Victoria could possibly improve upon it.

Victoria then moved over to Regina and began pinning her own gown in all the right places to help enhance her figure. She also pinned the hemline a little higher, to make sure the dress fell to the correct length, now that Regina was wearing the shoes she’d be wearing for the big day.

When she’d finished, she stood back to observe her own handiwork.

“What do you think?” she asked.

Emma took a moment to take in everything about the look before her.

“I think I have no idea how I’m ever going to repay you for this,” she sighed. Seeing the vision they’d had for the gowns in person was completely different to seeing the sketches they’d made, in the very same hotel suite, all those weeks ago. Even if she was only seeing them through a laptop screen.

“Just keep buying my clothes,” Victoria chuckled. “They sell really well after you’ve worn them.”

Chapter Text

“So we have nothing concrete at all?” Emma asked, not lifting her eyes from Rogan’s slightly larger frame, as he trotted along beside her. The little puppy was growing fast.

While Mary and Ruby had left the house early that morning, to meet Ailene for breakfast, Emma had excused herself to hammer out some more wedding plans. She’d promised to join the women that afternoon for lunch and some shopping.

In truth, she’d wanted a little lazy time to herself, after the late night she’d had. So, she’d slept some more, before showering and dressing to head out with Rogan. Killian had definitely been right when he’d suggested a dog would love walking the old paths he’d taken as a child. Rogan always seemed to be at his happiest exploring the new territory around his second home.

As ever, Anton had taken to the paths with her, and Emma had used the time to grill him for information on who had posted the images of her online, on the anniversary of her father’s death.

“Nothing yet,” he stressed. “But there’s still time. And I have people I can apply some pressure to for more information. At the moment, we just need to sit tight.”

“Easier said than done,” she huffed. “I should just tell my grandmother and get this all over with.”

Both she and Anton had their hunches over who was responsible for the images, but they’d not yet been able to find any concrete proof to back them up.

“Ruth will need some kind of evidence, Emma. She won’t act on our hunches. That’s not how a good leader operates and you know that.” Anton reached out a gentle hand to touch the arm closest to him, and Emma stopped, turning to face him. “I know this is personal for you. I understand that. But Emma… a lot of people can, and will, make personal attacks against you during your lifetime. You cannot lose your head over this. Maybe…” he hesitated for a moment, knowing Emma wouldn’t like what was coming next, before he finally continued. “Maybe it’s best to just let this go.”

“Someone took pictures of me inside private grounds. That’s a security breach, Ant. How can you suggest I let this go?”

“It is. And the breach will be dealt with, in the same way all security breaches are dealt with. But you’ve never been as invested in those as you are in this.” He paused again to think over his words, and how best to voice them. “Maybe you should let this drop and let me deal with it, as your Chief of Security? Don’t turn this into a personal vendetta. You’re better than that.”

“I’ll think about it.” It was the best Emma could promise in that moment.

“That’s all I ask.”

“I really hope you’re not expecting to relax at all over the Easter break,” Emma sighed, as she finished applying her eyeliner. She’d had a few minutes to spare before Anton would arrive to take her to lunch, so she’d called Killian before he left for work.

“With your Easter duties, the engagement party, rehearsals, and the wedding? I was expecting it to be one of the busiest periods of the year,” he chuckled. “Let me guess, our parents are together and making even more plans for that time?”

“Yeah. Your mother’s only just realised my birthday is two days before the wedding, so she thinks we should have a party for that. I’ve been trying to work out our schedules today, and it doesn’t look promising for alone time.”

“We can’t combine your birthday party with any of the other parties we’re having that week?” he asked, a little disappointed at the lack of free time he’d get to spend with Emma, without them needing to be somewhere.

“Of course not,” she scoffed. “That would be improper.” Emma rolled her eyes as she finished applying the last of her makeup.

“Well, I am always happy to celebrate you, My Love, so I can’t say this one is causing me too much worry.” Killian stifled a yawn and Emma’s heart ached for him. She knew he’d been pushing himself hard these last few weeks, and she wished that she could at least give him some time to relax while he was supposed to be taking a break.

“How’s the visit going?” he asked after a moment, hoping to distract her. He knew Emma well enough to know that his yawn would only make her feel more guilty about how tired he currently was. “I know Liam was worried that Ruby was worrying too much over it.”

“Yeah, Ruby was a little concerned your parents would hate her, now that they know she’s seen their son naked. But it’s all been fine. Your mum and dad haven’t treated her any differently, so she’s relaxed and enjoying her time here now. Besides your brother sneaking into our house, in the early hours of the morning, nothing’s really changed.”

Killian chuckled over his end of the line. He could certainly imagine Liam trying to sneak in and out of buildings. He’d once been caught by a police officer, trying to climb back into his bedroom window after a night out clubbing. Their father had offered to wait up for him, to let him back in, when Liam had forgotten to take his house keys. But, when he was over two hours late getting back, Brennan had given up, locked the door, and gone to bed. The officer that had caught Liam trying to sneak back in, through his bedroom window, had rang the doorbell, waking everyone up, to confirm that Liam actually lived at the address and wasn’t trying to bullshit his way out of being caught trying to break in.

That particular stunt had led to him being stripped of his house keys and a nine pm curfew for well over a month.

“Yeah, Ma and Pa are pretty cool with that stuff. I think they’re just happy their sons are finally settling down at a ripe old age of mid-to late thirties.”

“Is that you admitting to being an old man?” Emma teased.

“Pfts. You’re only as old as you feel, Love.” She could practically hear his salacious wink over the other end of the line. “And I do spend a lot of my time feeling you up…”

Emma dissolved into a flood of giggles on her own end. “You know you’re just getting cheesier with the old age, right?”

“You love me for me.”

Chapter Text

While Emma was meeting with her mother; Ruby; and Ailene for lunch, Killian had a meeting of his own to squeeze in before work.

“So how does that feel?” Sarah asked, brushing her hands over his shoulders and down his sides, to remove any wrinkles.

“I’m not sure,” Killian answered honestly, turning slightly in the mirror. “What do you think?”

“Well, I’m not one to toot my own horn, but it fits perfectly,” she chuckled, as she moved to stand in front of him. “However, what I’m asking is, do you feel comfortable in it?”

When Emma had first mentioned that a morning suit would be required ceremony attire for her non-military fiancé, Killian had run straight to Google to see what the hell one of those was. Thankfully, not long after their engagement was announced, Sarah Burton had been in touch to offer her services for Killian and his groomsmen. So, while Emma had been meeting in secret, with a designer she refused to name, over her wedding gown, Killian had been meeting with the creative director for Alexander McQueen, to design his own suit for the ceremony.

After quite a lot of input from the professional, they had eventually settled on a black morning coat, grey hickory striped trousers, an ivory white turndown collar shirt, and a grey waistcoat. It was a combination that Sarah had deemed the traditional morning dress. Killian had adamantly refused the top hat that was supposed to go with the suit, and Sarah hadn’t put up much of a fuss, stating that even she felt it was a rather old tradition.

“I do,” he answered after a moment, watching as the tails of the coat swished around his knees as he turned. “If we’d made this in leather it would almost be like a day on set.”

“I’m not sure you’d get away with that, for your wedding,” she chuckled. “Now, are you sure about the red? It’s not exactly traditional,” she asked, holding up the tie she’d designed in a ruby red colour, at his instance.

“Definitely,” Killian replied. “It’s Emma’s favourite colour. I don’t care if it’s traditional or not. She’ll love it.”

“Okay then.” Sarah stepped forward and lifted the collar on his shirt to begin fixing his tie. “Pay attention to this,” she warned, and Killian’s eyes shot up to watch the way she worked, in the mirror opposite them.

“We’re definitely gonna need your help with this,” he chuckled, trying to follow the movement but giving up fairly quickly. When she was finished, Sarah tucked the satin of the fabric into Killian’s waist coat, before buttoning his jacket and tucking a matching pocket square into his breast pocket.

“There we are.” She stepped back, to give him a full view of the mirror. “You’re definitely happy?”

Killian took a moment longer than he normally would looking himself up and down. His wedding day was going to be the biggest day of his entire life. He wanted to make every moment of it perfect, not just for himself, but for Emma and their family too.

“I am,” he stated confidently.

“Excellent news. Now that we have you all sorted I just need to take some measurements from your best-man and grooms men, and then we can get the rest finished.”

“Um, Sarah,” Killian began a little awkwardly, fiddling with his tie. He hated to ask her for more than she was already gifting to them, but he also didn’t want to leave anyone out. “Do you think you could also make my father’s suit for the day? I can pay for it all. I’d just really like for him to be included.”

“Of course,” she assured him. “I’m more than happy to do so.”

Trying to schedule a fitting with Sarah for Robin and Will, who were currently unable to leave Vancouver, and Liam and Brennan, who were back in Ireland, was easier said than done.

The days that Robin and Will had enough free time in order to attend one, his father and Liam were busy. And on the days that they were free, the filming schedule often ran for over ten hours.

Regina was the one to suggest a solution when she joined her friends for lunch that afternoon, where Brennan and Liam were arguing with Killian over the phone, as they ate.

“Why don’t you have your designer work with your family in Ireland and Skype you in on the call?” she asked nonchalantly, before turning her full attention back to her sandwich.

“Huh?” Killian lifted his head from the notes he’d been scribbling all over the back of his script. He could already feel a headache forming.

“Skype,” she repeated. “It’s what we did when Belle and I had our fittings yesterday.”

“You had your fittings yesterday?”

Regina groaned a little, picking up on the fact that Killian seemed far more interested in that than he did her proposed solution.

“Yes. Emma’s busy. She can’t get here. We can’t get to her. It seemed like the most logical solution. And no, I won’t tell you what they look like or who her designer is.”

Killian grumbled a little more before turning his attention back to his phone. “You think that could work, Liam?”

“Sure. Dad and I can work out some free time between us and you can send whoever it is our way.”

“Sarah,” Killian confirmed. “Sarah Burton.”

Regina choked, on the sip she’d just taken from her diet Cola, at the name, but none of the guys around the table seemed to understand why.

“Seriously?” she huffed. “None of you know who Sarah Burton is?” At their blank looks she rolled her eyes. “Sarah Burton is the creative director of Alexander McQueen. One of the biggest fashion brands in the world.”

“Never heard of her,” Will teased, throwing a cheeky wink in Robin’s direction as Regina’s arm reached out to land a good-natured slap to his torso.

“How are we even friends?”

Chapter Text

“How did it go today?” Killian asked, watching as Emma bent over the tub to begin running herself a bath.

God he missed that arse.

“Ugh. Probably best not to ask,” she sighed.

“Wow. That well?”

“Lunch was great. Good food, better conversation. But shopping with three women, at least a decade older than me was not easy.” Emma turned back around once she had lit a few candles and checked on the water slowly filling the bathtub, before she picked up her laptop, to move back to the comfort of their bedroom. “Mum and Ailene couldn’t find anything they liked. When they did finally settle on something they deemed passable, it was hideous. Like ruffles and orange hideous. There was absolutely no way either of them were wearing orange ruffles to our wedding. And Ruby was no help.”

Killian chuckled as he watched her slide back into frame. “Yeah, that’s why we men tend to stay home when women suggest shopping trips.”

“Of course, nobody will listen to me. All I get is, ‘you have the figure for that, Sweetheart. I don’t.’ I kinda wanted to strangle them all, after three hours.”

“Damn! So, you didn’t settle on anything at all?” Killian knew that Emma would be leaving Ireland the next evening, ready to fly onto France for some engagement she had been booked for. And his mother had really been hoping to find something while she was there with them. Having Emma’s seal of approval meant the world to Ailene.

“We didn’t pick anything for anyone to wear to the wedding, if that’s what you’re asking,” Emma replied. “But I picked up a few things while we were out.”

“Oh really?” he cocked a brow as his curiosity grew.

“Yep. Maybe I’ll show you after I’ve taken a bath.”

Killian sighed as he shut his own laptop.

He’d managed to get slightly longer with Emma than the two of them had achieved in weeks, but it still never felt like enough. They’d talked until Emma had fallen asleep, in her brand new lace lingerie, and Killian had left the call connected for a further twenty minutes, just watching his princess dream peacefully.

His filming schedule had been stepped up, in order to make sure he would finish on time. As they were approaching the climax of the season, it was also becoming more challenging. Killian often found himself leaving work physically and emotionally drained, longing to open his door and find Emma’s arms waiting for him.

He really couldn’t wait for the day when that would be a reality, instead of a fantasy.

Thankfully, he’d been offered the evening off that night, as Regina and Belle would be on set for a night shoot. He knew he should use the time wisely, and catch up on some sleep. But it had been so long since Killian had spent any time with his friends, that didn’t involve work or wedding planning, that he decided to use his free night to relax with them.

Robin and Will were already waiting in the car, when Killian slid into the back of the Range Rover that Anton’s security team had provided for him.

“I am so ready for a night that doesn’t involve me hanging from some kind of suspension rig,” Killian sighed, as he closed the door behind himself. That bloody rig had left some bruises in some interesting places. When he’d shown them to Emma, she’d lamented her inability to kiss them better. Which had left Killian with a serve case of chafing and blue balls.

“No offence, Dude, but I’m so ready for a night that doesn’t involve wedding planning. I feel like if Regina tells me anything else about your choice of flowers, or tablecloths, my balls might actually fall off.”

Killian laughed heartily at Robin’s comments, not in the least bit offended.

“Sorry, Man. I guess it’s a little all-consuming at the moment.”

“Don’t be,” Robin reassured him. “You are getting married in less than two months, with a ceremony that will be broadcast live around the world, to a future queen. Wedding planning should be the first thing on everyone’s minds. But I really don’t give a damn that your tablecloths are, ‘elegantly modern with a vintage feel.’ I mean… what the hell does that even mean?” he asked. “How can something be both modern and vintage?”

“Beats me,” Killian sighed, scratching behind his ear. “I just picked the fabric I liked best. I have no idea about the kind of pattern, or the colour of it. I don’t think Emma really cares either.”

The men in the car chuckled in agreement. They all knew Emma well enough to understand that while she loved fashion, she had no patience for things like tablecloths and stationary.

“I can’t believe you’re getting married,” Will sighed, as the others settled back into their seats in quiet contemplation. “And to Emma, of all people. I was sure you’d be the last of us to walk down the aisle.”

“Hey,” Killian protested, half-heartedly.

“No offence Dude, but when was the last time you had a serious relationship before Emma?”

Killian cast his mind back, trying to recall the name of the last woman he’d dated. But remember a time before Emma was becoming more difficult for him now. She was already such a huge part of his life. Everything before her felt like one long buildup to their eventual meeting.

“Exactly my point,” Will added, when he’d been silent for far too long.

As the driver pulled their car into the VIP parking area of the stadium, Killian straightened his shoulder.

“Okay, that’s definitely enough wedding talk for tonight,” he stated, waiting for the door to be pulled open for him. “No wedding and definitely no work talk. Let’s just focus on the game, and getting pleasantly buzzed on cheap beer.”

“Here, here,” Robin called out, saluting his best friend.

Chapter Text

Saying goodbye to the Jones family never got any easier. But it helped to know that Ruby and Mary would be staying on in Ireland, determined to find something for Ailene to wear to the wedding.

Before she flew on to France, Emma detoured home for a couple of days to meet with Victoria once more. It had been the perfect time to sneak in a fitting, given that her mother wouldn’t be in the country, and didn’t think Emma would be either.

She just had time to take Rogan for a walk around the grounds at Clarence House, before she received the message from Anton, saying her guest had arrived.

While Emma called Rogan back to her, and began the journey up to her private apartment, Anton showed Victoria in and helped to take all of her bags up to Emma’s room.

“How was Ireland?” she asked, pulling Emma in for a hug and quick kiss to the cheek, as soon as she saw her.

“Beautiful as always,” Emma sighed. “I just wish everyone had been able to find something they liked.”

“I can always send some stuff your way for them to try if you’d like?” Victoria suggested. “Just let me know sizes and I’ll see what I have.”

“I can’t ask that of you.” Emma was flattered, but she already felt like she was taking up enough of Victoria’s time.

“You’re not asking. I’m offering,” Victoria reassured her, moving over to her garment bags, to begin pulling out what was inside. “Besides, it’s not like I’m never benefitting from this arrangement. This is probably the best publicity my designs will ever get.”

“Thanks, Victoria. That would be fantastic.”

Emma made her way into her closet, to begin pulling out the lingerie set Victoria had given her last time, and changed into it, while Victoria finished setting up. By the time she had left the room, wrapped up in a red silk robe, Victoria had her gown hanging off the back of her bedroom door, along with another dress, partially covered by a garment bag.

“Wow, you’ve been busy,” Emma noted, moving to stand in front of the design she could see. Victoria hadn’t been lying when she had said that she’d added the underskirt to Emma’s gown, to give it more shape. But there was one thing she hadn’t mentioned. Emma had been expecting to see the satin gown, but with the adjustments made for her sizing, and a little more shape.

She hadn’t been expecting to see, what was almost certainly, a complete gown.

“I don’t sew,” Victoria chuckled, “so I can’t take all of the credit. Shall we see how it looks on?”

“Please.” Emma didn’t think she’d ever looked forward to getting dressed so much before in her life.

Victoria handed over the shoes she’d made for Emma previously, now covered in the same lace that formed part of Emma’s dress, before she eased the gown off its hanger. She carefully arranged the dress on the floor, allowing space for Emma to step into it, before offering her friend a hand. “This will be the easiest way to get the gown on and off,” she explained.

Emma didn’t need anymore instruction. She’d dressed in many fabulous gowns before, so she knew the drill. But as she watched Victoria ease the lace and satin combination up her body, helping Emma to slide her arms into each sleeve, Emma quickly realised that she’d probably never worn anything quite as fabulous as what she currently was.

While Victoria’s nimble fingers made easy work of the twenty-five small buttons on the back of the gown, Emma ran her hands gently down the fabric, trying her best to get a good look at everything.

“Mirror?” Victoria asked, when she’d finished.

“In my dressing room.” Emma watched in awe as Victoria gathered up the modest train of the gown, to stop it dragging along the floor, before following Emma back into the room she loved most in her home.

“Wow, impressive collection,” the designer chuckled, taking in the rows of perfectly organized clothing, and footwear, that lined the walls of Emma’s closet. “What’s this space for?” she asked, nodding her head to the one small wall that was half-full.

“Killian,” Emma explained. “He doesn’t have the same passion for fashion as I do, though, so his entire wardrobe is what you see there, just duplicated between here, the house in Ireland, and his apartment in Vancouver.”

Victoria nodded her understanding as Emma made her way through to a small room off the dressing room, that was simply lined with full-length mirrors.

“Wow, I need one of these,” she chuckled, carefully arranging the train of Emma’s gown behind her.

Emma’s own eyes, however, were glued to her own reflection. She smoothed her hands down the front of the gown, admiring the way the small satin belt at her waist pulled in the dress to hug her hips, before it flared out around her legs. The train behind her was fairly modest, for that of a royal princess. Emma hadn’t wanted anything long and fancy. And the gown she had definitely didn’t need it. Her eyes moved back up, taking in the sparse, yet intricate, detailing of the lace that now rested over the satin of her gown, which became much denser over her torso, before it continued to sparsely cover the illusion netting that made up the top and sleeves of her gown.

“What do you think?” Victoria asked, stepping back to let Emma get the best look possible at what she’d created.

“It’s beautiful,” Emma whispered, twisting back and forth to take in every angle of the dress. Her eyes watered slightly as she realised just how stunning the gown was. “So beautiful.”

“A beautiful gown for a beautiful bride,” Victoria told her, smiling widely.

Chapter Text

“Are these roses and shamrocks?” Emma asked, fingering the lace of the gown, as she helped Victoria to tuck the dress away into the garment bag she’d brought it over in.

“They are indeed. When you told me about your floral arrangements, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Do you like it?”

“I love it,” Emma reassured her. They were just subtle enough that it was unlikely people would pick up on them, unless they were standing close to the gown. But she knew Killian would adore the meaning behind the small gesture.

“I’m going to use the same lace to adorn on your veil,” Victoria explained, moving over to the second dress she’d brought with her. She carefully pushed the garment bag aside, to reveal what had been hiding underneath it.

When Emma had first sat down with Victoria, she’d mentioned wanting a traditional gown for her ceremony, but something more modern for her wedding reception. She’d joked that while she was looking forward to being able to wear the princess gown to say her vows, she also liked the idea of wearing something more daring for the private reception she would be holding later in the evening. Victoria had played around with a few different ideas and sketches, but had never originally intended for Emma to see the one that she had fallen in love with, as she had believed it a little too modern for a princess.

After the comment Liam had made while she was in Ireland, about his brother possibly wanting to be the first person to see the dress, Emma knew now, more than ever before, that she’d made the right choice for her second gown. And besides her designer, her husband would be the first person to see this one.

“Oh God, it’s perfect,” she gushed. “It looks just like your sketch.” Emma ran her hands gently over the satin of the fabric. The same satin that had been used to make her princess style gown, along with Regina and Belle’s dresses.

“Would you like to try it on?” Victoria asked, hoping that she didn’t look as excited as she felt. While both of Emma’s gowns would be one-of-a-kinds, Victoria knew that this was the style of wedding dress she wanted to become the future of her brand.

“Hell yes,” Emma assured her, already slipping off her robe. Victoria didn’t hesitate to slide the dress off its hanger, before once more carefully pooling the fabric at Emma’s feet. As she eased the gown up her body, Emma used one of her hands to hold the bodice in place, as Victoria began to lace up the back of the gown, pulling it in tight.

When she had finished, Emma lead the way back to her dressing room once more, to take in the dress.

“Oh, this is beautiful,” she sighed, running her hands down her sides, as she admired the way the gown fitted tightly around her bust; waist; and thighs, before flaring out at her knees to give a dramatic silhouette.

“My plan,” Victoria continued, coming to stand beside Emma, “Is to add an underskirt to give this bottom a little more flare.” She pulled on the fabric, helping to stretch it out to somewhat show how she intended for it to look. “We’re then going to cover this entire gown with the same lace we used on your first dress, to help tie the two looks together.” Emma nodded her head as she closed her eyes, picturing how the dress would look covered in the delicate lace she’d been admiring moments before. “Then, to finish it all off, we’re going to use the same pearls and crystals as we are on Regina and Belle’s gowns, to add some detailing to the top of the gown and just under your bust.” Victoria ran a gentle finger over the fabric in the places that she’d suggested, and Emma once more nodded her head to show her understanding.

“Perfect,” she complimented. “It’s going to look perfect, Victoria.”

“You really think so?” the other woman asked.

“I do.”

It wasn’t long after Emma had shown Victoria out that Anton called up to let her know that the royal jeweler had arrived, to see her. She’d put off having Killian’s wedding band designed, while she tried desperately to come up with something special for the man she loved. And after hours of searching the internet for some kind of idea, it had come to her where all good ideas seemed to come. In the shower.

“Your Highness, it’s so good to see you again,” Adam greeted, bowing as Emma moved aside for him to enter her home.

“You too, Adam. How have you been?”

“Very well, thank you,” he smiled back at her, following Emma through to her kitchen.

“Those grandchildren still keeping you on your toes?” she teased, filling her kettle in order to make them both some tea.

“Don’t they always?” he chuckled. “The older they get, the quicker they wear me out.” Emma laughed along with him, before turning to take a seat at her kitchen island, while they waited for the kettle to boil. “I have a feeling I know why I’m here,” Adam teased, his eyes sparkling at her over the tops of his glasses.

“Yeah, you probably do.” She reached over to the side, where she’d placed her own gift from her grandmother, a portion of Welsh gold, before sliding the box over to the older man. “I need you to make me a wedding band for my future husband.”

“I had a feeling you would.” Adam opened up the leather folder he’d brought in with him, and pulled out a pen, to begin making notes. “Do you have any thoughts of your own for the design?”

“White gold,” Emma replied. “I want it to match my engagement ring and wedding band.” Adam nodded his understanding, as his pen began to move. “Killian’s not really interested in fancy decorations or anything like that, so probably best to keep it simple.” Adam made a few more notes in his folder while Emma got up to make some tea. “I do, however, have one more request.”

“Whatever you desire, Your Highness,” he assured her, as Emma sat a tray with milk, sugar, cups, and a pot of tea between them.

“Can you engrave the inside of the band for me? I want this written on it, in a red script, as close to my own handwriting as you can get it.”

She slid a piece of folded paper out of her pocket and across the surface of the island. On it, she had written;

I gcónaí, mo Prionsa

Chapter Text

While Emma was busy with her royal duties in France, Killian’s own schedule had kicked up a notch. With the start of the second-half of season five due to premier at the beginning of March, the network had asked Killian and Belle to take over the duties for promoting the show. Killian knew that logically it made sense to do so, with the show focusing on Belle’s character trying to free his own, for the second-half of the season. Yet, he couldn’t help but think that they were attempting to cash in on his upcoming wedding too.

He’d done enough of his own research to know that since he’d started dating Emma, viewing figures for the series had more than doubled world-wide, with everyone wanting to get a good look at the man the princess had fallen in love with. Especially as Emma was never shy about her love for the show.

Thankfully, spending time with Belle wasn’t exactly a chore. So, while Emma was busy travelling France, meeting with different groups of people and politicians, Killian and Belle packed over-night bags, and headed down to New York City, to promote the hell out of their show.

Killian hated live television interviews. He’d done a few more of them since he’d started dating Emma, but the idea of whatever he said, going out unfiltered, still terrified him slightly.

“You know they’re gonna ask about Emma, right?” Belle teased, as they relaxed in the greenroom of the first show they’d been booked for.

“Oh I know. Everyone always does. But at least that’s an easy subject for me to talk about.”

Belle giggled as she let her mind run wild. “Could you imagine how pissed the network execs would be if you just spent the entire fifteen-minute segment talking about Emma?”

“Do we only get fifteen minutes?” he sighed, dramatically. “That won’t even cover what I love about her hair.”

Belle was still giggling away when one of the assistants came to fetch them.

“Here, quick picture time?” she suggested, pulling Killian in close to snap one of the two of them together.

Emma had just made it back to her hotel room when her phone beeped, to signify an incoming notification. She chuckled as she pulled it out, to see Belle’s picture and accompanying tweet.

Promo duty in NYC with @KillianJones1 – who’s preparing to wax lyrical about his soon-to-be-wife @PrincessEmma. We miss you, Emma.

Emma took a quick snap of her own, making sure to squeeze in the view of the Eiffel Tower from her hotel room balcony, before tapping out a reply.

@BelleFrench I miss you guys too! Tell @KillianJones1 to bring me back something pretty :-P

After calling down for room service, she settled into the sofa in her suite, to watch the interview that Bella and Killian would be giving.

It didn’t take long for the daytime television show to move on to the section they were running on Fairytales, and Emma sank back into her seat, to watch on. The part of her that loved the show was so excited to see it being given such good coverage before the start of the mid-season premier. The larger part of her, that loved Killian and supported everything he did, was so proud to see him representing the show he gave so much of himself to.

“Our next guests this morning are two of the stars of the hugely popular fantasy drama, Fairytales. One of which, is currently making headlines across the globe for his upcoming wedding to a member of the British royal family. Please welcome to the show, Killian Jones and Belle French.”

Emma watched as Belle and Killian took to the stage confidently, waving to the audience she couldn’t see behind the camera.

You look good in blue.

She sent the message with a cheeky smile on her face, knowing Killian always kept his phone in his pocket, just in case there was an emergency and she needed to reach him. She also knew he’d know the message was from her, and it would drive him mad not being able to read it.

“Welcome,” the host of the show greeted, standing to press kisses to Killian and Belle’s cheeks, before indicating that they should both take a seat behind the desk. “It’s lovely to have you here with us today.”

“Thanks for having us,” Belle replied, smiling easily.

“So, we’re here to discuss the second-half of season five of Fairytales. For those of you in our audience who haven’t seen the show, take a look at this small clip we have for you.”

While the video clip was played on screen, Emma was surprised to feel her phone vibrate beside her.

Need to change my suit for the wedding then ;-)

She laughed down at her handset.

I hope it’s made of leather.
You know I have a thing for that.

Killian didn’t have a chance to reply as the summary of the past four-and-a-half seasons ended, cutting back to the live feed in the studio.

“So, the last time we saw Hook and Louise, they had been separated by a deadly, and currently-unknown foe. Can you tell us a little about what we can expect with the second-half of the season?”

The fangirl in Emma listened intently as Killian and Belle took the time to explain how their two characters would be fighting to get back to each other, and what kind of effect that would have on their character growth, without actually giving away any major spoilers for the series. It was a talent they had both perfected over the years.

Watching you work always makes me feel so proud.
And a little horny.

Emma could spot the moment the presenter decided to change the subject away from the show, just before she spoke. She had gotten used to seeing that eager shuffle-forward journalists seemed to do, when they thought they might get a good story out of a situation.

“And of course, we’d be remiss without mentioning that you are currently living your own fairytale, Killian.”

That right hand of his came up to immediately scratch behind Killian’s ear, as he chuckled nervously.

“I guess I am,” he replied after a moment, casting a look over at Belle.

“For those of you in our audience, both at home and here in the studio, who don’t know – Killian is currently planning a wedding. When’s the big day, again?”

“The fourteenth of April,” he replied confidently.

Although, Emma could detect a hint of you-already-knew-that to his tone.

“Wow. So soon,” the blonde replied, with false cheer. “And of course, your bride-to-be is a real-life Princess – Her Majesty, Princess Emma of Cambridge.”

The screen behind the desk suddenly changed from the show’s logo, to a picture of Emma and Killian together, on the BAFTAs red carpet from earlier that month. But Emma was more focused on Killian’s expression.

“It’s Her Highness, actually,” he corrected.

Emma couldn’t have controlled the smile that broke across her face if she’d tried.

“Excuse me?” the presenter asked, clearly thrown by his comment.

“My fiancée is Her Royal Highness, Princess Emma of Cambridge. Her Majesty is the Queen.”

“Oh Gosh. I had no idea.” The bright-and-bubbly blonde looked more than a little embarrassed. “Well… you learn something new every day,” she joked. “The princess is currently in France, is she not?” she asked, quickly changing the subject.

“She is,” Killian agreed.

“Has it been difficult to plan a wedding with the two of you on different continents most of the year?”

Killian threw a look at Belle, before he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“I think that even if we had been on the same continent it would have been difficult,” he began.

“Yeah. Regina and I often joke we need at least eighteen months to plan our big day,” Belle added, coming to his rescue. “We have no idea how these two are managing to pull together, what I know will be a spectacular day, in only four months, and while being so far apart.”

“Magic,” Killian joked, cocking a brow at Belle that was so reminiscent of Hook, she couldn’t help but giggle.

“I’s not been easy,” he replied honestly. “But the alternative was to wait until we both had free schedules. And that might never happen. When you love someone, you find a way to make it work. And that’s what we’ve been doing.”

“Well… I know I’m not the only one in this room who’s looking forward to it. Congratulations,” Bubbly-Blonde offered. “Fairytales returns March sixth, for its mid-season premier. Thank you both for joining us.”

Emma switched off her television as the program moved on to its next segment about a dog in Texas, just as her phone vibrated once more.

It’s cruel to tease a man who’s currently so far away from you, Your Highness.

God, she missed her man!



Chapter Text

When Killian and Belle returned to Vancouver, they sat down for two more televised interviews, and three more for print publications, in between their filming schedule. True to his promise, Kilian refused to deal with the outlets that had published the images of Emma with mocking headlines. He half-expected some severe reprimands from the network for it, but when Robin, Will, Regina and Belle all refused to deal with the same outlets, he knew he was in safe territory.

Many of the interviews they gave went much the same way. The journalists would begin by asking about the show, and what Killian and Belle could tell them about the upcoming second-half of the season. But inevitably, they would all end on the topic of Killian’s upcoming wedding.

As much as he loved any excuse to speak about Emma, Killian couldn’t help but hate the constant reminder that he wasn’t overly present for much of his own wedding planning. Sure, Emma had involved him in all of the decisions that had been made. But there was a difference between picking out table decorations while holding your wife-to-be’s hand, and doing so in your trailer, in between takes, with a phone pressed between your ear and shoulder.

As much as Killian loved his job, he hated that it was keeping him away from such an important part of his life.

Emma’s time in France was split between performing her duties as a royal princess, and visiting sites that had benefitted from the investment of her foundation. One day she would be in Pozieres, paying her respects to those who lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme, and the next, she would be in Toulouse, visiting a youth center for some of the runaways in the city.

The days were long, but she was rather grateful for it. They were an excellent distraction from the clock in her head that was ticking ever closer to that magical date when she would finally be reunited with her love.

When she found herself back at her hotel, with some spare time to kill before she knew Killian would call, Emma used it to finalise the smaller details for the wedding, and catch up on the interviews that Killian and Belle had been giving to promote the second-half of season five of Fairytales.

“So, how has your day been?” Killian asked, stifling a yawn. He’d been home for all of twenty minutes, and his call to Emma had already been connected for seventeen of those.

“Busy,” she chuckled. “But I suspect not quite as busy as yours. Are you sure you wanna hear about it and not just get some rest?”

“Of course I’m sure. I sleep better when I’ve heard your voice, Emma. Indulge me.”

Emma lifted a finger to trace the bags under his eyes, on her screen. From what Killian had let slip about the plotline for the second-half of the season, at least those bags would make his on-screen scenes more realistic.

“Well, today, I was down in Lyon to meet with some of the kids that attended the local colleges that my father’s foundation has funded,” she explained. “We spoke about their courses, and what they hoped to achieve from their qualifications. They gave me some feedback on what needs improving and where. It’s always more informative to talk to the people using the service you’re funding than the people who run it,” she chuckled. “We spent about six hours there, touring the facility and the grounds, speaking with those kids and meeting their families. Then we came straight back to the hotel. I’ve been here since, binging Daredevil on Netflix and booking hotel rooms for your family and friends for the wedding.”

“Shit. Was I supposed to do that?” he asked, scratching absentmindedly at a cut he’d gotten that afternoon during filming.

“It’s okay,” Emma soothed. “When we announced the date, a number of the big hotel chains got in touch to offer their rooms for it. I just picked the best quote and guessed at a number, based on your side of our guest list.”

“Ugh. I’m really failing at this planning-a-wedding malarkey,” he sighed. “I’m so sorry, Emma. I promise I’ll do better next time.”

“Next time?” she chuckled. “You’re planning to marry me more than once?”

“I’d marry you every year if that’s what you wanted.”

Emma wanted to laugh at the words, but she knew by Killian’s tone he was deadly serious. “Okay. But let’s keep it small for next year, huh?” she teased.

Ailene had been half-way down the diary aisle of her local Tesco when her phone began to ring from its place in her bag. She set her shopping list and pen aside, before fishing the device out to see who was calling.

The moment she caught sight of Emma’s name on the screen, her entire demeanor changed, as her face broke into a wide smile.

“Emma, Love. How are you?” she greeted, holding the phone to her ear with her shoulder, as she grabbed for some skimmed milk.

“I’m good, thanks. How are you?” Her soon-to-be-daughter-in-law was always so polite.

“I’m in the middle of Tesco, Darling. That should tell you everything.” Emma chuckled over the other end of the line and Ailene grabbed for a block of cheese.

“I had something I wanted to ask you,” Emma began carefully. Ailene dropped the mature cheddar into her trolley, to give her full attention to the princess on the other end of the line. “I’ve been invited to stay for the opening day of Paris Fashion Week while I’m here. I was wondering if you would be my date for the occasion? I thought we could use it as an opportunity to finally get you a dress for the wedding.”

“Oh, Emma,” she gasped. “Are you sure? I’m not exactly the most fashionable of people. I might ruin your reputation.”

“That doesn’t matter,” Emma scoffed. “And I certainly don’t care for the opinions of people who think spending time with my family will ruin my reputation. As long as you have fun, that’s all that counts. And we can explore the city a little before we head home.”

“If you’re sure, then I would love to join you.”

Chapter Text

Missing my date tonight @KillianJones1

Emma attached a picture of herself to the image, before sending the tweet.

Her final royal duty in France was dinner with the President, and his wife. For it, she’d chosen to wear a red peasant dress, that she’d found in a small store in Toulouse, while she was out exploring one afternoon, and a pair of black cut-out sandals. Anton had joked that she looked at the shoes with the same dreamy expression she wore when thinking of Killian.

To complete her look, she’d pulled her hair back on each side, to keep it away from her face, and curled the ends of it. A pair of black opal and diamond studs, a black clutch, and her favourite red lipstick and black nail polish were all she needed to bring everything together perfectly.

@PrincessEmma You look stunning in that colour. It always reminds me of our first date. I miss you, My Love. X

It hadn’t occurred to Emma, until she was mid-hair-wash that evening, that the last state dinner she’d attended had been in Canada, with Killian as her date. The next one she was scheduled for would be with Killian by her side, as her husband. The realization of just how close they both were to finally being together, had floored her for the longest of moments.

@KillianJones1 I wish you were here to enjoy this wonderful night in Paris.

@PrincessEmma Send my regards to @PresidentLoius and his wife. Next time I’ll be there enjoying that wonderful view with you.

“Your Highness, are you ready to leave?” Anton asked, poking his head around the door to Emma’s suite.

She took one last look at her phone, and the message Killian had sent, before switching it to silent and stuffing it away in her bag. “Absolutely, Anton.”

Dinner with the French President, Louis, and his wife Catherine, was the perfect ending to Emma’s duties in France. Since the last time she had visited, there had been an election, and she could not have been happier about the results. While Emma was supposed to remain politically unbiased, she had not enjoyed spending time with the previous occupier of the position. He’d been quite the lecherous creep, who struggled to keep his hands to himself.

Thankfully, she didn’t appear to have that problem with Louis.

He was perfectly polite and respectful, while they discussed the current political climate in Europe and their fears for the future.

After dinner, the three of them retired to one of the drawing rooms, for coffee, and Emma discovered a new reason to love the couple.

“Your Highness,” Catherine began, “We were so saddened that your fiancé would not be joining us this evening.”

“Killian was too,” Emma assured them both. “He sends his regards but unfortunately he’s required to spend four hours hanging from the ceiling again this evening for work.”

The couple chuckled at Emma’s reply and she fidgeted with her coffee, adding more sugar than she liked to the cup to stop herself from reaching for her phone, to see if Killian had been in touch.

“He plays Captain Hook, in Fairytales, does he not?” Catherine asked.

“He does, yeah.” Emma couldn’t have stopped the smile from breaking across her face if she’d tried. After all, she’d fallen in love with Killian’s portrayal of the infamous Captain Hook long before she’d ever met the actor behind him.

“I love that show,” Catherine confessed. “I’ve been watching since it premiered here, in France. I was so looking forward to meeting him.”

“I’ll pass that on to Killian,” Emma told her. “He’ll be touched to hear you enjoy the show.” Emma was touched to hear it too. Killian deserved far more credit than he got for the various different versions of Hook he’d played so far. But she had a feeling that was all about to change.

“When the papers first reported that you were dating, I didn’t quite believe it. He looks nothing like Captain Hook when you’re together.”

Emma struggled to contain her laughter at that one. “Yeah, he wears a lot less leather and eyeliner at home. Such a pity.”

“Well, be sure to bring him back to France with you, after the wedding. You’re always welcome in our country,” Louis declared.

When Emma woke Saturday morning, it was with an energy that she often lacked after a late night and early start. The knowledge that Ailene was boarding a flight out to Paris, had her buzzing with excitement. Emma loved spending time with her future-mother-in-law, and the fact that they would be doing something she loved so much just added to her enthusiasm for the coming days.

As she enjoyed her first coffee of the day, Emma browsed her emails. Her wedding planner had been in touch, with a few details from different photographers that Emma and Killian had selected, (from a pre-approved shortlist) asking if they would be interested in photographing the royal wedding. She wasn’t surprised to find that all five had replied in the affirmative, with some samples they considered to be their best work. Emma forwarded each of the messages on to Killian, for him to browse through when he wasn’t busy, before making a note of her own favourite.

With her mother and Killian’s parents taking care of their engagement party, and Regina and Belle in charge of her Hen Weekend, Emma’s to-do list for the wedding was rapidly shrinking. And she couldn’t have been happier about that. Emma hoped that the more she could cross off of her list, before Killian’s return from Vancouver, the more time they would be able to sneak in together before he needed to return to work.

So, while she finished her coffee, Emma made some appointments with Adam, to check over the finished design for Killian’s ring, and Victoria, to have yet another fitting for her gowns, before she closed down her laptop to take a shower.

Emma might not have been able to meet Ailene at the airport when her flight landed, but she would definitely be dressed and ready to go, for when she arrived.



Chapter Text

“Oh my,”Ailene gasped, as she made her way into Emma’s suite. “This is bigger than my house.”

Emma chuckled a little, before moving forward to embrace the woman who was easily becoming her second-mother. “It’s a little ostentatious, but hotels like this aim to impress so they can win us back again the next time we’re in the country. We spend a lot of money booking their rooms for our security teams.”

“That makes sense.” Ailene took a general look around the open-planned room, running her hands gently over the sofas and chairs that probably cost more than her car. “Do I need to check-in anywhere?” she asked.

“Um… I was thinking you could stay here, with me. If you want to? If you don’t, I can have the hotel sort you a room of your own.”

“Is there enough room for me here?” she teased gently.

“There’s always room for you, Ailene.”

When Emma had shown Ailene to her room, and given a brief tour of the suite, the two women settled into the kitchen to talk. Emma made herself comfortable at the island, perched on a stool with her laptop open in front of her, as Ailene busied herself making the two of them a spot of brunch.

Even away from her home, and out of the country, Ailene couldn’t help but mother the closest person she had to a daughter, in her life.

“How are the wedding plans coming along? Anything I can do to help you?” she asked, taking full control of the kitchen.

“Not just yet,” Emma replied honestly. “But I’ll be at your door the moment we have all the RSVPs back, for help with who to sit where.”

Ailene laughed at Emma’s tone. “Ahh yes. I remember that well. For our wedding, we couldn’t sit Brennan’s grandfather anywhere near a member of the opposite sex. The old bugger was seventy-six years old, confined to a wheelchair, certainly not all there, and randy as hell.”

Emma snorted into her glass.

“What else do you have left to do?” She asked, moving over to the island to prop her hip against it.

“We’re waiting on the RSVPs to sort the seating for the reception. I have a couple more fittings for my dress, and another meeting with the jeweler to check on Killian’s wedding band. Then it’s just picking a photographer and music for the reception.”

“You’re doing well, Sweetheart,” Ailene praised. “Planning a wedding isn’t easy. Planning the biggest wedding of the century is even harder. Doing it all, in under four months, without your man by your side? Well, I’d argue that’s a truly amazing accomplishment.”

“Thank you.” Ailene’s praise never failed to warm Emma’s heart. And she hoped that no matter what the future held, she’d never disappoint her mother-in-law.

“I have one sneaky request, if that’s okay?” Ailene turned back to their meal, pulling out plates and cutlery to begin serving it, as Emma continued to work away on her laptop.


“When you pick a photographer, do you think you could pass along their details to your mother for the engagement party?”

“I will do,” Emma agreed.

For Ailene’s first day in France, Emma wanted to take it easy. So, the two women spent some time catching up, while Anton made all the necessary arrangements, before they headed out to visit the Louvre. Emma had vague memories of visiting the museum when she was younger, with her mother and father, but she hadn’t been recently. When Ailene confessed that she’d never been before, but had always wanted to go, Emma knew it was a trip they had to make.

She wasn’t surprised to see the photographers camped outside of the museum. Emma knew that her visit to France had been highly publicized, and she also knew that the security protocols the museum went through, to accommodate them, would have made it obvious she was visiting.

But she did worry for Ailene.

Emma hated that she was constantly subjecting those around her to such attention.

“Don’t worry, Dear,” Ailene soothed, linking her arm with Emma’s as they exited the car. “I knew I would be photographed when you asked me to come and join you. I’m not worried.”

“Tell me if they make you uncomfortable?” Emma implored. “I can have Anton deal with them.”

“As long as you’re happy, I’m happy,” Ailene reassured her. “Now, let’s go tour this beautiful building.”

Emma and Ailene spent the next two hours, on a guided tour of the museum, with its curator, Marie-Laure de Rochebrune. They were carefully shown around the museum’s collections, with Marie-Laure explaining the significance and history behind each piece. They stopped to browse over the temporary exhibitions, and listened as the previous ones for the year were detailed, along with what they planned to host for the future.

Emma lingered a little longer over the Egyptian antiques, fascinated by their history and origins. She secretly promised herself that as soon as they had some time to spare, she and Killian would be visiting the country together. Ailene preferred to spend her time with the painting collection. She couldn’t seem to thank Emma enough for the opportunity she had been given to see the Mona Lisa in person, and Emma was more than happy to allow her to stand and stare at the piece for as long as she wanted.

Their tour ended in the gardens of the grounds, a beautiful way to spend such a lovely evening in the city, where they were each handed a glass of champagne.

“Thank you for this, Emma.” Ailene kept her head tilted up to the clear skies above, and the stars she could see shining down on them. “This really has been a wonderful day.”

Emma could see the barest hint of tears that lined Ailene’s face, but she didn’t say anything. Instead, she stepped in a little closer to hug the woman who had come to mean so much to her, in such a short space of time.

Chapter Text

Killian woke Sunday morning with a headache from hell.

While they didn’t usually shoot on weekends, everyone was putting in as many hours as they could, in order to finish up on time for Easter. Apparently, the recent deliveries of his wedding invitations had only served to spur everyone into action.

The previous evening had been a grueling one for Killian. His stunt-man had gotten a good workout, but Killian had also spent a great deal of his night sword fighting; fist fighting; and hanging precariously from a ledge, with nothing more than his hook, and a safety harness, to keep him from breaking every bone in his body.

When he finally convinced his legs to move enough to get out of bed, Killian went in search of painkillers for his head, and coffee. It was only after both had kicked in that he picked up his phone, to check his messages and notifications.

Emma had messaged with her usual good morning greetings. This time, she had included a picture of herself, and his mother, on her hotel balcony, with the Eiffel tower clear to see behind them in the background. She’d also promised to Skype him later that evening, when she returned from the day out she’d planned with Ailene.

Liam had messaged to confirm that both he, and Brennan, had met with Sarah that morning. She had taken all of their measurements, ready to recreate Killian’s suit for the rest of his half of the wedding party.

He wasn’t surprised to see the many notifications from news outlets, reporting that, “Princess Emma of Cambridge has been spotted enjoying the sights of Paris, with her soon-to-be-mother-in-law, a month before her wedding day.” There were also some beautiful pictures of Emma and his mother to accompany each story, and Killian didn’t hesitate to save his favourites.

However, it was the final notification that had him smiling through the headache.

While Emma believed that there would only be a handful of hours between the two of them exchanging their wedding vows, and Killian’s need to board another plane back to Canada, to finish filming for the season - that was not strictly true. The cast and crew had all agreed to push hard, to make sure that Killian’s scenes for Fairytales would be completed before they broke for Easter. It would only give him a few days before he needed to fly out to Los Angeles, but it was more than enough for him to be able to surprise his beautiful bride with a honeymoon.

As soon as Killian was sure he could make it work, he’d begun plotting with Anton, hunting for a location secluded enough for them not to have to worry about security, in the sense that he would get to be truly alone with his bride, as much as possible. Killian had also wanted somewhere with a warm climate and beaches. It was a somewhat selfish thought, but he had yet to enjoy the sight of Emma, stretched out on a beach, soaking up the sun. That was something he aimed to rectify as soon as he could.

After plenty of research, the two of them had finally settled on a location. Killian hadn’t been entirely sure Anton would be able to pull it off, with such short notice. But apparently, the island’s owner was more than happy to accommodate the royal couple for their honeymoon. (As long as he could publish that fact after they had left the island).

Killian fired back a quick message to confirm his plans, before pulling up Belle’s number on his phone and hitting send.

“It’s beautiful, Ma,” Killian assured her, for the third time.

“You don’t think it’s too young? I don’t want to look stupid on national television.”

“Not at all,” Emma assured her. “And besides, who cares if it were? As long as you’re happy, then fuck everyone else.”

Killian chuckled a little at Emma’s brutal honesty, but he loved her for it. He knew the dress Ailene had chosen for the wedding was not one she’d have picked if left to her own devices. But he also knew that she wanted Emma’s approval, and Ailene certainly seemed to have that.

“Okay. I’ll go get changed and give you two some time alone.” Ailene left before either Emma or Killian could protest, the sound of her door clicking shut softly filled the silence even through the call.

“Hey, Princess,” Killian greeted, when they were finally alone. Or, as alone as they could be, given the situation.

“Hey, Baby,” she smiled back at him. “Two more days and it’s the first of the month.”

“I know.” Killian was painfully aware that March was now in touching distance. “I’ve been counting the days.”

“Not long now.” It was a promise. One both of them had made numerous time that year already. “How’s work going?” Emma asked, changing the subject onto something a little lighter.

“Busy.” It was the same answer Killian had been giving for weeks, but it was the truth. “We finished this episode yesterday, though. So that’s a bonus.”

“Has Louise found Hook yet?”

Killian snorted at the way Emma’s eyes sparkled at the thought of getting inside information on her favourite fictional couple.

“Do you really want me to spoil it for you?”

“No,” she sulked. “I like being surprised. Just… tell me they find each other before the end of the season?”

“They do,” Killian assured her. “But don’t go and tweet that. I’ll get in trouble.”

“My lips are sealed.”

Chapter Text

“Well, I can’t complain about this,” Ailene chuckled. She was sat just across the room from Emma, at one of the portable dressing tables that her team of stylists had erected. A young man named David was currently working on Ailene’s hair, giving it the best cut and style of her life.

“This is definitely one of the perks of being a princess,” Emma agreed, raising her voice to be heard over the sound of the dryer, currently working on her own hair.

“I might have to ask you for some recommendations. For the wedding,” Ailene clarified, at Emma’s quirked brow.

“You’re always welcome to join us to have your hair and makeup done?” she offered. “These guys won’t mind and my mother and Ruby will be doing the same.”

“You really wouldn’t mind?” Ailene asked. The last thing she wanted to do was add more to the bride’s plate the morning of her big day.

“I wouldn’t have made the offer if I did,” Emma assured her, reaching out for Ailene’s hand. “You’re always welcome to join us.”

“Thank you, Emma.”

While Ailene left for her room, to change into one of the outfits Emma had purchased for her the day before, Emma’s team of stylists set to work on her own look.

Her hair was teased back into a messy bun, that was tamed slightly with a thin black headband. The look they’d gone for gave her hair a little more lift than Emma usually opted for. (Mainly because she hated the process of back-combing).

“Is that not uncomfortable?” Ailene asked, as she exited her room, fully dressed for her first taste of Fashion Week. Emma had helped her future-mother-in-law pick a tailored black suit for the event. When combined with the hair and makeup her team of stylists had picked, Ailene looked far edgier than she ever had before.

“You look fantastic,” Emma praised, before she added, “The process of back-combing is not my favourite. But the actual style, now it’s in place, is fine. I think I got used to having stylists pull it around at such a young age that I barely feel it now. It’s the same with heels. Killian’s always asking me if they’re comfortable to wear. But I think because I’ve been wearing them so long, I don’t really notice them now.”

“I guess that makes sense. Do you have something similar planned for your wedding?”

“Something softer,” Emma chuckled. “But it will be pulled back, yes.”

“Killian likes your braids,” Ailene added absentmindedly, as she inspected the tools of the trade set out by Emma’s stylists. She was willing to bet that most of them cost more than her monthly mortgage payments.

“He does?” Emma turned as much as she could, while a makeup artists was working on her eyes.

“Yeah. He always has. Before you met, he used to watch you on TV. He’d always refer to you as, ‘the Princess Braid,’ because you wore a lot of them.”

Emma smiled softly as she thought about just how much Ailene had revealed about her son, without actually realising it.

“Then I guess we need to rethink our plans, Kelly,” she called out, to the woman that had been loyally styling her hair for as long as she could remember.

“I’m sure we can work some braids in somewhere,” Kelly chuckled, as she packed away the last of her belongings. “It was lovely to meet you, Mrs. Jones. I look forward to seeing you again soon.”

While Emma had the rest of her makeup completed, and then excused herself to change for the day, Ailene used her time to phone her husband, and make sure he hadn’t burned down the house in her absence. The two of them didn’t often holiday apart, but in the few times they had, Brennan had come pretty close.

“Oh, Brennan, I have to go.” Ailene ended her call abruptly, as Emma made her way back into the room, now fully dressed, with her bag tucked under one arm, and her heels swinging from the tips of her fingers. “You look beautiful, Sweetheart.”

“Thanks.” Emma took a seat on the edge of the sofa, to slide each shoe on, before turning to face the older woman. “You don’t think it’s too much?” she asked.

“I don’t know much about fashion, Dear,” Ailene admitted with a rueful chuckle, “But I do know that if my son were here right now, he’d probably be drooling a little.”

“Well that’s really all that matters.” Emma winked for effect before she stood, testing out the feel of the new shoes she’d bought, while shopping with Ailene, the day before.

As she was attending Fashion Week, Emma had opted for a look that was more daring than her usual, but was still respectful enough of her position. Her white, off-the shoulder top was actually longer than most of the dresses in her closet. It left her right arm, and shoulder, completely bare, while forming a short sleeve that fully covered her left shoulder. From there, the diagonal cut of the top continued, leaving a small peek of her left hip exposed, before dropping down dramatically in the back, to form a sort of tail. Emma had added a pair of tailored black trousers, and her new black pumps, to complete the look.

“Let’s see what he thinks, shall we?” she asked, pulling out her phone to take a few pictures of herself, with Ailene.

Emma wasn’t expecting an immediate reply, so instead of sending Killian the pictures privately, she decided to tweet her favourite.

Hey, @KillianJones1, how do we look? #ParisFashionWeek #WeBothMissYou #AndWeBothLoveYou



Chapter Text

While Ailene was busy enjoying her first taste of Fashion Week, Killian was meeting with Sarah once more, as she fitted Will and Robin’s suits for the wedding.

“Will we be able to change out of these, and into something more comfortable after the ceremony?” Robin asked, pulling at his waistcoat. He’d always hated dressing in what he called, ‘monkey suits.’

“Yes. But no jeans,” Killian warned. “Ruth has a strict policy about those. And remember that no matter what, you guys are there all day, and so is she. So, we have to continue to respect her wishes.”

“I can wear just a nice shirt and some black trousers, right?” he asked. “I don’t need a tie.”

“I didn’t wear one to the Christmas party,” Killian reminded his friend gently, as he watched Sarah help Will into his own morning coat.

“What do you think?” she asked, smoothing her hands over the fabric to help pull out any wrinkles.

“Killian?” Robin asked, turning to face him. As much as he complained, Robin knew how much this day meant to Killian, so he would wear anything the guy asked him to.

“You look good. Both of you do,” Killian assured them, as he watched Will attempt to puzzle out his own tie in the mirror. “But I think what Sarah’s asking is if you feel comfortable in them.”

“Well… I won’t be running a marathon in it anytime soon. But I suppose it will do to watch my friend get married in.”

“Dude, we need to stop letting Ma spend time with Emma,” Liam complained, when he returned his brother’s call that evening.

“Why?” Killian asked, half-distracted by the order for food he was placing online. Having to squeeze in fittings with Sarah, on lunch breaks, meant that he’d gone all day on just energy bars once more. Emma, Sarah, and his mother, would all yell at him if he returned to London a size smaller than he currently was, because he couldn’t take care of himself.

“Because she’s turning into some kind of cool mam, and that’s ruining my reputation.” Killian sniggered down the line, as he closed his laptop, turning his full attention back to his brother.

“Is that really such a bad thing?”

“She’s becoming a minor celebrity, Killian. That’s embarrassing no matter what.” Liam was definitely sulking. “And Michael, remember Michael from high school? He posted on my Facebook page today. To tell me that Ma was a MILF. A MILF, Killian. That’s not ever a word I wanna associate with our mam. So… we need to stop it.”

“Okay, that’s… gross,” Killian agreed. “But she’s not gonna stop spending time with Emma because of it. And Emma wouldn’t let her. So, let’s hope the fame doesn’t go to her head, and… delete Michael,” he teased. “Now, Sarah says she’s coming to see you and Pa next week to fit your suits. You’ll be back in Ireland by then, won’t you?”

After passing his Naval Service Recruiting Test, Emma had helped Liam to land his interview for the job. She’d once again offered her future-brother-in-law her home, as a place to stay. And Liam had jumped on the offer, as Ruby would be out of town visiting friends. Emma had also managed to push a few extra buttons to speed up the process, so Liam would be staying in the country to take his medical and eye tests, before partaking in a fitness test.

Ever since she had passed along the information to him, Liam had thrown himself into training to pass those tests. His fitness levels had always been pretty good, considering he enjoyed a good night out with more than a few pints of Guinness, and his guilty pleasure had always been Indian food. But Liam wanted to make sure that his fitness would be perfect, in order to land the job he’d always dreamed of.

He also didn’t want to disappoint Emma, given the extreme lengths she’d gone to, to help him get this far.

“Should be,” Liam answered honestly. “I’m not sure if I’ll be moving freely, but I should be able to board and debark a plane with minimal help.”

“I should have sent you my personal trainer,” his brother teased. “I’m sure he’d have whipped you into shape quick enough.”

“Ugh. I’m good. Ruby got me this crazy expensive membership for a gym in Dublin, and I’ve been going every morning. Their trainers are bad enough.”

“Such a romantic gift,” Killian laughed, imagining what his own response would be to such a gift from Emma. While she knew that he spent time with his trainer most weeks, she also knew he hated every moment of it. Killian preferred the kind of fitness that came with a friendly game of football. Not being made to bench-press his body weight three times a week.

“Speaking of romantic gifts. I wanted to get Ruby one. Before the wedding. Think you could help me out?” Liam asked. He’d never really bought a gift for a women before, that wasn’t his mother. He also knew he’d probably never afford the kinds of gifts he wanted to give Ruby, without a small loan from his little brother.

“Sure. I can help you find something. I still need to get Emma a gift for her birthday. And a wedding present,” he sighed. It really was becoming difficult to work out what to buy a princess who had more than she ever needed in life.

“Can’t you just combine the two?” Liam scoffed.

“Of course not,” Killian replied automatically. “That wouldn’t be proper.”

Chapter Text

“Holy crap, I wish you could see this,” Emma exclaimed as she picked her way through her lounge.

“See what, Love?” Killian asked, half distracted by the script that was sat in front of him.

“Our lounge.”

Killian was even more distracted by Emma’s use of the word, ‘our’ in that sentence. She’d never referred to Clarence House as a shared home before, in such a direct manner.

“What about it? Did you decorate again?”

Emma snorted out a soft laugh. “With everything else I have going on right now? Yeah. That’s exactly what I did.” She could practically feel Killian’s eyes rolling on the other end of the line. “We have a lot of mail.”

“Define, ‘a lot?’”

“There are about two-hundred RSVPs here to sort through,” Emma explained, looking down at the sacks of mail Anton’s team had already sorted for her. “Then there’s also the regular mail we receive, on a daily basis, and a few more congratulatory cards too.”

“Damn. Kinda glad I’m stuck in Canada right now,” he teased.

“Oh, you don’t get away with things that lightly. I’ll sort these RSVPs into the right groups, so we know how many will be filling the Abbey, and if we can squeeze in any more people. But you’ll be helping me seat all of these people for our receptions.”

“Shit,” Killian chuckled. “You sure you don’t need me to pick out anymore tablecloths or anything instead?”

It took Emma two days to sort through the RSVPs that had come in while she was in France, and a further day to sort the ones that came in during her days of sorting. Mary offered to join her daughter, to help, but the organizational side of things had always come easy for Emma, so she was happy to input the replies into the spreadsheet she’d made all those months ago in Vancouver.

She wasn’t terribly surprised to see that only a few of those that had replied, so far, had declined their invitation. Emma knew their wedding would be a big event, for a wide variety of people, for a number of different reasons.

After she’d finished adding the RSVPs to her lists, Emma moved on to booking the photographer for their official portraits. Killian had favoured Dean, the photographer who had also been booked for the Christmas and New Year parties. (Possibly because he’d included his portraits of the two of them in his sample of work). In her message to him, she also enquired about the possibility of Dean photographing her birthday party, and wedding rehearsal dinner, before forwarding on his contact information to Ailene.

“Have you thought about a full rehearsal, inside the Abbey?” Mary asked that evening, as Emma sat down to dinner.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, when I married your father, as much as it was the best day of my life. It was also one of the scariest,” Mary confessed. “I had a vague idea of what to expect. Obviously, television wasn’t a big thing when your grandmother married, so I had no footage to look back on. But having that vague idea, and actually going through the ceremony itself, were two very different things,” she explained. “For one, I’d never been inside St. Paul’s before, so I had no clue how big it would be.”

Emma sat in silence for a moment, considering her mother’s words. She knew that Killian had visited a few of the major landmarks of London, on a school trip, but she couldn’t remember if one of those had been Westminster Abbey.

“I’ll talk to Killian,” she finally replied. “I think you might be right, though. I’m not entirely sure he knows what he’s letting himself in for. You never know, he might change his mind once he does,” she joked, a touch of hysteria creeping into her tone.

Oh God, what would she do if he changed his mind?

“I don’t think you need to worry about that,” Mary reassured her daughter, reaching over the table to take Emma’s hand into her own. “Killian adores you, Emma. He’s never going to change his mind about you.”

When Emma proposed the idea to Killian later that evening, curled up in bed with her iPad propped against a pillow, he was more than happy to add yet another plan to their limited time together. Emma suspected that her mother had been right, and Killian was a little worried about the service that would be televised live, worldwide.

“I spoke to Mary about a voice coach,” he confessed, into the quietness of the night.

“You have?”

“Yeah. She explained how one helped her when she first married your father. Especially with public speaking. I mean,” Killian brought his hand up to scratch nervously behind his ear. “I know I’m an actor, and I’m supposed to be good at this stuff. But, I really don’t wanna have to act my way through public engagements with you. I want to be myself. And I think that it might help?”

He seemed so worried that Emma wouldn’t agree with him, and it broke her heart a little.

Did he not know that she supported everything he did?

“If you think it will help, then I am happy to put you in touch with the right people,” Emma assured him. “I just don’t want you to feel like you need to do something you’re uncomfortable with just to make me happy.”

“I’d do anything for you, Emma,” Killian stated, his tone leaving no room for argument.

Chapter Text

Emma woke Sunday morning with a wonderful feeling of anticipation.

It was Mother’s Day, in the United Kingdom, and she had planned a special evening for her mother, to celebrate the occasion. She had mentioned to Killian that she wanted to include Ailene in the celebrations, but Liam already had plans for the day. Instead, Emma had made sure to send a card, and a gift-basket, to the woman who was rapidly becoming a mother figure in her life.

Sunday meant it was also the day of the Fairytales mid-season premier.

Emma couldn’t wait to finally have Captain Hook back on her TV screen. Ruby and Mary had planned to join her for a live-watch that evening. Killian had also promised to try to watch the show with them, but Emma was positive he’d fall asleep before the first commercial break, if he did. The bags under his eyes were going to take over his face soon.

Sunday also meant one more thing to Emma. She now had less than two weeks until Killian was scheduled to fly back home.

Emma had arranged for the kitchen staff to deliver breakfast to her mother that morning, so she used her free time to book a DJ for the wedding reception. While it was more traditional to hire a band for the occasion, Emma liked the idea of having a DJ play for at least part of the evening. She knew that no two people attending the reception would have the exact same taste in music, so having a DJ helped to give a wider variety for their playlists than just hiring a band for the occasion. She’d also spoken with Killian a few times about selecting someone to play for the occasion, but each time he’d brushed her off. She suspected that he’d already made the arrangements, and just wished to surprise her on the day. But it didn’t stop her from bringing the subject up every now and then, to see how much of his plan he would give away.

After eating a lazy breakfast, Emma packed up the gifts she’d purchased for her mother and grandmother, grabbed Rogan, and headed out to the Palace. Ruth liked to gather her family for lunch, on Mothering Sunday, and as much as Emma didn’t enjoy spending time with her aunts and uncles, she was looking forward to spending it with her mother and grandmother.

“Morning,” Anton greeted, as she headed down to the parking garage. “I take it I’m not needed today?”

“Not today. Go spend some time with Jackie and your mother.” Poor Anton rarely got any time to himself, with his work duties. So, Emma liked to make sure he took it when he could.

“Have a great day, Your Highness.”

Rogan always made the most of his visit to the palace. As soon as Emma let him out of the car, he decided to begin exploring the long corridors of the building, running excitedly up and down each one, letting out small barks of delight to inform her of where he had disappeared to.

“You know, you could at least have the decency to put that thing on a leash?” Anne sneered. Emma hadn’t heard her come in, having been crouched down to play with Rogan, as he chased his favourite ball down another corridor.

“You know, I tell your husband the same thing every time I see him,” Emma replied. “And yet, here you are. Wandering off on your own again.” She pulled herself up to her full height, her heels giving her a few inches over her aunt. “Rogan. Here,” she called, watching the young puppy come running back to sit at her side, eagerly awaiting his next command. “At least Rogan can follow simple instructions.”

Emma didn’t wait for her aunt’s indignant reply before turning on her heels to search out her mother.

“Don’t worry about Anne,” she whispered down to the dog by her side. “She’s a bitch but not the kind you need to get excited about.”

Mary found Emma as she rounded the next corridor, Rogan running on ahead to greet her enthusiastically while Emma took her time, trying to make sure her mother wouldn’t pick up on her mood when she was within hugging distance.

“Thank you for breakfast.” Mary pulled her daughter in tight. “You always remember my favourites.”

“I wouldn’t be much of a daughter if I didn’t,” Emma chuckled. “Happy Mother’s Day, Mum.”

Mary turned to link her arm with Emma’s as the two women glided down the hall, towards the dining room. “How was France?” she asked.

“Still as beautiful as ever. I think Ailene had a great time there.”

“Oh, she did,” Mary assured her daughter. “She called me as soon as she got back home. She loved every moment of it.”

“Then maybe you guys can all join me for the next one,” Emma teased. Her mother may dress the part, but Mary hated the fashion industry. She never really understood it the way Emma did. Which was probably why they often had such conflicting opinions on the topic.

“Maybe,” Mary agreed, half-heartedly. “The big question, though is, did Ailene find anything to wear for the wedding?”

“She did,” Emma beamed back at her. “She found a few things for the barrage of events you all have planned for the month ahead.”

“Is it so bad to want to celebrate my beautiful daughter?” Mary asked, turning puppy-dog eyes, that would rival Killian’s, onto said daughter.

“I guess not,” Emma sighed. “Besides, I do love a good party.”

Chapter Text

“I suppose we won’t see you next year for Mother’s Day, Emma?” Mary commented off-handedly, as they mingled in the drawing room, waiting for Ruth’s arrival.

“I’m honestly not sure, Mum. I guess it will depend upon Killian’s schedule for filming. But maybe you could come out to us? Ailene too?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Anne snapped. Emma clenched her fist to stop herself from hurling her empty glass in the woman’s direction.

“It means that I intend to spend as much time as possible with my husband after our wedding. So, if he’s required to stay in Vancouver for Mother’s Day, I’ll be in Vancouver, with him. If he’s not, and he wishes to spend it with his mother, then I will be in Ireland, with him. Do you see where I’m going with this?”

“So, he’s still intending to work after you marry?”

“Of course he is,” Emma sighed. “Killian loves his job. I’m not asking him to give it up for me until he absolutely has to.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Anne continued, looking around the room for some support. “What about your duties? Are you intending to give those up?”

“Of course not. I can still complete my duties from Canada. The only thing that changes is my physical location. Nothing else.”

“So, you’re turning your back on your family for a commoner?” Anne finally exploded.

“I’m not turning my back on anyone,” Emma replied, a deadly calm settling over her tone that had Mary reaching out to lay a hand onto her arm in warning. “But know that I absolutely will if my hand is forced.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“It means,” Emma began, standing from her seat and pulling herself up to her full height. “One day, I will be your queen. And you will learn to show myself, and my husband, some respect. If you can’t manage that, I will happily exclude you from all future ‘family’ gatherings.” Emma leaned in a little closer, making sure she was as close to Anne as she could get, before dropping her voice to a whisper. “I know it was you.”

Anne’s eyes widened in shock. Emma may not have had physical proof in that moment, but her aunt’s reaction told her everything.

“Keep pushing me, and I’ll take everything Anton found, that traced back to you, to Grandma.”

Dinner was tense, but it always was for Emma. She could tell that the majority of the people in the room only tolerated each other’s presences, for the sake of keeping Ruth happy. It was nothing like the gatherings Emma had come to love sharing with the Jones family.

I miss our family gatherings. They’re much more lively than this one.

Emma had been messaging Killian throughout the meal. While he couldn’t return to Ireland to celebrate with his mother, he did have the day off work. He’d planned to head to a White Caps game with Will and Robin for the day, while Regina and Belle headed off for a day of pampering.

Lively is one word to describe them.
Not sure they’re terribly regal as far as gatherings go.

She smothered her smile at his message with a fork-full of mashed potatoes and some polite conversation with her Aunt Liz, before tapping out a reply.

Maybe we can change the definition of regal for the future?
Less awkward silence and more fun?

You want to change the awkward silences?
Our children should have to suffer through the same problems we’ve faced.
It will build their character.

Emma was less successful at hiding her snort of laughter that time, and it caught her Aunt Anne’s attention.

“You know it’s rude to text while you’re at the dining table?” she sneered.

“I do,” Emma replied, sitting her phone next to her glass. She had no intention of stopping just because she’d been caught. “But as I’ve only spent a handful of days with my fiancée since the beginning of the year, and given that he lives in a different time zone right now, I’m taking every opportunity I have to communicate with him in some form. Do you truly object to that?”

The vibration of Emma’s phone, amplified by the dining table, had everyone’s eyes drawn to it. However, nobody voiced their concerns when Emma picked it up to read Killian’s next message.

“Emma, am I right in thinking that Fairytales returns this evening?” Ruth asked, breaking the tension that had settled in the room.

“Yes, it airs at around one am for us, but it will be on Netflix within a few days.”

“I’m never making it until one am,” Ruth chuckled. “I’m not as young as I used to be. I’ll just wait for it to come onto Netflix.”

“You watch the show, Mother?” Anne asked, turning to face Ruth at the head of the table.

“Of course,” Ruth replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“Why? It’s not like it’s the next Game of Thrones.”

“I have no idea what that is,” Ruth replied dismissively. “I watch Fairytales to support Killian. And I actually enjoy the show. Now… has he told you what happens at the end of this season?” she asked, turning back to Emma with a look that Emma recognised as the sign of an eager fangirl.

“Sadly not. He keeps telling me I’ll enjoy it more if I don’t know what’s coming.”

“Hmm. Maybe I can get him to tell me when he returns to London?” Ruth mused, before finishing her lunch.

Chapter Text

Emma left the Palace as soon as was acceptable, before heading back to Clarence House. Mary had wanted to drive over and see her own mother for the afternoon, so it gave her a little time to relax before the evening.

Emma hadn’t found herself with much down time since the year had begun, so she busied herself making a pot of tea, before curling up on her sofa with Rogan, and one of the books her friends had sent last month.

At five, she headed upstairs to begin preparing for the night ahead. Emma had booked a table at her mother’s favourite restaurant for the two of them, and tickets to see Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe. Mary had always been a Shakespeare buff, and she tried to see as many of the adaptations as she could manage. It made booking tickets for events hard, as Mary almost always beat others to them. However, after a little bit of digging, Emma had found a smaller company, with excellent ratings, that were currently showing at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse.

The location also offered the added benefit of being just enough off-the-grid to afford them both some privacy.

Mary was once again bang on time, as she let herself into the apartment at six. Emma had just finished pulling her hair back into a low ponytail, as she walked into the lounge, to watch her mother play with Rogan.

“He’s going to enjoy the grounds at Highgrove House,” Mary remarked, keeping her focus on the dog she was playing with.

“I’m not entirely sure how much of them he will see,” Emma chuckled. “I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time in Vancouver.”

“You might want to look in to getting a house then,” her mother chuckled, finally turning around to watch as Emma finished packing her clutch for their night.

“I’ll mention that to Killian.” Emma turned to Mary, before her face broke into a breathtaking smile. “You look beautiful, Mum.”

“Thank you.” Mary made her way over, and took Emma’s hands into her own. “So do you. Even though that thing you’re wearing is hideous.” Mary’s eyes wandered up and down her daughter, taking in the split-front; sleeveless top, and matching trousers, in a metallic; watercolour print, that Emma had picked for the night. “Those shoes are pretty, though.”

“Thanks, Mum,” Emma snorted, looking down at her white platform heels, before she pulled her mother in for a tight hug.

As much as she was looking forward to finally being with the man she loved, Emma knew that being away from her mother for so long was not going to be easy either.

“Are you ready to go?” she asked, clearing her throat of the emotion that had been creeping in.

“Absolutely. Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” Mary asked, as she slipped her jacket on, before following Emma out of the apartment.


Dinner was much more enjoyable than lunch had been. Mary and Emma used their time to talk about plans for the upcoming weeks, and exchanged small anecdotes that had made them laugh. They stayed away from talk of the upcoming parties and wedding, given that it had already taken over so much of their lives, and instead, just focused on enjoying their time together.

Even though the evening was supposed to be about Mary, Emma found herself thoroughly enjoying the time she had with her mother.

As their plates were cleared away, and Anton took care of the payment, Emma helped her mother into her jacket.

“That was lovely, thank you, Emma. Are we going back to your place now until the show starts?” Mary asked.

“Do you really think that’s all I had planned for tonight?” Emma scoffed. “Come on, Mum? The best is still to come.”

Mary followed Emma out of the restaurant, confusion etched into the lines of her face, which only seemed to deepen as Anton drove them to their second location of the evening. It was only when they pulled up to the Shakespeare Globe that realization seemed to dawn on her.

“Oh, Emma,” Mary gushed. “Are we where I think we are.”

“Yep,” Emma replied, beaming back at her mother. “There’s a performance of Othello taking place in roughly thirty minutes, that I thought you might enjoy.”

Mary leaned over to embrace her daughter. She and David had first connected over their shared love for the works of Shakespeare, and even after his death, Mary had continued to find comfort in the words that were so familiar to her.

“You’re a wonderful daughter,” she praised, as Anton helped her out of the back of the car.

“Of course I am,” Emma scoffed. “You’re lucky to have me.”

Mary shook her head affectionately in response, before linking her arm with Emma’s to enter the building.

As she had expected, there were no photographers in sight, and both women were able to purchase some refreshments, and take their seats, without being bothered. A few of their fellow patrons sent them small smiles and waves, but didn’t approach.

Emma was incredibly grateful for it.

While she loved meeting people, there were times where all she had wanted was to be a normal woman for an evening. And it seemed that the people of London had decided to offer her just that, as, when Emma and Mary left a few hours later, talking excitedly about the performance they had just witnessed, there were still no photographers in sight.



Chapter Text

Ready and excited @KillianJones1 @QueenRegina @BelleFrench @RobinH @ScarletWill

Emma attached a picture of herself, her mother, and Ruby to the message, all huddled together on her sofa, with a bowl of popcorn on Ruby’s lap between them.

@PrincessEmma I didn’t realise formal attire was required. Now we feel underdressed @KillianJones1 @QueenRegina @BelleFrench @RobinH

Emma chuckled as she brought up the image Will had attached to his own message, of the group in full fairytale costume. Killian already looked like he was about to pass out where he was sat, and Belle wasn’t doing much better.

@ScarletWill I don’t know – that would definitely pass for formal attire in medieval times @KillianJones1 @QueenRegina @BelleFrench @RobinH

Emma and Mary had stopped to pick up Ruby on the way back from the theatre, and the three women had cracked open a bottle of Emma’s finest red wine soon after. She hadn’t really thought about changing out of her suit until Will mentioned it, but now that he had, Emma knew exactly what to wear for the mid-season premier.

When she returned to her lounge, Ruby barked out a short laugh at her change of clothing, as she took a quick picture to send back to the group.

@ScarletWill Any better for ya? @KillianJones1 @QueenRegina @BelleFrench @RobinH

Emma smiled as her phone pinged with a reply, this time, from her man.

@PrincessEmma My face has never looked so good @ScarletWill @QueenRegina @BelleFrench @RobinH

Emma’s Fairytales lounge pants, and Captain Hook vest, were surprisingly comfortable, as she arranged herself on the floor to watch the show.

Ruby kept her phone out throughout the episode, following the twitter commentary that Emma and her friends kept up as it progressed, and showing Mary what was being said. At the first commercial break, Will messaged Emma with a picture of Killian sprawled across one of the sofas in his trailer, fast asleep with Hook’s heavy leather jacket thrown over his face. During the second break, he sent another of Belle in Killian’s place, as Killian was called back to set for a late night reshoot.

By the time the episode had finished, only Will and Regina were left tweeting, with Robin having been called back to set, and Belle still fast asleep.

Emma sent Killian a quick private message, letting him know how incredible she thought his performance was for the episode, and stating for the millionth time that she loved him, before heading to bed herself. Ruby would be spending the evening with Mary, before leaving to visit friends. So, Emma left them to it her lounge, with a warning to keep the noise to a minimum as she headed upstairs for bed, with Rogan by her side.

When her alarm rang Monday morning, Emma groaned into her pillow before hitting the snooze button. Having early morning engagements, after a late night, never ended well.

She finally crawled out of her bed, and headed for a steaming hot shower, after hitting snooze twice more. Being late for the day wouldn’t go down well at all, especially with most of the world being aware of why she had overslept.

It was only after she was wrapped up in Killian’s robe, (which was starting to smell more like herself than him) and sat in her kitchen, drinking coffee, that the anticipation for the day ahead began to fill her. Emma had been booked for an engagement in Birmingham that morning. Her father’s foundation had funded the renovations of a large senior’s center, and she had been invited to open it.

Emma had always loved engagements that involved meeting with the elders in society. They had some of the best stories to tell, that she would never tire of listening to.

And it helped that the manager of the facility had promised at least one game of bingo before she left.

After finishing her breakfast, she headed up to her room to dress for the day ahead. Because she’d be spending it with seniors, Emma opted for a look that was a little more conservative than some of the others in her closet, knowing they would appreciate it more than something bright and bold. The white sleeveless dress, with grey striped detailing, was both high-necked, and fell to below her knees. It managed to keep her fully covered, without looking too frumpy.

Emma added a pair of black and white gingham heels, and a black clutch, to the look, but opted to keep her hair down and wavy, with her makeup light and natural. She knew that the people she’d be spending the day with would appreciate that, over her preferred bright red lip and bold eye.

After taking a quick picture to send Killian’s way, as had become their tradition, Emma slid on her black trench coat, and grabbed her bag.

For all that she had hit snooze that morning, the princess was only ten minutes behind schedule, and she knew her driver would more than make up for it on the journey up to the Midlands.



Chapter Text

Emma had definitely won the Royal Engagement Lottery that day.

Spending time with the older population of Birmingham was easily one of the highlights of the year for her. Much like children, they could be a little unpredictable with their questions for a princess. However, they were far less innocent than children were. Which meant Emma could give them much better answers.

“Are you sure you want to spend the afternoon with us?” Phyllis asked, as Emma helped her into the bingo hall, that also doubled up as a dining room.

“Oh, definitely,” she replied. “I’m having so much fun. And… I’ll be honest. I have nowhere better to be.”

“Now I’m sure I read somewhere you were getting married soon,” Phyllis pressed, her eyes dropping down to Emma’s engagement ring, before moving back up to her face. “Surely you need to be wedding planning. Or even just spending time with that fella of yours?”

Emma sighed as she dropped down into a seat beside her new friend. “Unfortunately, he’s in Canada right now. But I’m counting the days until he comes home to me.”

“What on earth is he doing there?” Phyllis gratefully accepted the cup of tea sat before her, as Anton placed a second in front of Emma.

“He’s an actor. He plays Captain Hook on a popular television show. They film in Vancouver, so Killian spends a great deal of his year in the country for that.”

“Oh, Sweetheart,” Phyllis consoled, reaching for Emma’s hand. “I bet you can’t wait to be able to live with that man of yours without fear of causing a scandal.”

Emma laughed at the wink Phyllis sent her way. “You are not wrong there, Phyllis. You are not wrong.”

Emma enjoyed her lunch of cottage pie, followed by apple crumble and custard. They were both classic dishes, that the kitchen staff pulled together well, for the number of people they were serving.

But she enjoyed the company far more.

Phyllis and her friends were just what Emma needed to keep her mind away from everything she still had to do in the next few weeks. They laughed and joked about the memories they still held from their childhood. They spoke about their husbands, and eagerly listened as Emma spoke about Killian, while showing off some of her favourite pictures of him.

After lunch had been cleared away, the hall was quickly transformed, ready for an afternoon of bingo.

Emma happily accepted the next cup of tea placed before her, and the handful of game cards that Phyllis insisted she stay and play, before Anton had to inform her that they needed to leave. She was just as reluctant to say goodbye, as her new friends were to see her go.

But Emma left them with a promise that she would return again, as soon as her schedule allowed it.

“I’m so glad you had fun,” Killian chuckled, as Emma finished relaying Phyllis’s story about how she met her late husband, to him.

“I still miss you,” she added, sighing as she sank back into the leather of her seat.

“Well of course you do,” Killian scoffed. “I’m charming and charismatic. Everyone misses me when I’m not around.”

Emma snorted out a laugh. “Are you sure I’m not talking to Captain Hook right now?”

“Nah. Just an extremely tired Killian,” he confessed, allowing his bravado to crack a little. “I’m gonna need to sleep for like a week when I get home.”

“I don’t care how long you need to sleep for, as long as you’re sleeping next to me.”

Killian wasn’t really sure what to say in reply. He knew they were both struggling now, and nothing ever seemed to make that distance between them easier to cope with.

“Just a few more weeks, Beautiful. A few more weeks and then I swear, I’m never sleeping without you by my side again.”

“I’m not sure your mum would be happy with that,” Emma giggled. “You’re not supposed to see the bride before the wedding.”

“Do you honestly think I’m gonna be sleeping the night before our wedding, Emma?”

It was late by the time they made it back to London.

When Emma pushed open her front door, it was to the mouthwatering smell of her favourite Chinese take-out dishes, and the rumble of the television from the lounge.

“Hey,” Liam greeted, making his way out into the hall to embrace Emma. “How was Birmingham?”

“Great fun,” she confessed, smiling up at him. “How was your flight?”

“Nothing to note. I’ve had a more enjoyable afternoon playing with Rogan.”

Emma laughed as the dog in question made his way around Liam’s tall frame to greet her, before heading back to the lounge. “I think you wore my dog out.”

“We played a little and then went for a run,” Liam confessed, scratching nervously behind his ear. A trait all Jones boys seemed to inherit. Emma wondered for a moment if her own son would do the same.

“How’s it going?” she asked, shrugging out of her coat, and setting down her bag, to make her way through to the kitchen, and the delicious smells coming from it.

“Good. I think? I’ve improved on all my personal bests. And my weight seems constant, and well within their boundaries. So, I’m hoping it all goes well.”

“And is this a good idea?” Emma asked, indicating to the hot food waiting for her, along with a glass of her favourite wine.

“No,” Liam admitted. “Which is why I ordered your favourites for you, and a salad for me.”

Emma paused with a forkful of fried rice halfway to her mouth. “Well now I feel bad. Isn’t this kinda like rubbing salt in the wound?”

“It’s fine, Ems. Enjoy your damned food,” Liam sighed. “Rogan and I are watching Criminal Minds if you wanna join us?”

Emma chuckled as she watched Liam saunter out of the kitchen and back to the lounge.

Although he was the wrong Jones brother, coming home to his company was definitely the perfect way to end her day.

Chapter Text

While Liam was busy being interviewed for his entrance into the Royal Navy, Emma met once more with Adam, to look over the final design for Kilian’s wedding band.

She had wanted to keep the ring a secret from her future-husband. But Mary had advised against it when she suggested the plan. She didn’t want Emma, or Killian, to be stood at the alter only to find out that their wedding rings didn’t fit. During a ceremony that would be broadcast worldwide.

Emma hated to admit that her mother made a good point.

The finished band that Adam presented to her was everything she wanted it to be. The ring was thick and sleek in design, polished to a brilliant shine that Emma knew would occasionally catch the light, and Killian’s eye, as he wore it. Yet, the inscription she’d asked for on the inside of the band was the complete opposite. It was delicate and feminine, written in an almost complete match to her own handwriting. She knew the ruby red of it would remind Killian of her, and she hoped that he would appreciate the meaning behind her message, even though it was for his eyes only.

In short, the ring was perfect for her husband-to-be, and Emma was glad to see it tucked away waiting for him, beside some of her own most expensive pieces, in her private safe.

Adam stayed for a cup of tea, and a quick chat, before leaving for his next appointment. Which gave Emma plenty of time to grab the box of goodies Victoria had given to her, from her closet, and another from her safe, before heading out for her second appointment of the day.

With Liam staying for the week, Emma had booked a hotel suite to meet Victoria in for her penultimate fitting. She didn’t want to run the risk of having her brother-in-law return early from his interview, to see her standing in the middle of her bedroom, in her wedding gown.

Victoria was already waiting for Emma when she pushed open the door to the suite she had booked for the day. A quick glance around it showed three garment bags hung off the curtain rail, waiting for her attention.

“Emma. How was your weekend?” Victoria asked, dropping the bag she was holding to rush over and embrace her friend.

“It was good, thank you. Yours?” Emma asked, sitting the small box she’d brought with her onto the table in the room.

“Busy,” the other woman sighed. “But the kids had fun, so that’s all that matters.” Emma nodded her agreement, as Victoria turned back to what she was doing. “Another week down means another week closer to the big day. Are you getting nervous at all?”

“Not really,” Emma admitted truthfully. She had moments where her doubts would kick in, that Killian would suddenly change his mind and run far away from her. But then he’d call, and just the sound of his voice would ease her fears. “I’m more excited that it’s another week closer to having the man I love back home.”

“Can’t say I’d blame you,” Victoria chuckled. “I always hate spending time away from David.” She turned back around with Emma’s shoes in hand, and the princess took that as her cue to head into the bathroom to change into her lingerie set.

When she emerged, wrapped up in an ivory silk robe, Victoria had her wedding gown draped over the bed, with what appeared to be Emma’s veil next to it. “Shall we get you dressed?” she asked.

Emma had to admit, she was excited to see what the veil would look like paired with her dress. She’d pulled her hair back that morning, into a close approximation of what she’d settled on with her team of stylists for her wedding day. So, this would be the closest she would get to seeing the completed look until then.

Victoria once more helped Emma slip into her gown, before she dashed off to grab the final box Emma had brought with her that day. She passed it over to the young princess, before reaching for the veil.

Emma held as still as possible as Victoria threw the lace embellished netting over her head, and began to adjust it to the perfect position. It took a few moments of back and forth, with Victoria occasionally asking Emma to hold it in place, before she finally seemed happy with the finished position.

“Okay, you might have to do this part,” Victoria chuckled. “I’m not sure I’ve ever held something so valuable before.”

Emma opened up the box in her hands carefully, to pull out her grandmother’s Burmese ruby tiara. The piece was almost fifty years old, but Emma still loved it. It would be her something borrowed for the day, although she had a sneaky suspicion that her grandmother would be gifting it to her for the occasion.

“I’m gonna need a mirror,” Emma told Victoria, as she carefully removed the piece from its box.

Victoria ran back to her bags, and quickly returned with a somewhat-larger-than-normal mirror for Emma to use. She watched on as the princess confidently secured the tiara in place, which in turn, worked to secure her veil. When she was finished, Victoria threw the mirror onto the bed behind them, before pulling the front of the veil down and over Emma’s face.

“Ready to see how it looks?” she asked.

“Definitely,” Emma replied, almost bouncing with excitement.

The hotel had graciously set up a small corner of the suite, with a number of full length mirrors, for the occasion. Victoria gathered up the train of Emma’s veil and gown, to help as she made her way over to them. Once in place, she carefully arranged the fabric as Emma lifted her eyes to the mirrors.

“Oh, Victoria,” she gasped, “It’s perfect.”



Chapter Text

Once Emma had changed out of her main gown, the two women stopped for a spot of lunch and to catch up. Victoria had also spent time in France recently, for Fashion Week, but had unfortunately missed Emma and Ailene while they were there. Emma made a promise to her friend, to bring her mother-in-law along to London Fashion Week later that year, where Victoria would have a show of her own.

When the two of them had finished eating, and washed up, Victoria made her way over to the second garment bag that was hanging up, waiting for Emma.

While she was unzipping the bag, to pull out the now complete gown inside, Emma slipped out of her robe. She turned back round just in time to see Victoria pooling the dress on the floor, ready for her to step into.

Emma took her friend’s hand, and then helped her ease the dress up her body. While there was much less fabric to the second gown Victoria had designed, it was a little harder for Emma to get into, given how tight fitting the design was. She held the dress in place, with a firm hand over her bust, as Victoria began pulling it tighter, lacing up the back of the gown before she tied it off, into a beautiful bow.

It took everything Emma had not to look down at herself, to see how the lace that had been added to the gown enhanced the look. She wanted the surprise of seeing in it in full, not distorted, from above.

“Mirrors?” Victoria asked. Emma nodded her head to show her agreement, as she made her way over to the corner of the room once more.

When she was finally in place, she lifted her eyes to take in her own reflection.

“Oh, wow,” she gasped, twisting slightly to look at the silhouette of the gown from every angle.

“What do you think?” Victoria asked nervously. “Too modern?”

“Probably,” Emma agreed, “But I don’t give a damn. I love it.”

Like she’d promised, Victoria had added a layer of the same embroidered lace to the gown, as she had on Emma’s shoes, veil and first dress. This time, however, the lace slightly overlapped the satin, enhancing the dramatic shape of the gown they’d opted for. She’d also gone ahead and added in the embellishments around the top, and under Emma’s bust, which matched those on Regina and Belle’s dresses.

The entire gown was very simple in its design, but it was strikingly beautiful.

“Killian’s going to love this,” Emma sighed, as she twisted to look at the corset back of the dress. She’d knew he’d have fun unlacing that on their wedding night.

“Glad to hear it,” Victoria chuckled. “Does it feel comfortable?” she asked. “Can you move okay in it? Can you sit?”

Emma made a quick circuit of the room, making sure she could move, and sit in the gown, before nodding her approval. While the dress was rather restrictive in its design, it wasn’t anything Emma hadn’t experienced before.

“Excellent,” Victoria sighed with relief. “I modified the design slightly to give you a little more room to move in it, but I was worried it might still be a touch too restrictive.”

“I won’t be running a marathon in it,” Emma chuckled, “but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to dance at my reception, while wearing it.”

“So? How did it go?” Emma called out, as Rogan went scurrying down the hall to greet Liam.

Liam waited until he was in the lounge, and had thrown himself down beside her, before he huffed out a reply. “Fuck if I know. They’re all so serious and stoic. I can’t get a read on them.”

“I don’t think you’re supposed to,” Emma reassured him, leaning over to gently pat his leg. “Want me to make some calls and see if I can find out for you?”

“Nah. They said I’d hear within fourteen days. It’s not that long to sweat it out for.”

“Let me know if you change your mind.” She rose from the sofa elegantly before turning back to face him. “What do you fancy for dinner?” she asked.

“Ugh. I have no idea.”

Emma knew Liam still had his fitness tests to come that week, so she made a suggestion she wouldn’t normally consider. “You know, we have a wonderful team of chefs down in the kitchens. I could ask them to make something tasty but good for us both?”

“You wouldn’t mind?” he double-checked. Liam may not have known Emma as well as his brother did, but he did know that she rarely relied upon the paid help to do anything for her. Emma was a strong, confident, and independent woman. Bucking traditions and expectations in such a way was something she prided herself on.

“Of course not,” she scoffed. “You know I have been known to call down to them on occasion myself?”

Liam suspected those were incredibly rare occasions but he didn’t voice his opinion. Instead, he hauled himself to his feet, to follow Emma into her kitchen.

“That sounds brilliant. Thanks, Ems.”

Chapter Text

Emma used the Clarence House kitchen once more the next day, to make a protein filled breakfast for Liam. The fitness tests were one part of his entry into the Royal Navy that she couldn’t help with, but she could definitely start his day off the right way.

While Liam enjoyed his breakfast, Emma took Rogan down to the gardens, for a walk. Liam had been unusually quiet that morning, so she suspected that he could use some time to himself. And Rogan was always happy to explore the grounds while Emma trailed along after him.

When she returned to the apartment, Liam was already in the shower, but he’d left a small note that simply read, Thanks, Little Sister, on the kitchen island.

She busied herself with eating a light snack of her own, before washing their dishes, as she waited for him to finish. She had an engagement later that afternoon, in London, but Emma’s morning was completely free.

“Thanks for breakfast,” Liam said softly, as he made his way into the room.

“You’re welcome. I take it you enjoyed the meal?” she chuckled, thinking back to his plate, which had been scraped clean.

“Yeah. Definitely hit the spot.” He slid onto the nearest stool, but kept his gaze focused on the tabletop below him.

“Hey.” Emma quickly dried off her hands and reached out to cover one of his. “You’re going to be fine. You can do this.”

“You’re not gonna hate me if I fail it, are you?”

“Of course not,” Emma chuckled, trying to break the mood. “You’re my big brother. I’d love you no matter what you succeed or fail at in life.”

“Yeah… I’m not sure family works that way,” Liam sighed bitterly.

“Liam, I love you because of who you are, not what you do. I don’t love you because I feel like I have to. If I did, I’d care for my aunts and uncles more than I do.” Emma waited for Liam to lift his eyes, before she continued. “Me, Killian, your parents… even Ruby. We all love you, Liam. We don’t want you to succeed at this because we feel like it’s your last chance to accomplish something. We want you to succeed because you want this so badly.”

Liam stood awkwardly, before pulling Emma in for a quick hug. When he released her, she moved to the fridge to grab a bottle of water, before handing it over to him.

“Good luck, Liam.”

While Liam was on his way to the training facility, Emma opened the latest batch of RSVPs and added them to her spreadsheet. When she was finished, she made herself comfortable on her sofa to do a little reading.

Emma’s engagement that afternoon was a lecture at the University of Westminster. She had been invited to speak to those who would be graduating later that year, from the International Relations department, and Emma had been thrilled to agree to it.

Dressing for these kinds of public engagements was always a little daunting. She had been taught to dress not only for the occasion, and her position, but also for her audience. So, while she usually liked to dress a little more playfully than her mother and grandmother did, she usually aimed for a more conservative look for the elder generations. Dressing for the younger ones, however, was always more difficult. While they identified, and appreciated, her sense of style more than most other age groups, Emma was also aware that the last thing she needed was to arouse a bunch of already horny teenagers.

With all of that in mind, she selected a conservative, sleeveless, grey shift dress for the day. The reason she’d purchased the dress, a few months back, however, was for its jewel embellished neckline. The accents added just enough to give it the playful touch she loved, while remaining respectful by keeping her almost fully covered. The gold jewelry Emma added helped to keep her look young and fresh, while she settled on a pair of her favourite black velvet, pointed-toe pumps to finish the somewhat professional look.

After quickly debating what to do with her hair, Emma finally settled on pulling it back into a ponytail, but left her bangs down on either side, to frame her face.

When Emma was happy with the way she looked, she took a quick picture for Killian, before slipping into her black trench coat and grabbing her bag to head out.

“Afternoon,” Anton greeted, as he helped Emma into the back of the car, and closed the door softly behind her.

She waited for him to take his own seat, in the passenger side of the front, before she replied. “Morning Ant. How was your weekend?”

“Not too bad considering we spent it with my in-laws,” he chuckled. When Emma quirked a brow at him he simply replied with, “We can’t all have in-laws like yours, Emma.”

“True,” she conceded.

“So, I had an interesting call last night,” Anton began, breaking the comfortable silence in the car.


“Nope. One of his friends. One of your friends,” he corrected.

“Who?” Emma asked.

“A Belle French. She was looking for information about how to get you away for a weekend, without being seen by the press. I told her I’d need to actually check with you first, before giving her that information, I’m afraid.”

“It’s okay,” Emma soothed. She knew the security procedures, and how they had a habit of ruining anything spontaneous.

“As long as you’re happy with a weekend away, I’ll come up with some locations. At least part of it will still be a surprise for you.”

“I’m more than happy about that,” Emma assured him, sinking back into her seat to pull out her phone.



Chapter Text

Emma’s lecture on international relations, and the effect they had on the political and economic climates, went well. It was a subject she knew inside and out, thanks to both her education and her upbringing. She’d been taught from a young age how to speak publicly, and it was a skill that had grown with her.

However, as she stood at the lectern, looking out over the thousands of eager faces watching, something occurred to her. While she had been raised with the knowledge of how to properly address a room full of people… Killian had not. She knew that he had some understanding of how to do so, given his experience at conventions. But speaking about his job, and addressing a room full of students; or the press; or business people, about such difficult subjects as politics; or the environment, were two completely different things.

Emma realised in that moment that Killian was right. She needed to arrange for a voice coach when she returned home.

She didn’t want to put him into a position he would be uncomfortable with. And, as a member of the royal family, Killian would be expected to speak publicly on a regular basis.

After her lecture, Emma pulled Anton aside to ask him to begin making the arrangements for Killian, before she accepted a guided tour of the university. Tours were standard practice for her engagements. Everyone liked to show off their facilities, not only with the hopes of impressing Her Royal Highness, but also with the hope that one day, they might receive her financial backing for a future project.

For that reason, Emma made sure her personal assistant kept comprehensive notes about all of the facilities they visited.

After their tour, she agreed to meet with a handful of chosen students, to answer any questions they had. This was perhaps the part of the day Emma had most been looking forward to. While she was often asked questions at events, the ones that Emma would be receiving that morning would be based around the theme of the day, and not around her private life. It gave her the chance to show her critics that she wasn’t just a pretty face, born into the right family, at the right time. Emma had understood from a young age what her future would hold, and had prepared herself for it as best she could. She was the proud owner of her own degree in International Relations, and she had one of the most comprehensive knowledges of politics in the country.

Not that many people knew it.

The question and answer session lasted for around ninety minutes, with Emma giving answers that she felt would help the students best. Most of her replies were based not only on her intellectual understanding of the question, but on her experience as a member of the royal family. She hoped that by providing a balance of both, the students that she spoke with would realise that what you learn in a classroom is only a fraction of the knowledge that you could possibly hope to gain on a situation.

When she was finished, Emma agreed to take some pictures for the university’s press coverage, and some selfies with each of the students she had spoken with, before Anton was guiding her back into the familiar comfort of the Range Rover for the drive back home.

“Ugh, I need a holiday,” Will moaned, as he dropped down heavily next to Robin and Killian in the makeup trailers.

“You just got here,” Robin pointed out.

“Yeah. After just leaving her six hours ago.”

All three guys groaned a little at the thought. Sleep was a fleeting thing that came when they were not eating or filming. And at the moment, it definitely wasn’t the full eight hours that they should have been getting.

“Count yourself lucky that you don’t have a paper on the House of Commons due at midnight,” Killian moaned, his head already bent over a book as someone fussed with his hair.

“Okay, you win,” Will agreed. “Why don’t you defer a year or something?”

“Because if I do, then I’ll end up deferring another year because I’m busy, and then the year after that. You see where I’m going?”

Will nodded his agreement, a little at a loss for what else to say. He hated that his best friend was so tired, thanks to their busy schedule. But Killian had a good point. It was always crazy towards the end of their filming year. And things weren’t going to get any easier for him, once Killian started mixing in royal duties with his work.

“You ever think about quitting?” he mumbled, a little ashamed of himself for even suggesting it.

“Every single day,” Killian admitted, his focus still mainly on the textbook in his lap. “But Emma wouldn’t want that. And, at the end of the day, neither do I.”

The three guys remained silent for the longest of moments, contemplating Killian’s words and what his future would become.

“Hey, do you think that when you’re king, we’ll still be friends?” Robin asked suddenly.

“Never gonna be king,” Killian stated, turning to Robin. “And yeah, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be. I mean, the show’s not gonna run forever. And this isn’t what’s holding our friendship together.”

“Cool.” Robin was quiet for a moment before he added, “Because I’ve kinda always wanted to sit on a throne. So… I’m hoping you can help me realise that dream one day.”

Chapter Text

“How’s it going?” Emma asked, sliding a mug of coffee in Liam’s direction.

“Ugh. How long did I sleep?”

“About fourteen hours,” she chuckled. “You crashed as soon as you got in. I take it the tests went well?”

“Not a clue.” Liam stifled a yawn, before he continued. “They don’t tell you these things there and then. All I know is that I feel like I’ve been hit by a train.”

“Well I have absolutely no plans for today. So, if you feel like being lazy and watching Netflix, we can do that? Or if you wanna head over to the Palace, we can? They have spa-like facilities there that might help you a little.”

“You sure you don’t have any plans?” Liam asked, cocking a brow in Emma’s direction. “I don’t need a babysitter.”

“Never said you did,” she assured him. “And believe it or not, princesses do get days off.”

“In that case, lazy day with Netflix sounds great,” he assured her.

Liam would never admit it, but the idea of a spa day sounded heavenly after the brutal fitness test he’d been through the day before. Every muscle in his body ached with an intensity he’d never felt. And he was pretty sure he’d pulled a few he didn’t even know existed. But, the thought of spending the day with his future-sister-in-law, most likely in a bathing suit, didn’t seem right, when his brother was on the other side of the world.

“Netflix it is,” Emma announced. She spent a few moments digging through a cupboard that was almost too high for her to reach, before she turned back around, with her hands full of Galaxy chocolate bars. “Can’t have a Netflix binge without good chocolate,” she explained, at the quirk of Liam’s brow.

While Emma and Liam spent their afternoon binge watching Orange is the New Black, Killian was on a mission of his own. He had a rare morning off, and he knew it would be one of his last, in Canada, before his wedding. He wanted to use the time to attempt to find his bride a gift for her birthday.

The problem was, Killian had absolutely no idea what to get her.

With Emma’s birthday so close to their wedding day, he’d spent hours agonizing over the perfect gifts for his perfect girl. But he was drawing a blank each time. Emma already had a car, and she rarely used it, thanks to her status in life. They had plenty of property, all over the world, between the two of them. Clothes and shoes didn’t seem enough to show Emma how much she meant to him. And while he’d already planned to buy some pretty jewelry for his bride, he felt like he needed something else for Emma’s birthday.

Killian spent the best part of his morning wandering up and down the streets of Vancouver, slipping in and out of stores, hoping something would jump out at him.

But nothing did.

He was just about to give up completely, when a small store he’d never noticed before caught his eye.

“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Emma called out, as she finished pulling her hair back into a bun.

Liam would be returning to Ireland the next day, and Emma had suggested they dine out for the evening, to celebrate him completing the next stage of the recruitment process for the Royal Navy. She’d thought it was a great idea, until Liam had let out a pained groan when he stood from the sofa.

“I’ll be fine, Ems,” he called back, from the guest room down the hall. “I feel better after that shower. You have excellent water pressure.”

Emma laughed her agreement.

“Plus, I’ve been dying for something unhealthy, washed down with a cold beer, or two, for weeks now.”

As Emma dressed for her night out with Liam, she fired off a few messages to Killian. He’d had the morning off work, but Emma knew that came at the cost of yet another night shoot to end the series. And when they’d spoken briefly before he was called to set, Killian sounded exhausted. She’d wanted nothing more than to hold him in her arms while he slept for as long as he needed.

She resolved with herself to do just that once he returned home.

Emma had also mentioned her plans to take Liam for dinner, while she had Killian on the phone. She knew how the press worked, and she was expecting a few of the trashier tabloids to be running stories of her torrid love affair with her soon-to-be brother-in-law the next day. Killian had laughed heartily as she had explained that she didn’t want him to be caught off-guard by such accusations.

Thankfully, her fiancé found the idea more laughable than threatening.

Emma, however, knew how serious of an issue it could be. So, she dressed that evening, with the potential photographers in mind. The black dress she picked was one of her more casual ones. It was high-necked and sleeveless. However, the skirt of the dress was where she knew the wow factor lay. The mid-thigh length skirt had been overlaid with a black sheer panel, which dropped the hemline down to her ankles, offering more coverage. She’d paired it with her favourite black ankle boots, and a black leather clutch bag. The all black of her look helped draw attention to the rubies of her engagement ring, offering the only pop of colour for her outfit.

Emma hoped it would be enough to keep the accusations to a minimum.

“You ready to go?” Liam asked, from outside of the bedroom door.

“Yep,” Emma called back, making sure everything was switched off, before she left. “You scrub up well,” she told him, as she brushed past.

Liam looked down to the shirt and blazer he’d paired with his best jeans, then back to Emma. “Clearly not as well as some people in this family do,” he mumbled.



Chapter Text

“What do you think?” Killian asked. “Will Emma like it?”

“Honestly, Dude? I have no fucking idea,” Robin chuckled, taking in Emma’s gift once more. “I mean, I’ve never really seen her show a preference for them one way or the other.”

“Way to fill me with confidence here,” Killian grumbled, dropping down heavily into the seat next to his friend.

“Well, did you get her anything else?”

“Of course I did,” Killian scoffed. “I just wanted something… unique for her.”

“And this was the best you could come up with?”

“Okay, Wise-One, what would you buy a princess for her birthday?” Killian asked, his tone dripping with sarcasm.

Robin opened his mouth, presumably to make some kind of suggestion, but nothing came out. Killian gave him a few minutes to flounder and squirm before he snapped back, “Precisely.”

“Dude, did you know Emma’s having a torrid love affair with your big brother?” Will asked, as he made his way over to the table where his friends were eating.

Belle choked on the mouthful of food she had been chewing at his words, before turning wide, questioning eyes to Killian.

“Yeah. Apparently, they’ve bonded while I’ve been absent, and the Palace will be calling off our wedding any day now,” Killian explained nonchalantly, his head stuck in a textbook once more.

Belle continued looking between her own boyfriend, and Killian, not quite sure what the hell was going on.

“The tabloids are publishing crap again,” Regina finally explained, taking pity on the other woman. “Emma’s not actually cheating.”

“Oh, thank god,” Belle sighed. “I didn’t think she was the adulterous type.”

Will passed her his phone, so she could scroll through the articles he’d been reading all morning.

“This is it?” she asked. “This is all they have?”

“Yep. That’s it. Apparently dining with my brother is enough for them to assume sexual relations.”

“No offence,” Regina threw out, “But Liam would have to cook, and it would need to be the best food in the world, for me to wanna sleep with your brother.”

Robin and Killian both stopped mid-chew to turn an incredulous look on Regina.

“What? I said the best.”

Robin shook his head to quickly clear the thoughts of Regina and Liam, with some kind of chocolate and whipped cream concoction, before turning back to Killian.

“Did you at least call your mum and warn her about this?”

“Shit,” Killian cursed, standing quickly and grabbing for his phone, as he practically ran for his trailer.

He didn’t have long before he’d be called back to set once more.

“Of course I didn’t believe that nonsense, Killian. Do you take me for some kind of idiot?” Ailene snapped.

Killian brought a hand up to massage his forehead. He was already feeling the start of what he knew would be a killer headache coming on. And he still had four hours left of his day to go.

“Of course not, Ma. I just wanted to make sure you knew there was no truth to it. You know how the press can be.”

“I’m more than aware there’s no truth to it, Killian. Anyone who knows Emma and your brother know they’re more like siblings than anything else. What utter rubbish. I mean, are there seriously people in this world who buy that crap?”

“You know there are,” he sighed. “Emma’s team will put out a statement saying it’s basically nonsense, but I just wanted to make sure you guys were all okay. Nothing going on there?”

“Nothing at all,” Ailene assured him, her tone softening at the concern in her son’s voice. “Now, how about you? You sound exhausted, Darling. Are you sleeping?”

Killian laughed a little bitterly. “Not really,” he confessed. “A combination of being too busy, and not having my girl beside me, makes it difficult to sleep.”

“Oh, Sweetheart,” Ailene sighed. “Not long now,” she promised.

Everyone in the family was counting down until the end of Killian’s filming year. They all knew how much both he, and Emma, were struggling with the distance between them now. Especially with so much else left to plan for April.

“I know, Ma,” Killian assured her. “Trust me, I’ve been counting the days since the first of January.”

“Well, at least it is only days now.” Ailene let that sink in for a moment before she decided to change the subject, “Now, tell me what I can get Emma for her birthday.”

“It’s so good to see your face again, Princess,” Killian sighed, as he sank back into his bed.

“I’d say the same, but most of yours seems to be swallowed by bags. Are you sleeping at all?” Emma worried.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” he chuckled. “What’s it like, five there?”

“Close,” she corrected. “Four-thirty-three am.”

“Oh, Emma. You shouldn’t have waited up for me.”

“I didn’t,” she assured him, sliding up in bed to make herself more comfortable. Killian was too tired to be aroused by the way her satin nightgown had ridden up her thighs as she moved. “I slept until four.”

“Still. You need your rest,” he told her, a little more forcefully than he’d intended.

“I believe that is known as the pot calling the kettle black,” Emma winked at him. “I’m fine, Baby. I’ll get plenty of beauty sleep before I have to be seen by the public tomorrow. I wanted to hear your voice. It feels like it’s been months since we had a good conversation.”

“It probably has been,” Killian sighed. “But at least it won’t be much longer until we can do this face-to-face.”

“I can’t wait,” she assured him. “I don’t think I’ll let you go once you’re back home again.”

“Who says I’d want you to?”

Chapter Text

Emma’s weekend was a blur of activity as she added yet more names to her list of RSVPs, and responded to her mail. She was now only awaiting a dozen replies from guests, and most of those were last-minute additions that they’d had room for, thanks to those who declined their original invitation.

She knew that now she was getting down to the end of her list, she should really start working on seating plans, but Emma had other things she needed to do too.

With the weeks flying past, and the wedding taking up most of Emma’s time, she’d completely forgotten about what would come after it. Thankfully, Killian, as tired as he was, seemed to be more on the ball than she was, and had reminded her that she needed to start boxing up some of her stuff to send over to Canada. While Emma would be able to purchase most of what she’d need while in the country, there were definitely some items that she wanted to take with her.

So, while Killian slept away most of his free Saturday, Emma decided to tackle her closet first. As she sorted through her collection of footwear, bags, hats, scarves, accessories, and clothing, Emma made up a pile to be donated, and another that she would be boxing up and shipping over to Killian. It had been a while since she’d sorted through the large space, the last time being only to make enough room for Killian’s clothes, so she enjoyed the process of discovering some of the dresses she’d purchased and had yet to wear.

It also reminded her that with so many events coming up, in such a short space of time, Emma needed to start working out what she would be wearing and when.

By Sunday evening, she’d managed to clear more than half of her closet, with items that were to be donated already in the back of Anton’s Range Rover, ready to split between a number of charity shops in London, and four large boxes all packed and ready to ship over to Canada. The room had never looked so bare before, but Emma knew it was nothing to be upset about. It was a reflection of just how much her life would be changing, in a little over a month’s time.

Once they were married, Emma and Killian would spend more of their time in their homes around the world, rather than at Clarence House. Emma’s apartment, that had become such a huge part of her life, would only see use when they were in London, for official engagements.

And while a part of her was sad that she needed to let it go, another, much larger part of her, was excited to see what memories she and Killian could make, in their other residences.

The beginning of Emma’s week was just as busy as her weekend had been. With the approach of the end of the financial year, the Foundation needed all hands on deck. Emma and her Uncle George spent long hours in the office, reviewing all of the accounts and paperwork carefully, to make sure there were no discrepancies.

Neither of them were taking any chances after what had happened earlier that year.

When she wasn’t at the office, Emma made time in her day to visit Ruth. The two women were busy making sure that Emma fully understood the events and processes she would be expected to know, before becoming queen. Thankfully, Ruth was an excellent teacher, who often had dinner ready and waiting for Emma, after a long day spent at the office.

But it did mean that Emma had even less time to speak with Killian.

Congratulations @KillianJones1 for your @IFTA nomination. I hope you have no plans for the 9th April.

Emma hadn’t been surprised to see the nomination, or the invitation to attend the ceremony, sat in her pile of mail on Wednesday morning. While she didn’t know much about the Irish award ceremony, she had been taking note of any that Killian might be invited to, and this had definitely been top of her list.

@PrincessEmma Huh? What are we doing on the 9th?

Emma chuckled as she read the reply from her clueless fiancé.

@KillianJones1 I’ll call later and explain. Have fun at work. Love you. X

It wouldn’t surprise her if the invitation had come directly to Clarence House, and not to Killian. The publicity her name brought to the event would be a big hit for the award ceremony, and draw in more viewers globally.

As angry as it always made Emma, to see how her status in life was used in such a way, she knew that once Killian was more with it, he’d see this nomination as a huge acknowledgement of his work, from his home country. Because of this, Emma sat aside her own feelings on the matter, and sent the details of the event over to her personal assistant, so that she could take care of the RSVP.

“I really need to go shopping,” she declared to the empty room, as she marked the event down on her personal calendar.

April was getting busier and busier for her. But Emma had a feeling it would be a month she’d never forget.

Chapter Text

Emma woke with a start, bolting upright in bed.

She leaned over to switch on her bedside light, before taking a good look around the room. When she was satisfied that everything was in its place, she moved to switch the light back off again.

Until she realised that Rogan was pacing restlessly in front of her bedroom door.

“Tell me I dreamed that,” she pleaded with the puppy.

When she heard another dull thud downstairs, Emma knew she couldn’t attribute the noise to a lingering dream. Especially as Rogan had started pawing at the door, desperate to get out.

“Shit,” she cursed, grabbing for her phone, as she flipped the light off and slipped out of the bed. “Shit.”

She knew that the right thing to do was to call security, and let them come and investigate. But Emma also knew it took a lot to get past security in the first place, and if someone had gotten through, that call would probably be useless.

She kept her phone clutched tightly in her hand, nine-nine-nine already tapped into it, as she reached for one of the heavy ornaments on her windowsill.

“Rogan, keep quiet and stay close,” she warned, as she pulled down on the door handle.

It was no use, though. The moment the door was open, the young dog went bounding down the stairs, already barking excitedly.

“Rogan,” Emma whisper-yelled. A futile attempt to call the dog back to her.

“Rogan?” Came another voice.

It was a little rougher than she was used to, but Emma would recognise it anywhere.


“Emma?” he called back.

She picked up her pace, taking the stairs as quickly as she could, without tripping, before throwing herself into his waiting arms.

“What are you doing here?” she gasped. Emma hadn’t been expecting him for at least another week, and certainly not in the early hours of Friday morning.

“We wrapped early. Had to get back to you,” Killian mumbled, his face buried in Emma’s neck, soaking in her scent.

“Wait, wrapped?” she asked, pulling back slightly to get a good look at the man she loved. Killian’s hair was much longer than the last time Emma had seen him in person. It had been a requirement for the end of the season, but it also helped to highlight just how exhausted he looked. His beard was a little longer too, but soft, instead of scratchy. And the dark circles under his eyes were so deep, Emma wasn’t sure if they’d ever truly leave again.

“We pushed to finish early, Emma. The cast and crew wanted us to have some time together before our wedding.”

“Oh, Baby,” she sighed, pulling him in tighter. “You didn’t need to do that for me.”

“Trust me, Love, it was just as much for me as it was for you,” Killian chuckled, tightening his hold on her. “Now, how would you feel about maybe heading up to bed? Because I think I’m about to pass out.”

Emma pulled back just far enough to press a kiss to Killian’s furry cheek, before she grabbed his hand and led them both back up the way she’d came from, to their bedroom.

Emma sent a message to her uncle, when she woke, to let him know she wouldn’t be coming into the office. Instead, she spent her morning propped up in bed, watching over Killian as he slept. She ate a light breakfast, reviewed some paperwork, and began work on the seating charts for their receptions, while the sun came up, and morning faded into afternoon.

All while watching over the man she loved.

“How long has he been sleeping for?” Mary asked, as Emma met her mother down in the kitchen for lunch.

“Around ten hours so far. How long do you think I should give him?” Emma worried, as she placed a couple of sandwiches before her mother.

“Let him sleep through,” Mary replied. “The poor guy’s exhausted, I doubt he’ll struggle to sleep tonight if he does wake.”

“You’re probably right,” she agreed. “And it’s not like he has anywhere to be just yet, anyway.”

“Did you call Ailene? She’ll probably want to know her son’s back in Europe, safe and sound.”

Emma nodded her head, as she took a bite from her own sandwich. One of the first things she’d done that morning, when she slipped out of bed to grab her things, was to call Ailene and let her know that Killian was home. She didn’t want his mother worrying, and Emma knew that his first priority had been getting back to her.

“We need to arrange a time to get out to Ireland before the end of the month. I could use Ailene’s help with these seating charts,” Emma sighed, looking down at the three large sheets of paper in front of her.

“Can I help at all?” Mary asked, pulling the closest one round to her, so she could see how far Emma had gotten.

“It’s why I invited you over.”

Killian finally surfaced, with Rogan hot on his heels, as the sun was setting. He found Emma and Mary sprawled across the floor in the lounge, while they worked over the seating arrangements for the wedding receptions.

“Evening, Killian,” Mary greeted. She made a move to stand, but Killian shook his head in her direction.

He still wasn’t quite with it yet.

Instead, he folded his own large frame down to the floor, and curled himself around Emma, pulling her back into his chest, to bury his face in her hair.

“Oh, would you look at the time?” Mary exclaimed, a little over the top, in Emma’s opinion. “I should be going. I’ll see you both again soon,” she promised, making a hasty exit from the room, and then the apartment.

“Did I drive your Mam away?” Killian wondered, not bothering to lift his head.

“Yeah,” Emma replied, chuckling a little at the thought of it. “But I don’t think she’ll mind. You doing okay?”

Killian simply nodded his head, against her shoulder.

“Wanna go back to bed?”

Killian nodded once more, before allowing Emma to help him to his feet.

Chapter Text

When Emma made it back to the apartment Saturday evening, it was to the mouthwatering smell of roasted chicken.


“In here,” he called back, his voice coming from the direction of her office.

When she rounded the door, Emma froze for a moment as she took in the sight of the man she loved, head bent over the desk, with her laptop open in front of him, and their seating charts pinned to the wall.

“Well… hello, Handsome,” she teased, making her way round, to drop down into his lap. “You look like you’ve been busy.” Emma brought her hands up to stroke over Killian’s much tamer stubble, before letting them slip through his much shorter hair.

“I was fed of up of looking like a hobo,” he explained, pulling her in for a sweet kiss. “How was work?”

“Not too bad. I’m sorry I had to leave you here alone today.”

“Don’t be,” he soothed, running a gentle hand up and down Emma’s back, under her jacket. “After all, I’ve been away all year working. I’m the last person to judge you for that.”

Emma leaned in to press a gentle kiss to his lips, before she pulled back once more to survey Killian’s work for the day. “What’s all this?” she asked.

“Well, I figured that since you were busy with work, it was about time for me to pull my weight with regards to this wedding planning business.” Killian lifted Emma off his lap, and onto her desk, before he turned to the wall he’d pinned their seating charts too. “I was pretty useless with this one,” he told her, fingering the first, and largest, chart. “As most of the guests are diplomats, I figured I’d leave that up to you. But I added who I could to the other two. I’m pretty sure this one is done now.”

Emma slid down off the table to make her way over to him, taking his hand into her own as she looked up at Killian’s neat additions to the pages. He was right. He’d managed to seat all of his half of the guests, for their final reception dinner, meaning that they’d actually managed to finish one of the charts. The second wasn’t quite complete, but it was more than three-quarters full now, thanks to his additions and Mary’s help the day before.

“You know, I keep thinking about scrapping a seating plan for the first,” Emma mused. “I know it’s not traditional, but it’s not like we’re serving these people a sit-down meal.”

“Then do it,” Killian encouraged. At Emma’s quirked brow, he continued, “I know there’s probably a tradition for this, Emma. But we’re already following so many for our wedding. If you’re not happy with something, then we should start making some new traditions.”

Emma leaned into Killian’s side, hugging his arm tight for a moment as she thought over his words. He knew the moment she’d come to a conclusion as she reached forward to rip the first chart off the wall. He laughed as he watched her tear it into six smaller pieces, before she ran them through the shredder by her desk.


“Emma, wait,” Killian groaned, pulling away from her wandering hands and her wet kisses.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, jerking back with a frown. “I thought…”

“Oh, I do,” he hurried to assure her. “Believe me, I do. I just…. There’s something I want to show you first.”

“Okay.” Emma still looked a little hurt by Killian’s rejection, and he hated seeing that expression on her face. Still, he knew that this was something she needed to see, before they started stripping each other out of their clothing.

“Come with me, Love,” he encouraged, taking her hand into his own and giving it a small tug, as he began heading back to their bedroom. Emma followed him up quietly, her eyes burning into the back of his head with every step they took.

When Killian closed the door behind them softly, she turned back to face him, but he was already lifting his shirt up and over his head.

“You’re sending out some mixed signals here, Killian. What’s going on?”

“These last few weeks, in Vancouver, I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to think of something special I could get you for your birthday. And nothing was coming to me. Every store I went in just seemed too… it just wasn’t enough, Emma. And then I had this bright idea as I was driving through a part of town I didn’t often visit. But, Robin kinda made me doubt myself, and now… I just wanted you to see it first.”

“See what?” Emma moved in a little closer, half expecting Killian to pull something out of his pocket.

Instead, he popped the button on his jeans, before sliding down the zip. Emma watched as he pulled the denim down slightly, over his left hip, before also moving aside his boxers.

“Oh my god,” she gasped. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Yes?” Killian cringed a little, steeling himself for Emma’s reaction.

She dropped to her knees, in front of him, before reaching out to trace the black ink that was now permanently etched into her fiancé’s skin.

“Nineteen, six, fifteen,” she whispered to herself. “The day we met.”

“Best day of my life,” Killian whispered back.
“Won’t you get in trouble for this?” she asked, her eyes flicking up to meet his.

“You’re the only person who ever sees this part of me, Emma. It’s for your eyes only.”

She remained silent for the longest of moments, her fingers tracing the lines that made up the date on Killian’s hip, over and over.

When she leaned in to press a reverent kiss over the ink, Killian felt his entire body relax.

Chapter Text

“Where are you going?” Killian grumbled, as he watched Emma slide out of bed, and slip his discarded shirt over her head.

“You gave me a gift earlier. Now I want to give you one.”

“You’re not naked anymore,” he pouted. “Your nakedness is a gift to me.”

Emma laughed loudly as she pushed open the hidden door, behind her wall of shoes, that concealed her personal safe. “What if I promise to give you your gift, while naked?” she asked, making her way back him.

“I might need ten minutes or so,” Killian teased.

“Well then, you’ll just have to make do with this, while you recover,” she sassed, slipping the small ring box into his lap.

Killian picked it up and shook it, close to his ear, to see if it would make a noise.

“Open the damned thing,” Emma groaned.

He did as she asked, carefully lifting the lid on the velvet box to see the white gold band waiting inside for him.

“Is this what I think it is?” he asked.

“Yeah. Mum thought it would be a good idea to try them on before the ceremony, just in case they don’t fit.”

“Wanna do the honours?” he asked, holding out the small box to Emma. “Feels only right that my future-bride should be the one to put my wedding ring on for the very first time.”

Emma eased the band out of its box, before taking Killian’s left hand into her right. The ring slipped on to his finger easily, clearly the perfect size for him, but Emma kept Killian’s hand held tightly in her own, watching as the light from their bedside lamps caught the gold and reflected a distorted view of the room around them.

“It suits you,” she told him, looking up to find Killian’s eyes locked on his left hand.

“Yeah, it does,” he agreed, before pulling her in for another searing kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Emma lifted his hand to her lips, and placed a kiss just above the ring that now sat on his finger, before she dropped it back down to the bed between them. “You should probably take that off now, though.”

“You sure we can’t elope?” he teased, as he reached out to slide the band off. It was as he was about to slot it back into the ring box that the flash of red, on the inside of the band, caught his eye.

“What’s this?” he asked, turning the ring in his hand, to get a better look. “I gcónaí, mo Prionsa,” he read, before turning wide eyes to Emma. “Always, my prince.”

Emma flushed bright red, having not expected him to spot the engraving. She fiddled with the duvet between them, before finally lifting her eyes to meet Killian’s. “I can’t give you a title,” she began. “My grandmother is working on changing the way titles are passed through marriage, by law. But, as of now, I can’t give you one. However, that doesn’t mean that, to me, you’re not already my prince.”

“Emma,” Killian sighed. He tucked the ring safely inside of its box, before dropping it to the duvet to take her face between his hands. “I don’t need a title, Sweetheart. All I need is you.”

“You have me,” she assured him. “You’ve had me since the moment we first met. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a title of your own. So, as unusual as it may be, this ring is my promise to you.” At Killian’s confused look, Emma explained, “When I become Queen, one of the first things I will do, is create you my Prince Consort. You deserve to be recognised as my equal, Killian, and I will make sure that happens. That our children’s partners will become their equals, regardless of who they fall in love with.”

Killian wasn’t sure how to reply. He knew what Emma was saying would lead to huge changes for the future of the monarchy. He’d used his time away from her to further his education, in more ways than his degree course was asking for. People were already debating the necessity of the changes that would come, with the passing of Emma’s titles to him, through marriage. He wasn’t really sure how they would react to their Queen declaring him a Prince, when the time should come.

But he loved that she cared enough for not only him, but their future children, to want to make those changes.

“I love you, Emma.” He pulled her back into his arms, content to show her with his actions just how much she meant to him, even if he couldn’t find the right words.

When Killian woke later that night, he was alone. A quick feel of Emma’s side of the bed showed that she’d been gone for a while, and he frowned to himself as he pulled on a pair of lounge pants to go in search of his beautiful fiancée.

When he hit the bottom of the stairs, a small smile lit his face, as he made his way towards the closed living room door. Even with it shut, and the soundproofing in the apartment, Killian could still make out the soft sounds of Emma’s music, drifting down the hall.

He pushed the door open quietly, content to just lean against the doorframe and listen, as Emma lost herself in the music she was playing, completely unaware of her audience.

Or so he thought.

“You can come in, you know?” she called out, raising her voice just enough to be heard over the sounds of the piano.

“I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“Did I wake you?” she asked, as Killian made his way over to sit beside her, on the bench.

“No. I just woke and you weren’t there.”

“Sorry. I’m used to being awake this time of the morning to speak with my soon-to-be-husband,” she chuckled, her hands still flying effortlessly over the keys. “I thought I’d come and play for a while, to tire myself out mentally.”

“I’ve never heard you play before,” Killian noted, as he pushed the hair back from Emma’s face, to get a good look at her. “Did you write this?”

“My father did,” she sighed, thinking back to the last memory she could recall of him playing the song for her. Emma had been sat in an almost identical position to the one Killian was now in.

“It’s beautiful. He must have been incredibly talented.”

“He really was,” she agreed, dropping her head down onto his shoulder, as the song morphed into something new.

Killian didn’t hesitate to pull her in closer, making sure to keep his arm low, to avoid jostling her own, as he pressed a kiss to her forehead.

Chapter Text

Emma woke to the feeling of lazy kisses being dropped down her torso, and the scratch of stubble that followed them.

“What are you doing?” she asked, her fingers finding their way down and into Killian’s thick hair.

“Worshipping my princess,” he replied, his tongue darting out to lick around the lace edges of her nightgown.

“Oh… don’t let me stop you.” she sighed, as he began to tug the lace down, and out of his way, with his teeth.

When Killian had first returned to London, he’d been too tired to do much more than sleep entire days away. With Emma busy at the Foundation, their sex life hadn’t featured as prominently as either of them had imaged it would, when they were reunited.

But Killian seemed determined to rectify that, with the start of a new week. And Emma was never going to argue with him.

“Tut tut, Princess,” he purred, hiking her nightgown up, and around her hips. “What would your people say if they knew you slept without underwear on?”

“I think they’d be more scandalized that I share my bed with a cute Irish boy,” she chuckled, as her fingers scratched through the soft hair at the back of his head.

“Oh, I don’t know.” Killian lifted his head to wiggle his brows at her. “I’m told I’m rather attractive. They might understand.”

Emma laughed at the adorable grin on her fiancé’s face. He looked much more like the man she’d fallen in love with, than the exhausted one who had walked through her door, Friday morning. “I believe there was a task you were trying to accomplish?” she prompted.

“Yes, Your Highness,” he replied cheekily.

Killian shifted back from Emma, pulling her up to a sitting position, to rid her of her nightgown completely, before easing her back down to the bed.

When he lowered himself over her once more, it was to begin placing sweet kisses all over Emma’s face. She giggled a little at the way his scruff tickled, but didn’t protest as Killian started working his way down her neck, and over her collarbone.

“I missed you,” he whispered. “Missed the way you felt in my arms… Missed the way you smell… Missed the way you squirm for me, when I kiss you here.” He paused to smile smugly, as Emma writhed underneath him, seeking some kind of friction, to ease the ache building inside of her.

“Killian… please?” she begged.

His form of worship was her idea of torture.

“Missed these,” he mumbled, sliding lower to lave each of her breasts with his tongue. He placed sweet kisses to the top of each one, before gently teasing her nipple into his mouth, with his tongue.

“Oh, God,” she cried, arching her back to push her chest closer to his talented mouth. “They missed you too.”

Killian used one hand to hold Emma still, while his other began massaging her neglected breast, working in unison with his tongue to drive Emma slowly crazy with desire. He waited until she was a writhing mess underneath him, grinding up against his thigh, before he began his descent back down her body.

Emma let loose a frustrated groan, but it didn’t faze Killian. He took his time to worship every inch of her body, like he’d promised her.

She was just anticipating the touch of his tongue, to her clit, when he suddenly pulled back, to sit on his heels. “Roll over?”

“Huh?” she asked, the haze of lust making his request seem even more strange to her ears.

“Roll over,” he encouraged, pressing gently on her hip to help her do so. “I told you, I wanted to worship my princess. And that involves worshipping all of you.”

Emma did as he asked, rolling onto her stomach to allow Killian to begin working his way down her back. He took his time, mapping the dips and contours of her body with his lips and tongue, before placing sweet kisses over her arms, and down to her fingertips.

When he moved on to each of her legs, slowly gliding his tongue back up her thighs, Emma let out a strained groan, her hips rutting against the bed, desperately seeking some kind of relief.

“Patience,” Killian chided. “I’m getting there.”

“Get there faster,” she ordered. Her tone every inch the future-queen she was. “Your Princess wants to come all over that beautiful face of yours.”

Killian let out a moan of his own at her dirty words, as his resolve crumbled. “Then the princess shall have what she wishes.” He reached for Emma’s hips, hauling her up, onto her knees, before sliding down to lay on the bed.

Emma let out a satisfied sigh, as Killian finally used his fingers to gently part her, before he began to suckle gentle at each of her lips.

“Missed the way you taste,” he growled against her.

Killian flattened his tongue, to tease her with long, broad strokes, that ended with him just lightly flicking against her clit, before he made his way back down again.

“Oh, God. I missed the way you made me feel,” she told him, reaching up to the headboard. She used the leverage it gave her to rock against his tongue, silently urging him to give her more.

Killian threw one of his arms around her waist, holding Emma to his face, as best he could, while his other danced its way up her left side, tickling over her breasts and collar bone.

“Suck,” he commanded gently, tapping at her lips with his fingers. Emma’s mouth fell open on a silent moan, as Killian used his teeth to gently graze her clitoris, before she began sucking on his index and middle-fingers, as he’d asked.

Killian wrenched them free with a groan of his own, beyond painfully aroused at her enthusiasm, but still determined to make their morning all about her. To show Emma just how much she meant to him, and how happy he was to be by her side, once more.

It didn’t take long for Emma to fall apart above him, her body shaking and shivering with sensations that she hadn’t felt since the last time Killian had been home.

He eased her gently through her climax, his fingers and tongue moving slowly to prolong the sensations, until they became almost unbearable on her hyper-sensitive skin.

“You’re so beautiful.” Killian pulled her back to sit on his thighs, as he brushed her hair aside to press sweet kisses into her neck. “I love you, Princess.”

“I love you more,” she assured him, twisting round to seal her words with a searing kiss.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure we have time for this?” Killian asked, as he settled into one of the plush leather seats.

“Of course. I wasn’t expecting you back until the end of this week. We have plenty of time.” Emma patted the seat beside her for Rogan to make himself comfortable on. “Besides, I need your mother to look over these seating charts for us, and make sure we’re not sitting people next to someone they hate.”

“Good point,” Killian conceded. He took a quick glance around the jet that was becoming more and more familiar to him, before he leaned in a little closer to Emma and dropped his voice to a whisper. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.” Emma was still fussing with Rogan, so she completely missed the heat that was building behind Killian’s eyes.

“Have you ever had sex on this plane?”

Emma’s eyes snapped up to meet Killian’s at his words, and she swallowed heavily at what she saw there.

“Never,” she replied softly.

“Wanna change that?” he asked, cocking his head towards the bedroom at the back of the plane.

“Didn’t you get enough earlier?” she asked softly, making sure to keep her voice down so their conversation wouldn’t carry.

“I could never have enough of you, Emma.” Killian reached out to brush his hand gently down her arm, before lacing their fingers together.

“You know, everyone else on this flight’s gonna know what we’re doing, right?”

“Tell them we need a nap?” he suggested.

“Yeah… literally nobody will buy that excuse.”

Killian thought it through for a moment. While a part of him knew that it would be embarrassing for Emma’s security detail to know they were sneaking off for sex, a much larger part of him still hadn’t gotten enough of his beautiful princess, yet.

“I don’t care,” he replied eventually. “I just want you. Now.”

Emma took a few seconds to think the idea through for herself. She didn’t exactly care about what the security team would think of them both disappearing into the bedroom. There were only two people on the flight whose opinion she cared for. Anton would never say anything, and Killian was the one proposing the idea to begin with.

She watched as he cocked a brow in her direction, and the heat that flooded Emma’s body in that instant made her decision for her.

“Get in the damned bedroom, Jones.”

“Oh, Sweetheart,” Ailene greeted, as she pulled the door open wider to throw her arms around Emma. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, thanks, Ma,” Killian responded, pushing past the two of them and into the house.

“I was getting to you,” she snapped. “Jealousy is not an attractive trait, Killian.”

Killian snorted from his position halfway down the hall. “I don’t think Emma would agree with you there.”

Emma threw her fiancé a dirty look, but said nothing as she and Ailene followed him through to the kitchen, where Ailene promptly pulled her son into her arms.

“You look so much better, Darling,” she told him, pulling back to get a better look at his face.

“It’s amazing what a good haircut will do for you,” Killian chuckled. “How are you, Ma?”

“Oh, I’m fine,” she replied, waving away his concern to fill the kettle with water. “Nothing terribly exciting’s going on here. How about you two?”

“I would kill for a few weeks of nothing terribly exciting happening in our lives,” Killian chuckled as he slid down into a seat at the table, and pulled Emma down onto his lap.

“Do you want the engagement party cancelling?” his mother asked, flicking the switch to boil the kettle, as she turned to face her youngest son, and the woman he loved.

“No, Ma. You and Mary have worked hard to make this special for us. We’ll be fine,” Killian assured her.

“Good. Because I would have insisted you name your firstborn daughter after me in exchange for that one.”


Emma and Killian spent a good part of their afternoon at the Jones family house, catching up with Ailene over numerous mugs of tea and slices of homemade carrot cake. Ailene helped Emma fill the gaps in what was left of her seating charts, for the wedding, and moved a few people Killian had seated, to make sure they were with good friends or family.

By the time Brennan made it home from work, Emma was busy with Ailene, in the kitchen, helping to prepare some dinner for the four of them, while Killian watched from his place at the table.

“How are you, Sweetheart?” Brennan asked, leaning over to press a quick kiss to Emma’s hairline.

“I’m good, thanks. And you? How was work?”

“Nothing exciting,” Brennan replied dismissively. He was far more interested in the young couple, who had finally been reunited, than he was in rehashing his day. “How was your flight?”

Killian started coughing wildly from his place at the table, his face rapidly turning an alarming shade of red. Emma threw a cocky look over her shoulder, at him, before turning back to his parents, with her face as calm and collected as ever. “Nothing exciting,” she replied.


“Ugh… I’ve missed this place,” Emma groaned, as Killian finally unlocked the front door of their house, to allow Rogan to run in ahead of him, excited to explore.

“Didn’t you come here while I was filming?” he asked, flicking on some lights so they could see where they were going.

“Yeah. But I could happily spend the rest of my life living here. It’s just so calm and peaceful.”

Killian pulled Emma back into his arms, to press a kiss to the side of her neck. Hearing how much she loved his home always warmed his heart. Ireland was such a huge part of his identity. He didn’t want to lose that and it seemed like Emma didn’t want him to either.

“Maybe we can spend more time here, in the future? When the show finishes? It would be a great place to raise some kids,” he suggested.

“I like how you think, Jones,” she told him, twisting in his arms to get a better look at the man she loved. “Did you wanna see the changes I made to the house?”

“Actually…” he drawled, “There’s something else I wanted to do first.”

Emma cocked a brow at him in question and Killian took a step forward, bringing his body almost flush with hers.

“Nothing exciting happened on the flight over, huh?” he questioned, a salacious smirk brightening his face.

“Nothing at all,” Emma replied, taking a step back, as she attempted to keep her face as straight as possible.

“Huh.” Killian took another step forward, as Emma edged her way closer to the wall behind her. “I’m not really sure our definitions of exciting match, Your Highness.”

“Wanna show me yours?” she asked, reaching up to bring his lips down to meet hers.

Chapter Text

“Well that didn’t take long,” Killian mumbled bitterly, as he pulled his arm back to throw a tennis ball for Rogan to chase.

“They’ll have seen the flight plan,” Emma explained. “It’s okay, though. They tend to just take their pictures of me playing with Rogan and stay well away.”

“They’ve been here before?” he asked, turning worrying eyes over to Emma, and away from the photographers he could see gathered on the other side of the field.

“Yes. But like I said, they’re actually not that intrusive. And I’ve always had both Rogan and Anton with me, to keep me safe. It’s nothing to worry about, Killian,” she soothed. “I’ve had people following me, taking my picture, since the moment I was born.”

“Doesn’t mean I have to like it,” he grumbled.

Emma tugged her hand free of his, to slip her arm around his waist. Killian didn’t hesitate to pull her in close, and brush a kiss over her hair.

“You don’t,” she agreed. “But you should probably get used to it.”

“I will. But get used to the idea of hearing me complain about it.”

“So, I have something I wanted to show you,” Killian began, handing Emma a mug of hot tea to warm her up. They’d spent a good portion of their morning out in the Irish countryside, walking with Rogan and talking about everything the other had missed out on, while they’d been apart. Emma enjoyed the freedom that Killian’s home country often gave to her, and Killian just enjoyed being by her side once more. He’d have ran a marathon with her, that morning, if it was what Emma had wanted to do.

“It’s not another tattoo, is it?” she teased. “Because as much as I love the one you have, I don’t think the UK is ready for a future consort that’s covered in ink.”

“No, it’s not,” he chuckled. “Wait here one second for me?”

Emma watched in confusion as he headed out of the kitchen, and up the stairs, before she heard him return a few minutes later.

“You showed me mine, so I figured it was only fair I show you yours.” Killian held out a small, black, velvet box by way of explanation, and Emma knew exactly what he was talking about. “When I was happy with this, I sent it back to Liam to store here for me. I didn’t wanna leave it behind accidentally, and realise the night before our wedding.”

Emma chuckled a little at Killian’s adorable confession, before taking the box from his outstretched hands. When she lifted the lid, she couldn’t contain the gasp that fell from her lips.

“Is it too modern?” he asked quickly. “I looked at the traditional band designs, but you have some of those already, that you wear frequently, and I wanted this one to be special.”

“I didn’t know you paid such close attention to my jewelry,” she teased, easing the ring gently out of its box.

“I pay attention to everything about you, Emma.”

She slipped the ring back into its box, and handed it over to Killian, as she gently eased off her engagement ring, and slid it onto her right hand. “Do you wanna do the honours?” she asked, offering her hand to him.

Killian hadn’t expected his own to shake the way it did, as he took Emma’s hand into his, to slip the small band onto her finger. When he was done, the two of them stood in silence for a moment, Emma’s hand still held tightly in Killian’s, as they both looked down at the ring.

“What do you think?” he asked eventually, swallowing past the lump in his throat. For some reason, seeing the ring he’d helped to design for Emma, resting on her hand, had touched him in a way that seeing his own hadn’t.

“It’s beautiful,” she replied honestly. “I love it.”

“You do?”

“Of course I do,” Emma chuckled. She used her grip on Killian’s hand to tug him closer. “I love everything that you put your heart and soul into. Haven’t you realised, by now, that I’m not joking when I tell people I’m your biggest fan?”

Killian blushed a little at her words before he leaned in to press a kiss to her lips. “Trust me when I say, I’m so fucking lucky to have you in my life, Emma.”

“The feeling’s mutual,” she assured him. Emma leaned up and into him, allowing her hand to slide through his hair to pull his lips down to meet hers. She tried keeping their kiss chaste, just the light brush of her lips against his own. But every time Killian tilted his head, and the sun caught the diamonds in her ring, Emma’s need for him grew.

“Okay, we should probably stop this here,” Killian panted, pulling away slightly. “I’m sure there’s some kind of superstition about having sex with your wedding ring on, before you’re married.”

“I’m not sure there is,” Emma teased, allowing her hands to wander down his chest. “But I’ll let you off this time. I do, however, want to do one more thing before I take it off.”

Killian raised a questioning brow in her direction, but watched as Emma slipped her engagement ring off and back onto the finger it had lived on since the start of the year.

“Perfect fit,” she told him, holding up her hand for Killian to see.

Chapter Text

“So, this is probably a stupid question,” Killian began, glad that he had a good excuse to keep his eyes away from Emma, and on the road before them. “But why are we going to look at our wedding flowers today? I mean, aren’t they gonna die before the big day?”

Emma chuckled a little at his query. “Yeah, they would… if these were being made with real flowers. The florist your mum helped put me in touch with, agreed to make up the designs we’d decided on, with artificial flowers. That way, I could get a good look at her finished ideas in person, rather than via a sketch. We also thought it would be a nice touch for after the ceremony. These fake displays will go into storage, and be paired with displays of other designs from our wedding, in museums, when the inevitable requests are made. And I plan to keep the replica of my bridal bouquet.”

“Okay, um, we’ll come back to flowers. Museums?” he asked instead, his eyes briefly flicking over to Emma, before settling back on the road.

“The wedding of a future monarch is a pretty big deal, Killian. The Palace will display items from the day not long after our wedding, with the money raised from the exhibit going to our chosen charities. After that, it’s free game for any of the large museums around the world.”

“And when you say they’ll display items from the day… what kind of items are we talking about?”

“It might be a while before you see the suit you’ve chosen for the ceremony again,” she supplied, helpfully.

“Damn. And here was me thinking all I had to worry about was not sweating enough for it to be visible on television. Now I need to worry about keeping it smelling fresh too,” he groaned.

Emma reached for Killian’s left hand, letting hers settle over it, on his upper thigh. “I’m sorry. I know this is all really strange. But, I promise, you have nothing to worry about, Killian. It’s all going to be fine.”

Killian lifted Emma’s hand to his lips, for a brief kiss, before settling it back down on his thigh. “I know. I trust you, Emma.”

Niamh, had been fantastic at scheduling in Emma’s visit a little earlier than they had originally planned. She’d already made up the mocks for most of Emma’s arrangements, so she cleared off the afternoon, to shut her store, and receive the royal couple in private.

“Your Highness, it’s so good to see you again,” she greeted, as she opened the door to see Emma and Killian, stood hand-in-hand, on the other side. “How have you been?”

“Very well, thank you,” Emma replied, guiding Killian into the store. “This is my fiancé, Killian Jones.”

Niamh offered her hand for Killian to shake, while the two exchanged some brief pleasantries. She then led the way back through to the same small room Emma and her family had sat in, what felt like months ago, before busying herself with the kettle.

“Can I get you both some tea?” she asked. “I was just making a mug for myself.”

“That would be lovely, thank you,” Emma replied, looking over to Killian, who was crinkling his nose adorably. “You okay?” she whispered.

“Yeah. Just the pollen.”

Emma chuckled at the look on his face. “Poor Baby,” she teased, patting his thigh.

“You can make it up to me later.”

Before she could react the sex that was dripping from his tone, Niamh sat down a tray, heavy with everything they would need to fix themselves a cup of tea. “Help yourselves,” she encouraged. “I’ll be right back with everything I have for you.”

“Behave,” Emma chided playfully, as she fixed a drink for Killian, before making one for herself. Niamh returned before Killian could say anything else, a large box wobbling precariously in her arms.

“Let me help you with that,” he offered, springing up from his seat to relieve her burden.

“Such a gentleman,” Niamh praised. “You can set it down just there.” She waited for Killian to take a seat once more, before lifting the lid. “Okay, let’s start small,” she began, lifting out one of the pieces inside. “The boutonnieres.” Killian took the small design from her carefully, almost forgetting that it was made with synthetic flowers. It looked that realistic. “I can switch up the colours and flowers, if you’d prefer. But as I was going through the combinations, this one seemed more elegant,” she explained.

“It’s beautiful,” Emma assured her, leaning in to Killian’s side to get a good look at the piece. “What do you think?” she asked him. “I haven’t seen your suit, so you need to be the judge of this one.”

“Wow, way to pile the pressure on,” he mumbled. Killian really knew nothing at all about flowers. But he did know that the current piece he was holding contained both Emma’s favourite bloom, and her favourite colour. “It’s perfect,” he declared, after a moment.

“Excellent news.” Niamh took the design from him, to place carefully back into the box, before she pulled out the next one for inspection. “Your bridesmaid bouquets,” she told Emma, handing across one of the pieces she’d put together.

“Oh, that’s beautiful,” Emma gushed, as she turned the finished design in her hands. It had a symmetrical feel to it, even though she knew that each flower used in the design was its own unique shape, and colour. The bright red of the roses, contrasted well with the white of the orchids. Niamh had also worked in touches of ivy, for some contrast and to unite the designs. “Regina and Belle will love this.”

The three of them then went through the different larger arrangements Niamh had put together to decorate the ballrooms at the Palace, where their receptions would be held; the table pieces; and the arrangements that would be placed into the Abbey. Emma made a few suggestions to improve the way certain designs looked, and Niamh did her best to alter them there and then, so that her clients would be happy with the final product.

Killian was just beginning to wonder when the overload of flowers would end, when Niamh declared, “All that’s left now is your bridal bouquet, Your Highness. You wanted it to remain a secret though, right?”

“I can go take a walk? Stretch my legs a little?” Killian offered. He knew how much these designs meant to Emma, and if she wanted her piece to remain a secret, he’d gladly allow her to do so.

“No, it’s fine,” she assured him. “I kinda like the idea of you being the first person to see it.”

“You sure?”

“Absolutely,” she agreed, turning back to Niamh.

“Okay then.” The older woman went back to rummaging through her box, gently moving aside the pieces they’d already seen, before she emerged with a much larger bouquet between her arms. “This is what I have for yours.”

It was nothing like the image Emma had held in her mind since their first meeting. But that didn’t change her reaction to the design.

“Oh wow,” Killian sighed, as he reached out to trace the shape of the flowers. “Not what I was expecting at all.”

“In a good or bad way?” Niamh asked.

“Good. Definitely good,” he assured her, before turning his attention back to his bride. “Emma?”

“It’s perfect,” she assured them both, blinking back the tears that had gathered at the corner of her eyes.

“I know red is your favourite colour,” Niamh explained, “but for a bridal bouquet, I felt like white should be the predominant focus.” The piece was made up of predominantly white roses, and orchids, arranged in a cascading fashion. There were splashes of colour, from the red of the roses, and the green of the ivy and shamrocks, but neither was over-powering. Instead, they helped to highlight the beautiful, natural purity, of the white flowers. And the small sprigs of myrtle helped to give the entire piece the more traditional feel, that Emma had been hoping for.

“Is this what I think it is?” Killian asked, as he moved flowers around to get to the shamrocks that had been carefully inserted into the design.

“Your bride insisted on their inclusion,” Niamh informed him.

Killian turned wide eyes to Emma, that flicked back down to the faux flowers in his hand, before meeting hers once more. “You’re fucking incredible,” he told her, using his free hand to pull her in for what wasn’t quite a chaste kiss, considering they weren’t alone.


Chapter Text

“So, I spoke with my grandmother,” Emma began, as she watched Killian set their plates down on the dining table. “While it’s not strictly traditional, she’s inviting you to spend the Easter weekend with us, at Windsor Castle.”

Kilian swallowed his sip of wine a little heavily, which resulted in a few minutes of wild coughing, before he could speak again. He’d been prepared to say another temporary goodbye to Emma, the next morning, as she returned for traditional celebrations with her family.

He was not expecting an invitation of his own.

“I don’t want to impose.”

“You wouldn’t be,” Emma assured him. “We’re practically married now, anyway. She’s happy for you to be included in the celebrations. But it does mean you’ll have to attend a non-Catholic service.”

Killian reached across the table to take Emma’s hand into his own. “I know, Emma. This isn’t something you need to feel bad about. You’ve attended Catholic services with my family in the past, I’m happy to attend non-Catholic services with your family.”

“So, you’ll come back to London with me?” she asked hopefully.

“Of course I will, Emma. Do you really think I’d choose to spend more time away from you?”

Emma twisted Killian’s hand in her own, to place a kiss to space where she could faintly feel his pulse, before she turned her attention back to the dinner he’d prepared for them both.

Emma and Killian spent the rest of their evening just being lazy together, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the house. Killian had begun to review the script for the movie he would be working on, after the wedding, and Emma watched as he scribbled small notes into the margin of each page, as he read through. She spent more time watching Killian work, than she did reading her own book.

While she’d been privileged to see him in action, on set, a number of times, she’d never seen this side of his job, before. It was fascinating, to her, to watch as he read pages through time and time again, adding notes, before he’d pause to read once more, then either move on to the next page, or scribble some more.

“What are you doing?” she asked, eventually, hoping for some insight into what was going through his mind.

“Just makes notes,” he replied, a little distractedly.

“I can see that,” she chuckled. “What I should have asked was, why are you making them?”

Killian turned to face Emma, blushing a little at the idea of having been caught, but kept his full attention on her. “I’m trying to work out how to play this character. When you get given a script there are some stage directions there, that a director will want you to follow. But most of it, is artistic interpretation. So, I’m just trying to work out what kind of man the director wants this character to be, and what kind of man I believe him to be. That way, when we sit down for table reads, we can come to some kind of compromise over how I need to portray him.”

Emma said nothing for the longest second, as she absorbed Killian’s words. She’d known that there was more to acting that just delivering a few lines to a camera. But she’d never really thought about just how much more there was.

“What?” Killian asked after a moment, when she’d been silent too long.

“Nothing,” she assured him. “I just… you’re really good at your job, Killian.”

“I think you’re a little biased,” he told her, but the blush that rose over his cheeks told Emma that he’d at least taken her words as a compliment.

“Yeah, I am. But that doesn’t mean I’m not being truthful.”

Killian crossed the small distance between them to give Emma a sweet kiss. He might never be able to put into words what it meant to him, to have her full support, but he hoped that he could at least show her, on a regular basis.

“Okay, you should get back to work,” Emma sighed, as she pulled back. “That script’s not gonna prepare itself.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Killian offered her a small salute, before turning his focus back to the printed pages on the arm of the sofa.

As Killian and Emma were flying back to London Friday morning, they’d agreed to meet the Jones family for an early Easter dinner that evening. The restaurant they’d picked was rapidly becoming a favourite of Emma’s. It helped that their management always went out of their way to make as little fuss as possible, about her visits. Emma didn’t often get the chance to act like a normal woman, so she grabbed each and every opportunity, when they were presented to her.

“I feel awful about all of this,” she sighed, as she entered the lounge. Her green clutch was tucked under one arm, and her stone-coloured heels were dangling from the fingers of her other. “Are you sure your family are okay with this last-minute change of plans?”

“Of course they are,” Killian soothed. “My parents understand that certain sacrifices need to be made now that we’re getting married. They won’t hold this against you.”

Emma checked her hair and makeup quickly, in the mirror over the fireplace, before bending to slip her shoes on. She had chosen a floral-print peasant dress for the evening, in various shades of green. The print had made her think of spring, which was why she had chosen it for an Easter meal. She’d been aiming for a fresh-faced look for the start of a new season so, Emma had left her hair down, and naturally wavy, while opting for as little makeup as possible.

“I just hate that you’re constantly making sacrifices for me. I should be making just as many for you.”

“You do, Emma,” Killian soothed, pulling her into his arms.

“I promise, I’m going to find a way to make sure we spend as many holidays with your family as we do with mine,” she assured him. It might not be tradition, but Emma couldn’t bring herself to care. She would much rather spend her time with her mother, and Killian’s family, than she would with aunts and uncles she barely spoke to.

So, that evening, Emma made herself a promise, as Killian helped her into their car. When she became queen, she would make sure that every member of the family was included in family gatherings. Not just those who were lucky enough to have been born royal.


Chapter Text

Emma wasn’t terribly surprised, that evening, when she saw Ruby sat between Liam and Brennan, awaiting their arrival at the restaurant.

“Hey, you,” she greeted. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Last minute thing,” Ruby replied, pulling Emma into her arms. “You look better. Happier,” she clarified, as she looked over Emma’s shoulder, to where Killian was being embraced by his grandmothers.

“I am,” Emma told her, honestly. “It’s like having a missing piece of your soul back.”

“I get that.”

Emma took a moment to look Ruby over from head to foot. She realised, in that moment, that Ruby might just know how she felt, if the way the other woman was looking at Liam, was any indication. While Ruby and Liam spent less time apart, and there was a far smaller distance between them, when they were, Emma knew just how hard any kind of separation could be, when you were in love.

But, before she could say anything else, Liam had swept her up and into his arms, squeezing her tightly. “Hey Ems,” he greeted.

Ruby rolled her eyes at her boyfriend. “Don’t call her that,” she chided.

“Why not?” Liam asked, setting Emma down so that she could greet his parents. “It’s her name.”

“No… her name’s Emma,” Ruby explained. “We talked about this. Your habit of shortening everyone’s name is not a good one. Especially when one of those people is a princess.”

“I agree,” Killian threw in, over his shoulder.

“Shut up, Killy,” Liam teased. “Ems doesn’t mind, do ya?”

“Not at all,” she chuckled. “Just… maybe don’t let my grandmother hear it?”


Emma made her way around the group of people at the table, to greet Killian’s grandparents, pulling them in for gentle hugs, before he guided her over to an empty seat, next to his brother.

She hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing Killian’s extended family since the night of Ashley and Thomas’s wedding. With everything that had happened, since then, it had felt like a lifetime ago.

The conversation around the table remained light, while everyone browsed their menus, and orders were placed.

Until Liam cleared his throat softly, from beside her.

“So… um… I have some news,” he began. “I got a call this morning from the Royal Navy admissions department. I passed my fitness tests and aced the interview for the job. I’ve been given an entry date for the middle of May.”

“Oh, that’s fantastic news,” Ruby gushed, leaning in to kiss her boyfriend. “I’m so proud of you.”

Liam blushed a little at her compliment, but didn’t hesitate to drop another kiss to her lips, as he whispered sweet words, intended for her ears only.

“I knew you could do it,” Emma beamed, pulling Liam in for another hug of her own, when he and Ruby had finished their moment.

“Yeah… well… I’m not sure I could have without your help,” he chuckled. “I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay you for that.”

“You don’t owe me anything, Liam. I was happy to help.”

After Liam’s announcement, the wine continued to flow, and the conversation only grew. Emma found that she was never without someone to talk, or listen to, and her glass was rarely empty either. With the Jones family, she always felt like one of them. And, as Emma watched Ruby interact with the group, she realised that she wasn’t the only one to have been warmly welcomed into the family.

“So, Killian, is there something you need to tell us?” Ailene asked, as their desert plates were cleared away, and their glasses refilled.

“Not that I know of.” He turned wide eyes to Emma, which briefly flicked down to her tummy, before back up to meet her own.

“I’m not pregnant, you idiot,” she chuckled. “Do you honestly think I’d choose to share that information with your mother, before you?”

“Um, I guess not,” he mumbled, suitably embarrassed by his assumption.

“Liam told me about your nomination,” Ailene continued, clearly trying to help her son save a little of his dignity. “Why didn’t you tell us? We’re so proud of you.”

“I honestly forgot,” Killian replied, scratching nervously behind his right ear. “I remember Emma telling me about it. But we were in the middle of shooting this really intense scene at work, and, I was exhausted. It just slipped my mind.”

“Intense scene?” Emma asked, hoping that the wine Killian had consumed that night might loosen his tongue.

“Wait and see,” he chided. “But yeah, she probably knows more about it than I do I,” he told his mother.

“Killian was nominated for the award for best actor in a lead role, in the dramatic television category,” Emma supplied.

“Is Fairytales a dramatic show?” Liam wondered, scoffing into his glass. Ruby slapped him upside the head, while muttering something about being jealous, but Emma was the one who replied.

“Hey. I spent hours crying my eyes out when Hook died last season. That’s dramatic enough for me.”

Killian pulled his bride-to-be into his arms, and pressed a kiss into her hair. He loved how much she loved his show.

“Will you be back for the ceremony?” Ailene pressed.

“Yes,” Emma answered, at the same moment Killian replied with, “No.”

She pulled herself free of his arms to turn to face him. “Why wouldn’t we attend the ceremony?”

“Because it’s usually in April,” Killian stated, like it was the most obvious explanation in the world. “We have a lot going on in April, if you haven’t noticed?”

“Oh, I noticed,” she replied, allowing the sass that Killian always loved, to fill her tone. “But I wouldn’t miss this for the world. I know how much this nomination means to you.”

“It does mean a lot,” he assured her. The more he thought about it, the more moved he felt by it. “But spending time with you, means a hell of a lot more to me. We can always come next year? We have so much going on next month. I don’t wanna add to that burden.”

“This isn’t a burden,” she assured him, reaching for his hand. “I’m proud of you, Killian. I’m mad as hell that it took dating a princess for these awards ceremonies to start recognising your talent. But, now that they have, I’m gonna attend every single one you’re nominated for. Because, to me, you deserve all the awards.”

Killian leaned down to brush a sweet kiss to Emma’s lips, his heart full with the words she’d just given to him. “I have you,” he told her. “That’s all the award I need.”

“Ugh, I think I just got diabetes from all this sweetness,” Liam muttered, from her other side.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure this is okay?” Killian asked, looking himself over once more in the mirror. “I feel under-dressed.”

“You look fine,” Emma assured him. “This isn’t a formal gathering. Those take place on Easter Sunday.”

While their plane had landed in London fairly early that morning, Emma and Killian had spent most of their day at Clarence House. Emma had wanted to return there first, to get some clothing for the weekend, and she didn’t want to be one of the first to arrive at Windsor Castle for the gathering. She knew Killian would probably appreciate some downtime, before they met with her family, too. So, the two of them had enjoyed walking the grounds of Clarence House, and St. James’s Palace, with Rogan, before they had to pack to leave for the weekend.

“What are your uncles going to be wearing?” he asked, looking once more to the collection of suits he’d brought with him, just to be prepared.

“Probably a suit,” Emma replied. “But I’m pretty sure that’s all I’ve ever seen them in. Don’t worry. As long as you’re not in jeans and trainers, my grandmother’s not going to be bothered.”

Killian relaxed a little when Emma left the bathroom, to search for the shoes she wanted to wear that evening. While she’d picked a dress for the night, it was a white, floral-print maxi-dress, with contrasting cuff and collar detailing. It was one of the most relaxed dresses that Killian had ever seen her in. But he had a feeling Emma’s grandmother would appreciate it.

“Flats or heels?” she asked, holding up one of each shoe for him to pick from.

“Whichever you’re more comfortable in,” he chuckled.

“Flats it is.” She slipped them on and sighing dramatically. “If only they were deemed suitable for public functions.”

“You’d still wear your heels,” he teased, moving over to take her into his arms. “You love them too much to give them up completely.”

“I love that you know that about me.” She leaned up to press a quick kiss to Killian’s lips, before pulling back to look him over. Her fiancé had chosen a denim-coloured shirt for the evening, and had rolled the sleeves up to his elbows. A pair of dark slacks, and his shiniest black shoes, completed Killian’s look. While he was dressed far more casually than he usually did for dinner with Ruth, Emma knew it was the perfect attire for the event. “You look great,” she reassured him. “I love this colour on you.”

Killian blushed a little at her comment, but allowed Emma to turn around in his arms, to double check that her braids were equal on each side. “Okay,” she announced, taking his hand into hers firmly. “Let’s do this.”

“You fill me with such confidence,” Killian teased, as Emma stooped to grab her bag, and then led the way out of their suite.

Killian tightened his grip on Emma’s hand, as the voices from inside the drawing room grew louder. He was well aware of what the majority of Emma’s family thought about his place in her life.

“It’s gonna be okay,” Emma reassured him, squeezing back a little. “They won’t say anything to your face.”

“Again, such a confidence boost,” he scoffed, as she pushed open the door.

He wasn’t surprised to see everyone in the room cease their conversation and turn to face the newcomers. Killian had been expecting that. Thankfully, the first person he got a good look at was Mary, and she didn’t hesitate to fold him into her arms.

“You’re looking much better than the last time I saw you,” she chuckled.

“As I told Emma, it’s amazing what a good haircut can do for a guy,” he teased. “How are you, Mary?” he asked, pressing a kiss to her cheek.

“Oh, I’m fine, Sweetheart. I was more worried about you. You looked like you didn’t know where you were, when we last saw each other.”

“I have to confess, I’m amazed I got on the right flight home.” Killian ran a nervous hand over his face. “But it’s all good now. Hopefully we won’t push ourselves that way again anytime soon.”

“I hope so.” Mary gave him another quick squeeze before turning her attention to her daughter. She drew Emma in for a hug of her own, before pulling back to look her over. “What’s this?” she asked, fingering the fabric of Emma’s dress.

“A dress,” Emma explained slowly. “An item of clothing that women, and some men, like to wear.”

“It’s ugly,” Mary threw out, while Emma rolled her eyes. Killian smothered his snort into Emma’s hair, attempting to disguise it as a kiss. “Even your grandmother wouldn’t turn this into curtains.”

“Well, it’s a good job I’m wearing it, and she’s not hanging it to cover windows, then, isn’t it?” Emma quipped.

Mary seemed to realise she wasn’t about to win that argument, as she quickly changed the subject, leading the way over to a corner of the room where the three of them could sit quietly, and talk.

Ruth was always late to arrive for any function. It was her prerogative as monarch. However, for once, Killian was glad for the delay. The longer he sat with Mary and Emma, listening to them bicker good-naturedly, while they discussed everything form Emma’s choice of outfits, to the upcoming engagement party, he found himself relaxing a little more. He was still well aware of the eyes that followed his every move. And he wasn’t ignorant to the noises that were being made with every brush of his lips to Emma’s crown, or dance of his fingers down her arm. But he pushed all of his own focus onto the two women in the room, who were happily diving their attention between himself, and each other.



Chapter Text

When Ruth finally made her entrance, Killian wasn’t surprised to see the rest of the family were quick to monopolise her time. Emma and Mary held back, and the divide in the room could not have been clearer. On the one side were the people born into royalty, and raised by royals. On the other, were those who were considered royalty, but still didn’t quite feel they were a part of that elite family.

After Ruth had finished greeting those around her, she made her way over to Emma, Mary, and Killian.

“Emma, Sweetheart, how are you?” she asked, pulling her granddaughter in for a hug.

“I’m well, thanks, Grandma. How are you?”

Ruth shrugged off Emma’s concern easily. “I’m fine, Dear, happy to have everyone together once more.” The older woman quickly turned her attention to Mary, before finally settling it on Killian.

“Killian, it’s lovely to see you again. How have you been?” she asked, leaning in to press a quick kiss to his cheek.

“Busy with work, but happy to be home again. How about you, Your Majesty? How’s that hip doing?” he asked, aware that everyone in the room was currently staring at him.

“The wonders of modern medical science mean I barely even feel it now,” she chuckled. Emma gaped a little at how easily Killian had managed to pull information from her grandmother, about her health. “Mary told me you were looking a little worse for wear when you first returned.”

Killian’s right hand came up to scratch nervously behind his ear, as he let out an embarrassed chuckle. “Yeah. The inability to shave, or get a haircut, really didn’t help with the overall homeless look I was projecting.”

“Well, I’m glad to see you looking better now,” she told him, reaching out to squeeze his arm. “And I’m so happy you took up our offer to join the family this weekend.”

Killian wrapped his arm around Emma, to pull her in close. “I’m grateful for the invitation,” he told the older woman. “I’d never pass up an opportunity to spend more time with Emma.”

Ruth gave him a once over, before she nodded her head, and declared to the room, “Okay, let’s go and eat, shall we?”

Emma and Killian held back, allowing the rest of the family to follow Ruth through to the dining room, before they made their own way in.

“You’re doing really well,” Emma praised, leaning up to press a quick kiss to her fiancé’s cheek.

“Well, I have a good teacher,” he replied, tightening his hold on her waist.

Killian wasn’t surprised to see the only two spaces at the table directly to Ruth’s right. Emma was her right-hand, so it made sense that tradition would dictate she sat beside her grandmother. Thankfully, the space next to his was occupied by Mary.

Like the perfect gentleman he’d always proved himself to be, Killian helped Emma with her chair, before taking his own seat.

“What are we eating?” he whispered to her, setting the napkin gently in his lap. He’d done plenty of homework on the correct etiquette for eating with the royal family, during lonely nights in Vancouver.

“Lots of fish,” Emma chuckled. “Main course is salmon. Is that okay?”

“I’ll eat anything,” Killian replied honestly. “I was just wondering what you guys usually had for Good Friday dinner.”

“We definitely follow the whole no-meat tradition,” she confirmed. “So usually things like stuffed vegetables for appetisers, fish for a main, and then usually something drenched in chocolate, for dessert.”

“It’s brownies and they’re heavenly,” Mary added, leaning in a little closer so that only Emma and Killian would hear what she had to say.

As dinner was served, Kilian made polite conversation with Emma and Mary. While the two of them kept up a constant stream of chat all evening, to make sure he didn’t feel left out at any point, Killian was still painfully aware of the whispers that weren’t quite quiet enough not to be heard.

And if the death-grip Emma had on her fork was anything to judge by, his fiancée had picked up on them too.

“So, Killian,” Anne began so suddenly, he almost dropped his wine glass. “Emma’s ring is a little unconventional. What made you choose that and not the more traditional diamond piece? I mean, they do say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

Emma’s grip on her cutlery tightened infinitesimally, but Killian wasn’t fazed. If Anne wanted to test him, she needed to do more than question his choice of jewelry for Emma.

“It was an easy choice to make,” he told her. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your niece doesn’t exactly favour the traditional pieces the way other ‘girls’ do. She’s more of the one-of-a-kind type of woman. So, I picked a piece that was exactly that.”

Emma slid her hand onto Killian’s thigh, to give it a gentle squeeze. She definitely wasn’t the solitaire diamond type of girl.

“I think we can all agree it’s a beautifully unique piece,” Ruth added, effectively drawing that conversation to a close. “Now, how’s the wedding planning coming along?”

“It’s going well,” Emma assured her. “I think we’re almost there?”

“Don’t look at me,” Killian scoffed. “You did all the hard work.”

Mary snorted a little at his brutal honestly, but tried to keep her focus on her plate.

“We have a few more things to finalise, but all the big parts have been taken care of. I have a dress, Killian has a suit,” Killian nodded his agreement, “We have rings, a venue, and the Archbishop. The rest… we can live without it, if it’s not ready.”

“Well… do let me know if I can be of any assistance at all,” Ruth implored. Emma nodded her agreement, before the Queen took another small bite of her salmon, and turned her attention fully to Killian. “Now, there’s no new episode this week, right?” she asked.

“No, Your Majesty,” Killian agreed. “We’re taking a small break for the holidays.”

“It’s Ruth, Dear. Call me Ruth,” she begged, before continuing her assault. “So, can you tell me… Does Hook ever get free? I mean, I’m not terribly sure I like this new world he’s trapped in. The colours seem all funny.”

Emma and Mary couldn’t quite contain their barks of laughter at that comment, but poor Killian looked so torn between keeping the secrets of his show, and bowing to the wishes of a queen.

“It’s supposed to look that way,” he began, scratching nervously behind his ear. “Just so the viewers can tell the difference between the realms.”

“Oh. Well that makes perfect sense,” Ruth agreed. “I should have thought of that sooner.” She was silent for a moment, while she finished her meal, and her glass of wine.

Killian was so sure he’d gotten away without having to give away any secrets.

Until she spoke once more.

“And Hook?”

Chapter Text

“Well, I think that went well?” Killian declared, as Emma locked the door to their suite behind herself, and promptly toed off her shoes.

“It was actually pretty pleasant, for a night with my family. I’m sorry about the inquisition.”

“Don’t be.” He pulled her into his arms, to hold her tightly. “I was expecting it. But, all in all, I think it was a successful evening.”

“Yes it was,” Emma agreed. She placed a quick kiss to the tip of Killian’s nose, before pulling back to take hold of his hand. “Do you fancy a bath?”

“With you? Always,” he replied, like it was the most obvious answer in the world.

It still felt odd, to Killian, to wake up in the splendor of Kensington Palace. While he knew that Emma’s Clarence House apartment probably contained just as many luxury items as her suite at the Palace did, somehow, thanks to the way she’d decorated it, the place always seemed homey and comfortable, rather than cold and expensive.

“It’s too early,” she mumbled, tightening her grip on his waist, and burying her face into his neck. “And I can hear you thinking from here.”

“Go back to sleep,” he chuckled, brushing a kiss into her hair.

Killian dozed a little more that morning, before the alarm told him it was time to get up and face the day ahead. Thankfully, being engaged to a princess, and spending the weekend in a castle, meant that things like breakfast came to him.

“So, remind me of today’s plans?” he asked Emma, as he began dividing up the food the kitchen had sent up to them, for breakfast.

“Egg hunt,” Emma called back, making her way out of the bathroom. “I volunteered us for public duty. I hope that’s okay?”

“Oh, that’s more than okay with me.” Killian cleared his throat a little, to banish the dryness that had begun seeping in, the moment he spotted what Emma was doing.

“You okay?” she asked, picking up on his tone.

“Yeah. Fantastic. Apparently, I’m turned on by you moisturing now,” he mumbled.

Emma snorted out a wholly un-ladylike laugh at his confession. “Don’t worry, Babe. I’m sure if the roles were reversed, I’d feel exactly the same way.”

Emma had opted for a fun and relaxed look for the day, knowing she’d be spending most of it outside, in the pleasant spring weather. Her yellow shirt dress, with black polka dots, was light enough to keep her cool, and bright enough for the celebration. She used a slim black belt, to give the dress some more shape, and added a pair of forest-green; wedged; ankle-boots, to add a little more colour to the overall effect. A quick glance outside told her there was a light breeze, so instead of pulling her hair back, she left it down and wavy.

“You look great,” Killian complimented, dropping a kiss to her cheek, as he made his way over to the bed, to grab his own shirt for the event.

“Thank you.” Emma stood up to watch as he dressed. She always loved watching the way the muscles, in his back, flexed, as he pulled a white t-shirt down and over his head, before reaching for a plaid shirt to layer it with. “I was thinking of taking Rogan out with us. What do you think?” she asked, looking down at the puppy who was busy trying to kill his stuffed teddy.

“Will people mind?”

“I’m sure some will find a reason to complain,” she replied, honestly. “But we’ll be outdoors most of the day. And Rogan loves exploring the grounds. He’ll enjoy playing with the kids too.”

“Then I think that sounds like a wonderful idea,” Killian reassured her. He dropped down onto the bed, and pulled Emma over to stand between his legs. “Will we be the only members of the family there today?”

“Of course,” Emma chuckled. “Can you imagine Anne interacting with children? I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even interact with her own.” She was only half-joking there. Her cousins led a pretty sheltered life, and probably saw more of their nannies than they did of their parents. Emma had often wondered if Anne had only ever had children to further the line, rather than because she actually wanted to be a parent.

“Well, I am sure we will have a great day.”

Killian had been right.

The number of children that had turned out, with their parents, or grandparents, for the egg hunt, had surprised him a little. He knew that the Palace grounds were large, but seeing hundreds of children, excitedly running around them, helped to show just how big they were.

For one day only, the entirety of the grounds had been opened to the public, to allow for the maximum number of eggs to be hidden, and the maximum number of children to hunt them all down.

The staff had been quite clever in their hidings too. There were some that involved climbing trees, and others that required team work to reach them. They’d also only hidden small, golden, plastic eggs, that the children could exchange for chocolate once their “hunting time” had expired. A clever way to avoid the mess that came with melted chocolate.

A few older couples arrived later in the day, simply to enjoy the beauty that the gardens had to offer, and the laughter of the children, as it rang out through the grounds.

Killian had, somehow, been roped into hunting duty, with some of the younger children. While he didn’t know the grounds well, he had the added advantage of being tall enough to see where he was going, and how to get there, that the younger children lacked. So, while Emma met with parents and grandparents, and handed out chocolate eggs, Killian and Rogan ran around the gardens, searching for hidden treasure.

“You look like you’re having fun,” Emma chuckled, as he made his way back to her once more, Rosie sitting proudly in his arms, with her basket, full of golden treasure, swinging from her little arm.

“I am,” he assured her. “We’re having fun, aren’t we Rosie?”

The little red-headed girl in his arms nodded her agreement, but said nothing. Her parents had explained to Emma and Killian, when they had arrived, that Rosie had never spoken a day in her life, and were worried the other children might pick on her for it. But, for some reason, the little girl had taken quite a shine to Emma’s Prince Charming.

“What say we cash these tokens in and go and see if we can find some hidden treasure?” he asked her, helping to hand the basket over to Emma. The rules had stated no more than one full basket, per-child. But Rosie clearly wasn’t the only one smitten. She nodded her head excitedly, and Emma chuckled as she handed over a small gift bag, full of treats, before watching her fiancé and the little girl, run off to another corner of the grounds, with Rogan hot on their heels.



Chapter Text

“Everything okay?” Emma asked, as she made her way back to bed, and her gloriously naked fiancée.

“Yeah. Regina just wanted to confirm everything for their flights next week. With your mam staying at the house, she and Belle have booked themselves into The Hilton.”

“Ugh. I feel awful that they’re having to stay in a hotel,” Emma sighed. “We need a bigger house.”

“I think we’ve already covered that one. Many times,” Killian chuckled, running his fingers through Emma’s hair. “They don’t mind, Emma. We all knew this was going to be a busy month. And it’s not like The Hilton involves them slumming it.”

“True,” she agreed. “I’m just grateful they’re flying out early. They’ve already spent so long away from their families, working to make sure we can get married on the date we chose.”

“Trust me, Love,” Killian soothed, “Nobody minds that. And Regina and Belle were able to fly back and forth on weekends anyway. So, they’ve not missed out on much.”

Emma still felt guilty that her wedding had caused so much upset. But she knew, deep down, that her friends would have it no other way.

“Ugh. We need to get ready for church,” she sighed, her eyes falling on the blinking clock by the bed. “We don’t want to cause a scandal this close to our wedding day.”

“Before you jump in the shower…” Killian fumbled in the draws his side of the bed, before pulling out an Easter themed gift bag he’d stashed there, when they first arrived. “I have something for you.”

“What’s this?” she asked, taking the bag from him to peek inside. “You got me a chocolate egg?”

“Maybe,” he replied, cryptically. “Why don’t you try some? I hear it’s the very best Belgian chocolate.”

Emma pulled out the box inside the bag, and chuckled a little at the personalization on the front of the egg. Killian had found someone in London who made custom Easter eggs. So, he’d had one designed for Emma, with the finest chocolate money could buy, and the words, Happy Easter, My Princess, written in white chocolate on the front. She didn’t really want to damage the design of it, given that Killian had clearly put so much thought into the gift, but Emma could tell he was hiding something.

Something that was more than likely hidden inside the chocolate shell itself.

She took a quick picture of the gift, on her phone, before using the hard case to split the egg down the seam. Inside, was a small velvet box, in the familiar colours of Killian’s favourite store, in Vancouver.

“You know you’re spoiling me now, right?” she asked, freeing the box from the chocolate, to cradle it in her hands. “And, I also didn’t get you anything.” Her face fell a little at the idea. She should have known Killian would seize any chance he could get, to shower her with gifts. And he deserved plenty of his own.

“I don’t buy you gifts looking for them in return,” he chuckled. “Now, open it.”

Emma pried the box open gently, fully expecting to see a ruby piece inside. “Oh, Killian,” she gasped, as she took in the earrings he’d chosen for her. “These are beautiful.”

“You really like them?” he asked. “I mean… I know you have pearls in your safe. I’ve seen them in there. But you don’t wear them a lot. And then my Mam said something once, about how pearls are more traditional for weddings, and I saw these, and…”

Emma cut him off with a kiss, knowing it would be the quickest way to stop his rambling, and give her a chance to thank him.

“They’re beautiful,” she repeated. “I don’t wear pearls often, but I do wear them for state functions at the Palace. I’ll confess, most of the pieces that I’ve inherited are rather old-fashioned. But these,” she gently lifted the set from the box. Killian had chosen a pair that featured a cluster of diamonds at the top, in a kind of off-star shape, that dipped down to a diamond-encrusted cup, which held one beautifully rounded pearl. “These are stunning,” she praised. “And I will most definitely wear them for our wedding.”

“You don’t have to,” Killian rushed to assure her. “I think my parents are going to buy you something for the wedding, anyway. But I thought these might be more your kind of style.”

“They definitely are,” Emma agreed. “And if your parents have something in mind for our big day, then I’ll just have to make sure I wear these for every suitable event between now and then.”

She leaned in to brush another soft kiss to his lips, before groaning as her eyes fell on the time once more. “Ugh. I should shower.”

“Want some company?” Killian teased, his brows already waggling.

“Yes,” she sighed. “But if you do… we won’t make it to church. Raincheck?”

“If we must,” Killian sighed dramatically.


Chapter Text

“Okay, I think I’m church appropriate,” Emma declared, as she left the bathroom. She looked over to where Killian was busy, making a fuss of Rogan, and stopped dead in her tracks. “Well… you definitely are,” she mumbled.

“Is this okay?” Killian asked, looking down at himself. “I can grab a tie if I need to?” He had dressed for the day in a pair of navy blue trousers, and matching tailored suit jacket, with a pale blue dress shirt.

“No, you look perfect,” Emma assured him. Seeing the man she loved, in a suit, always did funny things to her. “We should find more reasons for you to dress like this.”

“Like what you see, Princess?” he teased, his tongue flicking out to lick over the back of his teeth. Emma had no idea how such a small gesture could turn her on so quickly.

“Yes,” she snapped back, more annoyed at how quickly he could affect her, than anything else. “But, if you keep that up, we’ll cause a public scandal. Pass me my jacket?”

Emma had chosen a pale peach, satin and tulle, dress for the occasion. It had sweet ruffle detailing around the bust and bodice, helping to give it a little shape. And, with the layer of tulle, it fell to just below her knees, making it perfectly respectable for church. The matching jacket she’d set out on the bed would also help her overcome the old tradition of royals not baring their shoulders in church. While her black nail polish, leopard print heels, and a top-knot bun, kept her look youthful and fun.

“What do you think?” she asked, her hand coming up to finger the earrings Killian had only just noticed.

“They look as beautiful on you as I thought they would.”

She leaned in to press a quick kiss to Killian’s cheek, before grabbing her bag and leading the way out of the suite.

As the service would be held in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Emma and Killian met with Mary, before making the journey round. While neither were usually shy about showing their affection for each other, Ruth had asked that they remain respectful for the occasion. So, Killian followed just a step behind the two royal women. It was a tradition that was perhaps Emma’s least favourite. She hated the idea of making him walk behind her, simply because of the family, and position, she’d been born into. But, given the amount of leeway Ruth had given them both, when it came to their relationship, Emma was happy to respect her grandmother’s wishes on this occasion.

There were a few photographers in the grounds, and plenty more members of the public, ready to take pictures of the royal family, attending the service. But, all in all, the occasion was incredibly understated. Killian had been expecting a lot more fuss, given how big of a deal the entire weekend seemed to Ruth.

The service itself was pleasant enough. Killian sat between Mary and Emma, as the priest gave the standard Easter service.

However, Killian noticed that the longer they sat in the church, the more agitated Emma seemed to become. Softly, so as not to disturb anyone, he reached for her hand, squeezing it tightly, before bringing it to rest on his thigh, clasped between his own. Emma sent him a small smile of thanks, before turning her attention back to the service.

When it was over, the family seemed to disperse quickly, with some taking a more scenic route back to the palace, while others gathered in small clusters on the lawns to talk, while the photographers, and gathered crowds, snapped their picture.

“Come with me for a second?” Emma asked, gently tugging on Killian’s arm.

“Of course, Love.”

He followed her through a series of drafty corridors, before they finally came to stop in a small stone room. While Killian had never been inside it before, he knew exactly where they were.

Emma bent down next to one of the shiny black stones, set into the floor, before dropping down to her knees.

“Hi, Daddy,” she greeted, running a gentle hand over the name etched into it. “Happy Easter. I hope you’re raiding everyone’s stashes up there. Mum still hides all of the chocolate now.” Emma turned her attention up to Killian, tears pooling at the corners of her eyes, as she explained, “Every time we had some in the house, he’d eat it all in a day. I was once sent fourteen eggs, as a gift, for Easter. Dad ate them all before Mum found out about the delivery.”

Killian let out a soft chuckle as he remembered that Emma also had a habit of stashing her chocolate bars out of sight. She might not have realised it, but that one small gesture showed just how present David always was, in her life.

“I… um…” Emma took a moment to compose herself, shifting on her knees. Killian quickly shrugged out of his jacket, folding it carefully, before offering it to her. It wasn’t much, but it would help cushion her knees against the hard stone of the floor.

“I’m getting married soon,” she continued. “To the most wonderful man.” Her eyes flicked back up to Killian, and he didn’t hesitate to drop down next to her. “He loves me so much, Daddy. You always wanted me to find someone who loved me, for me. And I have. But… I wish you could be there… To see it… To see just how perfect he is for me.”

As the tears started falling, Killian wrapped his arm around Emma, pulling her into his side, so he could hold her.

“I wish you two could have met,” she continued. “You’d love Killian, almost as much as I do.” Emma took a moment to compose herself, drying her tears with the sleeves of her jacket.

Until that moment, Killian had always found the idea of talking to a headstone a little silly. But, watching the comfort it brought to Emma, when she needed it most, he knew that it could never be a stupid gesture.

“Hello, Sir,” he greeted, his voice sounding far too loud in the quiet of the room. “You have a wonderful daughter,” he began.

Emma let out a small chuckle at Killian’s words, turning her face up to his. He took the opportunity to use his thumbs to brush away her tears, and press a gentle kiss to her forehead.

“I wish I’d had the opportunity to tell you that, to your face,” he continued, his attention back on the headstone once more. “Emma speaks so highly of you. I hope you’d have approved of our relationship.”

“He would,” Emma assured Killian, leaning further into his embrace.

“I promise to take good care of her, Sir. I’ll treat her like the princess she is every single day. For the rest of our lives,” he promised.

And while David may not have been able to hold him to it, Killian knew it was a promise he would keep.

To make his father-in-law proud.



Chapter Text

At lunch that afternoon, the talk of the table was about the egg hunt that had taken place the day before. Emma and Killian spoke of the children, and families, they had met, and the stories they had been told. Ruth chimed in with her own information about the coverage her team had found online, about the day, and how well received Emma and Killian’s presence had been.

Killian barely even realised that the bottom half of the table had remained oddly silent throughout the meal, he was that caught up in the conversation.

“So, how are you enjoying your first royal holiday?” Emma asked, later that evening, as they were walking Rogan around the grounds. A few photographers still lingered, snapping their pictures of the couple, hand-in-hand, as their dog ran on ahead of them. But, Emma knew that they were a good enough distance away to speak freely.

“It’s not been as bad as I expected it to be,” Killian admitted. “Your mother and grandmother have been incredibly welcoming.”

“They like you,” she assured him. “I’m just sorry the rest of the family haven’t been that inviting.”

“It doesn’t bother me, Emma.”

And it truly didn’t.

Killian had worried that not being accepted by the other side of Emma’s family would upset him. He wasn’t a bad person. And he wanted to become a part of her family, the way Emma was already a part of his. However, the more time he spent with them, the more he realised that he was already finding his place with the royals. It was Emma’s aunts and uncles, still so bitter about a young girl being born into the line of succession ahead of them, that were cutting themselves out of the family. Once Ruth passed, Emma would assume the position, not only of Queen, but as the head of the family too. And the more they pushed her, the harder she was going to push back.

He only hoped that, for Emma’s sake, they’d come to realise this sooner rather than later. She’d already lost one person too many.

“Next year will be better,” she whispered. “We’ll spend it in Ireland, with your family.”

“I’d like that.” Killian pulled Emma into his side, to wrap an arm around her waist, as they headed for the private gardens of the grounds. “I’m pretty sure me mam would love that too.”

Monday was an odd day. Killian had expected to spend it with Emma’s family once more, given that it was the last official day of the holiday period. But instead, he spent a lazy morning in bed with Emma, reading through the script for his movie, and recreating a few of the scenes that it detailed.

He loved that Emma was comfortable enough in their relationship to not be worried about the love scenes his job called for. When he’d first started landing notable roles, he’d been dating casually. Most of his girlfriends had finished with him after seeing him kiss other women, either on stage, or on screen. Emma, however, seemed more than capable of differentiating between the characters he played, and the man he was.

She had no problems with the demands of his job.

They showered together, to save water, before dressing casually for the afternoon. While Ruth still wasn’t a fan of jeans, she liked her Easter brunch to be a casual affair, before the family parted ways once more to go about their lives.

“Okay, this is a little awkward,” Killian noted, as he left the bathroom. Emma was sat on one of the sofas, making a fuss of Rogan. She’d dressed for the occasion in a pair of black tailored trousers and a thick, grey, cashmere sweater. A pair black leather heels, with jewel embellished tops, added a little glamour to the look, and Emma had finished it off by pulling her hair back, into a tucked bun, leaving a little down to sweep elegantly across her face.

She looked up at the sound of Killian’s voice, before letting out a bark of laughter, that scared Rogan. Killian had also opted for a pair of dark, fitted trousers for the morning, and a light grey, turtle-neck sweater.

“Want me to change?” he asked, knowing it would take him less time to switch sweaters than it would for Emma to change her entire look.

“Nah, leave it,” she replied. “Just proves we’re on the same wave length.”

“Oh, we most definitely are,” he agreed, as Emma shifted Rogan to stand up.

“Ready for the final meal of the holidays?” she asked.

“Lead the way, Your Highness,” Killian chuckled, gesturing grandly with his arms.

When they made it down to brunch that morning, Mary took one look at the two of them together, before shaking her head fondly.

“Now, I know fashion isn’t exactly my thing, but, I’m pretty sure matching sweaters went out before you were born, Honey,” she chuckled, reaching out to sweep Emma’s fringe out of her eyes.

“Oh, shush,” Emma chided, batting her hand away. “At least we make it look good.”



Chapter Text

#FBF remembering this night.
#13Days to go @KillianJones1

Killian chuckled as he pulled up Emma’s tweet. She’d attached one of the pictures she had taken of the two of them together, on their first date, to it. But it was the last hashtag that had his heart beating a little faster. With the first of April came the start of the countdown to his incredibly public, and televised, wedding ceremony. While Killian was more than ready to be able to declare Emma his wife, to the world, the fact that he’d actually be doing so, was rather terrifying.

So, while Emma was busy in London, with the end of year board meetings, Killian had been meeting with a voice coach. Karen had been incredibly understanding, and the two of them had worked together, to help him with common issue such as enunciation and projection. While Killian’s accent often hindered what was deemed correct speech, Emma had been adamant that she didn’t want her future-husband to lose it. Karen had respected those wishes, and Killian knew that he wasn’t the only one grateful for that.

He could only hope that everything she’d taught him wouldn’t fly out of his head the moment he caught sight of his beautiful bride.

Emma had also surprised him with a trip to Westminster Abbey, earlier in the week. She’d wanted Killian to get a feel of the place he would be saying his wedding vows, and he’d also had the privilege to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury, while he was there.

The Abbey had been a huge surprise for him. While he could vaguely recall touring it on a school trip to London, years ago, the building seemed even larger as he walked the empty space, with Emma and the Archbishop pointing out the places where guests would be sat, choirs would perform, and their family would gather. Somehow, seeing the building in person made the entire thing seem more daunting.

If that were even possible?

“It’s okay,” Emma assured him, as the Archbishop led the way through to the Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor. It was the place where they would sign their marriage certificate, in private, to conclude the ceremony. “Would it help if I told you this scares me a little too?”

“Not one bit,” Killian chuckled, tightening his grip on her hand. “But… as scary as all of this is, I’m still so excited to see you, walking down that aisle, to me.”

Thankfully, with as busy as their week had been, their plans for the weekend were keeping them both going. Mary and Ailene had scheduled the engagement party for Saturday evening, knowing that not only would it be the only free weekend of the month before the ceremony, but that it would also be the perfect opportunity to have all of their closest family and friends together, without making them fly to Europe twice.

Killian had to admit, he was looking forward to it. When Emma’s final meeting was done for the day, the two of them (and Rogan) would be flying back to Ireland, where their family and friends had already begun to gather. He knew Emma had been missing her friends, so they had planned a night out together, to celebrate their reunion.

He also knew that Belle and Regina had plans to kidnap his bride-to-be after the party, for a hen-celebration. Killian suspected that his brother would take the opportunity to sneak away for their own stag-do that week too.

At least, he hoped Liam would.

Killian would really rather not spend more time away from Emma than was absolutely necessary that month.

“Ugh, my feet are killing me,” Emma sighed, as she made her way into the apartment, kicking off her shoes.

“Weren’t you at a board meeting?” Killian wondered, pausing the movie he’d been watching to give her his full attention. “Why were you standing?”

“New shoes,” she sighed, dropping down into his lap. “And they pinch. I was really hoping they wouldn’t. I mean… they’re so pretty.”

Killian chuckled at the pout on his fiancée’s face. “Isn’t there anything you can do to stop them pinching?”

“Yeah. But I won’t be able to wear them for a couple of days. And I wanted to wear them tonight.”

“I’m sure you have plenty more,” he soothed. “I mean, you have like a dozen pairs of black heels.”

“But these ones were patent leather,” she whined, like that explained everything. It really didn’t. Killian had often lost minutes in the mornings, stood in their closet, trying to work out what was different about the many black shoes Emma owned.

“I have no idea what that combination of words means,” he chuckled. “But I know you’ll look beautiful, no matter what you wear.

Emma leaned in to press a kiss to his lips, lingering a little longer than a chaste kiss should have been. “You’re so adorable. Ugh… I guess we should pack?”

“It’s all done, besides anything special you want to take with us.”

“Really?” she asked, pulling back to stare at Killian. “You packed?”

“Yeah. I thought it would make things easier for you. I mean, if you don’t like what I packed, I’d understand. I just grabbed some essentials, given how you already have stuff at the house. And then some of your favourites.” Killian brought his hand up to scratch nervously behind his ear.

It had seemed like such a good idea at the time.

“I love you.” Emma leaned in to press another kiss to his lips, before sliding off his lap to go and grab the dresses she wanted for the weekend, while Killian finished his movie.

When she checked the suitcase, he had packed for them, she wasn’t surprised to find that he’d included her favourite shoes, sweaters and jeans. Killian knew her almost as well as she knew herself.

Chapter Text

Emma was buzzing with excitement, that evening. She hadn’t seen her friends since Killian’s birthday, and although they had exchanged plenty of messages, on a daily basis, it wasn’t quite the same as being able to see them in person.

Instead of gathering in town, they would be meeting the others in Dublin, for the night. Emma had managed to book a table at what Killian and Liam both swore was the fanciest restaurant in the country, with the hopes that it would offer them all some privacy.

“Are you sure this will be okay?” Emma asked, twisting to look at Killian, over her shoulder. She’d never been to the restaurant he’d suggested before, and she was now starting to second guess her choice of clothing for the night. Her friends had hinted that there were plans, for after the meal, to celebrate Emma’s birthday. And that she should therefore dress comfortably. So, instead of a dress for the night, she’d picked a knitted; grey; long-sleeved crop-top, and a matching high-waist skirt. There was less than an inch of bare flesh showing between where her top ended, and her skirt began. But Emma had been to plenty of fancy restaurants before. She could name at least a dozen, that would frown upon her choice of clothing.

“Sweetheart, you’re a princess,” Killian sighed, making his way over to her. “Nobody is going to have a problem with what you wear. I can promise you that.” He let his hands drift down to the small patch of bare skin, before lightly brushing his fingertips back and forth. “For what it’s worth, I love this,” he told her, bending to place soft kisses along her neck.

“Okay, Casanova,” she chuckled, “If you keep that up, we won’t be leaving this house.”

“Is that a bad thing?” he mumbled, far too distracted by how beautiful Emma looked in that moment. His hands had wandered a little higher, now tracing over the patterns on Emma’s crop-top.

“Yes. We have people waiting for us.”

“Spoil sport,” he sighed, pulling away.

“How does my hair look?” Emma asked, changing the subject. “I couldn’t quite see all the way round to make sure it was even.” She had spent a good portion of her night rolling her hair up, and tucking it in, to form a twist from temple to temple. It was a look Killian had never seen on Emma before, but one she wore beautifully.

“It looks perfect,” he assured her. “Lord knows I would never have been able to achieve that on my own, mirror or not.”

“You should really start practicing,” she joked. “You know, just in case you end up with all daughters in the future.”

Killian froze at the mental image that conjured, his face a mask of horror as Emma let out a wicked chuckle. She leaned in to press a kiss to his pulse point, sucking gently, before she pulled away.

“Tease,” he remarked, breaking free from the images of mini-Emma’s bringing home not-good-enough boys, to meet their father, that his mind had helpfully supplied.

“It’s only teasing if I don’t plan to follow through,” she threw back with a wink, as she bent to slip on her white leather heels.

After a quick stop, to pick up Liam and Ruby, they made it to the restaurant in time to find Will and Belle already seated, and six open spots at the table.

“Emma. It’s so good to see you again,” Belle greeted, pulling her friend in for the tightest of hugs. “I’ve missed you so much.”

“I missed you too,” Emma assured the slightly shorter woman, squeezing her tighter. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

The two pulled apart, and as Belle moved round the table to greet the others, Will gave Emma a squeeze of his own. “How are you doing?” he asked, as he escorted her round the table, to help with her chair.

“I’m good, thanks. Work and wedding planning has been keeping me busy. How about you?” As the others took their seats around the table, Emma turned her attention to both Belle, and Will, as she added, “Killian told me what you guys did for us. Finishing filming early… Thank you so much.”

“We just wanted you to have some time together,” Belle explained. “I know if it were me, I’d hate having to send Will back to work days after our wedding ceremony.”

Emma was distracted from the rest of her ‘thank you’ speech, by the arrival of Robin and Regina.

“Look at you,” Regina greeted, “you look absolutely stunning.”

“Thank you. So do you,” Emma praised, getting a good look at her friend, before she was folded into Robin’s arms. “How are you both?”

“We’re good,” Robin replied, taking his place at the table. “I got to meet Regina’s parents before we flew out, so… that was fun.” Everything about his expression was screaming that it was most definitely not a fun experience for him.

As the conversation around the table dissolved into talk about just how scary it was meeting the parents, and drink and food orders were placed, Emma began to realise just how much she’d missed this.

London had been her home for as long as she could remember. But, in the city, she was often alone and isolated, with only her mother and Ruby for company. The move to Vancouver had been on her mind all year. And while she couldn’t wait to be with Killian, for the rest of their lives, Emma had worried about how she would fit into his life, in Canada.

However, as she sat around that table, in a small restaurant in Dublin, laughing and joking with her friends, (and trading sweet kisses with her fiancée), Emma realised that she really had nothing to worry about. Her friends would also be in Canada, and they were just as inviting, and welcoming, as Killian and his family had been in Ireland.



Chapter Text

“Ugh. I should not have mixed my drinks last night,” Emma groaned, as she flopped down over the kitchen table in the most undignified way.

“I did warn you not to switch to beer,” Killian chuckled.

Emma made a series of high pitched noises, that he presumed was her way of mocking him, but didn’t lift her head.

“A couple of pain killers and some food will do you the world of good,” he assured her.

Emma had been pleasantly surprised when, after they’d finished eating the night before, instead of heading back home, Killian had detoured to the 3Arena, where her favourite comedian was performing, live. The tickets had been an early birthday gift, and she’d showered him with kisses, (in the car), as a thank you, for his thoughtfulness.

Anton had managed to help him book out the royal box, for just the eight of them, which came with its own attendant. So, as they had laughed their way through the evening, the attendant had kept the drinks and snacks flowing.

And now, Emma was paying for it.

“Here, take these, and eat this,” Killian instructed, setting some pills beside Emma’s head, and a plate just in front of her.

“Ugh. You’re too good to me,” she sighed, finally lifting her head.

While Killian was busy showering, that evening, Emma pulled up Twitter, to send her next daily countdown message. The picture of herself, sat between Will and Killian, with her head thrown back in laughter, had been right at the top of her feed. Clearly, someone inside the restaurant had taken it, while she’d been distracted. But they had caught a wonderful moment, so Emma couldn’t bring herself to be mad about the invasion of privacy.

Instead, she saved the image and attached it to her message.

Thanks to whoever took this picture last night. They caught a fantastic moment between friends.
#12DaysToGo @KillianJones1

“Sweetheart, are you almost ready?” Killian called out, cringing a little. It was the same question he had been asking for the last hour.

“I just need a minute.”

“That’s what you said thirty-five minutes ago,” he mumbled, to Rogan, scratching behind the dog’s ears.

Mary had told them to arrive for around eight that evening, and Killian had watched, from the bed, as eight arrived, and then passed, while Emma was still locked in the bathroom.

He had no idea what she was doing that could possibly take so long.

But at least now he knew not to panic if she was late for their wedding ceremony.

“Okay. I think I’m ready,” she eventually declared, startling Killian out of his internal panic.

Finally, we’re gonna… oh wow,” he trailed off, getting a good look at his future-wife. “Where…. How… Is that new?” he eventually settled on.

“This?” Emma asked, plucking at the skirt of her dress. “Yeah. It was a gift from a designer friend.”

“That’s a beautiful gift.”

Killian was pretty sure this moment was the closest he’d come to speechless since he’d first met Emma.

The dress she’d picked for their engagement party was a pale pink, sleeveless gown, that was heavily embroidered with small rows of sequins, down the length of it. The top of the gown was tightly fitted, to emphasize Emma’s figure, and had been embellished with a number of matching pale pink flowers. The skirt flared slightly at her hips, adding some shape, and the same matching pale pink flowers had been embroidered onto the bottom of the dress, finishing about halfway up. A thin, pink, satin belt around Emma’s waist was the perfect finishing touch to a stunning gown.

“You look like a princess,” Killian muttered, without thinking.

“Thank you,” she chuckled. “I take it you like the dress?”

“Love it,” he agreed. “You’ve never looked more beautiful than you do right now.”

Emma had finished her look with a pair of silver T-strap heels, and a matching pink satin clutch. She’d kept makeup light and feminine, with soft pink lipstick and pale pink nail polish, while her hair had been pulled back into a tidy top-bun. To finish it all off, she’d added the pearl earrings Killian had given her just a few days earlier.

“I’m gonna be a mess on our wedding day,” he chuckled, stepping forward, to rest his hands on Emma’s hips.

“Well, if you look anywhere near as good in a morning suit, as you do in this three piece, I’m gonna be in trouble,” she smirked, running her hands over Killian’s chest.

He’d opted for a navy-blue suit for the evening, with a sleek black tie. The suit was comfortable enough for him to wear for a large portion of the evening, and easy enough to dress down when the night wore on.

“I can’t believe you’re gonna be my wife in less than two week’s time,” he sighed. “It feels like we’ve been waiting years for this day.”

Emma let her hands glide up and over his chest, to lock around Killian’s neck. “I can’t wait to be your wife,” she assured him. “In sickness, and in health.”

“Until death do us part,” he finished, leaning in to kiss her. Emma sighed into him, her body melting into his embrace, as he tightened his grip on her hips, and licked gently at her lips. Killian pulled away before things could get too heated. His mother was going to be furious if they turned up not only late, but clearly disheveled too. However, he only pulled back far enough to drop his forehead down onto hers.

“How are you feeling now?” he asked, as his thumbs rubbed soothing circles into her hips.

“Better. Just… don’t let me drink too much tonight?”

Killian chuckled a little at that, but he nodded his agreement.

“Deal. I love you, Emma.”

“I love you too,” she assured him, reaching up to pull him down for another kiss. “Now, let’s go and celebrate our engagement. Our family and friends are waiting for us.”



Chapter Text

“We are so late,” Killian grumbled, as Anton pushed open the door to the hotel for them, to enter.

“You’re about to become royalty,” Emma chided, “Being late is practically expected. Don’t worry. It’s our party.”

“Everyone’s gonna think we were having sex, or something.”

“I’m pretty sure everyone in that room already knows neither of us are innocent virgins,” she chuckled. “Stop worrying. You’re gonna make yourself look guilty.”

Mary and Ailene had booked the ballroom of a local hotel for the party, knowing that not only would the venue be able to help with their plans, but that it would also help to offer some privacy to their guests.

Emma wasn’t really sure what she had been expecting, but as Anton pulled the double doors of the ballroom open, to a chorus of, “Congratulations,” she knew this definitely wasn’t it.

Her mother and Ailene had gone all out, decorating the room in various shades of red and gold, to create a rather regal theme for the night. Along the back wall, there was a banner that read, Congratulations Killian and Emma, and had been decorated with various screenshots of some of their most liked tweets, over the last eleven months. It had already been signed by almost everyone in the room, and Mary would be handing it over, as a gift, when the evening was done.

A DJ had set up at the front of the room, with a playlist that was filled with the couple’s favourite songs, and there were already people making use of the dancefloor. At the back of the room there was an open bar, that was busy with a steady stream of their guests, and a few tables serving the finest finger food Mary could order. In between the dancefloor, and the bar, were a number of small round tables, lit with red and gold candles, full of familiar faces.

“Wow, this looks incredible.” Emma pulled her mother in tight for a hug, before releasing her to Killian’s arms, to hug Ailene next. “You guys must have worked so hard on this.”

“You’re both worth it,” Ailene assured her. “And you look beautiful, Emma.”

“You really do,” Mary added.

“Finally picked a dress mum likes,” Emma teased, nudging Killian gently with her elbow. He chuckled at her comment, before giving his own mother a hug of thanks.

“You should go and make the rounds,” Mary encouraged. “Some people here have been waiting over an hour for your arrival.”

Killian quirked a brow in his fiancée’s direction, at Mary’s not-so-subtle dig, but Emma simply waved away his concern, as she tugged him in the direction of his grandparents.

Emma was impressed to see everyone Mary and Ailene had managed to invite. She’d been a little worried that her mother would feel it necessary to invite the entire family, and that they would feel obligated to attend, and darken the mood of the evening. However, as she made her way round the gathered people, she was pleasantly surprised to find only her Aunt Liz, and Uncle Roger, in attendance.

“Congratulations, Emma,” Liz offered, leaning in to press a kiss to her niece’s cheek. “He seems like a nice guy,” she whispered. “Not all of us disapprove.”

“It’s a shame you don’t feel comfortable voicing that opinion,” Emma replied.

Of all her aunts and uncles, Liz was the most tolerable. As the youngest of the siblings, she’d grown up with the knowledge that she would probably never see the crown, and Liz seemed fine with that.

It was just a little disappointing that she didn’t feel comfortable standing up to her older sister, in family disagreements.

“I think Mother may be doing that for all of us,” Liz explained, as she nodded her head to the back of the room.

For a split second, Emma thought that she may still be drunk, and possibly hallucinating.

“Grandma?” she asked, as Killian pulled out a seat for her to drop down into, at a table filled with their friends.

“Hello, Sweetheart,” Ruth greeted, before turning her attention back to Robin. “You see, that’s where you’re missing out. The novels are far more enjoyable than the television series. Don’t get me wrong, the show is impressive. But once you’ve read the books, it doesn’t really compare.”

Killian threw a look at Regina that screamed what the fuck is going on? and Regina simply rolled her eyes in the direction of her boyfriend, before subtlety shifting closer to Killian’s chair.

“You see, the thing is, Your Majesty, I’m worried that reading the novels now will just end up ruining the brilliance of the series for me. I’m already heavily invested in it. So, I figured, I’d wait until it had finished, and then read them all. I mean… Martin’s nowhere near ready to turn out the next one anyway, so I’d just have a long and disappointing wait ahead of me.”

“Well… you’re missing out,” was all Ruth said, before she turned her attention to her drink.

“Are they discussing Game of Thrones?” Killian whispered, trying to keep the conversation between himself, Emma, and Regina.

“Yes,” Regina sighed. “They’ve been talking about it for the last twenty minutes. As if I can’t get him to shut up about that bloody show as it is. Now he’s gonna be telling everyone about that one time he had a conversation, with the Queen of England, about it.”

Killian and Emma shared a small smile, behind their glasses, as Regina turned back to her boyfriend.

“It could be worse, I suppose,” she added, almost as an afterthought. “At least it’s not Downton Abbey.”

“You watch Downton too?” Ruth asked, picking up on the tail end of their conversation.

“I have never missed an episode,” Robin replied, turning his full attention back to the Queen. “Regina doesn’t get why I love it.”

“How could she not?” Ruth’s tone was positively scandalized, and Regina felt herself shrinking in her seat a little. “It’s such a wonderful show, and has an even better cast.”

Killian lowered his voice further, as he leaned in to Emma, to whisper, “I have a feeling Regina’s gonna be binging that show between now and our wedding day.”

Emma’s snort of laughter had champagne bubbling up her nose.

Killian was able to sit back and enjoy himself for an hour or so, as he and Emma picked their way through a plate of food. Some of his oldest friends were finally getting the chance to meet with his newest ones, and watching them connect over a shared love of music and movie warmed his heart. He suddenly found himself picturing holidays together in the future, surrounded by everyone they loved.

Mary and Ailene had arranged for their photographer to set up in a small room, just off the main ballroom. So, when they’d finished eating, Emma and Killian made their way through to greet him. Luke explained how he had been kept busy all evening, with a steady stream of their guests making full use of his services, to capture their own memories of the night. He sat down with the couple for a while to briefly outline not only what they wanted from their own shots that evening, but from their wedding day too.

Emma had been adamant that as much as she knew traditional portraits were required, she also wanted to capture the fun spirit behind both of the events. She loved the idea of their guests making full use of the service Luke was providing, and he was happy to continue to do so. Luke also made arrangements to send some of his assistants to both Clarence House, and Killian’s hotel, to capture some pre-wedding moments for them.

“I feel like the wedding planning will never end,” Killian sighed, as he finally slid into a free seat at a table full of his family, Ruby, and Mary. Emma had opted to join Regina, Belle and Jackie on the dancefloor instead.

“Well, you’re getting married in a few days,” Brennan pointed out. “I should imagine the wedding planning will end that day. Or at least, it should really be the farthest thing from your mind on your wedding night.”

Killian turned startled eyes to his father, while Liam snorted into his Guinness.

“That’s kinda gross, Dad.”

As the evening progressed into early morning, Killian joined Emma on the dancefloor, where she’d spent most of her night.

“Are you having fun, Princess?” he asked, pulling her back and into his arms.

“The best. Are you?” she worried, tilting her head back, and to the side, to get a good look at him.

“How could I not be?” he scoffed. “All the people we love are here, helping to celebrate our love. My bride-to-be has never looked more beautiful. Perfect night, if you ask me.”

Emma tilted her head back to give Killian a sweet kiss, as he swayed them both to the music that was playing.

Chapter Text

Killian groaned as he tightened his grip on Emma, and buried his face into her hair.

“Who the fuck is that?” she mumbled.

“No idea. But they’ll piss off soon.” He didn’t have a clue what the time was. But he and Emma had only made it back to the house at a quarter-to-five that morning, so whoever it was, was way too early for a social call.

When Emma’s phone began to chirp from its place on her bedside table, he mumbled a few more incoherent curses into her hair, while she fumbled with the device. She didn’t bother checking who was calling. She just switched it off and threw it in the vague direction of the chair she knew was sat in the corner of the room.

Killian’s was the next to start ringing, far too loudly in the quiet room, just as the landline began its own shrill beeping.

“Oh my God,” Emma groaned, throwing the duvet off to slide out of bed. “I’m gonna murder whoever that is.”

She stalked her way over to the nearest handset, before wrenching it from its cradle and demanding, “This had better be fucking good,” into the device.

Killian could just make out the mumbled sounds of someone else on the other line, before Emma let out a heavy sigh of her own. “It’s eight am,” she moaned. “Can’t we leave in a few hours? I don’t even think I’ve had a full hour of sleep yet. And I am not a morning person.”

Killian would have snorted at that understatement, if he hadn’t been so tired himself.

“Okay… Well at least give us a couple of hours to wake up slowly and get ready? You can’t seriously expect me to look my best right now?” She waited for whoever was on the other end of the line to say their piece before replying with, “Thank you. We’ll see you then.”

“Do I wanna know?” Killian mumbled, lifting his head just enough to cock a brow in Emma’s direction.

“Our friends have good intentions but rubbish timing,” she sighed, sliding back into bed. “I managed to talk Regina into giving us until midday, though.”

“Best wife-to-be-ever,” he mumbled, pulling her back into his arms for a kiss.

Had a wonderful evening last night, celebrating with family and friends.
#11Days to go @KillianJones1

Emma had attached a picture taken the night before to her latest tweet. This one was a more candid shot, that had been taken when everyone was a little merrier than they probably should have been. But Killian loved it nonetheless. Regina, Belle, Emma, and Ruby had been sandwiched between the four men in their lives, their faces a perfect mixture of shock and amusement, as the guys attempted to prove they were most macho of the group.

“Seriously? You guys have been apart for like ten minutes,” Liam sighed. “Are you already that whipped?”

“He was whipped months ago,” Robin snorted, shimmying in his seat to avoid the arm Killian had flung out in his direction.

“I was on Twitter,” he replied. They didn’t need to know it was Emma’s tweet he was reading.

“Yeah. And I can imagine Emma is too,” Will chuckled. Killian threw him a dirty look, before turning his attention back to the countryside flying past them.

“Where, the hell, are we going?” he asked.

“You’ll have to wait and see,” Liam replied cryptically.

Anton was the one behind the wheel, but Liam had revealed that he would be joining the guys for their stag-do. Liam knew that Anton had played a huge role in Emma’s life, and that as such, he was filling a big role in his brother’s life also. So, he had felt it only right to invite the older man along.

Although, Liam had to confess, he was a little surprised Anton had accepted the invitation.

Along with Killian’s closest friends, and Emma’s Chief of Security, Liam had also invited his father, his brother’s former band-mates, and David Beckham, for the celebrations. He had wanted to keep the event small, so that they wouldn’t be hounded by the press, but large enough to make it memorable for Killian.

“You didn’t hire a stripper, did you?” Killian asked suddenly, side-eying his brother.

“Hey! Emma gave you permission,” Liam defended.

It took an hour of driving before Anton finally pulled the car to a stop, at a cottage in the middle of what appeared to be nowhere.

“Anyone else feel like we just pulled up to the start of every horror movie ever made?” Robin joked, as he climbed out of the car. The others followed suit, eyeing the cottage before them with various shades of distrust.

“Oh, shut up,” Liam chided. “I’ll have you know this is one of the most sort-after holiday locations in the country. It has enough room in the building to sleep us all. There are hot tubs and indoor swimming pools. A big cinema and a games room. And then, in the grounds, we have everything we need for a paintball match. There’s even clay pigeon shooting supplies, and quad bikes.”

Killian pulled his brother into his side, and wrapped an arm around his neck. “Thanks, Liam.”

“Ugh. You’re getting soppy in your old age,” Liam joked. But he squeezed his brother back affectionately, before he pulled away.

Chapter Text

While Liam had opted for a luxury cottage, in the middle of nowhere, for his part of the celebrations, Regina and Belle had also opted for secluded luxury.

“Wow, this place looks amazing,” Emma praised, as she slipped out of the car.

“You really like it?” Belle worried. “Regina suggested a weekend in Vegas but we weren’t sure we could make that work for you.”

“This is perfect,” Emma reassured her friend.

The girls had picked a couple of luxury cabins, to share. They were set in quiet, private grounds, which would give Emma a chance to let her hair down, without the fear of being photographed doing so.

“We’ve booked a team that will come in and offer spa treatments, while we’re here,” Regna explained, “Which will give us all a chance to relax. The grounds have facilities for us to do some horseback riding, and there are boating lakes too.” She paused for a moment, while the women around her nodded their enthusiasm, before she added, “and we booked some pole dancing lessons too.”

“Come again?” Ailene asked, her head whipping up from where she had been taking in the stunning views, to lock eyes on Regina.

“We figured we could help Emma make her wedding night more memorable,” she replied, cheekily.

“Oh, that would go down well,” Emma chuckled. “I can see it now… ‘Grandma, can you please install a large pole in my suite at the Palace. I wanna give my husband a memorable night.’”

“That might just give her a heart attack,” Mary warned, seriously. She could easily imagine the field day the tabloids would have with those headlines.

“Okay, well… whenever you’re alone together you can put them to good use,” Regina reasoned. “And apparently, they’re an excellent form of exercise.”

“Oh, they are,” Victoria added. When all eyes around her turned to stare in shock, she simply shrugged them off. “What? David and I aren’t that boring.”

Emma giggled as she took in the group of women gathered around her, all determined to make the next few days memorable. Regina and Belle had invited along everyone they knew would mean the most to Emma. And while Ruth had declined the invitation, stating that she didn’t want to, ‘Cramp their style,’ everyone else had jumped at the chance to help the princess say goodbye to her single life, in style.

“Okay. Who is sleeping where?” Emma asked, as she reached for the small bag she’d packed.

“You know, if I get caught, Belle’s probably going to confiscate my phone,” Emma warned, as she closed the door behind herself.

“She’s small. You could easily take her,” Killian joked. “I miss you, Princess.”

“We’ve been apart for less than five hours,” she chuckled. “We’ve definitely made it longer than this before.”

“I know. But that doesn’t make being away from you any easier, no matter how little time it’s been, or how geographically close we are.”

Emma’s heart filled at Killian’s words. He was not wrong. Although she’d been kept busy since she’d arrived, enjoying a wonderful meal while looking out over the lake, she still missed her soon-to-be-husband.

“So… are you surrounded by scantily clad women?” she asked, trying to lighten the mood.

“Surprisingly… no. When you gave Liam the okay to hire a stripper, I was expecting something seedier than we actually have.”

Emma laughed down the line, her mind helpfully supplying images of her uncomfortable fiancé, in a strip club, for the next two days. “Yeah, I kinda was too,” she agreed. “Although, I’m not sure you’re the strip club type.”

“I would be offended, if it weren’t true.” Killian was about to explain what Liam had come up with instead, before an awkward thought made its way to his own mind. “Wait…. Do you have strippers?”

Emma let out a beautifully loud chuckle before she replied with, “I’ll let you know when we’re home again.”

Killian floundered for words for a moment, trying desperately to keep the image of Emma and a sweaty, oily, naked man, from his mind.

“Oh, Baby,” she soothed. “Even if we did have strippers, I wouldn’t care. You know the only man I want to see, stripping for me, is you.”

“Well… if you play your cards right, maybe we can make that dream a reality when we get home?” he teased.

“I am definitely holding you to that,” Emma promised. Her memory was excellent too. She wasn’t planning to let Killian forget about that promise any time soon.

“This is gonna come back to bite me in the arse, isn’t it?” he sighed. Emma simply laughed in reply. “I guess I’d better let you go, before the girls realise you’ve sneaked off.”

“Yeah. I guess so,” she agreed. “I love you, Killian.”

“I love you too, Sweetheart. Have a wonderful couple of days.”

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Emma warned, before he could hang up. “We all know you have a long-standing relationship with the floor. I don’t need you limping down that aisle. And there are no stunt men in the real world.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Killian teased. “We do have Anton, after all.”

Chapter Text

Watched last night’s episode with some of the BEST people I know.
#10Days to go @KillianJones1

Emma had attached a picture from the night before to her tweet, showing her sat on the middle of an unfamiliar floor, surrounded by the women she loved most. Killian saved the image, knowing his mother would appreciate it, before he locked his phone, and washed his face.

“Are you ready to go?” David asked, poking his head around the bathroom door.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Killian sighed.

For some strange reason, he’d found himself agreeing to join David on his morning run, the night before. At the time, it had seemed like such a good idea. The show provided him with a trainer, to help keep him in shape, but he often let that go when he was away from set. He’d reasoned that a chance to exercise with someone like David Beckham was a once in a lifetime opportunity, that he had to take.

But that was before he managed to demolish half a bottle of Scotch the night before, with his brother.

While Liam hadn’t gone down the stereotypical route for his stag-do, Killian’s brother had certainly sourced enough alcohol to put those more clichéd parties to shame.

“Don’t worry. The run will help clear your head,” David chuckled, throwing him a bottle of water. Killian was relieved that he didn’t fumble the catch in front of such an important sporting star.

The two of them ran in silence, using the time to explore the grounds the cottage had been built on, and scout the area, before they decided to stop by what appeared to be a fishing lake, for a small break.

“Looking forward to the big day?” David asked, conversationally. He didn’t even sound breathless, and Killian hated him just a little bit for that.

“Equal parts terrified and overly-excited for it,” he panted out, trying desperately to catch his breath.

“I can imagine. Saying your wedding vows in front of the entire world must be petrifying.”

Killian simply nodded his agreement as he downed half of his bottle of water, and tried not to choke on it.

“Victoria’s been going on and on about how worried she is that people won’t like the dress.”

Killian’s head snapped up at David’s words, but the other man was too busy looking out across the lake to notice.

“Victoria’s designing Emma’s dress?” he asked carefully.

“Yeah. She made both of them.” David turned his attention back to Killian, before his face fell. “You didn’t know that, did you?”

“No. Emma wouldn’t tell me.” Killian wasn’t sure how he was supposed to feel about the news, but the fact that Emma’s closet was often filled with the Victoria Beckham label had him relaxing a little. His bride-to-be always looked so good in her designs, so he knew that he had little to worry about. “Isn’t Victoria’s style a little more modern than usual?” he wondered.

“Yeah. But so is Emma’s, to be fair,” David argued. “The two of them seem really happy with what Victoria’s put together, so I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”

“Oh, of course not,” Killian agreed quickly. He allowed a comfortable silence to settle over them for a moment, as his breathing slowly returned to normal. “You… um… you haven’t seen the dress, have you?” he asked, casually.

“God no,” David scoffed. “That thing is under lock and key, with constant supervision,” he chuckled. David kicked nervously at the ground for a moment before he asked, “You won’t tell anyone I spilled the beans will you? My wife will kill me if she realizes I’ve ruined the surprise.”

“Your secret’s safe with me,” Killian chuckled.

When they made it back to the cottage, Anton was the only one awake, sat at the table in the kitchen, casually sipping on a mug of coffee as he browsed a stack of newspapers.

“Do you ever sleep?” Killian teased, as David slipped away to shower, and he dropped down opposite Emma’s Chief of Security.

“I do. At least eight hours an evening,” Anton replied seriously, as he folded his newspaper and stood from the table. Killian expected that to be the end of their conversation, knowing how little Anton usually gave. But instead, the other man busied himself fixing a mug of coffee for Killian, exactly to his liking. “I also didn’t drink as much as the rest of the men here did, last night,” he explained, sitting the mug before him, and taking his own seat again.

“You could have, you know? You’re here as a guest, not as part of the security team. Let your hair down a little.”

Anton fixed Killian with a hard stare, before he reached for his own mug once more. “I appreciate that. I know that I come as part of the package deal with Emma. And some find that a little intimidating. But I do appreciate your attempts to include me in your circle.”

Killian sat for a moment, thinking over his next words carefully. Anton might have been a man of few words, but Killian knew that those words were always well chosen and perfectly delivered.

“I don’t see you as part of the package deal,” he began. “I mean, yeah, we probably wouldn’t have even met if it hadn’t been for Emma. But… I see you as an important part of her life. You don’t just keep her safe. You genuinely care for her. Unlike some of the rest of your team. And she cares for you. You’re already part of that circle. We don’t include you for the sake of the role you play as Emma’s Chief of Security. We include you because we see you as part of the family.”

“Thank you.” Anton seemed genuinely grateful for Killian words, and the passion behind them. “Emma has been a huge part of my life since the moment she was born. I used to work for her father. But, when Emma was born, he pulled me aside that first day, with her in his arms, and told me from that moment on, my priority should always be to her. That I was to put her life above his, should it ever come to a choice. He wanted someone looking out for her that he could trust. And I was honored that he’d chosen me. So, for the last almost-thirty-years, that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

Killian had never heard Anton speak of Emma’s father before, but that little insight into their lives told him far more than Anton had actually said.

“For a long time, I was the only man in her life,” Anton continued. “It’s been hard watching someone else fulfil that role for her. Even if it’s not in the same capacity.”

“You know that she’s always going to need you in her life, right?” Killian offered. “I mean, I know that His Royal Highness and I never met in person, but I am in full agreement with his plans for Emma. She should always come first. And you’re the only person I’d ever trust to keep her safe.”

Anton nodded his agreement, before he drained the last of his coffee and stood up, carefully pushing his seat back under the table. “You do I know I have retirement plans, right?” he teased.

“I do,” Killian chuckled. “I’m just hoping you’ll have some good recommendations for other people I can trust with my wife, and our future-children’s, safety.”

“Already working on it,” Anton called back, as he made his way out of the room.

Chapter Text

While Killian waited for the rest of his party to surface, Emma and her friends were already enjoying a champagne breakfast together.

“So, what are today’s plans?” she asked, in between bites of her traditional English breakfast.

“Well, I figured we’d start with something a little more taxing,” Regina chuckled, as she looked round the group. “How does everyone feel about kayaking?”

“Oh, God no,” Ailene protested. “I’m too old for that.”

“Nonsense,” Mary argued. “You’re not that much older than me. And I’ve been before.”


“Oh yes. Emma used to row when she was at university,” Mary explained, as Emma nodded her agreement. It had been something she’d done regularly, while she was studying. But, she hadn’t held a paddle for some years since.

“I did not know that,” Belle stated. “I did some Googling before we came, but Google neglected to inform me of that piece of information.”

“Not many people know,” Emma reasoned. “And it’s been years since I last sat in a kayak.”

“It’ll be fun,” Mary encouraged, turning to Ailene. “And if you don’t enjoy it, we can come back and get drunk when it’s over.”

“Getting drunk when it’s over was my plan for the rest of the day anyway,” Regina chuckled, standing to grab another bottle of bubbly to split between them all.

While Emma and her friends took to the lake, under the instruction of what Ailene would never admit was a rather handsome young man, Killian was busy dodging paint pellets in a large, muddy field.

It had come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that even though Anton was one of the eldest in the group, he was also the most deadly when it came to taking out members of the other team. Thankfully, as Killian was the groom, he’d been first to pick his team. So naturally, he’d picked the only person there trained to fire a gun.

“You know…. We should really mix up the teams a little,” Liam panted, as Anton took him out once more.

“Sore loser?” Killian teased.

“The only reason you’re winning this is because of Anton. We could literally put him on a team, by himself, and he’d still kick all of our arses.”

“Sore loser.” Killian emphasized his statement by shooting his brother in the leg.

Liam huffed once more, before making his way back to the sidelines to watch the rest of the match. He’d smuggled his phone out with him, knowing his little brother would make a point of trying to take him out first, and he had wanted some pictures to remember the weekend by. Liam didn’t spend nearly enough time with Killian, as it was. And now that he had his enrollment date confirmed, he knew what precious little time they did get together, would be cut even shorter.

As much as Liam would deny it, to his face, he missed Killian when his brother was away filming. And now that Emma would be leaving with him, Liam would miss that connection to Killian even more.

“Well, that was more fun than I thought it would be,” Ailene sighed, as she dropped into a seat in one of the cabins. “But now, I ache in places I didn’t even know existed.”

“You were a natural,” Mary praised. “Trust me to capsize the damned boat.”

“Kayak,” Emma corrected, cheekily.

“Oh, hush you,” Mary scolded. A comfortable silence settled over the group for a moment, as they reflected on their day, before she asked, “Are we cooking this evening, or can we order in? Because I don’t feel like moving.”

“Could you make it out to the hot tubs?” Regina asked. “We could order some Chinese food, then head out to them and relax for a while, with some champagne?”

“How much champagne did you bring?” Emma chuckled, turning to look around the room. It had been cleaned while they were out on the lakes, but she could distinctly remember washing out at least five bottles that morning, after breakfast.

“Enough to fill those hot tubs,” Belle guessed. “Our plan is to get you so drunk, you tell us all the dirty details about your sex life.”

“I don’t want to be present for that,” Ailene warned, and Mary nodded her agreement. “I love you both, but I don’t need details.”

“Yeah, seeing it was more than enough, thank you,” Mary added.

“I’m sorry, what now?” Regina asked quickly.

Emma sank down into her seat, wishing she could disappear, at the determined look in her friend’s eyes. Regina wasn’t going to let this one go easily.

“Emma didn’t tell you?” Mary teased, sensing that this might be an embarrassing topic of conversation for her daughter. “The first time I met Killian, he was naked… and on top of my daughter… in her bed.”

“He was what?” Ailene gasped. “I know I taught him better than that.”

“It was Mum’s fault,” Emma defended. “She needs to learn not to let herself in to other people’s homes.”

“It’s never been a problem before,” Mary argued.

“I’ve never had a man at that apartment before,” Emma countered, before turning her attention back to her friends. “You know… I’m surprised you’d want details,” she chuckled. “Isn’t Killian like a brother to you both?”

“Yeah,” Belle sighed, a little deflated. She looked torn between wanting juicy details, and a little disgusted at what they might potentially reveal about the man she’d been working with, on an almost daily basis, for the past four years.

“But we always wanted to know if there was something kinkier lurking under that sweet Irish boy,” Regina added, as Ailene hurried from the room, yelling, “I don’t need to know that.”