“An ending isn’t happiness,” Snow said, eyes shining with hope and joy, “being together is.”
Emma’s heart turned over as she hugged Killian, her husband to her with one arm and held Henry’s hand with the other. They’d done it. They’d defeated the Black Fairy. They’d won the final battle.
And she was still alive—she and all her loved ones. No more fear hanging over them, no more prophecies of doom and death, no more evil to defeat. Just peace and happiness and love.
It was like waking up to bright sunshine after the worst nightmare of her life. The after effects of pain and fear were there, but far more substantial was the relief. Emma felt the tears gather at the back of her eyes as the adrenaline began to wear off and the emotion took its place.
Killian gave her a tender, knowing look. He understood; he always understood.
“Well it has been a thrilling day as always,” he said with a cocky grin, “but I do believe my lovely bride and myself are owed a wedding night, and since we were forced to spend the actual night of our nuptials in separate realms, tonight is a more than adequate substitute.”
David grumbled good-naturedly about things he didn’t need to know, while Henry pantomimed getting sick before very pointedly informing the family that he’d be staying with Regina for the next month or so until he was sure he wouldn’t be scarred for life at the Swan-Jones house.
Killian grinned, giving Emma a salacious look from hooded eyes. “Shall we, love?”
Emma grinned, loving the playfulness in his expression. “We shall.”
With a final goodbye hug for her son and her parents, Emma took hold of her husband’s hand and then poofed them to the sidewalk before their home.
“This is a mode of transportation, I could come to appreciate, my love,” Killian said, grin turning wicked, “but I do believe you miscalculated.”
“Yeah?” Emma asked, “how’s that.”
He swaggered toward her. “It is, after all, our wedding night. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to transport us directly to our bed.”
“Easy, tiger.” She laughed, putting a hand to his chest, meaning to playfully hold him at bay, but somehow turning the gesture into a caress. “We’ll get to that…believe me. We are so going to get to that, but there’s something I need to do first.”
“Aye?” he asked, putting an arm around her waist and leaning in to nuzzle the place where here neck met her shoulder. “And what, pray tell, might that be?”
Emma closed her eyes spreading her hands before her, concentrating hard. A pulse of bright, white light poured from her and spread until it enveloped their entire house and yard in a dome of translucent magic. “It’s our wedding night,” she said, turning back toward him, “and I’m not taking any chances. Last thing we need is Leroy bursting in on us shouting about snow monsters or curses or terrible news. This town can damn well handle one night without the savior.”
Killian swooped down and kissed her deeply, and after a moment, Emma felt the world shift on its axis. It took her a moment to realize she really was airborne and not merely swept up in the delicious headiness of kissing her husband. Pulling back she looked around to find Killian had picked her up, one arm behind her back and the other under the backs of her knees, and was walking purposely toward their front door.
Emma squirmed, laughing. “Killian is this really necessary?”
He managed the steps without tripping, dropping her, or otherwise causing calamity, and then he stopped before their front door. “Swan, this is vital. I, as your new husband must carry you over the threshold.”
He looked so serious, so scandalized that she could even suggest anything different. “Do people still carry their brides over the threshold?”
“Indeed they do if they wish for a happy marriage!” He said, serious as a heart attack.
“Oh yeah?” Emma asked, reaching up to play with the ends of his hair. “And just what’s going to happen to us if I walk into our home on my own?”
He rolled his eyes, and sighed. “Swan, everyone knows that evil spirits wait upon the threshold of a newly married couple’s home in a last, desperate effort to curse the lovers. The groom must carry his bride across lest the demons enter through the soles of her feet.”
Emma laughed again. “Killian we just defeated the Black Fairy and heart-controlled Gideon. I don’t think evil spirits have a chance against us.”
The playful joy slid from his face for a moment, concern taking its place. “Love, I almost lost you. I almost watched you die before my eyes. Silly tradition this may be, but allow me this concession. Please.”
Emma’s heart dropped at the naked agony on her husband’s face. They’d both been through so much in the past few weeks. It had been an almost constant stream of villains and separations. Fear and pain, curses and even death itself. There was a lot they still had to process and work through.
She reached up, cupping his face in her hands and then pulling him down for a soft kiss. “Yeah, okay.”
Emma waved her hand and their front door opened. Killian stepped through, set her on her feet and then hugged her to him, burying his nose in her neck. His hold was so desperate, so tight, it was almost painful, but Emma wouldn’t have pulled away for the world. She needed this as much as he did.
After a couple of moments of clinging together, Emma pulled back and then reached up to swipe at the tear tracks on her husband’s cheeks. “I know the last few months have been rough, and we have a lot to talk about and, you know, try to deal with, but can we put it aside for tonight, for just this night? We won the final battle and it’s our wedding night, and I just want to celebrate with my husband.”
Killian closed his eyes for a moment, dragged in a rough breath and slowly let it go. Opening his eyes, he looked down at her before leaning in for a kiss. “Then celebrate with your husband you shall.”
Emma tossed a fireball into the fireplace lighting a soft, romantic blaze, while Killian shut, locked and dead bolted the front door. “Now, darling, where shall we begin?”
Emma gave him her best come hither glance, curving her finger in a beckoning gesture. He complied with a wicked grin, hips leading, swagger firmly in place. When he reached her, he wrapped her in his arms and lowered his lips to hers.
There was no easing into this kiss, no gradual build up. It was fire and passion and need from the first, Killian devouring her, giving as good as he took. Emma gasped at the tender assault, and he took full advantage, his tongue surging forward to pillage and plunder. She reached up, her hand raking through his hair, nails scratching his scalp, trying to pull him closer, her tongue darting forward to stroke, tangle and dance with his own.
The moan in the back of Killian’s throat stoked the fires within Emma, and she was suddenly achingly aware that they both wore far too many clothes. She shrugged out of her red jacket, Killian’s hand and hook coming up to help her, and then she went to work on the buttons (way, way too many buttons) of Killian’s vest and shirt.
“Why do you always wear so many clothes?” she muttered as he pulled his mouth free and set to work kissing and nipping his way down her jaw to the sensitive spot just behind her ear.
“I’ve no bloody clue,” Killian said breathlessly, as he walked them backwards toward the couch and gently tipped her forward until she landed on her back, “but it’s one of the most abysmally stupid moves I’ve ever made.”
He leaned down, kissing her once again, his hand disappearing beneath the hem of her shirt as she finished the last button and shoved the offending clothes off of his shoulders. His leg found its way between hers, and her hips pitched forward, needing the contact, the friction. She needed him now.
Emma’s hands went to the button on Killian’s jeans—jeans that seemed to be fitting decidedly tightly—but before she could proceed, he broke his mouth free with a moan, sitting back and running his hand through his hair. “We need to slow down, love.”
She gave him an incredulous look. “Are you kidding me right now? You want to stop?”
He chuckled, offering a hand and pulling her to her feet. “Gods no,” he said. “I merely feel that our first coupling as husband and wife deserves better than a quick tousle on the sofa. Let’s adjourn to our chambers, my love, where I can properly ravage you.”
She leaned forward and kissed him, the gesture meant to be a quick peck, but soon turning to a frenzy of need. “Oh there’s nothing the slightest bit ‘proper’ in my thoughts right now. Think you’re up for some pillaging, pirate?”
He growled, swooping in for another kiss. “Oh you have no idea, darling,” he breathed against her lips as they moved purposely toward the bedroom.
--*waves* Hi again! Here’s yet another new MC. That makes 3 for this summer! Whew! I’m going to be a busy girl during this hiatus.
--As you can clearly see from the summary and the title, this fic is going to focus on the CS honeymoon—something they very much deserve to have. Now that they’ve gotten to have their wedding night (and pancakes), it’s time to plan their honeymoon!
Emma fell back onto her side of the bed gasping for breath, heart racing, sated, happy, and so in love she thought she might burst from it. The morning sun peeked in through the slit in their bedroom curtains and the soothing crash of the ocean against the beach was the only sound in the quiet.
Smiling, Emma turned over and laid her head on her husband’s chest, her hand idly running through his slightly damp chest hair.
“Feel free to wake me up in that manner any morning you like, love,” Killian said, wrapping his arm around her. “I’m more than amenable.”
Emma giggled, noting in the back of her mind just how carefree she sounded. “Twice last night and then again first thing in the morning? That’s quite the impressive stamina for a 300-year-old.”
He pinched her side playfully. “It’s bad form to tease a man about his age, Darling. Besides, I’m not a day over 250.”
She laughed again then leaned her head on her elbow and looked down at him. “Yeah? You gonna do something to punish me for my bad form?”
He groaned and cracked one blue eye open to look at her ruefully. “Would that I could love, but I’m afraid this old pirate needs a bit of time to recover.”
Emma leaned down and kissed him gently. “Just as well. I don’t think I’ll be able to move a muscle for a week.”
“Sore, are you?” he asked, smirk firmly in place.
“In all the right places.”
He hummed appreciatively, his hand lightly tracing patterns on her back. “How long do you suppose we can linger here before we’re summoned by someone in town?”
“A good week if they know what’s good for them,” Emma said. “In all seriousness, though, Dad’s offered to cover the sheriff’s station for a couple of days, Henry wouldn’t be caught dead within three miles of this place just after our wedding, Storybrooke is, at least temporarily, villain-free, and anyone else who might need us can just wait until I’m done having my way with my husband.”
He laughed. “Well said.”
“I think we can afford to take two or three days to ourselves here for a little honeymoon,” Emma said, feeling her eyelids begin to droop.
Killian shook his head. “Oh, that won’t do. That won’t do at all.”
The firm determination in his voice woke Emma abruptly, and she sat up to look at his face. “You…don’t want to take a honeymoon?”
Killian looked up at her. “Of course I wish to honeymoon with you, my love,” he said. “I simply think we can do better than a few paltry days lounging about our own home.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Emma said, in a low voice, “I think I could get used to never leaving this bed.”
He kissed her soundly. “Be that as it may, we have the fastest ship in all the realms at our disposal. What say we go on a little romantic adventure, love?”
“As long as we’re together this time, I say let’s do it! Where do you wanna go? You want to sail down the coast? Explore some more of the Land Without Magic?”
“Someday,” he said thoughtfully, “but I had something a bit more exotic in mind.”
“Aye.” Killian pulled away for a moment fumbled around his nightstand and grabbed something, holding it up for her perusal.
“Is that a magic bean?” Emma asked, taking it from him and examining it.
“Aye. Your father and I climbed the beanstalk and managed to obtain a bean. We were frantic to find a way home to you, love.”
“But you didn’t use it?”
“It was…in a less than useable state given the deterioration of our land,” He said slowly.
Emma’s heart sank. She heard what he didn’t—wouldn’t—say. Her lack of belief had not only nearly killed them, it had destroyed their one hope of returning to their home. She felt Killian’s gentle finger under her chin as he met her gaze.
“Don’t torture yourself, love,” he said, clearly seeing the turmoil in her eyes. “You were not at fault. The blame of our latest misadventure falls firmly and exclusively upon the Black Fairy. Her powers of manipulation could cause even Merlin himself to fall victim to doubt.”
Her brow furrowed. “Still, if Henry hadn’t found a way to make me believe, nearly everyone I love would have died. Kind of hard to not beat myself up over it.”
Killian began stroking her hair. “Aye, we were in a rather tough spot for a matter of minutes, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is you found the belief within yourself, to succeed even under the worst of conditions.”
Emma turned her head and kissed his chest. “You’re good for me, you know that?”
“Aye,” he answered. “Nearly as good as you are for me.”
They were silent for a moment and Emma listened to the steady thump of Killian’s heart beneath her ear. Finally, she returned to the topic at hand. “So, the bean was unusable. Looks fine now. What happened?”
He shrugged. “I suppose when you regained your belief it restored not only our land but this magic bean as well. The point is, with this bean, our honeymoon trip need not be restricted merely to this realm. We can go wherever your heart desires.”
“Well, there is one little logistical problem,” Emma said. “A bean may get us to another land, but it won’t get us home.”
“Aye, but the problem could be eliminated if we had more than one bean.”
“Do you have more than one bean?”
“No,” he admitted, “but I do believe I have a solution that will provide for not only our travel needs but those of everyone in this realm. Suppose I give this bean to Anton as seed for a new crop of magic beans? We would need to postpone our honeymoon for a few weeks, but…” he shrugged, “if we can cultivate a new magic bean farm, think of the possibilities! Anyone from this fair town can travel to their home realm and back! What’s more, should a villain threaten our entire town once again, which is far from an impossibility, we will have a ready-made escape plan.”
Emma kissed him long, and deep and thoroughly. “I love you, and I love your plan.”
“Splendid,” he said, sitting up and letting the bedsheet pool around his waist. “Now, I do believe it’s time I did something to relieve my wife’s morning after soreness. Shall I draw you a nice hot bath, love?”
“Only if you’ll join me.”
“I’d be happy to,” he said, one eyebrow wiggling ridiculously, “but I fear said activity might contribute to the soreness rather than alleviate it.”
“Risk I’m willing to take,” she said pushing back the covers and getting to her feet.
“Well then,” he bowed, hopping up to join her. “As my lady wishes.”
--Two chapters in and I still haven’t gotten to the actual honeymoon part of the story…just the morning after the wedding night. At least Killian’s figured out honeymoon transportation, so that’s something, right?
--Up next: the honeymoon begins! First stop is Wonderland and then Neverland. In this chapter we meet the “bad guy”…a rather inefficient one, but he tries to be menacing (when he’s not cracking bad jokes).
One month later
Killian woke slowly, stretched, and then turned onto his side to toss an arm over his wife…only his arm met empty sheets. Odd. In the entirety of their marriage, had Emma ever woken before him? He didn’t think so.
Killian sat up, ran a ragged hand through his hair and then tossed on a pair of jeans and a blue shirt. He couldn’t deny the slight shiver of alarm that coursed through him. It was ridiculous, he knew, but after all that had happened to them, all that had come between them, all the villains who had tried to harm her, he couldn’t help a spot of unease when his wife was not where he expected her to be.
As he opened their bedroom door, the delightful scent of coffee and what he supposed to be pancakes wafted up to him, and Killian smiled. The mystery of his wife’s whereabouts was effectively solved. Emma was not much for preparing meals normally, but she rather had an affinity for breakfast.
Padding lightly down the stairs on bare feet, Killian stepped up behind Emma as she slid her spatula under the final pancake and tossed it on the plate. He snaked an arm around her bathrobe-clad waist and buried his nose in the nape of her neck.
“Mmm, pancakes,” he hummed into her soft skin, following up with a quick kiss to her shoulder.
Emma tossed her head back until it rested on his shoulder, her eyes closed in bliss. “I hope you’re hungry, sailor.”
“Depends on what’s on the menu, love,” he said, voice gone low and gravelly. “Shall I feast on pancakes or…pancakes?”
Abruptly she turned in his arms, reached up and kissed him, long, deep, passionately. As the kiss went on and on, Emma’s hands slipped under his unbuttoned shirt and pushed it from his shoulders.
Killian growled as the kiss came to an end, his forehead resting against hers as his hand went to the sash on her robe. “So it is to be you I have for breakfast this morning.”
“Any complaints?” she asked, her voice gone breathy, soft, flirtatious.
He returned her kiss with interest, and then chuckled. “None at all, provided your mother doesn’t choose this morning to pay us a visit.”
Emma laughed. “Oh, don’t worry about that. I think mom learned her lesson the last time she barged in without knocking.”
“Well then,” Killian said, pulling the sash free and parting the robe to find bare, creamy skin beneath, “I do believe we should begin our feast.”
Emma gave him a little shove until he was seated on their kitchen table, eyeing her greedily as she let the robe fall to the floor. “Well than get to it, husband,” she said, “enough talking.”
Killian reached out to pull her to him. “As you wish my love.”
Three hours later, Emma leaned back in her sheriff’s chair, smiling dreamily, recalling the morning before she and Killian had come into work. This was her life now. Waking up, making breakfast, having her husband instead of breakfast, showering and then coming to work together.
This was a life she could get used to.
Their “breakfast” had resulted in maple syrup in rather…interesting…places, and so Killian had suggested they adjourn to the shower. He, after all, was quite the stickler for cleanliness. The hot, steamy water had long grown lukewarm by the time they’d finished, predictably far more than showering having occurred as they stood together beneath the spray.
“I rather like the modern invention of the shower, Swan,” he’d said afterwards as they caught their breath, enjoying the sensation of the water washing over them.
“Thought you might enjoy it,” she said, standing on her tiptoes to kiss him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
He smiled gently at her, reaching up to smooth a wet strand of hair from her face. “Are you happy, Swan, with our life together?”
Her heart swelled at the tenderness in his expression, and she’d kissed him again, couldn’t help it. Unlike the hungry kisses of the early morning, this was soft, backed by all the emotion she was feeling.
“Yeah,” she said after she pulled back. “I’m so happy I don’t even have words. I love you, Killian. So, damn much.”
She watched as his eyes turned glossy. She’d swear there were tears mixing with the water from the shower tracking down his cheeks. “And I you.”
After one more long, lazy kiss, Emma reached behind him to turn off the shower, and he growled in protest. “Swan,” he whined, as she pulled back the curtain, stepped out and reached for a towel, “I rather wish we could remain here in the shower for a bit longer.”
“Me too,” she said, wrapping a towel around her wet hair, “but you know how it is, deputy. We’ve gotta be at work in half an hour, so any more enjoyable activities are going to have to wait until after our shift.”
“Very well,” he huffed, stepping out of the shower and accepting the towel she offered and wrapping it around his waist, “but I do hope the giant’s crop is ready to harvest soon. I am more than ready for our honeymoon.”
“Me too,” she agreed.
After the Black Fairy’s defeat, they’d taken an entire weekend holed up in their home, Emma’s protection spell firmly in place. Afterwards, they’d reemerged into society, explained their magic bean plans to their family (and Anton), and then settled into a normal routine. Killian had taken the job of sheriff’s deputy, and the Jones’s had manned the sheriff’s station almost exclusively since. David and Mary Margaret had decided to sell their flat and buy a farm house in the country, and Emma had offered to cover for her dad at the station while he got settled in his new place.
Besides, it would make her feel less guilty when she and Killian went on their honeymoon, leaving David to man the station on his own.
Not that there was all that much to do around here. When Storybrooke was villain-free, it was a sleepy little town with next to no crime. The worst she’d had to deal with in the last month was Zelena rear ending Doc’s Miata in a hit and run. (Really, Zelena had no business behind the wheel, but Regina kept insisting she could teach her to drive.)
She and Killian had settled into a routine. In the mornings, he’d go on patrol while she dealt with paperwork. They’d have lunch together at Granny’s, and then he’d putter around the sheriff station, while she went on patrol in the afternoon. They spent more time apart than she’d like following this schedule, but at least they got to go home together at the end of the day.
Emma was pulled from her reverie by the sheriff’s door opening.
“Anton,” Emma said, sitting up. “Hope nothing’s wrong?”
The former giant grinned setting a bag on the desk before her. “Nothing’s wrong at all,” he said. “In fact everything’s great! All that rain we’ve been getting the last few weeks has done wonders for my bean crop. Just harvested my first batch!”
He gestured to the bag he’d tossed to her, and Emma opened the drawstring to find no less than twenty perfectly formed, sparkly magic beans.
“That’s great, Anton!” she said, “so you’ve got more coming?”
“Just about more than I can handle!” he said. “I just planted another row. Pretty soon we’ll have enough beans for the entire town.”
“You think those will be enough for you guys to have your honeymoon?”
Emma tossed the bag in her palm, testing its weight. “Yeah, this is amazing, Anton! This ought to get us to just about every realm out there. Thanks for growing them for us!”
He shrugged. “It’s no problem. It was starting to get boring around here with no villains to run screaming from. I needed a job, and growing beans is what I do best. But…”
“But?” she asked, watching as his brow furrowed. “You’re happy here, aren’t you, Anton?”
“Of course!” he reassured. “It’s just…I had a thought, and I’m not sure if it’s a stupid idea, but I can’t get it out of my mind…”
“What is it?”
“I thought, maybe now that I have all these beans, I could open a travel agency,” he said, the excitement clear on his face. “I could sell the beans to the townspeople and, you know, help them plan their voyages to other realms.”
She grinned. “I think it’s a great idea, Anton! As soon as Killian and I get back let us know how we can help you get your business off the ground!”
“Now, you have the shell phone in case you need us, right?” Emma asked, looking over at Henry as he waited on the docks.
Her teen son rolled his eyes good-naturedly, reached into his pocket and pulled out the seashell. “Like I told you the last fifteen million times you asked, mom, yes. I have the shell phone.”
“No need to worry,” Regina said briskly, stepping up to put an arm around Henry. “He’ll be staying with Zelena, the baby and me. I assure you Henry will be fine.”
“And so will the town,” Snow said, stepping up to give Emma and then Killian a hug. “Don’t worry about a thing. There hasn’t been a villain in sight for a month. It should be a simple thing to hold down the fort.”
“And I’ve got the sheriff’s station covered,” David insisted. “Go. Enjoy your honeymoon, and you can tell us all about it—other than details we really, really don’t want to know, of course—when you get back.”
Emma gave her father a long hug, and then stepped back, taking her husband’s hand and walking with him up the gangplank of the Jolly Roger. With one more wave to her family waiting on the docks, Emma took the bean Killian handed her, tossed it out to sea and watched as a portal opened before them.
“Where to first, love?” Killian asked as he steered his ship into the maelstrom of the portal.
“Well, Henry asked us to look in on Jefferson and Grace. How about we head to Wonderland first?”
Killian grimaced, and Emma picked up on his expression at once.
“Unless you’d rather not go there…” she said.
He shook his head quickly. “It’s fine, love,” he said, grim look still on his face. “My memories from that infernal realm are far from wondrous, but if Wonderland is where you wish to travel I’m perfectly amenable.”
As they moved closer to the portal, Emma put a hand on his arm. “Hey,” she said, “we don’t have to if you don’t want to. This isn’t just my honeymoon. It’s for both of us. I want us to go where we both want to.”
He smiled at her. “Aye, I know love,” he said, “but making you happy makes me happy. And at any rate, it was Cora’s rule that made Wonderland so very unpleasant. I’m rather curious how the realm has fared now that she’s been deposed.”
“My guess is even if the stoned caterpillar took the throne, Wonderland’s better off than when Cora was there,” Emma said.
“I’ve no doubt you’re right.”
“Okay, so it’s settled, then.” Emma said, wrapping an arm around Killian’s waist as she braced herself for the wild ride that was sailing through a portal. “We take a quick trip to Wonderland, and then you get to choose our next port of call.”
“We have an accord, my love,” Killian said, as the portal swallowed them.
The honeymoon was officially underway.
--Sorry for the lack of chapter last week! I went to the OUAT Convention in Chicago the weekend before last, and I pretty much ended up spending all my fandom related time last week on things related to the con—photos, videos, recaps, transcripts. It was such a fun experience! If you ever have the means and opportunity to go to a con, I’d highly recommend it! That being said, I’ve returned to my normal writing schedule this week, and I hope to stick to it from here on out until this fic is completed.
--So, Emma and Killian’s first stop is Wonderland. I stopped before they actually had their Wonderland visit because…well, the muse just wasn’t into it today. (The muse was far too interest in pancakes and shower scenes. For someone who doesn’t write smut, the muse has pushed me to write a whole bunch of not-quite-smut scenes!)
--Up next: Emma and Killian find out what’s been going on in Wonderland since we last saw it, and they visit Jefferson and Grace. After a short visit, they decide to move on to their second destination—where the come face to face with the “villain” of this story.
Emma held tight to Killian, burying her face in his neck as the portal swirled around them. Taking the Jolly Roger on the honeymoon had seemed like a good idea, but navigating the swirling portal sea…not so much.
As the sea raged around them, Emma remembered the last time they’d done this. It had been under far less pleasant circumstances. They’d followed Henry and his kidnappers to Neverland. She’d been frantic. She’d had no idea what was in store, what Henry might be going through, if the ragtag group of heroes and villains with her could even pull together to find Henry.
What a difference a few years made! Now she’d full accepted her magic, her family, her destiny. She wasn’t on a desperate rescue mission, but on her honeymoon. She wasn’t with a group of people she was afraid would kill each other, but with her husband, her True Love, the man she’d literally go through hell for.
Back then, in the dark days of Neverland she never would have believed she could love this deeply or completely, and if someone had told her Killian would be that love interest? Well, she didn’t know whether she would have laughed or punched them in the face.
The raging portal suddenly became calm, and Emma cautiously raised her head to look around. In the distance lay a land she’d never before beheld. Wonderland. There was something…surreal about it. Everything was just a little bit too much. Too bright, too colorful. The flowers too big, the trees too small. It seemed less a land of beauty than the crazed imaginings of someone who was high as a kite.
“So this is Wonderland, huh?” Emma said, running her fingers through hair that had tangled and matted with the portal’s fury.
“Just so, love,” Killian said, mouth set in a grim line. “More a land of nightmare than of wonder. But then, perhaps things have changed now that dear old Cora is no longer with us.”
“Let’s hope so.”
Killian let down the longboat, hopped down, and then helped Emma in. “Killian, we don’t have to spend long here, I promise. Just long enough to check in on Jefferson and Grace. Then we’re off.”
Killian leaned over and kissed her deeply. “I don’t care where we honeymoon love, as long as I’m with you.”
Emma smiled, reaching up to cup his face, letting her thumb caress his cheek. “That’s so romantic and cheesy, Killian.”
“I happen to be rather fond of cheese, Swan, and as for romance, you bring out the romantic in me.”
Emma laughed. “Well, for the record, I’m happy as long as I’m with you too. So how about we make a pact. Neither one of us dies, sacrifices ourselves, or has a near-death experience for at least the next fifty years or so.”
“I do believe we have an accord, my love.”
“How do you want to seal that accord, Killian?” Emma asked, extending her hand. “Handshake?”
“Not a chance,” he said with a positively sinful grin, “but I dare say the way I’d like to seal it could get us arrested for public indecency if we engaged in it here and now. I will however, accept a substitute until we’re able to properly set the accord.”
“Yeah? And that is?”
Killian tucked his chin, looked up at her from beneath heavily lidded eyes and tapped his lips with two fingers. Emma laughed, her mind returning to the humid jungles of Neverland, to a flirtatious pirate who requested a thank you that neither one of them, it ended up, could handle. She grabbed the lapels of his coat and pulled him to her, doing her best to recreate their first, steamy kiss.
“Quite odd,” Killian said as they broke apart and rested their foreheads against each other.
“I seem to remember a certain savior assuring me in no uncertain terms that what happened on Neverland was a onetime thing,” he said, “and yet here we are, sharing our three hundred twentieth kiss.”
“Three hundred twentieth?”
“Aye,” Killian said, with a decisive nod. “I have a head for keeping track of the important things.”
Emma laughed. “So are we going to sit here in this boat and make out all day, or are we actually going to find Jefferson and Grace?”
Killian put a finger to his lips as though deep in thought. “Difficult choice, my love, but I suppose we’d best do what we set out to do.”
Killian grabbed the oars and began rowing. Emma sat back, enjoying the ride—enjoying the way the exercise made Killian’s muscles strain against his shirt. For a moment, all thought, but that lean, muscled body fled Emma’s mind. Her need and desire for her husband was pretty close to insatiable. Now, unfortunately, was not the time.
“See something you like, love?” Killian said with a wink.
“You know I do, sailor,” she answered
“Just wait until I get you alone later,” he said, “You’re free to explore all you like.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
The longboat scraped against the beach, and Killian jumped out, pulled the boat the rest of the way in, and then helped Emma out. Stopping to give her a quick kiss before they went on their way.
“Whooooo are you?” came a voice from behind them.
Emma looked up to find a huge, green caterpillar wearing a fez and sunglasses and holding a hookah pipe.
“I’m Princess Emma Swan-Jones of the Enchanted Forest,” she said, “and this is my husband Killian.”
“Princess?” the caterpillar said, looking at her over the rims of his sunglasses. “And are you quite sure of the identity of your companion? He looks rather like a ruffian we had in our borders some years ago. Captain Hook was his name.”
“I’m the very same,” Killian said, standing tall and proud. “Though I’ve rather put my villainous ways behind me. I do hope my past here will not make my wife and I unwelcome.”
“Not at all,” the caterpillar said. “Captain Hook may have had villainy on his mind, but his visit rid us of the Queen of Hearts. You, sir, are nearly a national hero.”
“Did you hear that Swan?” Killian said, “I’m famous.”
Emma groaned and then looked up at the caterpillar. “His ego does not need to be further stroked.”
“As long as you continue stroking other parts, love,” Killian said in a low voice, far too quiet for anyone but her to hear.
She blushed in spite of herself.
“Anyway…” she said, “we were hoping you could help us find someone.”
“I know all within these borders.”
“Great! We’re looking for Jefferson…although he may be known as the Mad Hatter here…and his daughter Grace.”
“Ah yes,” the caterpillar said. “He has indeed returned to our borders. Perhaps you could try to speak to the March Hare in order to find his current whereabouts.”
“And where might we find this March Hare?” Killian asked
“The best way to find someone is simply to look.”
Emma raised her eyebrows. “That’s….not really helpful at all.”
The caterpillar pointed in the direction of a dirt path that led into the forest. “Follow yonder road, but be sure to stick to the path lest you slowly drown in the marshmallow swamp.”
“Yeah, that’s kind of something I’d like to avoid on my honeymoon.”
“Or at any other time,” Killian added for good measure.
Armed with precious little information, but having a heading at least, Killian took Emma’s hand, laced their fingers and started off along the path.
“According to Henry’s book,” Emma said, “Jefferson and Grace lived in a tiny cottage in the woods. If you see anything that looks promising, we’ll check it out.”
But after more than a mile of walking, all either of them saw were the strange trees, flowers, insects, and vegetation of Wonderland.
“Is it just me, or did that stoned caterpillar send us on a wild goose chase?” Emma asked.
Emma missed what Killian said in reply, as she caught a flash of…something…in the braches of a nearby tree. She did a double take, but whatever it was was gone.
A moment later it appeared again. It was….a wide, toothy grin attached to absolutely nothing.
“Killian…” She said, pointing in the direction of the odd site. “Do you see that?”
He looked in the direction she pointed and then groaned. “It seems we’ve come across the Cheshire cat, love.”
As he spoke, the features of the cat began slowly to appear—first the eyes, then the whiskers, then the ears, then the sleek body.
“You think he can help us?”
“Oh I’m sure he can, love,” Killian said, “but I’m equally sure he won’t. The cat is a right bastard.”
There was a “tsk”ing sound from the cat. “Now is that any way to speak to those you meet on the road?”
“Can you tell us where to find the home of Jefferson and Grace?” Emma asked, turning from Killian’s fierce scowl to the cat’s obnoxious grin.
“Of course I can,” the cat assured. “The question is why should I?”
“Perhaps you’d prefer not to be impaled on my hook, mate,” Killian growled.
“Captain Hook, always so violent,” the cat said with a mocking shake of the head. “But to show that I can be hospitable, I will tell you exactly what you asked. Just around yonder bend in the road, you will find a cottage nestled in the woods. The cottage belongs to the hatter and his girl.”
“Thank you,” Emma said.
They set off, watching as the cat slowly disappeared, bit by bit until only his grin remained. A moment later that disappeared as well.
“Okay, I don’t know about you,” Emma said, “but that feline totally freaks me out.”
“He’s harmless,” Killian said as they approached the bend and walked past. “Annoying as hell, but harmless.”
“Well, at least he gave us useful information,” Emma said, as a tiny cottage finally came into view.
“I’m not so sure he did,” Killian frowned. “Do you notice anything peculiar about that domicile?”
Emma looked more closely. It was completely overgrown. The small vegetable garden was full of weeds, ivy and other trailing plants crawled up the sides of the house, the lawn was similarly overgrown, one of the front windows was broken, and there was not a light to be seen inside the house.
“I don’t like the looks of this,” she said as they cautiously approached the cabin. “Do you think the Cheshire cat lied to us?”
Killian knocked, and when they received no answer, he opened the door. Inside they found their suspicions confirmed. A thin film of dust coated everything, a kitchen chair was overturned, the hearth looked as though it hadn’t seen a fire in decades and other than a raggedy patchwork stuffed rabbit in one corner, it showed no signs that it had ever been a dwelling.
“No, love,” Killian said, stooping down to tug a round box free from under the small bed in the corner. “I believe he told us what was literally true. This was where Jefferson and Grace lived. This can be none other than the hatbox where Jefferson kept his famous hat.”
“Well, they’re not here anymore,” Emma said. “You think something happened? You think Henry was wrong? Maybe they never came back here.”
Killian shook his head. “No, Swan. The lad is the author, he’d know more than anyone what has happened to the people within his pages. If Henry says Jefferson and Grace are in Wonderland, in Wonderland they are.”
Emma blew out a long breath. “Killian, I’m beginning to see why you hate this place so much. It’s one big riddle with no answer. I guess it’s back to the drawing board.”
“Seems that way,” Killian said, stopping to kiss her cheek before they continued on.
“What was that for?” Emma asked, reaching up to cup the place he kissed.
Killian shrugged. “Whether we find what we wish or not, I’m with you, and that reminds me that I am the luckiest man in all the realms.”
Emma reached up and pulled his head down for a long kiss. “You’re no luckier than I am,” she said. “So what do you want to do next? Should we keep on with this wild goose chase, or do we head back to your ship?”
“Let’s search a bit more, love,” Killian said, opening the cabin door and ushering her back outside. “It would be a shame to disappoint our lad.”
“Our lad,” Emma said, feeling the love bubble up within her. “I love the sound of that.”
They’d only just started down the path once more, when they were pushed aside by a white rabbit dressed in a waistcoat and carrying a pocket watch. “Pardon me!” he said, “I’m terribly sorry, but I’m late!”
“For a very important date?” Emma asked with a grin.
“Indeed my lady,” he said with a nervous little bow. “I’m due to have tea with the queen and her king. Mustn’t be late. Mustn’t be late!”
“The king and queen?” Killian asked, “who is it who rules the realm?”
“Queen Alice and King Cyrus,” the rabbit said. “They are benevolent leaders. Wonderful monarchs. Can’t be late; must go!”
With that, the rabbit began scampering off.
“Oh wait!” Emma called after him.
He stopped but bounced on the balls of his feet, clearly ready to sprint away. “I cannot wait. I’m late! Must go now.”
“Just a quick question!” Emma said. “Do you happen to know where the Mad Hatter and his daughter live?”
The rabbit nodded and pointed to a hill in the distance. “There,” he said. “The mansion at the top of the hill. Now please! I cannot delay.”
“Many thanks, mate,” Killian said, “and enjoy your tea with the royals.”
Many hours later, Emma lay in Killian’s arms in the big bed in the captain’s quarters. When Killian had first proposed that they live on the ship during their honeymoon, Emma had been skeptical.
“Killian,” she’d said, “I love the Jolly, I really do, but….I’ve seen the bed in your captain’s quarters. It’s barely big enough for one person, let alone two.”
“Not to worry, Swan,” Killian assured. “I assure you, our nuptial bed will exhibit the utmost comfort. I intend, after all, to spend long hours there with you.”
And he’d been as good as his word. The day before the honeymoon, Emma had climbed down into the captain’s quarters, hoping to stock the room with everything they’d need for their voyage, and the first thing she’d seen was a huge, king sized, four poster bed, complete with down pillows, a soft mattress and the most luxurious silk sheets and cotton blankets.
“I had it commissioned,” Killian had said, coming up behind her. “Marco carved the frame for us. See the swan and the hook on the headboard? Granny bought the mattress—and fear not, she chose far better for us than she did for her inn, and your parents provided the bedding. It’s my wedding gift to you, my love.”
Emma had expressed her appreciation enthusiastically, attacking him with kisses, before toppling him onto the new bed, insisting that it needed to be properly christened.
“So a happy ending for the hatter and his daughter, then,” Killian said, bringing her back to the present, gently caressing Emma’s bare shoulder.
“Yeah,” Emma said, “I’m glad things worked out so well for them. Good for Regina, keeping her word.”
They’d hiked up the hill and rung the doorbell of the huge mansion and estate at the top. They’d waited for several moments, but finally Grace, now more of a young woman than the little girl Emma remembered, opened the door.
Grace had quickly invited the Jones’s to tea, delighted to see them again, full of questions about Henry and how he was doing now.
Over the course of the next few hours, Jefferson told Emma and Killian how they’d ended up in a mansion in Wonderland.
“We were sent back after Regina destroyed the first curse,” Jefferson said, pouring Emma a cup of tea. “Everyone returned to their original lands, if you recall.”
“Yeah,” Emma said, “Things were kind of chaotic then…and ever since. You’ve missed the Wicked Witch, the Snow Queen, the Queens of Darkness, Me becoming a Dark One, me turning Killian into a Dark One, Hades, Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll, the Evil Queen—split off from Regina, Gold and Belle’s grown up son Gideon, and the Black Fairy.”
“No offense, Emma,” Jefferson said, “but I’m glad Grace and I missed it. Sounds like you haven’t had a moment of peace.”
“You have no idea, mate!” Killian said. “It was a miracle Swan and I found the time to get married amid the chaos.”
“So how is it that you got to stay here in Wonderland when the second curse was cast?”
“We felt the pull of the curse,” Grace said, offering a tray of scones, “but it was weak. It was like whoever cast the curse was giving us the option to go or to say.”
“And since we’ve now got the perfect life together,” Jefferson said, “we decided to stay.”
“Can’t say as I blame you,” Emma said, “but that’s another thing. How did you end up with such an amazing house…and estate…and servants…and basically everything you could ever want?”
Jefferson shared a quick smile with Grace. “It was Mayor Mills,” Grace said finally. “She gave us this life; she gave us our happen ending.”
“Really?” Killian asked.
“Absolutely,” Jefferson said, “long ago, the Evil Queen asked me for a favor. She promised to give me, and particular my Grace, a good, happy life where we’d want for nothing.”
“But instead, she separated you from your daughter and trapped you with your memories in Storybrooke,” Emma said.
“Yes,” Grace said, “but you broke the curse, and my papa found me again!”
“And when Regina destroyed the curse,” Jefferson said, “she evidently decided to fulfill her promise. We were taken directly to this house. And now we’ll never be separated again.”
They’d stayed and talked until nightfall, and then Emma had poofed herself and Killian back to the Jolly. Now, sometime later they lay near sleep.
“So now that we’ve fulfilled Henry’s request, where to?” Emma asked sleepily. “Next stop’s your choice.”
Killian was silent for a long moment, and Emma sat up until she could see his face. “Killian?”
Finally he sighed. “I never would have expected to suggest this, particularly not on my honeymoon, but love, I think we should go to Neverland.”
“Neverland?” Emma asked, her eyes going wide. “Why the hell would you want to go there? Not exactly the best memories from that place. Last time we were there a bunch of psycho teenagers were about to burn you at the stake.”
Killian sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “You’re correct, of course,” he said, “and it’s not precisely that I want to return to that hellish land.”
“Then why suggest it?” Emma asked.
“Tiger Lily,” he said finally. “It was only due to her aid that we were able to defeat the Black Fairy. She was instrumental in our success, and when I last left her….the lost ones were demanding her head. I just….I wanted to be sure she’s well, that she’s not in need of our aid. You don’t mind, do you love?”
Emma smiled, feeling love well up inside her for this man. She leaned down and kissed him. “Mind? Not even close. I love you and your honor, Killian, and I’d be happy to go to Neverland and make sure the Lost Boys are behaving.”
“Very well,” Killian said, “First thing in the morning, Neverland it is.”
--So there you have it. Wonderland. Jefferson and Grace got their happy ending in a big, comfortable house.
--Up next: Emma and Killian go back to Neverland where they meet up with Tiger Lily—as well as some of the Lost Ones.
The first thing Emma noticed when the portal closed behind them was the feel of the sun on her face. It was an odd feeling; the last time they were in Neverland it was night—for a solid week. The sky never got brighter than what you’d get as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. This time around—well, it looked like a tropical island paradise. Bright sun, lush vegetation, the sound of the warm ocean waves gently cresting against the hull of the ship.
Even more than the bright sunshine was the atmosphere of the land. When they’d been here before, the island had had a stifling feel, an air of gloom and doom that made Emma’s mind immediately go to the worst moments of her life. Not anymore. The oppressive atmosphere was completely and utterly gone.
“What happened here, Killian,” Emma asked as she looked around, wide eyed. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say we made a wrong turn and ended up in a totally different place. This is nothing like the Neverland I remember.”
Killian grinned. “Pan’s left, and with him the shadow—all the shadows,” he said simply. “With the little demon gone for good, the magic was able to return the island to its former glory. This is Neverland as it should have been.”
“Except for, you know, the Lost Ones who almost burnt you at the stake the last time around,” Emma said dryly.
“Aye,” he said, “it was a bit of an inconvenience.”
Emma laughed and then stood on tiptoes to kiss him softly just because she was happy, just because she could. Whoever came up with the idea of honeymoons was a genius.
“Killian, only you could refer to almost being murdered violently as ‘a bit of an inconvenience’.”
He shrugged playfully. “Aye, well, when you’ve already been killed three times, it starts to become old hat.”
She playfully smacked his shoulder. “Yeah, well I’m putting my foot down. No more getting murdered violently, buddy. I mean it. I’ll hunt you down in the Underworld and make you regret all your life choices.”
Killian gave her a slow wink. “As I’d much prefer to keep peace within my marriage—not to mention within Arthur’s current Underworld realm, I shall keep your demand in mind, provided of course, you allow me the same courtesy.”
“Deal,” Emma said as Killian helped her into the longboat and they rowed to shore.
The beach was so utterly familiar. There was the spot she’d taken control of their group of Nevengers. She remembered Killian standing their all cocky and handsome, insisting that he fancied her when she wasn’t yelling at him.
She remembered the Lost Ones and Pan, the attack of the mermaids, how she’d nearly drowned trying to keep her crazy family from killing each other. Turning back toward the sea, Emma raised her hands, and a bolt of bright, white light flew from each of them. The magic surrounded the Jolly, made it glow for a moment, and then all returned to normal.
“What was that for, love?” Killian asked.
“Protection spell,” Emma said. “Last thing we need is one of the psychos who live here to steal our ride.”
“Have I told you lately how bloody brilliant you are, Swan?” Killian asked
“Well, not in the last hour,” Emma said.
He grinned and laced his fingers with hers.
“So where are we headed?” Emma asked.
“Dark Hollow,” Killian answered.
Emma shot him an incredulous look. “You have got to be kidding me! You want to go back to Dark Hollow? You know, the darkest heart of the island? The place you almost had your shadow ripped off right in front of me?”
Killian stopped, leaned down and kissed her slowly. “You mean the place where you called my name in panic as I was nearly ripped apart? The place you called on your need to protect me to find the emotion needed to light the candle? I’d say, if we’re visiting important locations from our courtship, that one is a must.”
Emma gave him a long look, one eyebrow raised. “Yeah, I might have cared for you then more than I was ready to admit, but you’ve got to admit, that god forsaken forest doesn’t exactly scream ‘honeymoon paradise’.”
“It might surprise you,” Killian said. “Like the rest of the island, when the shadows departed, Dark Hollow was reborn. More to the point, it’s where Tiger Lily lives. I’d hoped to ascertain she survived my last adventure here. It’s only due to her help that I avoided being impaled on a dozen Lost One swords.”
“Well then it looks like I owe her my thanks,” Emma said, taking his hand once again. “Lead on, captain.”
They walked for a mile and a half, picking their way carefully through the jungle, making a wide berth around the dreamshade vines that could be found here and there. They talked, pointing out familiar locations. Reminiscing about their last adventure on this island.
It had been agonizing, of course. The fear and anxiety about Henry had nearly eaten Emma alive during every waking moment (and the cries of the Lost Ones had made it difficult to find blessed relief even in sleep).
But at the same time, there had been a kind of…magic about their time in Neverland. In a lot of ways, Neverland was the start of it all when it came to their relationship. She’d been so afraid to let go, to be vulnerable, to give in to the feelings bubbling up within her when it came to this man. So afraid he’d be like all the rest and let her down. And yet, he never had. Never. He’d been her rock, her comfort, her cheerleader, her distraction when things all became too much. Too bad it had taken her so long to see it.
“Killian,” Emma said, as he lifted a branch so she could walk past, “I don’t think I ever properly thanked you, you know, for all you did for us the last time we were here.”
He grinned wickedly. “Oh, I don’t know. I seem to recall a certain ‘thank you’ you gave me that you most certainly couldn’t handle?”
“I couldn’t handle it?” Emma asked. “Why do you think I made you wait five minutes to regain our group? You, Killian, most definitely couldn’t handle it.”
“Aye,” he conceded, “perhaps you’re right, but repetition breeds familiarity. The solution to our mutual problem is simple. We must, how did the lad phrase it?, ‘make out’ on the regular in the hopes that one day, far, far in the future, we will both be able to handle it.”
Emma laughed and then raised an eyebrow playfully. “Well, they do say, practice makes perfect.”
Killian growled deep in his throat and then pounced, kissing her with every ounce of pent up desire, recalling their first kiss—the wonder, the feel of her lips against his, her hands in his hair, her tongue dueling with his. The kiss may have been more the result of his challenge than anything else, but it had turned his whole world upside down.
“Well, well, look who’s decided to return,” came an insolent voice from behind them. “Ready to let us finish what we started?”
Killian groaned, pulling his mouth free and whirling to face the Lost Ones once again. “I’m afraid not,” he drawled. “As it happens I’m a little busy kissing my wife at the moment. You’ll need to find someone else to vent your teenage angst upon.”
The apparent leader of the boys stepped forward, sword in hand, scowl firmly in place. “You won’t be quite so cocky when we cut out your tongue and stuff it down your throat.”
“Oooo,” Killian said, taking a step back in mock fear, “quite hostile aren’t we.”
A second boy joined the first, and the rest advanced another menacing step. “You killed Pan, and for that you die!” the second boy said. “The more you resist, the more painful we make it.”
Killian heard an exasperated sigh from behind, and before he could stop her, Swan stepped in front of him. “Look guys, this whole ‘I’m an angry misunderstood teen’ routine isn’t going to scare us. We’ve got one of those at home. We’re used to it.”
“We’ll kill you too!” a voice from the back piped up, “don’t think we won’t! If you’re protecting Pan’s killer, you’re our enemy as well.”
Emma rolled her eyes, and with a flick of her wrist, each and every Lost One was disarmed. “Guys, this is our honeymoon. I want to have some downtime with my new husband, but if I have to ground a whole jungle full of surly teens, I’ll do it, but how about you save me the trouble and cut the crap? I have magic; you can’t hurt us. And for the record, Killian did not kill Pan. That honor belonged to Pan’s own son, Rumplestiltskin.”
“You’re lying!” the first teen insisted. “We know Captain Hook! We know if Pan’s gone, it’s because he killed him.”
“Afraid not, lads,” Killian said. “Not that I wouldn’t have derived great enjoyment from impaling the bloody demon on my hook, but I didn’t have that honor.”
A touch of confusion seemed to enter the leader’s eyes. Clearly, he wasn’t ready to concede defeat, but they’d succeeded in planting the seeds of doubt.
“Look,” Emma said, dropping her hands and giving the lads a sympathetic look, “I get it, okay? You were loyal to Pan. Loyalty’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s misplaced. Pan left the island with us. He left you behind. I know the pain of being left behind, believe me, but look around you! Can you honestly say you’re worse off now than you were when he was with you? You live on an island paradise, an island paradise that has wish-fulfillment magic. You can have anything you want just by thinking of it. All the perks without the darkness, stifling atmosphere, and cruel games you had with Pan. Aren’t you better off now than you were before?”
The boys exchanged looks, the conflict in their eyes stronger than ever.
“So it seems to me,” Emma continued, “that you have a choice to make. You can give in to hate and a thirst for revenge—which will never make you happy—or you can move forward, realize all the good things you have now, and enjoy the ride. Your choice.”
The conflict seemed even stronger on their faces.
“And,” Killian continued, “I’m prepared to sweeten the deal, should you choose the later.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a sparkly, magic bean. “Do you know what this is?”
“A bean!” the smallest boy said in wonder. “A magic bean!”
“Aye, just so,” Killian nodded. “You may do with it what you like. Use it, plant it and grow more, eat it for all I care. All I ask is that you cease hostilities between myself, my family and all on this island. Have we a deal?”
The Lost Ones shared a long look among themselves, and finally the leader nodded and extended his hand. “Deal!”
Emma smiled as she and Killian stepped from Dark Hollow two hours later. She’d never have believed it, but their day in Neverland had actually been pretty great.
“So it looks Tiger Lily can take care of herself,” Emma said, as they began walking once again. “She seems like kind of a badass. I think the Lost Boys were in more danger from her than she was from them.”
“True enough, love,” Killian said, “but all the same I’m pleased to find her so well after all the help she gave us in defeating the Dark Fairy.”
After leaving the Lost Ones, Emma and Killian had made it to Tiger Lily’s cave within Dark Hollow with no more difficulty, although things had gotten a bit dicey once they’d gotten there. Killian had just stooped down to peer into the cave and announce their presence when an arrow shot from the interior. Emma pulled Killian aside just in time.
“Who’s there?” came a woman’s voice from the interior. “Declare yourself, or I swear the next arrow will hit its mark and I guarantee your end will be slow and painful.”
“Bloody hell, Tiger,” Killian said irritably. “After all the years we knew each other, you still don’t recognize me?”
Emma raised her hands, ready to defend them should it be necessary, but a moment later a Native American woman with long, black braided pig tails and a simple brown dress stepped from the dim interior of the cave. “Captain?” she asked, looking up at him in wonder. “After your last experience here in Neverland, I didn’t expect you to return so soon.”
Killian grinned and stepped forward, his characteristic swagger in place. “A few Lost Ones trying to burn me at the stake? Hardly something I can’t handle, darling.”
“And what of the wand?” Tiger Lily continued. “Was it successfully reunited.”
“Indeed it was,” Killian said. “The wand was restored, and the Black Fairy was defeated. Thanks to your help evil was defeated once more.”
Tiger Lily let out a long breath. “You’ve no idea how glad I am to hear it. And what of the woman you loved, the one you couldn’t wait to return to?”
Killian stepped back and reached for Emma’s hand, pulling her to his side, and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “It seems I’ve an important introduction to make. Tiger Lily, I’d like you to meet Mrs. Emma Swan-Jones, my wife. Emma, Tiger Lily.”
“Your wife?” Tiger Lily said, looking up at him with wide eyes. “Captain Hook with all his flirting and innuendo has finally committed to a wife?”
“Hi,” Emma said, stepping forward and offering her hand. “It’s nice to meet you, and yes. Captain Hook finally tied the knot. We’ve been married for a grand total of 1 month, three days, seventeen hours and forty-two minutes.”
Killian turned toward her, eyes tender. “And it has been the best month, three days, seventeen hours and forty-two minutes of my life.”
Tiger Lily laughed. “I’d never have believed it, but it’s true. You really have changed.”
Tiger had quickly invited them to join her for a cup of tea—which soon turned into dinner. Emma had liked the woman from the start. She was tough but kind, reserved, but full of good humor. Over the next couple of hours, Tiger Lily told tale after tale of her time in Neverland—tales of adventure and betrayal. Some poignant, some so funny Emma was nearly rolling on the floor with laughter.
Emma felt like she walked away from Tiger Lily’s cave with a whole new appreciation for her husband and the lifetimes he’d lived.
“So Pan made you steal a clock from him?” Emma asked as they walked.
“The constant tick-tock nearly drove me mad,” Killian said with a sigh. “Did you ever wonder why I refused to have one of those demon devices in our bedroom, love?”
Emma laughed. “And I thought you just never wanted us to leave our bed.”
“Oh that too,” he said wiggling his eyebrows.
She laughed again and then reached up to bring down his head for a quick kiss. “Well if I’m being honest, neither do I.”
Killian grinned and then wrapped his arms around her, kissing her with relish.
“So what next,” Emma asked when they finally came up for air. “We return to the Jolly and continue on with the honeymoon?”
He shook his head. “Not just yet, I think,” he said “I’ve a lovely little secluded lagoon I’d rather like to show you. Perhaps you’d care to join me for a little swim?”
Emma felt the heat pool deep in her belly at the look in his eyes. Suddenly a dip in the lagoon with her husband—and preferably without their clothes—sounded like a tremendously good idea.
“Oh hell yes,” she said.
Emma waited until Killian was a foot away and then she made her move. With a quick move of her hand, she splashed his face.
Killian spluttered, before wiping his eyes. “Bad form, my love!” he grinned. “I’m afraid I must punish you for your insolence.”
“Oh yeah?” she asked playfully, “and just what do you have in mind for my punishment?”
Killian waded forward with intent, not stopping until he’d invaded her space, until she felt his chest hair against her tender skin. She brought her hands up around his neck. “I think to start, I’d like a kiss,” he said.
She grinned, surged forward and locked her lips with his, his mouth opening immediately under her tender assault, his tongue meeting hers, turning their heads this way and that trying to get closer, always closer. They would never get close enough. Emma felt her pulse tick up as Killian’s hand began to wander. It moved from her hair slowly, sensuously down her bare back before wandering toward other areas, areas desperate for his touch.
Everything was augmented here, every touch, every feeling, every fevered emotion. Emma was achingly aware not only of her husband, methodically driving her mad with need of him, but of the water churning around them, warm as bathwater, of the sounds of nature, of the tropical birds calling to each other, of the insects buzzing, of the palm trees with their fronds swaying with the gentle breeze.
As Killian pulled his mouth free of hers and began kissing a path down her chest, Emma knew with absolute certainty that should she live three lifetimes, she’d never forget this moment. She and Killian had found their way to paradise.
The sunset, with its brilliant pinks and oranges and purples was beginning to paint the sky as Emma and Killian stepped from the water, dried off and slowly got dressed once more. Killian felt the sappy smile covering his face. He doubted he’d ever stop smiling.
A tropical paradise with Swan, his body still sated and humming from their loving, an entire lifetime together before them. Killian’s eyes were opened to what absolute and total happiness felt like.
Fate had a strange sense of humor. Who would have thought he’d find heaven on bloody Neverland?
“Shall we return to the ship, love?” he asked, watching as she tossed her white tank top over her head and then zipped up her boots.
“I guess so,” Emma said slowly. “I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’m really going to miss Neverland.”
“As am I, Swan, as am I.”
They walked slowly through the jungle and toward the beach as the sun slipped closer to the horizon.
“Well, well,” an all too familiar voice said from behind them. “I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, but there he is. Captain Hook, finally here to deliver my ship to me.”
“Oh bloody hell,” Killian said closing his eyes and shaking his head. “Of course he’s still here!”
--And there you have CS’s adventures in Neverland. It all ended up working out rather well for them…at least until the last few sentences. We’ve now met Blackbeard—the “villain” of this little story. He’s just way too much fun to leave out. Of course…Emma and Killian may argue with me about the word “fun”.
--Up next: Emma and Killian deal with their little pirate problem…at least for the moment, and then they continue on to the next stop on their honeymoon—a place just a little more…ahem…frozen than where they’ve been thus far…
Emma looked back and forth from her husband to the man blocking their path. He wore a tri-corn hat and had a long, bushy beard and a look of triumph. With his striking blue eyes, he could be one of Killian’s long lost relatives.
“’Fraid you’re going to be disappointed, mate,” Killian said, raising one eyebrow and leaning casually on one leg. “The Jolly belongs to me and my lovely wife. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a fair bit of travelling left to do for our honeymoon.”
“Wife?” Blackbeard said, swiveling his head in her direction. “So you’re the wench Captain Hook has been pining over for years, aye?”
“Not really a fan of being called a wench,” Emma said dryly, “but I certainly hope that if my husband was pining over any woman it was me.”
“She’s a beauty,” Blackbeard said, looking back at Killian and nodding, “but she’s just a wench. Not worth trading away such a magnificent vessel as the Jolly Roger over.”
Killian took a step forward, his face hardening. “I don’t believe I asked your opinion about my love life, mate, and I’ll thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head when you speak of my Emma or you may just find my hook in your gullet.”
Blackbeard laughed. “I’d like to see you try. The ‘fearsome’ Captain Hook! Reduced to a simpering fool over a slag.”
Killian stepped menacingly forward, his hook raised, the intent clear. Blackbeard responded by drawing his sword. Emma rolled her eyes, stepping between the two men.
“Enough, boys,” she said. “I refuse to have bloodshed on my honeymoon.”
Killian eyed the other pirate angrily for another moment, but finally stepped back, dropping his hook. “Very well, love.”
“Hiding behind your wife’s skirts are you?” Blackbeard smirked.
Emma rolled her eyes. “Look, we’re headed out. How about you get out of our way before I have to punch you in the face?”
Blackbeard sketched a deep and gallant bow. “As the lady insists. Simply return my property, my Jolly Roger, and you may go wherever you please.”
“Your ship?” Killian bellowed. “I believe, mate, you lost the rights to her the moment you left me to be burned at the stake by a hoard of unruly teenagers. You chose your leaky row boat over the fastest ship in all the realms.”
“I think not,” Blackbeard said, taking another step forward. “I won her fair and square in a card game. I went to great trouble to stack the deck for that ship!”
Emma could see if she didn’t step in soon, the guys would be here arguing all day.
“Look it’s been interesting meeting you and all,” she said grabbing Killian’s hand and linking their fingers, “but we’ve gotta go. Next time you try to swindle someone out of a ship, make sure that ship’s actually there to be taken. Honestly, what kind of a pirate are you?”
“I’m the bloody best pirate in all the realms!” Blackbeard blustered, raising his sword and pointing the tip at Killian’s throat, and I will have my property!”
Emma rolled her eyes once again, waved her hand, and the sword flew through the air, planting itself a good ten feet away into the beach. One more wave of the hand and she and her husband poofed onto the Jolly’s deck.
Killian tossed a magic bean into the sea, and just before they passed through the portal, Emma saw Blackbeard running toward them, fist raised. “You haven’t seen the last of me!” he insisted.
“It looks a fair sight less frosty than I would have expected,” Killian said as the portal closed behind them and they found themselves in the lovely crystalline waters of Arendelle’s harbor.
“Well, Elsa has learned to control her magic,” Emma said.
She stepped up and kissed him softly. He leaned into the embrace, wrapping his arms around her and giving himself over to the utter bliss of kissing his wife. She opened for him and he briefly deepened the kiss before groaning and stepping back. If he didn’t end this soon, they’d never make it to Queen Elsa’s court.
“You’ll certainly get no objection from me, darling,” Killian said, chuckling appreciatively, “but what brought that on?”
“I’m just happy,” she said, her smile angelic and full of joy. “And I’m excited to see Elsa again. She might not have been in Storybrooke long, but I don’t know. We just became really good friends.”
“Well then,” he said letting down the rowboat, “let’s not stand on ceremony. Let’s go see your friend.”
As he rowed, Killian noted the people on the docks. It was remarkable. Everyone looked so happy. He didn’t think he’d ever seen so much joviality all in one place. No one seemed angry, no one upset, no one in pain. Clearly whatever had happened between the time the Arendelle contingent left Storybrooke and now had quite a happy outcome.
“Welcome to Arendelle!” the harbormaster said as soon as they reached shore and Killian offered Emma a hand out of the boat. “You’ve chosen a splendid day to visit!”
Killian looked around, noting the flowers everywhere, the sounds of celebration. “What’s the occasion mate?”
A snowman with a long carrot nose waddled up to them, big grin in place. “What’s the occasion?” he asked. “We’ve got a double celebration today! Princess Anna just announced the happy news that there’s a little one on the way, and Queen Elsa just announced her engagement!”
“Engagement?” Emma asked. “Elsa’s engaged?”
The snowman nodded so vehemently that his nose popped off, and Emma reached down to pick it up for him. He shoved it back in and then stuck out his hand. “Where are my manners? Name’s Olaf. And who are you?”
Emma stooped down and shook the creatures “hand”. “I’m Emma Swan…well, Emma Swan-Jones, and this is my husband Killian.”
“Emma?” Olaf said, grin widening. “Elsa’s Emma? From Storybrooke?!”
“The very one,” Killian said, grinning down at the snowman. “I see your reputation has preceded you, love.”
“The royal family will be thrilled to see you again!” Olaf insisted. “Come on! I’ll take you to the castle.”
“Elsa’s engaged!” Emma said aside to Killian. “I wonder who she’s marrying! She never said anything about a boyfriend.”
“I daresay we’re about to find out.”
The walk to the castle was a short one, punctuated by all manner of tidbits the snowman said about the kingdom and the royal family. When they reached the castle’s giant front portal, Olaf knocked, and a moment later a small window opened, out of which a curious face emerged.
“Who goes there?” the man asked.
“It’s me!” Olaf said, “and I brought the savior and her pirate!”
“Very well, sir,” the man said. “I’ll open the…”
But before he could finish his sentence the portal door flew open, and Anna bounded out, a squeal of excitement on her lips. She pulled Emma into a quick hug, red pigtails flying.
“Emma? Is it really you?” she asked. “Well, of course it’s you. Who else would it be? How many other saviors are there? I mean, of course there are probably other saviors; I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if we’re talking about the savior, of course it’s got to be you! And look! You brought Hook! You’re together? Obviously you came her together, but are you together, together?”
Emma laughed, hugging Anna back. Killian grinned thinking Princess Anna of Arendelle reminded him of nothing more than an excited puppy.
“Yeah we’re together,” Emma said, looking affectionately back at Killian. “We’re on our honeymoon and thought while we’re travelling the realms we’d stop by and see how you guys are doing.”
“We’re doing great!” Kristoff said from behind his wife. “Thanks to your help in reuniting us!”
Killian stepped forward and shook the prince consort’s hand. “I hear congratulations are in order, mate.”
“Thanks!” Kristoff said, draping an arm around Anna’s shoulders. “It’s all so new, it’s hard to take in, but Anna’s already started plans for the nursery.”
“How far along are you?” Emma asked.
“Six weeks!” Anna said, bouncing on her toes in excitement. “We just found out, and Kristoff thought we should keep it to ourselves for a few weeks, but I was just so excited I couldn’t keep it to myself! I had to tell the world! A baby! We’re going to have a baby.”
Emma laughed, giving the princess another quick hug. “I’m happy for you.”
“And how about you?!” Anna said as the four of them turned and walked into the main hall of the castle. “You and Killian got married? I knew you’d end up together! Elsa is going to be so excited to see you! Come on! We were about to sit down to supper!”
“We don’t wish to impose, love,” Killian said.
“Nonsense,” Kristoff said, clapping Killian on the back. “The heroes from Storybrooke are always welcome here. No imposition.”
“In that case, we’d love to dine with you.”
“Emma?!” Elsa asked, getting quickly to her feet, her ice-blue dress swirling around her. “Is that really you?”
Emma ran forward, wrapping her friend in a warm hug, her heart overflowing at the chance to finally, finally see her again. “Yeah, it’s me, Killian and me.”
“When Olaf came ahead and told us you were here, I could hardly believe it!” Elsa said. “How did you come? Did you use the door in the sorcerer’s mansion? I hope nothing is wrong? Has another villain showed up in Storybrooke after Ingrid died? Do you need our help?”
Emma laughed. “I think you’re about five crises behind,” she said. “We have sooo much to catch up on!”
Emma reached down and grabbed Elsa’s hand, peering down at the lovely diamond and silver engagement ring on her friend’s finger. “But from the sounds of it, you have some news to tell us too! Who’s the lucky guy?”
“Oh bloody hell,” came a groan from the dining table behind them, “the sheriff? Sven called the sheriff on me? It was one carrot! Just one! I was hungry and I bloody told him I’d buy him another one. Right nasty of the git to call the law over something like that, innit?”
Emma would recognize that cockney accent anywhere.
“Will?” Killian asked, incredulously, “you’re here?”
Will sighed. “In the flesh. You gonna deck me again?”
Elsa closed her eyes and shook her head slightly and then reached behind her to link her fingers with the thief’s. “Emma, Killian I believe you know my fiancé, Will Scarlet.”
“He’s your fiancé?” Killian asked, eyes going wide. “I never would have believed it.”
Elsa took her seat at the head of the large table, and every else followed suit.
“After the last curse,” Will said as the footman came around pouring wine for everyone except Anna, “I decided it was time to move one. Belle chose to go back to that right bastard, so there wasn’t anything left for me in Storybrooke.”
Killian nodded sagely, and Emma smiled. Finally it seemed her husband and Will had something they could agree upon, even if it came at Rumple’s expense.
“So you went to Arendelle?”
He shrugged. “I went here and there until I ended up in Arendelle. Stole a locket right from underneath Queen Elsa’s nose.”
“And I promptly had him locked in the dungeon,” Elsa said.
“But she couldn’t keep away,” Will continued. “Came and visited me every day.”
“And slowly but surely they fell in love,” Anna said on a little sigh.
“Right you are, luv,” Will said. “But I’d probably still be in the lock up if it hadn’t been for that git Hans.”
“Hans?” Emma asked, nodding her thanks as a maid placed a steaming plate of something that smelled delicious before her. “Last I knew he and his brothers were trying to take over. I take it you defeated him?”
“Thanks to Will,” Elsa said. “During one of my visits to his dungeon, I complained of how little progress we were making against the usurper, and Will made a suggestion.”
“Told her I’m a thief,” Will said.
“I’m sure she never would have figured that out on her own,” Emma said under her breath.
“Well as a thief,” Will continued, “I’m good at getting in and out of places without anyone being the wiser. I snuck into Hans’s camp and overheard his battle plans.”
“And with that knowledge,” Elsa said, squeezing Wills hand affectionately, “we were able to thwart his big attack and defeat him soundly.”
“And I got to punch him in the face!” Anna interjected. “It felt sooo good! Well, actually it kind of hurt. It bruised my hand and scraped up my knuckles. Hans has a really hard head. But it still felt good even though it hurt.”
Emma stretched and reveled in the luxury of the huge, soft bed, looking up at the intricately woven awning above the four poster. It had been a wonderful evening. They’d stayed up until well into the night talking and laughing and simply enjoying the company of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and even Will.
As the hall clock had struck midnight, Elsa had insisted Emma and Killian spend the night in one of their guest bedrooms. Tired after the long day, Emma had gratefully accepted.
“Are you enjoying your honeymoon, love?” Killian said, his voice still gruff from sleep as the sun’s rays softly filtered into the window.
Emma leaned down and kissed him, feathering her fingers through his soft hair and delighting in the way his hand drew little circles on her back.
“These have been some of the best days of my life,” Emma said “I almost feel like pinching myself. After all the pain we had to go through, it seems like a dream to be here in bed with my husband, watching the sun come up.”
“Well,” Killian said, his hand wandering down until he could squeeze her backside. “Perhaps there’s a little something more we could do besides simply watching the sunrise.”
“Oh yeah,” Emma said, feeling her heart start to race in anticipation. “What’s that?”
Killian flipped them until he was hovering over her. “I don’t think I’ll tell you, darling. I think I’d rather show you instead.”
“So what are you waiting for?”
The sun was high in the sky and it was approaching noon by the time Emma and Killian decided it was time to continue on with their journey. After a very pleasant interlude in bed, and an even more pleasant interlude in the bath the servants brought for them, Emma and Killian descended the stairs and enjoyed a lively breakfast with their hosts.
Finally, they all travelled to the docks together so that the Arendelle contingent could wish the newlyweds well on the next leg of their honeymoon.
But when they arrived at the docks, they found the dock slip where the Jolly had been left empty.
“That’s weird,” Olaf said. “Never seen a ship wander away on its own before.”
Emma groaned, pointing out toward the horizon, and Killian could just make out the sails of his beloved ship. “It didn’t wander away on its own,” she said.
“Blackbeard!” Killian growled.
--So all is well in Arendelle. New baby on the way for Anna and a new romance for Elsa! I really like AUs where Elsa’s with Liam, but as he’s moved on from the Underworld, it didn’t seem feasible. Instead, I decided that Will was a good alternative. He kind of fell off the face of the earth after 4b, and I thought he kind of got a raw deal. I figured as long as we’re checking up on old characters throughout the show, I ought to give him a happy ending too!
--Up next: Assuming Emma and Killian manage to get the Jolly back from Blackbeard, they’ll head to the Enchanted Forest. I think we need to find out what’s been going on with Lily and Maleficent.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Emma said. “How the hell did he even get here?”
“He’s a wily one, Swan,” Killian growled. “I wouldn’t trust Blackbeard as far as I could toss his worthless arse.”
“Is it really too much to ask that we have one week, just one week, without villains showing up to try to screw us over?” Emma asked. “This is our honeymoon.”
Emma watched the Jolly as it continued to sail, but suddenly it occurred to her that it wasn’t moving farther away. In fact, it didn’t seem to be moving at all.
“I’ve dealt with her before,” Elsa said, and for the first time Emma noticed she had her hands extended, her brow contracted in intense concentration, “and he’s not going to ruin my best friend’s honeymoon. Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Emma peered closely at the ship in the distance and noticed just why it was it wasn’t moving.
“You’ve locked her in ice, haven’t you love?” Killian asked, sounding considerably impressed.
“I have,” Elsa said, her mouth set in a grim line. “But there’s one more thing I can do that I think will significantly shrink your problem.”
She extended her hands once more, and suddenly the Jolly Roger seemed to disappear. Killian shouted in surprise and more than a bit of alarm, but Emma smiled, realizing just what her friend had done.
“Don’t worry, Killian,” she said, touching his arm reassuringly, “nothing happened to the ship.”
Emma waved her hand, and the Jolly Roger, now the size of a model ship, zoomed into her hands.
“Tends to shrink a lot, doesn’t it, mate?” Will said, leaning down to peer at the now travel sized Jolly.
Killian glared at him, but then something seemed to catch his eye on the ship and he barked out a laugh. Emma looked down and then laughed herself. Standing there at the tiny wheel of the Jolly Roger was an equally tiny Blackbeard glaring at all of them with venom.
“I say,” Killian said, grabbing his pirate nemesis with two fingers by the back of the coat, “that was quite bad form, mate. Bad form indeed to steal a man’s ship right from under his nose.”
“Totally agree, babe,” Emma said. “It really takes a small man to do something that low.”
Killian laughed and then leaned over to kiss her.
In the background Emma heard a string of colorful curses delivered in a high-pitched voice.
“You, shut it!” Will said, pointing a finger at the tiny pirate. “You brought this on yourself.”
Clearly in no mood to obey, Blackbeard drew his (tiny) sword and tried to plunge it into Killian’s hand.
“None of that!” Emma said, waving her hand once again, and suddenly Blackbeard found himself inside a Mason jar, the lid made of a mesh material that allowed for proper ventilation. “My husband’s been stabbed entirely too many times already in his long life. And for the record, if you’re going to act like a nasty little bug, I’m going to treat you like one.”
With another wave of her hand, the Jolly Roger returned to its full and life-sized glory.
Will gasped and turned to Killian. “Our women are bloody amazing.”
“That they are, mate. That they are.”
It was a beautiful, temperate summer day in the Enchanted Forest when they arrived through the portal a few minutes later. The sun was shining, puffy white clouds made their way lazily across the sky, and a cool, gentle breeze kept the temperature comfortable.
“Where did we land?” Emma asked, holding onto Killian’s arm and laying her head on his shoulder.
“I believe we’re near your parents’ castle, love,” Killian said and then nodded, “See just there, past those trees. It’s considerably run down, but that’s the hill on which it stands.”
“So, any idea where to begin searching?” Emma asked.
After retrieving the Jolly from the now diminutive Blackbeard, they’d had a short discussion about just what to do with the little buggar. Elsa had offered to stow him in their dungeon, but Emma had been skeptical, deciding she’d feel more secure if they could keep an eye on their honeymoon nemesis. She’d suggested they place his jar prison in the hold of the Jolly.
Killian had been, of course, a bit disgruntled with the plan. He had, after all wished to spend time alone with his wife on his honeymoon, but Emma had convinced him to go along with her plan.
“It’s not like we’re going to set him in the cabin where he can watch our…more enjoyable activities,” Emma said. “He’ll be in the hold, alone, where he can think about his life choices.”
It would be nice to know where the sneaky pirate was, and likewise it would be nice to avoid another incident like that on Arendelle’s shores.
And so, despite all manner of imprecations and threats from the little pirate, they’d placed him in the hold, promising to toss him some water and hard tack from time to time if he’d behave himself.
Crisis averted, they’d said their farewells to the Arendelle contingent and then set sail again. First order of business, of course, had been to set a course.
“It’s your turn to choose, Killian,” Emma said, but he’d shook his head.
“I care not where we go, love, provided I’m with you. We could spend our honeymoon in that blasted brig in New York being force fed baloney and I’d be perfectly happy as long as I’m with you.”
She’d laughed and then stood on her tiptoes and kissed the daylights out of him. “You have such an incredible talent for making me happy, Killian,”
He smirked. “And pray tell which talent are you referring to, darling? Perhaps you’re referring to that move I made this morning that made you moan so loudly I’m afraid your father heard it from here.”
“Oh, for the love of all the gods!” Blackbeard squeaked from his perch in his mason jar on the helm between them. “This is a prison ship, not a brothel!”
Against their better judgement, they’d given in to Blackbeard’s pleas to be on deck as they cast off. It was, he said, his favorite part of sailing.
“This is a honeymoon,” Emma countered. “And my husband and I will do whatever we want with each other on our ship. Don’t like it? Maybe next time you won’t try to steal ships from newlyweds.”
Killian had laughed long and hard, and then swooped in to kiss Emma with all the passion he could muster (which, given the woman in question was the love of his life and quite possibly the sexiest woman he’d ever met, was a considerable amount) simply to watch the little insect squirm.
“Oh, bloody hell,” Blackbeard moaned. “Someone please just kill me and put me out of my misery.”
Once they’d sailed a fair amount out to sea, they’d stowed their “guest” back in his quarters in the hold and then considered their conversation about possible locations.
“There is one other thing I kind of wanted to do,” Emma said.
“Aye,” he said, kissing the top of her head, “and what is that?”
“Well, you know Maleficent and Lily stayed back in the Enchanted Forest after the last curse,” Emma said. “I’d kind of like to see them, find out how Lily’s search for her dad’s going.”
“Then the Enchanted Forest it is,” Killian said.
And so accordingly they’d opened a portal to the land where it all began for them.
“I suppose the best place to begin our search,” Killian said, “is at the Forbidden Fortress, Maleficent’s home.”
“Emma? Is that you?” Lily called as she opened the door to Maleficent’s castle.
“Yeah,” Emma grinned as she stepped through, leading Killian behind her. “Killian and I are on our honeymoon and thought we’d stop by and see how you’re doing.”
Lily looked between them for a moment, and then hugged Emma tightly. “You finally did it? You finally tied the knot? I’m so happy for you! You found your happy ending!”
Emma laughed, hugging her first real friend back. “Yeah I did. So far married life is better than I could have ever imagined. Of course, that’s only because I married Killian.”
“Doesn’t offer much hope to the rest of us, then,” Maleficent said, coming up beside her daughter and putting an arm around her shoulders, “as I doubt the Captain is up for polygamy.”
“Indeed I’m not,” Killian said with a grin, leaning down to kiss Emma softly. “There’s only one woman in all the realms for me, and I still can’t believe my good fortune that she agreed to become my wife.”
They’d followed Maleficent and Lily to what passed as a sitting room in the castle. It was still pretty austere and formidable with its stone walls and floors, but at least there were comfortable chairs and a rosy fire to keep the damp chill within the castle at bay.
The time flew by as Emma and Lily reminisced about the time they’d spent together as children, recounting memories that had Maleficent and Killian alike howling with laughter. Emma felt her heart turn over, and she squeezed Killian’s hand in her happiness. She’d never thought she’d get this, never thought she’d be able to reminisce about her days with Lily with anything but regret. Instead, they’d been given a second chance, and Emma treasured this renewed friendship between them.
“So, how’s the search for your dad going?” Emma asked after a slight lull in the conversation.
“I’ve made some headway,” Lily said. “Found out he goes by the name ‘The Dragon’. Used to offer people magical solutions to their ailments in Phuket, and then he went to New York. After that….well, his trail’s kind of gone cold.”
Emma smiled, sharing a significant look with Killian. “Well this is a really, really small world!”
Lily’s brow furrowed. “What do you mean?”
“Simply that we know precisely where you can find your father, love,” Killian said.
“The mirror world,” Emma said.
“The mirror world!” Maleficent exclaimed. “Regina’s prison land?”
“The very same,” Killian said. “It seems your father did not meet with the Evil Queen’s approval after she’d split from Regina, and so she banished him there.”
“Wait…” Lily asked. “The Evil Queen split from Regina? What the hell has been happening in Storybrooke since we left?”
“You got about ten hours?” Emma asked drolly.
“Something tells me I don’t even want to ask,” Lily said. “So, about my dad, though. How do you know what happened to him?”
“Regina and I got ourselves trapped in there as well for a while,” Emma said. “Your dad was there and he was instrumental in helping us get home.”
“That’s amazing!” Lily said, “so how can we get to him? How can we bring him home?”
“Leave that to me, sweetheart,” Maleficent said. “Who do you think Regina got her mirror world spell from? I can get us into the mirror…and back out.”
After the big revelation about Lily’s father’s whereabouts Emma and Killian had left rather quickly. Though happy to see them, it was clear Lily didn’t want to wait another moment to go find her father.
“Looks like we just witnessed another happy ending, love,” Killian said as they stepped onto the gangplank and back onto the ship.
“We seem to be finding a lot of those along the way,” she said. “Is it possible that the Black Fairy was really it? Have we defeated all the villains? Can everyone get their happy endings now?”
“I bloody hope so,” Killian said, “because I could very much get used to living this happy life we’ve built for ourselves.”
“So,” Emma said, “anywhere else you want to visit in this realm as long as we’re here?”
Killian looked deep in thought for a moment, and then smiled. “Perhaps we might visit the beanstalk once more. Perhaps we could visit again, make some new memories.”
And so they’d made the trek up the beanstalk, memories following one after another as they followed the path of their first adventure together.
After long minutes, breathing hard, they pulled themselves over the ledge and into the giant foyer of the giants’ castle.
“Here was where I noticed your hand was cut,” Killian said, stepping close to Emma and cupping her face in his hand.
“And applied some of the sexiest first aid in this history of the world,” Emma said with a grin. “We weren’t quite on the same team back then, and we both had sky-high walls, but part of me wanted to kiss you until neither of us could breathe.”
His smile turned wicked. “Well, wife, we now are very much on the same ‘team’, and there are no longer any walls, any barriers at all between us.”
Emma slid her hand under his coat as she wrapped him in her arms. “Well, I’d say there are still way, way too many clothes separating us right now.”
Killian pounced, capturing her lips with his, his tongue darting forward to trace the seam of her lips and then delve deeper, Emma’s moans, her wandering hands making the need within him reach fever pitch.
“You’re so right, my love,” he said, pulling his lips away to trail them down her neck, toward her décolletage. “Far too many clothes. A situation I intend to remedy immediately.
Quickly, urgently they worked together to shed the offending clothing before spreading it along the stone floor. Killian laid Emma gently on the makeshift bed, before perusing her glorious body. “So bloody beautiful,” he said, his hand slowly trailing the path his eyes had taken. “Swan, you’re like a work of art.”
She smiled gently, reaching for him. “Well, not to stroke your ego or anything, but you make every other man out there look plain and ordinary.”
Killian lowered himself on top of her, glorying in the feeling of skin against skin. He kissed her again, slowly, deeply. His need for his wife was strong, but he was determined to take this slow, to worship every glorious inch of her body before they scaled the heights of heaven together.
“And I greatly appreciate that, love,” he whispered, kissing and nipping a path to the nape of her neck, “but I think perhaps we’ve no more need for words for the moment.”
Emma nodded, bringing his mouth back to hers as they let their bodies speak the emotions no words could fully capture.
--A little Blackbeard related ridiculousness, a dragon family reunion in the works, and some beanstalk almost smut….this chapter was kind of all over the place, lol.
--Up next: As you might have noticed, I’m taking CS on a bit of a journey through each story arc. We just finished 4b, so now it’s time to move on to Camelot! One of the things I desperately wish the show had given us was a glimpse into what happened with Guinevere and Lancelot after Arthur’s untimely demise. But though we might not have seen the answers in canon…well, that’s what fanfiction is for!
“Where to now, my love?” Killian asked the next morning after he’d returned from serving their diminutive prisoner his breakfast (and enduring far more whining from said prisoner than was at all befitting of a pirate worth his salt).
Emma stood along the rail of the ship, looking out to sea and letting the salty breeze tousle her hair. She turned toward him and shook her head. “Uh-uh,” she said. “I’ve had to make the decision the last two times. It’s your turn, buddy.”
“Come now, Swan,” Killian said, coming up behind her and nuzzling the juncture of her neck and shoulder, “I believe I’m far more than your ‘buddy’, aye?”
He felt her shiver beneath his touch, and his body reacted despite himself. For a moment, he considered tossing their plans for travel altogether and passing the remainder of their honeymoon cocooned in their bed below deck.
“You are,” she said, turning in his arms and kissing him, “but you’re also the captain. Your job to chart the course. So where we heading next?”
Killian grinned, stepping away from her lest he give into the temptation to have her right here on the rough deck of his ship. “I’d rather hoped we’d have a chance to visit Camelot again,” he said finally. “It’s a beautiful land, and I would greatly appreciate a chance to enjoy it without the darkness hanging over each of us.”
“Then Camelot it is,” Emma said.
Destination chosen, they’d sailed out until the Enchanted Forest was a mere spec on the horizon, Killian tossed the bean into the sea, and through the portal they went.
“You know this method of travel is starting to grow on me,” Emma said after squeezing the excess seawater from her hair and then waving her hand over both of them until they were dressed in the clothing they’d worn during their last visit to Camelot. “Not the smoothest ride, especially on the sea, but getting to your destination in the blink of an eye? Got flying beat by a long shot.”
Killian grinned fondly. “I shall remember you said that the next time you attempt to get me into one of those large metal monstrosities that flies through the sky.”
“You flew a Pan’s-shadow-fueled pirate ship home from Neverland, but you’re afraid of airplanes?” Emma said with a quick laugh as Killian helped her into the life boat and began to row to the distant shore.
They pulled up on shore and Killian offered his hook to help Emma onto the pristine, white sand. She took the offered appendage without a second glance, and Killian felt his heart warm. The lass truly thought nothing of his hook, nothing of his disability. She’d never once looked at him as a crippled or a less-than-whole man because of his missing hand. She’d taken his hook in stride as just another part of him, and Killian loved her for it more than he could say.
They’d walked about a quarter mile along the stretch of road leading toward the magnificent Camelot castle when a company of knights rode up to meet them.
“The savior!” the apparent leader said, “and her pirate companion.”
“It’s my pirate husband now,” Emma said with a grin, “but yeah it’s us, totally free of the darkness and with no desire to stir up trouble this time around.”
“They’ll be so pleased to see you!” a second knight exclaimed, “all three of them! We’ve been keeping abreast of the activities in your realm, and might I say our people are in awe of both of you and your bravery.”
All three of them? Killian thought to himself. What could that mean?
“Thanks,” Emma said. “Everything’s okay here in Camelot I assume?”
“It’s splendid, your majesty,” the knight said with a bow. “The broken kingdom has been repaired at long last. Come! Queen Guinevere and her king are holding court this morning and they’d be overjoyed to see you.”
Killian laced his fingers with Emma’s as they walked the rest of the way to the castle with the knights as their escort. The court of Camelot truly was a breathtaking spectacle with the banners flying and the horn fanfare as he and his wife walked across the drawbridge and into the courtyard. They followed the nearest knight into the great hall, and Killian spotted Queen Guinevere seated upon one of the thrones. Sitting next to her was none other than Sir Lancelot.
“Emma!” Guinevere said, standing regally and coming forward to greet her with a hug, Lancelot at her back. “When they told me you’d come I could hardly believe it.”
“I’m glad we’re welcome at your court after all the trouble we caused last time,” Emma said wryly.
The queen waved it away. “It was the darkness, we’re well aware of that. At any rate, if it wasn’t for your help, my kingdom would never have broken free of the sands of Avalon and we’d never have gotten the chance to rebuild our kingdom the right way.”
“And,” Lancelot said, coming up and putting an arm around Guinevere’s waist, “I’d have never been able to finally, finally marry the woman I love.”
“Married!” Killian said, “I’m glad to hear it mate. From all I’ve heard from Snow and Charming, you’ll make an exemplary king and husband.”
Lancelot shook his head, looking dotingly at Guinevere. “My wife is the one who truly has the talent for ruling this kingdom with justice and kindness. Our people adore her.”
Guinevere leaned up and kissed Lancelot on the cheek. “And you lend me the strength to do so, my love.”
After a moment, Guinevere looked back at Emma and Killian. “And I hear congratulations are in order for the two of you as well.”
“Aye,” Killian said, smiling broadly. “Swan and I were married just more than a month ago, and never have I been happier in my life.”
Guinivere took Emma aside and the women oohed and aahed over their respective rings and then launched into a lively discussion about the trials and tribulations of wedding planning. Killian watched them go, smiling fondly, and then turned back toward Lancelot.
“It’s good to see you mate,” he said, “and I’m pleased to see you’ve found your happy ending.”
Lancelot nodded his thanks. “There for a time I thought I’d missed my chance for happiness. I’d returned from my (futile as it happens) attempt to obtain help from my mother to find Camelot utterly deserted. I hadn’t a clue what had happened.”
Killian grimaced. “As you surely know by now, that was my fault.”
Lancelot shrugged. “As my wife said, you were possessed by the darkness. Your actions were not entirely your own. At any rate, you more than made up for your mistakes by sacrificing your life to end the darkness.”
“Still,” Killian said thinking of Merlin, “my mistakes during that dark time haunt me still.”
“There was no lasting damage,” Lancelot said. “Guinivere and the rest of the kingdom returned, and after a suitable mourning period for King Arthur, she and I began a courtship that culminated with our nuptials. Though he lost his way quite spectacularly, my Gwen and I both miss Arthur deeply. I hope wherever he is, he’s finally found peace.”
“On that score, I can reassure you,” Killian said, smiling. “During my short stay in the Underworld, I came across the king after his death. He was instrumental in helping me find and transport a bit of vital information that was necessary to the defeat of Hades. Currently he remains in the Underworld, finally fulfilling his destiny to restore order and harmony to a broken land. He’s happy and at peace, and he wished me to convey his deepest regrets to you and Guinevere for all he did to you.”
Lancelot released a long breath. “It’s good to hear. Arthur could have been a great king and husband but for his obsession with his quest. I’m pleased he’s finally able to do what he was always meant to. So it seems all’s well that ends well.”
Killian sighed, dropping his eyes. “I’m afraid all is not well for everyone, mate.”
“What do you mean?”
“Merlin,” Killian said, still looking resolutely at the cobblestone floor. “I may have been possessed by the dark one but I killed him; I crushed his heart. Because of me the greatest, most benevolent mage in all the lands is gone.”
For a long moment there was silence, and finally Killian looked up. To his absolute shock, he found a broad, delighted smile on Lancelot’s face. “You haven’t heard, then?”
Rather than answer, Lancelot led Killian through the great hall and up the stairs to a remote tower. He knocked at the door at the top, and a muffled voice called for them to enter. Killian peered curiously inside, glancing over the potions and books, herbs and mortars and pestles.
And then he saw him. Merlin. Apparently alive and quite well sitting in his chair and pouring over a book.
“Merlin!” Hook breathed, awe, relief and incredible joy suffusing his entire system.
Emma laughed with abandon as she felt the wind rushing through her hair. She held tightly to her husband’s waist as they flew through the countryside on the back of a sturdy brown stallion—this one lawfully lent to them. She’d never had the opportunity to ride a horse during her years growing up, but she found that she loved it—particularly when she was riding double with her husband.
They’d taken the midday meal with Guinevere and Lancelot—and to Emma’s delighted surprise, Merlin—and after catching up for some time, Emma and Killian had decided to visit the Middlemist field once again before it was time to get ready for tonight’s celebratory ball in honor of their wedding.
She would not have believed it if she hadn’t seen with her own eyes, but there was no denying it. Merlin was alive and well once again. She’d ran to him, hugging him exuberantly when she and the queen returned to the great hall for dinner.
“How is this possible?” she asked. “I saw Hook kill you!”
Merlin laughed. “I did indeed die,” he said. “It was, regrettably the only way I could foresee to return you to your home land, the one place I knew it was possible for Killian to break free and destroy the darkness.”
Killian had been nearly overcome with remorse, apologizing over and over again. Insisting if he could go back he would have made a different choice.
Merlin waved him off. “It was a necessary sacrifice for the greater good, something you know all about, Killian Jones.”
“But if you died, how are you back?” Emma asked.
“It was your husband’s sacrifice that gave me a second chance,” Merlin said. “When he absorbed all the darkness into Excalibur and sacrificed his life to destroy it, for one small second—until Rumplestiltskin harnessed it once again—it was indeed destroyed. With the darkness gone, all the effects of the latest Dark One were reversed and I was given another lease on life.”
It had been a joyous meal after that revelation. The very last of the shadows tied to Camelot lifted and there was nothing left but bright sunshine for Emma and Killian.
Finally, Killian pulled at the reigns, bringing the horse to a gentle stop. Emma turned her head looking at the beauty all around them. The middlemist field was, quite simply breathtaking.
“Lovely, isn’t it Swan?” Killian asked, taking her waist and helping her down from the horse. He set her gently on the ground, leaving his hand and hook on her waist and then leaning down to kiss her slowly and deeply.
“It’s like paradise,” Emma said. “Last time we were here I was kind of freaking out, you know with the whole ‘Dark One, spirit Rumple haunting me’ thing.”
Killian laughed. “Aye, I can see how that might put a damper on the romantic mood this place inspires.”
Emma put her hand on the back of Killian’s head and brought his mouth down for a long, slow kiss. “What do you say we make some new memories in this place? It’s been a good twelve hours since we last made love and that’s way, way too long.”
--Camelot was one of the primary places I wanted to visit on this little honeymoon. I really, really wanted to know what became of Guinevere and Lancelot now that Arthur’s gone. I also refuse to believe Merlin’s gone, gone, so this is my attempt to bring him back to life.
--Up next: We’ll remain in 5a for one more chapter (since, you know, 5b is not really workable. Who would go to hell on their honeymoon?). Emma and Killian travel to DunBroch. I think there was a little something brewing between Merida and Macintosh, and I think it needs to be explored.
Emma and Killian bid Guinevere and Lancelot farewell with hugs and promises to visit again.
“It really is a beautiful kingdom, Killian,” Emma said as Killian rowed them back to the Jolly. “The perfect romantic vacation spot, when you’re not, you know, struggling with the greatest darkness in all the realms that’s inside of you.”
Killian laughed. “Aye, that it is.”
“Maybe we’ll have to come back for a nice long second honeymoon sometime.”
“I should love that, Swan.”
Emma laughed as Killian pulled up to the ship, reached for the rope ladder, and offered her a hand up to the deck. “You’re very accommodating on this trip. A girl could get used to her husband agreeing with her every comment.”
“I’m so deliriously happy, my love, there’s not a one of your desires I would deny,” he said, leaning down to slowly, seductively take her lips.
Emma kissed him back for long moments, reaching up to caress his face, but finally she pulled back, a small frown on her face.
“I do hope it wasn’t my kiss that put that look on your face, love.”
She laughed. “Not even close. I could probably kiss you for the next five years straight.”
“Glad to hear it,” he said, still looking at her intently, “but something put that frown on your face. What is it?”
Emma looked up at him, watching his eyes carefully. “What you just said about never denying my wishes…”
His brow furrowed further. “You…want me to deny you what you want?”
“No,” she said, “but I don’t want you to deny your wants either.”
“Making you happy makes me happy.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Emma said, “but I’m serious. Our relationship needs to be an equal partnership. I love that you want to make me happy, but I don’t want you to ever do that at the expense of what you really want. Marriage is a give and take. I don’t want you to always be the one giving. You’ll tell me when there are things you want too, won’t you?”
A devilish look came into his eyes. “Oh aye, darling,” he said in a low, seductive voice. “And as a show of good faith, I have a few things I’d like right now.”
“Yeah,” she said, feeling the familiar swoop in her stomach. “And what might those be?”
“Well,” he said, drawing out the syllable. He leaned down and whispered a few suggestions in her ear that had her blushing to the roots of her hair. He was very…creative…with his ideas when it came to the bedroom.
“If we’re going to do that, I think we’d best head below decks,” she said taking his hand and leading him toward the hatch. “Don’t want to scandalize any Camelot residents. They might not let us back for our second honeymoon.”
An hour later, they lay tired and satiated in their bed, Emma’s head pillowed on Killian’s chest, the springy hair tickling her nose.
“Killian if those are the kind of things you plan to ask for in our marriage,” Emma said, still somewhat breathless, “feel free to ask whenever you want.”
He chuckled, and she felt the rumble beneath her ear. “Duly noted.”
They lapsed into silence for a moment, and Emma savored the way Killian absently caressed her back and the gentle rocking of the Jolly on the water. This was what utter and complete contentment felt like.
“So love” Killian said finally, “by my estimation we have precisely four beans left. We must preserve one for our return journey to Storybrooke, but that still allows us three more lands to visit during our nuptial voyage.”
Emma sighed, realizing they were approaching the end of their honeymoon. “I guess we can’t just cocoon ourselves in honeymoon bliss forever. Eventually we’ll have to go back to ordinary life.”
He kissed the top of her head. “Aye, but we’ll go back to ordinary life together. And at any rate, we needn’t think on the end of our holiday yet. We’ve yet some realms to explore.”
“So where to next?”
Killian shrugged. “I chose the last time. I do believe it’s your choice, love.”
Emma thought for a moment. “I think maybe we should go to DunBroch,” she said. “You got a chance to make amends to Merlin for what you did when you were the Dark One. I’d kind of like the same chance. And really, other than Violet, Merida is the person I think I treated the worst as the Dark One.”
“Very well, Swan,” Killian said. “To DunBroch we shall go.”
Killian reached up and knocked on the door. They’d docked the Jolly along the coast and walked the half mile through the heather fields and farmland, led on their way by the sight of the ancient castle in the distance. Killian perused the countryside with interest, DunBroch being a land he’d heard of but never had an occasion to visit.
“This place seems really peaceful,” Emma said, as they waited for the door to be opened. “Something to be said for the slower pace of life without all the technology and endless busyness of life in the Land Without Magic.”
“Aye,” Killian said, “but I’ve rather become attached to running water and long hot showers….particularly when I can talk you into joining me.”
Emma hit him playfully. “You’re ridiculous.”
He wiggled his eyebrows and grinned. “Ridiculously in love.”
She laughed, telling him to behave himself just as the large door flew open. Before Emma could so much as tell the waiting servant who they were and what their business was at DunBroch Castle, Merida stormed out, curly red hair flying behind her, a string of colorful curses on her lips. Without so much as a glance at the guests on her doorstep, she marched to the stable, hopped on a horse and rode away.
From inside the castle, they heard a frustrated male oath, accompanied by a muttered “Lasses! There’s no living with them.”
“Killian, do you get the impression we came at a bad time?” Emma asked under her breath.
“Not at all,” came the stately voice from inside. Emma peered at the woman there to welcome them. She had long dark hair with a single silver streak, and she wore a long, velvet dress with a coronet on her head. This must be Merida’s mother, the queen mother Elinor. “You must excuse my daughter’s rudeness. I’m afraid she’s let her temper get the best of her. Please come in.”
Killian nodded his thanks and placed a gentle hand on Emma’s back as the queen ushered them inside and toward the dais set up in the great hall. “It’s quite all right, your majesty. We’re acquainted with the queen and her temper. I am Killian Jones, lately of the Land Without Magic, and this is my wife, Princess Emma of Misthaven.”
Queen Elinor started, giving the two of them a suspicious look. Killian sighed. No doubt the tales Queen Elinor had heard of the two of them were quite chilling. Merida certainly hadn’t known them while they were at their best.
“I…see,” Elinor said carefully, gesturing toward the table where a large assortment of food was set out.
“Your majesty,” Emma said, clearly understanding the reserve the queen was showing, “I’m sure the stories you’ve heard of us were…not pretty. Both of us were under the Dark One curse when your daughter knew us and…I did some really terrible things to her. I promise you, the darkness is gone from us now, and, well, that was kind of the point of our visit. I wanted to apologize and make amends if I could.”
Queen Elinor looked at them carefully for another moment, and then her face relaxed into a gentle smile. “I can see that you speak the truth. And we all know what it’s like to make mistakes that cause others pain. Merida will appreciate the gesture…whenever she returns.”
“If you don’t mind my asking,” Killian said after taking a sip of the ale the servant brought him. “Who has kindled the lass’s ire?”
Queen Elinor shook her head, smiling wryly. “Who else? Lord Macintosh.”
“Lord Macintosh?” Emma asked. “If I remember correctly, he was one of the guys who tried to take the kingdom from Merida. He trying to start another coup?”
Elinor laughed. “Oh nay. The dolt gave up his claim to the crown ages ago, coming to acknowledge my daughter’s rightful place on the thrown. He’s been her loyal advocate and advisor ever since.”
“Then what’s the problem?” Emma asked, poking skeptically at the slab of meat that had been placed on her plate.
“’Tis nothing but the usual problem when a strong lad and a spirited lass begin to fancy one another.”
“Fancy?” Killian said with a grin. “Is there romance in the air in DunBroch?”
“Oh aye, to be sure,” Elinor said with a grin. “That is provided, of course, the two can stop trying to kill each other long enough to acknowledge the tenderness they hold for one another in their hearts.”
“Sometimes,” Killian said, giving Emma a teasing wink, “it takes time for a person to accept their feelings.”
Emma smiled and groaned playfully. “You’re never going to let me forget that are you?”
“Of course not, Swan,” he said, his hand going to his chest as though in terrible pain. “You wounded me to my core and I shall never recover.”
He’d meant it as lighthearted teasing, but Emma’s brow furrowed, a look of pain coming to her eyes. “I’m sorry for all I put you through before I finally admitted the truth to myself,” she said in a small voice.
Killian felt like a cad for putting such a look on his beloved wife’s face. “I told you before Emma, I loved your walls. I loved that you opened yourself up to me enough to permit me to tear them down. Our love may have taken a bit of a serpentine path, but I wouldn’t trade a single moment with you.”
For a moment, Killian forgot he and Emma were not alone, and he leaned down and gently kissed her. He was brought back to reality with the sound of Queen Elinor’s indulgent chuckle.
“You two are the very picture of True Love, aren’t ya?” she said softly.
“Aye,” Killian said, never taking his eyes from Emma’s face. “That we are.”
“Perhaps you might talk some sense into Macintosh and my daughter,” Elinor said. “They dinna know what they’re missing.”
“What do you mean, what we’re missing, Mother?” Merida asked, stepping confidently into the room. She headed straight for the dais, but in due time she caught sight of Emma and Killian and she stopped dead in her tracks.”
“You!” She said accusingly. “I’ve no need of you in my castle. I’ve been controlled enough for a lifetime, thank you very much.”
Killian looked down at Emma, and saw the guilt and pain written on her face. Reaching over he put a bracing arm around her shoulder, and hugged her to him.
“That’s…that’s not why we came,” Emma said in a small voice.
“Aye? And what then?”
“Merida,” Emma said, “when I was the Dark One, the things I did to you…well, it was totally unacceptable. I almost crushed your heart and later I did take it and make you do terrible things. I…I used you solely for my own gain. No one deserves to be treated like that.”
Emma’s contrite tone seemed to get through to Merida, and her face softened. “Well, if I’m being honest, I know it wasna all your fault. You were cursed.”
“Maybe so,” Emma said, looking Merida in the eyes. “I might not have been completely to blame, but…it wasn’t all the darkness. I gave into it. I listened to its suggestions. In some warped twisted way, I thought I was doing what I did for the common good, but really I was simply turning into the thing I’d vowed to fight against. For everything I did to you, I am truly sorry.”
Merida looked at her in silence for a moment, and then extended her right hand. Emma shook it, a look of relief on her face.
“I’m not without fault,” Merida said. “I know what it is to make a terrible choice for what I thought was the greater good. So for my part? Aye, I forgive you.”
“Thank you,” Emma said simply.
Killian hugged Emma to him and then leaned over to kiss the top of her head. He was so bloody proud of his bride and her honor, her humble apology. She truly was the best person he knew.
“Well now that that unpleasantness is out of the way,” Queen Elinor said, “shall we get down to the business of eating our dinner?”
“Aye,” Merida said, seating herself next to Emma and spooning a gravy over her meat and potatoes. “Dealing with incompetent nincompoops does tend to cause a lass hunger.”
Elinor gave her daughter a stern look. “Now is that a queenly way to talk of Lord Macintosh?”
Merida shrugged. “’Tis not my fault the fool has fluff for brains.”
Killian grinned, peering around his wife until he was eye to eye with the fiery Highland beauty. “And just what was it that the unfortunate MacIntosh did to deserve such an epitaph?”
A look of pain came over Merida’s face briefly. “He disobeyed my direct orders,” she said. “A wolf was threatening several of the kingdom’s shepherds, and I decided to go after it. I told Macintosh to stay behind, to let me deal with the creature, but he followed me even so. Told me he was not about to let his queen go into danger alone.”
Sudden understanding dawned on Emma’s face. “He got hurt, didn’t he?”
Merida grimaced. “Aye, that he did. We found the wolf, a massive, thing, but before I’d a chance to notch an arrow in my bow, the beast attacked. Macintosh charged forward, stepping between me and the wolf, and he received a nasty scratch on his face and a broken arm for his trouble. It gave me the time I needed to shoot the creature straight through the heart, but afterwards, seeing Macintosh lying on the ground bleeding, groaning in pain…”
“You felt every one of his injuries as though it were your own,” Emma said softly.
Merida gave her a startled look. “Aye,” she said, “though why I should care what happened to him after he disobeyed me, I’ll never know.”
Killian grinned. “You were afraid for him.”
“And why should I be afraid for him?” Merida asked, sitting up straighter and frowning fiercely.
“Because you’re in love with him,” Killian said, deciding the direct approach was likely best. “And do you really need to be told why he disobeyed your orders? Because he’s in love with you, and he’d willingly suffer your anger so long as he was able to keep you safe.”
Merida looked angrily at Killian for a moment, and then her face fell. “I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. Macintosh is a stubborn arse.”
“So’s Killian,” Emma said, “and yet here we are, totally in love, married and on our honeymoon.”
“I do believe I ought to be offended,” Killian said.
“But Killian was certainly no more of an idiot than I was,” Emma said, giving her husband a tender smile. “It took me forever to get over the fear—first fear that he’d leave me, and then fear that I’d lose him. It took me forever to accept my feelings for him and fully embrace them. I wasted a lot of time I could have been totally, blissfully happy.”
“But we’re here now,” Killian said, leaning down to give her another quick kiss, “and we’re, as you put it totally, blissfully happy.”
“True,” Emma said before turning back to Merida, “but…I mean, I don’t know if my opinion holds any weight with you after all I did to you, but for what it’s worth, accept the love you feel for each other and explore what can come of it. You won’t regret it.”
“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Elinor said. “Perhaps, Merida, it’s time you accept what all the kingdom can see—that you and Lord Macintosh were made and meant for each other.”
Merida was silent for a long moment, deliberately taking a drink of her ale, eating several bites of her dinner. Finally she looked up, hope blooming on her face. “Perhaps…perhaps he’s grown on me a bit.”
Later that evening, as the sun was setting Emma and Killian walked hand in hand through the countryside, determined to enjoy the beauty of the realm before heading back to the jolly, and their bed.
“You think Merida took our advice? Emma asked, laying her head against Killian’s shoulder as they slowly strolled through the fields.
Killian stopped, ducked behind a tree, and pulled him with her.
“Killian, the hell?” Emma asked.
“Shh!” he said, pointing to a clearing up in front of them. “I woud say aye. She took our advice.”
Emma looked in the direction Killian pointed and then smiled. Merida and Macintosh stood together—very close together—their hands entwined. They were too far away to hear the words the two of them were speaking, but Merida seemed to be speaking with particular intensity. When she finished what she had to say, the two of them were silent, still, unmoving for long moments, and then suddenly Macintosh surged forward, his good hand coming up to cup the back of her head while he kissed her as though there were no tomorrow.
Emma turned toward Killian, seeing her own joy reflected in his face. “Looks like we’ve just witnessed another happy ending, my love,” Killian said.
“Yeah,” Emma said, feeling tears well up. “So what do you say we leave them to it while we go back to our ship and celebrate our own love?”
“Darling,” he said with a wicked grin, “this is one instance where I can assure with absolute certainty that your desires perfectly meld with my own.”
--Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. Yesterday was crazy. I got the first scene written before I had to start my day, and then I never was able to find the time to continue.
--I couldn’t resist getting Merida and Macintosh together. Ever since he came to save her from Arthur and then acknowledged her rightful place on the throne, I felt like there was something brewing there between them. I figured as long as I’m playing the Happy Ending fairy during this story, I thought I might as well make a visit to Merintosh!
--Up next: Who’s up for a little trip to Agrabah? I felt like the Land of Untold Stories storyline was pretty much dropped and forgotten about after 6a, so I think it’s time to find out how Aladdin and Jasmine chose to change that.
They left DunBroch with a full contingent of pipes and drums following them back to the Jolly. It was a bit weird, but it was supposed to be an honor, so Emma decided to just go with it. Emma stood at the railing of their ship as they sailed away and looked over the assembled kingdom waiting there to see them off. Front and center were Merida and Macintosh, their hands joined, the happy, excited look of new love plastered on both of their faces.
“They seem happy, don’t they?” Emma said as Killian came to join her at the railing. “Merida and Macintosh?”
Killian chuckled. “Aye, they do for now. I wonder how long it will be before they’re screaming at each other again.”
Emma turned in his arms to look up at him. “You don’t think they’ll last?”
Killian laughed again. “Oh I’m sure they will. They seem perfectly suited for each other, but I also think they won’t ever be able to make it a week without an explosive argument.”
Emma smiled. “You’re probably right. But then they seem to enjoy arguing with each other as much as most people enjoy getting along.”
“And there is one boon to arguing, love,” Killian said, his eyebrows wiggling.
“Yeah? What’s that?”
He leaned in close and nipped at her earlobe then whispered in her ear. “After a fight, a couple must make up, and that can be oh so very pleasant.”
The implication of the types of make up activities Killian had in mind was unmistakable, and Emma felt the heat pool low in her stomach. “I like the sound of that. I might just have to pick a fight with you every once in a while, myself.”
A wicked glint came into Killian’s eye. Deliberately he shook his head. “You wouldn’t do that.”
“Oh no? You wanna bet?”
“No,” he said, “I want to argue. You, Emma Jones would never fight with your brilliant husband.”
“Funny,” she said. “Seems like I’m fighting with him right now.”
Killian’s grin grew positively sinful. “And so you are. Well, there’s nothing for it, Swan. Now that we’ve fought we must make up. Perhaps repeatedly and with the utmost passion. We must, after all, start our marriage out right.”
“Who am I to dispute solid marital wisdom?” she said, taking his hand and leading him below deck.
A long time later Killian collapsed, exhausted, nearly boneless, with pleasure pumping through every cell in his body, back onto his side of the bed.
“Killian,” Emma said breathlessly. “Make-up sex is officially the best. Remind me to pick a fight with you every single damn day.”
He chuckled. “Duly noted.”
They lay silent for another moment catching their breath, basking in the bright, rose-colored afterglow. Killian grinned as he looked around him, noting the pinkish tinge to everything. Being married to a magic wielder was truly a marvel. He’d discovered the phenomenon during their first night together. No sooner had they finished their lovemaking than a bright pulse of rose-colored light filled the entirety of his room at Granny’s establishment. He’d reacted with alarm, jumping to his feet, naked as the day he was born and reaching for his sword. Behind him Emma had chuckled.
“Um, Killian?” she’d said, “I, uh….I think I might have done, you know, all of this.” She’d gestured around at the bright pink light.
“You turned the quality of the light to a pinkish glow?”
Emma shrugged. “Well not intentionally. It’s just…when I, you know, finished, I felt magic flow from me and voila! Pink light.”
Killian looked down at her for a moment and then grinned. “Are you saying that my attentions brought you so much pleasure you erupted into magic?”
She’d rolled her eyes. “Yeah, don’t let it go to your head, Romeo.”
Killian had climbed back into bed. “So tell me love, did a similar occurrence happen during your amorous activities with other suitors?”
“Nope. This is the first time.”
His grin had widened. “Why Swan, are you telling me I’m the best you’ve ever had?”
She’d slapped him lightly on the chest before settling against him. “Like your ego needs any more of a boost.”
“Come now love,” he’d said. “Humor me.”
“Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed,” she said. “Now would you please shut up so we can get some sleep? If you behave yourself, maybe when we wake up we can find out if that whole rose glow thing will happen more than once.”
Killian smiled again as the glow slowly started to fade and Emma smiled contentedly, curling up against his side. As it happened, it hadn’t been an anomaly. Every single time they’d made love the same thing had happened (which had made for some awkward conversations the one time they’d indulged in Swan’s bedroom at her parents’ loft).
They lay together for another few moments, enjoying being together, blissful with the knowledge that this was forever. Finally Killian groaned, rolled to a sitting position and then slipped on his boxer briefs. (He’d never really gone in for undergarments, but Dave had convinced him that a soft buffer in between his tender bits and his rough denim would be a comfort Killian would appreciate. The bloody things had felt constrictive at first, but Killian had to admit, they did feel far softer than the denim.)
“Hey, where you going?” Emma asked, rolling up to her elbow to watch him dress.
“I must check on our diminutive prisoner and feed him his rations for the morning.”
“Well hurry back,” Emma said. “I miss you already.”
Five minutes later, Killian returned, a frown on his face.
“Something wrong, babe?” Emma asked. “Blackbeard try to start something again?”
Killian sat heavily on the bed. “No…” he said, drawing out the syllable. “Not precisely, but it is utterly unaccountable.”
“What is? What’s happened?”
“You know full well what a foul temper that tiny git displays every time we visit him in the brig,” Killian said.
“Well today was different,” Killian said. “He was positively pleasant, greeting me with a smile, thanking me for his victuals. What could he be on about?”
Emma shrugged, getting up and tossing on her clothing. “Who knows what’s going on in that tiny pea brain of his. Maybe he’s had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment and has decided to stop being a total bastard.”
“Maybe,” Killian said skeptically.
“At any rate, I say we don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. If Blackbeard wants to cooperate, I say we let him.”
Killian continued to look uneasy for another moment, but finally shrugged. “Too right you are, love.”
“So where we off to next? It’s your turn to choose.”
Killian thought for a moment. “After my last adventure, thanks to Gideon, I find myself curious about Jasmine and Aladdin’s fate. What say we make a visit to the sandy courts of Agrabah?”
“I say let’s do it!”
Emma kind of wondered where the portal would take them this time. They were, after all, sailing the Jolly through it…into a desert land. Not a whole lot of places for a full, 18th century pirate ships to dock in the desert. As it happened, she needn’t have worried, for even within deserts there are oases. After sailing into the portal, one such very deserted oasis was where Emma and Killian found themselves five minutes after tossing their magic bean into the seas of DunBroch.
It was beautiful, hot and steamy surrounded by palm trees and tropical flowers. Their own little private paradise. Emma decided the oasis was the perfect place to debut one final bit of clothing she’d packed for their honeymoon—a tiny little red string bikini with barely enough fabric to cover the important bits.
“I’ll be just a second, Killian,” Emma said as she headed below deck. Why don’t you go explore our little oasis a bit and I’ll come join you?”
“As you wish, Swan,” he’d said absently, busy weighing anchor.
He might have been absent as she left deck to change, but when she emerged in her little red number, she certainly had his full attention.
“Swan, there you are,” he said, standing on the beach below, “I was afraid you’d gotten lost in our quarters you were gone so…Oh!”
His eyes grew round as saucers as he looked up and caught sight of her attire for the first time. He swallowed convulsively.
“Thought I’d try out my new bikini,” Emma said with a smirk. “Like it?”
After a moment, he scraped his jaw off the sandy beach and hustled back to the ship, back to her side. “This ‘bikini’…is it a popular style within our home land?”
“Yeah, pretty popular,” Emma said, enjoying the look of desire in his eyes as he looked over her body. “Women wear bikinis a lot when they go swimming. I thought maybe we could take a dip here in the oasis before we head to Aladdin and Jasmine’s. What do you think?”
“I think I’m very, very fond of your land’s swimming attire,” Killian said. I’d love to join you for a bit of a swim, but what do men in your land wear?”
“My dad sent along a pair of his swim trunks, if you want to use them,” Emma said. “Then again…I could teach you the custom of skinny dipping.”
As it happened, neither the swim trunks nor the string bikini lasted long within the warm, sun kissed water of the oasis, both articles of clothing ending up on the beach while their owners enjoyed the crystal-clear pool—and each other.
It was nearing mid-afternoon before Emma and Killian finally made it to the sultan’s castle. A servant showed them through the courtyard to a solarium of sorts where they were seated and offered refreshments. Emma looked around the room in wonder and awe. Never had she seen such lavish riches and décor in one place. Agrabah must be in pretty good shape economically.
“Aladdin is one lucky man,” Killian said, looking around, “marrying into this kind of luxury.”
Emma gave him a pointed luck.
“Certainly no luckier than I am, however,” Killian said quickly.
“Nice save,” Emma grinned as the door opened and the prince and princess themselves came through.
“Emma! Killian!” Jasmine said, rushing over to them, alarm on her face. “What has happened? Is there a new villain? Has Jafar resurfaced? Do you need our help?”
“No, nothing like that, your highness,” Killian hastened to reassure. “Believe it or not, we’ve come with happy news.”
“Oh yeah?” Aladdin asked, coming to his wife’s side and putting an arm around her waist, “we’re always up for good news around here. What’s yours?”
Emma held up her left hand, showing off her sparkling engagement and wedding rings.
“You did it!” Jasmine said in wonder. “You actually got married!”
“I’m rather insulted you sound so surprised love.”
“Well you can’t exactly blame her can you, mate?” Aladdin said. “After all, you were all brooding and angsty the last time we saw you here in Agrabah. Something about how you’d lost her forever and ‘woe is me’ and general self-loathing.”
“I beg your pardon,” Killian said. “I have never in my life uttered the words ‘woe is me’.”
“Well, whatever the case,” Jasmine said, “I’m glad everything ended well. What ever happened with the Black Fairy and the prophecy of death?”
“We fought the final battle and won,” Emma said simply.
“Don’t be modest, love,” Killian said. “My wife is a marvel. She not only defeated Gideon, but she did so without harming him. She sacrificed herself to end the threat to our land. And thanks to our lad and his True Love’s Kiss, she returned to us whole and unharmed.”
Aladdin and Jasmine took their seats. “I’m such a sucker for a happy ending,” Aladdin said, draping an arm around his wife.
“Oh but it wasn’t a happy ending,” Emma said, shooting Killian a secret smile, “it was a happy beginning.”
“I’m so glad you two found happiness!” Jasmine said as a large Bengal tiger padded his way into the room, sat at her feet and began purring. “Isn’t love the best.”
“When you’ve found the right one to share it with,” Killian said, smiling tenderly down at Emma, “it’s the most extraordinary thing in all the realms.”
Emma gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then turned toward the other couple. “So anyway, we’ve been using our honeymoon to visit other lands, see how our friends are doing. What all have you been up to since you found Agrabah again?”
“Well to start,” Aladdin said, “we’ve been rebuilding our land. Seems being stuck inside a ring for decades tends to leave a kingdom a bit run down.”
“Aye, I can see how that could happen.”
“But once Agrabah was back on the right track,” Jasmine said, “we started thinking. Maybe we could use our wealth and prosperity to help other people.”
“And we found our chance when we happened to come across a portal to the Land of Untold Stories,” Aladdin said. “Jasmine and a couple of our advisors devised a way we could go back and forth through the portal anytime we want.”
“And we’ve used the knowledge to help as many people as possible find good solutions to the problems that landed them in the land in the first place,” Jasmine concluded.
“That’s amazing!” Emma said. I couldn’t help but feel kind of bad for the folks that landed in Storybrooke. We tried to help them, but then…” she shrugged, “the Evil Queen happened, and then Gideon and then the Black Fairy. Way too many fires to put out in Storybrooke all the damn time.”
“You do have some pretty messed up luck back in your home,” Aladdin agreed.
“But as for us,” Jasmine said, “we’ve had peace since we got rid of Jafar. It’s been perfect. And helping the Land of Untold Stories folks gives Aladdin a chance to be a savior once again. Jafar may have tricked him into using the shears, but we learned something after the first person we pulled out of that portal.”
“What’s that?” Emma asked.
“We learned that we make our own fate,” Aladdin said. “I wasn’t about to give up being a savior just because some stupid shears said so. I wanted to be a savior to those people who needed me, and so a savior I was.”
“Good form, mate,” Killian said. “It seemed you and my Swan travelled similar paths of self-discovery.”
Jasmine called for a dinner to be served, insisting Emma and Killian join them for the evening repast. Dinner was an enjoyable affair, full of delicious food, witty banter, lots and lots of laughter, and Raja the tiger begging like a puppy.
Emma and Killian walked the path back to the Jolly long after the sun had set and the bright, beautiful stars shone in the sky.
But their happy mood lasted only until they reached their cabin below decks. The place looked like a bloody cyclone had passed through, bed ransacked, clothes strewn throughout the room, a couple of Killian’s books lying open on the floor with pages torn out and ripped to confetti, the rum barrel spilled and the food stores open and scattered.
“What the hell?” Emma asked, looking around with wide eyes.
Killian was silent for a moment before his eyes landed on what looked like jam smeared across one of his windows. The letters B B, one on top of the other was drawn into the mess. His jaw clenched. “Blackbeard.”
--Sorry for the delay in this chapter! I normally write during my breaks at work (because morning is when the muse is the most alert and raring to go. This week, though, my hard drive died on Tuesday, and it took a couple days to get everything up and running again. That, of course, delayed all my story updates, and so here we are. The Honeymoon on a Saturday rather than a Thursday.
--Up next: Emma and Killian figure out how Blackbeard managed to wreak so much havoc in his tiny state, and they make him an offer he would be stupid to refuse. Afterwards, they make their last stop on their honeymoon. Emma decides they’ll go to the Wish Realm because she wants to make sure Wish Henry is doing okay after all that happened to him while she was there. She finds that her fake son has made a very interesting alliance—actually three very interesting alliances. We’ll get to see what’s been happening with not only Henry and Wish World Hook, but also a couple of other characters that I simply couldn’t tell this story without mentioning once again.
“I’m going to murder that bloody git!” Killian growled, turning in a circle to take in all the mayhem around them. “I’m going to plant my hook in his diminutive face!”
Emma grimaced. “I get where you’re coming from. I kind of want to string the tiny bastard up by his toes for trying to ruin our honeymoon, but I think we need to be strategic about this.”
He shot her a wary look. “Just what are you suggesting, love?”
“I’m saying,” Emma answered, “that our ‘control Blackbeard’ strategy doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe we should try a new tactic.”
“Maybe instead of just putting him in prison, we make him an offer he can’t refuse,” Emma said, looking grim.
“Bloody hell, Swan!” Killian said, “are you seriously suggesting we make a deal with that arsehole? After all the trouble he’s put us through ever since Neverland?”
“Not a deal, precisely,” Emma answered, “more of an ultimatum. What if we threaten to leave him somewhere to be rodent food if he doesn’t start cooperating?”
A feral grin lit up Killian’s face. “Now there’s the cunning pirate lass I married!”
“But before we do anything, we need to find the son of a bitch,” Emma said.
She closed her eyes in concentration, took a deep breath, and then waved her hand. A moment later, Blackbeard, shouting in surprise, zoomed into her open hand.
“What the buggering devil?!” he asked, glowering up at her. The effect was rather marred by the fact that he was no more than two inches tall.
“I might ask you the same thing, you gormless buggar!” Killian said. “What the bloody hell do you mean by defacing our bedchamber in such a manner?”
“And how did you even get out of the hold?” Emma asked, setting him on the desk and putting her hands on her hips.
He shot her a look that clearly said idiot. “Pirate.”
“Of course,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“Did you call me to your chamber…or rather, as this is my ship that you so inconsiderately stole, my chamber…for a reason?” Blackbeard asked. “If not, kindly send me back where you found me. I’ve a fair amount of pillaging and plundering to attend to.”
Killian growled. “If you know what’s good for you, mate, you’ll shut your bloody mouth!”
Emma placed a gentle hand on Killian’s arm. “It’s okay. I got this.”
“And what exactly is it that the lovely Mrs. Hook has ‘got’?” Blackbeard asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Just this, you tiny little son of a bitch,” Emma said, getting in his tiny face, “You are not going to ruin what’s left of our honeymoon or we’ll squash you like the bug you are.”
“I’d like to see you try, love,” Blackbeard said. “It could end up being quite enjoyable for both of us. And since I’m feeling generous this evening, I might even let your husband watch.”
For a moment Emma thought Killian really was going to murder him this time. Finally he took a step back, clenching his jaw. “Get on with it, Swan,” Killian said, “before I do something I’ll regret.”
“The way I look at it,” Emma said, glaring at the little pirate, “you have two options. Either you agree to cooperate and behave yourself for the rest of this honeymoon, and we take you back to Storybrooke with us and I restore you to your former self, or we sail to the first deserted island we come to and maroon your tiny, worthless ass where you’ll have to hope and pray no indigenous rodents decide to make you their dinner.”
Blackbeard eyed her carefully. “Just like that?” he asked. “You want me to believe you’ll take me to your home land, make me big and just let me go?”
“There will be conditions, of course,” Emma said.
“One, you give up your stupid attempt to steal the Jolly,” Emma said. “She belongs to Killian, and if you were stupid enough to lose her to him twice after you took her, it’s your own fault. Two, we don’t just let you go. You’re on probation. I put a tracking spell on you for the next year, and the second you steal so much as a toothpick from Granny’s you’re right back to being Small, and I toss you in our premium cell in the basement of the mental hospital.”
Blackbeard grumbled under his breath.
“What was that?” Emma asked, crossing her arms, “I didn’t quite catch that.”
“I said,” Blackbeard said in evident ill-temper, “that you have an accord.”
“Wise move, mate,” Killian said.
Blackbeard glared up at him. “Captain Hook really has gone soft,” he said. “I never would have believed I’d see the day where Captain Hook stands behind his wife’s skirts and lets her make the decisions.”
Killian wrapped an arm around Emma’s waist. “When a man finds a woman with as much intelligence, courage, wisdom and all-around perfection as my Emma, he would be a bloody fool not to give her ideas the utmost consideration. Perhaps one day, should you give up being such a prat, you’ll find your own love and learn the joys of an equal partnership with a strong woman.”
Emma tutted. “Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.”
The next morning Killian tossed their last bean (save the one that would return them to Storybrooke) into the sea, and sailed them through.
Early that morning as they lay wrapped in each other’s arms, they’d discussed just where their last bean should take them.
“It’s your turn, love,” Killian said. “Where shall we go to finish our honeymoon?”
Emma thought for a moment. “This is going to sound really weird, and I don’t know if it’s even possible, but as long as we’re checking on people in other lands, there’s one last land I’d like to visit.”
“Aye? And which land is that?”
“The Wish World,” Emma said.
Killian shot her a surprised look. “You wish to return to the Evil Queen’s fantasy world? Whatever for?”
She’d shrugged against him. “I know it wasn’t real and everything, but I have a whole lifetime of memories from my life in that place. And though he wasn’t real, Henry in the Wish World was my son. The way we left him…he’d just lost his grandparents and his mother disappeared. I just want to make sure he’s okay.”
Killian rolled over and kissed her. “Then to the Wish World we shall go.”
As they washed up on the shores of the Wish World version of the Enchanted Forest, Killian took Emma’s hand, and they began walking.
“Last I saw Henry,” Emma said, “he was riding through the countryside with a group of knights looking for Regina to get his revenge. I have no idea where to start looking now.”
“Didn’t you tell me that when you were here you started your journey by talking to your friend, the wooden man-child?” Killian asked, managing to keep the grimace on his face to a minimum.
“August?” Emma asked, looking over at him. “Yeah, I mean, I guess we could ask him what’s going on. Certainly wouldn’t hurt.”
They found August in his workshop, hammering away at what looked like it was going to become a rocking chair. From time to time, he struck up a conversation with the cricket that sat at the far end of his work bench.
Emma knocked at the open door frame, and August looked up, startled by the interruption. When he saw her, August’s face lit up.
“Emma!” he said, pulling his work apron over his head and rushing toward her. “This is quite a surprise! I hope everything is alright in your home land?”
Emma smiled, squeezing Killian’s hand before dropping it so she could show off her ring. “Everything’s fine. In fact more than fine. Killian and I are on our honeymoon. Thought we’d drop in and make sure everything’s good around here.”
The cricket, wearing a top hat and holding an umbrella, came to perch on Emma’s hand and looked down at her finger and then chirped in what sounded to Killian like approval.
Meanwhile, August had yet to comment. Killian looked up at him curiously and saw the animated puppet staring at him slack jawed, his eyebrows raised nearly to his hairline.
“That’s…that’s great,” August finally said after clearing his throat and shaking his head slightly. “I must say, your world’s version of Captain Hook is…almost unrecognizable. I’m sorry to stare but, wow! I can’t even wrap my mind around it.”
Killian turned toward Emma. “Love, just how altered was I in this mixed up reality?”
She grinned mischievously. “Well, you were still handsome. I don’t think anything would be powerful to knock the handsome out of you, but….you were…kind of a mess.”
August laughed. “That’s an understatement. He’s a full-on walking disaster.”
“I beg your pardon!” Killian bristled. “You’re quite bold to say such a thing to my very face!”
Emma put a gentle hand on his arm. “Trust me babe, the version of you the Evil Queen dreamt up? So very, very not you. At all.”
Killian calmed. Emma’s touch was wont to do that to a man.
“Can I interest you in a cup of tea?” August said after a moment. “Jiminy and I were just about to take a break for some refreshments.”
“That’s nice of you,” Emma said, “but we’ve really got to start searching.”
“Searching for what?” August asked. “Emma, don’t tell me you’re trapped here again! We used the last enchanted tree to make your portal last time.”
“No, that’s not it,” Emma hastened to reassure. “It’s just…when Regina and I left the last time, Henry was in a pretty bad place. He’d just seen my parents die, and then I disappeared. I just wanted to, you know, make sure he’s okay. Do you, by any chance, have any idea where he might be?”
August’s brows furrowed. “I’m sorry, Emma, but that’s a complete mystery. He continued to look for you, out for the Evil Queen’s blood, but a few weeks ago he just…disappeared.”
“Disappeared?” Killian asked, “whatever do you mean?”
August shot him a wary look. “Well, Captain, you ought to know. You—or rather your other self—were the last one seen with him.”
Jiminy Cricket landed on the table near them and began chirping animatedly.
“Um, sorry,” Emma said. “Don’t speak cricket.”
“He said that he saw what happened,” August said. “Henry left his knights and went off on his own and Captain Hook happened to corner him.”
“Corner him?” Emma asked. “Tell me he didn’t hurt him!”
“No,” August said, “he wasn’t hurt, but Hook apparently kidnapped him, looking for a ransom from the kingdom or some such nonsense.”
“And where exactly did my other self take the lad?”
August shrugged. “That’s where things get murky. The last thing Jiminy saw—the last thing anyone saw, Hook had just kidnapped Henry. After that…nothing. They just seemed to disappear. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, Emma, but I’m afraid we know little more than you do.”
“They couldn’t have just disappeared into thin air!” Emma said, pacing the deck of the Jolly. “They have to be somewhere.”
After leaving August and Jiminy Cricket, she and Killian had decided to head back to shore, believing Captain Hook was most likely to hold Henry on his own home turf—his version of the Jolly Roger, but when they’d reached the shore, they’d found precious few leads.
They’d walked the beach for a good several miles, when they spotted a second Jolly, and for a moment, Emma felt triumph, believing they’d found her son and his kidnapper, but it turned out to be a dead end. They’d boarded the ship only to find it empty—save for the terrible mess everywhere one looked. Empty rum bottles, dirty dishes and clutter was piled up all around.
Killian grimaced. “I ought to flog the Wish World version of me for leaving my ship in such squalor!”
“Well get in line,” Emma said grimly. “First I plan to kick his ass for kidnapping my son. That is, assuming of course, we ever find them.”
Killian took her into his arms and held her for a moment. “Don’t worry, Swan. We’ll find them and we’ll set all to rights.”
Emma pulled back enough to look up at him. “I really love you, you know.”
“Aye,” he said. “And I’m every bit as enamored of you, my love. We’ll find them, I swear it.”
Emma reached up on tip toes and kissed him, drawing in his confidence, his belief in her. The embrace went on for several moments, but then suddenly Emma noticed something out of the corner of her eye. Several yards out, there was a disturbance in the water, ripples growing bigger and bigger before something huge and metal began to emerge.
To Emma’s surprise, Killian started to smile. “Swan! I don’t believe it! It’s the Nautilus!”
“Nemo’s sub?” Emma asked.
As they watched, the giant sub fully reached the surfaces, and then Captain Nemo and Liam emerged.
“The very same,” Nemo said, giving her a courtly bow, “and as luck would have it, I think we can be of service to you. Meet our newest recruits.”
A moment later, Wish World Hook and Henry emerged from below.
--So WW Hook kidnapped Henry, but the both of them ended up getting more than they bargained for when Nemo showed up. I figured if anyone in the Wish World could benefit from the kind of help Nemo specializes in it would be the pirate who’d wasted his life on revenge and the boy who’d just started down that path. I intended to get into more of their time with Nemo, Liam Hook and Henry in this chapter, but this seemed like a good place to pause.
--Up next: Emma and Killian spend some time on the Nautilus, and find out just what’s been happening with Wish World Hook and Henry. Then, down to one magic bean, Emma and Killian close out their honeymoon and return to Storybrooke. This story is really drawing to a close. Only one chapter to go!
Emma took her seat next to Killian on the sofa in the Nautilus, fingers entwined. She smirked, watching as her husband and his Wish World doppelganger eyed each other suspiciously.
“So…” Wish World Henry said, looking at her, confusion crossing his face, “you’re telling me I’m not real?”
“No, that’s not it, exactly,” Emma said, “It’s just…like an alternate reality.”
“And there’s another version of me running around there, just like there’s another version of Hook?”
Emma laughed. “Oh no, your version from my world is nothing like the version of Hook is here.”
Wish World Hook looked over at her. “I don’t know love. I see very little difference between my dashing self in this land and the man sitting beside you. Devilishly handsome as always.”
Killian growled beside her. “Tell me I was never such a prat, love.”
Emma leaned over and kissed him softly. “Never. The Evil Queen really did a number on you when she created your double here. Like a caricature of who you really are.”
Wish World Hook got to his feet, his brows furrowed. “Now Princess Enya that isn’t sporting at all.”
“It’s Emma,” Emma, Killian and Wish World Henry said together.
“Now Hook, remember what we talked about,” Nemo said, getting to his feet and putting a hand on Hook’s arm. “There are more productive ways to deal with your anger than losing your temper.”
Wish World Hook eyed them for a moment more, and then backed down, taking his seat once again.
The strange little group fell into silence for a moment, and Emma felt the emotions broil within. This was a wish world; none of it was real per se, but still, she had 28 years of memories of a life here. She remembered raising this Henry, remembered her happy life with her parents. She would never give up her real life for this pale imitation, but…she also wanted Wish World Henry, and even Wish World Hook to be happy
“Henry, I’m so sorry you had to go through what happened a few months ago,” Emma said finally. “To lose your whole family like that all within a space of a couple of days…I never would have wanted that for you.”
Emma felt Killian’s arm go around her, lending his strength when he sensed she needed it the most.
Wish World Henry looked over at Liam and then Nemo before nodding. “I understand, mom,” he said. “I…had a lot of anger just after it all happened, but they’ve helped me work through it.”
“Thank you,” Killian said earnestly, looking over to his younger brother and the man who had become a surrogate father.
Nemo waved it off. “It’s what we do.”
“Speaking of what you do,” Emma said. “I’m curious. Why are you guys even here? And why do you have both Hook and Henry?”
Wish World Henry sighed and then looked over at Wish World Hook. “This guy tried to kidnap me.”
Hook rolled his eyes. “Kidnap you? Never. I was merely trying to…rescue you…in hopes the kingdom would pay me a pretty penny for your return.”
“Anyway,” Henry said, “he’d just…rescued…me and taken me to his ship when the Nautilus surfaced, and Nemo took us aboard.”
A light of understanding came into Killian’s eyes. “It was your spear wasn’t it?” he asked Nemo. “It led you here, to a couple of souls consumed with vengeance.”
“Right you are, my lad,” Nemo said.
“We were led here,” Liam said, “and imagine our surprise when the man and boy we picked up were Hook (of sorts) and Henry. My own flesh and blood. We couldn’t help but take them in.”
“So how did it go?” Emma asked. “Did you put them through some sort of 12 step anger management program?”
Liam looked at her quizzically. “We merely taught them a better way.”
“They taught me that there are more productive ways to handle my disappointment over lost revenge than drinking to the point of passing out and eating my weight in tavern food each day,” Wish World Hook said.
“And they taught me that if I’m consumed with rage, I won’t be able to be the leader this kingdom needs,” Henry said.
“Excellent lessons, both,” Killian said. “And take it from me, um…Hook. Love is far, far more rewarding than vengeance. Perhaps, one day, through some miracle, you’ll be able to find love as well.”
Wish World Hook looked as though he were rather offended by the intimation that he needed a miracle to find a willing woman, but before he could build up a full head of steam, Henry spoke again.
“So, on our voyage on the Nautilus, Hook and I worked really well together,” he said. “I never would have believed it, but I think we’ve come up with the best solution for all of us. Hook can move into the castle and be my advisor. Neither of us has any family left, so maybe we can, sort of, become each other’s family.”
Emma felt her heart warm. “I couldn’t come up with a better solution myself,” she said, getting to her feet and leaning down to hug her son. “Hook’s a good man, Henry, no matter what version of him you have, and I’m glad the two of you found each other.”
Emma and Killian remained on the Nautilus until nightfall, Emma catching up with her son, and Killian making the most of the opportunity to spend time with his little brother. At length, they bid the guys farewell and returned to the Jolly where they took full advantage of the last official night of their honeymoon.
In the morning, Killian woke Emma with kisses and caresses that had her gasping with desire for her husband before she was even fully awake. He made love to her slowly, so achingly slowly, drawing out every emotion, every sensation, every breathless high. She cried out his name as she reached her summit for the third time that morning, before collapsing beside him, out of breath and nearly boneless with the pleasure.
“Oh for the love of all the gods!” Blackbeard shouted from his holding cell down the hall in the crew’s quarters. “This most certainly counts as cruel and unusual punishment!”
“Shut it,” Killian shouted back. “Perhaps next time you won’t attempt to pilfer the ship of a newlywed couple.”
Blackbeard muttered something that was likely laced with every obscenity he knew.
Emma laughed, before getting up and dressing for the day ahead. “I guess we have to go home today,” she said regretfully.
“Aye,” Killian answered, tossing on his own clothing, “we’ve just one bean left. Our honeymoon has been sheer heaven, love, but all good things must come to an end.”
“I supposed so,” Emma said, “but it’s all good anyway.”
“When we go home,” Emma said, “we get to return to our house and our bed, and we get to spend the rest of eternity together.”
Killian leaned down and kissed her slowly. “And there’s no one else I’d prefer to spend my forever with.”
After a quick breakfast (which Blackbeard insisted he was too nauseated to eat after the earful he got that morning), and an equally quick shell-phone call to Henry to alert him to their plans, they returned topside and, holding hands, they tossed the last bean into the deep. A wet and tumultuous moment later, they found themselves just beyond the Storybrooke docks, where it appeared the entire town was waiting to welcome them home.
One week later
Killian kissed Emma slowly, deeply, walking her backwards toward their bed. Emma giggled as she tumbled back onto the counterpane.
“Killian!” she said, between kisses, “We can’t. You know we have to be at Granny’s in ten minutes!”
“Hang Granny’s” Killian growled, nipping his way down her neck toward her collar bone. “I’ve a far more delectable meal in mind.”
She giggled again, before pushing him gently away. “You know we can’t blow this off,” she said. “It is a party in our honor, after all. We’ll have to save this for desert.”
Killian groaned, placing a hand dramatically on his chest. “In the meantime I believe I shall die from need of you.”
Emma offered him a hand, smirking. “I think you’ll survive, and I promise I’ll make it up to you when we get home.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
They strolled, hand-in-hand down the main street of town, enjoying the lovely day with just the hint of fall in the air.
“So I heard something really interesting yesterday,” Emma said.
“Aye, love? What’s that?”
“Blackbeard’s not only coming to our party,” Emma said, “he’s bringing someone!”
True to her word, as soon as they’d docked and greeted Henry and the Charmings, Emma had returned Blackbeard to his normal size, and then fitted him with a magical ankle bracelet.
“Remember the deal,” she’d warned him sternly. “You give up all claim to the Jolly Roger, and this little tracking device will let us know the minute you steal so much as a stick of gum from the Dark Star Pharmacy.”
Blackbeard sighed theatrically, but offered no more protest.
To Emma’s surprise, he’d lived up to the bargain, securing a room at Granny’s in exchange for work in the diner.
“Can you believe it?” Emma had asked Killian the first night back in their home. “Captain Blackbeard, the dread pirate on the high seas is filling his days bussing tables and washing dishes!”
Killian had laughed long and heartily at that.
“Never in all my lifetimes, love,” Killian had assured. “I’d wager he’ll be back to his nefarious ways within three days.”
But that would have been a wager Killian lost. It had been a week, and aside from his grumbling and colorful language, Blackbeard had been a model citizen.
“He’s bringing someone?” Killian asked, bringing Emma back to the present. “As in a date?”
“Uh-huh,” Emma said, nodding. “Grumpy told me yesterday.”
“Trust the dwarf to spread the word.”
“You’ll never guess who it is!” Emma said, eyes sparkling.
“I haven’t a clue,” Killian said. “Who would put up with that bloody git?”
“Pardon?” Killian said, “Blue?”
“Yeah,” Emma said, giggling. “One of the most fearsome pirates in all the realms is totally whipped by the freaking Blue Fairy!”
Killian laughed. “How did that happen?”
“Apparently she was at Granny’s for breakfast one day, and she lost her necklace,” Emma said. “Blackbeard found it when he was bussing her table, and he returned it to her at the convent that afternoon, and the rest is history.”
“Are the nuns even allowed to have romantic entanglements?” Killian asked.
Emma shrugged. “I think since they only became nuns because of the curse, the whole no dating thing no longer applies.”
Killian shook his head. “Truly, love, Storybrooke is a place of wonders.”
Their conversation was cut short as they reached Granny’s diner, and Killian ushered Emma inside.
They stepped into the diner fully decorated for the party, a large banner hanging along one wall reading “Welcome Home Emma and Killian!”
Killian felt his heart turn over as he was greeted first by Swan’s father and then by Henry. Finally, after 3 centuries of searching, he’d found a home and a family. He closed the door behind them, ready to take the next step into the rest of his life with Emma.
--Well there you have it, the end of The Honeymoon. Happy endings all around! I hope you enjoyed this story. Basically, this is the story of how season 7 would go if I had unlimited power to plan and write it. Thank you to everyone who read, liked, commented/reviewed! I’ve appreciated every bit of feedback you’ve given me!