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Emma was trying so hard to keep it together. Henry was so grown up. Walking away from him was so hard. In the last four years since he had left, he had changed so much. An afternoon wasn’t enough time but she had to let him find his own story. Only he could do that.

Emma felt a small measure of relief that Regina would be with him and the other version of Killian would be as well. It was strange to see the wish realm’s version of Hook again, especially looking more like her own Hook. Hearing the other Killian talk about his daughter set Emma’s mind running wild imagining a daughter with Killian’s eyes and what combination of her features and his their child would end up with. If Emma wasn’t already pregnant it’d be enough to make her want to drag her own Killian home and never leave their bed until she was pregnant.

Although in their case it had taken so many years she had almost, almost!, given up hope of giving Killian a child. Dwindling hope of their own second chance, an opportunity to break the cycle of parents being separated from their kids and ensure their own kids didn’t feel like she and Killian had as children: lost and alone. Killian was so great with Henry and even her brother and it left her feeling like there had to be something wrong with her that she couldn’t bring a baby to full term because Killian Jones was absolutely meant to be a father. Her doctor (and Killian, and her mom and even Granny) had reinforced more times than she could remember that miscarriages happened to more women than most people realized and just because one happened didn’t mean she couldn’t have another. It was so early in her pregnancy, barely a baby bump, and Killian was already mollycoddling her. She understood why but with four months to go it was going to be a long road.

Emma pressed her hand to her stomach and held Killian’s there as she looked at their son. Emma could see a little of Neal in Henry. But she could see so much of Killian in Henry as well. She could see Killian in Henry’s mannerisms and attitude. Killian squeezed her hand and she looked at her husband, then her son, his other mother and other Hook and knew it was time to go before this portal closed on her. Her path and Henry’s would diverge here but Emma had no doubt in her mind that they would meet again. After all her family had a saying.

I will always find you.

Chapter Text

Hook was sitting on the log by the dying fire, staring at the chess piece he’d carried across many realms, when he felt the tip of a hook tapping on his arm. He looked up to see Emma’s Killian eyeing him with a natural expression. By the tilt of his head towards the opposite side of the clearing, he understood Killian intended for them to talk privately. He followed, trying to prepare himself for what might be unsaid between them.

“Aye, what is it you wished to say?” Hook demanded of the other man when they were out of earshot of the others.

“My wife has placed her trust in you by asking you to look after Henry. You have to understand how important it is; that you do not break that trust. Emma’s trust was one of the things that set me on the path to let go of my villainy and explore the possibility of a happy ending, or, as Emma prefers, a happy beginning,” Killian explained, though Hook could tell there was more to be said from the way he paused.

“I understand this is a second chance and I don’t intend to waste it,” Hook stressed, almost desperate that his doppelganger believe that he meant it. After almost separating the man from his child, a pain he wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy, Killian had still pleaded with Emma to save his life, thus Hook now felt a debt was owed.

“I hope you do not. I think you should also know that Henry is the one responsible for setting the events in motion that lead Emma to me. Emma had Henry when she was incarcerated for crimes the father of her child pinned on her. Young and alone, she gave Henry up to give him his best chance unlike our own fathers who were selfish and abandoned us for self preservation. Regina,” Killian pointed towards the Evil Queen, “she adopted Henry and raised him alone until Henry was 10 and set out to bring Emma to Storybrooke. He helped her find her parents and she eventually found me. Her family became my family and though I might not be the lad’s birth father, make no mistake, Henry is my son and I love him as such.”

“He seems like a fine young man. I’m sure… well… I’m sure he’ll be okay,” he mumbled, stumbling over his words, a little embarrassed that for all the languages he knew, words had failed him just then. Killian chuckled softly.

“He may seem grown but he’s still a lad in many ways and you know it. I need you to promise me that you will look after my son, as though he was your own, because whether he means to or not, he’ll look to you for guidance and support because you're a version of the man that helped raise him,” Killian contended, intentions finally aired out.

“I owe both you and Emma for saving my life, so I promise, on my honour, that I will guide and protect young Henry in your stead,” he vowed, extending his hand.

Chapter Text

Hook’s doppelganger grasped his hand firmly and shook it twice. The other man was grinning a familiar grin.

“What?” he asked, curiosity at the cause running rampant in his mind.

“I know that you will do your best to keep your word. You have honor in you, Killian. When you meet your daughter again, you'll be able to tell her this day was the start of your journey to being a better man,” Killian promised.

“You're so certain I'll find her?”

“Aye, absolutely certain.” Hook stared as other man exuded complete confidence, bordering on cocky arrogance.

“How can you be so sure?” Hook demanded.

“My family has a motto they live by: ‘I will always find you.’ So if someone in this family promises to help you find your family, just know that we really hate to give up and it's going to happen,” Killian soothed him, resting his hand on his shoulder.

“Aye, like a man unwilling to fight for what he wants, deserves what he gets?” It was a wonderful thought, Hook mused, that one would always find someone, even if it was a bit naive.

“Exactly. I truly wish you the best of luck and I hope you find your daughter and everything you're looking for,” Killian said, embracing him briefly.

“Good luck with the babe. I'll watch over your Henry,” Hook promised again.

Killian turned and bid Regina farewell and then Henry. Hook watched Emma Swan, though he supposed she was truly Emma Jones, as she held her son not wishing to let go. Killian came and gently pressed his hook into her back and guided them away from the group. They both looked so happy and it gave Hook hope that one day he would have his own happy beginning.

Hook watched the spot where the Savior and her pirate had stepped through the portal back to their realm, long after they had gone, lost in his thoughts.

“Hook!” the Queen shaking him by his shoulder broke his reverie. She had somehow got her magic functioning enough to effect a wardrobe change to a tight-fitting red leather riding outfit and her dark hair was now long and wavy.

“Aye, I'm coming,” he grumbled, assuming she wanted him to move. “I'm not the one who had to waste time on a fashion change in the middle of the bloody forest!”

Regina's palm fell open as she tried and failed to conjure a fireball.

“Looks like you're all out of juice” Hook mocked. He could have sworn the woman was about to physically attack him.

“OK! Enough of that. Let's get out of here before Lady Tremaine’s forces find us,” Henry stepped in between the two of them.

Hook might have agreed to look out for Henry because he owed a debt but torturing Regina would no doubt provide endless amusement. Let the adventure begin, he thought, grinning as he jogged to catch with his traveling companions.

Chapter Text

Emma felt a mix of emotions as Killian opened the door for her and she stepped inside their home. Her heart missed Henry every second of every day. She didn't tell Henry, but she had checked on him from time to time over the years. Mirror magic was definitely a handy thing. Regina joined her and Killian on a few occasions and they watched Henry for hours at a time, the three of them reliving memories of their son as a child. A few times, Emma even used her cell phone to snap a few pictures of the images she conjured in the mirror to show her parents.

Killian asked her one of the times they had checked on him how she thought Henry still had gasoline for his motorcycle. Emma figured he had used his Author’s pen to magic some gas into the tank. Since Emma had gotten pregnant this time she had checked on him more often then she would've liked to admit.

What she had told Henry was true, she was never going to be okay being apart. All she wanted was for her kids to be happy, even if life took them away from her. A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought of the two children she and Killian had lost. Knowing as she did of the afterlife, she hoped her children's souls found peace. She liked to think they were watched over by their Uncle Liam and she would see them again someday.

“Love?” Killian softly whispered as he gathered her into his arms. “It's ok,” he kissed her forehead, her cheeks and her lips. Emma couldn't hold back the tidal wave any longer.

Emma sobbed large, ugly tears as her emotions overwhelmed her. Missing Henry, thinking of her lost children and her damn hormones was just the worst fucking combination. Her legs started to give way but Killian scooped her up and carried her up to their room. Once he reached the bed, he helped her out of her clothes and into her pajamas. He deposited her clothes in the laundry bin and disappeared into their closet and returned wearing a pair of flannel sweats, brace in hand. He tucked his brace onto his side table and joined Emma under the covers.

“I texted Dave and let him know we're back. He said he'll cover the station calls overnight to give you a chance to rest,” Killian ventured, knowing she was still awake.

Emma turned in his arms. She pressed herself against his bare chest, trailing her hand over the dark hair that covered his chest, taking comfort in his closeness.

“Thanks. I wasn't exactly up for going straight back to work. I was thinking about Reagan and Brandon,” Emma mumbled, meeting his eyes. Killian's expression fell a little. She knew what he was remembering as his arms tightened around her.

“Aye, I imagined that you might be,” Killian said, pulling back and catching her chin to turn her eyes to his.

Reagan was their first child. Emma had been too early in the pregnancy to know the child’s gender so Archie had suggested that they both pick a gender neutral name for the child. A way to remember and grieve at the same time. Brandon had been born at 31 weeks and the prognosis from the doctor was grim and something magic couldn’t fix. She and Killian got hold him and made sure their little boy felt nothing but love in his brief hours on this earth. His funeral had been difficult to make it though. She was grateful Henry hadn't been there for that.

“It will be okay, love, I know it. I know this babe is strong and will be safe in your arms before you know it,” Killian vowed. Emma kissed him fiercely.

“I have hope. Seeing Henry helped bolster that feeling. Although I won't lie, I've thought about mixing up that potion I used on Zelena to speed up my pregnancy,” Emma admitted, looking away.

“You know that isn't the answer,” Killian warned.

“Zelena threatened to do it too, you know, when I first told her and Regina,” she reminded her husband. “Though I know she meant it as more of a way to ensure things didn't go horribly wrong for this one. I almost wanted to take her up on it. She is a surprisingly good friend. Motherhood has certainly changed her.”

“Motherhood has changed you, Swan,” he reminded her of her own journey since Henry knocked on her door all those years ago. “I have faith. Even after all these years of trials, I have faith.”

“I'm staring down forty, Killian. The dangers are higher and just thinking about taking that potion is evidence of my doubts, but with you here with me, I feel stronger and I know this child will be alright.”

“Exactly, now get some rest my love. Tomorrow you've got to tell a certain wicked resident that her sister has chosen to stay in another realm,” Killian advised.

Emma groaned, forgetting entirely about the fact that she had not texted Zelena about the events of the past two days.

“Why me?” she whined, laughing as Killian tickled her.

“Well, Swan, because Zelena would never harm a pregnant woman,” Killian laughed. “Now I know she's not exactly going to be pleased that Regina didn't say goodbye but mother to mother, she'll understand Regina's choice.”

Emma felt just a little better and she knew that was her husband’s goal. Killian held her as he sang a song in one of the languages he knew. Emma never asked him it's meaning but he often sang it when she was worried. Emma's hand rested on her stomach, rubbing over the gentle swell until she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer, lulled to sleep by Killian's lilting voice.

Chapter Text

Many years ago…

Henry threw his keys on the counter. He knew Killian was on his way home from the station but Emma had come home early because she wasn’t feeling well. His growing younger brother or sister was taking a toll on her.

“Mom, I’m home,” Henry called, knowing when she didn’t answer she was probably asleep.

Henry made his way up the steps and saw the door to his parents’ room was open. He peaked in and his mother was definitely not in the bed. That’s when he heard a small moan from the bathroom. He entered cautiously, not wanting to interrupt if Killian had come home early. Once was enough scaring for one lifetime. The closer he got the more he felt something was wrong. He gently pushed opened the door to find his mom on the bathroom floor, blood pooling under her.

“Oh my god. Mom!” Henry shouted sprinting to her side. He could only just make out the sound of the door closing downstairs. “HELP?!”

The clatter he heard as Killian threw down what he was carrying and bounded up the steps echoed in his ears. Henry felt at Emma’s neck for a pulse. She wasn’t fully conscious and felt clammy under his hand.

“EMMA! Seven hells!” Killian cried, rushing to Emma’s side barely avoiding slipping in her blood in his haste, pulling her into his arms as his knees landed hard on the tiles. Emma’s eyes opened briefly before rolling back as she passed out again.

Henry was shaking. He knew what was happening and his heart was broken but he was worried he’d also lose his mom. No, that was unthinkable, his brain shouted at him.

“Lad, go out and call 911 and then your grandparents. Tell them to meet us at the hospital,” Killian ordered, grabbing him by his shirt and helping him stand when he didn’t immediately move. Henry stumbled exiting the room and did his best to avoid the blood on the floor.

Henry did as instructed. The paramedics seemed shocked to be getting a call to respond to the sheriff and deputy’s residence and assured him they were only 4 mins out. His grandmother was so distressed by the news that she had passed the phone to his grandpa, who also struggled with the news but took a moment to help Henry slow down his breathing. Henry made his way back towards the bathroom, where his stepfather was clinging to his mother.

“Henry, go downstairs and let the paramedics in. Please don’t come back in here, my boy,” Killian instructed and Henry recognized the authoritarian tone that Killian had honed for centuries as a Captain and leader of men. Henry knew better than to ignore the order. Not that he believed his stepfather meant him harm, he knew Killian loved him as though he was his own son. Henry knew the order was given because Killian was trying to protect him.

Once in the kitchen, he called his other mother. Regina had not heard the news and offered to come over. The doorbell rang.

“No, ma, it’s ok. The paramedics are here. Got to go. Meet you there,” Henry said, hanging up the phone.

Opening the door, he directed the paramedics upstairs. Minutes later, they returned carrying Emma on a stretcher.

“Henry, come here,” Killian said, opening his arms.

Henry hugged his stepfather tightly.

“She’ll be okay, she’s a fighter,” Killian assuring both of them in that moment. “I’m going in the ambulance. Drive safely, don’t rush and violate the rules of the road.”

“I’ve been doing this driving thing for a while, thank you. Longer than you if I recall,” Henry said, trying to lighten the conversation. “Go, I’ve got it. Mom needs you.”

Killian didn’t need to be told twice and dashed out the door. Henry closed and locked the house behind them both. His helmet rested on the back of his motorcycle, within minutes it was secured on his head and Henry’s bike roared to life. He took the fastest route he knew to the hospital, making sure to follow all the laws. His mothers would take away his keys if they knew how reckless he could sometimes be. Today wasn’t the day to add to his family’s worries.

Chapter Text

Henry pulled into the hospital parking lot just minutes after his grandparents. Snow was waiting to hug him after he secured his helmet to his bike.

“Henry, are you okay? You said you found Emma bleeding on the bathroom floor?” Snow queried, breaking the hug to take her son from her husband’s arms. Henry could hear the pain in her voice.

“I’m fine,” Henry lied. He was anything but okay. His mother was inside and he desperately wanted to know how she was doing.

“Come on, let’s see if we can find out if there is any news,” David suggested, ushering them towards the entrance.

They hurried into the hospital only to have a nurse direct them to a waiting area after indicating that Emma had been taken immediately into the operating room. At least Killian was with her.

Rather than sit, Henry passed the time pacing impatiently in front a door bearing an “Authorized Personnel Only” sign. After what seemed like ages, Killian appeared from behind the door without his hook and wearing blue scrubs. Killian came straight for Henry, hugging him in silence for many long minutes. Killian released him and guided him toward the chairs where David, Snow and Regina were waiting. They stood when they saw Killian and Henry enter the waiting room.

“She’s okay. They stopped the bleeding. It’ll be a little while before she’s awake,” Killian informed them, grief and exhaustion written plainly on his face.

“Oh, Killian. We’re so, so sorry for your loss,” Snow sniffled, enveloping her son in law in her arms.

David embraced Killian next and Henry took a moment to breathe. He felt so incredibly sad and flopped into a chair, head falling into his hands. He must have fallen asleep because next thing he was aware of, David was gently touching his shoulder.

“She would like to see you,” David said wearily, looking like Henry was sure they all felt. His grandfather’s eyes were red, evidence he had been crying, and his hair was ruffled as though he had been frustratingly pulling at it.

Henry felt immensely relieved that his mom had regained consciousness and asked to see him. His mind wandered as he trekked the familiar halls to the room his mother was now resting in. His family had definitely seen more of this place than most.

Henry pushed the door open slowly to find his mom lying in the hospital bed, seemingly asleep so he turned to exit the room so she could rest.

“It’s ok, kid. I’m awake, it’s just really damn bright in here,” Emma called out, halting Henry’s retreat.

Henry turned the knob on the wall near the light switch so that the room was just barely illuminated. It was enough that one could see in the darkness. Henry cautiously sat on the end of his mother’s bed.

“Thank you, Henry, for saving me,” Emma said, sitting up a little more in her bed. She was still pale and Henry could tell she had been crying.

“I’m so sorry, mom, that I wasn’t there for you sooner… I might have… been able…” Henry stammered, trying to find the right words. He felt just a little frustrated that words failed him just then. He turned away, grief at his mom’s pain causing him to finally cry.

“Hey, look at me,” Emma implored, grabbing Henry’s hand. “There was nothing you could’ve done. Sometimes, there’s nothing anyone can do. It’s not your fault.”

Emma gathered Henry into her arms and hugged him fiercely. Henry lay down on the bed next to his mom as he might have done as a child and let his mother comfort him. Not long after that, his stepfather entered the room and sat in the chair keeping watch over them both. Henry began to drift off to sleep, exhausted and mournful, though extremely glad his mother had survived this tragic ordeal.

Chapter Text

Henry woke on the hard floor of the forest and it took him a long moment to realize where he was. Regina and Hook were sleeping nearby, each on their own pallet that Regina had conjured. Henry shook off the remnants of the memory dream. Henry hadn't dreamt of that day in a long time. It was one of the worst days he could recall.

“Henry, are you okay?” Regina asked, stirring from her sleep at Henry's movement.

“I just had a bad dream, is all. Well bad memory,” Henry clarified, running his hand down his face.

“Was it about the day Emma lost the baby?”

“How'd you know?” Henry asked as Regina moved over to sit next to him.

“I'm your mom, years of soothing you after your nightmares gives me an idea of what triggered this one. I know that Emma told you her news. It had to have brought up memories of that awful day,” Regina theorized.

“Yeah, I guess it did. I think I'm just worried about her,” Henry acknowledged.

“Emma hasn't had the easiest time with her pregnancies. She lost another baby while you were away. But she's strong. She and Killian never gave up hope for their own child but it never stopped them from sharing their love with kids who didn’t have parents. You know they fostered a few kids over the years. It's been almost a year since the last one went off to college. They are still considering adoption but want to be more settled with the new baby before they do,” Regina explained.

“Why didn't she tell me that?” Henry inquired, heartbroken at the thought of another lost sibling.

“She decided that she didn't want us to tell you because she knew you'd want to come home, especially given what happened when you were sixteen. She didn't want you to give up your own adventures out of concern for her. Killian is being a little overprotective, though Emma not so secretly relishes it, and your grandparents are making sure that she doesn't stress about anything. Plus things are pretty quiet in Storybrooke these days. Biggest things to worry about are Neal and Robin using their magic inappropriately or the dwarves getting into brawls.”

Henry laughed at the mental image of his uncle and cousin reeking havoc on the sleepy little town and drunken dwarves fighting. He had faith that everything would be alright. Belief was something that came easy to him, being the Truest Believer AND a Charming.

“Why don't you get some sleep? I'll keep watch,” Regina promised, patting her hand on Henry's bed roll.

Henry sighed. It felt nice to have at least one of his moms here with him. “Okay. Good night. I love you mom.”

“I love you too,” Regina's voice wavered slightly. She looked away in an attempt to hide her emotions.

“Mom, what is it?” Henry asked, sitting back up, knowing the conversation was quite over.

"I've just missed you so much. I've gotten to see you a few times over the years. Emma used a mirror magic to check up on you," Regina admitted, trying not to laugh at Henry's reaction.

Henry wrinkled his nose at the thought of what his parents might have witnessed. He tried to understand they had only missed him and with him being in another realm he couldn't just text them about his days.

“I know it sounds worse than it was, we just missed you. And we never saw anything you wouldn't want your parents to see.”

“Ew, um, thanks?” Henry muttered, half embarrassed at his mother's insinuation and half grateful to whatever gods were listening that he didn't have to experience that again. Him and Violet getting caught in high school by Killian and Emma had been bad enough.

Regina laughed quietly, mindful of the sleeping pirate. “We would sit and share stories of you for hours. As much as I missed you, I wasn't alone in missing you. You have a lot of family who missed and loved you just as much as I did and I took comfort in that,” Regina explained, lovingly patting her son's cheek.

“I know. Remember the day you pointed out to me, a long time ago, that someday I'd have more family than I'd know what to do with?” Henry asked, curious if she remembered that day.

“I could never forget. It was right after you had returned with Emma and Killian from New York and still didn't know who I truly was to you. Those were some of the most difficult weeks of my life. Not being able to be there for you as I wanted to” Regina confessed.

“But now you can,” Henry promised.

“Yes, now I can,” Regina echoed. “Let's sleep. Hook is going to want to be up with the dawn and I for one would like to get some sleep before fighting that battle.”

Henry laughed and bid his mother goodnight and drifted off to sleep once more, a little less worried than he'd been before.

Chapter Text

Emma awoke the next morning feeling sore and still incredibly tired. She looked at the clock on her bedside table and groaned softly. It was only 4:28am, too damn dark outside yet to be awake. If that wasn't clue enough, her husband was still asleep behind her. He rarely sleep in, though after the last few days Emma could hardly blame him if he did.

 

“Love, go back to sleep,” Killian mumbled sleepily, pulling her body flush against his.

 

“Okay,” she conceded, closing her eyes and finding comfort in his warm embrace.

 

Hours later, Emma awoke to a gentle pressure on her back, tiny circles on the angry muscles. She mewled with pleasure at the heavenly feeling Killian was creating. The relaxing back massage quickly became something more, Killian pressing his hard cock against the cleft of her ass.

 

Emma moaned again and quickly found herself on her back. Killian kissed her hip and parted her legs. Killian ghosted several kisses on her thighs, smiling at her when he glanced up. Killian laughed at the anger and annoyance that were probably radiating from her gaze. Emma had had enough.

 

“Killian, enough foreplay! I just need you to fuck me,” Emma begged, not caring how desperate she sounded. She really needed this. They both did.

 

Killian swore under his breath and sheathed himself in her cunt in one swift movement.

 

“Oooohhh, you feel so wonderful but I saw to God if you don't move, I'll make you regret it,” Emma hissed, the need to be fucked trumping all else.

 

“As you wish.” The words still managed to send a chill down her spine after all these years. Killian's sudden thrusting pushed the air from her lungs. She gasped loudly as he thrust again and again, harder each time. She knew this wouldn't last very long, but that wasn't the point. She was so goddamn horny these days she just needed to get off.

 

Killian's hand and blunt wrist held her steady, pulling her body to his as he thrust. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, his eyes kept falling closed and Emma knew he was close.

 

“I need more,” she pleaded, knowing he wouldn't leave her behind. He shifted slightly and pressed his blunted wrist against her clit, circling recklessly,   the pressure and the thrusts sending Emma crashing over the edge.

 

“Emma!” Killian cried out, spilling his seed into her.

 

Killian collapsed and rolled to their sides before separating from her body.

 

Emma sighed as she curled against Killian's side. “Better, love?”

 

Before she could give and answer, her stomach growled loudly. Emma laughed before getting up to pee. “I will be better once I eat. Eating for two, remember?”

 

Killian fell back against the pillow as Emma closed the door. Emma emerged a few minutes later to find the bedroom deserted. The soft clatter of objects in their kitchen was confirmation that her husband was working to honor her request for food. Emma had to say even after all this time together, it still made her stomach flutter that he wanted to take care of her. Not just in protecting her from whatever villain graced the town, but in little ways.

 

Emma decided that she’d give him time to make the food before she went downstairs. She turned on her heels and went back into the bathroom. Turning the shower knob to as hot as she could stand, she gave it a few moments to get to temperature. Emma starred in the mirror. The gentle swell that was visible without her clothing was exciting. Part of her brain told her she shouldn’t be so excited, but she squashed it.

 

Emma jumped into the shower, sighing as the hot water washed over her. After several minutes of just standing under the hot spray, Emma grabbed a washed cloth and set about scrubbing herself clean. Emma used a large amount of shampoo since she hadn't cleaned her hair in days.

 

The water started to lose its heat so Emma hurried rinse her hair. Turning off the water, Emma grabbed a towel from the rack beside the shower and toweled herself dry. Within less than five minutes, she had brushed her hair into a messy knot, applied a little bit of makeup and brushed her teeth. Returning to the bedroom she picked out a comfy pair of pajamas and a clean pair of socks. She could smell food downstairs, to the relief of her empty stomach, so as soon as she was dressed she made her way downstairs excited for the vast array of food her husband had no doubt prepared.

Chapter Text

At the bottom of their stairs, Emma paused for a moment and just watched Killian at work in the kitchen. At first, he had been nervous at cooking with modern appliances but quickly got the hang of it. He found her and Henry's diet absolutely horrifying and set out on a one man mission to ensure better nutritional intake. Killian had brought home so many cookbooks over the last decade that he now had a whole shelf on their bookshelf (double row, mind you) that was dedicated to his love of food.

He was singing softly to himself and Emma couldn't understand the words, but she just loved watching him in his element. She stood silently watching him for several minutes.

Her reverie was broken by her husband’s voice. “Enjoying the view, love,” Killian asked without turning around.

“How do you do that?” Emma asked, descending the remaining steps and taking a seat at their kitchen table. “You always know when I’m behind you.”

“Maybe it’s just my spidey senses tingling?” Killian suggested, turning to hand her a cup of cocoa. Emma giggled at her husband’s reference. He just absorbed the reading material of this world and, thanks to Henry, that also included comic books. Killian had become a master of modern references, not just for comic books, but books and movies even Emma had never read or seen.

“No, seriously? How do you know when I’m standing watching you cook,” Emma demanded as he placed a plate in front of her and turned back for his own.

He took a seat across from her and sipped his coffee briefly before setting it back on the table. He smiled. “The floorboard of the third step from the bottom creaks ever so slightly. I may be old, but my hearing is far superior to many a tenth of my age, just tuned from years at sea, listening to the Jolly.”

“Is that how you always caught Henry when he would sneak out?” Emma asked, already knowing the answer.

Killian finished chewing the bit of omlet he had just put in his mouth before responding, “Aye. How’d you always know if you couldn’t hear the stairs?”

Emma looked at her husband and wondered how they never had this conversation when Henry or any of their foster kids were growing up. “A mother just knows,” Emma deadpanned.

“Oh, really?” Killian challenged, eyes sparkling with mischief. Emma made a small hmm sound and nodded, straight-faced for a second before Killian’s smile broke her resolve.

Emma held out her hand and a small white device appear in her hand. She held it up so Killian could see the lights on it, one for each door or window on the house. “I used a magical charm that made this device light up with the corresponding offender’s window or the main doors of the house.” She closed her palm and the device disappeared back to its place in her nightstand.

Killian’s robust laughter at her explanation warmed her heart. Laughter was exactly what their house needed more of. Her hand rested on her stomach, praying the child in her womb would be alright. Emma had had enough grief and hardship for many lifetimes.

Noticing her frown, Killian spoke up, “Why don’t we move to the couch and grab a blanket or two and spend the day watching some movies since your dad is covering the sheriff’s office again today?”

“Sounds like a plan, you get to make the popcorn,” Emma declared, getting up to put her dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

“Sure, love,” Killian agreed, not inclined to deny her anything she may desire. Emma was glad he didn’t comment about her wanting popcorn at the early hour or so soon after her breakfast.

She settled on the couch, grabbing the remote and navigating to Netflix, picking a new Netflix original series she had been meaning to watch when she had time. It'd be nice to take a day to binge watch a new show with her husband. Though she imagined once she got to the end of her pregnancy between her father, husband and everyone else in this town, she’d have plenty of time on her hands then. She settled in and relaxed for the first time in days