She was going to freeze to death, she was sure of it.
A bitter cold had descended on the endless Neverland jungle that evening, and the flimsy, scratchy material of the blankets they'd brought with them from the Jolly Roger were doing nothing to abate the icy chill from seeping through to the bone.
Emma had been trying to sleep for what felt like hours. She knew it probably hadn't been all that long, but the constant shivering was exhausting. Sighing in frustration, she opened her eyes and peered around their little makeshift camp. The fire they'd built in the middle of the small clearing was giving off about as much heat as a match in an ice cave. But still, her parents had managed to fall asleep, huddled together beside the fire. Regina was across the other side of the fire, propped against a log with the same severe scowl on her face while she slept as she wore when she was awake.
Neal was just off to her left, stretched out, arms beneath his head, snoring quietly. He seemed unfazed by the cold, but she supposed that was probably a necessity left over from the years he'd spent on the island previously.
Her gaze found Killian last. The light from the fire danced over his handsome features, as he slept propped up against a tree, arms crossed, the cold no doubt kept at bay by his leather duster. She allowed herself the freedom of watching him for a moment, replaying their kiss from a few days earlier. She'd been avoiding him, avoiding what was so obviously there between them, and they both knew it.
Swallowing thickly, she tried to shake the thoughts out of her head, chastising herself for thinking of anything other than Henry. Her son was her only priority, no matter what her traitorous heart wanted.
A moment later, as though his finely-tuned defence mechanisms had kicked into high gear and sensed someone watching him, Killian's eyes snapped open. Emma's gaze was still on him, but she quickly averted her eyes. He'd caught her watching him though, and she fully expected that infuriating smirk of his to greet her when she darted a glance back up at him.
Instead, she was met by an intense gaze of quiet concern, and it unnerved her. Without a word, he pushed himself up to stand, and made his way over to her. If she hadn't been shivering quite so violently, muscles aching from the strain of it now, she would have tensed up at his proximity when he crouched down beside her. She peered up at him, waiting for some innuendo or quip about her being unable to take her eyes off him. But still, nothing.
He simply shrugged off his jacket without a word, and draped it over her. She frowned, unsure of what to say, even though she knew she probably should have anticipated such a chivalrous gesture from him. After a moment, she finally found her voice.
"No, you're gonna freeze to death without your jacket…"
She whispered, sitting up and trying to push the jacket back into his hands. The heat from it made her want to wrap it around herself and sigh in contentment, but she couldn't just take it from him without argument.
A tiny smile ticked at the corner of his lips and he shook his head.
"I insist, love. You're shivering. And unfortunately, I'm used to the temperamental temperatures here in Neverland, so I can tolerate the cold. You're not going to sleep very well if you lie there catching your death all night."
His voice was soft and low, a seductive rumble that made her toes curl involuntarily, and she clenched her jaw as she tried to force those feelings away. Now was not the time to let his goddamn voice get to her.
They remained in a stalemate with the jacket held between them for endlessly long moments until Emma sighed and rolled her eyes, shifting over and flattening out the burlap blanket she'd been attempting to huddle under.
"We'll share it then, otherwise we're just gonna argue over your fucking jacket all night."
She gestured to the half of the blanket he could use, and he stared at her blankly. Clearly, he hadn't expected that outcome. He quickly snapped himself out of his surprised gawping, and nodded succinctly, shuffling closer to her and draping the heavy leather jacket over the two of them.
It was all Emma could do not to moan in relief as warmth enveloped her. A breathy sigh was all that passed her lips, but she saw the way Killian's throat worked in her peripheral vision as he lay stiffly beside her. He was keeping perfectly still, careful not to touch her anymore than was necessary, and she couldn't help but find it somewhat amusing.
They'd been all over each other, kissing each other breathless, just a few yards from where her parents had stood a couple of days earlier. And he'd been sending her hopeful, longing looks ever since, cracking open coconuts for her and trying to be close to her at every opportunity. But now, as they were very literally sleeping together, he couldn't have been more reserved.
Long minutes passed, and she knew he was still awake, despite the fact that his eyes were closed. Turning on her side to face him, her trembling finally having stopped thanks to their shared body heat locked under the heavy leather, she studied his features for a few seconds. He swallowed again, and she bit back a smile. He wasn't a very good actor.
"I know you're awake."
She whispered, and at first he didn't respond. Finally, he opened his eyes, hesitating before turning them to meet her gaze.
"What's wrong, Swan?"
He whispered back, and she gave him a small, somewhat-shy smile.
"Nothing. Just...you didn't have to share your jacket. And I know I can be a bit...prickly sometimes. Or so I've been told. But I appreciate it. Thank you...Killian."
She saw his eyes widen almost-imperceptibly at her use of his real name. It still felt a little foreign to her, having only addressed him that way a handful of times, but she liked the way he looked at her when she used it. It made her feel ever warmer, and before she could second-guess herself, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek.
It was as sweet and chaste as could be, but she could still see the way a blush sat high on his cheeks and colored the tips of his ears, even in the relative darkness.
"You're welcome, darling."
He said softly, such adoration laced around the endearment that it lodged in her throat and made her heart stutter. So that her eyes didn't give her away - because he could always read her like an open book, as he loved to remind her - she turned over then, shuffling back against him and mumbling an excuse about body heat.
He stiffened momentarily, her sudden proximity and the press of her ass against him stealing his breath in a sharp inhale that he didn't quite manage to mask. She pressed her lips together to hold back a chuckle, and waited for him to relax. When he finally did so, he then tentatively moved his hand to rest on her hip. She smiled, her eyes fluttering as sleep finally curled around the edges of her consciousness and gently dragged her under.
When she awoke, the first thing Emma became aware of, before she even opened her eyes, was the hard, warm body she was curled into. As her memories of the night before began to trickle back, she recalled why exactly she was waking up in Killian's arms, and the instinctive panic subsided a little.
During the night, they'd seemingly maneuvered so that Killian lay on his back, left arm around her, with Emma half on top of him, her head resting on his shoulder and her arm thrown over his waist. Their legs were tangled, his leather jacket keeping them both comfortably snug in a cocoon of warmth.
Emma had never been a cuddler, so it was somewhat unnerving to wake up so comfortably entangled with someone, having had the best sleep she'd had in months. Tilting her head back slightly, she looked up and tried to figure out what time it was by the level of light.
It was early, she was sure of that much. No one else seemed to be awake, much to her relief. She didn't fancy talking David down from challenging Killian to a swordfight at the asscrack of dawn, if he caught them curled up asleep together. And she'd never hear the end of sarcastic quips from Regina, who already referred to Killian as 'Emma's pirate boyfriend'. She didn't want to be dealing with those kinds of distractions when Henry was still out there somewhere, counting on them to find him.
Sighing, she carefully untangled her legs from Killian's, and he shifted as she did so, mumbling her name and causing her to freeze. She slowly lifted her head to glance over at her parents, but thankfully they remained asleep. She nudged Killian gently then, and he gave a start, instantly awake.
She saw the same confusion she'd felt upon waking dance across his features and she gave him a shy smile. His whole face softened as he returned it, moving slightly so she could free her legs and following suit when she sat up.
"Everyone's still asleep. Maybe we should go get some firewood and get the fire going again?"
Emma whispered, and Killian gave her a lopsided smirk and a waggle of those ridiculously expressive eyebrows. She rolled her eyes despite her smile, comforted by the easy way they slipped back to being them, even after they'd just spent the night sharing body heat.
"Knowing Neverland the way I do, lass, I'd say it'd be smarter to wait until full light to go venturing out into the jungle," he leaned closer to her ear then, "But if your real purpose was to get me alone and have your wicked way with me...then lead the way."
He said lowly, and Emma couldn't help the involuntary shiver that raced through her. A shiver that had nothing to do with the cold, this time. She scoffed and rolled her eyes again, shoving his shoulder jovially and hoping the blush she could feel rising on her cheeks and the racing of her heart weren't too obvious considering his proximity.
Emma once again glanced over at her parents, and Killian seemed to sense her wariness. Smiling softly at her, he pushed himself to his feet, leaving his jacket draped over her, and nodded toward the opposite side of the jungle.
"Nature calls, so to speak. You should try to get a little more sleep, love."
Emma was grateful that he seemed to have read her unease about her parents potentially waking up and seeing them in a compromising position, and took charge of the situation to make her more comfortable. Wasn't that just so typically him, after all? Reading her like a book and then giving her exactly what she needed, unprompted. But she didn't want to think about that too much...
Watching as he disappeared off into the trees, Emma did consider getting a little more rest. But instead, she reluctantly got to her feet, shaking off the last remnants of sleep and righting her crumpled clothes. Grimacing, she silently lamented about the lack of modern plumbing in the jungle, and knew the very first thing she'd do when they got back to Storybrooke would be take a long, hot bath. And a shower. Because she could. But first, they had to find Henry and get off the godforsaken island.
After slipping down and bathing briefly in the spring they'd found before setting up camp the day before (Killian had assured them the spring in question was safe, for once), Emma hurriedly returned to camp and found everyone awake. David was poking what was left of the fire, while everyone else, Killian included, sat on the logs surrounding it.
He was wearing his leather jacket again, and she gave him a small smile as he lifted his gaze to greet her, that familiar softness in his eyes that she was starting to get used to. It still made her pulse do funny things, but she brushed it off, casually taking a seat beside him by the embers they were calling a fire.
"Good morning, Emma. Did you sleep well? You look well-rested."
Snow commented, and Emma felt Killian shift beside her. She carefully maintained a passive expression and nodded, beginning to weave a simple, chunky braid into her damp hair, just for something to do with her hands.
"Yeah, I actually slept really well. And I feel a bit better after getting a quick dip in that spring, too. Still can't wait to get back to running water and a hot shower though."
She sighed wistfully, and Snow and Regina murmured their agreement. David prodded the fire again and Emma nodded toward it.
"We could do with some firewood. I'll go get some."
"Aye, I'll come with you."
Killian offered, immediately standing up. David narrowed his eyes at them, but Neal spoke up from the opposite side of the fire before he had a chance to say anything.
"No, you won't. I've got two hands. What use are you gonna be? I'll go with her."
Emma stared at her ex-boyfriend incredulously, anger flashing white hot in her veins as she stood up too then, glaring over at Neal and trying to keep her voice steady.
"Don't you dare speak to him like that-"
"Swan, it's alright-"
Killian said softly, dropping back down to sit on the log and hanging his head slightly. Clearly, he didn't want to get into it with Neal, but she wasn't used to seeing him concede an argument so readily. Especially when it came to defending himself.
"No, Killian, it's not alright. There was no need for him to bring up your hand like that. It was a dick move."
She levelled her glare on Neal again, but he kept his scowl firmly fixed on Killian. Snow was watching them with a wide-eyed gaze, and it didn't escape her that her daughter had referred to Hook by his given name. Something had happened overnight, she was sure of it. But she kept her mouth shut.
"I'll be more use helping your father prepare us some breakfast, love."
Killian insisted, keeping his gaze low, and Emma didn't know quite what to make of his submissiveness. It wasn't him. But she made a mental note to corner him about that in private later on, unwilling to make him even more uncomfortable than Neal already had, in front of their whole group.
Stepping away from the fire, she stalked off into the trees without another word, silently seething at Neal's behavior. She knocked branches out of her path as she went, with a little more force than was strictly necessary, venting her frustration and muttering curses under her breath.
"You know he isn't good enough for you, Ems. He's a pirate, for fuck's sake."
Emma spun around, startled to find that Neal had followed her. She clenched her jaw and measured her words carefully.
"Oh, what, and you are good enough? You left me in prison; you chose to abandon me when you knew what it'd do to me. I was a fucking kid and you broke my heart, Neal! And now you burst back into my life and think I'm just gonna welcome you back with open arms?! What part of I hoped you were dead sounded promising to you?!"
She shouted at him, over a decade's worth of hurt and anger bubbling up. He was clearly still the selfish, entitled asshole he always had been, she just wasn't blind to it anymore, like she had been as a teenager. And seeing him mock Killian's disability on top of that, when he'd done more for Emma and her family than Neal everhad...well, she'd snapped.
Neal blinked at her, lost for words for a moment, but quickly shaking himself out of it.
"We have a son-"
"So, you knocked me up. That doesn't give you a free pass to walk back into my life again. I'm not gonna stop you being in Henry's life, but this isn't about him. It's about me. And there's no trust left here. How could I ever want to be with you again when I'll never trust you again?"
Neal's face darkened at that, but Emma stared back at him, unwavering.
"But you trust Hook?! You've lost your fucking mind. He stole my mother-"
"He didn't steal anyone. Your mother wasn't an object. She chose to go with him and deep down you know that. I'm sorry it broke your family up, but you can't put all the blame on Killian."
Neal sneered, shaking his head in disbelief and disgust.
"It's Killian now, is it? Let him into your pants one time and suddenly he's earned his badge of honor in your eyes? He's a murderer, and a pirate. And that's all he'll ever be."
Emma spluttered, unable to believe what he'd just said. Neal stared back at her, unwavering.
"I saw you, last night. Under his jacket, like it wasn't obvious what you were doing. I didn't think you were that much of a whore-"
He didn't get chance to finish his sentence, before Emma landed a stinging slap to his face. Her cheeks were burning with anger, embarrassment and shock. He'd never spoken to her like that before, but clearly jealousy made him mean.
"Not that it's any of your business, because I'm not your girlfriend, but nothing happened between us last night. We shared his jacket as a blanket. That's it. But think whatever you want. You've just made me even more sure that I don't want anything to do with you once we get back to Storybrooke. And don't you ever call me a whore again."
With that, she shoved him roughly out of the way and stormed off further into the trees. He didn't follow her this time, because clearly he knew what was good for him.
When Emma returned to camp, arms full of an assortment of twigs and branches they could use for firewood, the first thing she noticed was Killian's conspicuous absence. Snow had gathered some berries and was separating them into portions, while David attempted to heat some water over what was left of the fire. Neal sat off to the side, sulking, while Regina reapplied lipstick using the pocket mirror they'd previously used to make contact with Henry.
Emma dropped her bounty in a heap next to the fire and crouched down, beginning to feed the smaller twigs into it and turning the embers to flames once again, bit by bit. She casually glanced around as she did so, before turning to her mother.
She asked, and heard Neal scoff derisively behind her. She chose to ignore him. Snow's eyebrows lifted ever so slightly, and Emma dropped her gaze back to her task. She knew she should probably revert back to 'Hook' instead of using his given name, if she didn't want her mother jumping to all sorts of silly conclusions, but it was out there now.
"He said he was going down to the spring. I think he wanted a bit of space...after what was said earlier."
She cast a pointed, disapproving glance at Neal, and Emma was somewhat glad that she wasn't the only one who felt he'd crossed a line with what he'd said. She nodded but didn't say anything more for a few minutes, as she silently watched the fire coming back to life. Once satisfied that there was enough heat emanating from it to heat the water David was stirring in a small tin bowl over it, she stood back up, dusting herself off and clearing her throat.
"I'm gonna go check on him…"
She said quietly, and shot a glare over her shoulder when Neal snorted again and muttered about her being 'subtle as a fucking brick'. She'd had just about enough of his attitude, but bit back the snarky retort that was burning her tongue. He wasn't worth it.
Snow nodded, giving her a serene smile. She was well aware that there was something new and tentative growing between her daughter and the pirate. The secret glances she caught them sharing, and the way his whole face seemed to soften when he looked at her...she recognized a man who was falling hopelessly in love when she saw one. And as much as she'd harbored an initial hope for bridges to be mended between Emma and her first love, it was becoming pretty clear that those bridges had been well and truly burned.
She didn't know exactly what had happened between Emma and Neal in the past, but her obvious wariness around him, and the way she seemed to back off whenever he got a little too close, told Snow all she needed to know. If there was no trust, there was no foundation for a relationship, and Emma was smart and assertive enough to make her own decisions when it came to matters of the heart. She just hoped her daughter's walls and scars, some of which she knew Neal to be responsible for, didn't prevent her from taking a leap of faith with someone she felt a real connection with. Even if that happened to be a reformed pirate.
Emma made her way back toward the spring she'd visited early that morning, and paused at the tree line. She could see Killian sat by the water's edge, his back to her. He'd taken his shirt off, the black material draped over a nearby log, and he seemed to be lost in thought. She hesitated, about to turn back and leave him in peace, but his voice broke the silence then.
"You don't need to hide in the trees, Swan."
Emma's eyes widened in surprise, and she stumbled over her words.
"I-...wasn't...uh...sorry. For interrupting…how did you know it was me?"
He shrugged, and she hesitantly made her way closer. Sitting down beside him, she directed her gaze to the water, consciously avoiding the very tempting sight of a shirtless Killian.
"Are you...okay? What Neal said before was-"
"It's alright, love. You don't need to do that. I'm perfectly fine, and what he said wasn't untrue. I suppose two hands would be much more useful for carrying firewood."
She frowned and met his gaze, her heart aching a little for him as he offered a tight smile that didn't reach his eyes. Reaching across the small distance between them, she placed her hand over his hook, and a pained expression momentarily crossed his face as he stared down at it. Lifting his gaze to meet hers then, she saw a spark of hesitant awe there too, as though her willingness to touch that part of him was something he didn't quite know how to process.
"You know it doesn't matter to me, right? I hardly even notice it now; you seem to manage just fine with one hand. And...I kinda like the hook."
She ducked her head and smiled shyly, hoping her words would assure him that his disability didn't make her think of him as lacking in any way. He stared at her incredulously, and she knew he could hear the truth in what she'd said. She was half expecting him to throw out an innuendo about her admission, or make a quip about being very adept with one hand, just to break the moment. But he didn't.
"Wow...I managed to render Killian Jones speechless. That's gotta be a first."
She joked, trying to lighten the intimate moment they were sharing and redirect into something she was a little more comfortable with. He seemed to pick up on her intent - because of course he did - and chuckled, reaching up to scratch behind his ear. That familiar little quirk of his was somehow even more endearing than usual and unfairly distracting when he was sans shirt, all lean muscle and tanned skin smattered with just the right of dark hair.
"Aye, well, it's not everyday a beautiful woman tells me she finds my hook alluring."
He smirked at her then, and she rolled her eyes to counter the flush of heat she felt coloring her cheeks a pretty shade of pink. He noted how she always had a similar response whenever he complimented her, as though she didn't really know how to take them. It was just one more puzzle piece that added to his fascination with her, this beautiful woman who was just as broken and just as lost as he was.
"We should head back...my parents are making breakfast, and I feel like we'll get a lecture about how it's 'the most important meal of the day' or something if we miss it."
She rolled her eyes again as she stood up, and Killian chuckled as he grabbed his shirt and pushed himself up too.
"For what it's worth, Neal was a bitch this morning because he thought we...y'know...last night. Not that it gave him any right to say what he said."
Emma said, folding her arms and waiting for him as he tugged his shirt on over his head. His eyebrows shot up and he shook his head.
"I suppose that does explain the veracity of his contempt for me this morning."
He said slowly, and Emma bit her lip to keep from commenting on his grandiose vocabulary. It never ceased to entertain her...and hearing his accent wrap around words so deliciously was definitely no hardship.
"Yeah, and me, considering he called me a whore."
She replied, an edge to her voice, still smarting from the earlier altercation. She saw Killian's eyes darken, his face suddenly like thunder.
"Excuse me? He called you what?"
His words were carefully measured but she could hear the fury behind them and she took a step towards him, holding her hands up in a gesture of reassurance.
"I put him in his place. By which I mean I slapped him. I don't think he likes who I am now, because when he knew me, I was just a little kid who would've done anything for him, who hung on his every word, and I suppose that was great for his ego. But I'm not that little kid anymore. He broke her. And then he assumed that even after everything, we could somehow patch things up and be a family..." she scoffed and shook her head, bitterness heavy on her tongue, "I don't think calling me names is really the best way to try and win me back. Not that he could. That ship sailed when he left me in prison, taking the wrap for his crime, while carrying his baby, at seventeen years old."
Killian hadn't known the ins and outs of Emma's past relationship with Neal, but the more he learned, the more he was coming to dislike the man that Baelfire had become after leaving Neverland. He wanted to feel a little responsible for that, knowing he would have taught the boy to grow into a man of honor, had he convinced him to stay with his crew. Because a pirate he may be, but he also prided himself on following his own code of good form, too, no matter what Emma's family thought of him.
He certainly never would have left a young girl to take the fall for something he'd done, but the fact that she'd also been with child...to Killian, that was unforgivable. Emma's mile-high walls and her hesitancy when it came to trusting people made a lot of sense now, and he knew that her opening up to him and telling him about her past probably hadn't been easy for her. But as much as he wanted to rejoice at the fact that she'd taken such a momentous step forward by giving him those pieces of her story, it was overshadowed by the fury he felt toward Neal.
"I believe Baelfire and I need to have a little talk."
Killian said, his jaw clenched as he held himself back from storming back towards camp and hauling the man bodily against the nearest tree. To say he was angry was an understatement.
Emma grabbed him then, two fistfuls of his shirt halting any attempt he might have made to follow through on chasing Neal down. She looked up at him, her eyes pleading.
"Don't, Killian. Please. I don't need you to fight my battles, and it'll only make this whole thing more complicated. I don't want everyone to be distracted from the reason we're here. Finding Henry is the only thing that matters. Everything else can wait til we're back home."
Killian's scowl softened then, and he felt some of the anger evaporate. He flashed back to the last time they'd been in this position. Her, gripping his shirt (or jacket, on the previous occasion), her gaze holding his unwaveringly.
"I believe that's the first time you've referred to anywhere as home, darling."
He said softly, and she swallowed, eyes wide as his words sank in. He was right, it was the first time she'd called Storybrooke home. It was the first time she'd even stopped to realize it had become that to her.
Loosening her grip on his shirt, and gently flattening out the material, she let that sink in. Killian's hand moved to tentatively rest on her hip.
"I know that you can fight your own battles, Swan. But perhaps you're beginning to see that you don't have to carry all of your own weapons to those battles, so to speak," she frowned, trying to decipher his words, so he continued, "I mean your family, and the fact that you're allowing them, and that strange little town, to chip away at the walls you protect your heart with. You're letting them in, and it's a wonderful thing, lass. I hope one day to earn that honor, too."
Emma felt her pulse stutter at his poetic words, and the way he was looking at her with such open reverence. Before she'd really thought about her actions - or rather, overthought - she leaned in and pressed her lips to his, eyes fluttering closed as she lost herself to the feeling she'd been craving since the last time.
She felt his sharp intake of breath and the way he tensed up for a moment, before returning her kiss, the hand he'd had on her hip sliding around to rest at the small of her back, drawing her closer still.
It was tender and slow; a stark contrast to their first kiss. It ebbed and flowed, time standing still around them as she tilted her head to deepen it ever so slightly, one hand gripping his shirt again while the other reached up and carded through the soft hair at the nape of his neck. He let her lead, as he always did.
Finally, Emma pulled back, resting her forehead against his, eyes still closed and breathing hard despite the slow, gentleness of the kiss. Somehow, that had left her even more breathless than their first, desperate, passionate exchange just days earlier.
"A two-time thing…"
She whispered, swiping her tongue over her bottom lip where the intoxicating taste of him lingered and ignoring the fact that even she didn't believe her own words. He chuckled, blue eyes blown black as she opened hers to meet his gaze.
"Aye, as you wish."
There was no disappointment or hurt in his voice, just a slight hint of amusement, as though he could see through the lie she tried to tell them both just as easily as she could. He'd follow her lead, and let her set the pace, never pushing her or asking for anything she didn't willingly seek from him. He was a patient man, and she was more than worth waiting for.
With that, she stepped back and out of his embrace on wobbly legs, clearing her throat and nodding in the direction of the camp.
"We should...get back."
She said softly, her voice husky. He nodded with a small smile, his cheeks pink and hair even more artfully dishevelled since she'd had her fingers buried in it. Grimacing, she led the way back through the trees, running a hand through her own hair and praying the others wouldn't pick up on how flushed and well-kissed they probably both looked.
If they noticed, none of them chose to comment on it. Regina simply raised an eyebrow at them as they reappeared, and looked as decidedly unimpressed as usual. David was helping Snow sharpen the arrows from her quiver, in preparation for the day's trek. They each gave a brief wave of greeting, while Neal pointedly ignored them both, arms crossed as he sat beneath a tree, clearly still sulking.
Nothing more was said about what had transpired that morning, either between Emma and Neal, or between her and Killian. They packed up their little camp, and doused out the fire by mid-morning, leaving it behind and continuing on through the dense jungle for the rest of the day. They briefly stopped after a few hours, the cold from the night before having given way to the oppressive heat and humidity of the daytime. It almost made Emma wish for the cold to return.
But, by the time the sun began to set and they reluctantly stopped to make camp for the night in a clearing that looked almost identical to the last, she was second-guessing that wish. Because once again, the chill returned with the darkness, beginning with a cool breeze and becoming gradually harsher until the air was frigid and Emma could see her own breath, just like the previous night.
Instead of shivering under a useless blanket though, Emma waited until the rest of the group had settled down for the night, and then got up from her makeshift bed, dragging her blanket with her as she made her way over to the log that Killian was sat against. He'd been staring into the fire, a million miles away it seemed, because he gave a start when Emma dropped down beside him.
He gave her a smile that warmed her much more than the fire ever could (not that she'd admit that out loud), but there was curiosity in his gaze too.
"What's keeping you awake, love?"
He asked softly, his voice low to avoid waking any of the others.
"I was just wondering if you wanted to sleep with me again?"
Her flippant words had the desired effect, and he choked, staring at her incredulously. She covered her mouth with her hand to contain the laughter that threatened to burst out at his reaction, and she composed herself before she spoke again.
"Your face was an absolute picture then," she teased, and he shook his head at her antics despite the grin tugging at his lips, "I mean it in a literal sense, just for the record."
"I'm wounded, Swan," he joked, "You clearly only want me for my body."
"Your body heat. And your jacket."
She corrected with a smug smile. He chuckled, shrugging out of the jacket and draping it over the both of them. Emma sighed contentedly as the warmth engulfed her, and Killian's smile widened when he felt her lean into his side. He was more than happy to be her personal radiator, stealing precious moments of being so close to her. Especially when that came along with whatever was slowly but surely blossoming between them.
He could see her walls beginning to crumble as she let him in a little more each day, and he savored the feeling of her dozing off beside him, her head lolling onto his shoulder. With the woman he was falling in love with tucked into his side, he mused silently over the fact that Neverland had taken so much away from him in the past, and brought so much darkness into his life, turning him cold. But now, somehow, he was coming full circle, as his heart felt fit to burst with a light and a warmth that he hadn't known for centuries. Pressing a gentle kiss into Emma's hair as she slept, and feeling his own eyes getting heavy, he dared to hope that he wasn't the only one for whom light and warmth was returning.