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Return to the Enchanted Forest

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Emma still felt his arms around her and his lips on hers as the smoke cleared and she heard her mother say,

“We’re back.”  Emma opened her eyes to see Killian’s eyes shut tight as he broke their kiss and put his forehead to hers.

“Gods Emma, tell me it’s real.  Tell me we’re home and you are in my arms.”

“Open your eyes and look.”  He opened them slowly, looking at her first and then all around them.  “See?  We’ve made it, all of us.”  Her mother and father were hugging as they made sure baby Neal was okay, Robin was hugging Regina as Henry chased Roland around the clearing they were in, Tink and Blue were back to their Faerie selves, Archie was a cricket again and standing on Leroy’s shoulder and having given up his Dark Power, Rumple no longer resembled the crocodile Captain Hook once called him.

Emma also realized everyone was wearing their Enchanted Forest clothes, so she looked down at herself and gasped: She was wearing black leather pants (similar in style to the ones Killian always wore), a billowy white shirt covered by leather corset-like vest the same shade as the red leather jacket she often wore, with black leather boots to the knee, topped off with a dark brown belt around her waist that now held a shiny cutlass.  Her shirt was unbuttoned almost as low as his and around her neck was silver necklace with two charms: a small ship’s wheel and a swan.

“Emma!” she heard Snow call to her and with a big grin at Killian she ran over to hug her mother.  As she and Snow talked, David, who was dressed in deep burgundy red and had his fur cape around his shoulders, made his way over to Killian and clapped him on the shoulder.

“Are you happy to be home?” he asked.

“More than anything”, he said, still staring at Emma.  “How about you, Your Majesty?”  David smiled,

“Just David, all that’s not official yet.”  Killian watched as Emma made her rounds of everyone in the clearing and finally picked up Henry (who was dressed similarly to the way Baelfire was when they came back the year before) and he realized he wanted to be with her forever.

“David…” he said.

“What is it?” David asked as he followed Killian’s gaze,

“When things settle, and everyone is where they should be, I would like to request an audience of sorts with you and the Princess Snow.”

“I know what you want to ask, just do it now.”

“No.  I want it to be…special and I pray you don’t mention it until we’ve spoken.”

“Of course not mate.”  David went off to converse with everyone and Emma came back to Killian,

“You look lovely darling, just like a pirate.”

“Aye”, she said with a small giggle that warmed his heart, “But I’m a princess now.”

“You’ve always been a princess.”  He kissed her deeply, but just then David called for attention,

“Everyone!  Can I have everyone’s attention?  Prince Phillip has something to say.”  He nodded at Phillip to speak.

“I know you all want to return to your homes as soon as possible, but Aurora and I would like to invite you to stay in our castle for a spell before setting off.  We have more than enough room."  Everyone gathered whatever had come with them and set off.

 

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After a few days at Phillip and Aurora’s place, the former residents of Storybrooke began to disperse.  Finally, those left were the Charmings, Henry, Killian, Regina, Robin and his Men, Rumple, Belle, and Elsa.  They were all gathered at a long table in Phillip’s study.

“We will send what troops we can to aid in the war against Hans in Arendelle”, Phillip was saying when Emma walked in that morning.  “Once we’ve gathered them that is.  People are still appearing all over the place.  We’ll also send word to the other villages not affected by the Second Curse that soldiers are needed.”

“Thanks to the bird Elsa sent to Arendelle, we now know that her sister is alive and it is also believed that Hans has no idea we’ve returned”, said David.  Emma sat down next to Killian, who kissed her hand lightly but didn’t let it go, and turned her gaze back to her father.

“What have I missed?” she asked Killian in a whisper.

“We’re discussing the retaking of Arendelle”, he replied.

“As soon as we have returned to our kingdom”, David continued, “We will start gathering troops and building up the navy as well, with a new Commander at the helm.  Once we have enough cavalry and ships, we’ll begin our assault.”

“In that case, we’ve done all we can from here and I believe it’s time to make our way home”, said David as he stood from his chair.

“No problem, I’ll have our men ready some ships to take you all on your journeys”, said Phillip and he took off to find his men.  David went around the table and hugged Emma,

“Morning.”

“Hey dad”, she said with a smile.  “So we’re going home?”

“Yes, finally”, Snow chimed in.

“You’re not going to have me sleep in that room that as supposed to be my nursery, are you?” Emma asked as she, her parents, and Killian left the study and headed outside to the gardens for a walk.

“Of course not, that room is specifically a nursery and will be Neal’s now.  You will have a much bigger room and with a big closet to hold beautiful dresses and gowns”, said Snow as she took Emma’s arm.

“Dresses?  Gowns?  I’m more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl mom.”

“But you looked gorgeous in that ball gown darling”, said Killian.

“It’s hazy, but I remember seeing ‘Princess Leia’ at that ball and I have to agree with ‘Prince Charles’ here, she looked beautiful”, replied David.

“As long as I can wear pants once in a while, when we don’t have to do fancy stuff, I’ll wear the dresses and the gowns.”  Snow gave a small squeal and Emma rolled her eyes.

“This is going to be so much fun!” 

 

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The next day, Killian and David stood at the docks with Robin and Regina while waiting for Snow and Emma.

“Bloody hell, what is taking that woman so long?” said Killian to no one in particular.  He was itching to get on the ship since he hadn’t seen his beloved Jolly Roger since they’d gone through the time portal and that didn’t even count because the ship had been docked the entire time.

“Snow was trying to get Emma to wear a dress, but Emma protested that it wouldn’t be the best thing to wear on a ship”, said David, “You know how it is…”  Killian laughed with David when he looked up and saw Snow and Emma descending stone steps to the docks, with Henry and baby Neal.  Emma was wearing her black leather pants and knee high boots again, but this time she wore a shoulder baring white shirt, black button up vest with silver clasps, and a long red leather coat and she’d pulled her long blonde tresses into a side braid.

“Well Swan, if this princess thing doesn’t work out, maybe you and me can go pirating”, said Killian as she walked up to him.  “Take what we want, give nothing back.”

“Very funny, Commander”, said David as he escorted Snow and the baby onto the ship taking them to their castle.

“The style suits you Lady Swan”, said Robin.

“I agree”, said Regina, “Although, I will admit you looked pretty okay in that gown at the ball.”

“Thanks?  Anyways, why is everybody on my case about what I’m wearing?” Emma asked.

“Because you’re the only one of us here that’s never worn the clothes of the realm love”, Killian said.  Emma raised an eyebrow at him, “Except for when we went through he time portal, but that doesn’t count.”

 “You look real nice mom”, Henry chimed in.

“How about you kid?” she asked him, “How are you liking being without your normal stuff?”

“It’s awesome!  Look at my cape!”

“That’s a cloak honey”, said Regina.

“Whatever, it’s still awesome.  I already have a green one like Robin’s and a red one that matches your old jacket!  And the best part is I have a sword and bows and arrows.”

“We’ve got to get you trained prince”, said Robin.  “We can’t have you getting hurt.”

“Can you train me?” Henry asked Robin.

“Of course, when you stay with Regina, I will train you in archery and your grandfather can train you in sword skills when you stay with Emma.”

“That’s actually a real good idea”, said Regina, “If it’s okay with you Emma.”  Emma nodded.

“So who do I go to stay with first?” Henry asked, looking at his mother’s.

“Your grandmother says you have to come with us first until the coronation in a few weeks and then you’re free to go Regina’s for however long you want”, said Emma.

Just then the call was made for everyone to get on their respective ships: Regina, Robin, Roland, and the Merry Men one with David, Snow, Emma, Henry, and Killian on another.  Elsa would travel with Regina so that Regina could teach her better ways at controlling her powers.  The third ship would be taking Rumple and Belle to the port closest so that they could reach Belle’s family home.  The voyage would take two days for the crossing.

The night before they arrived at the castle, Killian was sleeping in the crew quarters when he heard footsteps and opened his eyes to see Emma walk past the door with a bundle in her arms.  She was still wearing the outfit from the previous day (minus the coat) and it was his favorite she’d worn so far.  Leaving his own jacket behind, he followed her path and emerged onto the deck where she threw down the bundle in her arms and it turned out it was blankets and a couple of pillows.  She sat down on the blankets, putting her arms behind her and leaned back to look up at the sky.  He emerged from where he’d been watching and went to join next to her.

“Enjoying the view darling?” he asked.  She smiled warmly at him and kissed him lightly as he sat down next her and snaked an arm around her waist.

“The stars are so beautiful here.  I don’t remember seeing it this way when we were here last year”, she said.

“You were too busy trying to get back to your boy, you didn’t have a real chance to look.”  He leaned over and kissed her bare shoulder lightly.

“Do you miss it?”

“Miss what love?” he asked, continuing his kisses on her shoulder.

“The Jolly.”  He rested his chin on her shoulder,

“She was my home for 300 years, so I suppose a part of me will always miss her.  But what I got in return was a thousand times better: you.  And with you, I’ve gained a new home in your heart and a new family, which is something I’ve not had in a very long time.”

“Can you tell me a story?” Emma asked him.

“What kind of story my Swan?”

“Tell me when you fell in love with me.”

“Of course love”, he replied.     They both lay back on the blankets and pillows, Emma resting her head on his chest.  “At first, I thought it happened in Neverland, but your mother insists it happened on the beanstalk.  When I thought about it some more, I figured out that Neverland was when I realized I was in love with you.  I think I started falling for you from the moment you realized I was lying after you tied me to the tree.”

“You fell in love with me after I fingered you for a liar and tied you to a tree?” she asked, surprised.

“Yes love.  You have to realize that you were the first woman to not immediately fall for my charms.  I’d relied on my pretty face for a long time and everyone believed every word I said.  You were the first to call my bluff.”

“I always thought it was Neverland too.”

“It’s your turn to tell me your story darling.”  He put his good hand over hers and tangled their fingers together.

“For me, it was harder to pinpoint.  Like I told you that night of the party, I realized how much I loved you when you told me that not one day would go by that you wouldn’t think of me.”  She felt Killian shudder at hearing those words, “But fell in love with you?  I’m pretty sure it’s when I went to see you in the hospital after you were hit by Greg Mendell.  I watched as you slept and you looked so helpless…”  She started to fall asleep on his shoulder,

“I think it’s time we take you back to your quarters…”

“No, I want to see it.”

“As you wish.”  Emma smiled to herself, thinking she should have never let him watch The Princess Bride.

“Will you sing to me?” she asked.

“Of course darling.”  She felt him pull her tighter to him and he started singing and immediately thanked the gods she’d had him watch The Sound of Music.

 

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood

Perhaps I had a miserable youth

But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past

There must have been a moment of truth

 

For here you are standing there, loving me

Whether or not you should

So somewhere in my youth or childhood

I must have done something good.

 

Nothing comes from nothing

Nothing ever could

So somewhere in my youth or childhood

I must have done something good…

 

She fell asleep as he finished singing.  When he heard her light snores, he kissed her hair and shut his eyes.

 

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Killian woke up just as dawn was breaking and when he turned to his side, he saw Emma was gone.  He sat up immediately, looking around for her when he heard her laughing and he looked up:  Emma had climbed up the mast and was standing in the lookout nest, her long blonde hair flowing behind her.  He got up and climbed up to her,

“Good morning love, enjoying yourself?” he called over the wind as he pulled her to him for a kiss.  When she pulled away, she turned back to the bow.

“This is amazing!  I really do feel like I’m flying.  I guess Titanic wasn’t just messing with us, were they?”

“What’s a Titanic?”

“I’ll tell you another time.”  The sailors below started ringing a bell causing Killian and Emma to look down and saw the men were pointing to something on the horizon so they looked over and saw, framed by snowcapped mountains, The White Castle.

“Let’s get down to the deck love”, said Killian.

“Ugh, it’s going to take forever to climb down.”

“I know a few tricks you know.”  He pulled her to him, holding her tightly around the waist with his left arm.  “Hold on tight Swan!”  He reached out and grabbed a loose rope and swung down, hitting the deck just as Henry, David, and Snow (with Neal in her arms) made it topside.

“So cool!” said Henry, “Can you do that with me?!”

“No!” cried Emma, Snow, and David at the same time.

“Your highnesses!” called a sailor as the ship drew closer to the castle, “Welcome home!”

Chapter Text

“No.”

“Emma please…”

No.

“You have to stay here.  I won’t have you risking your life.  Killian and your mother would kill me if you went with us to Arendelle”, said David with a big exasperated sigh.

“I don’t care what they think!” Emma yelled. “You know me David…you know I wouldn’t be happy having to stay here, unable to do nothing!”  They were in David’s study and had been arguing since after breakfast when Emma went to ask when they’d be leaving for Arendelle to take it back from Prince Hans.  Her father had just informed her that she would be staying behind with her mother and brother when the rest of them left and she had a sneaking suspicion that Killian had a hand in it…and then laughed at herself internally at the small joke she’d made.  She turned to leave,

“Emma…Emma Ruth Swan!  You get back here right now, I am your father and I don’t care how old I look!”  Emma turned slowly on her heel and walked slowly back to him when her mother and Killian came into the study.  She felt her face start burn as she stood in front of her father, like an ashamed little girl.

“David?” she heard Snow say.  “What’s going on?”

“Your daughter is refusing to stay here when we leave for Arendelle in a couple of weeks and does not care what you or he--” David inclined his head to Killian “--thinks.  You talk to her because she clearly is not going to listen to me.”  David crossed his arms and stared at Snow.

“Honey, please listen to your father, we only want what’s best for you”, she said with a pleading look.  “Besides, we’ve got the ceremony in a few days to get ready for.”

“Grrr.  I don’t care about a stupid ceremony, I just want to do my part!”  Emma turned and left the room in a huff, pushing past Killian.  David and Snow made to go after her, but Killian put a hand up.

“Please, let me.  Maybe I can talk some sense into her.”  They nodded and he gave a small bow before he left.  He had to ask several of the palace workers if they’d seen her and it wasn’t until he’d stepped outside to the back gardens and thought to look down at the docks, that he found her.  He found her standing at the edge of a pier looking out over the water.  He realized that her mother had managed to finally get her in a dress: white cap sleeve shirt, red laced up bodice, and red skirt to the knee and she wasn’t wearing any shoes.  He liked that she’d left her hair loose again too.  He tried to be as quiet as possible as he walked out onto the pier, but she heard him.

“Leave me alone Hook.”  He didn’t want to admit it, but hearing that name again from her lips hurt him.  He shook it off because he had to get through to her.

“Oh, so now we’re back to ‘Hook’ are we love?”  He walked right behind her.  “Or is there another attachment you’d prefer?” he whispered into her ear, dripping with innuendo.

“Don’t even start.  Why can’t I help?” she asked, throwing her arms up in exasperation, “It’s like I told David, you both know me…how can you expect me to sit here and do nothing?”

“I don’t want to have to worry about you getting hurt and neither does your father.  We wouldn’t be able to focus.”  He snaked his arms around her waist, pulling her to his chest.  “And besides, you wouldn’t be doing nothing darling.”  He leaned down and ran kisses up her shoulder and then neck and when he felt her shudder a little in his arms, he knew he’d already won the argument.

“And…uh…what do mean by that?” she asked all breathy.

“You will be in charge of the kingdom.  Any problems brought forth while he is gone will be decided and looked over by you.”  She twisted around in his arms to face him,

“Why not my mother?”

“You are the heir and will be Queen one day”, he said, kissing her forehead, “You’re a leader, but you have to start learning the ropes.”  He kissed her lips deeply.

“You’re just playing unfair right now.”

“Pirate.”  Killian smirked and laughed deeply, “I take it you’ve calmed down and will be staying here without argument.”

“Hmph.”

“Good form love.”  He took her hand and they walked back up the steps to the castle.  Killian knocked lightly on the door of David’s study before they walked in and lightly pushed Emma inside.  He crossed his arms and looked at her, raising an eyebrow.  “Come on Swan.”

“I’m sorry I got mad and yelled.  I’m just not used to being left behind in a fight”, she said to her parents.  They both pulled her in for hug,

“It’s okay sweetie, we understand.  It’s a lot to absorb, but you’re going to be taking care of the kingdom while your father is gone”, said Snow.

“Why not you mom?  I know, I’m going to be Queen someday, but still…”

“I have to focus on Neal right now.  Besides, I have complete faith in you that, should any major decisions be warranted, you’ll make the right choice.”

“Thanks.”  Snow smiled big and clapped her hands,

“Well!  Now that that is settled, it’s time for you and Henry to practice for the ceremony in a few days!”

 

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“I’m going to look ridiculous”, said Emma.

“No you won’t”, replied Henry, “You’ll look real nice Mom.”

It was the day before the coronation and they were practicing with models of the clothes they’d be wearing the next day, so they (as Emma put it) ‘wouldn’t trip like Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars the year before’.

“Who is this Jennifer Lawrence?” Killian asked from where he leaned against a column.

“Geez, I should’ve taken you to the movies a couple of times before we came here”, said Emma with a laugh.  The person practicing with them gave a little cough,

“Your Highnesses, if you please!” he said with frustration, “We must really get on with this!”  Killian walked over to him from where he’d been standing,

“Oi!  You watch how you talk to my princess you git.”  The little man jumped back a little and moved up the dais where Henry and Emma were.  “I’ll be watching.”  Killian sat in one of the chairs meant for the audience, crossed his arms, and stared.  They went through the ceremony a few more times and it would’ve kept going if Emma hadn’t stumbled and looked like she was going to faint.  Killian, Henry, and several of the workers preparing the throne room rushed forward.

“I’m-I’m fine”, Emma said, pushing everyone away.  “I’m just hungry.  We’ve been at this for a while.”

“Come one mom, let’s go change so you and me can have lunch”, said Henry.

“Sure kid.”  Killian offered his arm and the three of them made their way back to Emma’s room.  Henry went off to his and Killian followed Emma’s into hers.  Emma’s personal maid, Emilie (who she was still getting used to having around), came to help her change.

“Sir, I don’t think it’s proper for you to be here”, she said to Killian.  He just laughed and leaned against the edge of Emma’s vanity table.

“It’s okay Emilie, I’m changing behind the folding curtain anyways”, said Emma as she walked behind it, “Geez Jones, stalk much?”  Emilie started undoing the fake dress’ laces.

“Emma, love, you almost fainted.  How could I not worry and want to make sure that you’re okay?” he asked.  Emma stepped out of the dress,

“Can I just have my robe for right now please Emilie?” she asked.

“Of course Princess”, Emilie replied, “Would you like me to return to help you get dressed for your outing with Prince Henry?”

“I’ll dress myself, thanks though Emilie.”  She curtsied to Emma (something else Emma was still getting used to) and Killian saw her come out from behind the curtain where she shot him a look and he just smirked at her.  When the door shut, Emma stepped from behind the curtain tying the belt of her deep green robe around her waist.

“Are you alright darling?” Killian asked as he went up to her.

“I’m just hungry”, she said as Killian wrapped his arms around her waist and she turned to face him, “Let’s remember that I’m having lunch with my son and you, good sir, need to get to your final fittings.”

“Forget my bloody fittings”, he said with a smile, “I’d much rather be here with you.”

“Wish I could say the same, but I’ve been looking forward to this lunch date with Henry, with everything that’s been happening, we haven’t had much quality time.”

“I know love, but you best go and change or else I might just have my way with the princess in her chambers…all scandal-like and that business.”  He held her chin in his right hand, pulling her face to his for a kiss.

“Very funny.  Okay, clothes time.”  She pulled him to her closet, “Sit down and you can help me choose what to wear.”

“Of course, my Princess.”  Killian sat down on the edge of her bed as Emma appeared with clothes in her arms,

“I’ve never really cared about what I wear before you know, but this is some nice stuff.”  After a bit, she’d settled on dark brown riding breeches with her black boots, white ruffle shirt, and red leather vest she’d worn when they all returned.

“No cutlass?” Killian asked as she put on her boots.

“Don’t need it”, she said, “I’ve got the magic thing, plus my dad wasn’t going to let Henry and me go out without protection so he’s sending one the knights.”

“Why can’t I go to protect you?”

“You have things to do and--don't interrupt me--I want to spend quality time with my son.  The knight is going to protect from far away.”

“But--"

“We’re just having a picnic by the lake and we’re taking horses, we’ll be fine.”

“But--" he said and stuck out his bottom lip in an attempt to convince Emma,

“I am immune to that pretty pouting face right now”, she said, “Be good and I might let you sneak into my room tonight.”  She gave him a small kiss on the lips, winked, and went to meet Henry.  Killian went to go meet David about what new duties he’d be undertaking as the new Commander for the Royal Navy, the title that was going to be bestowed upon him the next night.  He also had to get fitted for new clothes because as head of the Royal Navy, he couldn’t dress in his pirate leathers anymore.  Oh, he’d keep them though…for special times.

 

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After a filling lunch of chicken sandwiches and orange pudding, Emma felt much better, forgetting the almost fainting that morning.  She and Henry spent several hours riding around the lake and playing near the water where they’d eaten.  They were lying on a blanket, resting, when Emma spoke up,

“Are you happy here?” she asked.

“I’m with my family: you and Mom, Robin, Roland, Gramps, Gram, Grandpa (Rumple), Killian…” replied Henry, “How could I not?”

“You don’t miss our old life?” Emma asked as she sat up and looked at Henry.

“Sure”, he said and shrugged his shoulders a little, “I miss electricity and my Xbox and the movies and soda, but like I said, I’ve got all of you and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  And I’m happy for you mom, I haven’t seen you this happy since we defeated the Wicked Witch.  And my Mom too, I’m happy that she has Robin and Roland because this is the happiest I’ve ever seen her since she kissed me and broke the curse.”  Emma scooped him up in her arms and started kissing him all over his head and he tried pushing her away.  When he managed to get out of her hold, he jumped on his horse and they raced back to the castle.

They met up with Robin in the stables, who ruffled Henry’s hair and gave Emma a quick hug when he saw them.

“What brings you over?” asked Emma.

“Regina wanted to see Henry and we figured it’d be better since the ceremony is tomorrow.”

“Awesome, now we can all have dinner together!” said Henry, “Where’s Roland?”

“He’s with Regina and your grandparents I believe”, said Robin.  Henry ran off to find his friend and mother.  Robin offered his arm to Emma and they followed behind Henry, at a slower pace.

“So…when’s the wedding?” Emma asked him.

“I haven’t even thought to ask yet milady”, he replied, but Emma could see the huge grin spreading across his face.

“Robin, please call me Emma”, she said.  “I want to thank you.”

“For what Emma?”

“For being how you are with Henry, treating him like a son and everything you’ve done for Regina”, said Emma as they walked into the great hall of the castle to the hustle and bustle of setting up.  “She was so lost not too long ago and now that I’ve gotten to know her and all that, I’m happy she has someone like you in her life.”

“Thank you for that”, Robin replied, “I love her.  Roland loves her too and she’s great with him.”

“Are you going to ask her then?”

“Not yet.  When this battle is over and we’re both home, then I will.”

“You’re both going to Arendelle then?”  Robin nodded,

“By that look on your face, I can tell that you won’t be.”

“My father and Killian both say they wouldn’t be able to focus on the fight if I were there, that they’d worry about me.”

“I understand them.  I’d hate it if I had to worry about Regina.  Luckily, she can hold her own.”  Emma smacked him on the arm,

“Are you saying I can’t?”

“I’m positive you could Emma.  However, maybe you should have some archery lessons to add a new skill?”

“Maybe.”  They laughed as they made their way down the hall to the residential area.

“Oi!  Hood!  What are you doing with my girl?”  Emma looked down the hall and saw Killian coming towards them not in his usual leather get up.  The tailors had managed to get him into something nice:  tan breeches, black knee high leather boots, and a white shirt that reminded Emma of a tuxedo shirt (minus ruffles), unbuttoned way down, the way he liked it.

“Captain.”  Robin put his hand forward to shake Killian’s.  “I was just escorting the princess back from the stables.”  Robin transferred Emma over to Killian and they continued their walk.

“How are you?” Killian asked him.

“Very happy to be back.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy our time in Storybrooke, despite spending most of it fight the Witch, but we all missed home.  How about you?”  Killian brought Emma’s hand to his lips and kissed it.

“I’ve never been better.  I’m very happy to be back as well and to have a purpose other than vengeance against Rumplestiltskin.  I’m doing good by helping fight for Elsa’s family.  Speaking of which, how fairs the Snow Queen?”

“Her control is very much improved under Regina’s tutelage and can’t wait to see her sister again.  Her source in Hans’ castle keeps her informed of Anna’s situation.  Also, Hans seems unaware of our intentions.  He knows we’re back but doesn’t know we have Elsa with us or that we plan to help her take back the kingdom.”

“Emma!  Look at you, still all dirty from lunch with Henry.  Go wash and change because we’ve got one last dress fitting and then a couple of other things to take care of”, Snow said as she met Emma, Killian, and Robin as they arrived at the door of the sitting room/library.  Killian dropped Emma’s arm to give a small bow with Robin.

“More?” asked Emma, “Ugh.”

“The sooner we get it done the better, just go on.”

Fine.”  Emma turned and started to make her way to her own room when she heard the familiar click of boot heels running up behind her and smiled to herself.

“Hold on a minute Swan, where are you off to in such a hurry?” Killian asked.

“I’ve got to go clean up and change”, she replied, “And no, you may not help.”  He grabbed her around the waist right outside her room.

“Come on Swan, it’s been ages.”

No”, she said as she went into her room with him still attached to her, “Tonight.  Now let go so I can go get cleaned up.  Go take a nap or something.”  He kissed her lightly and left her to change, passing Emilie on his way out and giving her a wink.

 

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After a few hours of dress fitting and hair style ideas, Emma was hungry again.  She raced Henry to the dining hall against her mother’s cries of protest and they both arrived out of breath.

“Gotcha kid!” she said as she went to sit next to Killian, who stood to pull her chair out for her.

“No fair!  You’re taller”, said Henry as he sat across from Emma, next to Regina.

“Did you lose again lad?” asked Killian and Henry gave a scowl.  After some laughs from everyone, dinner was served and they all fell into separate conversations.

After dinner, Henry was ready to challenge Emma to a rematch, but Regina stopped him.

“Sorry Henry, but your mother and I and everyone else have to have a meeting.  Why don’t you go with Roland and we’ll see you when we’re done?”

“Okay.”  He stuck out his hand to Roland and they left, followed by the nanny Regina and Robin had brought for Roland.  The group left the dining hall and went to the library and sat around the big war table.  When everyone was seated, Emma spoke first.

“Let me be the first to ask: how are you going to sneak almost 2 entire army groups into Arendelle?” she asked no one in particular.

“By using the perfect cover”, said David.  “We’ve just received an invitation to a ball being thrown by Hans in honor of our return.  Besides us, Rumple and Belle, Regina, and Phillip and Aurora have also been invited.  We’ll be sailing there so we’ll each take our biggest ships and hide our best soldiers on them.”

“Aye mate, using the element of surprise”, said Killian, “That is a good plan.”

“But there’s one hitch to this plan”, said Regina, “Or as David will refer to it, a problem.”  David and Snow eyed her suspiciously.

“What is the problem?” asked David.

“The ball being thrown?  It’s to honor the return of all of us.”

“Meaning…?” asked Emma and looked over at Killian, who was looking grim.  “Will someone explain?”

“Think about it Emma”, said Snow as she took David’s hand, “If you or I don’t go…if at least one of us doesn’t go, it will be very suspicious.”

“You would stay Snow”, said David, “With Neal, Henry, and Roland…if you want to leave him here Robin, with some of the Merry Men if you’d like.”

“I’m going to Arendelle?” Emma asked excitedly.

“Yes love, you’re going to Arendelle.”

Chapter Text

Emma woke up alone the next day.  She’d hoped Killian would come see her the night before and she figured he didn’t because he was worried that she was going to be in the fight in Arendelle.  She loved him, but she could not just stand by and be idle.  Emma slid out of bed and pulled her robe around her, opened her door and looked out to make sure no one was around and stepped out, shutting her door gently.  She lifted the skirt of her nightgown off the ground and padded quietly down the hall and down some stairs until she was at Killian’s door.  She was about to knock when she heard a yell followed by the sound of something breaking.  Emma barged in, through his sitting room and into his bedroom; he was lying in bed and thrashing around, caught up in a nightmare.

“No…no.  Not Emma.  Take my heart, not-not hers.  Emma…Emma.  NO!” he practically screamed the last word as he sat straight up in bed.  Emma saw that he was drenched in sweat, hair stuck to his face and his head and he wasn’t wearing his brace.  She rushed to his side and grabbed his face in her hands.

“Killian?  It’s okay, I’m here, I’m here.  Killian?”  Emma didn’t think he’d realized he’d woken up yet, his bright blue eyes shifting around the room until the landed on hers and she saw the lightness come back.  He put his good hand on her face,

“E-Emma?  Wha--”

“You were having a nightmare, but it’s okay now.  You’re awake.  Why don’t you tell me what it was?”

“We were fighting in Arendelle and we were winning.  But-but…I couldn’t find you.  I ran all over the castle and I still couldn’t find you.  I was going crazy and that’s when I heard you call for me; you called my name.  I turned around and saw you fighting off that Hans, or someone who was supposed to be him because I don’t even know what the man’s supposed to look like”, Killian said as he took deep breaths and shut his eyes as he continued, “You turned to look at me and he shoved his hand in your chest and pulled out your heart.  When he started to crush it, you fell and you were screaming so I begged him to take my heart instead.”  His bright blue eyes flew open to find her,

“It’s okay, don’t worry.  I’m fine, see?”  Emma took his hand in hers and kissed it lightly.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“I can’t promise I won’t or you won’t, but I can promise I’ll see about asking Regina for some more lessons or something.”

“Good.”  Emma slid off the bed and looked at Killian,

“Are you okay to be on your own now?”

“Yes love, I’m fine.  It’s like you said, it was just a nightmare.” 

Emma leaned down kissed him, but suddenly she felt hunger in his kiss back and then he pulled her down to him on his bed, rolling her under him.  After a bit, Emma put a hand on his chest and pushed him away.

“Aw, lass…”  She laughed a little as she looked up at him,

“Well, if you would’ve come by last night we wouldn’t be in this problem right now”, she said.  Emma pushed him away, “I’ll see you at breakfast.”

 

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After breakfast, the rest of the day became a whirlwind.  Emma spent her morning being scrubbed clean and buffed and polished everywhere.  After a nice lunch, she had her nails and make-up done.  After all that was finished, hair was next.  Her hair was braided and then pinned to the base of her neck, while some of the rest was feathered and curled to frame her face.  Emma was glad when her hair was done because that had taken a couple of painful hours and she just wanted to get dressed.

She was standing out on her balcony when a small knock came at the door,

“Come in”, she called and Emilie came in carrying a medium sized blue leather box and another maid who was carrying a garment bag.

“Time to get dressed princess”, said Emilie as she placed the blue box on Emma’s vanity.  Emma went back into her room and stood in front of where they’d hung the garment bag on the back of her bedroom door and the other maid unzipped it to reveal the dress: it was a ruby red color, strapless.  At the top it had a strip of fabric all the way around that was covered in red crystals, the bodice was smooth and fitted, and the skirt went out into a full ball gown poof at her waist with a top layer of tulle that was also covered in red crystals.

The other maid took it from the bag and unbuttoned it.  Emma tossed her robe onto her bed, taking the hand offered by Emilie and stepped into the dress.  She held the bodice up so that the other maid could button up the back.  When she was done, Emilie handed Emma a pair of red sequin pumps with bows on the end and all Emma could do was laugh.  The irony she thought.

“Thanks Emilie, but I think I’ll keep these off until it’s time to go”, Emma said as she put the shoes on her bed.  “What’s in the other box?”

 “This is your tiara”, Emilie replied.  She brought the box to Emma and opened it.  Inside, nestled on a pillow of pink velvet, was the most beautiful tiara Emma had ever seen.  “Her Majesty said she had it made for you before you were born and it was to be given to you on your 18th birthday.”

“How did it survive the curses?”

“It was in a vault below the castle”, said Snow, who was dressed in a strapless light purple ball gown with white crystals, as she walked in with David, dressed in a silver outfit with a brown fur trimmed cape, and Henry, who was dressed similarly to David and wearing a simple gold crown modeled after the one his grandfather would be crowned with that evening.  Emilie and the other maid curtsied and left the room.  David went over to Emma and kissed her on the forehead.

“You look beautiful Emma”, he said.

“You look really nice mom”, said Henry, “See?  I told you that you wouldn’t look ridiculous.”

“I never thought we’d see this day”, said Snow and Emma could tell she was getting teary-eyed.  David took the tiara from the box and walked over to Emma, and placed the tiara in her hair.  Snow came over and placed some pins to hold it in.

“Now you look like the princess you were born to be”, said David.  Emma started to breathe quickly,

“Can you guys give me a minute?” she asked.

“Of course sweetie, we’ll be waiting in the foyer outside the throne room”, said Snow.  David, Snow, and Henry left Emma on her own.  Shoes in hand, she walked over to the mirror and got a look at herself for the first time.  The tiara is what got to her really…it was so beautiful: it was several flowers that were all made of diamonds with rubies in the middle and along the bottom.  Just then, staring at herself in the mirror and all dressed up to be a princess, she felt a pain in her chest and as if she couldn’t breathe.

“Oh God, oh God…I-I-I can’t do this.”  Emma dropped her shoes and hitched up her skirts as she wrenched open the door to her room and ran down the hall.

 

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Snow, David, and Henry arrived in the foyer to wait for Emma.  As they stood talking, Killian came up, tugging at his collar.

“Well, look at you”, said Snow, “You look so handsome!  I’m sure Emma’s going to love it.”  Killian was wearing an outfit similar to the one he wore during his and Emma’s trip to the past, except this time the coat was black (not leather) and the vest he wore under it was the same red of Emma’s dress (he just didn’t know that yet), he had a white dress shirt, black pants, and black leather boots.

“Thank you Your Majesty”, he replied with a small bow.  “Speaking of the princess…”

“She’s in her room, taking a minute”, said David.

“I’ll go get her, shall I?”  Killian gave another small bow and went to Emma’s room.  He knocked lightly, “Emma, love?  I’m here to collect you.”  He pushed open the door when he heard no response and found the room empty, occupied only by a pair of red sequined heels lying abandoned in the middle of the room.  Just then, Emilie came in.

“Sir, can I help you with something?” she asked him.

“Where is the princess?”

“Her parents came to get her a little while ago.”

“I was just with them and she’s not th--”  It suddenly dawned on him, “Bloody hell!  She’s run.”  He grabbed her shoes and ran off down the hall.  He looked in all the different rooms where she could be: the library, he father’s study, the war room, Henry’s room, Neal’s room and he couldn’t find her.  He was walking out of Neal’s room when he heard something coming from the room next door.

Killian pushed open the door quietly and saw a pile of red in the middle of the floor, with a diamond and ruby tiara on the ground next to her.  She was hugging herself as she heaved dry sobs and it physically pained him to see her like that,

“Swan?”

“Go away please.”

“Are you that bloody daft to think I’d just leave you alone after seeing you here like this?”  He knelt down in front of her.  “What’s wrong darling?”

“I can’t do this Killian.  I don’t know what I’m doing!  All my life, all I’ve ever done is be a thief or a bail bondsperson.  How do they expect me to be a princess?”  He took her chin in his hand and lifted her face to his so he could see her properly.

“Like I said love, I’ve yet to see you fail.  I know you can do this.  You’ve got your parents to help and you’ve got me here too.”

“But I don’t know how to le--”  Killian shook his head at her,

“Don’t tell me you don’t know how to lead, because you do.  I remember a strong confident woman who led us in Neverland.  A woman who figured out what needed to be done to stop the storm and did it, scaring me to death in the process.”

“Huh?”

“In Neverland, when you jumped from the Jolly into the water and you almost drowned.  When your father pulled you up on the deck and you weren’t breathing, I almost lost my bloody mind and when you finally started breathing again, I started breathing again.”  Emma gave him a light kiss, “Now tell me…” he said.

“I was looking at myself in the mirror in my room and suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks: I’m not Emma Swan anymore, I’m Emma, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, Princess of the Enchanted Forest.  I’m not a foster kid anymore, I’m not alone anymore.  I have my son, my parents, and a huge family with the weirdest connections I could ever think of.”  Killian stood up and picked up her tiara and offered his hand.  Emma took it and got up.

“You forgot to add devilishly handsome former pirate to that list”, he said.

“I prefer dashing rapscallion.”  They both laughed and he pulled her to him for a kiss.

“Are you ready to do this, my Swan?”  Emma nodded, “Well, a princess isn’t a princess without her jewels.”  He put the tiara in her hair and she put the pins back in.

“Thank you Killian”, Emma said as she looked up into his eyes, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d be living such a boring and empty life”, he replied with a smirk.  He knelt down and took her right (then left) foot and slipped her feet into the sparkling shoes.  When he stood up again, he finally noticed his surroundings:  pale pink stone walls, a crib, stuffed animal toys, and a glass unicorn mobile that he recognized from the pawnshop in Storybrooke, “Swan, where are we?”

“This is-was my nursery.  I never got to use it and when I ran from my room, I didn’t know where I was running and then I just found myself here.”  Killian offered his arm and they made their way down to the foyer.

“I forgot to mention how beautiful you look Princess.”

“And I forgot to mention how handsome you look sir.  Reminds me of what you wore to Midas’ ball.” 

They arrived at in the foyer to an anxious Snow.

“Where were you?  We were worried!”

“Just needed a minute.  But I’m here now, let’s do this!”

 

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“Ladies and Gentlemen!” yelled Grumpy, who was appointed Court Crier/Announcer for the evening.  “May I present His Highness Prince David and Her Highness Princess Snow White!”  The curtains in front of the family opened and David and Snow walked out.  While they waited to be called, Emma’s hand flew up to her necklace, where she grabbed the charms and tugged at them.

“Relax Emma”, said Killian.  She tucked the necklace back into her dress and smiled at him.

“Their daughter, Princess Emma, and her escort, Mr. Killian Jones!” called Grumpy and the curtains in front of Emma and Killian were pulled open.  The walked down some steps and onto an aisle that went the entire length of the throne room and everyone’s eyes were on her so she gripped Killian’s good hand for comfort.

When they were about halfway up the aisle, she saw her parents seated on intricately carved thrones, next to which was a stand that held a solid gold spiked crown, and then heard Grumpy yell out the last announcement,

“His Highness Prince Henry!”  Emma turned to catch a quick look at Henry as he made his way down and she couldn’t help but smile when she saw her son, who was clearly enjoying himself.  She and Killian arrived at the steps leading up to the dais where her parent’s thrones were, so he bowed and kissed her hand and went to stand in the front row next to Robin.  Emma picked up her skirt and carefully walked up until she stood next to her mother and turned to face everyone.  In that moment, all she saw was Henry, making his way up the steps and standing next to her.  Everyone sat down in their seats as Emma looked over at Killian, who gave her a smirk and a wink, which caused her to smile.

Grumpy stood at the foot of the steps to the dais,

“Her Majesty Queen Regina!”  Regina, dressed an emerald green gown with the jeweled high collar she loved and wearing solid gold and jeweled crown, came out and stood next to the vicar who had appeared near David.  Grumpy bowed at the group and retreated.  Regina stepped forward and lifted her crown from her head,

“I hereby renounce any claim to the throne as Queen and grant it to my step-daughter, Snow White, and her husband, David…and to any heirs they have.  I will return to my original title of Princess from this moment on.”  Regina handed the crown to the vicar, who then stood next to Snow White.

“Your Highness, are you willing to take the oath?” he asked.

“I am willing”, replied Snow.

“Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the Enchanted Forest according to the respective laws and customs?”

“I solemnly promise so to do.”

“Will you promise to use your power to cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”

“All this I promise to do.”  The vicar placed the crown on her head and Snow stood to speak to the crowd, “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep.”  Snow sat down and the vicar went over to David and repeated the process.  When he finished, he stood to the side,

“May I present His Majesty King David and Her Majesty Queen Snow White!”  The throne room erupted in applause and whoops as David and Snow waved around.  When everyone sat down, David motioned for Emma and Henry to stand next to him.

“I’d like to formally present my daughter, Princess Emma and my grandson, Prince Henry, as heirs to the throne.”  Emma and Henry waved to the joyous crowd, but just then Emma only had eyes for Killian, who stood in the front row watching her with a huge smile on his face.  “Our son, Prince Neal, is not old enough to attend, but he has been presented as heir.”

Emma and Henry moved back to their spots near Snow while David continued,

“One last announcement for the evening”, he said to the crowd, “With our return, we have rebuilt our military ranks and created a stronger navy.  Tonight I’d like to acknowledge the man who will be taking command of this new navy and make his appointment formal.”

Killian stood from his chair and went up to stand near David, who pinned a silver badge to his coat,

“Congratulations Commander Killian Jones.”  Once more the throne room erupted in applause as Killian gave a bow.  He looked over at Emma and gave her a wink, “Now that all the formalities have been taken care of, let’s celebrate!” called David.

 

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They danced and celebrated late into the evening.  Emma was constantly whisked away from her family to dance by the men who’d come to see the lost princess.  After being rescued from a particularly weasely looking old duke with a toupee by Robin (Regina was dancing with Henry), Emma was looking around for Killian and she saw him dancing with her mother and it made her smile to see that she was enjoying his company.

“Your Majesty--” he began.

“Killian, please…it’s Snow.”

Snow, I would like to speak with you about something.”

“Should we include David in this?”

“Probably.”  Snow took his arm and they found David out on a balcony.

“Commander”, he said, “How are you enjoying the evening?”

“It’s a grand time Your Majesties”, Killian replied, to which David raised his eyebrow, “Sorry, David…Snow.”

“What do you want to talk to us about?” asked Snow.

“I know I said I’d wait until all this business died down, but…I want to ask for your permission to ask Emma to marry me”, said Killian, holding their gaze.  Snow smiled big and pulled him into a hug,

“You didn’t have to ask us, you had our permission from the moment we learned everything that you did for us as Prince Charles and the fact that you followed her through a time portal, not knowing when you’d end up!”

“That’s what I told him”, said David.

“Despite everything, I am a man of tradition and being over 300, I’m a bit old fashioned.”  David laughed.

“We’d love nothing more than to have you marry our daughter”, said Snow as she hugged him again.

“Of course, mate, nothing would make us happier”, added David as he shook Killian’s hand, “But you’re forgetting one person you’ve got to talk to.”

“Who’s that mate?”

“Henry.”

“What do you need to talk to me about?” asked Henry, seemingly appearing out of nowhere at Killian’s side.

“I want to know if you’re okay with me asking your mother to marry me.”

“Really?!”

“Yes lad, really.”  Henry pulled him into a hug,

“Of course!” he said with a big grin, “Can we see the ring?”  David, Snow, and Henry just looked at him,

“Um…”

“You don’t have one yet, do you?” asked Henry.

“No.”  Snow lifted her left hand and pulled the wedding ring that had been the reason for Emma and Killian’s adventures in the past off her finger and held it out to him.  He shook his head,

“Take it”, said Snow.

“I can’t Snow.”

“My mother once told me that True Love follows this ring wherever it goes.  When we went to rescue Emma from the dungeons of the Evil Queen’s castle, she was wearing this.  It doesn’t take a genius to know what that means”, said David.  Snow dropped the ring in Killian’s hand.

“Thank you”, Killian said as he looked down at the ring, “To all of you…for everything.”

“Everything what?” asked Emma as she walked up to the group.  Killian hid the ring in the pocket of his jacket.

“Nothing!” he said too quickly and Emma raised an eyebrow at him…so like him.

“She’s been spending too much time around you mate!” said David and he pulled Emma out to dance.  Killian stood with Snow on his arm and Henry at his side, smiling at the sight of David and Emma dancing a waltz together.

“When are you gonna do it?” asked Henry.

“Don’t know lad, but I do know I’m going to wait until this battle with Arendelle is over.”

Chapter Text

In the weeks leading up to their trip to Arendelle, Emma spent a significant amount of time practicing her magic.  She would practice on her own or with Regina via mirror.  When she wasn’t practicing magic, she worked on her sword fighting skills with Killian or David and on archery with her mother and sometimes with Robin when she’d go visit Regina’s with Henry.

Killian was settling into his position as Commander and spent a lot of time going to and from the coast of Snow and David’s kingdom (which wasn’t far) to see to the training of the new recruits they’d be taking with them.  He was enjoying himself and thought often of Liam when he’d see the young men eager to learn.

Finally, the week came that they were leaving for Arendelle.  White Castle was alive with the hustle and bustle as trunks were packed with the proper garments and things for a ‘formal’ visit to another kingdom.  Killian spent that final week at the naval academy on the coast to oversee the final preparations for the journey, so Emma decided to surprise him.  Two days before they left, she contacted him via mirror.

“Hello love, I’ve missed you”, he said when her image materialized in the glass.  Emma saw him hastily shoved something into the pocket of his white uniform breeches, but didn’t mention it.

“I’ve missed you too!  I’ve got a surprise for you!  I finally learned something other than battle stuff from Regina!” said Emma excitedly.  Killian smiled,

“And what would that be love?”

“Can you move over?” she asked motioning him to the side.  He said nothing but moved with a quizzical look on his face.  She clipped her traveling cloak around her, then scrunched up her face, concentrating on where Killian was and she disappeared in a cloud of white smoke…then reappeared next to him.

“Bloody hell Swan!” he cried when she fell into him and he staggered back as he caught her.

“Whoops!  I’m still not super good at it”, she said, putting a hand up to her head, “It takes a bit out of me.”  Killian looked at her and she looked pale,

“You don’t look so good Swan.”  She felt her breakfast start to come up, which was weird because that hadn’t happened before.  She threw off her traveling cloak,

“Um…’scuse me!”  She pushed him away and ran to the trash can she saw in the corner of his room.  She leaned over it and emptied everything from her stomach.  She felt Killian rubbing her back as she retched, and it helped relax her.  When she finished, she sat back against the wall and he grabbed a small handkerchief to wipe off her mouth.

“I’m going to fetch a doctor”, he said he carried her to his bed.

“No, no”, Emma replied, “It’s just a side effect of the trip.  I haven’t poofed that far on my own before.”

“Emma…” he warned.  She could hear the concern in his voice.

“Just let me rest a while and then I’ll go home”, she said and pulled him to her, “Please?”

“Of course love, anything for you.”  He lay down next her, putting his good arm around her and she rested her head on his chest.

Hours later, Emma woke up to a lightly snoring Killian next to her.  She smiled as she sat up to look at him and brushed some of his hair off his forehead.  His eyes fluttered open and he smiled at her.

“How are you feeling darling?” he asked as he kissed her hand.

“Much better”, she replied and scooted off the bed, “I have to get back to the castle though.”  He sat up and she saw the concern etched on his face,

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea Swan.”

“Weren’t you the one that always told me to trust?”  He rolled his eyes at her,

Yes, but…”

“But nothing.  Trust me now.”

Fine.”  She picked up her cloak and fastened it around her shoulders, and leaned over to kiss him.

“I’ll mirror you when I get back, okay?” she said and he nodded, “I’ll see you in a few days.  I love you.”

“I love you too.”  He watched as she scrunched her face again, that crinkle between her eyebrows appearing before the poof of white smoke enveloped her.

 

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Emma appeared in her bedroom moments later.  Thankful the nausea didn’t return, she went over to the mirror she’d used to contact Killian and concentrated.  The mirror shimmered and a stone lined office appeared, with a figure seated at his desk.

“Victor.”  Dr. Frankenstein lifted his head and looked around, “Over here, on the left.”  He looked over and smiled when he saw Emma,

“Princess.  Ruby’s not here, I think she’s with the Queen.”

“Ruby isn’t who I’m looking for”, said Emma.  “I’m not uh…feeling well.”

“I’m on my way up Princess.”  He got up from his desk and Emma saw him gathering things into his doctor bag.  Ever since their return, he’d been living in the castle since David and Snow had made him the official doctor to the family.  He loved the work and it helped that Ruby lived in the castle too.

“And Victor?” she called, “Not a word to anyone.”  She saw him nod and the image shimmered away.  Emma concentrated again and the mirror shimmered once again.  She saw Killian pacing back and forth, staring at something in his hands.  She cleared her throat and he looked up, shoving whatever he’d been holding back into his pocket.

“Emma!  Are you okay?”

“Perfectly fine!  See?”

“You know you’re an open book to me darling”, he said as he smirked at her, “You’re hiding something.”

“Ha!  Me hiding something?” she asked and put her hands on her hips, “I’ve seen you shove something in your pockets twice today.  What are you hiding from me?”

“It’s a secret that you will learn in time”, he said.  Thankfully she could tell he wasn’t lying, “It’s nothing bad.”  Just then, she heard a knock at her door and looked over at the door,

“Just a minute!” she called and turned back to Killian, “I’ve got to go now, but I’ll talk to you later okay?”

“Of course darling.”  He winked and she waved her hand over the mirror and his face disappeared.  Emma crossed the room and opened the door.  Victor gave her a small bow.

“Princess, how can I help?” he asked as she ushered him in and led him to her sitting area where she had a loveseat and couches.

“Swear to me that you’ll keep this all a secret.  You don’t tell Ruby, Snow, David, Henry, or Killian…especially Killian”, Emma said with a commanding one.

“Of course.”  They sat down across from each other, “So, you’re not feeling well?”  Emma took a deep breath and looked at Victor.

“I think I’m pregnant.”

 

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The next few days were some of the longest for Emma.  The Enchanted Forest didn’t have pregnancy tests she could just go buy one in town.  Victor took some of her blood, performed some tests, and promised he’d have answer for her before they left for Arendelle.  Despite it being extremely weird for her to be discussing the last time she’d had her monthly with Dr. Frankenstein, she couldn’t risk talking to any of the other court doctors.  Victor was the most trustworthy.

Finally, the night before they left, Emma received a message from him.  She tore open the dirty brown envelope, unfolded the small paper, and sat down to read:

Emma:  based on what you told me and after testing your blood examining you and consulting a wizard in the town-don’t worry, I told him it was for a random patient of mine-you are indeed pregnant.  I’d say close to a month or so.  Let me know if you need anything else.  Victor.

Emma read the note over a few more times before tossing it in the fire.

 

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The ship carrying David, Emma, Killian, and their best knights left a few days later.  Their ship met up with Regina’s (with Elsa hidden on board) the next day, then Rumple and Belle’s the day after that.  The rest of the trip would take another five days so Emma had to put on her best face so that no one would know something was up with her.  Unfortunately, she seemed to forget she was an open book to him.  He found her watching the stars from the portside.  He sidled up next to her and leaned back against the side.

“What’s on your mind darling?” he asked.

“Nothing”, Emma replied, not looking over at him.

“You’re lying”, he said and turned around, putting his arms on the railing and staring at the water.  “Something is wrong Swan, and has been for many days now.  We’re a team, you and I, please tell me what’s wrong.”  She looked over at him, seeing the pleading look in those eyes that could melt her in an instant.  For a fraction of a second, she considered telling him…but then held back.

“I’m sorry.  It’s just that…I’m nervous.”  It wasn’t the whole truth but it was still true.  She was nervous about the upcoming battle and if they could help Elsa save her kingdom without any bloodshed…and she told him that.  He seemed satisfied with her answer so they stood on the deck for a while longer.

After a while, Emma heard steps and turned to find Ruby emerging from below,

“Emma, could I talk to you?” she asked with a smile that Emma knew she was faking, “I need some guy advice.”  Emma raised an eyebrow,

You need guy advice?  I should be the one ask--”

“Emma.”  Ruby was giving her a very wolfish look.

“On my way.”  She gave Killian a quick kiss, “Enjoy your night steering!” she called and followed Ruby below deck to Emma’s cabin.  “What is it Ruby?”

Sit”, Ruby commanded with such fierceness that Emma dare not do anything but what she said.  “You shouldn’t be here.”

“What are you talking about?” Emma asked.  Ruby crossed her arms and stared at her, “Oh my God…Victor told you?!”

“Victor knew and didn’t tell anyone?  I’m going to kill him.”

“Wait…he didn’t tell you?”

“Emma, I’m a wolf.  I can smell the pregnancy hormones wafting off you in waves!”  Emma got up and put her hand over Ruby’s mouth.

“Shhh!  No one but Victor, you, and I know.”  Ruby shook Emma’s hand away,

“How long?”

“A month.”

“You do realize that your parents and Killian are going to kill you when they find out, don’t you?”

“Yup.”

“If this actually turns into a fight, you have to be careful.”

“I know.  But if I tell him, then he definitely wouldn’t focus on the plan and it will have all been for nothing.”

 

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The day before they arrived in Arendelle, the three ships pulled up alongside each other so that Regina, Robin, Rumple, and Belle could get on with Emma, David, and Killian.  The two remaining ships would anchor off the coast and remain cloaked (with Regina’s help) until they were called to help.

The morning of their arrival in Arendelle, everyone got dressed in some of their traveling finest: David in his usual fur trimmed cloak look, Killian donned his new naval commander uniform, and Emma wore an outfit similar to her mother’s white one that she’d worn while on the run, except Emma’s was a light green.  Ruby had helped do up her hair, braiding it then pinning it up like crown around her head.

As the ship pulled up to the dock, Emma could see the people out on the pier waiting to greet them.  She picked through the crowd until she saw the red haired prince that Elsa had described and he stood at the head of everyone.  The ship was tied down to the docks and the gangplank extended.  Emma took David’s arm and they walked off first, followed by Regina and Robin, then Rumple and Belle, Ruby and a disguised Elsa, dubbed Juno and who was made to look like she could be related to Ruby.  Killian was the last off the ship; he scooted through crowd to stand near Emma.

“Welcome to Arendelle Your Majesty”, Hans said to David and gave him a bow.  “And this must be your lovely daughter, the Princess Emma.”  Hans took Emma’s hand and kissed it.  She stole a small glance at Killian and he was practically turning red.  Calm down she mouthed.

“Nice to meet you Prince Hans”, said Emma as she pulled her hand away, “Please allow me to introduce Killian Jones of the Royal Navy of the Enchanted Forest.”  Hans looked over at Killian, whose face was impassive.  They shook hands,

“It’s nice to meet you Captain”, said Hans, apparently knowing of Killian’s time as Captain Hook, and Emma saw a flicker of anger in Killian’s eyes.

“It’s Commander now actually”, Killian replied through gritted teeth, “Of the entire Royal Navy.”  Emma kicked him lightly, and saw David stifle a smile out of the corner of her eye.  Hans turned to Regina and the others for introductions.

“Now that we’ve all met, please join me in my palace”, said Hans, “Princess?  May I escort you?”  Emma mentally rolled her eyes and looked over at David, who gave her an almost imperceptible nod.  She didn’t want to be escorted by Hans, she’d much rather walk with Killian but she had duties and this was of course, a mission. 

“Sure”, she replied and took the arm Hans offered.  It felt so wrong and she could just feel how much of a slimy worm this guy really was.  Killian offered his arm to Juno and they walked right behind David, Hans, and Emma.  The royal party was greeted by cheers as they walked through the market square leading to the palace, but Emma couldn’t help thinking that it looked forced and some of the Arendelle citizens even looked afraid of Prince Hans.

The gates opened as they approached and they walked into grey stone courtyard with a collection of water fountains.  A red and gold embroidered carpet rolled down over the palace’s front steps as the reached it.  The palace servants lined the steps and, despite being stone-faced when looking at Hans, they cheered when they saw Emma and David.  They all stopped inside once they reached the grand staircase where several maids stood.

“These ladies will show you to your rooms upstairs.  Please rest from your journey and feel free to explore the palace grounds.  I will meet you all for lunch in the dining hall at two”, said Hans.  He bowed to the party and turned to Emma, taking her hand and kissing it.  Emma had to fight shivers of loathing as he looked at her and she stole her hand away again.

They were all led up to a very long hallway a few floors up.  David was set up in one of the grander rooms next to Emma, followed by Regina, then Robin and Killian, then Ruby and ‘Juno’ in servant’s quarters at the end of the guest hall.

Emma was led into her room by one of the maids and found her trunk already there.  The maid bowed and backed out.  Emma pulled off her gloves and tossed them on the bed.  She was undoing the belt on her outfit when there was a knock at her door.

“Emma, it’s me”, she heard Ruby’s voice call.

“Come in Ruby.”  The door creaked open and Ruby stepped in.

“We need to keep an eye on Killian.  I’m pretty sure he’s two seconds from stabbing Hans with his hook.”  Emma laughed as she threw off her long top jacket.

“I’m sure.  He’s probably pissed at me for kind of going along with it”, said Emma.  She sat down on the bed and started unlacing her boots, “But I think we could use it to our advantage.”

“Let’s get you changed because there’s a small meeting in your father’s room”, said Ruby and opened the trunk.  Emma dressed in a blue dress with kind of poofed illusion sleeves that reminded her of the clothes from movies based on Jane Austen novels.  The dress had a light blue ribbon that ran under her bust from where the skirt went out and fell to a half inch from the floor.  Instead of heels, Emma opted for what she was sure was the Enchanted Forest’s version of flats.  She secured her favorite necklace in the dip of her chest and turned to Ruby,

“Let’s go see what’s up.”

 

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David, Regina, Killian, Robin, Rumple, and Elsa were all in David’s room when Emma and Ruby arrived.  She took a seat between her father and Killian,

“What’d I miss?” she asked.

“Elsa has received word on the location of her sister”, said Regina.  “We were trying to decide when would be the best time to free her.”

“We should do it during the ball”, said Emma, “Just like when Killian and I were in the past, at Midas’ ball.”

“She’s right.  That’s how Snow was able to get the ring without real problems…” said Killian.

“The attention will be on the party going on, giving you the best opportunity to slip into wherever Anna is, unnoticed.”

“I can go in with Killian, Ruby, and Elsa while the rest of you present yourselves at the ball”, said Robin.

“I don’t see why you need me with you, I should stay with Swan”, said Killian with a grimace.  Emma placed her hand on his arm,

“I’ll be fine, I’ll be with my father.”

“Hmph.”

 

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Killian stopped by as she was getting ready for the ball that night.  She’d been sitting at the vanity brushed her hair when he came in.

“Hi”, she said.  He just stared at her so she got up and walked over to him. “Is something wrong?”  He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her to him, lips crashing together.  She melted into his body as he wrapped his arms around her and angled his head to kiss her better, just like their kiss in Neverland.  When they pulled apart, both out of breath, they stood with their foreheads pressed together.

“Emma…”

“What’s wrong?  Please Killian, I know when something is up with you.”

“That Hans is smitten with you.”

“Seriously?  That’s what’s bothering you?  You’re jealous?”  She hated herself, knowing her condition.  He would be more than angry when she told him…and her parents.

“He needs to realize you are not available to be courted.  I just know he’s going to want to dance every dance with you tonight and I can’t bear the thought of his hands on you.  It killed me to see him touch you this morning and the way he was all smiles at you this afternoon during lunch.”

“I didn’t like it any more than you; I could just feel the evil in him.  But if I keep him distracted while we’re at the ball, than the rest of you can save Anna and we’ll be one step closer to taking back the kingdom.  And one step closer to being back home.”

“Gods, Swan”, he said as he held her face with his good hand, “Be careful.  I’ve got a bad feeling about all this.” 

How right he was.

 

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Emma wore a red gown that night with a Queen Anne neckline (she’d described it to the tailors when they’d asked her input on her dresses), tulle skirt with crystals, and shoes she’d worn for the coronation.  Her hair was styled up and her tiara pinned in her hair.  Killian, Robin, Ruby, and Elsa had departed earlier to free Anna so Emma, David, and the others gathered outside their respective rooms and made their way to the grand staircase.  Emma couldn’t help but notice the lack of the sound of music and people talking; it was way too quiet. 

“There’s something wrong”, she whispered to David as they walked up to the doors of the Grand Hall, “I can feel it.”

“I concur with the princess”, said Rumple.  “We best be on our guard.  I no longer have the power I had as the Dark One, so I cannot sense what is going on.”  One of the guards knocked on the doors and they swung open to reveal a darkened room, lit only by a single fireplace.  After the group walked in, the guards shut the doors and they heard the click of a lock.  They all looked towards where Hans stood over what looked like four lumps on the ground.  Emma dropped her father’s hand and inched closer.  On the ground were Robin, Ruby, Killian, and Elsa.  Hans lifted his face to them and snapped his fingers, several soldiers basically coming out of nowhere.

“Did you think you could bring Elsa back to this realm and I wouldn’t know?”

Chapter Text

Earlier…

Killian and Robin were waiting outside the palace walls for Ruby and Elsa.  Robin looked over at Killian, who couldn’t stop tapping his foot.

“Killian…”

“Something’s not right, mate.  I can feel it.”

“Don’t--”  Killian rounded on Robin,

“Do not tell me not to worry.”

I would worry.”  Killian and Robin turned to see Ruby and Elsa walking out of the shadows.  Elsa pulled down her hood, “I’d worry because Hans is someone you don’t want to mess with.”

“We need to get this done quickly and quietly”, added Ruby.  “Elsa says Anna is being held in the dungeons with her fiancée.”

“Wait, we’ve got two rescue two people now?” asked Killian.  “This is going to be difficult.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” added Robin.

“I didn’t know until we got here”, replied Elsa.  “Please, we’ve got to save them both.”

“Of course”, said Ruby.  “Let’s get going.”  The group pulled the hoods of their dark cloaks over their heads and then the three heroes followed Elsa down a path that led to a drainage gate at the base of the palace wall.  Elsa removed a glove and froze the grate, which fell apart in pieces.  Ruby went in first, so she could sniff a path to Anna.  The dungeons were dark and dank (like all dungeons), lit only by torches on the walls.  The rescue party crept through the passages as quietly as they could.  The passage finally opened up to the cell area and the group saw two people huddled in side by side cells.  Elsa ran to them,

“Anna!  Kristoff!”  The woman lifted her head, a look of recognition flashing across her face.

“Elsa?  Gods, it’s been…” Anna said as she stuck her arms through the bars to hug her sister.

“Thirty years.  I’ve missed you so much.”  Anna reached into the cell next door and poked her fiancée,

“Kristoff, wake up.  Wake up!”  The blonde man grunted and sat up, looking over at the rescue party, his eyes stopping on Elsa.  He scooted into the light and it allowed them to see his face:  his left eye was swollen shut, had scratches on his cheeks, and a split bottom lip.

“Elsa?  Are you really here?” he asked and she nodded.  “Where have you been?”

“Hans had me trapped in an urn and I’ve been in the vault of the Dark One since then.  I only got out thanks to the Commander here.”  Elsa turned to point to Killian,

“Thank you lass, but shouldn’t we take care of this later?  We need to get out of here before we get--”

“Caught?”  They all turned to see Hans standing there with a group of soldiers, swords pointed at them.

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Emma was panicking.  She could see that Killian unconscious, his arms bound behind his back.  Ruby had a gag in her mouth and her hands bound too, a strange woman (who Emma supposed to be Anna) bound back to back with a blonde man, and Elsa, whose hands were chained in iron cuffs that ran up her arms.

“I have spies everywhere”, said Hans with an evil cackle, “Even in your kingdom.”  He pointed to David.  “I will never give up Arendelle.”

“If you kill us, you’ll have the entirety of the Enchanted Forest coming for you”, said David as he took a protective stance in front of Emma.

“Let them come.  I have the Snow Queen on my side.”

“I would never fight for you!” Elsa screamed, “NEVER!”  Hans rounded on her and grabbed her braid, pulling her head back and holding a knife to her neck.

“You will if you want your sister to live”, he said into her ear.  Emma didn’t know why she did it; maybe it was because she was angry to see how he was treating Elsa, angry at how Killian was unconscious, angry at how he’d made the people of Arendelle scared, angry at how they’d been duped…just angry.  She pushed past her father and stood a foot in front of Hans,

Let. Her. Go. Now.”  Hans laughed again and pushed Elsa away so fell to the floor, her iron cuffs echoing off the empty walls.

“Or what, Princess?” he asked sarcastically and put his hands on his hips, “You gonna kill me?”  A malicious grin spread across Emma’s face.

“Emma, don’t do something you’ll regret!” she heard her father cry behind her.

“Maybe you should listen to your father Princess”, Hans said smugly.  The soldiers holding them in the room poised for attack and just then, a wave of magic erupted from Emma, like it had at Lake Nostos when Cora had tried to take her heart.  The soldiers crumpled to the floor, knocked out when she turned back to Hans and raised a hand at him…he started grabbing at his throat as if he was choking.

“Emma!” cried David again.

“Check on them”, Emma said through gritted teeth.  When she saw no one was moving, she squeezed harder, “DO IT.”  Regina waved her hand and everyone’s hands were free.  David and Belle ran over to the group on the floor and one by one, they stood until finally Killian was the last.  He sat up and shook his head, turning his eyes to Emma.  He jumped up and ran to her,

“Emma, love, you need to stop.  Don’t do something you’re going to regret”, he said.  He put a hand to her face and she leaned into his touch.  She relaxed her hand and Hans fell to the floor.

“Listening to your pirate, good idea”, said Hans in between coughs.  Killian went over to him and stood him up, as David held Emma as she sank to the floor in tears.

“Oh my God, I almost killed him.”  Killian was standing Hans up so that they could bind his hands,

“You should have sweetheart.”  Emma raised her head in time to see Hans spin Killian around and reach into his chest, ripping out his heart.  Killian collapsed to the floor.

NO!”  Before Emma could do anything, Hans squeezed the heart and Killian writhed around on the floor, screaming.  “Stop it!”

“Leave me be and he won’t die.”  Hans squeezed harder and Killian screamed louder.

“I’ll kill you!”

“Do you think you can do it fast enough before I finish crushing his heart?”  Another squeeze and Killian gripped his chest.  Emma’s own heart was aching with pain for the man she loved and she put her hands on her stomach, fearing for their baby she carried.

“ENOUGH!” they all heard Elsa scream.  She had her hands above her head, where a spear made of ice hovered.  With her magic, she flung the spear and it pierced Hans straight through the heart, pinning him against the wall where he hung limply.  Killian relaxed on the ground as his heart rolled out of Hans’ hand, where it was caught by Regina.  She knelt by him, waved a hand over the heart until it glowed, then swiftly replaced it in his chest.

“What did you do?” he asked.

“Your heart can never be removed from your chest again.”  Killian looked over at Emma, who was in her father’s arms.  She smiled weakly at him, then fell to the ground.  He ran to her.

“Emma?!  EMMA!”  He pulled her to him, cradling her in his arms, when he felt wetness on his right arm.  When he looked at his sleeve, all he saw blood.

 

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The battle was over and everything was back as it should be in Arendelle, but all Killian could do was pace.  He paced in the hall, he paced outside, he paced in her room.  He had gone back to pacing in the sitting room of Emma’s bedroom in the palace while she was examined by the doctor, accompanied by Ruby.  Regina sat with David, trying to keep him relaxed while he paced back and forth.  There was a light knock at the door and Belle, Elsa, and Anna came in.

“Any change in the princess?” asked Elsa to the room.  David shook his head, but Belle looked over at Killian.  She saw the fear and sadness in his eyes and immediately strode over to where he stood and pulled him into a hug.

“She’s going to be fine”, Belle whispered in his ear.  “If anyone can survive this, it’s Emma.”  The door to the bedroom opened and the doctor stepped out.  Killian and David stood staring at him.

“Well?  Out with it man!” said Killian, with anger in his voice that reminded everyone of Captain Hook.

“She is perfectly fine”, said the doctor.

“She bled out, how is my daughter fine after bleeding out?!” yelled David.

“She is fine now, but…”

“But what!?” cried Killian.

“I’m afraid to inform you that the Princess has had a miscarriage.”  David fell onto the couch he’d been sitting on before and Regina put a hand on his back to comfort him.  Belle’s hand flew to her mouth as her available one gripped Killian’s, who shook it free.

“Can I see her?”

“Of course sir.  She’s awake, but still a bit weak.  She asked for you.”  Killian nodded and slipped into the bedroom as he heard Elsa speak again.

“Thank you Olaf.”

 

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She was lying in bed and speaking with Ruby when he appeared at the door.  Ruby eyed him and nodded, standing from her chair next to Emma’s bed.

“I’ll let you two talk”, she said and left.  He heard the rest of them start to speak all at once before the door was shut.  Emma looked at him, but he didn’t move from the shadows of the doorway.

“Killian…”

Don’t.  Don’t talk”, he said in hard voice.  “How bloody daft are you Emma?”  She winced at the sting of his words.

“Please…”

“Did you not bloody well think I had a say in this?” he said in a strained whisper as he ran his hands through his hair.  “This was my child too Emma.”  He paced in front of her bed in silence for a few minutes.  “How long?”

“What?”  He took a deep breath and sat in Ruby’s empty seat.

“How long were you with child?”

“Only a month.”  He finally looked at her and he saw her eyes were red with tears.  “I’m so sorry.”

“For what?  You have nothing to be sorry for darling because this was not your fault.”  He kicked off his boots and lay down next to her, holding her in his arms.

“For not taking care of our child.  I just know it’s because I almost lost control, because I almost killed him.”  She sobbed into his shoulder,

“It’s okay love”, he said as he kissed her hair and stroked her back.  “I’m the one who should be sorry for being angry with you just now.  When I saw you fall…Gods Emma, it was like Milah all over again.  If you had died…I don’t know what I would’ve done.”  There was a light knock at the door and David stepped in, showing no reaction to seeing Killian holding Emma.  “I’ll let you two on your own.”

“Stay, Killian”, she said as he sat up.

“It’s ok, I’ll be right outside.”  He picked up his boots and left the room quietly.  Like Killian, David stood by the door.

“Emma…”

“I know, I know.  I should’ve told you guys and stayed home.  You have every right to be pissed at me dad.”

“Pissed?  You think that’s how I’m feeling?” he asked exasperatedly, “There isn’t even a word for how I’m feeling.”  He sat on the edge of the bed.  “How I feel doesn’t matter.  How do you feel?”

“Tired.”

“I’m going to have to mirror Snow and tell her, you understand?”  Emma nodded silently.  “Okay, you need to rest and I need to speak with Dr. Olaf.  We’ll be down the hall if you need us, okay?”

“Yeah.”  She turned on her side and shut her eyes.

 

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Killian was staring out the window when David emerged from the bedroom.

“I’d like to speak with the doctor in private”, he said to the room.  Elsa, Anna, Belle, Regina, Robin and Kristoff (who had joined the group) all nodded and filed out.  Killian brought up the rear, but David stopped him.  “Not you.  You stay.”

“Don’t you want privacy mate?” he asked.  David just stared at him like Are you being serious right now?  “Whatever you say Dave.”  When everyone was gone, Olaf entered.

“Your majesty”, he said to David with a bow, “Commander.  You asked for me?”

“Please sit”, David signaled to the couch in front of him and he took a seat opposite him while Killian opted to stand.

“What can I do for you?” asked Olaf.

“Tell us the truth.”  Killian spoke first, “How is she really?”

“She’s fine.  Honestly”, said Olaf.  “I did some spells to heal her quicker, so she’s fine.”  David and Killian could tell that he was holding something back.

“But…?” asked David.

“Her remaining ‘symptoms’ are all psychological.”

“Excuse me?”

“She suffered a great loss, coupled with whatever it is that you all went through fighting against that tyrant, it’s mentally hurt her.”

“Oh!  Kind of like PTSD”, said David as he snapped his fingers.

“What is this ‘PTSD’ mate?” asked Killian.

“It’s something from our other realm, it means ‘Post traumatic stress disorder’.  A person has suffered a trying situation and it stays with them.  It’s very common in soldiers who fought in horrible wars back in the Land Without Magic.”

“That”, said Olaf, “That is what the Princess suffers from.”

“Does that mean she can still…um…” mumbled Killian.

“Still what?” asked David.

“Yes, Commander, she is still able to have children”, replied Olaf.

“Thank the Gods.”  Acting like he hadn’t heard the last exchange, David asked,

“When can we take her home?”

“I recommend at least another week of bed rest and then you can take her home.”

“Thank you doctor”, David said as he stood and shook hands with Olaf.

“Please, call me Olaf.”

“Thank you Olaf.”

“Nothing less for Your Majesty and his daughter.  It’s because of all of you that we can now live free again.  Anyways, I take my leave.”  Olaf gave a bow as he left the room.  David and Killian both looked in on Emma and she was sound asleep.

“Nothing to do now except go get something to eat”, he said, “She needs all the rest she can get.”

“Aye, mate.  You go ahead, and give my apologies because I will be staying with Emma.  I can’t leave her alone”, said Killian, “But don’t worry, I’ll keep to her sitting room, reading.”

“You need to eat something Killian.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Jones…”

No.”  Looking into Killian’s eyes just then, David knew his argument was lost.

“At least agree to eat if I ask them to send something up to you.  Please, for Emma?”

“You’re good.”  David clapped him on the back and left the room.

 

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Killian didn’t leave her side the entire night, sleeping on the couch in her sitting room.  The next morning however, she refused to see him.  In fact, she didn’t want to see anyone.  The only person she’d talk to was Ruby, which drove David and Killian crazy.

 

Three days later…

 

Emma woke up the next morning and for the first time since it happened, she felt happy.  She washed and dressed in simple pale pink empire waist gown with cap sleeves and plain flats.  She braided her hair into a side braid and when she was happy with her look, she strode out to the sitting room where Ruby was having tea.

“Emma?”

“Yes, I’m feeling much better.”

“I know a certain someone who will be happy to hear that.”

“Where is he?”  Ruby crossed her arms and smiled at Emma,

“I don’t know why you even ask.  When you refused to see him, he’d spend the day at the docks or on the beach or just anywhere near the water.”

“I feel horrible for doing that to everyone.”

“While they didn’t like it, they understood.  You lost a baby Emma and that’s not something you just get over.”

“I’m far from over it Ruby”, Emma replied as she walked out onto the balcony.  She looked around the edges and docks of the fjord, trying to locate her pirate when she saw him walking along a small beach.  Ruby joined her outside,

“Told ya he’d be there.”

“He is why I’m far from over it”, Emma said as she pointed at him, “I disappointed him.  I should’ve listened to you.  And now, I’ve made it worse by not wanting to see him these past few days.  I’ve pushed him away again.  There’s only so much he’s going to take before he’s done.”

“If the next words out of your mouth are ‘Do you think he’ll even want to talk to me right now?’…”, sighed Ruby, “I’m going to get the Queen to turn you into an ice statue.”  Ruby stared at Emma, “Why are you still here?”

“Thanks Ruby”, Emma replied and she concentrated until she disappeared in a poof of white.

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She appeared on the beach where Killian was.  She saw him down the bank, staring at something in his hand.  His breaches were rolled up to the knee and his white shirt was open as low as he liked.  Emma slipped off her flats was made her way to where he was.  When he noticed her, a big smile crept across his face.

“Emma…” he breathed.

“Hi”, she said.  “I’m sorry I never told you.  I didn’t need something keeping you from concentrating on the mission.”

“I’m sure that if we’d known, you wouldn’t have even been here.  None of us would be.  I’m sure Queen Snow would’ve had us married by now”, he said with a laugh.

“I’m sure.”  So much more needed to be said, so he took her hand in his and the walked and spent the day together.  They talked about the baby that could’ve been, they talked about family plans for the future…all that.  Emma also asked how everything had gone back to normal so quickly.  Killian told her that most of the soldiers loyal to Hans were captured and jailed.  The ones that escaped would be found; a group led by Kristoff would hunt them down.  The people of Arendelle couldn’t be happier to see their rightful Queen returned to them and the Princess Anna freed from the dungeons.  Hans’ body was burned, no one from the Southern Isles came to claim him and only a single person was there to ‘watch the bastard burn’ as Killian put it: himself.  Killian had been the one to light the pyre and when it was ablaze, he spit on it and went back to see his Swan.  The spies in the Enchanted Forest were discovered among the King’s footmen and Regina’s knights and would be dealt with upon their return to the kingdom. 

They didn’t go back to the palace until it was time for dinner and found everyone else in what Elsa and Anna considered the ‘informal’ dining hall.  They laughed and joked and ate and drank throughout the meal.  When it came time for the dessert, a footmen emerged with a large silver platter and set it in front of Regina.

“What’s this?” she asked.  The footman lifted the top off and on the plate sat triangle shaped pastry.

“An apple turnover Your Highness”, he replied.  He bowed and left.

“Try it Regina”, Robin said.  She eyed him suspiciously as she looked around the table to see everyone staring.

“It’s kind of strange with all of you watching me.”

“Just eat.”  Regina rolled her eyes at Robin and cut it in half.  When she pushed it open, they heard a distinctive clink! on the plate.  Regina held up a ring of simple design: gold with a circle cut emerald surrounded by diamonds.  Robin took it and got down on one knee next to her chair.

“Oh my God”, Regina said through tears.

“I had not planned to do this now.  I was going to wait until we were home because I had a great spot picked out and everything but then…all this happened.  I didn’t think I’d love again after losing Marian, but then I met you.  I cannot see the rest of my life passing without you at my side.  My son loves you, I love you.  Regina, will you marry me?”  Big, fat tears were falling down her cheeks as she nodded.

“Yes!”  Robin slipped the finger onto her finger as they all applauded.  Emma smiled and cried tears of happiness for the former ‘Evil Queen’ who believed she would never get her happy ending.

Chapter Text

Regina and Robin’s wedding took place a month later.  It wasn’t a big affair, considering the bride, it was simple.  They were married in the forest where they’d met.  It wasn’t what most thought Regina would do, but she said things changed when she met Robin.  The day of the ceremony was a beautiful summer day.  Emma and Snow spent the morning with Regina, helping her to get ready.

“You know I don’t need help right?” Regina asked as the three of them had breakfast in her tent.  “I can just magic it all.”

“That’s not the point Regina”, said Snow as she took a bite of her eggs.

“Oh?  Then what, pray tell, is the point?”

“It’s the experience”, said Snow, “When you married my father, it…it wasn’t the best of experiences.  You weren’t happy to be going through with it.  But now…it’s true love.”  Regina smiled and took Snow’s hand,

“Thank you Snow.  You don’t know what that means to me.”  They finished eating in silence, sharing in Regina’s day.  After breakfast, Regina got dressed.  She flicked her hand and a purple cloud engulfed her.  When it dissipated, Regina stood before them wearing a forest green dress with illusion sleeves with gold trimming.  Her hair was done up in a simple bun and small diamond and emerald tiara sat on her head.

“If you had told me two years ago that we’d be here at this point”, said Emma, “I would not have believed you.  I’m not the emotional type, as we all know, but I just want to say how happy I am for you right now Regina.”

“Thank you Miss Swan.”  Just then, Henry burst into the tent.

“Mom, you look beautiful!” he said as he kissed her on the cheek.

“How’s it going out there kid?” Emma asked.

“We’re ready to start.”

“We’ll see you out there Regina”, Emma said as she gave Regina a quick hug.  Snow hugged her and followed Emma out of the tent.  They made their way to where the ceremony was taking place and found seats next to David and Killian in the front row.  The music (courtesy of some of the Merry Men who played instruments) started and the audience stood and turned to see Regina standing at the back of the makeshift aisle, holding Henry’s arm.  Robin watched as they slowly walked and couldn’t keep the huge grin off his face.  His best man couldn’t either: Roland stood in front of his father, with Robin’s hands on his shoulders, smiling big.

Henry and Regina stood next to Robin and Roland when they arrived at the end of the aisle.

“Who gives this woman to be wed?” asked Friar Tuck.

“Her family and I do”, said Henry and he placed his mother’s hand into Robin’s.

 

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Killian looked up at where the former Evil Queen was saying her vows with Robin.  He remembered back to when they’d just arrived in Neverland and it was just him and Regina at the helm:

 

“Greg Mendell said something funny to me.  He said I’m a villain…and that villains don’t get happy endings.  Do you believe that?” Regina asks as she looks over at him.

“I hope not”, he replies as he turns to look at her, “Or we wasted our lives.”  He turns his gaze from the Queen to Emma.

 

He put his arm on the back of Emma’s chair, brushing her shoulders.  She turned and gave him a smile as she noticed his own smile creeping up on his face.

“What?” she asked in a whisper.

“Nothing love”, he whispered back, “Just happy for Regina is all.”

“Okay then.”  She put a hand on his leg and turned back to the ceremony.  He thought about the ring that he now carried with him everywhere.  He knew there was no perfect way to ask one’s True Love to marry them, but he wanted something perfect when he proposed to Emma.  Maybe the spot where her father proposed to her mother?  Down by the lake where their castle stood in the background, just like David had after he woke Snow from the sleeping curse.

  1.   I can’t give Snow back the ring and then propose where Dave did. he thought to himself.  This would be easier if I had the Jolly.  I’d take her out sailing at night and propose under the stars.  But no, I gave up her up for a reason, best not dwell on it mate.  He and his inner monologue argued back and forth, trying to figure out what to do, but then it hit him: he’d ask Henry.  He was sure Henry would have a good idea for him.

“I now pronounce you man and wife, you may kiss your bride!” cried Friar Tuck.  Robin and Regina smiled as they leaned in towards each other and kissed.  The crowd stood and cheered as they turned to walk back down the aisle.  Everyone followed the couple to a larger tent down the path where they’d be holding the reception.

“Killian, I’m going to go congratulate them”, said Emma, “I’ll be right back.”

“No worries love”, he replied as he pressed a kiss to her temple, “I need to see the lad about something.  Do you know where he is perchance?”

“Henry’s already poking around at the food I think.”

“Thank you milady.”  He gave her a bow and wink and went to find Henry, who was indeed already trying to steal bits of food from all the big platters.  “That’s just bad form lad.”

“Oh come on, you know you want some too”, Henry replied as he grabbed a chicken leg.

“Doesn’t mean it’s not bad form.”

“Knew it.”  Killian cleared his throat, “Did you need something Killian?”

“Yes lad, I need your help.  If we could take your spoils and speak in private?  I’d not like your mother (or grandmother) to overhear us.”

“Yeah sure.”  They both wrapped a few things in some napkins and slipped out the back of the tent.  They settled near where all the horses were tied up, on a couple of logs.  “So, I think I know why you want to talk to me.”

“You do?”

“You need my advice on how to propose to my mom.”

“How did--”

“My mom isn’t the only one who’s an open book dude.”

“Right.  So, what do you suggest young sir?  Perhaps the Book might have a suggestion?”  The only thing that had come back with them from Storybrooke had been Henry’s book.  He’d reasoned that it was because their stories weren’t over yet, that they were still being written, and he was proved right when the story of their adventure in Arendelle appeared a week after they came home.

“Let me check it.”  Henry pulled the book from the satchel where he’d carried it from the day they returned.  He flipped through the stories involving Killian and any of the ones where the Savior was mentioned, nothing standing out.  It wasn’t until Henry was casually flipping through and Killian caught sight of a beanstalk, that the idea came to him.

“Wait!  There!”  Killian flipped back until he saw Jack and the Beanstalk.

“The beanstalk?” asked Henry with curiosity.  Killian laughed to himself as he remembered the climb and subsequent adventure.

“Yes, it all started when your mother tied me to a tree…” he said as his mind drifted off to the day he met Emma Swan:

 

“You can’t just leave me here like this!” he called after the four women.  He wasn’t going to let himself be killed by ogres just for Cora’s plan.  He’d have to find another way to the Land Without Magic.  The women gather their things and turn to leave.  The only one who looks back at him is the Princess Aurora.

“What if he’s telling the truth?” she asks with trepidation.

“He’s not”, calls Emma, without looking back.  He bites his tongue, but he needs them to let him go, so he gives in.

“Good for you!  You’ve bested me.  I can count the number of people who’ve done that on one hand.”

“That supposed to be funny?” Emma asks as she walks back to the tree, “Who are you?”

“Killian Jones.  But most people have taken to calling me by my more colorful moniker…Hook.”

“Hook!?” says Snow with wide eyes.

“Check my satchel”, he replied, to prove his point.

“As in Captain Hook?” Emma asks in disbelief as he sees Snow pull his hook from the satchel and look at it with surprise.

“Ah, so you’ve heard of me?” he asks with a smirk.  The conversation continues pointlessly, to him anyway, as the ogres draw nearer.  They almost leave him a second time, but after spilling Cora’s plan, he’s almost got her persuaded.

“It sounds too good to be true”, says Snow.

“There’s only one way to find out”, he replies.  The roars of the ogres get closer.  He sees Emma pull a dagger from her boot and she points it at his throat.

“You tell me one thing--and whatever you say, I better believe it--why does Captain Hook want to go to Storybrooke?”

“To exact revenge on the man who took my hand: Rumplestiltskin.”  He can see in her eyes that she believes him.  She cuts him loose and they leave before the ogres arrive and much later they arrive at the beanstalk.

 

He feels something hit him in the face.

“Oi!  What’d you do that for lad?” he asked Henry, who was laughing.  He took a second to catch his breath before talking.

“You had zoned out with this stupid smile on your face!” Henry cried, laughing some more.  “What were you even thinking about?”

“The day I met your mother.  After the whole ordeal of being tied to the tree, I led them to the beanstalk.  It was on the climb up the beanstalk when I fell for Emma Swan, it just took me a while to realize it.”

“Seriously, ew”, said Henry.

“Just you wait boy, you’ll fall in love one day.”

“Whatever.  The point is I think you’ve found out where to do it, the proposal.”

“Oh?”

“The beanstalk.  Take her there and propose”, Henry said as he stuffed half of a biscuit in his mouth.  Killian had to admit the boy had a point, “Grandpa said you were going to use a ring you’d actually gotten from the Anton’s treasure room when you guys were there.”

“Aye”, replied Killian.  He looked around to make sure no one could see them and pulled the small box from where he’d been keeping it.  He opened it and showed Henry, who’s eyes widened.

“She’s going to love it.  So when are you going to do it?”

“Do what?” asked Emma when she appears a little ways away. “What are you two up to?”

“Nothing!” they say in unison.  Henry tells him when Emma’s birthday is and he decides to do it then.

 

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Two months he waited.  Two months until his Swan’s birthday and it was now October.  A week before her birthday, he met with David and Snow to voice his plan.  Emma was at Regina’s that weekend for some lessons with Regina and archery with Robin, so they would be uninterrupted.  Ever since she’d caught Henry and Killian ‘conspiring’, she’d been working tirelessly to find out what they’d been plotting.  That’s how Killian found himself having tea with the King and Queen.

“So Killian, what do you have in mind?” asked David as he stirred his sugar in.

“Well, I was thinking that the ball you’re throwing in her honor would be the perfect time to announce the engagement”, he said and took a sip from his cup.

“Ooh, that would be the perfect opportunity”, added Snow.  “But tell us!”

“I’d like to ask your permission to take Emma on a sort of holiday.”

“What?” asked David with a confused look on his face, “A holiday?”

“Yes.  Thanks to some help from the young prince, and that lovely book of his, I decided to propose to Emma where I fell in love with her.”  Snow had a very surprised look on her face and she gave a little squeal,

“That is so romantic!  She’s going to love that!  Hopefully the field isn’t as dead as when we were there last.”

“Wait, wait, wait”, said David, putting up his hands, “Where are you talking about?”

“The beanstalk!” said Snow.

“Wasn’t that when Emma threatened you with a knife, tied you to a tree, and then called ogres on you?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t get it.”  Snow gave a frustrated sigh, and all Killian could do was laugh to himself.

“When Emma realized he was lying, we did all that.  But afterwards, he led us to the beanstalk because we had to climb it to get the compass”, said Snow.

“Only two could climb because I only had two bracelets to break the enchantment the giant had placed.  Aurora, Mulan, Emma, and Her Majesty here argued over who would climb with me and Emma won out.  I remember she said--”

 

“Don’t think I’m taking my eyes off you for a second.”

“I would despair if you did.”

 

Killian smiled to himself again, thinking of the events of those days and told David the missing parts of the story that he hadn’t heard before.

“I approve”, said David.

“Thank you Dave”, said Killian as they shook hands, “Anyways, I’m going to say that this little holiday is my gift to her for her birthday and we’ll leave in couple of days.  Hopefully, she won’t recognize the route we’re taking and it’ll be a surprise.”

“I’ll send some knights to keep an eye on you guys”, said David.

David, they don’t need it.  They’re both more than capable of taking care of themselves”, said Snow.

 

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After the busy weekend Emma had at Regina & Robin’s, she was tired when she arrived back at her parent’s castle and since it was also the week of her birthday, she decided to sleep in every morning.  Unfortunately, her boyfriend had other ideas.  Emma was sleeping soundly early the Thursday morning before her birthday when she felt something on her face so she slapped it away.  She was woken up by someone exclaiming in pain,

“Bloody hell Swan, that hurt.”  Emma opened her eyes to see Killian sitting on the edge of the bed rubbing the right side of his face.

“Early…why?” she asked still half asleep.

“I’m here to whisk you away for a holiday”, he said with a smile.

“Holiday?”

“It’s a gift, for your birthday.  Part of it anyway, because I’ve got a few other things lined up for you.”  When she heard that she smiled, and sat up, leaning forward to kiss him.

“Doesn’t explain why you woke me up so early”, she said when they finally pulled apart.

“It’s a long ride to our destination and we need to get going if we’re going to make it by nightfall.”

“What are you planning pirate?”

“First of all Princess, not a pirate anymore”, he said and leaned forward to kiss her bare shoulders, “Secondly, it would defeat the purpose of the gift if I told you, would it not?”  He trailed kisses up her neck.

“Yeah, yeah…sure.”  He sat up again and looked her in the eyes.

“Get dressed and I’ll meet you downstairs for breakfast.”  He gave her a quick kiss and left.  A few minutes later, Emilie appeared with two packages in her arms: a long, flat one and a bigger one that sort of reminded her of Jefferson’s hat box.  She set the boxes on chaise near Emma’s bed.

“Good morning Your Highness”, she said with a bow.

“Morning Emilie.  Apparently I’m going on a holiday with the Commander, so could you pack a bag with enough clothes for a few days please?”

“The Queen informed me yesterday and I also spoke with Commander Jones, so I packed a bag for you yesterday”, said Emilie as she disappeared into Emma’s closet and then returned with a bag as big as a normal plane carry on.  “Because I know you Princess, I made sure to pack your favorite vests and leather pants.  I was also told you’d be traveling on horseback, so you’ll have to use the boots you leave with today so we don’t want to overload you.  The Commander also asks that you bring your cutlass, so I took the liberty of having the smithy polish and look it over.”  She picked up the long box and placed it on the bed and opened it.

Emma had never seen her cutlass shine the way it was then.  She took it out of the box and swung it around.  It had been balanced because it felt lighter and quicker.  Emilie brought out a pair of Emma’s black leather pants, shoulder baring white shirt, black leather boots, and red vest she’d worn when they had come back.

“What’s that other box?” Emma asked.

“Get dressed first and then I’ll show you”, replied Emilie.  Emma disappeared behind her curtain and pulled on her pants and shirt.  She came back out and Emilie held up the vest so Emma could put her arms through.  As Emma did up the buttons in the front, the other girl tightened the lacing in the back.  Emilie signaled for her to sit at the vanity, so Emma sat and Emilie brushed through her hair.

“You know I can do my hair, you don’t have to”, said Emma.

“I know Princess, but I like to.  It’s my job.”

“Thank you.”

“Of course Princess.”  Emilie put Emma’s long hair into a beautiful fish spine braid that hung down to her shoulder blades.

“So, what’s in the box Emilie?”  Emma went and sat on the chaise next to the mystery box.

“This is an early birthday gift from Prince Henry.  He designed it just for you”, said Emilie as she took off the top.  “The Prince is an exceptional artist Your Highness.  He said he’d seen this in something called a ‘movie’ in your realm and that he drew it from memory.”  Emilie pulled some tissue paper aside and lifted the gift from the box.  Emma gasped as Emilie handed Henry’s gift to her: a perfect replica of the hat worn by Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  It was black, complete with the same trim and buckle and even the long feather in the right side.

“This is amazing!  And you said he drew it from memory?”

“Yes Princess, that’s what the Queen told me.”

“I’d mirror him right now to thank him, but he’s a very heavy sleeper so I’ll thank him when Killian and I get back.”  Emma swept her braid to the side and placed the hat on her head.  Killian would be proud, as she looked ever the perfect pirate.

 

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She had been right.  Killian would not stop stealing glances at her as they rode away from the castle.  She couldn’t stop eyeing him either; he was wearing his pirate leathers again and she hadn’t seen him wear them since they’d first returned almost four months before.

“So, where are we going?” she asked an hour later.

“Not telling.”

“Come on…” she whined.  Killian stopped his horse and turned it around so he could look at her.

“Are you…whining?”

“No.”  He raised an eyebrow, “Yes.  Shut up.”  Killian laughed and got his horse to start moving again.

“We follow this road for a few more hours and then we’ll come to our first stop for the day”, said Killian.  “We’ll be at the lake around noon.”

And like he said, three hours later, they rode up to a familiar sight.  The lake had come back, thanks to Rumple’s curse and the area around it was fuller and greener than either had ever seen it.  Emma jumped off her horse and tied her to a nearby tree, staring out over the water.

“Is…is that…Lake Nostos?” she asked.

“Aye, love”, he said as he walked up beside her.

“I haven’t seen it since I knocked you out with the compass, somewhere over there.”

“Emma, love, I’ve got a confession to make.”  She turned to face him, hands on her hips,

“Oh?  And what, pray tell, is that?”  She saw a little red creep up in his cheeks as he smiled and scratched behind his ear, something he did a lot when he was nervous.

“I let you win.”  Now it was her turn to eyebrow at him.

“You let me win?”

“Yes.”

“I’ve been thinking that I beat the great Captain Hook for the past year, and you’re telling me you let me win?”

“You had to get back to your boy.  I had the petrified bean that got us back anyways.”  Emma jumped into his arms.

“I love you.”

“I know”, he said with a smirk and gave her deep kiss.  “Enough of that for now.  Let’s get water for the horses and have lunch.  We’ll rest for a while then head out.”  They untied their horses and led them to the edge of the lake where they let them drink.  Killian pulled a blanket off the back of his horse and threw it down on the ground a little ways away.  Emma pulled down a satchel off her horse and sat down on the blanket.  She unpacked what they’d put aside for lunch and they sat down to eat.

“So, are you going to tell me what you’re always staring at when you think I’m not looking?”

“No.  Do you really not understand the concept of gift giving Swan?”

FineI am going to take a nap before we set off again.” She laid back and angled the hat over her eyes.  “I know, you’re staring at me Killian.”

“Hmph.”

“Just take a nap and we’ll leave after we’ve rested.”  She felt him shift so that he was over her.  He pushed the hat off her eyes.

“How about more enjoyable activities?” he asked with a wink.

“Not out in the open!”

“Come on Swan.”  She put her hands on his chest and pushed him over so that he was on his back and she now sat over his lap.

“You minx.”  She kissed up his neck up to his face.

“Not.”  Kiss.  “In.”  Kiss.  “The.”  Kiss.  “Open.”

“I don’t mind doing this for a while darling.”

 

An hour later…

 

They lay out of breath next to each other.

“Who knew making out took that much out of you?” said Emma as she ran her fingers over her swollen lips.

“While it was the most amazing way to spend an hour, we must be on our way if we’re to make our destination by nightfall”, said Killian.  He kissed her forehead and got up, extending his hand to her to help her.  They packed up their things and headed out.  They stopped two more times on the way in a couple of villages.  They went unrecognized thanks to them being dressed in their pirate garb so the rest of their day went quietly.

It was dark when Killian announced that they’d reached their destination.

“Where are we?” asked Emma.

“You’ll see in the morning.  Technically our final stop is beyond that ridge right there”, Killian said and he pointed to their right.  They pitched their tent under a big tree and untacked their horses for the night.  Emma took off her vest and her sword belt, laying them next to her cot.  She untucked her shirt and was taking off her boots when Killian pushed a flap of the tent to the side and stepped in.

“Are you sure this area is safe?” she asked him, tossing her boots aside.

“Yes darling”, he replied and took off his coat and laid it to the side.  “The ogres were cleaned out of this area a few years ago.”  He deftly unbuttoned his vest and put it with his coat.  Emma reached over and unscrewed his hook, then she pushed up his sleeve and removed his brace.

“Thank you love.”  She massaged his arm a bit because he always said it hurt when he took it off.

“I’m tired, let’s just go to sleep, okay?” she asked.

“As you wish.”  Emma smiled.  They lay back on their cots, with his left arm around her (as best he could) and her head on his chest.

 

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When Emma woke up the next morning, she was alone.  By the light shining in through the flaps of the tent, she could tell it was late morning.  She put on her boots and her vest without bothering to tuck her shirt in and stepped outside.  She found Killian leaning against the tree their tent was under.

“Morning love”, he said and gave her a quick kiss.  Emma looked around and suddenly the whole area looked familiar.

“Where are we?” she asked with an air of recognition.

“You recognize it now, don’t you?  Does this tree seem familiar?”  Emma looked behind him.

“Oh my God.  Is that the tree we tied you to?!”

“The very same.”

“Which means…”  Emma didn’t finish her thought.  She flicked her wrist and set a protection ward around their campsite before jumping on her horse and taking off, with Killian on her heels, yelling for her to slow down.  After riding fast through the small bit of forest, the trees opened up to a lush and green field with a beanstalk climbing high into the clouds.

“You scared me a bit there Emma”, said Killian as he rode up next to her.  “Follow me.”  He nudged his horse and they rode up to the beanstalk, where they dismounted and Emma looked up, remembering like it was just yesterday…

 

“It’s me.  I’m going and I’m not going to fail.”

 

“I was hoping it’d be you.”

 

“Don’t think I’m taking my eyes off you for one second.”

“I would despair if you did.”

 

She touched the beanstalk.  So much had happened since she been here the first time.  She’d lost people, she’d gained people.  She found the home she’d always craved, she had a family, and she found True Love with the last man she’d ever thought it would happen with.

“So, why did you bring me to the beanstalk on our ‘holiday’?” asked Emma.   Killian took her left hand in his right.

“You know, I thought I had to find the perfect place for it.  On the banks of a lake with a castle in the background or on the Jolly at midnight under the stars, but I didn’t want to copy your parents and I can’t take you out on the Jolly, so I was out of options.  So I went to the one person who I knew would help.”

“Killian what are you talking about?  Who helped you with what?”

“Just bear with me Swan, let me get this out”, he said, “I talked to Henry and after looking through the Book, he found the perfect spot: here, at the beanstalk.”  Emma pulled her hand from his and looked up,

“Perfect for what?” she asked exasperatedly looking back at Killian.

“For this.”  He got down on his right knee, placing his hook under her left hand.  “Emma Swan, you brought me out of the darkness and into the light.  You helped me get rid of the revenge and hate in my heart so that I could love again.  I lived a life of loneliness and now, because of you, I won’t ever have to again.  You are my light and my life and I swear on you that I will never leave you, will never hurt you, and will never not love you.  There’s not a day that has gone by since the day I met you that I haven’t thought about you.”

“Oh. My. God.”

“What I want to know is…Will you marry me Swan?”

Emma had silent tears streaming down her cheeks as he slipped the ring onto her left hand.  She stared at it and it was so simple, yet so beautiful: the band was made of gold, with a round cut ruby set in the middle, flanked by two onyx baguettes on each side.  She had a quick memory flash to their time in Anton’s treasure room, when she thought she’d seen Hook pocket some jewels, including this ring.  But right now?  She didn’t care where he’d gotten the ring

“Yes.”

Chapter Text

­Masquerade

Emma couldn’t stop staring at her ring.  She couldn’t believe she was so lucky to find her true love.  She walked by a mirror in the castle corridor and saw she was grinning like an idiot. 

What is wrong with me?!  I’ve always been the way opposite of this!  Tough and all that.  Stupid pirate turned me into a giggling girl she said to herself.

Yeah, but you love him, another voice said.  You’re allowed to act like a giggly schoolgirl once in a while Emma.

Yeah, but don’t count on it being a regular thing.

Just wait until you have a baby.

Shut up.  It is way too soon to think about that!  Great!  Now I feel like I’m crazy.

Emma shook off the ‘conversation’ and continued on.  She and Killian had returned to the castle a couple of days before and her parents (along with baby Neal) were waiting to greet her and give their congratulations.  Snow started talking about the ball that Saturday.

“I know you’re not big on royal balls sweetie”, Snow said as she passed Neal over to Emma.

“Well, when you have a partner who knows what he’s doing, it isn’t too bad”, Emma replied as she winked in Killian’s direction.

“Aye, lass, very true.”  They heard a snort from David’s direction, but Snow ignored him.

“As I was saying…there’s going to be a ball on Saturday in celebration of your birthday.”

“You really don’t--” Emma protested as Neal grabbed a tiny fistful of her hair.

“We want to”, said David.

“I’m only going to be 31.  Not that important of an age you know.”  Emma pulled her hair from Neal’s hand, “This kid is going to make me bald.  Here Killian, he adores you.”  She handed Neal to a surprised Killian.

“I don’t think I should”, he said.  Emma rolled her eyes,

“You’ve held him before.  Just relax.”  Neal immediately reached up and grabbed Killian’s chest hair.  “And that, buddy, is why you button up.”  He smirked at her and attempted to get the little prince’s grip to loosen.

“Can I finally finish?” asked Snow as she crossed her arms.  Emma just looked at her, “Since we’re so close to Halloween, I thought it’d be nice to do a masquerade.”

“So you’re basically throwing me a costume party for my birthday?” Emma asked.

“Basically, but it’s more…fancy”, replied David.  “Snow was actually a big fan of Halloween back in the Land Without Magic.  She had this planned out ages ago, as soon as we returned I’m sure.”

“I kinda really liked Halloween too you know”, said Emma.  So now, she had to think of a costume, but no sooner did she think that that the idea popped into her head.  “I’ve got it!”

“What have you got love?” Killian asked.

“The perfect costumes for us…Pirate.

 

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The day of the birthday ball arrived and it pretty much went the way coronation day had: hair and make-up…all the stuff Emma was never truly fond of.  When it was time to dress, Emilie brought in Emma’s gown that she’d described to the royal tailors as best she could: a close enough mint green gown replica of one of Princess Buttercup’s dresses from The Princess Bride.  Emma went with some matching flats and the other tiara her mother had given her, the one she’d worn to Rumple and Belle’s reception.  Emilie had done Emma’s hair like Buttercup’s as well, thanks to Emma being able to describe it to her as best she could.  Her mask was a golden filigree design with jewels; simple, yet beautiful and for the first time, she couldn’t wait for the ball.

Killian was the lucky one; all he had to do was wear his own black shirt and leather pants…and a black mask, since he was the other half of the costumed couple.  He’d be dressing as Dread Pirate Roberts, or as he said he preferred to be called, Dread Pirate Jones.  He wasn’t happy that Emma had told him he’d have to wait to see her costume until the ball.  She told him that she wanted it to be a surprise.

She stood in front of the mirror in her room as Emilie tied the mask onto her face.

“You look beautiful Princess”, she said, “Commander Jones won’t know what hit him.”

“Thanks Emilie”, Emma said as she turned around.  “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me you know.  I’m sorry if I was difficult in the beginning.  I’m not used to this kind of thing, as I’m sure you know.”

“It’s no problem Princess.”  There was a knock on the door and Snow came in with Henry and David.  Emilie curtseyed and left the room.

“Kid, what are you wearing?” Emma asked when she got a good look at him.  He was wearing black knee high boots, black riding breeches, black shirt, black leather vest, and what appeared to be a smaller version of Killian’s leather jacket.  “Are you--”

“Yes mom, I’m dressed as Killian”, said Henry with an eye roll and an arching of the eyebrow.

“You’ve been spending way too much time with him”, said David with a laugh.  He was wearing a red outfit with silver accents that reminded Emma of the outfit he was wearing when he woke Snow White from her first sleeping curse, just like in the pictures of Henry’s storybook with his gold mask pushed up on his head.

“Well, he’s going to be my stepdad soon, so…”  Henry gave a smirk very reminiscent of Killian and Emma just shook her head.

“Anyways…” said Snow.  “Your father and I have a birthday present for you Emma.”  She was wearing a knee length green dress, matching green slippers with white poofs on the fronts, her hair pulled up in a bun on the top her head, and her mask was a match to Emma’s, just green.

“Wait a second”, said Emma, putting her hands up.  “Are you dressed as Tink?”

“Yes”, replied Snow with a look that said So?

“Okay then.  You said something about a present?”  David produced a flat, square box from behind his back and opened it.  Inside was a long string of pearls.

“They’re beautiful!  Thanks Mom, thanks Dad.”  Emma took them from the box and put them on.

“It’s time to go”, said Snow, “You don’t want to be late to your own party, do you?”

The four of them made their way down to the ballroom and entered unannounced.  They would be removing their masks when David made the engagement announcement.

“Hey, I’m going to find Mom and Robin”, said Henry.

“I’m sure she’s going to love your costume”, said Emma to his retreating back.  The band started playing just then and David offered Emma his hand.

“Would the birthday girl care for a dance?” he asked with a bow.

“Yes Your Majesty”, Emma replied with a curtsey.  David led her out to the dance floor and they danced until someone tapped David on the shoulder.

“May I cut in?” asked Killian.

“Have fun you two”, David said and handed Emma over to Killian.

“Have you seen Henry?” asked Emma.

“Yes, I saw the young prince.  I’ve got to say, the lad has cheek.  He does make a dashing captain though.”

“I knew you’d love it.”  Killian laughed,

“You look stunning Swan”, he said.

“You’re a better looking Westley than Cary Elwes ever was”, she replied.

“Who and who?”

“Don’t worry about it.  Let’s just have fun, it’s my birthday.”

“I have to say, I like this side of you darling: carefree and happy and such.”

“It’s thanks to all of you: my mom and dad, Henry, baby Neal, you…even Regina and Robin and Roland, this whole big and weird family.  I did what I was brought to Storybrooke to do: bring back the happy endings”, said Emma.

“I’d do anything for you love and so would the rest of this ‘big and weird’ family as you say”, said Killian as they sashayed across the dance floor.  “How about we sneak away?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”  Killian pulled her through the crowd and they were almost away, when someone called out.

“Emma!”  They turned to see Elsa heading towards them in an ice blue gown and white mask.

“Elsa, how are you?” asked Emma as she hugged the Queen.

“Your Majesty, it’s a delight to see you again”, said Killian.  “How is your sister, Princess Anna?”

“She’s doing very well Commander.  She and Kristoff got married right after you all returned to the Enchanted Forest and I’m happy to report that they’ll be having a baby!”

“That’s awesome!  Are they here?” asked Emma.

“No”, replied Elsa, “They’re in Arendelle.  Anna hasn’t wanted to travel by ship since our parents.”

“I don’t blame her.”  Emma, Killian, and Elsa sat and talked until David found them.

“Come on you two, it’s time!” 

They excused themselves from Elsa and followed David up to the dais that had been set up at one end where Snow stood waiting.  Everyone removed their masks as David held up his hands for quiet.

“I’d like to thank everyone for being here to celebrate our daughter’s birthday.  We lost her so long ago, but as you know, our family has a saying: we will always find each other.  And we did.  Now she’s here, with us.”  David looked over at Emma and held out his hand to her and she went to stand next to him.

“That’s why her father and I couldn’t be happier to make a big announcement”, said Snow and she held her hand out to Killian, who took it and stood next to her.  “We’d like to announce the engagement of our daughter, Princess Emma, to Commander Killian Jones of the White Royal Navy!”  Killian took Emma’s hand and everyone started cheering.  Emma saw Henry standing with Regina in the front of the crowd and waved.

“Kiss!” he yelled and Emma’s cheeks flushed pink.  Unfortunately, his cry got the whole crowd worked up and they all started chanting,

“Kiss!  Kiss!  Kiss!”  Killian turned to Emma,

“What do you say Swan?”  She just smiled and he pulled her close, dipped her back, and planted a (chaste) kiss on her lips as everyone cheered.

 

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Emma was walking through the ball room actually enjoying a royal ball for once.  Really enjoying it, not just because it was celebrating her, but because it was celebrating Killian as well.  She looked over to where he was laughing and talking with Victor and Robin, both masquerading as themselves, and she was happy that the tension that had been on his shoulders since Arendelle was gone.

“Hey Princess!  Come join us!” someone called, breaking Emma out of her daydream.  Emma looked over to see Ruby seated at a table with Ella, Aurora, Belle, and Elsa.  Emma took a seat next to Ruby.  “So Emma, when’s the wedding?”

“We just got engaged like, five days ago Ruby”, replied Emma, “I have no idea.”

“I wouldn’t put it past Snow to have the date chosen already.”  Emma rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help agreeing with Ruby.

“I agree.  If I know Snow, she’s had it planned since you and Killian started going out back in Storybrooke”, said Ella.

“I’m happy for you Emma”, said Elsa, “Especially after everything that’s happened.  I’m sorry about all the trouble I caused in Storybrooke and with what happened back in Arendelle.”  Emma took hold of Elsa’s gloved hand.

“Storybrooke wasn’t your fault, Elsa.  You were scared and in a world you didn’t understand.  As for what happened in Arendelle, that was all me.  I used magic that I shouldn’t have and as we all know…”

“Magic comes with a price”, finished Belle.

“Today is a happy day”, said Aurora, “It does not do well to dwell on the past.”

“I agree”, said Belle.  “So, tell us!  Have you thought about a Maid of Honor?”

“Honestly, that’s something I have been thinking about, which I find very weird because it’s not something that I used care about.”, replied Emma.  “My best friend when I got to Storybrooke was my mother, but she won’t be able to be Maid of Honor so…”  She looked over at Ruby and smiled, “Ruby…?”

“Yes!  I’d be honored!” cried Ruby as she pulled Emma up into a hug, drawing the attention of Victor, Killian, and Robin who sauntered over.

“What’s got you all excited Red?” asked Victor.

“I’m going to be Emma’s Maid of Honor!”

“My Swan could not have made a better choice”, said Killian.

“How about you sir” asked Robin, “Given any thought to your choice for Best Man?”  Killian­ scratched behind his ear,

“I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it”, he said.  “Enough wedding talk, I’d like to steal my fiancée for a dance.”  He offered a hand to Emma and led her out to the dance floor, where the song that had been playing at Midas’ ball started up.  He and Emma shared a laugh as they danced.

 

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Near the end of the evening, a big cake was brought out:  several tiers high, it was white with blue ribbon around the bottom of each tier and had swans painted on the sides with icing.  On the top was a candle in the shape of a blue star.  Emma stood next to it as everyone in the ballroom sang happy birthday to her.  Killian took her hand as she was about to blow out the candle,

“Make a wish darling”, he said.  She turned to look at him with a big smile on her face,

“Why?  I’ve got all I need right here”, she said and blew out the candles.

Chapter Text

"Absolutely not! HELL no!" cried Emma as she saw a dress sample on a mannequin in her sitting room.

"Emma, please…" pleaded Snow.

"No. This dress looks like a cupcake threw up on another cupcake! Look…" Emma pinched the bridge of her nose and held a hand out to stop her mother's protests, "I acquiesced, as Killian would say, to a big wedding. I'm not complaining that you're inviting just about everyone in the realm. I don't mind. You just have to let me choose the dress because I'm not wearing a frilly debutante gown that looks like it was given all the steroids ever made. Please."

"Of course Emma, I just got excited is all," said Snow. "It's just, it's your wedding; The biggest since ours since Regina and Robin chose to have a small one."

"And you have no idea how glad I am that we did," said Regina as she sauntered in to join Emma and Snow.

"Regina! I'm so glad you could join us this weekend," cried Snow as she pulled her step-mother into a hug. Regina just rolled her eyes. "Where are Robin and Roland?"

"With David, Henry, and the Hand-less Wonder."

"He hates it when you call him that," said Emma.

"Yeah, well…" Regina just shrugged her shoulders.

"How is marriage to the 'Prince of Thieves'?" asked Emma as she added air quotes to Robin's LWM moniker.

"You make fun of your parents Miss Swan, but a marriage between True Loves is one of the greatest things one can experience. You and the pirate-"

"Commander. Or Killian", Emma corrected.

"Whatever. The two of you are already halfway there."

"What?"

"She's right Emma," Snow added, "Your father and I have caught you and Killian kissing or stealing looks at each other so many times all over this castle. David and I were the same when we first got engaged."

Emma couldn't help the pink tinge she knew was creeping into her cheeks. "Can we just get back to the dress situation?" she asked.

"We're expecting Ruby any minute, so let's just wait until she arrives," said Snow.

"In that case, I'll be right back," said Emma, "With Ruby here, I'm going to be trying on a lot of stuff, so I'm just going to get ready." Emma took her leave of the two other women and went into her bedroom and ran straight for the closet. She was digging around the back, looking for a robe, when a flash of red caught her eye: hanging at the very back of her closet, stuffed between a purple gown and green gown, was a red dress that reminded her of the gown she'd worn to Midas' ball. Without bothering to change, Emma rushed back out to the sitting room as Ruby entered.

"Princess", Ruby said with a small bow and went to give Emma a hug.

"Hey." Ruby took a seat next to Snow, "I've chosen the dress."

"What?!" cried Snow. "When?"

"Just now! I saw a gown in my closet that reminded me of the red one I wore in the past. That's what I want to wear."

"You want to wear that red ball gown for a wedding dress?" asked Regina.

"Not red, no. I want it to be that design, just off-white or cream or something."

"Stand up on this stool Miss Swan", said Regina. She conjured a low step stool and Emma got up on it. Regina made the same hand movement as Rumple when he conjured Emma and Killian's looks back in the past and a cream version of the same dress appeared on Emma.

"That's beautiful!" said Ruby as she clapped her hands in enthusiasm. Snow stood up and walked around Emma, stroking her chin in thought.

"Okay mom, what are you thinking?" asked Emma, hands on her hips.

"Regina, would you kindly do away with these sleeves and replace them with lace illusion sleeves?" she asked.

"Hmm. I think I've got just the thing." Regina waved her hand and Emma's arms were engulfed in purple smoke. When it disappeared, the sleeves of Emma's dress were now lace: a beautiful floral pattern that went all the way down to her wrists and glittered with small crystals.

"That's perfect Regina! Thank you!" said Emma.

"Have you chosen colors yet?" asked Ruby as Emma looked herself over in the mirror.

"I have. Just don't know if they'll be approved." Emma gave her mother a pointed look.

"Emma honey, it's your wedding."

"I talked it over with Killian the other day and we'd like red and black."

"Black?" groaned Snow.

"It's his favorite color!" said Emma. "This is about him too, not just me. I think he should have a say."

"I suppose we can make it work."

Emma rolled her eyes and noticed Regina watching her in the mirror. "What?"

Regina smiled and waved her hand again. This time, the purple smoke enveloped Emma's waist, leaving two ribbons in its wake: one black, the other red.

"Now it's perfect. Are we satisfied with the dress?" Regina asked the room and there was vigorous nodding all around. "Good." With a final wave, the 'cupcake' dress disappeared from the mannequin and the new dress appeared in its place, leaving Emma in a peach colored dress with long and billowy sleeves that looked like it came from a Renaissance Faire. Emma relaxed onto the small couch next to Snow,

"It's your turn now, Ruby." Emma motioned for Ruby to stand on the stool. "Let's see." Emma waved her hand like Regina before her and a deep red straight dress that flared at the bottom to make it a slight mermaid style appeared on her. It had cap sleeves and a cowl neckline and the lace accents were black like the buttons running down the back.

"Someone's gotten better at their magic", said Regina, "Congratulations Miss Swan."

"It's gorgeous Emma!" exclaimed Ruby. After more gushing over the dresses – more than Emma cared for because clothes weren't really her thing, despite what the others said about her design for Ruby's Maid of Honor dress – and talking of flowers and other wedding things, they were reminded that it was dinner time when there was a knock on the sitting room door. Emma and Regina quickly sent the dresses to Emma's closet before Killian, Robin, David, and Henry came in.

"Your Majesty, Your Highnesses, Lady Red…we've come to whisk you away to supper," said Killian as he gave a deep bow. He offered his arm to Snow White – who, as Queen, had seniority – and strode out the door, followed by David and Emma; and Robin and Regina; with Henry and Ruby bringing up the rear.

"We made great progress in the planning today," Snow said to Killian as they made their way downstairs to the family dining room.

"How so, Your Majesty?"

"Emma's and Ruby's dresses have been acquired to start."

"That quickly?" he asked with surprise, "If I know my Swan, she'd have drawn out the process. She can be stubbo-" Killian was cut off by a throat clearing and turned to see Emma arching an eyebrow at him.

"Yes, well…the color scheme has been chosen as well. I can't say that I was happy about... black," said Snow and the group heard a hissed "Mo-om!" from Emma. "But…the bride made a point."

"And what is that, Your Majesty?" asked Killian as they arrived in the dining room and took their places.

"This wedding isn't about me, it's about the two of you." Killian looked over at Emma and intertwined their fingers together, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing her knuckles while giving her the most loving look he could, which she was only too happy to reciprocate.

"Come on! I'm starving!" cried Henry from across the table. Everyone laughed as the staff brought in the meal.

After the soup course, Henry brought up a good point.

"Are you two going to write your own vows?"

"I don't know kid," replied Emma. "What do you think Killian?"

"I'm all for it love."

The next course was brought out then and everyone's attention was diverted so Emma leaned over so only Killian could hear her whisper, "Yours are going to be amazing, I just know it. I'm not the best writer."

Killian took her hand and kissed it again. "It's not a big deal Swan." It calmed her when he called her Swan.

"There's plenty of time. I know you'll write something so perfect that I'll even pretend to shed a tear, how's that?" Emma rolled her eyes at him and smiled.

The evening continued with discussions ranging from the upcoming wedding, to how trade was going with the other kingdoms. Dessert was brought and as they were eating, Robin stood and called for attention.

"I've got an announcement," he said with a smile as he took Regina's hand. "Well, we have an announcement." Regina stood up next to him and he put a hand on her stomach.

"We're having a baby!" she cried. Henry immediately jumped from his chair and pulled her into a hug.

"I'm going to be a big brother again?! Awesome!"

"Congratulations Regina!" said Ruby. "No wonder you've been in such a good mood lately."

"Oh Regina, I'm so happy for you!" cried Snow as she went to give Regina a hug after Henry. Killian stood to pull Robin into a – manly – hug and clapped him on the back.

"Congratulations mate. Another little one to add to the Merry Men."

"Unless it's a girl!" said Henry.

"I'm so happy for you two!" said Emma. After a round of congratulations, things turned to the obvious questions.

"How long?" asked Snow.

"About two and a half months", replied Regina. "I won't lie, after living in a realm with OBGYNs and ultrasound machines and hospitals for 30 years, I wish I was doing this there."

"You're going to be fine. I gave birth to Emma without all that and look! She's made it just great", said Snow.

"And that was with the Dark Curse racing towards the castle and me having to fight off black knights one handed too", added David with a hearty laugh. Emma was glad that the relationship between everyone had changed enough that things like the Dark Curse were able to be joked about.

"One handed sword fighting isn't all that difficult mate!" Killian called down the table.

"Have you thought of names?" Snow asked Robin as everyone laughed at Killian's joke.

"Well, I think another Robin wouldn't be too bad. What do you think milady?" he asked Regina.

"Robin Jr. I think it could work."

"How about if I get a little sister?" asked Henry. Robin and Regina smiled at each other.

"The name for a girl is something we've actually discussed at length and we both agreed to a name", said Regina and she looked over at Robin. "You tell them."

"Danielle Marian Locksley would be the little princess's name."

"That's perfect!" said Snow.

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Five months later…

Emma was in the castle gardens, practicing her sword skills with one of her father's best knights, when Emilie ran up, out of breath.

"Princess! I'm sorry to interrupt", she said as she tried to catch her breath. Emma handed her cutlass to one of the knights.

"Thanks for the practice Christopher. That's all for now so take this to get cleaned and polished", she said as she dismissed the knight.

"Of course Princess." He bowed and left Emma alone with Emilie. In the nine months since they'd returned, Emma had gotten more comfortable in her role as Crown Princess of the Enchanted Forest and behaving the way a princess should.

"You good now Emilie?" she asked the maid, who nodded. "Okay, now tell me what's going on that's got you all crazy." Emilie gave her a big smile.

"He's back, Your Highness. The light house on the far eastern bank of Castle Lake says his ship passed not an hour ago."

"That means he should be at the docks by now!" Emma ran to the stone railing that overlooked Castle Lake behind White Castle and sure enough, the Falcon was preparing to drop anchor.

"Hurry Princess! You can make it down there to greet the Commander!" said Emilie.

"I need to change, hold on." Emma concentrated and waved her hand, her entire body being engulfed by white smoke. When it cleared, she was wearing another medieval looking gown in red. She pulled her hair from the braid it was in and brushed it out with a hairbrush she conjured. When she was done, she turned to Emilie, "How do I look?"

"I do not believe the Commander would care if you were in rags, Princess. He's not seen you for these three months, so anything would make his heart sing."

"Thanks Emilie." Emma looked back over the railing and saw that the gangplank was being lowered, "I have to go. Let Henry know I'll see him at dinner!" Emma disappeared in another white cloud and reappeared on the pier the Falcon was docked at. The sailors were used to her method of transport, so they weren't at all surprised when she appeared there; they each gave her a bow and small greeting as they passed. She acknowledged them each of them, all the while looking for her pair of cerulean eyes.

Three months before, her parent's had received word that pirates had been making trouble to their kingdom's outer trade routes. The trade routes were used between the Enchanted Forest and the Maritime kingdom where Ariel and Eric now ruled, which was a month away by ship. Killian immediately volunteered to take a small fleet to take care of the problem.

"I'm sorry I've got to delay our wedding, Love." he said as he held her in his arms the day he was to depart. "I'm the best equipped to take care of this. I've got the knowledge of how pirates work."

"It's not a big deal, I understand", she said. Killian knew something was bothering her. He lifted her chin to look in her eyes.

"What is it?"

"Just…promise to come back to me."

"Always Swan. I will return, I promise you." They kissed like Neverland, pouring their passion and love into it, not knowing when they'd see each other again. They pulled apart when breathing became a necessity. Emma pressed a compact mirror into his hand.

"Take this with you. I should be able to contact you every once in a while using any mirror here."

"I'll guard it with my life." He pressed his forehead to hers, "I love you, Princess."

"I love you too, Commander." He kissed her lightly and turned to board his ship, the Falcon, so named by Henry after the whole 'Princess Leia' thing. She and Killian managed to communicate via the mirror several times before it was lost in a battle. He'd managed to send a pigeon letting her know…but that was over a month before.

She stood on the pier, scanning the sailors leaving the Falcon, when she finally spotted him stepping off the gangplank.

"Killian!" she yelled and his eyes snapped to her direction as she ran into his arms and he lifted her up and spun her around.

"I've missed you, Love." He put his hand on her cheek and Emma leaned into his touch, lifting her lips to meet his. She wrapped her arms around his waist to pull him closer and he groaned in pain. "Ah!" Emma dropped her arms and backed away.

"Killian! What's wrong?" Killian shrugged out of his blue Navy jacket, exposing his lose white shirt. Emma looked down and saw a bright red stain on his left side. She lifted his shirt and saw hastily done stitches over a long cut and bruising running up and down his chest.

"It was what was left of Blackbeard's crew. They attacked the trade routes knowing that I'd come running. In that last battle, they ambushed us. The Queen Anne's new captain and First Mate set upon me and…" He gestured to his injuries.

"Emma? Killian?" They both looked up to see David making his way down the dock to them. Emma moved out of the way so he could see Killian's injuries.

"Dad, we need Victor." she said.

"I'll send Grumpy for him. Right now, Killian, you need to lie down." said David. Killian tried to wave him off with a smirk.

"I'm fine Your Majesty. No need to worry about me." Emma smacked him on the arm and David gave him a look.

"I hate to pull the 'I'm the King and you have to do what I say' card on you, but…As King, I order you to rest until Dr. Frankenstein arrives." said David. Emma's hand flung to her mouth to stifle a laugh as Killian's eyebrow crept up toward his hairline. Frankenstein had been one of the movies the Commander and Princess had watched while in Storybrooke.

"I'll take him. Tell Victor we'll be in my room." Emma said after a few minutes.

"Emma, Love, forgive me for saying this…but you're not strong enough to carry me all the way there."

Emma sighed, a smile on her face. "Have you been gone so long that you've forgotten that I am a product of True Love and all that comes with?" With a wave of her hand, her father disappeared – she'd sent him back to the castle, hopefully somewhere near Grumpy.

"Right."

"Hold on to me."

That flirty grin that she loved so much appeared on his face. "It's about bloody time."

Emma rolled her eyes at him and whisked them to her bedroom, where they surprised Emilie. The both of them managed to get Killian into Emma's bed and she could see the look on his face.

"Don't even." Emma removed his hook and brace and set them aside as Emilie removed his boots. Emma was removing shirt when there was a knock and Dr. Frankenstein – she preferred to refer to him as Whale or Victor most of the time because she still found the fact that he was Frankenstein very weird – came in followed by Doc.

"What have you gone and gotten yourself into now Jones?" asked Victor as he saw Killian's injuries. He put on some gloves and examined the wound and the bruising, "Looks like the few ribs that got broken when you got hit by the car are messed up again, but by all accounts, they're just bruised this time or you'd have a harder time breathing. It doesn't look like you've got internal bleeding because if you did, you'd probably be dead by now." Ruby, who had just walked in, smacked him upside the head.

"Victor!"

"Ow! Sorry." Killian just laughed and winced when Victor touched the stitches, "These could've been done better, but I'm sure your ship's doctor did the best with what he had. Emilie, can you get me some towels please?" Emilie nodded and disappeared into Emma's bathroom, returning with fluffy white towels. Victor helped Killian roll to his side while Doc placed the towels under his left side. Doc wet some pieces of muslin with alcohol and wiped the area with the stitches clean. Killian winced again and Emma took his hand.

"You had your hand cut off, been hit by a car, been knocked out several times, and you make a face because the alcohol stings?" she asked.

"You've discovered my secret, love. I, Commander Killian Jones of the Enchanted Forest Royal Navy and former pirate, am a 'big baby' as you say", he said as he did air quotes – something he'd learned from Emma and Henry, who did it a lot more than they realized.

"Jones, we're going to have to remove the stitches you've got and put in new ones," explained Victor, "And it's going to hurt."

Doc took some small scissors and began cutting the stitches. When he finished, he started pulling them out, causing Killian to grab for Emma's hand and squeeze.

"You should go, Love. I don't want you to see me like this", said Killian with a groan.

"Just relax, Killian. I'm not going anywhere." When Doc finished, Victor took a needle and threaded it with black thread.

"This should just fall out as the cut heals", Victor said as he started sewing up the cut.

"How long before I'm up and around?" Killian asked, wincing.

"I'd love to ask you to abstain from any Naval duties and any activities that would…um…cause movement for your ribcage for at least two months, but I know you and well…" Emma felt her cheeks start to heat up.

"Bloody right you are!" exclaimed Killian as Victor finished the stitches. "I've got a wedding to get to next month. You've got to be seriously daft if you think I'm going to delay it again."

"It's not going to be delayed. But you have to rest so that you can get better, alright?" said Emma. Killian just rolled her eyes at her. Victor finished the stitches and affixed a bandage over the cut. Killian sat up and put on a fresh shirt that Emilie had brought for him.

"Ok, all done. Make sure it's kept clean and have it changed a couple of times a day", said Victor. "You can call for me or Doc to change it." He put away his supplies and left with Ruby and Doc. Almost immediately, Snow and David rushed in with Henry not far behind.

"Killian!" he cried, "What happened to you?"

"Pirates got me my lad. Perhaps I'm not as fearsome as I once was."

"I find that hard to believe Commander", said David. "I know what the sailors say about you. You're plenty fearsome and inspire loyalty among them all."

"I'm glad I haven't lost my touch Your Majesty."

"How are you doing?" asked Snow.

"Much better now that the good Dr. Frankenstein and Doc have fixed me up. I'm not letting this wedding get delayed again."

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Later that night, Emma went to see Killian after dinner. He'd been moved to his room and was asleep when she walked in. As she made her way closer to the bed, she noticed he was sweating and had scrunched up his face, as if he was having a nightmare.

"No…" he said quietly. "Milah, no…" Emma started when she heard the name. Was he dreaming of her death? Did he wish he could go back and save her? In that moment, Emma wanted more than anything to be able to read his mind and know what he was dreaming.

He was on his knees on the deck of the Jolly, Milah's hand in his chest and hand around his heart. She squeezed it slightly and he cried out.

"Have you forgotten me so easily Killian?" she asked icily. "You swore to avenge my death! But now look at you! You've become royalty's lapdog and forgotten your promise!" She tore his heart from his body.

"No, Milah", he said as he shook his head, "No. I've not forgotten you. You'll always have a place in my heart, but it's past the time I should move on."

"Move on? With her? With Emma Swan? Look at your heart Killian!" Milah crouched down in front of him and held his heart in front of him to see. "Your heart is black. How could she ever love you? Her parents don't approve and they never will. You think you're a hero? You're nothing but a pirate and you always will be. You're not good enough for her!"

"You're wrong Milah! I love her and she loves me! We are True Loves!" Milah laughed and stood up, still holding his heart.

"True Loves? Love. Is. Weakness!" She tightened her grip on his heart and he screamed in pain as his heart turned to dust in her hands and he fell to the deck.

"NO!" he yelled as he woke up panting. He winced and held his injured ribs. Looking around the room, he saw Emma sitting at the foot of the bed, the look on her face unreadable. "Emma? What are you doing here?"

"I was on my way back from dinner so I thought I would stop and see how you were. I came in and saw you were dreaming. You said 'Milah'." Killian saw a flash of hurt in her face.

"Did I?"

"Yes," she said quietly, "You called out for her." She twisted her engagement ring around her finger.

"We were on the Jolly and she had her hand in my chest, squeezing my heart. It wasn't a dream, love, it was a nightmare."

"What else happened?"

"She accused me of forgetting about her and that I'd forgotten my promise to kill Rumplestiltskin to avenge her death. When I told her that it was time for me to move on, she showed me my heart. She said it was black and asked how you could ever love me. She said that your parents didn't approve of me and that I wasn't hero, just a pirate and that…that-" He put his head down and stared at his hands.

"That what Killian?" Emma asked. She took his chin in her hand and lifted up his head to look at her. "Tell me."

"That I wasn't good enough for you." Emma sighed, moving her hand from his chin to his cheek and he leaned into her touch and closed his eyes.

"Do you think I care?" she asked. "You did bad stuff before, I know that. I did too."

"But Emma…"

"Don't 'But Emma' me, Hook. You've proven that you're more than that pirate I tied to a tree three years ago more times than I can count, so don't for one second say you're not good enough. What's good enough for me is that you love me and I love you. So please, stop worrying?" He nodded and leaned forward.

"I swear I'll spend our lives together trying to show you just how much I love you."

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One month later…

With one week left until the wedding, family had descended upon White Castle. Rumple, Belle, Regina, Robin, and Roland had all arrived early to celebrate with Snow, David, Emma, Killian, baby Neal (who, at almost one year old, had no real idea what was going on), and Henry; it was kind of like a non-formal wedding shower.

Killian's injuries had healed up quicker than anticipated after Regina taught Emma a healing spell, but David gave him shore leave for the next month because of the wedding and honeymoon. The afternoon of the get-together, he was wandering the castle halls and wandered into the library to find Emma sitting in a window bench seat, reading and humming a song to herself. Killian hid in the shadows of the doorway and watched her with a smile on his face. She was wearing light brown lace front corset top with a white chemise under it, a thick belt around her waist, and a brown skirt that reached her ankles. Her long blonde hair was loose around her shoulders and he could see her swinging her bare feet back and forth off the edge of the bench. Emma looked ever the relaxed princess.

"I know you're there", she said without looking up from her book. He cleared his throat and went over, sitting down across from her. She pulled up her feet and put them in his lap.

"I thought I was being stealthy", he said as he stuck out his lower lip to emphasize his pout.

"Please," she scoffed, "If you breathed any louder…"

"It's a beautiful day, love," he said, changing the subject and gesturing out of the window, "Shall we take a walk outside?"

"Of course Commander." Emma got up and gave him a curtsey, "Shall we?"

"You've no shoes darling."

"Oh, right." She waved her hand and conjured some brown boots. "There." He offered his arm and she placed her hand in the crook of his elbow.

They walked in silence for a while. When they descended the stairs to the lower halls, they were met with a flurry of activity. Several people were carrying chairs and vases and other decorations to the great hall where they would be married at the end of the week; it was the same one where Snow and David had gotten married.

"Would you like to go see it?" he asked her.

"No, I want it to be a surprise." They were stopped a few times to receive congratulations from some of the staff. When they finally made it out to the gardens, Emma waved her hand and her boots disappeared, leaving her feet bare once again. Taking in Killian's quizzical look at her, she laughed. "I like the way the grass feels on my feet." They walked in the cooling afternoon among the trees, just enjoying the calm before the crazy storm. They stopped and Killian was brushing a lock of Emma's hair behind her ear, when they heard shouting and cheers. Curiosity getting to them, they searched for the source of the noise and discovered David, Robin, Roland, and Henry practicing archery while Regina – who looked ready to burst – , Snow, and Neal sat on a blanket under some trees watching. Belle and Rumple had decided to spend the morning in the village to attend to some errands, Rumple had said.

Neal turned and saw them approaching and squealed with delight as he pulled himself up on his feet. Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to watch as Neal took a tentative first step forward. Emma let go of Killian and crouched down, holding her arms out to her little brother.

"Come on Neal! You can do it little brother. Come on!" He put his arms out as he reached her and tumbled forward, Emma catching him and tossing him in the air. Snow clapped and cheered.

"What I wouldn't give for a camera right now", said David as he came over and took his son into his arms. Killian saw Emma bite her lip as she looked away from father and son. David passed Neal back to Snow as he gave Emma a sad smile. Robin, sensing the tension, came over to Emma and offered her his bow.

"Would you like to get some practice in, Princess?" Robin asked. She nodded and took the bow. Killian went to lean against a tree off to the side of where they'd set up the targets to watch her. He knew that Neal taking his first steps and her parent's reactions had hurt, despite if she acted like it hadn't, because he could see it in her eyes.

Robin handed her a quiver and she slung it over her shoulders. She nocked an arrow on the bow and took her stance at target furthest away from the group, Robin only correcting where she positioned her elbow. Emma liked archery and was good at it, but enjoyed the sword a lot more. Robin backed away just as she let the arrow go. It slammed into the target right on the outer most circle and Killian saw the anger in her face. He walked over to her and stood behind her, giving Robin a look, who took the hint and scooted away to help Henry.

"You need to relax, Swan", he whispered into her ear as he placed his hands, he wore the fake one in public all the time now, on her hips.

"Oh yeah?" she answered a little breathy. "And how am I supposed to do that with you...?"

"Just relax and concentrate." He laughed and kissed her lightly on the shoulder and he felt a slight shudder pass through her at such an intimate gesture in front of everyone. "Or we could disappear and indulge in more enjoyable activities." Emma turned and smacked him on the shoulder, ignoring her parent's looks in their direction.

"Never stop do you?"

"Nope", he replied as he emphasized the 'p'.

"Okay, back up. Let me try this again."

"As you wish." Emma rolled her eyes and let out a small scoff. She nocked an arrow and took her stance.

"Don't forget that elbow princess!" Robin called over. Emma corrected and let out a small breathe, concentrating on the bull's eye. Trying to add a little incentive, she pictured the faces of Cora, Pan, and Hans as she let the first arrow fly and it hit dead center. Everyone cheered and she gave a small sarcastic bow. She handed the bow and quiver back to Robin and turned to Henry.

"Let's see what you've got kid." Henry smiled and picked up the bow Robin and Regina had gifted him for his birthday. Emma grabbed Killian's hand and sat down under a tree near her son. Killian lay on the ground and rested his head in Emma's lap. She ran her fingers through his hair as they watched Henry let arrow after arrow fly, each one hitting either dead center or very close; the Outlaw and his grandmother had taught him very well. Henry gave a regal bow and sat down next to Regina.

"So, who's next?" asked Robin as he looked over everyone.

"You daddy!" called Roland.

"Yeah, show us all what you can do, Prince of Thieves!" called Killian and Robin scowled at him. Ever since Emma had told him Robin's LWM moniker, he'd taken to using it whenever he could. Robin pulled three arrows from his quiver and nocked them all. He pulled back on the string and just as he was letting them go, Regina cried out. He dropped the bow and ran to her.

"The baby, it's coming!"

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David, Henry, Killian, Emma, Belle, and Rumple all sat in the library waiting news of the birth. Victor and Doc had been in Regina and Robin's room for a few hours and they could all hear Regina going through the contractions. Regina had surprised them all when she asked Snow to be in there with her too. Emma could see that Henry was nervous as he sat down next to her on the window seat.

"My mom's gonna be okay, right?"

"Of course kid." she said and rubbed his back to relax him. "She's got Whale, Doc, and your grandmother looking after her. The one we should be worried about is Robin." Emma gave a small chuckle.

"Why is that, Love?" Killian asked from over where he was engaged in a chess stand-off with Belle as Rumple and David watched.

"The pain she's going through right now? It makes you say crazy things." replied Emma. As if to prove Emma's point, they all heard Regina screaming from down the hall.

"YOU'RE NEVER TOUCHING ME AGAIN HOOD! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! IF I WASN'T IN THE MIDDLE OF GIVING BIRTH RIGHT NOW, I'D CURSE YOU!"

David and Emma laughed as Killian's eyes widened comically.

"In Storybrooke, she would've had medicine to make it painless. She's probably squeezing his hand for dear life. Be glad you're already missing a hand", David said to Killian.

They were all still laughing when Snow ran in; her cheeks were red and she had a sheen of sweat covering her face.

"It's over."

"And? Do I have a brother or sister?" asked Henry.

"Go and see for yourself", said Snow and Henry ran out to the bedroom down the hall. She turned to the rest of the group, "Regina had a little girl. Danielle Marian Locksley, but they're already calling her Dani. She and Regina are doing just fine."

"That's just wonderful!" said Belle.

"And how fares the new father?" asked Killian.

"Happy as can be with the new little princess. Victor managed to set the pinkie, so he'll be fine."

"Come again?" sputtered Killian.

"Right at the end Regina might have accidentally let a little magic loose and squeezed his hand too hard." Emma couldn't help but roll around laughing in her window seat at the look on Killian's face.

 

Chapter Text

The morning of the wedding came too bright and early for Emma. She was curled up under her blankets, dreaming of her and Killian lying on a beach in Tahiti, celebrating their honeymoon. They were getting to the good part when she was jolted awake. Emma opened her eyes to see Ruby sitting on the end of her bed.

"It's time to wake up Princess!" she cried, "You're getting married today!"

"You interrupted a very good dream Ruby!" Emma threw a pillow at her, but Ruby dodged.

"Wolf."

Emilie came in just then, followed by Snow. "Princess, your bath has been drawn and I took the liberty of adding that lavender oil that the Commander gave you for your birthday. Now up we go, today is a big day."

"Yes, it's time to get the day started Emma. We've got a lot to do." said Snow.

Emma slid out of her bed. "I'm up, I'm up." She slid her feet into slippers and put on her robe as she shuffled into the bathroom with Emilie behind her while Ruby and Snow waited in the sitting room. Emilie held the robe open as Emma stepped into the bath and sat down.

"How is it Princess?" Emilie asked from behind a partition.

"Perfect." Emma sunk under the water, letting her curls drift about aimlessly around her. "What do you think he's doing right now?"

"He's probably enjoying a relaxing morning with Sir Robin, Prince Henry, and His Majesty." said Emilie as she handed Emma a sponge to wash with from behind the partition.

"Yeah, he's probably just enjoying breakfast with them or something."

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the castle…

Killian sat at a desk in the castle library staring at scribbled-on piece of parchment. He'd been up with the sun, as was his custom since his first foray into the navy. After a quick breakfast, he'd retreated to the library and sat down to finish his vows. Writing one's own vows was not something common in their realm, but when Henry had mentioned it all those months ago, he thought it that it couldn't be too difficult.

The parchment in front of him showed something different. He'd written and re-written them several times, not being able to choose the right things to say to his Swan. He leaned back in his chair and wondered if Emma had had better luck at writing than he. What he didn't know was that she'd long since written her vows, during the time he was gone. He rested his head in his hands and hunched over the desk to think.

He was pulled from his thoughts when there was a knock at the library door. Killian turned to see who'd come to bother him and was greeted by David, Robin, and Henry.

"How can I help you gents?" he asked them as he rose from the desk to greet them.

"We have a surprise for you." said Henry.

"Oh? And what is that lad?" Killian asked him with a raised eyebrow. Henry turned and called to the open doorway,

"Come in guys!" Killian looked up as his First Mate, Smee; and Anton, shrunk down to normal size by either Regina or Rumplestiltskin; walked in.

"Captain!" said Smee as he took Killian's hand and shook it. "It has been too long."

Upon their return to the Enchanted Forest, Smee had chosen to go off on his own, despite being offered a position under Killian in the Royal Navy. He claimed there was something very important that he needed to take care of and Killian failed to see the look that Emma gave Smee when he left his former captain.

"That it has, Mr. Smee, that it has. But it's Commander now, actually. Anyways, how are you?"

"Very good sir. I found what I was looking for and I think you might like it. I couldn't have done it without Anton's help." Smee gestured over to the giant.

"And it's very good to see you again Anton. Emma and I had intended to stop in and say hello when we were at the beanstalk in October."

"It's good to see you too man and don't worry about it because I wasn't even there. Smee and I were uh…doing stuff." Killian crossed his arms over his chest.

"I don't need Emma to know you're hiding something. What is it?" Anton looked away and Smee was looking everywhere but Killian. "Mr. Smee? Care to fill me in?" David stepped in.

"Are you like Emma where you don't get what 'surprise' means Killian?"

"Can you forgive a man for being curious mate?"

"Finish that", said David as he pointed to the parchment, "And after lunch, we'll show you."

"Fine." Anton, Smee, and David left the library, leaving Robin alone with Killian.

"Having trouble Jones?" Robin asked as he started walking amongst the shelves of books.

"It seems my eloquence has failed me Hood."

"Tell me then", said Robin as he took a seat in a cushioned chair near Killian. "Why you love her and all that."

"Okay." After talking for a good hour, the words for his vows came to Killian so quickly, he didn't think he could write them down fast enough. By the time he finished, he and Robin went to meet the other men at the docks. What Killian saw when they arrived was nothing less than miraculous.

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Emma had fallen asleep in the midst of her beauty regimen for the day and didn't wake up until Snow poked her in the shoulder.

"Emma, honey?"

"Wha-?"

"It's time to wake up." Emma had no idea how they'd managed to get her hair pinned and curled so perfectly with her out like a light. Her nails were polished and done up in a French manicure style as she'd requested (which she'd also had to explain to great length to the woman doing her nails as a 'French manicure' did not exist in this realm).

"Thanks for letting me sleep."

"Of course sweetie", said Snow. "Now, there's a few things we need to take care of. The first is this-" Snow handed Emma a small box, "-Killian's wedding day gift to you."

"I didn't know you guys had these traditions in the Enchanted Forest", said Emma as she took the box.

"We don't actually. I was just as surprised when he gave it to me last night and I asked him. All he said was he simply wanted to give you a gift. Open it." Emma lifted the square top off, pulling the tissue paper away and found a black scarf nestled inside. She pulled it out and turned it over in her hands.

"I can't believe he still has this."

"What is it?"

"When we climbed the beanstalk and made it to the top, my hand was cut", said Emma. She held her left hand out to her mother to show the very small scar on the palm. "He noticed and insisted on cleaning it for me, saying that giants could smell blood. I asked Anton about that later and like I thought, it was complete crap. Anyways, Killian poured his rum over my hand to clean the cut and then wrapped this scar around my hand. Look, you can still see a bit of the stain on it." Snow took the scarf and just like Emma said, she saw a small blood stain on the scarf.

"Look, there's a note in the box", said Snow. She pulled out a small piece of parchment and handed it to Emma. "What does it say?"

"My Darling Swan: I give you this as a reminder of the day we met and of one of the moments that put me on the path to your heart. I remember what you told me your father said: 'Life is made up of moments. Good ones, bad ones, but they're all worth living.' This scarf represents one of those good moments. All My Love, Killian." Emma felt her eyes glass over as tears formed.

"Do you want to wear it today?" Snow asked.

"No, but maybe we could tie it around my bouquet, what do you think?"

"It's perfect, that can serve as your something old", said Snow. "Now all we need is something blue, borrowed, and new."

"I thought Enchanted Forest didn't have that tradition", said Emma as she wrapped the scarf around her wrist.

"It doesn't. But I lived in a world that did have that tradition for 30 years, and I kind of liked it. So we're going with it", said Snow. "You actually have your something new, which is the dress. That now leaves us with something blue and borrowed." Snow tapped her index finger to her chin in thought, "I know! I'll just be right back." Snow left the room in a hurry and Ruby came in after her, with yet another box in her hands.

"Where's she off to?" Ruby asked.

"She's after something borrowed and blue apparently."

"Well, I've got something for you too", said Ruby. She handed over the box and Emma opened it and inside was a garter that was red with black trim and a black bow; on the bow was a small skull and crossbones. Emma felt the heat rise in her cheeks.

"Seriously Ruby?"

"Just because we're not back in Storybrooke doesn't mean we can't keep some of the traditions alive."

"Geez, no wonder you and my mother are best friends."

"You're welcome." Ruby and Emma just stared at each other for another minute. "So, are you going to put it on or…?" Emma rolled her eyes. She sat back on a chair and slipped the garter up her leg. When it was up to wear she wanted it, she stood up and let her robe fall back down. Ruby looked like she was about to say something, but Emma held up a hand.

"And before you even think about it, you better not be thinking about suggesting he take it off the way I know you're thinking of suggesting."

"Wasn't going to", said Ruby. Emma arched an eyebrow at her as if to say Really? as Snow came back in.

"Got it!" She held her hand out to Emma. "This is a blue diamond in the shape of a heart. You're father gave it to me before you were born."

"It's beautiful. Thanks mom."

"Of course sweetie! I'll just thread it to Killian's scarf we're putting around the bouquet." There was a knock at the door and Emilie came in with a few other maids, who went into Emma's sitting room and pushed the mannequin with the dress on it forward.

"It's time to get dressed Princess."

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The men were gathered in Killian's sitting room, getting ready. Killian stood outside on the balcony staring at the docks. His beloved ship had been returned to him: the Jolly Roger was moored just down from the Falcon, bobbing up and down in the water.

It turns out that Smee had been sent off on a mission to find out what had happened to the Jolly. On his travels, he'd come across Anton, who was normal (human) sized thanks to an enchanted bracelet he'd gotten. After a few shared drinks, they discovered their common friend and decided to team up. They sought out Blackbeard's remaining crew, other pirate crews, and traveled to several port towns before they found out where she ended up. Before leaving on his quest, Smee tried asking Killian who he'd traded it to, but the former pirate refused to tell him anything. As it turns out, Killian had traded the Jolly to a man in search of things made of Enchanted Wood. He refused to sell the Jolly back to Smee and Anton when they found him, so after much brainstorming, Anton took the bracelet off and intimidated him a bit. After holding the man high up in the air and almost dropping him, Smee and Anton had the papers to the Jolly Roger in their hands and headed back to the castle on the ship, hoping that they'd arrive in time for the wedding.

"Still can't believe she's back, huh?" Killian was pulled from his daydreaming once again. Henry leaned against the balcony railing next to him.

"I missed her, but I gave her up for a reason: to find you and your mother. I never expected to see my ship again."

"But are you happy to see it again?"

"Aye, I am. Now your grandparent's navy will have the fastest and best ship in their fleet." They were joined by David,

"And I'll make sure to ask the Commander of the White Royal Navy, when he returns from his honeymoon of course, to make the Jolly Roger the flagship of said fleet", said David. "After she's outfitted to be a warship."

"She was already a warship mate", said Killian. "I stole her from another navy remember?"

"Yeah…300 years ago", said Henry.

"She needs to be updated", agreed David. "We'll take care of it while you and Emma are away."

"Actually, I'd very much like to take the Jolly out instead of the Falcon. She's still got the enchantments to sail on her own and that way Emma and I can um…uh-" Henry groaned and David just held up his hand,

"We get it Killian."

"Oi! It's almost time pirate and you're not even done getting ready!" called Robin's voice from inside. Killian followed David and Henry back in and gave Robin a mock glare.

"I didn't hurry you along on your wedding day did I, Prince of Thieves?" Killian retreated into his bedroom where his vest and jacket were laying on the bed. Originally, he was going to wear his naval uniform, but decided against it when he caught himself staring at his red pirate vest one day. He'd be wearing his black uniform boots, white shirt, red pirate vest, black dress pants that reminded him of his Prince Charles outfit, and a black (not leather) jacket similar to Charles' brown one, but with silver adornments (like the buttons and clasps). He slipped the vest on and started doing up the buttons.

Killian Jones was normally not a nervous man, but today he was. Normally he had no issue doing up his button as he had 300 years' experience doing it mostly on his own, but today he could not. Frustrated, he called for the one man he knew would help without making a deal out of it.

"Mr. Smee!" A few seconds later, Mr. Smee appeared in the doorway.

"Yes Commander?"

"Come in, shut the door." Smee nodded and did as he was told. Smee removed his hat and stood near Killian. "Before anything, I need to ask you about the Jolly and make sure you tell me the truth Smee."

"Of course sir."

"Did someone set you the mission of finding the Jolly?"

"Uh…well-" Smee was wringing his red knit cap in his hands.

"Smee…"

"The Princess", he finally said. "She asked me to see if I could find it since I'm good at procuring hard to find things."

"Emma asked you?" Smee nodded. "She's too good for me William." Smee started at hearing Killian's use of his given name. "I'm just a pirate and a thief. I've killed people. I've only one hand! What makes me worthy of her?" Killian sat on his bed and put his head in his hand.

"Do you love her sir?" Killian lifted his head to look at Smee.

"Pardon?"

"I asked if you loved her."

"'Course I do. She is the light of my life, my sun and stars. She changed me and made me better."

"Then what does it matter who you were? She knows and she doesn't care. What matters is who you are now." Killian looked at Smee in awe.

"When did you get so wise William?"

"No idea sir." Smee blushed slightly as he'd never been complimented in such a way. "You mentioned you wanted to talk about something else?" Killian stood.

"Ah, yes. Firstly, the Jolly is to become the flagship of the White Royal Navy, which means that I will leave my post on the Falcon. As my First Mate, I'd like to pass command of her to you: Captain William Smee." Killian shook Smee's hand as the man just stared at him wordlessly. "Smee?"

"Th-th-thank you sir. I won't let you down."

"See to it that you don't." Killian clapped him on the back, "Well, next order of business: I'd like to ask you to stand up there with me today."

"I'd be honored sir." Smee and Killian shook hands once more and Smee turned to leave the room.

"Uh, Smee?" Killian called to his retreating back. Smee turned to look at him, "Could you give me a hand?" he asked pointing to the buttons.

"Of course sir."

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"Emilie! Where's my necklace?" Emma called to her maid.

"Your pearls Princess?" Emilie replied as she carried Emma's jewelry box out to the sitting room where Emma was standing being fussed over. One maid was working on pinning her tiara (the one she wore at the coronation ceremony) in her hair while another waited nearby to pin the veil in. Snow and Red had gone to their own rooms to dress.

"No! My silver one. The one with the ship's wheel and swan?"

"Of course!" Emilie put the pearls back in a pouch and pulled the silver necklace from the box and put it down. She stood behind Emma and put the necklace on her.

"Thanks Emilie." The other maids returned to their work and a little while later, there was a knock and Ruby came in. "Well, well…don't you just look like Little Red Riding Hood?"

"Very funny."

"Can I see it?" Ruby emptied a small pouch over Emma's hand and shiny gold wedding band fell onto her palm. Emma turned it over in her hand and found the small inscription she'd asked to be put on Killian's ring: Good.

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On the other side of the castle, Henry was doing the same thing. He'd just given Killian the Emma's wedding band. However, the inscription on hers said There's not a day will go by I won't think of you. They'd both agreed that this was the first time they'd said 'I love you' even though they hadn't said those exact words. Killian gave the ring back to Henry.

"Make sure Smee doesn't forget it lad."

"Sure." Killian looked over to wear Smee was trying to button a red waistcoat around his hefty middle and laughed quietly to himself.

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Emma handed the ring back to Ruby, who returned it to the pouch. Emma turned to face the body length mirror as the maids started pinning in the veil. There was a knock and David came in. He was matching the colors of the wedding, wearing a red outfit [think of the one he wore to Ella's wedding, but in red] and already donning his crown. He stopped dead in his tracks when Emma turned to face him.

"You look beautiful", he said.

"Thanks dad", Emma replied as a small blush crept up her cheeks.

"Are you ready?"

"Just need my shoes. Emilie!" she called. "Can I have my shoes please?" Emilie retreated to the bedroom then returned with a pair of bright red pumps that Emma had asked the royal cobbler to create especially for the wedding, all thanks to a drawing by Henry. David took her hand as she stepped into them.

"That poor man won't know what hit him", said David with a laugh.

"That's the plan." Ruby handed Emma her bouquet.

"You ready Emma?" she asked with a wolfish grin.

"Let's do this!"

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Killian stood with Smee at the foot of the steps to the dais as he waited for Emma. The hall was packed and since the dais stood in the middle, he could see everyone around him. Henry stood in front with Regina, Robin, Roland, and Snow on one side. Behind them were the Merry Men, Marco (with Jiminy sitting on his shoulder) and a young Pinocchio, Anton, Victor, and many of his former crew. Across the aisle were Rumplestiltskin, Belle, Blue and Tink, the Dwarves, and Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff, whose baby girl Christina was with Neal in the nursery.

Friar Tuck, who'd be marrying Killian and Emma, gave a nod and Killian knew it was time to begin. Ruby walked down the aisle first, smiling the big wolfish grin she always did. She winked at Victor as she walked by him and took her place on the steps of the dais. The trumpeters played a fanfare and Killian looked to the back of the aisle where the doors of the hall opened to reveal David holding the arm of the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. As David and Emma started walking (slowly), the court musicians started up the music, playing a soft melody [think a medieval-esque version of 'Canon in D']. Killian could do nothing but stare at how beautiful Emma looked and about how lucky he was. He noticed the scarf he'd given her was tied around her flowers. He saw her smiling as she and David made their way down the aisle, her bright red lips standing out from all the white, making him happy that her veil wasn't over her face. That's when he noticed the dress she wore was almost the same as the red gown she'd worn in the past.

The music ended when David and Emma reached the steps. Friar Tuck raised his hands for silence.

"Who gives this woman to be wed?" he asked David.

"Her mother and I do", he said. David leaned over and kissed Emma on the cheek. He took her left hand and placed it in Killian's right, giving him a small wink and then taking his place next to Snow.

"Hey beautiful", Killian whispered to Emma as they went up the two steps to stand in front of Friar Tuck. "Did you like my gift?"

"Of course I did. I can't believe you still had it", she whispered back. Killian was about to reply when Friar Tuck cleared his throat to begin.

"Today Emma and Killian are taking a brave step forward in their relationship. Today they will make the ultimate commitment to each other, a commitment which is the ultimate expression of love. They have decided to commit themselves to one another's hearts and to share in all of life's incredible moments, which as our wise king has been known to have said, there will be good ones and bad ones, but they're all worth living." Emma turned to look back at David and smiled. How right he was; everything that had happened to her, whether it was bad or it was good, made her who she was in that moment. Looking back at Killian, she was sure he was thinking the same thing. Friar Tuck continued,

"Emma and Killian, as you travel through life together, I caution you to remember that the true measure of success, the true avenue to joy and peace, is to be found within the love you hold in your hearts. I would ask that you hold the key to your heart very tightly. There is no greater magic in all the realms than that of True Love. It is that True Love that brings you here today, and it is that same True Love that will make this a splendid union, and it will cause this union to endure and go down in history and storybooks." The crowd laughed lightly at Friar Tuck's choice of words.

"I know I can speak for everyone here today-and those who couldn't be here as well-when I say that we wish the both of you all the joy and happiness the realms have to offer", he said. "And now, while this isn't a tradition here, I understand you've both written your own vows. Princess, would you proceed please?" Emma nodded and handed Ruby her bouquet so she could receive the ring. She let out a small breath before continuing to make sure she wouldn't cry. Man up Swan! They don't have waterproof make-up in this realm!

"Killian...it seems that all I've ever done and experienced in my life was to make my way to you and after the way we met, I'd have never thought I'd be standing here. You broke down the walls I had around my heart and you brought a lost girl home. You never gave up on me, no matter how much I pushed you away", said Emma. She looked into his eyes and saw that they were shining bright. "Saying goodbye to you on the town line was one of the hardest things I'd ever had to do, because I wasn't just losing you to a curse…I was going to forget you and your promise that there wouldn't be a day that went by you didn't think of me; I wanted so much to make the same promise. In Neverland you said that you would win my heart, without trickery…and you did. So on this day, in this moment, I remember something from a book I read during the missing year: 'I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.'" She slid his wedding band over the ring finger of his right hand and kissed it.

Killian turned to Smee and received Emma's ring from him. He took a few breaths to steady himself before he spoke.

"Swan, I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, and all you're yet to be. In all the realms, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the realms, there is no love for you like mine. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had…and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life", Killian said and noticed the silent tears falling down Emma's cheeks. He reached up and wiped them away like he had done once before. "When we met, I was a villain. I was evil. I was black-hearted. I was Captain Hook, scourge of the seven seas and the worst pirate of all. When Liam died, I fell into a darkness that I never thought I'd escape. Then I met you and you brought light into that darkness and I was Killian Jones again." Killian was thrown off for a second when he heard a small sob and turned to see Snow crying into David's shoulder (who had teary eyes himself). "You brought me back to life." He slid the wedding band over her ring finger of her left hand, mouthing a silent I love you as he did.

"Emma and Killian, you have promised your love for each other by these vows and the giving of these rings. By the power vested in me by the rulers of the Enchanted Forest, I now declare you husband and wife." The two of them looked at Friar Tuck expectantly, and Killian gave him an eyebrow. "Oh go on, kiss your bride!" Emma stepped forward and pulled Killian to her by the lapels of his jacket.

"I love you", she said and kissed him passionately (yet chastely, they were in public after all).

"Presenting Commander Killian Jones and Her Royal Highness, Princess Emma Jones!" cried Friar Tuck. The hall erupted in cheers as the two of them went back down the aisle, followed by Ruby and Smee, then David, Snow, and Henry.

When they were outside and in the hallway, Killian grabbed Emma by the waist and picked her up, spinning her around.

"Congratulations Mr. Jones", she said.

"Congratulations Mrs. Jones", he replied. "Now let's go have a party."

Chapter Text

Back in Storybrooke…

 

Emma walked down the docks, looking for the boat where Smee lived. When she found the right one, she called out from the pier.

“Smee? Hey Smee! It’s Emma, Emma Swan!” She heard movement on board, and a gruff voice replied.

“I’ll be right there!” Emma looked around to make sure Killian hadn’t followed her or anything. With a few days left until the town’s return to the Enchanted Forest, it was difficult getting a moment to herself. Just then, a small door opened on the boat and Smee, wearing that red hat, climbed out and jumped onto the pier and gave her a small bow.

“Hey Smee. You don’t have to do that you know.”

“If the Captain heard I was being less than proper with you Princess, well…that hook is sharp you know.” Emma laughed at his nervousness.

“Relax. If he has a problem, you tell him to take it up with me”, she said. “And please, call me Emma.”

“Of course. Now, what can I do for you…Emma?”

“As you know, we’re going back in a few days. When we get there, I know that you’re going to be offered a position in my parent’s Royal Navy, under Killian, and it’d be a real good job.”

“Really? I may have been a pirate for these last 300 years, but I’d be honored to serve under Captain Hoo-Jones.”

“You’re going to turn it down.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You’re turning it down because I’ve got a special mission for you. You specialize in procuring hard to find objects, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“I need you to find the Jolly Roger.” A big smile broke out on Smee’s face.

“He told you what happened to her?”

“Not the whole story. All I know is that he traded the Jolly for a magic bean so that he could get to New York to bring Henry and I back to Storybrooke.”

“The Captain was always one for the grandest gestures. Do you know where I should start?”

“Port towns way out of the boundaries of the Enchanted Forest. Whatever wouldn’t have been taken by the second curse”, said Emma. “I need you to get on this as soon as we get back. And you can’t tell anyone, understand Smee?”

“Of course Princess.” Emma gave him a Look, “Sorry…Emma.”

“Okay then. I’ll be seeing you around.” She walked off to where she’d parked the Bug, but not before turning back to Smee, “Thank you William.”

 

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The cool evening air whipped the hair across Emma’s face and the skirt of her wedding dress flapped around her ankles as she leaned against the portside of the Jolly Roger. The lake was pretty calm, only a slight wind, and the Jolly was sailing smoothly away from the castle. She and Killian had just left for their honeymoon after the reception. She was thinking about the day’s events when she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her waist.

“I still can’t believe he found her”, said Killian as he pulled Emma closer to his chest and placed his chin on her shoulder. “Or that you asked him to.”

“I did it because I love you, Killian. You helped bring me home and I just wanted you to have your home again.” Killian turned Emma around to face him and held her face in his hands (he wore the fake one on the left),

You are my home. You and Henry are my home now. Do not for one second think I needed the Jolly Roger to feel at home or that I regret my choice in trading her away.”

“I know, I know. It’s just…You know what? Let’s not get into the whole ‘home’ discussion. We just got married and I want to spend the next three weeks traveling the realm with you”, said Emma as she leaned her forehead against his.

“Okay my love.” Emma kissed him lightly, smiling into the kiss.

“Now, have I told you about a wedding tradition in the Land without Magic that has to do with how a groom removes his bride’s garter?” Emma asked with a coy smile.

“You haven’t love”, he replies as his cheeks flush.

“Well, let me…uh…change and we’ll just take care of that, won’t we? But first, I may need some help with unlacing this thing, would you mind?”

“Of course not love”, Killian replied with a gulp. He was quick, despite having the one hand, and she finally felt like she could breathe again. Emma turned back to face him (making sure to hold the dress up and pulled him to her and kissed the scar on his cheek,

“Give me 10 minutes”, she whispered in his hear and sauntered away. She disappeared down the steps to the captain’s cabin like she had almost a year ago. Emma looked through the wardrobe to where Emilie had hung her things earlier that day and found a white silk robe. Happy with her choice, she reached behind her and pulled the dress down, stepping out of it. Looking at herself in the mirror, she saw herself clad only in her red and black corset and underwear, with red heels and that garter and she smiled because she knew what it was going to do him when he saw her. She pulled the robe around herself and tied it so that she could magic the dress onto the mannequin in her bedroom back at the castle. She concentrated, seeing her room and where she was sending the dress, and with a flick of her wrist, the dress disappeared in a cloud of white smoke.

Thank the gods we’re still close enough to the castle for me to do that and thank you Regina! Without help from the former Evil Queen, Emma would’ve never been able to do that kind of thing with her magic. With another flick of her wrist, she started a fire in the small fireplace, giving the cabin an orange glow. When she heard steps above her, signaling Killian was on his way to the cabin, she went and lay on the bed, choosing to lay on her side and propping herself up with her left arm, where she placed her head.

“May I join you Mrs. Jones?” Killian called down.

“Please do”, she replied. His boots appeared on the ladder; he had long since discarded his jacket and vest, wearing only the pants and white shirt. The look on his face when he saw her reminded her of that scene in The Little Mermaid where Sebastian’s jaw just drops and Scuttle has to lift it back up. Adorable idiot she thinks. “Something wrong, Mr. Jones?”

“Um…uh…*psh*, no.” She couldn’t help but laugh at how he couldn’t find coherent words and she would never tire of having that effect on him. “So, darling, what’s this tradition and garter you mentioned?” She pulled one side of the robe up and exposed her right leg where the garter sat snugly on her thigh and she could tell the effect it was having on him when she looked back at him.

“In the other realm, grooms would take it off with their…teeth”, she said and he shut his eyes for a second and then looked back at her, stifling a small groan. “We may not be in Storybrooke anymore, but I do love traditions.” He was on one knee in front of her before she completely finished talking and started kissing up her leg from the knee, never taking his eyes off her, like when he tied the scarf to her injured hand. When he reached the garter, she saw him take the fabric in his teeth and, still looking her in the eye, he pulled it down her entire leg to where she rested her high heeled foot on his shoulder.

“This is a wonderful tradition darling.” He tossed it across the cabin and it landed with a dull thud on some shelf. He tried to kiss up her leg again, but she pushed him back because her foot was still on his shoulder. “No fair Swan.”

“It’s Jones now buddy.” She dropped her foot and stood, pulling up him by the collar of his shirt. She turned them and pushed him back so that he fell on the bed. Emma turned around and looked at him over shoulder, giving him a wink as she dropped the robe. She chuckled at the gasp he made when he saw her.

“I’m so bloody happy the ship can steer herself because I do not intend to leave this cabin for a very. Long. Time.” Emma turned and walked over to him and stood between his legs.

“Neither do I, Commander.” With that, Killian pulled Emma to him and they fell back on the bed.

(Not before she cloaked the ship with a flick of her wrist.)

 

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She knew she was dreaming when she realized she was sitting on a beach in Hawaii, but she didn’t care. She heard laughter and turned to see Killian chasing after a little boy and Henry chasing after him.

“This could’ve happened”, she said out loud to herself as she thought of the baby she’d lost. She hated herself in that moment; if she hadn’t used dark magic on that psychopath, Hans, she would be holding a baby right now.

“It still can.” Emma whipped her head to the side and saw a little girl was sitting next to her. Something about her was familiar; her dark blonde hair fell in curls to her shoulders and she had blue-green eyes and looked to be of single digit age. “It wasn’t your fault you know, I just wasn’t meant to be. You had to save him and the others.”

“You’re…you’re…”

“Yes.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“I said it wasn’t your fault, so you have nothing to be sorry about.” Emma and the little girl sat in silence as they both watched the boys. After a while, the girl spoke again. “He is who you need to get ready for”, she said as she pointed to the little boy running on the beach with Killian and Henry. “I think he should be named after my uncle…and grandpa.”

“Am I…?” asked Emma without saying the actual words.

“You will be.”

“This seems so real”, said Emma, “But this is all in my head right? This is a dream.”

“I have to go now, and you have to wake up”, said the girl. She stood and brushed sand from her skirts. “But like a great wizard once said: Of course this is all happening in your head…but why on Earth should that mean it’s not real?” The little girl laughed and waved as she ran off down the beach.

 

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Emma’s eyes shot open and it took her a second before she remembered where she was: the captain’s cabin of the Jolly Roger, almost three weeks into her honeymoon with Killian (they were already on course to head back to the Enchanted Forest). She couldn’t remember the dream she’d had, but she had a feeling that it was important. She sat up to say good morning to her husband, but he was gone. The Jolly Roger suddenly started swaying from side to side and that didn’t bode well for Emma’s stomach.

Trying to ignore that queasy feeling, Emma padded over to the wardrobe and found some undergarments. Despite all the dresses she’d been made to bring with her, Emma pushed them to the side in favor of her riding breeches, shoulder baring white shirt, and her favorite knee high boots. She was rummaging around for one of her vests when she spotted Killian’s red one--the one she absolutely loved him in--and slipped it on, doing up the dark silver buttons. She ran a brush through her hair to get the tangles out and then pulled it to the side and braided it kind of like Elsa’s.

She took the side door to get out on deck and was immediately greeted by somewhat choppy seas. She stepped out farther on deck and looked back to see Killian at work at the helm trying to steer; he hadn’t noticed her yet. The ship jolted again and suddenly, last night’s dinner was ready to make an appearance. Her hand flew to her mouth as she ran to the starboard side of the Jolly.

“Emma?” she heard Killian call after her. She braced herself against the railing and everything came up. “Emma!” She barely heard him stomping down the steps over the sound of the water and her retching. She only knew he was there when she felt his hand running up and down her spine to calm her. Emma wiped her hand across her mouth,

“I’m fine, just seasickness. She’s really moving”, said Emma as she gestured around.

“Aye. I’m trying to get us into port”, he said. Killian saw green creeping into Emma’s face as her hand flew up and she leaned over to throw up again. “Darling, you should go lay down.”

“I’m fine.” Killian raised his hands in surrender,

“In that case, would you like to come stand at the wheel with me as I bring us into port?” She took the hand he offered and he led them back to the wheel. He pulled her to stand in front of him with his arms on either side of her as he steered, resting his chin on her shoulder. “You see that dark shape over there?”

“Yeah. What kingdom is it?” she asked.

“It’s called Éire”, said Killian and he was quiet until they got close enough to see the port town standing out in the bright morning. “It’s…where I was born.”

 

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Emma held tightly onto Killian’s hand as they walked through the streets of Éire. It reminded her of those small villages in Europe she’d seen on the Discovery Channel.

“So, where are we headed?” Emma asked.

“First, my darling, we need to secure room and board for the evening. I may be a hell of a captain, but there’s a storm coming and I do not think it prudent for us to be sailing without a crew in that kind of weather”, replied Killian.

“After that, can you--uh--show me where you grew up here?”

“I will…think about it.”

“Ok.” Emma went quiet again as they walked. “How long has it been?” she asked after a while.

“Over three hundred years. I have not returned here since after Liam died”, he replied.

“You still seem to know your way around.” He laughed lightly,

“I’ve got a pretty good memory love.” They stopped in front of a tavern called The Lieutenant Duckling and Killian held the door open for her. “After you, Mrs. Jones.” It was still early enough in the day so that the bar tavern wasn’t full, with only a few patrons sitting around eating breakfast.

“Can you get us some breakfast too? I am starving.”

“Of course darling.” He led them up to a counter, where an old man stood polishing tankards. “Good morning sir, I need a room for my wife and me.”

“And breakfast!” said Emma.

“Yes and breakfast.” The barman huffed and pulled a book from under the counter after shouting to the kitchen in the back for some food. Emma left Killian to make the arrangements as she took a seat at a table. She was absentmindedly playing with the rings on her left hand when Killian sat down in front of her, followed by a barmaid who placed two plates of bread and cheese in front of them.

“Anything else I can get ya?” she asked Killian seductively, as she ran a finger down his arm.

“Uh, no…thank you”, he replied, slightly uncomfortable. He turned to Emma, “How about you, love?”

“No. Thank you”, she replied through gritted teeth with a Look at the woman. Killian laughed as she walked away.

“You know, jealousy becomes you darling.”

“Well, she best keep her hands to herself if she wants to keep them at all.” Emma looked at the barmaid again over Killian’s shoulder as he laughed to himself. After they finished eating, they returned to the Jolly Roger to get their things and drop them at their room. Emma realized she had forgotten to put on her necklace that morning and started looking through her things for it.

“So, would you like to meet my mother?” Killian asked.

“What?” she asked as she turned from her small trunk.

“My mother’s grave is still here, in a cemetery nearby actually”, he said with a look of sadness in his eyes. “Would you like to go lay some flowers with me?”

“I’d be honored, Killian”, she said as she found her necklace and put it on.

“Let’s go then.” He took Emma’s hand and left the tavern. A few hours had passed so the people of Éire had started waking up. On their way to the cemetery, they passed through the market. Emma saw a cart with flowers so she stopped to buy some to lay on Killian’s mother’s grave.

“Did she have a favorite kind?” she asked him as she looked over all the bunches. He dropped her hand and scratched behind his right ear and Emma noticed a small flush to his cheeks. “What?”

“My mother…she favored…buttercups.” He gave her a small smile.

“Are you serious?”

“Aye, love.” Emma laughed to herself as she turned back to the cart and found the best bouquet. She handed some gold coins to the merchant and took Killian’s hand and they continued on their journey. After a little while, they came upon what looked like a small church and next to it was the cemetery.

“Do you remember where she is?” Emma asked Killian.

“Near the back, under that tree over I believe”, he said as he pointed. The stones near the entrance of the cemetery looked newer than the ones they passed as they walked deeper. When they made it to the back, they found a moss covered stone. Killian moved forward to brush it off, revealing ISABELLE JONES- BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER.

“Isabelle is a beautiful name”, said Emma as she lay the flowers on the stone.

“And she was a beautiful woman”, he replied. He looked away from Emma and crouched in front of his mother’s grave, “It’s been a very long time since I’ve come to see you mother, and I’m…sorry for that.” He reached behind him and took Emma’s hand, pulling her forward and she put her hands on his shoulders as he continued speaking. “Mother, this is…my Emma. My True Love. My…everything.”

No matter how many times she heard him say things like that to her (or about her), Emma was floored…each and every time. She remained quiet as Killian continued talking, telling his mother how they met, their adventure in Neverland, the battle against Zelena, and finally their journey to the past.

“We just got married, not three weeks ago”, Killian was saying. “And now we’re on our way home. I promise, mother, that I will visit you again.”

“We both will”, said Emma.

“Aye and maybe next time, we’ll have a little one to visit you as well.” Killian placed a kiss on his fingers then pressed them to the grave. He and Emma left the cemetery in silence. They were walking back through the marketplace when Emma spoke.

“You okay?”

“Of course Swan”, he said quietly. “I just miss her.”

“Will you tell me about her?” asked Emma and he nodded. They took some seats at one of many small tables set up around some food carts (Emma figured it to be the equivalent of a mall food court). After getting some food and drinks (and the giving of an evil eye to yet another flirty lady), Killian started talking about his mother.

“She was beautiful. I remember she had hair like mine, the same color, but it was long just like yours. We also shared the same color eyes. I suppose that’s why it was hard for my father to deal with her death. I was always there, a constant reminder of what he’d lost. She died when I was five years old and Liam was almost 16. A year and a half later, my father abandoned me on a ship that was to take us on a trip around the realms.”

“He left you alone on a ship when you were only seven?” Emma asked with anger.

“Aye”, replied Killian and took a swig of his beer. “I lived on these streets for six months before Liam found me. I’d just been caught stealing from a food cart when he saw; he’d just arrived back on leave from the naval academy and stopped the soldiers from taking me.” Emma dropped her food back to her plate and pushed away, tears glistened in the corners of her eyes.

“I knew that your father had left you, but I had no idea you were that young. How could he do something like that…to his son?!” The tears started to fall in earnest now, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” Killian stood and walked around the table and sat down next to her as she wiped the tears away.

“You don’t need to be”, he said. “I no longer am. It’s like you said in your vows, that everything you’ve done and experienced led you to me and that’s how I see it in my case. Swan, I wouldn’t change my life if it meant I couldn’t be in this moment with you.”

“I love you.”

“I know”, Killian replied with a smirk. Emma kissed him lightly and took a bit from her bread.

“So, you want to bring a kid to see where you grew up and to see your mother?”

“I would love to, yes.” Emma stroked her chin in mock thought, then smiled at Killian as she leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“Then maybe”, she whispered seductively, “We should get started, hmm?” Emma leaned away from him as she saw the tip of his tongue dart out between his lips and a big grin spread across his face.

“Let’s.” They paid for their lunch and practically ran back to the tavern they were staying at.

They made it to the stairwell before they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Emma jumped into Killian’s arms, wrapping her legs around his waist as they backed into their room.

Needless to say, neither one noticed the storm raging outside for the rest of the day.

 

Chapter Text

“Mom!” Henry yelled from the docks. Emma ran down the gangplank of the Jolly Roger into Henry’s arms.

“Kid! I’ve missed you!” David gave her a smile as he passed his daughter and grandson so he could greet his son-in-law. “How are you?”

“Awesome!” he replied. “I’ve been at Mom’s to help out with Roland and Dani. Robin’s been working on archery with me and the other Merry Men have been training me with swords. I’m going to be a Knight one day.”

“A good knight may excel at swords and his skill with a bow”, said Killian as he followed David down onto the docks, “But a great knight knows how to sail as well.” Henry pulled himself from Emma’s arms and jogged over to Killian to give him a hug. Killian arched an eyebrow at Emma over Henry’s shoulder and smiled at him when Henry let go.

“I missed you!” said Henry. “Can you teach me to sail now that you’ve got the Jolly Roger back?”

“Of course lad. As long as your mothers say it is fine.” Henry looked over to Emma,

“I’m good, as long as you listen to everything he says.” Killian and Henry headed towards the castle, with Henry chatting non-stop about his sailing lessons. Emma was smiling, and feeling happier than she ever had when she felt her father walk up next to her. He offered his arm and they followed after Killian and Henry.

“Did you have a good time?” David asked.

“It was wonderful. We spent most of the time on the water, docking only when we needed supplies. We explored small islands and he even taught me to sail”, replied Emma.

“He did, did he?”

“Yup”, she replied as they trudged up the stone steps leading to the castle. “I thought learning to drive stick shift in the Bug was hard, but learning to sail a ship and all those terms is a lot. I got seasick too.”

“I thought you didn’t get seasick”, said David.

“Well, you should’ve seen the choppy seas we were going through.”

“Aye, the waters were pretty rough because there was a storm coming. Luckily, we were close to the Kingdom of Éire and we put in for a couple of days”, said Killian as they walked into the castle.

“Éire?” asked David. “I’ve never been there.”

“It’s where I was born”, said Killian.

“Well, we’ll have to set up some trade with them”, said David. “I can send you to speak on my behalf to the King and Queen.” The party of four went upstairs to the living quarters and were met by Snow and Neal in the family sitting room.

“Emma! I missed you!” she cried as she pulled her daughter into a hug.

“Hey mom.” Snow let go of Emma and pulled Killian into a hug, causing his eyebrows to shoot up to his hairline.

“Killian!”

“Your Majesty.”

“Not that I’m complaining, but what’s with the enthusiasm?” asked Emma.

“I’ve got a surprise for you two!” Snow grabbed hold of Killian’s arm and pulled him from the room, motioning for the rest to follow as Emma took David’s arm again. Snow led them up a few floors and to one of the tower residences that had been completely empty from before.

“Where are we?” asked Emma when they all walked into beautifully decorated bedroom. The furniture was all dark wood and it had a four poster bed white sheets that had small swan and ship patterns sewn onto them. The balcony faced the docks where they could see the Jolly at the docks and all the windows opened to Castle Lake. There were paintings of landscapes and such that hung on the walls and a small fireplace surrounded by a small couch and chaise lounge.

“Surprise!” cried Snow. “This is your new bedroom. Just down the hall to the left and two doors down is a small library with a study for Killian and through that door over there is your sitting room.” Emma went to look at the sitting room which beautiful as well: more dark wood furniture with a few shelves of books against a wall. It had a wrap-around balcony with a couple of chaise lounges. Above the grand fireplace was a portrait of Emma and Killian, the picture of them from Henry’s storybook.

“Mom…” breathed Emma. “This…this is amazing. Thank you so much.”

“Lady Snow, this is perfect”, said Killian.

“Just wait until you see your library”, Snow said with a wink as she hugged Emma.

“In that case”, he said with a bow, “If you all will excuse me.” Killian left the sitting room and headed to the library. He pushed open the door and walked in and was immediately dumbfounded. Like all the other rooms of the castle, this one was also stone. Like David’s library below, there was a big window with a cushioned seat where Killian imagined Emma sitting and reading like he’d seen her do many times before. There were several blue couches positioned about as well. The bookshelves were all the same dark wood of their new bedroom and the walls were lined with paintings of ships and the ocean and over the fireplace was a painting of the Jolly Roger. Below that on the mantle, encased in a glass shadow box, was the compass that he and Emma had been after on their trip up the beanstalk.

“What do you think?” he heard Emma asked as she walked in behind him.

“I love it.”

“Let’s see your study.” They went to the back of the room and Killian stopped in his tracks. “What is it?” asked Emma. She followed her husband’s gaze to the painting on the wall behind the desk: two men stood on the deck of the Jewel of the Realm in blue and white Royal Navy uniforms.

“Where…? How…?” he asked in a whisper.

“You’d be surprised the pictures that have appeared in Henry’s book”, said Snow, neither Emma nor Killian had noticed she’d joined them.

“He and Liam are in the book?” asked Emma.

“Ever since the wedding, their story started appearing…in bits and pieces. We don’t know why, and I’m not going to question it.”

“I do not know how to express the gratitude I feel right now”, said Killian.

“You don’t need to, Killian”, said Snow. “You are a part of this family now, even though you’ve technically been a part of it for longer.” Killian noticed a small cabinet to the side of the ship’s desk that had glass decanters in it.

“Allow me to toast you then, Your Majesty.” He walked over to the cabinet and opened a decanter to sniff its contents and pulled it, along with three highball glasses, out of the cabinet and set them on his desk. He poured a small bit of rum into each glass and handed them to Emma and Snow, as he held up his glass. “To one of the kindest and greatest women I know. I’m happy to call her family.”

“To family”, said Snow.

“To family”, repeated Emma. They clinked their glasses and drank.

 

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Life was good. Emma was happier than she’d ever been: she had her son (who she willingly shared with his other mother and grandfather), her parents, her baby brother, and a man who loved her and looked at her like she was his sun and stars. But a small part of her felt like something was missing. She knew Killian loved Henry like he was his own, but she also knew that he dreamed of having his own child. So they tried, without really trying. She told him that it would happen when it was meant to.

Three months went by and it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen; Emma appeared to get discouraged and she seemed more down after they all went to spend a week at the castle of Lord French (Belle’s father) to celebrate Belle and Rumplestiltskin’s anniversary and simultaneously announce that they were expecting a baby. On top of that, Victor took the opportunity to propose to Ruby and she asked Belle to be her Maid of Honor. The wedding was planned for the following month because Belle was already four months along and she didn’t want to be too big for travel.

Killian could tell that everything was starting to take a toll on his wife when they returned home. She spent a lot of time in the couple’s new library, sitting in the window with a book or taking walks by the lake or spending time in the gardens. He’d try to get her to talk to him, but she would assure him that nothing was wrong and she was perfectly fine.

“You’re not fine, Swan!” he cried exasperatedly one night as they were getting ready for bed and he’d asked how she was. “You’ve not spent any time with Lady Red in preparation for her wedding, you haven’t been training with Christopher, and you haven’t trained with your mother either. And besides, you forget that you’re an open book.”

“Ugh…can we just not right now, Killian?” said Emma. “I’m not feeling well: I’ve got a headache, my back hurts, and I feel like I’m going to throw up…”--she gulped and lifted a hand to her mouth--“Excuse me a minute.” She hopped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. Killian called Emilie, who was picking up in their sitting room.

“Emilie!”

“Yes sir?”

“Bring me Dr. Frankenstein and Doc”, he said. “The princess is not well. Do not alert anyone else, just those two. I’ll inform the King and Queen once we know more.” Emilie curtsied and went off. Kilian returned to Emma who was leaning back against the wall in their bathroom. He ran a cloth under the tap and when it was soaked through with cold water, he placed it on Emma’s forehead. He used another to wipe her face.

“I must look like crap right now”, said Emma.

“You look beautiful, darling”, replied Killian. He helped her stand, “Feeling better?”

“A bit.” She wobbled, so Killian carried her to their bed. He was adjusting the blankets when there was a small knock.

“Dr. Frankenstein and Doc, Your Highnesses”, said Emilie, causing Killian to flinch a little. (Killian was still getting used being referred to in that way. David had pulled him aside close to the wedding and explained that as Emma’s husband, he was now a royal by marriage; a ‘Prince Consort’. He wouldn’t be King when the time came, and he didn’t want to be, but he’d still be her equal.)

“Victor, Doc…thank you for coming”, he said as he shook hands with the two men.

“Of course Jones”, said Victor. “What’s wrong?” Emma spoke up before Killian could answer.

“Killian, could you go ask Granny to make me one of her special hot chocolates?” she asked and Killian arched an eyebrow.

“Can’t I just get Emilie to do it? I’d like to be here with you.” Emma smiled at him.

“What is it that you once said to me? ‘Try something new darling, it’s called trust.’ Trust me now, Killian.”

“As you wish.” He gave her a quick kiss before leaving, “I can never deny you anything.”

“Granny should still be in the kitchens”, said Victor to Killian’s retreating form, “Red said she was going to be there for a while.”

“Thanks mate!” he called. When Emma was sure he was gone, she turned to the doctors.

“Before you say anything, I know what’s wrong with me: I’m pregnant.” Victor and Doc’s eyes widened almost comically before Victor snapped into doctor-mode.

“When was your last--?” he tried to ask.

“Three months”, replied Emma before he could finish the question. “I’m around 10 weeks.”

“Emma!” cried Victor as Doc shook his head. “You should’ve told us as soon as you realized you were late. Do you have any idea what could’ve happened?”

“I agree with Dr. Frankenstein Princess”, said Doc. “Certain precautions must be taken.”

“I’ve been through one of these before you guys”, said Emma. “When I was sure, I stopped wearing corsets, I stopped drinking wine…”

“I saw you drink some at dinner tonight”, said Victor.

“Grape juice.”

“Why didn’t you tell us though? Doc or myself?” Emma fidgeted from where her place on the bed, biting her bottom lip. Both men looked at her expectantly.

“I was scared”, she replied. “After the baby I lost last year…I just didn’t want a bunch of stress on the whole situation because of what happened before. But I’ve been careful.”

“How are you certain?” asked Doc. Victor nodded in agreement.

“I spoke with Regina and she gave me a spell to make sure. She said it was the one she used when she was pregnant with Dani. I’ll be telling Killian tonight, so don’t say anything when he gets back.” Before they could continue their conversation, the bedroom door creaked open and Killian appeared with the hot chocolate. “Thanks for everything Victor, Doc.” They each gave a small bow as they left. Killian set the mug on her bedside table.

“Well?” he asked as he sat down on the bed next to her. “Are you going to tell me Swan?”

“I don’t know if I should”, said Emma with a coy smile.

“Swaaaan!”

“Are you--whining?”

“No.” Emma just laughed. “Yes.”

“You can be adorable you know.” Killian stood from his spot on the bed in a huff.

“Excuse me! I’ll have you know that Captain Hook is not adorable! I am dashing and a scoundrel and handsome! Killian Jones is not adorable.”

“Whatever.” Emma stood and took his hand and sat him back down on the edge of the bed. A thought popped into her mind. “What month is it?”

“June I believe”, replied Killian, “It just began.” That means Father’s Day is soon! Emma said to herself. I know what I’m going to do. She put on her robe from where she’d dropped it on a chair near the bed.

“Can you do me a favor?” she asked her husband and he nodded. “Wait here. I’ll be right back, five minutes and everything will make sense.” She kissed him quickly and went to the library and dug around his desk for a piece of parchment and a quill. She went about her project and when she finished, she smiled at her finished product…he was going to love it.

 

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Killian was pacing in their sitting room when she returned. He stopped in his tracks when Emma sauntered back in to their room.

“So, love, what is going on?” Emma took a good look at him and his hair was all disheveled like he’d been running his hands through it. “I’m worried about you. And what is that behind your back?”

“It’s for you”, she said with a smile. “Do you remember that holiday we celebrated for Snow where I gave her a card from my brother and me? And Henry gave me one too?”

“Aye. I believe you called it ‘Mother’s Day’.”

“Did I ever tell you there was the same holiday except for fathers?” Killian shook his head and Emma could practically see the gears working in his brain, trying to work out what she was getting at. “Here, I made you a card.” On the front it said I’ve Got a Little Secret for You Pirate in the neatest script she could do. Killian arched an eyebrow and looked down to open the folded parchment and read the inside: Happy Father’s Day.

“I don’t understand”, he said as he took it from her. Emma laughed to herself,

“You should put that on a shirt.”

“What?”

“Never mind.”

“What are you trying to tell me Swan?” She couldn’t help but laugh at her adorable clueless husband. “Swan.”

“Well, like you said once before, I’ve got a little pirate in me.”

“Does this mean…you’re…” Killian stuttered. He took a breath and tried again, “Emma, are you with child?”

“Yes”, she replied with a big smile on her face. Killian staggered backwards and fell sitting onto their ‘coffee’ table. Emma saw his eyes glass over and tears started pooling in them before he looked back down on the floor.

“How long?” he asked in a barely audible whisper and she knew what he was really asking.

“Two and a half months at least. I remember them telling me when I was pregnant with Henry that 10 weeks was the safe point, no chance of miscarriage after then. So we should be good.” He finally lifted his head to look at her and she saw the tear tracks on his cheeks.

“I’m to be a father. Do you realize what you’ve done for me, Emma? How happy you’ve just made me? I’m happier than the day you agreed to marry me, the day we got married, or even the day I found you in New York after the missing year.” He wiped the tears from his face and stood, pulling Emma to him and kissing her like he never had before. As suddenly as he began the kiss, he stopped it and dropped to his knees, level with Emma’s stomach.

“Killian Jones, what are you doing?” she said. “The baby’s barely the size of a small orange, I don’t think it will understand you.”

“Shh, darling, I’m trying to speak to our child.” He undid the belt of her robe and pushed it open, placing both hands on her still flat stomach and kissed it lightly. “Hello there, little love. I’m your papa. I can’t wait to meet you…a future little prince or princess.”

“Would you like to find out?” she asked.

“Would you?” he asked looking up at her.

“Maybe. It’d make choosing a name easier.” Emma yawned wide.

“I need to get you to bed, so you can rest and keep our orange safe and sound.” Killian swept his wife up in his arms and carried her to bed. She turned to face the open window as he doused the lamps in the room and climbed in, settling himself behind her. He put an arm over her waist and let his hand fall and splay over her stomach.

“Tomorrow, we’ll talk to my parents. They’ve got an amulet that used to belong to my grandmother Ruth, David’s mother, that is said to be able to tell the sex of your first born”, said Emma as she placed her hand over Killian’s. He kissed her shoulder lightly.

“It wouldn’t work darling. This child is not your first born”, he said.

“Maybe not, but it’s yours.”

 

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When Emma woke up the next morning, she didn’t feel Killian against her. She blinked her eyes open to find herself on her back and Killian’s head on her chest and his hand on her stomach. Emma couldn’t help smiling. She ran her hands through his hair and he scooted closer to her. She was enjoying this quiet time with him when there was a small knock at the bedroom door and Emilie came in. Emma held a finger up to her lips to signal shh. She took Killian’s hand off and pushed him lightly off her so she could get up. Emilie picked up her robe and held it open for her. They went out to the sitting room, letting Killian sleep.

“Good morning Princess”, said Emilie. “Would you like to have breakfast here, in your room, with the prince?” Before Emma could respond, the bedroom door creaked open and Killian leaned against the doorway, hair all disheveled and blinking the sleep from his eyes.

“No, we’ll dine with the family, Emilie”, he said. His accent thick with sleep, “We’ve got news for them.”

“I just know they’ll be overjoyed”, said Emilie. “We best get you dressed Princess. Breakfast will be served soon.” They retreated to the bedroom and Emilie helped Emma dress behind the folding screen. When she emerged, Emma was wearing another of what she called her ‘Renaissance faire’ dresses; today’s was a light blue. Emma was sitting at her vanity, letting Emilie do up her hair when Killian emerged from the closet, dressed in his usual breeches, knee high boots, white shirt (kind of like his black pirate shirt), and vest of the day (today’s was blue). Emilie finished and curtsied before she left the room.

“And how is our orange doing this morning?” Killian asked as he strode over to Emma. He put a hand on her stomach as he leaned down to give her a quick kiss.

“Just f--” Another round of throwing up, standard for a two and half months pregnant woman. She cleaned up when she was done and sat down on the edge of their bed.

“Are you sure Swan?” asked Killian.

“The throwing up thing? Perfectly normal. If I remember correctly, should be gone by the third month”, said Emma. “Despite that little act there, I’m really hungry. Can we head to breakfast now?”

 

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“You two look positively giddy about something”, said Snow as they ate breakfast. It caused Emma to snort in her cup of orange juice (the coincidence was not lost on her).

“What? What are you talking about?” she asked.

“You’re hiding something”, said David.

“No we’re not.” Emma realized all too soon that she’d answered too quickly.

Mo-om”, said Henry. “You’re lying. It’s like Killian always says, you may be able to spot a liar, but you’re not good at it yourself.”

“Spot on, lad”, said Killian with a smile and he ruffled Henry’s hair. Emma rolled her eyes.

“We actually did have something we wanted to talk to you about”, she said. “Mom, do you still have Grandma Ruth’s amulet?” A few things happened simultaneously: David snorted into his cup of whatever he was drinking which caused him to choke on it a little, Snow’s fork fell to her plate with a clatter, and Henry just stared at her.

“Emma”, David finally spoke. “Are you saying…”

“Yeah mate”, responded Killian. “I’m to be a father.”

“When did you find out?” asked Snow.

“That’s the thing”, said Emma. “I’m about 10 weeks.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?!” cried Henry, looking between his mother and step-father.

“I didn’t know until last night either my boy”, said Killian.

“After last year, I was scared”, said Emma. “I just wanted to get to the safe point before I said anything. Don’t worry, Victor and Doc already read me the riot act.”

“Even they didn’t know?” asked David and Emma shook her head. “Did anyone know?”

“Emilie, Ruby because she could smell the hormones on me, and Regina because she gave me a spell to determine if I was and how long”, said Emma. “Can we just let it go? They know now and we’re all good.”

“She’s right”, said Snow. “Let’s finish breakfast and we’ll go get the amulet after we’re done.”

 

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Emma sat in her parent’s sitting room with Killian, Henry, and David while Snow looked through her things for Ruth’s amulet. Emma sighed as the boys discussed names.

“I think he’ll need a good, strong name”, said David. “Like…David!” Henry and Killian laughed.

“And why could we not name him for his father? Hmm?” asked Killian.

“How about names for girls?” asked Henry.

“I think your grandmother would love it if she was named Ava or Mary or Margaret”, said David.

“Oi!” cried Killian. “No offense to the Lady Snow, but no, I’m not naming my child Ava.” Emma laughed to herself and he looked at her. “Oh, do you have better ideas then?”

“Of course I do”, she replied. “If it’s a girl, Isabella Ruth and if it’s a boy, I think I’d like Liam David. What do you think?”

“I think those are perfect, love”, said Killian as he took her hand and kissed it. Just then, Snow emerged from the bedroom, amulet swinging in her grasp. She went over to Killian and handed it to him.

“Hold it over her stomach and it will swing”, she said.

“How do we know Grandma?” asked Henry. Snow went and stood next to him.

“If it swings North to South, then it’s a boy. But if it swings East to West, then it’s a girl.” Killian knelt before where his wife sat and held the amulet over her stomach. At first nothing happened, and then it slowly began to swing. Killian stared at it and then looked at Emma with a big grin. He placed a kiss to her (as of yet) non-existent baby bump and whispered,

“I can’t wait to meet you Liam.”

 

Chapter Text

By the week Victor and Ruby’s wedding rolled around the following month, Emma had started to show. She crossed off another day on the makeshift calendar that was kept by Killian’s desk in his study.

“Where are we now, love?” he asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist, resting his hand on her now obvious bump. Emma couldn’t help but think that the dress she wore was accentuating it: a simple deep emerald green dress with a brown leather belt low around the waist, right under Liam.

“14 weeks”, she replied.

“And how is our little prince this morning?”

“Pretty good”, she replied. “I can’t wait for the next few weeks to go by.”

“Why is that?”

“After I hit four months, we’ll be able to start to feel him kicking. He’ll respond to noises and he’ll be able to hear us.”

“That I cannot wait for”, said Killian. He turned Emma in his arms and bent down to kiss her belly. “However, if we do not hurry, we’ll be late and I don’t fancy the Lady Red being angry with us.” They headed downstairs to the foyer where the rest of the family (Snow, David, Henry, and Neal) waited for them.

“Finally!” said Snow, with a wobbly Neal standing next to her (he’d learned to walk a while ago, but was still wobbly on occasion), as the couple walked up. “The carriages have been packed and ready to go for the last 20 minutes.” They were heading to the Summer Palace in the woods where Snow had graciously offered to hold Ruby and Victor’s wedding.

“Forgive us Your Majesty”, said Killian. “We were just making the daily mark on the calendar.”

“How are you feeling?” asked David as they all filed outside to their respective carriages.

“Way better now that I’m not throwing up any more”, said Emma. “With Henry, I had morning sickness for the first two months. With Liam, I got it the second month and it didn’t stop until a couple of weeks ago. All that’s bothering me is just that I still feel a tired every now and again.”

“Well, use the ride to get some rest”, said Snow. “We’ll be there in a couple of hours.” Killian watched as she climbed into the first carriage and held her hands out for little Neal as David picked him up and put him in, climbing after him. He hadn’t realized he was staring until Henry called him out.

“Killian! Wake up! We gotta go!” Killian shook his head and tried to get the sad look off his face as he turned to help his wife into their carriage.

“Everything okay?” she asked.

“Of course darling”, he said, his smile not quite reaching his eyes. He took her hand and helped her in, going in behind and taking the seat next to her.

“How long have we known each other?” she asked him as the carriages started moving.

“Sorry?” He wondered what prompted the question.

“I asked you how long we’ve known each other.”

“Three years.”

“Okay. Do you remember what one of the first things I said to you was?”

“Aye. It was--”

 

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m pretty good at knowing when someone is lying to me.”

 

“In that case, what makes you think that I believe you when you said everything is okay?” Henry snickered from his seat across from them.

“Oooh! BURN!” Both adults gave him identical looks by raising an eyebrow at him. “Seriously, you two…are creepy.” He laughed and pulled a book from his satchel and started to read. Emma turned back to Killian, indicating he should talk.

“Fine”, he said with a sigh. He pulled Emma into his arms, her back resting on his chest, and let his hand rest on her belly. “I’m scared. I’m scared I’ll hurt Liam because I won’t be able to hold him properly. I could very well drop him Swan.”

“What are you talking about?” Emma asked.

“This!” He raised his fake hand up to her. “I won’t be able to hold my own son because of this!”

“Killian, relax. You’ve held my brother before and you were even wearing the hook! You’ll be able to hold our son”, said Emma.

“I don’t want to hold him with a stump! How will I teach him how to walk, hm? I want to be able to hold both his little hands as he tries.” Emma lifted his right hand from where it lay entwined with hers and lifted it to her lips for a soft kiss.

“Trust me when I say that it won’t matter. You’ll be able to do everything with your son. He’ll love you no matter what. I love you with or without the hand--”

“Ew”, came from Henry’s seat and Emma gave him a Look. “Sorry.”

“--and even the kid over there loves you without the hand”, said Emma as she pointed at Henry with her chin. “So will you trust me about this and relax? Please?”

“Of course love”, Killian replied. Both he and Emma didn’t see Henry roll his eyes and smile behind his book.

 

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The wedding was beautiful. Ruby and Victor were truly in love and not afraid to show it. After the ceremony, a small dinner was held in the grand hall of the palace. Killian was returning from having a dance with Ruby to find Emma sitting with Rumplestiltskin and Belle, who was almost six months along. He noted that Rumple looked somewhat bored and a bit uncomfortable with the conversation, probably because their wives were discussing their pregnancies at length.

“What say you and I go get something to drink…Rumplestiltskin?” he said. Three pairs of eyes turned to look at him.

“Yes! Yes, I’d like that”, Rumple said a bit too quickly. He was glad to get away from the baby talk. “I’ve the need to discuss something with you anyway.”

“Enjoy yourselves ladies.” Killian gave them a sweeping bow and left for the ‘bar’ area with Rumple. Killian got a glass of rum (as per usual) and Rumple a mug of ale and they sat quietly for a while.

“I believe delayed congratulations are in order Commander”, Rumple said after a few swigs of his drink. “I heard last month.”

“Thank you Croc--I mean, Rumplestiltskin”, said Killian. “How is this new round of impending fatherhood going for you?” Rumple took another drag of his drink.

“I’m nervous. I want to do right by this child”, he said. “I don’t want to make the same mistakes I did with Bae.”

“I’m sure you won’t. You’re a better man now, all thanks to her”, he said as they both looked over to where Belle and Emma sat. Killian took a few sips of his rum as Rumple spoke,

“And I thank her each and every day for it. I’ve been given another chance in life and I’m not going to waste it”, said Rumple. He twirled his hand and a box appeared on the bar in front of them, startling Killian.

“Wait, you’re not supposed to have magic”, said Killian with wide eyes.

“Residual magic. I have just enough to do one more thing before it’s all gone.”

“Are you going to use it on me?”

“Yes”, said Rumple with conviction. “Belle changed me, but when we discovered she was going to have a baby…well, I realized I had to be an even better man so this child wouldn’t suffer like Baelfire. So, I will continue down my path to redemption by returning something I took from you long ago.”

“No…it’s--that can’t be--in there?” stuttered Killian and Rumple nodded as he lifted the lid off the box. Inside, on a bed of straw, was Killian’s perfectly preserved left hand.

“Before I do anything, I have to ask: do you want it back?”

“In the beginning, I wanted it more than anything and then after a while, I didn’t because the hook became a part of me. When Emma said she loved me, even with the hook, I thought that I wouldn’t need it because she loved me despite everything I’d done”, said Killian, still staring at his hand. “But when she said she was with child…that’s when I started thinking about it again. I want to be able to hold my son the way David holds his…with two hands.”

“Do you want it back for you or for your child?”

“I want it back for my family.”

“Are you absolutely sure? Because I won’t be able to magically remove it once it’s back. It’d have to be cut off like before.”

Very sure.”

“Follow me.” Rumple picked up the box and Killian followed him out of the grand hall to a small sitting room a few doors down. They both sat at a small table and Rumple lifted the hand from the box. “Remove the brace.” Killian removed his jacket and tossed it onto the table, then he pushed up the sleeve and undid the buckles to loosen the straps and slid the brace off his left arm.

“Now what?”

“Put the stump up to the wrist of the hand and don’t move.” Killian did as he was told as Rumple waved a hand over him. A puff of smoke appeared and when it was gone, Killian Jones had his hand again.

“Gods. This is amazing”, said Killian. He lifted his hand and flexed all the fingers, turning it backwards and forwards.

“You might want to move that”, said Rumple.

“What?” Rumple pointed to the wedding band on the ring finger of his right hand.

“Oh, right.” Killian slid it off and placed it where it should have been. “I don’t know how to thank you, Rumplestiltskin.”

“No need”, Rumple replied with a wave of his hand. “Just be good to that child of yours. A son, you said?” Killian nodded as he rolled his sleeve down and put his jacket back on and pulled the black glove from the wooden hand, slipping it on his left. (He wanted to surprise Emma.)

“Aye, a son due at the beginning of the year. We’ve decided to name him Liam David.”

“How did you find out?” Rumple asked as they headed back to the grand hall.

“There’s an amulet that belonged to Dave’s mother, Ruth, which is said to predict a woman’s firstborn. It’s held above her and you can tell depending on the way it swings.” They picked up a new round of drinks and went to sit back at the table where the ladies were supposed to be, but they were chatting with Ruby and Snow.

“Thank you again Rumplestiltskin”, said Killian as they sat down.

“I have to say, after everything that’s happened, I didn’t expect us to ever be able to be this near each other…” said Rumple. “…without being at each other’s throats.”

“Aye”, replied Killian, taking a small gulp from his glass, “I promised Emma that I’d given up my vengeance. Truce?” Killian held up his glass to Rumple.

“Truce.” They clinked their glasses as their wives came back.

“Rumple, I’m a bit tired”, said Belle as she ran her hands over her stomach. “Could you take me upstairs?”

“Of course my love.” Rumple stood and took Belle’s hand, giving a nod to Killian and Emma, “Princess. Enjoy Commander.” He and Belle left through the main doors.

“What was he talking about?” asked Emma. Killian smiled to himself, excited that he was now the one with a secret to tell. Keeping his newly returned left hand in his lap, he placed his right on Emma’s belly.

“We’ve made our peace, Rumplestiltskin and I. He was saying how wanted to do right by this child and he wanted to redeem himself”, said Killian. Emma placed her hand over his.

“I’m glad. But what--” Emma stopped in the middle of a sentence and looked down at his hand. “Where’s your ring?”

“What do you mean love?”

“Your ring”, said Emma as she held up his hand. “Where is it?” He took his hand back and pulled the glove off the left and showed it to her.

“I moved it.” He had to give Emma credit because she didn’t make a sound, she just stared.

“Did Rumple do this for you? Are you happy?”

“He did.” He scooted his chair closer to Emma. “And I am, because now I can do this.” He took her face in both hands and ran his thumbs along the apples of her cheeks. He pulled her face to his and kissed her lightly. “I’ll be able to hold my son. Of course I’m happy.”

 

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Emma is four and a half months and Belle is seven months

 

Emma was in the gardens, sitting in a swing as she watched her son play with his little uncle, who ran after him. She swung lazily, resting a hand on her ever expanding belly, smiling as Neal wrapped his little arms around Henry’s leg.

“Oh no! Prince Neal has attacked!” cried Henry as he ‘fell’ to the grass. Neal (who was now 16 months old) giggled. He spat out some nonsense, not being able to speak properly yet, and Henry picked him up and tossed him in the air. Emma was taking in the scene when she felt a sharp movement against her hand.

“Henry!” she called and she felt another flutter.

“Yeah mom?”

“I’m going to go in.”

“Okay!” Emma slid off the swing and headed inside. She kept a hand on her belly as she made her way to the tower she and Killian occupied. Heading to their bedroom first, she was met by Emilie.

“Princess, what might I do for you?” she asked.

“I felt him move Emilie!” she said with a big smile. “I need to tell Killian.”

“That is wonderful news Princess! His Highness is in his study with the King, but I’m sure they would welcome the interruption.” Emma thanked her and made her way down the hall to the study where she heard low voices behind the door. She knocked lightly and opened the door,

“It’s me.”

“Come in darling! I’ve not seen you since this morning and I’ve missed you”, said Killian as he stood from behind his desk and pulled her into his arms for a kiss.

“I’m still here you know”, said David.

“Forgive me Dave, but my wife is getting more beautiful as the weeks go by and I cannot help myself.”

“Did I interrupt something?” Emma asked.

“Not really”, replied David. “I was discussing on when to send you and Killian to Éire to negotiate trade and trade routes.”

“Why don’t you and Mom go?”

“You’ve got to learn all this sweetheart. This kingdom will be yours one day”, said David. “It’s best to start early.”

“Then we should go in the next few weeks or so”, said Emma. “Anyways, if you could excuse us, I’d like to talk to Killian in private.”

“Sure.” David rose from his seat and placed a light kiss on Emma’s forehead. “I’ll see you two at lunch.” As soon as David shut the door, she felt Killian’s arms wrap around her waist and both hands (which she was still learning to adjust to) rested on her belly. Ever since he’d gotten his hand back, he would use any excuse to touch her, especially her bump.

“Well, love, Dave is gone. Shall we enjoy some other activities?” he asked as he wiggled both his eyebrows.

“As much as I would love that”, Emma said as she turned his arms and he swooped down for a long kiss. “I came to see you because something happened.”

“Are you ok? Is Liam?” he asked worriedly.

“We’re fine, we’re fine.”

“Then what is it?” Emma took his hand and led him to the window seat and they sat down.

“I felt him, Killian. He moved.”

“He did?” Just then she felt another flutter and grabbed his hand and placed it on her belly.

“Do you feel it?” she asked as he moved his hand around so he could feel it because she was feeling a lot of movement all of a sudden. He laughed and knelt in front of her, both hands on her stomach.

“Hello there Liam, it’s papa.” He placed a kiss on the bump and looked up at Emma, “The lad is pretty active.”

“Well, he just started moving a lot more since you started talking. He seems to like your voice as much as I do…must be the accent.”

 

 

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Emma is six months and Belle is eight and a half months

 

Emma was lying in her and Killian’s bed and he had his head on her chest as he sang quietly to Liam. In the weeks since he started moving, Emma noticed he was most active when Killian was talking or singing. His favorite things to sing were old pirate shanties and the baby did as well. She ran her fingers through his hair as he sang one of her favorite of the shanties:

 

Now we are ready to sail for the Horn,

Weigh hey, roll and go!

Our boots and our clothes, boys, are all in the pawn,

To be rollicking randy dandy-o!

 

Emma relaxed as Killian’s voice cast a soothing presence over her and her thoughts turned to her father and his speech about moments. This was definitely one of those good moments.

 

Heave a pawl, O heave away!

Weigh hey, roll and go!

The anchor’s on board and the cable’s all stored,

To be rollicking randy dandy-o!

She slept very well that night and dreamed of sailing with her family.

 

The next morning…

 

Emma trudged into the informal dining room for breakfast the next morning with a grimace on her face. Killian was chatting with Henry and David, who was trying to get the young Prince Neal to eat his breakfast. Normally, she and Killian would head down to breakfast together, but she’d insisted he go on without her so she could have a few extra minutes of sleep.

“Morning kid”, she called to Henry as she made her way to her seat next to him.

“Hey Mom.”

“Hey Dad, hey Neal.”

“Blrgh”, gurgled Neal.

“Hey sweetheart”, said David. “How are you feeling? Killian said you were tired.” Emma laughed and rolled her eyes. Worrisome man.

“I’m fine”, she said. “Really. I’m just six months pregnant, with your son, I might add.” Looking across the table at Killian, she gave him a small smile. “Just like his father, always keeping me on my toes.”

“He’s got the Jones blood in him love”, said Killian as he gave her one of his smirks. “Not to mention he’s related to this lot.” Waving his hand around to show he was referring to David, Henry, and Neal. “Bloody stubborn they are.” David tossed a small bread roll at Killian’s head, “Oi!”

“David!” Everyone at the table turned to see Snow in the doorway with her hands on her hips. “I thought Neal was the child here, not you and Killian.”

“Forgive me Lady Snow, I cannot help if Dave--”

“He called me stubborn!” cried David as he interrupted and pointed over at Killian.

“Did not!” retorted Killian. “I called the whole lot of you stubborn.”

“What are you guys, 12?” asked Henry. Snow took her place next to David as she and Emma caught each other’s gaze and laughed. Neal giggled from his seat, reaching for his mother. Snow pulled him from the seat and into her lap. He stared over the table at his sister, who smiled at him and then went back to chatting with her son.

“Kia”, he gurgled. The adults (and Henry) were conversing with each other, not really paying attention to the young prince and it didn’t sit well with him. He furrowed his little eyebrows at his sister. “Kia!” No one paid him any attention and he did not like being ignored; he wanted someone to hold him. Emma gasped suddenly and a hand shot to her belly,

“Emma, love, are you okay?” Killian asked worriedly.

“Yeah, yeah”, she replied, waving everyone off. “He’s just really active this morning. Must be hungry.”

“Are you sure darling?”

“Killian, trust me. He’s hungry.” Everyone tucked into the breakfasts, Emma smiling to herself as she heard mumbles of He’s the bloody child, not me, honestly coming from across the table. What happened next, no one expected…

“Kian!”

“Did you say something love?” Killian asked, looking over at Emma and she shook her head.

“That…wasn’t me.”

“KIAN!” Like the movies, everyone’s heads snapped to the little prince. He was struggling in his mother’s arms and reaching for his brother-in-law. “Kian.” Snow, still surprised at what had just transpired, simply handed him over to Killian who sat him in his lap.

“Come on!” cried David and he startled everyone out of their surprise, causing them to start laughing. “I’ve been trying to get him to say ‘papa’ for the longest time! But no, he says your name first.” Killian laughed as he bounced Neal on his knee (and it totally didn’t cause Emma to tear up slightly).

 

(It totally did.)

 

“I can’t help it if both your children love me mate.”

“I swear to God I will throw something bigger at your head this time, not that it will hurt it because your head is big anyways.”

David.” Snow gave him a stern look.

 

After breakfast, David and Henry went off to do some riding while Killian went with Emma and Snow. The three of them met with Helen, the decorator that had assisted with Emma and Killian’s tower rooms, to discuss the plans for Liam’s nursery in Killian’s study.

“I’ve seen the furniture Mister Geppetto has completed and it is perfect for the young prince”, Helen said. “Have you any ideas you’d like to share?”

“Maybe something nautical?” Snow looked over at Killian and Emma for approval.

“That’s what I’d like to do, but I’m not sure. It’s what’s expected, know what I mean?” Emma looked over at Killian. “I hope that’s okay. I know you’d like to mold him into a little sailor.”

“It’s alright my love.” Killian pulled her hand to his lips, grazing her knuckles with a kiss. “I’ve got an idea however.”

“Do you?” Killian nodded at her and turned back to Helen and Snow.

“How about a series of murals? To show the lad where his family comes from. The beanstalk, Storybrooke, and Neverland, despite the negative connotations.” He smiled.

“That’s a grand idea Your Highness.” Helen looked down to her parchment and scribbled some notes. With an awkward smile, Killian stood from his seat and walked over to the window, his back to everyone. Emma excused herself and went over to her husband. She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her chin on his shoulder. He put his hands over hers and turned to give her a kiss on her temple.

“I can’t believe it’s still a thing for you, when people call you that.”

“I was born a nobody Swan. The only time in my life so long ago that I mattered was when I was in the Navy with Liam. Even then he was the loved one, popular in the kingdom and favorite of the king…for all the good it did him.”

“Killian…”

“Then I became a pirate. In what life does a black hearted villain like that become a prince?”

This life. How many times do I have to tell you? You’re not that person anymore, you’re a hero. You saved us from a life of fake memories with a flying monkey! You protected Henry, you survived the Wicked Witch’s attempt on you. Despite all that I did to push you away, you stayed and fought. You’ve earned this, Killian, and it’s time to start embracing it.” Killian turned in Emma’s arms.

“What would I do without you?”

“I’m sure you’d lead the most boring life ever.”

“Quite possibly.”

In the end, Helen went ahead with Killian’s idea of murals: one wall would be a scene of Storybrooke that Emma wanted Henry to choose, another would be the oceans of Neverland, another would be the Jolly Roger, and the main wall would be the beanstalk. They chose an ocean blue for the fabrics and the mobile was something Snow said Henry was also working on.

After they finished planning, the four of them were making their way downstairs to see Helen off when they were met by a castle page in the main hallway.

“Your Majesty!” he cried when he saw Snow and gave a breathless bow. Helen gave a small curtsy herself and took her leave.

“Breathe, Michael.” Snow smiled at the young man as Killian and Emma looked on. “What’s happened?”

“We’ve just received word from Lord French that his daughter is delivered of a healthy baby girl and they’ve named her Margaret.”

“That’s wonderful news!” Snow wiped away a small tear and smiled big. “Let’s go celebrate!”

“Let’s go to the mirror in the ballroom and we can mirror them to congratulate”, said Emma.

The three of them met up with David and Henry, who had already heard the news and were in agreement with Emma’s idea. When they stood in front of the grand mirror, Emma waved her hand and it shimmered until a mirror in what appeared to be a study came into view.

“Is anyone there?” Emma called out. “Hello!” They heard footsteps and Maurice stepped into view.

“Your Majesties! You’ve heard.”

“Yes. Congratulations Moe”, said David. “Can we speak to the new parents?”

“Thank you and of course.” Moe picked up the small mirror and carried it with him. They heard him knock and he went into a bedroom, setting the mirror on a small table. “It’s King David, Queen Snow, and the rest of the family.” When he moved out of the way, they all saw Belle sitting up in bed, small bundle in her arms, with Rumple sitting next to her.

“Congrats Grandpa!” Henry pushed his way to the front so he could be the first.

“Thank you my boy. This is your Aunt Margaret.” While Snow, David, Henry, and Emma craned their necks to see the newborn, Killian stood back. He caught Rumple’s eye and gave him a nod.

“Well done Lady Belle. She is a fine-looking babe.” Killian smiled at Belle. “I’m sure she’s going to be quite admired when she grows up.”

“Thank you Killian.” Belle kissed her new daughter’s forehead. “Who knows, maybe she’ll catch the eye of a prince from the Enchanted Forest.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t understand why you have to go now.” Emma stood on the docks next to the Jolly Roger in Killian’s arms. “He’ll be here soon. What if you miss it?” Killian’s chest rumbled with a laugh as he kissed her forehead.

“It will only be a week or so darling. Then I’ll be back in time for Liam and Dave has promised I won’t be sent on any missions for a few months after he’s born.” He took her face in both his hands as she wrapped her hands around his wrists. “I promise you that nothing will keep me from the birth of our son, Emma. I will be here.”

“I know.”

“Now, let me say a proper good-bye to the lad.” Right in the middle of the crowded docks, Killian knelt down and put his hands on either side of Emma’s stomach. “You treat your mother well Liam. You rest in there until I return, and don’t get ahead of yourself my boy.” He placed a tender kiss on the bump that was his son.

“If your pirate enemies could only see you now.” Emma smiled at him as he stood and took her hands in his. “The fearsome Captain Hook, reduced to Jell-O when he’s around babies.” Killian arched an eyebrow at her.

“I have no idea what a food with medicinal properties has to do with how my enemies view me, Swan.” Emma laughed. She was going to have to tell him the truth about Jell-O at some point. “Now please, let me finish saying goodbye to our son.” He bent down and returned to whispering to Emma’s belly and she felt Liam kicking up a storm the way he always did when he heard his father’s voice.

“You better get going or Dad’s advisors will kill you with their stares.” Emma pointed in the direction of the deck of the Jolly where a few men were standing, annoyed looks on their faces.

“They can wait as long as I say because I’m a bloody prince! I’ve not said goodbye to you, love.” He took her face in both his hands and she pulled him to her (as best she could with her belly in the way) as she wrapped her arms around his waist and he kissed her deeply. Emma’s worry that he wouldn’t make it in time melted away as he deepened their kiss. Emma finally broke it and smiled against his lips.

“Glad to see you’re warming to your new status there, Your Highness.”

“It has its advantages”, he said with a goofy grin on his face. He placed his lips next to her ear. “For example, it allows me to bed a beautiful princess.”

“Never stop do you?”

“No my love, never.” He pulled her in for another kiss, but they were interrupted.

“Seriously guys, ew.” Emma turned to see Henry standing behind her with David. “I’m glad you’re not coming on this trip mom, ‘cause I wouldn’t be able to handle the PDA.” Emma pulled Henry into a hug and David went to stand by Killian.

“Majesty.”

“Killian.” David watched Emma fuss over Henry a little bit.

It had been surprisingly easy to get Regina and Emma to let him go. They both agreed it’d be good for him to get experience in diplomacy since he’d be king one day. Regina’s only condition was that Robin go with them as well (not that she didn’t trust Killian, she felt it was safer with both his step-fathers there), so Regina, along with Dani and Roland, were staying with the Charmings for the week.

“I’m sorry we’re sending you now. I know you want to be here.”

“It’s ok Dave. It’s a couple days there and back and I’m sure the talks with the King will proceed quickly. Besides, Emma’s given me a new mirror so I can speak with her and Regina promised that if the baby starts coming, she’ll poof to us and bring us back.”

“I’ll expect to hear good things from the talks…Prince Killian.”

“Of course…King David.”

After a final round of goodbyes and kisses and hugs, the men climbed aboard the Jolly and set off. As David and Emma waved goodbye, he noticed his daughter looked worried.

“What’s wrong Emma?” She bit her lip, the tell-tale sign she was nervous about something.

“Nothing. It’s just…I have a bad feeling about this.”

 

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Killian was glad he could speak to his wife via the small mirror she’d given him. When they arrived in Éire, there was a whole cortege waiting to greet them, headed by the King. Henry, Killian, and Robin stepped off the Jolly, followed by the advisors David sent.

“His Majesty, King Fergus, welcomes you Prince Henry, Prince Killian, and Lord Robin of the Enchanted Forest to Éire.” The party bowed to the King who, in turn, bowed to them. Henry, who technically outranked Killian, spoke first (his mothers would be so proud).

“Thanks for having us King Fergus, we’re glad to be here.” He extended his hand to the King, who took it and shook it.

“I’m glad to finally meet you Prince Henry. I’m sorry that I could not meet your mother, the lovely Princess Emma.”

“Alas, my wife is in her eighth month with our child”, interjected Killian. “She sends her apologies.”

“’Tis no problem Prince Killian”, said the King.

“Please, call me Killian or Jones.” He turned to Robin, “This is Lord Robin of Locksley.”

“Thank you for having us Your Majesty.” Robin gave the King another bow. The group turned to walk up the docks and to the castle. After introductions with David’s advisors, they were shown their rooms and only Killian, Robin, and Henry remained with the King, who led them to his study to talk. A previously unseen man stepped out from behind King Fergus and cleared his throat, causing the men to turn and look at him.

“Pardon me sir, but did you say your name is Killian Jones?”

“Aye. Who are you?”

“Carlyle, Chief Advisor to His Majesty.” Henry knew just by looking at Carlyle that he was a fishy guy. “Would you happen to be related to a Captain Liam Jones?”

“My brother.”

“But Liam Jones died over 300 years ago, how could you still look so--”

“Not dead?”

“Yes.”

“Neverland and one Dark Curse. Does wonders for the skin.” Robin and Henry laughed as Jonathon gave Carlyle a Look.

“One last question: was your brother the Captain of a ship of His Majesty King Rupert’s Royal Navy named the Jewel of the Realm?”

“Aye, and I was his Lieutenant.”

“Wait. Aren’t you also the former pirate known as Captain Hook, with a ship made of enchanted wood known as the Jolly Roger?”

“I am no longer a pirate. I am Prince Killian Jones, Commander of the White Royal Navy and husband of the next Queen of the Enchanted Forest, son-in-law to King David and Queen Snow White.” The look on Killian’s face frightened Carlyle a bit.

“No offense was meant Your Highness.” He bowed and left the group to speak.

 

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Carlyle made his way to the advisor chambers where he met with several more men.

“What news of this party from the Kingdom of the Enchanted Forest Carlyle?” one of the men asked.

“Spectacular news Robert!”

“Do tell!” called another man.

“The Kingdom of Éire is hosting the husband of Crown Princess Emma, Killian Jones.”

“The man who stole the Jewel?” cried Robert.

“The same! He spent time in Neverland and was frozen by the first Dark Curse.” Carlyle sat in his seat at the table and looked at the others. “After the talks are completed, Killian Jones will be arrested and tried for treason and hanged for his crimes.”

 

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The next day, Killian and Robin, along with David’s advisors sat down to begin trade talks for their kingdoms. Henry, despite wanting to learn how business was conducted, decided to sit out this time and spent the day with the Princess Merida, who was his age.

“What should we do while the ‘adults’ work?” Henry asked. Merida ran her hands through her fiery red curls as she thought.

“I know! Your stepfather is the great archer Robin Hood, aye?” A mischievous smile appeared on her face.

“Yeah…”

“I s’pose Robin has taught you the bow. He is said to be one of the best archers in the realm.”

“Definitely. Although, don’t let my grandmother hear you say that!”

“Why do you say that?”

“Snow White is also one of the best archers around. She and Robin compete sometimes when he and my mom come to visit the castle.”

“So you have learned from two of the best archers known. How would you like to have a friendly competition Prince Henry?”

“Bring it…Princess Merida.”

The two of them spent the morning on the private archery range King Fergus had built for the princess trying to outshoot each other. Right before lunch, Merida decided to make a bet with Henry.

“If you can land three arrows in succession dead center on these three targets-” she pointed to three straw targets stacked vertically above each other “-then you will receive a prize.”

“What are you going to give me?” Henry nocked an arrow and looked over at Merida.

“I’ll tell ye when it’s done, young prince.”

“Fine.” He took his stance, aimed and let the first arrow fly, landing dead center. He quickly nocked the second and let it go, and again it hit dead center. He nocked the final arrow and released it…and it landed dead center one last time. “So, what’s my pr-” Henry didn’t have a chance to finish his sentence because Merida placed a quick peck on his lips.

“Congratulations on your victory Prince Henry.”                                                                                               

“Huh. Yeah…thanks. Wait, what?” Merida had already jogged away in the direction the great hall where lunch was being served, leaving Henry to ponder what just happened.

 

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Talks continued for two more days until final decisions were reached. Killian, who had been given the power to do so by David, signed the finalized papers of the treaty alongside King Fergus and the advisors, as a small audience looked on. When they were done, King Fergus shook Killian’s hand and clapped him on the back.

“Now we feast! We will celebrate this newfound friendship with our neighbors!” Champagne was passed out to everyone and the King lifted his goblet. “To friendship!”

“Aye, to friendship.” Killian tapped the King’s glass and drank. King Fergus signaled for the band in the hall to begin playing and several people moved out onto the dance floor, including the King and his wife and to Killian and Robin’s surprise, Henry and the Princess Merida, who looked like they were enjoying each other’s company.

“We should probably keep this development to ourselves Jones.” Robin took a sip of his drink as he stood next to Killian, watching their stepson.

“Aye. We don’t want overprotective mothers meddling in the poor lad’s romance.”

 

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A few hours later, Killian excused himself to King Fergus and Queen Elinor, and went to his room. He took out the mirror Emma had given him and lay in bed, waiting for her call. He’d dozed off when he felt buzzing in his hand, and sat straight up.

“Killian?” He could see one bright green eye enlarged in the mirror, looking around, and couldn’t help the smile that came across his face.

“Aye, love. How are you?” He watched as she pulled the mirror away from her face so he could see her from the shoulders up. “How is Liam?”

“Tired, and your son seems to be very impatient. He wants out of here.” He watched as she angled the mirror to show her belly as she ran her hand over it. “To be honest, I want him out of there too. I’m not as young as I was with Henry and this is a bit more difficult this time around.”

“It matters not how old you are, Swan. Everything will be alright, I know it.”

“I love you pirate.”

“Aye, as I love you my princess. Thankfully, we finished the talks this morning and have been given leave by King Fergus to depart in the morning, so we will return by week’s end. I’ve missed you my love.”

“I’ve missed you too Killian. I didn’t think I could sleep all that well without you next to me, but I found someone to take your place for the time being.” Killian arched an eyebrow.

“Oh? And who might this future duel partner of mine be?” Emma laughed (a sound that always made him happy to hear and brought joy to his heart) and angled the mirror down again.

“Your son, you adorable and jealous idiot.”

“Oi! I’ve told you before, I am not adorable!”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

“Yes, well…I’m going to retire for the evening so I can be ready for the journey tomorrow, so let me say goodnight to my son, darling.”

“Oh sure. Now that I’m about to give birth to your son, I’m not as important huh?” Emma made a face of mock hurt but moved the mirror to sit on her belly. Killian was telling Liam a short story about the journey when the door to his room burst open and Carlyle and a few guards spilled in. “Killian? What’s going on?”

“What is the meaning of this?” Killian stood to face the men. Carlyle pulled a scroll from his robes, unrolled it, and began to read aloud…with a wicked smile on his face.

“Killian Jones, also known as the former pirate Captain Hook, you are hereby charged with treason against the Kingdom of Éire for the theft of the vessel formerly known as the Jewel of the Realm and various acts of piracy, including theft and pillaging. Take him to the dungeons.”

The guards advanced on him and clapped irons over his wrists. From the other side of the mirror, Emma watched in horror as her husband was arrested. She jumped from her bed and ran from her room (as best she could at her size) to her father’s study, where she knew he’d be.

“Killian! Killian! I’m running to my dad! I’ll tell him what’s going on, so don’t worry!”

“You need to relax love, think of the baby. I will see you again!” The guards dragged him from the room as the mirror went blank. “Emma? Emma!” His yells roused Robin and Henry, who stepped into the hall to see him being taken away.

“Jones? What’s going on?” Robin ran after them.

“This bloody fool says I’m being arrested for stealing the Jewel and for acts of piracy!”

“Can they even do that? It’s been over 300 years! Isn’t there statute of limitations over here?” Henry asked.

“I don’t know what that is lad. I left the mirror I use to speak to your mother in my room, make sure you get it!”

“That’s far enough Your Highness, Lord Robin. He’s going to the dungeon.” A guard stuck his arm out, stopping Robin and Henry from following.

“I want to speak to King Fergus!” Henry put both hands on his hips, a perfect imitation of his mothers, and Killian (and Robin) couldn’t help but smile.

“The King is retired for the evening. Perhaps you may speak with him tomorrow, young prince.” Carlyle slunk into view, wicked smile plastered on his face again. “Why do you even care what happens to this man? He is a pirate, a bad person, a villain.” Henry stomped up to the man and got in his face (he was tall by now, practically towering over Emma and Regina).

“He’s not a pirate anymore and he’s not a villain, he’s a hero and a good man. He’s also my father! I’m gonna find out what’s going on, because I know there’s something fishy going on. I haven’t trusted you since the moment I met you!” Henry spun on his heel and made to go upstairs. Carlyle looked over to Robin, who held up his hands as if to defer to Henry’s words and turned to follow Henry.

 

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Meanwhile, back in the Enchanted Forest…

 

Emma ran down the stone halls as fast as she could at eight months pregnant, still clutching the mirror in her hand. She was almost to her father’s study when she felt a jolt of pain and had to clutch the stone wall as it passed.

“Holy crap that hurts like a bitch! Ahhhhhh!” The door to her father’s study opened and Emma saw David and Snow running out to see her as she slid down the wall.

“Emma! What’s wrong? What’s going on?” David knelt down beside her.

“I was talking to Killian and he said they were going to come back tomorrow. He asked to say goodnight to the baby and as he was talking, I saw guards come into his room. They arrested him!”

“What? Why?” cried Snow.

“Because he stole the Jewel and committed acts of piracy or whatever. Please tell me you guys have statute of limitations out here!”

“We have something like that in the Enchanted Forest, but I don’t know about Éire. We need to get you back to your room. Snow, help me get her up.” With the help of both her parents, Emma was returned to her room and put in bed. “Emilie!” Emma’s lady appeared through the doorway of the bedroom. She curtsied.

“Yes Your Majesty?”

“I don’t care if Regina is asleep or whatever, bring her please.”

“Yes Majesty.” She ran from the room and returned minutes later.

“This better be good, I was sleep-” She spotted Emma in pain and her parents with worried looks on their faces. “Gods, what happened? Is it Henry?”

“No.” Snow stood and pulled Regina closer. “Emma says Killian’s been arrested for stealing his ship and for piracy!”

“That was 300 years ago! I hope that place has statute of limitations like we do here.”

“Ahhhhh!” Emma’s face scrunched up in pain. Regina’s face blanched as she watched the Savior in pain.

“Oh no.” David held Emma’s hand and looked back at Regina

“Exactly. I think Emma’s going into labor.”

Chapter Text

Killian rested his head against the cold stone of his dungeon cell.  It was morning and he hadn’t slept a wink all night.  All he could think about was Emma and his son.  Something was biting at the back of his mind, making him worried.  Emma had seen him taken away and then ran to find her father…what if it caused distress for the baby?  He would never forgive himself if something happened to Emma or Liam because of his foolish actions three centuries ago.

He leaned forward and rested his head in his hands, praying to whatever deities existed to get him out so he could be there for the birth of his son.  He promised to himself that if he was freed, he was stepping down from the position of Commander of Snow and Dave’s navy.  He would be there every day for his son and Emma and Henry (when he was there).  No more time away from home.  He’d help David find someone to take over, but it wouldn’t be him anymore.

 

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On the other side of the castle…

Henry shot out of bed as soon as he woke up and pulled on an outfit similar to the one his grandpa (David) wore in the Book.  He grabbed the mirror he’d taken from Killian’s room the night before and tapped it a few times.  Thankfully, Regina answered.

“Mom?”

“Henry!” the former queen answered.  “Where’s Killian?”

“They took him to the dungeons.  I just got up and was going to try and see King Fergus.”

“Oh Henry.”  His mother looked like she had the beginnings of tears in her eyes.  “You’re going to be a great King one day.  Anyways, I don’t want to alarm you, and you can’t tell Killian until we get him on the way back here, but with all the commotion yesterday your mother went into labor.”

“Killian is going to freak.  He wants to be there!”

“I know honey, but luckily I was here and I managed to use a spell that will basically stop it.  The only problem is I’m not sure how long it will hold.  All I can say is we have a few days at most.”

“Crap.  Well, I had a bad feeling about some advisor guy who was with the king when we got here and he read the paper that sent Killian to prison.  His name is Carlyle O’Connor.  I think he’s behind this because we’ve been here over a year and everyone knows who Killian is now and who he used to be.  They would’ve been after him way sooner.  Like everything here, I think magic is somehow behind this.”

“Let me figure some things out Henry and I’ll buzz you back.  Keep this mirror with you at all times.”

“Of course.  I’m going to get Robin and we’re going to see the King.  Tell my mom I love her and we’ll all see her soon.”

“Of course dear.”  She smiled at him and then the mirror went blank.  When he stepped out of his room, he immediately went next door and knock on Robin’s door.

“Anything new?” Robin asked as he stepped out, adjusting his scarf.

“Talked to my mom on the mirror and she told me my mom went into labor last night.”

“Gods.  Killian will not like this.  If anything happens to the child or Emma, I wouldn’t want to be in the way of his wrath.”

“Neither do I, but it’s okay because Mom said she did a spell to stop it.  We’ve got about three days to figure this out.  Come on, we’re going to talk to the King.”

 

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Back in the dungeons…

“Stand up pirate!”  Killian’s head jerked up to see Carlyle standing before his cell, wicked grin in place.  As Killian stood, he realized this man looked very familiar.  “It’s so amusing to see you in your rightful place.”

“Sod off you git.”

“Ah, ah.  Watch your mouth when speaking to your betters, pirate.”  The man spat the term like venom.  Killian gave a small, sarcastic chuckle and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Betters?  It may be by marriage, but I’m a prince!  I recognize where I’ve come from, but I’m a good person now.  What makes you better than me?”  Killian stared the man down.  He couldn’t get over how familiar he looked.

“You are NOTHING!  You are a simple navy lieutenant and filthy pirate who somehow managed to hoodwink royals into accepting you like some hero!  And I am better…I am a KING!” he shrieked.

“A king?  Serious--”  It came to him just then, as if a bucket of cold water had been dumped over his head.  Carlyle was indeed a king, but not just any king: he was the corrupted ruler that sent Liam and he on their mission to Neverland all those years ago.  “How?”

“Like everything, it was a little magic.  It was a deal I made with the Dark One and no, not your precious Rumplestiltskin.  The One before him, Zoso.  I’ve lived three lifetimes and at the end of each one, I am reborn.  I was to be immortal, but the spell given to me by the Dark One was specific: every single last one of you from the Jewel of the Realm must die before I may live forever.”

“You did this for immortality?”

“You were supposed to die in that forsaken land!  You and that brother of yours and everyone on that ship.  You were my sacrifice.”

“Are you going to kill me then?”

“Of that original crew sent to Neverland, you are the only one who remains living.  If I want to be truly immortal, you must die and you will.  You will be hanged in three days’ time.  It’s a pity, you will never know your child and you will die with the knowledge that your princess will think you died a criminal.”  Carlyle slunk up to the bars and grabbed Killian’s shirt, bringing him flush against them.

“You bloody, evil, sodding piece of--”

“I said watch your mouth!”  He slapped Killian with his free hand and smiled wickedly (again).  “And when I’ve gained my full immortality after your death and killed my idiot great-great-grandson and his wife and that stupid girl of his, I’ll take the armies of Éire and march on the Enchanted Forest.  Your family will be slaughtered in front of your princess, everyone she loves and when they’re all gone, I’ll take her for my own.”

“I. Will. Kill. You.”  Killian spoke through clenched teeth.

“I’d like to see you try.  You’re in a cell and I’m not.  The only way to truly kill me is to either remove the curse from my heart and then I will die naturally or you must crush it.”  Killian’s eyes widened and he pulled his right arm back and shoved it in the man’s chest, the way he’d seen Cora and Regina and Rumple do it before.  Except his hand closed around nothing.

“What?”

“Did you expect me to keep it in my chest?  I’ve not had my heart in me for over 300 years!  It so happens to be hidden safely away, with the dead in that village by the sea that I’m sure you’re quite familiar with.”  Carlyle released Killian and stepped back.  “See you at your execution Jones.”

“Mark my words you filth!  I WILL KILL YOU!” Killian screamed at the top of his lungs as the man left.

Neither man had noticed the two men and teenager that had been hiding around the corner, hearing every single word.

 

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Henry, Robin, and King Fergus hid around the corner until they were sure Carlyle was gone.

“Oh man.  He’s going to get it.   He’s made the ultimate bad guy mistake”, Henry laughed to himself.

“What is that Prince Henry?” King Fergus looked puzzled and so did Robin.

“Back in my realm, where I was born, we had these…moving pictures or movies, sort of like a play.  Anyways, in them, anytime the villain stood around and detailed his entire plan to somebody, it’d never work out.  He’d always lose.”

“We need to figure out which village he’s talking about”, said Robin.  “With the heart in our possession, Killian can be freed and the man can’t hurt him.”

“Exactly.”  Henry smiled at his step-father.

“I just don’t understand why I can’t free him now.”  King Fergus was puzzled again.

“If you release him, Carlyle with just kill him.  He prefers to do it publicly because he is cruel, but he will bypass it if need be.  Right now, he’s safe where he is.  Maybe the village is the one where Killian was born?  We can check your census records.  Do they go back that far?” Robin asked the King.

“Aye, they should.  We’ll need the name of at least one of his parent’s however.”

“My mom said his mom’s name was Isabelle Jones and you know his brother’s name.  They’re actually naming my brother after him.”

“Ok then.  Let’s get to my library and get started.”

 

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Hours passed in the King’s private library as the three men searched for the name of the village Killian was born in.  After determining Killian’s birth year, they discovered thousands had been born that year and there was more than one Isabelle Jones.  Henry snuck away when he felt the mirror vibrate in his pocket and his mother’s face appeared.

“Mom!  You won’t believe what we found out!”  Henry proceeded to tell her everything they’d heard Carlyle detailing to Killian.

“I will do what I can to find out how to break this.  I’m going to try and get in touch with your grandfather, maybe he can help me find a way.”

“Okay.  How’s my mom?”

“Fine for now, but I have a feeling if we don’t get him back here soon then we might lose one or both of them.  Find the heart if you can, but be careful.  Don’t go anywhere in that castle or anywhere else without Robin.”

“Of course mom.”  He shut the mirror and went back to find King Fergus and Robin pouring over a large leather-bound volume.

“Henry, was that Regina?” Robin looked up from the book and the boy nodded.  “Well?”

“She’s going to talk to Grandpa to see if he has any ideas on how we can lift the curse.  Meanwhile, we need to find that heart.”

“Well, you’re in luck young prince.”  Robin and Henry turned to King Fergus, who had a smile on his face.

“You found it?”

“Killian Jones, born to Isabelle and Alexander Jones, brother to Liam Jones, was born in the seaside village of Droichead Átha.”

“How soon can we get there?”

“I’ll have some horses saddled immediately.  I will meet you in the stables in 15 minutes.”  The king left Henry and Robin in the library.

“Can we go see him?”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea Henry.  Carlyle could be watching and it could put him in danger.”

“Right.  Let’s go get ready then.”  Henry and Robin went back to their rooms, changed into their riding clothes and hurried to the stables.  They were met by King Fergus…and his daughter.

“Princess.”  Robin gave her a small bow.  “Will you be joining us on the outing?”

“I will Lord Robin.  I do so love riding near the sea…and with certain company.”  She looked over at Henry, whose ears were turning slightly pink.  Robin pulled the king aside while Henry and Merida mounted their respective horses.

“Your Majesty, is it wise to bring your daughter on such a venture?”  Robin looked over his shoulder to where his step-son and the red-haired princess were talking animatedly.

“I tried to dissuade her, but she insisted she wanted to join us.  I gave in because it might have made Carlyle suspicious if I did not allow my daughter to accompany us, especially after taking a liking to young Prince Henry.”

“That is an interesting development to be sure…and something to discuss with his mother’s when we’ve solved our current conundrum.”  The two men joined Henry and Merida and set off towards Droichead Átha.

 

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Back in the Enchanted Forest…

 

Snow, David, and Regina (with Dani in her arms) sat in vigil in the sitting room of Emma and Killian’s bedroom.

“It’s only been a day, and she’s already worsening.  What are we going to do?”  Snow cried and David wrapped his arms his wife and placed a kiss in her hair.

“I’m sorry Snow, I’ve done what I can.  She needs to fight it and try to at least relax somehow.”  Regina bounced Dani in her lap, the little princess oblivious to what was going on.  She was enjoying trying to eat her small hand and stare around the room.

“Relax?  How do you expect her to relax, Regina?  Her husband is in jail with the threat of execution and she’s in labor!” David glared daggers at the former queen.  She sighed and ignored the look he gave her.  She understood that it was a difficult time.

“David, I know you’re worried.  Hell, I’m worried.  There’s just nothing we can do right now…short of putting her under a sleeping cur--”  That’s when it hit Regina.  “That’s it!”

“A sleeping curse?  You want to put Emma under a sl--”  Snow looked up at Regina in bewilderment.

“No, no.”  Regina shook her head as a smile grew on her face.  “It’s how we stop the bastard in Éire!  We get him under a sleeping curse.  I need to go see Blue and the other fairies.  Snow, would you mind keeping an eye on Dani for me?”  Snow wiped tears from her eyes as she took her step-sister into her arms.

“Of course.”  Regina kissed Dani on the forehead and made to leave.  “Regina?”

“Yes?”

“Hurry…and thank you.”

“Of course.  Anything for family.”

 

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Back in Éire…

 

King Fergus, Merida, Henry, and Robin were almost to Droichead Átha when Henry felt the mirror in his pocket vibrate.  He drew back from the others and pulled the mirror and found his mother smiling at him.

“Hey mom!  What’s the news?”

“I figured out how to stop Carlyle.”  Regina looked extremely proud.

“How?”

“Well, the first option would’ve been to ask Rumple to simply remove the curse.  But since he no longer has his power, that’s no longer possible.  The second option would’ve been to simply crush his heart, but that’s not something that I can ask of you or Robin or even Killian should you get to the heart without Carlyle’s knowledge.  And I am not the Evil Queen anymore so--”

“Mom!”

“Right.  With a little idea from your Gramps and help from the Fairies, we’ve brewed a Sleeping Curse.  All you have to do is get the heart back in Carlyle and then prick him with a needle laced with the curse.”

“Oh, is that all?” Henry sassed.  Regina laughed.

“You’ve been around Jones too long.”

“How are we going to get the Sleeping Curse?”

“Hold out your hand and let me see it.”  Henry did as he was told and saw his mother wave her hand and a cloud of purple smoke appeared on his: a small glass test tube (like from a chemistry set) with a cork stopper appeared in his hand and inside it was a long and jet black needle.  “Be careful Henry.  Do NOT open it and take out the needle before you absolutely need to.”

“I’ll be careful.  I promise.”

“Good, make sure you tell Robin.”

“I will.”

Regina’s image disappeared from the mirror and Henry put it back in his pocket.  Henry spurred his horse and pulled up close to Robin.

“How are we going to get the bloody heart in his chest?” Robin asked after Henry finished his story.

“No idea.  We’re going to have to run a distraction.”  Henry scratched behind his ear, “Or we hope we get the heart before him, then use it to command him to allow us to put it back in.”

“That might be our ultimate plan Henry.  This would be less dangerous had your mother come with us.”  Robin moved up to fill in the king while Henry rode next to the princess.

“Something going on Henry?”  She eyed him sideways through her fiery red curls.

“Nope!  Nothing’s going on, why would you think that?”  He looked over at her with a raised eyebrow.

“You do a thing with your eyebrow and rub your fingers when you get nervous.  You’ve been doing it a lot lately after the prince was taken into custody.”  I like this girl Henry couldn’t help thinking.

“You’ve been watching me?”  She nodded.  “Why?”

“I like ye Prince Henry.”  Henry was silent and dumbfounded with the princess’ revelation.  He was about to speak when they heard King Fergus up front.

“We’ve made it.  Welcome to Droichead Átha.”

 

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Killian was woken up with sharp rap to the bars of his cell.  He looked up to see Carlyle standing there with a smug grin.

“What do you want?”  Killian threw his arm over his eyes to try and not look at the man.

“Get up and put your hands outside the bars, we’re going on an outing.”

“And where are we going?” Killian asked as he stood and stuck his hands out so Carlyle could put irons on him.

“To Droichead Átha.” 

“Why are we going to my village?”

“It seems young Prince Henry, the King, and Robin Hood heard me and decided to take it upon themselves to stop my plans.”  Killian’s heart felt like it stopped.  Not the lad!  Swan would die if anything happened to her son.

“Do what you want with me, just leave them alone!”

“Never, and you will have to watch as they all die before I kill you.”  Carlyle unlocked the cell and Killian made to rush out at him but suddenly found himself frozen in place.  “Oh, did I forget to mention that another bit of Zoso’s deal was that I can magic?  Because it was!”  Carlyle waved his hand and he and Killian were engulfed by black smoke.

 

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Henry, Robin, Merida, and King Fergus rode through the seaside village towards the cemetery at its center.  Merida and King Fergus made sure to pull their cloaks over their faces to hide their identities (Merida especially, because she was widely known for her hair).  After a few minutes, they arrived and tied up their horses out front of a small church that had a small cemetery next to it, with a big tree near the back.

“Ok.  Spread out and start looking.”  Henry nodded at the group and went off to look (he’d finally informed Merida of their mission as they’d ridden through the village).

“What exactly are we looking for Prince Henry?” King Fergus asked.

“Honestly?  No idea.  But I think it’s one of those things that we’ll know when we see it.”  Henry started walking towards the back of the place while reading the gravestones.  When Robin called to him he ran over quickly, telling Merida to keep looking just in case.

“Is this it Henry?  It could say ‘Jones’.”  Robin pointed to a weathered gravestone and Henry crouched in front and tried his best to wipe away the dirt and weeds.  His happiness at finding something subsided, however.

“No.  That’s not it.”  Henry pointed to the years.  “See?  That’s about 75 years before his mother was even born.”

“Sorry.”  Robin looked downcast as well; losing Killian would hurt him too because the men had become very good friends and they were family.

“HENRY!  HENRY!”  Henry whipped his head around and ran towards where Merida crouched under the big tree.  “I think I’ve found it!  Look.”  The gravestone read ISABELLE JONES-BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER and in front of it was a small bouquet of buttercups.

“My mom was here.”

“How do ye know?  Ye said the last time she was here was almost nine months ago, and if she placed flowers they would have been long dead.”

“My mom has magic, so she must’ve put a spell on the flowers so they’d never wither.  Besides, buttercups are her favorite.”

 

Around nine months ago…

 

As Killian knelt in front of his mother’s grave and told her of his life and their adventures, Emma thought it would be nice if the flowers wouldn’t die before they had a chance to come back.  She dropped her hand from Killian’s shoulder (he didn’t register a thing being so absorbed in the story he was telling) and held it over the bouquet.  She felt a warmth and a small golden light enveloped the flowers.  Emma smiled to herself when she placed them in front of the grave.

 

“Da!  Lord Robin!  We’ve found the grave!”  Merida called over to where the two men were and they jogged over, Robin carrying a couple of spades they’d found near a small shed near the church.  Henry accepted one and him and Robin knelt down and started digging.

“I really hope this guy didn’t put it in with her because this is going to be disgusting if he did”, Henry said through strained breaths as he continued to dig.

“I could not agree with you more.”  Robin wiped his brow and kept digging.  The King and Merida kept look out while the two of them did the digging.  A few minutes later, Robin’s spade hit something and made a loud thunk!

“Is that--did you hit something?”  Henry dropped his spade and pushed dirt away from Robin’s and he quickly uncovered a small box made of a metal whose color had long since dulled.

“Henry, ye have to open it.”  Merida looked at him with her light blue eyes and he nodded.  He climbed out of the hole they’d dug and sat down as Robin began pushing the dirt back in.  Henry unlatched the box and pushed it open.  He’d seen a few hearts in his time (one of his mothers was the Evil Queen after all, albeit she was reformed) and he’d seen pictures of them in the Book, some just red like his grandmother’s (Snow) or darkened but still visible red like Regina’s or bright and golden like his (he had the Heart of the Truest Believer after all).  But nothing prepared him for the heart that sat in the box:  it was pure black, shriveled, and looked like a lump of coal.

“There can be no one worse than this man”, King Fergus said as he looked over Henry’s shoulder.

“Indeed Your Majesty.”  Robin just shook as head as he looked at the heart.  Henry reached in and picked it up.

“Oh God.  I feel horrible just touching this thing.”

“Then drop it!” Merida told him.

“No.”  She gave him a look that told him he was crazy, “As one of my dads likes to say: Try something new darling, it’s called trust.”  Merida’s cheeks flushed almost as bright as her hair and Henry heard Robin mumble something like I cannot wait to tell Emma and Regina about this.  Fergus cleared his throat,

“Perhaps we should be going?”  Henry nodded and placed the heart in his satchel and shut the box.  All of a sudden, there was yelling.

“Where the bloody hell am I you bastard?!”

“Killian?!”  Henry turned and ran to where Killian and Carlyle had just appeared in a cloud of black smoke, near the entrance to the graveyard, the former pirate with his hands bound behind his back and on his knees.

“Stay back lad.  He has magic!”  Killian pointed at the old man with his chin.  Carlyle spun and struck him, sending him to the ground.  Carlyle looked back at Henry.

“Give me the box and I won’t kill you.”

“But you’re still going to kill Killian.”  There was no question in Henry’s voice.

“Of course, but why should your mother lose you both?  Give it to me and I’ll let you live when I take your kingdom.  Don’t…and I’ll make you watch.”  Henry used to think Pan and Cora were the epitome of darkness and evil, but in that moment he realized it was the man in front of him.  In that moment…he wanted to crush that heart and watch the life leave Carlyle’s eyes. 

Killian had been watching him and noticed the change in Henry’s eyes as he opened the box to look at nothing (except they didn’t know that).

“Henry, no.  Don’t.  Don’t darken your heart.  Not for me.  You need to drop it and go.  Protect your mother.  Tell her I am sorry that I won’t be there for the baby's life.  I--”

“Shut up.”

“Henry?  Wha--”  Killian quirked an eyebrow.

“I said, shut. up.”  Henry just stared at his stepfather, praying that he would get the message he was trying to send him.  Meanwhile, Carlyle scoffed and rolled his eyes.

“See, pirate?  The boy can’t wait to see you gone.  Shall I help you along?”  Carlyle lifted his hand and Killian rose up to stand and started choking.

“Here!”  Henry held the box out to Carlyle who ripped it from his hands and Killian fell to the ground, coughing and gasping for air.  While the man was prying the box open, Henry slipped his hands into the satchel and pulled out the heart.

“Noooooooo!  WHERE IS MY HEART BOY?!” Carlyle screamed.  “GIVE IT TO ME NOW OR I WILL MURDER YOU!  YOU WILL WATCH AS I KILL YOUR BELOVED PIRATE AS I TEAR HIM LIMB FROM LIMB RIGHT NOW.  GIVE. IT. TO. ME.”  He poofed a sword into his hand and made to run Killian through, who kept his eyes on Henry.

Henry raised the heart slowly with a sly grin on his face.  Just before the blade touched Killian, the boy yelled,

“Stop!”  Carlyle stayed his blade.  “Drop it.”  The sword fell to the ground.

“No!”  The man started towards Henry.

“I said, stop.”

“Give that to me.”

I am the one giving orders now.  Don’t move.”  Henry walked right up to his face.  “You were going to kill Merida and her family.  You were going to kill one of my fathers.  You were going to take away my home.  You were going to murder the rest of my family and God knows what you were going to do to my mother.”  Carlyle smirked arrogantly and leaned forward.

“So?”

“So…what’s to stop me from crushing this thing you call a heart?”  Henry held up the shriveled, black heart and squeezed.  All Carlyle could do was scream in agony.

“Henry!  Stop!”  Robin had untied Killian and they’d both run to him.  “You don’t want to do this!” Killian pleaded.

“Regina and Emma wouldn’t want this!” Robin cried.

I want this.  Didn’t you guys hear what he said he was going to do?”

“Aye lad, but this filth isn’t worth doing this.  Give it to me, I’ll do it.”  Killian tried to take the heart from Henry.

“No!”

In the background, Fergus and Merida could do nothing but watch the events unfold.

“The heart Da, its darkness is corrupting him!  I have to do something!”  Merida made to run to Henry but Fergus held her back.  “Let me go!”

“Aye, it’s corrupting the young lad but if ye touch it, it might do the same for ya.”  Fergus let her go.  “His heart is too innocent to hold something so dark.  He needs to let it go.”

“Give me yer dagger.”  He just stared at her.  “Trust me!”  Her father handed her the dagger and she immediately bent down and used it to rip a piece of her dress off.  “Thanks da.”

“Be careful.”  Fergus watched as she cautiously made her way to Henry.

“Henry?” she asked quietly.

What?”

“You need to let that piece of filth go.  Its darkness and evil are corrupting you!”

“She’s right lad”, Killian said as he positioned himself next to the princess.

“Remember your mother’s plan, Henry.”  Uncertainty and fear flashed in Henry’s eyes.

“I can’t make him do stuff if I’m not touching it.”

“Just let me hold it for a second, while you recoup.”  Merida held out her hand that was covered with the piece of her dress.  Henry slowly placed it on the cloth and Killian immediately covered it and took it from the princess and looked to Carlyle.

“You will not move one muscle or speak or do anything or I will not hesitate to crush this piece of filth you call a heart.”  He spoke with one finger on the heart.  If looks could kill, with the way Carlyle glared at him, Killian would’ve been dead 1000 times over.  He turned back to Henry.  “Now what is this plan Emma had?”

“I-it…wasn’t Emma.”  Henry looked down at his feet.  “She couldn’t.”

“What do you mean?”  Killian was very worried.  Why wouldn’t his Swan come up with a plan, what was stopping her.

“My other mom, Regina…it was her plan.  We get him with a Sleeping Curse, but the heart has to be back in his chest.  We’re going to have to do it together, all five of us.”  Fergus and Robin joined them.

“I’ll put the heart in, the rest of you hold him down.”  Killian gave the orders then turned to Henry.  “How will we put him under?”

“With this.”  Henry pulled the vial from his satchel so Killian could see the needle.  “It’s covered in the potion for the Curse.”

“Okay then.  Be ready.”  Killian pulled the piece of Merida’s dress away from the heart and let it fall flush in his hand.  “Lay down on the ground.”  Carlyle looked like he was trying to fight the hold, but he couldn’t do it and lay down.  Fergus, Robin, and Henry each held down a leg or an arm while Merida had quickly retrieved her bow and quiver from her horse and held one pointed straight at the heart.

Henry opened the vial with the needle and held it over Carlyle’s hand as Killian crouched down over the man’s chest.

“You will all pay for this.  I will get out of this one day and you will all pay.”

“No we won’t because you will never get out of this curse.  When we return to the Enchanted Forest, my wife will use a wand that can create a portal to anywhere and your body will be sent to a place no one else can ever go.”

“Wh--”  Before Carlyle could finish voicing his question, Killian plunged the heart back in his chest.  300 years of feelings overcame Carlyle and while he writhed, Robin and Fergus held down an arm and Henry pricked his finger and the man went still.

“We did it!”  Henry jumped up in celebration.  Killian, however was not celebrating.  “What’s wrong?”

“Why did Regina have to think of a plan without your mother?” Killian asked Henry.

“Mom went into labor yesterday when you were taken away and my mom had to work her magic to stop the birth.  She did it to give us time to save you, so you could be there for the baby.”

“How is she?  Have you spoken to Regina today?” 

“Earlier and she said mom wasn’t doing too hot.”

“Gods.  We need to get back now.  I want to see Emma.  I want to be there for my son.  How do I get back home?  I need to go!”

“CALM DOWN.”  Henry pulled the mirror from his pocket and tapped it and Regina’s face swam into view.

“Well?”

“He’s sleeping mom.”

“Good.”  Killian chose that moment to grab the mirror from Henry.

“Regina, get me home…now.”

“Relax Jones.  Give me back to Henry first.”  Killian gave the mirror back to the boy.  “I’ll only be able to poof him, so you and Robin will have to return on the Jolly.”

“That’s ok Mom, just get him back there and keep my mom and my little brother safe.”

“I will.  Let me see Jones.”  Henry turned the mirror face Killian.  “Ready?”  Killian nodded impatiently.

“Hurry!”  Regina waved her hand and purple smoke started rising at Killian’s feet.

“Before you go”, said Henry, “Where are you sending his body?”  Killian smirked and crossed his arms over his chest as the smoke rose to his chin.

“Neverland”, he said and he was gone.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

When the purple smoke cleared, Killian took a minute to figure out where he was. He heard the boards of the docks creak under his boots and he realized he’d appeared at the docks at White Castle.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get you closer.” Killian turned to find Regina bent over with her hands on her knees and breathing hard. “I’m not used to transporting anyone over that great of a distance.”

“Thank you Regina. For everything.”

“It was--it was nothing.” She waved her hand to dismiss his comment. She stood and looked at him, “What are you still doing here? We can talk later! Get going!”

“Right.” Killian ran down the docks and up the stone steps to the castle as fast as he could. He tore through the hallways and up stairs until he reached the door to his and Emma’s bedroom. He burst in to find David sitting and staring at the fire. “How is she?” Surprisingly, he was not affected by his son-in-law’s sudden appearance.

“Not good.” They both went into the bedroom. Snow was sitting with Emma and stroking her hair.

“Killian!” She stood and pulled her son-in-law into a hug. “We’re glad you’re back. Is everything ok?”

“I promise I’ll tell you everything later. I need to be with my wife.” He sat on the bed and took Emma’s hand in his. He was kissing her knuckles when Regina arrived with Victor and Doc in tow.

“How are Robin and Henry?” she asked as the doctors made their way into the bedroom.

“They’re fine. You and Emma have a wonderful boy you know. We wouldn’t have been able to stop the man if it weren’t for him. They’ll be leaving Éire tomorrow morning and will be home in a few days.”

“Good.” She clapped her hands together and looked at Victor, Doc, and Killian. “As soon as I lift the spell, she’s going to wake and go into labor very soon after. David, Snow, I think it’s best you wait outside.” David leaned over Emma and placed a kiss on her forehead, while Snow waited for him at the door to the bedroom. “We’ll be out here if you need us.”

Regina nodded at Killian and the doctors as she took a spot at the foot of the bed and began the incantation to remove the spell on Emma. When she finished, she went out to the sitting room to join David and Snow. Emma’s eyes began to flutter open.

“Whale, Doc, can you give us a moment?” Killian asked without looking over at either of the men.

“We should probab-” Victor began but was silenced with one look from Killian. “Okay then, call us the second it starts.” Killian nodded and heard them both leave. Emma smiled as her eyes fell on Killian sitting next to her and then grew with surprise.

“Killian! Are you okay? What happened?! Where’s Henry?” She tried to sit up but Killian stopped her.

“Swan, you need to calm down. I’m fine, the lad is fine. He’ll be on his way tomorrow. Regina brought me because you’re about to give birth love.” She rolled her eyes at him.

“After seeing you get arrested and then going into labor, don’t you dare tell me to calm d--AHHHHH!”

“Swan?” One of her hands flew to her belly and the other grabbed Killian’s left and squeezed. “That’s quite a grip you’ve-” Emma turned to look at him so fast that he was sure she’d gotten whiplash.

“Shut. Up.” She spoke in a whisper and it sent a shiver up his spine; his Swan could be scary with the littlest effort. It was then that his brain finally caught up with the situation.

“Oh! Right! WHALE! DOC!” The men burst into the room and immediately got to work. “What can I do?” Whale and Doc didn’t respond as they were checking Emma to see where Liam was. “Whale!”

“This baby is coming now. She’s going to need to sit up, so get up here and sit behind her.” Killian pried Emma’s hand from his, threw off his coat and climbed onto the bed behind her. She leaned back against his chest.

“Is everything okay with him?” Emma looked at Doc and Victor. “He’s going to be okay right?”

“So far everything seems to be progressing Princess”, said Doc as Victor checked how dilated she was. When Emma felt another contraction coming, she gripped Killian’s hands and leaned forward.

“Easy there love, just got the hand back you know.”

“YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH KILLIAN JONES.”

“Emma, dar-”

“DON’T YOU DARLING ME JONES. YOU DID THIS TO ME. I AM NEVER HAVING SEX WITH YOU AGAIN!”

“Let’s not be hasty love-” She fell back against his chest and let out a breath. Whale checked her again.

“By the looks of it, you’re ready to go Emma. On the next contraction, you need to push, got it?” She nodded as she watched Victor lift the bed sheet up to her knees.

“Wait, wait. Not you.”

“Swan, Whale is more than cap-”

“Shut it Jones. You’re not the one pushing a bowling ball out of a very small opening! Doc, please. You do it.” Victor backed up and Doc took his place.

“It’s an honor Princess. I delivered you, you know.”

“Oh no, it’s coming again! Damn, this hurts like a bitch!” Emma yelled as the contraction hit and gripped Killian’s hands tighter.

“Breath love, breath.” He imitated the breathing Emma had mentioned when she’d told him about stuff like Lamaze classes from the Land Without Magic.

“Shut up! You will never touch me again! I swear to God I’m going to take the other hand!”

“Push Princess!” Emma yelled out as she leaned forward and pushed as hard as she could. “I see the head! Keeping going!”

“I can’t, I can’t! It hurts too much. I’m sorry Killian…”

“It’s okay, love. Relax and you’ll push again in a minute.” He placed a kiss on her temple when she leaned against him.

“Breathe Emma, the head is out and on the next one his shoulders will follow and then it’ll be over and this will all be over”, said Victor.

“Okay, okay.” Emma nodded vigorously. Barely a minute later, the contraction hit. She and Killian leaned forward and she yelled out again as she pushed.

“Come on Emma love, you can do this!” Killian whispered in her ear. “Push!”

“Shoulders are out Princess! Keep going!”

“Ahhhhhhh!” The candles in the room flickered as Emma gave the last push.

“He’s out! Dr. Whale, the blanket!” Whale handed Doc a light blue blanket with navy blue ribbons and ‘Liam’ stitched onto it (exactly like the one Granny made for Emma when she was born) and Doc placed the baby into it. Victor pulled a scalpel from his bag and cut the umbilical cord as he handed more cloths to Doc to clean up Liam. Killian scooted out from behind Emma and sat next to her. When Doc finished, Victor took the baby from him and walked to the head of the bed.

“Congrats you guys. Here’s your son.” Victor placed him lightly in Emma’s arms. “We’ll go inform the rest of them and give you a few minutes. I’m sure Red’s already out there and wanting to meet him, I’ll need to calm her down.”

“Thank you…Victor.” Killian stood from the bed and pulled Victor into a hug. “Doc, thank you as well.”

“It’s no problem. Like I said, it was an honor to deliver the child of someone I delivered.” Killian hugged him too and then sat back down next to Emma, taking his first real good look at his son: his little head was covered with tufts of jet black hair. His nose looked like Killian’s and his namesake’s, along with his ears, but the lad’s chin was all his mother’s and grandmother’s, complete with the beginnings of a dimple. Liam was crying so his eyes were scrunched shut, so they hadn’t seen what color they were yet.

“He’s perfect Swan. Ten fingers and ten toes. A little pirate prince in the making.” Killian kissed Emma’s forehead and then Liam’s who gurgled when he was tickled by his father’s beard.

“Do you want to hold him?”

“Me? Swan, I don’t know anything about…”

“You’ve held my brother. Relax, I know you won’t hurt our son.” Our son. Killian could believe his ears. He was a father. He had a son, and with his true love. After everything he’d gone through, all the darkness he’d seen and caused, he couldn’t believe he was so lucky. Emma handed him over and Killian was surprised to see Liam’s eyes open for the first time. His eyes were the brightest blue he’d ever seen, just like his mother’s. Just like his.

“Hello there little love. I’m your papa. I can’t believe I’m so lucky as to have you. I thought I’d fallen in love at first sight when I met your mother-” Emma laughed. “-but I think I understand what that means now that I’ve met you.” Killian tapped Liam’s nose with his finger and Liam gripped it tightly. “Do you see that Swan? We’ve got a strong lad!”

“Killian?”

“Yes love?” He didn’t turn to look at her, keeping his eyes on his son. “He’s going to be a handsome boy, just like his papa.”

“Thank you.” Killian looked over at Emma and she was sweaty and her hair was plastered around her face but in that moment, she had never looked more beautiful to him.

“For what, my Swan?”

“For this. For everything. For showing me that there was more to life. Just…everything.”

“If anyone should be thanking anyone, it should be me thanking you. Had it not been for you, I would’ve been stuck in a life of vengeance and hate. Seeing this little miracle makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.” Just then, Liam started crying again.

“Let’s see if he’s hungry.” Killian handed his son back to Emma and she pulled her nightgown down to feed him. Liam latched on immediately. When he’d drunk his fill, Emma wiped his mouth and pulled her gown up. “This is all new to me, even if I thought I’d done this with Henry. I’m glad I have the memories to know what to do.” She proceeded to put Liam against her shoulder and patted him on the back gently.

“May I?” Killian held his hands out and Emma passed him over to his father. Killian followed Emma’s actions but then started walking around the room. Emma pulled a small mirror (different to the one she used to communicate with Killian, which was actually in Regina’s possession) from her side table and tapped it. Emilie’s face swam into view.

“Your Highness! I’ve just heard you were safely delivered of a prince. Congratulations!”

“Thanks Emilie. I need you, could you come up please? And use the side door, not the main one.”

“Of course Princess.” Her face disappeared and Emma turned her attention back to her son and husband.

“Did he burp yet?”

“No love. Am I doing it wrong?”

“Don’t think so, just keep trying.” Not a minute later, there was a small burp. “Already has the manners of a pirate! That’s my boy!”

“My dad is going to love this.” A few minutes later, there was a soft knock and Emilie came in.

“Good afternoon Your Highnesses.” She curtsied. “How is our newest prince?”

“Perfect Emilie, thanks for asking”, Emma said from her spot in bed.

“Well, I will retrieve some things from your wardrobe and some towels and will get you ready to see your family, shall we Princess?” Emilie disappeared into their closet and came back with Emma’s deep red robe with a small fur trim and a fresh nightgown and some towels for clean-up.

“Shall I help love?” Emma swung her legs over the side of their bed.

“No, I think Emilie can do it.” Emilie helped her behind the dressing curtain as Killian took a seat on the edge of the bed. All he could do was smile down at his son and let him grip his finger. He heard light cursing coming from behind the partition and Emilie’s scolding.

“Princess!”

“Sorry, it’s just…kinda still hurts you know?”

“Emma love, is everything alright?” Killian called as he stood with Liam content in his arms.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming back to bed now.” He turned to see Emma (helped along by Emilie) step out from behind the partition. She had a fresh nightgown and her robe on and he saw that Emilie had quickly braided her golden locks into a braid. Her lady’s maid helped her get comfortable in the lone squishy armchair in the corner of their room.

“I’ll just change the sheets quickly and then you can lay back down Princess.” As Emilie went about doing the bed, Killian sat down on the arm of the chair.

“Here’s your son back Swan.” He carefully transferred their son into her arms and Liam squirmed and made a grab for Emma’s fingers.

“Wow, he is pretty strong huh?”

“Just like his grandfather!” Emma and Killian looked up to see David and Mary Margaret lingering in the doorway. “We’ve come to see our grandson.”

“Dave, Lady Snow, please come in.” Killian stood from his spot on the arm of the chair and was immediately pulled into a hug by Snow.

“Congratulations Killian.”

“Thank you milady.” David clapped him on the back.

“So, what is our grandson’s name?” David asked.

“Nope, no way Dad.” He looked over at Emma who was handing the baby to Snow.

“What?”

“You made us wait to find out Neal’s name, so it’s only fair Killian and I do the same.” A grin broke out on David’s face like it was Christmas.

“You want to go with tradition? You want to have the naming ceremony?” Emma looked up at Killian.

“If that’s okay with you.”

“Of course it is my love.”

“Perfect, I’ll have someone get started on decorating the throne room and invitations to only the more important people. And we’ll be ready to have it as soon as Henry and Robin have returned.” Snow spoke without looking away from the baby. “I have to say, Killian, he looks just like you already. Same eyes, same hair, same nose even.”

“Aye, a nose just like his uncle. But his chin as all you and Emma.” Snow passed the baby over to David who, once again, seemed unable to contain his happiness.

“He’s perfect. And strong. He’s going to grow up to be the greatest knight.”

“I think you and Killian will disagree on that Dad.” Emma laughed at the look on David’s face.

“Why’s that?”

“Because my son will be no knight.” Killian sat down next to Emma once again. “No, my son is going to be a little pirate prince!”

Chapter Text

Henry watched as King Fergus’ soldiers loaded the cursed form of Carlyle onto the Jolly. Robin was off to the side speaking quietly with the king. Henry’s mind drifted back to when he’d received a mirror call from Killian, letting him know that his mother was perfectly fine and delivered of a son.

 

“What’s his name?”

“You’ll have to wait until the naming ceremony when you return, just like everyone else lad.” Killian smiled as Henry rolled his eyes in total Emma fashion. “Don’t worry, it’s just a week. Now tell me about this gift you’ve been crafting for your brother.”

“Uh-uh, no way. I don’t get to know his name, you don’t get to know about my gift. Not even Mom knows. The only one who does is my other mom because she helped me ‘acquire’ things for it.”

“Touché Henry.” Henry saw Killian glance over to his side and smile.

“You’re looking at Mom, aren’t you?”

“’Course I am m’boy. She’s had a dreadfully busy day and the little one’s just gone down, so she’s taking advantage.”

“Can I see him at least?” Killian nodded and moved the mirror over to a bassinet next to his and Emma’s bed, allowing Henry his first glimpse of his brother. “He looks just like you, doesn’t he?”

“Aye, that seems to be the consensus.”

“I’m going to go to bed now, but I can’t wait to see you guys.”

“I know both your mothers can’t wait to see you either. Me as well and your grandparents. Be safe and give my apologies to Fergus and his family.”

“I will.”

“Let the princess know she’s welcome to visit whenever she likes as well.” Killian gave Henry one of his trademark winks and then the mirror went blank and Henry was staring at his own face.

 

Henry turned away from Carlyle’s body when he heard horse hooves approaching. Merida’s horse came to a stop near him and she jumped from the saddle and strode over to him.

“Did you speak with your mother?”

“She was asleep but I talked with my stepdad.”

“And…?”

“Well, we knew it was a boy because of my great grandma’s talisman, but the good news is that everyone is just fine. They refuse to tell me what his name is and that I have to wait until the naming ceremony when we get back.”

“Congratulations.”

“Thanks.” They were quiet for a bit while Robin finished his goodbyes with Fergus and Elinor, who’d ridden up with Merida.

“I’ll miss you.” If Merida hadn’t been standing as close to Henry as she had, he probably wouldn’t have heard her.

“I, uh…I’ll miss you too.” They smiled at each other and shuffled their feet, completely unaware of the audience they had (Robin, Elinor, and Fergus were all watching them). “I’ll get my mom to write out the spell to enchant a mirror so that we could talk. I mean, that’s if…you know, you want to.” Merida’s cheeks were starting to match her hair as she tucked a wild and curly strand behind her ear.

“I’d like that.”

“Henry!” Robin called over to him as he walked up the gangplank to the Jolly Roger. “It’s time to go.” He and Merida walked over to her parents.

“Killian sends his apologies for leaving so suddenly.”

“It’s no problem Your Highness”, said Elinor.

“Yes, yes. Is everything okay back home?” Fergus looked at him concerned.

“Yes sir. Killian made it in time and my mom had the baby. I’ve got a new baby brother.”

“When everything is settled and the little lad is big enough, I hope all of you come down for a visit.”

“Of course, I’ll let my mom know.” Henry shook hands with the king and queen. “It was nice to meet you all.” He turned to the gangplank but turned back around and planted a kiss on Merida’s cheek and then ran onto the ship. Robin laughed to himself and couldn’t wait to tell Emma and Regina.

 

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When Henry and Robin returned to the Enchanted Forest, Carlyle’s body was taken and placed in the same cell that had once held Rumplestiltskin. There it would stay until Emma was recovered to use the Dark Fairy’s wand to open a portal to Neverland. Henry spent his first few hours back home with his mother and his little brother.

Younger brother.” Killian laughed from where he sat in his and Emma’s sitting room, watching Henry hold the baby. “As someone who had that argument many times, I’m sure the term ‘younger brother’ would be most appreciated.”

“Relax Killian, we’ll let the two of them decide when the baby is old enough.” Emma smiled at her husband as she stroked her son’s hair.

“How are you feeling love?” Killian looked worried when Emma turned to face him.

“Pretty good. I think it’s time we opened the portal.” Killian stood and went over to Emma, taking her hand in his.

“Are you sure Swan?” He pressed several kisses to her hand. “If you do not--”

Killian…I’m sure.” She turned back to Henry. “So, are you ever going to show us the mobile you made for your brother?”

“You going to tell me the name? The one you finally decided on?”

“Are you going to tell me about Merida?” Henry’s ears went pink and the edges of his mouth quirked into an almost smile.

“Might as well. I know Killian and Robin have probably been telling you about her and stuff.” Henry went on to tell his mother about the pretty girl with the fiery red hair that he’d spent time with and how he missed her already and how he’d promised he would send her the spell to enchant a mirror so that they could talk.

“Congratulations lad!” Killian carefully patted him on the back (he was still holding the baby).

“Oh! My baby is growing up!” Emma cried with exaggeration.

“Hmph.” Henry wasn’t looking forward to having to repeat the story to Regina. Despite everything, the boy enjoyed his privacy and didn’t want his family meddling in whatever was going on between him and Merida. “Would you like to see the mobile?”

Killian and Emma nodded. Henry handed his stepfather the baby and ran off to his room where he’d hidden his gift for his little brother. He went into the nursery and hung the mobile over the dark wood crib and noticed the blanket Granny had made for him, with Liam sewn in blue on the side. He smiled as he went back to his family.

“Where is this grand gift lad?” Killian asked as Henry came back into the room.

“I already hung it in the nursery. Come on!” Killian, Emma (with the baby in her arms), and Henry filed out of their bedroom and headed down the hall to where the nursery was. However, Henry stopped them before they could go inside.

“Come on kid.” Emma gave him a Mom Look.

“Killian, close your eyes and cover Mom’s. Mom, you put a hand on my shoulder and I’ll lead you in.”

“Is this necessary?” Killian quirked an eyebrow at him.

“Just go with it, yeah?” Both adults rolled their eyes but did as they were told. Liam was content to lie in his mother’s arms and wonder what in the world was going on. When Henry was sure everyone was ready, he opened the door and led them in. He positioned them next to the crib and took the baby from his mother, putting him in the crib. “Ready?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, open!” Killian and Emma stared at the piece of artwork hanging above their son’s crib: it was a tree, with many branches winding off it. At the top, it started with an empty frame where Henry explained he’d draw a picture of the baby and put it in later and the name Liam was painted above it. Below that, were hand drawn pictures of Emma and Killian and Henry. Branching from Henry were pictures of Baelfire (Neal) and Rumple and Milah and Belle. From Emma were pictures of David and Ruth and Snow and Neal. Also from Henry, there was a branch showing Regina, Robin, Roland, and Dani. From Killian, there was a single frame with a picture of Liam (his brother).

“Henry…lad, this…this is perfect.” Killian ran a finger over the picture of his brother and looked down at his son. “You’ve wanted to know his name, yet you placed ‘Liam’ over the frame.”

“It was a lucky guess. You talk about how wonderful Uncle Liam was, so I figured-” Henry didn’t get to finish his sentence before Killian grabbed him and pulled him into a tight hug.

“Thank you Henry.”

 

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The next day, after reassuring everyone she was perfectly able, Emma retrieved the Dark Fairy’s wand from the vault below White Castle. She joined Killian, David, Snow, Regina, Rumple, Belle and Robin in the dungeon where the body was being kept. Emma, Regina, and Killian would be going through the portal to Neverland with Carlyle’s body.

“Everyone ready?” They all nodded and Emma held up the wand, concentrating and suddenly, a swirling green portal appeared in the room. Regina magically lifted Carlyle and walked through the portal, promising Robin she’d be right back. After her were Emma and Killian, going through hand in hand…

 

In Neverland…

 

The group landed on the beach where they’d rowed to from the Jolly years before. Looking around, they tried to get their bearings. Regina was the first to speak.

“Okay, so where are we dumping this piece of trash?” She pointed at Carlyle with her chin.

“I think we should get him to a cave and then cover all entrances with Dreamshade”, said Killian.

“We should find other ways to ‘lock’ the entrances too.” Emma looked over to Regina. “Do you have any suggestions?”

“A blood lock would probably be best and then both of us can put a protection spell over it that would only allow either one of us.” Killian clapped his hands together.

“Perfect, now all we have to do is find a cave. Let’s hurry because I’d rather like to get back to my son.”

“Would it be all kinds of wrong if we used Neal’s cave?” Emma asked apprehensively.

“I don’t think he’d mind Swan.”

“Okay then.” Regina used her magic to make Carlyle float and they followed Killian back to Neal’s cave. When they arrived, Emma saw that in the few years since they’d been there, nothing had changed; everything was still in its place. Regina released her magic and the body fell with a loud thud onto the stone where Neal had once slept. Emma and Killian just stared at her.

“What?” She looked at them both before Emma just grinned and shook her head. Regina waved her hands over Carlyle’s body and a glass cover appeared. With that, the group left the cave and Emma and Regina each took an entrance, casting their own protection spell over it and the rest of the cave. When they finished, Regina cast a blood lock spell and then magic-ed Dreamshade over the entrances.

When they were done, they stood back to admire their handiwork.

“We’re going to have to check on all this every now and again.” Emma looked over at Regina and Killian.

“We can bring it up with your father at the next War Council Swan. Maybe send someone with you or Regina each month to check.”

“I agree with the Captain.” Regina smiled.

“Then it is settled.” Killian took Emma’s hand in his. “Let’s get home to our son.” Emma leaned in and kissed him.

“Come on you two. Can we go home please?” Regina crossed her arms and rolled her eyes.

“Oh relax Regina.” Emma laughed and lifted the Dark Fairy’s wand, conjuring the portal to take them home.

 

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After returning from their mission, Killian and Emma spent time with Henry and Liam, allowing the brothers to become familiar with one another. A week and a half after Liam’s birth, the naming ceremony was held in the throne room.

Killian woke up early that morning. He felt Emma’s puffs of breath flow across his chest as she lay curled against him. As he watched her sleep, he heard noises coming from the bassinet on Emma’s side of their bed. Carefully extricating himself from her arms, he got out of bed and pulled a loose fitting shirt over his head and put on his robe. He went over to where Liam was stirring.

“Alright little lad, I’ve got you.” Killian picked up his son and Liam started whimpering a little. “Shh, shh, shh. No crying, you’ve got to let your mother sleep.” He made sure Liam was wrapped in his blanket and quietly left the room for the nursery down the hall. On the way, he saw Emilie.

“Good morning Your Highness, how is the little prince today?” she asked after curtseying.

“He is doing very well this morning. I thought I’d let Emma sleep in a bit, so I’m taking Liam to the nursery.”

“I’ll inform the princess. I was on my way to your chambers to help her get ready for the big day today.”

“Thank you.” Emilie curtsied again and headed back downstairs and Killian made his way to the nursery and sat in the rocking chair Marco had made for them. He was rocking Liam in silence when the baby started making noises again. “Shall I sing you a song then my boy?”

Liam reached up and grabbed his father’s finger, causing him to laugh. Killian went through all the sea shanties he knew before deciding on one of his favorites.

 

“Weigh-hay and up she rises
Weigh-hay and up she rises
Weigh-hay and up she rises
Early in the morning!

What will we do with a drunken sailor,
What will we do with a drunken sailor,
What will we do with a drunken sailor,
Early in the morning?

Put 'em in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him,
Put 'em in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him,
Put 'em in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him,
Early in the morning!

Put him in the brig until he's sober,
Put him in the brig until he's sober,
Put him in the brig until he's sober,
Early in the morning!”

 

“Is that really an appropriate song to sing to a newborn?” Killian had been so focused on singing, he hadn’t heard Emma enter the room. He turned to see his beautiful wife leaning against the doorframe with a big smile on her face. She pushed off her resting spot and went over to him, a vision in the deep red robe reminiscent of Dave’s cloak and lined with fur.

“Oh come now love, he is the son of a pirate and as such should be allowed to enjoy my favorite shanties.” Emma leaned down and gave him a kiss.

“Uh huh. I just don’t want to hear you complaining when he’s 16 and singing them all around the place.” Killian stood and handed Liam over and Emma took his place in the rocking chair. She untied her robe and loosened her nightgown. He went and sat in the window seat as he watched Emma feed their son.

“Of course not. You’ll not hear such things from Liam. He’ll sing his bawdy songs in private!” She laughed stroked Liam’s soft hands as he drunk his fill. When the baby finished, Killian stood to help her with her nightgown. Emma got up from the rocking chair and he tied her robe closed.

“Let’s get back to the room and get dressed. Mom and Dad will wonder why we haven’t made it to breakfast.”

“Aye.” He kissed Emma and the Liam’s forehead. “Then we have to ready ourselves for someone’s ceremony!”

 

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Emma looked at herself in the body length mirror in their bedroom and smiled: her dress was a deep navy blue and looked like the forest green one she’d worn when they’d gone for Ruby’s wedding, except she was no longer pregnant. Emilie had done up her hair in a simple chignon and pinned her tiara into her hair. She turned around to see her son sitting in the arms of her other son dressed in a white outfit that resembled what some babies wore to be baptized back in the Land Without Magic. Henry was dressed in a velvet outfit the same color as Emma’s with a cape and his gold circlet perched on his head.

Killian came out of their closet with an exasperated look on his face.

“You look good Killian.” Henry looked up from Liam in his lap and smiled.

“Hmph.” Emma chuckled and looked at him in the mirror.

“I agree. You look dashing.”

“Um, I said good, not dashing”, said Henry.

“I feel like a trussed up bird.” Killian wore navy blue breeches, a matching high collar tunic over his billowy white shirt, and a cape like Henry [imagine the red outfit David wore in New York City Serenade but a deep Navy blue and no fur].

“Killian, this isn’t like Granny’s after Neal was born. You had to know that something like this was going to happen eventually. You married into the royal family.”

“I know Swan. It’s just that…this is still pretty new. At all these other events, I wore things I was used to. This--” He waved his hands around, indicating his outfit. “--is not really me.”

“Don’t worry. This is pretty official, more than the wedding was. We’re presenting our son as an heir to the throne, showing of the four of us as officially in line and all that mess.”

“I know love, I’m just nervous is all.”

“Don’t worry Killian.” There was a knock at the door of their room, so the three of them (Henry carried Liam) filed out to the sitting room to find David and Snow in all their finery and crowns waiting for them.

“How are my grandsons?” David smiled as Henry handed him Liam.

“I’m excited Gramps. This little guy is lucky because he has no idea what’s going on.”

“Wow, look at you Killian. Very princely.” David gave him a soft punch in the arm.

“Thank you Your Majesty.” Saying the last bit with the slightest bit of sarcasm. It was then that he noticed Snow had a blue box in her hands, similar to the one that housed Emma’s tiara. “What might that be Snow?”

“This? Well, this is a gift. For you, actually.”

“You’ve got me something? It’s not my birthday or that Christmas holiday yet.”

“What you do Mom?” Emma walked over to where Snow had set the box on their coffee table. David handed the baby over Snow and turned to face Killian.

“You’ve done so much for this family. You saved our grandson, fought by our side, and brought our daughter back to us at great sacrifice to you. Like we told you before, you were family before you married Emma. You married a princess and we all know it was a bit difficult for you to adjust to your new title.”

“It was a peculiar thing to come to terms with I have to admit. I’m just glad I don’t have to be a king…no offense.”

“None taken. But you are still a prince and a prince gets a crown.” David flipped open the box and there was a less ostentatious version of his crown sitting on the pillow.

“Oh my God.” Emma brought her hand up to her mouth and looked from the crown to Killian, who simply stared. She bumped him with her elbow. “Killian?”

“Huh?” He looked over at her and she just motioned to her parents with her eyes. “Oh right. Ahem…thank you Dave, Snow.” David picked it up and Killian sort scrunched down so David could put it on him.

“Well!” David clapped his hands together. “Now that we’re all ready, let’s get on with this!”

 

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“Queen Snow and King David!” cried Grumpy.

David, holding Snow’s hand walked out onto the dais and they sat in their respective thrones. A little lower on the dais were the two empty thrones where Emma and Killian would now sit, with Henry standing next to his mother. Grumpy announced,

“Princess Emma and Prince Killian with Prince Henry!” The three of them walked out and took their places. When everyone was seated, Grumpy bowed and stepped off to the side. David stood and spoke to the crowd.

“We are here today to officially announce the birth of our second grandson.” He held out his arm to the side of the room where Granny walked out with the baby in her arms. Emma and Killian stood and Granny handed him to Emma. Killian stepped forward.

“Thank you for being here with us on such an important day. We would like to introduce you all to our son.” Emma held the baby upright against her chest in a sitting position as she moved next to him. She nodded to her husband. “He is named first for one of the bravest and greatest navy captains of the realm, my brother and he is named second for one of the most humble and just and greatest men of this kingdom. I’m pleased to announce our son, Prince Liam David Jones.”

There were cheers from the crowd, but Killian could only think to look over at his mate. He was pretty sure they all knew that he and Emma would name the baby after his brother, but Killian was sure that David had no inkling of their choice of middle name. Killian could think of no better way to honor two important men. He brought his arm around Emma and his other around Henry, pulling his family close to him and cocked his head at David and Snow, telling them to join them.

He’d been through so much in his life. But as he looked around at his family, he couldn’t help but think that he’d never have to feel like that again.

 

Chapter Text

The End.

Emma was woken from a deep sleep when a small body landed on her. Her eyes snapped open to see a pair of bright blue eyes staring back at her.

“Liam! What are you doing up so early?” Emma planted a kiss on her son’s forehead.

“Gods lad, what a way to wake us”, grumbled Killian from next to her.

“Mama! Papa! We have to get ready! We’re leaving today, remember?” Six-year-old Liam stared down both his parents.

“Of course we remember! Do me a favor though kid?”

“Of course Mama.”

“Go see Emilie and she’s going to help you get ready while we get ready and then we can all go get your little sister.”

Younger sister Mama.” Emma rolled her eyes.

“There can be no doubt he is your son Killian.”

“Aye, love. He’s a perfect strapping young lad.” Killian pulled his son into a hug then walked him to the bedroom door. “Now off with you Liam. Go do what your mother said, aye?”

“Aye, Papa!” Liam gave him a salute and ran off, shouting for Emilie. Killian went back to Emma and pulled her from their bed.

“I know this entire thing is difficult for you Swan. Going off to see Henry get married.”

“He maybe 18, but he’s still my little boy Killian.” She buried her face in his shoulder and cried a bit as he ran his hand over her hair and rocked her side to side.

“Don’t worry about him love, Henry will make a great king for Éire. I’m bloody proud to see him sit on the throne for my homeland. They all love him there and Fergus and Elinor couldn’t be happier too.” When she’d calmed down, they both got dressed and were finishing when they heard a knock at the door. Emma ventured out to the sitting room to find Emilie and Liam.

“The young prince is ready Your Highness. Footmen are on the way to pick up the trunks and load them on the ship.”

“Thank you Emilie.” Liam dropped her hand and ran to his father who’d just stepped out from their bedroom and wrapped himself around his legs.

“Ready to go get Meara?” Killian asked him.

“Yes Papa!” Liam unwrapped himself and took off with Killian running behind him.

“You finish up here love, we’ll come back with the little princess.” He left Emma with Emilie to finish packing the smaller things and followed his son’s hurried footsteps down the stone corridor. He went through the open door of the nursery to find Liam up on a step stool looking down at his little sister. Meara Ruth Jones giggled as her brother tickled her tummy. The way Liam was the exact look of his father, the 14 month old princess was the spitting image of her mother…except for the eyes, which were her father’s.

Liam tugged playfully on her blonde curls and she just giggled some more.

“Careful now lad”, said Killian.

“Yes Papa.” Killian looked down into the crib and his little girl reached up her chubby hands at him. He reached in and picked her up.

“Ready to go on your first voyage little love? We’re going to see Henry.”

“Henwy!”

“Henry and Merida are getting married!” Liam was bouncing up and down with excitement.

“Yes lad, they are. Now let’s take Meara and get going. The Jolly will be leaving soon.” Back in the corridor, Killian put Meara down and held on to her little hands as she wobbled back to her parent’s room in front of him. They were passed by several footmen carrying their trunks and came upon Emma doing up the clasps of her leather jacket.

“Killian! It’s time to go. Get your coat on, I’ll finish with Meara.”

­“Of course love.” He left Meara with Emma and got his long black leather coat from their closet. While he still had his old coat, the royal tailors managed to make him one exactly like it but it didn’t weigh anywhere near what the old one did. He slid it on over his white shirt and light brown breeches and went back out to see Emma doing up the clasp on Meara’s tiny coat that was a mirror image of her mother’s (she, of course, had one like her father’s as well).

“Is Maggie going Mama?” Liam asked. His best friend was Ruby and Victor’s oldest daughter, Maggie, named for Snow’s cursed alter ego. They had a young son as well who was two years younger than Liam who they named Gerhardt (or Gerry).

“Of course she is. They’ll be on the Falcon with Grandma and Grandpa and Neal.” Emma hoisted Meara onto her hip and turned to Killian. “Is everyone ready?”

“Yes Mama!”

“Ready Swan.”

“Swan!” cried Meara (who was in her ‘repeat everything my papa says’ stage and it was also one of the few words she could pronounce correctly). The little family left their quarters and made their way to the entry hall of the castle. When Liam saw David, he took off running.

“Careful lad!” Killian called as his son ran down the last few steps to jump into his grandfather’s arms and David took a couple steps back with the impact.

“Grandpa!”

“Good morning! How’s our future knight?”

“I’m very excited! We get to see Henry. I miss him. I haven’t seen him for weeks!”

“I miss him too Liam. But he’s going to be very happy to see you.”

“I’m sure he’s going to be happy to see us all”, chimed in Snow. Liam jumped down from his grandfather’s arms and tugged on his uncle’s arm.

“Want to race to the docks?”

“Liam David J--” Before Killian could finish admonishing his son, the two boys took off. “Be careful!” He gave Emma a look and she just smiled and shook her head.

“Go.” He took off after them as Emma, Meara, and her parents made their way out at a more normal pace.

“You know”, said Snow, “When we first knew Killian, he didn’t seem like a man who would ever be a good father or would want to be. I didn’t honestly see it. But now, the way I see him with Liam and Meara and how he was with Henry…I don’t see the man we met.”

“I couldn’t agree more dear”, added David as he watched his son-in-law jog after his son and brother-in-law, making sure they didn’t trip or fall. “It’s like he was made for this.”

“Yeah. We had our hands full when Liam was younger. Killian would sing him old pirate shanties to calm him down at night and the baby would fall asleep almost instantly. He’d never do that for me. Meara is kind of the same. She enjoys her daddy’s stories. I just hope the next one likes when I sing to them.” Emma stopped walking when she realized what she’d said. Her parent’s only made it a few steps before it registered.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you correctly Emma.” David gave his daughter a Look and Snow was just vibrating with excitement.

“Emma! Are you?!”

“Shh!” She looked down at Meara. “Be careful what you say, she’s learning and she could repeat. It’s early yet. I used the same spell as last time and I double checked with the midwives.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” asked Snow.

“I didn’t want to steal Henry’s thunder, you know? You remember when we found out about this one, Killian jogged around the castle telling everyone that he’d made a princess. I told him it could be a boy, but he said that he was sure it was a girl. I’ll tell him after the wedding.”

David and Snow eyed her as she bit her bottom lip, a sign that she was worried about something.

“Emma, what is it?” asked David.

“It’s probably nothing.”

“Emma…” Snow quirked an eyebrow. Damn if everyone learns that from Killian at some point! she thought to herself.

“When the spell is done correctly, the confirmation is that a white light pulses. It obviously did. It’s just...it’s just that it pulsed twice.”

Snow and David turned to look at each other as their eyes widened comically. Snow raised a hand to cover her mouth and turned back to Emma.

“Emma, it’s possible that it pulsed twice because it’s not just one.”

“What? That’s crazy.”

“You know about James.”

“Oh my God.” A look came over her and that happened to be the moment Killian turned to look back at her from where he stood at the end of the docks. He called over to one of his crew to keep a sharp eye on the princes and hurried back down the pier. Snow took Meara from Emma’s arms and gave him a nod as she and David went over to where Smee and Killian’s Lieutenant where minding Neal and Liam.

“Love, is everything alright? You’ve turned white as a sheet.”

“Noth--”

“Don’t lie to me Swan.” Emma just shook her head and a smile appeared on her face. She took a step towards her husband and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Open book, huh? Even now?”

“Even now darling. Always.” Emma pressed her lips to his in a chaste kiss. “Please tell me what’s wrong.” She leaned back in Killian’s arms.

“Honestly, nothing’s actually wrong. I was just taken for surprise.”

“By what?”

“Later. I promise.” Killian sighed.

“Have it your way Swan. I have ways of making you talk.” Emma laughed as he wagged his eyebrows at her.

“Wow! Your first Star Wars reference! Good for you.” They laughed and walked hand in hand over to the rest of the family. Snow handed Meara over to Killian and hugged her daughter.

“Congratulations honey. He’s going to be thrilled.”

“Thanks mom.” They broke apart and Emma took Liam’s hand. Snow kissed her grandson and led Neal up the gangplank to the Falcon. David clapped Killian on the shoulder and gave Emma a hug and left to join his wife and son on the Falcon, who were saying their hellos to Ruby and Victor. Killian (with Meara in his arms) followed Emma and Liam up the Jolly’s gangplank. Liam dropped his mother’s hand and ran to the bow.

“Turner!” A young man in his early 20’s ran up to Killian.

“Commander”, he said as he saluted. He turned to Emma and bowed, “Your Highness, welcome aboard. We’ve not seen you in a while.”

“Hey Will.” Emma liked Killian’s lieutenant; he was an eager young man with a great love for the sea. Liam adored him because he’d been there to explain everything about the ship when Killian had been busy steering or tending to official matters when they were still docked at the Castle. “Life’s been busy with the little princess here, so we haven’t had much time to sail. Speaking of kids, how’s Elizabeth feeling?”

“Wonderful and extremely tired at the same time princess, since she’s due in a few months. Like all fathers, I’m hoping for a son, as she hopes for a healthy babe.”

“As should any parent”, said Killian. “Turner, take the helm and lead us from port. Carefully, we’ve the Falcon following. Once we’re out of Castle Lake, Captain Smee will take the lead with the Falcon as the flagship.”

“Right away Commander.” Will saluted once more and bowed before he took over the helm. Despite not actively going out on missions since the incident in Éire six years prior, Killian was still the Commander of the White Royal Navy. He oversaw recruitment and training of the elite naval recruits. Emma called them the Enchanted Forest’s very own Navy SEALs, and Killian kept asking why she was referring to the men as animals. It took a long time for her to stop laughing to explain what she meant.

Joining their son at the bow of the Jolly, Killian lifted Meara onto his shoulders and Emma picked Liam up and stood him on the railing as she held onto him.

“Release moorings Mister Harrison!” Will called to a crewman who pulled up the ropes. A similar call was heard across the way aboard the Falcon. “Piper! Stewart! Sails!” The men Will called to and a few others pulled the rigging to unfurl the sails. The wind caught them and the ship left the dock, the castle becoming smaller and smaller in the distance.

 

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Three days into the trip, Regina and Robin’s flagship, the Archer’s Apple, caught up with them. Liam went over to spend time Dani and Neal, so Killian and Emma were alone with Meara for a day. While walking along the deck while holding Meara up as she tried walking, Killian pleaded with Emma to tell him what she’d promised.

“Come on Swan.”

“No. I said later.”

“But Swaaaaan…”

“You’re lucky you’re adorable when you whine.”

“I am not adorable. I was a pirate! Pirates are not adorable.”

“Please…”

“Tell me Swan.”

“After Henry’s wedding. It’s only a few more days, okay?”

“You promise love?”

“Of course.” Killian kissed her lips lightly and turned back to his little princess. She let go of his hands and plopped down. Killian left her sitting and crouched by the mast, extending his hands to her.

“Come on little love. Come to papa.”

“She’s not going to learn to walk while we’re sailing Killian.”

“Nonsense darling, she was born on this ship. She is of the sea, so of course she will be able to learn to walk on the Jolly.”

(Emma was 38 weeks into her pregnancy with Meara and was in the ‘Get this baby out of me!’ stage when Killian suggested they take a sail on Castle Lake. They were finishing up their picnic lunch when Emma’s water broke. Since they were alone, Killian had to deliver the baby before they could set sail back to the castle. When they arrived at the docks, Turner was sent to get Victor and Doc.)

Meara looked over at her father with concentration, and with a little furrow of her brows (like her mother, she got a little wrinkle in between her eyebrows when she concentrated), she grabbed onto her mother’s leg and stood up. It wasn’t the first time she’d stood on her own, but it was the first time she took a step.

“Killian. Did you see that?!”

“Yes love!” Meara fell back down, but used her mother’s leg to stand once more. She took shaky steps toward her father who was calling to her. “That’s it little love. You can do it!”

Meara walked into her father’s arms and he stood, tossing her into the air and catching her as she giggled. Killian couldn’t help but think about how much better his life could get in that moment.

 

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Henry and Merida’s wedding was a couple of days after they all arrived in Éire. Henry, Killian, Meara, Liam, and Emma all took a small trip to the cemetery where Killian’s mother was buried and left buttercups. Her grave had well kept by royal gardeners who were assigned by King Fergus to mind her plot since the incident with Carlyle all those years before. Despite the lack of body, a gravestone had been erected for Killian’s brother as well and they placed cornflowers upon it.

 

Liam Jones

Beloved Brother and Son

Honored Captain of the Jewel of the Realm

“I will follow you to the ends of the Earth, brother.”

 

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The wedding was beautiful. Henry was dressed similarly to the way David had been when he married Snow, except in deep forest green, with the sword gifted to him by Killian and Robin at his waist. Roland stood next to him as his Best Man.

When he saw Merida at the end of the aisle in her wedding gown, Henry’s jaw dropped and then he started smiling as wide as he could. Merida’s fiery red hair stood out amongst the white of her gown: big princess ball gown skirt, with a lace overlay, medieval dress looking sleeves, and a lace veil attached to her fringe tiara of diamond and emeralds.

When Emma saw her son take the hands of his fiancée, she took her husband’s in hers and leaned her head over onto his shoulder.

“He looks so happy”, she whispered.

“Not unlike I did when we got married my love”, replied Killian. He placed a kiss to her temple as they continued watching the ceremony. Watching her son pledge his life and love to Merida brought her back to the night she met him for the first time…

 

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Emma shut the door to her apartment and kicked off her towering heels, sighing in ecstasy at the feeling. She placed the small box with the cupcake on the kitchen counter and opened it. Picking the blue star candle from the other box, she carefully speared the cupcake and lit the candle. Emma leaned onto her counter and put her chin on her crossed arms and stared at the candle.

“Another banner year.” She shut her eyes and wished and blew out the candle.

Almost immediately, the doorbell rang and she opened the door to find a little brown haired boy looking back up at her.

“Um, can I help you?”

“Are you Emma Swan?”

 

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Emma was brought back from the memory by everyone’s clapping as the Éiran friar pronounced Henry and Merida husband and wife, telling him that he may now kiss his bride. Henry lifted Merida’s veil and before he could make to pull her to him, Merida grabbed him by the sash and pulled him to her. Laughter rose up from everyone along with more applause as they raised their joined hands and made their way down the aisle.

 

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A few days after the wedding, after promises to come visit when they could, Henry and Merida’s ship left for their honeymoon in Arendelle, where they’d been offered the use of Elsa and Anna’s winter palace. The couple said their goodbyes and boarded the newest ship to Fergus’ fleet (and a gift from him to the newlyweds), the Heart of the Truest Believer.

The Enchanted Forest contingent left soon after. When they got home, Liam and Neal went to spend a few days with Ruby and Victor so that he could play with Maggie before it was time for them to start school again while Killian, Emma, Meara, and the Charmings returned to the castle.

Unable to sleep one morning, Killian slipped from his and Emma’s bed and changed into some breeches and a white shirt and went out for a walk. He found himself by the lake and was about to head over to the docks when he heard the gravel crunching under someone’s feet.

“Swan.”

“It’s Jones you know. Has been for almost seven years now.” Killian turned to see Emma walking up to him in her black leather pants, white off the shoulder shirt, and red vest.

“You’ll always be my Swan”, he replied as she wrapped her arms around his neck and played with the hair at the nape.

“You weren’t there when I woke up.” Killian leaned forward and placed his forehead on hers.

“Couldn’t sleep. Too much going on in my head I guess.”

“You’re just worried because we haven’t talked about what I discovered before Henry’s wedding.”

“And here I thought you were the open book.”

“Goes both ways buddy.”

“Are you ready to tell me then? What you’ve discovered?” he asked as he leaned back from her.

“I didn’t say anything earlier because it was Henry’s time to shine and you remember how the engagement sort of got over shadowed when Meara was born.” Emma dropped her arms from around Killian’s neck and placed them under her still non-existent belly. Killian didn’t notice and just stared at her.

“Uh huh.”

“I didn’t want the same thing to happen again.” She looked down at her ‘belly’ and moved her hands to cover it and then back at her husband as the realization dawned on his face.

“Wait. You’re not--wait. No. Are you--wait…”

“Is there anything else you can say but ‘wait’?” Emma laughed as she the surprise on Killian’s face.

“Emma Jones…are you telling me that you are with child?”

“See. That’s the thing. Yes and no.”

“I fail to see how that is possible. We’ve done this twice. It’s either yes or no love.”

“I’m pregnant Killian.”

“I couldn’t be happier my darli--”

“With twins.”

“Wait. What?”

 

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Prince Graham Leopold Jones and Princess Isabella Rose Jones were born eight months later. Two months after that, Henry and Merida welcomed their son Prince Killian David Neal Mills-Swan.

A few years later, Fergus and Elinor stepped down from the throne of Éire, saying that it was just time and they wanted to have more time with their grandchildren (Merida’s three brothers had all married by then). Henry and Merida were crowned the new king and queen and their son proclaimed heir to the throne. Under their rule, Éire became one of the most prosperous kingdoms and their navy was one of the best in all the land, second only to the Enchanted Forest. The year their son turned five, Merida gave birth to twins as well, girls named Emma Margaret and Fallon Rose.

 

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Many, many years later, Emma and Killian (now the rulers of the Enchanted Forest) were celebrating Christmas season with their children and grandchildren. They sat in the grand family room with a roaring fire in the background, watching as Liam chased around his and Dani’s one and a half year old, Liam Jr.

“Did you ever think you’d get here Killian?” Emma turned to look at the now gray haired man beside her. Old age may have taken the black of his hair and the ‘youthful glow’ he once boasted about, but his blue eyes never lost their luster.

“Honestly, I did not my love.” Killian looked at his wife, gray streaking her once blonde locks. “I do think I could ever be happier than I am. I used to be ashamed of my past. I’d done so many horrible things…”

“Killian…”

“Let me finish love.” He smiled and kissed her forehead. “Seeing this--seeing our family…I don’t regret a single thing. I’d do it all over again, the exact same way, because I’d know it all brought me to you. To quote a beautiful queen on her wedding day: ‘It seems that all I’ve ever done and experienced in my life was to make my way to you’. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life or yours because it would mean we wouldn’t be the people we fell in love with.”

On New Year’s Eve, after falling asleep in each other’s arms one last time, Killian and Emma passed on. The Lost Boy and Girl never having to feel alone or forgotten ever again.