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Stay With Me

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   "Emma?"

   "Killian?"

   "I love you."

   "I love you, too."

---

   It had been seven months. Seven months of walking through hell to find a way to save Emma from the Dark One's curse, but Killian Jones had never given up hope. He stayed faithful, and unlike the last curse that separated them, he didn't leave her parents. Rather, Mary Margaret wouldn't let him. She was always there to make sure he was still holding on, and although the chances of him admitting his gratitude were slim, he was glad she did.

   Robin, Regina, Henry, David, and Mary Margaret sat at a booth at Grannys (and while Killian was quite fond of the elderly woman's diner, he often wondered why it was the only restaurant in town). Emma had slid in on the end while Killian ordered hot cocoa at the counter. He thought rum was too heavy a drink for this evening, and what he was about to ask, well, let's just say it would be a good idea to keep Emma sober.

   Thanking Ruby, Killian held one mug in the crook of his left elbow and took the other in his hand. He walked over to the booth and nudged Emma, signaling her to slide over. He passed her a cup, setting his down as well, then returned to the counter for the cinnamon shaker.

   Taking his seat next to her, he took a sip of his hot cocoa and closed his eyes as the liquid warmed him up inside. Reaching under the table, he took her free hand and laced their fingers together. The gesture made Emma look over at him with a grateful smile, and she leaned her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes. He moved his head and rested it against the top of hers, running his thumb across the smooth skin on the back of her hand. He smiled, realizing that if she was comfortable enough to show this much affection in front of her parents, she really did care for him.

---

   The celebration went on for not much longer, and then the group was outside, saying their goodbyes. Although he could tell Henry wanted to spend time with his mother, the boy also knew she was tired (the Dark One didn't need much sleep, and now the fatigue had caught up with her, which was evident in the way she walked and spoke), so he offered to stay the night with Regina and come over in the afternoon tomorrow. He let Emma's hand go as she stepped forward, hugging Henry and thanking Regina for everything she had done while Emma was cursed. As the three walked away, she turned to her parents, letting out a yawn.

   "Let's go. I'm exhausted," the blonde said, her voice slow. Mary Margaret nodded with a smile and they turned, leading the way back to the apartment. Realizing it was now or never, Killian spoke up.

   "Actually, Emma, I was wondering if...it's alright if you don't want to, but...would you perhaps like to spend the night with me on the Jolly Roger?" He lifted his hook to scratch behind his ear, then looked in her eyes, searching for her answer. Emma kept quiet as she studied his face with a vague expression. "I know it's not as warm as your bed, but-"

   "I would love to, Killian." Her answer was almost a whisper, but Killian heard it, causing a big smile to grow on his lips. He kissed her forehead softly, then looked ahead at David and Mary Margaret, who had noticed their absence. The prince and princess stood a few yards ahead, facing them.

   "You might want to tell your parents about the change of plans. Your father would stab me again if he wasn't informed."

   "Again?" Emma asked, then smirked at the joke. "It wasn't real, Killian."

   "Like I said, lass. I don't intend on letting him live it down any time soon. Now come on."

   They walked hand in hand until they were a few feet from the Charmings. Stopping, Emma explained the situation while David stared down the pirate with a protective look. As they turned to leave, Killian heard a voice.

   "Pirate."

   "Dave."

   "Watch out for her."

   "Always."