This can only be described as a prompt gone awry.
The room is still dark when she hears the door creak open, the muted sound of small feet against the hardwood her only warning before a small body is carefully climbing over her and into the bed. She peeks open one eye as he snuggles into the small space between her and Killian, stuffed ship gripped tight in his tiny hand. Killian murmurs in his sleep and rolls over, hand finding Liam's messy mop of hair, tucking the small boy into his body with a contented sigh. Emma smiles and fingers one wayward blonde curl, letting her eyes drift closed on a sigh.
She wakes to another body falling into the bed, pushed up tight against her back. She groans when a bony elbow makes contact with the base of her spine and snuggles down further into the pillow. Cold feet press against her leg and she stills.
She blinks open her eyes and softens fractionally when she sees Liam and Killian tucked together, still fast asleep. She shifts onto her back and looks at her son. He gives her a lopsided grin from under a fringe of light brown hair.
"What is the one rule we have about this bed?"
He quirks an eyebrow, rolling his eyes slightly. She resists the urge to reach out and flick him between his eyes – nineteen is making him sassy.
"Socks." Comes a small voice from her opposite side. She tilts her head just in time to see a small foot covered in an Iron Man sock stick up in the air. Killian chuckles and grabs the foot without opening his eyes, squeezing it affectionately.
"Yes, m'boy. Socks are always required in the bed." Bright blue eyes open and meet hers, eyebrows arching and tongue sliding against his teeth. "Always."
Henry scoffs behind her. "Gross." But he's grinning and so is Killian and she would give up everything – every single responsibility she has in the world to have this moment forever. Liam shimmies out of Killian's arm and does a dramatic flip across the mattress to Emma. She catches him with a laugh – even as Killian admonishes him to be more careful.
"We've precious cargo there, little lad." Liam nuzzles Emma's nose with his before worming his way to her rounded stomach. His little hand lightly strokes over her t-shirt, ear pressed tight against her belly.
"I know, papa. I'm saying hello."
Something in Emma's chest squeezes. She blinks back the tears that always seem to plague her at this stage of pregnancy and runs her fingers through Liam's wild curls – watching as he whispers nonsense words to her stomach. Fingers dance through her hair and she sighs as Killian rubs at the tension in her neck.
She never thought it would be like this.
"When is Anna getting here, Henry?"
Henry squirms – carefully keeping his feet away from her, smart boy – and reaches over her, picking up Liam and bouncing him on his chest. Liam squeals with delight, swatting Henry in the face with his stuffed pirate ship.
"Uh, about an hour before dinner I think."
Killian takes advantage of the lack of children between them, tugging her bodily over the bare expanse of mattress. His fingers take up a gentle circuit around her swollen belly and the baby kicks out. He grins.
Emma narrows her eyes at Henry. "What's that about?"
Henry frowns, not meeting her eyes. "What's what about?"
"You're leaving something out."
"No I'm not."
Killian chuckles and tips his forehead against her shoulder, peering over at Henry. "It's no use, lad. You and I both know it."
Henry sighs heavily and then finally, finally meets her gaze. He stills Liam on top of him.
"She doesn't know." He grumbles.
Emma blinks. "She doesn't know what?"
He gestures airily with his hand. Emma widens her gaze and arches both her eyebrows. "She doesn't know what, kid? Be specific."
Killian laughs loudly behind her, flopping down heavily on his back. Henry glares at him from over her (very large) stomach.
"Bloody hell." Killian manages between bursts of hysterical laughter. Henry crosses his arms as Liam begins laughing as well, holding his stomach, head thrown back. He has no idea what he's laughing at, but he's enjoying it nonetheless.
"Does someone mind filling me in?"
Henry gives her a look. "She doesn't know my family is a bunch of fairytale characters."
Anna is beautiful – long chestnut hair, big grey eyes, her smile wide and toothy. Its clear Henry is smitting with the girl he met during his freshman year at Columbia, his cheeks permanently stained pink since she pulled in the driveway. Emma moves towards them in the hallway, taking her jacket and hanging it with the others.
"Hi Anna, it's so good to finally meet you." Henry gives her a desperate look from behind Anna's head and she wants to roll her eyes. She can handle basic hellos without revealing that the town is actually populated with characters from storybooks, thank you very much.
"Good to meet you as well, Ms. Mills." The young girl stammers out. Emma lets out a loud bark of laughter and Anna jumps. She winces.
"Sorry, it's just – " She swallows and gives Henry an apologetic look as he glares daggers at her. "It's Swan. My last name. But you can call me Emma."
"It's Jones, actually, darling." Killian chooses that moment to swing out of the kitchen, meeting them in the hallway. Anna's eyes widen fractionally and a light blush stains her cheeks. Emma nods sagely in her mind. Been there, sister.
"Killian Jones." He takes Anna's hand and presses a kiss to her knuckles. Emma and Henry roll their eyes in unison. "Pleasure to have you, love. Henry, why don't you show her our charming home?"
It takes everything in Emma not to stomp down on his foot. He's grinning like the cat that got the canary, dancing blue eyes focused intently on Henry. Anna and Henry wander down the hallway, Henry shooting a glare that could actually turn them into stone over his shoulder. Killian chuckles low under his breath and she sighs, reaching over and swatting him on the back of the head.
"Cut the shit, pirate." He gives her a wounded look, smile still flirting at the corners of his lips. "This is important to Henry."
"Relax, love. She has no idea. This life – " He tugs her forward with warm fingers on her hip, her belly wedged between them. "From what I've seen in your movies, it's a bit unbelievable that we are all characters from your realm's stories. She will have no idea."
"She goes to Columbia." Killian just gives her a blank look and she resists the urge to pinch the bridge of her nose. "It's a prestigious school, with very smart kids."
Killian grins. "Like Henry."
Emma fights her answering smile at the surge of pride that wells within her. She flicks Killian's arm lightly, but doesn't pull away from his embrace.
Damn pirate knows her weaknesses.
"I'm asking you to try to be normal." A single eyebrow arches high on his forehead and his blue eyes dance. She lets her hands run up his chest. "For me."
She widens her eyes and looks up at him through her lashes because he may know her weaknesses, but she certainly knows his as well. His eyes dart between her eyes and her lips, mouth opening to respond when they're interrupted by the doorbell.
Before they can even move to answer it, Henry comes barreling down the hallway, wrenching the door open with frantic eyes and a heaving breath. Tink and Neal jump at his sudden appearance, faces contorting in concern.
"Your name is Tina." Henry whisper yells at Tink, grabbing the salad from her hands with a rough and jerky movement. His eyes flit to the top of her head and he frowns. "Jesus Christ, do you ever not wear your hair in a bun?"
"Henry – "
He spins to face Emma and she has a moment of genuine concern that he might actually suffer a coronary by the time this evening is over. She gives him a disapproving frown, eyebrows knitting in confusion when she doesn't spot Anna.
"Where is she?"
Henry shifts back and forth, still scowling at Tink's hair. "I left her with Liam."
Killian snorts. "You mean your little brother who is fully aware of your family member's true identities and possess no verbal filter?"
The curse that leaves Henry's lips as he darts back down the hall is definitely his step-father's influence.
"I don't know, I guess you guys will have to be his Aunt and Uncle." She makes sure to keep her voice to a whisper, leaning slightly to peer out to the dining room. Anna and Henry are talking quietly as they set the table, fingers brushing every so often. She smiles at their sweetness, still amazed at how quickly Henry's turned into a young man.
"This is ridiculous – " David begins and Emma snaps her gaze over to him. He rolls his eyes (the family resemblance is very clear) and lowers his voice. "– we are his grandparents."
"We can pretend." Mary Margaret soothes her hand over David's shoulder and he visibly relaxes. "What's the harm in one evening?"
Emma kneels down to check the oven, the smell of roast wafting over her as she peers in the open door. "I don't like it. It isn't right to lie."
David opens his mouth to reply but they're interrupted by Liam careening into the room, heading straight for David.
"Grandpa!" The adults in the room all whisper a frantic shushing sound and Liam's face drops, his body recoiling out of David's open arms. There's a sound of shattering glass from the dining room and Emma moves quickly towards Liam.
He looks up at her with big blue eyes, little chin wobbling. "What did I do wrong, Mama?"
She kneels down so she's at his level and gives him a reassuring smile. He moves closer to her, fingers tangling in her shirt. "Nothing at all, kid. We are just playing a game." She looks over his shoulder at David. "Tonight, you have to call Grandma and Grandpa new names - Aunt Mary Margaret and Uncle David. Got it?"
Liam's face scrunches and his little feet shuffle back and forth. He scratches at the back of his ear in a motion clearly learned from his father. "Like Uncle Neal and Auntie Tink?"
Emma's grin falters.
Except Tink is actually Tina and also don't mention anything about the Jolly Roger or ask Robin when you're getting your own bow and arrow.
"Yeah. Just like that."
She is going to murder Henry.
Robin and Killian are wearing matching shit eating grins and she frowns, crossing her arms over her belly and shaking her head.
"Oh, no." She shakes her head more forcefully. "Whatever it is, no."
Regina tuts from inside the fridge, sliding her pie on a shelf.
"Don't worry. Everyone will behave like a perfectly normal family. Right, Rob?" She closes the door with her shoulder and arches an eyebrow pointedly at Robin, using the name Henry has whispered to them at the door. "Whatever normal is."
Robin's dimples deepen as he sidles over to Regina, nuzzling her cheek lightly. She rolls her eyes and pushes him off, sashaying into the dining room – Robin following close behind. Emma rubs her rounded belly as she looks at Killian with suspicious eyes.
He grins happily and raises both eyebrows this time, rocking back on his heels. "Pretty sure we wouldn't be normal even without the whole fictional character from childhood stories bit."
"Tina, could you pass me the salad?" His voice is pure glee and Emma stomps on his foot under the table. He grunts in pain as Tink chats away with Neal in happy oblivion – not recognizing her fake name in casual conversation. Killian shoots Emma an unamused frown and picks up his napkin ring.
"Oy, Tina!" The ring hits Tink in the center of her forehead. She jumps slightly and looks at Killian in shock. "The salad."
Patches of red appear high on her cheeks and Neal leans forward, whispering something in her ear, a calming hand on her back. Killian grins in delight as Tink's tiny hand comes slamming down on the table.
"I swear you are a child, Ho – " Her eyes grow wide and she draws out his moniker, changing the word at the last minute. "Whore!"
Everyone at the table stills and Henry makes a choked sound on the far end. Liam blinks curiously up at Killian.
"Papa, why she call you a horse?"
"Killian, do you think you could hook me some of that roast?"
"Why, Rob, I heard you had a merry time fishing with Roland."
"I'm looking forward to the snow. It's supposed to be a real winter wonderland."
They are relentless, each pun causing Henry to tighten his grip on his utensils. They are by no means stealthy about it and Emma doesn't know which is worse – the way Henry is having a meltdown in the corner or the way her grown, adult father is stewing in jealousy, staring between Robin and Killian like someone just stole his cookie. His light blue eyes dart back and forth with each new comment, scowl deepening further. It would be adorable if it wasn't so damn embarrassing.
Emma leans into Killian as he passes the mashed potatoes, spooning some out onto Liam's plate. Liam smiles happily up at them and Emma grins back before whispering in Killian's ear.
"If you don't cut it out, I'm never having sex with you again."
He stills and then turns slightly, nose brushing against her cheek. "Please, darling. Like that's a threat you can keep."
"Charming!" David shouts from his seat. He looks ecstatic, blue eyes shining in sweet, sweet victory. "This is a charming dinner, Emma."
Mary Margaret rolls her eyes and Emma knows she's stomped on his foot under the table because David lurches in his seat, hand shaking as it spears an asparagus.
Killian snickers under his breath.
"So, how is it that you all are related?" Anna's voice is quiet and timid from beside Henry and once again, everyone around the table freezes. Henry looks shell-shocked and everyone begins to shout over one another to fill in the blanks. Henry silences them all with a glare, turning slightly to Anna.
"Well, my birth parents are Emma and Neal." He gestures to them separately and they both raise their hands. Emma rolls her eyes at how ridiculous this is. "But, uh, I was raised by Regina – who is married to Rob." Regina smiles in encouragement and Robin wraps his arm around her shoulders.
"Emma is married to Killian, he's my step-dad. So is Rob, actually. And Neal and Tin –" He coughs and Emma knows he was about to say Tink. "Neal and Tina have been dating for a while, and I consider her my step-mom." Tink gives Henry a warm look and Neal squeezes her hand on top of the table.
"Neal's, um, cousin Gold couldn't make it." Killian snorts into his napkin. Henry shoots him a look. "He's married to Bella." His face visibly pales and Emma shifts uncomfortably in her seat. Jesus Christ, what sort of childhood had they given the poor kid?
"And then David and Mary-Margaret are my aunt and uncle." He finishes lamely and sags in his chair. Anna looks around the table in contemplation and carefully sets down her fork. She looks calmly at Mary-Margaret to her left.
She smiles slightly, light blush climbing her cheeks. "Snow White." Her eyes drift to David next. "Prince Charming."
She begins to work her way around the table. "Baelfire and Tinkerbelle. Robin Hood and the Queen. Of course, the Savior and Captain Hook with their son Liam – named after his brother. And your grandfather Rumplestiltskin is married to Belle."
She gives Henry a smug look as he stares at her with his mouth wide open. "I've read your book, Henry. And we have been dating for six months. I hear you on the phone."
She quietly goes back to eating her dinner. "This is a lovely roast, Ms. Swan."
"Jones." She corrects automatically, voice barely a whisper in the stone silent room. Everyone is gaping at Anna with equal levels of astonishment. Killian swallows heavily and turns to Emma, raising both his eyebrows high on his head.
"Columbia." He stuffs some mashed potatoes in his mouth. "Prestigious, indeed."