A/N: So, here it is. Story is M-rated now, just so you know xD and this is not as angsty as the first sentence suggests xD I hope it is an ending representative of what I've tried to make the whole fic - genuine. Both funny and angsty and fluffy and just sort of real. I might write an epilogue at some point. ;)
Hope you enjoy and thank you so much for every show of interest and support! Means the world! 3
Killian said life isn't a fairytale. He was right.
Ruby is the first to find out. Calling Emma when Killian's phone has died and he hasn't come home.
Ruby finds out and she is pissed.
Not about them. Naturally. She has 'shipped it' from the start. Her words, not Emma's. Or Killian's who didn't even know what the hell she meant.
"You wanted us shipped out of the country?! I'm your favourite brother, Ruby! And your favourite client."
"You're my only brother, you idiot. And my only client."
"My point exactly!"
No, Ruby is apparently pissed that they didn't call her the second they decided to 'get their heads out of their asses'. Again her words.
"Ruby, it's been 7 hours!"
"I've been waiting for this for months, Emma! Months!"
"And we haven't?"
"And whose fault is that? And, oh, I'm sure all the sex you will be having now, that I very much do not want to hear about, by the way, will make it easier on you."
Yeah, they can always count on the support of Killian's baby sister.
She also says the whole 'thing' will do wonders for their public images.
David agrees when he finds out three days later. And is more than a little indignant, not so much over being kept in the dark but rather over being kept there longer than Ruby.
Mary-Margaret is a mixed blessing, managing to get David off their backs and schedule about a dozen 'double dates' in the next month alone. All on a single breath.
The media response is not immediate because they have no desire to put their 'thing' under the spotlight. Killian has had more than enough of that in the last few weeks and Emma has never been overly fond of it to begin with. She loves being an actress, she puts up with being a celebrity.
However, they are also not exactly hiding so three days later Morning Celeb has them plastered on the front page, holding hands while leaving a small bakery. Emma cringes at the photo of her obviously explaining something to Killian with what looks like half a bear-claw in her mouth. The indulgent way he is looking at her almost makes up for it. Almost.
"You look adorable."
"Truly, Swan, I don't-"
"Killian? Shut. Up."
"I need a moment, okay?!"
"To come to terms with the fact that I'm not 'the hot one' in the relationship for the first time in my life!"
He is never letting that one go.
The headlines start pouring after that. Emma gets tired of seeing herself referred to as 'the melted Ice Princess' after the tenth article.
"Seriously? Can't they at least come up with something new?"
On the other hand, it takes exactly one article associating Killian with the word 'damaged' for her to completely lose her shit and if he wasn't so damn wonderfully unconcerned about anything the press has to say, Emma swears she would have either sued or gotten sued for physical assault.
Social media is a whole different can of worms.
Ruby tries to get them to create Twitter accounts for weeks. She begs, she threatens, she even reasons with them. Mostly she annoys. At one point David is this close to backing her up but Emma nips that one in the bud. She wasn't born yesterday - she did after all manage to get to Killian before his sister and convince him to take her side from the start, even when he looked far from opposed to the idea of having a reason to 'tweet' 140 characters about her to the world, among photo evidence, on a weekly (read: daily) basis.
Over her dead body. They are not entering the Internet purgatory that is Twitter.
That, of course, in no way means that Twitter remains impartial to their existence and their 'ship' status. Killian soon gives up on the notion of seeing his sister without her shoving her phone in his face to show him a tweet about them. Tweets in Ruby's definition range from 'disgustingly adorable' to 'see this! you should be doing this to her, if you aren't already'. Even Mary-Margaret blushes bright red and discreetly slides her phone over to Emma over hot cocoa and coconut cake one afternoon. Emma promptly spits out half of her drink.
Tumblr is not that bad. But Emma finds it somehow creepier. Yet… she may or may not have the 'killemma' tag bookmarked.
She actually has an Instagram profile from three years ago when she rejected one too many of David's offers and he literally forced her into dipping her very reluctant toes into at least one social network. Needless to say the account has exactly three photos on it – two of her on red carpets and one of a very full glass of wine. Killian bets her that he can crack her password in under an hour. She knows his chances are good from the start but stubbornness is not something that comes out only when it is convenient for you so, of course, she agrees. He guesses it on the 4th minute.
"It was bloody 'cinnamon', Swan! I cannot even enjoy such an easy victory!"
Oh, but he does. He very much enjoys exploiting the permission to use her account. And she doesn't even wanna talk about the 1 selfie per week clause he managed to sneak in the bet. Emma mostly concedes in order to keep his Twitter urges in check.
Facebook is not even discussed.
The day Killian finds fanfiction about them, Emma decides they are moving to a WiFi-less cabin in the woods.
The lawsuit against Gold takes way longer than she thinks it should and Killian can just about swing his lack of concern with the media, 98% of the time he is even genuine, she believes, but he sure as hell cannot hide how much the fucking trail is exhausting him and how much he doesn't want to see Gold's face ever again or drag up things that belong very much in the past.
But he is Killian and he keeps his head up at all times and has cold but honest stares for the courthouse and smart but sharp responses for the pressroom. And Emma can't decide between being proud of him and worried about him and protective and supportive and she is probably coming off as incapable of emotions altogether.
They haven't done anything as drastic as moving in together (though Emma admits to herself she has toyed with the idea a lot more than probably appropriate when you have been officially dating for less than a month) but after days spent in court Killian slips after her through her front door, into the safe haven of a place that smells like her and is kinda messy but kinda just right and has her there and he doesn't leave until he absolutely has to.
Emma rolls her eyes every time he tells her she is 'bloody magic' as she works as much of the tension out of his shoulders as she can but deep down she still likes those silly fairytale metaphors they use every so often and thinks she might not be magic herself but they definitely make some when together.
And then sometimes they don't.
Sometimes she wants him to look at a script for her and he just won't and she will accept it if he gives her an explanation but he doesn't and it gets her mad and she asks what the hell he has against her looking at new movie prospects and he fires back that he doesn't have a bloody thing except that she can make her own bloody mind about them and doesn't need his advice.
"I don't need it! I want it!"
He usually softens at that. She doesn't.
They are both fucked up like that.
Killian is usually the first to get in a funk or play the brooding card while Emma tries to bottle it all up for as long as possible. But he is also the one to let it go first or try to be reasonable while she keeps firing until she is exhausted and has managed to either amuse him greatly or hurt him almost as much.
But she notices that they get better with time.
He can barely stare at a spot for 5 minutes with a furrow between his brows before she is slipping into his lap and nudging her nose into his cheek like an annoying puppy demanding attention.
The first time she does it he looks at her with so much astonishment and affection on his face that she can't help blushing.
"What? You thought I couldn't be annoying?"
"Oh, I'm fairly aware of that ability of yours, darling. Ow! Watch the goods, Swan! I was not privy to your… well, adorably cuddly side."
"Mmm, neither was I."
And then he hardly let's her bottle anything up for safekeeping and later ammunition, getting whatever is bothering her out in the open before she has even fully realized that it bothers her.
"You look absolutely lovely, Swan."
"I don't know. Mary Margaret said 'fancy' and Mary Margaret takes the whole feminine thing to a new level, and I don't, even after all those years on red carpets I can't-"
"And you don't have to. You just have to be. Any way you want. And you will be lovely. As always."
Ruby would probably be appalled if she knew how far off the mark her sex comments always are.
And it isn't for lack of trying on Emma's part.
Yes, that's correct. Killian Jones, notorious playboy, rumoured womanizer, Hollywood heartthrob, is holding out on her.
Emma is this close to taking it personally and yet…
And yet she always notices when his left arm falls beside his thigh when they are on the couch, pressed together, lips brushing and tongues exploring with groping kept to a rather frustrating minimum.
And yet she always notices when she stays over and he takes the left side of the bed so he can drape his right arm over her waist and shove his stump under a pillow or two.
And yet she always notices when he comes up behind her sometimes and starts brushing his lips over her neck and she leans back and the second his stump brushes her arm he pulls back as if she has electrocuted him.
She notices and she tries to understand and she does which is why… she doesn't. Because she understands but how can he be so stupid? She thought they cleared this up. And then she feels stupid because, of course, it isn't that simple and that easy to just 'clear that up'.
But then they come back to her place after the 'celebratory' dinner with his lawyers and he is in her bedroom and lowering the zipper of her dress and trailing his fingers down her spine as he goes – chastely, almost as if he is not entirely aware of how he is taking his time with the simple task and then the silk pools at her feet and Emma twists around before he can grab the pajama pants he keeps here and she… well, she attacks him. Arms thrown around his neck and mouth finding his and invading it so fast it makes her head spin a little. Probably makes his spin too because the next second they are tumbling onto her bed. And her hands are desperately mapping out the curve of his shoulders and leaving pinkish lines down his biceps and he is trailing kisses down her throat and definitely leaving a hickey for her to admire in the morning and nosing her bra aside and Emma thinks FINALLY. Her hands slip into his hair and press him even closer and she angles herself so that she can feel his hardness pressing just there. Killian nips at her collarbone and she almost goes and giggles but settles for sloppily trailing kisses down his whole face until she reaches his chest and noses down, down-
And then his stump brushes her thigh and he jerks under her, even if barely. But even that is too damn much for her at this point and maybe she should go for the whole heartfelt discussion solution but didn't they do that already? So she reacts a bit more… frankly than she normally will. But, in her defense, he is being plain ridiculous at this point.
So Emma growls –
"Oh, will you just touch me already!"
- and promptly grabs his left arm and shoves it between her thighs - a place where the roughness of his scarred skin is more than welcome and in seconds coated in the products of literally months of build-up.
It takes Killian a second. Then he flips her on her back and Emma has never had a man put each and every one of his appendages to such thorough use. Very, very good use.
She thinks sex might be the best 'usually two-hand activity' he has single-handedly mastered. That lasts until the next morning when she finds that his breakfast-making skills easily tie with his love-making skills for the first place.
Killian lets himself into her place with the key she gave him. Emma smiles when she hears his footsteps, shouts out a 'be right there!' and turns on the blow dryer, honest to God whistling under her breath.
She doesn't dwell on what she was doing before getting into the shower until she walks into the kitchen to see him frozen beside the high stool she was occupying an hour ago, eyes running over the papers beside her half-full cup of coffee.
Emma literally sprints across the floor, wrenching the sheets of paper from his loose grasp and just barely resisting the desire to hide them behind her back. She gives a silent thanks that he doesn't try to be an asshole and hold them above his head or something. Which probably has more to do with him being in shock than anything else but still.
"Nothing. It's nothing. I-"
"This doesn't look like nothing, love. It-"
"It is. I was just being silly."
"- looks like a more than half-done script."
"Just playing around-"
"And a good one from the glimpse I caught."
"I only- wait. You… you like it?"
Killian tilts his head to the side in that way that lets her know he is deciding on the best way to approach something that he considers already quite obvious.
Eventually he moves forward until his sneakers are almost touching her bare toes.
"I will be honoured, if you allow me another look but, aye, from what I saw, we have a great knack for one-liners at the very least and quite possibly a proper script-writer in the making."
Emma doesn't even try to reign in her surprise. Or her pleased blush.
"What is this, Swan?" he tries again, gentler this time, knowing and yet a tad apprehensive.
"I wrote- I mean, I'm writing…" she takes a deep breath and straightens her shoulders a little. "I'm writing it for you. For… for us, I guess."
She can tell he expected it and yet he looks like the breath got knocked out of him anyway.
"Because I was reading script after script and casting you in all my favourite roles and trying to picture acting beside someone else and all I could think about was how we didn't get to… and then I was hearing Ruby's stupid Captain Hook jokes in my head and I've always had this weird fascination with Neverland and fairytales. Probably because I never got to live one, even the one-off, prom-night one. And… yeah."
Emma cuts herself short and finally breathes in again. Only then does she look him straight in the eyes - with a mixture of anxiety and very badly veiled excitement.
"Do you… do you hate it now?"
"Do I- You planned for us to do this together? To play out your-"
"Pirate and princess ridiculous monstrosity of a fantasy? Yes, I… I don't know what got into me. I just-"
"I don't know what got into you either, lass."
Her face falls despite her best efforts. As she said she is well aware of how ridiculous it is. How ridiculous she is. But she always thought Killian of all people might-
"I mean, you managing to keep that from me for- what? Months? I don't know if I'm offended or impressed. No, scratch that, I'm definitely impressed but I'm also slightly worried half-way through you met a better-looking, one-handed guy to jolly your Roger and decided-"
"Oh, shut up!"
And when it doesn't look like he has any intension of doing that, Emma helps him occupy his month in different ways. Somewhat innocently at first. And then more to the point. Her half-full cup may or may not get smashed on the kitchen floor, and Killian might get some coffee stains on his jeans as she gets some scruff marks on her inner thighs, and yes, perhaps a couple of pages, unfortunate enough to still remain on the breakfast bar, get a bit rumpled and ummm, wet, and yeah, she definitely pulls more than a couple of hairs off his head but then again he does insist on making it oh-so-convenient for her to do so, all on his knees and driving her half-out of her mind.
And later when they are snuggled in front of her fireplace with a bottle of wine and a laptop with about a dozen weird-as-fuck dictionaries opened up and Killian giving his opinion on the pirate lingo, she nudges him under the jaw and tugs his left arm tighter around her as his fingers fly over the keyboard and dares to ask again.
"So… you like it?"
"Emma, I love it. You're bloody brilliant."
And maybe her grin is a little smug. She thinks she can be forgiven.
Emma doesn't really believe they will ever be perfect, fairytale metaphors aside. And yet, maybe, somehow she thought it would be easier. Because she just knows Killian Jones is it, naïve as that sounds and she thought… well, she thought it didn't really require that much work. It just happened.
And if it does for someone else, if it can with someone else, she really doesn't give a flying fuck and doesn't want it even for a second, thank you very much.
They are working on their it.
And it gets easier and it gets better (and she thought it was the best to begin with, even when it's messy as hell, so that's saying something).
And they live it every day. And fight for it every day. And intend to fight for it every day that follows.
And that, she thinks, that makes it a happily ever after.