Emma shrugged. "That book of yours... Ruby sent the rest ... I wanted to know how it ends."
Killian smiled, "As do I, love." Killian's eyes flicked to Ruby who had stepped back out into the hallway and was talking animatedly with Regina in a loud whisper. He tried to hear what they were saying but before he could catch anything Henry spoke up and he dragged his attention back to the people in the room.
"What happened to your hand," Henry asked. Killian looked rapidly down at his arm. Fortunately, someone had thought to remove the hook before Emma and Henry arrived. How long had he been asleep? Where is Zelena? Why is Emma here?
"Crocodile attack," Killian replied, trying to appear nonplussed.
Emma smothered a snort. "James Hook, indeed."
There was a commotion in the hall and Emma looked up as a tall brunette dressed far too formally for this time of night pushed her way into the room. Her eyes flicked over to Henry briefly before settling on Killian. Dr. Whale stepped forward before she could speak though, and took two small vials from her hand.
"Thank you, nurse," he told the woman and Emma saw her eyes narrow at the doctor. "Miss Swan, if you please, you and your son should both take these." Victor told her, handing two blue vials to Emma who looked at them suspiciously. In New York nurses did not wear dress suits.
"What is it?"
"A preventative measure, I assure you. Killian is quite contagious."
"Contagious? With what? What the hell is going on here? What is this stuff?"
"It's fine love, they're just trying to help," Killian cut in, "We'll explain everything in a few moments." Some of Emma's anxiety melted away in spite of herself and she could not for the life of her determine why. Trust him? She barely knew him. He just woke up, anyway, how could he know what was in the blue vial? She hesitated; trying to determine exactly what motive these people could have to poison her and Henry. "Trust me, love," Killian asked, "Please, just take the medicine?"
Something about Killian's calm imploring tone made her want to trust him, though taking a vial of 'medicine' when she first shows up in town at 3am still seemed highly suspicious to her. "Fine, but me first," she said, uncorking one of the vials and swallowing it in one gulp.
Her eyes widened and flicked to each person in the room in turn, her hand tightening around the empty vial until it cracked in her grip.
"Mom?" Henry asked in concern, "Mom are you ok? Is it safe?"
"Yeah..." she said, voice a little husky. She unclenched her fingers from the other vial and handed it to Henry. "Yeah Kid, it's safe." Henry took his own swallow of the tiny blue vial and the room was dead silent until Henry opened his eyes again. They immediately landed on Regina and he ran to her.
"I told you," he whispered as she hugged him close. "I told you you could do it." Regina looked so relieved that for a moment Emma wondered whether she had really known what those blue vials would do. Still a little dazed, Emma sank into the chair next to Killian's bed. Finally she smiled, "James Hook, indeed," she repeated.
"All right people," Ruby spoke up, "out! She's either going to kill him or kiss him, neither of which require witnesses."
Henry gave Emma a quick hug. "Have Regina take you to see your grandparents before you go to bed, ok?" she told him.
"You know it's like 3AM right, Mom?"
"I don't think they'll mind."
The room emptied of all except Ruby who stayed behind when Killian called her over. "I suspect you have more answers then I do, Red."
Emma slid the chair closer and reached for Killian's hand. "What happened?"
"We were right, love. About the necklace. I saw Regina reaching for it while Zelena was busy giving me the worst hangover of my life. Given no one is panicking about flying monkey's it must have done the trick."
"Charming arrested her," Ruby said, nodding that he was correct.
"Arrested her?" Emma asked. "Regina and Gold, they let her live?"
"Well Gold didn't have much say in the matter." Ruby said, "Apparently he's given Belle his dagger."
Killian raised his eyebrows suspiciously. "Yielding power is a rather out of character development, is it not?" he commented.
She's got him going through his vaults," Ruby laughed. "Apparently she very much disapproved of some of the artifacts we discovered while trying to defeat Zelena. Regardless, Zelena didn't take too well to confinement. She killed herself that first night."
"Ding dong," Killian said wryly. "Thanks Red. How did you do it?"
"Regina has been working on that memory potion ever since. She wasn't sure it was ready, but Emma didn't give us a lot of notice!" Ruby laughed. "All I did was send her that draft on your computer and give her an address and ... here she is."
Killian winced, "You sent her the preliminary draft?"
Emma nodded. "Not enough red pens in all of New York, Jones," she told him soberly.
"And on that note..." Ruby stood, "I'll leave you to it. You know, whatever it is that you do when you're alone."
"Red-" Killian said in a warning tone.
"Just saying. I'll keep Victor occupied..."
"RED!" Killian tossed an empty plastic cup in her direction and Ruby smirked, closing the door behind her.
"So... how was New York?"
"How was New York?" Emma punched his shoulder. "You convinced me to scramble my brain, again, then kicked me out of town and all you have to say is 'how was New York?' "
Killian smiled but his voice was somber, "It worked. You and the lad were safe."
"You weren't. You told me you'd be fine."
"I've had worse."
"No more memory curses," Emma said shaking her head, "How many times can I expect to do that without melting my brain. It's gotta be like x-ray's right? No more than once a year or something?"
Killian squeezed her hand gently, "Your brain seems fine to me, Swan. Perhaps a little test of your mental acuity? What is our daughter's birthday?"
Emma shot bolt upright, eyes wide in shock for a split second before Killian burst out laughing. His laughing came to an abrupt halt when his ribs protested. He paled and winced, clutching his chest with his left arm.
"You deserved that," Emma grumbled irritably.
"Perhaps so. Never fear, Emma. I'll see to it that is one thing you'll not soon forget."
She punched him lightly as she settled back into her seat.
"Sorry, lass," he said, trying to keep the smile from spreading back over his face.
"Liar," she retorted.
"They don't work that well anyway," Emma muttered, leaning back. "Maybe I'm becoming immune to memory curses."
"Really lass? Because you called me jacket guy for nearly a week."
"I can't... I can't forget you again Killian," Emma said quietly, and Killian's smile dropped. "I knew something was missing, it leaves a... a space. One that I didn't know how to fill."
Killian took her hand and pulled her closer. Emma obligingly stood and sat on the edge of the bed "I think I've figured out how the story ends," he told her, his fingers lightly tracing over her palm.
"And they all lived happily ever after?" Emma teased.
"Not exactly. Do me a favor, lass. That coat of mine. Hand it to me?"
Emma reached down next to her and pulled Killian's coat into her lap. He took it, reaching into the interior lining in search of an inner pocket. Finally he found it and unzipped it, pulling out a small fabric bag.
"No, in fact, they do not live happily ever after." he said, running his fingers over the bag but not opening it. "For they were of the extraordinary type to which extraordinary things happen. There were days of both pain and elation to come. But they would never face it alone. Together for ever after, for whatever is to come." He pulled open the tiny bag and inverted it. A small golden band fell into his hand and Emma's breath caught. "I suppose it's traditional to ask your father's permission, but in such matters I find myself much more interested in your answer than his. Emma-" His eyebrows furrowed, "Swan? You're not breathing, could you at least let me get the question out before you panic?"
As it turns out she had stopped breathing and apparently he had not missed the flash of fear in her eyes.
"I've had a lot of time to contemplate life without you recently, Swan, and I'd rather not spend another moment considering the possibility. I know it's fast, love," he hurriedly added, "and if you're not ready I will wait."
"Till the end of time, if that is what you wish. It's been one crisis after another since the moment we met but... I don't want to miss this... I don't want to miss you while waiting for the seas to calm."
"I suppose this is not the best place for-"
"KILLIAN! Are you planning on finishing the question or should I say yes now?"
Killian's jaw dropped in momentary surprise then he smiled, raising her fingers to his lips and kissing them lightly before slipping the ring onto her finger. "I didn't think you'd say yes," he admitted.
"You asked anyway?"
"A man unwilling to fight for what he wants deserves what he gets... aye, Swan?"
"You talk too much, Jones," she told him, leaning closer.
"I do have a way with words. Do you feel yourself swooning?"
"You're the one on medication, perhaps you're the one who would swoon?"
"Let's find out, love," he told her, pulling her down and kissing her heatedly. "I've missed that," he murmured, pulling away to let his fingers explore her face, her hair, the side of her neck. He slid over to one side and Emma laughed as he pulled her down, slightly off balance on a hospital bed clearly not designed for two.
"That's the second time I was supposed to find you, and you found me," Killian said, brushing Emma's hair behind her ear lightly as Emma shifted herself closer. "Also the second time you've tried to torture me in a hospital bed."
"I was not trying to torture you," she retorted, but when she looked up she saw a wince on his face. "Wha- Oh, sorry," Emma shifted so she wasn't putting pressure on his ribs.
"Not in the traditional sense of the word, perhaps."
"You made it sound like I was flirting with you."
"In the book? Did I now?" he asked innocently. Or as innocently as it were possible for him to sound... (which as it turns out was not very.)
"I was just trying to find Cora and you made it sound like some kind of ... elaborate roll play game."
'I just tell the story as I remember it, love."
"Oh right, like the way I 'threw myself into your arms' at the top of that beanstalk?"
"You did, technically."
"There was a tripwire!"
"My book Swan. It's called artistic license." He yawned and it was all Emma could do not to poke him in the ribs.
"You're not getting out of this that easy, Jones."
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said, tightening his arm around her to pull her closer into his side. " Whale did say I might drift in and out for a while. I have been in a coma, you know!"
"I'll put you back in a coma," she muttered but he just grinned and kissed her forehead.
"You must let me keep the tripwire scene as it is. I'm quite partial to it."
"This isn't a negotiation!"
"Are you trying to dictate my artistic process, Swan?" Killian asked in an illusion of shocked horror, "that's very unprofessional, love."
Emma held her left hand above them, "I think this may alter things from strictly... professional." She twisted her fingers back and forth, admiring the glimmer of gold on her finger (and perhaps the way Killian watched it as well.)
"It's a pretty little thing, isn't it?" Killian chuckled and she felt his lips press behind her ear. "I always knew there was a little pirate in you, Swan," he murmured.
"A little of a lot of different things, as it turns out," she commented, letting her hand fall back down lightly to his chest and he closed his hand over hers.
"As it turns out, I've some experience with that kind of thing. I'm sure I can keep up."
And so the pirate found the treasure he'd no idea he was searching for. Once at the top of a beanstalk, again on a beach, then on a rainy suburban road and once more in New York City. By the time she found him in a Hospital in Storybrooke Maine, he knew for sure that she was the treasure he had sought all along.
"It's messy to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, Jones," Emma commented, chewing lightly on a red pen with a glimmer in her eyes.
Killian glanced up at her over their kitchen table. "That's a stylistic rule and you know it, love."
"Perhaps I find your style ... objectionable."
"Objectionable?" Killian mused, getting to his feet and moving around the table to look down at the page from behind her. His hand came lightly onto her shoulder, as he leaned over her. "Unsavory even? Reprobate?" He nipped lightly at her ear with a low growl. "Perhaps even a bit... Roguish?"
"Degenerate," Emma commented, turning slightly in her chair.
Emma finally spun the rest of the way around and pulled Killian down by his lapel. "Scoundrel," she agreed a moment before Killian finally rendered speaking unnecessary. His kiss was demanding and forceful, he pulled her to her feet and crushed her into him, nearly knocking over her chair in the process. Emma felt herself sagging into him...God; it had been so long since they'd had a quiet moment. He backed her into the kitchen table with a light thud and Emma's breath caught when he pressed warm lips to her jaw and throat.
"How long did you say Henry was getting breakfast with his grandparents again?" Killian mumbled into her neck.
Emma opened her mouth to answer (not long enough) when her phone rang.
"Ignore it," Killian growled, capturing her wrist as she reached for her phone.
A moment later Killian's began ringing too. Killian dropped his forehead against hers and Emma sighed, tracing his jaw with her hand as she released him to reach for her phone. "You know they only call both of us when there's a crisis."
"The usual stakes love?" he asked.
Emma nodded, "Of course. I'm going to go with fire-breathing dragon this time," Emma guessed, "or anything of the enchanted creature variety."
"Rather broad guess lass, you must really want to win this time. I'm going to go with... vengeful witch doctor with a knack for voodoo dolls."
"Rather specific guess Jones, you must like it when I win," she teased as they both reached for their phones.
"Hey mom, what's up?" Emma said.
"This had better be a crisis, mate..."
While I will not rule out another detour into this world in the future, for all intents this is the end. *sob* Thank you so much for reading all the way through and a special thanks to those of you that left reviews for me along the way. You guys are just the best and it you ever just want to chat - feel free to message me here or on tumblr gusenitsagirl. I love you all, and I hope to hear from you again in my future (or past) stories!
I have a couple non-oust stories to finish but I'm sure I'll be back in CS writing soon enough. I never can resist for long!