He's still buzzing with adrenaline as he makes his way back to the bus tucked in the corner, a few people still milling about the near empty fairgrounds. There's a brisk wind rolling in and he shoves his hands further into his sweatshirt, wondering if it will be warmer in New York, conceding that it probably won't.
His hood is up so he doesn't have to worry about being recognized, but a few of the guys who clear equipment give him a nod as he passes – a pat on the shoulder as he smiles and tries not to feel the heat in his ears at the quiet praise.
It was a good show.
So good he still feels the music thrumming through his bones, the rise and fall of it as the crowd sang along – the prickling in his fingers from where he practically worked them to the bone against the guitar. He'll have fresh blisters tomorrow, but it's worth it. Just like the exhaustion and the long days and even longer nights are all worth it. The bus, however –
The bus is almost not worth it.
They aren't big enough to command separate busses quite yet, just the one for management and equipment and the other for "Talent", as the shoddy label on the door dictates. He's not sure all those aboard the bloody monstrosity classify as such, but he sighs and presses his forehead against the door regardless, taking in his last deep, guzzling breaths of fresh air before stepping inside.
He does not expect to see Emma sitting on the couch, hair in a messy ponytail and glasses sliding down her nose.
(He does expect the flip in his stomach that reminds him how well and truly fucked he is for this woman every time he does see her though – the way he feels like he's just stepped off the ledge of a 400 foot building.)
"Evening, Swan." She doesn't look up from her book and it's only after he lets the door close behind him that she peers up, scrambling from her place nestled in the corner of the couch and taking out her earbuds. She shrugs sheepishly with a nod to the back of the bus, coiling the headphones in her hand in sure, practiced movements.
"Sorry, I was - " She glances towards the bunks with a grimace. "Trying to drown out sounds."
He forces a tight smile, rocking back onto his heels. No doubt the lads have been rather -enthusiastic - in their post concert rituals. "Ah, yes."
She chuckles and falls back onto the couch, pulling her legs beneath 's wearing the socks with little ducks on them that Dave got her for Christmas, and it makes him grin. "Is it alright if I crash on your couch tonight? Equipment decided to use my bunk as a storage spot for your guitars."
An interesting blush brushes across her cheeks at that, the wrinkle between her brows deepening as she shifts. He's not sure in what realm he would manage to sleep soundly with her in such close proximity, but he's sure as hell willing to try if it means she's there when he wakes up - sleepy eyes and mussed hair, pillow creases against her cheek.
"Aye, s'not a problem." He yanks his hood of his head and ruffles his hand through his hair, little droplets of water scattering across the counter. "But you're not sleeping on the couch. You can take my bunk."
She shakes her head, the pink on her cheeks flushing to a deep red. "No, Killian -
"The couch is fine. I can just - "
"Sleep in my bed and - "
"I don't want to inconvenience you - "
"And you just had a show - "
"It's not a big deal it's just a - "
"How about we share?"
She spits it out in a rush over their jumble of voices and he freezes in his dawdling with the magazines on the countertop, straightening them from the haphazard stack Robin has left them in. He blinks at her once, twice, and wonders if he's imagined her suggestion. "The beds are very small, love."
A flicker of something dances behind her green eyes and she looks down, dragging her thumb along her knee. "Yeah, sorry. I'll just - "
Later, he'll regret his words. At the moment, however, all he can think about is what she could possibly feel like beneath his sheets, her legs tangled with his.
"No, it's fine." He arches an eyebrow in what he hopes is a cocky wiggle, but in reality is probably a desperate plea for her to show him mercy. "We can have a good cuddle, yeah?"
She hums under her breath, already standing and brushing past him, making her way to his bunk in the back.
He's a fool.
She's wearing the leggings he loathes with every fiber of his being – the ones that hug the curve of her ass like a bloody second skin. The ones he wants to drag down over her hips with his teeth. He swallows hard and looks at the ceiling as she crawls her way into his bunk, wondering how exactly he plans on making it through this night without ruining the past four years of their friendship.
There is a rustle of the covers and then he ducks down to follow her, lifting the edge of the blanket and sliding in. There's no way he can't not touch her with as cramped as the bed is, but he does his damndest, not wanting to seem too forward or make her uncomfortable or –
"Killian." Her voice is a whisper and he can feel her breath against his cheek. Fucking hell. The smell of honey and cinnamon is amplified in the tiny space and he wants to strangle himself with the curtain he just pulled shut – anything to keep the desire from pooling low in his gut. "You don't have to balance on the edge. It's okay, uh, if – " She shifts so she's on her side, her back pressed against the wall and he pulls himself a bit closer to her, mirroring her pose with his arm beneath the pillow. The dim lights of the parking lot filter in through the slots in the curtain and make her skin glow, her eyes bright in the dark space. He wants to kiss the pretty blush on her cheeks. He wants to see how far down it goes.
He wants to punch himself in the face for agreeing to this.
She bites her lip and scrunches her nose. "You're not very comfortable, are you?"
He stifles a laugh, grin pulling at his lips. "It's not very often I share my quarters, Swan."
An eyebrow quirks up at that, her body shifting until her hands are tucked in front of her and her cheek is pressed into his pillow. He wonders if it will smell like her after she leaves. "Is that so?"
"Is what so?"
"The rest of the guys – " She gestures above her to where he can vaguely hear Will snoring. " – are active in their post-concert activities."
"Oh, that." He's familiar with the hoard of eager women who crowd around the bus following their shows - it's why he takes his walks. Because there's only one woman he wants and she's not leaning up outside the bus post-show unless Will has somehow managed to piss of a whole legion of media members (it's been known to happen) and Emma is without her rounds. He fights the urge to scratch behind his ear and her lips twitch. "Aye, well I assure you, love. You're the first in my bed." He blinks, suddenly conscious of how that sounds. "Not that I'm saying – not that I'm saying that – "
She rolls her eyes, but the smile that curls her lips is one of his favorites. It's a rare sight to behold, only visible when they're recording and he manages to catch her watching through the little glass window, or when he fetches her a coffee when she's nose deep in media requests – squirreled away from the rest of the world in her tiny office at the studio with her phone pressed to her ear, a little red indent left in her jaw when she pulls it back and mouthsthank you with her delectable pink lips.
Pink lips that he's trying very hard not to stare at.
"I know what you're saying." She shifts and her foot accidentally comes in contact with his leg, a huff of annoyance puffing against his arm when he shifts back and his leg slips off the mattress. She frowns. "Do you think we could - "
"Like this?" He leans up on his elbow as she maneuvers, trying to find a position where he doesn't end up pressed against her from knee to neck. He rolls onto his back as she flips around and he gets an elbow in his shoulder. "Bloody hell, Swan, what the - "
"Well if you stayed still for a second - " She shifts again and narrowly misses kneeing him in the crotch.
"I don't know how much more still I can be while you - "
"While I what, Killian? While I what?"
He's careful to keep his voice low, conscious of his sleeping bandmates and their guests. "While you thrash about like a wounded animal." he grits out between clenched teeth.
She stares at him in silent indignation, and then slowly and succinctly, flicks him in the forehead. The hot curl of challenge presses at the base of his spine as he raises his hand, hesitating for only a moment before flicking her back right between her eyebrows.
The wrestling match that ensues is inevitable.
(Once, on a sticky hot night in Alabama, she had flicked him in the hollow of his throat after a not so gallant move with his poker hand and he had picked her up over his shoulder, carried her right out the door and threw her in the hotel pool. Her smile had been wide and her laughter loud as she clutched at his ankle and tugged him in after her, spitting a jet of water in his face when he surfaced.)
They end up tangled together on his tiny cot, his arm slung over her waist and her nose buried in his neck, her knee pressed between his and her foot hooked around his ankle. He's fairly certain he can feel her rapid heartbeat pressing against his own and he lets out a shaky exhale, willing his body to relax and not focus on the soft press of her breasts against his chest. Or the way she is radiating heat through the threadbare material of her t-shirt.
"This is actually kind of comfortable." she mutters somewhere beneath his chin and he bites the inside of his cheek against a string of curses.
"Aye," he manages, clearing his throat and smoothing his fingers between her shoulder blades, noting with despair that she does not seem to be wearing a bra.
Comfortable is one words for it. Complete and total agony is another. "It is."
He wakes oppressively hot, the blankets and Emma sprawled against him a raging inferno. He blinks sleepily and shifts his legs beneath the blanket, noting with a sluggish mind that only one seems available as Emma has the other trapped between hers, and kicks at the blankets until he can work it free. He breathes a sigh of relief at the slight change in body temperature, but he can still feel the sweat on his temple, at the nape of his neck.
Emma seems content with the pretzel they've managed to work themselves into, her hand clutched in the material at the back of his shirt and her hips pressed against his. The longer he lets himself consider the softness of her skin beneath his palm and the brush of her hair against his jaw is pure torture at this point, but his mind is slowly becoming more aware and if he's to have Emma in his bed just for the one night - well, he's damn well going to remember how her toes feel pressed up against his shin, how the ends of her hair tickle his jaw.
She shifts in her sleep, a tiny push of her hips against his that has him biting his tongue against his groan. He thinks of Dave in his skivvies to keep the arousal from rushing straight from his head right down to his groin - that time Robin decided he was going to streak through a college campus and he was scarred for life.
Emma shifts again, her mouth opening against his neck. He feels the slightest pressure, and then the scrape of teeth.
Bloody fucking hell.
She does it again, a brush of her lips with a tilt of her head, the tip of her tongue tracing a slow trail against the side of his neck. He can't help the muffled sound in the back of his throat, his hand on her back sliding down slightly, the tips of his fingers just barely brushing the curve of her ass and those infernal pants.
"Killian?" her whispered question is not the voice of one who has just woken up, but something dark and sure. "Are you awake?"
She presses her lips to his collarbone and he sucks a sharp breath in through his teeth. There is no fine line between intentional and accidental and she is severely testing his resolve. "What're you doing, love?"
Instead of answering she presses under his chin with her nose, the hand fisted in the back of his shirt sliding down and under until her palm rests against scorching skin. Her hands are cold, as they always are, and he jumps slightly at the press of her thumb at the base of his spine. He barely manages a glance down at wide green eyes before her lips are on his, soft and coaxing, sucking gently on his bottom lip.
His restraint snaps.
She gasps into his mouth when he tangles his hand in her hair, angling her head back and tugging on her bottom lip with his teeth. He's wanted her for close to three years now and he's in no mood to be gentle - not when she is pressed up against him in the tiny bed and kissing him like she damn well means it.
(God, he hopes she means it.)
The arm she has folded between them grips his shirt and pulls, his hips knocking into hers and his knee pressing up. She rocks against him with a push of her hips and he's hard in an instant, his tongue curling around hers as she tilts her head and digs her nose into his cheek.
He rolls her onto her back after she attempts to mask a particularly devastating whimper - a noise caught low in her throat and on his tongue, a shiver racing up his spine when his hips fall neatly in line with her own. He lets his lips wander from hers to the line of her jaw, the steady beat of her pulse in her neck that he's been eyeing for far too long.
She makes that noise again - the muffled sounding thing - and he knows she's trying to be quiet. But he doesn't want that. He wants every sigh and pant and moan. He wants to know what she sounds like when he holds the soft weight of her breast in his hand, thumb circling over her pebbled flesh until she arches into him. He wants to know what she sounds like when he closes his teeth over her collarbone, how she sighs his name when he slides into her.
He dips his hips down into hers and she sighs, dropping her head back and circling her legs around his waist. She's a vision beneath him - flushed cheeks in the muted light that filters in through the heavy curtain, eyes closed, hair half falling out of her ponytail. She tangles her fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck as he continues his steady rocking above her, his cock pressing between her thighs in long, languid strokes.
He's imagined this scenario a million times and yet the way she bites her lip, the way her eyelashes flutter against the apple of her cheeks while her mouth moves with silent sounds into the space between them - his daydreams and imaginings are nothing compared to the way her eyes look when she wants.
She blinks her eyes open when he circles his hips in a dirty grind, her hand still at the base of his spine, pressing him down into her.
"I have a confession." she whispers into his ear when she pulls him down to her, her mouth hot against his ear. She tugs on his earlobe with her teeth and he almost comes undone, her tongue toying with the black earring he always wears.
(The one that is a perfect match for the one she wears in her own. The one she gave him a drunken night in Memphis, smile dancing on her lips and her fingers sure as she pressed it into his ear.)
"And what's that?" his voice is no more than a rough growl under his breath and he's so far gone for her, for the way she moves with him and against him. The tension coils tighter in his belly and he knows that he could quite easily come like this, moving against her through his shorts and her leggings, the soft material keeping him from her wet heat.
"Maybe, oh - " she cuts off on a gasp when he slides his hand from her hip around to her back, pressing under her pants and cupping her bare ass to pull her more firmly into him. She's not wearing underwear, and he curses under his breath when she rocks back into him, crossing her ankles and riding him from below.
He drops his forehead to her shoulder and licks at a bead of sweat making its way between her breasts. "You were saying?"
"Maybe my bunk wasn't occupied. Maybe I came over here because I wanted to be brave, mm, god - " It seems he's found a particularly good spot because her legs are shaking on either side of his hips, her hand clenching tight in his hair. "Please. Fuck, Killian, I - "
"Shhh," he presses his lips softly to hers, angling his hips until she sinks her teeth into his neck, fist tugging his hair with more force. "I'll take care of you, love."
He'll consider her words later, when he can't feel the heat of her against his cock, her hips pushing into his in earnest as she chases her release. He drops to his forearm and noses at the deep v in her shirt until his tongue finds her nipple, sucking her soft flesh into his mouth and dragging his teeth against her.
She comes with her mouth against his jaw, his name exhaled on a sigh.
He comes with his face between her breasts, her name traced into her skin.
As soon as his heart stops running like mad in his chest he pushes back on his forearms above her, sliding his hand out of her pants and tracing the line of her arm instead. Her smile is sleepy and sated, and he's pleased to not see a hint of anxiety or regret in her delicate features.
"Do you want me to scratch behind your ear for you?" The dimple in her chin flashes with her grin. "You look like you want to."
"Apologies, lass, I just - "
"Elsa tells me you've wanted for me for a long time. And maybe I've wanted you, too." Despite having just dry humped one another to completion like a pair of horny teenagers, a pretty blush climbs her cheeks, a bashful smile curling the corners of her lips. "I came over here because I wanted this to happen."
He arches an eyebrow at that. "Are you saying you took advantage of my chivalrous nature?"
She shrugs, scrunching one eyes shut, and he's sure he's never loved her more. "Maybe?"
He chuckles, a deep rumble that's far too loud in the silence of the bus. She claps her hand over his mouth with wide eyes, her own silent chuckles shaking her beneath him.
He licks her palm and she rolls her eyes.
"You should get cleaned up." she whispers. He smirks, and her blush deepens.
"All the times I thought about this, and there were many," he dips his head down and sucks lightly at the place beneath her ear. She groans and tilts her head to the side, giving him more room to work. He grins. "I never imagined it being beneath Will bloody Scarlet."
This time it's her laugh that is far too loud.