The Prom Date
CS Genre: CS Future Fic
Emma took off her reading glasses, closed her eyes, and massaged the bridge of her nose. Paperwork. She hated paperwork. Why hadn't anyone freaking warned her about it before she became sheriff? Of course it had been nearly 20 years since she first got elected, so she should be used to it, but somehow she'd always been too busy with whatever scum of the earth villain was currently in town. Paperwork always got tossed onto a messy stack on the corner of her desk to work on later.
But they hadn't had a new villain in what felt like forever. They'd defeated the last one when the twins were six. That was, what, four years ago? How was it possible that the two of them were 10 already? Her babies were ten years old! It seemed like just yesterday she and Killian were consuming ridiculous amounts of coffee trying to stay awake after sleepless nights caring for two newborns. She must be getting old; time was rushing by faster than Leroy on his morning bacon run.
Regardless, the day of paperwork hell reckoning had come.
Killian had offered to stay in the office and help her with it this afternoon, but she'd waved him off, telling him to go be deputy to her father for the day. She smiled thinking of the boyish grin that had spread over his still-far-too-handsome face. Her husband's friendship with her father was nearly legendary. She shuddered to think what kind of trouble the two of them were getting into while they were supposed to be keeping the streets of Storybrooke safe.
With a deep sigh, Emma donned her glasses, ran a hand through her shoulder-length blonde hair and reached for the nearest stack.
The door of the sheriff's station slammed, and a moment later Eva bounced into view, all curly blonde hair and teenage exuberance. Emma's fifteen-year-old daughter shrugged off her backpack, tossed it to the floor and then threw herself into the chair across from Emma's desk.
Emma smiled and thrust the offending paperwork aside. Looks like she was about to get another reprieve after all.
"Hey kid!" she said. "How was your day?"
Eva heaved a dramatic sigh. "Mom, this was the worst, BEST day of my life!"
Emma chuckled. "So which was it, the worst or the best?"
"Well, it started out like a nightmare, but then," another long, ecstatic sigh, "heaven!"
"Okay," Emma said, leaning back in her chair and crossing her legs, "now I'm intrigued. How about you start at the beginning?"
"Well," Eva said, unconsciously mirroring her mother's posture, "it all started this morning on the way to school. We were walking along, and Liam pulled my diary out of his backpack. My diary!"
Emma frowned. "Why did he have your diary?"
"How should I know? He must have swiped it from my room last night when I wasn't looking."
That kid was far too adept at larceny for his own good. Of course, the fact that he was the son of a thief and a pirate didn't help.
"I'm sorry, Eva. I'll make sure to give him the 'leave other people's property alone' lecture later tonight. I assume that was the bad part of the day?"
Eva rolled her eyes. "Unfortunately it got worse. I, of course, snatched it back from him immediately, but it turns out he'd made copies of some….um…embarrassing entries. You see…there's this boy I kind of like…"
"Philip?" Emma asked with a grin.
Eva sat up ramrod straight in her chair. "How did you know? Have you been reading my diary too?!"
"Relax kid, I gave up the thievery business a long time ago. I just kind of…figured it out."
Wasn't real hard when the kid had a habit of breathing on the window pain and writing "Eva + Philip" surrounded by a heart every time she was supposed to be doing the dishes.
"Was I that obvious?" Eva couldn't have worn a more horrified look if Emma had threatened to shave her head and dance naked in the middle of Granny's.
"Only to those who know you," Emma reassured. "So, my little kleptomaniac of a thirteen-year-old not only stole your diary, but he made copies of entries where you gushed about Philip?"
"Yeah," Eva said, "but that wasn't even the worst part! You know how we always walk to school with Philip and Briar Rose? Liam gave one of the copies to Philip!"
Emma winced. "Ouch!"
Eva nodded. "Yeah. Ouch. I thought my life was over. I just wanted the pavement to open up and swallow me whole."
"So, how'd Philip react?"
Eva shrugged. "He got kind of red and embarrassed, and then hurried off to his first class. I wanted to die."
"But you said this later turned into your best day ever. How did that happen?"
"You know the junior prom is in a couple of weeks?"
"Well, at lunch, Philip came up to me and asked if he could talk to me alone!"
Emma grinned, having a good idea know how this story was going to end. "I take it he got over his embarrassment?"
"Yeah," Eva sighed rapturously yet again. "He told me he had feelings for me too, but that he hadn't wanted to say anything since, you know, we've all been friends pretty much all our lives. He thought it might make things weird. Anyway, after he read my diary entry, he, obviously knew I felt the same way about him, so he decided to let me know how he feels!"
Emma took Eva's hand and squeezed it affectionately. "So, kid, something tells me he decided to ask you a question."
Eva grinned. "Yeah. Mom, Phillip asked me to prom. Philip."
"And I assume you said yes?"
"Duh!" Eva leaned forward, "Mom, I think I'm in love. I mean REALLY in love. You know like 'true love'. Like Grandma and Grandpa or like you and Papa. Philip is just so….so…Mom he's perfect."
Emma coughed trying valiantly to disguise her laugh. Had she ever been this dramatic and happy as a teen? Suddenly Emma's face fell as she thought of herself at fifteen. No. No, she'd never been that happy. She'd never had a mother to confide in. She'd never been popular; she was always the new kid, the odd one out, the angry, stand-offish kid who actively shut people out. By the time the junior prom came along, she'd already long since dropped out of school and started making her way alone on the streets.
Thank God she and Killian's kids would never know that kind of trauma.
Emma folded her oldest daughter in her arms. "I'm happy for you, Eva. I really am. I hope prom is everything you hope it will be."
Eva returned the hug exuberantly, and then stepped back, a troubled look on her face. "So you'll let me go?"
"Yeah, kid, of course. Why do you ask?"
"A couple weeks ago I asked Papa when I was allowed to date, and he got all stern and everything and then told me to come back to him when I was thirty-five and then we could talk about the matter."
That sounded like Killian.
"Don't worry about your dad. I can handle him."
"Pass the potatoes, lad," Killian said, gesturing to his younger son with his prosthetic.
Charles complied, and then went back to his own dinner with gusto. Killian glanced around the kitchen table and watched as the rest of his family did the same. This lot was normally exuberant and loud, but dinnertime always brought blessed peace and silence.
"Killian, this chicken is delicious," Emma murmured around a mouthful. "Is this a new recipe?"
"Aye love," he nodded. "This one was wheedled out of Granny with much difficulty."
"Well, whatever you had to do to get the recipe, it was definitely worth it."
Killian grunted and then took a bite of steamed asparagus. He and Swan shared the household tasks equally, but somehow around the third year of marriage, he had been designated the Jones family chef. To his surprise, he found he rather enjoyed the undertaking.
Killian and Emma had decided early on in their marriage that family dinner would be an important—and daily—occurrence in the Jones family. As the children grew and became increasingly involved in extra-curricular activities, it became ever more difficult to continue the tradition, but Killian was committed to it. Truth be told; this was his favorite time of day. Who would have thought the dreaded Captain Hook would ever become so domesticated?
"So, cygnets, what new adventures did your day bring?"
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Emma smile affectionately. He'd begun the dinner conversation with the very same question each evening for years.
"Charles got in a fight today," Leia volunteered enthusiastically, and then promptly slapped a hand over her mouth.
"What?!" Emma asked.
"Leia!" Charles bellowed. "You said you'd keep that secret!"
Liam snorted. "That was your first mistake, Charles. Everybody knows Leia can't keep a secret to save her life."
Leia shot her older brother an outraged look, her near-black hair bouncing with the sharpness of the motion. It was true enough. Leia was more or less her grandmother in miniature. She'd inherited Snow's dark hair, green eyes, optimistic disposition….and utter inability to keep a secret for more than few minutes at a time.
"With whom did you spar, lad, and what was the nature of your dispute?" Killian attempted to infuse stern disapproval in his tone, but feared he failed utterly.
"Gideon," Charles said with a sneer. "Gideon Gold."
Trust the Crocodile's hatchling to be at the forefront of a dispute. The apple clearly didn't fall far from the tree where that family was concerned.
"Yeah," Leia agreed. "Gideon said his papa told him that our papa was a despicable, incompetent bully. I don't even know what all those words mean, but it sounds bad."
"And so you chose to defend my honor, did you lad?"
"Well, yeah," Charles said, ducking his sandy-colored head in embarrassment. "I'm not going to let anyone say bad things about my family!"
"Well done, Charles!" Killian said, clapping him on the shoulder.
"Killian!" Emma bellowed. "Don't encourage our children to fight!"
"I don't advocate they start fights love," Killian said, refusing to back down, "but I've no intention of berating a child of mine for standing up for the honor of his family when it is maligned."
"Good form and all that?" Emma asked sarcastically.
"Quite so, darling."
Emma turned toward Charles. "You didn't get hurt, did you?"
"No," Charles said. "Fight didn't last long. Soon as he realized I was going to fight him for real, he ran away."
"'Twould seem cowardice runs in the family."
Killian and the Crocodile had finally come to a kind of grudging truce, but one thing was abundantly clear. There would never be any love lost between the two of them. Should a child of his stand up to the Crocodile's spawn, Killian had every intention of cheering him on.
"So, it seems the twins had quite the exciting day," Killian said. "How about you, Liam? How was school?"
Liam made a face. "I have to write a five page paper by next Friday."
"Aye? Upon what topic?"
"History. Whatever topic I want."
"You ought to ask your dad to help you with that one," Emma said with a smirk. "Since he's like a million, he can probably give you first-hand info on any historical period you can think of."
Killian grinned good-humoredly. "Aye, true enough. Then again, should you ever need to gather information on monkeys, your mum would be the one to ask. She did, after all nearly marry one."
At the other end of the table, Eva grinned and rolled her eyes playfully. The age and monkey jokes were a common occurrence between the Joneses.
"Alexandra and I plan to go shopping tomorrow," Eva announced after a moment. She waved her hand and a small swatch of robin's-egg blue fabric appeared. All of the children had inherited Swan's magic to some degree, as the second-generation products of true love, but Eva's was particularly strong and intuitive. "I want my dress to be this color. Alexandra says it will bring out my eyes and go well with my blonde hair."
"Yeah," Emma said, examining the fabric, "that's a good choice."
"You plan to purchase a new dress, little love?" Killian asked absently, spearing a bite of chicken.
"Duh!" she said with a roll of her blue eyes. "You have to get a new dress for the prom!"
Killian froze, fork raised midway between plate and mouth. "I beg your pardon? For what do you need a new dress?"
"For the junior prom! Philip asked me this afternoon. Didn't Mom tell you about it?"
Killian shot an outraged look in his wife's direction. "No. It would seem that little detail slipped her mind."
Emma had the good grace to look chagrined. "Sorry, Eva, I guess I just hadn't gotten around to it yet."
Prom!? His little lass was planning to go to prom? As the date of a young man—a young man whose hormones were likely raging out of control? No! He wouldn't stand for it! She was naught but a little lass, yet!
Killian got swiftly to his feet. "Emma, may I have a word? Alone?"
Emma rolled her eyes, but stood as well. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Swan place a reassuring hand on Eva's shoulder as she moved past. The lass looked devastated, and Killian felt a pang of remorse. Ruthlessly shoving it aside, Killian turned on his heel and strode purposely toward the bedroom he shared with Emma.
As soon as the door was closed behind them, Emma took a seat on the bed and calmly crossed her legs. Far too agitated for such a sedentary posture, Killian began pacing, murmuring irritably to himself, as visions of a pimple-bespeckled lad attempted to do filthy things to his little girl.
Finally, Killian planted his feet, and turned toward his wife. "Swan, she's naught but a lass, a young, impressionable lass!"
"Killian," she said calmly. "She's fifteen years old. It's only natural that she has a crush. It's only natural that she'd be ecstatic beyond all belief that the boy she's had a thing for 'forever' would ask her to the junior prom."
"Aye!" he fumed, "and that is another thing, love! Our daughter only just began attending Storybrooke High School. It should be a good two years before the bloody school allows her to attend a junior prom."
Emma shrugged in evident unconcern. What was wrong with the woman? How did she fail to see how serious this was?
"Eva couldn't have chosen to go herself," Emma answered, "but the school doesn't have a problem with it if a junior asks a younger student to go as their date."
Killian began pacing again, itching to dig out the hook he hadn't worn in years and bury it in something, particularly something that would cause the junior in question a significant amount of pain. "Emma, love, have you any idea how seventeen-year-old lads think? Their minds are as filthy and putrid as the Crocodile's black heart!"
Emma chuckled. She actually chuckled! "Killian, when you were seventeen you were as prim, proper and straight-laced as a nun."
He fixed her with a glare that should have frozen her to the marrow of her bones. "I may have behaved with outward decorum, but I can assure you, darling, when faced with the temptation of a lovely lass, my mind ventured in directions not lawful to be spoken in polite society."
"But that's the point, isn't it?" Emma said with a little wave of her hand. "It's not about the knee-jerk hormonal response, it's about what a person does with it. Killian, we've known Philip since he was born. He's a good kid. Aurora and Philip raised him right. Even if he has thoughts that 'venture in directions not lawful to be spoken in polite society', he's not going to act on them. He'll respect Eva and treat her right."
"Perhaps, but I'm disinclined to take the chance that, emotions running amok, one thing might lead to another…"
"If you don't believe in him, at least have faith in our daughter," Emma said calmly. "She's a good kid. We've raised her to respect herself, to wait until she's truly ready. Besides, in her eyes you hang the moon and stars. No way she's going to do something that's going to disappoint you."
Killian took a deep breath and released it slowly. "I don't wish to see her hurt. I don't wish to stand by and watch her tender heart be shattered. I'd give my remaining hand to keep that from happening. I swore an oath the day she was born to protect her, with my life if need be. Don't ask me to approve of this, please, love!"
Emma patted the mattress beside her, and Killian was surprised to see tears in her eyes. It was the tears more than anything that led him to perch next to her on the bed. As soon as he was seated, Emma leaned forward, framed his face with her soft hands, and kissed him gently.
"I love you," she murmured, before wrapping her arms around him. He returned the embrace, burying his face in her silky, fragrant hair.
"And I you, my love, until the end of time, as always."
When Killian pulled back, he watched as a solitary tear escaped its banks and rolled down Emma's cheek. He caught it with a gentle thumb. "What's the matter, love? Have I said something to distress you?"
She shook her head vehemently, and then raised a hand to caress the scar on his cheekbone. "I was just thinking about how lucky Eva is to have a dad that loves her so much. If I'd had one when I was her age…who knows how different my life would have been?"
"Emma, you and the children are my life, you know that. I can't merely stand by while one is in danger of pain and suffering."
"But that's just the thing," she said, looking into his eyes. "She's growing up; they all are. We can't protect them from everything. At some point we have to let our little birds test their wings and take a quick trip from the nest. Heartbreak is a natural part of life. If it turns out Philip isn't the big true love of our daughter's life like she thinks he is, it'll hurt, but she'll survive—and we'll be here to help her put the pieces back together."
Killian sighed. "It was so much easier when she was a wee one."
"Yeah," Emma said on a chuckle. "Who would have thought we'd long for the days our babies woke us up every freaking five minutes?"
"Emma, are we going to survive the angst-ridden teenage years?"
"Yeah, we'll survive—like we survive everything; together."
Killian leaned forward and kissed her gently, letting his lips caress hers for long moments as his hand found purchase in her hair.
"So you're done with the whole 'over-protective father who won't let his daughter date until she's like forty' bit?"
"I suppose," he answered wryly. "For this evening, at least."
"Good," Emma grinned. "So, we've got an overwrought teenager in the kitchen. How about we go tell her she can go to the prom with the 'love of her life' so that she can stop worrying that you're going to lock her away in some tower and fit her for a chastity belt?"
Killian sighed, but got to his feet and offered a hand up to Emma. "I suppose that would be best. Lead on, love."
-The "reruns" continue this week and next as I finish retelling the story of "The Girl That I Adore". In this sequel to last week's "The Runaway", ten years have passed, and now Eva has hit the dreaded teenage years. When she's asked to the prom by Philip, Aurora and Philip's son, Killian has a moment of over-protective dad panic. Good thing Emma's able to talk him down.
-Up next: The final chapter of "The Girl That I Adore". Killian's accepted that he can't hold on to Eva forever, and he's reluctantly agreed to let her go to prom with Philip—but he still has a few tricks up his sleeve to put the fear of God into his oldest daughter's young suitor.