Their daughter is less than a week old when Kilian storms into the nursery, a scowl on his face and his phone clenched in his hand, knuckles white. But his expression softens the moment he lays eyes on her, cradling the baby in her arms.
"She just fell asleep," Emma murmurs, continuing her slow, steady rock in the chair Killian insisted on assembling for her himself. She's not sure what she likes more about the thing – how comfortable it is, or the memories that resurface every time she sits down. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing to trouble you with, love." He bends to kiss her forehead, lingering over the tiny person warm against Emma's chest. She's exhausted, and she'd forgotten just how much the whole birth part of being a mom sucks, but everything else – she missed all of this with Henry, and even if it does bring with it a twinge of sadness, she's not going to miss a moment of her daughter's life.
Including 3 a.m. feedings.
"Killian, what's wrong?" She gives him the most stern look she can muster in the middle of the night with an infant asleep on her.
"You weren't in bed, so I came to keep you both company."
She smiles indulgently, glancing down. It's too early to tell, but the faint wisps of hair seem to have taken after Killian's darker locks, and she swears she sees his smile in their daughter. And it's not that she doesn't see herself in Henry, and it's not that Henry isn't Killian's son in every way that counts, but she's still sort of in awe that they've made this perfect little human together.
But Killian is lying, and she's not having it.
"Not uh. You came in here looking mad as hell. And while I appreciate that our daughter mellows you out, I want to know what's bothering you."
He stares at her for a long moment, a smile slowly creeping over his lips. When he bends to kiss her, it isn't a light peck on her forehead, but something else, a lingering gentle kiss with a hint of all the passion still between them, kids or not. "I love you," he says softly, rubbing at his eyes as he straightens, his phone once again tight in his fist. "Bloody Regina. I swear, Swan, that woman has no soul sometimes."
Emma raises a brow, waiting for him to explain. She might not have had the best start with Regina, but Killian's manager has stood by him through a lot over the years. She's grown on them, and Killian's complaints are likely due to his lack of sleep more than an unreasonable demand, but she waits for him to tell her that.
He grimaces at his phone, but his eyes are drawn back to her before long. "She wants us to choose which photographer and which magazine we give the exclusive for the photos."
"I thought you worked that out months ago. You know I'm okay with whatever you decide."
"I've put off giving her an answer. I don't like it, Swan. I don't want a whole bunch of bloody people in our home right now. And she's a week old! The damn cameras give me a splitting headache some days, and I've been at this quite awhile!" He's working himself up as he goes, his voice growing louder until he drops it to a whisper with a glance at their daughter, rubbing the back of his neck. "I know it's the done thing, and I know we can put the money to a good cause, but I hate it."
Emma smiles, an idea slowly taking shape. "Come here," she beckons with her free hand, very carefully getting to her feet. "Sit down."
"What are you about, love?"
"Sit down, Killian." He cocks a brow at her, questions all over his face, but he does as he's told. She settles into his lap slowly, until her back is snug against his chest, his arm steadying her as she leans her head onto his shoulder.
"You are a wonderful husband, and you're going to be an incredible father to our little girl," she tells him, stretching to kiss his cheek. Maybe it's all her hormones being completely out of whack, but there's something about his unkempt state in the middle of the night that makes him all the more real, all the more the man she fell in love with, the man she married. "Now, take a selfie."
"You know. Phone, hold out your arm, picture. Throw it on Instagram. It's what we did with the wedding photos."
"And Regina was furious."
"Not when your follower count jumped another million overnight."
"Are you certain?" he asks after a pause, his thumb rubbing gently across her cheekbone. "You're stunning, Emma, and you have never been more beautiful to me than holding our daughter, but it's three in the morning."
"Do I have spit up on me?"
"Okay. I'm good then." She laughs softly at his puzzled expression. "She's a week old, Killian. This is what that looks like. Three am. No makeup. Half-asleep. And if you're lucky, the man you love by your side. So yes, I'm sure, if you are."
Killian takes the picture. The caption reads who needs sleep when you've got these two to keep you awake. But no sooner does he post the photo than Emma slowly starts to nod off, distantly aware of Killian's fingers in her hair, and the soft breaths of Rose Jones at her breast.