Right…. so I'm a huge lover of the priest!killian plot and the smuttier the better. I made a deal with my smutty priest!killian soulmate jscoutfinch that if she wrote a smutty priest!killian fic and expanded her writing resume into the smut field that I would too. So here it is.
Also, it has been years (10+) since I stepped foot into a church for a service soooo I'm a little rusty when it comes to the religious aspect. My only church experience revolves around what I experienced growing up here in the South so for that purpose, Storybrooke in this story is set in South Carolina to better align with how I know things.
Enough rambling. As always enjoy and reviews/favorites/follows feed the muse!
Chapter 1: Not Your Average Sunday
"Emma! Hurry up or we're going to be late!"
Emma Nolan rolled her eyes as her mother's voice carried from downstairs. The woman was habitually late for every aspect of her life but the thought of being late for a Sunday Mass would send Mary Margaret Nolan into an absolute frenzy of promptness. Running a hand through her blonde locks Emma quickly checked her reflection in the full length mirror hanging on the back of her bedroom door.
Most of her clothes were still in New York - there was only so much she could fit in her small bug - but having grown up with her mother she at least had the presence of mind to bring a few Sunday pieces with her. The champagne colored summer dress fell to just a few inches above her knees, flaring out slightly at the waist to create an almost swaying effect as she walked. She kept her accessories simple - her favorite dust rose clutch, the small pearl drop earrings her father had given to her on her twenty-second birthday, and the ever present Swan necklace she had worn since she was seventeen. Her make up was simple and her blonde locks cascaded down her shoulders in loose waves with the champagne heels she had bought at Ruby's insistence during the brunette's last trip to New York rounding out her outfit.
It had been years since she went to church - almost a decade, really - but she still knew the dress etiquette that her mother had drilled into her from an early age. Sunday mass in their small town of Storybrooke was as much a fashion show as it was a place of worship with entire people's reputations living or dying based on what they chose to wear. It was a concept of small town life Emma had never agreed with and one of the many reasons she had stopped attending church altogether, much to her mother's horror.
But when you move back home with your parents at twenty-eight after a particularly nasty break up, you quickly learn not to argue with your mother's one stipulation of going to church every Sunday.
Rolling her eyes again at the world's best procrastinator getting onto her for running late, Emma grabbed the dust rose cardigan off the back of her vanity chair and made her way downstairs. Her summer dress may keep her cool in the non air conditioned church but she knew spaghetti straps would have her mother fainting in mortification. And Mary Margaret refused to be the talk of the town.
Descending the stairs she saw her mother standing by the front door, demure quarter length sleeved pink dress perfectly unwrinkled with a matching dress hat atop her raven pixie-cut hair. Her mother and that unhealthy obsession with dress hats. Not for the first time Emma was reminded of all those pictures from the Kentucky Derby of perfectly attired women with stylish hats.
Hearing Emma's heels as they hit the wooden floor of the foyer Mary Margaret turned. "Are you ready, dear?" Emma nodded, noticing her mother give her a quick once over before opening the door.
Some things never changed.
"Where's dad?" she asked as she followed her mother down the front steps.
"He's going to meet us there. He had to run into the station for a few hours this morning, something about Leroy and the new computer system. Graham was close to locking Deputy Grumpy in the cell just for some peace and quiet."
Emma smiled as they climbed into her mother's car. Her father was Storybrooke's Sheriff and the most respected man in their little town. His deputies - or two stooges as Emma had called them through the years - not so much, though her mother did have a fondness for Leroy, or Grumpy as Emma had nicknamed him when she was a child for the ever present frown on the man's face.
As they pulled out of the immaculate Nolan driveway Emma let her mother's monologue on the latest town gossip fade away, her eyes trained out the car window. As trees gave way to the quaint buildings of Storybrooke's main street she couldn't help but think about what had and hadn't changed in her hometown over the past ten years.
Storybrooke, South Carolina was your typical small Southern town filled with the beginnings of the next generation and the foundations of the past, history mixed with the promise of the future. The library on the corner of main street was a new addition to the sleepy town, one her mother had told her was due to a new resident, Belle Jones, who had moved from Australia six months prior. Mr. French's flower shop was still the brightest building on Misthaven Road although Tink's Fairy Dust Beauty, owned by one her childhood best-friends Christine O'Donoghue, was quickly giving the aging flower shop a run for its money. Mr. Gold's pawn shop still sat dark and dreary across from the police station and Granny's dinner, according to her father, was still the staple place for the best grilled cheese sandwich this side of the Savannah River.
Emma hadn't been home much over the past ten years, her life in New York keeping her from visiting except the odd holiday here and there. Not that she had ever had much desire to visit on a more regular basis. The events that had sent her running to the Big Apple when she was eighteen still haunted her every time she crossed the town line and although no one publicly spoke of her humiliating decisions as a teenager - mostly due to her parent's standing in the community - she wasn't naive enough to think they didn't talk behind closed doors about the summer the sheriff's daughter completely lost her mind.
As Mary Margaret turned off Main Street and onto Orchid Avenue which dead ended at the massive Catholic church she looked at her mother.
"How has Father Merlin been? Still scaring the kids with his old wizard impression during Halloween?"
Mary Margaret laughed. "Father Merlin is doing well the last we heard from him. He's retired to a nice little community down in Florida for clergymen."
Emma raised her eyebrows in shock. "Father Merlin isn't the priest any more?"
Her mother shook her head as she pulled into the almost full church parking lot. "Not since about six months ago. He was nearing eighty, Emma. I'm surprised he didn't retire years ago, especially after his last battle with pneumonia."
"Who is the priest now?"
Mary Margaret shut the car off after pulling into the shade of a large magnolia tree before starting to gather her purse from the backseat. "Father Jones. He arrived a few weeks before Father Merlin retired to learn the ropes and to get to know everyone. We had a huge cookout for him at the house not long after he arrived."
"Why am I not surprised?" Emma muttered as they got out of the car. Mary Margaret Nolan may be a sweet and endearing elementary school teacher but she was first and foremost a Southerner, and they bled nothing but hospitality.
"He's a sweet man," her mother continued as they made their way toward the church, heels clicking on the worn pavement. "His sermons are always filled with such passion and he takes the time with every parishioner who seeks his private counsel. I think he'll be with us for a long time."
"Who will be with us for a long time?"
Emma turned and smiled at the approaching figure of her father. David Nolan was your quintessential Southern boy - kind, courtesy, willing to give you the shirt off his back for nothing in return, and charming. His muscular frame was a hallmark back to his days of playing football for Storybrooke High and although he was turning forty-eight this November the only sign of age on him was a few strands of grey in his blonde locks. Blue eyes bright, her father enveloped her in a tight hug as if he hadn't seen her just last night before placing an affectionate kiss to her mother's cheek.
"I was catching Emma up on our new priest," Mary Margaret explained, reaching to fix the upturned collar of her husband's dress shirt.
"I like him," David said to his daughter, fidgeting with the red tie she knew he loathed but her mother adored. "He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and so far has gotten along with every member in town, including Gold."
Emma blinked in surprise as they made their way up the church's stone steps, her and her mother taking one of her father's offered arms. "Gold likes someone?"
"I wouldn't go that far," Mary Margaret mumbled, throwing a quick hello and smile as they passed old man Geppetto. "You know that man hates everyone. For some reason he's kept his normal ire in check when it comes to Father Jones."
"Small miracles do happen," Emma laughed as the three of them walked through the large wooden doors of St. Meissa. Even though Emma had her issues with religion and particularly religion in the South, she had always loved the aesthetic of their Catholic church. It had been built in the 1840's and was beautifully crafted with an arched ceiling, six stained glass windows running along both walls, and newly installed marble running up the center aisle. The light wood always seemed to shine from the lights, giving the main room an almost ethereal glow even on Storybrooke's darkest days.
Following her parents down the aisle she smiled politely at the townspeople she passed, her own ingrained Southern manners kicking in. She eventually had to continue on toward the pew her family had sat in her entire life by herself when her parents got caught up in a conversation with Brier Rose and Stefan Haven.
She turned at the sound of her name, smiling brightly when she recognized two of her best-friends walking toward her. They were polar opposites from everything to their looks to their choice of dress, the definition of night and day. Ruby Lucas was tall with a pair of legs even Emma would kill for, her long brunette locks flowing freely down her back and wearing a red sleeveless dress that was only barely considered appropriate for church, both in length and the amount of cleavage on display. Her lips were red and she had the trademark Ruby Lucas cat wing eyeliner on which gave her facial features the look of a wolf ready to pounce on its prey. Christine was the shortest of their group which had earned her the nickname Tink when they were kids. Her long blonde hair was pulled up into a soft bun atop her head, her make up soft and earthy, and she wore a short sleeved summer green dress that fell to her knees.
"When did you get in?" Tink asked, leaning in to give her a warm hug.
"Just last night," Emma replied, laughing as Ruby practically tackled her in the middle of the church aisle. "I wasn't expecting to see you guys here."
"Please," Ruby laughed. "Granny insists that I come to church to 'cleanse my soul for all the sins I commit during the week' - do you really think I'm turning down a day off every week?"
Emma tilted her head. "Are you still giving Granny heart attacks with your lack of uniform material, Rubes?"
Ruby grinned wolfishly. "Of course!"
"Granny and half of Storybrooke," Tink added, causing all three women to laugh.
Emma had missed this. She had missed them. The girls had visited her in New York numerous times over the past ten years and she always made a point of spending time with them on one of her many infrequent visits back home. But there was something about seeing them now without a deadline for the visit to end or a pressuring someone at her back that made it just feel right. The only thing missing was their fourth musketeer, Elsa.
"Oh!" Tink exclaimed, blue eyes going wide. "Have you seen the new priest, Emma?"
"Father Jones? No, I haven't. I didn't even know Father Merlin had retired until mom told me on the way here. Have ya'll?"
Ruby and Tink shared a look. "Oh we've…. definitely seen Father Jones," Tink replied with a coy smile.
"Many, many times," Ruby added, tongue poking into the corner of her mouth.
Emma stared between her friends. "Why do I feel like I'm the odd man out of an inside joke?"
Before either woman could respond the soft piano music of Mother Superior began to fill the church. Ruby and Tink shot her knowing looks as her parents appeared from nowhere, her mother ushering her into the very front pew.
If she hadn't of been in a church Emma would have rolled her eyes at her mother's eagerness.
Taking her seat she watched as the choir filtered in from the back rooms and began singing the opening hymnal. She recognized a few of them - the socialite daughter of Brier Rose and Stefan, Aurora Haven, the local dressmaker's daughter Ashley Boyd, Elsa's soon-to-be brother-in-law, Kristoff Iverman, and Jefferson Hatter's little girl, Grace. As the choir seamlessly moved from one hymn to the next she found herself opening the Bible that had been resting on the pew next to her and aimlessly flipping through it.
She might have agreed to her mother's stipulation of coming to church every Sunday but that didn't mean she had to pay attention.
After a few minutes of the choir singing along with Mother Superior's piano playing the church went quiet, the silence only broken by the occasional cough, baby cry, or the sound of paper fans being fluttered around to combat the rising Southern heat. So engrossed in her mental task of listing everything she needed to transfer from New York Emma didn't realize the new priest had walked down the aisle and started mass until the lilting, accented voice filled the church hall.
"Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today…"
Snapping her head up at the lilting accent that echoed throughout the old church Emma's eyes instantly fell on the man standing behind the pulpit and her jaw dropped. What her mother had failed to mention about dear sweet Father Jones was that the man was drop dead gorgeous.
He was young for a priest she thought, perhaps her own age although the dark scruff that covered his jaw made him look a few years older. Since when did the Catholic church allow their priests to have facial hair? Black hair fell over his forehead almost teasingly and she sat captivated as he continued to speak, full lips forming the words of the sermon effortlessly, wrapping around the holy words almost sinfully.
And his accent… was that Irish? No, it was different from Graham's rough accent - more fluid, like a gentle caress to the skin. It reminded her of Regina's husband's accent and hadn't Robin mentioned he was from England on one of her trips back home a year or two ago? How had a British priest - who looked like he should be on the cover of GQ - found his way to a small southern town?
Half turning in her seat she looked back a few pews to where Ruby and Tink sat and wasn't surprised in the slightest to find both her friends watching her intently. Her reaction must have been what they were expecting because both women fought to control a fit of giggles which only resulted in old Mrs. Turner glaring at both of them. Turning back around at her mother's own stern glare Emma looked toward the altar and froze as Father Jones's crystal blue eyes landed right on her.
Mary and Joseph forgive her because she was certainly going to Hell now.
His feet pounded the pavement to Savage Garden's Break Me Shake Me as he rounded the small pond at the center of the park, heart pumping in time with the song's beat. Even though it was early in the day, still not even six AM, he could feel the rivets of sweat pouring down his body and soaking his wife beater.
Running in the South had been an adjustment to say the least with the weather swinging from one extreme to another in only a matter of months. He had arrived in the quaint town of Storybrooke six months ago, a month after the new year had started and the cold had damn near killed him on his morning runs. He was British and use to cold weather, had even walked to seminary school once in three feet of snow without blinking an eye but the Southern winter seeped into his bones in a way even the coldest English winter hadn't. March and April had been pleasant with the prevalent breeze that brought the smell of blooming flowers every morning.
But by the beginning of May the heat had appeared seemingly out of no where, making him feel like he was running in a low grade oven even though he ran long before the sun came up. Now in the middle of June the heat was almost unbearable, the temperature on his phone that morning reading sixty-eight at four o'clock in the morning and it would only rise as the day went on.
Not running wasn't an option though.
It was something he had done since his earliest naval days, finding a solitude on the pavement that he couldn't anywhere else. Even now, eight years after he had been ordained, the pavement beneath his feet gave him more solitude than the church could. He knew the thought was blasphemous but he hadn't always been a priest and he'd say a few hail marys later to appease the sinful thought.
Emerging from the park that was conveniently right next to the church Killian Jones slowed to a stop, his breathing heavy in the sticky hot morning air. Falling into a series of stretches he surveyed his surroundings. It was only a few minutes past six in the morning, the sky just beginning to lighten with the approaching dawn and the town was quiet. He prefered running at this time, enjoying the solace of the world as it awoke from sleep and it saved him the awkward moments of running into his parishioners.
No one wanted to see their priest running in a wife beater and basketball shorts.
Completing his last stretch he entered the church through the kitchen's back door, making sure to lock it as he went and made his way to the apartment at the back of the church. Taking out his earbuds he laid his phone on the dresser, eyes momentarily falling on the lone picture frame sat there. The picture was from another life, depicting two men and a woman who shared similar features stood in front of a boat, their arms around each other's shoulders. His sister was the picture of youth and beauty, Belle just entering her teenage years and unmarred from the struggles that she would one day face. He didn't even recognize the smiling face of his younger self - the face of a man who had the entire world at his feet, untouched by loss. The face of his brother he could never forget. Liam's image haunted his dreams almost every night, the same moment playing over and over again, always waking him in a cold sweat with his brother's name falling from his lips in a desperate cry.
Jaw clenching he pushed thoughts of his brother and the innocence of youth away as he kicked off his running shoes and stripped out of his clothes. He had just enough time for a quick shower and breakfast before morning Mass started.
Hearing the soft chime of his phone alarm Killian shut his laptop. Storing it in his desk drawer that locked he couldn't help but smile as he remembered how flustered Father Merlin had been when he first saw it. The aging priest believed in the old ways of writing sermons - pen to paper, holed up in seclusion - but Killian found it infinitely easier to type his message, the use of modern technology allowing him to write wherever inspiration struck him. Other than the differences of how to create God's message he and the former priest had gotten along quite well before his retirement, spending many a night in the church's kitchen talking over glasses of tea. They were both men of faith and he had learned that while Father Merlin frowned upon the use of computers he was more than willing to have a modest tv installed in the apartment so he could still watch football matches.
Father Merlin had moved to the States from Scotland decades ago and helped Killian's own transition from the other side of the pond. When he had taken this position at the behest of the local bishop the young priest had been worried about how the local community would react. He was fairly young to be a priest and was replacing a man who had been a beloved fixture in the community for forty years. He knew from talking to his best-friend that the small town of Storybrooke was tight knit and didn't welcome strangers with open arms despite their outward southern hospitality.
But his appearance had been met with nothing but warm smiles, everyone in the community going out of their way to make him feel welcomed. The sheriff's wife, Mrs. Nolan, had even held a cookout for him shortly after his arrival. It was clear the people of Storybrooke were a religious group of people and as long as he aided them in worshipping the Lord he was considered an upstanding member of the community.
He had acclimated so well to small town life that he had convinced his younger sister to move here a month after he had taken up the post, paying to have her things shipped from Australia himself. Belle's reception in Storybrooke had been a little rockier than his had with most of the people curious as to why a young, attractive woman from another part of the world with no husband had chosen to make Storybrooke her new home. The Nolans had helped ease most of the tension and Regina Mills-Loxley had even cut through a lot of the normal red tape involved to give Belle the local library to run, a fact he knew his sister was grateful for.
Straightening his black robes he made sure to put his phone on silent before pocketing it, grabbing his rosary and notes on the sermon before he exited the small office. As he made his way toward the chapel he could hear the choir singing and his chest swelled with warmth. Priesthood may not have always been his calling but he had always been a somewhat religious man and the singing of the choir was one of his few happy childhood memories.
Slowly making his way down the marbled aisle of the church he smiled at the few parishioners who glanced at him. The church was already stifling hot even though it was just after eight AM and he made a mental note to inquire about getting AC before the summer temperatures skyrocketed. Reaching the pulpit he arranged his typed notes until the choir finished, letting the church fall into a deep silence before he began.
"Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today…"
Liam had once told him when they were younger that he had a voice that could have commanded a man to turn against King and country and it was a facet he had used throughout his priesthood. He had always been able to capture a room, making a point to look into the parishioners eyes as he spoke passionately about the word of God. The sermon that morning was on how God gave people what they needed when they least expected it, a subject he had written about after having a conversation with Belle the previous Sunday. As his eyes moved around the room he saw many of the congregation nodding along to his words, paper fans briskly moving to combat the heat that hung in the air.
And then he saw her.
He hadn't stumbled over the words in a sermon since his very first in that large London church but as his eyes landed on the woman in the front pew he found himself fumbling for his next words. She was surely an angel that had dropped from heaven, dressed in a champagne dress and a dark pink cardigan that complemented her milky skin perfectly. Blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders in waves, looking like an ethereal waterfall as the morning sun hit it. Pink lips were parted slightly and green eyes - God her eyes - looked directly at him like twin emeralds, dazzling and drawing him in.
Fighting to remember where he had been in the sermon he cleared his throat and glanced down at his notes. "Apologizes, I was suddenly struck with the image of an angel. One that... we never see that guides God's miracles to us…" As he continued, somehow integrating the spontaneous part of an angel who watches over them to help God's work - a part that was most definitely not in the original sermon - he chanced a glance back in the direction of the front pew. The woman was flipping intently through one of the Bible's the church provided and unless his eyes deceived him, there was a faint blush coloring her cheeks.
He wasn't sure how he got through the rest of the sermon because he couldn't go more than a few seconds without looking at her. He breathed a soft sigh of relief as communion began, momentarily forcing his attention away from the blonde angel as his congregation partook of the body and blood of Christ. He did notice she didn't participate, exchanging what seemed to be a few tense words with Mrs. Nolan at her refusal.
That intrigued him.
As service concluded the choir once again took up singing as the vast majority of the congregation left the church, off to no doubt enjoy Granny's Sunday lunch special. As was his practice he stood by the church's front door, shaking hands and nodding in thanks as people complimented the sermon message. His smile was genuine at their praise, feeling as if he was continuing to work towards redemption by bringing the Lord's message to so many who craved it. And no one seemed to question his falter.
He was in the process of shaking Mr. Geppetto's hand and thanking him for the handcrafted furniture for his apartment when he saw a flash of blonde out of the corner of his eye and he swore his heart skipped. Gently disengaging from the elderly woodmaker he turned to see the blonde woman walking behind the Nolans who were headed directly for him.
Taking a steadying breath he smiled as the sheriff and his wife reached him.
"Sheriff Nolan," he greeted warmly, clasping the older man's hand in a firm handshake. He liked the sheriff, he really did. In many ways he reminded Killian of Liam - headstrong, protective, and optimistic.
"Intriguing sermon," David replied, moving to make room for his wife.
Killian smiled. "It's a subject my sister and I were discussing last week. We get so caught up in what we want we forget that God knows what we truly need and He will give it to us when we least expect it."
"Wisely said, Father," Mary-Margaret smiled as she reached to propel the blonde woman stood behind her forward. "This is our daughter, Emma. She arrived from New York last night."
Ah, so she was the Nolan's elusive daughter he had heard about. "Emma," he responded quietly, her name falling past his lips like a benediction. Holding out his hand to her he smiled. "Pleasure to meet you."
He swore she gave a small shiver at his words but it was gone in the blink of an eye. Her eyes flickered to his outstretched hand briefly before bringing her own up tentatively to shake it. Her hand was warm in his and when they pulled apart he couldn't help but drag the tips of his fingers along her palm, momentarily relishing the smoothness of her skin. Green eyes flashed back to him at the contact as she quickly brought her hand back to her side.
"Likewise," she whispered before clearing her throat. "Mom said you moved here six months ago?"
He nodded. "Aye, from England. It's been a pleasant transition and your parents have been very helpful. Are you in town simply for a visit?"
She laughed then, the sound like an angel's harp to his ears. "The normal answer would be yes but no, I'm back for the foreseeable future.
"City life not sit with you?"
Something flashed in her eyes and the smile she gave him was a little less vibrant than before. "Something like that."
"We are just glad to finally have Emma home for good," Mary Margaret interjected, smiling at her daughter. "Storybrooke hasn't been the same without her."
David chuckled. "At least we had bear claws and cinnamon in stock while she was gone."
"Only joking, princess," he promised and Killian watched as Emma smiled warmly at her father. Mrs. Nolan had never said why her daughter lived in New York but he got impression it was a move the mother had never been fond of.
"I'm sure Storybrooke will weather the loss of delicious pastries and spice to have you back, Miss Nolan."
"That's kind of you, Father," Mary Margaret laughed. Turning to her husband she placed her hand on his chest. "We shouldn't hold the Father up any longer, David. I have to get home and prepare lunch."
"Of course," the sheriff conceded with a nod, smiling once again at him. "We'll see you at tonight's Mass, Father Jones."
Killian smiled at the small family as they made their way out. "I look forward to it, sheriff."
As he started to make his way to the confessional where he saw a few parishioners waiting he looked back over his shoulder, an undeniable pull to see her one last time tugging at him. The Nolans were halfway down the steps, Miss Nolan chatting away to her husband and daughter when a large gust of wind blew past them. Miss Nolan had to grasp desperately at her pink hat to keep it from flying off but that wasn't what had the priest's rapt attention. He was unable to look away as the wind caught the bottom of Emma's dress, blowing it up so she had to physically push the material down. He felt his body immediately tense at the flash of barely there red lace that was revealed along with an unobstructed view of long legs and a surge of desire he hadn't felt in almost a decade shoot through him.