They don't really talk about it their first night home. They don't need to; it's simply there, thrumming under their skin and pulsing through their veins.
Emma hasn't had a chance to stop and dwell on it until now. Of course it wasn't as simple as splitting her heart and getting the hell out of the Underworld - nothing in her life is ever simple, it seems - but when the front door closes with a too-loud click behind them and they're alone in their home for the first time as themselves, no curses in the way, just the two of them standing in the entryway with their fingers linked together... it's the first time she can truly feel it.
She knows he does too, if the look of mild curiosity on his face is anything to go by. He takes a steadying breath and looks down at their joined hands with something akin to awe. She can feel the pulse of their heartbeats under his palm, perfectly synchronized.
"Oh," she says, barely audible over the steady thump-thump rushing in her ears, suddenly so loud in this quiet space.
He doesn't say anything, just brushes his thumb over her knuckles, and she nearly gasps at the swell of affection that surges through her, a rush of warmth that burns in her cheeks and spreads all the way down to the tips of her toes. It's the same as when his arms are wrapped around her, as when he presses his face into the crook of her neck and breathes her in, and she does gasp when she realizes the feeling is coming from him.
God, is this what he feels whenever he looks at her?
She gets her answer when she meets his eyes and sees the softness there, a gentle smile playing at his lips.
She responds with a smile of her own, lacing her fingers tightly with his.
It overwhelms her sometimes, how much she loves him. It's a knot in her stomach, a tightness in her chest that threatens to suffocate her until it relaxes into a languid, easy heat the longer she looks at him. It's how it always is with him, her heart threatening to burst while he brings her down, letting the emotion settle into something warm and comfortable and beautiful.
His eyes widen and his exhale is sharp, and Emma bites her lip as she studies his face. It's mutual, whatever connection they're sharing, and she doesn't care if it's their shared heart or her magic making it happen. She gets to watch as it washes over him; even a few weeks ago this would have frightened her, but not now, not when she can see his sheer astonishment, his eyes lighting up as she squeezes his hand and lets him feel everything.
"Oh," he whispers, and she steps in closer, taking his face in her free hand. He sighs and turns into it, his eyes drifting closed as he presses his lips to her palm.
"Yeah," she says, a tremor in her voice.
His arms surround her then, his warmth and his love (more tangible now than ever) sending sparks across her skin. She shudders and melts into him, his breath hot against her forehead as they sway together, too overwhelmed to keep completely still.
"I - I didn't know," he whispers into her hair.
She smiles into his collarbone. "Yes, you did."
He chuckles, his hand pressing into the small of her back. "Aye, I suppose I did. But it's one thing to know it and another to…" he drifts off, pulling her in even tighter.
"To feel it," she finishes.
She presses her ear to his chest, an entirely unnecessary action as she can hear and feel his (her) heart beating just a surely as her own. But it's amplified like this, a soothing rhythm that gradually slows as they settle into each other, their breaths calming and falling into sync.
Emma finally pulls back, just enough to look into Killian's eyes. He smiles and presses a kiss to her forehead, and just as she can feel his love flowing through her there's also relief there, an overwhelming sense of finally now that they're here, alive and happy and done in the home he chose for them.
Another feeling that, even a short time ago, would have terrified her. Now it calms her.
She can also feel his exhaustion, a bone-deep weariness that seeps into her and makes her heart constrict. She may have gone to hell and back to bring him home but he went there the hard way, three times now, each time for her. It makes her throat catch and her eyes burn, and she just wants to -
He grabs her hand, feeling her distress. "When was the last time you slept, love?"
"I…" it only hits her then, how long it's been. She got no rest after the darkness left her, throwing herself headlong into the rescue mission and there was no sleep to be had in the Underworld. It can't possibly be - "not since before Camelot."
His forehead finds hers. "Please tell me there's a bed upstairs."
She laughs, a short, harsh sound. "Yeah." Never-used, obviously. "A huge, comfortable bed with down pillows and - "
He cuts her off with his lips against hers, and as chaste as it is his kiss has never felt like this, not with their twin heartbeats thundering in her ears and his love pressed into her skin.
She hums against his mouth before pulling away. "I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years."
His stubble scratches along her cheek. "As long as you're there with me."
Emma wakes slowly, shrouded in the comfort of the too-large bed that only felt right because Killian was in it with her. They didn't last long once they'd changed and climbed in, sinking into the softness of the mattress and snuggling up close, unable to go without touching each other for more than a few moments at a time. She'd drifted off with her forehead pressed to his, his blue eyes the last thing she saw before slipping into a deep, dreamless sleep.
As her eyes blink open she sees that he is decidedly not there with her, but it doesn't inspire the panic or worry that it might have. Not when she can feel his heart beating so close by.
Just downstairs, in fact.
She smiles into her pillow and reaches across to his side of the bed, finding it still warm. He couldn't have been up for long, and she peers over to the clock on the nightstand. 11:03 a.m.
They'd slept for nearly 14 hours straight.
She feels unbearably light, rested and easy and content in a way she's never experienced. There's nothing to do, no one to save, just a house to turn into a home.
She shuffles downstairs, still not fully awake when she finds him in the kitchen, fiddling with the coffeemaker.
She stands back and leans against the door frame, content to just watch him. He looks good, dressed in a dark henley and loose sweatpants (he'd seemed so surprised when she presented him with the clothing the night before, but even when consumed with the darkness she knew he'd need more clothes and filled the closets accordingly), messy hair falling over his forehead as he gets the machine working. She'd shown him how to operate the one in the sheriff's station and he seems to have figured this one out just as quickly. She can't hold in her chuckle at his proud little smile.
His smile grows wider at the sound, but he doesn't look at her at first. "I know you've been watching me."
"Was I that obvious?"
He turns to face her, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms over his chest, raising a playful eyebrow. His hand is bare, rings gone, and he's not wearing his hook or brace. "You don't need to be, anymore. I could feel it the moment you woke up." His face softens. "Good morning, love."
She crosses the distance and leans into him, his blunted arm sliding against her back as she presses her lips to his. "Morning."
She lingers against his mouth, breathing him in, and his hand floats across her collarbone before settling directly over her heart, his palm flattening against her skin and setting her nerves on fire.
"What is this?" he asks, a note of wonder in his voice. "I didn't think - I didn't think it would be like this."
"I don't know."
"Perhaps we could ask your parents," he muses, his thumb tracing delicate circles at the hollow of her throat. "It seems they would be the experts."
She shakes her head. "I asked my mom about it before. What it felt like, to share a heart. She talked about feeling closer to Dad, but nothing this intense." Emma laughs to herself. "She's a terrible liar. If this is how it felt for her, she would have blushed and stammered and changed the subject."
"Something to do with your magic, then?"
"Probably? I dunno. I didn't expect… I don't know. It's a lot."
"...too much?" She can hear the hesitance in his voice, can feel it coursing through his veins.
Her jaw tightens and she pulls him closer, suddenly, blindingly angry, utterly furious at the life that's done this to him. Anger at his father, at Rumplestilstkin, at Pan, at herself, at anyone who ever let this man think he isn't worthy of love, that he isn't enough. That even after last night he's still so unsure.
"No," she whispers, and she takes his face in her hands and looks into his eyes and she pushes , uses her magic with everything she has in her, to make him feel it, to make him understand.
It's breathtaking, watching the emotions flit over his face, and she vows to make him feel it every goddamned day of their lives if that's what it takes to make him at ease in his own skin.
"Do you see?" she asks, her eyes never leaving his.
"Aye." His reply is shaky and his eyes a little watery, but his calm acceptance settles into her bones. It's so quiet in this little corner of the kitchen, save for the hammering of their hearts and the faint hum of brewing coffee. Emma basks in it, holding Killian's gaze while he steadies himself.
His hand slides over hers, pulling it from his face as he laces their fingers together. "Warn a man next time you do that, love," he chuckles. "That's a lot to take in early in the morning."
"It's almost noon."
"You know what I mean."
She fights a smile, letting him have his bravado for the moment. "Too much?" she teases.
He grins. "Never." He leans in close, his breath mingling with hers and his lips brushing against her tantalizingly as he speaks. "I like it," he confesses, dropping his head to nuzzle at her jawline. "Feeling what you feel for me."
An intimate admission shouldn't feel this electric, but there's a hint of his tongue at the shell of her ear and she is gone. "Yeah?" The word is breathy and high-pitched, trailing off as he presses his lips to her neck.
"Yeah," he agrees, mouth closing over her pulse point for an agonizing second, just a hint of a tease before he drifts down further. "I wonder…" he murmurs against her skin, and she's clutching at his back now, one hand sliding up into his hair to hold him in place.
"I wonder if our… connection may extend to other activities." He punctuates his words by closing his lips over the little nook where her neck meets her shoulder, with just a hint of teeth.
Her hand tightens in his hair. "Killian?"
He hardly seems to hear her, too invested in marking her skin and turning her bones to water. "Hmm?"
She yanks harder on his hair and he pulls away from her skin with an obnoxious little pop of his lips, his eyes clouded over as she forces him to look at her.
"Forget about the damn coffee."
She half-expects him to take her right there on the kitchen table, or at the very least throw her over his shoulder and carry her to the bedroom. But he's surprisingly subdued, allowing her to take his hand and lead him upstairs.
He shuts the door behind them and turns to face her, stepping in close and nuzzling at her cheek, and she suddenly understands why. The unchecked want she'd felt flowing through him downstairs is tempered now, held down with tenderness and anticipation and love (always love, humming in the background and keeping them steady).
There'll be plenty of time for quick and dirty later. Right now she wants to savor this.
His kiss is soft and easy but it takes her breath away with how it ignites her, makes her want to press closer and crawl inside. The same kiss in Camelot would have settled her but now, God now, with their hearts moving in tandem and their emotions shared on the same live wire, raw and open and ragged around the edges, it burns. It burns like in Neverland but so much more, and she's lost to it when his tongue sweeps over hers.
Every time, it's like their first kiss all over again.
She lets him walk her to the edge of the bed but stops him before he can push her down onto it, turning him gently by the shoulders until the back of his thighs are pressed against the mattress.
"What's this, then?" he asks as she leans in to nip at his lips.
"You wondered," Emma murmurs, dragging her mouth over his stubble and sliding her hands under his shirt, her nails scratching at the small of his back. "Let's find out."
It's been too long since they've done this, she thinks as she slowly drags his shirt over his head, enjoying his contented little hum as she presses her thumbs to his hips and mouths at his collarbone. Not since her tiny bed in the loft, scrambling to make herself presentable before meeting everyone at Granny's, just before she -
"Where'd you go, love?" His words are soft, his hand playing in her hair.
She chuckles to herself and presses her nose to his chest, breathing deep. "Sorry. I just missed this." She finds his lips with her own, pressing against him until he follows her lead and sits on the bed, scooting back far enough to let her straddle his thighs.
He lets her do what she likes, his hand squeezing her hip as she tilts his head just so, sweeping into his mouth and tugging at his bottom lip with her teeth. He's pliant and relaxed underneath her save for the growing hardness she can feel pressing between her legs. She pushes her hips down, grinding against him and letting him take her full weight, and he moans deliciously into her mouth.
Emma can nearly taste the sound on his tongue. She rolls her hips just to hear it again and is rewarded with a deep-seated groan that trails off into a heavy, pleased sigh.
"Can you feel it, Emma?" he murmurs against her lips, his hips twitching beneath hers.
His question isn't just idle pillow talk. Just as she can feel the physical evidence of his arousal and see it in his darkened eyes, she can… well, feel it just as if he were the one pressing down into her, a gentle humming against her nerves and an extra knot in her stomach just begging to be unraveled. It doesn't overwhelm her own arousal but teases at it, extra kindling on the fire.
She gives his hair a light tug, forcing him to look into her eyes. Slowly, deliberately, she grinds down against him once more. His breath stutters and they shiver in tandem, the heat pooling in her legs far more intense than it should be given that they're working between two layers of clothing.
"Yeah," she whispers, capturing his mouth and delighting in the way he just lets himself be taken . He's never like this in bed, always eager to be an active participant if not in outright control. But now he's loose and easy underneath her, letting her tilt his head back and suck at his pulse point.
She suspects it won't last long, his hazy compliance likely brought on by the headiness of their connection (which, it seems, does indeed extend to other activities) and the sheer novelty of it, and Emma damn well plans on taking advantage.
"Yeah, I feel it." She grips his chin and nips at his mouth. "Lie back, captain."
He goes instantly, sliding back to the center of the bed and grinning when Emma climbs over him, pressing his head back into the pillows with her kiss and pinning his shoulders to the mattress.
His hand slides under her tank top, pushing it up her back and leaving a tantalizing little trail of goosebumps as he goes. "How about some parity, love?" he asks, continuing to lift the offending garment.
"Not yet," she mouths into his skin, pressing just a bit harder on his shoulders to get her point across. "Lie back and don't move."
He can't even protest before she's sliding down, raking her fingers across his abdomen and sucking a mark into his collarbone. She looks up long enough to give him a wicked little grin before leaning back down, her hands and lips weaving mindless little trails across his torso. She could devour him like this, gorgeous and sprawled out for her against the sheets.
She settles for the occasional nip at his skin and lazily works her way down. He's done this for her before, worshipping every inch of her body and wrenching every possible sound he could from her throat, but never let her get that far when she attempted to do the same. She smiles at each little hitch in his breath, and every time he moans she swears the sound actually runs through her, vibrating under her skin and settling between her thighs.
She's nosing along his hip bones, biting at the little dents that disappear under the waistband of his pants, when his hand finds her hair, his thumb brushing across her temple. Emma looks up at him and can't help but grin at the state of him, eyes blown wide and his torso covered in red marks that should fade to purple in the next few hours.
"Love, you don't have to - "
"Shhh." Emma cuts him off, sliding her hands under his hips and encouraging him to lift up, just enough so she can slide his pants off, her fingers dragging down his legs as she tosses them aside. Of course he wore nothing underneath - she sits back for a moment and admires the view, all lean, taut muscles and dark hair. "I told you. Lie back and don't move."
He raises an eyebrow in amusement at her tone but doesn't budge, save for the rise and fall of his chest and his tongue darting across his lips. He waits, his expression hazy and lust-ridden but intensely interested.
Emma likes that too. "Watch," she commands softly as her hands slide their way back up his legs, a slow, torturous path as she kneads into the muscles and keeps her eyes on his. He's not looking at her face, though, entranced by the path of her fingers on his skin.
She leans down and traces her tongue across his inner thigh, smiling when the skin underneath tenses for a quick moment before relaxing under her touch. She drags her lips up further and his anticipation is tangible, a subtle heat running through her veins and slowly ramping up as she gets closer to her target.
God, if it's like this before she even touches him -
She looks up at him once more, watching his expression as she takes him in her hand, barely any pressure as she drags her palm up his cock and slides her thumb over the tip.
His head drops back with a muttered curse, but Emma barely notices because Jesus Christ, she feels nearly every bit of it jolting through her as if he'd slid his hand between her legs and teased her where she's aching the most.
She swears under her breath and looks up at him, the tendons in his neck stretched as he stares at the ceiling.
"Killian," she says, her voice dry and foreign to her own ears. "Watch."
She waits until his head drops forward before leaning down, licking a slow stripe up the underside of his shaft and taking the head of his cock in her mouth.
His groan is ungodly, only matched by her own because it's almost too much to have his own pleasure surging through her like this. She takes a steadying breath and presses down on his hip with one hand while holding the base of his shaft in the other, drawing her lips up and down over the head and savoring the heavy feel of him on her tongue.
She truly loves doing this for him, but now, god, it's like his own mouth is on her as she bobs her head, as slow as she can manage, listening to his gorgeous little moans as she hums against him. She lifts her eyes to his and holds his gaze as she traces her tongue over the tip, and it feels like her blood is boiling under the heat of his stare.
Emma feels wanton and powerful like this, watching him fall apart under her touch and letting his own pleasure wash over her. It's her magic, it has to be, and the thought emboldens her. She throws him a seductive little smile before pressing down on both hips and taking him as far in her mouth as she can, relaxing her throat and taking steadying breaths through her nose, swallowing around him.
She nearly comes on the spot.
Killian's not much better off, his muscles tensing as he moans, strangled and low in his throat while he grips at the sheets.
She pulls off, catching her breath, and fuck, he may as well have had his fingers buried inside her while he mouthed at her clit for how that felt.
Killian must notice as his breathing slowly evens out. "Bloody hell, love. Is it like that for you, too?"
"Yeah." Her head drops to rest on his hip and she reaches down, sliding a hand under her clothing. "Let me try… can you - ?"
She gets her answer when her fingers slide over her clit, finally soothing the ache she's felt since she stepped into the bedroom. She looks up at him as she massages her flesh and watches as his eyes roll back, his head falling back on the pillow.
"Yes," he confirms, breathless and wrecked, gasping when she slides two fingers inside and presses against her clit with her palm. "God, love."
She sighs and continues to work with her hand, watching his cock twitch against his belly as she does so. She could come like this, so, so easily, and she thinks she could make him come too, without even touching him, just -
Her hand stills and his face, almost pained in its rapture, relaxes. "The only way I want to finish right now is inside you, love."
She nods, feeling a little shaky, and removes her hand, pulling herself upright between his legs. He smiles up at her and reaches out, grabbing her hand and pulling it to his mouth. She gasps as he takes her fingers between his lips, sucking them clean with a satisfied little smirk and pressing a kiss to her palm. "Another time," he promises. "In the meantime, I think you've been clothed long enough."
"God, yes," she groans, reaching for the hem of her tank top and yanking it over her head. His smirk widens at the sight of her bare breasts but she's out of his reach before he can take them in hand, stepping off the bed just long enough to kick off her pants and underwear.
His smirk is gone when she looks back at him after tossing away the offending clothing, his expression fond and a little awed. "Come here, love."
She climbs back over his body, grateful to have had a few moments to calm down when he kisses her, deep and languid and easy. There it is again, his heartbeat in sync with hers, pressed against her chest while he explores her mouth and brushes her hair behind her ear. He smiles against her when she adjusts herself, settling her knees on either side of him but reluctant to pull away from his lips for more than a moment.
She settles for pressing her forehead to his as she reaches back and guides him to her, pushing her weight back and down, her pleased sigh turning to a breathy moan when he pushes in to the hilt.
"Oh." His eyes flutter closed once he's seated fully within her. "Oh, love."
It nearly suffocates her, the shared sensations of being filled and his satisfaction at finally pushing inside. She closes her eyes against it and shifts, relaxing against him and letting her knees slide wider, and she finally understands why he yielded to her so easily before. She wants to drown in it, to lie back and let it carry her into oblivion.
Killian suddenly shifts beneath her, forcing her to lean back enough so he can sit up. She gasps at the change of angle and the just-harsh-enough scratch of his chest hair against her nipples, and he takes advantage long enough to claim her mouth, his tongue sliding inside as his hips start rolling to match the movement.
She drapes her arms over his shoulders and gives in to it, letting him push and take and devour. She'll never get tired of this as long as she lives, not when she can feel the burning in her veins and every push-pull of him inside her makes her want to burst out of her skin.
Suddenly he's pressing deep and she's falling, flipped on her back and sinking softly into the pillows.
"Look at me, Emma."
She obeys, opening her eyes and smiling up at him - it's impossible not to, not with his heart beating in her ears and his hair falling in his eyes.
She wraps a leg around his hip as he keeps the pace slow and measured, drawing it out as long as possible. It won't take much; they've both been too close for far too long. He leans down and kisses her, soft and cherishing, and it only takes another few thrusts before she feels the familiar tightness building in her spine.
Emma rocks her hips up, chasing the sensation until she falls, flying apart even as she clenches around him. She digs her nails into his shoulders and she can see the exact moment her own orgasm floods through him, catching him by surprise. He comes with a choked moan and fuck, she can feel his too, racing through her and taking her higher, bright spots of white on the edge of her vision.
It takes a long time for them to float down from it, an odd and pleasurable swing from bonelessness to tension and back again, his head pillowed on her chest and her fingers tracing nonsense patterns against his back.
He speaks first. "That was…"
"Fucking amazing," she finishes for him, and he laughs against her collarbone.
"That's one way of putting it."
She chuckles, running her fingers through his hair and scratching at his scalp. "I just realized we can never ask my parents about this. Ever."
His shoulders shake with barely-contained laughter. "I do think it's likely your magic, rather than the heart-sharing. But just the same, yes, it's probably best we avoid the topic with them."
"Do you think it'll always be like this?"
He pauses, lifting his head to rest his chin on her chest. "I don't know." He shakes his head and smirks. "I certainly hope so. That was phenomenal, Swan." He laughs when she rolls her eyes, though she certainly can't argue with him. "Even if it isn't, it was quite the experience."
Emma hums her agreement and relaxes back into the pillows. "I love you, you know."
"Of course I know, Emma. Now more than ever," he says, tracing his hand over her heart, a pleased little smile on his face. He leans up to press his lips to hers. "Doesn't mean I'll ever get tired of hearing it, though."