Here we go! Chapter Twelve! Fair warning that this chapter is angsty af, but I promise that it's going to be the last chapter that has this much angst. I think that everything that happens in this chapter needed to happen so that Killian and Emma could both move forward in the relationship. But it will be mostly fluff from here on out as I begin to wind down this story. Enjoy! Please comment if you enjoyed the chapter, I can't explain to you how much feedback helps me write faster. xoxo
Maybe they're moving too fast.
It's a thought Emma has when she wakes up the next day, still wrapped in Killian's arms. It's a thought she pushes away, far back into the darkened depths of her mind, when his lips find her neck, peppering light kisses along her collarbone, down her shoulder and arm, until he reaches her fingertips, kissing each one carefully, slowly, making her breaths come in stuttering and go out soft.
She doesn't revisit the thought. Not even when Killian makes her breakfast, chocolate chip waffles and hot cocoa (cinnamon in both, thank you very much). Not even when he feeds her bite after bite, admonishing her every time she steals a sip of his orange juice. Not even when he chases her giggles away with his lips pressed against her own, his mouth catching her smile and making it grow against his. Not even when she tastes chocolate on his tongue and smells cinnamon on his skin. Not even when he asks her to stay one more night tells her she can shower at his place, borrow his clothes, while he goes down to the bar for a few hours. And she lives next door, yeah, but she doesn't want to leave the warmth of his apartment, doesn't want to abandon the place that smells like him.
In the end, she doesn't think about it. In the end she's glad because when she falls asleep sometime around eleven, wrapped in his soft sheets and wearing one of his faded Star Wars t-shirts, when she wakes up to the feel of his body against her own, the heady sensation of his arms wrapping around her stomach, tugging her back, back, back until she's flush against his body, until their legs are tangled and she can skim her toes along his calves, eliciting a huffing sort of protest and a that tickles, love, whispered in her ear, when she get's all of that and more she lets out a sigh of relief, because she's so beyond glad that she's not overthinking this. Not letting her past and her walls control her happiness.
At least not yet. Hopefully not soon.
They don't go out. No matter how much Killian wants to take her to dinner, or to the theater. It's too much, she reasons, and she's not quite ready for the amount of attention that the two of them would get by the townsfolk the moment they're seen in public, holding hands, or kissing, or really even just being a drop more than amicable with one another. And it's not because she's ashamed of him because she's not. She's just not sure she trusts herself. Not sure she trusts her self-control. And she knows if someone says something awful, or gapes at them unabashedly she knows she'll let her anger get the best of her, and she's a deputy now, she can't be acting like that.
So they simply enjoy the company that the other has to give. They watch movies and make dinner together. She comes to the bar on her lunch break, where they eat in his small office until they get distracted by the other's skin, by the feel of their lips moving against one another's. Emma straddling his lap, her hands in his hair and his on her ass, his prosthetic not even noticed.
They fall asleep in one another's beds, Killian coming to her apartment on the nights she works late and she to his on the nights she doesn't.
She's happy. She's happy living in this little bubble with him, but like always, her happy little bubble eventually bursts.
She supposes it's her fault for not telling David and Mary Margaret. The reason for keeping her and Killian a secret isn't one that she could ever voice aloud. Truthfully she was just scared of what saying it out loud would do, that'd it'd make it too real, and she'd freak out - knows she would. So she just kept it all mum, and now it's backfiring because of course it is.
"I stopped by your apartment yesterday afternoon, wanted to bring you some cookies since I knew you were off." Is what Mary Margaret says to her as they're preparing their weekly Wednesday night dinner. Killian has to work late at the bar, something about cleaning the coolers out after closing, and even though he hired some extra help (a man named Smee that I guess Killian knows from his time in the Navy), he's still not able to get many nights off, so Emma isn't missing out on spending any alone time with him tonight.
"When'd you stop by? I might have been napping, and I went grocery shopping the other day-"
"No, you were definitely home." There's an odd tone to Mary Margaret's voice that gets Emma to look up immediately, catching the light dusting of pink dusting her sister-in-laws cheeks. She's blushing. Fuck, why is she blushing?
"What day did you say this was again?" Emma asks, trying to keep her voice steady as she peels potatoes, but she's freaking out, her mind racing.
"I didn't. Say that is, but, um-" Mary Margaret coughs, casting a sideways glance at Emma, before returning her attention back to the onion in front of her, dicing it with a precision that Emma could only hope to have. "It was Monday, around noon."
Monday, Monday, Monday. Emma's mind scrambles to think. What had she been doing on Monday at noon? She knows she had the day off, and she knows she slept in pretty late, and she knows she spent a better part of the afternoon grinding down on Killian's lap in his office chair, as they made out like horny teenagers. She spent the better part of the afternoon with her shirt discarded across the books on the floor, and one bra strap hanging down her arm, her jeans unbuttoned and his hand down the front of her pants as she sucked on the soft skin of his neck, turning it purple and blue under the onslaught of her tongue and the scraping of her teeth, his head buried in the space between her shoulder and neck, sucking his own marks there and whispering encouragements.
That's a lass.
Come on love, let go.
That's right, that's what I want.
"If you have a point, get to it, Mary Margaret." The words come out harsh and bitter, Emma's eyes welling with the promise of tears. She doesn't know why she's so angry, or why she's so upset. Maybe it has to do with the fact that she can never keep anything to herself for long without her business being plastered all over the town, without her life being talked of in soft and scolding whispers between bent heads and shared breaths.
"I saw you and Killian together."
And there it is. The confirmation Emma needed to know that nothing would be the same again. She couldn't even have a month to enjoy what she and Killian had before her own family found a way to usurp that happiness.
Emma drops her peeler on the counter, the metal clanging against the stone, as she steps back, steps away from her sister-in-law and, hopefully, from this situation. She's about to make a beeline for the door, but she should have known it wouldn't be that easy.
"Emma, wait! What are you so upset about?" Mary Margaret seems genuinely confused, and a glance back toward her tells Emma that she isn't just confused, she's hurt.
"I just don't understand how this could happen. I just don't understand how you could invade my privacy so badly!" Emma's face feels hot and her body feels hot and she feels hot all over, the very air around her charged with anger and embarrassment, confusion and desperation.
"Emma I didn't mean to!" Mary Margaret sets her knife down and walks over to where Emma is standing, her arms outstretched and eyes pleading.
Emma scoffs, looking up at the ceiling instead of at her sister-in-law. She's afraid if she looks she'll start sobbing, and then she really won't know how to explain herself, or these emotions. "You're kidding, right? How does that make any sense?"
"I dropped by to give you the cookies and I thought I heard your voice from downstairs. I had never been down there, and I didn't know it was Killian's office. I thought maybe it was some type of storage space and you were just down there getting some of your belongings or something, I don't know." Mary Margaret takes a breath, her words coming out sharp and pleading. "But obviously I was wrong, and I only went down the first few steps before I caught a glimpse of," she pauses, her face a wild shade of red, and Emma's annoyance meter skyrockets. "You know," Mary Margaret ends, her hands moving in a weird circular gesture that Emma's guessing is supposed to represent what she and Killian were doing.
"Dry-humping, almost-fucking, pick a phrase Mary Margaret and stick with it, we're not in middle school, and actually I think twelve-year-olds would have an easier time saying those words than you would."
If possible, Mary Margaret blushes more, but Emma can tell there's a hint of anger behind the red now.
"Knock it off, Emma, I'm not your enemy here."
"Oh, you're not, are you? Then what are you, my friend? My family? Because the last I checked friends and family members don't intrude one another's private lives!" They're both shouting now, arms raised, hands clenched. She's never fought with Mary Margaret like this. Sure they've had disagreements over the years but never like this.
David picks this moment to come through the door, his body not even fully in the threshold before he's speaking, his tone clipped and hushed.
"What the hell is going on? I can hear you two from the first floor!"
Mary Margaret and Emma both look at David, anger radiating from where they stood.
"Ask your wife, apparently she's got all the juicy details," Emma says as she walks towards the door, grabbing her coat on the way out.
She walks home in a daze, the cold air numbing her face and her ears, her forgotten beanie back at Mary Margaret and David's, her hands shoved deep in her pockets.
When she gets back to the bar she's hoping, for the first time in weeks, that Killian is in the back somewhere, maybe down in his office. She's hoping, beyond hope, that she won't see him, but when has anything ever really worked out for her?
He spots her the moment she walks through the door, his brow furrowed and his eyes questioning. He knows something is wrong, and she wishes she had the energy and the desire to tell him everything, but right now she just needs to be alone, because she's going to break down in just under five minutes and she really doesn't want to have to explain why through the onslaught of tears.
So she just angles her head down, stares at her feet as she makes her way to the back staircase, and once she's out of sight, practically sprints up the wooden steps, reaching her apartment in record time and dropping to her bed the moment the door clicks shut behind her.
She just needs to think, fuck does she need to think.
But she can't because her sheets smell like him, and his toothbrush is sitting on her kitchen counter, his socks lay discarded at the end of her bed. She can't think because even when he's not here, he's still here. He's in everything because he's become a steady force in her life. It's been little more than three weeks and he's already such a huge part of her daily life and routine.
How the fuck did she let this happen again? God, she never wanted this. She loves Killian, and she wants to spend time with him, be with him, but she never wanted this, wanted to depend on him like this. She can't depend on him to make her happy because that never works with guys, never works because they leave, and he did that before. Sure, he promised he wouldn't leave again, said he was in it for the long haul, over and over again he's reassured her, but she can't trust him fully because she's still so scared. She's fucking terrified actually, and that's why she wanted to keep this whole thing, their relationship or whatever they wanted to call it, between her and Killian. Telling people makes it too much because people have expectations.
Mary Margaret and David have a fairy-tale fucking romance. Middle school sweethearts turned high school sweethearts turned college sweethearts turned forever sweethearts. They went the traditional route, and Emma's never been traditional. She can't deal with the pressure of traditional. She can't sit at the dinner table with David and Mary Margaret and talk about her relationship, can't go out on regular dates that lead to marriage that lead to family. She knows what they want for her, and she can't give it to them.
She can't give that to Killian.
As she lays on her bed, face first into the pillow that he sleeps on, she realizes what she has to do. She has to end this. She can't let it go on because there's no ending to this, and she can't give Killian what he wants. He was engaged for fuck's sake, of course, he wants marriage and children and a stable home life. He wants commitment, and the most committed Emma can be is afternoon dry-humping in an office chair.
She falls asleep after locking the door, but unfortunately for her, she's still on the cusp of wakefulness when Killian comes up from the bar and knocks softly on her door, his whispered Emma, darling, are you alright? followed by a sigh and the retreating sound of his footsteps finally doing the trick, as silent tears fall down her face, and she succumbs to her body's desire for rest.
She supposes that you could call this being back to normal. If normal means avoiding Killian in every way possible. He texts and calls, asks her to come eat lunch with him, or what time she's going to be back from work. Invites her over to dinner, asks if she's interested in watching a movie.
But it's been weeks and she's just sent cryptic replies, all different, but all with the same message: no. She packed a lunch, she's not sure when she's getting off, she's gonna call it an early night or she simply doesn't reply, which is answer enough it would seem.
It's hard, and she feels awful, really she does. His nightmares have started back up, every night now and she desperately wants to go to him, wants to lay in the comfort of his arms and let him know that it's okay, that she's here, but she can't. She has to be strong, she has to let him go. It sucks now, but it's for the best.
She misses him desperately, though, and it's far more excruciating than it had been when he first left, all those years ago. She missed him then, had cried for days, for weeks, even months over their breakup, but now she just feels numb. She craves his touch more than she's willing to admit, but it's not just the physicality of their relationship that she misses. It's the way they spent hours talking, laughing, smiling at one another. It's the way he ducks his head when he's embarrassed or scratches behind his ear. She misses his nervous tics and the way the skin around his eyes crinkles when he laughs. She misses his innuendos and his playful leering, the way he'd bite his lip when she did something he found particularly alluring. She misses how he sounds when he wakes up, his accent thicker, his whispers deep and seductive. She misses him.
Which is why, she guesses, she gets sloppy.
She was having trouble sleeping. She'd spent the last month sleeping in the cradle of his arms and now that she's not her insomnia is back full force. She fell asleep last night (or this morning, to be more accurate) around four a.m. Her shift at the station starts at eight and she slept through her 7 a.m. alarm, meaning, beyond anything, that she wasn't able to leave early enough to avoid Killian.
Emma walks out her door at 8:05, her head bent down as she texts David to let him know that she's running late but she'll be in soon when she collides directly into a solid form.
She knows it's Killian the instance her skin touches his, electricity traveling down her spine and settling in her toes, making her anxious with the need to kiss him, to kiss every inch of his beautiful skin. (She never got a chance to do that, to taste him everywhere.)
His hand and prosthetic settle on her arms to steady her, and she wants to lean into his touch, but instead she flinches out of it.
"Sorry," she mutters, head still downcast because she refuses to look at his face. If she meets his eyes she'll break and she can't break. Not now.
She tries to sidestep around him, but his hand on her arm squeezes tight, holding her in place.
"Why are you doing this?" Is all he asks and there's a pain to his words that makes her heartbreak, makes her want to fall forward and bury her face against his chest, kiss away all the pain.
He sighs, and he sounds so tired, and she knows if she were to look up at him she'd see bags under his eyes, worry clouding the blue, sadness clouding the worry.
He tilts her chin up with his index finger, bringing her gaze up to meet his own and she's sad to say that she was right. He looks miserable.
"Why are you avoiding me, Emma? What did I do?" His voice rises from calm yet confused, to panicked and rushed. "Just tell me what I did, love, please. I can fix it, let me bloody fix it, please." His eyes are bloodshot and watery, and she's sure her eyes tell the same story. The story of sleepless nights and excruciating loneliness. The story of how much they miss one another. Too much.
"I-I can't." Is all she's able to stutter out, her eyes settled resolutely on the space over his shoulder, not meeting his gaze.
He releases his grip on her the moment the words come out, taking a few steps back.
She shrugs, "I don't do commitment. I'm sorry if you," she swallows, gathering her strength to get the next few words out. "I'm sorry if you got the wrong impression of this, but it, uh," there are tears in her eyes, and she's fighting against them, knows she needs to get out of here quick, "It was never meant to last."
She looks up at him, finds his arms crossed and his eyes cold. He's pissed, clearly.
"What does that mean?"
"It means all of that," he waves his prosthetic out in front of him, "Is bullshit. Remember that morning, about a month and a half ago, when you told me you wanted to try?"
She knows what he's talking about, has thought about that morning over and over again the past few weeks. Had cried over her own vulnerability, and how she lost the ability to be that way weeks ago.
"Maybe I dreamed it because this isn't trying, Emma. This is you avoiding me instead of telling me what's wrong and that's sure as hell not bloody trying!" He's shouting now, and Emma wishes she could be angry at him for that, but she just can't find it in her. Not anymore. "Just," there's a catch to his voice and Emma looks up to find him staring at the ceiling, blinking rapidly. Her heart deflates because fuck, she made him cry. This sweet, wonderful man. She's wrecked him, just like she wrecks everything. "Just tell me what's wrong, Emma, please, god-just please."
They stand in silence for a while, both trying desperately not to stare at the other.
"I'm late for work, Killian, I'm sorry," she says through the lump in her throat, through the tears in her eyes. She doesn't know what else to say, really.
Killian scoffs, "Is this it then, Emma? Are you calling this off? Us?"
Emma just nods, unable to speak, staring down at her boots shuffling against the wood beneath her.
"Right. Well," he coughs loudly, clearing his throat, and Emma knows he's holding back his emotions, "Have a good day, then, Swan." and then he's gone, his apartment door slamming shut behind him, and Emma just stares at the old wood, the gold number 1 staring right back at her.
Fuck this morning.
Emma gets nothing but radio silence from Killian for the next few weeks. Which is, obviously, understandable.
She doesn't even hear his usual reactions to the nightmares. No cursing, no whimpering, no thrashing about: nothing. She wonders if maybe he just got over them, but when she catches him coming up from the basement steps in the morning on her way out to work, she thinks the more likely explanation is that he's been sleeping down in his office.
She feels awful, and she misses him, and she wishes she could fix things but she just can't. This is the best option for the long run. It hurts, god does it hurt right now, but by the time she moves out when her lease is up (only 7 more months) he'll be happy she ended this. Happy that he's able to move on and find someone that is less broken than she is. Someone who's easier to love and who loves easier in return.
She hasn't been back over to David and Mary Margaret's since the incident that started this all. It's not because she's still angry, she's apologized to both of them multiple times now. She just can't be around people right now, especially her brother and sister-in-law, who are always trying to help everybody. She doesn't want help, she just wants time to grieve.
So they give it to her-until they don't.
It's a Friday night, and Emma's got the whole weekend off, Monday too. Something about her general attitude and demeanor prompting David to decide that it would be best if she stayed home for a little bit, get some rest as it were. Besides, he's got Will to help him now, so neither of them have to work the crazy hours and shifts that they had to when she first started.
She tries to relax, to rest, but the silence from Killian's side of the wall is starting to drive her crazy. She needs to leave, has to get out of her apartment. But a quick call to Ruby and Elsa tell her that both her friends are busy with their respective significant others. She's alone, like usual, and it's driving her insane.
Before she can rip her own damn hair out there's a knock on the door that shocks her senses into awareness, like she's been dipped in ice water, the hair on the back of her neck standing up in panic. She chides herself for her ridiculous reaction, even though all she can think is it's Killian, it's Killian, it's Killian.
She doesn't know why this is the first conclusion she jumps to because it seems a little ridiculous being that she hasn't really seen Killian in weeks, ever since That Morning, only catching glimpses of him as she's come in and out of the building. Why would he be trying to contact her now?
When she opens the door she's surprised to see Mary Margaret standing there, a plate of cookies balanced in her hands.
"Uh, hi?" Emma says, not trying in the least to hide her confusion.
"Emma! Can I come in?"
"Um, yeah, sure," Emma starts to say, but Mary Margaret is already through the door, setting the plate of cookies down on Emma's crowded kitchen countertop. Emma wouldn't call herself a slob. She cleans when it's dirty and tries to make her living space presentable, but she's been sorely slacking on the household chores for the past, well, month or so, and her cheeks brighten considerably at Mary Margaret's presence and view of what this breakup has done to Emma.
"I was just about to clean up," Emma starts, but the other woman is looking at her sharply, no room for argument in her gaze. "What?"
"You're miserable Emma." It's not a question, and it's not a suggestion that she start speaking, Mary Margaret is stating it as a fact.
"No. I've just been busy."
Mary Margaret scoffs, "Come on, Emma, don't lie to me. Tell me what happened. David said he ran into Killian the other day in the grocery store, he said that Killian looked horrible like he hadn't slept in weeks. And when he asked about you, and how you were, Killian wouldn't even look at David anymore, just made some excuse to leave and practically sprinted out of the store."
Emma's heart breaks at the story (if it's possible that it could break more) she didn't want to hurt him, but she supposes it was inevitable.
"What happened, Emma?" Mary Margaret approaches Emma's still form, laying her hands on either side of Emma's crossed arms, squeezing imploringly.
"I ended it," she breathes, her voice cracking just slightly.
"Oh, Emma," Mary Margaret pulls her into a hug, rubbing her hand up and down her back in a comforting motion. "Why, honey?"
"It never would have worked out," Emma sniffs, "I'm too broken. I can't even handle my family finding out about our relationship without freaking out. I can't give him what you and David have. I can't be a wife or give him kids, I can't do it. I'm not the settling down kind of girl, never have been."
"Why do you think he wants that?" Mary Margaret asks, her voice gentle and not accusing.
"Because he was engaged once before," she feels Mary Margaret stiffen against her briefly, before relaxing once more, "You didn't know?" Emma asks, pulling back to look at the other woman's face.
"No, I-well I heard the town gossip," she admits, "but I'd only heard her called his mistress. Nothing more. I had no idea they'd been engaged."
Emma nods, "The point is he was. He wanted all of that. He wanted marriage and a happy home. I can't give that to him, I'm too broken."
She feels Mary Margaret sigh, before leading her down towards the small sofa against the wall, settling down and pulling Emma down as well, still hugging her.
"First off," Mary Margaret says after some time, "You're not too broken for anything. If you want marriage or children or a happy home life and years of monogamy you can have those things. You are not too broken, Emma, and even if you're a little broken, so is everyone else. I bet Killian feels broken every day but does that stop you from loving him, from wanting him?"
Emma shakes her head, sniffling once more. She's sick of crying. She hasn't cried this much in years.
"Exactly. You are worthy of love Emma, please stop thinking that you aren't. Secondly," she pauses, gathering her words no doubt, and Emma waits patiently, enjoying the comfort of being held, though it only makes her more aware of how much she misses being held by Killian. "I don't know Killian as well as you do, Emma, but I still know him. I've seen him around you. I've seen the way he looks at you, even before your relationship started up again. He loves you, Emma, I'm sure of that. And no matter what Killian wanted once before, I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that all he wants now is you."
Emma chokes back a sob, wanting desperately to deny the words, but she can't get anything out, and Mary Margaret only holds her harder, her grip tightening.
"Stop being your own worst enemy, Emma, and look around you. Look at all the people that love you. You are exceptional, and Killian knows that. He loves you, and you love him, so get up, do some laundry, clean the apartment, think it over, and I'm not going to tell you how to fix this thing with Killian, just give yourself some time, and if you really love him, if you really miss him, well, let him know.
Emma nods against Mary Margaret's shoulder. She's not sure how she's going to fix this, but she knows she needs to. Knows she needs to talk to him.
She loves Killian, and he deserves to know that.
Emma stays holed up in her apartment for one more day. She finishes her laundry, cleans the small space, washes the dishes, dusts the windowsills. But the one thing she hasn't done is talked to Killian.
She's going to, she really is, but she just needs time to think it over, to create and rehearse the speech that she's going to say to him.
By eight o'clock on Saturday night she's finally worked up the courage to go talk to him. She leaves her apartment and takes the few steps over to his own apartment door, knocking tentatively. There's no answer, and she knocks twice more, each time growing louder and louder.
Still no answer.
She's confused until she remembers that it's Saturday night, of course he's down at the bar, but when she reaches the bottom of the staircase, her head swiveling back and forth and trying to catch a glimpse of him, she finds the loud space devoid of Killian.
She spots Smee behind the counter and approaches after he's done pouring a round of shots for a couple of rowdy college girls from the next town over.
"Hey," she says quietly, catching the small man's attention immediately. He looks at her in distaste. "Is Killian here?"
Smee rolls his eyes, "No, he left yesterday morning. Gone to Portland for the weekend. Don't expect you to know that, though, since you only talk to him when you need a good kiss."
Emma ignores the obvious dig at her character, she doesn't have time to get angry, she just wants to figure out when she can see Killian.
"When will he be back?"
Smee shrugs, "Don't know. Probably Sunday, after all, that's when all the pretty girls are going home early, work the next day and whatnot."
Emma feels her insides freeze. Her blood running cold. Pretty girls? Killian went to Portland for pretty girls?
Her heart's breaking and she feels like she could throw something all at once, but she forces herself to calm down, to get out of the situation without throwing a fit.
"Oh, okay, well," she says nothing else, backing away slowly and then practically sprinting up the stairs, locking herself in her apartment and falling against the door, her breaths coming in heavy and hard.
All she can think is that she lost him. She lost him for good all because she was too scared. Too afraid to find out where they were headed. Too frightened of how serious they could be. She's doubted herself for so long, that she finally made him doubt her too.
All she wants is to be close to him, to apologize and tell him she loves him. She loves him. She needs to talk to him, has to talk to him the moment he comes back.
She knows she might be acting a little crazy when she breaks into his apartment, not minutes later, picking the lock carefully, but she doesn't care. She needs to be the first person he sees when he gets back, needs to explain herself, and if he doesn't want her anymore, well then, he doesn't want her anymore. Wouldn't be the first time somebody didn't want her.
The first thing she notices upon entering his apartment is the mess. She thought her apartment was bad, but Killian's is far worse. Dirty clothes and dirty dishes, an unmade bed and opened drawers, ashes from the fireplace littering the wooden floor.
But the worst part is the large number of empty rum bottles crowding the floor, peeking out from under blankets and beneath forgotten shirts. If she were to venture down to his office she's sure she'd find a similar view.
"Oh, Killian," she whispers to herself, her voice carrying across the empty apartment, "I'm so sorry."
She can feel a fresh wave of tears coming on, so she heads for the bed, her body begging her for sleep. She collapses on top of the rumpled comforters, finding one of his discarded sweatshirts hidden in the mess, and she clutches at it desperately, whimpering at the scent of him that clings to the wrinkled fabric.
She falls asleep easily, the almost-presence of Killian lulling her into a dream where he's here and where she's never alone again.
She wakes some time later to the feeling of a hand on her face, an idle thumb rubbing back and forth across the apple of her cheek.
It's Killian. She knows it before she opens her eyes, but the moment she does she's met with the view of his face, brow furrowed in concern and his blue eyes bright in the light from his bedside lamp.
"Killian," she croaks out, throwing her arms around his neck, pulling him to her. "Killian, Killian," she sobs against the warm skin of his neck.
"Emma, love, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" She nearly breaks at the concern in his voice, the worry. She's been so awful to him and yet he still treats her like the most precious thing in the world. She just hopes beyond hope that she can convince him to stay, to try once more.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Is all she says, not answering his question. She can't process much else other than he's here and he needs to know how she feels. "I love you, I'm sorry."
He sighs at her words, "I love you, Swan." And that's all she needs. She pulls back from their embrace to cup his face in her hands, the wiry hair on his face so much longer than she'd ever seen it. She kisses him before he can say much else,
It's a fierce thing, this kiss, hot and heavy, harsh breaths mingling with one another's. She presses her tongue insistently against the seam of his lips and he opens for her immediately.
He moves his body so that he's no longer kneeling beside her on the wood floor, but that he's hovering above her, his hand gripping her hair so tightly it would normally hurt, but she can't feel anything but the heady sensation of his body pressing hers into the mattress, his lips moving harshly against her own, teeth clacking and tongues mingling.
He pulls back to breathe but Emma doesn't let him get far, pulling his head back down, right to her neck and he sucks on her skin greedily, his tongue licking its way up to her lips once more.
"Killian," she whines against his mouth, and the sound of her voice seems to pull him from this spell. He comes up sharply, his body angling away from hers, a flash of pain at his rejection echoing through her chest.
"Emma," he says between laboring breaths, "Emma we need to talk."
She nods, sitting up in the bed and leaning back against the headboard.
He stares at her for a few minutes before continuing, "What changed your mind?"
Emma swallows, avoiding his gaze while she tries to gather her words, twisting the sheets in her hands.
"I missed you. And not like 'oh I missed you, let's catch up sometime soon,' but like 'I missed you so much I couldn't breathe.' Or 'I missed you so much that I realized I never wanted to spend another day apart from you again.'" She's still not looking at him, her cheeks red, "I just really missed you, and I love you, Killian, so much. And if you don't want me anymore I understand. Because I can't give you everything you want because I'm so scared all the time, and-"
He kisses her before she can finish, pulling her roughly towards him until she's straddling his lap, her hands buried in his hair. He pulls away too soon for her taste, a whine escaping her throat as his lips leave hers. He chuckles at the sound, pressing one more soft kiss to her swollen lips.
"I love you, Emma Swan," he says, his forehead pressing hard against her own, his hands gripping her hip tight. "You give me everything I could ever want simply by existing. Simply by gracing me with your presence. I need nothing more from you. I only need you. Always." A hiccuping sob escapes her, a few residual tears falling down her cheeks. He wipes them away as they come, smiling down fondly at her, "Do you understand?" He asks and Emma nods, giving him a watery smile.
Killian smiles back at her, before kissing her forehead, then her cheeks, the tip of her nose, and finally her lips. "I love you," he whispers against her mouth, all raw emotion and need in his words.
His kisses turn hungry fast, and she loathes to refuse him, meeting him kiss for kiss, her teeth nipping at his lower lip, pulling a growl from his lips.
Eventually, their kissing turns to clothes off, and inhibitions gone, as they lose themselves in their passion and love for one another, finally drifting off to sleep in the early hours of the morning, the sun just seeping through the curtains.
She sleeps soundly for the first time in weeks, nestled up against Killian's chest.
Emma wakes sometime late in the morning. Confusion and tiredness addling her brain so that she's unaware of where she is. Then she feels the warmth of a body next to her and the slight chill that accompanies a lack of clothing and she remembers everything, a slight blush creeping up her cheeks.
Killian's thrashing around in the bed beside her, sweat dampening his body, and his hair sticking to his forehead. He's whimpering a bit in his sleep and Emma knows immediately that he's having a nightmare.
"Killian," she whispers, sliding her hand up his bare chest and bringing it up to cup his cheek. "Killian," she whispers again, hoping he'll wake up.
His eyes open instantly, his gaze flying wildly around the room as he comes out of his nightmare and back to reality.
His eyes eventually land on her, and he's moving in one fluid beat.
"Emma," He says against her shoulder as he crushes her to his chest.
He's peppering kisses against her bare shoulder, her collarbone, her neck.
"Killian, Killian, Killian," she says over and over again, not knowing if she's trying to comfort him or plead with him to stop and breathe.
He's not having any of it, though, bringing his face out of her shoulder and kissing her like he's drowning and she's a breath of fresh air.
She kisses back just as fiercely, biting his bottom lip and pulling it into her mouth, sucking on it lightly while he groans above her.
"My darling," He whispers against the skin of her neck, biting down softly and then soothing the ache with the sweet caress of his tongue.
Emma's the one who's whimpering now, squirming in the sheets as he works her up, making her body flush with heat and the awareness of him.
"I've missed you, my beautiful Swan." He says as he makes a path down her neck to the top of her breasts with his mouth, kissing her reverently, adoringly.
"Killian," She whines, as he sweeps down and mouths at her breast, sucking pointedly on one peak, before switching to the next.
"Did you miss me, my love?" He kisses down her stomach, abandoning her breasts to the chill of the air.
She whimpers in response, begging him to go where she wants, to just get on with it, even though she loves this. Loves the way he catalogs every inch of skin that makes her sigh and squirm and beg for more. Loves that he takes his time with her like she's the most beautiful treasure he's ever seen, and he wants to know every piece of her.
Emma has her eyes closed, but they open suddenly when Killian stops his slow procession down her body.
He's staring up at her from his place between her legs, his mouth hovering over her navel.
"Answer me, Swan." He's got a playful glint in his eyes, a smirk playing across his face.
Feeling defiant, she shakes her head, screwing her lips shut.
He looks surprised at her refusal to respond, his eyebrows shooting up, before he pounces on her, his lips pressed insistently against hers, stealing the breath from her lungs.
She kisses back with everything she has, their tongues and teeth clashing together, and it should be painful, but it's not. It's everything she could possibly want; it's Killian.
"I missed you, I missed you." She mumbles against his lips, and the words only encourage him further, his mouth pressing down harder against hers, his teeth dragging her bottom lip into his mouth before he sucks on it, like it's the sweetest treat he's ever tasted.
"Killian," she whines, as he makes his way down her body again, nipping and licking at her skin along the way, paying special attention to the constellations of freckles that adorn the pale flesh. "Killian," she says once again, more insistently this time, until he looks up at her, his hair disheveled and his lips swollen. He looks wrecked, and she smiles at the sight, pride surging through her at the notion that she did this to him. She made him look like that.
God, does she love him.
"Go out with me." She says, her voice steady, no question to be found, no doubt.
He looks shocked, his mouth dropping open and she giggles at the sight, carding her fingers through the dark locks of his hair.
"Go out with me. To dinner or something, I don't care, just-" she bites her lip, "go out with me?"
He pounces on her once more, his lips hard against her own.
"Yes. Yes, of course, I'll go out with you, Emma. Yes." He says the words between kisses, joy radiating out of every pore and every word. She laughs against his lips and he follows suit.
They make love slowly, whispering words of love into the other's skin, their breathy gasps and moans interspersed with giggles and laughs, bright eyes and smiles, as they hold one another tighter than normal.
She's not afraid anymore, not of him, not of them.