A/N: I cannot believe we are here already, at the finale of another story. This has been such a wonderful writing experience for me, and I am wrapping it up the way I believe this AU deserves – with snapshots of the happily ever after that Emma and Killian have earned throughout this story. We have Emma and Killian's wedding, the birth of Emma and Killian's last two children, another engagement, and Emma's eventual coronation. I'm also incorporating some of the lyrics from the song that inspired the title and the whole idea of the fates watching over Emma (Hamilton for the win) and so much fluff that it should satisfy us all. Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
In all her life, Emma couldn't remember a moment where she'd waited for something with more anticipation. Today was the day that she would marry Killian, she would become his wife and he her husband. At last they'd be bound in every way, and Emma could hardly contain her joy at such a prospect.
"I don't think I've ever seen you so happy, Emma." Queen Snow's words brought Emma's eyes to the doorway where her mother stood, dressed in a beautiful blue dress for the occasion. Snow's wide eyes held tears in them, some spilling passed her cheeks, but she wiped them away, walking towards Emma with arms outstretched until she'd taken Emma's hands into her own. "You look so beautiful."
"Thank you," Emma looked back into the mirror to see the image of her in her wedding dress staring back at her. The finest seamstresses in the Kingdom designed it for her, crafting it from cream colored silk. With a long flowing train, and sleeves made of the most delicate lace, it was far and away the most gorgeous dress she'd ever worn, but it held little in comparison to what lay ahead for Emma. She could be wearing an old sack that once carried potatoes and she'd be happy, as long as she could say yes to Killian today. Her mother, though, would never allow something like that for her only daughter and the future Queen.
"Are you nervous?" Snow asked.
"No, not even a little." Her mother laughed at Emma's certain tone.
"I was just the same way with your father, but I suppose that's how it goes with true love." At that moment, a loud knock came from the doorway, and there stood Charming with just as much pride in his eyes as Snow. "Speak of the Devil. I suppose it's time then." Emma's father nodded, and Snow pressed a kiss to Emma's forehead.
"I love you, Emma."
"I love you too." Her mother then took her leave, giving Emma and her father the room alone. Her father stayed quiet, just looking at Emma as if trying to take everything in.
"I didn't realize how hard this would be." Emma's brow furrowed and her father clarified. "Not to see you marry Killian, but to see you marry at all. It feels like yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time. Now here we are."
"There were a few other happenings between my birth and today though." Emma's attempt at a joke to lighten his mood helped somewhat, for Charming offered her a small smile, but still he remained rather serious instead of his usual light and open self.
"Someday you will have your own children and you'll understand what I mean. It flies by too quickly, but I have cherished every moment of being your father, Emma." Now Emma could feel the tears in her eyes too as she nodded.
"I will always be your little girl in my heart," Emma said taking her father's hand in hers and he squeezed tight, shaking away his last bit of melancholy and offering her his arm.
"Shall we?" Emma felt more than ready to move forward and so they walked through the castle, down to the grand staircase and out into the gardens.
When they first turned the corner to see the ceremony full on, and Emma's eyes met Killian's for that first time, the spark between them lit all the hope and excitement and love in her heart into a raging inferno. Emma walked as if floating towards him, and when her father finally presented her hand to Killian's and they touched, Emma searched those cerulean depths only to find that he felt the same way.
Emma missed so much of what the man conducting the ceremony said, focused as she was on Killian. She caught only the occasional word about the sacred union of marriage and what it meant for this Kingdom that a Princess was to marry. Instead she focused on how dashing he looked, not in regimentals but in finer clothes than she normally saw him in. He maintained the darker colors, never leaving the essence of his life as a pirate far from her imagining. He was the man she'd always trusted in and wished for, and he was real and so close to being hers she could taste it, just as she could taste the kiss she yearned for from his lips.
Not until their individual vows, which Emma and Killian both adamantly wanted to make their own, did Emma give her full attention back to the words being said. Killian went first, a smile toying at his lips, and his voice steady as he spoke, washing over Emma like a gentle wave upon the sands.
"Emma, since our first meeting I have known in my heart that you were the one person on this earth my heart would always yearn for. Your kindness, your spirit, your beauty, they were all just facets of the most amazing woman in all the realms. Years ago you cast a spell upon me, not one brought by magic but by love. The spell never broke, not through the years we were apart, or the loss of my brother. You were always there, a memory of how good life could be, how bright and warm the world could feel in the presence of the right person.
"You found me again years later, and though you had a destiny, a burden that needed conquering, you handled it with the same grace that you face all things. You, Emma, are a miracle, not just for this Kingdom and for its people, but for me. I would not be standing here redeemed without you. You have been my salvation and my faith all in one. My life is tied to yours. Every part of me belongs to you, and through some stroke of chance or fate, you are mine as well. I cannot imagine how it's happened, but I promise that each and every day I will endeavor to deserve you. I will never let a day pass where you do not know how much I love you, how I have always loved you.
"While I wish I'd known all those years ago, when I was young and hopeful but seemingly destined for heartache, that this would come to be, I'm also glad I didn't. It took the time away for me to face my own darkness, for me to grow and change and become the man you needed. I know that we can win against any foe, and I know that greatness lies in you and I together, love. Whatever life may bring, all I ask if that you let me stand by your side, to protect you and to love you, all the days of my life and ever there after."
By now, tears had spilled passed Emma's cheeks, but not ones of sadness. They held the most profound sense of happiness in every droplet. Killian brought his hand up to wipe them away, and his touch grounded her from the swirls of joy and reminded her that now it was her time, to speak her truth and to promise him forever just as he'd done for her.
"All my life I felt like I was waiting. Waiting for the darkness beyond our borders to find its way to me, waiting for the moment I would become the savior, and waiting to taste what it meant to be something other than a princess of prophecy. I wanted nothing more in the world than to be seen for me, but I never was. I was a daughter, a sister, a royal, a beacon of hope. Not until you did I feel what it was like to just be Emma and to have someone want me for who I am, not what I'm meant to do.
"When you left the first time, I knew that I would likely wait forever to find someone like you again. You had my heart already, but our paths were different, the tides pulled us apart, and some nights I just lay awake worrying that I would never see you again, and that because of that, no one would ever see me. Then it happened – our paths crossed again and it was like no time had passed at all. I still loved you with everything in me, and that love, and the love you have for me saved me so that I could save my people. You said our destinies are intertwined, that's putting it lightly. Without you, I cannot succeed. Without you I cannot be all of who I need to be.
"I thought my life and my story and my world was little more than prophecy and inescapable burden. You changed that, Killian. You made me believe that destiny wasn't this terrifying thing, this hopeless cause, but a way for me to find happiness. Not the kind that revels in glory or pride or titles, but the one that comes from your heart and mine being one, and from finding each other even when the whole world seems against it. I swear that I will always find you, fight for you and love you. No matter what tomorrow brings, no matter what our story becomes to the rest of the world, know that I love you, and that I will always love you from now until forever."
Disregarding the rest of the ceremony, Killian pulled Emma in for a kiss, demanding but pure only to pull back to say 'I do' and for Emma to do the same. With that they were wed, and after a night of drinking and dancing and celebrating all the merits of true love, Emma and Killian returned once more to the Jolly Roger, to set sail on a new adventure, and to start this union that was always meant to be.
Two new miracles – Killian could hardly believe it as he pressed a kiss to his lovely Emma's forehead. Last night they welcomed their fifth and sixth child, twins who had given their mother a harder time than their siblings before them. They were clear on the other side now though, and his youngest son and daughter were the picture of calm cradled to their parents' chests while Killian and Emma lay beside each other in their bed.
"They're so beautiful," Emma whispered and Killian nodded, for there was no denying such an apparent truth.
"Have you thought of names yet, my love?" Emma smiled, cradling their son closer to her chest, and humming in an affirmative sound. So far they'd had an even split of children, two boys, and two girls, and Killian and Emma had each named one of each. Killian supposed that tradition would hold and that this time they'd each settle on one name that the other instinctively agreed with.
"Ryder." Killian brought his hand up to clutch his son's tiny little fist, and the small boy's fingers tightened around one of Killian's. Killian chuckled, seeing it as testament that his boy would be determined and driven, much like his brothers, Liam and Seamus, and he would wager that those somewhat cloudy eyes would one day shine the same shade as Emma's.
"A good, strong name." As if sounding his agreement, Ryder made a soft gurgle, but didn't proceed to fuss as Killian returned his attention to his sister. This lovely little girl, the darling who'd arrived minutes after her brother, becoming the youngest of his children, was all attention, staring up at Killian as if he was the most fascinating of subjects. She'd done the same with Emma earlier, clearly curious about the world around her and trying to take it all in after only hours on the planet.
"And hers?" Emma asked, bending down to nuzzle her daughter with her nose, drawing a curtain of golden hair over both of their children that caused a sneeze from Ryder. Emma pulled back laughing lightly.
"Rose." Killian didn't need to specify why the name would be significant. This little girl was named for the blossoms that came in spring and summer, coloring the gardens of this palace, and by association, his and Emma's favorite place in this home they'd created. If she took after her mother, and her older sisters Hope and Lizzy, then little Rose would be just as beautiful as her namesake, and just as much a treasure.
"It's perfect. They're perfect." Killian noticed the tears in Emma's eyes, the same ones that came in all of their life's greatest moments. To see her so joyful and so content, and to know that he'd been part of bringing such a happiness to her heart, did Killian's own spirit well.
A knock sounded at the door, followed by a soft giggle and the telltale stage whispers of his other children. It seemed the time had come to show their sons and daughters these last two additions to their family. Killian gently moved from his spot on the bed, kissing Emma lightly before opening the door. He raised a finger to his lips in a show of quiet but all four of his other children looked in wonder at him and the bundle in his arms.
"They came! And they're so tiny!" Lizzy said, immediately moving to hug Killian's side. At only four, she was precious in her already abundant love for the new babes.
"You were once that tiny too," Liam said as he moved to check in on his mother and new brother. He was nine, and every day growing more and more. Emma insisted he looked just like Killian aside from his bright green eyes, but Killian saw a lot of the Uncle he'd been named for in his son too. He was responsible, and always wanted to do what was right, even if it wasn't what was easy.
"Was I really, Daddy?" Lizzy asked and he nodded.
"Aye, lass, you were." Killian felt a tug at his shirt and saw it was Seamus, quiet as ever in a way uncommon for the average six year old.
"May I hold her?" Killian nodded, sitting his son down on a chair, and showing him just how to cradle Rose's head to protect her. Where Liam was all responsibility, Seamus was the little protector of this clan and others. Killian noticed more than once how Seamus watched out for everyone, not just for his siblings, but for the orphans in the old palace too. He liked to make sure everyone was safe, almost like a mini savior of sorts.
Killian looked over at Emma again, once certain that Seamus held Rose safely, to see that Hope had taken Ryder from her mother. His wife though, shot Killian a look and mouthed a question about where her parents were. Usually they were chomping at the bit to be in the room and meet the new babies, and it was Killian who had to insist Emma and the little ones needed time and rest.
"Grandma and Grandpa said you have one more day before they bang down the door." Hope's words came while her gaze was steadily on the baby in her arms and Killian beamed with pride. His daughter was already very strong in her magic, and her mother's intuition and instincts had manifested nicely in Hope. While all of their children had and would have gifts, Killian believed that magically, it might be Hope who held the same kind of power as Emma.
"How generous," Emma joked, rising from the bed and coming to stand with Killian. He wrapped her in his arms, careful to make sure he didn't hurt her at all. She must still be exhausted, but she'd never show it, not with the children here.
"Are these the last babies?" Little Lizzy asked and Emma nodded.
"Yes, darling they are." Lizzy gave a little pout but then brightened up. She pushed back her unruly blonde hair and scooted closer to Seamus where he held Rose.
"We'll just love them extra hard then." Emma and Killian watched their daughter press a kiss to her new sister's nose and then giggle at Rose's reaching for her face.
"Quite a life we have here, my love." Emma rested her head against him.
"It's better than I ever dared to dream." Killian felt the same, and he had a feeling, it would only continue to be this wonderful.
Looking around the great hall, Emma could not escape the feeling that today was a very good day. There was just something about the way the wind whistled and the sunlight came through the window with yellow golden rays that told her something was coming. Hope could feel it too, and her thirteen-year-old was very rarely wrong when it came to things like this.
"Still convinced that something is upon us, love?" Emma turned to see her husband smiling at her and in an instant she knew that he had knowledge about whatever that something might be.
"If I wasn't before, I am now. You know something." Killian grinned.
"Aye, love I do. And I'd be willing to let you in on the little secret…" Emma could feel the heat between them when he lowered his voice like this, elongating his phrasing to tell her that there was something more to it.
"If?" He brought her into his arms, and Emma relished the warmth they still had together all these years later.
"There's no price, Emma. But I would never turn down a kiss from my wife if she was so inclined." Emma brought her lips closer to him just to stop short and whisper suggestively.
"I'd be willing to give you so much more, Captain." Killian groaned and kissed her, with desire and passion just like it was their first kiss all over again. Only when they heard the outcries of their children behind them did Emma pull away.
"Mummy, not now. We're going to miss it!" Emma stifled a laugh as she watched her daughter Rose standing in front of all her children, hands on her hips, looking at Emma and Killian as if they were children in need of a scolding.
"More of that later, love." Killian whispered in Emma's ear as they went outside, winding their way to the gardens. When they reached the hedgerow, Killian stopped, motioning to all of them to keep quiet.
"What is it?" Emma whispered, just for all of her children to subsequently shush her, creating a far louder sound than her question had. Killian held Emma close and whispered low.
"He's finally going to ask her." Emma didn't even need a clarification on who they could mean. 'He' must be her younger brother Neal, and if Emma's hopes were answered, he was going to ask Moira, who was now a grown woman, to be his wife. Ever since bringing the orphaned children from Oldstown to the castle, they'd shared a special bond, and while Thomas had fast become Neal's best friend, little Moira was the one who stole most of his attention. They'd all watched for years as that protectiveness turned towards friendship and then love.
"Uncle Neal should have found his own spot, though," Liam said. "This one belongs to you two." Killian took Emma's hand as he also put his arm around their eldest son.
"It belongs to all of us, and it always will."
From their spot, all ten of them (for of course Emma's parent joined too) peered at the proposal, which was accepted in the happiest of manners, since Moira was just as taken with Neal as he was with her. The little ones were all so excited to see their Uncle happy, but Emma noticed that her older children looked on with more than joy. In their eyes she saw a bit of yearning, that some day they may have love like that too, and Emma wished with all her heart that they would, for she knew what kind of wonder such a love could bring, and it was the best of all things in any realm or place or time.
"Do you swear to defend and protect the people of this Kingdom all the days of your reign?" The officiant asked Emma in front of the hundreds of people in the great hall. She stood before them, wearing a red dress cut precisely to her figure, with her hair braided and looking like the embodiment of what a Queen should be.
Killian knew in his heart that Emma would be the greatest of rulers, and that she would never give her subjects and this Kingdom anything less than her all. His wife was called to be their leader, and Emma would do everything in her power to see their lives better for her having worn this crown. How she managed to be so effortlessly good, he would never know, but he marveled at how true a treasure it was.
Even Regina, the woman who for so long had cast a shadow on this realm, who had chosen darkness and revenge at the cost of many lives, had found her peace through Emma. The visions in the mist that Emma showed her years ago were true and now she'd found her love and her children. But more than that the Evil Queen found the strength to atone for everything she'd done wrong and to change who she was in the name of what was right. Regina had even gone so far as to write a letter to Emma, thanking her and wishing her well as Queen. The message arrived this morning, and Killian saw it as a sign that with Emma's light leading the way, even the darkest of demons could be overcome.
"I do." Emma's agreement cemented the final of her vows to take her spot on the throne, but instead of staying focused on the proceedings before her, Emma reached her hand up to hold the pendant he'd given her years ago with the Swan engraved on it, and cast her eyes away from the official to look at Killian. His chest filled with pride where he stood beside her father, and that bloomed into nothing but the purest love when she smiled at him and mouthed the words 'I love you.'
"Then I decree you Emma, Queen of Misthaven." The crown was moved from Queen Snow's head and placed upon Emma's as the call went out to her people. "Long may she reign!"
"Long may she reign!" The loudest in the crowd were their children, and Killian looked over at them, seeing how much they'd grown, and how they'd all begun to bloom into individuals. They would always have Emma and Killian to love and support them, and their other siblings to do the same, but they were also starting to find themselves. Each of them was set for their own journey, and Killian couldn't wait to see everything life had in store for them.
The rest of the day was filled with celebration, and the happy reconnecting of old friends for Emma's newest milestone. Amongst those friends were Anna and Elsa, who brought their families along as well for this momentous occasion. While their parents were no longer the rulers of their Kingdom, the old King and Queen were watching over the palace back in Arendelle for Elsa so that they all might come and visit with Emma on her coronation. Killian was very thankful for that, for his wife missed her friend dearly and was pleased by the surprise of her having made it after all.
The Kingdoms of Misthaven and Arendelle remained close, and had been since Emma's mission was complete, but this when time the families interacted Killian noticed a new potential connection between the two: Elsa's only daughter Andrea was being closely watched by Killian and Emma's son, Seamus. Whether Seamus noticed it or not, he was hovering around her, watching her like a hawk even though he barely said a word to her. Killian could see in his son's gaze the same burning of emotion Killian had for Emma at the start and he wondered if the feelings were returned.
"You're trying to think of ways to bring them together," Emma's words pulled Killian's attention back from his son and he saw her smiling at him, a bit of teasing in her emerald eyes. "I married a pirate and a match maker it seems."
"I rather like the idea of our children being spared the pain of a broken heart, love." Emma took Killian's hand and intertwined their fingers, bringing them up to kiss his gently. It was an intimate gesture, one they'd shared many times, but it still set his heart racing all the same.
"Your daughters are already on the case." Killian smiled at that, knowing that if that was true, Seamus and Andrea would have no choice but to be together in the end. Both he and Emma looked at all of their children interacting with their life long friends and felt at peace. "I heard them saying something about a diplomatic envoy on the Jolly Roger."
"Well we know it to be a decent place to fall in love at least. That ship has quite a legacy for bringing hearts together." Emma looked back at him, tilting her head slightly.
"Any place is a good place to fall in love as long as you have the right person."
What else was there to say but that? For she was right, and Killian looked to them as proof. Each and every day he fell a little more in love with his lovely Swan, and it mattered not where they were or where they were going, all that mattered was that they did it hand in hand. Without another word he kissed her, and thought again just how well destiny had worked out for them in the end.
"Have you ever seen such a story?" The guardian of present asked her sister of the past. She herself could not remember such a tale in all the destinies they'd waded through, in all the fates they'd played a hand in and watched over for eons. A Queen with such a legacy, and with such a propensity for love was quite miraculous, and they had watched it all unfold for years now.
"I have not. The past is filled with love, but not a love like that."
"And the future?" The third sister stared into her own crystal pool, wading in a vision, or perhaps more than one at once, her eyes lit up by whatever images she saw.
"There are more of such stories on the horizon. All six of their children are destined for greatness in some form or other. Their success has brought forth a new day of hope for many generations to come." The sisters nodded, and though it was but a small sign, they all smiled. Not every day did someone come along to interest souls as old as theirs, but Princess Emma and her chosen love had, and the sisters were glad that the couple was content. Thus with the blessing of the fates, the sisters of destiny, it was then a certainty that Emma and Killian always would be blissfully, irrevocably, and undeniably happy.
Post-Note: Okay so there we have it. Another story has come to its conclusion, and it's bittersweet to see it go. I do want to thank you all so much though for your continued support and kindness. It has been so fun to write this, and I will certainly consider another EF AU down the line. Hopefully you all enjoyed this final installment, and if you haven't already, I hope you'll check out my other stories. I promise their just as – or possibly more – fluffy than this one. Thanks again, and have a wonderful rest of your week!