Killian leaned back against the door to Emma's apartment, slumping with relief. It had been a long shift, made longer by a tedious interrogation with a proper idiot of a criminal. On top of that, he had been foolish enough to drive himself to the district rather than take the T because he'd woken up late.

Well, more precisely, he had woken early, but then Emma had made him quite thoroughly late.

A pleasant way to begin his day, but nonetheless, he had paid for indulging his own pleasures rather than submitting to the demands of the day. It had taken over an hour to cover a meager mile of his journey home. Perhaps they should begin arresting drivers without the sense to wait for the intersections to clear before causing bloody gridlock.

Bloody construction. Bloody traffic. Bloody Boston.

At least the Navy had had that going for them. No traffic on a ship miles from anyone or anything. Though the Navy didn't have Emma Swan, and after the day he'd had, she was truly the only thing he wanted.

Shoving off the door, Killian followed the sound of running water to the bathroom, a tired smile curling his lips as he rubbed at the sore muscles along the back of his neck. Aye, the only other desire he had in that moment was a shower, but if the universe saw fit to give him both Emma and the shower at once, well, he had no complaints.

"Killain?" Her voice rose above the rush of the water, filled with amusement. "You couldn't wait your turn?"

"Afraid not, love." He chuckled at her attempt to sound annoyed, making quick work of his clothes and letting himself into the shower. The water was blessedly hot as he wrapped his arms around Emma's slippery form, the spray pounding against his shoulders and back.

She stretched onto her toes, pressing a sweet, soft kiss to his mouth. Killian hummed with contentment, the novelty of Emma's easy affection not yet worn off – he sincerely doubted it ever would. He bent his head to her shoulder once she pulled away, groaning as she dragged her nails through his hair. "You're home late. Bad day?" she murmured sympathetically, turning to press her lips against his damp skin.

"Bloody awful." He straightened after another moment luxuriating in Emma's touch, leaning back to soak his hair. "But it's over and I have you." He grinned, tugging her closer, until they were wet skin to wet skin. "In fact, I seem to have you just the way I like you."

"In a tiny shower?" she teased, dropping a line of kisses along his collarbones.

"This tiny shower has its benefits." His palm slid over her back, down, down, down until he palmed the curve of her bottom. "On numerous occasions, it has yielded a naked Emma Swan."

"I guess when you put it that way…" She laughed at his low growl, but gave herself over to the kiss he claimed. It had been a long road to this place, this Emma, but as the kiss deepened and Killian forgot his exhaustion, he knew why he had never questioned his resolve.

Emma was worth it. Emma would always be worth it.

She dropped back down onto her heels with a shiver, eyes dark despite the bright bathroom light. "I'm going to get out so you can actually get clean. Did you eat?"

"Sod dinner." He nuzzled back into her neck, not relinquishing his hold. "Sod getting clean, too."

Emma's laugh was pure happiness as she wriggled out of his arms. "Patience is a virtue."

He snorted, but he reached for his shampoo, reluctantly abandoning his effort to seduce her then and there. "Says the most impatient woman I know."

"I'm patient!" Her protest was followed by a shrug when he raised a brow at her. "I mean, sometimes."

"Aye, sometimes."

She laughed again, popping up on her toes to kiss him quickly before slipping out of the shower. Killian closed his eyes, leaning back into the spray and listening to her movements, the rustle of the towel and the slap of her feet against the tile.

It had been months since she'd freed herself from Gold, months of frustration and nightmares, physical therapy and endless doctors. They had come out the other side of it, and having survived the worst, Killian had high hopes for their future – but Emma hadn't had a personality transplant, and he wasn't in a rush. He had his happy ending – he had Emma.

He didn't linger under the spray, hurrying through the rest of his usual routine. Refreshed, his desires reignited by Emma's body up against his, he went in search of the minx, only the towel slung low around his hips. She had demanded he eat, not that he dress.

Wearing one of his faded Navy T-shirts and nothing else, Emma stood in front of the stove, carefully placing strips of bacon in a pan. A carton of eggs sat at her elbow, next to a pile of what he supposed were omelette ingredients. "You do know it's nine in the evening?" he teased, standing behind her and looping his arms low around her hips. The heat of her bare legs seeped through the towel, the scent of her freshly-applied lotion strong as he molded himself to her.

"Breakfast food cooks fast." Emma shrugged, leaning back into his arms. She stretched her neck back, desire still thick in her deep green gaze. "I thought you might have other ideas about what we should do tonight," she said with a lift of her brow, a teasing smirk curling her lips as she pressed her hips back into his. "But if you want me to spend more time cooking…"

Killian groaned, splaying one hand flat across her stomach to keep her in place as he buried his face in her hair. He'd been halfway there in the shower, but the sight of her in nothing but his shirt and the promise in her dark stare had him aching. He trailed his unoccupied hand down her thigh, drinking in her increasingly shallow breaths as he dragged his fingers up under the shirt. When he encountered nothing but bare skin, he gripped her hip, sucking in a sharp breath. "You're killing me, darling," he rasped, the hand on her stomach beginning to move.

Emma twisted out of his grasp with a quick kiss on his cheek. "It will be a good death," she assured him, her tone playful despite the flush in her cheeks and the way her tongue lingered on her bottom lip.

Killian growled softly at her, nipping at the exposed skin of her shoulder, but he stepped back as she moved to stir the bacon, readjusting his towel. "How was your day?" he asked, moving to the sink and filling a glass of water, temporarily resigning himself to patience. Once he took Emma to bed, he had no intention of relinquishing her for the remainder of the evening, and they did need to eat. "Any sign of Regina fully reinstating you?"

"I actually wanted to talk to you about that." Emma glanced back over her shoulder, suddenly nervous – the slight frown tugging at her mouth and the furrowed brow were a dead giveaway. "I've, uh, well, I've been cleared to go back to field work."

"That's wonderful," Killian replied automatically, swallowing his unease. He wasn't ready to be separated from Emma for months at a time, unable to even check in – hell, he wasn't sure he would ever be ready, but he'd fallen in love with Emma eyes wide open. She was a fine agent, and he had no business asking her to make changes to suit him, even if the thought of her so secluded sent icy slivers of fear down his spine. "Has Regina informed you what you'll be working on next?"

"No, not yet." She hesitated, intensely absorbed in flipping the bacon. As he watched, she shifted her weight restlessly, back and forth, back and forth. "I...there's more," she finally added, so quietly the pop and hiss of the pan nearly drowned her out.


Emma nodded, letting out a heavy breath. "I decided...the thing is, I loved deep cover. I loved being able to disappear into someone else. I've always been good at it, but I think it was partially because...well, I never had a life of my own, not really. I mean, sort of. But not really. And now…"

She stopped, but Killian waited patiently, his heart hammering against his ribs. He didn't dare hope Emma was saying what he thought she might be saying.

"I told Regina I don't want to do any more deep cover assignments. Not for a while. Maybe not ever again." Emma turned around fully, twisting her fingers together as she brought her eyes to his. "So...yeah. Just going to work local cases."

"Are you certain, love? Surely you know I support whatever decision you make." Killian kept a tight hold on his relief, not wanting to influence her decision. Oh, he was bloody well happy to hear it, but Emma needed to make the choice for herself.

"Yeah." She nodded, glancing back at the stove and giving the pan a hard shake, the grease sputtering and hissing. The stove was sure to be spattered by the time she was done, but such was life with Emma in the kitchen. "I'm sure. You're not disappointed?"

"Disappointed?" Killian shook his head emphatically, crossing the kitchen in two quick steps and folding her back into his arms. "Love, I am not disappointed in the least. I would never ask you to make this choice for anyone but yourself, but if this is your decision, I am bloody well happy to hear it." He nuzzled his nose against her neck to accentuate his point, crossing his arms over her ribs.

"I just...I've lost my taste for it." She shrugged, as though she felt she had to justify herself.

"You don't have to explain, unless you'd like to," he said quietly before straightening. "I understand, Emma. I told Dave some time ago I was done with the long-term assignments myself. I don't want to be away from you for that long." He brushed his lips against her hair, still damp from the shower and sweet with the scent of her shampoo.

"You did?"

"Aye." Killian leaned down, pressing another kiss to her temple. His stomach rumbled at the smell of the nearly finished bacon, and he gestured to the eggs still on the counter. He knew Emma, and while the topic was hardly at an end, her drawn brows and stiff shoulders told enough of the tale for one evening. "I can do the rest if you like."

"I got it." Emma rolled her eyes, though her lips twitched with a smile as she relaxed. "I can handle omelettes. Are you planning on putting on pants?"

"Not at all." Killian gestured to the towel, waggling his eyebrows. "Wouldn't want to make things difficult for you, especially after you so thoughtfully made things rather easy for me." His fingers danced up her thigh once more, caressing her hip before sinking lower in a teasing touch that was quickly withdrawn with a grin.

Emma barely managed to hold her frown, waving her spatula at him. "Listen, I didn't spend the last ten minutes slaving over this stove for you not to eat your dinner."

"Yes, dear." He sat down on a chair at the small kitchen table, grinning up at her and taking a sip of his water. "Is that how you're going to talk to our kids one day?"

Killian froze, the words gentle and teasing, but they had never spoken of children or really any of the future he dreamed of. He hadn't felt the need to, not yet – he thought they were on the same page. Well, in the same book, anyway. Emma might have been a few chapters behind, but she'd get there.

Except now he'd stuck his foot in it, and the seconds turned to hours as Killian swallowed hard, his hand moving to scratch behind his ear without his permission. Emma's eyes followed the movement, and smart lass that she was, she had to have been able to read his thoughts plain as day all over his face.

And it took her a moment, her brow furrowed and her lips slightly parted in surprise, but to his immense relief, she rolled her eyes and smiled – a true smile, not the rubbish fake one he hated so much.

"Of course," she finally said, brandishing the spatula once more. "With the hours we work, those kids will be lucky if either of us ever have dinner on the table. If we can manage that, they can eat it."

Killian chuckled as Emma turned back to the stove, carefully pouring the omelette ingredients into a pan after quickly whipping them together in a bowl. "Don't forget the..." he began in a teasing tone, fighting with the instinct to gather her close and kiss her senseless as too many emotions to separate barreled into him. He knew what it meant that she was joking with him about their future as lightly as she was – just as he knew that when it came to big steps, making a production over it would back her into a corner, even now. There would be time for emotional declarations, quiet moments where he could hold her close and whisper about everything he desired for their life together.

"I know." Emma wrinkled her nose over her shoulder. "I put mushrooms in yours. I know you like the nasty things. Just don't think I'm going to kiss you."


"We'll see about that."

She kissed him anyway.

Killian drew her into his lap once she'd finished eating, the towel precariously draped over his hips and near to falling off. Emma snatched the piece of bacon left on his plate, happily munching away while he shook his head. She leaned into him after licking her fingers clean, her cheek on his shoulder, and sighed with what he hoped was contentment, her still-damp curls tumbling over his bare skin.

"Everything all right, love?"

"Mmm." She traced an idle pattern over his chest, her touch featherlight. "When is your lease up?"

"My lease?" Killian struggled not to tense or otherwise react at her question. Emma was far too calm, languid as a housecat in his lap, to be asking what he wanted her to be asking, but she'd already surprised him once. "I should think it's coming up. Month after next?"

"We should probably go get your stuff soon, then. Maybe next weekend? You have Saturday and Sunday off, right?" There was no change in the softness of her voice, no pause in the slow drag of her fingertip across his bare skin.

He forced himself to breathe slowly, though with Emma's cheek to his chest, she was sure to be able to hear his racing heart. "Is that...are want me to move in?"

The puzzled look on her face almost made him laugh when she sat up and directed her quizzical brow at him. "You already live here," she finally said, her brow furrowing. Every muscle that had just molded to him tensed, her words strained. "I mean, I thought you lived here. If you don't want to, I get it. I guess I just assumed…"

Killian kissed her before she could say another word, a needy, frantic thing as he ran his hands up under the shirt she wore, guiding her until she was straddling him, her arms looped around his neck. With only the towel separating them, it was tempting to have her right then and there, but tonight of all nights, he would take his time. He wasn't certain he'd ever truly rid Emma of her insecurities, but he'd bloody well try.

"Of course I want to, but I didn't wish to assume. You never actually asked me, love," he whispered once they broke apart to breathe, foreheads pressed together.

"I didn't think I had to." Emma huffed, tossing her hair over her shoulder as she sat up fully. The motion rolled her hips forward, and Killian couldn't help a soft groan. If she weren't looking at him quite so seriously, he would bury his face between her breasts and spend a good long while there.

"You haven't stayed at that apartment for a single night in the last month, and before that, it's only been a handful of times since...since I was in the hospital. Your clothes are all here. Your coffee mugs with their ridiculous little cartoons are all OCD organized in the kitchen, a kitchen which actually has food in it these days, because you bother to grocery shop regularly. David and Robin have been here to play poker. Belle has brought her family for Sunday dinners that you made. I just assumed when your lease was up we'd decide what to do about the furniture."

"I asked you once what I was to you," he began, shushing her with a finger against her lips when she started to protest, her fingers curling into his shoulders. "It was a long time ago, love. I know what I am to you now. I know you've made a place for me in your life. But as you seem to need reminding, to me, you are everything. You are the woman I see a future with. I want it all. Not at once, not right now, but one day, Emma, one day I want everything with you. My mailing address doesn't matter. You are my home."

"I love you," she said softly, raising her hand to rest her palm on his jaw. It was a testament to how far they'd come, the effortless admission and her intense stare to go with it. "Just because some of those one day things sort of freak me out still doesn't mean I don't want them with you. You know that, right?"

Killian turned his head, pressing a kiss to the inside of her palm before lacing their fingers together. "I know." He held her gaze for another beat, letting emotion burn between them before he allowed a bit of mischief into his sly smile. "But there's no rush, darling. Especially not when right now, I can do this…" He slipped his hands back under her shirt, delighting in the surprised squeak that escaped her as he tugged her hips closer, grinding up from the chair while he held her in place. "And this," he murmured low against her ear before taking the sensitive lobe between his teeth, the catch in her breath only spurring him on. "And…"

"This?" she cut in, breathless as she lifted her hips enough to yank the towel off his lap before settling back down, his arousal nestled between her thighs. He caught her sly grin before his eyes slammed shut, Emma's sudden touch shooting sparks through him as she reached between them, taking him firmly in hand. But she wasn't in a hurry, her touch languid as he groaned with pleasure.

"Aye, that," he managed to breathe out, glancing down to watch her hand move over him between her parted legs. She shifted on his lap, the slick heat of her arousal meeting his thigh, and Killian's patience evaporated.

Emma's protest as he stood without warning melted into a quiet laugh, low and throaty against his ear. "Aren't you always on my case about not leaving dishes in the sink when I go to bed?" she teased, her tongue flicking out to trace the shell of his ear.

"Sod the dishes," he all but growled as he walked into her – their – bedroom, the towel left behind in the kitchen to be dealt with in the morning. With one fluid movement, he set her on her feet beside the bed and rid her of her shirt. Even without turning on the lamp, he could see her nipples had already grown taut, her pale skin bare and inviting.


"You are stunning, Emma Swan," he said softly. "If I didn't want you so badly, I might be content to simply gaze upon you all evening."

"Don't you dare." She closed the distance between them, her kiss hungry as she rose onto her toes and threaded her fingers into his hair. The kiss was pure Emma – her grip on his hair tight, keeping him where she wanted, but her body soft against his, her lips parting easily to accept him.

He pulled away, his breaths already short as he palmed her curves, tugging her hips into his and dragging his teeth ever so lightly over the place her shoulder and throat met. "Get in bed, darling."

Emma shivered in his arms at the low command, and while he half-expected her to laugh or challenge him, she merely lifted a brow in question before doing as he'd asked. He followed, kneeling between her legs and gently nudging her thighs apart as he bent to kiss a path from her collarbones down, down, down…

She gasped as his breath washed over her, hips straining against his grip, moisture glistening between her legs, and Killian spared a moment to consider if there were few sights more appetizing than Emma spread out beneath him, wanting. His name left her lips, half-plea, half-curse, and he chuckled quietly before descending on her.

He'd never tire of listening to her in those moments, the way she'd tense when he found the right spot, her thighs tightening against his shoulders, and her moans would become quieter, as though she didn't possess enough oxygen to maintain her usual volume. He wound her tighter and tighter, pushing to the brink and falling back, the air returning to her lungs in a gasp and then she'd curse, a low, vicious thing full of desperate need.

That was when he'd give her what she desired, that extra little bit sending her over the edge in a gasping, quivering pile of limp limbs. And then she whispered his name, tugging him into her arms and kissing him as he slid into her with a low oath of his own.

His forehead resting on hers, Killian held himself still, buried deep and every muscle straining against his desire to stay in the moment just a few seconds longer. It would be their bed he made love to her in from here on out, their home, with their future, and perhaps she was right – perhaps she hadn't had to ask, but it felt different now that she had.

Emma didn't question him, her touch soft on his back, on his jaw, on his shoulder, her thighs cradling his, and when he took a shaky breath and began to move, she rose to meet him. Running his palm down her thigh, Killian tugged her leg up, changing the angle and driving deeper as Emma's nails clenched in his shoulder.

He wasn't entirely surprised at her nudge that sent him onto his back, Emma rising above him like a goddess of myth and legend. Her hair tumbled down around her shoulders in a chaotic halo, and she impatiently tossed it over her shoulder as she sank back down with a groan.

Killian forced himself to watch her face for any sign of discomfort – it had been a while since they had attempted such a position, and Emma had grown frustrated quickly the last time with her still-healing ankle – but the only thing he saw in the soft light peeking between the blinds was pleasure.

His breaths ragged, he sat up, taking advantage of her position above him to lavish attention on her breasts, nipping and sucking as she moved. Pure male satisfaction purred in his veins as her rhythm faltered every few beats, her grip on his shoulders tightening as she moved unsteadily above him.

It was plain neither of them wanted it to end, shifting positions by unspoken agreement, slowing down and speeding up until they were both panting. Only then did they give into it, the tantalizing temptation of the finish line and the explosion of pure pleasure it promised.

And when Emma crawled into his sweaty arms, her cheek on his shoulder, one arm and one leg flung lazily across his body, Killian knew true and utter contentment. "I love you," he whispered against her hair, pressing a kiss to her forehead and tightening his arm around her back. "More and more every day."

"Does it ever run out?" she mumbled sleepily into his chest, tracing an idle pattern. "The love and the wanting? Because I can't see the bottom."

"You never will if I have anything to say about it, love."