It's still Sunday somewhere, right?
By the time Emma had made it back to the hotel that evening she was desperate for some time alone with her boyfriend, and a little tipsy from the pitcher of cocktails she'd split with Belle over dinner.
"Killian?" she called out, as she pushed open the door to their suite. He'd been messaging her all day, telling her to enjoy her weekend and not to worry about him. But Emma still felt guilty for spending so much time with Belle, when her time with him was also so limited.
They both needed to catch early flights back home on Monday afternoon. Which meant that once the convention was over, they would only have a handful of hours together before they were separated for weeks again.
"I'm in here, Sweetheart," he called back.
He was already standing by the time Emma turned into the main room, ready to pull his girlfriend into his arms.
"I missed you," she mumbled into his chest. "I'm sorry I didn't come straight back."
"Don't be," Killian chuckled, as he combed his fingers soothingly through her hair. "Did you have fun with Belle?"
"Yeah. She was feeling better tonight and I didn't want her to spend it alone. I got to introduce her to some of the girls I met during registration too, so that was fun. What about you?" she asked, pulling back to get a better look at him. "Have you been bored all night?"
"I've been fine. I had company." Killian twisted them both slightly and Emma's eyes widened in shock as they fell on the other figure sat in the middle of their sofa. He was looking a little uncomfortable at the clearly intimate display taking place in front of him, but he still managed to offer her a somewhat-genuine smile.
"Robin, this is my Emma," Killian introduced, keeping his eyes trained on her face. "Sweetheart, I'd like you to meet my best friend, Robin."
"You guys made up?" she asked softly, looking between the two men in the room.
"Yeah, we did," he reassured her, as he took her hand into his own to pull her over to where his best friend was seated. Robin scooted down the sofa a little to give them some room, while he watched Killian tug Emma down to sit in between the two of them.
"It's nice to officially meet you, Emma," he offered, extending his hand for her to shake.
"You too," she told him, gripping it firmly in her own.
While a part of Emma was excited to finally be meeting Killian's best friend as his girlfriend, and not just a fan of the show, another part of her was screaming that she needed to be cautious. Robin had managed to upset Killian so badly that he'd let it show during his panel that morning, and Emma knew that she was the source of their disagreement. While she wanted to believe that Robin had truly apologised for what had happened, and the two men had managed to put the misunderstanding behind themselves, she also knew that it was better to air on the side of caution when it came to situations that could leave her vulnerable.
Emma had certainly learned that lesson the hard way throughout her life.
"So, Killian says you've been at the concert," Robin began, attempting to make some kind of conversation to break the uncomfortable silence that had descended over the three of them.
"Yeah. My friend Belle wanted to go and I didn't want to leave her on her own." Emma turned her attention to the man sat beside her, as she smiled softly up at him. "You should make more surprise appearances there. The fans would love it."
"You know I only made that last one to see you again, right? I don't sing around other people."
"Pfts, that's a lie," she giggled. "You sang for Ruby while you were in my kitchen the other week."
"I didn't know Ruby was there," he corrected.
Killian had gotten the shock of his life when he'd turned around with two glasses of wine in his hands. Ruby had been leaning against the counter watching him sing, as he worked his way around the small kitchen.
"Yeah. You made her swoon a little. I was worried that she was gonna pass out and hit her head." Emma sighed, as she remembered that afternoon. It had seemed like a lifetime ago since Killian had been in Storybrooke with her. And she knew that once she left Chicago, it would seem like a lifetime to wait until she got to see him again.
Another slightly awkward silence settled around the room once more. Emma and Killian both lost themselves in thoughts of how long they would have to wait until they were able to see each other again, while Robin tried desperately not to feel like the third wheel in the group. He could sense that slight hint of hostility behind Emma's posture, but if his friend had explained to her what had happened during the day, Robin couldn't exactly blame her for it.
"So, um, Emma," he tried again. "Killian tells me you work for the sheriff's department?"
"Yeah, that's right," she confirmed.
"Emma's the sheriff for her town," Killian added proudly, pressing a kiss to her cheek. While his girlfriend might not have thought her job worthy of boasting about, he certainly didn't share that sentiment.
"That must be a pretty interesting job."
"It's probably not as interesting as you'd think," she chuckled. "Storybrooke's a small town. Nothing overly exciting tends to happen there. Most of my time is spent on teenagers trying to win bets, and Leroy."
"How is Leroy?" Killian asked, as he made himself more comfortable on the small sofa, pulling Emma further into his embrace as he did so.
"He was sleeping off a bender in my holding cell when I left."
"Which one?" Killian arched a brow at her that communicated absolutely everything he wasn't saying. While Emma seemed to understand his hidden meaning perfectly, Robin frowned in confusion over the part of the story he seemed to be missing.
"Not that one," Emma giggled, as she watched her boyfriend's face relax a little. "The only way that one's ever getting any use again is if we have a crime spree in town that requires holding more than one prisoner at a time. So… I think we're safe for a few decades."
"Do I wanna know what all of that's about?" Robin asked, his curiosity finally getting the better of him.
Emma and Killian exchanged a small look. One that clearly said so much to each of them as Robin watched his friend's face light up with mischief, while his girlfriend relaxed back into his embrace a little further.
"It's like I told you before," Killian began smugly. "I happen to find Emma's job insanely sexy."
Robin really wished he hadn't taken a sip from his glass at that moment. It might have taken him a few seconds to work out the hidden meaning behind his friend's words, but once he had, he started choking wildly.
When finally he made the walk back to his hotel room a few hours later, he still smelled of the expensive Scotch that he'd spat all over himself earlier in the night.
But Emma had at least seemed to warm to him a little more with the longer they spent talking to each other.
"Have you booked any duos for today?" Killian whispered into his girlfriend's ear, as he watched her apply her foundation the following morning.
"Nope," she chuckled. "But I do have your meet and greet in a few hours."
Killian pouted a little at the thought of not seeing as much of his girlfriend as he would have liked for the day. "Are you sure I can't talk you into having one?"
Emma turned in her seat to face him properly, and then wished she hadn't when she saw the full effect of those puppy-dog eyes turned her way. "It won't be that long until you see me again. And you'll have me all to yourself tonight when the convention is over, as Belle's catching an early flight back."
"Just for the record, I don't care if I spend the whole day fused to your hip," Killian pointed out. "It would still never be enough time with you."
Emma leaned forward to close her lips over his in a searing kiss that said everything she couldn't seem to find the right words for. He so often left her speechless with the simplest of statements or gestures.
Her relationship with Killian was everything that her relationship with Neal had been lacking.
"What did I do to deserve you?" she wondered.
"I ask myself that every day," Killian chuckled, as he pulled her into his arms.
Emma allowed herself to be held for a moment, just soaking up that warmth and comfort that always came from being in Killian's embrace. Eventually she was forced to pull away, as she turned back to the mirror once more to finish getting ready for the day ahead. She'd promised to meet Belle before the first panel of the morning, and she didn't want to leave her friend waiting around for her for too long.
"Are you sure I can't talk you into letting me give you a couple of duos?" Killian asked eventually, from his place on the bed where he'd been watching her work. Even the simple things like the way she brushed out her hair, and the way she screwed her nose up to concentrate as she applied her eyeliner, were completely fascinating to him.
"No," she giggled. "People will start to get suspicious if you do. And I'm not sure Robin's fully on board with all of this just yet. I don't want to push him too far too soon. He's your best friend. I want him to like me."
"He'll come around," Killian promised.
He had hated the awkward dynamic in the room the night before. He knew why it was there. Both Robin and Emma were unsure where they stood with each other, and were being overly cautious to avoid saying anything that might cause offence. But things had gotten easier as the night had progressed. Which gave him hope that one day, possibly very soon, his best friend and his girlfriend would become friends on their own terms.
"I hope so," was all Emma said, as she turned her attention back to her hair.
Belle was already waiting for her friend, with a coffee in each hand, by the time the taxi pulled up to the hotel. Emma had let Killian keep her a little later than she had intended, thanks to his persuasive kisses, but she was happy to note that she was only a couple of minutes late.
"How was your night?" she asked, accepting the coffee her friend had purchased for her with a warm smile of thanks.
"Ugh. I should not have had those cocktails before we ate," the brunette complained, as they made their way into the hotel to take a seat in the lobby. "Please tell me you were suffering just as much as I was last night."
"I didn't drink as many as you did," Emma chuckled. "And by the way, I have no sympathy for you."
Belle groaned unintelligibly as she sank down a little further into her seat to make herself comfortable. She took a few sips from her own coffee cup, before finally declaring, "I blame Killian Jones for being so fucking pretty."
"I cannot argue with that," Emma giggled, as she raised her own cup in solidarity. She knew all too well how overwhelming the man could be when he was around.
And she'd had more practice in that area than her friend had.
"I have his meet and greet later this morning," she said suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence that had settled between the two of them. "Can you imagine how bad that's gonna be."
"Yeah. I couldn't do that," Belle snorted. "That's why I haven't placed a bid on one yet. There's no way I'd survive thirty minutes in a room with that man. I can barely stand the three seconds it takes to have a picture taken with him."
Emma snorted a little into her cup, but she could understand the logic. Being stuck in that elevator with Killian the very first time they had met had been difficult enough. There was absolutely no way she'd have been brave enough to have bought a meet and greet ticket for him before she got to know him as well as she now did.
"Well, if you can think of anything you wanna know, I can always ask him for you?" Emma offered softly. There wasn't much she could think to ask Killian herself that she hadn't already voiced to him in private. But she didn't want to sit in silence throughout the entire meet.
That would just look suspicious.
"Would you really?" her friend asked, as her eyes lit up with excitement. "I mean, there's nothing I can think of right now, but I'm sure I can come up with something before you see him."
"Of course," Emma giggled, pleased that her small gesture was making Belle so happy. "But nothing rude or crude," she warned.
Belle and Ruby were the complete opposites personality-wise, but Emma wasn't risking the chance that the two women had managed to rub off on each other a little.
The two women enjoyed the opening panels of the final day, featuring some of the newer guests that had been booked for the weekend. While some of the questions that were being asked had come up many times before, their answers gave a fresh take on something that was normally boring and predictable. It was probably fair to say that when a small break was announced just after the actors had left the stage, some of the fans in the room left the hall in a hurry. Their desire to meet their new favourite cast members before the weekend was over had them hurrying towards the ticket office in small groups.
With nothing else to do, Emma and Belle headed for the bar, wanting to grab a quick drink together before Killian's meet and greet was due to begin.
"So, have you come up with a question for me to ask him yet?" Emma wondered, as the two women claimed a small table in the back corner of the room for themselves. The bar wasn't busy when they sat down, but they both knew that it would soon fill up when the ticket office queues died down.
"I suppose a proposal is out of the question?" Belle teased.
Emma choked a little on the diet Cola she was attempting to swallow. Even with how fast things between the two of them were moving, she was certain Killian would find that a step too far for them right now.
"Just a bit," she eventually choked out.
Belle's face fell a little as she tried to think of something interesting for Emma to ask him. Even though she wouldn't be getting the experience of listening to his answer herself, she knew that this would probably be her only chance to get a reply directly from the man she adored.
So she wanted to make her question count.
"Oh, I've got it," she declared suddenly, startling Emma's attention away from her phone, where she had been replying to Killian's latest message. "Can you ask him what he feels his biggest achievement has been so far in his life, and what he feels his biggest regret is, professionally speaking?"
Emma knew that even if she couldn't find her voice in that room with other fans around, she'd at least be able to ask Killian Belle's question in private, so that her friend would get some kind of answer to her queries. And she knew that no matter where it was asked, Killian would give the kind of reply that showed just how much he respected his fans.
"Are you nervous?" Belle asked after a moment of comfortable silence.
It wasn't really a lie. Since they'd started dating, Emma had only spent time around Killian with large groups of other fans in the room, or completely alone with him. Their photo ops and autograph encounters were always brief, with people close by to overhear what was being said. The meet and greet would be a far more intimate encounter, but it would also shine the biggest light on their relationship if one of them tripped up in some way. As much as Emma wasn't ashamed of being Killian's girlfriend, she knew that having it outed in the middle of a convention weekend would probably be the worst possible way for their news to leak.
Because when that time finally came, she wanted the opportunity to sit down in person and explain to her friends why she had lied to them. She didn't want them to find out a twisted version of the truth through brutal tweets or gossip being spread online.
They deserved better than that.
"This was probably not a good idea," she eventually chuckled, as she downed what was left of her drink, wishing she'd thought to add a shot of something stiffer to it.
"You'll be fine." Belle reached out to run a soothing hand down her friend's arm. "Even if you don't manage to ask him anything, it will be one hell of an experience you'll never forget. And then you can come back here and tell me how pretty he looks today."
Emma already knew just how pretty Killian looked that day. She'd been there that morning as he pulled on a tight white t-shirt, and then a dark blue button-down to cover it.
Blue was definitely the man's colour.
But she would never turn down the opportunity to gush over him with someone else who felt that pull towards Killian Jones. Even though the nature of their relationship had changed, Emma still felt that draw towards him the way she always had, from the moment he'd stepped into his first scene on her screen. And she knew that all of her fandom friends felt the same way about him.
"Deal," she agreed.
By the time Emma was shown into the small room where the meet and greet was being held, and had taken her seat, her heart was racing. She didn't recognise any of the other women (or the only two men) in the room with her. But she knew that wouldn't stop them from spreading gossip, should she trip up with her interactions that morning.
Thankfully, the way her leg bounced against the floor, as she waited for the man himself to be shown into the room, was easily dismissed by the people sat either side of her. After all, she wasn't the only one who appeared to be a little nervous at the thought of what was coming for them.
"Are you okay?" she whispered to the girl sat to her left, that looked a rather alarming shade of red. Emma was a little worried she was going to pass out soon.
"Yeah," the young girl assured her, nodding her head a little too aggressively to sell her point. "Just nervous, you know? I decided to go for this instead of his photo ops, and now I'm not sure it was such a good idea. I mean… that chair is like… really close. He's gonna be so close to me."
Emma chuckled a little in agreement, as she reached over to squeeze the other woman's hand gently. "It'll be okay," she promised her. "Killian's really sweet. You won't regret buying this. Although, you might regret not buying his photo op after it."
"Tell me about it," she snorted. "I'm uh… I'm Kat. Kathrine, but everyone calls me Kat."
"It's nice to meet you, Kat. I'm Emma."
Kat opened her mouth intending to ask something else, but Emma watched as her jaw fell slack, falling open even wider, while her eyes bulged a little in her head. Kat's reaction and the sudden silence that had fallen over the room could only mean one thing.
Killian had arrived.
"Good morning," he greeted softly, as he made his way around the chairs that had been arranged for the event, to the one free seat that was reserved for himself. He had a full coffee in one hand, and a warm smile on his face, as he scanned the small crowd that had paid so much to spend so little time with him.
While a part of Killian hated that he now knew just how much some of his fans had spent on the event, another part of him couldn't help but be awed that so many people were so happy to consider him worthy of that hefty price tag. He wasn't sure he'd ever get used to the overwhelming feeling of love that was shown to him during convention weekends.
"Are we all having a good day?" he asked, as he took his own seat and sat his coffee down by the leg of his chair. There was a small murmur that sounded like people were agreeing with him, and Killian chuckled as he relaxed a little into the seat. He would also never fully get used to the effect he tended to have on his fans. But he was at least starting to expect it now.
"Okay, who wants to start us off? Or shall I just tell you all my life story?"
There was a snort of laughter that rang around the group, but nobody seemed brave enough to want to ask their question first.
Killian caught Emma's eye with his own from across the room. It was only a brief look, with both of them aware that anything more would attract too much attention. But it was enough for Emma to see the pleading in his eyes. While her boyfriend could (and would) act confident in certain situations, she knew that he wouldn't feel comfortable rattling off his entire life story to a group of stupefied fans for the next twenty-seven minutes.
So like the wonderful girlfriend she was, Emma slowly raised her arm and said, "I have a question."
Killian snapped his attention back over to her, nodding his head encouragingly as he bent to pick up his coffee and said, "Go ahead."
"Okay. My friend couldn't be here today so she wanted to know, what do you consider to be your biggest achievement in life so far, and what would you consider to be your biggest regret, professionally speaking?"
"Damn. Maybe we should go back to the idea of me telling you guys my life story," he chuckled awkwardly, as he reached up to scratch behind his ear. "Um… Well I guess the easiest one to start with is my biggest achievements in life."
He took a moment to sip from his drink, composing his thoughts as he figured out how to word his reply. It was something Emma had always loved about him, before she'd gotten to know him. Killian constantly put thought into everything that he did, even if it was just answering fan questions.
"Well, one of my biggest achievements has definitely been landing this role as Hook. I'm not naïve. I know that it's my big break into the industry. Before Fairytales I was a relatively unknown actor, who was struggling to pay my rent on time, and worrying about where my next meal would come from. Now… while I'm not exactly the best-known actor on the planet, I do own my own home. I don't have to worry about how to feed myself for the rest of the month, and I have a pretty stable job that I love. Hook's a big part of my life, and I enjoy getting to portray him on a daily basis."
Killian paused for a second to think a little more, before finally deciding to add to his answer. "But I also feel like the movie I did a few years back, with Michael Cain, was a big achievement for me professionally. For someone at my level in the industry at the time, getting the chance to work with a living legend like Michael was just such a huge blessing. He taught me a lot about not only how the acting world works, but also about my own abilities as an actor. So that will always be up there as one of my biggest achievements in life."
Killian took a moment to sip some more of his coffee as the people in the room absorbed the wonderful answer he'd just given to them. He seemed to startle them all when he added, "But honestly…. my biggest achievement in life is always gonna be introducing Robin to his wife. Because I do throw that in his face every chance I get, and I will continue to do so for all of eternity."
The room erupted into various forms of snorts and giggles as they imagined what that kind of interaction between the two friends would look like. Emma might have been the only one who caught his sly smirk before he raised his cup once more to finish his drink. She knew that had been Killian's way of lightening the mood a little.
And it had definitely worked.
"My biggest regret is a little harder to pinpoint. I've had a few moments that I look back on with disappointment, but I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. So while I could point out a few auditions I regret passing up, or not giving my all for, I'm not sure I'd class them as my biggest regrets. Because if I'd gotten those roles, then I probably wouldn't have landed the one of Hook. And without Hook, I wouldn't be here with all of you guys today. There's no way I could ever regret that."
There was a slight swoon that went around the room at Killian's words, and Emma felt her heart swell a little more. It would have been so easy for a man like him to point out all the thing he wished he could have done to get further in the industry. But Killian wasn't that kind of person. And it was one of the reasons she loved him so completely.
"I hope your friend's happy with that answer," he finally told her, offering Emma a small glimpse of that smile he reserved just for her, before he turned his attention to one of the only guys in the room.
The rest of the meet and greet seemed to fly past as the people in the room became braver and bolder with their questions, the more they realized that they wouldn't be judged or ridiculed for asking them. Killian did his best to make sure that everyone who had paid for the experience got their own chance to speak with him, keeping his attention firmly focused on them as he did. When his handler finally made an appearance to inform him that their session was drawing to a close, he looked genuinely disappointed that their time together was at an end.
"Okay guys," he declared, after he'd finished answering the last question. "I'm being told I need to be elsewhere soon, so we have to finish up here. But I'm gonna make sure I come around the group and take some pictures with you all before I go. Thanks for joining me this morning. Don't tell Robin this… but you're far more interesting than he is."
There was another short burst of laughter as Killian rose to his feet, before he pulled out his own phone. He fiddled with the device for a moment, presumably unlocking it and opening up the camera, before he handed it over to his handler.
Nobody needed to be asked twice, as they all rushed to surround the man who meant so much to each and every one of them.
"So, how did it go?" Belle asked, practically bouncing in her seat as she saw her friend weaving through the tables in the bar, back towards their own. Emma had messaged Belle on her way out of the meet and greet, to let her friend know that she was headed her way. And being the thoughtful friend that she was, Belle had made sure to have a drink waiting for her.
"It was really good." Now that she was out of the room, Emma was so happy that she had decided to take the plunge and treat herself to the experience. She'd had fun getting to hear Killian's replies to slightly longer and more personal questions about his work. And she'd enjoyed seeing how he interacted with other fans in that setting. It was obvious he felt more comfortable when he wasn't sat on stage in front of thousands of people. "Killian was a delight, as usual. And I think we all love him a little more now than we did before."
"Well of course you do," Belle scoffed. "I love him more every time I come to one of these events. I'm gonna have to take the plunge in Vancouver and book his meet and greet now. I kinda feel like I'm missing out."
Emma slid her chair a little closer to her friend, as she wrapped her arm around her shoulders. "I'm sorry Belle. I didn't mean to rub that in."
"Oh you didn't," her friend chuckled. "I'm happy you got that experience with him. I'm just annoyed that I talked myself out of sharing it with you."
Her phone buzzed with an incoming notification as she finished speaking, and Belle reached out to check it. Emma had felt her own vibrate in her pocket, so they both had a rough idea of what would be waiting for them.
"Ugh, I definitely should have booked it," Belle sighed, as she loaded the message Killian had just shared to Twitter. The one thanking his meet and greet group for being a 'fabulous bunch of people,' with the group shot attached to it. "But at least I can say I have a friend who's been in a picture posted on his social media accounts."
Emma laughed a little awkwardly as she flicked through to the other two images of herself that had been shared by her boyfriend. The more time she spent around Belle, the worse she felt about lying to her friends. The truth had been on the tip of her tongue all day, but she didn't want to blurt it out until she'd had the chance to speak with Killian about the matter. So she bit down on it as she fired off a quick message to the man in question, to let him know just how much she had loved the session.
"Is that from today?" Belle asked, as she watched her friend lock her phone and sit it back down on the table in front of her.
"The picture?" Emma wondered, lighting up the screen once more to reveal one of the images Killian had taken of the two of them together only minutes earlier. She'd been the last person he'd gotten to in the room, which meant she'd gotten slightly more time with him.
Something she was sure Killian had carefully planned.
He'd taken a couple of sweet and serious shots of the two of them together, before taking another of himself licking the shell of her ear. His actions had sent Emma into a flood of giggles in the corner of the room, which had drawn more attention than either of them would have liked. But Emma was sure that her laughter had been written off as that of just another hysterical fangirl.
"Yeah. He took some with everyone in the room. I love our photo ops together, but I thought this was kinda cute," she explained.
Belle reached for the phone to illuminate the screen once more, giving herself a better look at the image Emma had chosen for her new lock screen.
Emma had known that while she was enjoying a convention weekend, the meet and greet selfies were a much safer option than the one she'd been using before. That picture had been taken of the two of them together in Storybrooke, before their dinner date at Marco's. It would have been hard to explain, if anyone had accidentally caught a glimpse of it.
"Ugh! I definitely shouldn't have talked myself out of that," Belle lamented, as she allowed the screen to darken once more. "The two of you look like some kind of epically beautiful couple in that one."
For the second time that morning, Emma found herself choking a little on the drink she was attempting to swallow at her friend's words.
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