So a few notes before this chapter: this is a sequel to Kings and Queens, which you'll be able to find in my other stories. If you haven't read it but want to read this, don't worry about it! I've done my best to fill in as many blanks as possible, so a new reader would be able to understand without reading the 1st one. However, if you want to see Emma and Killian fall in love, check it out!
Secondly, thank you so much to you guys who wanted a sequel! I didn't think the idea would be met with so much enthusiasm so it really really means a lot to me that you guys are on board with this. I'm excited because I just think there's so much I could do with this universe. Thank you for supporting me with Kings and Queens- I hope you like Princes and Princesses. And with that, let's dive into the next chapter of Emma and Killian's journey! Happy reading!
Emma pulls on her jeans. She jumps up and down on the spot as she tugs. They're a little tight, and it's a fight to fasten them– she even ends up catching her skin as she zips them up. It's official. Emma has entered into a relationship where she is so happy, that she has given into chocolate and cake. Or maybe her jeans have just shrunk in the wash. Hopefully.
A beep comes from outside. Shit, she thinks as she hops over to the window, and peeks through the curtain. It's Killian- she knew it would be- sat in one of his many cars. What is it this time? A Mercedes? A Jag? She doesn't know and quite frankly, she doesn't care as long as it gets them to work.
She grabs her phone from where she'd thrown it on the bed, and types out a reply.
Be down in a second. Getting ready.
His reply is instant.
Need some help? ;)
She can't help but smile.
It's at that moment she realises how late she's running. Hell, Killian's already outside and she hasn't even got her shirt on yet. She grabs something crumpled from the bottom of her bed, knowing she'll be changing into her costume soon anyway. She pulls her hair into a tight ponytail at the back of her head. She passes for presentable now; she can be attractive later, when she gets Killian alone.
She never thought she'd say that outloud, not after everything that happened in the last year. But they've been together a few months now and she can honestly say, she's never been happier. Everyone loves him: her son, Mary Margaret (who keeps asking them to dinner), and even David. Though he was a little suspicious at first, insisting that Graham was a far better match, he's warmed up to him. If Killian could charm David, he can charm anyone.
She runs out her house, slamming the door behind her. It's only then that she realises it's five in the morning, and Henry is probably still fast asleep. Sorry kid, she thinks, as she makes her way over to Killian's silver, well, whatever-it-is and slides in.
"Emma," he says with an easy smile.
"Killian, hey," she says, hoping her voice sounds calm, and doesn't betray the butterflies she seems to get whenever he's around.
As if he can read her mind, he chuckles. Thankfully, he doesn't make any comments, but asks her if she's ready to go.
"Ready," she confirms, buckling herself in.
They've been carpooling for the first few weeks back at work. It's usually in one of Killian's fancy, stupidly expensive cars but sometimes they take Emma's bug when she wants to drive. The entire time Killian complains about the noise the engine makes and Emma rolls her eyes, but fails to suppress a smile. His complaining is a cross she's willing to bear. As long as they continue to carpool, that is.
"You look beautiful," he says, his eyes flickering towards her.
"I look tired," she says as she settles against the leather. She breathes in the familiar pine scent of his air freshener with a sigh. It's funny how the little things seem to catch her attention now. "My schedule is so messed up. It's so early; why does it have to be so early?" Then she remembers last night's shoot. "No, forget that, I could give with the early mornings, but why do they have to do night shoots? Why can't they just shoot in a dark room or something?"
"You should be showrunner."
"Don't make fun of me."
He gives her a look. "Me? Make fun of you? I am offended, Swan."
"Yeah, yeah. Just keep your eyes on the road."
The road is almost deserted, as it should be at 5 am. The morning is peaceful against the gentle hum of the car and her own soft breathing. That's why the ding of her phone makes her jump. She pulls it out of her pocket and the words Mary Margaret flash up on her screen.
Is today the day you're going to tell him you loooooove him?
For one moment she frowns at her phone, wondering what the hell her friend is doing up so early, but then it dawns on her. She's probably up with Hope, her and David's three month old daughter. Emma's going to have to start getting used to that. She slips her phone into her jeans, but then her phone dings again.
Have you told him yet?
She's just about to slip the phone back when–
Don't ignore me, Emma Swan! Get those words out. What are you waiting for?
"Someone's popular," Killian comments.
"It's Mary Margaret," Emma sighs as she types out a hasty reply telling her friend to shut up, and she'll tell him when she's damn well ready.
"You don't wanna know. She's talking about you."
"Then surely I have a right to know?" She watches his lips curl up into a smirk. "Is it about my tight leather trousers?"
"Mary Margaret so kindly told me that you're partial to my leather trousers."
Emma's eyes widen. She remembers this conversation with Mary Margaret, about a week ago, on her first night out since she had Hope. It took a lot of alcohol before Emma even opened up about Killian, let alone told her that she liked his leather pants. Though, it was less about the pants and more about his butt in said pants. That also happened to be the night she let slip that she was completely and irrevocably in love with him.
"Wh– when did you have this conversation?"
"Yesterday. We were on the phone and–"
"You were on the phone?"
"Only for a few minutes, love. She wanted to ask you and I to dinner but since you keep giving such vague answers, she thought she'd ask me personally."
"I was going to ask you," Emma says, a little sheepishly. "Just with work, I kinda forgot. We've been busy."
"Aye, we have. And I have a feeling we're about to get busier."
She looks at him, puzzled. "How come?"
"Well, we have that meeting today." When she continues to look at him blankly, he prompts, "With Belle."
"My guess is that she'll be increasing our hours."
A few days ago Belle had sent an email telling everyone that there was to be a meeting tonight. The email was oddly cryptic, giving no information or hint to what the meeting might be about. That usually wouldn't have worried Emma, if it wasn't for the lack of warmth in the email. Especially since Belle's emails are always warm. Always. But she knows Killian's probably right and it'll have to do with increasing hours or something along those lines.
"I just hope it's not because she's decided to bring Gold back," Emma murmurs, more to herself than anyone.
Ever since the writers found out Gold leaked the scripts, they've been finding a way to write him out the show with as minimal damage as possible. Even though everyone told Belle it wasn't a good idea, she wrote him out anyway. Emma can't help but agree with her. The king may have been a good villain in terms of story, but Gold had to pay some way or another. They can always find another villain. A show as established as Kings and Queens has a big enough fanbase to push through this hiccup.
If anything, Emma's filming experience is much better without Gold breathing down her neck and she knows Killian's is too. As soon as they watched Gold walk off set, Killian visibly lightened, like the chip on his shoulder was gone.
"What can I say, Swan?" he said when she commented on it. "I'm not constantly thinking about punching him in the face now. And that's thanks to you!"
Emma's popularity with the rest of the cast and crew has soared since she exposed Gold for the snivelling rat he is and she's often greeted with wide smiles and back-patting. They must have really hated him. These days, the cast treat her like some sort of saviour. She likes the idea of that, for some reason.
"Have you read the scripts?" Killian asks, bringing her back to the present.
"Of course I have."
"This season is going to be a brilliant one, I can feel it!"
He bounces in his seat, as excited as a child and she rolls her eyes again, though it's etched with fondness. She doesn't blame him; she's excited too. She's only been given the first few scripts, but they seem good. Now that the king has so sadly and so unexpectedly "died", Alexander, Killian's character, faces running the country alone. With the whole castle against his relationship with the servant Rose, Emma's character, they face a few bumps in the road. It sounds like a lot of angst.
If she's honest with herself, she prefers to act angst rather than being in love, especially with her and Killian's relationship. Before, she could separate work from romance, but now that they're together, it's proving difficult.
It doesn't help that every time they film a kiss, Will and Robin direct their wiggling eyebrows at the pair of them and Emma blushes, she actually blushes. Emma Swan doesn't blush for anything. At least, she thought she didn't.
"Anyone home?" Killian asks, tapping her on the forehead. "We're here."
Sure enough, he swings into a space in the parking lot. Emma looks around, blinking. She hadn't even noticed; she's been preoccupied with her own thoughts. She shakes her head, mumbles an apology and jumps out of the car into the warm air. It's so hot, her shirt is already sticking to her back.
"Ah, it's a fine day for heavy, layered period clothing," says Killian as he walks over to her, shielding his eyes from the sun.
She folds her arms. "Tell me about it."
They walk towards the make-up trailers together in silence. Emma itches to hold his hand, but she decides against it. Ever since they started their relationship, the media have been watching their every step. If they so much as look at each other and someone gets a sneaky photo of it, they're headline news. They have to be careful. They don't want every aspect of their life out there.
Well, Emma doesn't at least. She knows if Killian had his way, they'd be holding hands and practically skipping. The amount of times she's turned her face away as he leaned down to kiss her in public is starting to get ridiculous. That always sparks headlines too: TROUBLE IN PARADISE? KINGS AND QUEENS' KILLIAN GIVING UNWANTED AFFECTION?
It can't hurt him, not really, yet she can't help but feel a little guilty. But it's better this way.
"Hey guys," Ariel, their makeup and hair artist, says as they make their way into the trailer. "Take a seat. We've got a long day ahead of us."
Make-up is, as always, endless. They sit there for hours as Ariel and her team wash and curl her hair, then cover the dark circles under her eyes. Killian takes it all in his stride, leaning back in his chair, book in hand.
"What're you reading?" she asks, wishing she'd brought a book of her own.
"Just a novel about pirates, love," he says, keeping his eyes on the pages. "You know how much I love pirates."
After they've been made up and they're in their costumes, they make their way onto set, the sun beating down on them. It's always hard filming on location in this weather. She touches her fingertips to the back of her neck, which is damp with perspiration. At least it's only going to be a short scene, and then they'll be back to filming inside.
Emma's costume is ridiculously heavy and layered today, even though it's only a servant's dress. It weighs heavy on her hips and is tight around her waist, thanks to the corset. Her castmates aren't much better off, especially the men, who wear thick jackets over their shirts and trousers.
Elsa seems to be the worst though. She's wearing about seven layers, maybe even more. It's a bad day for royal purple and a wig that falls halfway down her back. She marches over to them, pulling her skirts up as she walks.
"It's a tough life," she says in way of greeting.
"Tell me about it." Emma laughs. "How are you?"
"Oh, so and so. To be honest, I'm a little worried about the meeting. Belle hasn't called for one in a while."
"I'm sure it's nothing to worry about," Killian says, draping an arm around Emma. She leans into him, despite the heat. "What could go wrong?"
"I don't know. They might be bringing Gold back," Elsa says, grimly.
"If that's the case, I'll eat my shield."
Everyone laughs. "I wouldn't make bets like that if I were you, Killian," Emma says. He responds by pressing a chaste kiss to her forehead.
"Right, everyone!" comes a loud voice, making them jump.
They all turn to see Grumpy, the director, marching towards them, his team behind him. He carries a clipboard, waving it at them vigorously. His face is red, his eyes narrowed. Already, Emma can tell he's not in a good mood. For one wild moment she gets the feeling that it's because he knows something they don't. Then again, Grumpy is never in a good mood, hence the nickname.
"Stop chatting, get moving. We have a lot to get through today, so no slacking!"
Though Emma devoured the scripts a few days before coming back to filming, she flicks through them quickly to remind herself what's happening in this scene.
Killian was right, they're so good, it was impossible not to read them. She even found herself neglecting Henry a few times, and forgetting to cook dinner until he reminded her. She had to settle for reading them in the dead of night, all night.
With this new season there are serious developments between Alexander and Rose. There's an 'I love you', and Emma isn't sure how she feels about that. She's already struggling to tell Killian she loves him. Though Rose is only a character, it's still going to feel weird. Mary Margaret was right, she needs to get it out there. She needs to tell him. Especially before they have to film the 'I love you' scene and it makes everything awkward.
But the thing is, she's scared. The last person she said 'I love you' too left, running with her money, landing her in prison. Granted, Neal was a dick and Killian is not Neal, but the idea of loving Killian still shakes her.
He's so good. Their relationship the past few months has been blissful. As Mary Margaret called it, they're still in the 'honeymoon' phase. She doesn't know how long that'll last and that terrifies her. She doesn't think she's ever been so scared to tell anyone anything in her life.
"Emma!" Grumpy barks. She jumps. "Back to earth, please. We have a lot to get through today."
Emma and Killian are background characters for this scene; it's more focused on Elizabeth, Elsa's character. She has the biggest subplot at the moment. The next few episodes are going to be about her trying to find herself now that the king is dead; she's going to be struggling with how she should feel - sad that her father is dead, or relieved that he's never coming back?
Emma's sure the relief that Gold has left seeps through their acting.
"Elsa, I want you to kneel down on the grass, okay?' says Grumpy, pointing to a flattened patch of grass. "Remember, I want pure, pure emotion. You've just found out that your father has been taken by the plague. You're distraught. You're guilty. And you're crying a load of tears, yeah?"
"Yes," Elsa says, rolling her eyes.
Killian doesn't even flinch. He just turns to Grumpy, one eyebrow raised. "Yes?"
"You're not as distraught. You're more relieved, yeah? The death of the king means you can be with this one–" he points to Emma, "–as well as be the king. You don't know how to comfort your sister."
"Aye, aye, Captain," he says with a salute.
Grumpy is not amused. "And for that, I'm going to make this afternoon's sex scene as painful as possible for you."
"When don't you?"
He ignores him and turns to Emma. "Guilt, sister. We want to see guilt here."
She gives a firm nod. "Got it."
"We roll in three. MAKE-UP!" and he disappears off-set.
Then everything is a whirl of people. Cameramen whiz around, setting things up, untangling wires. Emma watches as Killian's make up team touch up his face and apply more gel to his hair. He catches her looking over at him and meets her gaze with a soft smile.
The scene takes forever to film. During it, everyone is weary from the sun and tired of repeating the same lines over and over again. Elsa does an excellent job, crying on command every single time. She gets so into the scene, she can't quite get out of it.
"I'm so sorry," she blubs through great, shoulder-shaking hiccups. "I'll be– okay in a minute."
"Don't worry, Elsa," Grumpy says with a wicked smile. "Killian will cry later when he sees what I've got for him."
Everyone gives unsure laughs. They assume Grumpy is joking by the glint in his eyes and his smile, but they can never be quite sure with Grumpy.
They find out a few hours before the sex scene they have to film. Emma's heart is fluttering in her chest. She takes deep breaths, trying to calm herself, but it doesn't work. This is the first time she'll do a scene like this since they decided to start up a relationship. Suddenly, it's not just work anymore. It's real. And she doesn't know how she feels about that.
She tries to distract herself by reading a book. It's an old thing she picked up from the props department during their last break—Jane Eyre. She's ashamed to say she's never read it, but better late than never. She's never been a classics person, but surprisingly, she's enjoying it.
She glances up to see Killian coming towards her, an easy grin on his face, his shirt halfway unbuttoned. She swallows, hard, and forces a smile.
He slides into the chair next to her. "What's that you're reading?"
"Ah. It's a good one."
She quirks an eyebrow. "You've read it?"
"I, Swan, happen to be a great lover of the classics, believe it or not. Back when we were growing up, they were the only books we could get our hands on. Liam spent many hours reading them aloud to me."
She quirks an eyebrow. "Liam read you… Jane Eyre? Out loud?"
"Aye. Amongst many others."
She chuckles, as her eyes dart back down to her book. "I shouldn't even be reading this. I should be reading the script, rehearsing my lines."
"Well, they're not really lines. More like… noises."
She sighs. She doesn't want to think about that too much. "I'm pretty sure I have lines too."
"I'm more than sure those lines get cut off."
She glances back up at him to see him smirking at her. She rolls her eyes, slowly and deliberately, hoping he'll catch on to her mood and drop it. "Don't remind me."
"What's wrong, Swan? You usually have no problem with–"
"Shut. Up." She hits him with the book across the arm.
His hand flies up to rub the spot as he casts her a wounded look. "Relax. I'm merely joking."
"Look, I am drawing a line right now. This is acting, okay? When we go in there, we are Alexander and Rose. When we are alone, we are Emma and Killian. Got it?"
"You'll have nothing but professionalism from me."
She gives him a look. "I hope so."
"Emma, Killian, you're on!" comes Grumpy's voice.
All at once the nerves increase. Grumpy approaches them, a smile on his face. He usually never smiles and it just makes Emma feel even more nervous. He holds a small midnight blue box in his hands. He throws it in front of Killian, who looks up at him.
Grumpy just continues to smile. "Happy birthday."
"It's not my birthday."
"I wasn't talking to you," he says, his smile growing wider. "I was talking to Emma."
She frowns. "It's not my birthday either."
"No? Well it just might be."
And with that, he turns and stalks back, leaving them to look after him with puzzled expressions on their faces. They both turn to look at the box.
"Open it, then," says Emma.
Killian slowly takes it in his hands and opens it, placing the lid back down on the table, carefully. He stares at it for a moment, blinking, not really understanding, and then realization dawns on his face.
"Bloody hell." He throws the box down on the table.
"What is it?"
She peers inside to see a pink fabric and for the life of her, she can't work out what it is. She frowns at it for a moment.
"It's a sock," he finally says.
"It's bright pink. And… fluffy."
"I thought they were cutting back on the nude scenes."
"Oh." And then, despite herself, she giggles. "Well I'm not complaining."
"I bet you're not." He sighs. "I guess that means I better strip off."
He's already unbuttoning his shirt as he stands and kicks his chair under the table. He makes his way off set, and Emma is sure she hears another bloody hell before he disappears completely. She shakes her head and stands, making her way to set. As soon as she gets on, Grumpy corners her.
"Listen, Emma," he begins.
She places her hands on her hips. "Yeah?"
"We're not going to make you do any sex scenes today."
"No, we're gonna have to cut it short because of Belle's meeting. We are, however, gonna film Killian naked." He flashes her a smile. "You remember the scene?"
Of course she remembers the scene. It's the one where Rose accidentally runs into Alexander naked on the way to his bath. It's embarrassing for both of them, but it'll be great for the comedic aspects of the show.
"So you just need to get outside his chamber. You're gonna run in and run into him. Speak of the devil." He smirks.
Emma turns around to see Killian walking on set, dressed in a black robe. He isn't smiling. In fact, he has a sober expression.
"Let's get this over with," he growls.
"Don't be moody. Think of the fangirls," says Grumpy.
He approaches Emma.
"The fangirls are gonna love it," she says and he actually gives her a smile. "I thought you'd love it, being naked in front of the camera?"
"There's a lot you don't know about me, love," he says, but it's gentle, and he touches her face. She looks up at him and he leans forward to kiss her, but she steps back. There's only so much public displays of affection she can promise.
The scene goes smoothly enough. Killian strips off his robe to reveal nothing but the sock. Emma tries to keep her eyes off him, she really does, but they're drawn back to him at every given opportunity. She's glad it's just them filming the scene and no-one else.
She can't help but think about how attractive he is. She debates dragging him off to her trailer, but she doesn't think ten minutes will be enough time. She wants hours with him.
Emma runs on set into the bedchamber. Killian is walking through the chamber to his bath, which steams with hot water. He pretends not to notice her as she runs in.
Emma's gasp turns him around. "Sire!"
"Rose!" he gasps. For a moment he's stood there, mouth open in shock, before he grabs a cushion off the bed. He positions it over his hips. "What– uh– are you doing here?
"CUT!" Grumpy yells. "We need more naked Killian."
Yes we do, she thinks, as her eyes travel up and down the length of his back. He must feel her gaze because he looks back at her, and raises his eyebrows. She gives him her most innocent expression in response. She thinks they're being discreet until Grumpy gives a very loud cough, and they tear their gazes away from each other, embarrassed. He makes them do the scene another five times until they get it right.
Fully dressed again, Killian pushes the door open, and Emma walks into the meeting room. Everyone is already there apart from Grumpy and Belle. They all sit around chatting nervously, asking each other if they know what Belle wants. Is it bad? Is it good? No-one seems to know.
She catches sight of Graham who's sat next to Elsa. He gives her a small wave and a bright smile. She makes a beeline for him and grabs the seat next to him.
"Hey, Graham," she says as she tucks herself in. She feels Killian sit down next to her. "Why are you smiling? Aren't you worried about the meeting?"
"To be honest, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about," he says, "I'm sure she'd tell us if it was something to worry about."
"I'm not so sure, mate," says Will, with a grim expression.
"Always the optimist."
They don't have to wait long to find out because mere minutes after Killian and Emma arrive, Belle bursts through the door, carrying paperwork in her arms, Grumpy at her heels. She sets her paperwork on the table with a brief, "Hello everyone," and tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.
Emma can't help but notice she doesn't seem like herself. She hasn't even smiled at them, and usually she never stops smiling. She worries her bottom lip between her teeth, as she desperately sorts through the paperwork she hasn't had a chance to organize. She's not wearing one of her usual flow-y dresses, but jeans and a crumpled jumper. When she finally looks up at them all, her face is pale and dark shadows reside under her eyes. It sends a jolt of panic through Emma.
"She does not look good," Elsa whispers from the other side of Graham. "It's bad news. I knew it was bad news."
"Relax," Killian whispers back before Emma has chance to speak. "She's just going through a bad break-up. I've had my fair share of heartbreak to know it when I see it."
Emma wants to agree with him, but she can't shake the feeling that that's not the case at all. She gets the same vibe from Grumpy, who stands next to Belle, arms folded, frowning at nothing.
Emma feels another jolt when Belle opens her mouth to speak.
"I bet you're all wondering why I've brought you here." She gives a laugh but it sounds hollow to Emma's ears. She tries to smile, but it looks thin and stretched across her face. "Nothing to worry about."
"It doesn't look like nothing to worry about," Elsa murmurs out the corner of her mouth. She folds her arms and leans back in her chair.
"But as it turns out, ratings have been… dropping." A confused buzz comes from the actors but Belle continues. "It's been happening for a while. The network informed us halfway through last season, but we were to wait before… changes are made."
"Changes are made?" Killian hisses, dropping his relaxed bravado. "What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?"
"We'd already filmed most things, so it was too late to change anything last season. We thought perhaps the dip in ratings was temporary, and they'd climb back up again, but that was not the case." She takes a shaky breath. Her eyes flicker to Grumpy.
"Don't panic," Grumpy says. "The last thing you wanna do is panic. The thing is, a drop in ratings is normal for a show that's been running as long as we have. That means there's gonna be some changes. Most of you will keep your jobs."
"Hang on, what?" shouts Robin. "What do you mean, 'most of us'?" Emma looks over to see him scowling.
"I'm saying some of you might lose your damn jobs. Do you want me to sugarcoat it? I'm not gonna. I'm going to give it to you straight and I don't give a damn if you're butt hurt over it. That's the way it is in this business. You knew that when you signed the damn contract."
No-one dares to speak again.
"With that in mind," Belle continues, more gently. "Try not to worry. We're working extremely hard to get the ratings up, and to still keep Kings and Queens as the show we all know and love. Changes are going to have to be made, that's just how it works. I don't know what changes exactly-" Her voice falters and she glances over at Grumpy. "Since… since…"
"Since what?" Killian asks, the only one brave enough to speak.
Grumpy is the one who answers him. "We're getting a new head writer, pal. And he has some very big changes in mind."
It's like all the air leaves the room. A new head writer, Emma thinks. What the hell? Belle's their writer. It's always been Belle. No-one can take over her show.
"Again, not to worry," she says. "You'll all meet him next week. He's busy working on the next scripts at the moment."
The next scripts? He better be something special.