She isn't home.

Emma, in fact, hasn't been home since her tailing of her fleeing criminal the night before last.

36.32 hours Swanless.

Killian is only a little bit worried. ( A lot. A lot paranoid.)

But she's texted back and sometimes she still needs her space, despite the fact that they live together, have for over a year, and he knows when to be patient.

But the moment after she accepted the ring, she's had that look in her eye.

That frightened, waiting for the other shoe to fall look. (The colour of her eyes actually changed from peridot, spring green to gray, hurricane colours and it always made him pause.)

He's never begrudged her space in all the years they were dating but this is starting to concern him.

What if the arsehole she was after got her phone? What if she's imprisoned and can't tell him. What if-What if?

Killian Jones lasts 37 hours before he grabs his car keys, enters his vehicle, and drives to the apartment Emma Swan, his fiance, insists on keeping in case he changes his mind.

Like he would change his bloody mind. She's the most brilliant, beautiful, empathetic, humourous-

She's everything.

So he locks his door and drives.

Emma Swan is a brave woman. She's faced down hardened criminals. She's brought back: perps who shot the cop on sight, perps who sold out their children, perps who stole $20,000 worth of opiates.

Emma Swan is a coward. She loves Killian Jones. Loves him in the way they make movies and write fanfiction about and-

And, And, And

That's always in her brain, the ands.

And thought Neal was a good idea. Walsh. And wanted to be loved so much that she-

That she was an idiot, is the truth. She trusted all the wrong men and three men in, she doesn't think Killian is like them but she does loves deeply and purely so it scares the living daylights out of her, is what it does.

They are getting married. Married.

Emma is not freaking out. Freaking out is for people who are planning weddings. With flowers and dresses and-

Shit. Emma Swan is totally freaking the fuck out. She doesn't have anyone to walk her down the aisle. She doesn't know what to say, She knows her dress should be white but nothing else and how does marriage change things? What is she supposed to be as a bride? She's loved this man for nearly seven years but now they're getting married and what does that do to movie night? Is she expected to cook? (Fuck no, between the two of them Killian is the chef.)

She may be hiding out at her ill-used apartment. (Maybe. Okay, yeah the first hour could totally be chalked up to making sure the pipes didn't freeze. And then that the stove still turned on if you pushed it past 450 then turned it around again, And if-)

Emma Swan is a fucking coward, she thinks should be in her headstone. If she gets a headstone. No one but Killian is likely to come if she dies but-

Goddamnit, There's Killian in her head again.

She's not afraid of him, not really. He's the most genuine human being she's ever known. He's both bashful and cocky and decided to become a cop for the actual horribly cliched reason of 'helping people'. He's brilliant. They make a killing at Thursday night trivia down at the Rabbit Hole. He's beautiful, sea-blue eyes and red-tinged scruff, muscles and sinew, and that stupid heart of gold.

Emma turns her temperamental oven. The knob runs over 475 then back again to 375. The frozen burrito she bought at 7-11 gets unwrapped and stuck inside.

Seven minutes. She can wait seven minutes to eat. (She's never missed Killian and his actual kitchen and real food this much before. He wants to marry her. She wants-

Seven minutes is a lonely time.)

Seven minutes is exactly how long it takes for her to start crying, watching the frozen burrito heat unevenly in her shitty oven.

The tears don't stop rolling down her cheeks and she wants to call Killian but she can't because he's technically the reason for them even if he never caused them and Mary Margaret, her eternally optimistic neighbor with fresh baked cookies at every hour, asked her about vows last week-

How do you marry the person you love?

She feels her knees give, the stupid, half-baked burrito in her hands as she removes it and turns off and oven and sinks onto the floor to cry.

That's about when the door jingles.

He doesn't want to push her, he doesn't.

Killian wanted to wait. Tried to wait. But four hours without a text and he had worked himself past space and into ERs and morgues and…

He uses the spare key she gave him.

(He's clutching the metal in his palm like someone is about to steal it, the teeth of the key digging into his fingers as he stares at her. Simply stares as she tosses her blonde head with an eye roll.

"I mean, it makes sense. I have yours. I'm almost never at my place but just in case-" Killian listens half-heartedly but the metal in his hand is burning a permanent mark in his flesh, in his bone, in his marrow.

Emma Swan has given him a key to her apartment. The apartment she's keeping for 'emergencies.'

He's never begrudged Emma her safety nets and walls. He understands why she hasn't broken her lease. Knows the story of Neal, Walsh, and August, and how every other man has been a right arsehole to her. But for her to give him access to that sacred place?

That's a thing, even if she won't admit it.

She's opening and closing his kitchen cabinets, probably seeking her poptarts which he may have hidden behind three bags of dehydrated fruit because Killian loves her and wants her to live a long, happy life with him. Not die at 50 of a heart attack because her diet consisted of sugar and fat for those years.

"I mean, it's not serious Killian," Swan continues, searching on top of his marble top counter, scuffing it with her boots. "It's just something I thought you might need to have one day."

She can play it off all she wants, Emma Swan has given him a key.

His heart nearly hurts, it beats too wide for his ribs.

"Swan, stop. Turn around." He doesn't recognize his own voice, raspy with emotion and love and-

Gods, she's beautiful as she gives up her search and does as he asked, jungle eyes wary and brave and so bloody bright every fiber of his being quakes.

"Killian what-" And her voice. Her delightful, wonderful voice echoing in his space. He has her key. He has her heart. She has his.

He's got her running leggings off before she can say another word, slipping the delicate lace panties down her ankle as she hitches a breath.

Then there's salty heat and the hitch of her breath when he kisses her core. There's the delectable musk of her arousal as his lips close on her clit and he works a finger, two, three into her with gentle probes and crooked joints. There's her thighs shaking against his ears, muffled cries, and the deep, hot taste of Emma when she cums, waiting for him to lick it up.)

And Killian honestly never intended to use the piece of silver he's jammed into the doorknob, but he's petrified and part of his soul kept guiding him here. He's sure she's here.

She is.

The microwave timer is beeping, which leads him to the kitchen where he finds his Swan (his fiance, the woman who owns him) curled in a ball against the ugly halogen lights on her off-coloured blue tile, weeping.

She's got her arms around her denim-clad knees and her bright head rested atop them and large, heaving breaths shaking her delicate collar bone, her lovely shoulders, her tiny belly. She has never been more beautiful to him and he can feel his heart fracture with every sob.

"Emma doll-" He feels the reflexive moisture in his own eyes and blinks against it, sinking down on his heels to face her. His hand reaches out to swipe at her cheeks and the sad, gray eyes open to focus on him with such hopelessness it clenches deep in his throat.

"I don't want to eat that burrito." He scoots closer to her, calves aching against the cold of the floor and uncaring because he's got his arms around her shivering form and she lets him wrap his fingers around her back.

"Okay love." Killian manages, pulling her closer until Emma's weight is on his thighs and he couldn't care less about his straining muscles when he feels her breath shudder against his side. "I'll just turn off the oven then."

No one moves. Emma sighs.

"I do want to marry you, you know?" Her voice is a faint whisper of it's usual self but it's Swan's and he'll take it.

"I love you Emma." He's half consuming her hair to say it but he can feel her relax at the words and it makes it worth it.

"I love you too." She murmurs against his shoulder blade, shuffling impossibly closer so it's spoken into his neck. "I just-I don't know how to get married. I-I'm-I'm scared."

His poor love. Empathy wells from his heart and trickles down to his toes until he can't decide whether to hold her tighter or go out and murder anyone who has ever hurt her.

(It's hold her tighter, it always is.)

"We don't have to, sweetling." Killian does want to. He's a bit of a romantic and Emma in a white dress with doves and bells is one of his silent fantasies. But it's not worth this. Not worth her hiding in her mostly-abandoned home for hours, eating what he would hardly call food and crying her eyes out. (He just wants her to smile.)

She quietly sighs in his shoulder. "You want to though. You want it."

He's not going to lie to her, not after all the betrayal she's been through. Killian simply holds her closer, listening to the wet splat of the burrito hitting the floor without care. "I want you happy, my love. Nothing is worth more than that." Her cold nose digs deeper into her neck, nuzzling in as she seeks warmth

"But I want you to have what you want." It's spoken into his skin, sending impossible shivers down to his toes. "I want to give you stuff too."

Gods, this woman.

Killian squeezes her biceps, kissing her temple, and swiping at the renewed tears on her cheek. "Swan, I have you. That's enough. You've always been enough."

Because that's where it comes from, even if she's only half-aware. Those long, lonely years that formed the beautiful woman he loved where wankers kept telling her she wasn't enough.

He feels her breath hitch against his collar, hears the short, drawn-out sob until she's lost to him, tears pouring forcefully against his jacket and angry cries in his ears. "Oh, sweetheart, please, please."

Killian rocks her, rocks them both as his fiance cries, his good hand tangled in her hair and his bad one up and down her back, fingers attempting to soothe. The sound of her keening breaks his heart so he ignores the half-cooked monstrosity on the floor and the fact that her oven is still on and simply holds the woman he loves more than life.

It takes a long while, but she does quiet, melting into him with a sigh a little more like contentment than fear. Her hair is most definitely choking him but nothing in the world would make him loosen his grip on her hips as she settles into him.

"I do want to marry you." She speaks into the crack between neck and shoulder, voice muffled and still just wet enough that his hackles are raised.

"Emma," He breathes in the smell of her, the floral scent in her hair and the salty smell of her flesh. "Darling, I don't want to do this again. I don't want you hiding and crying with some piss poor substitute for actual food again. Are you sure?"

She snorts at his rub against the soggy mess of burrito and removes herself, getting up and turn her shitty oven off before they burn to death or something equally dramatic. (The fact that it gives her a moment to collect her thoughts and words is totally not why. Nope.)

She sees the blinking red light finally die as she hears the man behind her snatching a paper towel and cleaning up what would have been her dinner. Because that's what Killian does. He doesn't fuss about her messes even as he cleans them up. He doesn't bitch about her wounds as he fixes them with his love and devotion. He doesn't-

She turns on her heel, suddenly feeling more sure than she's felt in...well, awhile. His gaze is fixed on her, on her motion, on her face, on her wishes-

She loves him.

Emma nods at the blue eyes that fixate on her. "Yeah. I'm sure. I'm sorry I freaked out-"

She steamrolls him before the words slip out that she knows he's about to say. ("-Emma, never apologize. You don't owe me a damn thing.")

"And I know that you magically don't care I'm a hot mess or something, but yeah, I am sure. I do want to marry you but maybe...could we skip the dress and the bells or something?"

And that sight, of his dimples forming on both cheeks as his wide, honest smile formed-that was worth everything.

It's in the circuit court the next week because Killian paid for the marriage license to be expedited. (The dork.) David was their natural witness as they promised forever to each other but Mary Margaret had stopped by Emma's old apartment as she was cleaning it out and breaking her lease on Wednesday and freaked the fuck out about her getting married so she was there too and-

Well, Killian had bet her $100 and a pick of their honeymoon destination that there would be another wedding soon enough.

And In June of that year, as she sipped a margarita out of a coconut on the boat (ship, love. She's a ship.) he rented, Emma Jones really didn't mind losing.