A/N: And with this, it's done. I'm actually sitting here in awe that it's over. And I'm sad too. I've loved writing EVERY WORD of this fic, and I've loved sharing it with you.
I told you guys before that this chapter was going to put a bow on everything, and I hope that it does that for you all. There's a LOT more I COULD have incorporated here … but I guarantee you I'll be writing a sequel to this at some point in the future, and I wanted to leave enough there to work with. This fic was always meant to be about the JOURNEY, which is what the Major Arcana symbolizes. The World, which is this chapter, is symbolic of things coming full-circle, of new beginnings, and of getting everything you started out wanting, and then some. It makes me happy, and I hope it satisfies you guys, too. Thank you all SO MUCH for sticking with me on this ride. I'm glad I was able to make you guys happy with this story.
"You put your arms around me and I'm home … "
Tinkerbell helped Emma get Killian inside the cabin, with no little amount of effort. "Sheesh, I think you need to lay off the sweets, Peter," Tink quipped as they moved him. He grumbled something, and Emma knew he must be in a lot of pain to not have any sort of comeback for that.
"I'm sorry," Emma said softly when he gave a sharp gasp as they tried to get him somewhat comfortable on the old sofa.
He gave her a wan smile. "Shhh, love, I'm fine," he told her, squeezing her hand a bit.
"No, you need a doctor," she said.
"Does it look that bad?" he said, a light chuckle escaping his lips.
"It's pretty bad," Emma said, nodding. "At least let me get the first aid kit from the sheriff's office, so I can do some sort of damage assessment."
She started to move away, but his hand pulled her back. "Send the pixie," he said, his hand not letting go of hers.
"But she's new here … " Emma protested weakly.
"Send. The. Pixie," he said again, his voice brooking no room for argument. "Every time I've let you walk away from me, something has happened to keep us apart. Forgive me, love, if I'm not so anxious to see that happen again."
Emma couldn't even argue with that. She was tired of them being separated all the time, she wanted a chance to actually be with him, finally. "All right," she said, turning her head to look at Tinkerbell. "I can give you directions … "
Tinkerbell waved her hand. "No need," she said. "I'll find it. Back in a jiffy!"
"Don't hurry," Killian called after her and Emma shook her head in amusement.
She knelt down by the couch then, her hand still firmly resting in his. "I'm sorry it took me so long," she said then. "I knew there was something wrong the moment I woke up here again, but … "
"Don't apologize," he said. "There was nothing more you could've done, darling. And apparently, we're very lucky. You might not have ever figured it out … if you weren't with child."
Emma's head shot up at that. "H - how do you know that?" she asked him, eyes wide. "I mean, I sorta guessed, but I haven't even had it confirmed yet … "
"Tinkerbell," Killian said, shaking his head a bit. "She said it was the only way she knew that sending you back with the Star on your finger was going to work. So you see, it's a good thing you were unable to resist me." He flashed a grin, and Emma rolled her eyes.
"I'll still smack you. You think you're getting a free pass just because you got all tortured? Think again, pal," she said dryly, and he laughed heartily.
"Oh, I missed you, Emma my love."
She smiled. She had missed his laugh. "I missed you. Even when I didn't remember you, I missed you." She looked down at their interlocked fingers, a warmth spreading through her unlike anything she'd ever known. "It's like there was just this … part of me, missing. I can't explain it better than that, I'm not good at words."
"Well, you don't have to worry about that any more, love," he said, his thumb brushing lightly over her knuckles. "I did tell you I would never abandon you."
"The trust thing, right?" Emma said, giving him a look.
"And the faith thing," he added. "Faith," he repeated, his expression thoughtful. "Tinkerbell says the baby is a little lass."
"I suppose she just has some mystical pixie way of knowing, huh?" Emma said, her own brow creased. "Faith," she said, testing the name out. A slow smile spread over her lips then. "Wendy Faith." She looked at Killian. "In honor of you. And all your stories."
"And you," he said with a smile of his own. "The first and only lass I've ever taken to Neverland."
She sighed a bit then. "I remember it all now, you know. I don't know how I could've forgotten it," she said. "It was the most … beautiful place. Will it fade — the memories, I mean?"
"Not so long as you have the Star," he told her.
She looked down at her finger. The ring on her finger. The snowflakes in her hair. Every moment that she'd shared with this man from the moment she'd pulled that pile of rubble off of him, until now … every moment was precious. Every moment made her a believer, at long last.
"I have to tell Henry," she said. "He's never going to believe me."
"I wouldn't be so sure, love," Killian said with a grin. "The lad's more perceptive than you might think."
"Oh, trust me, I'm well aware," Emma said drolly. "But there's a lot here that stretches believability, even for him."
"Even for who?"
Emma turned then, hearing Henry's voice behind her. Tinkerbell, Henry, Mary-Margaret and David all stood just inside the doorway of the cabin.
"You brought them all?" Emma asked Tinkerbell, raising an eyebrow.
"I ran into this one," Tink said, ruffling Henry's hair, "and he immediately knew who I was. Kids always do." She smiled fondly at the boy. "He reminds me of another young boy I knew once."
Henry smiled. "You figured it out, didn't you?" he asked Emma then.
"Figured what out?" Emma asked, confused as Killian started to laugh. She looked between Killian and Henry, frowning. "What's so funny?"
She had a sudden memory then, walking into the apartment one afternoon, a couple of months ago, hearing the sound of Henry's laughter as he and Killian watched …
"You!" She whirled on Henry, gaping. "You knew? How?"
Henry just shrugged.
"Darling, it's like Tinkerbell said. Kids always just know, somehow," Killian said. "It's one reason I never spent much time around them."
"You little traitor," Emma said, shaking her head at Henry, a smile tugging the corners of her lips.
"I told you you weren't ready," Henry said with a grin.
"Is someone going to explain what's going on here, or are we just to guess?" David's voice now. And he didn't sound happy. He sort of had that "itching to punch something" set to his shoulders too.
At least Killian was too wounded to make a good target.
"Well … um," Emma said, suddenly at a loss. "I remember now."
"And?" Mary-Margaret pressed, moving further into the room.
"Gold sent me through a portal," Emma said, frowning.
"Back to the Enchanted Forest?" Mary-Margaret asked, and Emma shook her head.
"No," she said, looking back at Killian and smiling a bit. "Neverland."
"You were in Neverland?" David asked.
"Why would Gold do that?" Mary-Margaret asked, confused.
Killian sat up then, wincing painfully as he did. "To punish me," he said. "He found out I was here, he found out about Emma and I, and I suppose he was looking to get rid of me, knowing what I … initially came to Storybrooke to do."
"So the portal was meant for you?" David asked.
"No," Killian said. "It was meant for Emma. He knew I wasn't welcome back in Neverland, but he also knew that without my help, Emma would be stranded there forever."
"So it was a way to get rid of you," Mary-Margaret said.
"Aye," he said. "I could take my revenge on him, right then, but in doing that, Emma would have been lost to you … and I couldn't let that happen."
Emma's stomach did a little flip. Of course, she'd heard most of this before, but hearing it again, like this, it really hit her. He had chosen her, over his revenge, over everything. "You really didn't think you were coming back, when you jumped in that portal, did you?" she asked him softly.
"No," he said, reaching for her hand again.
"Okay, so … obviously there's more to it than that," Mary-Margaret said, looking very pointedly at the two of them. "I mean, you got her home, and somehow, you're here now too, and you've brought … " She looked over at Tinkerbell.
"Tinkerbell!" the pixie said cheerfully. "Peter and I go way back."
"Peter?" David said, confused.
"As in … Peter Pan?" Mary-Margaret said, looking back at Emma and Killian. "Okay, well that makes so much more sense now."
"It does?" David asked. Emma felt kind of bad for him. He looked really confused. She made a vow that she would sit down and talk to him about everything as soon as she was able to. After all, if it hadn't been for him this morning, she might not be here right now at all.
"It does," Mary-Margaret said to him, waving her hand lightly. "You didn't see him back in the Enchanted Forest." She turned back to Emma and Killian then. "Okay, I'm sure there's much more to this story, and I'll get it out of you, eventually, but until then, I just have one more question for you."
"Okay?" Emma said, a knot of worry in her stomach then.
"Which one of you is going to explain the ring on Emma's finger?"
Three Weeks Later
Emma headed back to the cabin after work, expecting to find Henry, Tink, David, Mary-Margaret, Archie, Ruby, and Marco still out there, hard at work, like they had been ever since Killian's return to Storybrooke.
Once the whole story of Emma and Killian's trip to Neverland had been told, and once everyone had gotten over their initial shock (except Henry, who'd just been ecstatic about everything — the marriage, the baby, all of it), they'd come to the conclusion that turning the cabin into a functional home should be the first order of business. So that's what they'd been doing. And in matter of a few weeks' time, the ramshackle old cabin had been turned into a cozy, warm little cottage, complete with running water, electricity, and modern appliances.
Killian hadn't been much help to them, since he'd been recovering from his ordeal with the pixies, but he'd done what he could. He had flat-out refused to let Emma do anything more than hammer a few nails, and Emma had rolled her eyes in annoyance. Though truth be told, the whole doting thing he was doing was kind of nice.
She wasn't used to people doting on her.
She was a little confused when she pushed open the door of the cabin then, finding it strangely empty and quiet. An icy hand of fear gripped her heart. Every day that passed, she knew it was just a matter of time before Gold retaliated in some way. But she also knew that whatever happened, she and her pirate would face it together. They'd gotten this far, they weren't about to just give up now.
Still, there was an uneasy knot in her stomach as she entered the seemingly empty cabin. "Killian!" she called out. "Hello? Is anyone here?"
She peered through the new archway that now lead to the kitchen, brow furrowed. "Where is everyone?"
There was a pink rose sitting in the middle of the dining room table — which was brand new, a gift from Marco — with a note attached to it. Emma crossed over to it and picked up the flower, smiling a little to herself as she sniffed it. Pink roses were about as far out of Emma's comfort zone as it was possible to get … but then again, so was everything about her life, since Killian Jones had first appeared in it.
She burst out laughing when she read the note attached to the bloom.
I feel better now.
She shook her head in amusement and turned around, only to find herself face to face with Killian, who was smirking.
"Is this meant to be some sort of hint?" she asked him with a smirk of her own.
"The bloody pixies put a damper on us getting to consummate our marriage," he said, pressing closer to her, backing her toward the table. "But alas," he hauled her against him, his arm going around her back as he did so, "I'm feeling ever-so-much better now."
"I can tell," Emma teased, her fingertips playing lightly over the front of his trousers. "Where is everyone else?"
"I sent them home," he breathed, leaning in and catching her lips with his. "I hope you're not planning to sleep tonight, love."
Emma feigned innocence. "Why, whatever do you have planned for me, Captain?" she murmured against his lips, knowing that it drove him crazy when she called him that.
He growled, and before she knew it, she was on the table, her legs wrapped around his waist as he kissed her hungrily. "I mean to have you, Emma Swan," he said raggedly against her lips.
She smiled then, her eyes finding his. Her heart was full to bursting with all the things he made her feel, things she never thought she'd feel again … but this was stronger than anything, this was it.
Her fingers curled in his shirt, and she pulled him closer, her lips brushing his ear as she whispered, "You already do."