A/N: AU fic based on a gifset I saw and loved on Tumblr. Killian is Emma's boyfriend in Boston at the start of the series. This fic will start at the beginning of the pilot all the way to the end of season one. Some things will stay the same and some might change. Enjoy!
Emma limped her way out of the elevator of her apartment building. A white paper bag was tucked under her arm as she made her way to the front door, keys dangled around her fingers as she walked. While her place had a killer view and she was satisfied enough with the Boston area for the moment, that night was one of the times she wished she lived on a first level floor. Of course, the nice apartment was a step up from places she stayed at in the past. A few stairs or an elevator trip was really nothing to cry over for the now twenty-eight year old. She keyed her way into her place and had to prop a hand against the wall to keep from stumbling as she kicked off her incredibly high pumps. Through it all, she kept her tiny package secure. After the night she had, she wasn't going to make it worse by dropping what was inside. While her red dress was stained and her feet were killing her, Ryan the bail jumper had been taken care of. All in all, that was job well done in her book and a cause for celebration.
"Did you get him, lass?"
The voice echoed slightly in the spacious apartment, but Emma was very familiar with it. She turned the corner into the open kitchen area, placed the paper bag on the counter. Tilting her head, Emma looked through the open bedroom door to find her boyfriend sitting comfortably on their bed. Even though they were living together, Emma was still getting used to his presence. It had been over ten years since she had a serious relationship or a relationship that lasted longer than a month. She stuck around with this guy for some reason though. He had an honest job, no criminal background that she knew of (and she did look into him to find that one out), and he kept her on her toes. However, as great as he was, there would always be a small part of her that was waiting for it to all go to hell.
Being alone the majority of one's whole life could do that to a person.
Still, they had met, dated (if that's what they called it), and moved in with one another within the course of a year. Doing that was record-breaking enough for Emma, who barely stuck around in one place for more than a couple months. At first, it was because he was there and it was convenient. She knew it was the same for him as well. They were alone, felt lonely, and they gravitated to one another to solve those problems. Easy sex, light conversation, and nice enough company. It was the perfect situation for the both of them. It had worked for a while too, going to one another to quell that carnal need. It was the other things that needed to be taken care of though. The emotional, the intellectual… Basically the messy stuff that no one with issues as long as Emma's was ready for.
It wasn't an easy transition from 'barely friends with benefits' to 'relationship'. Hell, she still considered them in transition. They weren't perfect. She wasn't perfect. Despite the confusion at times, they had formed a companionship the past year, had a sense of camaraderie they both were without for years. That was a small comfort for them both. They enjoyed each other's company, shared as much as they allowed one another to know. She didn't need his whole life story. He wouldn't have been able to give that to her, even if she wanted him to. In the same respect, he didn't ask for hers. Not that he needed to. He had a way of reading her like an open book. Emma still had her share of secrets though. She wasn't stupid to believe he didn't have his fair share as well. They didn't need full disclosure, not at that moment.
What they had was enough for now.
Emma slid a hand into the paper bag, carefully pulling out a small box from it. She kept her gaze on her boyfriend as she placed it down on the kitchen counter. She raised an eyebrow at his question. He had been around her long enough to know the answer to that question by now.
"What do you think?"
Killian Jones smiled from his spot in the other room. His fingers had stilled on his keyboard, his attention locked onto his girlfriend for the moment. While he was had emailed potential clients on recent finds he thought would be of interest to them, she chased down runners in incredibly attractive outfits. He took a beat to admire the woman. Sans shoes, incredible dress… she looked like a siren come to claim the hearts of men. However, despite her efforts to hide them, there was weariness in her eyes and voice. Killian knew better than to point that out though.
"I think that you're the one that should get arrested," he replied, in an effort to lift her spirits, "That dress must be against the law."
The noise that came from Emma's lips fell somewhere between a snort and a scoff, which Killian took as a good enough sign. That wasn't the first time he said something like that to her after a long night and, if he had his way, it wouldn't be the last time. Her gaze moved from Killian as she opened the lid, revealing a single cupcake. Emma heard rustling from the other room, the sound of a laptop closing and footsteps approaching. None of that deterred Emma from her current mission, as fingers reached into the box to take the small treat out. She set the cupcake down on the counter and found herself staring down at it, completely unmoved as Killian stepped up behind her. A hand planted against the edge of the counter as he moved closer, the warmth of his chest pressed against her back as he did.
"Just the one, love?" Killian asked her, as he too found his eyes cast downward towards the cupcake.
"Habit," came Emma's reply, "I usually just needed the one for my… my birthday."
Emma being afraid to reveal herself wasn't something new to Killian, but finding out it was the birthday of the woman he had currently been sleeping with for the better part of a year? Well, that certainly wasn't normal. It wasn't the first time they found out things about one another in this way. Part of him felt a bit of shame that they had been together for this long and ordinary things like birthdays hadn't been mentioned. Meeting one's girlfriend while she was on the job, as she tackled a co-worker, wasn't normal. Nor were his somewhat insistent, yet creative attempts for a date. Neither was their first kiss or first time, which, oddly enough, almost happened simultaneously.
Then again, 'normal' wasn't a term he'd use for their relationship.
So Killian did what he usually did whenever their relationship took an interesting step.
"Well, Swan," he said, before he let out a small breath in faux-concentration, "We're going to need to do this proper then, aren't we?"
Emma opened her lips to stop him, but the words barely had the time to come out as Killian shuffled around the kitchen. She watched him as he opened a few drawers, searched inside of them. When he returned to her side, she saw a small box of candles in his hand.
"We really don't need them. I never do the whole 'wish' thing anyway so-"
Her words fell silent as Killian leaned in to kiss her. It wasn't the act of the kiss that had her stunned, but the softness in it. She was used to feverish, urgent, 'take off your clothes before I do it for you' kind from him. Chaste kisses never seemed like his thing, which made them all the more surprising. When their lips broke, Killian took a small step back as his eyes locked onto hers.
"Try something new, darling," he gently said, "It's called trust."
Emma's fingers curled around the front of his sweater as she nodded faintly. After he said something like that to her, it would be silly not to go along with something as mundane as a candle on a birthday cupcake. She watched as he began to open the tiny package with his hand and mouth and couldn't help but look down at his other hand as he did.
Or lack of hand, that is.
When they met, he told her it was from a fishing accident. It made sense since he had been working at the docks at the time. She never asked for details of the accident, never wanted to go digging into his past in that way. A lost hand was enough trouble as it was and stirring up old demons never brought good to anyone.
When he got the lid open, he held the box out towards her. Emma glanced at the candles inside, all tiny, multi-colored stars on sticks. Weighing her options, she plucked a blue star from the box. She fixed Killian's pleased smile with slightly narrowed eyes.
"Stop enjoying this," she told him, though there was a hint of a smile that threatened to break on her lips, "Candles and wishes are for kids."
"We're all children at heart," Killian explained, as he moved to snatch a matchbook from one of the drawers, "Now stop stalling and get on with it."
Emma stuck the measly excuse for a candle onto the cupcake with little fanfare, and then watched as Killian lit the tiny wick. The small star glowed with life as the wick caught fire. The sight seemed to squeeze at a little part of Emma's heart. She definitely was spending this birthday different than the others. She wasn't alone. It should be enough to have a stable enough life and a boyfriend who cared enough for things like birthday candles. Still, there was emptiness inside of her that she couldn't fill and a feeling that her life wasn't as whole as it should be.
He watched as Emma rest her arms on the surface of the counter, leaned down towards the flame as she took a deep breath. For someone who claimed not to buy into the idea of wishes, Killian noticed the way his girlfriend closed her eyes tight and the long pause before Emma blew out the candle. His eyes were on her face as she slowly opened her eyes. Whatever she wished for, he sure as hell hoped she got it. Killian suspected love – and everything that came with it – was all too rare in her life.
"Tell me what you wished for," he said, as she straightened her back, "I certainly hope it wasn't birthday sex, because you would have gotten that without blowing on an open flame."
Emma's somber face broke, her lips curled against their will, and a laugh slipped from her mouth. Killian reached out an arm to wrap around Emma's waist as he moved closer to her. And just like that, he broke the tension that had filled the air moments ago.
"I'm not telling you." Emma nudged him back an inch before he could get his fingers on the zipper of her dress. "If I do, then it won't come true."
"How would you know?" he shot back at her, smugly, "I thought you don't believe in the whole 'wish thing'."
A knock came before Emma could wipe the grin from his face.
"Go get the door," she ordered, a small smile on her lips as she shoved him in the direction of the door, "Tick tock, smartass."
"As you wish, princess," his voice laughed back at her.
Emma rolled her eyes as she plucked the candle from the cupcake. She placed it aside before her fingers picked up the cupcake. She had only just begun to peel back the wrapper when she overheard the conversation between Killian and the visitor.
"Can I help you?"
"Hi. Does Emma Swan live here?"
"Yeah… Who are you?"
"My name's Henry. I'm her son."
A/N: And here ends the first chapter! I hope you enjoyed! Reviews aren't required, but always appreciated.