A/N And now, the epilogue. But before I seal this story I would like to put in some thank yous.
To every single person that favourited and followed – thank you.
To the people who reviewed: stormbravers, Book Casanova, Lisa1972, Maiqu, Preciossa, pinkcrazyness, .AND.4EVER, ChamberlinofMusic, Tentacion Prohibida, red-singer, onetreefan, Domofan19, 5289belle, Musicgirl17, AlyWanderingSoul, JustWriter2, Black Heart, mali86, Killian Emma, scifigrl10, messymind, Gazing at Castles in the Sky, SwanQueen4055, Rapunzel215, CaptainSwan109, Huntress3419, sn-46, Foreign Nebula, Captain, kat, AC, yuiop, BitMundane, Hikeyosemite, Cheshire Illusionist –OUAT Fan, DPrincess, captainswanproblems, Rhianon Cullen, CoffeeJunkie33, AMiserableLove, Euphoria Lily, Mrs. Gregorovich, Franlucylucci, Barenhaft, Rapunzel215, midnighthatter, wolfcub004, OMGZ, bowerhe, CaptainHookSparrow, skymau13, SeveraJasminePotter, CLAMPsFluffMeisterGirl, mylove24, Aurore, Ana, cityofbonersandasses, MaraJade4S, CSI Encyclopedia, Naleylover23xo, mali86, Izy411, Missy, SpaztasticalMaiden13, Gaviotica31, islndgurl777, Osbian Night, clarklover1, penguinnumber4, Cacapadil, tangled6, itaboutbloodytime, Hey, Mortebella24, shellybellypie AND the anonymous guests who were unnamed…
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I ACTUALLY CANNOT EXPRESS HOW MUCH ALL YOUR REVIEWS AND LOVE AND SUPPORT HELPED EVERY DAY I WENT TO WRITE! YOU ALL DESERVE RAINBOWS AND HAPPINESS FOR YOUR KINDNESS!
A special mention to eaasybugboy/itaboutbloodytime for being the most amazing fan in the world! Adriane you're actually amazeballs and everyone should check out her tumblr eaasybugboy!
Before the epilogue I'd just like to apologise to all the people who actually like Neal (I don't hate him as much as it seems I do – I actually think that in the show he's a pretty good guy that just made wrong decisions, I just needed him to be an ass for this fic). I promise in my next one (which there will be an excerpt from below) I will be writing him as in-character as I can which means he won't be a complete douche-face.
Emma watched the television in front of her although she paid no attention. Instead, she was focused on the two males in her peripheral vision. Henry was sitting next to her on the couch and Killian next to him. They were engaged in a hushed, albeit in depth, conversation and the saviour was trying to discern the subject.
She looked absentmindedly at the clock, letting out a sigh as she realised her shift at the station started in an hour. Beside her, she felt the cushion shift and turned to see Henry standing up. As he did so, Killian shuffled closer to Emma and stretched his arm along the back of the couch in a vain attempt at subtlety. She watched as he made the movement and caught his eye long enough to convey her amusement.
"I like him, can we keep him?" the boy said spontaneously, looking at his mother and then the pirate. Emma laughed and cocked her head to the side in question.
"Sorry, what?" she asked, requesting her son elucidate on the random appeal. The blonde turned to the man next to her, he too was smiling up at Henry and warmth blossomed beneath her ribs. She turned her attention back to her son as he answered.
"Well, everything's gone back to normal now so Killian will have to go back to the Jolly Roger but I don't want him to go. Can he stay here?" the young boy asked, ignorant to the fact that the pirate captain was the reason she was 'back to normal' – if living in a town with characters from fairy-tales could even be considered 'normal.'
"You mean indefinitely?" Emma asked her son, quirking an eyebrow up and turning to Killian once again. His eyes were on her and he was smiling endearingly.
"Permanently, yeah," Henry replied and nodded. The saviour shrugged and pursed her lips in mock hesitance. That exact thought had afflicted her mind for the past few days and she'd already decided her view on the suggestion. Quite frankly, the decision had probably been made the moment the pirate stepped into the apartment that first day after her break down.
Killian turned to face her as she answered, "I might be inclined to consider it. But, tell me, what were you two just talking about? What's made you so desperate to keep the infamous Captain Hook domesticated?" she retorted, earning her raised eyebrows from Killian. He chuckled and turned to Henry, who grinned. The conspiratorial edge to their exchange was exactly the sort of family dynamic Emma had always wanted and never expected to receive.
"Can't say, Mom – guy stuff."
Emma's eyes widened in mock hurt and the two males laughed a little harder this time. She shook her head, swiftly getting up from the couch and walking around it towards her room.
"What are you doing, love?" Killian asked, getting up and following her.
"Giving you two space for boy talk since I'm clearly not included," she said over her shoulder. It was barely a moment before she heard the sound of someone standing up from the couch. Hasty footsteps were succeeded by the feeling of arms being wrapped around her waist from behind. She felt her weight lifted off the floor as Killian picked her up, turning her around and dragging her back over to the couch. She tried half-heartedly to free herself but the pirate lifted her up and deposited her on the loveseat.
Henry laughed and looked at the clock, realisation dawning on his youthful features.
"What's wrong, lad?" Killian asked, concern tinting his accent. The small boy shook his head and started walking briskly to the stairs leading to his room.
"Homework. Due tomorrow. Completely forgot!"
"Shouldn't the fact that your grandmother is also your teacher gain you some sort of leniency?" the pirate inquired after chuckling, watching as Henry started for the stairs. Emma's son turned around once to answer his question before continuing along the route to his bedroom.
"You would think so, wouldn't you?" he replied dryly.
Emma laughed as she heard his footsteps pound up the flight of stairs and his door close. The man behind the couch laughed and jumped over the backboard, landing lithely so that he was neatly straddling the saviour.
"The two of you get along well," she said, unable to control her smile. He smirked in return, nodding as he replied.
"Yeah, he's a good lad."
Emma shook her head, still smiling, and let him lean down and kiss her tenderly on the lips.
"Why are you shaking your head, love?" Killian asked, his brow furrowing in confusion as he sat up. The blonde used her hands to grip his neck as she pulled him back down, the kiss more passionate this time.
"I just really, really like you," she said when the exchange ended and he was successfully hovering above her.
He smiled against her lips, "Is that affection I hear in your tone? Emma Swan, you're getting soft." She hit him on the shoulder but quickly sunk into another kiss, the feeling of being near him a reminder of the question her son had just asked.
"You can stay if you want," Emma said lightly, making him pull back. The pirate smiled ruefully and directed a lock of hair away from her face.
"Love, you don't have to. Your boy and I can still –"
"I want you to stay," she cut him off, speaking the words quickly so she couldn't second guess herself. His smile became a full-fledged grin and he leaned down again, kissing her with renewed desire. She didn't need him to speak to know his opinion on the matter.
Often times, when she was a bounty hunter, Emma would contemplate her role in the world. She would ponder her purpose on this earth and fall into disillusionment. All the abandonment collectively had made her tougher but it had made her silently self-conscious. It had scarred her to the point of making her feel isolated, and so the only thing she could do was force other people to face the harsh music of reality.
And then along came Henry and her world was overturned onto its head. Storybrooke and her son had given her purpose. But then, when the curse was finally broken, she'd essentially completed her reason for being. It was stupid to feel so empty but that's what had happened. Having achieved the objective that countless individuals had laid out for her, Emma had no other purpose.
So, when she was dragged into the land her parents grew up in, she'd unwittingly been given a new ambition – to get home. And fortunately, along the way, she was kidnapped by a pirate. A pirate with an equal amount of pain and loss; a pirate who shielded himself with a smug façade to hide the disjointed individual beneath. And without either of them knowing, for not even the great Dark One had foreseen the intersection of their paths, they had found something kindred in each other. They found strength to become better in every way possible. They found comradeship and trust, something neither had experienced in a very long time. They unintentionally found the one thing that had been painfully absent for a long time; love.
When Emma Swan met Captain Hook, she met a new purpose – she just didn't know it. When Emma Swan fell in love with Killian Jones, she gave someone else a new purpose – she just didn't want to admit it. Theirs was a tale of two people who saved each other in every way humanly possible; emotionally, physically, mentally. Theirs was a tale that was timeless and ultimately endless.
*sigh* It's done. And now, hopefully you will all enjoy a little preview from my upcoming fanfic:
AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1: THE MARK
"You're a bloody idiot, Swan, and you're going to return that mark," Killian said, striking out with his good arm to grip her elbow. Emma anticipated his movement and stepped back so his good hand swiped at thin air. He looked up at her, not so much angry as exasperated and impatient.
"No, I'm going to find my son and then I'm leaving. And I shouldn't have to remind you that just because I'll be gone it doesn't mean you get free reign. Touch Belle or Gold or anyone and I will risk coming back to skin you myself," she threatened, turning on her heel and marching back to the car. It was only a moment before Killian was moving to catch up to her, hooking her arm and spinning her violently on the spot.
"Why can't you just have some self-preservation instincts?" he asked, aware of the fact that he had accidently turned her so she was inches from him. Their proximity appeared to affect her too as she glanced haphazardly at his lips.
"What is your problem, Hook?" Emma snapped, maintaining eye contact.
"My problem is you sacrificing yourself for no good reason!" the pirate yelled back. His ice blue eyes were striking like that; focused entirely on her and saturated in raw emotion. Much against his wishes, he was beginning to display the strange protective instincts he felt towards her.
"If you hadn't given Neal the mark in the first place, I wouldn't have to!" the saviour countered.
Emma ripped her arm out of Killian's grip and was about to turn around when a howling noise snapped both of them to attention. Unnoticed by them, the wind had severely picked up amidst their argument. A dark cloud covered Storybrooke, filtering the light that landed on the settlement so it was covered by a monstrous shadow.
The howling, however, did not come from the wind that was attempting to bowl them both over. Rather, it originated from the black hooded thing coming around the corner. Red eyes snapped to attention as they landed on Emma and, for the second time in her life, she felt unadulterated fear. She stumbled slightly as she stepped back from the figure making its way to her. In front of her, Killian drew his sword and turned to face her. He walked straight towards her with his sword raised at his side, a determined edge in his stride.
"Emma, get out of here. Now!"
And that's that. Thank you all for your reviews and I hope to see them on my new fanfic Soul Sacrifice! LOVE YOU ALL!