Disclaimer: None of this characters are mine. If they were, I'd have Emma Swan and Killian Jones doing the frick frack for the entire season. Don't judge me. Sadly, they all are owned by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, along with OUAT. Bastards.
Ruby closed the door behind her with a bang, making a vase sitting over a nearby table wobble dangerously. Emma perked up when she saw her striding in the small hall they had been barricading themselves in. "Have you heard anything yet?"
Her friend shook her head despondently. "Nope. Did you ask Aurora?" Ruby asked, and Emma nuh-uhed, staring daggers at her phone's screen. Ruby joined her, taking out her own and glaring at it as if it had done something to personally offend her.
"Yeah - she hasn't either."
Ruby sat at her side on the extremely comfy and plush cushions. "Why are we even surprised? It wouldn't be...", she paused, and at Emma's quizzical expression, she waved her hand around them, "you know, them if they didn't almost give us a stroke today."
"You're awfully calm considering the situation," Emma pointed out, rising an eyebrow in confusion. She would have thought Ruby would be totally freaking out, considering the situation. It was not every day the groom and five members of the bridal party disappeared in thin air.
It was, in other words, a recipe for a complete disaster.
"I'm not the one getting married," her friend said with a knowing grin, and Emma poked her in the arm, exasperated.
"Yeah, but you are the bridesmaid."
It was Ruby's turn to poke her then. "So are you."
That set her off. Not minding at all for the dress she wore, she stood up, leaving the cushion she had been clutching and almost tearing to pieces with her bare fingers, and threw her arms in the air as she started pacing the small room they had been assigned before the ceremony to use as they pleased. No need to make a point about it being completely cluttered in makeup products, a dozen different types of body lotions, half-opened cases with underwear and other clothes peeking from them, even some small bottles filled with pills just in case someone got too nervous - what the hell had she been thinking, Emma didn't even want to know - and other various amounts of paraphernalia strewn around.
Room service or whomever was in charge of cleaning this thing up wouldn't be too happy about that.
"I know - and we both will have to put up with the drama if something goes wrong."
And they really would. That was what bridesmaids were supposed to do, after all, right? That's what she had gotten by all those romcoms she had watched. Hell, that's what she had learned from her experience at Aurora's own wedding. Cleaning everybody's messes and consoling the bride and making everything perfect. Even if Mary Margaret wasn't your usual psycho-gone-wild-the-day-of-her-wedding type, she had never had a reason to properly freak out, so they couldn't really be sure what the outcome would be. She definitely didn't want to find out, though.
Considering David hadn't shown up yet, she dreaded to imagine the epic proportions of the disaster that would most surely follow if he somehow didn't make it.
Ruby's loud groan echoed through the room. Wow, great acoustics. "I hate everything," she declared, face falling into her open hands. Emma turned to her and raised a hand, pointing at their invisible boyfriends, her stupid brother and their stupid, stupid friends.
"No. You hate them."
"We hate them," the brunette corrected her, and at that very moment the door opened with another bang, a very frazzled Aurora walking in with her hot pink phone - matching her very pink flushed cheeks - in hand. She threw it over the couch towards the place Emma had earlier vacated with a shriek.
"I hate them."
Ruby actually growled under her breath. "We so hate them."
Emma whimpered. She just had known it would not be a good idea to let the Lost Boys convince David to go to Vegas for his bachelor party. She just had known it. The band had been off on tour for a bit longer than four long months now, their final date expiring earlier that week. David and Mary Margaret had been so kind as to set the date for the ceremony so that they all could attend, and as a 'way of greeting' them, they all had insisted on taking David on a little trip to Vegas before he took his vows. Emma had just scoffed when she heard of their plan - she could already imagine what that trip would entail, and it was so positively cliché, it wasn't even funny anymore, - but David had eagerly accepted, using the 'I never get time with the boys' excuse when Mary Margaret had fretted about it being so close to the wedding.
She had been right to be worried, though, seeing the situation they were in.
Though of course the lost-groom-induced-migraine fell on her and her bridesmaids comrades, of course, because Mary Margaret had no clue of what was going on.
With a sigh, Emma picked up her phone and called Killian for what felt like the hundredth time that day, ignoring the tiny spark of warmth that travelled through her when his smiling face kissing her screen looked up at her. Tapping her foot impatiently, she counted inwardly the rings until she reached his voicemail, and she steeled herself. Irishpants had no idea what had hit him.
"Killian Peter Jones, if you don't show your sorry Irish ass up here I swear to God I am going to kill you, and then use every bit of your sorry, dead flesh and serve it for dinner, Hannibal-style. And everybody will enjoy it." She hit the end button with vicious glee, and huffed, feeling too proud of herself. That would teach him to answer his phone. And, you know, to not ditch important dates as weddings they had to attend.
At someone's clearing their throat, she looked at the couch, where Ruby and Aurora peered up at her with undisguised amusement. "What?"
"Emma, that wasn't threatening at all," Aurora snorted, and Emma gasped, hands going to her hips on their own accord, offended despite herself.
"Are you kidding me? He is so creeped out by Hannibal Lecter, it's insane. He told me he used to have nightmares when he was a kid with that 'fava beans and a nice chianti' line."
(In fact, she had recorded an audio note with the line in question from the movie and texted it to him whenever he annoyed her. It worked like a charm.
He always sexted back. The man was unfair and oh so very cruel.)
Ruby shook her head at her, tutting disapprovingly, and bringing Emma back to the present. "Swan, you need to try harder than that."
Emma narrowed her eyes at her friend. "What do you mean?"
The brunette shared a look with Aurora before directing her a knowing grin. "You have to blackmail him about sex. Duh. It's the only way it'll actually look menacing and realistic"
...huh. She wouldn't have thought of that, primarily because that was more Killian's game tactic, his sexting and puppy-eyes guilt trip techniques coming to mind once more.
...she was getting distracted. To stop her thought from wandering too much, she rapidly blinked and stared hard at the screen once more, considering the bridesmaids' suggestion.
Well, nobody could blame her for trying, she decided with a shrug. And he may even get a rather unexpected surprise with her changing tactics.
"Okay, here we go again, I guess," she said, calling his number again and waiting the customary rings, hopefully for one last time. When they were done, she cleared her throat and went for the kill. "Killian Peter Jones: you show up here with that bunch of losers trailing behind you right now or there will be no sex for the next month, do you hear me? No touching, no kissing, no anything."
"Not even sexting?"
The three of them startled and turned in tandem to find Killian at the door, his own phone at his ear, grinning like the idiot he was. She made out Victor, Philip, Jefferson and August's forms behind him, all of them looking disheveled as hell, but she wasn't complaining: at least they were there. Ruby faced Emma, perfectly curled strands of hair bouncing around her when she pointed at the band's frontman with her thumb over her shoulder. "See? It actually worked."
She almost didn't make out her quip with Aurora's impressively loud voice ringing behind them. "Where in hell were you?"
Philip, who had just come in to hug and kiss his wife - whose scowl diminished minimally as she accepted his greeting - winced apologetically. "Long - really long - story. I'm sure you'll find out eventually, but for now, let's just leave it in 'it was a really fun trip'."
"What about you girls?," Victor inquired, joining Ruby and putting an arm over her shoulder after pecking her softly. At his question, the brunette's panicked eyes wandered over first to Emma and then to Aurora, and the three of them shared the same uncertain look.
...yeah, that was a story they had promised they wouldn't share for a long time.
"We had... fun, too," she finally said, clapping a hand over Victor's chest playfully, unashamedly attempting to change the subject. He rose an eyebrow at her, intrigued.
"Uh-huh. Fun. Right."
Philip approached them, squinting his eyes at Ruby questioningly. "Where did you go?"
"We are not going to talk about it," Emma declared in a final tone, and Killian pouted.
"But we will tell you about ours!"
Emma didn't relent, though, glaring at him pointedly. "I said no."
The three of them looked about to continue with their barging - they were so not going to talk about that, not then, not ever if she had any say in the matter- until Aurora, all business, took matters into her tiny perfectly moisturized hands. She clapped loudly, gathering everybody's attention, and made a surprisingly accurate David-hands-on-hips pose that would have made him proud. "You guys - stop standing around, run and go get changed! GO!"
As soon as she was finished, she started ushering the boys away, ignoring their protests. Bodily dragging Victor away from Ruby and with Philip's hand firmly clasped in hers, she pushed them towards the door, where Jefferson and August had followed Graham to where their things had been waiting for them all morning while they were God knew where. Emma shook her head, trying not to smile, and gave Killian a little shove so he would leave to get ready as well. He turned protesting eyes in her direction, trying in vain to snake an arm around her waist.
"Go, we'll have all day to catch up," she insisted, sighing.
"But I didn't even get to..."
At Aurora's glare from the door, tapping her heel threateningly at them, she insisted, "Go, Jones, before she kicks you out."
He didn't look at all bothered by his imminent death via annoyed bridesmaid, sticking by Emma's side and staring her intently. "Are you mad at me?"
She cocked her head to the side. What an idiot. "Maybe," she answered teasingly, and his previous worry morphed into the softness and happiness that seemed to cling to him whenever she was around, the one she had so yearned for the months he had been away from her.
She grinned, closing the gap between them, not even bothering to pretend she was bored of his way of stalling. Specially if it involved that pretty mouth of his on hers. "Kiss."
Her friends mere feet away groaning at their obnoxious PDA, she swung her arms over his neck, bringing him closer to her, inhaling and drowning in his scent, that combination of spice and salt and smoke and rum that she had grown to love - though the rum and smoke levels seemed to be higher than usual, she would have to find out what time their bachelor party had actually finished. After leaving one, two, three more kisses over her lips and nose, he touched her forehead with his, peering at her under his lashes.
"I missed you."
Gosh, he made it difficult not to smile - a problem she had never had before, and still managed to surprise her. Her boyfriend, the cheesy one. "I missed you too."
He nosed the skin under her ear, nuzzling it softly. "I missed you more."
She tried not to squirm - stupid tickles, - and pulled back from him, sighing contentedly and pushing him one more time towards the door. "Go."
He winked at her, and with a final, dazzling grin, ran behind his friends, already calling for them to wait for him and get his suit ready. She chuckled, hand going to her tingling lips on its own accord, almost shocked at the notion that, yeah, that had happened. He was back and they were together and happy.
Some things would never cease to surprise her.
A throat clearing rather loudly - gosh, didn't a girl get a break to daydream about her boyfriend anymore? Rude - behind her, and she looked over her shoulder at Ruby, who smirked. At Emma's eye roll, she only shrugged her shoulders, ushering Aurora to follow her example and take their bouquets. "Time to go soothe the bride, I guess."
Emma nodded. Huh. That'd be fun.
The three of them trudged along the hall to Mary Margaret's own suite, promising between them not to utter a word about David's hasty entrance and how the rest of the boys were starting right then to get ready and changed. She didn't need the stress. Knocking softly, Emma set the door slightly ajar, peeking her head over it to spy Mary Margaret sitting on her vanity, staring at her reflection and finishing the last touches of her makeup.
"How is the fairest of them all doing?," she called chirpily. The bride didn't even look at her, but hid a grin as her brush slid over the apple of her cheek.
"Like she's about to pass out," she commented, heaving a breath. When Emma, Aurora and Ruby joined her, she appeared to come to realize something, and raised an eyebrow questioningly at Emma. "You were talking about me, right?"
Ruby laughed, squeezing the pixie-haired woman's shoulders from behind. "Look at her, fishing for compliments."
"It's my wedding day, you know," Mary Margaret pointed out with a smirk, and Aurora nodded, putting her hand over her arm encouragingly.
"And you are the most beautiful woman on Earth for today, so enjoy it."
Emma chuckled at Mary Margaret's pleased blush and awkward hand-patting back to Aurora, but when she met her friend's eyes in the mirror sitting in front of her, she noticed her biting her lip, a tremulous smile stretching her face.
"How is he?," she asked quietly, and oh.
Of course, her compassionate, loving and caring friend would find it in herself to think most about her fiancé-almost-husband than her own worries. Seeing the tenderness and utter devotion that she felt for her brother, Emma considered how, at one time, she might have felt strangely jealous of having someone being so completely head over heels over her. Meeting. Getting to talk. Hoping for a next time. A kiss. Bam. You're it for them. A fairytale story through and through, that any lost girl like herself would have killed for.
Now, she was only content. As she had discovered a long time ago - mostly since she decided she would be keeping Henry no matter what the consequences and no one would take him away from her - being happy for those you love could bring you that much joy as the one they were feeling.
A powerful thing indeed.
Examining Mary Margaret's face anxious expression, she settled her head over her friend's to try to ease her worry away, her blonde curls falling over both of them. "He can't wait for you to become his wife."
Laughing - both at the hair trick and her answer, she guessed, - she smiled up at her, hope shining in her eyes. "Really?"
A very unlady-like snort came from Ruby's side, and all of them looked over at her curiously. She just waved a hand, rolling her eyes as she made slapped away Emma from her place and fixed the last details of Mary Margaret's hair. "Are you serious? He has waited for this since he first saw you."
"I never actually heard the story," Aurora commented, and both Ruby and Emma shared another eye roll.
"So cheesy. So... fairytale like. You don't even wanna know," Emma explained, scrunching up her nose as she recalled David's awestruck face when she had first introduced them. She had been pretty surprised, as she had imagined every guy out there would find themselves attracted to Ruby from all of her friends. Alas, her brother had only had eyes for her from the very first moment he laid eyes on her.
They liked to joke about it, calling it true love and magical.
Ruby and Emma still preferred to label it as cheesy.
Aurora pouted at Ruby and Emma, clapping her hands together, still waiting for her story. "But I do! I am that cheesy, you know it."
Emma sighed, tilting her head to the side as hooked an arm with Aurora's and leaned her head over her shoulder. "Actually I do. You guys are lame."
"You love us," Mary Margaret reminded her with a smirk, and Emma sighed again, longer this time.
She didn't have the heart to lie.
Nor did she want to.
Was it her or were the bride's eyes shining even more in her reflection?
Was it her or were Ruby's too?!
"Come on, gimme a hug," Mary Margaret commanded as she unexpectedly waved Ruby's wandering hands from her hair and stood up, facing the three women, who just stood there a little taken aback at her request. Emma made to move towards her, arms outstreched, when Mary Margaret pointed at her threateningly. "Don't you dare with the dress on. Take it off."
Emma was too stunned to make up a witty comment. (God, she was turning into a female version of Killian Jones, dammit.) "Now?"
The bride nodded vigorously, already setting example and taking off her own dress with the utmost care under their shocked eyes. "Yes. No wrinkles. You know the rule. Take it off and then you are all gonna hug me."
...okay, maybe she had been concealing the inner freakout pre-wedding admirably before and now they were getting the real deal. Emma stood frozen along with Ruby and Aurora, helplessly watching as the bride stripped to her underwear in front of them. "...are you for real?"
Laying her dress as if it were her firstborn over a chair, she turned towards them and sent them a defiant glare. "It's my wedding day and you guys have to make me happy, so yes: I am serious. Take them off and then hug me."
Properly chastised - and, frankly, a little tiny bit afraid, - the three of them quickly started helping each other to unzip their dresses. "This is ridiculous," Emma grumbled under her breath. Mary Margaret shushed her, petting her curls soothingly.
"But it will make me happy."
Soon they were all down to their undies, staring expectantly at the bride. Emma had been in her friends company far less dressed many times before, of course, - skinny dipping during vacations anyone? - but it didn't stop her sudden urge to cover herself or crack up at the situation. Before she could make a quip about how Victor would probably not be too keen of the situation once he found out - for maybe being left out, though he would only be joking about it - her friend had already launched herself into her arms and hugged Ruby and Aurora to her other side, her nails almost leaving a mark on Emma's hip as she crashed herself against her. "Aw. I love you so much."
They all 'awwwww'ed at that, muffled soothing and loving words of encouragement and promises to tell her when her mascara or makeup looked smudged during the day, making it impossible for them to hear the footsteps approaching their room until they were onto them.
"Girls, do you have any idea where David left his...," Graham said as he entered, and his words fell flat as he was awarded with the rather awkward hug between the almost naked women.
Their scream, in perfect unison, would have given those lame Lost Boys a run for their money.
He didn't need to be told twice: he jumped, almost hitting the jam of the door in his haste to escape, though the girls could perfectly hear him screaming as he ran away. "GUYS YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT THEY'RE DOING IN THERE."
After the incident in the suite with Graham - who had been banned from ever talking about it, though she guessed that'd be impossible, seeing as he had all but yelled what had happened loudly enough for everybody in the entire place to hear, - whatever, now she had a new excuse to kick his ass, which made her not-so-surprisingly giddy - the girls had barricaded themselves inside to put their dresses on again and apply the last touches to everything. Bouquets, hairdos, makeup, you named it - everything had been perfectly calculated to Mary Poppins perfection levels and nothing would fail, just because Mary Margaret had organized it all.
Emma had proposed she and David changed their last name to Poppins. Alas, no one had listened to her.
She jolted when she felt something shaking against her thigh, and she cursed under her breath. Ruby turned to stare at her, amusement clear in her eyes when she saw her lifting her skirt and fumbling in between curses. "Emma?"
"Sorry. My phone," she explained as she stood straight once more, victoriously waving the device at her.
Ruby's eyebrows shot up to her forehead in surprise. "You're carrying your phone around?"
"The dress has an inner pocket to stuff it and lipstick inside. It was Mary Margaret's idea. Fashion designer, remember?," she said as she unlocked the screen and turning off the vibration option just in case. She was not risking the possibility of getting some call or text during the ceremony and looking like she was having some kind of seizure in front of everybody, thank you very much. Ignoring her friend's indignant rant about how she hadn't been offered the possibility of such an ingenious plan to carry her own phone around, Emma looked up who had been trying to contact her at such an unwelcome hour.
When Killian's name showed up she shook her head. Why wasn't she even the least bit surprised?
Rumor has it you girls were being rather naughty.
I am just back and you want to get rid of me already?
I mean - go get changed.
I am already changed. The question is - are you already covered?
What are you wearing?
What do you think? A dress. Duh.
I didn't mean the dress, darling.
Killian, what... oh.
Uh-huh. You didn't mention the sexting earlier.
Now is not the time.
Yet you keep texting back.
So you go away.
Is it the red lacy set? You know how much I love that one.
Killian: go. Away. And no, it's not that one.
Is it the other red one?
It is not red.
You know I have a soft spot for red on you.
I thought you liked nothing on me, but whatever.
Now we're talking.
Does that mean you're not wearing anything underneath that dress?
Oh. Got you all hot and bothered, did I, Swan?
I gotta go.
But you didn't tell me what you were wearing!
If you are wearing anything, for that matter.
Come onnnnn Emma. Please. It's been too damn long.
*hand slides over your thigh* *creeps higher*
*slaps your hand away*
*hand bunches skirt of the dress away and goes under*
*growls* If I tell you what I'm wearing you'll stop? I really need to stay focused to help MM.
Fiiiiine. I promise I will stop once you tell me.
...okay. It's the black one. Garters included.
*puts fist in mouth* Are you overly fond of them?
Why do you ask?
I may have to rip them...
See you later, gorgeous.
As it turned out, the ceremony would have made Mary Poppins cry tears of pride. Not that Emma had feared something would, than you very much, but it was always comforting to see such hard work on their part to be a complete success. From the bouquets to the centerpieces and guest gifts, nothing went amiss. The wolf-whistling coming from the band's section when Mary Margaret showed up at the end of the short aisle leading to the arch where David waited for her had already been expected, so it wasn't like it made her falter in her step or blush anymore than she already was. The slight tremor in David's overwhelmed voice too, but nobody mentioned it - probably because 95% of them were trying to gulp down their tears.
Emma and Ruby didn't even care, handkerchiefs at the ready.
(She noticed from the corner of her eye how Victor was handed a couple of them too as soon as she recognized his sniffling, and she caught Killian's wink in her direction.) (Bless waterproof mascara and Ruby's insistence on wearing it.)
As soon as David was allowed to kiss his bride, the roar surging from the small crowd reunited surprised Emma, even though she was more than busy clapping and whooping along with her friends at her brother and best friend, wiping away the last stray tear from her cheek. She almost missed how her mother joined her, hugging her and dragging her to the newlyweds for them to hug, murmuring quietly her congratulations. Unfortunately, the rest of the band decided to follow her lead and crush David and Mary Margaret in a rather chaotic tangle of limbs and groans of pain, followed by the guys bumping David's back and recounting tales of their adventure bachelor party and how they had 'almost missed it, huh?'- to which Mary Margaret rose an eyebrow questioningly, only getting a shake of the head to drop it.
She really didn't need to know.
Emma joined Aurora in the tent they had arranged in the garden where the ceremony had taken place. When she had first been there to check out the place with Mary Margaret, it had reminded her of that one in My Best Friend's Wedding, but without the whole Cameron Diaz-running-away-and-being-chased-by-the-husband-and-Julia Roberts. Apparently once her brother and her friend had first been there for a dinner party with some friends of Mary Margaret they had known they were getting married there, and so they had signed for the waiting list, and until that day had patiently waited for their moment.
They hadn't been disappointed, if the warm weather, exquisite décor - courtesy of well-known designers owning her friend some favor here and there - and amazing food were any proof. Even if the whole process had been extenuating to say the least, the girls had had their fair share of fun while prepping for the wedding - especially when the time came for Mary Margaret's own bachelorette party. Emma and Ruby had put down their heel about it: if the boys were to have one night of utter and complete debauchery and booze, then so did they, 'ladies style', as Ruby had promised with a wink.
She would only say that she wouldn't mind visiting the club they had visited - some place Mulan had recommended her one night she had been out to dinner with her and she had whined about how hard it was to find some place to organize the whole affair. Apparently some friend of hers performed there, and so she had told her to look for this 'Camelot' club, and if she needed some favor, to ask for some Lancelot guy.
He had been more than glad to help. And dance for them.
Yeah, that had been fun and maybe gotten a little out of hand, but fun nevertheless.
Wedding planning aside, work had kept her pretty busy too. Surprisingly, Emma had been offered a job not long ago, though not one she was used to - or about to accept, anyway. Cora Mills had contacted her, to her utmost shock, pointing out how she had once promised her she could collaborate with her for a photoshoot, wearing pieces her latest collection. She had rabbited on and on about how the inspiration behind it went perfectly with her style and way of life and essence and some crap Emma had read every time a celebrity was linked to promote a cosmetic brand or clothing line.
She had been too happy to politely decline her offer, claiming she was busy and reiterating, as she had all those months ago in Paris, how she wasn't really interested in modeling or anything close to it.
Emma didn't like to dwell on Cora's sharp farewell after that, hanging up and effectively ending the conversation. That woman gave her the creeps.
She hadn't enjoyed the sour looks she had gotten from her friends once they had found out, either. Mary Margaret hadn't talked to her for two days, and only Emma's defeated acceptance at wearing some kind of golden tiara greek-goddess style along with the rest of the bridesmaids had placated her rage. Ruby had just pouted, luckily - though her warning 'one day you'll cave in, Swan, and it will be glorious, let me tell you' hadn't been too welcome.
Ruby had spent even more time than usual with her the past months. She hadn't asked at first, but had guessed not long later: she missed Victor, as much as she missed Killian. Knowing her friend would only find solace in being busy with preparations and girl talk and movies and Disneyland - again - with the kids, Emma had been too happy to oblige and say yes to any plan she proposed.
(Not that they would admit to anybody that some days they would lounge on the couch and stalk their boyfriends on their laptops, or others they would livestream their concerts, having impromptu dance parties in the middle of her living room). (Especially when Macklehood showed up at one of the Lost Boys' concert and they encored a couple of songs together.) (That was a great evening.)
Speaking of Ruby, Emma was too amused to notice that, when the time came for the bouquet throwing, it fell right into her arms - Emma had always praised Mary Margaret for her aim, - and to everybody's surprise, the brunette freaked out and tried to shove it into Ariel's hands. The poor girl thrust it at her again, prompting a hilarious back-and-forth of the poor bouquet, meanwhile Emma swore aloud about how it must have been the first time she had ever heard of girls fighting to get rid of it.
She was oddly pleased at the thought.
Emma's mother had stopped their nonsense, catching the bouquet and picking up a couple of flowers, giving one to each with a pat of their arms. After that, she had turned and searched for Emma, giving her a flower of her own and a fond kiss on her cheek. She then snatched Killian's hand and led him to the dancefloor. Killian had looked somewhat panicked at first, but soon she could see them laughing and chatting happily. Henry sidled up to her, then, asking for a dance of his own and joking about how he would have to kick Killian's ass if he didn't treat his grandma right.
Emma had found it so adorable she had almost swooned.
It hadn't been until maybe an hour later, when she had joined Graham and Philip in their 'what is the best canapé' sample quest - and wholeheartedly regretting it when she started feeling absurdly full - when Killian had showed up, snatching the entrée she was about to nibble on (or maybe 'shove down her throat' would be more accurate, semantics, really) and eating it himself. She glared at him, offended, and huffed when he offered her a glass of wine.
She hadn't put that much of a fight when he took her hand and dragged her to the dancefloor, claiming she still hadn't danced with him and that was definitely 'bad form'.
(He still had to give her a proper definition of what bad form was, but for the meantime, he just shushed her and insisted on her following his lead along the path of good formness. Whatever it was.)
"So how were you these lonely months, my lady?"
She scrunched up her nose, thinking back to the time he had been away. It had been... kind of busy, yeah. And she guessed it could have been considered a bit lonely in the romantic department, but she couldn't deny it hadn't been horrible. Not when they had been through so much worse. "Meh. Not so bad."
"Oh? So no missing me then?"
She didn't miss his raised eyebrow or the thinly disguised accusation in his voice. "I didn't say that."
He carefully maneuvered both of them around the dancefloor, and she made a mental note to congratulate him again on his dancing moves. It was pretty impressive, considering he had told her he had never taken classes. She would have never guessed he'd be so smooth on his feet.
(She feared he got notes from So You Think You Can Dance. There was no way he had learned what a porté was if that weren't the case. She didn't know what scared her more.)
He made a grumbling sound under his breath, and Emma promised herself she'd only congratulate him as soon as he stopped pouting like a child.
"Hey," she warned, one of her hands leaving his shoulder to cup his cheek and tilting his head so he'd look at her. "Stop that."
"Acting like a spoiled brat. So if I'm not wallowing and crying about you being away that means I don't miss you?," she chided, and her thumb acted on its own accord, smoothing the lines around his lips so they'd curve into a small smile. He gave her a challenging look, that damned eyebrow of his quirking once more.
"You tell me."
She snorted, dropping her forehead against the lapel of his jacket. (And if she inhaled the scent clinging to it already, she would never admit it.) (As if the wanker needed his ego anymore stroked.) "You're an idiot."
She felt his cheek over her head, and for a moment she relished in the warmth and weight of him enveloping her, making her feel strangely cocooned - until she heard him mutter something quietly under his breath, jumping away from her and cupping the back of her head instead.
She laughed when she realized. Ah, the tiara.
What a dork.
He chuckled along with her when he notices her giggling, murmuring right beside her ear, all teasing and lilting voice and inherently the Irishpants she had gone and fallen for. "Did you miss my idiocy?"
She pulled back to stare at him from under her eyelashes. "I did."
His expression softened, warmth and happiness and light, vibrant and alive as he stared back at her before he left a kiss on the tip of her nose, and a second one, and a third one, and a whole string of them over her cheeks and forehead, ignoring her quiet protesting - not very convincing, seeing as she was laughing- while he mumbled something about a kiss for a freckle.
He only stopped to kiss her soundly on the lips, and she followed him eagerly, crushing him closer to her until there was no space whatsoever left inbetween them.
They pulled apart after a while - if you asked her how long, she would have no clue what to tell, honestly, damn him, - and she rested her forehead against his, breathing a little too fast and feeling a little too hot for her brother's wedding reception - or any wedding reception, now that they were at it. She felt an unexpected spark of joy when she saw he was suffering from the same predicament as her, though, but instead, when their eyes met, she just laughed breathlessly.
She had missed him, indeed.
He brought her back to him, taking her hand in his and putting it over his chest, and they resumed their lazy footsteps, gliding around, their quiet conversation only interrupted by their friends sometimes bumping into them - most of them on purpose, as in Aurora to subtly rearrange Emma's tiara and dress or Graham to excitedly share he had seen Jefferson talking animatedly to some girl and proposing a bet, to which Emma declined but Killian was torn to accept until he caught her warning look.
They spied Grace running around with Bae and Henry hot on her heels, her long hair free and wild behind her as the boys chased her laughing hysterically. On another day she would have asked them to be careful - well, she had already pleaded with Henry to behave himself, - but seeing as how everything was going pretty well and Johanna was around to keep an eye on them, she decided to let it go. At least, until someone scraped a knee or broke the tray with the pie or something equally disastrous.
(Who dared called her pessimistic? She was just realistic, dammit.)
She was shaking her head in amusement at her mother dancing with her brother and the panicked look he shot her over Ruth's head when she pinched his cheek affectionately, when suddenly Killian tugged on one of her curls so she'd give him her undivided attention.
"Did you ladies do something fun?," he asked her, and she rolled her eyes.
"I have told you about everything we've done. We've talked every damn day, Killian."
They had. They had texted every day, they had called each other whenever he had a break between rehearsals and knew she was free, and skyped every day at an scheduled hour he had come up with for the whole time he had been away in a freakishly neat calendar he had emailed her so she'd know when they'd be able to. It had worked, so she hadn't teased him too much about it.
Also, the skyping may had led to some very interesting conversations that she hadn't been really expecting.
His hand snaking around her and pulling her closer against his chest brought her back to the present - to him spinning her around, surrounded by the rest of the wedding party. "I don't care. I wanna know everything I've missed."
"There are things a girl can't do with a little help, but..."
He stiffened, and she tried to reign her amusement. He was so screwed. (So was she). "Emma...," he growled, and she squirmed when he bit playfully her earlobe.
Good thing she had insisted on not wearing earrings or he might have swallowed it.
She fluttered her eyelashes at him, speaking in the most breathless tone she could muster. "You asked, I answered."
His grip on her hip tightened, and she almost had to bite back a moan. "That underwear of yours is so not surviving today."
"Gold star for me for buying two sets, then." She licked her lips, utterly pleased at the way he followed her movements with a barely-repressed groan.
"You're gonna be the death of me."
She grinned, dropping one hand to lace her fingers with his over her waist. "How great that'd look on your epitaph. 'Lacy black panties did him in'"
He smirked, and she was already blushing at the probably dirtiest and naughtiest thing he could come up with when a smaller frame ran into them like a truck. "Mom! Can I drink some champagne?" Henry chirped happily, all disheveled hair and glinting eyes. At Killian's failed attempt at masking his laughter behind a cough, Emma glared at him and she sighed, turning her attention back to her son, who kept bouncing on his feet.
"You are twelve."
Apparently that wasn't reason enough to encourage him. Oh goodie. "So?"
Killian cut in, holding her waist with his arm and bringing her to his side. "Just wetting his lips, love - I don't think it'll be the end of the world."
Emma looked from Henry to him accusingly. She knew they were ganging up on her - and she wasn't the least bit amused. If this was how it was going to be from now on, she wasn't really looking forward to it.
(A huge part of her that she tried to shut up - without success - protested, screaming at the top of its inexistent lungs how her heart warmed whenever she saw her son and Killian together and the obvious bond they had formed over the last year).
"Okay. Fine." Henry crowed victoriously, pumping his fist in the air. He high-fived Killian and made to run away towards the buffet, but she caught him before he left. "Wait, who asked you to drink it?"
"Nobody." His too-innocent smile was a sight extremely familiar. So was her hands-on-hips and feet-tapping pose as soon as she saw it on his impish face.
He bit his lip, carefully avoiding her gaze. "...Graham and Victor?"
She pinched the bridge of her nose, waving her hand for him to go. As soon as he did, she turned, ignoring Killian's chortles behind her as another fit of giggles - actual adult men giggles - caught her attention, and she saw the two perpetrators in question almost falling to the ground, completely in stitches. "You guys are dead meat."
Victor tsked at her, swinging his flute from side to side - to what purpose, she would love to know. "We're just looking out for your boy, Emma - toasting with water brings bad luck."
Graham put his hands up in surrender when Victor pointed at him, trying to get the blame away from him. "That's what I heard!"
Luckily for her ex-costar, August showed up with some fancy camera that he must have lifted from someone - there was no way he owned that thing - and motioned theatrically at them. "Hey guys - happy family picture!"
Emma was already throwing her hands in the air, about to protest because really, there was a quota of pictures she could have taken every week and did she really have to remind everybody about her aversion to posing or what, but Killian was having none of it, stepping around her so he stood behind of her, hands over her waist and his head over her shoulder. She kicked him lightly when he started brushing his stubble over her bare skin, making her squirm because of course the idiot would try to tickle her when they were taking pictures, but she ignored him when Henry flung himself against them, flute in his hand and squeezing himself between them, already grinning at the camera. She messed his hair and he swatted her hand playfully away, making her miss the next flash.
(Her favorite of that moment would be one of the three of them laughing, Killian hugging Henry to his side while he bit her shoulder and she squealed trying to escape from his grasp.)
(She framed it and it still stands on her living room.) (Their living room.)
August then asked to the rest of them to join their little family affair to strike a pose for a group pic. He asked some random guest - she thought it was some uncle of Mary Margaret though she wasn't sure - to snap it for him while she joined them. They specifically took one mock crying in Victor's honor, after he had teared up again during the toasts. Emma was starting to get really concerned about the guy's tear ducts.
When they were done, Emma whined about her feet hurting, so Killian tugged on her wrist and led her to a table sitting in the back, and sat on a chair with her in his lap. She had stolen another glass in their way there, and as she drank eagerly, she noticed his hand wandering along the cuts of her dress. She slapped it when she realized it was dangerously close to leaving too much bare skin for the rest of the party to see. "Stop trying to feel a cop, God."
"I'm just trying to see the underwear that's supposedly gonna be my undoing," he protested, and circled her wrist, stopping her from hitting him. she was about to hit him with her free hand when she realized his hand had slipped her bracelet up her arm, and she quickly put it back in its place. "Hey. What's that?"
She mentally cursed herself. Dammit. "It was supposed to be a surprise."
"What is?" He scrunched up his eyebrows confusedly, trying to see what was under the bracelet that she was so obviously trying to hide from him, but she wriggled her arm off his and cradled it against her chest. At his worried gaze, she sagged, leaning her head against his shoulder.
This wasn't how she had planned to show him - she had wanted to wait until they were home, another day, not right there. It wasn't that special or whatever, but... she had just wanted to have a moment for it. Just the two of them. Just as the time they had had the obvious talk about moving in together - which had been as effortless and natural as breathing and it still surprised her. From an annoyed comment about all his music sheets littering her bedroom and her almost stepping on his guitar propped against the wall, to him admitting he no longer felt inspired unless he was there with her and Henry at home, leading to her inviting him to 'leave his guitar there, indefinitely'. He had claimed it was a nice twist to the toothbrush in the bathroom cliché.
Henry hadn't even noticed the change - though he had welcomed it, of course had nagged at her about it for weeks, - and so it had been mostly about moving his things in one box at a time.
Thus, she had wanted something like that for him finding out about this.
She closed her eyes for a moment, trying not to appear too spooked of his reaction. "Remember that day you called and I told you I had cut myself with the can opener and that was why I had my arm bandaged?" He nodded, still looking at her curiously and maybe with a hint of fear in his eyes, and she bit her lip "I lied," she admitted, dropping her voice. Killian stiffened, inhaling sharply, and she could hear the tint of betrayal and shock in his voice.
"You lied to me?"
She met his eyes, feeling her face flush at the intensity of his gaze. "Yeah."
He stared at her long and hard, and she didn't miss the relief seeping into his expression once he must have found whatever it was he was looking for in her eyes. He just shook his head, passing his free hand through his hair. "We promised about not lying to each other. Batman and Robin don't lie to each other."
The corners of her lips lilted up without warning. Of course he'd remind her of that - throwing her own words at her. She jutted out her bottom lip in an attempt to charm the pants out of him. "But it was all in order to surprise you. Those are white lies."
He flashed her a small smile when he noticed her playfully biting her lip, and sighed. (Not that she hadn't known she would charm him, but it was always nice knowing she had the mojo too. Maybe not Irish like his, but the Swan mojo worked just fine too.) "So. What is it?"
He gave her that devious grin that made her heart do a funny little flip-flop in her chest - even after all this time. Damn him. She wrung her hands together, fighting the urge to run away, embarrassed, leaving him there to wonder what the hell was her problem. With a long sigh, she finally conceded. "I... Okay, fine." Straightening up, she pulled back the bracelet until it was up to her elbow, leaving her not-so-pale-anymore wrist visible.
And by 'not-so-pale', she meant tattooed.
She was still amazed at what an out of the blue decision on the spot she had made that day. She had been lying in bed, not having anything to do that morning, without Henry at home to keep her company, and she had picked up her phone and started going through her pictures. She had smiled and chuckled quietly at most of them - the gang together at a barbecue Daniel had organized, Henry and Ruby with their noses full of chocolate ice cream, Belle trying to soothe a clearly irritated Mr. Gold by kissing his cheek lovingly, Victor running around while August yelled behind him after he had clearly trolled his twitter feed again.
But most of all, she stared longingly at her pictures of Killian. Of him with Henry, of him with his arms thrown over his bandmates and openly laughing at something they had said, him fighting Graham off him, of him and Ariel walking down the shore the day they had spent their day in Venice Beach. Of him alone, eyes crinkling and smile widening in amusement as he realized she was snapping a picture. Of him trying to snatch her phone away. Of him cradling her on his lap and making her smile at the camera as it was his turn to take a picture. Of him kissing her as he took photo after photo, almost ten of them of the same moment, same place, same time, same kiss - just filled with every range of emotion close to happiness she had ever entertained.
It was studying those pictures when his extended arm holding the camera had caught her attention, the tattoo on his inner forearm standing out and bringing memories back and forth. The first time she had seen his tattoo, the time she had found him slumped against the wall and she had found out the story behind it, them painting idle forms in the air. Her birthday present for him, the new ink added to the old one; a new beginning etched to his skin. With her.
It wasn't like she needed a physical promise or reminder of their relationship, of their trust and feelings for each other - God knows she didn't think that was by any means necessary. Nor that she'd ask for it either way. But, out of nowhere, she had stood up, put on her jacket and driven to the tattoo parlor where she had taken him days after his birthday.
It was funny, it hadn't been until she had been right in front of the artist - who, curiously enough, turned out to be the same guy who had inked Killian back then - when she knew what she wanted to get branded on her skin.
Peering up at him, she licked her lips, somewhat self-conscious at his silence, though she could feel a shiver running up her spine when his finger traced the small design adorning her inner wrist. "So? You like it?"
Blue eyes focused intently upon her face, voice almost catching, he brought her hand up to his face, brushing his lips softly, almost reverently over the small thimble drawn there. "It suits you."
She met his smile, unbidden and free and incandescent, and with his kiss on her skin - both of them - she dragged him up and walked with him back to the dancefloor, a fleeting thought hitting her about how even lost boys and girls were able to fly.
...so, this is it. the end. the *real* end.
i have to admit, i was really emotional while writing those last lines. knowing it is so final... something inside of you breaks, and makes you miss them already. it is really, really hard to say goodbye to these characters, and even if i felt at times like they were slipping away from me - they always came back. i adore them, and it is horribly sad to let them go. yet, 'all good things come to an end'. (and yeah i consider these guys as something really good) (they're my babies okay) (i adore and love each one of them as if they were my own) (ROARRRRR)
a bazillion thank yous to my adorably idiotic friends, cee and col, for reading and betaing and yelling and crying. this story wouldn't have been what it is if it weren't for you two. thank you.
and of course thank you x1000000000000000000 to you all, for reading, favoriting, following, revieweing, sending an encouranging ask, a pestering one yelling at me to update or give a sneak peek, or plain comment about you reading this story. i will never, NEVER forget the amount of love this story has received, or how it has affected me as a person. thank you, for real.
this story is for you all, lost boys and girls, fangirls, silly people like me. *throws story at you* keep being awesome. also, never turn down the Irish mojo. it never fails.
a last farewell to you all.
PS: Late Night, by Foals. On Our Way, by The Royal Concept. And, finally, we go back to the start - Coldplay. Everything Coldplay. Choose your fav Coldplay song, and read, and have fun. :)