Here we are again, at the last page of another story... It's been a painful ride, but I hope all you angst-lovers enjoyed it. Usually I'd start writing my new long fic right away and start posting in about two weeks but I'm graduating uni (if I pass the test on Wednesday) so this time you're going to have to wait a bit longer. I already know what my next story is going to be (another no magic AU), but before that I'm going to write a S1 AU with Adriane (Eaasybugboy), and I hope you join me for both of that journies when they eventually start. Thank you for reading and see you again in a month or two. P.S. If you want to check out the mix for this fic, go to my tumblr (montanarosalie); it's under the tag fanmix.
Life in Storybrooke had never been better.
Since Gold and Regina lost their magic and returned to themselves, the only thing Emma and Killian have to deal with are occasional thefts (which often turn out not to be thefts at all) and the dwarves raising a little Hell on a Friday night (which is easily dealt with).
That and Saoirse crying every morning when they leave her at Snow's apartment on their way to work.
"Maybe you should hire one more deputy so that one of us can stay home with Saoirse", Killian suggests one morning as he unsuccessfully tries to pry his daughter from his leg.
"Daddy, don't go", Saoirse cries, her tear-streaked face turned up toward Killian; Emma smiles because she's already got him wrapped around her little finger.
"You know she's going to stop crying the second we close the door", Emma tells him and Snow nods, rolling her eyes at Charming who's trying to bribe his granddaughter with chocolate to make her stop crying.
"You two are hopeless", Snow says and picks Saoirse up, carrying her to the kitchen. She whispers something in her ear and Saoirse giggles, her tears disappearing as quickly as they had appeared.
"Bye mommy! Bye daddy!" She calls over Snow's shoulder and waves her hand at Emma and Killian before turning back around to talk to Snow.
"Let's go, sailor", Emma says and takes Killian's hand, practically having to drag him out.
"Did she just dismiss us?" Killian asks and Emma chuckles, closing the door behind them and pecking his cheek to get his attention.
"She's fine. And we are too", Emma tells him and then they go to work.
When Emma looks back, she's glad for every different Killian she had met and loved, glad for everything they had shared and for all the comfort they had given her; even though Killian remembers them all, he's just her pirate now.
They talk about the places they had seen and often imagine going to visit them again, but they never do; what's in the past should stay there, and their present is more wonderful that Emma had ever dreamt of.
She stores their journal in the back of the closet and never reads it again because it's too painful, but she tells herself that someday she's going to open it again and revisit the past with dry eyes.
Killian tells her that it's not going to happen, but it's still comforting to know that it exists.
Sometimes Emma wakes herself up because she's screaming for Killian both in her dream and in reality, and the only thing that can make her calm down is him whispering in her ear again and again that they aren't cursed anymore, that she won't ever have to watch him die.
"What if you die first when we're old?" She always asks him and he gives her a brave smile and tells her that he won't. "But that means that I'm going to die first."
She's okay with that, but she knows that he's not.
"Don't worry, love. I'll be right behind you", he tells her and kisses her, giving her the final proof of his love.
Not only would he gladly die for her, he'd also live long enough to see her die just so she doesn't have to be without him.
Killian's nightmares are different than her own; he doesn't yell like Emma does, he just whispers Ninie's or Emily's or Violet's name, and when Emma manages to wake him up always he goes into Saoirse's room and watches her sleep for a long time before coming back to bed.
The magical kiss had healed them, but the old hurt keeps coming back when they are sleeping; Emma knows that eventually, even that will go away, and all they can do for now is hold onto love and each other.
"We should get a Ninja", Emma says as she and Killian settle into a booth in Granny's diner.
"The curse is broken, love", he tells her and she smiles faintly because he went right for the heart of the problem. She's just being paranoid and she knows it, but after losing him so many times because he didn't have the stupid bike, she just can't handle the possibility that it might happen again. "And besides, I didn't have it when you found me in Belfast and yet here we are."
"I know. But I kinda miss it", she says, pretending to browse the menu so she can avoid his all-seeing eyes.
"I'm not going to suddenly drop dead just because we don't have a bike", he tells her firmly, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear and pressing his lips against her temple.
"You better not", Emma says, aiming for light, but it comes out a little broken.
"Hey, hey. I'm here. The curse is broken and I'm here", he says and pulls her into a hug, his hand tracing soothing circles on her back as she presses her nose against his neck and wraps her arms tightly around his waist.
"I still want the Ninja", Emma says and he chuckles, the sound making her smile too.
"Then you shall have it", he tells her and Emma nods, feeling so relieved that he understands. But then again, he always does.
It takes Emma over a year to finally ask Killian if he wishes he hadn't remembered his previous lives.
She's really asking for his forgiveness for all the things she did wrong, but she can't say that out loud.
"I don't", he answers her, shifting her in his arms so he can look at her when he continues. "You suffered so much because of me, and the least I can do is remember it all."
"I wish I could say that I regret my decision to keep you alive at all costs", Emma says and chokes on a sob, finally sharing all her guilt with him.
"I don't regret it either, Emma. I had years and years with you that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise because I'd be dead and I would not trade them for anything", he says, wiping away her tears as they come. "I'd take any pain just to be able to look upon your face and hold you in my arms."
"So you forgive me?" Emma asks and he kisses her, kisses her with all his affection and devotion; it still feels like the first time.
"There's nothing to forgive, lass. In fact, I'm the one who should be asking for your forgiveness because I had hurt you more than you ever hurt me."
"There's nothing to forgive", Emma gives him back his words and they smile, finally letting go of the pain that's been with them for far too long.
"I love you", Killian tells her and Emma drowns in the blue in his eyes and all the love shining there, cupping his face in her hands and kissing him before she speaks.
"And I love you."
On the morning before Emma gets a wedding ring for her left hand to match the two engagement rings on her right, Saoirse jumps on Killian and demands to hear the story about how he and mommy met.
"It's not even 7 a.m.", Emma cries, covering her face with the blanket and pressing her nose against Killian's shoulder.
Tradition requires for the bride and groom to spend the night before the wedding separately but neither of them can sleep alone, so they just ignored it and went to bed together, holding onto each other the way they always do.
"Not to mention the fact that you've heard that story twelve hundred times already", Killian says but still sits up against the headboard and lets Saoirse snuggle against him.
"Today is your wedding day, daddy", Saoirse says as if that explains everything and Emma's eyes meet Killian's, both of them grinning like lovesick idiots, which is exactly what they are.
"Yes, daddy, tell her our story", Emma says and closes her eyes, but she's not going back to sleep.
Like her daughter, she never gets tired of hearing it.
Every year on June 27th Emma and Killian take the Jolly Roger and spend the day at sea, away from the rest of the world because the rest of the world doesn't understand and never will.
It's quiet our here and she likes that there's nothing around them except the endless blue; it's the only place that feels safe on a day like today, the only place where she manages to convince herself that they are untouchable.
"I'm not going anywhere", Killian says, securing the helm in place so they can float on the same course before he comes to stand beside her and pulls her against him.
"I know", she says and he looks down at her steadily because there's still a part of her that keeps waiting for him to clutch his chest and that pulling sensation to take her away.
"I'm not going anywhere", he repeats and kisses her, then kisses her and leads her to his cabin.
He lies her down in the same bed he'd first made love to her three hundred years ago and she still can't get enough of him, she still has to catch her breath when he looks at her like that; his hand ghosting over her skin is still enough to make her heart race.
"Emma", he murmurs against her lips and she thinks that she'd do it all again for him, she'd run a thousand miles and wait another decade just to hear him say her name like this.
Killian smiles and trails kisses to her ear, whispering three simple words that mean everything to her.
"I love you."
To Emma, they mean; we are free.