Will had never formed a clear opinion on shopping until now. Now he was definitely sure that he hated shopping with an undying passion. Actually, he wasn't too sure what he hated more: shopping, or himself for coming up with the bloody brilliant idea to take Alice shopping for new clothes, considering how she came to Storybrooke with only one outfit. He was fully prepared to explain the many modern marvels that they were sure to run into, but was bloody well not prepared for the soul-crushing reality that Alice took to shopping like a fish took to water. While a very special and unique girl in many ways, Alice was apparently just like every other teenage girl when it came to shopping, and oh, how Will regretted failing to account for that.
Well, not really. He didn't regret watching her gasp as they entered the mall, wide-eyed and dumbstruck at the sheer size of the place, all the lights and smells and colors. He didn't regret watching her running her hands in the fabrics, unfamiliar textures slipping between her fingers. He didn't regret watching her face glow with delight over the bold patterns, the metallic cloth and neon stripes and technicolor prints. He didn't regret watching her laugh as she tried on her first pair of sunglasses, her first tank top, her first stilettos, her first short shorts (and damn if those didn't make her legs look fine as hell). He didn't regret watching her devour half the bloody food court, intent on trying every single bloody dish, even when the spicy grilled chicken left her teary-eyed and gasping for water after a few bites and he had to try bloody hard to not laugh at her distress. No, he doesn't really regret this at all.
He could do without the bloody bags, though. Despite being a strong, independent young woman, Alice, for some reason, saw fit to make him carry all the shopping bags. All. The bloody. Shopping bags. Will was quite certain that he was carrying an entire wardrobe on his shoulders. He wasn't aware that a girl could buy so many clothes all at once, or that a girl needed so many bloody clothes. But here he is, carrying a good eight bags on each arm, and Alice still isn't done. No, she's off fairly prowling through the bloody mall, dragging him along by the hand, stopping to marvel at every bloody window display.
He hated shopping. He bloody hated shopping.
He's contemplating various ways to either escape or somehow convince Alice to go home for the day when her voice frantically calling his name cuts through his fantasizing.
"...what is it now, love?"
Alice points excitedly at a small box the size of a phone booth placed against the wall.
"That's a photobooth."
Alice lets out a downright-unnerving squeal of excitement and marches towards it with a stubborn determination, as though the key to her eternal happiness lay in that bloody photobooth, all the while pulling Will firmly in tow behind her. He manages to set down the bags around his feet as Alice drags him in and yanks him down to sit next to her. She turns to Will, her facial expression eerily reminiscent of a young child on an extreme sugar high.
"Now what do we do?" she asks, practically bouncing in her seat, grinning widely.
"You didn't know what to do in a photobooth and you still tried to bloody kill me hauling me in here?" Will explodes disbelievingly. This girl is going to be the bloody death of him, he swears. Alice shoots him a glare that clearly means she has no time for his nonsense. He can practically see her arms cross and hear her foot tap impatiently and sighs. "You put money in here and then you look at the camera up there and then it takes photos of you." Alice claps her hands in delight and then turns to look at him expectantly. He stares back at her for a moment, entirely nonplussed, before she starts to break into a pout and he sighs again and pulls out his wallet for the umpteenth time that day. Bloody girl with her bloody puppy eyes. He inserts a five into the machine and smiles a little as Alice points to the screen that lights up in front of them.
"That's me!" she exclaims.
"That is you. Now look into the camera before it -"
But it's too late, and it snaps a photo while Alice is still marvelling over the screen. She jumps a little at the flash and her head snaps up.
"What was that."
"The camera took a photo of you."
"But I wasn't looking at it!"
"Well, look at it now, then."
And she does, and the camera snaps another photo. This time, she's smiling widely while Will wears a faux-grimace in the background.
They take four more photos, each one sillier than the last. They pull faces in the camera, throwing up peace signs and making ridiculous faces. At the last photo, Alice turns to the side, and Will has the sudden urge to bite her hair just for the hell of it, and he does, taking a small mouthful of her hair and pulling it back. Alice either doesn't notice or doesn't care, since she does nothing to stop him or reprimand him after.
When the photos print out a few minutes later, Alice clutches to them like they were all she owned, unable to stop going on a bloody mile a minute about how amazing it is to have their photographs printed out so quickly and clearly, on such strange paper.
When they finally get home, eight bloody hours, twenty bloody shopping bags, and one bloody emptied-out bank account later, they finally get home. Will drops the shopping bags right inside the door and collapses on the couch, completely worn out. He swears to himself that he's never doing this again, that Alice can take Belle and Ruby if she wants to go bloody shopping ever again. Not that she'd be able to do any shopping any bloody time soon, seeing as to how she'd almost completely drained him of any bloody money had. Bloody girl with her bloody puppy eyes and bloody pout. Bloody hell.
Will's about to drift off when he feels Alice settle down beside him on the couch, curling into his side, and he throws an arm around her shoulders, pulling her in. She tucks her head under his chin and somehow manages to snuggle up even closer against him.
"Thank you for taking me shopping, Will," she murmurs quietly, and any resentment Will may have felt at her vanishes entirely into smoke and dust.
"Weren't a problem, love," he replies, and kisses the top of her head, breathing in the smell of flowers and sunshine in her hair. Alice turns her head up to smile at him, and his heart bloody skips a beat at the sight of his Alice that happy. Hell, he'd do this whole bloody shopping thing every week if it made her smile at him like that every time.
"It's not just the shopping. It's the..." - she pauses, struggling to find the words - "...the everything." She gestures vaguely at the air. "Saving me from Bethlem, helping me find Cyrus, bringing me to Storybrooke, giving me a home, and new friends, and...everything." Alice looks up at him again, and it's all he can do to not to drown her blue, blue eyes and kiss her senseless.
"But, mostly, thank you for never giving up on me."
She flings her arms around him and buries her face into his chest and he can feel her mumbling through his shirt.
"I love you, Will. I really, honestly love you."
And he does kiss her senseless right then and there. He leans down and takes her chin into his hand and kisses the bloody daylights out of her, swallows the tiny hitches of her breath and the little moans of pleasure, relishes in the soft slide of her lips against his, melts into her hands as they wrap around his torso, fingers clenching his leather jacket. He feels no small amount of pride well up in him as she shudders and tenses and relaxes in his arms, pressed flush against him.
When they finally break for air, he stares at her flushed cheeks, her kiss-swollen lips and dangerously bright eyes and sinfully tousled hair, and kisses her again, trails kisses up her neck as she gasps his name.
"I love you," he murmurs into the crook between her neck and shoulder, brushing his lips over her fluttering pulse.
"I love you," he ghosts across her jawbone, "I love you," he dusts over the delicate shell of her ear, "I love you," he whispers against her lips. "I bloody love you, Alice."