6th October 2014 - This is it everyone! Final chapter (and my longest at that). Emma and Killian finally get some much needed alone time. See more comments at the end :)

It was quiet back at the docks as Emma approached the Jolly Roger. She felt uneasy and guilt-ridden, unsure if sending Gold and Milah away had really been the best course of action. With this town, and the life she now lived, Emma knew this was likely just the eye of a seemingly never-ending storm. She sighed and shoved her hands in her pockets and stepped on to the gangway, which heaved and sank gently beneath her feet.

Killian was above deck, facing toward the horizon as he leaned on the ship's rail. Emma's stomach twisted in a knot, sensing his dark mood had not subsided during her short absence. She cleared her throat. "Permission to come aboard Captain?" she asked timidly.

He didn't turn to greet her, but replied "Aye" in a quiet voice.

Tentatively stepping on to the deck, Emma slowly walked toward him. She wanted to reach out and comfort him, but he was surrounded by an emotional force-field that told her he was not open to intimacy. He still didn't look up as Emma reached his side. She then noticed that in his hand was the hand-drawn portrait of Milah – the one she had been so jealous over only days ago. God, she'd acted so petty and childish. Any excuse to push him away hey Swan, she scolded herself, then remembered that she'd nearly lost him for good. No more games Emma. Don't mess this up. You don't want to lose him.

"Hey," she said sheepishly, still keeping some distance.

His eyes were still fixed on Milah's portrait. "So it's all done then?" he asked quietly.

Emma folded her arms across her chest and hugged herself, feeling the cold afternoon chill. "They're gone. For now," she replied reluctantly.

She waited for some sort of response or movement, but he remained stoic and distant. It dawned on Emma that she still didn't know Killian well enough to gauge if she should leave him be, or nag him senseless until he opened up to her. She was an expert when it came to emotional barriers and she was not a fan of people tying to knock hers down. Her instincts told her it was something they both had in common. Biting on her bottom lip Emma turned and started to walk away. "I'll give you-"

"You know," he interrupted. "I always thought Milah would be there to greet me."

Emma stepped up to the side of the ship and looked at Killian's face. There was a deep pain in his eyes as his jaw twitched from side to side, clearly fighting to keep his emotions from overwhelming him. "Where?" she asked, somewhat confused.

"In the after-life," he responded.

"Oh," replied Emma, suddenly uncomfortable.

"For centuries I had but two goals – avenge Milah's murder, then let death take me so that I would be reunited with her once again."

"You weren't-" stammered Emma. "You weren't planning on like, killing yourself or something after you killed Gold were you?"

Killian sighed. "To be honest Swan I never gave it much thought. I knew in due time death would come looking for me. Turns out it just wasn't under the circumstances I had envisioned."

"But you're not dead," replied Emma matter-of-factly, unsure where this morbid conversation was leading.

"Aye, but for how long? Now I'm wondering if I should even stick around for The Dark One's inevitable return. If it's one thing that will teach a man a bit of self-preservation it's dangling on the precipice between life and death."

"What?" growled Emma with frustration. "So you're just going to up and leave? You can't!"

"Relax Swan." He gave her a weak smile. "I said I was wondering if I should stick around, not that I was actually going anywhere."

Emma sighed with relief, especially now that he was talking again. She eyed the aged piece of paper in his hand. "And what about Milah? What are you going to do if she does eventually come back to Storybrooke?"

Killian exhaled loudly. "I don't know, but I do know one thing – I've devoted too many years of my life to that woman. I thought I loved her, yet in hindsight I feel like I barely knew her, nor she me. How could I have been so blind?"

"People change." Emma shrugged. "With enough time apart the best of friends, lovers or even family members can become complete strangers." She choked up, realising that she finally had people in her life she didn't want to lose. Tears formed in her eyes as she began to understand the sacrifice that Neal had made – taking his parents away in order to protect Killian. She wasn't about to let Neal become a stranger again, but right now she was more concerned about the well-being of the man standing next to her.

Killian's blue eyes were wet but still did not divert from the portrait as it trembled in his grip. "Sometimes if we want to move forward with our lives," he started before taking a deep breath. "We need to let some people go." He let the portrait fall from his fingers. It fluttered in the breeze and wafted down on to the ocean's surface. It floated there for a moment - Milah's calm face staring back at the Jolly Roger. Slowly the parchment began to darken before sinking and drifting away with the tide. "Goodbye Milah," Killian said quietly, clutching the rail of the ship with his right hand.

Emma reached out and placed her hand over his. It was a small gesture, only intended to remind him that she was here for him.

Killian still did not make eye contact, now gazing down at Emma's hand. He stretched his thumb to reach up and caress the side of her finger. His voice croaked as he attempted to speak. "I don't want you to drift away from me Swan."

She squeezed his hand reassuringly before interlocking her fingers with his. "I won't," she replied, her voice wavering too.

Pulling her hand to his lips, Killian placed a soft and gentle kiss upon her fingers. Finally his gaze moved upward to look her in the eye. "What you did for me, you saved me. You brought me back. There aren't enough words for me to express my gratitude."

Emma tried to stifle a whimper as her bottom lip started to tremble. A stray tear teetered on the edge of her cheek-bone.

Killian gasped quietly and reached out to wipe away her tear with his thumb – his touch lingering as her cradled her chin. "Oh, what is it Love? What's wrong?"

"I thought I'd lost you. First to Milah, and then to..." her voice broke. All the events of these past few months had worn Emma down. She was too frazzled to put on her brave façade. Dealing with life, love and death had made her feel more vulnerable than she'd ever felt before, but now she knew she didn't have to be the strong one. Even the saviour needs a saviour and for the first time, in a long time, Emma had someone she could trust. As the last remaining shreds of her emotional barriers began to tumble Emma began to sniffle.

A concerned expression flashed across Killian's face. "Come here," he said with a whisper as he pulled her into his arms. He squeezed her firmly, holding her head to his chest as he soothingly stroked her hair.

They stayed like that for a while, Emma relishing the warmth of his body protectively shrouding hers. She needed this. She needed Killian, and just for a moment she wanted to feel safe and secure in his arms - even if it did make her feel uncharacteristically like a damsel in distress.

Eventually Killian slipped his hook under Emma's chin and titled her head up to look at him. "I'm not going anywhere," he said with a smile. "In case you haven't noticed I'm annoyingly persistent about staying at your side." He leaned down and delicately pressed his lips to Emma's forehead, then to the bridge of her nose, her left cheek, her right cheek, then finally to her mouth. It was a brief but tender kiss, his eyes opening to gaze into hers. "I'm sorry Emma. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you."

With her arms under Killian's coat, Emma inhaled deeply and wrapped her arms around his waist. She pressed her cheek against his shoulder, relishing his close proximity, the warmth of his skin and his intoxicating scent of rum, salt and sweat. "You don't have to apologise," she murmured quietly against the leather of his vest, listening to his heart beat quickening beneath his chest.

Killian's breathing became shallower as their intimacy and closeness began to replace sadness with something more. His right hand began to roam up and down the length of Emma's back. "No Love, I must. You didn't deserve what I put you through."

Tracing her finger along the long silver chain that hung around his neck and down to the open v-neck of his vest, Emma let her fingers linger to caress the exposed skin of his chest. "There are a few ways you could make it up to me," she said flirtatiously with an upward glance, holding back a smile as she felt his desire stir beneath the tight leather of his pants.

"Is that so?" he said with a sharp intake of breath, responding in kind with an eyebrow raised and a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

"Aye," she replied with a chuckle and a coy smile, instinctively arching her hips toward his.

Killian's hand slid up to the back of Emma's head, gently fisting her blond locks as he pulled her to him – a hum of satisfaction escaping his lips as her kissed her.

Emma melted under his fierce grip. She could feel his desire, his need, in every muscle of his body as they kissed – their tongues entwined between ragged breaths and hearty moans. Breathless she eventually pulled away. Still panting, she took a few steps backward then quickly headed to the hatch above the Captain's quarters and stepped down on to the first rung of the ladder. "You coming?" she said, flashing him a seductive smile.

"You needn't ask me twice," he replied, bounding across the deck in record speed.

Emma was already sitting on the edge of his bunk, her legs hanging casually over the side of the tall, timber frame when Killian practically jumped through the hatch and into the cabin. As he enthusiastically leaned in to continue where their kiss had left off she stretched out her arms to stop him. "Wait," she told him softly, seeing concern flash in his eyes for a just a moment before quickly relaxing as she reached out and pushed his coat up and over his shoulders.

Slowly she unbuttoned and removed his vest, just as she had done last night back at her apartment, but this time her intentions were far from innocent. Next came his belt, which she unbuckled and snaked free from around his waist – dropping it on the hard wooden floor with a loud thunk.

Loosening his shirt Emma unbuttoned that too, letting it fall open to expose his chest – his nipples already crinkling under the cold air of the ship's cabin. Emma bit down on her bottom lip and refrained from touching. She pulled his sleeves down over his arm, the other over his hook.

As she moved toward removing his brace he intervened. "You might want to leave that on, Love." Killian reached out and ran the smooth side of his hook along her cheek and along the side of the neck. "I may be missing a hand, but that doesn't mean I can't put this replacement appendage to good use."

Emma blushed and grinned at him but didn't speak, reaching instead for his chain, lifting it over his head before gently tossing it over to the table in the centre of the cabin. She wanted to touch him, to let her hands roam over that hair-covered chest of his, but she wasn't finished undressing him. Emma wanted to look at him, and while she'd seen him naked back at their room at the inn the memory was like a hazy dream.

Licking her lips with anticipation Emma eyed the ties at the front of his leather pants as they stretched over the outline of the impressive bulge that awaited her beneath. Delicately she grabbed one side of the thread between two fingers and pulled – the laces quickly loosened causing Killian to hum with arousal as he sprang free of the tight leather.

With both hands Emma pushed his pants down over his hips, down over his thighs, letting them fall around his ankles. She smiled with satisfaction as she glanced down to eye his impressive erection as it jutted outward and upward. He looked so different out of his black clothes, but she definitely wasn't complaining. Unleashing her hands now she ran them along his shoulders and then down over the soft curls of hair on his chest. Gliding over his firm pectoral muscles she moved lower and along the defined ridges of his abdominal muscles before settling on his hips and pulling him toward her.

Wrapping her legs around him she then tenderly placed a trail of kisses along his neck and nibbled on his shoulder as her hands scratched their way down over his back. Emma wanted to set every inch of his body to memory.

Killian raised an eyebrow and chuckled under his breath. "Not that I'm complaining Love, but if we are indeed going to do what I think we're going to do – I seem to recall it works best if we're both naked."

"Sheesh, so impatient," she clucked sarcastically, nipping at his jaw-line playfully. She had wanted to take this slowly.

With a growl Killian grabbed her by the hips and pressed himself between her denim-covered legs. "But I need you Emma," he said in a husky whisper.

Emma gasped loudly and lost all restraint, warmth pooling between her legs as she ground her hips against his. Smashing her lips into his she took his eager tongue into her mouth – her hands alternating between clawing at his back and tugging at his hair.

Killian was busy kicking off his boots and stepping out of his pants while trying to pull Emma's sweater over her head. He broke their kiss to remove both it and the t-shirt she had on underneath. Resuming their kiss his hand was already on her lace-covered breast, cupping the soft flesh and brushing his thumb over her taut nipple.

"Killian,' Emma moaned breathlessly, quickly unclasping her bra and throwing it aside.

With a hearty sigh of appreciation Killian pushed Emma back onto the bed, Still standing he leaned down and placed a line of kisses along her collarbone then down to her right breast where his lips latched on, sucking and nibbling gently. He trailed his hook to her left breast, where the cold steel made Emma gasp loudly and jump beneath him as it grazed her sensitive nipple.

Both hand and hook ventured lower where Killian skilfully unbuttoned her jeans and began to tug them down over her hips – taking her underwear with it at the same time. He pulled off her boots and pulled her jeans free from both legs.

With the small bunk Emma could only lie back with her knees bent, her feet balanced on the end of the bed frame. She didn't bother keeping her legs closed like a good princess should. Emma wasn't embarrassed or shy any more. She sat up on her elbows and looked at Killian as he stood between her legs. His skin was flushed and his eyes were dark and filled with lust.

"A sight to behold indeed," he muttered approvingly, licking his lips before leaning in to drag his mouth across her knee – his hands stroking her outer thighs. His kisses ventured lower along the inside of her thigh now, making Emma whimper softly from the bed.

With his one hand Killian moved in tenderly to run his middle finger along her warm, wet, sensitive folds. She arched her back in response and moaned. Emma laid back as she felt his finger slide inside of her, caressing her inner walls as she gently rocked her hips against his hand.

Killian continued to kiss and nibble her thigh, sliding a second finger inside of Emma as he tentatively trailed the smooth curve of his hook along her public bone and down to her sweet centre. He took a moment to moisten the steel with her wetness before sliding it up and over her sensitive nub.

Emma's breath hitched in her throat at the new sensation, feeling bolts of pleasure spreading from her core. She groaned loudly at the top of her lungs as Killian found the perfect rhythm between his fingers and his hook. In no time at all she was screaming his name and convulsing on the bed, her toes curling as she came hard. After a few minutes she was finally able to compose herself and sit up. "Oh my God. What was that?" she said through ragged breath. "I thought you were in a hurry!"

Killian had a proud grin on his face. "I just wanted to make sure you were ready for me."

"Oh I'm more than ready," she replied. "But what about you?"

"What do you think Love?" he asked seductively, taking Emma's hand and placing it to his aching erection. He moaned and rolled his head back as she swiftly latched on and began to squeeze and stroke his length.

Emma pulled him down to her with her free hand, kissing her way along the stubble of his jaw and eventually back to his lips. She could feel his hips edging towards hers and she kissed him hungrily, her hand still lazily teasing him. "I need you too Killian," she whispered in his ear before shuffling up the length of the bunk to make room for him.

Needing no further invitation he climbed on to the bed and placed his knees between her legs. He rested down on top of her and kissed her once more, carefully positioning himself between her legs. The wet tip of his lengthy shaft teased her already sensitive button as he slid back and forth against her opening.

Emma arched her hips and moaned loudly as she felt him slide his entire length inside of her. Her eyes fluttered open to lock with his - their gaze not drifting as Killian gradually slid back out before pushing his way back in with a gentle thrust. They both closed their eyes once more as the pleasure began to take hold – Emma rocking her body in time with Killian's.

She laid back and listened to his laboured breathing, running her fingers along his back, gliding across a fresh layer of sweat. Emma felt wonderful. She felt complete and content and wanted to stay like this forever. "Oh God, Killian," she murmured. Wrapping her legs around him tighter she clenched herself down around his length, almost determined to keep him there as she felt him throb deep inside her core. And still with every thrust she felt her pleasure building again, but it was Killian's turn this time. She ground her hips against him with renewed vigour until she could sense he was close then laid back on the bed and let him take control.

"Emma," he panted, leaning down to kiss her, his tongue twisting with hers as he moaned into her mouth. With one final push Killian came, twitching inside of his Swan, spilling his fluid with a loud ecstatic groan.

Crying out Emma came with him. New ripples of pleasure flooding her body from head to toe as she felt her body clamp down around his still throbbing manhood.

As they both began to catch their breath Emma reached up and stroked Killian's cheek. "You're not allowed to leave," she said sternly. "And you sure as hell better not die on me again, do you hear me?"

Killian grinned and made Emma yelp with pleasure as he gave her a nudge with his yet-to-soften erection. "I do believe I'm quite happy where I am Love."

As Killian began to wake from his nap he became acutely aware of a large weight pressing down on his chest. He groaned and started to open his eyes, lifting his head to see Emma craning her neck with her ear pressed to his breast. "What on earth are you doing Swan?" he said with a sleepy, croaky voice.

Emma exhaled loudly with relief. "Sorry, you were just so still. I had to check your heart was still beating in there."

Killian smiled and ran his hand over her hair, taking a moment to stroke her cheek. "Aye, my apologies. I must have dozed off."

Settling back in beside him, Emma curled her warm naked body beside his. At some point, after several rounds of vigorous activities they'd actually made it under the bed-sheets. Contently resting her head against his shoulder she circled her fingertips in his chest hair, tracing the outline of where she envisioned his heart to be. "I can't believe I restarted it," she said quietly.

Stretching his arm around Emma, Killian pulled her in close. "That's twice you've restarted it now," he said with a smile.

Emma turned her head to look up at him. "Huh? Twice?" she ask with a confused expression. "When was the first time?"

Killian couldn't control the goofy smile that stretched across his face "When you kissed me in Neverland. You gave me hope that I could love, and be loved again."

Emma scoffed and rolled her eyes, her cheeks turning red as she blushed. "You are such a hopeless romantic you know that?"

He brushed Emma's hair away from her face. "Romantic yes. Hopeless? No Swan, for the first time in centuries I am filled with hope." He wasn't lying to her or saying sweet things to make her smile, although Killian knew he'd say just about anything to make Emma smile, for the first time in a lifetime he had hope. He knew he wasn't on Neverland any more, and despite the lack of immortality Killian found himself looking forward to tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that. As long as he had Emma in his life he'd cherish every single moment of the rest of his life. Propping himself up on his elbow, Killian rolled on to his side to face her. "Say it to me again."

Emma looked momentarily confused. "Huh? Say what again? That you're a hopeless romantic?"

"No, Love," he hesitated. "What you said to me out on the deck... when you brought me back."

"What?" Emma's skin flushed with embarrassment. "Why?"

Killian took a deep breath as he caressed her cheek and stared into her eyes. "Because I need to know it's not just something you said because you thought I was dead."

"Killian I-" Emma stammered and squirmed uncomfortably.

"I'm waiting," he said in a stern voice, a mischievous smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

"Fine," she grumbled under her breath. "I love you OK."

Killian clucked disapprovingly and shook his head. "Come on. Once more with feeling. I know you can do it Swan."

Emma pouted and glared back at Killian, her expression eventually softening as she leaned up and placed a kiss upon his lips. "I love you Killian," she said sincerely,

"There," he said, holding back a laugh. "Was that so bloody difficult?"

"Hey!" Emma yelled, poking him playfully in the ribs. "Aren't you going to say it back to me?"

"I don't know." Killian sighed melodramatically. "I might wait an eternity to say it again, just so you know how it feels."

"Oh fine. I see how it is," she huffed sarcastically and flopped back on the bunk.

With a chuckle Killian rolled over on top of Emma, pinning her to the bed as he leaned in. He pressed his lips to hers and kissed her until he felt her body melt beneath him. He pulled away and waited for her beautiful green eyes to flutter open before speaking. "I love you Emma. I love you with all my heart."

Emma hummed with satisfaction. Her cheeks were glowing and a smile lit up her entire face. She'd never looked so happy, but her eyelids were growing heavy as the week's events began to catch up with her.

Killian returned to her side, placing soft and gentle kisses along her arm. "Are you OK Love?"

"I'm good. Just tired. It's been one hell of a day." Emma yawned and stretched, pushing her hands toward the ceiling as she studied them. She twinkled her fingers in the air as the sun began to set outside. "I still can't believe I have magic," she said with quiet scepticism.

"And for that I'll be eternally grateful. You're more powerful than you realise."

Sighing loudly, Emma frowned. "What if I end up being like Regina and become the next Evil Queen of Storybrooke?"

"Well technically the throne could be yours one day, if there is indeed ever a throne to be had in this town. Do you think the power will go to your head Princess?"

Emma shrugged and then smiled over at him. "I guess that depends on whether you're beside me to keep my ego in check."

"I've been at your side since I met you, and I don't plan on going anywhere now. Besides," Killian added solemnly, "I've been more than enough villain for both of us."

Reaching over Emma took his chin in her hand and ran her thumb across the stubble of his beard as she studied his face. "Sometimes it feels like you're not the man I met back in The Enchanted Forest - that crazy guy I climbed a beanstalk with." She laughed. "God you were such a smug bastard."

"Come on, admit it Swan." Killian gave her a cheesy grin. "You wanted me the minute you saw me. I know you did. The way you'd roll your eyes at me and pretend like you weren't imagining me in your bed. I knew I'd get you eventually."

Emma groaned and laughed. "I take it back, you haven't changed a bit."

Killian smiled, but his expression quickly took on a serious tone. "You know I jest Love. I may still have the hook, but I'd like to think I have changed."

Twisting her mouth, Emma struggled to hide a hint of doubt. "You sure you're not going to leave, now that you've bedded me like another one of your conquests? Aren't you going to get bored now that I'm no longer a challenge?"

Killian kissed those twisted lips of hers and forced her to smile. "Ah my dear Swan, I still have many challenges with you to overcome."

"Oh yeah?" she raised an eyebrow curiously. "Like what?"

"Oh I don't know," he titled his head back and forth and shrugged casually. "Like making you my wife?"

"What?" Emma sat up instantly, scoffing loudly. "Are you kidding me? We've been together like what, two, three days tops and you're talking about marriage?"

Killian laughed out loud. "See, I told you." He rolled over and pinned her to the bed once more, kissing her feisty lips. "I, my dear Swan, am going to have a world of fun convincing you to marry me."


Well that's all folks. It's all said and done (hah sorry.. .you know I had to throw that in there!). What did you think? I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. What started out as a 2-3 chapter short fic had a life of its own that evolved into this story that took way too long to complete :) Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a review - you made this even more fun for me :) Apologies to the Rumbelle fans. Personally I think Belle deserves better... but hey if its true love they'll find a way to be together again. Now I'm a bit sad having finished this. Will have to see what other ideas come my way or work on a few little one-shots. In the meantime I'm going to sit back and watch Emma and Killian's journey unfold on the show :) *fangirl sigh*

Thanks again everyone :)