When Emma kisses Killian (and it's not nothing), 1690
She doesn’t look up at the familiar voice, intent on wrapping up the last bits of paperwork so she can leave in time to catch a family dinner at the diner. It’s been a rare thing for them, with her mother and father (she still can’t bring herself to say these terms out loud, but is finding it easier to do so in her head) keeping busy between their new home and the rebuilding of the parts of town that Anton had gone through and Henry spending time with his own father and visiting Regina in the hospital.
Her pen scratches through the report of the destruction of the fail-safe trigger, head tilted to the side as she concentrates, part of her hair creating a yellow curtain between her and the dark figure that’s come through her doorway.
“Emma.” The deep voice and soft accent are just above her head and she can’t help but jump. She hadn’t heard him move.
Recognizing that he’s not going to leave her alone, she looks up at the smirking pirate, eyebrows drawn together, partly in query but mostly in annoyance. Her heart, on the other hand, beats fast out of neither of those emotions. She’s only started to admit to herself what her body has known all along in the presence of one Killian Jones. But that didn’t mean she had to let everyone know about it yet.
“Yes?” She gives herself a mental pat on the back. She sounds quite unaffected by his presence.
But damn the man, his smirk melts into a genuine smile when her eyes meet his, as if he can tell that she isn’t standing up to level them off as he towers over her because she’s gone a bit breathless and would probably wobble.
Since their return from Neverland—well, honestly, since before the rescue mission’s return from Neverland—Killian’s been a constant companion, a helpful hand (her mind does not stray to lame jokes). She’d like to call him a friend, but the feeling deep in her chest, that’s been working it’s way closer to the surface, knows that that’s not the label to put to their relationship.
She remembers what he told her outside of Dark Hollow, about winning her heart, and can’t help but think that the reason that he could be seen working side by side with the dwarves at the marina, nailing boards over the holes in the pier, that he would be helping her father with the census project he’d started from just after the broken curse, that he would pop up outside her office with coffee and whatever snack that Granny had thrown together, was because he was just seeing his game through to completion. That he’s just trying to prove himself right.
It’s not like Neal is really in the running. He’d removed himself quite swiftly after the debacle in Dark Hollow, focusing instead on getting their son back. She never would’ve gotten Henry back without his help, without the help of everyone else in their motley group either. Now, the only time she sees Neal now is when they’re going over something Henry related.
The pirate is still staring down at her, that smile having softened at the edges a little, turning a little more affectionate and sending Emma’s heart scattering again. “Hook?” she prompts, and the smile quirks into a smirk again. It’s still “Hook” to his face, “Killian” only in her mind (and that other part). It’s really the last barrier she has.
He’s been more than circumspect in his behavior around her. For once, actually being “the gentleman” than giving lip service to it. Sure, he still snuck in innuendos here and there, but for the most part, he’d treated her with the respect that had come to define their relationship but which seemed more there and sincere, without the trappings of swagger that he’d earlier put. She knows that he’s been waiting for her to make the next move, but she’s been scared. Though right now, watching him lean against her desk, his knee barely an inch away from hers, she can’t remember why.
“I’ve come for my scarf, lass. When I…appropriated my hook some time ago, I saw that you’d been keeping it locked away. For sentimental reasons, I hope.” His eyebrow raises suggestively, blue eyes sparkling with mischief.
She can’t help but smirk back at him as she nudges his leg away from the desk so she can get to her drawer. Just as she’s about to open it, she straightens up suddenly, her cheeks flushing because she remembers that the scarf’s not there. He catches onto her change of behavior quickly (he just does that), reaching out a hand to steady her shoulder as she stands.
She doesn’t know why she’s getting all flustered now with him because it would really help her now if she could keep her cool. Really, she reiterates towards her blush.
His scarf’s no longer in her drawer at the station.
It’s hidden under her pillow in her apartment.
Why did she have to go all teenage girl over Killian after she’d seen him in the diner, making Granny smile and giggle like she was forty years younger? It was either that, she reminds herself, or kiss him in front of half the town. But still, it doesn’t seem like a good enough reason now.
His hand’s moved from her shoulder slowly down to her elbow, leaving a burning path down her arm. “What’s wrong, love?”
She closes her eyes against that brogue, mind scrambling to find an explanation for the missing scarf or at least put him off the scent (which her actions were so not helping) until she could sneak it back into the drawer.
“Emma?” The concern is too much for her and she opens her eyes and gives an involuntary gasp.
She’s known since Echo Cave that he’s felt something for her. He hasn’t made his interest in her a secret since then. But, he hasn’t also tried to do more than just be there for her. She’d thought that he’d seen that those feelings were just brought on by the danger they’d faced daily and the constant close quarters they shared and that they weren’t as serious as he’d meant to convey in the caves.
Now she sees that she was utterly wrong. He’d just shuttered his eyes and just taken them off. The deep blue is mesmerizing, the concern for her, the adoration for her, just takes her aback. His hand tightens slightly on her elbow, as if he’s preparing for her to run now that she’s been exposed to the depth of his love. And maybe, had he shown her this weeks ago, she might’ve. But now, she thinks she may be ready for this. Ready to take that leap. As long as it was with him.
Something of what she’d decided must’ve shown in her gaze, as the concern fades from him and is replaced by a glow that she’s sure is a reflection of hers.
“Killian,” she whispers as they move together, inevitably, as it seems. The scent of his leather coat and his heat wrap around her and inside her, filling her up and lifting her forward.
It’s so different from their other kiss. That had been feeling good, giving gratitude, alleviating pressure, maddening attraction, a way to shut him up, teeth, tongues, panting breath, and a one time thing.
This is not just a kiss.
It’s tentative at first, a slide of lips against lips. Tension fading away from his body as her arms come up around his neck and his arms wrap around her back, his hand sliding up into her hair. Her tongue touches his bottom lip and he opens for her, because really, all she ever had to do with him was ask.
And the kiss turns into something more.
The lights flicker as something is released inside them, fanning out in a wave of power that she’s felt once before, but in a completely different way. That was light and connection. This is the colors of the rainbow and a sense of home.
This is magic.
She gasps against his mouth as she feels it. He pulls away just a fraction, his eyes closed a moment longer as a beautiful, never before seen smile pulls his lips upward. Her green gaze tracks the movement, her own mouth matching it. And she feels so happy and can’t help the laugh that bubbles up in her as he finally opens his eyes to meet hers.
“Hi,” she says inanely. He doesn’t seem to mind her idiot frame of mind right now, seeming to be soaking in the same golden haze that she finds herself surrounded in.
“Hello, love,” he responds, grinning in a way that she’s never seen. Happy Killian, genuinely happy Killian makes her want to run around town screaming “I did that! ME!” but settles for kissing him a second (and then a third) time.
After a few moments (or an eternity), they come up for air again, just to rest their foreheads against each other, content to simply stand there. He hums a little and she looks at him in question.
Laughter in his voice because he seems to suspect the answer to his question, he asks, “Where did you say my scarf was?”
The door to the Sheriff Station opens, letting out two people who are so wrapped up in each other that they fail to notice the crowd that’s waiting for them. That is until Grumpy shouts out, “And it’s True Love!” arms in the air like a referee calling a touchdown. The rest of the group, made up of all those closest to Emma and now Killian, cheer and clap (in between the exchange of dollar bills amongst hands).
Later, after the “Congratulations!” and the “I knew its!” Emma will ask her mother how’d everyone know to come at that exact moment. Snow will look at her daughter, affection written all over her face and say, “We all felt the power of your heart.”