I APOLOOGIZE FOR THE DELAY. I WAS BRUTALLY SLAUGHTERED BY THE SEASON FINALE AND AFTER WITNESSING SUCH UNBELIEVABLY TRAGIC EVENTS AND HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT I'LL HAVE TO HOLD OUT FOR ALMOST FIVE MONTHS MISERABLY TWISTING IN THE BREEZE WITH IT, THE GODS OF FLUFF TEMPORARILY FORSOOK ME AND I JUST DIDN'T HAVE ANY INSPO TO WRITE PRETTY LOVE SCENES. THE ANGST WAS STRONG WITH ME, , IT IS A HERO'S DUTY TO OVERCOME THE FEELS AND FIGHT TO DO WHAT'S RIGT, AND WHAT'S RIGHT IS NOT LETTING THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SO KINDLY FOLLOWED, REVIEWED AND FAV'D THIS STORY DOWN.

SO HERE YOU ARE. THERE'S A MIX OF ANGUISH AND LOVE AND JOY IN THIS, I HAD TO LET IT ALL OUT, SOMEHOW. LOVE!

"Stay still, Swan…" Killian smiled as he looked at her, sitting on the swing under the tree, behind his easel. He narrowed his eyes and used his sharpened coal to measure her from the distance. "Don't look at me, though, you're supposed to be daydreaming."

She spoke from behind the gritted teeth of her smile. "Where shall I be looking, Monsieur Gaugin?"

Killian chuckled and rolled his eyes. "Killian will do. And look at the chimney of the house, just imagine you're seeing your finest dreams come to life before you..." As Emma sighed and tried to manifest the thought, Killian began sketching the contours of her face. "Think of this as an exercise, Emma love, I've every intention of making you my permanent model."

Emma sighed, her eyes fixed atop the roof of the house. She leaned her head on the thick rope of the swing. She and Killian had been to see a doctor the previous day to arrange for the removal of her cast on both arm and leg. He had also instructed Killian how to help her with her therapy exercises and recommended that as soon as she and Killian got home she get an x ray to be sure she was completely mended. And while she felt a numb ache, especially on her thigh, she seemed to be doing ok. She limped, but it was far easier to walk without exerting herself. And it was Killian's idea to mark the happy occasion with a painting, the day she freed herself from the final traces of her horrible accident.

"My finest dreams, what would those be? Mhhh…" She thought aloud. "Meeting George Clooney?"

Killian huffed and dropped his arms on either side of his body, his eyes darkened by a mild pang of jealousy and a sassy grin on his face. "You try that, Swan, and I'll ditch you for Scarlett Johansen."

Emma giggled mischievously. "Do you really think she'd take you in just like that?" She began to mimic his accent and spoke, sotto voce. 'Hell Scarlett, I'm Killian Jones and my girlfriend had a daydream about George Clooney so I was rather hoping you'd let me come in and let me cheat on her with you…'"

"Well…" He shrugged with a grin. "If I offer to paint her on a swing…"

"You wouldn't dare!"

"Then I kindly ask you to remove Mr. Clooney from your merriest illusions…" He smiled as he stroked the canvas with his graphite.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you are jealous…" She smirked.

He raised his eyes at her. "I don't think Mr. Clooney should take priority in your thoughts over yours truly, is all." He shrugged with a shy grin.

Emma smiled and stood from the swing. "A hand, captain?"

"No, Swan, don't move!"

"What if… I were moving towards you?" She limped. "For a kiss, a hug… maybe a little bit more?"

He looked at her, smiling, and placed the graphite down on the easel. "You are obnoxiously and annoyingly gorgeous." He paced to her.

A loud bang was heard and Killian stopped cold. Emma gasped and looked down, placing both hands on her stomach. Before Killian's suddenly horrified gaze, his Swan began to bleed.

"No… NO!" He ran to her as she fell.

As he caught her in his arms, he turned to the direction of the shooter; Toni Dinapoli stood there, lowering the handgun with a smile. "And don't even ask if your Bambini are still alive, painter. They just went for a nice swim in the river…"

Teary eyed, Killian turned a desperate face to Emma. "No… Swan, not you too, please…"

"I lo… love you…" She whispered, a trail of blood trickling from her left lip corner, a hand gently caressing his cheek. She closed her eyes and exhaled deeply…

"NO! NOOO!"

Emma felt him stir violently, moaning out her name, his face contorted.

She swiftly turned on her bedside lamp before turning back around to her harrowed sleeping love. "Killian… KILLIAN!" She shook him.

"Emma, no!" He sat up suddenly, panting and sweating, his eyes glazed.

"Hey, it's ok…" she ran her hand from his shoulder down. "It's just a dream, babe, that's all…"

He turned a shaky face to her, his eyes glazed beneath his inverted v brows. "Jesus bloody fucking Christ…" He spoke, his voice broken, before leaning his face against her chest.

"Shh, it's ok." She caressed his head. "It's fine, Killian."

As he regained his composure, he pulled away enough to gently kiss her cheek, a ragged breath leaving his lips. "It was so real…" He ran his hand down his face and huffed. "Christ…"

She caressed the side of his face. "Are you ok?"

He looked at her and swallowed. "I will be…" He shook his head and stepped out of bed, walking to the bathroom and closing the door behind him.

Emma slumped back in bed with a flustered huff. It was the fourth nightmare he'd had since they had started sleeping together and she knew very well that that fact in itself probably had a great deal to do with his bad dreams. Deep down, she knew that perhaps getting married so soon would rush things, that perhaps it was a better idea to fix themselves before taking that step, but another part of her knew that they were both well sure of what they felt and that neither of them seemed hesitant in even talking about it.

Five minutes later, Killian emerged from the bathroom. Emma followed him with her eyes as he made way back to the bed. His expression was more relaxed, but a far cry from happy. As he lay down beside her, she turned to her side. "Talk to me, Killian."

He lay down and pulled the covers over him, placing both hands over his bare stomach as he leaned his head on the headboard. "It was just a dream, love. Go back to sleep."

"No."

"What?"

"Don't do this, don't shut me out."

He looked at her and found her pleading gaze to be far more convincing than his conviction to allow his girl to get some rest and for him to deal with his skewed psyche.

He closed his eyes and gulped. "I lost you."

"Me?"

"Aye. You were on the swing and I was sketching you on canvass when that… bloody bastard Dinapoli showed up and shot you." He licked his lips, the terror of the mere notion of the nightmare returning to his gaze. "He had killed he children before shooting you and… You died in my arms… and…" H4e shook his head. "Bloody hell, when does it fucking end?"

Emma knew Killian had to be really distraught to be cussing. She reached for his stump, grabbing hold, and took it to her cheek. "Hey… I'm right here, it's fine. Tony's never getting out of the Pen." She leaned in and kissed his cheek. "Henry and Meg are safe in their rooms, everything is fine, Killian."

"Aye… until one day it isn't."

She looked at him. "What are you talking about?"

He sighed deep. "I was a blessed man, Emma. I had it all, and in the blink of an eye, it was gone. One minute we were a happy family and next, I was a widower who had lost his infant boy; I became a shadow of myself, darling, everything I had, everything I was… took second stage behind a bottle of rum." He turned to his side, his good hand cupping her cheek. "Here's the thing: I wouldn't dream of being without you now, love, not ever. And every passing second at your side, I love you more and more. But the more I love you, the more I have to lose if… if…"

She placed her hand over his and leaned her cheek into it. "And you think I'm not scared of that?"

He chuckled. "Well, if you are, you're a damn sight braver than I am."

"No Killian." She spoke with a soft voice and a kind grin. "I'm only a better actress. You and I, we're both too sensitive, and we've been through a lot of shit in our lifetimes. It's ok…" She kissed his hand. "It's ok to be a little bit scared. I just started a great relationship with the sweetest guy ever, a guy who gets me and knows me and I almost lost you to a crazy psycho fairy."

He chuckled softly and he pulled her to himself. "…and I almost lost my own love… again… because of a twisted deviant. AND my daughter. All in a single night." He gulped hard. "I wonder if there's any way to fully come back from it all, darling." He laughed softly. "Bloody hell, I'm even jealous of George Clooney."

Enna wrinkled her nose. "George Cloo… what? What are you talking about? Was he featured in the dream as well?"

"Aye, somewhat. You had a bit of a crush on him."

"He's not even my type."

"That's not the point, Swan…" He laughed softly. "The point is, I… I'm terrified of losing you. I've lost it all already and… Since I found you, it's all been so touch and go, what with me being on the bottle, then the drama with Henry and the school, then Tink and then the bloody Italian…"

"And now George Clooney, fuck this life!" She joked.

Killian laughed heartily. "You mock my misery, Emma!"

"Yeah, because it's not real." She leaned on an elbow and propped herself up, caressing his face with her free hand. "I am NOT going anywhere, Killian."

He reached up and twirled her hair in his fingers. "That night under the rain, when the truck hit you, I thought…" He swallowed again. "I thought that perhaps, life was trying to make a point."

"A point?"

"Aye…. That in this lifetime, I was meant to be alone… to not love anybody or be loved, and… I …"

"Oh, Killian…" She snuggled against him and pressed her lips against his collarbone, kissing it before leaning her cheek on his chest. "Look, life is a massive roulette, and we never know what we're going to get next. Sometimes, shit happens, I'm well aware of it. I've had my fair amount of crap to deal with too. We both have a lot of mending to do. A lot." She rolled her eyes up at him. "And if you want to take some time, I… I can completely understand."

He shot his eyes to her. "What, away from you? Not a bloody chance."

"Listen, Killian, I…" She once again propped herself up. "I really want this, I want it just as much as you do. But… if you feel pressured or that maybe we're rushing into things, I… I need you to know that I will wait. I can wait."

Killian furrowed his brow. "Wait, is this because of our talk about getting married? Of having a family?"

"Both."

"Emma, I thought you actually wanted…"

"I do!" she cut in. "I totally do, only not… at the expense of your nervous system. I hate the idea of you feeling pressured into something that… perhaps you don't feel ready to do, and if you want to just… you know, stay here to sort yourself out and I go back to Maine or… you know, anything… I… I can and will respect it."

He studied her face with a confused scorn. As she looked back at him, he saw it; the childlike insecurity of one that has been left alone and been betrayed one too many times, one that feels she cannot mean anything to someone like himself, one that has been having an equally hard time opening herself to loving someone the way he loved her… one that was just as afraid as he was. Maybe even more.

The orphan that was Emma Swan, vulnerable in his arms. And seeing himself mirrored in the eyes of that lonely little girl, he realized that perhaps she wasn't as good an actress as she claimed to be.

His heart spun in his chest as he finally understood.

"Oh Swan…" He pulled her to himself hard and sighed as he deposited a loving kiss on her head. "No, love. Never, not without you and Henry. We will do things as we planned. We will get home, find a place that's suitable for our new set of circumstances, wed and just take one step each day at bettering ourselves. We'll find a way to defeat this; together." He looked at her and cleaned off the wayward tear that had trickled down her cheek. "We're here now, Emma, we found each other in the darkness, now we make our own light. We owe it to ourselves and to Henry and Megan, to be happy and lead the kind of life we deserve. We've both been through enough and I cannot imagine now waking up and not finding you here with me. I'd never be able to work things out that way, not anymore." He kissed her gently. "I just told you that the night you got run over, I had thought life wanted me to be miserable and alone, but now I know it was just setting me up to be strong, for you, for the children. We sort of… saved one another, Swan. And there's no chance on earth I'd want you to return home by yourself and for me to remain in this bloody museum of a house by myself." He caressed her hair. "You're a bloody hero, Swan."

Emma's lower lip quivered and she forced a grateful grin though her teary gaze. "So are you."

He simply held her in silence for a few minutes. He then rolled his eyes to the window. "Blimey…"

"What?"

"Sun is rising."

She turned to look and then leaned back into him. "So it is."

"Shall we get up? Ready the children?"

She raised her face to him with a frown. "Ready them for what, exactly?"

He bit his tongue. "I… want to take Meg to visit her mum and her brother." He looked at her. "And to introduce you to them."

She sighed as she looked into his eyes. God, how she loved this man! "Are you sure you want us to accompany you?"

"Emma…" He grabbed her hand as she twirled his chest hair with her fingers. "I want you to accompany me through life! And this is a first step." He pulled her hand up to his lips and kissed her fingers. "Please?"

She smiled. "Tell you what." She felt her same hand caress his neck and wrap itself around his neck, anchoring her as she pulled her body up and reaching for his earlobe with her lips. "Let's go there today… but not now. Later." She closed her eyes and gently nibbled on his ear.

Killian inhaled sharply and grinned. "So, I take it an early breakfast is out of the question?"

"No, not entirely." She gave him a mischievous little glare. "We do get to eat, only not food." She kissed his cheek. "You did promise you would take certain oral endeavors at a slower pace, captain."

Three nights earlier, they had made love for the first time and with the plaster and the need to feel one another, they had not really explored other areas of what pleasurable intercourse could offer.

Killian smiled from ear to ear. "So I did. And I am a man of my word." He rolled over and pinned her down beneath him, making her giggle. "And so, my lady Swan, will you grant me the honor of letting me kiss your wee corners until you lose your grounding?"

She smiled back. "Only if you let me kiss yours."

"Sounds like a fair deal! But ladies first. " He laughed as he started his way down her neck, running hand and stump down her now plaster free arms, and locking the fingers of his one good hand with hers. He touched her, felt her, caressed her and slowly removed her clothing as his lips coursed down every inch of her satin skin, inching his way down to her pubic bone, tracing the way with his tongue and after kissing the yearning, trembling thighs, now also free from plaster, finally sinking in with fervor into her folds, his tongue curiously prodding and tasting and finding her core once more while her fingers wrapped into his hair. He could hear her gentle, soft moans, his name from her lips like a blessing, and her breathing intensified while he settled for more with a sigh, his eyes closed and his tongue dancing fervently with that magnificent spot that triggered his Swan's pleasure.

It only took minutes for Emma to suddenly tense her legs, her toes curled, and her hips raised with a sudden thrust and a contained but powerful gasping groan, as she convulsed with beautiful abandonment, her thighs pressing against his cheeks as he pressed on until her climax was complete and each lick only made her jump without control.

When he finally raised his eyes to look at her, he was greeted by the sight of a goddess, her nude breasts peaked and yearning, her breathing intense and her chest, cheeks and shoulders a rosy red that only made her adorable freckles stand out even more, like star maps in the sky.

Still tasting her, he swallowed and crawled back up to her, holding her in his arms and kissing her head. "Pleased?"

She gasped for breath. "Wh… what the he hell are you?" She laughed.

"Someone who loves you to death and loves to see you have a nice time."

"That… that wasn't nice, that was… that…"

"The indication that I did right by you, love."

"Yeah… yeah, you did." She turned to him and kissed him, tasting a little remnant of herself before her hand reached down for him, grabbing him hard but caressing him with gentle ease. He closed his eyes and held his breath for a brief second as he whispered her name. "Emma…. Oh, Emma…"

"Yeah, Killian, it's me."

"I … love you…"

"I love you too…" She leaned in to kiss him before slowly making her way down, in the same fashion he had done with her. Unlike him, however, she didn't make any pit stops for mild kisses; her lips went straight for the kill as she savored him, tasted him and felt him fully in her mouth, his hand gently stoking her hair as his length felt the soft tongue of his love tickle and tease before her lips wrapped around him fully "Oh, my god…" He breathed with a smile.

After a minute, she stopped and he opened his eyes with a slightly flustered groan. She was crawling back up, her eyes fixed on his, and saddled over his readiness. He smiled as she reached up for his arm, grabbing his hand by his face as he felt her engulf him with her body. She closed her eyes, feeling him, inch by inch, inside of her. "Oh, Killian…" She smiled, her hips circling, feeling him, loving him. She leaned down on top of him and their lips joined as he stated his pounding, softer than their first time, because now he knew for sure there was no need to claim her, to make her his.

She already was… just as much as he was hers as well.

Releasing their hands, he wrapped his arms around her, securing her and pulling her to him, as if he were wanting to integrate her into his body, while Emma one again let her fingers grab a hold of his silken black tresses, kissing, tongues waltzing and both moaning into each other's mouths.

He rolled her around, not once pulling out, and as he settled himself on top of her, he stopped his ministrations enough to look at her gorgeously flushed face. He smiled, and she smiled back.

Emma too looked at him, his lips reddened and the apples of his cheeks a delicious apple red, sweat starting to form on his temples and his face covered by a fine glow. He began moving again, slowly, pacing himself, wanting to feel her inside out, wanting to take a piece of her soul with him and give her one of his own.

He sunk his face into the fold of her neck and shoulder and simply continued to move, thrusting at a steady but wonderfully slow pace, and when he felt her once again tighten and moan into his ear, he too moaned softly, the pleasure of her contractions flooding him both physically and spiritually, knowing he was the one doing this, he was the one making this unbelievably beautiful woman feel desired, pleasured…loved beyond all measure.

"Ki… Killian…" she moaned as he continued. "Y… you… now you…"

"…K…" He whispered as he hastened his pace.

He thrust in hard, one final time, and emptied himself within her once more, giving her all he had, a mild moan leaving his lips into her ear and her hand cradling his head and her other pushing him from behind, to feel his own orgasmic release within her, hard and wonderfully li8mp after a few instances.

Without pulling out, he pushed himself up and looked into her eyes, smiling and speaking between rugged breaths. "N… now what w…was that abou… about wanting to…" He licked his lips and swallowed. "…wanting to go back on your own, then, love?"

She smiled at him and pulled him back down with a giggle. "No, not a chance."

"God, Emma, I love you so much…"

She sighed and kissed the top of his sweaty head of black hair. "I love you, Killian…"

They slept for an extra hour before finally rising to the sound of the television in the lounge and the discussion of whether or not Anakin Skywalker would have been a good Jedi.

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Meg crouched down on the floor and placed a small bouquet of lilies on the grave.

Emma gulped, her hear5t squeezing in her chest, as the little girl then went back to her sullen-looking father as he too, reached down and placed some white roses on the ground.

"Milah Jones, loving mother, kind daughter and adored wife, 1979-2010. Patrick Jones, young angel of god, born and taken 2010."

She saw from a distance how this man she adored still wept for her, his late wife, and their beautiful little boy whom they had both lost due to the twisted desires of a crazed young girl.

She was not jealous. She knew that this wonderful late bride would always occupy a significant space in his heart. But it didn't matter; that heart was so big, he could fit them both in and still have tons of extra room.

Life could really be unfair to the kind-hearted at times.

"Mom?"

Emma turned a sad face to her son. "Yeah, kid?"

"Don't you think we should go over there?"

Emma grinned and pulled Henry to herself. "Give them a minute."

Sure enough, a few seconds later, Killian motioned them over.

Henry and Emma approached solemnly and hesitantly, but Emma's fears faded as he took her hand in his with a sad grin on his face, before turning back to the gravestone. "Milah, this is Emma. She's the one I've told you of late at night, remember? The one who was helping me mend?" He blinked twice. "Well, here she is love. No need to worry there, darling, both Meg and I are in good hands."

Emma gulped and grinned. "I'll take good care of both of them… Milah. I promise."

A mild breeze blew amidst the graves, making the willow over their heads hiss with the movement, and a sudden feeling of peace flooded Emma's heart.

Killian released her and bent over to kiss the stone. "Take care of your mother, m'boy… We'll see you again someday, lad."

Meg leaned on Emma and Emma found herself wrapping an arm around the girl's shoulders. The child then raised her face up at her. "I'm glad you're here…" She3 said.

"So am I." Emma smiled.

It wasn't till later that day, while coursing through Covent Garden, that Killian bought an antique ring for Emma to wear. He simply ran to her as she fiddled with an old gramophone, "Swan! Look!" He smiled, suddenly grabbing her hand and simply shoving the (slightly large) ring on her finger. It was an ancient beauty made of pearls and a sapphire that matched the hue of his own eyes. "Call it official."

"What?" She smiled, shocked, while Meg and Henry exchanged excited, gasping faces.

Killian laughed as he went down on one knee. "The ring is on your finger, woman, now tell me you'll be my wife, go on!"

The market people stopped and started wide-eyed at the scene unfolding before them with excited, expectant smiles. Even when he and Emma had already talked about this, the feeling of him proposing in the streets of London made Emma feel like the princess she had always dreamt of being but never thought she'd ever actually become.

"Yes… YES!" She nodded.

He leapt up and held her closely while everyone around them cheered and applauded.

Megan turned her face to Henry. "We still get to call each other roomie, right?"

"Oh, yeah, for sure." The boy nodded back.

Meg smiled and turned to look at her father. "She's right. Your mom."

"About what?"

She shrugged. "I think my dad is in good hands."

"I think…" Henry sighed with a nodding grin. "My mom is in a good hand too."

Megan gave him a playful nudge. "You're mean to your future stepdad."

"That's ok." He smiled back at her. "He's cool, even if he does only have one hand." He looked at the pair who was now exchanging some sweet nothings, their foreheads leaning together. "I just wish I had a clue where my dad ended up, you know… So I could also go put some flowers on his grave…"

Meg looked at Henry, her smile disappearing. She simply reached for him and leaned on his shoulder. "I'll help, if you want. We can look in the internet when we get home."

Henry shook his head. "It's hard… the mod and all that."

Megan nodded. "That's true… but at least it won't hurt for you to know so that when all is said and done, you can maybe just… go someday." She smiled at him. "It's all about doing it, not when you do it. I waited five years to visit my mom, Henry. And I'm ok with that. I really am…. Because I know we weren't ready. So, take in from me… when the time comes, you'll be able to."

Henry grinned at her. "I hope you're right, roomie."