Summary: for the prompt Killian gets used to snuggling :)
the cartography of our intimacy
The Charming family, Killian learns, are very affectionate people.
He’s seen David and his wife over the course of their journey to Neverland, has seen how they respond to their daughter and their…
wEEP LITTLE LION MAN YOU’RE NOT AS BRAVE AS YOU WERE AT THE STAAAARRTTTT
There was light up ahead. She was sure of it. They had been blundering in this fucking dark wood for hours, Henry tagging close at her heels, her hand on the sword they’d stolen, as they did their best to adjust to crashing through the damn Enchanted Forest. Finally. Fortunately they hadn’t been ambushed, though food had been thin on the ground, and she’d given to Henry whatever they did find. She was hungry, dirty, tired, and very, very pissed off, and her experience with Mary Margaret last time had done little to prepare her for anything remotely useful this time. She’d thought they were just going to wander in circles until they keeled over, but finally a little luck. They were almost out of here. The trees parted and thinned, and then opened up into rolling grassland.
"Come on, kid," Emma panted, giving Henry a hand over a boulder, and they clambered out into the field beyond, windblown and snow-swept. If he was finding his magic adventure less exciting than he’d always imagined, at least he wasn’t saying so. They’d both kept their modern clothes, which while warmer and more durable, picked them out for unwelcome attention whenever they ventured into a town. But she’d hoped it might also cause news to travel. So that if her family was here, if they had any memory of themselves, they’d put the pieces together and realize it was her. God, the hoping hurt. And if it wasn’t true, they’d have to make a life here, somehow. She didn’t know how to go back.
"Mom." Henry tugged on her coat sleeve nervously. "What’s that?"
Emma shielded her eyes. There was a dark figure just visible across the meadow, pelting closer at high speed, and she realized it was a man on a horse. Crap. If this was some territorial local warlord, or superstitious village magistrate, telling him that she was in fact the long-lost princess was going to go down about as well as a dead rat floating in a beer tankard (or ale, as they called it around here). Then they were going to get an irregular acquaintance with some filthy dungeon, and that would just put paid to any hopes of —
Emma’s heart choked her throat. Her stomach turned over. She took a convulsive step and then another, not certain that she was possibly seeing what she was seeing, that her walls were cracking, that the dam was breaking, that she was breathing again, really breathing, for the first time since he had slipped between her fingers into nothingness, that cold shadowy afternoon in New York when they’d clung to each other with the knowledge of parting hanging over them heavy as a shroud. Find me, he’d whispered, and she’d promised. But it couldn’t, couldn’t —
God. Oh God. Oh God, oh God oh God oh God.
Emma didn’t know how she got her legs to start moving, but she did. Then she was running through the thick grass, and then Killian Jones was vaulting off the horse even faster, and they crashed into each other midway, hugging the life out of each other, her cheek mashed against some red vest she’d never seen him wear, his face thinner and lined and pale but burning like an inferno, as he finally pulled back long enough to stare at her, gasp out some variant of, “Bloody hell, lass, bloody hell,” and then crush her against his chest again. She was shaking from head to toe, as she clasped his head between her hands and kissed him, kissed him until the need to breathe became urgent and they pulled away, then dove in again, mouths opening, her hands fisting in the collar of his jacket, pulling herself closer and closer as his arms locked around her. She thought she could taste salt, taste tears, whether his or hers he didn’t know.
"Emma," he whispered, stunned, his good hand tangling through her loose hair. "Emma. Emma.”
"Killian," she wheezed back, shaping the name against his tongue and teeth and his warmth, his mouth, him, home, home, she’d come at last, she’d found him, she’d found him, she wasn’t too late, she wasn’t lost, she was home. Here, in his arms, as they just stood together, rocking each other, overwhelmed by gratitude, by love, by choice. “Killian. It’s you. It’s always been you.”
I once read a headcannon that his right hand is still part David.
SCIENCE BRO, ITS COOL AND STUFF