Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: With endless love to the star, light, and love of my life, my cherished Drew who used one of her 52 challenges from Christmas 2015 for Captain Swan and "Shut Up and Dance"
Fandom: Once Upon A Time
Character/Pairing: Hook/Emma, Ensemble
Word Count: 1,321
Date Written: 30 July 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Emma stops when she comes to a parting in the trees. She's walked through this forest hunting lost people and seeking answers many times, and yet, she's never seen it look like this. Her breath intakes at the almost magical glow the lanterns swinging in the tree branches gives the meadow. "I think I know why the Fairies sold out this year," she murmurs.
Hook's at her side as he has been steadfastly now for months. He turns to face her and gives her a low, gallant bow. He's smiling like a gentleman, but the twitching of the ends of his dark mustache hints at other, less gentlemanly ideas. There's music playing already, and although Emma scans the crowd for its source, she doesn't see any musicians. "May I have this dance?" he asks, but Emma's too flustered to answer.
Other couples are already dancing. She sees her parents, Regina and Robin, and Rumplestiltskin and Belle. Each woman is adorned in a gallant dress unlike anything her time period has to offer. The men's suits are also clothing beyond anything that would be found in even the most exclusive stores in New York. To make the dresses alone must have cost a fortune and endless hours of toiling labor.
Emma looks at Hook, who's still bowed and smiling though his smile has turned down a dial. Her eyes are huge with surprise. "Swan?" he questions, his mustache twitching again.
"This . . . This . . . " She steps forward into the meadow, her eyes once more leaving him. Granny's swaying nearby and laughing boisterously with Marco. Nearby, Archie's trying to get Ruby's attention away from Doctor Whale. Emma spins, slowly taking in everything and also noting that Grumpy's managed to get one of the Fairies to dance. "This must have taken forever!" she marvels, finally looking back at her boyfriend with renewed appreciation. "How did you . . . ?"
"Does it matter?" Hook returns, arching an eyebrow. "What matters, Swan, is that we're here to celebrate you -- "
"How did you coerce every one into this?" Emma questions.
Killian chuckles and finally stands. "It wasn't as hard as you might think, luv. You are the daughter of the Charmings, after all. The people love your mother, and," his eyes again meet hers, "they love you."
"They all did this for me?" Emma asks, awed. "But no one ever said a word!"
"Aye." Killian might have threatened to run them through with his hook if they had let the secret spill, but he isn't about to admit to such. Besides, they'd all come willingly enough. Granny had done all the cooking with help from Ruby and Mary Margaret, and everybody had pitched in with the decorations and outfits. Belle had handcrafted a dress especially for Emma with assistance from a couple of the Fairies, but he'll gift her with that radiant gown that's sure to bring out her natural beauty even more later.
Right now, people are beginning to stare. There's a soft murmur rising in the crowd. David's spinning Mary Margaret, but Killian knows the stable boy's eyes are fixed on him in a silent warning that he'd better please his daughter. He doesn't have to scowl at him so, though, because Killian's sole intention in doing all of this is to please Emma and make her happy. He bows again with a flourish of his hands. "Are we just going to watch others having all the fun," he questions, "or are we going to dance?"
But Emma's still staring and still annoying full of questions. "You had to be planning this for months!"
Maybe he had, but that's still beside the point. He decides to use the fact to his advantage, though, as he straightens. "I did," he answers, grasping her hands before she can stop him, "and that's exactly why I'm not going to let this night go to waste!" He flashes her a wide, toothy grin. "Now shut up and dance, Swan," he counters and spins her.
Around and around, they waltz as the Crocodile's unseen and impish (Killian's quite certain, despite not having actually seen them himself) musicians continue to play. Around and around, he spins her underneath the glittering lights of the lamps and the waxing moon. He pulls her close against him as a new song starts, this one slower and meant for couples, something which, at one time, he'd began to despair would never be meant for he and Emma. Yet, here she is in his arms again, smiling and laughing with her beautiful eyes twinkling so joyously. It's not a mere, slight pride he takes at the knowledge that he's a large reason for her smile tonight.
She shakes her head, her blonde hair shimmering along her red, leather jacket. "I still don't believe you did this all for me," she whispers in amazement. Then her grin turns teasing as she adds, "Although I do feel a little underdressed."
He's been planning this moment since he first got her out into the meadow. He notes Belle's position, and although the Crocodile has not left her side, he's concerned about him tonight. "We can fix that, luv," he murmurs instead and spins Emma straight toward Belle. Belle steps sideways at the last minute, and when Emma comes to a stop, her breath takes in sharply. Her eyes again grow wide and round with wonder as she gazes at the glittering, red gown.
She touches the silk almost hesitantly, as though she's afraid the gown will disappear before her very eyes. Everyone's watching her again now, but Emma's not aware of any of them. "For me?" she whispers, her fingers tingling at the feel of the luxurious fabric.
"Aye," Killian whispers back, his breath washing over the back of her neck and sending new tingles, unrelated to the dress, sweeping through her body.
Leroy clears his throat. "Right this way, Princess," he calls. Emma looks to where he stands in front of a small group of trees. Curtains are draped between the trees, effectively forming a barrier to the meadow. Emma grabs the dress before she can hesitate, not hearing the breath of relief Hook releases, and dashes through the trees.
She emerges a moment later, and between the sparkling moonlight on her golden tresses and the jewels on her new gown, she looks like she's stepping from the moon itself. Killian's fingers arch with his desire to spread through her moon dust as applause ripples through their audience. He steps forward and proudly takes her hand. The dancing resumes, and it's not until quite some time later, as she's swaying softly beside him and her head's resting on his shoulder, that he turns his lips, kisses her hair, and whispers, "Happy Anniversary, Swan."
Emma's head immediately jerks up. Her eyes are wide again, but before she can voice the question on the tip of her tongue, he explains with an easy, gentle smile, "Exactly a year ago tonight is when you stopped fighting me and accepted our destinies, ours together and your own as the Savior." She smiles and lays her head back on his shoulder.
He knows there's a hundred thoughts tumbling through her mind right now. She's not sure which one to voice, and that's the only reason why she laid her head back down. He kisses her again and whispers in her ear, "These are your people, Swan, and I am yours forever or at least," he grins, "as long as you'll have me."
She looks back up into his handsome face, and he again sees the fire of the determination she used to use against him. For just a moment, his heart stills, but then her brilliant smile makes it sing again as she acknowledges and almost challenges, "Let's make it forever." He's still smiling with joy, his boots light upon the earth, as he lets her lead the next dance.