Captain’s Choice is a fanfic made of supporting stories that take place in and around The Memory Keeper series. In this scene, Killian has just accidentally learned that Emma is carrying his child, and while Emma slumbers peacefully, he contemplates just what that means to him . . .
He took a moment just to let it all sink in. He’d spent so long not worrying about the possibility of ever impregnating anyone, that it hadn’t even occurred to him. There had been so many women – surely after all this time they numbered in the hundreds at the very least. A disjointed smattering of names and faces and body parts – some more memorable than others and very few worth a return visit.
Yet in all that tomcatting he’d been careful. The last thing he ever wanted was a bastard child of his out there somewhere, growing up without a father. He’d sought out a witch and paid for a spell long ago that protected him from any such eventuality. Once it took hold he would be unable to get anyone with child – unless he truly wanted to.
And now he sat, flabbergasted by the fact that he must’ve truly wanted to, with Emma.
If he looked at the situation without bias and from a dispassionate point of view, he certainly could have done worse. She’d make a superlative mother – he’d never seen a woman as fierce in her motherhood in all his life. She loved Henry with a depth that amazed him on a regular basis, never having had it’s equal in his own childhood. And this baby would be born into a family that would surely cherish and protect it for all the days of its life. Of course, it went without saying that the child would be bloody gorgeous, with a mother as beautiful as Emma and his own rogue-ish good looks combined with hers.
So he must’ve recognized all that on some level, and wanted this. He just hadn’t realized that he had, so he really hadn’t given it much thought. Everything was too new with Emma. They were still just discovering each other, after all. How had a child come to figure into it when he hadn’t even considered the notion?
Well, he thought, with a raise of his brows, I’m bloody well considering it now.
And if he were honest with himself, he knew why he hadn’t consciously allowed himself to think about it. It was because he honestly didn’t think he’d ever be able to obtain something like this – a woman like Emma, and a child born of a woman like Emma. It was like some grand fairy tale, unreachable, especially to the likes of him.
But there she lay, sleeping peacefully, and his child, his daughter, possibly – maybe even probably – sleeping within her. The two greatest treasures of his life, under the warmth of his outstretched hand. He blinked hard, but it was useless. The tears welled up in his eyes and he took a deep, shuddering breath.
There was no hope for it. He was utterly, magnificently undone.
He leaned over, kissing her belly softly before he crawled into bed next to her, pulling her in and holding her tight. His thoughts went fleetingly to Milah, and the sadness was still there, but not as it once was. His life with Milah was far from a fairy tale. It seemed like they were always on the run, relishing their rootless existence. Nothing to tie them down or make them feel any sense of obligation. Nothing to indulge but their own whims in any way they saw fit.
He loved her with everything he’d had back then, but upon some painful self-reflection – most of it done in that bloody jungle while he watched Emma sleep – he realized that all he had back then wasn’t much. He was shallow and self-absorbed and not particularly caring about the fact that he was. He’d had centuries to relive his mistakes, to rethink his choices, to examine his motives, and he never had. Not until this woman, this one remarkable woman told him she understood him. Not until she asked him to be more than he was, because she thought he had it in him to be that kind of man.
All that time on that God-forsaken island, watching her and her family, realizing just how badly he wanted her -and all of them – to see him as that man. And if he could be that man, he just might have a chance at it.
A chance at Happily Ever After. And that would include Emma and a family and a life with friends and more family and laughter and love. He never knew how very much he wanted it until he dared to think he might have a chance at it.
And he’d have never considered it even a faint possibility before Emma.
He kissed the back of her neck, relishing the feel and smell and heat of her in his arms. He’d been alone for so very, very long, and so had she for as long as she could remember. Two kindred souls, reaching out to each other through their loneliness and pain, finding solace in the way they each understood the fragility of life, of love, of finding someone who sees you for not just who you are, but who you want to be, and wants that for you just as badly.
Hook believed in magic. It was in the world all around him. He’d seen it with his own eyes, both the dark and the useful forms. But until recently, he’d never believed in miracles.
Now he was a part of one, and had assisted in the creation of one. It was more than a man like him could ever deserve, no matter how many lifetimes he lived. He closed his eyes, feeling the pull of sleep, his mouth curving into a smile at the thought of a little girl, cherub-faced, maybe with her father’s eyes, with pigtails and frilly dresses and smiles, growing up to be as beautiful as her mother.
His eyes snapped open at the thought of baby girl Jones becoming grown woman Jones, gowned and grown and lovely, with an endless stream of inept, slobbering suitors stealing kisses and vying for her attention.
It was a long, long time before he slept.