#OnceUponATime #Fanfic Friday: Pomp, Circumstance and A Very Bored Pirate

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In my Once Upon A Time fanfic, Loose Threads (a later installment of The Memory Keeper series), we meet up with Killian and Emma (and a few others) a short time before Henry is set to take the throne as the new king of Camelot. Snow and Regina are ready to plan a memorable party – if only everyone else would get on board . . .


“I realize this is just pomp and circumstance, but I could do with a bit less of the pomp.” Killian set down his empty wine goblet, unstoppered his flask and poured a healthy dose of rum into it.

“I’ll take some of that,” David said, nudging his own goblet over. “And one thing I’ve learned about Regina – she can never have enough pomp.”

“How bloody long can they argue over the varying shades of crimson and gold?” Killian asked.

“Who even knew there were varying shades of crimson and gold?” Robin interjected, reaching for the flask. “I don’t think we’ve made an inch of headway.”

“If you three are quite finished,” Regina said, raising her voice. “We could use a little guidance.”

“Is it regarding color schemes, china patterns, flatware designs, draperies or sconces?” Killian asked.

“No, it’s -”

“Furniture placement, carpeting, water closet availability or floral design?” Killian continued, ticking the items off on his fingers.

“Enough!” Regina snapped. She took a breath. “It’s a matter of decorum.”

Killian raised a brow. “Well, don’t look at me.”

“I’m certainly not qualified,” Robin said, pouring himself another drink.

Killian rolled his head toward David, who was staring glumly at the wall with his chin in his hand. “That leaves you, mate.”

“Huh?” David snapped to lethargic attention. “What are we doing?”

“Pay attention,” Regina bit out. “If everyone just pays attention, this will all go a lot faster.”

“Do you promise?” Robin asked. He held up his hands at the look on Regina’s face. “Kidding. I’m kidding, Regina.”

“Well, I’m not,” Snow said, taking up where Regina left off. “We’ve got so much to do before the coronation and we’re going to need everyone to pitch in. Please don’t make this any more stressful than it already is.”

“You’re arguing over whether the ‘more-red-crimson’ or the ‘not-as-gold’ gold work better than the ‘clearly-lighter-crimson’ and the ‘much-deeper-gold’ gold,” Killian growled. “And you’ve been at it for over an hour.”

“Kings aren’t crowned every day!” Snow protested.

“No, they are not,” Regina said, through clenched teeth. “And it all has to be perfect. Nothing less than perfect for our son. Isn’t that right, Emma?”

Emma jerked at the sound of her name.

“Yes. Right. Absolutely.”

“You see?” Snow said. “Emma gets it.”

“She’s said the same thing every time you’ve woken her up,” Killian said flatly.

Emma’s mouth opened, and then closed again. She gave Killian a look that said he was going to pay for that. “I have not,” she defended. “I’m just…thinking. And I think we should go with whatever they decide.”

“Fine,” David sighed, raising a hand in surrender before he used it to rub some blood flow back into his face. “Let’s just get this done. What was the matter of decorum?”

“Fealty,” Regina said.

“What about it?”

“When Henry’s knights kneel to pledge fealty, I think it would be nice – just as a decorative touch, you understand – to have them kneel on velvet pillows,” Snow said. She reached into a bag at her feet, pulling out a few small crimson velvet pillows embroidered in gold. “I’ve had the local seamstress mock up a few with Henry’s crest.”

“Pillows?” Robin looked confused.

“You see?” Regina waved a hand. “No man – no real man – is going to swear fealty while kneeling on an embroidered pillow.”

“David…?” Snow looked over at him expectantly.

“Pillows.” He looked at her like she’d gone mad. “You expect knights of the round table to kneel on pillows?”

“They won’t scuff their armor,” Snow replied. “Right, Emma?”

“Yes. Right. Absolutely.” Emma nodded.

“They won’t be wearing armor,” Killian said. “They’re feasting, not jousting.”

“Well, they won’t bruise their knees,” Emma said with a shrug.

Regina gave an eyeroll that should have tossed her eyes out of her sockets. “Gentlemen?” she asked.

“No pillows,” they all answered.

“Definitely no.” Robin added.

“No.” David agreed. “No pillows.”

Snow gritted her teeth. “Fine. No pillows. And now that we have that settled, we can move on.”

“Wonderful!” Killian said, swigging rum directly from the flask now.

“Hallelujah,” Emma said. “What’s next?”

Snow smiled. “The menu. I’ve narrowed it down to sixty-eight options, but we really need to get that number into the thirties somewhere.”

David leaned forward, putting his face in his hands and Robin’s head dropped back, hitting the stone wall behind his chair. Killian couldn’t take it anymore and rose to his feet.

“I need more rum,” he said.

“I’ll help you.” Emma got to her feet. “Can I get anyone else anything?”

“Something to drink would be nice,” Snow said with a smile. “We have to taste-test all the varieties of dinner rolls.”

“And how many are those?” David asked, opening his fingers and looking between them warily.

“Thirty-three.”

Snow scribbled something else down on her list with a flourish, and David folded his arms on the table in front of him, and laid his head down.

“It’s after midnight,” Robin said with a yawn. “Can’t we take this up tomorrow?”

“No.” Regina and Snow were adamant.

“I’ll be right back,” Emma said, moving quickly after Killian. She followed him into the kitchen, then flattened her back against the wall and leaned against it.

“I thought we’d never get out of there,” she groaned.

Killian pulled her in, letting her rest her forehead against his chest. “Shore up, Swan” he said. “Only six thousand more decisions to go.”

“I am not cut out for this royal stuff. My mom thrives on it. Henry was smart, telling them he had official duties.”

“He had a much more pleasant evening arranged,” Killian said. “Can’t fault the boy for wanting to spend some time with his love. Soon enough he’ll be king and suffering through all the pomp and circumstance with the rest of us.”

“Suffering is right.”

“Not much longer,” he said, rubbing her back.

“Hmmmm,” Emma rubbed her face back and forth into the skin at the vee of his shirt. “How long before they notice we’re missing?” she asked, planting a kiss at the base of his throat.

He brought his hand up, tangling it in her hair. “Perhaps we can convince them that the rum is on the ship,” he murmured, tilting her lips up to meet his . . .


You can read more of Loose Threads (and if you haven’t done so already, I’d recommend reading The Memory Keeper series installments beforehand so you have the backstory) on Fanfiction.net or Archive of Our Own (AO3), along with all my other fanfic titles.

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