AU in which Young Princess Emma meets Baelfire on a trip at sea. They meet again, years later, and their old friendship blossoms into more.

With a groan he falls face first onto their bed, feet dangling over the edge as he haphazardly toes off his shoes.  

"I think I’m dying, Ziva."

Her laughter echoes in from the hallway as she follows her husband into the room, leaning gently against the door frame to slip off her heels.  He lets out another small moan as he rolls his head from side to side against the comforter, and she shakes her head at his antics, an easy smile on her lips.  Tony always did have a flair for the dramatic.    

Twisting her hair into a bun, she crosses the room to join him; a sigh of relief slipping from her lips as she sinks against the soft mattress.  Stretching out alongside him on her stomach, she smooths a hand across his shoulders, allowing her forehead to drop against his upper arm with a soft hum of contentment.  

"Hmmm,  somehow I think you will survive."

His answering huff is muffled against the bedding, and she raises her head again to find him staring at her, a frowning pout half-hidden in the sheets that fills her with an a sudden wave of affection.  

"You’re mocking my pain." he feigns hurt even as his lips part in an easy grin and his hand seeks out her free one across the duvet.  Leaning forward, she nuzzles his cheek fondly before pressing a soft kiss to his skin.  

"Maybe just a little," she admits, resting her head back against the bed and watching his green eyes sparkle in amusement at her in the soft light of the room.  

He turns his head to face her with a small wince, and she slides the hand not holding his across his shoulders to rub his neck gently.  He gives a small moan of approval in response, eyes meeting hers thoughtfully.  

"Seriously though, mini-Palmer about did me in I think.  Who knew 2 year-olds had so much energy?"

Laughter fills the quiet of the room as she remembers how Jimmy and Breena’s adopted son had immediately taken to Tony that afternoon, running him up and down the hallway in a never-ending game of cops and robbers.  It hadn’t helped that Tony kept giving in to his pleas of “but I’m the birthday boy!” every time Tony tried to call a time-out.  

"He was quite excited." Her fingers run soothing lines through his hair, and he lets out a content hum, thumb stroking rhythmically against the skin of her other hand.  

"Excited is putting it mildly," he returns seriously, "if he’s this intense at three you’re going to be driving me to the hospital after the next birthday party."

She rolls her eyes in response. “Maybe you just need to work on your stamina,” she quips, tugging lightly at his hair. 

"Hey!" he yelps indignantly, "DiNozzo men have excellent stamina."  His free arm snakes around her waist, tugging her closer and sending her a quick wink, "As you well know sweetcheeks."

Chuckling, she leans forward to press her lips briefly against his before poking him firmly between the shoulder blades in retaliation, “Not, what I meant DiNozzo.”

His exaggerated “oof” dissolves the moment in laughter, and she settles against the mattress once more, fingertips tracing distracted lines against his back as another memory floats through her thoughts.  

"You seem to have recovered from your lifelong fear of children at least," she offers after a moment, rolling onto her side toward him. 

Green eyes crinkle around the corners as a lazy grin flits across his features, “Yeah, I suppose rugrats seem a little less terrifying year after year.”  His face turns pensive suddenly, eyes swirling with a myriad of emotions as his hand travels from her back to cup her cheek.  “In fact,” his thumb smooths across her cheek gently, gaze focuses on her meaningfully, “sometimes the idea of certain kids seems pretty great.”

His meaning hits her hard in the chest, and she breathes in a gasp of air as she stares at him, stunned.  He sends her a small, sheepish smile, eyes scanning her features worriedly, as though he’s afraid he’s gone and said too much—brought up the topic they never seemed to touch before she was ready.  Her heart hammers erratically, and she waits for the panic to set in.  Waits for the onslaught of terror and inadequacy the idea of children has always wrought within her; for the voice in her head that tells her she will never be good enough to deserve this.  But it never comes.  Instead all she can see are soft chocolate curls, and mini hazel-green eyes, and laughter.  And happiness, a lot of happiness.  She swallows hard against a sudden lump in her throat.  

She doesn’t know when she got so lucky.  She doesn’t know how they’ve both managed to heal each other—how they’ve finally found to courage to feel deserving.

All she knows she’s never letting go.  

Grinning, she runs her hand along his cheek, leaning forward to catch his surprised lips in an intense kiss.  Pulling back to meet his gaze, she traces her fingers along his jaw as his eyes try to decipher the meaning behind her reaction.  

"Maybe we should get a puppy," she muses abruptly, and his eyebrows raise in confusion, "They are supposed to be good practice, no?"

His answering grin is ecstatic as her meaning finally catches up to him, and lips meet hers fervently as they seek to convey every sentiment at once—elation, love, nervousness, excitement.  


She responds eagerly to his kiss, tongue begging entrance to his mouth with a soft flick, hands shifting to the short strands of his hair, pulling him closer as heat flares between them and makes her pulse pound. He twists onto his side and slides both arms around her, fingers running down her back to grasp her hips, rolling her beneath him.  It occurs to her that maybe they should discuss this more; that usually these types of conversations required more talking, more discussion.  Then his hands slide up her thighs, bunching the fabric of her dress as his hands smooth over her stomach and her thoughts scatter as she digs her nails into his shoulders.  Talking could wait until tomorrow.  

They had always communicated better without words anyway.

His lips leave hers to trail across her jaw,  “I don’t know,” he continues suddenly, voice low and gravelly against her skin, ” I can think of other ways for us to practice.”  His hands inch higher against her torso, and it takes her nearly a full minute to remember what they had been talking about before. 

"I thought you were tired?" she breathes, her retort more breathy than the tease she intended. A small moan escapes her as his lips finds the spot below her ear that sends a tiny tremor through her.

His lips travel lower, teeth grazing her collarbone before he pulls back to give her a wolfish grin, “What can I say sweetcheeks?  You have a healing effect on me.” 

She arches an incredulous eyebrow at his remark and fixes him with a mischievous smirk, “Oh really?”  Bending her knee against his hip, she hooks a foot around his thigh and flips them, chucking lightly at his mild surprise before grinding against him slowly, drawing a moan from them both. 

"Very." he rasps,  hands sliding up her body, pulling her flat against his chest.  His lips become distracted by hers, and she tugs at the buttons on his shirt—the man was wearing far too many clothes.  

"Besides," he murmurs vaguely, lips brushing against hers in-between words,  "practice makes perfect."

Nine months later as she cradles their newborn daughter in her arms, she has to agree that it most definitely does. 


get to know me: [2/5] anime series | Steins;Gate

"If you save someone, you’ll lose someone. Dreams you finally fulfilled won’t exist anymore. Your long held desires will be snatched away. And when the change you hoped for doesn’t happen, you will have to keep facing that inescapable reality. Again and again!"