1- They meet in Budapest. Killian is on leave from the Navy and making his way through the party capitals of Europe with Jefferson. Emma is on a whirlwind trip with Elsa visiting Europe for the first time. It’s a party in a Turkish bath and they are stripped down to their underwear. They dance. They make-out. They get puked on by Jefferson. Killian leaves to take care of his friend and the next day Emma is on an early train for Vienna.
2-Emma is staying in a hostel in Buenos Aires. She got bitten by the travel bug hard after that trip with Elsa. She works relentless catching skips and saves up so she can travel for moths at a time. She has had a blast in South America and partied a little too hard at times. Emma has an early flight and turns in early. She is sound asleep (with earplugs and eye mask) in the 5 bed dorm room when some idiot comes crashing in. She tries to ignore it, it is a hostel after all, but when the light turns one she sits up and starts yelling. When she pulls out her earplugs and takes off her eye mask she discovers Killian looking at her slack jawed. “It’s you!” They hadn’t exactly exchanged names in Budapest. All thoughts of sleep vanish as they laugh over the coincidence and finally exchange names. Since Killian is just arriving she gives him advice on what to see. They discover that they both have a morbid fascination with graveyards and the conversation goes from there. They talk until the three frat boys that own the other beds stumble into the room at 4 am and demand the lights be turned off. Killian gives her his email and asks her to keep in touch. Somehow between the hostel and boarding her flight Emma loses the slip of paper.
3. Two and a half years later Emma is in Paris for Mary-Margaret’s wedding because of course MM and David would have a fairytale wedding in a fairytale castle. Emma, still stinging from the nasty end of her relationship with Neal, isn’t interested in seeing the city of love and ends up in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. She is standing at Oscar Wilde’s grave when Killian steps beside her. They both do a double take and then laugh again at the strangeness of fate. Emma explains that she lost his email and Killian is relieved to discover that the woman that had haunted him since Budapest (he knows how she kisses) hadn’t been avoiding him. It takes Emma ten minutes to notice that he is missing a hand. It takes her twenty to ask him to be her plus one to the wedding. Emma understands now why people call Paris romantic.
4. At the end of the wedding he discovers she is planning on spending a month in Norway with Elsa. Discharged from the Navy he has no fixed plans and Emma asks him to join her. At the end of the month in Norway he asks her to come to Zimbabwe with him and work at an elephant orphanage. Emma has always wanted to see Victoria Falls and she doesn’t want to say goodbye so she agrees.
5. They keep on like that at the end of each adventure one of them will mention that they are thinking of a new destination and the other agrees to follow. They pick up odd jobs along the way to help cover costs but Killian has a Navy pension and Emma had enough savings to keep going. As long as they just keep traveling together they ignore the fact that they live on different continents and that long distance relationships never work. Eventually Emma needs to return home. Killian tells her that his home is with her and reveals that he has been working on his visa paperwork for months. They end up in Boston and they spend Sunday afternoon’s strolling Mount Auburn Cemetery together.