i'm blaming emma for this

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thank you

The filming spoilers from 4X20 prompted this little fluffy ficlet. I have a mighty need for something like this to play out… 

She hasn’t spoken since her whispered “Let’s get out of here…” back in front of Granny’s as she led him from the gathered chaos of townsfolk to the quiet solitude of the docks. He can sense there’s something she needs to say, but for now she seems to be content clinging to his side like a lifeline, her hand pressed so firmly over his chest that he wonders if there will be a permanent mark there on his skin. It would be fitting, as there is a permanence already existing in the heart beneath, for her and her alone.

Her head shifts slightly and he can feel the sweet press of her lips to his neck as she nuzzles even closer, her nose cold against his jaw and her breath warm against his throat. He wants to ask her if she is alright, but he senses that she needs the silence, so he waits. There is a certain irony to their location now, wrapped up in each other’s arms in the same spot where she told him that she was planning to take Henry back to New York, that her home wasn’t here, not with him. The magnitude of how much has changed since then is staggering, his arms tightening around her as he lets that memory be replaced by this one.

“Thank you.”

He is startled by her words, spoken quietly into his neck, her hand now moving from his heart to cradle his cheek as she seeks his gaze.  There is nervousness behind her expression, but he can see a gentle determination as well and other emotions he only ever imagined her showing him in his dreams.

“For what, love?”

Her hand moves from his cheek to his hair, her fingertips lightly tracing the shell of his ear as she leans a bit closer. Everything about her a distraction, but he wills himself to let this moment play out, only allowing his grip to tighten on her waist in response.

“For being patient with me.”

“Swan, I would wait…” Her finger stops his lips from moving and she shakes her head. She’s not done. He nods and she traces his bottom lip lightly with her fingertip before moving her hand back to his jaw, her thumb caressing lightly along his skin.

“You know better than anyone that I don’t excel at expressing my feelings, but I need you to know… “ His heart is in his throat as he watches her steel herself, her eyebrows furrowing in frustration as she tries to speak the words he’s needed and longed to hear. He could help her, say them first to give her courage, but he selfishly longs to follow her as he does in most things.

She closes her eyes briefly and sighs, her hand moving down to rest on his chest, his body swaying towards her on instinct. He presses a soft kiss to her forehead and leans back, giving her an encouraging smile when she looks up at him again.

“I just missed you so damn much and I was only gone a day and dammit…I haven’t had enough experience being in love and I just don’t know what to say.”

His eyebrows shoot up and his mouth opens slightly as the realization of what she has just confessed passes between them. He feels her fingers grasp his vest, breaking him from his stunned stupor and he moves, leaning forward until his lips are just barely caressing hers as his hand moves up her back under her jacket.

“I love you too, Swan.”

She pulls him forward and the world around them disappears. The sheer volumes of words unspoken pass between their lips as they kiss, centuries of pain evaporating around him as he allows himself to finally believe this is real. She pulls back slightly and he feels her reach down to pull his arm from around her so she can grasp his hand. His breath catches as she places his palm firmly against her heart. Her eyes meet his and he can feel his own heart begin to fall in sync with the rapidly beating pulse under his fingertips.

She smiles as she leans closer, her nose brushing his as she removes all remaining distance between them. “It still works.”