So I’ve been hanging on to this one for dear life, because I’m stubborn like that. I learned that being stubborn gets me what I want at work…budget, projects, extra people…doesn’t seem to work very well with Once though. I figure I should keep at it!
Below the cut is a list of about a hundred beautiful, wonderful shipmates who have taken the time from their day to leave feedback, recommend a fic, or a work of art. I searched through dozens of posts, and hundreds of reblogs to find people who had taken the extra step to be kind in their tags and posts.
Many of these people have been very active in encouraging everyone to be the best version of themselves they can be! You wouldn’t believe the kind words many people leave. It’s truly inspiring. These people deserve all the hugs and snuggles and fluff they can fit in their beautiful hearts.
I also jotted down the blogs who left very simple, short compliments on a work, because that type of feedback is valid too! It’s not only valid, but also so appreciated, and so important to keeping the fandom alive.
Of course, I couldn’t find and tag everyone, which is why I’m simply calling it a bouquet. Because there is a massive field of Middlemists out there of wonderful shipmates who have encouraged us writers, artists, gifers to be the best we can be. So to those Middlemists who aren’t tagged, please know that we are abundantly appreciative of everything you do as well.
To those of you who don’t really leave feedback, let this encourage you! The exchange of feedback creates friendships, encourages, brings hope, and inspires happiness and success within a fandom! All it takes is 5 seconds!
Take a second to read through the list, and follow some new people! I love you all very dearly! Thank you so much everything you’ve done for this fandom. It always goes noticed and appreciated!
Not far from the palace, hidden away by a circle of trees, is a small clearing full of Middlemist flowers. Emma had once explained to him, as she weaved a crown of flowers to replace her one of gold, that they were native to Camelot, and had been gifted to her kingdom by a grateful queen and her loyal knight.
“Theirs is a love story for the ages,” she had told him, smiling wistfully as she recalled the tale of how her parents had freed the so-called broken kingdom from an enchantmen placed upon them by an obsessive king. “Lancelot never once gave up on Guinevere, even after she was spellbound and had banished him from their kingdom. He always stayed true and believed in their love, did you know that?”
Killian had told her he did not, reminding her that he was a lowly lieutenant who knew very little of the affairs of other kingdoms. What he knew came from what he read, and he had never read of the intricacies of their tale – simply that a knight had loved a queen, and that with the help of King David and Queen Snow, and saved kingdom and won back the heart of his love.
“I bet the bards in Camelot sing songs of their love, just like ones here sing about Papa and Mother,” Emma had said. “Are you sure you’ve never heard the songs when you make port? I know you go to the taverns. All sailors do.”
“The only songs I know are those of your beauty,” he had told her, and he recalled being terrified in that moment, wondering where the conversation might lead.
“Are the songs correct in their assessment of me?” she had asked, placing her flower crown on her head, and in that moment he had never believed her to be more beautiful.
“No,” he had replied. “Words and songs could not ever compare to you, princess.”
Killian recalls that long-ago conversation as he stands in that very field, surrounded by pale pink flowers and ensconced by both the darkness and the trees. The glow of the full moon and the speckling of stars against the black sky provide the only light as he waits. The night is cold, and he wishes that circumstances had allowed him to wear the thick wool coat of his naval uniform. But the high collar and golden buttons would stand out in any crowd, and the goal is to be inconspicuous.
Assuming, of course, everything goes according to plan.
As Killian waits, he thinks of Lancelot and Guinevere, and how the knight had been steadfast in his love and devotion to the queen. It gives him the strength to wait as he is, and it provides him the hope he needs to sustain the belief that things will all work out in the end. He needs to – for himself, for her, for everyone they are planning to leave behind.
He hears a rustling in the trees, and out of instinct he moves to draw his sword before he remembers he forwent that, as well. He steels himself against whatever may come, praying to whatever gods may be listening that it is not a werewolf or one the kingdom’s many knights, but the woman for whom he’s been waiting, for longer than either of them really know.
The gods smile down on him, for it is Princess Emma that hurries through the trees. She smiles at him in greeting, the moonlight making her seem ethereal as she approaches him – his own very siren. Tonight, she is not dressed in the fine silks and ornate beads that are becoming of a princess, but instead drab cotton, dark in color and most surely borrowed from one of her many maids. Even dressed as a commoner, her beauty shines and his heart stutters with the knowledge that she has chosen him.
“Do you think the bards will sing songs of us?” Emma asks as she joins their hands. He feels the cool press of the ring he had given her, the band that had once belonged to his mother, against his skin as their finger interlace.
He smiles. “Darling, they will write stories of us.”
She kisses him once, twice, three times in that glorious field of flowers before, hand-in-hand, they race into the night and toward their future.
Jen’s Comic Con dresses for the past two years have been a nod to the character. The red dress in 2014 was reminiscent of her ballgown in 3x21 … the black and white with red accents last year echoed the Dark Swan poster … this year she’s in a soft, flowy, romantic dress? I cannot wait to see the whole thing!!!