Things had changed since the last year, or two years, if you didn’t count the one spent in New York - a set of memories Emma learned every day how to live with, and to make peace with ( if the first was easy, like a balm on her opened wounds, the second one was harder, something she still had hard time with, but tried every day to accept it, even if it felt bitter on the tip of her tongue)
Things had changed - Emma wasn’t at the inn anymore, she had found herself a little place in Storybrooke, nothing fancy, nothing big, just a little loft, next to the docks, Henry had chosen it with care - Emma hadn’t missed the smile of a certain pirate at the proximity to the sea. It felt right and new, for the first time, she had her own place, one she knew was stable and for good. If Emma still found herself missing her old apartment in New York, she quickly understood it was the set of memories that had taken place there that had her missing this place, not the four walls in itself.
Things had changed and others hadn’t, old habits coming back to her slowly as she took her job back as the sheriff in town. Her father would drop by her place to take her to work, with one generous cup of coffee from Granny’s, when they hadn’t time to pass by to enjoy a cup at one of her tables.
Lazy mornings were something she had missed and quickly found herself enjoying again now that everything was settled down, the town was back to normal, and in absence of witches or other villains, there wasn’t much to do, if not helping ex fairytale characters to live together with different sets of memories.
To be quite fair, Archie had a lot more job to do with this entire town, herself included, than Emma and her father had.
It was 7:34 am, and Emma was brushing her teeth, trying not to wake up the pirate sleeping in her bed - the said pirate wasn’t living there (yet) still staying at the inn, but they had bought realize that staying at her place for enjoyable activities or not, was a better solution for both of them.
They might not avoid gossips and other not so nice talks, but still, at least, privacy was easily done if Killian just stayed there.
Emma tried not to notice his clothes filling her wardrobes slowly, a leather pant there, and even a pair of jeans he was still trying to get used to.
Hand on the sink of her bathroom, Emma looked at her reflection in the mirror, her hand moving fast as she brushed her teeth, the radio in the corner of the kitchen, (the sound almost turned off as to not to wake up Killian). She was not so much different from last year, but Emma still noticed how something seemed to change in the person looking back at her - nothing to do with her make up, the usual mascara and eyeliner- but there was something in the 30 year old blond haired woman in front of her that had her smile - a smile her reflection copied and one that grew wider as her thoughts wandered around.
From her newly 30s, Emma looked different, more serene, the wrinkles of her forehead would come around at some times, when Henry would get sick or when old fears came back as old ghosts when it came to her and Killian ( ridiculous and pointless at times, because the pirate hadn’t given her a reason to call these scars back to her mind).
There was something in the depth of those green eyes that seemed calmer, a softness she had in her all along and finally breaking through the surface to be visible to the eyes of everyone - softness she didn’t fear that much to expose since love had broken through her walls to settle down in her life.
She looked peaceful, and if Emma believed Killian’s words (ones she usually explained because she was sitting on his lap sucking at his neck or kissing him thoroughly until he lost his trail of thoughts, or because her hands were sneaking under his clothes - pirate ones or more mundane ones) she actually looked like someone worth being in a fairytale book - shiny eyes and wide smile, golden hair and peachy skin.