between the devil & the deep blue sea (m)


Words: 28,455. (rip)

Genre: Pirate Jimin au + smut, fluff, angst.

Pairing: Jimin x Reader.

Summary: “No matter the endeavour you were on, no matter the storms you encountered on rocky seas, or the possible threat of encountering blood-thirsty pirates, no one intrigued you or intimidated you more than the thought of him, of Park Jimin, the most notorious of pirates, the most brutal of men, the devil incarnate.”

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Lieutenant Duckling | Untitled | Written with Paradisdesbilles

The full, complete, in one single post version of that LD fic paradisdesbilles and I were writing together. 

She would always make fun of his hats, because they’re so bloody ridiculous, so he always blushes like the idiot he is but it also helps his goal because if I get promoted maybe she’ll like my new uniform better. Which is totally adorable and stupid for she’s found him rather fetching since the day they met anyway, but she’s too stubborn to say so.

And one day she makes some random comment about how this lord looks handsome with shorter hair and that lord is quite the looker with a beard (not that he was listening, he definitelydoesn’teavesdrop on her conversations with Princess Alexandra). You can be damn sure that the next week his hair is cut and he sports a stubble, and it’s Emma’s time to blush as she bites on her lip and pretends not to care.

And soon enough he’s a captain, off on a journey at the king’s request, and she waits at her balcony, watching over the sea every day for his flag, and he’s wondering what she’s doing in his absence, even worrying a little though it’s ridiculous because she’s so far for him no one else even registers to her as a prospect.

And when he finally comes back she’s waiting at the docks, running into his arms and they’re both so happy to see each other that they forget themselves and hold each other tight, but soon their senses return and they step back quickly, blushing bright and honest and stealing glances at each other the whole time. And his crew chuckles and pokes fun at him for how soft he is around her because he’s a stern captain, has earned the respect he gets.

And when he’s finally able to move up to Admiral he goes to the king to ask properly to court the princess. And David just smiles because apparently neither Killian nor Emma have realized that they’d been courting each other since they were children - Snow finds this very amusing and she loves reminding her husband that their daughter is already a promised princess. 

But let’s not forget their first royal ball together, after months at sea on his first mission with the navy. He grew up all of a sudden, all awkward limbs and lanky body, and his voice breaks a little, but his lungs are full of sea air and salt and it makes him brave enough to ask for a dance. 

She mocks him because she always does, only to hide her own insecurities — months at sea, surely he must have forgotten about her, found himself a pretty lass on a faraway island. But he only has eyes for her, even if they remain silent and proper all through the dance until another lord asks for the next one.

He hides in a corner of the hall after that, because social gathering and grand discussions with important lords aren’t quite his thing just yet, until she grabs his hand and pulls him in the shadows for a well-deserved hug. The “I missed you” tumbles from her lips whether she likes it or not, and she blushes, and he blushes and they just avoid each other’s eyes until the end of the ball.

Liam rolls his eyes and Snow White elbows her husband, and somewhat they all just know.

Their first kiss is on her 20th birthday. It’s soft and it’s sweet and it’s under the moonlight in the gardens. He feels a little more brave and she feels free for the first time in months, maybe even years, so she holds on just a little bit tighter and his fingers flex in her hair. The night ends in tangled limbs and soft kisses, doors locked to keep out the rest of the world.

He gains enough confidence after that to flirt openly now and she still gives as good as she gets, blush creeping up the back of her neck and burning the tips of her ears. They’re still awkward and innocent, fingers brushing as they take walks along the grounds in the afternoon, stolen glances while they’re sure the other isn’t paying attention. (They’re always paying attention.)

But then war starts on the edges of the kingdom and Killian volunteers to fight, Liam along with him, and they’re gone for years. And she retreats into herself, becomes distant and hard. She finds out she’s pregnant, that one night leaving it’s mark on her and there’s no word after the first year and she thinks he’s dead, her heart breaking more than she ever though possible. She doesn’t think she can do this without him. Her mother tries to console her, tries to tell her to hold onto hope, but Emma just drifts away, buries herself in her studies and her training, gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. She becomes an expert in the art of swordsmanship and politics, an excellent diplomat for her people. Her little boy looks just like his father, dark hair permanently ruffled and eyes as bright as the open sea.

Her heart never stops breaking.

Her son — their son has the sea in his blood too. She sees it in the way he always stares at the ocean, eyes and mind a bit lost, and her heart breaks for that beautiful boy of hers. He wants to become a sailor, she knows, wants to follow in his father’s steps, but she simply can’t let him, can’t take the chance of losing him too. The sea, old temptress, violent mistress, already toke one love from her and Emma would be damn if she was stolen her baby too.

She sees a lot of Killian in him, and not just the black of his hair or the deep blue of his eyes. It’s in his cleverness, learning his letters early and well, and in his quietness, only speaking when needed, always keeping to himself and his books. Sometimes, she wonders if he truly is happy — sometimes, she wonders if she is, but she already knows the answer.

The wars won’t stop, bringing home its lot of broken and bruised warriors, bringing home its devastating news too. Liam Jones is killed in action during the fifth year, and she grieves him for days, weeks, months.

No news of Killian.

There is never news of Killian.

He asks her about him, about his uncle as well, and she tells him the stories, of how he grew, how they met, how he became so much more than the orphan he’d started out as. She tells him how he was with children, always indulging them in their whims and games, and she tells him what a wonderful father her boy had, a man who would have loved him more than the world, had he known, had he lived. Her heart always clenches painfully at the wide eyed look in her boy’s eyes, and she goes to bed sobbing violently at the loss of what they could have been, what they might still be.

But she’s lost too much to believe he’s still out there.

It’s the eighth year that they gain the upper hand, pushing back against the opposing armies, reclaiming their land and their people. And within a few short months, the battle is won, the last of the violence quelled, and her people are elated, singing and dancing in the streets.

She hides away in her rooms with her son, reading stories of knights and sailors and pirates. But soon they have to get ready for the celebration ball, neither of them entirely inclined to attend but Snow insists, and Emma’s resolve crumbles under the pleading looks of her parents. So she dresses like the princess she is, smiles at her son as he fiddles with his own clothing uncomfortably - Killian had never been at ease in formal attire either - and descends into the grand ballroom. 

Her world dissolves into forced smiles and music, the occasional glimpse of her son speaking with young girls bringing a genuine grin to her lips. The evening is long, the night stretching far and it’s nearly midnight when she hears the scream at the balcony. She grabs a sword from one of the hollowed armor lining the walls and makes her way towards the commotion, muscled tensed for a fight.

And that’s when she sees him, draped all in black leather looking fierce and broken. There’s a new scar just under his right eye, curving along with his cheek. He holds a scabbard out in defense, alone and surrounded by knights, but she runs for him, dropping her weapon.

She screams his name, sees his attention shift to her and a smile break across his face. She shoves her way through the knights and leaps into his arms, sobbing because he’s alive. He’s here. They sink to the floor and he’s brushing back her hair, murmuring words of love and affection as he holds her so tight it’s hard to breathe.  

She distantly hears her father call off the knights, feels a little hand pat her shoulder as she turns. Her son’s eyes show so much hope, yet so much restraint and she smiles at him, nodding once as she pulls him into their embrace.

Killian pulls back to look at the boy, glances at Emma, at her finger, a broken look on his face that she immediately kisses away. She holds her son to her side and he looks up at his father, one of the brightest smiles she’s ever seen on him gracing his lips.

“Meet your father.”

She leans against the doorframe, arms folded on her chest and soft smile on her lips, as she takes in the scene in front of her. Her son grew out of bedside stories a long time ago but they’re all eager to disregard that detail now. Killian’s tells the story of his adventure in Neverland, his even voice breaking a little on Liam’s name as he explains what dreamshade is and how they destroyed it for the better good.

When the kid is finally asleep, Killian slips out of the room, quietly closing the door being him. They stand still and silent in the darkness of the hallway, barely daring to breathe, until she raises a hand and brushes her knuckle against his jaw. “You all right?” she asks, and he doesn’t insult her with a lie, simply shakes his head in a silent answer.

She takes his hand then, and leads him to her (their?) chambers. She peels the leather coat off his shoulders in delicate cautious motions, unfastens the clasps of his vest with the same care. He barely dares touching her, only the brush of fingers against ribs, the graze of palm against hips — still she shudders at his every touch, skin on fire by the sheer proximity, heart beating to the sound of his name and a-live, a-live, a-live.

“You never married,” he says, and it sounds neither like a question nor a fact.

“No,” she replies with an hollow smile. “Not many suitors for the princess who birthed a bastard child.”

He blushes and looks away just then and, would the conversation not be that serious, she would just laugh cheerfully because this, this bashful adorable man, is her lieutenant. Instead, she swallows his doubts and worries in a kiss, pours everything she can’t word just yet — it doesn’t matter, you’re back, I miss you, never leave, I love you, never leave me.

The night is an awkward discovery of bodies long forgotten, as she maps out the scars that weren’t here before and he brands love poems into her skin, between soft chuckles and breathless moans.

And when she wakes up in the morning, sore and sated and content, it’s to a little body between them, snuggling his father like a kitten. Killian jolts awake and frenetically looks around him before finding his bearings, eyes softer and kinder already as his arms wrap protectively around the boy. He isn’t fine, that much is certain, and it will take time. But they’re together, and it’s all that matters.

In the quiet moments, deep in the night, she watches him. Her eyes trace the tension in his brow, the harsh breathing. She knows it’s a nightmare, something that’s become a common occurrence and yet he still won’t explain it when she asks, only pulls her into him, laying soft kisses in her hair.

She gets the feeling something more happened, something he doesn’t wish to relive, even with her.

He always startles awake, sweat beading his brow, sucking in air like he’s been drowning. But as soon as he sees her, touches her, wraps his arms around her protectively as if afraid to let go, he calms and relaxes. Emma doesn’t tell him, but every time, in the seconds before he wakes, he says her name, a plea that cuts through her heart. It’s broken and scared, desperate as it gasps out from him in a rush and she doesn’t know what to do other than hold him, smooth the hair from his face and kiss him until he calms. 

Something has hurt her lieutenant. She’s almost afraid to know what.

Their son - theirs - spends the days dragging Killian around the castle grounds, riding horses together and sparing with swords. He shares all his secret places, every corner of the palace and every story he’s ever known. He tells him of what his mother said, asks about his version of events. Relentless questions that Killian takes in stride, a smile on his face a testament to the love he feels for his son. He’s taken to his father so well and her heart swells when she sees the genuine happiness shining from both of them.

She realizes she should probably intervene when they start scheming together, making plans to gain her approval for things she’d normally never allow - camping out in the woods, fishing trips out on small skiffs - but she can’t find it in her to deny them. She thought they’d lost this chance long ago, but here it is. Her family.

She never thought she’d have him back, but here he is.

Her parents give them a few, blissful, months before they grow restless. She knows why, of course, especially since her coronation has been planned for her thirtieth birthday. It is not unheard of a celibate queen — Regina, as bad of an example as she is, remained unmarried all through her reign — but it is, as Killian would say, bad form.

She doesn’t know how to start such a conversation with him.

They’re happy and they’re a family at last, and the last thing she wants is to ruin that too soon, to ruin Killian’s already fragile state of mind. (He would say otherwise but he’s still startled by unexpected sounds at least once a day despite his protests of being fine, love, absolutely grant.)

“What has gotten into you?” he asks one morning.

She is particularly fidgeting that day, unable to remain still for more than a few seconds, and everybody from her son to the maids have noticed. That is why the lad was sent to improve his sword technique with his grandfather, as she knows her own behaviour would make him nervous too for no reason whatsoever if he were to remain by her side. Killian, though, never leaves her, and she reads the worry in his eyes as she paces in front of him, nail of her thumb stuck between her teeth.

“I —” she starts, stops, goes to stand in front of the window instead. “You never courted me. Not officially.”

He barks a loud laugh, one that isn’t cold or hollow, one that warms her heart a little, as he comes to stand behind her. She feels his smirk as he drops kisses on her shoulders and she would appreciate his good mood were the situation different. But their son is still a bastard, officially anyway, and she wouldn’t be surprised to soon find herself with child again. They obviously can’t go on like that forever.

“Killian,” she sighs as she leans against his chest and in his embrace.

“I’m a broken man, Emma, I wouldn’t make a good husband. Nor a good prince consort.”

Words fail her when she wants to say she doesn’t care.

It’s her son who asks her one day as they sit beneath a large oak tree, eating their packed sandwiches, horses tied to a low branch.

“Mother, when are you and father going to be married?”

It’s such an innocent question, but the second she looks at him she knows he understands far more than she’d thought. His expression is thoughtful, if not a little worried, but he gives her an encouraging smile, a few stray crumbs falling to the grass. 

“It’s - it’s complicated.”

He nods sagely and she almost wants to laugh. He’s so young, only nine and a quarter, and yet he carries himself like a wiseman in the presence of adult conversations. She leans over and presses a warm kiss to his temple and he smiles at her, swatting playfully, exclaiming he’s gotten too old to be kissed so often by his mother - what would all the other young princes’ say?

Her heart tugs at the thought, unsure how to respond, but soon enough he’s untying his horse and making to race her back.

That night Killian holds her, and she holds back the sadness. She wants him in every way, knows he would be exceptional. If only he believed in himself the way she and their son do.

(She’s not sure he can anymore.)

She looks at her reflexion in the mirror and barely recognizes the woman she sees — tall and poised, elegant and beautiful in her pearly white dress and crimson cloak, golden crown resting on her vanity. She heavies a sigh when the door behind her opens, Killian sneaking in with a sheepish smile that turns into a stunned look as his eyes roam her body.

She finds herself blushing under his gaze even as she wants to scold him for his presence here. She hears the whispers and gossips — that’s royal court for you, not everyone as kind and considerate as Snow White — and knows of what they say about him, about them. The last thing she wants is for those whispers to come in play because he cannot keep his place today of all days.

“You look radiant, my love,” he says as he comes closer to her, arms wrapping around her waist and lips finding the soft skin of her neck. “A true queen.”

He rests his chin on her shoulder, arms tightening around her, and looks into her eyes through the mirror. She smiles, almost sadly — decency wants the prince consort to be crowned a fortnight after the queen, but he still won’t make his mind about it.

“You should leave before someone arrives.”

If anything, he holds on to her tighter with a small, almost devilish, smile on his lips. “They can’t keep me away from my betrothed.”

“Your —” She immediately turns around in his arm, smile vanishing from her lips, eyebrows raised in surprise. She just stares at him, at the adorable and almost smug grin he offers her, blue eyes sparkling with mirth. She sighs, rolls her eyes at the inappropriate proposal. “You used to be a romantic gentleman.”

“I also used not to hurt you, on purpose or not. I apologize, love, I should have asked you long ago.”

“What if I say no?”

His grin grows bigger as he leans closer, lips brushing against hers as he whispers, “You won’t. I love you.”

(She is supposed to remain stoic, looking right in front of her, when they crown her queen. She only has eyes for him, in the first row, winking at her like the idiot he is. Her mouth twitches into a smile.) 

The wedding itself is small, just as she’d wanted. (Though her mother kept insisting on a large ceremony involving what seemed to be the entire kingdom.) They have it on the best ship in their navy, their son carrying the rings to them with a brilliant smile that reminds her of his father’s. (It’s amazing, really, how similar they are. Killian keeps saying how he’s just like her though, but she thinks he’s favored him.) 

It’s blissful and happy and sweet, self written vows whispered to each other, the only people in attendance her family and those closest to them. (Liam’s absence is felt strongly, a hollow space, an empty seat for where he would have been. Killian says she and their boy are all the family he needs now.)

Not a few days later he’s crowned prince consort to the queen regnant, their son now officially a legitimized heir and next to inherit the throne. And though his nightmares persist, they become less frequent, and he relaxes into their life together more and more. And in a few months she’s pregnant again, and Killian spends the pregnancy speaking to his second child in the womb, doing everything he says he missed the first time round. She gets annoyed with him at times, insisting that she’s with child not an invalid, but he refuses to leave her be and continues to take care of her, of them. Their son wants to name the baby, and when the birth comes and they find it’s another young boy, he exclaims that his name shall be Liam, in honor of his uncle who died a hero.

Killian’s heart constricts and he hugs his eldest son to him tightly, telling him how proud he is of him and how grateful he is for the name he’s chosen. ‘It’s a brilliant name, lad. Absolutely perfect.' And when she sees him hold his baby in his arms, gentle and delicate and so afraid to harm the little thing, she finds her face hurts from all the smiling.