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Safe Harbor

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Emma deposited the deer she had hunted on the table beside the door outside, rolling her shoulders in an attempt to relax her muscles. The deer wasn't exactly heavy, but carrying it back home through the forest had tired her.

She had returned home from her hunt before the sun set, the days growing longer as winter had faded away. The weather had warmed, making cloaks unnecessary, even if Emma still felt occasionally chilled.

Seeing the area was free of any scavengers that might try to pick at her kill, she went back into the cottage, smiling as Henry ran over towards her to greet her.

She picked him up before he could grab onto her legs, swinging him into her arms and loudly kissing his cheek.

"Papa, Mama's home," he called.

Killian chuckled from his spot in the kitchen. "Aye, lad. I know."

He walked over to her, his hand brushing her hip. "How was the hunt?"

"Successful," she told him. "It's outside."

Nodding, he brushed a kiss to her temple before going outside to take care of the deer.

"Now, what have you been doing?" she asked Henry lightly.

"Playing," he said.

"Oh, really?" she laughed. "And what're you playing?"

He squirmed down, tugging her hand to draw her with him to the spot he was previously playing at.

She kneeled down beside him, playing with him until Killian came back in, going over to help him store the meat. She thought about going in her and her husband's room to change, feeling uncomfortable on the leather trousers she wore, which felt more snug than usual. She decided against it, to wait until bed to change.

"How were things around her today?" she asked.

"The usual," he replied. "Not much different from a usual day."

She nodded, smiling teasingly. "So him running around to chase the animals and you trying to catch him?"

"I don't know why he doesn't do that with you," he said, confirming her suspicions. "He always does it whenever he's out with me."

"I couldn't tell you," she replied.

He ducked his head closer to her, dropping his voice. "How're you feeling today?"

"Fine," she shrugged. "I'm thinking it was just something I ate yesterday."

He watched her before slowly nodding.

She had been sick the night before, unable to keep her dinner down. She had easily passed it off as eating the wrong thing, that something merely didn't agree with her. She hadn't shown any other signs of sickness, not worrying her, especially when she had had an appetite before she left for her hunt, craving anything she could get with honey.

Killian had immediately been worried, wondering if she was becoming sick despite her insistence of being fine.

"Seriously, I'm fine," she told him. "I just had a successful hunting trip, didn't I? I'm okay."

He didn't press her further.

Reaching out, she rested her hands on his chest. "I know you worry, but nothing's wrong. I feel completely fine."

Nodding, he rested his hand over one of hers. "Alright, love."

She lightly kissed him, making him relax further.

"Are you hungry?" he asked her.

"Dinner would be great," she nodded.

He bumped his forehead to hers once before pulling away to set their dinner out.

Making sure Henry wasn't watching, Emma quickly pulled Killian back to her before he pulled away, capturing his lips with hers in a searing kiss as she rolled her hips against his.

"It seems to me you are feeling muchbetter," he smirked as he pulled away.

"I told you I was," she purred.

Killian hummed, his eyes raking over her body in appreciation while his voice dripped in seduction. "Perhaps tonight we can see just how much better you really are feeling."

She grinned at the promise of what was to happen later in the night.


Emma found herself feeling miserable after Killian left for the shop, her stomach churning.

Taking a deep breath, she tried to chase away the nausea that had come on so suddenly.

She worried that she was getting sick, that she could possibly pass something on to Killian or Henry.

Resting a hand on her stomach, she leaned against the counter in the kitchen, thinking the twisting in her stomach was finally fading. Deeming herself okay, she turned to make herself some tea, only to be hit with another wave of nausea more severe than before.

She sprinted to a basin back in her and Killian's room, violently emptying the contents of her stomach. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand before reaching for a pitcher of water.

"Mama?" Henry called worriedly.

She turned to look at him where he hung in the doorway, horrified he saw her being ill.

"You sick?" he asked her.

"I'm fine, kid," she told him. "I'm okay now."

He didn't move until she picked him up, keeping his concerned eyes on her.

"Hey, you're not supposed to worry about me," she teased him lightly. "I'm supposed to be the one worrying about you, remember?"

She set him down so she could return to the kitchen to make herself some tea to settle her stomach. As soon as the smell of some of the herbs hit her, she found herself running back to the basin.

It took her longer for her to hear Henry, breathing heavily when he came up beside her.

"Here, Mama," he said, offering her a sprig of a leafy green plant.

She took it, realising he had gotten into the jar containing mint leaves to retrieve some for her, knowing he remembered when she gave him some when she had an upset stomach.

She smiled warmly at him. "Thank you, kid."

Under a diligent watch only a two-year-old could muster, she plucked the leaves from the stem, eating them and praying it would help her.

"Let's go back out, okay?" she said. "I'm gonna make some tea, and then I'll make you your lunch, alright?"

Henry nodded, watching her.

Emma quickly closed the jars of the herbs she was to use before, deciding to go for straight mint to calm her stomach. She began making her son his lunch as her water heated, deciding against using her magic to do it.

Deciding to just try to take it easy, she knew she had to clean out the basin as soon as her tea was finished, reluctant for a repeat performance.


Emma was thankful she made it in time as another round of nausea hit, triggered by the smell of the mutton she had pulled out to prepare for dinner.

To her chargin, she heard the front door open as soon as she reached the bedroom, hearing her husband coming home.

"Hey there, Henry," she heard Killian's voice drift from the main room. "Where's your Mama?"

"Mama's sick," Henry replied in an anxious tone.

"Stay here, lad," Killian suddenly said in a tight voice.

Emma looked towards the doorway as she heard his footsteps approaching.

"Emma," Killian sighed as he looked down at her, falling to his knees beside her and rubbing her back.

Knowing her stomach was completely empty and she didn't run to risk of being sick on him, she leaned into him when he drew his arms around her.

"How long has this been going on today?" he asked her.

"Since you left," she admitted. "It's only been a few times. Henry actually brought me some mint earlier and watched to make sure I took it."

"Our two-year-old has more sense than you do right now," he muttered. "You should have called me. I would have come home."

"To what, watch me being sick?" she asked without any bite, knowing he was just scared. "There's nothing you could have done, Killian."

Exhaling heavily, he hugged her closer.

His voice was gentler when he spoke again. "Tonight, just take it easy. Tomorrow, promise me you'll go to the doctor."

"I will," she promised.

He pressed his lips to her forehead. "I'll make dinner. Just take it easy."

She nodded. "I think the mutton might be bad. The smell made me sick."

"Alright," he said. "I'll throw it out and make something else."

"I'm sorry," she whispered, feeling guilty.

"Don't be," he told her. "It's hardly your fault if you're not feeling well. Just rest."

Wrapping a strong arm around her, he helped her to stand before cupping her face. "Just rest."

She nodded, moving to change as he left the room.

Emma wasn't usually one for wearing her sleep clothes during the day, but she was eager to remove her confining dress, the bodice feeling too smug. She removed the garment, feeling like she could breathe and move without restraint, and pulled on her nightdress and robe.

Bracing herself, she went back out to the main room, cautious of any smells to bring about another round of sickness. She went beside Killian, pulling things to make herself some more tea to settle her stomach.

"You know, I think I feel better now cause nothing is in my stomach," she told him.

He nodded. "Often just getting sick just makes you feel better after. Do you want anything?"

"No, thanks," she said. "I might just get a little bit of bread if I get hungry. I don't care to have a repeat of earlier."

Impatient to wait for her water to heat, she drew on her magic, instantly heating it enough to allow for the tea to steep. She took her cup with her to the couch, drawing the blanket on the back of it over her.

Looking over to see she had sat down, Henry stood, walking over to begin climbing up beside her.

Killian glanced over, seeing what the boy was doing, his brow pinched with worry. "Henry, don't-"

"He's fine, Killian," Emma said, gently cutting him off. "Henry can stay up here with me. He's not going to do anything.

He nodded, letting their son climb up to his mother.

She lifted the blanket, letting Henry crawl under so he was sitting cuddled up beside her.

Reaching over, he grabbed the book they read to him from and held it out to her.

Emma set down her tea, looking down at him. "Do you want me to read to you, kid?"

"Aye," he nodded.

She smiled down at him. "Okay, then. Let's see where we left off."

As Emma read to him, Killian came up beside them while their dinner cooked, wrapping an arm around her. She leaned into him, feeling completely content.