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Finding Home, Again

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Milah followed Killian through the town.

She kicked a stone out of her path. The roads were as strange as the buildings and the docks and just about everything else. Giant poles extending up in the sky and were connected by lines. Her desire for an explanation almost got her to break the silence.

Although according to the story he told, he didn’t have all the answers. Once again she was thinking about things she’d rather not know.

Milah wanted to point to all the ways she could prove his tale false, the pieces that made no sense. Her Killian would never hurt a woman, never and certainly not one as harmless as Belle. He wouldn’t have killed a man in cold blood to hide his crimes and any amicable relations, let alone friendship, with royalty was simply impossible.

She let out a short grunt as she stubbed a toe on another rock. Before she could kick it, Killian called out. This must be Granny’s. The king and Robin sat outside in a fenced courtyard at a wrought iron table. They saluted Killian with their drinks.

“Neal and Henry are checking out the freezer.” David caught her confusion. “Food storage. Henry really wants to bring some onion rings back for his mom.”

Milah nodded, ignoring Killian’s wince and walked inside. She listened to a muffled conversation between Henry and Bae and trailed a hand over the strange stools which moved beneath her touch.

Queasiness started twisting in her belly. This place felt familiar, the whole damn town did even as she found it strange and new. Perhaps she should have let Killian finish his story but she had stopped him after he had poisoned Rumple with dreamshade.

She sat at one of the stools, twisting back and forth before leaning back against the bar and closing her eyes. It wouldn’t matter if she aired every objection. It wouldn’t matter if she accepted it and rebuilt her understanding of the world. Flashes of a glowing river filled with despair, of this town under a clouded red sky plagued her and none of it mattered. None of it diminished the anger inside her.

The anger kept twisting, growing stronger each instant it rose. Didn’t matter what chased it back down deep insider her, nothing soothed it for long.

It had been a tiny speck that first morning she woke in a cold bed beside her lover. There had been happiness to see him but something was missing in his eyes, in his heart and in her heart as well. That tiny speck had unfurled insider her despite every step she took forward – reuniting with her son, making peace with Rumple, a future full of possibilities – it just grew bigger.

Was it the cost of her redemption? To be held hostage by a growing anger that wanted to destroy the world around her.

Milah turned on the stool and her image sneered back at her. Unable to look away, she lashed out with her hand knocking everything on the counter in front of her to the ground with a loud crash.

 


 

 

Snow was not happy when she tracked down her daughter on this isolated pile of rock.

Emma was dressed in her breeches and boots with black gloves wielding her sword, fencing with an invisible opponent. Snow’s eyes narrowed as Emma stumbled a bit before slashing through the air. She grunted and groaned with each swing.

Snow simply watched and wondered who she imagined fighting.

Years spent alone had made her daughter tough and the years spent with family had opened her heart. Snow was so proud of her. Now if only Emma would be as careful as Snow wished her to be.

Not that she planned to say that to her. Her baby girl was an adult and would make her own decisions, plus Snow remembered how she felt about similar requests when carrying Emma. She would trust her daughter and rein herself in so not to smother her.

“Hey, Mom.” Emma turned and wiped a sleeve across her forehead. “I was just…” She used her free hand to gesture to the open space beyond her. “Um.”

“You’re were practicing.” Snow held out a hand for the sword and grasped the hilt. “I know that you aren’t at the point where you have to stop doing things.”

She made sure to step away from Emma before copying her husband’s twirl and adjusting her stance into a fighting position, extending the sword out.

“I get it. I do. I remember.” Snow shuffled a few steps forward. “In fact, I kind of want to do it again myself.”

Snow lowered the sword and let the tip rest on the ground. Emma was just so good, so good at saying what was right and working through her own feeling till she believed what she said. Snow felt like an idiot and not much of a mother, unaware that her daughter had felt lost and alone. Turning around just enough to look at her, she waited.

Emma was smiling when she took her sword back. “You know what I’ve been thinking?” She extended it and slowly white smoked slide up the sword and into her hand till it was gone. “Fairy tales suck.”

“Really?”

“Think about it. I know everyone’s finding their true love or whatever but the number of abandoned or orphaned kids is high. And if you aren’t missing your entire family, at least one parent is dead and the other is worthless.”

“My father was…”

“Willing to marry someone, so they could take care of you but ignored them and doted on you when he was there. Which was rarely.”

“Fair point. He was wonderful, to me, when he was there.”

“See!” Emma pulled Snow’s arm through hers as they walked together. “And some people have such a hard time having kids or some evil imp wants to take their kids. I can only conclude that the fairy tale world is just dangerous, for kids.”

“Your point?”

“I’m not there yet.” When the two reached the portico, Emma turned so they took the long way around to her tower. “Most fairy tales only have one kid. I mean there’s Hansel and Gretel.”

“The old women and the shoe.”

“That’s a nursey rhyme.”

“Still counts,” Snow replied.

“Maybe.” Emma leaned her head on her mother’s shoulder. “But the ones we know, the stories we’re a part of, one kid.”

“Well, I have two.”

“That’s what I’m saying. You should have more if that’s what you want.” Emma hummed a bit even as tears pooled in her eyes. “Damn hormones. It seems pessimistic to say it but if our family get bigger, and not just with you know, babies we birth ourselves, then no one will be left alone.”

“True. And we’d have an army coming to find anyone who’s lost.” Snow turned her head and pressed a kiss to Emma’s hair. “We need to make sure to teach them to share.”

“Do you think the whole evil twin thing is a real?” Emma sighed. “Like could I have a David/James situation here?”

“Nah, you and Killian should be able to manage it.” Snow nudged Emma with her hip. “I bet you anything Killian will be wrapped around their little fingers.”

“Like I’d take that sucker bet.”

Emma and Snow made it to the door when it swung open. Regina stood there glaring at them with Neal in her arms. “What took you so long?”

“Nothing,” they replied at the same time.

Emma grinned and threw her mother to the wolves, or the Evil Queen. “Mom’s thinking of having another baby.”

“Really, Emma.” Snow watched as Regina’s expression turned sad. “I haven’t even talked to your father yet and well, do we really need more kids and…” She shot a look at Emma for help.

Regina’s voice cut in, her tone light, nonchalant and at odds with the sadness in her eyes. “Well, I for one won’t be popping out a kid.”

Snow watched as Emma matched Regina’s nonchalant attitude and breezed right by her into the tower. “You’ll just have to do what you do best.”

“And what’s that?” Regina replied sourly.

Emma’s response came from the inside of the tower. “Adopt an orphan and give them what every abandoned child wants, home and family.”

Snow watched the light dawn in Regina’s eyes and a small smile crook her lips before informing her stepmom and friend. “I would love some siblings, I mean besides my grandson.”

Regina rolled her eyes and thrust Neal into his mother’s arms. “Let’s get this done.”

 


 

 

Neal and Henry rushed in from the kitchen after hearing the crash of metal and glass.

Milah stood and looked out the front windows to see if Robin, Killian and David had also heard. Only Killian looked in her direction and Neal waved him off.

“Henry, why don’t you go see if they’re ready to go yet?” Neal nodded at his son and waited, listening to the bells as the door opened and closed. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” She sat stiffly on the stool. “It was an accident.”

“Sure.” He looked across the counter and raised a brow at her. “We’ll go with that. Are you okay, after…”

“Does everyone know what Killian and I talked about?”

“David told us he wanted to talk. If you want to we can talk about it.”

“I have nothing to say.” Milah stared out the window, watching Killian interact with her grandson. They were all so close. Bae was saying something to her but it was just noise to her.

“Mom!”

“I’m sorry.” She reached out a hand to him. “I’m sorry. It hard to concentrate here. Everything’s so strange.”

“I know.” Bae offered her an arm and escorted her outside.

“We’ve cleared the town and the supply list is long.” Henry tapped a scroll against one hand. “You guys can check out the town line and I take care of a few things on the list.”

“Kid, I don’t think your moms would like us splitting up.” Bae squeezed Henry’s shoulder.

“But they aren’t here and what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”

“The problem my boy, is what could hurt you.” Killian reminded him with a grin. “And how they’ll hurt us when they find out.”

“Killian, come on, please.”

Robin rubbed the back of his head. “It would help if your mothers weren’t the scariest, most powerful women in the realms.”

“I could stay close?” Milah offered. “I mean I can hold down the fort here, and Henry can run his errands?” She didn’t think the four men would turn down an opportunity to converse without her around. With nods and looks and barely made gestures the men came to an agreement.

The king tossed something at Henry which made him smile. “Stop by the station, Grandpa?”

“Briefly.” David took a similar device, flicking buttons and turning nobs. “Milah, you can run command from here. Anything comes up, contact us with these. Click this button twice if something comes up on your end and we’ll know to come back.”

He showed her the button to press and it made a click which echoed on the one in Henry’s hand and another attached to David’s belt.

“We’re off to the town line.”

David and Robin started down the street. Killian turned toward Milah but she turned her back on him.

Bae put a hand on her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “We’ll be quick, okay.”

She nodded and made herself comfortable at the table. Henry settled across from her as Bae and Killian went off as well.

“Grandmother.”

“Not you too.” Milah rolled her eyes. “Why does everyone in this family want to talk?”

“Because keeping things to ourselves really makes everything worse, or harder.” He stood back up, opened his mouth to say something then shook his head. “I’m off.”

Milah waited till the road in front of her was empty then went on her own tour of Storybrooke.