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A fresh take

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"Are you Emma Swan?"

"Yes?" It sounded more like a question then as an actual answer. But it seemed to be enough.

"I'm Henry!", he smiled.

A little kid, who knew who she was. How did he know her name? What did he do here? How did he even get in the building? Before she could even answer the questions that where popping up in her head, the kid had already sneaked inside. That little shit...

She went back inside the appartement, her eyes following Henry's every move. From the point where he dropped his bag, went to the fridge and took the orange juice. Only to drink straight out of the carton. "I'm thirsty! And as your guest, you should offer me something to drink! Which you didn't, so I did it myself!", he grinned. 

Emma frowned and a tid bit more aggressive then she meant, she blurted "What are you even doing here? Where are your parents? Shouldn't you be at home at this time of day?"

Henry didn't appear to be intimidated. "I'm your son! And I took a bus here, trying to find you! 10 years ago you gave me up for adoption, now here I am!"

All kinds of things went through Emma's mind, but the best thing she could be now was practical and logical, she decided. So when she wanted to call the police, so the kid could be brought back to his home, she didn't expected to be blackmailed in driving him back there personally. 

When she reached the town line of Storybrooke, she somehow felt her life would never be the same again. She tried reasoning that out of her mind, but the feeling itself remained. At the sight of the mansion, she felt herself getting smaller inside. Like she was a pawn that didn't really matter. So when she stepped out of her car, the environment felt like a new territory that could bite her in the ass or stab her in the back at any time. While walking towards the front door of the mansion, she felt unsafe and not at ease, with every step she took.

All of a sudden the frontdoor opened, a stunning brunette ran outside towards Henry. Worried, tear stained and suddenly catching the sight of her. But when Henry yelled "I found my real mom!", that look on the women's face became one that could kill if it had bullets. So the "Hi!" that rolled out over Emma her lips, was a hesitating one. The woman, who seemed to be Henry's adoptive mother, was not only stunning but also had a dangerous energy surrounding her. Emma felt like a prey, looking in the eyes of a predator, right before the kill.

So when the brunette invited her in, Emma concluded that this was the 'kill'. She wasn't wrong... It was killing for her self- esteem. 

Regina, she learned, had a way with making people comply and wasn't used to not getting what she wanted. So when Emma met her for the second time, behind bars, she found out she kind off enjoyed ruffling Regina's feathers. Emma was also a rebel by nature, so somehow it felt like the right to do! Much to Regina's irritation.

But right now, since Henry was missing again, they needed to find him. Fast! As a bailsbondsperson Emma knew exactly how to fasten the process. Regina seemed impressed and at the same time she also refused to show it. 

The sherrif didn't hide the fact that he was impressed. Graham decided then and there he was going to hire the blonde as his deputy. Whether or not Regina was happy about it. He only saw a glimpse of the blonde woman the day before, but now he knew she had it in herself to take on the job. He needed help anyway! But making her stay was going to be something else entirely, he was sure!

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"Mary Marghareth Blanchard?" Emma shouted "Who is she?"

Graham frowned "Henry's schoolteacher, why?"

"Apparently Henry used her credit card to track me and to pay for the bus fare" Emma closed the laptop "Let's go find her, she's our best clue!"

Regina's face darkened while she went towards her car. Emma and Graham ran towards the police cruiser, not noticing her until they arrived at the school building and saw her stepping out of her car. Waiting for them to follow her towards Mary Margareth's classroom.

Regina's scowl worsened once she laid eyes on Mary Margareth. The teacher tensed while Regina walked towards the window and looked outside, deciding to observe. After hearing another "Hi" from the blonde woman, this time directed to the teacher, she turned her eyes while crossing her arms.

Mary Margareth's attention shifted towards Emma and her facial expression softened. Emma immediately sympathized with her "Did you by chance noticed something strange on your credit card receipts?" The teacher's sudden surprised and slightly panicked expression made her elaborate "Henry apparently used it to track me down, I'm Emma, his biological mother". Regina scoffed, but it got ignored. "He seems to be missing again, any idea where he might have gone to?"
Mary Margareth crossed her arms and apologized, "Henry is quite introverted in class and doesn't have much friends, so I have no idea" and she apologized again.

But the bounty hunter's inner lie detector told her something didn't add up, so she decided to play along. And suggested Graham to keep an eye out and Regina to stay home in case Henry might decide to go there. Regina threw her a death glare, feeling like she has been put aside, ordered her to find hem and leaves. Emma stayed behind, now alone with Mary Margareth, with a smug grin "Now without telling me a lie, please!"

The pixie haired women smiled, a bit ashamed, being busted on the lie. But she told Emma everything about the book, how Henry got it and where he possibly might be. Mary Margareth asked her to keep in touch, in case he wouldn't be in his hiding spot.

So the next thing Emma did, was fetching her bug in the garage and she drove towards the playground on the beach.
No surprise, she found him there, just as the teacher told her he would, sitting in the highest spot that he could reach, with a view on the ocean.
As stunning as the view was, he didn't pay any attention towards it. He felt alone, nobody believed him and his adoptive mother was the Evil Queen herself. The villain in the story, who he needed to get rid of to be happy and for everyone to be happy. Right?

He told Emma all about it. But the only response he got was her silence and a sad look. Emma opened her mouth, wanting to say something, but no sound came out of it. Henry took this the wrong way, standing up and shouting she didn't believe him, that she was the savior and his mom didn't love him because she was Evil incarnated. And that she needed to be gone for everyone's happy endings to be back.

"HENRY! STOP!" Emma shouted. Silence... And shortly after that, very timid she said "Let me tell you a story, about me. A few stories maybe, it will take a while. Sit..." Henry sat down. And shuffled a bit closer when realizing his birth mother was actually on the brim of tearing up.
Emma shared with him her past, about how she felt in the foster system and went from one family to another. Never feeling at home, always uncertain and never being loved. "When I look at you, kid. You've got that! It might be in strange and a strict way, but your mom really loves you. What you have, I..." she swallowed, deciding to change the subject for now "I realize your mom might feel threatened by me being here. And you giving your love to me freely. Kid, I might be a creep!" Henry chuckled "You're not!"

Emma smiled softly "Kid, she loves you. Evil Queen or not, she loves you! And she's a great mom. Again, a bit strict, but still. And if I'm the savior, maybe she needs some sort of saving too?"

Henry eyed her, wondering where that all came from, knowing that his adoptive mom was scheming against Emma. So he was wondering "Would you do that?" Not seeming to be convinced. Emma nodded "Everyone deserves a second chance, kid. I got mine, getting to know you, I never expected that. But I'm glad I did". Henry smiled. He realized maybe she was right, but also if he continued his earlier rant, he might cause Emma to close up again. He enjoyed her being open and that she shared her past with him. So when she asked him to get in the car, so she could bring him home, he did.

During the short ride to the mansion, he smiled. When the bug halted, he gave her a hug. The front door opened as soon as he got out of the car.
Regina waited for Henry to go inside, turned towards the bug and saw Emma waving, before she drove away. "Smart move, miss Swan" she mumbled, glaring until the yellow danger on wheels was out of her sight, then going into the mansion and closing the door behind her.

The Mayor could help but noticing that Henry was already upstairs. So she decided starting preparing dinner. When the smell of the food reached his room, it didn't take long before Regina was knocking his door "Dinner's ready, help set the table?" Nodding and putting the book aside, he followed her downstairs and they where setting the table. Dinner was silent, Henry watching his adoptive mom as if he had new eyes. And Regina feeling conflicted about whether or not starting a conversation about him running away again, that she was convinced would lead to him rejecting her again, but she chose not to.
Which was leading up to her feeling quite frustrated. After dinner, he left the table and returned to his room. She cleaned the table, did the dishes and the frustration she felt about not talking about it, was still there. It was either talking with him or being unable to sleep, stuck in her mind, thinking about the worst scenario's possible.

She sighed, decided to get it over with and went upstairs to confront Henry and talk about what happened earlier today.

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Regina knocked Henry 's door. She didn't knew how to feel, but she knew she was worried. Worried that something might've happened to Henry, since he ran off alone.
He got lucky twice now, if he continued this kind of behavior, she was afraid that he wouldn't be so lucky the next time. Yes, she knew her son, she knew it was bound to happen again. He was curious after that Swan woman. She wanted her out of town, that was sure. But she was already the Evil Queen in Henry's mind, so driving her out of town should be easy.
However, since she was biologically related to Henry, she would probably be quite stubborn.

"Come in" she heard Henry say. She opened the door and saw him sitting on the bed. His book was laying next to his pillow. That darn book! She sat herself on the bed and decided to go for the short pain. "Henry, what happened today, that can't happen again" She softly said "You had me really worried and I wouldn't have known what to do if something had happened to you". Henry nodded "I know though". Regina frowned wondering what his answer to that might be, Henry softly smiled and looked her in the eyes "Curse them a second time?" Before Regina could react, he was laughing and crawling more towards her.
He looked her in the eyes again, noticed she tensed up, so he held her while he said "I wouldn't expect anything less. I mean, the Evil Queen is really powerful right? Not everything is in the book" He continued "It's like Emma said, you might be misunderstood. So if you want to talk, I'll be there, mom. Whether or not you are the Evil Queen, I love you!" And he hugged her. Not noticing her eyes filling themself with tears, so she hugged him back. "You're choking me, mom!" He laughed. Regina wiped her eyes and loosened him a bit, without letting go "I'm sorry and I love you too, Henry! Don't forget that". Henry noticed that her voice was different, filled with emotions. Not knowing exactly which. But he decided not to ask and to enjoy the moment.

"Stay?" He asked, more for her benefit, but also his. He saw both his mothers being vulnerable today. The brunette hadn't replied with words to whatever he had said, but her eyes always gave her away. So he wanted to keep her close, to ensure that she would be alright. Regina leaned her head against Henry's "Alright, but I'll need to change" She straightened herself a bit and said "I can't go to sleep in this clothes".
Henry nodded "Okay, go change, but hurry back fast though" Regina smiled and stood up, watching him again, like to ensure herself that that was what he really wanted. Henry spoke up again "Go now! The sooner you leave, the sooner you're back!" That gave her the confirmation she was looking for and she left his room to change.

After she was dressed in her pyjamas, she entered his room again and noticed him laying under the blankets, leaving space for her. She got in the bed and Henry immediately crawled against her. "Goodnight mom!" She held him a little closer and whispered "Goodnight Henry". Henry sighed, a good sigh, and archived it in his mind that the Evil Queen could be soft and loving to! "I love you mom" he mumbled before falling asleep.
Regina had expected the conversation to go haywire and instead she was laying here with Henry, holding him, after he told her he loved her, twice. This could've gone way worse. So whatever Henry and miss Swan talked about, she couldn't stay angry because of this. But she still felt threatened by her, that was a feeling she couldn't shake off that easy.

At this time of day, Granny's was still open. It was a bit before closing time, but Emma was about to head to her chamber in the b&b. Before she was about to leave however, Graham called for her, asking if he could talk to her. On which she replied that she didn't have the time or energy for. "In the morning, see you at breakfast here instead?" The sheriff nodded, confirmed he would be there in the morning, like she asked. And walked to his cruiser, ready for his night shift in the town where nothing really happened, besides the town drunk causing a mess or stirring a fight.

Graham headed the cruiser to the station, sat down behind his desk and waited for a call or the light of day, whatever would come first.

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Regina squinted her eyes and noticed that she wasn't in her room. Or her bed. Also someone was holding onto her. Then she remembered, Henry! The conversation that they had the day before. Apparently Emma had defended her, she sort of felt obligated to do something nice. But it didn't mean her heart was in it. However, it was, she felt like she got a bit of the old Henry back. And the blonde was responsible for it. She gritted her teeth and carefully got out of Henry's bed. She freshened up and got dressed in her room, before going downstairs to make them both breakfast.

By the time Henry needed to get up, she headed upstairs to wake him. Only to notice that he was already awake and just got dressed for school. "I could smell the food" he grinned. Regina arched an eyebrow in response and they both went downstairs, to have breakfast together.

"Mom? Can I ask you a question?" Henry said while eying her. By the look Henry gave her, she braced herself mentally, knowing that it wouldn't be an easy one to answer. Looking him in the eyes, she dragged out "You may". All of a sudden, Henry got shy, realizing that his mom somehow was aware that his question might be a bit intrusive. So with reddened cheeks he blurted out, "Are you currently seeing someone? Like in dating someone?". Regina flustered a bit, almost choked on her coffee and took a breath in and then she breathed out again. That question, she didn't saw it coming, she breathed in again, flaring her nostrils and answered Henry, "No, I'm not". Henry seemed to be relieved by that, but decided to have some follow- up questions. "So you're not seeing sheriff Graham?" Regina seemed to be appalled, but answered in all honesty, "I'm not. I did, but that's been a long time ago. Not to mention, it's in the past."

Henry nodded, adding another question, his face scrunched like he just ate something bad, "And Sidney?" Regina's mouth fell open, wondering why he seemed to be interested in that. But she decided that if it took his mind of the book, she would humor him and just answer, "No, never him!". The relief that appeared on Henry's face made her ask, "Why this sudden interest in my clearly not existing dating life?" Henry turned towards her, "I just want to see you happy. Are you happy?" The brunette was touched, however she suspected ulterior motives, "Are you sure that's the only reason?" He smirked, "Well", he drawled, "If you're working, taking care of me and also dating, you don't have time for any mischief". He finished his coco with a gulp and got up as fast as he can, to go to the bus stop, "I'm ready, I'll see myself out! Bye mom, love you!"

Regina stayed behind in her kitchen, appalled, but also impressed. She felt the anger inside her, but knew that what just happened between her and Henry, didn't had any bad intentions in it. But her mind drifted off towards his birth mother, deciding that his stunt must have been her genes or her influence. However, she wanted to talk to the woman, she needed to know more about her and needed to know if she intended to stay or not. Her being here jeopardized everything she had build up here. So, deciding not to show up empty handed, she picked some apples.

Shortly after, she arrived at the B&B, knocking Emma's door. When that door opened, she was glad that she had brought something to hold in her hands. Her hands where shaking, the blonde woman had just opened the door half- naked! Regina started to blabber "Did you know the Honey crisp tree is the most vigorous and hearty of all apple trees?" Emma frowned, but Regina continued,"It can survive temperatures as low as 40 below and keep growing. It can weather any storm". Emma wondered if the woman was trying to flirt with her or just being that nervous. The brunette kept talking, "I have one that I tended to, since I was a little girl. And to this day I have yet to taste anything more delicious than the fruit it offers", she added sultry while taking one of the apples out of the basket and holding it up, handing it to Emma. "Thanks!", Emma said while she reached for the apple, lightly touching the other woman's fingers. Regina swallowed, "I'm sure you will enjoy them on your drive home!". Emma looked up, "Actually, I'm gonna stay for a while!". This seemed to surprise Regina, anger her even, but she decided that if she was going to stay, they needed to talk. Emma agreed and she invited her to come in.

Regina dropped the basket on a closet and crossed her arms "What are your intentions towards Henry?". Emma mirrored her move and when she didn't answer fast enough, Regina added "Henry has enough issues, he doesn't need you confusing him!". Emma felt attacked, so she stepped towards the woman, almost being nose to nose with her, "With all due respect Madam Mayor, but I just got to know my son. And after the day we had yesterday, how dare you assume that I'm the one confusing him? I just want to make sure Henry's okay!". Regina sneered back, "He's fine, dear! Any problems he has are being taken care of!". Emma frowned, "What does that mean?". Regina closed her eyes, breathed out, "It means I have him in therapy, it's all under control". She sighed, "It's time for me to go!".

The Mayor stepped towards the door, took the door handle but before she could even open it, Emma's hand was on the door, slamming it shut. Regina turned around, seeing eye to eye with Emma, "You have no idea what I'm capable of!", she muttered. Emma got closer, they where nose to nose again, she whispered, "I don't mind finding that out.". Emma's eyes dropped to Regina's lips, seeing the mayor visibly swallow. No words where uttered, their lips got closer, like if there was an invisible pull between them. And when their lips brushed, a kiss was initiated and their arms closed in on each other. Neither of them knew who started the kiss, but they both sighed into it. It was soft, tender and long.

After a while Regina leaned her head forward, breaking the connection between their lips, "I should go!", she whispered against Emma's lips, while closing her eyes, she swallowed. Emma sighed, tenderly taking the other woman's chin in her hands so they could look each other in the eyes, "Don't...", she said. Regina leaned her head against Emma's, "I have to! And I don't mind you staying!", the brunette admitted. Her own words surprising her, she swallowed again, "I really should go, there's a town that I'm responsible for...". Emma's hand dropped and now held the door handle, "We'll talk about this, right?" The mayor nodded, "Yes, we will". Emma then let go of the door and took a step back, so Regina could open it and leave if she wanted to. Before the brunette closed the door, she uttered, "Enjoy the apples, Miss Swan!". Emma looked at her tenderly and sniggered, "I most certainly will! And it's Emma!". After seeing the brunette frown, she added, "Call me Emma, definitely after what just happened!". Regina glanced towards the hallway, but then looked back towards the blonde, "Very well, Emma..." she said softly and smiled, before she turned away and left the B&B.

Later that morning, Emma headed to the diner, to have breakfast. While she was in the middle of sipping her coco, Graham came in. When he noticed her, he took a seat on the opposite side of the table. But before he could utter a word towards her, Ruby was there, taking his order and handing Emma a bear claw. He asked if she had any intentions in staying and if she did, he might have the perfect job for her. Emma sniggered, "And what might that be?". Before he could answer, though, Ruby was there, handing him his order and repeating the question, "Yeah, what might that be, sheriff?" Graham smiled, "Deputy, you know I need the help!". Emma said she'd think about it and Ruby returned to the kitchen, being called by Granny to continue her work instead of chatting with the customers and keep other's waiting.

Meanwhile in the Mayor's office, there was also a visitor. The town's reporter showing the mayor all the information he found out about the Swan- woman. Regina frowned, "Why do you show me this?". Sidney shuffled, "I thought you should know, for Henry's sake! You do want her gone, don't you? You could use this!". Regina sighed, "No, I won't! Just get rid of it!". The reporter frowned, he noticed that she was behaving in another way then she usually did. Something was wrong about that blonde woman staying in town, he decided. And he would do what needed to be done to get rid of her, maybe the mayor might not realize it now, but she would be grateful, he was sure! "Fine, Madam Mayor! I'll see to it!" he said before he turned and left the mayor's office.

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Sidney walked as fast as he could towards the car, after he left Regina’s office. He was going to take immediate action, that impossible woman would surely thank him later, he reasoned. The file, containing all the information he could find about Emma Swan, he would use to publish a frontpage article. This way he would ruin her reputation, before she even had the chance to build one up. And then the mayor maybe finally would see his worth. And maybe then he would be able to call her his…

After the conversation with Graham about his job offer, Emma really needed to clear her mind to be able to make a decent decision. She asked Ruby for the best places to go hike. While she was in Storybrooke, why not explore the town and it’s environment, she reasoned. Ruby could agree with that and gave her some ideas of nice routes and places to explore. Heck, if she wouldn’t be needed in the diner, she would’ve probably have joined her! The blonde took her red leather jacket and went towards the bug. While entering the bug, she noticed that the pocket of her jacket was hindering her and that it probably contained something the size of a human fist. Her hand went inside her pocket and she retrieved an apple. Immediately her mind drifted of to Regina… She remembered the kiss and softly smiled, also while refusing to do anything cliché like touching her lips. Maybe everything would turn out to be alright after all, she thought. And she drove the bug towards the docks.

So Storybrooke had a beach, a harbor, a park and woods? That seemed to be quite nice in her books, this would mean she would have different interesting places to go to for when she would decide to run. She would make sure to explore all that Storybrooke would have to offer. The grilled cheeses in the diner being her favorite, but sharing a first place with Henry and the mayor herself. How on earth would she explain that to Henry? Would she even explain in to him? She decided that it was too soon to tell him anything and first see how this thing between her and his adoptive mother evolved.

She had packed some sandwiches for lunch and decided one of the benches would be the perfect spot to enjoy her meal. Before she even had the chance to take a bite, a dalmatian was nudging her knee with it’s head and was hopefully looking in the general direction of her sandwich. “I’m sorry boy, but that’s mine. Emma doesn’t share food!”, she laughed, but at the same time being quite serious about it, she really didn't like to share food.

“Good to know!”, a soft male voice uttered somewhere behind her. Emma looked around and frowned when she saw the ginger haired man, he introduced himself, “The name’s Archie!”. He said, “You must be Emma?” Emma scoffed, “Am I this known in this town already?”. Archie smiled, “And that’s Pongo! The dog trying to steal your food.”, he explained. Emma smiled carefully, “He’s that hungry?”. “That one’s always hungry! Even when he just ate, he still acts like got nothing at all. His stomach seems to be some kind of bottomless pit.”, Archie laughed. Emma grinned, “He’s a lot like me then!”. To which the ginger haired man laughed even harder, “I’m afraid so, of ypu put it like that! And to answer your question from earlier, I know you because of Henry. He talks about you a lot recently. And you're also the only new face in town.”.

Emma’s penny dropped, “So you’re the one giving him therapy?”. “Guilty as charged”, the therapist smiled. “So how are you, adapting to Storybrooke? Rumor has it, you’re staying in town?”. Emma looked away, “I might, I probably will….”. She sighed, deflated a bit, “Yeah, I’m staying. Not sure how I feel about that yet, though.”. Doctor Hopper seemed to understand, “Well, if you ever want to talk about it…”. The blonde looked him right in the eyes and felt some kind of sympathy for the man grow. He was genuinely being friendly, which didn't happen towards her a lot, but more and more lately. She softly smiled, “Yeah, I know where to find you, doc!”. Archie sniggered softly, nodded and walked away with Pongo following him, wagging his tail.

In the mayoral office Regina was feeling quite irritated. She felt like being stuck between wanting what’s best for Henry and what she thought was best for her. Meaning, driving the savior out of town and being a total selfish bitch. But she realized, who was she kidding? Since that kiss she felt her anger towards the woman resolve and felt like actually caring a bit somehow. That same woman who had also talked to Henry, bringing him back a bit towards her. She sighed, deciding she would try to trust the process, however it might turn out, but it felt like to much. Trusting someone or something has never been easy for the brunette. Let alone trusting the one who might be able to break her curse. And maybe, probably, her life was on the line too. She always was used to having a certain degree of control, here she had none whatsoever. She should push the blonde away, but then, her heart just wasn’t in it! The brunette felt the frustration build up, slammed her fist on the desk, but didn’t knew what to do with the rest of that pent up energy. She sighed again, decided the blonde wasn’t a threat for the moment. She growled, did some breathing in and out, trying to calm herself down and continued her paperwork for the day, hoping that she could shift all her attention towards the task at hand.

Later that afternoon, Emma found herself back at Granny’s. Mary Margareth joined her at the table, asking her how her day went. “Explored the harbor a little and met Archie”, Emma said. Mary Margareth told her about her day at school and a bit about how and why she introduced Henry to the book. And she also mentioned that she didn’t seem to know where it came from, it must have been pointlessly lying around in her loft, gathering dust, she reasoned. “Do you still stay at the B&B?”, she asked out of the blue. Emma told her she did and promptly was invited to be the pixie haired women’s roommate, if she wanted to and if she was planning to stay in the town. The teacher confessed that she found it quite lonely sometimes and that she wouldn’t mind Emma keeping her company, since she felt somewhat of a connection between them and found her pleasant to be around. Emma promised her she would think about it. They kept talking while they had dinner together and eventually Emma went back to the B&B. But not without noticing that a creepy guy was eying Mary Margareth, the pixie haired woman told her it was the town’s doctor and that they had a date once, that failed miserably. Emma didn’t need to hear the details, didn't care for it also, so she left, claiming she needed the sleep.

At the mansion, Henry came home to his mom preparing dinner. “Mom, I’m home!”, he said while entering the kitchen. “What’s for dinner?”, he asked while looking up at his mother. “Your favorite”, she said quite wary. She clearly was worried about something, so he gave her a hug. She went trough his hair while he was holding her and asked if he had homework. “Yeah, I do! But I’ll need help with some of it.”, he mentioned. “We’ll look into that after dinner. First do whatever you can do by yourself, dear.”, the brunette said. “Can we talk then too?”, he was looking up towards her with a hopefull glint in his eyes. With that question he had her attention. “I would like to talk about Emma, I’d like to see her sometime this week. Can we talk about that?”, he said, not knowing how his mom might perceive that question. “Yeah, we can talk about that.”, the brunette said silently and directed her eyes towards the food, but her mind was drifting off elsewhere.

Henry went to his room and after the easy parts of his homework where done, he decided that his mom maybe might not be comfortable with letting him being alone with the blonde woman. So, he would ask his mother to invite her for dinner sometime or at Saturday, in the afternoon. While his mom was doing some work, the blonde could entertain him. Win- win! He could show her his room and talk a bit about the book maybe. That seemed like a plan! So when his mother called for dinner, he took a seat at the table. Regina scooped up a bit of everything on their plates and they ate in silence. He noticed there was a lot on his mother’s mind and hoped she might talk about it later this evening, but he wasn’t sure she would.

Regina’s mind seemed to be quite occupied indeed. By one person exactly, Emma Swan. She wondered what her angle was, but she couldn’t think or find anything that would make her say no towards Henry's request. He wanted to see her more. That might complicate things, but only if she and the blonde woman ended up being alone together. She needed to avoid that to happen, she reasoned.

Once dinner was over, she cleared the table to do the dishes, while Henry retrieved the homework he needed some help with. For her it was some basic math, but Henry appreciated her explaining it to him patiently, trying to understand the logic behind how she got towards the solution. So she didn’t mind. When they finished his homework, she dreaded the subject to come, but she decided to mention it first. “So you wanted to talk about Miss Swan?, she drawled out. He straightened up and looked her in the eyes, “I would like to see her more often, but if you want to be there with us, it’s fine, really. We could ask her for dinner sometime this week? Or invite her on a Saturday? Then you can work and she can keep an eye on me?”, he blurted out all at once. Regina knew he probably had thought about it a lot and promised him she would work something out with the blonde, which irronically would end up with them both being alone together again, so she could discuss all the practicalities without anyone easedropping or disturbing them. Henry seemed to be content and when it was time to go to bed, she read him a story and kissed him goodnight when he barely could keep his eyes open.

She went downstairs, sighed and was determined to get it over with. Like ripping a band aid off. She texted the blonde, asking her if they could talk tomorrow about Henry.

“Sure, what time?”

“During lunch. I’ll order us something at Granny’s. I suppose I can trust you to be able to pick it up?”

“Yeah! No problem! See you tomorrow, Madam Mayor!”

“See you tomorrow then, with lunch, my office. Goodnight, Miss Swan!”

“Goodnight, Madam Mayor!”

Regina sighed again, deeper this time, hoping the conversation would be easy and noticed that she was being quite nervous about it already. She would see what tomorrow would bring and went upstairs to go to bed. Sleep didn’t came that easy, but it eventually did.

Later in the evening, quite close to midnight, while the night was pitch black with the lights in the street being the only means of visibility, some lights in the Storybrooke Daily Mirror office where still on, the noise of the presses running being the only sign of life. Busy printing the newspaper that would be available in the morning to everyone in town. Sidney smirked when he held one of the first finished newspapers in his hands. This would set things straight, he thought, this would get the blonde out of town and get him closer to what he desired most…

Chapter Text

Emma woke up feeling like she didn’t want to leave the bed, the bed was warm and outside it it the world would be cold. But she did leave the bed, for the shower. She might have stood there quite a while, trying to wake the Hell up. Her mind drifted towards Regina, she would be alone with her again, probably. She hoped they could talk about the kiss and what it meant for the both of them. And Henry. She dressed for the day, left the B&B and headed to the diner for breakfast.

While entering the diner, all eyes where on her. Awkward, she though. And chose one of the booths, instead of a table, to be able to avoid most of the prying looks. Ruby walked towards her quite fast and gave her a copy of the daily mirror. “You might want to read that”, she said, “it’s not pretty, I’m sorry!”. She winced, “Want to order something? Your usual?”. Emma nodded and frowned when she saw the front page, she looked straight at a smear campaign directed at her persona. When Ruby delivered her order at the table, she told Emma that it was on the house and that what was in the paper didn’t matter to her. “Nothing has changed, you’re still the same person to me.”, she shrugged and threw her a friendly smile.

The blonde inhaled her food, thanked Ruby again and decided to go to Regina now, they did had a time set for their meeting, but this was a priority. For once she would arrive somewhere al lot earlier then expected. She speed walked towards her bug and drove as fast as legally appropriate to the Mayor’s office. If Henry was going to read that, not that he didn’t knew most of it already. But the fact that he was born while she was in prison, she preferred nobody else knowing, except the people that really mattered. She needed to know if Regina had anything to do with this. And if not, how to approach Henry about it.

She parked her car, meaning just drove it towards a parking spot and hoping that she would be parked right in the first attempt. She was not, but she didn’t care. With the newspaper in her hands she entered the building and headed towards Regina’s office. She opened the door without knocking, which startled and angered the mayor in the process.

“Miss Swan, what do you think you’re doing!”, she yelled. Emma remained calm and approached her with the newspaper. “Seen this today by any chance?”

Regina glanced towards the paper and her face turned white. “What?!? He actually did it?”, she uttered quite horrified. Emma seemed to be confused by her reaction. “What the Hell do you mean?!?”, she shrieked.

“Language, Miss Swan!”, Regina mumbled while taking the newspaper and reading the content. The blonde raised and eyebrow and pensively said, “By the way you where reacting, I suppose you didn’t knew?”.

The mayor sighed, “Sit down, Miss Swan!”, while she was headed towards the loveseat and sat down herself. Emma took a seat next to Regina, “I did mentioned before it was Emma, didn’t I?”, she told her more than asking. The brunette blushed, “You did”, swallowed, “Emma”. The blonde woman observed while Regina read the article. When she finished it, she put the newspaper aside and directed her towards the blonde, “Sidney was here yesterday, showing me a file he had gathered about you. He told me to use it as some kind of leverage, but I failed to see how that would do anyone any good. I’m sure you wouldn’t have been able to keep this information a secret for long, but right now I’m also worried about Henry.”. Emma told her she shared the same concern, but wondered why anyone in it’s right mind would publish such an article. So she decided Sidney was definitely not!

“I’m going to have a chat with our town’s reporter about this”, Regina told Emma with a sneer and a dark look in her eyes. “You’re creeping me out right now, madam Mayor”, Emma chuckled, “Please do help me remember to not get on your bad side!”, she smiled.

Regina swallowed, “I didn’t meant that to happen.”, feeling somwhat guilty for the smear campaign.

“So it seems…”

“Emma…”

“I do have a hard time trusting people…”, the blonde stammered, somehow trying to apologize for her entrance earlier.

“Then we might be a bit more alike then we both think”, Regina smiled sadly.

Emma tried to brighten the mood, she chuckled, “You don’t have my sense of style, Madam Mayor!”.

“And thank God for that!”, she smiled, “No offense, Miss Swan!”.

“None taken! But again, it’s Emma to you!”. She playfully glared towards the mayor. “So I suppose we talk to Henry about this as fast as possible?”

“Yes, we do! Stop by at the mansion after school?”, Regina suggested. Emma nodded. “Want to stay for dinner, instead of us having lunch here?”, Regina shyly added.

“Yes and I would like that”, Emma silently said while she shuffled closer towards Regina, looking for some physical contact, feeling like she wanted to comfort herself and the brunette somehow, “Is this okay?”

Regina gasped, she didn't expected that the blonde would initiate any of this at all, but still she appreciated it, longed for it a bit even, so she nodded. The blonde then came even closer, hesitating whether or not she could put her arm around the mayor. So her arm was hovering, “This okay?”, she said while glancing towards her arm.

The brunette visibly swallowed while she followed Emma’s look and she nodded again. Emma then lowered her arm and held her tenderly. Feeling quite encouraged by the reactions she was recieving, with her other hand she caressed the mayor’s cheek. She then got their faces closer, noticed that the brunette’s eyes shined and she gazed into them for several long tension- filled seconds, before leaning forward and brushing her lips against the mayor’s, “This okay?”, she whispered. Regina responded by clashing their lips together and slipping her tongue out in search of access to Emma’s mouth. The blonde gave it willingly and the kiss grew more confident and more needy.

Emma groped around for Regina’s hand, found it and put it on her breast. Regina squeezed gently. Then the intercom buzzed, startling both women out of their daze. Regina stammered, “That will be my next appointment”, she breathed out apologetically. She headed to the intercom and her secretary confirmed that her appointment had arrived.

“Okay”, Emma stood up, she swallowed and was heavily breathing, “So I’ll be at the mansion after school!”, she managed to say.

“And stay for dinner!” Regina emphasized. She closed the distance between them and kissed Emma softly. She then headed towards the door and held the doorknob, “I should let you out now. I’ve still got work to do!”.

Emma stood up, following Regina. “I’ll pick Henry up, save you some time. So, see you tonight, Madam Mayor!”.

Regina opened the door and let her out, “Counting on it, Miss Swan!”. The blonde turned her head to throw a mischievous looks at the brunette and grinned while she turned it back and left the building.

From his car on the opposite side of the road, Sidney saw the blonde exit. Whatever he witnessed through his binoculars, that wasn’t what he had in mind when he wrote the article. He tensed up and gritted his teeth. He exhaled heavily and decided to follow the blonde when she stepped into her car and drove off. He clenched his grip around the steering wheel and he just knew he would do whatever he could to still get what he wanted. And if not, nobody would get what was his in the first place!

Emma went to Granny’s, she texted Graham to meet her there for lunch. She had though about his offer and had made a decision and wanted to let him know in person. While she was waiting, she ordered a chocolate milk with whipped cream and some cinnamon. She decided to read whatever else that was in the newspaper to pass the time.

Since it was quite calm, Ruby decided to keep her some company and talked about how people reacted towards what was in the newspaper, “Not a lot of people cared, it’s whoever you are now that matters to them the most. So I wouldn’t worry about it at all!”. Emma smiled, feeling like she had found some kind of kinship with the waitress. They talked about whatever else that was in the newspaper and before the lunch rush started, the waitress told Emma that she could always talk to her, she always would lend her a listening ear.

Not before long, Graham stumbled in the diner. When he saw the blonde, he took the opposite seat and the menu. “I’m starving! You?”, Graham grinned, knowing the blonde could always eat. They both ordered and when their order arrived, they immediately went for the attack! Emma enjoyed her grilled cheeses and Graham ate his burger with big bites. Their shared (double!) portion of fries also ended up being empty quite fast.

Graham leaned backwards, holding his belly, enjoying the feeling of it being full. “So, you thought about it?”, he asked her flat out.

The blonde grinned, “Way to go in killing the suspense!”.

Graham smiled apologetically, “I’m sorry, drumroll!” he said while mimicking drumsticks with his fingers, drumming them on the table.

“I accept.”, she said while turning her eyes, still grinning about his behavior.

“Alright, deputy Swan, then this meal is on me! So, since I have the graveyard shift tonight, I’m going to need you to be in the station early tomorrow morning. I’ll need to talk you through it all and I still want to be somewhat awake while doing so.”

The sheriff looked forward to having a deputy with her skillset. And he also enjoyed her company, so working together shouldn’t be a problem.

The both of them talked a bit through the daily routine, the most common issues (one of them being the town drunk) and how they would divide their shifts.

While they where talking amicably, Sidney was taking pictures of them quite obsessively and grinned wickedly while he was taking them. He also had some of her and the waitress. But he decided the pictures of her and the sheriff would serve his purpose better.

Later that day, when school was finished, Emma decided to get Henry. The kid was ecstatic, seeing his birth mother was picking him up, and asked her if she would see Mary Margareth, that she needed to ask her to read to a guy in the hospital, who was in a coma. Henry believed him to be the teacher’s true love. Emma decided to indulge him and promised she would talk to the pixie haired woman and ask her. She needed to talk to her anyway.

When they arrived at the mansion, Regina must have been at home already, waiting, because as soon as they got out of the car, the front door opened and Regina appeared on the porch. Henry walked around the car and couldn’t help but notice that there wasn't a single bit of hostile energy between the two of them. Strange, he thought, the both of them being total opposites in every single way, but yet somehow alike.

He walked towards his adoptive mother, “Hey mom! Emma picked me up, I hope you don’t mind that she did!”, not knowing she agreed to it earlier in the day..

Regina tensed up, she didn't like the feeling that he took her actions or reactions under a loop, “I don’t mind, come inside, both of you!”, she snarked.

Emma bit her lip, trying to contain her laughter when they entered the house. She knew Henry was going to pry and wasn't going to make it easy on Regina. The kid was too curious and loved meddling, she was glad to be able to go home afterwards. She assumed she was going home afterwards anyway, she didn’t knew if the mayor and her where on the same page or what exactly they wanted from each other, that was a talk they also needed to have, before this grew into something serious. She didn’t want Henry to be the one getting hurt, he had her priority. She assumed this was the case for Regina too and if it was, it would mean that something solid could grow out of whatever this is that they have.

The mayor noticed that the blonde her mind drifted of towards serious matters, “Everything alright, dear?”. Emma looked in her direction and nodded.

“Good, please hang your vest on the coat rack! If I find it anywhere else, I’ll throw it outside!”. She sure had Emma’s attention with that!

“You wouldn’t dare!”, the blonde spoke indignantly and pouted a bit after finishing her sentence.

“You don’t know what I’m capable of, Miss Swan!”, the Mayor smirked.

“Back to that again, are we?”

“What, dear?”, Regina feigned innocence.

“The catchphrase and you calling me Miss Swan, again. I told you it was Emma.”, the blonde huffed while hanging up her vest.

“That you did! But it has a nice ring to it!”, the brunette drawled out, trying to contain her laughter and quite enjoying riling the blonde up a bit.

Emma turned back towards her and followed the smirking woman into the kitchen, to check if there was anything she could help with.

While they disappeared into the kitchen, Henry was sitting on the stairs, being flabbergasted and glad they didn’t notice him. The both of them sure had something between them! Maybe they could be meanth for eachother? But the book only talked about couples as being a man and a woman. He stood up and went to his room to check the book, to see if he had missed anything. He didn't, it only talked about couples as being a man and a woman. But what about two women? Even two men? That could be a possibility too, no? He wanted his adoptive mother to date, for obvious reasons, but what if his birthmother would be her perfect match and he wag going to be the one that brought them together? It was on, this could be a mission. But first though, he needed more information. Because this was unfamiliar grounds to him. And he knew exactly who to ask!

In the kitchen Emma and Regina where discussing about how to break it to Henry, while the lasagna casserole was heating up on a low heat in the oven, the cheese on top slowly melting and slowly filling the house with it’s aromatic scent. It wasn’t entirely impossible someone had already mentioned it to him or talked about it while he was around, they just really hoped they would be the first in telling it to him. So he could hear it the right way, through them instead of through someone else.

When the lasagna was ready and the table was set, the three of them gathered around the table. They ate silently. At least, it started out that way, Emma was quite appreciative about how good the food was. Henry grinned, knowing his mom could make a mean lasagna. Regina however, was flustered and her cheeks where getting pink, the noises Emma was uttering made her mind drift off elsewhere. Emma was entirely oblivious about it, “You really know how to cook!”.

Regina cleared her throat, she needed to set her mind straight. But the blonde’s beaming face really made it quite difficult. She swallowed, “You really did sound appreciative, dear!”. Emma gulped, realizing what Regina was talking about. And the fact that Regina’s eyes had turned a few shades darker then what she saw in the kitchen. She did enjoyed that the eyes of the mayor where able to speak in their own language. And what she could read in those eyes now, that maybe was something they needed to talk about first, before there was no way back. They could end up hurting Henry in the process. “Sorry!”, she stammered, “I don’t always notice. But that lasagna was to die for!”. Regina smiled appreciatively, “It’s the red pepper flakes, it gives it some kick!”.

The kid observed his mothers’ conversation, not getting it all, but operation SaviourQueen was on! Maybe he would rename it, but right now that name was the best thing he could come up with.

The three of them cleared the table and Henry was off towards the living room, playing a game on the console while his moms where doing the dishes. Or tried to, Regina had Emma pinned against the counter, the air around them seemed to have the oxygen sucked out of it, leaving the both a bit breathless. Regina was close to Emma, the blonde could feel puffs of her ragged breath roam across her chin. Regina slowly pressed her mouth to hers, her hands in her hair, pulling the blonde in. The kiss that followed shot right trough her, Emma could feel her lips pulse and held Regina tighter. The brunette’s fingers roamed from Emma’s hair, along her neck to the front of her blouse. They both shivered, but before the situation could get out of control, Henry’s shout was having the same effect on them as a cold shower could’ve had! “OOOOH, COME ON!”, he shouted. Being bummed by seeing the ‘GAME OVER’- notification on the screen of the television.

When both his mothers’ appeared in the living room, he thought he was in trouble, because shouting in the house was not allowed. “You alright, kid?”, Emma asked, while heading towards him, closely followed by Regina. “Oh, you died…”, Emma said while noticing the screen. “Did you saved it?”. Henry sighed and pouted, “Not yet, I was going to.”. The blonde grinned, relieved it was nothing serious. Regina seemed to share in her relief, glad he was reacting like this because of what was on the screen, rather then because of what just happened in the kitchen. They needed to talk about the nature of their relationship, or whatever it was, before it would end up the wrong way and Henry was collateral damage. Or worse, maybe she could even lose Henry entirely.

But tonight they talked about what was in the newspaper earlier that day. The both of them where seated with Henry sitting in the middle. He appeared to be quite more open minded than they had anticipated and also seemed to appreciate their honesty. He asked how it ended up in the newspaper, why it ended up in the newspaper and his dislike for the town’s reporter grew even more that evening. Something he didn’t even know was even possible. But the man hurt his moms, so it was. He also asked Emma more about her pregnancy in jail, he wanted to know if it was hard, being alone. To which Emma replied that there were wardens and other jail mates who where concerned towards her and helped her wherever it was possible.

It didn’t make it any less hard, but Emma didn’t wanted Henry to feel bad about something he had no hand in. Regina however seemed to be a bit pale. She saw through the façade the blonde was putting on. And as soon as Henry went upstairs, leaving them both in the couch in living room, Regina tightened up, feeling really bad for what Emma went trough. Emma noticed her mood shifting, got closer towards her and took her hand. “What’s going on inside your head?”, she was worried. Regina looked up and smiled sadly, “I’m so sorry, Emma!”.

Emma frowned, “For what? It’s not like you put me there, so don’t feel bad about it. When we have more time, I’ll tell you what happened. But don’t go acting like you’re the one to blame, because you’re not!”

Regina gritted her teeth and looked up, but before she could say anything Emma interrupted her, “You know, Graham asked me to be deputy.”

“He did?”

“He did, he said he had the budget and really needed the help!”, the blonde uttered.

“And what did you say? Have you made a decision yet?”

“I did”, Emma said softly eying Regina tenderly, “I accepted it earlier today! That way I’m closer to Henry. And to you.”, she added hesitantly. “I hope that’s okay.”.

“It is”, Regina stammered. But then her expression shifted towards an evil grin. “You know, Miss Swan…”

“Emma!”

“You know, Em… ma…”, she drawled out, “You being a deputy and me being the mayor, makes me your boss!”.

“Oh yeah?”, Emma said menacing.

“Oh yeah! And as your boss I’m asking you to stay the night.”, she then added,” It’s late, Henry probably will want to see us or want us to read to him before he goes to sleep. So I suggest you spend the night here, instead of driving home in the dark with that death trap of yours.”.

Emma smiled, then frowned, then frowned again and then she shrugged, giving in. “Alright! But I need to be in the station really early. You okay with that?”, she wanted Regina to be sure. “And”, she quicky added, “We will be sleeping! I want to make a good impression on my first day!”.

Regina smirked and agreed. They had time, she now knew the blonde was staying in town and didn’t planned to leave anytime soon. They went upstairs to Henry’s room, wishing him goodnight. When they left Henry’s room and closed the door behind them, Regina grabbed Emma’s hand and guided her towards her own bedroom. She borrowed her a pajama and got into the bed. Emma set an alarm on her phone before joining her. She scooted closer towards Regina. The brunette got the clue and turned so she could lay her head on Emma’s shoulder and hold her. She turned of the light in the room, they kissed eachother goodnight before the both of them drifted off and fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Emma woke up by the alarm on her phone. Not knowing right away where she was. She heard a disgruntled voice, “If you dare to hit snooze and I’ll have to hear your alarm a second time, I’ll kick you out of the bed!”.

“You wouldn’t dare!”, Emma answered, barely awake and yawning. She sat up. It looked like Regina was getting out of bed also, so Emma quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her close for a kiss. “Good morning sweetie!”, she mumbled between the kissing.
“We’ll see how sweet I am if you come late on your first day! I’m your boss, remember!”, the mayor muttered.

“True, too bad my boss might be the reason why I’m late though…”.

“Oh no, you’re not putting this one on me!”, Regina pulled away, leaving the blonde pouting. “Come on, Emma. Bathroom is there, freshen up, dress up and meanwhile I’ll make you some coffee downstairs.”.

Emma grinned, “See? You’re a sweetie!” and quickly added, “If you want to, at least!”. Regina turned her eyes while Emma got out of the bed. Not expecting the blonde jumping back in and pulling her in to attack her with kisses. Regina snickered and pushed the blonde away, “Bathroom, Swan!”, she said imperatively while she pointed in the direction of the bathroom and quickly left the bed while she was out of Emma’s reach to fulfill her promise and make coffee downstairs for the new deputy.

When Emma entered the kitchen, all dressed up, the coffee was the last thing on her mind. It was a priceless sight to see Regina that relaxed and pure in the morning, without make up, in her bathrobe, sipping coffee while leaning with her back against the counter. She would say it was cute, but after the “sweetie- debacle” earlier in the morning, she wisely kept her mouth shut and kept it for herself. But the shit- eating grin, that she could not hide. Regina poured her a cup of coffee when she noticed the blonde and pushed it into her hands, “Drink up, I don’t want my deputy falling asleep on the first day!”. Emma finished her coffee quite fast and kissed the mayor before she left. “See you later, sweetie!”, she said and fled out of the kitchen, not seeing Regina turning her eyes because of the stupid nickname, but also smiling affectionately.

Graham was asleep after his desk when Emma entered the sheriff station. She felt the inner pull to pull a prank on him, but decided against it. However, she still was going to make her first day memorable, at least. She stood in the door opening, finding herself quite the genius, “Incomiiiiing!”, she yelled. Which startled Graham, made him stumble of off his chair and duck underneath his desk. When realizing nothing had happened, he stuck out his head above his desk, to see his new deputy lean against the door frame, shaking with laughter and trying to keep it silent. “What the fuck, Swan!”, Graham grumbled. Now Graham was aware he was being pranked on, Emma’s laughter filled the room. “Not that I don’t enjoy being the center point of a joke, but what the fuck!”, Graham said trying to keep in his own laughter, since the laughing of the blonde seemed to be contagious. He stood up, “Payback is gonna be a bitch, you know!”, he grinned. The deputy snorted, “I expect nothing less!”, she said. Graham suggested she would just follow him through what he did during the day, since Emma hinted he certainly had his sleep that night. He just knew she would tease him relentlessly if he went home now, after spending the night sleeping on his desk. So Emma followed him around and got to learn on the spot what being a deputy was all about. She preferred to learn that way, putting theory into practice immediately just made more sense to her.

In the mansion, after Emma had left, Regina had also dressed up and after having breakfast with Henry and walking him to school, she entered the town hall. When she reached her office she noticed Sidney standing in front of her door, awaiting her. She stepped past him, so she could open the door to her office and he followed her in. “What do you want, Sidney?”, she asked him exasperated. He pulled out an envelope from his coat, “Just wanted you to see this, your new deputy feels quite at home here already!”. Regina frowned, wondering what kind of trick he would use now to smear the blondes reputation. She pulled the envelope out of his hands and opened it, to see the blonde and Graham sitting quite cosy in Granny’s, realizing this must have been the moment when she agreed to be a deputy. She never expected them to get along that well, but she knew she didn’t need wanted her nose to be rubbed in any companionship the blonde would have. She did not needed to be jealous, she repeatedly told herself. With a scowl, she turned towards the reporter and told him to get out of her office. When he didn’t seem to be moving, she yelled, “Get out and only come back when you actually have something to show me!”. The reporter gritted his teeth, “Very well, then!”, he sneered. And turned to leave the mayor’s office.

At lunchtime, Emma rushed into Granny’s to order food to pick up for Graham and herself, when she noticed the schoolteacher calmly eating her lunch. She walked towards her table and asked her if the offer for a roommate was still on the table, since she had decided on staying in the town. Mary Margareth smirked and nodded fervently, since she still had food in her mouth. “Oh, another thing! Henry asked me to ask you, but is there a possibility where you can read something to a guy in the hospital?” Mary Margareth frowned, swallowing the food that had been chewed on enough now, “Why?”. Emma smiled apologetically, “You know Henry still believes in the curse, can you indulge me on this one?”.
Mary Margareth seemed to be doubting, so Emma added, “Please?”. It seemed to do the trick and Mary Margareth glared, “Alright, I’ll read something to him. But another thing, when would you be moving in? There’s a room upstairs that I don’t use and it’s possible to move in anytime. Even today, if you want!”, she sniggered. The blonde decided that that was not a bad idea and they would meet after her shift. The same time Ruby waved, “Your order is ready! With extra fries for the both of you!”. The deputy said her goodbye’s and left with the food.

After her shift the blonde moved her stuff to Mary Margareth’s loft and when all the unpacking was done and they had some food inside their bellies, they settled in the sofa, watching some movie and bonding. All of a sudden, Emma’s phone ringed. She apologized and went upstairs to her room picked up the phone, it was Regina, asked how her first day went. “You’re still alive and in one piece? If you’re not, I swear, I’ll kill Graham!”, she muttered.

Emma grinned, “Such a sweetie…”.

Regina sighed, “You could just answer the question, Swan!”.

“Yeah, I could. Still alive and kicking, madam Mayor!”

Regina smirked, “So, tell me all about your first day!”.

Emma started by talking about the first impression she had made on Graham, by pulling a stunt on him. Which made Regina laugh quite hard and Emma realized she just adored the sound of the mayor’s genuine laugher. She also told her she expected some payback from him at a certain time. And that she lived with Mary Margareth now.

“You’re living with her?”, Regina uttered.

“Yeah, I seem to like her. She’s quite friendly. But the bird- thing though, that’s kinda disturbing.”

“Why didn’t you told me you were on the lookout for something?”

“I could’ve…”. Emma said, “I know, I forgot… But it’s not like we’re ready to live together, right? I, I mean, we should talk first, see where we’re going with this. Whatever this is, it needs to develop some more. Don’t you think so?”

The mayor cleared her throat, realizing that Emma was right, but that didn’t mean she took it that well, she didn’t like the feeling to be shoved aside, even if it was unintentionally.

“We should talk indeed!”, she grumbled.

“Hey, don’t! I should’ve told you and I’m sorry! There’s no excuse. Just know, I’m sorry. Can we talk tomorrow?”

“Yeah!”, the mayor swallowed, “Come see me at town hall when your shift is over.”

“I’ll be there. I’ve missed you, you know?”

Regina softly smiled, “I sort off missed you too, deputy!”

“What the Hell? Call me Emma outside office hours, will you!”, Emma snickered. That woman was impossible.

“Gotta go. I need put Henry into bed, Em Ma…”

“Kiss him goodnight for me too, will you?”

“I will, goodnight Emma.”

“Goodnight Regina.”

When the blonde returned downstairs, her eyes catches the sight of a note on the table. It was from Mary Margareth, to let her know that she was going to read to the John Doe in the hospital. Since she had the feeling that the call Emma had took would go on for quite a while. And that she would be back after an hour or so. Emma smiled, thanking her friend silently, at least Henry would be off her back about this now. Emma decided that she would go to sleep also, following Henry’s example. Since she needed to be early in the sheriff station again.

In the hospital, as soon as Mary Margareth had left the building, after reading to the comatose guy for almost a full hour, machines started bleeping. Giving off signs that someone started to wake up…

Chapter Text

Emma got a call in the middle of the night. She grumbled when she woke up and picked up without checking the caller ID. "What do you want?".

"Emma, it's Graham, I need backup, I'm on my way! Get ready and I'll explain everything in the car!"

"Okay, see you later!". She got up and dressed fast and quietly, not wanting to awaken her roommate and sneaked out of the loft. When she arrived downstairs, she noticed that Graham was already waiting in his car. She rushed towards it, got in and Graham hit the gas.

"A guy is missing!", he said. "John Doe woke up and he must have gotten out of the hospital. We need to find him!"

They drove towards the hospital and checked for clues, but came up empty. Emma's phone rang again, the mayor… She picked up, "Hello?"

"Emma!", it was Henry's voice. "Mom's in the bathroom. Gotta make it quick! She got a call from the hospital that the guy woke up! Told ya it would work!"

"Yeah kid, we're kind off in the middle in looking for him. He's nowhere to be found! What are you doing up?"

Emma heard Henry panicking, but then… "I woke up earlier and tried to fall asleep again by reading a bit and then I heard mom's phone ring. Troll bridge? You have to check Troll bridge… Prince Charming…". He got quiet but then he whispered quite fast and barely understandable, "Gotta go, mom's coming out! Check the bridge!".

Emma frowned, that was a weird call. But she knew Henry was going to be quite smug about it, because she noticed the door. Knowing better, she asked Graham where the door lead to.

"The woods, why?"

"If he got out of his bed, that's the first door he saw, so my guess is, that he'll be out there!"

Graham nodded, asked her to wait and got some flash lights out of the cruiser. When looking for tracks, they noticed them leading more and more towards the bridge. However, they also noticed that the guy must have been weak, there where a lot of broken branches on the track. And then they also started to find drops of blood and bloody branches, deducing he must have gotten himself injured.

Eventually the track lead to troll bridge, but they saw nothing on the bridge itself, so they started looing around. "Emma!", Graham yelled. She rushed towards him and saw him drag a man out of the water. She hoped he was still alive and she immediately called an ambulance.

The moment they where back in the hospital, it was early in the morning. So she headed to Granny's while Graham went back to the station for the paperwork. She wasn't on duty yet, he reasoned. And she had nothing against a hot coco with cinnamon and a bearclaw.

When she arrived in Granny's and took a seat, Ruby asked her for a favor. She used the opportunity to tell her that a friend of her, Ashley, was going to give birth. But the father wants nothing to do with it and she herself can't help her. Emma promised to look into it. Ruby stood up, "Chocolate milk with cinnamon and a bearclaw, right?". Emma grinned and nodded thankfully, partly relieved her order was on it's way and partly because she experienced some kind of feeling she didn't had before. Not in Boston and not since her experience with the foster care system.

Regina however, she panicked, she truly panicked! Wondering what triggered the guy to wake up when she got the call in the middle of the night from doctor Whale. He also mentioned that he was missing, so he had called the Sheriff. Then it clicked, Emma was going to be needed here also, but that woman… Everything had starting to change since she arrived. The clock on the tower had started ticking again and now Charming had woke up! She threw her phone aside and headed towards the shower. Hoping that the water would wash away all her sorrows. Spoiler alert, it didn't…

She did some breathing exercises she had learned in the past, way before Storybrooke. But she wanted to scream out in frustration an hit something, instead she gritted her teeth. Because Henry, she didn't wanted to wake up her sweet boy. She had no idea for how long she was standing in the shower, but the thought of Henry brought her mind back to the present. And then she swore, she could hear the sound of his voice above the sound of the water. She shut down the water flow and listened for any signs that he might have woken up. But she detected no such thing. She turned the shower back on and started washing herself quickly.

When she was ready and stepped out of the bathroom, she searched for her phone. Reasoning that it was foolish not to have taken it to the bathroom. She checked her messages and call log if she had missed a possible update. And then she saw it, she pursed her lips when she saw the outgoing call to the deputy. So she hadn't imagined hearing the voice of her son. She checked Henry's room and stood in the doorway, he was lying in his bed, already sound asleep again. Then she noticed his book, that Goddamn book that had started it all! She wanted to run towards it and tear all the pages out or worse, she could just burn it. And then she realized that by doing that, she would hurt him so bad and she would turn out to be everything she didn't wanted to be. So she left Henry's doorway, headed towards the kitchen and made herself some coffee.

A few hours had passed and the sun had started coming up. She was in the middle of making another dose of caffeine when Whale called her a second time to inform her that the John Doe was found an brought back in the hospital. He was unconscious, but stable. She decided to set things in motion for when he regained consciousness and put the phone down. She leaned with both arms on the counter and sighed heavily, dreading everything that was about to come her way. Today was going to be a long day…

In the diner, Emma was enjoying her coco when Mary Margaret entered for her breakfast. She made her order and took a seat at Emma's table. "You're alright?".

"Yeah, just had a long morning. I need to be in the station in an hour.", Emma didn't mention on purpose that coma guy woke up from his slumber, trying not to worry the pixie haired woman in front of her. At the same time she realized that it probably would be in vain, since news seemed to travel fast in Storybrooke. But she didn't wanted to talk about it to anyone before she had heard an update from Graham. The both of them ate in comfortable silence until they both had to leave for work.

When Emma entered the station, Graham told her nothing much had changed and the paperwork had already been done. So there wasn't much left to do but to wait for something to do. By the time it was noon, the phone rang to inform them that the guy was in a conscious state again, so they headed towards the hospital to interrogate him.

At the hospital Emma noticed that Regina was also present. Graham took it upon him to talk to the John Doe, so Emma approached Regina and noticed that the mayor looked quite tense. "Hey", the blonde said.

"Hey!", Regina sighed while crossing her arms and looking away from the blonde.

Emma frowned, "Is everything alright?".

Regina threw her a death stare and grumbled, "Does it look like it?".

Emma chose to ignore the mayor's scare tactics and explained what happened during the search and that they where happy that they where able to find the guy alive. Emma noticed the mayor looking at her face like she was searching something. She suspected that the mayor knew about Henry's nightly call, since it was her phone he had used to make it. But she chose not to mention it till the brunette mentioned it herself. Then a realization crept in, "Did you had any sleep at all?".

The mayor flinched and drawled out, "Concerned about me, Miss Swan?". When Regina noticed that the blonde was frowning and stared disapprovingly, she knew the deputy saw through the façade. Which only seemed to anger her, the blonde woman was on the root of it all as a matter of fact. So she grumbled, "I'm his emergency contact in case anything happens, so I made the necessary searches and calls". Before she could continue, Catherine stormed in and rushed towards comaguy, "DAVID!". She sobbed and explained that she was his wife and that he got missing after she thought he had left the town. Graham left the room to let the both of them have their moment, accompanying his deputy. This seemed to make the major feel more on edge.

But only a matter of seconds later, Mary Margaret and Henry also entered the hospital. The school teacher looked genuinely happy that the guy woke up. But then her face fell, suspecting that the woman aside him, was his wife.

Emma felt quite confused by all what was happening, so she asked Regina for more information. The mayor sneered, "That's his wife. While you were out looking for him, I did some extensive research and I contacted her to inform her that he was here and woke up earlier today.". Her eyes widened when she noticed Henry and she directed her towards the schoolteacher, "What is my son doing here, instead of being in school!", the major yelled more then asking. She stepped towards Henry and took his hand, "Let me accompany you back to school, where you belong!", she sneered while she casted a scathing look at Mary Margaret for tagging him along.

After Henry and Regina had left the hospital, Emma took it upon her to inform Mary Margaret, meanwhile Graham had entered the room again to interrogate the married couple. Mary Margaret looked wistfully towards Catherine and David (apparently), when Catherine came out of the room to thank her for reading to her husband. Emma noticed Catherine accentuating 'my husband' while she was thanking the schoolteacher and she also didn't fail to notice David staring towards Mary Margaret. Emma groaned, realizing what this could mean. That moment, Graham approached her by saying that he received another call. Emma hoped it was an excuse to be able to leave right away. But it wasn't, there had been an explosion at the mine and they needed to check it out.

As soon as they arrived at the mine, they cleared the perimeter and started closing off the area with police tape. That moment, the mayor arrived. Emma cursed inwardly, that woman was already in a bad mood, she didn't particularly look forward to a confrontation with her. But she seemed to head her way, since Graham had disappeared out of sight. That coward!

"Madam Major!", Emma said as a way of greeting her.

"What the Hell has happened now?", the brunette screamed.

"Explosion in the mine, we're lucky there aren't any casualties, no one was inside at the time. All entrances are sealed.", Emma summarized calmly, hoping it would calm down the major.

Regina eyed the blonde shortly and since she had no reply to that, she pursed her lips and told Emma to continue her work. She turned around to leave, but Emma grabbed her arm. "Nothing bad has happened, it 'll be alright!", the blonde tried to reassure the mayor. "I'll talk you trough it tonight. If you want?", Emma smiled, still trying to reassure her.

"No!", Regina said. Still trying to cope with the fact that the blonde was the cause of all of this. Her and that book had changed everything. She needed some distance, but failed finding the words to explain and instead she said, "I need some time to be alone, feel free to pick up Henry from school if you want. But bring him back to me on a decent hour tonight.".

Emma nodded, eager to spend some time with Henry. "I will, don't worry! When do you want him back?"

Regina gritted through her teeth, "Nine thirty at the latest!", being angered that the blonde didn't knew Henry's time for going to sleep. She really needed to vent, she needed to do something. The day has gotten so mich worse and she has had enough of it. So she turned bruskly and left. Leaving the deputy speechless.

Henry was glad to see that Emma was the one picking him up from school, since he knew Regina was probably still quite angry at him being at the hospital around noon with Mary Margaret. The teacher herself was nowhere to be seen, so Emma guessed she might be at the loft already. Emma took Henry for a walk at the beach and while they where walking Henry kept talking about the curse and that Mary Margareth and David where destined to be together. Emma sighed, but decided to listen to him. She wasn't a firm believer in the curse. And Henry must've picked it up, because as soon as he noticed her attention slipping away, he switched subject, asking about her day.

She told him about what happened after he had left the hospital witv his mom, that Graham interviewed the couple. And that David probably must be home right now. But she didn't knew for sure, because they had a call to go to the mine, because of an explosion. This seemed to have caught his attention, because all of a sudden he was fantasising about what he thought could be or even live in the mines. She sniggered about how wild his fantasy could get, but didn't realise this was all a very realistic possibity in the little boy's mind. After the walk, they drove to Granny's for dinner. She ordered a burger and fries for him and grilled cheese and fries for her. Both had a soda to accompany their meal. And before they knew it was time to go to the mayoral mansion. Time surely flies when having fun.

The major didn't went to city hall after she had left the mines, but she chose to go to the mansion instead. She stormed inside and immediately went upstairs, to Henry's room. She needed to see the book, right now! As soon as she found it, she took it downstairs, to her study. She poored herself a glass of whisky for liquid courage and sat down behind the desk, with the book looming in front of her.

Seconds however became minutes and minutes soon became hours. And she still hadn't opened the book, but she had refilled her whisky glass a few times. She was disgusted by her weakness and threw her glass against the mirror on the wall in frustration and anger. She decided to put the book back in Henry's room, since she hadn't looked into it anyway and she didn't wanted him knowing that she had tried. She did it all really slowly, since she felt the effect the alcohol had on her. But she succeeded in her alcohol induced actions.

By the time the bell rang, she just barely made it downstairs. She opened the door silently and the deputy must've smelled the alcohol on her, since she grabbed her arm and asked to take a seat on the couch and that she would be tucking Henry in.

Emma came back downstairs to a sleeping major in the living room. This was a sight for sore eyes, she sniggered, the major looked so relaxed. And cute, Emma bit her lip, trying to hide her grin. She decided to carry the cute sleeping woman to her bed, she didn't wanted her to sleep in the sofa. It was uncomfortable for the brunette and she for sure didn't wanted Henry to find Regina hungover in the morning. She went upstairs, carrying the brunette bridal style. When she entered the master bedroom, she layed her down on the bed softly, took off Regina's shoes, covered her with a blanket and gave her a sweet kiss goodnight while cupping her cheek. She stood up, got out of the bedroom, closed the door and silently snuck out of the house, shutting the frontdoor behind her quietly.

Since she wasn't that tired, she went to Granny's. She also wasn't particulary in the mood to be confronted by a lovesick Mary Margaret. Emma wondered if the woman realised that she was pining over the guy that she barely knew. She read to him, but only once! She decided to file it for later, when she entered Granny's and took a seat in the booth in the back of the restaurant. She noticed Graham was playing darts and had a few beers already. He wasn't in a very pleasant mood, so she stood back up and as soon as he noticed she was getting ready to leave, he said, "Emma, what can I get you?"

Emma shugged, "Nothing!". And opened the door. In the crner of her eye she saw a dart hit the doorframe, very close to her head. She snapped, "What the Hell! You could've hit me!".

Graham winced, realising that was true, but he never had missed before and he made sure to tell her that.

Emma went outside and started to speedwalk in the direction of the loft. But soon she heard someone running behind her. "Emma, why are you upset?", Graham yelled, trying to ask her.

She yelled back, "I am not upset!".

"If that where true, you'd be at the bar with me having a drink and not running away.", he said while trying to keep up with the blonde.

"It's none of my business, really. You' re just drunk and annoying!"

"I wanna talk to you.", he whined. "I like you!".

"Well, your bad judgment is your problem, not mine.", she said. She really needed to talk to Regina, she needed to know what it was that they were having. She was taken and she kind of hated it that the sheriff didn't seemed to realise that.

"Dammit!", he cursed. "I didn't want you to look at me the way you are now.".

Emma frowned, "Why do you care how I look at you?".

"Because...", he fell silent and suddenly looked quite determined.

Now the blonde was worried, what the Hell was going on? "What?".

Graham grabbed her face and kissed her. But soon he had some flashbacks from a life he didn't knew and didn't understand.

"What the hell was that?", Emma yelled after she pushed him away.

He uttered. "Did you see that?". Still trying to understand what had just happened to him.

"How much have you been drinking?". Emma felt so angry. He really shouldn't have done that! "That was way over the line!"

"I'm sorry. I just...", he stammered.

"What?" Emma said, "You what?"

"I need to feel something.", he told her while he looked like a sad puppy.

"Listen to me, Graham.", Emma said determined, "You are drunk and full of regret. I get it. But whatever it is you are looking to feel, I can tell you one thing. You're not getting it with me!". She turned around, "Goodnight, Graham". And she walked away fast and determined, to the loft. While Graham stumbled in the direction of the sheriff's department, trying to get some sleep and understanding what had just happened to him.

In a car, that was strategically parked, a certain reporter was grinning very smug and feeling quite content about himself. He held his camera like it was the most precious thing he owned and headed towards the daily mirror headquarters, to print out the foto's he took earlier from the sheriff and his deputy in the highest quality as he possibly could.