Author: KayJDance PM
Emma & Jefferson were the most unlikely couple given their past but now after a year of living of their 'happily ever after' no one could imagine it any other way. What challenges will their now royal life bring them? Mad Swan Semi-AU, Post-curse, when everyone is back in FTL. Eventually includes Snowing, Rumbelle, most other canon couples & new characters. Better than description.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Family - Emma S. & Mad Hatter/Jefferson - Chapters: 14 - Words: 55,414 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 40 - Follows: 61 - Updated: 11-25-12 - Published: 07-03-12 - id: 8281726
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: I own absolutely none of the wonderfulness that is Once Upon A Time and their characters or other later-mentioned characters (non-related to OUAT).
This is my first fic therefore, there is obviously no prequel but if you'd like a reference as to what I'm going to use as canon for most of Emma and Jeff's past then I'd recommend "Happily Never After" by L3ftOfCent3r. Plus, I think it's a rather brilliant fic in general so you should just read it anyways if you haven't.
I am so sorry it took me much longer than expected to update this but I hope you all are still interested in it. Here's another (rather long) chapter for you lovely Mad Swan shippers so, ENJOY! =D
Chapter 2: Looks Like Alex Is Running Our Dinner Tonight
"Ella!" Grace shouted to the older woman, running to her and squeezing her in a tight embrace.
"Why hello Grace, it is so lovely to see you." Ella smiled as she squeezed the young girl with her one free arm. The other preoccupied by her young daughter clasping onto her hand.
Grace unattached herself from the young princess and turned her attention to Alexandra, stuck in between her parents, who now stood gazing up at the older girl with a questioning look. If you looked merely at her chubby cheeks and short, thin hair you would think she was just like any other toddler but as she stood in her light blue, silk gown with puff sleeves and tulle that draped down from the tops of her ribs to just above her ankles revealing her white dress shoes and socks with lace ruffles at the tops and wavy hair neatly combed down her shoulder and the front strands pulled into a French braid she looked like royalty even at such a young age.
"Hi Alex, do you remember me?..." Grace questioned as the toddler still stood in her place staring at the older girl, who now knelt in front of her down at her level, "…well even if you don't, my name is Grace!" Grace smiled. As recognition flicked across Alexandra's face, she shouted out the best pronunciation of 'Grace' a 2-year old could manage and let go of her parents' hands to embrace Grace in a hug, nearly jumping on her. Grace, now beaming, hugged the young girl as she heard her brother come running up the hallway into the foyer.
"Thomas!" he cried and embraced Prince Thomas.
"Good to see you Henry." Thomas laughed as he gave the young boy a good squeeze and tousled his hair.
Grace stood from her hug with Alexandra and still holding onto the toddler's hand greeted Thomas with a smile and hug, "Hi Thomas."
"Good to see you as well Grace." He laughed as he looked down to see his daughter, obviously wanting to get in on the love-fest, had wrapped herself around his leg and said, "Hi Daddy!"
Alexandra's typical, adorable 2-year old behavior caused them all to start laughing though Alex simply look confused and continued hugging her father's leg. Grace and Henry let go and Henry went to greet Ella as the eldest members of their family walked in.
"Welcome Ella!" Snow exclaimed as she walked in and hugged her dear friend just as Henry pulled away.
"It is wonderful to see you Snow!" Ella replied hugging her back with a grin spread across her face as Alexandra ran away from her father's leg and attempted to hug Snow's leg through the small sea of tulle that filled the bottom of Snow's dress and cried out, "Snow!" This caused the two women to giggle as Snow let go of her friend and bent down to Alexandra giving her a proper hug.
"Thomas!" James greeted as he gave his old friend a brotherly hug and pat on the back, "How are you?"
"Absolutely wonderful my friend," Thomas replied with a smile.
Snow picked Alex up and shifted her to balance on her hip as she went to greet Thomas when James let his friend go and moved to Ella to greet her.
The last two members of the party finally reached the foyer, walking in with their fingers intertwined and sides pressed up against one another. Jefferson and Emma not having the long history Snow and James had with Thomas or quite as strong of a bond as their children had formed with him, gave a more formal greeting as they walked towards Thomas who reached out and shook both of their hands smiling, "Wonderful to see you Jefferson and Emma."
"Great to see you as well." They replied in unison causing them to give each other a humorous look and hold back a laugh.
Emma had known Ella quite a bit better due to their encounters in Storybrooke and their friendship had continued to grow since they arrived back in The Enchanted Forest so Emma reluctantly let Jefferson's hand and warmth of his body at her side go as she rushed to hug one of her first and best friends, greeting her with a warm smile, "Ella, welcome!"
"Thank you Emma. We are very excited to be here." Ella exclaimed as she hugged her friend back.
Emma took a step back and allowed her husband to come back to her side and claim her hand once again while reaching the other out to shake Ella's with a warm smile and greeting to accompany it.
At this point all greetings had been given and Alex ended up in James' arms but now reached for her father. James handed Alex over to Thomas as Snow gestured towards the hallway leading to the dining room. She led the party through the hallway, past the grand ballroom, and into the dining room. They all made their way into their respective seats, Alex in a wooden highchair on the far end, Ella and Thomas placed on each side of her, James, Snow, and Henry finishing off Thomas's side and Emma, Jefferson, and Grace finishing off Ella's.
Just as they all finished placing their napkins over their laps and the salad and bread was placed on the table by a kitchen staff member Henry glanced over to Alex at the end of the table picking apart her slice of bread and spreading it on the tray attached to her high-chair and let out a small laugh, "It almost looks like Alex is running our dinner tonight."
This remark caused the entire table to let out a few small laughs but Grace, finding it the most hilarious, declared, "Well if she's running dinner then we must follow as she does."
This caused the laughter to come to a halt as the rest of the table looked towards her with questioning looks, wondering where she was going with this.
"We must pick apart our bread, wear our napkins around our necks, and not use utensils." Grace declared fervently as she looped her napkin around her neck and picked her utensils up and slapped them down on the table about a foot away from her with a clank.
"I think that sounds like a great idea!" Henry exclaimed with a grin whilst picking up his napkin.
"I'm in!" James declared as he went to pick up his napkin causing Snow to roll her eyes and playfully slap his hands back down as she replied, "Oh well that's Charming."
Ella, Thomas, and Emma stifled a laugh at their end of the table as Alex let out a shriek of delight and Jefferson turned to his children to reprimand them.
"Very funny you two. Now Grace, Henry, you know better than that." He sternly told them giving them a scornful look.
Both children looked down at their plates and back up at their father with "puppy dog eyes", nearly making Jefferson cave in. Nearly.
"Now please behave, or no dessert." He choked out as Emma gave the hand she clung onto a reassuring squeeze, knowing how hard it was for him to look at his kids' sweet eyes and threaten them. They were normally wonderful, well-behaved kids so he wanted to let them have fun but her knew now, with guests over, was not the time for it.
"Sorry" The two kids replied pitifully as they began to untie the napkins around their necks.
Dinner continued as normal with occasional small talk, compliments on the dinner, small shrieks, squeals, and giggles from Alexandra, and updates on the status of other royal families and their kingdoms until dessert when Henry blurted out, directing his attention towards his parents, "So Grace and I were thinking that maybe we could take a trip to Wonderland…?"
In utter disbelief and shock Emma audibly and visibly choked on the cake she had been swallowing causing Jefferson to turn to her, pressing one hand on her arm and the other on her back, before he got the chance to respond. Snow and James simply snapped their heads in their grandson's direction with wide eyes, dropped jaws, and frozen hands that held the food they were just about to place in their mouths. Ella and Thomas merely glanced at one another, unsure of what to say or do, as Alex happily kept shoving globs of chocolate cake in her mouth. Grace looked towards her parents with worried eyes that her plan may not have been all that great of one.
"Emma, are you alright?" Jefferson asked worried as he soothingly rubbed her back with one hand.
Emma managed to swallow the stuck cake and choked out, "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Then regaining her composure and remembering why she choked in the first place she turned towards her son and shouted, "What?"
Henry, ready to defend himself, replied, "I know, I know. It sounds kinda crazy. But Grace and I were just thinking-"
"Because you and Grace are just full of good ideas tonight." Emma interjected, rolling her eyes.
"Look mom, what Grace was saying earlier about The White Rabbit sounded so cool and it made me really want to meet him! She said it was really unlikely that he'll ever come back here so we should just go to him." Henry defended. "It's not really a dangerous place persay… Besides, you said yourself that I'm a smart kid and I wouldn't even ask you if I hadn't thought it through so please just give this idea a chance. Trust me."
Emma grunted to herself and pinched the bridge of her nose not knowing how to respond to her son's logic. Damn. Why did she have to give birth to such a smart and convincing kid?
Jefferson finally gathered up a few words after a minute of shock and replied for his currently-distraught wife, "Look Henry, this is not the time or the place to discuss this. I understand your curiosity but you know my history there and it's not exactly a place I'd prefer to re-visit."
It wasn't like Jefferson didn't still use his hat, it often came in handy when someone was in need of something from another realm or for quicker communication across them, but he hadn't been to Wonderland since he had been trapped there and did not have any desire to go back. It only reminded him of his terrible time spent there and all his trips there before his entrapment, and how the mere thought of that place nearly drove him mad.
"I know and I understand that. I just think—"
Finally finding a few sensible words once again Emma countered, "Okay Henry, you're right. You are a smart kid and I will always trust you but there's so much to this and it's not something we can simply just decide on right now. We're at dinner, we have guests." She finished, gesturing towards the end of the table where Thomas, Ella, and Alex sat.
"Oh don't mind us." Thomas said in response. "It's actually, rather entertaining."
"Thomas!" Ella snapped, causing Thomas to hang his head with a fake 'I'm guilty and I'm sorry' look on his face.
"So does that mean, you'll think about it?" Henry questioned excitedly.
"Yeah, sure kid. We'll think about it." Emma said giving in.
Jefferson shot her a look wondering why she decided this without even asking him but he decided to let it go because he didn't want to get into it right now.
Henry and Grace hurriedly shoved the last bits of cake in their mouths then excitedly ran over to their parents, giving them both hugs and simultaneous 'thank you's, with their mouths still full of food, ran off to their rooms, likely going to scheme up more on their plan, and wished everyone a 'goodnight'.
Emma in defeat and frustration plopped her elbows onto the table and dug her head into her hands and grunted in frustration. As Emma mumbled to herself, obviously having an internal battle, Jefferson stood up and started to pick up a few of the dishes. Once he gathered up enough dishes to fill his arms he leaned down towards his frustrated, still-mumbling wife, gave her a quick peck on the cheek, and teased, "See you later princess," as he walked out of the dining room and into the kitchen.
Emma didn't even flinch but only kept quietly speaking nonsense to herself as Snow, James, and Thomas followed suit and picked up the rest of the dishes. Granted they were all royals and had plenty of servants to clean their dishes but after living for so long without anyone waiting upon them they felt almost cruel going back to a life where they made people do such simple tasks for them.
Ella picked Alex up out of her high-chair and apologized, "I'm sorry. I would help but I need to put Alex to bed."
"Oh it's no trouble. We have got everything here. You have a goodnight Ella dear." Snow replied.
"Thank you Snow. Have a good night everyone" she smiled as a tired Alex settled her face in the crook of her mother's neck.
"Goodnight sweetheart," Thomas wished his wife lovingly, giving her a quick kiss, then ran a hand over Alex's back as he kissed the top of her head and wished her a restful sleep.
Snow turned towards her daughter before walking out and soothed, "Emma please do not trouble yourself over this too much. You know, you are his mother. You can always say no."
This caused Emma to let out a large grunt of frustration. She hated saying 'no' to Henry no matter how silly or crazy his ideas might be. She missed out on too much of his life already and wanted to give him anything he wanted for the rest of it but at this point she felt like 'no' was the only option. Finally giving up on her internal struggle, Emma looked up from where her head rested in her palms and finally noticed that she now alone at an empty table. After deducting that everyone had probably gone to the kitchen to clean up, she made her way through the hallways that lead to the grandiose kitchen and found her mother and father sitting on a workbench, each sipping out of their cup of hot chocolate with cinnamon.
"Hey Emma, are you doing any better?" her mother greeted.
"Eh, I guess I'm fine. I don't really want to think about it right now." she replied. "Have you seen Jefferson?"
"No, sorry dear. We haven't seen him since he left after helping clean up the dishes." Her father answered.
"Oh okay," she replied as her mind trailed off, wondering where he could be. "I'm gonna go find him, goodnight guys."
He was the only person she could never use her tracking skills to find and it was a rare moment when he wasn't by her side so on the off-occasion that he did disappear it wasn't unlikely for her to freak-out and worry incessantly.
"Goodnight sweetheart." James said as he stood up and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Sleep tight, honey." Snow added giving her daughter a quick, one-armed hug.
Emma walked out of the kitchen, lost in her own thought and unsure of where to go. She checked their bedroom, six of the ten living rooms, Henry and Grace's rooms, three playrooms, and the two grand ballrooms before it finally dawned on her where he was. He hardly ever went there, it was almost always her who was the one to run away to it, but she remembered the trouble from earlier and knew he likely wanted to go there to think.
She walked out the side doors of the castle quietly so no one would hear, for her parents would likely have her locked in a tower before they let her go out alone in the middle of the night. She let her feet guide her through the massive trees and seas of moss, not even needing to think about where she was heading, she never did. She could somehow find 'their place' whenever she wanted, no matter where she was coming from or what time of day. She had been there hundreds of times since the first day they found it back in their first week spent home in The Enchanted Forest and just guessed that at this point, she had been there so often she was drawn to it.
Sure enough, after twenty minutes of walking, she stepped into the clearing of the dense forest and there he was sitting on a log, facing away from her, that stood on the few feet of ground between the meadow of purple wildflowers and the small pond that reflected the light of the moon and cast a light glow on their little escape from the world.
Without turning around Jefferson quipped, "Took you long enough."
"Funny." She replied, walking towards him with a smirk. She sat down beside him and rested her head on his shoulder.
"Tired?" he asked, still staring ahead of him.
"A bit… Internal conflict can be kind of tiring." She said turning to look up at him. "Look Jefferson, I know what happened in Wonderland but Henry can't help his curiosity. I know he didn't want to hurt you by mentioning it."
"I know, I know. Henry is curious, he can't help it and I don't blame him. Grace has actually brought it up before so it doesn't surprise me that she got him in on her plan." He sighed.
"We've got quite the little masterminds don't we?" She laughed.
"Oh yes we do." He agreed finally turning to look at her. "Boy are we in for it once their teenagers!"
"God, teenagers…" Emma says looking off into space, pondering the thought. "Boy do I feel old!"
Jefferson shot her a look that was a mix of heartbreak, remorse, and longing.
"Sorry." She apologized making a frown and leaning into him to give him a quick kiss. "Anyways, what are we going to tell our two partners in crime?"
"Don't bother yourself with that now. Tomorrow is Easter so let's just get through it then we can talk. Please, I want you to enjoy it. It's our first Easter back here and I don't want you worrying. I don't want you ever worrying, about anything." He replied not giving her the answer she wanted.
Wanting to get this matter over with Emma started, "Jefferson, why can't we—"
"Sssshhh." he quieted her, putting a finger to her lips and leaning forward, eliminating any space their bodies had between them.
She couldn't help but shut up and freeze in her spot. She didn't know how he did it but he had some sort of effect on her and often she couldn't find her right mind when they spoke. She could taste his breath on her lips as his face was within an inch of hers then he leaned in to kiss her passionately. She sunk into him giving in and reached her arms up around his neck as his arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her closer to him.
They pulled apart to take a breath and Jefferson heavily breathed out, "I think we should get home. Your parents are likely going to notice when they walk by our room, like they do every night, and notice neither of us are there and send out a search party."
"It's fine. They know whenever we're both missing that we're here and that we're safe." Emma replied not wanting to move away from this perfect spot with her husband.
"Yes, that's true but honestly I still wouldn't put it past them to send out the search party, unless you told them you would be out…?" He questioned.
"No." Emma sighed and looked down, burying her head into his chest as her arms still clasped around his neck. "I guess we have to go..."
She sat for another minute simply enjoying being in his arms until he broke the silence, "You know, we can't leave unless you let me go."
Emma shot him a worried glance and looked him in the eye, "I am never letting you go,"
Jefferson let a small laugh and that haunting smile of his that never ceased to cause Emma to melt, pulled at the corners of his mouth as he replied, "I know, and I am never letting you go either princess but can I at least get up?"
"If you must," she sighed, letting her arms drop from their place around his neck as he stood to his feet, "but I still don't want to leave."
"But my princess, we must get you back to your quarters." He quipped giving a slight bow and extending one hand out to help her to her feet.
Taking his hand she stood up and teased, "Oh Prince Jefferson, how kind of you."
"My pleasure your majesty. But I am merely a royal by marriage whereas you, my dear, you were born a princess." He said pulling her up to him weaving his fingers through hers.
"I love you." She replied, gazing up at him.
He pulled her to him by her waist planting a kiss on her lips and smiled against them, "And I love you too, princess."
As I said, I am terribly sorry it took so long to update this, I honestly thought it would only take 2 days but then I got a bit of writer's block and gave up for a day or so and didn't finish till today. But again, I hope you liked it and thank you so so so so sooooooo very much to those of you that have read and even more to those of you who have reviewed! Your kind words mean the world to me and have made me even more excited to continue this! =D Next chapter, is some adorableness on Easter morning so get excited! ;D