A/N: I'm going to start this series of drabbles to get back into the writing game and to hopefully help me deal with the hiatus (how awesome was the season finale though, I'm not ashamed to say I've already watched it three times). This story in particular has been rattling around my head since The Tower aired, I just never got around to writing it and I just changed my ideas to (hopefully) fit after the finale.
As always, I don't anything (except my Gameboy). All reviews are appreciated!
Emma Swan had never believed she could be happy. Happiness was for other people, people with homes and families and not foster kids who were abandoned on the side of the road. If it always turned out like this, Emma was happy to be proven wrong. Of course, even in her wildest dreams that faded as she grew older did Emma picture drinking (her with cocoa and him with Earl Grey) with her father (who was her age), watching her (newborn) brother as her mother slept in the next room. Things had been peaceful since her return from the past but she felt that David had been wanting to tell her something since he had gotten his memories back from the past year, she was just waiting for him to start. She and David had settled with their drinks at the dining room table with Neal strapped in to his own little chair after Mary Margaret had declared she couldn't stay awake any longer. Emma leaned forward to stroke Neal's cheek, which seemed to prompt David into action.
"You know," he started, "back in the Enchanted Forest, before we knew we were having him, I had the strangest dream."
Emma turned from Neal to watch her father as he stared at his tea with what looked like – guilt?
He continued, "We had just moved into Regina's – your mother's – castle and I dreamed that I was back in your nursery. It was just the way we had left it, the way it was the night I put you in the wardrobe, but then you were there." David looked up, eyes shining and he smiled.
"You were all grown up and looked so beautiful, you told me you were getting some last minute practice because it was your first ball. And..." He paused for a moment, and Emma couldn't decide if his eyes were shining because he was lost in the memory or because it upset him.
"I got to dance with you. When you're mother was pregnant, we talked about the big events, first steps, first words and of course, your first ball. It was perfect and you were a natural." David gave her a big smile then, full of pride before it faded and showed a look of loss Emma had seen so many times in the mirror.
"I told you it was everything I ever wanted for you and you told me you were never here, because I failed you. You were sucked into the wardrobe, I couldn't stop it, but before you were taken, you said something I'm never going to forget." David looked over to Neal, a loving glance before he looked at Emma, an apology in his eyes, "You told me not to fail the next one."
Emma was floored. She had never considered that her parents thought they had failed her, they had always seemed so confident. She got her best chance because of them, even if she hadn't always been able to appreciate it. Emma had never been good with words, actions had always seemed easier but she struggled to find a way to ease the guilt in her father's eyes.
Before she could speak, David reached over and grabbed her hand.
David just smiled at her and said, "I'm just glad you got to go to your first ball. Even if it wasn't in your honour."
A lightbulb went off in Emma's brain and she stood up, still holding her father's hand and walked around to his side of the table.
David looked at her with confusion as she stood in front of him and asked, "What are you doing?"
Emma dragged him out of his seat to stand in the only open space in the loft.
"At my first ball, I was a little busy trying to get you and Mum together to memorise all the dances. So, I want you to teach me." She smiled at him and she was delighted to get a smile in return and she still felt a little shocked and giddy to see the love in his eyes.
"Okay," David started, "You place your right hand on my shoulder..." As David instructed her on the proper dancing forms of the Enchanted Forest – blaming Killian for getting some things wrong – Emma thought about moments. Bad times might be coming, and the next evil might be waiting for them, but right now, Emma was dancing with her father and making a good memory she'd never forget.
Later, when Mary Margaret woke up and burst into tears at the sight of her husband and daughter dancing, she'd wonder why she was so scared of the idea of home. As she picked up her little brother to dance – and heard her father trying to comfort her mother – she'd wonder why she never thought she'd deserved this life. As her son stumbled in and insisted on trying, she thought that everything was perfect, even if her feet were getting sore and her mother was a strict dance teacher. Later, when she regaled everything to a certain pirate – who was indignant to the insults about his form – she realised she had never felt more glad that she had finally found her way home.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I just would like some more Daddy Charming moments. The dream-dance sequence is still one of my favourite scenes from this season, I just hope we can have a real one soon (wedding dance maybe).