A/N: Just a quick note - not long after I posted the last chapter I received a comment from somebody from a group called Critics United (or something like that. I'm going from memory here). They pointed out that there is explicit content in this story and it is not appropriate for this site. I'm not going to remove this story, because I know there are other explicit fics on here as well, but if it ever gets wiped please know that it's also available on ao3. Same name and same account name.
I'm assuming that if I have offended somebody with the nature of this story they're probably not still reading now, but on the off chance - My apologies. I'm going to put a note in the first chapter to say that there is explicit content, and I'll leave it at that. People are entitled to their opinions, and the person that commented was fairly respectful so I'm not going to get angry. But as I said, I'm not going to delete this story either. I have made some wonderful friends though this site, and to delete the story that introduced me to them seems disrespectful.
But enough about that. On to the story. Just as a quick recap - Mary Margaret asked Neal to tell Emma she wanted to speak to her about the whole situation.
Take care and thanks for sticking with me.
After recess Emma was preparing to head to her music class, and trying to contain her excitement about seeing Killian again. But no sooner had she arrived than she was told she had to report to the Front Office. She frowned at Killian, who just gave her a gentle smile and a shrug, and she headed down to see what the issue was.
As she walked she considered maybe Gold might be interested in something again, and the thought made her shiver. It was funny how quickly things could change. Not that long ago she had been willing to practically prostitute herself for the headmaster and his wife, but now the idea of being with anybody other than Killian made her feel a bit off. She wasn't sure if she regretted what she had done with the challenge, but it seemed like a whole other life.
It wasn't Gold that was waiting to speak to her though. It was Mrs Nolan. As soon as Anna told her to head through to the Assistant principal's office Emma remembered the conversation she'd had with Neal the night before. Of course. The top dog wanted to check up on her. Well this had the potential to be incredibly awkward.
"Good morning Emma, how are you? I'm sorry to pull you out of class but I thought we should have a chat."
Emma stepped into the office, such a warm and inviting room and so different to Gold's. She took the seat that Mary Margaret offered her and she placed her books on her lap, her bag on the floor beside her. She didn't know where to look or what to do with her hands so she felt she'd be better off just waiting and looking at her feet.
Mary Margaret closed the office door, and poured Emma a glass of water from the decanter on her desk. Then she sat down beside the young girl, rather than sitting at her desk, and gave her a soft smile.
"How are you?" She asked again, and Emma could tell by the tone that she really did care. Emma glanced up at the older woman and shrugged.
"I'm ok. Pretty happy actually. How are you?" She had to bite back a question about whether she had any new puppies, but the thought of it all made her smile a little. Mary Margaret gave her a wider smile, glad that she was interacting at least, and nodded.
"I'm well, thank you." They sat there for a moment and then Mary Margaret drew a deep breath, clearly about to say something difficult. "I had a phone call from your parents over the weekend though."
The change in Emma's demeanor was instantaneous. Her back stiffened and her hands turned into fists. She glared at a spot behind Mary Margaret's shoulder and the teacher could almost hear the sound of walls going up around Emma.
"No doubt they had some lovely things to say about me." She muttered, her voice bitter. Mary Margaret just looked sad.
"To be honest, I was not impressed with what they had to say, but Emma I'm not here to get angry at you. What they said made me worried, but not because your parents are friends of mine. Or at least they were." Mary Margaret looked confused for a moment. Then she shook her head to clear the thoughts. "My first reaction when they started speaking was that somebody had stolen your father's phone and was pranking me." She frowned. "I'm so sorry Emma, how long have things being different?"
Emma looked up in surprise.
"You're not going to call me a whore?" She asked. Mary Margaret looked scandalised.
"Oh sweet girl, no of course not!" She patted Emma's hands and watched her, a gentle smile on her face. Then she sat back. "Ok. So here is what I know already, so you don't have to worry about what to tell me and what not to tell me." She paused for a moment, gathering her thoughts, and Emma was a little bit terrified. What was going to come out?
"My job," Mary Margaret began at last "involves me taking care of people. Mr Gold is very good at what he does but I think he would be the first to acknowledge that he isn't really a people person." Emma snorted, and Mary Margaret just smiled. "Although he's different with his wife."
"I think Belle has magical powers!" She added, and Mary Margaret smiled.
"Yes, I think she might." She was just watching Emma, and although Emma felt a little bit like a bug under a microscope she also felt safe. That was something that Mary Margaret had always managed - she always made Emma feel like everything was going to be alright. It was a feeling she had been missing for a while now.
Emma took a sip of her water, and Mary Margaret continued.
"Since Mr Gold isn't the greatest with people, I try very hard to be as approachable as possible. I pay attention to the students, and the teachers, and I like to keep tabs on everybody. To make sure that everybody at this school is doing ok." She frowned. "So I owe you an apology Emma. Because I didn't realise that things weren't going so well for you and I really should have noticed. After all, I've known you your entire life, and to be honest you are the type of girl I always wanted for a daughter." Emma blushed and looked down at her hands. She wasn't sure where this was going and she wasn't sure if she could be happy or nervous. Mary Margaret seemed to sense she wasn't comfortable, and so he went on.
"One thing I have noticed, however, is how happy one of our staff members is." Emma's head shot up, and Mary Margaret was there, waiting with a smile. "Killian is a new teacher, and he is a natural. He seemed so content, but at the same time there seemed to be something missing from his life. But recently that has changed."
Emma was nervous again, not sure just how much Mary Margaret knew. She didn't want to get her fiance in any sort of trouble.
"He told me about the proposal," Mary Margaret went on. "And while it's not ideal from a professional perspective, I really am happy for you both Emma, and I wish you every happiness for the rest of your life."
Emma couldn't help the sigh of relief. Maybe things were going to be alright after all. She gave Mary Margaret a small smile. Then the older woman frowned.
"But the way your parents spoke - really Emma. That is horrific. I ended up telling them I had to go. I was so angry at the way they were speaking about you that I honestly doubted they were in their right minds." She looked so miserable that Emma wondered if maybe she should try to comfort the teacher. "How long has it been going on? How long have they been so different?"
"I'm not sure." She admitted. "I mean, I guess it's been a few weeks, maybe a couple of months?" She scrunched up her face as she tried to figure it out. It was difficult - she hadn't really spoken about this. It had been a gradual thing. She considered not saying any more, but one look into Mary Margaret's gentle eyes and Emma decided she needed to talk about this. "It started with them being busier than usual. They started staying back at work a lot later. I kept getting texts to get myself dinner because they wouldn't be home. But they still drove me to school. Then that stopped, and I think they'd stopped coming home a few nights. I just assumed work was crazy. I tried to do my chores and take care of myself, and honestly I was so caught up with things with Killian that I didn't notice all that much. But then they were staying away over weekends and then we saw them when we went out of town and… yeah." She scowled at the memory. "If I hadn't been there I wouldn't have believed they could say that sort of stuff." She was shocked to realise she now had tears in her eyes. She looked balefully at Mary Margaret. "I don't understand what I did wrong. I don't know why they stopped loving me."
Mary Margaret decided to ignore propriety and she wrapped her arms around the young girl. She had changed this girl's nappies, she was not going to let her cry when she could give her a hug. Emma practically burrowed into Mary Margaret, and started sobbing in earnest.
"You did nothing wrong Emma. You are a wonderful, intelligent, considerate, talented and beautiful woman and anybody would be lucky to have you as a child. I don't know what is going on with your parents but they do not deserve you. You hear me?" She pulled back so she could look Emma in the face. Emma clearly wasn't sure if she could believe the other woman but Mary Margaret had such a way of looking at you that you found yourself agreeing to whatever she wanted anyway. So finally Emma nodded. Mary Margaret gave her a beatific smile, kissed the top of Emma's head, and then sat back.
"Ok. So that just leaves one more thing. Emma, I'm happy for you and Killian, I really am, but only if it is really what you want. Is it?"
Emma rolled her eyes. It was either that or jump up and start yelling.
"Yes I'm sure it's what I really want." She insisted. "Why does everybody seem to be convinced I've been brainwashed or something?"
"Emma," Mary Margaret laid a soothing hand back on Emma's knee. "It's just because people are worried about you. And the fact is, Killian is in a position of authority over you and it would be a terrible thing if he misused that position."
Emma couldn't help but snort at that.
"He wouldn't be the first." She muttered, and Mary Margaret blushed. Then she tried looking supportive again.
"Just promise me that this is really what you want. If it is, then that's wonderful and I'm happy for you. But please promise me Emma, if anything comes up, and it doesn't have to be with Killian, it can be anything. But if anything comes up please know that you can come to me. I know I'm not your mother, but you are very special to me."
Emma felt her eyes well up with tears again as she nodded.
"Thanks aunty M." She hadn't called Mary Margaret that for years, not since she had started highschool, and both women were touched with the sentiment. They hugged again, and then Emma finally stood up.
"Can I go back to class now?" she asked, as Mary Margaret handed her some tissues. The teacher nodded.
"I have a mirror here, if you want to fix your makeup before you go?" Emma glanced over at her reflection and shrieked. She was all red and she felt so blotchy. Mary Margaret chuckled and handed her a glass of water. She splashed some on her face, tried to tidy herself up, and then sorted out her makeup. When she was done she stepped back and gave Mary Margaret a shy smile.
"Thank you." She murmured, and Mary Margaret just nodded, smiling.
"It was my pleasure. I'm so sorry about your parents Emma. I hope things get sorted out with them." Emma shrugged. She wasn't sure that was even possible, or something she might want. But the sentiment was sweet. Then Mary Margaret went on. "Just one thing Emma. I realise that you have probably already told a couple of people - I understand Regina didn't take the news very well. But please try to keep the news of your engagement quiet. I know it's hard. When David and I were engaged I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. But it wouldn't look good if it was to get out, and I'm sure we don't want anybody questioning Killian's professionalism or your abilities to succeed."
"Nobody other than my parents." Emma couldn't help but mutter, and Mary Margaret just gave her another of her gentle, sad smiles. Emma knew she was right though. "It's ok. I've stopped wearing the ring on my hand, and…" but she was cut off then by Mary Margaret squealing.
"You have a ring? Oh let me see!" Emma burst out laughing as she pulled the chain from under her shirt. Letting Mary Margaret draw close enough to examine it. "Oh it's beautiful Emma." Emma nodded.
"It is, but don't make me cry again, I just fixed my mascara!" She chuckled and Mary Margaret gave a billion watt smile.
"No promises!" Then she looked once more at the ring, before pulling Emma into a tight hug. "I'm happy for you sweetheart. I really am. But remember that I'm here for you whenever you need me. If your parents try to hurt you again, you let me know ok? I'm not afraid to tell them off for you."
Emma couldn't help but smile.
"We can fight them together!" She replied, and hugged the other woman just as tightly. Then it was time for her to head back to class and see if she couldn't spend some time with her fiance in an official capacity!
If only Mary Margaret could have been her mother. But then the whole thing with Neal and the dog collars and stuff would have been even more weird! Emma shuddered as she made her way back to the music room. Still, all things considered, she was feeling much better now than she had that morning. Maybe things would continue to improve. Maybe now everything would settle down and she and Killian could just get on with their life together.
It was a lovely dream at least.