"I don't know how you expect to take your son fishing one day if you don't know how to do it yourself. Now hurry up", she called down the corridor at David. "It's just an observation", she added as she heard him rustling around.
"Emma I just don't understand why it is so early", David whined as he came out of the bedroom almost pouting.
"Goodness David, so dramatic", Mary-Margaret tutted, handing Emma a thermos of coffee which she put in her bag with a quick thanks. Mary-Margaret then went back to feeding little Leo in his high chair.
They made their way to David's car which Emma had already loaded up with gear. She got in the passenger side and put her fishing spot into the GPS ready for David. He got in still grumbling and she arched an eyebrow at him, "we can go back inside if you like and you can continue failing miserably at hunting and providing, while your disney princess wife catches food on the regular with her fucking crossbow."
"Language Emma", David sighed.
"Okay Steve", she replied sarcastically.
He started the car and pulled out, "I am never going to sleep in again."
"Because you have a kid David", she laughed. "until of course you get to fob them off onto other people for sleep-overs. Yet I am up early even though Henry is at Roland's simply because you asked me to teach you how to fish."
"Sorry Emma", he said guiltily.
"We will get to the spot, set up the burley then have a coffee while it attracts all the fish kay?"
He nodded, still sulking and she turned up the radio singing along to the songs. Emma wasn't stupid she had already had her coffee the moment she got up and was feeling much better for it. They drove out of Storybrooke and up the coast a little to Emma's favourite spot.
Parking up, Emma pulled her beanie on to keep herself warm from the crisp spring morning. Then she pulled on her backpack and handed David a chilly bin and a rod while she carried the rest. They walked the rest of the way round the rocks. David was steadier on his feet and got a little impatient as she cautiously manoeuvred out. But as she was the only one who knew where they were going, he just had to put up with it.
When she was at the spot she stopped and instructed David to put the rods together while she got the burley out and into the water. It was a beautiful morning, the water was a dark grey in the morning light with the clouds above mirroring it, dark and moody. She had checked the forecast and knew the rain wasn't due until the afternoon when they would be well gone.
It was pretty still out, she could only see one or two boats out on the water. This area was relatively unpopulated so the hillside was untouched covered in dark green forest with the occasional patches of light green clearing. She looked over to she David holding out the assembled rods and she took them sitting next to him on a patch of rock and threading the line through one of them while he watched and replicated on his own rod. She got out the thermos of coffee handing David a cup, his eyes lit up at this and his attitude certainly improved. She pulled some bear claws out that she had nabbed from Granny's on the way over and he grinned, "I might like fishing actually."
She sniggered finishing her own quickly so she could rig the rods with hooks. David watched as she explained the knots she was using and the setup she had chosen. Then got out the bait and attached it to the hooks, David was a little squeamish at this, "David you are going to smell like fish at the end of this, I really wouldn't sweat it."
They cast out, David wasn't too bad after practicing in their backyard the week before. Emma explained how to stray line as she didn't want to get snagged on the rocks, they got little bites and Emma attempted to teach David how to strike when he got a good one. She had already been through all this with Henry so had a vague idea of how to teach someone how to fish.
When he got his first fish David despite his large over six foot frame, behaved like a small child, "EMMA, EMMA, EMMA! What do I do!", he yelled stumbling over the rock to get closer to the water.
Emma picked up the net and lodged her own rod in the rock beside her before joining him, "now David you want to keep reeling him in, pull up on the rod then as you lower it reel him in. If you let the line go slack then he might spit the hook out". David started to listen doing as she said, "good keep going, just stop when you can see him and I will scoop him out."
When the fish got close enough Emma pulled it in. David was grinning all complaints from the morning long forgotten. She got him to hold the fish, it wasn't huge so she advised on the best way to display it before taking a picture. They got a few more fish, Emma catching the only other legal sized ones before calling it a day.
As they walked round the rocks David was still smiling, "seriously though how did you learn to fish?"
Emma smiled, "not every foster home was awful, and you know that old saying feed a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime. It certainly helped a little when I wasn't living in a city anyway."
David grimaced, "god Emma that's awful."
"Its fine", she shook her head, shaking away his concern. "all worked out in the end."
"Still I wish you didn't have to go through it", he said simply. They walked in silence for a while until David cleared his throat, "Mary-Margaret wanted me to talk to you..."
"David if you so much as mention dating to me I will kill you and mail her the body parts", Emma warned.
"That's grim Emma... she just worries that you are all alone", he said cautiously as he balanced on the rocks.
She sighed changing the grip on the rods in her hand, "I'm not alone and I am really happy. I have Henry and you and Mary-Margaret and actual honest-to-god friends. I don't need all of that drama."
"Its not drama, all you need is love", he began to sing.
"And I have it. Look I'm not saying that I will never have someone, just that I don't want to look for anyone. I have picked wrong too many times and I don't want to ruin what I have."
David sighed, "she isn't going to give up y'no, she feels like you are her responsibility or something."
"You can't adopt a 25 year old", she said dryly as they reached the car before David gave her a smile that said that Mary-Margaret would try.
They popped down to the docks before Emma dropped David off, she could fillet fish but she wasn't as good as Smee who worked down there. He would get some dinner and she wouldn't make a mess of it. They pulled up and Emma grabbed the chilly bin out of the back, David following. They walked past two men in jeans and sweaters standing by the water as if inspecting it. The larger of the two turned to them with a hundred watt smile. He had curly blonde hair and was built like David; tall and broad, but with pretty light blue eyes, he spoke with an English accent, "catch anything?"
Emma glanced at David, he did the talking not her. David smiled back, "we did pretty well, enough for dinner anyway."
The other man turned to check them out. The two had to be related, although this second one was a little shorter and leaner, with dark messy hair and a few day old scruff. He had the same piercing blue eyes. They were a gorgeous pair and Emma was momentarily stunned by the darker one, his gaze focused on her. The other one replied to David, "taking your girl out for a fish then?"
Emma cringed at the idea and the darker one smirked. David laughed, "not my girl, and she took me actually."
They both had the gall to look surprised, Emma rolled her eyes, "it's really ground-breaking that idea."
The shorted one smirked at her while the other one apologised, "I'm sorry lass, it wasn't my intention to be patronising."
David always disapproving of Emma's people skills diffused the tension, "I would offer you a hand but it quite frankly smells atrocious, I'm David the Sheriff and this is Emma one of my deputies."
The taller one almost did a bow, "I'm Liam Jones and this is my brother Killian. We just took over management of the port here", he gestured around them.
Emma silently evaluated the two while David smiled, "oh great, I'm sure we will see you around then."
Emma was already of giving them a tight smile as she went to find Smee, leaving David behind to socialise. Smee was where she expected him and he smiled as she saw her approach anticipating dinner. He had them filleted and cleaned taking his cut before she went back out to join David who was still deep in conversation with the brothers.
"Come on David we are all done here", she said shaking her head at him. He was so perfect, tall and blonde, the perfect Prince Charming for Mary-Margaret. And the perfect sheriff for a small town, on good terms with everyone. Emma on the other hand was happy to arrest people but not so happy to do the whole representing the town bit which seemed to involve being nice to people. The same people who looked down on her when they figured out how old Henry was and how young she was.
David smiled at her, "time to get rid of the smell then."
Emma rolled her eyes again, "if you ever want Mary-Margaret to kiss you again."
"It was nice meeting you two, I'll get Eric to call you he is always looking for volunteers for the coastguard", typical David talking to them for a few minutes and he had already convinced them to join the coastguard.
Emma went to turn to the car when Killian addressed her, "it was lovely to meet you love". His eyes bored into her and Emma had to admit he was gorgeous. Mussed and smouldering at her like some sort of model. She rolled her eyes at his suggestive tone which just made him grin which quite frankly made him more lovely.
She nodded at his brother then took off to David's car, David wasn't too far behind after he gave the brothers Jones a proper farewell. "Emma you could at least try to be nice", He sighed.
"To two men who don't think a woman can catch a fish, I am off duty I don't have to try to be anything but myself."
"If you say so, but they seemed like nice guys even though they made an assumption about who caught the fish... I did catch one at least", David said.
She laughed at his petulant tone, "that you did, now take me to my car. I need to shower and pick up Henry before we come over for dinner."
He nodded and went home divvying up the fish between them, she drove home putting her share in the freezer for later in the week. She was washing out the chilly bin when she heard the characteristic loud meow of her cat. She turned around to see Mia walking over to her, obviously having smelt the fish. "Alright dumb cat, you don't think I came back with none for you?"
Mia nuzzled against Emma's legs practically tripping her up as she got the little baggie of fish cheeks out of the fridge and put them in her bowl. Mia was a very old very deaf white cat, apparently it was a genetic thing. Nobody had wanted her, skinny thing she was. That was nobody except her beautiful little boy. Henry had fallen in love with her and demanded they take her home even though they had come in for a kitten and not an eight year old cat, Emma wasn't sure she had ever been prouder of him. Henry Swan collector of broken things, and fixer of them.
Mia ate the fish scraps happily, "now if I find this vomited up around the loft I will personally kill you."
It may have been counter-intuitive to lecture a deaf cat but it made Emma feel better. She hopped in the shower quickly then got dressed ready to pick up Henry. She pulled up the Regina's massive mansion in the centre of town. A few years earlier a man called Robin had moved over from the UK with his little boy following his wife's death, hoping for a new start. He took the position of Park Ranger, and despite numerous run ins with the mayor which involved her denouncing him as incompetent they started to date and now were happily married. Robin's son Roland was close in age to Henry and the two got on well, when Emma knocked they both answered the door with matching cheeky grins before running off giggling.
She wandered into the kitchen, "what was that about?", she asked a bemused Regina.
She just shrugged, "I stopped asking at the crack of dawn when they had me up."
Emma nodded understanding from the many times she had hosted Roland, grabbing Henry's bag off the hardwood floor, "thanks for having him."
"No trouble, he has much better manners than Roland. I'm hoping it will rub off, but its more likely Robin has corrupted his", Regina said with a smile that spoke volumes for the love she had for her little family.
Emma returned it genuinely happy for her friend's happiness. She then turned and hollered at the direction the two rat-bags had headed in, "Henry! We have to go!"
There was no answer and Emma shook her head about to go and find him, "you want to have a tea first, give them a few more minutes", Regina offered.
Emma nodded then yelled again, "Henry I will give you a few more minutes but as soon as I have finished my tea we are out of here, David and Mary-Margaret are expecting us!".
A sing-song, "okay Mom", was returned and Emma slid into Regina's breakfast bar while she poured them both a cup of tea.
"How was the fishing then?", Regina asked politely.
"Good, David caught a few. Mostly undersized but he got to keep one anyway... Hey I didn't realised the Port had changed hands?"
Regina nodded taking a sip of tea, "Brothers over from England, Robin knows them actually so you can blame him if they cause any trouble."
Emma smiled, "well if Robin can vouch for them then I'm sure they will be fine."
She laughed, "I didn't say he could vouch for them just that he recommended the town to them." She was sly and very diplomatic.
"We met them down at the dock, I get Smee to fillet for me", she explained.
Regina frowned getting her phone out, "Robin didn't say they would be in till next week, I better let him know.. excuse me."
She got up and called Robin, Emma finished off her tea not one to take forever which was apparently very annoying when Ruby just wanted a gossip over a cup. Henry materialised and she picked up his bag waving goodbye to Regina who gave her an apologetic reply still on the phone to Robin.
They drove to the Nolans, Henry was full of anecdotes from his weekend. Emma laughed and nodded at the appropriate points. When they got to the Nolan house Henry ran in, David scooped him up, "hey kiddo, gosh I think you might be getting a bit big for me to pick you up like that." Henry laughed as David rubbed his back in mock exertion.
Mary-Margaret kissed him on the cheek and asked about his weekend. It was moments like this that Emma thanked her lucky stars that she found this town and these people who were her family now. Four years ago she had been a bail bondsperson and had been tracking a guy through Storybrooke with a grumpy four year old in the back. When she had turned the guy in to the Sheriff station she found a rather harried David. He spotted her and Henry later at the diner and immediately offered her a job if she wanted it. Turned out the job came with a few more perks, like being adopted by him and his newlywed wife. Driving into Storybrooke had been the second best thing she had ever done, the best thing being changing her mind about adopting out Henry when she was 17.
They ate the fish which Mary-Margaret had cooked to perfection and chatted until Emma decided it was time to go home seeing as it was a school night. They had a cup of cocoa and then Henry got out his clothes for the next day for her to iron, then Emma would pack his lunch for the next day. It was their little routine, after a lifetime of chaos Emma like routine. It calmed her to have that sort of control and she thought it was good for Henry. He went to bed and she stayed up, she had always been an insomniac anyway so she watched TV into the night before going up to her bed on the mezzanine floor of their little loft apartment.