Emma sits on the toilet lid, tapping her hands on her knees, staring at the bathroom tiles, her heart in her throat. She tries to take deep breaths, but every inhale is ragged and every exhale is shaky.
Two minutes. That's how long she has to wait for. Two minutes, then she'll know.
But two minutes stretches forever, and the longer she waits, the more unstable she feels. A cold sweat builds up on the back of her neck, making her stray hairs damp. She can hardly concentrate over the sound of her heart. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.
She half wishes she never bought one now. She doesn't want to know, but she needs to. It's better to find out sooner rather than later, so she has more time to explore all her options. And more time to work out what to tell Killian.
Killian. They've only been dating four months. It's too soon for anyone, let alone two actors at the height of their careers. She can't imagine any situation where he would react badly, but he's a gentleman and he always have been. It's part of the reason she loves him.
What will the show do? Will they kick her off?
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.
Her phone timer.
She grabs it from where she left it balancing off the bathroom side and turns it off with shaking hands.
It's now or never, she thinks as she rises from the toilet. Her legs feel like jelly, like they could buckle underneath her at any moment. She struggles to see straight, she feels so nauseous. Another tell-tale sign.
The yellow lights are too bright for her sensitive eyes. She blinks away from them. It takes all her courage to peer into the sink, to cast her eyes to the little blue and white stick.
But why doesn't she feel relieved? Surely, her heart should calm down and her stomach should unknot, but she still feels the same as she did mere seconds ago. She still has the same cold sweat.
Maybe it's because she knows it's too early; a negative result doesn't mean anything. She's only missed her period by a few days. There's still a possibility she could be pregnant, and right now, right at the moment, she's almost entirely sure she is. And she's always known she could trust her gut instinct. It's what's gotten her so far through life unscathed, after everything she's been through.
A light knock comes at the door.
Emma jumps, hand flying up to her heart. She tries to keep her voice calm as she says, "Yeah?"
"Mom?" Henry asks. "Are you still getting ready? You're supposed to meet Mary Margaret in ten minutes. And… you're supposed to take me to school."
"Alright kid, I'm coming."
"Pregnant?" Mary Margaret half-whispers.
They'd planned to meet last night; Mary Margaret needs to get out of the house and have some girl-time, especially now Hope is her every waking thought, and Emma desperately needs someone to talk to. Both women opted for somewhere quiet and the coffee shop seemed like a perfect fit.
They sit in a booth, shrouded by leather, away from anyone who might listen in. Or, more importantly, recognise Emma. Mary Margaret cradles a creamy hot chocolate in her hands, whereas Emma went for something coffee-based; a hazelnut latte. The two of them haven't drank anything yet. They stare across the wooden table at each other, eyes wide, faces ashen.
"I don't know," Emma whispers. She shrugs, trying to make it seem casual, although it looks anything but. "I mean, I could be."
"How many days are you late?"
"And does… Killian know?"
"No!" She hisses, so loud, a few people turn to look at her. She lowers her voice and leans forward. "Of course not. I haven't told a soul. Apart from you, anyway."
She taps her fingertips on the side of her mug. "And the test was… definitely negative?"
"I'm not an idiot."
"I know," she sighs. "Emma, I know you're not. But these things happen. Like you said, that doesn't mean anything, not if you're only four days late. Wait a week, take another test and see what it says."
Emma nods, looking down at her latte. The sight of it makes her queasy, but that could just be to do with nerves.
"Hey," Mary Margaret says, reaching out to take her hand. Emma looks up as she squeezes softly. "It's okay. There's an equal chance you're not pregnant. And if you are? Well, we'll take it as it comes. When you know for sure, the first thing you need to do is tell Killian."
Emma averts her eyes. "I know."
"I'm serious, Emma." Her voice is stern. "You don't want him to find out from the media. It's better coming from you."
She's right about that. It annoys her that she doesn't really have time to reflect on this. With so many reporters and journalists watching her, it's better to get it out in the open as soon as possible. He deserves the truth from her, not from some sleazy magazine.
Mary Margaret squeezes her hand again. "But whatever you decide, I'll be here for you. You know that, right?"
Emma nods. "I know."
They move onto lighter subjects and thankfully, Mary Margaret doesn't talk about Hope too much. It's not that Emma doesn't love hearing about Hope—she adores that little bundle of joy—but she's not sure she can stomach the thought of babies at the moment.
Not when she thinks she could have one inside her.
She talks mostly about David and his antics. She's been annoyed with him recently, simply because he's been complaining about being tired all the time, yet he has little reason to, according to Mary Margaret.
"He doesn't do anything around the house," she complains. "He doesn't hoover. He doesn't clean. Don't get me wrong, he used to all the time. But since you got on Kings and Queens, the clients have been rolling in and he's taken on so many and—" Her eyes widen when she realises her words. "I don't mean anything bad to you, Emma. It's not your fault. I just think he's bitten off more than he can chew."
Emma nods. "I understand."
They move onto other topics and Emma tells Mary Margaret about Henry, and how he's doing in school.
"Straight As at the moment."
Mary Margaret sits back in her seat, still cradling her mug of hot chocolate. She shakes her head with a smile. "Smart kid."
She's lucky. He always does his homework; she doesn't even need to ask once. She's heard so many horror stories about kids answering back and refusing to do their schoolwork, but Henry is the complete opposite of that. He's a dream come true. When he's not doing schoolwork, he's playing games or quietly reading. There's no drinking, no drugs. She and Regina often discuss how easy they have it.
Not that Emma mentions Regina to Mary Margaret. As far as the other is concerned, they want nothing to do with each other, and that's fine with Emma. She keeps them as separate relationships.
She's interrupted when she feels her phone vibrate in her pocket.
"Sorry, I really have to check this. It might be work."
After they were so late the other week, she's not taking any chances. If there's any possibility she's messed up her schedule, she wants to hear about it as soon as possible, and not after she has time to fix it.
But it's not Grumpy, or another one of her superiors. It's Elsa.
Have you read the scripts?
Emma frowns at her phone. Mary Margaret, who watches her expression change, asks, "Who is it?"
"It's Elsa," Emma says, still frowning. "She wants to know if I've read the scripts? I didn't even think they'd arrived yet."
She types out a reply, that no she hasn't read the scripts; not yet, anyway.
"What?" Mary Margaret asks when Emma's phone vibrates again and her frown becomes even deeper.
"She's telling me to read them as soon as possible. She wants me to see if I think there's anything wrong with it."
"I don't know. She didn't say." Emma shrugs and slips her phone back into her pocket. "I guess I'll find out later."
But she finds herself obsessing over it for the rest of the coffee date. She wonders what they say. Usually, Elsa never texts her about the scripts. She hardly ever mentions them, unless to comment on how good they are. But there's nothing about her texts that seems good.
By the time she drops Mary Margaret off, she's itching to find out what's in them.
When she gets back to her house, she's surprised to step into a lit-up hallway. She's even more surprised to see Henry's shoes and rucksack pushed to one side. She frowns. He's supposed to be at school. She dropped him off herself.
"Kid?" she asks. "You in?"
"In here, mom," comes his croaky voice from the living room.
She follows the voice, her boots clicking against the floor.
The sight she's met with makes her heart swell, and no in the good way. Henry lays out on the sofa, his feet dangling over the edge. He must have brought his bedsheets down from the bedroom and tucked them around himself. He's propped up by a few cushions, but his head lolls to the side. His face is an unnatural, sickly pale, and there's a sheen of sweat across his forehead.
Emma's eyes widen in alarm. "Henry? You okay?" She crosses the room.
"I'm sick, mom. I felt sick this morning, but I thought it was nothing."
He had mentioned something about feeling nauseous earlier, but like Henry said, it could have been nothing. Emma assumed it to be nothing. But he hadn't eaten this morning, and that's not like Henry at all. She feels a pang of guilt in her stomach.
"The school sent you home, huh?" She asks, as she places her palm to his forehead. His skin is hot and clammy to the touch. He really is sick. "You've got a temperature."
"I didn't wanna go home, but I threw up on Mr. Grimm's shoes."
Emma strokes his head. "The horrible history teacher?"
"That's him. Everyone laughed." He manages a weak smile.
After questioning Henry a little more, Emma finds out that he's got a bug—something that's been going around in school. Lack of appetite, nausea, headaches; all the symptoms are there. She fusses, bringing the covers right up to his chin, checking his forehead for improvement and upon realising that no improvement has been made, checking his forehead again.
She digs out some aspirin from the medicine cupboard and watches to make sure he takes it. When she's satisfied he's drugged up with medicine, she asks him which soup he'd like.
"But mom, I'm not hungry."
She folds her arms. "You have to eat something, even if it's just a spoonful. Just try, okay?"
He knows he won't win. "Okay."
She disappears into the kitchen but stops in her tracks when she sees a package on the table, addressed to Emma Swan. She recognises the big brown envelope at once. The scripts, she thinks, with a jolt to her heart. Henry must have picked them up when the mailman pushed them through the letterbox.
She puts Henry's soup on the stove to warm up before she allows herself to open them. She rips the brown paper off until two scripts fall onto the table with two thumps. They're heavier than usual, and the font seems different somehow. Or maybe it's the layout.
But that isn't the thing that gets her the most. It's the big, black letters on the front of each script.
Shit, she thinks.
She finishes heating up Henry's soup before she looks at them. She slices and butters a piece of bread she knows he probably won't eat, and pours him a generous glass of orange juice. She places everything on a tray and hands it to him.
"Thanks mom," though he's looking at the food like he's going to be sick.
"Just make sure you eat some of it, okay?"
"But don't force yourself."
After she watches him take his first mouthful, she disappears back into the kitchen to read the scripts.
They're much the same as always, except Isaac's style is bolder, with more jokes. He explains exactly what the actors have to do, without leaving much room for improvisation. Belle's are different. They're softer, gentler, and more romantic.
That's the first difference she notices.
The second is a few new characters. One, a prince by the name of Edmund. That must be August's character. He's very flirty with Rose.
The third difference she notices is that there are hardly any scenes between Rose and Alexander. There are more in the second script, but they seem forced and unnatural. Most of them are arguments. Emma still has a lot of scenes, but the majority of them are with Edmund.
What the hell is going on?
Thank you for all your comments, guys! It's so great reading them- you all seem to be on the same wave length. XD I hope you liked this one- thanks for reading!