Emma gently eased herself into her desk chair the next morning, savoring the feel of stability beneath her, supporting her, propping her up. After the night before, she hadn't stopped thinking.

He had wiped all the dust off her nose. It had been ten seconds. Ten seconds of suspended emotion, every emotion coursing through her, every feeling she felt about him heightened. For a moment, a delirious moment, she thought that he may just kiss her. And when he hadn't, she had been reduced to a babbling mess, running from the room in a nervous burst of energy. Typical, Emma, she thought angrily, mentally berating herself. You can help everyone else at McKinley with their problems, but you can't help yourself with yours. What had possessed him to do such a thing? He said it was to help her with one of her problems, but he didn't know that he only made another one even worse.

He had wiped all the dust off her nose, but Emma knew that the feeling would always remain right there, the gentle dab of chalk dust, the feeling of his forearm gently moving over her nose, a caress stolen from the hands of time. Some things never go away, to be able to be summoned at any time, and she knew that this was one of those things that would fit into that category.

She sucked in a deep breath and glanced over at the clock, waiting for another day to begin. She'd file the night before into the recesses of her mind, allowing for the memory to be summoned when she needed it to be, for when she needed to smile.

As she settled back in her desk, she smiled. Not a wide smile or even one that would brighten an entire room with ease, but a simple smile, the smile of someone deep in thought.

It wasn't necessarily the way she would have liked it, but it was the way it'd have to be.