Post- Red Handed; Snow and Red escape the mountain side and Mary Margaret figures out why Emma's so irritated with having a guest staying at their apartment.
I haven't written post-ep's for 1.13 or 1.14; I wasn't really inspired by either to write anything. The end of 1.13 was exactly what I would have done for Mary Margaret and Emma. Continuing it wouldn't make sense since obviously Emma didn't stay with Mary Margaret all night; other wise she'd have an alibi that Mary Margaret could not have committed a crime against Kathryn. As for 1.14, I'm pretending like that episode doesn't exist...cough cough...I mean, there hasn't been any movement of time between 1.14 and 1.15 so it wouldn't make sense that Emma and Mary Margaret could have spent time together.
Also, this is the first time I'm adding FTL to the post-ep. I'm kind of obsessed with Red and Snow's friendship. That said, this goes back and forth between Storybrooke and FTL, and includes Ruby in the Mary Margaret and Emma bonding.
They were silent as they hurried down the mountain, Red in a daze and Snow trying to find a path in the unfamiliar territory by moonlight. They were moving on adrenaline alone — pushing forward despite the trauma and cold, not speaking, only moving, faster until the cries of the mob disappeared. Even then, the two young women didn't stop. They fled to the base of the mountain that Red had called home her entire life, and with one fleeting look back, the two pressed onward into the opposite side of the forest from whence Snow had come.
Only when dawn broke did Snow and Red dare to still their flight; both collapsing near a stream, breathing deeply before Red's eyes widened and she began retching.
Snow's sympathetic expression replaced her desperate one, and shrugging off her cape, she pulled Red's hood off, holding her hair back with one hand and rubbed her back with the other, whispering shushing nonsense in attempt to calm the werewolf.
The vomiting stopped, but Red couldn't catch her breath as she continued to let the hysteria take over. Snow bit her lip, unsure of how to care for her friend, but did all she could to try and ease her burden. "Red, we're going to be okay. We're going to find you someplace safe to stay and we're going to stick together and—"
"Mary!" She managed to utter, her face frantic, "I killed him! I killed him!"
Snow sat back against a large tree and pulled Red into her arms, letting the cloaked girl sob heavily onto her shoulder. Fighting back her own tears of guilt for ever suggesting to Red that she run away, Snow held her new friend tightly, stroking her hair until the choked cries turned into sniffles. Before long, Red had fallen asleep in her misery and carefully, Snow maneuvered her until she was free to stand.
Kicking herself for not having prepared a pack of supplies at Granny's home, Snow tiptoed to the stream, drinking from her hand as she tried to decide what to do. If the woods she'd been in were unfamiliar after three weeks of wandering through them; her new location had her at a complete loss. She'd no idea where she was or how to navigate; and with the early winter weather causing her namesake to have fallen, she had no idea where to find a path or any sort of eatable vegetation.
"Darn it all," She muttered, reaching into her one satchel within her robes. Her fingers curled around a thin reed, and she clutched it tightly to her chest, debating whether she was in enough danger to warrant a call to her first savior of the woods. Eyeing Red, who's face was the color of her name in distress, Snow raised the mock-whistle to her lips, blowing three times; though she could hear no noise. Red twitched in her sleep, but didn't awaken. Snow knew that if they were going to survive in the woods and Red survive herself, they'd need the guidance of someone who knew the forest backward and forward and inside out.
After nearly an hour, Snow began to doubt if help was coming. Entertaining herself by untangling days-old braids in her hair, the former princess nearly shrieked when a wolf landed in front of her, siting at attention. "What...you're..." She breathed deeply, praying the creature wouldn't attack and that Red would stay sleeping lest be traumatized, Snow stood up, and the wolf bowed. "I...Are you...the huntsman's pet?" The wolf let out a low growl, and Snow dared to extend a hand towards it, "Maybe not pet...companion, perhaps? Where is your friend? I really need his help."
The wolf let out another grumble and Snow sighed, resting her palm on its back. "I wish I could understand you—"
"He said his master never returned after going to the castle." Snow whipped her head around to find Red sitting up, her knees drawn to her chest as she stared blankly at the beast.
"The huntsman...did the queen kill him?" Snow whispered, her eyes brimming with tears as the wolf made more noise.
"He doesn't know," Red interrupted, causing Snow to shudder.
The wolf stepped forward, nuzzling his face against Red's legs, earning a small smile from the girl who reached out a hesitant hand to stroke the wolf's fur. "How come you're not bloodthirsty?" The grey creature rumbled a growl Red understood, wrapping an arm around him as he sat.
In the stillness, Red felt the trauma of the night before seep into her and she let out a loud cry before covering her mouth. Snow rushed to her side, hugging her tightly. "Come on, Red. Let's get some sleep, okay? We're both exhausted, physically and emotionally. We'll rest and perhaps our friend can help us find dinner when we wake?"
The wolf bowed its head, howling lightly in response. Red wiped a tear and cried into a smile. "He'll help us hunt. And watch over us while we sleep."
"Thank you, friend," Snow yawned, reaching for her cloak and spreading it on the ground, laying down and pulling Red next to her. Red kept hers on, but stretched it out over the two of them. A few tears trickled down her cheeks as she tried to compose herself for sleeping, and Snow took the moment to pull her friend close, holding her tight in attempt to comfort her.
Emma's body language said more than she needed to verbalize as Mary Margaret led Ruby to her apartment. Her defeated stance and uncharacteristic, shuffled stride caused Mary Margaret to turn around and raise a brow at her roommate. Emma didn't notice, but the teacher made a mental note to question her about the sudden change in attitude.
Ruby chatted animatedly about safe topics while they made their way home; Mary Margaret nodding or commenting when appropriate, but Emma remaining suspiciously silent.
When they finally made their way inside, Emma was first to have her keys out and jimmy them into the door, throwing it open and shrugging off her coat before sprinting up the steps to her bedroom.
Ruby opened her mouth to question what had just happened, but Mary Margaret shook her head, unbuttoning her coat and taking off her hat. "Just give her a few minutes."
"Okay," The former waitress stood awkwardly in the middle of the floor, rocking back and forth in her boots.
"I'm going to whip something up to eat. Any requests?"
Ruby shrugged and followed Mary Margaret to the kitchen area, making herself comfortable on one of the stools. "I eat pretty much anything," She responded.
A loud thud caused both the women's attention to turn towards the ceiling, and Mary Margaret gave a little sigh before pulling out a skillet, suggesting breakfast for dinner. Ruby offered to help, and the two began mixing batter for pancakes. A second thud rumbled across the upstairs floorboards before Emma appeared on the staircase and dashed to the bathroom without acknowledging the cooks.
"Is she okay?" Ruby mumbled, a pointed brow raised. Mary Margaret bit her lip, trying to place the sudden mood swing of her roommate, but had no answer to give as she left the wash area and dashed back upstairs.
They ignored the situation and Ruby asked about Mary Margaret's fourth graders, changing the topic to a recent science project that had caused a major mess in the classroom, earning giggles from both women. As the batter was mixed and pancakes poured and flipped, Mary Margaret left Ruby in charge of flipping the final ones. "I'm going to see if Emma's going to be joining us for dinner," She muttered, silently ascending her staircase. "Hey," She said quietly, stepping into Emma's domain, where the blonde was lying on her stomach in bed with headphones on and a file spread across the quilt. Emma took one earbud out and raised a brow. "We made pancakes. I know you're hungry, so why don't you join us?"
Emma scoffed and sat up, not talking as she folded the paperwork back together and turned off her music, following the teacher without a word. "All set!" Ruby announced as she placed the pancakes on the table, taking a seat. Emma paused in the middle of the floor, glaring at the former waitress, which did not go unnoticed by Mary Margaret. Pressing her lips together, Emma willed herself forward and sat at the end of the table, stuffing her face at a near-alarming rate. "You know, the diner does deliver if you ever get hauled up in the office for too long without food," Ruby teased, earning another glare. She didn't bother defending herself as Mary Margaret started a fresh conversation, attempting to entice Emma into talking.
When Emma was done, she put her dishes in the sink and was about to trudge back upstairs when Mary Margaret called her. "Could you sit down so we can discuss sleeping arrangements?"
"I-I...What's wrong with the couch?" She finally stated, crossing her arms and standing defensively behind the chair she'd been sitting in.
Mary Margaret tilted her head. "Have you sat on that old thing?" Emma shrugged. "No, I wouldn't subject an animal to sleep on that sofa, let alone Ruby. I was thinking that you could stay with me and she could stay in your room, just for tonight — since you've slept in my bed before."
Emma stared hard at her roommate, keeping her breathing steady and finally shrugged. "Whatever," She mumbled and Ruby glanced at the side, feeling significantly awkward as the roommates shared some sort of disgruntlement over the sake of her comfort. "I'm going upstairs. Kick me out when you're going to bed."
Two days after escaping the mountainside, Snow and Red had found themselves a cave which at the very least, offered protection from the cold. With their new furry friend having yet to leave their side, they'd caught enough wild rabbits to eat for several days; and even discovered winterberries which the wolf insisted his former companion had eaten safely.
After having successfully created fire and making themselves comfortable with the only clothing they had, the fugitives began planning their survival techniques until they could find a more suitable location. Deciding that stealing for the sake of survival was hardly a crime, especially if they could take from the Queen, they'd do it.
Staking out several traveling routes that Snow was familiar with, the two sat high in the trees, looming tension over Red's other half still a sore topic between them. In attempt to lighten the mood, Snow asked, "So how long did you live with your Granny?"
"Almost my entire life," Red shrugged. "I remember my mom being around for only the littlest while...but..." She sighed, tugging at a seam in her cloak. "I wish I'd gotten to spend more time around her. Get to know her. What about you? How long was the Queen your stepmother?"
Snow bit her lip. "A long time. I don't know...ten, fifteen years, maybe? My mother died when I was born, so...I never got to know her. I had some wonderful nurses when I was little though. They took very good care of me. My father, too. He was the kindest, gentlest man in the whole kingdom. I loved him, so much..." She sniffed, rubbing under her nose as memories from the weeks before washed over her.
Red leaned back against the bark of the tree from the limb they were sitting on, making an exasperated noise as she considered their lives. "Look at us, motherless fugitives. Where do you think we'd be today, if our mothers had brought us up?"
Snow smirked. "Somewhere safe."
The simple response nearly made Red choke on a sob. "It's not fair. None of this. None of this is fair!" She shouted, slamming her arm against the tree.
"Red," Snow said gently, reaching a hand out to take her friend's in her own, "I know. It's not. But...there's nothing we can do about it. Not now. Now we just need to focus on surviving. Let them see, from wherever they're watching us from, that we are fighters. That we're not going to take these challenges lying down. We're going to get out of here; go somewhere isolated where no one can hurt us."
"I don't want to be isolated," Red muttered, her eyes cast to the path below.
"Well, you won't be." Snow swallowed, keeping her smile painted on. "You'll have me. We can do this. We've already made it two days, and we're going to make it another two and —"
"Snow," Red scoffed. "Do you really want to be alone?"
Emma descended the staircase with a pair of pajamas in her hands, clearly stretched out over a hidden object. Ruby and Mary Margaret pretended not to notice as the blonde snuck into Mary Margaret's room to change and put away whatever it was she had. She turned off a light and drew back a quilt, settling herself into bed. Ruby stood from the counter, where she'd been pouring over a map of the country, trying to decide what sort of climate she'd like to live in. Clearing her throat, she bid her goodnight to the apartment owner, who nodded and patted her shoulder as she prepared to interrogate her roommate.
Already in sleeping attire, Mary Margaret pulled back her comforter and sat up against her pillows, placing a hand against Emma's shoulder. "Thanks for letting Ruby sleep in your room—"
"You didn't exactly give me a choice," Emma responded coldly, not turning over.
"I know, but...You and I are closer than I am with her, so...it's just more comfortable for everyone if she stays up there."
Emma scoffed and curled her arm around something, raising Mary Margaret's suspicious level. "Come on, Emma. Talk to me. Tell me what's going on. Why are you so angry? You were the one worried about me before we ran into Ruby and now—"
"Please, don't," She snapped,
Mary Margaret raised a brow. "Is that...your baby blanket? You told me you only sleep with it when you're really upset. Come on, let's work through it. Why does it upset you so much to have Ruby here, hm? I know you don't hate her."
Emma couldn't answer at first as a lump rose to the back of her throat. Swallowing hard and taking a shaky breath, she quietly confessed, "I told you I wasn't the roommate type."
"That's not true," Mary Margaret sighed and attempted to tug Emma closer, but the blonde shrugged her off.
"Ruby's going to be a much better choice," She muttered and the attitude finally made sense to the teacher.
"Emma," She forced her to roll over this time, her expression serious but eyes full of compassion, "I am not going to replace you."
"You don't know that. What if you like Ruby better than me? What if she's easier to live with? What—"
"She's just staying until she figures out where else to go. This isn't a permanent arrangement; she might be gone tomorrow if she decides on a place. Believe me, I'm not trying to kick you out or make you feel unwanted. I like living with you."
The sheriff scoffed and clutched her knitted blanket. "You might tolerate me, but you don't like living with me...I break things, I've got a bad attitude and I'm not very helpful and it's just a matter of time before you can't take it anymore and then Ruby will have my room and—"
"No, no, no...That's not true. You've been a great friend. Someone I can talk to and lean on and...I hope I've been the same for you. I know it's not been an easy transition, but if I've ever made you feel unwelcome, I'm sorry. That was never my intention. And tonight, I just didn't want to see Ruby out on the street. She needed a place to stay. For a few days, while she figures things out. I'm not replacing you."
Emma sniffed, her eyes cast toward the ceiling. "Everyone always does. Foster families. Group homes. People I thought were my friends...landlords, everyone. Everyone always replaces me. It's only a matter of time before you do too."
Mary Margaret shook her head. "Hey, Emma...I'm not like other people you've lived with in the past, okay? People can be so cruel and heartless, but not everyone is like that. I'm not like that. I'm not going to replace you. I promise." Emma's eyes snapped upwards. "And I don't make promises I don't intend on keeping."
Snow couldn't answer Red honestly. She did not want to be alone. But she didn't want to die, either. And as long as she was living within the same region as someone who could turn her into the Queen, she was doomed.
"Red, we have to be realistic. If we want to survive, we need to be safe. Find somewhere where people can't hurt us. I won't hurt you, and you won't hurt me. We'll help each other; become best friends — practically sisters. It's not ideal, but it's what we have to do."
Red didn't reply and Snow sighed, brushing dirt from her outermost skirt. "I guess I'm just afraid of dying. I want to beat her, and the only way to do that is to run away."
"Or you could kill her," Red shrugged and Snow baffled at her friend.
"I don't have it in me to kill someone. Even as heartless and manipulative and wicked as the Queen. I could never do that. I don't have it in me to be so cruel. I just want to find somewhere safe. Somewhere away from her. And who knows what will happen along the way? Maybe I'll find someone else who is running, too. And we could make our own little family, in whatever strange way we could. Maybe they'll need protection and that can be my purpose in life. Maybe I won't be alone forever, Red. I just want to be somewhere safe."
Mary Margaret tilted Emma's chin, causing their similarly-hued eyes to meet. "You're safe here, Emma. I hope you know that. I want you to live here with me. I lived alone for so long, and now I'm so happy I have you here with me."
Emma finally cracked a smile and leaned into her roommate, muttering, "I'm happy to be here. Thanks for...just thanks."
Mary Margaret wrapped an arm around her shoulders and smiled back brightly. "You're welcome, Emma."
In the morning, Emma woke up first, stretching catlike as she sat up. She blinked and stared at her still-sleeping roommate who looked more peaceful in her sleep than Emma had ever been in her entire life. With a gentle hand, she shook Mary Margaret's shoulder, waking her. Even bleary-eyed and confused, she still maintained a strange aura around her which Emma could only describe as princess-like. "It's six. I'm going upstairs to get clothes."
"'Kay," The teacher responded, rolling over herself to get up.
Emma carried her baby blanket back to her room — Mary Margaret hadn't been quite right the night before. She was upset, but she mostly just didn't want Ruby touching her prized possession. Trying to be quiet as possible, the sheriff pulled out an outfit for the day after setting the blanket on the edge of her bed to fold it into a drawer.
"'Time 'sit?" Ruby mumbled as she sat up half-way, squinting.
Emma turned with a cringe. "Sorry, I was trying to be quiet. It's six in the morning."
"Ungh," The girl groaned, rubbing her eyes before sitting up all the way. "It's okay. I need to try and find either somewhere to go or a new job. Too bad I suck at decision making." Emma was about to cry bullshit, but Ruby's attention fell to the blanket before she could. "Aw, is this your blankie?" Emma flushed but Ruby quickly corrected her intention, "No, I was just going to say that I still have mine, too," She laughed, pulling out an eerily similar, knitted blanket. "Granny made it for me, like...before I was even born. Must have been a popular knitting pattern in the eighties."
Emma swallowed hard, nodding as she noted both cream-hued blankets had a thick, colored ribbon woven through the outer layer; though Ruby's was red and didn't have her name embroidered into it. "Must have."
"It's probably sad that I can't sleep without it but...security is security right? I like to wrap it around myself and over my head when I fall asleep. It makes me feel like nothing can hurt me. I know, it's stupid, but—"
Emma interrupted. "No, it's not...I, um...I'm going to...get dressed."
Ruby shrugged as Emma left the room, noting the stitching between the blankets as identical. Shaking it off as a coincidence, the former waitress stretched and dug through her suitcase to get ready for the day.