Disclaimer: As always, nothing you recognize is mine.
A/N: As promised, here is the final set of vignettes, featuring Mary Margaret and Emma moments from the last four episodes. The finale committed a serious crime by not having ANY Mary Margaret/Emma interaction...so I had to come up with some on my own.
Much thanks to my amazing Melissa, who helped me not write about zebras.
"I'm sorry in advance for the mess," Emma says as she parks the car outside their apartment. "I wasn't expecting you to be released so quickly."
"Don't worry," Mary Margaret brushes her apology aside. "A little mess never hurt anyone."
"Well…" Emma thinks about the preparations for the welcome home party that are already underway. She hadn't been expecting Mary Margaret for at least a few more hours. The floor is littered with construction paper, cutouts of letters and forgone attempts. She hopes she remembered to turn off the oven.
Mary Margaret rushes inside as soon as the door swings open. "Oh, Emma!" Mary Margaret exclaims. "You did all this for me?"
"Yeah," Emma says, feeling sheepish. She's not used to throwing parties and her first attempt seems inadequate, especially since it's not finished by the time the guest of honor has arrived. She wanted everything to be perfect for Mary Margaret's return.
But Mary Margaret is smiling. "You're very kind, Emma." She goes over to the table and examines the decorations. "What time is everyone supposed to get here?"
"I told people seven," Emma answers.
"Well, then," Mary Margaret says, her tone suddenly all business. "Looks like we have three hours to finish."
"Oh – no," Emma protests. "You can't prepare your own welcome home party!"
Mary Margaret just smiles and picks up a pair of scissors. "It feels good to be back."
Emma smiles back. "Welcome home, Mary Margaret."
Emma deposits two large boxes of files on the kitchen table. She shrugs off her jacket and immediately begins looking through the contents of the first box. She begins to pull out the stacks of files, arranging them methodically on the table.
"What's all this?" Mary Margaret asks.
"Paperwork," Emma responds. She finishes with the first box and tosses it aside.
"Paperwork?" Mary Margaret repeats, joining Emma at the table. She reaches for one of the files. "You're going after Regina?"
"I'm taking back my son," Emma replies, pulling out another thick file from her bag.
Emma drops the last file on the table. "Ambitious?" she repeats. "Not exactly the response I was hoping for. You don't think I should?"
"No!" Mary Margaret exclaims. "I absolutely think that you should. I'm just surprised that you decided to do it now. What changed your mind?"
"You," Emma answers. "Regina framed you for murder. I can't let Henry stay with her. That woman is a sociopath."
"Emma," Mary Margaret begins. "Don't make this about revenge. Regina may have hurt you by framing me, but hurting her by trying to take Henry isn't going to help anyone. It's only going to hurt Henry."
"She's dangerous," Emma protests.
"I know," Mary Margaret agrees, nodding. "But being Henry's mom…it's a big step."
"What do you mean?"
"I just mean that fighting for custody should be about more than hurting Regina. If you win, you become Henry's mother."
"I already am Henry's mother," Emma replies fiercely.
"Biologically, yes," Mary Margaret says. "But emotionally, I'm not so sure."
Emma crosses her arms. "My son is in danger. I'm trying to protect him. If that means I have to step up and be his mother, then I'll be his mother."
"Motherhood should be about love," Mary Margaret says quietly. "Not obligation."
"Regina doesn't love him."
"Maybe not," Mary Margaret agrees. "But you should ask yourself…do you?"
Emma doesn't respond, but Mary Margaret smiles anyway. "I'm proud of you for taking this step. I just want you to be sure you're ready. That's all. Just remember, not so long ago, you weren't even sure you could handle a roommate."
She cannot remember ever feeling this way before.
"And running is what's best for him?" Mary Margaret is arguing, her tone rising with anger. "Or is that what's best for you? You're reverting, Emma. Into the person you were before you got here. And I thought you'd changed."
The disappointment in Mary Margaret's voice is almost too much to bear. Emma can't meet her eyes as she mutters, "You thought wrong."
"Well, regardless," Mary Margaret continues, returning to her cooking. "You have to do what's right for Henry now."
Emma looks up. "What's that?"
"Oh, I don't know," Mary Margaret says. "You're his mother. That's your job. So you figure it out."
She cannot remember ever feeling this way before, like she's being scolded, as though by a mother.
Emma knows Mary Margaret is awake because she can see the light underneath the door. She hesitates before knocking, precariously balancing the two mugs of hot chocolate.
"Come in," Mary Margaret responds, once Emma finally knocks. Emma pushes the door open.
Mary Margaret is sitting cross-legged on the bed, a book across her lap. She sets it aside when Emma enters, but she does not speak or even smile as Emma moves toward her. Emma senses that Mary Margaret is waiting for her to make the first move.
"Peace offering?" Emma extends one of the mugs.
"Thank you," Mary Margaret says, although Emma can tell from her tone that she has not yet been forgiven.
"Do you mind if I…?"
"Please." Mary Margaret nods. "Sit down."
Emma sinks down on the edge of Mary Margaret's bed, careful not to spill any hot chocolate on the white duvet. She can't even remember the last time she felt this awkward around Mary Margaret. Making friends has never been one of Emma's strong suits, let alone keeping them. She realizes this is the first time in years she has made a conscious effort to repair a relationship that she damaged.
"I'm sorry," she says finally, figuring that's the best place to start.
"For what?" Mary Margaret prompts her, taking a sip of her hot chocolate.
"For…leaving," Emma offers. "For not saying goodbye."
"You're sorry you left, or you're sorry you didn't say goodbye to me first?"
"Both," Emma answers. "I shouldn't have left at all. But I definitely shouldn't have left without saying goodbye."
"I don't understand you, Emma," Mary Margaret says, shaking her head. "After everything you did for me, after you convinced me not to run…why would you?"
Emma looks down at her mug, ashamed. "I don't know."
"You're scared, I understand that," Mary Margaret continues. "You don't think Henry is safe with Regina, and I don't blame you. I can understand why you might think running away with him is a good idea. It's a mother's impulse. You want to protect your son."
Emma nods earnestly. She opens her mouth to respond, but Mary Margaret cuts her off.
"But what I do not understand is why you feel the need to do absolutely everything alone." Mary Margaret looks at her sharply.
"All my life I've been alone," Emma mutters.
"You're not alone now."
Emma meets Mary Margaret's eyes. "I know that now. But it'll take some time for me to get used to it. There's never been more than just me. There's never been an us."
"You better get used to it," Mary Margaret tells her, although her tone is warmer. "Henry and I aren't going anywhere."
Emma nods. "Neither am I."
Emma looks up to see Mary Margaret running toward her. "I came as soon as I heard your message," she says breathlessly. "Is he still-?"
"Yes," Emma answers. "But they're not sure what's wrong."
"Is someone with him now?"
Emma nods. "Regina. She's saying goodbye."
"Saying goodbye?" Mary Margaret repeats. "But I thought you said he was still-"
"He is," Emma assures her. But we have to be prepared for the worst.
Mary Margaret frowns. "Are you…going somewhere?"
Emma hesitates slightly before responding, "Regina and I are going to find something she thinks will help Henry."
"You and Regina?" Mary Margaret's frown deepens. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"Yes." She sighs. "It's also our only idea."
"Oh, Emma, please be careful! I don't trust her at all."
"Neither do I," Emma admits. "But I do think she cares about Henry and truly wants to help him."
"Okay," Mary Margaret says, though she still sounds skeptical. Then she takes Emma's hand. "I'll stay here with him," she promises. "He won't be alone."
Emma smiles and whispers, "Thank you." She looks down at their hands, struck by the realization that this is the first time she has touched her, truly believing that Mary Margaret is her mother. The knowledge is overwhelming, and she wants to say something, to let Mary Margaret know that no matter what happens, she knows she had a mother.
"Mary Margaret, I-"
But her voice is overcome by emotion, and the words die in her throat. She cannot tell Mary Margaret. Not here, not like this. She has to remember that just because she believes in the curse, not everyone else does. Not yet, anyway. But they will.
Emma looks up and forces a smile. She can feel the tears in her eyes, and knows Mary Margaret can see them, too.
"If anything happens-"
Mary Margaret squeezes her hand and promises, "I will find you."
A/N: A warm and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, put on alert, added to favorite list, etc. Your support has been overwhelming and I am truly thrilled to have such awesome readers in this new fandom. As I stated before, I will be ending this story here, as the season has ended. Of course you can expect more Mary Margaret and Emma moments from me in season 2, but I'm waiting to see where the show goes first! In the meantime, I'm currently contemplating an AU multi-chapter fic that once again features Mary Margaret and Emma front and center. Put me on alert if that's something you're interested in reading!
Please consider leaving a review and telling me your final thoughts. Whether you reviewed all the chapters or just this one, I really do value and appreciate what you think!