AU: Okay, so I got fed up with the pace I was uploading this. The story processes real slowly, because it is a role play, and the many errors and repeats are because of this as well. Sometimes we copy each other's actions in our reply to clarify what part we are replying to and sometimes it doesn't make much sense Dx I'm currently trying to make this story run smooth, but for now this will have to do. I deleted all the odd symbols, hopefully, from this chapter and the previous, and will make a speedy update on this one because in our rp Gold, Emma and Henry are on the move. Granted, they are on the move for weeks now, but the story as it is here isn't nearly as far as that, so I want to share that part of our rp with those who are interested or just plainly bored, and therefore will do an upload of several chapters and parts. To the ones who commented about Emma's behavior, I can't control that, I'm afraid. I (the one writing this note and doing the uploading) am merely the Gold part :) But still hope you enjoy! Mature content is ahead! As well as some non-con.

Desperate Souls

Chapter 2: Fragmentation


After Gold had departed, Mary Margaret fussed over Emma and ushered her into her bedroom. Helping her to lie down on her bed, Mary fluffed a few pillows before setting the blonde's dizzy head upon them. "There," she cooed, smiling as she sat up straight. "Feeling any better? I think you certainly knocked poor Mr. Gold for a loop. I doubt he can make heads or tails of you."

"I can't make heads or tails of anything right now," Emma muttered, placing a hand over her eyes as if to block out the throbbing in her temples. "I wasn't trying to be mean...I think. Hell, I can't remember."

Mary Margaret patted her thigh. "That's alright, everything will be fine again in the morning... Just make sure you apologize to Mr. Gold when you see him, alright? I think you owe him that much."

Emma snorted, but gave a begrudging nod. She probably wouldn't remember by morning anyway, so her agreement was noncommittal, at best.

But alas, Mary Margaret had made sure to remind Emma about her apology the next day.

With a sour look on her face, Emma had resisted telling her closest friend off, and had instead muttered a terse, "Fine," before heading out to her car. Her squad vehicle was still in the shop, so any hope of intimidation was now null and void.

Exiting the car with a heavy sigh, she practically stomped towards Gold's pawnshop since she was A) extremely irritable, and B ) in serious need of an aspirin. Mary Margaret had rushed her out of the apartment, so she'd forgotten to take a double dose.

When Emma entered the shop, Gold appeared to be hard at work. Normally he was standing around as though he were expecting her arrival, but this time around he was transfixed in whatever papers he was currently perusing.

"Gold?" she called, even though she was almost positive he'd heard her come in. "I, busy?"

Approaching him with slow, reluctant steps, she found herself standing over him as she tried to peer at the papers. It probably wasn't anything interesting, but a big part of her hoped it had something to do with getting custody of Henry.

Since Gold wasn't being very talkative, Emma took it upon herself to keep the (one-sided) conversation going. Shoving her hands into her pockets, she shifted her gaze toward the ceiling and mumbled, "I, uh...I guess I owe you an apology for last night. I honestly don't remember much, but Mary Margaret said I was a total you-know-what."

The crumbs of the rusk had fallen to cover the document on the counter and he gingerly brushed them away with the back of his hands. Only now that she had apologized his eyes darted up to her face and he put the rusk aside, having very little appetite, and placed it next to the pile of papers.

"Really, Emma? I hadn't thought you the kind to go back on her mistakes. However, I will take your apology and accept it."

He hobbled from one side of the counter to the next and took a pencil with which he eagerly started to draw lines on a new piece of paper. His attention was once again lifted from her person, as if she did not interest him at all after yesterday's encounter. Nothing was more true, though he still admired her beauty he just couldn't get himself to bestow her with his attention. She had to feel his wrath if he ever hoped she would change her demeanor around him.

As he scribbled down some sums, he came to lean on the counter with his elbows, and listened to Emma's footsteps as she walked from side to side, pacing in front of the counter. He had to suppress a small smirk for his ignoring seemed to make her restless, an effect he desired.

Emma's brows furrowed in frustration. Just who the hell did he think he was? It had been difficult enough to actually apologize , but now he felt the need to deem her a non-apologetic person?

With a chilled sneer, she crisply returned, "Well, what can I say? I've been known to do odder things than say I'm sorry..." Watching him limp to the other side of the counter, she waited for him to add a snide remark, but found he was more interested in whatever he'd been working on.

Okay, what the hell had she done last night? Or did he just wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

Regardless of the true reason, Emma was beginning to grow impatient. It's not like she'd been obligated to apologize, so now that he was dismissing her - despite claiming to have accepted it- she couldn't help but feel her frustration mount. And when Emma was frustrated, she paced.

Sneakers treading back and forth, she still kept her hands in her pockets as she moved, her eyes every once in a while cutting toward Gold to see if he was paying attention.

Irritated by his apathy, Emma finally snapped, "Ok, you know what? I didn't have to come over here, so why don't you do your job and act like I'm a customer? Because in case you've forgotten, people actually like to be acknowledged . Otherwise? They get pissed off."

Now mirroring his pose, she placed her hands on the counter and glared at him. There was always a lingering smirk on Gold's lips, and Emma longed to smack it right off his self-satisfied face.

With an intake of breath, she added, "I think you know why I'm here... You promised me you'd help. Or at least, that's what I remember happening last night."

Good God, the man was a disaster. He led her to drinking, and if this habit kept up, she wouldn't be able to recall where she placed her keys each night.

Mr Gold's eyes cut back at her sharply. His lips curled into a snarl at the sight of her mirroring his movements. For a moment he wondered if she would imitate his snarl too but the look of frustration showed she was already too far down the hill to pass the joyful tree of merry snarls. He let out a sigh and clicked his tongue, discarding the paper and pencil from his hand.

He leaned on the counter, inching himself closer to her, and gave her a pensive look. "Emma, I would talk to you if you would allow me. And yesterday you gave me no such chance. You made it perfectly clear that you have no need for me," he entirely ignored the last episode of their dinner meeting where she had clutched to him and begged him to be her benefactor, to offer her his help and support, "and each time you are around me it gets your blood flowing. I don't like to see you like this." He gave her a painful expression.

"You keep treating and addressing me like I'm a monster, a beast. But question yourself in all due honesty; would a beast offer you his help? Would a monster try his best to suit you? Would he dress himself at his finest and come over for a meal to discuss your interests while abandoning his own? "

It wasn't fully true. His interest was their child, the same as hers. He wasn't acting selflessly, he was acting selfishly. With another sigh he traced a hand through his hair.

When Gold inched forward, Emma subconsciously inched back, her fingers gripping the edge of the counter until her knuckles turned bone white. There was something about his aura that automatically made her on the defensive, and she erected every wall she possibly could to keep him from reading into her thoughts.

Gold, she realized, was the one person in Storybrooke that continuously kept her on her toes. Granted, Regina was a close second to holding that honor, but she didn't perceive her as an immediate threat. Gold was just... unnerving , to say the least, because she never knew what would come out of his mouth. The words he uttered next were a prime example of this, and Emma found her jaw clenching as she tried to process everything she was hearing.

"You don't know how I truly am," she finally spoke, yet her words were far more hushed than she wished to convey. She wanted to be firm in her beliefs - sincere - but it all came tumbling out like an uncertain little girl's words.

Considerably upset by what she was hearing, Emma shook her head and insisted, "You can't expect me to behave differently, can you? You broke my trust , Gold, and I'm sorry, but it takes a hell of a lot more than being nice to regain it." With a sharp intake of breath, she then addressed his question: "And why would a beast offer his help, you ask? Probably so he can override all doubt and abuse the trust he'd already broken. But then, I'm a cynic...I don't mind admitting that. There have been many "beasts" in my life, Gold, so you're by far not the first, and something tells me you definitely won't be the last."

"Come to me when you feel you can speak to me. Not like this," Mr Gold genuinely looked concerned at her for her troubles, "Not like enemies."

Appearing affronted, Emma felt her chance with Henry slipping through her grasp like an oiled ribbon. Amidst her desperation, she placed a hand over his papers and forced him to return her gaze, her head shaking as she softly insisted, "I can't come back at a later time, Gold, because we may always be this way around each other...I can't help that you bring something shameful out of me, alright? I just...I just know that you're the only one who can help me, and time is of the essence. If I were to wait until I was ready, Henry would be well beyond salvaging..." Bowing her head, she softly added, "I know it's hard, but try looking at it from a parent's point of view... I'm bitter and cruel because it's my best defense mechanism, but now that I've met Henry, I'm finally feeling warm and loved. I can't go back to the way I once was...I won't go back, and the way I see it, I'm going to do this with or without you."

"And what do you think made me cruel?"

The words had been spit back at her like a low growl and before he had any grip on them. They flew from him, left his body before they could even pass his mind. His eyes grew wide as he realized just how much he was giving away. The gesture with his left hand had said enough about the bottle frustrations the man suffered from.

The stoniness in Emma's eyes seemed to leave at his words, but she didn't back away or cringe like her body secretly desired. She was honestly surprised that Gold had admitted to being cruel - he'd just built his case on being anything but , after all - but Emma found that she could neither verify or deny his statement.

It wasn't an unknown fact in her mind that she knew absolutely nothing about him, but until this very moment, she honestly hadn't given Mr. Gold's past life much thought. Perhaps he knew more about her way of life than his own standard of living conveyed? Gold, after all, wasn't a man she'd peg as being familiar with cruelty or hard times... He was well-poisoned, self-assured, eloquent, and rich. It wasn't exactly a common recipe for a harsh life.

Mr Gold recollected his thoughts. He knew he could apologize for his outburst but it wasn't nearly as bad as the fir of rages he could have when he was truly mad. How she managed to put a restrain on him while no one by far had been so rude was a mystery to him.

As Emma stood there, she found herself waiting for Gold to elaborate on his crisp admonition, but when nothing came to be, she unfolded her arms and studied his face. He appeared rather beside himself (a rarity all on its own), and Emma was half-tempted to apologize yet again.

In her past life, when with an angry acquaintance, she was often able to make the joke, "Well, someone needs a hug!", but in Gold's case it was an entirely different animal to deal with. She knew that no jocularity, apologies, or soft words would cure his sudden streak of anger, because she'd seen that look on her own face one too many times. She never thought she'd be comparing herself to this man, but she could sense her own kind from over a mile away...the kind that bottled everything up inside and pretended all was well until pushed.

Before Emma could even think to speak, Gold was already turning his back to her and stumbling off toward the back room. She was about to give an urgent, "Wait!", but he beat her to the quick when he halted his movements. His shoulders were slumped in what appeared to be defeat, and his next words almost made her believe she hadn't heard correctly

"Alright. We'll talk."

"Really?" Emma asked, a sudden surge of relief shooting through her veins. "Thank you. Really, I mean it. I know you're probably sick to death of me, but I promise that once this is all over and done with, I'll never bug you again. You have my word on that."

The thought of never having to deal with Gold again almost seemed surreal, but Emma always had hope. With a slight smirk on her face, she followed Gold toward the back room and was relieved to find it didn't reek of lanolin.

"Okay," she began, now looks around her, "how are we going to do this? And I mean legally do in case you don't remember, I'm not too keen on under-handed operations. I want to win Henry back the proper way, or else I'll never forgive myself."

'And more importantly, he may never forgive me,' Emma mentally added.