For all the shippers, some AU fluff.


James walked behind Emma, who was running around the castle. She was finally old enough to go exploring the castle and James didn't want her getting lost, so he set her loose and followed her all around, marveling when she recognized certain corridors.

She stopped at a crossway, looking at three possible corridors, before turning to him and pointing to the one on the left. "Mommy?"

James beamed down at the toddler and nodded. "Yes, baby. Our room is that way."

The little girl grinned up at him before running in said direction.

James jogged behind her. "Emma!" he called out and the girl turned to look at him, feet still moving. She was uncoordinated and she tumbled to the ground, skidding along for a bit. James' eyes went wide and he ran towards her, regretting having called out to her.

Emma's pale blue sundress had fallen over her knee, but he could still see blood soaking the fabric and Emma looked up at him with water in her eyes. He watched her lower lip tremble as the pool of blood became bigger.

In an instant she was cradled in his arms and within a few long strides he had reached the intended bedroom. By then the girl was sobbing into his shoulder, one hand clutching at her leg.

"I'm so sorry, baby girl. Please don't cry." Her sobs were getting louder, and he felt almost frozen, not sure what to do with his crying daughter. He hadn't ever been the cause of her pain and he felt so terrible that she was crying because of him.

Before he had a chance to do it himself, the door to the bedroom swung open and Snow appeared.

"What happened?" she asked, her eyes going wide at the sight of her daughter crying and her husband looking incredibly pained.

"I called out to her and she turned and fell and—," he said, or at least tried to.

"Mommy, I hurt!" Emma said loudly through her tears, reaching for Snow.

James let her go, Snow taking Emma over and cradling the girl to her body.

"Oh, baby," Snow said into the girl's hair. "It's going to be okay, Emma." Emma's body started heaving with her sobs and James grew much more concerned.

Snow sat down on the bed with the girl, pulling up the dress to look at the wound.

James ran a hand through his hair at the sight of it, his feeling of guilt steadily growing with each passing second. Snow had Emma sitting on her lap with her back to Snow. James kneeled down at the edge of the bed so he was at eye level with Emma, reaching out to cradle her good leg.

"Emma, baby, I'm so sorry," he apologized again. The girl futilely tried to wipe away her tears with her arm, her tears having stopped but her small body still convulsing as an aftermath of her heavy sobs. "I love you baby," he said, managing a small smile when she nodded at him.

"Daddy," she started, but couldn't properly breathe, her breath coming in short gasps. "I hurt."

"I know, baby," he said, passing a hand through her hair as a single tear fell from his eye. "I'm so sorry, Emma." The little girl reached out and tried to wipe away James' single tear, failing because her hand was already wet, and she made his face more wet than it already was.

She smiled, and he mirrored it, happy that she was feeling better enough to manage a smile.

"I'm going to get the doctor for you, okay, baby girl?" The girl nodded. "I'll be right back." He got up, pressing a quick kiss to her forehead before leaving.

"Emma," Snow said, moving them a little so she could look at the girl. "Are you feeling a little better?" Her body convulsed once, before she nodded. "Deep breaths honey," Snow suggested, rubbing her hand over Emma's back in slow circles.

Emma leaned against Snow, her hand coming up to twirl a dark strand of hair through her fingers.

A few moments later James was back with the doctor, who looked over Emma. With a bandage over the leg wound, he declared her fine, both Snow and James heaving a sigh of relief. By then Emma's heaving had also stopped and the doctor said to just let the wound heal.

"Thanks, doc," James said, ushering the man out. From behind his back, he produced a pastel green sundress, Snow already helping Emma out of her blood-soaked dress. James pulled it over her head, tugging it down as he met Emma's eyes.

The toddler crawled further onto the bed, more to the middle, much to James' surprise, until she beckoned him over. He shook off his shoes and joined her, laying down on the bed next to Emma, who squirmed onto her side to look at James.

"Love you, daddy," she said, placing a sloppy kiss on his cheek.

"I love you too, Emma." He was about to apologize when her tiny hand covered his mouth as best as she could.

"Is okay daddy." She nodded, smiling when he followed her action.

"She's like a baby you; so charming," Snow whispered to James.

With a grin Emma removed her hand from James mouth and crawled over to Snow, climbing over the woman.

"Oof, reckless child," Snow muttered, but couldn't help but smile when Emma curled up to her. When the little girl yawned, Snow started running her hand through Emma's wild curls. "I think it's nap time for you." The girl nodded, suddenly exhausted and her eyes already sliding closed.

When Emma's breathing evened out, Snow leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to the toddler's temple while disentangling her hand from the blond curls.

James' arm slid around her waist to pull her close, but she turned in his grip so she could look at him.

"I feel so bad for having caused her so much pain," James said, not waiting for her to ask it.

She reached up and smoothed the crinkle in his brow. "She's fine now, Charming."

"Snow, she was sobbing."

"That was just the shock and a little of the pain. She was probably more spooked by the blood than she actually was in pain. I've had enough skinned knees to know."

"You're such a good mother," he said dejectedly, making her laugh. "What?" he asked sullenly.

"You are such a dramatic," she replied in wonder, turning back in his grip so she could look at their daughter. "You're a good father, Charming."

His arm around her tightened and pulled her that much closer so she was completely tucked into him. Her arm covered his around her waist as he pressed a kiss to her shoulder.

"She looks so much like you," Snow whispered, looking at the sleeping toddler.

"Maybe this one will look a little more like you," he replied, his tone the same as hers as his thumb lightly stroked over her abdomen.

She gasped and turned her head to look at him. "You know?"

"Of course I know. I know you better than you know yourself."

"So charming," she said, turning back with a smile.

"I love you," he said, beaming down at her.

"I love you too," she mumbled, her eyelids feeling heavy.

They were both half-asleep when her voice floated into air and her words made him chuckle.

"This one better look like me."