It was three o'clock in the morning and she was starting her first shift as deputy tomorrow.
She wasn't sure if it was the nerves, or something else, but she couldn't sleep.
She rolled over, trying to get in a better position and hopefully drift off, but her eyes remained open.
"Come on, Emma...just fall asleep." She muttered to herself.
A light breeze came through the open window and she closed her eyes, hoping it would lull her to sleep.
The wind felt cool against her skin, but did nothing to help her insomnia.
"Screw this." She mumbled. She threw the covers off herself and got out of bed, shoving jeans and a jacket on. She tiptoed to the kitchen, making sure not to wake Mary Margaret. She flipped the light switch and the light above the kitchen blinked three times, then came to life, buzzing loudly. She clicked her tongue, grabbed her keys quickly and shut the light back off.
She heard nothing from Mary Margaret's room and breathed a sigh of relief, opened the front door and closed it behind her quietly.
She wasn't sure where she was going, or where she wanted to go.
She just hoped that walking around for half an hour would tire her enough so she could finally sleep.
She walked through the deserted streets of Storybrooke, feeling slightly alone, but comforted by the wind, which blew lightly. Her breath came out in puffs of smoke and she drew her jacket closer to her as goosebumps erupted on her skin.
She passed the Mayor's house and stopped, peeking through the gate up at Henry's room.
She wished she could walk right into that house, and spend the entire night with Henry.
She had 10 years of his life to catch up on. She'd regretted giving him up the minute they took him away from her, but she had no choice.
She wasn't psychically or emotionally ready to have a child at 18 years of age.
She was a child herself.
She sighed and walked away, wondering what life would have been like if she had never given Henry up.
He would be home with her right now in Boston, happy. They'd probably have spent the whole night playing Monopoly, or some other board game. She had one foster family that had wooden floorboards, and they used to move ALL the furniture and roller-blade all over the place.
They were the best family she ever had.
And they were taken from her in a car crash and she was thrown right back into the foster system.
She had never gotten a family like that again.
Thinking of a life like that with Henry brought a smile to her lips and tears to her eyes.
She came to a stop and looked around.
The lights were on in Granny's cafe.
At three in the morning?
Emma frowned and walked across the road, checking (though she wasn't sure why) for any cars. She peeked inside and saw a shadow run past the kitchen.
A black-haired with red streaks shadow.
Emma reached for the doorknob and turned it over in her hands. It opened and the bell jangled as she walked in.
What was Ruby doing inside the Diner at three in the morning?
"Ruby?" She called out. No answer. She sighed.
"Come on, Ruby! I know you're in here. What's up?"
Emma sat down on the stool in front of the kitchen counter and knocked on the table.
"I'm not leaving till you come out!" She sang, grinning. She heard a sigh of frustration, then the sound of heels and her smile widened.
Ruby avoided eye contact with her, her hair splayed across her face, hiding it from view.
"Hey, Emma. Want coffee or something?"
"No. I wanna know what you're doing here at three in the morning?" Emma asked, looking at her suspiciously. Ruby kept her back to Emma.
"Just setting up for the morning."
"You don't open until 6:00. It's a little early, Ruby." Emma said, chuckling. Ruby shrugged, her back still to Emma.
"What is going on with you?" Emma asked.
"Oh, and 'nothing' is making you turn your back to me, huh? Why won't you look at me?" She asked. Ruby shrugged again and Emma sighed.
She gave Ruby a minute to explain herself, but when she remained behind the counter with her back turned, not moving, Emma took matters into her own hands.
She got up and walked behind the counted, gripping Ruby's wrist lightly.
Ruby hissed in pain and pulled away from her.
"Emma, please!" She pleaded. Emma looked at her in shock.
"That didn't feel normal!" She said, stepping forward. Ruby was cradling her wrist with her left arm and she shook her head.
"No, it's not! Your wrist is broken, Ruby! I could feel it!" Emma exclaimed.
"Emma, please...just go." Ruby whispered.
Emma put two and two together and wheeled Ruby around forcefully.
Ruby's left eye was completely swollen shut, a cut above her eyebrow leaking blood and making it look grotesque. Blue and purple bruises were forming over her cheekbone and her lip was cut.
Her usual heavy make-up was not present, her face clear of anything but tears and blood.
Her white work shirt, which she had covered with an apron, was covered in blood and bruises were forming on her arms.
And Emma almost vomited when she saw a bite-mark on Ruby's collarbone.
Emma shook with fury, and Ruby gripped her hand tightly.
"Please, don't tell Granny! She'll go crazy!" She sobbed.
Emma had no words, but Ruby was gripping her arm tightly and before she knew it, Ruby's knees buckled and she collapsed against her.
Emma fell to the floor with her, cradling the poor girl in her arms.
"Ruby...who did this to you?" She asked through gritted teeth.
Ruby shook her head.
"Don't...you'll just make it worse."
"Who. Did. This. To. You?" Emma asked again. Ruby began sobbing again.
"He said I asked for it! He came out of nowhere! I didn't even have time to defend myself...Emma, Granny can't know about this..."
She was hysterical and Emma began brushing her hair out of her face lightly, cooing at her.
"It's okay...shhhh...it's okay. Breathe, Ruby...just breathe. Everything's gonna be okay. Breathe..."
Ruby began taking calming breaths, but she was still shaking against Emma's body. Emma was trying her hardest to stay calm, too.
She knew she had to get Ruby into a bed and let her sleep.
But first she needed a name.
"Come on...come with me. We're gonna go back to Mary Margaret's house, alright?"
"No! NO! No one else can know-"
"No, no! I know! She's asleep! We'll go quietly, okay! She won't know! It's okay!" Emma said hastily, not wanting Ruby to break down again. Ruby gulped and nodded and Emma supported the young petite out of Granny's Diner, closing the lights and locking the door. Emma noticed Ruby was limping and her fury boiled once more.
She was trying her hardest to stay calm.
But once she got that name and got Ruby to sleep, she was going to lose it.
She knew herself all too well.
"Your leg okay?"
"It just...hurts, a little..." She whispered. Emma sighed and flung her arm around Ruby's waist and hoisted her arm around her shoulders. Ruby hissed in pain and Emma looked at her.
"Okay, what are the extent of your injuries?" Emma asked. Ruby sighed.
"I think...my ribs are hurting...and my wrist is killing me...but everything feels numb." She muttered. Emma brushed Ruby's hair out of her face.
"We're gonna take you to see Dr. Whale tomorrow morning, alright?"
Ruby paled and looked at her with sad eyes.
Emma looked at her in shock.
Well, looks like I got my name, alright, she thought.
"Son of a bitch..." She whispered.
"Please, Emma...don't do anything." She whispered. Emma was about to tell her that Dr. Whale would no longer be a resident of Storybrooke by the morning, but bit her tongue. Making her upset again would only make matters worse. She nodded and continued walking, half carrying, half dragging Ruby back to Mary Margaret's. Emma panted as they climbed the steps. She dug into her pocket and pulled out the key, but the door opened before she had a chance to put it in the lock.
"Thank god, I was wondering where you-"
Mary Margaret gasped when she saw Ruby.
"Oh my god! What happened!" She exclaimed.
"Ruby...got hit by a car." Emma made up, carrying Ruby inside. Ruby looked at her appreciatively.
"Hit by a car! Why isn't she at the hospital!" Mary Margaret demanded, walking inside with them after shutting the door. Emma carried Ruby into her room and lay her on her bed.
"Mary Margaret, it's complicated. can you just...please look after her? I'll be back..."
"EMMA NO! You promised you wouldn't do anything!" Ruby said, going to get up. She yelled in pain and Emma pushed her back down on the bed.
"I'm not, but you DO need someone to take a look at you, Ruby! Dr. Whale isn't the only doctor around here..." Emma said, smiling at her. Ruby sighed and nodded.
"Okay..." She whispered.
"Dr. Whale? What is going on?" Mary Margaret asked. Emma sighed and looked at her, then Ruby. Ruby bit her lip, and nodded.
"Okay...I was out tonight. I went straight to the bar after work... it was late, and the bar had just closed...and I went to leave, but Dr. Whale stopped me. He was drunk...he told me he thought I was beautiful and I thanked him, but when I tried to walk away...he grabbed me and kissed me. I slapped him...and then he just started beating me. I couldn't stop him! He...he walked away after awhile...the entire town was deserted, the bar was closed, everyone had already gone home...I didn't know where else to go...so I went to the Diner..." She cried, hugging a pillow closer to her body. Mary Margaret covered her mouth in shock, crying. Emma growled and grabbed Mary Margaret's hand and led her away.
"Stay with her and clean her up. I'll bring her a doctor in half an hour, tops."
"What are you going to do?" She whispered. Emma looked at her.
"Oh, Emma, don't. It's going to make everything worse...just call Graham and he can arrest Dr. Whale!"
"Mary Margaret, come on! Do you seriously think anyone is going to belief Ruby over the prestigious, well mannered Dr. Whale?" Emma snapped.
"Graham isn't that narrow-minded!" Mary Margaret said fiercely.
"Maybe not Graham, but the rest of the town is! Ruby told me that Dr. Whale said she was asking for it, and you know the rest of town is going to think the same thing because of how she is! No...it's better if someone teaches him a lesson...personally."
"Just...don't kill him. I'd hate for you to get arrested."
"I'm deputy." Emma said. Mary Margaret sighed.
"Doesn't mean you're exempt from getting arrested."
"I know...but it should mean that."
Emma left before she could say anything.
She was boiling with fury. She wanted to murder Dr. Whale.
She'd had her fair share of abusiveness in her life. And after learning self defense classes, no one ever messed with her again.
Henry's father sure has hell never did.
Emma refused to tell Henry about his father because of this. There was no way she was going to admit to Henry that his father was a drunken, abusive asshole.
She stopped by Dr. Archie Hopper's house and pounded on the door loudly. She kept knocking until he answered a couple of minutes later, his glasses askew.
"Emma?" He asked, shocked.
"What do you know about the human body?" She asked, sighing.
"Do you know how to heal injuries and stuff?"
"Injuries? Why who's hurt-"
"Do you?" Emma asked impatiently. He hesitated.
"Well...yes I have a fair amount of experience-"
"Good. Come with me."
"Why what's happened?"
"I'll explain later, right now we're paying Dr. Whale a visit."
She pounded on his door loudly and waited.
"Emma, I don't understand-" Archie said.
The door opened and Dr. Whale looked at her.
Her fist connected with his face. He fell to the floor and looked up at her in shock, his nose dripping with blood.
She bent down and started laying into him, beating every inch of him that she could. Archie tried to pull her off but she pushed him away. She grabbed Dr. Whale and threw him across the room with as much strength as she could and he smashed into his glass coffee table. He coughed and tried to get up but she started beating him again. Archie finally managed to peel her off and she consented, breathing heavily.
She could barely lift her arms.
"Emma! What in the world-" Archie began.
"YOU STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HER, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME! IF YOU COME WITHIN A MILE OF HER I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF!" Emma screamed, trying to kick at Dr. Whale, but Archie was holding her back.
"Enough! We're leaving! Dr. Whale, I'm so sorry, are you okay?" Archie asked.
Emma kicked at Dr. Whale and Archie glared at her, stopping her.
"Enough! STOP IT!"
"That's what she said to him! THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID TO HIM, BUT HE JUST KEPT HITTING HER! HE DIDN'T CARE! HE DIDN'T SHOW MERCY!" She roared, jumping at Dr. Whale again.
"I'm sorry!" Dr. Whale shouted, covering his body protectively.
"Sorry doesn't help her!" Emma growled.
"What is going on?" Archie asked, looking back and forth between them.
"I didn't mean to! I was drunk and I got carried away, and I'm so sorry-" Dr. Whale said, tears falling down his bloody face.
"SHUT UP!" Emma growled. She shoved her face in front of his.
"You stay away from her, you understand?" He nodded anxiously and Emma left, trying to keep her hands from shaking.
"She has bruised ribs, a broken wrist and a swollen eye, but apart from that she's okay..." Archie said, stepping out of the bedroom.
Emma nodded and sighed.
"You two should stay with her. She'll want someone to talk to." Archie said. Emma nodded as he left and walked inside the room. Mary Margaret lay on the bed next to Ruby and Emma went behind her, stroking her hair as Ruby cried.
"It's okay. You're okay." She cooed.
"Emma?" She whispered.
"Welcome to your first day as deputy." She said. Emma chuckled and the three of them laughed, Ruby's emotions going haywire.
But she began to calm down with her two friends by her side.
And with Emma's reassurance that Dr. Whale would never come near her again, she fell asleep with a smile on her face.