TITLE: into the hat
CHARACTERS: Emma Swan, Jefferson
SUMMARY: in which Emma can't let Jefferson go and searches for him instead of going to the arraignment.

She can't ignore the fact that he's the first one to make her believe. Even for a second. And, gosh, she's wanted it to be true before, but now she needs it to. She needs the stories to be real because this guy - Jefferson - has a little girl out there and, if a parent wants to be with his kid, he damn sure should be able to.

Emma doesn't tell anyone, but she spends the hours after the arraignment searching for Jefferson. She scours his place, holding the stupid hat in one hand and Henry's book in the other. More than once, she finds herself looking into it, wondering if maybe, just maybe, she got it to work. But what does that mean? That he's gone off into this other world where he and his daughter get to live happily ever after? If so, then why is Paige still at school with Henry? Seriously, where the hell is this guy?

Emma tosses the hat down in his giant hat room. It bounces and spins. She glances away to the wall and back to the hat. It's still spinning. And spinning. And spinning. Slowly, it rises from the ground, a swirling pool of purple emptiness opening up beneath it. She scrambles back, her hand flying instinctively to her hip to the gun that waits there. But what is she going to shoot? The ground? Yeah, that'll work. She flips quickly through Henry's book and finds more on Jefferson - the Madhatter. The book says that when the hat spins, a portal opens that can take people to any world they choose. The hat has a rule, the same number of people go in as they go out. So if one goes in, one goes out. So if she goes in - Emma shakes the thought away. She's not jumping into some giant hole in the ground. Especially not for some guy she just met. That's crazy. She'll just drop something down there. That'll prove that her eyes are just playing tricks on her. She grabs the closest thing - a pen - and tosses it towards the swirling hole. It disappears instantly. She waits but she never hears it stop. She steps forward to peer inside. Just one step, but that's apparently all it takes for the hole to swallow her up. She screams out, but it swallows that too. Next thing Emma knows, she's landing in a sturdy pair of arms.

She glances up startled and meets an increasingly familiar pair of eyes. They sparkle with a hope that kind of makes the whole falling thing okay. Especially when Jefferson says in a voice filled with admiration, "You made it work."

She doesn't know what else to say so she nods. A weak smile forms on her face. "Yeah, I guess I did."

Might continue this. Might add more drabbles. Might not. Who knows? I just couldn't resist writing something after the episode. Any thoughts?