Hello All! I've recently fallen in love the Mad Swan ship, and the plot bunnies are keeping me up at night. I posted this to my Tumblr a little while ago, but my lovely friend and occasional beta TeamRadicalx3 was wonderful enough to edit bits for me. Isn't she a doll?

Here we go...


In Spades


"If you don't make the hat now, I won't be held responsible for my actions." Jefferson was pacing back and forth across the dimly lit room. If he kept it up any longer Emma was sure she would start getting dizzy. But right now she was too ticked. This guy was pissing her off. He had tied her to the chair and damn if he wasn't good with knots.

"Actually you will. The state of Maine is going to hold you very responsible," she huffed.

"Responsible for kidnapping, for drugging an officer of the law, and a whole mess of charges I'm going to personally see attached to your name for the rest of your miserable days," she continued, trying to dig it in.

Jefferson rolled his eyes. "You don't know what misery is. Locking me up isn't going to solve your problem, and it isn't going to make the curse disappear. And it's not going to get you your son back."

"Shut up." Emma glared at the overly-gelled psychotic nuisance.

He grinned, "Hit a nerve, have it? Tsk tsk Sheriff, you mustn't have such a temper, we wouldn't want Regina to find out. Then it would be only reasonable for our benevolent mayor to keep her son far far away from you."

Emma growled. Based on what she has seen in this mad house, this man was delusional. And if he went near Henry, there would be hell to pay.

"I told you to shut up." She stomped her foot through her bindings. It wasn't much, considering all the effort he had taken to secure her to the chair, but it made enough of a thump against the wooden floors that she was sure he got the message.

He sighed, as though a tutor waiting for his student to find the correct answer. "I will. Once you make me my hat."

"Your stupid hat isn't going to work. Storybrooke isn't cursed, you aren't the Mad Hatter, and that damn hat isn't going to take you to your beloved Wonderland." Emma sneered at him; two could play at the taunting game.

He moved so fast she didn't have time to jerk back in surprise. Suddenly he was next to her ear, twisting his finger through her hair, intimating a threat which came across loud and clear. Whispering into the air next to her, Emma could tell he was remembering something unpleasant, as a dark expression crossed his face.

"Perhaps you shouldn't assume you know my story… Wonderland isn't exactly all sunshine and—"

"Roses?" Emma was done playing games, and his little trip down memory lane wasn't moving them along fast enough to what in her mind was the inevitable conclusion of her kicking his ass.

Again, his demeanor changed so fast there was no time for reaction. Digging his fingers into her tresses, he pulled back. Hard. Emma grimaced in pain as she clenched her jaw, not giving him the luxury of hearing her grunt in pain. Just as suddenly however, he released her, and stalked over to the end of the table, grabbing a mess of items and dumping them in front of her. In what appeared to be a move of self-restraint, he distanced himself from his captive and seated himself in his initial position across the table.

His jaw clenched in repetition until finally he spoke again, "Make. Me. My. Hat."

"Let. Mary. Margaret. Go." Emma refused to back down that easily.

"What?" His confusion was almost amusing. Her change in tactics has obviously disarmed him in that instant.

Emma continued, "Let Mary Margaret go. You've got me, you don't need her." Given his expression, she concluded that bargaining might be the best way to at least rescue her friend.

He paused, and leaned forward slightly, quietly contemplating her offer. "True…true…and you'll make me the hat?" As he glanced back at her, his countenance exposed an unexpected sincerity. Those eyes might have might have shocked her. They were soft in that split second, and Emma couldn't tell if she wanted to comfort him, or smack him for the hell he had put her through. While it was the aggression that won out, she attempted to remain calm, in light of his past mood swings.

"Let her go and we can work something out."

He smirked, "Oh no, I want assurances. Let's not forget, I'm holding all the cards here." Raising both eyebrows in a gleeful manner, Jefferson reached and nimbly swept his fingers over the gun still lying on the table, hardening her resolve.

"I'm not going to even consider making you a hat until you LET HER GO." Emma kept eye contact as her voice rose. His agitated demeanor was catching.

Staring at her a moment, he shrugged, "Fine."

"What?" His suddenly casual attitude threw her.

"I said fine. Snow can go. She isn't a part of this anymore…If you'll excuse me then." Standing up, Jefferson made his way to the door. It couldn't be that easy…

"Wait—"

Swinging around, Jefferson looked to her expectantly, "Change your mind?"

"No. But I need some proof she'll be safe from you once she's out of this nut house." While Emma wasn't sure she'd ever understand the way his mind worked, her instincts told her to double check this sudden good fortune.

Upon hearing that, Jefferson gave her the most enigmatic grin, "Oh, Emma, I assure you. For that hat, I'd do anything."

And then he exited.

Straining to hear, Emma could make out the sounds of a door opening, and a surprised exclamation. For a second, Emma worried that Mary Margaret would struggle against the only victory achieved so far this evening. The shuffling went silent, and Emma prayed her friend was safe.

There were no clocks in the room, but Emma estimated it was close to twenty minutes before her captor returned. Before she had a chance to question Mary Margaret's whereabouts, Jefferson clapped his hands together cheerfully.

"Wonderful! You're still here!" Once again – for reasons Emma couldn't quite fathom – his joyful expression perturbed her. His light smile was so earnest she might have believed him to be that helpful, charming man she has almost run over on the road.

"Are you kidding me?" This was not the time for games. Was he that unhinged that he could pretend this was all some joke?

"Yes, actually, I am. Just because I've been going insane in this hellhole for the last 28 years doesn't mean I can't have a sense of humor." Jefferson licked his lips. Tilting his head to the side slightly, he looked her over with a mildly amused expression. Her apparent cooperation looked to have done wonders for his temperament.

Glaring, she replied, "Guess I'm just not in the mood."

Laughing lightly, Jefferson swung his chair to sit next to her. Sitting backwards on it, he playfully propped his head on his arms.

"Well we'll just have to fix that, won't we?"


TBC


Let me know what you think readers! I love commentary (especially the positive kind.) I am hoping to continue this, so if you have any particular notions, I'd be happy to hear 'em.

Oh, and of course, the date: 4/20/12