Authors note: I opted to go easy on myself since it's my first fic ever and do an AU oneshot where our charming and reclusive hat maker has made a bit of progress in the recluse department and has opened a hat shop. He's somewhat better socialized and with Gold and Regina running about is Emma really going to waste her time on trying to keep him in a cell?
It was raining. Of course it was raining. The weather seemed to know exactly when it could inconvenience Emma the most. She had made 3 house calls, found one lost dog, nearly twisted her ankle tripping over an errant rubber ball, and had to drive past that damn shop; now the sky had opened up and here she was with no umbrella. A truly wonderful ending to an absolutely fantastic day.
Sopping wet, sore and over all in a foul temper a break was needed. Emma made the executive decision to forward all calls from the station to her cell phone in order to get a well deserved hot chocolate and maybe even a sandwich before the next small domestic emergency.
Yes, hot chocolate might do her good and make her forget that A) she was soaked to the skin B) her ankle hurt something fierce and C) while passing that stupid hat shop and peering briefly through the window she saw the smug bastard smirking at her! It was infuriating and it was all she could do to not park her car, walk in and slap him for existing in the same dimension. he was by far the most irritating thing about her day so far.
A short phonecall to Mary Margaret determined that she would be busy for the remainder of the evening and was unable to join her and thusly unable to listen to her vent. Parking the car she stepped out into what she was convinced was the most spiteful rain in history and hobbled into the diner as fast as she was able.
Sitting down at the nearest available stool she waited for Ruby to finish with her current order and contemplated her sandwich options.
Ruby was wearing what would have been a rather fetching scarf if it weren't for that entirely too confident, hat making, scoundrel making her dislike all scarves intensely. She glared briefly at the offending article of clothing as Ruby informed her that they were out of hot chocolate mix and more would be picked up tomorrow but that there was in fact plenty of tea.
Tea! No, tea would not do at all. She hated tea, rather she had hated her last distasteful experience with it. She muttered her order of a grilled cheese and a bottle of water and folded her arms on the bar to wait. Letting her brain cease thoughts of angry spouses, small dogs and ill placed rubber balls she listened to the rest of the patrons. Apparently the Nolans have finalized their divorce papers, the school received a huge anonymous donation and that nice, handsome young man who owned the hat shop was single. Dammit! She couldn't even space out without him insinuating himself into her brain. Tea, scarves and even her ankle were reminders of him. She was so immensely fed up with him that she couldn't even think his name.
Ruby placed the grilled cheese and bottle in front of Emma and wisely chose to remain silent lest she be struck down by misplaced anger. Why oh why had Mary Margaret chosen to spend her evening with David when she was much needed here? Her roommate was an amazing and forgiving woman though she still bristled when the hat shop was mentioned, Emma didn't blame her but she was otherwise untroubled by the mans presence in town. If she had anyone to vent at and not feel like she was being talked down to it was Henry.
Henry of course was at school and despite his precocious nature and mature outlook on things he still assumed flirting was a dandelion and a lollipop as opposed to grins that suggested entirely too much and the simple tipping of a hat. No, Henry probably would have smiled and said that he approved of her taking pains to help the poor hatter with his atrocious situation by being nice. Nice was most certainly not what she had in mind right now so she finished eating, slapped ten dollars on the counter and headed back out to her car in the rain made entirely of spite.
Driving back to the station would mean she'd need to drive past that accursed shop again and she'd look in as she always did and see his stupid attractive- damn damn damn! There it was, that little thought crept into her head and had made itself known. She was attracted to that insane, chapeau producing, jerk. The realization almost made her swerve into the opposite lane. She opted to park in the nearest spot and swear several times in order to calm herself down. She did just that and if she hadn't been so flustered she would have paid more attention to where she had parked.
Mid profanity laden rant there was a muted tap on the window. Emma turned to see a gloved hand accompanied by an aggravatingly well dressed body and damnably charming face smiling down at her. She was absolutely in no mood for him to be grinning at her while she was trying to purge her thoughts of him. Biting back yet more curses she put on her best sheriff smile and asked what the bastard wanted. He had simply seen that she looked frustrated and had concerns for her well being as nobody so pretty should be so upset. He probably damn well knew that he was the cause of her outburst because the smile said he knew. She wouldn't let him win though and lied through her teeth that she had lost her cell phone and needed to stop to look for it. He merely nodded and walked back into his shop with a swagger that said that he had just ruined her day and was immensely pleased with it.
Continuing her mental tirade she decided that she would just go back to the apartment and let that be the end of her suck fest of a day. Parking again this time outside of her complex she made a solid effort at getting inside without a tremendous amount of pain and slumped down onto the couch. She moved to turn on the tv when a box and a note caught her eye. The note was in Davids handwriting and said:
" E- a grateful citizen who wishes to remain anonymous wishes for you to have this and promises that there is nothing distasteful inside. He also wishes for you to get good use out of it as he has noticed that your position has left you lacking what he considers a key part of any sheriffs uniform" - David.
Emma smiled and opened the box. Inside wrapped in tissue paper was a small top hat with a red felt band styled for a female head and a small card with lovely handwriting in blue ink reading:
I hope you get as much use out of this as you do your badge. The felt matches your jacket. Someone as pretty as you should have a hat that works for someone who has to wear so many."
P.S. "I see you watching when you drop by. I have no problem with you actually coming inside and having your way with me whenever you please. I would be more than happy to accomodate whatever needs you have regarding hats or other more personal things."
Emma's jaw dropped, this was the rotten cherry on top of the maggot riddled carcass sundae that had been her day. He actually had the audacity to not only send her a rather well made hat but to openly insist that she visit and allow herself to first punch him as hard as she could and then probably put him to a wall and kiss him until they both turned blue.
She hated, despised, could not stand, and outright disliked him and now she had a solid reason for it. Instead of screaming or launching into another rant she simply put the hat down and stretched out on the couch determined to stare at it until it spontaneously combusted. It was his way of saying that it was her move now and it really rankled. There had been since she ate at least one thing in sight that had brought him to mind. The expression everything but the kitchen sink seemed to fit. Since she couldn't see the sink from here it couldn't possibly offend her.
After a good hour of wishing horrible things on the seemingly innocuous piece of head wear the day caught up with her and as she drifted off she enjoyed the thought of paying him a visit and giving him a substantial piece of her mind.