Per request of anitarose I have decided I would try out a fic that involved Graham and August fighting for Emma's affection.
Who will win?
Sighing she looked out the window with her son, mother, and father all talking behind her at her office desk attempting to sort out a some sort of plan to stop Regina, the Evil Queen. Emma watched as the townspeople followed each other around, holding onto each other through the harsh winds outside, as if they would blow away if they let go of one another. Heaven knows how it must feel to suddenly remember your past like it was some sort of morbid movie or television show.
"Emma, are you listening?" Her father – David – Prince freaking Charming, asked; the look in his eyes and the look on Mary Marg- Snow White – her mother and her son, Henry's, face told her she hadn't heard them talking to her for quite some time.
"Yeah, I'm listening…" She looked at Henry who cocked his head to the side and raised his eyebrow like he always did and sighed, "No," she admitted, "what were you saying?"
David sighed and stood upright instead of leaning over the table, palms down for support, before crossing his arms over his chest. "You do know what all of this means right? You can't just play this off like it's nothing. Regina is coming back with more power than ever before and we need to find a way to stop her."
"I know okay," Emma shouted defensively. "You think I don't know what she's capable of? I knew her before she had power and she was a bitch to take care of. Now I have to face her with her freaking black voodoo – "
"Magic," a familiar voice corrected and stepped through the door, just as Emma turned to face the voice the figure closed the door against the howling wind outside with slight difficulty, "that magic is making itself known today." He added as he faced the other four in the room.
"August, what are you doing here?" Mary Margret asked with a strange hint of something in her voice, Emma couldn't quite tell what it was.
He shrugged and started to pull his handkerchief from around his neck before he stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Dunno, came to help I guess." He looked to Emma with a raised eyebrow and she couldn't help but stare at his vibrant blue eyes which she had, regretfully, seen in wooden form not even two days ago. "That is, if Emma still wants my help."
There was a rather long silence as they all stared at Emma to respond and when she realized that was the case she took in a sharp intake of breath and shook her head, "Yeah," her voice cracked so she cleared her throat, "yeah of course." She added.
"Good," He smiled and walked up beside Henry and ruffled his hair. "Hey buddy, how you feelin'?"
"Great!" Henry flashed the older man his usual grin, "Thanks, how about you?"
"Feelin' much better, thank you." August smiled back down at the boy and patted his shoulder then looked to Henry's grandfather, "What do we got so far."
Again Emma heard the voices but as she looked out her window it turned into background noise - her mind and eyes on something completely different, a wolf standing across the street staring at her with bright yellow eyes. The creature stood unmoving like a statue even as the wind blew his fur in every direction. She felt a chill run through her and diverted her gaze to somewhere else in the small frame the window allowed but when she looked back the wolf was gone.
"When was the last time any of you saw a wolf?" She asked suddenly, not realizing she had just interrupted David's explanation of their elaborate plan to August.
August, not seeming to mind, stood and walked up behind her and looked over her shoulder his face dangerously close to Emma's as they both looked out, "I've never seen a wolf in Storybrooke." He admitted and at his sudden closeness Emma seemed to duck out of the way trying to resist the pull of both his cologne and his charm. Again, August didn't seem to notice and continued, "Why, did you see one?"
She looked at him with wide eyes before blinking a couple of times and shaking her head, "No, no I didn't see a wolf." She lied but she was good at it so who noticed? Everyone. Parents and children can always tell and August knew her well enough to know better. However nobody said anything, letting her believe she was convincing even though she knew herself that she wasn't convincing. "Keep working on the plan, I'll be right back."
With that Emma grabbed her red leather coat off the coat hanger and went for the door. The rest of the room was silent as they watched the door slam behind her before they all looked to August with questions on the lips. "I'm going with her…" he said suddenly and left hastily after her in hopes of escaping the many questions they all had for him.
Emma opened her police car door, she didn't want to be meddled with and if she needed to she could flash her lights to move past whatever may be in her way. As she twisted the key in the ignition her passenger door opened and August fell into the seat casually, "Uhm, Boothe?" She "greeted".
"Mm, yeah?" He asked with a smile on his face looking at her sideways.
"What are you doing?"
He looked up as though thinking about it and then snapped his fingers as he pointed at her, "Oh yeah, I'm helping you." He said with a cocky grin. "'cus you wanted me too." He added with a small wink and she frowned but the corners of her mouth turned upward shortly after.
August smiled before grabbing at the seatbelt behind him and pulling it across his chest with practiced ease and as it clicked into the receiver Emma turned in her seat to see over her shoulder before pulling out into the street - doing a U-turn and going the opposite direction her car had been pointing.
"So where are we going, wolf hunting?" He asked as he looked over to her, Emma's eyes set on the road no twinkle not even a smile at that. "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to hunt wolves." He added with a small laugh but again not even a smile. "Emma… what's wrong?" He asked, his smile dropping into a concerned frown.
"I think the curse might have brought some people back… people I've lost." She said a small sheen in her eyes but they weren't soft as though her guard was down instead they were hard, determined – he knew that look.
"Or person." He said softly and she looked over to him, her eyes flashing in an unknown emotion.
Turning her turn signal she turned left down a dirt road, "What was that?" She asked finally, referring to his last comment.
"Nothing." He said shortly and looked out his window, watching as grown trees sped by. Curious he looked over to her dashboard, 70 miles an hour on a 30 mph road. She's in a hurry… He figured with another pang of curiosity. August wanted to question her but knew if he did he would probably be walking home.
When they finally stopped August was shocked by their destination, "The cemetery?" He looked between Emma and the scene before him as he stood in front of the entrance, crossing his arms over his chest.
Emma nodded and swallowed nervously, "Stay here." She ordered before stalking into the grass faster than could even be defined as a brisk walk.
"Emma!" He called.
"I'll be right back!" She shouted over her shoulder before disappearing behind a thick line of trees.
August stood watch by the car, leaning against it with his eyebrow raised trying not to blink too rapidly against the high winds. "Stay by the car, she says" he laughed, "I'll be right back, she says" he said before grumbling some other incoherent words as he turned around and opened the driver side door and slid into the seat of the cruiser, trying to escape the wind. "What's she after…" He wondered aloud as though talking to the black and white car.
Emma huffed as she tried to push her long hair out of her face only for the winds to blow it back to whip against her pale skin. Where's that wolf? She growled from within, frustrated. The only other time she'd seen a wolf was the last few nights she had been with Graham.
At the memory she paused in her hastened trek for his tomb as she closed her eyes. ~ She looked up at him, all walls down, studying his face for a similar emotion and when she found it she smiled at him like she never did to anyone else.
Why is he so special…? She remembered wondering, what was so perfect? Her heart was beating fast but not out of fear or excitement it was something else… something she didn't recognize.
Emma looked at his lips and watched as they drew nearer to her, parted slightly but nothing more than that. With butterflies in her stomach she leaned forward to meet him halfway her lips touching his deepening the contact only slightly, carefully. When they pulled apart he gasped and fell back onto her desk behind him, "What, what is it?" She asked confused and he stepped closer with tears in his eyes…~
"Thank you…" Emma's eyes snapped open and she looked around her, snapping her neck back and forth while turning in a 360 looking for a sign of somebody else in the heavily wooded cemetery. She could have sworn on her sanity she had heard someone say the words, not in her memory but beside her.
When there was no sight of anyone or anything she began to walk again pushing the rest of the memory aside, not wanting to remember the next few seconds following his tearful "thank you".
After walking around, taking the long way to the tomb she began to lose hope – no wolf. In a desperate attempt at finding what she came for she decided to resort to cooing, "here wolfy wolfy…" She called making kissy sounds with her lips after she did. "Heeerrrre" She called again, putting her hands on her knees and leaning forward. When there was nothing more than the sound of rustling leaves in the wind she put her hands on her hips and huffed. "Stupid animal. What good are you if you don't even show up when I need you to?" She asked nothing but the leaves on the trees and the howling wind.
She did another 360, slower this time and her hands still on her hips. About to give up she turned towards the exit before deciding to go to Graham's tomb, just in case and as she did a 180 to do so she froze. There, standing like a statue as always, was the wolf his wide, bright, yellow eyes staring at her eloquently. "There you are." she whispered but did not move in any direction afraid of scaring him off, "Do you know where Graham is?" She asked softly pushing her hair behind her ears before leaning forward a little her hands braced on her upper thighs.
Suddenly and taking Emma by surprise the attractive creature barked at her callously, causing her to step back and take a sharp intake of breath. Once she found her footing again the canine bounded away, leaping over bushes and dodging trees as he ran. Emma kept up the best she could but found herself in a clearing far from the cemetery and now standing in the middle of the woods.
Again she did a 360 as she looked around, completely lost. "Great," She breathed and spread her arms out for a moment before allowing them to fall to her sides. "C'mon man… I don't have time for this." Emma called, exasperated.
Then, just as she was about to just go back to August empty handed, the creature stepped from the tree line and she froze once more. "What do you have in your mouth?" She asked the wolf as it came up in front of her. "Is that a bow?" She asked and crouched down in front of the grey and black canine hand outstretched to take the bow from its mouth. With little resistance the wolf dropped the bow into her hand and back stepped a few times before barking at her for a second time and turning back around and running into the woods.
"Seriously!" She cried and ran after the swift four legged creature.
August drummed his fingers on the steering wheel bored. "Who is this person she lost…" He wondered aloud again before turning in his seat to get a 360 view of his surroundings, making sure nobody was coming up behind him, starting to feel a little paranoid he huffed and fell back into the seat properly. His eyes darted back and forth while he drummed his fingers, letting out a deep sigh he stopped everything and grabbed at the door handle while he pushed open the light 'appendage'. He squinted his eyes against the sun and the harsh winds before slamming the door closed and walking around the other side of the car to the cemetery entrance.
As he stepped under the metal gate he stuffed his hands in his pockets and sighed deeply, "I hate cemeteries."
The next time she stopped it was by a river where several different arrows sat on a large flat rock by the rushing water. Tired of her hair she pulled it back, glad that the thick forest was now protecting her from the strong winds, all she could hear were the trees rocking slightly with each gust and their leaves rustling together to make a natural music, adding to the already surreal environment.
Curious she went to touch the golden arrow that laid in the middle of the other three but was stopped when the wolf came from behind another rock and barked at her for a third time. "Geez-us, what do you want me to do with them then?" She asked angrily.
In front of her, on the rough flat surface, were four arrows; one regular wood and rock arrow, one silver, one gold, and the last one - ebony. She looked them over once more before looking to the wolf, "Well?" Instead of barking or speaking to her like a human which at this point she wished he would, he turned and gazed across the river to a stone pillar with a hole through the strangely formed rock.
"You want me to shoot an arrow through that thing?" She asked and laughed, her eyebrows raised in surprise. "Good luck with that." She put right left hand on her hip while the other held the bow at her side. "I haven't even used a bow and arrow before." The wolf barked and she jumped. "Stop doing that!" She scolded but the wolf didn't even flinch.
"I'll scare you one of these times." She mumbled and looked back at the arrows. Emma scrunched up her face and pursed her lips her eyes darting between all the different arrows then the wolf – different arrows and then the wolf – repeat. Finally she just stared at the wolf, "Well? Which one do I use?" She asked. I can't believe I'm talking to a wolf like it's a person.
The wolf made a small whining noise but more out of assumed frustration than sadness and she scoffed. "Hey, I'm new to all this hocus pocus! Just learned about it all-" She thought for a moment before correcting herself, "I just started to believe all this stuff less than 3 days ago. You can't expect me know all the rules and traditions." She pointed out, letting her other arm fall to her side as well before indicating to the arrows, again, with her left hand. "So, help me out here." She pleaded.
The wolf did the canine equivalent for a sigh before sitting down and lifting his right paw and swatted at the air in the direction of the arrows, not very specific I see.
Emma did her best to determine where he was pointing before pointing at specific arrows, "This one?" no reaction. "This one?" she pointed at the silver, still no reaction. Squinting her eyes she decided to skip over the gold one, "This one?" She asked a final time, pointing at the ebony arrow – a bark. She smiled and grabbed at it hastily and pulled the arrow back in the bow. "So aim for the circle huh?" She asked with laughter in her voice, she had to shoot from where she stood by a rock, over a raging river, and into a small ass circle in the middle of a rock…? She laughed, "Yeah right"
The wolf barked at her and she frowned and lowered her aim at the soft ground below her feet. "You can't keep barking if you want me to do this right!" She scolded again, a deep frown on her face. "What does this have to do with Graham?" Emma couldn't draw any lines of comparisons between a stupid stone pillar and Graham's past – even as a huntsman with no heart she couldn't see the parallels.
Of course the animal did not reply and all she could do was roll her eyes and aim up the shot, why the ebony… she wondered as she took a deep breath.
She took up her stance; left foot out in front of her while her right was planted behind her, bow held out with her left hand as she pulled the arrow back to the corner of her mouth so she could feel the feathers tickling her lips. Emma took a deep breath and squinted her eyes while slowly letting the breath out, just like a gun… she tried to convince herself and as she met the halfway mark on her exhale she released her hold on the arrow and followed the arrow to its mark.
Holding the rest of her breath as she watched so felt her heart skip when she realized it wasn't going in – too far to the right. The wolf also seemed to realize this and let out a mournful howl but as he did a large gust of wind which Emma thought she was protected from in the trees, blew through and interfered with the direction and blew the ebony arrow through the hole but it did not go through the other side. Instead a large bang and another gust of wind blew towards her and blew her back a couple of steps a splash of purple erupted from the hole in the stone like smoke and flowed onto the bank below before dissipating into the now still water of the river.
She stood staring at the bank and slowly walked up to the river line and looked into the now glassy looking water – it was unreal how still the water was. Emma turned to her left a little and watched as the wolf stepped up next to her close enough for her to touch. "What just happened?" She asked while looking down at the creature, he looked up at her and she could have sworn if the wolf was a human he would have shrugged.
August paused, feeling the very strong gust of wind blow through him followed by the ground shaking for a moment. He spread his legs and arms apart in an attempt to keep his balance and when the shaking ended he stood up and looked around in confusion, "Emma…?"
Henry looked to his grandparents, "What was that?" He asked his eyes wide and lips drawn into a thin line.
Mary Margret walked over to Henry and pulled him into her side protectively while David wrapped his arms around her from behind. "The Evil Queen…" He whispered.
The woman of the group shook her head, "No this… that was different."
"How so?" Henry asked and looked up to the raven haired beauty.
"I can just feel it." She breathed with a small smile on her face. "I think someone is about to get their happy ending."
David smiled and squeezed her gently before kissing her from behind.
The Evil Queen stood in her house looking at her mirror and smirked at her mirror as she looked into the face of her reluctant follower. "Welcome back," she whispered and he frowned ever so slightly.
"How may I be of service, my Queen." He started but when her flower vases began to shake off of her tables and counters all conversation was dropped.
"What was that?" She demanded to know, her voice booming with the authoritive tone it used to hold before she was Mayor.
"It seems like something, other than just magic, was awoken." He said mysteriously, purposely avoiding a straight answer – a trait he had picked up from her between both in old times and the present.
"Well find it!" She ordered before sweeping out of the room.
"Yes… Your Majesty." He replied sullenly after she had left.
Emma stared at the water and then to the stone pillar, then to the wolf, the back at the water. "What am I supposed to be waiting for, a sign? A person… another clue to a que-"
"Emma…" A voice called behind her and her next words froze in her throat as she turned to face the figure behind her gasping when she did.
"Graham…" She breathed at the sight of the tall, brown eyed, curly haired man in front of her.
He nodded and stepped forward slowly never breaking eye contact with her, "What happened?"
August is a little out of character in this one, I admit it… but I think everyone else was okay… right?
Let me know if the story needs something added or taken out I appreciate the feedback! :D
Here's my challenge. Who do YOU want to be the victor in Emma's heart? Should it be the man without one and stole her heart? Or the mysterious stranger than began to steal hers… mysteriously.
(Personally I'm more for Graham but I DO like August… so I'm leaving it to you fella's.)
~ Leave a comment with your opinion. ~
Again, dedicated to the lovely anitarose – I hope this is what you were looking for… Now I know this has nothing to do with a 'competition for Emma's affection' but I needed to start by bringing Graham back and that wasn't just something I could snap my fingers at and be done… so this is just the beginning.