SO… I SHOULD UPDATE MY OTHER STORIES (I WILL EVENTUALLY JUST KIDDING, SOON). I CAN'T GET THE IDEA OF EMMA GETTING HURT AND GRAHAM GOING ALL CONCERNED LOVER (HE'S SO ADORABLE WHEN HE'S… WELL, ALL THE TIME). SO YEAH. THIS DOESN'T REALLY TAKE PLACE AT ANY CERTAIN TIME. IT'S BEFORE 'THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER'. IF I CHOOSE TO CONTINUE, LET'S ALL PRETEND REGINA DIDN'T SQUISH HIS HEART.
DON'T OWN IT. IF I DID, GRAHAM WOULD BE ALIVE AND WITH EMMA.
Graham rang the doorbell while he and his deputy waited for Mr. Gold to open the door. They had gotten a call from him ten minutes earlier stating that his extravagant house had been broken into. It was barely 7:30 in the morning, and the sheriff had had to call Emma in a little early. Needless to say, he had promised her more donuts.
"Sheriff Graham, Miss Swan." Gold nods a greeting, opening the door wide for them. "Thank you for coming so quickly."
"I think you should just get used to people breaking into your house." Emma says, stomping past the shrewd man. Graham now knew that she was definitely not a morning person. He offered Gold an apologetic smile. "I can't imagine why someone would want to break in." She says sarcastically, eyeing the place.
"So what was taken?" Graham asks, figuring the best course of action was to get in and out, get the woman her donuts, and let her pretend to work while she played solitaire.
"Something very valuable." He says cryptically.
"Really?" She raises an eyebrow. "We're gonna do this again? Last time something very valuable was taken, it was a chipped teacup. Just tell us what it is. I'm betting a bowl."
"That holds sentimental value, Miss Swan. Surely you can understand that?" Gold knows perfectly well what he's saying, and fights the urge to grin at the blonde's obvious discomfort and ignores the glare.
"So it's a bowl?" She says with venom. The tension is so high you could cut it, so Graham jumps in.
"What was stolen?"
"A box, Sheriff. It contains some jewelry." He answers.
"How much is some?" Emma moves closer, deciding it was time to put differences aside and do her job. For this, Graham is grateful. He's already in hot water with Regina from having hired her nemesis, and he really doesn't want to be on the bad side of the two most powerful people in the town (and probably for miles).
"How much is all of it worth?" Graham asks.
"Around twenty grand." At this, both of them are astounded. They can't even imagine having twenty thousand dollars in jewelry.
"Where was it located?"
"Upstairs. It was locked." Gold says.
"Emma, dust for prints." Graham says, then gestures to Gold. "Let's talk about who has access to your house." From the doorway, they hear Emma grumble,
After looking for evidence and coming up with a set of prints they needed to run back at the station, Graham pulled the cruiser into the parking lot.
"Why don't you see if we can get a hint on the prints while I get you your donut." He says.
"Okay." She says after a moment of thought.
"What kind do you like?" Graham asks.
"Chocolate with chocolate frosting." He nods, and hops out of the car to cross the street. As she opens the door to the station, he calls,
"Sprinkles or no sprinkles?"
She makes a face. "I hate sprinkles." He can only smile. Five minutes later he walks back in carrying two bags. He hands her one. "I didn't want your frosting to get wrecked, Princess."
"Thanks." She takes the bag and takes a bite, closing her eyes to savor the taste.
"What, they don't have the same donuts in Boston?" Graham smirks.
"No. Dunkin Donuts is never this good." She takes another bite. "Oh!" She almost chokes. "We got a hit. Mathew Cursory is the lucky winner. He has a long RAP sheet, too. Four priors, but no sentencing. There were never convictions. God, they were for assault and battery, striking a police officer…" She glances at Graham. "Robbery and resisting arrest. This kid's talented."
"Spoken like a true professional; and Regina tried telling me that you weren't qualified." He shakes his head.
"I take it you're familiar with him?"
"Yeah. He really likes to run."
"I bet Regina really likes him." Emma forces herself to calmly place the folder down so she doesn't scatter paper everywhere.
"Just because someone doesn't get convicted doesn't mean they are friends with the mayor." Graham says.
"You filed these reports yourselves." She insists, though not even sure why she cares so much that the kid hurt him. "You know what happened. There were probably other witnesses, too."
"I really don't know why he didn't face the consequences, Emma. I'm sorry. Matt probably has a horrible home life, and I think that's something nobody should have to deal with, no matter how many bad things they've done." He doesn't need to continue.
"Yeah." She agrees solemnly, understanding clearly conveyed through her eyes. She's silent for a moment, as if remembering something, before continuing. "We should probably pick him up."
"Yeah." Graham sighs and pushes himself out of the chair. "Yeah, I guess we should." They hop in the car and drive down slowly in silence. Graham's knuckles are white on the steering wheel. Emma notices.
"Me? Yeah." He says, giving a nervous laugh. "I just… I don't know. It sucks to have to bring teens in, you know? They're too young to realize just what this does to their future. It never gets any easier. Matt's kind of a firecracker. He always runs. He punched me. I have no idea if he'll pull a gun. It wouldn't be good if my deputy got injured within a month or so of getting the job." Emma smiles, trying her best to ignore the flutter in her stomach.
"It'll be okay." She almost frowns when she realizes that that was in no way reassuring. "I mean, there's two of us and one of him. We know he runs. We're prepared, Graham. I promise you it'll go smoothly."
"Thanks, Emma." He reaches over and squeezes her hand. She squeezes back, surprising herself. After another minute he pulls over. "Well, here we are." Emma looks at the small house. It looks as if it's falling apart. There's a narrow walkway along the side of it that is now overgrown with weeds. With a little more care, it would have been a charming little place. Then Mathew Cursory comes out the side door into the walk, sees them and bolts.
"He's running!" Graham yells and starts a little late. Emma's in front as they clear a fence leading into the neighbor's yard.
"Why do they always have to run?" He hears Emma mutter as they continue the pursuit.
"I told you he does." Graham calls back, trying to figure out if the teen was going to go left or right as they came up to a road. Mathew looks to the left and holds his gaze there. Emma knows what he's doing and breaks right and Graham is about to tell her she's going the wrong way when Matt goes right. Intercepting him, Emma tackles him to the ground and Graham skids to a stop behind them. He extends his hand and pulls her up. She's about to ask him why he ran when his leg shoots up, clocking her ankle and sending her to the ground. Why this angers Graham is something he doesn't know, but he's seeing red as he lands on top of Matt, pinning his hands to the dirt and shoving his knee into his ribs.
"Ow! Cool, it Sheriff." Matt chokes out, his breathing ragged and his face pained. "I think you gave me a double concussion."
"Emma, you okay?" Graham ignores him for the moment. His only concern is her.
"Yeah." She answers, and he doesn't quite buy it. For now, though, he lets it slide. Whatever's wrong isn't life threatening. As much as he wants to check her over, he knows he can't; he has to do his job.
"Mathew Cursory, you are under arrest for breaking and entering, theft, resisting arrest, and assault of a police officer. I am obligated to read you your Miranda rights unless you know them already."
"I do." He mumbles.
"Wow. You managed to copy your RAP sheet all in one day. That takes skill." Emma says from her low vantage point, still on the ground. Graham gives her a puzzled look as he pushes Mathew toward the cruiser. "I'm going to process the house, see if we can find Gold's stuff." She says. Graham gives her a look but continues with the kid. Once he's sure Mathew can't get out of the car he goes back to find Emma still on the ground, smiling up at him.
"What happened?" He takes a moment to smirk in return, looking down at her. Then he sits down next to her.
"Um… I think I sprained my ankle?" It's more of a question than a statement, and he can't help but laugh. She's so cute when she knows she's in trouble. He's thrilled that she's allowing him to see her like this; she's relaxed and smiling at something that isn't Henry.
"I thought I told you not to get hurt." He says.
"Oops." They laugh again.
"Have you ever sprained your ankle before?"
"Have you ever broken it?"
"Nope. Again, why?"
"Cause if you know what a sprained ankle feels like, chances are you're right." He presses on it lightly. She hisses. "That hurts?"
"Yeah." It's already turning green and swelling and he doesn't like it one bit. He frowns and gets up.
"Can you walk?" It's a stupid question, but he's starting to think it's more than sprained. If it can hold some weight, chances are it's not broken. The adrenalin's starting to wear off and she's fully aware of the shooting pain that alternates with throbbing.
"Yeah." She sounds confident and Graham helps her up again, standing on one leg. He gives her a look of disbelief and she continues. "When I sprained my ankle before I was skateboarding with my foster brother and fell off. We weren't even supposed to be that far from the house and he freaked and ran. I had to walk back. Trust me I'm fine-" She is once again falling toward the pavement when Graham catches her and she groans in pain.
"Emma, this isn't normal." He insists. "Let me go get the car. I'll help you sit down."
"I can hop." She's too stubborn for her own good and most of the time he's amused, but now he isn't. Now he's agitated. She could really hurt herself.
"No. I'm going to plop you down in the grass so you don't get run over. Then I'm going to bring the car over. You're going to wait for me to get out and get you in. After that we're going to the hospital. We'll go from there." She opens her mouth to argue but he gives her a stern look. "No if's, and's, or but's." He picks her up, and she starts flailing the best she can in her state. He puts her down gently, and guides her to the ground where she looks up at him, pouting and just a little annoyed. "Stay here. I'll be back in a minute." He sprints to the car and jams the keys in the ignition. He swears when he sees Matt sitting in the back. Emma wasn't going to like this one bit. Sighing, he calls her cell phone. On the fourth ring she picks up.
"Don't tell me he ran again." She's sarcastic, and if there's a bit of a bite to her voice he chalks it up to the pain.
"Oh no, he's here." He gets out and slams the door, walking a few feet from the car. He knows his deputy pretty well. Either he would be unhappy or she would; there was no way there could be a happy medium. Realizing he'd rather have him deal with a little anxiety rather than making her grumpier, he makes his decision. "I have two plans. I could come pick you up now with him or I could lock him up at the station and come back. I have the siren."
"It'll take you less than five minutes if you go fast. Do that first." She says after a moment. "I don't want him to get the satisfaction of knowing that he broke my ankle." He can't help but smile a little at her antics as he says goodbye. He loves her determination and grit and strength. He loves the way her eyes light up when she smiles. He loves everything about her and that's why he's willing to drive Mathew Cursory to the station before putting her in the car just to keep her happy. He puts his lights on to get people out of his way as he speeds down the street going as fast as he would on a highway. He all but throws Matt into the cell and locks it. He does the same thing going back. He hops out and picks the blonde up.
"How fast did you go?" This time, she doesn't struggle. This makes him worry even more.
"70." He answers as he gets in the driver's side.
"Graham, you could've gotten into a car accident!"
"I was being careful." He insists.
"When I said 'go fast' I didn't mean that fast. I was fine." She realizes her hands are shaking as she gestures and puts them in her lap.
"I wasn't going to let you sit on the side of a road with a broken ankle for five minutes." He says, and forces himself to ease off of the gas pedal. She was in his sight now. He feels as though they're going agonizingly slow as they make their way to the hospital. "How do you feel?"
"It hurts like a bitch." She answers, resting her head on the seat. Her voice holds almost none of the usual sarcasm and fire.
"We're almost there." He says, grabbing one of her hands. It physically hurts to see her like this. He hates how powerless he feels. Graham has a difficult time keeping his eyes on the road. He glances at her every few seconds to make sure she doesn't pass out on him. He's not sure if she has a concussion, too. If she does, falling asleep could be deadly. He sees her turn her head and wipe under her eyes. When they stop at a red light he looks at the ankle which has swelled an impressive amount and is looking almost like the back of a mirror. Graham swallows. "That doesn't look good, Em." She follows his gaze and squeezes tighter in response as she fights more tears. The light turns and Graham floors it the rest of the way. "I'm gonna get a wheel chair, okay?" She nods. He really doesn't like this. In a few second he's back and puts her in, practically running as he walks into the ER. The receptionist instantly recognizes the two and brings them to a room.
"I'm Lily." She says. "I'm going to take your vitals while you tell me what happened." Lily wrapped a blood pressure cuff around Emma's arm, as well as an O2 stat reader.
"We were arresting somebody and I think she broke her ankle." Graham decides Emma's not going to be talking much.
"How?" She writes the numbers down.
"I got kicked." Emma says.
"Okay. I just paged Dr. Whale so he should be here in a few minutes." Right on cue he bustles in.
"Hey." He gives a wave. "What happened?"
"I broke my ankle." Emma grits out, clearly not in the mood for going in circles. Dr. Whale seems to understand this.
"I think we should get an x-ray so we can see what's going on." He hands her a johnny. "You'll need to put this on." He leaves to tell Radiology that she'll be down soon.
"Graham…" She sounds so defeated he really thinks his heart is about to split in two. Tears silently fall down her face.
"Let me help." He pulls her into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. She's able to get her shirt off, but after that it all goes downhill. He's glad that she chose to wear low sneakers today as he pulls the one on her left foot off. He pauses when he sees her right. His hands are shaking as he unties it, trying to make it as loose as possible to slip off. "Like a band-aid?" He looks up at her.
"No." Emma shakes her head.
"Okay, we'll take it slow." He wishes he could hold her hand, but he needs both of his to do this. He begins to pull, and she sucks in a breath and bites her lip, trying to hold back yelps. "Maybe we should get some morphine." Graham can't do this. He can't hurt her.
"They're not gonna until they know what's wrong." She says.
"I think it's pretty clear, Emma. Let me get Lily." He starts to get up and her hand shoots out, pulling him back down.
"Don't go." It's a plea and it's followed by strangled sobs. In a last desperate attempt to do something, he frantically looks around. His eyes fall on a scalpel.
"How much do you like those shoes?" He asks.
"Not as much as-" She doesn't have time to finish. He jumps up and grabs it before she can change her mind. He expertly buts the shoe, taking it off in a few chunks. He looks at her jeans. She seems to know what he's thinking. "I like these."
"I don't know if we can get them off, Emma. Your ankle's too swollen." She follows his gaze to the black and blue appendage. If she wasn't groaning in pain he would've taken the time to formulate another plan, but he can't. "I'm really sorry." He starts cutting, making a slit the entire length of the denim. He does the same to the other side. Then he carefully cuts the waist, and pulls them off. They're in half and she looks at them.
"I can find another pair." She's sitting there only in her bra and panties, but he doesn't notice. Honestly, he doesn't really care. Sure she's beautiful, but he isn't a shallow man. Since she arrived in Storybrooke, he's felt guilty every time he left Regina's. He does his best to make excuses not to go, but it doesn't always work.
"Let's get you in this." He says. "If you lean on me, do you think you can stand on one leg while I tie it?"
"We can try." She reaches out and they eventually get her up. She's wobbly and weak, and he's scared she's going to pass out. He puts it on and ties it, and helps her lay back down.
"Let me tell Lily we're ready." A few minutes later Lily comes in and brings the railings up on the bed.
"Let's take you down." She says.
"Can we get her something for the pain first?" Graham asks.
"We have a policy that we can't until they're diagnosed. Obviously, if her hand got chopped off then we know what's wrong and it would be a different story. But we don't know how bad the break is." Lily explains.
"Then let's do this fast." Emma's stopped crying but still shoots Graham worried looks every once in a while. They get down to Radiology. Graham tries to step in but the technician stops him.
"Sorry. You can't go in."
"I'll be right here when you get out, Emma." He smiles at her, and she returns it, letting go of his hand.
"I know you will." It seems like it takes forever. He sits outside the room and really thinks. He realizes that he loves Emma Swan. He thinks that she has some feelings for him, too. She trusts him. She smiles at him. He remembers when she thought he had ordered her hot chocolate. At the time it seemed like a simple mistake, but now he starts to believe that she had wanted it to be from him. The door opens and Lily rolls Emma out, who looks worse for wear.
"What happened?" She definitely didn't look that bad when she went in.
"We had to get her on the table and press on it a little bit." Lily answers. Anger surges through Graham, and he has to take a few calming breaths before saying anything.
"What did the x-ray show?"
"Ken's going to read it and give the results to Dr. Whale. Sorry." She gives him an apologetic look. He wants answers now. Logically, though, he knows it's not Lily's fault and she's just doing her job. So he holds Emma's hand to keep from clenching his fists. They stay silent until they're back in their room.
"I'm sorry, Emma." He blinks back tears.
"It's okay. I could've done this when I fell off a curb. It's not your fault." She attempts to smile but falls short.
"I knew this was going to happen." He insists. Normally Emma can't stand macho-overprotective guys, but she doesn't mind this. For once someone's looking out for her, and not for their own personal gain. Graham truly cares about her.
"There's nothing you could have done. In a few weeks we'll be joking about this. All that matters is you're here now."
"I'm never going to leave." He declares. He leans in and places a kiss on her forehead. She smiles. Of course Dr. Whale chooses now to come in.
"I have the results." Even for him, he looks grim. Graham never liked the guy; he didn't seem to care for his patients. Both stay silent, and he continues. "There's a general break, although nothing too serious was damaged. If it was just that, it wouldn't be as big of a deal. A piece of your Tibia broke off on the bottom and pierced the surrounding muscle. Luckily your Achilles Tendon was missed, but not by much. There's internal bleeding. It's going to require surgery." Graham whips out his cell phone and texts Mary Margaret and Henry, already knowing what Emma wants. Sensing neither of them had questions, Dr. Whale left. Graham sits on the edge of the bed.
"Mary Margaret and Henry are on their way. Henry's sneaking out, but…" He shrugs. "If Regina asks, I needed to interview him as a witness. He might've seen Mathew walking around with Mr. Gold's jewelry."
"You should go look for it." Emma says.
"Absolutely not. When I said I'll never leave you, I meant it." He says firmly. "Besides, Matt's not getting out. Maybe thinking we left him there will straighten him out." Lily came back in, holding a small syringe.
"I brought some morphine." She says.
"A little bit." Emma says. "I don't want to be acting drunk when Henry gets here."
"Dr. Whale paged the on-call surgeon. He should be here in 20 minutes." Lily says as she injects half of it into Emma's IV. Mary Margaret comes running in, breathless.
"Oh my God what happened!"
"I broke my ankle. It's not a big deal." Emma shrugs.
"You need surgery!" She doesn't know why she's so frantic, or why these maternal feelings keep coming to the surface.
"It's not open heart surgery. Just my ankle."
"You feel better yet?" Graham asks.
"Yeah." Emma answers, nodding her head.
"What if Henry crashes his bike?" That was the morphine talking. At least it wasn't about colors yet.
"He knows how to ride his bike really well. He'll be fine." Mary Margaret assures her.
"Who taught him?"
"Her?" Emma giggles. "She doesn't even have time to give him a hug."
"Is she like this when she's drunk?" Graham asks, not able to hide his smile of amusement. If that was the case, he'd get her drunk every night.
"No." The brunette frowns, playing with her ring. "She laughs more when she's sober." Scratch that idea. Silence settles for a few minutes before she speaks again. "So what exactly happened?"
"We were chasing a kid," Emma starts.
"Matt Cursory." Graham interjects.
"I had him. He was nice… a little troubled but nice."
"Well, Emma had a little accident. Long story short, here we are."
"Emma!" Henry screeches, running into the room, skidding to a stop barely a foot before the bed. He wants to wrap his arms around her and never let go, but he sees the IV and doesn't want to rip anything out.
"Hey, Kid." She smiles and ruffles his hair.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Henry. It's nothing major." It's only then that the two look at her ankle and gasp.
"That looks…" Mary Margaret can't find the right words. Lily comes back in.
"Dr. Mallory is just scrubbing in, so I'm going to go over a few things with you." She says, glancing down at a paper. "This should be a fairly simple procedure. However, there's always risk when going under anesthesia. We're going to put a ventilator in just to be safe. Recovery time is usually four to six weeks, but we'll know more once they get in. I think Dr. Whale told you that your Tibia chipped and punctured your muscle, which caused the internal bleeding. It's such a small chip that I don't think they're going to do anything with it. There might need to be a few surgical pins, but we honestly don't see anything too major. Can you just read this over?" She hands Emma the paper. Graham helps her into a sitting position. After a minute she nods.
"Great. Any questions?"
"No." Lily produces a pen.
"Can you just sign the bottom line?" After Emma does so, she leaves. Henry sits next to her and wraps his arms around her, burying his face in her neck. She feels him start to shake.
"It's okay, Henry." Emma strokes his hair.
"What if Regina throws you out cause you have to take time off or… or." He hiccups, trying to suck in a breath.
"That's not gonna happen." She forces him to look at her. "Think about it. I've ran over her sign, cut down half her tree… among other things." She smiles. "I'm not going anywhere. She can't run me out of town because I broke my ankle. Besides, I can't run." He laughs.
"Okay." He hugs her again. Lily comes back in.
"Sorry, but you don't have a next of kin or medical proxy listed."
"Oh, um…" Emma fumbles.
"We can." Graham gestures to him and Mary Margaret. "If that's okay to you."
"Yeah." She's dumbfounded as to why they're being so nice. Sure her and Mary Margaret are friends, but… Graham's her boss.
"Absolutely." Mary Margaret takes the paper and signs it, handing it to Graham. He follows suit.
"Thank you. We'll bring you down in a couple minutes." She leaves. Mary Margaret knows something is up.
"Henry, let's wait in the waiting room, okay? It's gonna get a little crowded." She says, trying to pry the boy off of his mother. He looks between the two.
"I'll see you in a few hours, Kid." She squeezes his hand like Graham had done to her. He gives her one last hug before going into the hall.
"We'll be right here when you wake up." Mary Margaret says. She can't decide whether or not to give the blonde a hug, knowing she doesn't really do the touchy-feely thing. She decides against it and settles for giving a small wave before following Henry.
"I don't want to waste time talking about silly things." Graham says, but gets cut off.
"I'm not dying, Graham." She snaps. Her hands are shaking again. If he's completely honest with himself, he's terrified; he can't imagine what it must be like for her right now.
"I know you're not. I tend to talk a lot when I get nervous."
"Sorry." She says, looking down at her hands. "I shouldn't have snapped." She meets his gaze. "I tend to get angry when I'm nervous." They laugh.
"Very true." He says. A couple people they don't know walk in.
"We're ready to take you down." They turn the breaks off and begin wheeling her through the hall. Graham's holding her hand the whole way. When they get to the pre-op room, one of the wheeler people, a big, burly man, gives him a pointed look.
"Non hospital personnel, or people who are not patients, are not allowed past here." He says.
"I'm the sheriff." Graham flashes his badge. It doesn't have any effect.
"Then you don't work here, and you're not a patient. I'm going to have to ask you to leave unless you want to be escorted out by security." Graham glares at the man, but complies.
"I'll be right next to you when you wake up, Emma." He says, giving her shoulder a pat as he walks by.
"See you later." She smiles at him.
They've been sitting in the waiting room for what feels like an eternity. She's been in surgery since 8:00 at night, and it's now almost 11:00. Henry is sprawled out on him and Mary Margaret, sleeping. Graham glances at the clock every five minutes, praying they'll get some news. Mary Margaret strokes the boy's head.
"You love her." She says out of the blue.
"What?" Graham's a little surprised by the statement.
"You love Emma."
"It's complicated." He says.
"She cares about you, Graham. It may not be obvious but… she definitely cares. She has walls up to protect herself, but she feels safe with you."
"I noticed." He says with a little sarcasm. He doesn't mean it to be fresh, just funny. "She made me drive Mathew to the station and lock him up before she'd let me get her in the car. Although, we'd have to dump him off before we came here. God, I couldn't think straight, Mary Margaret. All I could think about was the fact that my… I don't even know what she is, but I love her, and she's in pain. She's infectious."
"Maybe it's true love." They chuckle quietly. Henry stirs but falls back into a slumber. They sit in comfortable silence until Dr. Mallory comes in. They make an attempt to move Henry so they can stand up, but he holds his hand up.
"Don't worry about it. The poor kid… Anyway, the surgery went fine. Ms. Swan should be awake within the hour. I think her recovery will be relatively short if she follows the instructions. She can't walk on her leg for two weeks, and then she'll start physical therapy. From there, it's really up to her therapist. It goes into more detail here," Dr. Mallory gestures to the paper he's holding, "but that's the gist of it. She's going to need someone to help her."
"She lives with me." Mary Margaret says.
"Are you there all day?"
"No." She sighs.
"I can pick her up when you leave for school. She can go to the station with me and I'll keep an eye on her." Graham says.
"That should be fine." Dr. Mallory nods. "Any questions?"
"No." They say in unison.
"Hey, Henry." Mary Margaret shakes him gently.
"Hmm?" His eyes are half open.
"Emma's out of surgery. She'll be up in an hour, but it's pretty late and your mom might check on you only to find you're not home."
"But I wanna see Emma." He all but whines, knowing where this is going.
"You won't be able to see her when you're grounded." She says.
"We'll tell her you waited. She'll understand." Graham offers.
"Okay." Henry pouts, but agrees nonetheless.
"You should take the cruiser so it's not suspicious." He tosses her the keys. "His bike should fit in the back seat."
"Good idea. I'll be back." She drapes an arm around Henry's shoulder and guides him out. Graham finds a random person and asks for directions to the recovery room. There's a dozen beds in there, but only one is occupied. Emma's sleeping, and Graham takes her in. She looks like a princess while sleeping, he realizes. Her hair is spread out on the pillow, and she's stunning. The hospital gown she's wearing is the closest thing he thinks she'll ever go to wearing a dress unless tricking one of her bail skippers into going on a date. He feels like he's seen her somewhere before, but it's a distant memory. Her eyes are green like someone's he definitely knows, but can't put his finger on. He ignores the thought and takes a seat beside her, once again intertwining their hands. Half an hour later he feels her fingers tighten around his, and her eyes flutter open.
"Emma!" He smiles.
"How long was I out?" She mumbles.
"About 3 hours." He answers, gently moving a blonde lock from her face.
"How long am I going to be stuck in here?"
"Dr. Mallory didn't say. I don't think for too long, though."
"And my ankle?"
"You can't walk on it for two weeks then you'll start physical therapy. You're going to be sick me and Mary Margaret."
"You can't be alone, so when she goes to work I have to pick you up and bring you down to the station so I can babysit you." She makes a face. Mary Margaret comes running in.
"You're up!" She smiles.
"Yeah." Emma removes her hand from Graham's.
"I just realized that your room is upstairs back at the apartment so you might have to sleep on the couch."
"I'll hop up." Now they're back to hopping. Great. He laughs, and Mary Margaret looks at him questioningly.
"Am I missing something?"
"You had to have been there." He decides not to argue with her, figuring she's decided to hop because of the drugs. "What are you on?" Graham asks.
"I'm the one who's been sleeping for four hours, you tell me." She says.
"I'll go find somebody." Graham goes off to find Dr. Whale.
"How do you feel?" Mary Margaret asks.
"My ankle doesn't hurt anymore. Just really tired, I guess."
"That would be from the morphine." Dr. Whale comes in, Graham trailing behind. "I'm glad to see you're up. If this was abdominal surgery we'd have used an epidural, but they don't work so well on ankles. Tomorrow we'll probably try weaning you off, and then if all goes well hopefully discharge you."
"I assume they've already told you the rules?"
"We did. I'm just wondering if she's allowed to do stairs?" Graham asks.
"If somebody's home and she doesn't put weight on her ankle then I don't see why not. Let's get you up to your room."
"You have school tomorrow." She says to Mary Margaret. "Wait, where's Henry?"
"He wanted to stay but we made him leave before Regina noticed." She answers.
"Good. But really, you should go. You, too, Graham. I'm fine."
"You sure?" the brunette asks.
"Okay." She sighs. "See you tomorrow, Emma. Feel better!"
"I told you I'm not leaving." Graham says.
"You have work."
"I'll bring my cell phone. It's just paperwork."
"And interviewing Mathew Cursory. Graham, go. Bring the kid some food, ask him the questions, book him and tell the prosecutor. Tomorrow you can look for Mr. Gold's jewelry, then the case is closed. After that it's paperwork."
"Fine. Tomorrow I'll come as soon as I can and bring the incident reports for you to fill out if you're up to it." They arrive at her room. Dr. Whale leaves. "Bye, Em." He places a gentle kiss on her forehead before walking out.
Graham doesn't sleep. All he can think about is how fragile she looked, and the guilt envelops him. When he gets up at 4:00, the coffee he drinks is tasteless. Mathew Cursory is out on bail and staying with his defense attorney. He figures he'll get an early start finding Mr. Gold's things so he can get to the hospital before breakfast. He drives over and easily locates the jewelry, and gives it to the pawnbroker.
"You're up early." The man notes.
"I hope I didn't wake you." Graham apologizes.
"No, no. I was taking care of a few affairs. I suppose I'm lucky Ms. Swan didn't come with you." He says, and Graham's blood boils. If only he knew.
"Again, I'm sorry about that. She was fine after she got her donut." He decides to play nice so he can get out of here fast.
"You're a good man, Sheriff. I know about Ms. Swan's little accident."
"Mayor Mills isn't the only one with eyes in this town. I do hope she's alright."
"She should be going home tonight."
"Please give her my sympathies. And thank you for returning this." Gold holds up the box.
"Have a good day." Graham smiles and gets back in the cruiser. He forces himself to not speed on his way to the hospital. It's a little after 7:00 when he gets back and is stopped by one of the nurses.
"Visiting hours don't start for two hours." She says.
"We have some police stuff to do." Graham says.
"Fine." He's buzzed in. He walks down to her room and carefully opens the door, being as quiet as possible. He puts the red roses he got her on the counter and sits next to her bed. He knew she wouldn't be awake yet, but wanted to be here when she did. It's two hours later when she finally moves.
"Hey." He smiles.
"What the…" She jumps. "God, are you stalking me?"
"No." He says quickly. "I just… I thought you might get bored or…"
"It's fine." Emma notices the roses. "Those are pretty. Thank you."
"You're welcome. What do you want for breakfast?"
"I'm not completely helpless, Graham." She throws the covers off and sits up.
"Hey, Emma, can we wait until I get your nurse?" He jumps up, running over to her side of the bed.
"I'll be right back." He comes in with the nurse.
"Good morning, Emma. I'm Heather. Sheriff Graham tells me you want to try walking. You have to use these." She hands the crutches to her. They help her up, and while she wobbles a little bit, it's clear she knows perfectly well how to use them. When she sits back down, Heather hands her a disposable menu. "Just circle what you want. I'll be back in ten minutes." Emma studies it before marking it up.
"I brought you something." Graham holds up a white bag and she smiles.
"I swear I'm addicted to those." She takes a bite.
"I also brought the incident report. I figured we can fill them out in a little bit and get it over with."
"Graham, I'm gonna have two weeks of desk duty, I'll have time." Emma all but whines.
"At least two weeks, then it's up to your physical therapist." He smirks and she tries to glare, but that's hard to do while smiling. They hear footsteps coming down the hall and only one person makes that much of a racket. Emma groans.
"Miss Swan, how did you manage to do that?" Clearly Regina isn't a morning person, either.
"Catching the kid that broke into Mr. Gold's house." She replies, trying to think clearly through the fog of the morphine.
"Well what did you do?"
"He kicked me." Emma grits out. Is she really blaming her?
"I suppose the incident report will tell me more than you will; and Graham, I'm glad to see my citizens' tax dollars being spent by sitting in a hospital entertaining her."
"You're so lucky they won't let me walk right now."
"Is that a threat?" Regina arches a perfect eyebrow, keeping her cool.
"More of a promise. Get. Out. Now."
"Let's go, Graham." She lets the blonde have this one. She got what she wanted; a rise.
"No, Regina. I'm working on paperwork. I left my cell number on the answering machine at the station. If someone needs me, they can get a hold of me. Now, I believe she told you to leave." Graham says firmly. Regina looks stunned for a moment before turning on a heel and stalking off.
"That was… Wow. You didn't need to do that." She says.
"You don't deserve to be treated like that. You're such an amazing person and you've brought so much good to this town. We're lucky to have you." It's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to her and she blushes.
"Maybe we should work on those incident reports." She suggests. They work on them for a few minutes before she speaks again. "Did you interview Mathew yet?"
"Yeah." He laughs. "He thought we forgot about him. So when I came back, as soon as I walked in, he was like, 'I did it! I took Mr. Gold's jewelry!' It was priceless. I found his stuff."
"That's good. Wait, who's staying with him if he's locked up?"
"He's out on bail."
"I miss those days." Emma says, writing something down.
"Finding people who skip bail? That seems a little repetitive." He laughs at a question. "Have you gotten here yet? What happened after the injury was sustained? This is my answer: left Emma on the side of the road to lock Mathew Cursory up and forgot about him. What do you think Regina will say to that?"
"She'll probably read between the lines too much and not get it." She answers, flipping the page.
"So what did you like so much about bail bonding?" Graham asks.
"It was entertaining. Once they realized who I was, the look on their face was priceless. Since we're playing twenty questions, why did you become a cop?" He thinks for a moment before answering.
"I don't really know. I guess I just like helping people."
"You're good." She says. "You don't even have to bring people into an interrogation room for them to confess."
"Thank you." He smiles.
"There. Done." She hands him the packet.
"Awesome. I brought some games if you want to play any." Graham says.
"What did you bring?" He rifles through the bag.
"Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid, a playing deck, Sorry, Trouble, Connect Four, Monopoly, and Life."
"Did you rob Mary Margaret's classroom?"
"Maybe." He answers. "I had the cards, but everything else is hers."
"Hmm…" She thinks, eyeing the bag. "How about Go Fish?"
"Sounds good." Ten rounds and an hour later, Dr. Whale comes in.
"I see you two are having fun." He smiles.
"When can I leave?"
"Well, that kind of depends on you. I was thinking we could stop the morphine now and switch you over to oral meds. If everything goes okay, we can send you home on them tonight. If not, that's perfectly fine and we'll just keep you here for an extra day or so." He sounds so nice they can't believe it's actually him.
"Switch me please."
"Alright." He stops the morphine pump. "I'm also going to turn the saline off to make sure you're hydrated. Can you keep food down?"
"I had a donut."
"That's great. Heather will be in with the meds in a minute. If anything changes, let her know." She turns to Graham once he leaves.
"I really want to get out of here."
"I know, Em. I know." He laughs. "Want to play Sorry now?"
"Anything that'll entertain me. In Boston, there's TV's in the rooms." She says.
"What's Boston like? Graham asks. She looks at him through her lashes.
"You've never been?"
"I don't think I've ever left Storybrooke." He answers.
"It's about fifteen times bigger. Everyone acts like Regina." She shrugs. "Don't even get me started on New York."
"So you hate small towns?" He picks up a card and moves his pawn.
"All of them except Storybrooke. Who named this place, anyway?" She does the same.
"Regina's been mayor for as long as I can remember."
"Talk about anarchy…" Emma mumbles, moving her pawn with a little more force than necessary. The game takes a couple hours since neither of them know how to play. By the end they're laughing.
"I think we went around the board a hundred times." Graham gasps.
"I found the directions." She holds them up. "We definitely played wrong." They play it two more times, this time following the directions. Just as they're finishing up their last game Henry comes in with a smile on his face.
"I waited for you." He says breathlessly, launching himself at the blonde. "I mean, last night, but they made me go home."
"Whoa, Kid, catch your breath."
"Hey." Mary Margaret comes in, handing her a card. "The kids made it for you all by themselves."
"That's nice. Tell them thanks." Emma scans it, looking for one name in particular. It simply says Henry/Kid. The boy quite clearly dislikes his last name.
"And I'm really sorry cause I wanted to be here when you woke up and I would've come this morning but Regina made me go to school." He says quickly, picking right up where he left off.
"Henry, it's fine. I know you would've, but you don't have to. I should be getting out tonight."
"I'm so glad!" Then he sees the pile of games. "Want to play Uno?"
"Sure." Graham shrugs, dealing the deck. They play for an hour until Dr. Whale comes again.
"So I hear things are going well." He says.
"Can I go home?" Emma asks.
"I take that as a yes. Your ankle isn't bothering you too much?"
"Well…" He glances at the file. "I guess I can't say no. I'll have Heather fill out your discharge papers."
"I'll take Henry home. Regina will be back in half an hour." Graham says.
"And I'll bring you home." Mary Margaret smiles. Home. It's a word Emma's never used to describe any place she's ever been, and hearing it makes her want to tell the woman that it's not home, just a place she's temporarily staying until she makes sure Henry is okay; but she can't. Instead she rolls her eyes and makes a sarcastic comment.
"Stop acting like my mom. I'm not a baby, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." To prove her point she gets up and picks up the game. For some reason this leaves the brunette with a dull ache, but she ignores it.
"Let's go, Henry."
"Bye, Miss Blanchard." He gives waves and gives Emma a hug. "See you later."
"So I was thinking that tonight you should sleep on the couch." She pulls the chair closer.
"I was serious about hopping up. I like my bed."
"You were in surgery less than 24 hours ago. Let's just take this slow." Mary Margaret says, giving the blonde a stern look that she can't argue with. A few minutes later Emma's discharged and they're on their way home. She manages to get up the stairs, and the shorter woman can't help but laugh and shake her head at the spectacle before her. Because the pain pills practically knocked her out, Mary Margaret can hear Emma snore from her room; needless to say, she doesn't sleep very well that night. She's still sleeping in when the brunette leaves for work, so she leaves her key under the mat for Graham and sends him a text. He gets there at 7:30 and knocks before letting himself in. Smiling, he quietly walks up the stairs and follows the snoring. Her door is closed and he knocks again, getting no answer. He opens it and stands over her bed, shaking her.
"Emma, you've gotta get up."
"Wha-" She rolls over and shoots up when she sees him. "Jesus, what the hell!"
"Time to bring you down to the station." He chirps.
"I'll be down in a minute." She rakes a hand through her hair.
"Do you need help?"
"I'm fine, Graham." She gives him a playful shove outside. He doesn't take offense, knowing that it's not even 8:00 yet. He waits in the hall ready to rush in if he hears a thump. A little while later she comes out on the crutches, wearing sweatpants.
"Can you get down the stairs?"
"Yeah, hold these." She hands her crutches to him and hops over on her good leg, and starts down. He follows her in case she falls so he can grab her. He gives them back when they're in the kitchen. They do the same thing at the next flight, then they're outside. In the car he hands her another white bag.
"Thanks." She says flatly, and he hides a frown. Clearly whatever happened between the two of them in the past couple days is either meaningless or scaring her, and Graham's betting on the latter.
"How's your ankle?" He asks, thinking that's part of the reason she's cranky.
"It's fine." That's obviously going to be the word of the day.
"Emma… Please don't shut me out." He pleads.
"Can we not do this right now?" He can hear the desperation in her voice, and realizes that they'll get nowhere if she doesn't have an escape if it gets too much. He relents.
"I'll drop it for now, but we will talk about it soon." He grips the steering wheel tighter, and she doesn't talk to him the rest of the time. That's how the next two weeks go for the most part. Some days she's more talkative than others, and some she doesn't seem to talk at all. After work, Emma has physical therapy every Thursday. Graham drops her off and Mary Margaret picks her up. The next morning, after her first session, he's surprised to see her already in the kitchen and dressed, wearing a big air cast.
"Hey." She smiles, and it's contagious. It's the first time he's seen it in two weeks and he's so relieved.
"What's that?" He points at it.
"It's an air cast. I can walk when I have it on cause it takes most of the pressure off my ankle." She puts a bowl in the sink.
"That's great, Emma." He moves closer. "I know I'm a little early, I hope I didn't intrude."
"No, not at all."
"Good. Can we talk?" Graham asks, and she feels as if she's about to puke. She really doesn't want to do this.
"Everyone's capable of talking. I don't really want to."
"I waited. I waited two weeks, and I don't want to wait any longer. I didn't believe in love at first sight until I met you. I want to be more than friends." He holds his breath, waiting for a response. Emma opens her mouth and closes it a couple times, at a loss for words. She has to say something, and they come out before she can even think about what she's saying.
TO BE CONTINUED…