Hey guys :)
I'm sorry this chapter took so long but the characters didn't want to co-operate (Emma especially) I chose the title because 'If true love were easy we'd all have it' is one of my favourite quotes from the whole first series.
Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed and or added to favourite/follows since last chapter. Before we press on:
Guest: Thank you :) I don't really know anyone who drinks their porridge, but I know that lots of people drink the milk from their cereal. I'm glad you liked it, I could see Belle doing it more readily than Rum to be honest.
Fan963: Thank you :)
If True Love Were Easy
The night had been a disaster- Mary Margaret supposed that she should have seen it coming really. She'd been warned by some of the nurses that Paul Whale was something of a creep when she'd agreed to go on a date with him. It had been her idea to go to Granny's, but it had been entirely his idea to start mentally undressing Ruby Lucas as she cleared the table next to theirs.
Mary made her way back to her apartment, dragging her feet. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed the yellow beetle that belonged to Emma Swan parked by the opposite curb and its owner sat huddled in the driver's seat, reading something. She'd only met Emma a couple of times but had liked her from the word go- she didn't know what it was, the almost familial affection she felt for the blonde newcomer, but it prompted her to approach the poor woman who it transpired was reading The Mirror.
"Hey" she greeted the blonde. "You ok?"
"Oh" Emma let out a derisive laugh. "Of all the tight spots I've been in in my life crashing in my car doesn't rank in the top ten"
"You're sleeping in here?" Mary was appalled
"Just 'til I find a place" she shrugged
"You've decided to stay?" Mary wasn't sure why that pleased her so much- must have been for Henry's sake. If she had a child she'd want to stay as close to them as possible.
"I guess so" Emma nodded. "But this town doesn't seem to have any vacancies… None, actually- is that normal?"
Mary didn't think so, but she'd been in Storybrooke for as long as she could remember and she'd never really noticed a lack of vacancies. "Must be the curse"
Emma laughed at the flippant remark, then asked. "Why are you out so late?"
"I'm a teacher not a nun" she retorted. "I had a date"
"From the looks of things it went well" Emma counted sarcastically
"As well as they ever do"
The blonde had the decency to look apologetic. "Tell me he at least paid"
Mary made a non-committal noise
Mary was inclined to agree. She sighed. "Well I guess if true love was easy we'd all have it"
That proved something of a conversation killer, as an awkward silence descended on the immediate vicinity of the beetle. Mary was not a fan of awkward silence.
"You know" she rubbed her arm with the opposite hand. "If things get cramped I do have a spare room…"
She wasn't sure what made her make that particular offer. Maybe it was that weird familial bond. It struck her that their eyes were similar- perhaps the two of them were related; Emma had grown up in the foster system so it was entirely possible.
"Thanks" Emma smiled. "But I'm not really the roommate type. It's not my thing; I do better on my own"
"Well goodnight them" The rejection shouldn't have stung as much as it did. "Good luck with Henry"
"Yeah…" Emma nodded; seemingly noticing the injured look in her eyes offered her a ride home.
"Thank you" Mary smiled at the blonde's effort and Emma reached over to open the door.
Belle woke in her husband's arms. Rumpelstiltskin was still sleeping and the only light in the room was the typical dull half-light of pre-dawn. She wasn't sure what time it was, nor did she care. She settled back into her husband's embrace and he hugged her closer, until she was flush against his naked body.
A soft silly smile settled on her lips as her mind drifted back to the previous night. She was really his wife now, finally after twenty eight years of being Mrs Gold in name alone, and despite being lame Rumpelstiltskin was, to quote Ruby's favourite musical, one hell of a lover. He'd told her that his first wife had left him; Belle thought that she must have been insane.
"Love you Rum" she whispered, kissing his nose before snuggling down to sleep again, smiling as he tightened his arms around her.
Emma got out of her car, and stretched her stiff and aching body. Sleeping in her car had not been the best decision she'd ever made. Her stomach growled. Glancing at her phone she discovered that it was eight fifteen.
Time to go to Granny's
She arrived at the diner some five minutes later, at the same time as a beautiful woman of about her age. The woman wore a blue dress under a white denim jacket, her dark auburn curls restrained in a ponytail.
"Hello" the woman smiled, an Australian accent colouring her words. "You're a new face, you must be Emma"
"That's me" Emma nodded
"I'm Clarabelle" the woman told her. "But everyone calls me Clara"
"Nice to meet you" Emma replied, honestly, there was something about this woman that she couldn't help but like
"I heard that you'd been kicked out of the Inn" Clara remarked. "You've probably noticed that we have a battle axe for a mayor"
"Amen to that" Emma grinned; she could easily see herself being friends with Clara. "You wouldn't happen to know anywhere I could crash do you? This town doesn't seem to have any vacancies"
"I'm sorry, no" Clara shook her head. "I don't think there are any empty places right now, but if you try asking around there might be someone with a spare room"
"Mary Margaret Blanchard did offer me her spare room" Emma admitted
"And you turned it down?" Clara looked at her as if she was mad
Emma's stomach chose that moment to remind her, rather loudly, that it needed filling
"I'm sorry" Clara put a hand to her lips, presumably to hide her amusement. "I'm keeping you from your breakfast"
In an unspoken agreement the two women fell into step as they entered the diner.
"Hey Emma" Ruby smiled as they entered then her smile morphed into a wolfish grin. "Clara, somebody looks happy"
Emma noticed her companion blush.
"Oh. My. Gosh" Ruby gaped at her. "You didn't?"
"Don't look so shocked Ruby" Clara glared at her, though the potency was lost due to the blush that spread across her cheeks. "I'll take two coffees to go, one black one white with sugar"
Clara paid for her order and swept out of the door the second Ruby handed her the two take-out cups
"Ruby honestly" Granny chided her granddaughter. "You know she loves him and you tease her the moment she's finally happy"
The silver haired woman turned her attention to Emma. "Now, what can we get you?"
When Emma had ordered a cheese omelette and cocoa with cinnamon and Granny moved off to see to the order the newcomer turned to the scantily clad waitress.
"What was that with Clara?"
"Oh, that old chestnut" Ruby grinned wolfishly. "It's weird that you don't know- Storybrooke is the kind of place where everyone knows what everyone else is doing."
"Well I don't" Emma remarked
"Its kind of tragic really; ya see Clara's full name is Clarabelle Gold, you met her husband that night in the Inn. Everybody thinks that her dad sold her to the old goat to clear his debts but that wasn't the real story, can't be, Clara's not the type" Ruby leaned heavily on the counter. "I think she made the deal with Gold- she's always hated having decisions made for her"
If Henry got wind of that little detail he'd have a field day. He'd probably say they were beauty and the beast, and, to be honest; she could see that one.
"Do they love each other?" Emma asked
Ruby frowned, thinking. "Y'know it's weird, for as long as I can remember Clara's been in love with him but yesterday the pair of them came in here for lunch and if I didn't know any better I'd swear that Gold was in love with her too"
That was puzzling Emma thought- more evidence to support her son- no not her son, Henry's- insane fairy tale theory.
"Here you are Miss Swan"
Emma flinched, startled by Granny's voice; she hadn't noticed the old lady returning with her order
"Sorry" she grinned a little sheepishly. "I was miles away"
Shaking her head Emma picked up her cutlery and tucked into her omelette, wondering how Mary Margaret was coping with the kids up at the hospital.
"I found your father" Henry told her as the two of them sat on the edge of his castle later that afternoon. "Prince Charming"
She tried and failed to repress a groan. "Henry…"
"He's at the hospital" the ten year old went on, producing his ever present book from his backpack. He opened it and began rifling through the pages until he found the one he was looking for. The page in question bore a picture of a fair haired man with blue eyes, dressed in black leather- handsome in a cartoony way. "You see the scar" he pointed to the man's chin where there was indeed a small scar. "Well he has one too"
Emma didn't see it, lots of people had scars; and she said as much. She herself had several of them.
"In the same place?" Henry asked; voice thick with ten year old incredulity. "Don't you see what this means? It's the curse, keeping them apart and stuck without each other. We have to tell Miss Blanchard that we've found her Prince Charming"
Shit. Had she ever been so passionate about anything? Or was that something he'd picked up from his deadbeat father?
"Whoa kid, telling someone that their soul mate is in a coma is probably not the best idea" Emma told her son, ruffling his floppy brown hair. "Not having a happy ending is painful enough, but giving someone false hope is far worse"
"What if I'm right?" Henry asked. "We know who they are and now they have to know"
She asked how he intended to make that happen and he, always ready with an answer stated that they should ask Miss Blanchard to read to him from the book; to remind him of who he was.
Emma didn't see the harm in that. "Ok"
"Ok?" Henry asked as if surprised by her answer
"We'll do it Henry, but we do it my way" Emma eyed him carefully. "Let me ask her ok?"
Mary Margaret didn't really know how she'd managed to find herself sitting beside John Doe, the coma patient, preparing to read Henry Mills' storybook to him who. According to Emma and Henry it might prove useful for waking him up. She turned to a page at random and began to read about Snow White and Prince Charming's first meeting.
A funny story about the princess robbing the prince and his bride to be and then the two of them embarking on a quest to get the engagement ring back (which he had yet to give to his fiancée)
As the story began to draw to a close something warm landed on her hand. John Doe's hand. The teacher and volunteer gasped and ran from the room looking for one of the doctors.
The next morning Storybrooke awoke to the news that a coma patient, known only as John Doe had woken up and left the hospital in the dead of night.
"Who is this coma patient, Rum" Belle asked as the two of them sat together in the kitchen over breakfast.
"I would hazard a guess at Prince James- our saviour's father" Rumpelstiltskin told her. "I could be wrong, but I doubt it"
"Prince James?" Belle winced, shuddering at the name. "King George's son? Snow wouldn't marry a man like him, surely?"
"You don't like him?" Rum frowned; he would have thought Belle and the shepherd would get on like a house on fire
"Well if he's anything like he was as a teenager…"
Ah, so that was it.
"Belle love, that's not the same Prince James" he smiled. "It's his twin brother"
"Twin brother?" His wife really was adorable when she was puzzled.
"Yes" Rum nodded and explained how he'd made a deal with George and when the boy was killed he'd brought in his trump card- David, the conveniently located secret twin brother. "I'm sorry you had to grow up with the spoiled twin"
Belle rolled her eyes. "Oh gods it's like something out of a bad soap opera"
Rum chuckled. "Yeah, I suppose it does"
Suddenly Belle swore rather colourfully. "I'm supposed to be opening up this morning"
She leapt to her feet, snatched up her bag and, pausing only kiss him goodbye, ran from the house.
David Nolan, not Prince Charming.
Emma wasn't sure where Regina had pulled that woman, Kathryn Nolan, from but her arrival on the scene was just a little too coincidental. The events of the last couple of days had been enough to convince her that the single week that she was planning to stay really was not long enough. Especially not while Henry was so there.
Admittedly there wasn't much call for a bail bondsperson in a little place like Storybrooke; but she was nothing if not adaptable- she'd find something.
Emma paused when she arrived outside the wooden door of Mary Margaret's apartment, her hand raised, ready to knock. Could she really do this? All of the other people she'd bunked with over the years since she'd escaped the system had asked her to leave within the first three months. She liked Mary Margaret and didn't want things to go sour if they lived together.
She took a deep breath and knocked.
Moments later a tired looking Mary Margaret opened the door. Her eyes widened at the sight of her.
"Um, sorry to bother you so late, but is that spare room still available?"
I'm not exactly thrilled by this chapter, but what do you guys think?
I can't wait for season two to start- even though there's a chance of a Belle and Jefferson romance (eww). I can't see Belle leaving Rum and he's not going to let her go again, he's not that big of an idiot.
Anyway, before I really start ranting...
Next time: The Price of Gold and someone new arrives in Storybrooke, but who will it be?