David, if that even was his real name, was not in a very good mood. His muscles ached from physical therapy, his supposed wife was depressing him beyond belief, there was nothing on TV and more importantly, he really missed the dark haired woman who saved him. Kathryn was a nice woman, don't get him wrong, but for some reason, being with her didn't seem right. She kept showing him pictures, asking if he was remembering anything, and he felt so guilty for not and crushing her hope, that he lied and said he remembered their dog. Seriously? Who names their dog Ajax? He saw Mary Margaret through his window, but every time he wanted to talk to her, Kathryn showed up, without fail, crushing any chance he had to talk to her.
He lay in bed, his sore muscles burning. Kathryn sat by his bedside, showing him pictures, again. He shouldn't have lied to her, it made her even more persistent, and made him feel even more guilty.
"Do you remember this?" she asked, gesturing towards a photo. "We were—"
"Kathryn?" he interrupted. Maybe it was because he didn't feel like answering questions anymore with the guilt weighing on his conscience, or maybe it was because he just wanted to be left alone to wallow in self pity, it could be because he wanted to talk to Mary Margaret, or maybe he needed time to think things through, because honestly? The things people were telling him weren't making sense to him. He faked a yawn. "Maybe you should go," he suggested, rubbing his eyes. "I've had a long day—"
She made a little gasping noise and jumped up from her chair. "Of course!" She hurriedly stacked the pictures in one pile and put them in her purse. She smiled apologetically. "You should get your rest." His thankful smile soon turned into a barely concealed grimace as she pressed her lips to his. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
He nodded, faking another yawn, and waved goodbye as she walked out of his room. He sighed as his head dropped against his pillow. He hated lying to her. She seemed like a genuinely nice person, and that's why he was doing it, really, because she was a genuinely nice person and deserved good news. He pushed himself off the bed, his muscles protesting, but he told them to shut up because he had things to do. Unfortunately, those plans fell flat. Mary Margaret wasn't volunteering today. His hands, after a ton of practice, weren't shaking as much as they used to, and he hoped to play a game of Hangman with Mary Margaret. It was lame, but he was desperate to spend time with her. She was the only thing that felt real to him...Well, besides his dreams, which were so farfetched he really wished they didn't feel real.
He had a wife, a home, and a dog, but somehow, it wasn't enough for him, and more importantly, it didn't feel right to him. He had dreams, weird, fairytale dreams. Mary Margaret was usually in them, but instead of that short pixie cut, she had long curly hair, which he thought looked much better on her. She was always so beautiful in his dreams, not that she wasn't beautiful in reality, but there was something about his dreams. In reality, her skin was slightly tan, and her lips were pink, her hair short, but in his dreams (which felt so much more like reality), she had hair that fell to her waist, with skin as white as snow, and lips as red as blood...He called her Snow White. Why was he having dreams about Mary Margaret being a fairytale character? He never thought himself one for role playing, but then, he really didn't know himself, did he? But Snow wasn't always the star of his dreams, sometimes he was on a farm, other times in a castle, once he was fighting a dragon, another he was holding this beautiful baby girl in his arms...
There was a knock at the door and David looked up, jumping in surprise.
A blonde woman stood in the doorway, with the dark haired boy she always had with him. He recognized her as one of the people who saved him, but he couldn't recall her name.
"Sorry," Emma apologized. "Didn't mean to scare you."
David waved it off. "No, it's okay. You're, uh...you were with Mary Margaret the other night, right?" He felt like he should know her, like it was something important, but he didn't recognize her as anyone but Mary Margaret's friend.
She nodded. "Yeah, I'm Emma," she introduced. She ruffled the boy's hair affectionately. "And this kid right here is my son Henry."
"It's nice to meet you," David said, and he was slightly surprised at how true that was. It was very nice to meet them. He didn't know why, but he automatically liked them, just like he automatically liked Mary Margaret.
She smiled, feeling awkward. She glanced down at Henry, who was studying the man intensely, his book hugged tightly to his chest. "Henry wanted to talk to you."
He raised his eyebrows, surprised and delighted at the aspect of company other than Kathryn. "Oh, yeah?" He grinned and gestured towards the chair beside his bed. "Why don't you take a seat, then?"
Emma grabbed Henry by the shoulder before he could accept the invitation and gave him a meaningful look. He smiled innocently, but when he turned around, their was a mischievous look in his eyes. It looked familiar. He recognized it as the same look Snow White gave him in many of his dreams.
"Henry!" a shrill voice called, and both of them whirled around to find Regina Mills in the doorway, an angry look on her voice. "Why aren't you in school?"
"I—" Henry started weakly. He didn't have the courage to ask why she was here. She had no reason to visit David since they found his "wife." They weren't friends. She was meddling, they both knew it. She hated Emma with such a passion that she followed her son around to make sure he wasn't with her? Ridiculous. But he didn't dare voice his thoughts.
Emma sent David an apologetic look before following Regina outside the room, Henry in tow. He tried not to listen in, not that he could really hear them anyway, but he couldn't help but watch them. Henry cowered behind Emma as she and Regina talked to each other. At least, he thought they were talking. They could be yelling for all he knew, they did look rather angry. Their conversation ended with Regina walking away, giving Henry a look that immediately made him follow. Emma's shoulders slumped afterward. She stood there for a beat, perhaps preparing herself, before she walked into the room.
"Sorry about that," she said. "Regina can be—"
"Overbearing?" David suggested.
Emma scoffed. "I was going to say a bitch, but sure, overbearing." She gave him a tired smile. "Can we reschedule your appointment with Henry?"
He groaned. "Please, no more appointments."
She grinned for second, before sighing. "Well, I should get going..."
"No!" David yelled. Emma looked back at him, confused at the tone of his voice. He blushed. "I mean, if you're not too busy...I could use some company."
She stared at him, her watch, then back at him before shrugging and sitting in the chair next to his bed. She appraised the room in their silence, neither really knowing what to say.
"How's the amnesia?" Emma asked after a minute. David looked at her, a grimace on his face. He shook his head and laughed humorlessly. She gave him a sympathetic look. "That bad, huh?"
"Well, Kathryn's been helpful." His voice turned sarcastic. "Showing me pictures with wide, hopeful blue eyes that make me feel so guilty I lie to her, which only makes me feel even more guilty."
Emma was surprised at how open he was being, especially since they barely knew each other. Maybe it was better for him that way. It was always easier to share secrets with a stranger. "The eyes, huh?" She smiled. "Henry gets me with the eyes." She looked at him, her smile turning playful. "Don't even get me started on the pout." He laughed. Her smile turned wistful. "Do you and Kathryn have kids?"
He looked at her, like such a notion was completely absurd. "Me and Kathryn? No..." He laughed and rubbed his neck. "I think I might have wanted a kid, though. Not now, obviously," he rushed to add. "I couldn't possibly deal with that now, but before I lost my memories I think I wanted a girl."
She gave him a curious look. "What makes you think that?"
He shrugged, embarrassed. "I've been having dreams, where I'm holding a baby girl." He didn't bother to add the fact that the time period was centuries ago.
"A girl, huh?" she asked.
He nodded and smiled a little bit, the smile of a proud father. "Emma."
He shook his head, chuckling. "No. Her baby blanket says Emma in the dream."
She stared at him, remembering what her son had said. Unnerved, she muttered, "Coincidence, I'm sure."
"I've been having a lot of weird dreams lately, actually," he continued. For some reason, he felt he could confide in her, even if it did sound kind of crazy. Now that he had started talking, he didn't want to stop. Even talking about the troubles with his amnesia already lifted a weight off of him. "about fairytales."
She gave him a curious look, but as always, she rationalized it. "Mary Margaret was reading that book to you, it probably stuck."
"That does explain some things," he conceded. He explained, "Mary Margaret was in them."
She stood up, embarrassed. She held her hands out, as if to ward off his words. "Whoa, boy! I don't want to hear about that—"
He blushed and shook his head quickly. "No! No, nothing like that! She was Snow White!"
She slowly sat back down. "Snow White? That does go with the story she was reading you."
He nodded. "Yeah, but," he hesitated. How long would she listen to him without insisting he get put into the psych ward? "they felt more like memories."
"Memories..." she said slowly, as if testing it out. He held his breath, waiting for some type of backlash.
"I know how weird that sounds," he said, not being able to take her silence. "But it's the only thing that makes sense to me. Kathryn doesn't even feel like my wife. I feel more of a connection to Mary Margaret, a woman I haven't even known that long, more than my own wife. You, even," he added. She gave him a look. "No, not like that. None of this feels real, but you and Mary Margaret, these outrageous dreams, they feel real. They somehow make more sense."
"David," she said, her voice urgent, still trying to rationalize. "You don't have any memories, that's why your wife doesn't feel real. Mary Margaret was the one who saved you, the voice who read to you while you were in a coma, you're bound to feel something for her. I helped, that's why I feel real. These dreams? They're just a repercussion of the stories that were read to you."
They stared at one another until David looked down at his bed. He looked back up, nodding. "You're right, of course you're right." She smiled, content. He laughed, sheepishly. "I can't believe I just dropped all of that on you."
"Whatever. Don't worry about it."
"What about Henry?" he asked. "Is he okay?" She shrugged noncommittally. "Why was Regina...?"
She was quiet. Thinking she wouldn't say anything, he lapsed into silence. She blew up. "You know, that kid came to me. He chose me over her and she's just pissed off about that. Did you see the way she looked at him? The poor kid was scared shitless!" She took a deep breath. "I gave Henry up for adoption so he could have his best chance. That kid finds me on my birthday, stealing his teacher's credit card so he can take a bus. Regina's horrible to him, why else would he find me? Why else would he sink into this fantasy world? It's obviously just to escape her!"
"Does she abuse him?" he asked quietly. The idea was completely foreign to him. Why somebody would hurt a defenseless child was beyond him.
She glared. "She better not!"
"What do you mean, fantasy world?" he asked.
"It's a lot like your dreams," she admitted. "The book Mary Margaret was reading to you? She gave it to Henry a while back and he actually believes all of it. He's assigned these characters to real life people. Do you know who Regina is?" She didn't wait for a response, barreling on, "The Evil Queen!"
"Makes sense," he muttered, remembering the look she had given Henry.
"He's so terrified of her, that he assigned me one, too."
"Which one?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
She sighed sadly, looking at him. "I'm the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. The supposed Savior who's destined to break the curse Regina put on this town."
Not really making the connection between Prince Charming, he calmly asked, "What curse?"
"A curse that froze the town for twenty-eight years. She took all of your 'memories' away and replaced them with new ones. None of you know who you really are. All of the magic is gone, and I'm the one who can break the curse."
He grinned, although not in a mocking way. "Which character am I?"
"Isn't it obvious?" she questioned, surprised he hadn't figured it out. Embarrassed, she said, "Prince Charming."
He stared at her silently, almost believing it. Mary Margaret and him having a child? This beautiful woman who sat before him, half her and half him? It wasn't hard to not believe it, but then he shook his head quickly. They really would put him in the psych ward. "You do have my eyes," he teased.
She rolled her eyes. "I have Mary's chin, too."
He laughed, before sobering. "He'll grow out of it," he assured. "You're a great influence."
"I am?" she asked, giving him an incredulous look.
He nodded. "Absolutely! I just met you and I know that. You're dedicated to him. There's no wonder why he picked you as the Savior."
She blushed. "Thanks," she murmured, embarrassed.
"Emma!" a voice shouted, gleefully. Henry stood in the door, Mary Margaret's arm around his shoulders. He untangled himself from his teacher before running towards Emma, a big smile on his face.
Her eyes lit up as she stood up from the chair. "Hey, kid. How was school?"
He shrugged and then slyly looked between David and Emma. "How was your talk?" He coughed. "Very familial?
David grinned. Emma knelt by Henry, putting a finger to her lips secretly. "Shh," she whispered. She winked at him and he nodded, before turning towards David.
"Do you know how to use a sword?" he asked.
"Yes," he answered truthfully.
Both Emma and Mary gave him a surprised look, but he just shrugged, not willing to admit that he learned it from his dreams. The king's men taught him how to use a sword anyway, even though he was to not even look at the dragon. It was a precautionary measure, and something he remembered vividly after waking up.
Henry could only grin and send Emma a look. She smiled affectionately and ruffled his hair. "How does hot chocolate sound?" she asked.
She grinned. "You know it!" She took his hand in hers, smiling at David. "Maybe I'll visit again."
"Sounds great," he agreed, honestly looking forward to spending more time to get to know her.
Mary Margaret took a step in the room after they left. "How was therapy?"
"Terrible," he admitted.
He shrugged, before smiling. "Apparently we have a dog named Ajax." She tried to look happy for him, but then he continued on, and her smile turned genuine. "Who names their dog Ajax?"
"I bet it was her idea," she said, giggling.
For a minute there, he could have believed this woman was Snow White, but at the same time, not. The woman from his dreams, from the book, was a fighter. She was strong, not to say that Mary Margaret wasn't, but she wouldn't hurt a fly. Snow White was willing to kill the Queen to take back her kingdom. Not only personality wise were they different, but also physically. Gone was her light skin and red lips. He laughed inwardly at his thoughts. Regina was jealous of the fairest of them all and took away anything and everything that made her so fair, including her coloring and long hair.
"Up for a game of Hang Man?" he asked, tantalizingly holding up a piece of paper.
She grinned, a flash of mischief in her eyes as she snatched the paper from him. "Absolutely."