Side Note: Right, so…I'll be honest. I'm not entirely happy with this chapter. I've re-written it twice and this is about as good as it's going to get. So, begrudgingly, I'm posting it. Hope you guys don't hate it too much.
Three days after having her talk with Regina, it still bothered Emma how she had reacted to her hug. Okay, sure, it was awkward and not something the two of them did. But she was just trying to be comforting for heaven's sake! Emma knew she should have known better than to do such a thing. Regina was not the type to take comfort from anyone. However, Emma felt like that was what they both needed. While she did have Mary Margaret, it was awkward being around her, especially after knowing the woman was her mother.
The brunette had no clue of course, so when she tried to talk to Emma about her problems with David, Emma had to tune her out. Mary Margaret caught on, naturally, realizing Emma was paying her no mind. It got even more awkward between them then, MM always trying to get Emma to tell her what was wrong. Emma would always use Henry as the excuse, which he was part of it, but he was not the only problem she was dealing with.
Emma had taken to spending most of her time at either Henry's hospital room, his old castle spot or Granny's diner. She would only go home to sleep, which truth be told wasn't all that often. She had avoided Regina the past few days, thankfully never seeing her at Henry's old castle spot. She didn't need to be reminded of just how awkward that last meeting had been. Emma was already reminded enough by her own mind, she didn't need Regina's curled lip sneering at her for it either.
She couldn't handle it today anyway. Or any day, for that matter, She had surprised herself by not knocking Regina out when she'd gotten snippy with her. However, it was really, truly inevitable. At some point, sooner than later, that Emma would run into Regina. And Emma had that gut feeling it would be pretty damn soon. After all, they still had things to talk about. At least, that's what Emma kept telling herself. There was a tiny, the tiniest really, voice in the very back of her mind that told her she needed to be around Regina. Hell if she'd listen to it though.
The blond sat in the most uncomfortable chair of all uncomfortable chairs, twisting every now and then as she stared at Henry laying quietly in the hospital bed. She had scooted the chair as close to his bed as she could, but somehow it still wasn't close enough. It was hard watching him lay there, lifeless and pale. The only indication that he was still alive was the rise and fall of his chest and the beeping of the monitor.
That beeping had become the background noise of Emma's life. She heard it wherever she went, the sound always following her around and reminding her that her son was laying in a hospital, waiting for her to save him. What tore her up the most though, was that she had no clue how to save him. She didn't have an inkling of what would even stir the boy from his slumber.
It was hard for Emma, sitting there doing nothing. At the same time though, she hated being away from Henry. She always felt like he would wake up while she wasn't there. But nothing of the sort had happened. Every time she entered the room he was in the same position, chest moving up and down slowly. It was a sad sight to take in and she had to hold back tears every time.
Today was no different. Emma sat in the same chair, twisting and turning to find comfort on it just as she always did. Every now and then she'd run her thumb over the back of his hand, wishing like hell that he'd flinch or turn his hand over and reach for hers. Every time she hoped and every time she was let down. Her heart sank in her chest a little deeper each time.
The blonde gave a sigh as she held Henry's hand in hers, green eyes gazing over his smooth skin. The frown on her lips increased a little, tears prickling at the back of her tired eyes. She'd been sitting there for over ten minutes now, the beeping sound echoing in her ears.
It was always after those ten minutes that Emma began to talk to Henry. She often wondered if he could hear her, but either way, she needed an outlet, someone to really speak to about everything. And even if Henry couldn't respond, she spoke to him anyway, relieving herself of everything that plagued her mind.
"So…" Emma began, staring at her sons face as she absentmindedly continued running her thumb over his skin. "I uh…I hugged Regina a few days ago." The blond felt her cheeks heat up as she said it out loud. She hadn't mentioned a word of this to anyone. Why would she? It wasn't like anyone would believe that Regina would let the Sheriff hug her. And in a way, she really didn't.
However, it had almost all seemed like a dream until the words came scrambling out of her mouth. "The weird thing was, she almost let me really hug her. She was so close to just letting me comfort her, but she slammed those damn walls up…" Emma stopped, covering her mouth. "Sorry, kid, didn't mean to cuss in front of you."
Emma licked her lips and leaned forward, leaning against the bed. She stayed silent for only a second longer before she began again. "She's the only person I've ever seen throw walls up so quickly. Except for…" When those words skipped out of her mouth, she recalled Mary Margaret saying something similar to her. It seemed like ages ago, but in truth it hadn't really been that long. "Sheesh. Who does that sound like, huh?"
A ghost of a smile flickered across her lips, but it disappeared before it could even find purchase. "Anyway, my point is, she won't let anyone at all help her. She's so guarded. Probably a lot more than I am." Two beats. "Which is saying something really." Emma's hold on Henry's hand squeezed a little tighter, feeling like he was her lifeline somehow. "But I guess maybe we're that way because…well, because it feels a heck of a lot safer holding everything in. That way the only person who can judge you is yourself." The blonde shrugged, leaning back into the chair again. "Maybe I'm just spouting nonsense now." She mumbled, eyes flickering to the floor.
When she looked back up, she was hoping she'd see Henry sitting up and shaking his head at her. But no such thing happened, making her wish her mind wouldn't take her to such places. Her hopes were smashed every time. "I miss you, Henry. I wish you'd wake up. Not just for me, but for your mom too. She misses you. I can see it, even if she tries to hide it. I really do believe she loves you and I wish you would too. No matter how much I hate her, nobody deserves to have their kid hate them."
Emma stopped, shaking her head momentarily. "I'll stop rambling now." The blond mumbled, moving to scoot the chair away from the bed. She stood by Henry's bed, hand rubbing up and down the boys arm. "Just get better, Henry. Wake up for us." Emma had to swallow to keep herself from crying. It was too much.
Emma brought her hand up to smooth some of Henry's hair back, only to watch it spring back up. A tear rolled down her cheeks as she let go of his hand, finding it nearly impossible to turn away from him. Every day seemed a little harder than the day before. This day was no different as she walked towards the door, feeling like her legs were made of lead.
She dragged herself out of the room, sparing one more glance at Henry before leaving the hospital all together. When had to bite into her lip to keep from balling her eyes out. As she slipped into her car, she let go of her lip and felt blood seep out of the mark she had made. And despite her previous efforts, she began to cry as she leaned against the steering wheel of her car.
The blond found herself sitting alone in Mary Margaret's apartment an hour later, whiskey bottle sitting on the table in front of her. One more glass and the bottle would be completely empty. The bottle had been full when Emma had returned to the apartment, but the amount of feelings crashing over her had been too much for her to bare, so she had taken to drowning her sorrows with alcohol. It wasn't really helping like she had hoped though. Moving to Storybrooke had changed her, that was for sure. In Boston, she would have been able to drink her feelings under the table and forget about them. Now…well, now she wasn't able to get rid of these shitty feelings at all.
Emma was thankful Mary Margaret wasn't home. She didn't feel like being lectured, didn't feel like being under the sometimes suffocating soft gaze of her roommate. Especially knowing now that MM was not just her roommate, she was also her mother. Heavy lids closed over green eyes as her mind whirled from all the complications. Leaning against the table, Emma groaned as she laid her head down on the cool surface.
Her right hand grabbed for the whiskey as her left hand planted itself firmly against her head. Her head was throbbing, but whether it was from the alcohol, the confusion or both, Emma wasn't sure. Suddenly, as Emma tried to pull her head up from the table, the sound of keys jiggling and the door being opened sounded through the apartment. "Well, fuck me." Emma moaned to herself, rolling her eyes as she felt Mary Margaret's eyes boring into her back.
Instead of looking up at Mary Margaret, Emma just gave up on lifting her head and kept herself glued to the chair and table. She closed her eyes, willing the brightness of the lights to dim. Her headache ebbed for a moment, but it came crashing back as soon as MM's voice filled her ears. "Emma? What's wrong?" There was that concerned tone Emma had wanted to avoid.
She could practically picture the look on Mary Margaret's face, even without actually seeing it. Those doe eyes of hers were probably filled with concern and worry, mouth turned down in a frown and her forehead wrinkled. And she would bet all her money that she was staring at the bottle Emma was gripping and wondering if this had anything to do with Henry or Regina. Which, regretfully, was the stem of her problems ninety-nine percent of the time.
Another groan escaped the plastered blonde as she sat up, turning her head only slightly. She wasn't about to look Mary Margaret in the face. There was no possible way she could handle that gaze tonight. "Nothing. I'm peachy. Peachy freaking keen." Sarcasm dripped from every syllable, making MM's frown become even deeper.
"Oh sure. That's why you broke out the whiskey, because you're totally fine." Mary Margaret deadpanned, walking slowly towards Emma. "I know you better than that Emma. You don't touch that stuff unless there's something to be depressed about." MM stopped talking for a moment, inching ever closer to Emma. She sighed, worry for Emma consuming her everything thought now. "Is it because of Henry?" The brunette asked, laying a hand on Emma's shoulder.
Emma winced at the mention of Henry, his very name even making her feel worse. She had to fight the willpower to pull away from Mary Margaret's touch. She didn't need even more guilt punching her in the face for making Mary Margaret feel unwanted and pushed out. However, one would think she would have been used to it by now. After all, she had run away with Henry at one point.
When Emma had returned, Mary Margaret had been the most pissed she'd ever seen her. In hindsight, that situation looked even more like a mother scolding her child than she had ever thought possible. "Oh God." Emma moaned out loud, unable to stop the words from tumbling from her lips.
Mary Margaret's eyes went wide and her hands began to hover all around Emma, unsure of what to do. "Oh God what, Emma? What's the matter?" The brunette began to panic a bit, unsure as to whether Emma was in pain. Well, of course she was emotionally, but there was no way she was about to drag that confession out of Emma any time soon. Finally MM pulled away, sitting in the chair next to Emma and laying her palm on the woman's arm. "Come on, Emma. Doesn't it feel better just letting it all out?" Mary Margaret's raised her eyebrows in question, blindly hoping Emma would actually open up this time.
Emma opened and closed her mouth, feeling like a fish out of water. She almost said something, but then thought better of it and brought the whiskey bottle to her mouth, knocking back the rest of the drink and wincing as it burned down her throat.
She was silent for a moment longer before she decided she would answer Mary Margaret's question after all. "No, M&M" She stopped, having to take a deep breath in between the words to steady herself. It didn't work. "It doesn't feel better. It…w-wouldn't matter if I sh…shhhh…shouted it all out or just kept it to m-myself. It's gonna hurt n-no matter w-what the h-hell I do."
The brunette frowned at her best friend, wishing for nothing more than to help her. However, she was positive there wasn't a thing she could do. "At least tell me what's going on?" Mary Margaret questioned, leaning forward a bit and trying her hardest to look Emma in the eye. The blond wouldn't have it though, refusing angrily to make eye contact.
Emma immediately began to shake her head, waving her hands about as she tried to push away from the table. Her bare feet slid against the floor and as a result, she moved nowhere. The bottle swung lazily in her hand, making Mary Margaret nervous. But Emma was too busy trying to get up and protest to notice the panicked look on her roommate's face.
"Nuh uh! No! I'm not talking about anything. I'm…" Emma paused, movements stopping for just a moment. She pondered for a moment, face scrunching up as her mind creaked to find the words she wanted to say next. "AHA! I'm going to walk it o-off!" This time, when Emma pushed away, she managed to find purchase on the floor and slid back. The chair scraped loudly on the floor.
Mary Margaret took a step towards Emma, eyes widening. "Wait! Emma! You shouldn't be going anywhere. You've had…too much to drink." Her hand reached out to Emma, but the blonde took a quick step back, immediately losing her footing. MM reached out for her, quickly moving to keep Emma from hitting her head anywhere. She snatched Emma's arms and kept her from tumbling backwards. "Emma, please. Just stay here and talk to me about it." Mary Margaret begged, eyes pleading with her friend.
The blonde got a grip on herself for a moment, pulling away from Mary Margaret's grip. "Noooo, MOM! I'm done talking. Talking is…is…is…." There was a look of concentration on Emma's face for a moment, her features scrunching up as she thought of a good word to use. She snapped her fingers when she was sure she'd found a good one. "Stuuuuuupid." Emma blurted out, laughing as she did a little twirl and grabbed her headphones off the kitchen counter. "Walks are much more, more, more fun. Kay, bye!" She didn't even bother grabbing her coat as she hurried, or tried to hurry, out the door. She slammed into the wooden door before actually opening it, scowling at it before retreating from the apartment for good. Mary Margaret just watched in astonishment as Emma left.
Emma had a time of it making it down the stairs and out into the street. She fell more than three times, almost not picking herself up off the ground after her last stumble. But soon the ground had become uncomfortable and Emma had picked herself up off the floor and wobbled her way outside. She fumbled for the iPod in her pocket, hoping to catch a few tunes as she had a nightly walk.
Emma was blissfully unaware of the cold temperature outside. The alcohol running through her body was keeping her warm enough. Emma had barely got a grip on her iPod as she retrieved it from her pocket, but her clumsy fingers slipped and the device fell to the ground with a clatter.
The blonde stopped walking, staring down at her iPod. She blinked a few times before an angered look passed through her features. "Well, motherfucker." She growled, bending down to find a few scratches on the screen. She scowled and grit her teeth, cursing at her iPod. Emma had never had the cleanest vocabulary, but her cursing became much worse when there was too much alcohol running through her veins. That wasn't the only thing that happened with Emma when she was drunk. Her mood swings were always horrible, swinging from happy to sad to pissed off in a matter of seconds. Tonight was certainly no different.
It was ten minutes later, when she finally had her headphones plugged into her music player, that Emma passed Mayor Mills' office. She was paying no attention to the dark haired woman retreating from the building as she bobbed her head to the music blasting in her ears.
Regina only saw Emma too late after she fumbled to get her keys from her purse. The blonde walked right into Regina, falling back into her ass with one bounce. Regina managed to catch herself, but barely. She nearly landed on top of Emma, but somehow pulled all her leg muscles together to fling herself away from the younger woman.
Regina checked herself for a moment, brushing out wrinkles in her blouse and skirt. When she was positive everything was back into place, a scowl formed deeply into her features as her brown eyes landed on Emma. Emma was still laying on the ground, complete look of shock written all over her face. Regina almost had the urge to laugh, but the anger overruled it. "What in the name of god do you think you're doing, Ms. Swan?" Regina barked, lip curling up in utter disgust.
The blonde jumped, startled to hear Regina yelling at her. Green eyes flitted up to brown, Emma's eyes wide as Regina's narrowed considerably. "OH! Oh! R-Regina!" Emma stuttered, blinking rapidly. The blonde moved to push herself up from the ground, but ended up doing a head first tumble back into the ground. At first there was a look of pain on Emma's face, but it quickly turned into laughter as she sprawled out on the ground. "That was soooo fun! You s-should try it, Reggie!" Emma moved to do another flip, but instead only turned until she was lying on her stomach instead.
Regina lifted a perfect brow and folded her arms. "What did you just call me?" The older woman asked incredulously, finding it odd to hear her name shortened to something so….common. Before Emma could speak though, Regina rolled her eyes and bent down to grab the woman by her arm. "And I'm not about to go rolling around with you on the ground. Get up, Ms. Swan, and put yourself together. You're in public. What would everyone think if they saw their Sheriff drunk out of her mind in the middle of the street?" Regina sounded exasperated, wondering why she was even helping Emma from the ground at all.
"Iiiiii! I do NOT! Not, not, not…." The blonde paused, trying to get her legs to work as Regina pulled on her arm. She stumbled a bit, but managed to get upright. However, she slumped against Regina and smiled brightly at the older woman. "I don't give two shits what anyone in this town thinks about me. Except you." It was a drunken confession, but a true confession. The shock on Regina's face told Emma that she hadn't been expecting that. It was silent between them for a moment, but Emma ruined it by starting to giggle. "Your face looks funny like that." She blurted, leaning a little more heavily into Regina.
The older woman scoffed, shoving Emma off of her and straightening her clothes once again. She completely refused to acknowledge the fact that Emma had confessed that she cared what Regina thought of her. She chalked it up to Emma being drink. There was no possible way Emma could care what Regina thought of her. Not that Regina really even cared whether Emma cared or not. Regina mentally shook herself and turned towards her car. "Lovely language." She scoffed sarcastically. "You need to sober up." Regina called back, continuing her walk and just knowing that Emma would follow.
Emma did exactly that, but it was more like stumbling after Regina. She tripped on her own two feet on the way to Regina's car. As Regina unlocked the passenger side door, Emma leaned against the car and stared at Regina. "You're so preeeeeeeety." The blonde crooned, eyes scanning over Regina's body in appreciation. She reached forward to touch Regina's arm, but Regina was quicker. She opened the passenger side door and let Emma fall into it before she could touch her.
"I'd thank you to keep your hands to yourself, Ms. Swan." Regina mumbled, turning so she could make her way to her side of the car. Her eyes cut to Emma for a moment before she unlocked and opened her own door, sliding in with an easy gracefulness.
"Party pooper." Emma muttered, letting her body fall limp into the car. She fumbled for the door handle for a couple minute before she heard Regina sigh and lean over her, grabbing the door herself and slamming it as she leveled an evil glare on Emma. Oh yeah, she was pissed. But if she was pissed, why did she have Emma in her car? Neither woman could answer that question. However, it was neither of their concerns at the moment. Especially Emma's.
Regina eyed Emma for a moment before turning the key into her ignition. The only sound for a moment was the sound of the engine, but suddenly a song began to blast through the speakers, making both women jump in their seats. "Oh, baby I wanna get with ya and take your picture. My homeboys tried to warn me, but that butt you got makes me so horny. Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin, you say you wanna get in my Benz? Well, use me, use me cause you ain't that average groupie."
The older woman had to fumble to turn the radio down, terrified that Emma had heard what she had been listening to. The truth be told though, Regina was a fiend for this worlds music. She listen to anything she could get her hands on, especially rap. Regina's eyes were wide as her heart pumped quickly in her chest. She was horrified, afraid of what Emma might say. Well, if she remembered when she sobered up. But for now, she schooled her features back into that of indifference.
However, as soon as Regina pulled her car onto the road, Emma burst into laughter. She threw the blonde woman a fierce glare of consternation, but that didn't stop Emma from continuing her laughter. Regina should have known Emma would not have been able to take the little surprise as an adult, especially considering she was under the influence. She should have expected this reaction, but Regina saw nothing funny in the type of music she listened to.
"Regina liiikes rap! Regina liiiikes rap!" Emma sing-songed, swinging her fingers back in forth in time. More giggles erupted and Emma slid down in the seat, reaching for the radio at the same time. She barely got it turned up before Regina slapped her hand away in frustration. When Emma looked over at the older woman, a shiver ran down her spine from the pure look of evil looking back at her.
"I am an adult, Ms. Swan. I will listen to whatever I please." Regina stuck her chin out, keeping her regal pose even as she drove. There was a pause before Regina added to her words. "But I'd rather you keep this to yourself. I don't need the whole town knowing what kind of music I'm listening to." Though that really was the least of her worries, the very least. She had Rumpelstiltskin to worry about, as well as the curse possibly breaking. And on another downside, she had a drunk Emma Swan riding in her car. She only hoped the blonde was a drunk that forgot everything in the mornings.
What usually only seemed like minutes of returning to her home, tonight it seemed like hours to Regina. Emma kept slumping over to her side of the car and messing with the radio. So keeping her eye on the road and swatting Emma off every few seconds made the small journey more cumbersome than necessary. A sigh of relief escaped the older woman's lips when she finally pulled up into her driveway.
When she turned to car off, Emma slumped over to her once more. "Ohhh, Madam Mayor! Stuck in a car with the Sheriff. All quiet and alone. How compro…comprimisinginging…." Emma giggled, hand landing on Regina's thigh as the blond tried to sexily wiggle her eyebrows. It wasn't working. Instead she ended up scrunching and unscrunching her eyes. Unfortunately for Regina, Emma was also a handsy drunk.
"I am not stuck in my car with you." Regina bit back, removing Emma's hand from her leg immediately. "The only thing I'm doing is making sure you don't make my town look bad. So you are going to come inside and get yourself sober." She paused, giving a long sigh of frustration. "I'm just glad Henry doesn't have to see you like this." A hurt expression clouded Regina's features as she thought of Henry. She missed her son so much.
Emma frowned, shaking her head. "No. NO! Don't talk about Henry. He's the reason I'm drunk n-now. I was at the hospital with him and t-talking to him." Emma stopped and took in a deep breath, her mood bursting into melancholy and sadness in seconds. "He looks so sad laying there in his little bed. And I talk to him all the time. I talk to him about y-you, Regina." Another pause, a hiccup cutting her words short for a moment. "I wonder ifffff he can hear me." Emma licked her lips, her mood shifting yet again. "Farger can you heeeaaarrr meeee!" The blonde sang, laughter erupting from her mouth seconds later.
Regina curled her lip in disgust and opened her door, slamming it behind her as she made her way around to the other side of the car. When she opened the passenger door, Emma tried to scowl at her. "Didn't your mommy ever teach you not to slam doors." Emma was halfway tumbling out of the car by the time Regina was able to get a hold of her. She quickly moved the blonde into her home, throwing onto the couch in her office. For a moment she looked Emma over, shaking her head as the woman rolled around on her couch.
The older woman pointed a finger at Emma and placed the most stern look on her face she could manage. "Stay here. Do not touch anything. If you break anything, you will pay for it." Regina was serious too. And she almost felt uneasy about going to make Emma some coffee, but she could very well break something while she was in the room as well.
Just as Regina reached the door of her office to leave, she heard Emma slam her hand on the couch. When she turned to glare at the blonde, Emma was smiling wide at her. 'YOU BREAK IT, YOU BUY IT!" She screamed, unsuccessfully holding back more drunken laughter. Regina decided to just ignore her then as she turned and left the room, leaving Emma to fend for herself for a few moments.
Regina was mumbling to herself as she came back moments later with a cup of coffee in her hand. She had only filled it up halfway, not trusting Emma in her drunken state to not spill it. Emma was turned upside down on the sofa when she walked into the room, all the blood rushing to her face and turning it red. Regina clinched her teeth and placed the coffee on the table. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Regina questioned, raising an eyebrow.
"Mmmm….nothing!" Emma answered, flashing a sideways grin up at the older woman scowling at her. As she tried to turn herself the right side up, she slid off the couch and onto the floor, giggling the whole time. She never made it back onto the sofa, only able to get herself on her hands and knees. Emma placed her chin on the coffee table, green eyes staring at the mug in front of her. "What's this?" Emma asked, licking her lips as she watched the steam roll out of the cup.
"It's coffee, Ms. Swan. And I would appreciate it if you would drink that and sober up." Regina sat herself on the edge of the couch, eyes never moving from Emma. She wondered why she had let this woman into her house like this. While she did still care about the reputation of her town and what Emma could be doing to it if caught drunk, she wondered if perhaps her own mind was rejecting another motive. She gave no thought to it though as she watched Emma move to sit on the floor.
Emma grabbed the cup of coffee and blew on it dramatically, backing her head up when the steam rolled into her face. She blew at it a few more times before taking a few small sips. Yet again her mood shifted, making Regina feel crazy herself. "Why are you helping me?" Emma wondered out loud, eyes flicking to Regina for a moment. "I mean, why help someone you hate?"
Regina was caught off guard by the question, leaving her staring at Emma for a moment. She cleared her throat a minute later, looking off to somewhere else in the room. "As I said, I don't want you to give my town a bad reputation." Regina paused for a moment, giving a small sigh. "And I don't hate you, Ms. Swan. I'm just no entirely fond of you either." It was almost a confession, but not quite. Regina truly didn't hate Emma, she was just so afraid of her taking her son away. Of course, they had worked together after Henry had fallen into that coma. She couldn't hate her after that.
Silence was all that greeted them after Regina's words, neither woman really knowing what to say. After another moment of silence, which quickly was escalating to awkward, Regina stood up and turned to Emma. "Finish the coffee. Sober up. There's a spare bedroom down the hall from Henry's room if you want it." Regina retreated quickly, not looking back even when Emma called out to her.
Emma continued to sit on the floor, mind playing over Regina's words. She quietly thanked Regina, unable to actually say the words to her face. After she finished off the cup of coffee, she sat it back down on the table. She wanted a bed to sleep in, but she was afraid of creeping through Regina's house alone. And she didn't want to go back to the apartment for fear of running into Mary Margaret. She was the last person she wanted to have a conversation with. Not to mention she didn't need to feel the worried gaze latched onto her, not after finding out that Mary Margaret was just as Henry had told her, her mother. Eventually Emma just passed out on the couch, too drunk to move or to care. Morning would definitely be an interesting event.