SO, AS I OPENED UP THE BLANK DOCUMENT, I WAS STARTING TO WRITE THE 15TH CHAPTER OF THERE'S A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, BUT THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT THE PREMIERE AND HOW AMAZING IT WAS. SO, HERE'S THIS. THANKS FOR READING! AS ALWAYS, FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED.
DON'T OWN ONCE UPON A TIME. ADAM AND EDDIE, YOU'RE AMAZING.
"Really?" Emma groans as she pushes herself up into a sitting position. Next to her, Snow stirs.
"Who are you!?" Suddenly, a sword is at her throat. She groans again.
"Lady, I'm not in the mood."
"You brought that thing here!" Mulan yells. Snow immediately shoots up, her hands instinctively reaching for a sword that isn't there.
"Oh, that crazy psyco black ghost thing? Sorry about that." The blonde rubs her temples. Today has been such a sucky day.
"Emma?" Snow turns to her daughter, surveying the damage. "Are you okay?"
"Other than being seriously pissed, yes."
"I will only ask once more; who are you?"
"My name is Emma. That's Mary Margaret." She points to the brunette.
"Snow White." She extends her hand.
"Yeah, or that. Whatever." Emma stands up and begins pacing. "We come in peace."
"That may be so, but you killed my Phillip." Aurora says sharply.
"Is this about that true love thing again?" She sighs.
"Yes." Snow says. "We're terribly sorry about that. I promise you, we never meant to cause any problems. Actually, it was Regina's fault, but that's another story for another day."
"Queen Regina?" Aurora asks. Snow nods in affirmation. "Okay, that I believe. But Phillip is still dead."
"Hey, here's a crazy thought, how about you kiss him?" Emma suggests with an eye roll. She wishes that had worked with Graham.
"I…I never thought about that." Aurora runs over. With a hopeful smile, she places a tender kiss to Phillip's lips. A shockwave of energy radiates outward.
"You saved me." He smiles.
"Shut up, I've heard that enough." Emma stomps over. "Wanna help me get back to my kid?"
"Emma." Snow chides. "She's right. We really need to get back to Storybrooke."
"How did you get here?" Mulan queries.
"Hold on a second." The blonde eyes her up and down. "You're Mulan? Like, the awesome badass warrior princess who saves all of China?"
"Uh, yeah." She gives Emma a curious look. "Why does that matter?"
"Cause you're freaking awesome!"
"Thanks, but you didn't answer my question."
"Jefferson's hat." Emma says, annoyance once again written on her face.
"You have magic. If you walk to the east for a day, you should arrive at the edge of our world. When Regina cast the curse, the beanstalk reopened. You should be able to go through." Mulan says.
"My day just keeps getting better and better." She starts off in the direction that she assumes is east. Snow laughs.
"Emma, that's north. Thank you." Snow shakes each of the women's hands. "Good luck!"
"Good luck to you." Aurora replies. She catches up with Emma.
"So." She smiles. "This is great. We can have mother/daughter bonding time."
"No, this is not great. My son is out there with that psychopath." Emma replies as evenly as she can. "Besides, I'm not the bonding type."
"I'm proud of you." Snow says.
"What?" The blonde does a double take.
"I said I'm proud of you. You could've killed Regina. You may not have the best people skills, but that's okay. You're handling this all exceptionally well."
"Can we not do this right now?"
"No." Snow steps in front of her, forcing her to stop. Emma's taken aback by her boldness.
"You're keeping up. You know, I used to wish you were like this. Now, not so much." The blonde attempts to sidestep her.
"I always had to slow down to wait for you cause you never walked fast. It was kinda annoying."
"Emma, I know you don't want to talk and this is your way of avoiding it, but you will have to at some point."
"Can we at least walk while we do it? It's gonna be a long hike."
"Alright." Snow relents. They stay silent for a few moments. "I have so much to ask I don't know where to start."
"You keep thinking about it." Emma says.
"When I said I was proud of you, I meant for everything, not just sparing Regina."
"I'm not ready for that."
"Alright." The brunette nods. "Let's start with something easier. What was that potion you guys were talking about?"
"Oh, that? I just retrieved it from a dragon." Emma says as nonchalantly as possible.
"You what!? Are you hurt?" Snow immediately stops and starts searching her daughter for lacerations or bruises.
"I'm fine." Emma steps back. "Seriously."
"So you fought a dragon?" The brunette raises an eyebrow, impressed.
"It wasn't that hard. I mean, bullets didn't touch the thing, but David's sword did wonders."
"I didn't think it was possible to be any more proud than I was." Snow hugs her again. "You are the most amazing person I've ever known. I couldn't ask for a better daughter."
"Too touch-feely mushy."
"Sorry." She pulls back. "Emma, I want you to know something. Your father and I sent you through because Regina was going to kill you. Even if she didn't, do you really think she'd let us all live together?"
"I guess I didn't think about that." The blonde starts walking again. "Thank you for doing what you did. Unfortunately I know how hard it was."
"No, Emma. Thank you for saving us. We always knew you would find us." Snow says seriously. Emma stops short and runs a hand through her hair, biting her bottom lip in an effort to stop the quivering. "Emma? What's wrong?" Snow's concerned eyes are immediately on her.
"I've just had a really sucky day." The blonde replies in a shaky voice. "My son died then came back to life, I found out fairytales are real, I fought a freaking dragon, I broke a curse, and I met my parents, and now I'm separated from my son again." A tear snakes down her cheek, and Snow resists the urge to brush it away. "I just don't know how to deal with it." Emma swipes at her eyes, annoyed.
"I can't promise you it'll be easy, but I can promise you that you won't be doing it alone. Me, Charming, Henry, we're all here for you."
"What if we don't get back to them!?" Now she's angry again. Great.
"We will." Snow says, her voice firm.
"How can you know that?" Emma looks more like a scared child than a twenty eight year old woman.
"Because James and I always find each other, Henry always finds you, and you always find all of us." They start walking again, and Snow glances up at the high sun that's baking them. "We need to find some weapons."
"Um…" Emma gives her an incredulous look. "No offense, but… I don't really know how to put this… do you get what I'm saying?"
"I'm tougher than you think." Snow smirks. "But seriously, we need a way to protect ourselves. There's no telling what's out there."
"I take back what I've said a thousand times. This is officially the suckiest day ever."
"You're a positive person by nature, and I'm not." She huffs.
"Obviously." Snow sighs. "There's no woods around here, it's like a desert. We're screwed."
"Nope." Emma keeps walking. "Don't revert to Mary Margaret's ways. God, that sounds so weird. Come on, we have a magic beanstalk to get to. That's weird, too."
"This is your homeland, Emma." Snow relents and starts moving her feet again. "Only part of it, though. It used to be so amazing."
"Yippee, I love family history lessons." The blonde rolls her eyes. "We should slow down, though. It's hot and I don't need you heat stroking. At night we can pick up the pace."
"Yeah, but all the animals come out at night."
"I really don't give a crap about that. I killed a dragon."
"You're really proud of that, aren't you?" Snow smiles. "I am, too. Your first time using a sword and you kill it? That's amazing."
"We've already been over this." Emma groans yet again. "Are you capable of walking and not talking?"
"Emma." Snow says sternly.
"Sorry." She kicks at a pebble. "No offense."
"It's okay. Could you maybe tell me something about yourself to make up for it?"
"I could, but I don't want to."
"Emma." She grabs her arm and forces the blonde to look at her. "I know this is hard for you, but it's hard for James and I, too. We're doing the best that we can, but you need to meet us halfway. Please."
"Okay. What do you want to know?" Emma says slowly.
"What's your favorite color?"
"Seriously?" Emma doubles over in laughter. "Red." She manages to get out.
"That's your fath- Charming's favorite color, too." Snow smiles sadly.
James frowns as he watches Henry, who's staring at the picture of Emma and Mary Margaret.
"It's going to be okay, Henry." He kneels in front of the boy.
"How do you know?" Henry asks, his voice wobbling, furiously blinking back tears.
"Because we always find each other, and your mom and grandma are the strongest people I know. They're coming back to us, don't worry." He pulls him into a hug and feels Henry shake. "It's okay to cry, Henry. Let it out, you'll feel better."
"No." He says stubbornly, shaking his small head. "Mom was brave, so I have to be brave. I'm the one who got her into this mess."
"Can't you see, Henry? She's the happiest she's ever been, I think." Or rather, James hopes.
"You didn't see the look on her face."
"No, it was the same one when she first saw me."
"Do you think she was sad to see you?" James asks, already knowing the answer, but needed Henry to believe it.
"No… but she was scared. Those are the only two times I've ever seen her scared, and it's all my fault!" Finally, the boy breaks down, sobbing into James' chest.
Night has fallen, the last bit of the sun's rays disappearing behind the horizon. It's strangely silent. No owls hoot, and no deer rustle the bushes. It's starting to creep Emma out.
"How much farther do you think?" She asks.
"I'd say two, maybe three miles? Why?" Snow gazes at the moon. It's exactly as she remembers it, so much brighter than in Storybrooke.
"I'd really like to run it. Get back to my kid faster and out of this Hellhole." Emma replies.
"Sure. Think you can keep up?" Snow smirks then laughs. She takes off.
"Hey! Slowly! I'm a sprinter, not long distance." Emma picks up her pace, as well. Her mother laughs even harder.
"Okay, okay." She slows down. "Why do you like sprinting better?" It's a simple question, and surely Emma will think nothing of it, and Snow will hold onto any piece of information her daughter gives her like it's sacred.
"Most people who jump bail aren't running for miles on end. Typically, they sprint to their cars which are rarely more than 250 feet away. If I have the boot on the car, I just have to make sure I'm close enough that they won't try running again." Emma explains.
"Did you compete in high school?"
"Yeah, varsity. At one point, I was actually number one in my school. Then, the day before the Nationals, I had to move foster homes again. I was disqualified."
"Emma, that's amazing!" Snow beams. "I mean, not the disqualification part, but making it to Nationals is amazing."
"Thanks. How much longer?"
"One and a half miles." The brunette answers, her voice amused. "You have long legs, this should be easy."
"You know, looking at you and Leroy was like… I realized you're like an inch taller than them." Emma laughs. "I just find that really funny."
"Yes, I'm aware that you do. And for that, I get to ask another question. Do you have any good memories from your childhood?"
"I forgot you don't sugarcoat stuff anymore." She sighs. "Vaguely from my first foster family when I was three."
"Care to elaborate?"
"It's how I got my last name. I kept it." Emma answers, her voice stiff and hoarse from the lack of oxygen.
"Really? Nothing else?" Snow asks hopefully.
"Unless you count the brief euphoria from jumping out of a tree, intending to land on a trampoline, but missing. I broke my arm and fractured my tibia doing that. Thinking back, I was one stupid kid." Snow wishes she could have been there to kiss her daughter's arm and leg and make it better.
"You weren't stupid. You did it on a dare, which you never backed down from. Ever." The brunette says knowingly.
"How did you know that?" Emma risks tripping over something to look away from the sand to glance at her mother, even though it was no use in pitch black.
"I know you." She says simply. "Almost there, just a quarter of a mile left."
"It's so quiet, except for your yacking." Emma quips. Snow scoffs. "No, but seriously. It's weird. I mean, usually your hear some sign of life or something. Even the stars aren't out. The stars aren't out!" The idea is so foreign to her, and she can't see a thing and it's starting to make her paranoid. She's never been the most graceful person, and a face plant would suck right about now.
"You're right." Snow agrees. "Do you mind if we take a moment to stop and look at it?"
"Seriously? You want to take a moment to look at the blank night sky?" Emma asks incredulously.
"I appreciate nature and its beauty."
"But there's nothing to look at." The blonde insists.
"So shoot me."
"How come I feel like I'm arguing with myself?" Emma sighs, exasperated.
"Because you're just like me." Snow grab's her daughter's arm just before the latter falls of the edge of a cliff. "Emma!"
"Jesus mother fu-"
"Language." Snow chides.
"Of God?" She recovers.
"Good enough." The brunette shrugs. "You ready to open a portal?"
"Hell yes." The land just seemingly ends, plummeting into darkness. Emma stares down at the abyss.
"What did we just talk about?" Snow raises an eyebrow.
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks." The blonde replies. "Alrighty then, let's give this a try. Abra cadabra." She waves her hands around. "Bippety boppety boo."
"Emma, it's not working."
"I'm aware of that." She snaps. "Sorry, I'm just stressed. I didn't mean to snap."
"It's okay." Snow places a hand on her shoulder. For another five minutes, Emma repeats every Harry Potter spell she's ever heard of until she gets angry.
"Stupid thing, open! I want to get back to my son!"
"I don't think that's going to work…"
"If you don't open, you're going to regret it!" Emma stomps her foot, too engrossed in her fit to realize how foolish she looks. Suddenly, a large green circle appears, a beacon of light against the darkness.
"I take that back."
"Yes?" The brunette turns her head to see her daughter, tears that she's no doubt been holding back all day except for that one lonesome tear earlier glistening in the green eyes that remind her so much of her own.
"For what it's worth, this little trip was actually nice. I liked it. You know, just in case the thingy over there eats us or something."
"Me too." Snow smiles, then hugs her hard.
"Uh…" Emma stiffens.
"Just in case the thingy over there eats us or something." She says, and the blonde laughs. Snow pulls back, but holds onto her daughter's forearms. "You ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be." Emma nods, then grabs Snow's hand. "One."
"Three!" They yell in unison before leaping into the vortex.
James places the hat on the coffee table and stares at it. The only thing he won't give to get his wife and daughter back is Henry. Suddenly, light shoots out and Emma and Snow crash onto the table.
"What was that?" Henry comes down the stairs to make sure his grandfather isn't being killed, too. "Emma!?" At the sound of his voice, the blonde shoots up, ignoring the pain in her side.
"Hey, Kid." She smiles, then hisses as Henry wraps his arms around her in a death-grip-bear hug.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Emma dismisses his concern. "I've just landed on two too many hard surfaces today." She looks up at James. "How's your face?"
"You saw that?" He asks.
"Every bit of it." Snow smirks from her position on the couch, where James had moved her to. "Thinking back, the terror of the moment gone, it was actually quite hilarious."
"Wait, what happened?" Henry pulls back, sitting in between Snow and James on the couch. Emma sits in a chair near the TV.
"Your Grandpa did a belly flop onto the floor." The brunette answers.
"No, not cool. I almost broke my nose." James rubs his perfect nose.
"Get over it. I think I've won the Suckiest Day Award." Emma says.
"Actually, it's only been today for two minutes." He looks at the clock.
"Yesterday then. Henry died, so I fought a dragon to save him-"
"Are you hurt?" James almost rushes towards her.
"Tell me about it!" Henry chirps. "What happened?"
"I'm alive, aren't I? Anyway, I met Mulan and Sleeping Beauty, saved my son with true love's kiss, and got separated from him again. I broke a curse and met my parents."
"Those are all good things, except for me dying."
"It's overwhelming, Henry. But you're right. Sometimes, sucky days are only sucky because they're actually great, but the person can't see it because he or she doesn't want to believe it because the idea is scary." They all sit in silence for almost a minute, too shocked by Emma's maturity openness, and positivity about everything. "And I'm also pretty sure I broke my back." She adds, realizing what had just come out of her mouth. James senses this.
"So, how was your trip to our world?"
"It's destroyed, Charming. There was only a little part saved, maybe 100 square miles at the most."
"That's more than the average island." James says, his eyes sad at the thought of his home being destroyed.
"Actually, Delaware's bigger than that, so…" Emma interjects.
"Delaware?" Snow looks extremely confused.
"And you're supposed to be a teacher?" The blonde scoffs.
"How did being stuck together for twelve hours go?" James asks.
"I should probably add that onto the reasons why my day sucked." Emma lies. She has a reputation to maintain.
"We have a problem." Snow says. "I talk too much and she talks too little unless she's ranting about Regina."
"I talk about other things."
"Such as?" The brunette challenges.
"Henry." She answers after a moment.
"Who's connected to Regina." Snow carefully avoids using the term 'related'.
"You're insufferable, you know that?"
"Okay, guys come on." James opens his arms wide. "Bring it in." Snow leans on him, her head fitting perfectly against his shoulder, and Henry motions for Emma to go over. After a moment she relents with a sigh.
"This isn't making my sucky day any better. In fact, it's making it worse."
"Stop being such a cynical hardass." Snow says, resisting the urge to play with Emma's hair.
"And you were yelling at me for my language!" The blonde protests.
"Good point. Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Happy?"
"No. My day still sucked."
"Listen to your own advice, Emma." James smiles.
"Will you tell the story about the dragon now?" Henry looks up, his eyes bright and innocent. She can't say no to that.
"Okay, Kid." As she begins to start her tale, Snow gets up to make hot chocolate. From anyone on the outside looking in, they would appear as a normal family except for the fact that Snow and James are the same age as their daughter. For the first time, Emma is entertaining the thought that maybe her days don't always have to be sucky.
THE PREMIERE WAS JUST AMAZING. ANYONE ELSE WANT TO KILL REGINA RIGHT ABOUT NOW? CAUSE I'LL JOIN DR. WHALE! LOL.