Rating: K+ for Emma's foul mouth
Spoilers: Through 2x01, Broken
Synopsis: AU/non-canon. End of day 1, post-curse. Snow had pushed and pushed all day. Could it hurt to ask just one more time?
An aside: Emma is obviously not going to start calling Snow "Snow" or "mom," therefore, when she speaks or thinks I've continued to use "Mary Margaret", and when Snow is speaking or being described, "Snow" is used.
Emma padded down the stairs wearing a fresh tank and pajama pants, hair still wet from her shower. Snow was seated on the sofa, wringing her hands and fighting a battle in her mind. "Don't push it, Snow," she heard Charming's words ringing in her ears. Emma didn't pay any attention to the woman nearly burning holes through her back as she microwaved herself a mug of cocoa and plopped down at the table. Truthfully, she much preferred Mary Margaret's cocoa made hot on the stove with milk… but she had had it up to there with her roommate… her mother… today. Luke warm would do.
Snow and Charming had decided that making any new living arrangements could wait. For now, Henry stayed with his grandfather so Snow and Emma could get some rest. At least that's what Emma had in mind.
As Emma sipped in silence, Snow slowly made her way off the sofa and into the kitchen to rummage through the refrigerator. It was obvious she wasn't looking for anything in particular; she just wanted to be close to her.
Snow cleared her throat and sighed. "Emma?"
Emma closed her eyes. "Yeah?" After a beat of silence, her eyes opened and she glanced over the table to see Mary Margaret deep in thought, looking as though she were on the verge of a meltdown. Oh God, no more crying. If there was one thing Emma absolutely could not handle, it was the sight of Mary Margaret in pain… and worse… this pain was because of her.
"Um… Mary Margaret?"
"Yes… I'm sorry. Emma…" her named dripped like honey off of Mary Margaret's lips, drawled out and so damn soothing. "I know… I know I've asked you all day. Begged, even… but I want… I want to know. I need to know… talk to me." Snow's voice was firm, unwavering. This was not Mary Margaret before her. This was Snow White, and this only served to infuriate Emma.
"No." Emma pushed her mug to the middle of the table and shot up from her chair. She needed to go outside. She was barefoot and in her nightclothes, but she had to get out of there before she hurt Mary Margaret any further. She didn't want to talk. She wasn't going to talk. It had been one day… less than 24 hours… since the curse had broken. Spending the night opening long forgotten wounds and spilling dark secrets was not on her agenda. Emma wanted to sleep. She hadn't slept in days and was so exhausted she could barely think, let alone process this ridiculousness of her parents' identity. As Emma darted for the door, Snow bolted across the kitchen and smashed herself up against it, barricading the only way out of the tiny apartment.
"No!" Snow demanded and Emma stared, alarmed at the tone of her roommate's voice. Clearly she was losing it. This woman had lost her mind. Emma reached out a hand to remove Mary Margaret from the door and was met with a glare that caused her to rethink that decision. "I'm not moving until we talk. I have lost 28 years of your life, Emma! You've told me things… things that as a friend I found heartbreaking. As a mother… as your mother… I'm horrified that you grew up the way you did. I agonized over giving you away. I would have done anything to have been able to come with you. To raise you and love you and give you the life you were denied because of this damn curse…" Snow relaxed her stance at the door, but still made no move to get out of the way. Instead, she waited. Waited for something, anything, from the beautiful blonde woman standing before her. She studied Emma's face, seeing traces of Charming and definite flashes of herself. Emma's eyes burned into her with a red-hot intensity and Snow knew that Emma was her mother's child. Smart as a whip and determined as hell to get her way.
"Mary Margaret," Emma started coolly, "I'm going to ask you nicely one time to move away from the door."
Snow made no effort to oblige her daughter.
Emma paced tiny the kitchen. She knew she could just as easily retreat to the loft and slam her bedroom door. That would be it. Lock the door and block it out… but something kept her there, pacing, thoughts racing and heart beating so fast she thought it might soon explode. Eyeballing her cocoa mug, she snatched it up and did the only thing she could think of at the moment… she sent it flying across the room, now cold cocoa arching up into the air and splashing down all over the table. When the mug finally connected with the sharp end of the counter, ceramic shards shot out in every direction, covering the wooden floor. All Snow could do was watch as the pain on her daughter's face nearly broke her heart in two.
"You know, Mary Margaret…" Emma spun to face her, "do you really want to know what you missed? What my life was like?" She didn't pause before continuing, arms folded and her gaze locked on her mother. "My life was hell. I went from foster home to foster home, family to family, and no one ever told me they loved me. I had a family until I was three, then they had their own kid so they sent me back. That's love, right? I prayed to whatever or whoever was listening every night that my parents would come for me. Maybe they just got lost or they left me because they needed to do something very important and they would be back any minute to pick me up and we'd all live happily ever after. Well… happily ever after isn't shit when you've seen what I've seen."
She took another breath, daring Mary Margaret to speak. She studied her mother's face and averted her eyes when she saw the pain enveloping the woman across from her. Mary Margaret closed her eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks as she processed Emma's story.
"I was 16 when I left the system. I lived on the streets, taking whatever I could to survive and sleeping my way into a warm bed when it was too cold to stand it. There was a man when I was 17, he was just a stranger and the typical one-nighter, but we screwed up…"
She paused, searching for the right words to discuss him. What a bastard. He didn't deserve the breath she had already wasted.
"He screwed up. I got pregnant. I didn't want a kid… I didn't need or deserve a kid. I had no money, no job, no house, what the hell was I supposed to do!?"
Emma's voice broke and she felt the familiar heat behind her eyelids. She turned to begin pacing again, careful to avoid the shattered ceramic on the floor.
"I left. I didn't tell him about the kid. In fact, I never saw him again. I hitchhiked out West. I made it all the way to Arizona, and then I landed in jail for holding up a convenience store. I was stupid. I was young… but I had never been taught any different. I gave the kid up for adoption. I didn't want to see him or even hold him when he was born. Never to be spoken of again. Only I knew. Then… I got out of jail, got my shit together and got a job in Boston. I thought I was a badass so I became a bail bondsperson. I had been searching for my parents for my whole life, never knowing the right way to do it, so I figured a pretty fitting profession. I was good at my job. Successful, even. I had a decent apartment, I could pay my bills, and afford my own car… then this kid shows up! Says he's my son. Henry. You know the rest, right!?"
Emma was spent. She leaned against the counter, lightheaded and pulse pounding, until she finally gave in and sank to the floor amidst the mess she'd made. Tears stained her cheeks and she buried her face in her knees, wanting nothing more than to disappear. Maybe if she stayed still long enough, Mary Margaret would just leave. In fact, maybe Snow White would see that her daughter is a complete disaster and decide she doesn't want her at all. She figured it would happen at some point anyway.
Snow was silent, tears still spilling down as she crossed the room to sit next to Emma on the floor. She didn't dare say a word, so afraid she would taint this sacred moment that was clearly a breakthrough. Instead, Snow put her arms around her daughter and pulled her close.
Emma froze, she didn't want to be touched or held or consoled in any way. She shrugged Mary Margaret off of her, careful not to hurt her, she just wanted her space. Instead, this crazy woman pulled her tighter!
"Stop! Stop, Mary Margaret! It's not worth it! I don't belong in any fairytale, don't you get that!?" Emma pushed at her, and again Mary Margaret only held on. Damn this woman was strong! "Please… let me… ugh! Let go…" Emma continued to swat, choking back foreign emotions that threatened to consume her.
"Emma… Emma stop. It's ok. Please… shhh… it's ok," Snow mumbled over and over, so desperate to calm her. She dodged Emma's flailing arms and finally trapped them under her own to avoid getting smacked. Emma continued to fight her, but only half-heartedly as she was growing too tired to struggle any longer.
Emma gave up with a whimper. She let the tears slip down, finally relaxing her body and leaning up against Mary Margaret. So, this is what it was like, huh? Having someone… someone who isn't afraid of the mess you've made or the bad decisions. Her whole body ached and she shook so hard that even Mary Margaret's strong-hold couldn't still her.
All of the walls Emma had previously erected were crashing down, shattering on the floor with the sticky sweet chocolate and beige coffee mug.
"Are you ok?" Snow offered, her voice tinged with emotion and concern.
"Um… no." Emma chuckled, breaking the thick tension between them. Snow laughed, relieved to hear Emma's snarky sense of humor.
Now the healing could begin.
Snow eased her grip and leaned back, letting Emma know that she could get up if she wanted to, but Emma scooted closer. Not daring to make eye contact, Emma buried her head in her mother's shoulder and closed her eyes. More tears threatened to fall, but they weren't because she was angry or upset… she was home. After all the years of heartache and God knows what else, Emma Swan had a home. She had parents who loved her, a son who thought she hung the moon, and a whole town behind her.
A smile found its way to Snow's lips as she gently rocked the 28 year-old woman on the hardwood floor and stroked her damp hair. After a few moments, Emma's breathing calmed and her body fell still… she was asleep. Despite the exhaustion Snow herself felt, she was content to hold her sleeping girl until the sun rose on a new day.