This is going to be a two-shot just to let people know. I really hope you enjoy this and please REVIEW! Thanks to oldmcpiper for beta-ing. :)
She is exhausted. Her whole body hurts from the day's events. Emma sits down on the couch, thankful that her newly discovered family isn't there yet. She is glad that her day was busy; it didn't give her time to think about what the curse breaking did to her. She lays her head back and let out a sigh. Now all the thoughts she had kept at bay were coming back. Her best friend is gone. Mary Margaret is now her mom, but it's not Mary Margaret. She is Snow freaking White now. Her heart hurts when she realizes that she will never get the chance to tell Mary Margaret how much she meant to her and that their last real conversation was a fight because she had tried to leave without saying goodbye.
Her self-pity party is cut short when the sound of laughter fills the staircase outside the door. The door is suddenly open and David- or James stumbles in with a small wooden sword. Quickly following on his heels is Henry, who pokes at the air near James with his sword. Mar- Snow White follows closely behind, laughing at the boy's antics as they enter the apartment. As soon as she sets eyes on Emma, she stops and her gaze softens. Emma squirms in her seat. Mary- Snow's gaze is so loving, so proud, and so everything she's ever wanted but right now it makes her heart ache. Henry breaks Emma's uncomfortable feeling by plopping down next to her on the couch.
"Hey kid." The name of endearment rolls off her tongue, like he had never died and come back to life. Emma ruffles Henry's hair and smiles at him. Immediately her mind is taken off her confusing feelings when Henry smiles back.
"You did it." Henry settles closer to her. Emma lifts her arm so that he can get closer and rests it on his shoulders. She can't say anything because her heart is in her throat. She found her parents, but lost her only best friend. She wonders if it was worth it… She shakes her head slightly, trying to bury those thoughts deep inside her.
"Yes she did." James says with pride and comes behind them and puts his hands on the headrest of the couch. It probably feels like a warm, cozy silence to everyone else but her. Emma clears her throat, startling everyone out of their trance.
"What have you guys been doing?" Emma asks, trying to get the attention off her. By now, Mary Mar-Snow is in the kitchen, preparing their dinner. She scolds herself for almost calling Snow, Mary Margaret. She needs to call her roommate, now mom, by her name. It almost seems disrespectful, like Mary Margaret and Snow White are two different people and mismatching their names would be weird or rude.
"Well when you ran off to go see Mr. Gold, we had to go the town hall and start the process of helping people find their families." Snow White has that tone that says she didn't like that her daughter ran off without her but Emma doesn't care at this point. She needed space before her anger and sadness pushed to the surface. Speaking of anger, Emma swallows a bubble of resentment that's reserved for her parents. Instead, she focuses on Henry and plays with his hair.
"How was your day?" Emma asks softly. Henry smiles broader and glances at James. She catches a sparkle that passes between them.
"After we did the work, Grandpa and I found some swords and he was teaching me to fight. For self-defense, of course." Henry adds the last part. Emma smiles and raises an eyebrow at her son.
"Of course." Emma looks around for a moment and sees that James has started to set the table and… Snow is putting food on plates. "Come on, let's go eat some dinner." She says to Henry, who eagerly hops up and goes to the table. Emma carefully gets up from her spot and slowly makes her way to the table. She doesn't miss how Snow placed her plate right by Emma's. Emma sits down and waits patiently for the food. Her mind is trying to think of ways to get through the dinner without a life changing conversation.
James and Snow sit down. Snow's clearly happy that Emma didn't switch places with Henry. The couple brings to the table some chicken, vegetables and fruit. Emma quickly loads her plate with food and starts to eat. Her plan is to always have a full mouth whenever her parents want to talk.
"So, Emma how was your day?" Snow's voice is soft but Emma knows that is a very loaded question. She can tell that both James and Snow are eager to know. She puts another large fork load of chicken in her mouth as she tries to think of an answer that doesn't answer the question. Honestly, she doesn't know how her day was. Her son died, came back, she found her parents, lost her best friend, found out that fairy tales exist and that everyone in the town is a character in one.
"I'm exhausted." Her reply is simple but she hopes it will slightly satisfy her parents. Snow glances at James, and for a minute she is scared she will have to elaborate but then Snow White nods her head and lets the question lay unanswered. She lets out a sigh of relief, which hopefully her parents didn't catch.
"Can we please watch a movie tonight? I thought I saw that there was a good movie on ABC." Henry asks with his innocent face, milking every second of her guilt. Emma knows she should send him straight to bed after diner but that face is making it incredibly difficult. She lets out a groan and relents.
"Fine. But only one, although I doubt school will be open tomorrow anyway." She can't hold back a questioning gaze at Mar- Snow. Snow shrugs and continues her silent conversation with her husband. The instinct of just wanting to look at her best friend pains her. She desperately wanted Mary Margaret to be looking back at her, with a kind and reassuring smile that she desperately needs.
Henry lets out a 'yes!' and then shovels his food into his mouth. She is about to scold him but stops herself. Henry can have a night to have his own way. Emma plasters a mischievous smile on her face as she glances at her parents and starts to shovel food into her mouth too. She and Henry are both racing to finish their food so they can watch a movie. Snow White opens her mouth, with scolding words on her tongue too, but closes it.
Emma and Henry quickly leave the table and wash their dishes. She doesn't normally do that, Mary Margaret always did, but it seems like she doesn't know what to do now that Mary Margaret is gone. Does Snow White still have the tendencies that Mary Margaret had?
Her thoughts are interrupted when Henry pulls her arm roughly towards the couch and they both drop onto the comfy seating. She looks at the empty spot by her, deciding whether or not to stop Snow from sitting there by extending her legs. However, her thought process takes too long because Snow sits down. Emma rapidly turns her attention to the television because Snow starts to gaze at her with those motherly eyes again, and seems to want Emma to look at her back.
"So what are we watching?" James asks as he sits down on a seat isolated from the couch. For a moment, Emma almost feels sad for James because he seems to be left out but then she snaps out of it. Henry smiles at them.
"Annie." His voice squeaks with excitement. James raises an eyebrow. "Hey, don't judge me. I'm a ten year old kid, I can watch Disney musical movies." James grins back and turns his attention to the screen, which comes to life with a red haired girl. Emma's head tilts, the movie title and soundtrack sounding vaguely familiar. The scene progresses and soon the music starts.
(LISTEN THE SONG! *1999 ANNIE MAYBE* IT HELPS A TON!)
Maybe far away
Or maybe real nearby
He may be pouring her coffee
She may be straightening this tie
Maybe in a house
All hidden by a hill
She's sitting playing piano,
He's sitting paying a bill!
The whole room is enraptured by the young actress's voice. Emma finds herself eagerly awaiting the next verse. She quickly peeks at the people around her. James has a goofy smile on his face, and Henry is grinning ear to ear… oh boy, he probably has a crush. She chuckles softly at the thought. When she looks over at Snow, she notices that the woman is quiet and is almost studying the child on the screen. She turns her head back towards the TV when the actress starts to sing again.
Betcha they're young
Betcha they're smart
Bet they collect things
Like ashtrays, and art!
Betcha they're good -
(Why shouldn't they be?)
Their one mistake
Was giving up me!
Emma feels a twinge in her chest. She realizes what the movie is about. Orphan Annie. Suddenly the movie becomes very personal and she braces herself for the next part.
So maybe now it's time,
And maybe when I wake
They'll be there calling me "Baby"...
Her vision becomes blurry with tears. Her chest feels like the seven dwarfs are sitting on it. Emma turns away from the TV, refusing to watch anymore and start crying. She curses the amazing actress from 1999 whose voice is bringing tears to her eyes. It's like listening to the lyrics is breaking all the walls she's built to ignore those horrible years in the orphanage.
Snow has apparently noticed her change in attitude. She gently sets a hand on Emma's leg. Emma sniffs and turns further away. Unfortunately Henry is that direction and notices her tears.
"What's wrong?" Henry says with alarm. Emma smiles through her teary eyes and shakes her head.
So maybe now this prayer's
The last one of its kind...
Won't you please come get your "Baby"
The song ends and now all the attention is on her because now James looks over too. It is all too much. She shifts Henry off her and stands up. She can't look at her mom because she will just want to cry in her arms so she walks swiftly to her loft room, leaving behind a room full of confused people.
Emma lies down and stuffs her head in her pillows. The lyrics of the song sink in her head and the tears just start pouring out. Sobs wrack her body as she gets her pillow soaked with tears. The pain of remembering praying every night and hoping that in the morning, her parents would be there is overwhelming. Her whole body shakes as she thinks about her anguish as a child. The sting feels like she is still a child.
A soft knock makes her look up. Mary's, no Snow's face immediately falters and becomes pained when she sees Emma's smeared makeup and red swollen eyes.
"Oh Emma." Snow sighs with concern etched onto her features. Emma sniffles and tries to seem not as weak as she is. It's disconcerting to know that her mother is sitting on the same bed as her. Her whole body screams at her to curl up to her mother but her childish fears and pride restrain her. Instead she just shifts to the side so Snow has room to scoot fully onto the bed.
What did you think? Please tell me if you listen/watched the video and tell me what you think. If you haven't heard it then re-read the story while listening and then review. :]