Ok, so before I really start things. This is actually my first fanfic in the Once realm. But I've been a huge fan since the first season, and enjoy chatting about what I think will happen or just what has already happened. So if anyone wants to talk Once, feel free to message me.
Disclaimer: (since I just thought about it, and will forget otherwise) I don't own Once Upon a Time! If I did, there would probably be a few different twists in the story.
Confusion filled Emma as she took in her surroundings. She wasn't quite sure how she had gotten there, but she found herself at a large gate.
The next thing she noticed was how short she suddenly felt. A quick once over and she guessed her age to be somewhere around 5 or 6.
Before she could focus too much of her attention on that the gate opened and a woman walked out, a basket on her arm.
"Emma, are you ready to go?" The woman asked, warm smile adjourning her face.
Emma nodded eagerly in reply, suddenly feeling extremely excited. "What'd papa pack for the picnic?" She asked. The older part of her felt strange, she couldn't remember something like this happening before. Nor could she remember this woman who gave off such a motherly feeling.
The woman laughed, her eyes sparkling with entertainment. "We'll just have to find out at lunch, won't we?" She asked Emma teasingly.
Emma pouted slightly, looking a little disappointed. The look quickly disappeared as the woman took her hand and began walking toward the forest, excitement filling its place.
Mary Margaret blinked awake slowly. It took a few moments for her mind to wake, and when it did she noticed it was dark outside her window.
Looking at the clock, she saw that it was one in the morning. Confusion settled in at that point as Mary Margaret began to wonder why on god's green earth she would be awake at that unholy hour. The question seemed to be answered as she heard a wracking cough fill her small apartment.
Curiosity won over laziness and Mary Margaret pushed herself out of the bed, blearily making her way out of the room and down to the living room.
She was surprised to find Emma down there, sitting on a bar stool and slumped against the counter. A glass of water sat next to her arm.
"Emma?" Mary Margaret asked, unsure. After all, it looked like Emma was asleep, even if uncomfortably, and it would be unfair to wake her.
Surprising Mary Margaret, Emma responded with a groan and pushed herself off the counter. "Hey," Emma mumbled, her voice sounding strange. "What time is it?"
Giving Emma a strange look, Mary Margaret walked over and took a seat on the barstool next to Emma. "It's sometime around one." She informed the younger woman, her voice quiet.
Emma seemed to freeze for a moment before sparing a glance at Mary Margaret, almost like a teenager caught sneaking in late at night. "And you're up because . . . ?" She asked, though she seemed to already know what the answer would be.
Mary Margaret decided to humor her though, "Well, I wasn't quite sure why at first." She informed Emma, her voice laced with sarcasm. "But then I heard this terrible noise, almost like a cat being sucked into a vacuum. And let me tell you, the cat didn't sound very happy."
Emma chuckled in reply, wincing at the rasping sound it created. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what Mary Margaret was really saying.
"Something you want to tell me?" Mary Margaret asked, all humor gone, only concern showing.
Emma shook the concern off, however, and let out a sigh. "Nothing really, I was just a bit thirsty. My throat's a little dry, too."
Mary Margaret seemed to know that Emma wasn't being completely honest, though she seemed to know better than to call her friend out on it. Either that or she was just too tired to start an argument. It was, after all, sometime around 1 in the morning, and both women wanted nothing more than to get some sleep.
And so, with a long yawn, both women returned to their rooms and hoped to gain a few more hours of sleep before starting a work filled day.
Emma let out a laugh as she chased the woman through the woods. She'd come to the conclusion that this woman was her mother.
"You can't catch me," her mother called out teasingly, her laugh dancing through the air.
Emma grinned as she picked up speed. Her mother was wrong; after all, Emma always won this game.
But this time, something was different, something felt wrong. Whatever the foreboding feeling was that filled her, caused her to slowly come to a halt.
Emma grew worried; she could no longer hear her mother's laughter. The woods had become eerily silent.
She began to think that maybe she was overreacting, that her mom was hiding behind a tree nearby, ready to jump out at her. At least, that's what she thought until a wicked laughter seemed to fill the air around her, causing Emma to jump in surprise.
The laughter became cynical, and soon a light, childlike voice filled the air.
"Run, run, lickety split. Trip and fall into a pit. Hide, hide, close your eyes. Emma's life is full of lies. Find, find, 'till you cry. Shut your mouth before you die."
Emma let out a shrill cry, her hands flying to her ears to drown out the creepy voice.
And yet, she could still hear it! That voice echoed in her head, getting louder and louder, repeating the strange rhyme over and over.
Tears came to Emma's eyes. All she wanted was to find her mother. And yet this voice had to come along and bug her, threatening her on top of things.
Emma thought things couldn't get any worse. Of course, she was quickly proven wrong.
Fog had been drifting into the woods, hanging heavily just above the ground.
Emma could have sworn a face appeared in the fog, but she quickly shook it off as her imagination.
At least, until the face formed right in front of her, a wicked grin spreading across its features.
"Emma," the face sang out, eerily sweet. "It's time to die!"
Emma shot out of the bed in a panic, her eyes darting around the room to find the face, her heart racing.
It took her a few moments to recognize where she was, and it took even longer for her heart rate to return to normal.
When she looked at the clock she was surprised to find it was almost seven.
Emma was just struggling out of bed, forcing herself to get ready for work, when she heard the door open.
Mary Margaret walked into her room with a glass of water. She seemed surprised to find Emma getting up.
"Hey, are you feeling alright?" Mary Margaret asked, setting the glass on the nightstand.
Emma sent Mary Margaret a strange look, to which she got a smile in return.
"I woke up about an hour ago and heard you mumbling in your sleep. You seemed like you were having a nightmare." Mary Margaret explained, taking a seat on the bed next to Emma. "When I tried to wake you up, I noticed that you had a fever." She informed the younger woman, proceeding to place her hand against Emma's forehead.
As Mary Margaret's cool hand touched Emma's forehead, she let out a quiet sigh, her eyes fluttering closed against the pleasant feeling.
A smile graced Mary Margaret's lips in response. "I think you should go back to sleep." She said quietly, humor apparent in her voice.
Emma's eyes shot open in reply, a small frown on her face. "Mary Margaret, please tell me that you didn't call off work."
Mary Margaret grinned in reply. "Sorry, but if I said that, it'd be a lie." She informed Emma.
Emma groaned in response, "Mary, you shouldn't have called in for me." She said, exasperated. Emma wasn't used to someone worrying over her, and she wasn't sure if she liked the feeling that it gave her.
"Don't worry about that right now," Mary Margaret said quietly, helping Emma to settle back on the bed. "You should go back to sleep."
Emma let out a quiet sigh of frustration as Mary Margaret pulled the quilt up to her shoulders. I'm 28, Mare; I don't need you to baby me."
Mary Margaret let out a laugh in reply, placing her hand lightly on Emma's forehead again. "Emma, just let me take care of you for now, to make up for all the times no one else did?"
Emma rolled her eyes in response, though she stayed silent, and Mary Margaret took that as a silent agreement. "I'll be downstairs making you some soup. Just holler if you need anything." She said softly, rising from the bed. A glance back as she walked out the door of the room showed that Emma had already fallen asleep.
Emma was running through the woods as fast as she could. Her heart was racing in fear.
"Little Emma, don't run." The voice whispered, shaking through the forest. "It's no fun!"
But Emma didn't stop, not for a second, even when her lungs began to burn and her heart threatened to burst out of her chest. She knew if she stopped, then she would die.
As if signaled by her thoughts, the sing-song rhyme started up again. This time, however, the voice whispered in her ear, as though the speaker was running right on her heels.
Whipping around in a panic, Emma found no one behind her. "Leave me alone," she whispered quietly.
"I can't do that, Little Emma." The voice said, from behind her again. "After all, I'm going to make you suffer." Emma whipped around again, this time finding herself face to face with an ominous and foreboding woman. "You and your mother will suffer; I'll make sure of that." And with that, the woman disappeared in a swirl of purple smoke.
Just as Emma let out a sigh of relief, the purple smoke flooded around her, becoming thicker as the seconds went by. The smoke swirled upwards, sucking oxygen from the air as it went, slowly suffocating Emma.
Mary Margaret let out a sigh, shutting off the burner under the soup. She was relieved that Emma had gone back to sleep instead of putting up a fight about Mary Margaret staying home to take care of her.
Taking the soup off the burner, Mary nearly dropped it in surprise when she heard Emma shouting a shrill "STOP!"
Carefully placing the pan of soup on a potholder on the counter, Mary Margaret took off to Emma's room.
When she got to the door, she was surprised to find the younger woman thrashing around in the bed.
"Emma. Emma, are you alright?" Mary Margaret asked, panicked. She rushed to the bed, hands fluttering in uncertainty.
Emma was gasping for air, thrashing around like a fish on land.
Mary Margaret was uncertain what to do at first, but as soon as she saw a tear sliding down Emma's cheek, she found herself climbing into Emma's bed. After getting comfortable, lying next to the woman, Mary Margaret reached over and pulled Emma into her arms.
"Emma," she whispered quietly, struggling to keep the urgency from her voice. "You need to calm down. It's just a dream."
Mary Margaret wasn't sure if it would work, her body had just seemed to move on its own. She hadn't expected Emma to respond to such a motherly comfort, but she was pleasantly surprised to find that Emma quickly calmed down.
Relief washed over Mary Margaret as she felt Emma relax. She was pulling away to crawl out of the bed when she felt Emma begin to shift around again, almost as though her nightmare were starting up again.
Mary Margaret panicked at first; worried that Emma was waking up. It took her a moment to realize that Emma wasn't waking up, and instead was shifting closer to Mary Margaret, much like a puppy snuggled closer to body heat at night.
The comparison had Mary Margaret stifling laughter as she settled on the bed again. "Sleep tight," she whispered quietly, off-handedly wondering if this was how a mother felt, comforting a child after a bad dream. She just hoped Emma got a good night sleep without any more nightmares, and wouldn't be mad at her later.
With those thoughts, Mary Margaret drifting to sleep as well, her arms wrapped comfortingly around Emma.
And that's a wrap! Be sure to review, in case you want to leave some constructive criticism, or just want to say "hi". You know, reviews are wonderful and amazing things, that inspire us fanfic authors. But anyways, hope you enjoyed it. In case you guys are still reading this and wondering, I actually wrote this up last year, during season 1, a little after Graham's death. So in my mindset, Emma's the sheriff.