Disclaimer: I (unfortunately) do not own Once Upon a Time/the characters (except for Ava - shes mine)
Warning: Coarse language.
Apologizing for any spelling/grammar/punctuation errors in advance. (just in case)
Where we left off –
Ava knew that asking Regina if she could stay with her and Henry was probably too much too soon, so she decided to call the one person who had offered to help her in any way she could – Mary-Margaret Blanchard- or according to Henry, Snow White.
Ava walked towards the center of town to get as far away from her father as possible.
She sat on the bus bench and rummaged through her bag to find her cell phone – it took a while but she finally found it buried within her clothes.
She scrolled through her contacts until she got to "m". At the top of the list was 'Mary-Margarizzle'.
Ava smiled at what she had put the woman in her phone as, while she pushed 'call'.
The phone was picked up, and after a few muffled noises Ava heard a quick "Hello?"
Ava remembered she had put her number on private when she was prank calling people as a result of boredom one day, and realized her name wouldn't have shown up on Mary-Margaret's phone.
"Hey Mary, it's me"
"Oh Ava! I'm glad you called. How is everything? Are you okay? Where are you?"
"Woah there Mama bear - take a breath." Ava laughed.
Mary-Margaret was only in her late 20's but always acted motherly towards her.
"Everything is fine" She lied. It wasn't fine but she didn't want to worry the other woman.
"I'm fine, I'm just in town. I was wondering if I could ask you for a…favour"
"Depends what it is" Mary-Margaret joked.
She would do anything to help out Ava. She felt connected to the girl for some odd reason.
Ava took the 'depends' as a yes, and asked her what she wanted to ask.
"Would you mind sparing me your couch for a couple of days?"
"No of course I don't mind! What's happened?"
"Oh, you know… the usual daddy drama."
Mary laughed at her choice of words.
"Oh I see. So you're running away?"
"Ha! I didn't have much choice in the matter."
"He kicked you out?" Mary-Margaret asked incredulously.
"Yeah… hey, so I'll tell you about it later. Would I be able to drop my bag off now– I've got lunch with Henry at 12"
A smile crept onto her face.
"Lunch with Henry? I take it you've spoken to Regina about things then?"
"Yeah, I actually stayed at her house last night and had breakfast with her and Henry this morning..."
"Wow" Mary-Margaret was genuinely shocked.
Ava sensed this and asked her "what?"
"Oh nothing, it's just.. Regina doesn't really come off as the welcoming type."
"That's what I thought too until last night. I'm telling you, ff you met the woman I did, you would have a completely different opinion of her."
"Okay. Well, I'm not home at the moment, and Emma's at the station, but you could leave your bag by the door and I'll take it in when I get home."
Ava wasn't far from the apartment, so she started walking while talking to Mary-Margaret.
"Cool, thank you so much Mary. You know, you're always looking out for me- though I have no idea why" she said jokingly.
"I don't think I tell you enough how much I really appreciate it, so thanks" she finished.
"It's really no problem Av. I told you I'd be here if you ever needed anything – and I truly meant it."
"Gee, you sound so grown up sometimes!" Ava giggled.
"Is that your way of calling me old?" Mary-Margaret laughed.
She was still young, but definitely had an 'old soul'.
"Pretty much" Ava chuckled. She had just walked up the stairs and reached the front door to the apartment.
She propped the bag in front of the door.
"Anyway, I'd better let you get on your merry way. I've left my bag right outside the front door okay? Oh and apologies in advance – it's not light!"
"I'm sure I can handle it"
"Try not to break your hip while you're at it" Ava laughed at her own joke, while Mary-Margaret giggled quietly to herself - refusing to let Ava know she was amused.
"I'll see you later then – have fun at lunch, tell Henry I say hi"
"Will do, seeya!" and as if on cue, both woman hung up in unison.
Mary-Margaret placed her phone on the bedside table and rolled back to face the other side.
"Who was that?" a man asked as he stroked his hand across Mary-Margaret's shoulder, and then down to other places.
"Oh, you're awake – It was just a friend" she stated and without another word, she leant in for a kiss – to which Whale was only too happy to return.
Their tongues danced around in each other's mouths for a while more before Mary-Margaret climbed on top of the man.
Without removing her lips from his, she maneuvered the blanket up to cover their two bare bodies, and proceeded to get on her "merry way".
Ava checked the time once more and saw that it was now ten to twelve.
Time had passed way faster than she had thought, and she felt herself come to a soft jog in order to make it to 108 Mifflin Street on time.
She didn't want to let Henry down by being late.
That thought made her realise she had another thing in common with Regina – one that didn't include her physical appearance.
They both liked to be extremely punctual.
She made it to the front door, and bent over placing her hands on her knees in an attempt to catch her breath.
Once she had composed herself, Ava knocked in the same little rhythm she had last night.
In what felt like 2 seconds Henry opened the door.
"Hey! You ready to go?" she chirped "Yep!" Henry threw her a toothy grin.
He went back inside and returned to the door, book under his arm and something else in his hand.
Ava looked at him suspiciously as he put whatever that was, into his pocket, but she couldn't be bothered asking questions she knew she'd get cryptic answers to.
He then locked the door from the inside, and walked out, closing it behind him.
Together, they strode down the street towards Granny's.
They sat at the booth closest to the door and Ruby walked over to take their order.
"Hey Ruby! How are you today?"
"Hey Av, I'm good, what about you? I heard you and your dad aren't on good terms at the mo'"
Ava wasn't surprised that Ruby knew – news spread like wildfire in this small town, so it was likely that the majority of the people already knew about her… predicament.
"Yeah, no… he kicked me out of the house because I wouldn't apologize to him – I did nothing wrong."Ava said - she had completely forgotten that Henry was there and immediately regretted mentioning it
"What?! Where are you staying? You could come and live with Mom and me." Henry spoke up looking at his sister worriedly.
Ava looked at him. She noticed that he didn't say "my mom", he just said "Mom."
She then remembered that Regina told him everything this morning– so he knew she was his sister and by the looks of things, he was ecstatic about it.
She felt even more horrible for mentioning it now, and no doubt he'd go home and tell Regina- then she'd want to talk about it too.
'Damn it' she thought to herself.
"Oh no Henry, everything's fine, I have a place to stay, so no need to fret – or tell your mom ok?"
"Our mom" he said.
The look on Ruby's face was priceless, and Ava had a feeling that everyone in town would know she was Regina's kid by sundown.
Ava grinned at him but dismissed the comment and moved forward
"Uh, I'll have a hot-chocolate, with cinnamon, and the grilled cheese please" she said smiling – obviously not wanting to go into further detail.
She looked over at Henry, who got the message loud and clear and ordered the exact same thing as her.
"Coming right up..." Ruby said uncomfortably and scurried off to the kitchen – probably to inform granny of the new gossip.
Ava hated being in the spotlight, but it seemed there was no avoiding it.
She tried to keep the ball rolling.
"So, are you gonna tell me more about your fairytale characters/Storybrooke residents?"
"Oh yeah! Well, like I said this morning, Mary-Margaret's Snow white, Coma man's charming, Emma's their daughter – and the savior and Mom is…" he hesitated, but decided he could trust her.
"She's the Evil Queen - I couldn't risk telling you this morning because I'm not sure she remembers who she is or not - but its better to be safe than sorry"
Ava let out a laugh.
"What?" he questioned
"You don't really think Regina is the Evil Queen do you? I mean, granted, she's hard work, and can be really rude to people at times, but I think the title of 'Evil Queen' might be a bit much"
"She is! Give it time, you'll see"
"Well, it would explain why she gives Mary-Margaret such a hard time!" Ava giggled again.
"It's not funny Ava. I'm serious"
Ava stopped laughing and tried to put on a serious face.
"Sorry Henry, It's just a bit hard to believe. Do you even have any proof?"
"Well, no - not yet- but what I do know is that I need to get Emma to believe as soon as possible because Rumplestiltskin prophesized that when she was 28 she would break the curse, and guess how old she is now?"
"I bet if this is true, my dad would be Rumplestiltskin." Ava muttered
- the thought of her dad being a cruel man who would only give for something in return wasn't too far from the truth.
Not once in her life had she seen her dad do something nice, or give something simply out of a good heart.
He always had ulterior motives and was a selfish man – he acted like he thought the world owed him a favor.
"I hadn't even thought of that! See – you're good at this. Maybe you could help me get Emma to believe?"
"I'm not even sure I believe yet"
"Will you at least read the book? See if you can link the people in it to people in town?"
"Look, I will read the book, but that doesn't mean I believe this whole curse thing ok?" she indulged the young boy
"Mmhmm" Henry replied, shoving the book at her, knowing she would eventually believe.
Ava knew that this whole theory was farfetched – to say the least, but a part of her kind of wanted to believe it – it would make life a whole lot more interesting, and move everyone's attention off of her – then again, she wouldn't be too keen on her mom being the 'Evil Queen'.
Ruby returned to the table a moment later bearing food and drinks.
"No problem, you guys enjoy!" Ruby sounded a lot more like herself this time – she probably just needed a second to comprehend everything.
Ava smiled and began eating her food – Henry had started before Ruby had even left the table, which made Ava laugh.
For a small boy, he had a huge appetite.
"Yum" Ava said as she finished the last bit of her food. "How was yours?"
"Awesome, mom never lets me eat this sort of stuff – she always makes me get things that look like a forest on a plate."
Ava laughed at him.
Her gut told her that she'd end up being told off for feeding the kid junk food, so naturally she decided she'd take him out for ice cream too – go big or go home right?
"You still have room for ice-cream?" she asked, knowing the answer already
"Are you kidding me? Of course I do!"
This opportunity was clearly a rare thing, because Henry welcomed it a little too eagerly.
"Cool, I'll just get the check and we'll get going then."
Just as Ruby was walking past, Ava called for her. "Check please Ruby" "Sure thing".
It didn't feel like it, but it had been about two hours since they had arrived at the diner, but they were talking so much that time just flew by – she was surprised at how alike the two of them were and how well they got along – maybe it was because they both grew up with powerful parents, and knew what it was like to have no friends or life because of it.
Ruby came and went to hand the bill over to Ava, when Henry intercepted – remembering what his mother said this morning.
"What are you doing kid?" Ava got her wallet out ready to pay.
Henry pulled out the 20 dollars from his pocket, and along with the booklet, placed it in Ruby's hand knowing there was more than enough to cover everything.
"Keep the change" he said smiling – he'd always wanted to say that.
Ruby walked off without second guessing anything before Ava got a chance to speak.
Ava then took a 20 out of her wallet and tried to make Henry take it.
"Take the money Henry, I said I'd bring you to lunch, not you bring me to lunch"
"I know, but mom told me I had to do it, and I'm not taking your money." He said firmly.
"Of course she did." She said rolling her eyes.
"Fine, I'll allow it this time, but next time she tries to give you money to pay for something when you're with me, you have to refuse to take it ok?"
Henry said nothing, and Ava knew exactly what it meant.
Of course he was going to listen to his- their- mother over her.
"Well, I'm buying the Ice-cream then"
"Good because I just gave Ruby all the money I had"
They both laughed and walked out of the diner.
They walked away from the ice cream parlor, double scoop in hand.
Ava was now holding the big leather book.
"Thanks for today Av – you don't mind me calling you that do you?"
"You're welcome, and you can call me whatever you like"
"In that case.." Ava looked at him warningly before he dared finish that sentence with some ridiculous name – she knew what he was thinking, because it was something she would do.
"Av is good." He said.
"Thought so" she giggled.
"Well, it's only 3, do you know what time your mom gets home?"
"Our mom" he reiterated.
"Yeah, she normally gets home around 5"
"On a Saturday? That's gotta suck"
"For her or for me?"
"Both I guess"
"Yeah, well we could go to her office? That way she can take you to where ever you're staying – which is where again?"
"I didn't say... I'm actually staying with your teacher" she laughed – she hadn't thought of it like that.
"Oh, mom won't be too happy about that"
"Right, because the whole Snow white, revenge thing. Well, that's too bad, Mary's my friend so.."
"You're friend? She's over a decade older than you"
"I can have old friends"
They both chuckled as they walked/talked/ate all at the same time.
Finally, they entered a building, and the two of them reached Regina's office, when they could hear fighting coming from inside.
Ava knew exactly who the two people were.
"Henry, go wait outside for a second"
Ava gave him the same look that Regina gave him when he came to the door last night.
"You looked just like mom then" he said as he turned on his heel and headed out the door.
Ava shook it off, and turned towards the closed doors of Regina's office.
She pressed her ear against one of the doors and listened intently.
"Why did you not tell me she was my daughter Rumple" she heard her mother say.
'Rumple?' she thought to herself. Maybe she had spent too much time around Henry.
She listened again.
"Because, deary, you may have given birth to her, but you are most certainly not her mother."
Ava felt her anger boil. How dare he.
She had only spent one night with Regina, but felt more a part of her than she ever did of him.
"I am her mother" Regina roared angrily.
She continued - "You and my mother may have struck a deal together, but I was not consented, and as it was – is- my child, not hers, your contract is invalid, and I therefore see no point in you being here."
"Ooh deary, you have a soft spot for her don't you? Not much of an 'Evil Queen' anymore are we? " Rumple teased.
Ava was shocked. Her body tensed up as she heard the words 'Evil Queen'.
There was no way she was imagining this conversation.
"I am no longer that person. I am trying to be a better person- and better mother for Henry- and now for Ava too."
Ava's heart thumped – though she was unsure if it was out of love or fear.
Ava forgot about the book she was holding –emphasis on the 'was'.
Ava had dropped to her knees, and the book hit the ground hard, but she hadn't even noticed.
She was too overwhelmed by the conversation on the other side of the doors.
It was only until that same door creaked open and a familiar voice spoke to her.
"Hello deary, what on earth do you think you're doing down there?" Rumples – or was it Golds – words bounced around her mind before they finally sat and she became aware of what was happening.
As she stared up at the man, her face portrayed a profound look of guilt.
Chapter 5 everybody! It's the longest one so far - I really wanted to get some Ava/Henry bonding in there so there we go! How did you like the idea of awkward Mary-Margaret/whale sex? Hahaha! I found myself cringing as I wrote that bit, even though there was no detail.- Does anyone ship it? (I'm just curious) This story isn't going in the way I had planned, but I hope you're enjoying it! If you have any suggestions I'm all ears (or eyes? Haha) - ps thank's for the kind words of encouragement from those who have left reviews! It really does make me want to write more - even if there's only a few of you :3 Next chapter will be up asap - wonder what gonna happen! (seriously - even I have no idea yet haha!)