My version of the first season had Swan Queen been fully incorporated. Enjoy. :)

She kept reminding herself that she needed the money. The money wasn't always the greatest, but it kept a roof over her head and food on the table. She needed the money.

She sat through a so far yet short lived good date, but there was a problem. He'd failed to appear in court after being bailed out by her employer. In fact, he failed to appear in town after he robbed a company from the inside.

She showed her hand and turned the date into an interrogation in a single breath. His eyes went wide and he flipped the table before he sprinted out of the restaurant, looking over his shoulder to make sure she wasn't following him.

Even in a skin tight pink dress and heels, Emma Swan always got her money's worth. She didn't see her fleeing date as a man. She saw him as her next paycheck. She saw him as her paid off light bill that granted her the luxury of not having to come home and stub her toe on the couch or ram her shin into the coffee table.

She sighed as she smoothed out the front of her dress then nonchalantly headed for the exit. She went straight to the parking lot and scanned the area as she made her way toward a beat up, vintage yellow Volkswagen. She smirked when she saw her mark two cars over frantically pull out his keys and fumble with the fob as he opened the driver's side door.

"Tag. You're it," Emma said as she pushed closed the door and leaned in next to him, cocky.

The man hissed and clenched his jaw as he pocketed his keys.

Emma pulled out a pair of cuffs from her bra and tossed him into the back seat of her VW Bug. She dragged him to the police station and left him with two officers then headed to the main desk to collect her fee.

After a ten minute drive back to her apartment complex, she stopped by the landlord's apartment with a handful of cash and a small paper bag. She knocked on the door and cleared her throat while she waited for an answer.

Within several seconds, an older man with gray hair and rough, labored hands opened the door. He frowned when he looked at Emma and took a deep breath as he leaned against the door frame.

"Well if it isn't the broke blonde from two-oh-five," he laughed with a hint of an Irish accent.

"Guess you haven't kept up with current events. I'm not broke tonight," she grinned as she flashed her cash and waved it close to his face.

"Look at you, flauntin' your big money. What'd the guy do this time to score you so much dough?"



"Not so nice for the people he screwed over, but nice for me. As soon as you turn on my lights, I can walk into my place bruise free."

"I can't just turn on your lights, Swan. There's a whole process. Earliest they'll come on is ten AM tomorrow."

Emma groaned.

"Come on, Joe. I can't keep bumping into things up there. Any more trauma to my shins and I swear I'll have to be admitted to the hospital for internal bleeding."

Joe laughed then puffed out a sigh as he scratched his head.

"All right. I'll see what I can do, but if I can't fix it tonight-"

"Ten AM. Thank you," Emma said over her shoulder as she took her paper bag upstairs to her apartment.

She opened the door with sore feet and turned on the flashlight she'd positioned on the end table near the door. It lit up the ceiling above the table with the most luminance, but the diffused glow made it easier for Emma to navigate herself to the kitchen without hitting any part of her body.

She kicked off her heels on the way to the kitchen island and set the paper bag on the counter top. She pulled out a pack of five different colored star-shaped candles and a cupcake with plain white frosting.

She stuck a blue star candle into the cupcake and lit it.

"Happy birthday to me."

She sighed and closed her eyes to make a wish. She blew out the candle and didn't open her eyes until she smelled the subtle smoke.

Suddenly, she heard the doorbell.

She took a deep breath then went to the door. She opened it expecting Joe with news about the electricity, but realized quickly it was someone much smaller.

She looked down and furrowed her brow at the brown haired boy that stood at her door.

"Hello," Emma greeted, confused.

"Hi. Are you Emma Swan?"

"Yeah," she reluctantly replied.

"My name's Henry. I'm your son."

Storybrooke had been a small, gray colored town in Maine for years. Nothing there was particularly exciting except for the one thing everyone there feared, the Mayor. The citizens of the quiet little community had lived under her rule for as long as they could remember, but no one was clear on how long that had been since the only source of time came from the big clock in the center of the city. That clock stayed frozen on eight-fifteen every day. Frozen like the townspeople as most days felt like eternity.

The Mayor had her ways. She knew the importance of time considering the fact that the entire town had no true sense of it. She lived her life like the only part of time she had to cherish was her child's youth. She refused to miss a single moment she could have to raise him right, give him the love and the life he wanted and not what she wrongfully assumed would be best for him.

She had piercing hazel eyes, short, dark hair, and olive skin. She walked with authority and controlled every situation she could. She enjoyed the upper hand and intended to always keep it since she took on the high status job. But she could only control so much in a situation like hers.

Ever since Henry was a baby, there would be nights she couldn't sleep without checking on him. She used to get gut wrenching feelings that he wasn't safe, that something was coming to take him away from her, especially given her frequent nightmares for the last two months.

Those nightmares became reality when she checked on Henry that night only to find he wasn't in bed. He wasn't anywhere in the house for that matter. He'd left his bed stuffed with pillows and blankets to fool the brunette at first glance, but after a particularly violent nightmare Regina needed more than a look.

She reached out to touch him when she discovered his trickery and had been panicked ever since then. She was wracked with so much worry and fear that she'd enlisted the help of the Sheriff to search the town for him, knocking on doors and taking a flashlight through the woods. The woman was beside herself waiting for the ten year old to return.

She liked control, but she couldn't control where her son was at that moment in time. She couldn't control him even when he was in the same room as her. Every day was a new challenge with him. Every day for the last month.

The one thing she liked more than being in control was being a mother. She hated that Henry pulled away from her more and more each time she tried to bring him closer. She was aware that maybe she was suffocating him by trying so hard, but she didn't know what else she could do to keep him from leaving her. Her worst fear, the backbone of her nightmares, was losing her son. Waiting with the Sheriff in her living room forced her to believe she had indeed lost him and not just physically.

"We'll find him, Madame Mayor," the Sheriff offered support as he gently touched her bicep and squeezed it to comfort her.

"So proper," Regina tried not to shake.

She was desperate to have Henry back, but she'd be damned if she let someone else see her softer side. Though she was worried, she bucked up and took control no matter how inappropriate the timing.

"You know me better than that by now, Graham," she turned to him and ran her hand from his shoulder down to his forearm.

She grinned up at him as she noticed him relax from his stiff, business-like demeanor. It didn't take long for her to assert her power over him.

"Kiss me," she demanded as her eyes flashed with purple sparks of electricity.

Graham leaned in and wrapped his arms around her waist as he pulled her close. He kissed her as the sparks in her eyes disappeared before she closed them to completely enjoy the kiss. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes to reveal their normal hazel color, free from any sparks. She parted her lips to allow full access to her mouth, which Graham immediately took advantage of as he slid his tongue between her lips. She darted her tongue out to meet his only a few times as she hardly put up a fight for dominance.

She wasn't too interested in going much further with the Sheriff at that point, his lost puppy compliance becoming less attractive the more she ordered him to please her, not to mention the fact that her thoughts then revolved around her son's safe return.

She broke their kiss, her lips still parted, as she granted access to her neck and stared out the front window to watch the walkway leading from the sidewalk up to her doorstep.

Graham kissed her neck for a couple minutes as he slowly descended down her front. He hiked her light gray dress halfway up her thighs and got down on his knees. Regina clearly knew where he was going with his actions without having to even look at him and spread her legs without a word spoken between them.

The way their interaction was going, it was as if Regina knew every move Graham was going to make before he made them. It was as though she'd silently asked him to do what was he was doing when her eyes filled with those purple sparks.

Graham pulled the thin black fabric between him and Regina's sex down to her knees as her dress started to slip down her thighs and engulf him.

She felt his hot breath on her center seconds before his tongue licked between her folds. Back and forth and back again he moved his tongue against her before he slid the tip of his tongue inside her.

She gasped as she continued to stare out the window. She clenched and unclenched her fists as she tried to keep herself together and in an upright position. Suddenly, lights illuminated her street and started to flood the bushes lining her property line out front the closer the lights approached her place.

Regina's jaw dropped as her eyes widened with a flicker of hope.

"Stop," she commanded before her eyes briefly glowed purple again.

Graham hunched less than an inch forward as he came to his Sheriff senses again and removed himself from between her legs. Still on his knees, he slid Regina's underwear back up her thighs to their rightful place on her body. He licked his lips and took in what little taste he got of her as he got to his feet.

A worn out yellow Volkswagen parked by the curb a few feet from the walkway. Within seconds, the rattling engine died along with already dull headlights and a blonde haired woman with a red leather jacket emerged from the driver's side.

When the blonde shut her door and made her way around the front of the car, the passenger door opened and Henry jumped out with his backpack in hand.

Regina smiled and pulled down her dress, the hem reaching the top of her knees before she smoothed it out with her flattened palm.

She ran to the door in her black heels and rushed to open it.

"Henry," she called to him with joy as she ran as fast as she could down the front steps.

Henry looked back at the blonde and locked eyes with her. She displayed an "I told you so" expression.

"Please don't leave me here with her," Henry begged before Regina was in earshot.

They both redirected their attention to the relieved older woman only inches away with outstretched arms.

She pulled Henry into a hug and squeezed him like she was never going to let go.

"Where were you," she asked, almost on the verge of tears. "I was so worried."

Henry pushed out of her embrace and frowned up at the brunette.

"I found my real mom," he exclaimed as he ran into the house, past Graham without a second look at the man in his doorway.

Regina watched Henry flee from her with sadness, but turned to the blonde in shock.

"You're Henry's birth mother?"

"Hi," the blonde forced a smile through the awkward meeting.

Regina took a quick moment to regain her authority.

"How would you like a glass of the best apple cider you've ever tasted," Regina asked with a small grin.

"Got anything stronger," the blonde asked with a sense of weakness.

Regina's grin spread as she felt her dominance over the woman standing in front of her.

Graham headed inside to check on Henry as Regina led the blonde into her house.

She made her way over to a mahogany table with fine china on it, the cider being the only drink in stock, as Emma leaned against the archway between the foyer and the living room. She started to fix up two glasses of apple cider on the rocks.

"How did he find me," Emma asked, hands in the pockets of her tight denim jeans.

"No idea. When I adopted him he was only three weeks old. Records were sealed. I was told the birth mother didn't want to have any contact," Regina said as she poured the first glass.

"You were told right."

"And the father?"

"There was one."

"Do I need to be worried about him?"

"Nope. Doesn't even know," Emma answered as she looked around the room.

"Do I need to be worried about you, Miss Swan," Regina asked as she handed Emma a drink, hers in the other hand.

"Absolutely not," Emma replied after a moment, trying to size up the brunette.

"Madame Mayor, you can relax," Graham interrupted as he bounded down the winding staircase and returned to his proper, on-the-clock demeanor. "Other than being a tired little boy, Henry's fine."

Regina smiled.

"Thank you, Sheriff," she spoke with a small sexual undertone to thank him for more than checking on Henry.

Emma picked up on the tone and tried to stay out of it as she intently stared at the front door like she was planning her escape.

"I'm sorry Henry pulled you out of your life," she said as Graham headed toward the door. "I really don't know what's gotten into him."

"Kid's having a rough time. It happens," Emma replied as she walked toward the sofa facing the door in the study.

Emma took a sip of the cider.

"You have to understand, ever since I became Mayor balancing things has been tricky. You have a job, I assume?"

"Uh, I keep busy. Yeah," Emma set her glass on the table in front of the sofa.

"Imagine having another one on top of it," Regina said as she crossed the room from the mantle behind Emma and took a seat opposite the blonde. "That's being a single mom. So I push for award. Am I strict? I suppose, but I do it for his own good. I want Henry to excel in life. I don't think that makes me evil, do you?"

"I'm sure he's just saying that because of the fairytale thing," Emma slowly said as she grabbed her glass and took another sip to subdue the awkward position Regina had put her in.

"What fairytale thing," Regina quickly asked with worry.

"Oh, you know, his book," Emma slightly smiled as she lowered her glass to respond. "How he thinks everyone's a cartoon character from it. Like his shrink is Jimminey Cricket."

"I'm sorry. I really have no idea what you're talking about," Regina tried to get them out of that conversation, hoping Emma wouldn't believe what she'd heard.

"You know what. It's none of my business," Emma backtracked after a moment. "He's your kid and I really should be heading back."

Emma started to take another sip of the cider when Regina was quick to get on her feet.

"Of course," she flatly said as moved to the door, eager to get rid of the blonde stranger.

Before Emma could swallow, Regina had forced her a smile as she held open the door for Emma.

Emma stared up at Regina taken aback at the abruptness of the brunette's action, but she set the glass back down on the table and removed herself from the sofa.

Walking back to her car, Emma frowned and furrowed her brow. Something was tugging at her, a feeling that Regina was hiding something.

Henry didn't want to go home. He was convinced Regina was the Evil Queen and something about the way the Mayor had presented herself, quick to dismiss the blonde after welcoming her into her home, had Emma second guessing Regina's intentions.

After Emma got comfortable in her car and turned over the engine, she braced the steering wheel and contemplated her next move.

Ultimately, she knew she was going to drive back to Boston, but she'd spent ample time in her car with Henry babbling on and on about fairytales in Storybrooke. As much as it intrigued her to listen to her offspring, to know how the kid she gave up turned out to be as a person, she was a loner. She didn't have anyone to listen to during the day and she didn't have people to listen to her. Being with Henry for a little over four hours was a bit overwhelming.

She took a deep breath and released it in a sigh before she pushed her foot on the brake and put the car into drive. She headed back the way she came for a few miles before she started to feel woozy. She took her eyes off the road for a few seconds and noticed the book titled Once Upon a Time in the passenger's seat.

She shook her and smirked.

"That kid is way too sneaky," she thought out loud before she looked at the road again.

Her eyes went wide when she saw a wolf standing completely still in the middle of the lane. It stared back at her, not scared to be hit as it stood it's ground on the concrete.

Emma gasped and veered off road as she slammed down on the brake and turned the wheel at least ninety degrees to the left. She burned rubber and left skid marks on the road as she spun her car around one hundred eighty degrees, facing town instead of the city limits.

Thankfully, she hadn't hit anything. Not the wolf, the trees, and not the dip in the grass lining the shoulder of the road leading into the woods. She took several erratic breaths as her knuckles went white from gripping the steering wheel so hard.

She took bigger breaths when she could, her eyes wide open in shock, and slowed her breathing until she lowered her racing heart rate.

She looked around the road and noticed the wolf was gone. There was no blood and no body so she assumed it had ran away. She eased her foot off the brake and let the car cruise forward at less than five miles per hour. After half a mile of getting herself together, she lightly pressed on the gas and headed back into town going no more than twenty miles per hour.

She had nowhere to stay and only so much money left that she needed for gas to get her back to Boston. She searched the town for a decent street she felt comfortable with and parked her car a little down the way from a place called Granny's Bed and Breakfast. She got out of the car and manually unlocked the trunk with her keys. She grabbed a red, black, and white plaid blanket she stashed away every winter in case her car broke down in the middle of nowhere on a chilly night.

She also packed a survival kit, a decent sized cooler filled with a few granola bars and six bottles of water because she didn't want to take any chances. She also had two flares, a large flashlight, and a pack of AA batteries. If her car gave out at any given time from that point on, it wouldn't be the first time it would've stranded her in an unfamiliar place far from a gas station in the dead of winter in a city known for experiencing serious snow storms.

She grabbed the cooler and flashlight as well as the blanket before she locked up the trunk and got into the backseat. She set the cooler on the floor behind the passenger's seat and unfolded the blanket to cover her legs. She reached into the glove compartment and grabbed her hat before trying to completely wrap herself up in the blanket.

She slipped on the hat and pulled it over her ears then zipped up her red leather jacket over her chest and let the zipper rest less than an inch from her neck to trap in as much warmth as she could without pushing the zipper into her throat when she laid down.

She pulled the blanket over the upper half of her body and allowed the wool to drape over her shoulder before she rested her head on the backseat on the passenger's side. She curled into a ball as much as she could without her knees outweighing the rest of her body and cause her to fall from the backseat onto the car floor.

As the night went on, the temperature dropped and Emma bundled up as best she could to evenly distribute the blanket around her while she slept. The closer morning became, the more she looked like a caterpillar wrapped tightly in its cocoon.

Even as the sun rose and the townspeople started to rejoice as the clock struck seven thirty, Emma didn't wake. She looked peaceful though her nose was pink and her fists were balled around the blanket as she clung to it for dear life.

With a smile on her face, a black haired woman with a pixie haircut stared at the city clock in the center of town. As she approached Granny's diner, she noticed the out of place yellow car parked in the street. Her smile turned into a look of confusion as she quickened her pace toward the vehicle.

She slowed to a stop as she squinted and looked into the backseat, the first window she saw. She saw a bulky figure with loose, blonde curls splayed across the backseat. She wasn't sure what to do since she'd never seen the car or the person in it before, but didn't want the woman to freeze.

The short haired woman knocked on the window and caused the blonde to stir then jump up in fear before she even had the chance to turn around and see the person that had knocked.

Emma relaxed her shoulders then slowly turned her body at the waist to see the small bodied and fair skinned woman standing outside her car door. The strange woman staring at her politely yet awkwardly smiled as she waved at Emma.

Emma sighed and lurched forward to open the door. She pried the lock up with her index finger and thumb then pulled the door handle in her direction. She only pushed the door open less than an inch to give the other woman time to move out of the way. Once the door was completely open, Emma threw the blanket off of her and maneuvered her feet onto the ground from the opposite side of the interior.

"Hi," the woman greeted. "I'm Mary Margaret."

"Hi," Emma slowly started as she blinked her eyes a few times to wake herself up. "I'm Emma."

"Did you sleep out here all night," Mary Margaret asked, a bit concerned.

"Yep," Emma said as she contorted her body to loosen up her stiff muscles then cracked her neck.

"Um, well, how long are you in town?"

"It was a one night thing. I'll be leaving any minute now that I'm awake."

"Oh. Where are you going?"


"Wow. That's a...long drive. You should get some breakfast while you're here."

"No, it's okay. I've got water and some granola bars."

"That won't give you enough energy to stay awake. And you're right outside of Granny's diner. She's got great food. You should try some."

"Really...Mary Margaret. I've got gas money to get me back to Boston and that's it."

"Then why did you even come here?"

Emma rolled her eyes.

"Geez. I thought people in small towns were nice and polite."

"What? Oh! No, Emma, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to be rude. I'm just curious. We don't get a lot of people from out of town. Actually, we never have people visit from out of town."

"Oh," Emma mumbled as she started to feel bad for getting a little cranky and short tempered with the woman. "Then I'm sorry. I'm not a morning person and I spent last night taking my kid back to Regina's house, which was awkward enough without her oddball characteristics of inviting me in for a drink and then nearly tossing me onto the street the second I said I should go."

"Wait, Regina as in the Mayor? And your kid?"

"Uh, yeah, but I'm...I'm his birth mother. I mean, clearly I'm not the one who raised him. You live here. You should know that."

"So you're Henry's birth mother," Mary Margaret slowly smiled. "It's nice to meet you. Henry's mentioned you several times almost immediately after I gave him that book of fairytales."

"You're the one that gave it to him," Emma smiled out of realization.

"Yes, about a month ago. And nearly every day for the last three weeks Henry's told me about you. Your name, your age, your hair color and height. It was always just a little more information every day. I guess he finally found you."

"Yeah, but I have no idea how. He took the bus to get to me in the first place. What kind of ten year old has money for the bus when his mom didn't even know he was gone?"

Mary Margaret squinted her eyes as she thought about it.

"Oh, no," she worriedly said as she pulled her wallet out of her purse.

She opened her wallet and held it out for Emma to see.

"This morning when I got ready for work, I noticed my credit card was missing. He must've taken it from my wallet during class yesterday."

"Well then. Regina may have raised him, but the kid's definitely got some of my behavioral traits."

"Listen, you really should have some breakfast," Mary Margaret said after a moment.

"Like I said, I've only got money for the car."

"It'll be my treat. Really, Emma. I'd hate to hear about you getting into an accident for falling asleep at the wheel when I could've done something to help."

Emma paused and held her breath as she thought it over, her near accident last night enough to convince her. She released it in a heavy sigh before she answered.

"All right, but I'm gonna pay you back."

"And how are you going to do that," Mary Margaret laughed as she watched Emma stand and close the car door. "You're leaving town after you eat and you only have enough money to get you back to Boston."

Emma shook her head and smiled.

"I like you," she admitted as they headed into the diner together.

Mary Margaret smiled back as she led Emma to a stool at the counter and the two of them took their seats.

"Hey," a light brown haired waitress with red streaks in her hair wearing a tight and revealing outfit smiled at Mary Margaret. "What can I get you?"

"Good morning, Ruby. I'll take some french toast and a cup of hot chocolate, extra whipped cream and-"

"Sprinkled with cinnamon," Ruby finished her sentence with a smile.

"Guess I order that a lot," Mary Margaret lightly laughed.

"Only every day during winter and it's usually during breakfast and late night snacks," Ruby explained, her smile wider than before to expose pearly white teeth with two sharp incisors.

"Cinnamon," Emma asked.

"Yeah. I know it sounds weird, but it's just one of my little quirks. And it tastes delicious," Mary Margaret replied.

"No, it's not weird. I mean, not to me. That's how I like my hot chocolate."

"Oh, you're new. Hi," Ruby redirected her attention at Emma, excited to see a new face. "Can I get you anything?"

Emma pursed her lips and smiled.

"Uh, I'll take a plate of eggs and some hash browns with hot chocolate, same way she likes it," she pointed at Mary Margaret.

Ruby nodded before she spoke again.

"Will you be staying long?"

"No, Mary Margaret forced me come in and try the food before I left so I wouldn't drive on an empty stomach," Emma explained.

"Aw. That's too bad, but Mary Margaret was right to drag you in here. Anyway, your order will be ready in about ten minutes, okay?"

"Thanks, Ruby," Mary Margaret smiled again.

Ruby smiled over her shoulder with a spring in her step.

"She really seems to like you," Emma noted.

"Yeah," Mary Margaret answered, almost chipper.

Emma raised an eyebrow.

Mary Margaret furrowed her brow as she tried to understand what Emma really meant by her statement. When the realization came to her, her jaw dropped.

"No," she exclaimed as she shook her head. "She doesn't like me in an 'I want to date you' way. We're just friends. Not that I'd have a problem with two women being together. It's just that everyone here is really close."

"All right, but if everyone's so close please don't let it be a surprise to me that this place is a swinger's town," Emma wryly said.

Mary Margaret shook her head again.

"No, it's not like that here either. If you were going to stick around you'd understand."

"Right. Well, I think that's great, but I'm not really a warm and fuzzy, get close to people type anyway. …So, if you don't mind me asking, what's with Regina?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, she seems a little bipolar if you ask me, but I'm sure that's not the case, right?"

"Oh, uh, she's a... a long story. I wouldn't really know how to describe her," Mary Margaret went from being in a good mood to looking shy and slightly frightened.

"I just want to know she's not crazy, that I'm not leaving Henry with her under false pretense that she's a good mother. You're Henry's teacher, right? You'd know if there was anything wrong at home, wouldn't you?"

"Listen, Regina is great with Henry. She's a little controlling of his diet and what he does after school, but-"

"How does she control his diet," Emma started to worry.

"Oh, it's nothing bad. Really. She does it for his benefit. She doesn't allow much sweets if any at all."


"Yeah. I really think she cares about him a-and she wouldn't do anything to hurt him, but...she's been known to have a few...boyfriends over."

"What do you mean?"

"Uh, well, lately she's been getting pretty close to the Sheriff. He seems to be around her place a lot now, but before him it was Sidney Glass, a reporter for the Storybrooke Gazette. And I think there was a guy before him that she was with a lot of the time after work, but I couldn't be sure."

"And how long do these relationships usually last?"

"Well, Sidney still hangs around the Mayor like her pet, but I assumed they were actually together for about a month? Graham's been with her the last three months. Honestly, it seems serious, but Graham's a good guy so if you're worried the men in Regina's life wouldn't give a damn about Henry and his needs, Graham isn't like that. He likes Henry and often checks up on him for Regina when she can't."

Emma frowned.

"I met him. Last night. He was at Regina's place waiting with her for Henry to come home."

"You still look concerned. Henry will be fine and everyone in this town adores him so we all look out for him too. We look out for each other, really."

"Yeah, I guess he'll be okay."

"But, you know, you don't have to go. You could stay in town for at least a week to keep an eye on him if you wanted."

"I couldn't. Regina'd probably have my head and I don't know if I've got enough to afford Granny's."

"No problem. You can stay with me free of charge. I've got an extra bed. The apartment is a little small, but it's enough for me and I'm sure an extra person around wouldn't cut down the space too much."

"That's a really generous offer, but I've got to make some money."

"Money, huh," a man asked from behind Emma.

Emma turned around as Mary Margaret looked to her left and the two of them stared up at the Sheriff, confused and a little weary about what he might have heard.

"Yeah. You got a job opening," Emma carefully asked.

"As a matter of fact, I do. The work around here might be a little slow at times so it almost seems unnecessary to have one, but I could use a deputy. Someone I can trust to handle things when I'm otherwise engaged or just someone to get lunch for us, watch people in the drunk tank when I go on break. If you're interested, I'd be happy to give you the job."

"Really? Are there any qualifications? You don't even know me so how can you trust me?"

"Well, I suppose I wouldn't just hand you the badge. You can prove your credibility later tonight if you'd like. Say around five? Stop by the station and I'll test your skills."

"I'll think about it."

"It's an open invitation. You know where and when to find me if you accept," Graham grinned.

The door to the diner opened.

"I hope to see you tonight," he seductively growled. "Mary Margaret, always a pleasure to see you."

"Have a good day, Sheriff," Mary Margaret replied, tying to act casual though his tone toward Emma made her worry for the blonde.

On Graham's way out, he nearly bumped into Regina as she made her way to the counter. She eyed Emma as though she wanted to shoot daggers at the blonde with a single glare, not sure what exactly she'd overheard.

"Sheriff," Regina cordially stated, formal though passive aggressive as she kept her eyes fixed on Emma.

"Morning, Madame Mayor," Graham said as he exited Granny's without delay.

Regina tightened her jaw as she watched Graham walk away from her like he'd done nothing wrong and stared down Emma as she approached the younger woman.

"Miss Swan. I see you haven't left yet."

"I was leaving last night, but I realized that Henry left something of his in my car."

"You couldn't have just mailed it," Regina maliciously stated.

"Not when I think he'd appreciate getting it back as soon as possible."

"Then you can give to me and be on your way. I'll make sure he gets it."

"Actually, I thought I'd be the one to make sure he gets it."

"Miss Swan, I hope you don't intend on returning his property in person just to disappear an hour later. Children can get easily attached to people and I'd hate for Henry to think you'll be around. It would surely devastate him. And I'm sure you're missing a lot of work where you're from."

"I'm a bail bonds-person. I track people down that miss their court date and don't pay back their bail money. I don't need to be in an office let alone clock in. I get paid for delivery and usually somebody calls me when I need to hit the pavement."

"I'm to assume no such call has been made?"


"Lovely," Regina sarcastically said, unappreciative.

Regina refused to sit down but stood next to Emma as the blonde sat at the counter, Mary Margaret the farthest from her as she sat on Emma's right side.

She ordered her usual from Ruby and gave several sideways glances at Emma filled with annoyance and aggravation

"Why don't you take a seat, Madame Mayor," Emma pushed with a small grin before she took another sip of her hot chocolate.

"I don't have the time nor do I want to be anywhere near you," Regina spat in response.

"Well, guess it's just your luck that I'm staying in Storybrooke after all," Emma's grin spread as she focused all of her attention on the brunette.

Regina slowly, subtly released a seething sigh through her nose.

"Are you."

"Yes, I am. Imagine how much fun it'll be seeing my face around town every day."

"If your reason for staying is because you plan on spending time with Henry, you'll be wasting your time here. I will not let you anywhere near my son."

"Despite your best efforts, Regina, you can't keep me from him. I will get some time with Henry if it's the last thing I do."

"Careful how you talk to me. I run this town, Miss Swan, and I'm sure some of these fine citizens have already informed you I'm not one to be messed with," Regina trained her eyes on Mary Margaret for a moment to call out the black haired woman.

"In case you're a little slow to figure this out," Emma defiantly stated as she stood and closed what little space there was between them. "I'm not afraid of you."

"That's your first mistake," Regina threatened. "You have no idea what I am capable of."

"Then let me inform you that your first mistake is threatening me. I don't respond well to being cornered."

"If you already feel cornered-"

"I don't. I'm just explaining the severity of the situation if you think of crossing me. I want you to know what you're getting yourself into."

"Please. I don't need your warning. You'll be out of here in no time. You never stay in one place too long. I checked up on you not long after you left my home. Seven addresses in the last ten years. Henry won't have the time to get to know you because you never bother to have any roots. A plant without roots can't grow."

"Well, toughen up and get ready because I'm about to have roots here."

Regina chuckled.

"If you say so, dear," she disbelievingly replied as Ruby brought her order to go. "It was nice meeting you. Goodbye, Miss Swan."

Regina spun on her heels and sauntered out the door leaving Emma staring after her with a fixed gaze.

She continued to watch Regina get into her Mercedes and drive away from the quaint establishment. The more the brunette pushed, the more Emma wanted to fight back. No matter Emma's reason for it, she wanted to stay more with every breath she spent arguing with Regina and by then she was determined to stay.

Let me know what you think. Second chapter coming soon. :D