Summary: Teenage versions of Emma and Regina appear in Storybrooke and to everyone's surprise the girls hit it off immediately...
"We have to stop this, Emma," warned Mary Margaret. "She can't fall in love with the younger you. She has to meet Daniel and fall in love with him - his death starts it all. Or otherwise, Regina won't grow up to cast the curse, Storybrooke won't exist... and Henry will never be born!"
A/N: Usual disclaimer applies. Rated M for later chapters. Thanks for reading :).
"The past is never where you think you left it."
― Katherine Anne Porter
Chapter 1 'Meet-cute'
David's day went downhill rapidly when he had to go arrest his teenage daughter for shoplifting.
He turned up at Tom's grocery store where the cashier had called in a robbery in progress, apparently the "punk kid" was still in the store. David crept to the end of the aisle where he saw the back of a slight blonde girl stuffing packets of chips down her dress.
"Hey! Turn around slowly, kid," warned David, holding out his Deputy badge.
The girl whirled around - she wore black thick-framed glasses and dark red lipstick and had on a tartan dress over black tights and boots. She raised her hands, still holding fistfuls of chocolate bars.
"Listen, officer. I was totally gonna pay for all this stuff. With real money!" the girl said in a fake little-girl voice and put on wide eyes.
"Emma?!" said David incredulously.
"How'd you know my name," said the girl suspiciously, eyes darting around the store for an escape.
David looked at her more closely - she seemed young, a teenager in fact, and slightly shorter and skinnier than the 28 year old Emma that he knew. How was this possible?
"Emma, how old are you?" he asked carefully.
"I'm not telling you anything, cop."
The door bell jingled, signalling a customer and Emma used the distraction to push a metal display of boxes over with a clatter. She bolted for the door and disappeared down the street at a sprint.
David just rolled his eyes and went to the back exit...
Outside, teenager Emma Swan jogged down down the alley with her haul intact and checked over her shoulder a few times.
"Cops really are as dumb as they look," she scoffed to herself before turning back around...
...and she ran straight into a 6'4" brick-hard chest.
"Are we really?" said David with a raised brow. He grabbed her wrists, spilling the chocolate bars to the ground, and cuffed them together. "You're coming with me."
Emma made an obnoxious show of yawning behind the glass of the interrogation room at the Sheriff's station.
Mary Margaret stared through the glass and then looked back at David, shaking her head in disbelief. "David, what is going on here? Who is that?"
"That's Emma. More or less."
"No. I saw Emma an hour ago. She brought Henry's lunch to school. It can't be her - it has to be someone in a magical disguise."
"There's only one way to find out," said David.
He opened the door to the interrogation room and entered with Mary Margaret following at his heels. Emma regarded them with blank boredom as the pair took seats opposite her at the table.
"Well if it isn't Mr and Mrs Deputy Sheriff. Yay," said the teen sarcastically.
Mary Margaret shot David a confused look. "Emma, you don't know who we are?"
"Um, no. Duh. Why would I?"
"Emma, how old are you?" David asked repeating his question from the store again.
"Why do you want to know?"
David gritted his teeth, losing patience with her backchat. "Answer me, young lady!"
"Seventeen," Emma said begrudgingly.
"Where are your parents?" asked Mary Margaret, trying to test out where the girl was from.
"Don't know. Don't care." Emma shrugged, looking at the corner of the ceiling as if it were interesting.
"Someone must be looking for you..."
"They'd better not be," said Emma darkly. "Or they'll regret it. I ran away. My asshole foster father did this to me."
Emma yanked up the sleeve of her dress to reveal a row of pink puckering scars obviously caused by cigarette burns.
"Your foster parents... But what about your birth parents?" pressed Mary Margaret, feeling a pang of guilt at the state of her daughter.
Emma's face froze at the mention of them. "I'm done talking."
"Do you know where they are or-"
"I don't want to know!" said Emma angrily. "They left me on the side of a road. If I saw them in the street today I'd walk right on past. Or spit in their faces."
Mary Margaret and David shared looks of guilt, shock, and dread at their apparent teenage daughter's anger toward them. Her older counterpart hadn't mentioned it but was she hiding it from them that she'd felt this way?
"Emma, how did you get to Storybrooke?" asked David.
Emma shrugged carelessly. "Dunno. Something weird happened. I was sleeping at the train station and then I was just here."
Mary Margaret looked at her sadly. "And you were stealing because you were hungry and alone."
David left his office where he'd made a couple phone calls, leaving a message on Emma's voice mail. He joined his wife who was sitting on the corner of the Deputy's desk.
"Um, Mary Margaret? Where's Emma?"
"Oh. I let her out. She had to go to the bathroom," said Mary Margaret, apparently as naive as she sounded.
David sighed making a noise more like a growl, and strode over first to check the empty interrogation room and then to kick open the door to the bathroom - also empty.
"She's gone," he said.
Mary Margaret cringed, realising she'd confused a punkass teenage version of Emma for her own more mature Emma. "Sorry."
"Come on. She can't have gotten far," said David, grabbing the keys to the cruiser.
Emma jogged along the deserted main road that lead out of town. It seemed to be the only road that actually went anywhere in this weirdo pace. She hadn't seen a single car coming or going or else she would've hitched but she was almost at the town line anyway.
She slowed to catch her breath slightly and jumped a mile at the sound of crunching leaves underfoot coming from her right. Someone was in the woods coming towards her.
"Don't come any closer, I'm warning you! I'm a karate in black belt... I mean, switch that. Anyways, I'll kick your ass till it hurts!"
A young girl about her own age stepped out of the brush, holding her hand up pacifyingly. She wore a sky blue riding jacket over fitted black trousers and boots, with her dark chocolate hair braided elegantly around her head like a crown and ending in a long plait. She approached with her hands out and cringing apologetically.
"I'm sorry, can you help me? I don't know where I am," said the brunette in a genteel voice.
Emma's mouth went dry as the girl came closer, seeing that she was extremely pretty. "Uh sure. I uh, anything. Yeah."
"I'm Regina." The brunette smiled widely and held out her hand politely.
Emma shook the dainty hand and flicked her blonde ponytail casually. "I'm Em. Emma Swan."
"Nice to meet you Em," Regina returned the greeting by rote. "I think I'm lost. I was riding my horse on my father's estate and then the next thing I know I'm here."
Emma raised an eyebrow. "'Your father's estate?' What are you, like some kinda rich princess?"
Regina's face reddened bashfully. "My father was a prince, but he lost his title. So no, I'm not a princess technically."
Emma grinned rakishly. "Well, princess. Seeing as how I've got nothing better to do... I'll help you get home."
The girls fell into step continuing on the road out of town, talking and sneaking looks at each other the whole time. But their meet-cute was interrupted suddenly when Emma heard a siren whoop and saw a car approaching with blue and red lights flashing.
The teens stopped in their tracks as the police cruiser came screeching to a halt. Emma grabbed Regina's hand, since she looked scared at the sight of the car. Emma saw that it was the dumbass Deputy getting out from behind the wheel with an unamused expression on his face.
"Whatever you do don't tell them anything, princess," Emma said urgently. "Do you trust me?"
"Yes," Regina nodded quickly. The naive girl automatically put her trust in the first person she met in this world.
"I want my phone call."
Emma was hanging on the bars in one of the cells at the Sheriff's station and Regina was in the other cell, perched daintily on the bed and watching everything with wide eyes.
"I know my rights! I want a phone call," insisted Emma loudly.
Mary Margaret and David shared a look of long-suffering frustration, hearing the demand for the tenth time in an hour.
"Who are you gonna call, Emma?" asked David, knowing full well the girl had nobody to call.
"Pizza? The White House? Ghostbusters?" sassed Emma, starting to sing the theme song from the movie. "When there's something strange... in the neighbourhood... who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!"
Mary Margaret sighed at their obnoxious child. "When did - the Sheriff - say she was getting here?"
David checked his watch. "Five minutes ago."
The real Emma walked in right that second, holding a takeaway coffee cup and a bunch of paperwork from the town meeting she'd been at.
"David, what is so urgent? I was in the middle of - oh my god, what the hell? Who are they?"
The older Emma stopped in her tracks and her jaw dropped at the sight of the girls in the cells - her own teenage double and Regina's.
Younger Emma seemed taken aback as well. "Hey! Why do you look like me? Except older obviously, and fatter."
Emma glared and rounded on David and Mary Margaret with narrowed eyes. "What is going on."
David answered her as helpfully as he could, explaining what'd happened so far. "We don't know. We were hoping you could sort this out."
Emma put the stuff on a desk and then walked from one cell to the other, first eyeing her young self (who met the gaze with a challenging glare) and then moving in front of a young innocent-looking Regina in the next cell.
"What's your name?"
The blonde teen in the cell next door interjected fast. "DON'T say anything. Never trust cops."
Regina answered apologetically. "My friend says not to tell you."
Emma raised her chin. "I bet you must've known your friend for a long time to trust her that much..."
Regina brightened. "No, actually we just met in the woods today but-"
"Shhh princess!" hissed the young Emma, recognising the trap.
"Sorry, Em," mumbled Regina.
Emma watched their interactions closely. "How old are you, Regina?"
"Eighteen." The young brunette avoided her hard gaze by looking at the floor.
"How did you get here?"
"I'm not sure."
Emma let her voice harden, trying to scare the girl into giving them some answers. "You must know something. Start talking now or I'll have to interrogate you. Do you know what that means?"
"Please don't. I'll be good."
The young Regina looked like she was about to cry and her friend stuck her hand through the bars and placed it on her shoulder.
The blonde teen glared at Emma. "You made her cry, you jerk."
She went to the front of the cell and grabbed the bars in her fists. "You can't keep us locked up in here! We haven't even done anything wrong. Turn your back for five minutes and we'll be gone, I swear. I'm like Houdini, yeah? You hurt her again and I will end you."
Emma took in a deep breath of frustration and counted to ten in her head. She joined Mary Margaret and David to whisper furiously at them.
"How the hell did this happen. Where are they from?"
Mary Margaret shrugged with each suggestion. "The past? Fairytale land? A parallel universe? It has to be something magical... a spell or curse."
"But the young me didn't replace me me," said Emma, puzzling it out. "Hey, have you tried to find Regina? I mean, our Regina - the older meaner one."
"She's not answering her phone," said David.
"Ok," said Emma. "First we gotta see if Regina still exists and then we'll figure out what to do. But in the meantime we can't let the girls go and have them run all over town causing trouble. We have to keep an eye on them. Especially me. I mean, younger me."
"Emma, were you really that much of a brat at that age?" said David, afraid of the answer.
"Worse," said Emma, with a grimace. "Trust me, do not give that girl an inch and do not take your eyes off her."
"Is it wrong that right now I don't regret giving you up and having to live through that?" said Mary Margaret wryly.