I do not own Once Upon a Time nor these creative characters. And I apologise in advance for all the possible grammar and spelling mistakes.
"Emma dear, why won't you just listen?"
Snow White pleaded her now infuriated daughter.
"No,mother! I refuse to give in to yours and father's tyranny. I will do no such thing as marry that old scoundrel!"
The princess was aggravated by her mother. How could she do such a thing to her? Force her into a loveless marriage to some old King whom she had no interest in just to form an alliance she so desperately needed. Selfish, the princess thought. Her mother was very selfish.
"Emma dear. Love does not come easily. It takes time. Once you get married to Stephan, you will not only help form an alliance between our two Kingdoms that we so desperately need but you also may find love. Your father and I, we started off very hostile before we fell in love. "
Her mother tried to reason. She knew if she left her daughter to her own devices, the young girl would never get married. She was disobedient, reckless and never followed rules. For the past two summers, Snow White had tried to help her daughter see reason and accept that she had to marry soon. The court has begun to ask questions to both her and her husband regarding their daughter. She was of age and she was to be married as soon as possible.
The feud which started between the White Kingdom and the Dark One started some time ago and they desperately needed assistance in the matter. She knew she had no time to spare her daughter anymore. The alliance between the Dunns and the Charmings was to be made and the young princess had no say in the matter. She was not selfish, she told herself. The Queen gave her daughter plenty of chances afterall and this was the final straw.
Still, Emma raised her hands both in annoyance and frustration.
"Mother, I love you so but can you please put an end to this?"
The princess cried.
"I don't love Stephan. He's arrogant,despicable,unhumorous and old! His age goes beyond that of my own father!"
Snow White had just about enough of her daughters silly objections.
"Emma you will marry Stephan the day after tomorrow and that is final. You cannot postpone this anymore my dear daughter. You have ruined the last few engagements offered and your choice is rather limited. You will not disobey me and you will most certainly not disobey your father. "
The Queen warned her daughter in a steady tone. Emma was desperate now. The wedding was to be held soon, and for the very first time she saw no way out of this one. She has successfully ruined her past four engagements and she also believed this one wouldn't be any different. How wrong could she be?
"I'll take my life mother. You will regret this!"
As soon as the words left her mouth the princess recieved a rather painfull slap across her cheek.
"You will not repeat such things Emma! Now go to your room and compose yourself before this gets out of hand. "
Emma stared at her mother in disbelief. No sooner than the words left the Queens mouth the princess was out of the room, tears running freely down her delicate face. She needed assistance, and who else to turn to than her own godmother?
Red was just cleaning the kitchen when the princess burst in the dark room sobbing and screaming like a banshee. Just when she was about to ask her friend what was wrong all air was forced out of her lungs by the blondes desperate embrace. She held onto the older woman for dear life.
"Red,please,you must help me!"
The raven haired woman held the girl tightly running small, soothing circles down her back.
"Shh, Emma. Try to calm yourself. Explain to me what saddens you so? "
" Mo... mother... Marriage... Stephan. "
The princess tried to explain throught sobs.
"Emma,dear. Look at me. You knew this was bound to happen one day. Your mother only wants what's best for you. "
Red tried to reason but the young princess would have none of it. She pulled from the embrace abruptly and stared at the older woman with hurt and confusion.
"You're on her side too? I should have known. You care not for my life. And that is exactly what it is Red! My life. Not hers nor anyone elses to rule."
Emma could not believe what was happening. Her father turned against her, her mother and now her best and only friend. This was all a conspiracy against the young princess. It was absurd what these people would do for their Kingdom. Sacrificing their daughter and best friend like some common piece of meat to an old savage just for the sake of greater good.
"No, I understand. Thank you my friend for siding with my mother. I have need of you no more."
With that Red stared at her young friends retreating form.
Emma layed in her bedchambers considering her options. She could marry the old fart. She wasn't naive. It was well known what was expected of a woman to do for her spouse. The allaged wifely duties she was to perform. It all repulsed her to no end. She wanted to gag. There was the alluring option of ending it all. Jumping of the highest tower window perhaps. No, that would not do. She would not end her life prematurely because of those fools. She has so much to live for and yet so little if she falls into this loveless marriage.
And then out of the blue it hit her. She could just run away! That was it. Never to return to these parts of the realm. Never to have to act on the behalf of her title. Never to see her obnoxious parents again. Never to have to experience Stephan's abuse. But that would be difficult. There were guards at every corner,watching, waiting.
The princess knew her mother has ordered them to inform her of her daughter's whereabouts at all times. That is why she had to do this by night, if she wanted to have a chance at success.
Yes, she thought. She will run away the night before her wedding.
"Daughter you look beautiful. That gown fits you perfectly. "
Snow praised her daughter to no ends. It seemed that the princess came to accept that she was to be married afterall. It pleased the Queen so.
"Thank you mother. It really is lovely."
The blonde gave her mother the biggest of smiles before stepping back on the stool so that her dressmaker could take the gown off.
"Tell me daughter, what changed your mind?"
The queen requested. Emma gave little thought about her already rehearsed answer.
"I do realise the importance of our Kingdom's safety mother. And I do want yours and father's approval. I cannot be so selfish and let my own desires cloud my judgement. This is afterall for the greater good, is it not ? "
Emma smiled yet again.
"Yes,precisely !" Snow beamed.
"You finally came to your senses. And know this my dear Emma, your father and I love you so. We would not do this if it wasn't something that wouldn't ultimately bring you happiness."
What a load of horse shit, Emma thought. But she was going through this charade. She would not let her mother suspect anything before her departure.
"All will end good daughter. Have faith. Now let Roanna do her job and then get some rest. Tomorrow is a big day afterall."
Big indeed, Emma thought.
"Yes mother. "
Emma gave in one last smile before the Queen left her chambers.
A dark shadow was lurking through the castle corridors. Careful not to interrupt a living soul. Emma was wearing her riding trousers, a white tunic and above that a dark cloak which masked her already tied bundle of golden locks aswell as her face perfectly. She was carrying a small sack of gold along with some food and water.
She sneaked past her parent's chambers and went further down the hall. The princess descended lower to the dungeons, a place she was never allowed but ever since her younger days, she would sneak around the castle constantly revealing its secrets and hidden passages. She knew there was one in the dungeons which will lead her from the sewers to the lake just beyond the castle walls. Just as she was to enter the dungeon halls she saw two strongly armed guards.
Crunching down, careful not to be seen, she picked up a small rock and tossed it as far in the other direction as possible, sending the said two running to investigate the source of the noise. The princess lost no time as she sprung into action running past the entrance to the dungeons and continuing a few long steps before slowing down, resuming her previously steady pace.
The small dungeon hall was illuminated with torches which made navigation far easier. She picked up one and descended further into the small passage. Not far along she found what she was looking for. A marked stone in the wall. Gently putting down the torch, she used both hands and all her might to pull the large stone aside and crawled through the small space only to be met by the stench of the sewers.
Not too long now and she would finally be free.
"WHERE IS SHE !?"
Snow was yelling now, infuriated.
"My Queen, we searched everywhere." The guard offered humbly.
"She is nowhere to be found." Another added.
"Listen here." The King turned to the guards,his eyes murderous.
"You will find my daughter or we will have your heads for this. Now go!"
The two guards were off in a millisecond.
"I cannot believe she is doing this to us again. I will not have it!" Snow sat down, not quite believing what was happening.
"Calm yourself Snow. We will find her. Charming assured his wife."
"This is our fault Charming. We should never have forced her in such a thing."
Snow cried out and Charming looked at his wife simpateticaly.
"Don't put this on us Snow. We were desperate and she would not listen. She never listens. Emma should have known this day would come sooner or later."
The King tried to justify their actions. He was, at first, against his wife's idea to marry their daughter against her will. But he too saw that his daughter would not see reason. If they let her be she would never marry. Their Kingdom was at stake and their daughter a target of public humiliation.
"I don't know Charming. But I feel as though we made a huge mistake." Snow confessed.
Emma was running. She had been running for several hours now. The sun was up and her parents would find her gone by now. A whole army was probably after her. Her legs hurt and her feet were sore but she kept running.
She had to.