Mom, Sheriff and Savior of the fairy tale realms. So why, of all things, is she so afraid of thunderstorms?
I only wrote one draft of this, just to get back into the swing of writing again. I appreciate constructive critizicm.
Emma wasn't one hundred percent sure what had awoken her, but she thought it was some sort of noise. Her first thought was that it might have been Henry, but she remembered that he was spending the night with Regina. She gave herself a few moments to figure out what the noise was and upon deciding that it was no emergency, she rolled over and tried to allow the sound of the rain to lull her back to sleep.
Thunder crashed and she let out a small squeak, realizing that that must have been the source of her awakening and she began to quake. She never liked thunder storms. They reminded her of a foster father that she had lived with for a couple years when she was about five years of age. Upon discovering that the child was disturbed by the sound he amused himself by tormenting her even further, telling her things like "The angels are mad at you, Emma. They're up there firing warning shots and one day, when you're bad enough they're gonna come and get you and teach you a lesson." Some days he would come home with bags of ice and wake her by throwing them against her door and shout "Be good today, Emma; remember the angels!" Her foster mother had tried to stop him a few times, but quickly gave up and just scoffed at his comments as if she believed it was simply one of his little quirks.
The thunder rolled ominously and she braced herself for another crash. Get a hold of yourself, Swan. You're twenty nine years old! After all these years, you should be over it by now. She scolded herself as she wiped a stray tear off her cheek. After several rolls, she figured it would soon die out and she tried to calm her breathing and go back to sleep.
The next crash had caught her entirely off guard and she could not with hold the scream and the sobs that followed.
David chuckled to himself as he watched his wife sleep. He was usually a pretty heavy sleeper and Snow couldn't sleep through a mouse nibbling cheese. She had to have been exhausted after exerting herself so much that day, volunteering at the hospital to unload a shipment of supplies, so he couldn't say that he was surprised. What did surprise him was that that last crash of thunder sounded an awful lot like a scream. It didn't take him long to figure out that it was his daughter crying out, nor did it take him long to reach the top of the stairs.
"Emma?" He tentatively opened the door, not wanting to scare his daughter even further than she seemed to be.
The thunder boomed again and he watched her flinch as he made his way to her.
"No! Please don't. I'll be good!" She sobbed into her hands as she began to rock herself slightly.
He felt as if his heart had ripped at the sight of this normally brave warrior of a woman now apparently broken over a mere thunderstorm.
"Emma." He soothed, swiftly taking her hands in his as he seated himself on the edge of the bed across from her. It seemed this was his night for surprises as she took no hesitation in wrapping her arms around his middle and buried her face in his chest.
"Daddy, I'm scared! I know I'm supposed to be a big girl now, but I can't help it. I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Her confession only intensified her anguish.
His heart sang at the endearment and her willingness to seek comfort from him.
"Hey, sweatheart," He cooed, "it's okay. You're okay." He continued as he stroked her back. "What's wrong? Is it the storm?"
She nodded in response.
"The angels are mad at me. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to be bad!"
"What are you talking about? You didn't do anything wrong sweatheart. It's just a storm."
"No, the angels are mad at me and they're gonna get me! That's what Mr. Adamson said."
She was obviously reliving a traumatic event from her childhood. Who would tell this to a child? He thought. He had to bring her back to reality. He knew she would berate herself over this later, regarding it as childish and unacceptable behavior. He wanted her to be able to trust him and comfortably come to him when she needed him without embarrassment.
"No one is going to get you, not while I've got you. It's just a storm, honey."
"Please don't make me go away!"
"Emma, you have to stop this. It's just a noise." He spoke firmly but gently as if to sooth her inner child, yet get her back in touch with her adult self.
"No,the angels are firing their warning shots. I didn't mean to…"
"Shh." He sighed as he began to rock her. He was going to have to try a new approach. "They're not angry with anyone, they're just… bowling."
She sniffed and her cries stopped momentarily.
"What?" She sniveled, clearly confused. David just chuckled at his answer.
"They're bowling!" He exclaimed, triumphant in that his approach seemed to work.
There was another roll of thunder and a clash and Emma tensed.
"Hm, sounds like someone just got a strike."
Emma giggled in response. David resorted to patting her back. They sat in silence except for her sniffling. After a minute, Emma shot up, but refused to look David in the eye.
"I, uh…" Emma cleared her throat in attempt to get hide the hoarseness in her voice. "I'm sorry about that. I don't know what came over me. Ha."
She moved to wipe away her tears, but David caught her wrists and held her face.
"Hey, listen to me."
Emma grabbed his wrists, attempting to pull away, but he held firm.
"You don't ever have to be embarrassed about crying on your dad's shoulder. That's what I'm here for. I know you've suffered more than any child should have to go through. You've done a lot of running and sometimes old issues are bound to catch up with you." He wiped Emma's cheeks with his thumbs and Emma blinked back more tears. "I wasn't there to be your dad and scare away the monsters when you were little, but I'm here now. I know I can't make up for all the things that I missed, but I will do whatever it takes to protect you now, even if that means past issues that have to be dealt with… if you'll let me. You, Emma, are the bravest, strongest woman I know. But strength, like magic, always comes at a price. And it is absolutely okay for you to be scared sometimes. I will always be there when you need me, Emma, for whatever you need me for. That's what dad's are for."
Emma tried to hide the small smile by letting her head fall back onto his shoulder. She knew she'd regret this moment of weakness eventually, but right now she needed him. She would need him to fight the dragons from her past, she'd need his helping hand to fight her future dragons, she'd need someone to lean on even when she'd have to deal with her dragons on her own.
The thunder rolled again, but this time, not so ominously.
"I think somebody got a gutter ball, daddy." She mumbled into his shirt.
This time it was David's turn to hold back the tears.