Disclaimer: I do not own Once Upon a Time or the characters.
Even the pitter patter of rain that danced along the car windows couldn't shield them from the muffled screams of excitement escaping the playground. They were early, just by couple of minutes, sitting in their car watching children play in the closed off area.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Emma Swan questioned softly.
"I want to go." her son beside her answered
"I mean we can start another day, Henry. I can always change my schedule with the guys and can turn around."
"Mom," the brown haired boy smiled, dragging out the name before he continued, "I'm eight years old. I can handle myself."
"Alright," Emma replied her hands submissively shot up off the steering wheel of her beat up yellow Beetle.
Henry turned to his mother and nodded, his shaggy brown hair bouncing up and down.
The blonde's cheeks pinched with pain from the sheer size of her smile. She quickly checked her display, green neon lights shining back at her, 7:55 am. In just a few minutes she'd have to release him into the wild.
"Let's do this!" Henry said, excitement practically pouring from his lips.
That's her baby boy and he certain had no fear for the first day of school, unlike his mother. With a snap of the wrist the brown hair boy unlatched his door and threw on the hood of his jacket.
"Hey, at least let me meet your teacher!" Emma called, dashing out of her car. She rushed to catch up with Henry as the warning bell sounded.
The two took off side by side walking through the double doors of Storybrooke Elementary. Its halls were filled with children dashing back and forth into their classrooms. After making a left down the main hallway they entered Henry's classroom.
The blonde reached forward, placing her hand onto her son's shoulder, and smiled brightly. Crouching down to his level she ran her fingers through his brown locks correcting his messy bed head.
Popping back up she took one last look at her son's first day attire. He wore a long sleeve white and green stripped shirt , with a pair of black jeans, and white scuffed up sneakers. After sending her son a wink she repeated his earlier words, "Right, let's do this."
"First day jitters?" A voice behind them called out before walking up to the pair.
He was closely followed by a girl the same size as Henry. She quickly dodged their bodies and ran into the classroom.
"Yeah actually," Emma turned to meet the man at her side, her fingers digging into her sons shoulder as he tried to escape into the classroom.
The man had dark brown hair, a chin full of stubble, and sported a black button up dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows underneath a white vest. A long black trench coat hung in his arms, dripping slightly from the rainstorm.
"I thought so. I've never seen you two around here before."
"We just moved here," Henry piped up looking at the man who was about the same age as his mother.
"Is that right? Well I'm sure you'll love it here, especially your teacher. Every kid I know loves Miss Mills," the man reassured.
Another child dashed around the group and into the classroom. Glancing back behind them they waved, "Morning Mr. Jefferson!"
He smiled at the child and nodded his head in acknowledgement.
A voice softly boomed from the classroom before them, calling out the names of the students present.
"You work here?" the blonde questioned.
"I teach the music class. And if you're with Regina's group I'll see you ever day two," he replied then tugged a silver pocket watch from his vest pocket, "Well I really should let you go. Miss Mills like to get started right on time."
"Thanks," Emma voiced as the man turned and walked the opposite way down the hall.
Henry reached up, his hand resting on top of his mothers, eyes pleading for him to go into the room.
"Yeah...alright" she playfully rolled her eyes, leading her son into room 108.
At the sound of boots clicking into the room the children immediately stopped whispering and glanced up. The teacher leaning on the front of her desk stopped taking roll and glanced over her clipboard.
Henry audibly gulped his eyes glancing around the room. A string latched to the ceiling hung the length of the room. Paintings done by the students clipped to it with clothespins. The children were aligned in four columns each containing five children.
"I'm sorry…Can I help you?" the teacher questioned from her spot on the desk.
"Henry Swan," the brown haired boy answered softly, "It's my first day."
The teacher smiled at him with a bright white grin, "That's right. I was told a new student would be starting soon."
The educator strode over to the pair, her black heels tapping against the floor tiles. She quickly brushed her tan hand over her white button up blouse and down her black skirt before meeting Emma's green eyes.
"Henry, there's a seat available by Grace Jefferson," the brunette extended her hand toward the blonde girl that rushed by them earlier. Her dark brown eyes now fixed on Henry's mother, "Would you like to talk in the hall for a moment?"
The blonde nodded, her golden curls patting against her red leather jacket.
The educator turned and addressed the class, her hand slipping to Henry's shoulder as she spoke, "Henry is new here in town so please make him feel welcome. I'll be right back. Ava would you like to continue roll?"
With another extension of her hand the brunette teacher lead the two outside the classroom with a soft close of the door.
The hallway was quiet except for the soft hum of other teacher's voices filtering in.
"Miss Swan, correct?" the brunette asked.
Emma nodded shoving her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket.
"As I'm sure you know we have a dress code here at Storybrooke Elementary. And luckily for you the parents don't have to follow it" the brunette voiced, the first time getting a good look at Henry's mother.
The blonde raised her eyebrows and leaned back on her heals checking her outfit out. When she went to school all the kids wore skinny jeans and white tank tops.
An inward sigh filled her brain as she made note to pick up some sweater vests and school appropriate dress attire.
With a roll of her eyes she replied, "Right…and if I accidentally left the info packet in Boston?"
"The school runs on a five day system and each day we have a different activity. I'm sure Henry can fill you in on what activities correlate with each day."
"You guys have recess right?"
The brunette scoffed, "Of course we do. The children are allowed to play before class starts. They have two recesses, one after lunch at 12:00 and one after activities - usually at about 2:00."
Emma nodded; the anxious feeling that had been residing in her stomach slowly began to slip away.
"Now if you don't excuse me I have a class to teach" the educator turned quickly in her high heels and opened the door.
Regina turned to face the blonde, "Miss Mills applies to you too", and with that shut the door.
The leather bound woman stood there as the door was shut in her face. She clamped her slightly agape mouth shut. The only thought that passed through her mind was the hope that she wasn't such a prude in class.
The music teacher said all the kids loved her. But how could they love a snooty lady like that?
Thunder roared as Emma raced back to her car. Suddenly she wished that she hadn't requested the day off. She was kind of banking on the thought that maybe Henry would object and the two of them could go home to finish unpacking.
With a quick turn of her keys she headed off down Main Street, pulling over to a parking lot the second she saw a sign for a diner.
Drool quickly filled her mouth as she stepped into the restaurant. The blonde quickly climbed onto one of the stools at the counter and picked up a plastic menu.
"You're new here," a woman's voice acknowledged.
Her green eyes popped up from the menu and fell on the young girl behind the granite.
The dark haired girl grinned at her while wiping a glass clean.
"I swear you small town's folk pick up on that right away."
Resting her elbows on the counter before Emma the waitress filled her in, "Word spread fast when the Sheriff's position was filled."
"Emma Swan," she said extending her hand.
The waitress happily shook the new Sheriffs hand and replied, "Ruby Lucas."
"You guys wouldn't happen to have anything that can calm some nerves?"
"Granny makes the best hot chocolate. It'll heat up your November soaked bones and settle any stomach."
The blonde nodded handing Ruby the menu, "That'll do and some pancakes please."
Shifting in her seat she eagerly looked around and surprisingly enough some of the regular patrons were doing the same. Soft elevator type music filled the diner, along with the chit chat of small town gossip.
"So where are you from?" Ruby called over to her while fetching a mug from her Granny.
"I was right in the smack dab of Boston. Not sure how I feel about the whole town in the middle of the woods yet."
The waitress placed the freshly made steaming hot cup of cocoa down before the blonde, "Don't worry it'll grow on you."
The leather clad Sheriff gazed out the diner's windows watching a few stray trees shake in the storm. A smug smile couldn't be contained when the smell of cinnamon drifted to her nose. It was her favorite combo. One of which she was proud to say she passed onto her son.
"Thanks," she began pulling out her wallet when a woman whom she could only guess as Granny walked up behind Ruby.
"Don't you worry about that. Consider it a welcome present," the other woman smiled, her eyes squinting behind her circular glasses.
Emma nodded, slipping her wallet back into the back of her jacket, before pulling the mug to her lips where a small dollop of whipped cream make contact with the tip of her nose. Her eyes closed in pleasure. This drink was amazing to say the least.
Wiping the off the stray cream the leather clad Sheriff gazed out the diner's windows watching a few stray trees shake in the storm, and questioned, "Do you guys happen to know anything about Miss Mills?"
"The elementary school teacher, yeah" Ruby answered, "What about her?"
"Is she really as good with the kids as they say?"
Granny listening in once more pointed her spatula at the Sheriff, "She's a delight to the children. Not with people her own age."
"So with the kids she's good. Alright then that's good enough for me," Emma sighed a sound of relief before taking another swig of her hot chocolate.
"Already digging up some information on the Mayoral candidate?" the oldest of the three woman questioned sliding a plate of pancakes toward the blonde.
Emma had to swallow her drool forming in her mouth before she spoke, "What?"
"She's running for Mayor when David's term is over," Ruby informed watching the Sheriff hastily slice into her Granny's famous buttermilk pancakes.
Reaching across the counter to grab a small container of maple syrup she began pouring, "Do you think she'd win?"
Satisfied with practically drowning them in the golden goo she shoved a few pieces into her mouth and barley contained the groan. With this food the town would definitely grow on her a lot faster than anticipated.
"Not sure," Granny shook her head while Ruby did the same.
"She comes from a wealthy family so she could buy out the vote. But her personality is reserved most of the time. When she is out and about what out for the dragon's fire," Ruby joked wiggling her finger under her nose toward Emma.
The Sheriff kept her head down, apparently closing off all contact with the world as she devoured the fluffy meal.
After finishing the meal with a few giant bites and swallows she pushed the plate away with a satisfied grin.
"Thank you so much they were awesome," the blonde couldn't help but grin like a child at the two.
The Lucas women smiled back, Ruby happily taking the dirty dish.
"Well would you look at that, the storm stopped," the elder woman announced staring out the window from her stop at the griddle, "Ruby get ready for lunch we might actually have a good amount of customers."
Emma's green eyes sprung up, searching the diner for a clock before finding one in the far end of the establishment. It was almost twelve. If she left now she could just make it.
"I'll be back! Thanks again ladies!" and with that the Sheriff left the diner and headed back into her yellow Beetle.
Truth be told she made it at twelve on the dot. She could hear the playful screams of children as she parked in the same spot as before. Quickly getting out of her car she walked up to a stray tree leaning against the wired fence.
Gently resting her shoulder against the bark she was met with the sight of her son far off in the distance swinging back and forth on one of the various tire swings, chatting with a couple of his new friends.
A small chuckle left her lips as she shoved her fists into her leather pockets.
She stood there for a few minutes watching him run from the swing set to play on the wet monkey bars, and then join a makeshift basket ball game. If Henry and her stomach could get used to this small town so could her heart.
The happiness buzzing through her system was cut short when her body was drenched in freezing rain water.
Following natural instinct she pushed off from the tree and folded her arms across her now soaked white tank top, mumbling under her breath, "What the fucking hell?"
Her green eyes shot up once they heard the sound of someone chuckling.
Green eyes spotted the black gloved hand still attached to the limb it had just shaken on the other side of the fence.
"It seems you have a slight stalking problem Miss Swan and no cursing on school grounds."
If looks could kill the Sheriff's gaze would have pierced the educators black pea coat and stabbed through the teacher's heart.
"Was that really necessary?" she growled, shaking the excess water from her body like a dog before zipping her jacket up.
"You're lucky that I don't call the Sheriff on you. Stranger danger is a real crime" Regina teased happily.
Emma rolled her eyes, "Yeah. I don't think I'd have the honor of arresting myself for questionable behavior."
The brunette's brows furrowed together, "You're the new Sheriff? Well now..it seems our standards were lowered."
The leather clad blonde nodded and walked up to the fence, nearly pressing up against it, her eyes rolling in annoyance at the woman's nonstop remarks.
The educator turned her back Emma and continued her duty of watching the children.
"We're thinking of sending the kids home. There's apparently a serve flood watch in effect headed our way."
Emma quietly thanked her, her eyes scanning the playground for her child once more.
"A few of the students have already taken a liking to Henry" Regina spoke, her back stiff and harms crossed over her chest.
The blonde smiled, a bit of pride filling her heart.
"He's always been like that ever since he was little. People just gravitate toward him," the mother replied.
"The school will give you a call once we dismiss so you can pick him up," the brunette informed her before walking back toward the school.
Their short conversation was over once the bell rang in warning for the second time that day. Children scattered across the playground rushing in through double doors enclosed in the fenced area.
With a full stomach the new Sheriff hopped in her car and headed home. The thought of knowing Henry was happy would be enough fuel to power through unpacking by herself.
Emma tied her blonde hair back with a black tie and repeated the words of her son once more that day, "Let's do this!"
Her confidence would be enough to get through this alone or so she thought. The constant running up and down the stairs of the two story house along with the amount of boxes she had to unpack wore her out quickly.
"I gotta lay off getting Henry a few new toys every time he asks" She groaned, stretching in the living room.
The blonde collapsed onto the couch. A full stomach turned into mini workout and still experiencing a bit of car sickness from the long ride combined into the perfect combination for a nap.
Pulling her phone out of her jeans pocket she put it on the newly purchased coffee table before her and rest her head onto the black sofa. Nuzzling an orphaned pillow she sighed deeply, letting sleep overcome her.
It wasn't until the crashing sound of thunder screeched over her house did the blonde awaken. Still a bit groggy, she sat up wiping her mouth from the small drool that had dribbled down her cheek. With a stretch she slowly made her way off the couch and glared out her window.
Leaves flew past in the storm colored late afternoon. The rain that was just quietly falling this morning was now crashing on impact.
The blonde's brows scrunched together. Why hadn't Henry's school called? She ran to her phone and picked it up. Slapping her hand to her forehead she groaned deeply.
Her phone was on silent. They had called…been calling every half hour for the past three hours.
It was now five o'clock. It was only twelve when Regina gave her a warning about closing the school early.
The Sheriff raced around and hastily threw on her boots and red leather jacket before racing out the door to her Bug.
Placing her windshield wipers on high she rushed as fast as she could to the school, tires nearly hydroplaning when she turned a corner.
The second she reached the school she rushed out of her car and burst through the double doors, silently thanking God that Storybrooke Elementary was unlocked.
Her brown boots slipped and squished against the tile as she ran to Henry's classroom.
A big sigh left her lips as she reached the door and thruster herself in.
Henry and Miss Mills sat next to each other in the lighted room, a fairy tale book in the hands in the educator.
Emma bit her lip. Of course Henry would be the last one left.
"Mom!" the brown hair boy exclaimed as he jumped from his seat and ran over to the soaking wet woman.
The Sheriff took a knee and wrapped her arms around her son when he jumped into her arms.
The teacher stood up, making her way to her desk and set the large book down.
The blonde closed her eyes; she didn't want to have to deal with yet another teasing right now. She already was consumed with guilt.
"I'm sorry," Emma softly spoke, her voice cracking as she stood back up, green eyes staying focused on her son.
Henry only smiled and wrapped his arms around the leather bound woman's legs .
Her fingers immediately ran through his hair. With a small gulp she turned and looked over to Regina, who was carefully watching Henry, "Thank you Miss Mills. I am so sorry I was unpackin-"
"Regina. I'm off the clock," the brunette spoke her eyes slowly meeting green.
Emma faltered for a second before nodding , "This won't happen again I swear."
The educator mimicked the Sheriff before gathering her things.
The small family headed out of the classroom and out to the awning that hung above the entrance to the school, Regina following behind.
The blonde's green eyes pierced the heavy rain and noticed the only car parked in the lot was her own. And from what she could tell there was no separate faculty lot.
After the educator locked the entrance to the building she began walking out into the rain.
"Here Henry," the Sheriff said handing her son the keys, "Unlock the door and hop in the back seat. I'll be right there."
The brown hair boy nodded happily and took off to complete his task.
Emma jogged up next to the educator, "Regina!"
Turning slightly the teacher's dark eyes met green.
"I can take you home. Don't walk in this mess. Consider it a thank you."
The brunette shook her head, "That's quiet alright Miss Swan. I don't need you to take me anywhere in that death trap of a car."
She began to walk away again, head ducked to avoid as much rainfall as she could.
"Henry would never forgive me!" Emma called out after her brain gave up fighting over what to say.
Regina stopped in her tracks. After a few moments she turned around and immediately began walking toward the bug. A small thank you slipped from her lips as she passed the new Sheriff.
AN: Hey guys, sorry this was a short introductory chapter. I wrote it all in one sitting because I have been playing around with this idea for a while. I want to know how you guys feel about the plot and how much you enjoy the story. Based on how well it does will affect how many chapters it gets. Don't forget to review if you think it deserves it. Thanks!