I got a prompt from Helenluvsboo on tumblr: Gremma. Either Emma or Graham is mute or blind. Well.
It was funny, Graham sometimes thought. It was funny that despite everything, the woman he understood best in all of Storybrooke had never spoken a word.
Well, that's not quite true – Emma Swan had spoken, once, and he had the feeling that she'd been quite outspoken, too. He knew it because he'd asked her and she'd nodded. He'd wanted to guess at what could have driven her to shield herself from the world so entirely, but he'd known that wouldn't have gone over well.
At the same time, though, he'd understood quite perfectly why she'd retreated from the world. Emma wasn't the only one who had the desire to hide herself from humanity, but Graham found that his desire of running away into the woods and never being discovered by humanity was a bit more drastic than her not speaking. The desire grew a little stronger every time he saw her, though the desire to stay with her also grew stronger with every interaction.
Graham could hear Regina's voice in his ear already, taunting him for falling in love with a mute girl. "You've never actually spoken to her. How can you know her enough to love her?" Except he did know her, better than anything. He knew that she loved her son fiercely, because he'd witness her hug Henry tighter than Graham had thought was possible. He knew that she'd never really had anyone be kind to her, because he still remembered her face the day Granny had given her a free hot chocolate because "I can't remember the last time that kid smiled like that". He knew that the kindness the residents of Storybrooke were giving her (not out of pity, just out of honest kindness) were beginning to bring her out of her shell.
Whenever he saw Mary Margaret, she'd give him an update of how life with Emma was going. "I swear she smiles a bit more every day," Mary Margaret had told him a few hours before. "And she answers my questions more and more often – never with words, just nods and things like that. I think we'll get her speaking again, someday."
He felt a tap on his shoulder and he turned around to see Emma. She smiled at him, and Graham reflected that Mary Margaret was right – when Emma first arrived in town, she never would have smiled at him like that.
"Hey, Emma," he said with an easy smile. "I hard you moved in with Mary Margaret," he added, because it wasn't like she was going to respond. "What's that like?" She shrugged and smiled. In his head, he guessed at what she wanted to say. "I bet she cooks too much." Mary Margaret, he knew, was just the sort of person who'd bake everything she possibly could too make someone feel better. Cupcakes, cakes, cookies, muffins, you name it – Mary Margaret would probably be baking them for Emma. Emma grinned at him and nodded empathically, and he laughed.
"Do you want a hot chocolate?" he asked. "I'll pay." She shook her head and gestured towards the door. He grabbed his coat off the table and stood up. "Alright, let's go for a walk."
When they left Granny's, he spotted Regina getting out of her car across the road. She stared at him, with Emma, and he could tell she was angry. Regina wasn't exactly pleased with Henry's biological mother coming to town. He purposefully turned his eyes away from her. When he heard the loud slamming of the car door, he knew his message had come through. You could only slam a door that hard when you were furious.
They strolled along, making the most conversation one could when one of the participants was mute. Despite it being one sided for the most part, Graham always had the most fun talking to Emma. When they reached the Sherriff Station, she grabbed his arm and started to tug him inside.
"So you just wanted to see where I work," he grumbled. She shrugged, looking around at him sheepishly. He was fairly sure that she meant, "I've never seen it before. I was curious!" He smiled.
His phone rang, and he checked it to see Regina's name on the Caller ID. He frowned and rejected the call. Emma was looking at him curiously, and he knew she'd seen the name. "Sorry," he said. "A while ago I got myself involved with her… I don't know even remember why. I've regretted it ever since." He shrugged his shoulders. "I imagine she's starting to get the message I don't want anything to do with her at this point."
She smiled and grabbed a piece of paper off his desk, along with a pen. 'GLAD YOU FINALLY FIGURED OUT SHE'S A BITCH,' she wrote. He laughed.
"You should write stuff down more often," he said. "You could carry a notebook around or something."
'THERE WASN'T ANY POINT BEFORE I MOVED HERE. I NEVER REALLY WANTED TO TALK TO ANYONE BEFORE I MOVED TO STORYBROOKE,' she wrote. 'THEY DIDN'T WANT TO TALK TO ME EITHER.'
"Well, I'd like to talk to you," he said. "Mary Margaret would too, and Henry, and David Nolan would probably like to thank you for helping to find him."
'CHARMER.' In a few lines of writing, Graham was learning even more about Emma than he already knew. She was still the unloved orphan who loved more fiercely than anyone else he knew, but she had a sense of humor and was either cynical about people's affections or didn't know how to take a compliment. Somehow, he thought it was probably both.
"I'm not trying to be," he said, pushing back all the thoughts racing through his mind.
She abandoned the paper, stepping closer to him. She looked more vulnerable than he'd ever seen her, and he hoped – prayed – that he'd gotten through to her. And then she was kissing him softly, her lips hesitant against his.
Everything rushed back in an instant, and suddenly it was the Huntsman that was jerking away from Emma in surprise. Emma pulled back, looking scared that she'd done the wrong thing. Even with his mind still swimming from the sudden memories pouring in, he still knew that he couldn't let her feel like he'd rejected her. He reached out and grabbed her hand.
"I remember," he whispered. She looked at him questioningly. "Thank you." He leaned forwards, reaching up to cup her face.
Then he felt the pressure in his chest and he knew that the Queen still had his heart – and she was sending a very forcible reminder of who he belonged to. His hands flew to his chest as he collapsed, and after another moment of terrible pain he knew that this was more than just a reminder. This was an end.
As his eyes fluttered shut, he heard a voice above him, panicked and terrified and raspy from disuse. "Graham? Graham?"
I love you.