[personal profile] skysailor
Characters: Emma, Mary Margaret
Show: Once Upon a Time
Timeline: After Emma moves in with Mary Margaret
Summary: Adorable sorta-incestual slashfic; also, discussion of the meaning of "mother."


“What do you think?”

"I think my mother just kissed me... with tongue."

That got a laugh, a little bubbly one, the kind Emma didn’t hear often enough from Mary Margaret. Emma grinned in reply and leaned in for another kiss, light and sweet, like cinnamon and marshmallows. And Mary Margaret did the tongue thing again, a quick dart between Emma’s lips, flirtatious and pleasant. Emma had forgotten that sometimes relationships could be like that. She never got to experience much in between serious angst and one-night stands. She could get used to this.

“But no, really,” because Emma couldn’t just take the kisses for what they were and leave it alone, because she continuously suffered from a disability in the shut up lobe. “Henry thinks you’re my mother. I think it might screw him up if we tell him about this.”

“But I’m not your mother.” Mary Margaret ran fingers through Emma’s hair, twisting one golden lock between her fingertips. “I know this will amaze you, but I’m not old enough to be your mother. I never even knew you until you came here. A real mother—“ She cut herself off.

“What?”

“It’s… I don’t want to offend you.”

See? This was what happened to cute bubbly romance when she opened her mouth. She should have just gone on with the kissing. “Just say it.”

“I know how you feel about Henry, and the Mayor is… might not be the best mother for him. And maybe one day you two could be like family…”

“What are you saying?”

“A mother is someone who raises you, Emma. Not someone you meet after you’ve already grown up.”

“Henry isn’t grown up. He’s my son. He wants me in his life.”

“I know. I’m not trying to criticize that.” Mary Margaret let go of the lock of Emma’s hair. “You don’t have to be his mother to be close to him.”

“But I am.”

“I know that you gave birth to him. But even if I’d ever given birth to you – not that I’ve ever even given birth – I wouldn’t be your mother. I would just be someone who gave birth to you.”

“So you think she’s his mother?”

“Yes.”

“How could you—you know what she’s like.”

“I do. She reminds me of my mother. My stepmother, at least. I don’t remember my birth-mother. I don’t even remember my stepmother that well. It’s…” Mary Margaret frowned, brows furrowed, staring into the distance. It was an expression Emma had become used to seeing on the faces of Storybrooke residents. It was one of those things that made Henry’s stories seem disturbingly close to real. “…it’s like I’ve blocked it out. She was a horrible woman. But she was still my mother. ‘Mother’ isn’t necessarily a good thing, Emma. It just is.”

“That’s pretty downbeat, for you.”

“Just because I try to be optimistic doesn’t mean everything is always great.” Mary Margaret laid her hand across Emma’s and gave it a squeeze. “It just means I try to make things better in the future.”

Emma tried not to retreat from the touch. She wanted this, this hand-holding, emotional crap, etcetera. But that didn’t mean she felt all that comfortable with it. So she held still, and let Mary Margaret squeeze her hand, and tried to work through what the fuck she was feeling right now.

“I just want to be a part of his life,” Emma said.

Another squeeze, firm but gentle. “I know. That doesn’t mean you have to be his mother. You can also be his friend.”

“Like you.”

A smile, like the sun after a hard snow. “Like me.”

And then, without even thinking about it, Emma brought it back to easy kisses, to light darts of tongue and quiet giggling. Mary Margaret acquiesced without missing a beat.

Maybe hard talks were okay, if they came hand-in-hand with this candlelight glow.

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