Note: Thanks to all who've sent me messages about this story. I can't apologize enough for the delay but it will be finished, hopefully sooner rather than later. Hope it's worth the wait, enjoy!

Lines Crossed

It took Greg and Tamara the better part of Monday to figure out where the mysterious brunette had gone. Two of the three red Chevy pickups they tracked down belonged to fisherman. The third they found by accident when they'd passed it coming out of the Harbor Supply Co. parking lot. Tamara recognized the driver and ordered Greg to bang a uey and follow it toward the town limits until it finally turned onto the long drive labeled Stablebrooke. They continued by slowly, watching until the truck disappeared behind the barn and then they headed back into town, resolving to keep an eye on its owner.

In the mean time, there were other leads to check out but Tamara had noticed her hostesses noticing her comings and goings with interest. Which was why she put on running clothes Tuesday morning before heading out into the frigid air, intending to evoke less suspicion than getting in the car with her colleague and driving around all day.

She ran down Franklin Street and as she passed the municipal lot between the Sheriff's Station and Town Hall she checked to make sure both the police cruiser and the Sheriff's yellow Volkswagen were parked there; hopefully that meant she'd have plenty of time to complete her mission.

It was only two blocks to Storybrooke Cemetery from the bed and breakfast and she made it in less than five minutes. Greg was just pulling up in his rental by the time she cut through the rows of graves and stopped at the large mausoleum settled in the south-east corner of the lot.

"Ready?" She asked, barely out of breath from her brief race over.

"As I'll ever be," Greg replied reluctantly, pulling a case of small tools out from the passenger seat of his car. "You realize if we get caught then I am definitely going straight to jail for trespassing? No passing 'go,' no collecting two-hundred dollars?"

"We'd better hurry then. The Sheriff was still at the station when I left. There shouldn't be anyone around to bother us for a bit. Let's just get in and get out."

Greg didn't look any more comfortable after her reassurance but he took out a thin file and a tiny screwdriver and after looking around one more time jammed them into the yellow lock on the crypt doors. It took him a good five minutes to get the lock to pop open -he wasn't very practiced at jimmying locks, having only completed a crash course via YouTube the night before, and the tools he'd purchased at the hardware store were less effective than an actual pick set- but eventually the locked opened with a satisfying pop.

"We're officially breaking and entering," he announced as the door swung open and Tamara crowded into the entrance with him and they got their first look inside.

It was disappointing.

As far as either of them could tell there was nothing extraordinary about the tomb. The two coffins crowded the narrow space, leaving just enough room between them for an adult to move between. Greg fished a penlight keychain from his pocket and aimed it around the room, noting the fingerprints that marred the thin layer of dust on one coffin but saw no other sign that any living thing had been inside in a long time.

Tamara drooped as Greg scanned the room with his flash light once more, taking time to read the name plates on the coffins, but neither meant anything to either of them.

"Well, that was hardly worth risking arrest for," he mumbled as they backed out of the mausoleum and replaced the lock on the doors.

"They must have just been here for a vandal call or something," she reasoned, disappointment clear in her tone.

"So we're back with nothing but our levitating lady."

"That's still a lot more than you had yesterday," she reminded him sharply.

"If we can get her to talk about it."

"She definitely wasn't what I'd call forthcoming at the diner," Tamara sighed. "We'll give her another day. You can show me the tourist traps, and we'll keep an eye on the sheriff."

"You're the boss."

Wednesday afternoon Emma settled at one of the desks in the station's main office with last of the books Belle had given her. So far her reading had been a dead end. The books might have been useful if she had any clue how one went about making magic work, but so far none had included instruction for beginners and she doubted this one, which didn't even have a title, just some intricate tooling on the leather cover, would be any more helpful but with nothing more pressing at the moment and at least this felt like she was doing something to keep her promise to Henry.

The clack of fingernails on the metal doorframe jarred her from her reading and she looked up to find Ruby standing in the doorway with a scarlet purse dangling from her arm and a drink in each hand.

"Hey." Emma closed the book and shoved it aside, motioning for Ruby to claim the seat from David's desk rather than sit in front of Emma's like a delinquent school child.

"Cocoa?" Ruby offered the carrier.

"Always, thanks," Emma said eagerly and pulled a cup from the cardboard holder. "What's up? Slow day at the diner?"

"Day off," Ruby reminded her.

"Oh, right. And you're not hanging out at the library?" She pried, figuring turnabout for Ruby's teasing was fair play.

"That's not the only place I hang out," Ruby retorted.

"Coulda fooled me."

Ruby pouted at her and then glared when Emma's inquiring look didn't waver under it.

"What's up Ruby?"

"Can't a girl drop by her best-friend's office with a treat every now and then?"

"Sure," Emma allowed. "Not that you do. Seriously, is everything okay?"

"Of course."


Ruby was composed but only barely. Emma knew her too well to believe her too bright smile was anything but forced; her hand clutched her travel cup a little too tightly and the crinkle at the corner of her eyes was too tense.

"How's the um…how's the research?" Ruby nodded toward the book, out of place amongst the usual office paraphernalia on Emma's desk.

Emma frowned at the obvious redirection but let it go. For now.

"Not great," she admitted.

"Nothing useful?"

"That depends on your definition of useful. If you, for instance, are having trouble sleeping this book has recipe that would help. Apparently if honey and vanilla in a cup of heated milk doesn't do the trick then I could add some powdered poppy seeds and magic and it would work better than Ambien. Of course, for you I'd hold the belladonna, because I'd want you to wake up eventually."

"You found out how to make a sleeping curse from that book?" Ruby asked incredulously.

"I guess? I mean I don't actually know how one goes about 'adding magic' to a drink, so technically I know how to make a sleeping potion but I don't know how to make a sleeping spell."

Seven months ago if anyone had told her there was a relevant distinction between the two Emma would not only have not believed them but she would have seriously considered getting them a mandatory appointment at Dr. Hopper's office. Now here she was spending all her free time reading about it.

"And without magic?"

"It's straight up poison."

"So spells to restore memories are definitely out?"

Emma nodded, and grimaced as she gulped down a mouthful of cocoa that was too hot to try to chug like that.

"What about the Blue Fairy? She can infuse potions with magic, is there anything that would help her."

"Believe me, if there was I'd let you know before I even got to the convent."

"Did you find any other books?"

Emma hadn't even looked. She wasn't sure what she was dreading more, visiting Gold's shop or dredging through Regina's vault.

"I haven't a chance yet," she said. "I wanted to look through these first and Henry's got this science thing due this week and he's still behind on his geometry homework."

Ruby nodded glumly, slumping lower into her seat in disappointment and guilt settled on Emma like a shroud.

"Weren't you the one asking me a few days ago what the point of removing the spell was?" She asked. "I mean, I know none of this is ideal but Belle seems nice, a little shy maybe?"

"Yeah, that's new."

"And kinda nerdy?"

"That's really not," the brunette replied with a fond smile that definitely wasn't for Emma.

"Whatever memories she has, they're better than sitting in the hospital under constant sedation right?" Emma hated herself for the hypocrisy.

"I kissed her," Ruby blurted.

Emma coughed on her hot chocolate. "What?"

"You heard me," Ruby growled before sipping from her own cup.


"About twenty minutes ago. I was at the library helping her re-shelve some books and I leaned in to get to the 398s and…it just sort of happened."

"And…? Did she kiss you back?"

"That is so not the point Emma."

"Isn't it?"

"You're one to judge."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Emma demanded.

Ruby looked like she regretted her words but since they were out she pressed forward to explain, "It's just, you're in the same boat. Every time Elena walks into a room you look like a starving kid in front of a candy shop window then you spend the entire time you're with her acting like you can never actually go inside. Which is actually a pretty funny analogy now that I think about-

"Ruby!" Emma hissed.

"Sorry," Ruby said, automatically. "But still, I mean, obviously there's a reason you're holding back with her and my point is I don't think it's because she used to be the wicked witch of the whatever."

Emma crossed her arms and demanded, "What does that have to do with you and Belle?"

"You need to get Regina's memories back so you can make a freaking move. Belle needs her memories back so I have a good reason not to," Ruby retorted.


"The sooner she gets herself back and remembers she's in love with someone else, the better off we'll both be," Ruby insisted.

"Aw, Rubes," Emma sighed.

"I know."

Emma racked her brain for something not stupid to say. Why Ruby thought she was the best person to talk her through this was beyond her. Snow was one building over and more suited to dealing with matters of the heart –assuming matters of the heart didn't involve one night stands; those Emma was prepared to cover. Then again, Snow was more likely to spout off on the virtues of True Love and waiting for Destiny to run you over with it, and given Ruby's history and current situation Emma was pretty sure that would be the opposite of helpful.

"For what it's worth I think she definitely likes you," Emma began awkwardly. "When she gets her memories back and…"

"Don't," Ruby cut her off again. "I know you're trying to help but that…that doesn't. She's in love with Rumpelstiltskin, True Love, I can't…you don't mess with that."

"Even if it's bad for her?" Emma could not fathom anyone having a healthy relationship with the Dark One. If that was what True Love got you then she was glad the only one she had it for was the fruit of her freaking womb.

Ruby shrugged and contemplated the top of her drink.

Emma sighed, crossed her hands over her belly, decided that was too apathetic and then leaned toward Ruby with her elbows on her knees.

"Here's the thing," she started again, "True Love sounds great and all and I know it's like a thing for you fairy tale types but there's got to be a choice, otherwise how is it True? Maybe she'll turn you down, but that's better than you just deciding for her what you think is best. Did you even talk to her or did you just leave?"

Ruby's blush was answer enough.

"Then I don't think I'm the one you should be bringing hot chocolate to for a heart to heart," she said frankly, catching Ruby's baleful eyes when she looked up.

"What if I did ruin it?"

"At least you'll know for sure. It sucks, but wondering what might have been is the worst. You can't do anything stuck in limbo and she deserves a say in what happens next."

"Where did you get wise?"

"School of hard knocks," Emma dead panned.

Ruby snorted. "You know for a gal who tries so hard to be a cynic you're as corny as they come."

"I blame my parents."

"That would make your mother weep with joy. You should tell her."

"What are we telling your mother to make her cry?" David's voice filled the room as he and Henry rounded the doorway.

"Hey Ruby!" The boy chirped as he bounced in the remaining office chair and kicked off the ground to send himself spinning.

"Hi Henry," Ruby grinned at him and then answered David's question. "Emma thinks she comes by her corniness honestly."

"Oh, definitely," David agreed and struck a gallant pose. "Except your mother says it's charming."

"She would." Emma rolled her eyes.

"Are you ready to go?" Henry asked, aiming a look at Emma that managed to be pleading and impatient at the same time.

"Yeah," Emma said and stowed her book in the desk drawer before she stood up to get her coat.

"I should get going too," Ruby added, tossing her cup in the garbage and joining Emma near the door.

"Good luck," Emma told her with a smile she hoped was encouraging.

"Yeah, just so long as you know whose shoulder I'll be crying on if your advice is bad."

"Sure," Emma said blithely. "In that case, tell Ashley I said hi."

Ruby smacked her arm but the smile she flashed as she walked out was genuine so Emma figured she'd managed to say something right in spite of herself.

"Ready to go kid?"

"I was born ready."

"Really? 'Cause I've been waiting on you all day."

"You're not funny," Henry informed her as they headed for the door.

"Have fun today," David called after them. "No rodeos this time, huh Henry?"

Henry groaned. "You're not funny either."

Emma chuckled and draped an arm around his shoulder, guiding the beleaguered boy out the door.

"How was school?" She asked when they were on their way.

"Fine," Henry answered shortly but not unhappily.

"Aren't ya glad you got your homework done?" She ribbed him.

"Rub it in," he groused back at her.

Emma grinned triumphantly at him but didn't tease him any more than that; he'd been sensitive about school since Monday, and she still hadn't gotten out of him what was going on, preferring to wait and let him work it through himself, or come to her on his own terms. It seemed to be working, since he hadn't been as cranky, but she wasn't sure if that was actually due to her improving parenting skills or because of how much he was looking forward to today's ride. She hoped it was at least a little of both.

"Hey, they're out!" Henry pointed toward the pastures in front of Stablebrooke as Emma turned left onto the long drive. She glanced from the road to see Elena's herd loose in the paddocks where most of them were grazing contentedly on the new grass growing there.

"Yep, guess the easy days of getting Apollo from his stall are over?" Emma told him as they rolled to a stop in their usual spot.

Henry ignored her and loped to the barn, Emma rolled her eyes but didn't waste time following him.

"Hello?" Henry yodeled as they entered the barn, his voice echoed and absent its usual occupants the big building was eerily quiet. No one came out to greet them.

Feeling like an intruder, Emma checked the office while Henry wandered. A television had been mounted to the wall since the last time she'd been there; the dull screen showed a horse standing in front of a manger with droopy eyes and a swollen belly but the image offered no hint of where the animal's owner might be so Emma retreated from the office and continued her search down the breezeway. The back door slid open when Emma shoved it and she turned her head toward the faint sound of hoof-beats that she could hear as soon as she stepped through.

"Hey kid," she called back, "I found her, c'mon."

Across the courtyard the gate to the cross country arena was wide open and inside a sleek, ebony horse was streaking through the course at full speed. Elena was on its back, short hair fanning behind her to match the horse's long, dark mane. They came to a jump and flew over the tall fence in fluid motion before charging toward the next.

Henry and Emma traded awed looks and crossed the courtyard slowly as they watched horse and rider continue to run a pattern through the various obstacles that had been erected throughout the large arena. They stopped at the fence and Henry immediately climbed it to perch on the top bar, Emma leaned in next to him, folding her arms across the rail to watch with rapt attention.

Elena didn't notice them; she was totally immersed in what she was doing, eyes focused on nothing but what was immediately ahead of her. The horse sounded like a freight train but when they jumped the whole world seemed to hold its breath as they arced through the air and then let go as the horse landed and raced toward the next jump.

When they finally turned toward Henry and Emma, Elena caught sight of them and looked chagrined as she relaxed in her saddle and charged the gate, the horse kicked up dirt as they rounded it and stopping with a disgruntled snort in from of the visitors.

"You're early again," Elena cajoled as she dismounted. "I didn't know I'd have an audience."

"No need to quit on our account," Emma assured her and Henry nodded in enthusiastic agreement.

Full lips quirked into a shy smile as Elena looked down; her cheeks were rosy but Emma assumed that was due more in part to the crisp air than actual embarrassment. As far as she was concerned the brunette had nothing to be ashamed of. She'd only seen riding like that in the movies and even then it hadn't been as breathtaking as the real thing. No wonder the blessing had given Regina Olympic dreams.

"You didn't come to watch me ride. Let me put him away and I'll be over to the main barn to get going. You're welcome to start without me," she told them.

"Can we watch?" Henry suggested instead. "What's his name?"

The stallion snorted and stamped impatiently at their dawdling and Elena chuckled as she patted his gleaming neck, completely unperturbed by his bluster but Emma eyed the animal, thinking that his lead rope wouldn't be any better than a string if he decided he wasn't kidding around.

"Diablo," Elena replied fondly and ran her fingers through the horse's shaggy mane. "Mr. Gordon called him Beauty but I don't think it suited him. He's hot-headed and as temperamental as anything but we seem to get along."

Emma snorted; sounded like he and Regina were two of a kind.

"No comments from the peanut gallery if you please," Elena snipped as if she'd read Emma's mind.

"What kind of horse is he?" Henry asked, as he approached the animal cautiously and looked to Elena for permission before reaching out to stroke his nose. Diablo allowed it for just a moment before raising his head to look down at Henry with haughty eyes.

"I'm not sure," Elena admitted as though it was a puzzle she'd been working on for some time. "Mr. Gordon didn't seem to know himself; he's not registered whatever he is. I'd guess Andalusian but he's a bit thick about the waist."

Diablo huffed, like he'd understood her and was offended. Henry giggled when Elena cooed and scratched his neck until the proud horse preened under the extra attention, strutting beside her as they began walking and Emma decided it was the most straight up Disney princess moment she'd witnessed in Storybrooke. The irony was not lost on her.

"He's a good boy, he worked hard today," Elena continued as she led them all toward a smaller structure at the other end of the arena that Emma had always assumed was an oversized shed. "I had a visit from our friend at the diner and her partner this afternoon and needed to work off a little steam."

"Oh really?" Emma tried to sound casual despite scowling when she realized who Elena was referring to.

Elena hummed an acknowledgement as they stepped inside the shed, rather, the five-star, private stable that was nicer than some houses Emma had lived in, and she clipped Diablo into a set of crossties.

"Henry, the brush and curry comb are in that bucket behind you, would you hand them to me?" She asked and Emma got distracted watching her sweep around the horse, undoing buckles and ties with clever fingers and practiced skill that Emma couldn't believe were learned from magic. She pulled off the saddle and blanket in one swoop and pirouetted to place them both on the rack, completing the twist as Henry arrived with her combs, she plucked them from his hands with a quick smile and immediately set about brushing the stallion down.

With nothing to do but fiddle with the zippers on her sleeves Emma wished Elena would start talking again so she'd have something to focus on besides the way the hemline of her sweater played peek-a-boo with a sliver of skin at her waist every time she stretched to reach the top of Diablo's neck with her brush.

"I hate reporters," Elena commented finally and interrupted Emma's thrall. "It took me almost an hour to get rid of them."

"What did they want to report on here?" Emma asked, genuinely puzzled. As far as she knew, Greg had never even met Regina and even if he had, the blessing would have affected him as much as everybody else. Tamara's reaction to meeting them at the diner Monday nagged her but she dismissed it, thinking the flash of recognition in the editor's eyes had more to do with her as the Sheriff than something to do with Elena.

"They said they were writing about the town. They asked a lot of questions about how long I'd been here and whether I knew any of the local urban legends before I'd moved here. Then they started asking about my relationship with you."

"As if that's relevant," Emma groused. Henry, who'd been exploring the array of Diablo's tack, twisted sharply to shoot her a questioning look and Emma shook her head, hoping he'd let it go. The kid's eyes narrowed but he went back to examining an elaborate bridle and Emma turned her attention back to Elena.

"Indeed; that's when I suggested they needed to leave before I called you out here in your Sheriff capacity to address their questions yourself."

"Accomodating of you."

"I thought so," Elena snarked and gave Diablo's neck a final pat, signaling she'd finished his grooming. She handed the brush and comb back to Henry who snapped to and put them away while she unclipped the horse and led him through the gate that cordoned his stall from the rest of the stable. Once the gate was shut behind him she spun to open a bin and a sweet, grainy smell mixed with the ever-present scent of leather, hay, earth and horse that Emma was beginning to appreciate as Elena scooped golden oats into Diablo's feed trough.

Elena replaced the scoop and the lid of the oat bin and smiled indulgently when the horse snorted gratefully and buried his nose in the grain with gusto. Henry laughed and reached through the bars of the stall and to scratch behind the stallion's ear; Diablo snorted at him again but didn't stop scarfing his treat. She looked to Emma who snapped her gaze over to Henry, embarrassed for getting caught watching her watch him.

"Shall we?" She asked.

"Yes!" Henry retracted his arm and scampered out the door toward the main barn.

"Don't worry about us kid, right behind you," Emma said drolly, earning a chuckle from Elena because he was already well out of hearing distance. Emma jammed her hands into her pockets and waited while Elena closed up Diablo's suite, arming a security system and dead bolting the door behind them.

"Worried about horse thieves?" Emma joked.

"Not so much," Elena told her. "More about somebody's little hoodlum breaking the rules while I'm giving lessons and getting in there without my knowing it. I told you Diablo's name suits him; he's aggressive and his manners need quite a bit of work. He's a dream on the course but I worry about what would happen if a child went into his stall by themselves or left the door open so he could get out."

"I take it you're the only one he acts like a spoiled puppy for?"

"Something like that."

"Oh, please, no need for modesty, you've got that big brute wrapped around your fingers and you know it." Emma said as she hauled the barn door open and grinned when she saw the impish quirk to the Elena's lips that belied her humility.

"I've never seen anything like it," she continued, wondering how hard she'd have to work to get a full blown smile from the woman.

"You haven't seen enough horse shows. That was just working off some steam."

"I'm sorry Greg and Tamara bothered you, you could have called me, sheriff or not," Emma murmured, remembering the reason Elena felt the need to do so in the first place.

"Please, I can handle a couple nosy journalists," Elena scoffed. "But I'm not above dropping names when it's helpful."

"Well, you can drop mine anytime," Emma told her and Elena caught her hand and squeezed it gratefully.

Emma's skin hummed at the contact and her heart began to thud as she waited for Elena to let go and when she didn't Emma was torn between the desire to lace their fingers and total panic. It was unbearable because there were at least nine reasons why she should pull her hand back and make it clear that this was off limits. It was intolerable because Elena's fingers were tracing the valleys of her own and Emma, who had neither had nor wanted anyone's hand to hold for over eleven years, was running out of the willpower it took to not just turn her wrist and let them slide together.

She almost sighed with relief when they reached the tack area and she had an easy excuse to slide away without a word. She pulled two halters off the hooks and was grateful that Elena didn't comment on the subtle retreat and instead took the opportunity to slip some apple slices from the ever ready bag that hung near the bridles before they continued out to the pastures.

In front of the barn, Henry had already hopped the fence and found Apollo in his paddock and was confidently walking toward him.

"Wait," Elena grabbed Emma's elbow as they approached the gate, "Watch him."

Emma wondered briefly if she should be worried about her son alone in the group of horses but the reason Elena had stopped her to observe became apparent as Henry got close to Apollo, who perked up and sauntered off in the opposite direction. For a moment Henry stood, flummoxed, his shoulders slumped comically before he tried again.

"They like to think they're free out there," Elena confided as Apollo dodged Henry's advances a second time.

Emma couldn't help being amused by Henry's antics. He'd given up on his earnest approach now and instead tried hiding the halter behind his back as he sneaked toward the horse, who was not falling for his tricks and gave him the runabout once more.

"He won't run him over or something will he?"

"No, he's just being stubborn; Henry forgot to stop for bribery on his way out," Elena assured her. She offered Emma a couple apple slices in trade for one of the halters. "Take these and get in front of Sue, let him see you have a treat when you walk up and he should stay still long enough for you to catch him the first time. If you loop the end of your lead around his neck he won't try to escape while you put the halter on."

"Teach the kid to wait for the master huh?" Emma quipped as she took the treats from Elena and stepped through the gate.

She kept one eye on Henry's continued struggle to charm Apollo into staying still long enough to get near him while she found Sue and followed Elena's instructions. Unlike Henry's horse, Sue caught sight of the apples in her hand and actually met her halfway through the pasture. She flattened her palm and while he took the offered snack she slipped her rope around his neck. He munched happily on the apples while she configured the halter around his head.

By the time Henry noticed her, she and Elena were waiting patiently for him at the gate with their horses. He put his hands on his hips and looked between them and Apollo.

"All right, what sorcery is this?"

Emma laughed out loud as Elena pulled the remaining apples from her pocket and waved them at Henry. He shot them both a look of utter betrayal and stomped over to collect the slices.

"That is cheating," he informed them.

Emma shrugged and traded smirks with Elena. "If it works…"

He rolled his eyes and took the apples. "Thanks, Elena."

Armed with treats he made short work of collecting Apollo and they trailed each other back to the barn to tack up. Emma felt pretty pleased with herself when she managed to finish before Henry, who had technically had more practice at it than she did.

"Aren't you ready yet?" She razzed him earning herself a filthy look from him and a raised eyebrow from Elena, who was helping him adjust the stirrups on his saddle.

"All set," he announced when he had the last buckle clipped into place.

"Shall we then?"


Together they led their horses out of the barn and Emma held Elena's horse (today it was Rucio, a dapple grey) while she locked up. Then, rather than heading down the road as they had with David and Mary Margaret, Henry and Emma followed Elena in turn as she cut across the yard and directly into the woods behind the farm house.

"I thought you said you hadn't had a chance to head out on the trails yet?" Emma asked as the brunette led them through the dense trees with ease until they thinned abruptly and dumped the riders onto the well groomed trail that wound through the forest on the western border of Storybrooke.

"I haven't been off my property," Elena corrected. "But you can't fault me for exploring it a bit."

"No fault here, I'm just hoping you know where we are."

"Lost already Sheriff? I'm disappointed."

"Not lost, turned around," Emma insisted petulantly.

Emma Swan was a finder. Emma Swan did not get lost. But the trees and rocks and dirt blended together and Emma was pretty sure she hadn't had cause to visit this particular trail because none of it looked familiar and truth be told: she had no idea where, exactly, they were.

"Come up here, the trail's wide enough," Elena said, looking back to Henry who quickly obliged. He nudged Apollo into a trot until he was even with Rucio and then settled him back into a comfortable walk, and Henry and Elena both looked expectantly back to Emma who followed suit, taking up a position on Elena's left.

"That's better, don't you think."

"Yep," Henry chirped.

It definitely didn't suck, but Emma kept that thought to herself.

"How's school Henry?"

"Great! We're starting science fair projects and I think I'm going to do mine on…"

Emma listened in amazement as Henry launched into a detailed description on his plans for science fair domination and tried to ignore the pang of jealousy that hit her square in the chest because he was so animated talking about school with Elena –who was nodding and asking all the right nerdy questions to encourage him- when all got was complaints about having to do homework and tuts of disapproval because she had to Google the answers when he needed help with his geology worksheet. That decided which of his parents was smarter than a fifth grader, magical memories or not. But it was hard to maintain a dismal mood when her company was determined to be cheerful and there was nothing stopping her from joining them but herself.

"What about you?" Henry asked Elena. "How's work? Did you have to cancel lots of lessons this week?"

"Yes, unfortunately it was still too muddy in the arena for lessons yesterday. But that worked out well. Since there weren't any lessons I had my new interns come out and started training them."

"You hired some already?" Emma asked, surprised.


"You really don't mess around do you?"

"Not if I can help it," Elena grinned. "I took on three seniors and one sophomore. They'll each spend their first period at the farm and then help with one lesson after school for the semester as well. I was surprised, there were quite a few applicants but since this is the 'pilot' program of sorts I decided to go with the ones who'd had some prior experience."


Elena nodded, "One of the seniors worked here for Mr. Gordon and the others are siblings who worked for a private owner before they came here."

Emma almost asked for their names but it wouldn't have mattered, the only teenagers she really knew in town by name were the ones she had to talk to at the high school for fist fighting or the occasional tagging incident; hardly the type who would be applying for labor intensive internships, so she kept her mouth shut and enjoyed the ride.

They rode for over an hour while Henry continued peppering Elena with questions about the interns and more importantly how long he'd have to take lessons before he could get school credit for working with the horses. Elena answered those and more, regaling them both with stories about the horses she'd had growing up. Henry reveled in them and Emma stayed silent as she translated them to fit into Fairy Tale Land, rather than a ranch in an unnamed part of the country. She noticed Elena's father was a frequent accomplice in her adventures but that she barely mentioned her mother and it reinforced Emma's theory that the names and places might be different, but Elena's memories reflected Regina.

"Your parents were divorced?" Henry interrupted curiously after one story that featured her mother.

"No, they didn't believe in divorce," Elena replied and Emma detected a bitter edge to her voice. "My mother hated the work and preferred the city. She thought that Daddy was a fool for not hiring a good manager and leaving the ranch to run itself. But he loved it, and spent most of the year there. When I was a little younger than you are Henry, I started spending my summers with him while Mother stayed in the city. She would come get me in time for school to start and always complained that it took her a month to re-civilize me, she said I came home talking like a caballero."

Emma swallowed the snort that bubbled up. It was easy enough to picture Regina as a little girl with long dark hair in ribbons and braids, sneaking away from tutors to escape to the barn to pester the stable hands and climbing on whatever horse was available to gallivant across the countryside. But imagining her getting her hands dirty and mimicking cowhands was a stretch, even with Elena's alarmingly detailed memories.

By the time Elena's stories lulled and Emma drifted back to present she was well and truly lost (though she wasn't about to admit it) but she didn't think they were too far from where they'd started. The groomed trails twisted in on each other but kept well inside the town limits and though Elena seemed to delight in taking them "off road" to explore the thought to be worried about crossing the cursed boundary didn't occur to Emma. That is, until she felt a familiar prickle crawl up her arms and the back of her neck.

She sat up straighter and tuned her senses, trying to figure out what exactly it was she did to feel magic and wishing she'd practiced the skill more, especially after the incident at the mausoleum. The back of her skull buzzed, a charged feeling she was beginning to dread but she couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Even if they had wandered too close to the boundary of the half-broken curse it didn't usually feel this way, Emma hadn't ever noticed it when she'd crossed it before.

"Everything okay?" Elena craned her neck to ask when she noticed Emma fall behind.

Henry stopped Apollo to look back at his birth mother, a question on the tip of his tongue.

"Yeah, fine," Emma decided and nudged Sue forward to join them. The buzz got stronger and magic reached for them like ephemeral fingers. Sue nickered nervously but plodded along and seemed to settle down. They continued on until another nicker rumbled through the air and by the time Emma realized it wasn't her horse putting up a fuss this time chaos had already erupted. Rucio shied sharply, startling all of them. Emma and Henry's horses trotted forward, out of his way until they pulled them back around to watch as Elena tried to right her own horse.

"Whoa!" Elena commanded calmly even as her steed whipped back up and pranced sideways.

Emma gaze darted from Elena to Henry who had choked up on his reins to keep Apollo still and was watching Elena anxiously.

"Elena?" Emma questioned uncertainly and moved Sue closer to where Henry had stopped so she could help him if she needed to; her magic sense forgotten as they watched Elena wrangle her mount.

Elena was too preoccupied to respond; Rucio was prancing faster now, though she was using her reins to keep him moving in tight circles, trying to expel his energy so she could calm him down. Rucio straightened suddenly and it looked like she'd gotten him under control. She settled back in her saddle and urged him onward but he hadn't taken three steps before he reared back. This time he took Elena by surprise and she pitched forward, clinging to his neck to stay on.

"Whoa, whoa," she commanded as Rucio's front feet came down and bounced up and down as he hopped backward.

"Hey!" She scolded, her voice dropped to a stern rumble. Rucio ignored her and shied again nearly succeeding in unseating her.

"Mierda!" Elena grabbed Rucio's mane to hold herself on his back.

Emma's eyebrows shot up in surprise as she continued to cuss, using words Emma would never have guessed were in Regina Mill's vocabulary, blessing or not, but her surprise at Elena's fluency was short lived; Rucio seemed to take offense at what Elena said and started bucking when she tried to get him to walk again. Whatever Elena was going to yell next turned into a yelp of surprise and Emma vaulted off her own horse as soon as she saw Elena go flying off Rucio's back.

"Mom!" Emma heard Henry yell behind her and she was positive he didn't mean her.

Emma ran toward Elena, ignoring Rucio, who settled down as soon as his rider was off his back, and skidded to her knees at the woman's side, reaching out and then stopping herself because she knew if the woman had a spinal injury then touching her might spell paralysis.

Elena coughed and began moving before Emma touched her, she bolted upright like a woman possessed, eyes full of wrath and Emma rocked back on her haunches, hands up in surrender even though she knew it wasn't directed at her. Elena twisted, leaning heavily on her right hand so she could direct her glare at Rucio, whom Emma thought should thank his lucky shoes that she didn't have her memory and magic because otherwise he would have been roasted where he stood. As it was he remained unharmed but not unaffected by the glower; the horse had the decency to look ashamed of himself and lowered his head and averted his eyes, canting a hoof bashfully as he sulked.

Emma almost laughed but swallowed it when Elena groaned and lowered herself back to the ground with eyes squeezed shut.

"Are you all right?" She demanded, concern flooding back full force.

"Mm-hmm," Elena hummed, but it was a faint imitation of her usual lilting tone.

"Are you sure? No broken ribs; cracked skull; bruised tail-bone? 'Cause lady, I gotta tell ya, you flew off that pony."

"I did not fly," Elena retorted.

"Well, then you definitely fell with style."

"M-Elena?" Henry called from where he stood. He'd climbed off Apollo to hold him and Sue behind him with their reins twisted in his fingers.

Brown eyes sprung open and Emma saw the faint traces of tears in them as Elena tried to sit up with more difficulty now that her adrenaline was wearing off. She leaned forward to help her, placing one hand on her back, gently, in case the brunette had exaggerated her lack of injury, and grabbed her hand to pull her upward.

As soon as their skin touched, the buzzing presence of magic that Emma had all but forgotten made itself known again and she almost dropped Elena's hand as the world zoomed out of focus. Everything around them, the leaves, the trees, the horses, took on a stretched glow like she was viewing them while looking into the sun. Waves of amaranthine leaked down Elena's arm, mingling where their hands joined with the cerulean that swirled around Emma's own skin. Elena seemed oblivious to it, still focused on Henry and Emma snapped her eyes to where she'd last seen her son and found him in the same spot but he was completely obscured by a translucent sheet of magic stretching as high and as far as Emma could see through the trees in any direction. It billowed toward her and Elena, clouds of sparkling magic moved forward and then back again as if they were carried by a breeze the air was still and crisp around them.

"I'm fine Henry," she heard Elena assure him, her voice sounded more normal now that she was sitting up though she was letting Emma support most of her weight. "I just need a minute to catch my breath, why don't you tie up Sue and Apollo and come sit down; the ground is very comfortable this time of year, extra soft."

"Sure," he agreed in a high-voice that betrayed how frightened he'd been.

Emma almost let go of Elena's hand then, but she was afraid her strange double-vision would go back to normal and she wanted to see…

Henry tugged the horses forward and they ambled behind him, Emma saw their ears twitch and perk forward and they both snorted as the curtain of magic parted as they passed through with Henry, billowing again toward Emma and Elena and the buzzing in Emma's skull increased uncomfortably as the violet magic twining around her and Elena's fingers rippled forward, pushing the sheet away to coalesce behind Henry.

Elena groaned and leaned into Emma, shattering her concentration and the magical overlay disappeared from her vision as she refocused on the brunette, filing the experience away for later.

"Are you okay?" She asked, her concern renewed as she examined Elena's closed eyes and the way she was carefully breathing in through her nose and out through her mouth.

Elena nodded briefly and mumbled, "Vertigo," too low for Henry to hear as he tied their horses to a sapling.

"Do you want to lie back down?"

Elena shook her head.

"It helps to sit up actually," she murmured. "I think landing knocked the wind out of me."

"I imagine," Emma agreed, and moved so she could sit more comfortably, next to Elena, turning them so she could still lean against her side. "Better?"

"Mm, thanks."

"You're sure you aren't hurt?"

"Just wounded pride," Elena assured her dryly. "We can go in a minute."

"In that case I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you broke your own rules."

"What?" Elena' eyes flew open.

"You let go and you got off the horse before it came to a complete stop," Emma teased.

"So I did," Elena cracked a smile. "And rule three now that you mention it."

"I missed that one."

"Don't yell at the horse; the horse won't understand and it only makes things worse," Henry informed helpfully as he plopped to the ground on Elena's other side, tucking himself neatly under her arm.

"Ah, see I think that's actually where you went wrong," Emma said, remembering Elena's half-hysteric tirade immediately before Rucio had started bucking.

"Thank you," Elena said dryly. "You've both made this humiliating experience much more bearable. I'll be sure not to get bucked off a horse in the future."

"That's all we ask."

"Are you sure you're okay?" Henry asked, not having gotten the full benefit of Elena's assurances.

"I'm fine, I didn't hit a tree and the ground is soft from all the rain."

Emma had to admit she was right, the state of all their pants was looking dismal between the thick carpet of moss and pine needles and the damp earth it coated.

"In fact," Elena continued. "I think I've had quite enough of it, shall we get going?"

Emma stood first, offering Elena a hand up and this time when she took it Emma's vision remained the same but she had a feeling if she tried to stretch her sense of magic again she'd be able to see the spell shimmering not far from where they stood. She didn't but she did take one suspicious look back while Henry gave Elena a quick squeeze before jogging ahead to untie their horses.

"You're good to ride?" She asked quietly.

"Better than walking."

Emma was tempted to suggest they double up; she wondered if Elena would take her up on it since the woman had once again laid claim to her hand and this time had managed to lace their fingers together before Emma had noticed. Her hands were warm, even in the brisk spring air, and soft, despite the callouses on her palm that Emma was sure were new.

"Your horse'll be okay?"

"I'm sure. I wish I knew what spooked him. He's usually very gentle, I've never had any of the horses I let the children ride misbehave like that."

"Mm," Emma hummed noncommittally, she was certain the horses hadn't liked whatever spell was in the woods but she was less sure why Elena's horse had reacted so violently and why the spell was there in the first place.

Elena gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they neared Henry and the horses and let go as they separated to mount up.

"Thank you Henry," Elena said, taking Rucio's reins from the boy. Emma watched her give the horse a stern look before she tossed the straps around his neck where they belonged and pulled herself up into the saddle, graceful as ever, though more gently than usual, Emma noticed and guessed the brunette would have some interesting bruises in the morning. Elena turned and Emma realized she was staring and quickly glanced away, turning her attention to her own horse.

She didn't look up again until she was settled in her own saddle and when she did she found Elena watching her with twinkling eyes. Emma canted her chin in question but only got a cocked eyebrow and one of those damned, delightfully enigmatic smiles in reply.

"Onward?" Elena asked.

"I vote we go back the way we came," Emma suggested. "It'll be dark soon and we know where the trails are that way."

"Certainly," Elena agreed. "Henry, after you."

Henry clicked his tongue and tugged Apollo in a circle, both his mother's followed suit and they all headed through the darkening woods until they found the trail several yards back. Emma still wasn't sure where exactly they were but Elena seemed confident in their horses' ability to lead the way home so she relaxed. It wasn't long before they passed a trail marker and Emma got her bearings again; within twenty minutes the tree-line ended abruptly and they tromped through Elena's yard once more.

The horses in the pastured whinnied a greeting, crowding against the fence and Henry giggled when Apollo let out a long huff in response, snorting as though he was carrying on a conversation with the rest of his herd.

"Are we going to put them out with the rest?" Henry asked as they dismounted in the barn.

"No," Elena replied as she lowered herself tenderly to the ground. "In fact, I was going to bring the rest in for the night."

"We'll help," Henry immediately volunteered and Emma caught the grateful look in Elena's eyes before she masked it again with a cheery smile that didn't quite reach them.

"Why don't you go find some Ibuprofen, Henry and I can take care of these guys."

"You don't need to do that, I'm fine really," Elena insisted.

"I'm sure." Emma stopped her, covering her hand as she reached for the buckle on Rucio's cinch. "But you'll feel a lot better in the morning if you take it easy now, trust me."

Elena met her gaze with a challenge in her eyes but it softened when Emma didn't waver.

"Thank you," she said graciously, twisting her hand to run her fingers down Emma's as she slipped away. Emma watched her go, subconsciously flexing her hand where the trail Elena had traced burned on her palm, more potent than any magic she'd ever felt.

Elena disappeared through the door of her office and Emma shivered before turning back to the horse to make short work of unsaddling and brushing first him, then Sue before she led them each to their respective stalls and put them away for the night. Henry had already finished with Apollo and she found him in the tack area, pockets full of apple slices, pulling halters off the hooks. She reached for the ones he hadn't gotten and Elena's voice stopped her.

"You won't need all that," she promised as she strode toward them.

"I thought you were going to find a painkiller and take a break," Emma told her.

"I found some, thanks, Nurse Emma," Elena drawled. "And I said I'd appreciate your help, not that I was going to make you catch eleven horses one by one and put them away."


"Even I don't do that," Elena continued before Emma could protest. "Come on, I'll show you how it's done. Henry, will you please open all the stall doors and meet your mother and me at the haystack."

"Okay," Henry quickly put the halters back on their hooks and ran off to do Elena's bidding.

Emma followed Elena across the hall and opened the large double doors that led to the haystack. The small corral between the haystack and the wall of the main barn was now occupied by the obviously pregnant horse Emma had seen on the television in Elena's office.

The mare had been dozing but as Elena retrieved a bright orange pallet dolly and wheeled it toward the stack she whickered loudly and moved to the fence. Emma hadn't known it was possible for a horse to waddle but the mare moved as if each step cost her; judging by the way her skin stretched tight over her enormous midsection it probably did. Still, she nickered and hoofed impatiently at her manger.

"I dunno what you're excited for," Emma murmured, stretched to scratch the mare's forehead. "I'm pretty sure you haven't got any room left in there."

"My theory is that at this point it all turns straight to milk," Elena chuckled as she scooped grain from a bin into the manger.

"She's due soon?"

Elena nodded. "Anytime this week, I think. She's to term and showing all the signs; see how swollen her teats are."

Emma glanced and winced in sympathy, turning away to watch Elena pick up a pitchfork to spear a chunk of hay from a loose bale and toss it over the fence. Her movements were smooth and practiced as any she made around the horses but Emma saw her grimace and stepped forward to help as Elena ditched the pitch fork and moved to pull a new bale off the stack.

"I'm pretty sure that's what I'm here for," Emma bumped her aside and reached for the two loops of twine holding the bale together before Elena could get her hands on them. Elena stepped back with a smirk while Emma lifted with a grunt, it was even heavier than she'd expected, and used her knees to bump the bale onto the dolly. She straightened and turned back to Elena with a self-satisfied grin.

"My, Miss Swan, what big muscles you have," Elena snarked with a cheeky grin.

"All the better to serve you with, Your Majesty," Emma fired back.

"I was hoping you'd say that, I need three more," Elena told her.

Emma rolled her eyes but caught herself with a stupid grin on her face as she pulled another bale off the stack and did her best to school her expression as she turned to shove it onto the cart. By the fourth bale her arms were straining and she was seriously wondering how Elena dealt with this when Regina had spent the last thirty years behind a desk and a significant part of her life as a queen before that.

"All the stalls are open," Henry announced as he jogged through the doors.

"Thank you, Henry."

"Are you going to feed the horses. Can I help with that too?"

"Sure, kid, from now on you can do all the heavy lifting."

Elena rolled her eyes and handed him the pitch fork.

"Carry this," she said. "Don't run with it."

Henry saluted and waited as Elena gestured for Emma to haul the cart and they followed her back to the stalls and stopped at one end of the long corridor. Elena pulled a small pocket knife out of her pocket and used it to cut the twine around one of the bales and then showed Henry how to break off a section of the bale and pitch it into the hay rack for each stall. He struggled at first but quickly got the hang of maneuvering the fork and soon the racks were full and ready for the horses to come in. Emma took the cart back to the haystack while Henry grabbed one halter, per Elena's instructions, and they met the trainer in front of her office.

"What's next?"

"Now we go get the horses," Elena said simply.

Emma looked skeptical but Elena just smiled and led them out to the paddock where the rest of her herd had spent the day grazing. Twilight had long since fallen, the sun all but set behind the trees and the band of horses had never left the fence where they'd lined up to great them at the end of their ride. They perked up when Elena stepped out of the barn and a few whickered excitedly as the three humans walked toward the gate.

"Do they come when you whistle?" Emma guessed, half-sarcastically.

"Not yet," Elena smirked. "Henry, you see the bay standing next to Sarabi?"

Henry nodded.

"Her name is Knox; if you'd be kind enough to go get her for me?" Elena asked as she opened the gate for him.

"Sure!" Henry trotted around the horses, mindful of their hind legs as he weaved around them to get to Knox. He pulled an apple slice from his pocket as he got close and Emma smiled fondly at her son as he fed the horse the treat and expertly looped the halter around her head so he could lead her back to the gate. Emma was surprised to see the other horses fall into step behind them and more surprised when Elena pulled the gate wide and moved away.

"Let's give them some room, shall we?" Emma felt Elena take her hand a tug her back toward the barn and moved with her absently, eyes rapt on Henry and the band of horses that filed out of the pasture as he led Knox into the barn like a pied piper.

"Well, that's…kind of impressive actually," she admitted, as the line of horses paraded by.

"Kind of," Elena echoed, cocking one eyebrow in amusement as they followed the last horse inside and watched them lumber eagerly into their respective stalls for dinner.

"Yeah, kind of," Emma insisted.

At the other end of the corridor Henry released Knox into her stall and started shutting the doors behind the horses.

"Knox is the herd boss," Elena explained. "I've found the other horses will pretty much follow me anywhere if I have her with me. I haven't really tested it outside the pasture and the barn but it makes bringing them in at night much easier since it's just me."

"You've come up with all sorts of cheats, is horse training all about knowing the short cuts?" Emma ribbed her.

"Something like that," Elena replied dryly.

"That was cool!" Henry announced when he'd finished shutting doors and darted back to the tack area to put away the halter.

"He's easily impressed," Emma muttered.

"I resent that comment."

"Just trying to keep you humble lady."

"Oh, I'm sorry I didn't realize my colossal ego was showing, I'm so glad you're here to keep my humility intact. How will I ever thank you?"

Emma choked on her immediate response, suddenly conscious of how close they were standing and that their hands were laced together because Elena had never let go after she'd pulled her out of the way of the horse parade. The clomp of Henry's Docs as he sprinted back toward them echoed too loudly in her ears, reminding her that today had been about Henry and his relationship with Elena, not about presenting Emma with opportunities to flirt.

"That was awesome!" Henry said excitedly as he skidded to a halt in front of them. Emma recoiled, pulling her hand from Elena's, she shoved both in her back pockets and hoped Henry hadn't noticed. He seemed oblivious, too focused on the horses to notice the sudden tension between the women.

"You think?" Elena said; her voice sounded a little too chipper and from the corner of her eye Emma saw her swallow roughly and when she brought her arms up to hug her midsection in subconscious defense an uncomfortable little bubble of turmoil settled between Emma's lungs. She had gotten used to how open Elena was and for the first time in four weeks the brunette had walls up that were all too familiar to Emma.

"Yeah, they're so well trained. How did you do that? Do they know it's dinner time?"

"They get used to their routines," Elena confirmed blithely. "I usually come out to feed them about this time. Thank you for your help Henry, it was nice to not have to do any heavy lifting tonight."

"Are you sure you're okay?" He asked again, concern flooded his voice and his expression dissolved into the one he wore when he needed a hug more than anything else in the world. Emma hadn't seen it often but it was the same expression he'd had when he flung himself into her arms for the very first time and she doubted she'd ever forget it.

The funny thing was Elena seemed to recognize it too because the stiffness that had settled over her melted away and she crossed to Henry and gathered him into a ginger hug.

"I'm really fine," she promised. "A little sore, but because of you I can take it easy tonight and that will be gone in no time."

"I was really scared today, even more scared than when I couldn't stop Apollo from running. I'm really glad you're okay," he mumbled, burying his face against her shoulder.

"Oh, Henry," Elena whispered, rocking him in her arms.

The tension ball in Emma's chest grew and she clenched her jaw when she saw Elena consciously stop herself from kissing Henry's forehead; instead she squeezed him tightly and then let him go.

"Me too," she whispered, bussing his chin tenderly with her thumb and forefinger as she pulled back.

Henry's eyes were suspiciously bright as he forced a brave smile.

"Thanks for letting us come riding today. I hope you don't have to cancel lessons again."

"Me too," Elena repeated with a chuckle, weaving her arms around her chest once more as they wandered toward the door. "But I'm glad you both came out today to make up for it."

"Thanks for having us," Emma found her voice, though it sounded rough to her own ears.

"My pleasure, we should do it again soon; regardless of lessons."

"Definitely," Emma agreed, pausing awkwardly when they reached the bug.

Henry seemed oblivious to now that he'd been properly reassured and he gently wrapped one arm around Elena's back and nuzzled her shoulder with his head for a bare second before sauntering to the car.

"'Night, Elena!" He called as he slid into his seat.

"I guess, that's my cue," Emma said with a sheepish grin. She fished her keys from her pocket but her feet felt heavy and she found herself hardly moving to the car, waiting instead for Elena to say something.

"I guess it is."

"Thanks for having us."

"You just said that."

Hadn't they had this conversation before? Hadn't Regina had that same defiant tilt to her chin and hadn't Emma screwed everything up then too?

"I know, I…I –shit, I suck at this," Emma scoffed at herself, scuffing the toe of her boot in the gravel and turning her back to the car so she couldn't see Henry waiting impatiently in the passenger seat. "I'm sorry, for back in the barn, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, I just really don't do this and Henry –I panicked and I'm sorry."

"You didn't hurt my feelings."


"Right, well, just in case… Anyway, thanks again. We'll see you soon?"

"Soon," Elena confirmed with just a hint of the usual warmth creeping back into her voice. "Goodnight, Emma."

"Goodnight." Emma retreated to the Bug, getting in without a word and concentrated on getting it started and pulling away from the barn.

It was better this way, she told herself, better if Elena thought she was giving her the brush off.

"It was magic wasn't it," Henry interrupted her thoughts, oblivious to her inner turmoil –thank god.


"That scared Elena's horse in the woods, it was magic right? Bad things happen when people leave Storybrooke," Henry echoed his own words from what Emma felt was a lifetime ago. "We were too close to the border."

"Yeah," Emma said, finally catching up. "I think it's safe to say we should definitely not try to take your mom out of town to break the blessing."

"But she wasn't cursed," Henry protested.

Emma shrugged. "Maybe it was part of the blessing. Nothing else makes sense, I could feel magic and I think the horses could sense it, but Rucio's the only one it spooked. I think because Elena was the only one affected by whatever spell is on the border line."

"You can tell there was a spell?"

"Yeah, something weird happened when you came back through it. I could see the spell."

Henry absorbed that, leaning back into his seat and staring off into the distance. Emma glanced at him between watching the road as they drove through downtown Storybrooke.

"Good thing that was only plan M anyway right?" She asked, hoping to pull him out of his head before he overthought her use of magic. She still hadn't told him what happened at the crypt when she and David had visited it at the beginning of the week and after promising she would consult him before she tried using magic she didn't want him to think that she had gone back on her word.

"Well, we didn't need that anyway because plan A is going to work. She almost kissed me goodbye tonight," Henry said confidently.

"I saw." But Emma couldn't shake the worry that this time, Henry's faith wasn't going to be enough.


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