"Thanks, Ruby!" John called over his shoulder; receiving a wave from the waitress in return. He walked out the door only to crash into a smaller form. "I'm so sorry."

"I'm sorry," said an-oh-so familiar, lyrical voice.

They looked at each other at the same time. John's face creased into a smile; hers spread into a bright one in response.

"Hello, Mary."

"John," she greeted softly. Then her smile suddenly disappeared and she looked down at the ground. "Excuse me." She moved to go around him.

He frowned in concern, catching her arm. "Is something wrong?"

She slipped from his grasp, forcing a smile and not looking at him. "I'm fine. I just have to go." She hurried off.

"Mary – " John narrowed his eyes after her slumped, retreating form. He turned on heel in the direction of the one person he felt fairly certain would be able to tell him what had just happened.

He pushed open the door to the sheriff's office.

"John," Graham said in surprise.

He didn't bother to even respond, just strode right up to the desk of the one other person in the room, leaning down to plant his hands on it and looking right in her eyes. "What's wrong with Mary?"

Emma set down her mug of coffee, looking at him grimly. "Ran into her, did you?"

"She avoided me like I had the plague, what the hell happened?" he demanded.

She folded her hands on her desk and looked at him levelly. "Why, our very own wicked witch happened."

John sat down in the chair on his side of the desk and mirrored her posture. "Explain."

The deputy pressed her lips into a razor thin line. "Madam Mayor decided to tear into Mary; telling her that she's to blame for your divorce, ruining a whole bunch of lives, how she is basically the scum of the earth and that she should just stay the hell away from you."

His eyes narrowed dangerously. "Exactly what business of hers is my life?" he demanded.

"The woman is a control freak and, quite frankly, a real bitch," Emma told him flatly.

He clenched his jaw; he had never known he could be so angry, ever. "Thanks," he said shortly, rising from his seat and heading toward the door.

"Where are you going?" she asked sitting back.

He turned to face her again. "I'm going to have a little 'come to Jesus talk' with our mayor, and then I'm going to find Mary and set things straight."

Emma cocked an amused eyebrow. "Do you want a sword for your fight, Prince Charming?"

He smirked at her. "Nah, this is one dragon I think I can slay on my own."

She toasted him with her coffee. "Happy hunting."

It took a few minutes but he was let into the mayor's office fairly quickly. The woman rose from behind her desk and came around to greet him.

"Mr. Nolan, it's nice to see you out and about."

"Thank you, Madam Mayor," he nodded.

"Please," she gestured to a chair in front of her desk, "have a seat." She sat back down in her own.

He clasped his hands behind him. "Thank you, no. I'm going to be brief." He looked down for a moment, then back up, meeting her gaze head on with steely determination. "I thank you, madam, for finding me and getting me to the hospital, and for seeing that I had proper care. Now I'm going to ask that you stay the hell out of my business."

Her face became cold shock. "What?"

He stepped closer. "What I do, and who I see, is none of your concern. And I would appreciate you not interfering in my business." He kept his gaze intent on her. "This is a one-time warning. Stay out of my life and away from Mary Margaret as far as it concerns her." He nodded to her. "Madam Mayor." Then turned on heel and walked toward the door.

"You've made your decision, then," she commented.

He turned back to her.

She cocked a perfectly manicured eyebrow. "Are you sure it's the right one?"

He kept his gaze steady. "It's mine." He turned back around and continued to the door. He could feel her furious stare burning into his back, but he refused to look back; making a point of his own.

He had phoned Emma inquiring about Mary's whereabouts and was told that she had gone home; after she gave him directions to their apartment he headed over.

It was an older building, but comfortable and comforting in a way. He knocked on the green door. Soft footsteps approached and he saw shadows under the door. It swung open to reveal Mary, eyes red-rimmed, and dressed in what he would term "comfort clothes", loose workout pants and an over-large shirt.

When she saw him her eyes went wide and she pushed the door closed, but he had anticipated this and had his hand braced against it. She slumped in defeat, a posture that ripped out his heart.

"Please, John," she begged softly.

"No, Mary," he countered; he moved closer, still keeping his hand on the door in case she decided to try to shut him out again. "Emma told me what happened."

She looked away.

"Mary," he reached out and placed a finger under her chin, lifting her face to look at him, "she's wrong," he told her firmly. "My divorce was not your fault, that was entirely between Kathryn and myself. You have done nothing wrong, nothing."

She cut her eyes to the side, blinking rapidly; his heart broke over the tears she was fighting back. "Maybe I should still stay away," she said quietly.

"No," he said the word so harshly, that her eyes snapped back to his, wide. He began to run his thumb tenderly along her jaw; her lips parted as she sucked in a breath, his pulse was pounding rapidly and his breathing unsteady. "I know what I want," his voice was husky, "and who."

She swallowed; he could feel her throat working against the backs of his fingers. "How can you be so sure?" she breathed.

Looking at her, seeing her so vulnerable and the desire so naked in her eyes was his undoing. For the moment he forgot about his divorce, Kathryn, their witch of a mayor, the fact that they were still standing in the hall of her apartment in full view of anyone who should walk by. He brought his lips crashing down on hers. Nothing had ever felt so right. Her lips were just as soft as he had known they would be and felt wonderful against his.

She had brought her hands up to his chest, instinctively applying the smallest amount of pressure, to push him away, but almost instantly stopped, melted into him and kissed him back. She rose on her toes, wrapping one arm around his neck and the other came up to clutch his shoulder.

His free arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her completely against him. She fit perfectly. His hand around her waist slipped under the edge of her shirt, which had ridden up, somehow knowing that if he caressed her side –

She gasped and he took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. She tasted like cinnamon and chocolate, as he knew she would; he moaned. Her hand rose from his shoulder to his jaw; her thumb running over the scar near his chin. Something was so very familiar in that gesture, but he was too preoccupied to really think about it.

He backed her against the doorframe, running his hand down her neck and along her ribcage. Her fingers slid into his hair. He wasn't sure why he noticed but her ring had turned on her finger and he could feel the cool gem pressing into his neck.

Air was becoming a necessity, one that in John's opinion at the moment was overrated, but one none the less. Their lips finally parted, though they did not pull apart, and they pressed their foreheads against each other, both breathing heavily.


Their heads jerked up at the muffled curse.

Emma was standing a few feet away, looking everywhere but at them. They blushingly disentangled themselves from the highly compromising position until only their hands were still linked.

"Uh…" Her eyes cut to them momentarily. "Right. I'll just…be inside." She rushed past them into the apartment and out of sight.

John brought his free hand up to rub the back of his neck; Mary ducked her head, her face and neck the color of a tomato. He let his hand drop again, and then lifted it to her chin, tipping her face upward. He pressed a kiss to her temple, "I'll see you tomorrow, Mary," he murmured against the skin there.

Oh-so-slowly and reluctantly he moved away from her until only their linked hands were touching; they kept the small contact until the very last moment.

His hand was slipping from hers when suddenly her fingers tightened around his, causing him to turn back to her questioningly.

Before he could react she had placed her hands on either side of his face, and in one motion rose up on her toes and pressed her lips to his. He was momentarily stunned, but soon settled his hands on her waist, kissing her back. This kiss was much more chaste than the one they had previously shared; she pulled away after a few moments, both of them breathless.

"See you tomorrow, John," she breathed. She sank back to the soles of her feet, her hands slipping away. He allowed her to back out of his grip. She continued to walk backward into her apartment, neither seeming able to look away. She stood in the doorway, clutching the door and biting her lip. "Good night."

"Good night," he responded, even though it wasn't what he really wanted to do.

She visibly braced herself and reluctantly closed the door before either of them could change their minds.

He managed to force himself to leave the building, though it had to be the hardest thing he had ever done. Once outside he leaned back against the wall with a groan. And he thought that he'd wanted his divorce finalized before…

So, am I being mean to Emma or what? Making her walk in on her parents making out... ;P :D Thank you so much for reading! For those of you who've been asking for me to up/further explore the sexual tension between John and Mary how was that? I hope that you all enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think!

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