Sorry about taking so long to finish this chapter, especially with how short it is, but I had writers block for quite a while and it was only coming out in bits and pieces. It has been quite a…trip to write. XD I hope that you have fun reading this chapter, when I had the inspiration to write it was a very entertaining.

Sassy18, thank you for your help, and encouragement in certain portions of the chapter. ;-} You helped me make it even more entertaining.



The discovery of John's fingerprints on the knife threw everyone involved in the case into an uproar. The District Attorney demanded that the deputy be questioned, but Emma had put her foot down, insisting that he be given time to recover from his concussion, or at least enough time for the drugs to work their way out of his system. She held firm on the fact that she wouldn't allow anyone to be taken advantage of in such a way, and he could hardly be considered properly coherent while on strong painkillers paired with the concussion.

The DA, Spencer, had been livid at her refusal, demanding that John at least be detained in the meantime; Emma had been very reluctant, but ultimately acquiesced and proceeded to lock him in the only other cell she had, right next to Mary. Spencer had thrown a fit, saying that they couldn't jail people who were possibly co-conspirators in a murder next to each other, where they could easily converse.

The Sheriff leveled him with a droll glare. "And where the hell else am I going to put him?"

Lips pursed, the man had glared at her several moments longer before striding furiously out, snarling that he'd return first thing the next morning.

Emma's hands were clenched at her sides, knuckles white with absolute fury.


She turned to John to find his gaze fixed on hers, steady and calm.

"It's going to be all right." His promise was resolute, without even a shadow of doubt, matching the faith she could see in his eyes.

How the hell was it that John, the one currently trapped in a jail cell for a crime he did not commit, was comforting her, the one standing outside said cell that should be comforting him?

Despite the cynic in her that was screaming, demanding to know how any of this could possibly be all right given how bad things looked at the moment, another part of her soul latched onto his determined words and the comforting expression in his eyes. She'd experienced such moments before with John, feelings of safety and reassuring steady strength, somehow knowing intrinsically that there was nothing he wouldn't do to protect her from anything and everything.

"…you have to know that I will do everything in my power to protect them from anything."

The blonde shook her head, clearing the memory of what John had said to Jefferson, telling herself that he'd only been playing to the madman's delusions to save her and Mary and that he'd do that for any friend. "Not if I don't find some evidence to clear both of your names," she countered grimly.

John gave her a gentle smile. "Just do your job to the best of your ability."

Emma narrowed her eyes; his words, tone, actions...all of it bothered her. Something was off… She opened her mouth, what she was going to say not even she'd ever know because Mr. Gold chose that moment to enter and her jaw shut with an audible click of teeth.

"I hear that there's another suspect…"


With the drugs in his system and the concussion, James had barely managed to keep himself from snarling at King George, DA Spencer here apparently. As it was, he audibly choked back the words he wanted to say but couldn't stop himself from glaring at the man the entire time.

After the fury he felt toward George, the imp's presence brought on little more than a twinge of annoyance. And he was thoroughly relieved to know that his plan was now fully in motion.

"Now they think John killed her!" Mary was so distressed by his detainment, continually casting fretful glances at her lover, who attempted to look at her reassuringly but the drugs were increasingly muddling things in his head. James wouldn't be surprised if his expression was looking more and more like a dopey smile.

Rumplestiltskin's gaze went to the erstwhile deputy, who, through the drugged haze he was in, was having more trouble than usual reading the other man's expression. I should probably be more worried about that than I am, James inwardly mused.

"Has he been questioned?" The lawyer turned to Emma who folded her arms across her chest, chin lifted defiantly.

"No, he has a concussion and the doctors gave him drugs for the pain. He won't be answering any questions until he's cleared medically." Her tone brooked no argument.

"Very well," the crafty man easily agreed. "But as soon as he is fit, I will be filing to have the charges against my client dropped. Pending the outcome of his interrogation, of course…"

"Yup…leave it all to Rumply."


They all turned at John's slurring voice to see a wide and rather goofy grin on his face.

"John?" Mary asked carefully. Once he'd turned to face her, after a longer than normal pause between when she called his name and he responded, she continued. "Are you all right?"

"'M fine, darlin'." He waved off the concern in her voice.

Emma stepped closer to his cell. "John," he turned to her after another delay in his response time, "what did the hospital give you?"

He shrugged carelessly. "Dunno. S'ok, I'm feelin' fiiiiiiiine."

"Might I recommend calling for a doctor to check him out to be sure?" Gold offered in his usual understated, wry manner.

"Yeah…" Emma continued to eye her stoned deputy warily as she picked up the phone and dialed Storybrooke Hospital.

John began humming an unrecognizable tune, eyes drifting around the room aimlessly.

Mary turned to Emma. "Maybe you should tell them to hurry?"


"Apparently he's had an, uh…unexpected reaction to the medication we gave him at the hospital." Whale fidgeted with his stethoscope, eyeing John warily, who was still pretty out of it, alternating between a silly grin on his face and glaring rather fiercely at the doctor.

"Well, shouldn't he be in the hospital?" Mary demanded, watching the man she loved worriedly.

The doctor hardly even glanced in her direction. "Normally I would recommend his being taken to the hospital for observation overnight but," Whale gave the bars of the cell a nervous look, "we don't exactly…ah…have the…capacity to…"

Emma rolled her eyes, further unimpressed by the man who was supposedly the foremost physician in Storybrooke. "Fine," she cut off his halting ramble of excuses as to why they couldn't have a "murder suspect" in the hospital, "your butt's covered. I'll stay the night and watch him." She stepped aside, holding the cell door open. "Get out."

"Thank you. Check on him every couple of hours, he should be just fine by morning." Whale hurriedly gathered his instruments, shoving them into his bag. "If you have any questions or need help just call the hospital," he told her as he scurried past the Sheriff, wasting no time in booking it out of the office.

The two women turned, gazes meeting, neither particularly thrilled with the doctor's reaction to the situation or ensuing actions.

"I don' like 'im," John added bluntly.

Mary bit down on her lips, trying not to laugh at the reminder of their earlier conversation about his dislike of the aforementioned doctor.

Emma smirked at her deputy. "That makes three of us." She closed the cell door, asking, "Do you need anything from the apartment?"

He shrugged, drugged out smile returning to his face and gaze going to Mary, staring at her rather dreamily.

One eyebrow rose on Emma's forehead. "Right." She went to John's desk and lifted the phone's handset, dialing a familiar number. "Hey, Ruby it's Emma…"

"Oh, my God, Emma! Is it true John's been arrested for Kathryn's murder?!"

The sheriff winced. "John's not arrested, he's being detained until we can question him."

"Until you can question him?" Confusion was thick in the waitress' voice.

"He's got a concussion and he's having a weird reaction to the drugs they gave him at the hospital, but that's not exactly why I called."

Ruby was instantly on alert. "What's up?"

"I was wondering if you could run a couple of errands for me?" Her eyes cut to her worried roommate and doped up deputy. "With John in the condition he's in I can't leave the office unless it's an emergency. Could you grab a few things for him and me from the apartment? And possibly bring dinner over later on?"

"Of course!" she immediately agreed. "I'll let Granny know what's going on and head on over to get the key from you."

"Thanks, Ruby."

"No problem!"


It was about five minutes after Ruby dashed out of the police station, their apartment key in hand, that the door banged open again. Emma squeezed her eyes tightly shut, begging someone, anyone, to save her from what was to come, not needing to turn around to know who had just entered.

"What is this about you detaining David Nolan?" Madame Mayor snarled.

After a deep, bracing breath, Emma stood from her deputy's desk, and turned to face Regina. "John's fingerprints were found on the murder weapon. I'm detaining him at the request of the DA until we can question him," she explained with exaggerated patience.

The mayor stalked up to her. "Well, why the hell haven't you questioned him?" She planted one perfectly manicured hand on her hip.

The sheriff crossed her arms over her chest, posture firm, more than ready to do battle with her nemesis for her friend. "Because he has a concussion and is still drugged up from what the hospital gave him, and I have no intention of letting him be questioned by anyone in such a compromised state."

Regina's lips compressed into a razor-thin line, eyes cutting to the occupants of the two cells. "Why have you placed him next to her, if he's under suspicion for the same crime?"

Emma could tell she was grasping for some kind of control in this situation, but the younger woman intended to make it crystal clear that, in this case, she didn't have any, for once. "Where else could I lock him up?"

"Oh, I don't know," the dark-haired woman began sarcastically, "maybe the hospital, where a person in his condition should be?"

She cocked one blonde eyebrow. "You'd be right…if they had the facilities for attending a detainee, which they don't. I'm staying the night here to keep an eye on him, upon Dr. Whale's recommendation."

Regina's furious gaze flew over the three people in the room, Emma stubborn and challenging before her; Mary standing at the bars between her cell and John's, hardly noticing the mayor for once, too worried for him; and John, whom Emma was fairly sure didn't even register Regina's presence. She cast one last frustrated, impotent sneer at the sheriff before storming out.

Emma slowly released the breath she hadn't even fully realized she'd been holding, she slowly turned to her two friends. There was a thoughtful, drugged frown on John's face.

"Did th' temp'rter droop a lil while 'go?"

Nothing could have stopped the laughter that the sheriff attempted to choke back.

Mary clung to the bars to keep herself upright from her mirth, before reaching through them to rub his shoulder. "Just an arctic breeze blowing through."

"Oh," he mumbled. After a beat he turned to Mary who was crouched just behind him at the bars, drugged grin on his face. "Hiiiiiiiiiii..."

Mary had to bite down on her lips before responding, "Hi."

Emma snorted. "He is so stoned."

John turned an addled yet disapproving look on her. "Ya shoud'n talk 'bout yer fadder like dat."

The blonde's eyebrows shot up before her gaze went to her roommate's. "Well, A: he's been around Henry too much, and B: the drugs are really getting to him."

He started swatting at the thin air. "Tell the dr'gns t' go 'way. Too tired t' slay 'em."

Even though two of them were locked in cells and under suspicion of committing murder, neither of the women could stop themselves from laughing.

"Is this still within 'normal' for his 'reaction,' do you think?" Mary was working hard to choke back her laughter as she ran her fingers soothing through John's hair, turning to look at Emma inquiringly.

Her friend shrugged, still amused. "I remember when a teenager in one of my old foster homes got her wisdom teeth removed, she talked the strangest nonsense for hours, including about pink, flying elephants. I'm guessing this isn't too different."

Mary was still torn between worry and amusement, but turned her attention back to the man whom she'd gathered into her arms as much as possible with bars between them.

John was gazing up at her, grinning and then the smile fell and his brow furrowed, one finger reaching out to trace the circles under her eyes. "No sleep."

"Don't worry," her hand stroked over his cheek, "I won't sleep, I'll stay right here with you."

"No." His voice was muzzy but the shake of his head was firm. "You sleep." He clumsily pressed a hand against the side of her face. "Need 'leep."

Touched by his concern, even when he was loopy on drugs, a smile curled her lips. "I'll try," she promised.

John turned to his boss. "Em, make sure she 'leep."

The sheriff attempted to suppress the smirk that wanted to cross her face at Mary rolling her eyes. "Don't worry, John. I'll make sure Mary gets at least some sleep tonight."

He seemed satisfied with this promise and turned back to Mary, his fingers now playing with the ends of her hair. "Short…" he commented before he started humming an unknown tune, still fiddling with his lover's hair.

Emma had to sit down–though it was more like collapsing–in a chair before she fell down feeling lightheaded from having to hold back so much laughter.


The alarm on the table beside Emma's head where she was camping out on the couch she'd pulled into her office from the main area beeped insistently, reminding her that she needed to get up and check on John. She swatted the annoying, but necessary, thing off, grumbling as she forced herself from her warm sleeping bag Ruby had thoughtfully brought. Blinking blearily at the glowing red digital numbers that read 3:46 a.m. she grumbled more about the obscene time, grabbed the cell keys from her desk, and shuffled to the door, opening it and heading over to John's cell where he was passed out.

When she'd woken him just before midnight he'd merely cracked an eye before shutting it again and rolling over to fall back asleep; at a quarter to two he actually said her name and mumbled a "night" before going back to sleep, hopefully that progress was a sign that the drugs were finally starting to wear off.

The sheriff had chosen to sleep in her office because she didn't want her alarm disturbing Mary, and she moved around the main part of the sheriff's office as quietly as possible. She carefully turned the key in the lock to John's cell, pulling the door open with equal caution. Keeping her tread light, Emma moved to the cot and crouched down at John's side, gently shaking his shoulder. "John."

He stirred, grunting something unintelligible but remained asleep.

"John." She shook him again, more firmly this time, saying his name a little louder.

Frowning, he blinked his eyes open. "Em? 'S wrong?"

"Nothing," she assured him. "How are you feeling?"


Her mouth tucked into a half-smile. "Well, I'll let you get back to sleep." She stood, moving back to the door.

"Mm…thanks." His voice was still slurring, but he seemed at least a little more lucid. He rolled on his side, facing toward Mary's cell. The dark-haired woman was lying on her side, facing toward him as well. He lay staring at her, blinking lazily. "Sh' so b'utiful."

A single amused eyebrow rose on Emma's forehead. "Yes, she is." It was a struggle to keep her laughter in check. Oh, her deputy was doing better but he was still most definitely stoned.

"B'ut'ful day I met 'er."

"Mm…" Emma absently agreed, though mostly because what else could you do with someone doped up like he was?

"Beaut'ful day I married her…"

The blonde froze mid-way through locking the door.

"Both cer'monies," he continued.

Her eyes were locked on her friend's lax form. "John, what are you talking about?"

"Firs' time fer my mom, sec'nd fer th' kingd'm." His brow furrowed. "Why y' callin' me 'John?'"

Emma's free hand clenched around one of the bars. "What should I call you?"

"Pe'ple call me James…"

Her heart was pounding, a roaring resounding in her ears.

"Yer mom calls me 'Charming.'"


Yes, I know, it's another evil cliff hanger, but I couldn't help myself, it was just too good of one! Dealing with a drugged up James was very fun and funny! I know it's a short chapter and sparse in some parts but everything in it was leading up to that reveal at the end…which is going to be coming to play soon. I hope that you guys liked it even though it was short! Thank you for reading! :-D

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