Here's the promised next part of Hot Chocolate! :-D I hope that you like it!

Thanks and then some to the best dartie EVER! :-D


I Saw Eternity

It was surreal how quickly things went back to normal after John was released. He'd had to stay out of the ensuing investigation into how he and Mary were framed of course. They all knew who had done it, even though Sidney confessed, but there was nothing more they could do. All the evidence traced back to Sidney Glass. Regina was going to get away with it…for now at least.

Mary was happy that things were falling back into place; it was comforting with the increasing internal upheaval she was experiencing, the growing sense that she was two people rather than one. Emotions and thoughts that were completely out of character for her–though part of her felt it was completely in character–and memories that weren't her own–though somehow felt like they were hers–kept popping up, interrupting her day. She'd be returning to work in two days; Mary hoped that the familiar setting would help restore her balance.

"Here you are, Mary."

She snapped out of her thoughts as Ruby handed her her hot chocolate. "Thanks." Mary grinned at her friend as she reached for the mug. Her fingers brushed the younger woman's.

"Hey, I-I get it." The pretty brunette in the red hood smiled understandingly. "I just need something to call you."

When was the last time she'd had someone be so understanding of her? So accepting? When was the last time she'd been shown kindness? "Uh, Margaret. Oh, no. Uh…Mary! Mary," she decided with a firm nod.


Green eyes fluttering, Mary gasped as she was pulled back from the…whatever that was, by the voice and a hand on her shoulder. She glanced around her to see Ruby looking at her worriedly and Emma, whose hand was on her shoulder, staring at her with a matching expression.

"Are you all right?" her roommate questioned.

The tall, sandy-haired prince ran up to her, eyes scanning her from head to toe, searching for injury. "Are you all right?"


Emma and Ruby came back into focus.

"I-I'm fine…"

Her two friends looked unconvinced; Emma took her by the elbow and led her over to a table. "Sit down."

Mary automatically complied, still rather disoriented from the flashes.

"Drink this." Ruby pressed a glass of water into her hand.

With a murmured thanks the teacher sipped the cool liquid, trying to sort through the thoughts buzzing through her head, and the feeling that there was something more just in the back of her mind.

Ruby was called over to another table, and squeezing Mary's hand supportively, she moved off reluctantly to do her job.

Emma settled into the booth across from her best friend. "What's going on, Mare?" she questioned.

Mary set the glass aside, and reached for her hot cocoa, hands curling around the mug, needing the warmth. "I…" She rubbed her forehead. "I've been having these…flashes…and dreams."

Concern lined the blonde's face. "What do you mean?"

"Images, voices…emotions." The teacher glanced around the diner, seeing a few familiar faces though most of them she wasn't familiar with. "People I know, myself included, in odd clothing and looking…different than they're supposed to. Going by names…not ours, but…it feels…normal and…natural to call them those names."

Silence reigned for several moments, then Emma slowly asked, "What…kind of names?"

Mary dragged her eyes to meet her friend's, reluctant to talk about it, knowing that Emma's reaction wouldn't be good. It took several moments before she managed to say the words. "Fairy tale names."

Emma's gaze snapped down to the table, watching her hands play with the empty glass in front of her. "And the things you've seen?"

The dark-haired woman eyed her roommate. "Same."

After a few more moments of spinning the glass between her palms, the sheriff suggested, "Maybe you should go talk to John?"

Mary opened her mouth to say that she was fine and they didn't need to bother him with this.

"He's home right now… Maybe he can help you work this out? Ease your mind?"

"What can I do to ease your mind?" Blue eyes pleaded with her for some way to help take away her burden. How very much her Charming, always trying to help her and protect her.

"I mean with his own history with that…memory stuff." Emma shrugged.

Mary blinked, nodding distractedly. "Yeah…maybe that's a good idea."


Mary stumbled over her own feet through the door into her home, mind still whirling. Part of her felt better for being in the familiar, safe environment, but another side seemed even more unsettled somehow.

Her eyes caught on Emma's baby blanket draped over the couch, inexorably drawn to it. Her fingers caressed the soft knit fabric.

Her heart was shattering in her chest as she gazed down at her beloved baby girl. "Goodbye, Emma." She pressed a kiss to her daughter's forehead–all she would have with her for 28 years. Quickly, before she could change her mind, she let Charming take Emma from her arms–

Mary backed away with a gasp, eyes stinging with tears.

"We have to give her her best chance..." echoed through her mind.

A flash in the corner of her eye caught Mary's attention. The broken shard of glass still hung in the window, and it seemed to wink at her, as if it knew something she didn't.

Charming smiled at her so joyfully and lovingly. "Well, you never have to worry, I will always find you." His fingers kept brushing through her hair, as if in an effort to reassure himself that she was real.

Nothing could have wiped the smile from her face. She knew the answer to the question like her own heartbeat but she still asked, never tiring of hearing him say it, "Do you promise?"

Mary was thrown out of the vision again, blinking furiously as she stepped back, only to bump into something that softly tinkled. The mobile. She'd been moving it around the apartment as she felt the need, it now hung next to the piece of glass. Without her consent, Mary's hand reached toward the figurines, fingers brushing them gently.

The memories crashed over her like a wave.

It was late, but she couldn't sleep. Not after what happened today.

Her hands caressed the side of the crib while the unicorns glittered dully in the moonlight, longing aching in her heart.


She wasn't surprised that he'd found her. After all, they always found each other. She undid and began to retie one of the bows on the crib. "She'll never even spend one night here." Her hands clenched, tears crowding her vision as she sensed her husband moving to her side. "All of our hopes and dreams for her... Everything we have fought so long and hard's being ripped apart."

His palms gently cradling her face, he turned her gaze to meet his, thumbs wiping away the tears on her cheeks. "We'll find each other again. We'll all be together again as a family." He lowered his head to hers, but just before bringing their lips together, he said, "I promise–"

She didn't know exactly why she was doing it, leaning into this man to kiss him except that it felt right for some reason. The most right anything had felt in far too long.

His lips were soft against hers, tentative but also clinging, as if he couldn't believe this was happening and was terrified the moment would disappear. That she would disappear.

It was like a door that'd been locked in her mind was suddenly flung wide and it all rushed back to her. Her green eyes snapped open to his face before her and pulled back to see him better, mouth falling slightly open in breathless joy.

His blue eyes finally slid open, surprise flashing in them at her expression before confusion overtook it.

"Charming," she finally managed to gasp.

His face lit up brighter than the sun. "Yes, it's me!"

They leaned into each other to–

"We're going to have a child," she breathed in shock, watching the once-still pendant now swing undeniably above her palm.

"What?" She didn't really register Charming's tone as she continued to observe the miracle before her.

"We're going to have a child!" she repeated with burgeoning joy and wonder.

"Is there...something I need to know?"

Finally she looked up, meeting her new husband's nervous look with her ecstatic one. "I mean someday."

A wide grin crossed his face. "Well, of course we are."

This was the happiest day of her life since–

"And now," she watched in confusion as he stepped in front of her and turned to face her, "I never want it off your finger."

It really took her longer than it should've to realize what he was doing as he went down on one knee before her, but the moment she did her heart raced and her breath came in gasps.

"Will you marry me?" he asked simply.

Her heart was so full she couldn't speak around the lump in her throat, so she silently held out her hand to him. Her heart skipped several beats as she watched him slide his mother's ring onto her finger, fingertips caressing her palm. With a sigh of joy at the utter rightness of finally wearing this ring–the ring that'd brought them together–she raised her hand as she had the first time they met and lifted her gaze to meet his over the tips of her fingers. There was no suppressing the happiness on her face. "What do you think?" she teased, her voice thick from the emotion clogging it.

Chuckling, her Charming swiftly rose to his feet, reaching for her as she was already pulling him into her arms.

Who'd have thought, she wondered to herself as they lost themselves in their first kiss as an engaged couple, when they first met that they would end up like this?

"Aren't you a real Prince Charming," she sneered.

"I have a name you know," he countered, amused.

"Don't care, Charming suits you."

He didn't seem ready to part ways, not that she was either. "If you ever need anything–"

"You'll find me," she completed for him in a breathless voice, unable to stop herself.

He stared at her for a long breathless moment. "Always," he swore.

He was bleeding and in obvious agony from the arrow that she had shot into his shoulder, but his gaze was clear and voice sure. "I love you, Snow."

Snow White found herself on her knees in the apartment, gasping through the deluge of memories and emotions finally returned to her. She lifted her head, the object that'd triggered the full return of her memories capturing her attention again. On unsteady legs the princess forced herself to her feet, hand reaching out to run through the hanging unicorns to send them tinkling against each other, just as she'd done the first time she saw it when Charming gave it to her...both times.

She pressed her fingertips to her lips, holding back a cry. Charming...he remembered. Snow could tell from his actions, words, the hints he'd dropped the last few months... Her husband was awake and had been working so hard to not only get her back but to protect her as well. She knew that he'd somehow found the knife and put his fingerprints on it to get her cleared.


Snow spun at Charming's startled tone, finding him–as if conjured by her very thoughts–standing just outside the open bathroom door wearing only jeans, hair wet and a towel in one hand. She could see his fingers tightening conclusively around the terry cloth, which she so easily recognized as him fighting to control his emotions.

Charming visibly forced himself to turn and head toward their bedroom. "I didn't realize it was time for our lunch date." He was trying to buy himself time to recover, to build up the emotional stamina he needed to deal with her cursed self, all the while longing for his true love, as she did for him. "I'll pull on a shirt and we can go."

Snow followed him, she couldn't yet find her voice but she had to tell him, somehow. And even more than that she needed to be near him. He pulled open a drawer, back to her. She kept moving closer, her hand reaching out and trembling violently, but she had to touch him. The moment her fingers came in contact with his skin he froze, his entire body going rigid, but Snow could only sigh in relief at finally touching her husband.

James was giving the process of choosing a shirt a great deal more time and effort than it called for, needing to collect himself. He hadn't been prepared for Mary's presence and he'd nearly called her Snow. When he felt her fingers on his back he'd stiffened, body instantly recognizing the touch, but his mind was unable to really accept what his body was telling him. While he could feel that she was shaking, the quaking eased a bit as her hand pressed more firmly against him; the way she touched him, with an assuredness, as if she had every right to do so, wasn't how Mary touched him. Mary's touch was always a bit timid, often seeming as if she wasn't sure he was real, or that she was allowed contact with him. No, it was his Snow who touched him like this, but he couldn't believe...

She leaned forward, pressing her lips to his shoulder blade, mouth curving into a satisfied smile at his shudder even as tears gathered in her eyes. "I love you, Charming," she whispered into his skin.

Abruptly he spun around, hands shooting out to grip her upper arms, blue irises searching green desperately. "What did you say?"

She managed a tremulous smile through her tears, raising her still trembling palms to cradle his face. Taking a deep breath to steady herself enough to speak, Snow said, "Charming..."

"Snow," he gasped out but then his mouth was on hers, kissing her like a man desperate for air and she was the element itself.

Her fingers dug into his shoulders, pulling herself closer, perhaps trying to find a way to become one person, while his arms locked around her waist like steel bands attempted to do the same. It was long moments before they separated in the least, and then it was only to pull their lips apart when air was becoming an issue.

James' fingers traced her features. "Snow." Her real name was sweet on his lips, he couldn't say it enough.

Cupping his jaw, she drank in his beloved, familiar face. "You found me," Snow whispered.

That crooked grin she so loved quirked his mouth, fingers now following the curve of her ear. "Did you ever doubt I would?"

Eyes once again filling with tears, Snow used her grip on his shoulders to pull herself up and matched her lips to his.

James grabbed the hem of her sweater and tugged it up over her head and off, needing to see and touch more of her, the physical proof that she was once again his Snow. Once the top was discarded she hooked her fingers in the waistband of his jeans, pulling him back against her, eliminating the small amount of space that'd formed between them, and bringing their mouths together again. James chuckled into the kiss, he'd missed this about Snow, that she enjoyed initiating things in their lovemaking and could even be aggressive; Mary hadn't been so bold ever.

His wife nipped the corner of his jaw teasingly before trailing her lips to the pulse at his throat and resting there.

She let out a relieved sigh at the strong, steady beat under her lips. "I found you. In the nursery…lying in a pool of your own blood," she whispered against his skin. Her eyes squeezed shut, trying to block out the haunting image. "There was so much blood. You were so still… I thought– I thought that you were…" A sob ripped from her.

James held her tighter, kissing her anywhere his mouth could reach without creating any distance between them. "I'm here, Snow." He took her hand and pressed her palm over his heart. "I'm alive. We're both alive. And we're together now…truly together."

Snow crushed her lips to his in a deep kiss, hands fumbling with the button on his jeans. James' fingers somehow managed to blindly find the tiny zipper at the back of her skirt and slid it down, letting the fabric pool around her feet. His pants were a bit more of a struggle but with their joint efforts the denim joined her clothing on the floor and they stumbled toward the bed.

Pushing him back onto the mattress, Snow straddled him, lips trailing over every inch of his skin, almost seeming to try and reclaim him with her touch alone. She paused, lingering over the scars on his shoulder and side, badges of honor, evidence of how hard he fought to protect their daughter and how close he came to dying to do it. "Regina nearly took both of you from me."

He rolled them over, bracing his weight above her on his elbows, blue eyes locked with hers. "Don't think like that. It didn't happen. I'm alive. And I won't let anyone separate us again." Grasping her face between his palms, James kissed her fiercely.

They set about trying to make up for 28 years apart–the last few months while she was still Mary Margaret only half-counted according to Snow. Rediscovering marks and scars–he spent a good ten minutes tracing the scar she got at the age of seven falling out of a tree and breaking her leg, she took her time on the birthmark that she said was shaped like a lion on his hip, he connected the moles and freckles on her back that he always said formed the unicorn constellation from their world and her tongue laved the scar in his side where he was nearly gored by a branch after being thrown from a horse at thirteen–and familiarizing themselves with new ones. They simply enjoyed finally being together again, no false memories or bars between them and both fully conscious.

Snow rolled them over so that she was on top and slowly she lowered herself into him, both of them gasping. James' hands urged her movements, his wife's head falling back as she rose and lowered herself rhythmically, the feeling so familiar to them. He pushed himself up to sit, hand cupping the back of her neck and crushing their lips together in a sloppy but loving kiss. Crying out each other's names–their real names–they fell back into the pillows, a tangle of limbs and sheets.

Snuggling into his side, Snow pressed a kiss into the hollow of his shoulder. James swept her sweaty bangs aside, kissing her forehead with a contented sigh, letting their fingers tangle and dance. A frown suddenly crossed her husband's face and he lifted her right hand, staring at the emerald gem winking on her middle finger. He slid the ring off and prompted her to sit up with him, taking her left hand, he returned their ring to its proper place.

Snow grinned through the tears crowding her eyes, the memory of his proposal still fresh. Cupping her husband's cheek, she kissed him, teasingly nipping his lower lip as she pulled back from his smiling lips. "I missed you, Charming."

Thumb wiping away the moisture that'd gathered at the corner of her eye, he kissed her back. "I missed you too, my darling Snow."


Snow's back! :-D Now…who's looking forward to Snow and Regina meeting up? ;-)

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