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Take My Heart, Make It Strong

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February 15


Emma's said that word so many times since she got home last night that it's starting to lose its potency.

And yet…


That morning she woke up and decided to see a doctor and have her pregnancy confirmed, and now it's officially official and Emma has the paperwork and the sonogram to prove it; the baby looked like a tiny little peanut in there but it is in there and it was already feeling pretty real but now it's feeling really real.

She's 6 weeks along and due at the end of September.

6 weeks means that the baby was conceived on or around Christmas, which is both precious and corny all at the same time.

Emma lays the sonogram carefully on the table and raises her eyes to neutral territory, but the beige cabinets can't stop the memories, they can't halt the heat creeping up her neck.

Hook asked her how this happened, and the answer is a lot of sex.

Because sex with Hook is really good.

Emma's never been with someone like him before.

(She's never been with someone that wasn't a one-night stand since Neal.)

The things he can do with his tongue and his fingers and his…

There's just something about the feel of him bare inside of her, something about how different he sounds when he is, the moans and gasps that escape him, the crease between his brows, like he's in so much ecstasy that it's painful.

Still, Emma should have been more careful. She should have made him wear a condom anyway.

It's embarrassing, being 30 and accidentally pregnant. Again.

She's not supposed to be this careless—this stupid.

Emma picks up the sonogram, stares at it. Despite how embarrassed she is, she can't bring herself to regret it—if someone had asked her, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" she wouldn't have answered that she'd be having Hook's baby, but she's going to make it work. And she thinks…

She thinks it will be okay.

(Whether or not Hook does actually stick around.)

A knock on her door startles her, another "Fuck!" falling from her lips and the sonogram slipping through her fingers.

She jumps up, her chair scraping loudly across the linoleum, and has just enough presence of mind to grab the sonogram and drop it into the open box of PopTarts on the table before she crosses the kitchen to the front door.

Hand on the doorknob, she hesitates.

Neal tried to call her last night—13 times—and half the reason Emma decided this morning was the perfect morning to have an intravaginal ultrasound courtesy of Dr. Whale was because she was afraid Neal would show up on her doorstep and she didn't want to risk being at home for that.

Well, she's at home now and if this is Neal then this is it.

She hopes he won't make a scene, she hopes he'll just take the hint—he probably won't though, and unless he hasn't picked Henry up from Regina's yet then Henry will be there and Emma will have to tell Neal in front of their son that she's definitely not interested in rekindling whatever Neal thinks there is between them to rekindle.

But it's not Neal on her doorstep.

It's her dad, holding two coffees and a bag of what Emma sincerely hopes are Granny's bear claws.

"Hi," he says brightly.

Emma looks from the bag to the coffees and then frowns into David's beaming face. "Did mom send you?"

"No. She has no idea I'm here."

Emma's eyebrows jerk upwards. "Really?"

"Yea." David shrugs. "I saw Neal sitting at Granny's alone last night and I wanted to make sure you're okay."

"And you just happened to be at Granny's at the exact same time Neal was waiting for me to meet him for dinner?"

David grins. "Yes. Can I come in?"

Emma rolls her eyes but she steps out of the doorway so David can enter.

"Are you okay?" he asks as he passes by.

"I'm fine."

David turns on his heel, one of the coffees wobbling dangerously in the carrier. "Emma."

"Dad," she returns, matching his solemn tone.

He presses his lips together, and Emma braces herself for a speech, but he just huffs and sets the coffees and the bag on her kitchen table, then—hands on his hips—says, "You've seemed distracted lately."

Emma goes still and keeps her expression carefully blank.


Apparently she was too distracted to notice just how distracted she was.

"Is there something going on?" David continues. "Something you want to talk about?"

No is Emma's immediate, gut reaction—and no is what she probably would have said to her mom, but her dad just…he gets her.

So she nods and sits down and David takes the chair across from her.

His arm bumps the PopTart box and for one terrifying second Emma thinks he's going to find the sonogram, but he merely smiles at the label and moves it aside, then passes her a bear claw from the Granny's bag.

"What's on your mind?" he prompts.

Emma sucks in a breath and holds it.

I'm pregnant.

It would probably feel nice—cathartic, even—to tell her dad the truth, to tell him she's been seeing Hook secretly for 2 months and that now she's pregnant.

But ever since they returned from Neverland her parents have been trying to have a baby.

("Their re-do baby," Neal once chuckled, not realizing how hurt by the situation she was.)

Telling her dad is one thing, telling her mom is another.

Her mom will be devastated, and Emma's not mentally prepared to be the cause of that yet.

But David's watching her, expecting an answer—and Emma did agree to talk, so she closes her eyes and casts a line out into the deep dark pool of her worries. What she comes up with is, "Bad things keep happening."


She just implied the baby is a bad thing, and a fierce voice inside of her rises up and hisses, "It's not!"

"What I mean," Emma amends quickly, shoving down that angry little voice, not sure if she's speaking to it or to her dad, "is that I can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen."

And that's true. She hasn't really relaxed since they defeated Peter Pan. She's afraid the moment she relaxes will be the moment they're plunged into the next crisis, so she's stayed alert, looking for danger around every corner.

David smiles gently, and his hands move like they want to reach across the table and grab hold of hers. "Good things happen too," he insists. "There's more to life than just looking for the next fight. You gotta look for the moments."

"Moments," Emma repeats dryly.

"Life is made up of moments, Emma—good ones and bad ones."

Emma grimaces. "Well, I seem to be a magnet for the bad ones."

"All the more reason to look for the good moments in between the bad ones."

"And you think me having dinner with Neal would have been a good moment?"

"I don't know…he doesn't eat with his mouth open or anything, does he?"

Emma snorts, then she leans forward, propping one elbow on the table and dropping her chin into her hand.

"You sure you don't have other reasons for pushing me towards Neal?" she asks.

"Like what?"

"Like keeping me away from Hook?"

It's sort of a test, to see how much David's been paying attention, how much he might have noticed these past 2 months.

David wrinkles his nose. "You think I'm interested in Hook?"

"No, I—"

"Emma, I'm a married man."

Emma can't help the laugh that bubbles up her throat, but she chokes on it when she hears another knock on her apartment door, this one soft and polite.

David stands automatically to answer it and it's too late for Emma to stop him, to tell him that if it's Neal she's not home—she grips the edge of the table, prepared to dive under it, but when the door opens, she sees a familiar head of dark hair hovering over David's shoulder.

It's Hook.

He's never been to her apartment before—what the hell is happening?

David turns, one eyebrow raised as if to ask her, "Is this supposed to be here?" but when he catches sight of her stricken expression his eyes widen, and she sees realization dawn on his face.

What's happening, she decides, is the crashing and burning part of this shit show.