Summary: AU where Emma decided to keep Henry once she got out of jail. She works at Granny’s diner and meets Killian. Killian falls for her quickly, and Henry seems pretty taken with him too - it’s only Emma that remains at a wary distance.
Word Count: ~11,300
A/N: So this ended up being way longer than originally intended - but I’m pretty pleased with it and happy I finished it before the season returns. Hope you guys enjoy it!
When Henry’s just shy of a year old
Emma finally feels secure, like she is a good mother. Six days a week she wakes
up at six am, gets Henry ready for the day and walks the two blocks to the
diner. Granny usually takes Henry into the back room and looks after him –
saying she’s tired of dealing with customers, (but really just missing the
little guy)– while Ruby and Emma run the diner. Emma’s takes Henry when her
shift ends at two and they run some errands, or go to the park if it’s nice
enough out, or just head back home if it’s been a particularly tiresome day.
While Emma complains to Ruby about
work being boring seeing the exact same people day after day (since Granny’s is
almost completely populated by regulars), Emma secretly loves it. She loves the
feeling of community in the small town diner, she loves being away from the city
where she has too many bad memories, she loves Granny and Ruby and Henry and
she loves the way it feels like family. So when Granny calls begging Emma to
come in on her day off because one of the other waitresses is sick with the
flu, Emma doesn’t think twice before agreeing.
On Sunday mornings the diner
doesn’t open until 8 and Granny hadn’t called until 7:30, so Emma has to rush
to get out the door with Henry on time. The bell chimes over the door as Emma
walks in to the already open diner, with Henry balanced half asleep on her hip.
The difference between Sunday and the rest of the week is noticeable. Every
table at the diner is occupied and there’s a hum of conversation filling the
air. Granny rushes up to Emma the moment she walks inside, taking Henry from
her with a smile and throwing off her apron before fleeing to the back room.
It turns out to be one of Emma’s busiest
shifts ever, and she barely recognizes any of the patrons even though it seems
like most of the customers are regulars since the other wait staff call them by
name. Emma, on the other hand is slightly flustered, running about like a
chicken with its head cut off. She manages to handle the insanity that is the
morning rush until the diner quiets down around noon.
A man sitting quietly at the far
end of the counter catches her attention for a refill. She can tell by that
devilish smirk on his face that he’s trouble. She walks to him and smiles at
him as she refills his coffee anyway.
“You new here lass?” he asks her,
and of course he has an accent.
Emma turns away from him to return
the coffee pot back to the stand. “No,” she says, turning back around to wipe
down the counter. “I’ve worked here for about six months.”
“Are you sure, because I know I’d
remember meeting someone like you,” though his words seem innocent enough, the intent in his eyes is most definitely
not – but Emma Swan is not easily flustered.
She rolls her eyes. “I bet you say
that to all the ladies,” she says walking away.
Ruby was walking behind the man
during the exchange and thumps him lightly upside the head. “Cut it out
Killian, and eat your food.”
He smiles sheepishly at Ruby and gives
Emma a sort of half bow before resuming his meal.