Not the magic-using, saving-the-town, trying-to-keep-everyone-alive kind of days, of course. But being sheriff did wear on one after a while. And nothing was more tiring than getting a call two minutes before clocking out. Especially when the call happened to be about your father, a leather clad pirate, a dwarf who might as well been an over-protective uncle, and pretty much the whole male population of Storybrooke.
Emma found herself hurrying down the street towards the Rabbit Hole, pulling her hair back into a pony tail so her blond locks wouldn’t get in the way of the serious death-glare she planned on giving them all. Before she was even remotely close to the building, she could hear the sound of shouting, of well placed punches, of glasses breaking.
It was tempting to just turn around and go to Granny’s for a steamy cup of cinnamon cocoa and leave the whole situation behind her.
Pushing through the swinging double doors, Emma stopped dead in her tracks at the scene before her.
Almost every table was flipped or dangerously tipping over. Forgotten drinks were knocked over, spilling the cups contents onto the floor and making it slippery and wet. Her father had one arm wrapped around Dr. Whales neck and a booted foot firmly placed in Jefferson’s stomach. Robin, though bow and arrow-less, had a guitar- a broken guitar- on his shoulder ready to swing at Eric. Grumpy was punching out Archie (though the former cricket seemed to be holding his own) And Hook… well Hook was about to swan dive off the bar to tackle Neal who was turning to run.
Emma spun her gun out of the holster at her hip and fired up at the roof once. Dust rained down on her head, but the Rabbit Hole grew deathly quiet. She gave everyone a look that could kill as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Emma,” David said, quickly dropping Whale.
“Lass, we can explain,” Hook chimmed in, hopping off the counter and catching Neal by the back of his shirt with his hook.
Emma held up her hand.
"Save it,“ she growled. She was in absoloutely no mood to hear his or her father’s excuses, though she was sure they’d both conjured up pretty good ones in the few seconds they’d had.
"Who started it?” Emma asked.
The group of men turned in two different directions to point at Hook and David. Of course. The pirate and the prince. She should have known from the get-go.
Emma pulled her handcuffs from her pocket and strode forward. She clapped one end on David’s wrist and the other on Hook’s. Her pirate gave her a teasing look, his mouth was opening to say something saucy about how this was the third time she’d cuffed him, but she tugged hard on the metal confinements, dragging him forward, and he grunted instead.
“Since I only have one pair, the rest of you follow!” Emma called out.
“Robin, Eric, Jefferson, Leroy, Whale, Archie, and Neal. Single file line behind me. You want to act like children? I’m going to treat you like children.”
The men collectively groaned and lined up like a bunch of duckings behind their mother and followed her all the way to the sheriff station grumbling and complaining.
Emma flicked on the lights and everyone grabbed a seat in the small room, though there weren’t enough chairs to seat them all.
"Swan we were only-“ Hook began.
"I don’t believe its your turn to speak,” Emma said cutting him off for the second time. “Wait you turn like a good boy.”
He gave her his trade-mark smirk with a small lift of his eyebrows.
Whale tried to stretch out on the floor and Robin kicked him and motioned for him to sit up straight. Leroy saw this and smacked the Dr with his floppy hat, accidentally shoving Eric in the process.
The men were well on their way to another brawl, but when Emma sighed wearily, they all turned back to face her with fake innocent faces.
"Now,“ Emma sighed. "Who wants to tell me how this started?”
Archie cleared his throat and held up his hand. He looked like a timid boy with a busted lip. His glasses sat crookedly on his nose, one lense seemed to be turning inwards a little.
“Well, it may have… kind of… have started with a conversation about you. And prison. Or more specifically, you and prison. OR you in prison. And Neal. Because of Neal. Specifically you in prison because of Neal.”
“Please shut up,” Whale said, throwing his head into his hands. “Its too late for this."
"Emma, Emma-” Hook said holding out his hook to stop the words that were about to rush from her mouth. “We were defending your honor.”
“By punching each other out? By beating each other over the head with guitars?!"
Robin rubbed his neck as his cheeks pinked a little.
"Well if you can say anything about us, it’s that we are quite imaginative.”
Hook smiled at her and she tried not to smile or laugh back. So she turned her back on all of them and shuffled around some meaningless papers that sat loose on her desk.
When she turned back around, her face was a mask of calmness.
“Even if Neal did leave me to go to prison-” Emma looks over at Neal who has his head hung, his eyes sad, “which he did… that doesn’t give any of you a right to disrupt the peace in this town.”
“Can you just tell us our punishment so we can get out of here?” Leroy hurumphed.
"Oh, you want to leave and go home and go sleep in your crozy little beds, is that right?“ Emma asked, with an over the top smile.
All of them nodded together, their eyes bloodshot and bruises popping out and lips and noses trickling blood. They really were a bruised and battered group. And no real harm had been done. Nothing a few bucks couldn’t fix, and they could all pay for it. A warning would really be ok, Emma knew. But she had missed her nightly cup of cocoa at Granny’s with Henry…
"That’s too bad.” Emma pouts. “Because tonight you guys get to sleep here in the station. All of you crammed together in those two tiny cells.”
"I’m not sleeping next to-”
“He smells like-”
“WHALE IS A-”
"You wanted you punishment!“ Emma shouts over them. "Now you’ve got it. Bed time.”
One by one, Eric, Robin, Jefferson, Grumpy, Archie, and Neal went into either of the two cells, grumbling about who got the bed and who got to sleep on the floor.
“We are sorry, Emma,” David said as she uncuffed him from Hook. Both men rubbed their wrists at the same time, looking very much like the other with their puppy dog eyes and pouty lips.
"I know you are. And Dad?“
David’s face lit up when Emma called him her father.
"These cells with your grumbly buddies will be cake compared to what Mom’s going to do when she finds out.”
David smiles a little, letting out a small laugh as he walks past and into the holding cell.
Hook stepped closer to her, giving her that smile, and brushed her ponytail off her shoulder.
“How about a kiss goodnight, love?” he asked her.
"In your dreams.“ Emma rolled her eyes and shoved him forward, slamming the cell door closed behind him.
"These bars can only hold my love in for so long!” he yelled dramatically.
“Good night!” Emma shouted. She grabbed her red jacket from the coat rack and shrugged it on before stopping to turn out the lights.
"Get your feet out of my face!“
"If you get any closer to me right now-!!"
"I’d shoot you all right now if I had my bow and arrows!”
“DAVE! Dave he’s poking me!”
"Whale you have invaded every single persons personal space in this town! So help me if you do not stay on that side of the cell!!“
"You tell him, mate!”
“Don’t make fun of my accent!”
"Everyone shut up!“
"I JUST WANT TO SLEEP!”
Emma flicked off the lights and walked down the empty hallway, calling over her shoulder, “Sweet dreams, children!”
And then she laughed and laughed and laughed her way home.