Emma holds her dagger in her hand. She's still pissed. Regina thought she could keep it from her. It belonged to Emma, not Regina. And Regina was not nearly as powerful as Emma and she was never going to be powerful enough. Not powerful enough to keep the dagger and not powerful enough to change the things Emma didn't want changed.
It was just too bad that the newly formed Dark Emma was misguided to think she didn't want her own dagger. She was new at this dark stuff. As though people in her life were better protected from Emma when Regina held the dagger. They don't need protection. Emma is still Emma, just improved. Improved Emma is sharper, stronger, and smarter. Who defined darkness as the lack of visibility? Emma sees things just fine. She's having a vision right now.
It's a vision of her and Hook. Why the hell hadn't she done that with him yet? What was she waiting for? Mom and Dad to say it was okay? The guy would do anything for her and was probably miserable right now without her. He had even done a deal with the dead Dark One for her. That may have made him a forlorn fool, in her opinion, but the new Dark One was going to offer him a deal he would welcome. Probably make a man out of him too, or at least bring her pirate back. As a hero he was pretty damn dull.
But before she finds something to wear instead of this godawful grimy gown to hunt her pirate in she wants to look at her dagger some more. It really is sweet, it's shiny and her name fits perfectly. Emma Swan. That's her name, and she's been proud of it ever since she decided to stay Swan. That stupid family was not going to ruin her so she kept the name as a reminder. You can get past early childhood trauma by choosing your name and never looking back.
She truly hasn't given the Swans much thought in the years since they gave her back to foster care. Though it was a deliberate effort to forget them and the consequences of what they did. They're not worth her consideration. It might be fun to check in on them now that she can. It will give the heroes time to be oh, so sad that she's not their precious Emma anymore. They might even get stressed out about where she's gone and what she's doing.
With that thought, Emma is standing in front of the Swan family house. She doesn't remember it being so small. It was a mansion to her back then. The yard is a mess, the paint is peeling, and the mailbox looks like somebody took a baseball bat to it. Interesting. She turns and surveys the area. The whole neighborhood is different. She's sure this is the right place. After all, she's almighty now, she doesn't make mistakes. She walks up the few steps onto the porch and knocks. She could go in without knocking or she could go in invisibly but this way has its appeal. An old guy with a beer belly as big as one of the dwarves and a gray beard like the Apprentice comes to the door. She's annoyed, with herself first, for thinking of those idiots, and him second, because he's clearly not her ex adoptive dad.
"I'm looking for the Swan family that used to live here." It's a proud moment to be polite to this poor slob.
"Yeah they moved."
"Would you possibly know where they went? I was a friend of their daughter and would love to see her again."
"Daughter? They moved, don't know."
As the old man steps back from the door Emma slams the door on him so hard the frame cracks and shingles rain off the roof.
Now she has to think about them again to find them. This is frustrating and not fun yet.
But she's got it, she's standing in front of the current Swan residence. It's bigger and the neighborhood looks nicer if you use possessions like cars and landscaping and lawn ornaments to judge things like that. Which she supposes the Swans do. It looks like they moved up in the world.
She walks up this porch in a better frame of mind. Curiously, the wind chime and the porch swings start to move. A dog begins barking very loudly somewhere in the back. Emma doesn't like the high anxious sound to the dog and wills it to stop. There is one quick choking noise and then everything is quiet. The movement on the porch stops too.
Emma certainly isn't nervous, though she wonders if the person coming to the door will be. It's Mrs. Swan, an older, wrinkled and worried Mrs. Swan. What has she got to be worried about? She doesn't know it's the Dark One at her door.
"Mrs. Swan? It's me, Emma. Do you remember me? I used to be your daughter."
"Daughter? Emma? I'm sorry, you must have the wrong house."
It's appalling really. "Please Mrs. Swan. You adopted a girl for a few years before you had your own daughter. You didn't keep her long. Don't you remember?"
Recognition and unsurprisingly, resentment, flash in the woman's eyes. It's not a pleasant greeting but it's a greeting nonetheless, "Come in, Emma. I couldn't believe that you would look for us after all this time. How did you find us? What brings you by?"
"To be honest Mrs. Swan, I'm not completely sure. How is everything? How is your daughter?" What Emma really wants to know she won't ask. The answers don't matter now. How does it feel to claim to love someone who is so young, so innocent, and so defenseless? And to abandon them as though the love had an expiration date? As though the new one coming along was more desirable and more worthy of love?
"Please sit Emma. I cannot believe that you are here. We thought of you often over the years and wondered how you were."
"I realize I am interrupting your day, Mrs. Swan and I don't want to take too much of your time. Let's agree to be honest. Did you really think of me?"
"Yes, Emma. We did. We, that is Mr. Swan and I, came to re-evaluate our decision to have only one child."
"You mean your decision to give me back to foster care like I was a return item at Walmart."
"Of course you would feel that way, but at the time we truly thought our capacity to care was limited. We truly thought we could not support more than one child."
"Again, you mean emotionally support."
"Yes, we truly thought it was best. Not because of you personally but because of us."
"Imagine how much better this makes me feel. It wasn't me, it was you. Right. How old was I, Mrs. Swan when you and your husband thought that was the right thing to do?"
Now the woman is defensive. Emma is prepared for her response. "How does this matter now? What's done is done. What do you want?"
Emma lets the darkness show. The clouds cover the sun, cold creeps in the house, shadows come out of the corners, and Emma encourages the sensation of someone walking over her grave to establish in Mrs. Swan's mind. Oh, and the dog chokes again. It's a nice touch.
"I want to know how your daughter is. How was her life? The life that could have been mine. Let's point out that you haven't even asked, but my life turned out okay, in spite of your selfishness. I found my strength and I know how to use." It might be night now as dark as it has gotten.
"My daughter was delightful as a child. When she got older, like many young people, she rebelled and struggled with some aspects of being a young adult. She was lonely but told us that being surrounded by people didn't make her less lonely. She ran away, she tried drugs, she drank. We supported her and loved her."
"Of course you did Mrs. Swan. What else can you tell me about her life or your life?"
"She was a talented writer. As a young girl she wrote the sweetest stories of her older sister. That's when I saw her happiest, when she was playing with her imaginary older sister or reading the diaries of her older sister that she herself had written."
There is a pause. Mrs. Swan is looking at memories in her mind. Emma allows the shadows to recede back into the corners. The clouds let some daylight through. This is not what she expected. She was sure the Swan family lived a happy, simple life once they were free of the responsibility of another daughter.
"I haven't seen my daughter in about a year. When I last saw her she was beginning a trip. She was going to look for her older sister, the one she had written about. She said she was looking for her Savior".
Emma stands. She's heard enough. "Sorry it didn't work out for you. Or for her, because it was your call. You did it. It's all on you. You can't even call it karma".
As she walks down the porch steps headed back to Storybrooke Emma decides she could be the Savior again. She might not even miss the shiny dagger with her name on it.