Disclaimer: Not my characters, just my words.
Author's Note: For banditsnow – hope you enjoy this treat from your secret Santa! The prompt I've filled was: fanfic: single parents au - we are the only two parents who agreed to attend the school trip (bonus: "so i guess we share this hotel room?")
When Mary Margaret was young, she dreamt of meeting her Prince Charming – tall, blond, blue-eyed and with a smile that would make her toes curl and a gaze that would always make her feel like a princess. It would all be wonderfully, wonderfully right, she dreamed. It was a romantic, hopeful notion, born from reading countless fairy tales and helped by a father who spoiled her and considered her the fairest of them all.
But then her father died, her stepmother inherited everything and cut her off, and Mary Margaret gave up on hope and settled for reality. She found a job, settled for a guy, got pregnant, had a son that she instantly loved more than anything, got cheated on, realized she didn't want anything less than true love even if it meant she would only have her son, got a divorce and became the most committed single parent she knew how to be.
She didn't forget about her dream of Prince Charming. It remained a sort of hopeless fantasy, a daydream she indulged every now and then as a guilty pleasure. She never expected to actually find herself face to face with him.
She certainly never imagined she would one day be standing in a guest room, and slam the bathroom door in his face.
But that is how she meets David Nolan.
Oh no, Mary Margaret has time to think as she opens the door and is greeted by a pained grunt. Oh no no no no. She didn't just...
"What the hell?" the man says, his voice pained. Mary Margaret has a few seconds to take in his appearance – tall, blue eyes, blond, exceedingly handsome – before the full horror of what she's done strikes her.
She's slammed a door in his face. In his face, no less. She's maimed a perfect stranger with a door. Oh no. This is so, so wrong.
"I'm so sorry!" she says, her hands moving across his face of their own volition. He winces as she touches his nose, and even more when she touches a small cut on his chin. How she managed to do that with a door, she has no idea. "I didn't mean to..."
"Hit me in the face with a door?" he says, a touch of humor in his voice. His lips turn slightly upwards as well, and Mary Margaret feels strangely breathless for a moment. "I'm afraid to ask how hard you hit when you do mean to."
She gives him a bashful smile, and his eyes brighten. She's still caressing his face, she realizes, and hurried lets her arms fall. "I truly am sorry. I wasn't expecting company."
"I wasn't expecting the room to be occupied," he says. "When Ruby gave me the key, she told me I was the only parent who agreed to attend the school trip."
Mary Margaret bites her lip. "She told me the same when she gave me my key."
"Ah," he says. "Maybe it slipped her mind that I had volunteered as well."
Mary Margaret can't imagine this man ever slipping out of anyone's mind, but she just nods, shelving her suspicions about Ruby's intentions for now.
"So what are we going to do about this, then?" he asks after a moment, glancing across the room with is one bed. Granted, it is a double bed, but it is still one bed. "I think the place is fully booked. Maybe I can share a room with Emma – my daughter - if we..."
"Is she as excited about a week sharing a room with her best friends as Henry is?" Mary Margaret injects, and the expression on his face tells her that yes, Emma is. "It's okay. We can... share this room. Unless you have a wife who..."
"Single dad," he interjects, and Mary Margaret feels her heart skip a beat. This man is single? "Do you have a husband who...?"
"Divorced," she interjects, and he looks extremely pleased at that.
He looks intently at her before holding out a hand. "I'm David Nolan, Emma's father."
"Mary Margaret Blanchard," she replies, shaking his hand and feeling the warmth of his palm. "Henry's mom."
"Pleased to meet you," he says, and she knows that despite getting a bathroom door to the face, he actually means that. He is looking at her as if he doesn't want to look away, as if...
Oh no, she thinks, but for an entirely different reason this time, and can't make herself look away from him.
David Nolan is a gentleman. Of course he is, as if he hasn't appeared perfect enough already. He lets her have the bathroom first, tries insisting on sleeping on the floor until she sternly tells him how silly that is, helps her unpack and even lets her have the majority of the closet space.
And, she discovers as he exits the bathroom, his choice of sleepwear is a t-shirt with sheep and birds.
"It was a birthday gift from Emma," he says, before she can even ask. "She shoveled snow for our neighbors for weeks to save up for it."
"Oh," Mary Margaret says. "How charming."
He smiles softly, affectionately. "I like to think so, but I am quite biased."
"I'm the same with Henry," she replies, thinking of her bright, curious son. "He made me a birdhouse for Christmas and painted bluebirds on it."
"How charming," he echoes, and she smiles softly. She feels strangely nervous as he approaches the bed where she's already tucked in, even if they will have separate duvets. But she hasn't shared a bed with a man for a long time, even to just sleep, and this man is...
He looks at her intently, as if he's picking up on her nervousness. "I can still sleep on the floor if..."
"No!" she exclaims, then moderates her voice. "No. Please. I'll feel bad if you end up with a backache because of me. Please."
He nods slightly, then slips in underneath his own duvet, and glances over at her. "I haven't done this in a while. Shared a bed, I mean."
"Oh?" she says. She can't help the surprise in her voice. "I would have thought, a man like you..."
She bites her lip before she can finish that treacherous sentence, but she can see he still catches on the implication of what she thinks of him, and his eyes brighten.
"I don't... want that," he says slowly. "I... I don't want to... I want it to be real. I want true love this time. Nothing less. For Emma's sake too."
"I understand," she says. She does, she truly does. "I'm... I feel the same way. Henry's father, I... It wasn't true love. I knew that even before I left him, I think, but I definitely knew it after he cheated on me."
"He cheated on you?" David echoes, as if the very thought is unimaginable. "On you?"
"Yeah," she says, and he makes a disapproving noise that is actually close to a growl.
"Man's an idiot," he says angrily, looking at her with a gaze that is strangely warm. "Please tell me you punched him."
She laughs lightly. "I did. Twice."
"A woman after my own heart," he says, and her breath catches. They stare at each other for a long moment, then he smiles softly. "Goodnight, Mary Margaret Blanchard."
"Goodnight, David Nolan," she replies softly.
She sleeps soundly, safely, and quite, quite happily, and wakes up to find David serving her breakfast in bed like a regular Prince Charming.
She knows right away which kid is Emma Nolan, David's daughter. Not just because they share the same hair color and certain similar facial features, but there's something in the girl's mannerisms as she approaches that reminds Mary Margaret of David, even though she's only known him for an evening and a morning.
"I'm Emma," the girl declares, as suspected. "Dad said you're the other parent staying with us."
"That's right," Mary Margaret replies, smiling. "I'm Mary Margaret, Henry's mom."
Emma considers that, folding her arms. "I like boys. When they're not silly."
"Me too," Mary Margaret offers.
"Dad's not silly," Emma says immediately, glancing over to where David is helping a few other kids play with the rabbits. He glances up as if he can tell he's being watched, and gives them both an adorable wave.
"No," Mary Margaret agrees softly. "Your dad is definitely not silly."
Emma gives her a look. "Dad likes you."
"What?" Mary Margaret says, feeling a slight heat in her cheek.
"Well, he hasn't said so," Emma relents. "But I can tell from how he says your name."
"I..." Mary Margaret says. "I... We haven't know each other very long yet, Emma."
"Hmmm," Emma says, folding her arms. "Do you like birds?"
"I love birds," Mary Margaret says, and Emma lights up. "I think this place has a duck pond. Do you want to find out?"
Emma Nolan very much does, as it turns out.
"Daddy!" Emma exclaims, running at her father and jumping into his arms as he lifts her up and spins her around. "Mary Margaret and I fed the ducks!"
"Did you?" David asks, glancing over at Mary Margaret.
"Yes!" Emma says happily. "Mary Margaret got one to eat from my hand!"
"Have you found someone who loves birds as much as you, kiddo?" David asks, kissing her forehead before putting her down on her feet.
"I'm afraid so," Mary Margaret confesses.
"Dad prefers sheep," Emma informs her, turning to Mary Margaret. "Cos he spent his summers on a sheep farm and wanted to be a shepherd when he was a kid. But I like birds better, cos birds can fly."
"I'm afraid I agree with your daughter," Mary Margaret says, and David dramatically clutches his heart.
"What betrayal," he jokes. "I'm hurt."
"Sorry, daddy," Emma says, though she doesn't sound too sorry. "Sheep are okay."
"What's okay?" Henry asks, and Mary Margaret turns around to see her son walking up to them. He has a few straws in his hair and muddy shoes, and looks quite, quite happy.
"Sheep," Emma says.
"Oh," Henry says. "Sheep are cool."
"A young man after my own heart," David declares, winking at Mary Margaret. "Hello, Henry. I'm David, Emma's dad."
Henry nods, leaning against Mary Margaret as she kisses the top of his hair. "Hi David. I know you are, Emma's talked about you in class a few times. Hi Emma."
"Hi Henry," Emma says. "Wanna play?"
"Sure," Henry says happily, extracting himself. The two run off to where their classmates are playing, leaving David and Mary Margaret.
"Henry looks a lot like you," David says after a moment.
"Emma looks a lot like you," she replies, and they share a smile, as one parent to another.
"Thanks for taking Emma to see the ducks. She's loved birds since she was a baby," he says, glancing over at where Emma is laughing. "Not sure where she gets it from."
"Her mother wasn't..." Mary Margaret starts, then realizes maybe that's a rather inappropriate question. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry."
"It's okay," David says. "No, her mother wasn't into birds. Her mother wasn't into anything that wasn't glamour and status, as it turns out. She was... my father's choice of bride for me, not my own."
"Oh," Mary Margaret says softly, putting her hand on his without even thinking.
"My brother had just died," David says absentmindedly. "I just wanted to make my father happy. That was before I realized nothing I ever did truly would. I wasn't James, and never would be."
"I'm sorry," she offers sincerely, and he looks at her.
"Don't be," he says, squeezing her hand that is still holding his. "I wouldn't have Emma if I hadn't, and Emma is..."
"Worth everything," Mary Margaret finishes, and he nods. "I feel the same way about Henry."
"It appears we understand each other," he says, and she swallows at the intensity of his gaze.
"It appears so," she agrees.
David's t-shirt has sheep for him and birds for Emma, Mary Margaret now knows, and seeing him wearing it as he slips into bed with her makes her smile slightly.
"I think all the kids had fun today," he observes. "Emma certainly had."
"Henry too," she says, smiling fondly. "He couldn't stop telling me about everything at dinner. He and Emma apparently climbed a tree together as well."
"They seem to get along well," he observes, sounding happy about that.
"Yeah," she agrees, thinking about the large family she once envisioned. She loves Henry more than anything, of course, but when she was young, she always dreamed of several kids she could love more than anything.
"Emma has always wanted a sister or a brother," he says after a moment. "After getting a mother, of course."
"Oh," Mary Margaret says. "She misses her mother?"
"She never truly had one," he says, sounding sad. "Her mother, she... She died when Emma was still a baby."
"Must have been hard," she says softly.
He looks pained. "I was... I was going to leave her. Get a divorce. She died before I... I never told Emma that. I've never told anyone that before."
He looks at her, and something in his eyes is so very soft it makes her breath catch.
"I guess there's something about you, Mary Margaret Blanchard," he observes. "You make it easy to... talk."
"I..." she exhales, steadying her breath. "I feel the same way. There's something about you too, David Nolan."
"I'm glad," he says. "After the trip is over, maybe we could stay in touch. To talk."
"I'd like that," she says, and he smiles. "So, you spent your summers on a farm?"
"Yes," he says, and they spend at least an hour exchanging stories about their childhood before falling asleep.
In the morning, he wakes her with breakfast yet again, and a napkin folded as a bird, and Mary Margaret knows she is already in love with David Nolan.
The kids spend the day learning about woodcraft, and David and Mary Margaret spend the day on a picnic blanket, helping out with lunch, but otherwise not being particularly needed.
It makes for a wonderful day, Mary Margaret finds.
The sun is warm, the birds sing above, and David and her chat about everything and nothing. He makes Emma crown of flowers, and then her when she jokes he knows how to make a girl feel like a princess.
He very much does, she thinks, and watches how the sunlight makes his eyes feel even brighter as he looks at her.
She falls asleep against his chest at some point, and wakes to see Henry squinting down at her with apparent suspicion.
"Henry!" she says breathlessly, sitting up. "I was just..."
"Sleeping on Emma's dad's chest," Henry says, as if it's a crime. "Mom, you missed the lesson on whittling! I tried to make you a bird."
"I'm sorry," she says, accepting the wooden figure Henry is holding. It does look somewhat bird-like, at least. "Henry, this is great."
"It would have been better if dad has ever kept his promise and taught me properly when he said he would," Henry says sadly, and her heart aches. She remembers, months ago, Henry talking excitedly about his dad promising to teach him whittling.
"Henry..." she begins.
"Don't," Henry says, his voice grown-up and sad. "I know what dad's like."
She feels David's hand on her back, comforting and supporting.
"Perhaps I can teach you a thing or two?" David offers, and Henry looks at him. "My father never had time to teach me either, but my grandpa did."
Henry considers that, then nods regally.
The two spend the afternoon together, whittling a perfect bird that they present to Mary Margaret with exaggerated bows. David makes one for Emma too, one in flight, which of course Emma loves.
They head back to the guesthouses for dinner, Emma taking Mary Margaret's hand as well as David's as they do.
"You got a great kid," David tells her in bed that night, smiling as he does. She wonders if he ever wanted a boy too, though it's clear he loves Emma more than anything.
"Yeah," he agrees, thinking of her son, the one bright light in her life. "I... I wish his father felt the same way."
"He doesn't?" David asks, his voice displeased.
"No," she says, and she can hear the sadness in her own voice. "He wanted a son because it was expected and proper to have one. Just like he married me because it was expected and proper. I don't think he... ever truly loved me, or Henry."
"I'm sorry," he says, and she knows he means it.
"Don't be," she says, echoing his words and making him smile softly. "I guess it wasn't meant to be."
"Like my marriage," he says thoughtfully. "Makes you wonder what it's like when it is meant to be."
"Yeah," she agrees breathlessly, and wonders if it's actually like this.
"Mom!" Henry exclaims, running at her with bright, excited eyes. "David taught me to sword-fight!"
"Did he?" Mary Margaret asks, bending down to give him a hug. Behind him, David is approaching. "Sword-fighting, David?"
"Wooden swords only," David assures her, lifting his hands to show her. "Your son bested me like a true knight."
"Bested you, did he?" she asks, amused, and he bows his head in mock shame. She has no doubt he very much lost on purpose, but probably not too obviously.
"Your son is the superior swordsman," David declares, bending down on his knee. "Sir Henry."
If she wasn't in love already, Mary Margaret is pretty sure that moment would do it.
"I've defeated mom too," Henry declares proudly, and David raises an eyebrow. "She's good, but she's even better at archery."
"Your mom sounds like a woman of many talents," David observes softly. Then he offers her a sword with an almost wicked smile. "En garde, my lady?"
This time, she raises an eyebrow. "Is that a challenge, Mr. Nolan?"
"If you wish," he says, and she accepts the wooden sword. "Winner names his prize."
"Or her prize," she suggests, and he shakes his head. "Confident in your skills, I see."
"I'm gonna find Emma," Henry says, sounding excited. "She'll want to see this!"
She isn't the only one, as it turns out. In fact, all the kids come to see David Nolan fight Mary Margaret Blanchard in a truly epic duel – with wooden swords.
It's a pretty even fight, she'll give him that. He is stronger, but she is more nimble. He parries her attacks, she dodges his. She scores a few hits, he scores a few, and all the kids cheer, Emma and Henry loudest of all.
In the end, he manages to anticipate her dodge, changing the direction of his thrust and knocking the sword out of her hands.
He smiles cheekily. "I believe victory is mine."
"For now," she acknowledges. They're both breathing hard, she realizes, biting her lip. "I demand a chance to beat you at archery later in the week. Winner names her prize."
"Confident in your skills, I see," he says, echoing her words from earlier. "As you wish."
"That was epic!" one kid says loudly. "I wish I had cool parents like that."
"Me too," another says.
"They're our parents," Emma says pointedly, standing next to Henry. She raises her chin, as if daring anyone to challenge her.
"Yeah," Henry agrees. "Mom's gonna win next time. Mom's awesome."
"So she is, Henry," David agrees, smiling down at her and ruffling Henry's hair. "So, does anyone else want to learn a bit of sword-righting?"
They all do, of course, and so, Mary Margaret Blanchard and David Nolan spend the day and afternoon teaching the kids sword-fighting. Of course.
"You didn't name your prize," Mary Margaret observes as David slips into bed with her. He turns over to look at her.
"You're right," he says softly. "I didn't."
His gaze is hot, and Mary Margaret feels warm.
"I..." he goes on, swallowing. "I actually have no right to demand a kiss as a prize, and it's presumptuous to even ask, so I... reconsidered, I..."
"David," she interrupts softly, putting her hands on his face. "Shut up."
His lips part, and he closes his eyes as she leans forward and kisses him. His lips are soft, and feel just right against hers, strangely, wonderfully right, especially as he kisses her back. His fingers move to the back of her neck, stroking and caressing softly, and she shifts closer to him.
"Oh," he says breathlessly. "I wasn't sure if you... felt the same way."
"I wasn't sure if you felt the same way," she replies, and he smiles so brightly it makes her breath catch.
"Like it's right?" he asks, and she nods.
He kisses her, more intently this time, tilting his head, tugging at her bottom lip and teasing her upper lip until she parts them. She can feel his tongue brush hers as he deepens the kiss, exploring her mouth intently, but with increasing heat. It's more than just a kiss – it's an introduction, a 'hello-my-name-is-David-pleased-to-kiss-you-very-very-much', an exploration, a beginning.
This won't be the last time David Nolan kisses her, she already knows, because he's kissing her like he's just started to, and never wants to stop.
She feels wonderfully breathless, her lips swollen and her cheeks blazing when he finally breaks the kiss to take a shuddering breath, sounding just as breathless as her.
"That was..." he says, his voice husky. "That was... "
"Right?" she suggests, and he grins cheekily.
"Right," he agrees, and kisses her again; they don't stop for a long, long time, and then only to sleep.
They spend the day stealing kisses when the kids or adults aren't looking, which turns out not to be an easy task with seventeen kids, two teachers and three groundkeepers.
He steals a kiss in the hallway while Emma and Henry walk a few feet in front, discussing who would be the best archer of Robin Hood and Legolas. She steals a kiss in the kitchen when he's getting more orange juice for Emma and a few other girls, and she's getting more bread for Henry and a few other kids.
They make out in the barn after the kids have finished playing with the goats and have moved on; Henry wonders about the strands of hay in her hair afterwards and David struggles to keep a straight face as she explains she just stumbled and fell into the hay, that's all.
They almost get caught in a heated embrace underneath the stairs by one of the teachers playing hide and seek with the kids; Mary Margaret has a hard time not laughing as David tries to make it sound plausible that they were merely playing hide and seek too, and found each other.
They spend half an hour pretending to take a nap in their hotel room instead kissing greedily, happily, tangled in each other; until Emma shows up and wonders if Mary Margaret knows how to braid hair. Mary Margaret does, and David watches them both lovingly as Emma gets her hair braided.
They have dinner, and allows themselves a few kisses for dessert while pretending to use the restroom; kisses a la David Nolan fast becoming Mary Margaret's favorite treat.
They wish the kids goodnight, and start kissing against the door and doesn't stop, can't stop, so David lifts her up in his arms and carries her to bed, kissing her all the while.
He lowers her onto the bed reverently, and she can feel the strength in him, a strength she already knows will only ever be used to hold her, protect her and even please her. That's the sort of man he is, David Nolan, a true Prince Charming.
His hands move across her arms as he lowers himself onto the bed too, making sure not to rest his weight on her. He kisses her deeply, and she slips her hands inside his shirt, feeling the smoothness of his chest against her palm.
"Mary Margaret?" he murmurs after a while, rubbing his nose against hers. "It might be presumptuous to ask, but..."
"David?" she interrupts, kissing him hard.
"Shut up?" he suggests, and she grins.
"Shut up," she agrees.
Sex can be good, Mary Margaret has always known, and can be so many different things. It can be hot, oh so hot, so much desire it's outright fucking. It can be loving and romantic, a declaration of love through touches and caresses, making love. It can be playful, it can be teasing, it can be very much a horizontal tango.
She's never experienced all of it at once before.
David Nolan doesn't just fuck her or make love to her, he does both at once. He fucks her as if he wants her more than anything, and makes loves to her as if he loves her more than anything. She feels almost drunk on him, her head spinning, her body flushed, every inch of her fucked and loved; he makes her come three times, each of them so wonderfully right the pleasure is overwhelming.
Afterwards, he nestles her in his arms, occasionally kissing her or caressing her, but always holding her as if he doesn't want to let go.
This must be what it's like truly sleeping with someone and not just have sex with them, she thinks, and falls asleep.
She's never slept better.
In the morning, he wakes her with kisses and breakfast and a tiny bouquet of daisies he's been outside to pick himself, and she completely forgets about eating and instead satisfies her appetite for him.
For a little while, at least. She is already pretty sure she could have David Nolan for a lifetime and never stop wanting him.
After breakfast, Henry and Emma exchange conspiratorial glances so obvious Mary Margaret has good time to master her look of surprise when Henry announces they have something special to show everyone.
The something special turns out to be an archery range that the teachers have set up because apparently, all the kids haven't stopped nagging about wanting to see the rematch of Nolan vs Blanchard.
"What's the archery equivalent of 'en garde'?" David says, grinning at her. "An arrow?"
Emma groans at the oh-so-very dad joke, but Mary Margaret finds herself grinning. She can't help it.
"An arrow," she agrees, lifting her bow to her forehead. "Winner names her price."
"As you wish," he says, lifting his bow as well. "An arrow, Miss Blanchard."
He isn't bad, she'll give him that. Against anyone else, he probably would have won, but he is competing against her, and she's spectacular.
The kids cheer as she bits bull's eye every single time, and Henry beams with increasing pride.
"I believe victory is mine," she says, smiling cheekily.
"It is," he agrees, kneeling down and giving her an exaggerated bow. "You have bested me, Mary Margaret Blanchard."
She bites her lip as he stands up again, looking at her with so much love and heat she can't look away.
"Name your prize later," he says in a low, husky voice that makes her want to name quite a few indecent things then and there.
"That was awesome!" Emma says, and Mary Margaret tears her gaze away from David to see his daughter beaming at them with. "Can you teach me?"
She isn't the only kid who wants to learn, they soon discover; they all do.
"Tell me what you want," David whispers against her ear before biting her earlobe lightly, and then kissing it. She digs her fingers into his shoulders, arching into him. She can't speak, can barely moan as he thrusts into her again, and again, and again, slowly, deeply, the sensation of it so right, wonderfully right.
"David," she whimpers, and he kisses her neck. "I want... I... David."
"Mary Margaret," he breathes, lifting his head to look at her as he thrusts again, and she comes with a soundless gasp.
He forgets to ask what she wants again after that, especially when she gives him a blowjob that leaves him completely lost for words and not at all lost for moans and whimpers.
He falls asleep not long after, but she stays awake for a while longer, just enjoying the sensation of sleeping with David Nolan in every way.
"I'm going to miss this," Henry observes. He's breathless and sweaty from the soccer game he just played with his class mates; she can see Emma sitting down next to David, similarly worn out. It's the last day here; they go back in the evening.
"Me too," she says, watching David brush Emma's hair out of her eyes lovingly, so very lovingly. "I'm glad the school arranged this trip."
Henry nods. "I'm glad you came too, mom. Did you have fun?"
"I did," she promises him, smiling down at him before glancing up at David again. He's looking at her too, she notices. "I had a lot of fun."
Henry gives her a pointed look. "I don't think kissing is fun."
"What?" she says, feeling her cheeks redden. Surely Henry can't...
"It doesn't look fun," Henry goes on, looking thoughtful. "Emma says it has to be fun when you're an adult though, cos you and Mr. Nolan spent fourteen minutes and thirteen seconds kissing against a tree yesterday. Anything you do for fourteen minutes and thirteen seconds has to be fun."
"Oh," Mary Margaret says in a weak voice. "You and Emma... saw us?"
"Of course," Henry says, as if it's a given. "Emma said she'd already seen you kissing in the kitchen and that you're gonna be her new mom. I already have a dad, but do you think David could be like a second one?"
"I..." Mary Margaret finds herself completely lost for words.
"I'd like him to be," Henry goes on. "I like Emma too."
"I..." Mary Margaret says again, then watches David lift up Emma while Emma laughs. "I like Emma too, Henry."
"And you like David," Henry stipulates.
"I like David," she agrees softly. "Would you be okay if he... came to visit sometimes?"
"Yeah," Henry says decisively; it feels like a blessing.
"I think we've been made," David tells her as all the kids file into the bus. "Emma told me she'd seen us kissing yesterday."
"So did Henry," she replies, and he chuckles. "I guess we were less discreet than we hoped."
"Mmm," he agrees softly, stepping closer. "Not discreet at all, according to my daughter. But we still have her blessing."
"Henry's too," she replies, and his eyes brighten. "I suppose that means we could... date."
"I'd like that," he says, cupping her cheek in his hand. "I'd like that a lot. Maybe I could call you tomorrow?"
"I'd like that," she echoes, and he grins, then leans forward and kisses her. Just quickly, but it still manages to feel completely right.
They barely have time to get home before Henry has to pack his bags and head off to his father's for the weekend. He looks moderately excited about it, planning to tell his father all about his adventures this week. He does love his father, after all, but she also knows that it will never quite be what Henry wants. It will never quite be right.
That's the tragedy of life, she knows. Very few things feel completely right.
Her bed feels wrong too, she finds, as she lies awake, trying to fall asleep. It's cold, and empty, and she longs for David.
It's funny. Less than a week of sharing a bed with him, and it already feels wrong without him. She wants... She wants to sleep with him, she thinks, and gets out of bed.
She doesn't want to settle for reality anymore.
"Mary Margaret?" David asks as he opens the door, sounding confused and looking like he's come straight from bed. He's wearing his t-shirt again, with sheep and birds. She should feel guilty about waking him up so late, she knows. It took her a while to find his address, and showing up on his doorstep past midnight must seem crazy.
"Hi," she offers weakly. "I know it's late, I just... Henry's with his father."
"Okay," David mutters, opening the door and letting her inside. "Emma's asleep. Mary Margaret, is something wrong?"
"No," she says, smiling softly at him. "Something's right."
He looks confused, adorably so, and she cups his head in her hands and tip-toes to kiss him. He sighs, happily, lowering his hands to her hips and pulling her closer. They kiss and kiss, and she feels herself being backed against a wall to be properly and thoroughly kissed.
"Not that I am complaining," he says breathlessly, nipping at her lips, "but what's this about?"
"I miss falling asleep next to you," she admits, biting her lip. "I miss... sleeping with you. I just... miss you."
"Mary Margaret..." he says, his voice breathless.
"I think you're right," she goes on, closing her eyes and feeling him kiss her eyelids. "I think I... love you. It might be crazy, but..."
"Mary Margaret?" he interrupts, and she finally opens her eyes and sees him look at her with so much love it makes her swallow. "I love you too. This... feels right to me too. Like nothing else ever has, except Emma."
She kisses him, feeling his lips curve into a smile.
"Can I spend the night?" she whispers against his lips. "It might be presumptuous to ask, but..."
"Mary Margaret?" he interrupts, kissing her hard.
"Shut up?" she suggests, and he grins.
"Shut up," he agrees, and kisses her again, and again; they don't stop for a long, long time, not even while both fucking and making love, only to sleep afterwards.
She's vaguely aware of her neck being kisses as she slowly, slowly wake up. She can feel David's arms around her, his hands stroking her back, and it feels wonderfully right.
"Good morning," she murmurs, opening her eyes to see him smile at her.
"It is," he agrees. "I believe princess Emma will be awake soon."
"Oh," she says. "Do you want me to sneak out before she wakes up?"
"No!" he says, sounding affronted by the idea. "I want to make breakfast for you both. I want... I want... you and Henry to move in with us. Or for us all to find a new place. I want us to be a family. I know it's soon, but I..."
"That's what I want too," she says softly, brushing her thumb against his lower lip. "I want to keep sleeping with you, David Nolan."
He grins, then kisses her happily. "I'd like that too."
He lets her wear his sheep and birds t-shirt to breakfast afterwards, and Emma looks extremely happy to see them both in the kitchen, even if she starts to complain about the amount of kissing after a while.
But somehow, that's right too.
When Mary Margaret was young, she dreamt of meeting her Prince Charming – tall, blond, blue-eyed and with a smile that would make her toes curl and a gaze that would always make her feel like a princess. It was a romantic, hopeful notion, a silly one that a lot of people would tell her was wrong.
It remained just a dream for a long time, through a divorce and years single afterwards, but eventually, Mary Margaret Blanchard met David Nolan, and all of her hopeful, romantic, silly notions turned out to be right.
Her Prince Charming, and his equally charming princess Emma, as it turned out. She became a mother to Emma, and he a second father to Henry, and both of them very loving parents to the twin babies they had a year and a half after moving in together, and eight months after marrying.
It was wonderfully, wonderfully right after all.
They even lived happily ever after.