A Lost Girl Named Emma
Disclaimer: I don't own The Lost Boys or Once Upon a Time.
Author's Note: If I get any facts wrong I apologize in advance, though I'm taking liberties with the timeline and well this is fanfiction, so I could just say that any mistakes can be because it's AU! Also, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Without further ado enjoy the first chapter of my new story!
This chapter Beta'd by exaigon
Chapter 1: Carousel
Emma Swan's eyes followed the passing scenery not really looking at it, her thoughts miles away on a baby that she gave up just some months earlier. She knew it was the right thing to do but doing the right thing was painful and this was no exception.
After getting out of the Minimum-Security Correctional Facility in Phoenix, Arizona her first thoughts were of beaches; the sand on her bare feet, the sound of ocean waves, the salty smell she'd dreamt of. But now it felt lacking without him… but he had betrayed her.
Should she give up on the ocean then; on Tallahassee?
In the end, it had been simple to choose as it all came down to money and Tallahassee was too far for the newly freed young women to go to without the right amount of cash. Making her way to California seemed like the more reasonable idea at the time.
Now though, she was heading to the supposed 'murder capital of the world' if the welcome sign the bus just passed was any indication. Well, it was too late to turn back now. She'd need at least a few paychecks before she could leave if it turned out not to be the right place for her to start over at.
The bus came to a stop with a slight jerk a short while later letting the passengers know it was time to get off. Emma grabbed her red shoulder bag which held everything she owned and walked off following less than a handful of people out the bus and onto the sidewalk. As she got off of the bus the doors closed behind her and it took off as she got her first look at her new home.
There were shops everywhere which meant that finding a job might be easier than she'd hoped. The last thing she needed was to steal anything and get caught again. Yeah, no, she wasn't going to get arrested again.
Turning back towards the road she could make out the beach on the other side. It was still a good walk away, but it looked beautiful. Almost enough to make her smile.
"So, this is the Murder Capital of the world? Somehow, I was expecting something a little more I don't know… ominous."
That said, she knew appearances could be deceiving so the blonde decided to explore a little before heading for the apartment she had called about beforehand. The paper with the listing was currently in her pocket as evidence in case they tried to charge her more than what was printed.
Time passed quickly and even though Emma had arrived well after lunch she was surprised to see the sun had apparently already gone down while she was inside a clothing shop. Not that she could afford any as nearly all her money was going towards her new apartment, but it didn't hurt to look, and the styles were interesting enough to warrant a more thorough search.
It also gave her some ideas of places currently hiring and, so far, there were a few possible job opportunities.
Though, that thought wasn't at the forefront of her mind at this particular moment. The boardwalk had looked so different in the daylight. Now, it was lit up and full of at least twice as many people.
"They weren't kidding when they said it came alive at night."
Some of the places she visited had people telling her she was much more likely to get a night job as that was when the place was crawling with people.
Her eyes followed the lights and soon her feet followed. If she thought the shops had lit up the place it was nothing compared to the fair... amusement park... carnival? Emma wasn't sure which one it was but that hardly mattered as she followed the people in front of her into it.
The young woman walked around taking in the sights of, not only the brightly colored rides and games, but the people enjoying them. One woman was handing her child a stick of cotton candy. Her hazel eyes turned only to see another kid pulling on their parent's arm pointing at the carousel. It was a painful feeling as she witnessed the happiness before her, so she tried to focus on the attractions instead of the people.
Her eyes were drawn to the carousel and before she knew it her feet had brought her to stand right before it.
Emma knew she never really had much of a childhood. It made standing here now, in front of this simple carousel ride, feel strange. It was not the carousel so much as what it represented to her.
A lost childhood; both hers and that of another that she will never know. It made her wonder if the baby would ever get a chance to ride on one. She'd like to think so, and just for a moment the young woman imagines what it'd be like to be there when that happened. It was a bittersweet thought. She knew she made the right choice, knew it was the right thing to do but doing the right thing was painful.
Emma was used to pain.
There was no use dwelling on it. It was done and over with. Besides, she was still just a kid herself, and although she didn't like to think it, she knew it to be true. If this last year had taught her anything it was that she still had a lot of growing up to do.
How a carousel could make her feel and think so many different things was beyond her. For once she would just like to forget it all and just get on there and ride a unicorn, or something along those lines, but she wouldn't.
Just as she was getting ready to leave a voice spoke to her. It sounded as if the words were being said right next to her ear.
"Want to ride it?"
Emma turned around to see a bleach-blonde haired leather clad young man a few feet away, certainly not as close as he sounded a moment ago. He was smoking a cigarette while wearing a slight smirk on his face.
"The carousel." He nodded to the ride in front of them, "You were staring at it rather intently. It looked like you wanted to ride it."
"I just-" Emma paused before continuing with more confidence, "I've never rode one before… Actually I don't think I've ever even seen one in person is all."
Wait it was none of his business so why did she tell him that?
"Must not be from around here then."
He flicked the cigarette away and, without waiting for a reply, strode up to her and grabbed her hand, "Hey wait just a-" and pulled her up and onto the still moving carousel.
"I don't think you're supposed to get on until it stops," she grumbled somewhat angrily.
He smirked, "How would you know? You've never been on one before right?"
Before Emma could retort, he pulled her around the moving ride and past several couples, "So horse or bench take your pick."
While still somewhat annoyed at being dragged around like a rag doll, she was also somewhat grateful because, while not the most conventional way, she was getting to ride it and now that she was here she did want to.
"The bench is fine I guess."
After replying she noticed his hand still holding hers and yanked it away much to the young man's amusement who just said, "Really, I took you more for a unicorn girl."
Emma didn't know whether to feel offended at that or not given that she was thinking about it just before he had approached her. Still, what'd he think she was? Some kind of girly girl?
Yeah no, she was going with offended.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She glared but he simply grabbed her hand again and pulled them both onto a nearby bench before answering. At their closeness Emma suddenly regretted not choosing the unicorn despite how childish that might have made her seem.
"It means nothing," he responded as he made himself comfortable by leaning back and putting his arms on the back of the bench to the girl's obvious discomfort, "except that I saw you watching the unicorn the most."
Emma shifted to put a bit more space between them while carefully avoiding his arm behind her and slightly angling herself to get a better look at him.
"Just how long were you watching me?" Her suspicion leaked into her words but she didn't care.
"Not long. So how is it?" His question is forgotten almost as soon as he asks it due to the young woman catching a glance of his fingers twirling the end of her hair in the corner of her eye.
Before she could move away more or come up with a reaction though, he continued as if he hadn't finished asking his earlier question, "Your first time riding a carousel. Is it everything you hoped it'd be?"
She frowned, "I don't know what I expected."
Certainly not to be sitting here with such a forward guy. He may be cute in a bad boy way and all but where did he get off on touching her without her permission? It's like he knew he was about to be told off for it because he cut her off before she could give him a piece of her mind.
"Then why not look around and stop thinking so hard about it." He let go of her hair but still had that ever present smirk. There was a silent smug 'and stop looking at me' in that sentence somewhere that made her suddenly feel a bit flustered realizing that she'd not once taken her eyes off of him since she first saw him.
So, she did what he said and turned away from him and his annoyingly perfect smirking face and looked at everything but the smartass beside her. It wasn't like she was keeping an eye on him because he was attractive, no. Okay, well, he was but that wasn't the reason mostly… It was because he set off all the warning bells inside of her head.
For a few seconds while she was looking at the crowd blurring by her and the ride from up on the carousel itself, she let her mind go silent and just enjoyed it like he suggested. Just as she was starting to feel relaxed, another guy dropped down onto the bench on her free side and she startled back to reality.
"Hey David. Who's your new friend?" His words are suggestive as is his smirk.
The new guy was blonde too, though it looked to be a more natural color like her own. The length was longer than most guys now-a-days as it seemed the style was changing more to shorter cuts for men recently. It was somehow pulling off that windblown look, making Emma think he must use a lot of hair products to make it look that way or perhaps he just stood in front of a fan for hours. That could explain why he felt so cold even through his clothes.
With that thought she realized he was even sitting even closer to her than this 'David' was if she could feel his body temperature or lack thereof.
"It's Emma. Emma Swan, and we're not friends." It was the truth. Until this windswept guy appeared, she hadn't even known the guy's name.
"Ouch, well if you don't want to be David's friend you can always be mine." He held out his hand with a friendly looking smile, "I'm Paul."
"No thanks, I'm not looking for a friend." Emma deadpanned.
"Too bad, I think we could be good friends." Paul's tone changes at the 'friends' part, Emma just rolls her eyes. Yeah, these two were trouble with a capital T. No way was she becoming any kind of friends with them.
The rock-and-roll wanna be, as she decided to dub him despite having been recently introduced, smirked at her in what she supposed was a sexy way and it kinda was but she wasn't interested.
His eyes drifted over to David and his smirk dropped. That made her look over to him as well. His focus was somewhere else, so she followed his gaze and saw a heavy-set security guard trying to pull himself up onto the moving ride with more than a little bit of difficulty. He managed it after a couple of tries and headed towards them. It made Emma tense up, remembering the last time she was approached by men wearing similar uniforms and how that ended for her.
David seemed to notice her tensing up and threw an arm around her while pulling her up with him, she didn't resist as her attention was on the security guard.
"Well looks like the ride is over for now," David told her as he lead them around the ride and away from the guard until all three of them were back on the ground.
That was when she asked the obvious question, "Is he after the two of you?"
Both David and Paul laughed. Emma frowned in response. The last thing she wanted was to get arrested again.
With that in mind, staying away from these two seemed like it'd be for the best.
"Nah, he's a friend of sorts." Paul chuckled. A lie if she ever heard one but her 'superpower' of detecting lies had been off recently, hadn't it? How else would she have fallen for Neal and his fake promises and love?
Still somehow, she doubted that was the case. He didn't look too happy to see them.
"He just likes to run us off before we can make any trouble," David said with a 'I could care less' look while lighting up another cigarette.
"That's something the two of you do a lot then; make trouble?" Did she even need to ask that?
No, she really didn't.
"Absolutely," Paul told her energetically with a fist pump in the air.
"You're welcome to get into some trouble with us." David exhaled smoke and watched her reaction to his words, likely judging how interested she is in getting into said trouble with them.
"No thanks. My days of getting into trouble are behind me." It was passed time that she grew up and she knew it. Because as exciting as it was getting away with stuff, this was supposed to be her fresh start. It wasn't Tallahassee but it had a beach and was more affordable. Probably due to its bad rep, but she digressed.
David seemed to find her words amusing. "Somehow I doubt that."
At the same time Paul replied with, "You came to the wrong place to get away from it."
There was certain to be a lot more temptation to fall back off the wagon here than she had first thought but she was determined so her words were confident, "I'm sure I'll manage somehow."
"Well how about managing it another night? We were just about to meet some friends down at the beach you're welcome to come with." David took a drag and waited for her reply but he didn't have to wait long because, as nice as a nighttime walk on the beach sounded, she didn't feel like it'd be a promising idea given who her company would be.
She shook her head. "No thanks. I think I heard once to not follow strangers into dark places."
Or something like that. Surely from one of her foster parents, or maybe it was a teacher?
"There's a full moon tonight so it's not so dark," Paul pointed out, or in this case pointed up at said full moon.
David on the other hand just shook his head. "We're not strangers any longer. You're Emma," He made a motion towards her. "I'm David and he's Paul." He pointed at himself and Paul at the respective introductions.
"Great that's settled. Now that I know your names we're the best of friends," She retorted sarcastically.
"We could be." David looked into her eyes and she knew then and there that she needed to leave. She'd always trusted her gut feelings about things and usually it didn't steer her wrong and now it was basically screaming at her to leave.
"Well not tonight we won't." Feeling like she said her peace the young woman walks away all the while feeling their eyes on her retreating form.
"Well, if you change your mind you know where to find us," Paul called.
"I won't." Is the reply she gave without glancing back at them.
The beach was beautiful, peaceful, almost serene-like for the young couple taking a late-night stroll. It was certainly romantic, and it was made even more so to the young woman when the man got down on one knee and gave a wonderful speech as he asked her a question that would change her life forever. At least, it would have…
Above the young couple, flying just high enough not to be overheard but low enough to observe, were two figures who were in the middle of making a bet.
"She's gonna say yes," the dark haired one stated.
"She'll say she needs time to think on it," the younger looking blonde said surely.
They see the pair hug as repeated screams of 'yes' reach them.
"Damn," the blonde said snapping his fingers.
"I win," the other grinned. It was the third time this month. When would the other learn that he just wasn't any good at this? Never probably, if the last decade was any indication.
"Alright fine… I'll wash your bike for the next two weeks. Let's just eat them now before all this romantic shit makes me lose my appetite." He was pouting much to the dark-haired one's amusement but he wouldn't tease him at the moment because he was hungry as well.
He simply nodded in agreement before slowly lowering himself towards the couple.
"Time to party!" The blonde descended faster and quickly landed a few feet from the happy couple startling them.
"Where-" The man started to ask before he gasped. The woman screamed as the young man who suddenly appeared before the two started to lose his human appearance. His face took on what one could only describe as that of a demon by the now petrified pair.
"Don't play with your food Marko or they might get away," his companion warned making the couple aware of his presence as well.
Marko just laughed, "Aw, but the chase makes them taste better. You should try it sometime Dwayne."
The man stood stunned and unable to move but the woman had already taken off leaving behind her new fiancé in the process.
"That's true love for you!" Marko cackled and gave chase just as Dwayne stalked up to his prey, who just gathered his own wits and tried to flee. He was grabbed by his shoulders in a bone crunching grip.
"Ahh, p-please d-don't-"
Dwayne didn't reply since he'd never really been one to talk to his meal. He just tore right into the man's throat to drink his fill as the man screamed and struggled to the best of his ability before quickly losing the capacity to fight.
At the same time, the young woman was falling all over herself trying to escape but in her panic, the sand and her high heeled shoes tripped her for the third time so she finally flung them off. All the while, his haunting laugher followed her.
Marko decided to let her think that she would get away for a brief moment when she got close to the stairs leading from the beach to the sidewalk. Only to grab her by her long blonde hair and pull up into the air a few feet.
"L-let go!" The prey screamed while making an attempt to claw her hair out of his grasp. However, that only resulted in getting her own hands shredded by his sharp nails.
"If you insist!" He giggled before tossing her back into the sand making her land with a painful thud since the sand had not cushioned her fall. The woman scrambled back to her feet, ignoring the pain her newly injured and bleeding hands and the pounding in her head from the hair yanking, in favor of trying to run the opposite way only to run straight into a man's chest.
Dwayne looked down at her with his face covered in the blood of her now dead fiancé before grabbing her arm as she tried to flee again.
"Finish her already. We need to meet up with David and Paul."
The dark-haired vampire gave him a pointed look.
"Alright fine," Marko conceded reluctantly before taking her from Dwayne's grasp, ignoring her hysterical sobs. "One thing first though."
The blonde vampire brought his arm around her shoulders and held her in a mock hug while using the same arm's hand to cover her mouth to prevent her screams from getting louder while the other hand grabbed her left hand. "You aren't going to be needing this anymore, so I'll just take it off of your hands."
With that said Marko bit off her engagement ring, finger and all. She screamed horribly but his hand muted the sound. He grinned at Dwayne with the finger still in his mouth before spitting it out and lapping up the blood that was now spewing from her hand.
Marko got bored then and snapped her neck before drinking his fill and dropping her drained body to the ground. Grinning again at his fellow vampire, they got to work on disposing the bodies.
"Was that really necessary?" Dwayne asked while cleaning up.
"What? I was just having a little fun," Marko declared while sweeping a blonde curl from out of his eyes.
"That and she really didn't deserve it anyway. She did ditch him," he pointed out.
Dwayne nodded but looked at the other in a curious manner, "Never knew you felt so strongly about that sort of thing."
"Come on. Don't make me sound like a romantic or something. That's just… wrong." He shuddered at the mere thought of it. "It's simple. She said 'yes' to him and then turned right around and ran leaving him to die. Pretty shitty even if she was only human. Where is the loyalty man!?"
Dwayne's eyes moved to his hand then. "And what're you going to do with that?"
Marko smirked and held up the bloody wedding ring. "What do you think? I'm gonna propose to the girl of my dreams!" The words were practically drenched with sarcasm. "I'm gonna pawn it, of course. What else?"
It was a very Marko response.
"You might want to clean the blood off first though," Dwayne advised.
"Come on that's the best part. It's a real blood diamond now!" Marko joked. Dwayne just sighed before finishing up their clean up while hoping he really did clean it before trying to pawn it as killing shop owners wasn't something Max overlooked as easily.
Even with the directions, which Emma got from the owner of the apartments before even getting onto the bus, it took longer than she had thought it would to locate it. The owner wasn't very pleased at her late arrival either and even less so when she told him that she got lost, not that she was going to tell him she had spent hours looking around before then. Especially when it seemed like she personally insulted him by being lost. But after getting the keys and handing over the first payment to her new landlord, she was finally inside.
First thing she did was reach for the light switch since it was so dark outside even with the previously mentioned full moon lighting up the sky. The blonde felt around with her finger tips to find the switch and could instead feel the grime on the wall. The wall also felt like it was peeling.
Turning on the lights proved that yes, the walls were peeling. Then there was the smell. It was like it hadn't been aired out in months which was most likely the case. There was only one room, if you didn't count the bathroom, and the bed was shoved against the far wall. It had a thin sheet on it that was stained with something she didn't want to think about too hard.
The kitchen, if you could call the opposite side of the room a kitchen, had a refrigerator in the corner that at one time may have been blue. Emma decided to not look inside for the time being but feared the worst already.
There was also a small table that looked to be holding its own rather well considering the well-used microwave sitting on top of it. The single chair, however, was something she wasn't going to risk using as it looked like a gentle breeze would cause it to turn to dust.
Speaking of dust, the girl coughed as she covered her mouth. There was at least two inches of dust on every surface that her hand ran over the flat surfaces leaving visible trails in her fingers wake. Her hazel eyes watered as the dust assaulted them too. It was a good thing she didn't have allergies.
Still covering her mouth, she went to the door located near her 'new' bed and opened it while reaching out with her free hand and flipping the light switch on. The light that came on was very dim. It smelled even worse once she took a breath. Well, she found the source of the mold. The bathroom itself was tiny. Taking two steps in, she turned the knobs on the sink's faucet and the water came out in spurts at first before it evened out. It was clear thankfully.
Turning around she did the same to the shower and got the same response before shutting off both and opening the lid of the toilet. The blonde wasn't looking forward to trying to clean those water stains out from lack of flushing… Perhaps she'd just leave it. It wasn't like she was planning on hosting any dinner parties any time soon. She mentally laughs at the mere thought.
Returning to the main room in a couple of steps, she gave her bedroom/kitchenette one more glance over and removed her hand from her mouth having gotten somewhat accustomed to the dust and smell.
"Well… I've had worse," she told herself trying to make her situation seem less grim.
That was an understatement compared to living on the streets or in stolen cars. At least here she could take a shower anytime and, hey, maybe the microwave worked.
"It's just a starting place. I'll get something better after I save up the money and until then I can clean and air out the place and it'll be as good as new... Well, let's not go crazy." Emma wondered if talking to herself was going to become a problem before shrugging. It was hardly her worst personality quirk if it even was one.
Emma decided to get to bed so that she could wake up first thing in the morning to find a grocery store and get a few cleaning supplies with her food. Her hazel eyes drifted to the bed before deciding that a new, or at least not as used, blanket would be a must as well. It was going to be tight given the amount of money she had available to her currently so first things first, "I need to find a job."
Maybe she could go back out and look for one? No, she was too tired to make a good impression on potential employers and even the less than pleasant looking bed looked inviting. So, yes, she was tired.
So, sleep first then job. Emma could work with that. Without further ado she dropped her red backpack onto the floor that housed all of the things she owned and flopped onto the bed.
The dust that flew up nearly choked her but after a few minutes it settled back down and, after a couple of sneezing fits, Emma fell right asleep.