David quietly stepped into the room and watched Snow play with their son for awhile. She seemed happy and relaxed around Killian this morning when he knew that she had lain awake for most of the night.
“Hey, you two. How is the birthday prince?” he asked Killian and squatted down beside him. He kissed his son on his sandy-haired head, then he kissed Snow on the lips. “How’re you holding up?”
“Well, Killian is excited for his first ball and I’m... excited, too,” she answered but not very spirited.
David put his hand on her cheek and rubbed it with his thumb.
“Hey, little buddy. Can you play a little by yourself? I need to talk to mommy, okay?”
“Okay,” Killian said and grinned. “And then you both come play?” he asked hopefully.
“You ride a tough bargain, son. But okay, we both come play after we talked.”
Killian nodded enthusiastically.
David helped Snow up. He could tell that she was tired just by looking at her, but helping her to her feet he realized that it ran deeper than lack of sleep. She seemed exhausted and sad, he would almost say depressed.
David led Snow over to a couch and they sat down. “We need to talk about it.”
“Oh, David, I--”
“I know you don’t want to, you didn’t want to last night and I let you think it over. But you have hardly slept and you haven’t eaten. If we don’t talk about this now, it’s just gonna get worse. You can talk to me, Snow. Whatever it is you’re feeling, I’ll listen and I won’t judge you, okay?”
Snow sighed. “I wish they had never met,” she said. “I wish we hadn’t left Emma in Storybrooke - with her. And I wish we could do something to stop this now.”
David laid an arm around his wife’s sunken shoulders and hugged her to him. “We can’t. It’s true love.” He didn’t sound too happy himself.
“I know, and that’s the most ironic part of it, isn’t it? Who would have thought Regina was capable of any kind of love – I’m being unfair. She did love Daniel, and she does love Henry. It’s just...”
“You wanted someone better for our daughter. Don’t think I didn’t,” he agreed with Snow.
“And yet you seem resigned to her choice.”
“Well, it’s not like I can change it and I saw her face when she said that she loved Regina. She looked so happy,” he said, smiling just a little.
“And that’s another thing, she’s talking to you, she’s talking to Henry, but she’s not talking to me. I’m her mother.” Snow pouted.
“Yes, but you’re also the one with the most complicated history with Regina,” he phrased it diplomatically.
“I know, but I invited her, didn’t I?”
“You did and that was very sweet of you. You also talked to Henry about the possibility of them having feelings for each other and that didn’t seem to bother you so much. What changed?”
“I didn’t think it was true, or maybe I didn’t let myself think it was true. But now that she told you, now that Emma saved Regina with true love’s kiss, it’s real. It’s happening.”
“Okay, let me ask you one question: do you want Emma to be happy?”
Snow looked at David, offended. “Of course, I do. I want her to be as happy as she can possibly be. Do I want the same for Regina? Not so much. I don’t want her to be unhappy, or anything. She’s been through a lot and some of that was my fault. But...”
“But you don’t want her to be happy with Emma?”
“I’m a horrible person,” Snow said.
“No, there’s just still a lot of unresolved feelings between you and Regina. And believe me, I still have plenty of issues with her too, but she loves Emma. She has to or Emma couldn’t have saved her. And we both know how fiercely she protects the people she loves, right?”
“So we know she’ll not let anyone harm her, including herself.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“It won’t be easy for them. Storybrooke is a small community and as soon as people realize they’re dating... Do you think they will treat Emma differently?”
“They won’t treat her like they treat Regina, Snow. But I guess things will change in Storybrooke.”
Snow buried into the warmth of her husband’s arms. “It will make Henry very happy,” she said.
“Yes, and it will make Emma happy. And it’s not like she has been especially lucky in love before.”
“She could have made it work with Neal,” Snow argued a point she had argued before with her daughter – who wouldn’t listen.
“She didn’t want to make it work with Neal. He abandoned her and maybe I’m being judgmental here, considering what we’ve done, but sending her to prison? That’s not really the kind of person I want for my daughter,” he argued back.
“All right, I’m not going to remind you of all the things Regina has done,” Snow said testily
“Besides saving our lives?”
“You’re defending her. How did that happen?”
“I just want you to remember that the woman Emma loves isn’t the woman who’s done all those horrible things. She changed, she couldn’t love Emma if she hadn’t. We need to remember that. Okay?” David spoke in a calm voice. He knew that this discussion was far from over, that they would talk about it again and maybe then he would be the one fretting over their daughter’s relationship and Snow would be the one defending it. It was possible. But whatever they argued, they wouldn’t be the ones making the decisions, they wouldn’t be in a position to change anything. They would just have to accept Emma’s choice, Emma’s love for Regina.
Snow nodded reluctantly.
“You wanna take a nap before the ball?” David asked Snow, rubbing her back.
“I could fall asleep right here, right now,” she murmured sleepily. “I love you, David,” she added after a moment and lifted her head to look into his eyes.
“I love you, too, Snow. And I love our amazing and beautiful children.”
Snow smiled. “So do I.”
“And one of them wanted to play with his parents. Hey, why don’t you lie down here and take a nap and I go play with Killian?”
“That’s a very good idea. But not with swords again. I would like to see him build something one of these days that he doesn’t afterwords hack to pieces, okay?”
“Whatever you say, my queen,” he promised and stood from the couch.
Snow stretched out on it and David pulled a blanket over her. He kissed her before walking over to his son to play with him.