Storybrooke's clock tower finally chimed midnight. Most people were at home, as it was bitterly cold outside–a typical January. One person however, looked up at the clock through bleary and alcohol-hazed eyes. "Another day," they muttered, before staggering off into the night.
Snow kept calling and calling. Emma had about fifteen missed calls but clearly wasn't going to pick up any time soon. "Damn," she muttered, throwing her phone down on the table and picking up her coffee cup with an annoyed look.
David looked up from his newspaper. "Snow," he said gently, taking her hand, "She will come back. She always does. She's just…" he struggled to find the right word. "Grieving." It wasn't completely accurate, but it was close enough.
Snow sighed. "I know," she said sadly, "I just wish she wouldn't do this all the time. It's been a month, David. When is she going to stop? She's been given time. Even Henry is being affected now. He misses the real Emma. We can't let this continue."
Her words sounded harsh, but in her eyes there were unshed tears mixed with desperation and sadness. She just wanted her daughter back, and whomever this person was who had been around for the past month, well that wasn't her.
Snow opened her mouth to speak again but was interrupted from voicing any further thoughts by a sound at the door.
Emma stumbled into the apartment. After watching the clock chime midnight she'd lost track of time. She'd been doing that a lot lately, and frankly most of the time she didn't even know what day it was. All she knew was that another day passed, another day full of despair and sadness.
Although Emma was too drunk to know what time it was, she did know that Snow wouldn't be happy with her. Neither Snow nor David had been pleased with her behaviour recently. They tried to talk about it, but Emma just shoved them away. She didn't need their sympathy. They just looked at her with pity in their eyes, which made everything hurt a million times worse.
Emma had spent most nights during the last month getting colossally drunk. She knew it was stupid, but it was the only thing that briefly made her forget the pain. When it stopped being effective, she continued anyway. It wasn't like she had anything else to do.
David had taken over temporarily as Sheriff to give her some space. Most days Emma spent in bed with only her own pain to accompany her. Other days she sat by the beach, staring into oblivion. It was getting ridiculous, she knew, but she couldn't free herself from the crushing pain that constantly tore at her heart.
"Sn-Snow, Momm" slurred Emma, noticing her parents but clearly intoxicated. One of her heeled boots was missing a heel, and her jeans were torn in several places; it looked like she'd been crawling up the street for most of the night. Her top hung limply around her now too thin frame. She attempted to walk towards them, but made a dangerous wobble.
Snow heard the door open and Emma's voice, and immediately rushed over to help her, as she looked like she was about to fall over.
"Emma," she breathed, tears beginning to well up seeing her daughter like this, yet again.
She sighed. Her daughter had been like this for a while now, but every attempt she made to reach out, every effort to try and stop Emma crumbling into nothing had been in vain.
She'd driven her to Dr Hopper's at every opportunity, but all that seemed to come of that was Emma looking stony yet sad at the same time and not saying anything. She'd tried talking to Emma herself, as had David, but every time they tried Emma either shut down their conversation or burst into tears.
Snow might be able to bear many things, but seeing her daughter self-destruct was not one of them. She called for David and they helped Emma into bed. After they left her room they had a talk about her in the kitchen.
"David, I'm-I'm so worried. We're not doing enough to help her. She can't continue on like this." Snow had a tremor in her voice, and it sounded like she was close to tears.
David held his wife in his arms. "We've done everything we can. We just have to hope that she comes round eventually. And try not to let her get so drunk". David frowned. The bartenders at the Rabbit Hole were far too liberal with the drink supplies. He would have to have a word with them tomorrow.
Snow shook in his grasp, tears finally falling down her face. They stayed like that for about an hour, just holding each other and praying for their daughter to return from the abyss of pain and sadness she was currently in.
Eventually, David let go of Snow and wiped the tears away from her cheeks. "Let's just…go to bed," he said wearily. "In the morning, I'm sure things will seem clearer." He didn't sound confident, but Snow decided this time to believe him. She nodded. "Ok. But I want to check up on her before we go to bed."
David nodded in agreement and the two went to Emma's room. On opening the door, however, they found Emma sprawled unconscious on the bed, with a bottle of pills in her limp hand that looked terrifyingly empty. Snow's scream echoed over the apartment and threatened to burst David's eardrums, as the gut-wrenching realisation at what their daughter was trying to do hit her and David head on.
The doors to the hospital burst open with terrifying force as Snow and David all but sprinted in, David holding Emma in his arms.
"WHALE!" Snow screamed. After a few moments, the man himself came bursting out of a nearby room, clearly in a panic at the person who was yelling his name at this time of night.
When he caught sight of the pair of them he frowned, but then he noticed Emma. He came rushing towards them. David shoved him the empty bottle of pills. "She took I-don't-know-how-many of these, along with a severe amount of alcohol. Help her, please." The desperation in his voice was evident.
Whale yelled over his shoulder for people and other things that were lost on the stricken parents, just wanting their daughter to wake up.
Soon enough Emma was removed from David's arms and rushed somewhere else in the hospital on a gurney. A kindly looking nurse came up to Snow and David and offered them tea, but told them they had to wait; there was nothing else they could do at this point.
After a few minutes of silence, in which Snow and David just sat, unbelieving and hoping their daughter was going to be ok, David spoke up.
"Snow…I think–I think we need to let Henry know." David fidgeted uncomfortably. That meant calling the person who was technically responsible for all this, and putting Henry under a lot of stress. He didn't want to do it, but he felt that he should.
"She's his mother," he continued, before Snow could interject. "He'd want to know. And if…the worst happens, he'd want to be here. We have to." He held Snow's hand as tears streamed down his face.
Snow nodded meekly, knowing it was the right thing to do. "Ok," she said, "but I may not be able to control my actions if she comes." David sighed and got his phone out, knowing that what he was about to do would upset two further people that night.
Regina was awoken by the shrill sound of her phone going off. Groggy and annoyed, she sat up and reached for it, brows furrowing in confusion when she saw the caller ID.
"David?" she answered, confusion and annoyance in equal measure in her tone. "Regina," came the reply, and her heart beat frantically as she heard his shaky and broken tone.