The coffin was ornate, with the wood gleaming richly in the light. It reeked of wealth and taste.
It reeked of Madam Mayor.
It didn’t suit the man lying inside it.
Despite only knowing Graham for such a short time Emma already knew that the coffin was far too ostentatious for him. Graham would have preferred something simpler, with clean lines.
Emma ignored the coffin to gaze down at Graham. This was the first time she’d seen him since the paramedics had taken him away from the Sherif’s office. His body had already been cooling when they had arrived.
A heart attack, the doctors murmured but Emma knew better. Graham had remembered something, his eyes filled with the memory of it as he looked at her. Something someone didn’t want him to know.
It was Henry who filled in the pieces. He’d come to her at Mary Margaret’s home where Emma had curled up the couch under a blanket. Numbness filled her as Mary Margaret fussed over her, Mary Margaret’s eyes red rimmed with the tears Emma hadn’t been able to shed.
He got up on the couch with her, holding his book on fairytales, sniffling as she tucked him under the blanket with her. As Mary Margaret sat nearby, Henry opened his book and told them of the story of the Huntsman who had been contracted to kill Snow White but ended up letting her live.
It only confirmed what Emma had known deep down when Graham had died so suddenly. The Mayor had killed her lover because he’d turned his back on her for Emma, the daughter of Snow White.
Now, Emma knew what Graham had remembered. Now she had concrete proof that all of Henry’s wild stories were true.
Now she knew she had to take down Regina once and for all. Not just for what the Queen had done to the townspeople, and the curse she enacted, but to avenge Graham’s death and keep Henry safe.
As she stood over Graham’s coffin, gazing down at his face, Emma could fee Regina glaring at her from the pricking of the hair on the back of Emma’s neck. She ignored Madam Mayor, focused on the dead man before her. The first man in a very long time that had gotten through Emma’s walls and made her feel more than she’d felt in years. She remembered his kisses and how it felt to be in his arms, wanting to let him see the woman Emma was behind all of her protections.
“I promise I will take her down.” Emma whispered to him.
Uncaring everyone was watching, Emma leaned down to kiss him softly on the lips. She felt wetness sliding down her cheek, not realizing she was crying until she saw the tears on Graham’s lips.
She left them there. The only thing she could give him next to her vengeance.
As she moved to leave his coffin she heard a sudden sharp inhale.
Emma turned back, gasping as she saw Graham’s eyes were open. His chest was rising and falling with each inhalation.
Emma reached out to him, her hand shaking as she touched his cheek. His skin was warm underneath her fingers instead of the coldness of death.
There were sounds of shock and disbelief behind her as Graham struggled to sit up. Emma reached out to help him, feeling how strongly he gripped her arms.
Emma couldn’t stop touching him, as together, they got him out the coffin and onto his feet.
“Emma.” Graham cupped her face between his hands and kissed her long and deep.
When they broke apart, Emma hugged him tightly, catching sight of Regina. The shocked look on her face was almost as satisfying as feeling Graham alive in her arms.
Somehow, Graham had come back to life. Emma didn’t care how at this moment - only that he was
Now it was time to take down the Evil Queen.