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Truth and Consequences

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Father Jones needs to focus on his task at hand, working on Sunday's homily but he's having trouble writing it. Writing has never been a problem for him in the past but something's changed in the past 24 hours, namely a certain blonde teenager's lips on his. He wishes that he could stop thinking about her but he can't, remembering even that tight red dress she wore, courtesy of her roommate.

Clare Logan still baffles him. When he first met her, she seemed more than reluctant to even be in Storybrooke, claiming the reason she stayed was for Michael, the mayor's kid who also happened to be her biological son. She wanted to make sure he was okay and maybe get to know him a little. From what he could gather of her background, she's a former bartender and lived alone in Boston and the evening Michael showed up at her apartment, it was her 28th birthday.

That was weeks ago and now, she's slipped into staying in town and at Emilia Swan's flat of all places. And if the story she told last night is true, also his daughter with Emilia in a different life.

He still can't wrap his head around their alleged fairytale story, that he's married to Emilia and he's the son in law of Snow White and Prince Charming. It's just so incredible, not that he's never believed in fairytales but life isn't a fairytale. He has duties to the church and to God, he can't believe in such nonsense and he needs to stop thinking about her.

Emilia Swan is a gorgeous young woman, especially last night but he can't yield to temptation. The Lord would never allow him too, even if a part of him wants too so badly.

Focus William, he tells himself, Focus.

He switches his attention to the paper in front of him and the topic of his homily, quite appropriate for the occasion: temptation.

~~

One of Father Jones' greatest weaknesses has been his patience, which is beginning to grow very thin by the hour as he's still struggling with writing the homily for Sunday. The kiss shouldn't still bother him but it does and it's affecting his progress. Before Clare invited him to dinner, he had a page written and now, nothing. He can't even get passed that and he knows if he can't stop thinking about Emilia, he never will.

He sighs, standing up abruptly and paces his office before leaving it and going straight to Sister Mary Margaret's classroom. Sister Mary Margaret has always been a close friend and good confident of his, ever the silent listener as he would talk to her about different issues of the day and she would offer him some advice. He desperately needs her advice right now.

He finds her grading papers in her classroom and looks up at him as he comes inside. “Father,” she greets and stands, “Is there something I can help you with?”

He closes the door behind him and sits down at one of the front desks, and she comes over and sits beside him. “I have a problem, I can't write my homily for Sunday,” he says.

“Maybe you're trying too hard,” she offers, “Inspiration isn't easy; you have to relax and let it come to you,”

“Inspiration's not the problem, Sister,” he continues, looking sheepishly at her, “I was invited to dinner last night by Clare Logan, the new lass in town. She's staying at Emilia Swan's flat,”

Sister Mary Margaret doesn't say anything, looking curiously at him.

“The purpose for the dinner invitation was a part of Operation Cobra,” he says.

“Oh, you mean Michael's fairytale operation,” she says quickly, “He hooked her into dragging you into it too, huh?”

“You mean, you know about it?”

She shrugs, sighing. “Operation Cobra is all Michael ever talks about. Can you believe he thinks that I'm Snow White?” she jokes and he looks at her oddly. “I'm not, right?”

“He thinks – believes actually that Emilia Swan and I – were married in a previous life,” he breathes finally and he can see that there's recognition in her face, studying him carefully. “but it's ridiculous of course. Emilia – I mean Miss Swan is – if we were married – she's too young for that and I'm currently unavailable,”

“But that's not what's bothering you,” she prompts, “Something else happened last night,”

“She kissed me,” he says weakly, “and I remember when she did, I enjoyed it,”

“Well,” she offers, “Sometimes the Lord tempts us to make sure that we're on the right path in life. I mean, you once told me that the reason you became a priest was because you believed that there was nothing else out there for you, but believing in God gave you hope,”

Father Jones sighs heavily.

“You should take the day off, go to your boat if it's free and relax. Come back tomorrow and finish your homily,” she says.

“The boat's currently unavailable,” he says, “I'm renting it out but I do reserve the right to commandeer it when I need it,”

“Now, you sound like a pirate than a priest,” she teases, “but in all seriousness William, take the day off. I think you need it. Your homily can wait until tomorrow,”

Father Jones stands and is steps away from leaving when he turns around, looking back at her. “Thank you Sister, your advice is always greatly appreciated,” he says and she smiles at him. “I do have one other request, it's more of a favor,”

“Of course,”

“Could you talk to Emilia?” he wonders, “I have a feeling that she's probably in the same predicament I'm in and could use some helpful advice,”

“I can stop by her apartment after I finish grading my papers,” she says.

“Thank you,” he says again and leaves.

tbc