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Lady and the Tramp

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No matter how long Emma lived in Storybrooke, she knew she would never get used to discovering that yet another character was real. So the day she came home to find Killian and Henry scratching behind the ears of a beautiful, golden cocker spaniel, she wasn’t prepared in the least for everything that followed.

“Her name’s Lady, Mom,” Henry informed her as he bent down to kiss her furry head.

“Real original, kid,” she quipped as she knelt down to stroke the dog’s silky fur.

“No, Mom, seriously. I didn’t name her.”

“The lad’s right,” Killian put in, “look at her tag, Swan.”

Emma checked, and sure enough . . .

“You have got to be kidding me.” First Pongo, and now this?             

 “Poor thing had a muzzle on too when we found her,” Killian continued with a frown, “I couldn’t get it off, so I had to use my hook to slice the strap. She seemed grateful and has been a sweet little thing ever since.”

Emma raised an eyebrow at Henry who shrugged. No need to tell Killian he had taken the place of a beaver in this particular tale.

              ***********************************************************

Since the dog had a tag, Emma at first thought finding her owners would be easy. Unfortunately the tag only listed the dog’s name, and a trip to the vet proved unhelpful. She had a rabies tag that was current, but it wasn’t in the system for some reason, and she had no ID chip.

“Well,” Henry shrugged, “guess she’ll have to stay with us then.”

Emma could tell that her boys were already in love with the pooch (and Emma had to admit Lady’s demeanor lived up to her name), so she quickly clarified, “Temporarily. Until we find her owners.”

When they got home, the three of them made several posters to hang around town. Emma joked that they should look in the Storybrooke phone book for a listing for Jim Dear and Darling, but Henry very seriously replied that their names were probably changed with the curse.

What even was her life?

              ****************************************************

That night, Killian made a bed of old blankets from the Jolly Roger in the corner of the laundry room for the dog. She was house trained, so newspapers were unnecessary. Still, Emma chuckled.

“What love?” Killian protested. “This is a perfectly acceptable bed for a dog.”

Emma laughed again and shook her head, “It’s not that, babe, I just know for a fact she’s going to end up in our bed.”

“Nonsense, you must set firm boundaries to let the dog know you are in charge,” Killian argued. His penchant for order leftover from his naval days still took her by surprise at times. “Besides, why are you so positive?”

“I’ve seen the movie.”

              *****************************************************

Sure enough, four hours later, after pathetic whimpering and flat-out howling, Killian was depositing the bundle of golden fur at the foot of their bed.

“Just for this one night,” he told her.

Emma snorted, “Yeah, right.”

              *******************************************************

Weeks went by with no potential Jim Dear and Darling. Lady inserted herself into their little family and, eventually, into Emma’s heart. Her love for the animal, however, did nothing to abate her shock every time Lady emulated the movie she had apparently stepped out of. She woke them every morning, even nudging Killian’s slippers onto his feet. She fetched the Storybrooke Mirror each morning, all of the bad news amazingly ripped out by her teeth or claws. Lady even had a love for coffee and a donut, which Emma snuck into her bowl when Killian wasn’t looking. Emma’s jaw dropped the first time the dog daintily dipped her donut in the coffee. But the biggest shock came the day Emma looked through the window above the kitchen sink to find Lady in the back yard with a Scottish terrier and a bloodhound. If Emma didn’t know any better, she would swear they were having a conversation.

She dropped her coffee mug, which cracked in pieces when it hit the sink.

Emma moved to make herself another cup of coffee when it suddenly occurred to her that maybe she and Killian were Jim Dear and Darling. She reviewed the plot of the movie in her mind and suddenly gasped, breaking her second coffee mug of the morning.

She went straight to Dark Star Pharmacy and bought a pregnancy test.

              ******************************************************

Killian seemed confused that night when Emma not only wanted a movie night, but a cartoon at that. It was usually something they did with Henry, and he was at Regina’s for the week.

“I know how much you’ve come to love our four-legged family member,” Emma explained. “Don’t you want to know her story?”

Killian smiled in agreement at that, snuggling up on the couch with whom he had taken to calling his “two favorite blondes.” When the movie ended, Emma dropped her bomb casually.              

“I hope our Lady deals with the new baby a little better.”

First Killian’s jaw dropped.

Then he kissed her, accidentally shoving Lady off the end of the couch.

And so it began.

              ******************************************************

Emma was nine months pregnant before Tramp made his appearance. Killian in dog form, she loved to say. She never knew dogs could swagger. Or smirk, but she swore this one could. It was obvious that Tramp (no tags of course, and skittish of humans) was smitten with Lady from the start. Little Miss Princess, on the other hand, played hard to get, turning up her nose and swinging her long, silky ears. It was rather comical, actually. Like their own love story: canine version.

It wasn’t until the baby actually came that something else occurred to both of them. They locked eyes before getting out of the bug, and both knew what the other was thinking. Killian was unnaturally nervous whenever Smee came around asking to hold baby Charlie, which hurt the poor man’s feelings. And Emma knew nightmares about a rat attacking a baby were neither normal nor healthy.

Charlie had only been home three days when they called an exterminator.

              ******************************************************

Neither of them could pinpoint exactly when it was that Lady warmed up to Tramp, but it happened (and without slurping spaghetti kisses or meatball nudges). Then Lady started acting sluggish, and her abdomen swelled, and soon the Jones home was graced with a litter of four puppies: three girls who looked just like their mother, and one exuberant boy who looked just like his father (who had long ago warmed up to this particular family of humans).

And Emma and Killian, the lost girl and boy that they were, kept every single one.