Not as it Seems

25

It's been almost two weeks since Regina and Emma visited Cora and Henry. Regina and Cora's relationship is still rocky but steadily improving. Emma loves spending time and talking with her Nona.

October is coming to an end and Regina is still figuring out how to manage having Emma and working. Regina can't enroll Emma in kindergarden until she is at least five or if she can get one of the teachers to accept her in the middle of the school year. Regina being mayor has its benefits but there is still only but so much she can do. Until she can get a teacher to agree Emma has been coming with her to the office.

Emma has been perfect while in the office. Usually Emma brings a backpack full of paper and markers and draws for most of the day, sometimes Regina will have her tablet with her and will streams some kids movies but mainly Emma sits at her coffee table and keeps to herself. Emma only makes herself known when she needs to go to the bathroom or when she is hungry. Regina and Emma usually have lunch at Granny's, much to Emma's delight.

Ruby and Emma seem to have formed a strong friendship. Ruby being the overgrown kid that she is, always finds ways to make Emma laugh.

Regina loves having Emma in the office but knows she needs to be around kids her own age.


Emma and Regina are in Granny's enjoying their lunch when Ruby comes over. "Hey pup!"

Emma beams, "Wolf!"

Regina smilies, "Hello Ruby"

Ruby takes a seat next to Emma and asks, "So, what are you going to be for Halloween tomorrow?"

Emma tilts her head confused.

Ruby shakes her head and says, "Pup, please tell me you know have dressed up for halloween? Gone Trick-or-treating?"

Emma shakes her head. Ruby groans and places her head on the table, "Pup, you are killing me"

Emma giggles and repeatedly pokes Ruby in the cheek. Ruby quickly goes to nip at Emma's quickly snatches her finger back and yelps, "Bad wolf no biting."

Ruby nuzzles her face into Emma's neck and blows a raspberry into her neck.

Emma giggles and pats Ruby on the head, "Good wolf"

Regina laughs at Emma and Ruby's silly antics.

Ruby then looks to Regina and asks, "So, what are you guys dressing up as?"

Regina kicks Ruby under the table. Ruby grabs her shin and says, "OW! what the- Geez Regina. Guessing someone doesn't like Halloween."

Regina says, "No, I don't like the idea of kids running around in costume begging for candy."

Ruby rolls her eyes while Emma's widen. "Candy! Mommy can we go?!"

Ruby snickers and says, "Yeah, Regina can we go Please, please, please?!" Emma joins in and begs, "Please mommy, please!"

Regina rolls her eyes and huffs out a defeated, "Fine." Emma has her wrapped around her little finger.

Ruby and Emma cheer, "YAY!"

Ruby looks at Regina and says, "Ok, costumes. I am going as Little Red Riding Hood. Hmm.. you could be... The Evil Queen! It would be perfect!"

Regina rolls her eyes. Emma chimes in, "but mommy isn't evil."

Regina's heart swells and smiles at Emma, "Thank you sweetheart. And for your information I don't go trick-or-treating. I have to hand out candy to kids at town hall. Jenna asked to have the night off and I am the only one available to do it."

Emma frowned and said, "You not getting candy?"

Regina looked at Emma and said, "I can't get candy with you but, how about you get a lot a lot of candy and we can share it?"

Emma seemed to like that idea but then looked back at Regina and sadly whispered, "But I don't wanna go by myself"

Regina's heart still breaks when Emma sounded broken and alone. "Sweetheart of course you won't be alone."

Emma looked up and said, "If not you then who gonna go with me?"

Ruby looked at Regina for permission, when Regina nodded Ruby nudged Emma, "Hey pup, I know I'm not as cool as your mommy but what if you got candy with me and a friend of mine, Belle?"

Regina approved of Belle and knew Emma would be safe with both Ruby and Belle looking out for Emma.

Ruby and Belle had been dating for a little over 3 months now. Belle came to town about 6 months ago to help organize town's Library so it could re-open. But after getting to know the town and the people Belle asked to stay and be the full time librarian. Since not many people visited Storybrooke, there wasn't a large pool of applicants who wanted the job. Regina gave it almost no thought and gave Belle the keys to the library and the apartment that is above it. Ruby and Belle became fast friends and soon started dating.

Emma smiled at Ruby and nodded.

Ruby smiled and happily said, "Well it is settled then, Emma will come trick-or-treating with Belle and I, while Regina is handing out candy at town hall. Next order of business, what do you want to be Emma?"

Emma thought about it for a second and said, "A knight. So everyone is safe!"

Ruby and Regina smiled at the adorableness of Emma. Regina nodded and said, "A knight it is."


Emma and Regina went to the costume store that night so Emma would have her costume for tomorrow night.

The pickings were slim but Emma found the costume she wanted. It was a white knight with a apple crest on the breast plate.

Emma and Regina returned home and Emma ran up to her room. Regina finally had it painted purple and white and replaced the dull furniture with an ivory colored kids bed and matching dresser and bookshelf. Emma loved her room. Regina loved that Emma loved her room.

The next day Emma was so excited she was antsy and bouncing around the office.

When they finally arrived home Regina gave Emma a bath and got her costume on. She made sure Emma was dressed appropriately for the Maine October.

When Ruby and Belle arrived Emma ran down the stairs, "they here they here!"

Regina ran after Emma, wanting to scold her running but couldn't, knowing just how excited Emma was.

Regina opened the door and smiled, Ruby was dressed as Red Riding Hood and Belle was Belle from sleeping beauty. Both pulled off their costumes well.

Ruby bent down and said, "Hey pup!"

Emma chirped, "I not a pup I a knight!"

Ruby, Regina, and Belle giggled, "Alright, Hey knight pup." Ruby responded.

Emma threw herself into Ruby's arms and gave her a tight hug.

Ruby picked Emma up and said, "Emma I want you to say hi to Belle."

Emma smiled and waved, "hi"

Belle smiled and said, "Hello Emma, I have heard a lot about you. It is nice to finally meet you."

Emma smiled and said, "you talk cool."

Belle smiled and said, "Thank you Emma."

Regina smiled and grabbed Emma from Ruby and wrapped her into a tight hug, "Alright my knight, have fun, don't run off without Ruby or Belle ok."

Emma nodded and kissed Regina on the cheek, "Ok mommy."

Regina passed Emma back to Ruby and said, "She has her pillow case. I will be at town hall until 7:00PM. I would like Emma home no later than 8:10PM, it is supposed to rain."

Ruby and Belle nodded, "Alright."

Ruby turned and walked away, still holding a waving Emma. "Bye mommy!"

Regina waved back and said "See you later sweetheart"

Belle could tell Regina was nervous. Belle touched Regina's arm and said, "Hey, we will take care of her."

Regina smiles appreciating the gesture and says, "Thank you Ms. French."

Belle smiles and runs to catch up with Ruby and Emma.


It is 7:30 when Ruby, Belle, and Emma are at the last house they are planning on trick-or-treating at, when it starts to rain.

Belle pulls her jacket and hood on, Ruby grabs Emma and holds her as close to her chest, to keep her as warm and dry as possible, but with the wind it seems to be an impossible task.

By the time they make their way back to the mansion Emma and Ruby are soaked. Emma is shivering and trying to snuggle closer to Ruby and her above average normal body temperature.

Regina is sitting on the steps with multiple towels waiting for them to arrive. When she sees them walking up the walkway she throws open the door and quickly ushers them inside.

Belle takes off her coat and pushes her wet hair out of her face. When Ruby and Emma enter they both look like wet dogs. Regina helps Ruby to take off her and Emma's coats. Regina then wraps Emma into a warm towel and takes her from Ruby. Emma is still shivering and trying to get warm.

Regina decides to take Emma upstairs to her bathroom and give her a warm bath. As she is heading upstairs she says, "The guest room has been made up for you both. One of you can use the bathroom there and the other can use Emma's."

Ruby and Belle yell, "Thanks" and grab more towels to dry off as best they can to avoid dripping water throughout Regina's house.

Regina gets Emma into the tub which warms her up a little. She then puts Emma into her pajamas and tucks her into bed. Regina is a little worried but figures Emma is just cold from the rain.

Usually Regina reads Emma a bedtime story but tonight Emma is asleep by the time she finishes cleaning the bathroom. Regina kisses her goodnight, turns on her night light, and partially closes the door. "Goodnight my knight"

Regina heads back downstairs and finds the floor free of water and the kitchen light on. Regina enters the kitchen and smiles. "Thank you, you guys didn't need to clean up."

Ruby shrugs it off and says, "Its the least we could go. Hope you don't mind we took clothes from the spare room."

Regina nods and says, "No it is fine. Most of that stuff are items I don't wear anymore but don't want to throw away."

Ruby and Belle nod. Belle says, "There is a fresh pot of tea if you would like some."

Regina nods and says, "Thank you". Regina grabs a mug and some tea before joining Ruby and Belle at the breakfast bar.

Ruby looks at Regina and says, "How's my pup?"

Regina nods and says, "I think she is alright, just a little cold. But I gave her a bath and tucked her in. She is out like a light. Thank you again for taking her."

Ruby and Belle nodded and said, "Our pleasure. She is a great kid. And she made us a killing in Snickers!"

Regina smiled and chuckled, "Well I am glad you used my four year old to swindle yourselves some extra candy."

Ruby huffed and said, "Four and a half."

Belle and Regina just laughed.

They talked a little more until it was almost 10:30PM.

Regina got up and said, "I am headed to bed I have work in the morning."

Belle and Ruby nodded, "Same here. I have to be at Granny's early. You think you can give us a lift in the morning?"

Regina nodded and said, "Sure"

Ruby smiled and said, "Thanks again Regina. Goodnight"

Regina waved and went upstairs. She got ready for bed, but did one last check in on Emma. Emma was still asleep so she decided not to go in and bother her.

Regina went into her room and got into bed. Something was nagging at her but she couldn't pinpoint what it was exactly. So she rolled over and concentrated on going to sleep. She finally fell asleep but it wasn't anywhere near restful.

She just wished she could figure out what was wrong.


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