Not as it Seems

31

Regina had fallen asleep at the hospital again, but this time she was snuggled up with Emma.

Regina woke up to the click of a camera, "What the..?"

The voice came from the doorway, "Sorry, didn't mean to wake you but this is just to cute to pass up."

Regina blinked a few times and got her vision into focus. Standing the doorway was a tall blonde with striking blue eyes. "Kathryn?"

The blonde smiled and said, "The one and only"

Regina carefully untangled herself from Emma and stood up. She stretched, walked over to Kathryn, and embraced her in a tight hug. "Thank you for coming so quickly"

Kathryn nodded and said, "Of course. You said the magic words 'I need you'. For you so say that you either killed someone and need an AMAZING lawyer or you seriously need your best friend."

Regina rolled her eyes, "What if I need both?"

Kathryn looked at Regina and honestly said, "Well then, Kathryn Nolan here reporting for duty, what ever you need."

Regina smiled and said, "Right now I am in need of some coffee and a toothbrush."

Kathryn smiled and opened her purse and handed Regina a new toothbrush and a travel sized vile of toothpaste, "I figured you would need this"

Regina smiled and then turned her head, "Wait.. how did you know I was here?"

"I went to Granny's to order a coffee and ran into Ruby. We got to talking and she told me I should come to the hospital. For a second I have to say I was worried, but Ruby assured me you were ok."

At the mention of coffee Regina groaned. Kathryn chuckled and said "Alright you addict, go brush I will find a coffee cart"

Regina smiled and said, "You are a God sent!"

Kathryn shrugged and said, "I know. Now go! I need you to fill me in on all... This."

Regina nodded and went into the bathroom.

When Regina re-emerged from the bathroom Kathryn was sitting in one of the chairs by Emma's bed holding her coffee.

Emma was still asleep, her fever had gone down late last night. If she can keep the fever away Whale is willing to discharge her tonight.

Regina looked at Emma and smiled. Kathryn watched as Regina walked over to Emma's bed and gave her another kiss on the forehead and swept a stray piece of hair from Emma's face.

Regina stood back up and noticing Kathryn watching her, "What?"

Regina grabbed the second chair and quietly moved it next to where Kathryn was sitting.

Regina gracefully sat down, crossed her legs and Kathryn handed Regina her coffee.

Upon taking the first sip Regina moaned and sighed, "Oh, that is good."

Kathryn just chuckled before becoming more serious. "So you going to explain why I'm here, not that I don't love you or anything."

Regina took another sip and began to explain all that had happened, starting with August and ending with, "And I love Emma, I want to adopt her, I want to be there when she gets sick and be there when she is happy. I want to be her mom."

Kathryn looked at her friend and for the first time since Daniel's death she saw genuine happiness. Kathryn reached out and took Regina's hand, "I will do everything within my power to make sure that that little girl remains yours."

Kathryn and Regina had just started catching up when a mumbled, "mommy" stole Regina's attention.

Regina stood up and walked over to Emma. Regina bent over Emma's bed and gave her a hug, "Good morning sweetheart."

Emma snuggled into Regina's hug and said, "morning mommy."

When Regina stood up straight Emma rubbed her eyes and looked over at Kathryn then back at Regina, "Mommy who's the pretty lady?"

Regina smiled and said, "That is mommy's best friend Kathryn."

Kathryn stood and walked over to Emma, "Hello Emma. I have been hearing a whole lot about you. It seems you have Regina here wrapped around your finger."

Emma smiled but then looked at her fingers confused, "Mommy isn't wrapped round my fingers, she right here."

Kathryn and Regina could help but laugh. Regina smiled at Emma and said, "It is a grown up saying. It means I can't say 'no' to you."

Emma then smiled and looked back at Kathryn, "Yay, mommy is round my fingers!"

Kathryn laughed again while Regina smiled and rolled her eyes.

For the next hour and a half Regina, Kathryn, and Emma talked and watched cartoons.

A little while later Dr. Whale came in wanting to speak with Regina. Regina got up and pointed at Kathryn, "Be good."

Kathryn gasped in mock hurt and said, "Me? What about her?" pointing at Emma. Regina smiled and Emma chimed in, "I always good. Mommy said so. Right mommy?."

Regina nodded and said, "That's right sweetheart" She pointed at Kathryn again, Kathryn rolled her eyes and shooed Regina away.

Whale decided that Emma was ready to be discharged. So he and Regina were in the hallway discussing the steps they need to take once Emma is home. Kathryn and Emma were chatting.

Kathryn took this opportunity to privately speak with Emma about her feelings. "Emma, do you like it here?"

Emma looked at Kathryn and smiled, "Yeah"

Kathryn nodded and asked, "Regina's a good mommy huh?"

Emma smiled and nodded, "She is the bestest! She give me hugs and makes sure no more bad people hurt me. She said she isn't gonna send me back."

Kathryn's heart strings pulled, she hated asking Emma this but knew this would be the only time she could get a honest answer without Regina. "Would you wanna meet your other mommy? The one that left?"

Emma shrugged, "I dunno. The other kids that lived with me said my other mommy didn't want me."

Kathryn took a breath and asked, "Would you want Regina to be your new mommy forever?"

Emma's smile lit up the entire room, "Yeah! Do you think she wants to be my mommy forever and ever?"

Kathryn smiled and said, "I think she would really really like to be your new mommy forever and ever"

Regina walked back in the room and saw both blondes smiling, "Alright what are you two up to?"

Kathryn shook her head and said, "Can't tell ya. It's a blonde's only secret"

Emma giggled. Regina rolled her eyes, "I knew leaving you in a room alone with Emma would be a bad idea"

Kathryn just smiled in response.

Regina walked over to Emma's bed and said, "Guess what?"

Emma thought about it and said, "I got a puppy at home?!"

Regina chuckled and said, "No.. but you can go home."

Emma smiled and said, "Yay!"

Regina stroked Emma's hair and said, "We get to leave in one hour"

Emma huffed and said, "That's forever away."

Regina smiled and said, "It's not. You see the clock, when that long one goes all the way around then we get to go home."

By the time an hour was up Emma's IV had been taken out, Regina ran home and grabbed some clothes for Emma, and Kathryn learned the theme song to Dragon Tales.

Emma was finally discharged and ready to go home.

Kathryn took her car and followed Regina home. When they arrived at the mansion Emma announced she was hungry.

Regina hadn't prepared any food so the trio decided to surprise Ruby and go to Granny's.

Since Kathryn had a car better suited for a car seat and a second passenger Kathryn drove.


They parked and Regina helped get Emma unbuckled. As soon as Emma's feet hit the ground she was off to the front door.

Regina helped Emma open the front door, since it was still a little heavy for the recently discharged four year old.

Emma got into the diner and saw Ruby exasperatedly wiping down the counter, "WOLF"

Ruby jumped and turned towards the door. When she saw Emma there she became excited and happy, "PUP!"

Emma ran towards Ruby and jumped into her open arms.

Emma wrapped her legs around Ruby's waist and Ruby held tight to Emma.

Kathryn and Regina hung back and watched the adorable scene play out.

Ruby was kissing Emma's face and saying, "I missed you pup! I missed you so so much! It was terrible without you here!"

Emma giggled and said, "I missed you too wolf"

Regina and Kathryn claimed a booth towards the back while Ruby got her 'pup' time. When Granny called out for Ruby to get a order, Ruby brought Emma over to the booth. Ruby then gave Emma some crayons and a coloring mat.

Emma smiled and started coloring. Regina and Emma ordered their usual while Kathryn ordered a soup and a grilled cheese. The trio was enjoying their dinner when the diner bell jingled.

In came MM and David. MM walked in and her eyes automatically locked on Emma. Emma was too busy eating her burger to notice, but Regina defiantly did.

Tired of MM's stares Regina was about to get up and tell MM off but Kathryn grabbed her arm, "Don't Gina. It won't help in the long run. Just ignore them. I do."

Regina looked at Kathryn and nodded in agreement.

MM and David purposely sat at the table across from Regina and Emma. What they didn't realize was that Kathryn was with them. David saw Kathryn and gave her a small smile, while MM gave her a terrified stare. Kathryn just rolled her eyes and continued her conversation with Regina.

Emma finished her meal and said, "mommy, I need to use the bathroom"

MM was a breath away from getting up but Regina beat her to it, "Alright sweetheart, lead the way"

Regina and Emma left for the bathroom leaving behind a angry MM. Kathryn purposely addressed David when she said, "Such a nice little family. Emma has really taken quite nicely to Regina, don't you think?"

David gulped and nodded.

MM angrily said, "Regina is not Emma's family. Regina isn't going to be Emma's mother anymore."

What none of them knew was that Emma had left Regina in the bathroom and had come out to sit with Kathryn.

Emma's eyes widened and she had tears come to her eyes. Kathryn saw the little blonde as her tears began to fall, "Emma."

Regina had just exited the bathroom and heard MM yell that she wasn't Emma's mother. The small crowd in the diner grew silent. Emma turned and looked at Regina with sad eyes and asked, "You don't wanna be my mommy no more?"

Regina was stunned by Emma's question so she took a moment. Emma took that as a 'no' and ran off towards the kitchen.

Regina called out to Emma, "Emma, Emma wait." she went to go find Emma when Ruby stopped her. "Let me"

Regina had tears in her eyes and nodded.

Regina angrily looked at MM and said, "I hope you are happy. I swear if Emma is hurt because of this I will make you regret..."

Regina couldn't finish her threat because Kathryn grabbed her and pulled her away from MM. "Don't. Making threats is not a good idea, especially if you want to legally adopt Emma. Don't give them ammo to attempt to use against you."

Regina sighed and let her tears fall, "I know, I know. But.. did you see her face? She really thinks I don't want her anymore? I love her. I would do anything, anything, to be her mother."

Kathryn nodded and said, "I know Gina. I hate that she found out this way. But this gives you an opportunity for control"

Regina looked at Kathryn in confusion, "how?"

Kathryn quietly whispered, "Let MM and David get to know Emma. This way they can't say you tried hiding her from them when you found out who her birth parents were. It will allow you to control when and how long they are allowed to be with Emma. Everything is on your terms. It will keep this out of court, Emma shouldn't go through that, and it prevents the off chance that MM could lie and get custody of Emma. I will write up a contract for tomorrow, I can have it signed by a judge and everything by tomorrow afternoon. They break the contract or if Emma is harmed in anyway they give up rights. They aren't allowed to file for custody and they don't get Emma."

Regina nodded and hugged Kathryn, "Ok. Ok, Thank you. For everything, thank you."

Kathryn nodded and pulled Regina into a quick hug, "Any time Gina"


Ruby walked into the kitchen and found Emma hiding in the pantry. Ruby sat on the ground with Emma and opened her arms. Emma quickly scampered into Ruby's arms and cried. Ruby rubbed Emma's back and said, "It's ok."

When Emma calmed a little she asked, "Mommy doesn't want me no more?"

Ruby quickly answered, "No, pup, no. Your mommy Regina loves you so so so much. I know for a fact that she wants to be your mommy forever."

Emma looked at Ruby and asked, "Then why did the other lady say she wasn't my mommy?"

Ruby sighed and said, "She said that cause... cause she gave birth to you. You lived in her tummy until it was time for you to be born."

Emma looked at Ruby with such sad eyes and asked, "My mommy and daddy didn't want me no more?"

Ruby shook her head and said, "your mommy.. she... she loves you but she wanted to give you your best chance. So she gave you up, and your daddy he didn't know. I know you are hurt and angry but please pup don't be angry at your mommy Regina. You being mad at her would really really hurt her."

Emma nodded and sniffled, "Ok. I not mad. I don't want another mommy. I just want mommy Gina"

Ruby nodded and said, "Well why don't we go out there and give mommy Regina a big big hug so she knows you aren't mad at her. And we can talk about your other mommy and daddy another day."

Emma nodded and stood up. Ruby grabbed Emma's hand and led her back to the main dining area.


Emma saw Regina standing with her back to her and talking with Kathryn.

Emma called out "mommy" and both Regina and MM turned towards her.

Emma ran over to Regina. Regina knelt on the ground and welcomed Emma's hug. "Oh Emma, sweetheart. I am so sorry, I didn't mean for you to feel like I don't want to be your mommy anymore. I want to be your mommy forever."

Emma looked at Regina and shyly asked, "Really? Forever?"

Regina smiled and kissed Emma on the forehead, "Yes Emma, forever."

Emma threw her arms around Regina and gave her another huge hug. Regina lifted Emma and placed her on her hip.

With everything that had just happened Regina decided to call it a night. As she was gathering her belongings from the booth she turned to MM. "Listen and listen very carefully you nitwit. I am adopting Emma. If you want to fight me on this you know my lawyer, Kathryn Nolan. If you are agreeable and actually want to get to know Emma I am willing to give you some time to spend with her. It will be on my terms. If you agree I expect you both to be at my office tomorrow afternoon, no later than 3:30PM. If this can't be settled like mature adults I am going to have no choice but to take action and take you both to court. I expect your decision by tomorrow. Let it be noted that this is the ONLY time I will extend this offer, choose carefully."

With that Regina left with Emma in her arms and Kathryn right behind her.

The trio got into the car and drove to the mansion. It had been a long and extremely tiring day. Emma fell asleep in her car seat on the ride home. Regina carried her to her room and changed her into her pajamas. Regina placed her in her bed and gave her a kiss goodnight. "I swear I will fight those to idiots tooth and nail. I will fight for you Emma. You are my everything. Nothing is going to keep me from being your mommy, I promise."


Regina closed Emma's door and went to her own bedroom. Regina got ready for bed and collapsed into bed.

Regina fell into a deep and much needed sleep. She knew that tomorrow was going to be a test, a test for Emma, and Regina would be damned if she was to lose to MM and David, the two idiots that gave Emma up.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be the real factor that determine's how Emma and Regina continue on into the future.


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