Not as it Seems

35

Almost a week had passed since Thanksgiving. MM and David were permitted to join Emma and Regina for dinner at the diner on Monday and were able to play at the park with Emma on Wednesday with Regina's supervision.

MM and David were both becoming irritated with the constant supervision during their visits with Emma. They were in their apartment thinking of ways to get Emma away from Regina.

"What if we just take her and leave town MM? She is our daughter." David suggested.

MM shook her head, "No, we signed that stupid contract, there is no way in hell would Regina ever let that slide. No we need to be smart. We need to get Emma alone."

David sighed and said, "But she is always with Regina, she even goes to work with her during the day because the school board won't allow her to enroll Emma in the middle of the year."

MM smiled and lunged at David giving him a firm kiss, "David you are a genius!"

David lost in the kiss shook his head and asked, "Umm... how?"

MM smiled and said, "Next Friday, when Regina has all of those board meetings for the construction of the new playground, I can offer to take Emma to school with me!"

David thought for a moment and asked, "But why would Regina allow you to take her? Even if it is only to the school?"

MM smiled and said, "I'll say I am taking Emma so she can get familiar with the space and so she can meet the teachers. This way when she starts next term she won't be as afraid."

David caught onto what MM was saying and asked, "Alright that's all well and good but how do we get Emma out of the building without anyone saying anything? Or Regina, Ruby, or Kathryn being there to pick her up?"

MM smirked and answered, "That, my darling David, is where you come in. During recess you can pick Emma up. Take her someplace no one would think to look and wait there."

David smiled and pulled MM into his arms, "You MM are a the genius. I love you"

MM kissed David and said, "I love you too."


It was Wednesday night and Regina, Emma, MM, and David were all walking, through the park, back to their respective cars when MM tapped Regina on the shoulder and asked, "Can I talk with you for a second?"

Regina lifted an eyebrow and nodded. She turned to Emma and said, "Emma sweetheart I need to talk with MM ok, you stay with David and where I can see you ok."

Emma smiled and said, "Ok Mommy. Come on David! Lets go on the swings!"

Emma dragged David over to the swings and hopped on, David gave Emma a few gentle pushes and stood back as Emma kicked her little legs.

Regina watched Emma for a minute before turning her attention back to MM. "Well was there something you wanted or do you just like wasting my time?"

MM held back her snarl and calmly said, "Next Friday you have the town meeting about the construction plans for the new park, correct?"

Regina shifted her weight to her other hip and said, "And why do you know that Ms. Blanchard?"

MM sighed and said, "I was on the board last year when the idea was pitched, and 6 months ago when the plans were being drawn up; but was unable to continue into this term"

Regina nodded and said, "That is besides the point. Why are you informing me of something I already know?"

MM took a breath and said, "Well I know that Emma is going to be with you all day.. So I-I was wondering if maybe I can take her for the day. I would take her to school with me and show her around so she is familiar with the building, and some of the people, when she starts school. David could even take her to Granny's for lunch. Ruby would be able to send you updates and I will send you a picture of her back in the classroom when they return."

Regina looked at MM like she was crazy, "You must be crazy."

MM looked shocked, "I-No."

Regina chuckled and said, "You must be, if you think I am going to allow you to be alone with Emma all day."

MM shook her head and said, "But I won't be alone. The entire school will be there. You can even pick her up at the end of the day with all of the other parents."

Checking in on Emma she sees her rubbing Pongo's belly while Pongo's owner, Dr. Archie Hopper, is talking with David.

Regina was seriously thinking about taking MM up on her offer. She knows Emma is going to be bored and restless if she has to take her with her to the meeting, and Jack is going to be with her all day to help her keep organized. So Emma can't even spend time with Jack. Ruby is working, Kathryn is settling in and beginning her new job, and her parent are going to be away on a business trip in Chicago. Regina has no other options.

Regina closes her eyes and sighs, "Fine."

MM claps her hands together and excitedly says, "Really!?"

Regina rolls her eyes and says, "Yes Ms. Blanchard, I am permitting you to take Emma to the school building for the day. I expect an update from you every hour, and to be alerted as to when and how long Emma will be with David. I will be picking her up at exactly 3:00PM when the school lets out."

MM smiled and nodded, "Of course! Thank you!"

Regina just turns her back in reply and calls Emma over, "Emma sweetheart, say bye to Pongo and Dr. Hopper it's time to head home."

Emma gives Pongo one last belly rub and ear scratch before giving Archie a quick
"bye" and running over to Regina.

Regina holds out her hand for Emma, which Emma grabs a hold of instantly, and leads her back to the car.

Regina gets Emma buckled into her car seat and pulls out of the parks parking lot.

Emma is chattering away about how much she loves Acer and Pongo, and how David said he would teach her how to play fetch with Pongo.

Regina is smiling at Emma's happiness, but is internally running every possible scenario that could happen tomorrow. Did I make a mistake by 'trusting' MM and David? They wouldn't hurt Emma, would they? Emma is going to be in the school building, if something happens I will know about it. Stupid meeting. Maybe I can get out of the meeting early and pick Emma up before 3:00PM. Yeah, that seems like a good idea. ugh.. Next Friday can't come slow enough.


MM and David were driving back to their apartment when David asked, "So what did she say?"

MM smiled and said, "She agreed. She wants hourly updates and pictures. And she wants to know when you take Emma out to lunch and when you return."

David smiled and said, "I can do that, I will do anything if it means I can spend some time with my daughter without being watched like some kind of criminal."

MM smiled and nodded and said, "Next Friday can't come fast enough"

David and MM parked their car and entered their building, hoping their plan would be successful.


Regina and Emma enter the mansion and Emma goes straight to the living room to watch her allowed hour and a half of tv, while Regina heads into the kitchen to make dinner.

Regina can hear Emma's giggles from the kitchen and can't help but smile at the simple joy of listening to Emma laugh.

Regina puts dinner in the oven and sets the timer. She then heads to the living room to join Emma on the couch to watch some tv.

Regina sits on the couch and Emma automatically shifts closer to Regina and settles herself into Regina's lap.

Regina wraps her arms around Emma's waist and blows a raspberry on Emma's cheek. Emma laughs and in between giggles get's out, "Stop mommy! That tickles!"

Regina smiles and kisses Emma on the head.

They sit quietly enjoying the simplicity of just watching cartoons together.

When the show ends Regina mutes the tv and shifts Emma so she is able to look at her.

Regina takes a breath and says, "Em, you know how next week I would have to have you be really really good and sit in meetings with me all day?" Emma nodded so Regina continued, "well MM offered to take you to the school to learn the building and some of the people."

Emma smiled and said, "can I?"

Regina nodded and said, "I told MM that it was ok. But I want to check with you too. Do you want to spend the day with MM at the school? It's ok if you don't."

Emma thought for a second and said, "I wanna go. Your meetsings takes forever!"

Regina smiled and said, "I know sweetheart, and I really wish they didn't. But I will take you to MM in the morning, David will take you to lunch, and I will pick you up from school at the end of the day, ok."

Emma smiled and nodded again.

Regina pulled Emma into a hug and held her tight. Emma didn't know what Regina was feeling but knew she needed the comfort so she wrapped her little arms around Regina's neck and returned the hug.

They hugged for a few moments before the timer went off in the kitchen. Regina pulled back and said, "Go get washed up for dinner, we can watch another cartoon while we eat since you missed your show."

Emma beamed and jumped down off of Regina's lap and ran to the bathroom to go wash up.

Regina grabbed the Chicken pot pie from the oven and scooped some for herself and some for Emma into two bowls and brought them into the living room.

Emma can back down and sat on the floor in front of the coffee table with her bowl. Regina said, "Emma wait a few minutes before eating ok, it's still hot"

Emma nodded and turned her attention back to her favorite show Dragon Tales.

Regina smiled as Emma did a little dance on the floor to the theme song.

Regina and Emma finished their dinner and headed upstairs to get ready for bed. Regina got Emma bathed and changed into her pajamas. Regina cleaned the bathroom while Emma picked a book for Regina to read.

Emma decided on Goodnight Moon. Regina used to love this book as a child.

Emma was asleep only a few pages in but Regina continued to read. When Regina finished the book she put it on Emma's night table and kissed Emma goodnight on the forehead, "Good night sweetheart, sweet dreams"

Regina tucked Emma in and closed her door. Regina thought about the leaving Emma with MM for the day and decided that she would give them a chance, but if they blew it that was all they were going to be getting from her. And if Emma gets hurt in the process she is going to be their worst nightmare, because they don't know what she is capable of.


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