Not as it Seems

38


Archie tried to shield Emma as best he could from the debris and smoke.

When the rocks stopped falling and some of the smoke cleared Archie sat up. Archie hit his head on the way to the ground and has a cut on his eyebrow that was bleeding. Emma coughed and rolled over.

Archie looked at Emma asked, "You ok Emma?"

Emma winced and her face contorted into a frown, she looked at her arm and said, "It hurts"

Archie took out his cell phone, turned the flashlight on and looked at Emma's arm. He could now see that it was slightly bent at an odd angle and starting to swell.

Emma had tears rolling down her face, "Arckie, I wanna go home. I want my mommy."

Archie wiped Emma's tears and said, "I know, but we need to fix your arm first."

Emma nodded. Archie took off his jacket and gently lifted Emma's arm and made her a makeshift sling. Emma cried as her arm was jostled. Archie apologized and went as quickly and gently as he possibly could.

Archie looked at his phone but noticed there was no signal, it was only good as a flashlight.

They were trapped in the old mines, with a phone only useful as a flashlight, and with only 40% battery.

Archie knew that there were vent shafts in these mines he just needed to find one.

Archie stood up and helped Emma up. Archie and Emma began making their way further into the mines, hoping to find a way out or at least a point where they could be rescued.


Regina was outside of the mine talking with the fire marshal and some of the ex-miners. Basically the main entrance and exit has been blocked off due to the rocks. They can try to blow through the rock or find of of the old elevators, and use that to get them out. Both run the risk of causing the mine to further collapse.

Regina was still talking with the marshal when MM and David came barreling under the yellow tape, which kept the citizens away from the scene.

MM was yelling at Regina, "You didn't think it might be a good idea to tell me what happened?! That Emma is trapped in a mine?! You are a selfish bitch!"

Ruby stepped in front of Regina preventing MM from getting any closer to Regina and to stop Regina from attacking MM.

Regina calmly put her hand on Ruby's shoulder and whispered, "It's ok"

Ruby stepped aside and said, "Watch it MM, we don't need any more drama"

Regina took a predatory step towards MM and hardened her glare, "Ms. Blanchard, the fact that I need to tell you where Emma is, despite the fact that YOU were supposed to be watching her proves my point of you are not qualified or competent enough to raise a child. Emma was supposed to be in your and your husbands care, she was supposed to safe; you say you are her mother and that you deserve her, but obviously you don't! I gave you a golden opportunity to prove that you and your idiot could be parents, and you both messed up! Emma being in that mine is your fault!"

MM took a step back and David placed his hand on her shoulder, "No, it's mine. I- I asked her to move out, to come live with her parents. She got upset and ran off, Archie went after her. If you want to blame someone, blame me; Not Mary-Margaret"

Regina stood in shock, "You tried to coerce a 4 year old into move in with you?" David nodded. Regina then looked at MM, "Did you know about this?" MM rolled her eyes and nodded.

Regina laughed and said, "Good."

Everyone who was listening in on the conversation was confused. MM looked at Regina and said, "Wait what?"

Regina smirked and said, "It seems your idiocy has for once worked in my favor. The contract that we all signed clearly states that if you attempt to take Emma behind my back without legal means or harm Emma in any way you relinquish ALL rights to her. I would say trying to coerce Emma into moving in with you and causing her to be trapped in a mine is pretty clearly breaking the terms of the contract. As you may know the terms of the contract state that you are to be arrested and a restraining order is to be in effect immediately, keeping you away from myself and Emma. Sheriff Graham please apprehend this idiots."

MM screamed in annoyance, "You BITCH! You took my daughter from me! You sick twisted witch!"

Regina stepped into MM's personal space and said, "Yes, I took MY DAUGHTER away from you; I took my daughter away from the monster who left her on the side of the road alone and left for dead! You will never see Emma again, ever; In this life time or the next."

Just then Kathryn came through the crowd followed by two Boston police officers, "Officers those are the two."

Regina lifted and eyebrow and Kathryn smirked and replied, "Oh my bad, I did some slight digging into both David and Mary-Margaret. Both have warrants for their arrest in the state of Massachusetts, for credit card fraud. Lets just add on child endangerment while we are at it."

David and MM looked at each other and paled. The two Boston cops cuffed and led David and MM to their cruiser, putting them in the back. Before driving off to their station in Boston.

Kathryn waved at the officers and walked over to Regina. Regina smiled and pulled Kathryn into a hug, "how?"

Kathryn smiled and said, "There was no way MM and David had the funds to afford a child, but all of a sudden they want to take Emma. Something was fishy. I had no grounds to investigate until today. All it took was a quick call to the bank to notice there was a inflow of cash, something didn't add up. A quick google search of fraud in the Northeastern Region and presto! Quick call to Officer Turner at the BPD and you get two officers here within a few hours, ready to arrest the suspects."

Regina smiled and said, "How in the world did you access their bank account?"

Kathryn smirked, "David never took my name off of the account, he only added MM's name. Technically I am still a part of that account. Think of me as a silent partner. Idiots."

Regina just laughed and gave Kathryn another hug, "Thank you. I don't know how to repay you for this."

Kathryn squeezed Regina and said, "I'll think of something, but first lets get mini me out of the mines."

Regina chuckled and said, "Mini me? Really?"

Kathryn just nodded and said, "She is cute, blonde, and smart. Mini me."

Regina was going to respond but the fire marshal approached, "Madam mayor, we think we got them. But the elevator don't seem too work. We are gonna have to harness someone in and lower them."

Regina was quick to volunteer, but Ruby stopped her, "Hey, let me. Don't give me that look Emma is like my niece, and Archie is a friend. Also you have been behind a desk for 5 plus years. I at least run and work out daily."

Regina nodded and said, "If it was any other situation I would take that as an insult."

Ruby put the harness on and smirked. Regina walked over to her and helped her connect the harness to the ropes, "Ruby are you sure?" Ruby just nodded, "Ok. please be careful. And um.. please, bring Emma to me." Ruby hugged Regina and gave the marshal a thumbs up.

Ruby sat on the edge of the elevator shaft. She was handed and extra harness just in case and was slowly and gently lowered into the mine.

When she reached the ground she turned on the flashlight and called out, "Emma, Archie can you hear me? PUP! ARCHIE! HELLO?!"

Ruby waited a few seconds and heard clinking. Ruby undid the rope and followed the clinking sounds.

The sounds were getting louder. Ruby saw them. Archie was banging a rock against the mine walls while he sat on the ground with a sleeping Emma resting next to him.

Ruby ran forward and knelt next to Emma, "She's ok. Exhausted though." Archie said when he saw the worried look on Ruby's face.

Ruby turned to Archie and pulled him into a hug, "Glad to see you two ok. Come on lets get out of here."

Archie nodded and said, "Careful. She broke her arm when we the rocks blocked us in"

Ruby nodded and gently, to avoid Emma's arm, lifted Emma into her arms.

Ruby led them back to the ropes and called up to the marshal, "I got them!"

Marshal gave a thumbs up, "Alright just let us know when you are ready to be pulled up"

Ruby was thinking, "Archie take the harness on the ground there and go up first."

Archie went to argue but Ruby beat him, "No. I can't support your weight, and I'm not leaving Emma down here alone."

Archie didn't like the idea but knew it was the best way, he nodded and quickly got the harness on and attached to the roped. He gave the marshal a thumbs up and was lifted out of the mine.

Regina watched as Archie was lifted. Once he was back on solid ground she asked, "Where is Emma? Is she ok?"

Archie nodded and said, "She is ok. She broke her arm when we dodged the falling rocks. She passed out from exhaustion about 25 minutes ago. But other than that she seemed fine."

Paramedics came over and ushered Archie to the back of an ambulance, where they began to treat his head wound.

The marshal was now lifting Ruby and Emma. Ruby had shifted Emma so she could wrap her arms underneath Emma's bottom. Emma had her arm close to her chest, still in the makeshift sling, while her other hung limply.

Ruby reattached the rope and gave the marshal a thumbs up to lift them up.

When Ruby and Emma were on solid ground Regina reached forward to take Emma.

Mindful of Emma's arm Regina clutched Emma to her chest and cried tears of relief to have her daughter back in her arms.

The paramedics came over to Regina and told her to bring Emma over to the ambulance so she could be checked out. While the paramedics did their initial check up Regina went over to Ruby.

Regina grabbed Ruby by the shoulders and pulled her into a fierce and tight hug.

Regina repeatedly thanked Ruby, "Thank you Ruby. So so so so so m-m-much"

Ruby hugged back just as tightly and said, "Your welcome, now go take Pup to the hospital. I will stop by later."

Regina nodded and quickly spoke with the paramedics, then climbed into the back of the ambulance.


Regina was sitting in Emma's room waiting for Emma to wake up. Regina thought about how big Emma had gotten in just the few weeks that she has been with Regina, yet how small she still looks in the hospital bed; and how small her arm looks with the purple cast.

Regina was checking her email on her phone when someone knocked at the door.

Regina looked up and saw Cora, "Mother. What are you doing here?"

Cora took a seat next to Regina and said, "Well I got a call from Ruby telling me Emma was trapped in a mine and that MM and David were arrested for fraud and child endangerment, and are being taken to Boston for their crimes. So of course I got on the first plane back here. I wanted to make sure you both really were alright."

Regina nodded and said, "Yeah. I-I'm alright. It has been a crazy day. But Emma is alright, just exhausted. She is probably going to sleep the rest of the night."

Regina ran a hand through her hair, "Ugh.. and I need a hair cut."

Cora looked down and said, "Regina, I must ask you something."

Regina looked at Cora and said, "ok."

Cora took a deep breath and asked, "Do you still keep your hair short, be-because of what I did?"

Regina leaned back in her chair and said, "I don't know, maybe subconsciously. Keeping it short just become habit."

Cora had tears in her eyes and said, "Regina please know that I am truly and deeply sorry. I-I over reacted, I shouldn't have done that. Forcing you to cut you hair like that... The things I did... I-I hope that one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me."

Regina was taken aback she never expected for Cora to remember much, less apologize for cutting her hair, and the residual consequences. Regina saw how hard her mother was trying, and she defiantly gave her credit for that.

Regina took Cora's hand and said, "I think I'm going to let it grow out. Maybe not as long as before but longer than usual."

Cora looked at Regina and gave a teary chuckle, "What ever you think is best dear."

Regina smiled and pulled Cora into a hug, knowing she just took another step on the extremely long road to fixing her relationship with Cora.

Regina and Cora were still in a hug when Emma woke up. Emma groggily opened her eyes and called out, "Mommy."

Regina quickly released Cora and ran over to Emma's bed, "Hi baby, how you feeling?"

Emma blinked slowly and said, "sleepy."

Regina kissed Emma on the forehead and said, "i know, go back to sleep. I will be here when you wake up ok."

Emma was falling back asleep when she mumbled, "I don't wanna see David and MM no more."

Regina smiled and gave Emma one last kiss on the head, "ok sweetheart. You don't have to see MM and David any more. I promise."

Emma mumbled something before she fell back asleep, but Regina couldn't understand.

Regina pulled the cover up and tucked Emma in. When she looked back up Ruby and Kathryn were standing in the doorway with flower, balloons, and stuffed animals. Regina smiled and gave them each a hug, "She just fell back asleep"

Ruby nodded and said, "We just wanted to drop this stuff off for Emma, and to check and see how you were doing."

Kathryn, Ruby, Regina, and Cora all sat down around Emma's bed. Regina smiled and took Emma's hand, just enjoying the comfort it gave her to know Emma was close and safe.

Regina asked about Archie, and Kathryn said, "He is fine, slight concussion, a bruise, and a tiny cut." Regina nodded.

Regina looked around the room and said, "Thank you. All of you."

She didn't need to go into detail about what she meant, cause they all knew, thank you for being here, for looking after Emma, for looking after me, and for believing in me.

The four sat around talking while Emma slept.

This wasn't how Regina saw her life going- having a child, a daughter, making friends, fixing her relationship with her mother- none of that seemed to be in the cards for Regina before Emma. Regina looks to Emma's sleeping form and quickly gives her another kiss on the head, whispering "thank you, darling" , because if not for Emma she wouldn't have these people; and Regina can't even imagine her life without these people, without her family.


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