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next of kin

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Bone breaks with a sick sound, like a green branch wrapped in a sweater, kind of muffled unless it is someone's nose, then it's loud, but this snap carries even though she's far away. Of course, a dragon's wrist (is it a wrist when it's a talon?) is much bigger than a human's. Louder.

She winces, because Maleficent's not putting any weight on her front foot, and the landing was obviously wrong. Appreciated, because she threw her huge, scaled body in front of Emma and Killian because she's significantly more Roc-proof.

Still, the way she cradles her talon to her chest is bad, even when they've won, and bloody Roc feathers fall around them. The creature falls hard, hitting the ground like a truck dropped out of the sky. Killian tugs her down, raising his good hand to cover her head while the dust settles.

"Well, I guess it'll be a new special at Granny's. Roc strips with ranch." He makes the face that suggests chicken should never be served battered and ranch is an abomination.

"And a Roc wing it'll take all the dwarves to eat."

The dragon winces, at least, Emma's pretty sure that's what those closing eyes mean, then Maleficent shifts back. Her right wrist sits against her chest, just like it did in dragon form.

"You okay?"

"Nice work on the Roc, you tore its bloody head clean off."

"Overgrown birds die like birds," Maleficent says, her tone tight, brisk. She should be happy, but her wrist is definitely fucking broken.

"Let me see." Killian takes a step towards her, holding out his hand. "You landed on it, didn't you?"

"You two were right in the way of its claws."

"So you put your bloody paw there instead."

"I misjudged."

Killian only has to brush his hand against her forearm before she hisses. "That's broken."

"It's fine."

Emma smiles in sympathy, she knows how much it hurts. "I can't heal bones yet, I can't concentrate enough, we'll have to go to the hospital."

Mal takes a step back, her face paling, but her expression firm. "No."

"Can you heal broken bones?"

"Not when they're my own," she says through gritted teeth. "I can't trust myself not to make a mess of it if I'm distracted."

"Is there a way to make it not hurt?"

Mal shakes her head and stares down at her boots to collect herself. "No, I don't do that anymore."

Killian touches her good shoulder and they share a look. "I have some rum, it'll take the edge off."

Emma grabs her phone while Killian passes over his flask. Mal drinks clumsily with her left hand, her right still held up like an injured puppy would hold her paw. Emma's fingers fly over the screen.

Regina's going to be so worried. And pissed. Emma asked to borrow Maleficent because the Roc could fly. Emma broke her girlfriend. Shit .

"Come on, love, I'll let you sit in front."

"Unless you can poof us over?"

Mal makes a face again. Her eyebrows squish closer.. "We'd probably land in the sea."

He pats her shoulder and glances at the trees around them, then back at the car.  "I'll splint it, love, then we can drive. It won't take long."

"Must we go to this hospital?" How anyone that ancient can sound like a teenager is hilarious.

"Your wrist is broken, and I can't heal it."

"Killian can set it."

"He can set it well enough for a pirate ." Is everyone in Regina's house so stubborn?

"Might screw up and lose your hand," he teases, lifting his hook. "A dragon would need a very large hook to replace it."

That earns a weak little smile. He pulls a dagger from his boot, and a matching one from his belt and guides Mal's hand out over the hood of the Prowler. She hisses again and Emma meets her eyes.

"It's okay, it'll be quick."

Mal raises one eyebrow and nods to Killian. "Life is quick, dear."

He tugs and her wrist makes a sick squelching sound that turns Emma's stomach and it's not even her fucking wrist. Mal bites her lip, and inhales so sharply that Emma reaches for her, steadying her shoulders.

"Sorry, love." He wraps it up, sandwiched between daggers and Mal's a shade paler now, like old parchment. "It'll hurt less if we hit any of the wonderful potholes we're still trying to fix."

"Maybe I can motivate the Mayor to increase the budget for the roads." She whimpers while he wraps it up, Emma's scarf from the trunk is not the ideal splint, but he's trying.

"Perhaps we should go down our street."

Emma elbows him. "She doesn't deserve that."

The suspension in the Prowler is also crap. Poor dragon would probably find a way to teleport just out of pain at that point. Emma's phone rings, the Imperial March, Henry programed in for his other mother. She fumbles with it, nearly dropping the damn thing into the mud.

Regina skips hello and all other pleasantries. "Is she all right?"

"Her wrist's-" Emma pauses, looking at Killian. She mouths 'sprained?' but he shakes his head.

"Broken, definitely."

He helps Mal bring it back to her chest and she moans when he moves too fast.

"Broken," Emma says into the phone, but that familiar whooshing sound fills the phone and Regina's right there.

"What happened?" That's all sharp and Madame Mayor, but Killian touches Mal's arm, she gasps a little and Regina's face just melts. "Mal?"

"I landed wrong." Somehow Mal's voice is both pained and droll.

"She saved us from being ribbons." Killian finishes wrapping her arm against her chest and Regina glares.

"I asked you to be careful."

Mal raises an eyebrow. "You said be careful with the Roc, and I was. It didn't even break my scales." Henry calls that face "I'm a fucking dragon" but he'd never say that in front of Regina. Mal would laugh.

"No, you broke your wrist all on your own. Do I need to tell you to be careful every time you take off?" Regina leans closer, and Mal rests her cheek against Regina's forehead.

Killian looks at Emma, smiling a little over Mal's shoulder. He mouths 'you think I'm overprotective' and Emma smirks and has to look away because she really shouldn't laugh.

"You need to go to the hospital."

"So I am told."

Killian rubs Mal's shoulder once more and steps back, letting them have their moment. He circles the bleeding corpse of the Roc and whistles at the damage Mal did to its neck before he returns to Emma.

Regina leans close enough that Emma can barely hear her. "I can't heal bones."

"I know, dear. It's all right."

Cuddling closer to Killian, she slips her hand into his. Broken bones fucking hurt, even if one is a dragon.

Regina glances back at them, and then they're all gone, caught up in a rush of magic and they appear in urgent care. Well, the emergency room really, but Storybrooke's little hospital is too small to be that busy, but they do try and divide it up. For once, it's busy.  Something happened down in the mine and three of the dwarves sit ahead of them, bloody and covered in dust, Aurora holds little Phillip against her chest while his father fills out paperwork.

Right, they'll need to do that.

"Have a seat."

The glare Regina fixes her with could melt steel but Emma waves over the room. "It's busy. They'll want Maleficent's information and I don't think she's ever been here before, so unless you magicked her up some medical records--"

"Say no to the Jell-o," Killian mutters, touching Mal's shoulder. "I'll get some tea."

Regina hovers, while Mal sits. She takes a step, resting her hand on her stomach, then sighs, sitting down and reaching for Mal's uninjured hand. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry?" Mal smirks at Regina but tears gleam in her eyes. "It's not like you created the hospital."

"I-" Regina releases her hand and fidgets with her sleeve, "I did, fine, I did."

Emma's cheeks go hot. They're so close and she should come up with a reason too... "I'll get the paperwork so you can get started."

She leaves them to rest their foreheads together and smile and just be a sappy mess together. They deserve it. Regina might not yell or terrify everyone in the hospital if she sits and holds Mal's hand.

Waiting her turn, she stuffs her hand in her pocket and pulls out her phone again. Lily should know her mom's okay, and Henry should know why they'll all be late, and maybe the fact that his mom and his step-dragon are going to be home late. He'll come up with something. She shoots them both a text while Phillip patiently tries to understand insurance cards and what the nurse wants from him.

Emma half listens to Phillip and Aurora, waits for Henry to respond and taps her fingers on her hip. Nurses and a doctor arrive to take the next one of the dwarves and the receptionist (that very grumpy-looking nurse) explains again how to fill out the papers.

When it's finally Emma's turn, she smiles and says hello, trying to start things easy. "Maleficent's injured. I don't think she's been here before and I bet she has no records."

"Second curse?" The nurse sighs and starts stacking forms.

"She was resurrected after the second curse."

"She was dead?"

"Maybe?" Emma rests her hands on the counter. "She's a dragon. Maybe dead doesn't mean what it does to you and-" Emma stops, because maybe the nurse isn't human either- "Me, what death means to me. Which is really kind of complicated."

"Trust me, sheriff, here, we know just how complicated it is." She taps her pen, then sighs. "We haven't treated a dragon before, so we'll need her medical history, her best explanation of how her species heals, what magic is present in her body in this form and any potential dangers facing the medical staff." Nurse Ratchet passes over two large folders. "And some guarantee for how she intends to pay, modern money, diamonds, gold coins, insurance, we take it all."

"Okay, great."

Regina will set the whole thing on fire. She'll march up there and-- Emma stops, clutching the fat folders of paperwork and a pen. Regina, for some reason, is sitting in a chair, holding a cup of tea. When Emma heads back over, she catches Mal's good hand on Regina's knee, and that might be enough to hold her in place.

"We have to fill out some forms."

Mal tilts her head towards Killian. "Why?"

"Hospitals love forms."

"They haven't treated a dragon before."

Regina sighs, starts to set down her tea and Emma shakes her head. "I can write."

Line one, name. She's got that, Maleficent at least spells it the same as Disney, so that's fine. Line two.


Mal raises an eyebrow, which softens the pain etched in her forehead for a moment. "What? Yesterday."

Killian chokes on his tea, really chokes and starts to laugh into his hand.

"Female," Regina answers for Mal. "She means what gender of dragon are you. How you'd identify. Not when we last--"

"Oh!" Mal's eyes widen. "I see. Female then."

"When were you born?"

"In the dark of winder winter, four winters after the comet." Mal winces when she moves her fingers and that little noise makes Regina start to stand. "No, dear."


"It hurts, it will be fine. Some of those dwarves are bleeding, and little Phillip is a child. They should go first."

Regina bites her lip rather than say something about the dwarves and Killian touches Mal's shoulder.

"They need something more numerical than four winters after the comet, love."

"That's not how we kept dates."

"I know, especially in the North, but they are obsessed with numbers here."

Regina nods sympathetically and very gently touches Mal's cheek. "What day you do think it was? The year isn't important."

Emma's phone buzzes and she pulls it out.

How the fuck did she break her wrist? Lily wants to know.

Landing. Emma sends back. She's okay. We're at the hospital. Do you know her birthday?

She doesn't know. I picked January 9th. She always says four winters after the comet, but that's not really a year.

Lily pauses. Emma writes January 9th in the box and leaves the year blank.

Is she really okay?

Setting the pen down, Emma smiles at her phone. Yeah, she's fine. Regina's fussing.

They're awful, aren't they? Like, ridiculous.

"Is it Henry?"

Emma tucks her phone away and smiles at Regina and Mal. "Lily, she says your birthday is January 9th."

"Then it is." Without thinking, Mal moves her broken wrist to reach for her tea. "Dammit."

"Still," Killian reminds her, guiding her wrist back to her chest. "Regina's got it, love."

Emma should be filling in Mal's address. She knows exactly where Regina's house is. Yet, she sits, staring as Regina holds Mal's tea up and they look at each other and she has to look at Killian because that's just too intimate for an audience. He nods, and his lips curl a little. He said they were in love weeks before she did and still hasn't let Emma live it down.

She carefully fills in Mifflin Street and stares at the very blank space for Maleficent's medical history. Start small. "Have you broken a bone before?"

"My own?"

"Yes, dear." Regina wraps her fingers tight around Mal's tea. "They need to know when you've been hurt before."

"Every time?"

"Took ages to tell them about all of my scars." Killian and Mal share a look. Hundreds of years of being a villain must take it's toll on dragons and pirates alike.

"Broken bones or flesh wounds, or both? Illnesses too?"

Emma stares at the blank square. She'll need more space, way more space, because Mal's fought other dragons, and hydras, been stabbed by knights, dragon hunters and vikings. Caught some terrible sounding diseases that are probably old Swedish or something but Emma can barely spell pneumonia in English or Latin or whatever it is. They're on the back of a page and Killian's mid-explanation about the kinds of pikes favored by the Landsknecht (whoever they are) when Nurse Ratchet finally calls Mal's name.

Regina bounces to her feet and Mal stares up at her, amused.

"What if I break the x-ray vision device?"

"Then I'll buy the hospital a new one."

"That's not in the budget."

"Who writes the budget?"

"I do." Mal leans in and kisses Regina's cheek. "I most definitely do."

"Hush, you're ruining all my secrets." Regina glances at Emma and Killian, all her careful protection gone from her face. "Thank you."

"She saved us."

Maleficent preens, pulling herself up to her full height. "I did."

"Clumsily," Killian adds and they look at each other and laugh. Really laugh, and it's not funny. Mal crashing into the ground to save both of them from certain-beaky-death is not funny at all, except they think it's hilarious and Regina's happy. Really happy, like happier than she's been since Marian-actually-Zelena came back and made things with Robin so very complicated. She's in love, and it's safe and wonderful, and her kids get along and Killian thinks they'll be married before the year is up.

He's probably fucking right.

She's going to hit him.

"I'll finish the forms," Emma says.

"Put her on my insurance." Regina adds over her shoulder and Emma stares down at the papers because insurance isn't like a tab. She can't just...

Fuck it. Storybrooke isn't the outside world. If Regina wants Mal on her insurance, she'll get it. She fills in the box for next of kin with Lily, Henry and Regina's names. Fiance is a little soon, but Killian's right, they'll get there.

"I told you."

"Don't gloat."

"I am very much going to gloat, love." Killian kisses her cheek, all pleased with himself. "As one reformed villain deeply in love, I promise you, the Mayor is smitten."

"Sometimes smitten isn't enough." Things happen, bad things, people lose each other and get separated by magic and curses and hasn't Regina had enough of that? Mal's been dead, lost their baby and Lily's only just getting to know her moms. If anyone deserves a chance this time. It's Regina and Mal.

"I beg to differ, Swan. Smitten was a great place for us to start."

She has a billion things to do. Paperwork, dead Roc disposal, texting Henry back, telling Lily that Mal's okay, even if she breaks X-Ray, but right now, she reminds herself that this is her story too, and her happy beginning's standing right next to her.