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Taken

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Regina waved her hands and put the entire house under magical lock down. She certainly didn’t want Emma using her unskilled, undisciplined, highly emotional magic. She was however confident that the girl would remain by her side and not run off so she left off the second spell which would keep the woman confined to the house.

She led the savior down stairs carrying the greasy bag from the diner with her. Emma followed very closely looking around wide eyed, as if she had never been there before. Regina went into the kitchen and threw out the bags, bumping into the blonde as she turned around. Emma hugged her fiercely in response.

“Okay, help me drag the books into the study then?” Emma took a deep breath and nuzzled into Regina's neck. “You smell amazing.”

“Thank you. Books. Car. Trunk. Study.” She pulled the girl away from her and pushed her towards the door, but Emma reached out and grabbed a hold of the mayor's hand, dragging her behind as she walked obediently out the door.

They managed to make quick work of hauling the books that almost overflowed the trunk and Regina explained what keywords they were looking for. She separated the subjects of the books into categories, the first pile being the one of most likely having the answers she was searching for, and less likely subjects like summoning spells and the like, the last pile was books that Regina was certain did not carry any pertinent information, then sub categorized each pile into spells, potions and enchantments. Emma dutifully took books and placed them in the pile Regina instructed and returned by her side to await the next book. It took several hours just to sort the library and once they were finished Regina clasped her hands. “Okay, let’s start!”

Regina's phone buzzed on the counter in the other room. She looked at the clock, ‘Henry is home from school.’

“Emma dear,“ she started, she wasn’t sure if allowing the boy to speak with Emma would be wise. If he heard his mother, he would ask and she felt that the situation was far too complicated for her to explain to their 12 year old child. “I need to use the phone, would you be a dear and start with this book, you remember what we are looking for right?” Emma took the book and nodded, her eyes showed clear signs of anxiety. “I will be in the kitchen,” she pointed towards the room she meant with her finger, but the reassurance didn’t seem to help the look in the savior’s eyes. Regina sighed deeply, hoping the next sentence wouldn’t blow up in her face. “Ok darling, listen, I’ll stay here, but I need to speak with our son, I need you to be very quiet. Can you do that?” a wide smile carved dimples into the blonde’s fair cheeks and she nodded her agreement.

“Alright, fetch my phone from the kitchen, won’t you?” figuring it was less stressful for Emma if the girl went to go get the phone than it was for the mayor to leave the room even for a moment. Regina made special note that the act of being left was what the problem was and not necessarily being by herself.

Emma eagerly jumped up and ran to retrieve Regina's phone for her, promptly depositing it into the brunette’s waiting hands. Regina smiled her approval and thanked her. She sat down behind her desk and turned on her phone. Emma sat down at Regina's feet behind the large desk and opened the book she was given, carefully scanning each page.

Regina carefully studied the girl’s position and asked, “Wouldn’t you prefer to sit on the couch dear?”

Emma shook her head carefully then lost green eyes looked up and met the gaze of the queen before she asked, “Unless you want me to?” Regina was thoroughly perplexed at the woman and her odd behavior and she shook her own head and replied, “Wherever you are comfortable dear.”

Emma slid closer to Regina, until she was touching her calf with her shoulder and bowed her head back down to the book in her lap and continued with the search.

Okay then.’

Regina turned on her phone to grab the text message from her son.

 

Henry: Mom, I’m back from school. Call me.

 

She dialed Henry's phone and waited for him to pick up.

“Mom! Hi!” he sounded almost exasperated to get her call.

“Henry darling are you alright?” she was concerned, but didn’t want to sound concerned.

“Yeah. I’m just happy you called.” she could hear his smile in his voice and her heart warmed. They were getting to an ease in their relationship they had never known and she savored every moment she had with him.

“Of course dear. How was school?”

He pratted on about how some boy told a joke at lunch and made a girl spit chocolate milk out of her nose which ruined her dress and everyone laughed. “It was pretty funny, but she was embarrassed. I walked with her to the office so she could call her mom to have her bring dry clothes.”

Regina’s pride beamed from the large smile that was spread across her face. “You are a prince my boy.”

“Nah, it just felt like the right thing to do.”

“I am proud of you darling.”

“Thanks… How’s Emma?”

“She is… safe.” She chose her words carefully not wanting to alarm the boy.

“Gramps hurt his hands this morning.” He prodded for information. She guessed the Charming's hadn’t given him a satisfactory reason for David's injuries and he was hoping she knew. They had this new ‘no lying’ rule between them now and it seemed as though the preteen was using it to his advantage.

“Yes I know, I saw him this morning.” she replied figuring he knew as much which was why he was pumping her for information. “What did he say happened.” she asked carefully.

“He said he scraped them moving boxes at the sheriff's station, but I know that isn’t the truth.”

She smirked as pride of how smart her child was warmed her heart. “Oh? Did you inherit your mother's special power son?”

He laughed and admitted, “No, Gramps is just a terrible liar.”

She joined him in his little joke and agreed. “Indeed he is Henry.”

“Do you know what happened?” he asked, apparently tired of beating around the bush.

“Yes.” She didn’t want to lie to him, she promised she wouldn’t. “But… “ she searched for a white washed version of the truth but was coming up blank.

“But?” he prodded hopefully.

“But, I don’t think it is something we should discuss. I won’t lie to you dear, but I don’t think the truth is appropriate.”

He was silent on the other end of the phone.

“Henry…”

His voice was quiet when he answered her, he hated being treated like a baby. “Yes?”

She sighed realizing he wasn’t going to be content unless she gave him something. “David was in a fight. He was protecting your mother. Don’t ask me follow up questions darling.”

“Thanks Mom, for telling me the truth.” She could hear his smile in his voice. “And not treating me like a little kid.”

“You're welcome darling.” She was so proud of him sometimes it made her heart ache. “Listen honey, Ruby will be by later on, is there anything you need for school that is here? I can make you up a bag.”

“Some comics would be awesome mom!”

“The Mass Effect ones?” she asked knowing he had just gotten a few new ones to the series.

“You get me.” He beamed at how she made a point to know everything about him. Other kids complain about how their parents are so stupid and know nothing about them. His adoptive mother had always not only known, but had been involved in everything he had ever shown the slightest interest in. Even before the curse was broken. He didn’t always think she loved him, but after the curse was broken he had come to terms with the fact that she did, and always had.

“Yes well,” she blushed a bit. “You are my son Henry. Of course I get you.”

“Do you know how long I’ll stay here for mom?”

“No, but I am working as quickly as I c… AH.” She stiffened in her seat as Emma curled her arm around Regina's calf, mindlessly stroking behind her knee. “Can.”

“Mom?”

“Yes dear, I just almost dropped the phone.” She looked down at Emma who was still scanning the book she had, she leaned into the mayor's leg resting her head on Regina's thigh.

Regina tried to focus on her son. “So yes, as quickly as possible.”

“Are you going to ask Mr. Gold for help? I heard Gram talking to someone that magic stuff happened to Ma.”

She sighed and pooled her reserve of patience for the fact that Snow White could never keep her damned mouth shut about anything. “Although that is true, I would prefer not to if I don’t have to Henry.”

He knew they had a complicated relationship, but the man was the Dark One and was also very knowledgeable on magics and may be able to provide answers for his mother’s. “He would help you mom. Belle is good and she likes us…”

She knew very well what he was getting at, “Yes darling, but Em… Your mother, isn’t quite herself, and her condition isn’t something that people who don’t need to know, should. If I have to, I will seek his assistance Henry, I promise, but I would prefer not to break her confidence unnecessarily.”

“Okay mom.” He accepted her reasoning without follow up questions. Questions he was burning to ask, but he knew she wouldn’t tell him so he didn’t bother.

“Is Mary Margaret feeding you?” she changed the subject.

He chuckled. “Of course!! I got to have Crunch n Berries for breakfast!” he teased. “She let me put extra sugar on them and everything!”

“Augh!” she exclaimed her disgust. “Henry Daniel Mills you best be joking!”

He broke out in hysterical giggles. “Yeah Mom! She made eggs and bacon.” He added much quieter, “They were a little rubbery and the bacon was crumbly. Yours are much better.”

His attempt to stroke her ego pleased her to no end. “Of course, Snow is used to cooking over an open fire pit.” She drawled.

They laughed together. “Okay Henry, I’ll ask Ruby to drop off some stuff, she may not get to do it tonight, but as soon as she can okay darling?”

“Thanks Mom.”

“Get your homework done before TV young man.”

“Yes Mom.”

“I love you Henry.”

“I love you too. Tell Emma I said Hi.”

“I will. Good night Henry.”

“Talk to you tomorrow Mom.”

She hung up the phone and held it against her chest and felt the love she felt for her child. She missed her son. The fingers that had been rubbing her leg, slowed, Emma was simply just holding on as she scanned through the book. Her head was still nuzzled into Regina's thigh however and Regina could feel the warmth of the savior’s skin as the woman absently rubbed her cheek against the queen’s outer thigh. Regina quietly pushed the emotions that rose up at the blonde's absentminded ministrations and picked up a book from the pile they were working on and started going through it, leaving Emma how she chose to sit.