The Massachusetts General Hospital that morning was full of movement.
Dr. Emma Swan, one of the most renowned pediatricians in the place was running down the halls faster than usual, her mind lost in the case that had come to her office that morning.
The prospect of what she had to do next didn't thrill her at all, but it was absolutely necessary if she wanted to save the life of her new patient. She was heading towards her office.
The neurosurgeon named Regina Mills, or as the entire hospital called her behind her back, the Evil Queen; she was the chief of surgery, recognized for her ability to make the toughest doctors bow before her, but also (as Emma had to admit) known to be the most brilliant surgeon of her generation. And her skills was all the blonde needed, she would handle the problem of her temper later.
Emma knocked firmely at Dr. Mills door, a flat "Come in" was heard from the inside.
Leting herself in, she scanned the other woman's office.
The place looked pristine and sterile. The decorations were monochromatic, no portraits or something reflecting the personality of its occupant. Dr. Mills was behind a massive desk made of heavy black wood. Her eyes lost in a chart where she was scribbling with quick movements of her skilled hands. Emma was momentarily lost in the vision before her, she really looked like a queen.
Noting the lack of words in her guest, Regina looked up to see what happened. She hated when interns entered her domains to make a query and then keep quiet or begin to stutter.
But before her there was no intern. The one and only Emma Swan was there, standing uncomfortably in her office. She had never seen her in person but her reputation preceded her, intelligent, insightful, friendly ... everyone loved her.
"Dr. Swan, I hope you have a good reason to stand there without uttering a word. My time is valuable"
Emma regained her composure, remembering why she had voluntarily gotten into this predicament.
"Yes, Dr. Mills. Is one of my patients. A difficult case but if my diagnosis is correct we do not have much time and I'm afraid you're the only one who can help him"
Regina said nothing, just reached for the chart Emma was holding, to read all patient data.
Emma sighed, approaching her. If Regina accepted the case, Henry could have a chance.
Regina carefully scanned the medical record that the blonde gave her.
"The reason for medical consultation is a fall from a ladder?"
"That's what the guy who brought him said"
The dismissive tone used by Dr. Swan didn't go unnoticed by the surgeon
"Care to explain?"
Emma sighed deeply.
"The boy is an orphan, this guy is just another one in a list of foster homes he's been latlty. Apparently, the attitude of the 10 year old boy wasn't something a big guy like him could handle so he tried to pass it off as an accidental fall"
"You're basing that opinion on a mere assumption Dr. Swan?"
Emma took another step toward Regina's desk and sat in one of the chairs in front of her.
"I spent most of the morning with the boy, Dr. Mills, the physical exam was thorough, his wounds and bruises have long standing. Someone have been hitting this kid for a while"
It was almost imperceptible but Emma was able to detect a change in the eyes of the brunette, her eyes hardened and her jaw muscles tightened.
"Where can I find... Henry now?" She said, reading the boy's name in the papers before her.
"He is in the observation room, I wouldn't want to return him to that ape yet"
Regina nodded and got up from her chair.
"Let's go see him," she said, putting on her white coat "You can continue telling me the results of the studies that you've done so far on the way"
Both doctors moved decisively through the corridors of the hospital, Emma admired Regina as the tide of people would instantly move when she approached. The brunette 's eyes were lost in the papers detailing Henry medical history.
"Tell me how you came to this diagnosis?" Regina said, pointing to the paper where Emma nearly illegible handwriting described the pathology she believed to be responsible for the poor health of the child.
"First there were symptoms that caught my attention" the blonde began. "Supposedly, after the fall from the stairs, the boy began with nausea and dizziness, vision problems and irritability"
"Sounds like a brain injury"
"I thought so until I started to see the old bruises on Henry's body. Anyway, I ordered a MRI to rule out brain bleeding. When I was accompanying the boy back with his adoptive parents, I asked him some questions. It turns out that all this started at least 6 months, that's why they beat him so much"
"They thought it was all the fault of the unstable nature of the child?" Regina asked surprised.
"So it seems, that gorilla who calls himself a father was furious when I said I wanted to ask for a consultation with you," Emma said as a disheveled guy appeared a few steps from them.
The two women had come to the waiting room where Henry's adoptive family sat. At that distance they all looked visibly repulsive, the dad was beyond description, the mother smoked in the waiting room even when there was a really big sign that forbid it, and at least 3 kids were running around causing all sorts of problems for people who were also waiting at the place, their parents didn't seem to mind at all.
Regina's lips curled into a disapproving gesture.
"Do you have the results of the MRI?" She asked, turning to Emma's office , led by the blonde.
"Yes, that's why I called you"
Both entered the office, in every corner there were toys scattered carelessly, brightly colored posters covered the walls, famous cartoon characters smiling from their places on the shelves.
"I had ordered the MRI to rule out bleeding but I found this"
Regina took the image the pediatrician extended her and went to the window looking for a light source, what she saw made her frown in concern.
"A tumor," she said, while analyzing the brain images "seems to be located in the birth of the fourth pair of cranial nerves"
"Yes ," Emma said, standing behind her "it has defined edges and the image is much more opaque than is usually found in carcinoma... I think it may be benign at least I hope so"
Regina nodded, looking at the blonde.
"Very good diagnosis Dr. Swan"
Emma couldn'thelp but blush and smile at the compliment from renowned surgeon.
"We should make a biopsy after we remove this tumor" the brunette continued, "to ensure that it is benign"
"So... you'll do the surgery?" Emma asked.
"Of course," she said the other woman.
"They don't have money to pay for the procedure," Emma said, feeling guilty for not mentioning before, " they don't have health insurance either, and I doubt they can pay for days the kid need to be hospitalized"
Regina looked at Emma and a small smile crossed her lips.
"I could guess that as soon as I saw his parents, Dr. Swan, and am aware that the surgery will be done outside of my fee. I don't know what kind of heartless person you think I am"
Emma smiled back, that woman wasn't the evil queen everyone talked about.
"I'm sure everything will be fine and this child will recover, but it will take many days of neurological and physical rehabilitation"
"I know, I'll be responsible for Henry until he can return to his parents. Well, maybe not with the same parents, I'll find a good home for him," the doctor said, convinced that she wascdoing the right thing .
"All right, let's meet our boy"