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The Custody Arrangement

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     “Hello Snow.” Regina says as she walks into the White’s sitting room.
     “Regina!” Snow says as she turns around. David instantly stands in front of her. 
     “How did you get in here?” David asks.
     “Your guards are easily manipulatable.” Regina replies.
     “What did you do to them?” Snow asks
     “I did not kill them if that is what you are asking.” Regina says while nonchalantly checking her nails.
     "What do you want?” David asks
     “I heard about your pregnancy and I have a proposal for you.” Regina replies.
     “We do not want anything from you” David says.
     “Even if it means you will not lose your daughter and get to raise her?”
     “We do not car-“ David starts before Snow cuts him off
     “I am listening.” Snow says.
     “I will not cast the curse, if when after your daughter’s eighth birthday, she will start spending one weekend a month. When she is nine, it will increase to four days a month. Once she is ten, she will stay one week a month. When she turns 14, she can choose how often she would like to stay with me, with a minimum of one week a month. Everything is in this letter there is a contract on the last page. You have until her birth. When you go into labor I will know. You will have seven hours to let me know. If you have not replied by then, I will cast it. If you try to send her away to protect her, I will find her and kill her in front of you before killing both of you. Goodbye Snow.” Regina leaves the letter on a table and teleports away.

 

Dear Snow,
     I will not cast the curse and destroy your life if you agree to the following terms.

     1. I will be allowed to visit her at least once a month, on a random day of my choosing until she is eight.
     2. After her eighth birthday, she will start spending one weekend a month at my castle.
     3. After her ninth birthday, she will start spending four days a month, in a row, at my castle.
     4. After her tenth birthday, she will stay at my castle with me one week out of the month.
     5. After her 14th birthday she will be able to choose how long she would like to stay with me. One week a month is still required.
     6. On her 18th birthday she will be forced to choose between two choices.
          a. Stay at my castle full time and visit you one week out of the month and when she wants.
          b. Or stay at your castle and continue the current custody until she is married.
     7. You may not marry her off before her 18th birthday.
     8. She will have a say in who she marries.
     9. I have final approval of who she marries.
     10. You need tell her about this agreement before her seventh birthday.
     11. More terms may be decided when she turns eight.

     You have until you go into labor to decide. After that you will be given seven hours after that to give me your decision. If you have not responded after that, I will cast the Dark Curse where you will be separated from your daughter forever. If you try to hide her or send her away from me I will find her and she will be mine.
I hope you make the right decision,
     Regina Mills, Queen of the Kingdom of Darkness

     “David, we have to accept.” Snow says.
     “She cannot hurt us.” David replies. “Killing us is an empty threat.”
     “We have a few months to decide.”

***

     “Send the bird David!” Snow yells before she screams.
     David fumbles as he ties a note to a dove and sends it out the window. The bird flies across the land to Regina’s window. “Let us see what their answer is.” Regina says to herself. Regina opens the note and smiles. “They accept the deal and have signed the contract.” Regina chuckles to herself and seals the contract with magic. “Now the real fun can begin.” Regina teleports to her potion room and finds the potion she created the day after she gave Snow and David the letter. She pops the cork off and drinks the potion. Her body has a white glow around it for a moment. “Now I will be the same for 28 years.”

***

     Regina stands in the back of the ballroom leaning against a wall. She watches Snow and David get ready to make an announcement with the baby in Snow’s arms. “We would like to present, Princess Emma White, next in line for the throne. This day will be for celebrating the new life and new era of our kingdom. Enjoy yourselves.” Regina pushes herself off of the wall and walks through the crowd.
     As Regina approaches Snow, the guards stop her. “Nobles only.” One of the guards say.
     “Do not make me snap your neck.” Regina whispers to them.
     Both guards take a step back. “We are sorry, your majesty, we did not know it was you.”
     Regina rolls her eyes and walks past them. She walks up to the cradle where baby Emma is. “So cute.”
     “Guards, why is there a peasant up here?” David says.
     “Because not everyone knows about the truce so, if I showed up here normally, I would cause a scene.” Regina says.
     “Oh, Regina.” Snow grumbles.
     “Sorry do you want me to drop the glamour and cause chaos?” Regina snaps back.
     “No.” Snow quickly replies. “Thank you for hiding yourself.”
     “Whatever.” Regina says before looking down at Emma. “So cute, so innocent.” Emma giggles and tries to reach for Regina. “I see she already likes me.”
     “She does that to everyone.” David says.
     “If you say so. Hello Princess.” Regina smiles down at Emma. “Your parents finally made a smart decision in their lives.” Regina steps back from the cradle. “I will be back in a few months.” Regina teleports away in a cloud of purple smoke, causing all three royals to cough.

***

     “Hello, little one.” Regina says as she appears sitting on the floor next to Emma in her sitting room.
     “Gina!” The blonde yells as she jumps on Regina’s lap.
     “How are you?” Regina asks
     “Momma keep say that you mean.” Emma says in her jumbled 3-year-old vocabulary.
     “I have been mean to her. I will never be mean to you, Princess.” Regina says. “What are we doing?”
     “Puzzle” Emma replies. “Help?”
     “Of course. What is the puzzle of?”
     “I don’t know. It new.” They work on the puzzle together. “Oh, it another horse.” Emma says sadly. Regina flicks her wrist and the horse turns into a unicorn. Emma giggles before she yawns. “You comfy.” Emma curls up against Regina. Regina freezes up and holds her hands off to the side. Emma starts to fall asleep as Regina holds her. Regina uses her magic to levitate Emma. Regina stands and uses her magic to carry Emma to her bed. Regina carefully tucks Emma into bed. She quietly slips out of the bedroom and goes into the sitting room. Regina starts to pick up the puzzle.
     Snow bursts into the room. “What is going on?” She almost yells.
     “Be quiet Snow.” Regina says. “She is fine and taking a nap.”
     “Blue felt your magic longer than normal.”
     “I levitated her to her bedroom. She fell asleep on me and is getting too heavy to carry.”
     “I thought this was a horse puzzle.”
     “I changed it. She was tired of horses.”
     “I thought she liked horses.”
     Regina puts the pieces of the puzzle back in their box before standing. “Maybe she does, that does not mean to get her a lot of horse items. She will get tired of horses quickly.”
     “Regina why are you here right now? You normally send us a letter warning us.”
     “I have my reasons.” Regina says as she walks over to the bedroom door. She peeks in, checking on Emma. “She looks so peaceful in her sleep. Sadly she looks too much like you in her sleep as well.”
     “How are you Regina?” Snow asks.
     “Do not act like you care.” Regina says as she rolls her eyes. Regina walks over to Emma and kisses her forehead before teleporting home.
     Snow leans against the doorway to let her heart rate down. “Everything okay?” David says as he walks in.
     “Yes.” Snow says. “Regina was just putting her down for her nap. Nothing to worry about.”
     “Good.” David replies.
     “I am worried about her.”
     “Emma?”
     “No, Regina.”
     “Why do you care?”
     “She was my mother for a while. Something is bothering her.”
     “Maybe she is finally realizing she is a bad person.”

***

     “I am getting too close to her.” Regina says.
     “Why is that a problem?” Sir Henry asks.
     “I have plans Daddy. Plans that can be messed up if I get to close.”
     “She loves you Regina.”
     “I know. I will let her cling to me for another year.”

***

     “It is time for bed Princess.” Emma’s nanny says.
     “But Gina said she would tuck me in.” Emma replies.
     “Her Majesty left an hour ago.” The nanny replies.
     “But she promised.” Emma says as she starts to cry. “She promised she would tell me a story and tuck me in.”
     Regina waves her hand over the mirror and the image fades. “Why do I feel so bad about this? I broke a little girl’s heart so what.”
     “Maybe it is because you care for her.” The man in the mirror says.
     Regina rolls her eyes as she stands from her vanity. “I do not care for a little princess. Especially when she is the spawn of Snow White.”