Actions

Work Header

I can't make you Love me, if you don't.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

When life is created, it is also a given that any and all things, care and concern wise must be taken very seriously. It’s also a lesson in itself on how to take care of another, whether they be an infant, a child, a teenager, adult or senior citizen. The whole idea behind life is to exist, be taken care of, take care of and survive.

 

Life was given four times over the course of four years. Three little girls existed just as one little boy existed. Auburn red, brunette and blonde is how they all came. From oldest to youngest, 1990, 1992 and then again in ‘93. The first little girl came  unexpectedly to the newly married and still very young adults- Cora and Henry Mills. June 12th, 1990 was the day that Zelena Cordelia Mills came into the world wailing and shrieking at just about any and everybody who held her, inclusive of her parents. Her massively wide blue eyes that held so much hues of ocean in them, slicked down copper-auburn hair that just magnified them even more and her tiny palms that flailed only served to make her parents cry with joy at her features. She was a healthy weight for such a tiny looking screamer and when her grandparents held her shortly after she’d come out it was blatantly obvious that Zelena’s features came from Cora, but her hair came from the man’s great grandmother... and though the pair had been on the receiving end of the doctor’s terrible attempt at a joke relating her hair colour to that of Hades… even though his was blue, they managed to ignore it and continuously coo at their darling baby girl. He then further dug himself a grave by stating that she’ll be a hard woman to please and it took just about all of Henry’s control not to throttle the man. Still, his daughter was now here and they were nowhere near prepared in the givings of life on ways to deal with her considering both of them grew up as only children. They’d been assigned a nurse who would help them through the first month and then they were on their own after that and it was funny considering Henry was quite nearly done with his degree in Pediatrician and yet still, he panicked over the care of his own child. His father had told him once before, ‘ It doesn’t matter what profession you have to help another, even if children are included, when your own family and children are concerned, you lose all of that knowledge in less that half a second.. Your mother was the same with me when I was sick…’ Oh how true were his father’s words right now as he and Cora battled to be off the two hour shift of feeding and burping and wailing and poop. They’d managed to figure out that Zelena could sleep longer if they fed her at a certain time and that she didn’t necessarily eat much, she was just constantly hungry because she screamed so much. She pooped on cue which was no surprise, but other than that, she was a predominantly happy baby, so by the time the nurse left, they’d gotten the hang of it and had even managed to time her new behaviours in record time in order to change with her moods.

 

As much as the man and woman claimed to never do it again.. they did the do again and found themselves on the way to becoming parents to another infant.. again. It was in essence, very very unplanned, not that Zelena was planned, but this second one was not planned in the slightest even though they did the do with no condoms. He’d shook his head and scolded himself because ‘ I just had to say I wanted to feel without the damn thing, huh!’ and that just made Cora about buckle over with laughter. He’d soon found himself laughing as well because why wouldn’t you when commons sense served its purpose and neither adhered to it. Zelena was barely past a year and seven months when they found out Cora would be bearing another Mills seed, but she would have been lying if she said she wasn’t happy about this one too because in all honesty, she’d hoped for another girl to come out of it and to be close in age...which was probably why she agreed to their ‘no condom’ rule within that moment. Between his final few classes, his already growing baby, another on the way and Cora constantly and consistently working for the realtors, Henry found himself overwhelmed but happy at what his life was shaping up to be and by the time he and his wife were once again in the birthing room with Cora crying more than she was screaming, he was ready to meet the newest member of his family. Of course they had another girl, and of course he cooed at her just as much as he did Zelena, but this little baby, oh goodness did she ever look like both their mothers combined. She came out with a wild tuft of dark brown hair on her head that was quite obviously from his hispanic side, but then it wasn’t completely ringlets as the ends were straight, identifying Cora’s Italian heritage. Her skin was dipped darker than Zelena’s that was paler in comparison and her eyes were dipped in a night sky kind of dark chocolate.

By now Zelena was two and some and completely confused as to what was happening. She knew she was getting a sibling, she just didn’t know how and much like her father did, she would lay on her mother’s stomach and rub it in hopes of having her little sibling kick like her mother told her they would. Much like their parents were available for Zelena’s birth, they were there, happily and anxiously waiting on the news on this baby’s gender. When Henry tearily announced another little princess and told the women that she looked more like them than either him or Cora, there were tears and pushing to just view this little bundle of joy..who, mind you was still screaming.

This one, was definitely not a quiet baby and they realised she wasn’t because she was colicky..very colicky. She wasn’t early, and she wasn’t late, she was completely on time, she was just colicky and by now Henry had more than enough knowledge to deal with this baby better than he did with Zelena. They let their parents name her and the name they settled on was Regina Ariana Mills.. And they had settled on that rather quickly, almost as if it were planned. Henry laughed it off because knowing their parents, it probably was...so, they took the little infant home after two days and Zelena looked at her with confusion before tilting her head and putting a hand over her baby sister’s mouth. Instantly the infant had stopped and her parents were confused, rightly so, that was until they realized the baby was basically just sucking on her sister’s finger. This also proved to make them realize their baby was ever rarely hungry.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Just shy of over a month later came another birth.. and boy was this one complicated as hell. Green eyed and wispy ash blonde hair set this baby apart from her mother’s raven hair and her father’s sandy blonde one. This baby wasn’t late, but she wasn’t early, she just wouldn’t fucking come out of the womb and had somehow managed to turn over and had to come out feet first instead of the initial grip to head and slip out the biscuit first format. All through Mary Margaret Nolan’s pregnancy, Emma Amelia Swan had been a difficult baby. Everything from sleeping arrangements to the ever changing battle she endured where food was concerned to morning sickness still plaguing her by the seventh month, Mary Margaret had simply just threw her hands up and ‘thrown in the towel’ so to speak. It didn’t help that David had to work a lot and work a lot of those weird nightly shifts as well which induced her pregnant worry even more. It also didn’t help that she was a terribly emotional female on a regular day but this damn pregnancy just made her even worse.She was screaming more often than not, whether she was happy or sad or simply aroused, she was yelling...thank god they lived further out from the usual suburban area. And then the day.. Or night, she couldn’t remember- came and then Emma popped out, mute as ever and Mary Margaret had to keep from screaming that all that time, she was an emotional wreck and her baby comes out quiet as hell…. She soon learned that where her daughter lacked noise, she made up for in being hungry, every hour on the hour and they were concerned because.. She pooped much less than she ate. Emma was so quiet, they forgot she was there sometimes and had scolded themselves for forgetting that their whole child existed.

 

The birth of these three little girls has gone so quickly that their parents weren’t aware of how fast and year or two had and was passing. Regina came out, she was colicky, Emma came out and she was quiet. Regina came out and she was barely eating, Emma came out greedier than her father. Anyone ever rarely holds Regina in her infant stage because either they frightened the poor baby or she simply just didn’t like them. Emma.. well Emma would go to whoever wanted to hold her because everything around her was always shiny and there was always something she could pull on when it came to anyone who held her. Emma is christened a handful of months later and the priest damn near baptises Regina when she’s a handful of months old. Of course the little brunette hollers loud enough that her shriek rattles through the chapel, but Emma merely giggles as their priest sprinkles water on her forehead. One family is Catholic, one family is Anglican, but both babies are girls and unaware of religion. And then the year is just barely over when Auggie pops out on November 8th all blonde hair and green eyed like his sister and is he screaming.. Yes. Is he a greedy baby? somewhat- but did he make his mother a mess of emotions, not even close. Auggie is the c-section baby because he wouldn’t dilate, which didn’t surprise his parents considering his sister flipped herself around and decided to bust through with her tiny feet. When he comes out, everything settles because her mother passes out and her father puts this tiny human in a one year old’s lap. Didn’t end well because Emma looked at Auggie and started crying. She didn’t know why and neither did her father, but she was crying and she didn’t stop until her dad moved him. August James Nolan, soon to be the loving bane of her existence...and then they go home after a good handful of days in the hospital. Auggie isn’t any easier to deal with because he actually vocalizes his issues and when he’s teething the same way much like Emma had, it was his mother’s poor left breast that took the brunt on his kneading. Still, the parents were happy, their children were healthy and their babies were advancing.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zelena and Regina’s parents devote time and everything they have to their little girls and that comes with both girls sleeping in the same room to make it easier for them if one were to get up, they could just check on the other as well. It also proved dumb considering if one woke crying, the other would as well. They went through that little phase of no, where Zelena was concerned because by the time she was two  and her sister was out, she’d merely poked the infant in the skull which in turn made Regina wail like someone was murdering her, but her skull was still squishy so granted, her two year old sister prodding her in her soft noggin didn’t help her development. Her father had held her sister before her at one point because she’d distanced herself from the crying infant after a while and he’d asked,

“Zelena, don’t you want to see and hold your little sister?” but she’d just shook her head and quite simply said,

“No.”

Her parents don’t understand why she does it and they don’t try to find out why she does it because it’s..confusing to say the least and Auggie isn’t any better where Emma is concerned because he was literally beginning his baning of existence by cracking his sister in the head with his rattle and that did not end well. Somehow, that tiny human managed to hit her so hard that she bruised and whilst she cried and her mother cooed over her and her father took their son away along with that offending beast of plastic, Auggie giggled like it was planned even though he wasn’t even aware that he’d just nearly dented his sister’s skull. The words,

“He didn’t mean it, baby,” comes form one of her parents but it hurts so bad and thumps so hard that she just cries more.

 

Still, both of the girls are quickly to advance one way or the other, Emma takes walking where Regina takes talking, but both excel in potty training. Though they excel, Regina proves difficult because she’s the type of baby who refuses to sleep in any bed or crib unless Zelena is present. Their parents only realize this after one night when they find that Zelena’s managed to toddle out of her bed, take her pacifier out of her mother and made her way over to Regina’s crib. She somehow shooshes her little sister until she calms down and then sticks her pacifier through the crib for the baby to take. By this time, Regina’s a good ten months and some and Zelena’s barely taller than a table, but she’s got the baby laughing and giggling and drooling and just all the forms of cute. Once her parents come to the room, she points to her little sister and says ‘sleepy.’ It either meant Regina was sleepy, or she was sleepy or both and then her husband is over and picking up their little girl- about to place her into her bed with the protective bars. Cora walks over and takes Zelena from him and catches how Regina is looking, tilting her head at them, this time with the pacifier that belonged to her sister, in her mouth. Cora tells Henry to,

“Make them both a bottle, I have a feeling I know just why she was crying this time,”

“Are you sure?”

“I believe so, but we’ll see after we feed them both.” And so the man does as he’s told and when they feed both their girls and rock them back to sleep, he places Regina in the crib and  Cora places Zelena in directly next to her. Both the girls wake with the sudden loss of parental contact but soon find comfort in one another as Zelena rolls over and hugs her little sister and drifts to sleep. Regina follows soon after, the pacifier long forgotten.

“Well, I’ll be damned,” the man whispered a laugh and Cora smirked. “That’s all they needed all this time?” he questions and she nods.

“Seems so,” she answers through a light yawn and he rubs her lower back.

“Come on love, let’s go to bed,” he tells her and she happily agrees.

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

Emma is much the same in the sense that she can’t sleep without a specific someone, but that someone is her father and his bare naked  and hairless chest. Somehow that developed when she was an infant and David was up in the wee hours of the morning with her after his late night shifts. He would feed her, tell her about his day and he’d learned that for babies, sleeping on bare skin puts them at ease much quicker, so that became his practice and that practice proved good because Emma sleep soundly once she was against her father’s chest. Granted, the times she wasn’t also proved to be a pain in the ass, but she was a baby, what could you do? Mary Margaret was more concerned about him rolling over and suffocating their child but once Emma was born, he slept more controlled and more aware, almost as if he felt her against his chest each evening. Auggie is a different case, he can’t sleep in his parent’s bed, like he was a loner for an infant already, but it was probably for the best because if he cried, Emma cried and if Emma cried then they were more than likely to cry. So, August is put in his crib that he clearly enjoys.

 

By first birthdays two things happen, Regina’s family sings to her, but instead of blowing out the candle like she’s supposed to, she puts her little finger over that flame and well…. You get the rest. Cold water, kisses and bandages later, she was okay, but scowling at her cake now. Something so pretty was so dangerous, or as it calculated in her little mind, BAD! Emma’s first birthday comes with her shoving her hand in the cake before they even finish the damn song and of course pictures of that was taken because both she and Auggie had managed to do that. Both the girls are enrolled in preschool and Emma is in quicker than Regina because she’s fussy, still against people holding her and still frightened of large people who make her wet herself on a given day. Regina’s pulled from preschool because it’s blatantly clear that she dislikes all of the caregivers at that particular school, and then she’s being kept at home by her mother who can thankfully deal with real estate from home as well. Emma’s preschool gets shut down for some reason and she’s then moved to another as Regina’s parents make a decision to just homeschool the little dumpling. This goes on for a year and by second birthdays, Regina is baptised yet again and yes, she still wails like it’s murder and Emma and Auggie are taken to Rapids water park in Florida.

The parents realize that they’ve bit off more than they can chew on homeschooling because Zelena is sat before her little sister and is scribbling all over her face with paint and the little girl is just sitting there, giggling and rubbing it all over her skin and clothes. Their parents don’t scold Zelena when they realize how much fun their children are having and instead they take photos..Emma’s parents on the other hand, do not take photos but her father does laugh hysterically and so does her mother.

Mary Margaret had somewhere to be and David just happened to be off the exact same day, so they decided she would run her errand and he would watch their kids. He was in the nursery and on the floor playing with Emma and Auggie when he randomly drifted off. Bad Idea, considering Mary Margaret forgot the one thing she needed to get the errand done, so she turned around and headed back home only to find that her family weren’t answering when she called for them. She heads upstairs and sees that her two year old was squeezing out something as well as shaking it and the closer she got the quicker she realized what it is. Every ounce of powder was being dumped onto Auggie’s lower half and Emma seemed adamant about using the whole thing as she stuck her little tongue out, Picasso like form taking over.

“Emma!” she shrieks and that brings pause to the child, and action to her husband waking. Mary Margaret rushes over and takes the bottle away as well as Auggie’s powder clad behind. She lays him on top of the changing table and turns to Emma who has her face scrunched up. Her father begins to grin when she says,

“Stinky,” and points to Auggie and Mary Margaret can’t even be mad. She was trying to change him. She sighs and quickly deals with Auggie all before asking her daughter where she put the diaper. Emma just points and her mother follows the gaze to the top of the child’s father’s head. Mary Margaret loses it then and David is confused.

“What’s so funny?”

“You!!!!” she giggles. He scrunches up his face and just when he reaches up to scratch his head his hand touches something wet and squishy. David freezes and nearly stops breathing as he tries to just inhale and exhale gently over what could possibly be atop his head. His faith in humanity is dashed when he does confirm that it’s Auggie’s dirty diaper on his head and that’s when his wife loses it laughing and soon directly Emma is giggling as well. He only scowls and goes to wash his hair out. But, when he comes back he hoists her up and kisses her face and says,

“Good work, monkey.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

When the following year comes and Zelena’s still four and Regina’s still two, their parents hit a snag and a massive one at that. They begin fighting and the fighting starts in hushed whispers of anger that Zelena can still pick up on until it evolves into full out yelling and screaming back and forth. They fight about everything and nothing which only made their four year old cover her ears and cry and scream when it happened. She would lock the doors and hope they would stop because she loved them both and they weren’t supposed to fight. They never were supposed to fight, but by four, she noticed they were evolving from just yelling to Cora throwing dishes and Henry putting his fists through walls. Granted, they never hit one another which was why their dinnerware and housing took bigger hits than anything else. Living in the small suburban area in Maine meant that neighbours were nosey, the police would be called, their parents would find out in a handful of minutes and then everything after that was downhill from there. On few accounts their parents had come to get the girls just to take them away and Regina was never aware of what was happening because Zelena would distract her, but this time.. this time it was so bad that she couldn’t even if she wanted to.

This particular night the fighting had gone on for hours and by hours, it was literal hours. The argument started in the car when they were coming home from dinner and Zelena was too busy playing with her sister to know that they had started, but by the time they were home, Cora was yelling after Henry who was settling the girls into their crib and bed. Regina had pulled her pacifier out and thrown it in the process and began to giggle which managed to upset her father slightly, but he picked it up washed it off and gave it back to her. He kissed both their heads the same way Cora did and they began to argue as far away as possible because Zelena was watching them. Things are broken beyond measure and walls are repeatedly hit over and over and over again. All she can hear is the roar of her father and shriek of her mother and it gets to the four year old who is crying so much that all she can think to do is get to her little sister. She gets the bar down on Regina’s crib and the little girl toddles out of it. Zelena holds onto her tightly and hides them under her bed. She pulls a cool and fluffy blanket over their heads and holds her breath until she hears the room door open and her father is calling for them.

“Zelena… Regina?” he calls but no answer and  it takes him all of three minutes to see the blanket poking out from under the bed. He kneels down and lightly lifts it before he talks to her.

“Zelena baby, what are you doing under here, sweetie?” he questions but she shakes her head and he thinks he knows why. Even he would be scared just hearing his parents argue. She’s sniffling and whimpering now and he can see blatant fear in one of his child’s eyes. “Come here sweetie, daddy’s not gonna hurt you,” he tells her and she responds,

“D-daddy?” almost as if she isn’t sure and he nods.

“It’s daddy, baby girl, come out of there,” he tells her but she shuts her eyes and begins to wail.

“D-d-dadd-yyyyy!” and he wastes no time in pulling her from under the bed and pulling her in for a hug.

“Daddy’s got you, little red,” he tells her and she sniffles against his shoulder. Two year old Regina clambers from under the bed and toddles over to her sister before she puts a hand to her mouth and mumbles,

“no cwy,” but Zelena can’t help it because..because.

“D-daddyyyyy!”

 

Cora emerges into the room a good bit later after she’s cooled down and sees Henry dressing the girls. She doesn’t even stop him when he tells her,

“I’m taking them out of here for a ride, they’re scared and this isn’t what I wanted for my children. I’ll call you when they’re asleep.” Her jaw is set but she agrees with the man there on the safety of their girls.

Emma’s parents hit a snag later in the year and it comes in the form of assumed infidelity on David’s behalf. David begins to spend nights out and away from his family and claims it to all be him hanging out with his friends, which is predominantly true. However, it isn’t until he comes home one night, smelling of perfume that clearly wasn’t his wife’s and a lipstick stain on his collar that she questions his whereabouts.He’s completely sober and he tells her the truth. He was out with friends and makeup just happened to get on him, so she lets it go the first time, but when it happens a second and a third time and David comes home considerably drunk one evening after a friend took the liberty to be designated driver, the same lipstick stain and the same perfume scent is on him and his shirt shithits the fan.

They don’t even argue, instead when he gets home he sees threes bags are packed and he’s wondering what’s happening and it isn’t until she throws his shirt at him and tells him until he gets his shit together and puts his family first he’s not going to see them anytime soon, that something goes off into David’s mind.

“I’m going to my parents, you disappointed me,” she tells him and he has a constipated and confused look on his face… but she rambles on and on.. “I thought you’d be different David. We have a family for Christ’s sake!” she belts and boy is he ever still confused.

“What?” he asks and she scoffs at him. “What did I do now.. Is it because I’m out with my friends? I’m an adult I can do that, you know!”

“Oh! I know, I just don’t know how you’re so stupidly bold in keeping evidence on you after doing what you did!” she spits and he’s still lost.

“Seriously? Me smelling like alcohol is an issue to you! Fine! I’ll go shower,” he tells her but she shakes her head.

“God are you an idiot!” she belts and their kids are thankfully distracted by television.”I’m not explaining it to you considering you should know,” she tells him and he simmer because she’s stubborn as shit and he doesn’t know what the heck she’s on about. He sighs and relents.

“Fine, just.. Let me kiss my kids goodnight, but this isn’t over,”

“Damn right it isn’t,” she tells him and he rolls his eyes.

 

“Hey Emma, Auggie, your mommy told me you guys are gonna stay with your grandparents for a little bit, don’t you think that’s fun?” he questions and Emma looks so lost she just nods and Auggie’s… Auggie. He kisses them and lifts them up before he talks to them all the way to the car. He tells them how much he loves them and that he’ll come see them tomorrow. Unsure still, Emma nods at her father. “That’s my girl.. Auggie my man, keep these ladies safe,” he tells his son before ruffling his hair. Auggie grins and so does Emma before their mother comes over and closes the door to the car. “Call me when you reach,” he says and she scowls.

“Why should I?”

“Because you’re my wife and you have my kids and I love you all,” he tells her honestly and she rolls her eyes.

“Fine,” she tells him and he sighs in relief. He leans in to kiss her but she leans away and he sighs once more before he backs away and taps the glass. He waves to his kids who wave back and then he goes upstairs and into the house. He goes out on the drive to her parents’ home literally the next morning because he just can’t sleep without his wife and children at home.When he gets there, her parents let him in and tell him she’s been crying the entire night which he can believe and of course she doesn’t want to see him, they argue, she accuses him of cheating, he’s confused so she tells him about the shirt and he begins to laugh which aggravates her and then he explains. He explains the one thing he’d hoped to have more time with.

“A sister?” she questions albeit a bit dumbly and he nods.

“Yeah.. seems my dad had her a few years after me and James.. That’s kind of why they’re getting a divorce now,” he explains as he scratches the back of his head.

“They’re what?!” she questions loudly and he nods.

“Yeah.. mom filed for divorce. She said it hurt more to know that he just didn’t tell her considering our sister grew up in the system… but she’s good now,” he makes sure to clarify.

“I’m sorry,” she’d told him but she shrugs it off.

“It’s okay.. Just know I wasn’t cheating, she’s just that short that when I hug her that’s where it falls every time.”

“Okay.. I’m sorry,” she repeats and David shakes his head.

“Stop that,” he tells her and then he’s holding her and running his fingers through her hair. “We’re fine.. You’re fine. My parents however, they are not fine...but that comes with the territory.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

By the time Emma turns three, they pull her from preschool because the little girl somehow managed to acquire chickenpox. Even though she’s told not to scratch, she scratches the hell out of them and hse scars. Auggie’s a lucky little boy because he doesn’t get it and neither do his parents who have both already had it. For Christmas, her grandparents buy her a little yellow child-sized bug and she’s glued to that thing like a bee to honey. She plays taxi and driving school with Auggie who just goes along with it because it was fun to ride a little bug around on that 9.1 acre farmland her folks had in Tennessee.

 

By three, Regina and Cora get into an accident on the way to the hospital- oh the irony! Henry was to work and Regina had somehow developed a small fever and Cora being Cora didn’t think it made sense to keep her home when her daughter’s father was a pediatrician. Still, the accident they get into puts a halt to that for a bit as they are forced to deal with every single bit of it for at least an hour and Henry couldn’t come out right then and there and there was no one to get Zelena and God damn it why was her boss calling?! The police took forever to come to one conclusion that they let the insurance department deal with it and Cora nearly rips one of them to shreds because her daughter has a fever and her five year old is in school probably wondering where she was and if no one loved her and her husband wouldn’t pick up his god damn phone! Somehow, the miniature accident makes Henry decide to teach his daughters how to ride their bikes that he hadn’t even bought them yet. Long story short, they fall a lot, but Zelena learns quicker than Regina which is no surprise considering she’s three at that point in time. Zelena also shows interest in other things like ice skating, but she soon finds she’s really good at soccer and prefers to play that instead, which begins Cora’ run as a soccer mom.

 

First Family Vacation

By age four, both families plan a vacation in Sunny WeHo.. or West Hollywood as most people know it. It comes as no surprise to families around them that Emma’s parents are in ownership of a summer beach house located just an hour shy of the Santa Monica Pier. It was in essence a gift from MM’s parents to the wedded couple, but they’d later bought the beach house just because it made more sense. It was rented out year round, but at this point in time, they wanted to use it for themselves and their children. David’s twin brother James also lives in WeHo and that’s because James is the more flamboyant of the two. Simply put, James is the cute gay twin with an ass out of this world and David’s the pretty boy, dad. The decision was made for them to fly because Lord knows neither actually wanted to drive there with two very young children with short attention spans and an inability to hold in their pee. Three hours and fourty minutes was sounding a hell of a lot better than nearly thirty six hours. Still, Auggie is a congested little bundle of muff and shaggy blonde hair and it takes a humidifier that thankfully is small enough to fit in his mother’s pocket, for the little boy not to cry the entire plane ride. He’s miserable but it’s not so bad after a while when he gets food and watches whatever tv channel the plane offers. It settles on animals. Lions and Cheetahs.. It was National Geographic, that much could be concluded. He conks out less than an hours after that and he doesn’t wake for a good while later. Emma manages to stay awake the entire plane ride and her father colours with her in a ninja turtle and Franklin colouring book. She’s taken a weird liking to turtles in the past month and the confusion is not lost on that one. It isn’t until the plane lands and they get settled in that Emma succumbs to sleep very easily. She doesn’t even have time to be in awe of the house because she’s drooling on her father’s shoulder and dreaming of puppies.

The Mills family makes the decision to go to West Hollywood after they celebrate Zelena’s birthday in June. The little girl is still in school at this time, but they don’t skimp on the massive party they have for her and her class, followed by a more intimate one with her family later that night. It consists of their grandparents, all four still alive and kicking, her father’s sister Eleanor and their cousin Melanie who’s pretty much the same age as Regina.. If you blinked of course… Then there’s his brother’s kids Chloe and Lincoln, all younger than Regina but like it’s said, blink and they all look the same age. And because Cora is a real estate agent, it comes as no surprise that her boss would want her to attend multiple seminars and snuff out the competition when she should be on her well deserved vacation. She agrees to it only because it’ll get the bastard off her back, but she plans around her vacation with her daughter’s because her initial point to be in WeHo, isn’t for fucking real estate agents with their heads up their asses and seminars where even she would claw her eyes out. They decide to drive the near fifty hour ride to WeHo and find that their daughters are more quiet than they expected. There’s the occasional,

“I gotta potty,” but other than that, they eat their snacks cleanly, play games with each other, sleep more often than not and call out grazing animals in the roads and what they see along some very unnerving highways. When they reach, they check in to the hotel and Cora books a hotel because she’s not stupid and neither is her husband. Why rent a house for nearly a million in the space of three months when they still had their own home back in Maine to worry about? Yes- they made a decent amount of money yearly-hell, monthly, but still, they had daughters who they needed to teach values to and bills they didn’t want to be under anytime soon.

The house they stay in is massive. There’s a personal pool and tennis court, five rooms and four baths. Neither husband or wife had really looked at the house much when they got the keys for it because they were more concerned about the honeymoon than the gifts they received. David is only slightly surprised that James hasn’t come over yet until he remembers he didn’t even tell his brother he was there. He thumps himself on the forehead because of course he’d forget that part and he rolls his eyes as he dials his brother’s number. When James comes over, so does Nelson, his son from a previous relationship. Granted, James may party, but he puts his son first and by putting Nelson first, the little boy is enrolled in the best school, given the best his father can afford via food and community and he’s not short on teaching the little boy manners as well as appreciation and hard work.

 

Over the course of two to nearly three days, David takes Emma and Auggie to hang out with their uncle and cousin. He takes them around the congested streets of WeHo where all the action happens and of course Nelson smiles as his cousins ooh and ahh at everything they see that’s a far cry from their simple farm life. They go into GAP and James buys them new outfits to go with their new summer WeHo style. He then takes them to a movie and James laughs as his brother nearly chokes on the prices for just the tickets because,

“Who in the hell pays twenty dollars for some crap seats?” and of course James just laughs at him.

 

When Henry decides to take his daughters out because Cora’s exhausted from driving the majority of the way, they get lost to say the least and in them getting lost, they.. well, their father bumps into James who rightfully hits on the handsome man but the kids aren’t even paying attention. Emma and Auggie are with their uncle on this day as well because their parents wanted to have lunch together and James is off so...he takes his niece and nephew out. Henry takes it in stride and actually blushes slightly at the compliment he receives, but his girls are too busy doodling to care why they’re in a bakery with everything that smelt sooooo good. The adults get lost in conversation which is enough time for the three blonde children to get themselves into a shit ton of mess and then they’re being put out of the bakery because Auggie turned something over and Emma and Nelson kept jumping in it. He’d scold his son if he didn’t realize that Nelson was much more comfortable around his cousins than any other child he’d seen the boy interact with. Victor Bene’s is now no longer a go in but a walk straight pass kind of place at this point. James and Henry talk for a little more until he is giving the man directions to get where he had initially intended to go.

“You can really tell the tourists from the locals,” he had joked and Henry smirked.

“I suppose you can, though, I’m used to small towns, not massive cities,” Henry explained and James nodded.

“I get that.. Just be safe and always keep a map.. Or a GPS. It works magic,” he tells the man who thanks him profusely for his help and when the man leaves with his daughters, James turns to the children and shakes his head at them. They’re still a bit damp from whatever they jumped in and he begins to laugh. “Come on kids, let’s get you guys cleaned up.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When the families finally clash, it comes almost a week later at the Santa Monica Pier. Zelena and Regina along with their parents had found themselves at the Pier two and a half hours after leaving the hotel and it wasn’t for lack of trying or getting lost, it’s simply because SM Pier is the closest beach in WeHo. The Nolan’s get there in the initial hour because their home is closer to it than the hotel. At least thirty feet from one another, the girls were playing with Zelena’s soccer ball and Zelena was teaching her four year old sister how to dribble the ball correctly. She’d passed it to Regina who managed to get in time from going into the water. When Regina kicked it back with her little foot, Zelena caught it with ease and soon she was showing her little sister how far she could kick which just happened to be right over where Emma and August were building castles. The ball landed in their mote and Emma picked it up before she began to play with it.

“Come on Auggie, we got a ball!” she cheers and the three year old gets up and follows his sister. The ball is about as big as his torso and when she throws it to him and he fumbles to catch it, he falls on top of it and giggles when he rolls over and the ball is still on his tummy. “Auggggiiiie!” his sister laughs and August giggles more.

“Play, ma!” he manages to say and he’s wiggling on the sand and is flailing with the ball. Emma runs over to her little brother and they get distracted with the ball, meanwhile, four year old Regina is huffing and pointing.

“Lena, the ball!” and her sister feels she needs to go and get it because that’s their ball. She walks over to where Emma is with Auggie and the little boy is watching her but now his attention is also back to his sandcastles.

“Hey, you took our ball,” Zelena tells Emma who shrugs.

“So, I’m playing wif it now,” the little blonde informs her.

“You have to give it back,” the older girl tells her and Emma shakes her head.

“No I don’t,”

“You do, because my name’s on it,”

“So,” Emma responds and that’s it for Zelena. She quickly swipes the ball from Emma’s feet which in turn causes the child to stumble and fall over and Zelena dribbles to ball back over to her little sister. “I’m telling!” Emma shouts and Zelena shrugs at her.

“Good, you shouldn’t have stolen our ball,” she says very maturely and Emma huffs and stomps her way over to her mother. She pouts as she complains to her parents about a girl being mean to her and her father takes his sunglasses off long enough to tell her to ignore them, but when the blonde girl tells them that the girl had tripped her down and taken the soccer ball, that’s when her mother sees a bit of red. She drops the book she’s reading and turns her attention to her daughter. Emma shows the minute scratch she has from falling in the sand and her mother questions the whereabouts of the girl.Emma guides her parents past August who’s so out of it that he’d more focused on his castles than anything else, but his father hoists him up and puts him on his shoulder and the little boy laughs.

“Up, daddy! Up!”

Zelena and Regina are well within the sights of their parents who are having a random chat until they see a woman approach them with a scowling little blonde girl. Then they see a man and a little boy and Cora’s confused why they’re talking to their children. The little girls were playing with the soccer ball until the adults and Emma approached them and then they stopped. Cora doesn’t even think twice about it and both she and her husband are up and out of their positions and over to their children. She catches the ass end of it.

“-what you did wasn’t really nice,” Mary Margaret says and Cora’s eyebrows raise.

“And what exactly is it that you’re accusing my children of?” she questions the woman who pauses and looks up at her.

“Mama,” Regina calls before she walks over to her mother and Cora buries her face in her stomach.

“It’s okay, sweetheart,” her father says as he rubs the top of her head and she nods.

“We were merely telling the girls that it wasn’t very nice of them to be mean to our children,” MM informs and Cora’s eyebrow is sharp now.

“Mean, how?” she queries.

“She’d tripped our daughter over-,”

“BUT SHE STOLE OUR SOCCER BALL!” Zelena belts and her mother holds up a hand.

“Zelena, sweetheart, quiet for a moment please,” Cora says and the girl huffs but nods. She walks towards her father who hoists her up and then she rests her head on his shoulder. Mary Margaret seems shocked by this new bit of information. She turns to her daughter.

“Emma, did you take their ball? You failed to mention that part, young lady?” her mother asks knowingly and the little girl doesn’t answer.

Emma ,” her father scolds and that snaps her from her defiance as she huffs and answers.

“Yes, but only cus they kicked it all the way over where me and Auggie were making castles!” she says petulantly and her mother sighs.

“Sweetheart, that doesn’t mean that it’s now your ball and now, you need to apologise to the girls for taking it in the first place. Stealing isn’t nice and I’m sure she didn’t mean to do it, right?” she questions as she looks at Zelena who shook her head.

“Nope. I play soccer and my coach says I’m really good and that I can be in the league,” the girl says proudly and eyebrows rise.

“Wow, that is pretty good little one,” David says.

“Uhuh,” Zelena says before her father clears his throat,

“Zeezee,” he says and she blushes.

“I’m sorry. Yes sir,” she corrects and her parents smirk.  Henry then lets his daughter down and she walks over to Emma.

“Sorry I made you fall over,” she apologised to the little girl and Emma scowled harder at her.

Emma ,” that one was her mother. She better listen to her mother.

“I’m sorry I took your ball,” she huffed out an apology to Zelena and the older girl smiled but Emma scowled again. The parents call that little tiff that.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

 

“Again, I’m sorry I assumed your daughters did anything to her. I just see red when it comes to my children,” she explains and Cora hums.

“It’s quite alright, I’d do the same if my daughters were in the same place. It’s how we must be as their parents…. Now, that’s all water under the bridge and I’m aware of the likelihood my daughters have to injuring other children I do believe an introduction is in order..Cora. Cora Mills,” she says with an outstretched hand and MM shakes it.” Real Estate agent out on business and family vacation. Glorified soccer mom and financial badass as my husband describes me,”

“Sounds about right,” Mary Margaret laughs and Cora smiles.

“Henry Mills, pediatrician, devoted father and gassy on a good day,” she continues to joke, pointing at her husband and Mary Margaret cracks up on that.

“Mary Margaret Nolan. Daughter of Leopold White- owner of WhiteTop Hotels and personal financial consultant and PR agent for said company…. Though, I’d have rather much preferred teaching. My husband, David is a police officer, just not very decorated considering where we live has literally no crime,” she explains. “We own a beach house out this way so we’re on vacation as well,” she says and Cora can taste the hint of country in her voice.

“My.. if you don’t mind me asking, where are you all from?”

“Tennessee,” she says with a smile and Cora puts the southern bell look together. “We’ve got a farm back there but it’s in a suburban area as well,”

“We are much the same,” Cora says and the woman looks intrigued. “Though, we’re from Maine, we live in a suburban area as well and we’ve been told we own.. A mansion style townhouse, whatever the hell that may be,”

“Shouldn’t you know that considering you work in real estate?”

“You’d think so, but when people make up pairings that don’t necessarily go together, you sound idiotic repeating it,” she tells her and the woman nods.

“Would it be too much and jumping to fast to suggest we let the kids play together so that they can get along?” she queries and Cora looks over at the children who are with their fathers, seemingly more cooperative.

“I think our husbands have that under control,” Cora says and MM makes a sound of agreement.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“Okay, what did I do? You’ve been staring at me for the past ten minutes,”David says and Henry squints slightly.

“I’d have thought you would have remembered me from a little over a week ago when we met in the bakery,” he says and the man looks so confused.

“We met? At a bakery?” Henry nods.

“I needed directions and you gave them to me.. After hitting on me of course, and then your son and niece and nephew got you kicked out because of that little fiasco,” he informs the man who looks confused still for about half a second until realization hits and he begins to laugh. “What?”

“That- was my brother, James.. My twin brother. It’s really hard to tell us apart on a good day so I’m not surprised you took him for me and I’m married, remember. I wouldn’t be that insane to hit on you and in the front of my kids no less,” David clarifies and Henry smirks.

“No, I suppose not,” head amits.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“You’re kicking it wrong,” Zelena says and Emma huffs.

“How do you know?”

“I play soccer,” Zelena tells her. “Here, watch me,”  she then says before she takes the ball and effortlessly dribbles it from foot to foot. Emma watches in awe the way the two little girls go back and forth with the ball and then Zelena kicks it over to her little sister who copies her.

“Like this, Lena?” she asks and Zelena claps and cheers.

“Yeah!” she praises. “Okay, now kick it over to her,” she tells her little sister who follows her order. Emma fumbles to get the ball but when she does, she kicks it to Auggie and the four children go back and forth and back and forth with the one soccer ball. When Zelena gets the ball again, she pauses and picks it up before she asks aloud.

“What’s your name?”

“Me?” Emma questions and Zelena nods.

“Emma,” she says and Zelena smiles.

“I’m Zelena. That’s my little sister Regina,” she says before pointing to the clearly shy little girl.

“That’s my little brother August, but we just call him Auggie,” Emma says and Zelena waves.

“Hi Auggie,” to the little boy who just waves back happily.

“Your name’s weird..and long,” Emma tells the two girls and Zelena scrunches up her face.

“It’s not weird,”

“Is to me,” Emma shrugs and Zelena leaves that be.”Uh-Gina,” Emma calls and Zelena laughs.

“Her name’s Regina,” Zelena corrects and Emma shrugs again.

“Still  too long,” she tells the girl again. They get back to playing until Emma is in need of juice and finds herself running over to her mother and collapsing in her lap.

“Mommy, they have weird names,” Emma informs and the two women laugh.

“Who baby?”

“Lena and uh-gina?” she questions because she still doesn’t bloody know.

“Zelena and Regina, darling,” Cora corrects and Emma blushes.

“Mommy, I’m thirsty,” she informs and her mother laughs.

“I can see that, sweetie,”

“Can I have some juice please?”

“Only if you carry one for your brother too, okay,”

“Yes ma’am,” she nods eagerly and her mother pulls one and then another out. Emma’s about to run off with them until her mother causes her to pause.

“Oh, Emma! Wait,” she says and her daughter halts. “Here, carry one for the girls as well,” she tells her and Cora interrupts.

“Oh no, that won’t be necessary,” she begins but MM shakes her head.

“Nonsense, they’ve been playing for a good while, they could use it,” she says and the woman sags but nods.

“Very well, but no apple juice for Regina, she’s allergic to them,” Cora informs.

“Did you hear that, Emma. No what?”

“No apple juice,” Emma repeats and she’s determined to remember that.. That is until she forgets about halfway through. The, it just so happens that Regina does end up with an apple juicebox, well, in technicality, the fruit punch mix has it in there and it’s blatantly clear she gets it when she goes into anaphylactic shock and starts to seize up. Panic breaks out from the children and the adults around, except for Henry and Cora who’ve had to deal with it before a handful of times. She watches as her husband bites the top off of Regina’s EpiPen and then lodges it into the little girl’s thigh with enough force that her tiny frame rattles. She comes down and in that second, she’s crying and whimpering and wailing from the pain. Her throat hurts and her eyes can’t focus and her body feels weak because of it. Her lungs burn because she tries breathing normally and nothing’s working which causes the little girl to panic. Her father picks her up quickly and then he’s rocking her, not even giving a damn to check her pulse and breathing properly, he’s too worried about her not calming down enough to just let her medicine work.

“I’m sorry!” Emma squeaks out in fear. “I forgot. Please don’t be mad at me!” she begs and Cora finds herself shushing the child and putting her at ease.

“Sweetheart, she’ll be okay. It’s alright, it’s happened before, but she’ll be okay,”

“But-,”

“-Emma.. It’s alright. It’s not your fault,” Cora cuts off and the girl nods with dejectedness in her eyes. “She just needs to rest now, that’s all,” Cora says as she watches her youngest hiccup against her father’s chest. Cora looks at her watch and then she’s sighing.

“Is something wrong?” Mary Margaret questions and she speaks.

“We need to get Regina inside to lie down and rest, but the drive out is about two and a half hours from here,”

“Then you should come with us, we’re only about an hour out,” she says but Cora shakes her head..

“Oh no, we couldn’t impose on you-,”

“- You wouldn’t be, just please allow us to help. It’s the least we could do,” Mary Margaret tells her and Cora sighs before agreeing. “Good, it’s only about an hour’s drive and she can rest as long as you need her to,” the woman says to Cora who nods.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Upon arrival to the house, the only people left to be in Awe are Zelena and her father. Since Cora is in Real estate, nothing peaks her interest anymore, but Zelena, having been from a small town is awestruck by the massive house that is if her squealing,

“Daddy, there’s a tennis court!” is anything to go by. Henry still didn’t care though, even if he did nod and smile and say,

“That’s wonderful, sweetheart,” because in all honesty, all he wanted was to get his youngest in a bed and covered up. Once he was directed to a room, he’d disappeared, staying glued at Regina’s side until he drifted off to sleep.

“Zelena, darling why don’t you go and play with August and Emma,” her mother suggest and she nods, but she only finds Auggie which is fine by her because she goes to draw with the three year old who’s awfully quiet. Usually Zelena’s been one who would cry when Regina had an allergic reaction, but she’s slowly become desensitized to it to the degree that she can have the same face her mother has when her father gives her a dose of epinephrine. Emma wanders off in search of Regina and Henry and finds them in one of the rooms asleep. She climbs into the bed and whispers,

“I’m sorry I gave you apple juice,” and though the other girl doesn’t respond, Emma thinks she wouldn’t mind if she stayed there, slowly, she finds herself drifting off as well.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When dinnertime rolls around, the three people are woken up, but Regina’s refusal to eat influences Emma’s refusal to eat as well. She doesn’t know why she’s doing it, but if it’s for the other little girl that she wouldn’t mind being friends with then why not. Zelena and Auggie hug Regina who hugs them back but she’s just strangely mute at this point and no one really knows why but her father and mother and sister kind of explain that she just falls silent after her episodes. It takes Cora convincing them to eat a little and Emma only does when Regina does. Her father is just happy to know she’s okay, if she didn’t want to eat, he wasn’t forcing her to, but her lack of appetite comes from the pain before which he knows is something she’s going to have to manage with.

 

An extension for them to sleepover is given, but Cora has to reject because she has a meeting rather early in the morning and after a talk with Henry about moving Regina right away, they agree that he and the girls will stay, if only because their youngest isn’t her best. She kisses her babies double because it’s rare that they ever sleep apart from one another and then she’s out the door and kissing her husband once more, telling him she’ll call him when she reaches. They put Regina first and that means that she’s not to be moved. By the time the kids are all asleep, all of them basically sharing the one room, the adults lose themselves in conversation until James comes over with a sleeping Nelson in his arms. He puts his son in their room and by the time he showers and throws on something comfortable, only Henry is awake. The two men go off into conversation and have a short form heart to heart about their histories.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

His phone rings and rings and rings at some ungodly hour in the morning until he realizes it’s his wife and then he’s wide awake and answering the phone. Of course she’d call and the first thing on her mind would be her babies, that’s not surprising in the slightest. Then there are little feet shuffling out and walking over before clambering into his lap and hugging him.

“Mija, mama’s on the phone,” he whispers to his little girl before kissing the top of her head. She nods sleepily and he lets her talk to her mother and it’s cute because Regina’s cute. She sleepily talks with her mother and nods on some moments where she should probably speak, but her mother merely continues their conversation and then she whispers.

“I love you too, mommy,” before passing the phone back. Henry rises with her still in his arms and makes his way to the room. He sets Regina down and gently nudges Zelena awake. She rouses a bit huffy, but once she hears it’s her mother she’s greedily reaching for the phone.

“Hi momma,” shesays happily and Henry can hear the joy in Cora’s tone as she talks to her oldest. They go off into conversation for nearly an hour which is enough time that James and David are now awake, so the three men set out to make breakfast which includes use of all the eggs, all the bread and all the damn sausage they have, still it is a lot of them there so it only seemed fitting, but had they known that most of the children just wanted cereal, they wouldn’t have made so much.. That was until they took the food up and realized that four adults could definitely eat all of that without feeling like fatasses. Auggie is once again stuck to Zelena by the time they’re all fully awake and Henry talks to his wife for a while until she truly has to go and she sends kisses for her daughters through the phone. James suggests they take all the kids to the Pier and no one objects to that, but Henry firstly takes his girls back to the hotel, they take their bath and then he lets them pick whatever they want to wear for the day. They, and by they, Zelena picked out both their clothes and dressed Regina in some jean shorts and a t-shirt with sneakers and she wore much the same. She brushed her little sister’s hair and put it in a low braid before she pulled hers in one. He packs them a bag of important things and distractions in case the Pier makes them bored or they become in need of medical attention. Henry puts sunblock on both his babies and then they meet the others at the Pier. It turns into Emma and Regina watching everyone else do things as they stood there and shook their heads at the massive rides before them. Regina simply asks,

“Wanna play on my DS,” and Emma agrees quickly. Nelson follows his father and Auggie stays glued to Zelena who helps him through his snack that they’d gotten at one of the stalls. Cora meets up with them much later after the meeting and is more than happy to see her little ones because she hugs them so tight they giggle and have to tell her to let go. She praises Zelena for picking out their outfits and doing her sister’s hair because lord knows, let four year old Regina do it and she’d have come out like a rainbow and her massive curls all over the place.

“She popped my scrunchie,” her daughter told her and she laughed.

“That’s because your sister has thicker hair than you..and your hair is changing colour as well.. It’s gotten darker from when you were born,” she tells her before kissing her head and Zelena leans into her mother.

“Gina’s too quiet, mommy,” she announces and Cora sighs.

“She’s just in a bit of pain still, baby, that’s all. She’ll be okay soon,” Cora tries to reassure but Zelena shakes her head.

“Okay,” she says but her head shake doesn’t agree.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

It’s now Cora who suggests a dinner night outside of the house and no one objects to that. The place is one of many that’s expensive to say the least. They go to the WeHo Bistro and the children are awestruck by everything before them. Even Regina’s muteness is long gone as she takes in the scenery of the massive building. Since there are no kiddie menues, the kids eat what the adults eat and in short form, that’s a never again kind of thing because all they were used to were chicken nuggets and french fries. Thankfully, they hadn’t ordered for the children yet as Henry had a smart idea to let them try their parents’ food first beforehand. All the children vocally say their piece about their displeasure, but Regina’s is hilarious as the four year old just sits there with her face scrunched up and distaste coating her mouth. She’d held on to whatever the heck it was she got off her father’s plate and wanted to throw it and throw up. Her mother had told her to spit it out...and she does, just that she does so in Emma’s hand. Wasn’t her fault Emma offered to be the trashcan in that moment. So that happens and Mary Margaret takes the girls to wash up. James puts in an order for spaghetti for them and that seems to work because they swallow it whole and they drink water like it’s never existed. No one except Nelson asks for juice which was common for Jame’s son. The suggestion to stay the night at the house is never mentioned.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

It’s two weeks later when the group bump again and of course it comes with their parents deciding to spend dinner together once again. Zelena is informed by David about how much August has been asking for her and she ignores the adults after that because Auggie’s her new friend. Emma and Regina wave at each other shyly and all Emma remembers is saying,

“your hair’s really pretty,” in a whisper. This was the night that Regina’s mother just could not comb through her baby’s hair and she just let the wild mane of hair out. Regina’s curls practically covered her face and Cora groaned just at the sight of what she’d have to do just to get it in one. Regina responds in kind about Emma shoes and then the little blonde girl is taking them off without a second thought and Regina’s trying them on right in the restaurant.. in the middle of the room. Emma’s shoes are a little big, but still, Regina now looks even cuter considering she had on a short navy blue dress with thin straps and little cowgirl boots. Emma looked like a real Tennessee girl with her traditional plaid shirt and short jean shorts, but then Emma decides to stay barefoot for the rest of the evening because Regina’s shoes are way too girly for her to wear. Her scowl tells it all. Regina’s little feet swing back and forth as the faux spurs spin on the boots and clank against the chair and the two little girls giggle over nonsense and the DS that Regina always seems to have. The night is amazing for the adults and very fun for the children who are growing closer and closer with each meeting which is why the parents later agree to allow them to spend the days together more often whilst they have it.

 

For three days, James handles all the kids to give all the other adults time to themselves or time for work. Henry has an impromptu pediatric seminar to attend right there in WeHo and Cora is in and out of meetings and seminars as well. Mary Margaret has to meet with the staff of one of the hotels her parents own and then she and Davis spend time together before he gets called away by the station and has to walk them through the filing process for ‘thievery’. James doesn’t mind at all because Nelson has more children to play with and they’re all very well behaved which is why he could pretty much take them anywhere and do anything.

 

At some point in time the adamant need and want for pizza even if they were making their own, comes out of nowhere and still, all the kids wanna do it. It was between that and sushi, which is something only Zelena was really sure of trying. So they have a pizza night where the kids make their own and on suggestion, they go to Ajisai…. It does not end well. Auggie flat out wails when he watches them butcher the fish before him and the kids can’t stand the smell so their parents leave and they get fast food from InandOut. Zelena is also into a teaching like mentality because she’s been teaching Auggie new words and sentences and phrases that the little boy has begun to use consistently. He and Emma then stay the night with the Mills folks and in the morning, Emma grins stupidly because as she states,

“They can’t tell me how many pancakes to eat,” which is true considering it’s endless. Auggie settles for French toast and Regina eats oatmeal as her sister eats cereal and Nelson has french toast and eggs. Emma dumps the entire container of syrup on her pancakes and ends up with a stomach ache because she insisted on eating all the pancakes and licking the syrup from the plate. Auggie scrunches up his face at his sister because that’s just gross and Nelson tries not to watch. Zelena just flat out says ewww and Regina remains quiet as she finishes her breakfast.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Between so many get togethers and nights out and dinner reservations, the three families decide that maybe letting the children spend the rest of the summer together wouldn’t be so bad… and it isn’t. They continue to see all of the SM Pier and that includes Bubba Gumps, Soda Jerks, the arcade and trapeze and all of that other good stuff. They also frequent every busy and high priced venue around Melrose and Sunset Blvd. From La Cienega to Palms Ave and so on.. And then, like all it took was a blink of an eye, it all came to an end shortly after they put together a small party for the girls’ birthdays.

 

Now, they were in the airport, the kids hugging one another goodbye and their mother’s off into the corner having conversation.

“We should do this again,” MM suggest and Cora hums,

“We should.”

“Next Year?”

“Why not.. the children are rather fond of one another,”

“That they are..soooo, next year?” she questions and Cora laughs.

“Yes, next year...girls..come along,” she say and they do.

“Wait!” That was Emma.

“Yes dear?” That was Cora. Emma fidgets.

“Could Gina write to me, please?” she queries and many eyes fall on the other four year old as Cora wiggles her daughter’s arm so that she had her attentions.

“I don’t know.. Would you like to write to Emma, Regina?” she questions and for a moment, Regina says nothing, she does nothing, until she’s smiling and nodding. Emma begins to grin widely and then Zelena interrupts with.

“Then that means I get to write to Auggie, right, momma?”

“Of course, sweetie,” she says and Henry mock glares.

“Dear God in heaven she’s dating already… August am I gonna have to get my shotgun for you, little man?” he questions and Auggie just grins like the little cutie he is. The adults laugh and continue to say goodbye to one another. Once Emma and her folks are on the plane, the Mills clan climb back into their travel car and make the distance back home. The first thing Regina does when she gets home is begin writing her letter in as best penmanship as she can manage. She’d really only gotten as far as,

Hi Emma.