A/N: Wow... I'm blown away by all the responses, you guys! GEEZ! I'm so glad that you're all enjoying this story as much as I am! Your responses to the last chapter drove me to write this chapter within 24 hours of posting the last one. I just wanted to keep the suspense going ;) You all are amazing! :) So, because I got 20 FREAKING REVIEWS on the last chapter, my goal for this chapter is gonna be... 15 reviews! You surpassed the 12 reviews by so much, and it makes me so happy, honestly! :) I hope you enjoy this next chapter!
Disclaimer: I don't own OUAT! (only the little girl)
Two gasps can be heard as her deep brown eyes lock onto the two people leaning over her.
"Hello." She says with a smile.
Henry doesn't take his eyes off of the little girl but once, only to glance over at his mother, who looks just as shocked as he does. Her jaw slack, she's really not one hundred percent sure she's breathing correctly. Those eyes are eyes that she'd recognize anywhere; they held the same innocence of the child standing next to her when he was the little girl's age, yet the brown is unmistakably her father's. Taking in a sharp breath, she catches Henry's gaze, bewilderment matching her own reflected back at her.
"Hell-o?" The little girl says again, a little more attitude in her voice. The eyes of mother and son lock back onto the little girl, who's eyebrow is now raised in irritation. Henry, for his part, merely takes one look at the little girl and laughs lowly. Looks exactly like Emma, but acts exactly like his mother. He rolls his eyes with a smile.
"Hey there, kiddo." He says lightly, mussing the little girls hair. She narrows her eyes in a glare, quickly pulling away.
"Don't mess my hair up!" She squeaks, a huff quickly turning into a giggle as Henry gently pokes her in the stomach. "Stopppp!" she whines lightly, a mischievous smile on her lips. "That tickles." Scrunching her nose, she looks up at the brunette who hasn't said a word. "Who are you?" Regina smiles lightly at the little girl, stunned at the way the girl has taken to Henry.
"My name's Regina, and this is my son, Henry." She gestures to the boy, now idly sitting on the couch.
"I'm Elizabeth Grace, but people usually just call me Lizzy Grace." She shrugs lightly, tweaking her nose.
"Lizzy Grace," Regina starts, "that's a lovely name." The little girl beams at her, and she finds that she can't resist such a smile. "You know, you're very lucky Henry here found you by the border." Regina says gravely. "It's awfully cold outside, do you remember how you got here?" Lizzy Grace looks over to Henry, smiling shyly.
"Thank you, Henry, for helping me." She turns back to Regina, "I don't remember being by the border… last thing I remember is everything being real dark. Some man was talking to me…" she shrugs, a frown on her lips, "I remember he said I'm supposed to find my family," her lower lip begins to quiver slightly, "but I don't remember who they are." Regina quickly brings the girl into a soft hug, sitting down on the couch and pulling the little girl into her lap. She can feel the tears beginning to soak her blouse, but she can't find it in herself to care. She simply rocks the little girl in her arms for a while, letting her cry for her missing parents.
God, she hopes she hasn't done anything to harm this little, sweet child's parents; she'd never be able to forgive herself.
Lizzy Grace looks up at the woman holding her as she begins to feel the buzzing in her system. She knows that the buzzing was supposed to mean something, but, no matter how far back into that dark dream she goes, she just can't seem to remember what it means.
"Miss Regina, will you help me find my family?" Henry looks over at Regina, having taken up rubbing the child's back.
"Mom, we gotta help her."
"Got to," is mumbled into Regina's chest. Amusement shines in the woman's eyes as she looks down at the blonde head laying on her chest. She looks back over to Henry.
"Yes, Henry, got to." Henry rolls his eyes at the duo, appalled at the gang up.
"Come on, kiddo, I was trying to help you out. You're really gonna correct my grammar?"
"Going to," she says in response, earning a laugh out of both brunettes.
"God, mom, she looks just like Emma but acts just like you. You'd think she's your daughter or something!" Henry's only joking, mostly, but Regina stops laughing immediately, her eyes growing large.
"Henry," she sputters, "that's not possible. You know that, biologically, Miss Swan and I can't conceive a child." Henry's face screws up in disgust. "And even if it was possible, I would never… it would never happen. Miss Swan and I aren't even friends. We wouldn't… ever…" she trails off with a blush, Henry taking the opportunity to interrupt any further attempts at explaining.
"Ew, mom! Just stop, I'm sorry I even mentioned it." He shutters in distaste. "Ugh, that's just nasty." He says under his breath.
"Right." Regina looks down at the little girl again, who merely watched the conversation with confusion.
"What's conceive mean?" Regina's face goes white before turning a furious red, and Henry's eyes widen before he laughs and raises his hands in surrender, slowly standing up from the couch.
"That's on you, mom." He says before turning and walking out of the room. Regina glares after him, before turning her head to look down at Lizzy Grace.
"It's something you'll learn about when you're much older, sweetheart." The little girl's face screws up in frustration, quickly scooting off of the brunette's lap.
"Why can't I know now?" She huffs, crossing her arms over her chest in a show of exasperation.
"Well, it's something that adults talk about. You're not an adult yet." Regina tries to get away from the topic quickly, feeling quite awkward about the whole discussion. This isn't even her child. "Do you remember your last name, sweetheart? It might help us find your family." She offers up a smile while the little girl's eyes narrow at the obvious subject change.
"Henry's not an adult," Lizzy Grace mutters angrily, "and I can't remember my last name. I remember," she puts up five fingers, "my manners," puts one down, "how to color," puts another one down, "my ABC's," puts the third one down, "my favorite foods," puts the fourth one down, "and what the man told me." She slaps her hand down onto the sofa, sighing somewhat loudly. "It's kinda hard to remember all of it though. It makes my head hurt." She looks down sadly, feeling the shame of not being able to help more. "Sorry." Her shoulders slouch, and Regina immediately pulls her back into an embrace.
"It's all right, darling. You're trying your hardest, and that's all I can ask for. I don't want you to hurt yourself." Knowing that she won't get any more information out of the child, she takes out her phone to make the call she promised she'd make.
Again, Emma picks up on the third ring.
"Regina, hey. Is the kid awake?" Regina makes sure her voice gives nothing away.
"Yes, Miss Swan. You may come over now." Emma sighs lightly, but Regina pretends to not hear it.
"Alright. Be there in a bit." Regina hangs up the phone without saying goodbye and, again, simply stares at it for a moment.
"Why didn't you say bye?" She glances over at the little girl in her lap, her brows furrowed in question.
"Miss Swan and I aren't on very good terms, Lizzy Grace." Regina watches as clarity comes over the blonde girl's face.
"That's the one you can't conceive with because you aren't friends." Regina's face goes red; she thought they'd gotten past the whole conception talk.
"We're not going to tell her that, okay darling? We're just going to say that we're not very good friends." Lizzy Grace nods her head once before sitting up quickly.
No sooner had she sat up, Henry waltzes in with a small sandwich on a plate.
"I thought you might be hungry." He smiles at the little girl fondly.
"Grilled cheese!" She shouts, standing up quickly and rushing over to the pre-teen.
"We're not allowed to eat in here, so we have to go into the dining room, is that alright?" She nods quickly at the boy, reaching up for the plate.
"May I carry it?" She asks excitedly. Henry looks over to his mother, silently asking her if the six-year-old can. At the slight nod in return, he bends down to the girl's level and gently hands her the plate. Almost immediately, it falls forward a bit. Henry quickly catches the front of it and chuckles.
"Here," he says softly, "hold it like this." He takes her hands tenderly and places them across from each other on the plate. "Keep your hands steady so the grilled cheese doesn't fall. Follow me to the dining room, okay?" Lizzy Grace looks up at the boy with adoration, following his every footstep. Regina watches, silently walking behind the pair.
She can't help the absolute love that overflows into her heart in that moment. Watching the two interact causes something inside of her to trigger. Her longing for her second chance seems almost completely gone, though she can still feel the remains tugging at her heart. She watches the scene unfold in front of her and thinks of a complete family. Almost complete, she corrects, though she's not really sure what's missing.
Regina can't help but think that she'd never seen this in her future with Robin Hood. Not once had she truly thought that she could be Roland's mother, not fully. But this little girl… something about Lizzy Grace is different. Regina can feel it in her bones. This little girl, she thinks, could be her third chance.
But that thought is shattered when she remembers why the blonde is here: to find her family. Her family that, at this point, she doesn't remember. Regina finds it strange that Lizzy Grace can't remember who her family is, but she doesn't want to push the little girl. She knows she needs to find out who this man that Lizzy Grace keeps talking about is. Whoever he is, he has the answers to finding her family.
And no matter how much she feels at home with Lizzy Grace around, she swears she won't keep the girl from her family.
So caught up in her thoughts, she didn't realize that they had reached the dining room, or that the doorbell had been rung. When she glances around and doesn't see the two children there but the plate sitting on the table with a small crevice taken out of the grilled cheese, she pauses, her brow furrowing in confusion.
She hears a knock on the door that is quickly cut off.
"Whoa." She hears faintly. Emma's here, she thinks before making her way towards the front door.
"Are you Miss Swan?" A little voice asks, and she smiles at the attitude that the voice carries. She hears a throat clear right when she sees the back of the little girl and Henry. "What does conceive mean?" Her eyes widen at the tricky child's question. She feels her face heating up quickly, but she tries to shove her embarrassment away by the time that she arrives at the door.
"Miss Swan, I see you've met our little guest." She raises a stern eyebrow at the little girl, who ducks her head guiltily. Henry tries to stifle his laughs, but the little girl hears them anyway.
"Henry thinks it's funny." She whines softly, looking back up at Regina while pointing at the laughing boy next to her. She glares at Henry, sending him the same stern look; he quiets immediately.
"Both of you, away from the door so I can let Miss Swan in, please." She shuffles the door open a little wider to see a slightly red, stunned blonde.
"Whoa." Emma says, once again. Regina rolls her eyes, scoffing lightly.
"Is that all you have to say, or are you able to think of something more intelligent?" Emma's eyes lock with hers briefly, and Regina tries to ignore the slight pang she feels at the subtle hurt in the older blonde's eyes.
"She looks just like me, except she has your eyes." She says quietly, confusion covering her face. "And she obviously has your attitude." Emma tries to sound a little harsh, but can't quiet manage when she looks just past Regina at the little girl.
"Yes, well, she can't remember who her family is. Her name is Lizzy Grace, and she's only able to remember five things." The little girl sweeps in front of Regina quickly.
"I only remember," she puts up the five fingers again, "my manners," puts one down, "how to color," puts the other one down, "my ABC's," puts the third one down, "my favorite foods," puts the fourth one down, "and what the man told me." Emma glances at Regina.
"The man?" She asks, trying to get more information, but Regina just shrugs and shakes her head.
"She can't remember anything else. It hurts her head." Lizzy Grace nods matter-of-factly, an extremely serious look on her face.
"The only thing I can remember exactly is that the man said he's invested in my future? I don't really know what that means though." She says quietly, missing the look the two women share.
A/N: Okay! Tell me what you think of the first introduction! I can't decided if I did a good job with her or not... I'd really appreciate if you guys find something wrong or think I'm doing something wrong or anything if you'd tell me. If you think I'm doing good, great! But, if you think I should change an attitude or something, let me know so I can change it and/or work on it. :) I really do like constructive criticism cause it helps me get better. Thanks for all your reviews and whatnot on the last chapter! :) Really appreciate it! Love ya!