A/N: Sorry for the long wait for this chapter, I have no idea where to take this story so any ideas are 100% welcome and appreciated. Thank you for your continued support of this story. It means more than you can imagine. Please leave a review and let me know what you think! Xo

Chapter Sixteen

Regina and Emma made their way home to the apartment, Henry was at Cora's still. Regina wasn't sure Emma was ready for a bouncing toddler jumping all over her yet. Regina just wanted to wrap Emma up in cotton wool and never let her go again, she wanted to protect her the best she could. The brunette was preparing herself for the conversation that she dreaded the most, Emma needed to give up her job or give up Regina. Regina didn't want to give her an ultimatum, it wasn't Regina's style in doing things but she couldn't live her life scared of her phone ringing, she just couldn't do it, no matter how hard she tried it wouldn't be fair on Regina or on Emma herself. Regina was never scared, it wasn't in her nature. She had two things she cared about, which was her son and her job, nothing else until Emma came along, she had softened her up and shown Regina a different side to herself that she didn't even know existed.

Regina got Emma into the apartment and made her comfortable on the gorgeous white fabric sofa, put blankets over her and got her a pillow. Regina made her as comfortable as possible. Emma was already sick of all the fuss Regina was making, the blonde was used to being the tough one, sorting herself out all by herself, she wasn't used to having someone care so much, she secretly loved it.

"Babe, what would you like for dinner?" Regina asked, shouting from the kitchen as she made Emma her famous hot chocolate.

Emma groggily replied from the sofa, "I'm not worried, princess, what ever you'd like."

Regina made her way through to the living room, hot chocolate in her hand, almost over flowing with mini-marshmallows, it was the best hot chocolate Emma had ever tasted. "I really fancy an Indian but I can't be bothered cooking so I can call one." Regina said, everyone knew how much Regina loved her curries.

"Sounds perfect, babe." Emma replied as she reached out for her hot chocolate, she sat up, so she could manage it better. "Ouch," she said as she moved.

"Oh, babe, is it sore? Do yo want your pain medicine, now?" Regina asked, as she took Emma's cup and placed it next to her, Regina wouldn't be able to cope with a dark brown stain on her sofa.

"No, no, I'm okay, just hungry." Emma replied, hiding the fact she was in absolute agony, she didn't understand why it was still so sore but she didn't want to worry Regina more than she already was.

"Okay, I'll order dinner." Regina said, sporting a big smile, tonight was the night over dinner, they were having the conversation, her anxiety was already through the roof.

An hour later, their dinner arrived, Regina plated it up and for one time only made an exception of eating dinner on the sofa, even though she was absolutely terrified of an ever lasting curry stain on the sofa. Emma sat up straight, wincing in pain anytime she moved ever-so slightly, she was trying her best to hide it but it was just too sore, she was avoiding the oramorph that she had been prescribed.

Regina pulled the coffee table over in front of them where she lay place mats, knifes, forks, spoons and glasses for juice. Regina had never done this before and she wasn't sure if she liked it. She always ate dinner at the table, every day she was at home, normally she would eat at her desk at work though, so she tried to tell herself if was just like that. She plated their curries up, splitting a chicken korma and rice, with two garlic naan breads, one on each plate.

As they tucked into their dinner, Regina decided to blurt it out, she wasn't holding back anymore, she needed to know. "Are you going back to work?"

Emma looked Regina, "Of course, I will be going back to work." Emma said, smiling, none of the wiser at what was about to happen.

"Oh," Regina said, shock horror spreading all over her face, anxiety tearing up her heart and her chest, her stomach doing summersaults at the thought of Emma returning to the force, where anything could happen.

"You okay, R?" Emma asked, concern now spreading across her face. She had no idea how regina was feeling about everything.

"No, I'm not and I need to tell you this now, or I never will. I can't do it, I can't worry about you all the time, I can't worry about you not coming home to me at night, I can't spend my life being scared every time the phone rings. I can't do it and I won't do it, I'm sorry. Its not who I am and not who I plan on being." Regina said, all in one breath, she completely forgot to breathe, but she had said it, she had finally laid all her cards out on the table.

"Are you asking me to choose between you and my job?" Emma asked, looking at Regina, she couldn't believe what she was hearing, she never had Regina down as the type of person to make someone choose, and she certainly didn't like it.

"No, I mean-" Regina started before she was cut off by a now angry Emma.

"Yes, yes, you are." Emma said, it was clear how pissed off she now was, Emma wished nothing more than the fact she wanted to just walk away and forget this conversation ever happened but she could hardly stand never mind get up and walk away.

"Lets just forget about this, please." Regina said, now feeling like a complete idiot, she never wanted to loose Emma and she felt completely guilty for being selfish, she kept telling herself it was selfish to ask Emma to do this. In reality, it was a catch twenty-two situation, due to it being selfish to ask Emma but also not selfish to ask so she didn't need to put herself though years of worrying and potentially making herself ill.

"No, Regina, my job was all I had before I met you, it'll be all I have when you realise I'm not good enough for you and you leave me, so no, I won't give up my job, even if it kills me." Emma replied, she didn't want an argument but she was in shock at what was happening.

"Ok." Regina replied before standing up and taking her dinner through to the dining room table as she walked away, she thought to herself 'not even if you loose me,' it broke her heart.

"Ok? Is that all you're going to say? Ok?" Emma said in disbelief, she couldn't believe Regina wouldn't even fight for her, now none of the women knew who was being the selfish one.

Regina kept walking, she sat down with her dinner and her thoughts, she began thinking loudly and harshly, she needed space, she needed out of that apartment, she needed to see her son, she needed to see her mum and most of all she needed to speak to her best friend. She needed advice, Emma would be alright on her own for a few hours, Regina thought as she took one last spoonful of curry before standing up and leaving, slamming the door with a little extra force.

Emma sat on the sofa, she didn't know what to do now, Regina had left and she had no idea where she went or when she would even be back. Emma was now left with her thoughts and finally had time to think things over, it was long overdue. She now needed to choose between her job and her girlfriend. Emma picked up the still empty glass and threw it across the room, leaving it to smash against the wall, now she felt even worse than she did before.

Regina made her way over to Cora's, she had already text Kathryn and asked her to meet her there. She had tears streaming from her eyes, she had a feeling this was her relationship over, and despite feeling relieved, she whole heartedly felt heartbroken. She had to stick to her guns and put herself first for once in her life. She had always put her mum first, Henry first and now she was putting Emma first. She had enough, it was time she was first in her life. Well, Henry would always be first, but that went without being said. She wiped the tears from her eyes and remembered the strong ass boss lady she was.

Regina pulled up in her Cora's driveway, she could see little Henry peeping out the front-room silk curtains. She waved like mad at him, she seen him happily bopping up and down, her heart felt full and happy, she just wished there was someone sitting in the empty passenger seat, Regina looked over to the seat and sighed before grabbing her purse and cellphone. Regina parked next to Kathryn's big white Range Rover and made her way into the house.

She opened the big wooden front-door. To be greeted by Oddball jumping all over her, quickly followed by the little pitter patter of Henrys feet followed by a big shout of "MAMA" as he ran straight into her arms, she picked him up and held her tight as Henry snuggled into her neck and put her arms tightly around her neck. "Ive missed you!" Henry said, over excitedly before Regina even managed to get a word in edgeways.

"Ive missed you too, my little angel." Regina said, as she carried him through to the front room, where Kathryn was already sitting with Cora, they all had a cup of tea, and one was waiting patiently on Regina's arrival. "My dog, my son, my mother and my best friend, what more could a girl need?" Regina said as she took a seat next to Kathryn, Henry still clinging on to her neck.

"Hello dear, are you alright?" Cora asked, noticing the very visible tear stains that had now ruined her impeccable foundation and eye make-up.

"Yes, I am now, mother." Regina quietly replied as she looked around the front-room, there was an empty chair, across from them and all she could think about how Emma should be sitting there, she already felt like part of her was missing and she was starting to really not like it.

"Babes, why did you call me over? Not that I'm complaining, I was here already." Kathryn said as she laughed, and winked quickly at Regina.

"You're here more than I am," Regina said, laughing straight back at Kathryn.

"I wish you were here more, dear." Cora piped in, she most definitely missed Regina's presence in the house, Cora always felt lonely when Henry went to bed and she was left rattling around in the mansion by herself.

"Maybe, I could move back home." Regina asked, she felt like she was seventeen all over again.

"I'd love that, you, me, Emma and Henry, all under the one roof." Cora said, clapping her hands in glee. "My family!" She exclaimed.

"Emma, yay! I miss Emma!" Henry started shouting in Regina's ear, over excitedly as he leaned back and looked her in the eye's. "Where is Emma?" Henry asked as he cupped his mother's face with his hands..

"No, little one, it's just going to be me, you and granny." Regina said, looking her son in the eyes, she could already feel a lump in her throat and her eye's starting to fill up.

"Oh, what about Emma?" Cora asked, now intrigued.

"What about Oddball?" Henry asked, looking at his beloved dog.

"Babes, whats happened? I seen you less than six hours ago and you were all loved up." Kathryn said in shock, she wasn't expecting this, she was expecting an engagement party to organise.

"She picked her job over me and I can't do it. Its simple." Regina said, holding back the tears, she couldn't hide the devastation lurking in her voice, she hated being this vulnerable in front of her mother, but sometimes you just can't hide the way you're feeling.

"Regina, would you give up surgery for Emma?" Cora asked, she couldn't believe Regina had made Emma choose, she couldn't believe how selfish her daughter was being but Cora would never say to Regina, she would never hurt her feelings like that and she really hoped Regina would come to her senses.

"Yes, in a heartbeat, I certainly would. I'd happily be a house wife, I'd happily work in a supermarket, I'd do anything to make her happy." Regina said, laying all her cards on the table, it was never a secret, everyone knew how Regina felt about Emma, it was clear even now, in Regina's facial expression but her eyes spoke the loudest.

"Theres your answer then, darling." Cora said, she realised that Regina might not be as selfish as she thought she was a second ago, yet, she was almost as devastated as Regina, she loved Emma, it took a while but she really started to love Emma like her own.

"I know, I know." Regina sighed as she cuddled back into Henry, "mama's coming home." She said.

"Where's Emma now?" Kathryn asked, concerned about the blonde's state of mind, she knew how much Emma loved Regina and knew if Regina was taking this bad, Emma was somewhere taking it one hundred times worse.

"At the apartment, can you go check on her as I really don't want to go back, I just want to go to bed." Regina said, she knew Kathryn would do her a favour, she didn't really have to ask.

"Certainly." Kathryn said, her mind now in overdrive, she hated seeing her best friend looking so unhappy, and she wasn't about to give up on their relationship yet, after all Kathryn was their biggest supporter and plus, she had already bought her bridesmaid dress.

Kathryn made her way over to the apartment about an hour later, she was giving Emma time to calm down and think things over before she went barging in there like a bull in a china shop. When she walked in she found Emma lying on the floor doubled over in pain. "Emma, whats happened?" Kathryn asked, as she rushed over to Emma's side. she kneeled down beside Emma to check her stitches whilst she was still on the ground, if they were burst and she stood up it could be disastrous, possibly even deathly.

"Regina left, without saying a word, I was trying to get my phone but I couldn't manage, I refused pain medication earlier, so now the pain is much worse," Emma replied.

"Your stitches are still intact, I knew I was good at stitching! Yes!" Kathryn said as she looked at Emma, realising Emma was having none of Kathryn's humour. "Lets get you back on the sofa." Kathryn said as she put her hand out and offered it to Emma. Emma put her hand in Kathryn's as Kathryn helped her onto her feet. "Easy, easy," Kathryn said as Emma was taking to her feet, she held one hand in Emma's and put the other arm round her back and laid her hand on Emma's waist, she began walking with her as she helped her onto the sofa.

"Thank you for helping me, but why are you here? Where is Regina?" Emma asked as she made herself comfy on the sofa, she held her stomach as she attempted to move, she grabbed the blankets on the sofa and began covering herself up, she was frozen and she had no idea how to turn the heating on.

"Regina asked me to come check on you, she'll kill me for saying this but she's devastated at our mothers house." Kathryn said, as she took a seat next to Emma, now with Regina's cold Indian intact, it was Kathryn's favourite meal plus, Regina owed her one.

"Why is she upset?" Emma asked, looking even more concerned than she did before. "She walked out on ME!" Emma said, emphasising the word 'me.'

"Oh, stop feeling sorry for yourself, Emma." Kathryn said sternly, she wasn't needing to baby Emma, she knew she was tougher than that. "She said you choose your job over her," Kathryn continued as she took a mouthful of curry. "She just doesn't want to loose you in the most brutal way, I mean, you've almost died twice in the duration of your relationship, its enough to send anyone crazy, huh?" Kate finished as she looked at Emma with a look Emma absolutely hated, she wasn't sure if Regina got it from Kate or visa versa but she knew what it meant. It was a "told you so" kind of look.

"I-" Emma started but in all honesty, she had no idea what to say, she was officially speechless for thirty seconds. "I had my job before I had Regina and when Regina realises she's too good for me, I'll still have my job, it'll still be waiting for me." Emma continued, telling Kathryn the exact same as she had told Regina, hoping one of them would understand her poor excuse, which she fully knew it was a poor excuse, she was attempting to convince herself as much as she was everyone else.

"Emma, that is the worst thing I have ever heard." Kathryn blurted out, giving Emma the worst shady side-eye.

"Excuse me?" Emma said as she looked Kathryn in the eyes. Who did she think she was? Emma was angry, she should be having this conversation with Regina and not her best friend.

"Well, first of all, Regina loves you more than anything, more than I've ever seen her love anyone, I mean, I even bought my bridesmaid dress." Kathryn paused for a bit curry before she continued. "I have never seen Regina with anyone the way she is with you, no one. She loves you, she doesn't want you to die, she doesn't want a phonemail saying you're dead, she can't do that, and I totally understand that, and I think deep down you do too." Kathryn nodded her head in an 'I'm finished' sort of way. She felt smug but she knew it was working.

"But my job is everything I have." Emma said, looking at Kate with the biggest puppy dog eyes you could ever imagine.

"No, Emma, that amazing lady and that little boy is what you have, you have a family and pretty bloody good family at that." Kathryn replied, still munching her way through the left over chicken korma. "You have everything, and you could do anything you wanted to. Go for your detective job, just don't go back on the frontline where you could get shot, still do your job but do the safer part of it."

"I made a big mistake, Kate, didn't I?" Emma said, now looking sheepishly at Kathryn and feeling like a right idiot, Emma had her detective exams coming up soon within the next two months and she was determined to pass.

"Do you really want me to answer, that?" Kathryn replied. "Here, this korma is so good, where did she order it from?" Kate asked as she took another slice of chicken on her spoon.

"Can you help me sort this out?" Emma asked, completely ignoring Kathryn salvaging the curry like she had never been fed before.

"Of course I can." Kate replied.

Over at Cora's house, Regina had just put Henry to bed, she made her way downstairs and checked her phone, nothing, not even a text, not even one missed phone call from Emma, the only thing there was, was a cheeky text from Addison Montgomery. "Get your ass over here, theres a wine with your name on it, get away for a bit." It read, Addison had no idea what was going on it was like the text was sent right at the right moment in time.

"Mom, I'm going to go to Addison's, I'll be back tomorrow night." Regina said, "Will you look after Henry?" She felt bad for constantly leaving Henry but she had a feeling she would go crazy being stuck in that house feeling the way she did, Addison was what she was needing right now.

"Yes, sure, just don't leave it too long until your next visit, he misses you." Cora replied, she was just as sick of her daughter constantly leaving Henry but she understood, that she needed a break tonight, if she knew her daughter as well as she thought she did, she knew Addison would sort her right out better than anyone else could.

"I'll be home for dinner tomorrow." Regina said, as she grabbed her purse and headed for her car, this was what she needed, she needed out of here.

She jumped in the drivers seat of her car, and started to make her way over to Addison's.

Regina had a four hour drive ahead of her, just what she needed time alone with music. She put the music on loud and let it drown out her thoughts. She drove and drove and drove, she should arrive there about 10pm, wasn't too late for a little wine, it was never too late for a wine.

Regina approached Addison's house and made her way inside, walking in, just like she owned the place, they were like sisters after all. She knew she could just walk into Addison's house whenever she wanted, and go straight for the wine bottle, it would never be an issue. So, she did. She seen Addison sitting out the back on the decking on the beach, it was a sight Regina could never get enough off.

"Hello, dear." Regina said, suddenly a spring in her voice, wine in her hand, as she made her way over the garden to join her longest and dearest friend.

"My darling!" Addison said, as a smile grew across her face. She jumped up with her arms wide open, and pulled Regina in for a tight embrace. "Ive missed you!" Addison said.

"Seems everyone has lately, what have I been doing with myself worrying over some girl?" Regina said as she held her glass up for a 'cheers.'

"Excuse me?" Addison said raising on perfectly shaped eyebrow. "Sit down and explain everything."

Back at the other side of L.A, Kathryn was making the apartment look extra romantic, she had rose petals going from the front door straight through to the bedroom, where she wrote three words in rose petals over the bed, Emma couldn't physically do it herself so she lay on the sofa telling Kathryn what to do. The apartment looked perfect. Candles in the bed room, all lit. 90 candles in the kitchen on the floor spelling out the words 'I love you,' it was simply perfect.

"Are we ready?" Emma asked, shouting through to Kathryn, she wished for nothing more that she could physically have sex but she couldn't, not for the next week atleast, Dr's orders from Kathryn.

"Yes, its finished, theres rose petals on the bed like you asked, wine by the side, don't have any with your meds so I've just put one glass, the kitchen looks spot on, everything looks great." Kathryn replied. "Shall I phone her to come over?"

"Yes, she might not pick up for me." Emma replied.

Kathryn grabbed her phone of the kitchen bunker and dialled Regina's number, rather than searching through her contacts, she knew it off by heart anyway.

"Hey, hey, hey thats my best friend on the phone!" A very drunken Regina said as she attempted to hold the phone to her ear, she had about three bottles of wine within in the hour and she hadn't been that drunk since she was about twenty.

"Regina, where are you?" Kathryn asked, now concerned, she had never heard Regina this drunk in a very long time.

"I'm at Addison's, its great, we've drank so much... listened to music... chilled..." Regina said, stuttering between each word.

"Addison's? Regina, Emma is waiting for you, what the hell are you doing?" Kathryn asked, anger lingering in her voice.

"Oh Kate, lightening up, have a little fun and stop being miserable!" Regina said, not realising the way she was talking to Kathryn was completely unacceptable and sober Regina will be mortified.

"Regina, I thought Emma meant more to you than this, I thought you'd be fighting not running off and getting pissed with Addison, I'm done trying to help you and your relationship out!" Kathryn said before hanging up the phone.

"What was all that about?" Emma asked, looking concerned when she seen the look on Kathryn's face.

"She's not coming tonight." Kate said as she took a seat next to Emma on the sofa and sighed. What a waste of time.