Hey guys, another new chapter for you! This chapter contains the court battle for Ellie!
I want to take this time to answer some of your questions.
Why did Milah come back now? You've covered Killian is angry last chapter, what is Emma feeling? Why would Regina grant a pardon?-- Milah's motives are going to stay a secret for now, but don't worry, I will reveal them soon. Emma is feeling a big mix of fear and anger. She is angry that Milah is back and messing with her happy life and she is fearful that Milah's return will take away everything she loves. In regards to Regina and her pardoning Milah, Regina was pressured by Gold (who's motives will also be revealed later) to pardon Milah. Gold, as usual, has dirt against Regina and used it as leverage!
Thank you again everyone for the wonderful reviews and thank you again for your questions! Also, if you are sending comments to me as a guest, remember that it may take a little longer for me to see them. I have issues with the email and have to wait for the comments to show up, which takes some time if you don't have an account.
Anyway, here it is! I hope you like it!
It was the big day and Emma and Killian were worried sick. Ellie was at home with Granny while they spent the day at the courthouse and when they got there they were surprised to see all of their friends waiting there for them as a line of support.
Mary Margaret and Ruby took turns hugging Emma while the men all gave Killian reassuring pats on the back, everyone trying to life the spirits of the two sullen parents.
The group spoke quietly amongst themselves, no one looking towards the other side of the courtroom where Milah and Mr. Gold sit, silently. It only took a few more minutes before Judge Spencer made his way into the courtroom and everyone took his or her seats.
"Good morning everyone, as you all know we are here today to determine custody of Elizabeth Jennifer Jones, the biological daughter of Killian Jones and Milah Gold. No one is on trial today; we are simply here to determine which household would be in the best interest of the child. Once that is determined, we will then move onto the discussion of visitation rights for the parent who does not receive custody. We also need to discuss the adoption petition that has been filed and is pending approval by one Emma Swan, who has been fostering the child since the day she was found."
Killian reaches out blindly and grasps Emma's hand and gives it a firm squeeze.
"I already read through all of the information regarding this case; the police reports, adoption papers, custody papers, etc. All I want to do today is hear from each person involved; Mr. Jones, Mrs. Gold, and Miss. Swan. After hearing each persons testimony, which I want to remind everyone will be under oath, I will take them along with all of the information from the case into consideration before making my final decision. Understood?"
All parties involved agreed to Judge Spencer's rules and settled in for the first testimony; Killian's.
Before they began, Judge Spencer spoke once more.
"After each testimony, opposing council may ask a total of three questions, including follow-ups, if they so choose. This is a courtesy I am granting to you, so please, do not take advantage of my kindness. Now, Mr. Jones, you may begin."
Killian had made his way to sit on the stand and instantly made eye contact with Emma, the sight of her instantly calming his nerves.
Taking a deep breath, he began.
"Growing up I never thought much about having kids, even when I started college and began my career in education. I spend my days surrounded by children and up until a few months ago I thought that would be enough; I was around children all day, I didn't need that in my home life. That was until that day I found out I was a father. The moment I locked eyes on my daughter, I knew she was mine, and I knew that my life would never be the same. I instantly decided to change my life around to become the best father I can be for that little girl. I moved back to Storybrooke, where I knew my daughter would have a good life, and I made her my number one priority. Ellie has brought so much joy and love into my life and I can't imagine spending even a day apart from her. I know I can be a good father for her, I know I can provide a good life for her, and I know that I won't be doing it alone. Emma Swan has been there since that day she was abandoned and nearly died in a locked car. Emma saved her life and made it possible for me to know and love my daughter. Emma made it possible for me to be a father and in the process she became a wonderful mother to my daughter. Now, I'm not asking you to allow me to have custody of my daughter; I'm asking you to allow my daughter to remain in her home with both of her parents, the only parents she has ever know and has ever loved. Thank you."
Killian would be lying if he said he wasn't emotional during his little speech, especially when he noticed that Emma had tears flowing down her face. Looking around the room, he noticed Mary Margaret and Ruby were in a similar emotional state and even David had a hint of tears in his eyes.
Judge Spencer then turned to Mr. Gold. "Do you have any questions for Mr. Jones?
Mr. Gold stands. "Not at this time but we reserve the right to call him back later if requested."
"Granted. Mr. Jones, you may return to your seat. Mrs. Gold, please make your way to the stand."
Killian jumped down and returned to his seat beside Emma, not even a glance spared towards Milah. He wrapped his arm around her and placed a kiss on her forehead before moving his attention to Milah who had just taken her seat on the stand.
Milah's testimony was filled with half-truths and fake tears. She spoke about how she suffered from post-pardon depression and how that led to her leaving Ellie behind so she could go seek treatment in a facility in England, a facility that no one has been able to find any information about. She never mentioned the fact that she left the 3-week-old baby alone in a locked car, with the windows rolled all the way up, in the middle of the July heat. Milah continued to talk about herself and her struggles, never once talking about what she thought was best for Ellie. That is, until she brought up Emma.
"I do believe that Killian will be and has been a good father to my daughter but to honest, due to her past, I do not want Emma Swan anywhere near my daughter. I have been informed that Miss. Swan had a child herself a few years ago that died and if she couldn't protect that child, how can she protect mine?"
Gasps filled the courtroom before the voices of Killian, his attorney, David, and Graham filled the room, angry at the mention of Emma's lost child. It took a few minutes for everyone to calm down, Killian and Mary Margaret each sat on either side of Emma and tried to console her through her tears. Having Milah bring up Henry and blame his death on her was the equivalent to reaching into her chest and ripping out her heart.
Judge Spencer brought the courtroom back to order and had Milah complete her statement. When it came time for questions, Killian's attorney made sure to ask questions about Milah's abandonment and future plans (or lack there of) for Ellie. Caught off guard about the latter questions, Milah stumbled with her answers and yet again brought the topic back to herself. Once she was done, Milah was dismissed and returned to her seat.
Killian watched as she returned to her seat beside Mr. Gold and was disgusted to see a smirk on her face when she discovered the distraught look on Emma's face. She knew exactly what she had done and was happy about the response she got.
'What in the hell did I ever see in this woman? How could I have ever loved someone so hateful?' he thought to himself.
Judge Spencer broke his thoughts as he directed his gaze towards Emma. "Miss. Swan, you're up."
Killian turned to Emma, "You don't have to do this now, love."
"He's right, Emma. We can ask for a postponement." Mary Margaret said, rubbing her hands up and down Emma's arms.
"No. I have to do this, now. For Ellie." It came out as a whisper as Emma stood and then made her way to the stand.
Emma sat in the seat silent for what felt like forever. She didn't look at anyone, not even Killian; she just stared down at her hands.
"I didn't have parents growing up. I was found on the side of the road when I was just a few hours old, tossed away like a piece of trash. I grew up in the foster system, living in the worst kind of situations until I ran away at 16 years old. I got myself in trouble here and there but when I discovered I was pregnant when I was 18 years old, I knew I needed to change who I was. I became the person I am now, someone I am proud to be, someone I wanted my son to be proud of. Unfortunately, I lost my child due to the negligence of his father, when he was just a little boy and that is something that I will never forgive him and myself for. I should have been there for my child, just like Mrs. Gold should have been there for hers."
Emma finally looked up and stared right at Milah, letting her know how much distain she has for her before she shifted her gaze over to Killian. Making eye contact with Killian instantly sent a wave of comfort through Emma's body and she continued her testimony.
"The day that I found Ellie and rescued her from the hot car changed my life forever. It gave me another chance at motherhood and it brought a wonderful man into my life that I love with all my heart. Ellie has become the center of my life from the moment I pulled her out of that hot car and these past few weeks have been some of the hardest weeks I have ever had to endure. Just the thought of losing her, my sweet Ellie, breaks my heart and leaves me hopeless. I can't imagine my life without that little girl; I can't imagine waking up in the morning and not seeing her beautiful face or listening to the sweet little sounds she makes. I can't imagine not being there with her and for her as she grows up. I love that little girl as if she is my own and I know that I can be and have been a good mother to her. Please, I beg you, don't take her away from me."
Emma had tried her hardest to keep herself together but her emotions were still raw at the mention of Henry, and she broke down in tears on the stand.
Judge Spencer made the decision to disallow any questions for Emma, since she is not a biological parent of the child but simply apply for adoption. Mr. Gold and Milah put up a fight but Judge Spencer held his ground and dismissed Emma from the stand.
Emma returned to her seat and was instantly drawn into Killian's arms. He whispered words of love into her ear and kissed her on the forehead.
The room remained still for a few minutes while Judge Spencer read over his notes.
Throwing down his pen, Judge Spencer addressed the room.
"I can sit here and pretend that the decision in front of me is a hard one but most of you can sense that that is a big fat lie. The facts in this case are simple; we have a woman who gave birth to a child that she didn't care enough about to fill out a birth certificate. She denied the father of said child a chance to be involved with the pregnancy and birth and instead chose to leave the child behind while she left to go to England; let's not forgot that her actions nearly killed the child. I don't know what kind of game you're trying to play here but count me out. I'm granting full custody of Elizabeth Jennifer Jones to Killian Jones and I am dissolving any and all of Milah Gold's parental rights. You do not deserve that child, Mrs. Gold, and furthermore, I believe your presence in her life will bring more harm than good. Any visitation And one final thing, I am also granting Emma Swan's petition for adoption. Elizabeth Jones is now a lucky baby girl with two parents who have proven their love and devotion for her. That is all."
The courtroom erupted in cheers; Killian and Emma were instantly wrapped in the arms of their friends before moving to each other. Both were stunned yet completely grateful for the turn of events.
Mr. Gold and Milah, both angered beyond belief, rush over to Judge Spencer. "What in the hell, Spencer? We had a deal!" screamed Milah.
Spencer just looked at the two with a grin on his face. "Do you really forget how much hell you two put me and my family through in the past? Do you really think money would make me forget, you think money would make me help you? No, this was better than money, seeing the looks on your faces."
Spencer began to walk away from them when Mr. Gold grabbed his arms.
"No one breaks a deal with me, dearie. No one."
Spencer pulls his arms back. "I just did."
And he walked out of the room leaving a pissed of Milah and Mr. Gold behind him.
Killian and Emma and their friends didn't wait around long. While Gold and Milah spoke with Spencer, they group of friends left the courthouse and began the walk back to the apartment; back to Ellie.
Back inside the courtroom, Gold turned to Milah.
"This isn't over."
Happy Ending (sorta) for Killian and Emma but not to fear, like Gold said, this isn't over! Until next time...