The next week was spent packing up the bare essentials in the home - clothes, cherished possessions and essential furniture - along with procuring a home in California by the beach, having a larger car delivered, booking the flights for Emma and Gold and generally being very emotional.
They all sat down for dinner the evening they would be leaving, eating in silence as they thought over how everything they'd known and loved over the years had to be left behind.
"This is ridiculous." Emma sighed. "We shouldn't have to leave our homes because we're happy! And I don't want to go, anyway! I love this mansion, this town."
"But we can all leave and I don't see why we shouldn't. You have to anyway, because of your deal with Gold." Ruby reminded her friend.
"Yeah but I'll be coming back. I don't even want to leave in the first place!"
"Honey, we've made all these arrangements already..." Regina said softly, placing her hand on her girlfriend's. "I know it's a lot just to be happy, but..."
"I don't think I can be happy out of this town. I need Storybrooke. It's become my home in such a short time. And we'd be taking Henry away from his friends!"
"I don't have any friends." Henry argued. "No one likes me and I don't like them. I do, however, like the beach."
This brought a light laugh from his sister.
They stayed silent for a while until their older parent spoke up. "I have an idea." Regina began. "We leave town. Emma goes with Gold and the rest of us to Cali. When Emma is done with Gold, she comes to Cali. Then, in a few months, we come home. We spend regular time at each home. And, if Henry allows it, Emma and I can use our joint magic to create a portal between the two houses. We can come and go from the sunny west coast to the drizzly east coast."
The family thought for a while as they continued with their meal.
"I like that." Emma finally piped up. "That'd be nice. To always have access to our holiday home."
Everyone else silently agreed and looked expectantly at Henry. It was quite strange, really, that an eleven year old was in control of an aspect of both of his mothers.
He smiled. "Only if I get to learn how to surf."
Emma slammed the boot of their new, larger car. Regina had covered that aspect and had simply give for the five door version of her precious vintage Mercedes (which was safely locked in the mansion's garage).
"Everybody in!" Regina called through the house in the middle of the night, kissing Emma softly at the door. "I'm going to miss you. You'll call every day, right?"
"Of course. I'm gonna miss you too. All you guys."
Hadria, Ruby and Henry all made gagging sounds as they filed past the lovely couple and into the car. Emma managed to grab Hadria's hand as she passed, pulling her back and looking at her watch. "Three... two... one... happy birthday, kid." She pressed a kiss to her head and finally let her get in the car.
"Drive safely." Regina reminded Emma, tugging her girlfriend's coat tighter around her.
"You too." They kissed one final time before Emma strolled over to Gold's car, frowning when she saw that he was sitting in the passenger side.
"My leg..." he explained simply. "It's worse at night."
She nodded and hopped in. "Nice car."
As Regina approached the town border, Ruby gripped Hadria's hand tightly in fear. It wasn't fear that her necklace wouldn't protect her, however.
No, it was fear of the woman stood in the middle of the road with her crossbow aimed at the car.
Regina pulled to a halt as the rest of the 'good' army came into view behind her. With a soft kiss planted on her girlfriend's lips, Ruby got out and confidently strode up to her grandmother.
"What are you doing?" She asked, her hands on her hips.
"Protecting you. Like I always have and always will." Was the quick response, as if she knew Ruby would ask and she'd been practicing that answer all day.
"This isn't protection, granny. You're aiming a crossbow at my girlfriend's mother."
"She's evil." Granny frowned, as if wondering how her descendent could ignore that.
"She's happy. She has love. She has a family. I'm proud to call myself part of it! You know that all I've wanted in these thirty years is to leave town, so let me. I'm not your little girl anymore."
"What will you tell people out there when they start seeing wolves once a month?"
"Nothing. Because they won't. Being out of Storybrooke will stop all of it. Look, I really don't care what you think of me any more, because I've found love again. Hadria has helped me get over Peter. I want to be with her and there's no way you can stop me. Sound familiar? You and gramps. You stood up to your mother to be able to be with him and now I'm standing up to you."
There was a long silence before the old woman slowly lowered her weapon, drawing thankful sighs from the three in the car. "You're right. I'm being a hypocrite, aren't I?" Ruby nodded, smiling. "C'mere." She sighed, pulling the girl she'd raised into a hug. "You have a good life. And call regularly."
"Granny!" Snow shouted. "You're not meant to do that! That wasn't the plan!"
The old woman turned. "Are you really going to keep your daughter from love? I didn't mine. And now I want Ruby to have it, and I don't care whose blood it's with."
The wolf girl kissed her cheek before getting back into the car just as Regina got out, striding confidently to Granny's side.
"I'm not afraid to ram you guys, you know. I'll drive straight through you, knock you onto the other side and you'll forget why any of you ever hated me." She paused, smirking. "Actually that doesn't sound too bad..." She began to turn back to the car but stopped when Snow called out,
"Regina!" She began. "You don't have to do this. You don't have to take Emma away from us. Not again. Please."
The older brunette scoffed and turned back, glaring at the princess. "Again? Again?! You were the ones who put her in that wardrobe, I never made you. That wasyour choice andyour fault. And this time? You're the ones pushing her away. You're shaming her for loving someone. A woman. You're telling her that her feelings are wrong and that 'mommy and daddy know better' even though she's a grown woman. I'm the one supporting her here and you're telling me I'm the bad guy?"
There was another long silence, as if the good bunch were re-evaluating their entire existence.
"Snow..." She finally sighed. "I'm the one who taught you about how special love, and in particular true love, is. Granted, my mother probably would have killed Daniel without your assistance, but what also hurt me is that you made a promise to me and you broke it. You said you didn't want me to lose my mother... did it never occur to you that maybe I never really had her? Or that I wanted to run away to be away from her?"
The younger brunette shook her head, looking every bit the innocent child she once was.
"If you really do have goodness in your heart, you won't kill me. Because in doing so, you'd take a mother from a girl whose only just found her, and you'd be taking her mother on the girl's birthday."
Again, a silence. Snow finally stepped slowly forwards, coming to a stop in front of Regina.
"I know what I'm expected to say. I'm supposed to quote you and say that love creates happiness and that I'm going to let you have happiness after denying it to you all this time. But I don't believe act of that - well, not all of it. The way that sounds... it's like I'm saying I'm the better person.
"I'm going to let you leave town and happiness because you deserve it. You've been fighting for so long and I'm sorry. I hope that one day you could forgive me. That you could forgive the girl you taught about boys and... lady troubles."
"Thank you for letting me go... but I'll need time to forgive you." Regina said, drawing a nod of acceptance from the other woman as she glanced at the car and frowned.