"Mom?" The young girl asked hesitantly, while the four – herself, Emma, Henry and Regina – had lunch at Granny's.
"Yes, Hadria, sweetie?"
"When people see me… They give me these horrible looks, as if they hate me, or are disgusted with me. Why?"
Regina took a deep breath. "Because you're my daughter. I don't exactly have the best reputation around here… Or anywhere, for that matter. They probably think you're going to turn out like me, or your grandmother."
"Why would turning out like you be a bad thing? You're a wonderful woman."
"But I wasn't for a long time, and you know that very well."
Ruby placed all four orders down – two grilled cheeses and two chicken salads.
"I'm afraid, sweetheart, that you'll just have to give them a look back and hope that they never bother you. And if they do bother you, they'll have to deal with me." She offered a mischievous smirk to her daughter across from her, who laughed a little.
Emma's arm went around the back of the booth and it fell around Regina's shoulders as the bell chimed and she looked up to see her parents walking in. They both seemed completely confused as they looked at the pair of them.
The blonde cleared her throat awkwardly as she took a bite of her grilled cheese. Snow and James stepped up to the edge of the table.
"Good afternoon, Emma." James muttered. "Henry." He seemed to purposely ignore the fact that there were two Mills' there.
"Afternoon, James. Aren't you going to say hello to Regina and Hadria?" Both mentioned women looked up at the prince.
He sighed as though he was a moody teenager that didn't want to. "Hello to both of you."
"Let's go sit down, James."
"No. What's going on here?" He gestured to Emma's arm around Regina's shoulders. "What's going on between you two?"
"What does it look like?" The blonde asked with a shrug.
"It looks like you two are… together, or something. And if you are, then I can't accept that."
"Then don't accept it, daddy-o." She sipped her coke. "Now, one question, your denial of acceptance is either because she's a woman or because she used to be the evil queen. Which one is it?"
Regina noticed Henry awkwardly pushing his fries around his plate. "Emma, stop. You should be with your parents, your family."
"You are my family."
"Emma, sweetheart, you can't seriously want to be with the woman who tried to kill me several times over, who is the reason that we didn't get to raise you." Snow pleaded.
"Now, that's where you're wrong." The blonde laughed dryly and then stopped suddenly, looking up at them with a slightly angry face. "Who're the people who put me in a wardrobe minutes after birth, that had me appear on the side of a freaking freeway – a dangerous place for a newborn baby to be, by the way."
"Emma, you have to understand-"
"No. You don't get to speak. If you can't accept that I actually have feelings for a person – forget who she is and was – that I have actual, genuine feelings past a one night stand or a single date, if you can't accept that she has feelings for me, if you can't accept that not only do we already share a child, but another has been added to this weird little family..." After raising her volume gradually, Emma seemed to calm suddenly, a determined look still on her face. "Then I can't accept you as family."
"Sweetie, you don't mean that. You'll come around, and you and Henry will come back to us." Snow seemed intent on convincing Emma that this was a bad idea.
Her daughter laughed dryly again. "You think I'm gonna take my son away from the woman who raised him? Are you crazy? I spent sixteen years going from home to home and he's had one solid one for eleven years. I'm not making him give that up. I'm also not leaving him, or Regina, or Hadria. So stop, Snow." Emma made a point of calling them by their names rather than mom or dad. "Because I'm not going anywhere, and you're making a fool of yourself by trying to make me. I may be your daughter, but I'm a grown woman."
There was silence for a few moments as Emma stared them down. "So… this is your decision? You're going to be with not just a woman, but Regina?"
"Yes, this is my decision and this is my family. Maybe if you showed any interest in being a part of it I might be a little calmer right now."
Snow sniffled and walked away, to the other end of the diner as she rubbed her eyes. James followed after giving Emma one last look, a chance to change her mind.
"Emma… Why would you give up your parents for me? For us?"
The blonde shrugged a little. "Because I've never had them. Having a parental family has never been important to me, because I've never had my real one and all the fake ones I had freaking sucked. I'm happier to stay right here and be a parental family. They don't want you in theirs, I don't want them in ours."
Regina looked at Emma, sitting by her side, as if she was in awe of her. She then leaned in and turned the blonde's head to face her, pulling her in for a soft and tender kiss.
They pulled apart and Regina turned back to her plate with a small smile on her face. "I should tell you about that ring you brought back." Her head gestured to the gold band still hanging around Emma's neck.
"You should indeed."
"You remember the story in Henry's book, of a ring that Rumplestiltskin gave to James to find Snow? The closer he got, the more it would glow?" Emma nodded. "That's the one that Rumple gave me to find mine. After Daniel's death, I remained hopeful that maybe he'd been reincarnated or something. I realise now that I was young and foolish, and simply fell for the first person to show me any kindness. Of course that doesn't mean I never loved him… He just wasn't my true love."
"So who is?"
"Well, Emma… It glowed to you, when you found it in my chambers." She looked up to the younger woman sheepishly.
"Oh… So I'm…" Regina nodded slowly. "Huh… awesome." She went back to eating her grilled cheese and fries as if she hadn't just found her true love.
"That's all you have to say? 'Awesome'?"
"Well yeah. It is pretty awesome." The blonde leant in and pressed her lips against a soft cheek and then temple before smiling warmly, showing her acceptance of this fact. "I'm gonna say it even if you're not ready to. I know you're kind of complicated, so just know that I can happily wait for you to say it in return… I love you."
Regina gulped. It had been so long since she'd heard those words with any sincerity. "I… I…" She started to shake her head, trying to convey that she couldn't say it yet.
"It's okay. I can wait." Emma shoved a couple of fries into an open mouth and laughed. Henry and Hadria chuckled a little too as their brunette mother blushed a little and chewed on the fries.
"I can't believe her today." Emma muttered as she climbed into bed next to Regina, wrapping her arms around a bare waist.
"Well, good versus evil never ends with everyone happy. Maybe they'll come around."
The blonde sighed. "Maybe. Not sure I care, though. All I want, all I need is you, Henry and Hadria."
"Are you saying that you want to be another mother to Hadria?"
"I'd love that. Now… can you tell me about her father?"
Her love took a deep breath. "He was a Lord in my court. One night, he cornered me and… and when I found I was pregnant I murdered him."
"I know how you feel."
"Oh, sure you do." The brunette muttered sarcastically.
"Henry's father… I didn't even know his name, I can't remember what his face even looked like. Everything is kind of hazy… The one thing I do remember is that we were in an alleyway, and there was this empty needle right next to me on the ground. I grabbed it, sucked some air into it… stabbed him in the carotid and deployed an air bubble into his blood stream."
The two held onto each other tightly, unable to stand the thought of the other being hurt in such a way.
"If we didn't get two fantastic kids out of it, I would wish that it had never happened to either of us. But we have Henry and we have Hadria and we can just go ahead and pretend that they don't have fathers, that they were miracle pregnancies or something." Regina muttered. Emma nodded slowly and kissed the top of her head.
"They're no one's children but our own." Emma added quietly.