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Finding Home, Again

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Neal tracked his father down to his study. He shifted closer as Rumple delicately unrolled a scroll and held it under a magnifying glass. He heard a soft murmur of sound and checked for a source. Neal's heart squeezed in happiness and a bit in envy. From his father’s work bench he could see into the library as Belle rocked Gideon.

"If we were a normal father and son," Rumple declared before Neal could take another breath. "I would ask if you were okay, if this is what you wanted." He looked up from the scroll. "But we aren't, and it feels rude to assume you've had an unpleasant conversation with the savior."

Neal didn’t look away from the library. "Do you know how lucky you are Papa?"

Rumple followed his gaze and smiled. "I don't plan to mess this chance up." He put the scroll down and placed a hand on Bae's arm. "If you wanted I would wheel and deal, to get the fair maiden's heart for your own. But I think we both know that wouldn't work out, in the long run."

"It's not that I want Emma." Neal walked away, examining the shelves. "I just want to find my own “happy ending”, you know. We aren't those kids anymore and we can't go back." He picked up a wooden box and put it down again. “No regrets with it and I think we’re pretty damn good job now, with Henry."

"I tend to agree with you." Rumple waved a hand toward the door. "Tea?" The two walked into the library and joined Belle. She smiled up at her husband then at Bae. Rumple poured, handing the first cup to Belle then pausing before handing over Bae's.

"There is something more going on," Rumple said as he handed over the cup. His son looked at him with a blank face and stood with a casual air. "Hiding things has caused more trouble than even me."

"Emma's pregnant." The shock on both Belle’s and Rumple’s faces made him rush to finish. "Not mine. She's sure our memories were messed with and that her husband was erased from everyone's minds. Almost everyone’s."

"There's more isn't there?"

"Well, my mother and her pirate have hit town."

"Come, come, something else. That’s yesterday’s news."

"They might be married?" Neal kept his eyes on his tea cup letting his father's response stay between him and Belle. "She introduced herself as Milah Jones."

Rumplestilskin stirred his tea and thought. He thought of the past and the paths he’d taken, the choices he made. He thought of how he finally felt whole and how it happened three months ago when he woke up with his beloved wife, his infant son, his firstborn, his sanity and his power. In order to keep those precious pieces of his heart, he had to master letting go.

"Well, alright then." He thought a bit more. "I have no clue about the memory business but I guess I will have to offer your mother congratulations at the Charming's ball."

"Thank you Papa." Neal sat back to enjoy tea with his family. Belle stood and kissed her husband on the cheek.

"Thank you, Rumple."

A high pitched giggle escaped him before he settled down to tea.

 


 

Emma sat out by Regina's beloved apple tree, waiting and thinking and planning.

"Here chew on this," Regina said and placed an apple in Emma's hand.

"I'm not sure that's a good ideal." Emma twisted the apple's stem and watched Regina anxiously pace around her gardens. "Did you have a nice night with Henry?" Whatever reply she got was muffled and didn't stop the pacing. "It's not the end of the world Regina."

"How am I supposed to know that?" Regina spit the words out. "You take off on guests – I had no clue Charming's could be so rude. Then, you call a family meeting but not the whole family which means there's something you would rather not tell the Dark One. Does any of that sound like good news to you?” She threw her arms up in the air “And Henry. Last night I went to say good night and he was hiding tears, Emma, tears."

She stalked away. "We will not be making small talk, we will wait for your parents and you will tell us the news and then we will deal with it and if I am very lucky there will be someone to kill."

"Okay then." Emma ate a few bites of the apple before bolting for the bushes, gagging it all back up.

"That's just rude."

"Sorry."

"Mom!" Both women turned as Henry rushed into the garden and over to Emma's side. "Are you okay?"

Emma tried to reassure him but sighed instead. She stopped and looked over at Regina. "Can we have a minute alone?"

Regina rolled her eyes, swept her skirts up and headed back into the castle, calling over her shoulder. "I will go see if you parents are dillydallying."

Emma and Henry looked at each other and started laughing. "Dillydallying."

"She really shouldn’t use such language."

"Henry." Emma walked back over to the tree, dragging her son with her. "You've gotten too old on me."

"You had me way too young."

"True I guess," Emma said, sitting and holding onto his hand. "I was going to do this once with everyone but I think you get to hear this first. I'm not going to get into the details” – she shrugged – “I will when we talk to everyone else. I'm just going to tell you." She stopped, her eyes traveling over the garden, trying to figure out how to say it. "I. I mean I'm really sure, well. There's no tests here but it's almost, well it's a feeling and then there's the crying and the vomiting and then I ate an apple. We don't eat apples in this family."

"Mom, just tell me already."

"I'm pregnant Henry." Emma choked a bit around the words. "You are going to be a big brother. But it isn't your father's. I'm sorry, so sorry. I tried, I really did but your dad and I, we love you and we do love each other it's just not…"

"Mom, stop," Henry pleaded. "I, I get it. You aren't in love and that's okay. You guys are friends, family really, but you aren't like grandma and grandpa or Mom and Robin." The sat together for a moment protected by the quiet of the garden. Till the sound of the Charming’s and Regina with Robin in tow intruded.

"There's more isn't there Mom?"

"Yeah, but we'll do the rest together." She squeezed his hand. "And when you're ready, you can tell us what happened, or just me. I remember Henry, I remember what our stories really are. I can't tell them though." She watched the two couples coming toward them and whispered to him. "I promise you, I won't let this happy ending die."

"Well, we are all finally here," Regina announced. "What the hell is going on?"

"There's kind of a list," Emma reached out a hand to her mother. Snow took it. "And you're going to want to be sitting down." She lifted an arm but Regina beat her to it. Charming, Snow and Robin found themselves seated. Regina went and sat on the other side of Henry.

"Spill it, Sheriff."

Emma took a deep breath, smiled at Henry and stood.

"Just," she paused and considered her audience. "Just let me make it to the end before you start with the questions." Emma looked at each one of them in turn, ending with Snow.

"What?"

"No questions yet." Emma kept her eyes on her mother. It made it easier to breath. "I know why things are strange, other than us just showing up back here in the Enchanted Forest. When we came here, whatever caused it also changed our memories." She glanced to the side at Henry. "I don't know everything but there’s just, well, one thing. I was married."

"Ah!" Charming got out before Snow smacked him on the shoulder. Emma raised her eyebrow at her father, waiting to see if he'd stay quiet.

When he did she continued. "I dream, every night." Emma crossed her arms rubbing them, trying to feel some warmth. The spell keeping her sleep deprived face hidden flickering. "I wouldn't think they were real but they're the only thing that explains – okay, so I should really just say it." Emma closed her eyes. "I'm pregnant."

"What!" Her parents could be quite similar some days.

Snow started to rise as Emma’s spell dropped completely and her tired face was revealed. "Oh Emma."

"It's just been hard to sleep," Emma dismissed the concern over her appearance and shrugged. "Three months of sleepless nights and now add in morning sickness. I'll be fine."

"Yes," Regina agreed. "We'll see to that. Sleep the damn mornings away and stop hiding."

"I'll kill him." Charming stood. "I will hunt this man down and kill him."

"Listen Dad, he didn't run away. Hell, he didn't even frame me and send me to jail."

"Yes, David," Snow interrupted her. "When are you going to punch Neal for that one?"

"As far as I can tell, I was barely pregnant when we came here and you're going to have to just hang on, there's more."

"I dread finding out what you're talking about." Regina wrapped an arm around Henry.

"It's why Anton called me out to his castle yesterday." Emma took a deep breath. "The magic protecting the beanstalk is fading. I managed to restore it but it won't last long and more people will die trying to reach the giant's treasure. I don't think Anton cares about that but he was keeping another secret. The bean field is back."

"People won't just kill themselves getting to those beans, they'll kill each other." Robin's voice was hoarse. "And then there's what they’ll do once they have them."

"I kind of have a plan," Emma spoke up. "For all that and the sleeping and, well. So Anton's agreed but I'm afraid none of you will like it."

"Emma, what are you thinking of doing?"

"I'm going to move to an island in the middle of the bottomless sea?" Emma looked to Henry to see his response. He rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "AND we thought redistribute some of the treasure would help to kind of kill the rumor of riches in the sky."

"Didn’t they also have some magical items as well," Regina asked.

"I was hoping you, maybe Gold or Zelena could sort that out before we get the gold and whatever out. Still before you guys can do that we need to burn the bean field." Everyone fell silent and Emma rolled her eyes. "Except for a couple. I showed Anton my island and he thinks he'll be able to transplant the bean plants there."

Snow stood and walked to her daughter, holding her by the shoulders. "How often have you been to this island?" Snow refused to let her hide and it made Emma squirm.

"Whenever it got too hard to hide that I wasn't fine."

"Oh Emma."

"Wait a second," Regina spoke, one finger twirling in the air. "So your plan is to move your pregnant self to an isolated island in the middle of the sea and raise magic beans."

"It's not as stupid as you make it sound," Emma replied. She pulled a piece of chalk from her belt and went over the nearest castle wall. "I’ll show you."

Reaching out she began drawing a door on the wall. "I got the idea from a couple of movies. There's maybe another door at home." She blushed a bit. "In the back of my wardrobe." She knocked three times on the door and stood back as it opened. "But with this I can get just about anywhere. You guys want to see?"