Chapter 4! Go!
"A word, sheriff?" Regina asked and Emma's head shot up. She'd been doing inventory, one or what looked like inventory when she was really scanning all the records from Story Brooke hospital.
"Actually," Emma said, picking up a handful of false notes and spreading them around the records. "I'm working on something right now, Madame Mayor." She made sure that the last two words sounded like a curse. "Do you think you could come back at a different time?"
"Oh, I find that you'll be able to make time for me." Regina told her, sitting down at the couch in the sheriff's office. "In fact, you're job might very well depend on this conversation."
Emma raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"What news have you gotten on Catherine's disappearance?" Regina asked suddenly, and for a moment she almost looked…sad.
Emma looked down. "Well, actually…."
"You haven't gotten a single new piece of evidence yet?" Regina snapped.
"No, not yet." Emma said, sternly. "But, I might if you'd be able to give me a little time to go over the evidence we already have."
"And what evidence is that?" Regina asked, and then answered herself. "Oh, that's right. An abandoned car and a phone bill with her last calls to her ex-husband who has a motive a mile high."
Emma blinked, her mouth going dry. "I-"
"Or what about Henry's teacher?" Regina asked. "Mary-Margret has some motives of her own. Going from an innocent school teacher to the town tramp can't be an easy to go through. I'm sure she was angry at Catherine, wasn't she?"
"Mary-Margret would never do that." Emma said, confidently, and Regina was getting on her last nerve.
"And your judgment isn't biased?" Regina asked, curtly. "You do live with the suspect; maybe we should have someone else cover this case. I'm sure Sydney would handle this just-"
"You are not bringing Sydney in here." Emma said calmly. "This is my case and I will handle it. No one else."
Regina shook her head and stood. "So temperamental, you know…Graham wouldn't have acted like this."
"And, I'm almost completely sure," Regina continued. "He would have had this case over and done with, wouldn't you say?"
Emma took a deep breath. "I'm doing the best I can and I will find her."
Regina grinned. "Good, then you won't need to go into the Story Brooke hospital files, will you?"
Emma smiled. So that's what this is about. "What I do and don't do is my own decision Madame Mayor, not yours."
Regina glared at Emma, leaning towards her over the desk. "If you continue to go through them you'll just be wasting your time, and more importantly, mine."
Emma smiled and leaned in, so that she and Regina's eyes were only inches apart. "We'll see about that."
. . .
The originally vivid and colorful walls of the castle Belle had grown up in were surprisingly dark and barren as she walked through them. The curtains that covered the windows were drawn and still no sun light came through them and the eyes of people painted into portraits seemed to glare at her as she walked past them.
"Father?" Belle called, but her only answer was silence. Utter and eerie silence.
He's got to be here, somewhere. Belle thought to herself, finding herself at the bottom of a long staircase that widened its way through the castle and would eventually stop on the second floor where one of her rooms was located. Along with her father's study.
Up I go, she thought and started up the stairs.
. . .
Finally, Belle stopped in front of the door to her father's study. Under it she could see the low light of a flickering flame, so she knew he was inside. It was most impractical to just leave a fire burning in the fire place without it to be attended; and her father wouldn't want his castle to burn to the ground, would he?
She took a deep breath and raised her hand to the doorknob when voices poured out from beneath the door. Curiously, she leaned in and then she could make out two voices, a man and a woman's.
"He's been gone for weeks," The man exclaimed, rustling something around that Belle couldn't see, but she could assume it was a book, and the loud thunking sound confirmed that he'd probably tossed it on the floor. "How can we possibly continue the merger now?"
Merger? Belle thought, but before she could give the word another thought the women spoke, loud and clear and slightly familiar.
"I know he has your highness." She said in a soothing tone, but something in it uneasy to Belle. "But, he is the closest heir to the thrown who can mare my step daughter."
"I know, I know." The man-her father- said. "But it's the only way; there isn't any other way to unify our two kingdoms."
"Well…" The woman's voice trailed off, obviously knowing another idea.
"What is it?" Her father asked. "Is there another way?"
"Actually there is." The woman continued hesitantly. Her voice was so familiar, but why couldn't Belle remember her name?
"Come on then," The king said impatiently. "What is the other way?"
"You are the king…." The woman said softly.
"Yes?" Her father asked.
"And, I am the queen of my land…" She continued
"What are you-"Suddenly her father got it, and she heard his intake of breath. "You mean you believe we should-"
"It would unite our two kingdoms." The women continued quickly. "And since we are unable to find another male suitor close enough to be yours, it may be the only way. Besides, we both have experience running kingdoms so it would help us."
'Then…." Her father's voice trailed off and she had to lean in closely to hear him utter one word. "Yes."
"What?" The woman asked in a started tone.
"Yes, we should marry." He said min a more confidant tone. "Forgive me for being so bold as to say, I have actually had some slight hope that this outcome would unfold."
What? Belle thought, loudly. He hadn't thought of anyone like that since mother had died. At least…she thought he hadn't.
Taking another deep breath, Belle straightened herself and grabbed onto the door knob, twisting it and stumbling blindly into the study where she saw to figures, embraced, but both turned to see her.
One of them was her father.
The other one was the woman that told her that true loves first kiss could break any curse.
Did you like, I sure did. A lovely little welcome home present, seeing the women that told you if you kiss the guy you like he'll become human but look how well that turned out. Anyway, please review and etc cause you're all awesome like that!