What if Gold was the one that raised Emma? And what if Regina was slightly affected by the curse so that she didn't realized the daughter that Mr. Gold adopted as his own was the savior and right in front of her nose?
This fanfic is quickly followed by Love Thy Father.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: Without Henrys (here named David after his maternal grandfather) positive influence, Regina does not develop a sense of love and empathy, leaving her without redeeming qualities and to her Death by Adaptation.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Adopting Emma leaves Mr. Gold to be much more tender-hearted than his canon counterpart. Granted, everyone is still afraid of him, but her presence forces him to behave more like a regular person (inviting people over to Thanksgiving for instance).
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: When Emma realizes that Neal and Baelfire are the same person, this reveals that 1) she essentially had sex with her step-brother, and 2) his son David actually is Mr. Gold's grandson.
- For Want of a Nail: Emma being adopted by Mr. Gold alters certain circumstances like crazy.
- Jefferson becomes in Emmas life when she starts noticing that Emma is the only one in town aging and more or less helps raise her. He is the one who reveals that Emma could leave town if she wanted, eventually marries her and winds up having a daughter with her.
- During the search for a missing Kathryn Nolan, Jefferson discovers Belle in the Hospitals asylum leading to her being released and placed in Mr. Golds care long before the curse breaks.
- Kathyrin is found dead.
- Without Henrys (here named David) positive influence in her life Regina remains the cold monster she always was, eventually leading to her Death by Adaptation.
- Glamour: The conditions of the curse allows Mr. Gold to adopt Emma without Regina (but not Jefferson) finding anything strange about her (like how she is the only person that ages).
- Happily Adopted: Despite many missteps along the way, Emma is still on good terms with her adopted father Mr. Gold by the end.
- Morality Chain: Emma is the only person who is able to keep Mr. Gold from devolving into his more "Dark One"-esq habits. For example, when Mr. Gold found out that not only was Belle alive the entire time, but imprisoned in the asylum by Regina, he was ready to kill Regina and break the curse prematurely. Luckily, Emma was able to talk him down.
- Tangled Family Tree: Like the canon iteration wasn't complicated enough. Prince Charming/David and Snow White/Mary Margaret are the birth parents of Emma who would later be the adopted daughter of Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold. She would run away and wind up getting knocked up by Neal/Baelfire and have their love-child David Gold. Keep in mind that Neal/Baelfire is Rumpelstiltskin's/Mr. Gold's son, meaning that Emma had a kid with her own step-brother and making David both Mr. Gold's adopted grandson and biological grandson! Then Emma goes and marries Jefferson, who practically helped raise her when she was younger, making Grace/Paige (who was Emma's friend at one point when they were the same age) her step-daughter and David's step-sister.
- What If?: What if Rumpelstiltskin agreed to raise Emma when the curse strikes rather than leave her fate to chance?
- You're Not My Father: With Emma has spent her whole life being raised by Mr. Gold (and more or less by her mother's cursed persona Mary Margaret), she virtually has nothing to go on with David, making things especially difficult for the both of them.