Lily was dressed as Diana the Amazon, which suited her, even though she was much more comfortable in the heavy cape than merely in her armor. Henry had convinced Mal and Regina to magic up a very sturdy Batman costume, where some of the gadgets even worked (none of the weapons) and Roland had his own adorable little super hero outfit, complete with a cape, amusingly called 'Robin', which had made him laugh.
Maleficent fell more into character as each group of children arrived. The younger ones did not know who the elf queen was and just wanted candy and to see Robin's lightsaber. The blade was beautiful, but impractical. Regina and Maleficent's magic had made it nearly real (it wouldn't cut anything, but was a brilliant illusion). The sword itself was weighted oddly. When he mock sparred with David (who was dressed some kind of pirate in all black), he found it clumsy.
Regina's meeting must have dragged on even longer than she'd thought. Henry said she usually loved handing out candy, and she'd put so much effort into whatever her secret costume was (it would undoubtedly be more sexy than he'd be allowed to appreciate at the party tonight, but later...)
"What do you think it is?"
"It's not the way of elves to worry about the affairs of mortals," Maleficent teased, sounding quite like Galadriel in the films.
"Perhaps she's not a mortal."
"I hadn't considered that..." Mal nibbled another piece of chocolate and handed another one to him. "Though I see why Henry said we'd need more candy than we thought."
"Because you're eating all of it?"
"Because we're eating all of it." She handed him another piece and kissed him, licking chocolate from his lower lip. "It's delicious." The way she purred that was distinctly un-elven.
Roland would be in bed by nine. Henry would mostly like go out with his friends and Lily had been spending a lot of time with Mulan. The house would be quiet, theirs, if Henry decided to sleep over. He often did. Sometimes they went camping, or got a room at Granny's. He'd proved he was responsible. In the old world, he'd be married by now, wielding sword and bow.
It was better here, growing up slowly, coming into the world safe and looked after, not after the death of a father and mother. He ran his hand up Mal's arm and kissed her back, deep and hungry. This time she was the one who gasped. He loved doing that to her, to Regina, the way each of them had parts of a kiss that made them melt, and how they'd surrender, sweet and warm.
Then conquer him in return.
Something whooshed, wings in the air and they both looked up, surprised away from each other. Mal tensed, fingers ready to pull a fireball from the air, but the whoosh of feathered wings was Regina, dressed in tight black fabric that clung to her body in ways that made both of their breath catch.
The horns on her head were familiar, like Mal's, but not, and he wanted to say he knew, but he couldn't drag his eyes away from her hips, from the dress that clung to her curves like liquid.
Mal found her breath, and began to laugh. "You're me."
"Not quite, dear." Regina tucked her wings back, leaning forward to caress Robin's chin. His mouth hung open and she eyed him, as if she didn't know him. She'd done something to her face, made it more alien. He raised his hand towards her cheekbone, marvelling at the bright green of her eyes.
Regina winked, that funny way she did and he shivered then started to chuckle, spell broken. "Do you like it?"
"You're me from my movie, where I'm not the dragon, but some angelic creature."
"Do you think I look angelic?" Regina pulled herself back, curling her lips into a haughty smile. The horns were much more demonic, but the wings have a softer side.
"Perhaps an angel about to fall..." Mal teased, tracing Regina's cheek, "I love these."
"Took forever to figure out with magic."
"That's why you were really working late."
"I was actually working," Regina promised, leaning down to kiss Robin and steal a piece of candy. "I finished this spell weeks ago." She kept her horns carefully back. "How do you move in these?"
"With elegance, dear."
"Much like this?" Regina toyed with the lace on Maleficent's shoulder. "It turned out well."
"Henry was a great help, he has the eye of an artist."
"And you," Regina teased, running her fingers through his hair. "So much silver."
"Luke's had a hard life, in a galaxy far far away." He patted his lightsaber and sighed. "With his clumsy sword."
"Robin hates the lightsword."
"Lightsaber," Regina corrected. "Why?"
Robin took it from his belt and ignited it, the harmless blade of light emerged, humming. He flipped it in his hand, trying to decide if it was more like a rapier, or a broad sword. Should he use two hands? "The grip is clumsy."
"You can change it." Regina raised her hand, ready to magically alter his sword.
"But it's screen accurate."
"You don't know what that means."
"Henry said it was a good thing, like my ring." Mal lifts her hand regally, as if Regina were to pay her respects. "Henry helped me make sure it was right."
"Does it contain the power to control water?"
Mal smirked. "Perhaps."
Voices in the hedge made them turn. A pumpkin with legs and a rainbow unicorn child ran towards them, demanding candy with great enthusiasm. Robin laughed and started handing out treats. Mal touched his shoulder and retreated towards the house, recognizing their parents and making herself scarce.
Regina was having so much fun talking to the kids about their costumes and what candy they'd gotten so far that she didn't look up until Aurora and Ella stood in front of the steps.
"Roland said his house had the best candy," Alexandra announced, holding up her pail. "I think he was right, mommy."
"Did you say thank you?"
"Thank you," little Phillip offered quickly, bowing his pumpkin stem head. "I like candy."
"That was a very nice thank you, Phillip." Aurora reached down for his hand and smiled broadly at Roland. "Roland is one of Phillip's favorite big kids at day care. He always helps with art."
"Thank you," Robin said, offering Aurora and Ella both some candy. "I've always hoped he'd be chivalrous with those younger, and I'm glad to hear he's supportive."
With the real Maleficent who cursed Aurora behind him and a fake one at his side, the conversation falls on him, and he touched Regina's wrist, then wrapped his fingers into hers. She must not have expected Aurora and Ella. Some of the families still avoid the mayor's house.
"Do you know who Robin is for Halloween?" Aurora asked the little ones. Phillip beamed up at her.
"Luke. Old Luke."
"That's very good."
"Are you going to teach Rey to use a lightsaber?" Alexandra asked.
Robin nodded to them both safely, kneeling down. "Of course, would you like to see my lightsaber?"
The brilliant blue blade makes them laugh and their eyes are wide as saucers.
"I've see this version of my story," Aurora said, glancing at Regina. "The reluctant Maleficent falling in love with Aurora and saving her was a very different take. Ella had to spend some time convincing me it was worthwhile."
"I like that one. We've watched so many terrible cinderella stories."
"And some good ones."
"The costume is wonderful, Mayor Mills. Especially your face."
Ella nodded and peered closer. "How did you do the cheekbones?"
"Magic, like the lightsaber and Mal's ears." Regina said it lightly, without thinking, then paused.
"It's all right," Aurora offered, her smile small but steady. "You don't have to hide, I'm sure your ears are as well done as Regina's cheekbones, and the horns."
Maleficent passed behind him, slipping in on Regina's left. "I did not wish to upset you."
"I'm not upset. I'm afraid I don't know your costume, though it is very beautiful."
"Lord of the Rings is a great movie," Ella said, beaming. "We'll have to sit down and watch it next weekend, after the kids are in bed. It has everything."
"You're not upset?"
Aurora fidgeted with the candy in her hand and then ate it, crumpling the wrapper in her fingers. She swallowed the chocolate, finding that smooth princess smile former royalty in Storybrooke were so good at. "I used to think I'd always be upset, but the nightmares faded, I met Lily at Granny's and she's nice. Mulan likes her so much and then you and Maleficent and the Mayor were all involved and Roland-- he can't stop talking about his dragons." She finally smiled with sincerity. "How could he ever love anyone evil?"
"I took many years from you, and that was not fair of me. I used you to hurt your parents." Mal kept her voice low and soft, and Robin reached for her hand, squeezing it.
"I lied to Snow and David to protect myself. I worked for Zelena, and even attacked people as a flying monkey."
Ella smirked. "Told you that would be a great Halloween costume."
"No, thank you." Aurora tucked the wrapper in her pocket. "I've spent enough time with feathers." She glanced at Regina and smiled. "Not that yours aren't lovely."
"I suppose what I'm trying to say is that this is a place where we all get second chances, and that should include dragons and sleeping princesses."
Ella studied them both, arms crossed over her chest. "And this has nothing to do with Mulan asking Lily out."
"She is my dearest friend and I will not be at odds with the family of someone who might be her true love." Aurora insisted, looking up at Maleficent. "If dragons experience such a thing."
Mal kissed Regina's forehead, then Robin's, her lips warm and wet. Of course she was crying. It didn't take much for her, Regina either, and he couldn't help a protective surge of warmth for both of them.
"Something similar," Mal said softly, meeting his eyes, then Regina's before she looked back at Aurora. "Thank you."
"You are welcome."
Phillip beamed up at them. "Thank you for the candy."
"Yes, thank you," Alexandra added. She even curtsied, so Mal and Regina curtsied back, all smiles.
As they left, Robin pulled both of the women he loved in close, hugging them tight. "I don't think a love like this one needs the sparkles and pageantry of true to be meaningful and lasting."
"So says the man chosen by sparkling dust."
He chuckled and kissed Regina, then Mal, taking the time to pause and look into both of their eyes. "The dust may have led the way, but I chose you, and you, and I am supremely blessed that you have chosen me in return. That matters more to me than fate, or prophecy."
"We love you," Regina said, her voice thick in her throat. "So much."
He winked at her, then kissed that foreign cheekbone. "I know."
"The wink was smug," Mal whispered to him, nuzzling his hair.
"You know how she winks."
"And it's as precious as she is."
"As you both are."
He wasn't sure what sort of story had a fairy, an elf and a wizard of space madly in love, but he was profoundly glad that it was his story, and the pages stretched out towards infinity.