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How to Make a Monster

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Feeling a disturbance in the protection spell around her property, Regina dusts the flour from her hands and puts aside her indecipherable urge to bake as she exits the kitchen. She makes her way from the kitchen to the front door, a fair idea of who she's about to find standing on the other side.

Flinging the door open, her suspicion is confirmed in the form of a red leather-clad Sheriff standing on her step with a look of confusion on her face. For a moment, she considers slamming the door in her face and going back to what she'd been doing previously but curiosity wins her over. She raises an eyebrow, awaiting whatever inarticulate babble is about to flow from Emma's mouth to explain why she is once again bothering her at her home.

Emma tries to smile but ultimately fails as her lips refuse to do what she wants and she ends up frowning instead. She swallows nervously as Regina continues to stare blankly at her, knowing she's waiting for a reason as to why Emma is standing there. She tries to search her brain for an answer, unable to do so since quite frankly, there isn't a single reason that makes sense beyond blaming her magic.

Prior to being where she now is, Emma had been sitting on her couch in her recently acquired, parent-free apartment, stuffing her face with deliciously unhealthy junk food while watching reruns of M.A.S.H. For a brief moment she'd thought of Regina when Houlihan came on-screen to yell at Hawkeye for – something, she doesn't really remember what but it sparked a desire to see the woman standing before her. A woman who is slowly growing more and more agitated, if her changing expression is any indication.

"Hi." She manages a smile, hoping Regina won't be too hard on her as she tugs a hand through her curls.

Regina rolls her eyes with a huff. Honestly the woman irritates her to no end; showing up at her house and making her stand here with the door wide open, letting all the cold air inside while she dallies about only to offer up a silly, unimportant greeting. She shatters what little hope Emma has into a few billion pieces simply with the tone of her voice.

"Truly a thrilling conversation, dear. If that is all, then please feel free to..." she pauses to flash one of her deceptively fake smiles. "Get off my porch."

Throwing caution to the wind, Emma puts a hand out to Regina from closing the door on her. She may not have the words to express her reason for being there, but it doesn't change that fact she is and the Mayor is just being rude now. "Come on, Regina, I thought we were over this shit."

"Recent events would appear to disagree with you, Miss Swan." Despite the words, Regina steps away from the door and leaves it open for the annoying woman as she sashays through the foyer and back to the kitchen. Truthfully, the days of challenging each other and being at odds with one another have long since passed. For the sake of their son, the Charmings and the Mills had formed a tentative peace after their return from Neverland.

"Whatcha making?" Emma asks, walking into the kitchen to find Regina mixing ingredients together.

Turning her back to the blonde, Regina grabs a bowl containing the sifted baking powder and adds it to the one in the crook of her arm before turning back around and continuing to beat the mixture. She responds to the question when Emma takes her seat at the counter. "Lamingtons."

Emma blinks slowly. "I'm sorry, all I heard was complete gibberish."

When dealing with the insipid Charming family, rolling her eyes is quickly becoming a sport of sorts for Regina, and she explains as she does so once more. "It is sponge cake covered in icing and sprinkled with coconut. I thought you, being the bottomless pit of junk food consumption that you are, would recognize a dessert when you heard one."

"Well excuse me for not having memorised the entirety of Betty Crocker," Emma sasses.

"Edmond's," Regina corrects as she greases a large, rectangular dish before pouring in the contents of her bowl.

Emma watches all of this with an odd sense of fascination. She knew Regina could bake, what with the whole apple turnover incident all those months ago but she'd never been present when the woman did so and she wonders if it's as calming as Regina makes it look.

It isn't until the sound of the oven door closing that she snaps back to the present, realising Regina had said something she hadn't heard. "What?"

Regina shakes her head. "It's from the Edmond's Cookery Book; the dessert is an Australian recipe but a well-known part of New Zealand cuisine… Would you like some coffee?"

Thrown off guard by the casual offer of caffeine combined with the entirely useless knowledge of baking trivia, Emma takes a moment to convince herself she isn't imagining things. "Uh sure... thanks."

They aren't friends, the fact she has allowed Emma to enter her home is unusual enough, the offer of refreshments is a whole new level of weirdness she doesn't really want to think about. Regina nods, pretending not to have caught the second or two of confusion as she turns and begins preparing the coffee maker.

"So, are you going to tell me why you are here?"

Emma releases an amused snort as she stares through the window into the backyard. "As soon as I figure that out, you'll be the first to know."

"You mean to tell me you just decided on a whim, to walk over here and interrupt what was such a pleasant day for me, for no reason at all?" There's not an ounce of incredulity in her voice, as she finds it far more believable than any poor attempt at an excuse Emma may have concocted to explain her arrival.

Disregarding the hidden insult, Emma shrugs. "Aside from the minor error where you assumed I walked here, that about sums it up, yeah."

Tilting her head to the side with a frown, Regina leans back against the bench and folds her arms across her chest. "Well I didn't hear the heap of scrap metal you call a car, so naturally I assumed."

Propping her elbows on the counter, Emma leans forward and rests her chin in her hands. "Why do you have to make everything sound so insulting? Is it really too difficult to be nice occasionally, or would you spontaneously combust if you made the effort?"

Before Regina can think of a way to respond, Emma continues. "I mean I realise I'm not your favourite person, I probably don't even rank in the top ten but it's not like I actively try to upset you. You may not like that we share a son or that we've gone through so much together but the fact is we have, one would think that would be reason enough to at least tolerate each other without thinly veiled insults being thrown at every opportunity."

By the time she runs out of air, Regina has both cups of coffee set before them and is in the process of sitting on the opposite side of the counter. She looks to Emma as she takes her seat, voice laced with mock disappointment. "Oh you're finished? Pity, I was just getting comfortable."

Emma sighs as she reaches for the cup nearest her, inhaling the intoxicating aroma before taking a sip, all the while staring at Regina as she wonders how she's meant to get through to the infuriating woman. She knows this constant passive-aggression is simply Regina's way of protecting herself but why Regina thinks she needs it with her, Emma doesn't understand it at all. She isn't sure she ever will.

"Fine, keep your snark and be an asshole the rest of your life."

"Excuse me?" Regina snaps. As familiar as she is with the blonde's propensity for vulgarity, never has it been used on her in such a manner— at least not while she is within earshot and capable of incinerating her with a simple flick of the wrist.

"See how annoying that is?"

Emma rises from the stool after downing the rest of the coffee. Whatever the reason her magic deemed important enough to bring her here, it isn't worth the migraine forming at the back of her head.

Taking her cup to the sink, she rinses it –to the shock of the brunette watching her— before she moves to exit the kitchen and leave the house.

"Thanks for the coffee," is the last thing Regina hears before the sound of her front door closing, and she closes her eyes with a soft sigh as the house returns to feeling too quiet, too empty for its single occupant.


Aside from that day, Emma's weekend was as uneventful as ever and while she's thankful to be back at work where she can keep herself busy, it still isn't enough to take her mind off the unstable magic coursing through her veins. Up until Saturday, it hadn't overly made itself known. There were little displays here and there; a light switching off unexpectedly or something that was perfectly safe up high somewhere, somehow finding its way to the floor.

Little, minor things that didn't need to be acknowledged too much.

After the sudden transportation and how little choice was involved in performing such a feat, however, she's beginning to worry that perhaps she should be taking this whole having magic thing more seriously.

"Hey ma," Henry interrupts her thoughts as he walks into her office and the sight of the container he's holding in his hands instantly gains her undivided attention.

He notices where her eyes are glued and grins as he places it far enough away from her that she'd need to stand or at least stretch across the desk to find out what's inside. He thinks it strange that his other mom asked him to deliver it to Emma but he already knows what's inside the box and it's always fun to test her resistance. "Mom asked me to bring that to you. When I asked her why, she said it was an apology but I wasn't meant to tell you that."

Emma's lips twitch at the corners and her curiosity is definitely piqued. She places her pen down and leans back in her chair, content to let the anticipation build while she talks with her son. "Won't she be mad that you told me?"

He shrugs. "Maybe, but you can be a bit dense sometimes."

"Hey!" She can't help the chuckle that follows the exclamation but she manages to fix him with a half-hearted glare, even though they both know it's being wasted on him and his smug little monkey face. "You're a horrible son."

With a nod and a smile, he doesn't bother refuting the claim. "Yeah but I come bearing gifts, so you'll forgive me and tell me how much you love me when you give in and stop pretending you're not curious."

Had he been someone else's kid, she'd wonder how someone so small could be the biggest smart ass she knows. Bad enough that he has her genetics, combine that with being raised by Regina who is possibly the sassiest woman alive and you get a little shit for a kid. She thinks that of him in the most endearing way possible, of course. She does love her son, more than anything and it still amazes her; that she's capable of feeling so strongly about another person.

"Alright kid, what did your mother make for me?"

He pushes the container across her desk and she has to catch it before it falls to the floor. She sighs upon almost dropping it and ignores his chuckle as she snaps open the tabs holding the lid in place. She frowns at what she finds inside.

Glancing back at him, she raises an eyebrow. "What are these?"

Smiling, he reaches over and plucks the only pink one from a sea of brown sponges, dropping bits of coconut all over the desk before he flops back into his seat and takes a bite of it, mumbling a reply around the mouthful of food. "Lamingtons."

"Those things she was making on Saturday?" She gingerly takes one between thumb and forefinger, eyeing the fluffy dessert suspiciously while Henry continues to devour his without so much as breathing before all that's left of its existence is the white sprinkles around his mouth.

Those last about as long before they too disappear.

He nods when he finishes cleaning himself with his tongue. "Yeah, but she made these this morning. She usually only makes the raspberry ones since they're my favourite but I remembered the face you made when I ordered that milkshake in New York, so she made yours chocolate."

"Seriously, she made me apology dessert?" She chuckles before taking a bite and— oh sweet Jesus how has she not tasted one of these before? She doesn't bother to hold back the moan that escapes as an unexpected helping of whipped cream accompanies the chocolate and coconut, and she suddenly understands exactly how Henry seemed to practically swallow the damn thing whole.

She's barely finished the first before she reaches for the second and she's somewhat disappointed to see she'll only have two left when this one is gone. "Is it weird that I now want to marry your mother?"

Henry laughs at the blush colouring her cheeks. Realising she hadn't meant to voice the thought aloud only makes the question funnier to him. "No, but you probably shouldn't tell her that."

"Right, that probably wouldn't turn out in my favour." She brushes the coconut from her hands and replaces the lid of the container, opening her drawer and shoving it inside before she stands. "Come on, time for school."


"What is that?" David asks as he walks into her office and drops a heap of files on her desk, making himself comfortable in the chair opposite her as though he doesn't have any work to do.

She managed to resist temptation and had left the desserts safely tucked away inside her drawer until lunch time came around. She figured after three hours of steadfast resistance, she deserved to eat one of them and it was only more disappointing knowing that meant she only had one left.

It makes her think of Regina— or rather, makes her wonder if she can coerce the woman into making her more. She's perfectly willing to offer herself up as a sacrifice in exchange, assuming the path to her death involves an overabundance of soft, creamy, chocolatey goodness.

"Don't you have some forms to fill out or something?" She asks, avoiding the question altogether because she knows it will somehow lead to Regina and the conversation will find its way back to Snow, which will mean a visit from her mother in the near future who'll spend hours talking about trust and family and— a whole hope of bullshit Emma will never, ever, be in the mood to deal with. Peace apparently means nothing when it comes to being self-righteous and judgmental of the former Evil Queen, a title she still can't put to Regina, even if she had witnessed the woman ripping their son's heart from Peter Pan's chest.

No way is she opening that can of worms again.

"It's lunch time, I was just wondering if you wanted anything from Granny's," he says as he stands, knowing that he's been dismissed and slightly hurt by the fact.

Emma notices the look in his eyes and regrets her comment instantly. "I'm sorry, Dad." She uses the term knowing it makes him happy even though she still isn't quite used to referring to her parents as such. "I'm good. I've got this and I picked up a coffee on the way back from patrol, thank you for the offer though."

"Alright, I'll be back in twenty." He smiles as he comes around her desk and pecks her on the cheek before leaving for the diner. His constant affection for her is even weirder than thinking of him as her father, but she doesn't deny the warmth she feels every time he shows it.

Life is good; she has a good job, a family, friends, and a place to call home.

Looking down at the drawer with a smile, she knows she also has a kind of but not really nemesis who bakes her apology desserts. She chuckles once more at the thought. She doubts Regina has the slightest inkling she'd create a monster when she thought to share her baked goods with the Sheriff.