Regina closed the door quietly and pulled off her coat. She listened out for the patter of Henry's feet or Emma's mumbling voice, but was met with silence- much to her relief.
With both Henry and Emma recovering from the flu, Regina had finally been able to return to work after having two weeks off to care for her sick child and her sick baby (yes, Emma acted like a four year old when she was sick). Having had the time off, the woman was met with a lot more paperwork than she would have liked, and so was kept at the office until just after midnight.
She placed her keys in the small bowl and wandered into the living room, as she could see the small glow of light from under the door. She opened the door quietly, and gasped at the precious sight in front of her. Emma was snuggled on her couch with a small white, raggedy teddy bear, possessively clutching it.
Regina smiled at the view and walked over to her, sitting down at the end of the couch. Emma mumbled in her sleep and shifted so one of her knees rubbed Regina's back gently. The brunette chuckled and ran her hand through Emma's hair. The poor woman looked like she was overheating and Regina knew this couch would not be good for the blonde's back.
"Emma, dear, come to bed with me," she mumbled, pressing a kiss to her temple, kissing all down her face until she reached Emma's lips.
She heard Emma moan into the kiss, and felt her hand move to rest on her back. Regina smiled against her lips, still running her fingers through the soft, blonde curls. "Morning, Regina," Emma mumbled happily. Regina rolled her eyes, pulling back from her.
"It's not really morning, dear. It's still the middle of the night. Come up to bed, and bring your bear," she winked and watched as Emma's face slowly turned a dark shade of red.
There was no hiding her secret now. True, Emma didn't need the bear when she had Regina, but sometimes when Regina worked late, the only way Emma could get to sleep would be by hugging the ratty old bear close. It was nowhere near as comfortable as Regina, but it was just as comforting. It really was Emma's home. The bear had been a parting gift from her first home and it was rarely far from her. It was usually wrapped in her baby blanket and hidden in a bag, in a box, in the closet.
Regina reached out and caressed Emma's cheek. "It's okay, he's cute. We can keep him," she whispered, pressing a kiss to her cheek.
Emma's head dropped in shame and she shrugged. "It's okay; I only need him when you're not around." She swallowed nervously, "he's like... home." Emma finished lamely.
Regina's heart ached for the woman, hating the thought that Emma's comfort came from a cuddly toy rather than a human for all her life. She leaned forward and kissed the woman slowly.
"You're adorable, you know that?" Regina said quietly, making Emma grin and wrap her arms around the brunette's neck.
"I love you,” Emma said lazily, nuzzling into her neck. “And can’t wait to get into bed…” She paused, looking innocently at her girlfriend. “But I don't think I can manage the long walk to your bedroom," Emma mumbled into Regina's ear, a sly grin on her face as she wriggled to wrap her legs around her waist. "You might need to carry me."
Regina snorted and cupped Emma's ass to pull her close before muttering in her ear. "First off, I think you'll find it's our room. None of those superhero posters or ridiculous pictures around the mirror are mine. And do not get me started on all the clothing on the floor. I swear it's like living with a teenager," she teased, nipping Emma's ear, making the blonde shiver and pull herself, if possible, closer to Regina.
"You love me anyway though, right?" Regina nodded and kissed her cheek. She rarely said it, because to Regina, she felt it ruined the sentiment. Saying it all the time made the words feel normal and made them lose their meaning. Emma knew this and didn't push her, and of course, with Regina having to put up her parents always finding each other and loving each other... she could understand why Regina almost didn't believe the words.
"Good, now carry me." Emma demanded, grinning down at Regina. The older woman rolled her eyes and shook her head before the two appeared on her- their- bed. Emma pouted. "I wanted to feel you carry me."
Regina laughed, but didn't loosen her grip on Emma. "I'm tired too, dear," she whispered, nipping Emma's neck lightly before finally letting go so she could change.
Emma remained on the edge of the bed, clutching her teddy tight to her chest as she watched Regina change.
"You're beautiful," Emma said quietly, more to her bear than Regina and the older woman looked over at her, smiling at the sight.
"Me or the bear?" she teased, and Emma smirked up at her.
"Oh the bear, always the bear," Regina rolled her eyes and stood up straight, clad in only her underwear at this point.
Emma swallowed nervously at her. "Really? Well guess I'm not wanted here," Regina said, feigning sadness as she walked over to the door.
"No!" Emma yelped, diving from the bed and scrambling to Regina's ankles, wrapping her arms around the brunette's legs to stop her moving. "You're the beautiful one!" Regina couldn't help but giggle at Emma as she fell to the floor beside her.
"You're an idiot, you know that don't you?" Regina said, running her fingers down the blonde's face before tucking the loose strands behind her ears. Emma grinned and nuzzled her nose against Regina's neck.
"Yeah, I'm your idiot," Regina smiled at her and tilted her head to capture Emma's lips with her own.
"Come, dear. Let's get to bed," the brunette whispered, reaching up to grab the shirt from the dresser as she pulled her underwear off and the shirt on. Emma nodded and clutched Regina's hand as the two crawled under the sheets, Emma still clinging to her bear.
"Wanna know something weird?" Emma asked.
Regina smirked, "always."
"She's called Snow," Emma said, almost anxiously. She continued quickly to avoid Regina's glare. "You know, skin white as snow, eyes black as coal and stuff. It was the first Disney movie I saw and..." Emma shrugged, her eyes held down so she couldn't see Regina judging her.
She expected a snort of indignation, or a dig at her side. She did not expect her to giggle. Emma whipped her head up, eyes wide. Regina was giggling and clutching the bear. "What's so funny!?" Emma exclaimed.
Regina just laughed as she placed the bear down and grabbed Emma's hands. "Her hair was black as coal dear, not her eyes," Regina bit her lip in a way she knew drove Emma mad. "That would have been a totally different tale."
Emma rolled her eyes, glaring at Regina when she giggled at her reaction. “I don’t want to think about my mom… like that. I know you don’t like her,” Emma punctuated this with a dig at the brunette’s side. “But she’s not like a demon!” Emma retorted, shuffling back from her and squeezing her bear. Regina sighed and rolled her eyes playfully, a small smile on her face.
“I’m sorry, dear,” Regina said sincerely, rubbing Emma’s arm gently and scooting closer. The blonde huffed and tried to resist, but to no avail. Regina was irresistible, Emma had learnt. Besides, she wasn’t really annoyed with her.
“Apology accepted, dear,” Emma teased; pinching the brunette’s side and snuggling down beside her. Regina hit her arm playfully.
“Go to sleep, sweetie,” Regina whispered, kissing the blonde goodnight softly, smiling when she felt Emma’s breathing deepen almost instantly. “I love you.”
“Promise me you’re in bed and not making yourself tired waiting up for me?” The blonde asked down the phone, to which Regina just sighed, nodding her head before realising Emma couldn’t see.
“I promise I’m all tucked in with a bedtime story and hot cocoa,” she mocked; resulting in a snort from Emma.
“’Kay beautiful, love you… home soon,” she added quickly, smiling down the phone. Regina smiled, fiddling with the sheet.
“Love you too, Emma,” she whispered, earning a massive grin from the blonde before she hung up the phone.
Regina sighed at the silence. She’d not been alone in her house for a long time, and even longer since she was alone in bed. Emma never worked the night shift, but with Mary Margaret’s pregnancy making Charming incredibly anxious all the time, he had to stay at home with her.
The brunette groaned when she saw it was only ten pm. The Sheriff would be out until two am and she was missing her too much already. Regina huffed and threw off the sheets, knowing sleep wouldn’t come with her adorably clingy and surprisingly comfortable blonde pillow. She opted to wander about their room for a bit, smiling at all the pictures littering the mirror. Most were of her and Henry, or Emma and Henry. Some of the three of them, at Henry’s party or at their ‘coming out’ party (“Emma we are not having a party!” “Come on Regina, this is already going to mentally scar some citizens, let’s break it to them gently! Besides, I’d love to see that ass on the dance floor.”) Regina rolled her eyes, smiling at the memory.
She got up and ended up in the closet, looking for one of Emma’s baggy t-shirts. If she couldn’t wrap herself around the blonde, maybe she could wrap a part of the blonde around her. Regina reached up to move one of the boxes that were in the way of Emma’s hastily folded shirts when the little bear fell down.
Regina gasped when she remembered the bear. It had been almost a year since they’d first met. She grinned, picking it up and squeezing it close to her chest, inhaling its scent. It smelt just like Emma. The mayor beamed, choosing this to be her new bed companion, at least for tonight.
She crawled under the covers, keeping the bear tight to her chest and eventually falling asleep. When Emma came home hours later, she was met with the endearing sight of Regina curled up on her side of the bed, her face buried in the bear’s head- a sight so beautiful, Emma had to capture the moment to always remember whenever she was stuck at work late again.