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Wake Up Call

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"There are moments in our lives where we find ourselves going about our day, living our lives, and in a split second something profound happens that will forever change our hearts, and in turn, our entire life." - Hillary Swank


From the personal journal of Regina Mills

The day began as they often have lately: rolling out of bed at the screech of the alarm to make sure Henry is up and dressing for school.

I've been waking Henry for school or daycare for pretty much his entire life, minus the times when he's with his other mother. I know exactly how many times to rap on his door before opening it; how long he'll take to roll over and flash those big puppy dog eyes of his, begging for another five minutes; how I'll give him an extra ten minutes because he'll be more affectionate when he does get up. And that doesn't even include anything involving cooking his breakfast that I have timed perfectly so it's going on the plate just as he walks into the kitchen, dropping his backpack by the door.

Today was no different.

Or so I believed upon waking.

My alarm went off at six-fifteen exactly and I threw back the covers to stretch languidly, slowly coaxing my muscles into the instant wakefulness that my brain usually tends toward. There was a dull ache of muscle use in my thighs and lower back, accompanied by the bloom of a painful headache taking root at the base of my skull. Clearly I must have had quite a restless dream last night. A few deep breaths managed to quell the worst of the pain so I could stand and grab my robe. It wasn't not in its usual place, which was odd enough, but I was also in a nightgown rather than the pajama set I know I put on when I went to bed last night.

Walking down the hallway to Henry's room, I stifled a yawn and contemplated the decadence of a nap after getting him off to school. This whole "no longer the Mayor of Storybrooke" situation has been allowing some rather lazy habits that I really need to remedy. Regardless, I needed to get Henry up for school. And then I noticed his door was open.

Knocking lightly on his door, I received no answer, but pushed the door open without waiting on his mumbling. He wasn't in his bed, which was neatly made as if he'd never been in it. That had me starting to question my sanity. I know I'd tucked him in last night, despite his teenaged grumblings that he was too old for it, and took comfort in the way he still clung to me until I pressed my lips to his forehead and whispered my nightly wish for his good dreams to guide him through the land of Morpheus.

I called out to him, racing out of his room and taking the stairs far too quickly to be safe. I didn't care if I broke my neck in the process, I needed to know my son was safe. Or maybe I just needed to know that I wasn't losing my damned mind. I checked every room on the main floor before going to the kitchen in a last ditch effort.

To say that I stopped dead in my tracks in the doorway is an understatement. Henry was there, fully dressed and adding a pancake to the tall stack already teetering on a plate. I could smell bacon and toast, as well, and flushed a bit when my stomach growled. He grinned at that, looking far too much like his grandmother, but said nothing as he turned back to the pan on the stove. I watched him mutely for a moment, feeling my mouth start to water as the smells truly filtered into my confused mind.

And then arms were around my waist, making me freeze. They didn't feel like anything I should have been feeling. The soft lips pressing to my temple actually did more to calm me than I expected.

And in that split second as those lips touched my skin, it all came back to me. I turned around, coming face to face with a playfully pouting Emma. Her lips parted to say something, but I stopped her with a heady kiss. The relief flooding my senses was almost enough to make me swoon, but I didn't want to waste another second of time away from these two people that meant more to me than my own life.


"Gina? When are you going to come to bed?"

Rolling my eyes affectionately, I set down my pen and turn to face her. "When I finish my journal entry?"

"But you're taking forever! Can't you just use magic to poof everything in there that you want to remember?"

Her whine is adorable and I long to kiss her until that tone changes to the needy sounds she'd wrung out of me last night. Glancing at the leatherbound book on my desk, I realize that my entry's done enough for now. It takes a moment to slip the ribbon in place and close up my journal, then I'm on my feet and heading toward the pouting woman in my bed. Our bed.

"Someone's being rather impatient tonight," I reply, slipping under the covers and shutting off my light. The room is lit only by the light of the nearly full moon shining in through the window. "Not that I necessarily mind, of course."

"It look forever to get you to agree to give us a chance. I'm tired and I'll be damned if I have to wait any longer to cuddle with you."

Without thought, I pull her close, settling her head over my heart, the sensation soothing me as I know she can hear the beat of my love for her. "I'm sorry, Emma. I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this, and I wanted to get down as much as possible before time began to erode my memories. This has been the most eventful twenty-four hours I've had in a long time that hasn't involved danger to part of my family. Getting my happy ending fulfilled in the process has been the icing on the cake, but it's still kind of overwhelming, Emma."

"I know," she murmurs, pressing a kiss to my collarbone. "Sorry. I just want to hold you while we sleep. Sometimes I think this is all a dream for me, too."

"If it is a dream, then I pray we never wake up."

Truer words have never been spoken.