It’s after the sixth drink that the idea first presents itself. Emma is feeling the effects of alcohol, that pleasant buzzing in her head that has her reasoning impaired just enough to consider even mentioning it as a joke is a good idea. They’ve both been on a high after finding the author’s house; Regina was ecstatic at the possibilities that presented and Emma…Emma was just happy to be a step closer to fulfilling her promise of getting Regina her happy ending. So after they grab a quick dinner and Henry runs off to play his new game – it’s the new Dragon Age, moms, and don’t you think I’ve earned some extra play time today – they don’t really discuss it, just move to Regina’s study to continue where they left off at Granny’s. Emma thinks that she should maybe call Hook, but he’s been through a lot, and could probably use some time to recuperate on his own, plus, honestly, she could use an evening for herself after all the craziness of the past months. So now they are drinking and chatting about various unrelated small things, it’s relaxed and surprisingly unguarded for two people with walls and issues of their magnitude, separately and between them, and Emma is truly enjoying herself. She is occasionally rewarded with one of Regina’s very rare unguarded smiles, the ones which light up her entire face, and Emma is feeling warm and happy, and so proud of where they are, after the bumpy ride their relationship has been. She doesn’t mention any of it out loud, of course, because she knows Regina. She starts talking about happiness and friendship and suddenly she is Miss Swan, or even worse, The Savior – how she manages to make the title sound like a curse word I’ll never understand – again, so she just enjoys the newfound closeness. It’s the desire to see that smile again that makes Emma mention it, and regret it almost instantaneously.
“Why don’t we try and find you a different happy ending, one that comes with no strings attached?”
The startled look Regina gives her makes her cringe immediately, wishing she actually still had some kind of a filter left between her brain and her mouth. “Excuse me?”
Now that it’s out there there’s no going back - in for a penny in for a pound as they say – so Emma bravely continues. “Well, it could be so much easier. He can’t be the only happy ending out there for you. All we have to do is look for an alternative…” And it sounds even more stupid when I say it out loud, she thinks, but there is really no way out of this but to try and push forward so she continues. “Maybe somebody from your past, or somebody completely ne-”
“Robin is not a toy you can replace when it gets lost! He is my soulmate, Miss Swan!”
And there it is. “I know I just thought… You know what, never mind.” She knows it’s her own fault but she is still hurt by the hostility coming off in waves from Regina and by the bloody Miss Swan and it’s making unexpected thoughts run through her fuzzy mind, the thoughts of you didn’t know him all that well anyhow, what for a few weeks, and suddenly you, the definition of not trusting anybody were giving him your heart, literally, and it just makes no sense, except that she knows this is a fairytale world with fairytale rules and it kind of does… She is still smart enough to not actually voice any of that out loud. The atmosphere is suddenly charged, and they barely speak for a few beats, but just as Emma thinks she messed up and pushed them two steps back effectively ending the evening, Regina pours them another drink, and mentions Rumple as if nothing was said. They are talking again, the hostility gone and Emma is so happy to be out of the dog house, and wants to build a monument to alcohol, because if Regina was sober, she is sure she would not be given this out.
It’s after the eight drink that Regina comes back to the topic, and Emma is drunk enough by then not to mind or fear where the discussion will go.
“I don’t want another happy ending, I love Robin. But for the sake of discussion, hypothetically, let’s say we could do it. What exactly did you have in mind?”
Regina is looking at her expectantly, and Emma wishes she actually thought this through a bit, but it’s just a hypothetical anyhow, so what the hell. “Honestly? I have no idea. But think about it, there has to be something in this town that fulfills wishes. So much magic around…and we are due, Regina, we are due one fuc…” Regina raises an amused eyebrow at her and she stops herself mid word. “We are due one wish with no consequences, don’t you think?”
Both are drunk enough by that time to actually believe for a moment in a possibility of magic wishes with no side effects, so Regina just nods her head contemplating the idea. And suddenly, the hypothetical plan is getting discussed in between fits of laughter.
By the drink number ten their plan is very detailed yet completely nonsensical. They are trying to figure out if they could tailor it to eliminate every annoying habit, every undesirable feature – the beard might look sexy, dear, but kissing somebody with it has some not so good aftereffects – I know! Boy, do I know! - and they are laughing again.
As they have their twelfth drink, Regina poofs them to Gold’s shop, well, as close as her drunken sense of direction will allow her, and they are clumsily breaking in the door. There is fumbling and loud cursing and “I thought you were good at this kind of thing Miss...Emma” and she redoubles her efforts because she is good at this and many thing, and for some reason she wants Regina to know it. If only she could finally hit the correct lock of the three she is seeing, they’d be in. Finally she gets the right one and the door is budging as they slip inside, giggling like two teenagers happy to finally have a make out spot away from prying eyes.
Only once inside, they are not really sure what to do. They look around, but nothing stands out. They’ve both been in this shop enough times to know that if there is something of value in here, it will sure not be in the front, so they move to the back room, clumsily knocking over several items on their way. The back is not much help either, since they keep picking up stuff, their drunken minds not really recognizing any of it. It’s been almost half an hour, and now Regina is pouting – and since when does Regina even pout - and Emma feels like she failed her again, which will not do, so she renews her searching efforts. In the end it’s her clumsiness that gives them what they are looking for. She trips on a nonexistent floor bump – there was something there, I am telling you - and as she is trying to hold onto something, anything, she grabs the first thing in reach, a heavy book on a shelf, and opens a hidden compartment.
They both look amazed at the new wealth just presenting itself to them, and then they start giggling and shushing each other simultaneously, because, yes, that is what is going to be the thing to alarm whomever could be around.
There’s one item that immediately gets both theirs attention. “Is that what I think it is?”
Regina nods her head in affirmative, but still voices it, not certain she believes it either. “It’s a fairy’s wand.” She sways a bit as she picks it up, running her hand over it and Emma is thinking that such a simple gesture should not look so obscene but then Regina is gasping and her attention, or what there is of it, is back on her face. “This is Blue’s wand!”
“Wow, really? Are you sure?”
“I think… It looks like it. But it can’t be…right? We’d know if Blue’s wand was stolen, right?”
“Maybe she’d be too embarrassed to say anything. Or she is being blackmailed! Or they are having an affair and Blue gave Gold…” And yes, that is one of the stupidest things she has ever said, Regina doesn’t have to look at her like she is a complete idiot to rub it in. Maybe that last glass was not such a good idea after all. So she clears her throat and gets back to the issue at hand.
“Well, whether it’s hers or one that looks like it, the point is, what does it do?”
“It can grant wishes. “
“If that’s the case, why didn’t Gold use it?”
They both look at the wand as if expecting it to start talking and explain itself, but after nothing happens, Regina lets out a small frustrated growl and tries to offer an explanation herself.
“I’ll assume he needed light magic, something even he can’t conjure up.” Her eyes are suddenly shining with understanding, and Emma looks at her confused, but then, finally her brain catches up.
“We have that!”
“Yes, Emma, yes we do.”
Regina is looking back from the wand to Emma and back to the wand and that smile is back, that beautiful smile, and Emma isn’t really thinking about why it makes her so pleased that she is directly responsible for it, but it does, judging by the new warmth in her chest, so it takes her a few moments to wrap her head around the next thing Regina says.
“Okay, now what?”
“What do you mean, now what? I thought you’d know? You are the big sorcre…sour…you’re the one with the magic knowledge here!”
“Yes, but my experience with light magic is very limited. That’s more of your domain.”
She wants to argue the point, but nothing coherent is really forming in her head, so she simply decides to go with it. “Oh, hell, give it here.”
Emma looks the wand up and down, as if considering her options, then just shrugs her shoulders. “Hold onto this end.” They are both holding it now, and Regina is looking at her expectantly, and this has got to work because as much as she likes being responsible for Regina’s smiles, she hates being responsible for her disappointments even more. The old Marian related guilt resurfaces, and she is determined more than ever to make this work.
She grabs Regina’s free hand in her own, and putting all the training and advice she got behind this, she focuses at the wand. “Okay, now, just imagine yourself happy.”
Regina is imagining, and there are glimpses in Emma’s mind, she is remembering Daniel, and holding Henry for the first time, and the hug they all shared as a family after Neverland…and suddenly there is blue smoky swirl forming between them, coming partly from the wand, and partly from their joint hands. They both look up in fascination, amazed that it’s working, and Emma gives Regina the cockiest smile – who is the magiker now, lady, and yes I know it’s not the real word but I don’t care.
As the swirl becomes bigger and bigger it starts to envelop them both, and they start to feel the pull towards something. As they start to lose footing, both seem to sober up significantly, and Emma finally starts realizing that what they are doing? Not such a good idea after all. The look on Regina’s face is panicked and Emma holds her hand tighter and tries to pull both of them out of it…somewhere, anywhere where they’ll actually feel the ground again. She doesn’t want to admit it, but even in her drunken stupor she is aware it’s too late. The blue smoke envelops them both, and all there is left is darkness.