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Head Is Not My Home

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“Well, we could always look into Air BnB…”

Regina scoffs beside her. “We will not.

“Seriously? They’ve got some nice places on there.”

“Ma,” Henry’s voice is tinny through the Skype window. It’s Tuesday night, and on Tuesdays, Emma has dinner at Mifflin Street, and afterwards they Skype with Henry. Every Tuesday, no matter what. Well, unless the Kid’s got an exam, or Emma accidently falls off the ladder while trying to rescue Mr. Fagin’s cat and gives herself a concussion…

“Fine,” she holds up her hands in surrender.

“Besides,” Regina says, looking from her son, 400 miles away, to his other mother sitting beside her on the couch in the study, “I’ve already gotten us a room.”

“You have?”

“Oh, good!” Henry looks relieved. “I mean, the email about graduation stuff said finding rooms can be tricky. So, that’s good, Mom.” He beams at them both.

“Wait. A room? As in, singular?” Emma questions.

“Well,” Regina frowns, “yes. It was really all they had left, and I wanted to stay at the Charles since it’s right there in Cambridge and close to campus.”

“That’s great, Mom!” Henry repeats, but Emma is still staring at the woman sitting next to her.

“So, like,” she licks her lips, “We’re going to be … roommates?”

Regina glares at her, but then sighs when Henry laughs from the screen. “Yes, Miss Swan,” she agrees finally. “Roommates. For two nights only. Do you think you can handle that?”

It is not entirely Emma’s fault that the heat rises in her cheeks at the thought of sharing a bedroom with Regina. “Sure,” she manages. “Sure. Two nights. No worries.” She turns back to the screen and gives their son a weak grin. “Sounds like we’re all set for your graduation then, kid. See you in May.”

Henry laughs again. “See you then, moms.”

“Bye, baby,” Regina presses a kiss to two fingers and reaches out towards the screen.

Henry mimics the move. “Love you both.”

“Good luck on your paper, Kid,” Emma hits the end call button, and stands, stretching.

“So,” she says after a large yawn. “Road trip, huh?”

“I was thinking we might ask your parents if we can borrow their SUV. Just to get all of his things home.” Emma doesn’t imagine that Regina’s lip has curled at the thought of asking Snow White for anything.

“Already did. They said sure. We should be good to go. And anything that doesn’t fit, we can just ship back here.”

“Fine,” Regina agrees, rising at last and closing the laptop.

Emma wanders towards the hall and Regina follows after her to the front door. “Thanks for dinner,” she says, and reaches out a hand to brush Regina’s elbow.

“Of course,” Regina’s brisk, but her voice is soft.

Impulsively, Emma leans in for a quick hug. They hug sometimes – usually with Henry between them – but they are co-parenting a kid after all, and they’re friends, kinda. Regina is stiff in her embrace, but when Emma whispers, “Pretty proud of the kid: graduating and what not,” she relaxes, and Emma almost sighs when Regina’s arms come up around her, too.

“Yes,” Regina agrees softly. “Very proud.”

And then Emma detaches herself, turns and opens the front door, takes three steps out onto the front porch and points back at her son’s mother. “I’ll see you at Snow’s tomorrow for family dinner?”

Regina grimaces, but nods.

“And then Thursday at Granny’s for our ‘planning meeting.’” Emma’s air quotes are laughable. They haven’t actually discussed town business at those weekly sessions in years, but they keep getting together anyway, grabbing dinner at the diner under the auspice of mayoral and sheriff duties.

“Yes, Sheriff Swan. 6:15. Don’t be late.”

“Twice,” Emma turns to go, shaking her head. “I was late twice and you never let me live it down.” She raises a hand and waves blindly back at Regina, knowing that the Mayor will wait on her doorstep until Emma has gotten into her car and driven off down the street.

//

Henry talks with his whole body when he’s excited, and Emma can’t help but smirk at him from her place on one of the beds while he paces in front of the dresser. “Professor Mackey said it was great. One of his favorite creative theses, well, like, ever,” he pauses, eyes shining. “I mean, he was probably just saying that, but still!”

“I doubt he was ‘just saying’ that, Kid. Your mom and I both read your thesis. It was really freaking cool.” She grins at his enthusiasm. Her kid’s like basically a genius, maybe. Or at least, he’s totally awesome and super smart and dedicated and, although she never really tells him, she loves him pretty much more than anyone else in the world. “Isn’t that right, Regina?” she calls, raising her voice.

“There’s no need to shout, dear,” Regina comes out of the bathroom, still slipping the back onto her second earring. “And yes, baby,” she still has to stretch, even in her heels, to give him a kiss on the cheek. “We both loved your piece.”

“Well,” Henry looks down at the carpet, a little embarrassed now at their obvious displays of pride. “Professor Mackey said he’d put me in touch with a couple of people if I was maybe interested in editing it up some more and looking into getting it published.”

“Kid, that’s amazing!” Emma pushes herself off the mattress and punches him in the arm. Regina beams at him from across the room, where she’s grabbing her jacket from the closet, and Emma heads over to her, taking the light coat and holding it open for Regina to slip into without comment.

Henry shrugs, modest again. “Should we go?” He changes the subject. “Our reservation was for seven, which was, umm, ten minutes ago.”

Emma laughs when Regina glowers at her. “Not my fault,” she pleads.

“Well, someone,” Regina’s face would be terrifying to a stranger, “just had to take a call at work right as we were about to leave.”

“Excuse me,” Emma rebuts, holding open the door for her son and his mother. “First of all, my boss would probably have fired me if I shirked my responsibilities, and secondly, I’m not the one who had us take the wrong turn twice once we got into town, so that we ended up over at BU.”

“You used to live here,” Regina hisses, having allowed Henry to walk ahead of her so she can walk next to Emma towards the elevator.

“Not in Cambridge,” Emma disagrees.

“Well, I don’t understand how they managed to construct a city in which there are three one way streets in the same direction in a row. It makes absolutely no sense. And the drivers in this city have no notion of proper road etiquette.”

“Too bad GPS definitely isn’t a thing,” Emma plays.

Henry reaches out to take Regina’s hand as they wait for the elevator, and her shoulders relax instantly. “I’ve lived here four years, and I still suck at giving directions.”

“Language,” Regina mutters to her grown son, but she’s smiling again, and her hand is resting lightly in his firm grip.

Emma places her hand on the small of Regina’s back automatically as the elevator doors open and ushers them both on ahead of her. “So, Kid, tell us about this restaurant we’re going to. You said it’s Venezuelan?”

//

At dinner, the three of them split a pitcher of homemade sangria, and Regina laughs out loud, full and happy, when Emma orders the costillitas, slow-steamed in apple cider. Henry explains how he’d defended his thesis two weeks ago, and runs them through his final oral exam for German, the way he’d accidentally misgendered three nouns in his row, and when his prof asked him if he missed der Ritter on purpose, he’d only been able to about the sword David’d given Emma as a joke for her birthday three years ago. She doesn’t even rebuke Emma when her elbow lands nearly on Regina’s plate while she and Henry geek out together over the new Settlers of Catan expansion pack. When the waiter leaves the bill facedown in the middle of the table, Emma’s hand beats her to it, and when she tries to insist, Emma simply smirks at her.

“My treat, Madame Mayor,” Emma’s face is flushed from the alcohol, and close to Regina’s own in the cramped restaurant. Regina can feel the heat of Emma’s body against her side.

“Thanks, Ma,” Henry grins at the two of them across the table.

“No problem, Kid. Although, now that you’re basically a real adult, it’s going to be your responsibility to treat your mothers to dinner now and then.”

“On my honor,” he plays, affecting a fake salute.

Regina’s stomach aches from laughing at the two of them; Henry hasn’t been home since Christmas, and she’d almost forgotten what absolute children the two of them are when they’re together.

Emma leans back as much as possible in her chair and pats her stomach in contentment. “Should we go then?” She asks them. “Big day tomorrow for the young one.”

Regina’s certain that Emma’s muffled a grunt of pain because Henry has kicked her under the table. “Yes,” she agrees. “I believe it’s bedtime for both of the children.”

“Rude,” Emma mutters, and she and Henry turn identical puppy-dog-faces in her direction, their eyes wide and innocent.

“Don’t try me,” Regina warns them, lifting her chin. “I know you both too well.”

“Aw, but you love us,” Emma smirks. Her words are playful, but Regina hears the note of uncertainty there, freed by the alcohol and the late hour and the presence of their son.

“Yes, well,” she refolds her cloth napkin and smoothes it on the table. “You both have your moments, I suppose.” She avoids Emma’s gaze, so like their son’s, honest and loose, but just a little bit shuttered, choosing instead to look across the table at Henry, who is smiling gently at both of them.

//

Henry drops them off at the hotel, hugs them both tightly, lets Regina bury her nose in his collar and breathe him in – her baby boy, grown up and strong and kind. “Love you, Momma,” he whispers into her hair. She closes her eyes and commits this moment to memory, just as she does every time they’re together, every time they’re whole, happy. Emma waits off to the side, rocking back and forth on her heels.

Her, “Night, Kid,” is gruff, and low, but she holds his forearm tightly for a three-count before letting go.

Regina is full from dinner and full from a night with her family and full of this love, here on this street corner, the hustle and bustle of a Friday night in the city all around them. As he walks away from them, long-legged and quick, she reaches out and grasps Emma’s waiting palm firmly in her own dry grip. They watch him disappear around the corner in silence, and then Emma – sweet, silly Emma Swan – squeezes her hand and leads the way up to their room.

//

Regina’s brushing her teeth at the bathroom sink, when Emma knocks and pushes the door open, comes in and wets the cloth hanging from the hook to wash her face. Regina keeps her gaze firmly fixed on her own face in the mirror, orders herself not to look down. Emma’s wearing a tight white tank and black underwear and is unselfconsciously sharing the sink with Regina like they’ve been going through this nighttime routine together for years. It’s just Emma, she reminds herself as she spits and rinses. Just Emma.

But she can’t help but snap, “Do you even own proper pajamas?” at the other woman in the mirror as she fills a cup with water from the tap.

Emma’s face is soapy and she wipes her mouth with the washcloth before answering. “Like what you see,” she teases, winking.

They still haven’t made actual eye contact, and Regina can feel the heat rising in her cheeks without her permission. Henry’s been at college for four years, but she and Emma still meet twice a week for dinner, just the two of them. On Sundays they go running together and Emma invites Regina to all of little Bae’s soccer games and science fairs and neither one of them has done any serious dating since Henry was in middle school. She shakes her head to hide her flush. “You’re hopeless,” but there’s no real bite to her words, and Emma’s smiling when she pushes Regina out of the way with her hip and bends over the sink to rinse.

[When Henry was fifteen, she’d started awake to find him standing at the end of her bed one night, eyes wide and scared in the dark, his body stuck in that halfway place between childhood and adulthood, shaking as he’d clambered up to lay beside her. He’d told her about the nightmares that night, whispering his secrets out into her room, his hand clasped tightly in hers. He told her about Neverland and Peter Pan, about the way she’d fight Zelena in his dreams sometimes and sometimes she’d lose. He told her about ice walls and ice caves and ice prisons, and poisoned apples, and Emma’s face, white and pinched and terrified. He told her about his nightmares, and then he told her about Emma’s, haltingly, knowing he was breaking his mother’s confidence, but unable to stop. He told her how, when he spent the weekend at his mother’s apartment, they kept nightlights in all of the rooms, lining the hall; he told her about late night hot chocolate sessions when one of them would wake up to find the other already wrapped up in a blanket on the couch.

She hadn’t wanted to be jealous of her son’s other mother at that moment, sharing this horrible thing with their son, nightmares and nighttime cuddles and nighttime chocolates. She’d done her absolute best to be soothing and to listen and not to hold it against Emma that she hadn’t told Regina right away when their baby boy stopped sleeping easily through the night. But she’d paid closer attention after that, noticed when Henry was tired at breakfast, dragged out dinner on the nights when Emma showed up with dark circles under her eyes; tried, silently and carefully and gently to be there, for both of them.]

When Emma comes out of the bathroom, Regina’s already in bed. The lights are off, but there’s a hazy glow coming in through the curtains – the city outside that never truly sleeps. Regina keeps her eyes closed and listens to Emma moving around in the room, putting all of her things neatly away in the single duffle she’s kept stowed beneath her bed. For all of Emma’s loud and clumsy nature, she’s been a quiet, neat, altogether contained roommate. Regina wonders if she really did offend the other woman when she teased her about being a potentially horrible room partner, but then she remembers Emma’s apartment: orderly, well-maintained, perhaps even a little empty, like there isn’t quite enough stuff to fill the whole space. Like it could be easily boxed and moved, even now, ten years later, hung with an air of impermanence.

Emma pauses once she’s finished, and even without opening her eyes, Regina knows that she’s standing beside the dresser, staring down at the tiny nightlight – a lighthouse – that’s been plugged into the wall. It lets off a warm blue and orange glow, and Regina had taken it from Henry’s bedroom at home at the last minute before Emma arrived to pick her up. She doesn’t realize she’s been holding her breath until Emma sighs gently, and then scuffles across the carpet and rustles the blankets of her own bed.

“Regina?” Emma whispers several moments later, just as Regina’s body is beginning to sink into the unfamiliar mattress. “Hey, I know you’re awake.”

“Mmm,” Regina hums gently.

“Can you believe it’s tomorrow, already?” Emma asks, her voice quiet, but full of wonder.

Regina, eyes still closed, smiles.

“He’s gonna be a grown-up.”

“He already is a grown-up,” Regina mumbles.

“But for real. With a real job and a real life.”

Regina’s limbs feel heavy, and she doesn’t respond, simply listens to Emma breathing four feet away.

There’s a slightly longer pause, and then, “He’s going to ask me to stop calling him Kid soon. I can just feel it.” Emma’s voice sounds small and far away, and Regina almost doesn’t recognize it.

She opens her eyes, squinting as they try to adjust, and simultaneously rolls onto her side to face Emma and scoots back so she’s on the far side of her bed. “He’s not,” she tries to be reassuring. Emma doesn’t answer. Sighing, she flips down the covers. “Come here,” she orders. There’s a huff, and then Emma’s crossing the open space and sliding in beside her, turning on her side so they’re practically nose-to-nose. Regina can just make out the line of Emma’s jaw in the dim lighting. Emma’s breathing is light and minty, and she smells like lavender. Regina takes shallow breaths, but holds out her hand and waits for Emma to take it.

They’ve slept in the same room a handful of times: on the Jolly Roger, when Henry got mono his junior year, the night Emma had gotten her concussion, and Regina and Henry both demanded she not be alone in her apartment. But they’ve never slept in the same bed, and they’ve never been this close to one another when they weren’t spitting mad or terrified or teasing. Emma’s hand is dry in her own, and the blankets are warm and comforting. Regina has never considered herself all that brave, but she feels brave here. Now. She can be brave for Emma.

“He’s never going to ask you that. You idiot,” she adds fondly a moment later when Emma’s only reply is a sniff. “You’re his mother. And he loves you so much.”

“Us,” Emma’s voice is scratchy. “He loves us.”

“Yes,” Regina agrees gently. Emma, lovely, ridiculous Emma, always trying so very hard. “He does. And he’s always going to be little to us. Even when he’s got a real job and a real life and a family all his own. Because he will someday,” she’s whispering even quieter now, and Emma scoots closer across the sheets, tucking her chin to her chest. “He’s going to have a family and babies and they are going to be beautiful.”

Emma hums her agreement.

“But he’s always going to be our son. Our Kid.” She smiles, thinking of chestnut hair, and tiny handprints in clay, fairytales and hundreds of nights of bathtimes and playtimes, make believe, and messy meals, video games, science lessons, and laughter. So much laughter, in spite of everything.

Emma loosens their hands, and Regina wonders if maybe this cover of night is not as safe as she thought. But then Emma’s reaching across Regina’s body, and her touch is light, unsure, as she lays her arm across Regina’s hip, tucks her hand beneath the curve of Regina’s waist, and slides her legs over to rest toe to knee to thigh against Regina’s beneath the bed covers.

“Our Kid. Our brilliant, bashful, brave Kid,” Emma says, her breath hot across Regina’s cheek.

She is only inches away. Regina licks her lips, which suddenly feel chapped and dry.

“Our family,” Emma’s voice is no more than a murmur.

Regina nods, and when she does, her nose bumps Emma’s forehead, and Emma laughs, quick and quiet. She hasn’t finished her giggle when Regina rolls forward a bit, tucks her head, finds Emma’s lips in the dark. Emma’s mouth is soft, and she’s smiling. Regina swallows Emma’s laughter, feels it bounce around inside of her lungs, feels her whole body reach for Emma, feels Emma’s hand tighten on her waist, and Emma’s arm pull on her hips so there’s no more space between them.

Emma’s mouth is light on hers, and she tastes like toothpaste. Regina’s lungs are full, full, full but when she has to breathe, she breaks away, and asks very quietly, “Is this okay?”

Emma laughs again, this time bright. She rolls over onto her back, pulling Regina along with her. Regina rests one hand on Emma’s cheek and the other on the pillow, but Emma reaches up with both hands, pale fingers shaking maybe, and traces Regina’s cheeks, her jawbone, her eyebrows, her ears. “Yes,” Emma is saying. “Yes. Yes, it’s okay.” She’s smiling.

Regina lets her body relax, leans down and traces Emma’s lips with her own. Kisses her forehead. Her nose. Waits for Emma to close her eyes so she can press the lightest of kisses there, too. Her chin. Her cheeks. Until Emma’s curled her fingers in Regina’s hair, and pulled their lips back together with a sigh.

There’s a warmth in Regina’s chest that feels as though it’s been growing and growing for years, and an ache between her legs that she’s always, always ignored when it comes to Emma.

“Is this okay?” Emma whispers, trailing the fingers of her free hand down Regina’s back, skating beneath the thin layer of her silk pajama top, her fingertips rough on Regina’s skin.

Regina hums.

“And this?” Emma asks, her palm counting up Regina’s spine.

“This?” Emma whispers each time she moves her hand lower, or scratches her short nails along Regina’s skin, or bites Regina’s lower lip and then soothes the sharpness with her tongue.

“Yes,” Regina nods. “Yes.”

Emma flips them carefully, rests her weight on one forearm, undoes the buttons of Regina’s top easily and slides the silk off her shoulders. It feels like water on her skin. Regina closes her eyes, but Emma’s still asking, “Okay?” as she moves her mouth to Regina’s collarbone, to the top of her breast. “Okay?” before she massages Regina’s nipple between two warm fingers, takes the other between her lips and sucks. Regina moans.

“Lower,” her voice is hoarse, and she’s got her hands on Emma’s shoulders, pushing her down.

“Okay.”

Regina feels Emma’s lips curve into a smile against her stomach; she lifts her hips helpfully to allow Emma to remove her pants, tries not to laugh when Emma leaves wet kisses on her hips and her body jumps at the tickling sensation.

“Okay,” Emma murmurs, and Regina’s hips are off the mattress again, for an entirely different reason. Emma’s mouth is hot. And soft. And her tongue is firm. Regina’s body shakes, her pulse is loud in her ears, and she tightens her legs around Emma’s thin frame. Tightens and tightens. And tightens.

And releases.

She laughs, and there are tears on her cheeks; she can taste the saltwater. Emma crawls back up her body, pressing kisses all the way. She kisses her tears, and her mouth is salty on Regina’s own.

“Okay,” Emma sends down into her lungs. “Okay.”

//

In the morning, Emma’s alarm jolts them both awake. Regina’s got her head pillowed on Emma’s chest, her arm heavy on Emma’s waist. Emma smiles her good morning, reaches over to turn off the alarm, almost falls out of the bed when she has to stretch to the far side of the nightstand. Regina laughs and catches her and holds on tight, and this is nothing like she thought it would be, nothing like the mornings she never let herself picture. This is easy, quiet, still.

“Kid’s big day,” Emma murmurs into her hair, having snuggled back down beneath the covers.

Regina is not a cuddler. She pulls Emma closer. “You shower first,” she orders.

Emma shakes her head. “Nuhuh. You take way longer than I do, and we both know it. You just want more time in bed.”

Regina does not disagree.

“Lazy,” Emma mutters, pinching Regina’s waist.

She grumbles deep in her throat in warning, but Emma’s already pulling away, sitting up and tousling her messy curls even further.

“We could be ecofriendly,” Emma says after Regina’s rolled over to look up at her. Emma waggles her eyebrows in a suggestive fashion. “Share water, save the planet, all that jazz.”

“I think not, dear,” Regina disagrees, but her face is open and kind, and she makes sure her voice is warm.

She’s successful, because Emma leans down to kiss her forehead and then bounds out of bed. She leaves the bathroom door open as she gets the water running, and by the time she’s slipped beneath the stream, she’s humming “Pomp and Circumstance” decidedly out of tune.

//

They meet Henry for breakfast at a local waffle house. They haven’t talked specifically about what to tell him. Definitely not that Regina is deliciously sore, or that Emma brushed her teeth for three whole minutes, but that she can still taste Regina on her tongue. They haven’t talked about what this means as co-parents as the Queen and the Savior, or the Sheriff and the Mayor. They haven’t talked about Storybrooke.

It’s their son’s day; he’s graduating from college: anything else can wait.

But after they sit down at the tiny metal table, Emma slings her arm easily along the back of Regina’s chair, presses their thighs along each other, and Regina feels her heart jump up into her throat. Henry’s walking them through the schedule for the day one more time, when he pauses suddenly, staring at the two of them across the table.

“How’s the roommate situation?” He asks, and Regina starts at the change in topic.

“Your mother,” Regina doesn’t look over at her, “is not an entirely horrible roommate.” She sniffs. Emma stifles a smile.

A slow grin is dawning on their grown son’s face.

“Yeah?” He leans back in his chair, puts his hands palm down on the table.

“Your mom didn’t kick me out last night, so that’s a plus,” Emma’s wearing a matching grin, and Regina shifts her foot to press down sharply on Emma’s toes.

“Is that so,” Henry’s long-limbed body is relaxed in his seat.

Regina sits up straighter.

“Sharing a room not so bad after all?”

Her son may be grown but he certainly isn’t allowed to tease her. “I’d certainly never suggest it as a permanent arrangement,” she glowers.

Emma shifts in the chair next to her, and she worries for half a second that Emma won’t understand, but the grin is still firmly fixed in place.

“Now, Mom,” Henry begins, and there’s a mischievous gleam in his eye. “There’s no need to lie.” Oh, that lying is now something to joke about, not the terrifying, ripping and rending even white lies once were.

“I-“ She cannot sit up any straighter. “I am certainly not lying, Henry.”

Emma’s tapping two fingers against her thigh; she is downright beaming at their son across the table, and Regina’s going to have to give that woman a lesson in how to construct a proper poker face because she is absolutely terrible at it. “Kid,” Emma tries to warn, but the smile is there in her voice.

He shrugs at them. “I’m just saying. I’ll be moving home for a few months before my master’s program starts in September. And if the roommate situation were to be some kind of regular occurrence…” he draws the word out, and Regina clenches her hands tightly enough that her knuckles turn white.

“Kid,” Emma says again.

“If it were,” he holds up his palms in surrender, the smile lines around his eyes almost an exact match to Emma’s, “I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”

Regina’s chest is tight; the air in the room is stale. “You wouldn’t be … opposed? To it?”

“Nope.”

“Henry,” she murmurs. This is her son. Her grown son, and he’s got the same I know a secret that you don’t know face that he’s had since he was five and hiding his socks beneath his bed.

“Hey Mom,” he says, leaning forward and taking her hands in his, waiting until she relaxes her fingers. “I love you kind of a lot.”

There’s an ache in her throat, and she has to blink a few times to keep her eyes dry and clear at this easy admission.

“And Ma,” He lets go with his right and Emma’s hand is there, waiting. “I love you kind of a lot, too.”

“Gosh, Kid.” Emma doesn’t sound at all choked up. “That’s just about the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

Henry’s eyes are brown and bright and happy. Her happy boy. “Today is all about me,” he teases, puffing out his chest. “Because I’m graduating from college and I’m, like, your super smart, totally awesome Kid.”

Emma shouts with laughter, and Regina doesn’t even care that the people sitting at the counter look over at their table.

“But,” their son says, softer now. “I love you both. And you both deserve happiness. Happy endings. Happiness right now. Whatever. And sometimes,” he shrugs, “Sometimes having a roommate can be … nice.”

“Kid,” Emma leans forward, winks at him. “This isn’t the fifties. We don’t need to talk about your mom and I like we’re best friends forever who just happen to share a house, never get married, and keep a cat or two around.”

Henry all but fist pumps in the air, and is up, out of his chair, and around the table to throw his arms around them both, even as Regina is turning in her seat and growling Emma’s name.

“Sorry,” Emma mutters, but she doesn’t look sorry at all. “He already guessed.”

“I knew it!” Henry is repeating. “I totally knew it!”

“Kid,” Emma is still a private person, and she glances around the small restaurant.

“Sorry,” but it seems as though her entire family needs an updated definition on how to use that word correctly.

“It just took you guys for.ever.”

“Henry!” Regina stares at him, her mouth slightly parted.

Emma pushes their son back towards his seat, and then puts her hand on Regina’s thigh. Her face is tinged pink, but she’s grinning, and Henry’s beaming at them, and Regina’s heart is light and full, here is her family. Her beautiful. Funny. Ridiculous family.

“Just no hanky panky while I’m in the house, you two,” Henry adopts his faux-dad voice – the one that makes him sound suspiciously like David when baby Bae sneaks a second piece of Regina’s cherry apple pie after dinner – and Emma squawks in protest.

“From our own son, Regina!” She turns to Regina, seeking some kind of support. “Our own Kid. Are you hearing this?”

Regina presses a kiss to two fingers and holds it to Emma’s temple, and then leans in and kisses her squarely on the cheek. Her wonderful, wonderful family.