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Maybe They Were Right...

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"Henry, you ready to go?" Emma asked as she stood in the doorway of Henry's room in the Mills' house with her arms crossed over her chest. "Your mom is already in the car. We're ready to go when you are."

"I just need a minute, Ma," Henry said quietly, stuffing a few books into his backpack. "Kind of going to miss being home, you know?"

"You'll be back for Thanksgiving," Emma reminded him with an easy smile. "And don't worry, I'll look out for her while you're gone."

"I know you will," Henry smiled and he wrapped his lanky arms around her, pulling her off of her feet in a tight hug. "All right, I'm ready."

"Well you better be because we have a flight to catch and it's a long ride to Boston," Emma laughed, shaking her head up at her eighteen year old son who now stood at nearly six feet tall. "Damn, you sure grew up fast, kid."

"Ma, don't. You're just as bad as Mom. She's been sappy and emotional all week. I'm only going to college, it's not like I'm going to be gone forever."

"Only to college, kid?" Emma scoffed and poked him in the stomach hard. "You are going to college in California. College on the other side of the country! You might as well be in another realm as far as your mom is concerned."

"It's not college, Ma, it's university."

"Basically the same thing!"

Henry rolled his eyes and playfully pushed his blonde-haired mother towards the stairs. They had an early flight out of Boston, non-stop to Los Angeles. His belongings save for the backpack he packed for the car and plane ride, were already waiting for him in his dorm room at UCLA. He had excelled exceptionally well throughout high school and had received a full ride at UCLA despite the fact he basically had the choice of going anywhere in the United States to continue his education.

Henry never told his mothers why he chose UCLA. It was the furthest he could choose and it was in California, a place he'd always wanted to go and visit and now he'd be living there for the next four years while he worked for his degree in engineering. It wasn't that he didn't want to go to school on the east coast, he had debated with it for months with both of his mothers, and it was Emma who had put the idea in his head of getting out in the world, branching out somewhere completely new.

There had been so many arguments and constant bickering that followed between his mothers, especially when he accepted the full-ride scholarship in the spring before graduation. He had it in his mind that with him gone off to school on the other side of the country that maybe, just maybe, his mothers would begin to realize that there was so much more than friendship between them. He wasn't blind and neither was anyone else in town. He saw the way they looked at each other and he definitely heard the way they bickered like they were a married couple. He would miss it, that much he knew, but he also hoped that having them take him to Los Angeles to send him off to school like he was going to kindergarten for the first time and not university, would kick start a whole new aspect of their relationship.

"What's the hold up, kid? Your mom is waiting and if we don't get down to the car—" Emma said just as the sound of the Bug's horn sounded three times, signalling his mom's impatience. "See? Come on," she said as she threw an arm over his shoulders. "Let's go, kid."

Henry shook his head and led the way out the front door and down to Emma's yellow Bug. He smiled at his other mother, at the impatient way she glared at them both and then blamed Emma for them already being ten minutes behind schedule. Henry shook his head once more before climbing in the back and with a smile, he listened to the two bicker back and forth as Emma drove them out of Storybrooke. It was going to be a long trip, but it would be worth it. Henry sat back and ran his fingers through his shaggy hair with a smile.

If his mothers didn't realize the way people in Storybrooke saw the two of them, they would most definitely see it outside of town.

[X]

Several hours and time zones later, they were on campus with Henry, checking out the sights before he headed to his dorm room. Regina nit-picked everything and it was driving Emma crazy, but Henry didn't fail to notice the way Emma kept reaching out for Regina, placing a hand on her lower back and rubbing it gently in an attempt to get her to calm down and relax.

"I don't know about you guys," Emma said as she idly scratched her arm while Regina poked around Henry's side of the room, pulling a face at the grime she found on the windowsill. "I'm starved, what about you, kid?"

"I could eat."

"Regina?"

"Hmm?"

"Food?" Emma said as she mimicked herself eating a cheeseburger. "You coming?"

"I have no other choice, do I, dear?" Regina replied with a roll of her eyes.

Henry had to bite his lip to contain his laughter as he watched Emma extend a hand with a flourish and then Regina taking it without hesitation and allowed to be led out of the room. He followed behind them, keeping back a few feet, watching their interaction carefully with a happy smile on his face.

They were in love and so blind they couldn't see it. Everyone around them could see it but them and it made him want to confront them both, but he decided to let the powers that be take over because there was no way they would get through the next few hours without at least one person mistaking them for a married couple.

"Hey," a cute brunette girl with glasses said as she walked next to Henry. "I'm Amy," she said as she stuck out her hand and Henry took it gently. "Freshman?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "I'm Henry."

"Nice to meet you," she said cheerfully and she looked ahead at his mothers and turned back to him. "Are those your moms?"

"Yeah."

"How long have they been married?"

There it was. Henry just chuckled dryly with a shake of his head, choosing not to answer the question. Instead he said goodbye to Amy and jogged to catch up to his mothers and he moved between them and slung his arms over their shoulders.

"So, Moms, I did some research yesterday and there's this great restaurant a few blocks from here. Why don't we go and check it out?"

"Sounds good," Emma smiled up at him and Regina just nodded her head in agreement. "What time do you have to be back for orientation?"

"Not for a few hours at least. I need to be back on campus by four," Henry replied and he gave them both a squeeze. "More than enough time for lunch. I think it's that way…"

[X]

Emma slid into the booth at the restaurant next to Regina while Henry sat across from them, his attention already on the menu the instant the waitress placed them on the table. Emma knew from the moment they walked in that Henry chose the restaurant because it resembled Granny's so much, aside from Granny behind the counter and it's usual customers who sat in their usual places.

As proud as she knew she and Regina were of Henry for his accomplishments so far in life, she also knew that Regina was already beginning to show signs of separation anxiety, typical of a mother sending off the only child to college on the other side of the country. She had no doubt that even if Henry had chosen to go to a college or university on the east coast and within driving distance and not a plane ride, Regina would still be wound up tight.

"Hey," Emma said quietly as she leaned towards her. "Relax, okay? He's coming home for Thanksgiving. He's going to be fine. Hey, this looks good!" She said as she pointed out to the only cheeseburger on the menu, loaded with everything she liked and then some. "I'm getting this."

"No, you are not," Regina said sharply. "Emma, you are not twenty years old anymore. You need to cut back on the cheese. You remember what Dr. Whale said during your check-up last month that your cholesterol was dangerously high, don't you?"

"Yeah, but—"

"And did I not find you the following morning at the diner stuffing your face with those sandwiches with triple cheese on it?"

"Come on, Regina, those breakfast sandwiches are amazing!"

Regina scoffed and pulled the menu from Emma's hands as the waitress approached the table. Emma sighed and slouched as she crossed her arms over her chest, knowing she wasn't winning the argument because she knew Regina was right.

"Are you guys ready to order?" The waitress asked cheerfully and she turned to Henry first. "What'll you have, hun?"

"I'll have the chicken fajita wrap and can I swap the fries for a salad instead?" Henry asked, grinning at Regina before shooting Emma a look. "I'll have a water, as well. Thanks."

"And you two?" The waitress asked, turning to Emma and Regina with a sugary sweet smile that made Emma cringe.

"I'll have the garden salad with a water. She'll have the turkey burger, nix the cheese," Regina replied curtly, handing over the menu to the waitress with an equally sugary sweet smile. "A side of salad with that as well please instead of the home fries. Thank you."

Emma gaped at Regina as the waitress walked away with their order. "Come on, Regina! A turkey burger? Really?"

"It's a healthier alternative dear, and stop gaping. You are not a fish."

"I couldn't at least have the fries?" Emma asked and Regina shook her head no. "Come on, how is that fair?"

"You'll thank me later when you go back for your physical in three weeks and Dr. Whale tells you that your cholesterol is no longer a danger to your health, dear."

Emma scoffed and picked at the napkin in front of her. She didn't want to get into it with Regina, not there, not in Los Angeles and in some random diner they'd probably never go to again. She was enjoying her time outside of Storybrooke despite the fact that Regina wouldn't even let her have a damn cheeseburger loaded with the works and a side of fries. Regina was right though, she did need to watch what she ate, especially since she had been told if she continued with her habits, it could have a serious impact on her health.

"What are you smirking at, kid?" Emma asked as she shot Henry a look when she noticed he was struggling not to laugh. "Seriously? You're taking her side?"

"Mom is right though," he shrugged nonchalantly. "And I'm not taking any sides here, Ma. I want you both to live forever and if that means you gotta stop eating cheeseburgers and fries and grilled cheese—"

"And those overloaded with useless calories and artery clogging pastries from Granny's," Regina interjected with a smirk that rivalled their son's. "Really, dear. How many times have I told you that you eat like a child?"

"Too many," Emma muttered under her breath. "But come on! We're on vacation! Can't I at least indulge a little here?"

"No," Regina and Henry responded together and they both smiled at one another.

"Why are you taking her side, kid?"

"Because Mom is right and you know she is!"

"Whatever, you know the minute we're outta here you're going to be eating junk and that freshman fifteen will be piled on you before you come home for Thanksgiving."

"He could stand to gain a few pounds," Regina mused lightly. "Just make healthy choices, Henry."

"I'll try, Mom."

"I know you will, dear," Regina smiled and she reached across the table to give his hand a squeeze. "If you'll excuse me, I need to use the restroom."

Emma waited until Regina was far enough away from the booth before she reached across the table and lightly slapped Henry on the head. "Seriously? Since when do you take her side, kid?"

"But she is right, Ma. You need to cut out the food that's not good for you," he sighed and ran his fingers through his shaggy hair and dropped his hand to the table. "A turkey burger isn't that bad, you know."

"No, it is bad!" Emma groaned as she buried her face into her hands for a moment before leaning back in the bench seat. "I just wanted a burger. A cheeseburger with the works and french fries. I've been doing good and I just—"

"Good?" Henry scoffed with a roll of his eyes. "Good as in Mom almost catching you with that grilled cheese sandwich last week?"

"God, I wish I never threw it out the second I heard her coming," Emma muttered stubbornly. "It was so good, at least the two bites of it I had before she—"

"Ma'am?" The waitress asked, interrupting them. "We have a bit of a shortage of the blue cheese your wife ordered with her meal. Do you think parmesan would be all right for a substitute?"

Emma's eyes practically bulged out of her face at the word "wife" and she gaped at the waitress, unable to respond. She kicked at Henry's shin when he sat there laughing raucously and the waitress left the table, terribly confused.

"Jeez, Ma!" Henry laughed as he reached down to rub his shin. "Why did you kick me?"

"Why are you laughing?"

"Your face," he chuckled and pointed out right at her. "Yes, that one!"

"What the hell?" Emma groaned loudly, drawing attention to their booth from the other people seated around them. "Why the hell did she think that Regina is my wife?"

"Seriously, Ma?"

"I am being deadly serious!"

"Never mind," Henry muttered as Emma looked over her shoulder to see that Regina was making her way back to the booth. "Hey, Mom? The waitress just came around to tell us they ran out of the blue cheese."

"Did they?" Regina groaned quietly as she sat down next to Emma. "And what was the alternative?"

"Parmesan," Henry replied when Emma refused to answer.

"It'll do," Regina replied as she unwrapped her napkin from around the cutlery and placed it across her lap. "God forbid if your lunch was jeopardized, Swan."

"Hey!" Emma exclaimed as she turned to her with a pointed expression firmly in place. "My lunch was jeopardized! I wanted a cheeseburger and you ordered a turkey burger," she said, mocking Regina's tone. "Salad on the side!"

"Oh stop complaining," Regina scoffed. "You'll enjoy it all the same."

Emma kicked Henry's shin before he could blatantly agree. She gave him another look because she knew him well enough to know he wanted to tell his mother that the waitress thought she and Emma were wives. Emma was still reeling from it, unknown to Regina who sat next to her with an oblivious smile dancing over her lips.

Lunch went by without much incident and after Emma paid the bill—after a slight tug of war with Regina—they walked Henry back to campus in relative silence. Emma fell behind the two, watching them as Henry easily draped an arm around his mother's shoulders, laughing as they talked quietly. Emma knew how hard it was for Regina, to say goodbye to Henry and leave him in a strange new place all alone. She gave them their privacy and headed over to a bench near the parking lot and sat down.

"Hey Ma!" Henry called out. "Come on, what are you doing over there?"

"Sitting?" Emma shrugged and Henry laughed as he walked over to her and pulled her to her feet. "Thought I'd give you two a moment to say goodbye."

"Without you?" Henry asked with an eyebrow raised and he shook his head, pulling her in for a tight hug. "Mom, come on!"

Emma felt Regina's hand on her back before an arm was wrapped around her and the other around their son. Regina was crying, Emma could feel the soft shake of her body as they both hugged Henry tight. When he stepped back, he placed a kiss on Regina's cheek and then Emma's, smiling as he backed away down the path slowly. With a small, yet excited wave, he turned and jogged down the path to the area where the freshmen were gathering for orientation.

"Hey, we don't have to be back at the airport until nine, what do you say we do a little exploring?" Emma asked and Regina shook her head no stiffly. "No? What are we going to do until then? Go to the airport and sit there and wait?" When Regina didn't answer her, Emma stepped in front of her, noticing how Regina immediately turned away from her as the tears began to fall. "Hey, Regina?"

"What?"

"You know he'll call at least once a day if he's not too busy or swamped with classes and work," Emma said softly and she lifted a hand to wipe away Regina's falling tears. "Come on," she said with a smile and she put an arm around Regina's stiff shoulders. "We have six hours to kill and we're in Los Angeles. What do you want to do?"

"I have absolutely no idea."

"Well," Emma smiled as she led the way across the parking lot to the rental car, "I have an idea."

"Shall I be alarmed because none of your ideas end well."

"Come on, Regina, where is your sense of adventure?"

"Perhaps I forgot to pack it in my luggage," Regina replied dryly, pulling a hearty laugh out of Emma as she climbed into the car. Emma was grinning as Regina followed a moment later. "What?"

"I know what we're going to do."

"And what is that exactly, dear?"

Emma laughed and backed out of the spot the car was parked in and with a wink, she turned the radio up loud and drove off. For the next forty minutes, while fighting through traffic and two wrong turns later—not to mention a very aggravated and confused Regina—it finally came into sight. The ocean. Emma found a place to park the car and hopped out without a word. She leaned against the hood, scrambling to undo the laces on her boots and pull off her socks.

Regina hesitantly got out of the car and looked at her questionably. Emma just shook her head, stuff her socks into her boots and tossed them into the car. She rolled up her jeans as far as they would go, about mid-calf and motioned for Regina to remove her shoes.

"Whatever for?" Regina asked defiantly with her arms crossed over her chest.

"We're going for a walk," Emma replied. "And you can't walk on sand in heels."

"You underestimate me when it comes to what I can or can't do in heels."

"Come on, Regina. Haven't you ever felt sand between your toes?" Emma asked, backing up towards where the sand met the asphalt parking lot. "Come on…"

"My hose will ruin."

"Take them off then," Emma laughed and she shook her head, wishing they'd at least worn bathing suits even though they weren't spending more than a day on the west coast. "Come on, Regina."

"I've been on a beach before," she muttered, arms still crossed over her chest.

"Yeah, but not on this side of the country."

"Sand is sand."

"Trust me, I've felt the sand in Storybrooke and this?" Emma said as she pointed to her feet as she wiggled her toes. "This is a hundred times better."

Regina rolled her eyes and walked over to the passenger side. She opened the door and sat down on the seat, her feet out of the car as she took her heels off, one by one and dropped them inside the car. Emma moved to lean against the open door, grinning victoriously. But the grin on her face disappeared as she watched Regina pull up the hem of her pencil skirt to reveal black garter straps.

Regina didn't pay a speck of attention to her as she unsnapped each clasp on her left leg first and rolled down her black stockings slowly. Emma felt the burn of arousal deep in her core and she tried to fight it, tried to look away, but her eyes were glued to Regina's legs.

"Is anyone looking?" Regina asked before she began to unclasp the clips on her right leg. "Emma?"

"Huh?"

"Aside from you, is anyone looking?"

Emma shook her head and quickly looked around and despite the beach being quite busy, nobody was paying a speck of attention to either of them. "Uh, no, nobody is looking."

She had to force herself to look away as Regina stood up and smoothed the hem of her skirt down. Once she shut the door, Emma hit the button on the remote to lock it and pocketed the keys. She held out a hand towards Regina with a smile, trying to hide her surprise when Regina willingly took her hand and allowed herself to be led on to the soft, warm sand.

After about twenty steps on to the beach, Regina didn't let go of her hand and she gently intertwined their fingers as they strolled towards the water slowly. Regina held on to her hand tighter as they reached the surf that rolled onto the beach and Emma gasped as soon as her toes hit the water.

"That is far enough," Regina said through gritted teeth and tried again to pull her hand free. "Emma…"

"Come on, Regina," she chuckled as she turned her back to the water and reached for her other hand. "It feels great!"

"We are inadequately dressed for this," she muttered and for the briefest of seconds, Emma could see the anger flaring in her brown eyes just before the wave reached her own toes. "Emma Swan…you will let go this instant!"

"And if I don't?"

"Don't test me. Now let go at once."

Emma shrugged and let go of her hands and took a step backwards. "Suit yourself, Regina. You know, you should let loose every once in awhile and just have fun! Or did you forget how to—"

Emma yelped loudly as a larger wave caught her off guard, soaking her up to her waist. Regina took a few steps back and laughed loudly and Emma growled low in her throat and made a dash towards her. Regina had been too busy laughing at her to realize what was happening until it was too late and Emma grabbed her by her hips and picked her up, carrying her towards the water as she gripped on to her shoulders.

"Emma, let me down!" Regina cried out as Emma walked into the water up to her knees. "Emma Swan, if you don't let me down this instant—"

"Okay," Emma shrugged with a devilish grin curling over her lips as she dropped Regina into the water.

The sound that came out of Regina was unlike anything Emma ever heard from her before and it wasn't that of anger, it was more of a shriek as she made a run for the shore, the wave pounding her, soaking her to her hips. Emma chuckled and made a grab for her, but she slipped from her fingers and Emma lost her footing, falling face first into the water.

Regina's laughter filled her ears as she pushed herself up slowly. She shook her head as she pushed her wet hair back from her face. Regina held out a hand down towards her, laughing as Emma reached up for her hand.

"Funny, huh?" Emma laughed dryly and Regina went quiet. "Not so funny anymore, is it?"

"Don't you dare—Emma!" Regina yelled out as Emma pulled her down into the water with her. "You are going to pay for this!"

They struggled together until they were rolling around on the sand and Emma landed on top with a grunt. Her heart was racing as she stared down at Regina and for the first time since she had first met her, the laughter, the smile, it reached her eyes and lit them up in ways she'd never seen before. Emma smiled down at her, lifting a hand to push aside the wet hair that fell in front of her eyes, feeling caught up in the moment completely.

"You best get off of me," Regina whispered. "Before we are arrested for indecent exposure on a public beach."

"Right," Emma muttered, pulling herself up before pulling Regina to her feet. They were both drenched and covered in sand. "You got to admit, it was fun."

"Do I need to remind you that we did not bring a change of clothes?" Regina asked as she intertwined their fingers with ease as they started to walk up the beach away from the water. "And we have a flight to catch in a couple of hours."

"We'll be dry by then," Emma replied. "It's only water, Regina."

"I know that," she snapped, but there was no bite to her tone. "I don't understand you sometimes, Swan," she said as they came to a stop. "Your idea of fun and adventure needs a bit of improvement."

"I think we've had enough of that in our lives to last several lifetimes," Emma replied softly. "So I opted on something, I don't know, lame."

"It wasn't lame," Regina replied as she turned to her. "It was fun, I suppose."

"You're welcome. Now come on, let's go for a walk and dry off."

"If you dare think of—"

"No more water," Emma chuckled. "I promise."

[X]

Emma sat next to Regina in the terminal a few hours later while they waited for their plane to start boarding. Regina was going through her phone, silent beside her while Emma fidgeted and watched the television that was on near them, tuned to a local news station.

"Stop fidgeting, dear," Regina said as she reached out and placed a hand on her shaking knee. "Look, do you remember this?"

Emma looked over at the picture Regina had brought up on her phone. It was from a few years back on Henry's sixteenth birthday. Emma smiled because it wasn't just Henry in the picture, it was the two of them on either side, smiling at the camera.

"Who took that one?"

"Your mother."

"Oh," Emma said softly. "Did you—"

"She sends me the pictures in emails once in awhile and I put them on my phone. I like to have them at hand."

"How many do you have?"

"Plenty."

"Which means too many," Emma chuckled quietly and she bumped her shoulder into Regina's. She still smelled like the ocean despite having sprayed some of her perfume on in the car. "Do you have any from when Henry was little?"

"Some, yes, the rest are in photo albums at home," Regina replied and she went through the folders on her phone before bringing up pictures of Henry from just a few years before he had gone to Boston to find Emma. "Perhaps one evening you could come over, we'll have some cider and I'll show you the albums."

"I'd like that," Emma smiled, both of them turning to look at one another at the same time. "So, when was this?" She asked, turning away from the intense look in Regina's eyes she couldn't quite read and pointed to the screen. "How old was he here?"

"Almost eight I believe," she replied and she leaned in towards Emma and held the phone closer for her to see. "It was always a chore to get him to get his hair cut, but I always let him grow it out a little over the summer before school started. This was right before I took him to the barber."

As they went through the pictures on Regina's phone, Regina occasionally telling Emma a small backstory to each one, Emma found it all too easy just to casually drape an arm around the back of Regina's chair. She leaned in closer until they were pressed up against one another, but neither moved as they continued to look through the pictures.

By the time the announcement came over the speaker that their flight was about to start boarding, Regina was on the verge of tears and Emma wasn't sure what to make of it. She just turned her head and kissed her softly on the cheek, unsure of why she did, but it was a way of comforting her, to reassure her that everything would be okay, that their son would be just fine if they left him.

"Come on, we should go," Emma said as she stood up and took Regina's hand in her own, pulling her to her feet. "Don't want to miss our flight home, do we?"

"No, I suppose not."

They walked to the gate hand in hand. Emma pulled out both of their boarding passes from her messenger bag at they approached the counter. Neither had let go of one another's hand and Emma hardly had realized that until someone tapped her on the shoulder from behind.

"I'm so sorry," the old woman said shakily. "I apologize for being so forward, but I just wanted to say how nice it is to see a lovely couple in love. You two remind me of my late partner and I when we were young."

"Oh, we're not—"

"Thank you," Emma smiled politely at the old woman and gave Regina's hand a squeeze to stop her from saying anything.

"How long have you been married, dears?"

"We—"

"Eight years," Emma smiled. "Isn't that right, honey?"

"Well, it's certainly a blessing, yes? You two make such a lovely couple," The woman smiled and patted Emma on the arm. "Enjoy your fight, dears."

Regina muttered under her breath as Emma tugged her up to the counter and presented both of their boarding passes with a smile. Once they were through and headed on to the plane, Regina pulled her hand free. Neither spoke as they found their seats and settled in to wait for take-off.

It was the second time that day that they'd been mistaken as a couple, a married one at that, and even though Emma had been shocked when the waitress had called Regina her wife, that shock hadn't registered when the old woman blatantly approached them at the gate.

Every time she looked over at Regina, her expression was completely unreadable and she knew her well enough to leave her alone for the time being. Whatever was going through Regina's mind, she needed to be left in peace.

When the plane finally took off, Regina grabbed her hand and closed her eyes tightly, much as she had done when they left Boston only then it had been Henry's hand she'd grabbed on to. The moment the seatbelt light was switched off, Emma excused herself to the bathroom and locked herself in the small cubicle.

She gripped on to the edge of the sink and looked into the mirror, her thoughts now catching up to her all at once. She started questioning why they had been mistaken as a couple, if there were any obvious signs that gave off those vibes. She and Regina were friends, close friends, and over the years small, subtle touches had become something of the norm between them. Neither ever paid much thought to it and Emma knew it was mainly because it just came as second nature now, at least to her.

Emma turned on the tap and splashed some water on her face, scoffing as she closed her eyes. The old woman's voice, the fact she thought that they looked like they were in love, it was almost haunting her as her ears began to ring and she gripped on to the edge of the sink once more, groaning quietly as the calm that had been there before was quickly replaced by anxiety.

Regina was going to kill her when they got home, metaphorically speaking. She should have denied it to the old woman and she was trying to figure out why she hadn't and why she had just gone along with it. Maybe it was just to humor the old woman who obviously saw something in the both of them that stirred up old memories. She refused to think of any other reason than that alone.

[X]

Regina fidgeted with her seatbelt she still had yet to remove despite the light being off for the last half an hour. Emma had gone off and hadn't returned, but she was a nervous flyer and chose not to worry about her. Instead she focused on the back of the seat in front of her, the movie that was playing on the small screen silent to her since she hadn't purchased the headphones for the flight.

Her thoughts went to Henry, to how happy he was the moment they had arrived on campus and the excitement that filled him the moment he walked into the dorm room that would be his home at least for the next year. Regina had been rather emotional all day and she hated when her emotions toyed with her and made her feel incredibly vulnerable. She wasn't sure she would've made it through the day without Emma though. Emma had been stronger than she was in saying goodbye to their son and Emma had become her rock that got her through the day.

She was still stewing in the words of the old woman at the gate. A couple. How absurd. There was no way she and Emma could be mistaken for a couple, they were just friends, close friends, and nothing more. They had grown comfortable with one another over the years and they shared a son, whom they'd both raised into the man he'd become over the last eight years. On one hand she could see why that old woman would mistake them for a couple, but on the other it seemed so outrageous that a perfect stranger would make such an assumption and boldly at that.

"Ma'am?" The stewardess said as she stopped by her seat. "Would you like something to drink?"

"No, thank you," Regina said tensely. "I'm fine."

"Your wife has been gone for a little while," she said. "Would you like for me to check on her, see if she's all right?"

"I'm sure she is fine and will return to her seat shortly."

"Okay. If there is anything I can do, just hit the button, all right, ma'am?"

"Thank you."

Regina gripped the armrests until her knuckles went white. Another assumption from another complete stranger and it made her whole body grow tense. She barely noticed when Emma returned until she felt the warm hand on her own.

"Hey," Emma smiled at her. "You all right, Regina?"

"Where have you been?"

"I was in the bathroom—"

"For half an hour?"

Emma shrugged nonchalantly. "I was thinking and lost track of time."

"You couldn't think while you were in your seat?"

"No."

"I see."

"I'm going to try and get some sleep so I don't go falling asleep in the car. It's a long drive home."

"All right."

Emma stood up and pulled her bag out of the overhead compartment and Regina turned just as she held out a pair of headphones. "Here, I'm not going to use them. You look like you need a distraction and a crappy in-flight movie is exactly what you need."

Regina nodded, mouthing a "thank you" as she slipped the headphones on, allowing herself to be distracted by a crappy in-flight movie that did nothing to calm her fear of flying down nor did it distract her from her thoughts about the slumbering woman beside her.

When the seatbelt like came on hours later and the captain's voice announced their approach to the runway, Regina turned to wake Emma up by placing a hand on her shoulder and gently shaking her.

"What?"

"We're going to be landing in five minutes, dear," Regina said calmly. "And the seatbelt light is on."

"Okay," Emma mumbled sleepily as she rubbed at her eyes and pulled the seatbelt on. "How was the movie?"

"Your description was adequate, it was crappy," Regina replied with a soft chuckle and she ignored the pull in her gut when Emma smiled right back at her. She turned her attention to the now blank screen in front of her and gripped one armrest and reached for Emma's hand. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Try not to break my hand, yeah?" Emma chuckled quietly, giving her hand a gentle squeeze as the plane began its descent down to the runway.

Regina closed her eyes until she felt the plane land after what felt like ages but was only a handful of minutes. She didn't let go of Emma's hand, however, not until the seatbelt light was off and the announcement was made that they would be exiting the plane in five minutes.

"Regina?"

"Hmm?"

"You can let go now," Emma said as she glanced down at their hands. "We're on the ground, safe and sound."

Regina didn't let go though, not until the other passengers started to exit the plane and she let go only long enough for Emma to grab her bag out of the overhead and put it on. Their hands were instantly fused together once more and Regina blamed it on the nerves that had been running rampant through her body since they boarded the plane in Los Angeles.

Emma led the way towards security and once they made it through, she led the way through the airport while Regina lagged a little behind her, her tiredness of the very long day they just had catching up to her completely. Emma stopped just outside and turned to her with a smile.

"Hey, why don't you stay here and I'll go get the car, okay?" Emma said and she nodded as she let go of Emma's hand. "I'll be right back."

Regina nodded again and moved to sit on a bench a few feet away while she waited for Emma to return with the Bug. She could barely seem to keep her eyes open and hadn't noticed the same old woman from the airport back in Los Angeles had taken a seat beside her.

"Hello," she smiled and Regina turned to her, returning the smile politely. "Did you and your wife enjoy the flight?"

"Hardly."

"Not a good flyer, are you?" The woman asked and Regina shook her head no. "Neither was my Beth. She always hated making the trip home to California. We used to go every year on her birthday."

"I see."

"It was just yesterday. First time I went back without her at my side," the woman said sadly.

"I'm sorry."

"We had fifty-three wonderful years together," she smiled sadly. "You and your beautiful wife, you may only have eight years, but you have many more ahead of you. I can sense it."

Regina nodded, not wanting to correct the old woman and not sure why. She was tired and the day had taken a lot out of her. All she wanted was to get home and crawl into her bed and sleep. When she spotted the yellow Bug headed towards her, she stood slowly, her whole body nearly giving out with exhaustion.

"You've had a long day, yes?" The woman asked as she rose and placed a steady hand on Regina's arm. "I apologize if I seem intrusive. My Beth always told me I had a keen sixth sense when it came to others. Go home with your wife. She'll take care of you."

"Th—thank you," Regina stammered as she heard the squeal of the Bug's breaks as it came to a stop. "It's late," she said as she turned to look at the older woman with soft brown eyes and a smile that felt friendly and familiar. "I—is there someone picking you up?"

"Oh of course!" The woman exclaimed. "My Beth should be here any moment now. She told me she would be right here."

Regina's face scrunched in confusion as she was under the impression the old woman's partner had passed away. "Oh…all right then. Have a wonderful night, ma'am."

"Liza," the woman said. "My name is Liza. Didn't I tell you that, dear?"

"Regina?" Emma called out as she leaned towards the open passenger window.

"Are you sure someone is coming for you, Liza?" Regina asked gently. "W—we could always give you a ride home, if you'd like. It's late and—"

"No, no, dear, Beth will be around shortly," she said with a light laugh and patted her on the shoulder. "Don't you go keeping your wonderful wife waiting now, dear. I'm sure you two would like to get on home and tucked up into bed."

"Good night, Liza."

"Good night," the woman smiled and Regina turned and walked towards the Bug, her heels clacking loudly against the pavement.

She sighed heavily as she got into the car and shut the door. When Emma went to shift into drive, she placed a hand over hers and shook her head no. Emma looked down at their hands first before looking over at her.

"What? What is it?"

"That woman," Regina said softly. "I think—I think maybe we should take her home."

"Uh, what?" Emma blinked in confusion. "Is that the woman we saw back in LA at the gate?"

"Yes. Her name is Liza."

"Okay."

Regina groaned quietly and pulled her hand away from Emma's slowly. She ran her fingers through her hair and looked over at the old woman who stood beside the bench, clutching at her purse with an old blue suitcase next to her. She looked around, a smile on her face, like she was waiting for someone to come to her and yet Regina didn't miss that look of longing in her eyes, simply because she recognized it all too well.

"Regina?"

"I think we should take her home, wherever her home is, Emma."

"Someone is probably coming for her."

"She said her—her partner had passed and then she just told me that she was waiting for her."

"Regina, we're all tired. It's late and it was a long flight. Come on, let's just get on the road and get home, all right? I'm sure someone will be here to pick her up soon."

"Emma?" Regina looked at her and turned her attention back to the old woman. "Can we just…wait?"

"For what?"

"To make sure someone comes for her?"

"This is a loading zone. I can't park here."

"Then find somewhere to park!" Regina snapped at her, her exhaustion definitely getting to the better of her. "Emma, I'm—"

"Okay," Emma said without hesitation. "Get out and I'll park the car and we'll wait until someone picks her up if it makes you feel any better, okay?"

"Thank you."

"No problem," Emma smiled. "You go sit with her and I'll park the car. Pretty sure I saw a Starbucks inside. Do you want anything?"

"What is Starbucks?" Regina asked curiously and Emma shook her head as she reached across to open the door.

"It's—never mind. I'll get you a coffee."

"Thank you."

[X]

Emma scratched at her cheek as she walked from where she parked the car, ten dollars later, and headed for the entrance to the airport. She looked over at Regina and the old woman sitting on the bench, the two talking quietly as the late night crowd began to disperse and all that was left were a few security guards doing their rounds.

She had never seen Regina act like that before, and with a complete stranger nonetheless. She decided not to question it, choosing just to think that in her exhausted state, Regina had taken pity upon an old woman who was clearly confused with nobody else around to look out for her.

The day started with them flying across the country to see their son off to college, followed by a few hours on the beach and a long plane ride home complete with a few surprises along the way. Emma ran a hand through her hair as she thought back to the beach and found herself smiling at the carefree way Regina had laughed once she had released the tension that always seemed to linger within her. The way her whole face lit up when she laughed like that, Emma wanted to see more of that from her, she wanted to be the reason she laughed like that and not just because she'd tripped and fallen in the ocean.

"Ma'am?" The barista asked, looking rather annoyed. "What can I get for you tonight?"

"Sorry," Emma muttered and ran her fingers through her hair once more. "Two Grande's, one with one milk, the other two milk, two sugars, please."

Emma handed over a ten dollar bill and waited, her thoughts racing through her mind a mile a minute. She received her change and shoved it into the front pocket of her jeans that still smelled of salt-water and waited for her order. She turned and looked around the nearly empty airport and her eyes landed on a young couple seated at one of the tables not too far from her. Two women, couldn't have been any older than twenty, sitting in Logan International Airport at two in the morning and staring at one another like the rest of the world didn't even exist.

"Ma'am?"

"Thank you," Emma said distractedly to the barista as she took both cups of coffee from her and she stole one last glance at the young couple, turning away when they leaned across the table for a kiss.

She walked heavily towards the doors and found Regina right where she'd seen her last, sitting on the bench with the old woman and laughing lightly. She walked over towards them with a smile on her face and handed Regina her coffee with one milk and sat down next to her.

"Liza was just telling me the story of how her and Beth met," Regina said and Emma nodded, taking a sip of her too hot coffee and exhaled sharply.

"So, when is she coming to pick you up?" Emma asked and all she received was a glare from Regina and she coughed lightly. "I'm sure she'll be here soon."

"Oh yes, soon," the old woman nodded. "As I was telling your lovely wife, Beth and I met in the summer of '36. I had just returned to school and she was working the soda stand down by the beach…"

They sat there with the old woman for close to an hour, listening to her story of her romance with a woman named Beth who they both knew was not coming to pick her up from the airport. Regina was enthralled by the woman's story and Emma too found herself swept up in the romance of it all after a while too. After that hour had passed and they both knew no one was coming, they convinced the old woman together that it was best if they took her home because it was growing late.

Regina gave up her seat in the front to the old woman, who continued talking about her late partner while Emma sneakily snuck into her purse to find out where she lived. It was a short ride to the Riverside Retirement home and when they arrived, it was not just a simple drop off in the middle of the night.

Dozens of nurses and aides came rushing out as soon as Emma had helped the old woman out of the car, each and everyone one of them worried to death about the woman. It was Regina who calmly explained to the staff and the two police officers that were there that they had run into the old woman at the airport and brought her home. Statements were taken and the old woman was escorted inside the home by two aides and Emma found herself reaching for Regina's hand as they stood by the Bug and watched, and listened as she went on and on about her partner expecting to pick her up at the airport to suddenly asking where she was and why Beth wasn't there with her.

The drive back to Storybrooke was a silent one and one that Regina slept for most of the way. Emma was only kept company by her thoughts, most of which made zero sense as she tried to focus on the road ahead of her. It was close to seven in the morning by the time Emma pulled up into the driveway of 108 Mifflin Street and shifted the gear into park, the sudden jolt waking Regina up from her sleep.

"We're home," Emma said quietly as she reached out and placed a hand on Regina's thigh. "Regina?"

"Hmm?" Regina murmured sleepily. "We're home?"

"Yes."

"Finally."

Emma laughed and hopped out of the car, jogging around to the passenger side to open the door. "Come on, let's get you inside," she said as she reached for Regina's hand and helped the exhausted woman out of the car. "What a day, huh?" Emma asked as they reached the front door and Regina fumbled inside her purse for her keys.

"It was something else, indeed," Regina murmured in agreement as she pulled her keys out and found the right one, sliding it into the lock and unlocking the door. "Will you come over later?"

"Whatever for?"

"The photo albums," Regina said quietly. "I thought you might want to look at them."

"Of course," Emma smiled at her. "How does seven sound?"

"Make it four," Regina replied as she opened the door. "We can look at the photo albums, prepare dinner together, and drink some cider…that is, if you would like to?"

"I'd love to," Emma smiled and she reached forward to pull Regina into a hug and one that for once didn't feel awkward at all. "I'll see you in a few hours, Regina. Get some sleep, okay?"

"Very well. Good night, Emma."

"Yeah," Emma said with a soft sigh as the front door shut slowly. "Night."

[X]

Emma never slept a wink when she returned home to her apartment. She spent hours pacing the living room floor and ignoring phone calls from her mother and Ruby, finally giving up and turning off her phone. Something had happened the day before and it had started long before that waitress' comment about Regina being her wife. The whole one day trip to California just to see Henry off to college had turned into something so much more and Emma was feeling more than just a little overwhelmed with the feelings that came with it all.

She spend hours thinking, hours thinking about her past with Regina and those little moments they shared that most definitely meant more than just an act of kindness, an act of friendship. It was more than that and it had been for a long time. Emma realized that just after noon when she cracked open a bottle of whisky she had stashed in the cupboard above the fridge. It had been more than that for a long time and they'd both been so blind to it all.

She stopped on the fourth shot and let herself sober up before she found herself pounding the pavement, practically running towards 108 Mifflin Street hours after her self-revelation of love for the other mother of her son—their son.

"Regina?" Emma called out as she pounded on the front door. "Regina? It's me. Open the door!"

Nothing but silence greeted her and she jabbed her finger hard against the doorbell with one hand braced against the door frame. She was only a few hours early and surely—she had reasoned with herself over and over—Regina still wasn't sleeping and perhaps she was just busy, busy enough not to hear the frantic knocks on the door and the way her finger stabbed the doorbell over and over again.

Emma kicked the bottom of the door in frustration and pushed herself away, turning on her heels and ready to leave when she heard the soft click of the lock and the door opening a second later.

"Emma?"

"Regina," she breathed out in an almost sigh of relief as she moved towards the other woman, pushing herself past the partially open door and taking a hold of Regina's hips with her hands. "Tell me I'm going crazy."

"Emma—"

"Tell me I am," she pleaded. "I can't stop thinking about you," she said as she backed Regina up against the nearest wall, the front door slowly sliding shut on its own. "I keep thinking about the way you laughed when we were on the beach," she murmured, her lips just a hairsbreadth apart from Regina's as she pressed her up against the wall. "I keep thinking about the way you look at me," she continued as she fought the urge to kiss the woman she was in love with senselessly in that very moment. "I keep thinking about the very fact that everyone thinks we're together and we're not."

"Emma—"

"No, don't tell me I'm wrong, Regina," she whimpered, her fingertips digging into Regina's hips for a moment before she relaxed her hold. "I'm not wrong, am I? I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I?"

Her answer came in the form of a kiss she did not expect and Regina's hands all but tearing her out of her red-leather jacket. Their lips crashed together in a desperate hunger that had Emma spiralling out of control, her hands grasping at the body crushed beneath hers and the wall—Regina's body and the hot flesh that reacted to her touch.

Emma groaned loudly as Regina slid her fingers through her hair and gripped on tight, her lips moving to her neck to lick and suck along her pulse point. She ran her hands through Regina's hair and then roughly down her body, eliciting a moan past Regina's lips as she did. She took control, moving her lips to Regina's neck and sucked hard over her pulse point until Regina's fingers dug into her scalp and she whimpered a soft plea of release.

Regina's lips crushed against her own and Emma was completely lost to the feeling of Regina's lips upon her own. Her hand roamed down over Regina's backside and when her fingers hit the hem of her skirt, she realize for the first time that Regina either wore a similar skirt as the day before or she hadn't changed at all. She moved her lips to Regina's neck once more and as she kissed along the warm, smooth skin, she inhaled deeply and she could still faintly smell the saltwater lingering on her skin.

"Tell me I'm not the only one that wants this."

"You're not," Regina breathed out shakily as she moved a hand just under Emma's chin and pulled her up for another breathtaking kiss. "And we're not doing this here."

Emma barely heard her, her lips moving down over Regina's chin and kissing over the warm column of her neck once more, her hands slipping beneath the hem of her tight skirt, her mind too focused on wanting to touch, to kiss, to taste to realize they were just a few feet from the front door. She licked over Regina's pulse point before moving her lips to crush against Regina's, her hands sliding under her skirt and her fingers skimming over the clips of her garter and the smooth skin of her thighs.

Emma knew they needed to talk, to take a few steps back and not jump into things, but their bodies painted an entirely different picture as it was clear they both wanted and needed more.

Regina grabbed a hold of Emma's hips and spun her around, hard. A grunt escaped past her lips as her back hit the wall and it made her feel winded. Regina's lips were back on hers before she had a chance to catch her breath and Regina's hands slipped under her shirt and smoothed along the slight curve of her hips. Regina was the first to pull back from the heated, hungry kiss and she stared deeply into Emma's eyes before taking a step backwards and dropped her hands away from Emma's hips.

"Come," she whispered as she beckoned Emma with a single finger. "I think we should sit down and have a drink. A glass of cider, perhaps?"

"Got anything stronger?" Emma asked, swallowing hard at the déjà vu feeling and loving the way the laughter sounded as Regina headed up the steps and towards the study without another word.

Emma inhaled shakily and picked up her jacket from where it had fallen to the floor after Regina nearly ripped her out of it. She hung it in the front closet before making her way into the study.

"Cider or whisky, dear?" Regina asked, her voice husky as she turned to look at Emma the moment she strolled in the door.

"I wasn't lying when I asked for something stronger."

"My cider packs quite the punch, Emma."

"I know I just—fine, cider it is," she said and she walked over to the sofa and sat down. Emma ran a hand through her hair and licked over her kiss-swollen lips as she watched Regina pour them each a glass of cider with a few cubes of ice in each glass. She walked over towards her slowly, the sound of her heels on the floor clicked loudly in the quiet room. "We need to talk, don't we?"

"Yes," Regina nodded, handing the glass to Emma before sitting down next to her. She crossed her legs and turned slightly to face her. "I think we need to get to the bottom of things."

"Don't even know where to start," Emma muttered under her breath and she took a sip of her drink and exhaled sharply. "The beginning?" Emma shrugged when Regina sat there in silence. "I don't even know where the beginning is. Maybe it was when we started becoming friends or maybe it was after that, maybe it was even before we were friends."

"Henry's fifteenth birthday," Regina said so softly Emma barely heard her. She cleared her throat and her eyes were trained on the glass she held with both hands. "It was Henry's fifteenth birthday when I realized I had—that I had feelings for you. I wasn't sure what to make of them and I certainly wasn't ready to act on them. Things had only just started to become quiet and—"

"Normal?" Emma offered and it pulled a warm laugh past Regina's lips.

"I wouldn't call anything about Storybrooke or our lives normal, Emma, but yes, it was around that time when I started having feelings for you. I suppose over time, I learned to suppress what I felt and I feel that I've done a terrible job."

"Why is that? I had no idea, so I can't say it was so terrible—"

"Because everyone else seems to have picked up on it, everyone but you."

"Oh."

"This trip, Emma? It opened my eyes, not just about you, but about myself and our life we share together."

"Because of Henry."

"Not just because of Henry," Regina replied and she paused to take a sip of her cider, her eyes still not quite meeting Emma's. "I suppose in this day and age, to see two women raising a child together may raise other's suspicions that we are—lovers, partners…wives," she said quietly. "It's not quite as uncommon as one would think. We are rather close, more so than we've ever been. I should've noticed when things started to change."

"When was that?"

"Last year," Regina sighed quietly and Emma just kept her focus on her, knowing Regina well enough to know that for her to take the reins on the conversation they were having was a bold move on her part, one that took courage. "Henry's birthday."

"His birthday again, really?" Emma looked at her in confusion. "That's twice you've mentioned—"

"Do you remember when your father tried to give Henry that hunk of scrap metal for his birthday and I was angry, practically seething—"

"Regina, you threatened to lock him in the car and roast him alive," Emma chuckled as she reached out to place a hand on Regina's knee. "That's not practically seething, you were seething."

"As I was saying, it was you who calmed me down, not with your words, but with your touch. All you did was place your hand on my back and I backed down without hesitation."

"I'm not sure where you're going with this—"

"If you would stop interrupting, I could tell you," Regina said in a rush and she placed a hand over Emma's that was still on her knee and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Your touch, whether either of us noticed it, came with ease since then. It became a form of comfort for me and something that has became a habit between us without us realizing. I've spent a lot of time thinking today why people would be under the assumption that we're…a couple and it's because of the way we subtly touch one another."

"Like this?" Emma asked and she gave her knee a slight squeeze to make her point. "So, touching…what, like it looks intimate or something?"

"It doesn't look intimate, Emma, it is."

Regina sighed softly before lifting her glass to her lips to take another sip. Her hand didn't move away from Emma's and she turned to look at her once more. Emma had been thinking a lot all day too, but she hadn't thought about the way they'd touch one another, even without realizing that was what they were doing. She hadn't thought much of any of it until Regina had started talking about it.

"Regina, I'm not sure what—"

"What I'm saying is maybe these people who made those assumptions about us are not wrong," Regina said quietly. "Especially Liza. She saw something we had yet to see ourselves."

"They're not wrong," Emma repeated slowly, mesmerized by the way Regina was staring at her, almost as if nothing else existed all around them other than her. Emma lifted her glass to her lips and nearly downed the rest of her cider, stopping only when Regina lifted the hand that was on top of hers and placed it on her shoulder. "They're not wrong?"

"No, I don't believe they are. Do you?" Regina asked, licking over her lips slowly before rising from the sofa.

"I think you already know the answer to that question, Regina."

"Do I?"

"Would I have kissed you like that when I showed up at your door?"

"You showed up at my door acting like you were about to lose your damn mind."

Emma laughed and downed the last of her cider as Regina did. "I did feel like I was losing my mind, Regina, because all I could think about after I dropped you off this morning has been you."

Regina smiled as she took Emma's empty glass from her hand and turned slightly to place both glasses down on the coffee table. Emma rose to her feet after allowing her eyes to linger appreciatively over Regina's body and she grasped at Regina's hips, spinning her around and crushed their lips together hard. It was intense and it left Emma's knees weak. Regina broke away from the kiss only to trail her lips along her jaw.

"Take me upstairs, Emma," she whispered into her ear. Her tongue dipped out, licking along the shell lightly in a way that made Emma tremble.

"Aren't we going to talk about this?"

"We've talked," Regina said huskily, her hands smoothing down her back, her short and neatly manicured nails scratching Emma through her tank top. "I want you to take me upstairs," she repeated.

"Regina, I need to know, what are we doing here?" Emma asked as she pulled back a little. "Regina?"

"Well, I want to fuck," Regina drawled. "But if you must put a name, a label to this, to us, well, perhaps that can wait until later to be discussed."

"Taking me for a test drive first?" Emma chuckled and it died on her lips as soon as Regina glared at her. "Just don't put me away wet."

"I wouldn't dream of it, dear."

They were kissing as they started to move towards the doorway, hands grasping desperately as they both tried to take control, to lead. Emma knew at the rate they were going, they wouldn't make it to the stairs before one or both of them caved and all but ripped the other's clothes off.

Emma's hands slipped under the hem of Regina's tight skirt, no longer hesitating as she lifted it roughly, her hands sliding further up along her thighs and dipping underneath the garter straps. Regina sucked on her bottom lip as her fingertips reached the bottom of her ass and they both moaned, stumbling towards the stairs with every step. Emma's fingers dipped under the soft panties Regina wore, her fingertips grazing over the closely cropped hair between her legs.

"Hold on," Regina murmured lazily against her lips and Emma moved her hands out from underneath her skirt and wrapped her arms around her.

"Couldn't wait?" Emma chuckled throatily when the purple smoke cleared and she readjusted to her bearings and saw they were in Regina's dark bedroom.

"No. I couldn't."

When their lips met, they kissed hard and deep, hungry with passion as their hands grasped at one another. Emma swept her hands down Regina's thighs and lifted her in her arms, swiftly moving towards the bed before they tumbled down together. Emma heard the unmistakable sound of fabric ripping in the seconds before Regina flipped them over and Emma landed on her back in the middle of the bed.

Emma watched as Regina trailed a finger along the rip in her skirt, her brow furrowed and her expression completely unreadable. Emma sat up, pulling Regina with her, their lips meeting with no hesitation in a hungry kiss. Emma quickly unbuttoned Regina's shirt and she let out a gasp when she found herself suddenly naked beneath her.

Magic.

"Not fair," Emma muttered as her lips ghosted along hers. "You used magic."

"Which you have as well," Regina moaned quietly. "You know what to do."

"Do I?"

"Yes."

Emma closed her eyes as she revelled in the feel of Regina's lips upon her own. After seeing just a glimpse of the garter straps the day before at the beach, it was all she could see in her mind. All she could see was Regina in nothing more that the garter, the stockings that were attached, and the Prada shoes she still wore.

"It looks as if your skills need to be fine tuned," Regina purred and Emma used what little momentum she had to flip Regina on to her back.

"No," she murmured as a hand slid along the inside of Regina's thigh and between her legs. "It is exactly what I wanted."

Emma, overwhelmed with emotion and arousal, let that drive her in that very moment. She wanted Regina. She wanted to kiss her, to feel her, to devour and consume. She was so tired of holding back and that first kiss when she first walked through the front door, it had sent a charge off, it made her feel as if she could do anything and everything she so desired.

She wasn't the only one who felt that way and it was more that rectified by the way that Regina kissed her, by the way Regina's hands roamed over her naked body and took possession of her in ways Emma had never let anyone before.

Regina shuddered beneath her, moaning quietly the moment Emma's fingers deftly slicked along her cunt. Her touch was teasing and tentative, her eyes staring deep into Regina's, searching for any semblance of resistance. Regina just surged forward, kissing her hard as she placed a hand over the one between her legs and pressed Emma's fingers harder against her clit.

Regina moaned as they kissed harder and deeper with hungry need. She moved the hand from on top of Emma's and swept her hands down Emma's back, her short nails scratching against her skin lightly. Emma gasped at the feel of Regina's hands on her body and she hadn't even touched her where she wanted to feel her the most.

Emma slipped her hand out from between Regina's legs as she pulled back from her lips, breathing heavily as she looked down into her brown eyes. It was almost as if in that very moment they were both looking at each other for the first time. Regina grinned as she rolled Emma over on to her back suddenly, taking her by surprise as she straddled her lower abdomen and leaned back.

Emma inhaled sharply as she could feel the heat emanating from Regina's core against her skin and she kept her focus on Regina's eyes, watching her as she let herself drink in the sight of Emma's naked body beneath her. Regina's hands were steady as they trailed over Emma's abdomen, up her sides and along the outside of her breasts. She licked over her lips as Emma lifted her arms and let her hands fall to the bed just above her head as Regina's fingers skimmed over her skin lightly.

"Gods, you are beautiful," Regina whispered before leaning down to kiss her hard and deep. "So beautiful, Emma."

"Regina…"

Emma moaned as Regina's lips moved to her neck, licking and nipping and sucking softly as she began on a slow descent down her body. Emma's eyes slid shut as she focused solely on the feel of Regina's lips against her skin and the way her tongue would dip out after she playfully nipped to sooth over the reddened skin. Emma gasped at the feel of Regina's tongue as it teased over a hard nipple and she opened her eyes to look down at her and was rewarded by a delicious, lascivious smile that made her whole body flush with arousal.

Regina moaned as she wrapped her lips around Emma's hard nipple, sucking lightly at first before sucking hard and releasing it with a small audible pop. Emma kept her hands just above her head and she grasped at the pillow tightly, her breathing coming out in short, sharp pants as Regina moved to her other nipple and nipped at the tip.

"Fuck," Emma gasped and she arched off the bed just as Regina wrapped her lips around the nub while her fingers moved to tease the other.

Regina pulled back slowly and after they held one another's gaze for a lingering moment, she lowered her lips back down, kissing a blazing path down Emma's abdomen as she knelt between her spread legs. Emma was practically shaking as Regina dipped her tongue inside her navel as her hands moved to grip tightly on to the top of her thighs.

With one last kiss to her stomach, Regina moved down between her legs, her hands spreading Emma's thighs wider as her eyes drank in the sight of her pussy spread open and waiting for her. Regina hadn't even touched her cunt and she was already on the very brink of orgasm.

"Regina?"

"Hmm?"

"Have you ever—"

"No," she drawled out lazily as she leaned on one elbow and moved her other hand along the inside of Emma's thigh. "I hope you don't mind if I…take a little time to…explore," she murmured as she moved her fingers to Emma's cunt slowly, teasing them along her lips before dipping a single finger inside her hole.

"Not at all," Emma gasped, her hips twitching at the tender touch.

Regina purred as she slipped her finger inside of Emma slowly, watching intensely when she pulled it out just as slowly. Emma groaned, her whole body on edge and she leaned up on her elbows and watched as Regina brought that finger to her lips and slipped it inside to get her first taste of Emma. The sight of Regina between her legs and sucking on her own finger was almost enough to push Emma over the edge, but she swallowed hard and held back, watching her as she pulled her finger free slowly, moaning as soon as it was free.

Emma bit her bottom lip as Regina moved her fingers back to her cunt, sliding over her wet core, each touch less tentative than the last. Emma moaned when she felt Regina's breath spill out over her before she spread her open wide with her fingers and ever so lightly licked over her with her hot tongue. Emma's toes curled at the light touch and it was only then did she realize how long it'd been since she'd been intimate with anyone other than the few toys she had and her own hand.

With every explorative swipe of her tongue, Regina grew bolder and hungrier, her tongue laving over Emma as if she were trying to drink her whole. Emma gripped harder on to the pillow as she tried to hold back her orgasm that was already beginning to thunder through every inch of her body. All it took was Regina sucking hard on her clit for her to come undone completely and she nearly ripped the pillow in half as she cried and moaned out into the room.

She heard Regina chuckle softly and she blinked open her eyes, finding the woman now face to face with her as she hovered over her body. Emma groaned quietly before pulling her in for a hard, wanton kiss, loving the way she could taste herself upon Regina's lips and tongue, almost as if there was something just so erotic about it all.

"Hmm," Regina murmured when she pulled back from the kiss. "Exquisite."

"Me?"

"Yes," she chuckled low in her throat and it made Emma's clit twitch. "You taste absolutely exquisite, darling."

Emma found herself blushing and Regina just shook her head and placed a kiss upon her lips, lingering for a moment before Emma wrapped her arms around her and rolled them over once more. She wanted to take her time as Regina had, but the overwhelming need to consume her, to possess her, suddenly too its hold and she placed one hard kiss to Regina's lips before moving down her body, placing hurried, wet kisses along her skin as she moved between her thighs and spread them wide.

Emma didn't hold back, she couldn't. She needed to taste her, to know what she felt like beneath her lips and tongue. She inhaled sharply, breathing in the musky yet sweet scent of Regina before she spread her lips and licked over her fully, drawing out a rather loud and shaky moan past Regina's lips. Emma closed her eyes as they nearly rolled back into her head and she licked over her again, pulling back to swallow hard.

Exquisite didn't even begin to describe the way Regina tasted, but she knew one thing for certain and that was the fact that she would never get enough of her. She inhaled deeply, her eyes roaming up Regina's body to meet her eyes and she knew then she was in so deep she'd never come back—and she would never want to, not after this.

She reached up to grasp on to Regina's left hand and intertwined their fingers as she lowered her mouth back down against her. Regina squeezed tightly as her teeth grazed over her clit and she soothed her tongue over the throbbing bundle of nerves languidly, drawing out another moan past Regina's lips. Emma moaned too because she was all too consumed in the moment, in Regina, in feeling just how close Regina's orgasm was. She didn't tease, she didn't slow down, she licked at her cunt ravenously until Regina squeezed her hand once more and literally screamed her name as her body began to quake.

Emma let go of her hand and placed both of them on her thighs, holding her spread open as she continued to lick over her, drawing out her orgasm until Regina whimpered softly, her tense body growing slack and Emma leaned back, drinking in the sight of her in her post-orgasmic glow and unable to recall ever seeing such a beautiful sight before in her life.

It wasn't easy for her to fall in love, just as it wasn't easy for Regina to either these days, but as Emma kissed her way up her body, she knew that if she let herself, she could. She could fall in love with Regina Mills, fully and completely and yet, a part of her knew, she had already fallen and this was just a point in time where everything was just beginning to come around full circle. Where everything was finally beginning to make sense.

"Hi," Emma smiled down at her, moving a hand to brush aside Regina's hair away from her eyes.

"Hi," Regina replied, her voice sounding a little shy. "I may need a moment."

"Okay," Emma said as she continued to smile down at her. "Take as much time as you need."

"Emma, I lo—"

"No," Emma said with a shake of her head and pressed her lips against hers. "Don't say it. Not now."

"Fine."

Emma kissed away the pout from her lips and moved to lay at her side, her fingers drawing out light, lazy circles over Regina's abdomen. What stole her breath away was the smile that danced over Regina's lips and it was one she'd never seen before. It was a smile of a woman completely content and loved. It was a smile Emma was more than determined to see more of and she made a silent promise to herself that from that day forward, she would do whatever it took to keep that smile upon Regina's face.

[X]

Henry made his way through the airport with his duffel bag slung over his shoulder and his phone in one hand, but his attention was not on the texts he was receiving from his girlfriend who had to stay back in LA for Thanksgiving, it was on his mothers as they waited for him just past security and the very fact that not only were they standing side by side, their hands were joined together and they were whispering to one another, laughing, and…kissing?

Confused, Henry waited in line to get through security and watched them, rising up on his toes to look over the heads of the people in front of him. He watched as Emma turned to Regina with a smile and kissed her forehead softly before moving to kiss her properly, neither one of them seemingly caring that they were in the middle of a busy airport and there were people watching, people other than him. Henry muttered under his breath when the person behind him pushed him when the line began to move and he lost sight of them for a moment before rising back up on his toes to look for them.

He knew he should've been shocked or even surprised since neither of them had mentioned that their relationship had changed in the last two months, but he wasn't at all surprised or shocked even to see the affectionate way they were being towards one another.

Once he made it past security and was in clear sight of both his mothers, it was Regina who saw him first and rushed towards him with Emma close behind. Henry laughed as he was wrapped up in a hug so tight it almost hurt to breathe and then Emma was right there, hugging them both.

"Moms, I get it, you missed me," he chuckled as he eased out of their embrace.

"How was the flight?" Regina asked as she stood in front of him and ran her hand through his hair like she used to when he was young. "Henry—"

"It was long," he shrugged and shifted the strap on his shoulder, the weight of his bag suddenly feeling heavier than it had before. "It was long, but I'm home now."

"You look good," Emma grinned as she grabbed the bag from him. "You're eating well? You look like you put on the freshman fifteen."

"Ma," Henry groaned when Emma poked him in the stomach. "I'm fine. I'm eating well. Lots of late nights studying and—"

"He looks different," Regina stated as she stared at Emma. "Why does he look different, Emma?"

"He's the same, Regina," Emma laughed and she slung an arm over Henry's shoulder. "Right, kid?"

"Ma," Henry chuckled and shook his head. "So, while I was waiting to get through security, I saw you two, you know, kissing."

"Right," Emma laughed and Henry noticed the nervous way his mom fidgeted with her purse. "Henry, we—"

"Are you guys together now?" Henry asked, unable to keep the words from flying out of his mouth. "Because I'm totally cool with that."

"You are?" Regina asked in a hushed whisper and Emma laughed.

"Thanks, kid."

"How did this happen anyway?" Henry asked and with the look he saw between the two, he pulled a face. "Please don't tell me too much. I don't think I could survive the horrid details of my mothers' sex life."

"Regina, do you want to tell him? I'll go grab us some coffee for the drive home?" Emma said and Regina nodded, both of them moving towards one another before they stopped short. "Right. I'll be right back."

"Mom? What's going on?" Henry asked once Emma was well out of earshot.

"I—I don't know where to start."

"The beginning is always a good place."

"I'm afraid this doesn't have a true beginning, at least not one that makes sense."

"Nothing in our lives has ever made sense," Henry chuckled and he moved to take his mother's hands in his own. "Did this start before or after I left to go to school?"

"After."

"How?" Henry asked because he knew his mothers and he knew this whole thing couldn't have possible just happened between them. "Mom?"

"There were a few instances that day we came with you to Los Angeles where people blatantly assumed Emma and I were a couple. I didn't think much of it at first until I met this woman, first in Los Angeles and then again in Boston after we landed. As you wished, I will leave out the horrid details of our sex life, but once we were home, I suppose the hours of thinking we did on our own led us to one another, or rather, Emma came to me that afternoon and we…talked."

"You kissed her, didn't you?"

"How did you know that?"

"Mom, I've known for a long time now that you've been in love with Emma. At first it was all just wishful thinking, you know? But then people started to talk and I—"

"Talk about what? Who was talking about us?" Regina asked in a hushed whisper. "Henry, how long has this been going on for?"

"Few years," he shrugged. "Mom, you and Emma have been acting like a couple for years and you didn't even notice."

"Yet everyone else did."

Henry laughed and pulled his mother in for a tight hug. "At least you two figured it out and that's all that matters now, right?"

"I suppose."

"Mom, are you happy?"

"Yes."

"Then don't worry about the past, think of the present and the future," Henry smiled at her and he kissed her cheek softly. "For what it's worth, I'm really happy you two figured it out and that you're happy with her. You know, I kind of always knew she'd be your happy ending."

"Henry—"

"I know you gave up on that a long time ago, but it's true, isn't it? Emma is your happy ending."

Regina just smiled as she turned to look at Emma as she carried the tray with three Grande's and struggled to carry Henry's over-stuffed duffel bag at the same time.

"Kid, you're carrying this thing," Emma said as she dropped the bag at Henry's feet and turned to Regina. "What?"

"She is," Regina smiled as she pulled her in for a kiss and Henry, despite wanting to wince at seeing his mothers kiss, just smiled.

"She is what?" Emma asked, blinking in confusion. "What's going on?"

"Don't worry about it, darling," Regina said softly and she turned to Henry with a smile he'd never thought he'd see on his mother's face. "Are you ready to go home, Henry? I want to hear all about what you've been up to for the last two months and I want you to tell me about this girl you've been dating that you refuse to tell us about."

"Mom—"

"A mother always knows," Regina chuckled as she linked an arm through Emma's and one through Henry's. "Come on, we have a long drive ahead of us."

Henry chuckled and grabbed his bag and slung the strap over his shoulder, allowing his mothers to lead the way out of the airport. As he climbed into the back of the Bug, he watched them both closely, smiling when he saw the loving looks and smiles that transpired between them.

Even though it had been a long time coming and they were literally the last to know, he was happy they had both found their happy ending within each other and he couldn't wait to go home.