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Heart Shaped Box

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"Don't touch anything," Regina warned as she led the way down the steps into her vault. "I mean it, Emma, don't touch anything."

"Okay, jeez!" Emma groaned as she held her hands up in front of her as Regina glared at her over her shoulder before walking down the last couple of steps. "What are we looking for anyway?"

"A box," Regina replied with a huff. "Much like Pandora's Box, but not quite."

Emma nodded and removed her gloves, stuffing them into the pockets of her vest before curling her hands into tight fists at her side. Regina was working with Emma on a new spell, one that would eradicate the town line for good and so far all she'd done was piss the other woman off over and over again.

"What does the box do, Regina?" Emma asked as she plucked a weird looking claw off the table.

"Don't touch anything," Regina snapped as she yanked it from her hand before hastily placing it back where she had picked it up.

"Is it just me or am I getting their weird sense of déjà vu right about now?"

"Emma, just shut up and don't touch anything, do you understand?"

"Sorry!" Emma groaned and frowned at the irritated way Regina huffed and turned her back to her as she started searching through one of the shelves. "This box, can't you at least tell me what it does and why we're looking for it?"

Regina growled lowly as she started throwing objects off the shelf and Emma ducked as a silver chalice whirled by her head. Emma couldn't understand why Regina was so angry and it seemed it was more than just because Emma had done what she always had done best and pissed her off.

"This box is a very powerful device that contains magic far more powerful than anything you have ever seen," Regina said and she opened a large box and began rifling through it before placing it hard back down on the shelf. "This box in question is going to give us the power we need to get that spell to work."

"We've done a lot of powerful magic together and you're telling me that we need some box that contains magic to—that's crazy, Regina. Do you even remember half of what we've been through?"

"Unfortunately, yes, I remember every single thing we've done together," Regina replied dryly and she turned to Emma and pulled her leather gloves off her hands with a heavy sigh. She looked around the room before storming off towards a large wardrobe on the other side without saying another word.

Emma stood by the entrance with her arms crossed defiantly over her chest. When Regina mentioned there might be a way to eradicate the town line and put Storybrooke on the map, literally, everyone jumped on board with the idea since returning to the Enchanted Forest was no longer an option. Emma's parents were expecting their third child, Neal just started kindergarten and Henry was entering his last year of high school. Everyone had established a life for themselves and had gotten used to the luxuries the world offered. The only thing that made life that much harder was the fact that nobody could actually leave.

Emma understood the appeal of being able to discover a life outside of Storybrooke and how the rest of the world seemed to be like a whole other realm to the people. In a sense, it was. They didn't know what the real world was truly like and they were hungry and desperate to find out.

"Regina?" Emma asked tentatively as she watched her pull out clothing and other small items from the wardrobe, flinging them over her shoulder and on to the stone floor behind her. "What does this box look like? Maybe I could help if I knew what we are looking for—"

"No," Regina said as she spun around to face her. "You are not to touch a single thing down here, Emma."

"Then why am I even here?" Emma demanded as she raised a challenging eyebrow. "If you don't want me touching anything down here, maybe I should just go and wait out—"

"Emma, wait," Regina sighed. "I haven't been entirely honest with you." Regina rolled her eyes as Emma shifted where she stood and raised her other eyebrow at her. "This box, it contains some very powerful magic."

"Right, you've already said that and that is why we're getting it because we need to—"

"Eradicate the town line and put Storybrooke on the map, yes, but Emma, you need to understand that while I have this in my possession, I can't actually open the box. It's been protected for many centuries and can only be opened with a certain kind of magic."

"You mean mine?" Emma asked and Regina nodded hesitantly. "Okay. So, what does this box look like?"

"It's a box that is shaped as a heart," Regina replied with irritation as she turned back to the wardrobe. "It's no bigger than a ring box, but don't let its small size fool you. It needs to be handled extremely delicately and if it's not done properly, well I don't know what could happen but I certainly don't want to find out."

"So, what do you want me to do? Just stand here and look pretty?"

"It would be a step up from acting like an incompetent child who is incapable of listening and following basic instructions," Regina replied in a teasing tone before continuing to dig through the contents in the wardrobe.

Emma smirked and started to walk around the room, careful not to bump into anything by accident. Regina was already clearly agitated and she didn't want to add any more fuel to that fire. While they had been friends for many years now, there was always a fine line between friendly and flirty banter. Emma had learned that when things crossed the friendly line too far, Regina retreated and in turn would slip into one of her moods where she snapped at every little thing that Emma did or said. It didn't bother her and it hadn't in a long time. She could see right through Regina's façade, but she never pushed her or tested the boundaries between them since she valued their friendship far too much to ruin it.

It was clear that Regina hadn't been down to the vault in a long time. Dust gathered on some of the objects and there were a few cobwebs in the darkest corners. Emma hadn't been in the vault for years, but she had a few memories of being down there that she thought of from time to time. The most notable was during the Shattered Sight curse and seeing Regina as the Evil Queen. Even years later she couldn't quite get that out of her mind or the looks she'd been on the receiving end of that night.

With a shake of her head, Emma continued to walk around the room, the candles that Regina had lit with a snap of her fingers when they first entered the mausoleum flickered and danced, casting shadows across the room. There were a lot of items down there, some magical, some not as they were just mementos and keepsakes of another life in another world for Regina.

Her eyes landed on a small box, nearly out of sight amongst a stack of books on top of a small, blue velvet trunk. The very fact that it wasn't any normal box, but one shaped like a heart as Regina had mentioned, was what intrigued her. She clenched her hands at her sides as she neared the trunk. She could feel a single bead of sweat rolling down her back as she cast a glance over at Regina who was still half inside the wardrobe.

Tuning out Regina's constant grunts of frustration and the mumbling under her breath, words Emma couldn't quite make out and was sure wasn't even English for that matter, she turned her attention back to the heart shaped box that seemed to pull her attention in completely and made her skin prickle in ways she had never felt before.

Magic. She could feel it even standing five feet away and it was drawing her in. It was magic so powerful she knew then why Regina had been so annoyed with her about touching anything in her vault, especially the heart shaped box that was making her skin dance and her own magic inside of her hum deliciously so. Emma clenched her fists as she took a few tentative steps towards the trunk and the box itself, casting a weary glance over at Regina who was still flinging clothes and other items out of the wardrobe angrily.

The box practically hummed right into the depths of her soul as she got closer and she clenched her fists tighter. Maybe Regina was right about one thing, she was practically a child and when told not to touch, all she wanted to do was touch the thing she was told not to the most. She cast another glance over at Regina before making the last few steps towards the heart shaped box and reached out for it tentatively, feeling the magic between her and the box hum pleasantly throughout her body.

"Emma, stop!" Regina yelled out as she scrambled across the room, her heels getting caught in one of the items on the floor. "Emma, don't touch it!"

Emma stopped when she realized she was reaching for the box. "Regina, I didn't—I wasn't going to—fuck."

Emma clenched her jaw as she forced herself to step away, but she was transfixed on the magical hum she could now not only feel, but hear as well. She looked to Regina in a panic before her eyes settled back on the box that had moved from its spot to the edge of the trunk and closer within reach than before.

She licked over her dry lips and reached out with a gloved hand just as Regina's hand grasped on to her shoulder in an attempt to stop her. She felt Regina's other hand land on top of her own just as her fingertips touched the small heart shaped box. The instant that happened, Emma knew she had made a mistake, but before she could open her mouth to utter a word, she felt like the floor fell out from underneath her feet and the room began to spin as the feel and taste of very powerful magic surrounded them both completely.

The force of the magic nearly sucked the air out of her lungs and she gripped on to Regina's hand tightly, freefalling into nothingness and bracing herself for the impact that would come nonetheless.

The impact wasn't as rough as she feared, but then again as she got her bearings and the overwhelming feel of magic from the box faded, she was all too aware of Regina's body pressed up against her own. It sunk in almost immediately that she was now stuck in a small, confined space with none other than a very unhappy Regina Mills.

"What the fuck?" Emma gasped as she reached out, her hands colliding with walls almost immediately. "Regina?! What the hell just happened?!"

"It appears your sheer incompetence when it comes to not touching anything has come into play," she huffed and her body shifted against Emma's slightly as she tried to gain her bearings. "It also appears that we're trapped."

"Trapped?" Emma asked, trying in vain not to panic. "Where are we trapped, Regina?"

"In the very box we were set out to find."

"Wait, what?"

Emma could feel the sharp exhale of Regina's breath against her lips along with just how tense her body was wound up seeing how she was pressed up against her with barely any room to move at all.

"We are trapped inside the box."

Emma thudded both fists against the wall and the hollow echoing sounded like wood and the walls felt like wood when she smoothed her palms over the walls. Panic rose in her chest as her eyes went wide. They were trapped. Trapped together. Trapped in a box, a heart shaped box more specifically.

"It would be wise not to panic," Regina muttered out calmly. "Please tell me you have your cell phone on you."

Emma reached into her back pocked and pulled out her iPhone. The light from the lock screen illuminated the small space. Emma frowned as she stared at the screen once she'd punched in her code. "I have no service."

"That's just…perfect," Regina sighed as she put as much space between them as the space would allow, which was no less that half a foot.

The box wasn't square on the inside, Emma noticed as she switched the flashlight on and shone it around. It was curved on one side Regina was on and tapered into a v behind her. Half a heart. Emma groaned as she turned and leaned against the wall and looked up at the ceiling that was about a foot above their heads.

"What?" Regina asked with an irritated huff.

"We're only in half the box," Emma said quietly and she shone the light around for Regina to see for herself. "That's weird."

"How much battery do you have?" Regina asked and Emma looked down at the battery bar.

"Almost a full charge, but no bars. Regina, can't we just…poof out of here?"

"No, we cannot just poof out of here," Regina replied incredulously and she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest as she took a deep breath. "This box contains some powerful magic, most of the properties of it alone are unknown. Using any kind of magic from inside of it is highly unstable. If you had just listened to me, Emma, we wouldn't be stuck here!"

"So, you're saying this is my fault?"

"Would you be so surprised if it was?" Regina snapped. "I told you not to touch anything and once again you failed to listen to me!"

"If you needed me to find this box then—"

"It's not just light magic it appears to, Emma," Regina said quietly. "You no longer have the purest light magic, but you have one thing I don't have."

"I'm here because I'm the product of True Love?"

"Yes. The box responds to either light magic or True Love."

"Tell me, how the hell did you get this box in the first place if it doesn't appear to you?" Emma countered and Regina snapped her mouth shut and clenched her jaw tightly. "Well?"

"It was in my mother's belongings."

"So, it belonged to Cora and you thought this box and the magic inside of it was going to help us eradicate the town line even though—"

"Yes," Regina snapped. "With Gold dead and the two of us being the only strong users of magic in Storybrooke, we needed a little boost in order for the spell around the town line to have actually worked. I thought this would be enough."

Emma clenched her jaw tightly. She knew there was reason behind Regina's logic and she also knew she wouldn't get a whole answer from her, not when she was highly agitated because of the current predicament they were in.

"Turn that off," Regina said after a few minutes. "You're wasting battery."

"There's no service, Regina."

"Give it here," Regina said as she held out her hand. "Maybe it's just the spot you're in."

"Um, Regina, we're not only trapped in a box, which may I remind you is small so that means we've been shrunken down to like ant size here."

"Emma."

She rolled her eyes and handed the phone to Regina and watched as she held it every which way she could reach. Still, there was no service and she sighed loudly as she thrust the phone back into Emma's waiting hand. Emma went through her contacts and typed up a quick message to David, knowing that as soon as there was any service, even if for ten seconds or less, the message would eventually go through.

"Does anyone know where we are right now anyway, Regina?" Emma asked, turning off the flashlight on her phone and enveloping them in darkness once more. When Regina didn't respond, Emma sighed and slipped the phone into her back pocket. "You didn't tell anyone, not even Henry, that we were—"

"No, of course I didn't tell anyone. I wasn't even sure we'd be able to find it. I didn't want anyone to get their hopes up," she snapped. "Did you tell anyone either, Emma?"

"No," Emma replied and frowned slightly. "Great, so we're not only trapped in a fucking heart shaped magic box, nobody even knows where the hell we are."

Regina was silent and after a few minutes passed, Emma could hear shuffling and then their feet bumped into one another's before Regina's fist went flying into Emma's shoulder.

"Jesus, Regina!" Emma groaned as she grabbed at her shoulder. "What the hell was that for?"

"I—I'm trying to remove my sweater. It's rather warm in here. I assure you that if I wanted to throw a punch at you on purpose, it would be to your face."

"Great, good to know."

Emma leaned against the wood wall and rubbed at her shoulder idly, listening to Regina as she grunted quietly while trying to remove her sweater. While they had a miniscule of space between them, Regina was certainly trying to keep it that way and after a few minutes passed, Emma rolled her eyes and blindly reached out to grab a hold of Regina's hips and pulled her towards her.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Relax," Emma said as her fingers dipped into her hips before sliding them under the thin material of her sweater. "I'm helping you out. I really don't want to be punched again, in the shoulder or anywhere else for that matter."

Regina was silent as Emma's fingers trailed under her sweater, coming into contact with the silk beneath it. She was suddenly acutely aware of how close they were once again when she felt Regina's hot breath against her face. She shifted and her foot caught on something on the floor, Regina's wool coat she assumed as she shifted again and nudged it out of the way.

"Are—are you wearing something underneath?"

"Do you honestly believe I would try to remove my sweater if I wasn't?" Regina asked incredulously. "Are you going to help me out or what, Emma?"

"Yeah just li—lift up your arms and without accidentally hitting me," Emma replied as she began to slowly slide the material up Regina's torso. There was something rather intimate about the way it felt to help Regina remove her sweater in the small, confined space and Emma had to swallow hard not to think about the fact she was removing an article of clothing from the beautiful, alluring woman whose nerves she always seemed to grate with her mere presence alone. Beads of sweat ran down Emma's back as she removed the sweater and tried to pull back quickly, both elbows hitting either side of the wall hard.

"Shit," Emma groaned as Regina yanked the soft sweater out of her hands suddenly. "Yeah, you're welcome."

Emma muttered under her breath as she rubbed her left elbow and then her right. Her skin was clammy and her hair was beginning to stick to her neck. She unzipped her vest and shimmied out of it with ease, letting it fall to the floor at her feet before her fingers moved to her flannel button down shirt. She unbuttoned it quickly and managed to shimmy out of it too, leaving her in her jeans and white tank top and silently cursing under her breath for deciding to skip wearing her bra that day.

"Thank you," Regina said quietly. "On the upside, at least there seems to be sufficient air and we're unlikely going to suffocate inside this box."

"Wicked bonus on top of the fact that it's hot as hell in here!"

"It could be far worse, Emma."

"Yeah? How?"

"Well as it appears, this portion of the box was only meant for one, not two but at least there is still some space. We could be trapped in something smaller, such as a coffin perhaps and—gods."

"What?"

"I don't bode well in small, confined spaces, dear."

That's when Emma finally picked up on the fact that Regina had been trying to control her breathing the whole time to no avail and was losing a raging battle against herself and whatever fears she had of being in trapped in small, confined spaces. Emma wanted to reach out for her, talk to her, calm her down if she could, but she hesitated and pressed herself back against the corner to allow Regina a little more space than there had been before.

Emma closed her eyes and it wasn't as if it made any difference. They were trapped in complete darkness. She tried to remain calm, thinking of being somewhere with wide open spaces and her mind went to the beach down at the harbour, imagining herself there on a nice and sunny summer afternoon, laid out on a blanket with her ear buds in while she soaked in the sun. It was something she'd done as a child whenever one of the foster parents locked her in a closet for misbehaving and it had worked while she'd been in prison as well.

"Emma?"

"Hmm?" Emma mumbled as her eyes fluttered open. "What?"

"Your phone just beeped. Didn't you hear it?"

Emma moved away from the corner, bumping into Regina as she reached to pull her phone out of her back pocket. She nearly dropped it as she unlocked it and found a message from David.

"The text went through," she said excitedly and she read over the text David had sent in reply. "I texted my father, told him what happened and where we are. He wants to know how he can get us out of the box."

"Tell him to contact Blue. She'll be able to help," Regina replied and it was clear from the tone in her voice that the Blue Fairy was the last person she wanted to help them out of their situation, but there was literally no one else that could. "Tell him not to touch the box when he finds it as well. There's no telling what will happen and there is most definitely not enough room in here for a third person."

Emma typed up the message, watching as it sent in the seconds before she lost the single bar of service. "So, what now?"

"We wait."

"For how long?"

"Not too long I'm hoping," Regina replied shakily. "Did the message go through?"

"Yeah, yeah I think so. Lost service right after it sent."

"Right then."

"Regina?"

"What?"

"You know what," Emma sighed as she lifted a hand to run it through her hair. "Never mind. Just forget it."

"Fine."

Emma balled her fists up at her sides, her frustration turning into anger, but she tried to remain calm because there was nothing else she could possibly do and anything she did do in relation to the frustration and anger she was feeling would likely have damning side effects that would make the entire situation even worse for both of them.

The quiet inside the box was growing aggravating as the minutes passed by and Emma moved against one wall and slid down and while there wasn't much room for her to sit, she still did. She held her phone in both hands and every once in a while she'd check the time and check and see if David had text her back. As they neared close to an hour trapped inside the box, Regina started hyperventilating.

"Hey, Regina?" Emma said as she struggled to get back up on to her feet quickly. "Regina?"

"Don't touch me!"

"Hey," Emma said, ignoring her as she reached out to run her hands over her tense arms. "Relax. Breathe."

"What the hell do you think I've been trying to do all this time?" Regina yelled out and she pushed Emma back, causing her to collide against the wood wall hard. "Don't you dare touch me again, Swan."

"You're having a panic attack or about to," Emma said as gently as she could muster. "You need to take a few deep breaths and think about something else."

"What do you think I've been—"

"Humour me for a minute here," Emma said and her fingers twitched at her side and she could feel Regina's breath on her face once more. "Close your eyes. I know, I know, pointless since we're in the dark, but just close your eyes and think of someplace else."

"What do you think—"

"Regina?" Emma said quickly and she grabbed a hold of her arms once more. "Just close your eyes. Think of…the beach."

"The beach, are you quite serious?"

"Yeah, it's wide open, lots of fresh air, miles and miles of open water," Emma said as she lowered her voice almost to a whisper. "Imagine what it's like on a summer afternoon. The smell of the water, the sound of the waves, maybe Henry is there too playing in the water or in the sand—"

"He is seventeen years old. I doubt he'd be playing in the sand, Swan."

"Fine, either he's out in the water or maybe he is sitting on the blanket next to you playing a game on his phone," Emma replied and she inhaled sharply as she felt Regina begin to relax, little by little. "Tell me what you're seeing."

"Clouds in the sky."

"Good, that's good. What kind of clouds?"

"Do I look like I'm a weather forecaster?"

"Regina, are they fluffy white clouds or dark and stormy ones?"

"Fluffy," Regina muttered under her breath.

"What else?"

"You."

Emma licked over her dry lips. "Me? What am I doing there?"

"Being infuriating as always," Regina said with a bite and Emma couldn't help but laugh. "Maybe Henry invited you along."

"Maybe," Emma shrugged and she wet her lips, deciding to test the water between them even though she knew it was such a bad idea. "Or maybe you invited me along."

"Why would I do such a thing if I wanted a peaceful afternoon at the beach with our son?"

"Maybe you like having me around," Emma chuckled. "Maybe you like it when I'm being infuriating and pissing you off just by breathing the wrong way."

"You don't…piss me off."

"You sure about that?" Emma asked. "Because before we ended up trapped in this box you were calling me a child and telling me not to touch anything."

"Which of course you refused to listen once again and now we're stuck in this infernal box and you're touching me!"

"Back to the beach," Emma continued, sensing that Regina was going to start yelling at her once again. "Aside from me and Henry and fluffy clouds in the sky, what else do you see?"

"The beach is deserted."

"Okay," Emma said as she dropped her hands away from Regina's arms. "Maybe we should try something else other than the beach, yeah?"

"Why?"

"Huh?"

"Why did you pick the beach?" Regina asked after a moment.

"Because that's what I was thinking about before," she replied. "You're not the only one who doesn't bode well in confined spaces, Regina."

Regina sighed softly and Emma felt her move back a step before she heard the soft thud of her body as she slumped up against the wall. Emma mirrored Regina's actions, sighing softly before slumping against the wall beside her. Their arms brushed against one another's lightly and Emma closed her eyes and focused on her breathing and the vivid image of the beach she'd been thinking about before only now Regina was there in her imaginative world and wearing the skimpiest black bikini Emma had ever seen. She groaned quietly, willing the image to go away because the last thing she needed was to start feeling sexually attracted to Regina in such a small, tight space.

"What now?" Regina muttered quietly.

"Nothing, I'm just thinking of being anywhere but here."

"Oh."

"Come on, escape with me," Emma said and found herself smiling at the way Regina groaned and she knew she rolled her eyes without needing to see her at all. "Okay so the beach thing didn't work for you. Think of another wide open space, somewhere that you feel calm, content."

"The fields near the stables."

"Okay," Emma said as she shut her eyes, picturing the stables on the edge of town and the lush fields that surrounded the property. "Are you riding?"

"Yes," Regina replied after a moment. "I—I'm not alone."

"No? Who is there with you?"

"You are."

"Me again?" Emma smirked and yelped when Regina reached over to poke her hard in the bicep. "Okay, so we're both there. We're riding…"

"It's sunny," Regina continued after inhaling sharply. "Not a cloud in the sky. It's nice, quiet, open." Emma tried to picture it and the moment Regina's hand slipped into her own she gripped on tight while holding on to the image inside her mind that Regina was creating. "We ride out to the field near the stream."

"I know the one."

"We leave the horses near a willow tree and walk down to the creek together. There—there is a picnic waiting for us there."

"Did you make those apple caramel tarts I love?"

Regina laughed quietly. "Sure," she said and cleared her throat. "We talk about Henry," she continued and Emma felt Regina's hand squeeze hers gently before she intertwined her fingers with Emma's with ease. "But we're not talking about him for very long."

"Am I being an infuriating idiot?"

"As always."

"Of course," Emma grinned and despite the heat inside the box they were trapped in, she leaned more into Regina. "What else is there? Sandwiches?"

"Yes."

"Fruit?"

"Of course."

"Of course," Emma chuckled. "Wine?"

"Cider," Regina corrected her gently. "It—it's nice, just you and me, the horses nearby, the breeze blowing through the trees gently and there are birds chirping in the trees, but for once it's not annoying as it sings."

Emma stood there and listened to the sound of Regina's breathing next to her ear. While she had calmed down, the way her breath hitched in her chest slightly made Emma suspect there was more to it than what she was saying.

"Okay so we're having a picnic," Emma said slowly. "Why?"

"I don't know why, Emma," Regina snapped suddenly. "I just started to envision a wide-open space and that is what—you know what, this is absolutely ridiculous," she said and she pulled her hand free from Emma's roughly. "Check your phone and see if your father responded yet."

Emma rolled her eyes and pulled her phone out and checked, the light from the lock screen illuminating the small space. "Nothing," she muttered under her breath and noticed that there was one bar. "Hold on, I have service."

"What are you doing?"

"Calling Henry," Emma replied as she found Henry's name in her contacts, hit call and lifted the phone to her ear. "It's ringing."

"Let me listen."

"If I put it on speaker, I might lose the call."

"Hold it closer then," Regina said as she leaned into the phone as the line rang.

"Ma?" Henry asked anxiously when he finally answered. "Ma, are you all right? Is Mom with you?"

"Hey, yeah, we're fine," Emma replied easily. "Have you talked to—"

"What is going on? Ma, you were supposed to pick me up today and when you didn't show—"

"Henry, please remain calm," Regina said into the phone. "Emma and I are in a bit of a situation but I assure you that it is going to be taken care of and hopefully soon. Where are you right now?"

"I'm at Granny's," Henry replied. "What is going on, Moms?"

"Emma didn't listen and touched something she shouldn't have," Regina replied and Emma just caught sight of the glare she gave her out of the corner of her eye. Emma groaned and leaned in closer to her until their heads were nearly touching. "We're trapped inside of a magical box, Henry, but don't be alarmed. David has gone to fetch Blue. She'll get us out."

"Yeah, Grandma said there was a bit of a situation, but she had no idea what was going on. You two are really trapped together inside of a magical box?"

"A magical, heart shaped box," Emma added. "And yes, we're trapped together."

"Cool!"

"Henry!" Emma and Regina both scolded him at once.

"Moms—I—and Gran—for later?"

"Kid, you're breaking up," Emma said in a rush. "What did you just say? Henry?"

"The call dropped," Regina sighed as she moved away from Emma. "I think perhaps he was asking to bring home dinner from Granny's, no doubt already eating cheeseburgers and fries and planning on bringing some home as well."

"He's a growing boy, Regina. He needs to eat."

"Yes he is and a growing boy needs to eat healthier," she muttered under her breath. "I suppose there isn't much I can do about that now seeing as I am trapped in here with you."

"You know, it could be worse."

"How?"

"You could be trapped in here with my mother," Emma laughed and she looked to her even though she couldn't see her and she heard her laugh. "See? Now that is much worse if you ask me, Regina."

"Yes, of course it is."

Emma inhaled as she lifted a hand to scratch at the back of her neck. Talking was good. Talking made her forget that it was hot and her clothes were sticking to her now. "So, we're on a picnic…"

"Emma…"

"Come on, don't tell me it wasn't working before, Regina. You calmed down, didn't you?" Emma asked gently and Regina sighed. "Okay, how about—"

"I can't believe you're still stuck on a damn picnic that has never happened!"

"Well, I'm not opposed to it actually happening because honestly it sounds like it'd be fun, Regina. Plus you know how I'd do anything for those apple caramel tarts you make."

"All you have to do is ask, dear. You know I don't mind making them for you."

"Say, when we get outta here, would you—"

"Yes, of course."

Emma smiled. "Thanks."

Regina was quiet for the longest while and Emma focused on the sound of her breathing. Every once in a while her breath hitched in her chest before it returned to normal after close to a minute. Emma was focused on her own breathing too, but found listening to Regina kept her calm, calmer than it probably should have. The heat was getting to her too and standing was making her feel dizzy, but unless she switched spots with Regina, she wouldn't be able to sit down comfortably at all.

After another hour passed and still no word from David, Blue, or even Henry, Emma gave up on fighting the urge to force Regina to switch spots with her and squeezed her way around her, taking Regina by surprise as she did.

"What on earth are you doing now?"

"Moving," Emma replied. "That spot over there is a bit wider than it is over there. I need to sit down, Regina. I'm starting to feel dizzy."

"Oh all right then."

Emma managed to squeeze past her with minimal body contact and she leaned against the curved wall and slowly slid down. She could hear Regina fidgeting and it seemed like every sound inside the heart shaped box was now amplified and she turned the flashlight on her phone causing both of them to blink at the sudden brightness that shone into the small space.

"You're going to waste the battery. We have no idea how long we're going to be stuck inside of here and—"

"Come sit down, Regina."

"There's hardly any room."

Emma opened her legs and pointed between them. "There is if you sit here," she said and she idly bit her lip as she watched a look of surprise flutter over Regina's flushed face. "Come on, I don't bite and I know you're starting to feel dizzy too from standing. It's a lot better if you sit."

"I suppose so," Regina muttered quietly as she moved to stand between Emma's legs. She turned with a sigh and placed her hands on Emma's raised knees before lowering herself down slowly. "Don't get any ideas."

"Ideas about what?" Emma asked as Regina hesitantly settled back against her.

"I believe you know exactly what I'm talking about."

Emma bit her bottom lip, not wanting to say a word because she was afraid of pushing those boundaries between them too far. Yet, being trapped for two hours with the woman she undeniably was attracted to in every way and form was becoming a form of torture all on its own. Emma held her phone in her left hand and rested her arms on her knees as she tried to get comfortable with Regina leaning against her front.

The silence was aggravating and it only caused Emma's mind to aimlessly wander while the heat inside the box made her whole body feel lethargic and weak. She leaned her head back against the curved wall and exhaled slowly, feeling a slight shudder run through Regina's body as she did.

"I feel so sleepy."

"Then sleep," Regina muttered, her body stiff against Emma's as she crossed her arms over her chest. "Let me hold onto your phone."

"What about you?"

"I'm not tired."

"Okay," Emma sighed and closed her eyes as Regina took her phone out of her hand and Emma ran both palms of her hands against her knees. "Wake me up if anyone texts or whatever."

"Of course."

Emma focused on the sound of her own breathing mixed with Regina's and pushed aside all the thoughts as best as she could while her body and mind slowly gave in to the pull of sleep. Just a quick nap, she reminded herself before she slipped away into the land of dreams.

[X]

Regina turned Emma's iPhone over and over in her hands, checking every once in a while to see if there were any bars, but the "No Service" message mocked her every single time. She had tried to relax against her, a feat within itself since her whole body felt charged just being near Emma at any given time.

It had been something she'd been struggling with for years, although she couldn't quite pinpoint when it all had started. She knew in the beginning it was because of their magic and how it fed off one another, but now, now she knew it was something else entirely and that something being a topic she was hesitant to approach even within the boundaries of her own mind.

Regina sighed as she leaned her head back against Emma's left shoulder, her body definitely feeling the effects of the heat inside the box they'd now been trapped in for nearly three and a half hours. Emma had been asleep for at least an hour that much she knew, but it wasn't as if she knew for certain despite the slow, deep and steady breaths that escaped past Emma's lips. She had been quick to let her temper get to her and she had gone overboard, she knew that, but the apologies continued to die before she could get them out.

Regina closed her eyes when Emma whimpered quietly and she checked the phone once more before using the light from the lock screen as she gently turned her head to catch sight of the blonde sleeping behind her. She sighed and turned the screen off once more and laid her head back against Emma's left shoulder, closing her eyes as she tried once again to relax against her.

Regina's thoughts kept going back to when Emma had tried the tactic of helping her try to escape from the confines of the box and it had been working until she started lying about what she was truly thinking of. There had been a picnic, but it wasn't under the sun, it was under the light of a full moon and a thousand stars shining above. They weren't just eating—though they were eating and that thought alone caused Regina to blush profusely—they were kissing and touching as if they were lovers. It was why she had put a stop to the daydreaming in an instant. It did more harm than good for her to think that way, especially when she had absolutely no idea if her feelings were reciprocated or not.

Regina felt herself dozing off, little by little, lulled to sleep by the steady breathing of Emma behind her. When Emma's hands moved around her midsection, she briefly woke up, alarmed at the sudden closeness it brought between them, but she quickly dozed back off to sleep, loving the feel of Emma's strong arms around her and holding her close.

When she woke a short while later it was because of a hand that had slipped under her camisole and the soft fingers that stroked over her abdomen just below her navel. Her mind was heavy with sleep and with the dream she had, the dream that continued from where she hadn't told Emma what she had been seeing before during their brief escape from reality. The touch to her skin and the lingering images in her mind had her core throbbing and her panties damp.

"Em—Emma?" Regina murmured as Emma's other hand moved from her waist and down the front of her slacks and in between her legs. Regina inhaled sharply and licked over her lips as she turned her head slightly. "Emma? What are you doing?"

"Hmm?" Emma whispered, her breath ghosting over Regina's neck. "I'm sleeping."

"You—you're doing a lot more than sleeping," Regina gasped as her hand rubbed over her core lightly. "Emma?"

Regina couldn't hold back the moan that escaped the moment she felt Emma's lips lightly along her neck. She knew damn well that Emma was awake and yet she didn't want to stop her, her whole body responding in kind even though she was screaming at herself in her mind to put a stop to this before it went to far.

"I saw it," Emma whispered before pressing another kiss to her neck. "I saw what you were dreaming. You weren't telling me the whole truth when we were talking about escaping outside of reality, were you?"

Regina moaned again as she leaned further back into Emma, her right hand landing on top of her hand on her abdomen while the other that held Emma's phone draped over Emma's knee.

"You want to know how I know it wasn't my dream?" Emma whispered, the fingers rubbing over her through her pants suddenly stilling. "Because when I dream of you and me, it's a hell of a lot…kinkier than making love under the stars in a field."

"Emma—"

"Don't deny it, Regina, I know what I saw and I know you…want this," Emma replied, rubbing over her core once more to prove a point as Regina moaned quietly. "Don't you?"

"Y—yes."

"Is that why you keep pushing me away?"

"Emma—"

"I wouldn't have said no," Emma continued and she licked over the spot her lips had been lingering on her neck and the action caused Regina to roll her hips upwards against Emma's hand. "Would you say no if I were to…" She moved her hand from between her legs and up to the clasp on her slacks, deftly flicking it open before sliding a hand inside. "Would you say no or would you let me touch you just…like…this?"

Regina bit her bottom lip and it did nothing to stifle the moan the slipped out the moment she felt Emma's fingers dip under her panties and slide lower until they sunk into her wet folds. She turned slightly in Emma's arms until she felt Emma's hot breath spill over her own parted lips. She tried to spread her legs further, but the space wouldn't allow for it and she moaned quietly as Emma's fingers deftly slipped over her throbbing clit, teasing her.

"Emma," she whispered, her hand moving to reach back, her fingers slipping through Emma's hair gently. "Kiss me."

Emma exhaled sharply and her fingers stilled. Regina could feel her hesitation and she could feel her fighting something inside of herself, something that made her hold back from claiming her lips with her own. Regina knew the struggle, she had been through it so many times herself, but they have never been in this position before and certainly not with Emma's hands down her pants and fingering her before they even kissed.

"Emma," Regina whispered as she brushed her lips lightly against Emma's and let them linger. "Kiss me," she repeated before placing a soft kiss to Emma's parted lips. "Please."

She was never one to beg or ask, but in her current position and Emma's sudden hesitation, not to mention the fact she not only wanted but needed Emma to kiss her was what made her break her own rules.

Of course she had never imagined the first time she'd kiss Emma Swan would be while they were trapped in a heart shaped box with no way out, not did she imagine Emma's hands would be down her pants before they even kissed once. She tried to tune out her thoughts and focus on nothing but Emma and she nuzzled her nose against hers, waiting for Emma to respond.

Regina dropped Emma's phone to the floor and placed her hand over the one inside her pants, pressing her fingers hard against Emma's as their lips met in a sudden and hungry kiss. It was sloppy given the angle they had to work with, but as Emma kissed her deeply, her tongue sliding over her own while her fingers continued to slick over her clit, Regina was lost with the endless emotions that were swirling through her body that made her want to let go completely.

"Oh gods," Regina groaned, partially breaking away from the kiss as Emma's fingers circled firmly and quickly over her clit. Her hips jerked as she tried to spread her legs open further to no avail. "Emma…"

"Fuck," Emma murmured as she lifted her other hand to Regina's head and pulled her in for another deep kiss.

Regina focused solely on Emma's fingers as they slipped over her clit and teased her hole deliciously. While it was not quite the moment she had envisioned, it was still a moment that had her body singing and her libido raging throughout her deliciously so. She couldn't quite touch Emma back either, not with the awkward angle they were in and it killed her because all she wanted to do was slip her fingers between Emma's cunt and feel just how turned on she was for her too.

Emma's other hand moved down her torso, her finger teasing along the hem of her camisole until they slipped underneath and made a quick ascent up to her breasts. Regina's hips surged upwards, her senses heightened in the confined space and the closeness they shared.

She could no longer deny it to herself. She wanted Emma Swan and it was so much more than wanting her. She loved her and as she let that feeling alone take over completely, the wall that split their confined space into two suddenly disappeared. Regina moaned as she spread her legs further and leaned back into a deep kiss, indulging for just a moment before she turned completely and caused Emma to pull her hand out from the tight confines of her pants.

Somehow, in the midst of a hungry and wild kiss, they had moved from a sitting position to one where Emma was flat on her back with Regina on top. The newfound space, which wasn't much, allowed Regina to thrust her hand between their bodies and beneath the tight confines of Emma's jeans. The slick and heated wetness her fingers collided with had her moaning with needy desire and need.

"Regina!" Emma gasped as she squirmed beneath her and shimmied her jeans down to her knees. "God! Regina…"

Regina pulled back suddenly, noticing the soft glow that now filled and illuminated their confined space. Her eyes searched Emma's only for a brief second before they were kissing once more and her fingers plunged within the tight confines of Emma's pussy hard and deep. It was not the romantic night under the stars she had dreamt of. The need she had for her was suddenly far too much to hold back. How she so craved that romantic night under the stars in that very moment, yet despite what she dreamt, her desire and need took over as she plunged her fingers deep inside Emma.

[X]

David, Henry, and Snow stood in the middle of the vault with the Blue Fairy standing near the heart shaped box on the floor by a blue velvet trunk. She just stared down at it, hand in her hand and at the ready and tittered quietly.

"Well?" Henry asked, stepping forward and out of the clutches of his grandparents. "Can you get them out or what?"

"Yes, I can, but I believe it might be wise to wait."

"Wait?!" Henry asked incredulously. "They've been stuck in there for hours! I keep calling and it just goes straight to Emma's voice mail!"

"Henry, honey, she probably doesn't have any service not to mention they're stuck in that box," Snow said gently as she reached out for his arm. "I'm sure they're fine."

"They're trapped together in a box!"

"Yes, we've established that already," David replied and he looked over at Blue curiously. "Why is it wise to wait, Blue?"

"I don't believe I should say," Blue replied quietly, a small blush creeping over her cheeks. "Not in front of the boy anyway."

"Henry, walk me out will you please?" Snow asked as she exchanged a look of understanding with Blue. "Henry?"

"You okay, Grandma?" Henry asked as he put his arm around her. "The baby isn't coming, is it?"

"No, she's not coming yet, but I need some air. Fresh air."

David turned to Blue as soon as the two were halfway up the stairs. "Blue, what is going on? Why should we wait to get them out of there? Surely it cannot be a pleasant experience for either of them being trapped in a magical box."

Blue looked down at her wand and grimaced slightly. "David, I should've been a little bit more honest with you earlier when you came to me, but I didn't believe that they were in there, much less that one of these boxes still existed," Blue said quietly and she gently lifted the box from the floor and placed it on top of the trunk before taking a step back quickly. "I also am inclined to believe that Regina wasn't fully aware of what this is either."

"What is it?"

"It contains very powerful magic, magic they need to eradicate the town line, but there is so much more to this heart shaped box than one would realize."

David idly scratched at the back of his neck, completely confused. "Blue, what is it that you are trying to tell me right now?"

"That I am not needed to help them escape from the box they are currently trapped in. Once they—as I said," Blue cleared her throat and slipped her wand inside her coat, "I am not needed."

"Once they what?" David asked, stopping the Blue Fairy from trying to leave the vault as he put himself between her and the stairs. "My daughter is in there, trapped, and we're worried about her! What aren't you telling me?"

"Perhaps they should tell you once they are out," Blue replied. "It isn't my place to tell you, David. Now, if you will please step aside, I have things I need to—"

"Please, Blue," David begged. "At least tell me exactly what the box is!"

"This box, it is the only one left in existence. It contains powerful magic, magic your or I have never seen with our own eyes, but in order to unleash the magic from within, it needs two halves of a soul. Soul mates—or True Love, if you will."

David blinked and blinked again, reading between the lines as Blue just slowly nodded her head. David shook his head. "You need to explain this to me."

"I did."

"No, you didn't!" David almost yelled. "Why are they trapped inside that box?"

"It's not just a box, David."

David pitched at the bridge of his nose. "Blue, just tell me please."

Blue cast her eyes downwards and shook her head no. "It's not my place to say, David, now if you'll excuse me, I have things I need to do."

"How are they going to get out of there if you're not going to do it? Blue, they are trapped inside that box and they don't even know how to get out. Why else do you think I was sent to get you?"

"If I were you, I'd leave and allow them the privacy they deserve when the box releases them. I am more than certain you will not want to be here when that happens."

"You know what's happening inside there, don't you?"

"I do, yes," Blue replied, her flushed cheeks deepening as she moved to walk past David and up the stairs. "Come, Charming, your wife and grandson are waiting outside."

"But—"

"Emma and Regina are fine," Blue said softly. "They may be trapped at the moment, but they are fine. In a few hours time, I believe the box will release them and they'll both contain the power they need to eradicate the town line. You may not understand now, but I promise you that by this time tomorrow, you will and it will be explained to you by your daughter, not I."

"I—what? Did you say the box would release them?"

"Yes," Blue nodded. "Once it believes they are ready."

"I—what?" David lingered on the stairs, halfway up, watching as Blue ascended up the stairs quickly. He glance back down into the vault and scratched at the back of his neck before climbing the stairs the rest of the way up.

David blinked into the sunlight and saw his wife waiting by the truck and his grandson walking through the cemetery with his head hung low and hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket. He exhaled sharply as he walked over to the truck and forced a smile he knew his wife would see right through.

"David," Snow said quietly as she placed a hand on her pregnant stomach and reached out for him with the other. "What did she tell you?"

"I'm not sure," David replied and he glanced back at the mausoleum with a perplexed look settling over his face. "I think she told me that in order for the box to release them, they'd need an act of true love?"

"What? David, that's ridiculous."

"Yeah…"

"Emma and Regina aren't in love!" Snow shrieked, but it wasn't quite loud enough to reach their grandson's ears. "David, that box, it—it's not what I'm thinking, is it? It's not that box we heard of years ago back home that contains the most powerful magic in all the lands and can only be wielded by two people who—David, Emma and Regina aren't each other's True Loves!"

"What if they are?"

"That's impossible, I—"

"Snow, honey, maybe…maybe they are," David said quietly. "Maybe they didn't know before, maybe that's why they're trapped inside that box right now. Blue said that the box would release them."

"Release them when?"

"When it believes that they are ready," David shrugged. "Maybe they'll figure it out themselves," he whispered. "I don't know, Snow. All we can do is wait. Blue said by this time tomorrow we'd know everything and it—"

"It will be understood," Snow sighed. "It doesn't make any sense, David."

"When does anything in our lives ever do?"

[X]

Emma gasped as Regina pushed her up against the wood wall, her lips moving feverishly over Emma's neck as her hands roamed endlessly over her body. When the middle wall had come down, it had taken them both by surprise, but they didn't stop and they still hadn't. Emma couldn't get enough of Regina and every time she tried to reach out, to touch the deliciously naked body that was pressed up against her own, Regina grabbed on to both of her hands and forced them up against the wall just over her head.

Regina Mills liked to be in control and while Emma had known that, she knew she should've expected that once the wall had disappeared and Regina landed on top of her, taking full control of the situation.

"Fuck," Emma groaned as she tilted her head to the side as Regina marked her with her lips and teeth.

Regina was teasing her to no avail and it was how they moved from the floor to the wall in Regina's attempt to take control. Emma was overwhelmed by everything, from the way Regina kissed her, from the way she tasted, to the way Regina's skin felt beneath her fingertips and the way she moaned her name as she came undone completely.

In the time since Emma had been sucked into Regina's dream, to when she woke up and took a bold step she knew at the time she would either regret making or revel in it, Regina had been in complete control and she had came three times while Emma still teetered on the edge, her body screaming for release. She had never been so turned on in her life and it was almost bordering the line between pain and pleasure.

"Regina…" She moaned as Regina's lips trailed down her neck and over her collarbone, nipping at the skin and moving to grab at Emma's hands when she moved them off the wall. "Fuck, Regina, stop teasing me. I—I can't—"

"You can," Regina purred as she moved her lips back up Emma's neck slowly and came to a stop when she planted a soft kiss to her lips. "If you haven't realized it by now, dear, I love to tease."

"I'd rather you aim to please."

Regina smirked in the glow that filled the inside of the box. "What fun would that be, hmm?" Regina asked, pressing her naked body hard against Emma's, trapping her against the wall and without leverage to reverse their position.

Emma's protests died on her lips when Regina kissed her hard and released her wrists. Emma's hands moved to Regina's shoulders, kissing her hard in yearning as she pushed herself off the wall and pulled Regina down to the floor with her. She allowed Regina the comfort of being on top and she was the one who pulled back from the kiss first as she stared up into Regina's eyes.

She was done holding back what she felt for the other woman, she was done denying her feelings from herself. She wanted Regina, she wanted to be with her and she knew that it was far from being one sided because she could feel Regina's feelings seep through with every touch and every kiss and every time their eyes met in the soft, glowing light.

Regina kissed her before she took the reins once more and rolled over until she lay on the wood floor on her back with Emma straddling her. Emma hovered over her slightly, her whole body aching to be touched, to find release. She bit her lower lip as Regina's hand found its way between her legs and rubbed a teasing finger over her throbbing clit.

"Regina," Emma groaned quietly. "Please. I—I can't take you teasing me like this any longer. Please…"

"I could devour you completely," Regina purred, slicking her finger over her slit slowly. "I want nothing more than to make you squirm."

"Please…no more teasing."

"No more teasing," Regina echoed as she slipped a single finger inside her hole gently. "We'll have plenty of time for teasing another time, won't we?"

"Yes," Emma gasped as Regina began to move beneath her. "Regina, what are you—oh…"

Emma rose up on her knees as Regina slid under her body until Emma was hovering over her face, her pussy just inches away from Regina's kiss-swollen lips. Emma trembled in anticipation and she moved to thread her fingers through Regina's hair. Regina kissed along the inside of her thigh slowly, her eyes glancing upwards as she smirked and dipped her tongue out for her first taste.

Emma gasped at the feel of Regina's hot tongue sliding over her cunt and her fingers gripped on to Regina's hair a little tighter as she fought the urge to pull her closer. Regina grabbed a hold of her wrists, pulling her hands away as her mouth fixated over Emma's clit and sucked hard.

Emma threw her head back, moaning loudly as Regina's tongue licked over her fully, devouring her as she had teased she would moments before. But there was no more teasing, not when she had her tongue thrusting deep inside of her and Emma swayed on top of her, struggling to stay upright. Her calves and thighs burned and she moved her hands to her own thighs to steady herself. Regina's arms hooked around her legs and her hands went to spread her lips, holding her wide open as she tongue fucked her into oblivion.

Her hips bucked as wave after wave of delicious pleasure coursed through her body and she moaned as she grabbed a hold of Regina's head as she grinded down against Regina's face. It was raw, it was dirty, it was so fucking hot and Emma kept one hand on Regina's head, holding her in place while the other reached back and landed on Regina's lower abdomen.

Her body quaked as her orgasm thundered through her suddenly and Regina slapped her ass hard, moving her off of her as quickly as she could manage. She slammed Emma down on to the floor, moving to straddle her midsection as she pulled Emma up halfway and crushed their lips together. Emma could taste herself on Regina's lips and tongue and when she pulled back, her orgasm still burning hotly through her body, she reached up to gently wipe away the wetness left behind on Regina's chin.

"Hmm," Regina hummed as she ground her pussy against Emma's taut abdomen. "You are everything I could ever imagined and more."

"Oh?" Emma asked with an eyebrow raised, her breath coming out in sharp and quick pants. "Am I?"

"Yes."

Emma smiled as she pulled Regina down flush against her. "Are you always like this, Regina?" Emma asked and she ran her hands up and down Regina's back steadily. "Because god, if you are, I don't know how I'm ever going to be able to leave your bed."

"We're in a box, dear."

"You know what I mean."

Regina laughed and Emma felt her clit throb delightfully at the sound of Regina's laughter. "I like to tease," she said with a sinfully wicked smile as she ground her cunt down against Emma's hard. "I like to be in control, but do you know what I like most of all, Emma?"

"Hmm?"

"I like to be taken. Hard."

Emma moaned quietly as she moved her hands to Regina's hips and pulled her harder against her, already feeling the delicious burn of another orgasm building deep from inside of her core.

"But," Regina continued a moment later, her breath ghosting over Emma's lips. "There is one other thing I like more than anything. Something I—I'm not sure that I—"

"What is it?" Emma asked and she smoothed a hand up Regina's back, over her shoulder and to the side of her face. "Regina?"

A look of realization dawned on Regina's face in that moment and Emma stroked her fingers along her cheek while her other hand moved to the small of her back and gently rubbed over her soft skin.

"I cannot fight it any longer," Regina said as her eyes slid shut and she all but stilled on top of Emma. "I can't."

"Fight what?"

"How I feel about you," she breathed out and she blinked her eyes open, eyes that were rapidly filling with tears. "Emma, I—"

"Regina?" Emma asked as her thumb caught a tear just as it slipped out. "Regina, what is it?"

"I—I want to make love to you."

Emma laughed quietly and shook her head, leaning up to kiss along every inch of her face she could reach. "You want to make love?"

"Yes."

"With me?"

"Yes," Regina snapped and she instantly calmed as Emma's lips met her own.

"Is that what you want, more than anything?" Emma asked and she felt her rather than saw her nod her head lightly. "Okay. Okay," Emma whispered softly, knowing in that moment the words hidden within that declaration, words that Regina wasn't willing to say aloud just yet or at least not first.

They kissed soft and slow as the clung to one another. Emma's heart filled with emotion as their bodies began to move against one another's, hands grasping as they began to kiss harder and deeper, neither able to stop, neither able to hold back, much like before when the wall disappeared and allowed them more room than they'd had for hours. Room to move, room to take one another in ways they had never been close to before.

It dawned on Emma suddenly that there was a lot more to this heart shaped box than Regina had let on before. She could feel it with every ounce of her being and she could feel her magic prickling through her body like tiny earthquakes exploding all over her all at once.

"Regina?"

"Emma, what is—" Regina gasped as they held on to each other tighter, but the magic that was flowing between them was growing stronger by the second.

"Regina," Emma murmured as she kissed her over and over again. "Regina, I—I love you too."

Emma kissed her hard in yearning as magic, powerful and pure magic filled both of their bodies all at once. The force that surrounded them was unlike anything she had felt before, but it felt pure and not overwhelming, not as they kissed and lost themselves in one another. Emma gasped when she felt the cool stone beneath her body and not the warmth that had been there a moment before.

Emma pulled back from Regina's lips with a lazy smile. They both shuddered at the sudden chill that filled the air, but their eyes were locked in a longing gaze to bother looking around at their change in surroundings for few long minutes. Regina shivered as she held Emma close and she lifted her head and looked around, laughing quietly as she shook her head.

"We're no longer in the box," she said with a sigh of relief.

"Yeah, I know. Regina, did you—"

"I felt it too."

"How did—"

"I'm not sure," Regina said quickly and she moved to get off of Emma and stood up as she wrapped her arms around herself. "The box," she said as she looked around the trunk. "It's gone, Emma!"

Emma leaned up on her elbows, watching Regina search through the items on and around the blue velvet trunk frantically. She watched as Regina ran her fingers roughly through her mussed hair and she rose to her feet, moving to stand behind Regina and wrapped her arms around her from behind. She felt her tense for a split-second before she relaxed into the embrace. Emma kissed over her bare shoulder, both of them shivering at the change in temperature against their naked, sweaty skin.

"That's not the only thing that's gone," Emma murmured, chuckling lightly against her skin as she trailed her fingers down Regina's abdomen, stopping short just above her pubic bone. "Our clothes are gone. My phone is gone."

"Emma," Regina whispered as she placed a hand over Emma's when it began to move lower. "Did you mean it?"

"When I told you I love you too?"

"Yes."

Emma kissed over her shoulder and up her neck. "Yes. I meant it, Regina."

"I did too," she sighed out as Emma's lips kissed over her neck just below her ear. "I—I think I know what happened to the box."

"Hmm?"

"I—oh hell," Regina groaned as she turned in Emma's arms and wrapped her own around Emma tightly. "Hold on, dear."

"Always."

[X]

Regina knew, she knew from the moment she'd kissed Emma with nothing but love filling her heart, her mind, and her very soul. She knew from the moment she told Emma that she wanted nothing more than to make love to her that the magic within the heart shaped box had begun to transfer into both of them.

She had told Emma she loved her without saying the words and Emma knew, Emma knew exactly what she said without her having to say anything at all. She was so very overwhelmed with emotion, with what had transpired between them inside the heart shaped box and shortly afterwards. She swayed in Emma's warm, strong embrace as she allowed her a moment to gain her bearings.

Emma's skin was warm against her own and she lifted a hand to gently tuck a few strands of hair behind her ear with a shy smile. She watched as Emma blinked several times before her tongue deftly slipped out to wet her lips. Regina's eyes slid shut as Emma's hands slid up her sides sensually, the dynamic between them changing ever so drastically from before.

Their lips met with ease and desperation as they clung to one another. Regina led the way over to the edge of the bed—her bed—and gripped at Emma's hips when Emma's legs hit the edge of the mattress. She turned suddenly, smiling against Emma's lips in the seconds before she parted from the kiss. She let her go and sat down on the edge of the bed, moving slowly as she crawled backwards to the middle, her eyes not once leaving Emma's as she did.

"Come here," she beckoned to Emma, watching as she moved to kneel on the edge of the bed, her eyes fluttering heavily as she crawled up towards her.

Regina could feel the new, unfamiliar, and powerful magic coursing through her veins, but it was nothing compared to the way she felt in the moment Emma's body came into complete contact with hers once again. She shuddered as she ran her hands up the length of Emma's back just before their lips met in a hungry, passionate kiss.

The was no denying the underlying passion between them that had been released, but what was transpiring between them in that very moment was so much more and it made Regina feel so overwhelmed and vulnerable. She revelled in every single moment, from the feel of Emma's body against her own to every touch and every kiss. The magic that now flowed between them had heightened her senses and she was holding back for a multitude of reasons.

One of which she was losing the battle fighting against and it was only a matter of time before the truth revealed itself.

"I love you," Emma whispered, breaking through the walls she was desperately building and hiding behind. "I love you, Regina."

"Emma—"

"I love you," Emma continued as she peppered kisses along her lips, cheek and jaw. "I love you."

"I lied."

"What?"

"About the box," Regina finally admitted and Emma just stared down at her with a conflicted look dancing in her green eyes. "I knew all it would take was an act of true love. I knew and I—I denied it all."

Regina's emotions were catching up to her and she tried so desperately to stop them. She had succeeded when she had taken Emma and let her ride her face into oblivion. She had succeeded even before then when she had allowed Emma to touch her, to coax her body to orgasm.

"You knew, this whole time?"

"Yes," Regina whispered with a frown. "Emma, I'm sorry, I—"

"Did you know we would end up trapped inside the box too?"

"No, no I had no idea that would happen, but that is why I told you not to touch the box in the first place. There was so much I didn't know about it and I—"

"You lied," Emma said distantly, unmoving on top of her, her eyes blinking as she stared down at her. "Why?"

"Emma—"

"Why?" Emma asked again and Regina coaxed her hands up and down Emma's back, afraid that in any given moment, Emma would leave. "Regina?"

"I was afraid that maybe you didn't love me too."

Regina stared into Emma's eyes, noticing that they were much darker than usual and her pupils were slightly dilated as she stared down at Regina for the longest time, not speaking, just breathing, staring, and waiting.

"And if I didn't?"

"The box and the magic contained within would've been useless to us," Regina admitted easily. "I had hoped that wouldn't be the case."

"Why?" Emma asked and she leaned on her elbows, lifting some of her weight off of Regina. "You know that once we do this spell, there will be no more magic in Storybrooke. Is that what you want?"

"What I want is for everyone to be happy."

"What about what you want?" Emma asked and Regina just smiled up at her as she swept her hands up her back and moved to push her hair away from her face. "What do you want, Regina?"

"You."

Emma smiled lovingly at her before bringing their lips together in a soft yet sure kiss and one that left Regina's heart feeling full and completely breathless all at once. She moaned as Emma shifted, their legs entangling as they kissed deeper, harder, their hands grasping as they rolled their hips with a desperate yearning. Emma pulled back from the kiss with a gasp and leaned back, holding herself up with her strong arms as she shifted once more and ground her cunt down against Regina's hard.

Their eyes were locked together as Regina swept her hands up her taut abdomen and cupped her breasts, her thumbs trailing over hard nipples as Emma thrust down against her. A delicious, erotic chill rippled through Regina's body as Emma leaned back a little further still and a hand went to her waist and around to her backside, lifting her off the bed to meet her thrust for thrust. Regina bit her bottom lip as she watched the beautiful woman on top of her, watching how determined and focused she was as her green eyes glazed over in pleasure.

This was different than it had been inside the heart shaped box. This was different than anything Regina had ever experienced before in her entire life. She wasn't sure if it was because of the new and unfamiliar magic coursing through both of their bodies or if it was the act itself, the act of making love with someone she loved so deeply with all her heart and soul.

Her thoughts quickly dispersed as she felt the ever-familiar pull deep inside her core as her orgasm built up with every thrust and grind and touch. She reached up with her other hand, her fingers sliding over the nape of Emma's neck and she pulled her down, crushing their lips together as they both simultaneously came undone together. Emma whimpered as she all but collapsed on top of her and Regina just lovingly stroked her hair, their bodies twitching as they lay together.

With a smile and a kiss to Emma's forehead, she rolled them over and grinned down at Emma as she straddled her hips. Emma's fingers danced over her lower back as they shared one lazy lingering kiss after another. As thing quickly became heated between them once more, Regina felt that same overwhelming emotion deep within her and she pulled back from Emma's lips slowly, smiling down at her as she moved a hand up Emma's side and over the soft swell of her left breast.

"Emma," Regina whispered, her lips ghosting over Emma's as her fingers stroked over a semi-erect nipple. "I—I love you."

"I know," Emma replied and Regina groaned as she pinched her nipple hard. "Hey!" Emma laughed and she placed a finger under Regina's chin. "I love you too."

"You're an idiot sometimes."

"Only sometimes."

Regina rolled her eyes. "And here I wonder why I love you."

"Because you do," Emma smiled widely. "We're in love," she said breathlessly after a moment and Regina found herself smiling down at her lovingly. "You and me, we're in love."

"Yes, we are," Regina chuckled quietly. "Let me show you just how much I love you, Emma," she whispered, finding each time she let those words slip past her lips, they came easier and easier. "Let me show you over and over again."

"You already have."

"Then I'll never stop."

Regina felt the swell of not just magic, their own and the magic from inside of the heart shaped box, but the magic and the power of True Love as they kissed passionately. When Emma tried to take control, to roll them over, they erupted into giggles as they rolled around on the bed. Emma's strong arms were what kept her from falling off the edge and she moved to lay back, pulling Regina on top of her as their lips met in another deep and passionate kiss that was filled with unspoken promise and undying love.

[X]

Emma nervously fidgeted with the hole in her jeans just above her knee as she stood at Regina's side while they waited outside the door of the convent for Blue to come to the door. They'd spent the better part of the last twenty-four hours in Regina's bed, making love until they couldn't fight off the fatigue and the inevitable pull of sleep. Every time they woke, they would make love until they fell asleep in one another's arms once again.

After the last time they woke up, it had been Regina who put a stop to things, only momentarily until Emma stealthily snuck into the shower with her and they were in there until the water ran cold. After their shower and after they had managed to dress without much incident, they went down to the kitchen together for much needed nourishment. They talked about the spell they would be doing sooner rather than later to eradicate the town line. They talked about Henry. They talked about everything but what had transpired between them over the last day and a half. They even talked about going to talk to the Blue Fairy, not just about the specifics of the spell, but to talk about the heart shaped box and what it meant that they'd been trapped for hours inside of it before the magic itself ran through their very souls and all but spit them out in the end.

Emma knew what it meant. She knew and she was almost too afraid to voice it even though they practically had the day before. She knew that it was an act of True Love, and she knew that kiss after they realized and accepted their feelings for one another was what had released them from the box they'd been trapped in. The very fact that she knew that made her wonder why she was slightly freaking out.

"Emma," Regina said quietly as she turned to her. "Are you all right?"

"Fine," Emma replied quickly. "What is taking her so long?"

"Astrid said she was having tea and she'd be out shortly."

"Why didn't we just take up the invitation to wait inside?"

"You know how I feel about this place," Regina said tightly and she moved to grab Emma's hand and gently intertwined their fingers. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine," Emma squeaked out unconvincingly. "I just kind of want to get this whole thing over with, you know?"

"As do I."

"Hello Regina. Emma," Blue said once she opened the door, a smile curling over her lips when she cast her eyes down at their joined hands. "Would you like to come in?"

Regina scoffed and shook her head. "No, we can talk out here."

"Oh," Blue tittered and she stepped outside. "Perhaps we can walk down to the gardens although it is rather bland and barren at this time of year."

Blue led the way down the front steps of the convent and when Emma tried to pull her hand free from Regina's, she tried to fight the small smile that curled over her lips when Regina grasped on to her hand even tighter. Blue was silent as they entered the garden and she led the way down the path to a stone bench and sat down, motioning for the two of them to take a seat next to her.

"You two are here for more than just reason, I gather," Blue stated evenly. "This isn't just about the specifics of the spell, is it?"

"No," Regina sighed with a shake of her head. "It is not."

"This is about the heart shaped box you two were trapped in yesterday, yes?" Blue asked and even though Emma couldn't see Regina's face from where she sat, she knew she'd just rolled her eyes at the fairy. "You two want to know more about this specific box and the magic contained within it," Blue continued and she nodded slightly as she placed her gloved hands inside her blue wool coat. "I am certain you are aware that this box contains some very powerful magic, magic that can only be accessed by an act of True Love."

"Yes," Regina said and she sighed as she turned to Emma for a moment before looking back at Blue. "I understand very little about it or why my mother had it in her possession originally if she could never access the magic stored within."

"I believe your mother, for all intents and purposes, had hoped to find two magical beings who were tied together as True Loves, to manipulate them into opening the box and stealing the power for herself. Fortunately, she had failed and fortunately, the box remained after the dark curse came into effect," Blue said and she cleared her throat. "I am also certain your mother never imagined that you would be one half of the other soul who would have the ability to absorb the magical essence stored within that box."

"Of course not," Regina chuckled quietly. "Gods, I couldn't even imagine what she would've done if she found out my True Love has been here all along."

"Yes, and must I say, it had come as quite the surprise to find out the way I had."

"And what way was that, Blue?"

"Yesterday, when Charming came to me and explained the situation, which was very vague within itself, I went to your vault to see if I could locate the box he said you two had become trapped inside. I knew before I even found it why you two had been pulled inside the box."

"And why is that?"

Blue cleared her throat. "You know as well as I do, Regina, that you and Emma both are very guarded when it comes to matters of the heart. The box would've sensed that and as it was made for rare instances such as this, it would've entrapped you both in an attempt to pull you closer together and realize what you two meant to one another."

"The box pulled us in?" Emma blinked in confusion. "Why? Trap two people who are in love and in denial about their feelings until they what? Confront each other and then start fu—"

"Emma!" Regina snapped before Emma could finish speaking. "Must you be so crude?"

"She's not wrong, Regina, because essentially the box would have known that is exactly what was needed in order for you two to feed the power of True Love into its soul. In return, it granted you not only your freedom from your temporary, ahem, prison, but also granted you the power you sought."

"You said you were in the vault?" Regina asked, backtracking a little bit and Emma could feel her hand begin to sweat. "If you were in the vault and you found the box, why on earth didn't you release us then?"

"Because when I saw that you two were otherwise indecent, I thought it was best to leave you two to work through it together. Besides," Blue said as a deep red blush crept over her cheeks. "I wasn't alone and I thought you two would appreciate not being indecently exposed to your son and the Charming's."

"Henry was there?"

"My parents were there?"

"Yes," Blue nodded. "And you're welcome, ladies, because I don't think I could've dealt with seeing more than I already had in the split second I took a glance inside the box."

"You saw us?" Emma asked with wide eyes. "You saw us naked?"

"Emma, please," Regina groaned quietly as she lifted her other hand to pinch at her nose and sighed. "So, it wasn't a fluke, Blue? It was—"

"An act of True Love, yes," Blue nodded with a slight smile. "Although a simple kiss after accepting your feelings for one another would have sufficed just as well."

"My parents were there? Do they know that we—"

"Emma," Regina groaned quietly as she turned to look at her. "We've just gotten confirmation that what we had was an act of True Love and you're focused on whether or not your parents knew we were having sex inside the box?"

"Henry was there too!" Emma exclaimed with wide eyes and that was when Regina began to panic as well. "Oh my god, they know!"

"We need to talk to them," Regina said with a curt nod. "Specifically Henry first. He'll be crushed if we don't talk to him first."

"Yes, of course," Emma said as they both rose from the bench together, their hands still entwined. "Do we have to talk to my parents though? Because I don't think I could handle facing them if they know we were having sex inside the box!"

"You'll have to face them eventually, dear," Regina replied as calmly as she could muster even though Emma saw the apprehension clear in her eyes. "Blue, thank you. If you wouldn't mind coming over tomorrow morning, we can discuss the specifics of the spell."

"Isn't that why else you came here?" Blue asked, but her question fell upon deaf ears as Emma nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard David calling out her name from the street. "Tomorrow morning then."

"Emma?" David called out again as he got out of the cruiser and waved at her with a bright smile.

"Oh god," Emma groaned as she looked at Regina. "Can you just poof us out of here, babe?"

"No and you did not just call me babe," Regina muttered and when Emma tried again to let go of her hand, her gripped tightened, painfully so. "Don't ever call me babe again if you expect to—"

"Emma," David said as he jogged towards them. "Regina," he said with a smile before reaching out to half hug Emma. "I am so relieved that you two are all right. You are all right, aren't you?"

"Yes," Regina said with a slight snarl. "We are perfectly fine, Charming. Now, if you excuse us, we have to find our son. There is something that we need to speak with him about at once."

"Emma?" David asked as he stared at her hard. "What's going on?"

"I'll tell you later," Emma said quietly, averting her eyes quickly and wanting nothing more than to just have Regina poof them both out of there before things became even more awkward.

"Henry should be getting out of school shortly," Regina said as she started walking and pulled Emma along with her towards the street. "Perhaps we can take him out for a quick bite at the diner and explain everything to him."

"Emma?" David asked, sounding lost and confused. "What is going on?"

"David, let them go," Blue said as she stood next to him. "As I told you yesterday, you will understand everything, but allow them the chance to speak to their son first."

"But I—I'm her father, don't you think she should—"

"She will," Blue said as she patted him encouragingly on the shoulder. "They both will. Just give them a little bit of time first, all right?"

Emma turned to Regina as they both overheard the small conversation and Regina gave her a small nod before they both disappeared from the convent garden in a swirl of purple and grey smoke.

[X]

(Two Days Later…)

Regina felt drained and the strange sensation of being without her magic left her feeling askew when she woke up early that morning with Emma spooning her from behind in her bed. The spell to eradicate the town line had gone without even a small hiccup, but it had left them both nearly unconscious as the magic disappeared from their body and soul once the spell had been cast. They hadn't been alone at the town line, Blue was there as well as the Charming's and Henry, and a handful of other people in town that wanted to be there when it happened.

Regina wasn't certain how she and Emma ended up at the mansion and in her bed, but she suspected that David had something to do with picking them both up off the ground and taking them home. When they had woken up in the middle of the night, even as drained as they were, they made love for hours before succumbing to the pull of sleep once more.

"Regina," Emma murmured from behind as her lips trailed over her bare shoulder. "What time is it?"

"Early," Regina replied softly as she stole a glance at the alarm clock before she sat up with a start. "Where's Henry?"

"I—I don't know?" Emma replied groggily and she turned over and reached for her replacement phone, quickly going through the dozens of texts she had received in the last twelve hours before finding one from their son. "He text last night. Said he's staying with my parents for the night."

"If he is late for school—"

"He won't be. Snow will make sure of it," Emma replied and she placed the phone back down on the bedside table before pulling Regina back down to lay in her arms. "Hey, come on, it's early and neither of us have to be anywhere for the next couple of hours."

"We have to talk with your parents today about us."

"Do we have to, Regina?"

"Yes, Emma, we have to. We've already put it off for the last two days and knowing your parents, they are probably grilling Henry for information as we speak."

"He won't say anything," Emma murmured and Regina rolled her eyes. "Yeah, you're right, they probably are and he'll probably tell them everything. At least that'll save us one hell of an awkward conversation, right?"

"You do realize that you cannot avoid speaking with them about us whether they've managed to get anything out of Henry or not, right?" Regina asked and she laughed quietly as Emma pouted and grunted in protest. She kissed away the pout as she snuggled into her side. "Emma, stop pouting."

"I'm not pouting."

"Yes, you are," she smiled. "Stop acting like such a child, dear. If your parents had any qualms about us being together, we would've known by now."

"You think so?"

"I know so," Regina replied and she kissed away her pout once more. "How are you feeling?"

"Drained, you?"

"Yes," Regina nodded. "It feels strange. To be without my magic."

"Are you regretting that we—"

"No," she said with a shake of her head. "No regrets, Emma. We both agreed that there would be no regrets before we cast that spell yesterday."

"You know that everything is going to be different now, right?"

Regina nodded, knowing there was more to it than being in a world without magic. There was their love, their True Love, and the very fact that things would be different for them both from there on out. It meant so many different things, but the most important part of it all was that it would bring them closer as a family in the end.

This was only the beginning of their happy ending together and through all the sacrifices they had ever made, alone and together, it was worth it. Emma was worth it, their family was worth it, and most of all, their love was worth it.

As Regina brought their lips together for a deep and passionate kiss, she knew that not all magic had disappeared. She could feel it within them both with every ounce of her heart and soul. They still had the magic deep within them, the magic of True Love that would prevail until the very end.