"What could you possibly want?" Regina snaps, not looking up from her keyboard as Gold strolls in without an appointment, yet again.
"Nothing much Madam Mayor," Mr. Gold says with his usual smarminess. "Only I was wondering what you're wearing to tonight's gala?"
"An interest in formalwear suddenly?" Regina asks. "That's not like you."
"Humor me," Gold insists.
"Fine," Regina sighs. "I happen to have bought a very fetching red silk gown. And no, you can't borrow it. Although you do, admittedly, have the hips for it."
"Ah," Gold says, shaking his head. "I assume it makes you feel pretty good about yourself Madam Mayor? Perhaps you intend on turning some heads this evening?"
"I don't see why not," Regina snaps. "We can't all rely on a limp and extortion to get dates."
"That's as may be, dear, but I think it might be better if you mixed things up a little," Gold continues. "In fact, I think you should pick yourself out a nice tuxedo. Please."
"Why?" Regina says after a moment, shaking her head to clear the sudden fog.
"Why not?" Gold says, shrugging before turning to leave her office.
Emma's no good, very bad day is just crying out for a night on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and a cheesy 80s movie, but no. After a day of fishing Pongo out of Miss Ginger's pond, foiling a liquor store robbery and handing out six different speeding tickets, Emma's dragging herself out of the bath and contemplating the very limited contents of her closet.
Her pink dress hangs there accusingly, but she knows the wine stain didn't come out completely. Any other occasion Emma wouldn't give a damn, but when Regina is running the show, there's no way Emma is giving her anything to sneer at.
Which leaves the bag tucked into the bottom corner of her closet. It contains the dress Emma bought on a whim three days before Henry arrived and turned her world upside down, and she hasn't had a reason to wear it since. It's designer, and it cost a fuckton more than she ever pays for clothes, and Emma realizes this might finally be the time for it.
She sighs, and reaches for her hairbrush. Only an hour to get herself ready. Henry’s stupid book leaves this part out of all the princess stories.
Regina closes her eyes and steps in front of her full-length mirror. She counts to three before opening her eyes again, and winces a little at what she sees.
The black pants are tailored around her waist, and the white shirt isn’t so bad given that she’s left it open at the collar and forsaken the tie. There was no compulsion about a tie when she called into Storybrooke’s sneakily well-stocked clothing store this afternoon. Part of the curse’s malleable details was Regina arranging a steady stock of fashionable labels available only to her, and whatever she requires is usually on hand, albeit sometimes with an alteration or two.
The tuxedo has sharp lines to it that please her, at least. Regina likes beautiful things in any world, and Zac Posen certainly has a knack for suits that flatter a female figure. If the effect weren’t quite so dramatic, Regina might consider wearing something like this to the office every day. Of course, paired with her usual five-inch heels the comfort of her ensemble is detracted from just a little, but she’s pleased at the impact of her heavy eyeliner and bold, red lips. It’s something she would have worn in the old world, and after twenty-eight years she’ll risk calling it to mind while dancing amongst the dulled sheep tonight.
It’s the hair that’s giving her pause. She styled it quickly while Henry complained about Granny being his babysitter for the evening, and the loose curls don’t seem to fit with the rest of her look. Regina scans her dressing table restlessly, her eyes alighting on the rarely-used pot of gel.
Oh. Well, that might just work.
The compliments are starting to freak Emma out.
Okay, it’s nice that people are so nice. And honestly, after a Maine winter it’s kind of refreshing to get her legs out for a change. But people are acting like she just rolled off a Paris runway, and while Storybrooke is a little provincial, they should have seen a fancy dress before.
Mary Margaret, for example, also looks lovely. But nobody is gushing about her dress, even if David can’t keep his eyes off her. All the more ridiculous given that he’s here with Kathryn, who’s a total knockout in a green dress that drops off both shoulders. Emma wonders if maybe she should befriend her and open herself up to some decent wardrobe borrowing, but a sad sigh from Mary Margaret reminds Emma why that’s not really an option.
“Your shoes are amazing,” Mary Margaret says as they make their way towards the table they’ve commandeered for the evening.
“Hey, I just bought what Sex and the City told me to,” Emma confesses. She has this one black pair of Jimmy Choos and well, that’s it. They do look pretty good with her long black dress though, Emma has to admit. The split she thought might be too daring looks much more... intentional when the shoes give her legs that bit more definition. She fusses with the teensy straps on her shoulders again, trying not to squirm too much. Mary Margaret smiles and pats Emma’s shoulder in encouragement.
She’d still rather be at home under a Snuggie, though.
Fashionably late, as ever, Regina is nervous as she steps out of her car.
She still doesn’t understand why she’s opted for this get-up when the whole town is watching, and there’s a brand new Marchesa hanging on her closet door, but Regina knows she should be pissed at Gold for some reason. In fact, he’s lurking by the door as she approaches the Town Hall’s ballroom, her one concession to some Fairytale glamor in this otherwise pedestrian town.
“Well, well, well,” he says, not even attempting to contain his smirk. “While I think you look very nice, Madam Mayor, I fear the other men of Storybrooke may not be so open-minded. A very bold choice, that.”
“Go to hell,” she growls, striding past him into the pleasingly-full room. Events like these are the only hope of alleviating the dullness of routine, and she’s damn well going to enjoy it in a way she rarely did as Queen.
A hush actually falls across the room, all the more noticeable as the band are fussing with instruments on the stage instead of playing. Regina doesn’t falter, doesn’t miss a step, as she strides across to the stage, hijacking the microphone as she so often feels the need to.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” she greets them, reveling in their stares and slack-jawed expressions. “Welcome to tonight’s hospital fundraiser. I hope you’ll all give generously to such a worthy cause. I’m sure the band are eager to get playing again,” she adds, shooting them a glare that suggests they hurry the hell up. “So I won’t take up any more of your time.”
Thankfully the idiots break into some kind of swing music as Regina walks back offstage, and the crowd starts moving back into dancing couples as she makes her way across the room. Sidney tries to catch her eye, but Regina ducks her head and changes course, meaning he’s lost in the throng by the time she makes it to the Head Table.
A champagne glass is pressed into her hand just a moment after she sits down, and Regina takes a long, grateful sip. She’s scanning the room for some flaw to seize on, when a shock of long blonde hair moves in her peripheral vision.
Sheriff Swan. Perfect. She’s bound to be doing something Regina can disapprove of.
Regina waits for the crowd to part, to get a better view of what is no doubt a tragic attempt at formalwear, if Emma has even bothered to change out of her work clothes.
A server finally steps aside, and Regina finds herself open-mouthed at the sight of Emma standing there, one hand on a chair to balance in her unfamiliar high heels, as she wards off the attentions of Dr. Whale. The split on that dress is an inch from scandalous, and though the tight jeans give away the secret of Emma’s shapely legs on a daily basis, there’s something entirely new about seeing one bared like this.
Regina downs the rest of her drink in one. The night just got interesting.
Emma can feel eyes on her, of course. She’s always had a developed sense for what anyone around her is doing, and when it’s someone who just feels dangerous in the way that Regina does, well, Emma has a perfect spidey sense for whenever the woman is anywhere near her.
So she doesn’t shoot the good doctor down right away. Even though Mary Margaret is right there to overhear his hamfisted attempts at charm, and Emma is more likely to bang Marco than this guy. Nothing like a man who makes you feel like you need a few squirts of Purell the minute he touches you.
Eventually Emma puts him out of his misery, and she gratefully accepts a drink from a passing tray to delay making eye contact with the Mayor. Emma’s surprised that she’s actually not hating the night so far, and there’s a twitch in her legs tonight that suggests she might even be talked into dancing if things get a little looser up there on the dancefloor. Still, she can’t avoid Regina forever.
Emma’s glad, in the end, that she puts her glass down first.
Regina is listening to someone ramble on about parking restrictions when Emma finally looks her way. It’s ridiculous to expect a reaction, really, beyond an eye roll or outright disgust, but something about her more masculine outfit has settled into Regina’s confidence and perked it up considerably.
She isn’t disappointed, she can see the way Emma actually gasps upon seeing Regina for this first time. This is definitely going to be fun, because it takes Emma a ridiculous amount of time to shake off her flustered expression.
Regina considers getting up and going over there, but she’s thwarted by the way Emma turns on her heel and makes a dash for the door.
“Are you okay?” Mary Margaret has rushed out after Emma, who’s leaning against a cool marble pillar and trying frantically to make her brain start firing again in a way that’s even approaching sanity. That means a way that isn’t thinking Jesus-Christ-on-a-cracker-Regina-is-hot.
Emma is no naive little girl about these things, she’s been attracted to women before and acted on it, too. She isn’t blind to the way Regina looks at her sometimes, with dilated pupils and those telling times that she’ll lick her lips or bare her teeth.
But now Regina is showing up to her fancy-schmancy event looking like one of Emma’s never-disclosed sexual fantasies and that’s a hell of a lot to process.
“I’m fine,” Emma manages to answer. “It just got really hot in there, don’t you think?”
“In March?” Mary Margaret looks skeptical. “Do you need me to get you a drink?”
“I’m fine,” Emma says, because over Mary Margaret’s shoulder she sees the first and last sight she wants to see. “Uh, I need to go talk to Regina about a... security thing.”
“Really?” Mary Margaret asks. “Because she doesn’t usually allow work talk at her little functions.”
“I wouldn’t call a fundraiser for the whole town ‘little’, Miss Blanchard,” comes Regina’s cutting reply, all before Emma has a chance to shut Mary Margaret up.
“Madam Mayor!” Mary Margaret squeaks. “I, uh, think they need some help with the centerpieces. I’ll just go...” and she’s gone, disappearing into the crowd in record time.
“Well, well, well,” Regina says, raking her eyes over Emma from head to toe. “There was a woman lurking under those jeans and ugly jackets after all.”
“Hey, speaking of fucking around with gender,” Emma blurts out before she can stop herself. “Nice suit, Madam Mayor.”
Regina just rolls her eyes.
“Might I have a word, Sheriff?” She asks, a moment later. “I want to discuss your unreasonable overtime demands.”
“Sure, your table or mine?” Emma stands her ground, grateful for the cool marble still pressed between her shoulder blades; it’s keeping her tethered, it’s keeping her in touching distance of not-crazy.
“I think my office would be more appropriate,” Regina insists, in that way she has, where she draws out the last word and makes it a threat and a promise in one.
“Fine,” Emma replies, being very careful to shrug. Sure enough, Regina’s eyes hone right in on the rise and fall of Emma’s cleavage as she does.
Oh. Well. Game on.
Halfway along the corridor Regina forgets where her office is. It takes a moment of pretending to be annoyed at Emma’s attempts to keep up in unfamiliar heels (Regina’s been strutting around in spikier heels like this for the best part of forty years, after all) before she shakes off the haze and realizes she did set off in the right direction; there’s a lot to be said for muscle memory after all.
Gold is somehow to blame for this outfit situation, and even if Regina can’t quite grasp the memory of how, she thinks she might end up sending him flowers instead of wreaking some quick and dirty revenge. Well, there’s no reason she can’t do both; this is no time to let him get complacent.
Emma Swan strides into Regina’s office and is undaunted, and it’s hard not to like that about the girl, no matter how disappointed Regina is with herself for thinking it. No matter how hard she clings to the white-hot coal of hatred that Emma’s arrival lodged in Regina’s chest, it’s been dwindling in intensity for weeks. That Emma has made no actual attempt to remove Henry has helped, but saving Regina’s life and just being stubborn enough to actually challenge Regina has been too interesting to resist.
Still, if nothing else, Regina can hate Emma for not being quite hateful enough. It’s logic so perverse Regina wants to laugh at it, but there’s the more pressing matter of getting a heavy glass of bourbon for both of them.
“Drink?” She remembers to ask, but the crystal decanter is already lifted anyway. Emma nods, opting to sit on the sofa by the fireplace, not waiting for an invitation. Whether it’s boldness or bad manners, Regina doesn’t really care; she’s always been drawn to people who relish breaking the rules. She’s spent most of her life trying to do exactly that, with abandon, but she still goes to bed at night and closes her eyes in anticipation of punishment that no longer seems to come. And so she breaks another rule, a bigger one and a worse one, sure that someday her mother’s wrath will find Regina once more.
She shakes her head at that train of thought. Definitely time for that drink.
Handing one glass off to Emma, Regina avoids her usual chair (a poor substitute for a throne, but nobody has those here beyond the occasional movie star or football player) and sits beside Emma on the sofa, just far enough away to still be considered proper.
“So,” Emma says, sipping carefully at her drink. She might not believe that Regina is the Evil Queen, but she seems cautious enough that there might be a splash of Drano in her whisky. “The hair. It’s different.”
“Ah, the powers of observation that saw you elected Sheriff,” Regina mocks. Nonetheless, she runs a self-conscious hand over the slicked-back hair that still feels strange against her scalp. “I felt like a change,” she doesn’t quite explain.
“It, uh...” Emma trails off into another sip of alcohol. “It works,” she finishes, swallowing hard.
Regina sees the evening play out in her head: the excruciating small talk, the Russian roulette of flirtatious comments, the inevitable, hesitant invasion of personal space... and then realizes that’s true of almost every interaction she’s had with Emma Swan since she rolled into town with too much eyeliner and not enough clothes.
Which means, essentially, that they both know what happens next.
Emma has the presence of mind to put her glass aside before Regina moves across the small space between them. It means she’s leaning away when Regina first attempts to kiss her, but a breathless moment later their lips do meet, even if Emma puts her hands on Regina’s shoulders to exert some control.
It’s already pretty easy to see how she could get lost here; Emma Swan hasn’t been that girl for a long time.
Regina’s shoulders flex under Emma’s palms, and Regina’s hands clutch at the soft material of Emma’s dress as it sits there in her lap.
“You know,” Emma says, once Regina’s done sucking on her bottom lip in a way that makes Emma’s knees weak. “You didn’t need the costume for this; not that I’m not enjoying it.”
“It’s not for your benefit,” Regina growls, before pushing her way back into another kiss, straining against Emma’s hold on her. Emma soothes Regina’s impatience with soft flicks of her tongue against Regina’s own, and by the time Emma loosens her grip, Regina is relaxing into a real embrace, hands on Emma’s bare back where the dress dips low.
“Really?” Emma asks, trailing one finger down the lapel of Regina’s tuxedo jacket. “Because you seemed pretty invested in my reaction when we first saw each other earlier. I can always spot a liar, Regina.” She doesn’t need to confess here that her superpower is all but useless in a town built on half-truths and misremembered details, where everyone is forthcoming on everything but the specifics.
“You’re calling me by my name?” Regina seems amused at the prospect.
“You just had your tongue in my mouth,” Emma points out. “I think we’re done with formality.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Regina replies, scooting back across the sofa for a moment before sliding gracefully to her knees. “I think we were done the moment you picked a dress split up to the navel, Emma.”
“Uh huh,” is all Emma can think to say, because Regina’s hand is on the bare skin of Emma’s thigh. The famous split in her skirt comes in very handy as Regina moves the fabric of the dress aside, fingers stroking skin until they’re grasping at the wisp of fabric Emma picked out as underwear for the evening. It barely takes a second to pull it down Emma’s legs, and she tilts her hips to allow it without having to be asked.
“Let me,” Regina says, and it almost sounds sweet. The next moment she’s sucking and biting on the sensitive skin of Emma’s inner thigh though, so they’re back in balance in this endless war of opposites.
“Christ, Regina,” Emma manages to sigh as Regina’s tongue takes its first, cautious swipe through the pooled wetness between her thighs. Emma clutches the arm of the sofa until her knuckles turn white.
She worries for a moment--before rational thought deserts her completely--that she might not be able to survive wanting anything this much.
Regina expects to feel nervous, or for Emma to shove her aside at any moment, and yet neither of those things come to pass. Instead she’s tracing determined lines with her tongue and relishing the slightly tart taste of Emma with every lick.
“More,” Regina mumbles against warm skin. She presses her palms against Emma’s thighs and spreads her legs just a little wider, before delving once more into the welcoming heat. Abandoning any attempts at teasing, Regina covers Emma’s clit and begins to suck softly. It draws little moans from Emma that only spur Regina on, fumbling just slightly as she slips two fingers inside and alternates the thrusts.
Emma’s fingers are in Regina’s hair now, messing up the carefully-gelled strands as she urges Regina to keep going, and the ragged little sighs are music to Regina’s ears. She finishes Emma off with fast flicks of her tongue, and the way Emma clenches around her fingers feels a lot like victory, in some unknown way.
“Oh God,” Emma mutters, head tipped back against the sofa’s edge. “I’m supposed to hate you.”
“Don’t let a little climax stop you,” Regina says, wiping her lips on the back of her hand and drawing herself back onto the sofa. “Hate me all you like.”
“Can’t,” Emma blurts out. “I should probably want to, but I just can’t.”
Regina shrugs, concentrating on the thrum of arousal that has her body as tight as a violin string. She doesn’t know how to ask, how to suggest that Emma make her move now, but the point quickly becomes moot as Emma recovers herself.
“It’s ridiculous, how good you look right now,” Emma says with a tight smile as she leans over Regina. They kiss with unexpected tenderness, and Emma licks the taste of herself right off Regina’s lips and tongue. “I could seriously do this for hours,” Emma adds, before capturing Regina’s bottom lip between her teeth and tugging gently.
“People will talk,” Regina points out. “Our absence will be noted.”
“You know,” Emma answers. “I’m trying pretty hard to give a damn, but I just can’t seem to manage it.” She kisses Regina much harder then, and Emma’s fingers are on the buttons of Regina’s jacket as they make out.
“Get up,” Emma instructs as she carefully pulls the black jacket off Regina. The shirt is next, and Emma deals with each button (and the cufflinks, which even Regina has to concede was a nice touch) as though she’s very patiently unwrapping her last birthday present in the pile. With Regina left in her bra and black pants, Emma can’t seem to resist the urge to kiss, her wandering hands unhooking Regina’s bra as Emma’s mouth charts new territory over Regina’s chest.
Regina reaches to undo her own pants, feeling a quiet need to have some control in this. Emma seems to appreciate it, given the way she squeezes Regina’s ass and nudges her thong down to leave her stripped bare.
“On second thoughts,” Emma muses, reaching for the discarded jacket. “Just this,” she says as Regina lifts her arms and lets Emma put it back on her. “Oh, yes,” Emma says, stepping back for a moment to admire her handiwork. “What I wouldn’t give for a camera right now.”
Regina freezes at the thought, but it just makes Emma laugh softly.
“Relax, Madam Mayor,” Emma teases. “I have no intention of creating a scandal. Now, turn around.”
Stepping out of her pants, Regina turns slowly, still in her heels. Emma steps in close again once Regina’s back is turned, using strong arms to dip her, bending her until her instinct to grab the sofa back kicks in.
“Perfect,” Emma soothes. “I like you like this, Regina. It’s the most agreeable you’ve ever been.”
Regina’s spine stiffens at that, and she has to choke down her natural instinct to defy. She needs to come too badly to risk screwing this up now, and quickly fingering herself in her office chair doesn’t hold the same appeal as letting Emma and her infuriating cockiness have her way.
Emma cups Regina’s cunt with her hand then, a fingertip or two skimming Regina’s clit for a second and causing her to gasp with anticipation. She should make this harder on Emma, leave her insecure and wondering if she’s good enough to pleasure Regina, but that sort of game feels too remote tonight, too far from what Regina actually wants.
“Please,” Regina whispers, but it’s louder than any scream could have been. Emma stills her hand at the sound of it, whether in confusion or smugness Regina honestly doesn’t want to know. “Please,” she repeats, and this time Emma takes the hint.
“Gorgeous,” Emma says, and it sounds almost angry as she pushes a hand beneath Regina’s jacket. Emma’s nails score hard lines down Regina’s back thing, sharp enough to sting as a finger on Emma’s other hand presses inside. The counterpoint is what Regina craves, something that usually takes repeated encounters and pointed suggestions to communicate to another person, and here is Emma Swan, doing it right away on instinct.
“You want this pretty bad,” Emma says, apparently unable to shut up as she adds a second finger and begins twisting them on each sharp thrust. It’s enough to make Regina a little wobbly in the knees already, and so she grips the sofa a little tighter and forces herself to breathe normally.
“That’s why I started it,” Regina snipes over her shoulder, turning just enough to watch Emma behind her, intent on screwing Regina senseless. Emma bites her lip as she watches her own hand work in and out of Regina, and Regina has to look away before she comes from that alone. She doesn’t want teasing tonight, but she does want enough to savor.
“God,” Emma says as her other hand slips under Regina, cupping her breast where it’s falling free of the tuxedo. She pinches gently at Regina’s nipple, and then a little harder when Regina’s groan provides encouragement. The fingers are relentless on Regina now, and she’s finding it harder to concentrate as sensations overwhelm her. Emma’s saying all kinds of beautiful, meaningless things and all Regina knows is that she’s pushing her hips back against Emma’s hand and pleading for another finger.
Emma’s fantasized about this moment more times than she cares to remember, and she’s only too happy to add a third finger at Regina’s breathless urging. She thinks of all the things she still wants to do, all the ways she still intends to have Regina now that the dam is broken, and it has Emma picking up the pace before she knows what’s happening.
At some point Regina’s fingers graze Emma’s hand, slipping in the wetness as Regina rubs her clit to send her screaming over the edge. Emma doesn’t relent for a second, working her fingers until Regina’s coming a second time, and this time Emma hears her name in there, sounding like something between a sob and a curse.
“Wow,” Emma sighs as she slides her fingers free. When Regina looks over her shoulder again, Emma makes a point of slowly licking each wet finger, until they both surrender and collapse back onto the couch together. “I’m weirdly overdressed right now,” Emma says, her dress still mostly in place.
“Feel free to ditch the dress,” Regina sighs, her eyes closed and her face flushed as she tries to get her breathing back under control. “But we probably should think about getting back out there before someone is irritating enough to come looking.”
“You say that like everyone irritates you,” Emma replies, sitting beside Regina and very pointedly not touching her. What was Emma expecting anyway? Hugging and hair-braiding and talking about their feelings; hell, she’d be the first one to start running if that happened.
“They do,” Regina says, opening her eyes and reaching for Emma’s hand. “Your make-up is a mess, just so you know.”
“Says the woman with lipstick all over her chest,” Emma counters, waving her free hand vaguely in Regina’s direction.
“Would you--” Regina starts the thought, but changes her mind in an instant. “We do need to get back to the ball.”
“It’s nowhere near midnight yet, Cinderella,” Emma is mocking, but she does register the way Regina tenses for half a second. “Besides, I’m pretty much going home once I leave this room.”
“About that,” Regina is staring very intently at her own bare thighs. “Henry will be asleep when I get home.”
“And?” Emma presses, because if their battle is just being fought on a new front, she won’t be the first one to give up ground.
“And maybe instead of going home,” Regina says through gritted teeth. “You could come to my house.”
“To play Scrabble?” Emma asks, the picture of faked innocence. “Or just for some late-night cocoa.”
“In my life, Emma, I have never found anything charming,” Regina warns. “Come over, or don’t. It’s entirely up to you.”
With that Regina is in motion again, picking up the rest of her clothing and beginning to dress herself with some haste.
“Hey!” Emma says gently. “I was just having a little fun. Maybe I could come over tonight, if you don’t plan on staying too late here?”
“You’ll need to tidy yourself up,” Regina says, as though Emma’s decision has no effect on her. “The bathroom is over there.”
Emma sighs, scooping up her underwear and moving to the door Regina has indicated.
“Regina?” Emma calls as she opens the bathroom door. “I really do like you in that outfit.”
“Thank you,” Regina says, and she tries very hard not to roll her eyes. “Don’t be long,” she adds. “The sooner we get out of this office? The sooner we go home.”