The flowers are on her desk when she walks into her office. They hadn't been there before her meeting. Well, it wasn't so much a meeting as a discussion with the Lost Boys, who still want to run in a pack and cause a bit of trouble rather than go to school. Don't Ask is the new leader, but he can't hold up to the more mischievous boys.
Sighing heavily, Emma settles into her chair, rubbing the back of her neck in an attempt to ease the tightness building there. She stares at the odd bouquet curiously. Not quite a rainbow, in hues of white, pink, yellow, purple, and a deep blood red. Eight wildly different flowers fill the elegant cut glass vase, along with some greenery and baby's breath: two tulips, white and yellow; a pink carnation; a pink geranium; a yellow pansy that nearly matches the Bug's paint job; a white peony; a violet; and, in the center of the arrangement, a perfect rose bud just beginning to bloom. A card is nestled in among the foliage, an immaculate white envelope bearing her name and the logo for Game of Thorns.
She has a pretty good idea who they're from, but she's not sure she's willing to be wrong about that assumption just yet. And, if she's honest with herself, she's not sure she's ready to accept an apology yet either. There were harsh words exchanged over breakfast. Thankfully, Henry had already left to meet Paige at Granny's for a before school study session over cups of hot cocoa. They've prided themselves on not fighting in front of him since getting together.
Her cellphone rings, the strains of "Black Magic Woman" filling the silent station. Biting her bottom lip, she ignores the call and sends it to voicemail. She'll likely pay for that later, but she's just not up to this right now. When the office phone rings a moment later, she ignores that, too, and gets up to head over to Granny's for a cup of coffee.
Stepping into the station with coffee in hand, Emma pauses as a strange sensation prickles across her skin. She's not the only person there, but it's too quiet for David to be there. Even working on paperwork, he has music playing or is humming some tune that only he knows. No one's in either of the cells; David or Mulan would have texted her about it. And it's too early for Henry to be out of school.
Taking a deep breath, she continues on toward her office. Sure enough, as she turns the corner to step into her private sanctuary, she sees who her visitor is. Pausing long enough to send a quick text to both of her deputies to stay clear of the station until further notice, Emma steps into the small room and closes the door.
Regina is sitting primly in the chair in front of her desk, fiddling with the vase of flowers. Her overcoat is still on her body, though it's undone, as if she'd thrown it on hastily on her way out the door. Regina never lets herself leave the house or her office without looking perfectly put together. That makes Emma frown and begin to reconsider her earlier decision to ignore Regina's calls.
"Madam Mayor," she finally says after hanging up her coat. "Did we have a meeting I forgot about?"
Jumping at her words, Regina shakes her head and softly replies, "No, Emma."
"Then, do I have paperwork that's not completed according to your exacting standards?"
"No." Regina waits until Emma settles in her chair to tear her gaze from the vase and speak. "There is no official reason for me to be here."
"Then why are you wasting--" The words stick in her throat as she sees just how upset the other woman is. "What's wrong, Regina? Is Henry okay?"
"Henry's fine. If you'd check your messages or actually answer your phone, you might know what this is about."
"But no, you'd rather be childish and ignore my attempts at reconciliation." She sighs heavily and stands up, absently fumbling with the belt of her coat. "Clearly this was a mistake to come here. You're not ready to let me explain things yet. I'll just leave you alone again."
"Oh, for fuck's sake, Regina! Sit down already, will you?" When Regina does as asked, Emma gets up and resettles in the chair next to hers. "Now, why don't you tell me what you wanted to talk about?"
For a long moment or two, Regina is silent. Emma can see the tension in her shoulders by how she holds her head stiffly, then rubs at her chest to try to ease the ache blooming there.
"I'm sorry," Regina finally says softly. "I wasn't myself this morning. I didn't mean--"
"On some level, you did."
Regina meets her gaze then, misery clear in her eyes. "No! Will you let me explain?" When Emma gestures vaguely at her, Regina takes a deep breath and continues, "I wasn't feeling myself this morning. I had strange dreams last night that left me with a horrid headache this morning."
"Then you should have told me that, Regina. You know I'd do anything for you, but I won't let you just say things like you said this morning and let it go."
"I know I should have said something about it. I was trying to deal with it alone, and I shouldn't have let the pain supersede my ability to tell you that your words were upsetting me. I reacted without thinking and said things that I truly didn't mean. I've been trying to apologize all morning, but you've been ignoring my attempts at contact." She points to the flowers. "You haven't even read the card yet, have you?"
When Regina bites her bottom lip and nods, Emma feels her resistance fade away. There's something off about how Regina's acting, something that doesn't sit well in her chest or her gut. She reaches forward to grab the card, taking it out of its envelope to read.
Words cannot express the extent of my shame for what happened this morning. I was in pain and out of line. I'm sorry for losing my temper and blaming you. I pledge to you right now that I will not let this happen again. These flowers are a physical reminder of that promise. They have a magical spell on them that, if you accept my apology, will ensure they never die.
I am truly sorry and I love you more than words can express, Emma.
Emma stares at the card for several heartbeats before meeting her partner's eyes. She studies that beloved face, noting the strain in the crow's feet around brown eyes that normally sparkle. Without thought, she reaches forward to cup Regina's cheek in her hand.
"Your headache's still pretty strong, isn't it?" When Regina nods, she sighs. "And I'm guessing you haven't taken anything for it?" At the expected headshake, Emma shifts her hand back to gently massage the base of Regina's skull. "Magic spell on the flowers made things worse, too. You're kind of a masochist at times, you know that, right?"
"I know." Regina's head lolls forward as she groans softly. "But if you forgive me, it'll be worth it."
"I'm not going to fight with you while you're feeling this shitty, Regina, and I wouldn't have this morning, if you'd just told me you weren't feeling well. What happened to being honest with each other?"
She shrugs and lets out a sheepish noise. "I was being stupidly stubborn?"
That makes Emma laugh and lean forward to press a gentle kiss to Regina's temple. "Yes, you were. Now, if I take you home and put you to bed, will you take something for this headache that's probably more of a migraine, and then get some rest?"
"That's my girl." Emma stands up, helping Regina to her feet. "Hang on to me, okay? I'm gonna poof us home. You are so not up to walking or driving right now."
Regina leans heavily against Emma, eyes closing as white smoke surrounds them and the flowers. When she opens her eyes next, they're standing in their bedroom. She starts to take off her coat, letting Emma take over in stripping her down to panties and camisole. Pajamas bottoms come next, then Emma helps her into bed and tries to offer a little healing magic.
"Love you, Emma."
"I love you, too, Regina. Get some rest. I'll make you some tea when you wake up."
"Flow'rs mean someth'ng." The sleepier she gets, the more Regina's words start to slur.
"I know they do," Emma replies, leaning in to press a kiss to Regina's forehead. "I did a short stint in a flower shop a year after I got out of jail. We'll talk about them when you're feeling better."
"I love you and I forgive you. Now sleep." Emma can see that Regina wants to continue the discussion, and sends a little more healing magic into her partner. It does the job as Regina relaxes into slumber. "You are home and comfort and everything that makes me feel loved and special, Regina," she says softly, stroking Regina's hair. "I forgive you, I love you, and I never want to live without you again."