Green or Red; Yes or No.
It has been two weeks since she arrived in this world, or town since she cannot really get out of it. No one can. Two weeks that she had once again faced her nightmare – The Evil Queen. But then she was confused, because it seemed everyone is at her side, even Snow White. The woman she 'pretended' to harbor to save her husband – who had a brief relation with said evil queen. Even her son Roland was smitten to the woman.
The queen, or Regina's (because her own family will curse her to kingdom come if she so much as think of the woman as evil) reaction that first night was understandable. She would have felt the same if she was in her shoes, but what confuses her more was why does Regina's anger focused solely on the Sheriff, Emma Swan.
Lately though, the anger of the queen had been replaced by her being obnoxious which manifest as the woman sassing the Sheriff a lot, which the blonde woman just takes in stride. For someone who is the recipient of the queen's sharp tongue and ire, Emma Swan seemed relieved and she was mostly smiling when she's being berated about everything she does, even if she'd clearly done nothing wrong. It was like it was a blessing that the queen had given her even a little bit of her time.
And then she had an epiphany.
Roland had insisted one night for her to read him a book. It was a fairy tale book of this world and it was about Robin and her. If this is a well known book, and if this had been known for a long time, then the sheriff had known of her. She must have.
It just so happen that she was on her way to the diner to buy Roland and her good for nothing husband a meat meal they call cheeseburger and that sweet thing she hates so much, she remember to be called milkshake. When she enter, her eyes scanned the area and a smile etched her face, for there alone in a bench was the Sheriff and The Queen's son. Imagine that, those two women share a son... how convenient.
Henry, 14 years old is reading a magazine about new action figure of his favorite heroes. He had one, but after seeing the magazine, he needed to have the others. It's a collector's item, and in the future, if he gets tired of it, he can actually sell it in a higher price. So he was putting operations in mind that will get her enough money to buy the rest, because he was sure his mom will not give him this amount and even if he gets to make her give him, Emma will veto it. That's the hard thing about her birth mother getting in his mom's good grace.
He didn't realize that the answer to his silent prayer was in the form of the beautiful woman who suddenly sat in front of him. Smile on her face. Honestly he doesn't like this woman. She called his mom a monster, and he almost lost her because of her.
“Henry right?” The woman began, breaking the silence.
“Lady Marian,” he looked around, “Lots of seat around, you don't have to sit in front of the monster's son.” he said frowning. Thoughts of his action figure forgotten for a moment.
Marian smiled sheepishly, “Ah, I'm sorry about that I shouldn't have called your mother that but you see, we had history-”
“I've read about it, still doesn't gave you the right to call her a monster. My mom saved you.”
“She sentenced me remember?”
“Not that mom, my other mom, the sheriff. And my mom is taking it out on her, you should at least be thankful and not be bitter.” his frown deepened, “Its not as if my mom seduced your husband.”
The woman raised her hand in surrender, “I'm sorry, besides I already got the full story from Robin and you know, your mom did save me from that giant whatever thing that came with us when we returned.” she smiled genuinely when the teen nodded his head.
“As I've said, so many vacant benches, why here?”
“Well,” she shrugged her shoulders, “I'm alone, you seemed alone... why not share right?”
“Where is your son and your husband?”
“Forest, hunting -” she shook her head, “I'm here to get them treats,” she saw Henry raise one brow, his facial expression reminds her of the queen. “Cheeseburger and milkshakes,”
“Oh,” and that's when Ruby arrived to get Marian's order. The dark skinned woman recited what she wanted and then turned her focus on the teen without minding if the waitress went off or not.
“I think,” she frowned, “It wasn't entirely my fault that I was mean to your mom.” And both customer were surprised when the red streaked woman sat beside Marian.
“What do you mean? You were mean and that's that.”
“I know,” Marian said with a hint of apology in her voice. “I just mean, if I wasn't brought here, then I wouldn't see her again and...”
“If you weren't brought here you'll be dead.” Henry piped in.
“Yes, true and I'd probably be cursing your mom 'til the day I die, but she was the evil queen, she's supposed to be used to be called a monster.”
“Say that again and I might just put some poison on your family's treat.” Ruby said before grinning at Henry who returned the sentiment.
“Sorry,” The other two occupants nodded their head. “I just wanted to clarify something, because I think I have become a pawn in this game between the savior and the queen.”
“What?” Henry and Ruby ask surprised.
“What are you driving at? My moms doesn't do that thing! If they need to do something, they don't need to use anyone else to achieve their goal!” Henry was agitated, his moms aren't the bad guys!
“Maybe, but I think your mom, and I mean the sheriff brought me back here intentionally.”
“Are you really that stupid?” Ruby asked, “Ems was clear she didn't know who you were, she didn't mean to take Robin from Regina. That's the truth.”
“Is it? Because you know what?” She eyed the two, “We, as in me and my husband are in your world's fairy tale book, I'm sure everyone knew about how the story goes and I was made to believe that it is even encouraged in those schools here to read on our story. So it's either the sheriff isn't fan of reading, or she is a selective fairy tale reader, or she knew who I was and still brought me here -”
“Of course she will! She's not going to leave you behind to be executed if she could take you even if she knew who you were!”
“That's the problem Henry, I wasn't the only one in that dungeon. There were other men, women and children in there ready to be executed. So why just me?”
“What are you really driving at?” Ruby asked frowning. She's not a fan of people talking bad about her best friend, and no it's not Snow but Emma.
“I think your moms,” She looked at Henry, “... they were keeping a big secret from you.”
“They're together romantically, they are a couple in secret -”
“They got Hook and Hood!” Henry exclaimed.
“Maybe they were using those two to keep their relation a secret?”
“But I saw my mom kissed your husband,” here Henry saw the mood of the woman darken.
“And that's why your mom, Emma, went back in time, took me and bring me back here. Because your mom isn't supposed to fall for my husband. He was supposed to be a cover up.” Marian's eyes widened, “That's why the sheriff keeps grinning at the queen even if she was berating her! Oh my Lord! That's it!”
“What, that can't be -”
“Well, come to think of it, I heard rumors about your moms being alone in the forest, in the cliff-” Ruby asked grinning, “Oh my, so Hook and your husband are nothing but beards?”
“Well,” Marian shrugged her shoulder, “They do have cute beards, I love bearded men.” Ruby and Henry rolled their eyes.
“Beards means cover up you know,” Henry said and then looked at Ruby, “They went to my mom's lair a lot, I mean, I know mom, as in Emma asked my mom to teach her magic control, but even gramps and grams were wondering why it was so often and took them almost all day. And Emma wouldn't even let Blue give her any advice, it's like mom or nothing.”
“See?” Marian said smiling.
Then they were interrupted by a brown bag being placed on the table, “I see my granddaughter decided that she'd let me guess what you are here for, but there are cheeseburgers and milkshakes inside here, is that what you need?” At Marian's nod and smile of appreciation, the old lady continued, “And then those two did a stakeout on the sheriff's car. The whole town know how Regina hated that car, and yet there they were, inside that cramp metal box waiting for the villain to show up.”
The three looked at the old woman with stars in their eyes.
“Oh, Ashley said a neighbor of her who happened to pass by when they were doing that stakeout saw the sheriff and the queen kissing! Lips to lips!” That was Aurora. She took waiting job at the diner while waiting for Philip to show up in Storybrooke.
“No way!” Henry said surprised.
“Maybe you all are just speculating,” Archie piped up this time.
“They were holding hands when they went out of the mausoleum!” That was one of the dwarves.
“Emma will not have an affair with the mayor, that's just absurd!” Leroy shouted giving Dopey a hard nape slap. Dopey works in the cemetery.
And then the noise erupted in the diner. Just the right timing for Marian to slip out of the establishment, a wide grin on her face. “I'm betting my limbs here, those two women are together – they just had a fight and maybe, the queen decided to use my husband to get back at the sheriff – oh my lord, Robin should know! He'd be devastated that he is just a pawn to the Queen's plan to make the sheriff mad!” she mumbled to herself and then hurried off to the forest where her poor husband is playing with their confused son. Roland doesn't need to be confused anymore.
Mary Margaret is hungry. Her husband, Prince Charming is hungry but they were so worn out from looking after Neal who seemed to have suffered from gas the night before, thanks to Whale, he figured out what to do. So it was early morning when the child slept that gave them time to rest as well. But now, they need to eat and none of them wanted to cook. Actually, Emma offered but they'd rather go to the diner than have their kitchen appliance blow up in smoke. No, they didn't tell that to their daughter of course.
Happy that Emma finally had control of her magic, the parents left Neal to the care of their eldest, as a matter of fact, Snow and David gets to do most of their duties in the day because Emma seemed to step up I caring for her brother a lot. Well, most of the time their daughter would bring their son to Regina who was happy to help. The reinstated mayor have a soft spot for Neal though she'd rather call him 'kid' the way Emma calls Henry 'kid'.
The two were opposite the diner by now and they stopped. A little shock because it wasn't usual that the diner is full to the brim that there are patrons outside looking through the glass, probably waiting for their turn to be served or to have a seat. But what bothers them more was the loud noise inside, as if the diner was turned into a cockpit arena. There were shouts of Red and Green...
“What is happening? Is Ruby fighting Tinker Bell?”Snow asked her equally oblivious husband.
“No idea, but I can see the nuns from here, I just don't get how they would allow this barbaric game to continue.”
“Are you thinking that Ruby and Tink are wrestling inside?”
“Probably with mud? I don't see any reason whey there are that many people in there.”
“I doubt Granny will allow that!”
“Maybe she was tied up? Lynched so that it goes through?” David asked seriously,
“We better rescue Granny, then we have to call Emma.”
“I can handle this, I'll call Emma if this really goes out of hand-” the two hurriedly crossed the road, pushed their way in and opened the door. Their eyes went wide in shock at what they saw...
There on top of the bar, at the center were Ruby and Henry, money in hand while Granny was at the back, a board with RED and GREEN written via white chalk on top, the board was bisected in half by a straight line, and people's name were written under each color, Red outnumbering Green by half.
“What is happening here?!” Snow shouted.
Then the silence descended...
“Come on grams, what is it, Red or Green!”
“I'll go for Green!” David shouted
“Go gramps!” Henry cheered, “Okay gramps is a yes,”
“Yes?” Snow asked
“Red is no to Emma and Regina being a couple, green is a go!” Ruby explained.
“What?” Snow and David eyed each other. Then both grinned, “Then yes, we are both green!”
“MATE! You can't be serious about that! I am your daughter's true love!”
David grinned and patted the pirate's back, “Sorry, but you know how I support the under dogs, plus we were thinking,” he grinned.
“Emma had been bringing Neal over to Regina's a lot, Regina was supposed to teach Emma magic, what if -”
“What if mom is teaching Emma how to handle a baby, in preparation for a sister or a brother for me?”
“Alright, who's in favor of Green?” Henry asked this time, and a loud roar of me erupted.
“Alright ease up! There's only one me here!!!” Granny shouted.
Emma had Neal on her arms as she stood at the center of Regina's foyer. She was waiting for the brunette to come back from the kitchen. The brunette had made a delicious lunch for her and Henry, but she got a call from their son that he'll be having his lunch at the diner since he was busy doing business.
Both mothers knew that their son wanted the rest of the action figure, collector's item but knew none from them would give him that amount of money to buy it. Besides, they thought, he's already old for action figures and that sooner or later he'll just get over it and what's going to happen to the toy? Nothing. It will just be added to the increasing number of his old toys in the attic.
Emma had talked to Regina about giving it to charity before the Marian debacle, the mayor was receptive about it, the problem was that, what charity are they donating it? There's none in Storybrooke and they were supposed to be invisible to the outside world. And as to how these action figures come to town was a mystery to the blonde sheriff.
Anyway, for the last two weeks since she brought Marian back, she'd been bringing Neal to the mansion. She's not hiding behind the baby, but it's just that Regina wasn't receptive before. She wouldn't talk to her or wouldn't even meet her eyes and then one time out of the blue, she was forced to take care of Neal when she was about to go beg Regina again, and then all of a sudden there Regina was, smiling at her baby brother and then she talked to her! It was clipped and she was sassing like the pre-curse breaking time, but who cares? Regina is talking to her and she's letting her in slowly. If Neal makes Regina happy for now, who is she to deny the woman? She took her chance for happiness right?
“I told Henry I made his favorite, pizza, and yet he chose to eat lunch at the diner.” Regina segued as she returned to the foyer. “Why are you still here?” she asked with one brow raise.
“Am I suppose to leave? I didn't realize you want me gone,” Emma asked smiling at the other woman.
There was that infamous eye roll, “I mean you are still at the foyer, there's a nice couch at the living room and I magicked a rocker. Neal would love it.” the mayor said turning and then proceeding to said room. Emma followed.
“About Henry, maybe he's onto something. You know how he is, even in New York he keeps on doing that operation thing, though he never really called it operation there.” the blonde watched the other woman nod her head. “I got a text from Snow, I mean mom, they wanted me to have Neal longer. I think they were still tired from last night, probably going to catch up on Z's.”
Regina faced her, “Why what happened last night?”
“Gas, this little one kept everyone up.”
“No,” she smiled, “I was down your lair practicing all night. Fell asleep there.” She frowned, “I never really noticed until last night, those beating hearts... what's left of it anyway lulls me to sleep.”
“Heart beats are natural sleep inducers Ms. Swan.”
“Now I know,” she smiled and saw the rocker. She stepped closer to it and put Neal down. The baby was about to cry but Regina waved her hand and the rocker moved on its own accord. The rotating toy above also moved, and the sound of baby music floated. Then Neal's attention was caught and before the two women knew it, the baby was asleep. “Wow, Henry is lucky... automatic rocking crib and toys,”
“I don't have magic before the curse was broken Ms. Swan, I did it all manually.”
Emma's smile widened, “He is still lucky.”
Regina raise her brow, “What's with the – pardon my use of your vocabulary – ass kissing?”
The blonde laughed, “No ass kissing here, just stating the truth.” she sighed, “Regina,”
“It's been more than two weeks, I know its not enough time for you to forgive me and I am willing to wait. I like us being friends, I like spending time with you, doing magic or just talking about Henry and other things. I know I've broken your trust, but I want to regain them again.”
“What's the point of this?”
“I am happy you are making time to see me and talk to me, I don't care if you have reverted back to the way you talked to me before, but I was hoping, someday, you know... I could come here and see you without having to bring Neal.” No answer, but brown eyes just looked at her, “I love having my brother with me, its just, I don't want to look like I'm hiding behind him or using him to get to you. He had done so much already.”
Regina smiled this time, “Have I ever told you that I'm not seeing you unless you have your brother with you?” She saw blonde head shake, “Well, you were the one convinced that I'm not going to let you in without him.”
The smile on the other woman's face brightened, “So maybe tomorrow I can try?”
Regina stood, “Maybe we can eat that pizza I made. It's too big just for me. So Sheriff?”
“I'm not going to say NO to that.”
“Ten percent,” Ruby said as she handed the money to the grinning boy. “No manipulation of result. You have 24 hours.”
“I could just ask them you know,” he said as he counts the money in his hand. It seems enough to buy the rest of the action figure he wants.
“They will just deny it boy, you have to do this the hard way.” Granny said, “It's going to be big if Green wins, and I got my hope up here,” she said making a motion above her head, “...that we're getting the jackpot.”
“Don't put ideas on the boy's head Granny, I don't care if Red wins smaller, but if I could bet myself I would because I'm sure there's nothing between them!”
“Dream on Leroy!” Dopey shouted, “You didn't see what I saw!” then he eyed the fairy in green, “And you, why are you under red? Aren't you supposed to be the green fairy?”
Tinker bell shrugged her shoulders, “Unless Emma suddenly get a lion tattoo, I'm still rooting for Robin and Regina.”
Ruby shook her head, “Robin is a beard! Your pixie dust went wonky!”
“Fairies' pixie dust never go wrong.” Blue interjected.
“And yet you bet under green,” Tink said eyeing the fairy's leader.
“I got my reasons,”
“Yeah, because your precious Snow bet under green!” Tink said with a huff
“Okay, let's not resort to verbal lashings, its not nice to for my grandson to witness. Why don't we wait until Henry gets back to us with the result?”
Twelve hours into his mission. Henry was on a roll. He had witnessed his mothers together in the mansion. They were playing with her uncle Neal and it was surreal to watch them do what they normally do but with him thinking of something else... or him giving other meaning to supposedly usual endeavor.
Nothing too incriminating about his moms actions. They were their usual self... or maybe not? He was already on his bed in his old room in the mansion, lying on his back, eyes on the ceiling as he repeats in his head everything he had seen since he walked out of the diner.
Overt Touching – X
Extra Sweetness – X (duh, his mom is supposed to be angry at Emma)
Sweetness in their voices when talking with each other – X (Well, his mom was never sweet, or was he mistaken?)
Eye movement... wait...
He abruptly sat up, Oh yeah, Emma would give his mom 'the look' when she's not looking and vice versa! There was a time or two of them touching secretly when they tried to reach for Neal at the same time, and they didn't even flinch! Henry's grin widened.
He never thought of his moms being together together but now that it is there, maybe it was the best thing! He doesn't like the pirate because he is a good judge of character and he knew he is not one despite his claim for redemption, he only wants to get in his mom, he means Emma's pants. Robin is a two timing guy and is conflicted between his wife and his mom. What kind of honor does he have? What code was he talking about? And his mom, Emma, had always been trying hard to give Regina her happy ending, but what if Emma is his mom's happy ending? Hah!
No, he doesn't mind that his moms had kept the secret from him. But how he wished they just tell him, it's not as if he's going to do something to keep them apart. There was a smile on his lips as he went back to lying down and willed his self to sleep.
Emma was surprised to hear the staccato sound of the Mayor's heels on the floor. She smiled as she prepared her table and put out some papers that were already done and pretended to be doing the report.
“Stop pretending Ms. Swan, I could see your signature from here, I'm not going to berate you for playing shoot that garbage on your free time.” Emma looked up and grinned at the brunette who had her brows raised.
“I just wanted to look like busy, I heard you were coming.”
“It's about Henry,” Emma leaned her body to the back rest.
“What did he do this time?”
Regina stepped in the sheriff's room and sat on the chair in front of the table, “Nothing definitive, but I had a hunch he is up to something.”
“So he is following you around pretending to be sneaky?”
“Yes, he get that kind of stealth from you.” Regina replied with a grin.
“Pretending to read the newspaper that was up side down?” Emma watched the other nod her head. “Asking too many questions about signs of a secret romance?”
Regina frowned, “Yes, from the sound of it he had done the same thing to you?”
“You are correct,”
“Aren't I always?” Both women sighed, “So what are we going to do?” Regina asked.
“Well we do what we always do.”
Henry entered the diner even if the diner says its close. There inside a number of people were waiting. Snow and Prince Charming, Tink, Blue, The dwarves, Aurora, Ashley, Hook, there was Marian and a frowning Robin (who of course bet on Red while his wife bet on Green). Henry even saw a microphone of sort on the bar and he looked at it and frown.
“Others who have worked wanted to hear the result, which, will be heard over Storybrooke radio station.” Ruby grinned as she explained.
“That serious?” Henry asked.
“So what's the verdict?”
Henry grinned, “I can't really find definite evidence that they are a couple-” Loud cheering from the Red betters but stopped as Henry raised his hand. It quieted again, “ - so I have no other recourse but to ask them.” he stopped
“WHAT IS IT THEN?” Snow broke the silence with an impatient question.
Henry beamed, “Yes they were a couple, and is still a couple!” his loud declaration was followed by an annoyed gasp, sound of happy cheering and some curse words.
“I KNEW THEY ARE A COUPLE!” Granny shouted as she danced in glee.
Ruby was happily dividing the money pool to the small numbers of green betters.
Hook had slumped on the corner.
Marian started teasing her husband who started sulking and then mouthed to Henry 'told you so'
“You think Henry told the rest about us being a couple?” Emma asked. The two were at the porch swing, drinking apple cider together.
“ Yes, I could feel the cheer from the diner to here.” Regina shook her head.
“So Marian really thought I brought her here because I am jealous of Robin huh?”
“Me falling for a beard?” she smirked.
“What were we doing in the cliff anyway?”
“Doing kinky stuff in a cliff isn't fun, in love or not.”
“I agree, you almost die there.”
“Oh but I didn't, besides if you didn't cut the rope I wouldn't have fallen.”
“Can't think of anything else, your the kind to attack before thinking.”
“It worked well,”
“Yes, and look where that got us?”
“We're together together?”
“So we kissed inside your death trap, lips to lips?”
“While we stakeout your sister, how come I didn't remember that happening.”
“So until when are we faking this relationship Ms. Swan?”
Emma looked at the older woman, “First off, if we are in a relation, you should drop the Ms. Swan.”
“It sounds dirty, might convince them more...”
“In bed, dirty in bed but too formal if not.” she smiled, “And second, we'll keep at it because we're getting free breakfast everyday at the diner.” she started rubbing her stomach.
“Maybe we should start practicing,”
“Practice?” Regina asked bewildered,
“Well, who knows if someone suddenly ask us to kiss in front of them to prove Henry's claim?”
Regina looked at Emma, “Oh?”
“Yeah,” the grin again,
“Why does it feel like Lady Marian was right,”
“What was she right about?”
“You purposely brought her here because you were jealous of me and Hood.”
Emma stood and sheepishly smile, “I have no idea what you're talking about,” then she look down at her wrist, “Oh look at the time, its gotten late -” but there was no watch on her wrist, right or left. “I should go home, your apple cider and me doesn't really get along well.” she stepped away from the swing.