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Take a Chance on Me

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Regina burst through the emergency room door, a near murderous look on her face.

“Where is she?!”

“Madam Mayor, I’m sorry, but you can’t-”

Regina snarled, ignoring the woman as she scanned the waiting room and looked down the halls of the hospital. Every instinct screamed at her to torture the young woman until she got the information she wanted, but she quickly reminded herself she was no longer that person. And Henry would never forgive her. She would do this without the unhelpful woman’s assistance. The hospital was small, but it was a maze of hallways. She could start searching at random-

“Get that fucking thing away from me!”

Or she could just listen and wait for Emma’s screech of protest. She stalked in the direction of the angry voice, blatantly ignoring the protesting receptionist. When she found the room she was looking for, she entered without so much as a knock, stopping only when she saw nurse Ratchet approaching Emma, who had her arms up in a defensive manner.

“What is going on here?” she asked, her tone dripping with rage.

Emma immediately looked over at her, eyes wide. She calmed some when she saw Regina at the door, but she quickly turned back to the slowly approaching nurse.

“Madam Mayor. I’m attempting to subdue this patient, however she refuses-”

“Nurse Ratchet, if you do not know how to do your job correctly, I ensure you I will find a replacement. Your patient is clearly in distress. What is the problem?”

“If she would just stop moving-”

The nurse took another step towards Emma, who immediately began thrashing on the bed to get away.

“Stop!”

Both women froze, Regina walking forward and pointing at the nurse to move away. She did so, reluctantly.

“What is the problem, Emma?”

Emma bit her lip, looking to the nurse and then back to Regina.

“I- she wants to give me a sedative.”

“She is near hysterical and refuses to cooperate. She will not allow me to dress her wounds. She has numerous lacerations that need to be disinfected and I cannot work on a patient who refuses to cooperate. The sedative will calm her and allow me to do my job.”

Emma looked over to Regina, shaking her head.

“I can’t,” she pleaded, “it could put me to sleep.”

Regina gave a nod of understanding before turning back to the nurse.

“As you can see, your patient is no longer hysterical. If you had listened to her, you would have realised the problem. She is trying to communicate a boundary and you are refusing to listen. I believe you are the problem, nurse, and you are the one inducing this so-called hysteria. Put the syringe away. I can assure you that your patient will comply fully from now on, correct?” Regina asked sternly, raising an eyebrow at Emma, who nodded eagerly.

“Yeah. Just don’t put me to sleep.”

“That will not be necessary as long as you cooperate. Now, nurse Ratchet, what do you need her to do?”

“I need her to remove her clothing and put on the hospital gown I laid on the bed. It will be easier to see the extent of the damage if she puts it on.”

“I don’t want-”

“You will do as the nurse has requested. Put on the gown.”

Emma watched Regina turn around, effectively ending the argument. Emma debated momentarily, but she ultimately did as she was told. She could feel the anger radiating off of the other woman. She was not going to provoke her any more than she already had, so she slowly stripped out of her clothes, sucking in a deep breath when she lifted her tattered shirt from her body, pain slicing through her side. She refused to look down, not wanting to see the damage that the Cyclops had wreaked on her body. She’d managed to kill it though, and she was still alive, so in her mind, whatever trouble she was in now was worth it. Her family and friends were safe and that was all that mattered.

“Okay, it’s on,” Emma muttered, once she’d finally put on the gown and housecoat.  

Regina turned and joined her by the side of the bed, suppressing the rolling waves of anger in her stomach as she looked at the mass of tattered and bloody clothing on the floor. There would be time to yell at Emma later. Right now, they needed to find out the extent of her injuries.

“We need to take you for an x-ray and an ultrasound, Sheriff.”

“I told you, I’m fine. It’s just a couple of bruised ribs.”

Before the nurse could argue back, Regina took a step forward, blocking the woman’s view of Emma.

“Are you ready to take her now or should we wait here?”

“We can go now.”

Regina nodded in agreement, grabbing Emma’s elbow and guiding her off the table.

“Regina, I’m not-”

“Enough!” Regina seethed, turning to Emma. “I swear on our son that if you do not cooperate, I will make you regret it. You are going to get x-rays, you are going to get an ultrasound, and you will participate in any and all other medical examinations the doctor and nurse desire. I am this close to snapping and if I do, I promise you, it will be ugly. Now get off this table and follow the nurse or else I will ensure that you are met with a fate worse than the one the Cyclops would have bestowed upon you.”

Emma blinked, effectively silenced. She didn’t protest again, quietly following as she was led to the x-ray room. Regina stood outside as the x-rays were done, then lead Emma over to the ultrasound room. She stayed in the tiny space with the blonde as requested. She silently reached out and took Emma’s hand when she noticed the woman stifling whimpers as the technician moved the wand over her wounded side. She did not glance down when Emma looked up at her in what was likely surprise; however, she did squeeze her hand to show her support. She was beyond angry with her, but she was not heartless, as many others believed. She knew Emma was in pain, and she knew how comforting the touch of another could be when one was injured. So she stood close, her hip brushing Emma’s shoulder, hands linked.

Regina didn’t utter a word throughout the examination, but she did not leave Emma’s side. She stayed with her up until the moment in which doctor Whale entered Emma’s hospital room, ready to give Emma his assessment and treatment of her injuries. It was in that moment that Regina decided to leave, unable to listen to damage Emma had sustained when she made the incredibly irresponsible decision to go and fight the Cyclops on her own. Emma did not protest her departure. She knew it was because Regina could not handle hearing the information. Emma was not suffering from any kind of cognitive impairment, so Regina felt safe enough to leave her to speak to Whale alone.

Regina wandered the hallways, inspected the cafeteria, picked invisible lint off of her skirt until she felt sure it was safe to go back. However, fate had never been kind to her and she returned to Emma’s room to find Whale still there, along with an ever emotional Snow crying and speaking loudly. David stood to the side, baby Neal sleeping peacefully in his arms, while Henry stood worriedly by his mother.   

“So she’ll need someone to take care of her? Honey, you are coming home with your father and I. We’ll take care of you.”

Regina walked into the room, the familiar staccato of her shoes interrupting what was surely going to turn into an argument, if the look on Emma’s face was anything to go by.

“Regina,” Emma said, the relief evident in her voice.

“What is going on here?”

“I’ve recommended that Sheriff Swan not be alone for the next 48 hours and it seems to have created some upset. She does not appear to have a cranial injury, and the wounds to her body are not life threatening, but just to be safe, I recommend that someone stay with her for the near future.”

“Honey, I don’t know why you’re upset. You live at the loft, all of your things are there. Why would you want to go somewhere else?”

Regina watched as Emma glanced down at the bed, shrugging her shoulders. She recognised that behaviour. Henry did the exact same thing when he didn’t feel safe enough to respond truthfully.

“It isn’t up for debate, Snow,” Regina said, taking a step forward. “I’ve already told Emma that she is to come to the mansion where I will ensure she is properly cared for. The baby demands all of your attention. You will not have the time to look after her, and David will be assuming Emma’s position at the station while she recovers, so he will be unable to help you.”

“I can look after my own daughter, Regina. I’m her mother. I know what’s best for her.”

“Do you? You know what is best for her? You’ve been acting in her best interest for the last few weeks? That is laughable.” Regina shook with rage, marching over to Henry and handing him her wallet. “Go and get your mother a hamburger from Granny’s and meet us at home. Please ensure that there is bacon, cheese, and avocado on it, and please order a side of fries and a milkshake. You may order whatever you like.”

Henry, knowing not to argue with his mother when she was as angry as she was now, immediately nodded, took the wallet, and left. When he was safely out of earshot, Regina’s anger spilled out as she stalked towards Snow, one finger up and shaking as she spoke.

“Are you blind or just stupid, Snow White? Have you not noticed how your daughter has been suffering these past few months? Have you not noticed just how thin she has become? Do you not see the black circles around her eyes? Have you not seen how she is wearing herself into the ground? No, you have not!

“Not once have you stopped her from coming and going from that house. Not once have you forced her to sit down and eat a proper meal. Not once have you concerned yourself with her well-being. You have been so preoccupied with yourself, with your new child, that you have not seen that Emma has been screaming for help. I am not deaf, as you seem to be, you ignorant little girl. Emma will be coming home with Henry and I, and I assure you that when she is ready to leave, she will be healthy once again. I will not allow her to continue the self-destructive behaviour she has been permitted to engage in while in your home.”

“You have no right, Regina! You don’t know her like I do. You can’t just make Emma do something she doesn’t want to do. You can’t force her-”

“Oh? And was it not I who got Emma into that hospital gown? Was it not I who demanded she get x-rays and an ultrasound? Do not pretend that you could have made that happen, Snow, because we both know she will not listen to you,” Regina glanced over at Emma, holding her gaze. “You need someone who will force you to take care of yourself.” She then looked back at Snow. “I will never force Emma into something she truly does not want to do (Regina made sure to look at Emma when she said this), but I will not compromise her well-being simply to keep the peace. She is welcome to try and argue, but it will be of no use. She will do as I say.”

Emma, who had been quiet throughout the angry exchange, finally spoke up.

“I love you, mom. But Regina’s right about… about you not having the time. I don’t want to be a burden on you when you have to take care of the baby. I think it would be better if I stayed at the mansion.”

Snow looked like she was about to cry, which made Regina roll her eyes.

“But honey, your father and I want you at home.”

“And when I get better, I’ll be back. It’s not like you won’t see me again. And you can come visit if you want. Regina won’t mind.”

“Excuse me?”

“She’ll come visit,” Emma said, smirking at Regina’s protest, as she attempted to defuse the tension. “It’ll be fun. You can take out your good tea set from the china cabinet and pour her fancy tea since I hate that sh-tuff.”

Regina had made a passing comment once that she had never gotten to use it since she rarely received company other than Emma, who loathed tea. Emma bit her lip when Regina narrowed her eyes into a deathly glare, holding back the laugh that desperately wanted to escape.

“I guess it would be okay, if that’s what you want. And if we can come and see you,” Snow reluctantly answered.

“Are you sure this is what you want?” David asked, finally speaking.

“Yeah,” Emma nodded. “I’ll be out of your way at Regina’s.”

The truth was she felt more comfortable at the mansion than she did at her parents’ apartment. It had way more perks than the loft too, like more space, no screaming babies, no one making annoying doe-eyes at each other or making lovey-dovey comments. It was enough to turn her stomach. Plus, Henry was more comfortable and acted more like himself when he was at the mansion. And it smelled nicer there and there were always treats left out on the counter. Emma got to sleep in her own bed and there was cable and Netflix. And she laughed more when she was with Regina and it was really nice, because she didn’t feel like she had to be quiet because someone was sleeping. There were way more rules, but if she and Henry both begged and made promises not to make a mess or break anything, the rules were often bent or broken completely. Plus, Regina was at the mansion, and that was the biggest positive of all.

“Okay, if that’s what you want.”

Emma nodded. She could tell her parents were disappointed, but she couldn’t help feeling relieved. She didn’t want to go back to the loft. She wanted to be at the mansion, and she was incredibly grateful Regina had offered.

When Snow approached her for a hug, she didn’t protest. She knew that her mother needed the contact, and to be fair, Emma wasn’t against it either. She really did love her parents, but she didn’t feel the emotional attachment to them that she knew she should. And that, well, it made her feel guilty- for not loving them the way that she should.

“I’m sorry, Emma. I’m sorry I didn’t see…”

Emma pulled away, waving her off.

“You’re busy. I get it. And I didn’t exactly tell you.”

Snow wiped at her eyes.

“I should have known. I see it now. It’s so obvious…”

Emma shrugged, giving her parents a short smile.

“We’re still getting to know each other,” she said, even though they’d known each other for years now. “It’ll take time. I gotta make up for never giving you a hard time as a teenager, you know? Can’t make it too easy.”

Snow gave a faint smile, squeezing her daughter’s shoulder as she backed away from the bed. David walked over and gave her a hug and a kiss, holding Neal out as Emma leaned forward to kiss his forehead.

“If you need anything, kiddo, you’ll call, right?”

“I will.”

“Good. Take care of yourself.”

David followed his wife out of the room, stopping and peeking his head back in a moment later.

“And Regina?”

“Yes?”

“Thanks. For taking care of my little girl.”

Regina gave him a small smile in response, nodding once to acknowledge the comment. When they were alone in the room, she turned to Emma, who was sitting quietly on the bed.

“So… now that we’re alone, are you going to kill me?”

Regina sighed heavily.

“No, miss Swan. I am not going to kill you.”

“Because Henry would never forgive you?”

“That darn child prevents me from getting any sort of satisfaction anymore.”

Emma laughed. She clutched her side as her laugh deepened, putting pressure on the pain.

“Ow, oh God. Why do you make me laugh?”

“Because I enjoy seeing you suffer. Now, will you please tell me what that incompetent doctor told you?”

Emma let her laughter ebb before finally responding.

“He didn’t say much. Ultrasound didn’t show any damage to my organs, and the x-rays didn’t show any broken ribs. My head is good. I’m supposed to watch for dizziness, light-headedness, vomiting. I’ve got a few bandages I need to change regularly and a couple bruised ribs, but I heal fast so I don’t even know if they’ll even be an issue in a week from now. It’s weird, but I’ve always been a fast healer.”

“Your light magic allows you to heal at a superior rate of speed.”

Emma paused.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. That’s pretty cool. And good to know.”

“It does not mean, however, that you can make rash, idiotic, and impulsive decisions such as the one you made today, Emma. Your magic cannot save you from death. You acted like an imbecile and you put your life in danger today. You could have perished, and then what? You would have left your parents without a child, your brother without his older sister, this town without a saviour, and worst of all, your son without his other mother. Do you not think before you act?” Regina began to pace, getting angrier the more she spoke. “Did you not even consider anyone but yourself for even just one second? No! Of course not, because if you had, you would have stopped yourself from doing something so completely irresponsible, worrying your entire family just so you could once again be the hero. For once in your life would you consider someone other than yourself when you make these foolish decisions?”

“I was thinking of other people today. I was thinking of everyone else! That thing was going around, terrifying people and destroying the forest around the city. It was just a matter of time before he came into town and started killing people. Everyone was just sitting around arguing, so I did what I was supposed to do: I killed the bad guy. I’m the saviour, Regina. I won’t just sit around waiting for other people to do my job.”

“We were not sitting around arguing, Emma. We were deciding on a course of action. We were creating a plan, one which involved everyone, not simply one person going on a suicide mission to take down the Cyclops alone. It would have been safer had we gone as a group.”

“I work better alone, you know that. I don’t have to worry about other people getting hurt or getting in my way. I have my magic now and I know how to use it since you taught me, and you just said it heals me faster. Who knows how hurt other people would have gotten had they been there. I’m the only one whose magic can heal, so I should be the one going after the things that threaten my family.”

“Not alone, Emma. You are not a one-man show. We work together.”

“You were a one-man show in the Enchanted Forest. And you run this town single-handedly.”

“No. I had guards, servants, advisers, and an army of people willing to do my bidding in the Enchanted Forest. And I have help here as the Mayor. I have an assistant, I have a Sheriff, I have councilmen and women. It is foolish to act alone. You have too many people who care about you for you to continue this reckless behaviour. It stops today, Emma.”

Emma didn’t answer, choosing instead to remain silent. Regina wasn’t her boss, and she could do what she wanted. It wasn’t worth the argument though, so she simply said nothing. Silence filled the room, only the sound of the ticking clock audible for many long minutes. Finally, Regina filled the silence, her rage having dissipated now that she had time to cool off.

“We should return to the mansion. Your dinner is probably cold by now.”

Emma shrugged, her anger having disappeared as well.

“Cold food never stopped me from enjoying a meal before. Never matters what it is or how cold. If I’m allowed to have some, I’m not gonna to complain. Besides, cold burgers are pretty good.”

Regina blinked away that familiar uncomfortable feeling, the one that stirred every time Emma made vague comments that alluded to her past. Regina was a master at deciphering Emma’s comments, and she had long ago figured out that the woman had been severely malnourished as a child. It was one reason, in her long list of reasons, for which she kept snacks, fruit, and desserts well within reach whenever Emma was over. She always offered the woman a meal when she stopped by, as well as a Tupperware container filled to the brim with leftovers. She hadn’t always cared whether or not Emma ate, but as their friendship grew, so too did her need to take care of the other woman.

“Uh, Regina? You listening?”

“Yes, of course. I’m pleased you agreed to join me at the mansion. Let’s go.”

Emma smirked.

“I said I needed clothes before I left this place. Think you can find me some pants?”

“Fine.”

Regina quickly made her way back to the reception area, demanding a pair of scrubs from the receptionist who had refused to cooperate with her earlier. The plump brunette finally agreed, bringing back a dark blue set of scrubs.

“I’m only doing this for Sheriff Swan.”

“I’m sure the entire Sheriff Department will send you a fruit basket for your cooperation.”

Regina grabbed the clothing and made her way back to the room, once again turning as Emma dressed.

“My side is already feeling better,” Emma said, noting there was less pain as she put on her top.

“Hallelujah. I’ll be able to rest easy tonight now that I have that information. Are you ready yet?”

Emma chuckled as she slipped on her pants.

“You’re such an asshole.”

“Yes, and yet you insist on my company.”

“I guess I’m just a masochist. You can turn around now.”

“Finally,” Regina muttered, turning around and eyeing Emma’s new attire. “Well, it seems you are capable of wearing clothing that does not require excessive amounts of grunting to get into.”

“How do you know I grunt my way into my clothes?”

“Please, Emma. You cannot wear jeans that tight without there being significant effort on your part.”

“Ohh, checking out my ass, are you Madam Mayor? That would be completely inappropriate if I didn’t totally love it.”

Emma strolled out of the room, leaving a glaring Regina in her wake. She loved one-upping the other woman. It happened so rarely.

 


 

“Oh my God. This burger is fucking awesome,” Emma moaned, taking another bite. “This is so good.”

“Watch your language.”

“Oh man. I could have three more of these,” she continued, ignoring the reprimand. “How come you let me have bacon and cheese on it? Not that I’m complaining. On second thought, forget I asked. I don’t want to question a good thing.”

Regina swallowed her bite of chicken Caesar salad before responding.

“You have lost too much weight these past few weeks. You are going to begin a high calorie, nutrient-dense diet in order to return your body to a healthy weight.”

“Does that mean I get to eat more bacon cheese burgers?”

“It means that you will be consuming foods rich in calories and full of nutrients, such as avocadoes, salmon, kale, seeds and nuts, berries, whole yogurt…”

Henry looked over, grinning excitedly.

“Does that mean we get to have ice cream and chips and chocolate, since ma needs to get fat?”

“Hey! I am not going to get fat.” Emma suddenly looked panicked, turning back to Regina. “You’re not gonna make me get fat, right? I can’t be a fat sheriff.”

“I will return you to a healthy weight.”

Emma stared at her, blinking. Regina sighed.

“No, Emma. You will not get fat.”

“Oh, thank God,” she said, the relief evident in her voice as she took another giant bite of her burger.

Regina shook her head, finishing her salad and putting the container down on the coffee table. Normally, she would never allow food to be eaten in the living room. However, Emma and Henry had both looked at her with wide, begging eyes. She found it nearly impossible to resist their identical pleading expressions. One alone, she could resist (with a small degree of difficulty). Both? Loving Snow would be an easier feat.

“You didn’t answer my question though. Can we have ice cream?”

Emma glanced at her milkshake, shoving several fries in her mouth as she waited for Regina’s response. She was technically getting ice cream with her supper, but she wasn’t going to say no to more for dessert.

“You have already had several treats this evening, Henry Mills. Ice cream will not be another.”

He gave her a small, disappointed look, but he didn’t argue. Getting to eat take out in the living room on a school night was definitely more than he expected. Maybe his ma getting hurt wasn’t such a bad thing after all. Well, he wasn’t happy she was hurt and he was very relieved to see she was okay, but he also really liked eating chicken fingers and fries on the couch while watching Iron Man.

“Thirty minutes until bedtime, Henry.”

He nodded, turning back to the tv. His movie would be over in exactly 24 minutes, so he didn’t argue. Plus, even though his mom had calmed down quite a bit from the hospital, he knew she was still capable of getting really mad if provoked. She wasn’t totally relaxed, even though she looked calm on the outside. He knew her well enough to know she was still really upset with his ma, not that he blamed her. His ma had been really dumb today and worried a lot of people, including his mom. So, he sat quietly and unpaused his movie.

“I will be cleaning the kitchen and making Henry’s lunch should either of you need me. You will stay here, Emma. No getting up and no rough housing. I mean it. Are you listening, Henry?”

“Yes, mom. No rough housing, I promise.”

“I can come help you in the kitchen.”

“No, you have done quite enough for one day. Sit.”

Emma waited until Regina left the room before turning to their son.

“She’s still pretty pissed, isn’t she?”

He nodded, not looking away from the tv.

“And she’d be even more mad if she heard you saying that in front of me.”

Emma shrugged.

“I got yelled at a lot by her already. Yelling at me seems to be the theme for today.”

“You’re lucky. You got off easy.”

“What? Did you not hear me about getting yelled at all day?”

Henry sighed as he paused the movie, resigning himself to the fact that he wasn’t going to get to finish it.

“Mom’s first reaction when stuff happens is to get mad.”

“I know. It’s hard not to notice. Her go-to emotion is rage. I mean, look at her past. Takes someone who is pretty angry to do the things she did,” Emma said with a shrug.

He shook his head, irritation overcoming him.

“No, you don’t get it. Mom gets mad but that’s not how she really feels. I read somewhere that anger is an emotion that hides how you really feel. It’s like a mask or something. So someone gets mad ‘cause they’re hurting or scared or something. You scared everyone today because you acted dumb. You went after a Cyclops that could have killed you and you didn’t tell anyone that you were going to do it. And you scared mom, like really bad. You didn’t see her reaction when she realised you were missing, ma. You didn’t see how scared she got. Everyone was looking around for you, but mom already knew you were gone after it ‘cause she knows you do stupid stuff like that. And when she went to the forest and saw all the trees that were destroyed and saw all the blood everywhere, but you weren’t there, she got even more scared. She didn’t know what happened to you. It’s like after I got mad at her last month and left and went to see the twins, she couldn’t find me and when I got home she yelled and screamed forever. It’s ‘cause I scared her. Mom’s fear comes out as anger. And the more she’s scared-”

“The angrier she gets.”

“Exactly. So she’s gonna act mad at you for a long time, but it’s because she was worried about you. So if she’s been yelling at you all day, it’s actually kind of a good thing, ‘cause it means she cares about you a lot. You scared her and she cares about you, that’s why she’s mad at you.”

Emma suddenly felt incredibly small.

“I didn’t know she cared that much,” she said softly.

Henry reached out and squeezed her shoulder.

“Mom’s not real good at showing her feelings, kinda like you. But she cares about you. A lot. And if you took a second to think about it, you’d see what I mean. She likes it when you’re around and she smiles more and laughs at your dumb jokes even though they’re not funny. And she makes lots of desserts when you come, which is really awesome by the way, and she lets you pick the tv show and buys you pop and tries to hide it in the vegetable drawer even though I totally know it’s there. Thanks for not blabbing and telling her I’m drinking it by the way. Anyway, the point is, she cares about you a lot. Like, more than pretty much everyone else, except me. And you were stupid and didn’t think about her feelings when you left today. So you hurt her too, even though she’s never ever gonna tell you that. Pay attention, ma. Stop thinking people don’t care about you, ‘cause they do. A lot. And I know you’re used to like being on your own, but it’s not like that anymore. You scared all of us.”

Henry stopped talking when his voice caught in his throat. He didn’t protest when his ma pulled him in a hug, needing the comfort of her embrace.

“I was scared too, ma,” he whispered. “Don’t do it again, okay?”

Emma blinked back the tears and shook her head in his shoulder.

“I’m sorry, kid. I promise I won’t do it again. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Henry nodded in acceptance.

“At least go and see mom before you do something stupid, okay? She’s really smart. She’ll help you make the right decision. Or at least keep you from getting killed.”

“You’re right. And she is pretty smart. So are you, kid. When did you get so wise?”

Henry pulled away, but he stayed sitting next to his mother.

“I’m thirteen now, ma. I’m not a kid anymore. Plus, mom raised me. Do you really think she’d raise a dumb kid?”

Emma chuckled.

“I guess not.”

Henry smiled in satisfaction, turning back to the tv and hitting “play”. He had just snuggled back into the couch when his mom returned, pointing at him.

“Time for bed, Henry. You may finish your film in the morning.”

He suppressed an irritated groan. He couldn’t wait to buy his own house where he could make his own rules and eat ice cream as much as he wanted and watch movies in his boxers for as many hours as he wanted. But since he was not quite old enough yet, he paused his movie and leaned over his ma, kissing her cheek.

“Goodnight, kid.”

“Night, ma.”

He walked past his other mother, who told him she’d be up in a few minutes to say goodnight. When they were alone, Regina turned to Emma.

“Would you like to sleep now as well? You’ve had a long day.”

“No. Um, actually, I’d like to talk. You know, after you put Henry to bed. If that’s okay?”

“Of course, dear. Would you like me to retrieve my teapot from the china cabinet? We could have a nice, warm cup of Earl Grey as we talk. I believe I have some biscuits in the cupboard as well. The dry kind that crumble when you eat them. I know how you like them so.”

Emma laughed as she shook her head.

“Go put our son to bed before I throw one of your fancy cushions at you.”

“That would be assault with a weapon, Sheriff,” Regina called back over her shoulder.

Emma chuckled as Regina made her way upstairs, her own pleased smile on her lips.