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all the world's a stage

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“Quick! They’re up!”

Regina scowls at the parent volunteer, but remains silent as she hastily adjusts Henry’s costume.

“All set.” She pats him on his leafy head and sends him on stage to stand with the other trees right before the curtain opens.

Regina sighs in relief. Her joy at Henry for participating in the school play had quickly been replaced with all nighters as she struggled to put together a decent costume and help him memorize his lines. But it was worth it because in the end, because slowly but surely, they're repairing their relationship.

Suddenly, she feels two arms encircle her waist and she turns abruptly, looking around cautiously.

“Don’t worry,” Emma says releasing her. “There’s no one around.”

Regina doesn’t miss the deflated tone in Emma’s voice. She takes her hand and pulls her behind the set, stepping over props. “It’s not that I’m ashamed of you, Emma,” she assures, taking both of the blonde’s hands in her own. “But things are complicated in this town, it’s not like Boston. And I want Henry to know first. He found out about his adoption from someone else and..“

“We all know how that turned out,” Emma finished softly. “I understand.”

Regina nods, her eyes focused on Emma’s shoes.

“Hey, listen.” Emma tilts her chin up. “I don’t mind. We’ll do it when you’re ready.”

Regina doesn’t reply, but instead pulls Emma in, kissing her gently. Emma responds immediately, deepening the kiss. They’re so lost in the moment that they don’t hear Nicholas in his stiff tin man suit trip and pull the set backdrop down onto himself. The women jump apart, but it’s too late. A stunned silence settles over the auditorium, every eye on the mayor and sheriff who are standing paralyzed in the middle of the stage.

Emma chances a glance at Regina. The mayor is clearly horrified, and she looks as though she might burst into tears at any moment.

Emma takes Regina’s hand, trying to convey all the strength she can through a squeeze. Regina’s eyes dart up to hers.

“Take a bow,” Emma mouths, grinning bashfully.

They turn to face the audience and bow, hands joined. To their surprise, the crowd responds with thundering applause.

They hide in the wings until the show ends, at which point Henry bolts off the stage and wraps his arms around them.

“That was so cool! It’s even better than my storybook!”

Emma bats some of his branches out of the way, the confusion on her face matching Regina’s. “You- you’re not mad?”

“We were going to tell you!” Regina blurts, as if Emma’s comment might ignite Henry’s anger.

But the grin still doesn’t leave their son’s face. “About time too!”

Both women look at each other. “You knew?!”

“You’ve been sharing clothes for a month and Emma leaves her mugs in the sink every morning. Not to mention,” Henry’s grin widens, “She fell off the roof near my window last week.” He crosses his arms, looking scarily like Regina. “Shall I go on?”

Emma lightly knocked him on the back of the head, feeling a wave of relief. “Alright, wise guy. We get it. Go get changed, then we can get some ice cream, okay?”

When she turns her attention back to Regina, who is glaring at the crowd in their seats, most of whom are exchanging money.

“They- they’ve been betting! On us!”

“Well, I guess we’re not as sneaky as we thought.” Emma kisses the top of her head. “Now come on. We’re going to have dinner together, as a family.”