Regina was standing in her kitchen, waiting for her girlfriend to get home. She and Henry had already eaten and her son was already in bed asleep.
She looked at the clock for what seemed like the hundredth time since Emma texted her saying she had gotten a call just before she was about to head home. The brunette was always on edge whenever Emma had to work late nights. A part of her knew that her worry was unfounded. Emma was more than capable of taking care of herself, but since coming to the realization of just how much the younger woman meant to her, Regina had become much more conscious of girlfriend’s safety.
Finally, at around 10:00, Regina heard Emma’s bug drive up in their driveway. At the familiar sound, her body relaxed and a large smile formed on her face. She instantly made her way to the front door and greeted the sheriff as she walked through the door.
“About time you got home.” she smirked as she kissed Emma lightly before helping her take off her red leather jacket.
“Sorry, I’m so late,” Emma spoke while averting her eyes from the brunette’s gaze. “There was a fight at the Rabbit Hole. Took awhile to calm everyone down.”
“Was anyone hurt?”
“Not unless you count Leroy’s pride,” Emma said with a chuckle. “You should have seen the look on his face after Bashful punched him. Who knew he had it in him?”
“Yes, who knew?” Regina was only half listening as Emma spoke. She was much more concerned about why the blonde would not meet her eyes. “Did anything else happen tonight, darling?”
“Kinda yeah.” Emma finally looked at her, yet Regina still worried as she saw uncertainty reflected in those hazel eyes. The sheriff bit her lip nervously before continuing, “I want to ask you something and please be honest with me?”
“Always Baby.” Regina placed her arms, comfortingly around Emma’s waist. “Besides, I’ve already learned not to try to outsmart your superpower.”
The blonde smiled slightly at the joke but then frowned once more. “Gold, he wasn’t the only teacher you had a thing for, was he?”
The mayor’s brow furrowed at the question, “What?”
“On my way to the bar, I passed the queen and Maleficent. They looked like they were heading to Mal’s place...and they were kissing.” The last part of Emma’s statement came out in a whisper.
“Oh,” now it was Regina’s who avoided eye contact. “Of course they were.”
“You two were an item in the Enchanted Forest, weren’t you?”
The brunette’s cheeks darkened as she nodded.
Emma took the mayor’s hand and lead them towards the living room. “Why didn’t you ever tell me about you and Mal,” she asked while sitting them both on the couch.
“I honestly wasn’t sure how you’d take it.”
The blonde placed her hand on Regina’s knee, prompting her girlfriend to look at her. “I just want you to be honest with me Angel. I promise I’m not jealous or anything, I just don’t want you to feel you need to hide things from me.”
She took a deep breath as her mind filled with the memories of her past. “When I finally got Maleficent to agree to teach me some of her magic I started spending as much time as possible with her. At first, she was a mentor, then she became a friend, and then one day I realized, she was my sanctuary, my safe place. She never expected me to be perfect, never yelled or berated me when I made a mistake.
“One night we just started talking, drinking, laughing. Then before I knew it she was kissing me.” Regina smiled as she said that. “Mal was the first person since Daniel who made me feel beautiful and cared for. That night she became my cariño,” she saw Emma raise her brow at the word. “It means sweetheart. She wouldn’t let me call her that so I used the Spanish word instead, she thought it sounded sexier.” Regina smirked before another thought came to her mind. “She was also…”
“Also?” Emma squeezed her knee, urging the brunette to continue.
“She was a welcomed relief from the king,” Regina whispered with a grimace.
The sheriff then placed her arms around her lover and pulled her closer to her own body so that Regina’s head rested on her shoulder. Emma was grateful that she had never met the man. Family or not, he made Regina’s life so much more miserable than it already had been.
Regina had told Emma about her loveless marriage. Leopold may have been a kind king and a loving father, but he was also a fifty-year-old man that asked a seventeen-year-old girl’s hand in marriage. He only ever touched her on their wedding night, the worst night of Regina’s life. As she felt his hands over her body she remembered her mother saying it was what a good wife did, so she did her best not to cry or scream as it was happening.
After that night, when Leopold declared their marriage official, she spent every night, gratefully, alone. Although, whenever in the public eye the king would insist that Regina stay by his side to maintain appearances. She remembered cringing every time he held her by her waist. The young queen had felt nothing but hatred for the man she was forced to marry and she cursed every moment she was forced to spend in his presence.
After learning of her maternal grandfather, Emma was actually glad to hear that Regina had him killed in such a painful manner. No one was allowed to hurt Regina. No one was allowed to hurt the woman she loved. If he were still alive, the blonde would probably have ended his life herself.
Regina relaxed as soon as her body was pulled into her lover’s comforting touch.
Her frown disappeared as she felt soft lips press lovingly against her forehead. After she took a moment to simply enjoy the feeling of being in the blonde’s arms, the mayor pulled back just enough to look Emma in the eye. “Mal...she made me feel special. Like Daniel had. Like you do now.”
Emma grinned, “You are special Regina.” She placed another kiss to Regina’s head, “So how long did you two date?”
“Years. Eventually, our careers got in the way. We remained close until I cast the curse and then, well you know what happened…I still feel tremendous guilt for what I did to her.” Regina’s voice wavered.
Emma tried to comfort her by running her hair through the other woman’s hair, a gesture that always helped to calm the mayor down.
“Why did you trap her?” Emma asked cautiously, not wanting to upset Regina more.
“She wanted to stop me. I was too blinded by my own thirst for vengeance that I couldn’t see that she was trying to help me, not hurt me.”
“Well, she’s obviously forgiven you if she feels comfortable enough to be with the queen.”
“Yes...I...I know that she has since forgiven me.” Regina looked away once more as a slight blush appeared on her cheeks.
Emma smiled, thinking that her girlfriend looked so adorable whenever she blushed. She gently took hold of Regina’s chin and guided her eyes back to hers. “It’s okay Angel. As long as you feel comfortable with it, you can tell me anything and I promise I won’t get upset.”
Regina relaxed under Emma’s soft gaze, “After you told Mal about Lily and how you knew her, she came to me crying. She was feeling this mixture of relief due to knowing her daughter was still alive, and guilt for not being able to be there for her growing up.
“I held her as tight as I could while she cried. After a while, I started wiping away her tears and got lost in her blue eyes just like I used to...then I kissed her. One thing led to another and well...it was only that one night before you and I left for New York. After that, I kept my distance so that she could spend time with Lily.”
“So, not too long before you and I got together?” Emma said while they both started to get lost in the memory of how they started dating.
Robin had changed once they returned to Storybrooke. He was now mourning his late wife for the second time and with the knowledge of being with Regina’s sister, things just did not feel right between the former queen and the thief anymore. Within a week of their return, he told Regina that he needed a fresh start. The mayor was hurt but she agreed that nothing more could come from their relationship.
Not long after her breakup, Regina started talking to her sister, a large part of her wanting to salvage any relationship she could with the redhead. Zelena was, after all, her last blood family member, plus the brunette wished to be in the life of her future niece or nephew. Things between the two sisters began to strengthen when the symptoms of Zelena’s pregnancy started to kick in. The redhead found herself going to her younger sister more often, wanting someone, anyone, to care for her during that time.
With so much going on around her, Regina found herself being overwhelmed and began going to Emma for distractions. One distraction led to the two of them cuddled up on Regina’s couch while the blonde introduced her to “Imagine You & Me.” Emma started holding the brunette, stroking her hair comfortably. Regina allowed herself to relax into Emma’s arms.
Once the movie ended neither felt like moving, so the sheriff continued her ministrations in the brunette’s hair, while they talked softly to each other. Regina, eventually, looked up at the blonde and saw her green eyes gazing lovingly into her own. The mayor found herself leaning into Emma more, as she placed her lips onto the blonde’s. Emma didn’t hesitate in returning the kiss that Regina gave her, relieved that the brunette cared for her in the same way that she secretly had for years. Since then the two had spent nearly every night together.
They kept their relationship secret from everyone, except Henry, until Emma sacrificed herself for Regina and became the Dark One. It was their true love’s kiss that finally broke the curse over Emma and it also proved to everyone that the two were perfect for each other.
“Yes,” Regina replied going back to their conversation while looking at her lover. She could easily tell that despite Emma not being upset with her about her past with Mal, the blonde’s insecurities were beginning to creep up. Emma always thought of herself as being unworthy of the former queen, no matter how much Regina told her otherwise.
The mayor gave Emma a soft, loving kiss before speaking. “I love you, Emma Swan.” She placed her hand on her girlfriend’s cheek as she talked. “Maleficent was my past. You are my present and my future.”
“I love you too Regina,” she gave the brunette a small grin. “But, be honest, do you still care for her like you used to?” Emma stared at Regina, waiting for her lover to speak.
Regina was quiet for a minute trying to figure out how to tell the truth while also conveying her love for the woman sitting in front of her.
“I do,” she finally spoke, “but Emma, please know that while I do care for her, you and Henry are all I need to be happy.”
Emma held the brunette’s gaze before leaning in to kiss her tenderly, hoping to show just how much Regina meant to her with that kiss.
“I’m sorry for asking all this Angel. I guess I saw the queen and Mal together and just started...freaking out a little. I’m really not jealous that you still have feelings for her but, I don’t know how I would ever move on if you decided to leave me.” Emma whispered while she pulled herself closer to Regina, practically feeding off the woman’s comforting warmth.
Regina shook her head and stroked Emma’s arm. “You have nothing to apologize for Baby. And you needn’t worry about me ever leaving you, I would be breaking my own heart if I did.”
Emma smiled and leaned her head against Regina’s. The two took time to simply enjoying feeling the other in their arms.
“Now,” Regina spoke after a few minutes, “how about dinner? I saved you a piece of lasagna.”
“Actually, I’m thinking about skipping dinner tonight,” Emma smirked as her hands traveled down to stroke Regina’s hip.
“You hate skipping meals.”
“Yeah I know, but I have something more important that I want to do right now.” the blonde said while stroking her side.
“Oh,” the brunette grinned, “and what would that be?”
“Take you up to our bed and show you just how much I love you.”
Regina leaned in to kiss Emma passionately. “Lead the way Baby.”
Since her arrival in Storybrooke, the queen had been staying with the blonde dragon that had stolen her heart so many years ago. There was a time when she would only ever consider herself to be truly safe if she was in Maleficent's presence. Now that she was being seen as the villain again, by her son and the rest of the town, she went to the blonde for safety once more. It had not taken long for those old flames to ignite between the two again.
When they had arrived at Mal’s home that night, the dragon and her queen both quickly changed into more comfortable clothes since they were out of the public eye. The blonde wore black panties along with an oversized dark purple t-shirt which had a picture of Spike from My Little Pony on the front, a birthday gift from Regina, and the brunette changed into a pink silk nightie and wore red boy shorts underneath. Both had also let their hair loose so that their long tresses touched their backs and their faces had been cleaned of all traces of makeup. They then quickly found themselves lying on the Mal’s couch, the brunette on top of the blonde, and kissing passionately.
“Why did we ever stop this?” the queen asked as she pulled away to take a breath.
“Because someone,” Mal tapped the brunette on her nose making her scrunch her face adorably, “was too preoccupied with revenge and learning how to perform a certain dark curse.”
“To be fair, you weren’t much better...but I am still very sorry for what I did to you afterw…” the queen was interrupted when soft lips came up to meet hers once more.
“We have already talked about this Regina,” she whispered in her lover’s ear. “I no longer hold any anger towards you for what you did and you shouldn’t either.”
Instead of responding, the queen smiled at the use of her name, Mal was the only one in town that used it. She then snuggled further into the blonde’s arms and tangled their legs together.
Whenever she was out in public, she felt as if she always had to maintain her evil persona. While she did still feel hatred toward Snow White for her betrayal, there were many times that the brunette simply wanted to relax, to be gentle and feel loved.
Maleficent gave her that opportunity. Around the dragon, she could simply be herself, without the elaborate outfits and sharp tongue. Instead, she could just curl up on the couch and melt into a pair of strong, loving arms.
Maleficent smiled down at the queen whose head now rested on her chest and placed a small kiss on her hair. She felt so grateful to be the one that got to see the queen in such a state. Her love for her former student had truly never wavered, even during her years of being imprisoned beneath the town, and it felt so right to be holding her again. Especially knowing that she didn’t have to let go anytime soon.
The dragon looked down at the queen once more and noticed her brow was now creased. “What is it Poppet?”
She was also the only one who could get away with calling her that.
The brunette righted her features before looking up at Mal, “Did you see the look on the savior’s face when she spotted us together? Priceless, was it not?” she smirked.
Mal saw past the look on her lover’s face and ignored the question, “Do you really hate them? Emma and Regina I mean.”
The brunette laughed a little at that, a laugh that her lover could tell was forced. “Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?”
“Perhaps because you’re not as evil everyone believes you to be and that you and the other Regina possess the same large, loving heart, whether you want to admit it or not.” Mal talked softly not wanting to upset the queen.
The younger woman raised herself up so that she could look into Mal’s blue eyes and spoke with seriousness. “I’m not Regina, my heart is pure black compared to hers.”
“And yet, here you are holding me just as gently as ‘Regina’ did a few months ago.”
A few moments of silence pass before the queen lowered herself once more and hid her face in her lover’s shoulder.
“There may be a few similarities between us.” she mumbled.
The dragon can’t help the small giggle that escapes her. Regina was still just as adorable as she had always been. She placed another sweet kiss against her hair before tightening her hold more.
A large part of her wanted to continue to hold the woman just like that for the rest of the night, yet she needed to know the answer to a burning question that had been floating around in her head.
She took a deep breath to gather enough strength to ask. The movement causes the queen to pull back slightly once more.
Maleficent ran her hand through the queen’s long locks before locking her blue eyes to the chocolate brown ones. “I need to ask you a question Poppet. Please be honest with me?”
The queen nodded.
“Do you love Emma Swan?”
The brunette furrowed her brow “I love you, Maleficent.” she brought her hand up to the blonde’s cheek, stroking her thumb over the warm skin. “You were my friend, my teacher, and the first woman that ever made my heart beat faster. I have always loved you and I always will.”
“I know you love me, Regina.” Mal lifted her head just enough to give her girlfriend a quick, soft kiss. “But that was not what I asked.”
The queen sighed deeply, seeing the seriousness in Mal’s eyes. She felt her heart constrict in her chest, knowing the truth could cost her, but she also knew better than to lie to her lover.
She slid her body off of Mal and onto the sofa below them and Mal shifted so that they laid facing one another.
“You know about the year we spent apart right? When I sent Henry and Emma to New York?” she continued when the blonde nodded. “After we all returned to Storybrooke, I was the one people turned on, thinking I was the only one that could possibly be responsible for their missing memories. Everyone was back to hating me, everyone except Emma.
“Before I was forced to send them away Emma and I were growing closer. I no longer saw her as someone who could steal my son from me, I was even beginning to see her as more of a friend. My only friend. So when I told her I had nothing to do with the missing year and she believed me, it meant the world to me. Things were just starting with Robin and that terrified me enough, I had just learned I had a sister that wanted to kill me, all that along with Henry not even knowing who I was...Emma was the only stable thing in my life at that point. I...I knew I could trust her. If was not too long afterward that I realized…” The queen trailed off, looking nervously at Mal as if afraid to continue.
“It’s okay Poppet.” the blonde brushed her hand over the brunette’s side. “I only want you to be honest. I have no intention of ever letting you go, no matter what. But I do need to know if there is a chance of you letting me go.”
“I realized I was falling in love with her.” the queen whispered honestly. “I was just too afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to risk our friendship in case she did not feel the same.”
“Obviously she does.” Mal dropped her eyes as she spoke.
“But that doesn’t matter now my cariño.” the younger woman spoke earnestly. “Now that I have you back...I was foolish once to put something else before the woman I loved. That is not a mistake I plan on making again. I am never leaving you Mal.”
The dragon smiled as she leaned forward to press her forehead against her lover’s. “Promise?”
“I promise.” the queen said as she returned the smile and wrapped her arms tightly around the woman she had spent most of her life loving.
Mal allowed herself to relax into the queen’s hold as a sigh of relief escaped her her. She brought her hand up to her lover’s face before kissing her.
For two queens of darkness, both Maleficent and the Evil Queen both felt extremely light in that moment as they allowed their love for one another to flow freely.