Regina entered Storybrooke’s meeting epicenter around 8 AM, and Granny's diner was nearly empty. ‘8 AM isn’t too early for burgers right?’ Regina’s stomach rumbled an astounding ‘NO!’
At that time of the morning only a few regulars occupied the dining area of the establishment. She had sat out in her vehicle for a good ten minutes, apprehensive about how much detail she should give Emma’s best friend and really had not come to a decision on what to tell the leggy brunette when she asked what had happened. All she knew was she needed a light touch with the girl as wolves were known to feel emotions much more deeply than humans did, even in their human form.
The brunette in question spied the mayor almost immediately as she came out of the kitchen adjusting her apron. She ran to the mayor and wrapped her up in a bear hug, lifting her off of the ground in her exuberance. Hugging wasn’t something she and the wolf had ever done but this day, at this moment, it was certainly welcomed.
Regina pulled back after a moment breaking their embrace. The wolf’s toothy smile was infectious and the mayor smirked with her question, “So, ‘Gi’?” the teasing tone brightened the waitress’ grin and she replied, “Well yeah! If we are like friends then a nickname is warranted!”
Regina looked teasingly with an eyebrow raise and Ruby continued, “You get to call me ‘Miss Lucas’ all sexy and sultry like, fair is fair Madam Mayor!”
Regina chuckled and bowed to the younger woman’s reasoning. “I suppose Miss Lucas, that is acceptable.”
The waitress put a protective arm around the mayor and guided her towards the back of the diner. “So what happened? Is Emma okay?”
The mayor worried her lip and looked around cautiously before explaining in broad stroked detail the events that lead her to questioning the pirate. She glossed over the more intimate details of Emma being bound to herself and focused on the interrogation from that morning and her plan-what-plan to fix the entire situation.
Ruby listened intently and asked clarifying questions when Regina carefully side stepped certain things. The girl’s green eyes paled into her wolf’s golden color when Regina went into detail of the pirate and what his plan for the savior had entailed.
“This potion has really…” Regina trailed off and worried her lip before opening up to the wolf. “She isn’t at all the Emma we know and love. I literally have her locked in my bedroom to keep her safe from herself. I’m not sure what else to do.” A moment of silence and the mayor added, “Perhaps I should have taken her to the hospital. I don’t know what I was thinking.” her self doubt started to creep its way into their conversation and Regina blushed knowing she was revealing too much. She liked the wolf, sure, but she had decades of mistrust to overcome before she would ever be comfortable letting someone truly in.
The waitress seemed to understand and with caring eyes she met the former queen’s gaze. “You know Emma as well as I do. She is a very private person, she wouldn’t be happy being exposed in a hospital setting, I’m sure you made the right call Gi.”
“Perhaps.” the corner of the queen’s mouth lifted in appreciation of the understanding she got from this girl.
“She isn’t hurt or sick, she is under a spell. I’m positive she will be grateful you’ve taken such good care of her.” The young brunette patted her sentiment on the older woman’s forearm.
“So, what can I do to help you?” the lycan finally asked.
Regina had given this some thought, knowing the girl would want to help. With a tight worried grin she dug out a credit card from her wallet. “Keep food coming a couple times a day for us both. I need to focus on finding a cure and I sincerely doubt Miss Swan is in any shape to provide us with meals.” Concern spread across the mayor’s face and she bit her bottom lip before finally asking, “Does Granny still have tranquilizers for your wolf time?”
Red's eyes got wide with shock “Regina!?”
The queen bowed her head, “It is bad Red. She is in pain.” Regina could see the pain within her blonde charge as the woman begged her for her touch, the craving seemed to cause the woman agony. “I can not continue to use magic to keep her asleep, I need another option.” Ruby swallowed hard, her mind conjuring all kinds of horrors in the absence of detail. It was Regina's turn to be startled as a protective growl purred from the girl. “I swear I will kill him.” Regina rested her hands on her friend's shoulders and looked her in the eye, “When I have no more use for him, he will die in some of the worst ways I can think of Red. It will not be quick, and I have decades of experience inflicting horrors upon the flesh.” Her once melted chocolate irises were suddenly swallowed by a pit of black as the mayor’s emotion dilated her pupils. A swirl of purple magic hazed over the darkness as her anger grew.
The wolf took a step back and nervously commented, “That is some seriously scary and incredibly hot shit you got going on Gi.”
A warm smile parted the queen's natural pink lips as she pulled back her magical rage, “Indeed, Miss Lucasss.” she hissed in her low seductive tone. Red’s laugh cackled and evaporated the nervous charge around herself. She licked the tip of her index finger and mockingly sizzled Regina’s backside. “Ouch! Hot Momma!” Both women chuckled at the wolf’s attempt at levity when the order bell sounded out in the nearly empty diner. “That’s you Gina.” the waitress announced and walked the mayor back over to the counter.
Red packed up the food containers and handed the bags over to the mayor. “Take care of yourself and if you need anything, please call me.”
Regina gave an appreciative smile and promised she would. She waved as she quickened her pace towards her car, a sudden panicked need to return to Emma washed over her causing her heart to pound loudly in her ears.
Regina pulled into her driveway a few minutes later and rushed up the stone path to the mansion door. She could hear the savior’s agonizing wails from her car and the anguish ripped through the former queen. She quickly made it in and kicked her heels off next to the door and bounded up the stairs two at at time. The cries she had heard outside settled as Emma had no doubt heard the front door.
She opened her bedroom and saw the savior looking so very small sitting on the floor at the foot of her bed cradling her knees, still in her night shirt. Regina's mouth dropped open at the state of her bedroom.
It had been literally torn apart.
Cushions were pulled from the lounger, the chaise was flipped over and looked like it was used as a battering ram against the balcony doors. All of her wardrobe drawers had been pulled out completely and thrown against the walls and the empty wardrobe itself had been flipped over. The contents of her closet had been emptied and the mayor's clothing was strewn everywhere. The bed was pulled apart and the mattress flipped against the bathroom door.
Regina's shock boomed through her voice, she dropped their pseudo breakfast lunch bag upon the floor and bellowed, “EMMA SWAN!!” Emma snapped her attention from the faraway place she had just been, jumped up and ran to Regina who is now standing just within the barrier of the room. The girl threw her arms around the queen and kissed her all over her face. She seemingly had not been bothered by the absolute destruction she had caused in the few hours the queen had been away.
“What happened in here Emma?” Regina asked and pulled the younger woman from continuing her kissing assault.
Emma scowled at the accusation, her gaze unfocused and replied, “You were gone!” As if that were all the reason she would need.
“I left you a note Emma. I said I would return!”
Emma nodded absently and repeated her accusation quietly. “You were gone.”
The dull look in the savior’s green eyes startled the queen out of her initial shock and she shook her head and took a deep breath. She closed her eyes and pulled the taller blonde back into her arms and kissed her forehead. “Okay Emma. I’m here now.”
The girl hugged her fiercely as if the queen’s love were the air she needed to survive and whispered, “Don’t leave me Regina. You said you wouldn’t leave me!”
Regina pooled her patience and stowed her confusion and replied, “I’m sorry darling.”
This Emma was not the Emma Regina had encountered from the night before. She was small and frail and frightened, nothing like the lusty nymph that Regina had forcibly put to sleep the previous night. Uncertain as to what was the root cause to this hyper separation anxiety the mayor decided to just let it go and move forward.
She spoke gently, “How about some food hmm?” the blonde just nodded but did not attempt to break their embrace.
“Stay.” the demand was soft and Regina could hear the fear in her friend’s voice.
“I will, I promise.” Regina pulled away from the strong sculpted arms of Emma Swan and grabbed her hand to reinforce the contact with the girl then bent down and picked up the dropped bags. She guided the blonde to the floor beside the bed, and consequently the cleanest spot in her room, so they could eat.
Emma sat next to the queen, so close that every part of her touched as they sat upon the floor. Regina was hesitant in what she should say to the girl, how she should deal with her lost savior.
‘At least she isn’t humping my leg.’ The brunette thought.
She handed the girl the burger and Emma dug in furiously as if she hadn’t eaten in months.
Regina took a small bite of her own sandwich and watched the savior devour her meal. “Emma,” the queen cautiously began. “Honey, you realize that when I go out, I will always return, right?” Emma slowed her chewing and silently shook her head. The queen took another bite of her sandwich hoping the blonde would elaborate on what was making her come undone whenever the brunette wasn’t within her sight.
‘It was a love potion, what could that have to do with love?’ she pondered silently.
“So you think I won’t return?” Regina asked to clarify and Emma nodded her head then drank back the can of soda Regina had gotten for her.
‘Maybe the potion doesn’t just tap into the victim's rational love centers? Damn I really need to know what I’m dealing with here.’ She thought to herself. When it was clear Emma had no intention on providing details Regina thought it may be easier to broach the subject directly and changed tactics. “Well I will. Do you trust me?” Emma nodded, she had finished her burger and dug into her onion rings. “Good. I want you to understand that I am your friend, and if I go, I will return.”
Emma popped an onion ring into her mouth, “Family.” She mumbled through her chewing.
“I’m sorry dear?” Regina didn’t understand what the girl meant and Emma was being abrupt. Emma swallowed and simply stated, “We aren’t friends Regina. We are family.” Regina was taken aback by the statement and silently wondered if that was something Emma Swan actually thought or if it was the enchantment.
She decided that the sentiment could be used to her advantage and said, “Indeed we are dear. As my family,” Regina stressed the word for Emma's benefit, “I will always be here for you. Even if I have to leave, I will always be back.”
Emma thought about this, studying Regina's eyes with an intense look that was completely Henry. She bit the inside of her lip and looked away.
“What is it Emma?” Emma shrugged her shoulders and continued to be fascinated with the carpet. “You can tell me anything.” Regina prodded.
“I…” Emma started but seemingly couldn’t find the words, “I just…” Regina could tell the girl was struggling to put to words the complex emotions within her. “…I’m afraid of losing you. I panic whenever I think about it. I woke up and you were gone, I thought I had lost you forever! I panicked.” Regina looked around the room and quipped dryly, “Evidently.”
“I just love you so fucking much Regina, I can’t think about anything else.” Regina lifted her arm up to put her hand upon the girl's shoulder in a show of comfort when Emma crashed down into her, wrapping her arms around the mayor’s midsection.
“I would die if I lost you.” the anguish in the words spoken hit the mayor in her dark heart.
Regina closed her eyes and ran her fingers through the blonde locks.
‘Okay, so it is stemming from the enchantment. Let’s see if she can think about it logically.’ Regina slowly caressed the girl's head in her lap. “This feeling just started, right? Do you remember last night with Killian? The potion he put on you? That is why you feel this way dear.”
“No.” was the reply she got.
“No you don’t remember?”
“No, I have always felt this way.”
“No, Emma. It may feel that way, but trust me darling, it is the potion.”
Emma’s form started to shake under Regina's caresses, the mayor realized the girl was sobbing. She shushed her and whispered to her that it was all going to be okay. “I promise I will never stop until I find a way to undo this Emma.” Emma sniffled and the sobs subsided, but the girl didn’t sit up or stir.
‘Enough of this pity party Regina, you have work to do.’
“Would you like to help me today Emma?” Regina's voice was light and smooth and Emma nodded into her abdomen. “Good, we will be doing some research today and your help would be greatly appreciated.” Emma hugged her tighter. “I am so in love with you Regina.”
Regina rolled her eyes and replied, “Yes, yes, Have some carrots dear, they are better for you than onion rings.” Emma slowly sat up, her face scrunched in distaste, but before she could decline Regina piped in, “It would please me for you to eat your vegetables.”
Without another complaint Emma dug into her portion of raw veggies from the platter.
‘Well at least we won’t be arguing about her listening to me.’ The mayor smiled, ‘I wonder if we could keep this part of the enchantment intact?’ her smile grew wider yet at the idea of the Savior doing everything she said without argument. ‘Certainly would save a lot of time, whatever would I do with an extra 13 hours a day?’ she chuckled at her own internal monologue. Emma looked at her, mouth full of carrot bits, “What?”
Regina booped her nose, “Nothing dear, eat up.”
She looked around the room and sighed. Her clothing was everywhere. Her everything was everywhere. She was feeling much more calm and in control and felt better about using magic to repair the damage to her bedroom. She stood and stepped out of the bubble that contained the savior and her magic and with a wave of her hands the binding spell broke. Another flick of the wrists and the room filled with purple smoke and when it cleared the room was back to being its efficient tidy self.
Regina walked back into the room and retrieved a shirt and a pair of sweatpants for Emma from her wardrobe. “Here Miss Swan. Get dressed.” Emma did so immediately, then knelt back down on the floor to finish the veggies. She sighed loudly and held her midsection as she crammed more into her mouth. “What is wrong dear?” Regina inquired. Emma spoke from behind a mouthful of orange mess, “I’m really full.” Still putting more in before swallowing the previously chewed bit. Regina looked curiously at her, “Then stop eating.”
“But you said…” Emma started, “It would please you…” Regina took a deep breath and straightened out non-existent creases to her dress pants, an anxious habit from when she was a child. Her mother called it fidgeting and would punish her for it, but it wasn’t something she ever grew out of. No matter how many wraps to the knuckles she got.
“Emma…” she started, her heart thundering in her ears, she desperately clung to the soothing voice she had been using with the girl, “Don’t hurt yourself. Remember?”
‘Clearly I need to be more careful with how I speak to her.’ Emma nodded. “I just want to please you.” Her gaze lowered. Regina looked down at the girl on her knees before her in an act of complete submission, Regina's body flushed to life, a roaring heat ripped through her and made her knees weak. She stood motionless for several moments before speaking again, “Yes well, your safety is my number one priority Emma.”
A blonde head nodded silently.
A wide fake smile crossed the mayor’s lips. “Let’s clean up and start to work shall we?”