Regina Mills laid nude across the chest of the savior, fading in and out of consciousness. Her blonde pillow buried her nose into her chocolate locks and breathed her in. She wiggled and readjusted herself within Emma’s strong arms when the savior ran her warm hands over her cool flesh.
“Hey.” the blonde said quietly.
“Hey.” the queen automatically replied startled by the woman’s voice. The mayor’s body tensed as her mind started to run through all of the possible ways this situation could potentially blow up in her face.
Emma kissed the brunette’s crown feeling the other woman’s tension and attempted to silently reassure her. Regina pulled back and cautious brown eyes met warm green.
“I already know what you are going to say.” Emma circumvented the queen’s back peddling before she got traction.
“Oh really?” the brunette snapped trying to keep the upper hand of the conversation. “Has your superpower expanded to mind reading Miss Swan?”
“Perhaps with you Regina.” Emma’s smug smile relaxed the mayor just long enough to forget for a second she was completely nude in the arms of the savior. Emma noticed the guarded woman drop the defensive armor and decided to lay it out for the queen and then let her come to whatever conclusion she was going to come to on her own anyway. “You are going to think that this thing that just happened between us isn’t real. You are probably thinking right now that we should have maybe taken it a little slower, considering the set of circumstances that led us here.”
“That isn’t an unrealistic thought process Emma.”
“No, and knowing you the way I do, and Regina, I do know you, you will probably want to pull away and go back to things that were safer until you are sure that this is real.”
Regina broke the gaze from the pair of scrutinizing green eyes as if her mind were actually being read and replied noncommittally, “Perhaps.”
Regina really didn’t want to go back to platonic just friends with Emma, her heart screamed out silently within her to refute the mere accusation but her logical mind had a long standing veto of her heart and she stayed silent.
“Regina?” Emma said cautiously, she knew in no uncertain terms how the queen felt, but she also knew the woman’s inclination for running when she was scared. When the woman resisted the urge to get lost in the mossy green love, Emma lifted the queen’s chin and forced the gaze. “I will wait however long you want to be sure that this is real.”
Regina lowered herself back down into the embrace of the savior and mulled over her options. Could she go back to friends after this? Does she really want to? What about Henry? What about the Charmings?? Not to mention the rest of the town…
“What is it?” Emma asked trying to suppress her mirth.
“How…” the brunette tried to put all of the complicated emotions she felt into words. “How are we going to do this?”
“Well I like the sound of we already.” Emma smiled warmly and pulled the older woman tighter.
“I’m serious Emma. What are we going to do?”
“Okay, I’m sorry. What we are going to do is get some breakfast and maybe talk.”
“Yeah, talk. It’s like this but with more clothes.”
Regina rolled her eyes and pushed herself up off of the savior deciding the woman was not taking this situation as serious as she should be.
“Gina…” Emma reached out and took the woman’s hand and whispered, “Don’t…” Emma trailed off when her mind filled with memories.
Regina don't go!!
I am merely in the next room Miss Swan!
Regina stopped her retreat and dark eyes studied the savior’s features. Emma sat up and brought the queen’s hand to her lips, “I realize we have, well, you’ve been through something major here, I don’t mean to make light. Please? Don’t pull away.”
The mayor corrected softly, “We.”
“We?” Emma questioned.
“We have been through something major here.”
“Of course.” Emma smiled that easy half smile she seemed to always have handy and agreed, “We.”
The mayor sat up, tucked her sheets around herself, displaying a moniker of modesty and asked, “What did Gold say about your situation?” She knew if anything were amiss the dark one would surely have a theory.
The brunette rolled her eyes but nodded.
“He said you were competent at potional magicks and so it wasn't the potion.”
Regina’s features softened at the idea of the dark one’s praise then realized, “You thought I screwed up the antidote?”
“No! Maybe. I don't know, no!” Emma backtracked. “Look it isn't like I just suddenly started having these feelings, but I was just really good at hiding them. Even from myself. I convinced myself you couldn't possibly ever, ever want to be with me. So I figured I had no chance.”
The queen let out a surprised laugh, “You thought you had no chance? You're the embodiment of good!”
Emma looked down at the hand she held in her own and smirked. “You're Regina fucking Mills, bad-ass extraordinaire!” she broke their gaze and shrugged off the scrutinizing dark eyes. “You're like an actual queen, and I'm still just me.”
“You're a princess!” Regina countered.
“I guess. I don't feel like a princess.” the blonde shrugged.
“And you're the savior!” the queen argued.
Emma rolled her eyes, “Whatever that means. I'm still just a lost girl.”
“And I’m the evil queen Emma, I'm the reason you feel like a lost girl. If either of us are lacking trust me it will be me.”
Emma wrapped her arm around the brunette and pulled her close. “My point is…”
“Oh so you do have one?” the mayor sniped.
“Yes if you'll shut up…” Emma closed the gap between them with a grin.
“Never!” the queen looked defiantly up at the savior mirth sparkled in her dark eyes.
Emma could see the teasing look and teased right back. “Promise?”
The mayor nodded and Emma pressed her forehead against Regina’s, “My point is I did some soul searching and I realized that it's always been you Regina.”
A tear slipped over the apple of the mayor’s cheek as her heart welled up with feelings and she offered a sympathetic smile, “And I want to believe in that.”
She did in fact want to believe it. So badly she was tempted to throw caution to the wind and dive straight into whatever this was with the savior. During the time she cared for Emma she had been counting down to the moment where she lost her for good. Now it was as if the countdown was frozen at 1 and at any moment it could commence and the bomb would go off. She knew deep down if it wasn't this, it would be something else. She certainly knew better than to let her heart get invested.
In the light of the kitchen everything seemed to be so much more real than it had been whilst nude in her bedroom with the savior. The mayor busied herself with making them both coffee. She put a bit of hot cocoa in the sheriff’s, making it the poor man’s cafe mocha, with a dash of cinnamon, just as Emma liked it. She fought the raging battle within herself, over what she should do about the blonde. What she wants versus what would hurt the least in the long run. The girl had been right about the mayor's calculated way of thought. She was nervous because she had just been burned one too many times to not be cautious. Regina stirred in the teaspoon of sugar and added milk to the savior’s beverage and licked the spoon slowly before setting it down on the counter.
“I said ‘talking’ included being dressed, Regina.” Emma said with a soft half smile.
The mayor handed over Emma’s cup with a bemused look. “As you can see I am dressed dear.”
“I’m just saying if you keep doing sexy spoon shit like that, you won't be for long.”
“Emma!” the queen scolded as her cheeks blushed a light pink.
The sheriff put her hand up in mock surrender recognizing the brunette’s tense shoulders and backed down immediately. “Okay okay! So maybe my filter is broken a little bit!” the blonde took a sip from her coffee and smiled. “Doesn't mean I don't mean it.”
Regina pretended to ignore that last comment as she pushed herself off the counter towards the busy work of straightening up the dishes.
After a long moment with nothing but clinking dishes, the savior broke the ice. “Alright I guess I’ll start.” Emma focused on her internal bullet list. “Hook. What are we doing with him. He can't stay in jail and he looked pretty bad I think David may have broke his arm.” the blonde cringed internally at the memory.
Regina didn't turn, but admitted firmly, “No that was me.”
“Really!” Emma exclaimed with a shocked open look. It wasn't that she was unaware of the evil queen’s past deeds, she was, it was just different seeing it in Technicolor.
Regina shrugged and half heartedly explained, “Magic.”
“Right.” Emma shook off the good feelings that knowledge brought to the surface and continued. “So yeah I’m at a loss as to what to do. What do you think?”
Regina chuckled darkly but still didn't turn around to face the savior; she just shook her head and answered over her shoulder as she stacked clean dishes in the dry rack, “You really don't want to know what I think you should do.”
“We. We established this was a we effort upstairs.” Emma smugly reminded. “I wouldn't have asked your opinion if I didn't want to know it.”
Regina let the dish she was putting away clang against the others in the dry rack and tensed her shoulders. She spun around on her heel and rage smoldered in her black eyes, it was clear the mostly mild mannered mayor was not driving the bus anymore. “I want to hurt him Emma! I want to hurt him for everything he wanted to do to you! I want him to suffer the way you suffered!! I want him reeling in his agony!” Regina placed her visibly shaking hands on the counter in front of Emma and leaned forward and hissed, “Forever.”
Emma’s mouth dropped open in surprise, but she quickly found her senses and nodded agreement. “Alright.”
The queen laughed at the mere idea the savior could play in the dark and made motion to return to her dishes shaking her head. A cool hand grabbed her hand before she got far and her eyes met the stiff scowl of one Emma Swan. “He has a lot to pay for, so I'm in. What's the plan?”
“You're the savior Emma. You're not just going to allow me to coat that flea ridden pirate in that potion of his and lock him up in his own agony for eternity.”
“Well pretty sure he can age now, so yeah you're right, eternity is probably off the table.”
“You know what I mean.” the brunette warned.
Emma laced her fingers in the mayor's as she sauntered over to her and said, “I'm also fairly certain I've told you, you have no idea what I am capable of.”
The mayor could see the pain behind those mossy green eyes, the anger of the savior burned.
Despite the hurt and anger a pair of smiles grew together, breaking the tension as the women shared a memory of when they passionately hated one another. Emma tightened her grip with the queen as she took a step closer, just feeling the need to be near the woman she loved. Regina relaxed with the sheriff’s proximity but then a question formed. “Wouldn’t this be vengeance Emma?” she asked not necessarily accusing, but actually questioning. This hero stuff was still fairly new to the queen. “I mean if you let me torture him, wouldn’t that be evil?”
“Any more evil then what he tried to do?” Emma asked cautiously not really seeing the mayor’s thought processes as clearly as she normally did.
“So because he was evil, we are going to be evil? That does sound like vengeance.” Regina said thoughtfully.
“So what if it is?” Emma asked then elaborated when the queen seemed a loss for words. “Regina. I have loved you for years and I never in my wildest dreams ever thought you would reciprocate that affection, but” Emma tucked a stray strand of hair behind the queen’s ear as she gazed into the woman’s impossibly dark eyes. “But now I know you do and I want to do all the cutesy coupley stuff people in love do, but I’m afraid that if I do you will think it is the effects of being dosed with magic.”
“I’m sorry Emma…” The queen started feeling the weight of her own guilt on her; Emma pressed a pale finger to dark pink lips, silencing her. “Not your fault. I get it, but it also means I don’t give a shit about if your plan is vengeance or not, if it helps you, if it helps us heal, then we are going forward with it.”
Regina thought on that for a moment and stroked the back of the savior’s hand with her thumb as she contemplated. “Well what about Henry?”
“What about him?”
“If you allow me to do this Emma, he is going to think I’ve corrupted you!” the horror of having her son going back to hating her evident on her tight features.
“Well we don’t need to tell him Regina. ”
“I…” the queen turned away from the blonde and hung her head, “I have a no lying policy with him now.”
“He is 12, he doesn’t need the specifics.” Emma argued.
Watery dark eyes looked up to the savior as her voice wavered. “You don’t understand what him hating me felt like.” she let go of the savior’s hand and turned away from her shaking her head. “I won’t go back to that. I won’t jeopardize my relationship with him over that… pig.” she spat the word as if it held the hatred she held for the man it represented.
Emma turned the brunette back around to face her and promptly encircled her arms around her protectively. As if she could herself shield the woman from their child’s wrath. “Alright, so we just lock him up and throw away the key, okay?”
Regina relaxed in the embrace of the savior, allowing herself to just be held. Another important thought crossed her mind, what if this thing with Emma turned into a real thing? What would Henry say? Would he think she was controlling the blonde by way of magic? How could a 12 year old grasp such a large concept as love is love? She took a deep breath and breathed in the gentle baby powder scent of the woman in her arms.
The moment was far too brief for the queen’s liking when her cell phone rang on the counter. She saw it was David and answered it quickly. The man on the line asked to speak to his daughter knowing she was there, and Regina passed the blonde the phone and with their moment broken, she went back to her dishes.
“Hey David, I’m glad you called. I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to start dating Regina. You and mom are cool with that right?”
The brunette in question whirled around to only be greeted by Emma Swan’s dimpled smile.
David didn’t miss a beat and simply replied, “Yeah did you tell Henry this news this morning by chance?”
“Yeah of course I told Henry first, why?” the woman before her’s features darkened as the queen’s anger rose and Emma lost her smile.
“He was just all smiles this morning and...”
“Hey look dad,” she cut him off then quickly rushed out the pertinent info she needed him to have, a little worried she just started an argument with her son’s mother, “I don’t need you guys to watch Hen tonight, I’ll pick him up after school okay?”
“Alright, I figured you’d need a few days, don’t worry about the station honey, I’ve got it covered till you are 100%.”
“Thanks dad.” she said his title deliberately then she quickly said her goodbye.
Emma barely had the call disconnected when the queen erupted. “What the hell was that?”
“What?” Emma shrugged her shoulders hoping if she seemed blase about it the queen herself would relax a little.
Regina put her hands on her hips and spat, “Don’t play dumb with me!”
Emma tried for her ace of the moment, “Broken filter?”
“Oh no!” Regina shook her finger and her head, “What exactly have you told my son Miss Swan?”
“I went to go see him to see how he felt about me liking you.”
The mayor folded her arms around her midsection and breathlessly spat, “You what?”
Emma saw the color drain from the mayor’s face and rushed over to the queen’s side and said, “It’s okay.”
“The hell it is!” Regina shouted and pulled from the savior’s attempts to soothe.
Emma saw the change in Regina and tried her best to defuse her, “He basically told me you were in love with me.”
As if the savior poured ice water over the brunette's anger she deadpanned, “He what?”
Emma stepped closer still until she was in the queen’s personal space, but not trapping her against anything either and spoke, “Look, despite what you may think, I didn’t approach it like it was a ‘we’ thing. I put all the feelings junk on me. I knew well before you told me, how hurt you were when he claimed to hate you.”
“You had no right Miss Swan! What if he had..” The emotional turmoil hit its zenith and the queen cut herself off with a strangled sob.
Emma caught the brunette up in her arms and soothed her. “Hey he loves you. It isn’t like how it was before Pan. He knows you love him. He wants you to be happy too.” She stroked the back of the brunette’s head as she tucked it under her chin. “I’ve got your back, just like you had mine.”
After several moments of standing as one Emma asks, “Will you come over for movie night tonight?” she felt the brunette stiffen in her arms and she quickly tried to smooth it over. “Hey I’ll let you cook!”
The mayor pulled back from the embrace and sassed, “Oh you’ll let me cook for you and my son, that’s mighty big of you Miss Swan!”
“Come on, we both know if I try cooking, you’ll just step in and take over anyway!”
“Well only because you insist on burning off your taste buds with the amount of salt you put on everything!!”
Emma’s grin widened and Regina rolled her eyes. “Come on.” Emma goaded, “Come over to my place and watch a movie with me and your kid.” she rested her hands on the queen’s hips but didn’t pull her back into another embrace. “Let’s try it out and just see if you like it.”
The queen wiggled out of the savior’s grasp, “I know I’m going to like it Emma, that’s the problem.”
Emma put her hands on her own hips and asked, “Okay, well how about we have a movie night one night a week as part of our normalizing Henry’s childhood? Both of his parents happily co-existing. Even if I somehow stop wanting to get you naked up against the nearest flat surface, which by the way let’s be real, if I ever stop wanting that just put me out of my misery because good god damn...”
The look on Regina’s face said it all and Emma gave her a sheepish grin and back tracked, “Broken filter. Sorry! So you’ll come over tonight?”
Regina rolled her eyes and nodded. “I suppose in an effort to give Henry a sense of normal. Yes. And I’ll cook.”
Emma’s face brightened as she asked, “Lasagna??”
Regina saw the hope in the savior’s green eyes and stoned her emotions and replied, “No!”
Emma physically deflated and her mouth pulled into a kicked puppy scowl. “Really?”
Regina rolled her eyes and cracked a small smile, “No not really Miss Swan I know it’s both my children’s favorite.”
Emma practically jumped for joy and cried, “You’re the best!” in her exuberance she pecked the mayor quickly on the cheek and then again much slower when the queen didn’t resist. “Okay,” she said into the queen’s ear, “I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t just ask, would you consider sleeping over?”
Regina started to shake her head and pulled away putting distance between herself and the blonde. Emma scrambled then offered, “If I am still under the effects of the potion, then I probably shouldn’t be alone yet, huh?”
Regina stepped back and peered at the blonde in her kitchen, “Don’t think I don’t see what you are doing Miss Swan!” The brunette shook her head and let the woman’s words sink in. She shuffled nervously before replying, ”Your feeble attempts to manipulate me aside, you do bring up a worrisome point. Perhaps you and Henry should stay here tonight. I have a guest room.”
“Yes but it is my night. My night means my house.” Emma stated, purposefully being difficult. The fact of the matter was she didn’t have a guest room like Regina’s house did. No guest room meant the sleeping arrangements would leave them both with little choice. Emma was certain she was all in and although she was willing to allow the queen time to get used to it, she also didn’t want to sleep without the mayor ever again. Even if things were just platonic, she felt at ease with the mayor at her side and wanted to continue to feel that way.
“Yes but I didn’t get my nights this week at all because he has been at the Charmings!” Regina exclaimed trying to blame her hesitance on anything but what it really was.
Emma smiled and folded her arms across her chest, “Which is why I am willing to share my nights with you.”
“Which nights?” Regina raised her eyebrow with peaked interest at not having to wait to see Henry.
“All my nights.”
“The rest of the week?”
“The rest of my life?”
Emma rolled her eyes as the woman took a step back. “Alright the rest of the week and we’ll go from there.” Emma said definitively. “Will you stay over?” the blonde put forth her best humane society face and Regina felt herself nod in agreement with the savior's plan.
Regina told herself it was just the one night, just to be sure the woman was okay, but deep down she knew this was going to be the rest of the savior's nights. All her nights and all her days and that thought both frightened and exhilarated her.