“Fine, sis, you go on being in denial. Not my problem. Just trying to be a helpful sister,” Zelena shrugged her shoulders. So what if Regina didn’t listen to her. She had enough of her. But before she poofed out, Regina had her last words.
“I swear to all that is sacred, I will end you, Zelena if you spread these ridiculous accusations,” Regina pointed at her chest. “End you.”
“These are simple observations, sis. Not my fault you’re as blind as a bat. Ta-ta,” she poofed before Regina could throw a fireball at her. Zelena would have to make do with rectifying the situation. By any means necessary. She arrived at the diner only to find the sickeningly sweet and innocent appearing Charmings. She looked at Snow who smiled back at her waving baby Neal’s little hand toward her, gestured a “hello” And with that, Zelena had a stroke of genius.
Two days had passed since Regina had her disagreement with Zelena. Two days where she plotted and discarded plots in equal measure. Two days and it was already Monday morning. She loved to plot, one of her favorite past times, but now it was time to get back to the daily grind of being Mayor. She had an extra half hour on days that Emma had Henry so she decided to clean a bit around the house before dressing and departing for work. She felt accomplished when she got tasks done before 8am. It made her feel driven and focused. She even had enough time to select all her outfits for the week. Today, she decided to don her favorite outfit. Crisp, clean and sharp as a knife three-piece black suit with white trim on the lapels, and a white button-up tucked beneath a vest. She wasn’t in the mood for the town’s bullshit today and this conveyed the message quite clearly. She parked at Granny’s to grab a coffee before going to her office. She entered the diner and went straight for the counter and disregarded all the patrons as she normally did. She did not spot the incessant blonde or Henry, so there was no need to engage the peasants.
Ruby had begun to pour coffee and glanced up to see the Mayor in front of her. He jaw dropped. She was at a loss for words.
“Good morning, I hope that’s my coffee, Miss Lucas,” said Regina politely enough yet conveyed her authority. Ruby continued to pour until the coffee overflowed and spilled all over the counter. “What the hell are you doing!” Regina shot backward.
Ruby sputtered and tried to clean up the mess as fast as she could. “I’m sorry. It’s just you’re so hot.”
Regina raised her eyebrows. She knew the little wolfette had a crush on her. Inwardly, she liked looking at her in skimpy outfits during the curse and was pleased to know that Ruby kept up the practice to a degree. She felt very pleased that the canine pointed out the obvious though spilling coffee nearly on her wasn’t entirely pleasant. “My my, looks like the dog has some teeth.”
Granny came in from the back room at the moment and stopped in her tracks to stare at Regina. “Regina, what on earth are you doing? How dare you. This is a family establishment. I won’t have any of that in here. Get out.”
Regina who had been amused if not slightly irritated went to cold fury in a heartbeat, “Excuse me. Do you know to whom you are speaking to?”
“I won’t have any of that! Out!”
Regina heard a chuckle that could only be from one person. “Oh Regina, dear, you’re causing quite a scene over coffee.” Regina turned to glare at her sister.
“Scene? The wolf here spilled coffee and it’s my fault?”
“Did you not hear me, I said get out,” said Granny fiercely.
Zelena was quick to defend Regina, “Down girl. There’s not any harm in this, is there?”
“Granny, it’s nothing really. Nothing that hasn’t happened around here before with me. Sorry Regina, she’s got a stick up her bum for these kinds of things,” she handed over a new coffee to Regina. But Regina found the eyes of every patron staring at her. Zelena smiled broadly as Snow walked in with Charming and Neal. They stopped dead in their tracks.
“Back to your breakfast or I’ll make it your last. I’m not in the mood for this morning,” Regina barked at them. Several went back to staring at their plates, others gossiping quietly. Several of the dwarves continued to gaze at Regina.
Snow handed off Neal to Charming and went straight for Regina. “You think this is funny? Is this some kind of joke?”
“Snow, I’m especially not in the mood to hear your self-righteous rants this early in the morning,” said Regina as she paid for the coffee to go. Ruby focused intently on the cash register as she took Regina’s cash.
“Self-righteous! HOW DARE YOU! THERE ARE CHILDREN IN HERE. YOU ARE A HORRIBLE WOMAN REGINA MILLS!” Snow yelled going from pale to crimson in fury.
“The only child in here is still in diapers, relax sweet Snow,” said Zelena.
Regina turned to face Snow and walked toward her as Snow backed away with every step. “You know what, pure little Snow, I’ve had enough of you. You better get out of my way or I will destroy you.”
Snow spluttered out “Regina, this is so low even for you. I can’t believe you would do this to me. That’s beyond cruel,” she started to tear up which only further annoyed Regina.
“I didn’t do anything to you, you crazy woman. Not recently anyway. Have a good day with your Charming family,” and with that, she exited the diner.
Zelena looked to Ruby who had let out a long sigh. “Damn, that woman is something else.”
“Indeed. Such a shame the Sheriff wasn’t here to alleviate some of the tension,” Zelena quipped with a smirk.
The short commute to her office gave Regina the only solace she had in the coming hours. For as soon as she entered office chaos ensued. She came into the town hall building only to see the security guard posted just inside trip over his own feet and land squarely at her feet. The files he carried, splayed all across the floor. He apologized profusely and collected the files as she swept across the room and uttered “Save it.”
Her secretary, a demure and serious woman peered over her spectacles and raised an eyebrow. “Good morning, Lorena.” She continued to look at Regina. “Is there anything urgent before my meeting with the Mining Association at ten?” said Regina who looked at her schedule on her phone.
“Mr. Jones will be here shortly to discuss shipping tours,” Lorena said. She valued her life and thought it best to stick to the professionalism she had been renowned for.
“Oh wonderful. As if this day couldn’t get any worse already, just adding in guyliner creates the icing on a terrible cake. Thank you, Lorena, show him in when he arrives,” Regina said as she went into her office and closed the door behind her.
The door opened a half hour later and she swore she could smell fish and alcohol come in with Killian Jones. “What’s on the agenda for you today, Hook?”
He walked over slowly to her desk, plopped himself on the seat and raised his eyebrow, “Just went I thought this town couldn’t be any fun in between curses and snow monsters, I get to have a lovely chat with my favorite Mayor.”
“Do you know of any other Mayors, Mr. Jones?” She rebutted.
“That’s not the point, love,” he said leaning forward.
“You’re here for fishing tours? Am I correct?” she said as she eyed the paper Lorean gave her.
“Fishing? No, pirate boat tours on the Jolly Roger around the harbor. Not much of pirating these days so I need to make some gold anyway I can,” he said.
“I see no problem with that as long as it’s safe and secure. You’ll have to coordinate with the fire and sheriff’s department to up to code for civilians to ride,” she said sternly.
“Yes, I can have the sheriff sign off on it,” he said slowly.
“She is not to skirt her duties. Remind her of that,” she said.
“Aye. Perhaps I could give you a personal tour of the ship, inspect the plans, so to speak,” he eyed her.
Regina put down her folder to stare at him. “I don’t have time to do other people’s jobs. If your girlfriend can’t do her job effectively as the public servant she is then I’ll have to find a replacement,” she said. She started to get even more annoyed with him.
“It’s better to have a second set of eyes on it. Safety is key. Best to come look with me later. Say for your lunch break? Nothing is better than having lunch on the open seas, your majesty, as you recall back in the early years,” he said. He wiggled his eyebrows.
Regina stared at him for a solid five seconds. The nerve of this man. “If you’re suggesting what I think you’re suggesting then this meeting is over. And I’ll be having a word with Miss Swan. How she ever thought you would be a good fit is beyond my comprehension not when there are much more suitable choices,” she said in a low voice.
He barked in laughter, “Shame. And She wouldn’t believe you. By the Gods, she wouldn’t believe me. And how could she blame me? I would regret it if I didn’t at least try,” he stood up.
“If you speak like this to Henry, there isn’t a soul on this earth that can save you, guyliner,” she said fiercely, “get out before I flay you as bait for the fish.”
He held up his hand and hook in a sign of peace, “We did have some fun together, but I suppose that’s all in the past. Don’t be worried about the lad, love” Her nostrils flared as she stood up quickly. “Good day, your majesty.”
She paced her office for ten minutes and calmed herself enough to exit, “Lorena, I’m going outside to make a phone call. Be sure to show the miners in. Have them seated and ready.” Lorena nodded from behind her desk.
Regina walked a short distance from the Town Hall to avoid any eavesdroppers though several people walked across the street to look at the Town Hall directly behind her. She pulled out her phone and dialed only to receive a voicemail greeting. “Miss Swan, I’ve had enough of the pirate! He just tried to solicit me. No doubt he will deny it, but you know me well enough now to know that I wouldn’t lie about something like this. I don’t want him anywhere near my son, our son, I mean. I don’t want him around Henry. You hear me, Miss Swan? Nowhere near him or myself. Good day!” She pressed the end button a little bit too harshly. A smooth voice startled her from behind.
“Oh my, bit too early for a row with our lovely Savior, isn’t it, dearie,” said Mr. Gold who leaned on his cane with both hands. He had no need for the cane, but he had grown to like walking the main street with it in hand. “Over such indecencies as well.Trouble in paradise it seems, no doubt your doing, I imagine.”
“Not now, Rumple,” she said and walked straight past him toward the town hall. She stopped and turned toward him. “Actually, since Henry is your grandson, you can help me.”
“Ah, how can I be of service?” he asked.
“Ward Hook off from ever seeing Henry. I don’t care for the price, I’ll pay it,” she said.
“No need for a price, dearie. Family discount as they say,” he smirked.
“There’s always a price with you so just name it,” she retorted with a scoff. She put her hands on her hips.
“Well, if you insist. My price is you speak with our resident Savior about what I heard,” he said, “In person.”
“That’s all. And consider Henry free of any, what do you call him, guyliner?” he smirked again. “It’ll take me a day or two to completely do it, but rest assured, it will happen. Good day, Madam Mayor.” He tipped his head and walked away, chuckled to himself.
Regina regained her composure to face the insufferable miners and walked back to her office. She was too in her head to notice the newcomers to the town hall stared and pointed at her. She opened the door to her office to find six miners seated at her meeting table. She smiled and welcomed them. Some jaws dropped, a few smirked and Grumpy, smiled wildly.
“Um, are you feeling all right, Madam Mayor?” said one of the men.
“Yes, I am fine, Thank you. Shall we begin?” she walked over to the head of the table, pulled out the chair and sat down.
The next thirty minutes were the most outrageous moments of the former Queen’s life, and it was with great resentment and unadulterated rage that she demanded all of the miners to leave her office at once. Lorena saw as the men flew out of the office as Regina had decided to humiliate all of them and removed all their clothing with magic. Lorena didn’t smile much about anything but she did smirk as the men fled the rageful Regina who stormed out behind them cursing every insult known to mankind. She directed her attention to Lorena. “Cancel the rest of my day, I have a blonde to skewer.” She stormed off. Lorena smirked again. This was going to be a long day for one particular Storybrooke resident.
Her tires screeched to a halt, unevenly parked across two spaces in front of the sheriff’s station. She slammed the door behind her and made sure she was noticed. She wanted to make an entrance that simple poofing didn’t suffice. She opened the door forcefully and yelled “EMMA SWAN!”
Red and David were startled and Emma walked calmly out of her office to find a pissed off Mayor. Emma stopped and blinked at Regina; her mouth dropped open. Regina disregarded the other two and walked determinedly toward the blonde, got into her personal space. “I don’t know what kind of sick game you’re playing at but I’m tired of it.”
“Regina,” Emma lifted her hands in peace, “Why are you dressed like that?”
Regina blinked but regained her composure. “What game are you playing at? Lie to me and you’ll regret you were ever even born, do you understand me, Miss Swan.”
Emma crossed her arms and smirked at Regina, “David, Ruby, could you both give us a minute. Thanks.” They left.
“Miss Swan,” if Regina were a teapot, she would be blowing steam.
“Regina, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I have to say, whatever it is, this,” Emma gestured up and down, “is probably the reason.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Regina, I know you wouldn’t wear a,” she coughed a bit, “a Snow White lingerie outfit.”
Regina stepped back a bit to fully see Emma and remained quiet for a full ten second, “Miss Swan,” she mustered up as much patience as she had, “As your eyeballs can plainly see I am wearing a suit. And I have several complaints to make toward the Miner’s Association who harassed me at meeting this morning. Clearly, they were put up to it, and I think you put them up to it because I no longer what that pathetic excuse for a man to be around my son anymore.”
Emma raised an eyebrow. “You can’t see what you’re wearing....”
“My clothing, Miss Swan, is not relevant to this discussion.”
“I’m afraid it is, sis,” Zelena strode in with bright, wide smile.
“What?” Regina’s voice was cold enough to freeze a fireball.
“Yes, well, I hadn’t expected this result, but it seems I may have miscalculated the potion. Though this result is far more entertaining,” Zelena gestured up and down. She looked at Emma, “Isn’t it marvelous. Sis, you’re quite fit, I must say.”
Regina drew a fireball “YOU. ARE. DEAD.”
Emma quickly through up a light magic protective shield around Regina to prevent her from murder. “Regina! It was an honest mistake. I’m sure she didn’t intend on that.”
Zelena put her fingers to her chin in contemplation, “No, not entirely but this outcome was certainly desired. Confirms my theory.”
“What theory is that?” Regina spat. She put out the fireball. She conjured a glamour spell to lay on top of the spell that Zelena cast. It wasn’t much, but a simple dress over it would suffice.
“That our lovely Savior here is meant to be with the Evil Queen,” Zelena said and the other women stared at her, “Oh, sorry, I meant Former Evil Queen. I know how touchy you get about that title these days.”
“What, wait?” Emma said.
“Oh darling, can’t you see. You’re the only one to point out to Regina what was wrong meanwhile everyone else couldn’t. Only the True Love could break through that little spell.”
“Oh please, Zelena, not again with this nonsense,” Regina gesticulated in anger and began to pace in the magical bubble.
“Hold on, let me get this straight-” Emma said but Zelena cut in.
“Shut up, Zelena!” yelled Regina.
“Let me clear things up. You put a spell on Regina to wear that, and only her True Love could talk about it?” Emma said.
“It was meant to just be a little push in the right direction. I didn’t intend for her to wear this little ensemble. I suppose there may be a little side effect. Perhaps it showcases the ultimate humiliation a person fears? That must be it,” Zelena finished her thought.
“Are you saying that no one could tell me what I was wearing except….except…” Regina looked at Emma who appeared dumbstruck.
“I, uh, I’m sorry Regina,” Emma whispered.
Zelena clapped her hands, “Well, there is only one way to reverse this. You have to kiss.”
“What!” both Regina and Emma yelled in unison.
“True Love’s Kiss will break it. Isn’t it obvious,” said Zelena.
“Zelena, reverse this now or tell me what you used to the letter and I can fix it myself,” demanded Regina.
“Wait a second, Regina, True Love’s Kiss? What is she talking about?” said Emma. Her heart hammered in her heart, for reasons she couldn’t fully understand.
Regina avoided looking at Emma while Zelena answered, “Oh darling, it’s apparent to everyone with half a brain you two are True Love. I’m just here to speed up the process. We couldn’t take the longing looks and near death sacrifices any longer.”
“We? What do you mean ‘we’ Zelena?” asked Regina. Zelena didn’t say anything. “Rumple is it. That’s who you went to with this. I should have known that damn imp likes to meddle in things that do not concern him!”
“Regina, what does she mean by True Love?” Emma stepped closer to Regina and let the barrier down. Regina couldn’t help but look into her green eyes. She tried to apologize with her eyes, sorry she got dragged into Zelena and Rumple’s act. “Regina, please answer me.”
“I...I may have confided in Zelena, which I see now that was a complete mistake as you tattle worse than Snow,” Regina said.
“Confided what?” Emma asked.
“Emma, what she is trying to say is that when you showed up that lovely ring the pirate gave you, told us you were going to be Mrs. Jones, well, my dear sister came home and was sobbing her bloody eyes out. Well, it didn’t take a genius to figure out why, dear,” Zelena stated, “And she’s been an utter wreck in private. She finally put the pieces together that it would only this much if you were actually True Love. Afterall, it is sacrifice and my, she has sacrificed much for your happiness.”
“Zelena, please stop,” Regina’s eyes welled up.
“I’m afraid not, sis. The air needs to be cleared. Emma, she told me that the first instance she thought you both could be something more than two powerful mothers is when you used magic together. Look at how much you’ve stopped together? Even my dear Hades’ spell couldn’t hold you both back. And let us not forget you sacrificed your soul for her happiness,” said Zelena, “That’s True Love, my dear. True Love.”
Emma sat down on the nearest desk and rotated her ring. Many thoughts swirled around her. “I about to get married.”
“It’s not official until you say ‘I do’,” said Zelena.
“Regina, do you feel that way about me?” Emma asked with a soft voice.
Regina turned around and closed her eyes. “Yes.”
Emma took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “All this time? You didn’t say anything.”
“Zelena, would you mind giving Emma and I, a few minutes alone?” Zelena nodded and left the room. Regina watched her leave and turned back around to face Emma. “Would you believe me even if I did?”
“Of course I would have,” Emma said. Regina stared at her in disbelief as Emma strode over to Regina and put her hands on her shoulders.
“I...I don’t understand. The pirate.”
Emma smiled with such a melancholy that it shattered her heart. “Regina, it’s always been you. I just thought you never felt the same way about me.”
“What do you mean, Emma?”
“Regina, I’ve loved you for a long time. I will always love you.”
Regina started to tear up more, “But why didn’t you say anything!” Emma dropped her hands off her shoulders and turned to sit down, gestured for Regina to follow her, and she did take a seat next to her.
Emma chuckled. “You can be really intimidating, Regina. I didn’t even think you were into women, really. Not until I saw you with Maleficent and had an inkling there was something more to your friendship. But by then, you had your soul mate, Robin. I have Hook.”
“Soulmate,” Regina scoffed, “Leave it to the fairies to get it wrong again. I think I was so desperate for love, to be loved that I just fell into him. And this Wish Realm Robin is, well, he’s not Robin. The Evil Queen can have him all to herself. I don’t even feel much for the man, more like a residual imprint.”
“I guess I could say the same for Hook,” Emma said.
Regina cocked her head a bit at this. “The same? Forgive me, Emma, why did you agree to marry him then.”
“I don’t know. I really don’t. I guess that’s what people do. Honestly, it was probably too much of an impulse decision. I make those a lot.”
“Yes, you do,” said Regina with a slight roll of her eyes. “So, what’s to be done now?”
“I don’t know. Play it by ear?”
“Miss Swan, I need this spell undone.”
Emma shifted uncomfortably. “What if it doesn’t work?”
“Then I will have to crucify Zelena and Rumple,” said Regina.
Emma sighed, “This is just to help you, Regina. This stays between us, are we clear?”
“Crystal,” said Regina.
“Okay then. Well,” Emma coughed. “Standing up or sitting down?”
“Emma, I don’t think that matters.”
“Right,” Emma said who gulped.
Regina took the first initiative. She shifted to face Emma and the green eyes had a shadow of panic across flash across them. Regine sensed she need reassurance and comfort, so, she cupped her cheeks between her hands. She could feel Emma relax a fraction. She gazed into the green eyes who met her brown, “Emma, it’s okay. Is this okay with you?” Emma nodded. With this final consent, Regina closed the distance and their lips met.
There are few things in this world that feel right, that feel like everything is exactly as it should be. When Regina took Henry home and became his mother. When Emma decided to stay in Storybrooke to watch over Henry. When They witnessed Henry dance with Violet in Granny’s for the first time. It felt like putting in the last piece of a puzzle that you didn’t know what incomplete until it finally slides in, and one wonders what how could it have been missed before. They felt the warmth and the pulse generated from this simple act. They broke apart slowly and put their foreheads together, both breathed heavy.
Emma spoke first, “Did it work?”
Regina looked down and waved away her glamour spell, “You tell me.” Emma took in her suit and nodded. “Good.”
“I need to break up with Hook,” Emma blurted out.
Regina just smiled, “I told you, he doesn’t deserve you.”
“No, he doesn’t, but you do,” said Emma softly.
Regina cupped her face, “is this another impulsive decision?”
“No, I’ve thought about this more than anything else, Regina. You felt that, right?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Good because I think this is the best decision I’ve made in my life.”
“The best decision you made was to stay in Storybrooke, Emma.”
“I guess you’re right,” Emma chuckled.
“Get used to saying that. I’m right frequently.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “Are you going to forgive them?”
“My sister and the imp?” Emma nodded. “Well, I can think of creative ways to have fun with them with your help.”
“No, dear. I think Henry would find this amusing,” Regina said.
“Operation Get Even,” Regina said with a hint of a smirk and trickery danced in her chocolate eyes.
Meanwhile, Zelena and Rumple watched from a mirror he fashioned to spy on the pair. Zelena scoffed “I’d love to see her try.”
“Oh dearie,” smiled Rumple, “Regina is the most determined woman I know. And Miss Swan is just as determined. Together, I’m afraid you don’t stand a chance.”