Actions

Work Header

Freshly Brewed

Chapter Text

It was Emma Swan’s first day on her new job. Well her new temporary job anyway… Her friend Ruby had gotten her a temp position with her Granny’s catering company. Usually Emma made her living as a bail bonds person, but the action had been really slow the past couple months. She had rent and bills to pay, so she had to do what she had to do. The gig they had lined up was actually pretty sweet. A movie was filming in town and they were set to be the food services for the cast and crew during the entire filming, it would last twelve weeks or so. Ruby was practically buzzing with excitement when she told Emma all about it. Apparently it was a sequel to some movie that had come out a few years ago…but Emma had never heard of it. She hadn’t really paid much attention when Ruby explained it…something about the Evil Queen and Snow White…but in a modern setting? She didn’t really understand, she never was a big movie buff, or had watched much television either, she’d rather just read a book.

Emma had been put in charge of the coffee stand. She had spent a bit of time as a barista before so Granny thought it would be the best fit for her. She was grateful because she hated having to deal with hot dishes and food in general. She could handle crazy coffee orders over having to dish out mashed potatoes. Luckily so far the orders hadn’t been too crazy…but there had been a lot of them. It was obvious she was dealing with nervous personal assistants that wanted to make sure they got their bosses drink orders right. Gods forbid one of them get foam when they didn’t want it. She was enjoying a rare moment of slowness when dog ran up and jumped on her.

“Well hello there pup, where’d you come from huh?” Emma knelt down by the cute cocker spaniel and rubbed behind it’s ears.

“Lady!? Where’d you run off to?!” Emma looked up and saw a beautiful brunette searching around obviously looking for the pup she was currently petting.

“Is this who you are looking for?” She called out to the flustered looking woman.

“Oh my goodness, yes! Lady! You know you’re not supposed to run off like that! I’m so sorry if she’s been a bother.” Emma found herself a bit tongue tied as she looked into the woman’s gorgeous brown eyes…

“Uhhh… What? I mean, no! She hasn’t been a bother at all! Actually she’s been a nice calming presence to me for a moment, it’s been a crazy day.” She smiled at the woman hoping she didn’t sound like the idiot she felt like.

‘Yes, I’d imagine so, working the coffee stand on a movie set is a very courageous job. Actors do tend to picky about their drinks I’d imagine hmm?” Gods her smile was making Emma melt.

“Yeah, there have been some pretty crazy requests, but nothing I couldn’t handle.” She rubbed the back of her neck, why did she feel so shy in front of this woman?

“Well you haven’t heard mine yet have you?” The woman gave Emma such a sexy evil smirk her knees almost buckled. She coughed and tried to keep eye contact with the woman.

“Let me have it then, I’ll see what I can do!” Keep it cool Emma, she told herself, don’t be a doofus in front of this stunning woman.

“It’s actually rather simple, but food services always seems to have such a difficult time making it happen. All I want is a 20 ounce cup of freshly brewed black coffee. When I say freshly brewed…I mean within the last 30 minutes, no more. So, what do you have for me?” With the challenging look the brunette gave her, Emma knew the woman didn’t think she could pull off the request, but as luck would have it…

“Well it’s your lucky day madam, because I so happen to have with me today a pour over system so I can make, on demand, a freshly brewed cup of black coffee!” Emma felt a bit smug at that moment. The pour over system had been her idea. Ruby had told her about how all they really ever made was espresso drinks and she felt like they had been wasting coffee down the drain brewing it all day. She figured if someone really wanted a plain cup of joe they’d wait a couple of minutes for it. “I even have a couple of different roasts to choose from. Do you like it light or dark?”

“Oh… I much prefer dark, thank you. I’m impressed. I’ve yet to be on a set where someone pulled that off.” Emma was about to respond when Lady barked and startled them both. “Yes, I suppose we do need to get going on our walk! You’re the one that took the side trip!” Emma thought it was adorable how this woman talked to her dog like she was just a regular person. “I’m sorry to rush this…” She gave Emma an odd expectant look…

“Oh! Sorry! I’m Emma! Emma Swan. Let me get that going for you. You said black so I assume no room?” She started gathering everything she needed to get the coffee made.

“Just some walking room thank you.” Emma continued her work to get the perfect cup of freshly brewed black coffee made for this amazing woman. She wondered if it was too bold to ask her for her name? She knew Emma’s…it was only fair…

“Okay, here you go. I hope it lives up to your expectations.” She gave the woman the most brilliant smile she could manage. She handed the coffee over and watched as the brunette took a drink of it, which was impressive, giving how hot Emma knew it was. “Well?”

“Mmm…well Miss Swan you can make a very damn good cup of coffee. Color me impressed.” The woman raised the cup up in a toasting gesture and Emma blushed.

“Aww, well I’m glad I could win over a new customer. Please do call me Emma though. Can I umm maybe get your name?” The woman raised up a perfect eyebrow, and looked at Emma a bit quizzically… Had she done something wrong?

“I’m Regina. Regina Mills.” She was still looking at Emma like she was trying to figure something out. Emma reached out her hand…

“It’s nice to meet you Regina.” Regina took her hand and shook it, but she was still looking at Emma a bit oddly. “Well, hopefully I’ll see you and Lady around some more before all this crazy movie making stuff is over?”

“Oh we will be around… Especially with your amazing coffee making skills, it’ll be hard to pass up stopping by. Thanks again.” Regina gave her a smile and a wink, or an attempted wink anyway, she didn’t quite pull it off… Emma thought it was super adorable though. The blonde watched the brunette and her cute pup walk away. Emma knew she was already crushing on Regina big time…this should be a fun working experience… She was startled out of her thoughts by crazed looking Ruby rushing to her side.

“OH MY GOD! You talked to her for so long what did she say?! I was trying to get your attention over her shoulder but you were obviously smitten with her! I can’t believe she put up with you drooling all over her and her dog! You have to tell me everything! Did she yell at you about her coffee? Did she make you cry? I need answers woman!!” Emma had no idea what Ruby was going on and on about?

“Whoa woman, calm down and breathe a second! What are you freaking out over?” Emma glanced around them making sure no one was observing Ruby’s weirdness…

“Oh my gawd! You don’t even know who that was do you? Regina Fucking Mills! You were talking to Regina Fucking Mills, Emma!” Ruby gave her an exasperated look. “You really need to get your nose out of a books now and then lady! She’s the star of the movie! She’s the THE Evil Queen!”

Emma was stunned. She had no idea Regina was a Hollywood star…that would explain the odd look Regina gave her when she asked for her name…oh gods…she had asked for her name! Emma smacked herself in the face. “I’m an idiot.”

Ruby smacked her upside her head. “Yeah you are! Now spill! What did she say?”

“Ughh…not much really? We just talked a bit about coffee? She liked the cup I made her? I dunno! It all seemed pretty normal to me!” It really hadn’t seemed too weird to Emma.

“Really? The magazines always say she’s awful on set to the crew….especially the crafts services! You must have hit her at a good time…you’re so lucky!”

At that moment Granny yelled out at Ruby to get back to work, and Emma was thankful for it. She had to think about what had just happened some more, and without her best friend in her face. Regina hadn’t come across as some horrible spoiled actress? She had seemed rather normal and down to earth to Emma…the way she talked to her dog…the way she had been genuinely happy to have a decent cup of coffee…the way she had smiled at her. None of that had made Emma feel like Regina was anything but just another crew member, not the star of the entire freaking movie production! She wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there in a stunned state when she was once again pounced on by Lady.

“Well, well, it seems Lady has taken a liking to you Miss Swan…” Emma shivered at the way Regina said her name. Should she apologize to her for not knowing who she was? Should she just keep acting like she had no idea who she was? She decided to stick with acting like she was just another crew member…why should she treat her any different? A few minutes ago that’s what Regina was to her, why change now that she knew more information?

“The feeling is mutual! She’s adorable, and please call me Emma?” She smiled up at the actress as she rubbed Lady’s ears. Those damn chocolate eyes sparkled down at her and she almost fell over.

“I’m glad Lady found you today… We do look forward to seeing you around, don’t we girl?” Regina smiled at her pup. “Come along Lady, we need to get going! Until next time Em-ma…” Regina and Lady once again walked off leaving Emma in a stunned silent state…the way Regina had said her name had done so many things to Emma. She wasn’t sure she had ever been so utterly smitten with someone so fast.

“We are SO talking later Swan!!!!” Emma was snapped back to reality by Ruby yelling at her. Emma just waved her off…

Just as Emma had finally managed to get her focus back on work and not Regina…she noticed a crew on top of the building across from her. It looked like they were getting ready to drop a tarp that covered up something on the wall…Suddenly the covering dropped dramatically down the side of the building and she was greeted with a sight that took her breath away… It was Regina, dressed as the Evil Queen, in an outfit that left little to the imagination…

This was going to be a long twelve weeks…

Chapter Text

With the first week of working on the movie set coming to an end Emma was really looking forward to the weekend. It’s not that the work was particularly hard, it’s just the days were crazy long. Movies it seemed, had crazy filming schedules. She wasn’t sure why Granny agreed that they’d be there for all the wacky working hours, but that was the contract she signed, so they were there all day every day. The paychecks were going to amazing though, so she wasn’t going to complain. She hadn’t been fortunate enough to see Regina again since that first day. She could imagine why though the filming times and places seemed all over the place. She did however get to see Lady almost everyday thanks to Regina’s personal assistant, Kathryn, walking her by, and when she picked up Regina’s coffee. Emma made sure she always put a little smiley face or wrote a little hi on Regina's take away cup. Maybe she might have even made a heart over the i in Regina now and then but that’s just what baristas do right? Kathryn would just roll her eyes as she glanced at the cups, no doubt thinking Emma was just another fangirl. At least Lady loved her, but every time she looked into the dogs adorable brown eyes she found herself thinking of Regina’s amazing brown eyes….ugh maybe she was one of those fangirls? How’d this happen to her so fast? That huge ass poster starring down at her didn’t help matters at all either!

“Dude! Snap outta your lusty Regina Mills dreams and let’s go get a drink!” Ruby knows her too well…

“Oh my gods Rubes shut up! It’s bad enough that it’s true, but the entire set doesn’t need to know!” The blonde glanced around and sighed in relief that no one seemed to be paying any attention to them. “I’ve got a bit of clean up to do here before I go, then I’m just gonna go home and crash. I’m drained from this week and sleep sounds amazing right now.” Just the thought of being in a loud bar made her head hurt.

“Oh c’mon Ems! It’s been a crazy hard week and we deserve this! A lot of the crew is gonna be there, it’s a good opportunity to schmooze with the Hollywood elite!” Ruby pouted at her and gave her those big sad puss-n-boots eyes, why was she so weak to eyes? Even her bff knew her weakness…

“Ugh, okay, one drink and then I’m out! That’s it, I’m serious!” She tried to glare at Ruby but the look of glee on her best friends face just made her laugh. “I really do need to clean up here before though, so I’ll meet you there?”

“Okay, but don’t bail okay? We’re all meeting at The Rabbit Hole. I’ll save ya a seat!” Kissing Emma’s cheek she squealed and started skipping away.

All Emma could do was shake her head. She looked around her little coffee stand and got to work cleaning it up so she wouldn’t come back to a moldy buggy mess on Monday. She probably was a bit more thorough than she needed to be but she liked a clean work area. Deep cleaning things was actually a bit therapeutic for her…she grew up jumping from foster home to foster home, and most of them weren’t very clean. She had the worst luck with the homes she was placed into as a kid. Luckily she got a good one at the age of 12. The Nolan’s were amazing and she loved them dearly. She was in the middle of a bit of a rebel streak when she got caught shoplifting and the police officer that came to talk to her had been Officer Nolan. He didn’t immediately start yelling at her for being a bad kid. He actually asked her questions about her life and why she felt the need to do what she had…and for some reason she just broke and told him everything…and he listened. No one had ever listened before, he took her home with her that night. His wife, Mary Margaret, didn’t ask any questions and just took her in like she was her own. It was all so, magical. A year later they officially adopted her and she was never lacking for love again. Sure, now in her adult life she was a bit lonely now and then, but she always had that family love behind her.

As she scrubbed the countertop, lost in her deep thoughts, she suddenly felt two paws hit her backside. “I really hope that’s you Lady.” She turned around and was greeted by Lady’s sweet brown eyes. “You’re out a bit late aren’t you?” Emma glanced around hoping to see Regina but caught sight of Kathryn walking towards her.

“Oh don’t look so disappointed Emma, you’ll hurt my feelings.” Kathryn loved giving Emma grief, luckily Emma kinda liked the woman, so she took it okay. “I can see that you’re cleaning up, but I was hoping to get her majesty one more cup for the road?”

“Umm…yeah sure, of course! Let me set up the pour over. It’s kinda late…should I give her decaf so she can get some sleep?” Emma glanced over at the blonde woman who was bent down petting Lady. It seemed everyone was in love with that dog.

“Do you really want to decaf The Evil Queen?” She smiled up at Emma with a funny smirk on her face. “Trust me, she’ll know, but it’s sweet that you’re looking out for her well-being.”

Emma was pretty sure her face turned bright red at Kathryn’s words..she couldn’t help that she was concerned for the brunette. She was the one supplying the actress with all this caffeine after-all. “I uhh, just wanna make sure I’m not held responsible for the lead actress being strung out on a legal substance.” Kathryn just smirked at her again, so Emma blushed more and put her head down to finish the coffee. She handed the finished product to Kathryn and tried not to make eye contact as the personal assistant read Emma’s note on the cup. Emma called Lady over to her to say a quick goodbye and took off with another quick goodbye over her shoulder to Kathryn…not caring about the little mess she left behind, she make her fast exit. She’d deal with it on Monday…

++++++++

“Oh thanks the gods, give me that coffee!” Regina made grabby hands at Kathryn and Lady as they entered the trailer. “I was worried you might have missed Emma before she left for the weekend.”

Kathryn held the coffee cup just out of her bosses reach and gave her a look. “I think that cute blonde barista has a bit of a fangirl crush on you, You should be careful…”

“Don’t be silly. She didn’t even know who I was when I first met her. Now give me that or you’ll be working the coffee stand with her!” No one got between her and her coffee.

“She could have been pretending not to know you… It just seems weird that anyone wouldn’t know who you are at this point.” Kathryn handed Regina the coffee and sat down on the couch beside her boss and best friend. “Not that I get any bad vibes off her or anything, it just seems odd…”

Regina just sat in silence and drank her liquid gold, that blonde really could make a good cup of coffee. She was a bit sad she hadn’t had the time to go see her in person the rest of the week…there was something very sweet about the woman. After enjoying her first few sips in silence she could sense Kathryn looking at her. “What?!”

“You didn’t read the cup.” Regina glanced down at the cup in her hands and saw there was a much longer message on it than usual.

** Dear Regina, Please think about switching to decaf this late! You need to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep to take care of that sweet Lady! <3 you’re fav Barista Emma. :) **

“That’s actually very sweet of her…” Regina wasn’t used to anyone caring about her well-being other than Kathryn. Everyone else just wanted something from her…

“It was, just please be careful. I don’t want to bring it up…” Regina held her hand up.

“Then don’t” She gave her best friend a very stern look.

“Okay.” She patted Regina on the arm and gave her a quick kiss on her cheek. “I’m gonna go get the car and get you home for some much needed rest.” Regina sighed and fell back into the couch.

“Well I for one think Emma is quite lovely and thoughtful, how about you Lady?” She glanced down at her pup who was laying by her feet. Lady looked up at Regina and gave a little tired yap. Laughing Regina took another look at the message on her coffee cup. “Glad we are in agreement my sweet Lady.”

Chapter Text

The weekend was flying by way too fast for Emma. It didn’t help she had spent all of Saturday nursing a hangover. Of course Ruby had talked her into more than one drink Friday night… it didn’t take much convincing after her awkward exchange with Regina’s personal assistant. She had been full of nervous energy and ended up trying to drink all her anxiety away. It’s not like she did anything bad, it was just a nice little note on a coffee cup, she was just totally overthinking everything as usual. Shaking off the feeling of dread she headed to the kitchen to try and make her Sunday productive. Coffee first, then some breakfast, then maybe some laundry…such a thrilling life. Opening up the cupboard she let out a huge sigh remembering she used up the last of her coffee the day before. Kicking herself for drinking so much on Friday night, yet again, she grabbed her keys and headed to the downstairs cafe for her coffee fix.

The cafe was super quiet when she entered, but the barista sisters that owned the place seemed to be super hyped up about something. The cafe, ArenPerk, was located on the bottom floor of her apartment building. One of the great perks of the place was the easy inside entrance to the cafe, another were the owners, they were great friends of Emma’s.

“Hey guys, you seem extra buzzed this morning. Get a new extra strong bean in or something?” She couldn’t help but laugh at the two sisters behind the counter they were giggling like two little school girls. “But really, what’s up?”

“Emmmmm! Oh my god! You’ll never guess who was just in here!” Elsa the taller of the two sisters squealed out.

Her sister Anna was just bouncing up and down beside her clapping her hands like it was Christmas morning.

“Ha! Must have been someone pretty amazing by the looks on your faces! Okay spill, who was it?” Emma smiled at them, their enthusiasm was contagious.

“Regina Mills!” They both shouted in unison.

Well that wasn’t what she was expecting at all.

“She just came in and ordered a coffee! She was actually really nice, nothing like what all those awful magazines are always saying about her. Oh! And she had the cutest puppy!” Anna seemed to be rather smitten by Regina, not that Emma blamed her. “She’s actually still outside at one of the tables.” The whisper Anna chose to do now, after yelling everything else, was ridiculous.

“Okay Anna, let’s try and calm down a bit, we don’t want to scare away any future celebrity clients.” Elsa seemed to be finally waking up from her celebrity sighting rush. “Did you need your usual Emma?”

“Uhhh…” Emma finally caught sight of Regina sitting outside. The brunette had on dark sunglasses and she had her hair tied back in a loose ponytail. She looked very relaxed. She looked amazing….

“Emma?” Elsa’s voice snapped her attention away from Regina. She looked back over at the two sisters who were both looking at Emma with knowing looks. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” Elsa didn’t give Emma a chance to respond, she turned away to work on Emma’s usual order.

Emma just stood there awkwardly looking between the sisters and Regina. Should she go say hi? Is that weird? It’s not like they really know each other…

“Here ya go Emma! One coffee, just like you like it! Also here’s a bear claw for ya. You look like you need it.” Emma just rolled her eyes at Anna as she took her order from the younger sister. “You should go say hi to her! It looks like you want to?”

“I…uh, kinda know her? I guess? You know how I’ve been working for Granny’s catering company?” Anna nodded her head at Emma as Elsa came back over to listen. “Well, we got a gig on a movie set, and she’s the star.”

“Oh! The sequel to The Poisoned Apple?! That’s so cool! You should definitely go say hi then!” Anna was starting to get all excited and jumpy again.

“Anna… Leave Emma alone. She can do whatever she wants.” At least Elsa was level headed about the situation. “Yup, she can do whatever she wants…even if that means leaving a beautiful woman to drink her coffee all alone on such a lovely Sunday morning….” Okay, maybe she wasn’t so level headed after all.

“Guys….” The two sisters just glared at her and crossed their arms in unison. Did they practice these moves? “Fine, but I’m not paying for any of this out of spite!”

“Emma we never charge you…”

“Oh shush… Let me have my dramatic exit!” Emma sassed back at the sisters as she made her way to the front door. She paused before opening the door and took a deep breath. You got this Swan.

She opened the door and took a step out. Immediately she was noticed by cute brown eyes, just not the ones she was hoping for… Lady came running over to her from the spot she had been laying down by Regina’s chair, and jumped up on her. Luckily she managed to hold on to her coffee.

“Lady! I’m SO sorry she’s not usually like this…” Regina’s brown eyes met Emma’s green. “Emma?!”

“Hi.” Emma gave a little half wave. She walked with Lady over to where Regina was seated.

“What are you doing here?” Regina’s eyes seemed to look Emma up and down.

“Gee, it’s nice to see you too.” She smiled and boldly took a seat at the actresses table.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it to sound like that...” Regina smiled at the blonde.

“It’s okay. I actually live in an apartment upstairs in this building. This is where I learned my fabulous coffee making skills.” Emma smiled, this was going surprisingly well so far. “What brings you to this part of town? I thought all the crew was staying at that fancy hotel out by the movie set?” She sipped on her coffee hoping to keep the nice casual feel of the conversation going.

“I thought you would have figured out by now that I’m not just part of the crew…” Regina raised an eyebrow at her and Emma couldn’t help but blush.

“Yeah, it’s kinda hard to miss the giant building sized poster of you… I’m sorry for, um, not knowing who you were on that first day. It wasn’t very professional of me.” She fiddled with the sleeve on her cup and avoided Regina’s eyes.

“To be honest it was actually kind of nice. It doesn’t happen very often, if at all, these days… I assume you’ve done your research on me since then?” Regina suddenly seemed a bit nervous.

“Um, actually… I haven’t. Ruby told me all about The Poison Apple though, so I at least know what’s kinda going on with the filming. I’m actually a total book geek. I really don’t pay any attention to anything Hollywood, or any entertainment industry stuff really. Not even when they turn one of my favorite books into a film. It usually just disappoints me, so, yeah, I’m sorry…” Emma knew she was rambling…she also felt like such an idiot for not even at least looking Regina up on Google.

Regina just looked at Emma with what could only be described as awe. “You really don’t know anything about me? Honestly?”

“Other than the fact that you love dark roast coffee and have like the cutest dog ever? No…is that a bad thing?” Emma was sure her face was bright red.

“No. It’s not a bad thing at all… I’m just… Well it doesn’t really matter.” Regina changed the subject. “As for why I’m out at this end of town…Obviously the amazing coffee caught my attention and I’m staying in a townhouse not to far from here. I’m not very fond of hotels, so it’s one of the perks of being the star I suppose. Also it’s nice to have a yard for Lady.” She smiled down at her pup who was actually currently cuddle up on Emma’s foot. “She really has taken a liking to you.”

Emma reached down and scratched behind Lady’s ears. “What can I say? She has great taste.” Once again brown eyes met green and Emma thought she could see a bit of a blush coloring Regina’s cheeks.

The brunette cleared her throat. “Perhaps she does, she usually is a good judge of character.”

Before Emma could respond she was interrupted by the sound of a car horn. She spotted Kathryn at the wheel waving at them.

“I’m sorry to cut this conversation short Miss Swan but duty calls.” Regina actually seemed kind of sad to have to leave.

“But it’s Sunday?” Emma knew she might be kind of pouting right now but she didn’t care. “And again, it’s Emma.” She gave Regina her best sad eyes, okay maybe she was laying it on a bit heavy…

Regina laughed at Emma’s pout. “Sadly the job of lead actress doesn’t always fit in a Monday through Friday schedule.” Another honk came from Kathryn and Regina glared over at her assistant making Emma laugh. “It was nice running into you Emma, perhaps we will see each other tomorrow on set?”

“You know where I’ll be!” Ugh, really Emma? She mentally kicked herself, suddenly feeling super self conscious as they were saying their goodbyes.

“That I do, see you later Emma.” Regina stood up and made her way over to the car, not noticing Lady wasn’t following her. As she opened the door expecting a ball of fur to hop in she turned around to see Lady was still laying on Emma’s foot. “Some loyal companion you are! Come on Lady!” Lady glanced up at Emma and suddenly jumped up and licked the blondes face before taking off towards her owner. As Lady jumped into the car Regina turned and smiled back at her. Emma kept watching as the brunette took her seat next to Kathryn. She couldn't help but notice Regina hold up a finger to Kathryn and shake her head.

Chapter Text

After her unexpected run in with Regina, Emma was feeling pretty good. She didn’t make a total fool of herself, she got to apologize for being an idiot and not knowing who the brunette was, and she was pretty sure Lady loved her. Having a gorgeous actresses dog love you had to be a good thing right? Not that she thought she had a chance in hell of anything happening with the woman. It never hurt to hold on to some hope, or that’s what her Mom was always saying anyways. Emma had thought she’d picked up on a bit of flirting from Regina, but she wasn’t too sure… She didn’t even know if the woman liked women. Sighing she placed her coffee down by her laptop. She rarely went online if it wasn’t work related, and even then it wasn’t much. She was pretty proud of her ability to do her work with minimal tech, she just used her wit and charm mostly. Hell, she didn’t even have a smartphone, just an old style flip phone she could barely text on. Ruby had tried multiple times to get her a new phone but it just wasn’t her. She sipped on her coffee as she waiting for the laptop to boot up. She wasn’t totally comfortable looking Regina up online, it seemed like an invasion of her privacy. She, however, didn’t want to say anything that might offend Regina. Emma had already kind of stepped in it not knowing who she was, what if she said something that was totally wrong? A little research on the woman wouldn’t hurt, she was a public figure after all. Why should everyone else get to know things about Regina and not her?

The laptop finally finished it’s slow wake up and Emma connected to cafes wifi, another perk of living above the coffee shop. Taking a deep breath she typed out the name, Regina Mills, into the search bar. At first all she saw was news coverage of the movie sequel. Apparently it had been 5 years since the first movie, so it was a pretty big deal that Regina had agreed to do another one. There were a few stories about her being an on set diva, making crazy demands of the crew, but nothing too crazy. One headline caught her eye though… It was from a well known gossip site, so well known, that even Emma knew of it, TMOZ. It was run by a woman named Zelena West. The hilarious thing was Emma only knew this because she had been hired by Zelena a couple of years back to track down her husband. He had jumped bail on thievery charges and was on the run, leaving Zelena with a huge amount of money to pay off. She shook her head as she remembered how adamant Zelena had been about it remaining out of the news. She debated on clicking the link. She still felt as if she was betraying Regina as she did this, but her curiosity got the best of her. The headline read, ‘Is Regina Mills still a self-loathing homophobe?’ Emma could feel her hand start to shake as she clicked the touchpad on her laptop.

It’s been 5 years since ‘The Poisoned Apple’ hit it big at the box office, and so it’s also been 5 years since it’s star, Regina Mills, hit the headlines with her homophobic rant, that also outed the woman as a lesbian. The hidden video footage that was obtained exclusively by TMOZ back in the day !LINK! shows a slightly tipsy Miss Mills talking with an unknown woman. In it, she goes on a rant about how unbecoming being LGBTQ is, and how she thought it was bringing the world down…it finally ends with the famous confession at the end, when she dramatically breaks-down in tears saying that she is all the things she despises. The public had mixed feelings back in the day about it all…some hated her, some felt sorry for her. She went into a bit of seclusion for a few months after the video went viral, only to show up in time for all the Pride festivals. Stepping forward to speak up about LGBTQ rights, but we here at TMOZ still feel that was all just a publicity stunt. The thing we find most odd is she has yet to step out with a date in public. How can such a beauty not have women falling all over her? Is she even really gay? Or is this some weird way to try and keep her career relevant? Only time will tell, but we here at TMOZ will be watching and keeping you informed, that you can be sure of!”

Emma felt ill, not because of what Regina said or did, but because this was how she found out about it. This is exactly the reason she avoided the internet… Hating herself even more she clicked on the link to the video. It started with Regina already mid-rant, obviously something that happened before was edited out. Emma also could tell Regina was more than ‘tipsy’ like the article said… The unknown woman the article also mentioned was the one filming Regina. She appeared to have a secret camera in her eye glasses. Regina was obviously betrayed by someone she trusted. Emma watched as Regina finally broke down at the end of the clip, but it didn’t seem like a confession, just a statement of fact. It made Emma’s heart ache.

++++++++

Regina was having a horrible Monday. None of her scenes were going the way she wanted. The weather was awful. It’d been pouring all morning, which changed up the entire days shooting schedule. No one seemed to be able to make any decisions on what to do. Finally she had enough. She decided to walk off set. She knew it would cause some waves but she didn’t care. Sometimes you just need to be a bit of a diva to get things moving in the way you want. The only issue she was currently facing was a bit of a miscalculation on where she chose to diva out at… They’d been filming way across the lot and the rain wasn’t letting up. She was too stubborn to stop her dramatic walk off, so she just kept walking. So here she was, soaked to the bone, muddy pant legs, with makeup most likely dripping down her face, striding by cast and crew with her head help up high. She was used to the stares of course. She shivered as she neared the crafts service area and decided she might as well stop and get a cup of coffee to help warm herself up. She could see Emma leaning against the counter reading a book and couldn’t help but smile.

“Hello Emma, could you please get me the darkest, hottest cup of coffee possible please?” The blonde jumped at the sound of Regina’s voice but smiled and looked up at the brunette. Only something distracted her beautiful green eyes on the way up to Regina’s face. Looking down at herself Regina realized she was wearing a white blouse that was completely soaked though, showing off her black bra. Regina smirked. “My eyes are up here Miss Swan.”

Startled, Emma blushed and grabbed the back of her neck. “Umm, sorry…but are you okay? Or do you always go for walks in downpours?”

Regina smiled at Emma’s awkwardness. “Just a little disagreement with the director, nothing to worry about. Sometimes you need to get a bit dirty to get what you want.” She could see the blonde blush again, oh she was fun to tease. A small breeze hit Regina then, and she shivered. “I really would love that coffee though.”

“Oh, of course!” Emma got to work on the coffee and Regina watched as she prepared everything. It was refreshing to get to have small friendly banter with someone other than Kathryn for a change. It was also nice to get to do a bit of flirting too. She was pretty sure the blonde was a bit smitten with her, even Kathryn had noticed, but she was still so scared to let anyone in after what had happened when she had before…

“Here ya go! One strong piping hot cup of coffee to go! Just the way her majesty likes it!” Emma handed her the coffee with a wink. Their eyes caught then and Regina saw something in Emma’s eyes she hadn’t seen before… pity.

“You finally saw the video didn’t you?” Emma’s eyes grew huge at the question, obviously not expecting it.

“I..ughh, yeah, I did.” Emma couldn’t even look her in the eye as she said it.

“I see, well thank you for the coffee Miss Swan.” Regina turned and headed for her trailer as fast as she could carrying the hot coffee cup in her hand. As she walked away she thought she heard Emma call out her name. She knew it had been too good to last, someone not knowing or caring about her past. That damn video would haunt her forever. She climbed into her trailer and put her coffee down on the counter. She started to peel off her wet clothes but her emotions got the better of her and she curled up on the couch and started to cry. The entire day catching up to her at once. The drama that happened on set being the furthest thing on her mind though, all she could think of was the look in Emma’s eyes. Suddenly she felt a cold nose pressed up to the side of her face followed by a warm tongue. She couldn’t help but giggle through her tears as she looked into Lady’s eyes. “Well, I will at least always have you to see me just for me, huh Lady?” She rubbed behind Lady’s ears and wrapped the pup up in a giant hug. After another quick squeeze of her pup she went to grab her coffee and noticed there was a note written on it…

“Regina, thank you for being you. <3 -Em”

Regina broke out in tears again, this time for a completely different reason.

Chapter Text

Emma hadn’t seen Regina since Monday, it was now Friday. Kathryn never even stopped by to pick up a coffee for her. She hadn’t even seen the blonde woman walking past with Lady. Emma figured she had screwed up, but…had she really? She never even brought it up? How had Regina known she had seen the video just by looking into her eyes? Of course Regina has been dealing with this for awhile now, so it would make sense that she would have a feeling about these things, especially if she had been deceived by someone close to her like Emma suspected.

“Hey woman, snap outta your lady blues and have some lunch.” Ruby appeared before her with a take out bag. Opening it up Emma inhaled the wonderful scent of a grilled cheese.

“Oh my gawd, tell me Granny made this!” Granny very rarely got behind the grill anymore, she preferred to supervise in her golden years.

“Yup, you looked so pathetic over here, Granny thought you could use some cheering up. Are you proud of yourself? You’ve made an old woman so worried she had to cook for you.” Emma glanced up at Rudy mid bite and squinted at her.

“Can everyone just look at me and know how I feel? Am I really that transparent?” Emma had always thought she was a bit more guarded with her feelings.

Ruby just smiled at her and patted her on the arm. “When it comes to areas of the heart Em? You’re like an open book of emotions. I haven’t seen you this worked up over a gal since high school when you were all gaga over Lily.” Ugh, she had to bring up Lily…

“To be honest, I haven’t been this worked up over someone since Lily. I don’t really have the right to be though…I barely know her, there’s just something about her is all…” Emma knew she was being a bit ridiculous about everything, she had just met Regina two weeks ago for goodness sake. “I mean, she’s Regina fucking Mills and I’m…well, me….”

“And you Emma Swan, are a beautiful human being, you deserve the best ya hear me? It doesn’t matter if they’re a barista or a freaking Queen, you are something special okay?” Ruby was glaring at her now and her eyes might even be a bit shiny with tears, Emma was lucky to have such an amazing friend.

“Wow Rubes, have you been taking hope speech lessons from my Mom, cause that was something.” Emma was near tears herself now. “Thank you, I needed it.” She leaned over the counter and wrapped her best friend in a tight hug.

“Of course, just give her some time, okay? I’m guessing she doesn’t trust easily, and I have a hard time blaming her for that ya know? I’m sorry I didn’t tell you more about her…” Emma cut her off before she continued.

“No, it’s hardly your fault…it’s just is what it is now.” Emma glanced over Ruby’s shoulder and sighed. She saw the other star of the movie headed her way and couldn’t help but roll her eyes. The young woman who played Snow White was coming over to get her blended coffee fix. Emma hated making it…the girl was picky as fuck. “Duty calls, I’ll call ya later okay?”

Ruby looked over and laughed at the sight of the girl headed towards them. “Oh man, good luck, she has all her minions with her today. Love ya babe!” Ruby tossed her a little wave and made her exit.

Ivy Belfrey stood before Emma with a very smug look on her face. “Hello Emma. I’m here for my special drink, please and thank you. Oh…and can you make seven more of them for my friends here?” The wicked smile that was on Ivy’s face made Emma livid, but all she could do was smile and get to work on their ridiculous drinks.

Emma knew she’d probably be making all these drinks over again as she made them. Ivy was never happy with how the first ones tasted no matter how perfect she made them. It almost made Emma want to make them taste awful just because she knew what was coming. She didn’t however, because she wouldn’t sink that low, no matter how much she wanted to. She handed the beverages out and waited for the inevitable. Ivy took her first sip and cringed, she was about to start complaining but was cut off by the sudden appearance of her mother.

“Ivy dear, we need to get to set, so you’ll need to be happy with what you have ,no matter how poorly it’s made I’m afraid.” Emma rolled her eyes, these two were so much alike it was scary.

“Ugh, fine. It’ll do I suppose…” The group marched off and Emma took a big sigh of relief. She was happy she only had to make those beverages once for a change. The original Snow White had been recast with Ivy because the character was older and taking a darker path in the sequel apparently. The original Snow White was such a sweet looking girl, she actually kinda reminded Emma of a younger version of her mother. Emma had finally broke down and watched The Poisoned Apple the night before…it was interesting. Not her thing at all, but she could see the appeal. She still wasn’t sure how they were turning Snow bad from what happened in the first one, but that was Hollywood she supposed. She, of course, had been in awe of Regina’s portrayal of the Evil Queen. The emotions she put into the role were amazing. It only made her crush on the woman grow. She really needed to see Regina again and try to make things better.

++++++++

“I don’t care if she’s the new up and coming ‘it’ girl in Hollywood, if she’s late to set again I want her gone!” Regina was done dealing with the young actress and her high and mighty attitude. They were only two weeks into filming and she had been late to set nearly everyday.

“Now, now Regina. We’re just getting going here, she’ll settle down, just wait.” Regina glared down at the films director August Booth, who was fidgeting behind his desk. “I’ll have a talk with her Mother again, but just have some patience, she’s just feeling the movie set life out. She’s used to television set life, she’ll figure it out.” She could see he was trying to convince himself of that as much as he was trying to convince her.

“Fine. Consider yourself on notice though August. I didn’t need to come back to this, I only did so for my fans. I love them dearly, but I have no problem stepping away from this project.” Regina reached up to rub her temples, she had a huge headache, most likely caffeine withdrawal. “Just, fix it.” She excited the trailer with a slam of the door behind her. She immediately regretted the door slam as her headache started pounding even more. She needed coffee, but she was still too embarrassed to go get any from Emma. She could send Kathryn but she knew Emma would probably try and talk to her, which would confuse Kathryn since she hadn’t told her what had happened yet. Her best friend of course knew something was up since she hadn’t sent her for coffee and had requested she walk Lady in a different area of the set. Kathryn had not asked her any questions though, sometimes the P.A. won out over the best friend it seems. Regina knew if it went on much longer though, her best friend wouldn’t be able to hold her tongue any longer.

Regina settled down on the couch in her trailer. In one hand, a glass of water and in the other, some aspirin. Kathryn and Lady appeared to be out for a walk. She took the quiet moment to think back to Monday and what had happened with Emma. It wasn’t the blondes fault in anyway, Emma had been nothing but sweet to her from the moment they met. Regina had just been having such an awful day and the one thing that she’d been enjoying recently was different. The look in Emma's eyes crushed her…she knew it wasn’t fair to Emma. Really Regina knew the blonde would see the video eventually, she was just hoping for a bit more time before she did. Had it changed how Emma saw her? Up until that moment everything had seemed rather normal, the banter seemed the same. It was just that one moment of eye contact that stung. Emma had wrote that sweet message on her cup before Regina had asked if she had seen the video. Why did she care so much about what her barista thought of her? Why was she still letting that damn video get to her. Her career had bounced back perfectly fine from the controversy. She owned up to what was said, she came out and became a huge advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her fans stuck by her. Yet, she had not let anyone get close to her in all theses years. Just Kathryn, and it had taken the poor woman months to get back into her life after the video was released. Then there was Lady. Regina smiled thinking back to when she had found the pup. It was about four years ago now. Regina had been in New York filming a guest appearance on the newest crime drama. It was in between takes, and she had been sipping on an awful cup of coffee, when she felt something furry rubbing on her leg. She was about to throw her coffee cup at it when she looked down and saw a set of adorable brown eyes staring up at her. It was love at first sight. Regina scooped up the puppy and started asking around to find out who she belonged to, but no one ever claimed her. Lady had been by her side ever since, and Regina was pretty sure they had saved each others lives that day.

As if on cue the trailer door opened and in stepped her two best friends fresh from their walk. Regina immediately noticed the take away coffee cup in Kathryn’s hand and her stomach fell. “What’s that?!”

“It’s good to see you too Regina, yes we did have a lovely walk thank you for asking.” Kathryn rolled her eyes at Regina.

“I told you I was doing a caffeine cleanse! Why would you bring coffee in here?” Lady jumped into her lap, she was always so good at trying to calm her nerves. “Hello sweetie.” She kissed the top of Lady’s head, already feeling her calming presence.

“Oh sure she gets a hello sweetie and a kiss, and I just get glares and attitude. This isn’t coffee. I went to get you some camomile tea because you’ve been so freaking stressed out all week. I thought it’d help.” Kathryn handed her the take away cup and crossed her arms defensively.

Regina was feeling like such an ass. “I’m sorry, thank you. This was very thoughtful of you.” She took a sip and was surprised to find it tasted quite good. Usually tea was to bland for her. “This is quite good, I’m assuming Emma made it?” Her heart started beating faster waiting for Kathryn’s response. She glanced at the side of the cup, but saw no message written on it’s side.

“Yes, when I told her you needed something to help your stress levels she said she knew exactly the thing and made that. She seems to know you pretty well in such a short amount of time.” Their eyes met and Regina could see Kathryn wanted to say more.

“Okay, out with it. I know you want to ask me something, so go ahead.” She smiled up at her friend hoping to set her more at ease.

“Actually… I’m debating on something. I know you’re upset about something with Emma. I just don’t know the what or why. I’m not going to ask you for the details though, that’s your business. I do want to know one thing though…” She looked at Regina questioningly.

“I already gave you the go ahead dear.”

“Do you trust her?”

The question took Regina by surprise. Her response came out before she could really think about it.

“Yes, I do.”

Kathryn smiled at her, and walked over to where the brunette was sitting on the couch. “Well then, this is for you.” She handed Regina a small white envelope. The only thing on the front was her name. She immediately recognized the hand writing. It was from Emma. “I’m going to leave you alone to read that, just know I’m always here for you okay?” Regina glanced up at Kathryn and nodded her head.

“Thank you, I’m sorry I’ve been so awful…” Kathryn held up a hand to silence her and just blew her a kiss as she exited the trailer.

Regina looked down at the envelope in her hand. She traced the lines of her name with her finger tip. Then she very slowly started to open it. A paw suddenly covered her hand and made her snap out of the nervous trance she had been in.

“Thanks for the help Lady, but I think I need to do this on my own.” She rubbed Lady’s head before she went to remove a small folded piece of paper from the envelope.

Regina,

I was going to write out this long heartfelt apology letter. It was going to be full of all this talk of understanding and crap about how I understood what you were/are going through…but then I changed my mind. I’m going to be honest. I’m not sorry, because I don’t think I did anything wrong? No, I know I didn’t do anything wrong. Sorry to be so blunt. What happened to you was awful. I get that. I don’t blame you for being cautious and guarded with your feelings. Someone you trusted obviously betrayed you and that’s shitty. I’d really like the chance to prove that I’m not an awful person. I’d also just really would like a shot at a friendship with you, because even though we haven’t known each other long…I feel like the connection we have is unique, and maybe even special… and I don’t want to lose that. I’m going to end this now because Kathryn is glaring at me, but please don’t give up on me.

~ Emma

ps- I’ll be getting my usual coffee fix on Sunday…same time and place as before.

Regina read the note over and over again and smiled. Unique and maybe even special, indeed…

Chapter Text

Emma was a nervous wreck when Sunday finally arrived. She hadn’t slept well at all Saturday night worrying about if Regina would actually show up. The letter had been a last second idea to try and get Regina to talk to her again. She had been grateful when Kathryn agreed to deliver it, although she still wasn’t sure if the blonde P.A. liked her… Shaking her head out of her random thoughts Emma grabbed her keys and headed downstairs to the cafe. It was still too early for Regina to possibly be there yet, but she needed a distraction. As she waited for the elevator to reach the lobby she smiled to herself. She had a good feeling about this. She wasn’t sure why, but she felt like Regina would show, and it just made her a bit giddy. She had to laugh at herself for being so ridiculously head over heels for someone she barely knew…but she just had this sense about Regina, from the moment she looked into those amazing brown eyes…

Walking up to the interior cafe doors Emma stopped dead in her tracks. Regina was already there ordering from Anna at the counter. Lady was sitting at Regina’s feet waiting like a good little pup. She almost burst out laughing as she watched a very animated, and obviously nervous, Anna tell Regina a story using crazy arm and hand movements. Regina was smiling politely and listening to whatever tale Anna was telling with what appeared to be actual interest. Elsa walked up behind Anna and placed a calming hand on her shoulder as she handed Regina her coffee. She wasn’t sure what Regina said to the duo but Anna smiled and turned bright red and even Elsa seemed a bit starstruck as the brunette and Lady made their way to the front patio. Taking a deep breath Emma entered the cafe and made her way to the counter. She knew she couldn’t run right out there without at least getting a cup of coffee to help keep her nervous hands occupied as she talked to Regina.

“Emma!!!!!”

“Anna!!” She couldn’t help but smile at the super excited barista.

“Your girlfriend is out front!” Anna actually sang that. Like actually sang it!

“Oh my gods Anna! Shush!!” She looked to the front door to make sure Regina didn’t hear that. Things were awkward enough between them as it was. “She’s not my girlfriend! I don’t even know if we’re friends really…”

“Well if you don’t ask her out, I’m going to! She so sweet!” She was still singing.

“Don’t you think she’s a bit old for you Anna?” Emma loved how smitten the red head was.

“Hardly… If Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor can make it work, so can Regina and I…” Anna sang dreamily as she looked off into the distance…

“You fall in love with literally every customer that comes in the door Anna!” Elsa joined them at the counter and handed Emma her usual order, Emma loved them both so much.

“I do not! Only like seventy-five percent really…” They all laughed at that, cause it was so true.

“But really Emma…” Elsa looked her in the eye. “I’m also gonna ask her out if you don’t, cause she is amazing!” Elsa winked at her and went back to work.

“Oh and Emma, she asked me what time you usually show up! I wasn’t sure what to say… I said you usually just wander down at random times of the day. Don’t worry I didn’t mention how you’re usually hung over.” Emma glared at Anna. “She did say she’d wait for you though… Really Emma, don’t screw this up!” Anna smiled at her. “Oh, I did however tell her the story about the time you were trying to make that new fancy blended coffee smoothie drink you thought would be such a hit!”

“Oh no you didn’t….” Emma’s hand planted over her face thinking back to the way Anna was telling the story using all the crazy hand and arm movements.

“Oh yeah I did! She loved it! She even complimented me on my story telling.” Emma was sure she did, since it was such an embarrassing story, she was sure Regina loved every second of it. “You should, maybe, ya know, go outside now and see her? Good luck!!!”

“Huh? Oh! yeah…good idea. Thanks!” Emma waved at the two sisters and made her way to the patio. Another deep breath. She could do this!

Stepping through the door the first set of brown eyes that saw her were, of course, Lady’s. The fluffy little pup immediately ran over to her with her little stub of a tail wiggling away.

“Hey there pup, how are ya?” Emma bent over and started rubbing Lady behind the ears. Standing up she glanced over to Regina. She was reading a book and wearing thick black rimmed glasses. Seeing Regina in glasses made Emma’s knees weak. She gave the woman a shy little wave. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Regina had a bit of a smirk on her face as she looked Emma up and down. Emma glanced down at her outfit. She had on her typical skinny jeans with her boots, but only had a tank top on…she usually topped this outfit off with her leather jacket, but it was pretty warm out and she hadn’t brought it down with her. She thought maybe she saw Regina’s eyes linger on her arms for a second, which Emma didn’t mind one bit.

“May I join you?” Emma gestured to the seat in front of the actress.

“Of course you can Miss Swan, you invited me here if I’m remembering correctly…”

“Ouch, I knew I was in the dog house, but back to Miss Swan? Really?” She gave Regina her best pout.

“Wow, you’re almost as good as Lady is at pouting, I’m impressed.” Regina glanced down at her pup, who was already cuddled up on Emma’s boots. “If she’s bothering you, let know.”

“What? Oh Lady? No bother at all, it’s kinda nice to have her, err….attention, I guess? I’m not used to anyone liking me so unconditionally, and so quickly…” Emma smiled down at the fur ball on her feet.

“Well..” Regina turned a bit red… “I’m sure the treats you give her at the coffee stand don’t hurt either.” Regina teased her and gave her one of those attempted winks she was so bad at. Once again Emma’s heart melted at the sight.

“Ha, yeah that’s probably true.” There was an awkward moment of silence after the fun round of banter, and Emma wasn’t sure how to bring up why they were there. Should she just come right out with it? Should she say she was sorry? Should she just ask questions? Before she could settle on what to do, Regina broke the silence.

“Mis… Emma, I want to apologize for my behavior the other day.” Emma tried to say something but Regina held her hand up to silence her. “You did absolutely nothing wrong, and I treated you unfairly, I truly am sorry. I hope you can forgive me for my lack of manners…”

Emma was at a loss for words at how sincere Regina was with her apology. The blonde could only stare into the brunette’s brown eyes and fall for her even more… She finally found her voice when she noticed Regina was starting to fidget in her seat. “Hey, I totally understand. I really do…you went through something pretty intense. I can’t imagine what that was like for you... I'm sure it can’t be easy to trust, well, anyone.”

“No. I definitely do not trust easily…” Regina looked down and started playing with the lid on her coffee cup.

“I’m not sure what I can do to prove I’m trustworthy Regina, but I’d like to try?” She bent down and tried to look Regina in the eye. “I know we haven’t known each other very long, but… I don’t know, I thought we could be friends?”

Regina looked up at her and a huge smile broke out on her face. It was a smile Emma hadn’t seen from her yet, and it was magnificent. She wanted to see it more. “I’d really like that Emma, thank you. Also…at some point I’d really like to explain…about the tape. Not today, but maybe sometime soon, if you were willing to listen?”

“Of course, whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here to listen.” Emma was touched that Regina seemed to be opening up to her, even if it was just promises of future talks.

“Okay, for now…why don’t we lighten the mood? What’s this I hear about a coffee, almond-butter, cashew milk, and kale smoothie?”

“Ughh…I’m gonna kill Anna.” Emma could feel her face turning red. She was about to defend herself when a group of teenagers rushed up to the table.

“Oh my gawd!! Regina Mills!!!! WE LOVE YOU!” The pack of teenagers were all dressed fabulously, like crazy fancy. Emma was actually a bit envious of their fashion sense. “Can we get a picture with you? You’re such an inspiration!”

Regina smiled over at Emma. “I’d love to sweethearts, you all look amazing! Is there someplace special you’re all headed to?” A boy handed his phone over to Emma without even asking, and the group all huddled around their Queen. It was kind of adorable. Emma glanced down at Lady to see how she was handling the crowd. Lady looked up at her and Emma swore she rolled her eyes….

“We’re having a Dapper Day Brunch at the community center!” Emma had no idea what that meant so she just started snapping pics of the group as they posed.

“Sounds like fun! Enjoy your day!” Regina took a few quick selfies with a couple of them and then the group moved on. “Sorry about that…”

“Don’t be silly, it’s all part of the job right?” Emma loved seeing Regina interact with her fans, she was so amazing with them.

“I suppose..it’s just…” Emma saw another batch of teenagers over Regina’s shoulder. They hadn’t spotted Regina yet.

“Hey, sorry to cut you off, but I think this is going to be a pathway of younglings for a bit…do you maybe want to go for a walk? There’s a cute little park on the other side of the building, there’s even a pond!” Emma didn’t want Regina to be stuck dealing with group after group of fans, word was probably already spreading that she was there.

“That sounds lovely actually. I’m sure Lady would prefer that as well.” Lady perked up when she heard her name and gave a little yip.

“Fantastic, let’s go before that group gets any closer.” Emma reached for Regina’s hand to guide her in the direction of the park…only she didn’t let go when they got moving in the right direction…Regina didn’t seem to mind, she just held on…

Chapter Text

Regina felt like her heart was going to beat right through her chest. Emma was holding her hand as she lead them to a nearby park. She had showed up to the cafe at an absurdly early hour thinking the blonde wouldn’t be down for awhile. She had been hoping to relax her mind a bit before she had to apologize to Emma. Of course Emma had shown up early and ruined that plan, but so far it had turned out okay. Regina had said what she wanted to say, and Emma had been wonderfully sweet about the entire thing.

“Wow, this is beautiful.” The park Emma had lead her to, was in fact, beautiful. There was a pond surrounded by trees of various sizes and colors. Some were blooming with gorgeous flowers. Benches were set along a path that ran along the shore, but they were set far enough apart so you could have a sense of privacy. There were even a pair of swans lazily floating around in the water, it was breathtaking.

“Yeah, it really is… I settled on a smaller apartment to have this as my backyard. Totally worth it.” Regina watched Emma as she gazed out at the view before them, she was also breathtaking. Emma turned and looked over at Regina and totally caught her staring. Feeling her face turn warm she looked back over towards the pond.

Clearing her throat she took another glance over at Emma and saw a slight smile on her lips. “Shall we have a seat? I’ll need to make sure Lady stays close, she loves chasing birds and squirrels.” Looking down at the dog, she could already see the pup was eyeing the swans. “Don’t even think about it young lady...” Lady glanced up at her and let out a little huff, whether that was an agreement or not Regina wasn’t sure.

“Yeah, let’s grab one of the benches. Probably one a bit back from the water so someone…” Emma smiled and nodded down at Lady. “…doesn’t decide to go for a swim.” Regina can’t help but smile at how Emma and Lady get along so well, she almost laughs out loud when that thought crosses her mind. How silly, to be so happy someone gets along with your dog. She feels a tug and realizes that she and Emma are still holding hands.

“Are you gonna join me? Or just stare at the view some more?” The knowing smirk on Emma’s face made Regina turn red yet again…

“Sorry, got a little lost in thought there for a sec.” She lets Emma walk them over to a bench a bit back from the water, but one that still has an amazing view. As they take a seat Emma let go of her hand... She felt the loss of contact immediately, and it hit her in a way she wasn’t used to…she wasn’t sure how she was feeling at this point, it’d been so long since she let herself feel, well, anything.

“It’s okay, this place is perfect for thinking.”

“That it is…” Regina took a sip from her coffee and cringed. It wasn’t nearly hot enough anymore… Next time she’d have to remember her tumbler. She suddenly froze. Next time?!

“Are you okay?” Emma must have noticed the change in Regina.

“Yeah, just more of those pesky thoughts.” Regina smiled over at Emma and saw the woman relax at her words. “I seem to be having a lot of them at the moment.”

“I hope that they’re good thoughts at least?” Regina could see a bit of hope and worry in the blondes green eyes…she only wanted to see the hope and get rid of the worry.

“I believe they are good, it’s just…they’re a bit new to me I suppose.” Emma just nodded at that. Regina could tell Emma wanted to ask more but was holding back, it was quite sweet of her really.

They sat in silence for a bit, sipping on their cold coffees. It wasn’t an awkward silence though, and Regina was loving how comfortable she felt sitting there doing absolutely nothing. At one point a squirrel ran by and Lady took off as fast as her little legs would take her… Emma was up and chasing her before Regina even realized what was happening. She watched as Emma chased Lady, as Lady chased the squirrel. It was probably the most Regina had laughed in years. Normally she’d be super worried about Lady’s safety, but somehow she knew she was going to be fine. With the squirrel safely up a tree, Lady finally gave up her chase, and made her way back to the bench. A breathless Emma came jogging up behind her…

“Unbelievable. I chase you for gods know how long? And you just wander back here all on your own like nothing happened?! Rude pup, rude….” Regina had tears running down her face at this point. “And you! There are things called leashes ya know?” Regina could hear the teasing in Emma’s voice, she reached over and grabbed the blondes hand.

“Thank you, it was very sweet of you to go running after her like that…” She looked right at Emma and saw as her green eyes grew wide and a bit of a blush rose on her cheeks.

“Well, it was just the right thing to do…even if she seems to be a bit ungrateful.” Emma looked down at the now sleeping Lady at their feet. “How can you go from all out run to sleep so fast?!”

“Well, I’m grateful, she’s my whole world.” Regina reached down and scratched behind Lady’s ears. They twitched at the contact but Lady didn’t wake up. “Also, next time, I’ll be sure to bring a leash.”

“Next time?” Regina looked up and was greeted with a smiling from ear to ear Emma. Her heart melted at the sight. She wanted to see it again and again.

Once again she took a nervous sip of her horribly cold coffee to collect her thoughts. “Yes… I’d love to do this again sometime, if…if you’d like to that is?” She felt like a teenager asking someone out for the first time ever…

She felt a squeeze on her hand, once again surprised they were still touching. “I’d very much like that Regina. I…really enjoy spending time with you.”

“I really enjoy spending time with you too Emma...…”

“Oh no, there sounds like a ‘but’ might be on it’s way…” A look of worry crossed Emma’s face and she lowered her head to look down at the ground, it made Regina’s heart clench.

Reaching out a shaky hand, Regina tucked a finger under Emma’s chin and brought her sweet green eyes back up into her view. “But… to be honest, I’m scared…”

“You’re scared?!” Emma genuinely seemed surprised by that, yet again Regina was in wonder at how quickly Emma could look past her past…suddenly she saw it all click together on Emma’s face. “Oh yeah, of course you are… I’m, I’m so sorry…that was a really insensitive thing for me to say…I just…” Regina moved her finger from Emma’s chin to her lips to silence her rambling. The feeling of the blondes lips on her finger made a shiver go through Regina's body.

“Emma… I’m not upset by what you said…it’s rather sweet you can forget such things and just see me…” She reluctantly removed her finger from Emma’s lips. “I’m just worried that I’m not going to be a very good…friend… It’s been such a long time since I let anyone in…”

This time it was Emma who reached out a shaky hand, cupping Regina’s cheek and looking into her, now watery brown eyes. “If given the opportunity to be your…friend… I promise you we will take things slow. Everything will be at whatever pace you decide to set. I will just be beyond grateful to have any chance at getting to spend any time with you…and getting to know you better.”

Regina wasn’t sure what possessed her at that moment but she leaned forward and placed a small tender kiss on the corner of Emma’s mouth. She sat back and smiled shyly at the blonde.

“Uhh…does this mean we’re friends?” Emma smiled that amazing smile from earlier at her.

“Yes, I believe it does. Thank you for being so understanding… I can’t promise I’ll always be very easy to deal with…”

“We will handle those moments as they come up, no worries for now okay?” Oh, she was falling hard for this wonderfully sweet woman, she just hoped she wouldn't mess it up…

“Okay.” They sat back and just enjoyed the moment. Holding hands on the bench, watching the swans float by… Regina was suddenly struck by the thought that she needed to get to know more about Emma. Emma knew so much about her, but she didn’t know much about the blonde at all…and yet she still trusted her so much. “Emma, I’d like to get to know more about you… As you know, my schedule during the week is a bit crazy. I was wondering if maybe you’d like to come over for dinner next Saturday? I don’t have any press or filming scheduled and…and I’d like to make you dinner?”

“You want to make me dinner?!” Emma looked at her in awe. “That’s the most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me. I’d love to come over for dinner!”

“Excellent. Can I have your phone? I didn’t bring mine… I want to give you my number.” Regina was feeling so silly with all the different feelings that were running through her body and mind at the moment. Emma reached into her pocket and handed her phone over to her. “What the heck is this?!”

“Uhhhh…it’s my phone?” Emma was turning red as Regina was looking at the little brick flip phone in her hand. “You’ve got to be kidding me, really? How do you function with this? I’d be lost without my phone…”

“You didn’t even bring yours with you though…” Emma did have a point there.

“I just didn’t want to be interrupted today…” She smiled shyly at the blonde. “Anyways, here’s my number. Please feel free to text me whenever, if you can even text on that thing?” Regina laughed.

“I can totally text on it! Here…she typed out a quick message. You’ll have a message waiting for you when you get home.”

“I look forward to reading it…speaking of home. I really need to get going sadly… I have to meet with some producers for an early dinner.” She smiled over at Emma and could see a bit of disappointment on the blondes face. “I’ve had an amazing morning with you though Emma, thank you so much…for giving me a chance after everything…”

“Okay, you can stop with the thank-yous now. If anyone should be thanking anyone, I should be thanking you for even talking to a nobody like me…” Regina gasped out loud at that. She stood up and looked down at the blonde.

“Nope, we’re not going there. You are not a nobody, okay? Just, don’t even start with talk or thoughts like that. I won’t have it.” Regina glared at Emma, but it wasn’t in anger, it was worry.

“I’m sorry, that was just a bit of my insecurities rising to the top, I’ll work on it, okay?” Standing up Emma reached out and placed her hands on Regina’s shoulders. “I have some stuff to work on too I suppose.” She smiled warmly at the brunette. Leaning in she placed a kiss on Regina’s cheek. Regina smiled back at her, she really wished she didn’t have that stupid dinner to go to…

“Well, we shall work on this together then, yeah?” They started walking out of the park together, hand in hand. Once they reached the sidewalk they reluctantly let go…

“I’ll see you both at work tomorrow?” Emma glanced down at Lady who had silently been following the pair.

“I have a super early call time, but I’ll try to make it over… If not me, I’m sure Kathryn will be by with Lady.” She smiled down at her precious pup.

“Well, as long as I get to see at least one of you I suppose…” Emma laughed as Lady jumped up at the attention she was currently getting. “Have a good night Regina.”

“You too, my dear.” She wasn’t sure how to say goodbye, so she just gave an awkward little wave and headed off towards her townhouse. She really wanted to glance back at Emma, but was afraid if she did, she wouldn’t make it to the dinner.

Walking into the front door, Regina tossed her keys onto the hallway table and kicked off her shoes. Lady ran inside to make sure no one had stolen any of her toys while they were out. “Really, silly girl? Are they ever not still there when we get home?” She laughed as Lady cuddled up with her favorite Micky Mouse plushie. The sound of her phone vibrating in the kitchen caught her attention. Sighing, she made her way over to it…knowing there would be multiple missed calls and texts. Surprisingly there were only twelve missed calls from various numbers, and just three texts. Two of texts were from Kathryn just checking in with her on how things went with Emma, the other was from a number not saved in her phone, she knew it must be the one Emma sent earlier…she took a deep breath and opened it.

Thank you for showing up today, I miss you already. <3 ~E

Regina laughed at the sweetness of the message and typed one back.

You can’t even do emojis on that old thing can you? How old school. ;p

I’m glad I showed up today too, thank you (last one I promise) for inviting me. <3 -R

Chapter Text

“What a week huh Ruby?” Emma looked over at Ruby as the brunette took a sip of her beer.

“Emma, it’s Wednesday…”

With a big sigh Emma planted her head onto the bar counter and banged her forehead a couple of times. This week was going by like molasses! It could not be Saturday fast enough for Emma. Ever since she and Regina had parted on Sunday it’s all Emma could think of, and it was driving her slowly mad. She hadn’t seen Regina, but had seen Kathryn and Lady a few times. There had been a few texts between them, but they had only been about getting the plans for Saturday set. After witnessing Emma’s anxiousness, Ruby had dragged her to the bar after work to try and get her to relax.

“You need to calm yourself woman! You’re going to die of an heart attack before you even make it to the date!” Her best friend was having way too much tormenting her over this. “Seriously Em, have a drink, relax. Let’s talk clothes. What are you going to wear?”

“Uhh… I mean it’s just dinner at her house? I wasn’t planning anything too fancy?” Honestly her outfit hadn’t even crossed her mind, she was just so excited about spending more time with Regina. She wasn’t even sure if it was an actual date? Great, yet another thing to freakout out over. “Ruby, this isn’t helping me relax!”

“Okay, I’m sorry. Let’s talk about something else and distract you from the fact that you’re going to a super hot movie-star’s house on Saturday.” Ruby didn't even try to hide the smirk on her face.

“I hate you.”

“I know… So how are your parents doing?” Emma was thankful Ruby finally picked another topic.

“They’re good! They love Arizona. I think they might end up moving there… It’ll be weird having them so far away, but it’ll be nice to have a place to go visit I suppose…” The Nolan’s had took off at the start of spring for an extended vacation in Arizona. “They claim to love all the heat, which is weird…but I think the idea of never having to shovel snow again is the selling point.”

“Ha! I hear that… Is your mom loving all the different birds she can watch?”

“Oh yeah… I get an email with a picture of a new bird at least once a day! She’s so funny.” Mary Margaret was an avid bird watcher, Emma was a bit creeped out by it at first, but she came to love the passion her Mom had for the hobby.

“I assume your Dad is loving retirement?” Ruby loved the Nolans. They had always been regulars at the diner, and they had even babysat her for Granny a few times. When Emma joined their family she had immediately became her best friend.

“Yup, says he should have done it years ago… I didn’t think he’d ever leave that job, he loved it so much.” Emma smiled fondly as she thought of the smiling police officer that saved her from a lonely hard life… “Can you come over Friday and help me pick out an outfit for Saturday?”

The smile that broke out on Ruby’s face was priceless. “I’d love to Ems, don’t worry. We are gonna make your hot Hollywood babe swoon!”

Emma just took a swing of her beer and and smiled at her best friend. Only two more days to go, she could do this.

Thursday started out just like any other day on set for Emma. A line of personal assistants picking up their bosses coffee orders. She hadn’t seen Kathryn or Lady yet, but that was pretty normal. She had figured out that Regina usually had Kathryn pick up her first cup at ArenPerk on her way to pick her and Lady up, and didn’t send her best friend to get her second cup until mid-morning. It was hard to believe this was only the fourth week of filming, she felt like she had been on the set for months now. She had actually gotten a call that morning about a bail bonds job. She took all the information but wasn’t sure if she wanted to add the extra workload at the moment…the thought of the extra boost of income was tempting though. Just as she was thinking about how smoothly her day was going, she spotted Ivy Belfrey headed her way. She had her mother’s mean fat grey cat Lucifer tucked under her arm. Who names their cat Lucifer? It did fit the cat’s personality perfectly however.

“Emma, do you enjoy your job here?” Ivy asked as she came up to coffee stand.

“Ummm, yeah?” She had no idea where Ivy was going with this…

“Then why do you constantly keep making me awful drinks? I swear Luci here could do better than the god awful swill you produce. I had thought maybe it was just a fluke the first dozen times, but you constantly let me down. You’ve just gotten worse and worse.” Emma didn’t know how to respond, she was speechless at the rudeness of the girl.

“I’m sorry?” What else could she say? It’s not like she could yell at one of the stars of the movie…even though she REALLY wanted to…

“You're sorry? That’s the best you can come up with? I should get your job…”

“You want to be a barista!?” As soon as she interrupted Ivy with the snarky comment, she knew she had gone too far. The evil smile that spread across Ivy’s face told her as much.

“Oh Emma. I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here because today is going to be your last day. No one interrupts…”

“Is there a problem here?”

Emma broke out into a smile at the sweet beautiful warm sound of Regina Mills’ voice. She glanced over and could see the anger on Regina’s face…the little vein on her forehead looked like it was about to burst and her eyes glared at Ivy like two poisoned daggers of death. Emma heard a small growl and looked down to see Lady in a much similar state, only she was glaring at Lucifer, who hissed at the pup in return. She wondered how long they had been there…

“I’m just dealing with this horrible member of the staff Regina, it isn’t any concern of yours.” Somehow Ivy seemed to be oblivious with how angry Regina was at her. “I was just telling Emma here that her services will no longer be needed on set.” She seemed so sure of herself, Emma wondered how many people she had torn apart in her short career.

“And what makes you qualified to fire members of the crew Ms. Belfrey?” Emma looked down and saw that Regina had her fists clenched at her sides.

“Well I’m…” Emma could see that she was about to say she was the star. She could also see that it was finally clicking in that Regina wasn’t very happy with her…

As if sensing her daughter was in trouble, Victoria Belfrey suddenly appeared. “Ivy dear, the staff isn’t worth your time sweetheart, let’s go get you a decent coffee elsewhere okay?” She grabbed Ivy by the elbow and dragged her away… Emma could hear some hushed words being exchanged between the two but couldn’t make out what was being said.

Emma looked over at Regina. The brunette was still glaring at the women as they made they’re hasty retreat. The blonde reached out and placed a calming hand on Regina’s shoulder. “Hey…thanks for coming to my rescue.” She could feel Regina finally relax under her touch. Their eyes met and they both blushed at the awkward situation.

“I’m so sorry about that…” Emma interrupted Regina before she could finish the apology.

“It’s not your fault Ivy Belfrey is an awful human being Regina.” She tried to lighten the mood with a crooked grin.

“I know, but she’s part of a movie I’m the star of… I can’t have her running amok and bullying the crew.” A little bark and growl from Lady seemed to confirm Regina’s words and they both laughed.

“Well this crew member is very thankful for your timing.” Realizing her hand was still on Regina’s shoulder she blushed and gave it a little squeeze before she let go. “Can I get you a fresh cup of my god awful swill?”

“Yes please, you know how much I love your god awful swill.” They smiled at each other and Emma got to work on the coffee.

Emma worked on the pour over and glanced over at Regina now and then, the woman seemed to be thinking pretty hard about something. Emma couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous as she brought the coffee over. “Hey, is everything okay?”

Regina took the coffee from Emma’s hands and took a deep breath. “Yeah, I just didn’t like seeing Ivy treat you like that, at all. I guess my anger surprised me a bit.” She took a sip of the coffee and continued. “I was just wondering if I would have cared as much if it was another member of the crew…” A look of guilt crossed her face.

Emma couldn’t help but feel a bit special at those words, she almost wanted to give herself a high-five. She could see that Regina was really bothered by the thought though so she calmed her emotions. “I know you would have… Don’t worry, I’m sure Ivy will give you a chance to rescue another member of the crew from her wrath soon. I just happen to be her first victim is all… I tend to bring that out in people sometimes for some reason.” Emma couldn’t help but let her mind wander to the thought of all the bullies that had picked on her in various foster homes….

“Well, enough about all that for now. Are we still on for Saturday?” Thankful for the subject change Emma smiled and shook her up and down like an idiot.

“Of course we are! I did have a question though…” She could see Regina tense up a bit. “I was uhh…just wondering what I should wear?”

“It’s just dinner at my home Emma, not a five star restaurant. Wear whatever you’re most comfortable in please.”

“I’m not sure a hoodie and pj pants are appropriate for a first date Regina…” The words were out of her mouth before Emma had thought about them. She and Ruby had been calling it a date all week, but she and Regina had never really called it an actual date…she was suddenly frozen in place waiting for Regina’s reaction.

“First date hmm? I was under the impression that this was our second date? Or was coffee on Sunday just…coffee?” Emma could see the mischief in Regina's eyes and groaned. “Also Miss Swan, if you’d like to show up in a hoodie and pj pants that’s fine with me, but just know, you don’t get to see me in those things until at least date five.” Emma almost fainted at the sexy tone Regina used as she spoke that last statement. This woman was going to be the death of her.

“Noted.” Emma managed to squeak out after finding her voice again. She could see Regina was pretty proud of herself for rendering the blonde speechless once again.

“I need to get going. I’m going to be on location all day tomorrow… Please text me if Ivy gives you anymore grief? I’m also going to keep this between us for now, but if it happens again I’ll go to the Director. She needs to learn the world doesn’t revolve around her.” Regina reached out and gave Emma’s hand a quick squeeze.

“I can do that, but hopefully you scared her off for now. I’ll see you Saturday.” Emma brought her other hand up and placed it on top of Regina's. They stayed that way for a moment, looking into each other’s eyes.

Lady snapped them out of they’re intense eye contact by growling at something… They pulled their hands apart and looked over in the direction she was growling. Victoria Belfrey was standing there staring at them. She was petting her creepy ass cat in her arms with a smug look on her face. Emma suddenly had a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. Regina just glared at the strange woman.

“I’ll see you Saturday Emma, again if either Belfrey bothers you, let me know, okay?” Emma nodded and smiled. “Come along Lady, those two aren’t worth your growls.”

Emma watched as the duo walked back towards their trailer. She looked back over to where Victoria had been watching them from, but she was no longer there. Shaking the feeling of unease out of her system, she tried to refocus on the positive. Only one more day to go before she got to spend an entire evening with Regina. A date. It had been confirmed. That brought a smile back to her face. She looked around to make sure no more spying eyes were focused on her, and gave herself a high-five.

Chapter Text

Lady watched as her Mom rushed around the kitchen getting dinner ready. She didn’t really understand what was different about tonight’s dinner than other nights. She could tell she was anxious about something. The food she was making smelled amazing. She kept hoping her Mom would drop something but she was out of luck so far. She was even giving her, her best sad eye trick, but Mom was so distracted she didn’t fall for it like usual. It was very frustrating, to say the least. This called for drastic measures...

“Yip!”

“Oh my goodness! Lady! I didn’t see you down there sweetheart! Why are you under my feet?” The pain was worth the attention, especially when... “Here dear, have a taste of my lasagna meat, it will help you feel better.” Mom patted her head and fed her the delicious morsel. “I hope it tastes okay... I want everything to be perfect for when Emma get’s here tonight.” Lady perked up when she heard Emma’s name. She couldn’t stop her tail from wiggling at the news that Emma was coming over. There was just something about the blonde woman that made her happy. It was probably because she made Mom so happy. Emma also always smelled like coffee, and Lady knew her Mom loved coffee, so of course it made sense they’d get along. “I see you’re as excited as I am to see Emma! I’m so glad.” Her Mom smiled down at her and Lady wiggled her tail some more. She could see it was helping her Mom to relax so she kept it up.

Mom continued to run around the house getting everything ready and Lady sat back and watched. Lady was devastated when Mom brought out that awful loud machine that sucked things up into it...she did her best to bark loudly at it… After getting told not to bark at the awful machine Lady huffed off to be by herself for a bit….she had only been trying to help! After sulking in the corner for a bit she went to find her Mom again. She was in the shower, and since Lady wasn’t fond of getting wet, she napped in front of the bathtub waiting. After her shower was done, Mom settled on the edge of the bed and started covering herself in that strange white stuff that tasted weird when Lady gave her kisses….bleh.

“Lady, do you want to help me pick out my outfit for tonight?” Lady had dozed off again on the bed, and she glanced up with a yawn at her Mom who giggled. “Oh, sorry to disturb your slumber sleepyhead.” Mom headed into the little room that held all her clothes. She came back out and placed a small pile on the bed next to Lady. “Okay so… I want to be casual, but...” Mom’s face turned an odd color... “...well um, appealing...” Not really understanding what her Mother was talking about Lady just wiggled her tail to make the woman smile. “Thank you for the encouragement.”

After trying on what Lady thought was every single thing her Mom owned, the woman had settled on a simple black skirt with a dark red blouse. She watched as her Mother seemed to pat herself down as she looked in the mirror. Humans were weird. After finishing getting dressed and grooming herself, her Mom topped everything off with a spritz of that smelly stuff that made Lady sneeze. It didn’t smell particularly bad, it just made her nose do weird things. After sneezing a few times she followed her Mom into the kitchen and watched her remove the yummy smelling dish from the oven. She smiled brightly as she set everything out and Lady once again couldn’t stop her tail from wiggling at how happy her Mom seemed.

A ring of the doorbell grabbed both of their attentions and Lady shot off towards the door. She slid into it and started barking the best she could. She was aware that it was most likely Emma, but she needed to make her presence known, just in case, for safety purposes of course….

++++++++

Emma took a deep breath as she approached Regina’s door. In her right hand she held a simple bouquet of wildflowers she had picked up from the conveniently located farmers market outside. The flowers had caught her eye as she walked by, and Emma made the last second purchase on a whim. She hoped it wasn’t too cliché. Her hands were shaking as she took another moment to calm her nerves. Glancing down at her outfit for the millionth time she wondered again if it was the right choice. She had on a pair of black skinny jeans that hugged her in all the right ways. Her shirt was a green long sleeved button up, it was made of a silky material that had a nice shine to it… Ruby had assured her it made her look ‘fucking sexy as hell’ but Emma had her doubts. It seemed too simple for a dinner at a movie-stars house… Emma smiled thinking about how that was something Regina liked about her though, that Emma didn’t treat her like a celebrity…

“Here goes nothing.” She reached out with her free hand and rang the doorbell. Almost immediately she heard the sound of Lady barking and her little paws skidding to a stop on the other side of the door. She could hear the muffled sound of Regina trying to calm Lady down. The entire thing made Emma smile, and it actually helped calm her nerves a bit. She was greeted by a warm smile as Regina slowly opened the door.

“Hello Emma.” Emma thought her heart was going to beat through her chest at the sound of Regina’s sexy voice greeting her.

“Hey.” Emma just smiled like a goofball, taking in the entire sight of Regina Mills as the door finally opened all the way. “You look amazing.”

“Thank you, you look pretty amazing yourself dear.” Regina’s eyes roamed Emma’s body up and down. “Are those for me?”

With a slight blush Emma looked down at the flowers in her hand. “Uhh…yeah I saw them and thought they were pretty cool so…” She held them out to Regina who took them with a shy smile.

“Thank you, they’re lovely.” She smelled them and Emma did her best to not appear too awkward as she stood in the hallway. “Oh, I’m so sorry, please come in!” Regina stepped aside and let the blonde make her way inside. As soon as she was inside the door a streak of fur pounced on her.

“Hey pup! Nice place ya have here.” Emma knelt down and rubbed behind both of Lady’s ears as Lady kissed her face. “Woah, it’s good to see you too!” Emma laughed as she was attacked with the wet kisses.

“Lady! Leave poor Emma alone! Wow, she really does like you… I’m starting to get a bit jealous to be honest…” Emma stood up and looked into Regina’s beautiful brown eyes.

“Of which one of us?” Emma smirked.

Emma saw a blush creep up Regina’s cheeks. “Wouldn’t you like to know.” With those words Regina walked off with an extra sway of her hips. Emma was left a bit speechless, her jaw hanging slightly open. The brunette called back over her shoulder at the still stunned blonde. “Come join me in the kitchen Miss Swan!” Emma stumbled after her as fast as she could.

“Wow, something smells amazing!” Emma took a seat at the island bar as Regina filled two wine glasses.

“Thank you dear. I do hope you like lasagna, it’s a specialty of mine.” Regina handed Emma one of the wine glasses as she took a sip from the other one.

“I love lasagna! Actually, to be honest, I kinda like all foods… I was never a picky eater growing up. I ate what I could when I could…” She noticed the curious look Regina gave her, and wondered if now was a good time to share more about her past… Emma wanted to know more about Regina so she supposed it was only fair… “Actually, there’s a bit of a story behind that…if you’d like to know more?”

“I’d love to…let me dish up the food and move this into the dining room?” Emma nodded and got up to help Regina with getting everything. She was a bit nervous to share her childhood story, but also looked forward to having Regina know more about her.

++++++++

Regina listened to Emma as she told her about her life growing up in the system. It was a lot to take in, but she was very honored Emma was willing to share a part of herself with her.

“Your foster parents sound amazing, I’m glad you found them.” They had moved onto dessert, a tiramisu, Regina had made it from scratch, another of her specialties. She had been very pleased with Emma’s reactions to all her food. There were a few sounds made by Emma as she ate, that Regina would love to get her to make again in other ways…

“Yeah… Breaking the law kinda paid off for me.” Emma laughed and Regina loved that sound as well. “Mom always says ‘We all found each other when we needed each other the most.’ I can’t really argue with her on it… She’s pretty big on hope speeches.” Emma got a bit silent after sharing her story. Her green eyes were looking down into the coffee cup she had sitting in front of her.

Regina knew this was her moment to share something about herself, taking a deep breath, she decided to bring up a subject she always avoided talking about… “Well, I would take hope speeches any day over what my Mother has put me through in life.” Sipping on her own coffee Regina continued. “My Mother is a very cold and calculated woman. She grew up with a dream of becoming a movie star. She actually had some luck early on in her career. She starred in a few various television shows, usually as the woman of the week to some male star… She wanted more though…the bright lights of the silver screen called to her.” She took a second to calm her nerves and Emma reached out and grabbed her hand and gave it a little squeeze. “She eventually was cast in a pretty big Hollywood production. She was set to be the leading lady…but then, tragedy struck her. The very first day of filming she tripped and landed awkwardly on her shoulder, breaking her collarbone. They of course just immediately recast the role, she wasn’t an important enough name yet for them to wait on her recovery.” Regina paused to take another sip of her coffee.

“That’s awful… I take it she didn’t handle it well?” It was then that Regina realized her hand was still in Emma’s, and it calmed her down enough to continue the story.

“That’s putting it mildly. To this day she still claims that the other female co-star tripped her. Whether or not it’s true I don’t know. Hollywood can be a bit evil of course…especially back in those days…but the entire experience ruined her. She was blacklisted from other films and even television because of how she acted towards everyone after the fall. She became very jaded and bitter. Somehow my Father still managed to find something about her he liked, I have no idea what, but…” Her heart clenched at the thought of her Father. “They married and had me pretty quickly. I became her second chance at Hollywood. She enrolled me in acting classes as soon as she could find a teacher that would take someone of my age. She didn’t want me to be a child actor though. She felt that it wasn’t becoming to grow-up in front of everyone’s eyes. I just took lessons, lots and lots of lessons. Then at 18 she started shopping me around. She, of course, was acting as my manager. I did some theater to get my name out there, a few television roles came next. Then the movie roles started being offered… She was very meticulous in what she accepted. She was building my reputation in a very specific light. I got labeled as a diva early on, but she was the one leading that role.” Emma squeezed her hand once again. Regina turned her palm up so they could lace their fingers together.

“Hey…if this is too much right now, we can take a break and come back to it later?” Emma was so sweet to give her an out at that moment. Regina glanced up at the clock on the wall and noticed it was still rather early.

“Actually, I think… I think I’d like that. This is a pretty intense subject for me, and I don’t want to take up our entire evening on it. Thank you.” She smiled gratefully at the blonde.

“You don’t need to thank me Regina. Thank you, for trusting me enough to open up as much as you have…I know it’s not easy for you. Now, how shall we spend the rest of the evening?” Emma wiggled her eyebrows at the brunette. Regina leaned in closer to blonde to respond…

“Ruff!”

They both jumped at the sound of Lady. She was sitting by the front door with a very frustrated look on her face.

“Well, it seems maybe someone would like to go for a walk?” Regina laughed as Lady started jumping up and down when she heard the word walk.

“Ha! Well one can’t argue with a Lady I suppose…” They both stood and headed for the front door. Regina slipped on a light jacket and grabbed Lady’s leash. Lady growled at the sight of it.

“You know you have to wear it at night young lady! Now sit.” Lady did as she was told, and the three set off for an evening stroll…

Chapter Text

As the trio enjoyed their evening stroll Emma couldn’t believe how lucky she was. She watched Regina out of the corner of her eye as the brunette looked down fondly at Lady.

“I’m sorry if this isn’t the most romantic of dates…” Regina turned to catch Emma looking at her and Emma blushed at being caught.

“Are you kidding me? You made me incredible food, including a kick ass dessert. You invited me into your stunning home, and now I get to go with you and your adorable dog on a romantic stroll! That’s like…actually now that I think about it…” She gave Regina a concerned look. “I’m a bit worried we may have hit our date peak way to soon…we are screwed.” She tried to keep the serious face up but started laughing when Regina actually looked concerned for a moment.

“You’re awful! I was actually worried you were serious for a second! Not cool….” Regina pouted and wrapped her arms around herself clutching Lady’s leash. Emma stopped walking and wrapped the brunette up into her arms.

“I’m sorry.” Their eyes met, and it was just one of those perfect moments. First Emma kissed Regina’s temple. “That was very rude of me.” Then she kissed her cheek. “I’d like to make it up to you though.” Next she place a sweet little kiss on Regina’s nose. “That is, if you’d let me?” Green eyes met brown and Emma thought her heart was going to explode with how fast it was beating.

“Yes, please…”

Emma didn’t need to hear anymore, she placed a shaky hand to the side of Regina’s face and brought their lips together. Emma thought maybe that she had died and gone to heaven. They’re lips moved slowly at first but soon grew more heated and desperate. Emma felt Regina’s tongue slide across her lips and Emma granted her the access she was seeking. As their tongues met a moan could be heard but Emma wasn’t sure which of them it had come from and she really didn’t care. She slid her hand from Regina’s cheek to the back of her neck and grabbed a handful of dark hair. She could feel Regina’s hands come to rest on her hips and she tried to resist the urge to grind into the woman as Regina pulled her closer. The taste of coffee and chocolate filled Emma’s senses, she was drowning in the wonder that was Regina Mills….nothing could possibly ruin this.

“RUFF!growlRUFF!RUFF!!growlRUFF!RUFF!RUFF!” Lady shot off into the the darkness. Regina still had the leash in her hand but had loosened her grip on it in the passionate moment.

“LADY!” Regina screamed out as the dog bolted into the darkness. Emma could see the panic set in on the brunettes face.

“I got her!” Emma chased off after her as fast as she could, thankful she wore her smaller heeled boots. “Come on Lady! Whatever you’re chasing is so not worth it trust me…” The little woodsy area Lady had ventured into was a lot darker than the street, and Emma wished she had a flashlight. She stumbled around trying to catch a glimpse of fur or maybe hear a growl but so far she hadn’t had any luck. She could hear Regina call out for Lady from the street and thought maybe she should head back when she heard a branch snap behind her. She spun around but didn’t see anyone. “Hello? Is someone there?” The leaves started to rustle and Emma prepared herself to deal with whatever was going to happen but she was relieved when Lady just burst through and jumped into her arms. “Oh my gawd, you scared me to death Lady! Let’s get you back to your Mom before she has a heart attack huh?” Emma headed back towards the street, she glanced back over her shoulder and thought she saw something, but it was probably just her mind playing tricks on her…

++++++++

Regina paced back and forth on the street as she waited for Emma to find Lady. She cursed at herself for not holding onto the leash more tightly. She knew better, Lady always finds something to chase after… She just got so caught up in the moment. That kiss was, wow. Ugh, she can’t think about that now, her poor Lady is missing! A black SUV went speeding by and that made Regina even more scared for Lady’s safety. People need to be more careful! Luckily she spotted a flash of blonde hair breaking through the darkness with her little evil fur-ball wrapped in her arms.

“Oh thank you!” She pulled Lady out of Emma’s arms and gave the pup a tight squeeze. “You are in SO much trouble.” Lady just licked the side of her face. “Don’t think being adorable will make everything okay!” Another lick just made Regina giggle. She placed Lady on the ground and wrapped the leash around her arm a few extra times. “Emma, thank you again.” She stepped up close to the blonde and gave her a quick kiss. “That was very heroic of you to just take off after her like that into the woods.”

“What that? Aww shucks that was nothing.” They smiled shyly at one another for a moment. “We should probably head back though, it’s getting kinda late.” Regina nodded and headed back in the direction of her townhouse.

“This is actually probably the middle point between our homes, you did walk right?” Regina glanced over at the blonde.

“Yeah, but it wouldn’t make for a very heroic end to an already heroic day if I didn’t walk you home right?” Even though it was pretty dark out Regina could see a bit of a blush appear on Emma’s cheeks.

“I suppose you’re right.” Regina smiled as she grabbed Emma’s hand with her leash free hand, and they continued on their evening stroll.

“I never did see what Lady was chasing…”

“It was probably just a cat or a raccoon. Luckily it doesn’t appear it was a skunk or we’d all be paying the price right now.” She glared down at Lady who just gave her an exasperated look, like she’d never understand the woman. Shaking her head at her pup Regina knew she already was over being mad at her. “Did I tell you how I found Lady?” She glanced over at Emma who shook her head. “It’s actually a pretty cute story…”

They arrived at Regina’s door not too long after the adventure in the woods.

“I can’t believe you almost threw your coffee at her!”

“She scared me! I thought she was a rat!”

“That’s the most adorable rat I’ve ever seen.”

“That she is…” Regina smiled down at her favorite pup and looked back up and was greeted by a pair of brilliant green eyes smiling at her warmly. Before she could say anything Emma’s lips were on hers and she melted right into them. This time Emma’s tongue reached out of access first and Regina gladly granted it. Teeth skimmed lips, hands were seemingly everywhere. Regina needed to breathe. She gave Emma a little push back. “Emma. I need a moment.”

“I’m…I’m so sorry Regina I didn’t mean…”

“You did nothing wrong Emma.” She reached up and cupped Emma cheek. “I just got a bit overwhelmed for a second okay?” Emma just nodded at her and turned her head to place a soft kiss in Regina’s palm.

“I understand. I should probably get going… I, I had an amazing evening though, just so ya know.” Regina’s heart sped-up as she looked at how incredibly shy and awkward Emma suddenly got. The woman was just too cute.

“As did I, my dear. I hope we can do it again soon?” She was feeling extra shy all of a sudden as well.

“Anyplace and anytime. You just let me know what fits into that crazy Hollywood schedule of yours.” Emma gave Regina a wink.

“I can do that.” Regina leaned in and gave Emma a quick kiss. “Goodnight Emma.”

“Goodnight Regina.”

“Yip!”

“Goodnight to you too Lady, and you’re welcome!” One last shared look between the two and Regina closed the door.

++++++++

Emma woke the next morning to the sound of her phone ringing. She fumbled around on her nightstand for it and finally managed to flip it open. “Hello?”

“OH MY GAWD EMMA!”

“Ruby? What the hell? It’s way too early for screaming! I told you I’d give you a date update on Monday!” She knew Ruby wanted details but this was ridiculous.

“No! Listen to me Emma! Go to TMOZ’s website right now!!” Emma started to argue but Ruby just kept on screaming at her…

“Okay, okay… You know it takes a hot second for my laptop to start up, what’s going on?” Stumbling into the front room Emma powered up her laptop and wondered if she had enough time to make a cup of coffee while it booted up.

“Ugh, you and your damn ancient technologies! Just hurry up!” She could hear Ruby huff and it sounded like she was pacing.

“Okay, I’m starting to get scared now…what’s going on?” The laptop finally was done and she nervously typed in TMOZ.

“Just, don’t panic okay?” Now she WAS panicking and the site hadn’t even loaded yet.

Once the page loaded she didn’t have to wait long to know what Ruby was talking about. There on the main page was a huge headline. ‘Regina Mills Caught Making out with Mysterious Hot Blonde Lesbian!’ Under the headline there were pictures. From last night. They had obviously been taken from the woods. Lady must have chased the paparazzi away, but not before they got a few shots of them making out.

“Emma? Are you okay?” Ruby’s voice snapped her out of her stunned staring at the screen.

“Yeah… I. I need to call Regina.” She wasn’t sure how to feel about any of this….it wasn’t something she knew how to process.

“Of course… Hey, if it’s any consolation, you guys look super hot!”

“Not helping Rubes! I’ll call ya later.” Emma hung up on her best friend and took a deep breath. Her mind went right to worst case scenarios. What if Regina thought she had set it up? She didn’t want to lose her trust already, they were just getting started…her phone buzzed in her hand. Looking down she saw she had a text message, from Regina. All it said was; can we come in? Emma was confused by the message until she heard a knock on her front door. She scrambled over to the door and yanked it open. “Hey.”

Greeted with the sight of Regina and Lady standing before her Emma took note of the coffees and take-out bag in Regina’s arms. Then she noticed how Regina’s eyes travelled down her body and also how the woman’s eyebrows slowly rose up. “Those are some lovely panties, Miss Swan.” Glancing down at herself Emma realized she had never put on any pants when Ruby had called.

“Oh jeez, please come in!” She let Regina and Lady walk past her and glanced up and down the hall to make sure no one was watching. “Just give me a sec.” Emma stumbled past the pair and made her way to her bedroom.

“Don’t hurry on my account, dear…” Emma glanced over her shoulder to see Regina smirking at her, so Emma added a little wiggle to her step.

With pants in place, Emma joined Regina at her apartments tiny kitchen table. She had the coffees set out with a few pastries. “Sorry my place is kinda tiny and a mess.”

“It’s perfectly fine. It’s not like you knew I was coming, so please don’t feel ashamed of anything, okay?” Regina gave her a sweet smile and Emma felt herself relax a bit. “I see that you’ve already come across what I came by to tell you about….” Emma wasn’t quite sure what Regina meant but then the brunette tilted her head in the direction of the front room and Emma saw her open laptop with the TMOZ page open on the screen.

“Oh yeah, that… Regina I promise you I had nothing to do with it! The only reason I know about it at all is because Ruby called me this morning! Please know I’d nev…” Regina’s hand covered Emma’s mouth before she could say more.

“Emma. I don’t blame you okay?” Emma nodded her head up and down and Regina dropped her hand. “I blame myself, and before you say anything to object to that, don’t. I was careless, I know better, they’re always out there lurking. I just had yet to see any here, so I guess I just got a bit complacent.” Emma wasn’t sure what to say. “Also, I really should have talked to you about the possibility of this happening, it was really unfair of me not to warn you…”

Now Emma knew she needed to say something. “Regina I don’t care about it, you know I don’t pay any attention to that stuff anyway.”

“Yes, but now that they know about you they’ll always be around. The article doesn’t mention you by name, but sooner or later they’ll find you, and they’ll just always be there. I feel awful for bringing that into your life…” Reaching out for Regina’s hand Emma laced their fingers together.

“Hey, I know enough about your world to know this was something that could and would probably happen. Did I think it would happen this fast? Not really…but that could be said for our entire relationship so far yeah?” Emma wiggled her eyebrows at the brunette who laughed. “I’m willing to take this all head on, for you okay? Again, I know we’re still really early on in all this…although, does this count as date three now?” Again Emma wiggled her eyebrows and Regina slapped her shoulder.

“You’re an idiot.” Regina rested her head on Emma’s shoulder.

“Well, I’m your idiot, if you want me to be that is?” Emma smiled down at the brunette.

“You already are dear, there’s no going back now you know?” Emma could tell Regina was smiling but she didn’t look up at her. She placed a kiss on the actresses head and took a deep breath.

“I know, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Chapter Text

“So… Not that I’m not super happy to have you in my place…but how did you find out which apartment was mine anyways?” Emma reached out a grabbed one of her favorite pastries Regina had brought with her.

“Well it seems that you are very good friends with the owners of the cafe downstairs, and they love to share. Well Anna loves to share anyways… That girl is hilarious.” Emma should have known the barista sisters were involved. Especially Anna. “No worries, I warned them about the paparazzi, and they promised to let you know if there are any downstairs.” Emma could see the worry on Regina’s face.

“Hey, I told you not to worry. I can handle it, okay?” She could see Regina was about to argue, but the brunette’s phone started to ring.

“Sorry…give me one moment?” Emma nodded and started to clean up around the kitchen to try and give Regina some space for her phone call. “Hello Kathryn. Yes, I know… We didn’t see them! Lady chased them away… Shut up! Don’t say it….no I will not say it! …Fine! You were right… I can’t right now… Yes she is… No! I just came by this morning! …I wanted to warn her about the pictures… Oh hush! …no I didn’t forget, can you pick me up at the cafe? … Ugh, you are awful, see you soon dear.”

“Best friends are the worst huh?” Emma smiled over at Regina as she ended her call. “Sorry the place is kinda too small not to overhear…”

“They really are, but I love her, so I guess I’m stuck with her…she’s happy for me…us, so I guess that’s good at least.”

“I’m glad to hear that, to be honest, I didn’t think she liked me very much.” Emma watched as Regina walked over to her. The actress wrapped her arms around Emma’s neck and kissed her on the forehead.

“She’s just a little overprotective of me… She still blames herself for what happened… We’ve been friends since we were kids. Her Mom was the acting coach my Mother found to start teaching me so early. Kathryn is the one good thing to come from all of that…” Emma could see the love Regina had for her best friend, she understood completely.

“Well, I’m glad you found each other. Oh man… I sound like my Mom!” Emma couldn’t help but laugh at herself. Her Mom would have a field day knowing she quoted her favorite happy speech.

Regina just smiled at her. Emma wondered what was going through the older woman’s mind as she looked into her eyes. Suddenly Regina’s lips were upon hers and she had a small idea of what the brunette might have been thinking about. Their tongues met and battled for dominance. Emma felt her backside come into contact with the kitchen counter as Regina pushed her back. Regina’s hands moved up and tangled into Emma’s long blonde hair. Emma’s hands found Regina’s hips and she couldn’t help the moan that escaped her lips as she felt Regina lean into her… This was by far the best kiss Emma had ever experienced. Every part of her body was on fire. She thought she might start to cry when Regina pulled back to take a deep breath.

“Wow.” Regina leaned forward and rested her forehead against Emma’s. “I really enjoy kissing you Emma.”

“I really enjoy being kissed by you Regina.” Emma smiled shyly at the brunette. They just stared into each other's eyes for a moment, enjoying the feel of being in each others arms. The sound of Regina’s phone snapped them out of their lusty haze.

“That would be Kathryn. Sadly duty calls… I really hate my job right now.” Emma immediately pouted at the news the Regina needed to go. “Has anyone ever told you, that you are adorable when you pout?”

“It’s been known to get me what I want, but I have a feeling that’s not gonna be the case today?” Emma had to at least try and get the gorgeous woman to stay longer right?

“Ugh, stop being so damn cute! I do really need to go…” Regina kissed Emma’s nose and started to collect her things. “Thank you, for being so understanding about the paparazzi stuff…”

“I already told you it’s all good, so stop it, alright? I…Regina being with you is so worth the hassle of some idiots with cameras, okay? I never would have believed I’d get to be a part of your life like this, it’s a…blessing, and I’m not going to let it go.” Emma surprised herself at how easy that confession flowed out of her mouth. She meant every word of it though, she hoped Regina could see that.

“Oh Emma…you are just, so…amazing.” Regina gave Emma another quick kiss. “I’ll call you later okay?” She watched as Regina made her way to the door. The brunette turned and looked back at Emma and gave a quick little wave as she closed the door behind her.

Emma took a deep breath. She couldn’t believe how lucky she was, Regina was just so damn perfect. She needed to do something special for the actress. It was her turn to plan the next date. How do you impress a Hollywood actress?! Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock on her door. Wondering who could possibly be here now, Emma had a moment of panic and wondered if the paparazzi had found her… She was greeted by the sight of a very red faced Regina standing before her.

“I uhhh…forgot something….” Emma looked at her confused, but then she had a bit of hope that maybe Regina was ditching work to hangout with her. “Come on Lady!” Emma glanced back and saw a very sleepy pup lift her head up from where she was sleeping on the couch. How did she not notice her there? Now Emma was blushing too. Lady joined them at the door and Regina put her leash onto her collar. “Oh, and Emma? I think it’s safe to say this was date three…” The brunette placed another quick kiss onto her cheek and walked away, leaving Emma standing in her doorway grinning like an idiot.

+++++++++

Kathryn glanced around the craft service area looking for a particular brunette. The set was pretty busy today with dozens of extras for an epic battle that was being filmed. Finally spotting who she was looking for the blonde made her way across the room.

“Hi. I’m sorry to disturb you, but are you Ruby Lucas?” Kathryn looked the young woman up and down and tried not to judge the poor thing on how she was dressed. She really hated some of the ideas her Mother planted into her head…

“Y..yyes? Can I help you?” She could see the concern on the young woman’s face.

Kathryn had no doubt that Ruby already knew who she was but she introduced herself nonetheless. “I’m Kathryn Midas, Regina Mill’s personal assistant.” She held her hand out and Ruby took it into hers for a firm handshake. Kathryn was impressed with the girls solid grip.

“Nice to meet you. Is there something I can do for you?” Kathryn again could see the brunette was nervous, but she could also see that she was also curious. Having been burnt in the past, she had gotten very good at reading people over the past few years. She decided to cut right to the point of her seeking her out.

“Yes actually. I just need to know that your best friend won’t fuck over my best friend.” She watched as the young woman’s face went from stunned to a bit angry, then finally she just started to laugh.

“Oh my gawd! You are so adorable!! All protective and sweet…” Ruby smiled at Kathryn and she was a bit stunned by the young woman’s words. “I can promise you this Momma Bear, Emma would never do anything to hurt your precious best friend. She doesn’t have an evil bone in her entire body. Trust me, if she did, I would have corrupted her a long time ago.…” Ruby winked at her and Kathryn could actually feel herself blush!

Clearing her suddenly dry throat Kathryn took a moment to take in the young woman before her again, letting her eyes travel down long lean legs.. Damn it Kathryn, snap outta it! “I…umm good, good. I just want what’s best for Regina. I won’t ever let her be hurt again.”

“You have my word. Emma will treat her like a Queen.” Kathryn rolled her eyes at the lame joke.

“Well, thank you for your time Ruby.” Kathryn was all out of sorts dealing with Ruby’s brashness. Not many people could shake her nerves these days. She was not used to this strange feeling. She had to think of Regina and snap back to the point. “Just know though, if Emma hurts her…”

“I got it Momma Bear. No worries. Emma won’t hurt her. I truly meant the promise I gave you a second ago.” Kathryn smiled and felt that the young brunette was being truthful.

Kathryn nodded a thanks and slowly backed away from the strange young woman, why was her heart suddenly beating so fast? She was obviously in need of a vacation when this movie was over…

++++++++

Emma - Hey Regina! I just wanted to say I miss you & I hope you’re having a fantastic day! <3 :-)

Regina laughed as she looked down at Emma’s ancient style of texting. She really needed to get the blonde a new phone. Just for fun she sent Emma a string of emojis knowing that she wouldn’t be able to see them.

Emma - Aww all I can see are a bunch of boxes with question marks in them?!!! :-(((

Laughing Regina hit the call button. She wanted to hear Emma’s voice.

“It’s not nice to tease me with question marks ya know?” Regina smiled knowing that Emma probably was sporting her cute little pout as she talked.

“Well…if you had a phone made in this decade you wouldn’t have this problem you know?” She heard Emma huff and smiled at her silliness.

“I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in nearly two weeks! When do you get back from location shooting?” The films production staff had decided at the very last minute that a certain scene in the film needed a more exotic location. So the Wednesday after their third date Regina had been flown to Ireland.

“I’ll be back late Thursday evening if everything goes as planned today. I miss you too dear.” It was actually nice to have someone to miss, and it was also nice to have someone miss her as well. “Then my plan is to sleep off my jet lag all day Friday. I was hoping then maybe we could do something together on Saturday?” Regina suddenly felt shy asking to spend time with the blonde.

“Yes please! Actually…” Regina’s heart sped up hearing the change of tone in Emma’s voice. “I’ve been planning out a date for us that would be perfect for that day, if that’d be okay with you?”

“That sounds wonderful. But please don’t go overboard on anything… I’m happy just spending time with you. There doesn’t have to be any grand gestures.” Regina didn’t want the blonde to feel she needed to impress her.

“No worries, it’s nothing too fancy. I just want to do something nice for my girlfriend….it’s okay if I call you that right? Regina smiled at the suddenly nervous sound in Emma’s voice.

“Well… the tabloids have named you my ‘hot blonde lesbian girlfriend’ so I suppose it’s okay.” She loved teasing Emma about that.

“Ugh, I’m never going to live that down am I? You’re almost as bad as Ruby!”

“You are too cute when you’re embarrassed, it’s just way too much fun to make you squirm. I can see why Ruby enjoys it. Remind me to get to know her better when I get back.” Regina really did want to get to know Emma’s best friend.

“Oh speaking of best friends, did you know Kathryn went and grilled Ruby about me?”

“What?! No! I’m so sorry Emma…” Regina was stunned that her best friend would do such a thing.

“No, no! I’m not upset about it at all! Don’t be mad at her, please? From what Ruby told me about the meeting she was just doing her over protective best friend thing. Ruby actually thought it was adorable…she keeps calling her Momma Bear, which is weird, but whatever…that’s Ruby.” Regina couldn’t help but laugh at that.

“Momma Bear huh? I’m sure Kathryn loves that… I’m still going to talk to her though, that was very forward on her part…” Okay she probably wouldn’t be too hard on her best friend, but still.

“Please, just don’t be too hard on her…” There goes Emma being all sweet again.

“I won’t, I promise.” Regina looked up at the clock and sighed. “I need to get going, I can’t wait to see you this weekend.”

“Okay. I can’t wait to see you as well! I’ll pick you Saturday at 4pm okay? Make sure you and Lady dress casual, so none of those fancy heels okay?”

“Okay, I’ll make sure Lady wears her flats.” Regina smiled at Emma’s silliness.

“Oh, haha. But really, casual clothes. 4pm. I’ll see you then!”

“Yes dear. I’ll see you then.” Regina suddenly had the thought that she wanted to end the call by telling Emma she loved her, but it was entirely too soon for that, wasn’t it? “Until later sweetheart.” She just couldn’t do it, yet.

“Yeah, see ya soon Regina, bye!” Emma hung up the phone and Regina felt a bit sad by the awkwardness of the end of the call. She was probably reading too much into it. Her phone vibrated in her hand.

Emma - <3 xoxo

Regina smiled down at the message.

Regina - <3 xoxo :-*

Chapter Text

As soon as Regina entered her apartment she was pounced on and covered in kisses. “Oh my sweet Lady! I missed you too!” She hugged her precious pup to her chest and gave her a good squeeze. “Two weeks is way too long to be apart!” She continued to love on Lady not paying attention to anything else.

Oh hi Kathryn, it’s lovely to see you as well. Thank you, for taking care of my precious dog while I was gone. Oh, no problem Regina! It’s the least I could do for my best friend!” Kathryn was standing in the hall watching the Mother and pup reunion and, of course, had to tease Regina a bit, she expected no less from her best friend.

“Ha-ha, it’s lovely to see you too dear.” Walking over to her best friend she kissed her cheek and wrapped her up in a giant hug. “Thank you for taking care of Lady. You know I appreciate you right?”

“Of course I do. I was just giving you a hard time. It’s just impossible to beat lady to the door to be greeted and loved on by you first…I get a bit jealous.” Kathryn winked at Regina and grabbed some of her luggage and headed down the hall.

“Understandable.” Regina kicked her heels off and grabbed the remaining luggage and followed Kathryn down the hall. “All has gone well here I take it?

“Yeah all peaceful on the home front. The gossip-rags seem to have calmed down on covering you and Emma. You can actually thank Ivy Belfrey for that, she was seen making out with that new up and coming singer Jack something? I dunno… I swear Victoria set the entire thing up to take the headlines from you…”

“Well in that case I should send her some flowers… I actually feel kind of bad for Ivy if that’s true though. It’s all just too familiar you know?” They had made their way into the kitchen after depositing the luggage in the laundry room. Regina grabbed a kettle to get some tea going.

“Oh trust me I know. I’d feel sorry for her too if she wasn’t so awful.” Regina contemplated everything she had witnessed in Ivy and knew she had once been exactly like that. Doing everything that was expected of her, everything her mother demanded.

“She hasn’t given Emma any more problems?”

“No, I checked in with her a couple of days ago when I went by set to, um, check on a couple of things…” Regina knew exactly what Kathryn went to check on thanks to Emma.

“Oh yes, your third degree of the best friend. Really Kat?” She tried to hide her smirk behind her tea cup as she glared at her best friend.

“Oh…I’m in trouble. You only call me Kat when you’re mad at me, or drunk, and unless you had a few cocktails on your flight?” Regina shook her head. “Yeah didn’t think so, how was it by the way? Your flight, I mean?”

“Kat…”

“Okay, okay… You know I had to make sure Emma was on the up and up, and what better way than through the best friend? I thought I’d get a better read on your blonde bombshell by seeing what Ruby would tell me…” Regina could see Kathryn was getting a bit worked up. “Everything I’ve seen from Emma has seemed genuine, I just, I just needed to see another set of eyes that knew her personally. I won’t have what happened with..”

“Don’t say her name.” Regina might be feeling much better about everything currently, but she didn’t need to hear that name.

“I just won’t have anything like that happen again.” Taking a deep breath, Kathryn continued. “If it makes you feel any better, I believe Emma is actually a very good person, and…and you have my blessing.” Regina could see the blonde felt a bit silly, but she understood why.

“I’m going to say this one, last, time.” Regina put her tea down and walked over to Kathryn, and grabbed her shoulders. “None of what happened was your fault.” Kathryn tried to argue but Regina cut her off. “No. Just because you introduced her to me, doesn’t make you responsible for what happened. We were all fooled. We know who the mastermind behind it was, just like she always is. My Mother. So I will not have you blaming yourself anymore! Okay?” Kathryn just nodded and wiped at a few stray tears that had started to fall. “Good. Thank you for your blessing, that’s very sweet. I’d expect nothing less from you… Momma Bear.”

“Oh, god… I’m going to kill Ruby.”

++++++++

Emma knocked on Regina’s door Saturday afternoon and was greeted by Lady’s barks on the other side. “Hey Lady, open the door would ya?” She chuckled at herself. The door finally popped open and she was greet not by Regina Mills, but by Kathryn Midas.

“Oh, you look so sad to see me, how sweet.” Emma rolled her eyes at the blonde.

“Sorry I was expecting someone else is all… Hi Kat, how are ya?” Emma tried to be happy to see Kathryn but she was really looking forward to seeing Regina.

“Oh no, you don’t get to call me that. Not yet anyways…” Emma thought she saw a bit of smile cross the woman’s face, but it was gone in an instant. “I was just headed out, you two have fun!” There was a small yip. “Sorry Lady, you three have fun!” Emma gulped as Kathryn stared her down one more time. “Don’t let her down, okay?” Emma nodded at the intimidatingly tall blonde.

Emma felt a pair of arms wrap around her as she watched the door close behind Kathryn. “Don’t mind her, she’s just doing her job.” Regina’s lips grazed her ear as she spoke into it, sending a shiver down Emma’s spine.

“Yeah, I still don’t think she likes me much.” Emma turned around in Regina’s arms and gave her a huge hug and leaned in for a kiss.

“Mmm…I’ve missed you.” Regina managed to say in-between kisses.

The kiss deepened and hands tangled in hair. Emma found herself backed up against the door and gasped as Regina’s leg slid between her thighs. The blonde slowly slid her hands down around Regina’s waist. Next Emma found herself sliding them down even further and she grasped the brunette’s ass, bringing their bodies even closer together. Regina’s leg rubbed up against the apex of Emma’s tight jeans in just the right way, and Emma could feel herself getting embarrassingly close to release. It’d been quite awhile since anyone had touched her like this, and as much as she wanted that release…she didn’t want it to be up against the door in the hallway. “Regina, oh gods…” When she finally managed to pull her mouth away to say something to the actress, Regina immediately started sucking on her neck. “Regina. I…” Emma couldn’t help the moans that were escaping from her mouth as she tried to form a sentence. As she felt teeth graze her pulse point she finally managed to bring her hands back up to Regina’s shoulders and push her back a bit. “Regina!”

Brown eyes met green. Emma could see the moment Regina snapped out of her lust filed state. “Oh Emma, I’m so sorry…I got a bit carried away there…” Emma shook her head.

“No, please don’t be sorry, cause I’m not complaining, at all. I just, um, well… I kinda don’t want my first orgasm with you to be in the hallway.” Emma could feel her face turn red, she knew it was probably the brightest red it had ever been in her life. She looked up at Regina and saw that her face had turned red as well, and laughed. “Okay, so I think it’s obvious I missed you too, and how was the flight?”

“Smooth Miss Swan, smooth. It was fine, thank you.” They both laughed and took a moment to compose themselves. “Can I get you a drink or do we need to head out?”

“We have time for a drink, and I definitely need one now.” Emma wiggled her eyebrows at the brunette as they headed into the kitchen.

“How about a glass of the best apple cider you’ve ever tasted?”

“Got anything stronger?”

“Oh trust me, this has a bit of a kick to it.” Regina smiled over at her and Emma fell even more in love with the woman. Wait, love!? Where did that come from!? Emma’s heart started to race.

“Are you okay dear? You look like you’ve seen a ghost?” Regina placed the drink in front of Emma. The blonde grabbed it and downed half of it in one gulp.

“Yeah, just need a moment to cool down, is all. I’ll be right back.” Emma took off towards the bathroom. Once inside she rested her hands on either side of the sink and took some deep calming breaths. So many emotions were running through her at once and she couldn’t seem to calm down. She reached down and turned the faucet on, and splashed some cold water onto her face. That finally seemed to help slow down her heart rate. What the hell was wrong with her? Just thinking that one little word sent her into a near panic attack. She shook her head, damn she thought she was past this. She was past this. Lily was so long ago. Regina wasn’t Lily. She was so much more than her old girlfriend ever was…. She took another deep breath and looked at herself in the mirror. Don’t be an idiot Swan. Feeling better she fixed her hair and headed back out to Regina.

She found the brunette still in the kitchen, only now she was sitting on the floor with Lady cuddled up in her lap. Regina had her arms wrapped around the pup and her cheek was resting on top of Lady’s head. It was adorable. It was also obviously a thing Regina did when she needed comfort, and Emma felt her heart clench knowing she caused the need for that.

“Hey.” Emma greeted Regina as she sat down next to her on the floor. She was greeted with kisses from Lady.

“Hey.” Regina looked over at her with a sad smile and once again Emma’s heart clenched. “Emma I’m sorry…” Emma put a finger over Regina’s mouth to silence her.

“No. No apologies. There’s nothing to be sorry for.” She gave the brunette the warmest smile she could. “I think I just had a moment of clarity.” She saw Regina’s eyes go wide. “No, it’s a good thing. A moment of clarity to how real this is, or is becoming at least…and I had a little old demon of mine pop up on my shoulder and it managed to scare me a bit. I know you can understand how those old demons can sneak up on you?” Regina nodded her head up and down and Emma giggled realizing her finger was still on Regina’s lips. She moved her hand to Regina’s cheek and looked into her gorgeous brown eyes. “I’m not gonna lie. I just realized how hard I’m falling for you and I did panic for a moment. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way about anyone…actually, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about anyone.” She smiled again at the brunette and leaned in and gave her a small kiss on the lips. “I’m one hundred percent in this though, don’t doubt it for a second okay?” Regina smiled at Emma and the blonde could see the unshed tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry if I scared you.”

Once again Regina placed her cheek on the top of Lady’s head and closed her eyes for a moment. Emma could see she was collecting her thoughts before she spoke. “I was scared, only because I thought I pushed you too far too soon.” This time it was Regina that placed a finger onto Emma’s mouth to stop her from saying anything. “I see that wasn’t the case now. We still have a lot to learn about each other.” She removed her finger from Emma’s lips and started rubbing Lady’s ears as she spoke. “It’s hard to not want to just give into primal urges, but I want to do this the right way, for both of our sakes. We’ve both obviously been burnt in the past it seems?” Emma nodded her head sadly. “I understand. So we just keep on the same path we’ve been on.. All the other stuff will work itself out as we learn more about each other. For now, we date and…”

“We can still make-out right?” Regina laughed at Emma’s concerned look.

“Yes Miss Swan, we can still make-out. I just want us to get to know a bit more about those pesky demons before we let them interfere anymore in our lives, okay?”

“Okay.” After a few quick kisses to help them both feel better Emma noticed the time. “We need to get going!” She hopped up and helped Regina to her feet. For the first time she took in what Regina was wearing and was actually impressed the woman could do casual. She was wearing black skinny jeans and a David Bowie concert t-shirt. She also had a small scarf tied around her neck. “I must say you’ve surprised me in your ability to dress down. Are those Doc Martens?” Regina smiled at her and gave a little twirl.

“I can do casual Emma, you’ve only really ever seen me at work, or when I’m trying to impress.” Regina gave her a wink and Emma smiled because she actually pulled it off for once.

“I like it. I dunno about the scarf though…” She laughed as Regina smacked her in the arm. “Okay let’s get going, but before…” She grabbed the drink she had abandoned on the counter earlier and finished it off. “This stuff really is amazing Regina.”

“Thank you, I make it myself.”

“What?! Just when I think you can’t get anymore amazing…”

++++++++

Regina tightened her grip on Emma’s hand as the blonde led them down a dark alley. “Emma? Are you sure we are in the right place?”

“Yup! I’ve been here before. This is my friend Jefferson’s place. I helped chase down his deadbeat ex-boyfriend when he jumped bail. I just have to find the right door the key goes in… Here we go, found it!” Regina looked at the warehouse door and saw a small white rabbit painted on it.

“Is this that Rabbit Hole bar you go to with Ruby?” Emma was struggling with the lock.

“Huh? Oh no, but Jefferson owns that as well! Nicely done on connecting the dots! Have you played a detective before?” Regina blushed as Emma smiled over at her. “This is actually his new place. He’s been working on it for nearly a year, it officially opens next week. I managed to talk him into an exclusive sneak peak for just the two of us…okay so I also might have promised him an autograph picture of you…but you’ll see it's totally worth it!” Regina just rolled her eyes as Emma finally managed to unlock the door.

They stepped inside and all Regina could see was darkness. Lady even growled as if annoyed. “I must say a pitch black warehouse is something to behold dear.” She heard Emma huff and then the blonde closed the door behind them, making the room even darker. “Emma!”

After a few terrifying seconds Regina heard what sounded like a switch being flipped. Suddenly the lights flicked on, and the sight before her took her breath away.

“Welcome to Wonderland!”

Chapter Text

“Welcome to Wonderland!”

Wonderland truly was a sight to behold. It was like walking right into the book or Disney movie. Giant mushrooms stood over head….the floor was a strange metallic neon green color to give you the impression you were in a colorful enchanted forrest….fake shrubs and flowers covered everything, but they seemed so oddly real.… Tucked in amongst everything there appeared to be a miniature golf course?

“Emma is this some sort of funhouse? It’s magnificent.” Regina’s eyes were still trying to take it all in. The brunette noticed that tucked along the walls there were various carnival games…the floor above looked like it was an arcade, with all sorts of pinball machines.

“Yup! It’s a good old gaming palace! Jefferson really did an amazing job with the place. His plan is for it to be a place for families in the afternoon, and then a funhouse slash nightclub at night… The mushroom forest that makes up the golf course can be moved around to make room for a dance floor. I think it’s gonna be a pretty big hit. Oh! And you can do this….” Emma turned back around and flipped the lights off again…

“Emma!” Regina wasn’t very fond of the dark.

“One sec! I got this…” With another flip of a switch the room lit up colorfully and everything glowed brightly. “Black lights! Cool huh?” Emma came up behind Regina and wrapped her arms around her waist. “So can I challenge you to a game of mini-golf?”

Regina couldn’t stop laughing when Emma handed her the putter that was shaped like pink flamingo. Then the tears started to roll down her cheeks when she saw the hedgehog painted golf balls. “I thought it was croquet in the book not mini-golf?”

“Yeah it was, but who the heck knows how to play croquet? Regina had to give her that, but she wasn’t about to admit she played on her schools team…

As Emma took aim for her first shot, Regina admired the view of the blonde bending over in her tight jeans. The ball set sail on a perfect path to the hole, when suddenly a blur a fur ran by pouncing on the ball. “Lady! No fair! That was totally going in!” Emma pouted her best pout.

Once again Regina found herself laughing with tears in her eyes.

As they came to the last hole Regina couldn’t help but stand in awe of the final giant mushroom. Sitting on top of it was a giant caterpillar glaring down at them, it was all so well done. Then a classic red and white checked blanket caught her eye, it was set to the side, and there was a cute little picnic basket sitting on top of it. There was also a bottle of champagne chilling in a small silver bucket sitting by the hole at the bottom of the mushroom . “Oh Emma, this is so perfect.”

“Jefferson may have helped me out a bit, do you really like it? Not too silly?” Regina walked up to the blushing blonde and wrapped her up in a tight hug and brought their lips together.

“I love all of this, it’s amazing, thank you.” After and few quick kisses she broke away. “Now let me sink this putt so I can officially say I kicked your ass.” Regina bit her lip and bent over to take her shot, giving an extra wiggle as she did so, knowing green eyes were watching intently. As the ball entered the little hole at the bottom of the mushroom the giant caterpillar on top came to life, it made a few crazy gestures and settled back down. “Wow, remind me to get that autograph to Jefferson, he totally has earned it!”

“He’s gonna be so crazy happy you love the place.” Emma lined up her final shot, she’d already lost but she needed to finish out. She hit a perfect shot, but once again Lady came running in and scooped up her ball. “Hey! I’m starting to think you two have sort of mini-golf scam running…” All Regina could do was laugh.

++++++++

As they sat on the picnic blanket Emma couldn’t keep the smile off her face. How lucky was she? She sipped on champagne and giggled as the bubbles tickled her nose. They’d been sharing stories of their childhoods, the happy memories, avoiding the darker ones for now. They both wanted to keep the mood as it was, fun and happy. They went on to play various arcade games, Emma got even with a win playing skee ball, luckily Lady didn’t jump up on the machine to chase the balls down. Regina proved to be a bit of a pinball wizard though and Emma found she didn’t mind losing to the brunette if it kept that brilliant smile on Regina’s face.

“How’d you get so good at these games Regina?” Emma saw Regina’s face take on a more solemn look and wished she hadn’t asked the question.

“My father used to sneak me away to an arcade when I was little. It was the one fun thing he’d take me to that Mother had no clue about… I had weekly riding lessons on Saturday mornings, and once a month we’d skip it go and to the arcade instead.” Regina smiled fondly at the memory.

“He sounds like he was a good guy?” Emma knew he wasn’t around anymore, by how Regina spoke of him, but wasn’t sure what happened.

“He was. He treated me well and always had calming words for me when Mother upset me… I just wish he would have stood up to her now and then…but that wasn’t in the cards.” Emma wanted to say something but wasn’t sure what… “He died about 6 years ago, from a heart attack… I miss him.” Regina smiled over at her sadly but didn’t seem to be slipping into a dark place. She just looked like she was having a moment of remembering. “Anyways, I became rather good at the arcade games, as you can see.”

“That you did!” Emma leaned over and gave Regina a small kiss. “Have you really had fun today?”

“Oh Emma... I’ve had the most amazing time, thank you!” Regina returned the kiss a little more deeply. They were interrupted when Lady zoomed by chasing one of the golf balls she had snagged earlier. “I think Lady has also had a good time as well.”

They rested their foreheads together, not wanting the night to end, but knowing it was getting late. Emma looked down and noticed Regina was biting her lower lip in thought. “Emma?”

“Yeah?” Emma got nervous seeing that Regina appeared a bit nervous.

“Stay with me tonight?” Emma couldn’t hide the surprise on her face. “I mean…nothing needs to happen, of course, we already talked about that earlier…I just don’t want to let you go just yet…I…” Emma silenced Regina’s rambling with a kiss.

“I’d love to.” The smile Regina gave her made Emma’s heart melt yet again. Like she’d ever say no to anything this woman asked of her.

They packed up the picnic and headed out, but first they swung by Emma’s apartment on the way so she could pack an overnight bag with some essentials. Emma felt like her heart was going to explode with how fast it was beating as they entered Regina’s townhouse. She didn’t really know why, they’d already agreed nothing beyond some making out would happen…but it was still such a big step, to be staying overnight.

Regina pulled Emma’s bag out of her hand and headed toward the bedroom with it. “I’m gonna go freshen up first and get into something more comfortable. Then you can, if that's okay?” Emma just nodded and smiled at the brunette. “Feel free to grab whatever you’d like in the kitchen and make yourself comfortable!”

Emma made her way to the fridge and popped the door open. She saw some of the cider Regina had gave her earlier but grabbed a beer instead not wanting to be too buzzed when Regina came back out. She played with Lady while waiting, she really was an amazing dog. Emma started to wonder if maybe she needed a dog in her life… Before she could really think about it much, Regina stepped out smiled at the two as they played tug-o-war with a stuffed animal.

“Aww look at you two getting along so well.” Emma’s mouth fell open as she took in the sight of Regina Mills fresh from a shower… Her hair was still damp and it had started to curl up at the ends, her face was scrubbed clean of all makeup and Emma had never seen anything so beautiful in her entire life. “What? Is something wrong?”

“No, no! You just, look so freaking beautiful!” Emma couldn’t stop starring, she may have even started to drool a little. She saw Regina laugh and shake her head and walk over to where Emma and Lady sat on the floor.

“You Emma Swan, are so sweet, and never cease to amaze me.” Regina bent over and kissed Emma’s nose. Emma just smiled like a goofball. “Do you have something else to say?”

“You’re wearing a hoodie and pj pants!” Emma bit her bottom lip to try and hide the goofy grin on her face.

“And?” Regina gave her a knowing smile back.

“You said I wouldn’t get to see that until the fifth date if I remember right?”

“Hmm… I suppose I did. Well, I guess this will just be considered another date for the evening then.” They both laughed at how silly they were being. “It’s your turn to freshen up if you’d like dear?”

Oh how Emma loved it when Regina called her dear. The blonde finished up her beer, hopped up and headed to the bedroom after giving Regina a quick kiss on the way. Her bag was sitting on the bed and she felt a fresh set of butterflies start to flutter in her stomach. This was really happening! She was staying the night in Regina’s bed! She shook her head in disbelief.

As she sorted through her bag, she felt her phone buzz in her back pocket. Taking it out, Emma saw it was a text from Ruby.

Ruby - Get lucky yet?! :-P

Rolling her eyes she went to toss her phone onto the bed, but decided to have a bit of fun at her best friends expense.

Emma - OMG RUBY! You won’t even believe what this woman can do with her

She hit send and turned off her phone. It was way too much fun to tease Ruby sometimes.

She gathered up a few things from her overnight bag and headed into the ensuite. Her jaw dropped open when she saw the shower. There were multiple shower heads in various places…she wasn’t even sure if she could figure out how to turn the thing on… Then she did a double take when she saw the tub that sat off to the side. It was bigger than her entire bathroom! She contemplated taking a bath but decided that’d take too much time, so she just stripped down and stepped into the shower. After playing around with the various knobs she found a temperature and spray setting she liked. Emma moaned at the luxurious feeling it gave her as the water hit her muscles. She could get used to this. She reached for her shampoo but noticed Regina’s sitting on the ledge and grabbed it instead. She flipped open the lid and inhaled the sweet scent that she had come to know as Regina, well part of her anyways…it was missing her natural scent that made her smell perfect. She decided to go with her own shampoo however, and not be a super creep.

As she lathered herself up she couldn’t help but think back on the amazing day she and Regina had just shared together. It had been so perfect from start to finish. Well, it had been after the awkward moment she had after their makeout session in the hall…she let a small moan slip from her lips as she remembered the feeling of Regina’s thigh between her legs. She’d been so close to release… as Emma pictured the moment in her mind, her hands slowly made their way to her chest...she let her palms graze her nipples as they hardened from the memory. Her breathing became a bit more labored as she squeezed her breasts and thought of Regina’s mouth on her neck…her right hand made it's way south across her stomach and her left braced against the shower wall. She gasped as her fingertips came in contact the warm slickness between her legs. Emma bit down on her lip as she circled her swollen sensitive clit. She moaned and slid a finger deeper into her folds, her mind filled with memories of every kiss and touch she and Regina had shared so far… She could feel herself start to shake the closer she got to her much needed release, part of her knowing, in the back of her mind, that this was kind of inappropriate thing to be doing in her girlfriends shower...but she was too far gone to really care. She bit down on her forearm to stifle her scream as her climax took ahold of her, the feeling of pure pleasure ripping through her body...her knees almost buckled, but she managed to stay on her feet. She slowly removed her hand from between her legs and took in a few deep breaths.

“Emma?” Regina’s voice made Emma’s head snap up and she froze in place mortified.

“Y…yeah?” Emma cringed as her voice cracked. She took a sigh of relief as she glanced to the door and just saw it was just slightly cracked, Regina just called through it and didn’t come in, right?

“I just wanted to let you know there are towels under the sink, I forgot to mention that earlier.” Regina was so sweet...

“Thanks Regina! I’ll be out in a sec, this shower is amazing!” Emma rolled her eyes at herself, but also couldn’t help but giggle a little bit because she was still feeling pretty damn good after her intense orgasm. She finished cleaning herself up, again, and threw on her own hoodie and pj pants.

“Wow.” She was greeted in the front room much like Emma had greeted Regina earlier. Emma wondered if she had a bit of an extra glow because of what she had just done in the shower, and that thought made her blush.

“Hey” She gave a little shy wave to the brunette that was sitting on the couch. Lady was curled up next to her and Emma sat beside her and rubbed the pups ears.

“You clean up quite nicely Miss Swan.” Emma watched as Regina’s eyes roamed over her body. Emma was now thankful she was feeling a bit satisfied or she probably would have pounced on the poor woman.

“Thank you!” She smiled back at the brunette and they shared a moment of just looking at one another.

“Care to watch a movie? I know you’re not big on them but…”

“I’d love to.” Emma once again knew, she’d agree to anything Regina asked. She missed what Regina said next but saw she was going through the menu on Netflix picking something out… Emma found herself wanting to cuddle up next to her girlfriend but there was a fur ball between them and she wasn’t sure what to do…there was no way in hell she was going to shove the pup outta the way but…

“Lady, down.” Oh thank god. Emma was relieved Regina took care of that little problem. Emma laughed as Lady huffed and hopped down off the couch. Hopefully the pup would still like her after tonight. Regina picked some old black and white film Emma had never heard of, but it didn’t matter what it was as Regina wrapped her up in her arms, and they cuddled up together on the couch.

++++++++

Regina smiled down at the mess of blonde hair sleeping in her lap. Emma had made it about a third of the way into the film before dozing off. Stroking her fingers through the blonde locks Regina giggled at the grin on Emma’s sleeping face… Then Regina blushed remembering the look of pure lust she had seen on that face earlier in the shower. She had gone in to check on the younger woman when she’d been in the shower for what seemed like forever, worried she may had slipped or something. She was just going to peek in real quick to make sure she was okay… When she saw where Emma’s hand was and heard the sounds she was making she had been momentarily stunned and frozen in place. After the initial shock wore off she decided to lean against the doorframe and enjoy the show…she knew it wasn’t exactly something she should be doing, but it was her shower after all. She marveled at the muscle tone of Emma’s body has she brought herself to release. She had to bite down hard on her lip to stifle her own moans from escaping as she watched. She blushed remembering she had just done the exact same thing, in the exact same spot moments ago… Watching as Emma had finally come undone she had quickly stepped back out of the doorway and called in with her lame towel excuse.

“Emma?” She rubbed the blonde’s head a bit harder to get her to wake. “Emma, wake up so we can go to bed.”

“Mmmm…that feels nice.”

“You know what feels even better Em-ma? Cuddles in bed.” Green eyes shot open as Regina finished whispering those words in her ear.

“I’m up! Let’s go to bed!” Regina laughed as Emma bounced up and grabbed her hand and dragged her to the bedroom.

They kissed and cuddled for a bit, but the need for sleep finally won out. Regina snuggled back into Emma as the blonde wrapped her strong arms around her.

“Thanks for the wonderful day Emma.” She felt a kiss being placed on top of her head, and soon felt Emma’s body grow heavier as sleep took her over. Regina smiled, at the feeling of happiness that spread through her entire body. “Goodnight my love.”

Chapter Text

Waking up with Regina Mills tucked in her arms was the best feeling ever. Emma pulled the brunette tighter against her body and made a little happy sigh. Just as she was feeling herself drift back off to sleep, she was pounced on by a wiggling mass of fur.

“Ugh, good morning Lady.” Emma giggled as her face was covered in puppy kisses. Lady climbed over them wiggling her way between the duo and started kissing the side of Regina’s face.

“Getting a bit kinky this morning aren’t you Miss Swan?” Regina’s rough sexy morning voice spoke out.

“Oh, haha!” Emma launched herself at the older woman and started tickling her sides, as Lady continued her kiss assault on the side of Regina’s face.

Regina nearly fell off the bed trying to get away from the pair's assaults. “Okay! I give, I give!”

“We win! High five Lady!” Emma held her hand out and Lady actually slapped her paw up on it. “Awesome!”

“You two are going to drive me crazy, I can tell already.” Emma watched as Regina slid out of bed and stretched, it was a lovely view. “I’m going freshen up and take Lady for a short walk… Do you want to get a bit more sleep? I can start on breakfast when we get back?”

“How about I start on breakfast while you two are out?” Regina smiled at Emma and walked over to her…

“That sounds lovely, thank you.” Placing her hands of either side of Emma’s face, Regina leaned in and placed a tender kiss on the blonde’s lips. “We’ll be right back, come on Lady!” Emma bit her lip to hold back a giggle as the duo left the room…and turned right back around to grab some clothes… “Err… I need to freshen up first…” Emma only smiled as she watched Regina shyly enter the bathroom.

Lady hopped back up on the bed and curled up next to Emma. “Your mom can be so silly!” Lady just huffed and cuddled closer so Emma cuddled down next to her…

++++++++

Regina looked herself over in the mirror. She couldn’t help but smile thinking about waking up in Emma’s arms, she could get used to it… A random thought crossed her mind at that moment, but she shook it off. They had time to figure things out before she needed to think certain thoughts… With one more quick glance at herself, she headed out of the bathroom to take Lady on her morning walk. The sight that greeted her in the bedroom made her stop in her tracks. Emma and Lady were curled up together on the bed sleeping. It was the most adorable thing Regina had seen in her life. Emma and Lady were cuddled up together on the bed, the blonde’s cheek was resting on top of the pup’s head. Regina slowly pulled her phone out and snapped a few pictures of the sleeping duo, wanting to preserve this precious moment. Finally Lady woke and jumped up at seeing her mom standing beside the bed.

“Ready for your walk sweetie?” Lady started jumping up and down excitedly, finally waking Emma back up.

“Did I fall back asleep?” Her green eyes squinted adjusting to the light of the room.

“Not for long. I just finished up in the bathroom. We were just going to head out.” Regina leaned forward a placed a quick kiss on Emma’s cheek. “I’m going to grab us some coffees from the cafe.”

Emma nodded and rubbed her eyes making Regina’s heart swell with how adorable she was… “I’ll have breakfast waiting for you then.”

“Sounds perfect. Come on Lady.”

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and Regina knew she was smiling like an idiot. As she arrived at ArenPerk, she smiled at a couple that were leaving the cafe hand in hand. She found herself wishing Emma was with her…

“Regina!” A smiling Anna greeted Regina as she walked up to the counter.

“Miss Aren.”

“Regina! We talked about this! Call me Anna silly!” Regina couldn’t help but smile at the enthusiastic barista.

“Of course, sorry Anna. How are you on this fine Sunday morning?”

“Fantastic! Especially now that some of my favorite customers are here! What can I get you and Lady today?” The girl’s smile was so wide, Regina was worried Anna might hurt herself.

“Just my usual order…oh, and Emma’s as well please…” Regina found herself blushing as she made the request, but she wasn’t really sure why.

“Oh? Are you headed up to see her? I haven’t seen her at all this weekend…” Now Regina was blushing even more. “Oh have you been with her all weekend?!”

“Anna!” Elsa suddenly appeared saving the brunette from further interrogation from the young girl. “Can you please get Ms Mills her order?” Anna sulked off to do as she was told and Elsa smiled an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, she gets a bit over excited sometimes.”

“It’s perfectly okay.” They stood in silence for a moment. “So tell me Miss Aren, how long have you and your sister had this cafe?”

“Please call me Elsa. Anna and I have been running the cafe now for…eight years? Wow, time does go by fast…” Regina noticed Elsa’s face take a bit of a somber mood. “My parents ran it before…they died…”

“I’m so sorry…” Regina felt awful bringing up such a sad subject, even if she had no way of knowing…

“No, it’s okay. Like i said eight years ago, they went on a cruise…they got a caught in a storm… Anyways, that’s when we stepped up and took over the family business. We really do love running it though, we get to meet so many lovely people.”

“Well, I for one am very grateful. You two make the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had, and that is the honest truth.” They smiled at each other. “Don’t tell Emma I said that though…”

“She did learn her coffee skills from us, so I think she’ll understand…” Anna joined them at the counter and handed over the beverages, and a small bag.

“What’s this?” Regina asked as she handed her credit card to Elsa.

“Just a small treat for Lady.” Anna smiled and looked down at the pup. “She’s the most well mannered dog I’ve ever seen!”

“Hmm…she has you fooled.” Lady yipped and they all laughed. “Thank you my dears, I appreciate it.”

As Elsa handed Regina her credit card back she nodded over to the front window. “Umm Regina, I think there’s a paparazzi outside, just so you know…”

Turning towards the window Regina spotted the familiar site of a camera clicking away at her… With a big sigh she reached for her phone.

++++++++

Emma heard the front door open and close, followed by the sound of paws clicking and running into the kitchen.

“Hey! I made pancakes! Hope you’re hungry. I may have made too many…” Emma cringed as she looked down at the giant stack of hotcakes.

“Thanks you. I’m famished actually…” Emma’s head snapped up. “Oh there’s that look of love I’m always so happy to see.”

“Kathryn.” Emma nodded at the blonde woman as she took a seat at the dining table. “Is Regina okay?!”

“Yes.” Regina entered the kitchen and handed Emma her coffee, and gave her a quick kiss. “Sorry, there was a paparazzi outside the cafe, so I called Kathryn for a ride home. Then, of course, she insisted on walking me inside.…” She glared at her best friend.

“What? I’m just doing my job, making sure you got inside safely…” Kathryn couldn’t keep the smirk off her face. “And I’m glad I did. There’s no way just the two of you could finish all this food alone!” They all looked at the feast set out on the table and burst out laughing.

Breakfast actually was very pleasant, to Emma’s surprise. The conversation flowed easily between the three of them. She got to hear some hilarious stories about Regina’s teen years. Emma could see the love the two best friends had and she was so happy Regina had such an amazing friend in Kathryn.

Regina’s phone rang, interrupting a pretty juicy story about Kathryn. “Oh thank god, saved by the bell!”

“Don’t think we won’t come back to this later dear…” Regina glanced at the caller id. “It’s the director, this might take a moment.” She took her phone with her to another room, and the two blondes were left alone…this should be fun.

“So… I’m not going to give you the, if you hurt her, I kill you speech….”

Emma smiled at the overprotective friend. “I think you just did?”

“That’s all I have to say…” Kathryn got up and started clearing the dishes.

“Here let me help.” Emma jumped up and the odd duo started doing the dishes together. Kathryn washed as Emma dried, it was oddly calming. Lady came up and curled up on their feet. “Hey pup, just get comfortable, why don’t ya?” Emma smiled down at the fur-ball.

“I’m glad Lady approves of you… You would have been out of luck if she didn’t.” Kathryn smiled down fondly at the the already sleeping pup.

“Oh I know… Regina was so lucky to find her when she did.”

“Luck had nothing to do with it…” Kathryn’s eyes grew wide. The tall blonde cleared her throat and started scrubbing harder on the plate in her hand.

“What do you mean?” Emma looked at the older woman curiously.

Kathryn rolled her eyes with a big sigh. “Do you really think a cute adorable puppy like Lady would just be wandering the streets of New York?” Kathryn blushed, and glanced over at Emma out of the corner of her eye.

“Oh my god…you got Lady for her?!” Kathryn shushed Emma and looked over towards the kitchen entrance. “That was so sweet of you, I didn’t know you had it in you…” Emma couldn’t help but tease.

“Oh haha… She just needed something to love, and something to love her in return… It just made sense. It took forever for her to notice the poor thing, then she almost threw her coffee at her! I nearly had a heart attack!” They shared a laugh, and Lady huffed having had her nap interrupted. “Please don’t tell her? She loves the idea that they found each other…” The soft look on Kathryn’s face made Emma smile.

“Your secret is safe with me. I’m so happy Regina has someone like you in her life. I’m only going to say this once, but you’re a pretty amazing person Kathryn.” Emma wrapped an arm around the taller woman’s shoulders and gave her a squeeze.

“Do I even want to know what’s going on here?” The two blondes jumped apart at the sound of Regina’s voice.

“Your girlfriend is really handsy Regina, you might want to watch her a bit more closely.” Kathryn winked over at her best friend and Emma just stood there with her mouth hanging open in shock.

“I…” Emma was knocked out of her stunned state when Kathryn smacked her with her hip.

“Get to drying Swan.” The blonde duo finished up the dishes as a very confused brunette watched on.

After finishing up the dishes, Emma made her way to the bedroom to pack up her overnight bag. Spotting her phone she turned it back on, and it immediately came alive with multiple beeps. Laughing at the ten texts from Ruby calling her an ass, she paused when she saw one from an unknown number.

Emma! How the fuck did a loser like you hook up with a hottie like Regina Mills?! Color me impressed. Maybe I dumped you too soon ehh? Make sure to check out TMOZ for an exclusive interview from me! ;) -Lily

All the color drained from Emma’s face as she finished reading the text…how the hell did Lily get her number after all these years?

“Emma? Is everything okay?” Regina’s concerned brown eyes appeared before Emma’s green ones. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost?” Emma wordlessly handed her phone over to Regina.

“Oh Emma… I’m so sorry. Let me get Kathryn, we’ll work on setting up a statement…” Emma shook her head at the brunette.

“I need to tell you about Lily first, please?” Regina nodded at Emma and grabbed the blonde’s hands. Sitting down on the bed Emma took a deep breath. “It all started my senior year of high school…”