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Nothing Serious

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'...nothing serious.'

The words rang out in Emma's mind, resonating in each corner. She alternated between squeezing her eyes shut and staring at the ceiling, hoping one of the two would allow her some peace, but neither brought relief. She felt her heart pounding, thumping, drumming inside her. She clenched her fists and slammed her eyes shut again, waiting for the thoughts to stop. They didn't, but eventually, she was able to drift off to sleep, the darkness of the room comforting her.

In the middle of the night, she woke in a cold sweat, sitting up straight in bed. She'd kicked the covers off in her sleep, and they were half hanging off the bad, dragging on the dirty, creaky wooden floor she hadn't swept in days. Images of passion flashed before her eyes in a strobe light effect, surging in bursts in front of her, playing the same scene over and over. Her lover was crawling on top of her, moving closer at a painfully slow pace. Even watching it again in her mind was agonizing. She felt her core heat up and boil inside, pulsing in a sporadic rhythm.

She crashed back onto her pillow and shut her eyes again. Emma reached between her legs, stroking herself over and over again, gasping and panting louder and louder the longer she persisted. When she was finally spent, and not until then, she opened her eyes. Still, the vision of her lover remained, refusing to leave her be. This time, her lover was mounting her, grinding into her, moaning and breathing heavily. Emma imagined herself screaming with pleasure, bucking up and matching the rhythm of her lover. She refused to shut her eyes. Again, she touched herself, unable to stop her fingers as the thoughts flooded her entire being and gripped her chest, collapsing her lungs.

"Regina," she sighed when she finished.

'...nothing serious.'

Emma gripped her pillow, tightening her hands into fists, digging her nails into the fabric cover, fighting the urge to tear it to shreds with frustration. When she found she couldn't go back to sleep, she rolled over and reached for her cellphone, dialing the number that would connect her with the one person who could satisfy the burning.

"Hey," she said softly. "Can I come over?"

When her car pulled into the driveway, the mayor was waiting for her at the door. Before she even knocked, the door was thrown open, and the other woman stood there with two scotch glasses.

"What's going on?" she asked Emma, handing her one of the glasses.

Emma stepped inside, her body dangerously close to the mayor's. She took the glass gratefully and downed its contents quickly. The burning sensation made her feel alive and reminded her that she was truly awake. The alcohol calmed her nerves a little, but she still felt unsure about her decision to call. Maybe she should have just stayed home. What was she going to say anyway? She suddenly felt bad for waking the woman up in the middle of the night. It was around 4 AM when she arrived in the driveway. But Regina didn't seem phased. In fact, she was shockingly nonchalant, almost as if she'd been expecting Emma to call.

"Nothing," Emma lied. "Can we go upstairs?"

Regina cocked an eyebrow, grinning slyly.

"Oh," she said knowingly. "Is this a booty call, Ms. Swan?"

"Yes."

They ascended the stairs, occasionally looking at each other, one expecting the other to say something. But neither did. They were silent as they slipped quietly into the mayor's bedroom. Regina wasted no time removing Emma's clothes, barely noticing when she tore two of the buttons off of Emma's maroon jacket. Emma looked a little startled, but quickly helped Regina remove the rest of her own clothing. They fell onto the bed, entangled in each others arms, and their lips crashed together in a hungry, passionate kiss.

"I couldn't wait," Emma confessed, breathless.

"I'm glad you didn't," Regina told her.

The made love - once, then twice, then three times - until the sun came up and both were exhausted. When the mayor's clock alarm blasted in Emma's ear at 6:30am, Emma shot out of the bed and scrambled for her clothes.

"Shit!" she hissed. "I was supposed to be on duty at the station a half hour ago."

Regina just laughed and shook her head, asking, "What's the hurry? Nothing happens in Storybrooke."

Emma rolled her eyes, sensing the sarcasm.

"Stay with me," Regina offered. "I'm just barely getting started."

Emma raised an eyebrow, looking the woman over from head to toe, taking in every curve and every detail of her skin, her eyes stopping on her breasts. She was tempted - so tempted - but it wasn't a responsibility she could shirk. No matter how badly she wanted to stay, no matter how badly she wanted to stay and take Regina up on her offer, she knew she had to go. She was gone in a few short minutes, peeling out of the driveway, not taking the time to kiss the mayor on the lips before leaving. This she regretted on the ride to work, and images of their lovemaking washed over every inch of her thoughts. But it was nothing serious, Emma reminded herself, and she tried hard to fight the visions all day. But keeping them at bay proved impossible. Emma was completely enthralled - completely out of control. There was no way to escape the burning sensation she felt between her legs each time she pictured her lover (which was often). Several times during the day, she nearly had to slap herself in order to focus. Only when her cell phone buzzed in her pocket, announcing a text message, did she feel some relief.

'Tonight?'

'Absolutely.'

Chapter Text

Emma sat at the dinner table mindlessly staring at the peas and chicken on her plate. Her thoughts were elsewhere, and she had no interest in eating.

"What's the matter, Emma?" Mary Margaret asked, looking concerned and leaning in towards her, touching the woman's hand. "You're not eating anything."

"I'm fine," Emma lied. "Just tired."

She looked at her watched and jumped up, shoving the dinner plate away.

"I've gotta go," she gasped, rushing to the door and grabbing her jacket.

"Wait, where are you going? Isn't it kind of late?"

"Going out," she answered shortly, hurrying out and nearly letting the door slam behind her.

Another night at the mayor's proved rewarding in that she woke up feeling the beautiful, intoxicating sensation of being exhausted, satisfied and rested all at once.

"We need to do this more often," Emma breathed, staring up at the ceiling.

'...nothing serious.'

"Yes," the mayor said weakly, looking suddenly reserved and withdrawn.

"We don't have to," Emma pointed out. "I just enjoyed myself is all."

"I did too."

The woman was smiling at Emma, propping herself up with her elbow. They shared a glance, and Emma tried to read Regina's expression. Something about her expression was far away, unreachable. But that was always how Regina was - distant. No matter how hard Emma subtly tried, there was no reaching her. It seemed as though the mayor was mostly cold to the core, unfeeling. Emma mostly didn't mind, given the nature of their relationship. They both parented Henry, and that had brought them together. Other than that, there wasn't much they had to bond over. Their relationship had simply become one of casual sex - nasty, dirty, wild casual sex. But something about it put Emma off, and each day she was less and less tolerant of Regina's refusal to discuss anything personal. Although their relationship was purely sexual - other than their shared love of Henry - it bothered Emma that Regina was so unwilling to share anything at all. She understood that it was 'nothing serious,' but at the same time, it felt strange to become an object to this woman who she'd been so intimate with.

Not that Emma expected anything more. Of course, it was 'nothing serious' to her either. But if that were true, why couldn't Emma get the woman off her mind? Was she just overly horny and sexually frustrated? Maybe. But the more Emma thought about it, the more she found herself picturing Regina's face instead of her body. This is stupid, Emma scolded herself. Snap out of it. You're just a toy. It's impeccably good sex, and that's it. But again, Emma's mind would not free her. Each night she was alone, she found herself in the same routine - unable to sleep without relieving her own sexual tension. Each night, she fought the urge to call the mayor and instead resigned herself to self-pleasure.

The nights grew longer and longer, and Emma became less and less able to control her urges. Multiple times a night, she touched herself, unable to stop. Even the nights she had Henry, she locked the door and allowed herself the private moments alone in her room. She struggled to be silent, muffling her moans with a pillow, but it was a challenge. Each night, she grew more and more desperate, until finally, she recognized the gravity of her situation and decided she needed to tell someone.

Doctor Hopper was receptive and comforting, but it was still painfully awkward to discuss her problem with a man.

"I just can't stop," Emma said, her speech pressured and quick. "I try to resist, but I just can't stop myself."

"Have you considered that maybe you just don't want to?" When Emma nodded, he continued, "Maybe you just need to allow yourself the pleasure. Perhaps its your guilt that's causing you so much stress. I understand you feel out of control, and that's not necessarily a good thing, but if you allow yourself those moments of self-gratification, you may find that your desire becomes less intense and less frequent."

Again, Emma nodded, but she was really thinking, I doubt it. But Doctor Hopper was a smart man, and she trusted him, even if it was difficult. She assured herself that he knew was he was talking about, and she tried to have faith in his words. As the hour passed, she even became more comfortable with the conversation - at least, until Doctor Hopper asked her a more uncomfortable question.

"Have you told Regina about this?" he asked.

Emma gaped at him and instantly replied, "No way. I could never. She would be so weirded out. It's not like I'm just masturbating every night to nothing. It's always her."

He nodded and assured her that he understood. They reached the end of the hour, and he suggested that she try talking to Regina about it, but he knew that she wouldn't. Emma refused to even consider it. After all, it was humiliating enough begging for more when they made love. She wasn't about to make her obsession known to the Queen. Regina probably would have laughed her out of the house. There was absolutely no way Emma was about to risk that kind of shame. She thanked the doctor for his time and advice and left his office, walking down the street to her car, squeezing her coat tighter around her as the cold winter wind whipped at her cheeks and neck.

That night, she thought about what Doctor Hopper had told her. Breathing deeply, she removed articles of clothing one by one until there were none left. Once laying down on the bed, she sighed and shut her eyes, picturing Regina's face again. What's wrong with me? she wondered, hating the lack of control. She was used to being able to control her own feelings, to push them down when necessary. But she tried to think of what Doctor Hopper had told her as she slipped her hand between her legs. It's okay, she tried to convince herself. It's totally normal. Just... just let it happen. And she did. This time, surprisingly to Emma, just once was enough. She was suddenly exhausted, and once she shut her eyes, she was out cold, dreaming peacefully without stirring, not waking until the morning when her alarm went off.

Chapter Text

Emma decided not to tell Regina. She just couldn't bring herself to do it. It was far too embarrassing, and Emma wasn't willing to make herself that vulnerable. Putting up walls was what she did best, and she worked hard at constructing hers, making sure to use heavy, thick concrete around her heart to guarantee that nothing would get in or out. But every wall has its weak points, and the tiny fracture in Emma's let through just enough emotion to feel the burn when it slipped out, throwing her dramatically out of control.

The nights were getting better at least, and Emma was grateful for that. It was one less thing on her shoulders. At first, the habit decreased from numerous times a night to just once or twice, and then down to once, and then eventually down to a few times a week. A few of those nights, anyway, she spent in Regina's bed. Of course, the relationship was as much of a secret as possible, so Regina never came to her house for fear of Snow finding out about the situation. Not to mention the fact that Emma's place was much smaller and less private. Regina's home was enormous, full of elegance and style.

The less severe her habit became, the easier it was to refrain from confessing. Still, it weighed on her mind each time they were together. I can't stop thinking about you, Emma blurted out in her mind. Luckily, she was able to hold her lips together and prevent the escape of the words. Even though it had gotten easier, Emma began to feel guilty for keeping the secret. Emma knew she was feeling more emotion than Regina was, and it felt like a betrayal to keep it from her but still sleep in her bed and make love to her as if she had nothing on her mind. But unfortunately for Emma, the more they made love, the more intense the thoughts became, and she found herself still unable to silence them. Maybe if I tell her, they'll start to go away, Emma considered. But the bravery did not find her, and the words stuck in her throat each time she thought they might slip out. She didn't want to tell, but she was tempted nonetheless.

As time went on, Emma grew frustrated. Each night it was the same. She made love and Regina rolled over and went to sleep. Emma lay awake in the bed, staring up at the ceiling, wondering what the woman had been thinking. Regina didn't snore, and Emma found it unsettling. The house was too quiet. Unable to rest, the shadows on the wall captured her attention, and she imaged what each shape looked like as it moved across the walls, haunting the room with darkness. She would try to sleep, but she found that the only thing that worked was rolling over to face Regina and staring at the curves of the woman's body. Eventually, after visualizing the previous hours and watching them over again in her head, Emma would finally drift off to asleep.

One night, a storm struck Storybrooke. The lightning hit near the house, waking them both. The booming noises coming from outside continued, and eventually, they both gave up on sleep.

"This is ridiculous," Regina sighed. "I have to be up in the morning, and this storm is so loud."

"I know," Emma replied, nodding her head in agreement.

They were quiet for a time, listening to the storm and the rain pouring onto the roof. It sounded like whole buckets of water were being dumped onto the house. Emma had never heard a storm so loud. But Storybrooke was a strange place, and if an extreme storm was going to happen, it would definitely be there. Emma leaned against her pillow. Regina lay next to her, propped up by her elbow. Regina wasn't looking at Emma, but Emma was looking at her, just watching the way the moonlight hit her smooth, dark hair. Even in the middle of the night, after sex and sleeping, the woman looked flawless.

After a while, Emma asked, "Do you think people are inherently good or inherently evil?"

Regina looked surprised at this, but then retorted with the question: "What do you think I am?"

Emma didn't have to think about this, so she responded right away with, "Whatever you are, you're an evil wench between the sheets,"

They both laughed at this, and Regina shook her head, as if saying, 'You're ridiculous,' but she didn't actually make the comment. Instead, she looked down at her lap and kept laughing. The sound was intoxicating to Emma, and that was how she knew the feelings wouldn't die. The noise was too perfect to forget. The sound of her laugh would resonate in her ears for days, playing over and over like a record on repeat.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I just want to say thank you to all the lovely readers who took the time to review. Please let me know if you guys have any ideas for the story, because I'm always open to suggestions. I aim to please, so I definitely would like to know where you guys see this going.

Chapter Text

A few weeks later, Emma found herself at the station (on duty) in the arms of the sheriff. Graham eagerly cupped her face in his hands, kissing her slowly and moving closer to her. Unsure but unmoving, Emma let her lips move in time with his. They weren't as soft as Regina's, but his kiss was tender and sincere, not pressured and passionate. He pushed a hand through her hair and sighed against her lips. Graham hadn't expected to kiss her; it had just happened. He couldn't help himself. The young woman was too pretty, to smart, too passionate, too tempting, and he allowed himself the pleasure of making the first move. He wasn't sure if Emma would reciprocate, but he figured it was worth a try. This resulted in a small victory for him, and he treasured it as he kissed her again.

"I really like you, Emma," he whispered, his lips still close to hers.

Emma awkwardly said nothing, staring down towards his shoulder, away from his eyes. She wasn't willing to engage in the emotional conversation that he was clearly trying to initiate. She pulled away - slowly, so as not to alarm him - and shifted her weight from one leg to the other. What am I doing? she was thinking, scolding herself for being so easy to manipulate. She'd even seen it coming, but she didn't expect him to actually muster up the gall to make a move. But there they were, kissing each other as though it was the obvious result of their relationship. Emma had seen it in the way he looked at her; it was fairly obvious what he wanted. She hadn't thought much more of it before that day, though, and now that she was trapped in the moment, she didn't know what to do. Why had she kissed him back?

Just as Graham pressed his lips to hers again, wrapping her in his arms, the door to the office creaked open and Regina appeared in the doorway. Regina looked at them, her mind trying to register the scene before her. Her eyes betrayed her head, and she was flooded with disbelief. There was no way this was real, she thought. But again, there they were, right in front of her burning eyes, Graham holding Emma close. She hadn't reciprocated the embrace, but it was obvious that she was kissing him back, if nothing else. Though Graham's eyes were shut and his face was full of tenderness, Emma's expression was blank, and her eyes were open.

The Queen laughed out loud, her head tilting back, and said, "Oh my god," but the look on her face was one of shock and bitterness.

They instantly tore away from each other, just as shocked as she was, completely caught off guard by her appearance. This isn't what it looks like, Emma had the urge to say, but she refused to make an excuse for her behavior. It wasn't like she owed Regina anything. She was sure that Regina was sleeping with other people, and she had to be alright with that. It wasn't like Regina cared who she was with. Or was she the possessive type? It didn't matter. Their relationship had never been exclusive, and had always just been one of casual sex. And it wasn't like the kiss meant anything. She was torn, touched by his feelings and sincerity. Still, Emma was embarrassed to have someone walk in on the moment, and she had to fight the urge to explain herself. Part of her wanted to tell Regina that it meant nothing, that Graham had initiated. But she wouldn't allow herself to say anything. Instead, she just looked at Regina, defiant, and waited for her to speak first.

"I'll see you later, Emma," Regina laughed and quickly turned to leave.

Later that night, Emma's phone vibrated in her pocket while she was at the dinner table. She pulled it out and checked it, causing David and Snow to glare at her.

'That was disgusting.'

'What do you care?'

'I don't.'

'Good.'

'Tonight?'

'Yes.'

Chapter Text

"So, you and sheriff Graham, huh?"

"Maybe," Emma said. "I don't know."

Regina didn't know what else to say. She sat on the bed in her nightgown and looked at the floor, thinking. Her mind raced and sputtered with disjointed thoughts. Emma sat next to her, watching for her reaction, but it didn't come. Regina's face was blank, betraying nothing of her thoughts. Emma waited and waited, but Regina stayed silent and chose not to speak. Eventually, Emma couldn't stand it anymore.

"What are you thinking?" she asked, immediately regretting the decision.

It was too deep of a question, too prying for Regina. Emma knew she'd never answer. Her curiosity had gotten the best of her, and because she hadn't thought about it, the question escaped her lips. She instantly wanted to take it back, to erase what she'd said. She sounded too emotional, too attached. It was something friends asked each other, not something casual lovers cared about. Their relationship was purely sexual, so the question was pointless. What should she care what Regina was thinking? Emma reminded herself that it was 'nothing serious' and tried not to look embarrassed for asking the question. Instead, she played it cool and acted like she hadn't meant it.

"Nevermind," she said, forcing a laugh, knowing full well Regina would think the question was stupid.

"Nothing," Regina lied anyway, for the sake of saying something.

The moment grew awkward, so Emma shifted around on the bed and started looking anywhere but at Regina.

"Shall we?" the woman asked.

Emma shook her head and stood up, grabbing her jacket off the nightstand.

"You know," Emma said, "I think I'm gonna head home. You're acting kind of weird, and I'm not really in the mood."

For once, her lust had subsided - at least enough for her to say no. Deep down, she wanted to stay. But it was awkward, and Emma didn't know what to do to relieve the tension. Making love just didn't feel natural in the moment. Regina's eyes widened as she looked up at Emma. Something in her face looked... disappointed? Emma couldn't tell what it was, but she knew it was something different. For a moment, it threw her off, and she thought about staying, but she decided against it and put the jacket on.

"Wait. Emma," Regina said. "Can you come over and watch Henry tomorrow night at eight? I have a meeting I have to go to and I don't have anyone to watch him."

"Of course," Emma smiled, glad to have changed the subject. "You know I always treasure my time with him."

I know, Regina was thinking, but she was too preoccupied with her thoughts to actually say it. She was looking at the floor again, and Emma was looking at her.

"Alright," Emma announced. "I'm out. I'll see you tomorrow night."

"Sure."

As Emma drove home, she thought hard about the mayor's expressions. Was she really so unfeeling that she didn't even try to get Emma to stay? It was awkward enough that Emma wouldn't have stayed, even if she'd tried, but it seemed strange that Regina would pass up the opportunity for sex. Actually, it was a little strange that Emma would as well. But it didn't feel right - at least, until Emma got back to her room and found herself alone again, still picturing the mayor's face. She wanted to imagine the woman's smile, but the only image she could conjure up was the expression on her face when she told her she was leaving. Was it surprise? Disappointment? Bitterness? Indifference? It was always hard to tell with Regina. Any emotion other than rage was difficult to decipher.

Eventually, Emma forced the image out of her mind and replaced it with one less ambiguous and confusing. Once she'd managed this, she felt the urge return, bathing her in lust. Although she knew it would have been uncomfortable to stay, the wave of desire made her wish she had. Alone in her room with the door locked, she indulged in the habit she'd been trying so hard to kick. But she refused to feel guilty, and as it happened, she reminded herself of Doctor Hopper's words.

Chapter Text

The next night, Emma showed up promptly at eight. (Regina had a thing about being on time.) Henry met her with open arms, and she was grateful to see him. Regina had been much more lenient with the time she allowed Emma to spend with her son since their relationship had become sexual, but to Emma, it still wasn't enough. What she really wanted was to pick him up from school each day and drop him off the next morning. She wanted to kiss him goodnight before bed. But she was usually deprived of this - except that night, when she was allowed to stay with Henry until his adoptive mother returned from her meeting, which was supposed to run a few hours past his bedtime.

"Behave yourself, Henry. I don't want either of you causing any trouble while I'm gone. Understand?"

Henry nodded, but Emma just scowled at her.

"It's not like I'm going to do anything crazy," Emma quipped. "Except maybe read the kid a bedtime story. Is that alright with you, your highness?"

Regina scowled back and turned to leave.

"Ten o'clock. Bedtime. I mean it."

Once the woman was gone and Emma heard her exit the driveway, she sat down on the couch with her son. The two of them played bored games and talked about school and friends and bullies until finally the clock struck ten.

"Sorry, kiddo," Emma said. "Bedtime. Go upstairs and brush your teeth, okay?"

"Aw, come on!" he protested, stomping his foot on the hard wood floor, scuffing it with his red sneaker. "Don't make me. She'll never know. I won't tell. I promise!"

"No way, champ. Off you go."

Henry did as he was told and reluctantly marched up the stairs to the bathroom. He was sitting obediently in the bed when Emma entered his room.

"Nice work, buddy," she smiled. "So, you want a bedtime story, or what? You're probably too old for that crap."

"No, I'm not," he told her, wiggling back and leaning against his pillow, which was propped up against the headboard. "Read me this."

He handed her his book of fairy tails, and she frowned at him. Still, she didn't get a chance to see her son very often, so if he wanted a story, she was more than happy to oblige. She wasn't really in a place to tell him no. She read a few stories until about a half hour had past, then she tucked him in and kissed him goodnight. She treasured the moment he told her he loved her and smiled brightly as she shut out the light.

"I love you, too, Henry."

Emma made her way into the mayor's bedroom and sat down on the king sized bed, squeezing the comforter in her fists, feeling the softness of the expensive fabric. Everything in Regina's house was expensive, and it made her feel even poorer than she was already. Although she enjoyed the atmosphere and the impeccably clean surroundings, it had started to bother her that they were never able to stay at Emma's. Although she was okay with the casual nature of their relationship, she wasn't a fan of being a dirty little secret, especially from Henry. Actually, she was amazed they'd been able to keep it from him that long. She figured they'd just gotten lucky, and she just prayed that he'd never have to find out.

Emma eventually decided to lay down in the bed. A little nap wasn't going to hurt anything. After all, Regina wouldn't be back for a few hours anyway. In the meantime, she figured she'd get some sleep, too. But when sleep didn't come, Emma resorted to the only thing that seemed to calm her to the point of resting. This time, though, her timing was especially poor.

Regina opened the door silently, first looking confused (Where the hell was Emma anyway?), and then completely frozen with shock. She stared in disbelief, unable to stop herself from wondering what the woman was thinking about - sheriff Graham? - until she heard Emma moan her name. She couldn't help but drop her mouth open, caught completely off guard. She'd been so quiet that Emma hadn't noticed her presence, and her eyes were squeezed shut. Regina noiselessly locked the bedroom door and took a step forward and was grateful no noise was made by the usually squeaky floorboards.

"Emma?" she whispered, staring through the darkness at her lover.

Emma gasped, throwing her hands over her mouth and sitting straight up in the bed.

"Oh, my God," Emma breathed. "I..."

Chapter Text

"What, you're not thinking about Graham?" Regina hissed.

Emma looked confused as she started to quickly pull on her clothes. Regina's eyes flashed with sudden rage and she stepped towards the other woman. Where had this reaction come from? What happened to casual sex with no strings attached? What happened to 'nothing serious'? Once fully clothed, Emma stared at her, completely shocked by her comment and the anger in her eyes.

"W-What?" she stuttered. "No. Why would I be thinking about - Nevermind. What's it to you anyway?"

"What's it to me?" the Queen snapped. "I don't like to share."

Emma started moving towards the door, but Regina blocked the exit.

"Oh, no. Hold on a goddam minute. You really think you can slut around town and then come here like nothing ever happened? Like you haven't been fucking him?"

"I haven't!" Emma yelled. "What happened to 'nothing serious'? I thought you didn't want to be exclusive!"

"Don't lie to me," Regina spat, slamming Emma up against the door. "Do you take me for a fool?"

Emma's mouth hung open. Instantly, her shoulder blades ached from the impact. What the hell is wrong with you? she wanted to say, but she knew better than to open her mouth against the queen. Regina was not one to be toyed with, especially when she was in a rage. Emma couldn't understand where the anger was coming from. I thought she didn't care.

The queen took her shoulders and looked into her eyes, saying, "Well? Do you?"

Luckily, Henry's room was on the other end of the house; he wouldn't be able to hear them fighting. He also wouldn't hear it when Regina slammed her fist against the door, just beside Emma's head. She flinched and ducked out of the way. The crashing noise rattled Emma's eardrums.

"No. Come here," Regina ordered, grabbing Emma by the shirt and dragging her back in front of the door, then slamming her back against it again. "You're not fucking leaving until we're done, and we're not done until I say. Now. I asked you a question. Do you take me for a fool?"

Regina didn't like repeating herself. In fact, it only made her more livid. The longer it took Emma to respond, the more her rage boiled over. She wasn't about to let Emma just slip out of the situation. She wasn't the type to be walked on, and as long as she perceived Emma as doing just that, there was no way she would be free of the queen's wrath. This was mostly because the queen felt the need to dominate those around her, and when she realized she'd lost control over Emma, she lost control of her anger as well.

"No," Emma gasped. "Of course not."

Emma was too stunned to say anything else, and Regina still had a grip on her shirt with her left hand. Never before had Regina hit her, but in a flash of rage, her right hand swung back then made contact with Emma's cheek, making the woman's head jerk to the side. Her ears rang and her vision went black, and if she hadn't already been pushed up against the wall, she would have stumbled backwards and lost her balance. Warm, exasperated tears dripped from her eyes.

"Regina, please," she begged. "It's not like that. I'm not sleeping with him. I swear."

"DON'T lie to me!"

Regina swung her arm again and backhanded Emma, making contact with the other side of her face. She began to sob and started to sink to the floor, but the queen held her up, nearly choking her with her grip.

"Just admit it, Emma!" she screamed. "Admit it, and you can walk out of here and never come back."

"No!" Emma screamed back. "I'm not sleeping with him! He kissed me. That's all!"

"Unfortunately for you, Emma, I don't believe you."

Just as Regina pulled her arm back, hand clenched - this time, planning to hit with a fist - Emma wrapped her wrist with both hands and held on tightly.

"I think about you every night," she confessed desperately, sobbing and out of breath. "I can't sleep without touching myself and picturing your face."

She hadn't wanted to say it - hadn't want to admit the truth, at least not out loud - but she had no choice. She had to calm the woman down before she left the house with broken bones. She repeated Regina's words in her head. '...walk out of here and never come back.' Emma flinched as the words played over and over, rapidly taking over her racing mind. Surprisingly, Regina's rage seemed to subside as she started to drop her arm, but Emma didn't let go. Regina assumed this was because she was trying to prevent further injury until Emma entangled their fingers together.

"Please believe me," she whimpered.

Part of Regina thought this was a pathetic, but the other part of her was caught off guard by the words, touched by their sincerity. Regina wasn't used to hearing that kind of softness in anyone's voice but her son's. Hearing it coming from Emma made her heart hiccup, freeze, and start again. Her lungs clenched, trapping her breath, as Emma pulled Regina's hand towards her body and pressed it against her own chest.

Tears fell on the woman's hand as Emma whispered, "Believe me."

Regina looked shocked, unable to muster up the rage again to retaliate. Something inside her had frozen solid, refusing to react. Her muscles were stiff, but her heart was collapsing.

"I do," she sighed, leaning forward and pressing her forehead against's Emma's. "I'm so sorry."

Chapter Text

Emma's face was warm with sweat, and she was shaking with what Regina assumed was fear. Part of her wanted to inspire fear in the hearts of those around her, but something about the way Emma had begged so desperately made her want to melt that fear and take it away. It was a feeling she couldn't understand. Not since Daniel had she ever been able to feel sympathy or empathy for anyone other than her son. Something about Emma was different. The queen was filled with a sudden shame she'd never felt before, a stinging feeling of sin. She was unable to lift her head to look Emma in the eyes, especially as the room went silent and she could hear the woman sniffling and choking down sobs.

Emma was stunned. Her eyes ached from the tears and her head throbbed from the pressure of crying and the force of the queen's blows. Her ears were still ringing, but her vision had mostly returned, though it was a bit blurry. She'd been hit by boyfriends in the past, and she was surprised to find that Regina's open-handed hits were just as strong. Of course, she'd never expected Regina to hit her. Sure, she was 'evil,' but she could never picture actually being hit. Yet, there in the dark, she was cowering from her lover, waiting for the next impact but praying it wouldn't come. She had given up trying to move, even when Regina let go of her.

Hesitantly, Emma put her hands on the mayor's waist, gently pulling her closer until their hips touched. She was more than surprised when she heard a soft noise coming from Regina. She was crying. Emma had never seen her cry before, and it was hard for her to believe it could ever actually happen. Regina was so...hard inside. It seemed impossible that she could feel that deeply. And it was true: Regina pushed pain away with an iron fist, never allowing herself to feel anything other than pure, unadulterated rage - which was an emotion she treasured. It gave her power and fueled her ambition. It kept the walls up around her heart and forced out any hope of loving or being loved by others, and thereby preventing her from getting hurt.

Without looking up, Regina's hands slid up Emma's arms and over her shoulders. Her hands - amazingly gentle - cupped the woman's face, and once her hands were there, she didn't dare to move. If she did, Regina worried that she might shatter, that heart heart might crumble. That she'd feel something. As hard as she tried to push the sensation away, the fire in her chest burned brighter and brighter the longer Emma kept her arms around her.

"Emma," she cried, "I'm... I'm s-so sorry."

Emma didn't respond - mostly because her breath was stuck in her chest, still in shock from the altercation that had just taken place. The apology was equally troubling, since it was the very last thing she expected to hear from Regina - especially at that moment. The lack of a response distressed Regina even more, and she started to shake as she cried, too. She longed for Emma's forgiveness, for some resolution that would ease how uncomfortable the moment was. She felt stuck, unable to move or breathe at all. She didn't stir, not even to look at Emma. She simply kept their foreheads gently pressed together and left her hands cupping Emma's face.

Emma sighed and gripped the woman's hips a little harder with her fingers, holding her closer and shutting her eyes.

"If you wanted me to yourself, all you had to do was tell me," Emma said.

This sudden noise in the silence of the room startled Regina, and she jerked her head up and inadvertently caught Emma's gaze. The strange sincerity in Emma's eyes was painful. The honesty made her squirm inside, not used to dealing with the feelings of others (or herself). Emma bravely stared into her eyes, holding her gaze. Regina was the first to look away, unable to stand the unspoken pressure to speak. But the queen did manage to find words, and she said them quietly, but with equal sincerity.

"I can't let you be with anyone else," she confessed.

"You don't have to."

Emma took Regina's arms and wrapped them around herself, wrapping her own arms around Regina in return. She let her head fall to the woman's shoulder and breathed deeply, relieved that Regina's anger had finally subsided.

Chapter Text

Regina rested her head on top of Emma's for a while, until the woman started to pull away. She was exhausted from the exertion, and it was close to four o'clock. Her eyes were dark with lack of sleep, and when Emma looked up, Regina noticed.

"I should go home," Emma said reluctantly, straightening up.

"No, please don't go."

Emma looked deeply into Regina's eyes, trying to read her expression, but again, she found it impossible. Regina's feelings were simply too hard to decipher. Emma doubted if Regina even knew what she was feeling, or how to articulate it. On the other hand, what was Emma feeling, anyway? She'd gone from casual sex to compulsive masturbation in what seemed like less than a heartbeat, and now she was suddenly in the woman's arms, holding her like they were more than lovers. It wasn't until Emma felt Regina's open palm stinging her face that she realized just how much the moment hurt her emotionally - just how much she really cared. How long had she felt this way and just not recognized it? Emma thought about the way she'd come to picture Regina's face rather than her body.

"Come to bed with me," Regina pleaded.

Emma couldn't say no. Seeing the pain in Regina's face - that was what it was, she decided - was too difficult for her to ignore. Her heart was still racing from the altercation, but she assured herself that Regina had calmed down and that it wouldn't happen again. Regina had just gotten... what? Jealous? Was that really what it was? She wasn't sure, but she could tell Regina was hurting, and that broke her heart. For someone who seemed so heartless, the tears on the queen's cheeks told a different story - one that Emma sympathized with and understood all too well. She'd built her own walls, too, but she knew what that pain felt like, and she wasn't eager to feel it again.

Silently, Emma followed Regina to the bed and let the woman undress her - this time, slowly, with Regina paying special attention to each button and zipper. Once Emma was undressed, she slipped under the covers with the woman and started to roll over to face the wall.

"Wait. Emma," Regina whispered.

She wrapped her arms around the woman from behind, pulling her closer until their bodies were pressed together.

"Can I kiss you goodnight?" Regina asked softly, touching the woman's shoulder with gentle fingers.

Emma, still aching, rolled over slowly to face her and leaned her face in closer to Regina's. They looked at each other, and Emma thought she saw Regina smile, but she wasn't sure. She pressed her lips against Regina's and even smiled a little herself. It seemed like a long while before Emma pulled away, but when she did, Regina slowly cupped her face again and leaned back in, catching her lips once more.

"Don't stop."

Emma obeyed and kept going, their lips moving painfully slowly together until her heart was beating quickly. When Regina pressed herself against Emma, she could feel that her heart was racing, too. They could barely catch their breath between kisses, and Regina suddenly found herself hungry for more, unable to stop. But the pace stayed slow, unlike anything they'd ever done before, filled with a tenderness that Regina had never known before. Emma savored the gentle moment, hoping it would last. And it did. For what seemed like hours, this continued, until Regina finally couldn't stand it anymore.

"Will you make love to me?"

Emma blushed in the darkness. Being asked was something far more flattering than simply being taken in a wave of passion (which was all well and good, but very different). It caught her by surprise, so much so that her face turned hot with anticipation. The slower Regina went, the more it burned between her legs, and she became insatiable. Part of her, ravenous, wanted to be taken rough and hard, but the way Regina seemed to be insistent on moving slowly, gently, savoring each and every caress, made her ache with desire.

"Yes," Emma whispered against her lips, kissing her slowly and slipping her hand between Regina's legs.


That's it for this one, guys. I hope you enjoyed it! I tried really hard to make it entertaining for you all. Definitely let me know what you thought!