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A Night Without You

Chapter Text

Emma slammed the shot glass down on the table and motioned for the bartender to pour her another. He shook his head and looked her over, wiping down the counter in front of her.

"No way, kid," he said.

"Oh, come on, Maurice. One more!" she slurred, but he shook his head again.

"No way."

She thought about throwing the glass at him, but even in her belligerent state, she knew it was a bad idea.

"So what's the matter with you tonight, missy?"

"Love, Maurice!" she said drunkenly. "Love."

"Oh, yeah? With your booze?"

She rolled her eyes and scoffed.

"No. With a beautiful brunette with chocolate eyes and soft-"

"Thanks. That's alright. I don't need to know."

Emma scowled at him and spun the shot glass on the table, knocking it over. The bartender snatched it from her and threw it into the pile of dirty dishes.

"Get a taxi and go home."

Emma shook her head.

"One more drink."

"Fat chance, little lady. It's not gonna happen."

She dropped her head on the counter and rested it on her arms, feeling her stomach flip as her vision started to blur and the room spun.

"At least go sit down out there and watch the show."

"I can't see," she giggled, lifting her head.

"You'll sober up a little soon. Go sit."

She sighed and stood up, stumbling away from the bar, finding a comfortable seat, and looking at the stage. Half-naked women danced around poles and began to strip themselves of clothing. Soon, they were topless, and Emma was staring with her mouth slightly open, a smile tugging at her lips. When one girl came near her, Emma whistled and grinned at her, noticing that the girl looked like the woman she loved. The girl straddled her lap, grinding her hips down, creating friction on Emma's jeans.

"You're drunk," the girl giggled.

"And you're beautiful."

When the lap dance was over, Emma slipped a few bills into the band of her panties. The girl made her way back to the stage slowly, leaning over slightly, showing off her ass as she grabbed onto the pole. Emma whistled again, and when the girl turned around, she winked at Emma, who was leaning back in her chair.

The night went on like that, until one in the morning, when the bar shut down after last call. She was still resentful of being denied her next drink, but she had no choice but to leave the club. Outside, she leaned against the brick wall of the building and looked around, noticing the lights of the city nearly blinding her in her drunken state. As she sobered up a little, she felt the hangover kicking in early. She groaned and let her head fall back against the bricks. She thought about calling a cab, knowing it was a terrible idea for her to walk around still as drunk as she was. Just as she was about to pull her cellphone out of her pocket to make the call, she heard a voice next to her and felt a hand on her arm.

"Hey, gorgeous."

Emma looked up at the stripper and smiled.

"Well, hello there," she slurred. "You were great tonight."

"Thanks, babe!"

"I wouldn't call me babe," Emma warned. "People might think you're trying to take me home."

With a wink, Emma looked down at her cellphone, noting the time. 1:21 am. Then she looked back up at the girl, who was still looking her over. Checking her out, really.

"Maybe I am."

Emma raised an eyebrow as the girl - who must have been at least five years younger - leaned in and pulled Emma closer.

"Kiss me," she said, her voice husky in Emma's ear.

When they kissed, the girl could taste the alcohol on Emma's lips and smiled.

"You are so drunk."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Yes, you are. Now shut up and let me take you home."

Nearly forgetting her broken heart as the girl hailed a taxi, she leaned against her potential lover who helped her into the cab when it stopped in front of the curb.

Back at the girl's apartment, Emma was offered champagne, but declined.

"Too many bubbles," she mumbled, sitting down on the couch, leaning her head back against it, and shutting her eyes, making the girl laugh. "What's your name?"

"Star."

"Your real name," Emma giggled, shaking her head.

"I'm not telling you that."

Emma stood up and made her way to the kitchen where she picked up the glass of water the girl had poured for her and took a sip. When the girl looked away, Emma looked down at the counter and the pile of mail, smirking. The letters were addressed to Ashlyn McLoughlin.

"Ashlyn," Emma said out loud with a grin. "That's a pretty name. I like it."

"Fucker," Ashlyn cursed, glaring at her, but she couldn't stop the small smile that tugged at her lips.

Emma walked over to her and took her hands, pulling her closer into a kiss. The kiss turned into groping, and groping turned into sex. As she closed her eyes while they fucked, Emma pictured her former lover.


Chapter Text

In the morning, the hangover was brutal. Emma slid out of bed, away from the beautiful brunette, and dressed herself quickly. She was silent, not wanting to wake the girl she'd just slept with. Shit, she cursed herself. What did I just do? She grabbed her cellphone out of her pants pocket and went through her text messages, not caring to respond, until she opened the one she'd been waiting for.

'You're a bitch.'

'You were a bitch first,' she typed, but deleted it instantly and reconsidered. 'I'm sorry,' she tried, but she deleted that too. 'Please give me another chance.'

She sent the message before thinking and immediately regretted her weakness as she pulled on her jacket and went into the kitchen. She left Ashlyn a note, reasoning that it would be rude not to. Part of her wanted to disappear and completely forget about their dalliance, but the other part of her wondered if there could be something more in the future. After all, her former lover seemed anything but interested in getting back together. Why not move on?

'Ashlyn,

Thank you for last night. I'm sorry if I did anything stupid. I was way too drunk, but I honestly had a great time.

Emma'

She left her phone number at the bottom of the page, knowing she wouldn't get a call. Emma walked back to her apartment alone - it was only a few blocks away - and eagerly checked her phone as soon as she entered the room.

'Not on your life.'

At first, Emma felt her eyes water, but she considered her options. She could let the conversation drop and concede to let her go, she could continue to beg, or...

Emma made her way down the stairs, nearly running. She hurried down the street, drowning out the noise of the cars and trucks and horns with her headphones. When she reached her destination, about twenty minutes later, she pulled the earbuds out and put them in her pocket, sucking in a deep breath as she opened the door to the brick apartment building. She ran up the stairs, knowing the way, and approached the door she was searching for. She swallowed hard and knocked, praying for the best but preparing for the worst.

When the door flung open, Emma was stunned into silence.

"What the Hell do you want?"

"Regina, please... Just hear me out."

"Get out."

"I'm sorry!" Emma cried. "I never meant to hurt you. I just... I was hurt, and I wanted you to feel what I felt. I'm sorry."

"You have lipstick on you, and I know it's not yours."

"Regina, I..."

"Get out."

But Emma took a step forward and boldly grabbed the woman's hand. Regina pulled away without hesitation.

"I need you."

"Like you needed your whore?"

"I was drunk! I was hurt! I didn't know what to do with myself, so I got completely trashed, okay? Besides, what the fuck do you care? You don't want me back."

Regina paused and pondered this. Was it true? Was Emma right? Either way, she wasn't about to admit it if she was.

"Leave."

"Tell me I mean nothing to you, and I'll go."

But Regina was quiet. Emma took this as an invitation and stepped forward, kissing her lips softly as she took her hand. To her surprise, Regina didn't pull away. Instead, she felt the woman's warm tears drip onto her cheeks. When she felt this, she pulled away just enough to look into the woman's eyes.

"Regina?"

The woman looked up, meeting her eyes.

"I hate you for this," she said quietly, looking away.

"No, you don't," Emma told her. "Tell me you love me."

"I love you," Regina sobbed, wrapping her arms around Emma and holding her tightly, both of them still standing in the doorway.

"I love you too, 'Gina."

Emma pressed their foreheads together and kissed Regina's nose, then reached up to wipe away her tears.

"I will always be here to dry your tears," Emma whispered. "I promise."

Regina choked back sobs.

"How could you do this to me?"

"I'm an idiot," Emma said. "I fucked up. But I'll never leave you. I can't live without you."

"Did you fuck her?"

"Yes," Emma confessed, her voice full of shame and regret. "I'm sorry."

"Why?"

"Because I was hurt, Regina. I was hurt and you wanted me gone. I tried to fill the void with booze, and it didn't work."

"It's never going to work," Regina snapped. "Alcohol isn't ever going to solve your problems."

Emma nodded, hanging her head as she looked away from her lover.

"I know," Emma sighed. "Just tell me this fight is over and you'll let me love you again."

When Regina nodded weakly, Emma crashed their lips together in a hungry kiss and pushed her inside, nearly slamming the door behind them. In her lover's arms, she forgot everything else and simply contented herself to finally be happy again.