Joke’s On Us
“I just don't understand why you don’t want to go on a date with him, Regina,” Cora asks her daughter while they all nurture a glass of red wine. Regina sighs and downs her glass of wine. Emma chuckles and looks down at her almost empty glass. Cora has been on Regina’s back about settling down with someone, getting married and having children for a couple of years now. But Regina thinks nothing of it, she has a nice house, a good job and her best friend with her since college, what more does she need? According to herself, nothing, but according to her mother, plenty.
“Mother,” Regina whines, “I don’t want to do this now. I am tired, it’s Friday night and I have the weekend off for a change”. Emma takes Regina's glass and fills it up with the red wine she brought over for the dinner they had finished about half an hour ago.
“It’s just one date, Regina, stop complaining. You need to get your private life together now.” Cora says, staring her daughter down. “Yes, you have a wonderful career and I am very proud of you for that, but I would like some grandchildren sooner rather than later.” Cora tells Regina. “Plus I would like you to have someone to come home to, instead of being by yourself all the time in that house.” Cora slides her glass over to Emma to fill up her glass as well.
Emma watches the scene in front of her play out and could not hide the smile on her face. It was kind of funny, because if Cora only knew about the relationships Regina has been in. They were all disasters, one after the other. Regina and herself have been friends for a long time now, ever since they were in college. Now, Emma at 31 and Regina being 34, they both have a good career, Regina in law and Emma in the police department in town. Emma dropped out of law school after the first year but Regina kept going and that definitely shows now, being one of the best lawyers in the state.
Filling up the older woman’s glass, she places it back in front of Cora. Cora had become almost some sort of mother figure to Emma as well since her own mother did not approve of Emma’s ‘lifestyle’ as she called it. However, Cora has always been supportive of Emma being gay, after all, her own daughter is bisexual.
“You would like me to come home to someone?” Regina asks her mother with an eyebrow raised. Emma shakes her head, already knowing that look on Regina’s face, Regina had a plan and her mother was probably not going to like it.
“Yes,” Cora says. “I would like for you to get married and have a partner for you to come home to after work.” The woman says dead serious, taking a sip of her wine without taking her eyes off Regina.
Regina’s eyes get a little darker and Emma sighs, “Fine” she states.
Emma raises her glass up to her lips, “Emma.” and her actions still, eyes shooting up to Regina like she has been caught like a deer in headlights.
Regina clears her throat. “Emma, how long have we known each other?” She asks innocently.
“Um,” Emma puts her glass back down on the kitchen island, “around, what? 10 years?” She answers. Emma sees Regina’s eyes narrow and in that moment she knew she was wrong.
“13” Regina corrects sharply.
“Um yeah, 13 years...” Emma says confused.
“Yes,” Regina whispers and looks down at her glass of wine that Emma filled back up for her before looking back.
Emma frowns when she sees something shift in the brown eyes.
“I would like you to move in with me.” The brunette announces and Emma shakes her head but very subtly so only Regina would notice.
Knowing the brunette, Emma plays along, because Cora will not back off until Regina has found someone to live with. Emma puts on her biggest, brightest smile. “Thought you would never ask sweetheart.” She winks at her friend of ’13 years’.
“Great, we’ll move your stuff this Sunday. I suggest you sort everything out tomorrow.” Regina tells Emma.
“Sounds like a plan.” Emma raises her glass. Regina raises hers and they smiled at each other because they hear Cora scoff.
Emma is not blind and from the moment they met she had always had this low key crush on her best friend. Cliché, and she knows that...but again, Emma is not blind. Regina is absolutely beautiful, and honestly, to some degree, Emma agrees with Cora. She is just more curious as to why Regina doesn’t want to be in a relationship with someone. She could basically get anyone she wanted but the woman never had a relationship that lasted longer than 6 months. Emma on the other had, also never had a relationship that lasted longer than a year. Emma had been ask by her ex girlfriend to marry her, she said ‘no’. Her and Emma did not even live together and Emma was far from ready to marry her. It had all moved way too fast and the woman was close to being a drunk as well. Emma ended up staying with Regina for a week because she needed her best friend who knew everything about her, and everything she needed in moments like those.
On the other hand, Regina had been asked to get married by three of her exes. Emma didn’t blame them for asking the brunette because the woman was a catch. But after only six month relationships, Emma didn’t blame to Regina for saying, ‘no’. The first time Regina was asked to get married, was by Daniel. But they had only been 25 and Regina had still been in school, about the graduate and make a career for herself. Daniel had wanted Regina to stay at home with the ‘kids’, so she had denied his proposal even though Emma knew Regina loved him. So Regina had ended up staying with Emma for two weeks, heart broken but not willing to give up her dreams of the future.
The 2nd time was with a woman named Mel, and Regina had been quick to say ‘no’ to her as well. Mel was a beautiful, tall, blonde haired, blue eyed woman with a lot of life in her. But behind closed doors, she tore Regina down and Emma had noticed in those six months the two were together. Emma hadn’t recognized her best friend anymore. Emma opened the door of her loft to Regina and took care of the broken down woman, all by the hands of her ex girlfriend, for a month afterward, before Regina had the strength to go back to her own house again alone.
The third time was just strange to say the least. The woman had also been tall and blonde but with soft blue eyes. This woman was very nice, a kind person, but definitely on a different level than Regina. The woman had a kid from her ex-husband and wanted to be a stay-at-home mom with no real goals for her life. And Regina was the opposite, full of life, knows what she and wants to get there as soon as she can. Emma didn’t really know why her best friend had been with that woman in the first place. Maybe it had been a change of scene, Emma wondered often, making a mental note to ask her about it someday. But Emma also knew Regina never told Cora about any of these proposals, so she too never said a word.
Cora shakes her head, “Now Emma, you know I love you like my own, but don’t play games with me here.” Cora warns the blonde, pointing a finger at her face.
Emma smiles and reaches across the kitchen island to take Regina’s hand. “Don’t worry, Cora. You know I love you like a mother.” Emma smiles at Cora. “I'll pick up an engagement ring tomorrow.” And squeezes Regina’s hand and turns towards the brunette. “You didn’t hear that and will be surprised when I ask you”. Emma smiles as Regina pretends to be intimidated and nods innocently while taking took a sip of her wine.
The two women look into each others eyes for a second too long and Emma’s lips goes dry for some reason. Licking her lips, she sees Regina’s eyes quickly go back and forth one time between her eyes and her lips. Emma sees something again shift in Regina's eyes but can’t pin point it. As soon as the look in Regina’s eyes came, just as quickly, the look is gone because Cora gasps.
“I thought you were joking,” Cora says quietly. Cora places her glass down on the table a little louder than she has planned to but Cora doesn’t pay attention to the glass. She steps over to her daughter. “Why didn’t you tell me about the two of you?” She hugs Regina tighter than Emma had ever seen Cora hug someone. Well, maybe only Regina’s sister Zelena when she told Cora she was pregnant.
Emma is a bit confused. It is a joke, they are just messing around. From the hug Regina was pulled into, Emma can see the same shock in Regina’s eyes.
“Darling I am so happy for you,” Cora squeezes out. Emma’s mouth falls slightly ajar as she can hear Cora has a hard time speaking, the woman sounds like she is about to cry.
Cora lets go of Regina and Emma can see the tears forming in the older woman’s eyes. ‘Oh shit!’ Emma thinks.
“Why didn’t you two tell me?” Cora asks again, looking between Emma and Regina while still holding onto Regina’s arms tightly.
“Um, uuhhhh, well...” Emma starts, “Cora, look..” She chuckles uncomfortably.
“Oh, come here, you,” Cora says and before Emma knows what’s happening, she’s being pulled into a hug by Cora.
When Emma's green eyes meet Regina’s brown ones, it is a silent conversation, an agreement that they can not break Cora’s heart. Not now that Cora is almost crying because she thinks Regina's getting engaged soon and thinks they are a couple. ‘A couple,’ Emma thinks, ‘Regina and I’. So Emma just puts her arms around the woman who is hugging her.
“Well” Cora says as she lets go of Emma, “I can’t say I’m surprised that the two of you ended up together.”
“And why is that mother?” Regina asks, curious.
Cora just laughs in responds, “Oh darling, all of your exes have been tall, long blonde haired with blue or green eyes.”
Regina freezes and her mouth drops open.
Then Cora turns to Emma and Emma feels her guts drop. “And all of your exes had dark hair and brown eyes, darling.” Cora chuckles. “Can’t say that I'm shocked.” But Emma and Regina stare at the woman in shock, never had they seen the similarities of the people they had dates and their best friend.
“What are we going to do now?” Emma asks as she basically falls onto Regina’s couch in the brunette’s living room. Emma can hear Regina sigh behind her, walking out of the kitchen.
“I don’t know”.
She watches as the brunette puts two glasses down on the salon table, opens a bottle of wine, and fills up the glasses. Emma sighs. “She’s going to be heart broken.” Emma whispers, and Regina just nods. “What do you want to do?” Emma asks, turning her body so she can face Regina.
“I honestly don’t know,” Regina turns her body as well to face the blonde, but keeps her eyes on the glass of wine. “We’re so screwed. I bet she’s going to call my dad and then he’ll fly in, probably this weekend.” Regina covers her eyes with her free hand and whines. “God, Emma, this is all they have ever wanted for me.” She says, taking her hand away from her eyes to drop on her own lap.
Emma put her glass down on the table and shoots over to sit right opposite her best friend, wrapping her pale arms around the tan shoulders. “I know.” Emma whispers into Regina’s dark hair. Emma feels Regina move in her arms and sees a tan arm putting a glass down on the table as well and retreat back into her warm arms, then feels the pair of arms wrap around her torso and a head fall onto her shoulder. They sit there for a long time, not saying anything but wrapped around in each others arms.
Emma kisses the top of Regina’s head, and pulls back a little. She chuckles when she sees Regina frown a little, “What’s your ring size?” Emma asks softly. Regina laughs out loud, the ones that Emma loves so much.
“6,5 you idiot,” Regina whispers and hits Emma’s shoulder and Emma laughs. At this point, Emma is sitting with her legs crossed, facing Regina, hands resting on the woman’s thighs as the brunette straddles Emma’s waist with her legs, locked behind Emma’s back. She watches Regina look down and biting her lip, her dark hair falling in front of her face.
Reaching out slowly, Emma puts the hair back behind Regina’s ear and her hand lingers on her best friends cheek. “You know.” Emma starts. “We should do this thing, I don’t want to let them down. Not now. Regina. I’ve only seen your mother be this happy once before in 13 years.”
Regina nods, “I know, I don’t want to tell her it was just a joke.” Regina sighs. “You’re right, she wasn’t even this excited when Zelena told her about being engaged.”
It is Emma’s turn to laugh out loud. “Probably because your mom gave up hope by now.” Earning another slap against the shoulder from the brunette.
“Not fair Emma!”
Leaning her shoulders against the back of the couch, Emma just smirks at Regina. “Don’t worry, I will make Zelena’s engagement ring look like nothing compared to yours.” She winks.
Regina shakes her head, “No, that was a $5000 ring Robin got her, Emma.” She says with her eyebrows raised.
Emma just shrugs her shoulder, “I’ve got the money, but no one to spend it on. Rather spend it on you than anyone else, to be honest.” Emma mumbles the last part. Regina just rolls her eyes, but a smile is still on her lips.
Neither of them dares bring up the facts Cora had pointed out to them. All the partners both women have had in the past were all copies of their best friend. Emma has never voiced how she feels for her best friend and is not really planning on ever doing so, because it is just a cliche crush, right? But as Emma says goodnight to the brunette, whom walks her to the door, Emma kisses her cheek and slips out into the night, back to her loft.
‘Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day’, Emma thinks before she slips into her cold bed.