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She's Having My Baby

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"Class time," Emma said, coming in the mayor's office as Jeremy trailed behind. The brunette was walking around the office, talking aloud to... no one.

Emma bit her lip containing her laughter until she heard, "And, George, if you ever darken my door with such an inane request again, I will blast you-" Emma snorted; Regina cut herself off and hurried over to the desk where she clicked something on her laptop.

"What are you doing here?" Clearly embarrassed to be caught taking Emma's advice of walking and dictating her reports, Regina sounded peeved.

Emma chuckled and started walking forward. "Stop doing mayor stuff. Time to go."

"Did you take Henry home?"

Shaking her head, but before Regina's frown could appear, Emma explained, "Left him with Ruby. They're working on more party plans."

Regina put a hand under her belly and used the other to rub ineffectively at her strained lower back.

The signal of discomfort was clear even if Emma hadn't 'heard' it through their connection. "Come here," she said gently. Regina leaned on the desk and presented her back to the blonde. Strong fingers dug into her tensed muscles and circled slowly. "How long were you walking around," Emma asked.

"Most of what I do is desk work."

"Still, you're not in as much pain, right?"

Regina leaned into Emma's hands on her back and sighed. "You're right." Thankfully the blonde didn't gloat; Regina felt a kiss on her cheek.

From the doorway, the women heard a throat clear. When they turned toward the sound, Jeremy, Regina's assistant, asked, "Madam Mayor, will that be all for today?" 

She exhaled and leaned across her desk, tapping several keys. "I've sent you the file with George's letter. Once that's typed up, you can call it a day."

"Yes, ma'am. Thank you."

"Good." Emma's arm slipped around Regina's back and guided her toward the door. "So, Jeremy, you coming to the party?"

The young man stopped in the process of turning around to leave. "Party, Sheriff?"

"Yeah. The Mills-Swan baby bash. It's a week from Saturday."

"The invitation on my desk was for me?"

"Who'd you think it was for?"

"The mayor."

"Regina doesn't need an invitation to her own baby shower," Emma said.

"Jeremy, I would be pleased to have you there," Regina added.

"Thank you, ma'am. I will give serious consideration to attending." He sat back down at his desk as the three of them reached it. "Enjoy your class."


"Jeremy is completely in love with you," Emma said. She held the door for Regina to enter the hospital annex. Together they walked down the corridor.

"He is not," Regina said. "He knows I'm with you because he always clears my lunch so we can eat together."

"I don't mean he's competition," Emma replied easily. "It's all the little things. Look how quickly he agreed to transcribing recordings for you."

"Of course, he works for me."

Emma rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine. Don't see it." She held open a door next to a sign that said conference room 12. "We're here." A hum of conversation ceased as Emma stepped across the threshold. Or rather, when Regina did. Emma just didn't have the gravitas to silence a room.

"We're not late." Regina's statement was meant both as ice breaker and to have the last word with Emma.

"No, we're not late." Emma stated back with a smile. Getting the last word. Regina held out her bag and Emma put it on a stack of chairs in the corner where a number of other bags, large and small, had also been stacked.

"Good evening, Regina, Emma." A man in jogging pants and wearing an unzipped jogging jacket, stood up from a chair at the far side of the room. Other pregnant pairings like herself and Emma had turned around in their chairs positioned in a semi-circle, to see them. Chester walked up. The dark-skinned man smiled at them warmly. "How are you feeling tonight?" he asked, looking specifically at Regina.

"I'm fine." She looked away from Emma's shaking head.

"No queens and commoners here," Chester said. "Everyone's a laborer, remember?"

"Yes," Regina said quietly. "Good evening," she offered to the group.

"Good evening," and "hello," came back in scattered voices.

"Okay, so let's get started," Chester said, rubbing his hands together and leading the way back into the semi-circle of chairs. There were two empty on the end where Regina and Emma took their seats.

"Good evening, moms and coaches. Today's topic is recognizing signs of labor." He stood and grabbed a dry erase marker, separating the board into three sections which he labeled, no, maybe, and yes. Regina's fingers itched to take notes.

"Turn on your phone's voice record," Emma said in a low voice. "Jeremy will transcribe them for you."

Regina hissed back. "My phone is in my bag."

"So, relax. If Chester thought notes were necessary, he'd say so."

Regina practiced a calming technique as Emma put her hand on her shoulder, a signal that they'd worked out. But her mind worried over the matter for several more seconds. They had received many pamphlets and printouts during classes the last several weeks. Regina had read and reread and marked each one studiously. Emma read one or two then set them aside.

A note card pressed into her hand bringing Regina out of her reverie. She looked up to see Chester's dark face smiling at her. Emma also received a card. "What is this?" She turned it over in her hand and found a magnet on one side.

Chester replied, "Go on up to the board and put it where you think it goes."

"But you're teaching us."

Chester nodded. "Yes, but the onset of labor isn't an exact science. There are some definite things all laborers experience, but signs can be tricky, because everyone's tolerance of pain, their daily routine, even their awareness or their partner's awareness of their body, is different."

"Oh." Regina looked at the words on her card trying to make sense of them. Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Next to her, Emma glanced down and looked back up at the board. Regina glanced at the card and saw the words, Cramping low in the abdomen.

"We have the same thing."

"Maybe, maybe not. Chester taught us a few weeks ago there's false labor, Braxton-Hicks," Emma said. 'Can feel like cramping but higher up."

"And the muscles are hard, like a basketball," Regina remembered. "How can you tell the difference?" she worried.

"I can't, Regina, it's your body. Only you can," Emma said quietly.

"How will I know? What are some other things that signal labor?" Regina asked; she was trying and failing to keep worry from her voice. She sought Emma's eyes with a silent plea.

"My water broke the morning I went into labor with Henry." Emma put a gentle hand on Regina's knee, a signal they'd decided for regaining focus and centering their attention. "Look at the board though. Everyone else has their ideas already up."

Regina turned. No one was looking at them, but a red headed man was walking back to his red headed wife. No one else stood at the board placing magnetic notes. The cards were arranged across the dry erase board's surface, sorted into three uneven categories.

Emma took both cards. "Where do you want me to put them?"

"Put the Braxton-Hicks in no, and the cramps in maybe," Regina said.

Emma nodded and Regina watched as the blonde walked up to the board and placed the cards where Regina had requested.

The class continued and Regina exhaled as the discussion did clear up some confusion. Chester passed around a basketball and they talked about bands and contractions and saw a video following a couple through a week of early labor. The doctor on the video stood from examining the woman's cervix and said, "We're ready to go to delivery." 

Chester stopped the DVR. "That's all for tonight," he said. "Go home and talk about your planning for each of events leading up to labor. Then pack your overnight bags if you haven't already. Finally, get some sleep, laborers. You're going to need it."

Regina walked up to the board and studied the various cards again, thinking about the video while the rest of the room's occupants cleared out in a cacophony of conversation.

"Regina?"

"I felt sharp pain, worse than cramps, when, when we … when Rumple's crystal was draining her," Regina said quietly, knowing it was Emma alone behind her.

"I know." Emma's hands slipped around Regina's belly and she felt the blonde's sturdy body all along her back.

"Are you sure it was destroyed?" Regina asked.

"Yes, I had Belle - who isn't speaking to Rumple by the way - assure me all of it is gone."

"What did Blue say about the candle?"

"She still claims it wasn't meant to mess with the baby's magic, just identify it. I made her use it on me, and nada, nothing happened."

Regina could hear the anger in Emma's voice, and also felt the barely held back emotions roiling throughout the blonde's body. "Will it happen again?"

"I threatened to cuff her," Emma said, referring to the magic cuff Regina herself had suffered, and which now sat on Rumple's wrist while he sat in Storybrooke's jail. The council was debating throwing him over the line. Emma's thoughts told Regina she was contemplating the same for the Blue Fairy. "I got her promise."

"Regina? Emma?" Chester stood by the doorway. "Something else you need, ladies?" The dark-skinned man wore casual, coaching sweats, since he spent much of his time up and down off the floor as he spoke up close with all the practicing parents-to-be going through their exercises.

"Nah. We're fine," Emma said. Regina walked away to collect her purse and listened to Emma talking with Chester. "Thanks for everything tonight."

"You're quite welcome," he said. He looked toward Regina, obviously having heard her shoes on the parquet. "Regina." He held out his hand; she took it lightly. "I don't know if it will help much, but this isn't the Enchanted Forest. Modern medicine is pretty wonderful."

"Were you a physician in the old world?" Emma asked.

"No, my mother was a midwife, and her mother before her."

"So you've seen a lot of deliveries?" Regina asked.

"Yeah. Here and there. Trust me, you'll be better than fine."

Regina dropped his hand and stepped past him, and past Emma, through the door. Turning back, she said, "Thank you."

"You're welcome."


Pulling up the driveway to the Mifflin Street house, Emma looked over at Regina in the passenger seat of the Benz. Just after Miner's Day they realized she could no longer fit behind the steering wheel. The brunette leaned one elbow on the edge of the window frame and looked out. The music station finished a song, some pop 80s hit that was Regina's preference. Emma had been an infant then, and preferred 90s music, but the familiar tunes always seemed to put a bit of a swagger back in the brunette at the end of a long, tiring day. This song maybe...

"We should put together a playlist," Emma suggested. "Something you can play to relax."

"Sweet Dreams, dear?" Regina replied, referencing the song's title.

"Yeah, it's very positive."

"You think I need to be more positive?"

"You're tired, I know, but you're also depressed, I think."

"I am not depressed."

"Okay, but… you are dwelling on all the things that can go wrong. Chester's right. Modern medicine is pretty good."

"You were in a lot of pain from Henry's birth."

"I was also cuffed to the bed," Emma replied tightly. "That will not happen here. I promise."

Regina's jaw set and Emma sighed. "Come on. It's after 7:00 already, you need some dinner." Emma didn't know how to fully reassure Regina about everything. She knew some of it was just hormones. Even the birthing class had pointed out the third trimester was commonly another volatile period for emotions. Emma had punched her pillows a lot in prison, along with a number of women who cut in front of her in chow line or bugged her in the exercise yard.

"I'm sorry, Emma," Regina said.

Emma sighed again. She stopped on the stoop and grasped Regina's hands in both of her own. Her thoughts had clearly been picked up by Regina. This connection through Star was definitely both blessing and curse. "Don't be. I get it."

"But you shouldn't be getting it from me," Regina said reasonably. "I'm sorry." Emma unlocked the door and started to push it open. "I'm going to the kitchen to cook. What would you like for dinner?"

"Don't need anything," Emma said. "I grabbed a bear claw on my way to city hall."

"A bear claw?"

"Yeah."

"That's no dinner, Emma Swan! I'm going to make you and Henry something proper right now."

"Would this be nesting, Regina?" Emma teased while the brunette dragged her forward then, after a reconsideration, got behind Emma and started shoving.

Regina insisted, "You must take care of yourself. Star and I are not doing this without you."

Emma let Regina push her another couple of steps until there was a convenient wall. Then in a gentle turnabout, she had the brunette up against the wall, thigh pushing between her legs. Hands holding Regina's wrists above her head, she nipped at dark plump lips with kisses.

The brunette very quickly started rubbing along Emma's leg and the heat from the brunette's center quickly ratcheted up Emma's own arousal.

"You're not going to be without me," Emma said, giving Regina's lips one final soft tender kiss. "You wanna go upstairs after dinner?"

"I should eat something," Regina said and the scattered tone in her voice made Emma smile. She followed Regina into the kitchen where the brunette rummaged in the refrigerator and retrieved an orange, and a high protein vanilla shake. "It's my last one."

"I'll get you more tomorrow. That gonna be enough?"

"Can we sit under my apple tree and watch the sunset?"

"You bet," Emma replied. Without being told, Emma grabbed an apple for herself then a can of soda. Regina looked at her judgmentally. 'It's ginger ale. And it's diet."

Regina's reaction was to gloat; Emma rolled her eyes then followed the brunette out to the back yard.

Regina sat down on the bench Emma had magicked there two months earlier when another impromptu evening picnic desire had formed. Emma leaned back, crossed her feet at the ankles, and took a bite of apple.

"I miss my feet," Regina said, staring at Emma's.

"They're still where you left them," Emma replied.

"You know what I mean." Regina peeled the orange on top of her belly and tossed the rinds into the dirt around the tree. Emma had asked about that before and been told rind was good compost.

While Regina nibbled on a section of orange, Emma leaned forward and looked down at the other woman's feet, noticing she had no sneakers. "You magicked off your own shoes."

"Yes, it seems I'm getting back some of my customary control."

"That's good," Emma said. She exhaled, listening to the cicadas and the few cars driving by on the residential street.

"What about my feet?" Regina wriggled her toes.

"What about them?"

"I can't see them, but they feel like balloons."

Emma stifled a laugh. "Yeah. Well, I can see 'em just fine. They're not balloons. And they're very nice."

"Will you rub them?"

"I can do that." Emma reached over and tucked a lock of Regina's loose hair behind her ear then soothed down her shoulder. "How's your back?"

"Achy."

Emma moved behind Regina and her fingers dug into the aching spots with unerring precision. "I will massage your back whenever you want."

"Thank you." Regina laid her head back against Emma's shoulder and stared up through the apple tree branches to the stars beyond. A peace settled into her and she exhaled.

"You're welcome." Emma rested her hands on Regina's belly and kissed her cheek sweetly.

"Mom! Ma! I'm home!"

Emma looked back toward the house to see Henry standing backlit in the doorway waving. "Good, kid!" she called back. "Your mom and I will be in a bit."

"Did Granny feed you dinner?" Regina asked.

"Yeah," he replied.

"Have you finished your homework?"

"That's done too."

"All right. Shower than bed."

"It's only 8:00," Henry protested.

Emma glanced to Regina. "Read something. No video games," she added, voicing Regina's thoughts, which they both preferred to arguing aloud. Though Emma was beginning to see a lot of the issues the same way Regina did and the disagreements were minimal. "Read. Or do something else quiet until 9:00."

Henry didn't seem to object; in fact he smiled at the two of them out in the yard. "You guys have fun. Good night, Mom. Good night, Ma."

"Good night, Henry," Regina said. "I love you."

"Love you, Mom. Ma."

The light spill into the back yard ceased when Henry returned inside and closed the door. Regina tucked her head onto Emma's shoulder. "You're making a wonderful mother, Emma."

'You too, Regina. You too."

Under their palms on Regina's belly, Star projected her own loving thoughts and the three of them drifted for a while in a mutual haze of emotions.

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