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Necklace

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A/N: Written for a Tumblr prompt: Necklace.

Regina took in a deep breath as she made her way into the Sheriff’s office, concocting some argument in her head to use as an excuse to be in the blonde’s presence. She hated to admit it, but the mere thought of the blonde sent her heart pounding, let alone how she felt with their bodies close, noses almost touching, passionate anger sparkling in each other’s eyes…

“Sheriff Swan,” Regina growled as she walked into the room, her gaze downward as she peeled a black glove from her hand. Her eyes didn’t leave her fingers as she continued to speak. “I need to talk to you about Henry. You have been spoiling his dinner for the last-“ The brunette finally looked up. There sat Emma, crossed legged in the center of the station. Desk and cabinet drawers were pulled out with their contents scattered all over the floor. Emma’s cheeks were red, puffy, and tear stained and a soft sob echoed through the room. Regina’s cold features softened as she hurriedly threw her gloves, coat and purse on the table before rushing over to the crying blonde.

“I’m n-not in the mood fo-or your shit, Regina,” Emma hissed, her voice hitching with tears. She plunged her hands into one of the detached desk drawers in front of her and began sifting through the contents.

“What are you doing?” Regina asked, her voice cold but her face softened in concern.

“What does it look like I’m doing?!” the blonde barked. She let out a frustrated growl before turning to pick through another pile.

The brunette opened her mouth and took a breath, a biting comeback on the tip of her tongue. Deciding against it, she closed her eyes and gnawed at the inside of her cheek before speaking. Part of her, the Evil Queen part of her, wanted to walk away and leave Emma groveling in her own self pity. It would serve her right for all the trouble she had caused since she arrived in Storybrooke. But the other part of her, the part that was growing little by little each day and overwhelmed her heart with a warmth she hadn’t felt in years, simply wanted to help and console the crying blonde. The older woman stepped forward, her heels clicking on the floor as she moved closer to Emma. “What are you looking for?” Regina knelt, smoothing a few wrinkles out of her skirt before turning her head toward the blonde, who was digging through a large pile of paperwork. “What are you looking for?” the brunette asked again when the Sheriff ignored her.

“I don’t want your help,” Emma said flippantly, crawling on all fours a few feet away to grab one of the cabinet drawers she had dumped.

“I don’t have time for this,” Regina growled before reaching up for the Sheriff’s desk as she tried to move to a stand. She stopped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“It’s…a locket.” Emma’s voice was soft now, almost defeated.

“Ok. What does it look like?” the brunette asked. She picked up a few manila envelopes that were scattered on the floor and began to look through them.

“It is a little gold locket with a Swan on it,” the blonde began.

Emma always wore the little gold chain around her neck, but the bottom of it always fell into the swell of her breasts, never allowing Regina to see exactly what it was. Not that she was looking. “Alright, where have you looked?” the older woman asked, throwing the envelopes aside when she found they were filled but nothing but paperwork.

Everywhere,” Emma sighed.

Regina raised an eyebrow and pursed her lips. “Alright, drama queen,” she teased, rolling her eyes. “When did you last have it?”

The blonde’s face scrunched in concentration, the cogs in her brain moving a mile a minute. “I—I took it off two nights ago. I haven’t seen it since.” Emma rubbed her leaky nose with the back of her hand.

The brunette grimaced, the germaphobe in her creeping out. She dug deep into the pocket of her skirt and extended her hand out toward Emma to give her a Kleenex. “If it means so much to you, why on Earth did you take it off then?” Regina fiddled with the ring on her right hand – Daniel’s ring. It meant the world to her and she couldn’t imagine how she would feel if she lost it; probably, she thought, as helpless and overwhelmed as Emma did right now.

A vein pulsated in the Sheriff’s neck. “I didn’t lose it on purpose,” Emma hissed, standing up and walking toward her desk. “I had to take it off because I had to change the picture.”

“Change the picture?”

The blonde let out a long sigh. “I got the locket when I was in the foster system. My first family gave it to me, and inside there was a picture of all of them. As I moved around from home to home, I changed the photo so that it matched whatever family I was with.” She pulled her chair away from her desk and slumped down into it, defeated. “I wanted to put a picture of…” Emma’s voice trailed off for a moment. When she spoke again, her voice trembled, laced with nervousness. “…my new family.” Her eyes flickered toward Regina’s, hoping her confession hadn’t fallen on deaf ears. When the brunette said nothing, Emma sighed before running her fingers through her hair.

“Henry,” Regina said a few moments later, her voice terse.

Emma let out a frustrated sigh. Regina Mills was a brilliant woman, but when it came to matters of the heart, she was rather thick. “It doesn’t matter now,” the blonde sidetracked, trying to avoid an argument. “It’s lost.” Emma walked over to the coat rack and grabbed her leather jacket. “Thanks for your help, Regina,” the blonde said softly, her voiced laced with a deep sadness.

Regina quickly moved from her knees to her feet. “You’re just gonna give up and leave?” she asked, resting one hand on her hip.

The Sheriff stopped in the doorway, biting her lower lip to fight back tears. “It’s what I do best, remember?” She zipped up her jacket and braced the cool, crisp air of the night.

Regina was quickly overcome with an overwhelming sadness for the blonde. Her heart was softening toward the girl, and any other time, she would curse herself for it and cast the thoughts away quickly. But tonight, the brunette wanted nothing more than to run after Emma and assure her that everything would be ok, that the necklace didn’t determine who her family was and whether she had one or not. She also understood how important tokens were. If Daniel’s ring had gone missing, she would be running around like a madwoman, afraid that the loss of it would result in the loss of her memories of him. Feeling an ache for Emma in her chest, Regina grabbed her jacket and purse. Regardless of the fighting and animosity between them – although she saw it lessening more and more with each of their recent encounters – the brunette wanted to set things right.

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Emma walked into her office a week later to find Regina sitting on her desk with her legs dangling over the edge. Her hands were tucked neatly in her lap and a large grin spread on her face as the blonde’s presence became known. “Good morning, Sheriff Swan,” she purred.

The blonde raised an eyebrow curiously. “Uh, hello Madame Mayor.” She hooked her jacket on the coat rack and stepped forward hesitantly. “To what do I owe this visit?”

The two stared at each other for a moment, a heat and intimacy crackling in the air. After a moment, Regina dug into her coat pocket and outstretched her arms toward Emma. The Sheriff recoiled in fear, expecting the worst. After a moment of silence – and Emma was sure the Mayor hadn’t pulled out a knife to rip her heart out – she turned to look forward. In Regina’s hands lay a long, thin black box. Emma raised her eyebrow curiously. “What’s this?” she asked, pointing her index finger toward what sat in the brunette’s hands.

“Open it,” Regina insisted, reaching out as far as she could from her sitting position at the desk.

Emma paused for a moment before tentatively taking the box in her hand. “Is it a bomb?” she asked, her eyes flickering back and forth from the gift to Regina and back.

“Oh honestly,” the brunette huffed, rolling her eyes and standing from her position on the edge of the desk.

Emma hesitated before opening the gift. Inside lay a gold chain locket with a small swan on it.  It was almost an exact replica of the one she had lost. The younger woman’s mouth parted slightly in a small gasp. Her eyes rose from the jewelry in her hands to Regina’s face, expecting it to be smug, as if this gesture would put Emma at her mercy for months to come. Instead, the brunette sat silently, a little smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, her brown eyes warm.

“W-why….” Emma’s voice trailed off in disbelief. It was a simple token with so much underlying meaning.

Regina whisked her hair back confidently. “I couldn’t have my town’s Sheriff disregarding her duties over a necklace,” the Mayor teased.

The blonde nodded, returning her gaze down toward the box. Emma opened the locket carefully to find a single image that made her heart swell. Inside was a picture of Henry and Regina in a warm embrace, both of them smiling toward the camera. The brunette was dressed in a black turtleneck and slacks, while Henry wore his favorite Spiderman shirt and a pair of cargo shorts. They were both grinning from ear to ear.

Regina was overwhelmed with nerves. Her hands shook in her lap as she watched Emma study the chain intently as though it were the most interesting thing in the world. The brunette cleared her throat. “I—Don’t get any ideas, Swan,” she teased. “It was a good shot of Henry and I wasn’t going to cut my face out of my own picture.”

Emma chuckled breathily and smiled. “Oh no, of course not,” she replied, a twinkle of happy tears in her eyes.

Regina winked before sauntering toward the doorframe. “Have a good day, Miss Swan,” she said, the usually condescending tone in her voice lost.

“T-thanks,” Emma said, still in disbelief.  Quickly, she took the necklace from its package and brought it to her neck, clasping it together in the back. The circular locket fell into the swell of her breasts and she grinned. Now she would always have Regina and Henry