Regina leaned further into Emma's embrace, a soft smile on her lips as the couple watched their son chase Neal through a mountain of leaves, lifting him in the air and flying him around when he finally caught the rambunctious two year old. Emma snuggled into her neck, her warm hand rubbing circles over Regina's round belly.
"He's going to an awesome big brother."
Regina nodded in agreement, taking a slow sip of her hot chocolate.
"Of that, I've no doubt. However, I'm unsure how much time he will actually get to spend with little Isabella-Maite with your mother intruding in on our lives as she has been."
Emma chuckled, pulling her gaze away from her son to look over at her pregnant girlfriend.
"Yeah… she's a little enthusiastic. She's just excited to be a grandmother again, that's all."
"A little? Ever since we announced the pregnancy, she has spent every free moment she has here, hovering. I can't even get a glass of water for myself. And the questions! She has asked me questions no mother-in-law should ask."
Emma, grinning, placed a soft kiss against her cheek. Regina may complain, but Emma knew that she didn't actually mind that Snow had been spending so much time with them. The truth was, the pregnancy had been hard on Regina's body, and Snow had proven an invaluable source of help.
"I can't wait for her to be born," Emma said softly. "I can't wait to raise her with you."
Regina smiled, the sincerity in Emma's voice was incredibly touching. She sat her mug on her swollen belly and reached up with her free hand to stroke her knuckles along Emma's cheek. She then leaned forward and captured the soft, pink lips in a chaste kiss, humming in approval when Emma's free hand began scratching lightly at her scalp. She pulled away, eyes closed, enjoying Emma's gentle touches against her head.
"You want me to rub your feet? Are they sore?"
"Not right now, darling." Regina opened her eyes and met Emma's gaze. "However, they will be by this evening. Your daughter becomes quite heavy after a full day of carrying her."
"She's my daughter now? This morning she was yours."
"She's mine when she sleeps all night. She'll be yours when she needs a diaper changed or wakes screaming in the middle of the night."
Emma didn't even bother pretending to pout. She was too damn happy. She'd do it all, happily. Regina, feeling Emma's euphoria from the inside, couldn't help responding by flooding the link with warmth. Emma giggled, the warm feeling tickling her ribs. She pulled Regina closer, kissing her temple as she melded her body against the brunette's side.
"I'll get up every night and do every diaper change and rock her every time she screams since you're the one carrying her. Kinda only fair, right? Since I carried Henry but you did all the hard work once he was born."
"And I don't regret a moment of it."
"I won't either. How could I? I just wish I had been there for Henry when he was a baby…" Emma paused. "I feel guilty, you know? That I'm going to watch Isabella grow up, but I wasn't there for him."
"Emma," Regina said soothingly, grabbing the hand Emma had rested on her stomach and intertwining their fingers. "I understand you feel guilty, but you've no reason to. You are not the same person you were when you gave birth to him. You were eighteen, a mere child. You were nowhere near ready to raise a baby. You've grown and matured into a beautiful woman who is now ready to raise a child. If Henry had been born today, I've no doubt in my mind that you'd make a terrific parent. But at eighteen, you made a selfless decision to give him a better life, one which you knew you could not provide him. There was no other choice to make, and while it cost you the first ten years of his life, you did the responsible thing as his mother and gave him his best chance. I'm sure if you spoke to Henry, he would tell you that he's incredibly grateful that you gave him up. If you hadn't, we wouldn't all be here together now."
Emma nodded slowly.
"Yeah… he said that."
"You've spoken to him then?"
"Yeah. After we told him about the baby, I pulled him aside because I wanted to talk to him about this, you know? About how he was feeling about me being around for this one when I wasn't for him. I asked if he was upset that I had given him up but was staying for this baby. He said he wished we could have been a family back then too, and that Isabella was lucky she'd have us both, but he said that he was glad I gave him up because in the end, he got two moms out of the deal. Then he went off on how great a mom you were and that he was glad I gave him up 'cause he got you as a mom for the first ten years, and then the both of us for the rest of his life. And then now he was getting a little sister. He said he was glad it all happened the way that it did, though, even if it meant we were apart for the first ten years."
Regina, whose hormones now caused her to cry at absolutely everything, welled up with tears. Emma smiled at her, leaning forward and kissing her cheek.
"He's right about one thing anyway. You're a fantastic mom."
"I try," Regina said through her tears, wiping them away when they fell.
"You do better than try, Madame Mayor. You succeed."
Regina gave a half chuckle, resting her head on Emma's shoulder.
"Thank you, darling."
Their attention was drawn to the end of the driveway, Regina giving a small wave to the dwarfs, who smiled at her and waved back on their way home from work. Emma did not wave, though she did give a tight smile and nodded her head at them in acknowledgement.
"You're going to have to forgive them one day, darling," Regina said softly, feeling Emma's body tense up as the men walked by. "They paid their debt to society and their apology afterwards was sincere. I've since forgiven them. Surely you can too."
Emma continued looking towards the end of the driveway, waiting until she could no longer see the men to respond.
"I'm never gonna forgive them for what they did. I can be civil to them, but I can't be any more than that."
"I don't want you to be consumed by negative emotions, Emma," Regina said sincerely, looking at her lover. "I want you to be happy."
Emma smiled softly at her.
"I am happy. Really happy." Emma's smile widened, her eyes crinkling at the corners. "You know, I always wished I would be happy one day. When I was a kid, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd just say that I wanted to be happy. 'Cause I wasn't back then. I didn't really have an idea of what that happiness looked like, but I honestly never dreamed I'd be so lucky to have what I have… a house, a good job, parents who love me, a brother, a town full of people who are annoying but who care about each other and who care about me. But even better than all that, I got to reconnect with the kid I gave up and become his parent. And his mom, who's a total smoke show by the way, ended up falling in love with me-"
"You fell first," Regina accused, a small smile on her lips.
"And who still loves me," Emma pressed on with a chuckle, "and who is now carrying my kid. A kid we made with awesome true love magic. The only downfall is this connection thing we have which makes me feel all your damn morning sickness. I suffered with the first one. It's your turn now."
"I am a Queen," Regina replied haughtily. "I will not be made to suffer alone."
Emma laughed, prompting a small chuckle from Regina as well. A comfortable silence fell between them before Regina spoke again.
"You're truly happy, Emma?"
"I am, happier than I ever could've imagined, baby."
"As am I. I don't deserve this family after everything I've done, but I'm incredibly grateful for it. For you. Thank you, Emma, for everything you've done for me."
"Don't thank me, sweetheart. There's nowhere else I would ever want to be. This is where I belong, with you. You're my everything."
Regina tilted her head, kissing Emma softly on the lips.
"I love you, Emma Swan."
"And I love you, Regina Mills."