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Kissing Mrs. Claus
"And, that's another $100." Regina smirked and snapped a crisp Benjamin that looked like it had just come off the presses as she set it in the cash box.
"Show off." Emma made a show of rolling her eyes as she logged Regina's score into the note app on her phone. It was late afternoon on Christmas Eve, and even though the town had already surpassed its goal of $5,000 so Santa could ensure that even the neediest residents woke up to something beneath the tree Christmas morning (or carefully wrapped and tucked into a waterproof bag sitting on their front porch, as the case may be), Regina had turned the collection process into a competition after Henry had come home from school the week before with over six hundred dollars in donations from faculty and friends.
Regina laughed and tilted her head in playful challenge. "Just because you're losing, Dear "
If Emma had not experienced so many years of disappointment on Christmas morning, she might have pointed out that it was ridiculous to turn a collection drive into a competition. This was not about winning; it was about making kids happy.
But she didn't. Because even though her memories of waking up to find nothing in the tattered sock she had taped to the window sill (because God knows her foster homes never wasted the money the state gave them to look after her on an actual tree) had faded, there was a part of her that would always be that girl.
The girl who desperately wanted to be seen.
To be heard.
To be wanted.
To find her forever family.
To be loved.
It did not matter that those dark days were past her, or that she had found everything she had ever wished for and more. It did not matter that she now awoke on Christmas morning beside the snarky, beautiful, ex-Evil Queen who was the most incredible woman she had ever met and was blessed enough to call her wife. It did not matter that she had an actual stocking hanging on the mantle of an ornate fireplace, or that she had helped pile boxes upon boxes of presents wrapped in shiny red paper and wrapped in bright white bows beneath an elegant tree that was almost too big to fit in the living room.
There would always be a part of her that was that girl. The lonely one. The one who saw her classmates at school after break and pretended like she had gotten everything she had asked for too.
And because of that, she would never do anything to dissuade Regina or anyone else that got in on their stupid "competition" from trying to win. In the end, it was the kids they helped that would win, and that was all that mattered to her.
"Fifty bucks!" Henry shouted, his expression alight with victory as skipped through the front doors and tossed a handful of crumpled fives and tens into the cash box. "How am I doing?"
"Not bad, Kid," Emma drawled as she noted his contribution.
"Thanks." Henry preened.
"Nicely done, Henry," Regina murmured warmly.
Henry blushed at the compliment, and Emma chuckled as she set her phone back onto the table beside the cash box. "Who'd you hit up, Kid?"
Henry blushed harder and rubbed the back of his neck as he averted his eyes. "Me. This is from me. I wanted to help."
Emma bit her lip to try and contain the proud smile she could feel tugging at the corners of her mouth, but knew she failed miserably when Regina smiled and gave her a look that clearly said, We're doing a good job with this one, Miss Swan.
Emma sighed and tipped her head in a small nod because yeah, they were. If two women who had grown up knowing little else than neglect or abuse could raise a son who raided the Pikachu piggy bank he kept tucked away on his bookshelf to try and help others, there was hope for the world yet.
"It that okay?" Henry asked in a quiet voice when neither of his mothers responded to his confession.
"Perfectly okay," Emma assured him.
Regina nodded. "Indeed. That is very generous of you, Henry."
He blew out a relieved breath and grinned. "So, who's winning?"
"Your mother beat you by ten bucks." Emma completely missed the playfully annoyed glare he shot at Regina in response because she was busy checking her watch. It was pushing three o'clockearly still, but they had more presents to buy with this last round of donations, and then they needed to wrap and deliver them. "And I think we need to make that the final result, because we still have a lot of stuff to do."
Regina grinned. "So, what do I win?"
Emma shrugged and shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. "I dunno. I mean, the whole competition thing was your idea "
"I guess I will have to come up with something, then," Regina murmured in that low, seductive tone that still, even after all these years, made Emma's stomach flip.
"A candy cane?" Henry suggested as he looked at the immaculately dressed tree across the foyer.
Regina licked her lips as she shook her head, her eyes dragging slowly over Emma's body, tracing the curves her hands and mouth knew so well. No, she did not want a candy cane.
Emma cleared her throat softly and forced herself to look away from the simmering passion flickering in Regina's dark, expressive eyes. Their son was with them, and they had a laundry list of things to do before she could do anything about that.
Though she had no doubt that they most definitely would find the time to do so later that night.
"Don't think your mom wants a candy cane, Kid, but you go head and knock yourself out."
Henry shrugged, thankfully completely oblivious to the unspoken conversation his mothers were having right in front of him. "Works for me."
When he scampered off to the tree across the foyer to retrieve his prize, Emma shook her head and pulled Regina into a light embrace. "That was mean."
Regina laughed softly, the sound so gentle and warm, reverberating with pure happiness that Emma could not resist tasting it on her tongue. Emma smiled as she captured Regina's lips in a slow, sweet kiss that hopefully conveyed everything she was feeling in that moment.
I love you.
Thank you for letting me be your wife.
"Eww, gross!" Henry cried in laughing disgust.
Emma smiled wider and made a show of dipping Regina as she deepened their kiss to the exaggerated gagging sounds of their son. She laughed and pulled back to look at Regina, who looked so radiant and full of life in that moment that it made her heart skip a beat. "I love you."
Regina smiled and ran a tender hand over Emma's cheek. "And I you, Emma. So much that my heart could burst."
"Still gagging over here," Henry drawled.
"Deal with it, Kid," Emma retorted as she pulled Regina back upright. She arched a brow playfully as she nuzzled her cheek, letting their lips brush lightly together. Later, they would have time for more, but for now this was perfect.
It was everything.
"Regina, I " Emma blinked, wishing she were better with words because Regina deserved to hear the words. Regina deserved to hear how much she was lovedand just how perfect she was, just as she was. That she was enough.
Regina's smile softened and she nodded, understanding the emotions bubbling in Emma's eyes, her heart hearing the words Emma's tongue was unable to form. "I know, Dear. I feel the same way about you."
"Moms! Come on! We need to go shopping!"
Emma rolled her eyes and stole one last quick kiss before she let her wife go. While she did not particularly like the interruption, he was right. They had things to do. "Yeah, yeah, yeah." She winked at Regina as she reached for her coat that was sitting on the table and pulled a green felt hat with a fat red band across the brim from a pocket. "Here you go, Kid," she said as she tossed the hat at him.
Henry unfurled the hat and grinned at the large, pointed ears that were attached to the sides as he slapped it on his head. "How do I look?"
"Like the most handsome elf ever," Regina assured him with a smile.
"And this is for you, Mrs. Claus," Emma said as she pulled a fuzzy red and white hat from another pocket.
"Mmm, thank you." Regina carefully set the hat in place, clearly trying to not mess up her hair too badly in the process.
"You have one in there for you?" Henry asked Emma as he grinned at Regina, who was daintily adjusting the fall of her cap so the glittery white pom-pom just tickled her left shoulder.
"Of course." Emma reached for her coat one last time and pulled out a hat that was identical to the one she had just given Regina. "Can't have a Mrs. Claus without a Mrs. Claus, right?"
"No we certainly cannot," Regina agreed softly as she tucked Emma's hair behind her ears. "Henry, turn around, please."
"Because I'm pretty sure you don't want to see mommy kissing Mrs. Claus," Regina retorted as she wrapped a hand around the back of Emma's neck and pulled her into a deep, passionate kiss that left Emma swaying unsteadily on her feet by the time it was over. "I love you, Mrs. Claus." She pecked the point of Emma's chin and smiled. "Ready to go shopping?"
"Lead the way, Mrs. Claus."
"Elf! Get the door!" Regina commanded.
Henry grinned and offered her a low bow. "Of course, Mrs. Claus." He paused with one hand on the doorknob and turned back to the two women. "Merry Christmas, Moms."
Emma wrapped an arm around Regina's waist, loving the way Regina's arm immediately snaked around her waist as she sank into her.
"Merry Christmas, my little prince," Regina said as she laid her head on Emma's shoulder.
Emma pressed a soft kiss to the top of Regina's head and smiled. It was going to be a very merry Christmas, indeed. "Merry Christmas, Henry."
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